Look out, Barack. Shit’s about to get real for you this year.
A bunch of North Koreans, intent on having the U.S. pull out of their territory so they can continue their civil war on the South, take over The White House and hold President Asher (Aaron Eckhart) hostage until he gives in to their demands. However, they don’t realize that ex-Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is in the building, and not taking it easy on any of them when it comes to saving his friend, his president, and his country.
Yes, it seems abundantly-clear to me now that Hollywood has finally started to run out of smart, original movie ideas, so now, they just copy one another in hopes of seeming different. See, this is the first movie where terrorists attack the White House we’ll be getting this year, but it sure as hell won’t be the last when White House Down, marches into theaters some time around the Summer. However, regardless of where Hollywood stands in the originality-department, and whether or not they can make smart movies about the leader of our country, is totally meaningless. What does have meaning, is whether or not this movie is as fun as it promises, and that’s all that matters. Oh, and yes: it is as fun as it promises to be.
Judging by reading that premise up-above, you can already tell that is mostly just a Die Hard carbon-copy, but placed inside of The White House. Most of you will probably say it’s stupid, unoriginal, and not worth the watch, but after the recent Die Hard debacle we were just hit with recently (I refuse to call it by it’s title), I think it’s safe to say that anything resembling the original is a-okay with me or any of us for that matter. The idea of a bunch of terrorists taking over one of the most-secured landmarks in our country, does seem a bit ridiculous, especially when you see how these terrorists pull it off, but this movie isn’t made to be thought-about or construed as a believable flick that could give potential-ideas, to potential-terrorists out there. It’s stupid, for the sake of being enjoyed and that’s what mattered to me.
However, the first 20 minutes did make me think otherwise. Not only does the movie start-off poorly, but it made me feel like I really got myself into some bad-business, when they decided to kill off Ashley Judd, within the first 5 minutes. I don’t love, nor do I hate Ashley Judd as an actress, but this unextended cameo just felt like a needless pry to slap another big name on the poster, and get somebody famous in there for a short-span of 5 minutes, to only provide a reason for the story to exist and die. Seemed stupid to me, but hey, I guess every stupid movie needs a reason to exist, right?
Well, it only got worse after that, because then Antoine Fuqua decided to show us how much he loves showing things blowing-up, but the problem is: it looks absolutely terrible. I’m not kidding; IT’S BAD. The special-effects (if that’s what you want to call them), seem like they came right out of a computer game, but not a recent, jacked-up one that almost seems like real-life, pasted into a tiny cartridge of fun and excitement. No, it seems like the type of graphics that were used for the first World of Warcraft, where only 20-30 year olds who lived in their mom’s basements and ate Doritos off of their chests, spent hours and hours of their lives playing and gaining no confidence whatsoever when it came to talking to women. The sequence where Fuqua gets over-zealous and shows us the terrorists attacking and destroying The White House and all of nearby Washington, is so cheap-looking and made me feel like Fuqua didn’t have much of a budget to begin with, and it was only going to get worse from here. Thankfully, I was wrong, but not by much.
After these initial-problems, the movie gets better, as it decides to not go for the big, bad, and the ugly, but stay grounded and have all of the shizz go down inside the actual White House. Once again, probably took place inside The White House so much for the sake of the budget, but it wasn’t so terrible to sit-through, considering Fuqua seemed to have a lot of fun with this aspect. The action, as goofy as it may be sometimes, is fun, exciting, and gets you really involved, right away. It’s the classic, action movie where guns, fist-fights, machines, and explosives all come together, to create this beautiful blend of dude’s yelling, girls closing their eyes, and everybody in the theater clapping and screaming, “Hell yeah!!”. In fact, I would be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t at least one of them. It actually got to the point of where I found myself involved with one of the fights and felt the pain that was happening in front of me. Sounds a bit dramatic coming from me, but that just goes to show you what I can feel when an action movie does it’s action right, and doesn’t cheap-out on giving me the goods. That’s all I needed, and that’s what I got. Thank you Antoine Fuqua, for at least 75% of your movie. The other 25% can kiss my ass.
