Super Serene (Movie Thoughts: Serenity)

serenity-ka-1I probably would not have paid any attention to ‘Serenity’ had I not read that there was a surprise ‘life-changing’ twist in the middle of the film that everyone is saying is so insane it had to be seen to be believed.  And of course, since I hate surprises, I went along and searched the internet for this ‘twist.’ Well, it turns out that this twist is the only interesting thing in this movie – which is essentially just a generic thriller/potboiler that we all have seen before. I cannot believe Matthew McConnaughey, Anne Hathaway and Diane Lane all got attached tho this piece of crap. I mean, I probably will watch Hathaway read the phone book (and she will make it interesting) but here they are not able to save the flimsy plot and tepid direction, utilizing some of the stupidest cinematic cliches (mysterious woman wears a wide brimmed hat)  Perhaps I should not have read up on the twist – because it made my experience more boring – there was nothing else there for me to be excited about. I am giving it two stars, one star just for the gall of the ‘twist.’

A Parisian Summer (Film Thoughts: Paris Can Wait)

large_paris_can_waitI am happy that in your local Cineplex between all the summer movies of superheroes and action sequences, there exists a film like ‘Paris Can Wait.’  This film, directed by Eleanor Copolla (Francis Ford’s wife) is, like your average summer movie, a whole lot of nothing. But with its French scenery, French food, and French suitor in the way of Aurnaud Viard, it just seems a lot more sophisticated and worldly. And in the summer heat feels like a great reftreshing creme brulee.

Diane Lane frames the whole film as Anne, a housewife of a movie producer (Alec Baldwin, barely here) who spends her time in his shadow. While at Cannes Film Festival, she develops an earache which prevents her from flying to Budapest with her husband. Instead one of his associated, Jacques (Viard) drives her to Paris. The film then becomes a glamorous road movie, as the normally day trip stretched to two, and along the way, they both explore the French regions, from Aix en Provence to Lyon, weaving through restaurants and museums and Roman aqueducts.  To me it’s all interesting, with the shots of fresh lavender fields, and mouth-watering food. I was very much enchanted by all of it, as we see all this through Anne’s eyes. Is Jacques an opportunist French man or is he just plain French?  The film will not let you spoil its romantic premise, but then why would you want it to? This is a film of moonlights and slow dances, and sometimes on a Summer afternoon it’s as much as an escape as a space battle. Maybe even better.