Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Unstoppable (2010)

F-train and I found ourselves with some time to kill on Monday afternoon and decided to partake of a picture show at the Orleans casino. I suggested Harry Potter, but evidently, F-train is NOT the twelve-year-old girl we all suspected him to be. We ran through a list of the other options out loud at In-N-Out Burger and when we got to "Unstoppable" with Denzel Washington, the woman at the table next to us apologized for butting in "but that movie is terrific."

F-train and I were both skeptical, but we put an imaginary pin in it and moved down the list of other options. I was into "Next Three Days," he wasn't. He wanted "Black Swan," but Las Vegas doesn't offer Indie movies.

"Well, let's go over to the theater and see what's playing."


We got there at 3:10.

"Well, Megamind is at 4:30...Unstoppable is starting now..."

Okay then!

"I hope the theater is empty," he says, "that'd be awesome."

There was a couple already inside.

"Nope. Two other people are here...and two minutes ago it was awesome for them!"

"Eh. If it can't be awesome for us, why should it be awesome for them?"

When he's right, he's right.

Except, since we were there to see Unstoppable, the truth is, it wasn't going to be awesome for anybody.

Some say this movie is "Speed with trains." Those people are stupid. Do you remember Jaws? How no one was sure what the threat was exactly and then the Mayor was all "no, we're not ruining the Fourth of July Holiday!" But then they realize the shark was super dangerous and send a bunch of men out on the water to kill it? And then there's 85 minutes of boring old men conversation out on the ocean and then a final 20 minutes of Jaws killing a bunch of people and then the survivors floating on a plank back to shore?

Well, this movie is that 85 minutes of Jaws. With trains.

Denzel plays this old crotchety old man who has gone to the acting school of cave echoes. You know the school "Son, do you think your training has prepared you for this? DO YOU?" Followed by "I have 28 years on these tracks! 28 YEARS"

And so you kinda wish you were alone in the theater so you can shout "THIS SUCKS" and hopefully hear a cacophony of agreement echo back at you too.


Yeah, so. There's a runaway train. Of course it's filled with toxic chemicals! And there's another train full of school children! Um. And then you're suddenly back in 4th grade and there's a train traveling toward Stanton at 70 miles an hour and a tug train chasing it at 50 miles per hour and how bad do you have to be at math to not roll your eyes when Denzel catches it and hitches the tug to the runaway train just as they tear through the deadly Stanton S curve? Answer is D. Oy.

F-train and I were laughing and audibly booing the screen. Audibly.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The weather outside is frightful

It’s December!

Which means it must be the holiday season! I also know this because not only has my TV been bombarding me with those damn hell ass stupid “open heart necklace” commercials, fuck you Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, fuck you very much, but I also voluntarily rented a Tyler Perry movie. Like on purpose. I KNOW. Also, I completely hated only about half of these movies! HALF! Fa-la-la-la-la!

Children of Invention

I love when people recommend movies to me! Honestly, I will watch anything and at least when people recommend stuff, I know that 1) I’m not the only person besides the director’s mom to watch said film since it hit videostores and 2) exactly whose face to punch if it sucks. Happily for Gerard, I loved this movie! It’s not perfect and the ending is a tad contrived, though not as contrived as I feared it might be, the kids are as cute as buttons (that little girl needs a TV show RIGHT NOW!) and the story is touching and dude, I thought I was gonna start bawling halfway through it. Rent it! Oh…it’s about a single immigrant mom raising two kids without the help of their deadbeat dad. Yeah, it kinda hit close to home.

Deep Water

Zeem recommended this movie and it was fantastic! It’s a documentary about a 1960s yacht race around the world. It follows the stories of the 8 or so Englishmen who decided to do what had never been done before (nonstop solo sail around the world) and try to win fame and money for themselves in the process. I don’t care who you are, you’ll cry. Oh man.

Slap Shot

Drizz recommended this movie and I will have his head come WPBT for it. IT’S TERRIBLE! Okay, the first five minutes are funny. And as a new hockey watcher and nascent Rangers fan, it was interesting to learn about the penalties and stuff. But the rest of the movie? GARBAGE. Absolute, just poke my eyes out and bash my head in garbage. And Drizz will pay.

Winter's Bone (2010)

This movie is FANTASTIC! I think Mary would like it. It’s about hillbillies in a place like West Virginia. But not. Or it might be. Anyway, the oldest daughter has to find her father or the law is gonna take their house. She meets some real bad peoples along the way.

What the #$*! Do We Know!?

You know what I don’t know? How I ended up renting a 3 hour movie about quantum physics. But, as I learned from the film, there are multiple realities all existing at the same time, so perhaps while I was watching this movie, an alternate Dawn was watching the Patriots game. There is no plot. There is no nothing! We never touch! Matter deosn’t exist! Your life is not only a lie, it’s not even your life! Or is it? Hey, let’s play basketball with a little black boy and draw on our naked bodies. You think I’m kidding, don’t you?

Knight and Day

Action star Tom Cruise is back! He plays an agent protecting Cameron Diaz from bad government CIA guys. This movie is just funny, action packed mindless fun. I enjoyed it, will never think about it again. Brava!


It’s funny watching a movie about commercial aviation set in the 1970s. People are smoking in planes. There’re three course meals offered, people eat with actual silverware. They dress up to fly! Security schmecurity! Astin would love it! The premise is the Chicago airport is snowed in. That same night a man buys a huge life insurance policy for himself and plans to blow up his plane to Italy so his wife can pay their debts. It has the feel of a documentary, but it’s not.

Airport 1975

Oh look, and it has a sequel! This one stars Moses and he’s all “listen up, dahrlin’ I’ll save you.” And he does. I liked the first one better. Way more believeable than this "a commercial airliner crashes into a single engine plane in midair and Charlton Heston parachutes into the cockpit to land the plane" one.

Dorian Gray

I love this story and I think I’ve seen a movie rendition of it before… this one isn’t bad, but it’s not better than just reading it. In fact, it’s worse. I don’t think they quite capture the process of Dorian Gray’s corruption. They make him out to be too evil too soon. It cheapens it.

Yellow Handkerchief

No idea what this movie is about. There’s a middle aged man who was just let out of prison and a teenage girl who has run away from home and a retarded guy with a car who follows them around…and then at the end there’s a yellow scarf flying from a boat. If you like artsy movies where you can pretentiously discuss lighting and mood and have no interest in plots or being awake, this is the movie for you. If however, like me, you thought this was movie version of that awesome short story you read in elementary school about the decapitated girl who wore a yellow handkerchief to keep her head attached to her body, this is NOT the movie for you.

The Last Airbender [Blu-ray] (2010)

This movie didn’t suck nearly as much as everyone said it would. I mean, sure, it sucked, but it just sucked a regular amount. I barely even rolled my eyes. I’m not familiar with the Airbender series, so I guess maybe that’s why I wasn’t angered or anything. But I wasn’t. It’s your standard kids with powers fare.

The Messenger (2009)

This movie was so so so good. It’s about an injured soldier from Iraqi Freedom or the Afghanistan war being pulled from the field while he heals and assigned to work with a Desert Storm vet (Woody Harrelson) on the Angel of Death squad telling families that their loved one has been killed. You follow them as they go to each house with the news and see how they spend their days in between those visits. It’s raw and moving but not preachy or annoying.

Happy Tears (2009)

Speaking of annoying. This movie stars Demi Moore and that actress I always confuse with the Weeds actress… Parker Posey, maybe? Blech. It’s terrible! She’s a bored rich housewife to a crazy trust fund baby and Demi Moore is married to a gay guy hoping to turn him straight. They are trying to put their ailing father in a home. All of which would be a fine premise for a movie, but why are there animations and stupid flashbacks involved? BLAH. DUMB. ANNOYING.

Karate Kid (2010)

I actually saw this movie on a plane a while back, but just forgot to review it. I liked it. Which, for a Ralph Macchio fan girl is crazy high praise. I thought they updated the story well…though, it’s bullshit how they portray China as if it’s just like America, but the people just speak Chinese. During all the chase scenes through the streets, I was like, Chinese police would have shot them by now. It’s good, the ending isn’t even a complete rip-off.


I knew nothing about Pinero until I rented this movie starring Julia Roberts’ ex-boyfriend. I’ve become a Pinero the man fan, though, in general, I hate when criminals become romanticized and more famous than my languishing law abiding self, but Pinero the movie is pretty bad. It jumps around, the dialogue is weird, Ben Bratt tries his best, but he’s probably miscast. He’s just too clean cut and pretty to play a hardened criminal dying of Hep C. But he is pretty.


I knew nothing of Basquiat except a fleeting reference to him in NYC’s “know the speed limit” campaign commercials. Like Pinero, this movie jumps around and is more of a outline of a movie than a movie movie. It’s weird. Cast is good. But weird.