However, I cannot go on and on about this movie, without mentioning it’s best-factor of all: the leading man. Yes, after years and years of rotting his career away in rom-com-after-rom-com, finally, Gerard Butler has returned to being an action hero that we not only love and can get behind, but can kick as much ass as we expect and want him to. Butler is awesome in this role as Mike Banning, and even though the character is your quintessential good guy that does everything right, has a solution to every problem, and always has a witty-quip or two to say, Butler still owns it and makes this character watchable in the best-sense of the word. Not only does Butler seem like he’s capable of doing roles like thee, but he also seems like he’s having a great-deal of fun being able to knife the fuck out of terrorists, and telling them all to kiss his rear-end, and not just to the enemy, but to the people on his own side. Yep, Butler is THAT good as Banning, and even if he isn’t and I’m just over-hyping this thing up like crazy (which I might just be); it’s still great to see Butler back in his prime-form. Let’s just hope it stays that way and we never, ever get another Playing for Keeps. Please, Gerard. I’m begging you! Stay away!
The problem with Butler being so awesome, is that the rest of the cast sort of pales in-comparison to him, but that’s not such a bad thing when you have an ensemble such as this. Aaron Eckhart is a bit weak as President Asher, who instead of standing up for himself and showing that he’s more than capable of taking matters into his own hand, is just meant to sit there, yell a lot, and say how much he does not negotiate with terrorists, even though that’s exactly what he does. Barack would be SMHing right now. However, that’s where Morgan Freeman comes into play the speaking-president (for the 2nd time, mind you), and does an alright-job, even if it seems like a bit of a waste for the guy to just sit around a room, with equal heavy-hitters like Robert Forster and Angela Bassett, and react to everything Banning says, does, or follows through on. Hey, I would rather have them in this movie, then not at all, but at least give them more to do than just reaction-shots that they could pull off just by looking into the mirror.
On the opposite end of things, Rick Yune isn’t just taking a little nibble with the scenery, but is constantly gnawing and teething at it with all of his might and will-power. Yes, it does get a bit over-board at times, but it was actually fun and nice to see a villain that seems smarter than everybody else around him, and one that’s more-than capable of getting away with a blood on his hands. Dylan McDermott plays the American who’s on his side, and does what he can, but once again, seems like a bit of a waste for a guy who’s so, so, so much better at playing dick-heads in movies that it’s not even funny. I mean, it’s funny to watch him in this, but it’s not funny when he can play it well. Everybody else is here for window dressing, and that’s about it. They are all fine, but nothing too special to write home about.
Consensus: Even if it isn’t the best, or the last “White House in danger” movies that we’ll be getting this year, Olympus Has Fallen still excels in being a fun, wild, exciting, and brainless exercise that gets us involved, gets us enjoying ourselves, and gives us back the Gerard Butler that we all knew and used to love. Please stay with us, Gerard. And never, ever leave our sides.
6.5 / 10 = Rental!!
Damn, when they say “Dark”, they freakin’ meant it!
Batman (Christian Bale) raises the stakes in his war on crime. With the help of Lieutenant Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman sets out to dismantle the remaining criminal organisations that plague the city streets. The partnership proves to be effective, but they soon find themselves prey to a reign of chaos unleashed by a rising criminal mastermind known to the terrified citizens of Gotham as The Joker (Heath Ledger).
Come on now! You can’t honestly sit there and try to tell me that you didn’t see this one coming. I mean with The Dark Knight Rises only about a few short days away, I had to realize again why I’m so juiced up in the first place and thank God for that, cause this movie still kicks ass no matter how many times you see it. And to answer any of your suspicions, I saw this more than 10 times. In it’s entirety, as well.
Let me just get this out of the bag and go off by stating the obvious when I say that this is one of the, if not, the best superhero movie of all-time, and all of that can be attributed to one of the best storytellers working today, Mr. Christopher Nolan. Batman Begins was a pretty damn dark origin story to how Batman became who he is, but this film goes even farther in the dark departments where almost everything here is complex, gloomy, depressing, scary, sad, and most of all, tense. Holy shit is this movie ever so tense! Nolan lets the story be told the way that it should, which works in its own right, but what really got me every time was whenever he would pack this film with another insane action sequence that would last over 10 minutes and just keep my attention up on the screen the whole time. The sounds are loud, the shots are booming, and the whole time, you feel like you’re there and you have no idea what’s going to happen next.
