IT’S COMPLICATED: Rating – 7
We must have seen the previews a half dozen times. That ruined the experience, because we had already seen too many of the comedy scenes. It was like hearing an old joke knowing the punch line in advance.
Nevertheless, while it isn’t going to win any awards, it’s a feel-good movie with a lot of good humor, the kind you walk out smiling all the way to the parking lot. Meryl Streep plays a long divorced mom with three grown kids when her ex-husband (Alec Baldwin), now married to a younger chick, suddenly appears back in her life. Streep finds herself having a good time affair with her ex and proudly tells her friends she’s a bit of a slut.
Meanwhile, the architect (Steve Martin) who is remodeling her house presents romantic complications. Some of the scenes are a howl. The funniest of them all, is Streep. Baldwin was never among my favorites, and still isn’t.
UP IN THE AIR : Rating – 8
This film has received rave reviews from all sides. It’s deserving of good reviews, but I don’t see it as an Oscar contender. George Clooney does a credible job playing a handsome frequent flying playboy who makes a living by firing people from their jobs in all corners of the globe. (Honest) Clooney has been touted as a possible nominee, but I don’t see it. He’s the same Clooney that plays in all his movies, same gait, same talk, same expressions, same speech. He is one of the least versatile actors in Hollywood.
Clooney’s character runs into another woman during his travels who is as uninhibited as he, non-pretentious, and fun loving…no strings attached, wonderfully played by Vera Farmiga, who should emerge one day as a an acting rival to Meryl Streep. I found myself glued to her character. Clooney and she become closer than they had counted on which leads to a most unexpected ending.
The movie has plenty of subtle messages and advice about relationships. Good movie. Worth the price of a ticket.
SHERLOCK HOLMES Rating 3
I’m one of those people who want to see the depiction of a well-known person fit the character. Sherlock Holmes, albeit a fictional detective, is a character supposedly steeped in dignity, methodical to a fault, sober, and a lover of the violin. Robert Downey’s portrayal is none of that. Rather it’s like watching a strung-out coke head trying to play Perry Mason, or Chris Rock as a rapper, portraying the Lone Ranger. There’s no fit.
Add in the ingredients of gratuitous violence, fight after fight, explosion after explosion, constant stupidity replete with implausibilities, the movie was more annoying than entertaining. The woman says she brought the walnuts from Syria and Jordan. There were no such countries as Syria and Jordan in the late 19th Century, the setting for this movie. In a harrowing chase scene on foot under building tunnels starting from the Parliament building, the Holmes character and the girl come out…voila … at London Tower Bridge, which is nowhere near Parliament.
Downey’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes was like watching Spiderman playing Perry Mason.
But, if you like dumb fights, dumb explosions, a herky jerky camera and poor acting, this is the movie to see.