MonthJuly 2010

Crazy Heart

This movie arrived from Netflix a couple of weeks ago, and the night that I watched we just were not in the mood for it. I guess that means that the movie is not the greatest, but it turned out to be decent when it really got going. The movie stars Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal. It almost reminds me of a contemporary western movie or something. It is hard to describe, but it follows the music industry heavily. I am sure the are references to other country artists that I do not fully grasp as well. What can I say, I have really stopped listening to country music. I put it on the station every now and then, but I just don’t connect with it like I used to.

The movie follows an older country singer (Jeff Bridges) who has hit rock bottom. He is a heavy drinker, and he has nothing in his life to write about. He travels all over the U.S. playing at any location that will let him. His drinking really prevents him performing at an acceptable level, and he seems to have forgotten the words at times. He is even forced to leave the stage because of vomiting. On one of his shows, he is interviewed by a young reporter (Maggie Gylenhaal), and they begin a relationship. It is awkward to say the least.

The singer falls in love again, and he is able to write songs. His songs have always been extremely popular, and a very popular singer has asked him to tour with him. The new star used to be in the veteran’s band. It is funny how things have changed. The new star asks the veteran to write him songs, and the veteran really has no choice. He is playing at bowling alleys and bars, and he has to find a way to pay the bills. The romance with the reporter allows him to have the content for the new songs.

The movie follows this path for most of the movie, and I even thought that every thing would turn out alright. The old singer really loves the reporter and her son, and he does everything that he can to make the little boy have a great time. The reporter and son come to visit him in Houston, and the singer offers to give the reporter/mom a break in the afternoon. She reluctantly agrees, and she goes out for a little while. The singer is in need of a drink, stops by a bar, and loses the little boy. They eventually find him, but the damage has already been done.

The reporter takes her son back home with her, and she does not see the singer anymore. He does try to go back and get her, but she tells him that she can never trust him again. He writes songs about her, and he stops drinking. She just doesn’t let him back in her life. At another show, he runs into her, and he sees that she is married to another man. In that instant, you can see his heart break, but he keeps his composure. He gives her a check for a large sum of money, and she says that she can’t take it. He simply says that if it wasn’t for her the check wouldn’t exist. Of course, she then took the money.

In the end, the movie is decent. It is very slow, and I might say boring at times. What can you expect from a movie about country music? Either way, I think that you can find some entertainment, if you give it a try.

Twilight- Eclipse

I am a little afraid to say this, but I have read the entire Twilight series. I am not sure what that means, but I am sure that it is not the greatest thing for a guy to have done. I am a big fan of vampires so it seemed like a logical read. I have also watched the other two in movies in preparation for watching this one. My sister-in-law wanted me to go see this movie so I figured that I would. Since she was going to pay, I couldn’t pass it up.

To be honest, the movies are not as good as the books. In fact, they don’t capture any of the intensity. The acting is pretty poor, but it could simply be the screenplay that is making the movie sub-par. They leave out a lot of key parts, and it just doesn’t capture the story very well. Of course, I seem to think that every movie based on a book is pretty bad. Especially when I have read the book before watching the movie.

I am not going to go into the plot in detail in this post. I think that you should check out the movies. Please watch them in order though so that you do not miss any key points. The books were a good read, and I have at times thought of re-reading them. I also hope that the author comes out with another book. It is rumored that she is going to finish the book that she already started. She stopped working on it when someone stole an electronic copy from here and posted it on the internet.

One last note. Taylor Lautner’s nose is huge. They do a lot of shots from the ground to his face, and it looks like he has broken that thing multiple times. I kind of feel bad for the guy. It has to be hard to breathe with that thing.

-Drew

Pretty Bird

Last week, I decided to rent a movie with the free Red Box code that I had gotten. I had been given two of them because they charged my credit card for a movie that I was unable to pick-up from the machine. It was out of order, and the machine next to it was also out of the movie. With the free code, I thought that I would rent a movie that I would not normally decide to rent. I try to spend my hard earned movie wisely. This is why I rented Pretty Bird. It is an indie film, and I have found some of the movies to be enjoyable. This one was not of those.

The movie is about a man (Billy Cruddup) who decides to start a company and make a rocket belt. He gets the blueprints from the Library of Congress, and he is able to sell one investor on the idea. The investor (David Hornsby) just happens to be his best friend, and he throws all of his money into the project. He probably wasn’t the smartest business man. He lost a lot of money.  The man is a pretty good sales man it seems, and he is able to get the project off the ground pretty easily.

To make a rocket belt, you would of course need a rocket scientist (Paul Giamatti). The rocket scientist just happens to be out of work, and he is willing to take anything at this point. I am not exactly sure how large the market is for these employees, but I would guess that it is not very large (purely speculation). The rocket scientist is able to build a working built, but the project is running out of money fast. In fact, they never actually get another investor.  When the money dries up, the man with the idea steals the rocket belt, and he leaves town. The rocket scientist is furious because he has actually built something for himself for a change.

They do show the rocket belt flying in the movie, and it appears that everything is going to be a success. How many people have been able to make a working rocket belt? I would say that the number can be counted on one or two hands. In the end though, the investor/best friend is forced to close his mattress shop, and he can’t get another loan because his credit has been shot. The rocket scientist spends all of his time trying to find the rocket belt, and the idea man gets off with a scratch.

This movie is interesting, but I was not really that into it. If you want an unusual film, you could try this one. I will say that there is a reason that it went straight to DVD. It does not have a very large audience appeal. Just keep that in mind when you rent it.

-Drew

2012

A few months back, I went through a phase were I went back and watched tons of movies that I had missed when my son was younger. Some of them I really wanted to see at the time, but I was just too tired to waste time watching a movie. 2012 happened to be one of those movies. I didn’t realize how big of a disappointment it was going to be. It has to be one of the most poorly made movies I have ever seen (I have seen a lot of poorly made movies!).

The story is not the bad part of this movie. In fact, it is some what entertaining. There were parts of it that needed to be polished some more, but the computer animation was complete crap. If you have already seen the movie, I hope that you noticed what I am talking about. If not, please go watch it again so that you can see it. It seems like they ran out of money in the post production phase, and they just decided to let middle-schoolers animate it. I am sure that is not exactly true, but it sure feels like it at times.

The story is one that has become pretty common in recent years. The Mayan/Incan calendar is set to end in 2012, and it is believed by some that this will be the end of the world. They take and expand on that story, and they even add in some aliens for good measure. Every end of the world movie needs aliens to make it even more believable. The acting is not bad, and movies like this have always interested me. I just wish that they would have spent more time on the computer graphics.

-Drew