Irrational Man – Woody Allen

Irrational Man starring Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone, and Parker Posey.

While not quite up to par in terms of his recent works (Magic in the Moonlight, the Oscar-winning Blue Jasmine, and Midnight in Paris) Woody Allen‘s Irrational Man still manages to be moderately amusing and light in a way that only fans of the Director/Writer will appreciate. This movie in particular will not likely appeal to as many people as Woody Allen’s other films of the last decade. Starring Joaquin Phoenix in the title role as Abe Lucas, the disillusioned alcoholic and mopey philosophy professor, and Emma Stone as Jill, the philosophy student inexplicably drawn to him, Irrational Man follows their friendship and Abe’s odd journey to finding a reason to keep living.

Prior to discovering his purpose in life, Abe was living a drunken existence without meaning (or sex). He was once an accomplished writer, philosopher, and philanthropist but lost his way when he realized he would never be able to bring real change to the world.  When he starts to focus on changing the world for one person, his outlook immediately changes and he begins an elaborate plan to execute the good deed. While he sees his tasks as completely rational, from the outside world it is completely the opposite, hence the name of the film. The concepts in Irrational Man are both light and dark, which is typical of a Woody Allen film

The film is just over an hour and a half, which makes it a quick watch by today’s standards. It didn’t “drag on” and while the ending may leave you a bit stunned (but not entirely disappointed), Irrational Man doesn’t leave you with any lingering feelings towards it, good or bad. It’s not likely to be a film you will watch again, but it’s also not something that will make you angry for wasting your precious time.

Irrational Man originally premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015 and saw a wider release in August 2015. The majority of the box office totals ($27M) came from the foreign market

Watch the official trailer here:

 

 

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Trainwreck – Judd Apatow

trainwreck

Trainwreck starring Amy Schumer and Bill Hader.
Photo Credits: Mary Cybulski / Universal Pictures

Amy Schumer is the new “it” comedienne, there’s no denying that. After blowing up on the small screen by starring in her own TV show Inside Amy Schumer and finding herself featured on shows like the latest season of The Bachelorette, it was just a matter of time before the big names in Hollywood decided to back her on her own feature length film – Trainwreck. She wrote it, she stars in it, and Judd Apatow directed it. When you mix her flare for breaking down the male/female boundaries and her crude tell-it-like-it-is (not to mention shameless) delivery with his history of directing such funny filth, it certainly seems like a winning combination. It’s hard to say exactly where it went wrong, especially when so many critics and movie-goers raved about it, but a seasoned comedy screenwriter (like Apatow) likely could have made it better. Trainwreck had all the components of a great summer comedy, except and experienced rom-com writer; luckily though, it got away with it for the most part.

Amy Schumer stars as a commitment-opposed magazine columnist who unexpectedly falls for a sports doctor, played by Bill Hader. She’s blunt, funny, the opposite of graceful, and has a soft spot for her father. Amy’s got all the qualities of a stereotypical promiscuous man….but is, in fact, a woman; she just hasn’t found the right guy to settle down with. Therein lies the message that some feminists…. sorry, columnists, took issue with when bashing….sorry, reviewing, the movie. If you aren’t one to care about the underlying messages in romantic comedies or how they affect society’s perception of men and women, then just relax, adjust your blinders, and enjoy the film. That’s what these kinds of movie are for anyway!

The odd thing about Trainwreck is that the funniest actor is actually not an actor (or comedian) at all – it’s LeBron James. It can be very painful to watch athletes attempt to get a laugh from the crowd, especially when they’re playing themselves; however, LeBron is so incredibly believable and funny in his delivery  that you actually find yourself looking forward to scenes with him in them. He’s hands-down the best thing about the movie, which doesn’t say much for the more experienced actors that were supposed to carry the film.

It’s not that Trainwreck was that bad, because so many people found it hilarious, it’s just that it could have been so much better. And finally, as with every Judd Apatow movie, it was about 30 minutes too long. All that being said, it still makes for a good girls night or a date night movie, as long as you’re not easily offended by crude language and awkward sex scenes.

Trainwreck was released in theatres back in July 2015 and will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on November 10, 2015.

Watch the trailer: