Film (with rating): This Means War (PG-13)
CIA operatives (Chris Pine, Tom Hardy) who are partners and best friends
accidentally fall for the same girl (Reese Witherspoon). They use their skills
and an endless array of high-tech gadgetry against each other in a battle for
Monday, we’re entering into our first full week after the long holiday weekend,
and we may just be in the need for the mindless, unrealistic eye candy known as
“This Means War.” This is not a great movie. It’s actually not even
that good. But it is just what the tired and Monday-weary brain needs. Director
McG (“Charlie’s Angels”) tries to appeal to both sexes with this one;
it’s a romantic comedy filled with car chases, explosions, beat downs and guns.
Witherspoon is typecast as the adorable girl-next-door
Lauren who is just gosh-darn unlucky in love. Her bestie (a not-very-enjoyable
Chelsea Handler) encourages her to try out online dating, and in steps Suitor
No. 1. Then, in a video store, Lauren’s stars cross with those of Suitor No. 2.
Who just so happens to be CIA partners and besties with Suitor No. 1. See where
this is going?
So No. 1 and No. 2 decide to wage war on each other to see
who is the best man. And by war, I mean using all sorts of high-level CIA
techno tools, as well as their old-school fists, to come out ahead. It’s
spy-vs-spy, 21st Century Style. Or is it Really Stupid Style? I’m
still deciding. Sure, we throw in a Russian bad guy just for fun, but the main
battle is between these two guys (with ridiculous names) and their love
Overall, the cast is very talented. Pine and Hardy are
actually fun to watch in “War,” even though the script is far beneath
their skills. Same with Witherspoon. She’s just so sweet, you almost have to
like her in anything she does. Everyone in the film struggles to keep up with
the over-the-top action sequences, though.
“War” is not believable in the least. Even some of
the action scenes will leave you scratching your head with a “what
the…” expression on your face. But don’t let this stop you. Just zone out,
check your reality meter at the door with your briefcase, and relax. We’ve got
plenty of other days left this week to use our noggin. Let’s give it a rest
tonight, shall we?
The alternate endings
What to serve for dinner: For this Meatless Monday, let’s serve up some Sweet
Potato Burritos (Penzeys.com. BEST spices in the world, by the way. Check them
2 sweet potatoes (11/2 lb. or so total)
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic powder
1/4 tsp. black pepper (optional)
lime juice (juice of 1 lime)
can black beans
6 whole wheat tortillas
chopped fresh cilantro
shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce the sweet potatoes with
a fork, place on a baking sheet and bake for 40-60 minutes, depending on the size
of the sweet potatoes. Or, if you’re in a hurry, microwave the sweet potatoes
for about 15 minutes.
Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and let cool. Reduce
oven heat to 350 degrees. Scoop the insides out of the potatoes into a bowl and
mash with the spices and lime juice. Stir in the beans and corn. Add salt to
taste if using. Spoon the mixture in the tortillas along with any optional
fillings you desire. Roll up and bake for 10 minutes until heated through.
What to talk about over dinner: Do you think this rom-com/actioner worked? Why or
why not? What was the most unbelievable part? Or parts? What scenes worked? Do
you think Reese will have a baby boy or girl? Have you ever battled a friend
for someone’s affections? What would you do if you and your best friend liked
the same person? What was up with how extravagant that apartment was? I mean,
aren’t these guys on a government salary?