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This is a sample entertainment blog entry.

 

MR. AND MRS. SMITH
Budget: $110 million
Opening Weekend: $50 million
Writer: Simon Kinberg
Director: Doug Liman
Stunt Double-Angelina Jolie: Eunice Huthart
Distributors: Twentieth Century Fox Film

Mr. And Mrs. Smith is the quintessential summer action movie - there's a tiny thread of plot tied together with several explosions. I was expecting very little else from this movie, and as a result I was pleasantly surprised.

Recently the movie has been marketed according to the private lives of the actors - did Angelina break up her co-star's marriage? That's what all the recent trailers were asking. Since I don't particularly think it's any of my business, I was getting less and less excited about it.

Early trailers emphasized Angelina leaping from tall buildings and shooting down the bad guys back to back with Brad. This intrigued me. That's all I feel like seeing in a movie when I'm seeking refuge in the air-conditioned movie theater from triple digit mercury. I don't want to think too hard, and I don't want to cry. I want some thrills to drive away the lethargy of summer.

Mr. And Mrs. Smith delivered more than I expected. There were plenty of fights and big guns and high-tech subterfuge. Not just two pretty people flirting - though there was a lot of that too. Mr. Smith confessed his love at almost every opportunity. Mrs. Smith seemed nothing but cold, and that's where the casting became so important. The character did nothing to make herself likable - let alone lovable - so she had to be played by someone the men in the audience were already in love with. That's the only way Mr. Smith's sweet nothings make any sense.

Fortunately, Angelina and Brad are good enough actors - and had more than enough chemistry - to make the writing only seem a little thin. Brad can make people laugh just by mouthing the word "ten" with proper emphasis. But not even Angelina can keep me from rolling my eyes when I see that once again the female assassin has to dress up as a dominatrix while Brad was off playing poker and looking cool. Can't we be a little more creative about how a woman might infiltrate an organization and get close to her target?

But then, maybe I'm asking too much. This movie's motto seemed to be eye candy. The spy toys were flashy, the guns were laughably large and the explosions included lingering showers of sparks. Maybe someone just couldn't resist getting Angelina into the outfit of their dreams.

It doesn't look like they got paid for it, though. There were plenty of opportunities for elegant product placement. I guess Home Depot/Expo/Crate and Barrel didn't want to see their store getting shot to pieces, even though the fake logo got lots of screen time and Brad said "This is a great store."

But there was a "Fight Club" t-shirt. And several easily-identifiable kitchen knives if you go looking for them at your favorite upscale warehouse home store. I always wonder who got paid for the product placements and who got in the movie just because the makers really like the product. I mean, I seriously doubt anyone paid to get Fight Club a little more advertising. But hey, I could be wrong, Fight Club is another Twentieth Century Fox film. And the not-so-subtle subtext of this movie is also that upper-middle-class American life is an expensive sham. I guess we can all just hope the big secret our friends and lovers are hiding is that underneath they're really Brad Pitt.

What's this about a stunt double for Angelina? Nope, she didn't do all her own stunts, but you wouldn't know it from watching the movie. Eunice also doubled for Angelina in the Tomb Raider movies and Troy. She also did stunts for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.