Review: Couples Retreat

Not A Safe Place For Couples

Couples Retreat (PG-13)

Director: Peter Billingsley

Cast: Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Faizon Love, Jason Bateman, Malin Akerman, Kristen Davis, Kristen Bell and Jean Reno

Genre: Comedy

Rating: *

So, Jason and Cynthia have an eight-year relationship where they haven’t conceived so far. Now, they are on the verge of divorce when they decide to go to a Holiday resort in the islands of Bora Bora which offers couple retreat therapies. But, it is expensive for ONE couple and so, they book a package for FOUR couples. They convince their friends, Dave and Ronnie, Joey and Lucy and the recently divorced Shane who is now with a 20-year old girlfriend to join them so that, they can spend less. Well, my first question is, if you’re not interested, why do you go? My second question, what kind of a nut organized that place?

The so-called Eden Resort is more like a tough and demeaning hostel. The couples are forced to attend therapy sessions. And since day one, the four find differences. The females dump the males for the hyper-humane yoga trainer while the men decide to hop around with masseurs and other bikini girls. Returning to the screen is American A-class family’s favorite comedy star (no, not Jim Carrey), Vince Vaughn who along with Jon Favreau writes the screenplay which is quite a sitcom formulaic episode.

Another thing to notice is the fresh-face female cast – Malin Akerman, Kristen Davis and Kristen Bell. Akerman tries to cope up with Vaughn’s comic timings but puts up a good show. Kristen Davis as the old and tired wife to Favreau does trail behind a lot while Kristen Bell sticks to the script and plays her role well. Jean Reno plays Monsieur Marcel, the founder of Eden Resort. Well, Reno isn’t used to comedy movies unlike Pink Panther. But, this is a little weird for the French who tries his best to poison and kill English words with his foreign accent.

Despite the stumbles in their relationship, the four couples finally make it right in the end. Hey, doesn’t this happen in every other ‘couples’ film? Well I have to nod my head to this. But, every film has a feel embedded in the core of the script which I have found missing in Couples Retreat.But, timely humor saves the day for this big-budget nothing. The film is at all for the Vaughn fans. But, beware of those junky one-liners! And, kids can be really messy.

The film is packed with more comedy, less romance and a little sitcom drama in the end. But, this surely isn’t failing to entertain if that’s what you want. But, keep an eye on the inflating price of the movie ticket.


Review: Watchmen

Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre II/ Laurie Jupiter
Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre II/ Laurie Jupiter

Who Will Watch Watchmen?

Watchmen (R)

Director: Zack Snyder

Cast: Malin Akerman, Jackie Earl Haley, Billy Crudup, Carla Gugino and Patrick Wilson

Rating: **

Watchmen has the famous quote – Who Watches Watchmen. Well, who will watch Watchmen? What a waste of time! Two long hours and forty two impatient minutes! I could’ve taken a comfortable nap rather than watch an uncomfortable movie. Watchmen was a successful comic book which saw maturity and violence. The film adaptation however is a gruesome one. Severe gore and unwanted action gimmicks performed by the masked avengers does make Zack Snyder’s film a dislikeable one. Supported by a heavy B-list ensemble, DC’s vigilante comic book series is made into a pathetic film.

USSR and USA never engaged in nuclear combat during the Cold War. The Cold War was just spying on each other’s country and knowing who was technologically fit and who was economically superior. We all know the result of that. But, Watchmen’s alternative universe provides complete fascination. JFK is assassinated by the Comedian. Richard Nixon looks better in Frost/Nixon rather than in Watchmen. When did he have a nose like the bald eagle?

I have read the whole comic book series which I found half amusing. It is the perception of Americans trying to bring a future where there is no hope. All the movies – I Am Legend, Children of Men and Terminator Salvation share a common thought. The world will be destroyed by some catastrophe and there will a future of hopelessness and chaos.

Visual Effects have been thrown into Watchmen but there is not a single good visual frame. Quantum of Solace had 900 graphically created visuals and they all looked amazing. Watchmen has more than a thousand visuals which look quite normal. Zack Snyder’s previous film 300 was much better when compared to this.

Talking about the cast – Malin Akerman’s Silk Spectre II may not have any proper characteristic but her Laurie Jupiter portrayal is a better one. Patrick Wilson is better as Daniel Dreiberg rather than Nite Owl. Rorschach is a good portrayal by Jackie Earl Haley. As Dr. Manhattan is a graphical representation, Billy Crudup’s sensational style and looks have been cut short to a flashback of four minutes. Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Eddie Blake is probably the best of the characters for he has more screen space. Carla Gugino’s Sally Jupiter is another lively portrayal.

Watchmen’s background score and soundtracks are probably a good one. The montage during the opening credits is an amazing one. But, Snyder could have done a better job. The slowly narrated script may also be a problem.

Watchmen is certainly made for the fans of the comic book. Others back off! This isn’t a film you will enjoy. This is quite a blunder and can be avoided.