Thursday, December 31, 2009


So what is this one about?
Welp, the 'flix tells us
In this sports drama based on real-life events, director Clint Eastwood tells the story of what happened after the end of apartheid when newly elected president Nelson Mandela used the 1995 World Cup rugby matches to unite his people in South Africa. Based on John Carlin's book, the film stars Morgan Freeman as Mandela and Matt Damon as Francois Pienaar, the captain of the scrappy South African team that makes a run for the championship.
Additionally, the 'flix subtitles this film as "The Human Factor." Odd.

And how much did I pay to watch?
$14.25 (YIKES) in the director's hall. And that was after we had a delicious dinner and I spent like another $30. I'm spendin' it like I've got it friends!

And what did I think?
OK. So here is the thing--and if you've been here for awhile none of this will come as a surprise to you--I love two things about this movie very much: 1) Clint Eastwood (even though he didn't grace us with his on-screen presence) and 2) South African accents. Especially the South African accents.

The story itself was somewhat trite. Not really that surprising. However, I can't call it trite because it is an actual true story. But, it is pretty much exactly what you would expect. You have a country that has been suffering under apartheid-- well, you've only been suffering if you are black; with a new black president--who the white South Africans don't like--who is about to change the entire country, a shitty Rugby team that no one likes, and the 1995 World Cup of Rugby.

Hmm, in the Hollywood movie scripting of the universe lets think about how this will go...
1) the country will unite under the president--but only after some infighting among the blacks and whites
2) the team will get better and qualify for the World Cup
3) the country will unite in favor of the rugby team
4) the team will win the world cup

And I am not even giving anything away, because I am just telling you what the Hollywood formula would be.

There was a really, really good line from Nelson Mandela in the movie though, something about forgiveness (which is super important to me) but I wasn't able to remember it or find it. I didn't write it down right away. BIG mistake.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
I am disappointed in you Clint Eastwood--you and your old hotness--and how not innovative this movie was in either story or direction. I mean, it was ok and all, but it wasn't that new or innovative or creative or anything. Personally, it wasn't even that emotionally affecting, which is what I think he was going for. But those twit-boxes at the academy will love it. Instead of Mr. Eastwood winning for Gran Torino (which he should have) he might actually win for this. The academy is SOOOO predictable. *lesigh*

It does get a 6 though. Why? Because you know it gets an extra point for the South African accents ;)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Away We Go

So what is this one about?
The 'flix tells us
Buoyed by the news that they are expecting their first baby, Burt (John Krasinski) and Verona (Maya Rudolph) embark on a journey to locate the perfect place on the planet to raise their child. But their quest inevitably yields many unexpected surprises. Sam Mendes directs this quirky comedy while Allison Janney, Catherine O'Hara, Josh Hamilton, Jim Gaffigan, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Jeff Daniels co-star.
And how much did I pay to watch?
Honestly, with how few netflix movies I've turned around I wouldn't be surprised if it would have been cheaper to purchase it.

And what did I think?
I guess the thing I cannot comprehend at this point in my life is the idea that being married, or even being with another person, will become your life. Like, waking up with the person, doing whatever during the day, and coming back to that person becomes your life. That having a kid and spending all your time with the other person is your life. That whole two of us against the world thing. I just am not at a point in my life where I comprehend that.

I think about other people I know who have lives with a very significant other and I truly have a hard time understanding it. And I don't know if that says I am destined for a life of loneliness or what, but it is sort of depressing.

BUT, this movie was amazing! God, Jim Krazinski is just so flipping cute. And sweet. And adorable!

What was so amazing about it? Well, for one thing, it was hilarious. Allison Janey was out of control. When they go to Arizona we--I mean Mel and I--almost lost our shit. She is hilarious. Jim Gaffigan was funny too. But not nearly as funny as Allison Janey. Then Maggie Gyllenhall was hilarious too, again, not nearly as funny as Allison Janey, in the really uncomfortable Ricky Gervais way.

It was also poignant and heartfelt. The story in Montreal was so excellent and real and sad. And so necessary in the plot. I think this is probably the doing of Dave Eggers--you know, Mr. Depressing real life author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. He wrote this movie with his wife, apparently.

The only thing I didn't especially care for was the ending. And maybe it was because I didn't really want the movie to end or maybe it was because the final seemed sort of obvious. But, either way as a whole it was very enjoyable.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
This is definitely one that I will purchase. Keep your eye out at Target... my birthday is in March.

I give it a high 9. Like I said, I didn't care for the ending too much but it was otherwise entirely enjoyable!

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

So what is this one about?
How is it even possible that I haven't reviewed this movie yet?!?! I started this blog in summer 2008 (when I was in Oregon with D) and I have reviewed every movie I have seen that I haven't already reviewed. How is it possible I haven't watched this movie since then?! How?!?! I barely believe that it is. But, well, here we go!

Eternal Sunshine is my #1 movie of the 2000s decade--as I declared to the Bob and Abe show--AND according to wikipedia
"The film was lauded by critics as one of the best films of 2004, and in recent lists, has been acclaimed as one of the best films of the decade"
so I find it nearly impossible that someone reading this blog wont know the plot, BUT, I will let you know anyway.

The 'flix tells us
"After learning that his mercurial ex-girlfriend, Clementine Kruczynski (Kate Winslet), has undergone an experimental medical process to purge all memories of him, mild-mannered Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) opts for the same procedure. But during the operation, he decides he doesn't want to lose what's left of their relationship and tries to conceal her image in his memory cells."

And how much did I pay to watch?
I didn't pay anything for this. I own it. And you should too, because it is excellent.

And what did I think?
Well, like I said, I think this is the number 1 movie of the 2000s decade. In fact, I think I will put up my best of list before the end of the year (though, this is neither here nor there). It is not even a contest. But why do I think that?

Well, Michel Gondry is an excellently, creative artist. His films are mesmerizing and a little spacey--sort of cartoonishly hilarious like my favorite episode of Flight of the Conchords Season 2, "Unnatural Love" which he directed--but entirely fun and fresh. I would also recommend The Science of Sleep. Without Gondry's artistic eye this movie would not have been as excellent.

However, without Charlie Kaufman's (whose photo on Wikipedia looks a lot like Gondry's) script, Gondry's direction wouldn't have had the forward motion it needed. That is why ESotSM was so much better than Be Kind, Rewind. Gondry and Kaufman are like the Thomas Jefferson and the George Washington of 2000s film. They are both excellent alone, but they are wildly successful with each other--George Washington was an amazing leader, but without Jefferson's Declaration of Independence as a backing document what would General Washington have been fighting for? Likewise, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, but without Washington putting the military support behind it, he would have been just another hot intellectual. Wasn't that sort of off topic? Yes.

Ok, so back to the point. What do I love about this? Everything! I know I am being continually vague, so I will try and be more specific.

