her (January 2014)









Rating: Worth My Time See It: in select Theaters (released January 2014)

Since my all-time movie critic, Roger Ebert died earlier in 2013, it has been very difficult for me to filter out movies and decide on which ones to see.   You see, I do not like to waste my money or time going to boring, rehashed, repurposed or re-done movies.  That’s why my rating system is Worth My Time or Waste of my time.

Having already seen two movies this year: Disney’s Frozen came out in November 2013, but we didn’t get to the theater with the kids until winter break in January.   Seeing this movie called her, I can say, I am happy with my selection of movies and choices this year — both to deem worthy of watching.

Doing some research, and after watching the Golden Globes and getting the gist that The Wolf of Wall Street, Gravity, 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle are worthy of watching, I opted to first see the movie that won best screenplay, her, about a guy in the near-future L.A. who falls in love with his operating system.

This movie is for anyone who has ever been in a relationship, fallen out of a relationship, been married, divorced, dated, been crazily happy and heartbroken — in the short 2-hour movie a story of all these different times in one person’s life is told.  And is told amazingly well.

It’s sexy, but not raunchy; it’s a love story.  But not the same old love story.  This movie allowed me to think, “Where’s this going?”  And not anticipating the same old ending.    Greg took me to the SFFSFF 2014 (Science Fiction and Fantasy Short Film Festival) for the first time in it’s 9-years running — I have always wanted to go!  These movies are short films (5-15 minutes long), and in one of films, in the first minute, they made a reference to “have you seen him at night” and showed a full moon and instantly I knew it was about a werewolf.  The ending was cute, but the premise, not original.

With this movie, her, I found myself looking at the clothing – I guess in the near future men decide to pull up their pants like Martin Short’s Ed Grimley, the futuristic architecture is noticeable in the beginning of the movie, but it became more highlighted at the end, showing an upside-down white airplane as statue in a plaza, and more futuristic buildings, footbridges, as he walked through the city.  But no flying cars.  It’s an excellent cross of how we are evolving: still eating lunches at beautiful locations, meeting up with friends and neighbors at the mailboxes and talking with co-workers.  The dialog and world is so very original.

I can say, I never watched any of Joaquin Phoenix’s movies.   Actually saw Gladiatordidn’t know he was in that film; just unmemorable, but of course, 2001 Oscar winner for Best Picture.  But this movie, I will not soon forget.  Most of it showing his face, just like the movie poster.  I heard an interview one time about the silent film actors and using their eyes were really important, and this is less important in modern films.  But in this film, Phoenix delivers such great acting with his expressions and sometimes not even talking.  He delivers the intent of the feeling through his face and eyes, it’s excellent.

The Golden Globe winner, Spike Jonze, director and writer of many movies and music videos.  One of my favorites:  Weezer’s Undone – the Sweater Song; he also directed The Beastie Boys Sabotage video.   Two movies that were just absolutely crazy, but worth seeing:  Adaptation. (Nicholas Cage, Meryl Streep) and Being John Malkovich, (John Cuasack, Cameron Diaz) a movie I couldn’t even begin to explain; just weird.  Another movie of his, I tried to watch Where The Wild Things Are but couldn’t get through it; maybe someday.

Her wraps it all up with a nice bow, leaves a little for the imagination and allows this movie-goer happy that she took the time to watch. By the way, I had my own private screening at the iPic theater when I went during the day – not one other person in the theater!  Ticket was $17 for a reclining chair, blanket and pillow and had a $14 lunch.  Much more expensive than my normal Costco Regal tickets purchases, but definitely worth it.

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