Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Horrible Bosses (***)

Directed by Seth Gordon


Horrible Bosses totally works because it accepts how absolutely preposterous it is. Everything in this film happens in a way that's convenient to the characters and the story arc. In a way, that's part of the screenplay's charm. To say that this film doesn't take itself seriously is a gross understatement. It takes all thoughts of an efficient, more functioning structure and totally chucks it out the window. Why would it do that? Well, it just makes for a funnier movie.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Beginners (****)

Written and Directed by Mike Mills


There's a certain charm behind the kind of film that would give a dog subtitles for dialogue. This is an act that could always come off as campy if done gratuitously, and worse yet, could seem pretentious if done more tastefully. Beginners is a film filled with small details and motifs that could be construed as reaching and silly if not executed with very precise delicacy. Yet, director Mike Mills so expertly weaves through all the fuss, crafting a wonderful mosaic and telling a beautifully melancholy tale about a man reaching forty who still can't seem to find out why he's so unhappy.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Larry Crowne (**)

Directed by Tom Hanks


I feel like I can say this with certainty: anybody who doesn't like Tom Hanks is probably a very unhappy person. Growing up in the 90's, it was hard to miss him as he starred within some of the decade's biggest hits and won himself two Oscars. There's something noble about a star the size of Hanks willing to take on directing, and Larry Crowne is his shot at it since the surprisingly peppy and enjoyable That Thing You Do! in 1996. His debut was a good but not great film, while his sophomore effort is okay but not good. In many ways, Hanks is both the best and worst part of his own film.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Tree of Life (***)

Written and Directed by Terrence Mallick


I defy anybody to give any kind of definitive opinion on The Tree of Life based on one viewing. Anyone. The film is too slippery. Too unwilling to stick to its own narrative which so desperately hangs around the film like an unwanted child. No, this is not a film that is meant to be consumed and then dissected by intellectuals - though, there is no doubt that that is what is happening across the country as the film makes its steady expansion to different theaters - but it is instead meant to be marveled as one of the single most transfixing visual experiences in a very, very long time.