Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Going the Distance

The good thing about the movie Going the Distance, starring Justin Hill and Drew Barrymore, is that it's a story about an adult long-distance relationship that's truly for adults. There's no boy-wins-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-figures-it-out-and-wins-girl-back.

The problem with the movie Going the Distance is that there's nothing else to the story. It's a long-distance relationship, and how this winsome couple tries to deal with that. She's struggling with the one career break she's gotten -- in another city. He loves New York, can't find work in her city, and doesn't want to leave anyway. And, gosh, air travel is so expensive.

To beef up the story, the powers-that-be throw in a couple of funny roommates. If you think bathroom humor is funny, you might like them. I don't. I thought it was an interesting and cute concept when we're introduced to the roommate who won't go away, but after he announced his open-bathroom-door policy, they lost me. I didn't mind the raunchy language, but you should be warned this isn't a good one for pre-teens; I didn't mind it because it seemed realistic as to how men talk and relate to each other.

The only reason to see this film is not to see how they work it all out. It's to watch Hill and Barrymore, who are very good separately and together. We just hope for better projects for the both of them.

Thumb's down.

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is supposed to be for pre-teens, but I adored it. It works for actually all ages.

Percy is a normal teenager being harassed in high school, normally. Suddenly he learns that his father is Perseus, and that Zeus is accusing Percy of stealing his lightning bolt. He's never seen Dad before except for this one time when he tells him he must figure out who stole the bolt, or else Perseus will end up in a battle to the death with his brother, Zeus. The rest of the movie tells the story of how Percy unites with other half-god kids, who join him in the quest to figure out who's guilty of stealing Zeus' lightning.

There are so many twists and turns in this fun film that every time I thought I had figured it out, I hadn't. The movie quite rightly concentrates more on relationships and establishing these teen characters, but the effects aren't bad either. I especially loved the effect of Pierce Brosnan as Chiron, and Uma Thurman as Medusa is a hoot and a half.

It's got a great cast besides the stellar teens. And the plot moves this way and that way, all of which will entertain you. With a long title like that, we can only hope there will be a sequel. Thumb's up.