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Summer Movie Season: Winner…SUPER 8.

In Movie Reviews on June 25, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Super heroes. Villains. Little kids saving the world. Bring it summer movie season. Bring. It.

There are some hits and misses….here are my silly opinions and rants on the subject.

Beginners.

I genuinely wanted to fall in love with it. It could’ve been the next 500 Days of Summer….if they would’ve stuck to a story format. Its worth it for the performances. Ewan McGregor is completely charming as usual…even though he is a hopeless mess. His leading lady stole the movie for me. She made me want to be french and smoke cigarettes and rollerskate through hallways in the middle of the night.

The dialogue is witty and clever. I like what the writer was going for…but it didn’t quite follow through. Director Mike Mills started out as a graphic designer, so you can expect a stylized film, however, it misses that final punch that it needs to grab you emotionally. There was zero climax for me. Still…its worth checking it out. If anything, see it for Christopher Plummer.

The Green Lantern.

I really wanted to love this one as well. I enjoyed the two hours of Ryan Reynold’s ripped body and comedic timing. Perfect choice for the role. The story was interesting, but for me…there were too many holes in the story…as well as too many visual effects gone wrong. It felt like an episode of Power Rangers on a saturday morning hyped up on visual speed. It was too much at times. Peter Sarsgaard was fantastic. I loved every scene he was in. Blake Lively as the leading lady though? She wasn’t bad. And I love her as a brunette. But the whole time, I kept thinking, “When the hell is she going to check her text messages to see what gossip girl has to say about all of this?” I would’ve liked to see someone a little older in this role. Also, her weave was a hot mess.

I did however, enjoy the subtle tribute to Superman….you know the scene: Superman flies onto Margot Kidder’s patio and seduces her. The Green Lantern did the same thing…only this time, his leading lady wasn’t holding a glass of wine and discussing her panties and lead walls. All the same…I loved it.


The winner for me….was Super 8.

If Goonies and Lost had a love child, you’d get Super 8.

Not gonna lie, I actually cried a single tear. I laughed. I jumped. And the kids were adorable. It reminded me of the movies I grew up with. 2 hours of fantastic nostalgia and thrills. Elle Fanning stole my heart. They all did. I’m not going to say much on the movie. Just go see it. And enjoy.

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Intoxicated: The Remake

In Movie Reviews on April 11, 2011 at 6:28 am

I saw Arthur.

Cue disturbed looks, followed by a groan, concluding with, “Did you NOT see the original?”

When I respond with, “Of course I’ve seen the Dudley Moore version. It was AH-MAZING”…..I get an extremely confused reaction.

I admit it. I saw the remake of Arthur starring Russell Brand. And I loved it. So sue me.

I read every shitty review of the film before I went to see it, so I had to warn my poor mom of a couple things. (Arthur is mutually our favorite movie. Liza+Dudley=sheer frickin’ HEAVEN.)

I told my mom:

1) Don’t expect it to be an accurate remake.

2) Lets just have a good night out and get some laughs.

That was our expectation. To laugh. I’ve been in love with Russell Brand since Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I was going to enjoy this no matter how awful it was.

And it wasn’t awful. It was actually…

dare I say…

Awesome. At the end of the movie, my mom looked at me, and guiltily said, “I actually liked it better than the original.”

Cue YOU throwing your dinner at the computer screen/unsubscribing to my blog/yelling at me next time you see me in person.

Now, before I start this review that I’m nervous to write, let me make one thing clear.

I’m a huge fan of Dudley Moore’s performance in the original. He is spot on. Clever, lovable and down-right believable. Liza Minelli is like a piece of sunshine as she consistently brightens every scene she is in….and their chemistry is perfect. Its charming, warm and genuine. So with that said, here’s how I feel about the remake.

