I didn’t know much about Runner Runner going in. I’d only seen the trailer for it a week or so previously, and wasn’t particularly grabbed by the storyline or the stars. Although I have enjoyed Affleck and Arterton in their recent releases. My reason for seeing the film was simply that there wasn’t an awful lot to choose from that week. This probably worked in Runner Runner’s favour as I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who saw it for that very reason, and I’m not sure it would have made much of a dent in the box office if it had been released in a week when say Captain Phillips or Thor 2 were out.
I enjoyed it enough but I must admit that it’s not the most gripping plot or the greatest acting on display. I think Affleck’s best work these days is as a director, or when he’s directing himself. I don’t know if that means he tries harder or if the other directors he’s working with aren’t very good at getting the best out of him, but he certainly wasn’t at his best here, putting in a rather cheesy panto villain performance. Arterton had little to do other than look pretty, which she’s great at but she’s capable of so much more. Timberlake for me is watchable but can’t really carry movie, and with Timberlake as the lead, this leaves Runner Runner in a bit of a stalled state.
It’s watchable, but the twist at the end is underwhelming. I’d only recommend it if you don’t have something better to watch. 6.5 out of 10.
My cinema buddy asked my opinion as to what his 1000th cinema experience should be. The choice was this, or Sunshine on Leith. I suggested this but on reflection I think he maybe should have gone with a film with Sunshine in the title.
How I Live Now tells the story of what happens to a group of kids, who are left to fend for themselves after a nuclear attack. New Yorker Daisy (Ronan), is sent to visit her cousins in the English countryside by her father, who clearly isn’t going to win any Dad of the year awards. From the moment Daisy hits UK soil, it’s immediately clear that the world is on the brink of World War 3. Daisy’s Aunt Penn (Chancellor – who has an unspecified government position), is working hard on a peace process, and leaves the kids for a day while she goes to Geneva for talks. As the oldest child is Edmond (MacKay), at 16, Aunt Penn arranges for a neighbour to come check on the children in her absence. When a nuclear explosion rocks London, the neighbour never comes and the aunt is feared dead. The kids look out for each other, with Daisy and Eddie taking care of the younger siblings, and during this time, Daisy and Eddie fall in love. All is well in their little safe haven until the military comb the area for survivors and force the two girls to leave the boys for a “safe house”, where they are forced to work but looked after by a somewhat deluded couple. Will Daisy and Piper ever make it back to Eddie and Isaac?