"Of all noises, I think music is the least disagreeable" - Samuel Johnson
11. Write about Love - Belle and Sebastian
3. Goodbye, Killer - Pernice Brothers
1. High Violet - The National
The Switch isn’t much more than your typical Hollywood rom-com but it does have a couple things in its favor: the always attractive (no matter how bad the film is) Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman who makes any film he’s in better.
In The Switch Wally (Bateman) and Kassie (Aniston) are bff’s and of course Wally is in love with Kassie and Kassie is oblivious to this...or so it seems. After a few colossal screw-ups by Wally he realizes he’s in love and has to win her back. Sound familar? Yeah, it's the same old same old plot line. But The Switch still manges to entertain due in large part to Bateman.
Loosely based on a short story called "Baster" by Jeffrey Eugenides the film also features nice supporting roles by Juliette Lewis, Patrick Wilson and Jeff Goldblum.
Juliana Hatfield was buzzworthy in the early nineties. Her first solo album, Hey Babe, was one of the top selling indie albums of 1992 and the follow-up one year later, Become What You Are, spawned two successful singles - "My Sister" and "Spin the Bottle".
These days Hatfield is less popular but just as relevant. As a fan of her music I enjoyed the insight into her rocknroll fantasy and sequential reality. In this memoir she tends to get a little bogged down in mundane details and I would've preferred more about the albums/songs. Nevertheless it's still an interesting glimpse into the life and pressures of an indie rock musician who was once the "next big thing".
1. Atlanta 11-5
2. New Orleans 10-6 *
3. Carolina 8-8
4. Tampa Bay 5-11
Singletary gets it done in a competitive but woeful NFC West.
1. San Fran 9-7
2. Seattle 7-9
3. Arizona 7-9
4. St. Louis 4-12
The things I liked most about Elizabeth Gilbert's 2006 memoir are the same things I liked about the film adaptation- the longing, the hurt and the wanting to escape it all and reconnect to one's core self. Unfortunately most of us can't afford to spend a year traveling, eating and mediating but luckily through the aforementioned mediums we can live vicariously.
Eat Pray Love is fairly realistic to a point, a the catastrophic break up (in this case a divorce), the inevitable doomed rebound relationship and soul searching that makes you question everything including the ability to live and love. Naturally the book trumps film in the details department by providing grittier insight to her true emotional and mental state. But when her journey to Rome, India and Bali begins so does the disconnect to anything I could ever relate too.
First stop is Rome (“eat”), in many ways my favorite segment, yet the most uneven and superficial. India (“pray”), probably the most substantial and heartwarming, while Bali (“love”), seemed the most indifferent and necessary.
The film features an outstanding cast that includes a couple Oscar winners and a few Oscar nominated actors/actress, none of which shined brighter than Richard Jenkins; he played the "Richard from Texas" character.
Julia Roberts brings charm and charisma to the role of Elizabeth Gilbert, however a lesser known actress probably would've have been more effective. Throughout the film I found myself watching Julia Roberts play Julia Roberts instead of Elizabeth Gilbert being portrayed by Julia Roberts.
I'm not one for spoof films but I would be intrigued if someone adapted Andrew Gottlieb's 2009 parody Drink Play F*ck: One Man's Search For Anything Across Ireland, Las Vegas and Thailand.EPL was enjoyable if not a little exhausting, but all in all it's a worthy adaptation.
The Kids Are All Right (R) 104 minutes A-
Donor dad turned father figure falls in love with a lesbian.
Starring Annette Bening , Julianne Moore , Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson, and Mark Ruffalo
Sometimes the best films are the hardest to write about because I desperately want to convince you that The Kids Are All Right is one of the best films of the year.
It's the story of a middle-aged lesbian couple raising two teenagers. Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore) are no different than any other couple (gay or straight) and when their 18 year-old daughter (Mia Wasikowska) contacts the biological father - aka sperm donor (Mark Ruffalo), their marriage and family unit are threatened.
Sounds pretty intense but the film never takes itself too seriously and the dialogue is whip-smart, witty and realistic. It's an outstanding comedy/drama with universal appeal; a terrific alternative to the over hyped and underwhelming summer blockbusters.
