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Blu-ray Review: (500) Days of Summer
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Three-D   |  
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(500) Days of Summer Blu-ray DVD(500) Days of Summer
Blu-ray Edition
Directed by Marc Webb
Starring Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: December 22, 2009

The omniscient narrator declares that what we are watching is not a love story, but a story about love. An odd little twist that brings a kind of assurance and authenticity to (500) Days Summer. Once this statement is solidified early on in the film it makes us view the movie in a slightly different way and rightfully so. An original narrative technique is what the film has going for it. It disregards a linear story line but never capitalizes on the true potential the script really has. Many films use discombobulated narratives that are fragmented and dislocated to resemble the emotions its characters are feeling. The split screens and split narratives are too much imbued within stylistic ploys, making each scene that carries these fashionable devices incompetent and never availing.

Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, along with the innovative mind of director Marc Webb, may have dislocate the narrative a tad too much and haven’t peered thoroughly enough into the emotional angst of Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a greeting card writer, who is in love with Summer (Zooey Deschanel), his coworker. This is Tom’s story he tells to his two friends and little sister, in a way that isn’t chronological, his mishaps and successes he has experienced with Summer throughout the 500 days he believed he loved her.

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Movie Review: (500) Days Of Summer
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Cinema Junkie   |  
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(500) Days Of Summer
Directed Marc Webb
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Chloe Moretz
Rated PG-13
Release date: July 17, 2009

“She’s gone. She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen.”
–Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything

“If I had a personal conversation with God, I would ask him to create this girl.”
–Steve Dunne from Singles

“People don’t realize this, but loneliness is underrated.”
— Tom Hansen from 500 Days Of Summer

(500) Days Of Summer: The Architecture Of Expectations And Reality

Happy endings are for massage parlors. Reality is a stranger in most recent romantic comedies. This was not always the case, but in good and bad times, the masses demand that their characters live happily ever after. No one wants to pay ten dollars to hear that life sucks and you do not receive all the assets that come with the American Dream. Is there even an American Dream anymore, regardless of the accessories that may come with it? We do not get the romantic comedies we want, but the ones we deserve.

More recently, audiences have been blessed with three very honest films this year that have been sold as comedies, but work on a far deeper and subtler level: Greg Mottola’s Adventureland, Sam Mendes’ Away We Go, and now Marc Webb’s (500) Days Of Summer. Each of these films work as honest cinema that delivers a gut punch of epic proportions. All of the films work on a comic level, but each delivers a level of brutal honesty which is greatly appreciated by the time the closing credits start to roll. These films never preach or condescend to its audience. Instead, the films speak to us in ways we never thought possible. In harsh economic times, the last thing most people want to see is some structure of reality staring at them from the other side of screen. At the end of the day, it is the realistic film that will stay with you far longer than the far fetched fantasy film. Leaving your brain at the door does not have to be an option. Actually, as I have gotten older, I appreciate having to think about what I am watching.

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Movie Review: Yes Man
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Jack Bauerstein83   |  
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Yes Man
Directed by Peyton Reed
Starring Jim Carrey, Zooey Deschanel, Bradley Cooper, Terence Stamp
Directed By Peyton Reed
Rated PG-13
Release date: December 19, 2008

Growing up in the ’90s, I watched the rise of Jim Carrey. From his humble beginnings on the sketch comedy In Living Color (favorite character Fire Marshall Bill), to his break out role in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Carrey became a star right before everyone’s eyes. After that came string of hit movies (Liar, Liar, Bruce Almighty, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and even a few duds (The Majestic, The Number 23). Carrey has since moved on to family oriented films and dramedies, but one cannot deny the comedic talent or overall likability of Carrey as an actor. While not a perfect film, Yes Man is Carrey’s return to slapstick comedy and fans will be pleasantly surprised that Carrey has not lost a step.

Carrey play Carl Allen, a divorced loan officer. Carl’s life is pretty much a downer, from watching videos from Blockbuster in his spare time to avoiding social gatherings. When he realizes his behavior may lead to a lonely existence, he is puts his life in the hands of a Tony Robbins-eque guru Terrence Bundley (General Zod aka Terence Stamp) who encourages him to say “yes” to anything and everything.

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DVD Review: The Happening
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The Geeks of Doom   |  @   |  
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By KefkaTaran

The Happening
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo
Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 7, 2008

The Happening is an unbelievably bad movie. When I say “unbelievably,” I mean it quite literally; as in I actually can’t believe how bad the movie was, especially in light of fairly positive reviews from some of my most respected sources when the film first hit theaters, such as Roger Ebert and, yes, Geeks of Doom. I can’t believe the depths of bad acting that generally solid actors like leads Mark Wahlberg and Zoey Deschanel can apparently sink to under M. Night Shyamalan‘s directing. And more than anything, I can’t believe major Hollywood studios are still bankrolling films by this continuously diminishing director.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit far. I should probably back off a little at this point and offer a confession: I haven’t seen a single M. Night Shyamalan movie in full since 1999’s The Sixth Sense (which I liked, but I was only in junior high when I saw it, so hell, who knows if I really liked it). Without trying to cast aspersions onto other reviewers, perhaps that’s part of the reason I was so astonished by how awful The Happening is. I haven’t become slowly more disillusioned with Shyamalan with each passing film, and I have yet to witness last summer’s apparently equally horrendous Lady in the Water. But whether it was a case of too-high expectations or something else entirely, the fact remains that The Happening left my mouth hanging open in a way that Shyamalan and crew likely didn’t intend.

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