I watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding the other day. I hadn’t seen it since it was in theaters back in 2002, but I wanted to cook gyros, so what choice did I have but to pair it with this movie? The movie was still good—John Corbett and Nia Vardalos’ chemistry as the two leads was still strong and the writing didn’t always fall to easy stereotyping. But, like almost all romantic comedies, it was easy and uncomplicated, a little too stupid for you to tell your friends to run out and rent it. Unless they have serious nostalgia for leftover ‘90s styling. Because then I’d recommend it to them for sure.
I went to see The Help last night. The movie is based on the incredibly popular book of the same name and stars every celebrity or familiar face I’ve ever seen. I’d heard quite a bit about the film’s potentially racist problems—that a white girl "saves" black maids from their plight—but aside from flashes of paternalism, the movie didn’t raise my hackles at all. In fact, Emma Stone surprised me with her acting chops (I hadn’t seen her in anything since Superbad!) and Viola Davis not so surprisingly stole the movie.
The Day of the Jackal was released, the story of one man attempting to assassinate French President Charles de Gaulle, and the international manhunt unleashed to stop him. Based on the success of the novel, a film adaptation was produced two years later. The tale of how a nameless assassin came within an inch of killing one of the most influential statesmen of the 20th century has left a permanent mark on spy thrillers and assassination movies since its 1973 release and is every bit as gripping and believable now as it was 38 years ago.
The Dude abides. And so do his many fans who seem to revere him for his striking ability to walk around town in little more than a bathrobe and slippers--we never get to see exactly what’s under his bathrobe--and drink White Russians.
For every three hundred movies or so that I moan and groan about not being good for little girls to see, about not having enough female lead characters, and about being misogynistic and generally awful, there is one that really delivers what I’m looking for. One such movie is the adorable children’s flick, Ramona and Beezus. (Warning: there are spoilers in this review!)
Some actors are so thoroughly likable that they draw good will just by being pleasant on screen. Paul Rudd is one such actor. He's handsome and talented, enough so to make it in Hollywood with any personality, but he's a constant critical favorite because he exudes a sense of humor and a love of entertaining that douses the cynicism of the movie business. This year, he's continuing his recent elevation to leading man status in Our Idiot Brother. If you've never witnessed Rudd's on-screen charm, here's a list of essentials from his 16 years in the the major motion picture business.
Only his second significant role, Paul Rudd played the comic and romantic foil to Alicia Silverstone's Austen-meets-Malibu lead in Clueless. In a movie that reveled in its alternating wit and silliness, Rudd stands out as the one grounding factor. He gives the audience a stand-in and he never attempts to upstage the more glamorous stars around him. That natural ease and willingness to bring his best to a supporting role would serve Rudd so well throughout the next decade of his career that it would land him on the A-list.
Wet Hot American Summer- 2001
Paul Rudd does wonderfully as a part of an ensemble, as evidenced later in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, but nowhere is his work as a part of a large, impressive cast more revered than the new cult classic, Wet Hot American Summer. It's a film that brings a non-traditional sensibility to the well-worn topics of 80's nostalgia, sex humor and the timelessness of adolescent awkwardness. Rudd plays against type as the prototypical jerk boyfriend, so that makes this role an essential if only to showcase his ability to be fun outside of his comfort zone.
Pixar has made a name for itself by crafting unique, touching and universally-appealing movies seemingly at will. It's nigh impossible to single any one Pixar presentation as encapsulating their true scope of success and craftsmanship, but 2008's WALL-E must certainly be one of the best representations of the magic - an overused term, but one very fitting here - that Pixar have made their own.
If you haven't seen the documentary Louder than a Bomb, you should. It's one of the best educational movies I've seen in a long time and can give us hope for education reform and in the next generation of high school students.
The Matrix, the question was whether reality, as we perceived it, was a computer program. Inception asked if everything we saw and felt was nothing more than a dream. In 2010, George Nolfi wrote, produced and directed The Adjustment Bureau, a theatrical adaption of "Adjustment Team", Philip K. Dick's short story, which asks a new question - what if our choices … aren't our choices?