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Capone calls UP IN THE AIR the Best Film of the Year (so far...)!!!

Hey, folks. Capone in Chicago here.
Connections are the most important thing we make as human beings, but not everyone is capable or driven to make them. And then there are those select few human beings that actively discourage connections with other people or possessions. In the case of Ryan Bingham (played with a marvelous, understated blend of charm and contempt by George Clooney), the only connections that matter are those at airports (although being the seasoned business traveler that he is, he probably would laugh at the very idea of booking a flight that required a connection), and the only groups he wants to belong to usually involve a platinum card that is earned after millions of miles of flying or staying at the same hotel chain for the better part of a given year. Bingham is a man that believes that the life unencumbered by connections is the only life worth living; if you've seen the phenomenal teaser trailer for UP IN THE AIR, then you've heard the backpack speech--the one that ends "We are not swans; we are sharks." And perhaps the most remarkable things about Clooney's portrayal of Bingham is that despite the fact that I couldn't disagree with his personal mission statement more, I still find him one of the most fascinating and easy-to-identify characters put on screen in 2009. And it goes without saying that writer-director Jason Reitman (who has brought us other equally unlikely heroes in THANK YOU FOR SMOKING and JUNO) spends much of UP IN THE AIR (adapted from the book by Walter Kirn) trying to introduce elements into Bingham's life that challenge his life's philosophy that if we stop moving because we are weighed down by life's connections, we effectively die as humans. And Reitman does such a masterful job telling this story without judgment that by the end of the film you'll either feel that our antihero might be on to something, or you'll want to hug the person sitting next to you just to remind yourself that knowing people is a good thing. Far from a feel-good movie (although odds are you'll feel pretty great watching Reitman's adept balance of humor and drama), there is something wonderfully life affirming and a little seductive about the experience of watching Bingham go through his work as an efficiency expert who is called in when corporations are forced to fire people in large numbers. Observing Bingham go through his routine is like watching a master carpenter build a grandfather clock. We assume there is no one better at it than the caring, sensitive man who tells the distraught employees that he's there to help them find new employment and that he/she should look at this as an opportunity to live out your life’s dream rather than a setback. Bingham is a walking contradiction in many ways, all of which are fascinating. He's about staying disconnected, yet he insists on doing the firings in person to bring a human touch to his job. This partially explains why, when his boss (Jason Bateman) brings on a new face to the company who has created a way of firing people via webcast rather than flying Bingham and his coworkers all over the country, he feels severely threatened. The young, energetic new employee with the big ideas is Natalie, played by Anna Kendrick (her best role before this one was in the little-seen ROCKET SCIENCE, but she's probably best known for playing Jessica in the TWILIGHT films--don’t hold that against her), and she's a spectacular combination of confidence and naivety. Bateman wants Natalie to learn the ropes of the job and saddles Bingham with the assignment of dragging her along with him on the road with the possibility of beta testing out her new firing methods. Lest you think this is some cheesy older-man/younger-woman scenario, please think again. Nothing in UP IN THE AIR is that simple or obvious. But that doesn't make their relationship any less interesting and unpredictable. Through Natalie, we learn a bit about the way Bingham lives his life--from the way he expedites his time in airports (apparently getting in security lines behind Asians is a huge time saver) to packing to getting room upgrades at hotels to crashing hospitality suites at conventions that happen to be booked at the same hotel you're staying in. Those of you who do a fair amount of business travel will probably want to buy Ryan Bingham his next drink for all the great pointers. During the course of the film, we also learn his take on interpersonal relationships, including those with family members and potential romantic entanglements. One night at a hotel bar, Ryan meets Alex (Vera Farmiga, that rarest mix of beauty, class, and intelligence), a woman who is living a life very similar to his. They compare VIP cards for hotel chains, airlines, and car rental companies, and they both get very turned on. What results is the closest thing that Bingham has to a relationship. They compare schedules every so often and see when they might be within a couple hundred miles of each other in the days to come. It's sweet and a bit sad, but mostly I found them an exciting item and it's beyond clear that Alex might be the one Ryan breaks all his rules for. And once again, I'll ask that you keep telling yourself that nothing in UP IN THE AIR is that obvious. The third set of female relationships that Bingham has is with his largely estranged sisters, Julie and Kara (Melanie Lynskey and Steppenwolf ensemble member Amy Morton, who has only been in a handful of TV show and films, but I love seeing her in anything). Julie is getting married (to Danny McBride's Jim, who is suffering from a nasty case of cold feet), and although Ryan wasn't even sure he could make the wedding, he does manage to make it with Alex as his stunning date. Heck, he even helps avert a crisis when Jim is having second thoughts about married Julie. And let's imagine, if we can, receiving relationship advice from a man who has made a name for himself telling other people that connections are a bad thing (yes, Ryan is a budding motivational speaker, as well). And for one of the many reasons this is the finest performance of his career, Clooney pulls the scene together and delivers a pep talk so convincing that you can't help but be impressed. There's a great sequence when Ryan, Natalie and Alex all end up together at a party, and for a brief moment you see that the three have become a temporary family. Natalie's long-distance boyfriend has just broken up with her, and Ryan and Alex are attempting to console her and, more than that, get her back on her feet by getting her a little tipsy and back in the game with some of the lovely conventioneers at the party. Mom and dad have helped their little girl heal and sent her back into the world. But that scene is just one of many perfectly realized moments from UP IN THE AIR, a film in which there isn't a single poor performance, false moment, or predictable turn. Does Ryan Bingham discover the error of his way of thinking? The better question might be, can you handle it if he doesn't? At the same time, you may wonder whether it's possible to care about man who lives a diametrically opposed life to the one you live. UP IN THE AIR isn't a film attempting to shatter your value system, but it does require you to think and judge for yourself. Director Reitman does not lead you by the hand toward foregone conclusions about any of his characters. Instead, he wisely presents them to you and asks that you evaluate these men and women on your own. Through its note-perfect use of laughter, tears, and some of the best character building you're going to see all year, UP IN THE AIR is a film that can be watched repeatedly, and each time, you'll discover something new and remarkable. There's an easy flow and dignity to this movie that made watching it the most effortless and enjoyable experience I've had in months, but it still made me ponder (and often reaffirmed) my definitions of connections, relationships, family, and friends. There's a genuine pleasure to watching UP IN THE AIR that I get from so few other films this or any other year, and I truly can't wait to revisit Ryan and the circle of acquaintances that clutter his life. With less than a month to go in 2009 (and only three or four year-end films still to see), UP IN THE AIR is my favorite film of the year to date.
-- Capone therealcapone@aintitcoolmail.com Follow Me On Twitter



Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 1, 2009, 9:26 a.m. CST

    First

    by ZombieHeathLedger

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 9:33 a.m. CST

    Really looking forward to this

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    Reitman is shaping up to be one of my favourite directors working today

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 9:36 a.m. CST

    Capone, you said the same thing about BENJAMIN BUTTON in 08

    by YackBacker

    I respectfully (and emphatically) disagree with your overall taste. Good day, sir!

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 9:40 a.m. CST

    HOW IS THIS MOVIE

    by Series7

    THAT GOOD? It looks so bad and bland.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 9:42 a.m. CST

    seen the phenomenal teaser trailer???

    by Series7

    Really? The one where George rattles off a Tyler Durden speech for the over 40 crowd? <P> Thats what people are calling phenomenal these days.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 9:45 a.m. CST

    Reitman movies

    by Series7

    Are for people who think they like deep and moving films that are full of human emotion and grounded with humor. They aren't, his films are superficial fluff. Stop sucking this dudes dick.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 9:55 a.m. CST

    as his stunning date?

    by Series7

    Is Vera Farmiga what passes as stunning these days? I'd say George is a better looking lady then she is.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Doesn't this just sound like a

    by Series7

    Sequel to Thank You For Smoking? Did reitman used to do Tony Robbins videos or something...oh wait no his daddy's famous he didn't have to earn it.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 10:04 a.m. CST

    Series7

    by pokerman

    Jealous much? or is it just a slow day and moms a little late making lunch again?

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Well the good thing is

    by Series7

    Doesn't seem anyone else really cares about this film. So AICN will just keep inflating Reitman's ego like they did with his previous two films.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Chicago screening winners?

    by scratcher

    Okay Capone, you've got me wanting to see this even more, so how about letting us know who won the passes? It's only 2 days away...

