Wednesday, July 7, 2010

DVD Roundup: 2012 and I hate Valentine's Day

My Netflix queue has been slim pickings lately, probably due to the fact that I saw most of what I wanted to see in 2009, but there are a few remnants making their way to my TV.  2012 was John Cusack's attempt at a disaster movie.  And as a disaster movie it's not bad - things fall apart, unbelievable things happen, people rise to the occasion, some turn out to be dirtbags and get killed, there are explosions, cracks in the earth, tsunamis, and lots of running around.  I think this basically could describe all good disaster movies (Deep Impact, Armageddon, The Core, etc.), but most of them also have something that sets them apart.  I saw this movie a few weeks ago, but couldn't muster the will to write much about it mostly because there's not much to say.  Cusack and his ex-wife Amanda Peet, and her new boyfriend Thomas McCarthy don't do much, but they get the most screen time.  Oliver Platt and Chiwetel Ejiofor as the government people who figure out the world is ending and start creating the arks were pretty good.  Platt is douche-y and you don't like him, but you know he's right when he says that not everyone can survive.  And you like Ejiofor's earnestness when he thinks as many people as possible should survive.  Woody Harrelson was also funny as a anarchist radio host who broadcasts from his truck near the Yellowstone explosion. The only thing that was interesting and slightly original was the creation of the arks and the international cooperation that went into creating them.  They glossed over the "science" too much for me.  If they're going to go with a scientific basis of the end of the world, they gotta give us some more science besides a pit in Yellowstone with really high temperatures that then explodes.  Alternatively, if you're going to name your movie 2012, then you should use more of the Mayan theory that the end of the world will occur based on their religious beliefs and calculations.  The special effects weren't bad, but overall the movie was meh.  No one expected it to be original, but dare I say they didn't take it as over-the-top as I would have liked. 2.5 of 5 stars/lambs  (Check out what the rest of the LAMBs thought here)

**Spoilers, but do you really care? ** 
The second movie I saw on DVD was also barely worth the time.  I Hate Valentine's Day is the third film written by Nia Vardelos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Connie and Carla both of which I enjoyed) but this was directed by her as well.  She reunited with her Wedding costar John Corbett, and other than an unrecognizable Judah Freidlander (30 Rock) and Rachel Dratch, the cast has all nearly unknown actors.  The concept:  Vardelos is a florist who is in love with falling in love, but doesn't think relationships are worthwhile because the romance ends.  Therefore, she just goes out on 5 dates with a guy while he woos her and then she breaks it off.  So far this seems to have worked.  She poo-poos the people who say she just hasn't met the right guy, until she meets and dates Corbett.  They meet when he's trying to impress a girlfriend on Valentine's Day, but he catches the unseen girlfriend with another guy, so now he's free to date Vardelos.  She's an expert on the woo-ing phase of relationships, and dictates generally what they should do on their dates.  The big joke that isn't mined for all its humor is that she's the girl all guys have been waiting for - sex without commitment.  They mention that she doesn't sleep with all the guys, but it's more of an afterthought when advising a friend.  However, after she does sleep with Corbett, who knows about the 5 date rule, she doesn't hear from him again because he's abiding by her rules.  She becomes crazed trying to get over him since she's fallen in love with him, but he's kind of moving on since he doesn't think she's interested any more.  Like most romantic comedies, it's based on the fact that if they just talked, they could probably resolve their issues and be happy since that's what happens at the end.  Meanwhile, her entire outlook on love has changed.  She used to be obliviously happy and now she's painfully aware that she's unhappy.  Started with an interesting concept and then got crushed under its weight.  A few funny moments with her florist assistants, but that's about it.  Not great.  2 of 5 stars/lambs (I'm betting no other lambs have seen this, so I can't direct you to anything further).

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Agree about 2012. The pseudo-science didn't really bother like it bothered you, because I would zone when they started talking about pretty much anything. But I'd perk back up when the action and destruction started.

As for I Hate Valentine's Day, it does sound like a brief phone call would've ended all the shenanigans that probably took up 45 minutes of the film. Sounds contrived beyond words.