Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Me And The Distance Conviction

Have a lot of movies coming up, so I'm going to try to churn out a couple of posts this week and next. Here we have an overlooked drama, an overlooked coming-of-age story and a "should be" overlooked romantic comedy.

Conviction - (4 Stars)*
ConvictionA well acted, emotional true story of how far one person was willing to go to free her brother. Hillary Swank and Sam Rockwell give award-worthy performances as the  Waters siblings torn apart by a false conviction for murder. The story does a good job of drawing the viewer into the lives of the Waters. The movie is also paced well and is suspenseful enough (despite being a true story) to keep you wondering about the case. Melissa Leo (this year's Academy Award winning Supporting Actress) has a small, but integral role as well.
(107 minutes - Rated R for language and some violent images - 2010) (Netflix)

Going The Distance - (1 1/2 Stars)
Going the DistanceGarrett and Erin (Justin Long and Drew Barrymore) meet in New York and quickly begin dating. However, Erin is only an intern and soon has to move back to California forcing the two to start a long distance relationship. "Going The Distance" takes this premise and creates an unfunny, crude "romantic comedy." I put both words in quotation marks because there wasn't much romantic or funny about the movie. Most jokes are  along the lines of awkward situational humor or some crude remark or joke from one of the couple's friends. If I wanted to end this review with a one-liner that sums it up, I'd say to keep your distance from this one.
(102 minutes - Rated R for sexual content including dialogue, language throughout, some drug use and brief nudity - 2010) (Netflix)

Me And Orson Welles - (3 Stars)^
Me and Orson WellesOrson Welles was one of a kind. Equal parts brilliant and egocentric, Welles is responsible for Citizen Kane, a movie that makes many "Top Movie" lists. But, "Me And Orson Welles" focuses on (and fictionalizes) an earlier time in Welles' life. It also doesn't follow Welles, but rather 17-year-old Richard Samuels (Zac Efron). The movie uses Orson Welles' landmark production of Julius Caesar as a backdrop for a coming-of-age story.

The movie has its moments, but is overall a bit slow. Being a fictionalized account of a true event also makes it hard to determine what really happened and what was invented just for the story. The real star is Christian McKay as Orson Welles. His performance is superb and his presence is felt even when he isn't on screen. Overall, an interesting watch, but one that doesn't leave a lasting impression apart from McKay's Welles.
(114 minutes - Rated PG-13 for sexual references and smoking - 2009) (Netflix)

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