Monday, March 12, 2012

25/50: More Movies

Okay, you can't stop the 25/50 train. Sometimes I wonder if I should wait and group more of these together like Pat does, but I feel like I might lose what I was going to say about them in the interim.

Friends With Kids(2012) (18/50 movies)
I was excited for this mostly because of the cast, but I found this to be, overall, a let down. It's the story of two people (Adam Scott and Jennifer Westfeldt) who have been best friends for ages (such good friends they call each other at 4 in the morning with their dates from last night still in bed with them), they are surrounded by married couples who are starting to have kids, and they decide that they should have a kid together and that without the emotional baggage things would work out better for them. From there it becomes really, super predictable. What drove me nuts about this movie is, and I am probably bringing too much outside information in is the night before I saw Jon Hamm on Bill Maher. He has been in a relationship with Jennifer Westfeldt for fifteen years and the two have no plans to get married or have kids. Upon hearing this, I thought, oh man I bet Jennifer Westfeldt could make a really interesting movie which shows that people can be happy in different sorts of situations, they all don't have to be married with children to be happy, they can be single, they can be single parents, whatever combination you might want to think about. And it starts out like they were seriously going to explore these types of ideas, but they don't and it basically, by the end, turns into your run-of-the-mill, predicable romcom And I found that disappointing. But they cast was game, I particular liked Adam Scott, Chris O'Dowd and Maya Rudolph. Kristen Wiig seemed sort of wasted, but Jon Hamm played a good asshole. So there's that, I suppose.

Game Change (2012) (19/50 movies)
I'm cheating a little here because, of course, this wasn't a theatrical release. But like the ads say: it's not TV it's HBO, so there you go. IT'S NOT TV. They did something with this movie that I really like: it is adapted from the best-selling book, Game Change by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, but they decided to only adapt a portion of the book rather than the whole thing. Obviously, they decided to adapt the section about the seemingly disastrous choice to have Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate. If you are anything like me this movie just proves that she is someone you would rather not be around, to say nothing of having any sort of power in this country. So it definitely depends on which side of the political spectrum you fall on on how you are are going to take this. This is surely a pretty vicious takedown, but it also made me wonder how close to reality it all skews. Which I guess goes without saying for any real life event made into any movie. It also suffers in it's dialogue, every time people talked it sounded like they were talking in pre-recorded soundbites and platitudes, and that was when they were having private conversations. Ed Harris and Julianne Moore do good impressions of John McCain and Sarah Palin respectively, but they don't feel like fully realized people to me (see the dialogue problem for part of it) But some of it is waaaay too on the nose for me, like they way they used top 40 country music every time Sarah Palin was doing something. The only people that really come off feeling like three dimensional people are Woody Harrelson as Steve Schmidt, on of the campaign managers, and Sarah Paulson, who plays one of the speech writers and one of the army of people that tried to get her ready to talk to actual reporters. It's definitely interesting to say the least, but I am not quite sure how successful it was in the end. Beyond reminding me why Sarah Plain seems unpleasant and shouldn't be anywhere near a national office.

They also should have changed the title from Game Change to Things Done Changed and used this as the theme song. Talk about thinking outside the box:


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