Trouble With the Curve

Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams star in a picture about an aging father who’s having difficulties with his job, and has never connected well with his daughter. Together they try to work out their issues, scout a highly touted baseball prospect, and navigate her issues with work and romance.

It’s a lot of ground to cover, and the movie isn’t able to avoid the temptation to utilize simple solutions and pat resolutions. But the considerable charms of the cast make “Trouble With the Curve” a mildly enjoyable, if ultimately forgettable experience.

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The 2012 Fall Movie Preview – Part I

With this weekend’s release of “The Expendables 2″ and “ParaNorman”, the summer movie season is pretty much over. One weekend remains in August, and those movies wont have much room to run before school is back in session.

Nope, the season of the big blockbuster is behind us. It’s time to look ahead to the fall.

Not to despair, though, the fall brings sharp movies for the thinking movie fan. Movies which may have more selective box office appeal, but which may be some of the best movies all year.

So click through to take a look at the first part of this year’s fall preview. Today we’ll look at the last week of August, plus September, and then we’ll come back tomorrow with October and the first week of November. Together they’ll take us right up to the start of the Holiday movie season, and the November 9th release of Skyfall!

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Now Showing On Cable: “In Time”

Making its debut last weekend on HBO was 2011’s “In Time”, directed by Andrew Niccol, and starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried.

“In Time” is a Sci-Fi thriller with an intriguing premise. In the future, people are genetically engineered to stop aging physically at age 25, but are given artificial expiration dates thereafter. Thus, even though they stay young, they’re not allowed to live unless they keep working, and even then they only extend their time (and lives) in mild increments. Time (tracked on a green counter on your arm) can be earned and spent like money, but when your time runs out, your time is up. The poor are forced to labor and scurry in order to stay alive, while the rich stay safe and secure, protecting their immortality.

The premise sets up a thematically fertile framework. Inequality of wealth, immortality, police states, genetic engineering…

The question for “In Time” is, can it make the most of its potential?

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Now Showing on Cable: “Friends with Benefits”

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“Friends with Benefits” premiered this weekend on Starz. It’s last year’s romantic/sex comedy starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake.

Kunis plays a professional head-hunter who successfully recruits a web editor (Justin Timberlake) for GQ magazine. As she’s the only person he knows in New York, the two stay connected even after the employment contract is finalized.

Each of them have recently experienced romantic difficulties and both are frustrated with the very concept of romance. Yet they both still pine for sex…

Whatsoever shall they do?

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Bad Teacher

I have a problem when it comes to watching movies, sometimes. A lot of times, see, I just can’t watch a movie for what it IS without getting caught up in thinking what it could’ve been. Or should’ve been. Perhaps it’s the repressed directorial fantasies I harbor. LOL. Regardless, when I come across a movie like “Bad Teacher” I can’t help getting fixated on “Why didn’t they just”s…

I mean, it’s got a great premise, really, doesn’t it? I can totally imagine the pitch meeting… “Alright, are you ready for this?? Baaad Teeacher!! Huh? Huh?” And I’m in, you know, green light! ‘Cause it sounds fun. Comedy potential galore. There’s certainly enough talent on board, and you’re not going to have any trouble filling the trailer with jokes, so lets do this thing!

And some of that makes its way to the screen, sure. Diaz shows movies in class all day every day and sleeps through them. She openly mocks some of her students, drinks during class, and gets high in the parking lot. Only somewhere along the way, “Bad Teacher” becomes “Bad Co-Worker”. I think in the end, the ratio of time shown with Diaz’s character (Jesus, I just came from the movie and I can’t remember her name. LOL. I could lie right here and look it up, but isn’t it more telling that I can’t even remember the lead characters name 20 minutes after watching the freaking movie?) teaching vs dealing with her fellow teachers and her principal is like, 5 to 1 in the wrong direction. I went in wanting to see the anti “Stand and Deliver”, you know? School of Rock, except the teacher doesn’t give a crap! I asked myself at one point, didn’t anybody involved in this movie ever see “The Bad News Bears”? Just bring it inside for Christ’s sakes! 

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