Faster

“Greetings from deep in the heart of Texas. Actually we’re a bit further down south than the heart. Im not gonna actually say what that’s likely to make us. Let’s just go with appendix, shall we?

Aaaand I got distracted (as always). This time by my favorite Gleek.

Right so Im stranded down here in Texas, and I actually had most of the day to myself since my mom had to take care of some stuff with her brother. Since I get wicked cabin fever, I opted to spend the evening at the movies instead of marathoning 30 Rock as I’ve been spending most of the rest of my time. The options were pretty \m/ slim. When you omit everything I’d already seen, I was pretty much left with 3 options: Faster, Burlesque (which would make me sad cause Im waiting to see it with my BFF), or Skyline (which would be even sadder, for other reasons all to do with the movie itself). So Faster it was.

I feel I made a good choice. Nothing ‘specially stellar about it, but good mindless action movie, capable of providing enough adrenaline to satisfy this action junkie. However, for a movie called “”Faster”” it started off a lil slow going. Yes I know, Im complaining about pacing yet again, sort of. It was fine, just didnt fit the title. Unless it was meant to mean that you wanted it to go faster? But I kinda doubt that.

What I found to be ambitious was that there were three interwoven lines to the story, with decent character development (slightly moreso than your typical shoot ’em up action flick). You had Driver (Dwayne Johnson), our antihero kickin’ ass and takin’ names and serving revenge cold. Then there was Cop (Billy Bob Thorton) who was tracking him down while battling his own demons. And Killer (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) the hitman after Driver torn between the two loves of his life: his work and his girl. I felt that the movie did to a pretty good job of balancing those three, without half-assing the story, yet not sacrificing action for character development.

Also, Im very happy to see The Rock back in this type of flick after his whole family film fare (cue yet another distraction as I frantically check thesaurus.com for a synonym for digression that starts with f) fork. While I appreciate when an actor takes a break from their usual work to do a movie for their kids, Johnson detoured for how many?! But all is now well with the world. Billy Bob Thorton was a bit typecast as the down on his luck messed up type, but he does it so well. The typecast statement was not a complaint, just a statement of fact.

Nothing too innovative on the action front. One really cool chase scene. And I absolutely loved the first face to face between Johnson and Thorton. I wont spoil, but the visual was gorgeous. The rest was mostly your typical shoot out stuff. Entertaining of course, but not particularly special.

Overall, I enjoyed it. Def feel like I made the right choice for the evening. But its not worth rushing out to the theater for, unless you find yourself in a similar entertainment predicament like I did earlier this evening.

Faster -\m/ \m/ \m/

Love and Other Drogs

“The plan for this long weekend was gonna be a movie every day. I only manged 2 outta 4. I was supposta go see Burlesque on Fri with my BFF, but he was having some issues with his contacts and we figured movies are better when you can actually, y’know, see them. Then since Sat was a possibility I kept that open too. But today I managed to get myself to the Regal Fenway for Love and Other Drugs. Those of you who have a decent sense of the kinda movies I like are prolly looking at that statement (or the title on this entry) and going “”Jigga wha?””. Yeah. I dont do romantic films. But you know what films I will do? Those with Jake Gyllenhaal. I love love love that boy. Have ever since Donnie Darko. I also adore Anne Hathaway. After Meryl Streep, she’s my fave. And I got somewhat of a girl crush on her (Anne, not Meryl). So while the idea of a romantic film doesnt exactly get me excited, the concept of a film where half of the screen time is Jake and Anne getting it on, does. Very much so.

Admittedly, it did still take some convincing for me to go. But EW had a great article interviewing the two of them that was just oozing with playful chemistry. The movie promised much more of the same.

I was actually pleasantly surprised by the film. This is the sorta situation where the characters will make or break the entire thing, and these characters were fantastic. Jake was charming, confident, suave, and smooth. Anne was quick witted, quirky, sharp tongued, and bad ass. I definitely walked in there with a few potential distractions on my mind if I got bored, and I never had to restort to them.

I most certainly wouldnt be able to handle too many of these types of flicks (and dont understand how anyone can) but if this was gonna be the one chick flick I see this year (usually one maybe two) I certainly did pick a good one.

Love and Other Drugs – \m/ \m/ \m/

Tangled

“Happy Turkey Day, yall! This year is pretty low key for me. I’ve just kinda thrown together a ghetto dinner of various instant or no hassel Thanksgiving faves. My real fun is gonna be tomorrow when I drag my BFF around town before sunrise for my favorite shopping day of the year. But there is one Turkey Day tradition for me that I try to keep when possible: a movie matinee in pajamas. This year, the flick was Tangled.

