Friday, December 5, 2008

yup i'm pretty sure no one reads this thing...

but i love writing reviews for some reason! and i'm bored. on a friday. how pathetic. oh well, most everyone is either still in class or on their computer. 

Ok so I saw MILK while I was in town last week, and let me tell you, IT WAS AMAZING. It's the new biopic by Gus Van Sant and it stars Sean Penn as Harvey Milk- the first gay person to be ever elected into a political office. 
Milk chronicles Harvey Milk's life from 1970 up to 1978, the year he was assassinated. Along with the very likable Milk, we meet a cast of colorful and strong characters including Cleve Jones (an amazing performance by Emile Hirsch)- a young gay guy who helps Harvey campaign for city supervisor, Scott (another great performance played by James Franco)- Milk's longtime lover and friend, and Dan White (YET ANOTHER awesome performance by Josh Brolin)- Harvey's fellow supervisor who ends up murdering Milk as well as San Francisco mayor George Moscone. The story chronicles the rise of Harvey's career as humble camera shop owner in the Castro district of San Francisco up to his position as a city supervisor of San Francisco. 
While this movie is a drama, not all of its 128 minutes tries to make you cry; in fact, Milk's character is quite light hearted and provides laughter throughout the film. That laughter and giddy aura created by Milk and portrayed onscreen by Sean Penn is what truly relates the audience to Milk and his struggles; Milk is like any one of us, he is funny and friendly, yet he is serious about what he believes in. 
In the end, I kid you not, I started bawling. And let me tell you, I am not one to let it all go in a movie. I think I may be one of the only girls not to cry in A Walk to Remember and The Notebook, and the only other movie I have ever bawled in was The Green Mile. The reason why I started crying wasn't due to the assassination scene, but rather it was the moving speech stated at the end that appeals to all human beings. Gay rights aren't just about gay people, they are about human rights- the right of equality to all people. 
This movie along with the passing of prop 8 really puts things in perspective, and I really believe people will begin to examine their feelings of gay marriage and gay rights in general after seeing this movie. Before seeing Milk I believed that it was unfortunate that gay people couldn't get married but I didn't understand why it was such a big deal. After watching this movie I began to realize that it's a big deal because we, as a country, took away the rights of our fellow citizens. This is the same country where "All men are created equal" is written in the Declaration of Independence. Wow. It really makes me angry and sad to know that some people cannot deal with the fact that a man loves another man or that a woman loves another woman. Isn't love, love? 

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

a movie week

So I am back in town for Thanksgiving Break and I was thinking to myself, "I haven't seen any movies besides HSM 3 and Eagle Eye in a long time!" Mainly because I go to school in Iowa City, a place where you can either find big budget (HSM 3, Eagle Eye, etc.) or some strange art house film released in a different language that is only 52 minutes long.
Anyway, I got together with Claire tonight and expressed how much I wanted to revisit this blog. I know it sounds super lame and all because it was for a high school class, but I've always enjoyed blogging or writing. ANYWAY, these are the movies I saw this week:
1.) Slumdog Millionaire
2.) Leatherheads
3.) My Sassy Girl
4.) Rachel Getting Married
Today I am going to blog about Rachel Getting Married because I just saw it like six hours ago. It tells the story of a young woman named Kim who is released from rehab to go to her sister's wedding. Her sister is Rachel and she and her husband are throwing a casual, Indian-inspired wedding. Trouble enters quickly when Kim realizes that Rachel has chosen her best friend to be the maid of honor in her wedding. Infuriated, Kim claims that it is a "sisterly duty" for her to be Rachel's maid of honor, thus Emma, Rachel's BFF, steps down (unwillingly). Throughout the movie the audience is taken in by frequent handheld camera work that actually works out perfectly; it gives the feeling as if we are members of the wedding party. The script is phenomenal; screenwriter Jenny Lumet turns everyday events, such as a father-in-law/son-in-law dish washing contest into a heartbreaking moment that involves the painful memory of the Kim and Rachel's younger brother's death. It uncovers the true meaning of "dysfunctional family" while relating it to an "ordinary family". The acting is amazing as well, with Anne Hathaway giving a performance that moved me to tears. Rosemary Dewitt holds her own as Rachel, conflicted between Kim's past betrayals and the fact that Kim is her sister. I also enjoyed Bill Irwin as Paul, the father. He is every bit of the overprotective father that comes to the defense of Kim whenever she does something that upsets the whole family and wedding party.
I would definitely recommend seeing Rachel Getting Married because of the strong and moving script as well as the life-changing performances by the top three actors. Also, the cast is very multi-cultural which I liked. Expect Oscar nods for Best Picture, Best Actress and maybe even Best Supporting Actor and Actress.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Harrison Ford > George Clooney (in my opinion)