I love the actors/acting. Kate Winslet, Jim Carrey, Elijah Wood, Kirsten Dunst (sad, sad, Kirsten Dunst), David Cross, Tom Wilkinson and even Mark Ruffalo. Everyone is just so sad. But it isn't sad like Before Sunset sad, but it is a more hopeful sadness. The point is one that I really like. Something like, the people you love you'll love no matter what. The memories of both Clementine and Joel were erased and they still found each other. Even Mary and the Doctor found each other again. There is something so optimistic yet still depressing about that. It is optimistic because it shows that maybe there are people you are really supposed to love and be with in your life. It is depressing because, in Mary's case, sometimes things don't work out but you can't help being in love with the same person. She was right though, erasing your memories is wrong.

Every person you meet in your life--or date, or don't date but want to--they all teach you something about who you are, what makes you happy, or what you are looking for. You can't erase them because they've all made you a little what you are. You eventually stop caring, or missing them, or you wish they just weren't around anymore, but you can't just erase them. (Unless you erase them from facebook or your cell phone book--which is very cathartic and awesome!)

Lastly, it is Gondry's artistic direction. The visuals are so whimsical and they help to break your heart. As the memories are erased and the visuals disappear you, as the audience, feel that vanishing feeling. You want so badly for the main characters to not disappear from each other because you know that they are so good together. And because of the non-linear story you can't really tell that they are going to end up together.

Are those good enough reasons for loving this movie? Answer: yes.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
The first time I saw this movie it was at the house of a boy who I really liked. He said it was one of his favorites, but I was too busy being excited about being near him that I didn't pay attention to the movie. It was a little too complex for 22 year old Julia to figure out when I wasn't even giving it my attention. I could tell it was good, but I couldn't tell how good. So I would have given it a 7 (but because Netflix has deleted the reviews I wrote I can't give you the official story).

So then I bought it and watched it again, and I felt like I had a grip on what was going on, but I couldn't be sure till I watched it again. And when I did it understood how fantastically amazing it is. So it very deservedly gets a 10. (As if there were any doubt)

Seriously, it is worth the effort. It is so pretty visually, with such a pretty/sad story. You'll like it. Go watch it.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Haunting in Connecticut

So what is this one about?
Well, the 'flix tells us,
In this supernatural thriller, the Campbell family's move to Connecticut takes a mysteriously dark turn when a series of shocking paranormal events reveals that their inviting new home is a former mortuary with a sordid past. Based on a true story, this terrifying tale stars Virginia Madsen and Martin Donovan as the well-meaning Campbell parents, Kyle Gallner as their cancer-stricken son and Elias Koteas as the enigmatic Rev. Nicholas Popescu.
Sweet! Popescu, a Romanian!

And how much did I pay to watch?
Oh, I don't know. It is impossible to tell! But, let me say what I've said before... likely too much compared to blockbuster, what it was worth, etc. etc. etc.

And what did I think?
The preview for this movie was scurrrrrrrry. And the opening credits were gross, bloody, and Ring-like creepy. So I had very high expectations.

Of course, like practically every horror movie I watch, this one was shit shit shit. Typical. And I even watched it on Halloween, but that didn't add to the "ambiance" of scary movies. Harrumph. In fact, there was really nothing about this movie that was scary at all--well, besides the gross/bloody credits.

The plot was sort of overly difficult and convoluted so it wasn't very easy to understand. There was actually so much explanation for the events that were going on in the house that I 1) stoped caring and 2) stopped paying attention. So, when they said the names of like old ass dudes who used to work at the mourgue I didn't really know who they were referring to. Why couldn't they have just said "the kid" or "the owners"? Don't you like how I act like I am impressive and then say I can't even follow, nay, didn't care to follow, the assanine plot of some retarded horror movie? Yeah, I like it too.

It even had an equally predictable/typical Ring-like twist at the end! Oh, did I just ruin it? No, because you really shouldn't be watching it anyway.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
So what does this movie get? a 2. Lame!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Precious: based on the novel 'Push' by Sapphire

So what is this one about?
The 'flix says,
Viciously abused by her mother (a riveting Mo'Nique) and pregnant by her father, Harlem high schooler Precious Jones (Gabourey Sidibe) has an unexpected chance at a different life when she enrolls in an alternative school. Teacher Blu Rain (Paula Patton) encourages her, but Precious must battle unimaginable barriers everywhere in her life. Lee Daniels directs his drama that features appearances by Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz.
That's a pretty accurate description.

And how much did I pay to watch?
I don't really remember, but I think I got in free for this one as well, at the Cinema Arts.

And what did I think?
What did I think? Hmmm.

Well, I see ads on the tv that call Precious "uplifting" and "inspiring" and I think to myself, um, did we see the same Precious? Would you call KIDS uplifting or inspiring? Dude, Precious was all kinds of effed up. I am sure you can tell that just from the Netflix description. This girl's life--this real girl, apparently--was beyond horrible. Two kids by her own father?? A mother who made her daughter her slave?? Oh yeah, that sounds real uplifting.

Would you like further proof? Let me provide you some more information from the description of the novel.
The novel is set in Harlem in 1987. Precious Jones lives with her mother, an invalid, and her father, a drug addict. She is obese, illiterate, and pregnant with her second child. In the beginning of the novel, she explains that she has been repeatedly raped by her father since she was seven, and is pregnant with her second child by him. She even tries to commit suicide to get away from it all but it does not work. Her father is married to someone else and living with Precious’ mother, who lives off of public assistance and social security checks she receives for Precious’ first child, "Lil' Mongo", who has Down Syndrome and lives with Precious’ grandmother. Precious cooks, cleans, and waits on her mother constantly.

So, I was also interested to see this movie because I read somewhere that Mariah Carey is unrecognizable. That is a fallacy. I picked her out right away.

So, to return back to the novel, and it's plot which was shown in the movie,
While in the halfway house, Precious joins an incest support group where she meets other people who have suffered, finding solace in knowing that she is not alone. Attempting to transition to life on her own, Precious' mother unexpectedly appears to tell her that her father has died from AIDS. Precious discusses this with her friends at school and they convince her to get Abdul and herself tested. Abdul is negative and Precious is positive. In the end, Precious finds her freedom and security in knowing that she can care for her son and herself on her own.
Wow. How uplifting.

And look at me. I don't even feel bad to spoil this for you. It isn't like you don't see it coming.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
I guess it was good enough, but I wouldn't really recommend this to anyone. I give it a 5.

An Education

So what is this one about?
The 'flix tells us
Jenny's (Carey Mulligan) Oxford-bound teen life is undistinguished in 1961 London until she's given a different kind of education after being immersed in the beguiling but hazardous world of cultured and much-older David (Peter Sarsgaard). Even Jenny's father, Jack (Alfred Molina), is intrigued by him, but her school's unimpressed headmistress (Emma Thompson) works to keep Jenny's entire future from crumbling under David's influence.
le sigh. ooooh David.

And how much did I pay to watch?
Nothing, because my comrade at Cinema Arts let me in for free. And not just me but my mom and my host sister.

And what did I think?
In some ways, I'm a little jealous of the main character, Jenny. A guy like Peter Sarsgaard--so hot--and he opens her young eyes to fancy places, in glamorous clothes, with cosmopolitan friends, and the possibility of big adventure and happy ever after. How could I not possibly be wildly jealous, actually? Why can't I find a fabulous man like him. Even with his secrets, and his issues. Even though it all gets ripped away. Why can't I find someone like that? It'd be fun.

