Mike Kueber's Blog

October 24, 2013

Saturday Night at the Movies #83 – Mad Men (TV show), Amour, The Lucky One, and 10 Years

Filed under: Movie reviews — Mike Kueber @ 3:41 am

Mad Men is one of the four principal series chronicled in the book titled Difficult Men.  I recently noted the following about Mad Men on my Facebook wall:

  • Just finished Netflix binging on five seasons and 64 episodes of Mad Men. Although Manhattan in the 60s was not the best place/time for women, it is fascinating and alluring to someone like me who was a kid growing up on a farm in North Dakota at that time. And, with two exceptions, the characters are deeply flawed yet totally winsome – Pete Campbell, Betty Draper/Francis, Roger Sterling, and especially Don Draper. The exceptions are Peggy Olson and Joan Holloway, who to this erstwhile male chauvinist seem to belong on a pedestal. Season Six is available only by DVD (no binging), which Netflix will begin sending to me next week, and then the series-ending Season Seven will start on AMC in 2014.”

I loved Mad Men and rank it right alongside 24, Friday Night Lights, and Felicity, and better than Breaking Bad.  Compared to Mad Men, Amour (2012) is an utterly jolting change.  Mad Men is about energetic people in an invigorating city.  By contrast, Amour is a French movie about the drudgery of two tired old people slowly living out the end of their days.  Johnny Carson used to tell a joke about watching paint dry; well, Amour is often like that.  But it is effective.  I generally prefer movies that make me think, and Amour certainly causes one to appreciate what many old people have to go through, so I’m going to have to give the movie three and a half stars.  The Rotten Tomato critics agree at 93%, and I’m not surprised that the audience was a bit less at 82%.  Incidentally, Amour was nominated for Best Picture and won for Best Foreign Picture.

The Lucky One (2012) might be an enjoyable romantic drama for some (67% of the Rotten Tomato audience liked it), but I didn’t like it because the protagonist played by Zac Efron was a jerk, and he didn’t deserve Taylor Schilling.  I agree with the Rotten Tomato critics, who approved the movie at only 20%.  One star out of four.

10 Years (2012) is a romantic comedy about a 10-year high school reunion.  There are some decent scenes and some decent characters, but overall it is disappointing.  The Rotten Tomato critics like it at 60%, but the audience is only at 40%.  I give it one and a half stars out of four.

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