Out today on DVD is the Meryl Streep/Steve Martin/Alec Baldwin triangle It's Complicated by writer/director Nancy Meyers (Something's Gotta Give and The Holiday). Actually the story isn't very complicated at all. Jane (Streep) is a woman with three grown children. It's been ten years since her divorce to Jake (Baldwin). He's since remarried to a much younger woman (Lake Bell). Adam (Martin), an architect working on Jane's kitchen who is attracted to her, completes the roster.
Jane and Jake attend their son's out-of-town college graduation and somehow manage to fall into bed with each other. Now Adam is cheating on his wife, Jane is the other woman and Adam's left to figure out where he fits into things -- and if he wants to fit into things
Streep, Baldwin and Martin all turn in credible performances but are weighed down occasionally by the one-trick pony of a script and a thin plot. Still, Streep and Martin are magic on screen together. That might have something to do with the $112.7 million it took in at the box office. (Well, that and the fact that lots of middle-aged women were thrilled to see a man leave his young wife for an older woman for once.)
The Descent, Part 2, also out on DVD today, has Sarah (Shauna Macdonald), the lone survivor of the first installment, back for another round of terror in a system of underground caves. The film picks up two days after the last movie ended. Sarah's found covered in the blood of one of the victims left behind in the cave, but with no memory of what happened. Believing the other people in the caves might be alive, a search party -- including Sarah -- goes in after them.
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We can't tell you much more than that without giving away some of the surprises, but let's just say the crawlers (the monsters who live in the caves and have an appetite for human flesh) are as hungry as ever. We will say that Part 2 ties up some loose ends from its predecessor and there are loads of plot twists and turns -- including a kick-in-the-head ending.
If you like your horror stories based in reality, pick up The End of Poverty? The documentary by filmmaker Philippe Diaz is pretty scary. Diaz travels the Third World exploring the causes and possible solutions to the desperate poverty in which so many people find themselves.
Some of the causes, according to Diaz, are slavery and colonization, military conquest, forced labor and the seizure of land and resources. (And yes, much of that continues in today's Third World.)
Poverty? asks why 20 percent of the people in the world (ah, that would be us Americans) consume 80 percent of its resources. And squarely answers the question "Can we end poverty in our lifetime?" (Here's a hint: the answer's not all that encouraging.)