Monday, April 20, 2015

(Spoilers) Her Review

***SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers may be found in the post below about VARIOUS ITEMS. And I'm going to add in a bit of filler text here to limit how much of the main article gets shown in a preview. That should take care of most of it. Hopefully. And away we go. SPOILER WARNING. ***

This seemed a bit out there, but the trailer, Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson gave me enough of a reason to watch this movie.

A new operating system that's alive and forms relationships with people. And it takes place in Los Angeles, years away in the future. There's voice to text dictation that works seemingly perfectly and lots of really small portable devices.

Good or Bad?
I rented Her when it became available after the Oscars, so my expectations were a bit higher -- won for something. It didn't disappoint me. The story was about Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) who was in the process of being divorced and opening himself to new relationships again. There was at least one date that didn't seem to work out with Olivia Wilde's character -- her screen time wasn't a lot. Anyway, while going through all of this, a new computer operating system was released. What made it special was that it was sentient or alive with a speaking voice and personality (Scarlett Johannson). The rest of the movie was about their relationship and how a more than friendly relationship worked out between a person and body-less machine.

If you're wondering, yes, the machine and Theodore try to perform sexual acts. Those scenes were definitely eyebrow raising and I expressed a few dafuqs out loud. But it was interesting and making this movie without exploring the concept would have made it feel incomplete.

The acting was top notch with the leads, but I expected nothing less from Joaquin Phoenix. How he did so well with no other person to bounce off of on camera was even more impressive. I thought Scarlett Johannson was an excellent fit and the emotional range she showed with just her voice alone was impressive.

What there wasn't enough of was Amy Adams whom I completely forgot was in the movie when I watched it. Even more shocking was that she went blonde -- most of the movies I saw her in, she had reddish hair. Amy played a friend and neighbor of Theodore, and she also befriended her own sentient operating system. The friendship between the characters played by Amy and Joaquin was one of the best parts of the movie for me.

Apparently, parts of this movie were filmed in Shanghai, China. I had to look this one up after seeing more than a few Chinese characters that didn't appear to be business or restaurant signs. The scenery, especially of the skyline at night, was beautiful -- couldn't have thought of a better use of the skyline in one scene.

Pretty good movie, overall. Some great scenes, especially near the end.

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