Actually, now that I think about that, I think it might help me have a more favorable opinion of this movie. If I were Jenny, thin, glamorous, with Peter Sarsgaard in love with me, I would maybe make the same decisions as her. EXCEPT--and maybe my pity for her is waning-- I wouldn't act like I was too fucking cool for school, too cool for my parents, too cool for everyone around me. That is why I don't feel bad for her.

Now, if it were me, and I were dating a guy who um {SPOILER} was dating someone else--or was married--and i HAVE dated someone who was dating someone else, and I had no idea, and I was sad. I mean, it just makes you feel so shitty that you were tricked. And you had no idea. And I had no idea. Now, I would know that I could come back from it, and I did. But it might have taken a while. Or it actually didn't because I was able to think to myself "Um, wtf? I am not wasting a second more thinking of him" Then again, I didn't tell everyone else in my life to eff off because I picked a guy over every other thing in my life.

So, the question is, Why did everything get to end so well for her? I mean, sometimes when you make really really stupid decisions you have to work harder then she did in order to come back from it. Everything was solved for her so easily. And it pissed me off.

It was hard to hate her because she was so adorable. like Jenny Lewis and Zooey Deschanel, sort of weak in appearance but a real fireball underneath. But that sort of made it easier to hate her, because why did everything get to be so perfect for her?

Not fair. Then again, what is?

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Well, I liked it. The clothes were gorgeous. And the people were quite good looking. Especially my love Peter Sarsgaard. And I was surprised to find out David's secret.

But, like I said, I didn't have much sympathy for Jenny. Because she was an unapologetic bitch.

So I give it a 7.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Death of Alice Blue (Part of Spooky Movie-- The Washington DC International Horror Film Festival)

So what is this one about?
So, The Death of Alice Blue was screened along with four short films--Death in Charge, Thorns, Orla's Song, and Elder Song. Taken from the Spooky Movie website, here are the descriptions of all five films.

DEATH IN CHARGE – Don’t tell Mom the babysitter’s Death...The Grim Reaper is mistaken for a babysitter and learns a thing or two about life. (15m, U.S.A.)

THORNS – A gorgeous woman and an eccentric man spend a romantic evening together. The man is haunted by the memory of his past lover, and the woman’s seduction yields unexpected results. (7m, Czech Republic)

ORLA’S SONG – A sacrificed child calls for revenge from beyond the grave. (20m, United Kingdom)

ELDER SIGN – If you suffer from an overwhelming sense of dread brought on by the realization of your own insignificance in the universe, then you need Elder Sign. (2m, Canada)

THE DEATH OF ALICE BLUE - Alice Blue is a new creative intern at Raven Advertising. Unfortunately for her it’s run by vampires. A group of eccentrics enlist her aid in thwarting their nefarious schemes. But there’s a complication. There’s the possibility that she herself may be genetically predisposed to being the greatest vampire ever, and the only one who can save the dying breed. Alice is forced to confront herself and make a stand, whatever the outcome. One of the most original and exciting features that we have screened! (86m, Canada)

Ta dah!

And how much did I pay to watch?
Nothing! I was surprised that one of my old Cinema Arts friends from high school was back working at the theatre. I don't want to say too much more because I don't want to get him in trouble.

And what did I think?
Well, of the short films Death in Charge was the best. It was pretty clever. Orla's Song was ok too. Thorns was atrocious and Elder Sign was ridic.

As for The Death of Alice Blue, it was also entirely ridiculous. Probably one of the baddest movies I've seen. Not as in bad topic, but as in silly plot, silly scenery, and high camp factor.

There was an incredibly good looking actor in the film. Most of the men were ok looking--those silly Canadians. So, the actor in question was Kristen Holden-Ried. That is an actor? A male? Yes, and a good looking one. And when I got home I looked at him on imdb and realized that I knew him from somewhere else. He was in The Tudors! He was the hot one from the 1st season who died of the sweating sickness. You remember, the hot gay one! Yesssssssssssssssssss!In addition to KHR, the other high point of the movie was the single greatest line I've ever heard in a movie. The line was so great I wrote it on a post-it note and put it up in front of my desk so I can read it and chuckle whenever I want. What was the line? It was said by Alice's mom to Alice on her birthday at dinner. "My god Alice, you look like the ugliest girl in Toronto!" LOVE IT!

So, the plot of the movie was so ridiculously silly, apparently Alice needed to stop the vampires who were running the company she was working for. And all around the office the vampires were spacey and had iv bags full of blood for them to "eat" during the day. This was definitely the most B-movie I have ever seen.

But the scene where Alice was dancing the KHR's character in the club was hot, hot, hot!

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
I have to give this movie credit. It is a totally indie film made by Canadian film makers and it takes place in Toronto. I give it a 5 because it sure tried.

If you want to watch something silly, watch The Death of Alice Blue.

The Broken

So what is this one about?
Well, I rented this one because I read the description on the 'flix. Which is,
From the very first moment Gina (Lena Headey) spots a woman who looks exactly like her driving down a busy London street, reality ceases to exist as she knows it. Tailing her doppelganger, Gina finds herself immersed in a surreal landscape of mind-bending nightmares and inexplicable events. Written and directed by Sean Ellis, this disturbing tale also stars Richard Jenkins and Asier Newman.
And how much did I pay to watch?
Again, I rented it on the flix, and I wasn't watching many movies, so probably way more than I should have, or would have at blockbuster, or what it was worth.

And what did I think?
Man, if this wasn't the biggest disappointment, I dunno what is! There was no explanation for what was happening in the movie. None. Now, I'm not such a dumb movie watcher that everything needs to be explained to me. But at least in Mirrors there was some explanation for what was going on.

Why do I compare this movie to Mirrors? Well, let me tell you. There was one scene in the movie that was shot for shot exactly the same as the one with Amy Smart in the bath tub in Mirrors.Honestly, it wasn't even a scary movie! I wasn't nervous, uncomfortable, or worried. I was sort of confused and sort of bored. A fairly boring combination for a horror movie.

Lena Hadley is very beautiful though and this movie did have British accents which are always good for a point or two.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
The Broken
gets a 3. And as I said in my netflix review,
"This was like Mirrors the UK version. Don't bother."

Gossip Girl: Season 2

So what is this one about?
The 'flix tells us,
Expect even more shocking secrets revealed in this hit drama's second season, which continues to trail the privileged life of rich young Manhattan teens. The players, seen through the eyes of a blogger known only as "Gossip Girl" (narrated by Kristen Bell), include Serena (Blake Lively), who left Manhattan for boarding school, her friend Blair (Leighton Meester), who took Serena's place as the "popular girl," and Nate (Chace Crawford), Blair's boyfriend.

And how much did I pay to watch?
Well, I watched this when I went to go visit my bffloml Lori in Georgia (the state, not the country) and she rented it. But I flew to Georgia, so you could say something ridiculous like "I spent $249.31 to watch this" but that would be ridiculous. So I will say I spent nothing because Lori paid for the rental.

And what did I think?
Man, was Nate really still Blair's boyfriend? Boy have times changed as I am currently (well, not currently this moment, but currently as in these past two months) watching Gossip Girl Season 3. Nate is such an under utilized character. He is barely ever in the show. Which Lori doesn't like because he is so pretty. And he is.

