Quick Commentary - Life As We Know It, Never Let Me Go, The Social Network

Monday, October 4, 2010

Life As We Know It - (Director Greg Berlanti) first off, why do they name movies after cliches? - Somethings Gotta Give, As Good As it Gets, Just Like Heaven. These kind of titles make the movie so ambiguous, you always have to say "Is that the one with...?"

This is the one with Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel taking on more than they bargained for when agreeing to be God parents to their best friend's little girl Sophie. There's nothing brilliant here, it's done exactly how you'd expect it to be; but it holds up better than a lot of romantic comedies. Technically, I don't feel this movie classifies as a romantic comedy, it should fall under the category of dramurous (dramatic humor). It's not that Heigl and Duhamel don't have chemistry, but it's not what holds the movie together, it's just part of the story package.

I saw Katherine Heigl on Regis & Kelly, she adopted her daughter, Naleigh at the same exact time this movie started shooting, so she was actually going through a lot of the same emotions as her character. Because of this, she considers Life As We Know It to be her best movie thus far. I've only seen Knocked Up and that movie is NOT funny to me, it's illogical and has some of the worst pacing and timing of any comedy I've ever seen. 27 Dresses, The Ugly Truth and Killers, could be cute renters, but I feel she's perfect for a TV sit-com; her expressive, animated features and lovable personality would translate so much better in a weekly half hour format. With the right vehicle, Heigl has the potential to be the next Mary Tyler Moore.

Never Let Me Go - (Directed by Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo)) SPOILER ALERT! If you haven't read anything about this film and don't want to know what it's really about, stop reading. I was glad I came to the film only knowing who was in it and nothing else. I never expected it to be a sci-fi flick! The style of the movie appears to be a coming of age story about three young friends, Kathy (Carey Mulligan) Tommy (Andrew Garfield) and Ruth (Keira Knightley) growing up in an English boarding school. Then little by little the true plot is revealed. These children are clones! They are being bred to be live organ donors. From that point you'd think the tone of the film would change, but it never does, the whole thing is handled with such genuine believability, you think, could this really happen?

The first scene in the movie has Kathy in a hospital saying she's a "carer", but I thought she was saying "carrier", and figured she had contracted AIDS, then she mentioned donors and I was mystified how someone with AIDS could be a donor. So the beginning of the film didn't clue me in at all. This role is a good fit for Mulligan's quiet strength and independent maturity. Knightley truthfully conveys someone desperate to create love during her short life span. Garfield, who plays a heart wrenching, too sweet imbecile in this film, must be loving his career path, as he's also in The Social Network as facebook co-founder, Eduardo Saverin, and slated to be the next Spiderman.

Two questions: 1) No one stopped the clones from having sex, what if one had gotten pregnant? That would make for a very inferior specimen, would the child have been removed from the clone parents and killed? 2) The clones seemed to have every emotion and intelligence as real human beings, except the notion to just run away. I didn't feel like the regimen at the school was strict enough to kill all instinct of freedom.

To read a truly insightful review from an excellent writer who has also read the book, visit Rotten Tomatoes reviewer - MovieMaster12

The Social Network - (Director David Fincher (Fight Club, Benjamin Button)) It's got the makings of an Oscar contending film. Jesse Eisenberg's robotic, almost autistic portrayal of facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg is bound to earn him a "best actor" nomination. I also really hope Aaron Sorkin is nominated for his fast, quick witted dialogue and accessible, interesting storytelling. Whenever revealing a story based on true events, a lot of embellishments are added, but this feels truthful, unlike The Runaways, which has a lot of contrived "putting the band together" sequence of events. And, unlike Money Never Sleeps, where Stone's script aims to show just how tuned in he is to the financial market. Sorkin's script allows the litigation details, even the programming jargon, to acts as nuances. The word play in the opening scene where Zuckerberg and his girlfriend break up, is pure good writing inspiration!

I had never heard before that the guy who invented Napster wheedle his way into getting creator shares in facebook. But I love that they got a musician, played expertly by Justin Timberlake, to play the person who caused such upheaval in the music industry. And those Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer) make for one perfect, stereotypical, Harvard privileged character(s). One of my favorite parts of the movie is when Saverin (Andrew Garfield) tells his psycho girlfriend, Christy (Brenda Song) he doesn't know how to change the relationship status on his fb page- LMAO. When I got home I did check to see if I had filled in that page. I had, but I'm open to a status update!


Makavetis October 5, 2010 at 12:03 AM  

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Thank you

Alejandra December 12, 2010 at 3:49 PM  

About Never let me go: In the book, the kids are told while still at Hailsham that they can't have kids. They're all sterile.

And, about running away, Kazuo Ishiguro explains that he wanted to represent how humans, in real life, rarely ever run away. They stick with what they have and go no further, trting to make the best of it.


tinseltine.com December 13, 2010 at 10:36 AM  

Hi Alejandra,

Thanks for responding to my queries. Very helpful comments!

I think this sterility info should have been mentioned in the movie, somewhere, even if it wasn't until after they left Hailsham. This condition reveals another aspect of their in-humanness.

I also would have enjoyed the story more if Ishiguro recognized that there is always one who breaks away from the pack and doesn't just accept their circumstances. It's what makes life so unexpected.

tinseltine.com February 19, 2011 at 8:39 PM  

From my Google Analytics I know I average (per month)over 800 visitors, and of that 300 returning. Thank you for visiting Tinsel & Tine, especially the return readers! However, can I ask why I so seldom get comments?

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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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