That’s also another aspect I loved about this movie, you never knew what was really going to happen next. Too much in today’s world whenever we get a superhero movie, it’s pretty much the same song and dance but there’s just something different that Nolan brings to this story here and he makes it all the more unpredictable. I mean there is obvious, generic plot points that this film follows through on, but not everything is exactly as you would expect it to be. And honestly, even when things are even remotely up-lifting or happy, they aren’t as sunny shine as you would want. Instead, the daaaaaaarknessss taaakesss overrrrr!!!
So when you do have a story that’s somewhat unpredictable and plenty of hardcore action scenes that kick your ass right into shape, you pretty much have a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole way through, which is in fact what this film does if not more. Every single scene feel like it matters to this story, only to build it up more and give it more layers, and every time a piece of action would come out on screen, it not only made the film feel that much more intense but also added to the ruthless mood that Nolan gave this film in the first place. You almost feel like this director will do anything and everything to entertain us and keep us watching, but he also doesn’t allow for it to be just his story to tell, we all know and love it the way we do and there’s a spirit underneath it all that really makes it fly (pun intended). It’s not everyday that you get to see a story like this that’s so damn complex and fun, but also one that doesn’t seem like it’s going to be pulling any punches and could literally go anywhere with itself. That’s the type of director Christopher Nolan is and if you don’t believe me, go on and check out his résumé, and see what the eff I’m talking about. This guy means business and it shows through every single film he makes, and that’s why I have total and complete faith in him handling this last one.
If there is any complaint I have to give to this film is that it is almost too tense to the point of where I feel like I was getting tired by the end. I know, I know, I’m going to get attacked in the comments by how lame of a complaint this is but the film does run on a little too long and you feel like there should have almost been an intermission for people to go out and stretch their legs and get some over-priced goodies at the concessions stand. Then again, it’s just another sign of Mr. Nolan not taking any prisoners when it comes to watching his movies and being there for the end, with every body part still in-tact.
Christian Bale, once again, does a pretty solid job as Batman/Bruce Wayne and shows that he definitely has the skills and charm to pull of a complex character like Batman where we see him as this happy and rich playboy, that has to stand up for what is right, put on the cape, belt, suit, and everything, just to show what he believes in. Maybe that was a little too corny for Batman, and hell, even this movie, but you know what I mean. Bale is always awesome and regardless of what he does with his voice, you know this guy always kicks ass. It was also awesome to see everybody else return here and give their characters more development this time around with Gary Oldman as Lt. James Gordon, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, and of course, Michael Caine as Alfred Pennyworth. Also, people will probably notice that Katie Holmes didn’t return to her character of Rachel Dawes (for Mad Money, great decision honey!), so they put Maggie Gyllenhaal in for her and she does pretty awesome. She isn’t necessarily a damsel in distress character as she can stick up for herself but also makes it clear why two dudes like Wayne and Dent would be fighting over here.
But when it all comes right down to it, you cannot talk about this film without going over it’s two main villains: Harvey Dent/Two-Face and The Joker. I feel bad for Aaron Eckhart here because this guy totally gets over-shadowed by all of the hype with his character, as it’s obviously always more focused on The Joker, which isn’t fair because the guy kicks some sweet ass in this role. Eckhart definitely seems like a great choice for Dent because he’s always been able to play these somewhat slimy characters, that you know you can’t hate because deep-down inside, there’s something good in them. Take this role for instance, as it is a lot harder to portray a dude that is pretty much a romantic rival to our main hero, and also goes from good guy to bad guy pretty quickly and dramatically. But somehow, Eckhart pulls it all off and I’m glad to see that he finally got his chance to be apart of the A-list because this guy has something about him that just really clicks.
