July 29, 2009
Watching 2 Guys, a Girl,and a Pizza Parlor as a child, I never caught on to the fact that Ryan Reynolds is actually a good actor. Sure, he’s handsome, and he always delivered the witty lines of his character well, but he seemed like any other made for syndicated TV disposable Ken doll. I rooted for him in Van Wilder: Party Liason, but still wasn’t sold on his credibility. Cut to The Proposal, a surprisingly enjoyable romcom that felt refreshingly genuine and suggested that there might be more to Reynolds than his 18 pack abs and sense of humor.
Last Friday after work, I watch Definitely, Maybe. In the movie, Reynolds tells the complicated history of girlfriends past to his 11 year old daughter played by Abigail Breslin. Three women – Elizabth Banks, Isla Fisher, and Rachel Weisz – make up the bulk of the story, and Breslin’s character has to figure out which one is her mother. It was hard to watch in parts; Reynolds left Banks, his college girlfriend, to go pursue a career in political consulting. Seeing a movie that reminds you of the precarious-ness of college relationships while entering your 4th and last year of college (con boyfriend) is never easy. Surprisingly, I wasn’t rooting for Banks’s character in the end. The dynamic created in the movie between Fisher and Reynolds was so perfect it must have been born of a focus group. Each relationship was different and interesting, and Reynolds brought a needed realness to the story. Let me be clear; this movie is a romcom, not a drama, but it was so well acted I feel almost guilty lumping it in the same group as the Matthew McConaughey disaster “Fool’s Gold.”
Perhaps I’m not being objective enough in my review of this movie; a couple of glasses of White Zinfandel down, the rose colored glasses tend to come on. That said, I unapologetically give this movie an A-; it was a pleasant surprise, refreshingly honest, and made for my 20 something demographic. I would expect no less from the makers of Love Actually and Notting Hill.
June 23, 2009
After working all day yesterday, 2 am rolled around and I still couldn’t seem to fall asleep. The Uninvited was lying on my bedroom floor, as it has been for the past few nights, and it beckoned. Late night horror movies when you’re alone in your apartment are never a good idea (re: The Ring, Gothika), but I nonetheless popped it in my DVD player. I haven’t seen a genuinely scary thriller in awhile (The Haunting of Molly Hartley was a miserable failure), and my hopes weren’t too high for The Uninvited, but I was pleasantly surprised by decent acting, a solid plot, and a twist faintly reminiscent of 2005’s De Niro psychological thriller Hide and Seek. I have a lame tendency to watch horror movies with one eye open and thus not really commit/allow myself to get scared, but I became pretty fully immersed in The Uninvited. The horror/thriller hybrid pulled me in. Elizabeth Banks is convincingly creepy, and Emily Browning plays Anna well. Definitely not a movie to write home about, but with so many young adult horror movies bombing, this was a pleasant surprise. I give it a B-.
June 20, 2009
A couple of nights ago, I watched “Zach & Miri Make a Porno.” I wasn’t sure what to expect; after watching the gratuitously violent fiasco that was “Pineapple Express,” I wasn’t sure how funny Zach & Miri would be. I apologize now for ever doubting Rogen, because this was a genuinely hilarious piece of work. I felt mildly violated by the never ending sexual innuendo and liberal use of the “c” word – I hate that word – but it was still a feel good find. Justin Long’s cameo as the gay pornstar boyfriend of a guy from Zach & Miri’s graduating class just may have made the movie for me. It’s worth the rent just for those 5 minutes of deep voiced dialogue:
Brandon: Hello Miriam.
Miriam Linky: Beat it, we’re talking.
Zack Brown: I just wanted to introduce you to Brandon.
Zack Brown: Bobby’s boyfriend.
Miriam Linky: Bobby who?
Bobby Long: Bobby me.
Zack Brown: Brandon, uh, is the star as such adult fare as, what was that one called again?
Brandon: “You better shut your mouth or I’m gonna fuck it.”
Brandon: “Who would have thought we’d come to Pittsburgh and meet a celebrity!”
I wouldn’t suggest this as a first date/family friendly/watch with people you fear/respect type of movie, but it’s surely a worthwhile movie night pick with good friends/significant others. Enjoy responsibly.