Here’s what I’ve been watching lately.
Life in Flight : This was an uber short movie, well only an hour and 20 minutes. It perfectly weaves the chaotic life of Will (Patrick Wilson) as he meets a striking young woman he can’t stop running into, leads her on and fails to mention his perfectly overwhelming wife Catherine (Amy Smart). Meanwhile his career as a developer is taking off. This film from writer-director Tracey Hecht is her first and she was able to develop the characters in a meaningful, interesting way that kept me on my toes. All of the characters are easy to empathize with but sometimes I still found myself puzzled by their actions.
Not Since You: This was a film in which I loved some of the characters and couldn’t stand the others. Eight college friends reunite for a wedding about a decade later. Sam (Desmond Harrington) and Amy (Kathleen Robertson) were engaged years ago but she moved on after he left unexpectedly. Upon seeing her again, Sam is googly-eyed and wants her back. That plot line kind of dragged on and overshadowed the more redeeming parts about the friends that did have actual depth and thoughtful personalities. Sara Rue and Elden Henson had the best storyline of being the shy, unlucky-in-love folks who fall for each other.
Rabbit Hole: This was a very slow-paced film about a depressing topic — child dies and the happily married couple is left behind to fall apart — but it was so well-acted by Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart that I was pulled into the character’s lives and wanted to see how they would learn to cope with their tragedy. The characters were pretty well fleshed out and I could see eachother’s motivations. But they were so cold to each other that it was hard for me to picture them as a happy family. It made it hard to invest in them as a couple and not just individuals.
The Hangover Part II: Maybe I just loved the The Hangover too much, but this movie absolutely paled in comparison to the side-splitting laughs in the first one. It was flat, unoriginal (no surprise there), and just not very funny. The directors thought wrong the same shit could sell twice and keep the viewer entertained. While some were quick to actually like it, I just can’t appreciate it. But I’m the first to admit I put A LOT of stock into this film and was sucked into the come-down that resulted from The Hangover. I think that’s why I’m so critical of it.
The Other Woman: This was definitely an interesting, while boring film at the same time. Natalie Portman plays Emilia, a young and determined student, while Scott Cohen plays Jack, her sexy teacher who is willing to risk his perfect family (Lisa Ludrow) for a taste of the ripe pupil. The dynamic between Emilia and Jack’s son was the funniest part of the film because they butted heads so terribly. The film would have been more successful if more time had been spent with Jack before his divorce, when he was with his wife and child. It would have helped me decide if I should be on this guy’s side or not? He was sort of vapid and I didn’t know his motive.
Two Lovers: This was a very strange, slow-moving film. Hmm, seems to be a trend this round of films. However I did like the depth of the plot and the film was very relateable when you got down to its core. Joaquin Phoenix plays Leonard, a 30-something man that still lives with his parents. He is one weird man and I don’t know how, but he had two women vying for his attention (Gwyneth Paltrow and Vinessa Shaw.) Shaw’s character was weak but I really liked the free-spirited woman played by Paltrow. The film explores the themes of love and insecurity. At it’s core, the film’s about settling for a second choice when the first falls through. Now, that’s applicable to everything in life.
Salt: This film wasn’t as entertaining as I was hoping. Like always, Angelia Jolie, as a Russian spy, was a joy to watch. I did like some of the action sequences. However the film was very gray and blurred together. Supporting role by Liev Schreiber was a great character and I loved the dynamic between him and Jolie. Definitely some good twists in the film.
All Good Things: The movie is based on the true story of Robert Durst (David Marks in the film), son of a very wealthy New York real estate mogul. It takes place in the 1970s and tells of the quick marriage of Durst (Ryan Gosling) and Katie (Kirsten Dunst), and bizarre missing persons case of Katie. Who remains considered missing, 29 years later. Gosling’s character is crazy, schizophrenic-style. It was so interesting to learn of this high-profile New York case that I had never heard of. I did research on the real case and subsequent murders and trials. It’s a good read.