Valentine’s Day

Win a Date with Tad Hamilton

by Alan Rapp on February 10, 2011

in DVD Reviews , Theme Week

  • Title: Win a Date with Tad Hamilton
  • IMDB: link

“Sometimes Goliath kicks the shit out of David.  It’s just nobody bothers to tell that story.”

win-a-date-with-tad-hamilton-posterYeah, it’s a simple love story.  Boy loves girl.  Girl falls for more accomplished boy.  A more modern take on the Bye, Bye Birdie story is so delightful that I actually prefer it to the original play and its other film versions.  In in the hands of director Robert Luketic and screenwriter Victor Levin such a predictable story is given class and charm up the whazoo.  And so what we get is a well told and engaging story about great love that changes your life.

Sweet down home Rosalee Futch (Kate Bosworth) works at the Piggy Wiggly with her “Pete friend” (Topher Grace) and her “Cathy friend” (Ginnifer Goodwin).  The three musketeers work together and hang out at the local pub where the bartender (Kathryn Hahn) has made her feelings about Pete a little too clear.  Pete however has been harboring feelings for Rosalee for years and thinks he is finally ready to admit his love.  In a comedy this is where something usually goes amiss.

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Definitely, Maybe

by Alan Rapp on February 10, 2011

in Movie Reviews , Theme Week

  • Title: Definitely, Maybe
  • IMDB: link

“I’m going to tell you the story and I’m changing all the names, and I’m not telling you who your Mom is.”
“I like it; it’s like a love story mystery”

definitely-maybe-posterOkay, here’s where I usually blast contrived romantic comedies like this one.  And although Definitely, Maybe does fall into that category the level of talent involved and the sheer joy of the tale make it a far more enjoyable experience than it has any right to be.

On the eve of his divorce Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds) tries to explain love and relationships to his precocious daughter Maya (Abigail Breslin).

Will recounts a bedtime story of his relationships with three women (Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher, Rachel Weisz), one of which is Maya’s mother.  Changing names and small facts Maya analyzes her father’s romantic history and tries to guess the identity of her mother, and try to figure out just what’s wrong with her father.

With a premise like that I thought I might be pulling my hair out by the time the film moved into the second act, but although the story is a tad contrived (and at times just too cute for words) it’s balanced by a darn good cast and Reynolds’ ability to find chemistry with each of his leading ladies.

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“Lake” Love Story Satisfies

by Ian T. McFarland on February 10, 2011

in Movie Reviews , Theme Week

  • Title: The Lake House
  • IMDB: link

the-lake-house-posterI’m not sure if America needed to revisit the casting of Speed in the form of a romance-heavy romantic comedy, but nevertheless The Lake House is at your local cineplex.  And even though the commercials showcase a plot so ridiculous only Uwe Boll wouldn’t question it, the film is able to win over the female demographic with ease.  Even if they have a hard time admitting enjoying a chick flick, the guys just might find themselves rooting for a final scene shows Neo and Ms. Congeniality locking lips.

As the film begins, we meet Sandra Bullock moving out into the city, lonely with no one to talk to except her dog.  She might be cute if she weren’t dull, depressing, dead inside . . . but enough with the alliteration.

We also see Keanu Reeves moving into the same lake house Bullock just left, carrying baggage like clothes, furniture and a complicated relationship with his father (Christopher Plummer) that will eventually flesh itself out.

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Independently In Love

by December Lambeth on February 10, 2011

in Theme Week, Top Tens & Lists

Independent films shows the nitty gritty of love, life and sorrow, sometimes they add a bit of happiness. No camouflage here, just cold hard facts, bad hair, no make-up, sweat and dirt. Love making looks real not all pretty and fluffy like you can hit the hole every time, nope with Indie Films there are as many misses as hits. If you are on a neurotic sad Valentine’s night trip, be sure to buy extra ice cream and bring a spoon with these little gems.

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The Man with One Red Shoe

by Alan Rapp on February 9, 2011

in DVD Reviews , Theme Week

  • Title: The Man with One Red Shoe
  • IMDB: link

man-with-one-red-shoe-posterI have a confession to make; my favorite Tom Hanks movie isn’t Forrest Gump, Big, Philadelphia, Apollo 13, The Terminal, Splash, or Sleepless in Seattle.  My favorite Hanks film is 1985’s The Man with One Red Shoe.  Now, I’d never argue it’s his best movie, but for my money its sheer enjoyment value is off the charts. A great farce, fun suspense, Jim Belushi losing his mind, Carrie Fisher in a leopard print bikini, and an off-beat love story make this a great addition to anyone’s DVD collection.

Richard Drew (Tom Hanks) is a concert violinist who is sleeping with his best friend Morris’s (Jim Belushi) wife Paula (Carrie Fisher).  Richard leads a boring life of concerts and violin lessons. 

