Red

“Happy Halloween, all you lovely creatures of the night! Hope ya’ll had tons of fun during this spooktacular weekend. I know I did. Last night’s party was leaning towards epic. And of course, in keeping with recent trends, my costume was movie themed. Yep, I was a Ghostbuster this time, with the cats as my ghosts. Fun for the whole family!!

Okay I got distracted looking at signs from the rallies this weekend

I dont know how I got so behind in seeing Red. I know part of it was since I realized I was gonna be behind, I held off so I could use my freebie.

Crap, the cats are yowling for dinner. Quick break.

Back now. Not that you actually woulda noticed that I left.

Right, so I somehow fell behind in watching this one. I feel there was some reason I was apprehensive about it, but I cant for the life of me figure out why. I know today when I was there, I was worried about falling asleep since it’d been a crazy weekend and I’d been trying to finish up the leftover pumpkin beer before the movie. (Alcohol puts me to sleep unless I have a buddy to keep me hyper). But as it turns out, I absolutely loved the film. It was very much a Dawn movie.

I do rather love action comedies. I was actually having a discussion with someone a few weeks ago about whether or not multi-genre movies can work, and I do believe that action comedies can be brilliant if they find the right balance. Red pretty much had it. I feel it could have upped the action just a smidge besides what was in the climax, but Im not complaining. And the comedy was definitely there, without being forced.

The main driving factor of the film was the characters. I loved each and every one of them, and they were all cast so perfectly. I dont even know where to begin with them. John Malkovich stole every one of his scenes with his wonderfully witty words. Helen Mirren was one of the most absolute bad ass women I have ever seen on screen, while at the same time maintaining a high level of girlyness. Morgan Freeman, well was your typical Morgan Freeman character, but that didnt make me like him any less. Its wonderful watching Bruce Willis continue to kick ass just as hard as he did waaaaay back in the day. That shootout where he jumps outta the spinning cop car definitely wins for the most bad ass (yes, I’ll likely keep using that phrase throughout the write up) moment. And then there’s Mary Louise Parker. I’ve adored her for years, ever since watching The Client. Her work on Weeds has brought a whole other side to her acting, and while her Red character was very Nancy Botwin-esque, it worked beautifully. The film dragged a bit when she wasn’t around. Also, I couldnt get over the chemistry she had with Willis. Not a movie couple I woulda ever thought of, but there was some crazy voodoo magic in it.

I feel if I stop here, I haven’t really said much, but I do believe I’ve gotten my point across. And there’s just enough time left in this All Hallow’s Eve to watch my usual festive flick of choice – Frailty. Why that’s my pick every Halloween, Im honestly not that sure. Im just drawn to it.

Red – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

Conviction

“So far so good for sticking to the movie schedule. Back a few months ago, I earned a “”night at the movies”” coupon for AMC and somehow managed to get a free movie back then plus a set of certificates for freebies. The expiration date isnt until this coming January, so I’ve been kinda sitting on it for a while. Its annoying the whole having to wait until the second week to use a coupon, and I didnt wanna sit thru a movie at the Common that I coulda seen at the Fenway. Opportunity finally presented itself with Conviction, although I held onto the popcorn and soda coupons.

Reason for watching this: I heart Sam Rockwell. So much that I stalked him in NYC this past May. Yeah, that was kinda awesome. Main reason I heart him is because of his role in Choke, but the man can act, and he hasn’t betrayed my trust when it comes to his choice of movies. Therefore, I continue to follow him blindly. And yes, he delivered as expected in this film, even if something was kinda off about his aging.

I know this is all b-ass-ackwards from how I usually do my write ups, but I guess I’ll continue on the cast before I even get into a general overview. Mixing it up, y’know? I have mixed feelings on Hilary Swank. For some reason, the idea of her annoys me. But then I watch her performances and she’s fantastic. I think I just have it in my head that she’s overrated, what with the whole 2 for 2 streak at the Academy Awards and the inevitable buzz she gets for every new role she takes. But the truth of the matter is, she isnt actually overrated. She’s good. Conviction was no exception. She even had a tolerable Boston accent!

