Category Archives: Movie Review

The Lovely Bones

So I rented The Lovely Bones a while ago. I’m trying to figure out who would ever find this movie appealing. It’s bad. Really bad. I mean, there are some scenes that are really beautiful visually and I’m sure no hobbits were harmed during the filming, but it was really odd and it laboriously plodded along at an EXCRUCIATINGLY SLOW PACE and is in no way anything that I ever want to watch again.

For one thing, the age of the main character, which is fourteen I think, and the ages of the people that she plays against were so off. Her love interest is so obviously an ADULT and her sister is in no way younger than her at any point (pigtails and braces do not disguise that). Ray, her crush, is supposedly a senior in high school? Right. It’s not like seniors have never dated freshmen, but this guy is a senior in COLLEGE. It might even be his second or third senior year. You get the point, right? Right. Watching him flirt with her is disturbing in a film that is supposed to be focusing on other disturbing things. He says something to her like, “See, another thing we have in common!” after they’ve exchanged maybe two words and even she was confused, “Wait, we have things in common?” Then he breathes, “You are beautiful Susie Salmon.” *shudder* Why don’t you go ease on down the road, Creepy McCreepster? Also, and I’ve mentioned this before, Ray is supposed to be DARK SKINNED. Moving on.

So Susie Salmon is murdered, the evil-doer goes free, she watches the world go on without her from her version of heaven, and while most of it worked as a novel, the movie just falls flat. Too many things were taken out: Susie’s parents’ affairs, Ray and Ruth’s growing friendship. I never knew how much time supposedly passed by at any given moment. Did her brother even age? Ruth is a seer (she saw Susie’s ghost the night she was murdered), but none of that was really explored. Oh, and this is a silly quibble of mine: I have no idea where the actress who plays Ruth is from (I’m guessing New Zealand?) but a convincing American accent would’ve been nice.

There are far too many scenes where Susie is walking slowing towards something, wind blowing back her hair, blue eyes wide or her murderer is sitting in a chair fidgeting with her charm bracelet looking EXTREMELY vomit-inducing and I wanted to scream: WHAT IS THE POINT OF THIS?

*blinks*

Mark Wahlberg’s portrayal of Susie’s father was the only thing that I was pleasantly surprised about; it was really heartfelt and touching. Everything else? Not so much. I’m not even going to get into Susan Sarandon. I guess originally Ryan Gosling was supposed to play the father? Even though he looks like a kid himself? WHO WAS THE CASTING DIRECTOR?! Hollywood fails again.

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Trying really hard to like Kevin Smith

But dammit! It’s just not going to happen. Sorry Andy.

Zack and Miri make a Porno is a horrible movie. It wasn’t funny, it wasn’t touching, but it was just plain gross. And I’m sure Kevin Smith would be proud of that.

I know “Judd Apatow probably wouldn’t have a career without Kevin Smith” (yeah right), but just because someone came before someone else doesn’t mean that person deserves all this praise and gratitude for opening up some imaginary door, okay? Because the door was never really opened. I can imagine someone running and slamming against that door really hard repeatedly, and then someone coming up behind him and easily turning the knob. It’s like Excalibur, okay? And Judd Apatow is King Arthur. Kevin Smith has never mastered the art of balancing the schmaltz and the ick. Ever. Every time he goes for something heartfelt it comes across as lame, and it’s pretty hard not to get your goal when you go for the gross out effect. And even that felt like he was trying too hard. Oh, you’re shooting an anal scene and you’re sooooo constipated? I wonder if anyone is going to get shit on…? Just stop it.

Every time Elizabeth Banks is supposed to feel something , she got this goofy smile on her face and Andy would ask me, “What the FUCK is she doing?” She’s emoting, Andy. She’s emoting. Because the rest of the world doesn’t know what falling in love looks like, she thought she would break it down nice and easy. I read somewhere that she wanted the audience to really feel that she was “over the moon” for Seth’s character because she never got that impression from Katherine Heigl in Knocked Up. Sure, okay. But I keep thinking of that scene in Knocked Up where Alison and Ben are sitting on her bed and deciding to be together for the baby and Alison asks Ben not to fuck her over and Ben asks her not to fuck HIM over??? I’ll take it. You know why? Because it worked.

Seth Rogen wasn’t much better.  I think both of these actors are hilarious/lovely/good in everything else BUT this movie. This leads me to believe that it’s all Kevin Smith’s fault.  You should’ve let them ad-lib Kevin! It would’ve  improved your script immensely! (*Don’t even get me started on Craig Robinson’s cheesy ass speech at the end of the movie. My ears are still bleeding.)

