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Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 7:23 p.m.

What We’re Watching: ‘That Awkward Moment’

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Promo poster for That Awkward Moment. Photo Used Under the Creative Commons License.

Promo poster for That Awkward Moment. Photo Used Under the Creative Commons License.

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Sucharita Mukherjee.

That Awkward Moment

★★1/2✰✰✰

Promise, possibility, and plenty of eye candy. That just about describes “That Awkward Moment” in its entirety. The movie is successful on a superficial level but with even a little thought, you see flaws.

While the script was funny, filled with witty banter from Zac Efron and Miles Teller’s characters – two young men who’ve vowed to remain single as long as possible – the film lacked any deeper of meaning. In typical rom-com fashion, the few thought provoking lines were sappily delivered by the female leads Mackenzie Davis and Imogen Poots. Although the writer and director Tom Gormican makes an effort to break gender stereotypes with Michael B. Jourdan’s character, a married man with an unfaithful wife, the film remains typical pre-Valentine’s day fodder.

As for the acting, it’s fair to say that this film will not be the start of something new for Efron’s career. While his dead pan delivery and solid timing helped him compete with veteran comedian Teller, he was incapable of emotionally connecting with his on screen romance. It seems Efron is better off flaunting that face as long as he can.

While Teller and Jourdan are relatively new to the screen and have yet to become household names, they proved their ability to carry a film.

The film does its overall job of entertaining and never pretended to be a serious film. It has lovable characters and some hilariously quotable one-liners.

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Director: Tom Gormican

Starring: Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jourdan, Mackenzie Davis and Imogen Poots

Release Date: Jan. 31st

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 5:43 p.m.

What We’re Watching

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Hatchet reporter Julie Alderman shares her latest movie experience.

"The Lucky One." Photo used under the Creative Commons License

The Lucky One” (2012)

Seeing “The Lucky One” is like going to an 8 a.m. lecture; you don’t want to go but you do for fear that you’ll miss something.

But upon arriving to class, you realize the material could have been found elsewhere and you wonder why you didn’t just stay in your bed and sleep.

“The Lucky One,” based off the novel by Nicholas Sparks, centers around Logan (Zac Efron), a former Marine who, when on a tour of duty in Iraq, finds a picture of girl which he believes gives him the luck he needs to survive. He embarks on a journey to find and thank Beth (Taylor Schilling). He finds himself working with her at a pet motel in Louisiana, ultimately realizing his feelings for her extend beyond gratitude.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Nicholas Sparks formula, let me fill you in. A boy meets a girl, both carrying emotional baggage. Despite their turbulent pasts, the boy and girl find love. Cue a quick steamy make-out scene in the shower, a tense argument or two, and finally, a romantic resolution. One hundred minutes and $12 later, you realize this predictable plot line is nothing you haven’t seen before.

Lovers of the cheesy, romantic genre will adore this movie. But, the critical side of me looks at movies like “The Lucky One” and can’t help but scoff. Logan goes to unrealistic lengths to seek out Beth, migrating from Colorado to Louisiana on foot. This seems like the action of a stalker, not a future boyfriend.

Overall, here’s the deal. If you like books by Nicholas Sparks or if you like movies based off of his other books, you’ll enjoy this film. If you don’t, spend your money and time elsewhere.

Genre: Drama
Director: Scott Hicks
Cast: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner
Release Date: April 20

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012 11:31 a.m.

What We’re Watching

Photo used under the Creative Commons License

Hatchet reporter Talia Weisner shares her latest movie experience.

The Lorax” (2012)

A lesson in environmentalism in the form of a classic children’s story, “The Lorax” ventures beyond the bounds of your classic animated film. Loosely based off the Dr. Seuss story of the same title, “The Lorax” tells the tale of a 12-year-old boy named Ted (voiced by Zac Efron) on a search to find a tree in an apparently tree-less, greedy, industrialized world.

Finding this tree is the key to winning the affection of his best friend and crush, Audrey (Taylor Swift). To find it, he must enlist the help of the short, furry orange creature called The Lorax – the grumpy, mustached protector of the trees (Danny DeVito), who isn’t too keen on human intruders on his land. Through befriending his furry mentor, Ted learns how his world ended up as it did – artificial and without nature – and subsequently, the reason for The Lorax’s ill-tempered demeanor.

The film’s young stars, Swift and Efron, do an excellent job of fitting into their roles. Efron, whose acting talents don’t go unnoticed even hidden behind his animated visage, delivers a particularly impressive performance. That said, DeVito is arguably the picture’s real star, executing jokes with the skill – and voice – we’re all familiar with. The star-studded film also features Ed Helms as the Once-ler and my personal favorite, Betty White as Ted’s grandmother.

Though at times a tad lecture-filled, “The Lorax” does its job, and a pretty good one at that. The anti-capitalist undercurrents of the plot are well-balanced with comic relief, most coming from DeVito. The film features bright colors and skillful animation you’d expect from a Dr. Seuss adaption and a pretty touching story about a young boy’s quest to win the heart of the girl he loves.

Genre: Animated, Family
Director: Chris Renaud
Cast: Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Betty White
Release date: March 2

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