Monday, September 3, 2012
Quick Reviews: Hope Springs, Premium Rush
"Hope Springs" had a much more serious tone than I expected. Either that or the attempts at humor fell way flat. It was odd to me. A long-married couple, Arnold and Kay (Tommy Lee Jones, Meryl Streep) are so set in their routines that Kay becomes unhappy and, against her husband's wishes and using her own money, books a week-long trip to coastal Maine for intensive couples' counseling with a therapist (Steve Carell). Much of the movie I felt like it was more of a drama (again, maybe I just didn't connect with the jokes or something). I also felt like Arnold was a total jackass and his wife should've just dumped him. But hey, this was meant to be a comedy, or a comedy-drama, and that just wasn't going to happen. I didn't really start laughing until we got to the point where Kay was about to practice oral sex by using a banana, and the real reason I laughed was because, let's face it: MERYL STREEP WAS ABOUT TO GO DOWN ON A BANANA. Still, it was well-acted, and if I ever need couples' counseling I want Steve Carell to be the therapist. My grade: B-minus.
Never feeling serious at all, despite the action and violence, is "Premium Rush," in which the always-awesome Joseph Gordon-Levitt is Wilee, a bike courier racing against the clock in New York City to get a very important envelope delivered, while a corrupt police detective (Michael Shannon) is after him, intent on getting the envelope himself. It was interesting to see the slo-mo technique used to see how Wilee (yes, that's how it's spelled and yes, there are references to Wile E. Coyote, although it's not an apt comparison considering how the bike courier is actually more like the Road Runner) instantly calculates the safest way to zip through crowded intersections. It might be interesting to see someone use this technique and show what's going through the mind of Peyton Manning as he makes his reads before firing a pass. Anyway, this is another example of mindless summer movie that's easy to sit through. My grade: B.