Sunday, November 14, 2010

Unstoppable


I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. It was much better than I had anticipated. It follows a runaway train across Pennsylvania. Denzel Washington and Chris Pine end up on a collision course with the out of control train, but after narrowly escaping death, they follow after the other train to try and stop it from the back.

The movie is incredibly suspenseful. I was biting my nails almost the whole time. There is a slight subplot involving Will (Pine) and his wife and son, but other than that it was all constant action and suspense.

Speaking of the subplot, it kind of bothered me. First of all, we find out early on that Will's wife has a restraining order against him. Later, he tells Frank (Washington) that she was texting someone and he grabbed the phone from her. That escalated into him confronting one of her friends with a gun, who he claims has always liked his wife, and who also happens to be a police officer. But seriously? All this over TEXTING? Are they 15? The other thing that bothered me was his son. His son showed zero emotion throughout the entire film. I don't know if they hired a terrible kid actor or it was just terrible direction, but it was really distracting to me. The kid sees his dad's face on TV and...nothing. Doesn't even ask why his dad is on TV or even acknowledge that it is his dad. And the kid is shown walking to school earlier on, so we know he is old enough to talk and sort of realize what is going on. It was just really odd.

I loved Rosario Dawson in this. I think she stole the show as Connie, the Rail Control Supervisor. I've always like Rosario Dawson as an actress and she definitely does an amazing job here considering her part is fairly minimal.

Overall, it was a pretty good way to spend a Saturday afternoon. My husband loved it. He loves trains and he's from Pennsylvania, so he was really into it.

Verdict?
4/5 stars.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Paranormal Activity 2


For some reason, my theater had more underage teenagers watching this R rated movie than there were adults. Two girls behind me narrated the entire movie in not-so-silent whispers and a group of teenage girls in the back squealed and offered gems such as "Don't go out there!" and "The baby's on the loose!". Thanks, assholes. This is why I watch movies at home.

Anyways, besides that rant, the movie wasn't bad. It was pretty much exactly the same as the first one though, so if you liked it you'll probably like this one. I did like how they tied it into the first movie by having the main character be Katie's (from the first Paranormal Activity) sister.

This movie takes place a few months before the events from the first Paranormal Activity. This movie follows Katie's sister, Christy, and her husband, their son, and her step-daughter. They add some backstory into this one, so it sort of fleshes out the original a bit too.

I'm not going to spoil it by giving away more of the plot, but for a sequel that came out so quickly after the original, the plot was decently thought out and it really adds to the original without giving TOO much information and taking away from the suspense and mystery.

Verdict?
4/5 stars. It was a little to0 similar to the first, but fortunately for them, the original was good.

Monday, September 6, 2010

WItch Hunt (2008)


Witch Hunt is a documentary about the mass arrests on charges of child molestation that happened in Kern County, CA in the mid-80s. 36 people were convicted of molesting their own children as well as neighbor children in Bakersfield, CA. They were also said to have been using the children in a "satanic sex rituals". They all spend decades in prison before 34 of them had their convictions overturned.

This movie is scary. These people were convicted and sentenced to prison with basically no evidence, except for the testimony of the children involved. The children are now in their 20s and have spoken out and recanted their confessions and said they were coerced into saying things by the officers questioning them and none of it actually happened.

Evidence was withheld as well. Children stated that they saw other children being molested or hurt, but medical reports showed no injuries or sexual assault on any of the children. However, the medical reports were not found until recently and were not shown in the original court proceedings.

I highly recommend this movie for anyone who is into documentaries. It's highly informative and very interesting. They don't go into graphic detail of the abuse, so it's not hard to watch from that aspect. It is, however, hard to watch these men, women, and even the children, whose lives have been ruined by this whole ordeal.

Verdict?
4.5/5 stars.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Drag Me to Hell (2009)


Christine (Alison Lohman) is a loan officer who refuses to give an old gypsy woman an extension on her mortgage payment. The old lady doesn't take this too well and curses Christine.

Okay, so this movie was CAMPY. But it worked. It kept my attention and was actually pretty decent. The director, Sam Raimi is known for his campy horror films (the Evil Dead series), so it kind of fit with his aesthetic, while still appealing to a new audience. The even used the old 1980 Universal logo at the beginning. It really sets the atmosphere for what you're about to see.

I like Alison Lohman. I loved her in Matchstick Men and White Oleander, and thought she did a pretty good job in this movie even though it was a different type of role than I'm used to seeing her in. I thought Justin Long was a little miscast though...he's more of a comedy guy to me. But he didn't do too bad a job, it was just an odd role for him.

I loved the ending. I love it when movies don't use the typical "happily ever after" ending. I'll admit I had no idea where this movie was going for most of it, which I liked. I wasn't sure if she could even FIND a way to get rid of the curse, which kept the suspense up.

Verdict?
4/5 stars. I was thoroughly entertained!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Haunting in Connecticut


Matt has cancer. So his family rents a house closer to the hospital that he receives his treatments at. Unfortunately, the house used to be a funeral home where some shady stuff went down.

This movie kinda freaked me out because my parents moved into the old farmhouse that my mom grew up in back when I was in college. So when I go home to visit, I have to sleep in this enormous brick house that was built in 1876. And yes, they used to have funerals in the parlor, although it fortunately was not a funeral home. Apparently, they had funerals in your own house back then. And we did find pictures. Consequently, I do not like the parlor.

But, this movie wasn't that great. It was pretty predictable for the most part. Family moves into a possessed/haunted house, they see weird things, they find a weird guy to help them get rid of said weird things, then they live happily ever after...blah blah blah. There were a few twists in there that kept it from being completely terrible. I was thinking that the ending was going to go somewhere else (i.e. not predictable), but alas, I was wrong.

I did like the idea that Matt was on an experimental treatment for his cancer, with a possible side effect of hallucinations. So when he saw something weird, his family (and even himself) didn't know if it was the drugs or if something actually strange was going on in the house. That was more original than the usual "kid sees/hears weird stuff, parents think they're making it up and/or crazy". His hallucinations had a fairly reasonable explanation, so no one was really concerned at first.

But you know, some parts were really stupid. Did no one really smell any dead bodies in that house? Why on earth would Matt sleep in that basement room after he finds the adjacent autopsy room? Why did they stay in that house as long as they did? Etc. Etc. Etc.

Side note: Did anyone else think that the guy who played the reverend was that guy from Law and Order: SVU? I looked it up and it's a totally different guy...but they look identical.

Verdict?
2/5 stars. Probably wouldn't ever watch again.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Back to the Future


Some of the first DVDs I ever owned was the Back to the Future Trilogy. I love these movies. I can't think of anyone who DOESN'T like these movies. It's hard to do the time travel thing successfully, but Back to the Future is one of the best.

Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd MADE this movie. I don't think it would have had near the success without those two in the lead roles. However, I did want to know a little back story as to why this high school kid was friends with this old, eccentric scientist. Marty didn't exactly seem like he'd be the science geek type.

This movie can appeal to just about anyone. I loved it as a kid and I love it as an adult. It's pretty universally appealing. There's also so many amazing lines in this movie. You could seriously just about quote the whole thing.