<--- You cannot deny this face
I honestly do not think anyone reads this thing anymore, beings that we are at the end of the school year (tear, tear!) But since I'm kind of bored and waiting to have din din and I also don't want to go workout right now so I decided to write on this blog thing. About movies, of course.
Anyway, good news...
I saw one new movie this past week, Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull. Sadly, I have not seen the other Indy movies, well maybe a little bit of some of them but not ALL of them and not in chronological order and I was probably ten at the time. Anyway, I really liked this movie. Harrison Ford is back as the sarcastic, somewhat hard-boiled detective, brooding hero that is Indiana Jones. Along with Ford, Cate Blanchett plays an icy femme fatale named Irina who is hell bent on finding out practically everything and gaining control of an alien crystal skull. Indiana runs into Mutt Williams, played by Shia LeBouf, and it turns out that Mutt's mother Marion Ravenwood, played by Karen Allen, is an old flame of Indy's and is captured by Irina and her KGB crew. Along with Marion, Oxley, an old professor friend of Indiana's is also captured and used to find out the meaning behind the all-crystal skull of the aliens. Are you still with me? Ok, good. Of course, action ensues with some awesome bullet dodging and choreographed gunslinging and sword fighting. There is romance, humor, and the occasional impressive shot. The classic Indiana Jones themesong is also included. And don't worry, Indiana Jones still wears his classic fedora, whip, khaki pants, shirt and brown leather jacket. Yes, Harrison may be up there in age but he sure is aging gracefully, or rather, broodingly, ruggedly and heroicly... as well as keepin' it PIMPIN.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Kiss Me Deadly
The Noir film Kiss Me Deadly plays on everything we know about the Film Noir. It was done and released in a post-WWII era and released as a "B" movie. Kiss Me Deadly has no famous actors starring in it, but it still seems to hold up as one of the most influential Film Noirs. This is due to the eerie plot and archetypes that fit everything about Film Noir. The main character, Mike Hammer, is a hard-boiled private eye who is no saint himself. He lives in the present and narrowly escapes the impending doom-like future due to instances of lucky breaks, help from Velda his love interest/employee, and with his ability to hurt people with his hands.
Kiss Me Deadly is shot in black and white and this adds to the serious gloominess of the film. There is great use of shadows which create depth and suspense to the plot which plays on the fears of the American public during the Cold War. The story is centered around a mysterious box called the Great Whatsit; Mike Hammer meets a troubled girl named Christina who is running along a deserted highway road naked under a trench coat. Christina is out of breath and tells Mike not to forget her because she believes something bad will happen to her soon- and she is right. Mike and Christina find themselves in hot water, Christina is murdered while Mike narrowly gets away. Later on, Mike finds out that Christina knew something that the government didn't want her to know. Hammer is set on finding out why Christina was killed and to avenge her. Along the way he meets Lily, Christina's femme fatale roommate who is not as she seems, and thugs who are out to get him around almost every corner. In the end, it all leads up to the Great Whatsit, a mysterious and radioactive box. Yes, this doesn't seem like the most plausible or believable script but hey, it is Hollywood. And it did scare the American public, and not just with the subject but with the blatant sexuality. A naked woman being tortured, make out sessions between Hammer and Velda... Can you say spicy for the fifties!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


