Elle

“So in the midst of all of this season’s Oscar speculation, Isabelle Huppert’s name kept popping up as a possible contender. Without knowing anything about the movie other than it was a French film and I’d never heard of this actress before, my initial reaction was that I kinda hoped she wouldn’t make the cut because I wasn’t too keen on tracking down this movie to watch it. Then I heard the premise and I was intrigued, hoping the movie would be in the race so that I would make a point to see it. Lo and behold, Huppert did get nominated for Best Actress, and I found a cute little indie theater in Santa Monica that was showing it.

I’m kinda at a loss to describe the plot. The usual quick summary I’ve seen is that it’s about a woman who tries to track down the assailant who raped her in her home. But that’s only one of the many messes she’s dealing with. And yet she’s the least victimized victim I’ve ever seen on screen. She is one tough as nails woman, fully capable of handling everything that is thrown at her. It’d be inspiring if she wasn’t quite as cold and austere.

What I loved (besides the simple fact that the subject matter was very dark) was that this character is so strong and complex, certainly the strongest of the nominees in that respect. I was in awe of her performance and impressed by the screenplay. The two worked together beautifully, and I’m glad that the awards recognition forced me to see this movie.

Elle – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/”

Gold

“Is it possible to write up a Matthew McConaughey movie without including the phrase “”Alright, alright, alright””? Oh oops. Maybe we’ll never know.

But since we already went there, let’s just say Gold wasn’t even alright (alright, alright). Here, Matthew (you really expect me to keep typing out that impossible to remember how to spell last name?) plays a prospector whose business is on its last legs. He puts everything he has into a last ditch effort in Indonesia, where he and his partner (Edgar Ramirez) hit the jackpot with one of the biggest gold finds in history. But in the words of Tolkien, “”all that is gold does not glitter””, and things go south pretty quick.

Sounds like it should be an interesting story, yeah? Then why was I so bored? It just felt like the story wasn’t moving at all. Nothing seemed to happen for a while between finding gold and everything going to hell. Time stopped moving.

The only reason to consider seeing it is Matthew’s performance. Def unlike anything we’ve seen him do before. Think Tom Cruise going Les Grossman without the comedic aspect. It’s not the suave Matthew who sells us Lincolns, it’s something new and you can see him having fun with it. I just didn’t think it was worth setting thru the whole movie for.

Gold – \m/ \m/”

Wall Street

“Now this is one of the great dramatic thrillers of the 80s, even going so far as to win an Academy Award for star Michael Douglas. Whenever I first watched it, I was riveted by the roller coaster ride of greed that it takes you on. It’s fascinating, and it makes you jealous of the lifestyle these wolves of wall street live.

Watching it today, in the context of our current economic state and so soon after the new administration took office, I almost couldn’t handle it. I felt my brain tuning out most of the film. The level of greed these characters exhibited sickened me, the way Gordon Gekko has no regard for the lives he may upend in order to take his excess millions. I’m thankful that (spoiler alert) he finds justice at the end, but that just enraged me more that so many of today’s modern day crooks and corporations just keep on chugging.

Oh and it’s also hard to find sympathy for Charlie Sheen’s character because he’s Charlie Sheen, and we all know where the actor ends up in his life. However, it is wonderful seeing him act opposite his father Martin Sheen, because he’s Martin Sheen, and we all know where the actor ends up in his life, and I think we’re all longing for a bit more President Bartlett in our lives right now.”

Stargate

“Gonna try and go back to regularly watching stuff off the movie wall. Remember how I was doing that back in Boston? I’d pretty much finished round 2 thru the DVD’s (picking one unblogged movie per cubby on the shelf), so it’s time to start the second round of the BluRays.

Stargate (the movie) was released well before I got into scifi, so obvs I missed it. And I never cared all that much to go back to it, until I got my first BluRay player and HD TV and the price was right. I have seen a random assortment of episodes of the tv show. I know my Daddy really liked it, but I don’t recall watching it with him. In college, one of my best friends on the hall often had the show on in the background, so I’d catch bits whenever I was hanging in his room. Later there was a guy I dated that really liked the show and made me watch a whole bunch. I never really got that into it.

The movie never really impressed me either. I think the biggest reason is that once we travel thru the Stargate, it’s not too scifi-ish for a while. I’ve seen this a couple times and it always loses me there. It almost feels more like Indiana Jones, if he lost his sense of adventure and just hung out with the ancient cultures he was studying. FWIW however, I do really like James Spader in this movie. What can I say, adorable nerds really do it for me.

While it wasn’t my thing, I am kinda glad that it did get expanded into a successful tv series with spinoffs. There was just so much potential in the premise, it seems a waste to only visit one place. But if we’re talking about tv shows where we travel to new dimensions, give me Sliders any day. Now that I could watch forever.”