“Chill Out” Anniversary Evening

Last night, Ray and I watched two movies to celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary. Since we are always on the move, true luxury for us is doing nothing. The old “chill out” remedy is most often the best for both of us since our daily routine doesn’t build in a lot of chill time. So, here are the results of our movie experience. Just a quick look at these two films.

Way way back

The first movie has an 85% approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes, which is good enough for me. This is a coming of age story of  14-year-old boy, Duncan, who learns about the fun aspects of life from Owen (Sam Rockwell), a wise-cracking but good-hearted mid-30’s guy who runs a water park, and the decidedly un-fun aspects from Trent (Steve Carell), who is Duncan’s mother’s self-centered new boyfriend. This story, written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, features some entertaining dialogue, a few authentically tense moments, along with an ending that could easily be sappy, but is instead restrained and satisfying. Yes, I would recommend this movie, but it is not for those who need a lot of intellectual stimulation. It is a simple story that will bring back the awkwardness of adolescence, as well as aptly illustrate how the genuine caring of one person can make a huge difference in another’s life.

Lincoln

The second movie was “The Lincoln Lawyer” with Matthew McConaughey. While this film came out in 2011, I have previously avoided it since I have not been a huge fan of McConaughey’s “beefcake” films. However, since he has redeemed his actor’s reputation with stellar performances in “Mudd,” True Detective” and “Dallas Buyer’s Club,” I was willing to give this movie a chance. Rotten Tomatoes gave it an 83% and I might even say it could be scored even higher – maybe 87%. The Michael Connelly story is appropriately convoluted for a good legal thriller and McConaughey demonstrates his acting strength as a right-on-the-edge-of-sleazy defense attorney who is struggling with a keen desire to never put away an innocent man. Ryan Phillippe plays a character who forces McConaughey to rethink his whole approach to assessing guilt and innocence. This film was directed by Brad Furman and is worth a look-see as long as you are in the comfort of your home. This movie has a decent story, excellent acting, a few unexpected twists and an ending that brings a nod of approval.

These movies, while not masterpieces, certainly made for an entertaining and low-key evening. That is the best recommendation of all.

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