Continuing with the cast, actually loved Minnie Driver. She typically annoys me (especially for her part in that other Boston-area-set movie of hers) but I daresay she redeemed herself with this one. Tough as a nails with a heart. Pleasant surprise to see Bailee Madison, even if this role wasn’t nearly as meaty as what she had in Brothers. Juliet Lewis was also fantastic in a role where you both hated her because her character was not a nice person, but loved her for the quirks of her performance. The other pleasant surprise was Clea Duvall. Been a fan of hers since The Faculty, mostly because I could really related to her character Stokely (except for the whole “”we’re gonna prove she’s assimilated”” happy ending thing with her wearing lilac *gag*). Weird seeing her with long hair in the 80’s scenes.

Okay, so now that I’ve broken down the cast, what did I think about the film itself? I really liked it. I’ve said that a good sign of the enjoyability of a film is how long it takes me to check my watch for the first time. We made it over an hour. That’s rare. It really was such a compelling story, even if I knew how it was ultimately gonna play out. There was a bit of a drag about 2/3 of the way thru, but not significant enough to make me think any less of the film.

What really struck me was the relationship between the two main characters, in particular in the childhood flashback scenes. It really made me wish that I had a brother growing up, to the point where the scenes actually were getting a bit emotional for me. Yeah, being an only child kinda sucks sometimes.

Sooooo yeah, I kinda wonder if we’ll see this one hang around a bit during Oscar season, but the fact that it was released so early doesnt bode well. Its definitely over the top Oscar bait, but good nonetheless

Conviction – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

Hereafter

Moving on. Quick break for a froyo from Ufood, a tv dinner, and an episode of Vampire Diaries, then went to Hereafter.

I had some reservations about going. Stone had been such a disappointment, and I was kinda falling asleep. I was sorta in that mood where it felt like an obligation to go to the movie, as opposed to something I wanted to do. Had I not paid for the ticket already when I bought the earlier one, I just mighta bailed. And then I walk into the theather and most of the crowd is geriatric (hence the reason I managed a less than stellar seat even though I walked in nearly 15 min early). Then it filled up with more people, and the lady next to me was annoying and couldnt shut up. But it all proved to be well worth it, because I thoroughly enjoyed the film.

I’d read a review in EW that gave just a lil too much away, so I kinda knew where things were headed. I’ll try not to do the same to you. I will say there were three storylines: Matt Damon as a reluctant medium, a French chick who comes back from being dead momentarily, and a boy who loses someone close to him. Frankly, I didnt quite care about the French lady’s story, but I found the other two utterly compelling. It was definitely heavy subject matter, so not the movie to pick if you want something feel good. And all of the talk of death and pain got me really missing my Daddy, then again anything I’ve seen in the past 7 months that remotely broaches that subject gets me thinking like that. I loved and sympathized with the characters and was just totally captivated by them.

Im trying to think of more specifics to write on it, but Im blanking. Guess that’s what I get for trying to do two write ups at once when really all I wanna do is get back to The Vampire Diaries (Damon Salvatore is my new vampire obession…we all saw that coming). Jumping back for a moment, I will say that given Clint Eastwood’s track record (he directed Herafter, btw, if you weren’t in the know) we’ll prolly hear this one’s name tossed around come Oscar season, so if such things interest you, get thee to the theater.

Hereafter – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

Stone

“As I tweeted yesterday, the movie watching plan for this week is: Stone, Hereafter, Conviction, and Red. I think I went thru about a dozen different possible schedules before settling on the most time and cost efficient one. Luckily, Stone got added to the Fenway this week, so today I double featered that with Hereafter. That way I have tomorrow open for Halloween shopping with my BFF. And today’s tickets earned me a freebie I can use for Red during the week, plus the AMC freebie I’ve been sitting on which can go towards Conviction. w00t.

I realized I never really do double features at the Fenway, which strikes me as kinda odd. You’d think with all those days I end up with nothing to do, I’d fill them by going back and forth the whole two blocks to the theater. But I guess it tends to make more sense to me to double up when I hafta go outta my way a bit. The only time I actually remember doubling at the Fenway was before I lived over here. I think it was Crank and The Illusionist, and it was my last summer movie trip of that year.

Anyhoo, so Stone started things off today. Yay Edward Norton! So happy this one actually made it to the theater. His previous one, Leaves of Grass, didnt expand wide enough before the DVD release. But you should check out the DVD because it was quite good. Had a done a write up on it, it woulda earned 4 rock hands. I digress. Stone, unfortunately, not so great.

I’ll be honest. The trailer didnt particularly sell me. The only reason I went was because of Norton. Robert DeNiro was bonus points, but his movie choice of late hasn’t been so hot *cough*cough*Everybody’sFine*cough* And it seems the majority of Boston had the good sense to stay away. There were 6 of us in the theater–prolly the smallest crowd I’ve ever seen at a weekend show, even if it was just a matinee.