The remake didn’t feel like a remake. Brand in no way tried to imitate Moore, nor did Greta Gerwig attempt to imitate Liza. Naomi, (Arthur’s love interest played by Gerwig) is similar to Liza’s character (Linda). Naomi is a hard worker who takes care of her dad, but she’s NOT an aspiring actress who shoplifts to raise extra funds. She dreams of writing children’s books and she gives tours to families of NYC. While the newer version of the love interest has the same wonderful chemistry with Arthur, she pushes him a lot more in the remake to become a better person for his own benefit.

Russell Brand’s Arthur is still the lovable rich dude that we loved in the original…complete with his own set of mannerisms and oddities that still manage to win you over…but in a different way. He didn’t give you a carbon-copy of Dudley Moore. As a fan of the original, I know that I wouldn’t want to see that…and that’s not at all what he does. He adds a spontaneighty to his scenes…it was reminiscent of his screen-test for Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

3 other noticeably different changes from the original:

1) Hobson (Arthur’s Butler) went from being a dude played by John Gielgud…to a chick played by Helen Mirren. Embrace the change, people. Seriously. Gielgud might have worn an over-sized cowboy hat in the hospital scene…but Helen Mirren frickin’ wears a Darth Vader helmet. Epic.

2) Semi-Spoiler:

The character of Susan- Susan was a whiny pushover in the original…which is fine, but it practically forces her father to make an ass of himself by attacking Arthur with a knife in the end. The new Susan is a downright bitch. And it totally works. Because lets face it, we expect Nick Nolte to kick the shit out of Arthur in the remake…and he doesn’t have to. He just has to stand by and look threatening, and it works. Plus, he has a fantastically awkward moment lifting Brand onto a horse.

3) Bitterman (The driver) is in quite a few more scenes in the remake. And he is hilarious. The end.

Bottom-line. Go see the movie. Its funny. And instead of looking at it like, CRAP. They re-made something that was already good…

look at it this way. They remade a good story. They didn’t remake the movie. “Really rich guy risks losing his inheritance if he doesn’t marry a certain woman, when really he digs another chick.” They retold a good story in a modern way.

Plus, there are some ridiculously funny scenes.

Russell Brand goes to an auction and purchases the suit and hat that Lincoln wore to deliver the Gettysburg Address. So what does he do with it? Wears it of course. Wears it on the busy streets of NYC, then gets into trouble and the cops have to ask him for identification. Rather than pulling out a driver’s license, he pulls out…a penny. HYSTERICAL.

If you never saw the original, you’ll enjoy the movie. If you like Russell Brand, you’ll like the movie. The remake took the time to add its own flare. Its not an accurate remake of the original, and for that, I am grateful.

Here’s a little nugget that I was very grateful for…during the credits for the remake, they played, “Best that you can do”. AWESOME.

And if you haven’t seen it…go watch the original…its available on instant netflix.


sucker punch.

In Movie Reviews on March 25, 2011 at 9:09 pm

I got the opportunity to catch a screening of Sucker Punch before it hit theaters today…and here’s what I thought.

I went into the film knowing visually the movie would look pretty frickin’ cool. Yes, I was intoxicated when I saw 300 so I’m not sure how valid my opinion is, but I remember thinking, “Whoa. This shit looks awesome.”

Now, I loved 300 because it was oozing with half-naked men. Would I still enjoy Sucker Punch? 2 hours of zero eye candy?

It is very clear that Sucker Punch is targeted at the male audience. This is not the film for the tweens who are obsessed with Vanessa Hudgens. Even though this is a girl power film, its really not for lil girls who are looking for role-models to look up to. Primarily because of the obscene amount of violence….which was awesome.

Here’s how I describe Sucker Punch. If a 2 hour music video made love to a graphic novel and banged a video game on the side…you’d have Sucker Punch. The first 10 minutes of the film literally gave me chills. No dialogue mixed with the best soundtrack I’ve heard in awhile. If you’re a soundtrack nerd such as myself, see the movie at least for the music. Here’s a soundtrack sampling below…frickin’ amazing.

I might see the movie again…just for the music. Seriously.

