Brothers

“””Does anyone here have a blog? Dont answer that, cause I’m about to shit all over it. I think that all blog entries can be summed up in one sentance ‘Somebody please call me to hang out’ “” – Bob Saget, last night at the Wilbur Theater in Boston. That feels sadly accurate.

Watching the trailer for Brothers the first time, my thoughts went something like this “”Yay Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire…I’d see that…nah, its getting kinda sappy…WTF?!…Can I see this now?!”” I will admit that I was starting to get a bit annoyed with how often I saw the trailer after that, but it didnt make me wanna watch the movie any less. Musta been the pretty boy eye candy.

So I finally got to see it today. Did I enjoy it? Um, yeah! And not just because of the aforementioned pretty boy eye candy. The characters were great. As cheesey as this sounds, I actually felt like I wanted to be a part of their family, which wouldnt have happened if it wasn’t so well cast. I’ve adored Jake Gyllenhaal since the first time I saw Donnie Darko. I left Brothers on such a high Jake kick that I now got Blu-Ray Donnie Darko playing in the background as I write this. I’d also forgotten how good Natalie Portman can be. I can’t quite figure out why I usually dont think much of her when I hear her name. Musta been the whole SW prequels thing. But she’s actually really good, and she fit this role quite well despite my initial doubts.

By far, the best on the acting side, was Tobey Maguire. Between the first half and the second half of the movie, his character went thru such a \m/ huge transformation, and I completely and utterly believed both sides of him. I was in love with him during the first half, and terrified of him during the second.

On another note, does Clifton Collins Jr hafta be in every movie this year? Seriously, that’s like the 6th one. I dont have any problem with him, its just weird that he shows up so often. Points for Ethan Suplee showing up. Also loved the older of the two little girls, played by Bailee Madison. Such an intense role for such a young thing, but she did beautifully. As Abigail Breslin and Dakota Fanning have grown up a bit, maybe she’ll be the next cute little girl actress that everyone loves? I hope not, for her sake.

Guess there isnt really much else to say. I’ve noticed that the more often I write, the less clever I am, which makes me a sad panda. Isnt practice supposta make perfect? Anyways, decided to skip today’s AFI plans (I coulda squeezed in two if I really tried) in favor of knocking down my newly acquired movies queue. Then heading over to LSC for The Hurt Locker tonight, although there’s a non-zero chance that write up will hafta wait til tomorrow.

Brothers – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n

A Clockwork Orange (AFI #70)

“Today’s method of picking a movie: find the largest gap on the list and grab a DVD from there. The biggest gap I found (not counting the intentionally skipped top ten, of course) was between #64 Network and #71 Saving Private Ryan. Okay so picking #70 didnt exactly split the gap like I intended, but I’ve been really stoked to viddy this movie.

My single favorite element of the movie has to be the language. I’ve mentioned before how Im very dialogue driven. And I particularly love clever dialogue and slang (which is why I adore Joss Whedon and Diablo Cody). I keep on trying to figure out how to fit Orange words into my vocab, oh my readers. I’d seriously love to govoreet like that, and I rather like being able to slooshy such choodessny slovo from that moodge’s goloss.

I read the book about a year and a half ago and loved it as well. The slovo was tough to pony at first (makes you feel quite gloopy), but once you got into the flow of it, it wasn’t too hard on the mozg to figure out. It actually felt like quite the accomplishment getting to the end of it. Such a zammerchat book.

It shouldnt come as a big shock that this flick is a fave of mine. Im kinda known for liking effed up movies. My favorite scene has to be the “”Singing in the Rain”” bit. I like it almost as much as the “”Stuck in the Middle”” scene in Reservoir Dogs, for similar messed up reasons, though Orange had less kroovy and guttiwuts. Although half of what makes the …Rain scene so special is that it was improved, which supports my theory that brilliance comes from collaboration. Its so intense, Im never sure whether Im gonna smeck or get bolnoy when I viddy it.

Totally love Malcom McDowell in this film as well. The expressions that chelloveck prods on his litso are priceless. And Stanley Kubrick one oomny director. That makes dva movies of his I’ve viddied so far for the AFI project, and they wont be the last. I also love the way that he uses classical music. I was trying to recall in what recently watched film I slooshied some veshch similar, realized it was his 2001. My world made sense for a whole tree minootas.

I hope this entry wasnt total chepooka to you, oh my readers. I just messeled that this would be a fun change of pace. But its a malenky bit hard rabbit to write this way, so I think its time for me to itty.

Horrorshow nochy, my droogs. Off to spatchka.”

