Archive | February 2013

Safe Haven


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Risky choice

Honesty hour: I dreaded seeing Safe Haven because I knew I wouldn’t like it. Who would? Blah blah Nicholas Sparks yadda yadda Valentine’s Day. It still looked bad. My low expectations must have helped it, because I actually liked it. Kind of.

I would never rave about how good the movie is or how cute Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel are together or how heartbreaking the ending is, because none of those things are true. Nor would I recommend the movie to anyone without a slippery ulterior motive. But watching this movie is like watching a toddler take its first wobbly steps. You know it won’t get anywhere and you expect it to stumble and fall, but its efforts are so endearing you can’t help but giggle at its innocence.

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Side Effects


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May induce drowsiness

Side Effects is well written, well acted, and helmed by a competent director, but for some reason these ingredients mixed together makes a hard pill to swallow.

Side Effects, a psychological thriller directed by Stephen Soderbergh, is an overall success thanks in no small part to two of its stars, Rooney Mara and Jude Law. The film’s pulse-quickening thrills come in satisfying jolts; unfortunately, they are far outnumbered by the soggy, wordy pacing happening in between them. It isn’t until the hour and twenty-minute mark (roughly half an hour before the end) the film sheds its plodding pace and consistently entertains. “It will take a while for the effects to sink in,” Doctor Banks (Law) remarks of the film’s central medicine. This prescription writes itself.

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DVD Review: Safety Not Guaranteed


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Satisfaction not guaranteed

I was looking forward to seeing Safety Not Guaranteed for months. It had an awesome trailer and got awesome reviews. I finally got to see it a few days ago. I thought it was really stupid.

I think the movie tries to be a thought provoking, ambiguously interpreted romance about unexpected curveballs in life or something. Don’t judge a book by its cover and all that stuff. It’s also about lifelong dreams finally succeeding, or, more realistically, dying. For a while it succeeds because the movie’s nougaty center leads us to believe it is heading somewhere, that there is an actual reason we are dedicating eighty-six minutes of our lives to watching it. Unfortunately this product is not as advertised, and satisfaction is not guaranteed.

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Warm Bodies


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Bleeding love

Warm Bodies steals your heart as hungrily as a bloodthirsty zombie, and galvanizes the first pulse of life into movie theaters this year. It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day date, as long as you don’t mind a few bloody flesh hearts to go along with the plastic ones.

The new dramatic romantic zombie comedy (dramromzomcom?) has something both previous paranormal romance movies and all 2013 movies up until now lack: brains. The script offers a plausible scenario into a world taken over by awkwardly self-conscious zombies, and oozes Easter egg parallels to a certain Shakespearean romance. It contains enough brains and heart to satisfy a legion of hungry zombies.

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