292 – Men, Women & Children (2014)

men, women & children

Jason Reitman (son of Ivan, but that’s barely relevant) spent the early days of his directorial career making some really well-regarded films. Even if Juno or Up in the Air haven’t received universal acclaim, there is evidence there of a quality filmmaker. All of which makes Reitman’s recent career trajectory so baffling. Reitman’s Labor Day was released at the end of January to pretty middling reviews; I described it as “conventional and entirely disposable,” and my opinion has not changed in the intervening months. It is surprising to see another feature from the director so quickly, but perhaps Reitman learned something from the earlier debacle. Perhaps he’s ready to come back stronger than ever with Men, Women & Children. Perhaps not.

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102 – Draft Day (2014)

draft day

While everyone has been distracted by the McConaissnce, there has been another career revival going on that very few people have been following. Dubbed the Costnergence by Matt Singer over at The Dissolve, Kevin Costner’s career as of late has been quite busy, after several years of near-silence. It all kicked off with Costner’s turn as Jonathan “Pa” Kent in Man of Steel, but has already been followed by three movies in this still-young year: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, 3 Days to Kill, and this week’s Draft Day. I’m not even a fan of Costner (I’m more of a Dennis Quaid guy – where’s my rejuviQuaidtion?), but here I am, a viewer of all of these movies. None of them are going to recontextualize Costner the way Mud and True Detective have for McConaughey, but that doesn’t that mean none of them are worth your time. Draft Day, in fact, could almost be described as “good.”

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