Inside Job

Begs the question – where is Jesus during all this? Millions of jobs evaporated. Thousands made homeless overnight. Pensions stolen. The highest order of academia infiltrated by self-interested consultants. Global financial Armageddon. Only the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have seen it fit to rain down billions of dollars in bonuses to the highest paid 1% on their way to scour the powerless and the meek with fire, brimstone, unemployment, depression, homelessness, no insurance, no health care, and a double-dose of voicelessness. If there is a Jesus it would be excruciatingly difficult for him to comprehend the complexity of today’s financial system. You would have to get him up to speed on a lot of things. Such as what a computer is and why there are no more slaves.

Inside Job does an admirable job (for myself, the layman with literally no money possessed to be at stake) mapping out the failings of the Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush pt II, and Obama administrations to understand or regulate the financial system. It becomes quickly clear finance in the US is one roided-out bully that effectively pushes government around. When massive companies such as Goldman Sachs or AIG aren’t telling government to shut up – they’re telling government to pay up.

But one problem with Inside Job – after identifying a slew of problems – why do you offer no solutions? What am I supposed to do with all my anger? Should I march on Washington? Should I be robbing these CEOs and distributing their wealth in tent cities across America? With a problem as deep-seeded and wide-spread occurs, the best solution may be to move to Canada. Jesus seems like an immobile choice for rescue . . . $8

Christopher Guest’s For Your Consideration

After finding out that Christopher Guest had a new film out with the same cast as he always does (how the hell did I miss that he had a movie out after A Mighty Wind?!) I hurriedly moved it up to 1st in my queue in Netflix.  Another movie with Catherine O’Hara and John Krasinski?  What joy! What bliss! I love them both.  I did a little research before because I thought it was weird this movie had been released in 2006 and I had never heard of it.  hm. 10M dollar budget?  hm. only 6M in box office world wide. not a good sign.

And found out afterwards I should have followed my gut instinct that there was something a little off about this film.  This movie falls far short of expectations.  Granted I have high expectations because Christopher Guest is brilliant and hilarious, and his acting honestly was pretty great.  I can never figure out until I’ve been staring at him for like 10 minutes which guy is Christopher Guest, he changes so dramatically from film to film.  But the rest of the plot was long and boring, with the key characters not as exaggerated or developed as in his other films.  I mean, waiting for guffman, I loved all the characters, their weird quirks…these same actors in this movie I just thought were kind of annoying and disappointing.  In the end, though there were a couple of funny parts to it (I mean, you still can’t erase the fact that you do have Jane Lynch, Eugene Levy and Rick Gervais in the film) my brother and I both agreed this was not really worth money to see it in the movie theater or at home, it’s just kind of a long, boring, seemingly endless waste of time…$1

If you heart For Your Consideration:

Recommendations from …:
Waiting for Guffman
Bullets over Broadway
A Mighty Wind

Away we go

I had a hard time writing this review. I don’t really have anything to say about this movie.  It’s kind of like a pregnant version of Garden State, with not-quite-as-likeable characters.  Speaking of Garden State, does Dax Shepard from Parenthood (possibly better known from Punk’d) remind anyone of Zach Braff?  Maybe it’s just me.  Back to the matter at hand…

I mean, I love John Krasinski, so of course I thought he was likeable, but far more likeable in the office.  The girlfriend, played by Maya Randolph, bordered somewhat irritating.  not quite irritating, but almost.  It had quick, fast, witty dialogue, as you might except from David Eggers and his wife, who co-wrote the screenplay, was amusing, entertaining and passed the time, but besides that was kinda bleh.  Forgettable and unmemorable, except in the fact that it inspired me to write my own movie about an early 30 something that travels around the country like a vagabond, searching for the perfect place to live, we’ll see how that turns out.  In essence, it was not bad, but not great.

 

I wanted to write a review about this movie because I had such high hopes for it.  It has a kinda indie flavor, fun actors, is about travel so i thought I’d really like this.  Redeeming factors, besides John Krasinski was a hilarious Maggie Gyllenhaal and Allison Janney.  I also happen to love Catherine O’Hara so it was nice to see her in a toned down version of her much reprised slightly offbeat and cooky mother figure.  It was sweet, and was fine, but fell short of expectations…$4

If you heart Away we go:

Recommendations from …:
Garden State
Wristcutters
Juno

War Dance

War Dance is a heart-rending, yet uplifting documentary that follows the lives of three children of war in northern Uganda, subjected to the types of horrors most people only read about.  Caught between the Ugandan government and the rebel force, the Lord’s Resistance Army, this is a very human look into how they have tried to move on with the lives in the midst of a war zone.  The school they attend, Patonga, unexpectedly wins the regional music competition, allowing for the children to compete in Kampala at the nation-wide tournament.  It has all the ingredients of a great film; incredible adorable and lovable children who are so courageous and strong despite their terrible experiences, a passion for something that transcends all else, in this case dance, and a competition that will have the audience on anxiously hoping for a win; but in a real documentary, not a piece of made up fiction.

I don’t think anything in the story will surprise you, after all, we have heard of child warriors in other movies, heard generally about the civil wars and injustices in Africa, but this movie does a very good job at portraying specific children who you can already tell have certain special gifts or talents who will be leaders in their community, who spur you to want to do something about it but also leave you feeling hopeful for their future.  It will invigorate you, excite you, and ultimately inspire you.  I highly recommend this movie…$11

If you heart War Dance:

Recommendations from …:
Rize
Bring it On
Born into Brothels
Blood Diamond



Let the Right One In

Halloween time is a time for horror movies, and what better movie to watch for these scary dark times than Let the Right One in (also known as Let Me In), a slightly tweaked take in the traditional vampiric tale.  I must admit, I’m a bit of a vampire dork.  I read Vampire Diaries as a teen, devoured all the Anne Rice novels, read Dracula probably about 10 times, and waiting in line impatiently as my mom bought my tickets for the rated R Dracula when it came out (I was too young at the time to buy my own tickets).  So for me, this is definitely a refreshing departure from those sickeningly sweet, mindless vampire shows/movies that are out these days.

This is a story about a blond 12 year old Swedish boy, Oskar, who is bullied at school, an outcast among his peers, who finds an accepting heart in that of a centuries old sweet looking vampire girl, Eli, who lives next door.  Little does he know that she is quite different from other people; to him, she just smells kinda funny (which she is curiously extremely self-conscious about), only comes out at night, doesn’t go to school, but later finds out what she really is, but doesn’t seem to mind.   He knows intrinsically that she wouldn’t hurt him.

You start rooting for him, since he’s the poor chump who’s getting bullied all the time for being a weird little kid, and really, it’s a good thing that he makes nice with the vampire girl cuz he gets whaled on at school, and finally his bullies get their due, and a bit more, when his vampire girlfriend takes vengeance.  It’s a sweet love story in its own way, with plenty of haunting/gory moments (after all the girl’s head does semi-explode into blood), that’s enjoyable for a late night showing…$6

If you heart Let the Right One In:

Recommendations from …:

Vampire Hunter Miyo
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Interview with a Vampire

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