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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Boring movie day

I had a couple of doctor appointments today, so I took the whole day off and shoe-horned a movie in between office visits.

I debated quite a bit about what to see and settled on Hereafter, thinking it was the most substantial of my choices and the one I most wanted to see in the theater (runner up was It's Kind of a Funny Story which is probably a rental).  I was so very disappointed.  It wasn't worth even the matineee admission price.  Hardly any "there" there at all!!  If you saw the previews, you pretty much saw the movie.  Lots of shots of people eating dinner alone and walking up the street and gazing out the window.  Ugh.  I kept waiting for something to happen, but nothing really did, until the completely tacked on ending that I thought made no sense (sweet, which I approve of, but totally fake, which I most certainly do not approve of).  Just not what I was expecting or hoping to see (I brought my Kleenex - I was ready to be moved).  Not a bad movie - the performances were good, of course, and it was pretty to look at, but pointless - really had nothing to say about life or the afterlife.  I'm surprised to see that this has a 7.8 rating on imdb - I gave it 4/10.  Most of the comments that I read had a very similar reaction to me - "what the heck?"  I thought this comment regarding how misleading the trailer is, summed it up well:

". . . it does seem to promise a certain kind of "excitement" or "thrill" that the film doesn't show. You get the sense in the trailer that these characters are rushing towards something, or trying to prevent something, and this simply is not the case.  I also don't think people should place much stock in trailers, but obviously people do, and studios intend them to."

Then, in the evening, I finished watching How to Be with Robert Pattinson (I started it last night).  Also very pointless.  Robert is good as a depressed and directionless young Londoner, but at the end I thought, "really, that's it?"  Nothing much happens, he doesn't really grow, and it wasn't funny, charming or interesting enough to justify 90 minutes of my time.  Kind of makes you wonder what scripts got passed over so that this snoozefest could be made (it felt a bit like a student film project).  My biggest objection is that they never answer the question posed by the title!  Though Rebecca Pidgeon (David Mamet's wife, who I loved in State and Main) is good as the emotionally remote mother - the only memorable scene in the whole movie is the one where she refuses to be hugged by Art, despite his extended attempt.  And she has the best line too, when Art asks her, facetiously, if she feels guilty for bringing such a useless child into the world and she says, "I do!"  Oh, and there's one other fun scene, where the parents tell Art's therapist about their own disappointing childhoods.  But those 3 minutes can't redeem an otherwise dull experience.  Actually, using the therapist's book to frame the movie's action was clever, but not used to any good effect - a totally wasted opportunity.  At imdb.com, commenters note that the film is trying to emulate Wes Anderson (e.g., The Royal Tennebaums), who I don't really care for, so that may be the major problem as far as my enjoyment of the film goes.  I suppose if you're a directionless 20-something guy, you might enjoy seeing your non-life portrayed by one of the biggest stars alive right now (though this came out in 2008, the same year as Twilight, so Rob was not an icon at the time).  For the rest of us, however, who enjoy a coherent plot and maybe even some witty dialogue, not so much.



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