Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Art & Copy: Creativity can solve anything

Art & Copy was a surprisingly funny and thought provoking documentary. This story tells of the big names in the advertising industry, everyone from Hal Riney to Mary Wells and Dan Wieden were interviewed and carefully researched by Director Doug Pray. Their stories were told through personal interviews and examples of their work that intertwined the round table discussions each commercial or print ad went through before hitting production.

Since I have a strong interest in advertising, I knew that I would enjoy this film and learn more about the history this industry has lead over the past 30 years. Yet, I had no idea that I would fall in love with most of the faces behind each of these great companies.

The honesty and wittiness of most of these guys was pretty remarkable and at times a bit shocking. I am so sad to know that Hal Riney died in the Spring of 2008. I would have loved to have had the chance to meet this man. His relaxed posture and at times goofy attitude had me laughing even when he wasn't saying anything.

I believe that Doug Pray really had the chance to see into the lives of the great ad people over the past 50 years and truly captured the genuine motivation behind most of their work. All in all a great documentary that allows you a backstage pass into the advertising industry.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Proposal

The Proposal was a surprisingly funny and great romantic comedy! Even though you think that the previews have given it all away, it hasn't. Once again, I went and saw this movie for my roommate's sake and was surprised when I was the one who was laughing the loudest(okay not that surprised).

Here's a short synopsis just in case you are one of the few that hasn't seen a preview yet. Margaret Tate, played by Sandra Bullock, is an editor-in-chief at a huge publishing company in New York. When her deportation is at stake she black mails her assistant Andrew, played by Ryan Reynolds, into marrying her. What would a romantic comedy be if he didn't agree, of course with a few conditions of his own. When the couple heads up to Alaska to see Andrew's family, the real story starts to unfold.

I am sure you are already predicting what is going to happen next, but if you can stop yourself. You will enjoy this movie more when you just let everything happen before you. The Paxton family is full of great actors that help support the quirky relationship Margaret and Andrew develop. There are amazing one liners from the ever so funny Ryan Reynolds and an almost Lucille Ball feel to Sandra Bullock's high strung, with an undertone of craziness, character.

You may want to wait and redbox this since it will soon be out of theaters, but be sure to put it on your list of movies to see.

The Ugly Truth

I'll be honest, I went to this movie only because my roommate wanted to see it. Usually I will see just about anything and love just about everything, so when I say I didn't like a movie I wouldn't take it very lightly. To make it short and sweet I am going to copy and paste my tweet review that I sent into the Chicago Redeye last Thursday.

The Ugly Truth is, the movie is terrible. It's more exciting to wait and see if Katherine Heigl shows up on this next season of Grey's.

Time Traveler's Wife

Bring your two best friends and a box of tissue's to go see this movie. You too fella's!

This romantic story tells of a Chicago librarian that suffers from a rare genetic disorder that sends him traveling through time; despite the fact that he vanishes frequently and at times lengthy intervals, he attempts to build a future with the woman he loves.

Last Spring the novel that this film was based off of was recommended to me by a good friend. When I picked up the 536 paged book, I figure this would last me until Summer. Needless to say after four days of kleenex and page turning I was finished. It was then that all I could dream of was Henry and his piles of vanishing clothes.

The anticipation I had for this movie was high and it seemed to deliver in every aspect. Even if you haven't read this book(by the way you should read this book) I feel that you will still really enjoy this movie and dig into the characters emotions right from the beginning.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Relationships are tricky for anyone to decipher, but throw in a character with Asperger's and it's a little more than tricky. Adam follows the relationship waters for the Adam (Hugh Dancy--hottie from Confessions of a Shop-a-holic), a 29 year-old who suffers from Asperger's (a form of autism). He may not have the social skills to strike up a conversation, but he knows everything about space and telescopes.

Enter the girl: Beth (Rose Byrne) from 3A. Adam doesn't divulge his disorder until after a few dates, so we see Beth deeply confused during the couple's first few interactions. The couple then starts to move through the treacherous waters of dating. It's easy to relate to as we've all been there where we look at someone and have no idea what's going on through their head or what they're feeling. It's just another day for Adam.

We see Adam's character grow and change throughout the film all because of Beth. Adam slowly begins to figure out how to be in this world and it's so uplifting to watch the transition. Favorite scene is the raccoon one in Central Park. I, like Beth, became more and more intrigued with each second that passed.

This film actually made me cry. Not sob, but definitely had a few tears roll down the cheek. It's so beautifully written and Dancy does a fantastic and completely believable job as an Aspie. He offers a glimpse into the life of this unknown lifestyle. He doesn't just show awareness, but also how to adapt to individuals who are just different.

I really enjoyed the character of Harlan (Frankie Faison). He reminded me of Fortune from Rudy- that older black man who befriends the outsider and imparts life wisdom. Harlan is an old friend of Adam's father and helps Adam navigate the world.

Found myself pausing at Clark/Diversey after leaving the theatre and staring up at the black sky. Saw a few twinklers and smiled. It's the little things that count in this world and all of us can relate to that.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Paper Heart

Is it a movie? Documentary? Rom Com? That's for the viewer to decide. My personal feel, a little of all.