However, you can’t talk about this film without not talking about it’s main attraction in the first place, and with good reason: Heath Ledger as The Joker. This is one of those rare, inspired bits of casting that comes around almost once a decade where a random actor gets put in this role where it doesn’t seem like it fits that person one bit, but somehow, they pull it all off perfectly to the point where you almost don’t feel like you’re not watching that same actor do their own thing. That’s this rare role where Ledger just got to do anything he wanted with this iconic villain. Does he have the same wit and charm as Nicholson’s? Of course, but it’s a lot more darker now and goes along with the tone so perfectly because Ledger isn’t a Joker that’s all about fun and games, this ‘effer will kill you when he has the chance to do so and he’ll laugh and smile about it. Don’t believe me? Just try and remember that magic trick. Thank you, I rest my case. But honestly, this is one of Ledger’s best performances ever, which is obvious because he won the Oscar that year anyway but it should not be all about because he died and the Academy felt bad. No, this guy commands the screen every time he is up there and you get the perfect feel for what this actor really would have done, had he lived on and saw what this iconic role done to his career. Really is a sad thing to see when you have somebody with such a bright future right ahead of them, just fall short because of some stupid drugs, but we will always have the movies and that’s what matters.
Consensus: The Dark Knight is exactly what you would expect from a superhero flick, especially one that is considered the greatest of all-time: awesome action sequences, tense storytelling, unpredictable story, great acting, easy-to-root for hero that has more problems at stake than just a bunch of baddies, baddies that are as menacing and evil as you can get, and a direction that just reminds you that Christopher Nolan is a man amongst men when and when it comes right down to it, this guy can do it all if he wanted to! The Dark Knight Rises, here I come baby!!
As a pirate, and now as a journalist. I’m starting to think that Johnny Depp the human may just like rum.
Eager to flee his humdrum life in 1950s New York, booze-loving journalist Paul (Johnny Depp) moves to Puerto Rico and begins writing for a local rag, but his life becomes unhinged when he falls for a gorgeous woman (Amber Heard) and clashes with her shifty fiancé (Aaron Eckhart).
Even though I have never seen ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas‘, I have heard nothing but good and crazy things which is why I was kind of anticipating seeing a film with Depp playing another Hunter S. Thompson character. However, I think I need to check out Fear and Loathing instead.
Director Bruce Robinson does his best to make this adaptation at least mildly amusing but just can’t do too much in the end. There are moments of humor that kept me laughing, and other parts where I like how they down-played all of the humor but the problem with this film is that the drama kicks in and it’s just so dry and boring that the film almost seems a bit uneven. Nothing really happens the whole time, or at least that’s what it seems like and although I was watching I still had no idea where this film was trying to go, let alone actually say.
My real problem with this film is that nothing ever really felt at stake and instead of wondering just where this story was going to go in a suspenseful kind of way, I tried to understand just why the hell this film was meandering. If Depp’s character, Paul joins these bad-guys and practically sells his soul to the devil, then something not too good will happen. That not too good thing never popped up once and I never even cared if he joined them or not. What was even more annoying was how the film had these little constant bits of energy that seemed like a total amount of fun, but then they would get knocked down by some real dry drama or moments of nothing really happening to the point of where I actually heard a yawn.
Remember that awesome, kick-ass trailer? Yeah, I did too, and I felt cheated when I found out that this was just a lazy attempt at trying to re-create the craziness that I hear Fear and Loathing did.There’s probably one scene where there are drugs taken and probably the funniest and most memorable of the whole film, and I never quite understood why the film didn’t keep on going for that constantly weird and crazy vibe that it could have easily benefited from.
Although, I may knock on this film a whole bunch I still did have some fun with this film and that’s probably because the beautiful sights of this film. The film takes place in 1960′s Puerto Rico and it really feels like a love-letter to it with all of the sun-lights, wide-open beaches, and ridiculously sexy mama citas that were all over the place. Hell, even the poor and little under-belly of Puerto Rico looked nice and that seems really really hard to do. If only the beauty of the cinematography could have got translated to some of its direction and writing.