I myself am more of a Chuck gal. The Chuck/Blair relationship was the savior of this season. They are 100% the new Jim and Pam. They are the best couple on tv, they are far better than Jim and Pam--they're married and preggers and uncool now.

There were a few things I really hated about this season. One of them was the Blair/Serena "relationship". Watching this season with my real BFF, we totally thought that Blair and Serena are not only not bff but they aren't really friends at all. They are so mean to eachother, that frenemies is a much more apt term. Another thing I hated was how the last few episodes of the season were really unrelated to the plot. As I was just reading the wikipedia entry on this season I may understand why. They say,
The penultimate episode of the season, "Valley Girls", was a backdoor pilot for a Gossip Girl spin-off series also titled Valley Girls. The series was set in 1983 and chronicled the teen years of the Gossip Girl character Lily van der Woodsen.
Oh, that helps to explain it. Does that show even exist? I've never even heard of it! And can I please ask about Dan. When did he become the biggest stud on the show? That guy gets more chicks than anyone else. And that is utterly ridiculous. I absolutely hated the teacher he had an "affair" with. She deserved all the bad shit that happened to her.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Anyway, Season 2 was ok. Season 1 and what I have seen of Season 3 are way better. So much so in fact that I will likely buy Season 3 but not season 2. burrrrrrrrn.

The show was still amazing for the Chuck and Blair relationship and the fabulous clothes. And for the quality time I was able to spend with Lori while we watched it on my last trip to GA.

It gets a 7.

The Last Days of Disco

So what is this one about?
The 'flix tells us
Writer-director Whit Stillman captures the end of an era, chronicling love and heartbreak in a mirror-balled world of exclusive nightclubs packed with young singles who dispense wit drier than their martinis. A smart script and spot-on performances from an ensemble cast (including Robert Sean Leonard, Chloë Sevigny and Kate Beckinsale) distinguish Stillman's satire, the final installment in his so-called "yuppie trilogy."

And how much did I pay to watch?
Well, I got it on netflix, about a bazillion years ago (actually less than a month ago), and I haven't been watching many movies, so I probably paid 1) more than I should have 2) more than I would have at blockbuster 3) more than it was worth.

And what did I think?
Well, reading this Slate article made me want to watch this movie. I mean, I'm a pretty smart gal. I enjoy quality, dense, smart films. The types of films that are Criterion Collection. But, jesus up in heaven, I did not get The Last Days of Disco at all! Maybe if I watched these other films in the "yuppie trilogy"--Metropolitan and Barcelona--I would have gotten what the heck was going on in this movie. Maybe if I had lived during the time that this movie took place in I would have understood it. But I seriously had absolutely no idea what was going on!

Was I somehow supposed to be moved by the crash in the 1980s? By these ladies trying to destroy each other and becoming "independent"? I seriously did not get it. Wikipedia talks about "themes" in the movie, and how for Chloe Sevigny this is her most asked about movie, but I really didn't see them or get that. Boys Don't Cry is so much better. (Don't bother watching Kids. That was likely my biggest movie watching mistake ever. Talk about effing depressing!)

Maybe I just like my "coming of age" 1990s movies more like Before Sunrise and Reality Bites and Clueless (ok, that one is a stretch).

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
I give it a 3. Maybe watch the other ones and then watch this one. Or maybe not.

Troop Beverly Hills

So what is this one about?
The 'flix tells us
Shelly Long is a spoiled Beverly Hills housewife who decides -- in an effort to disprove her husband's characterization that she's a selfish trophy wife -- to become the leader of her daughter's wilderness group. Almost blowing it at first (she takes them on outings at the mall rather than in the woods), she later must prove her worth as a legitimate troop leader by instilling lessons of teamwork and selflessness in her young charges.

And how much did I pay to watch?
To watch this fine 1980s film I paid nothing. To own this fine 1980s film I think I paid either $4.99 or $7.99 at good ol Target. And let me tell you, that was under $10 well spent!!

And what did I think?
WHAT DID I THINK!? I thought it was amazing! It also totally transported me back in time to elementary school to Adele Paz's house. Man oh man.

So what did I really think? It is a totally fun, actual laugh out loud, silly movie from the 80s.

And do you know who plays Shelley Long and Craig T. Nelson's daughter? Well, let me tell you. Jenny Lewis. Yes, that Jenny Lewis! Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley! Jenny Lewis of Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins! And she is just so ridiculously cute! It was hilarious to watch this movie after I knew who Jenny Lewis was, because when you look at her as a child actor there is no way you could have imagined her as the darling of indie rock (she better watch out for Zooey Deschanel) with the amazing soulful songs of Acid Tongue. But I digress.

There is nothing especially innovative, creative, or complex plot wise. You can sort of see the plot coming from a mile away, but it is still ridiculously fun. And there is catchy music! The song in the opening credits (done by the Beach Boys) I still remember from 20 years ago and was able to sing along, and the cookie song was the same way. Love it love it love it!

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
This is one of those movies that I like even though it isn't so great. I give it a 10 for the fun/enjoyment factor!

If you haven't seen it, just watch it. You'll like it. Well, if you're a girl you'll like it.

Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (The Baader Meinhof Complex)

So what is this one about?
Netflix tells us,
Uli Edel directs this Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee charting the birth of West Germany's Red Army Faction, a radical left-wing terrorist group formed in the late 1960s amid a climate of revolution and a fallen generation. Staging a series of bombings, kidnappings and assassinations, the RAF waged a war against fascism with a direct assault against the powers of American imperialism and the fledgling German democracy.
Oh, I see.

And how much did I pay to watch?

Well, I watched at Cinema Arts (nearly two months ago...jesus) at night so it probably was something like $8.

What a deal!

And what did I think?
Well, I thought it was quite quite long. 150 minutes. In fact, that was my major problem with it. I think the film makers likely tried to adapt the book too closely (which i bet you never thought you'd hear me say) which meant it covered too many years. I wouldn't be surprised if it covered nearly 20 years, though the information I can find on wikipedia indicates it covers only 10. Well, then I think it was too in depth. The stories told in the film would have been better told in a mini series format. And trust me, I know mini-series.

Now, what I did like about the movie were the actors. Including both Bruno Ganz and Alexandra Maria Lara--who were both in Downfall. The acting was just spot on with the actors consistently demonstrating their characters and the changes they went through.

I went to see this film because there was a Law and Order Criminal Intent episode about a similarly motivated group in New York City. The motivations of both the RAF and the group in the CI episode were so irritating. I have so little patience for these "revolutionary" groups who resort to violence before trying anything in a civilized way. So, of course, watching a movie about a group like this was sort of trying on my patience.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
It was good enough. I was surprised to see that it was Germany's entry for the Oscars last year, not so much surprised that it didn't win.

It'd have liked it a lot more as a mini-series, I wouldn't recommend it so much as a movie--unless you wanna sit for three hours.


I give it a 6.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


So what is this one about?
Well, I didn't really know what it was about when I rented it. I had seen ads for Quarantine and was interested in seeing it. Something about people being quarantined in a building in some city for some reason they didn't know. And I think it was about number 3 in my netflix queue.