Verdict?
5/5 stars.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

An American Crime


An American Crime is a horrific story. It's made all the more disturbing because it's based on the true story of the Sylvia Likens murder in 1960s Indiana. I first heard of the Likens murder when I read "The Girl Next Door" by Jack Ketchum. It's a fiction book, but he used the real life murder as a basis. The true story is bad enough. An American Crime is very factual and uses actual crime photos and court testimonies.

Sylvia Likens (Ellen Page) and her sister Jenny are sent to live with Gertie (Catherine Keener) and her six children after their parents join a traveling carnival. After a rumor (that actually turns out to be true) in school about Paula, Gertie's daughter, they blame Sylvia. Gertie and the rest of the kids, including kids from around the neighborhood, horrifically abuse and torture Sylvia until her death.

At times, this movie almost seems over the top. If you didn't know it really happened, it would almost be unbelievable. Why were all these neighborhood kids so quick to join in on the abuse? Why did Jenny (Sylvia's sister) not tell anyone? Why did Sylvia never really fight back? But that's what really happened.

Although the subject matter is brutal, this film wasn't overly graphic with the material. Most of the violence is shown through reaction shots or inter cut with scenes from the trial.

I don't know why this movie isn't more known. I'm assuming it's an independent film and didn't have much funding, but it also stars some fairly big names - Ellen Page and Catherine Keener as well as Scout Taylor-Compton, James Franco, and Jeremy Sumpter. IMDb says that it was a made-for-tv film, but it has a theatrical rating, so who knows?

Verdict?
4.5/5 stars. This is definitely not a movie to watch over and over again though. Twice is enough for me.

Alien


Next in line to watch was actually A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, but I can't find the disc. Eric likes to use my DVDs to test out his various DVD players then forgets to take the disc back out. One of those players is a 400 disc changer...so yeah, good luck ever getting those back. Lucky for me, I remember it being super long and didn't really want to watch it anyways.

So, I got to watch Alien. I have seen Alien a total of once, on television. Then I bought the DVD and haven't watched it yet. This seems to be a pattern with me. Anyways, I loved Alien when I saw it on tv and was pretty excited to watch it again. It did not disappoint. It's really hard to believe that this movie is over 30 years old. It's definitely a classic.

Oh and there are probably some spoilers below, but I'm assuming that most of earth has seen or at least knows what happens in Alien.

I liked:

-Ripley. I loved that the sole survivor was a female, and a smart one at that.

-The final scene with the alien. Even though the movie is pretty old and it's not really a surprise for anyone anymore, it's still pretty intense when you find out the alien followed Ripley onto the shuttle.

-The effects were pretty great. They can hold up pretty well to even more current movies. That alien is creepy.

-Speaking of the alien, I liked how you don't get a ton of shots of it. It leaves it more to the imagination.

I didn't like:

-The facehugger alien thing...yuck. That seriously creeped me out to think of having that thing attached to my face.

-After the chest bursting scene, when the alien runs off the table and out of the room. I thought I was watching a cartoon. It was really ridiculous looking.

Verdict?
5/5 stars. I love this movie.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Inception


So, I finally saw Inception yesterday. I have to admit, it's not something I probably would have watched based on the trailer. But after EVERYONE kept talking about how amazing it was, I had to see it for myself.

I was afraid it was going to be a lot of complex crap that I probably didn't care enough about to figure it out. It WAS complex, but enjoyably so. I actually cared enough about the characters and the plot to not mind that it was insanely hard to follow at times.

It also did not feel overly long, even though it runs for over 2.5 hours. It moved really quickly despite having to explain almost everything that was going on to the audience so our brains wouldn't explode.

I'm still pretty surprised this movie is doing as well as it is at the box office. It just doesn't seem like it would appeal to a mass audience. Maybe people are finally getting tired of all the brain dead romantic comedies that seem to come out every week.

But...Things I Didn't Like:

-What was with the excessive greasy, used car salesman hair styles? Especially Leo. It was bad. He has enough money to get a decent haircut.

-The very last scene. It kind of made me mad...it felt like one of those cheap tricks they use to set up a sequel (which I hope they don't do). But then again, I kinda liked how ambiguous it was.

Verdict?
4.5/5 stars. A highly enjoyable thriller.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Salt


I didn't have a ton if interest in seeing this movie, but I happened to be in the mall last weekend and my friend and I had nothing better to do. And I have a girl crush on Angelina Jolie.

Salt is about a CIA agent, Evelyn Salt (Jolie), who is accused of being a Russian spy. My favorite thing was how you never were quite sure if Salt was good or bad. I couldn't figure out if she was on the American side, or the Russian side, or a side all of her own. Most movies nowadays have trouble successfully keeping the audience guessing like that, but Salt pulled it off pretty well.

The only thing I had a problem with was how Angelina Jolie kept beating up two and three security guards on her own. That lady must weight 100 pounds. There is no way she could do that without breaking one of her skinny limbs.

Verdict?
4/5 stars. I really liked it! It was a fun action-packed summer movie.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Abandon


So, I've come to the conclusion that in high school and college I would buy ANY movie if it was cheap enough. I remember watching this movie in high school and thinking it was terrible and for some reason I bought it a few years later? I have no clue.

Abandon is a "thriller" (and I use that word loosely because it's not really that "thrilling") starring Katie Holmes before she went to the dark side. Oh, and Benjamin Bratt. Katie plays a girl named Katie who is kind of weird and in college (or maybe grad school...who knows). Her douchbag boyfriend disappeared a couple years ago and for some reason they are just now trying to figure out what happened to him. Benjamin Bratt is the cop assigned to the case. Oh and he's an alcoholic (although that has nothing to do with the story?).

Abandon was trying to be all creepy and mysterious with a twist ending, but it failed miserably. First of all, all the actors sounded like they were reading for a screen test. Everything was so scripted sounding and nothing felt natural. Also, there are a ton of scenes that don't really have anything to do with ANYTHING. Like when they went to that party and got drunk. There was NO point to that. Also the cop is an alcoholic thing. Why randomly show him at an AA meeting then barely bring it up again? We also learn in the AA meeting that the cop apparently woke up an found blood and hair under his car from the night before. This also never comes up again and has nothing to do with anything.

Also, what college has these creepy cubicles that they rent out in their basement? Katie had all kinds of personal stuff in this study cubicle, including pictures and Post-it notes...so she owns a cubicle in the library basement? It was weird. Not to mention the library was always abandoned (and apparently open 24 hours a day) and really creepy.

What was the deal with the seizure inducing party scene anyways?? It was like 10 straight minutes of bright, quick flashes of light from hell. It was really weird and I'm still trying to figure out if they were drunk or high or both. Actually, scratch that, I don't really care. It was another pointless scene.

I hated Emery (the missing ex-boyfriend). He was such a jerk. I have no idea why she liked him. She had sex with him after he made of fun of her and threw her planner and textbook out the window. This is a horrible relationship, so I don't really care what happened to him.

Verdict?
2/5 stars. The twist ending wasn't that original, but it kept it from being a total bore. I still don't know why I own this.

