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Review: Aloha

Aloha
05.29.2015
6 10

PLOT: Romantic entanglements complicate an already complex plan for a privatized rocket launch in Honolulu, Hawaii.

REVIEW: Before the press screening of ALOHA, writer/director Cameron Crowe came out to introduce the film. In the brief introduction he hinted at some of the unexpected controversy surrounding the film (Sony leaks, non-ethnic casting), and called it a love letter to Hawaii. And with only one screening for press, and an embargo that would lift less than a day before release, I was expecting something less than inspired. The new film has many issues. It is a bit contrived, messy and maybe features too many characters. Yet underneath it all, one of the things I appreciate about Crowe and his work is there. There is charm, and an undeniably sweet nature that managed to bring a smile to my face at times, even when the story felt far too chaotic for its own good.

Bradley Cooper (fresh off the success of AMERICAN SNIPER) portrays Brian Gilcrest, a military contractor who is hired to overlook a privately funded space launch in Honolulu, Hawaii. While there he begins a strange relationship with Alison Ng (Emma Stone), an Air Force Captain hired to watch over him during his stay. To make this already convoluted story even more complicated, he reconnects with a  former flame, Tracy Woodside (Rachel McAdams), who has now moved on with a military husband (John Kasinski) and their kids. Bill Murray plays Carson Welch, the billionaire who hires Gilcrest to make arrangements for the launch, and steals a scene or two. And Alec Baldwin is General Dixon, a man who knows of Gilcrest’s military past and does not approve of the direction his career has taken.

ALOHA is all over the place when it comes to story. It all revolves around the launch, and some questionable means to make it happen. And of course there is a slight twist about what Welch may be attempting to do but I won’t get into that. Not surprisingly too many of the characters’ seem to be shortchanged. As much as McAdams is a driving force for Cooper’s Gilcrest, her complicated marriage, as well as her relationship with Cooper is glossed over. Yet I appreciated some of the humor that comes from Krasinski and his “silent conversations” with his old pal Gilcrest. He and Cooper have a couple of laugh out loud moments that are pure Crowe and they present some much needed energy to that storyline.

The real heart comes from Stone and Cooper. While her character is actually quite annoying for the first few minutes, once we get to know the real Alison Ng, she becomes much more engaging. Their forced time together helps keep the story moving as well as creating an anchor for the complications at hand. Yet as the two become more involved, their relationship builds to a surprisingly satisfying conclusion. This is the rare feature that seems to get better as the film progresses. By the third act I was mostly invested in the complex moral issues both faced. Crowe has the unique ability to take on very serious subjects yet he still manages to keep everything a little grounded, and slightly quirky.

Many of Crowe’s features still hold up incredibly well. From SAY ANYTHING to ALMOST FAMOUS, and even PEARL JAM TWENTY. He is a unique filmmaker with the talent to create real situations that help bring his words to life. And he also has a knack for a seriously good soundtrack. And while there are moments that shine in ALOHA, as a whole it is one of his weaker outings. The cast for the most part is good, even though Danny McBride and his constantly moving fingers are a bit distracting - his character is appropriately named Colonel ‘Fingers’ Lacy. And by the end, credit has to be given to Cooper, McAdams, Krasinski, and aside from the beginning, Stone, who offers up nice work. As a love letter to Hawaii, ALOHA is a sweet - and scenic - yet not always satisfying sentiment. However, fans of Crowe may still entertain in this Hawaiian holiday.

 
Source: JoBlo.com

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4:48AM on 05/30/2015
I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do... www.jobs-review.com
I'm making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do... www.jobs-review.com
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11:15PM on 05/29/2015
If it looks like shit, smells like shit, and feels like shit, you don't have to actually eat it to know it's shit
If it looks like shit, smells like shit, and feels like shit, you don't have to actually eat it to know it's shit
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10:22PM on 05/29/2015
Awful movie. Crowe hasn't made a good film since Almost Famous.
Awful movie. Crowe hasn't made a good film since Almost Famous.
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9:38AM on 05/29/2015
Too bad to hear that it isn't better considering that Crowe is at the helm with a fantastic cast by his side. I'm sure it's an enjoyable film for one to sit through for two hours. I'm pretty much a huge fan of everyone involved in this (especially Cooper), so I will be checking this movie out this weekend.
Too bad to hear that it isn't better considering that Crowe is at the helm with a fantastic cast by his side. I'm sure it's an enjoyable film for one to sit through for two hours. I'm pretty much a huge fan of everyone involved in this (especially Cooper), so I will be checking this movie out this weekend.
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12:56PM on 05/31/2015
I'm a fellow McAdams lover and so I checked it out for her AND Stone. It is mediocre but not as awful as most are saying. I actually think it's Rachel's best performance since the underrated Lucky Ones. She really rises above the material with ease.
I'm a fellow McAdams lover and so I checked it out for her AND Stone. It is mediocre but not as awful as most are saying. I actually think it's Rachel's best performance since the underrated Lucky Ones. She really rises above the material with ease.
9:26AM on 05/29/2015

This is one of the kinder reviews I've read for this movie

The consensus appears to be that Cameron Crowe hase lost his mojo. It's a shame because he's brought us some classic films - SAY ANYTHING, ALMOST FAMOUS, to name just two.
The consensus appears to be that Cameron Crowe hase lost his mojo. It's a shame because he's brought us some classic films - SAY ANYTHING, ALMOST FAMOUS, to name just two.
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9:51AM on 05/29/2015
It's definitely not even close to his best, but I felt there was a spark underneath the mess. Probably will play better on video rather than in theatres to Crowe fans.
It's definitely not even close to his best, but I felt there was a spark underneath the mess. Probably will play better on video rather than in theatres to Crowe fans.
2:02AM on 05/30/2015
Don't forget he wrote the script to Fast Times At Ridgemont High.
Don't forget he wrote the script to Fast Times At Ridgemont High.
9:09AM on 05/29/2015
I haven't seen this or have any interest in seeing it but it's so clearly a movie that Sony is trying to bury. Last night was the first time I started seeing commercials for it and I was shocked at the end of the commercial when it said "Tomorrow" instead of a few weeks from now. I had heard of the movie and saw a few pics but had no idea it was supposed to be a summer movie. Crowe must have really pissed someone off because Cooper just had the biggest film of his career and that would have
I haven't seen this or have any interest in seeing it but it's so clearly a movie that Sony is trying to bury. Last night was the first time I started seeing commercials for it and I was shocked at the end of the commercial when it said "Tomorrow" instead of a few weeks from now. I had heard of the movie and saw a few pics but had no idea it was supposed to be a summer movie. Crowe must have really pissed someone off because Cooper just had the biggest film of his career and that would have helped in the marketing campaign. This movie will be a part of those "How Did This Movie Fail" lists for years to come.
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7:20AM on 05/29/2015
This movie was part of the Sony leaked emails.Not pretty- [link]

Cameron Crowe emailed that he wanted to direct "Jobs," but never got a reply back because of this movie.
This movie was part of the Sony leaked emails.Not pretty- [link]

Cameron Crowe emailed that he wanted to direct "Jobs," but never got a reply back because of this movie.
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12:28AM on 05/29/2015
Man, that is an atrocious tagline. Stone was really bad in this for some reason.
Man, that is an atrocious tagline. Stone was really bad in this for some reason.
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