Wednesday, March 07, 2012

dvr quick takes

On a rainy day I caught up with some movies that I had missed or never even heard of before. Here are some quick takes:

The perfect movie to watch while you are deep-cleaning your carpet:

Cameron Diaz gets ready to greet the day
Bad Teacher (2011). It's not horrible, but it's not good. Jason Segel is always a welcome presence and Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake, and Lucy Punch have fun with their bad roles, but if you miss some dialogue while you are running the cleaner back and forth you won't really be missing much.
The perfect movie to watch when you are hungry, but you might have to pause it and whip up something in the kitchen, especially the chef's magical trifle dessert:

Dougray Scott serves up a trifle like no other
Love's Kitchen (2011). It's a slight romantic comedy featuring a chef (Dougray Scott) and a restaurant critic (Claire Forlani) who fall in love. Scott and Forlani are a real-life couple, and have undeniable chemistry. The setting and supporting players are great (Simon Callow, Peter Bowles, Caroline Langrishe, Cherie Lunghi), but it all has a made-for-TV quality and the script really isn't up to the actors. Still, it's fun to watch. And Gordon Ramsay even makes an appearance. It's the sort of movie you watch and wait for it to get better, for things to come together, but it never quite does.

The perfect movie to watch when fantasizing about having a romantic liaison at Lake Como:

Antonio Banderas and Liam Neeson contemplate their next move
The Other Man (2008). Liam Neeson discovers that his wife, shoe designer Laura Linney, has been having an affair with another man (Antonio Banderas). Although his daughter (Romola Garai) cautions him not to, he decides to track down the man where he lives, in Milan, and get some answers. The acting again is excellent, as are the Italian locations. But the editing is deliberately confusing, trying for an arty effect at telling the story of a love triangle out of chronological order. It undercuts the performances rather than giving them more meaning. Still, it's worth a look, especially for the one-on-ones between Neeson and Banderas.
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