Thursday, June 23, 2011

Prime of Your Life: Movie Review


A near-perfect story weighed down by immature actors and characters.

Expecting a romantic comedy, I was pleasantly surprised when "Prime of Your Life" delivered so much more. Elements of drama, comedy, coming-of-age and romance were all there with the typical romantic comedy facets being barely even noticeable. The problem is those lessons, that life or stories about life, including everything from love, to heartbreak, to mortality, to cons, and independence, were expounded to me by a 20-something slacker and it was too condescending for my liking. 2010

Directed by: Kelly L. King

Screenplay by: Nicole Abisinio and Brandon Cotter

Starring: Nicole Abisinio and Ryan Donowho

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Art of Getting By: Movie Review


Asking the question, "What's the point?" But then doesn't deliver much.

The teenage rebel, full of angst, and feeling alienated through their own defeatist philosophies, once perfected in Holden Caulfield, is on display here again in George (Freddie Highmore). He has the typical advanced vocabulary and expected intellect, but boredom for school and life. "What's the point if you're just going to die alone?"
2011

Directed by: Gavin Wiesen

Screenplay by: Gavin Wiesen

Starring: Freddie Highmore and Emma Roberts

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Midnight in Paris: Movie Review


   


Paris and literature taken to golden heights of intelligence and humour.
Have you ever wanted to see Owen Wilson play a modern day Alvy Singer and then transport him into the 1920s? I'm assuming that nobody other than Woody Allen has even thought about doing that. But trust me, now you'll want to see it. "Midnight in Paris" pairs ingenious casting with Allen's usual parade of characters (a neurotic writer, a right-wing Republican ignoramus, and a pedantic know-it-all) and places them in Paris.2011

Directed by: Woody Allen

Screenplay by: Woody Allen

Starring: Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Certified Copy: Movie Review


   


"Certified Copy" is an original work of art.
Discussions on art, on the interpretations of art, and on the value of copies of original art. Discussions on relationships, marriage, and on the types of individuals it takes to enter into one. Discussions on what is truth, what can be left up to the viewer's imagination, and what really matters. "Certified Copy" is all of that. 2010

Directed by: Abbas Kiarostami

Screenplay by: Abbas Kiarostami

Starring: Juliette Binoche and William Shimell

Monday, June 13, 2011

Bitter/Sweet: Movie Review


Light and sweet and an enjoyable trip to Thailand.

A part Thai film, part U.S. film, "Bitter/Sweet" did a wonderful job of merging the two cultures for both audiences. It centers on Brian (Kip Pardue) a young American, for the Western audiences to connect to, but takes place in Thailand. It even manages to include a small-town girl in big-city who comes back to her hometown storyline, without me completely noticing. 2009

Directed by: Jeff Hare

Screenplay by: Jeff Hare

Starring: Kip Pardue and Napakpapha Nakprasitte

Friday, June 10, 2011

Take Me Home Tonight: Movie Review


A comedy that can't be taken humorously or seriously, but I do think they tried.

It's like a high school comedy with college graduates, but it has the immaturity of high school and lacking the intelligence that some college grads are supposed to have. "Take Me Home Tonight" is about Matt (Topher Grace) trying to win over his dream girl in a night full of parties with old high school classmates. It's also about him not knowing what to do with his life, but it's not thoughtful enough to be meaningful.   2011

Directed by: Michael Dowse

Screenplay by: Jackie Filgo and Jeff Filgo

Starring: Topher Grace, Dan Fogler, Anna Faris and Teresa Palmer

It wasn't funny enough to be a flat-out comedy, but it also didn't have much heart for a movie that wanted to occasionally take itself seriously. It had a strange mix of wild, immature partying just for fun, and a deeper side when smarts doesn't add up to success. I do think they were trying to juxtapose the two for a reason, but I couldn't find that reason.

The characters were all either smart or successful, or if both, they weren't happy. Most characters were just one-off jokes, but Topher Grace as smart, but directionless and insecure is a joy to watch. I always want him to succeed.

I reluctantly admit that the '80s angle actually worked here. It wasn't just about crimped hair, bangles and bandanas. It also had the success of the financial sector and the desire to get into it, which was a big part of that era. But I don't think they mentioned Reagan or Reaganomics once. Surely, that's a writer's mistake. A soundtrack of music that was once popular but shouldn't have been couldn't carry the movie, but then again good, popular music from the '60s couldn't even save "Pirate Radio".

"Take Me Home Tonight" wasn't very funny and it couldn't even be taken seriously when it wanted to be, but I was amused. And even though I don't necessarily know what they were, I still think they had a reason for everything that they did. And I suppose that is one step up for Hollywood.


Recommended:

The Waterhole (2009) - Real humour and thoughtfulness to college grads trying to find their way.

High Fidelity (2000) - The hilarious realities when relationships get in the way of every stage of life.