Thursday, April 23, 2009

State of Play

At the ripe age of 16, I was forced to sit, watch and write a review on All the President's Men. After this movie, I thought becoming a journalist would be the coolest thing in the world. You get to interview people with names like "Deep Throat", constantly be on your feet running from one lead to the next and get to break stories that would shape a nation.

State of Play is this century's All the President's Men. Yes, State is fictional, but it can't help but make you wonder/think/know that these kinds of things are going down on Capitol Hill.

If you aren't aware, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton were originally slated to fill the roles of Russell Crowe and Ben Affleck (respectively). Crowe plays the part of a reporter so well. Dingy apartment, eclectic clothing, followed by driving a car over a decade old and the whole scraggly beard thing. His dedication to the craft of investigative reporting is inspiring: a reporter's work is never done.

Enter Rachel McAdams. She plays the newspaper's savvy new blogger. Loved seeing the conflict, interaction and education going on between here and Crowe. I think any Generation Y-er out there will easily identify with her frustrations and lack of being taken seriously.

The paper they both work for is going down (hello, true story of today's world) and this story, uncovering the mystery of the death around one of Affleck's interns, will make or break the deal. The ending throws in another twist that even I had trouble wrapping my head around, but it's sure to leave you questioning/debating with audience members.

Stay for the credits. It's the best tribute to newspapers I've seen.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fast and Furious

Not be confused with The Fast and The Furious or Make it Fast, Make it Furious(my personal fav), the 2009 version is plainly Fast and Furious. Now I hate to admit this right off the bat, but I actually really like this film. Yes, of course there were moments when I was thinking "okay that line was ridiculous", but it was hard not to revert back to the original when I was a mere 15 yr old, thinking 1. Paul Walker is a hottie(yes I used the term hottie in HS) and 2. I want to have NOS in my car.

The team behind Fast and Furious were able to keep the same atmosphere from the original, but also able to make it a 2009 movie. No worries there are lots of half naked women and street racing cars in full throttle , but they incorporated some new technology with GPS systems that I thought was quite innovative.

They also decided to bring back four of the original characters. Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto(I prefer Dom), Paul Walker as Brian O'Conner(now an FBI agent), Michelle Rogriguez as Letty, Dom's bad ass girlfriend and of course Jordana Brewster as Mia Toretto.

Needless to say, after an accident happens Dom and O'Conner are forced to join forces in order to bring down a heroin importer by going undercover and becoming part of his operation. There is a nice twist at the end that kept me engaged in the action of the story.

All and all it was an entertaining film, that allowed me to reminisce about the good 'ol days of early high school. Although they did bring back the four original characters, Jesse was one of my favorites from the first film and I was hoping that he would have some sort of a camio in this one... no luck there.


From the Director of Superbad comes Adventureland, a comedy set in the summer of '87. This story is centered around its main character James Brennan trying to figure out what his next step is after college. When things don't seem to turn his way, he settles for a nowhere job at an amusement park, where he encounters a full array of locals as co-workers.

There were so many treats about this movie its hard not to gush it all. First up is Ryan Reynolds character Mike Connell(the repair man at the amusement park). When he tries to act 'above the crowd' by telling of his musician days, its hard not to see the past comedy of his work on Just Friends. Yet, as his character unfolds Reynold's does a surprisingly great job of letting the truth of Connel's sad life unravel before the audience.

Perhaps my new favorite upcoming star is Jesse Eisenberg, who plays the main character Brennan in this tale. He is a mix between Michael Cera and Andy Samberg, with his cute boyish personality, yet his comedic timing is none the less hilarious. You will have to see this movie to fully grasp his true potential (and don't forget to be looking out for his new movie The Education of Charlie Banks).

Other great actors that are a part of this film include Kristen Stewart of Twilight, Bill Hadar of Superbad, and Wendie Malick whom I love in Just Shoot Me.

To wrap it up, this movie is full of laughs and sad stories. I would recommend it to anyone who can appreciate awkward comedy.