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Movie rating system (0-2) The movie is balls (2-4) A few moments but mostly bad (4-5.5) Entertaining film but lacking something to make it good. (6-7.5) A recommendation meaning a good solid watch. (8-10) must watch films, they are usually leaders in their respective genre. I can also be found on Facebook or follow my blog at the bottom of this page. THERE MAY BE MINI SPOILERS AHEAD!!! But there will be no endings/twists/cameos/or large plot reveals given.

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Sunday, 26 May 2013

Safety Not Guaranteed

Safety Not Guaranteed
Comedy (Romance, Sci-Fi)
Rated: R
Running Time: 86 minutes
Starring: Mark Duplass, Aubrey Plaza, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Jake Johnson, Karan Soni
Directed By: Colin Trevorrow
Rating: 6.5 out of 10

3 magazine employees are writing a story about a man who placed an ad in the classified ads. The man is looking for a time travelling partner and he states their safety is not guaranteed.

This is my 3rd review for DJ’s Digital Movie Club which can be found on Facebook (So check that sheet out, and maybe like my movie page in the process. TBizzyMovieReviews) Some people say this is the clubs last review. I say DJ is just taking a hiatus like the television show Community, and that this club will come back stronger then ever! So, here we go. The most unbelievable thing about this film is not that a dude thinks he can time travel. It is the fact that someone is reading a newspaper in the present day. Safety Not Guaranteed is the story of three magazine employees. They are doing a story on a guy who took out an ad in the classified section of the newspaper, and the ad states that he is looking for a partner to time travel with.

This film is probably not for your mainstream viewer. It goes for a more indie type vibe, and for the most part it works. It combines many characters with a multitude of psychological problems, and the mix is odd but appealing. The film starts out and we are introduced to Darius. She is a young lady coasting through life. She is an intern at a magazine and seems a little depressed (or very cynical.) Her everyday monotony is about to change though, as she has been chosen to go on writing assignment with two of her coworkers (Jeff and Arnau.) Jeff is in his late thirties, and is a magazine writer who speaks his mind. He is slightly misogynistic and always looking to party. Arnou is another intern, and he is in his early twenties. He is a virgin and a quiet introvert. As you can imagine, the three of them make quite the team. Darius is constantly poking fun at Jeff for his ridiculous take on love and life. Jeff is constantly making fun of Arnou for not trying hard enough to get laid. Arnou quietly interjects by making creepy comments about women. The three of them are funny together because they are so opposite, and you will be laughing at a multitude of situations that they find themselves in. They head out as a team to interview the wannabe time traveler (named Kenneth) from the classifieds, but it is not going to be as easy as they imagined. The time traveler is obviously not working with a full deck of cards. He is suspicious of everyone, he spouts off scientific mumbo jumbo, and he thinks he is constantly being followed. It is up to Darius to get close to Kenneth and get the story on why he is heading back in time, and more importantly, why he thinks he can time travel in the first place. It is a neat premise and will be enjoyed by many types of film watchers.

The acting is sound, but more importantly the characters are enjoyable to watch. Time traveler Kenneth is played by Mark Duplass. This guy was the glue of the movie for me. The goofy intensity that he brings to the role is what made the film work. He constantly spouts off nonsense about weapons, lasers, and calibrations of his time machine. He seems so honest about everything he says that you want him to succeed in his mission. The comedic side of this movie is mostly brought by Jeff who is played by Jake Johnson. Johnson always seems to be having a good time and says things that most people wouldn’t. He drinks in public, looks up old flames on Facebook, and generally has an inappropriate line for every situation. He was pure jokes. Darius is played by Aubrey Plaza and to be honest I am tired of her at this point. If you have seen her in anything before then you know her shtick. She is awkward and emo, all balled up into one cynical persona. If you haven’t seen her before then she probably will work for you in this film, but for me her act seems played out. Awkward Arnou is played by Karan Soni and he does a fine job as the virgin, but most people could have pulled off the role. These four actors combine to make an enjoyable story of love, missed opportunities in life, and humor.

As the film rolls on it is clear that Kenneth is passionate about travelling back to the past to correct a wrong. Darius is there as his wing woman and goes through a battery of training to make sure she is the suitable candidate for the time jump. They have fun together doing mock army training and just hanging out and getting to know each other. Kenneth likes Darius because she doesn’t look at him like he is a freak. Darius likes Kenneth because she sees a kindred spirit. She sees someone who is misunderstood in this world but is not lost in it. Together they embark on the mission to head back in time. The magazine article seems to be put on the back burner as Darius gets more involved in the journey. As the film comes to its end it will leave a smile on most people’s faces. In conclusion, this film is quirky enough to be enjoyable without losing focus. It has a little bit of a cute romantic element for the ladies, but it has enough misplaced humor that guys should like it also. I will admit that the first half of the film is way better than the second half, but Mark Duplass keeps the movie always heading in the right direction.

Director Colin Trevorrow took many risks with this film and they mostly paid off. From the lesser known cast to the quirky love story, this film could have easily failed. Somehow Trevorrow is able to harness the strangeness of the script, (Derek Connolly) with the quirkiness of the characters to ultimately make a film that is both funny and touching. Good job Mr. Trevorrow; if you can revive the next Jurassic Park movie then I will be really impressed!

I give this movie a recommendation, but especially to mainstream people who are looking to try something a little bit different.

T Factor + If you find Aubrey Plaza funny then this could score higher on the rating scale.

T Factor – If you do not like Indie films then this could score lower on the rating scale.

If you liked this film reel recommendations: 500 Days of Summer, Silver Linings Playbook. 

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