In this film, we see Charlyne Yi begin a journey to discover what love is and whether or not everyone experiences it, because as of yet, she has not. She solicits advice from normal Americans from all across the country, children at a playground in Atlanta and her friends. It's very "When Harry Met Sally"-esque. And apparently, Charlyne has the best social circle as her friends include Demitri Martin, Seth Rogen and even that guy who played the elf Bernard in "The Santa Clause" (though his name is never revealed in the film or on the film credits...he's the host at the party Charlyne and Michael Cera meet at).

So we see Charlyne and Michael meet and eventually, fall in love. The beginnings of their relationship are all too true. Feeling the waters of a new relationship (whether pleutonic or romantic) is always tricky. And it's nice to see the awkwardness most of us tend to feel over the things we say portrayed in this film. Michael Cera plays himself, which is a lot like any other character he has ever played. If I wasn't so inlove with him, I would complain.

Note: If your name is Sali Sumer, you will fall more madly, deeply in love with Michael. Especially when you see what he wears at the bowling alley as I'm 100% positive that shirt (courtesy of a Mr. Grant) is hanging in your closet.

We see Charlyne deny her feelings for Michael and eventually succumb to them, which is what most of us in this world do anyways.

The paper scenes were a little much for me. And not needed. It was very Von Trapp like if the Von Trapp children were trapped in the STL's Laumier Sculpture Park Art Camp for a summer.

What I really loved in this film: the director/friend Nick played by Jake Johnson. He reminded me so much of my best pal in this world Jeremy (Jem). Jem, just like Nick in this film, is there to analyze all of my deepest darkest fears about boys, egg me on on what to do (which I usually do the opposite of) and help me see the errors of my ways (which he's always a little too eager to point out...). But it is because of Nick that Charlyne begins to sort out her feelings for Michael and act on them. Everyone in life deserves a Nick/Jem to help them sail the seas of love.

Don't see this film if you've recently broke up with someone or are in the on deck circle of a potential relationship.

Away We Go

If you're like most 20 somethings in the US, you love "The Office." While John Krasinski hasn't had all that much success with movies ("License to Wed"---ouch), he's stunning in this film. Yes, it is a little Jim-esque, but he has a beard and really doesn't hold back what he's feeling or saying. It's hippie Jim.

This movie is so much more than the leading characters Burt (Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph). This pair, in their 30s, are about to have a baby and live in a home with a cardboard window. As someone who's fearful of turning 30, it's good to know that not everyone out there as the maturity and financial stability of a 60-year-old couple. Some of us may still just be fuck ups.

The true essence from the film comes in the writing, direction and supporting cast. I didn't anticipate this movie to be as funny as it was. One of Sam and I's favorite scenes is this goodie too shoes little boy Verona and Burt come across while in Tucson. His line about babies is priceless and totally unexpected. Needless to say, Sam snorted. And some guy in the back row was in hysterics.

When you see Sam Mendes' other works (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road, Jarhead, Road to Perdition), you can't help but be amazed he was the man behind this film. It's such a spin from his previous credits. He makes it work, taking the viewer on a sporadic journey across the North America continent. His character development is awe-inspiring and you sit there wondering why this cast hasn't appeared together before.

The supporting cast....was just magnificent. I can't even decide who I liked better. Allison Janney had me laughing every time she opened her mouth. Think her Juno character, but pop in some PCP, Zanex and a swig of Everclear: that's her character Lily.

Maggie Gyllenhaal's portrayal of a hippie, earth loving, extremely liberal mother-rearing ways were hilarious. I'm fearful if any of my friends ever turn into that type of character. I doubt I could bite my tongue. Burt standing up to Maggie's husband at the dinner table is one of my favorite scenes.

Verona and Burt come across couples madly in love and those who are not. It's real in the sense every relationship and circumstance is different. Life isn't always hunky-dorie, but it's how you make the most of it that determines the joy and happiness.

Important to note: the soundtrack. Alexi Murdoch really delivers in this film. I don't think any other artisit out there (except for maybe Nick Drake) has the sounds to properly convey the messages behind this film.

There are few films Sam and I walk out of where we both totally feel the same way. But as of lately, cinematography has really stepped up its game and delivered some true wonders.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Funny People 8.5.09

Well if you have been reading our page for a while, it might be obvious that I would be waiting in line at midnight to see this movie. Unfortunately, it took some talking into of the bf to go and see it with me. After the four hour ordeal(we were early, so we spent some time in the arcade) I would have to say I'm not sure its worth making the trip to the theatre.

The previews did a little disservice to the film. I was hoping for some great classic lines, some heart strings being pulled and some great camio's. Even though the camio's were ridiculous, the classic lines were few a far between and the heart strings barely got pulled.

There were a few aspects of this movie that I really enjoyed. One was Seth Rogen's character, Ira. He was adorable as a struggling stand up comedian who sleeps on a pull out couch. Another was Jason Schwartzman. I am a huge fan anyways, but his protrail of a semi famous TV star was absolutely hysterical.

All and all I would wait to redbox this one.