In this week’s “For Your Renting Pleasure” I went with one film that follows those that uphold the law with End of Watch, and one film about those who break it with Hit & Run. Criminals were right, they have more fun.
End Of Watch: After telling my boyfriend (who was once a cop and planned to be one again) that I rented End of Watch, I’m surprised he didn’t rip it from my hands and shatter the disc into thousands of pieces because this was terrifying. I was scared enough before as it is, but now…
I really wanted to like this film because of the cast and trailer that made End of Watch look so good, but unfortunately I found myself unexpectedly bored a lot of the time. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña give great performances as two partners who get caught up in fighting a force above their heads, but sometimes the rambling between the two that once kept me interested as they play off of each other inside their patrol car becomes something to accidentally tune out after a while. With that said, when the poo from the trailer finally hits the fan deep into the movie, I definitely exposed just how emotionally attached to these characters I had become (even if I preferred Anna Kendrick over both of them).
The hand cam worked well for the portions with Gyllenhaal and Peña as an excuse is given for why it is being filmed this way, but that just makes it irritatingly noticeable that it isn’t explained why the gang is also recording themselves. Speaking of which, these criminals must have been trying to harden themselves for the handheld by dropping F-bombs left and right to overcompensate for the minivan they’re riding in and gunning from. Seriously, drop the obnoxious cussing and these scenes could easily lose half their run time.
Maybe I would have appreciated this one more had I been a cop and understood the relationship between partners and the time spent in their patrol cars, but my boyfriend pokes holes in this theory by saying that he was thrown by how unrealistic he felt it was. It was fine, but I hoped for more from what I originally kicked myself for missing in theaters.
Final Grade: C+
Written and co-directed by one of its stars, Dax Shepard, Hit and Run is about a man who is willing to leave the safety of the Witness Protection Program to keep his girl happy by getting her to LA for a job interview. This couple is played by real life adorableness Shepard and Kristen Bell, and their relationship shines through in their performances, creating hilarious, charming, and natural moments that often don’t even feel scripted. Even the argumentative back-and-forth seemed like a conversation that they could easily have (because Bell is awesome. And Shepard as well. But Bell!)
Bradley Cooper also appears with an interesting hairstyle as the man who is looking for revenge to what Shepard did to him as a tough, but also dog-friendly, criminal. Thanks to Michael Rosenbaum’s constant meddling and obsession, the road trip to LA goes way off the beating path with a lot of help from Tom Arnold’s US Marshall as well, and I couldn’t stop laughing the whole time.
Final Grade: B+
See anything great these past two weeks? Let me know and it might show up in the next “For Your Renting Pleasure.” Or you can always Follow @BewareOfTrees and send your suggestions there if they come to mind later. Now get to renting!