The Twilight Saga: New Moon

“What? I waited a week and a half to go see a vampire movie? Um, yeah I wanted to avoid the Twi-hards. Although as I was entering the auditorium, the girl in front of me was squealing. I quickly ran in ahead of her to supress the desire to punch her.

Clarification: where do I stand in the whole Twilight madness? No secret that I love vamps. For \m/ sake my cats are Lestat and Nosferatu. (If you pay really close attention to the background of the photo, you’ll see Robert Pattison, half of a True Blood ad, and 2/3 of David Boreanaz) I saw the first Twilight movie in the theater. Halfway paid attention to it when I got it on DVD and slept thru half of another DVD viewing. I do enjoy the movies and plan on reading the books at some point, that point being once I stop secretly making fun of everyone I see on T reading it. There’s also a high probability that timing will coincide with all the movies being release. In other words, def not a Twi-Hard. A bit of a Fangbanger (those True Blood novels are quite addicting) but ultimately my vamp loyalties lie in the Buffyverse, given that Angel was the first one to bring me over. I guess you could consider him my sire. However, Lestat (as in Anne Rice’s character, not necessarily my cat) is my number one. While Tom Cruise (Interview With the Vampire) had the attitude and Stewart Townsend (Queen of the Damned) had the look, the best portrayal, according to me of course, is Hugh Panero who played Lestat on broadway. Supposedly Anne Rice even went up to him and said that he just was Lestat.

Starting to digress. Twilight. Yes. Moderate fan. Team Edward vs Team Jacob? I’ll take the same type of stance I usually do when it comes to politics: I dont feel informed enough to make a decision, but I find that both have merits and drawbacks. I think Jacob treats her better, but Edward is more devoted…and more smoldering.

All this and I still haven’t even talked about the movie? Yeah I’ve found my posts tend to be far more personal than anything else. Deal with it.

As much as I want to avoid doing the comparison type of review (Twilight vs New Moon) its inevitable. Overall, I enjoyed New Moon far more. While both kept on repeating the same thing over and over–“”I love you”” “”We can’t be together”” “”\m/ that”” “”Okay””–at least this time I didnt find myself sitting there going “”Conflict? Cooonflict? Where’s the conflict? Conflict, please? Conflict! Oh there it is, and the movie’s over””.

I also understand the whole Robsession thing. Edward Cullen is written as such a “”perfect”” character. I found myself holding my breath whenever he was on screen, and part of me wanted to cry with Bella when he left her. But if it weren’t for vamps and werewolves in the story, there’s no way I would have ever bothered with it. Its teen melodrama–Dawson’s creek set in Forks Washington. Not that I have anything against Dawson. I was quite addicted to that in junior high. So yeah, some flaws in the story, but I expected that going in.

Was happy about the new additions to the cast. Enjoyed Michael Sheen’s performance and could see how much fun he was having. And I much prefer Dakota Fanning all growed up over the precocious child actress. There’s a reason Abigail Breslin was the one who managed an Oscar nod. Anyways, thought she was an interesting casting choice, that ended up working quite well.

Prolly the biggest complaint I have is the BAD cgi. It wasnt the sparkly vampire thing. I could handle that. Well, Im not sure how I feel about it as a concept, but it looked fine. It was the poorly done heightened senses and abilities effects (ie, the pizza catch) and the cheap werewolves.

Anyways, mostly positive experience overall, but I can’t understand how these movies managed to stretch out to over two hours. Surely that wasnt all necessary? And odds are that tonight, I will likely be dreaming of Edward Cullen

The Twilight Saga: New Moon – \m/ \m/ \m/

All About Eve (AFI #28)

“This is gonna be a kinda hurried entry. Aiming to catch Twilight at 7:30. Its 6:56 now. On a related note, I love living two blocks from my favorite theater.

Was a bit apprehensive going into All About Eve. I’d only picked it cause it was in the same box set as Sunrise, and I figured getting that big box set outta the movie queue would make it feel a lot smaller. As it turns out, it only took one line of dialogue (well, kinda long line, but still) to hook me: “”The Sarah Siddons Award for Distinguished Achievement is perhaps unknown to you. It has been spared the sensational and commercial publicity that attends such questionable “”honors”” as the Pulitzer Prize and those awards presented annually by the film society… The distinguished looking gentleman is an extremely old actor. Being an actor – he will go on speaking for some time. It is not important what you hear what he says.””

Irony about the mention of “”those awards presented annually by the film society””, is that Eve is one of two movies to ever reach 14 nods. Yes it won best picture.

