With a job traveling around the country firing people, Ryan Bingham enjoys his life living out of a suitcase, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a new hire and a potential love interest.
A reporter in Iraq might just have the story of a lifetime when he meets Lyn Cassady, a guy who claims to be a former member of the U.S. Army's New Earth Army, a unit that employs paranormal powers in their missions.
Ryan Bingham is a corporate downsizing expert whose cherished life on the road is threatened just as he is on the cusp of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles and just after he's met the frequent-traveler woman of his dreams. Written by
Sam Elliott has a small part as a pilot who personally congratulates Ryan on finally achieving his coveted mileage award. In a deleted scene on the DVD, there is a shot of the airline's promotional poster on a wall with a picture of Elliot as the airline pilot. Like many such posters, it includes a quote attributed to his character (Maynard Finch), but the name given after the quote is "Sam Elliot", NOT the character's name. See more »
When Natalie is being introduced, a slight reflection of the camera is visible as it passes the glass window of the meeting cubicle. See more »
This is what I get in return for 30 years of service for my company? And they send some yo-yo like you in here to try to tell me that I'm out of a job? They should be telling you *you're* out of a job.
You have a lot of gall coming in here and firing your number one producer. And then you're going to go home tomorrow and make more money than you've ever made in your life, and I'm going to go home without a pay check. Fuck you.
I just... I guess you leave me dumbfounded. I don't ...
[...] See more »
Over the end credits, the camera glides over the clouds. Much like the view from a plane. See more »
I found this latest offering from writer-director Jason Reitman to be a bland, meandering film consisting of vaguely defined, mostly unengaging characters going through the motions in a threadbare, paint-by-numbers script. One couldn't help but notice the sheer effort in rendering the limp material meaningful and on message enough to give it that cherished Oscar cred. Thus, we have: George Clooney's earnest, resonant intonations about the vicissitudes of life - often provided in handy V.O. just in case we get lost, the use of "real" non-professional actor people to portray the characters receiving the corporate axe wielded by Clooney's mercenary outplacement agent, the jangley, twee acoustic ballads that accompany the various "theme montages" sprinkled throughout the narrative, and always, always, Clooney's ever-present warm, tender gaze impregnating his barren surroundings with richly detailed meaning.
Now, granted, there are some genuinely funny moments that crop up--seemingly by accident, like they were the itinerant left overs from an earlier "funny" draft of the script, presumably written before the Great Recession rendered any comedic treatment of the subject matter unpalatable for Hollywood's delicate sensibilities. These include a delightful Q & A session between Clooney's road mistress (Verna Farmiga) and his young up and coming protégé (Anna Kendrick in an erratic, occasionally annoying performance) regarding relationships and marriage. Another charming moment occurs between Clooney and his very distant potential brother in law who is getting cold feet before his imminent wedding.
It's clear in such scenes that Jason Reitman has a gift for comedy and creating clever, and sometimes touching laughs. But his attempts at serious and topical drama come across as pandering and are too on the nose. All in all, there just weren't enough genuine or engaging moments to dispel the feeling that this whole exercise was an attempt by the director and his creative team to amass the necessary number of theme and message points needed to collect the golden Oscar hardware.
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