3 September 2013 | mdixon
better than IMDb rating indicates imo
after watching I was surprised by its low IMDb rating (5.6 currently). I liked it, it held my attention, felt on its own it was entertaining and was one of those I think to myself "I'm glad I watched that". I'm not a film critic or film-making buff so don't know mechanically what makes a movie good, it's more a thing of you know it when you see it.
to be fair before writing this I read some of the less favorable reviews and can see they have their points. but in imd-land the mid-5s kinds of movies are getting into the range where a movie is clearly not well-thought of and it's hard to see how that can be true of this one. also I don't watch previews/trailers or really read much besides the brief IMDb synopsis at the top so maybe my lack of expectation helps.
I watched this because I like dennis quaid, he's one of those actors that on the screen I find easy to like and his performances are usually good. this isn't the kind of role I'm used to seeing from him (the clever/charming/gregarious kind of guy) but I thought he played it quite well.
the overarching theme seems to be there's no overarching theme. it was more or less an hour and a half of stuff involving people that happened to be in iowa, some of which happened to be farmers. it didn't seem to me it was pushing any kind of viewpoint, we just get to witness some unusual things that can make one think "what would I have done in that spot?" it almost had the dryness of a documentary in that there's no crescendos (musically or otherwise) trying to tell the audience what to feel where. to me the movie was more about what's inside the characters rather than what happens externally when they interact. from that standpoint I wasn't put off by some of the disjointedness other reviewers rightfully point out.
I did notice in hindsight once the movie was over that much of it seemed formulaic and had many of the kinds of twists every other movie has, but what struck me was being engrossed enough that as it unfolded I didn't really notice until it was over with.
bottom line for me is it was entertaining and worth the time spent watching it.