My drafts section is clogged up with half-written pieces and reviews. So in an attempt to de-clutter I'm throwing out some quick reviews.
The city at night, the car as a means of escape, Taxi Driver (Albert Brooks), History of Violence, that jacket, Carey Mulligan's perfect face. The loneliness of the existential hero. A fairy-tale, found innocence and the violence required to protect it. He's doomed, like Mitchum in Out of the Past, he even works in a garage. His past is violence, he can't escape it, can't drive fast enough, can't resist the urge to risk, to be a driver of crimes. Gosling's monotone, reigned in, from a distance cool, up close wary, in control of situations, in control of himself even more. Then a woman comes into his life and he starts to make wrong decisions. It's noir, a sleek rethread of old themes, moody and gorgeous with LA light.
Date Night (2010)
Middle-aged married couple in a rut, the Fosters, decide to treat themselves to a night in the big city. Unable to get a table at a swanky restaurant they pretend to be another couple and take their table. Big mistake. The other couple are wanted by gun-wielding thugs and soon the Fosters are on the run. It has the feel of a reheated 1980s plot (the idea of New York at night as a dangerous place). Steve Carell and Tina Fey make it work even as the plot is insultingly unconvincing (the cops and baddies don't exist in any reality), the great Ray Liotta is wasted and the ending is lame. On the other hand it captures mundane married life well, there are several funny scenes and good support from a shirtless Mark Wahlberg and especially James Franco and Mila Kunis as a bickering criminal couple who nearly steal the film in one scene. You come away thinking that, given better material, Carell and Fey could be a great screwball couple. Fey in particular has a Diane Keaton meets Irene Dunne thing going on that could be, should be, great.
Bride Wars (2009)
Knight and Day (2010)