Yeah, so loved the dialogue. Loved the actresses. Felt a bit lengthy though. I’d consciously decided to only watch part of it last night and finish it tonight, and that break definitely affected the momentum for me.

Also took a personal interest in it because of the whole theater thing. I’d actually just that day been thinking that at this point, I have two options as far as theater which used to be a big part of my life. I can either buck up and find a new group, or accept the fact that Im now just a movie person instead of a theater and movie person. Not sure if the movie was supposta be a sign for me to go one way or the other, but still found it interesting that it was the movie for that day.

Obligatory pop culture reference. Whenever I hear the title “”All About Eve””, I think about Inside Schwartz. It was a really short lived (6 episodes maybe) sitcom staring Breckin Meyer (love him…Travis from Clueless, also pairs with Seth Green often). It was about a sportscaster who’d just lost his girl, and imaginary sportscasters would often pop up in scenes. I know, Im not explaining well. Anyways, his ex was named Eve, and there was this whole episode about how he had an, um, adult tape of them and he couldnt find it. He’d labeled it “”All About Eve”” and hidden it in his movie collection, assuming no one would ever touch it. And of course some one else ended up borrowing it, and shennannigans ensued.

I know, not much content as far as the movie itself, but I gotta run…”

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (AFI #82)

“Totally spaced on writing this up last night. When it was over, I called the ‘rents and then got caught up cleaning up the Hellmouth. Didnt realize it until I was getting ready for bed.

I think this brings the grand total of silent movies I’ve ever seen to 3, the other two being City Lights and Nosferatu, and I saw all three within the past two weeks (although I had seen City Lights before). As someone who is very dialogue driven (Im often content to just listen to a movie while Im multitasking, and I’ve been known to skip non-dialogue bits when reading), silent movies are really tough for me to get used to.

I did have some issues with the story. I could follow it well enough, despite my aforementioned dialogue driven-ness, but I just didnt buy parts of it. The first third of the story was very much my style–guy plots to kill his wife so he can run off with other girl, well the murder thing is my style. But when he changed his mind and ended up having the most wonderful “”date day”” in the city with her, it lost me. I could not understand how she could forgive him so quickly. He almost threw her off a boat for \m/ sake. And that’s that I absolutely loved him. I was sympathetic toward him while he was pleading with her, but it was when she did take him back that I realized how much I disagreed with that.

I really wasnt into the next section. It felt like we’d gone from this dark, intense drama and stumbled back into the slapstick part of City Lights, but with much less beautiful imagery. Once we got to the end (I’ll try not to be too spoilery), it made sense why that whole happy chunk existed, but I still didnt believe it.

I understand why this movie made the list. It won some of the first Academy Awards ever given out, and there were some breakthroughs in their filming technique. They had these really well done overlapping shots, that apparently were done by exposing the film and then filming the next scene over it, or something. IMDB trivia sorta explained it. But ultimately, its just not my type of movie.”

The Fantastic Mr Fox

“While I didnt set a very high priority on this movie at first from the trailers, the increasingly good buzz it was receiving upped it on the list. Im not really a fan of Wes Anderson. I generally dont get his work. Fantastic Mr Fox, however, was in such a completely different direction, and I absolutely loved it. Seriously, can he direct more childrens’ stories, please?

For me, the best part was the dialogue. So silly and unexpected, it even had me laughing way loud several times. I especially loved the way they used the word “”cuss”” in the same way I use \m/ on this blog (clustercuss had to be my favorite one of those). And it had that perfect balance of kiddie humor and grown-up jokes that make a good (mostly) kiddie movie. There were times when I could hear the little kids having giggling fits, and other times when it was the “”big kids”” laughing hysterically. At the end credits, I def heard a little kid behind me clapping so enthusiastically for the movie, which made me smile.

Fantastic cast as well. It amazes me that even as a stop-motion animated Fox, George Clooney is still incredibly \m/ dashing and debonair. Such a perfect casting choice. I also have nothing but the utmost respect for Meryl Streep, who is prolly my fave actress based solely on talent. I just love the fact that she balances Oscar bait films with fun ones like this. However, the show stealer for me this time around was Jason Schwartzman. He made Ash the character I was always watching for, and his dead-plan line delivery was perfect for the awkward little fox.

I was also particularly impressed with the animation. I’ve gotten so tired of computer animation (number one reason why Im psyched for Princess and the Frog), that it was (to use a dull cliche) “”a breath of fresh air”” to go to a kiddie movie that was a different style (not to mention one that also wasnt entirely mindless). And its also one of the few children’s stories I’ve been to lately that weren’t 3-D and who’s main selling point wasn’t 3-D animation. I \m/ 3-D movies, but they’re starting to get a little overdone.

