Original plots don’t even seem to do the trick anymore. Whether the movie’s about an alien invasion, a hotel robbery, babysitting bad kids or a disastrous couples retreat, we wind up with a tiresome tone and jokes that feel awfully familiar. Lucky for Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill, their standard is slightly elevated by a stellar somewhat new find, Richard Ayoade.
Evan (Stiller) loves starting up local clubs. In fact, he doesn’t really have many friends, only the folks that join his groups and his employees at Costco. When his late night security guard is killed at the store, Evan takes it upon himself to track down his murderer by starting a neighborhood watch. When the first neighborhood watch meeting arrives, Evan is ready to go with pamphlets and a map of the town, but his only three members, Bob (Vince Vaughn) the intense yet loving father, Franklin (Jonah Hill) the police officer wannabe and the seemingly normal Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade) who enjoys a certain naughty fantasy would much rather party at Bob’s than take the neighborhood watch seriously with Evan.
However, when the guys come across some mysterious green goo that leads them to an out-of-this-world silver ball with the power to blow cows away, the fact that aliens have invaded their quaint little town of Glenview is undeniable. When the cops refuse to believe that the town is under attack, Evan, Bob, Franklin and Jamarcus have no choice but to man up, guzzle some beers and protect Glenview from the aliens themselves.
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I love my family and friends dearly and always try to go out of my way to express that, but, hey, this is life and sometimes that affection can blend into the background a bit. That’s why we need movies like Your Sister’s Sister. I certainly can’t relate to the drama at the core of this film, but there’s such a strong semblance of authentic love and affection here, that I just couldn’t help, but to go home and make sure my sister knows how much she means to me.
It’s been a year since Tom’s death. His ex-girlfriend Iris (Emily Blunt) has managed to pull herself together, but Tom’s brother, Jack (Mark Duplass), is still “emotionally
crippled” by the loss. In an effort to help him get back on track, Iris offers up her family’s isolated cabin for some alone time. However, when Jack arrives via his cute little red bicycle, the house is already occupied by Iris’ sister, Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt). A little chitchat here, a little tequila there and the two wind up in bed together. No big deal, right? Perhaps it would have been, had Iris not shown up at the cabin the next morning.
In an industry saturated with grandiose tales, flashy camera movements and big effects, Your Sister’s Sister is the ultimate return to simplicity, and the results are downright wonderful. It only takes the film a matter of minutes to capture your full attention courtesy of a riveting, amusing and rather painful speech from Jack at an event honoring the one-year anniversary of Tom’s death. When one guy at the party feels the need to praise all the best of Tom, Jack takes it upon himself to touch on the other side. No, Jack doesn’t reveal Tom’s mean streak, rather addresses what could be considered minor flaws and while the rest of the group is shocked and somewhat disgusted by his behavior, there’s so much that rings true in his speech and Duplass fuels it with such honest emotion, it’s impossible not to be swayed by the performance. And that’s only the first few minutes of the film.
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Whether it’s happened to you or someone you know, job loss is a personal matter for the large majority and that makes it a testy topic to manage in a film. If it isn’t represented accurately it could be insulting, then again if it’s dealt with too precisely, it could be too much for some to handle, however, The Company Men approaches the issue quite tactfully. Not only does it deliver a respectable presentation of the hardship, but still manages to maintain a light enough tone making the film a viable source of entertainment rather than just a pity party. In fact, The Company Men might also be a fantastic source for those in need of a little hope.
It doesn’t matter how high you are on the food chain; at GTX, Global Transportation Systems, everyone is on the chopping block during a recession. One of the first to feel the effects of corporate downsizing is Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck), a family man who enjoys cruising around town in his Porsche and improving his golf game. Bobby is certainly angry when he gets the bad news, but pulls himself together quickly and heads into the world of unemployment sure he’ll only be there for a short while. Days turn into weeks and weeks into months leaving Bobby no choice, but to go to work for his brother-in-law (Kevin Costner) building houses.
Meanwhile, back at GTX, longtime employee Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper) is paranoid his day will come, too. Sure enough, he becomes a victim of a second round of cuts as does the company’s second in command, Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones). All three men suffer the same fate, but their roads to redemption are wildly different.
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