Saturday, September 21, 2013

In A World

Everyone in "In A World" looks familiar to you. It is written, directed and "stars" Lake Bell, and lots of other randoms that even if you stay to see the credits, you'll still be wondering how you know that actor. You will recognize the cameo by Eva Longoria- where she has to put a cork in her mouth. I've been trying to get a director to do that to her for a LONG time.  It's about the highly competitive VoiceOver industry, at least on the surface. Otherwise it is about relationships. And it is funny and sweet most of the time. I really, really liked it. The script was pretty tight, the acting was great and the humor was appropriate. I didn't know what to expect- but I was very surprised by it. Lake Bell is charming as the heroine, and the rest of the cast holds up their part of the bargain. The movie flies by- it felt like it lasted an hour, but it was a good deal longer. If you like movies where you aren't hit over the head with a message, then this is the movie for you!!! It would be a shame for such a little gem of entertainment to be passed up by main street theatres.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Blue Jasmine

Usually I don't think much about Woody Allen movies. I go to them because I like their rather off hand ambience. I don't always love them, but I'll go because I think Woody Allen is a master of characterization. He doesn't need bombs or flashes or sometimes, not even wit. Maybe the reasons actors like to work with him is because they really can assume an identity that stays true to itself. And certainly, an actor with flaws really drowns in Woody Allenland.  Here is where I come from- I didn't like Annie Hall, but I LOVED Match Point. And now, there is this. I think this may be the best Woody Allen movie ever made- not just for the script, but for the incredible cast. Cate Blanchett will win the academy award. I don't see how she could lose unless Meryl Streep makes a movie where she ACTUALLY dies on camera. Blanchett is so painfully raw and so mentally ill. She cannot believe something wrong has happened to her life since she was raised to believe her life would be different from her other adopted sister because she had "the good genes". Her name is too common for her- so she becomes Jasmine.  She steps into wealth with a sense of entitlement, refuses to see her husband's infidelities or crimes though she knows it all exists, feels pity for her sister because she is somehow "less", and cannot work a simple job because her vodka and xanax soaked brain has left her a muddled mess. She believes in charitable giving- though she does worse than nothing for her own sister (see the movie).   Like other Allen films, there is a twist at the end- I cannot tell you what it is- but you will find what has driven Jasmine to this misery is what she has done to herself.  I really loved this. I think it was flawless. If you don't give it thought after seeing it, you will miss the point. Go see it. 

The World's End

Okeedokee- just what IS this movie? A nostalgic movie about an alcoholic who wants to round up his mature friends in an attempt to relive a juvenile golden moment (pub crawl) that was not completed? Or is it a robot movie? Because it really isn't much of either. PICK ONE for crissakes and make a movie. Here's a word of advice- any time Rotten Tomatoes has a higher critics rating than movie viewer rating, you've got a pint o'trouble.  Sure, the Celtic hardcore (I'm Celtic, I can criticize) see a movie with grainy brew in it, they go nuts. "Hey look! It's one of us!" So why ISN'T it a movie about the original premise? The cast was fully capable of doing a funny but serious movie about the people we know who never moved on- a la Dazed and Confused's Matthew McC. But all of a sudden there are robots. At first you think- maybe these aren't real, just a drunken illusion. But then the movie makes a stupid turn and somehow they have to get to the last pub. I'm sorry- despite my love of Simon Pegg- and despite the fact that I loved Shaun of the Dead, Run Fat Boy Run, Hot Fuzz, etc.- I did NOT love this.  Sigh.