The movie just didnt go anywhere. The structure was bad, pacing poor, story boring. The opening scene just lost me, I still dont quite understand its significance, and it just kept fallign from there. There were feeble attempts at character development that made no sense. I couldnt understand anyone’s motives, or even what they were actually doing for that matter.

The cast was good, but the movie was just so beneath them. DeNiro is capable of soooo much better, no wonder he just phoned it in. I can see why Norton took the role. It is very different from what he’s done before (arguably there’s a fair amount of his American History X role, but not quite the same). And while the cornrows and accent/slang thing were a bit distracting, he did pull it off. It just seems like such a waste. Surprisingly, I did love Milla Jovovich. Her character was the type that shoulda annoyed me, but she had me under the same spell as her leading men. Makes me wonder what she coulda done with a more superior film.

Stone – \m/ \n

Howl

“For me, going to the movies is such a frequent occurance, that I dont tend to put much thought into it. A lotta people need to see a trailer multiple times, get feedback and reviews, and then make an informed decision about what to watch. While all of that can influence me, its not unheard of for me to go see something based on the tiniest bit of information. A few weeks ago, that was Never Let Me Go. Today, it was Howl. My knowledge of the film was it starred James Franco, and had something to do with a poem called Howl. Id YouTube-d the trailer once, but didnt actually pay attention. Really, they had me at James Franco. I love and adore that boy, and have enough respect for him as an actor that I trust his choice of films. In this case, I feel a lil more research would have been beneficial since I prolly wouldnt have put such a high priority on it.

Im not saying it was bad. It was rather good. Im just saying it wasn’t for me. The fact that it was centered around a poem shoulda tipped me off. I have never had the attention span for poetry. There may be the occasional poem here and there that I can get thru, but usually my brain shuts off after the first line. I can’t explain it. A good chunk of the movie was just the poem. You’d see Franco reading it, then there’d be some animated sequences with his voiceover reading it, then it’d be read during the courtroom scenes. I really tried to focus, but its like I have a special brand of ADD. My mind was all over the place except that poem.

The other thing that didnt work for me was that it was documentary style. Again, that’s just personal preference. I like narratives, to be told a story. This style wasn’t quite that. It jumped around between Allen Ginsberg’s life story (right, I haven’t said so yet, but that’s who Franco was playing), the poem, and the courtroom hearings over whether or not his material was obscene. The courtroom stuff did hook me. The biographical stuff got me when it was acted out, not during the interview-y bits.

Speaking of the courtroom, a big part of why I did enjoy those scenes was the wonderful and dashing Jon Hamm. Yes, he was very much Lawyer Don Draper, but that doesnt mean it didnt work!

Anyways, between chatting with one friend on facebook, texting with another, and talking to the roommate, this blog entry just aint going any further. My recommendation on the movie is that if you’re a fan of Allen Ginsberg, in particular with his poem Howl, then yes go and see this. Otherwise, its not really worth it.

Howl – \m/ \m/

Jackass 3D

“There is something I am not ashamed to admit: I \m/ LOVE JACKASS! I dont care if you think less of me because of it.

Friday at work, Im talking to a buddy of mine who’s asking what movies I plan to hit up this weekend. I run down the possible plans pointing out that Jackass 3D was my priority. His response depicts disdain. At which point, the other person who sits at our pod jumps into the convo and says he’s looking forward to the flick and starts asking if I know what mode of 3D the film was done in. Coworker number one tries to talk down to both of us, but realizes he may soon be outnumbered. Coworker 3 at the next table overhears and adds something along the lines of “”Dawn, you’re seeing Jackass this weekend? Me too! Im so excited for it””. Game over. I win.

There isnt really much I can about the film. You prolly already have an opinion of the franchise, and you either love it or you hate it. This was more of the same. Personally, I find these boys hi-\m/-larious. I cant think of a recent comedy that had me laughing as consistently throughout as this one did. Whenever I watch Jackass, I can’t help but wish oh so bad that I could hang out with those boys. That might be largely due to the fact that I have a HUGE crush on Bam…and Steve-O…and Knoxville…but mostly Bam. But besides that, I just love watching ’em have fun, and you really feel like you’re right there with them.

