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The Moonlight Time Traveler Man Retreat

By Genevieve Burgess | DVD Releases | February 9, 2010 |

By Genevieve Burgess | DVD Releases | February 9, 2010 |

The Time Traveler’s Wife: “Indeed, Schwentke’s The Time Traveler’s Wife is but a highlight reel of the novel, a Cliff’s note version, stripped of the lingering melancholia, seemingly rushed together with maximum focus on the book’s dramatic plot turns, and minimum regard for its pace and tone. Despite the strong casting choices, almost none of the book’s magic translates onto the big screen. In fact, without the context of the novel, I’d venture that the movie is even less effective: It provides little exposition, almost no explanation of what’s going on, and highlights the book’s many logical inconsistencies. To the novel’s immense credit, it was so absorbing that the pages turned to quickly enough that there wasn’t much time to contemplate those inconsistencies. But they are glaring here.” - Dustin Rowles

Couples Retreat: “Of course, none of it would’ve had any effect on my review of Couples Retreat (full disclosure: I’d have been too drunk to compose it). It’s a heinous family comedy with about as many laughs as Vince Vaughn has chins these days (full disclosure: That was a cheap joke). It’s a shame, too, because Couples Retreat represents a massive waste of talent: In addition to Vaughn, Bell, Bateman, and Favreau, the movie also features Malin Ackerman, Faison Love, and Kristen Davis (full disclosure: Those last three have no talent to waste, and Kristen’s Bell’s talent mostly resides in her bikini area). I expected a mediocre comedy, at best, but nevertheless came away massively disappointed (full disclosure: I may have slept briefly).” - Dustin Rowles

A Serious Man: “Following this brief prologue, the Coens throw us in a time machine aimed for Minnesota in the summer of 1967. We find the film’s protagonist, Larry Gopnik (Michael Stuhlbarg), a physics professor, in a stable headspace. He’s up for tenure and his son Danny’s (Aaron Wolff) Bar Mitzvah is approaching. Nevertheless, as John Lennon once sang, “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” By the time Larry arrives home after a favorable physical examination, he finds that one of his failing students is threatening to sue for defamation of character and that his wife (Sari Lennick) is planning to divorce him for another man (Fred Melamed). Then, there’s that annoying salesman from the Columbia Record Company who keeps calling with the hope of trying to collect on past due notice that Larry knows nothing about. For a professor whose specialty includes documenting complex theorems with mathematics (not anecdotes!), Larry is confused by the path his life has taken. Finding no logical explanation for his strange twist of fate, he turns to his rabbis and God for a religious explanation.” - Drew Morton

Serious Moonlight: “Louise (Meg Ryan), a successful high-powered lawyer, decides to surprise her advertising exec husband Ian (Timothy Hutton) a day early at their country house. Unfortunately, Ian was planning on leaving Lou via letter then head on a jet plane to gay Paree with his new young chickie Sara (Kristen Bell). Lou doesn’t take too kindly to being left, so she knocks Ian out with a flowerpot and duct tapes him to a chair, holding him hostage until he loves her again. Ian shouts and cajoles and berates Lou while she foolishly tries to beg and plead for him to remember their love. At one point, Sara comes around looking for Ian, and Lou tells her she can have Ian and that she understands, but she wants to have a last little talk with him. Lou realizes just how fucking stupid this whole situation is, and Ian obviously lies and tells her he loves her, and she lets him go. Ian shouts at her, flees the room. Lou knocks Ian out with a flowerpot. Again. Because apparently Wily E. Coyote bought ACME out of anvils. She then duct tapes him to a toilet, because toilet is a funny word. We know this, because for the remaining hour plus of the film, they will take every opportunity to say the word toilet.” - Brian Prisco

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Genevieve Burgess is a Features Contributor for Pajiba. You can follow Genevieve Burgess on Twitter.