Monday, April 7, 2014

April is the cruelest month

I've been writing monthly movie reviews for too long, I'm literally cycling through old titles now...but here we go!

Austenland

This movie is a modern day update of the Pride and Prejudice story. Homely spinster (eyeroll) Kerri Russell is all thirty and unmarried, so she spends her life savings to go to "Austenland," a live action reenactment of Jane Austen's ubiquitous love story. It's okay.

At Middleton

Um... the lady from the Bates Motel TV show and Andy Garcia are polar opposites taking their teens on a campus visit to Middleton. She drives him crazy with her interrupting and he makes her nuts with his uptightness! Stop me if you've heard this one before. Meh. It's okay.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Um... that guy from the Office and Steve Buscemi are partners in a Las Vegas magic show, but after ten years together, and a hot new magic act, Jim Carrey, breathing down their necks, they try to shake things up, but it all falls apart and James Gandolfini fires them. It's okay.

For a Good Time, Call UGH. I have this "no live action movie under 90 minutes is any good" rule. This piece of garbage is 84 minutes. It's hot garbage. Two women -- one a bootleg Bette Midler-- start a sex hotline together. Are there even still sex hotlines out there? So DUMB.

Save the Date

Hmm...I cannot remember what this movie is about...OH. Two sisters are planning the older sister's wedding. She is uptight, younger sister is flighty. Hinjinks, as they say, ensue. It was good.

The Sessions

This movie is about a handicapped man hiring a sex counselor to teach him how to have sex even though he's paralyzed from the neck down. I have no idea why I rented this, but I did...and I watched it and it was exactly what it said it would be. His confidante through the whole process is a roman catholic priest, so I didn't like that, as, well...I don't think a roman catholic priest would do such a thing.

Smashed

Um... I don't know why crack is making this big comeback in stories about middle class white people, but here we are. This movie is about a young couple who go out and get loaded every night, but when the woman half of the couple yarfs in front of her kindergarten class and has to fake being pregnant to explain away her party foul, she decides to go to AA and clean up her act. Also, she smokes crack.

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom I didn't learn much about apartheid or Nelson Mandela from this movie-- which is odd considering it's asposed to be about Nelson Mandela's long walk to freedom from *apartheid.* I was fascinated, though, by the character of Winnie Mandela. First off, she is portrayed as an aggressor, both in the courtship AND in the "struggle." Also, the make up people do not age her *at all* until the very last scene after Nelson has left her. I think we're supposed to " feel sorry for her" but I mostly felt ashamed of the men around her who couldn't support her. I don't know the real life story of how she ended up jailed for corruption and whatnot, but I'm suddenly much more interested in the "Winnie Mandela: Long Walk to Vilification" story.

Sarafina

I've seen this movie like ten times (and I saw the off broadway show when I was a kid.) I love it. Everyone should see it. I learn new things about apartheid every time I watch it. Great movie. PLUS: SINGING AND DANCING!

Total Recall

I watched the original, with the former Governor of California, a couple of years ago (oh, not with him, starring him. I have never met the former Governor, nor been alone with him, I won't be taking any more questions, this press conference is OVER.) and I fell asleep. I don't know why I rented the remake cause I also fell asleep during it. Total Recall is just a boring premise for a movie.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I think I'm officially too old for these "coming of age" movies about tortured high schoolers. Oh, no one will sit with me in the lunchroom, ehrmagosh my paper is like totally due TOMORROW, AAHH THE SATs. Eyeroll. I'm sorry, I don't care. Lawn comma get off of my.

The Kings of Summer

Eh. Three boys decide to run away from home and build a house for themselves in the woods. Then a girl comes between them and ruins everything. Chicks are the worst, amirite? Yawn.

Mud

Two boys run away from home and find a boat in a tree and then discover a convict has been hiding out in it. So, OF COURSE, they decide to help him. Double Yawn. Hmmm... all these horrible movies are about white boys. Why is that? Why are white boys always running away and why is Hollywood always writing movies about sad lonely white American boys and how hard life is for them? TUH. Lemmee go rewatch Sarafina.

