Monday, October 8, 2012
The Redbox Report - October 8, 2012
CABIN IN THE WOODS
THE FIVE YEAR ENGAGEMENT
Weddings can be stressful; that's a fact proven and exploited hundreds of times over in book, television and film. In fact, it's a point so relentlessly brought up that it's beyond cliche. Most often this point is illustrated in the ways everything happens at the last minute or how everything goes wrong at the worst possible time. But taking the opposite approach to the same conundrum, The Five Year Engagement chronicles the prenuptial struggles of a couple whose circumstances ended up dragging things out rather than cutting things close. The movie opens on Tom Solomon (Jason Segel) proposing to his girlfriend Violet Barnes (Emily Blunt), setting in motion the course of events that will lead them through a five-year engagement. It's a fairly predictable and somewhat overlong exercise, but those cons are overcome by some fantastic casting. Jason Segel is charming and accessible as always, and Emily Blunt is her usually versatile self; oscillating between humor and drama with ease. The supporting cast steals the show though, as Chris Pratt - who plays Tom's best friend/best man - and Alison Brie (Violet's sister Suzie) ham it up on screen perfectly. My favorite moment of the movie was watching Alison Brie and Emily Blunt argue with each other using pretty terrible impressions of Elmo and Cookie Monster (respectively) in order to shield the adult nature of the conversation they were having from the children in the room with them. The Five Year Engagement isn't a brilliant movie or really much you haven't seen before in a romantic comedy. But it's got a fantastic cast who handle the subject material quite well and in between a few laughs and (maybe?) a few sniffles there's a good deal of sincerity to be had as well.
FRIENDS WITH KIDS
KATY PERRY: PART OF ME
The concrete jungle can really take it outta you. A good deal of research even backs this up with findings that indicate greater longevity for those who live outside of major metropolitan areas for most of their lives. Wanderlust opens on George and Linda, (Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston) a couple signing for their new micro-loft in New York City. Egregiously expensive, it only takes the course of about a minute's worth of montage for us to realize - right along with them - that they've made a huge mistake. When both of their jobs end up tanking on the same day, they're forced to sell the micro-loft at a loss and move to Georgia to live with George's brother. But on their way they end up finding a hippie commune called Elysium, one thing leads to another, and they decide to join the commune. But the lifestyle of their new compatriots looks like it will prove to be more than they can handle. Rudd and Aniston have wonderful onscreen chemistry as a couple trying to find their bearings in an increasingly alienating world. David Wain has proven his directorial abilities in movies like Role Models and Wet Hot American Summer and he returns to a number of familiar vignettes in Wanderlust. Justin Theroux steals just about every scene he's in as Seth, one of the commune's leader figures and a hilarious caricature of every hippie stereotype you can conceive. A number of other faces and names abound in the supporting cast including Malin Akerman, Alan Alda, Kathryn Hahn, and Kerri Kenney-Silver. Wanderlust is laugh-out-loud in a few places, but it's humor is definitely not mile-a-minute. A few moments of improv dialogue definitely felt very improv, but apart from that Wanderlust is a pretty entertaining comedy with a stellar cast.