The Kids Are All Right and you'll be too after seeing this wonderful film. Highly recommended!
Starring Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Peter Sarsgaard, Viola Davis, Paul Dano, Maggie Grace, and Marc Blucas
Everyone who knows me knows that I'm an Indie film guy first. Many (not all) of the Hollywood films these days are mindless distractions that sacrifice art for profit. Yet with that said, it has been duly noted that I am a Tom Cruise fan.
Despite the popularity of Les Grossman, his Tropic Thunder character, it's probably uncool to like Tom Cruise these days but the guy intrigues me (Eyes Wide Shut, Magnolia, Vanilla Sky, Collateral, Jerry Maguire are my best examples). I've seen over 20 of his films and I'd have to say that Knight and Day is the most disappointing.
In this film Cruise has truly become a caricature of himself, and even though a few of the signature smirks and looks still remain the film is flat and ridiculously chaotic. I'm convinced that this was made with the hopes of capturing every audience/demographic possible.
Cruise and Diaz are present for looks and star power, Viola Davis for the African American set, Paul Dano and Peter Sarsgaard for indie cred, and stupid catch phrases like "I got this" repeated over and over for the sake of having a popular catch phrase. Let's not forget the abundance of car chases, guns, fight scenes, explosions, and a classic car or two for audiences who have a love for such shenanigans. Furthermore there's no nudity which also appeals to a wider audience, after all violence = ok, nudity = bad.
Bottom line- no art, lots of profit is the goal. I'm so disappointed Cruise signed on to do this. Next time leave this sh*t for the Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's of the world. Knight and Day was a waste of my afternoon.
John (John C. Reilly) is a freelance editor who has been depressed and uninspired since his wife divorced him seven years ago. But his luck begins to change when he meets a beautiful, curly haired brunette named Molly (Marisa Tomei). Molly is divine, the woman of John's dreams and she also comes with baggage; a creepy 21 year-old man-child (Jonah Hill).
Dark humor, subtle comedy and excellent cast. Hill is becoming a comedic tour de force, while Reilly, Keener and Tomei are always worth the price of admission. Recommended!
Sometimes the best gifts come in small packages. That's the case with Please Give, a humanistic slice of life film that doesn't impact you all at once, rather it builds slowly on the screen and in your mind long after you've left the theatre.
Directed by Nicole Holofcener (Friends With Money, Lovely and Amazing, Walking and Talking), she quietly continues to make thought-provoking art that imitates life.
In short, Please Give is about living, dying and the mundane, complex and guilt that it often brings (without bringing you down).
Recommended for fans of indie films, Catherine Keener, Amanda Peet and/or Rebecca Hall who delivers one of her best performances.
The film opens with postcard-like wintry scenes of Milan's snowy vistas blanketed by a bitter chill. I Am Love is poetic, symbolic and the most visually satisfying film I've seen this year. Director Luca Guadagnino has created a bold melodrama that's artistically astonishing and lustfully delicious.
Emma Recchi (Tilda Swinton) is a Russian exile who married into a rich Italian family. She's a quiet and dutiful wife whose eyes are filled with a mother's love. A wealthy husband, three adult children and a mansion filled with servants, Emma appears to have it all.
For the first ten or fifteen minutes I didn't know what was going on or where the film was headed. I sensed something stirring but wasn't sure why I should care. It's not until Antonio (Edoardo Gabbriellini), a talented young chef arrives with a mysterious package that the film begins to take shape.
Antonio eventually becomes best friends with Emma's son, Edo (Flavio Parenti), and impresses Emma with his masterful culinary skills and subtle charm. Winter soon turns to Spring, love comes out of hibernation and into bloom. Emma is reborn, overwhelming passion has resonated and can not be contained.
The love affair that ensues is utterly captivating and organic. Emma is insatiable and alluring, I became so engrossed in her that at one point I swear I could smell her perfume as she roamed the mountainside in a backless orange dress.
I Am Love may require patience from most mainstream audiences, but once this film kicks into gear all of your senses will thank you. Tragically beautiful and emotionally authentic, I Am Love is love at all costs...often the best kind.