Popular Posts

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Movie Review: The Good Guy

Let me start off by saying that this movie has been given a bad synopsis on IMDb.  With that being said, let me be a bit more accurate about the premise.

Tommy Fielding (Scott Porter) is a Wall Street hustler.  Under the tutelage of his boss, Cash (Andrew McCarthy), Tommy feels the pressure to be self-confident, aggressive, and independent.  Unfortunately, juggling several issues all at once is starting to get the best of his judgement.  His best man, Baker (Colin Egglesfield), just left for the competitor, his girlfriend, Beth (Alexis Bledel), still has to give him some horizontal mambo despite dating for 3 months, and newbie IT guy, Daniel (Bryan Greenberg), needs to be trained into superstud so he does not embarrass the Wall Street cool guys.  Resolution is what he has to deliver, and that's the crux of his problem.

So, does that sound anywhere close to the IMDb synopsis? Good. Now, let's get into this review going.

The Good

Courtesy of Belladona Productions/Whitest Pouring Films 
Tommy is a good bad guy.  Slimy does not do him justice.  Just when you thought he was a really good guy, he twists things around and being sympathetic toward him is wasted.  If you look up shallow in the dictionary, I think his face is plastered next to the term.

Anna Chlumsky as Beth's girlfriend, Lisa, was cute.  She was likable, understated, but appealing.  If I were to be a Manhattanite, I would want her to be my BFF.

The soundtrack is also good.  There isn't a soundtrack in album form to be purchased but it has the effect The Last Kiss has in its movie.  Two thumbs up.

The Bad

Alexis Bledel as Beth is... not good.  I feel that her acting chops are limited to her short stint as Rory Gilmore.  Unfortunately, that showed.  I don't know if her acting was fully her fault, or if the writers had a Rory Gilmore in mind and just put her into that traditional role.  Either way, I was tired of the act. Cripes, the book club thing screamed Gilmore Girls!  They might as well have thrown in Lane.  Oh yeah, they did...

Her name is Sofia (Jackie Stewart) and she was annoying.  From the grating voice to the lesbian (or anti-men) overture was just too much for the movie.  It's okay to call men cads, but it's overkill when you have to point out the obvious.

Bryan Greenberg as Daniel was also bad.  I don't know if he was suffering the same writing fate as Bledel's character had, but Daniel was shallow.  He was paralyzingly awkward that I felt like he needed to be euthanized to save him from this role.

The Ugly
Courtesy of Belladona Productions/Whitest Pouring Films

Oh where to start? I guess the "girl bonding" scenes are awfully cliched.  From book clubs to girls night-outs, including a mass bikini/brazilian waxing get together?  I don't know about you guys, but no matter how chummy I get with my girl friends, knowing how "bushy" they are down there isn't part of my getting-to-know-you list.

The cliched "playa" amongst the men. Again, if you want to portray men as cads, dig a little deeper than this card.  Bodily noises, scents, hygiene... here are topics to help offend the female populace.  Moving on...

The appearance of Wall Street the guys are leading on.  Let's put it this way: I bought Pacey Witter as a Wall Street baller when he didn't have a college class or degree under his belt.  How's that for comparison?

The ending.  The movie is about come-uppance and a bit about the parable of the hare and the tortoise, but none of these really resonate because the people that "win" in the end are so boring, I would have thought that watching paint dry was more interesting.  As far as the just desserts? The character doesn't learn a damned thing.

Stale Popcorn Rating: Free rental or TV viewing.  Again, the narrator of the story is good, and if you like music, you'll like the way it flowed throughout the movie.  The awww-shucks moments are few, not enough to leave you dewy-eyed, but it won't feel like a waste of time if you had it on while cleaning the house or doing another chore.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Movie Review: Dear John

Movie Review: Dear John

Photos by Sony Pictures
    Nicholas Sparks' story, Dear John, takes us through a story of love found, and lost. This story is also about redemption, love, and forgiveness.  Through the characters, John and Savannah, we realize that there is always something more than what's on the surface.

      I attempted to read this book at one point, and failed to finished it because the story seemed to drag. I have to also disclose that I was simultaneously reading Night at the Rodanthe, another Sparks story.  I was also unimpressed by the book so there might have been some association that lead me to give up on the book sooner than I should have at the point.

   I digress.  Dear John starts out with a flashback of Special Forces soldier, Sergeant John Tyree (Channing Tatum) talking about the US coin minting process.  He talks about the specialty of the demarkations.  As his voice-over continues, he says that the last thing he thought about before blocking out was "you".

     Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried) meets a younger John in 2001.  He was on leave from Germany. She was on spring break with a bunch of friends. After John rescues Savannah's bag after it got accidentally knocked into the water, their friendship begins.  For two years, the couple corresponded until September 11 happened, forcing John's hand in reenlisting much to his, and Savannah's chagrin.  Because of this added stress, Savannah was forced to write her final note, a Dear John.  John comes back months after to find out that Savannah married someone whom she genuinely loved, but maybe for the wrong reasons.

The Good

     Surprisingly, I found Amanda and Channing's chemistry very believable.  They are very relaxed with each other, making their relationship believable.

      Amanda also sang a song called Little House. Enchanting.

      Channing's relationship with his father, an undiagnosed autistic, was very painful to watch.

    The cinematography is very good.  The visuals are tight and inspiring.   The segment of the coins being minted was really interesting.  Scenic views of the North Carolina region was exceptional. The scene where John and Savannah end up kissing in the rain was very awwww- inspiring (pun intended).

     The soundtrack is also not bad.  The choice in music was very appropriate, if not, helped the tone of the movie.

The Bad

     Early in the movie, John takes Savannah out to dinner at a place that John doesn't really feel like patronizing.  He ends up talking to some people within the strip, and you're supposed to assume that there was a brawl that ended up hurting someone.  This should've been, I don't know, mentioned somehow rather than inferred?

      There were also choppy flashbacks of John when he used to be a brat.  I feel the scenes could've been segued better.

The Ugly

      The movie suffers from Sparks-itis.  The tear jerking moments are predictable, but if it's what you wanted, then the movie served its purpose.  The predictability factor can be tiresome if you've watched any of the other Sparks movies made.

        Also, the movie, ends differently from the book.  If you wanted the book ending, you can only view it on the DVD version.  Any online versions (Blockbuster or Netflix) does not give you this option.

Stale Popcorn Rating: If you're looking for a cry movie, this movie is your baby.  Rent it, and make sure you have a box of Kleenex next to you.  If you're a serial love story hoarder, you might want to buy this from the bargain bin.  However, if you are the "movie-should-match-the book" kind of person, fear not.  The movie is still rentable, but not worth to rushing out for to get it at the Red Box.  Yes, you have to rent the DVD out, but the ending voice-over is worth it.