The Adjustment Bureau

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The Adjustment Bureau

Run Time 99 minutes.
OK for children.

Matt Damon and Emily Blunt in “The Adjustment Bureau.”

Written, produced and directed by George Nolfi, this preternatural romantic thriller is more romantic than thrilling, but is a splendid rendition of a science fiction short story by Phillip K. Dick. It contains fine performances by the always wonderful Emily Blunt and even by uni-dimensional Matt Damon, who ups his range a skosh, although the politically active Damon and all the Democrat mainstay politicians he included in his film (like James Carville and Terry McAuliffe) must have missed the critical metaphor for today’s politics.

Damon plays a politician who meets Blunt and falls for her. However, a shadowy group of guys in Homburgs seem to be orchestrating all facets of life on earth and while their first meeting was scheduled by them, Damon and Blunt weren’t meant to meet again. When they do, due to Damon’s perseverance, the guys in the Homburgs try to thwart their romance. So the question is, can love conquer all, even metaphysical intervention?

Nolfi displays a deft touch in keeping the pace up, adding a few fine special effects, but not too many that mar the film.

Take Me Home Tonight

Run Time 97 minutes.
Not for children.

Topher Grace in “Take Me Home Tonight.”

Defying all odds, the movies just keep getting worse. Hall Pass was awful, but then came Drive Angry, which made Hall Pass seem like Gone with the Wind. Now, however, Take Me Home Tonight makes one yearn for Drive Angry.

This is a feeble attempt at a post-teen romcom, but it’s a tale without a story, without humor, without romance and without reason. Apparently the film has been in the can for ages. For some unknown reason, Imagine Entertainment (Ron Howard and Brian Grazer) decided to release it. Star Topher Grace, who gets a story credit, wanted it to be reflective of life in Los Angeles in 1988 and insisted on a lot of drug use. He claims that Howard and Grazer actually put more drug use back in the movie before releasing it. Apparently they weren’t concerned that the film actually reflect Los Angeles, though, because it was shot in Arizona. So much for reality.

Even though Grace was searching for the 1980s, this has everything that makes 21st-century comedies horrible: profanity, vulgarity, vacuity, vomit and raunch, along with a total lack of humor. Written by Jackie Filgo and Jeff Filgo and directed by Michael Dowse, this is a movie with nothing for anyone.

Its only saving grace is a good performance by Teresa Palmer, a Kristen Stewart look-alike, who overcomes the horrible material with a performance that made one stop cringing while she was onscreen.

Flying in the face of Grace’s desire for reality, the cast is mostly people over thirty playing people barely into their 20s. Grace is 32. Dan Fogler, who plays Grace’s ridiculously silly friend, is 34, as is Anna Faris, who plays Grace’s twin sister. Chris Pratt, who plays Faris’s boyfriend, is 32. Lucy Punch is 34. The only person in the cast who was age appropriate was Palmer, who is 24. What, there are no 20-year-old actors in Hollywood anymore? But Grace was more interested in getting all the drug use in the film than he was in getting actors who looked the part. And that he did. But what does Grace know about drug use in Los Angeles in 1988? He was 10 years old at the time.

The story is beyond silly, so I’m not going to even start to tell it because it’s irrelevant to the content of the film, which is irrelevant to reality and intelligence.

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