Movie Review Catch-Up: Her, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Other Woman

Rooney Mara Cobie Smulders Leslie Mann

Boy, WTF, Mark… why u no love MarkMushakian.com anymore?

Pfft, forget that – I still totes love my site; I’ve just been stinkin’ busy, and when I’m not busy, I’m relaxing.  Sometimes, I even watch a movie.  And oh, what a coincidence… that’s just what this post is about!  Actually,  I’ve seen several movies in theaters, recently, so I decided to wrap them all up into one entry.  They’ll be a little more condensed this way, but it’ll be a better method to readjust you to reading my blog entries again than just dumping a mile-long post about feelings on your lap as a welcome back.

Her
Time/place: March 31, 11:00 showing at Woodbridge Dollar Theater

Out of all three of the movies in this conglomerate review, this is the one I was sincerely looking forward to.  I was captivated by the idea, and the trailer portrayed just enough potential for beauty and interesting oddity that I was keen on giving it a whirl.  Of course, because it’s the one movie I was actually interested in, it had the greatest chance to let me down… and it sure did 🙂 .

Let’s cushion the negative with the positive, though.  The story was interesting, the performances were dandy and genuine, and the reality of this future felt very true.  What I tended to like were little moments and concepts here and there: Samantha writing a piano song, the relationship between our lead character and Amy Adams’ character, the painful sincerity of what occurred in the breaking down of a marriage and the aftermath of separation.  All of these things (and a few more that I can’t recall) brought me into the story and piqued my interest.  Unfortunately, these peaks weren’t enough to win me over.

To begin with, the movie’s obsession with sex was unintentionally comical by a certain point.  During an extended sex-focused moment near the middle, I audibly chuckled and let out an exasperated sigh.  I glanced around the theater for signs that other people were as disinterested as I was – was this supposed to be as silly as it felt?  The movie was also just really boring.  Now, I was told that Her reminded a friend of how I might make a movie, and after seeing it I was contemplating two options of interpreting this statement: either I should be insulted to some degree or that IS how I would make a movie and it’s a very good thing that I chose a different career 🙂 .  I jest, of course, because I certainly see what this person was referring to, but that’s how little I liked this movie.  For the subject-matter at hand, for the potential of dramatic moments and interesting ideas, I was just so bored most of the time, and that was sad.

Ultimately, while it had many things going for it, Her was a really lousy movie.  The grade below is actually one of the worst I think I could assign – not because it was a complete failure, but because it wasn’t.

Grade: D

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Time/place: April 19, 7:00 showing at Kaleidoscope with Korkie

I’m not in love with the Marvel movie universe… I’m rather content not seeing most of the movies just as they come out.  This second Captain America movie, though, had been garnering probably-too-good-to-be-true reviews (“OMG, BEST MOVIE OF THE YAER!” “Better than The Avengers!” “Best superhero movie ever!”), so on a semi-whim Red and I decided to go see it.  I certainly didn’t find room for the high praise this movie has garnered, but it definitely wasn’t bad.

Let’s start with the bad this time, eh?  Variety IS the spice of life, as they say.  Really, the only negative aspect of this movie is that it felt really long; it was a bit dull and the pacing made it seem longer than it actually is.  That seems strange to say about a movie with so much action, but hey.. action can be boring to, no?  Along with that, there was only one little story element that I didn’t see coming a mile away (and it was pretty fun).  I think the fact that I saw so many of these payoffs coming helped make the movie drag.

To what I DID like, though?  Well, most everything else 🙂 .  The action actually was pretty fun and the characters were mostly enjoyable.  At one point, near the end, I realized that I was watching a man in a patriotic jumpsuit running around with a giant shield, and I laughed at the fact that they’ve actually been able to pull this off.  Of course, the highlight of the movie, for me, was the Winter Soldier.  Silent, efficient, exceptionally cool… I don’t know when the last time was that I had that much fun with a movie bad guy.  He devolves near the end, into something I cared much less about, but it was fun while it lasted.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier shouldn’t be viewed with the excessive hype in mind, but it’s another fine addition to the world Marvel’s created.  Besides, even if you don’t enjoy it, you get to watch Scarlett Johansson or Chris Evans run around – whichever is applicable.

Grade: B

The Other Woman
Time/place: April 28, 3:05 showing at Aliso Viejo 20 (w/Tex!) with Korkie and Monica

For KB’s birthday, I took her and her roommate out for a day of random fun.  We had time to go see a movie, and this was her choice.  Of course, I didn’t go in expecting much from it as it didn’t really seem like my cup of tea, but the movie actually wasn’t bad.  It wasn’t brilliant cinema, but I had more fun than I thought I would.

Really, there’s only one thing for me to talk about, here – Leslie Mann.  I.. I tell you, I love that woman.  SO gorgeous, SO adorable, SO endearing.  This is actually the first time I’ve seen her on the big screen, and while I’ve always had little to no interest in Cameron Diaz as a hot babe, even with Kate Upton in the same movie, there was only one gal who made me swoon-a-palooza all over the place.  Lovable Leslie Man aside, the movie itself suffered from some odd lulls and moments, but I actually really liked how they played to the fact that Kate Upton isn’t an actress by letting her character just be young and bubbly.  Also, it was fun to see the “villain” get his comeuppance in the end in what felt like the origin story to a Batman villain.

I’m a hard sell on comedies, generally, as my tastes are rather particular, so The Other Woman won’t make it only my short list of beloved comedies, but it had its fun moments, and I’d see it again just to take in the lovely Leslie Mann one more time 🙂 .

Grade: C

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About Mark Mushakian

Just a man who loves God, women, kids, dogs, movies, and every other lovely thing in life :)
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