July 27, 2010

Weekend In Reviews

When In Rome – I actually watched this one on my vacation with Meg and Lisa who are maybe the least critical romcom fans on the planet and they were lukewarm at best on this one so take that as your warning that there really isn’t anything about this movie that’s redeeming.

You probably gleaned the plot from the trailers but in case you’ve forgotten, Beth (Kristen Bell) attends her sister’s wedding in Rome. At the wedding, she shares several nice moments with Nick (Josh Duhamel), the impossibly sweet and adorable best man. The two share a kiss and things are really starting to sizzle between them but then Beth sees Nick with a drunk woman hanging all over him and misreads the situation as all romcom characters are contractually obligated to do in order to facilitate a “story.” Now spurned by her potential soul-mate she gets drunk and steals a few coins from this “magic” fountain causing the throwers of those coins to become immediately infatuated with her. Hijinks ensue.

I suppose there is a way that this movie might not have sucked quite so much but that way would have involved re-writing most of the characters and then not casting Dax Shepard or Jon Heder at all.

I hope it doesn’t spoil it for you if I tell you that Nick and Beth end up together in the end.

It frustrates me so to see Kristen Bell waste her considerable talents in this kind of crap. She either needs a better agent or she needs to go back to television. Damn it, none of this would have happened if the CW hadn’t cancelled Veronica Mars!

Valentine's Day – I’m not sure I understand the necessity of following so many people. There were at least three stories going on that would have made fine movies on their own (not great, maybe, but fine) but instead we had to have 27 simultaneous stories which took most of the interesting stuff out of every one of them.

Still, it was actually a little better than I expected it to be. I didn’t go in with very high expectations, in fact, I pretty much expected it to be terrible, but the very worst I can say about it was that it was predictable and a little boring. There were several redeeming qualities though – Eric Dane and Bradley Cooper were very nice to look at, I didn’t see the twist coming with Julia Roberts’ character and it was a really nice twist, I rather enjoyed the scene when Jennifer Garner confronts Patrick Dempsey in the restaurant, and I really enjoyed Hector Elizondo.

But at the end of the day, the very best part of the entire movie was the last out-take of Julia Roberts that they show over the end credits. And it’s not ideal to make a 2+ hour movie and have the best bit be a 20 second drop-in over the credits, you know?

She’s Out Of My League – I can’t really think of anything to say about this movie except that I sort of felt like I’d seen it before. It was a gross-out, male-skewing, romcom with mostly likeable characters and extremely likeable actors that suffered from childish writing and a slight lack of imagination but was basically enjoyable to watch.

Both Krysten Ritter and Mike Vogel were woefully under-used in the movie and more Geoff Stults would not have killed anyone, but Jay Baruchel and Nate Torrence were both fantastic and Alice Eve had some definite moments as well.

This movie is like Knocked Up + Kevin Smith x Superbad ÷ Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Take from that what you will.

Crazy Heart – Can I appreciate the consensus that Jeff Bridges gave an award-worthy performance in this movie? Yes. Did I enjoy watching this movie? No.

I found the movie boring and depressing to the extent that shortly after Bad Blake’s truck flips and he winds up in the hospital, I got up and started cleaning and only ½ paid attention to anything else that happened in the movie.

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