Monday’s Movie Review: Last Night (No Spoilers)

Marriage. It ain’t easy folks. Well not 100% of the time. So it’s always interesting to see how a filmmaker will portray a married couple and their issues. Will it be light and fluffy or dark and gritty? The film Last Night proves that it doesn’t have to be either to make a good film.

Sam Worthington and Kiera Knightley are a young married couple who seem to have fallen into their routine. They love each other, but don’t seem to have the fire that they probably possessed in the beginning. After seeing her husband’s new coworker, played by the hotness that is Eva Mendes, Joanna begins to feel very insecure, especially since Michael is going on a business trip with his new lady coworker. After he leaves, Joanna bumps into her old flame and some of their long lost passion returns to the surface. The remainder of the film is a “will they, won’t they” guessing game, as Michael and Joanna contemplate putting their marriage on the line for one night of pleasure.

Last Night delves into some interesting territory as the idea of infidelity is presented and carefully considered. It’s not like many other films that allow the spouse(s) to cheat then put all the focus on the aftermath of the decision which always leads to heartbreak. Here Michael and Joanna weigh the consequences of infidelity instead of making a snap decision and hopping into bed with another.

Also, the film also explores the realm of emotional cheating, instead of plain physical cheating. When a spouse confesses their constant fantasies and desires for someone other than their partner, a line has been crossed even if a kiss was never exchanged. And for some, it’s easy to go further past that line once this has happened.

The film is dialogue heavy, but none of that dialogue is ever wasted. Every word is strategically planned to keep you guessing who will cheat and who will be faithful, though in the end no one is completely faithful. And the film doesn’t leave the viewer hanging with some ambiguous ending, to decide for themselves if Michael and Joanna kept their wedding vows. Decisions are definitely made. How the couple copes with those decisions is more interpretive.

Here we get to see the journey into infidelity, instead of the melodramatic consequences. There is never a big confession scene drowning in salty tears, because it’s not really about Joanna and Michael as a couple, but who they are as individuals within that couple. Are they a good husband/wife or aren’t they? The journey they take to find out is worth the wait.

A Life in Movies Blogathon

Andy at Fandango Groovers Movie Blog has come up with a blogathon that sounded easy at first, but turned out to be a real challenge. We had to pick one, and only one, favorite film from every year since we were born. So here are 29 films I just happen to love…in reverse chronological order. [To see all who participated, click here.]
2010
The Social Network
2009
Inglourious Basterds
2008
The Dark Knight
2007
Order of the Phoenix (1)
2006
Children of Men
2005
Sin City
2004
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2003
X2
2002
28 Days Later
2001

Saturday’s Sims Screenshots: #32

Okay, here are some fun facts about last week’s round:
1. Believe it or not, this is probably my 2nd most photoshopped screenshot, after Inception. I know it looks simple, but there is no way to get a sim to lounge on a loveseat that way. I had to merge 4 separate pictures to make it happen. One of these days I’m going to do a behind-the-scenes video as I make one of these.
2. This is the first SSS that represents a film I haven’t seen. No, really. Thank God for trailers.
3. Guessing on this one wasn’t entirely fair. I was on Skype with Dylan, Nick, Kai,James and Jess after finishing the LAMBcast and I told them all that I had just posted it. Suddenly, I heard FURIOUS typing and then some cursing, before I checked to see that Nick barely beat Dylan to get Tron: Legacy. The power was pretty awesome.
Tron-Legacy

And for this week:

SSS32

Leaderboard:
Andy-5
Hatter, Nick-4
Jason, Jess-3
Kai, MovieNut14-2
Adam, Angela, Brian, David, Dylan, Kano, Mom, Stevee-1

Oscar 2009: How Right Was I?

Well, after we left the hospital (visiting the most beautiful baby in the world), we stopped by Best Buy to get a new camera (which we didn’t since they were out of stock for the one we wanted) and went grocery shopping (had to stock up on Healthy Choice dinners and soup), we finally made it home to settle in and start watching the Oscars, about an hour and a half into the show. The only major awards (i.e. ones I predicted on Saturday) I missed were Best Supporting Actress, Best Animated Feature and the two screenplay awards. I only got one wrong (Best Actor) of my top predictions, but if Mickey wasn’t going to get it, I knew Sean would. I’m not sure how I did in the LAMB Oscar Pool, since we have to predict all 24 categories, and who really knows how it will go when it comes to editing and sound and makeup.

Overall, I was slightly underwhelmed by this years Academy Awards, but mainly because I didn’t see many of the nominees, which kept me from getting excited about anyone winning or getting upset at anyone losing. And since I was busy earlier in the evening, I didn’t catch any red carpet fashion or get much of a feel for how Wolverine did as a host. I’m glad Kate finally won (her daughter’s named Mia too!), whether or not she deserved it for The Reader. And I’m glad Heath won, and I do think he deserved it and I think he had a pretty fantastic chance of still winning had he not died.

I might have a real opinion on the events of last night by the time next year’s ceremony rolls around, once I catch everything on DVD. Maybe.

Alien (No Spoilers)

All this talk of corsets and pumping has got some of my readers feeling a little out of place, so I’ll try to “butch it up” for this review.

A towing spaceship is on its return journey to Earth, with the crew of seven in hibernation until return. The ship’s computer wakes everyone and orders them to take a detour to another planet before returning to Earth. Three members search the planet only to find an abandoned alien spaceship and a large chamber incubating thousands of alien eggs. One of the eggs hatches and a small alien attaches itself to the face of crew member Kane. The crew returns to their ship, against proper quarantine protocol, with an unconscious Kane and the alien in tow.

I’m sure you know what happens next, as it’s considered one of the most iconic moments in film history. I knew and I had never seen the movie before now, but if you don’t know, definitely check out Alien, if not for anything else.

So how does a 30 year old sci-fi/horror film of this magnitude hold up for today’s audience? Pretty damn well, I’d say. With only a handful of effects, and Ripley’s hair, coming off as dated, Alien still keeps the suspense and terror with every second that passes. Sure I knew what happens, but I was still glued to my computer monitor the entire time.

A few of my “Holy Crap!” moments, besides the obvious, include:
1.) Ian Holm as Ash. It took me a moment to realize that was Bilbo Baggins. He’s certainly changed in the past 3 decades.
2.) Harry Dean Stanton as Brett. That man has not changed a bit in the past 3 decades.
3.) Ellen Ripley has to be one of the most badass film heroines EVER.

Alien is on the short list of films that make me jealous that I wasn’t around to see it in the theater. A movie theater screen compared to my computer screen is quite different, but the film still packed quite a bunch nonetheless. Can you imagine seeing the big alien for the first time in IMAX? I’d probably pee my pants.

I’m not sure what took me so long to get around to it, but don’t be like me and almost miss a truly classic film, whether you know what happens or not. Also, don’t be like me and eat while watching a certain “chest-bursting” scene. It was not smart on my part.