Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Overrated Oscar vs. Impressive Indie

Last weekend was definitely a movie weekend in the tristate area. It seems that every day is becoming like that since it snows constantly. Now when we hear we're getting 6 inches no one even reacts. I was home in Jersey for the weekend, so my mom and I did a little brunching, watched some Netflix, and went to the movies.

My school paper, The Quadrangle, has a "This Week in Netflix" section which highlights a show or movie every week. A couple of weeks ago the movie was Safety Not Guaranteed. I almost just skipped over the section, but then when I saw that fans of Fox's New Girl might enjoy this movie I kept reading (I love New Girl and if you don't watch it, catch up on Netflix!). Originally on Saturday night my mom and I wanted to watch an old black and white movie, but after searching for a decent amount of time without success I remembered that I put a movie in my notes on my "to watch when you can't find anything on Netflix" list. Every time someone recommends something on Netflix I put it in there because we all know how hard it is to find something to watch when you have no idea what you're in the mood for.


Safety Not Guaranteed is about two interns at Seattle magazine and their boss' trip to find a peculiar individual, Kenneth. Kenneth publishes a classified ad in the magazine that reads "Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. I have only done this once before. Safety not guaranteed." The best part about the ad is that someone actually put this ad out in the late '90s and that's where the idea from the movie came from.

The three depart from Seattle and head off to find Kenneth to write a story on him, and the movie is all about their journey and what is uncovered on it. Aubrey Plaza of Parks and Recreation is perfect for the role of Darius, a cynical individual who is stuck in a rut and has given up on mostly everything and everyone. Jake Johnson from New Girl plays the role of the boss who doesn't care much at all about anyone else and is very egotistical. His story that evolves throughout the movie is engaging, too.

I highly recommend watching this movie because the plot is thought out really well and the character development is great. You end up getting wrapped up in the movie instead of checking the clock to see how much longer you have until the movie ends (I find myself doing this a lot, even if I'm kind of into the movie). Additionally, won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

On Sunday we saw Gravity. This was a movie where I was constantly checking the time to see how much longer I had left of it. I can't understand why it's nominated for awards. The whole movie is just one problem after another, and at a certain point you just think to yourself "there's honestly no way Sandra Bullock could survive all of these issues." The whole thing takes place in space and it's basically a one character movie. There's also no character development, so you could basically care less if Sandra Bullock's character dies or not because you have no emotional attachment to her.

I saw the movie with my mom and her friend and we all agreed that we wouldn't recommend it to anyone. If I was watching it at home I would have definitely turned it off. There's no way I could have made it through the entire movie. My friend at school saw it in theaters and said he couldn't stay awake. Quite frankly, he wasn't even sure how it ended and didn't seem to care too much.

Manhattan College's Quadrangle didn't fail me with the Safety Not Guaranteed suggestion, so I'm excited to see what else is to come this semester! Happy movie watching!

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