June 25, 2012

Safety Not Guaranteed - AMC Loews Village 7

Erica: I enjoyed this movie. Mark Duplass is popping up a lot this year both behind and in front of the camera. He is kinda creepy, but once you get past that, it is a light hearted charming movie that is also funny. This is a rare gem in a sea of over hyped, over publicized movies that rely on special effects instead of real acting to carry the movie. So this was a very refreshing and welcome change from standard theater fare. There is a lot of facial acting in this movie which can get old quick, but it is better than CGI robots.

Mike: I really liked the movie. The film reminded me a lot of last year's Take Shelter with Michael Shannon, but to say why would be revealing too much. But unlike Take Shelter, Safety Not Guaranteed is hilarious. It's funny and touching and even thought-provoking in the way it deals with different ways of traveling to the past. Two characters try to travel back using a time machine, and another character tries to travel back - at first by reliving his past by looking up a former love interest, and later vicariously through his friend. I thought it was really fascinating and I really commend the multi-layered script by Derek Connelly which elevates it way beyond a standard indie dramedy fare.

I like Aubrey Plaza a lot on Parks & Recreation and she plays a similarly disillusioned, apathetic character here. As in P&R, her eyes do most of the work, but over an 84-minute running time the effect kind of runs out of steam after a while, particularly during more dramatic scenes. Plaza seems to be pushing her abilities here, and it doesn't always work. It's tough to buy into her performance at times when she's just staring at someone and smiling. Granted, it's her first starring role, and ultimately I did really like the end result.

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