Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Red Envelope Round-Up: January 29-February 1, 2009

Swing Vote (2008) (**1/2).  Kevin Costner is perfectly cast in a role that seems tailor-made for him, but for a supposed comedy, there's not one real laugh to be had and most of the political jokes seem stale and fall flat.  The concept (one man's vote will decide the next president) is semi-plausible given the 2000 Florida recount and Al Franken's recent win in Minnesota, but the screenwriters are too interested in broad stereotypes and wishy-washy politics to do much of interest with it.

Things We Lost in the Fire (2007) (**).  Ho-hum drama about two troubled people coming together to cope with their difficulties and overcome them.  Benicio Del Toro plays a recovering heroin addict.  Halle Berry is a grieving widower with two kids.  Though Del Toro is effective, Berry seems to think that serious acting means performing without makeup.  Nothing new here and the filmmakers spend 119 minutes of your time just going through the motions.  The end is neither profound nor satisfying.  



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