Homefront movie
7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Due Date

Running On A Full Tank
[Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Michelle Monaghan]

image from hollywoodgo.com

RANT: Hello November. The leaves are changing color. The landscapers have traded in their mowers for blowers as their primary gasoline driven tool. As I return from the theater today, I apologetically drove through a pile of leaves the workers had blown together on the driveway. It hearkened back to being a kid, running through the leaves, except this time with a 2,000 lb. car!

SYNOPSIS: Peter Highman needs to get across the country to be with his wife for her scheduled C-section of their first child. Put on a "No Fly" list because of aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay, Peter is forced into a road trip with him in an attempt to get to Los Angeles in time.

Todd Phillips, director of comedy gold such as "The Hangover", "Old School" and "Starsky & Hutch", re-teams with Zach Galifianakis and adds Robert Downey, Jr. to the roster to bring us a good old-fashioned at-odds, must-get-home buddy road flick. In the spirit of "Planes, Trains & Automobiles" and "Tommy Boy", Downey, Jr. stars as high-strung, impatient architect Peter Highman, trying to get home to Los Angeles for the birth of his child. Galifianakis co-stars as aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay, who from the first time they meet in passing at the airport causes Peter nothing but problems and barriers to getting home to the west coast.

Of course Ethan accidentally switches bags at the airport departures curbside, causing Peter to be detained for contraband. Of course, Ethan decides to spout to Peter about turning off his cell phone while getting ready for takeoff, mentioning terrorists and bombs, causing both to be escorted off the flight and onto a 'no-fly" list. With no wallet or ID, Peter cannot rent a car and is forced to travel with Ethan as he attempts to make his way to Hollywood to become a television actor, with hopes to scatter his father's ashes at the Grand Canyon on the way.

There are great moments of laughter in the film. Be sure to look for the coffee grounds incident at Peter's friend Darryl's house in Texas. The moment of understanding between Peter and Ethan's Craig List "glaucoma pharmacist's" son is unexpected, oh so wrong, and hilarious. And try never to mistake a Mexico border crossing for a Texaco gas station when you are low on fuel. But this film has heart too.

Where Zach's Ethan is a constant source of amusement and frustration for Robert's Peter (and laughs for us), he gives some touching moments as he is as uncomfortable and tortured in his own skin as we know he must be. The mission to scatter his father's ashes is as much an emotional and spiritual journey as a physical one.

Sometimes the switches from comedy to drama and back again is disconcerting, but it supports the growth of both Peter and Ethan on their cross-country quests. At the end, you will definitely know and care more about them both, without resorting to asking Ethan's endless series of questions.

Worth: Matinee

I am also trying out a new rating system shown below based on reader reaction to my somewhat complex monetary rating scale. I will give both ratings and see what kind of reaction I muster. A movie can receive up to 5 popcorn buckets. Why popcorn buckets? Because I am a slave to the thousand + calorie delight! Enjoy!

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