Every Friday, The Takeaway’s Movie Date team, Rafer Guzman and Kristen Meinzer, weigh in on the weekend's film releases. This week, there are three: the crime drama "Side Effects," the vigilante road trip movie "Identity Thief," and the 3D re-release of the eighties action classic "Top Gun."
Steven Soderbergh's final film before retirement, "Side Effects," has Kristen and Rafer divided. This thriller is about a successful New York City couple, Emily and Martin, who see their world turned upside down when Emily experiences unexpected side effects from a new medication. While Kristen found the film to be great fun, Rafer feels it was simply a toss off: "I expected this to be a last hoorah for Soderbergh… Really it’s just an old, old creaky noir.”
Rafer also sees parallels to old Hollywood in “Identity Thief,” the story of a man who is determined to find and bring to justice the woman who has stolen his identity: "I actually liked this film quite a bit. It reminded me a lot of the movie 'Planes, Trains, and Automobiles'…which is a clear inspiration." The humor here may not be for everyone though, with Kristen saying: "It feels more punishing than funny a lot of the time. It's pretty painful."
At the end of the segment, Kristen and Rafer share part of their interview with Benh Zeitlin, co-writer and director of "Beasts of the Southern Wild," which has been nominated for four Oscars. You can hear the entire interview with Benh on their special: "Movie Date Presents: Oscars, Totally Naked," on WNYC, New Jersey Public Radio and other public radio affiliates on Sunday, February 24th.