CREATING YOUR OWN PARADISE

THE DESCENDANTS (2011)
– 4 out of 5 stars

George Clooney plays Matt King, a man whose wife slips into a coma after a boating accident. He has to care for their two daughters and the fact that his wife was having an affair before the accident. He sets on a trip to look for his wife’s lover while trying to understand his daughters better.

Matt King: My friends think, just because we live in Hawaii, we live in paradise. We’re all just out here sipping Mai Tais, shaking our hips and catching waves. Are they insane? Do they think we’re immune to life? How can they possibly think our families are less screwed up, our cancers less fatal, our heartaches less painful? Hell, I haven’t been on a surfboard in 15 years. For the last 23 days I’ve been living in a paradise of IVs, urine bags, and trachea tubes. Paradise? Paradise can go fuck itself.  

So, George Clooney in printed shirts and bermudas? Even better, watch how he runs. Anyway, it was more of a story of how father and rebellious teenage daughter bond over catching the wife/mother’s lover, which I think was pretty good for building father-daughter relationships because the way they acted on that porch against the wife/mother’s lover was amazing. So much rapport between father and daughter!

And Clooney’s transformation from angry husband to loving husband was a healing and touching process. It was probably spurned by the visit of the lover’s spouse but still, affairs aren’t an easy to thing to forgive, especially when the one who had it is unconscious.

POWER PLAY

THE IDES OF MARCH (2011)
– 4 out of 5 stars

RYAN GOSLING!

A gripping political thriller that goes behind the scene of Mike Morris’ (George Clooney) presidential campaign. Ryan Gosling stars as Stephen Meyers, a promising Junior Campaign Manager who gets a taste of dirty politics when he gets implicated in matters that snowballs into some serious shit.

I’m not a fan of politics because it’s always very dirty. No matter how one tries to stay upright, somehow they always get pulled into the dirt.

Ryan Gosling is simply on a roll this year, first he dabbles in comedy (Crazy, Stupid, Love.), then action (Drive) and now drama! OMG why is he so talented?! He should totally be 2011: People’s Sexiest Man Alive but he was robbed by Bradley Cooper. If I were there, I would wear Ryan Gosling’s face-mask and protest too!

HOW MUCH DOES YOUR LIFE WEIGH?

UP IN THE AIR (2009)
– 4 out of 5 stars

Yup, this shall be one of the first Oscar-nominated movies I’ll be watching. Up In The Air tells the story of Ryan Bingham (George Clooney), a corporate downsizer and his travels. He practically lives his life in the airport and he enjoys his job which allows him to stay away from home and to accumulate frequent flyer miles. He meets Alex (Vera Farmiga) on one of his trips and realizes that she is also a frequent flyer like him. Just when things are going well for him, a young upstart, Natalie (Anna Kendrick), introduces video conferencing-downsizing and threatens his life on the road. One of the highlights was seeing how George Clooney fires these people and really makes them see the “light” and leave the company in a relatively peaceful exit. Zach Galifianakis plays an employee who has been let go with humourous results – smashing things, pouring bleach into the coffee and shredding (possibly important) office documents. Anna Kendrick is unlike the bimbotic Jessica she plays in the Twilight movies, and really shines as an overachieving graduate who sets targets and long lists for herself. That’s probably what most young adults are doing these days and gets put down because the real world isn’t like how we envisioned it to be. But I didn’t really like the ending because I was really hoping Ryan would find his own happy ending. 4 out of 5 stars.

Ryan Bingham: [on getting through airport security] Never get behind old people. Their bodies are littered with hidden metal and they never seem to appreciate how little time they have left. Bingo, Asians. They pack light, travel efficiently, and they have a thing for slip on shoes. Gotta love ’em. Natalie Keener: That’s racist. Ryan Bingham: I’m like my mother, I stereotype. It’s faster.

Ryan Bingham: [closing monologue] The stars will wheel forth from their daytime hiding places; and one of those lights, slightly brighter than the rest, will be my wingtip passing over.

OUTWIT OUTSMART OUTFOX

FANTASTIC MR. FOX (2009)
– 4 and a half out of 5 stars 

This movie is really fantastic!

The movie really starts when Mr. Fox moves his family to a tree opposite the businesses of Boggis, Bunce and Bean. Mr. Fox decides to raid their farms for livestock and precious apple cider but these mean businessmen are not to be messed with. Soon, the farmers discover there’s a fox in their midst and camp out near the foxes’ trees to kill Mr. Fox. Then the foxes and the possum, Kylie, start digging – and that’s my favourite part! They are really vigourous at digging! As the farmers use larger and more powerful tools to dig them out, they dig further underground to escape them. He’s a really smart and charming fox!

The stakes get higher when Mr. Fox’s nephew gets caught and the final battle is really AMAZING! All the underground animals use their talents according to their latin species name, and it turns out the badger is a demolition specialist! Watch out for fiery acorns!

You can go to the official website to play their game of Whackbat. Seriously, besides the main guy whacking the bat, I have no idea what the other players are doing.

MIND CONTROL

BURN AFTER READING (2008)
– 3 out of 5 stars

I saw two movies over the week. Seriously, it’s not that I have lots of time or money but it’s just that the movies I want to watch are ALL coming out in the last quarter of 2008.

Burn After Reading, I guess, is some kind of movie that mocks the CIA and how they deal with their cases. After the staff at a gym discover what they thought to be classified information, a twisted case of blackmailing goes wrong and that is where all the trouble begins. But I think, the real gem of this movie is the moronic Brad Pitt! Everytime he appears, the audiences laughed. He has such funny facial expressions! The ending is totally weird, and it totally reveals how the CIA is thought to solve cases, or non-cases.