Friday, July 23, 2010

1408


I remember seeing this movie in the theater and I've read the short story it is based on, but I have no clue what happened in it. That should have told me something.

I know it's about a haunted hotel room, but that's about it. I have no clue why I bought this movie. It wasn't particularly memorable. It must have been really cheap.

It's about a "haunted places" writer, Mike Enslin (John Cusack), who stays in a supposedly haunted hotel room so he can write about it in his next book. Room 1408 has killed over 50 people, but Mike doesn't believe in ghosts.

1408 has a stellar supporting cast including Samuel L. Jackson as the hotel manager and Tony Shalhoub as Mike's editor. However, 90% of the movie is just Mike and Room 1408, which might be why it got a little boring. You can only watch so much of a room physically and mentally abusing a guy.

Some of the movie was just stupid. The hotel manager tells Mike that electronics don't work in the room - which is why there is not a magnetic key. But Mike's laptop works fine and so does the digital clock by the bed. Also, he can't get cell phone service, but he can get wireless internet to his computer?

Verdict?
2/5 stars. I'm just kind of in the middle with this movie. It wasn't particularly bad, but it just wasn't memorable. The short story by Stephen King was much better.

New Challenge

I just moved over the weekend and had to box and unbox all of my dvds again. Most of them I haven't even watched (bought them after I'd seen the movie in theaters or on tv, but haven't actually watched my own copy) or have only seen once.

So over the next few months (or probably longer), I'm going to try and go through every one of my dvds and watch them in alphabetical order...because that's how I store them.

And I have roughly 170-ish dvds I think? So this should be interesting...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Eclipse


Okay, seriously? This movie was terrible. I knew it was going to be terrible, since I've now seen all three Twilight movies. However, they are VERY entertaining if you watch them for the pure unintentional comedic gold.

The basic plot is Bella (a human) is stuck between choosing Edward (a vampire) and Jacob (a werewolf). It's really stupid because honestly, who ever ends up with the guy they dated in high school? It's a bunch of stupid teenage angst. I really thought my eyeballs were going to fall out since they spent most of the movie rolling towards the ceiling.

First of all, I know I am above the target age for these movies when the person I am most attracted to in the movie is Bella's dad. Maybe it is because he is the only person with any damn sense around this town. He's also the only likable character.

I don't get the attraction to Bella at all. I don't see how she has any FRIENDS, much less two guys fighting over her. She's not even that nice and she's kind of boring. The guys fighting over her is pretty hilarious though. Favorite scene? When they are in a tent on a snowy mountain and Edward can't keep Bella warm (you know, icy vampires), so he has to watch Jacob cuddle with her.

I also can't figure out these characters. Bella is boring, so there's not much to figure out there. But in the 2nd movie, Edward was a complete ass and Jacob was likable. In Eclipse, Jacob is an ass and Edward is actually kind of likable. Is there even a good choice here? So now I just kind of hate both of them and I kind of hate myself for even caring.

Eclipse pretty much says everything that is wrong with teenagers today. They're too angsty and too serious about stupid crap that doesn't matter. High school isn't the end of the world.

Verdict? 1/5 stars for actual artistic value...but it gets 5/5 stars for making me laugh pretty much through the entire thing.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time


Good Things:

- Jake Gyllenhaal

- Jake Gyllenhaal's muscles.

- I thought it was kinda cool that they payed homage to the fact that this was originally a video game. A lot of the action was very game-like with all the hopping and climbing. And I swear I've played this game before.

-There was TONS of action. It kept me entertained.

Bad Things:

-The accents. I'm not a stickler for accents. They usually don't bother me, but when the main character's accent noticeably shifts to random unidentifiable accents during the coarse of the movie, it's a little off-putting.

-The whole ostrich race thing was pretty stupid.

-Why do the two main characters stare deep into each others eyes and kiss during the WORST POSSIBLE MOMENTS?

-Apparently, sometime while they were running away from people trying to kill them, Tamina somehow found the time to wash her eye makeup off and reapply it differently. It was pretty noticeable too since she was originally made up pretty dramatically for her wedding, then she ends up with just plain black eyeliner.

-The ending was really stupid.

Verdict?
3.5/5 stars. It was really fun, but not a great movie by any means. It gets a bonus star for Jake Gyllenhaal being in it.

Month of Movies

So I finished up my Month of Movies! It was so much fun, so thanks Dan for the great idea! And to Tammy for her great reviews!

Here are my "awards":

*Best Movie - Heavenly Creatures. Everyone needs to see this movie.

*Worst Movie - Nothing on earth will EVER come close to the disaster that is The Room. However, it was highly entertaining.

*Most Boring Movie - Tron was so freaking boring. I almost turned it off a couple times.

*Most Surprised That I Liked It: Gran Torino. I really thought it would be super boring.

*Most Surprised That I Didn't Like It: Robin Hood

*Saddest Movie: I watched a lot of sad ones, but Schindler's List definitely wins.

*Funniest Movie: Althought it was unintentional, The Room.

*Weirdest Movie: Better Off Dead - dancing hamburgers? Really?

*Most Confusing Movie: Primer

Saturday, June 5, 2010

2010 - Robin Hood


I LOVE Robin Hood. I had my first crush on the Disney Robin Hood when I was three. Then someone told me he was a fox and I cried. I loved Kevin Coster's Robin Hood. So I really wanted to like this movie...but I didn't so much.

It was't BAD, just not what I really expected. Russell Crowe was surprisingly good. I've never really seen any of his movies, but I expected to hate him because of all his on-set antics. You always hear about him throwing fits and throwing stuff at people on set. However, you'd never know because he is a great actor.

As for the bad, this was a prequel. He doesn't even become Robin Hood until the end. The plot was confusing. Characters have similar names and then they throw in this back story that doesn't fully make sense. It was basically a lot of battles with not much story.

Verdict?
3/5. It wasn't as good as I had hoped. I wish it had a stronger plot.

2009 - Up


I really an not big on cartoons, so I never saw this even though everyone seemed to love it. So I figured I'd check it out since the point of this was to try stuff we wouldn't normally watch.

I really loved the beginning of this movie. I cried. The back story of the guy and his wife was so cute and touching. I loved the little boy scout kid. He was seriously adorable. As usual, Pixar did an amazing job with the graphics.

However, the talking dogs absolutely killed the movie for me. I know that sounds kind of weird, but I have this thing about talking dogs. They just really annoy me for some reason.

Random Thoughts:
-Why are cartoon kids to ridiculously cute??
-I can’t cry this early in a movie!
-This is my 2nd cranky old man movie in a row.
-Ugh. One of my pet peeves is talking cartoon dogs. AHH! There’s more than one! This movie just got ruined.

Verdict?
3/5 stars. It would have been MUCH higher if they took out the stupid talking dogs. Ugh....I HATE talking dogs!

2008 - Gran Torino


I actually really liked this movie (sorry, Dan). Of course I love Clint Eastwood. I can definitely see why this movie won awards, but I can also see why some people might not like it. I think because I grew up in a small town with a lot of ignorant rednecks, those types of characters don't bother me so much. I mean they bother me because I think racism is absolutely stupid and pointless, but I'm not shocked that they exist.