Oh and about the 3D thing, it totally worked. Mostly just because the image quality was much higher def than usual. Im not such the 3D snob that I was back in the beginninog of the trend , but I will say that it’s worthwhile. For one, its just such a creative use of the technology. What I liked more than the 3D-ness, actually, was the uber slo-mo stuff. Whatever camera they used for all of that was very top of the line, and those shots were fantastic.

Anyhoo, if you love Jackass, go check this out. And be sure to check it out soon! The big, enthusiastic crowd was a definite plus

PS- Skip the popcorn or snacks in general

Yes, Im actually giving it this rating
Jackass 3D – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

The Kids Are All Right

“This film eluded me all summer. It was the only indie I was really interested in, but JCS kept me from getting out to the theater. I’d pretty much accepted the fact that it was gonna hafta wait fo the DVD. I’d actually intended to go see Howl today, but then I figured if today’s movie watching was gonna involve a bit of a trek, why not go all out and head over to the Kendall for this one. As a bonus, I got to have dinner at CBC which meant A) I got that burger that I’ve been jonesing for all week and 2) a pint of their pumpkin ale which is my absolute fave beer. And it also worked out cause I could use one of my Weekly Cinema tickets (its this really cool deal where you pay a certain amount a month, then get X amount of movie tickets for that month. They work out to about 5-6 bucks a piece. Lemme know if you want more info, cause I think I get a referral bonus). Howl’s at Coolidge Corner which wouldnt work for that.

Sadly, I think this one suffered a little bit from over-hype, or at least overanticipation on my part. I know I know, I always \m/ do this to myself. I get sooooo excited about a film that’s supposed to be soooooooo amazing, and if its anything less I get grumpy. It was good. Really good. But something felt off. I think I expected it to be different, but Im not entirely sure what it was I expected. I still cant quite figure that out.

Two things drew me to this movie. One was the Oscar buzz earning cast. More on them later. The other was just the premise itself, for many reasons. The idea of the “”modern family”” is very interesting to me. I come from a very traditional family, and that is something I very much want for myself, but I do realize that doesnt have to be the only kind of family out there. Also, Im very much a hag. I have a collection of gay boys whom I love and adore, and I wouldn’t hesitate to kill for them. Therefore, Im often drawn to gay characters (Case in point, Kurt is my fave Glee kid. No question). Seriously, I get kinda annoyed with your typical rom-com hetero storyline, but give me a homo storyline and Im jumping up and down squealing (first example that comes to mind is Will & Grace when Taye Diggs guest starred as a love interest for Will).

So yes, the story was unique and compelling, and was flawlessly acted. Walking out of there, I absolutely adored Julianne Moore. From early on in the film, I was thinking that I would totally love to have her as my mom. But then in discussing with my roomie on the walk to CBC, I realized just how nuanced Annette Bening’s performance was. It must have been really difficult to maintain just enough of a sympathetic edge, rather than becoming a totally hated character at times. Definitely will be seeing those wonderful women wandering ’round during awards season. Mark Ruffalo was also quite impressive. I think he’s just been waiting for meatier and meatier roles, and this is certainly a step in the right direction for him.

Getting sleepy now. Go see this movie if you wanna get a jump on Oscar season

The Kids Are All Right – \m/ \m/ \m/

Buried

“Aw man, the whole walk home from the Common I was thinkin’ thru everything I wanted to say ’bout this one. Then I got distracted when I got here. Now Im thinking about fishsticks. Gonna try to keep focused and actually do a decent write up.

First off, before we get into Buried, worth noting that I saw The Town again last night. Equally good as the previous viewing, especially since this time I wasn’t getting stuck on the whole hey-thats-right-down-the-street-from-me thing and could actually pay attention to the \m/ movie.

I had some concerns going into Buried. For one, I was in a bit of a funk all day, and was very much distracted on the walk over. That means the movie’s gonna hafta work extra hard to keep my attention. Nextly, there was the concept itself to be concerned about. The thought of the entire movie taking place in a box underground could either be brilliant or godawful.

Verdict? Brilliant! Im not even sure where to start. Guess the beginning. I was hooked from the opening credits. We’ve established that clever opening credits are something Im very much a sucker for. Between the music and the animation, it reminded me of the sinister aspect of the Lemony Snicket’s credits. Yeah, random, I know. Then from the first moments of Ryan Reynolds in the coffin, claustrophobia set in quickly. They wasted no time in establishing that.

