Sunday, November 25, 2012

Your Sister's Sister


Emily Blunt and Mark Duplass star as Iris and Jack, respectively, in Your Sister's Sister, which was directed by Lynn Shelton, who brought us Humpday, which I watched a few months back and very much enjoyed.  The film opens at a memorial party one year after Jack's brother's / Iris's ex-boyfriend's death.  Jack is having some issues coping, and Iris suggests that he head to her family's cabin to take some time for himself and heal.  Jack takes her advice but when he arrives at the cabin he finds Iris's sister, Hannah - a lesbian who has just broken up with her girlfriend of seven years and who has also come to the cabin to get her head together.  Jack and Hannah drink a bit too much and end up in bed together - and then Iris shows up in the morning to surprise Jack, having realized that she is in love with him.

I feel like this description sounds convoluted, but it's really not.  I quite liked Your Sister's Sister.  The dialogue was all improvised and the leading actors had an easy interplay that was enjoyable to watch.  It all felt very natural.  It was funny and touching and the characters were relatable.  It was nothing earth shattering, but Your Sister's Sister is a solid, toned down romantic comedy that's well worth a watch.  7.5 out of 10.

Life of Pi

Pi is a teenage boy traveling from India to Canada with his family and his family's zoo animals, when the ship sinks, and Pi finds himself lost at sea in a lifeboat with only a Bengal tiger for company.  Pi and the tiger reach a shaky detente during the year or more they spend at sea together.  Strangely, I don't have that much to say about Life of Pi, although I didn't dislike it.  I thought it was shot beautifully, and the CGI effects were very well done.  I just sort of expected *more* - like, I thought there would be more to the story than there actually was.   I can recognize Life of Pi as a quality film, but it just didn't blow me away.  7 out of 10.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Sessions

As we headed off to the movies last night, I remembered that last year on the night before Thanksgiving, we saw The Muppets.  This year, we saw The Sessions.  Very different movies - but both were excellent! 

The Sessions is the mostly true story of Mark O'Brien, a severely disabled polio survivor who sets out who sets out to lose his virginity as an adult.  Mark can only move his head, and he spends the bulk of his days and nights in an iron lung contraption.  With the off-the-record blessing of his Catholic priest and the aid of his caretaker, Mark hires a Cheryl, sexual surrogate (played by Helen Hunt).  What follows is raw, tender, and funny.  Mark is successful at losing his virginity, but both he and Cheryl get more than they bargained for in the process, as a bond is formed between them.  Mark and Cheryl's relationship mostly stays within their professional bounds, and it gives Mark the tools he needs to confidently live and love in the world.

I thought The Sessions was great - it was raw, tender, and funny.  Mark's character is humorously self-deprecating, and I loved the scenes between him and his priest and caretakers.  Cheryl's character had a lot of depth.  The bond between the two of them seemed genuine and real.  As the credits rolled, tears were streaming down my face - so much so that I started laughing at myself for crying and then did a really attractive crying/laughing hybrid that involved a lot of snorting.  Good times.  9 out of 10.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cloud Atlas


Meh.  I'm kind of not even sure what to say about Cloud Atlas.  It's sort of a sprawling story spanning from 1849 through 2312 (I think?) about the interconnectedness of human lives.  I'll just say that it didn't really do it for me, at all.  I thought it tried to be too deep, and largely I just found it boring.  And?  At 2:43, I couldn't wait for it to be over - there were several times I thought it was ending, but then it just kept going.  Not that I think it was necessarily a "bad" movie but just very much not for me.  I gotta go with my gut here - 4 out of 10.

Hello I Must Be Going

Hello I Must Be Going (heretofore referred to as "Hello") stars Melanie Lynskey as Amy, a 30-something woman who's going through a divorce, and has moved back in with her parents.  She's having a rough time of it, until she begins an unconventional summer romance with Jeremy, the 19-year old stepson of her father's potential client - a client who, if successfully wooed, will allow Amy's father to retire and travel the world with Melanie's somewhat shallow mother.

I thought Hello was funny, sad, and touching all at the same time.  Lynskey was perfect as self-deprecating Amy and I enjoyed watching her chemistry with Jeremy (played by Christopher Abbott - it drove me crazy trying to figure out what I recognized him from, and I felt a lot more at ease when it hit me that he plays Marnie's boyfriend in Girls).  Throughout the movie, it feels like you're watching her come back to life.  No big complaints from me - I'll give it an 8 out of 10.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Skyfall (AKA I suck at movies)

We went to see Skyfall on Friday night.  It was a long week and I hadn't slept very well, and I drank a couple of pints before the movie started.  All this is to say, I fell asleep during the movie, probably for a good 30% chunk of it.  So, I'll refrain from rating this one, but just wanted to include it on here in the spirit of including every movie I "watched" this year.  The husband really liked it, though!

Thursday, November 8, 2012



In Flight, Denzel Washington plays Captain Whip Whittaker, a highly skilled pilot whose personal life is in shambles, mostly due to his penchant for booze and coke.  On a routine flight from Orlando to Atlanta, the plane malfunctions and Whip must execute a death-defying crash landing in an open field.  Nearly everyone on board survives.  At first Whip is hailed as a hero, but then more and more suspicious information is uncovered concerning his activities in the night and morning leading up to the crash landing.

I have mixed feelings about Flight - I was completely with it until about 15 minutes before the end.  I thought Denzel Washington did a great job playing Whip.  I felt like I was on a roller coaster of emotions, watching his attempts to put down the bottle and get his life back under control.

But about 15 minutes before the end, Flight just totally lost me.  For a story about a complex character, I felt it ended by being tied up a bit too neatly for my liking.  The ending felt cliched to me.  I also felt like the movie struggled a bit with not knowing what it wanted to be.  It was primarily a drama but there were some comical scenes that mostly felt out of place.

Overall, not bad a bad watch, if you can ignore the cliched ending.  6 out of 10.