Archives for posts with tag: Greg Kinnear

Grade C –

Another offering by Nicholas Sparks, “The Last Song” stars Miley Cyrus as a teen girl who, along with her younger brother, is sent to live with her estranged father (played by Greg Kinnear) for the summer.  And now, for the cliches: Cyrus has a huge attitude because she hates her father for divorcing her mom; Kinnear is the nice, protective father who is desperate to reconnect with his daughter…and he has a secret that will alter the lives of his children forever; the son is a smart-ass who is insightful for his age; Cyrus, despite her anger issues and raggedy looks, will attract the local, young stud (played by Liam Hemsworth); Hemsworth turns out to be more than a pretty face — he is a guy with a heart of gold, and he is looking for “the one”; Cyrus can’t stand Hemsworth — or so she pretends — then starts to like him…then hates him again for withholding a secret from her that affects her father (who she used to hate but now kind of likes)…then likes Hemsworth again because she forgives him and she really really likes him and…well, you get the idea.

The worst things about “The Last Song” are the numerous cliches mentioned above, Cyrus’ lack of serious acting skills, the lack of onscreen chemistry between Cyrus/Hemsworth, and the forced, goofball scenes that are supposed to make the audience go ga-ga for these two young lovers.  The “meet cute” part isn’t cute at all, it is corny as hell and made me cringe that someone could write something so bad for a Hollywood movie.  Then there is the actor who plays the young son: his constant, constipation face is both funny and annoying.  Add the tears and the snot during the dramatic moments and it’s just all too much.

Saving this movie from a much lower grade is Kinnear’s very good acting.  It’s natural, subtle in most cases, and very believable.  Hell, he was my favorite character.

My most memorable, movie moment of “The Last Song” is when Kinnear’s secret is revealed.  Sparks fans won’t be shocked as they know how this writer operates.

So…do I recommend this movie to Sparks fans?  Yes, because I know that fans of Nicholas Sparks will want to gobble up anything he writes, even if many say it is a substandard piece of work.  Fans will always need to watch for themselves.  So, watch “The Last Song,” and see for yourself.  Everybody else, there are much better rom-com/dramas out there.

— M

 

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The American people were duped into invading Iraq with tales of Saddam Hussein having Weapons of Mass Destruction, and it was up to us to stop this madman from using the WMDs against the world.  And so, after hundreds of billions of dollars — if not trillions — spent, and many U.S. soldiers killed and maimed, and countless Iraqi civilians killed, no WMDs were found.  “The Green Zone” is a movie that deals with this subject.

Matt Damon plays a U.S. soldier leading a unit to hunt for WMDs.  Risking his life and those of his men, he goes from one spot to another that supposedly hides the WMDs.  He finds nothing on every occasion, and starts questioning the validity of the intelligence reports regarding the WMDs.  Eventually his curiosity leads him to the person who gave the U.S. government intel regarding the WMDs, as well as the dirty, backroom dealings among the White House, the Pentagon, and the CIA.

“The Green Zone” is a highly entertaining, extremely intense, very suspenseful movie.  There are many combat sequences that are raw, gritty, and in your face.  It gives me an idea of the hardships our soldiers go through during urban combat: not knowing if, when and where the enemy will pop up to take a shot at you.  And it’s not just the fighting that’s stressful and scary, it’s also dealing with the crowds of people on the street as you drive to go to and from a mission.  This movie made me feel as if I was there, and it got my heart pumping and my mind wondering how I would’ve handled the situations our soldiers deal with on a regular basis.

The direction and pacing of “The Green Zone” is top of the line.  Even the scenes with just dialogue demands your attention.  And the scene that received the most of my attention is my most memorable, movie moment: when Damon’s Iraqi informant — after being abused many times by U.S. soldiers — asks Damon what more does the informant have to do in order to prove to the U.S. soldiers that he just wants to help.  The informant tells Damon that he doesn’t want money; he wants to do his part to bring about a better future for Iraq.  It makes sense.  Americans are just visitors.  This man has to live there.

“The Green Zone” is a reminder to us all that we should not blindly trust our government officials.  The greater someone’s power, the more that person should be distrusted.  Power corrupts.  You know the rest.

M

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