Friday, January 25, 2013

'13 Movies: "Beasts...", "Jiro...", "Girls...", "Goon", "The Producers", "

11. Beasts of the Southern Wild

 Absolutely gorgeous, unusual film. I had no idea what to expect going in, and so I was more than pleasantly surprised by how beautiful and heartfelt this movie was. The performances are outstanding, specially considering that none of the main actors have ever been in a film before. It's such an unusual movie, and it's just wonderful. Everyone needs to watch it.

 12. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

A great documentary. I loved that it showed a tiny aspect of the world that I had no knowledge of, and it did it in a very simple, understated but deeply respectful manner. The Sushi Chef Jiro is shown as the true artist he is, and it's fascinating to watch him talk about how he has dedicated his entire life to his art and task, and it's all very inspirational. I don't even like sushi (which feels weird to say after watching the movie, but I simply prefer stronger, bolder flavors in my food) and I was completely engrossed in watching the process as undertaken by true masters. Everyone profiled in the movie is so dedicated and so in love with what they do, and that's always something that's worth watching. 

13. Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Perfect if you feel like being punched in the face by the 80s. And sometimes you're just in the mood for that, you  know? Neon, big hair, spandex (sooo much spandex) and dancing montages. This has it all!


Eh. Several friends of mine have been talking about this movie for a while now, so I decided to check it out. Unfortunately, there just wasn't much to it from my point of view. It had a couple of moments that were funny, but that's about it. It was very violent, but that didn't bother me as much as the fact that it was just kinda boring and overly long. Sean William Scott was pretty decent in it, though, as well as Jay Baruchel.

15. The Producers

Great music, terrible movie. It's possibly the laziest play-to-movie adaptation I have ever seen, and it's definitely the worst directed. There's just nothing cinematical about it; it's like the director just told the actors to sing the song and placed a camera in front of them. So it's completely lifeless and boring,which is a real disservice to the music, which is actually pretty funny and entertaining. It was just so weird to watch. All the actors performed like they were on stage, so everything was very theatrical, but the setting and direction were so static and boring that they looked ridiculous. We would've been much better off with a filmed version of the actual stage musical than what they did here. I was completely disappointed and kind of embarrassed. And whoever told Uma Thurman that she could sing needs to be fired immediately.

16. America's Sweethearts

Another terrible movie. It's not even entertaining as a turn-off-your-brain romantic comedy--it was just fucking terrible. Painfully unfunny while thinking it's very clever, trying to be do some meta-commentary  trying to make fun of the movie industry while not realizing just how embarrassing it is that movie people are worse than this, and that the movie itself proves it. Ugh. Everyone in it annoyed me, but the nothing was worse than Julia Roberts and her stupid fat suit.


Well, that's one long, random list of movies. That's what I get for not catching up on time. And what I get for not doing things I actually have to do and watching terrible movies instead.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

'13 Movies: Moonrise Kingdom, Cruel Intentions, Topsy-Turvy, Queen of Versailles

7.Moonrise Kingdom

Didn't like it. I think Wes Anderson and I just don't mesh sometimes. I loved The Royal Tennenbaums; it was bizarre, quirky,  really funny and heartfelt.  The Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of my favorite movies. So I thought I'd give this one a go. Alas, it just didn't work for me. It was a beautifully done movie: the lighting, the colors, the gorgeous panning shots of the island. But the story was a little too precious, the dialogue a little too stilted and weird, and the acting of the child actors was painful to watch sometimes. And everyone else seemed to talk like they were asleep or drugged, so that I never cared about any of the characters or what was happening to them. I wanted to like it, but grew completely bored of the whole thing, which was overlong and tiring.

8.Cruel Intentions

Remember 1999?! It was amazing! A magical time when Ryan Phillippe was the hottest man alive (to some people, which, blech), Sarah Michelle Geller's clothes were considered the coolest things ever, and no one knew just how irritating Reese Witherspoon really was. Aw, this movie. It tries so, so hard to be edgy and dangerous and racy, and by God it was!-- back in 10th grade when the idea of two girls kissing was outrageous and we thought this movie was full of amazing acting. I used to hate this movie back then, but now that I'm older and wiser (ha!) I've come around and realized just how ridiculously fun it is and now I love it and want to watch it three more times, in a row. The dialogue is cheesy as all hell, the clothes are hideous, and Joshua Jackson is blond and gay. It's perfect!


I can't believe I sat through this whole thing. Well, I guess I can, considering how little actual attention I paid to it as it played in the background of me sewing some pants. I'm not even sure why I watched it, other than it just being there and me having a craving for some pretty costumes and sets. And it did have that, in spades, but it was also terribly boring, with a meandering story that never went anywhere, and no actual stakes for anyone involved. It was fun to see the theater and singing bits, and Jim Broadbent is always a ton of fun to watch, but there wasn't much more to the movie. Which is probably why no one remembers that it ever existed.

