Film Briefs: “Safety Not Guaranteed”, “Ted” and “To Rome With Love” Reviews and Trailers

Film Briefs is our way of giving our opinion on films we might not necessarily have the time to review in full.  This is a column where we sum up our feelings about the last few movies we saw and throw ‘em up just to give you an idea of what’s out there.

Follow the jump to see briefs for Safety Not Guaranteed, Ted and To Rome with Love

Safety Not Guaranteed

It’s a time travel movie with the Duplass Brothers‘ treatment, that is to say it’s very indie.  The brothers acted as producers on this one.

I think I have seen a fair amount of indie movies to tell the good ones from the bad ones, and this one had all the elements in it that would have me placing it on the bad list.  I mean, how could I possibly enjoy a movie whose esthetics mirror that of a lower budget version of Juno (2007), a movie I had no hesitations of throwing into the bad pile, by the way.  Both that movie and this one contain angst laden scripts, actors delivering uninspired lines with deadpan expressions, and an influx of whiney indie folk music?

With all that being said though, this movie’s charm was so infectious that it managed to eclipse all of those ugly aspects I just mentioned, making this one a win for the good side of indie filmmaking.  In the end I was won over.


Why do I feel like I’ve seen this same movie at least 25 times in the last five years?  Oh yeah, because I did, that’s why.  The only difference here is that the role of the best friend to the man-boy protagonist is played by a teddy bear and not Seth Rogan.  Now, I’m all for R-rated humor via drugs, farts, sex with your mother jokes, etc., but there isn’t one joke or gag in this movie that hasn’t already been done to death before.

This movie marks the directorial debut of television’s Family Guy creator and writer Seth MacFarlane, and I am living proof that even fans of his show might not enjoy this, yet then again, as I write this the movie has a high IMDB rating of 7.8, and a Rotten Tomatoes audience score of 84%, so what do I know?  I do know that if you can sit through the last excruciating jokeless 30 minutes of this movie that you should be rewarded a medal and free tickets to a much better comedy, like Bernie or Moonrise Kingdom.

To Rome With Love

If there is one constant in the world of film it is that with every new year comes a new Woody Allen movie.  I like to think of his movies as one would think of a good snack; sometimes they’re savory (Annie Hall, Midnight in Paris), sometimes sweet and dessert worthy (Take the Money and Run, Sleeper), and sometimes they can even be more filling than a three-course helping of Kubrick (Crimes and Misdemeanors, Manhattan), but one things for sure, they’re always delicious.  And even when Woody Allen is not at his best he is still miles ahead of most other comedy writers and directors.  Want proof; To Rome With Love, a film that falls more on the sweet side of things.

Here Woody takes an all-star cast – minus Ellen Page, that is – and creates 4 fantastically silly films.  There’s the man who can only sing world-class opera when in the shower, the prostitute who is mistaken for a bride-to-be, the everyday schlub who becomes famous overnight for no apparent reason other than just to be famous, and a young 20 something love triangle.

A little side note regarding Ellen Page; everybody has at least one actor that for whatever reason irks them no matter how much praise they receive, mine is Ellen Page – deal with it.  With that being said, you should know that Woody Allen has quite a bit of screen time too, so if you’re irked by his screen presence as much as I am by Page’s and are thinking of not seeing it based on that alone, well, you might be making a mistake.  To Rome With Love is one movie where one bad apple does not spoil the whole damn bunch.


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