Assorted Movie Reviews

I’ve been out of the country and sans internet access for the last two weeks, so instead I’m writing reviews of the movies I saw during my trip, mostly on airplanes.

Paycheck: I’d heard bad things about this movie, I admit. I’ve never been particularly impressed with Ben Affleck or Uma Thurman, either. However, this movie was much more story-driven than character-driven (as is often the way in science fiction), and that story was very interesting. Like Minority Report, the other recent movie adaption of a Philip K. Dick story, Paycheck deals with the hazards of being able to see into the future. I knew that somehow at the end the hero had to save the day and prevent all the awful things to come, but it was interesting to see how each of the objects became vital to his survival. Sure, it’s a little far-fetched that he happened to know exactly how to use each object at the precise time it was needed, but a little suspension of disbelief is required whenever dealing with a story about time travel/viewing. And I smiled with genuine pleasure at the happy ending.

Something’s Gotta Give: Funny but the premise didn’t sit quite right with me. I feel like I’ve seen Jack Nicholson in this role before – you know, the unattractive cad who somehow gets the girl in the end. Maybe I’m thinking of As Good As It Gets. Anyway, I really liked Diane Keaton in this movie. I liked her constant over-analyzing of everything that happens to her and her blatant incorporation of her experiences into her writing, which I can definitely empathize with. There were parts where I laughed out loud. All in all, it was a bit of romantic comedy fluff, which can be fun from time to time.

The Station Agent: I missed the first 20 minutes or so of this film due to technical difficulties (no sound, bad tracking), but I have to say that I did enjoy it. My only real complaint, albeit a major one, was that the film always sort of felt like it was going somewhere, but the ending was pretty abrupt and ultimately nothing happened. Oh well. I hope to see Peter Dinklage in other stuff. He’s a good actor and attractive to boot.

S1m0ne: Better than I’d expected but not as good as I’d hoped. I think I’d like to have seen it as a book, where there’s more time to develop things slowly and provide more background so the flow doesn’t seem so harried. The notion that an actress can become so obsessively beloved by the public in such a short period of time is a big stretch at best, and the rock concert was ridiculous. Somebody would have snuck in a camera or binoculars. And the fact that the virtual actress was played by a real actress takes away a lot from the whole concept of the film.

Mona Lisa Smile: I’ve never been impressed with Julia Roberts as an actor, and this film was no exception. It was an interesting look at incredibly intelligent women of the 1950s who end up basically wasting their talents on becoming housewives. The students were passably interesting but the ending was kind of blah.

In short, I’m glad I didn’t have to pay to watch any of them, though it might have been nice to watch them in the comfort of my own livingroom instead of on a three-inch screen on the back of the airplane seat in front of me.

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