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 10:07 a.m. CST

    pokerman

    by Series7

    Also what would I be jealous of? I don't make movies, I'm not some jilted actor who AICN said sucked or something? I'm just a guy bitching about how stupid a movie looks? Thats the point of this site.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 10:10 a.m. CST

    pokerman

    by Series7

    And my mom is NEVER! NEVER! late on making me my lunch. She knows I have to be out the door by 7:20 (7:30, if my morning bath took longer because I didn't want to wake up) to get to my job at McDonlds and get the lunch menu items started in time. Those french fries don't thaw themselves! <P> And yes at McDonalds we have time to sit at a computer all day and bitch about movies.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 10:12 a.m. CST

    Also pokerman let me guess

    by Series7

    Knocked Up is one of your favorite comedic (alleged) movies of recent?

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Series 7. I hate Knocked Up yet love Thank You for Smoking

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    And Juno was pretty charming. Why wouldn't I ne excited to see what he does next, especially when you hear review like this?

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Series7

    by pokerman

    I am not a big Seth Rogen fan actually so no can't say as it is. Good to hear your mom takes such good care of you. Just a little surprised she can shake the crack hangover off so early in the morning, but good on her for caring!!

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 10:43 a.m. CST

    If you think

    by starmand

    you can't give a grown man a bath while in the throes of a crack hangover, you obviously haven't tried it.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 10:45 a.m. CST

    pokerman

    by Series7

    Ohhh it's really nothing special. See, she doesn't get back from the streets till 6AM anyway, so she just does a bump (surprisingly off of another hookers ass as well?) and she is good to go till I leave. Then she crashes all day, rinse and repeat!

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Col. Tigh-Fighter

    by Series7

    charming, there you fucking nailed it. Thats all his movies are. And like most things charming, they are usually creepy assholes or Eddie Haskell who only dumb people fall for. <P> You want a REALLY charming movie, and probably the only movie I could call pleasent. Hunt down The Taste Of Tea. Or just keep falling for Georges nice smile and easy conversation, as he keeps pushing long after you've said no, who are they going to believe at the hearing? <P> Seriously I just realized something, if George actually tried as an actor he would take up the role as a rapist on trial. Or make a Ted Bundy bio. He would be perfect for that.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Reitman hated the Wild Bunch

    by kwisatzhaderach

    ...

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 11:05 a.m. CST

    Already said it in the last thread on this . . .

    by Nice Marmot

    Precious gets best picture. Bank on it.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 11:10 a.m. CST

    I like charming (when done right). Almost Famous is charming

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    And thats a great flick. When the worlds a bit shitty, then being made to smile by a film is no bad thing. <p>and wasnt that a nice, diplomatic reply for an AIDN board? lol

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 11:13 a.m. CST

    Yeah but Col. Tigh-Fighter

    by Series7

    See this is the point that Reitman hates america. He makes these "charming" films out of awful situations. <P> What this guy gets people to smoke, but OH wait he's a nice guy too! <P> OH NO a pregnant teenager! Oh hahahah it's ok she's WITTY! <P> What this guy's job is to lay off people, right in the middle of one of America's highest unemployment rates ever, MY BAD he's just trying to make a personal connection in life. GOOD for him.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 11:24 a.m. CST

    Vera Farmiga is non-conventional beauty

    by estacado1

    She may not fit the mainstream mold of beauty, but she can pull off classy very well. Another person with this type of beauty is Uma Thurman.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Series 7, I like the way the serious situations are treated

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    not as angst ridden, hand wringing dramas, but with a different touch. I think it makes a refreshing change. And like all things in life, nothing is black and white, including things that seem negative situations. Every person who works for Big Tabaco cannot obviously be a total cunt.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Col. Tigh-Fighter

    by Series7

    Then I guess you are ok with big buisness? <P> I also hate how he acts like his movies are these Indie features. I don't know how many times I heard someone who worked on Juno talked about how it was an indie movie. I'm sorry that thing cost $11 million dollar to just make, everyone involved with it was already famous I don't see anything INDIE about it.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 11:40 a.m. CST

    hopefully this raises Anna Kendrick's status

    by Meadowe

    She and Ashley Greene have the chance to come out of twilight as break out stars. Here's to it. Just saw Ashley Greene on ktla 5, really short interview about 4 min. I was hoping for @ least 10, but it was coo' to hear she was just a waitress @ the belmont before twilight.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 11:45 a.m. CST

    Ashley Greene will be fine

    by Series7

    As long as Parker Posey doesn't realize that she's stealing all of her roles.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 11:47 a.m. CST

    Anna Kendrick

    by Series7

    Still looks like she's 12, yet we are suppose to believe she's getting the same job as someone as old as Clooney. OH wait this is hollywood so of course thats how the real world works!

