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He Said, She Said: October Movies

November 5, 2010

Back in March, I announced a new regular blog feature: his and hers movie reviews. Don’t remember seeing any movie reviews here lately? Or at all since March? Yeaaah. Well, we’re bring it back and hopefully it’ll be here to stay this time.

TiMER (2009)
She said: I watched this one by myself on a Sunday night while Jeff was traveling for business. It’s an indie fantasy romantic comedy set in a world where you can get an implant in your wrist to countdown to the exact moment you’re supposed to meet your soulmate. The main problem is our love-obsessed main character’s timer is still blank. This movie had a good premise and explored some interesting ideas, but ultimately fell a little flat. Rating: 2.5/5

Death Note (2006)
She said: This is the live-action version of the popular manga and anime series of the same name. Well, it’s actually just part 1 of 2, but we probably won’t be watching part 2. It was an interesting take on the original, but the few special effects (for the shinigami, if you’re familiar with the story) were laughably bad. There’s no reason to watch this if you’ve seen the anime, and since the anime exists there is really no reason to watch this at all. Rating: 2.5/5

He said: An adequate adaptation of the Death Note anime into live action. The actors they chose for the main characters Light and L were quite good, but the overall execution was lacking. A lot of the intense back-and-forth between Light and L was omitted for time, and some of the plot points were adjusted to make them shorter. If you’re already a fan of the manga or anime, just imagine that someone took out all the non-essential action and dialog, and then had real people act it out. No matter how good the acting, you’re going to feel cheated. Also, the computer animation was shockingly bad. Poor Ryuk looked like a trash compactor with wings. Rating 2.8/5

The Brothers Bloom (2008)
She said: This is another indie romantic comedy with a lot of heart, style, and wit. The plot revolves around two con men brothers taking on their last con together: one willingly, one unwillingly. Then, of course, there’s the girl who is rich, eccentric, ready for adventure, and ready to be conned. While it has several funny and inspired moments, it doesn’t completely click. However, it was an overall enjoyable ride. Rating: 3.5/5

He said: Best line of the movie: “My brother writes cons like Russian poets write novels, with thematic arcs and embedded symbolism, and he cast me as the vulnerable anti-hero.” This line was delivered by Bloom (Adrian Brody), the younger brother of lifelong con artist Stephen (Mark Ruffalo). Bloom lives an emotionally and spiritually unsatisfying life as the main character in his brother’s elaborate cons. He wants to live a real life, but he no longer knows how. The story, which tells their final con through Bloom’s eyes, will keep you interested to the end. Rating: 3.5/5

Iron Man 2 (2010)
She said: I loved the first Iron Man, and I have to admit I have a soft spot for Gwyneth Paltrow. While I’m not really an action movie aficionado (fights and battles usually put me to sleep), Iron Man is just a really cool character. Maybe it’s because if I could pick any super hero ability, I’d pick flying. Maybe it’s the likable bad boy redemption story. Maybe it’s all the sweet tech he plays with. Maybe it’s just Gwyneth Paltrow. While not as good as the original, Iron Man 2 is still a decent story and a well-made movie. Rating: 3.5/5

He said: A servicable summer blockbuster, but it lacked the tight, well-constructed storytelling of the original. It’s a fun way to spend 90 minutes, and it starts several potentially compelling story lines, but the movie fails to wrap them into a something significant. Rating: 3/5

Sunset Boulevard (1950)
She said: A classic in every sense of the word, I now understand why this Billy Wilder film is regarded as one of Hollywood’s greatest. It is a dark and somewhat disturbing view into the lengths to which people will go to get what they want, particularly in the cutthroat world of Hollywood. The writing, characterization, acting, cinematography, costumes (Edith Head!), sets, and music are all superb. I particularly liked the first-person POV narration of story. While not always easy to watch, I got the feeling I was seeing true art unfold before me. It ends with the iconic, tragic line: “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.” Rating: 4.5/5

He said: You’ve undoubtedly seen a dozen parodies of the most famous scene in this movie. And if, like me, you’ve never actually seen the whole movie, you might wonder why anyone would watch a movie about a creepy, crazy, has-been actress. It turns out that Sunset Boulevard is actually a really compelling story. It’s narrated in a very disarming way, from the point of view of a novice Hollywood movie writer who is drawn into a depraved life that part of him accepts and part of him hates. But, more importantly, the movie examines the kind of psychological tortures that can come upon people who are granted mass popularity — and then have it taken away. Sunset Boulevard should be required watching for any young movie star. Rating: 4/5

Note: Some of these movies are rated R. We recognize that everyone has different opinions on what content is appropriate for viewing, and our opinions may differ from your own. Please check the content against your standards before watching or ask us if you’d like a more personal review/recommendation.

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