Jonah Hex

OH MY GOD. HOW DID THIS MOVIE GET MADE? How did it get marquee actors to star in it? HOW AM I NOT FAMOUS? AND RICH? AND IN POSSESSION OF NINETEEN OSCARS? So the plot…um…this guy gets hanged by this other guy but then he is saved and spends the next hundred years looking for the guy who hanged him. Yeah, nobody dies in this universe. And then there’s revenge. Or something. Kill me.

Broken Flowers

This movie is part of Bill Murray’s “take me seriously as an actor” phase. It’s okay. He gets a mysterious letter from a woman saying she had his baby 19 years ago. So he visits all the women with whom he has slept in the past 20 years looking for his baby mama. Unclear whether he finds her…I dunno. He brings them flowers. Meh.

Six Wives of Lefay

Speaking of “just shoot me in the face” movies… just shoot me in the face. Tim Allen stars in this particular crapfest. He is killed in a parasailing accident and his six wives fight over how to bury him. Or ex wives wives. Blah. It’s awful awful awful. Awful. AWFUL. Oh, and then it turns out he's NOT dead. AWWWFFFFUUULLLLLLLL

Beautiful (2009)

I’m not sure what this movie is supposed to be. It’s kind of a cross between a Stepford Wives and American Beauty – but like the worst parts of those movies. You think there’s an interesting mystery to be solved, but discover, nope. Nothing interesting here. And then there are random deaths at the end. Meh.

The Kids Are All Right (2010)

I mostly liked this movie. It’s about a lesbian couple and their two kids getting to know the sperm donor. I didn’t like that the sperm donor's girlfriend is this totally hot black woman who is way into him. I literally sat there counting down till the moment when he summarily dumps her. Hollywood. He does get his though. Kinda.

The Extra Man (2010)

This movie is super weird. I couldn’t tell when it was supposed to be taking place. They drive old 1950s cars and they all wear suits and even though it’s New York City, there are no people of color anywhere to be found. About an hour in they show the apple dropping in Tiems Square and it’s supposedly 2009. Now I’m super duper confused and what might have been an okay movie falls to plain dumb. But the premise is a dude is fired by his prep school for cross dressing and moves to New York where he becomes roommates with a male escort, played by Kevin Kline. Meh. But all the tortured issues about cross dressing and sexuality just make no sense in present day East Coast America. I don’t get it.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World [Blu-ray] (2010)

It clearly must be the holiday spirit moving me because I…gasp…liked this movie! Even though it stars that sniveling annoying idiot Michael Cera. He just works in this one. The premise is that geeky Michael Cera starts dating this hot girl and in order for their relationship to survive, he must defeat her seven evil exes. Who hasn’t been there, amirite people? Anyway, this movie suffers a bit from the Extra man syndrome where I couldn’t really tell what year it was supposed to be. He talks a lot about PacMan, but he also gets deliveries from Amazon. Of course, the movie takes place in Toronto, so it may just be “Canada” and not so much “1980s.”

Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? (2010)

Yeah. I violated one of my 5 cardinal rules. To be fair, the punishment for violating those rules is pretty immediate in that I end up having to watch a Tyler Perry movie. So, that’ll learn me. OH, but just when I was about to throw myself in front of some fast moving vehicle, THE ROCK shows up on screen! So Ha!

Don't Look Back (2009)

It’s a bad scene when you have to google the title of a movie that Blockbuster says you’ve rented. It’s a worse sign that after reading the Wikipedia entry you’re still not sure what movie they’re talking about. Welcome to “Don’t Look Back.” Also it’s a French movie. AND SERIOUSLY WHY DO I KEEP ENDING UP WITH THESE?!?!?!

Fear Me Not (2008)

Ooh, I liked this movie A LOT. It’s set in Sweden or Denmark or Norway…someplace like that. The dad is taking a sabbatical from his job and begins to get depressed with the monotony of doing nothing. His brother in law signs him up for an anti-depressant drug trial. He starts taking the drug and everything changes. When the company abandons the trial because of bad side effects, dude keeps taking it… real bad stuff happens.

Lottery Ticket (2010)

Um. This movie stars black people, so I rented it. If you have a general philosophy of supporting minority casts and films, except for Tyler Perry, then you should probably rent it too. I have nothing further to say. :/

Happy Holidays everybody!