I also think that as an old person, I'll probably be a lot like Clint Eastwood's character, Walt, minus the racism. I can totally see myself carrying a gun, being cranky to the neighbors. and glaring at inappropriately dressed teenagers. I wouldn't like my grandkids if I were him either. They were brats.

I LOVED the character Sue, Walt's next door neighbor. She didn't take offense to her cranky old neighbor like the rest of her house, but tried to befriend him instead. She also was feisty. I liked that their friendship felt so genuine.

I cried. Any movie that can make me cry is probably good. I believe I cried several times. The ending was so unexpected, but stunning. I love movies that I don't see the end coming.


Random Thoughts:
-I make that same face when I see 12-year-olds dressed like skanks. Ugh, why would you let your kid wear that to her grandma’s funeral?
-How old is that Catholic priest at the funeral? Like 18? (apparently he’s 27…they say so later)
-I’m totally going to carry a rifle around with me when I’m old.
-I'm so glad he didn't leave that car to his granddaughter.


Verdict?
5/5 stars.I thought this movie would be boring, so I almost didn't watch it. I'm SO glad I did because I really loved it.

2007 - The Education of Charlie Banks


I'm going to go ahead and admit I watched this movie because Fred Durst directed it. I had a major crush on him in 9th grade and I was interested to see if he could direct a film. Also, it actually had some pretty good reviews.

Charlie Banks (Eisenberg) witnesses a guy beat the crap out of another kid at a party in high school. He snitches and the guy is sent away, but no one knows it was him who told. Fast forward a few years and Charlie is in college. Guess who makes a surprise visit? The bully.

It's actually not a bad movie. It started out a little slow, but as I've said before, most indie dramas are slow paced. Jesse Eisenberg does a great job as usual. I really liked him in Adventureland and The Squid and the Whale. Jason Ritter plays the bully. He's very intimidating, especially to the awkward and meek Charlie.

It takes place in the 80's and it really looks like it. They definitely put a lot of effort in to make it look like the 80's without making it over the top like a lot of newer movies do to make SURE you know what decade they're in. The houses, the costuming, all look effortless.

I didn't take any notes during this film. It had an interesting storyline and interesting characters Aside from a few slow parts, it was really good.

Verdict?
4/5 stars. I really liked it!

2006 - The Devil Wears Prada


Ugh. Where do I even begin on this horrible film? I was expecting a light-hearted comedy about a mean boss. Instead I was constantly hit over the head with how unfashionable and fat I am. Great. So much for a fun movie.

I hate chick flicks. There are very few I will actually go see and even fewer that I enjoy. I wasn't expecting this one to be amazing or anything, but I definitely did not expect to get as pissed off as I did at it.

The plot is basically Anne Hathaway (I don't even remember her characters name, nor do I feel like looking it up because I hate this movie) gets a job as an assistant to the editor of a top fashion magazine. However, she is unfashionable and fat (i.e. a size F-ING SIX!!).

And about the size 6 is fat thing, I do realize that as a model or whatever, that is considered "fat". I think that's stupid, but I do realize that's how it is. I gave the movie the benefit of the doubt and figured they were maybe making fun of it in a satirical way or just being realistic for the business. But when they CONSTANTLY throughout the movie talk about how fat a size 6 is and then at the end-get this-she tells everyone how proud she is because she now a size FOUR. I cannot even express how angry I was at the message this was putting out to young girls and teenagers.

So basically, I watched this movie and was absolutely seething by the end. I wanted to turn it off so bad. Normally, I think these types of movies just suck and are boring, but this one took the cake with infuriating me.

Random Thoughts:
-Ugh. I am so tired of them referring to Anne Hathaway as fat. This is why girls have eating disorders.
-So far this is what I’ve learned from this movie: As a size 6, I am a cow and probably shouldn’t live, you should always change who you are in order to please your boss/coworkers, and your job should ALWAYS come before your boyfriend, friends and any semblance of a life you might have.
-Oh thank God she got her fatass size 6 down to a 4. I hate this movie.

Verdict?
A size 18. That's what it deserves. I'd give it zero stars, but a zero is perfection to these idiots.

2005 - Brick


Brick is an indie movie about a guy named Brendan (Gordon-Levitt) who finds his ex-girlfriend dead in a sewer (not a spoiler-this happens in the beginning of the film). The film is a sort-of detective story about him trying to figure out what happened to her.

This movie did pretty well on the indie circuit, and I tend to like indie films, but I had a hard time getting into this. I think because it is sort of high school "film noir". It was a little weird because it's completely unrealistic (although not necessarily in a bad way). I guess I was just expecting a straight-up high school story and not an old school detective story thrown in a high school setting. It's kind of hard to explain.

I thought the acting and the story was really great. It had it's funny moments too. Since they're high schoolers, the "bad buy" lives in his parent's basement and they go get cookies from his mom. Stuff like that was pretty funny.

It's also kinda slow, but a lot of indie films are, so I was expecting that. Overall, I don't have much to say about it. It was good, but not spectacular like some of the reviews I've read.

Random Thoughts:
-Wow. Joseph Gordon-Levitt really resembles Heath Ledger sometimes.
-I swear I’ve seen parts of this movie before, but I absolutely cannot remember watching it. I’m just having déjà vu during parts.
-They all mumble in this movie.
-Why is there never anybody else at this school? It’s always deserted. It's not summer because sometimes they go to class.

Verdict?
3.5/5 stars. I liked it. But it wasn't amazing or anything.

2003 - The Room


I watched "The Room"....which is starring, written by, directed by, produced by, and completely funded by Tommy Wiseau. I'm not kidding.

Okay, first of all, I'm going to highly suggest that you read Pajiba's (a movie review website I frequent) review of this film. They pretty much sum it up with this quote:

"To say The Room is a “bad” film is like saying that the Grand Canyon is big or the sun is hot. It’s just almost impossible to find the right words to encompass the sheer awesomeness of the phenomenon. Saying that The Room is the worst film of all time comes a little closer, but still doesn’t even begin to crack the surface."

and:

"The Room is a film that is just so fundamentally terrible in every single facet of its being that it somehow has transcended into a thing of wonder. The only way anyone can really even begin to understand it is to experience it for oneself."

Seriously, please read this review because I cannot even begin to review this film correctly:

http://www.pajiba.com/film_reviews/the-room-review.php

And I'm going to leave you with my notes I took during my viewing of "The Room". They include some of the more awesome quotes. You have to imagine a very unattractive, possibly French man saying it in broken English and a thick accent. And please? Just watch the film. Everyone needs to experience "The Room" once in their life.