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Doesnt matter if im ok or not. Big Business is here

    by Col. Tigh-Fighter

    to stay. I cant change that <p>Im not an anarchist at heart. Im a pragmatist. I live in the world as it is, and watch films about from every point of view when I can. <p> I do agree about the indi label, though. I work on Indi films lol. They cost $500,000 if yor lucky. I worked on one that had budget of $80,000 (although they did seriously over run lol). So yeah, $11M = Indi, my arse! lol

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 11:58 a.m. CST

    SPOILERS

    by steele8280

    Is there a fecking spoiler tag on this review or am I just not seeing it? Regardless, cut out about 2/3ds of this review and get to the point. You don't have to tell us everything that happens minus the last 10 minutes to get your point across. I loved this film, probably my favourite this year so far as well, but part of the charm was discovering the events as they came.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 12:05 p.m. CST

    Another Clooney flop

    by BoRock_A_Boomer

    Has to be. And euthanize Clooney already

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 12:07 p.m. CST

    Thats the problem with Reitman's films

    by Series7

    There is no point of view, and his films are fly on the wall films. They are just nothing.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 12:18 p.m. CST

    Looking forward to this!

    by Manatee

    Even if this film isn't "deep" enough for you, thoughtful Hollywood pictures should always be welcome. If you're expecting a philosophical meditation about the human condition, you'll probably be disappointed. If you like movies with a brain that still manage to entertain, this sounds like a winner.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 12:28 p.m. CST

    Jeeezus S7, what are you so pissed off about?

    by Skyway Moaters

    It's just a movie dude. And it's just Capone's opinion. You don't like it? Hate Clooney? Fine. There's room for all KINDS of films in this big 'ol world. Not everyone is going to like or dislike everything you do. So why the vitriol? You sound vicious, like you want to kick someone's ass. For what? A movie review? I don't get it.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Chicago screening winners

    by Capone

    The list will be posted tonight, and emails will get sent out to the winners shortly thereafter. Keep an eye out.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Does kind of need a spoiler warning Capone...

    by Skyway Moaters

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Capone: Thanks for the update

    by scratcher

    Winning the tickets would be even better though.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Vera Farmiga...

    by Gilderoy

    is a bit of a kook. Ever see her on Letterman?

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Skyway Moaters

    by Series7

    I don't mind Cloondawg. He is what he is a formerly good actor who still could be good if he chose better roles. I don't like Reitman.<P> Also its not like its a surprise Capone gives it a glowing review and, Oh whats this? He's hosting a screening? While he'd probably give it a good review anyway, no critic can give a Reitman movie a bad review, its in their rule book. <P> Though it makes me wonder what was going through Richard Ropers head when he hosted the Q&A with Ramis after a screening of Year One this summer?

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 1:11 p.m. CST

    i don't think human connections are important

    by maitlanr

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 1:12 p.m. CST

    i think kathy bates is important

    by maitlanr

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 1:12 p.m. CST

    i think 3d is important

    by maitlanr

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 1:12 p.m. CST

    i think nimzowitsch is important

    by maitlanr

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 1:14 p.m. CST

    i think capone is the he-bird, twittering

    by maitlanr

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Review and hosting a screening

    by Stunt Vocalist 709

    Perhaps he is hosting a screening because he likes the movie; not the other way around like S7 wants to think. If I were to host screenings, they would be of movies I liked. I wouldn't waste my time or reputation on ones I didn't.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 1:43 p.m. CST

    Yeah I'm pretty sure Roper hosted

    by Series7

    A screening of Year One site unseen, thats why it would be so funny to see him try to suck it up afterward and act like he enjoyed it. That movie was the worst piece of shit I've ever seen.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Also Stunt Vocalist 709

    by Series7

    You'd start hosting screenings just to pull in numbers and fans the second you realized no one gives a fuck about the movies you really want to see.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 2 p.m. CST

    Why I am just not that excited?

    by I am_NOTREAL

    I like Clooney. I like smart dramas. This is getting great reviews. I don't understand it -- it's either a) too much praise too soon, which naturally makes me suspicious and wonder if the fix is in, or b) lingering indigestion from "Juno," a movie that I admittedly liked at first but that has not aged well upon revisitation.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 2:22 p.m. CST

    Really, the Best FIlm of the Year? Really?

    by lockesbrokenleg

    The commercials look like shit. Looks like your typical run of the mill smug Clooney movie.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 2:31 p.m. CST

    Better than Old Dogs?

    by StatelyWayneManor

    Inconcievable!

