Recently Rented

Today marks the beginning of Sundance! Hooray! I have tickets to a few films, and hope to get into a few more! (So you can expect posts on that in the coming week...) But if the cold is too much for you to want to leave the house even for Sundance, I understand! In case you hadn't noticed, the dog days of winter have already begun and are only gonna get worse from here on out. If this actually is news to you, whoever you are reading this....you either must be hibernating in a cave somewhere waiting for winter to be over (let me join you,) or you're living in a place that is summer year round (REALLY let me join you.) However, here both the weather and temperature has been absolutely miserable as of late, so staying in doors and watching a rental seems to be my favorite thing to do lately (but let's be honest...I'm never really against that...) So here are a few that I thought were worth reviewing. Enjoy.

DAMSELS IN DISTRESS - I saw some posters and a preview for this one awhile back but had forgotten about it. When I was looking up films released in 2012 for my worst and unwatchables list I suddenly and inexplicably felt the urge to watch it. This film was very different. It was quirkiness in the vein of Wes Anderson or Woody Allen and it definitely took me awhile to get used to the deadpan delivery of the main character Violet. All too soon though her wisdom and viewpoints won me over and I found myself in her corner, rooting for her. I really liked the film...I found it to be charming, but for a very specific taste if you are willing to be patient with its quirks and how often it meanders. I will admit though, I was a bit dissatisfied with the ending. I felt like the writer didn't really know how to end it...but I still enjoyed it for what it was! EMILY RATING : 7.5/10

THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT - This is a very funny, albeit flawed film. It definitely isn't perfect, but to me it is far better than most rom coms out there. The film suffers from one major problem, which is the pacing. We know from the title what to expect, but surprisingly the time periods are very muddled together which makes it hard to keep track of how far along we are in the story and what is left to happen. Plus the movie is about a half an hour too long, which is truly unfortunate because that's when the characters start becoming unlikeable. I feel like the actors were likable enough to overcome that, but some major rewriting could have helped in the middle. But I was definitely laughing throughout (despite the very crude moments that are better left on the cutting room floor. If you get around to watching this one, catch it on tv) EMILY RATING 7.5/10

HOPE SPRINGS - Well this definitely isn't a movie you can watch with just anyone haha! It's basically a feature length film completely dedicated to the sexual intimacy problems of a (just past) middle-aged couple. If that sounds right up your alley then go for it haha! I personally did enjoy it mainly due to the terrific cast. Meryl Streep as always is incredible and Tommy Lee Jones was very good as well. Plus I was surprised they also had some pretty good chemistry when the script called for it. Definitely not really a film to recommend to everyone and their dog because the content is very adult. EMILY RATING: 7/10

LOOPER - This film was totally not what I was expecting it to be at all....not in a bad way, just in a very...well unexpected way! JGL was great and all (no I'm not about to go all fangirl here,) as was Willis and Blunt....but the film's real strength lied in the story. The previews have you fooled thinking this is a straight action film, but it's so much more than that. Yes there are plot holes galore as with any time travel movie, but the ending was fantastic and I was definitely thinking about it for quite some time afterward. EMILY RATING: 8.3/10

RUBY SPARKS - This is probably my favorite of the bunch. I just LOVE a good relationship film, and this one was fascinating. Plus I love any stories about something fictional entering the real world. But there was far more to this film than a gimmick or a celebration of whimsy, there was some real truth about the nature of relationships and the balance there must needs be. I loved the beginning because I fell in love with the idea and loved how it played on the screen, but the latter half of the film is what kept me thinking, analyzing and debating. EMILY RATING 9/10

SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD - Wouldn't you know it, I actually watched this film on the so called end of the world: December 21, 2012. I actually thought it was a very realistic depiction on what it might be like if the world was faced with something like that and how people would react. I really liked both of the characters but my problem was even though I think the performances of the leads were both great [SPOILER] I didn't really see Keira Knightley and Steve Carell as a couple at all....[/SPOILER] EMILY RATING 7/10

SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED - I watched this one the least recently, so I don't have as many fresh thoughts as I previously did. While I enjoyed it, I think I had too high of expectations for it. The film was very understated and did make some interesting metaphors to ponder about love. It's definitely a film to watch for characters and not for plot, and I guess I was expecting it to be more balanced between the two. Plus, though I really do like Aubrey Plaza, I'm not really sure how much range she's got. While she played her role well, she pretty much plays the pissed off girl with issues in every role she's in and I'd like to see her act a bit more lighthearted for once. She had moments in this, but it's still just kind of variations from what she's done. But I still appreciate her performance and the film itself . EMILY RATING 7/10

SLEEPWALK WITH ME - I watched this film on a suggestion from a columnist who said it was worth streaming. Well, he might have been right if I had had any sort of respect or sympathy for the film's main character. The film depicts a semi-autographical story of an aspiring comic who also happens to be an immature man-child who can't commit (marriage) to his girlfriend of 8 years. Boohoo you got a girl out of your league who also happens to be incredibly perfect in every way, but I'm not READY for marriage. Oh yeah and he also has problems sleepwalking  #firstworldproblems Grow up dude who is already in his mid 30's... I can respect films about complicated relationships (hello 500 days of summer is my favorite movie!) but when a character is just a selfish jerk and treats the character you are actually rooting for (IE Something Awful...I mean Something Borrowed) it just lends for an unpleasant viewing experience haha. For me anyway! But hey the majority of critics disagree with me so, maybe you will too. EMILY RATING 6.5/10

Well that's it for now, but with the season the way it is you can bet I'll have more rentals to review in no time.... but in the meantime you can find me at Sundance :)


Johanna said...

You never told me that you saw Hope Springs! I loved the guts this couple showed in trying to save their marriage. They both took huge emotional risks. It was powerful and a message that Hollywood rarely sells. But, aren't you glad you didn't see it with me.

I really would like to see a couple on this list. You need to park your Clear Play at my house for a bit! :)

Sarah said...

I totally can't see Kiera Knightly and Steve Carell in a movie together. Lots of interesting movies out there though!