Random Thoughts:

-Oh. My. Lord. I am 3 minutes into this movie and already dying. I have never seen a movie this bad in my life.
-I need to bleach my eyes after the sex scenes.
-“I like you very much…LOVERBOY.” (Yes, she says it just like that.)
-Another sex scene already and we’re only 17 minutes it. Complete with bad porno music. Ugh.
-“Did you get your promotion?”
“No.”
“You didn’t get it, did you?”
-Sex scene number three at 26 minutes in. I don’t know if I can do this for another hour and a half. I cannot look at this guy’s ass anymore.
-Breast Cancer. Who knew it was no big deal?
-Sex scene number four at 30 minutes in. Seriously. A totally different couple than the one four minutes ago.
-“I did not hit her!! It’s not true! It’s bullshit!! I did not hit her!! I did not!!...Oh hi, Mark. What’s up?
-That is the most awkward football throwing ever.
-Why do they keep saying “future wife” and “future husband”, never “fiancé”. It wouldn’t be that weird if they didn’t say it so much.
-What one EARTH where those chicken noises Johnny keeps making?? Cheep Cheep Cheep!!
-“We got a new client. At the bank. Made a lot of money.”
“What client?”
“I cannot tell you. It is confidential.”
“Aw come on. Why not?”
“No, I can’t. Anyways, how’s your sex life?”
-1:05 – Sex scene number five. This is like a really bad porno. I’m really tired of this chick’s boobs.
-This is like the fifth “panning across the Golden Gate Bridge” shot they’ve thrown between scenes for no reason.
-AHH! Not even four minutes after the last, we almost have another sex scene. Thank God someone knocked on the door.
-HAHAHAHA. Johnny’s reaction while they sing “Happy Birthday” to him. I can’t even describe it.
-“Thank you, Holly. This is a beautiful party. You invited all my friends. Good thinking!”
-“Why don’t you come on up?”
“Sure, baby. I want your body”
-MAJOR SPOILER: Johnny is lying there with a bullet in his head when Lisa and Mark find him: “Wake up, Johnny! Come on!!” “Is he dead??” Seriously? HE HAS A BULLET IN HIS HEAD.

Verdict?
800 stars for sheer entertainment value. Negative a million for actual artistic value. You can't even rate this movie. It's so awesome and terrible at the same time, they just cancel each other out.

2002 - The Mothman Prophecies


I kinda sorta watched this before, but I'm pretty sure I never finished it and I think I fell asleep through most of it. Anyways, I didn't remember ANY of it. It was actually kind of boring.

Richard Kein (Gere) finds himself in Point Pleasant, WV two years after his wife dies in a weird car accident. He can't remember how he got there (over 400 miles away from his home). He ends up investigating some strange occurances by the "Mothman" with the help of a local cop.

I wanted to like this movie. I love sci-fi. I love the lore of the Mothman. I did a paper in school on the Mothman in high school. It is based on real events in my home state. But honestly, it kinda sucked. I was bored. I now know how I fell asleep the first time I tried to watch this.

I thought it was stupid that they didn't even very closely follow the real events it is supposedly based on. The real story is exciting enough to make a good movie, but I guess they disagreed and added a bunch of stupid crap like the Mothman talking on the phone to people (?????).

The "real" Mothman actually did warn people about disasters, but only through sightings. He didn't call people on the phone. Like in the movie, there WAS an actual bridge collapse in Point Pleasant in the late 1960s that killed a bunch of people. Some people believe the Mothman sightings were trying to warn them of the impending disaster.

The movie had a few creepy moments. But considering that it's supposed to be a thriller, it fell really flat. I had a hard time caring about any of the characters, the plot dragged on and on and on, and it was actually kinda boring.

Verdict?
2/5 stars. The plot sounded interesting, but unfortunately, the movie wasn't.

2001 - Blow


"Blow" is based on the true story of George Jung. Jung pretty much introduced the United States of cocaine in the 70's. He becomes a millionaire, but it doesn't make Jung happy as he ends up neglecting his daughter. It's actually a really sad movie, especially since it's based on a true story.

I love, love Johnny Depp. He does an AMAZING job playing Jung. I was afraid this movie would get a little boring since I've already seen like a hundred drug movies. But it was really interesting. It wasn't so much about drug addicts, but about the drug business. A lot of movies don't focus on that angle so much. Especially since Jung wasn't really an addict. He didn't spiral out of control from drug addiction or anything. He was addicted to the money and the danger of the drug trade.

The whole thing with his daughter was so sad. He loved her so much, but he kept making her promises he never kept. Jung is still in jail (with a release date of 2015!) and his daughter has never visited him.

Random Thoughts:
-This is my third drug movie so far this month!
-Is that Pee Wee Herman??? Playing a gay drug dealer??
-Hey! It’s the house manager from VH1’s “Sober House”. Hahaha. I KNEW that was her.

Verdict?
4.5/5 stars. It was really interesting!

2000 - The Skulls


This was another kinda stupid movie about a "secret society" that supposedly exists at Ivy League schools. Like yesterday's movie, it also stars a bunch of WB television actors. However, this movie was much more interesting than "Varsity Blues". Thank God.

The plot was interesting and moved quickly. Luke (Joshua Jackson) is invited to join "The Skulls", a secret elite society, hoping that it will help him get into Harvard Law. However, his roommate has been investigating The Skulls and end up mysteriously committing suicide. Luke believes his roommate was murdered and learns the dark side of The Skulls through his investigations.

Random Thoughts:
-Another Paul Walker movie! Geez, I seem to be doing these things in twos. If tomorrow’s movie has Joshua Jackson in it, I’m officially freaked out.
-It’s also my 2nd mostly-WB-cast-members movie. Again, we have Dawson’s Creek (Joshua Jackson) and Popular (Leslie Bibb).

Verdict?
3.5/5 stars. All in all, it wasn't a GREAT movie, but it was entertaining. Pretty mediocre.

1999 - Varsity Blues


Ugh. I hate football, so I have no idea why I picked this movie. I guess I figured it didn't have that much football in it. It does. It's also an MTV movie, which means it was stupid and had a bunch of actors from WB (back when it was still the WB and not the CW) TV shows in it.

Anyways, the whole movie is about a small town in Texas that takes football VERY seriously. Ugh. I hate football and I hate when people take school sports so seriously. And I hate when good sports players get everything handed to them on a silver platter without working for it. That drives me nuts. After school, where does being good at sports really get you?? The majority of people injure themselves or don't make it pro, so they're left with no life skills and the reality that they're no longer going to get everything handed to them. Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now and get back to the movie...

To it's credit, I did like this movie's ending. It wasn't really that surprising, but I was really hoping that that bastard of a coach got what was coming to him. What a jerk. And this is the second movie in a row where I've watched Jon Voight play a total jerk. Actually, does that guy EVER play a good guy??

So yeah, I was pretty bored throughout the excessive football game scenes. James van der Beek kinda sucks. He really isn't that great of an actor and definitely can't carry a movie on his own.

