The Adjustment Bureau - 7th March 2011

Ok, so I have been away for a while.

Sorry, for anyone who cares and enjoys this blog, not that I am delluded enough to believe that's anymore than 2 of you but sorry nonetheless.
I have quite a few reviews stored up and this first one is actually a film I saw a whole month ago, before I left on a trip across seas.
So I am sorry again but please take into account that I am writing this one from memory and my memory isn't so good.

What is most telling about the film is that it is based on a short story by Philip K Dick, the man who wrote the stories that ended up being Blade Runner, Total Recall and that classic Nic Cage film... er... Next (which actually I didn't mind so much). The reason I mention this is because, try as they might, they can't really pad out the script or fill it well enough to make the idea feel anything more than a short story idea.
I would say, therefor, that the main problem with this film is the script because the acting, the cinematography, the direction, the locations and the soundtrack are all spot on, some exactly what you'd expect and other things, especially the acting, far better than you'd expect.
The short comings with the script are mainly that, like I say, it strains and sags at points attempting to crank this out to 2 hours which only goes to highlight the contrivances in the story and the fact they have to dance around using the word God or admitting, really, the existence of a higher power.

Basically the plot is this:
There is a young senator who is embarrassed on the last night of the election by some tabloid nonsense and so must admit defeat, despite being the better man for the job (of course). Then just before his concession speech meets Emily 'bum chin' Blunt, who is crashing a wedding upstairs, in a man's bathroom where, like all good Hollywood meetings between beautiful people, they throw chemistry about the place like children with spaghetti and end up sucking face before she has to dash off to escape the fuzz.
We then leap forward some time and he is running for election again and still fixated with The Bluntster, after a lot of will they/won't they shenanigans, some men in hats show up and tell Damon he can never be with Em so he should get her out of his mind. They are from this shadowy omnipresent organisation (basically angels) and they help keep all of us on our right path, which is whatever they determine it to be.
They have decided that for Damo and her Bluntness to be together it would be a catastrophe (despite, apparently, being destined to be together in the past) and it would also mean neither of them would succeed in their chosen professions, he as a gasbag politician and her as the next Black Swan (she's a ballet dancer). Damon doesn't accept any of this and runs around trying to prove them all wrong.
Like in any circumstance like this, who you really need is, of course, Terrance Stamp who is despatched as a ruthless hard-nut to try and convince Mathias Damonias to see the error of his ways, this doesn't work and the film rumbles on towards its inevitable conclusion.

It is a wonder, considering how silly and pointless it all sounds, that actually the film is such a good watch and not a bad attempt at a slice of philosophic sci-fi. This is mainly down to the actors who were absolutely superb and the director who manages, when it's needed, to keep the pace up.
It focusses far more on their love story than it does the be-hatted men and is all the better for it. You need to care about these two for any of the other mumbo jumbo to matter or seem a threat and so the film takes its time making sure you see them as good honorable, yet kooky and individual people that you'd like to have a drink and a laugh with. Although I am not sure anybody needs the scene where Blunty tries to get Matt to loosen up at an industrial rave, not only does it seem woefully outdated but also out of character for the pair of them.

It could do with being 30 minutes shorter and maybe having a slightly darker, thoughtful ending but for what it is, which is a rom-com with some Sci-fi and not the other way round, it works, is watchable but by no means essential.

7 out of 10 not quite mysterious enough boxes of heart shaped chocolates from the future.
Points from The Wife 7 out of 10

Get Low and The American - Films at 30,000 feet - 21st march 2011

Red State (live at Radio City Music Hall) - 5th March 2011