Summer Reviews

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Lately, I’ve been doing school work and rushing, so I haven’t been able to write as many reviews as I would have liked to. SO, here are the capsule reviews for the films I’ve seen over the last month or so.

The Other Guys

A collaboration between Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, who brought you Talladega Nights, The Other Guys is an amusing buddy cop flick that doesn’t have a concrete point until the very end. Mark Wahlberg plays the bad, annoyed, peacock of a cop and Will Ferrell plays more of a schumcky cop who isn’t really a cop, but a desk worker. The two work well with one another. The comedy, for the most part, is rather brusque, but sometimes drops and becomes rather lame and pointless. The jokes become completely irrelevant to the rest of the film, which can be a nuisance. However, the film is enjoyable and funny. Stay for the credits; it’s the best part of the film.

Grade: B-

(500) Days of Summer

This quirky romantic comedy was, at first in my opinion, dull, depressing, and annoying. But, once it settles in your mind, it can really be appreciated for showing the little seen nuances in a real, adult relationship. Mature and well written, it takes its time showing the nonlinear storyline about a boy and a girl who meet, but, as the narrator says, it is not a love story. Summer is played eloquently by Zooey Deschanel and her boyfriend, from whose perspective we view the entire film from, is Tom, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The two are great…on their own. But for some reason, they lack enough chemistry to really carry the film. Nevertheless, the amount of storytelling is fantastic and the visual style is very inventive. That is, if you can bear to sit that long.

Grade: B-

State of Play

Russell Crow plays a reporter trying to uncover a government conspiracy when a congressman’s (Ben Affleck) mistress is found dead. This intricate film is spindly and serpentine. The performances are all fantastic, particularly that of Helen Mirren and Crow. Rachel McAdams is fine, but her character is kind of whiny and overtly amateur throughout the entire film. Nevertheless, the film, based on the BBC miniseries of the same name, is crafted so well and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Grade: A-

An Education

Aside from the Jewish stereotypes that plague the film, An Education is a well-acted if feebly written film loosely based on Lynn Barber’s memoir of the same name. An older man named David (Peter Scaargard) seduces and Oxford bound young woman named Jenny (Oscar nominated Carey Mulligan). She goes off her track to higher education and is completely enveloped in the world of posh nightclubs and art. It’s like a significantly lesser version of Anna Karenina. However, Mulligan’s performance was completely Oscar worthy, even if the film was not.

Grade: B-

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

If you went through a horrible break up, would you go as far as to completely erase the person from your memory? That’s the question asked here in this brilliantly created drama written by Charlie Kaufman and starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. Carrey plays a straight laced guy named Joel who falls in love with a completely, almost polar opposite kook named Clementine (Winslet). After a year of ups and downs, she finally has him erased from her memory, using a company whose primary business is erasing people from people’s memories. Upset and shocked, Joel decides to have the same procedure done to him. As we go through his memories, something spectacular happens: we get to feel exactly how Joel feels. We feel his pain, his happiness, we feel everything. So fantastically written and acted, this film has been added to my list of favorite films of all time.

Grade: A+

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