Then brother Jack came and told me that the Cabinet of Dr. Calagari was rated number one in the horror movie section in the best of rotten tomatoes. He had said that he would have to rent CoDC and I told him he should. We then looked at the list to see what other movies I had seen. Jack asked if I had seen [REC]--which of course I hadn't. He then went and watched it and said it was awesome. So, I put it at the top of my queue. But I still didn't really know what it was about.

After seeing the movie, and then reading what netflix says, I am glad I didn't know before I watched it. It made the movie was more scary that way. And thus, I will not give you the official description. But, if you are curious, it is easy to find. But you should watch it without knowing what it is about. That is my recommendation.

And how much did I pay to watch?
$1.88 from the netflix. And if I could find this at Target (which will like never happen because it is foreign--Spanish) I would buy it in .09 seconds.

And what did I think?
Hot damn! This one totally deserves to be on the best of in the horror movie section. (I am also 100% glad that The Descent is in the best of list too. In fact, these two films remind me of each other and were scary in the same way). It is one of the few movies I have seen in the past 5 years or so that were so scary that I involuntarily covered my eyes with my hands or actually wanted to turn the movie off! Now, I know some people don't like to be scared, but by god I love it! But sometimes when I am watching these movies alone in my room at night, I want to turn a real scary one off so I don't have nightmares, because I know I very well could.

The movie started out slowly, as if to lull you into a very false sense of security, then it starts to pick up speed and you begin to feel uneasy, then it sucker punches you in the gut and maintains that intensity until the end where you feel so uneasy that you may think of just turning the whole thing off until morning. And the sucker punch scene I alluded to? It was so gd scary and unexpected that I literally had to catch my breath once it had happened. And at the end, I really did consider turning it off. I didn't want to watch it because i was really that scared that i wouldn't be able to sleep.

All of this just cements the fact that it is one of the best horror movies I have seen.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Rent it. Well, rent it only if you like horror movies. If you like horror movies, rent it. Immediately.


Gossip Girl: Season 1

So what is this one about?
Lori told me I had to watch this. Seeing as she is my bff, and knows the type of crappy crap that I like to watch, I had to trust her on it. I didn't really know much about GG, but netflix told me,
"When former queen bee Serena (Blake Lively) returns to New York's Upper East Side from a stint at boarding school, her old friend Blair (Leighton Meester) fears she'll lose all of the status and popularity she gained during Serena's absence. The once-close friends become bitter rivals, and their struggles for power are broadcast to the entire school thanks to Gossip Girl's blog, which always has the scoop on the juiciest info."

And how much did I pay to watch?
Well, there are 5 discs in the season, and at the time I was averaging $1.88/disc. So, times 5= $9.44. Then I went to Target and say that the season 1 set was on sale for $18.99. HOLY CRAP! From like $42.99 to $18.99?! How could I not??

And what did I think?
Well, like I said, I never thought about watching this show. Sometimes in the fashion magazines I read I see that they reference the show and I never knew what the hell they are talking about. Thanks to Lori and her prodding, I found one of the greatest shows on tv. (Notice I didn't say best, or classiest, or smartest...just greatest) It is also one of the most dangerous because it makes me want to buy beautiful clothes and excessive amounts of headbands.

Ok, so, like I've said before, sometimes I feel like I am regressing. I have gone from watching smart shows (well, I don't know that I ever stopped watching "smart" shows...Law and Order, Mad Men) to a LOT of teen shows (Secret Life of the American Teenager, Gossip Girl, Degrassi). I said this already. The thing is, they are just more fun! They take a lot less focus and energy, they are always filled with hot hot hot young people, and the story lines are usually scandalous and full of intrigue. And Gossip Girl is no different.

The cast is stupid good looking--Nate especially. Well, I take it back, I think Vanessa is weird looking. The clothes are amazing--like most other females who watch this show, I think Blair has become my fashion idol. The characters are complete caricatures of real people. Dan is "poor", Vanessa is "arty", Jenny is the "social climber", Blair is the "queen bee" but these people do not exist in real life. Well, at least I cannot imagine them existing in real life. Many of them are too horrible to actually exist in real life. Though, we've all seen NYC Prep and do know that they exist a little.

The Michelle Trachtenberg character is the worst thing ever. I thought Chuck Bass was a total rapist in the first few episodes, but he wasn't. In fact, I am totally in love with him. He reminds me so much of a boy I used to know who was horrible, just one of the worst ever, but so sexy and appealing and all that. Hot damn. So, I like watching Chuck Bass because he reminds me of him. Chuck and Blair are like the best thing ever. They are totally the new Jim and Pam.

The thing I like most about this show is that it really pulls you in. I would be at work thinking about getting home so I could watch more GG. You get caught up in the silly, ludicrous, simple-minded plot lines. And when things happened in the plot that were supposed to be dramatic I would react exactly like they wanted me to. I would be like "Holy Crap!" or "Oh no she didn't!" It was really great. Great fun!

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
You may think you are too cool for Gossip Girl, just like you think you are too cool to read Harry Potter. If you don't think you're too cool for that, then I would 100% recommend Gossip Girl. And if you know the men from my life, you'll have to tell me who you think Chuck Bass reminds me of ;)

I give it a 10!


So what is this one about?
Netflix tells us,
"Unhappy with his life, mattress salesman Brian Weathersby (Paul Dano) pursues his lifelong obsession with adopting an infant from China. But when attractive customer Harriet (Zooey Deschanel) catches his eye, he starts pursuing her instead. Soon, Harriet's overbearing father (John Goodman) and Brian's parents (Ed Asner and Jane Alexander) become involved in their relationship, pushing Brian to take drastic action in this quirky romantic comedy.
And how much did I pay to watch?
Well, I watched it via netflix rental during one of my quick turn over periods--meaning I was watching movies quite quickly (unlike now when I've have the same dvds checked out for maybe over a month...jeeze) so I bet it was a few dollars.

And what did I think?
You know what I hate? I think Zooey is sort of annoying. I believe that I have said this before. (see 500 Days of Summer review, my opinion of her continues to be spot on in relation to this movie...) For one thing, her character's name is Happy. Yep, not a joke. She acts "quirky" and hot and yanks Paul Dano around in this movie. Classic Zooey moments? When she and Paul were waiting in the reception area of a doctors office while her dad (John Goodman) was seeing his chiropractor. She had basically made Paul drive them to the Dr's office. She asks him what he is reading. He tells her. He asks what she is reading, she says "mostly ads" then proceeds to describe one to him. After that she leans into him and asks "do you have any interest in having sex with me?" He replies, "mmmmhmm" and she says, "now?" and he says "mmmmhmmm."

Who does that Zooey think she is? She can just go anywhere and pick up a guy? Guys just fall at her feet? Haarrumph to her. And what is she always so moody about?!? She's gorgeous and guys are always falling in love with her. She needs to just get over it and start to be more cheery!

The movie was pretty quirky. I watched a large portion of it with a look of complete confusion on my face. It was just pretty bizarre. However, it was pretty funny at times. I had a huge lol moment during it, which I will not describe in case you'd like to watch it. And you know what? I love John Goodman. I think he is great. And does Paul Dano always need to look so emo? Get that kid some candy! He looks so depressed all the time!

