Weekend Round-Up

Project_Almanac_posterProject Almanac – I have mixed feelings about this one. I wasn’t bored by it, but the story is thin. I like the championing of the inventor, but I disliked the very trite time-travel routine, where the same costs and benefits are explored here as have been elsewhere a thousand times before. The kids are likeable enough but you know what? Enough with the “found footage” thing. It’s done. Let’s drop it.

colin-firth-alan-rickman-and-a-lion-feature-in-first-posters-for-gambitGambit – A movie with Colin Firth and Alan Rickman AND Stanley Tucci you want to like. But can you? It’s a remake, written by the Coen brothers, about an art thief who recruits ditzy Cameron Diaz to pull  a fast one on his boss – and then dares to be surprised when it doesn’t quite get pulled off as planned. Firth is solid and has great comic timing but Diaz exists on a level so far beneath him it’s not fair to either. I have the feeling Firth was hoping for The Big Lebowski but ended up in The Ladykillers. Better luck next time, y’all.

San Andreas – The three Assholes who went to see this together are also the same three Assholes planning a trip to shitty, shaky San Francisco next month. Oh sure it seemed like a good idea at the time. Lots of wine, we heard, those weird, slopy streets, and just a beautiful coastal drive away from LA. San Andreas is not exactly a boon to tourism. Made it seem a little sanandreasreckless to travel there (let alone live there), in fact. But we survived the movie and as of this time have not cancelled our plane tickets, mostly because Sean couldn’t find the number. I watched this movie totally stressed out, from start to finish. Is there a plot to this thing? I have no idea. WATCH OUT FOR THAT FIRE! Is there good acting in this thing? I don’t know, does dodging debris count? WATCH OUT FOR THAT FLYING CRUISE SHIP! It was a disaster movie so jam-packed with disaster that some leaked out the sides. It keeps you so busy racing from one near-death experience to another that you never have time to question the holes in the movie, because every hole is filled with exploding glass – in 3D!

Dear Zachary: A Letter to his Son About his Father – In 2001, Andrew Bagby was brutally dearzacharymurdered. Soon after, his girlfriend, the prime suspect, announces she’s pregnant and Bagby’s bereaved parents have to interact with their son’s killer in order to gain any visitation with the grandson who looks just like him. This is a documentary Kurt Kuenne who isn’t a particularly talented documentarian, but who was Bagby’s best friend. This is a tribute to his friend, and also to the parents who went to great lengths to make a life for a grandchild born out of tragedy. I was prepared for this one to hurt my heart, but I wasn’t quite as prepared as I needed to be. Check it out on Netflix.

Aloha – Cameron Crowe’s greatest offense is being too successful too early in his career. Does this stand up to Almost Famous? No, it doesn’t. And not many movies would. But would people be giving Aloha as hard a time if it were written and directed by anyone else? This film is imperfect. It drags in places (but has flashes of brilliance to prop things up) and it tries to involve too many, which takes away from the central story, which is the one we’ve put our butts in the ALOHA-Movie-Reviewseats to see. Emma Stone plays Jennifer Lawrence opposite Bradley Cooper (what is it about Bradley Cooper, by the way, that his characters are constantly romancing women he could have fathered?). Anyway, he plays this deeply flawed individual and she plays so pert and perfect you want to punch her right in the googly eyes. But you’re supposed to root for them I think, even though Rachel McAdams makes a tantalizing (and age appropriate, while still being younger) alternative. They exchange some witty banter, some banal banter, look at an atrocious toe, and induce Billy Murray into a dance scene. It’s not a cohesive movie by a long shot, but nor is it as bad as the critics will tell you.  The story wants to be more than it is. The movie is beautiful but straight-forward. There’s very little art here. What we have in abundance is white people, puzzlingly, since it’s set in Hawaii, where the census tells us they’re relatively rare and Hollywood tells if you squint hard enough, George Clooney passes for Hawaiian.

goingclearGoing Clear – The more I learn, the less I understand. I didn’t learn anything new (in fact, nothing that’s not on the Wikipedia page), and I think they went a little soft on the former members they interviewed. Has anyone else seen this?

21 thoughts on “Weekend Round-Up

  1. Carrie Rubin

    I’ll give Aloha a try if I have a slow weekend day, but I just learned today that Emma Stone’s character is supposed to be part native Hawaiian. And now you’re telling me George Clooney is Hawaiian too? Oh, Hollywood, you can do better than that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Courtney Small

    Dear Zachary: A Letter to his Son About his Father is such a heart-wrenching experience. Slightly manipulative at time but I did not care, the film had me hooked. Such a great film.


  3. Sarca

    Dear Zachary hurts my heart. I bawl like a bebe every damn time, and also get pissed at the Canadian justice system – one which seems mysterious and convoluted. I have read David Bagby’s book, Dance with the Devil. I think about this story every once in a while…
    And yes, I’ve seen Going Clear! I liked it…I think they went soft on these people mostly because they left the church and were trying to get on with it. I learned a thing or two. Then again, watching Tom Cruise turn fecking nutz on camera is ALWAYS entertaining!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. In My Cluttered Attic

    Gonna see San Andreas. Chose Poltergeist last week, it was okay but terribly disappointing, given what I was expecting. Totally agreed on Project Almanac in every respect. Have not seen Gambit, but I am curious.


  5. gibsonluc

    I agree with what you said in regards to how former Scientology members we’re interviewed. In fact, after I watched the documentary I did a little research on some of these “former” members and most of them still believe in Diabetics and L.R.H. They even started offshoots of the cult. I guess that was conveniently left out.


  6. Jay Post author

    Good to hear from you, Gibson. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who thought it went a little easy on them. I sort of thought it went a little easy overall. I’m not surprised that some of them are still cult-minded, but yeah, seems like the responsible thing to do is tell us!


  7. reocochran

    Over the weekend, I saw the silliest and yes, a little raunchy movie, but fun: “Pitch Perfect 2” and then, I saw the somber, seriousest of movies, (yes, I know that is NOT a word!) which was a lovely remake of one of my favorite “old style movies:” This was “Far from the Madding Crowd.”
    Oh, by the way, I loved the wacky movie, “Gambit.” It was a great one, with a fantastic cast. I liked Cameron Diaz in her cowboy boots and accent, along with the scenes with the wild cat running around the mansion. I am a big fan of Alan Rickman and Colin Firth. Both are great in “Love Actually” which my youngest daughter and I watch every year at Christmas! Smiles, Robin


    1. Jay Post author

      I love Love Actually too! HOw can you not?
      But I prefer it when Alan Rickman is a nice guy, and he’s not in either of these that’s for sure!!

      How did you like Madding Crowd? I haven’t seen that one yet.


  8. Ben

    I realised I’m too much of a geek to watch Project Almanac. Meant I just picked holes in the clear gaps in logic and common sense. Enjoyed San Andreas though.


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