By: Mary Fran Bontempo
This week, two DVD movies at opposite ends of the spectrum—both worth a look.
First up, everyone’s favorite funny lady, Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman in Identity Thief.
The premise is everyone’s nightmare: Bateman’s Sandy Bigelow Patterson unwittingly gives his personal info to McCarthy’s Diana (if that’s her real name), who proceeds to live it up on Sandy’s dollar. After Sandy is arrested for skipping a court date that was never his to begin with, he figures out what’s going on and, offered little help by police, he takes off after the thief, having one week to save his reputation, his job and his family.
Sandy arrives in Florida and confronts Diana, determined to bring her back to his home in Colorado to face the music and clear up the mess. But Sandy isn’t the only one after Diana, as various thugs and bounty hunters add to the chase.
McCarthy is hilarious (although I confess to wanting to kill her at the movie’s beginning as I watched Bateman squirm when his lifestyle was under attack) and Bateman is, as always, reliably funny and engaging—really one of my favorite actors.
By turns laugh out loud funny and ultimately touching and redeeming, Identity Thief will leave you with a grin.
Next, Matthew McConaughey offers an arresting performance as Mud, a fugitive hiding out on an island in the Mississippi who is discovered by two friends looking for adventure.
Ellis and Neckbone grudgingly agree to help Mud reunite with Juniper, his lady love, even after Mud confesses that he killed a man—one of Juniper’s lovers—and the man’s family wants him dead. In order to meet up with Juniper, Ellis and Neckbone scrounge for parts to fix an old boat on the island, landing in more than a little trouble in the process. Adding to the drama is tension on the home front for Ellis. His mama is unhappy with life on the river and wants out. Daddy wants to stay.
A combination coming of age drama, suspense story and love story, Mud engages and repels at the same time. Is Mud telling the truth or are the boys in danger? Does Juniper really love Mud? Will the men after Mud find him and kill him? And who is the mysterious man who lives across the bayou from Ellis and his parents?
Ellis believes in the power of love. And somehow, it manages to shine through—in unexpected ways.
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