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
I really liked my review on Netflix--I tend to do my two cents reviews way before I write them down--I wish this weren't the case. I said, "This was the strangest but most earnest film I have seen in a long time. It made me truly, truly smile." This is the type of movie that I would purchase on dvd, so again, if you see it in the $10 section at target, please let me know.

I give this one an 8.5.

Two Lovers

So what is this one about?
Netflix tells us,
"After his engagement falls through, Leonard Kraditor (Joaquin Phoenix) juggles the affections of Michelle (Gwyneth Paltrow), his beautiful, self-destructive neighbor, and Sandra (Vinessa Shaw), the attractive, sensible daughter of his father's business associate. Writer-director James Gray's beautifully nuanced romantic drama is set in Brooklyn and also stars Elias Koteas. The film was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival."
tah freaking dah!

And how much did I pay to watch?
Nerfffffffin. I watched this bad boy on netflix's view it now option. Well, I guess I did pay something, because if I didn't have my flix subscription then I wouldn't be eligible to watch this, but lets just ignore that for this moment.

And what did I think?
What I thought was that I loved that there were no value judgements from the director. In a story that is sort of complex like this one, with complex and damaged characters, it was SO entirely refreshing that the director or writer didn't write any of the characters as "the bad guy". There were really repugnant things about all the characters, really sad things about all the characters, and endearing things about all the characters. It left the action of judging who was good and who was bad and who deserved what to the audience. And it was likewise refreshing that the filmmakers thought the audience would be smart enough to decide who they liked and who they didn't. Filmmakers don't seem to give audiences enough credit these days.

In the same vein of this being complex, as a viewer it was hard for me to pick who I liked and who I didn't. I think that is quite an accomplishment. Usually I pick someone in a film I like--usually someone I can relate to for some reason--but I couldn't pick anyone. I just felt sorry for everyone. Sorrier for some, but I felt sorry for all of them. They were just so damaged.

The film also took place in Brighton Beach, so there were tons of Russians and other Eastern Europeans, and the weather was so overcast and depressing--the settings really seemed to match the story. I assume that was done deliberately. I give the production team a lot of credit on this one.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
I think you should watch this. Sometimes I think that my opinions on film are sort of bizarrely skewed--I don't know why. But I thought this one was really good. It isn't the type of film I would buy and watch over and over, but I thought it was really good. Nuanced. (I love that word).

I gave it a 4 on Netflix, so I will give it an 8 here.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

District 9

There are a lot of secrets in District 9

So what is this one about?
Netflix tells us,
When aliens land on Earth, global business conglomerate Multi-National United forces them into rigid containment zones where they are compelled to labor, even as MNU commandeers their otherworldly technology for profit. As tensions build between human and non-human races, a rogue agent leads a resistance movement against MNU's ruthless consolidation of power. Neill Blomkamp directs this cinema verité-style sci-fi thriller.
And how much did I pay to watch?
Well, here is the thing. I saw this movie twice. Twice in the theatre. I paid for this movie twice! That like never, ever, happens anymore. It wasn't that it was so amazing I wanted to see it again--and it was that amazing-- my Ukrainian host sister wanted to see it, so I went to see it again. The second time it was $11, and I bet the first time it was $9 or so, so I'm guessing I paid about $20. DANG.

And what did I think?
Ok, so for one thing this took place in South Africa, so the accents were fabulously amazing. I love South African accents. They are weird like New Zealand accents, but pretty like Australian ones! I even had a South African professor in grad school--it took me forever to figure out where her accent was from. Bettina von Lieres--you can even look her up! And look at those crazy SA names! Like Wikus van der Merwe (pronounced Vikkus van der Murvah).

So, it def had the accents and location going for it. Also going for it was that the idea was so entirely fresh. I mean, when you think about it initally, you know that there is a large tendency for the treatment of this subject to be trite. And in some ways it was. I mean, it is pretty much what you expect in that the immigrants (aliens) are shunned and forced to leave--you know, just like immigration in a lot of places--and that "mixing" is totally looked down on (like it was back in the day), and that "its ok to have immigrants, just not where we live" attitude, and the whole immigrants live in slums and bring crime (like in The Jungle)...exxxxxxcept these immigrants aren't people, but aliens! Like from another planet!! I mean, who thinks of things like that?! Awesome!

The aliens were pretty fresh looking too. I mean, who has ever seen aliens that look like that? They also had eyes like Wall-E so they were very sincere looking. But, I suppose that is what you would expect, because the entire movie took place in 2010! in the future!!!!!

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Here is the thing, like I said, I haven't seen a movie more than once in the theatre in like forever. The fact that I saw this one indicates I like it a lot. So much in fact that I could easily purchase this movie once it hits the under $10 section at Target. (What a glowing endorsement, right?)

So, I think I'd give it an 8. Or maybe a 9. Well, lets just settle for 8.5.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

"I think he has a dark side. A sad side. A veiled side. Given his childhood, he has a relationship to life and death he can't talk about. He has a strong vision of sadness and death inside him, but since he has such energy, such working power, such desire to do extraordinary things, he prevails."
Pierre-Andre Doutang, Polanksi's friend

So what is this one about?
Netflix tell us,
Director Roman Polanski is the focus of this documentary that explores the tumultuous events of his personal life, including the murder of his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, and the sex scandal that prompted him to flee the United States for France. Interviews with Polanski's victim, Samantha Geimer, Chinatown screenwriter Robert Towne, actress Mia Farrow and others help to reveal the many sides of this controversial figure.
And how much did I pay to watch?
Nothing. We had DVRed this one when it premiered on HBO. I had been waiting to watch it, but events have decreed that I watch it and discuss it today.

And what did I think?
When I woke up at 9am and saw "Swiss arrest Polanski on US request in sex case" on the front page of the Washington Post website I honestly though I would throw up. I hauled my sorry, pajama clad self out of bed and marched downstairs to my Roman Polanski loving parents--the ones who instilled the same love for him in me--and glared at my mom. I said, "I just saw on the Washington Post..." and she said, "I know. We saw it." I probably let out an explicative or two and marched back upstairs to fume and feel sick.

Just. leave. him. alone!!!!!!!

He only escaped the Polish ghetto in World War II, had his mother die in Auschwitz, then had his beautiful, movie-star, pregnant wife--who he was amazingly in love with--be murdered at the hands of the Charles Manson family. So, I say again, what is the point of all of this LA County District Attorney? This happened over 30 years ago. Flipping ridiculous.

In fact, this new article on the Post website essentially say as much! Lets break it down, shall we?
"Polanski, 76, was arrested at the Zurich airport Saturday night by Swiss authorities acting at the request of the Los Angeles district attorney's office. Prosecutors there had learned of the Oscar-winning director's plans to attend a film festival in his honor, and passed a request through the U.S. Justice Department." Are you really telling me that the Justice Department has nothing better to do with their time?

"The arrest outraged the government of France, which has declined to extradite Polanski since he fled to his native land in 1978"
understandable. Good for France for looking out for one of it's talented citizens! "Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand issued a statement saying he "profoundly regrets that a new ordeal is being inflicted on someone who has already known so many during his life."" Merci, Monsieur Mitterand! C'est vrai!

