Archives for posts with tag: Scarlett Johansson

There are plenty of movies about two guys trying to outdo one another, but none quite like “The Prestige” (2006). Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman play a pair of magicians who duel to the bitter end. And I do mean bitter. And I do mean end. The first half is tedious and non-sequential, which is, as usual, more work than art (something filmmakers refuse to understand). Once the time sequence gets a little straighter, the pace picks up. False climaxes are layered with macabre worthy of Poe. And then you get blindsided with the oldest trick in the storyteller’s book.

“Chef” (2014) is a good movie for people like me, who enjoy cooking, awkwardly embrace social media and savor hard-to-categorize, witty little movies. Jon Favreau is the chef, a well-meaning sort-of dickhead going through a midlife crisis (exactly how I imagine Favreau is in real life). It has a lot of people in it: Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, that dude from the Woody Allen movie, John Leguizamo, Robert Downey Jr., etc. I loved the cooking scenes, especially the grilled cheese sandwich. Sofia Vergara haters will totally understand how two of the main characters are her ex-husbands. She’s an acquired taste.

Let’s say you fall in love with Siri, but she breaks up with you. Can you go back to the Apple Store for a refund? (Asking for a friend.) With that burning question out of the way, let’s talk about “Her” (2013). The plot – a dude living in a digital-media-immersed Los Angeles falls in love with his uberSiri computer operating system – is so quirky it’s almost a distraction from all the questions it provokes. At its fascinating core, “Her” wants us to ponder the nature of love, specifically, and relationships, generally, in our Facebook age. I wonder what Siri thinks.