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 2:46 p.m. CST

    I'D LIKE TO SEE CLOONEY IN A PAUL GREENGRASS FILM

    by BringingSexyBack

    Imagine combining shaky cam with the bobbling head. Clooney would just be a blur. heee

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Series 7

    by Stunt Vocalist 709

    (Laughing) You have made a couple of valid points. Thanks!

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Clooney should do an action or a war movie

    by lockesbrokenleg

    He just makes these weird movies that I have little interest in.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 2:58 p.m. CST

    Forgot possibility c)

    by I am_NOTREAL

    I loved The Hurt Locker and want that to win Best Picture, but it came out too early, this has too much star wattage, and probably a better PR campaign. Just please, Academy, don't let Reitman beat out Kathryn Bigelow for director, she made the best war movie in a decade for God's sake.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Speaking of Greengrass, he's dropped out of BOURNE 4

    by YackBacker

    Not that I care about that movie, but I do care about being topical and informative. Cheers.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 3:20 p.m. CST

    "The Men Who Goat-Stare" wasn't a war movie?

    by JasonPratt

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 3:23 p.m. CST

    "Batman and Robin" wasn't an action or war movie?

    by JasonPratt

    Okay, admittedly, I might be misremembering the action in that movie, as my brain tries to fill those memories with something my mind can accept. Freudian imagery or something. Nipples...? OH GOD, NO NO NO NOOOOOO... action. Yes, there were action scenes in that movie. I'm sure of it. A car that should have been unique racing other cars belonging to no one across landscapes filled with giant naked.... OH GOD NO NO NOOOOOOO.....

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 3:27 p.m. CST

    3 Kings was a war movie

    by scratcher

    And it was a good one.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 3:45 p.m. CST

    3 Kings was good

    by lockesbrokenleg

    I wish he'd do more stuff like that. I mean like a heavy hitting war movie. Where the FUCKING SOUND kills your eardrums!!

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 4:02 p.m. CST

    George Cloondawg

    by Series7

    For Ted Bundy Bio flick! Doing something interesting again you smug fuck!

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 4:03 p.m. CST

    Action movie

    by Series7

    Peacemaker.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 5:08 p.m. CST

    I'LL SEE IT IF BLADE KILLS EVERYONE AT THE END

    by HaterofCrap

    then suffering through 2 hours with a bunch of smug clowns would be worthwhile.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 5:13 p.m. CST

    The Lovely Bones?

    by Star Hump

    Isnt that the best movie of '09? Moriarty said he WEPT at the end. He fucking WEPT.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 5:18 p.m. CST

    Star Hump

    by lockesbrokenleg

    No, he cried at the end of Where the Wild Things Are.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 5:44 p.m. CST

    "phenomenal teaser trailer"?...really?

    by cgih8r

    This guy is easily impressed, but I'll give him credit for having a sensitive side.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 5:45 p.m. CST

    The Peacemaker? Thin Red Line?

    by BadMrWonka

    god, lockes really must see like 3 movies a year...one Michael Bay, one Emmerich, and one Tony Scott...

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 5:49 p.m. CST

    No, I see a movie once a week

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Thin Red Line and Peacemaker came out like 10 years ago, and Peacemaker was awful.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 5:56 p.m. CST

    94% oon RT

    by Rupee88

    or something like that...got to make a note to download this one in a few months

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 6:08 p.m. CST

    Clooney's Acting

    by alexbaba

    Alright guys I am sure the movie is decent but here we have Clooney doing Clooney again. He is the same in every movie. Yet he just seems to get all the accolades. I have nothing against him just don't think he is that good of an actor! Just watch his movies. He has very specific bad habits. The same leaning of the head, almost nodding. Does every character he plays HAVE to do this????? I'm sure he will get an Oscar nom and possibly win!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 6:27 p.m. CST

    But did you cum watching it Capone?