"Polanski also received support from Poland, where he moved as a toddler and avoided capture by the Nazis, who put his mother to death in a concentration camp. "I am considering approaching the American authorities over the possibility of the U.S. president proclaiming an act of clemency, which would settle the matter once and for all," said Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski, according to the PAP news agency."
I hope that does happen. If his justice department can do something so retarded, surely Obama can take the ten seconds to tell them to back down and apologize.

"The arrest baffled some in Hollywood. "I think it's absolutely ridiculous," said Bill Flicker, a film editor who once worked with Polanski in France. "It's stupid and a waste of resources. I don't understand why they are doing it.""
Yes, it is ridiculous. Why are they doing it?

Even the girl he had sex with has said to let it go, "I don't carry any feelings of anger towards Polanski," she told People magazine in 1997. "I even have some sympathy for him, what with his mother dying in a concentration camp and then his wife Sharon Tate being murdered by Charles Manson's people and spending the last 20 years as a fugitive. Life was hard for him, just like it was for me. He did something really gross to me, but it was the media that ruined my life." jerks.

As I am sure you can tell, I am just simply horrified that this has even come up. He is clearly not a sex offender who poses a threat to anyone else. Just. Let. It. Go!
Moving back onto topic, the film was incredibly interesting. It painted a detailed and nuanced portrait of the media attention hungry judge who presided over the case and the county of Los Angeles who was not really interested in putting Polanski in prison for the rest of his life--most of the people in the film thought that he had truly already suffered enough and that considering the facts of the case that all the recommendations the judge received were fair and reasonable. And it did this while not really passing judgement on any of the characters involved in the story.

I would say if you don't know anything about Roman Polanski and haven't seen any of his films--shame on you--this would be a good introduction to him. Through the archival reels you can see why he was so appealing. In the clips of his films you can see the contained elegance of his filmmaking style. And in the news reels from 30 -40 years ago you can see the hard life he had. And you'll understand, like I do, that we should just leave him be.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
I give it a 10. I'm sad I waited so long to watch it, but I'm glad I did, because if I hadn't watched it today it wouldn't have had the immediate, emotional effect it had.

And if you haven't seen Knife in the Water (Nóz w Wodzie), just go rent it. If only for the beautiful Polish language. Then rent the Pianist...because, be serious.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Very Young Girls

So what is this one about?
Netflix has a much better description of this movie than wikipedia does. In fact, it was Netflix's excellent description and recommendation of this movie that made me rent it. It says,
David Schisgall's startling documentary captures the heartbreaking stories of underage girls -- many as young as 13 -- who've been forced into prostitution in New York, exposing how pimps use isolation, violence and drugs to keep girls dependent. Many of the girls interviewed take part in GEMS, a shelter and mentoring program founded by activist Rachel Lloyd -- once a prostitute herself -- that helps them transition out of "the life."
And how much did I pay to watch?
I got it on the 'flix. I think my movie watching has been doing better... lets calculate the per disc amount. I have returned 10 movies in a month (and I watched on on the interweb on the 'flix site) So, 11 movies divided by the monthly rate of $16.99 is $1.54/movie. HUZZAH! Back down to a reasonable price!

And what did I think?
Ok, this one was sad. But uplifting as well. In my review for Orphan I referenced the saddest and best documentary ever--Children Underground. Very Young Girls was sad, but the girls---or a lot of them, were really trying to do better. I suppose that is thanks to Rachel Lloyd. Dude, RL's accent was SO mental! It reminded me of the chick from The Streets, she sounded like she was British. But she had a trashy accent like she was from New York. So the next day at work, you know, that is where I do a lot of movie researching, I looked her up on the internets. I found this article which told me
"Lloyd was just 13 when she dropped out of school to support an alcoholic mother. She slipped into a life of drugs and sexual abuse. She tried three times to kill herself. But even in the United Kingdom, with its network of social workers, lawyers and psychiatrists, Lloyd “continued to slip through the cracks of a system that would eventually give up.” Prostitution in Germany was what awaited her at age 17."
Yikes. So that explains the accent.

I think one of the awesome things she says in the movie was so true. She said, to paraphrase, "In America, people worry about child prostitution in Thailand or Ukraine, but when it happens in their own backyard they turn a blind eye." I feel like that is probably true. How often do you hear about child exploitation or human trafficking all over the world, but never in the US? I am sure it happens, and it happened to these girls in this documentary.

The thing that is even better about this documentary, is that it shows women who are really trying to make a difference in the lives of these girls and bring light to a situation that doesn't get enough coverage in the US. Rachel Lloyd and GEMS seems like they are slowly but surely building awareness about child prostitution in the US.

I don't want to see preachy, because this sort of social or crime issue isn't really the type I learn about...but you should really see this movie.

It really is very illuminating.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Solid, solid, solid, solid documentary. 9.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

This is Not A Joke

But it is where I tell you about all the movie stubs I just found...
I am doing a nice thorough cleaning of my room and I found some old ass movie stubs from who knows where they were hiding. I was getting ready to throw them all away but I thought it might be funny/fun to share

Once 7/11/07 (with Jared--E Street)
Sicko 7/6 (no year--Cinema Arts)
Vacancy 5/11/07
Evening 7/1 (no year--Cinema Arts)
Bourne Supremacy 7/30/04 (jeeeez)
Zodiac 3/3/07 (Toronto--with Ylber)
Evan Almighty 7/10/07
Hot Fuzz 5/7/07 (AMC)
Hairspray 7/20/07 (AMC)
28 Weeks Later 5/13/07 (AMC)
Spiderman 2 7/2/04
The Village 8/1/04 (Cinema DeLux)
Garden State 9/5 (no year--Cinema Arts)
Napoleon Dynamite 8/2 (no year--Cinema Arts)
License to Wed 7/5/07 (Cinema DeLux)
Shaun of the Dead 10/6/04 (with Joe--Cinema DeLux)
Hostel 2 6/8/07
Fahrenheit 9/11 6/27 (no year--Cinema Arts)
Bobby 11/26/06 (with Joe--AMC)
Waitress 5/24 (no year--Cinema Arts)
Pirates of the Caribbean 5/25 (no year--Cinema Arts)
Knocked Up 6/5/07 (AMC)
Talladega Nights 8/8/06
Pulse 8/15/06 (AMC)
The Night Listener 8/7/06 (Cinema DeLux)
A Scanner Darkly 7/16 (no year--Cinema Arts)
Who Killed the Electric Car 7/23 (no year--Cinema Arts)
The Devil Wears Prada 7/27/06
John Tucker Must Die 7/30/06 (Cinema DeLux)
Paris, Je T'aime 6/3 (no year--Cinema Arts)
Pirates of the Caribbean 2 7/8/06

What have we learned from this activity?
1) I clearly don't throw things out. Gross. (I bet I have a fair amount of tickets in my purse currently)
2) Summer is a big movie time for me. Especially in the summer before I went to Ukraine.
3) Cinema Arts Theatre doesn't put dates on their tickets. Sad.
4) I am very consistent with the theatres I choose. But, I guess most people probably are.

