Everyone’s a Critic Part 2: Reviews from FlixChatter Readers

It’s Complicated
by Becky (Prairiegirl)
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This is definitely the best baby boomer generation movie I’ve ever seen. I could relate to so many of the scenes it was scary! The audience was packed with them (including me), but quite a few older and many younger too. It keeps you in stitches throughout, especially the laptop scene (not at all what you first expect!), and the party scene where Streep and Martin indulge in a some recreational “inhalations” before hand. It’s very real and genuine – Baldwin is really convincing in expressing his renewed feelings for his ex, and Streep’s reluctant acceptance (and vacillation) of giving in to his desire is quite believable. Not just a chick flick, I think guys could really enjoy this as well. There’s a reason it rated R, but there really aren’t ANY uncomfortable, offensive scenes (for adults, that is). The laugh-out-loud moments slow towards the finale, but it ends up right where the audience hopes it will.

I’ll let an excerpt from an eight out of 10 stars review on IMDb sum it up:
“The cast here is one of the best ensemble works of the year. Meryl Streep is naturalistic and in top form showing her sexier side at 60. Streep shows that she can still create a character from scratch and make the woman as real as anyone walking down the streets of New York City. It’s one of her funnier turns in years.
Alec Baldwin, in one of his best performances to date, shows immaturity and careless can get you far in a film. Showing top comedic work, Baldwin seems in the hunt for Oscar recognition. His charm and magnetism is quite surprising as we haven’t seen him give a performance this funny ever, not even in his hit sitcom 30 Rock. Steve Martin, who I have found overdoes his comedy in some of his later years in film is in control and utterly enjoyable. Martin shows a sensitive side reminiscent of his works in Roxanne and Parenthood, and finds an audience cheer with empathetic tendencies can get you right back to what you do best. It’s a return to form for Martin.
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The Road
by Vince (Rockerdad)

Being a Cormac McCarthy fan, I was immediately intrigued by the trailer of this film – it looked intense, bleak and depressing – and it delivered in all those fronts. The Road is a simple story of a desperate father (Viggo Mortenson) traveling cross-country with his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) in a post-apocalyptic world, trying to find civilization while the rest of the remaining human race has succumbed to suicide, lawlessness and murder. It doesn’t resort to the fake grandiosity of 2012’s disaster sequences or the self-indulgent fantasy of I Am Legend. The Road turns us inward into our most abominable and greatest fear – how do we survive the end of the world in the midst of illness and rampant cannibalism when all you have is a parent’s love for a child? Probably one of the most depressing films you’ll ever see this year. However, you won’t need to see it twice – the scenes are vivid enough to be ingrained in our collective memory.
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(500) Days of Summer
by ze blogger RTM
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I finally got around to seeing this one… ironically amidst the coldest days of Minnesota Winter. But the Summer in the title doesn’t refer to a season, as the opening tells you straight out, but to a girl named Summer. What the intro also tells you, is that this isn’t a love story, which means this is pretty much an anti rom-com (Hurrah!).
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I’ve always thought Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a fantastic actor and this movie secures his reputation even more. He plays Tom, a (reluctant) greeting card writer in L.A. who’s one of the best in the company, yet his college education and main ambition is to be an architect. Tom is the tortured soul of the young generation who believes that true love is not only possible, but within reach. At the workplace is when he first encountered and fall in love with Summer (quirky heroine du jour Zooey Dechanel) against his better judgment. You see, unlike Tom, Summer doesn’t believe in love. It’s not a gimmick like some girls would say to appear ‘original’ but secretly longs for the guy she tells that to. No, Summer really doesn’t believe that people fall in love nor does she feel the need to have a man in her life to feel validated. Strangely enough though, I never quite warmed up to Summer (pardon the pun), I’m not saying Dechanel is a bad actress because she plays the role really well. But like the movie suggested that you can’t force love, they can’t force me to like Summer either, no matter how affable and congenial the movie blatantly makes her out to be.At times I was practically screaming to my TV screen, “Leave her Tom, move on! She’s a cold, heartless vixen!” But of course, later we realize there’s more than Summer that meets the eye, and Tom has to learn the hard way – the only way it seems – to let go. Gordon-Levitt truly delivered an award-worthy performance here, so I’m glad to see his name among Golden Globe Best Actor nominees. Another performance worth noting is that of 12-year-old Chloe Moretz as Tom’s wise-beyond-her-years younger sister, his voice of reason. I was blown away by her understated performance, no surprise I suppose as she’s been in 20+ movies in her young career. She’ll be seen next in the highly anticipated comic-adaptation Kick-Ass.
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What’s interesting about this movie is the unconventional story-telling style, the 500 days isn’t told chronologically but jumps forward and backward within that time frame. Kudos to first-time director Marc Webb for making this unconventional sequence free of confusion. The movie is also peppered with memorably quirky, even surreal scenes. Like the one where Tom is standing with his back against us and the L.A. landscape around him morphs into a black & white rough sketch, and when he transform the blackboard wallpaper of his room into a city skyline. Even the somewhat cliched dance sequence – reminiscent of a scene from Enchanted believe it or not — after Tom’s first night with Summer feels fresh and utterly whimsical. Hope Webb will have a lasting career in Hollywood as we need more of this kind of talent and less Brett Ratner/Michael Bay types.
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This movie definitely lives up the hype and praises from critics and moviegoers alike. It’s nice to see a movie about love that doesn’t resort to a ‘happy ever after’ hackneyed premise, and one that almost feel like real life.

What are your thoughts on these films?