About Time

This movie is about a family where the men can time travel through their own timeline. O_O Anyway, the main guy uses this power to get his wife to fall in love with him "at first sight," of course, in reality, it has taken months. O_o Then, he decides to use this power to help his poor hapless sister go back in time and not meet her abusive boyfriend, but THEN that changes the sex of his baby! His dad goes "oh, yeah, my bad, you can go back through your own timeline UNTIL you have a kid." o_O THEN his dad dies AND that same day his wife is all "I want to have another kid RIGHT NOW!" See where this is going? THEN, right before the second baby is born, he goes back to say goodbye to his dad AND his dad takes him back to play on beach as a boy -- VIOLATING ALL THE RULES THEY JUST MADE UP ON THE FLY IN THE FIRST PLACE. I'm still mad I sat through this bullshit movie. Now, you don't have to. YOU'RE WELCOME, AMERICA.

The Best Man Holiday

I think I saw the first "best man" movie a long time ago. I don't really remember it though, but the second holds up without any institutional knowledge. It was cute and I didn't want to punch things watching it, so it beats "About Time" in that respect.

We're The Millers

(._.) I really liked this movie. HOLD ON HOLD ON...I know, Jennifer Aniston as a forty-year-old stripper who has to pretend to be Jason Sudeikis' wife, so they can smuggle an RV full of pot from Mexico with their two pretend children SEEMS far-fetched -- but they make it work and it somehow turns into a sweet rom-com. I KNOW, took me by surprise too. But there it is. Go on, judge me.

Short Term 12:

This movie is about counselors at a group home for abandoned teens. It's sad and touching. I liked it.

Best Man Down

This is a movie about a wedding and the groom's best man is his drunken, fat, idiot friend from high school and he makes everyone, bride included, uncomfortable until he's found dead in the desert the next morning. Well, probably he was making them uncomfortable then too. They have to set out making arrangements for his funeral and the groom realizes he didn't really know his friend at all. *sniff sniff*

Drinking Buddies

This movie stars Jason Sudeikis' wife (I think, I don't really keep up with People Magazine) and Nick Miller from New Girl. They struggle with their attraction to each other because each is with another person. It's okay. They work in a brewery.

Adore This movie stars all the pretty Australian actresses NOT named Nicole Kidman...wait....actually, I'm not sure if the Princess Bride is Australian...anyway, she plays one here. The two women are best childhood friends and they each have one son and then whammo 18 years later, they're each boning the other's son. O_O This led to my new movie rule: If a movie stars more than one big name star, but you've never heard of it, DON'T STREAM IT on netflix.

Planet of the Apes

I have the Simpsons "Planet of the Apes" musical memorized and that episode completely ruined this movie for me. I was mostly laughing and inserting Simpsons dialogue into it. The underlying movie is ok, I guess, but watching it my way is definitely more hilarious.

Silence of the Lambs

I've been enjoying the Hannibal series so I thought I'd rewatch this movie to see if I could pick up on any spoilers. It was funny because when I saw it in high school, Silence of the Lambs was hands down THEE scariest movie I'd ever seen in my life...well, okay, maybe in a three-way tie with Gremlins and Fright Night. But upon rewatch, it's actually pretty tame. And Clarice hates wearing coats! But it's a good movie, the surprise twist ending still works even though you know it's coming.

3 comments:

PetiteDov said...

I really liked Drinking Buddies - because Olivia W. was a total asshole - she didn't have her shit together and was a perpetual adolescent - and the ending is perfect for her.

PetiteDov said...

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Austenland. Mostly because I didn't expect to laugh as much as I did. The plot was predictable, but at this point I feel most rom-coms are derivative of Pride & Prejudice.

Brian said...

I've only seen at least three of the movies you've reviewed, but here goes:

FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL: I liked it a little more than you did even though, yes, you are right in pointing out that phone sex isn't as popular as the film makes it out to be. It may have helped if the film was set in the Nineties, before the Internet came and damn near made phone sex a near-antiquated presence.

THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER: parts of it were a bit too cutesy and "it's what we all wish high school was like for us" in its portrayal, but it was good. I get that Mae Whitman's characters was supposed to be self-obsessed and somewhat annoying, but...how do you pick Emma Watson (who is nothing to scoff at, mind you) over Mae? Just...no.

SHORT TERM 12: Haven't seen it, but I've heard a lot of great things about it and about Brie Larson's performance. Already have it saved in my Netflix Queue.

SILENCE OF THE LAMBS: I had a problem with this film when I was younger because it came out the same year as CAPE FEAR and I thought the latter was a much better film that deserved the Oscars that SOTL got. But I grew to love both, and realized that SOTL really is a great film and I've seen it more times than I can count. Although now that I've watched HANNIBAL, I can't help but imagine what SOTL would be like with Lecter being played by Mads Mikkelsen.