At the beginning of the film, I thought Paul Kemp was going to be an incredibly quirky and funny dude but after the opening scene, Johnny Depp plays Kemp fairly low-key, which will probably disappoint a lot of people. He’s more of the silent observer in this film and doesn’t drink as much rum as the title and cool poster would have you think at first. This isn’t a bad performance by any means, but it’s fairly just disappointing since I would have liked to see him get a little zanier and a lot more fun to watch.
I’m also a little bothered at the fact that Depp is playing a dude that’s just starting out in his career as a journalist, when in reality, Depp is 48. Yes, I know it seems totally insane that Captain Jack Sparrow is old enough to be a 21st Century pop-pop and it gets even weirder when he starts this romance with Amber Heard’s character, who is about 25 herself. Maybe I was the only one who was a tad bothered by this but he seems to be getting too old for some of these roles and I think it may be time for roles that suit him a lot better, whatever they may be.
Speaking of Amber Heard, she’s pretty disappointing here as Chenault although she uses her sexiness to her advantage. She’s been so much better in a lot of other films and it’s a real shame when the film sort of totally gets rid of her by the last act. Aaron Eckhart plays her boyfriend, Sanderson, and is a total and complete disappointment in this film because he just a one-note character the whole time, which takes a lot more momentum out of this film. Giovanni Ribisi plays a drunken dude named Moburg and is a lot of fun on-screen, even though his character seems totally random considering the tone of this film; Richard Jenkins is a lot of fun to watch as Paul’s editor-in-chief and gives a surprisingly smart speech on Puerto Rico that was one of the few moments that actually interested me; and Michael Rispoli plays Paul’s new best-buddy, Sala, and really keeps the moments he and Depp have on-screen, some of the best and funniest moments of this film.
Consensus: The Rum Diary has its moments where it can be fun, beautiful to look at, and have feature some very good performances from the whole cast but has an uneven tone that sort of meanders over its whole 2-hour time-limit and feels like a film that could have been so much better, if it had so much more rum-drinking that the previews and poster were suggesting.
Call Of Duty: The Movie.
Led by their skillful staff sergeant (Aaron Eckhart), a platoon of gutsy Marines, including Santos (Michelle Rodriguez), Simmons (Taylor Handley) and Lockett (Cory Hardrict), fight to protect all humankind from astonishingly powerful aliens who’ve suddenly invaded Los Angeles.
Ever since that first awesome trailer came out, my interest level went sky-high. And then I found out it was based on real events, so then I got even crazier about this. Then I saw it.
If you are 13, love playing shoot-em-up video games, and just want to goof around with your friends, this is the movie for you. There is non-stop shooting left-and right, which is actually pretty entertaining because there are plenty of aliens, explosions, guns, tanks, spaceships, and helicopters to hold your interest with loud noises all over the place just to make sure your eyes are on the screen. I was somewhat entertained with all this havoc, however, that can only go so far.
All the action was fine until everybody in this movie had to open their mouths, and that’s when everything went downhill from there. The writer of this film, Christopher Bertolini, sucks. I honestly don’t know if this guy was taking this seriously, or just watched a whole bunch o war films, and put every single cliched line you could think of. When these people all start talking it’s most cheesy, predictable stuff you have ever heard. Almost every sentence that these Marines use ends with a big “Hoo-rah”, and every time they get soft and talk about their feelings, they all sound like their gonna cry, and everybody around them is going to cuddle with them. This is some of the most macho bullshit that I have ever heard in a film, and if I were a Marine, I would be pretty pissed that this is the kind of image I got.
Let’s not forget to mention the one who really effed this all up in the first place, and that’s director Jonathan Liebesman. If you heard about a film that’s “Black Hawk Down, but with aliens instead of Somalis” you would be so siked and think it’s going to be awesome, however this dude somehow messes that up too. There’s no real story here, and the only explanation we get as to why the Aliens are attacking Los Angeles off all places, is because they need water supply. But then again, that makes no damn sense either. And although this film is some mindless entertainment, sometimes it’s almost unbearable how Liebesman uses this shaky-cam and it does get pretty annoying after awhile, since it really is all over the place. Also, I’m really annoyed by how in almost every war film that the enemies always die within that first shot, and the good guys barely ever get shot even if they are like 10 feet away. Always annoys me, and here that doesn’t change.
