Tag Archives: movie premise

A+ I

The media has been talking so much lately about the movies that are really bad (Hot Pursuit, Paul Blart 2) that we haven’t heard nearly enough about the great ones.

Like Ex Machina.

Ex-Machina-cast-bannerSci fi? Yes.

But it’s so much more. And I challenge any of you who may have dismissed its AI premise to give it another look.

For one, the performances are stellar. Alicia Vikander as the robot Ava is stunning. You can completely understand why Caleb, played by the equally compelling Domhnall Gleeson, is so taken with her, because you are, too. (And does anyone remember that the two were also romantically paired in the wonderful Anna Karenina? #PointsMe)

Oscar Isaac is also the most wonderful kinda crazy as Ava’s inventor.  “Isn’t it strange,” Ava asks him, “to create something that hates you?”

The cat and mouse game in this movie is wonderful. The film is filled with monsters, and it won’t be too long before you don’t know which is which. You’ll leave the theater talking about this film long afterwards.

For the right reasons.

A weekend in the country

Oh, Austenland — I wanted to love you.

austenlandYou had it all.

A costume drama dressed up as romcom. Subject matter I enjoy ever so much. And a cast with the chops to make movie magic.  So what went wrong?

I blame the director.

The premise was great fun — a Jane Austen addict on a total immersion vacation — and it’s not like everything missed the mark.  But some of the actors were doing slapstick and others were letting the humor happen more naturally.

And in the same scenes, that difference was rather jarring.

austenland martin nobelyI did develop a crush or two — on JJ Feild, who portrayed Mr. Henry Nobely (right), and Bret McKenzie as the estate worker Martin (and who you may recognize from Flight of the Conchords).

So, while the movie did not win my heart like a Sense and Sensibility or Pride and Prejudice, the men did.

Time well spent.

Use your words

When the first trailer for “Dinner for Schmucks” popped up in theaters, I thought the premise was ridiculous.

A guy can only get promoted if he brings the biggest idiot to a secret corporate dinner?  I mean, seriously — what were they smoking at the pitch for that movie?

But then,  they assembled a dream cast.  Paul Ruud. Steve Carell. Zach Galifianakis.  And the clips look pretty hilarious.

I’ll bite.

But before I go to the movie this weekend, at least one of the morning or late night talk hosts promoting the film this week has to get the name right.

It’s “Dinner for Schmucks.”  Not Smucks.  Or Shucks.  Or whatever the heck it is you guys are saying.

It’s schmucks.

Hearing everyone mispronounce this very common Yiddish insult is driving me insane.  Is it a network conspiracy?  Like the new show “—- My Dad Says” based on the Twitter account, where they have replaced the very common curse word with hash marks.

Is “schmuck” such a bad word that everyone has agreed to say it wrong?  That’s even more ridiculous than the plot of the movie!

And it makes me want to go see it even more.