Saturday, March 14, 2009

One Missed Call

So what is this one about?
Netflix tells us,
Cell-phone messages describing victims' last moments on earth are the only links connecting a string of deaths in this supernatural chiller. When two of her friends die after receiving such calls, college coed Beth Raymond (Shannyn Sossamon) contacts the police, who dismiss her story -- with the exception of Det. Jack Andrews (Edward Burns). The two team up to solve the mystery, but when Beth's phone rings with an eerie refrain, is her number up?
Gee, how original.

And how much did I pay to watch?
Nothing, because I watched it as an On Demand movie on one of the "premium subscription" channels. Maybe Cinemax? Who knows, who cares.

And what did I think?
"What will it sound like when you die?" Probably just like every other Japanese movie remake that came before. In fact, when I was done watching it I had to go to netflix and see if this one was a remake of a movie I had already seen a few years ago called Phone. Turns out it is a remake, but of a film called One Missed Call (duh).

The plot was pithy (shocker) but there were suspenseful parts. I didn't really care what happened to any of the characters. But, lets be serious. The only reason I watch stupid horror movies is on the off chance I might find an actual scary one. This one wasn't really. But, I was still entertained enough.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
It gets a 4.


So what is this one about?
If you have been under a rock, Netflix will tell us what this one is about.
Sean Penn (in an Oscar-winning role) stars in this fact-based drama about Harvey Milk, the openly gay activist and San Francisco politician who was murdered along with mayor George Moscone (Victor Garber) by disgruntled city employee Dan White (Josh Brolin, in an Oscar-nominated role) in 1978. Director Gus Van Sant's compelling biopic (nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award) co-stars Emile Hirsch, James Franco and Diego Luna.
And how much did I pay to watch?
Nothing, because Devin bought my ticket.

And what did I think?
There were basically two over-riding things I thought of while watching this one. 1) Sean Penn is such an incredibly talented actor. He is just fabulous. 2) Good god this movie was better than stupid, stupid Slumdog Millionaire. You may be able to tell that I saw this before the stupid Oscars, because those were my two immediate thoughts.

Other than those, though, I suppose I did have some other thoughts. I liked that Josh Brolin played the guy who killed Harvey Milk. I liked this because the last role I saw Brolin in was playing George W. Bush in W. Haha, George W. Bush hates gay people and kills them. Oh wait, that is just Josh Brolin. I also liked that the whole story was new to me. I suppose I knew that Harvey Milk was killed, but I didn't know how, or when, or why, or by who. So I liked that. I also liked that it was filmed in San Fransicso...cause hey, I've been there!

I thought the acting was very good. In fact, I thought all the actors were great!!

It was also whispered in my ear that the woman at the begining of the film who says that Milk and Moscone are dead was Dianne Feinstein, and that this basically catapulted her carrer. Or, well, thats what Devin said. I thought that was interesting, and the wikipedia article even refers to it. So, again, it must be true.

On the other hand, though, besides the awesome acting and the fact that it was much better than Slumdog, I think I might have to admit that I am getting a little sick of gay movies. I love gay people. I think they are great. I think they should have all the same rights as straight couples, and all of that goodness (and be serious, how adorable are Ellen and Portia? they are amazing!) but really, I am getting kind of bored of these movies. I guess they just don't tug at my heart like they used to. Maybe I am becoming horribly cold. But maybe I'm just getting bored.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Milk was good. Milk was great. Penn deserved his Oscar, because dude let's face it... he is so talented.

Overall, it was very good. 8.


So what is this one about?
Netflix told me,
Based on a New York Times Magazine story, this crime drama starring Kevin Kline delves into a sordid world of international sex trafficking that leads from Mexico City to a New Jersey stash house. In a bid to save kidnapped 13-year-old Adriana (Paulina Gaitan) before she's sold into sexual slavery, her desperate brother (Cesar Ramos) teams with a Texas cop (Kline). Can they find her before she vanishes into a hellish underworld?
before I watched it...because I'd never heard of it, and I watched it on "watch it now", therefore...

And how much did I pay to watch?
Nothing. (Because like I just said, I watched it on "watch it now")

And what did I think?
Well, considering I had never heard that this movie even existed, and therefore had no expectations of how it would be, it was actually pretty good.

You can pretty much always tell if a movie about human trafficking is good by how uncomfortable it makes you feel. There were parts that just turned my stomach during this one, as it well should. That showed me that the movie was much more realistic than other stupid ass movies that deal with human trafficking. (Doesn't that dumb movie Eastern Promises deal with that topic sort of??)

In a lot of ways I really liked that it was so gritty and difficult (with bad, bad things happening to the characters). The story was compelling and suspenseful (though a bit unbelievable in the ending). There were even some Russian mob aspects! (and what trafficking movie would be complete without those?) And even though, apparently, this movie was only in very limited release it did a good job of giving human trafficking a realistic and not very Hollywood treatment.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Overall, I was very pleased with this film. It was good, and because I didn't know it existed, and therefore had no expectations for it, I was even more pleased.

So, I'll give it a 7.