Gonna wrap this up, cause Im getting quite hungry, but I loved and would recommend it.

The Fantastic Mr Fox – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

Goodfellas (AFI #92)

“Why the \m/ hadn’t I ever seen this one before? It was so \m/ good! Last night, I was torn about which movie to watch. After a depressing double feature of The Messenger and The Road, I kinda wanted something fun, so I almost went with Some Like It Hot. But I’d also been jonesing to watch something on Blu-Ray, and since this was the first AFI movie I’d gotten on Blu-Ray (yay Black Friday) it was my only option there. I figured Saturday night is a good time for long movies, even though there was a high probability of me falling asleep (yes that happened). But OMG it was such a good choice.

The movie was a lot lighter than I imagined. Well, I guess light isnt really the right word cause it wasnt actually light, but it had a lot of humor balanced with the gangster stuff. Within the first few minutes, I knew I’d made the right choice for the night.

The story was great, the cast was great (even if I couldnt keep track of some of the characters). I’d never before gotten why Ray Liotta was so special, but now I fully understand. Absolutely adored him in this movie. Was also great to see Joe Pesci in his Academy Award winning role, so he’s now more than just Harry from Home Alone to me. Not that there’s anything wrong with him in Home Alone. Bobby De Niro rocked as per usual.

Its also further proof of Martin Scorsese being a movie god. Wonderful job with the film, and I love how much he allowed the actors to improv. If you read the IMDB trivia for the film, you’ll find that a lot of classic scenes were minimally scripted.

Overall, this movie is a big win, and I think its been my favorite AFI movie I’d never previously seen.”

The Road

“I forgot how much I hate the Loews Boston Common sometimes. That was the theater I first started going to in Boston. But then once I discovered the Regal Fenway, I never looked back. I try to avoid the Common as much as I can, but lately I’d been a bit more open to it. After today though, I intend to avoid it like the plague unless there really isnt anywhere else to see something on my must list.

First off, they dont do matinee prices on Saturdays. Thats just not cool. And Im always on edge when I get my tickets at the kiosk, cause if the machine doesnt read your rewards card right, it just keeps going without it. But since I dont like talking to people, and the box office people have been known to be rude, I still go with that. Then I noticed that the price of their chicken tenders combo has gone up to 14.75, which is redonkulous, but I was hungry. When I finally got it, it was smaller than the previous time when I got one big container full of fries and another for the chicken. This time it was smushed into one. I complained at the guy, telling him I got more last time, and he had a total screw you attitude. I sorta barked at him saying it wasnt worth $14, and he didnt give a \m/ Then I get to the auditorium, and its one of the small ones (weird for a highly anticpated if not mass marketed movie that just opened and is playing at only one other theater in the city) so of course its nearly at capacity when I walk in 10 min early. I ended up sitting the front, where the floor was sticky. I’d just situated myself with all my stuff, and then I hafta move it all for someone who wants the seat next to me. He just sorta walked to it, and stood directly in front of me in the tiny aisle while I had to readjust. Couldnt he have said something before walking into the aisle? Needless to say, I was in quite the pissy mood when the movie began. I seriously shoulda just stayed at the Kendall, but there aren’t very good food options for doubling over there.

The other thing that was kinda off is that Tenacious D has a completely unrelated song called “”The Road”” that kept getting stuck in my head at the most inappropriate times of the film.

As far as the movie itself, similar feelings to my earlier feature, in that it was compelling and depressing. There wasn’t a lot going on, but it was still captivating. I think one of the main reasons for that was the boy, played by Kodi Smit-McPhee. That bright eyed, innocent young thing was the heart and soul of an otherwise bleak film. I just absolutely adored him.

Love Viggo Mortensen, and I totally believed everything about his character. I felt that he was a good man, but I also recognized that he really would stop at nothing to help his boy.

There was a lot that felt sorta unanswered for me. I was curious to know what caused the whole apocalypse thing. I know it wasnt the point, which is why it was never revealed, but that was bothering me. Dont wanna give away spoilers, but the ending was a bit unfulfilling for me. But I will say that I was practically crying at the end. There’s one type of story that will get me fighting back tears, and they hit it.

Kinda tough to find more to say about it, because it was such a stripped down movie. Definitely good, just not necessarily something I’d wanna watch over and over.

