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.