    by Glory_Fades_ImMaxFischer

    just asking

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 8:13 p.m. CST

    Not a good subject matter for these times

    by MaxDembo1

    Yeah, I really want to watch a movie about a corporate, down-sizer stooge who learns to connect with people. Who gives a fuck! I would rather watch a film about a corporate stooge who loses his job and suddenly realizes his whole livelihood has been based on the suffering and exploitation of others. These studio hacks actually believe that we will care about this schmuck because he is played by George Clooney! Let's send a message to these corporate clowns that we don't give two shits about their internal struggles.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 9:12 p.m. CST

    Rocket Science!

    by qtipsq

    Now that was an awesome, awesome flick. Loved that movie.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Rocket Science

    by Series7

    Looked fucking sick. Tired of those odd teen high school movies after Igby Goes Down, Chumscrubber, and Thumbsucker.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 10:09 p.m. CST

    Hey MaxDembo1

    by Series7

    Finally someone else who gets it.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 11:48 p.m. CST

    No thanks - Let the Juno backlash continue

    by critch

    Diablo Cody - Jennifer's Body - FLOP Ellen Page - Whip It - FLOP Putting "Juno" in the trailers for your movie is tantamount to movie suicide. Congratulations on the most illdeserved Oscar in the history of the Oscars. Now enjoy the ends of all your careers.

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 11:50 p.m. CST

    Hipsters disagree! THE GOD SPIKE JONZE's

    by MortySeinfeld

    Where the Wild Things Are is the BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR. THE GOD HARRY KNOWLES DECREED IT!!!

  • Dec. 1, 2009, 11:56 p.m. CST

    "Clooney doing Clooney"

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Unlike John Wayne being the same in every fucking movie, or Cary Grant, or [insert classic Hollywood star here]. I don't get why people are hating on Clooney lately. A decade ago, he was this cool dude who worked his way up from TV and starred in a lot of interesting, artsy-yet-mainstream fare (Out Of Sight, Three Kings, ect.), and now he's doing what he's always been doing (using his star clout to get commercially risky fare like Good Night, & Good Luck greenlit), and suddenly he sucks? Maybe guys are just jealous that he's nearly 50 and looks better than he ever has, or that he's effortlessly charismatic, or that he can handle drama and comedy with equal skill (often in the same movie). Seriously, Clooney is cool. Get over it.

  • Dec. 2, 2009, 1:01 a.m. CST

    critch

    by BadMrWonka

    you realize that this movie is going to do hug business, and probably get nominated for multiple Oscars, right?<p>regardless of what you think, it's pretty much an inevitability. Clooney + an interesting premise + UNIVERSALLY positive reviews = $$$<p>I know it's cool to hate everything popular, believe me, I get it. but reality is reality.

  • Dec. 2, 2009, 1:04 a.m. CST

    huge, not hug

    by BadMrWonka

    although I'm sure there will be hugs.

  • Dec. 2, 2009, 1:50 a.m. CST

    BadMrWonka

    by Series7

    I think most people are fine with Cloondawg doing what Cloondawg does, but enough with the Oscar talk after every fucking movie he's in. <P> JUST SAW OCEAN'S 27! AND I'M PRETTY SURE CLOONDAWG IS GOING TO GET HIS 27TH OSCAR! <P> You know that sort of thing. I mean I know its typical for any actor/actress who wins an Oscar now for people to get up in arms about their next chance of getting an Oscar, so when they put out something decent all of the sudden in critics minds, ITS FUCKING OSCAR WORTHY!

  • Dec. 2, 2009, 1:50 a.m. CST

    Also BadMrWonka

    by Series7

    Did you give up defending The Road?

  • Dec. 2, 2009, 3:41 a.m. CST

    Series7

    by BadMrWonka

    what on earth are you talking about? dozens of critics have mentioned it after seeing this film. I'm not making it up, man. nor am I saying I personally care, I'm just saying it's a reality. guaranteed he gets a nomination for this film, but I doubt he'll win. and honestly, people here have taken a break from reality if they think that because Clooney is a "smug liberal", and it gets their panties all twisted, the movie is somehow going to tank. that's ludicrous. if ever a movie were "flop-proof", it's this one. <p> and I said what I wanted to about The Road. I disagree with your simplistic view of it, but hey, it's your opinion. the other guy seemed to just want a yelling match, and that's not my thing.

