American Ultra 5/10
I'm sorry, but I could kick Jesse Eisenberg's ass by accident so seeing him as an ultra badass was jarring and off-putting.
I don't remember much about that movie, but wasn't that kind of the point?
If that was the point, then they beat if over everyone's head. Literally.
It has 62,910 votes on IMDB. Their arms must be really tired after so many literal over the head beatings.
Eeeenyhoo... The Truth About Love (2005)
: Moderately bad romcom starring Jennifer Love Hewitt. The premise sounded kind of interesting (woman sends husband an anonymous love note and, when he fails to share it with her, shenanigans ensue as she decides to have an affair with him as an anonymous admirer), but the execution was not great. The acting was kind of mediocre and most of the jokes fell flat. But by far the most distracting to me were the sound issues.
First of all, JLH does a pretty bad English accent (which, as a non-native, I usually don't find that bothersome). Second, the movie just sounds weird
, like it was poorly dubbed. I'm not sure it actually was dubbed, mind you - I think it was just a combination of recording equipment and bad mixing - but it sounds
that way. I think it might be mainly due to the way the sound is mixed. It has a 5.1 surround sound track, but all the dialogue is coming from my center speaker (the stereo track was not much better). The music (which isn't bad in and of itself) is also way too loud compared to everything else (incidentally, I thought American Pie had the exact opposite problem, with its really anaemic pop-punk music). The environmental sound seems really
suppressed to the point where it's basically absent (except for the sounds of the actors' clothes and body parts). There's also almost no difference in sound ambiance between the different locations.
And there's something off about the loudness as compared to the visuals. As a result, the sound seems to be unrelated to the setting and the positions and orientations of the actors, and appears disembodied somehow. For example, an actor is walking around while talking, and his voice sounds exactly the same while he's facing the camera up close on the left side of the screen as it does when his back is turned and he's on the far side of the room on the right hand side of the screen. It's like they recorded the whole thing with a single mono microphone that was right in their face.
That might all sound like a minor thing, but it was so distracting that I couldn't actually focus on what they were saying because I kept wondering why it sounded so poorly. It might have been better if it was at least a very obvious dub with bad lip syncing, at least then it wouldn't have kept me wondering and I could've focused on what was actually happening on screen.
And finally, most of the time the actors failed to show any real emotion. Apart from a few scenes, their delivery was very flat. You know how someone who's afraid to scream might sort of half-scream out of peer pressure, never quite going full-out? That's the impression I got from their delivery, only replace loudness by emotion (maybe think Hayden Christensen's delivery in every line in the Star Wars prequels where he doesn't act angry, except less whiny). I've seen JLH act much better in some other movies, so I'm guessing that (like with the SW prequels) that might have been the direction.
It's not 100% without merits, I guess (but then, few movies are). The third act was better than the rest. JLH was not great, but not terrible, and her character was likeable enough. The ending was pretty good. But it never quite drew me in. Also, they insisted on calling her alter ego "Anonymous", which kept conjuring up this sort of image in my mind: