July 29, 2003
how to deal

for those of you not so well versed in the current youth oriented mindless tripe, let me give you a little background on this movie.

mandy moore is a pop singer. for some reason she is now acting in movies. in her first movie, a walk to remember, she played a girl who's dying. but who can also sing very well and is quite religious. in this movie she plays a fiery spitball girl who is very, VERY cynical about love due to her parent's divorce, her best friend's boyfriend randomly collapsing from a heart defect (look out gene), and her sister marrying some preppy dweeb with an overbearing mother. but then, then, enter some boy named macon (what the hell kind of name is that? seriously? where is that from?) with very overbearing eyebrows and her whole outlook on life is changed thru the course of a collage of images being flashed across the movie screen. seriously, the editing job? it was a joke.

this movie....well...it was terrible. but in a delightfully enjoyable way wherein i continually had to grope erica's leg while trying desperately not to snort while giggling.

#1 mandy ass moore is adorable. and makes lovely fashion statements all the time. she's like a little fashion plate of cuteness. such pretty skin and pouting lips.

#2 this macon character is a neanderthal. played by trent ford with little to no acting ability. he's not ugly though. and i guess that's all they were looking for. ahem in his bio section on imdb he says the following as a personal quote: "There are certain people you cherish really, really dearly. You want to rip your chest open and bleed warmth for them." which almost beats my favorite line of his from the movie, "i suck with words." a truly fascinating image.

#3 the best friend who gets pregnant by the deceased boyfriend is an interesting case because teen pregnancy is no joke and yet there was mandy ass moore encouraging it. plus the preggers girl said that she knew what she was giving up by keeping the kid. she knows what she's "giving up"? it's her whole future life, she has no fucking clue. sure she'll probably be a wonderful mother, but she can't know what she's giving up. not really. that pissed me off.

#4 halley (mandy moore's character) and macon have this whole "jedi mind trick" in-joke thing. it is incredibly dumb.

#5 the music. the music was interesting. in three instances primarily. first was at the funeral for the heart defect guy (this, let me stress, was a completely random occurrence where he just dropped dead suddenly with no warning. hella confusing.) anyway at his funeral they play his fave song which is "doooooo you realize....dooooo you realize you have the most beautiful face in the world...." which is kind of laughable at the time. since it ends up with mandy moore out in the rain by herself lifting up her face to the camera while holding the funeral hand-out which has the boyfriend's face prominently on it. but we are not looking at that, oh no, but at her beautiful face. to remind us that even though this boy has randomly died, he is not this movie's center and we should stop caring about him and look at mandy moore again and then whoosh edit cut to her dad's wedding. which introduces the second delightful lyrical accompaniment which is the donna's song, "you're the kind of guy who needs attention" which fits in well with her mid-life crisis wacky father who is a dj and marrying the leggy blonde traffic reporter from the station. lastly is the fact that liz phair's new single, which erica has complained about already, is included in this movie. which just goes to show even more that liz phair is a sell-out attempting a career rejuvenation by appealing to teenagers.

i enjoyed this movie. i didn't like it. i wouldn't recommend it. but i enjoyed watching it with erica. kisses.


p.s. i love this poster. because it makes me scream out, "allison janney, what are you DOING?" and "a lesson in love for the non-believer"? tripe!

Posted by michele at 09:43 PM
July 28, 2003
bad boys 2

this movie is offensive on many levels. but all the same it is very enjoyable. but possibly that is because i am like a slippery duck whose wet back is un-insulted by racial slurs (having nothing to do with my racial-ness anyway so i couldn't logically be offended in the first place) and homosexual taunts (to which i could be vaguely offended if i wanted to be, but am mostly willing to extemporize that it was all in good fun, joking wise).

i watched the original bad boys movie recently while i was up in oregon in prep for going to see this one. so i count myself as up on the little in-jokes between the two films. of which there are several. pretty much just between the two main male leads and their convos with one another. and they are funny, oh yes. will smith is way more funny though. just so we're clear.

they mention 9/11 in this movie. which startled me. i'm not sure why, other than the obvious that this is a very fictional place where even though a cop car can roll over and over and completely blow up--no cops ever DIED. fictional though, see, means that the advent of something wholly real is a little disconcerting to the viewer who is prepared for laughably ludicrous stunts and dialogue. there's a bullet-time sequence during the opening ku klux klan number when you actually get to watch the bullet enter some guy's neck and the blood comes out and everything. that is some sick (in a good way) shit. i fucking love bullet-time.

another thing that gave me pause was the number of instances where they say "shit" or "fuck" and the fact that the entire row in front of me was full of african american children under the age of 10 who would giggle wildly at the naughtiness of it all. who brings small children to such explicit films? is the fact that there's two role model type specimens of the race starring in this big blockbuster type thing which makes it feasible to expose your children to dirty language in order for them to see black men succeeding in some industry? because that just doesn't seem right.

there are three car chases in this movie. three. was one enough? i think so. the first one had the bad guys flinging cars for them to dodge, the second one had dead bodies falling out of a truck--none of which they managed to dodge, really the third chase was just gratuitous. and speaking of unnecessary, in the morgue there is a dead naked girl with big breasts. which we get to look at quite up-close. fer fuck's sake. it is the only naked breast scene in the movie. and they had to be dead? and jiggly? why? whyyyyy?

there's this scene where will smith and martin lawrence have a heart-to-heart moment which sounds very much like they're talking about their gay relationship and is supposed to be funny as a mis-heard thing. and it is funny. but it's also kind of insulting. although, will smith telling lawrence, "you can't say the word 'flacid' to me," is pretty funny. but some black woman saying to them later, "you two motherfuckers need jesus." as in "jesus" will save you from being "gay", or at least i think that's what they were trying to imply. that's not ok. also of the ku klux klan, "a bunch of men, hugging and kissing, that's some cult shit."

ahem, lastly, if i was a rat i might be insulted by this movie. but again, i am not a rat, so i am ok with this. they're pretending to be pest control guys to get into this one house (will smith, mind, is still wearing his HUGE diamond post earrings which probably cost thousands upon thousands of dollars) and lawrence is trying to convince this guy that the rats are merely worker bees and that they are "the explorers of the rat world. they're just looking for rat pussy." to which i was pretty amused. as were the small children in front of me. then he sees some rats having sex missionary style and is exclaiming to smith on their walkie talkies, "they fuck just like us!" in a revolted-fascinated voice. as if he's not sure whether to be pleased that they copy us or horrified that maybe we copied them.

for all of being 2.5 hours long, this movie is really good if you like explosions and buddy humor with both misogynistic and homosexual undertones. good times. i particularly enjoyed it because i snuck in for free after another film. free=good.


Posted by michele at 11:02 PM
July 27, 2003
tomb raider 2: the cradle of life

angelina jolie is hot-to-to-to-to-ooooooo. this movie is semi-dumb.


i really like the first one. because angelina goes around kicking so much ass and looking so good. she looks good in this one too. and kicks ass. but...she's more subdued. there's less of the acerbic in her tone of voice. there's more of the depressing, "oh...do i have to kill you? oh but...oh...." it's like, woman, get on with it. he's not that great. in fact he is scum! (this is in reference to the mercenary love interest.) the whole storyline of things being not alike but coming in pairs. ie, you can have a soul mate and not actually love him/her was interesting, but when it comes at the price of one of them wanting to kill all of the human race i think you kind of drop the whole soul mate nonsense by the wayside.

the other moral thread in this movie was the "everything lost is meant to be found"/"not everything is meant to be found" issue. these are things lara croft says at disparate times of the film. obviously at key moments to highlight her growth as a tomb-raiding individual. enough already. we don't need her to have morals. she's better without them. kick more ass, have more illicit sexual encounters--or any for that matter, kill more bad guys. do SOMETHING productive.

this movie goes from one country to the next like a board hopping game of risk. they even went to kazahkstan. i was briefly thrilled. while at the same time couldn't help internally screaming, "siam is the key! the key to austrialia! go little guys, go! spend the night!" and along with country traveling like a lark in springtime, the plot also jumps from one piece of info to another. oh there's a temple underwater? oh this is the map to pandora's box? oh pandora's box is where? oh the bad guys are here. oh let me save the day.

it's all very amusing stunts-wise and some of the dialogue is snappy. but mostly it's derivative. i am mildly depressed by this as i was so looking forward to it. maybe i'll change my mind upon a second viewing. i really do like the first one. and she does look really good.

Posted by michele at 11:22 PM
July 25, 2003
the league of extraordinary gentleman

i kind of wish i hadn't seen this movie. except for how i went to a matinee and didn't have to pay for my own ticket. so really i just wasted time of my life. and it wasn't a complete drag i guess. just mostly.

this movie is kind of cool with all the literary figures and the completely inappropriate items in the time period setting and the complete suspension of reality (does the invisible man walk around in the mongolian arctic wastelands while it's snowing completely naked and not get frostbite? yes, he does. and boy was i ever mad about it.)

other things i didn't like:
in the previews the one woman on the team says that line, "and women" when someone says, "oh-ho-ho so this is the league of extraordinary gentleman." (or something to that effect). in the movie itself though, i'm pretty sure she never says that. am i wrong? i can't remember now but i am pretty sure it didn't happen. which is irritating because you think, 'oh they're going to provide some semblance of feminism to this rudely titled movie.' but then, it just doesn't happen and then also the one female character is the only one who kills violently and for the fun of it. also the one who gets her emotions involved in the plot. even the whole father-son dichotomy between allan quartermain and tom sawyer (yes, tom sawyer) isn't emotion filled or touching. it's just male bonding of the manly kind.