Aaron Eckhart really does have that huge potential to be an A-list star, and an Oscar contender, but it’s when he does shit like this that really screws him over. Eckhart does a good job with this material, and it’ surprise, because I don’t know how anyone could, but the problem is that he does try a little too hard. But I can’t really criticize him all that much because when you have Michelle Rodriguez, Ne-Yo, and Bridget Moynahan as your supporters, you can’t really expect an Oscar-quality performance.
Consensus: Battle: Los Angeles has the look and feel of a video game, that some people will actually enjoy, but if you want good acting, reasonable story, and some smart dialogue, do not look here.
Football is a lot more messed up than I thought.
Master director Oliver Stone crafted this look at the gritty world of professional football, capturing the trials and tribulations of the fictional Miami Sharks, a team beset by unnecessary roughness on and off the field. Stone’s brilliant ensemble cast includes Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz and Dennis Quaid in a full-blown assault on the senses, portraying every tackle, pass — and torn ligament — in vivid detail.
I like, and I play football. I think it’s tough, fun, and overall vicious sport that if your good at, well then be ready for the big bucks. However, sports in today’s world isn’t always the happiest place to be. Oliver Stone knows what I’m talking about.
As usual with an Oliver Stone film, this is packed and packed with a lot of information, and stories that all seem to occupy the 2 hour and 43 minute time limit. This film is very long, and I must say that if you do not want to sit by a movie for a very long time, where you may not like many of the characters, you may not want to check this film out.
There are a lot of interesting parts every once and awhile, and Stone does a great job of filming it all. The football scenes are perfect by the way they portray every hit, every cheer, every sack, and every single little piece of pain that is involved within a game of football. He also uses his crazy camera-work, that moves from story to story, and the use of loud, percussive music and rap feel like life itself and it keeps us involved with this film as well as the big game itself.
I just wish that there were more parts to this film that seemed like they were needed. I feel like Stone was putting some of these random parts in to create more compelling stories that would have us attached to all of these characters, and it just kind of got tire-some. There seemed to be more random parts then there were actually parts that were needed in this film, but I will give Stone credit for at least adding all these other elements to this film to get the full spectrum, and at least make it something easy to follow. The script isn’t so bad either, it’s just all over the place, but it is entertaining cause it shows the world we live in where the game has changed from being prideful to more commercial.
Al Pacino is perfect and exactly what his character requires: a hard-arsed, old school coach with more honor than commercial savvy. He loves the game he discovered 30 years ago and cannot face the prostitute that it has become. Dennis Quaid is great as the faded glory of the old game: tattered, bruised, bleeding and down but not quite out. Together they quantify everything that is good about sport. Cameron Diaz is surprisingly good as Al’s polar opposite: young, fiscal and dynamic. She has inherited a job she doesn’t want but cannot quit. She sees football as a game of commerce, not endeavor. She is supported by an amazing Jamie Foxx, the tough, brash youngster given a shot at the top position and grabbing it for all he’s worth. Together they quantify everything that is real about sport in the USA. I liked how the film showed how these two opposing sides faced off against each other, even though their all on the same side. It’s old school vs. new school, and you get to decide who wins in the end. There are others in this huge ensemble cast that are worth noting such as LL Cool J, James Woods, Matthew Modine, John C. McGinley, Aaron Eckhart, Lawrence Taylor, and the man himself, Jim Brown.
Consensus: Oliver Stone’s “football movie” is a bit messy and some parts don’t seem like they belong at all, but Stone’s direction that captures the perfect feel of the game, and the perfect performances of the cast make this a film that any football fan can and probably will enjoy. It will just take about 2½ hours out of your day to watch it.
Not as bad as everybody makes it out to be, but not all that good honestly.
When widower and self-help guru Burke Ryan (Aaron Eckhart) unexpectedly falls for Eloise (Jennifer Aniston), his latent grief threatens his chance at romance. Now, the best-selling author and expert on coping with loss must prove he’s his own best teacher or risk losing love again.
What I was expecting from this film was to be totally bored out of mind, and to see nothing new. In a way, I kind of got that, in another way I didn’t.
