Archive for the ‘Movie Review’ Category

Here’s my review of Into the Storm, with SPOILERS. Read at your own risk.

I thoroughly enjoyed Into the Storm – it was a lot of fun – but somewhere in the final editing, they lost two important lines:

At the end, when Gary is standing with his sons, talking about how important family is, and how glad they are to still be alive, Trey is supposed to say, “And Dad, what about you and that hot meteorologist?”

Then Gary is supposed to make an exasperated/embarrassed face and say roughly, “I’ll think about it.”

That’s it. Those are the two lines that in the excitement of making the tornados look fantastic didn’t survive. Two lines that would have changed a good movie into a much better movie.

Why? Because there is nothing more romantic than someone saving your life.

From RichardArmitageNet.com

From RichardArmitageNet.com

Now, I appreciate the fact that Todd Garner and Steven Quale didn’t turn Into the Storm into one of those cheesy films where a wise-cracking macho hero manages to save the world and make out with a woman he just met an hour before when in real life people would merely be trying to stay alive. (Not that I don’t watch those movies – I do, and I often like them, but I don’t consider them realistic) That’s one thing I liked about Into the Storm – the naturalness and normality of the characters. I’m married to a high school Calculus teacher and Richard Armitage got the overworked, exasperated dad just right. Sometimes he was painfully awkward, like a real person.

However, if they had added a hint of romance at the end, it would have made me much happier. Just as a pinch of salt can improve a meal. I think in real life, after the storm ended, and everyone was cleaning up the mess, both those single parents would think, “Wow, he/she was great” and at some point, they would think, “Hey, I wonder if . . .” Because as much as love for their children was their primary motivation, sometimes they are going to feel lonely and think about finding a life partner. And who better than someone brave and resourceful that you can count on in times of trouble?

Script-wise, it would have worked to have Trey bring it up, because he was already playing matchmaker for his brother.

And with a hint of romance, the film would have appealed to a broader audience – the teenagers got the young love hope with Donnie and Kaitlyn, and the older generation would have gotten a more mature love hope with Gary and Allison.

It would have increased the percentage of women who would watch the movie multiple times, trying to analyze if and when the characters were possibly attracted to each other. Fan sites would spend days arguing whether the relationship would work.

I’ve only seen the movie once so far, but I plan to watch it again to see if I missed any other lines – such as – Did Allison ever thank Gary for saving her life when they first met?

And at the end, was there any acknowledgement between the two of them that they survived and that they both helped each other, or did she just run off to talk to her daughter on the phone? It happened so fast, I don’t remember. I expected something, even if it was just a significant look of “Wow. Thank God.” I understand her desire to talk to her daughter, but her daughter was safe and it seemed a little rude that there wasn’t an acknowledgment of what they’ll all just gone through. I’ll admit, I felt a little emotionally cheated at the time, but then there were other interesting things on screen, so I didn’t think about it until later.

And if the producer/director didn’t want it to be in the film itself, those two lines could have been an extra scene put in the credits, like an outtake. Something that Trey was filming. Like a week later when Gary was eating breakfast or cleaning up debris. “Hey, Dad . . . .” And Gary could put his hand over the lens. Or even better, have Gary running the camera (a first), trying to interview Trey . . .

However, this is my editor-brain kicking into overdrive. Since I’m a writer, I often mentally rewrite and edit books I read and movies I watch. Sometime I’ll pontificate about my ideas for a fourth Mad Max film, what was wrong with Star Wars episode 6, and where I’d trim Avatar. And why the titanium wedding ring saved the Abyss. Ah, Ed Harris with a blue hand throughout the film. It worked.

Bottom line? I liked Into the Storm. I smiled and gasped and had a great time. It was definitely worth the cost of admission rather than waiting to see it on DVD or Netflix.

But I would have liked it more with a pinch of romance.

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The movie Dan in Real Life has a flawed hero.  I have watched this movie several times and there are a few scenes that make me cringe every time.  SPOILER.  When he tells his daughter that she can’t drive, I hear myself, worrying about my teenaged drivers.  When he says something rude at the table to embarrass his brother, I think of rude things I’ve said.  When he gets in a fender bender with a police officer and tries to make a joke, I remember my one and only traffic ticket.

This movie works because it shows a basically decent man, who is still grieving the death of his wife, trying to raise three daughters, and suddenly finds himself falling in love with his brother’s new girlfriend.  What a mess.

But there are moments that are very sweet, very romantic, and true to life.  As with most PG 13 films, there is something rude/crude/vulgar that I wish wasn’t there, but overall, I like this film.  One of my favorite parts is a conversation the mother, admirably played by Dianne Wiest has with her son Dan (Steve Carell).  Dan has just said something rude at the dinner table that embarrassed/shamed/humiliated his brother, and his mother makes him wash all the dinner dishes.  She knows and Dan knows that he was a jerk and doing all the dishes by himself is his punishment.  It’s one of those film moments that rings true.  Lovely.   I also like the bit with the teenager telling her dad he’s a love murderer.

It’s one of the movies that I wish I had written.

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