Valentine’s Marathon: Before We Go (2014)

If you missed the announcement on My Weekly Adventures, I’ve decided to extend the Valentine’s Marathon throughout this month. For one, Twilight being the feature is already going to be watched throughout this month. With the blogathon overlapping Valentine’s Marathon, its slowing down my normal posts so to highlight all the fantastic entries we’ve gotten. I’ve honestly been slacking on watching romances and rom-coms in general so I do have a lot of stacked up to be watched so its a good time to work on that.

With that said, the next movie is one I’ve been looking forward to for quite a while and Chris Evans’ directorial debut called Before We Go. Its had pretty mixed reviews but I remain hopeful based on a few elements that I know about.

Let’s check out Before We Go!

Before We Go (2014)

Before We Go

Director: Chris Evans

Cast: Chris Evans, Alice Eve, Emma Fitzgerald, John Cullum, Mark Kassen

Two strangers stuck in Manhattan for the night grow into each other’s most trusted confidants when an evening of unexpected adventure forces them to confront their fears and take control of their lives. – IMDB

As I was looking through how other people felt about Before We Go, I don’t quite understand why it has such low ratings, particularly on Rotten Tomatoes (which isn’t surprising since I rarely feel that similar to what they think, I’m odd that way, I suppose). With that said, Before We Go has a lot of great elements going for it but it does stumble a little on everything. It does have a decent run time on its side and the mesmerizing New York landscape along with a one night run through town. It is nowhere near the fun and joy that Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist has since it is a more mature type of story and some might even wonder whether it would be considered a romance as its not exactly a romance between these two strangers so much as they are working through their feelings about a little bit of everything. I’m a sucker for one night, chance meetings sort of stories. I love the spontaneity and the discovery and the character development elements and it feels like a journey to learn about someone else as you see the two characters grow. I also love movies with a small cast so that it really gets a chance to zoom into the people element. So, Before We Go had a lot of elements that I liked before I even started watching it. It may not have entirely delivered as I would have liked however, it still has its charm.

before we go

Before We Go is quite a small film. It is set in one location, over one night and focuses on two people. Usually, these movies depend highly on the characters and how the actors take on the roles. In this case, I have a bit of pros and cons. For one, Chris Evans is fantastic as Nick. He is very enlightening as he works through his feelings and faces destiny and how his connection with Brooke (played by Alice Eve) grows throughout this spontaneous meeting as they hunt down her purse and he tries to at least be her hero in what he feels is a somewhat unsuccessful life. There is a ton to love about the character of Nick, both in the way he thinks and the way he acts. His script is really charming to watch and mixes in some lighter dialogue which truly does help a lot with making him a really great character to love. Playing opposite him is Alice Eve, who plays Brooke. I have to be honest that I wasn’t a huge fan of Brooke to begin with. She packed on these personality traits that didn’t quite click with me and it was what make the start of the movie feel a little bit contrived. I understand that the entire situation here is set to be contrived however, it felt much  more deliberate especially for her character. Over the course of Before We Go, Brooke does get quite the character development and turns out to be much more tolerable. In fact, she might seem lost and confused in where she stands in her love life and the decision she has to make at the beginning but in the end, Brooke seems to learn a little more. Perhaps, the better way is that, maybe this is where the realistic elements are where they do meet each other and there is some skepticism and some simple good deeds element but as the night goes on, their chemistry also builds up as their connection strengthens as they learn more about each other and talk to each other about their own little dilemmas that they need to resolve. And that really does work out here.

Before We Go

The one night adventure journey also has a decent pacing. On one hand, it all starts with trying to chase down Brooke’s stolen purse with Nick’s New Yorker schemes and knowledge. Then it turns into the hunt for a way to get her home. They end up with quite a few dicey situations: both bad and good calls from both the characters. They meet some friends and strangers who also end up lending them a hand here and there to better understand their own situation. The pacing here is nice because the script slices in these dilemma heavier moments to some funnier moments when they do have their many situations that occur. Perhaps one of the best parts of the film are when they sit down or walk around just the two of them as they talk. We learn about these characters just as they do and surprisingly, they feel fairly realistic. I mean, in a real life situation, probably  we won’t start spilling our relationship problems to a stranger completely, but as a movie, somehow it still manages to keep it real because they don’t just spill everything in the first scene and it takes time for their trust to set in.

Before We Go

There’s not a whole lot to talk about for Before We Go. Its a very simple movie, set in one night, one city, two people and a few supporting characters. There are adventures and situations and heart to heart chats. The movie relies heavily on its two main characters. Chris Evans, probably because he is also the director, grasps his role incredibly well. Alice Eve, on the other hand, left a little to desire in the beginning but does truly see the character grow throughout. There are some odd dialogue and some things that don’t quite feel right in the beginning but once you get past that part, the story and Nick and Brooke’s city adventure is thoughtful and fun. It might not be as deep or even thinking harder about it, work completely, but for myself, its a nice simple movie thats fun. I’m a sucker for these sorts of movies with these kinds of premise so maybe that is why I found it intriguing in its own way. Let me just say that the ending though..not sure how I feel about it. Before We Go definitely isn’t for everybody but if you are like me and like movies with this kind of premise (Already  Tomorrow in Hong Kong is another example), then you might want to check this one out.