Random Thoughts:
-Did they even expand their casting past the WB casting department? We’ve got Dawson from Dawson’s Creek (with a really bad southern accent – he sounds mentally disabled) and the fat guy from Popular.
-And Paul Walker? I didn’t know he was in this. What ever happened to him anyways? He did like 500 movies in the late 90s/early 00s and then just disappeared.
-Jon Voight! Second night in a row!
-I’m kinda glad my high school football team only won about three games the entire time I was in school. It kept them from getting this cocky and annoying.
-Was that steroids? Do you inject steroids into your knee like that? Yuck. (Edit: Apparently it was some kind of numbing stuff so they could keep playing without being in pain)
-Ugh…I hate football. Why did I pick this movie?
-Aw. He’s reading Kurt Vonnegut during the football game. That’s my kind of guy.
-I’m sorry, but all I could think of during the whip-cream-bikini scene was “yeast infection”.

Verdict?
2/5 stars. I wasn't impressed. It's wasn't TERRIBLE, but I would definitely never watch it again. It was mostly just boring.

1998 - Rush Hour


For some reason, I have seen the 2nd or 3rd "Rush Hour". I think I was with a group of people and I had no idea which one it was. But I had never seen the first movie. It's your typical white cop (or Asian in this case) who is forced to work with a black cop (who is of course hilarious...haven't we seen this a million times before?). Comedy ensues, then they end up best friends. Blah. So predictable and boring.

It wasn't even that funny. It wasn't AWFUL, but not as funny as I thought it would be. Honestly, my favorite part the bloopers they showed during the end credits. I watched this a week or so ago, and I can barely even remember it. It's forgettable at best.

Random Thoughts:
-I love that Jackie Chan thinks that the only reason the fake LAPD ID won’t work for him is because he’s not 6’1”, not because the picture is of a black guy with an afro.
- I watched this movie on FX and honestly, the funniest part was the bloopers they showed at the end credits.

Verdict?
2/5 stars. Just kind of blah. Wouldn't watch again.

1997 - Anaconda


Oh wow. Where to start with this movie? I think pretty much everyone but me has already seen this movie and know the plot. Basically a documentary crew get lost in the Amazon and end up getting chased by a giant snake.

This is a horrible movie. However, it was one of those movies that is so bad, it's actually enjoyable. I mean Jennifer Lopez and Ice Cube, seriously? The snake was the most fake thing I have ever seen. And this movie was release FOUR years after Jurassic Park so there is no excuse for that. I'm assuming it just had a tiny budget. (Nevermind. According to IMDB, "The CGI for the Anaconda cost $100,000 a second". So they had no excuse.

It was cheesy as HECK. I normally really don't like J.Lo as an actress (or a singer for that matter). She usually just irritates me. She wasn't too bad (irritating-wise) in this movie. I mean she was horrible as an actress, but so was everyone else.

So, Anaconda was fun. It was a horrible, horrible movie, but it made me laugh at the bad acting, bad plot lines, and bad special effects. And it was short, running only slightly under an hour and a half.

Random Thoughts:
-J.Lo AND Ice Cube? How can this film go wrong??
-Speaking of which, how on earth did they get top billing over Jon Voight?
-WOW. I didn’t even know Owen Wilson was in this.
-Will someone please get J.Lo a bra? Its only 14 minutes in and I’ve practically seen her boobs twice already.
-I cannot stop laughing at how fake that snake looks.

Verdict?
3 stars. It would get one for being bad but it gets 2 bonus stars for being highly entertaining due to the badness.

1996 - Sling Blade


I've heard a lot of good things about this movie, so I figured I'd check it out. Plus our audio guy at work likes to play sound bites from this movie over the PL, so maybe now I'll know what they're talking about.

"Sling Blade" is about a mentally unbalanced man named Karl, who killed his mom and her boyfriend with a sling blade when he was a kid. He spend most of his life in a mental institution, but at the beginning of the movie they are about to release him. The film follows him through his life after his release (and his eventual return).

Karl meets a young boy and his mother who sort of "adopt" him and let him live in their garage while he works at a nearby machine shop. However, the mother has a DOUCHBAG of a boyfriend. Seriously, the guy is the biggest jerk. He's mean to Karl, he's mean the kid, he's mean to the mother, he's basically a horrible human being.

Billy Bob Thornton did a really great job playing Karl. He is so completely in character that if you didn't know who he was, you'd think he was really mentally challenged. I can definitely see why he was nominated for an Oscar.

The only thing I can really complain about was the pacing. I mean, it was a great story, but I felt it was a little slow at times. It was one of those movies that WHILE you're watching it, you're like, "meh...I don't really get the fuss. It's not bad, but not that great and kinda boring". But AFTER you watch it and you look at the entire thing as a whole, you get why it won a bunch of awards.

Random Thoughts:
-This movie has the longest opening I have ever seen. It’s 18 minutes in before we get to the opening credits.
-Is it bad that I was kind of hoping he’d kill that bastard?

Verdict?
4.5/5 stars. I really liked it, but it just loses half a star for the pacing being a little slow at times.

1995 - The Net


I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. Honestly, I didn't really think much about it, so I had no idea that the "net" the title refers to in the Internet. I just picked it because I generally like Sandra Bullock and she was in Speed just a year before this movie and I really like that movie. I do remember shelf reading this movie at Steelman Library (and getting really mad when people put it under the "T's" instead of the "N's"...what is so hard about using correct alphabetical order???)

Since it was 1995, the Internet was still fairly new and scary. This movie is based upon the fears that anyone can get your information when it is readily available online. Sandra Bullock (I love her...she just seems so down to earth, like she could be your friend or neighbor!) is a computer hacker/programmer/geek/whatever. Basically, she's really good with computers. She receives some disk to look at for a friend, but when her friend mysteriously dies, she realized that someone is after the disk, which contains some top secret information.

The plot is pretty simple and I thought it would maybe be a little boring, especially since computers and the Internet are pretty much nothing like they were in 1995. However, it really kept my interest! It had great pacing that kept the story moving along, but didn't convolute it with too much technical jargon that the common person couldn't follow. I hate it when thrillers get too wrapped up in themselves and the viewer can barely even follow what's going on.

It makes me feel old to think that the Internet (at least when it was available to the public) started in my lifetime. The Internet first went public in 1993 when I was 8 years old. Sigh...my kids are going to think I'm ancient. But yeah, remember how SCARY people thought the Internet was back then?

Random Thoughts:
-How come you could order pizza online at “Pizza.net” in 1995?? It took Pizza Hut until a few years ago to be able to do that!
-How has Sandra Bullock not aged in 15 years?
-How stupid can you be to run a dingy into a huge rock like that when you’re running away from someone?
-Floppy discs!!

Verdict?
3.5/5 stars. It wasn't something I'd exactly rush out and buy, but I did genuinely enjoy watching it.

1994 - Heavenly Creatures

This reviews has sorta spoilers. It's pretty known how the film ends though and it's the most pivotal part of the movie, so I have to talk about it.

"Heavenly Creatures" is based on the true lives of two girls who commit murder in 1954 New Zealand. Juliet Hulme (Winslet) moves to New Zealand from England and befriends Pauline Parker. The two girls become very close and create a fantasy world together. When their parents decide that their relationship is becoming unhealthy, they plot to murder Pauline's mother so they can run away together.

This movie was directed and co-written by Peter Jackson pre-fame from Lord of the Rings. Prior to this, he had only directed a few low budget extreme horror films. Jackson really shows his talent through this film. It's absolutely HAUNTING.