  • Dec. 2, 2009, 5:05 a.m. CST

    Looking forward to this but best of the year?

    by Drsambeckett1984

    Better than Star Trek, Inglorious Basterds, District 9, Moon, Hangover??? <P> This flick reminds me of my favourite movie, Lost In Translation.

  • Dec. 2, 2009, 6:49 a.m. CST

    Watchmen

    by Dazzler69

    is the best of the year.

  • Dec. 2, 2009, 8:27 a.m. CST

    BadMrWonka

    by Series7

    You should really check out what I put about The Road, because I nailed why the movie doesn't work, for someone who has not read the book. <P> Also the fact that all critics (yes i read critics outside of this site) are all saying OSCAR NOM! Thats the problem. Its like George just can't make a decent movie and be done with it, all of the sudden he has to get an Oscar nom just for making a decent flick? He's doing nothing special here, its just George at his best and thats fine leave it at that. Leave the Oscar noms for actors that actually do something.

  • Dec. 2, 2009, 8:36 a.m. CST

    Terrific Movie

    by edmusinc

    I just saw this last night at a sneak preview here in Seattle. I agree entirely with this review, it is a truely entertaining and thoughtful film. The themes of dealing with layoffs and the effects they have could not be more timely in this current climate.

  • Dec. 2, 2009, 9:07 a.m. CST

    So far it's going to have to beat Precious for me

    by jimmay

    That's what's topping my list right now. I look forward to seeing Up in the Air as soon as its released in Denver, which probably won't be until December 11th at the earliest.

  • Dec. 2, 2009, 12:41 p.m. CST

    As Reitman's man milk slowly slides down Capone's chin

    by Stabby

    I couldn't finish reading this review because I'm heterosexual and therefore not into gay porn.

  • Dec. 2, 2009, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Well said Nasty

    by Skyway Moaters

    And Series7? You didn't nail nuthin' pal. And therein lies the problem I mentioned before. You THINK you nailed it when most any casual observer can clearly see that you did not. Just because YOU didn't see the subtlies BMW pointed out about "The Road" does not mean that they aren't there. Different strokes dude.

  • Dec. 2, 2009, 6:02 p.m. CST

    Great

    by tanman

    I saw this film about a month ago at a screening in tempe, az, and i just have to say i couldn't agree with Capone more, it's just so wonderful, even if you hate Reitman and think it looks bad you should really give it a shot.

  • Dec. 2, 2009, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Didn't AICN decree that Where the Wild Things Are

    by CronenbergResearcher

    as the best movie of the decade?? WTF?, and here they are coronating UP IN THE AIR as the best movie ever, better than sex, better than life. The AICN hyperbole is in full effect. Fucking typical AICN forgetful/self indulgent/groupthink bullshit. Go ahead and ban me, I just get another disposable email account again and again.

  • Dec. 2, 2009, 9:32 p.m. CST

    Loved Kendrick in "Camp."

    by AnnoyYou

    She played the mousy hanger-on who poisons the snotty leading lady and then does a killer version of Sondheim's "Ladies Who Lunch." She reminded me of Kristen Bell, the girl was so ambitious. Can't wait to see her and Clooney in this film (I can do without the self-conscious "I am SUCH a FINE AC-TOR" Farmiga).

  • Dec. 3, 2009, 8:18 a.m. CST

    Skyway Moaters

    by Series7

    You read The Road, you saw all these SO called subtlies in that movie because you releated different scenes in the movie to the book, where the book allows the story more room to breath. The movie is just moving from scene from the book to scene from the book. Its nothing more then a survival story.

  • Dec. 3, 2009, 12:46 p.m. CST

    Aww horseshit S7...

    by Skyway Moaters

    You can make that assertion about any film that a viewer has read the source material of. That doesn't make it a true statement. It's a logical fallicy. I for one try to judge film adaptations, especially those of literture that I am familiar with and/or appreciate, strictly upon their own merits. <p> You might as well argue that anyone who appreciates "Gone With the Wind" or a "A Clockwork Orange" just to hit upon a couple of disparate examples, must have read the book(s). It's all about the translation of "the core" of the story between mediums. Some adaptations, not many, actually trenscend the source material. While "The Road" does not fall into that category, it is, IMO a damn fine adaptation that is both moving and thought provoking. I think that the problem folks have with it, and this depends entirely on individual taste, is that it's dark and depressing and doesn't have a sufficiently happy ending. Critics of the book had essentially the same complaints as thoughtful critics of the film do: It's a fucking bummer. I have no problem with dark depressing tales. The beauty lies in the quality of the storytelling, the emotional impact, and thought provoking qualities of the piece, regardless of how optimistic, or pessemistic the story is.

