Thursday, May 15, 2014


A few nights ago, I rented the movie Her (starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy AdamsOlivia Wilde, and Scarlet Johanssen as the voice of "Samantha") onDemand. Been watching a lot more onDemand than I usually would because Comcast sent me codes for five free movies basically because of their poor customer service. 

I've been eagerly awaiting the release of Her onDemand for some time. I first heard of this movie right before The Academy Awards, for which it won an Oscar for Best Writing/Best Original Screenplay. (Spike Jonze). I have NO idea how that happened.

Her was one of the biggest disappointments in movies I've had in a very long time. The concept looked cute, and it was for about the first 30-40 minutes. Then it just droned on and on for another hour and a half.

The story centers around a lonely divorcee, Theodore Twombly (Phoenix) who lives a mundane life in near- future Los Angeles until he installs a new operating system on his computer with an artificial intelligence interface. The AI is very advanced, and soon becomes self-aware, and subsequently the two fall in love. The interesting part was to see how a human being could fall in love with something artificial, and how that might develop. The sad part was that the majority of the film was about the growing relationship, and how Theodore crosses the line that divides appropriate and inappropriate. I wanted to gag. And some of it was hard to watch, like their sex life for example. Please. And he had a really great date with Olivia Wilde! How could you possibly turn that down to go home and have fake sex with a fake person? It's absurd. One thing I did like was the thematic use of the color red. Red for love, you know. It was kind of cool.

I have to say Joaquin Phoenix's performance was pretty good. But it wasn't enough to carry the film. The story played out like a Sophia Coppola film, you know, basically crap but Oscar-worthy since her last name is Coppola. Actually to be fair, some of her stuff isn't that bad:  The Virgin Suicides; Marie Antoinette. But Lost In Translation translation:  slow and depressing, just like Her.

By some miracle miscarriage of justice, IMDb gave the film an 8.2 star rating. (Jaw drop) I would give it a 5 for the first half hour, then maybe a 2 for the rest. In fact, I would recommend watching the first 30 minutes, then fast-forwarding to the last five minutes. And there you have it.