I sheepishly admit that I didn’t see ANY flick this long weekend. It’s been a hectic weekend of getting-together with friends, as well as bidding farewell to a dear, dear friend who’s moving to a different state. Needless to say, I had zero time to dash off to a theater or even to watch a DVD! But you know what, just to change things up, I thought it’d be cool to enlist fellow movie-watchers to contribute a brief review of stuff they did watch over the weekend. So thanks to Laura, Mike, Vince & Becky for taking their time to contribute to FlixChatter! Here they are in their own words:
by Mike Beery
I had to endure seeing NEW MOON with my girlfriend and two daughters. Suffice it to say I’m still having some bad flashbacks about it. RTM told me she would skip it after having seen tolerated the first Twilight flick. In my opinion this one is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay worse!!!!! Mainly it’s the weak story, even my GF said it was a slow story. It was all about [Bella’s] heart break about being separated and depression. Little or no action or even much of a plot. No doubt this is a flick for teen girls though, as my 10 year-old girl was so moved by it she cried six times during the movie!
by Laura Lewis
It was really good, nothing I wasn’t expecting, but that’s the kind of movie I enjoy. Therefore, I liked it a lot, and since I hadn’t done much research before hand it was nice to find out how recent it was. The onscreen chemistry of Michael (Oher) and SJ (Tuohy) was charming. Also, I was pleasantly surprised by the acting ability of Tim McGraw, and other acting unknowns to me. (Quinton Aaron, Jae Head, Lily Collins). Sandra Bullock was also good, but that was expected for her experience. Overall it was a feel good movie that leaves you smiling as you exit the theater. (A small trivia: Lily Collins is the daughter of English musician Phil Collins).
— DVD REVIEWS —
Synecdoche, New York
by Vince ‘Rockerdad’ Caro
I walked into this Charlie Kauffman-written and directed first feature knowing nothing of its background and was genuinely intrigued – perhaps the 8½ of this decade. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays artistically tormented Caden Cotard, a successful Schenectady playwright and stage director whose personal life has unraveled with the departure of his painter wife (Catherine Keener) and child to the Berlin art world. After receiving a Macarthur Genius grant, he utilizes his new wealth to produce a humongous stage production – a small reconstruction of New York in a giant warehouse within New York City. He populates the play with hundreds if not thousands of his own life’s characters and doppelgangers while the city grows within the enclosed stage. He then leads them to perform pre-written roles in a “celebration of the mundane” – a seemingly endless depiction of his deterioration and ironically, his masterpiece. As surreal as the Kauffman-written Adaptation and just as bold in its scope as 8½, Synecdoche, New York is challenging and will require multiple viewings – that is, if you’re open to Kauffman’s symbolic, heady and disturbing brushstrokes.
Heart & Souls (1993)
by Becky ‘Prairiegirl’ Kurk
One of the serendipities of Netflix is the sometimes surprising results of their recommendations based on how you’ve rated other movies. And just surfing the site and coming across a film you think you might like and putting it into your queue can bring the unexpected – sometimes good, sometimes not. So when Heart and Souls (1993) landed in my mailbox, I had no idea how, when or why it got on my list (I call this phenomenon my Netflix Genie at work). After seeing the first 15 minutes or so I thought I hope the pace picks up and starts to make sense, and suddenly, just like that, it did!
It’s a slightly oldie-but-goodie movie starring Robert Downey Jr. which tells the story of four souls (Tom Sizemore, Alfre Woodard, James Grodin, Kyra Sedgewick) who needed a body and one guy who needed some soul. It’s All of Me times four, plus Ghost.
The souls need to complete missions they left unfinished in life, and need a real person to do it through. RDJ finally obliges, and the episodes each spirit must go through is hilariously and expertly played out by Downey. The separate stories keep you guessing how they will ultimately be resolved, and each one turns out to be totally touching. And through helping them, he learns what he needs to do most in his life.
This movie was a very pleasant surprise. It is a light-hearted romp with touching, charming moments, and relevant connections. As an antidote to so many heavy-handed, serious films, this is a charming walk in the park (or, as in the film, the conservatory).