The plot for this film is probably something that you could have seen if you were skipping school and decided to spend your day watching Lifetime with your mommy, and I think that’s the main problem with this film because it doesn’t do much with its premise rather than just be shallow about the themes within its screenplay.
The film says it’s about a romance between these two leads, but that is barely even there really and it’s more about a self-help guru coming to terms with his grief. This took me by surprise because some parts actually did work, but there was no real insight to this theme that we haven’t already seen before. Moments here were dull and boring, and the cutesie-bootsie montages that they use here become exhausting, and probably become the biggest cliche of the whole film.
If there is anything that this film does a great job with, it’s showing that Aaron Eckhart needs a damn Oscar! He plays this self-help guru with a lot of wit, and actual realistic human feelings that will have you like his character, Burke, a whole lot more than you expected. Jennifer Aniston is here as Eloise playing that quirky rom-com love interest we all know her for, but she doesn’t really show up that much and doesn’t do much for this film. There is also not enough chemistry between these two, mainly because the film doesn’t give them much time to actually develop. Judy Greer as always is awesome, Dan Fogler is OK if you like wannabe Jack Black’s, and Martin Sheen does a good job too. The script just lets this whole cast down, which is a real bummer since they all do try really really hard.
Consensus: Love Happens had some surprisingly nice moments, but the dramatic element nor does the romantic element work, and offers surprises if you haven’t seen a rom-com in the past 15 or 20 years.
Weddings: best place to score one night stands.
Sparks fly at a wedding reception when a man (Aaron Eckhart) and woman (Helena Bonham Carter) with an ambiguous connection are reunited in this stylish romantic drama. As the layers of their past relationship gradually peel back, they rekindle a smoldering flame. Unable to contain their desire, they soon slip away to her hotel room — but will passion give way to regret after the champagne wears off?
Right from the beginning you notice that this film just looks like another gimmick, with a meaningless story to back it up. However, the surprising thing is that you almost forget about the gimmick half-way through this 1 hour and 24 minute film.
The screenplay here is what works the best. This film starts off as just another two people meeting, and flirting but then all that playfulness turns into something more deeper and emotional. Then you start to notice that these two know each other, quite well in fact, and that’s when the film starts to get juicy. I liked how the screenplay touched on many elements that have to do with a romantic relationship that once failed. We get a sense of how these people feel through their strong words, and through their speech we understand the loss that both of these people had. There were very real emotional moments here that actually work, and had me astonished by how genuine it all felt and sounded.
My only problem with this film is that I felt it was almost a little too contrived. There were moments that were emotionally good, but never did I feel myself almost clinching to my seat as to how real, and truthful it was. The ending almost pissed me off, and I felt like that there should have been more questions brought up, and answered for that matter. I get what they were trying to do with this ending and the film, but I never really found myself completley taken away by it all.
The acting here is extraordinary, cause this some very complicated stuff here. Since this film is split-screen focusing on both of these stars at the same time throughout the whole film, it’s not when their speaking is when they have to be powerful, but it’s when no words are spoken and you just look at that person and you can feel the performance within them. Here, these two do that. The chemistry that Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhart have is where the real heart of this film lies because you believe almost every action they take with one another as well as every emotion they give to each other. I liked how they were sometimes goofy with each other, but then at other times, completley serious as well, and it to me just felt like a real relationship, and both nail it.
Consensus: Though a bit too contrived at moments, Conversations With Other Women benefits from a great screenplay, that is heightened by the powerful, and genuine chemistry between Bonham Carter and Eckhart.
I honestly don’t think I can make any silly pun with this movie.
Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) grapple with the realities of life eight months after the death of their 4-year-old son, Danny. Even with Becca’s well-meaning mother (Dianne Wiest) offering comfort and weekly group therapy always available, the couple go about their own secret ways of coping.
The film is directed by John Cameron Mitchell, who has had two efforts in the past (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus). Those two are completely different from this, and that’s why I like it so much more.