The movie starts out showing the girls running out of the woods covered in blood, screaming. Then it backs up and shows everything leading up to the actual murder at the end. The murder itself is one of the most disturbing scenes I have ever seen in a film. It's not really gross/gory or anything, but it is still harrowing. SPOILERS----The girls invite Pauline's mother to go on a walk with them and when she bends down to look at something on the ground, they beat her to death with a brick in a stocking. The look on her face and the SOUND, my God the sound she makes, is the most horrible thing I have ever seen or heard.

And the worst part? The girls only spent 5 years in prison for the murder because they were underage. They were forbidden to ever contact each other again after leaving prison. They are both still alive and well....ones is a successful writer of detective novels (but under an assumed name).

This movie stayed with me for a long time after I watched it. The movie did very well on the awards circuit, even going so far as to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.The writing was phenomenal. The acting was amazing (Kate Winslet's career pretty much took off from this movie). The whole film was just gorgeously filmed.

Random Thoughts:
-I loved that they stayed so close to the original murder. They even used Pauline's actual journal entries as voice-overs.
-Time magazine called this one of the 10 best films of 1994.

Verdict?
5/5 stars. I would highly recommend this movie. Amazing.

1993 - Schindler's List

This movie was beautiful and it was upsetting. Every time I watch a Holocaust movie I am still shocked by the brutality that humans can be capable of. Especially since it wasn't even that long ago that this happened.

Anyways, I liked this movie because I wasn't really totally familiar with the Oskar Schindler story. I knew the basics: Schindler was a German who saved a bunch of Jews from being killed in concentration camps by having them work in his factories. Other than that, it was all new information.

I was surprised to learn that Schindler didn't start out to help the Jews at all. He was helping himself. He was using them because they were cheap (or pretty much free) labor and he wanted to make a ton of money. Once he realized the full depravity of the Nazi's treatment of the Jews, he takes it upon himself to save as many as he possibly can - including spending every cent of money he had accumulated.

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD:

I lost it at the end, especially when he breaks down crying because he thinks he didn't do enough. He tells the Jews that survived that he should have sold his car, his other possessions just to save a few more people. It was one of the saddest scenes I have ever watched in a film. And when his workers gave him their letter...it was just so heartbreaking.

I also cried during the entire epilogue where they show all the actual surviving Jews who were saved by Schindler that were still alive after filming in 1993 and had them put small stones on his grave.

The ONLY complaint I had about this movie was that the two actors who played the main characters (Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes) looked VERY similar in the black and white film. And they were both very different characters, so sometimes I was like, "Whoa!! Why is Liam Neeson shooting those Jews out of his window for fun? How can he go from THAT to wanting to save these people??" Then I realized it was actually Ralph Fiennes. So that was a little annoying at times.

Random Thoughts:
-I was so enthralled by this film that I didn't even take any notes during it!

Verdict?
5/5 stars. It's not a movie I could stomach to watch over and over, but it was such an amazing movie. Definitely glad I finally watched it.

1992 - Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I hated it. I have never seen the Buffy TV show, but I figured since the movie came first I wouldn't have any problems following along. Well, I didn't have any problems following the insanely simple plot: A high school girl learns she is "chosen" to be a vampire slayer. The problem was that this movie was insanely stupid.

I couldn't quite tell if it was a satire or not though. If it was, then it was still stupid, but at least they MEANT to make it that that stupid. If it wasn't a satire, then I don't even know what to say. It was SO cheesy and all the acting was ridiculously over the top. I hated all the characters. Even Buffy is a vapid cheerleader stereotype that I couldn't care less about. I'd almost RATHER the vampires eat her.

And then we have Dylan McKay playing...Dylan McKay. Can Luke Perry play anything different? Of course I can't even think of another movie I have seen Luke Perry in, so I can't really compare it to much else.

I guess I just missed the point of this movie. I couldn't wait for it to be over so I could stop losing brain cells.

Random Thoughts:
-I am a little pissed that they "recommend" Heathers to people who liked this movie. Heathers is an AMAZING black comedy that doesn't even come close to comparing to this this crap.

Verdict?
1/5 stars. Would never watch this movie again. I hated it.

1991 - Thelma and Louise

Two women escape their lives to go on a weekend getaway find themselves in a whole lot of trouble when Louise shoots and kills a man who tries to rape Thelma outside a bar. The rest of the film is a thrill ride of their drive to Mexico escaping the police.

I absolutely LOVED this movie. I can't believe I've never seen it before. I didn't get bored at all. Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon do such a great job as the title characters. Their friendship is so authentic and really makes the movie work. If they used actresses didn't have such great chemistry it wouldn't have had near the impact.

I also found this film for $7 at Walmart (along with Dances With Wolves), so of course I picked it up. I really can't think of anything I hated about this movie. I even liked the ending (which is pretty infamous, but some people didn't really care for it)

Random Thoughts:
-Brad Pitt's small role as JD, the hitchhiker/con-artist was ADORABLE. He looked so young!!
-Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep originally considered starring this movie.
-George Clooney auditioned five times for the part of JD, which was taken by Brad Pitt (thank God…I don’t get the appeal of George Clooney).

Verdict?
5/5 stars! I LOVED it!

1990 - Dances With Wolves


I'm so happy to hit 1990 because now we are getting to movies that I actually remember when they first came out. My first movie I saw in a theater (that I can remember) was Back to the Future III in 1991. The closest movie theater was almost 2 hours away until I was in high school, so I didn't see a lot of movies unless we were on vacation.

I remember when "Dances With Wolves" came out. I was 5-6 years old and I remember they sold the VHS at McDonald's for some reason. You got it for a cheaper price if you bought a value meal or something. Anyways, my aunt and uncle bought it and I watched the first scene and was convinced they were going to chop that guy's leg off so I left the room traumatized and have never went near the movie since.

I am really glad I chose this movie because I loved it. I was pretty skeptical because a movie has to be pretty interesting to keep me entertained for 3 hours. I was not bored ONCE during this film. The pacing was great for such a long movie.

I love Kevin Costner too. I'm not quite sure why (it might have something to do with him being in one of my all time favorite movies, "A Perfect Word", that apparently no one on earth has seen but me). I love that he took this project that everyone was convinced would fail and turned it into an Oscar winner.

Anyways, the plot is fairly simple: A Civil War Army Lieutenant, John Dunbar (Costner) takes a post at a deserted fort. He lives there alone until he makes friends with the neighboring Sioux Indian tribe after he rescues a white woman that they adopted into their tribe when she was a child. Of course the Army eventually finds him and he has to choose which side he is now on.

I can't think of anything that I didn't like about this movie. I actually went out and bought it a few days after I watched it when I saw it on sale at Walmart for $7. And that's a lot coming from me because I generally do not like war movies or westerns.

Random Thoughts:
-Yes, I am still fairly traumatized by the bloody foot/leg opening scene. It's not even THAT graphic, it just seemed so much worse in my mind from when I was a kid.
-Apparently there is a sequel in the works starring Viggo Mortensen called "The Holy Road". It is based off the book sequel to "Dances with Wolves".
-Almost a million feet of film was shot!