That’s all about to change as CIA director Ross (Charles Durning) sets up a trap to catch the illegal operations of a competing CIA boss Cooper (Dabney Coleman).  Ross plants a fake story about having a witness to Cooper’s activities and sends his top man Brown (Edward Herrmann) to pick a man at random realizing that Cooper will take a run at him and then they will have him. 

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Garden State

by Alan Rapp on February 9, 2011

in DVD Reviews , Theme Week

  • Title: Garden State
  • IMDB: link

garden-state-dvdGarden State is one of those films I missed in the theaters and hunted down on DVD after a number of people had recommended it to me. I’m so glad I did! Zach Braff’s first time as writer/director produces a truly great romantic comedy with a heart bigger than even an infinite abyss.

Andrew Largeman (Zach Braff) leaves his struggling acting career and returns home for the first time in nine years to attend his mother’s funeral.  Andrew is disconnected from his family, and life in general, through a variety of medications that create an overall malaise.  The death of his mother and his return home begin a series of events that allow Andrew to reexamine his life and start to live again.

On his return to New Jersey Andrew meets up with old friends Mark (Peter Sarsgaard) and Jesse (Armando Riesco) and has an unexpected encounter at the doctor’s office where he meets Sam (Natalie Portman). 

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My First Wedding

by Alan Rapp on February 9, 2011

in Movie Reviews , Theme Week

  • Title: My First Wedding
  • IMDB: link

my-first-weddingMy First Wedding is a study in contradictions.  It’s a story of a shameless guy who pretends to be a priest to get a girl into bed, and it’s a sweet love story.  It has a manic comedic energy but delivers some quiet truths about fears, relationships, and love.  It’s a look at how we want the people we love to be honest with us, though not all lies are bad, and how all of us just want someone who loves us so completely they would be willing to do anything, no matter how outrageous, to win out hearts.

Vanessa (Rachael Leigh Cook) is about to be married to an extremely nice and wealthy man, (Paul Hopkins), but she has a problem.  Unable to deal with the lustful thoughts of other men she ducks into a confessional and confesses to whom she thinks is a priest.  The problem is the man she confesses to, Nick (Kenny Doughty), is only a carpenter.  Let the farce commence.

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The International Language of Love

by December Lambeth on February 9, 2011

in Theme Week, Top Tens & Lists

Don’t you just love crazy foreign romance films? They can really get your blood boiling and heart pumping with their sexy love scenes, beautiful actors with all their accents and breath taking landscapes. Most foreign films are no holds bar; they let all the dirty bits hang out and not always in the most tasteful way. If you want to get your sweetheart in the mood, then these are the films to see on Valentine’s Day.

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Barebreast Mountain

by Alan Rapp on February 9, 2011

in Movie Reviews , Theme Week

  • Title: Imagine Me & You
  • IMDB: link

imagine-me-and-you-posterImagine Me & You is an interesting film.  It’s a love story without almost any heat or sex.  Instead it focuses on the romantic and emotional type of love.  Can a film like this work?  Well, kinda’.  Rated R because of the subject of lesbian romance, the film probably should have earned a PG rating as it’s good fun for the whole (liberal) family.

On the day of her wedding to Heck (Matthew Goode) Rachel (Piper Perabo) meets Luce (Lena Headey) the florist hired for her wedding.  Rachel feels an instant connection to Luce and something more.  Finding out later that Luce is gay makes Rachel weigh instant attraction and chemistry against her marriage, friendship and commitment to her husband.

Truthfully we’ve already seen the “you can’t help who you fall in love with” film done many times and just recently with a gay slant (Brokeback Mountain).  This film doesn’t really add anything new to the equation and the tone and pace of the movie is uneven as hell. 

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Finally, a Real Love Story!

by Alan Rapp on February 9, 2011

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Lars and the Real Girl
  • IMDB: link

“The search for true love begins outside the box.”

Hollywood loves contrived love stories with insane stipulations and “humorous” misunderstandings.  Well I’ve got a little love story for you that knocks off the conventions of today’s chick flicks and presents an engaging, sweet, and enduring love story (between a man and his sex doll no less!).

Karin (Emily Mortimer) and Gus (Paul Schneider) are expecting a new baby, but the person Karin is most concerned with is Gus’s shy and awkward younger brother Lars (Ryan Gosling) who keeps everyone at arms length and seems to have trouble with intimacy and with social gatherings.  And who is terribly lonely, whether he admits it or not.

Out of the blue Lars announces he has met a girl on the Internet who has come to visit.  Bianca is a beautiful, smart, and kind paralyzed Danish-Brazilian missionary.  She’s also a Real Doll (a lifelike and anatomically correct sex doll made of silicone) who Lars bought online.  Now, given the state of gross-out humor popular today, you might think you know where the film is going, but you would be wrong.

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