Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Descendants

You probably know this film stars George Clooney in every scene. Most George Clooney movies do that. I guess the producers have to get their money's worth. But in all fairness, Clooney can be very, very good. And in this one, he is very, very good. Basically, Clooney plays a (mostly)white descendant of  a Hawaiian princess (a few generations back) who is now trustee for a bunch of cousins who now must sell their inherited land- he is a lawyer, husband to a woman who is dying from a reckless accident and lies in a coma, father to one rambunctiously acting out pre-teen and one rebellious teen daughter. In a little twist, his wife has had an affair prior to dying and Clooney develops an obsession with finding the man and what it means. Alexander Payne is really good at what he does- this film is no exception. He gets great performances out of every actor. The end is fairly predictable, but it isn't the destination that is the point of this movie- it's the journey. The kids are very good, very real and very likeable. Clooney has a few moments of silly mugging- it stands out because they are serious scenes that didn't need his subdued slapstick. But if he does win Best Actor, it is understandable. He has to go from being a husband in shock and grief, to a husband who is angry, to a husband who is resentful, to a husband who is confused. His role is stretched almost to the bounds of credulity- but yet, I guess it COULD happen that way. Any way, if my husband says it was a perfect movie, then there is something for everyone.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tower Heist

Yes, it is over the top schlocky nonsense. Yes, it stars a very random cast with Alan Alda, Eddie Murphy, Gabore Sidibe, Matthew Broderick, Ben Stiller, Casey Affleck- etc- and yes, they should have all known better. But you are in on the joke. This movie isn't trying to be serious at all. Alda plays a villain so rank that he should be wearing a black cape and twirling a moustache. Stiller is the earnest hotel manager who must right the wrong he has done. Sidibe is a "don't deport me" safe cracker. Eddie is the streetwise petty criminal.  It's all too easy. There's a tower, and there's a heist. Yet, somehow the silliness of it all is entertaining. You know how it will end before you even get there- and if it feels familiar, well, go rent the original Charlie's Angels. Same feeling. Fluffy and easy to watch and also easy to forget.  I'm glad I went, but I'm sorry I paid full price!