10. The Queen of Versailles

Ugh. This movie made me feel dirty. In so many ways, and none of them pleasant. It's a documentary about a filthy rich man and his trophy, botoxed-to-hell wife, who set out to build a disgusting monster of a mansion. Then the market crashes and boo-hoo-hoo, they lose everything. It's a weird thing to watch, because at first you just want to hate these horrible people--because they are truly awful, awful human being-- but when the crash happens you, well, don't exactly feel sorry for them (specially not when the horrible wife spends $2000 they don't have on caviar), but you don't exactly feel good about it, because losing all your money just sucks. It was just really fascinating to watch and be amazed at the incredible timing of the filmmaker, while also trying very hard to accept the fact that these people are real. I'm sad to realize that yes, they are very real, and they are very horrible, and that there's probably lots of people exactly like them out there. Brr.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

'13 Movies: 'Dear Zachary'

6. Dear Zachary

Hey, ever wanted to feel like someone had just punched you in the gut after they just finished telling you the saddest story you'd ever heard in your life? Then, boy, this is the movie for you!

Gah. I'm sorry. I'm being ridiculous because I can't even think about this movie too much, and attempting to do anything close to a review seems like a disservice. This was an extremely powerful documentary, to say nothing of being one of the most gut-wrenching things I've ever seen. The less you know about it, the better, but I'd stay away (or read about it) if you're the really sensitive type. I'd read a summary on it and even that didn't prepare me for how shocking the story turned out to be. The fact that all of it really happened is almost too much to believe, if only because it's so hard to accept that something like that could really happen. But I'm going round in circles. It's really difficult to watch, but it's also in parts quite beautiful--specially the parts at the beginning that just speak about what a wonderful man Andrew Bagby was. In short, it's not something I'll forget anytime soon, and I'm very glad I watchedit.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

'13 Movies: 'X Men: First Class', 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles', 'Ballerina'

January sucks when you're working retail. After the craziness of the holidays, the stores completely empty out and you're left doing nothing but returns for angry customers who've just realized that their significant other spent only $12 on a hideous sweater that they can't even exchange for something pretty. And the hours are cut so badly that you start wondering if it's even worth it to spent the money to drive to work only to get yelled at by people and get a measly paycheck. Which is a long way of saying: I'm gonna spend a lot of time watching movies this week. And writing very short reviews. Or trying to, because just as with my Cannonball reviews I keep telling myself that I *will* post about this movie tomorrow...then tomorrow comes and I watch three more movies and forget to catch up. But I will try.

3. X-Men: First Class
This was a rewatch. I think it says a lot that I left it sitting on the table for almost two weeks before watching it. It's not bad movie--in fact, I liked it so much that I watched it twice in theaters and twice more at my father-in-law's house. It's just that it's not one for infinite rewatches, like The Avengers is. It's a great superhero movie, but the more you watch it the longer it seems and the sillier the younger people come off looking. I guess that's just what you get when put teenagers at the center of the movie. But it's worth it for every scene featuring McAvoy and Fassbender--and even Kevin Bacon kicks a little bit of ass in this. So, I still like it, but I think I'll be better off not watching it again for a while.

4. Planes, Trains and Automobiles

I can't believe I'd never watched this one, because it was hilarious. I think my expectations were lowered because I've seen way too many movies that want to be just like this one--the odd couples/road trip that is constantly meeting with disaster. But this was the original and this was the best, and I was constantly surprised by how much fun I was having. It's helped by perfect performances from Steve Martin and John Candy, who'll just crack you up by often not doing much more than just stand there crinkling his eyes. Definitely glad I watched it.

5. Ballerina
There's something so compelling about ballet documentaries for me lately. I don't even like ballet very much. But  this one and First Position from a while back just makes me want to watch more of them. I think it's just that it's fascinating to watch people so dedicated to an extremely rare and demanding pursuit, and how strange and interesting the life of dancers seem to me. It helps that it's another very well done documentary, where you're always glued to the screen and get completely caught up in the stories of the people in the story. I only wish it had been a little longer, but it was otherwise a very good documentary.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

'13 Movies: "Les Miserables"

2. Les Miserables
Oh, holy everything. This movie was incredible. Beautiful, magical. Heartbreaking. I can't remember the last time I cried so much and so often as I did during this, and not just from sadness, but from just how beautiful the entire film was. The performances were so raw, the music so beautiful, the scenery, the costumes, the...everything. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it, and every time I think of Anne Hathaway singing "I Dreamed a Dream" my heart breaks a little bit all over again. It was an amazing experience and one hell of a good way to start the year at the movie theater. Can't recommend it enough.

3. The Muppet Movie (1979)

...And for something completely different!

This was adorable and hilarious. I love the Muppets. Who doesn't love the Muppets? The evil people, that's who. It's impossible to not feel a little happier after watching the Muppets doing anything, and this was just a great movie. Everyone who was anyone in the 70s is in it, and just spotting all the cameos is a hell of a lot of fun. I also liked it much better than I did the most recent Muppet movie, which was...cute, but sadly lacking in actual Muppet moments, giving way too much time to the humans and the less-than-impressive songs. This one is a classic for a reason, and I know I'll be watching it over and over again in the future.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

'13 Movies: An Officer and a Gentleman

Heh, so much for keeping constantly updated.


1.An Officer and a Gentleman

Thank you, Netflix, for your ridiculously specific movie categories, like the one where I found this movie: "Sentimental Movies of the 1980s". I had a vague idea this would be too much in the vein of Flashdance to be any good at all, but I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it's a little cheesy in parts, but there's an actually interesting story and some darker themes working in the movie that made it a pretty enjoyable experience. Richard Gere is surprisingly attractive in it (though as lifeless as usual), Louis Gossett, Jr steals every scene he's in and the rest of the cast is pretty decent. So, it's very 80s but just competent enough to keep it from being completely ridiculous.

The theme song remains terrible, though.