I’ve been a fan of Gosling since Half Nelson and his range as an actor is evident from it, Fracture, Lars and the Real Girl, and last year’s stunning Blue Valentine. I wasn’t surprised by the depths Gosling was able to go to to play one half of a struggling married couple in Derek Cianfrance’s film, especially after he and Michelle Williams had been dedicated to the roles for years before its release.
Perhaps Fracture is not as serious of a project and the plot is a little weak, but Gosling acted with the same caliber and made the movie.
In the cat-and-mouse “legal thriller” Gosling is a newbie assistant district attorney, Willy Beachum, who secures a gig at a big private legal firm just as he takes an attempted murder case at the end of his job with the city of Los Angeles.
Anthony Hopkins is the defendant in the case, Tom Crawford, on trial for shooting his wife.
Crawford clearly had a plan from the get-go on how to escape a conviction, but Beachum knows there is more to the story and ends up one step ahead.
Crawford represents himself in the trial, which may be possible, but just seemed too unrealistic. I know it’s a movie, but the believability of the cop investigation and trial process were a little off. Perhaps it was all part of showing how a young attorney thrust into a high-profile Los Angeles crime would work through taking the investigation to trial, and winning the case.
Having now finished the film, I don’t think I had seen it in its entirety after all and recommend it to Gosling fans as perhaps one of his lesser-known roles. The supporting cast isn’t so bad either with David Strathairn as Beachum’s boss at the district attorney’s office and Rosamund Pike as his associate at the private law firm and romantic interest.
In Midnight in Paris, Allen creates a character who feels out of place in the modern world and would rather have lived in the 1920s in Paris. Gil, played by a surprisingly likable Owen Wilson, is a screenwriter from Hollywood trying to draft his first novel. What he needs is inspiration and critique from the greats like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Gertrude Stein, a plot line that takes the viewer away into another world and time.
I didn’t even know that much about the story when I went to see the film, which actually added to the fantasy of it all. The cast certainly did its part to help with that as well.
In addition to Wilson, Allen cast Rachel McAdams, Michael Sheen, Kathy Bates and Marion Cotillard in the film. Put together, the actors, script, music, and most of all the cinematic views of Paris Allen provides create a wonderful trip into the story for the viewer.
I can find something I like in just about every film I watch because I appreciate the art form so much and admire anyone with the ability to do it. Midnight in Paris, and the work of Allen I have seen, are especially a source of my admiration. He stays true to what he wants to do with a film whether audiences and critics like it or not.
Hangover ( I and II) and Bridesmaids really are very different movies and I glad the ladies (and director Paul Feig) strayed from the genre of Todd Phillips’ sequel franchise.
I enjoyed the first Hangover much more than its copycat second installment because it was fresh and new and I’d never seen anything like it. Now, I’ve seen it twice. It’s OK though, I knew what I was getting and came out satisfied overall. The Wolfpack is in Thailand this time and have a drink before Stu’s wedding day and well … you know what happens from there. Zach Galifianakis saves the show with his returning role as Alan, Bradley Cooper plays Phil well enough (and isn’t bad to look at) and Ed Helms overall kept me interested by his unexpected badass character, but at times was just trying a little too hard.
The Hangover Part II stays true to all its signatures and manages to get away with offensive humor and onscreen visuals while keeping audiences lining up at the box office. Whether at the theater or at home, it’s safe to see this sequel and not expect total disappointment. The rumored third installment, though, I’m not so sure.
Now on to the main event. All hail Bridesmaids! I just saw it today and am in a, yeah, I’d see that again type of mood. Down-on-her-luck Annie (Kristen Wiig) finds out her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) is getting married and goes through a “little” bit of a downward spiral as the wedding approaches. What I liked most about Bridesmaids is the backdrop of real human emotions they used in between the bridal shower drama and ups and downs of Wiig’s character.
On screen, Wiig and Rudolph talk to each other like real women do and even improvised some scenes that ended up in the script. The writers also ensured plenty of laughs for a nice balance to the more sappy moments.
Including Wiig and Rudolph, Ellie Kemper (Erin from the Office), Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne and Wendy McLendon-Covey, round out the wedding party and aren’t afraid to throw in a little un-ladylike behavior while wearing bridesmaids dresses and on the plane to Las Vegas.
McCarthy especially took it to the next level and the movie just wouldn’t have been the same without her Guy Fieri-inspired character.
Having now seen Bridesmaids, I can attest to the fact that male and female audiences alike will be entertained. So pick your poison, and choose your battles. If your main squeeze wants to see Ed Helms make big mistakes and convincingly shout “What the hell is going on?” just do it. Or if Bridesmaids is on the agenda, take the chance. You’ll be surprised, much like I was after the first Hangover. Bridesmaids is my pick out of the two as for which one I liked better overall. What sealed the deal for me besides the solid cast, acting, humor, strong storyline? Both Bridesmaids and The Hangover Part II used a cameo musical performance at the end, and Bridesmaids definitely wins there.
It’s been well documented how my imagination got the better of me when watching Paranormal Activity. I’ve always had a slight fear I could get sucked into the plot of the home video horror, especially when something weird happens in real life. Today — at about 3 a.m. — I awoke to a loud crash in the kitchen, one of those that makes you sit straight up in bed and then dash toward the source of the noise. I also heard my cat Fletch meow right after the loud noise, and he was on the couch within the 5 seconds it took for me to be in the kitchen, perhaps to avoid any responsibility.