One Line Description: A weird prep school overachiever is in academic trouble.
I tried. I tried to watch another Wes Anderson movie. And I am left with the same feeling every time: too much forced quirkyness for me to find it enjoyable. I have never been a fan of Jason Schwartzman, and although Bill Murray is super solid, this one just doesn’t work for me.
One Line Description: A hypnotherapist tries to help a man threatened by criminals to locate a stolen painting .
I had never heard of this movie before, but Rosario Dawson is my jam, and she has some special scenes in this movie. The movie is set in London and the main character is an art auctioneer who helps smuggle a priceless painting out with the very criminals who are robbing his employer. After he forgets where he hid the painting they consult Dawson, a hypnotherapist. There are many, many twists and turns in this movie, some good, and some bad. It’s far from the bad movie I expected a movie I had never heard of to be, but The Departed it is not. The resolution does pay off pretty well. I’d even watch it again.
The To Do List (2013)
One Line Description: A mid-’90s high graduate tries to gain sexual experience before heading to college.
This movie deserves a lot of credit for taking a theme typically placed on a male character and moving it to a female. Bravo on that. The supporting cast is solid as well, Bill Hader, Andy Samberg, Scott Porter, Rachel Bilson and Donald Glover. Not being a Parks and Recreation fan has left me somewhat unfamiliar with Aubrey Plaza. She is great in this role though, and plays it in a believable way. Overall though, the movie is just for a different demographic. The ’90s references are fun, but there isn’t enough there to pull someone in their 30s into it.
That is what seems odd about a movie like this, set in the mid-’90s but with a target audience of people born at the tail end of the decade. Although it is not that much different than something like Dazed and Confused, which would be a comparable time difference for someone of my age. That being said The To Do List is probably a much better movie that I realize, if only I was 16.
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
One Line Description: Real estate salesman deal with pressure to sell resulting in a tumultuous 24 hours.
This movie is most known for Alec Baldwin’s only scene, his famous speech about “closing”. It has a literal all-star cast as well, featuring the likes of Baldwin, Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris and Jack Lemmon, otherwise known as 27 Oscar nominations between them. The reason this movie isn’t talked about more (outside of Baldwin’s speech) despite the cast, is that it’s pretty boring. The entire thing takes place is just around 24 hours. It consists heavily of monologues and one-sided conversations, and almost no action whatsoever. The abstractness of what the characters are selling doesn’t help either. And it’s hard to determine if the whole the thing is a scam. The cast is also entirely male, which seems odd for a movie from the early 1990s.
Like the aforementioned Wes Anderson and movies like Blade Runner, this one undoubtedly has a cult following, but the nuances are too subtle to be appreciated by the average person. And that makes it seem like a waste of a truly phenomenal cast. Won’t be watching this one again.