Her (2013)


This movie I simply did not like. No matter how hard I tried I could not get into it. Her is a film about a lonely man, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with the operating system on his phone (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). This premise just turns me off. I was intrigued enough to watch it, but the whole time I was like “How can he love his computer?” and also “How can his computer laugh, and fake an orgasm, and basically have a personality?” Logically I know that technology is developing fast and operating systems probably will be this complicated and intelligent one day in the future. But I was still just like, WTF?

This picture is basically the majority of the film. Joaquin's face as he talks to his phone. Not on it, to it. Boring.
This picture is basically the majority of the film. Joaquin’s face as he talks to his phone. Not on it, to it. Boring.

There are some good aspects to Her, which is directed by Spike Jonze. First of all, Joaquin Phoenix is excellent and he almost made me believe in the absurdity of everything. As good as he is though I found all the close ups of him that dragged on forever uncomfortable and I had to keep looking away from the screen. It’s not Joaquin’s fault, of course, he’s fine to look at. It was just soooo boring. Could they seriously have not staged those scenes in any other way? My eye kept wandering. The eye needs to be enticed and I’m sorry, but Joaquin’s wacky mustache does not do it for me (seriously, what is with all the goofy mustaches in this movie? And the high waisted pants?)

The set design and use of color is one of the only things that worked for me in Her.
The set design and use of color is one of the only things that worked for me in Her.

The humor in this film was weird, really weird, and really turned me off. The whole dead cat thing? That is fucked up and hardly funny. This film just feels like a limp fish, there’s pretty much nothing happening and hardly any humor. I tried to like this film, but I found it boring. And the ending is the worst, most boring part of it all! Like seriously, that’s it?! I thought that at least Joaquin and Amy Adams were going to jump off the roof or something. Not just sit there in dull, boring silence. This movie is pretentious in the worst way possible. People are becoming too attached to technology and don’t want to put any effort into a relationship. That is what I got from the film and I don’t find that very interesting or original.

Rooney Mara brings some much needed energy and emotion to an otherwise dull film (pictured here with Joaquin Phoenix).
Rooney Mara brings some much needed energy and emotion to an otherwise dull film (pictured here with Joaquin Phoenix).

I really liked the set design of the movie. I found all the bright colors quite refreshing and interesting since there are so many dark films these days. The score was also good and added to the movie. And I absolutely loved both Rooney Mara and Chris Pratt. Chris is just hilarious and one of my new favorite people. He makes me smile. The scenes with Rooney and Joaquin were the only scene in which I felt a connection to what was happening. They were so bitter sweet. I really felt that I could understand Theodore’s pain, I think anyone who has ever been in a relationship could relate to him. Rooney is so charismatic and injects some vibrancy into an otherwise dead on arrival film.
Her just doesn’t do it for me. I tried to like it. It has a few good things going on. But overall I feel that it lacks life. It’s hard to make a movie about a guy talking to his OS exciting. And the ending is so weak, just thinking about it pisses me off. 6/10

Trailer Review: Inherent Vice


Inherent Vice is the latest film from Paul Thomas Anderson, director of The Master and There Will be Blood. I haven’t seen any of his previous films; I want to, I’ve just never gotten around to it. But this film seems like a bit of a departure from his previous films in terms of tone. The Master and There Will be Blood are dark dramas whereas Inherent Vice, judging by this trailer, looks surprisingly funny and even light. This film has quite an impressive cast with Joaquin Phoenix in the leading role with support from Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro (a favorite of mine), Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Martin Short, Eric Roberts, and Maya Rudolph. The plot centers on Larry “Doc” Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix), a Los Angeles detective as he investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend in 1970.
The plot, as described by one of the characters in the first 20 seconds of the trailer sounds a little convoluted and confusing. But I’m pretty sure that’s the point. It’s funny in the trailer, but I wonder how it will work with the film as a whole. Anyways, I really like the music used in the trailer and the way it is cut is just brilliant. The timing is perfect, it draws you in, and it’s simply funny. Funnier than any “comedy” movie these days. I kind of wonder how misleading the trailer might be. It’s hilarious, but the film is categorized as a crime drama on IMDB. Which just makes me wonder, what is really the tone of this film? I would hate to be so cheaply misled.
Basically, my reaction to this trailer can be summed up with one image:


Judging by the trailer, the cast, and the director this film is a must see for me. But as good as the trailer is, I still feel like I don’t really know what the movie is about, if it’s a comedy or a drama. That worries me a little bit, but at least the trailer doesn’t give too much away. Even if it ends up not being a great film, I think it will be worth seeing for some valuable performances. Inherent Vice hits theaters in December.