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I am glad I spent time with HER

16 Jan

HER-FILM

Spike Jonze’s latest film ‘Her’, set in the not-too-distant future, tells the story of writer Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), who finds himself falling in love with Samantha, an advanced operating system (Scarlett Johansson), while he is dealing with a divorce from his wife Catherine (Rooney Mara). The film emits warmth and intelligence with its exceptional production design, cinematography, and performances. There is a charming quality to Jonze’s dialogue with both of the characters being tormented by loneliness. Her does not shy away from topical subject material, such as modern society’s dependence on technology. If it has not happened yet, it will in the near future, unless people are to compartmentalize and measure technologies contribution to a better life. Phoenix tops his performance in The Master with this grounded performance while Johansson, captivates our senses with her sultry voice. Her reminds audiences to appreciate the moments with our loved one. I am glad I spent time with Her.

WORD COUNT: 156

Adam’s Grade: A

Chuck’s Grade: N/A

Forgetting Sarah Marshall is remembered

30 Jul

FORGETTING-SARAH-MARSHALL

I have been a fan of Jason Segel and Judd Apatow since Freaks and Geeks. I was excited to see him take the lead role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Segel wrote himself the perfect part as the jilted boyfriend trying to overcome a recent break-up with a famous TV star (Kristen Bell), and then the infamous first sighting with her new boyfriend (Russell Brand). Putting this relationship behind him becomes a challenge, even after meeting Rachel (Mila Kunis).

Although, Peter is trying to forget Sarah, audiences remember this romantic comedy as one their favorites because everyone has had at least one break up they have tried to get over. It has a likeable cast, clever humor, and some lighthearted moments that resonate with the hopeless romantics. Like many break ups, the drama can drag out longer than it should, but the story is solid and it propels Segel to another level in his career.

WORD COUNT: 157

Adam’s Grade: B

Chuck’s Grade: N/A

Before Midnight

16 Jul

before-midnight-film

Before Midnight is the third installment in the unexpected but still wonderfully touching Before Trilogy. Just like in the first two films, writer/director Richard Linklater brings us back into the evolving love story that follows Jesse and Celine (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) vacationing in Greece, nine years since we last saw them in Before Sunset. The film explores a familiar territory for those dealing with teenagers and the dreaded mid-life crisis.

Linklater has a command of his script and guides his actors through the emotional landscape of unconditional love and loss. His approach reminds me of some of the best French cinema with long takes that allow scenes to play out in real-time. Hawke and Delpy performances add to the heighten sense of realism that is a welcomed change from domestic films obsessed with getting from scene to the next.

WORD COUNT: 141

Adam’s Grade: B+

Chuck’s Grade: N/A

Love Sick (short film) only scratches the surface

27 Apr

Love-Sick-short-film

Writer/Director Kevin Lacey explores the fickle nature of falling in and out of love with his short film, Love Sick. Like Shakespeare’s Romeo lamenting his broken heart over Rosalind only to move on to Juliet once he views her countenance. Lacey’s lead character, Toby (Joshua Cameron) is dumped by his girlfriend. He is heart-broken and depressed, until he sees the girl of his dreams, but he could lose her forever if he does not act fast. The magic is in the moment and Lacy successfully captures a fun idea, but his character and his film only scratches the surface. My relationship with this short was brief. I loved it, but then I moved on to the next film and the next.

WORD COUNT: 121

Chuck’s Grade: B

Adam’s Grade: N/A