speaking of the tom sawyer character played by shane west from multiple teeny bopper movies including mandy ass moore's film debut. i heard they added him as a character because they wanted to have a draw for the pre-teen american bitches. the marketing people or whoever, producers, i don't know, they thought that adding tom sawyer would bring in the male crowd and then that shane west would bring in the female one. they're probably correct in this assumption, but i think it's sick and wrong to add something like that to a british based idea just to appease the americans and the creators' pocketbooks. heh.

this next part is written in black and needs to be highlighted because it completely gives away the ending and i am being polite by letting you choose to read it, (editor's note. i changed it a little so it doesn't give away as much since jacob said he could see it anyway and so now i feel bad. my point is still clear, but the whole truth has been deleted a little). at the end of the movie, tom sawyer and allan quartermain are having this little heart to heart in which quartermain says, "may the new century be yours, boy, as the old one was mine." the camera has kind of panned out or something and you can take note at this point that sawyer is standing straddling a crack in the floor. which is all very symbolic and well and good, and normally i might be pleased by it. but in the tripe which this movie produced in my spleen, i mostly just found it tacky and out of place.

favorite line:
random expendable soldier guy: "who ARE you?" to dorian gray.
dorian gray: "I'm complicated." sticks a sword in RESG.

x=ab^2 favorite character:
dorian gray. and that's not just because i love oscar wilde more than bram stoker or robert louis stevenson or mark twain or what have you. all right, it sort of is.

sean connery...i love him, i do. but i think he's a little too old to play this role. how depressing is that. power to you, connery. keep on trucking.


Posted by michele at 11:45 AM
July 20, 2003
whale rider

this movie about the maori in new zealand is fantastic. it recounts the myth of their origins and the role of one young girl in combatting centuries of ingrained patrilineal descent in order to carve a place for herself in the new world order. the girl who plays the main character of pai is AMAZING. truly, she is so good. she made me cry when she gave her speech dressed up in assembly with the moko painted on her face. as a whole it's kind of heartwrenchingly beautiful, a tale of one family, one town as they try to remain true to the old ways while adapting to the forced rigors of a world which is no longer really their own.

but what do i know? i had no clue as to this people's existence prior to this movie. but i think all the same that it is a wonderfully done film with poignancy and a lush, sweeping style. so go see for yourself and judge. =)

Posted by michele at 09:59 PM
l'auberge espagnole

as a movie extolling the virtues of a european clash of cultures skillfully intertwining, this movie as first-rate. if you go hoping to see more of audrey tautou's beautiful face you are in for disappointment as her role is slim. but it's fun to watch 8/9 pretty europeans of different nationalities sit around their apartment in spain and discuss life, love, sex, and philosophy of the disposessed and the legacy of country wrongs carried in the blood of it's children. very much a thinking movie with very little action or exciting camera work. simple, plain, unadorned other than with the fanciful nature of the cast and situation inspired.

Posted by michele at 09:55 PM
July 16, 2003
pirates of the caribbean

this movie rocked. seriously. so much fun. i mean, if you want something SERIOUS and THINKABLE than screw you. but the swordfight swashbuckling, the beautiful people, the crazy dialogue of johnny depp as CAPTAIN jack sparrow. all so good. explosions! boats! ships, i mean! beaches! treasure! i could go on! but i will stop!


favorite things about this movie:
the insouciant johnny depp playing a drunken, manic pirate to the very hilt of his ability. the man is a fucking genius.
the incredibly sexy-cute facial expressions of orlando bloom and his camaraderie with johnny depp and love of the pretty girl. plus he's just adorable.
keira knightley's gorgeously tanned skin, long legs, beautiful eyeballs, the package does it for me. i'm reminded with delight of the scene in 'bend it like beckham' when she's dancing with jonathan rhys-meyer in the club in germany in that tiny little pink top. holy sweet jesus. hot. but that's another movie. i will stop talking about it too.

favorite dialogue bits:
sparrow rips off elizabeth's corset
soldier man: "never would have thought of that."
JS: "clearly you've never been to singapore."

commodore: "you're the the worst pirate i've ever heard of"
JS: "ah but you have HEARD of me."

and then the whole sea turtle escape method when will is hearing about it for the first time.
"he roped the sea turtles together into a raft."
will: "he roped sea turtles. (pause) what did he use for rope?"
stumped silence till the camera pans out to show sparrow
JS: human hair. from my back." swishily walks off. oh the swish. so great.

anyway, i seriously enjoyed this movie and recommend it highly. to the point where i will say that upon release this movie will be mine immediately. that is how much i liked it. you can say that due to the number of movies i own, some of them quite crap, that's not much of a recommendation. but keep in mind most of those i buy for discounted prices to free, i don't often buy movies the day they're released. that requires forethought and planning that i don't usually possess because i'm lazy. but for pirates i will scrape together all my faculties.

other reviews:


Posted by michele at 09:37 PM