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Flash Movie Review: Men, Women & Children

Deep within the Amazon Jungle I saw a pair of dark, wide eyes peering out at me through dense, overflowing foliage. A separate time I was able to revisit Florence Italy where I had climbed up to the top of Il Duomo di Firenza, the main church of the city. Friends have told me about their ability to see the birth of a child from across the country. They have also told me some of their horror stories involving deceitful people. In the news recently I heard how retail chains were hacked and their customers’ charge card information was stolen.I did not have to listen because I already knew about it when my credit card information was stolen. Until the credit card company called me to verify a purchase that was being done in a different state from where I lived, I had no idea someone had grabbed my information. All of the things I have mentioned so far were made possible by the internet. Ah yes, the internet; where it can take you to far remote spots of the world to witness the discovery of a rare plant, while its evil side robs you of your identity while you sleep. For me, using the internet is akin to relating to someone with a split personality disorder; it can be so rewarding, yet extremely challenging.    PEOPLE have to constantly adjust the way they relate to each other due to the power of the internet. Writer/director Jason Reitman (Juno, Labor Day) assembled a large cast of actors for this drama based on the novel, about the twists and turns people must navigate in their daily lives due to the accessibility of the internet. A few of the actors in this film were Adam Sandler (Blended, That’s My Boy) and Rosemarie DeWitt (The Watch, Rachel Getting Married) who played Don and Helen Truby, a married couple looking for something more than they had in their marriage. Jennifer Garner (Draft Day, Dallas Buyers Club) played overprotective mother Patricia Beltmeyer to her daughter Brandy, played by Kaitlyn Dever (Short Term 12, The Spectacular Now). Out of all the actors in this movie the only two that stood out for me were Kaitlyn and Ansel Elgort (Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars) as Tim Mooney. Their story line and acting were the most interesting to me. I found the rest of the cast somewhat dull but considering the script went nowhere it was understandable. For most of this film I sat in my seat being bored. With the absence to a beginning, a middle and defined conclusions to the different story lines I felt I was only seeing bits and pieces of people’s lives; similar to mindlessly surfing the internet for hours.

 

1 3/4 stars

Flash Movie Review: Labor Day

How can something that feels so empty weigh one down so much? When the person you love leaves you, the leaden heart is not the only thing that sustains an injury. Granted the heart takes the majority of the impact, caving in from the flooding emptiness; but the bridge of life that connects to the heart takes heavy damage. The road of living becomes riddled with potholes that make life unbearable. Each pothole reveals the remains of a broken dream. There are so many holes that one becomes too afraid to traverse the road and relinquishes what was once the joys of living life. Every action from eating to breathing takes a monumental effort to complete. I totally understand it and know some people do life better when in a relationship. This is why I accepted the plight of Adele, played by Kate Winslet (Contagion, The Reader), in this dramatic movie. During one of their infrequent trips to the supermarket lonely Adele and her young son Henry, played by Gattlin Griffith (Changeling, Couples Retreat), were forced to help and take in a bleeding man named Frank, played by Josh Brolin (No Country for Old Men, Oldboy). Written and directed by Jason Reitman (Up in the Air, Thank You for not Smoking) I was actually looking forward to this film, based on the novel by Joyce Maynard (To Die For). There were a few scenes that were beautifully done, where I could feel the emotions of the characters come to life. The scene of making a peach pie made me hungry; it was tender and touching. It pains me to say this was all that was good about the movie. I thought the script was sickly sweet with sappiness and unrealistic. The acting was not as good as it could have been, especially from Gattlin who had the same deer in the headlamps look through most of the film. During parts of this movie I found myself getting bored as things seemed to go unnaturally slow. That reminded me to mention the whole police search story line; it seemed so not urgent to me, which really was needed to build tension in the action. I also found some of the events towards the end to be unsatisfying. Any time a movie is made about someone’s heart I expect to see and feel passion. Sadly this picture failed since it had no heart.

 

1 3/4 stars

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