Kevin Smith! Stop the douchebaggery!

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Stephen Sondheim FTW

After renting Sweeney Todd through Netflix, I let it sit on the counter in the living room for at least a week, not quite ready for the blood and gore. Because meat pie = vomittt. I watched a movie once where SIR Anthony Hopkins fed plain ole Jessica Lange her sons that were cooked into a meat pie. And it was so red and bright and gushy as she was digging into it, not realizing that she was the only one really digging it, because doi.  *covers mouth* 

Titus! That’s it! That movie was kind of awesome, though. So anyway, my sister Bethany and I were chatting one night and she mentioned Sweeney Todd and the amazing score, encouraging me to watch it if only for that. I decided to buck up and do so. I mean, I love 28 Days Later, and that movie is all kinds of gross. I can take a little blood and cannibalism! And let me tell you, if I wasn’t aware that Stephen Sondheim was god before, I am now. I feeeeel you Stephen, I feel you. And I’ll steal you, too.

*sidenote* Tim Burton seems to have a thing for pale blond girl-women who are hideous but are supposedly breathtaking. Is it a gothic thing? The whole story balances on the supposed beauty of this broad:

Truly?

Truly?

for which nothing would’ve even gone down if she wasn’t so damn BEAUTIFUL. There was a barber and his wife, see…and she was BEAUTIFUL. So beautiful that some judge sees her and absolutely needs to be with her, husband be damned! He throws some random charge at Benjamin (Barker, the innocent barber) who gets sent off to prison for fifteen years and returns as Sweeney (Todd, the demon barber). In those fifteen years, the judge tried sending flowers, and when that didn’t work, he raped Lucy (the BEAUTIFUL wife) in front of loads of people at a costume party. And. no one. stopped. him. Know why? Because there’s a hole in the world like a great black pit, and the vermin of the world inhabit it, and its morals aren’t worth what a pin can spit, and it goes by the name of London. So Lucy takes a bunch of arsenic and the judge takes her daughter. OOkay. o_O And the daughter? Johanna? She’s also BEAUTIFUL. She mesmerizes a lad at mere sight with the power of her “beauty”.

Mmmmkay

Mmmmkay

If you ask me, why go after the judge? It’s these Barker women who should be stopped! Driving men knackers, the shame!  So Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter, who is my absolute favorite crazy person-actress), go to town on the people of London, he for love of his wife, she for love of him. There’s a lot of singing and slitting of throats, the end. 

You know what was BEAUTIFUL? Sweeney’s razors. They’re shiny! He calls them his friends. And sings to them. That’s the real love story here, if you ask me.

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Gael, Gael, the angels did say…


Dot the I is a film within a film within a film starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Natalia Verbeke, and James D’Arcy. The plot seems simple at first: a woman torn between two men. Ah, the bizarre love triangle, whatever is a girl to do? One man is the obsequious gentle lover that she is set to marry. The other is a man who inspires passion – Gael, duh. The story gently weaves its way to the inevitable: girl must make a choice, she’s got to. You can’t have two fat slices of cake and eat them both, that just seems plain gluttonous. Okay, easy enough.

Once you think you know who’s playing who, though, the tables turn. And watching these tables turning might seem like good fun at first, because who doesn’t like a bit of the mind fuck now and again… but in the tedious end it was simply exhausting. It seems like the film never ends, you think it’s over and suddenly there’s a hidden twist to be revealed. Everyone’s got a Plan B. Everyone’s got a hidden agenda. Nothing and no one are what they seem to be.

And you can’t concentrate on the intricacies of the plot for the blatant manner in which the film seems to be patting itself on the back. Look at me, I’m so avant-garde! I can imagine the filmmaker laughing as he imagines the viewers thinking they were headed down one path until they reached YET ANOTHER fork in the road. The Usual Suspects it is not.

Quick note: Gael, darling, you’ve got a spot on English accent. And you’re gorgeous. But I’m sorry, no amount of quotes from Swimming with Sharks (awesome movie that it is!)is going to make this film watchable. And D’Arcy did manage to impress in a couple of scenes, he’s got a mix of elegance and slimy bravado that works for him.

And now: Movies I want to see…

The Last King of Scotland, The Illusionist, The Prestige, Babel, Half Nelson, Sweet Land, Haven…that’s all I can think of so far.

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