Dan in Real Life. Directed and written by Peter Hedges and Pierce Gardner. Starring Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche. Funny and endearing. Dan Burns is a lonely widower with three daughters. They drive to the family vacation place on Rhode Island where the Burns clan gather every year. At a bookstore on the first morning of the vacation he chats with a woman who lets him bare his soul. He does and they connect. But the woman is seeing someone, so she gives him her number instead and tells him to call her sometime. They part ways. He goes back to the vacation home and meets his brother's girlfriend Marie, the woman he met previously in the bookstore.
1. Steve Carell's performance in this movie is quite good. He swings from frustration to somberness to enchantment with such ease there is fluidity in each changing scene. You cannot help but root for him throughout the entire movie.
2. His lovesick daughter (played by Brittany Robertson) will make you realize how stupid you must have looked at fourteen swearing undying love to another lovesick fourteen year old boy.
3. There is great chemistry between Dan and Marie. Some sweet scenes. None too cheesy.
4. Dane Cook is chubby in this movie. I missed his abs from good Luck Chuck.
5. "Instead of telling our young people to plan ahead, we should tell them to plan to be surprised." Nice line. Another one: "Love isn't a feeling, it's an ability."
6. Will convince you to hold back on procreation.
7. His daughters look like they could really be siblings. Good casting.
8. "You are a murderer of love!" I was laughing like a madwoman at four o'clock in the morning.
9. Great soundtrack. Note to self: Must download later.
Vantage Point. Directed by Pete Travis and written by Barry Levy. Starring Dennis Quaid, Forrest Whitaker and Matthew Fox. A fast paced suspenseful puzzle. The President of the United States is in Salamanca, Spain, about to address the city in a public square. We see a plain-clothes cop, his girlfriend with another man, a mother and child, an American tourist with a video camera, and a Secret Service agent newly returned from medical leave. Shots ring out and the President falls; a few minutes later, we hear a distant explosion, then a bomb goes off in the square. Those minutes are retold, several times, emphasizing different characters' actions.
1. Note to self: Always keep a double nearby so she can die for me.
2. The little girl screaming in the middle of the freeway for her mother while the ambulance was speeding towards her is effing stupid. Why spend what could be the remaining last seconds of your life screaming when you can get out of the way and continue to live?
3. Terrorists don't care about killing dozens of people in a town square with a bomb but decide to swing off the road so they don't hit a little girl.
4. If you happen to be in a hotel where a politician is staying, watch out for very sweaty bellboys clutching a trigger.
5. Bomb blasts don't kill Important Characters, regardless of their proximity to them.
6. Cute helpless spanish little girls are the best way to thwart the plans of a president-kidnapping terrorist group.
7. If you catch this midway on HBO, don't bother watching the rest of the movie. You will be bewildered.
8. You will wish there is a scene of Matthew Fox undressing.
9. We need to teach our presidents self-defense.
One Missed Call. Directed by Eric Valette and written by Andrew Klaven and Yasushi Akimoto. Starring Shannyn Sossamon and Edward Burns. An awful remake of another decent Japanese horror movie. In this remake of the Japanese horror film "Chakushin Ari" (2003), several people start receiving voice-mails from their future selves -- messages which include the date, time, and some of the details of their deaths.
1. The cat in at the beginning of the movie dies along with her owner. Based on the premise of the story, she apparently received a call too.
2. Nothing much is explained about the girl who cuts her sister and who instigates the so called "curse". You will spend most of the time watching this movie confused or utterly bored.
3. The ring tone is quite creepy.
4. The blonde little girl looks like a young Reese Witherspoon.
5. After the cop dies and Sossamon's character is saved by the evil ghost's mother, the cop's phone magically dials itself and the cycle begins yet again (makes me wonder, is this how the cat was able to receive the call and dial the next victim's number despite opposable thumbs?). Ah, well. Thus we have a sequel. Ewmahgahd.