Take This Waltz
Aug09

Take This Waltz

2012. 116 mins. Rated R.

Margot: “I’m afraid of being afraid.”
Daniel: “Sounds like the most dangerous thing in the world.”


During a recent girl’s night, I was faced with the dreadful, if not tired, question: “Who is YOUR girl crush?!” (Yick)! It occurred to me I had no idea. My incredulous friends replied, “But come on… Mila Kunis, Angelina Jolie?” Suffice it to say, I felt a little interrogated by this imbibed, demanding she-chorus.

2012. 116 mins. Rated R. Margot: “I’m afraid of being afraid.” Daniel: “Sounds like the most dangerous thing in the world.” During a recent girl’s night, I was faced with the dreadful, if not tired, question: “Who is YOUR girl crush?!” (Yick)! It occurred to me I had no idea. My incredulous friends replied, “But come on… Mila Kunis, Angelina Jolie?” Suffice it to say, I...

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Counterpoint: 50/50
Apr02

Counterpoint: 50/50

Response to the original TBBC Post on 50/50.

If you don’t like depressing films, you better limit your movie-going experience to Disney movies. Life is all about the balance of humor and pathos, and you cannot have one without the other.

Response to the original TBBC Post on 50/50. If you don’t like depressing films, you better limit your movie-going experience to Disney movies. Life is all about the balance of humor and pathos, and you cannot have one without the other.  Read more... (626 words, 1 image, estimated 2:30 mins reading...

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50/50
Feb28

50/50

2011. 100 minutes. Rated R
 
“No one wants to @#$! me. I look like Voldemort.”
 
 
First off, if you don’t like depressing films, stop reading this review. I’m warning you now, this is an unhappy movie. Not that it necessarily ends that way, but for 90 of the 100 minutes, you won’t be smiling. I know it is billed as a comedy, but I didn’t find it particularly funny. A few spots here and there, but comedy it is not.
 
 
Second, I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt who plays the lead role of Adam. I just do. He’s in my top ten list of consistently good actors. I am apt to watch anything he’s in and like it, even when he’s singing a duet with Zooey Deschanel in a YouTube video (which is absolutely charming and you should go watch it right now. Go ahead. I’ll wait).

If you’ve seen him in anything from 10 Things I Hate About You to Brick to the voice of Jim in Treasure Planet to 500 Days of Summer then you understand he somehow does a great solid and understated character you can’t help but like. If you don’t…well, I just don’t know what’s wrong with you.
 
Oh, right, movie review! The plot, based on a true story, is Mr. All-Around, Somewhat Wimpy, Nice Guy (Gordon-Levitt), merely 27 years old, is diagnosed with a very rare form of spinal cancer. The entire movie is about how he deals with the cancer from shock in the beginning (“everything will be fine”), to anger, to depression, to the resigned acceptance that death may actually happen.
 
There are strong supporting performances from funny but socially awkward best friend Seth Rogen, skeezy girlfriend Bryce Dallas Howard (is it me, or is she in every movie all of a sudden?), overbearing and dramatic mom Anjelica Huston, and cute young therapist Anna Kendrick. Seth Rogen is always funny, but I wasn’t all that taken with his character in the film. He is trying to be supportive in his way, but it falls flat. You would think he would get at some point that he isn’t helping Adam all that much, but it isn’t until the end that you feel like he is a real friend. Kendrick does a great job of a young therapist-in-training who is believably ill at ease and helpless when Adam lashes out at her.

What I came away with at the end of this movie was I really “got” what it was like to have cancer. I felt Adam’s shock, his betrayal, his pain, his bewilderment, his rage, his frustration, his downward spiral. His best friend Kyle tries to use the cancer to score women for both of them, and you can see Adam’s quick conviction that sex no longer matters in the face of the disease. What the disease teaches Adam is a large part of the movie. 
 

The part that was lacking to me was there was no tension in the plot. I guessed the ending of the film early on and actually felt like that was the inevitable ending, especially for a film billed as a comedy (dark or not). The ending doesn’t really matter. The strength of it is the journey. Before the movie even ended, I began reflecting on my own mortality, and who or what is important in my life. If that’s the only this film accomplishes, I can’t complain. What I will complain about is that it seemed to be a bit muddled as a film. It is a little funny, a lot dramatic, and I certainly liked it… but it didn’t knock my socks off. I think it wanted to be funnier, but it elevated itself above the comedy which didn’t completely work. 

2011. 100 minutes. Rated R   “No one wants to @#$! me. I look like Voldemort.”     First off, if you don’t like depressing films, stop reading this review. I’m warning you now, this is an unhappy movie. Not that it necessarily ends that way, but for 90 of the 100 minutes, you won’t be smiling. I know it is billed as a comedy, but I didn’t find it particularly funny. A few spots here and there, but...

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