Brief comments on film by Amy.
Some old, some new. Domestic films and foreign too.
Date Night—I suppose it’s corny, but I love that this movie was about a married couple’s date night, all be it a nightmarish one. And Jim and I, along with untold thousands of other married couples watched it for a date night. I l-o-v-e Steve Carell, but you know only in that he’s a movie star and I am a happily married woman kind of way. As a fan, I was delighted not to be disappointed. Date Night captures all of the absurdities of married life yet affirms the joys of commitment and trust. Like the friend who will tell you when you have spinach in your teeth or when those pants really do make you look fat, it’s the truth but spoken in love, Date Night is an honest portrayal without any cynicism or mockery. Oh, and it’s also a great action-adventure flick. Loved it, loved it, loved it.
World At War—Jim and I have been slowly making our way through the series and so far there has been only one installment I didn’t find riveting. I have watched my share of documentaries on the subject but this series has brought me greater insight to the scope and magnitude of the hostilities. One of the things I love most about this series is the editing; organizationally, it is brilliantly laid out. Rather than telling the entire story chronologically, each aspect of the war is covered individually, giving you time to connect with those who experienced, say, the home front or island warfare in the South Pacific. This method helped to bring home to me the fact that for all these people involved in World War II, each experience was unique. Being 26-hours long, it is not for the faint of heart. But its well-worth the watching.
Greenberg—Ugh. I am willing to wade through a great deal of crap for the sake of art, but sometimes as the credits roll, you find only crap. While I appreciate the performances of Ben Stiller and Greta Gerwig, I just didn’t buy this film which spent about ninety minutes of my life that I will never get back trying to convince me that Stiller’s character is a selfish and unpleasant person, only to transform him in the final three (okay, I didn’t time it exactly, but the scene is brief). I dislike the manipulation of characters to fit the story and this is precisely what director Noah Baumbach did.
The Last Song—This movie left me asking two questions. First, when is someone going to figure out that Miley Cyrus cannot act, no matter how great her abs are or how tight her other assets. Her performance reminds me of when, as a teenager, I practiced various facial expressions in the mirror; in other words, it is self-conscious and awkward. My second question is when is someone going to figure out that Nicholas Sparks is a bad writer. I hate to pick on fans of The Notebook and Message In A Bottle, but just because someone always dies in the end, it doesn’t make it good art. It just makes it depressing and bad.
Mentions, both honorable and dishonorable: Killers—Worthy of a Redbox rental but glad I didn’t give it a slot on the ole Netflix queue. The Backup Plan—ideologically, I completely disagree with the whole single mom making babies via artificial insemination thing, but this was the quintessential guilty pleasure flick. Finally, let me give a shout to my new folding laundry (and washing dishes with 40 minutes to kill) TV show, Bones. More rotting corpses than you can shake a stick at. But if you can stomach the death and decay, its an entertaining watch.
Wow. Amy, you and I are the same person. Seriously. I too loved “Date Night” and know exactly the sort of love you have for Steve Carrell. And I kind of love Tina Fey for making normal gals feel okay for being…normal.
I also had the same reaction as you did to “Greenberg.” Sometimes “artsy” doesn’t make for good art. I actually have a hard time relating to Baumbach’s films (i.e. Margot at the Wedding).
I haven’t see “The Last Song”–I’ve avoided watching films based on Spark’s novels since “The Notebook”. The only reason I watched “The Notebook” is that it was directed by Nick Cassavetes and his dad, John Cassavetes, was the “Father of American Independent Cinema” with such (under the radar) classics as “A Woman Under the Influence”, “Faces”, “Opening Night” and the awesomely named “Killing of A Chinese Bookie”. And I’ll watch anything with Nick’s mom (Gena Rowlands) in it. Ok, so the real reason we are the same person is that I too just discovered the awesome show “Bones”. I knew it was around. I knew it was good, but it took me a while to get around to watching it. I love the sense of humor it has and the characters…and I love TJ Thyne…it’s totally okay to say that because I’m a single gal 🙂
I’m going to check out the “World at War” series because your recommendations have never let me down … and being single means I’ve got the time!
Really? I was actually thinking about you (wondering if you had a commentary) while Danny and I watched this, and in MY mind, you hated this movie! Unfortunately I can’t quite pull my thoughts together in a coherent manner, and I am unable to give a scene by scene defense of my position, but I can say YUCK! I am sorry we wasted a Netflix rental on this piece of C—.
Haha I loved that you ripped on Nicholas Sparks! Only way it could have been better is if you included Jodi Piccoult. I couldn’t agree more on Greenberg. Emily and I kept waiting for it to get better and as soon as it was over we were amazed how disappointing it was. Everything about it screamed that they wanted an indie/artsy film, but it felt like an imposter.