Friday, March 12, 2010

Up In The Air (Reitman)

Sometimes I think, if you're not trying to make Apocalypse Now, then what the hell are you doing? Sure, I understand, you can't make Apocalypse Now on the first try; you've got to work your way up to it. But I get the impression that Jason Reitman wouldn't even want to make Apocalypse Now if he actually had the budget. He's just not that ambitious.

So aiming low, he hits his target. I could think of worse outcomes. He probably thinks he's being really profound trying to make a movie about "The Economic Crisis." Honestly, for those of us with some perspective, the "Economic Crisis" is small potatoes compared to other events in human history. Sure, for our generation it's a bit bracing, but if you want to see an "economic crisis," watch The Grapes Of Wrath.

I still have a hard time buying George Clooney as anything other than "glamorous movie star." I can't even remember his character's name; in my recollections he just registers as "George Clooney." His character also feels like a screenplay construction. Are there really people like this? Or, more to the point, does Jason Reitman actually know any people like this?

Maybe I'm being a jerk. This movie was mostly a pleasure to watch. Compared to She's Out Of My League or Hot Tub Time Machine, it probably is Apocalypse Now. A friend of mine was saying, "I think there's room in the world for these little mainstream dramas. In a perfect world a movie like Up In The Air would just be average, instead of really good only because most other movies really suck." All right, well, how about this: if you're not trying to make Apocalypse Now, at least try to make ... The Graduate? Maybe it's not fair to criticize a movie just because you feel like if you met the director you wouldn't have anything in common. Call it what you want.

A final note: there's a character in this movie who says her dream job is in San Francisco. Yeah, well, wait until you ride MUNI for five minutes and have to sit next to 18 smelly quasi-homeless guys on the way to work every morning and try to find an apartment that isn't completely falling apart and isn't bleeding your wallet dry, and tell me if your dream job is in San Francisco then, bitch.

She'd probably just live in the East Bay and work in the city.

Film critic rating: ***1/2
Little Earl rating: **1/2


Herr Zrbo said...

Now why would you go and bash a quality film like Hot Tub Time Machine?? It's going to be as awesome as Snakes on a Plane, and you know what a critical darling that one was.

I know what you mean by George Clooney just being George Clooney. I feel that way a lot about animated movies with big name actors doing the voices. "Awww, it's a cute bumble bee! Oh, no, wait, it's just Jerry Seinfeld!"

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