A romantic comedy about a military contractor, his ex and the Air Force watchdog assigned to keep him out of trouble? Nope, it’s not based on a Nicholas Sparks novel (though it does star a few alumni of Sparks-based movies).
Aloha was written and directed by Cameron Crowe. The cast includes Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams, Emma Stone, Danny McBride, Alec Baldwin, Bill Murray and John Krasinski. Check out the trailer after the jump – it looks like it deserves its A-list cast.
In real life, espionage is not glamorous. It’s like police work – mostly plodding detail work and following up and generally boring ninety-nine percent of the time. John le Carré worked in that field long enough that when he writes about it, he writes with a real understanding of mechanics of the spy game. His ability to make the mundane thrilling is without equal and the creative team behind A Most Wanted Man translate his work to the big screen faithfully. They, like le Carré know how to build the mundane to make that one percent that isn’t mundane harrowing.
Richard Curtis is responsible for such films as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually – romantic dramedies that detail burgeoning relationships that work, as often as not, because the people in them are flawed. For About Time, Curtis adds a very limited form of time travel to the mix in a low key, unsurprisingly affecting movie that will provoke a bit of laughter, a few tears and the feeling of almost two hours well spent.
I’m playing catch-up in DVD reviews, this week, thanks to circumstances beyond my control. We’ll start with three entertaining titles from Paramount Home Entertainment: the slight, but entertaining Morning Glory; Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 religious epic, The Ten Commandments, and the innovative documentary series that raised the bar for all documentarians since its release, Ken Burns’ The Civil War.
I’m guessing that Morning Glory won’t figure too highly on the Tomatometer – it’s not particularly substantial, despite trailers that suggested it might a slightly less deranged Network for morning shows in the 21st century [with a dash of romance thrown in]. What it is, is a light, fluffy comedy that deals with a workaholic morning show producer who loses her producer position on an early, early, early [4 a.m.] morning show on a cable network that has no money to speak of and finds a job with the lowest rated morning show on any network – with a little romance thrown in.
Let me be perfectly clear – although I’ve read the Holmes canon several time, and fifty or sixty [or so] of the multitudes of Holmes pastiches, I am not a Baker Street Irregular. Still, I would imagine that most Irregulars would find much to enjoy about Guy Ritchie’s take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s immortal creation – but they would likely also [like me] find some jarring errors that do, indeed, detract from what is, essentially, a fun diversion.
One of the more egregious goofs concerns Dr. John H. Watson’s [Jude Law] first wife, Mary Morstan [Kelly Reilly], whom Holmes meets – in the canon, at least – while in the company of the good doctor. Not so here – though, as if to make up for that blunder, Ritchie’s Morstan has the kind of steel to her that attracted Watson in the canon.
Married Life is a Douglas Sirkish melodrama with noir overtones. Based on the John Bingham novel Five Roundabouts to Heaven, it’s the story of a married man who has fallen in love with another [younger] woman, but won’t leave his wife because he’s afraid it would destroy her life. Rather than divorce her, he therefore resolves to murder her – humanely – to save her from the pain it would cause her.