Welcome to my website!
Have you ever wondered why some critics review films? They don't even seem to like movies that much from what they write. I LOVE movies, and think about them long after the last credits roll across the screen. My reviews are meant to inform, entertain and never have a spoiler.
Enjoy my reviews and please comment and come back frequently! Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

I wanted to see this film after reading that the screenwriter, Simon Kinberg, found his inspiration for the story in an explanation of the process of marriage therapy. This intrigued me, as I thought it was primarily an action film, and wanted to see how this was accomplished. According to Mr. Kinberg, marriage therapy guides couples through a process to initiate, interact, communicate, compromise, adapt, and ultimately fall in love again. He placed John and Jane Smith (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) in a marriage complicated by their unusual occupations. Both are accomplished assassins, and they have both managed to keep their professional lives secret from one another, even though they have been married five (or six) years.

We first meet John and Jane in the therapist’s office (initiate). Since they are willing to see a therapist about their relationship, I gave them a better than average chance of restoring life to their dull marriage.

We are shown how John and Jane met and then married without allowing each other to know who they truly are. Sound familiar? Other than their unusual occupations, they could be any suburban couple.

Separately, they are each given the job of tracking and assassinating the same person. They spot each other as a competitor on the job, and then have to track and eliminate the other assassin, as neither can leave a witness to a hit. They soon discover that the other killer is their spouse. John and Jane stop lying to each other, and start telling each other who they really are (interact, communicate). As they are engaged in the chase, they have to pay attention to each other for the first time in years, and fall in love again.

Now they have to figure out a way to deal with their bosses who are expecting them to take each other down. So they compromise and adapt to each other’s styles as they strategize and carry out a plan together. They come to understand and appreciate the strengths and weaknesses they have that complement each other, and that make life together stronger and more successful than either would have alone.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith really works. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are great together, apparently off screen as well. Adam Brody (The O.C.) plays a small role as the man that both assassins are asked to target, and who has the answer to their dilemma. Casting chatty Adam in this role was a good choice. Watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith go about setting traps for each other reminded me of the destructive games that couples play, especially when they are considering divorce. It's not just an action film, but also has elements of comedy and romance to enjoy. It is rated PG-13. Mr. Kinberg wrote a great screenplay, resulting in an entertaining film, one that I will probably watch again sometime on DVD.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Guy Thing

(Recommended by Julia)
A Guy Thing is rated PG-13 for language, crude humor, some sexual content and drug references. I thought it would just be another silly romantic comedy, and was pleasantly surprised. The film sports a good cast: Jason Lee, Julia Stiles, Selma Blair, James Brolin and Julie Hagerty.

Paul (Jason Lee) and Karen (Selma Blair) are to be married. Jason meets Becky (Julia Stiles) at his bachelor party, just after relinquishing his groom’s hat to his best friend, so she does not know he is the groom. They awaken the next morning together in bed.

Paul is horrified at what may have happened between them. To make matters worse, it turns out that Becky is Karen’s cousin. Becky also has a borderline psycho ex-boyfriend who happens to be a cop to further complicate the situation. I laughed and laughed during this movie at the screwball physical comedy. Jason Lee is a fine comedic actor, Julia Stiles is beautiful in her role as the free spirit who spurs Paul to question the way his life is progressing, and the supporting roles of James Brolin as Karen’s father, and Julie Hagerty as Paul's mother are well cast.

I thought that the part in the film about "the guy thing" (you’ll have to see it to figure out what that actually means; I never give away the good parts) was not as important as the message that it's better to get up the courage to change direction before making a mistake you’ll live to regret. I highly recommend this romantic comedy, especially when you need a good laugh.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!

(Recommended by Julia)

Robert Luketic, who also directed Legally Blonde, directed Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!. The movie stars Kate Bosworth as Rosalee, Josh Duhamel as Tad, and Topher Grace (That '70s Show; In Good Company) as Pete.

The win a date scheme is meant to boost Tad’s reputation, as he is portrayed by the press as a self-involved movie star. Rosalee wins a date with him and Tad follows her back to West Virginia after their night out in Hollywood. Rosalee is not like the other women he is accustomed to. She is guarding her carnal treasure (Pete’s last words of advice to her before she gets on the plane), something most women Tad meets are not concerned about.

Nathan Lane and Sean Hayes as Tad’s business manager and agent are hilarious together. They are very concerned about Tad’s infatuation with Rosalee and follow him to West Virginia. Pete has been Rosalee’s friend since they were children, but has not gotten up the courage to tell her that he loves her. When Tad shows up, Pete attempts to impress Rosalee with dismal results. Rosalee’s father is really funny as he dives into Hollywood (wearing a Project Greenlight T-shirt, no less), and he is not sympathetic to Pete’s distress, preferring a movie star to be his daughter’s suitor. It’s a romantic comedy, so I won’t give away the ending!

I found the movie funny in places, but definitely more of a film for teenagers and college-age young adults. The film is rated PG-13 for sexual content, some drug references, and language. I don’t think kids under 13 would find it very interesting. Or anyone over 22 for that matter. Kate Bosworth has a grin on her face for most of the movie, something I found really annoying. True, there is a sweet moment when Pete says that Rosalee has six different smiles, but Kate does not give Rosalee six different smiles. The real standouts in terms of acting as I mentioned are Nathan Lane and Sean Hayes. View at your own risk.