The Road – \m/ \m/ \m/

The Messenger

“I was successful in my “”double feature”” today which consisted of The Messenger at the Kendall and The Road at the common. I realized later that it was prolly poor planning to choose such uplifting (said with sarcasm) movies to watch back to back. But hey what ya gonna do? I’d been dying to see The Messenger, and it seemed like a good chance to also catch The Road which likewise was not playing at my beloved Fenway theater.

Dying to see The Messenger, you (er, I) say? Yes. Um why? I love Ben Foster. I watched him way back in the day when he got his start on the Disney Channel’s Flash Foward, opposite Firefly’s Jewel Staite (although at the time, I knew her as Space Cases’ Jewle Staite). But in the past few years, he’s really been making a name for himself as a serious actor (with the occassional fun stuff, like playing Archangel in X-Men 3). He generated some major buzz for a long shot supporting Oscar nod for 3:10 to Yuma (and I would have _so_ totally been in favor of that). And now he’s generating some long shot lead actor buzz for this movie.

Do I think he’s got what it takes? I def support the long shot buzz. And I would be happy to see him on the list, but its unlikely. For those of you not in the know, The Messenger is about a solider who just got back from Iraq and is supposed to finish off his last few months in the army by informing next of kin when someone dies in battle. Pretty intense stuff. He played the part of conflicted solider beautifully, especially in the penultimate scene of the movie. While I dont think we’re likely to see him as an Oscar nominee this year, if he keeps up this type of work, it wont be long until we do. And Im really excited for that day, to see sweet little Tucker James all growed up.

Playing opposite Foster was Woody Harrelson, another favorite of mine. While he’s best known and loved for his kooky roles (most recently, Zombieland or 2012), the man is one damn fine actor. Personally, I think his best work was when he combined both of those sides of him for the title role in The People Vs. Larry Flynt. Hey, it worked out so well for him he scores his only Oscar nod to date. Here, he was great as Foster’s mentor who seems to have it all together, but is really just as messed up as everyone else below the surface.

Surprise appearance by Steve Buscemi who was so good in his small role. Im always happy to see him, but this was one of his best acting wise. Wasn’t too sold on the girls in the movie, although I think it was mostly because I didnt really like their storylines. The movie actually loses a little bit on the rating scale because of how much I didnt care for the storyline involving Samantha Morton. Nothing wrong with her, but the idea of a solider going after (yes, that kinda going after) a woman he just informed is now a widow seemed so wrong to me, to the point where I was almost even repulsed by it. I kinda shut down during the point when that storyline was the most prevalent, and it took a while to get me back in. Wasn’t too interested in Jenna Malone’s storyline either, but Ive always had mixed feelings about her. While she gets mad points for being in both Donnie Darko and Saved, there’s always something a bit off. And most of the stuff with her was just awkward.

Ultimately, this was such a gripping movie. With the previously mentioned exceptions, I was absolutely drawn in and captivated. When the movie ended, it sounded like everyone had been holding their breath thru the whole thing. I heard a “”wow.”” behind me and other similar remarks. Although, I hafta say the last scene was kind anticlimactic. The penultimate scene, on the other hand, was just such a brilliant finish on an already brilliant movie.

The Messenger – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n

To Kill a Mockingbird (AFI #25)

“Happy Slapsgiving, er I mean Tofurkey Day, um Thanksgiving! Managed to get a movie in before turkey-ing. The tentative Xmas Carol IMAX trip didnt end up happening, but there was a rather enjoyable watching of Fanboys. But thats not the important one (for purposes of this blog at least)

Most of us prolly read To Kill a Mockingbird in some point in junior high and high school. Along with The Outsiders and Animal Farm, its one of the few required readings I remember enjoying, or at least ones that come to mind easily. We saw the movie in class and I loved it then too. Im actually thinking I should pick up a copy at Border’s tomorrow, give it another read. And this time I wont have any essays to write on it.

The characters are just so compelling. Its no surprise that Atticus Finch has the number one spot on another AFI list–top screen heroes. He’s just so smart and compassionate and fair and loving that you cant help but admire him. And Gregory Peck portrays him perfectly. No wonder he wont that Oscar. Also adore the tough little tomboy Scout–another one of the best characters ever written.

AFI also ranks this as the number one courtroom drama, for good reason. The courtroom scene is fantastic, and such a great and fascinating story that really gets you thinking. I usually do a lot of fidgeting and pausing when Im watching a flick at home, but I hardly left my seat (or more acurately, lying down spot).

There isnt really much else to say. Again, most of ya’ll are prolly familiar enough with the story to know what Im talking about.

And on that note, Im off to plan my shopping tomorrow *evil grin*”