MOVIE MARATHON

Film Reviews, Words

After months of taking a break from spending my time (and moola) on movies, last week I had a binge and caught 10 flicks. Wowza.

Anyhoozle, I’m not going to go into long diatribes about all of them, but here’s a quick summary of what I liked and didn’t… and what you should see for yourself.

Perks of Being a Wallflower

Based on a YA book that I now want to read so bad, this film feels both modern and nostalgic at the same time. It is a wonderful coming-of-age story, set in the early 90s, so you know, when I was coming of age. It’s lovely to have something that feels familiar and not just because I’ve seen it a million times, like The Breakfast Club. The soundtrack is great and the supporting characters, including Hermione in her first non-Hermione role, are also great additions to the story. Especially the creepy kid from We Need to Talk About Kevin, who I never imagined I could think any warm thoughts about, but in Perks, he is adorbs. It’s a great film about first loves, sexual discovery, the power of music, discovery one’s voice, and, in one of the better ways I’ve seen, mental illness.

Go see it. I honestly keep thinking about the main character, Charlie, and smiling.

Skyfall

Daniel Craig is one of those people for me that, simply aesthetically, he isn’t that attractive. Yes, he has a great physique, but it isn’t until he starts to talk and move that his natural charisma takes you away from the fact that his face doesn’t quite make sense in the modern definition of “handsome.” I love him as Bond and Skyfall is loads better than Quantum of Solace. LOADS. However… I felt a bit “meh” about it. Whereas Casino Royale felt like a new jumping off place for the long-time character, Skyfall has more than it’s fair share of winks to the franchise. On the one hand, that’s great. On the other, “meh.” But, it was beautiful to look at and definitely kept my interest for 2 hours, which is the main point of an action film.

Oh and the opening sequence is AMAZING. Even though the Adelle song totally captures my issues with the film: totally engrossing, but full of clichéd language, concepts, and metaphors.

Twilight: Break Dawn, Part II

(SPOILERS!)

I have never really written a review of Twilight, despite having read all of the books and seen all of the movies so as to understand this cultural zeitgeist. (Though I did review its fanfic knock-off, 50 Shades of Grey. Oh my, the horribleness). I’m not going to write one now except that to say for a book that basically ended with a bunch of old vampires anti-climatically saying “oh, oh, nevermind, sorry for the inconvenience” and staring at each other for a while, this adaptation was pretty action packed. Heads pop off like action figure dolls. Bella is on top of Edward during coitus. Jacob takes his shirt off.

If this is what you want, go see it.

First Position

You know how we’re adults and we’ve spent all this money and time at college and afterwards saying we’re working really hard towards our goals, but really we’re just sad and sit at a desk and could totally do more? Well, if that’s an apt description of you this documentary about dancers is either going to 1) make you feel like shit about yourself, forcing you to dig a hole and die or 2) make you feel like shit about yourself, forcing you to get off your ass and follow your dreams! Also, it’ll probably make you really like the kids in it, especially the little brother who clearly has *no* interest in ballet.

Anyhow, great documentary. Not too many shots of torn up feet. Overall, definitely worth the viewing.

The September Issue

I read Vogue because I love fashion and I love love love love fashion photography. I may never be able to afford or fit into couture clothing but I still hold a dream that I will figure out my damn sewing machine and turn my fashion sketches into real-live-clothes. That Anna Wintour will either love or completely dismiss by having the best dis-interested face I’ve ever seen.

Wanna see what adults who work hard look like? Even if they feel mocked for what they do? Watch this movie. Wintour is nothing but a focused professional and I must say, I am impressed.

Amazing Spider-Man

I’m more of a DC comics girl myself, but I did read Spider-Man some, especially the Venom storyline back in the 90s. I liked the Tobey Maquire films okay, especially for the Bruce Campbell cameos, but I didn’t love them. Same goes for this new reboot, thought I definitely prefer Andrew Garfield, especially his take on the sarcastic costumed hero. Also, I heart me some Emma Stone and hated seeing President Bartlett die. Will see the next one in the theater (rented this one), but am not geek girl hand clapping like I am about the new Superman or the new Star Trek.

Vidal Sassoon: The Movie

This film is mid-century eye candy. The story of the man behind the 5-pt-haircut is great, especially his obvious empathy and kindness. And sure, I enjoyed the spin that cutting hair this way freed women up from getting their hair set every week, and thusly, emancipated them.

But really, it was all about the vintage photographs of his geometric haircuts. Beautiful.

The Flying Scotsman

Are any of y’all watching Elementary with Jonny Lee Miller? I was a bit against it as it seemed to want to be the US version of Sherlock, except that it totally isn’t. It’s a police procedural with a weirdo dude, a la Vincent D’Onofrio in Criminal Intent, who happens to be named Sherlock Holmes. There really isn’t much mythology, such as the BBC relaunch. Realizing that, it’s actually quite fun.

Anyhow, I was watching that and realized I wanted to watch some more Jonny Lee Miller. As I have seen Hackers five million times, I decided to try out The Flying Scotsman about this speed cyclist who customized his bike and kept beating records, only to have the powers-that-be change the rules on him every step of the way. Oh yeah, and he has bipolar too. The movie was a bit slow and the characters were definitely underdeveloped, especially the effect of the mental illness on Jonny’s character, but… I wanted to finish it and see what happened. Not much more you can ask of a film?

Oh yeah and this guy was in it.

Remember when they were married and all young and hot together? Maybe I should rewatch Hackers, after all…

Bernie

The final movie I saw this weekend was Bernie. Well, I also rewatched Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but I reviewed that here. Back to Bernie… Directed by Richard Linklater and based on a true story, Bernie is a lovely dark comedy. Except it’s not actually that dark. Yes there’s a murder and a mean old lady, but Jack Black’s titular character is so convincingly well-meaning that you almost agree with the townsfolk that he can be guilty and innocent at the same time. Especially since the townsfolk have Eest Texas/West Arkansas cadence and idioms down so well, I felt like I was home when watching the movie…

Also, lots of Jack Black singing old timey gospel music. Yes and yes.

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