Archive for July 29th, 2011

29th July
2011
written by Adam

Jake Lonergan (Daniel Craig) is a western outlaw wanted for robbery, mayhem, general violence, the list goes on. The catch is Jake doesn’t remember who he is, any of his ill deeds, and how or why we woke up in the middle of the western dessert with nothing but a photograph and a strange bracelet that won’t let go of his wrist. As events warrant Jake makes his way into town only to find more trouble. Before long Percy Dolarhyde (Paul Dano) and his father Woodrow (Harrison Ford) become Jake’s newest pain. Then, in their darkest hour, out of the skies come metallic winged demons of death to round up people like cattle. Now, as fate would have things turn out, Jake is the only human who can stop these aliens/demons. And so it is, a posse is rallied, with Jake as the lead, joined by Doc. (Sam Rockwell) and the mysterious Ella Swenson (Olivia Wilde). Of course, the big questions still need to be answered, why are these aliens on our planet, can they be stopped, and what of all the town’s folk who’ve gone missing? Poised to be one of the summer’s big blockbusters, the dichotomous setup between the wild west and the future can perhaps be best described in one word– thin. What do I mean? Well simply put, everything was thin, from plot to acting efforts to the overall concept, the whole film seemed to fall far short of what could have been a ridiculous but highly entertaining piece of work. Maybe it’s the fact that the supporting actors seemed to have more western acting chops than the leads? Maybe it’s that Daniel Craig didn’t have a line longer than about four words? Maybe it’s tough to make a Brit sound like a cowboy? I don’t want this to be the case, but it certainly was a tough sell. Maybe if Sam Elliot would have been cast somewhere in the film there’d be some Western cred….maybe not. All told, we’re looking at a rental caliber flick. Cowboys & Aliens is rated PG-13.

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29th July
2011
written by Adam

Cal (Steve Carell) and his wife Emily (Julianne Moore) are a couple on the outs and headed towards a divorce, a tough life change for both to adjust to. Deeply depressed Cal heads out to the bar scene where he’s taken under the wing of Jacob (Ryan Gosling), tomcat, player, and all round womanizer. Learning from Jacob, Cal begins to find himself again, and uncover the mistakes he made in his married life. Meanwhile, baby sitter Jessica (Analeigh Tipton) has a bit of a crush on Cal, more kerosene on the fire, But Cal’s son is in love with her. Further complications make this Shakespearean love triangle even more bizarre until finally something has to give. Who’s in love with who, and which couples will actually survive the odd ways of love? Bitter and sardonic for anyone who’s loved and lost, tried to love again, to be met with success or failure. While not really realistic in any sense, there are plenty of moments that could easily apply to anyone who’s played the game of love, and there’s plenty to laugh at here. Carell’s comedic timing shines genuine and the chemistry between both Carell and Moore feels believable too. Moments between the rest of the characters often run the gamut between truly cringe worthy and adoring. Overall, the net effect is a positive, it’s only towards the end where the film mildly falls off the rails and becomes a bit too convenient, but even then, if you’ve bought the film up to this point why not just go with it? So, it’s a romantic comedy, it’s a bit expected, maybe a matinee for the non-alien/transforming/explosion crowd. Crazy, Stupid, Love is rated PG-13.

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