The debut feature from writer/director/star Desiree Akhavan really impressed me, in some ways it's just another movie about a cool Brooklyn person's love life. But there's some interesting beats to the dialogue and some unusual tangents the story takes, and seeing a movie about a bisexual protagonist that actually tries to depict that lifestyle instead of playing it for jokes was refreshing.
Kind of a cool old-fashioned western about Danish settlers, directed by one of those Danish 'Dogme95' dudes, with Mads Mikkelson and Eva Green and other badasses being totally badass.
I've hate-watched a lot of movies lately -- shit, I paid money to see Aloha in the theater -- but I admit that washing this movie to talk shit on it definitely can give off an ironic porn purchase vibe. But I'd heard so many things about how supremely awkward the movie is, and I wasn't disappointed. I thought Dakota Johnson was cute in the short-lived sitcom "Ben And Kate," and seeing her in this movie was kind of weird and disillusioning, like my mild celebrity crush had not yet progressed to 'clamoring for nude scenes' level and besides the chemistry and storytelling in this movie is all so flat that it's difficult to even enjoy nudity as nudity. It may eventually become something for people to satirize and jeer at endlessly like Showgirls, though.
I have some kind of petty personal stake in rooting against Jeremy Renner and his career, so I appreciate that this movie sold so few tickets that it will probably hurt his chances of headlining movies in the future. He's not really that bad, though, and his performance holds this movie together pretty well, although it's one of those movies based on a true story that really just makes me want to read the books it was based on and strip away all the cinematic window dressing.
This is the passion project that Simon Helberg (Wolowitz from "The Big Bang Theory") apparently took a pile of his sitcom money to make. And in some ways it's just this sadly predictable wish fulfillment kind of movie where the nerdy guy writes and directs himself in a story where he messes up things with his beautiful girlfriend (Melanie Lynskey) because another beautiful woman (Maggie Grace) takes an almost absurdly exaggerated interest in him. The movie, of course, has some self-awareness about all this, but when it tries to play these dynamics for laughs it just gets stupid, and when it tries to go for emotional resonance it's even worse.
f) Bad Words
Jason Bateman's passion project as a director and star is interesting in that it's one of his first major roles since "Arrested Development" where he isn't playing that put-upon nice guy surrounded by wacky characters. And for a while it's interesting just to watch him play against type and enjoy being kind of a mean, unsympathetic character. But then he spends half the movie saying offensive things to an Indian-American kid, and the movie's modest charm wears thin.