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Movie Reviews: Up In the Air

James Hinshaw - Saturday, December 26, 2009

Just took some time to reflect on movies, not much great out there this year, and the year is about over.  Had a couple of requests to post movie reviews (from now on to be known as MR) on the web site, now have a tool to do just that.  So here we go.

First a good movie, one close to my heart.  Up In the Air, starring George Clooney (Perfect Storm, O Brother Where Art Thou?), Vera Farmiga (The Departed, Manchurian Candidate), Anna Kendrick (New Moon, Twilight), and Jason Bateman (Couples Retreat, Hancock) appealed to me cause I fly a lot myself.  George is a guy who travels a lot, on the road 320 days last year, and actually likes it that way.  He is working on getting a 10 million mile card from American Airlines, only 7 been given out in all of history.  I know Steve Howard has a 3 million mile card, but 10 is a lot more.  He never spends money on anything unless it will help him get closer to the goal, the carbon fiber card that is the ultimate prestige symbol. 

Jason Bateman is his boss, they have a company that fires people.  When a layoff is scheduled, you can call in these guys, they will fire as many as you want.  George does it so well, the people who are "employment challenged" actually thank him.  Jason announces a new direction, where they would do the firing via the internet, from one central location.  Need to move that way, what with cost containment issues and rising travel expenses, they have to be more efficient.  Sound familiar?  So Anna Kendrick is the new college grad with this internet idea, and she puts it together fast.  George is stunned, believes it is not in their best interest, and it also derails his 10 MM goal.

George has also found a female version of himself on the road, Vera travels almost as much as him.  They meet up on a regular basis and have a one night stand in some hotel far from home.  She is part of the whole plot, they have agreed that they don't want any strings, just some romance on the trip. 

The movie was a treat for me, it featured scenes from the airports in St. Louis, Chicago, Orlando, and lots of mid-west cities as well.  Many of them were familiar, along with the hotels that make up my rooms when I am out, like Marriott, Hampton, Hilton.  It has a moral compass type of message.  Just so you know, it is not exactly a feel-good type movie, it will not make you want to go for a plane ride.  George has a family issue that causes him to think through his position in life, a reassessment of where he is going.  Couple of scenes with partial nudity, and some content and language your mom will probably not enjoy.  I would rate it 3 carry-on bags (3 out of 5 possible).  Look for the cameo at the end with Sam Elliot, one of the great character actors of out times.  The internet buzz is that this is Oscar material type of movie, don't think so.           

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