Saturday, November 22, 2014

The upside to being sick: a few reviews for your long weekend

A few weeks ago, I caught a cold. This is not important other than to say that it afforded me the opportunity to stay home and watch a few of the movies that of been ripening on my list. If nothing else, Being sick gives you an excuse to do the sort of lazy slob routine you'd normally want to do anyway, Without feeling guilty.

To that end I have a few short reviews to share on the films that I've watched over the last week, plus a few that have been kicking about, waiting for me to share my thoughts on.

In A World
Brought to us by writer/director Lake Bell, the film takes A humorous look at the world of movie trailer voice over.  Starring bell as Carol Solomon, the daughter of voiceover legend Sam Sato, the film follows Carol's struggle to become a voiceover artist. While at timesquite clever I felt the film neglected to draw from the rich soil that is voiceover character work. Having recently watched I know that voice, in which all the artists insist that The community a voiceover artists are quite close, seeing a film that suggested exactly the opposite, felt a little bit forced.that said there are enough laughs and this one and quirky interchanges, to keep you entertained on a quiet Sunday afternoon. 

I'd give this one a 3 out of 4.

Trek Nation
This review will be short, as I couldn't make it through the whole film. While the premise is an interesting one, Eugene Roddenberry, Star Trek's own Jean Roddenberry's son, goes on a pilgrimage to discover his father's legacy. Unfortunately Eugene does not have his father's charm and as such having placed himself as the central character in the story about his father, this one falls pretty flat. With archival footage that is interesting and of itself, I'm surprised this wasn't a better documentary. I just couldn't make it through, and gave up about a third of the way in.

1.5 out of 4 (.5 for old crew footage and leisure suits)

Celeste and Jesse Forever
This one's been on my list for quite some time, I enjoy Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones both so movie in which they played a divorcing couple seemed interesting to me. Written and produced by Jones, the film begins with a snappy montage introducing us to the history of Celeste and Jesse's relationship. Rather than spending the first few minutes of the film building them up as a couple, Jones uses the opening credits to tell us the story without boring us to tears. While Jesse and Celeste are still together at the opening of the film, you learn fairly quickly but they are at the center of their own divorce. Having been friends for as long as they have, It has been difficult for them to "consciously uncouple" and as a result Jesse is still living in the guesthouse and Celeste has not had a date in six months.with the script that meanders a lot like life, this one could've gotten boring quickly but the strength of the performances kept me interested and surprised me of how touching and honest the portrayals could be. As the narrator tells us at the beginning of 500 days of summer, "this is not a love story," and that's certainly true here. Though it does tell the story of love.

I give this 3.5 out of 4.

Life after Beth
Audrey Plaza has been a favorite of mine since seeing her on Parks and Recreation. While I do think she's sort of plays the same note in everything she's in, she does it well, so I'll forgive her. Unfortunately for Plaza, and for this film, it seems that only works in the hands of an experienced director. Writer director_ , Faced with some fantastic actress, this is the plot fairly quickly here. It's a great promise: boy loses girlfriend, boy finds girlfriend, turns out girlfriend is a zombie now. I mean, it's the stuff of horror comedy genius. But somewhere between  the suggestion that Josh is crazy and the zombie rape scene (yup) the film just gives up. The issue here, for me, is one of timing.  The set up takes far too long to get going, spending too much time focused on Josh and his relationship with best parents. And one bath finally does show up, things begin to unravel too quickly. Unfortunately, by the time the actual climax hits the movie slows down once more, dragging the ending out for an additional half hour more than necessary. In fact the only semi-clever thing the film does in the end, is have the Haitian housemaid, who is suspected of having something to do with Beth's return, turn out to have left because Beth's father was flashing his penis at her. Luckily her brother is there to set Josh's racist ass straight in a scene that is as useless as the original premise was offensive.

I watched to the end out of respect for Plaza, but it didn't get much better.

2 out of 4.

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty
Was great! I'm not a huge Ben Stiller fan but this film was just right.  Based on the novel of the same name, the story follows Walter (an unremarkable, stock photo manager) through the hostile takeover of Time Magazine.  Having worked there for 15 years, he is the main contact for celebrated photographer Sean O'Connell and when one of Sean's frames goes missing, it's up to Walter to find it.  Now that's all well and good, but what makes this one remarkable is the manner in which they use special effects to share and meld Walter's imaginary life with his real one.  It's expertly done and somehow manages to demonstrate the growth that Walter is ACTUALLY going through, even as he imagines a good deal of the scenarios in which he's involved.

It's available on Netflix and you should definitely check it out.

3.75 out of 4

No comments:

Post a Comment