Monday, January 17, 2011

Reel Insight Episode 30!!! Jennifer Connelly

Our 30th Episode!  Who knew we'd get so far.  Some great plugs, some of the best feedback yet (thanks!) and Movie minutes with The Ghost Writer and Trick or Treat.  Not too much TV talk yet - Rachel describes her mysterious love for "Greek" and I talk about the new show "Lights Out" (which has a lot of potential!).  Then on our star of the week.  She has some humdingers in her canon, but wow has she made an art form out of 3 things - standing on piers, crying the single tear, and being the wife that gets cheated on (see if you can make them all rhyme).  Enjoy!

New Movies I saw with Jennifer Connelly
Labyrinth - I never saw this as a kid, I'll admit it scared me with its similarity to The Dark Crystal which still scares the crap out of me.  So I was particularly excited when this movie brought back some great nostalgia for 80s Muppet technology, since this was Jim Henson and George Lucas, they actually did a terrifically humorous job with this fantasy tale.  Connelly does a good job at 16 carrying the movie on her adventure to rescue her baby brother from David Bowie.  I loved the Muppets, the music was insanely dated, and overall enjoyed the experience.  4 of 5 lambs/stars

Requiem for a Dream - This movie was something I was never particularly interested in, but when I realized I've never seen other Darren Aranofsky movies when I saw Black Swan, this was a great opportunity to catch up.  I loved it!  I'll probably never need to watch it again - there's only so many times you can let that kind of insanity into your soul, but the directing and creativity in it is wonderful.  How many times have we seen junkies getting high and you just watch them sitting and enjoying it.  Aranofsky gave us a way to visually experience the injection too.  Wow.  Just wow.  Ellen Burstyn was amazing watching her downward spiral.  I wasn't a huge fan of Jared Leto - his would be the only role I'd recast to improve it.  5 of 5 stars/lambs

Waking the Dead - An odd movie that I didn't expect to like.  Rachel described it as The Constant Gardener goes to Washington after I described it to her.  And it really is, with a little less violence.  Billy Crudup is the straight man who will become a senator, while Connelly is the political activist who gets in trouble and screws up Crudup.  Good visuals where you don't know if she's still alive or Crudup is hallucinating her.  3.5 of 5 stars/lambs

Career Opportunities - While this is a John Hughes movie, it stinks.  It's got the "Say what one more time" guy from Pulp Fiction, and he's dreadful as a night janitor at Target.  Connelly is a spoiled princess just trying to rebel. Then an nearly unrecognizable Dermot Mulroney shows up to rob the place and cause havoc.  Terrible.  1/5 stars/lambs

Reservation Road  - Mostly this was just bleh.  Mark Ruffalo accidentally hits and kills and drives away from Joaquin Phoenix and Jennifer Connelly's son.  Phoenix decides to find his son's killer and it's a hard leap to follow how he figures out it's Ruffalo.  Rachel pointed out and I agree, that it would have made more sense if the two men had switched roles.  It would have been more of stretch watching Ruffalo become an anger ball, and Phoenix struggle with what he did.  2.5/5 stars/lambs

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