E-F Movies

Elizabethtown (2005)

ElizabethtownTwo Stars

Who’s in it

Kirsten Dunst, Orlando Bloom, Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Jessica Biel

What was good

The first half hour to forty five minutes of the movie. It was intriguing, quirky, and seemed to be engaging. Bloom created this terrible shoe that bombed and lost his company an astounding 972 million dollars. Then, on the same day, his dad died. There were even funny parts in his interactions with his boss (Baldwin).

What sucked

Pretty much everything else. He gets on a plane to go get his dad, who is in Kentucky somewhere, and the movie gets derailed. I think it tries to give the viewer a first hand sense of what it is like to start from scratch in getting to know your roots, but it also tried to throw in there the mixed emotions that he is dealing with from his failure, which is strange and uncommon. He meets Kirsten Dunst who is a flight attendant for about 10 minutes in the good first part of the movie. She is fun and quirky, and her part isn’t bad, nor their relationship. The movie just doesn’t seem to know when to end, and wanders all over the place trying to get there.

Who should go see this

I don’t think I’d recommend this to anyone. I like Bloom, and even more so Dunst. I was glad I watched it with her, but not glad enough for the two plus hours long this movie is. I guess if you like strange movies, see this. The director also did Almost Famous, and Vanilla Sky. This is more like Almost Famous, but that movie was more focused, you just don’t leave with any sort of fuzzy feeling, and dammit, you rent a movie for entertainment, not to think too hard.

Failure To Launch (2006)

Failure To LaunchFour Stars

Who’s in it

Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Terry Bradshaw, Kathy Bates

Should you see this movie?

This was as cute and funny as the previews made it seem. McConaughey is a hot bachelor who is in his late thirties and bringing women home to his parents house, where he lives. The parents are sick of him being there, so they hire a lady who helps men “launch” into the real world and relationships, in a devious sort of way. But, we find out some of his past and there is a reason for why he is what he is, and it is a nice little love story, and a movie I may like enough to own. Bradshaw as the clueless dad is funny, especially when he converts Matt’s old room into a “naked room” complete with a fish tank and all. Wrinkly old man butt. See this, it’s a good one.

Fun with Dick and Jane (2005)

Fun with Dick and JaneFour and a Half Stars

Who’s in it

Jim Carrey, Tea Leoni, Alec Baldwin, Richard Jenkins, Angie Harmon

What was good

The movie was hilarious, and the first to have a situational comedy about the big dot com’s and what happened to people when they went bust. In this case, it is fictional Globaldyne, and Jim Carrey one day after being promoted to VP of Communications is thrown into a nosedive that ends up with him losing everything.

What sucked

Not too much. Jim Carrey does a nice balanced mix of being a normal person, and being a funny man. He gets more off the wall as his circumstances appear more dubious. But if you don’t like Carrey, you obviously would stay away from this. But other than Liar Liar, this is the most I have ever heard Sarah laugh at a Jim Carrey movie, so that is a sign.

Who should go see this

People who love Carrey, and Leoni is equally funny. She doesn’t hesitate when they start to steal money, and is the perfect compliment to making Carrey work, from the robbing costumes, to the outlandish stuff they both do to make money, etc etc. Everyone should see this, it is funny, short and to the point, and a movie you could watch a bunch of times.

The Firm (1993)

The FirmFive Stars

Who’s in it

Everyone under the sun. Tom Cruise, Paul Sorvino, Gene Hackman, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Ed Harris, Gary Busey, and Holly Hunter

What was good

Everything. Sarah says the book is better. I always say that is rubbish, they are two different mediums, only compare them in relatively terms not line for line. Twisting, turning, sadistic humor at times, this is a thriller without the elemental. Tom Cruis is an idealist lawyer that holds out for the best offer out of college. Little does he know that he’ll be working for the mob.

What sucked

Nothing. Acting was good, if I had to say anything, it would be that it looks as old as it is. It’s over 13 years old now, but everyone is at their best and this is not a predictable plot at the time.

Who should go see this

Everyone. It’s not violent, there is some language, but it is a great movie by a great writer (John Grisham), there is something for everyone. The good guy wins in the end, Tom Cruise’s appeal, it’s a thinking thriller, it’s engaging, and it’s a movie you could watch over and over.

