REVIEW: Date Night

Date Night
Directed by: Shawn Levy
Written by: Josh Klausner
Starring: Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg, and Tariji P. Henson

Modern comedy is often found in the silence, not the punchline.  It’s usually the uttering of a few colorful adjectives followed by an awkward stammer or glare.  When done right, on TV shows like The Office and 30 Rock, it is hilarious.  Date Night plucks its two stars from those two modern TV milestones to try and inject a little bit of comedic energy into a script much in need of it.

Steve Carell and Tina Fey play Phil and Claire Foster, a self-proclaimed boring suburban couple.  They are comatose, floating around like a slapstick version of the Burnham family from American Beauty.  Then, thanks to some blatant plot doctoring, they are forced on a life-or-death journey into a New York that is oozing with corruption and filled with vermin played by famous actors.

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REVIEW: Easy A

Easy A
Directed by: Will Gluck
Written by: Bert V. Royal
Starring: Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes, Thomas Hayden Church, and Patricia Clarkson

There’s a moment in this John Hughes-wannabe that actually lives up to its intentions.  Daughter (Emma Stone) and mother (Patricia Clarkson) sit on a car overlooking their valley,  comparing high school reputations and laughing while the world around them sleeps.  It’s an evolution of the Hughes parent-child relationship.  For a moment, they understand each other. The rest, unfortunately, is far behind.

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REVIEW: Ponyo

Image courtesy of The Retort

Ponyo
Directed by: Hayo Miyazaki
Written by: Hayo Miyazaki (screenplay)
Starring: Noah Cyrus, Frankie Jonas, Tina Fey, Cate Blanchett, and Liam Neeson

For those who love the art of Japanese anime, Hayo Miyazaki is widely considered the God.  The man behind such works as Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke delivers his latest, Ponyo, with a wide color palette and unique take on Hans Christian Anderson’s “Little Mermaid.”

It starts off underwater.  The young fish we will soon know as Ponyo (Noah Cyrus) makes her way to the surface in an elaborate, beautiful opening sequence.  When she arrives, she meets Sosuke (Frankie Jonas), a vibrant and happy five year old boy who rescues her from a glass jar.  The fish licks the wound, healing it and binding her DNA with that of a human.  She begins to take on human characteristics, learning to speak and sprouting limbs.  All the while, her father (Liam Neeson) is keen on keeping her the way she is, and takes her back into the underwater realm.  She breaks free, and once liberated, unleashes the sea and makes her way back to Sosuke.

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