Verdict?
5/5 stars. I really loved this movie. I'll definitely watch it again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

1989 - Drugstore Cowboy

"Drugstore Cowboy" is about a group of drug addicts in the 70's who rob pharmacy's to get drugs. Bob (Matt Dillon) is the ringleader of the group which consists of his girlfriend, Dianne (Kelly Lynch) and their friends David (Max Perlich) and Nadine (Heather Graham). When a tragedy befalls the group, Bob decides to straighten up and quit drugs and get a job. Dianne doesn't take this too well, so Bob is on his own.

Drugstores were apparently MUCH easier to break into back then.

As far as drug addict movies go (and I've seen a lot of them for some reason), this one wasn't terribly interesting. Since there's so many of them, it needed something to help it stand out from the rest. The only thing really original was the idea that they robbed drugstores.

I liked the ending (I won't give it away) that signifies that your past never really goes away and can come back to haunt you. Even though Bob cleaned his life up, it still wasn't much better.

Random Thoughts:
-The addict priest was the best character in the movie. I wish the movie was about him.
-I didn't have many notes about this film. It was just sort of blah.

Verdict?

2.5/5 - Not that exciting, but not bad either. Pretty mediocre. There are much better drug addict films out there.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

1988 - Mystic Pizza

"Mystic Pizza" is a story about three girls who work in a pizza parlor in Connecticut. Daisy (Julia Roberts) and Kat (Annabeth Gish) are sisters and they work with their friend Jojo (Lili Taylor) at Mystic Pizza. The story follows the girls during the summer after they graduate high school.

Daisy has fallen for a rich guy who she thinks is using her to piss off his parents. Kat has fallen in love with the older, married father of the little girl she baby-sits. Jojo keeps backing out of getting married to her high school sweetheart. Each girl kind of has their own issues they're dealing with so you're not just focused on one relationship for 2 hours.

Julia Roberts had awesome 80s hair in this movie.

Now, I'm not a huge fan of romantic comedies or love stories, but this movie was decent. I can deal with romance stories that are somewhat realistic, unlike most movies (I'm talking to you "A Walk to Remember"). I liked that you actually felt like you were watching someone's real life instead of a completely over-the-top movie about someone's life.

It's a real pizza parlor in Connecticut!

Random Thoughts:
-Mystic Pizza is a real pizza parlor in Mystic, Connecticut.
-Next time I want to get back at someone, I'm going to just dump fish in their car.
-Matt Damon had a VERY small role (he only had one speaking line). I didn't even recognize him and had to go back to see if it was really him!

Verdict?
3.5/5 stars. Not really my "type" of movie, but better than most of the same genre. Probably wouldn't watch again, but worth it to see once.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

1987 - Empire of the Sun


"Empire of the Sun" is about a young British boy, Jamie (or "Jim" as his American friends call him) who gets separated from his parents during the Japanese occupation of China. Eventually he ends up in an internment camp where he lives for the next several years. The movie follows Jim throughout his experiences, while using the war as a backdrop. It's not a movie about the war, it's a movie about people during the war.

Christian Bale! Here he is a privileged little brat.

Jim is played by a very young Christian Bale, who does a phenomenal job. At first, I didn't really like his character. He grew up very privileged and acted like it. He felt he was "above" the hired Chinese help and was just sort of a brat in general. But then you have to think, this is how he grew up. He doesn't really know any better. Over the course of the film, he really matures and becomes much more likable.

And I totally cried a the end (during SEVERAL parts!). It's a very emotional movie, but then most war movies focused on children are (ever seen The Boy in the Striped Pajamas?? Don't watch that on an airplane. Everyone will look at you weird when you're crying your eyes out).

And here he is much more tolerable. Likable even. All he needed was a few years of war under his belt.

Random Thoughts:
-Ben Stiller has a very small part as an American at the camp. I had to look it up to make sure it was him, but sure enough, it was!
-Also, apparently Ben Stiller got the idea for Tropic Thunder while filming this movie.
-Christian Bale kinda looks exactly the same now as he did then.

Verdict?
4.5/5 stars. I really liked this movie! It was very well done and well acted.

Friday, May 7, 2010

1986 - The Hitcher


"The Hitcher" is about Jim (C. Thomas Howell), who is driving a car from Chicago to San Diego. He picks up a hitchhiker who tells him that he already killed a family and he's going to kill Jim next. The rest of the movie is a cat-and-mouse chase between the hitchhiker and Jim.

Ouch. He tied this poor girl to two semi trucks and pulled her apart.

This movie was actually pretty entertaining. I figured it would be kind of cheesy, but it had a decent storyline and kept a really quick pace. It was very similar to the 70's Spielburg movie "Duel" (which I also enjoyed). I also loved how they hitchhiker kept planting evidence to make it look like Jim was the criminal so the police were after him instead of the real killer. He made it so if the poor guy DID survive, he'd have all these murders pinned on him. Unless he proves his innocence, he's pretty much screwed either way.

There wasn't much I disliked about the film. It was a simple premise, which worked in this case. It wasn't an award winner or anything, but it was fun and told a great story.

I would not want him chasing after me.

Random Thoughts:
-This movie almost received an X rating due to a more graphic ending.
-That was awesome how he shoved the hitchhiker out of his car early on. But there is no way it would have worked. Even if a car isn't latched all the way, it won't just swing open.

Verdict?
4/5 - I really enjoyed this thriller! I probably wouldn't watch it over and over but it's pretty intense when you don't know how it is going to end.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

1985 - Better Off Dead

Yeah, it was as stupid as it looks.

"Better Off Dead" is about a teenage boy, Lane (John Cusack) who becomes suicidal after his girlfriend breaks up with him for a more popular guy. Eventually he finds solace in the French foreign exchange student who is staying with his neighbors.

Unfortunately for the French girl, her host mother is trying to hook her up with her oh-so-attractive son.

I thought this would be more of a straight up 80's romantic comedy, sort of like Sixteen Candles or something like that. It was actually just kind of weird. There isn't really much of a plot. It's just kind of like "Hey, this guys girlfriend broke up with him! Let's film him moping around and hanging out with his weirdo family for a few days!".

And then there is the weird hamburger dancing/singing parts. I have no idea what the purpose of those were. It's was just weird. And the Asian guys with the speakers on top their car who kept trying to drag race Lane? I have no idea...weird.

See? I'm not kidding.

Some parts were kind of funny. I liked the weirdo family. The mom was always making new recipes that were usually green or slimy or both. In fact, everyone in this movie was really weird. His best friend snorts snow (like cocaine), his little brother builds rockets in his bedroom, and his neighbors are also nuts.

The only really normal one is the French exchange student. She pretends she can't speak English so she can avoid her host family.

Yuck.

Random Thoughts:
-I would hate to be invited over to Lane's house for dinner.
-They have Hershey's chocolate milk in their cafeteria!
-Did the dancing, guitar-playing hamburger scene really happen?

Verdict?
2/5 stars. Was really, really weird. Don't think I'd watch it again, although a few parts were humorous.