Matt Damon got an honorable mention in my post about five actors I enjoy watching most for a reason. Whether he’s being thoughtful and contemplative in Good Will Hunting or he is running through narrow streets with some really shaky camera work in The Bourne Ultimatum, Damon is just entertaining. The same can be said about The Informant! (Yes, the exclamation mark is part of the official movie name.)
In it, Damon plays Mark Whitacre, a high-ranking executive at an agri-business giant. As successful as he may be, Whitacre turns into a whistle-blower against his company based on price-fixing accusations. Turning to the U.S. government, he says that he has been in meetings where his company (ADM) has met with its competitors to set the pricing of lysine. This can then, in form, have dramatic effects on a wide variety of consumer foods.
We soon find ourselves entering an increasingly complex and convoluted plot that is one part drama, one part comedy, and another part confusion. That’s part of the fun of The Informant!: trying to figure out who is telling the truth, who is lying, who is the “good” guy, and who is the villain. The socially awkward Whitacre is a fascinating character, but this is far from Matt Damon’s best work.
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
I’ve said in the past that I tend to enjoy movies that discussed Nazi Germany in some way. Whereas Apt Pupil takes place in the modern day, Inglourious Basterds (check the unique spelling on both words) throws us into the middle of Nazi-occupied France during World War II.
Rather than showing the war from the perspective of the front lines,we are shown the guerrilla style tactics of the “Basterds,” a small team led by Brad Pitt’s character that goes around hunting and scalping Nazis. Yes, scalping. The movie does get quite gruesome at times, but the fascinating thing is that Brad Pitt really doesn’t get a lot of screen time.
Instead, the story in Inglourious Basterds is much more about a Jewish farming girl who witnesses her entire family get slaughtered by Nazi soldiers. Years later, she is given her opportunity at revenge. There is a definite Kill Bill-like sentiment here… and that’s a good thing.
I Love You, Man (2009)
Paul Rudd always seems to play the same character, only in slightly different situations. He had to take on the role of a big brother in Role Models and now he’s a guy who’s never a close male friend. And so, we find ourselves exploring what could be called a “bromance.” (I hate that term, by the way.)
I didn’t have the highest of hopes for I Love You, Man, but it turned out to be a lot of fun and it provided for some great laughs. Going on a series of “man dates” to find a new best (male) friend, Rudd’s character eventually encounters Jason Segel’s character at an open house. They go on to ride a scooter, rock out in “man” den, and attend a Rush concert.
If you’re looking for some good comedy in the same ilk as a Forgetting Sarah Marshall, you’ve come to the right place. Think of I Love You, Man as the rom-com of male relationships.