I \m/ loved it. That was Disney magic at its finest. From the first few minutes of backstory, narrated by the wonderful Zachary Levi (more on him later!) I felt like I was five years old again, under the usual spell of that magical house of mouse. My first impressions when I’d heard there was a Rapunzel movie in the works were 1) yeah duh, she’s one of the few major fairy tale princesses to be Disney-fied B) how exactly are they gonna expand out the story? Then there was all the talk flying around about how they were gonna try making this one a bit more boy friendly. Not entirely sure how well they succeeded in that (still felt like a princess movie to me, not complaining though) but overall they pulled the whole thing off beautifully.

Not sure where to start. Partly because I cracked open the growler of pumpkin ale I’ve had sitting around since BYOP and its starting to go to my head. Yum. Characters. That’s a good place. Chick first. I love that lately the princesses have been a bit more kick ass than they were back in the day. Rapunzel had a great balance of tough cookie and delicate flower. And I thought Mandy Moore did a great job with her. I hadnt been too sure about that casting decision when I first heard about, but it all made sense to me the moment she first opened her mouth to sing. She just brought such a sweet innocense to the role that was perfect.

Speaking of perfection…Zachary Levi as Flynn Ryder. Loved. Him. Great combo of confidence, flair, and playfulness. Definitely one of those instances where you could hear how much fun he was having, and it adds such a wonderful dynamic to the film. Also, prolly the hottest animated Disney prince type after Aladdin and Prince Eric. Especially loved that they nailed Levi’s eyes. Had to keep reminding myself that Flynn was just a cartoon, and strangely felt like I was cheating on Aladdin.

Before this conversation goes into really weird territory, lets stick with talking about the animation. It was absolutely gorgeous. I remember a few years back what a breakthrough it was when Monsters Inc was the first to crack the formula for animating hair, and now we’ve got a CGI movie where someone’s hair is essentially another character in and of itself. Besides that, the colors were just so lively and vibrant and the picture such gorgeous quality. Really looking forward to bringing it home on my Blu-Ray. The latern thing in particular was amazing, both from a storytelling P.O.V and visually.

The music wasn’t as strong as some other Disney classics, but given that I wasn’t even expecting any I’ll still put that in the win column. The bad guys’ song alone makes it all worthwhile.

Overall, such fun. Its exactly the type of movie I love to see on Turkey Day. Funny how I usually end up seeing a kiddie movie (Enchanted back in ’07) or an action movie (Casino Royale the year before that). There’s a lot of debate right now over which film is gonna get the third spot in the Academy Award nods for animated feature this time around (Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon should be locks for the first 2). I’d just like to take this moment to throw my support behind Tangled. I’d certainly rank it above its other competition (Despicable Me, Megamind)

Tangled – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows Part 1

“Bit delayed on this. I actually went to the midnight show at the IMAX on Thur, but wasn’t gonna stay up for an extra howeverlong to write this afterwards. And then yesterday I went to see my theater groups production of Guys and Dolls, so my evening was consumed with that and its related festivities.

Its kinda tough to do a write up on this because its \m/ Harry Potter. At this point, we all (or at least those of us with the mildest interest in HP) know the look and feel of the films. We know the cast, likely know the plot, and know in the most basic sense what to expect. This was just another installment.

But no, Im not as blase about it as that previous paragraph came out. I was quite giddy and excitable over it. Hello, I went to the midnight at the IMAX. That requires advance planning. And I wore my short with Neville Longbottom that says “”My Hero””. Really the twins are my favorites (and I loved every last second of their screentime) but Neville is right behind (with his 30 seconds time time around…cant wait for his big battle scene in the next half). The place was full of excitement. Hell, we got into the auditorium nearly 45 min early and all that were left were seats in the front row. Thankfully, those are actually pretty decent. I somehow manage to end up in those spots quite often. Audience reaction was great, even if I had some really annoying fangirls behind me. Definitely intend on obessively checking the Jordan’s website for tix to the next midnight.

Enough jabbering about all the circumstantials (is that spelled right?) around the movie. What about the flick itself? I enjoyed it, but my one gripe (that’s not quite the right word, since I knew this was gonna happen and there really would be no way around it) was that it was all build with no conclusions. I accept that’s just the nature of it having been a part 1, and Im thankful it wont be too long until the next half, but this one just got me hungrier for more. Seriously, it was 2 and a half hours long and when the credits rolled, I felt like I coulda stayed for another 2 and a half hours–despite the fact that it was nearly three in the morning at this point.