The screenplay is what really works here so well. There is a lot of true and honest insight into the world of grief, and suffering which all rings true. I’m not a parent, but I still know what it’s like to have grief over something, and this film portrays that so well. You don’t blame yourself, but you more or less, blame the people that are trying to help you, and you just can’t help it. By watching this film, you see how hard it is to be normal again after something so devastating has just happened to you.
Cameron Mitchell is a fine choice for this film because although he doesn’t do much with this story that we aren’t expecting, he does let it speak for itself, and give us some emotionally raw scenes. This is some of the most upsetting, and sad material I have seen in a film in quite some time, but somehow he lifts it up into something a little more brighter, and has us know who these people are inside and out.
The only problem with this film is that there are moments in this movie, where you sort of can’t really stand sitting through all this pain. It’s almost like the film Revolutionary Road, where the material you have to work with is just so sad, that it’s hard to actually enjoy yourself. The whole film is not like that, but there are moments in the film where I was sort of sad myself.
Nicole Kidman is absolutely terrific in this film. She captures the raw emotion that goes through a grieving mother, as she tries so hard to stay strong, and look positive, but deep down inside she’s hurting more than ever. Her performance is amazing and I’m so glad that she got an Oscar nomination for this, because she does deserve it. Aaron Eckhart is also very good here, and I think should have gotten some sort of nomination, because he is also another great element as well. He tries to keep his cool about it too, but I can’t help but shed a tear when he starts to talk about his son, and when he gets pissed I have to tell you, it was scary. These two work well together as a married couple who I don’t think once shared a kiss throughout the whole movie. We are constantly playing in our heads who’s acting bad about this all, but it goes back and forth so you can never really tell and I liked that. Dianne Wiest is terrific as always, giving off more heart in this film, but I can’t say I didn’t expect it. Sandra Oh is also a delight to have her also.
Consensus: The subject material may not always be the most happy material, but Rabbit Hole benefits from a terrific cast that delivers so well on this raw and honest story about the loss of a child.
What a bunch of assholes.
Director Neil LaBute excels at creating cynical characters loosed in an unredeemable world. Jason Patric plays a narcissistic stud who swaggeringly comes on to anything in a skirt. Oh yeah, and he’s a jerk to his friends (Ben Stiller, Aaron Eckhart), too.
This is written and directed by LaBute who created a storm with his first film, In the Company of Men, which is about two guys taking advantage of this one woman. And, needless to say this film isn’t any different.
I think the one thing about this film is that it paints a great portrait of sex and love. Much of this credit goes to the writing from LaBute who gives us this darkly funny dialogue about these couples and how each one betrays the other with sex. Basically the film is all talking, and it stays interesting at most points with its dialogue.
But that is also where the problem lies. The film is so so talky, that nothing else really happens other than screwing and talking(which in some ways can be considered the same thing, I gotta million of em!). And for some people who don’t like these dialogue filled movies, they will find themselves at a lost here, much ado to the incredibly slow pace.
Also, though the film is very funny I actually didn’t find it to be very happy by the last hour or so. Actually, mostly the film made me depressed with the ways these people were actually carrying themselves. The film doesn’t show any bright sides to these people’s lives and although they make a lot of sex, and talk about love, they never seem in love and are never happy no matter what they do.
The one thing that really did it for me was the performances from the stellar cast. Throughout the whole film I was just simply astonished by Jason Patric as the misogynistic doctor. He plays the utterly unlikable and cocky of a character that at times you want to smash his face in, but at other times you want to be like him. There is one scene where its just him for like 10 minutes and he really just gives it all out there, and its great. I also found Stiller to be equally as awkward and nervous as he is in other movies playing himself and wasn’t surprised here, and I liked Eckhart as a guy that I felt so sympathetic for in the end, that I just wanted to give him a big hug. Catherine Keener, I though was a huge bitch in this and I really didn’t like her character at all, and I found myself wondering as to why anybody would want to even be with her, there’s probably one scene where I was actually glad she was upset after it, cause she is such a bitch.
Consensus: With great performances from the cast, and realistic/funny dialogue, Your Friends & Neighbors give a good look on relatinships, but shows a bleack and slow-moving film that will sort of bore some people by the end.