Page 30


screenshots | continued from page 29



behind every act), but even in the more relaxed scenes opposite Adams, Cavill is more supermodel than Superman. Forget Christopher Reeve comparisons: Cavill doesn’t even come close to measuring up to Superman Returns’ Brandon Routh. And while we’ll have to wait for the sequel to fully measure his effectiveness at playing the nerdy, bespectacled Clark Kent, his brief appearance in this capacity unfortunately stirs memories of The Amazing Spider-Man, where the makers merely slapped a pair of glasses on Andrew Garfield and asked us to accept this hunky, in-crowd kid as a geeky outsider. Then again, the inability of Clark’s glasses to disguise his true nature is an apt metaphor, since it doesn’t take 20/20 vision (or 3-D glasses) to see that this Man of Steel is one leaden endeavor.



Director Richard Linklater’s lifeaffirming Before trilogy is the Lord of the Rings of the art-house experience, the Toy Story of the American indie movement (I say American because we can’t exclude Krzysztof Kieslowski’s wonderful Three Colors trilogy). In another way, it’s the fictional equivalent of Michael Apted’s Up documentary series, which has tracked a group of Brits every seven years to see how their lives are proceeding (the series began with 1964’s 7 Up and has continued through this year’s 56 Up). Yet all comparisons are ultimately academic, as this is a series that beautifully stands on its own. The project began with 1995’s Before Sunrise: Written by Linklater and Kim Krizan, it tells of a chance encounter between a young American named Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and a young Frenchwoman named Celine (Julie Delpy), who become acquainted while traveling by train in Europe and decide to spend their final hours together in Vienna before heading in different directions. Nine years later, the gang returned for 2004’s Before Sunset, with Hawke and Delpy not only reprising their roles but also writing the screenplay with Linklater and Krizan (the quartet received an Oscar nomination for their joint effort). This time, the setting is Paris, as Celine and Jesse see each other for the first time since Vienna and must

decide whether to grab this second chance at love. The note-perfect ending, one of the best fade-outs of its decade, was ambiguous, but with the new release of Before Midnight, we now know how things panned out. Jesse and Celine did decide to remain together, and in the nine years since, they’ve settled down in Paris and produced twin daughters. As we join them again, they’re vacationing in Greece, but despite the idyllic setting and the group of friends they’ve made, not everything is perfect. Jesse misses his son from his former marriage; the boy’s living in Chicago with his mother, and although Jesse never comes out and says it, Celine senses that he’s expecting her to agree to move the whole family to the Windy City just so he can see his son every other weekend. Never mind that they’d have to deal constantly with Jesse’s ex, who hates them both - Celine isn’t prepared to not only uproot the girls but also possibly miss out on a promising new job. The bulk of the dramatic tension doesn’t come until late in the picture: Initially, the focus is on the couple as they relate to their children and to the big-hearted folks who have invited them into their home for relaxation and conversation. There’s a superb sequence set around a dinner table (outdoors, of course), and the dialogue is so fresh and invigorating that the scene proves to be as exciting as any action set-piece involving costumed heroes (or if we’re talking about Man of Steel, <I>more<P> exciting). Linklater, Hawke and Delpy again share scripting duties (Krizan is MIA this time around), and the actors’ involvement doubtless led to much of the seemingly improvised nature of the chats. Despite any dressing provided by the locales or the supporting characters, this series has always been exclusively about Jesse and Celine, so it’s no surprise that everything and everyone else eventually drops out of the picture, leaving the couple to engage each other one-on-one. There’s wooing and whining, and flirting and fighting. Both parties are right, both parties are wrong. It’s a beautifully sustained piece of cinema, raw and authentic and emotional, and if the movie ends just a bit too abruptly ... well, there’s always the possibility of another visit in 2022.



Unlike the raunchy Wedding Crashers, this Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson comedy is rated PG-13 instead of R, it avoids the strain of mean-spiritedness that’s in vogue in modern comedy, and its leads are now more comfortable making jokes about 1953’s Stalag 17 and 1983’s Flashdance than anything from the brave new world of 2013. Certainly, a lot of that has to do with the chemistry between Vaughn and Wilson. Here, they’re respectively cast as Billy and Nick, two watch salesmen who unexpectedly find themselves out of work after their boss (John Goodman) shuts down his business (reasoning that everyone now checks for the time on their iPhones and such). Nick briefly finds employment at a mattress store (cue yet another tiresome cameo by Will Ferrell), but he’s quickly talked by Billy into dropping that gig and joining him in an attempt to land internships at Google headquarters (aka The Googleplex) in California. They manage to get their feet through the door, but they now find themselves competing with numerous other interns for permanent positions - and unlike them, the other recruits are college kids who eat, drink and breathe computers. The Internship is conventional in the ways one would expect: A longtime Google employer (Rose Byrne) initially resists Nick’s flirtations but eventually falls for him; one intern (Max Minghella) mentally bullies everyone around him, especially the “old guys”; and Billy and Nick find themselves hanging out with the youthful rejects. Yet the script by Vaughn and Jared Stern smartly addresses the generation gap without making fun of either side: There’s something to be said for the work ethic of these students who acknowledge the harsh realities of contemporary career-building, but there’s also much to learn from the easygoing attitudes of people who grew up in a time before every baby is automatically handed an iPod the minute it pops out of the womb. What’s more, Vaughn as both writer and co-star generously gives the younger performers in the cast room to maneuver, and even with sketched-in characters, this allows all of them to make positive impressions. Of course, the two stars still get the

lion’s share of the choice quips, but that’s OK: They’re both on their game, and it’s their ingratiating ways with a line that keeps the humor percolating. Aside from an uproarious scene involving Professor Charles Xavier (yes, that Professor X), the laughs are mostly low-key — but at least they’re there, which automatically places this above many guffaw-free films of its genre.



While the PG-13 The Internship traffics in gentle humor, This Is the End repeatedly hits for the outskirts of the R-rated fence - and it scores an awful lot of the time. It starts with Jay Baruchel (playing Jay Baruchel) visiting Seth Rogen (playing Seth Rogen; see the pattern?) in LA in the hopes of spending some quality one-on-one time getting high and playing video games with his friend. Instead, Seth drags Jay to a party at James Franco’s house, a loud and boisterous event where the guests include Michael Cera (revealed as a sex fiend), Jason Segel, Paul Rudd and other Judd Apatow-endorsed comics. But what starts off as a typical Hollywood evening turns both cryptic and apocalyptic when the earth opens up and begins swallowing some people while others are whisked into the sky. Is it End of Days? The few remaining survivors - among them James, Jay, Seth, Jonah Hill and Craig Robinson - aren’t sure, but they do know that they need to board up the house and ration the supplies if they hope to hang around long enough to find out. The moments of comic gold are sometimes diluted by considerable stretches of tedium, generally occurring when writer-directors Evan Goldberg and Rogen and their improvising actors refuse to end scenes and instead carry them past the point of comedic no-return. Clearly, these are all performers who are in love with themselves, which is fine except that it makes the movie a rather insular experience.



A terrific cast, a promising trailer, a zippy pace, glitzy locales — all of that is merely meant to distract us from noticing that the movie itself is nothing more than an empty spectacle

Profile for Connect Savannah

Connect Savannah 06-19-2013 issue  

This weekend, it’s Savannah’s first three-day jam band festival. Find out about the Summer Solstice Festival, and converse with Zach Deputy,...

Connect Savannah 06-19-2013 issue  

This weekend, it’s Savannah’s first three-day jam band festival. Find out about the Summer Solstice Festival, and converse with Zach Deputy,...