Im trying to think of more specific things to talk about, but like I said before its a Harry \m/ Potter movie. What is there to say? It was magical fun, with a great cast we’ve (or least I know I’ve) loved for years. I’ll likely end up seeing it again, if only to check out the RPX screen at the Fenway. Although Turkey Day does promise an influx of movies that I’ll need to see.

I really wanna give it 4 rock hands, but I just can’t since it feels incomplete.
Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows Part 1 – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n

127 Hours

“I attempted to get all of my pressing distractions outta the way before sitting down for this write up: I went to the grocery store, ate dinner, finished the movie I’d started before I’d left (Yes Man). And still I’ve been sitting here 20 min before even putting a single word on the page. I really gotta work on that. I mean, seriously, right now Im drawing on my wrist, planning out future ink. For the record, I’ve been wanting to get “”A revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having”” somewhere, and since spying Ryan Reynolds’ wrist ink in Buried I’ve been toying with that thought. Okay, not helping matters, moving on.

I’d been dying to see this one. I am a big fan of Danny Boyle. Slumdog Millionare was one of the sweetest and most fun movies ever (and without thinking too hard about it, likely one of my top 5 “”best pictures””). Sunshine is at the top of my list for sci-fi disaster flicks. Much better done than anything that came outta that wave of ’em in the mid 90’s, even if I predicted every last play. And of course, as we discussed with Howl, I will see James Franco in just about anything, no questions asked. If nothing else, it’d be 90 minutes of his pretty. I was actually just Facebook chatting with my BFF (yet another procrastination source) and just from telling him that it was 90 minutes of Franco, he vowed to go see it with his mom. I gave him a heads up about the fainting reports with the gore. “”The wha?”” “”You do know what this movie is about, yeah?”” “”No, all I know is James Franco for 90 minutes”” Guess Im not the only one 😀

And now I have a purring kitty climbing on me, kneading my stomach. Ahhh distractions! Must. Keep. Writing!

This is one of those rare flicks where to some extent, I feel that it helps to know what’s going to happen. We all know that he gets his arm stuck in a rock, and Im pretty sure just about everyone in the theater knew that (spoiler alert) he cuts his arm off at the end. So when he wanders off on his own, feeling all the rocks around him, I was holding my breath until the mishap happened. I also feel that if I hadn’t known where it was all going, I might not have been so invested, or the stakes wouldnt have seemed to high.

As expected and hoped, Danny Boyle really does get major points for this undertaking. Im gonna try not to compare it too much to Buried, but its kinda hard not to since that was this year’s other take-a-hot-actor-and-shoot-an-entire-movie-of-just-him-in-a-small-space movie. The magic formula to make this type of film is really difficult. It could all go so wrong so easily. But Boyle was able to find that balance, and it was different than Buried (not that they really woulda had the opportunity to steal from each other since they were done around the same time). Buried had a heightened suspense and everything was in that box. 127 Hours was a little more drawn out (it was a longer time period) and had lots of flashbacks and hallucinations. With Buried, you didnt know how it was gonna be resolved. 127 Hours, you knew the end, but you didnt know the mental journey he’d take. Okay enough comparison.

So back to Boyle, any promo for this movie that had his name also had a Slumdog Millionaire stamp next to it. And while I totally understand why (hello Oscar success much?), this had a much more Trainspotting vibe. Yes, the subject matter was _very_ different but the surrealism was there. Or at least from what I remember of Transpotting. Its been a while since I’ve seen it. I actually swung by Best Buy on the way home since I had a coupon that expired today, and was hoping to use it on that flick, but they didnt have it. I’ve got it on VHS, so I’d planned to upgrade it, and thus get an excuse to watch it since I try to avoid watching non-queue movies when Im backed up. I ended up with Charlie’s Angels (justifiable because Im trying to build my Sam Rockwell collection) and Dead Snow (Nazi zombies!). Aaaaaand Im going off track yet again.

James Franco does not disappoint. I adored his character–geeky, goofy, awkward yet confident, sweet and charming yet selfish. He definitely had the heart required to carry the film, and did so quite gracefully. I skimmed thru this week’s EW, and it had some of its really early Academy Award predictions (my cue to start the yearly awards obsession). It had Franco listed as a frontrunner for a nod (though Colin Firth is the frontrunner for the win, very much deserved) and he’s not the only one of my absolute faves in line for their first nod. Christian Bale has a really good shot, and Sam Rockwell has a smaller but still possible chance. But I wont go into that quite yet, we’re just talkign about 127 Hours which actually showed up on a lot of the lists in that article. Still a little early to say how much I support it in each of the categories it was mentioned, but I have no reason to complain about it at this juncture.