It is truly fitting that Spring is on the move. We have just finished the Screwball and the Romantic Comedy unit. While they both focus on love and comedy, Screwball stresses comedy while the Romantic Comedy stresses romance. The Screwball focuses on the plot around the romance, the craziness that usually ensues around the two main characters. And of course, it has to be a funny situation. In His Girl Friday, Hildy Johnson plays the un-typical role of the strong and sassy heroine, while her ex-husband Walter Burns, playes the counterpart and source of friction for Hildy. There is obvious flirtation and romance but it is overshadowed by the crazy plotline as Walter and Hildy hide a man on the run. Recent Screwball movies include the Kenneth Branagh version of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, and the Sandra Bullock film Two Weeks Notice. What I love about the Screwball is that the typical roles are reversed, the female is dominant and she gets some good lines too.
Ah, the Romantic Comedy. The Romantic Comedy's main focus is on romance, of course. The main characters take on the roles of the lovestruck woman and the heroic man, and, of course, they end up together in the end. There are humorous moments that add to the romance, or if comedy is not related to the romance, it does not overshadow it. The Romantic Comedy we watched was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Joel and Clementine are in a relationship until one day Clementine doesn't remember Joel. This is because she has had her memory of him erased. Yes, erased. The main focus is on the deteriorating relationship between Joel and Clem, there are funny moments and they contribute to the relationship and the fact that it is becoming nonexistant. The movie is dark and at first glance it does not seem like a Romantic Comedy, but it is. The main reason why people believe this is because nowadays people seem to mistake the Romantic Comedy for the ever powerful Chick Flick.
The Chick flick and the Romantic Comedy are not the same, I repeat, they ARE NOT THE SAME. The Chick Flick is a lot like the Romantic Comedy, they are both centered around romance and usually feature a woman who gets herself into comedic trouble (all for the romance- or either it doesn't detract from it- of course). But while the Romantic Comedy appeals to everyday people, the Chick Flick appeals to, well, chicks. And this means that there is the obviously-hotter-than-normal male interest (think James Marsden in 27 Dresses and Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise) who is too perfect to be real, the female lead always owns a great wardrobe (Devil Wears Prada) and , and undying love speeches made to the female while she is crying (Jerry Maguire). In contrast, the Romantic Comedy showcases men who may not have perfect bodies or profess their love on a daily basis (When Harry Met Sally) but they are realistic and relatable. The women may not have the greatest duds (I Capture the Castle), but they make that up in their humor and personality. Don't get me wrong, I love a good chick flick, but what I really enjoy is the kind of movie you can feel good, laugh at, and enjoy with a guy who doesn't go groaning to the theatre when you mention the title.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

In my world everyone is a pony, and they all eat rainbows, and poop butterflies

Okay, so I realize I have just blogged about a movie a day ago, but I just saw one of the funniest and heartwarming movies I have seen in a long time so I JUST HAVE TO BLOG ABOUT IT. I don't even know if anyone reads this thing, but I just feel like I should share my thoughts because I really like to do that.
Horton Hears A Who! is the film that I had the privilege of viewing. My friend wanted to see it, but I kind of wanted to see Never Back Down preferably for the cheesy title and this one hot guy in the movie- I swear I'm not that shallow. Anyway, I decided that my money would probably be better spent at Horton, even though it did seem like it would be a movie just intended for people under the age of thirteen. But I went anyway, it looked cute.
Boy was I wrong. This movie is for ALL AGES; it is funny, sweet, happy, and it sends a message that you should stand up for what you believe in. It follows an elephant, Horton, played by Jim Carrey, who is a little bit eccentric and optimistic. One day, he hears a noise from a spec. Yes, a spec. It turns out that this spec is home to a bunch of Whos in Whoville. The mayor, played by Steve Carrel, is hilarious and a little neurotic with his 96 daughters and one son, JoJo. Horton must prove to his fellow animal friends, including a nosy Kangaroo (Carol Burnett) and a sarcastic mouse (Seth Rogan), that this spec really does have people living on it.
This movie is obviously animated but there are camera angles and lighting to convey different feelings and perceptions. There are closeups of Horton and the mayor, and shadowy depictions of Vlad, the somewhat evil but mostly crazy, vulture. Along with the shots and lighting, there is diagetic music that fits right in; happy and peppy at most parts, but also fast and harsh at moments of climax. Everything seems well and put together in this movie.
Horton Hears A Who! is truly for everyone of all ages, and I can assure you that I laughed out loud and felt a warm feeling at the end of this movie.

Friday, March 21, 2008

You Drive Me Crazy

I kind of feel like the expression on Rupert's face---->

No, I am not referring to the Britney Spears hit single or the Melissa Joan Hart movie from the earliest part of this decade. In fact, I am talking about a movie that I have recently watched, called Driving Lessons. It is an English film that stars Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley in the HP movies) as Ben, a seventeen-and-a-half year old who is quiet and kind of odd. He obeys his mother, played by Laura Linney, and her strict Catholic ways. But not all is as it seems. In fact, mommy dearest is hiding an illicit affair with another man, and she makes Ben take driving lessons so she can have an excuse for a little action on the side. Ben's poor dad (who is a Priest) is unbeknownst to all of this. Meanwhile, Ben's mum thinks it would be in Ben's best interest to help an aging actress-Evie- with things around the house and such. From then on the two form a bond that spans across generations. They go camping, Evie swallows the key to their car, Ben loses his virginity, and each learns a little from Shakespeare.
All and all, this coming-of-age film is quite boring, mostly due in part to the fact that the main character, Ben, DOESN'T SPEAK FOR LIKE THE FIRST THIRTY MINUTES. Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating, but it seems like that. Driving Lessons seems to drag on for a long time with pointless filler plots, which leads the audience into wondering what the whole point of this movie is. In the end, my friends and I had to speed up the dialogue on the DVD player and we did an NFL end zone dance when this movie was over.