That's all for now. District 9 coming very soon!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Degrassi Goes Hollywood

*thats sort of blurry...isn't it?
So what is this one about?
Well, since this isn't classy enough to be on Netflix (though, I'm pretty sure it will be at one point, because it is just. that. good!) so I had to get the description from the 'The N' website (did you know, like I do, that The N is changing to the new Teen Nick on September 28? Well, it is!). So, here it is
In Degrassi's first-ever feature-length movie, Manny's determined to become a real actress, and Paige will do anything to become a star. They've always been rivals, but now they're fighting for the ultimate prize -- a starring role in Jason Mewes' next film. Meanwhile, is Craig still keeping secrets from Ellie? Are the Studz headed for their big break? And why is Jay driving a school bus across the country? When Degrassi goes Hollywood, the only thing bigger than their dreams is their drama.
Because, don't forget, "Degrassi, it goes there"

And how much did I pay to watch?
Nurfin' because I watched this classic on the tv.

And what did I think?
Well, I thought it was amazing!!!

My mom has been on my back lately (within the past few months or so) about how I have "regressed" and turned back into a "teenager". She has come to this conclusion because "of the choice of shows you have been watching." What shows are those? Easy. Degrassi (awesome!), Saved by the Bell (awesome), The Secret Life of the American Teenager (awesome, but insanely ridiculous), Gossip Girl (my newfound, fun as hell, teenage related obsession), and Radio Free Roscoe (a show that should have had way, way more seasons, why else? because it is awesome! and shows on The N at 7 and 7:30am!!). The fact that I used awesome as a description for everything maybe shows that my mom is correct in my regression to teenager. (UPDATE: as I was sitting here updating and eating a cookie sized scoop of cookie dough my mom said "are you eating frozen cookie dough again?" and I said "yeah" and she said "thats another reason why you have regressed." Then I said, "I'm telling the internet on you!!!")

Ok, so I love Degrassi. It takes me back in Canaduh every time. I see those pretty red streetcars clanking down the street and I recognize that it is the King St car, or the Spadina car (HOLLER!) or the Union car (the prettiest trip, by far) and I miss good ol' Toronto. Thankfully I can watch this anytime... or sing it.

Anyway...that was certainly a lot of tangentially related backstory... So, what did I think of Degrassi Goes Hollywood?? I thought there needed to be much more Craig. I was also very glad that there was some love between Manny and Jay (I almost forgot his name, sad). But really, I was so glad to see Craig. Craig, played by Jake Epstein (I saw Jake in Spring Awakening at the Kennedy Center. He is a fabulous singer!) So I was floored that he sang in the movie! In fact, the song he sang, called "Rescue You", was so good that I had to buy it on itunes before the movie was even over. It was soooo Spring Awakening... see...Then I downloaded two other songs by him. And it was awesome.

Actually, the whole movie was quite awesome considering what it was. For a CTV show it was actually pretty well developed. Well, the characters were well developed. I liked that they all brought their backstory into the movie. Poor alcoholic Ellie and sad Marco and lame Paige and sincere Jay. It was really great.

Are you into Degrassi? You should be. In fact, watching the original Degrassi (Degrassi Junior High) was what I rented when I first got Netflix like over four years ago.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Man, this has gone way off the rails. Degrassi goes Hollywood was awesome, funny and heartfelt and totally teenagefabulous. It gets a 10.

Geez, I am ridiculous.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


So what is this one about?
Netflix tells us,
Picking up the pieces after their baby's tragic death, the Colemans -- Kate (Vera Farmiga) and John (Peter Sarsgaard) -- adopt 9-year-old Esther (Isabelle Fuhrman) from an orphanage, but it doesn't take long for Kate to see through Esther's angelic façade. When John brushes aside Kate's paranoid suspicions, Esther wreaks havoc on the world around her in this chilling tale from director Jaume Collet-Serra.
Now, if you've seen the preview, you know that crazy, angelic little Esther is like the demon spawn and tries to kill like everyone in the house. AWESOME! I'm buying it... aren't you?

And how much did I pay to watch?
Well, this is another one I saw at good ol' Cinema DeLux, so something like 10 bucks. But you wanna know the better part?? Oh, I will tell you.

I invited Steven to see this with me. Now, Steven knows that I like rather, um, esoteric(?) movies. So, in the vein of the Children Underground (which is one of the most amazing documentaries I've ever seen, btw) Steven assumed that a movie called Orphan was prolly just another documentary about orphans. Well, as you can see, it wasn't.

But Steven didn't know this, because he'd just gotten back from Europe and hadn't heard of it. And when we were sitting in the theatre, after we'd already paid and all that, and I said I was excited about the sweet horror movie we were about to see. And Steven was like "Um, this is a horror movie?!?!" and I was like "yeah" and he started to look really nervous. Turns out that he doesn't watch horror movies at all and clearly had no idea that this was a horror movie. So I felt both really bad that he didn't know and guilty that I had taken him and wildly amused to see him cower in fear about a crazy movie that I knew the spoiler/twist for. I knew the plot was hilarious, but he was still scurred.

Sorry Steven!!

And what did I think?
"There's something wrong with Esther"

You ain't wrong about that.

Ok, so Christine and I saw a preview for this one back in who knows when. I thought it looked pretty cool, and Mel said every scary movie takes place in Connecticut. I mean, I guess it wasn't "pretty cool" but it looked cool enough. I like shitty horror movies enough to see them all the time.

Then I stumbled upon the Videogum Search for the Worst Movie of All Time blog-dealy when I was "working" at work. And then I looked at the rest of the videogum website and I found this entry...which said
P.S. There is a possible real SPOILER ALERT here of what the wrong thing about Esther is that you need to keep secret, and DO NOT READ FURTHER IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHETHER OR NOT THIS POSSIBLY REAL SPOILER ALERT IS HILARIOUS. OK, if you're still reading: it is hilarious.
And if I wasn't so damned curious I wouldn't have looked. But the spoiler made me want to see the movie even more than when I had just seen the preview! So, because of my excitement about the SPOILER, I don't feel bad telling you the spoiler. Which is...

I know what's wrong with Esther.
She is really a 33-year-old woman who was born with proportional dwarfism which causes her to have the appearance of a child. She also happens to be a former prostitute, who had wealthy paedophiles for clients. The reason why she has her neck covered is because she was once in asylum and she struggled so much in her straitjacket that it left with her deep scars on her neck.

Are you for effing REAL!???!?! Oh, let me tell you, they weren't kidding!

This "twist" might make this horror movie one of the most surprisingly best ones I have ever seen!

The rest of the movie, other than the twist, was fairly predictable. And poor, poor, Peter Sarsgaard. You are a good actor!! How did this end up happening to you?!

So what is the rating? (out of 10)

Ok, so as I've babbled on and on about how amazingly innovative and fresh the twist was, this movie gets serious points for having something new as a horror movie twist.

Add to that, the hotness of Peter Sarsgaard and the serious hilarity of sitting next to Steven who looked like he was going to jump out of his skin the entire time and you have a super fun movie going experience!

This gets a 7 for its fun, hilariousness.

PS. No seriously, aren't you impressed with that spoiler?! Seriously. Be serious.