In general, I was very impressed with the direction. The shots were beautiful in a sense and very interesting. The emotion was there on screen, and elicited from the audience. The concept actually worked incredibly well. I dont think there’s a better way to put that. It seems as though it accomplished exactly what they set out to do.

So yes, very very emotional movie. I hate the cliche “”emotional rollercoaster”” but this was a perfect example of that. There were scenes that almost choked me up, little bits of laughter here and there, utter digust and anger, suspense, just everything. The disgust and angry inducing bit came outta nowhere for me. Major points for any movie who can blind side me, given that I’ve seen just about everything that can be done on screen. The last few minutes of the film (dont worry, I wont spoil) were absolutely intense. I was sitting at the edge of my seat with my hand over my mouth and my eyes wide. When it was over, I had to sit there for a few minutes to process and let it sink in.

My biggest complaint really isnt reflective of the film itself, more just something that bothers me. As much as I enjoy (or at the very least am more than okay with) going to the movies alone, it really sucks when there’s a snake on screen and I dont have anyone to tell me when its okay to look up again. My usual position is hands in front of my face, head turned away and down a bit, eyes shut as tight as possible. When its just me, I hafta keep peeking to see if its okay again, and its usually not.

I think the only thing I got left to talk about is Mr Reynolds. Damn, I love that guy. You know, there are many far worse people you could choose to be essentially the only actor (voices and video clips dont count) for an entire film. So no complaints there! What I loved is that despite how desperate his situation was, they still managed to work in some of his signature charm/snark combo. But yes, he was def quite good in this one, thankfully because there woulda been no way to work around a bad actor this time.

Okay…fishsticks!!

Buried – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

“This is one of those, I-really-wanna-just-crawl-into-bed-so-this-is-gonna-be-short write ups. Sorry, but two hours running time after waaaay too many trailers, most of which I’d seen, only one of which interested me (The Fighter), means that Im sitting down to write this far later than I’d expected.

Points in its favor: compelling characters, capital cast. Points against: slow paced, heavy on the plot details early on.

At times, it felt like there really wasnt much story, and I was tempted to leave and find out the DWTS results (not that I actually would have left), but the characters pulled me back. It just took so freakin’ long to get anywhere. It built to a pretty satisfying climax, but then the resolution dragged on and on. Almost felt like the last LOTR. You think its done, then there’s another ending and another, and next thing you know you’ve had your jacket on for 30 min just waiting to leave the theater.

I also want to take a moment to say that Shia LaBeouf is a better actor that most give him credit for. Yes, he has films like Transformers in his past, but he is capable of more than that. This was a good chance for him to stretch a bit more. And we all know I love Carey Mulligan and Michael Douglass is the man. Dont think I need to say more ’bout them.

And Im sleepy now

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps – \m/ \m/ \n

The Social Network

“First off, let me just say that I refused to refer to The Social Network as “”The Facebook Movie””. I dont know why that phrase really irks me.

Secondly, kinda surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Yeah, it was getting a lotta positive buzz, but I still held on to some skepticism going in. But the opening scene won me over like whoa with its quick, smart, witty dialogue. Ya’ll know by now, dialogue is key to winning me over with a film, and this movie totally rocked in that area. I know, not the most articulate profession of love for the spoken word, but hey I mean every syllable.

Cast was good as well. First fell in love with Jesse Eisenberg in Zombieland (Adventureland didnt quite do it for me) because he was such an adorable geek. This time, he was a geek with some edge or at least more backbone than before. Either way, it looks good on him. I’d only two days ago when the latest EW came in realized Andrew Garfield was in this, so that also made me happy. I’ve only seen him in a few flicks so far, but he’s quickly working his way up my list of faves. Points also for Justin Timberlake. I know your first instinct is prolly not to take him seriously, but he’s actually a fairly decent actor. Totally stole the first few scenes he was in, or actually most of ’em.

The plot was very interesting. I’ve got a lot of distractions going on right now that would made it incredibly easy for me to space out during the film, but that hardly happened at all (hey, its gonna happen at least a lil bit no matter what). Kinda makes you wonder how much was really real vs dramatized vs complete bullshit, although Im sure the real story really wasnt gonna be as exciting. It did take a little bit to figure out how all the lawyer meetings fit together, but once you got past that, it worked quite well. Yeah Im not describing that well, but if you’ve seen it you know what Im talking about.

I feel like there should be more for me to write, but my tummy’s rumbling and there’s some guacamole waiting for me in the fridge…

The Social Network – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/