Friday Night Lights (2004)

Friday Night LightsThree and a Half Stars

Who’s in it

Billy Bob Thorton, Garrett Hedlund (Four Brothers), Lucas Black, Jay Hernandez

What was good

The individual stories of the football players. Each of them had different backgrounds that they brought to the table, different circumstances that motivated them, from an abuse father, to a way out of the town, to their whole future riding on this game. Plus, the good guys don’t win in the end.

What sucked

It was a sad movie in a lot of ways, and wasn’t what I would call a fun movie-esque football game, where everything is overdramatized and in slow mo, making things fun like Varsity Blues. It was a touch more on the thinking side, and showed again the pressure’s of a small town football mentality that I have a hard time sometimes believing, even though I know they must exist.

Who should go see this

People who love football. This movie is somewhere between a touching Disney movie and Any Given Sunday. It has the violence to the football players and their bodies, but really shows how these kids are all affected by the game. There are handful of really powerful stories, just don’t rent this and expect it to focus on the football, because I don’t think it does.

Final Cut (2004)

Final CutThree Stars

An truly original concept. What if we could put implants in our mind that would record our life and they could be accessed on death like a computer. How would we be remembered and who would determine that?

Starring Robin Williams, Jim Caviezel, and Mira Sorvino this movie left me wanting more. The movie is fairly compact and is highly engaging, but the end leaves you with questions that I say were too many in number. I want to put some things together, but the questions for me were mostly things that didn’t make sense.

Robin Williams is a “cutter” who views people’s lives in footage. He specializes in those characters who have led less than honorable lives, he is able to make them look like saints, and to remove all of those dark secrets. But so many interesting ideas. Who should determine what people remember? Shouldn’t people remember you for what they want, and not what they are told? Who do the memories belong to? How would you live if you knew your whole life was being recorder?

Williams is haunted by an experience in his childhood that makes him the individual he is today. But the Why? that is there, why is he able to do this just because he believes he let a little boy die in his childhood? The connection isn’t really ever made. There are groups of “hippies” who protest the implants called “Zoe Chips” and have tattoed their faces with electrical implants to disrupt the recordings. But this group has turned into activists led by an ex-cutter (Caviezel). They are out to get footer from a high ranking official the pioneering technology firm after he dies. They stop at nothing to get it, even killing Williams after the original chip is destroyed because he is living proof the footage. He had a Zoe Chip installed and his memories now has the other man’s on tape. Caviezel believes Williams is a matyr of sorts, giving his life meaning in bringing down the technology.

The general consensus is that William’s life is being wasted, that it has no meaning. I didn’t make that connection, he just has a job to do, I don’t know why it is so different just because it isn’t the easiest. Williams dies and that is pretty much the end of the movie, and you want answers.

So, if you like Williams or Sci-Fi, this is agreat movie for you. Williams does a great job, and it is such an interesting concept. I just don’t think that it was translated as well as some may have hoped to the masses to understand.

Fever Pitch (2005)

Fever PitchFour Stars

My review of this movie is going to be highly bias, as a direct result of the awe that I have for the 2004 American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and Yankees, and beyond.

Starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore, it’s a love story between two unlikely people, a local school teacher (Fallon) and a high paced business type (Barrymore). They end up going out, and all of a sudden it is a level playing field, she doesn’t act like a successful business person anymore, only her work interfers. I found that a little weird.

But basically, ever since he was little, he has had Red Sox season tickets. He splits up the games with three other people, and they go to every game. They are die hard. She gives some understanding because she is preoccupied with her job. In the end, he screws up and puts baseball first and she walks away. His father left when he was little, so the Red Sox are his blanket, his safe haven from the world and he just hides there when anything becomes hard. I must say, it was fairly convincing, and Fallon wasn’t obnoxious in this movie.

Eventually they get back together and it is happy ever after. But the best part of this movie, is it is all about the comeback that the Red Sox made against the Yankees in 2004, and they intertwined that history with this little love story.

A decently fun movie, and not too lovey without a fair amount of humor, I would recommend this to most people, and definitely to any of those baseball fans out there that are still left. If you loved that series you can relive it here in some fashion.