Away We Go

Away We Go is the 5th film from Director Sam Mendes. Known for American Beauty, Road to Perdition and last years Revolutionary Road which are very dark in tone and content, this is a step away from the norm from him and frankly is a breath of fresh air. Away We Go is the story of Burt, played by John Krasinski (The Office, Leatherheads) and Verona, who are a mid-thirties couple who find out they are going to have their first child. Burt’s parents played by Jeff Daniels (Gettysburg, Speed) and Catherine O’hara (Best in Show, Beetlejuice) decide to move to Belgium a month before the baby is born. Burt and Verona, having no ties to their home town any more, go exploring for the perfect place to raise a family. visiting lots of friends and family across  the country, it is a fun adventure of possibilities.

The performances in the film are all pretty good, but the one surprise performance that stands out is that of Maggie Gyllenhaal (Secretary). She plays Burt’s cousin and takes the idea of being close as a family to a whole new level, to the point of being creepy. Her performance is spot on as she delivers her lines with complete confidence without batting and eye as she talks about sharing a bed with her husband….and her kids! She is so good in this role, I could see her getting a Supporting Actress nomination.

Overall I don’t think this is Sam Mendes best film as the movies mentioned previously are very powerful films, but this is a very light, intelligent and delightful film. I would recommend seeing this movie, it is something fresh and not the usual rehashing of a story line you have seen twenty times already. Worth watching for sure!

After Hours


After Hours seemed to start out a little bit slow for me, but I will admit, it was reeling me in for events about to happen. This film follows Paul Hackett, played by Griffin Dunne, through the events of an evening. Starting off trying to hook up with Marcy, played by Rosanna Arquette, Paul finally calls her and agrees to meet her at her friends house in Soho. Certain events happen (not giving too much away here…just check out the film) that evening and the only thing Paul wants to do is tell his story to the cops and go home. Anything that could happen to Paul, does happen. His world slowly crumbles and he seems to go to deeper darker places in the nightlife world of Soho. There are some great characters throughout the movie, Terri Garr (Tootsie) plays Julie the emotionally unstable waitress, Will Patton (Armageddon) plays a leather enthusiast and Catherine O’Hara (Best In Show) plays a plaster sculpture.

This film was directed by Martin Scorsese. After Hours is a very good dark comedy, something I wasn’t expecting from a director know for violence, having directed Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, and more recently The Departed. The movie does seem dated in its style and music, but it still seems to work. Even though it seems a bit out of the norm for Scorsese, this is a very entertaining film. And if seems to start out slow for you, hang in there with it. This one is worth checking out when you in the mood for a black comedy.

–The Singing Hot Dog