Archives for posts with tag: Jason Bateman

Grade B-

Manny’s Movie Musings: Jennifer Aniston plays a single woman whose biological clock is ticking so loudly she decides to use a sperm donor to get pregnant.  Jason Bateman, playing Aniston’s best friend, is horrified at her choice, partly because he is subconsciously in love with her.  During Aniston’s get pregnant ceremony/party, Bateman gets wasted on alcohol and drugs and switches the donor’s sperm for his own.  Aniston moves away to have her baby; and 7 years later, she and her son move back into Bateman’s city.  The boy’s personality is very much that of Bateman, who slowly realizes why that is; and now he has to decide if and when to tell Aniston of his discovery.  My most memorable, movie moment of “The Switch” is the scene when Bateman decides to make the switch because of his drug/alcohol induced accident; and out of desperation, uses an image of Diane Sawyer to help him get his product out.   “The Switch” is a typical, formulaic rom-com, meaning you’ll get exactly what you think, including the ending.  Still, it has its funny moments.

— M

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Grade A

An allegory about human prejudice, xenophobia, and making our hopes and dreams come true so we can be more than what we are, “Zootopia” is a city in a world where animals have evolved to live in peace with each other.  Predator or prey, large or small, animals no longer have to live their lives based on what they are.   Anyone can be anything as long as they work hard…or at least that’s what the ideals are.  What we see is a bit more…complicated.

“Zootopia” stars Ginnifer Goodwin as the voice of a female, rabbit, police officer who searches for a missing otter.  Difficulties abound in her search because no one takes her seriously.  Her fellow cops believe she is a joke — after all, how can a small rabbit, and a female rabbit at that — effectively do a dangerous, physical job of law enforcement?  But what the other animals don’t see and recognize are Goodwin’s intelligence, never give up attitude, and courage that would put a lion to shame.  With only a sly, hustling fox (voiced by Jason Bateman) as her ally, they search for the missing otter and discover a conspiracy that seeks to destroy the peace between predator and prey animals.

One of my memorable moments of this movie is the scene when Goodwin, still a bunny, stands up to a bully who happens to be a fox.  The scene may be too intense for very little kids, but it’s a great set up to show the audience what Goodwin is made of.

Another memorable moment of “Zootopia” is the scene when Goodwin tells reporters that some predator animals in the city are becoming feral probably because it is in their nature to be that way.  They can’t help it, they are just born that way.  What a great scene.  Here is a character who has faced prejudice all her life, and now she’s spewing out the same, hurtful things, not realizing that she also harbors some of the ignorant views that she has seen in so many others.

My most memorable, movie moment of “Zootopia” is the scene at the Department of Motor Vehicles, where all the workers are Sloths!  Funny and brilliant!

Once again, Disney has hit a home run, giving us a very entertaining movie (with a lead character that is the cutest Disney had created in decades) that the entire family can enjoy, with the adults probably appreciating the more serious aspects of the movie.

— M

Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall play a married couple who move in to a beautiful house in an upper class neighborhood, their hold on the American Dream firm and unshakeable…until Joel Edgerton (also the Writer/Director of “The Gift”) enters their lives.   Bateman and Edgerton, having known each other as teenagers going to the same school, make an awkward attempt to catch up during dinner at the Bateman/Hall house.  Edgerton, of course, arrives with a gift, and there is clearly an uneasiness between Edgerton and Bateman.   At the end of this dinner, Bateman hopes to never see Edgerton anymore, but Edgerton has other ideas, and keeps popping up at the house like a lonely, stray cat looking for scraps of food and some attention.

With each visit, Edgerton brings a gift for Bateman/Hall.  The gifts are at first welcomed; but as the relationship between Bateman and Edgerton sours, the gifts become menacing, culminating in the final gift which is the most damaging and shocking to Bateman’s life.

Second place for my memorable moments of this movie is the scene when Bateman confesses to Hall as to why Edgerton has a grudge against him.  That’s all I’ll say about this scene so as not to spoil it for those who haven’t seen the movie.

First place for my most memorable, movie moment of “The Gift” is the scene when Bateman and Hall are at Edgerton’s “home,” and Edgerton suddenly leaves for a few minutes.  Bateman starts making fun of Edgerton, sticking his hand down his pants and sticking out a finger through the zipper and pretending to be Edgerton, wanting to have creepy sex with Hall using his creepy pee pee.  Ha ha ha!  Bateman’s comedic talents came through with a vengeance in this scene.

“The Gift” is not your average suspense/thriller flick.  Edgerton the writer/director wisely restrains the story to keep it from becoming generic and predictable.   Some may find this boring — I didn’t.  It’s a well told story that slowly builds the suspense and offers modest surprises and twists that fans of this genre will enjoy.

— M

Intermission time

Intermission time

 

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