in the past 2 days I have been to 2 sneak previews. I have another one tonight but don't think I'll be posting about that one for while.
PLAYING FOR KEEPS is about a "down on his luck" former soccer player, unsurprisinly played by Gerard Butler.......in pretty much the same role he played in The Ugly Truth and The Bounty Hunter. depending on who you talk to, he has moved to Virginia to connect with his son or to try and win back his ex-wife......... who is played by a Jessica Biel that was made as homely as possible but conveniently engaged and just a few weeks away from being married. Playing is a completely by the book romantic comedy. I had hoped for just a few surprises or twists, but was denied.......thus making this the perfect movie if you want an excuse for a girls' night out or a reason to sit in the dark and eat popcorn. for me, this would be a great movie for a cold rainy afternoon where I am too lazy to grab the remote and change the channel.
ANNA KARENINA is at the opposite end of the cinematic spectrum. beautiful and lyrical, this movie is written like a ballet with characters and scenes flowing together and through each other. with a story that had been told so many times before, they obviously knew they needed an unique approach and I think they found it. in fact, I kept waiting for someone to break out in song.........ala Moulin Rouge. but, this take obviously hasn't set well with several of the "real" critics........and there were a couple of people who walked out of the screening. perhaps this version is a bit too artsy for the main stream movie goer? and a few of the actors seemed to be a bit mis-matched to their characters..........I believe a certain blond hair blue eyed gentlemen was cast more for how great he looked against the backdrops than for his skills as an actor.......and pretty much anyone short of Kristen Stewart could have played the title character. the stand out performance for me was Jude Law. he was elegant, tortured, dignified, and understated as the cuckolded husband. end result: unless you really truly dislike anything other than the normal teen age boy humor, car chase, sci-fi kind of flic that is generally being offered, this is a must-see-in-the-theater movie. and if it tells you something.......hubby came out of the theater impressed.