Friday, February 8, 2013

Identity Thief

My View:   Identity Thief  (2013)   Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) discovers that his identity has been stolen, and it’s causing him a world of problems. Sandy finds out that the identity thief is a woman named Diana (Melissa McCarthy) and that she is living large in another state. So, Sandy goes on a road trip to hunt down Diana and bring her back to clear his name. This film just isn't funny, and it’s a film that desperately wants you to like the two main characters, but you never really connect to either of them. The first twenty minutes, and yes it takes that long to set up the premise, feel more like a drama or a horror film, as it is really scary how quickly Sandy’s identity is stolen and how quickly his life gets torn to shreds. The plot is full of holes the size of Montana, and there are “comedy” bits that are so obvious, they might as well be put on a billboard. It seems that at no point in the film did the director let McCarthy loose and improvise her part, something that she has done so well in Bridesmaids and This is 40 . At one point, the mob is trying to kill Diana, and you begin rooting for the hit-men, just so that the film can end. And my advice to Melissa McCarthy, get a new agent, because you are far better actress than this and one who doesn’t need to be constantly put down by an array of fat jokes/situations. And a word of warning, the film is almost two hours in length but feels like three.   My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again   Identity Thief Website
My View:   Side Effects  (2013)   Emily’s (Rooney Mara) husband Martin (Channing Tatum) is just released from prison for serving time for insider trading. But life is getting her down and, after an apparent suicide try, Emily agrees to see a psychiatrist, Dr. Jonathan Banks (Jude Law). He decides to treat Emily with a new product recently introduced to the public, a product that may cause deadly consequences. The best part of this film is the first twenty-five minutes, which has an incredible amount of twists and turns in the plot. The film does slow down after that, and I only really enjoyed it again near the end when some of the better plot twists were revealed. I liked Jude Law as the psychiatrist that gets in over his head but found that Mara’s portrayal of the troubled wife of Martin was lacking, as she didn’t quite give the performance that I expected.  I hope this isn’t the last film that Steven Soderbergh directs as it certainly isn’t one of his best.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Side Effects Website

Indiefest:    Café de Flore (2013) This film is about  two love stories set forty years apart. One, set in present day, is about a divorced woman, Carole (Helene Florent), who is convinced that her ex-husband, Antoine (Kevin Parent), is still the love of her life, and she is determined to get him back. The second story, set forty years earlier, is about the love a single mother, Jacqueline (Vanessa Paradis), has for her son, Laurent (Lucas Bonin), who was born with Down’s syndrome. She is determined to provide the best for her son, but it’s a struggle to keep him alive and well. This is a film that will stay with you quite a while and will be sure to trigger discussions. The two lead actresses are unbelievably good, especially Vanessa Paradis, who brings such passion to her acting that you can almost see the worry for her son dripping off her brow. This is a film that may not give you all the answers you want, but it will definitely make you think.    My Rating: Full Price   Cafe de Flore Website

Forgotten Film:   Run Lola Run (1998) This German film starring Franka Potente as Lola, is about a woman, who’s boyfriend has lost 100,000 German Marks that belong to the mob. The boyfriend is desperate, knowing that if he doesn’t provide the money, they will kill him. Lola convinces her boyfriend that she can get the money in twenty minutes before the mob shows up. The film then portrays three different “runs," all taking 20 minutes but all three take different directions, with the storylines changing due to the decisions/actions that Lola makes. The film is incredibly fast paced with numerous edits and transitions and reveals how even the littlest thing can change our future.   Some decisions we make in an instant, and some of these are the most important decisions of our lives. It is left to the viewer to decide which of the runs really happened.    My Rating: Full Price   Run Lola Run Info

In Case You Missed It (A Film Just Released on DVD):   Flight (2012) This is one of those films where the lead actor is better than the part he is given. I love Denzel Washington as the brash, alcoholic pilot, but I felt the script was too full of clichés and was much too long.    My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Flight Website

In Memory of Ed Wood (A Film I’ve Only Seen in Trailers but Just Looks Like a Bad Idea): Beautiful Creatures (2013) Another in a long line of Young Adult based books turned into movie to try and replace the Twilight franchise. The characters in the trailer look and feel like they belong in a high school production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.   Beautiful Creatures Website

Weird Credits: From the credits of Side Effects: Blood Supplier

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You:   Room 237 (2013) A documentary about the possible hidden meanings in the Stanley Kubrick film The Shining. I don’t know if I will believe any of the theories of the film, but it should be a blast seeing the filmmakers try to come up with ideas, such as the film, which is about how a haunted hotel drives a man to madness, is in reality a film dealing with the Holocaust.    Room 237 Website
Until Next Time!

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