Its the typical Cinderella story. Girl’s parents die. Girl is stuck with evil step-parent. Step-parent locks her up in her room (but this time her “room” is a mental institution). Evil-step parent will convince her that her dreams cannot become a reality…aka…homegirl is gonna get a lobotomy in 5 days. Girl is forced to scrub the floors of the institution, but she occasionally saves the day by threatening the chef so that her buddy doesn’t get raped. The girl dives into her imagination to escape the pain, and happens upon her own fairy god mother…an old dude who tells her she needs 5 objects to escape: A map. Fire. Knife. Key…and something else that she’s gotta figure out on her own because only her heart knows what it is. And in keeping with the cinderella theme, the god mother dude says cheesy things like, “If you can’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” But all in all, he’s awesome. Rather than singing to the birds, our homegirl BabyDoll has a talent for seductively dancing for the men. And the seductive dancing helps her escape into her imagination where awesome music plays and she blows up robots and an occasional dragon swoops in.

Not gonna lie. It’s a good story. There’s a lot at risk. There are, however, holes in the story. There are characters that aren’t truly developed. But all in all, the idea is fantastic. The way certain fantasies weave in and out are really cool…if you go into it wanting to be entertained…you will.

I adored Emily Browning (Babydoll). But I think I loved her hair and fake eyelashes even more. I had about 10 moments during the film where I wanted to walk out…to go to CVS and by me some fake lashes and look as bad-ass as her. Browning was great in the lead. Very little dialogue, but capable of telling the story through other means. I was indifferent to Hudgens….she’s grown a little bit since her days of High School Musical…but it seemed like she was trying to channel Mimi from her stint at the Hollywood Bowl, rather than the character itself. I was disappointed in Jena Malone. She’s a total bad-ass in every action scene, but as soon as she has to deliver a line it’s waaaay overdone. Things I’ve learned: Malone is great at crying on cue. Still love her though. She kicked ass in Saved.

But then again, this is not the movie that you see for the acting. The action scenes are fantastic. I wanted to sign-up for stunt woman school, buy some fish nets, cake on the eyeliner, and go to a shooting range. I mean seriously. They’re wearing heels in every scene. They’re frickin’ rockstars. I know this movie is aimed at men, but I loved it.

So how do I feel about Zach Snyder directing Superman: Man of Steel?

I think it’ll be cool. Its a great cast, and it’ll be a totally different look. Bring it on.

love.

In Movie Reviews on March 11, 2011 at 9:36 pm

Last night I got out of rehearsal…and the first thing I do is…go on facebook. I don’t think Zuckerberg had any idea just how powerful facebook would become, esp in times like this. So, special thanks to the facebook kid for making it possible for me to know that my friends in Japan are safe and sound. Sending all my love to my friends working on entertainment contracts in Japan. Love to all the friends from Japan who have shown so much care in visiting and keeping in touch over the years.

Last night I ended the day by watching Exit Through the Gift Shop. A phenomenal film. I was always that person who would hang out of my car on the freeway and snap photos of graffiti art. I remember taking a photo of a sign that I ran across in Hollywood awhile back…the sign read, “Life is Beautiful.” It was a photo I had taken by hanging out the passenger side of the car at a red light. I didn’t know the significance of the sign when I had taken the photo…I just thought it was a damn good message. Turns out, it was a publicity poster for one of the main artists in Exit Through the Gift Shop. I completely fell head over heels in love with the art of Banksy. I think his style coincides with the type of art I’ve been digging for awhile….back in college, we were asked to write a paper on the meaning of art. Ya…it was that type of paper. I remember walking through the college art gallery of safe art…and running across a broken down shopping cart full of trash….A shopping cart that was put on display. I argued that that was art. It pissed off most of the class. I remember thinking it was beautiful. And after watching that movie last night, and having that whole “Life is Beautiful” photo come full circle….all I have to say…is Banksy frickin’ rocks. See the beauty in everything. Love everything.