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After the Credits Volver a "After the Credits "

At the movies with Covo & Ayotte: “Safety Not Guaranteed”

By Angela Covo and Dennis Ayotte, Jr. | 21 de julio de 2012

Film critics Angela Covo and Dennis Ayotte, Jr. bring you the truth about Hollywood’s current offerings every week. Read their reviews here or in the print edition of La Prensa San Antonio  whenever you need to know more about the latest films. This week, Adam Rocha steps in for Covo on the summer blockbuster  “Dark Knight Rises.”  Covo includes her exclusive interview with Mark Duplass and shares a solo review about his latest film, “Safety Not Guaranteed” which also opens at the Santikos Bijou this weekend. Click the headlone for the story!

San Antonio.- Film critics Angela Covo and Dennis Ayotte, Jr. bring you the truth about Hollywood’s current offerings every week. Read their reviews here or in the print edition of La Prensa San Antonio whenever you need to know more about the latest films. This week, Adam Rocha steps in for Covo on the summer blockbuster “Dark Knight Rises.” Covo includes her exclusive interview with Mark Duplass and shares a solo review about his latest film, “Safety Not Guaranteed” which also opens at the Santikos Bijou this weekend. Click the headlone for the story!

By Angela Covo and Dennis Ayotte, Jr.                                                           angela.covo@gmail.com and dennisayottejr@gmail.com 

THE NEW COVO & AYOTTE GUIDE:

  • INSTANT CLASSIC! FIVE STARS
  • DON'T MISS! FOUR STARS
  • DON'T WAIT! THREE STARS
  • DON'T RUSH! TWO STARS
  • DON'T BOTHER! ONE STAR

Covo’s take: “Safety Not Guaranteed” FIVE STARS

This movie is a great execution of one of the tightest and best screenplays I’ve seen all year. I not only recommend this film, I strongly urge you to pick this film this weekend. This is the feel-good movie of the year and is provocative as well. In my book, this small independent film rates as a must-see – a Covo & Ayotte “instant classic.” 

The film’s premise is intriguing enough: Three magazine employees head out on an assignment to interview a guy who placed a classified ad seeking a companion for time travel. The ad clearly states “Safety Not Guaranteed.” 

Mark Duplass, who plays Kenneth in this film and who is probably the busiest guy in the film industry, took a few minutes to talk to La Prensa about this movie and the ton of projects he is working on or already has coming out. 

The screenwriter, actor, director and producer has been doing it all with his brother, Jay, since they were little kids. When asked what part he likes to do best, he candidly explains he can’t separate the roles – he wants to do whatever will make a movie great. 

“Jay and I started making movies when we were little – like two kids coming out of a cave,” he said. “We always wore all the hats – I never started doing just one thing.”

And in spite of the fact one might think movies are loaded with messages, for Duplass it’s always about telling the story.

“We never start with a message – our films offer funny and emotionally-rooted situations which are naturally hard to market,” he explained. “If anything is consistent in our work, it’s that we deeply love the characters and root for them.”           

And that’s certainly evident in “Safety Not Guaranteed,” where Duplass wears but one hat, as an actor – yet he creates a sizzling character that instantly gains the audience’s sympathy – we all actually are rooting for Kenneth to succeed in his crazy endeavor.

Without being corny or overly dramatic – in fact with a veil of very well placed humor – this movie displays everyday humanity at its best and its worst. Fraught with selfish intentions, the players end up bringing out the best in each other, but in the most refreshing and sincere way, and it all ties up neatly in the end without making the audience feel the slightest bit cheated.

Every performance is amazing in this film, from the sleazy magazine writer to the interns to the subject of their intended story. Lots of non-espionage espionage will keep you very involved in the comings and goings – and sharp, witty dialogue and banter compliments the already magnificent chemistry between the actors in the film.

Aubrey Plaza must also be singled out for her spectacular performance. The young actress, who also spends time as a stand-up comic, is Latina: her father is Puerto Rican and her mother is of Irish and English descent. Recently on Letterman, Plaza said she had a “lively” Irish side and a “lively” Puerto Rican side. When asked which side she preferred, without missing a beat she answered, “Both, I mean there’s just so much alcohol either way you go.” 

Plaza has other movies coming out later this year – and make sure to look for more from Duplass this summer. He should undoubtedly shine as an actor in “Your Sister’s Sister” and the brothers will also be presenting an older project which they finally finished sometime later this summer called “The Do-Deca-Pentathalon.” 

Still, “Safety Not Guaranteed” has to be the top indie film of the year so far – don’t miss it. The movie opens at the Santikos Bijou on July 20. It’s rated R for adult content and runs about 86 minutes.

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