April 2009

State of Play

by Alan Rapp on April 17, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: State of Play
  • IMDB: link

state-of-play-posterState of Play is an ambitious project which, at times, gets away from director Kevin Macdonald. The script was worked on by the men who gave us Michael Clayton, Lions for Lambs, and Flightplan. And, for better or worse, you can see each writer’s stamp on the film, meaning at times it becomes both too preachy and too focused on “getting us” with unexpected twists. To be fair, many aspects of the film work well and it’s an enjoyable, and even somewhat smart, thriller which has something to say about the state of both journalism and politics.

Cal McAffey (Russell Crowe) is a reporter’s reporter, that dying breed your more likely to find in a movie like this than an actual newspaper office, at least these days. He’s a throwback, the last of the old guard focused on finding the truth of a story and bringing it into light. His stark worldview is encroached on by a sassy young blogger (Rachel McAdams) who can put out several tasty tidbits a day, an editor (Helen Mirren) pressured to make the paper more commercially viable, and a breaking scandal involving the death of an assistant to a golden boy politician (Ben Affleck) who just happens to be Cal’s former college roommate.

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Adventureland

by Alan Rapp on April 3, 2009

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Adventureland
  • IMDB: link

If you’ve seen the trailer and commercials for Adventureland you may very well walk in expecting something like Superbad. Although the film contains some similar humor there’s so much more worth savoring including great moments, both large and small, and the type of love story women will enjoy and guys won’t need to be shackled to the seat to watch. After a single viewing I’m not prepared to call Adventureland a great film, but it is a damn good movie with a little something for everyone.

Jesse Eisengerg (think a less twitchy Michael Cera) stars as James Brennan who is forced to take a job at a local amusement park when his summer plans fall through.

As you would expect the park is filled with characters including his cock-punching best friend from kindergarten (Matt Bush), the sardonic Joel (Martin Starr), the cool older dude (Ryan Reynolds), the beautiful aloof dancer (Margarita Levieva), the wacky couple who run the joint (Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig), and, most importantly, the enchanting yet troubled Em (Kristen Stewart).

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