Directed by Steven Spielberg
HE SAW: This movie was a little chatty. A lot of talking about the 13th Amendment and the lengths gone to in order to get it passed. The serious tone and subject matter made it seem long. Not that I was expecting a bunch of action or gags from this movie about the most awesome of presidents. Great acting by all; I liked seeing J. Gordon Levitt as Abe’s son and James Spader gave some comic relief to this movie. Sally Fields should see an Oscar nomination along with that guy from There Will Be Blood. It wasn’t totally historically accurate though. Spoiler Alert: Not a single vampire.
SHE SAW: Abraham Lincoln has always been my favorite president (I know, I know… everyone says that). As a kid I was an avid reader, and I loved all of the stories about him. If you believe them, he was everything I wish for when I’m voting for president now: intelligent, decent, and honest with a good sense of humor. You gotta have a sense of humor to run a whole country, right? This movie reiterated all of those characteristics so, if you’re a Lincoln fan, (and really, who isn’t? And yes, I was born in the South!) you will probably be interested. It was, granted, long and wordy, quite like the man himself, but the performances were uncanny. Sally Field was perfect as Mary Todd Lincoln, slightly manic and very protective of a husband whom she clearly adored. And Daniel Day Lewis was dead on as the main character, playing an ole’ Kentucky/Indiana boy without even a hint of a brogue! And Sam, not every movie has to feature the undead or comics! Just think of Lincoln as a frontier super hero and play along.
Directed by Judd Apatow
HE SAW: I was 40. Spoiler Alert: This is not 40. There seemed to be lots of unfinished thoughts and sub-plots that just never hit the mark or got their stride. (Hey, maybe this is 40 after all). This might’ve looked good during production, but in editing they must’ve just put clips together and hoped we’d go along with it. Even Paul Rudd couldn’t get this disjointed movie off the ground (but I still like that guy). Although touted as the “sort of” sequel to Knocked Up, there was only one small nod to that movie, and I would like an explanation, Apatow! Not that I expected a complete tie-in, but maybe a cameo by your buddy, Seth Rogen, updating his relationship status with Katherine Heigel. I like to imagine that her character met a tragic end. I mean, if she was so tight with her sister, why wasn’t she at her birthday party in this movie? Wait, I know why, a satellite fell on her head while interviewing Matthew Fox.
SHE SAW: So, why did we need a “big” birthday and Christmas in one movie? My bet is that it was so they could release it during the holiday season. In other words… cha-ching! Same reason they strung a bunch of improvised scenes together and called it a movie. To paraphrase a better romcom, the only thought was of the cash register. And instead of a heart, this movie has a bottom line. In other words, how much money can I make while allowing my wife and kids to be in a movie? Hey, I love Paul Rudd as much as any bromance lovin’ girl, but at least have the funniest clip from the trailer actually in the movie! The part where Rudd’s character was teasing his daughter as she was Skyping with a boy made me want to see This is 40! They should have called it This is Disappointed.
Directed by Tom Hooper
HE SAW: France is dirty. And everyone in France had British or Australian accents before the Revolution. Really, it was a wonderful film. Visually stunning, it gave the story the feeling and mood it deserved. Anne Hathaway: Wow, what a great performance; same for Hugh Jackman. Yep, Catwoman and Wolverine sure were good! I think they cloned Dakota Fanning again, that little girl was spot on and Amanda Seyfried has a beautiful voice. The movie was just too long for me. There’s an intermission at the play, so that breaks it up, I guess. Maybe it was the smelly hippie sitting next to Toni, (maybe he was just French) or the couple having a sing-a-long next to me that made it seem long. It definitely made a case for a home theater in the future. If you go see this movie remember: a) Shower first, you’ll be glad when you see the shit bath that Hugh Jackman takes. b) People came to hear Wolverine sing, not you. Man, singing and shit baths, Hugh Jackman earned his money on this movie!
SHE SAW: First off, Anne Hathaway…not my favorite actress. But I have to admit, she was vulnerable and clearly very talented in Les Misérables. Same for Russell Crowe…not my favorite. But then Javert is supposed to be unlikeable; so, it worked for me. I really enjoyed that they sang live, it lent a believability to the movie. Those big voices usually found in the Broadway version may have been too big on the “big screen.” Sam is right though… sandwiched between a group of smelly young guys who grunted through the entire movie and ice-chewing wannabe Broadway stars isn’t really the way to spend an afternoon at the movies. Not even one as good as this.