Oh, just a quick word about the (spoiler!) amputation scene. There were reports of people fainting during it. I say they were just wusses. True, I do worship Quentin Tarantino and follow Eli Roth on Twitter so you can say Im a bit desensitized to such things, but I think it was more hype than anything else. You want a really cringe inducing tale? Read Chuck Palahniuk’s short story Guts. Although I will say it was cool hearing audience reactions to that big scene and the few teases leading up to it. However, I think it woulda been a much more surreal experience to see this in an empty auditorium. Im seriously tempted to go to a late show in a couple weeks and see it under those conditions.

127 Hours – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

Megamind

“Damn Im procrastinating this thing like whoa. Every time I click on the tab for this write up, I think of somethere else out there on the internets that I should look up first. And really all I wanna do is get thru this and back to Castle S2. But its tough to concentrate on a write up when singing along with N Sync, one of my many current distractions. And now Im YouTube-ing Sesame Street. now if I can only work the word cling into my post. Done. Arachnid might be tougher. Oh. Done. Moving on, I swear.

Right Megamind. That’s what we’re here to talk about, so we can all get on with our Saturday nights. The short version is that I have very mixed feelings about it. The dialogue and characters were great, but I was somehow bored thru a lot of it.

Started off great. And then the plot shifted in a way I wasn’t expecting. I can’t figure whether it can be blamed on poor marketing, or if the trailer really was the best they could do to prevent spoilage. I’ll stick with my trademark cryptic-ness for that same reason, but I was basically expecting Doctor Horrible’s without the singing and maybe without the love story. Strangely the love story was there, but the other plot and character development went down a waaaaay different path. Maybe the problem was that once the shift happened, it took too long to build that up and run with the story. By the time it did, I didnt care. Cryptic enough for you?

And now Im singing along with Sum 41. Jeez, ADD blogger.

I do need to give Will Ferrell points for brilliance. Little things like pronunciation and delivery of lines (which knowing him must have been improved) was just spot on. We all know he can be hit or miss, and in general I tend to prefer him in bit parts (Elf being the exception. Love that one). So this was kinda like a bit part, or at least put some limits on him, which tends to yield positive results. Am I even making any sense? Oh and I’ll never ever have anything bad to say about Tina Fey ever. Can I be her? Please?

Yeah so as I mentioned, it dragged. I was downright bored at times. But the dialogue kept me laughing. I know I’ve discussed this before, but one thing that can make kiddie movies beyond great is throwing in the jokes for the adults. At this particular showing, there were a lot of big kids like me sitting in the back. It was fun catching the distinction between their laughs and the ones from the littler kids down in the middle with me.

The 3D was good. Nothing too memorable about it, but I think Im starting to get a bit desensitized having seen so many of ’em. Just count all the 3D glasses hanging from my toy hammock. I did slip ’em off for a second to get a better sense of it, and the screen was waaaaay blurry. This is a good thing. It means lots of detail in the rendering of the third dimension. For comparison, Clash of the Titans didnt look much different when I took the glasses off.

After the movie I went for a walk around the Fenway, and I was having an argument with myself over what rating to give it. I was torn between 2.5 and 3 rock hands. Then I realized, the reason I do the halfs is for when I can’t decide between the wholes. I really shouldnt jump right to a half. Was this movie better than 2? Yeah. Good enough to earn 3? No. Done. I know this matters to no one else but me, but I hafta find some miniscule purpose with my life and blog.

Megamind – \m/ \m/ \n”

Due Date

“Not sure how comprehensive this write up is gonna be. Im kinda anxious to watch a couple of episodes of Chuck before I go out tonight. Going dancing (salsa, etc) so Im rocking out to Lady Gaga which is very effectively getting me in the rug cutting mood. Yes I listen to Gaga. Occupational hazard from hanging out with a lotta gay boys. I take my pop culture responsabilities as a hag quite seriously, thank you.

Wasn’t particularly keen on the looks of this movie from the trailer. It didnt really make me laugh at all. But you know what, neither did the trailer for The Hangover, and I ended up \m/ loving it. That still didnt entirely sell me because Zach Galifianakis was prolly my least favorite of the guys in that film. Bradley Cooper was totally my number one, closely followed by Ed Helms, and I’d still prolly rank Justin Bartha above Galifianakis despite his minimal screen time. The guy’s just a lil too over the top for me. I can handle him in small doses, as he does have his moments, but I was wary about total immersion. But knowing that I’d have Robert Downey Jr’s handsomeness to look at the whole time was enough.

