Review: Her

FJ Rating: Big Screener

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Chris Pratt, Rooney Mara

Director: Spike Jonze

R, 2 hr 0 min

Her” tells the story of Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely and heartbroken man who makes a living writing love letters for other people.  While he tries to get over his failed marriage, Theodore becomes fixated with his new operating system, “Samantha” (Scarlett Johansson), and the two eventually form a bond much stronger than friendship.

I will start off by saying I very much enjoyed the film.  Joaquin Phoenix is such a talented actor, and after seeing the film I really understood why people were raving about Scarlett Johansson’s performance.  I will admit that before seeing “Her,” I thought the concept of the movie seemed a little weird and I chuckled when I heard talk about how great Scarlett Johansson was as the voice of Samantha.  I just didn’t get how someone could really call a voice performance Oscar-worthy. However, after seeing the film, I get it.  Scarlett Johansson makes Samantha likable and convincing.  She really does bring Samantha, an operating system, to life.  I found myself hoping that Samantha would somehow come to life in the physical form and that her and Theodore would live happily ever after.

The film just had the right amount of everything.  It made me laugh, it made me sympathize for the characters, and it definitely got me thinking about the influence of technology and what’s to come for the future of the modern world.  The film takes place in a futuristic, not-so-far-down-the-road Los Angeles.  Theodore (and everyone around him) wears an earpiece and carries a device used when needing to see something visually, and with a simple spoken “delete”, an email is magically wiped off his hands.  The film created the future of the modern world as being completely driven by technology, and to be honest, it seemed more realistic than far-fetched (not to say that that isn’t somewhat depressing).  It made me wonder if the world will eventually get to a place where people fall in love with a Samantha.  Scary thought, isn’t it?  The film was great, the acting was great, let’s just hope people continue to fall in love with other people and not operating systems.

EXTRA: Kristen Wiig does the voice of SexyKitten, and Spike Jonze does the voice of the alien in the video game.

Check Fandango to see where “Her” is playing in your area.

Have a great Wednesday, FFLs!

-FJ

Advertisements

Review: American Hustle

FJ Rating: Renter

Cast: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Louis C.K.

Director: David O. Russell

R, 2 hr 9 min

American Hustle” tells the story of con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), who finds himself caught between his unpredictable wife, Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence), and his mistress/charming partner Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams). After being caught by FBI agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper), the two are forced to work together with the FBI to help take down some of Jersey’s most powerful political figures, one being the mayor of Camden, New Jersey (Jeremy Renner).

I didn’t dislike “American Hustle,” but I didn’t leave the theatre ranting and raving about the film either.  If I’m being honest, I thought it was okay.  This may have been partly due to the fact that so many people have been putting it on such a high pedestal, that it just didn’t live up to the expectations I had for it.  The film felt slow to me at times, and I did catch myself wondering how much time was left towards the end.

As for the performances, I will start out by saying I am a big fan of Jennifer Lawrence.  So many people raved about Jennifer Lawrence’s performance in “American Hustle” and I guess I just didn’t get it.  I didn’t find anything exceptionally special about her performance in the film.  I thought she was great in “Winter’s Bone” and “Silver Linings Playbook,” and is perfect for her role as Katniss in “The Hunger Games” films, but I just wasn’t fully-satisfied this time around.  As for everyone else, I thought Christian Bale was great – the look and feel of his character was very convincing.  I thought Amy Adams was great as well – one of her more impressive roles to date.  Bradley Cooper’s performance was pretty good, and Jeremy Renner was so-so.  Overall, I thought the film was entertaining but a little too long.

Check Fandango to see where “American Hustle” is playing in your area.

Have a great weekend, FFLs!  Lots of posts to come in the next few days following my absence.

-FJ