Netflix A-Z: ATM (2012)

A new segment…well, kind of.  I don’t know if you have a little problem like me.  I have Netflix and it takes me probably more time deciding on what to watch than actually watching it.  So this is a little merge of what I used to do when I needed to be economical and stop buying movies with my DVD collection.  I’d set a goal to watch as many movies as I can in alphabetical order.   Now, we’re going to try this out with Netflix.  Instead of doing all As then Bs then Cs (etc.) , I’m going to choose one movie per alphabet from A-Z.  It limits my choices and it’ll empty out a little of My List (which will be primarily where I choose movies) unless its an obscure letter like X. Here we have it: Netflix A-Z! I already have two rounds of the alphabet chosen so unless the movie expires between the time I drafted it and get to it, we should be all set!

Ready? Let’s go!

ATM (2012)

atm

Director: David Brooks

Cast: Brian Geraghty, Alice Eve, Josh Peck

Three co-workers, David (Brian Geraghty), Emily (Alice Eve) and Corey (Josh Peck) leave a office Christmas party.  On the way home, Corey wants to go pick up some dinner but without cash at the late hour, they decide to stop at the ATM. There, they get trapped inside the secluded ATM building fighting to survive as a mysterious masked man watches them and prevents their escape.

atm

 I like these secluded, mostly one set piece sort of movies. I liked Phonebooth and Buried a good bit.  Those were intense and engaging.  What makes these things work is a good story.  There are secrets, and there seems to be a point of why some person would do that. Some guy in their big winter jacket standing at the door while you stand in an ATM machine place doesn’t exactly do that.  Not to mention ATM is pretty much pointless.  I get at the end that this is just a serial killer or a lunatic who gets off on planning these intricate secluded places to trap and mess with their victims.  [in an after thought, spoiler alert]You know, let them and their personality and their distress make them do stupid mistakes and cause their own misery in the end.  Yay, danger in our messed up world.  I already knew about that.  You didn’t?

atm

I’m sorry if this sounds like a rant.  ATM truly felt like a waste of time.  I watched it in two halves and during the first half, I eventually walked in and out of the room while brushing my teeth, packing my stuff, tidying up my desk at home.  The deal is, forget about the crappy story, just forget about that.  It was really predictable. Like you pull out your car keys in a transparent cube in front of a dude observing you and Mr. Lunatic goes to the car and does something.  What could that be? Of course its to destroy the wires so you can’t start the damn thing if you happen to try and make and escape.  But nope, they give that a shot right after.  *shakes head*  That’s just the beginning.  Because these three are so stupid.  I can’t even describe how these characters lack common sense.

atm

I guess now that we’re there, we can talk about these characters.  Other than Alice Eve, who I saw in Star Trek.  Remember that scene that everyone was talking about?

alice eve

We’ll start there.  Keep in mind, no one in this is good.  Alice Eve’s character, Emily was a little awkward and weird. For a moment, I wondered if she was in on this crazy thing.  Then I quickly realized that this movie is not that movie. Its just not…sadly. We also have the two guys.  One of them, Corey (played by Josh Peck) is ridiculously annoying. Like I wanted the Mr. Lunatic dude to just off him, somehow.  Just stop him from talking, whining, whatever you want to call it.  I guess the main guy, David, is supposed to be the guy we root for. Except he’s kind of a coward and not really sure how to stand up for himself.  He has this hidden aggressive side or whatever but I didn’t really care for his character even if he might have had the most character development.  These characters had no story, no reason to be there.  It was just really bad luck that they ended up in that particular ATM.

I’m about to end this review because that’s enough ranting for one post but has anyone seen an ATM placed in such a location? Is that how ATMs in the USA works? I haven’t seen one in such a secluded parking lot, set aside from everything else before.  For me, I just couldn’t believe that portion to start with so the movie was destined to go downhill from there.

Overall, ATM is a really bad movie.  There was no story.  The characters were unengaging and even slightly annoying and to top it all off, so extremely stupid.  The bad guy feels a little pointless and while he may be aggressive and pretty much a serial killer, he just didn’t seem to have a lot going for him.  Nothing here screams thriller because I definitely didn’t think about it when it ended except maybe the joy that the credits were rolling but then there were cut scenes in between and the end.  I’m not sure how many people will stay to finish this movie till the end credits finished rolling although there wasn’t much to miss.

In the afterthought, this would have made a fantastic Shitfest post.  Probably should have saved it up but fair is fair, with this first review done. Netflix A-Z is officially launched! Can you guess what movie I’ll choose for B (if you do, you are amazing)?

Have you seen ATM? What do you think of movies using mainly one location?