It took me a lil bit to get into the film. The set up had that nightmare feel, where it’d be so easy to get out of but you’re stuck. Not unlike when you’re watching a horror film and you know that hottie shouldnt go into the basement alone, but they still do it anyway, and then they die brutally. And then Galifianakis’ character was just really nails-on-chalkboard annoying for a while. Eventually, there was a slight bit of depth added to his charcater and as RDJr started to feel the teensiest bit of sympathy for him, I kinda did too, and it sorta picked up from there. Speaking of RDJr, he does a fantastic job of playing that douche bag that you kinda hate yourself for loving so completely.

And Im already getting distracted…will be wrapping up shortly. Appreciated the cameos: Jamie Foxx, Juliette Lewis, even Danny McBride. And I do love Michelle Monaghan (hers was bigger than just cameo).

Ultimately, the film had its moments. I couldnt decide whether or not to give it the last half a rock hand in my rating. But by the end, I did find myself caring about the characters, and there was a little bit of edge of my seat suspense as they’re racing towards their deadline (that feels like the wrong word). If nothing else, RDJr earns that final half a rock hand for being, well RDJr.

Due Date – \m/ \m/ \m/

Paranormal Activity 2

“When I heard talk of this movie comin’ out, I wasn’t exactly planning to head over the theater at my first opportunity. Really, I figured I’d end up skipping it entirely. But the buzz was good, and this week didnt have much in the way of new releases. And we all know how obsessive I am about going to the theater as often as possible, so it was the reasonable choice for a mid week flick.

Had a bit of drama, err not drama but a hiccup I guess, logisticwise. I’d Fandango-ed my ticket so I could use one of my cheap movie credits (I mentioned it before, but I joined this site where I pay 20 bucks a month and get 4 movie tickets. Wicked sweet. Hit me back if you want details so I can hook you up, and get myself a freebie for the referral)). That meant I had to print out my ticket. Between 5 printers that I could find in the office, none of them would \m/ print my \m/ ticket. Instead of being able to just run into the theater, grab a concession stand dinner, and sit down with enough time for a quick game of Tetris on my phone, I had to haul ass to get home and print my ticket there. Hoovered a tv dinner, since Im cheap and I was home anyways, ran like the wind back to the theater and sat down just as the lights went dim. Turns out, it actually was worth all the effort.

Just gonna get this outta the way now and say that yes, a lot of this write up will be making comparisons to the original. That’s the way that makes the most sense to me. Deal with it.

It did take me a lil bit to get into the film for a couple reasons: A)Ive been trained to be skeptical about sequels, so on some level Im always trying to find something wrong. 2)It seems it did take longer for things to pick up than it did with the original. III)Ive said this before, but its been a while so I’ll reiterate. I like to figure things out and solve the puzzle myself. For me, one sign of a good movie is me not being able to get it all sorted too quickly. In this case, I was trying to reconcile what I was seeing happen in this film with the original. I had a few preconceived notions as to how it all fit, which threw off my Sherlock Holmes-ing of the plot points.

Okay, so how did it fit together with its predecessor? Pretty damn well, I thought. Dare I even say impressively so? It was that rare sequel that not only stayed true to the spirit of the original, it actually enhanced the story and made more sense of it (Why couldnt The Matrix sequels have done that? Oh right, what Matrix sequels? There was only one film) When watching the original at BYOP on Saturday, a friend made a comment about how it was kinda disappointing that you never entirely found out the motive of the evil spirit. The sequel made it much more clear. And while it took a while to work up to the actual connection, that link ended up fitting perfectly. Ugh, its hard to explain all this cryptically so as to not give spoilers. It also cleared up my own confusion with the timeline in this film since I was trying to figure out how all the “”whens”” coincided with the other. While the ultimate ending was predictable, it was still very satisfying. Really, there was no other way it could have played out.

I think another reason why the paranormal activity in Paranormal Activity 2 was so slow to build up is that they were face with the typical sequel challenge of trying to be original without being ridiculous. So things were kept to a bit more of a minimum than I would have liked, but it was still effective.

I also like that they were able to find a way that made sense to work Katie and Micah into the film. That was another one of my concerns going in, when I saw that they were back for it. I really had been impressed with them last time, and this new cast was just as good. I even found myself really sympathizing with the teenybopper stepdaughter, when I usually despise teenage girls. They scare me. More than the creepy invisible demons.

Anyhoo, definitely a good companion piece to the original film. If you were a fan of the first, I highly recommend checking it out. I dont think it’d be worth watching without knowing the other since it wont be so impactful (is that a word?). So I guess I know what I’ll be screening at next year’s BYOP…

Paranormal Activity 2 – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

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/