Tuesday, February 22, 2011
I caught a few movies over the past Presidents Day weekend. I might write a little more about each of them, but for now I'll share some quick thoughts. And away we go...
Via Netflix, we watched New in Town, a 2009 romantic comedy starring Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick, Jr. She plays a tough corporate type who is sent to a small Minnesota town to whip a local manufacturing operation into shape (as well as to pare down its employment rolls) and he plays the local union rep who wants her to see the workers as people and not cost centers. Renee's and Harry's characters initially butt heads but then... well, do I have to tell you? Anyway, I found this to be an unremarkable but painless comedy, and I give it a soft recommendation for home viewing as long as no real cost or inconvenience is involved.
Duplicity, also released in 2009 and also finally caught by me via Netflix, stars Julia Roberts and Clive Owen as two industrial spies who are romantically involved. The gimmick here is that they often trust each other even less than the people they're spying on. Is their love the real thing or is one or both of them planning to betray the other for a big payday at the end of their latest caper? Watch this sharply written and stylishly shot film to find out. Kudos to writer/director Tony Gilroy (the man behind Michael Clayton) for a job well done.
Finally, in theaters, we saw The Fighter yesterday, the gritty, entertaining and true story of Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg), a boxer trying to make a success of himself while having to deal with competing forces among his family and friends, all of whom have varying ideas about which way his career should go. Things get even more complicated when Mickey hooks up with a sweet but headstrong girlfriend (Amy Adams) who, yes, has her own ideas for Mickey. Great acting all around, and a story that's both intimate and larger than life, combine to make this a winner. I can see why it recently received a Best Picture nomination.
That's it for now on the movie front. I hope to see both "127 Hours" and "True Grit" sometime before Sunday, if the theater times work out. That way I'll be able to say I've seen all ten movies nominated for Best Picture prior to the Oscar ceremony on February 27. That's something I shoot for every year but don't always attain. I'll keep you posted on my progress.