  • Dec. 3, 2009, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Essentially S7...

    by Skyway Moaters

    What you are claiming, is that you KNOW, that people who read "The Road" before seing the film and also like the film, are reading something into the film that isn't there, and that's pretty fucking arrogant.

  • Dec. 3, 2009, 2:33 p.m. CST

    Well I've heard that from

    by Series7

    Several people who have read the book and seen the film. Ebert being one of them. <P> Also I liked The Road, I like depressing movies. I'm just saying that it never reaches anything other then a survival tale. Just like The Mist. And its a decent survival movie, nothing more. <P> Because you are mentioning a lot of stuff that was not in the movie, you read into scenes deeper then I would because you know the expectation of that scene and what it was standing for which is all better explained in the book. <P> I mean do you think The Road, the movie is something greater/deeper then a basic survival tale?

  • Dec. 3, 2009, 6:06 p.m. CST

    I don't think it's a survival tale at all.

    by Skyway Moaters

    I've alread expressed my opinion that it's an effective examination of moral fortitude.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 8:36 a.m. CST

    effective examination of moral fortitude?

    by Series7

    Really not a survival tale at all? Nothing in The Road has anything to do about survival? Its totally and souly an examination of moral fortitude? <P> Did we see the same movies?

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Apparently not...

    by Skyway Moaters

    All you've done is repeat your assertion that readers of the book are reading something in that isn't in the film. The "survival plot" since you insist on calling it that, (I'm not even sure I know what you mean by the label "survival movie") that you think is the beginning and end of what's on the screen, is almost beside the point. Clearly, the film version went entirely over your head. Either that or you're repeating yourself just to gig me at this point.

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Do you not know what a survival movie is?

    by Series7

    I Am Legand, The Mist, Zombieland, 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, ID4, Deep Impact, Armagedon, Pretty much all zombie films, Aliens so forth and so on. <P> IN fact IMDB has The Road listed as a Survival movie. <P> So do you still think that The Road has nothing in common with those movies?

  • Dec. 4, 2009, 2:39 p.m. CST

    And if you call

    by Series7

    Close up shots of viggo's head, a seen in a waterfall and with some coke, along with 2-3 voice over narrations enough to make it some deep tale of human nature of good vs. evil then you'r letting the film off too easy.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 9:16 a.m. CST

    If you read my post...

    by Skyway Moaters

    ... you'll see where I explicitly said that I wasn't sure how you were using the label "survivor movie". Now you've defined it as meaning a broad cross section of films that share a hugely generic general story element. By your definition I could call almost any action or Science Fiction film "a survival movie" Oh, you forgot all the disaster flicks btw <p> The 'general genre' you're loking for with "The Road" is "Apocolyptic Disaster Film". Again a very general label, as it includes films as wildy disparate as: Deep Impact, Doctor Strangelove, On The Beach, Omega Man, Beneath The Planet of the Apes, 28 Days Later, Armageddon, The Stand, 2012, I Am Legend etc. What they all share is that the world is ending or could end/does end/has ended. This genre's main meme is "loss"and the emotion it evokes in the characters. <p> The SPECIFIC genre that applies to "The Road" is POST apocolyptic survivor films. Films like"Mad Max", A Boy and his Dog" "On the Beach" etc. (this a much richer niche in print than on film) and they have very little in common with some of the films you used in your classification attempt. The problem is that films like "I Am Legend" and "The Stand" wash over into this one from the more general 'category'... do you see what I'm saying here? I don't really think about cinema in terms of genre because I don't know where to draw the lines. <p> And yes I still think "The Road" is a 'deeper' film than you do. Good grief. *shakes head* This thread is played dude.

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 9:19 a.m. CST

    And of course...

    by Skyway Moaters

    ... all those films share thematic elements, how could they not?

  • Dec. 5, 2009, 9:26 a.m. CST

    Oh for an edit function, *sigh*...

    by Skyway Moaters

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