Posted by: David Stewart | June 2, 2011

May 2011 Movie Quick Takes

A long international flight gives me the chance to catch up on recent movies before they hit NetFlix availability. It’s  like being locked as a prisoner in the dollar movie theater for a day.

The Fighter – Amy Adams hit my awareness in Enchanted where she perfectly portrayed a Disney princess in living form. Here she shows her raw edge as the girlfriend of of a boxer (Marky Mark Wahlberg) so tied up with his overbearing family that he can’t succeed. It’s as much about how she fights for him as pugilism. It’s a hard movie to watch, given the drug themes and hard language. It’s a terrific movie about how family sometimes enables, sometimes inhibits as it tries to help.

The Dilemma – Best buddies Ronny and Nick are fighting for their company to succeed, but Ronny sees Nick’s wife macking on another guy. Director Ron Howard didn’t keep me totally awake through the middle parts of the movie, but he loads up multiple layers of moral paradox and mistaken assumptions until everything breaks apart, as it must. I thought this was a sad movie, in part because of Ronny’s inability to confide in the woman in his own life, played by Jennifer Connelly. Stupid and sad.

No Strings Attached – Yeah, we’re living in the worst of times. It’s a reverse rom-com, where the formula of the emotionally constipated man who can’t commit and only wants sex is transmuted into Natalie Portman. There’s even the climactic drive to stop the other from leaving, to complete the equation. I can’t understand why Portman wastes her time and effort on vehicles like Thor, Your Highness and this drivel. Cary Elwes hides his famous face behind whiskers and barely utters any lines. Kevin Kline is going for the creepy old guy. Yuck.


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