Monday, January 25, 2010

Weekend Viewing - Jan 22-24

Extract [2009] directed by Mike Judge

Joel is having a sort of a mid-life crisis. His wife doesn’t want to sleep with him – and he’s increasingly frustrated at work and is looking to sell his extract business. His slacker friend, Dean, and him come up with a far fetched plan that will help Joel get laid with a recently hired girl, Cindy. Unbeknownst to Joel, Cindy has her own plans to help a recently injured employee sue Joel for everything he’s got.

Here’s the thing – I liked how Joel has a fairly simple problem – but come up with a very complex solution to solve that problem – yet the whole thing seems a bit forced. The screenplay seemed like a few teenagers imagining what their lives would be like – in a immature male fantasy. Nobody was really well defined as a character - which made their decision making process difficult to follow and even care about. Though the film was humorous it was never really funny – and I would really like to see Mike Judge work on his female characters. 3 out of 5 stars.

Syriana [2005] directed by Stephan Gaghan

I’m sorry – I can’t give you a synopsis to this film – as I still can’t really see what it’s about other than intrigue and corruption in the oil business and in the Middle East. Each character though well portrayed – I didn’t feel connected to – or understood what their goals were – maybe that was the point of the film - I couldn’t really tell you. This is my second viewing of the film – and I still can’t connect the dots – I’m really not trying to be ignorant – I just don’t get it and I’ve got to give it a 2 out of 5.

Y Tu Mama Tambien [2001] directed by Alfonso Cuaron

Two sexually obsessed best friends take a young jilted housewife on a road trip to a beach.

What I really liked about this film is that it kind of plays on a theme that sex isn’t always sexy. The boys are sexually obsessed – but they aren’t very good at sex – they are still young and in need of understanding the world around them and themselves in order to understand sex. When looking forward to seeing this film I read descriptions like “erotic” and “sexy” – but I couldn’t disagree more – sex is used as the tool to show the boys “growing up”.

They grow up quite a bit on the road trip with the help Luisa (the jilted housewife) – who teaches them about their own ideals and how reality is vastly different from what they want to believe. It’s very well acted – and though I wanted to slap around both of the boys – it was only because they were portraying their parts correctly that I wanted to slap them around. It’s a very good film – worth a look – if you aren’t easily offended by full frontal nudity by both sexes. I give it a 4 out of 5.

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