June 25, 2004
mean girls

(kabui 8, with christine and maggie)

the thing about this movie is that it was homophobic, racist, and mean. just plain mean. sure, it's in the title and you should expect it, but those girls were just awful, and when the main character, the one you're supposed to be rooting for theoretically, becomes a horrible person you're kind of left with nothing to appease you in the film. it was detrimental to the plot. and speaking of the plot, where was it? lame excuse for a plot really.

then there was the bus thing from felicity and final destination. clincher. stupid. maybe not for people who didn't see it used in felicity or FD, and maybe it's a ploy used in other visual media before those, but either way it equaled lame.

and then the trite moralistic ending coming during the mathelites competition was completely ignorable. her voice over about problems and answers and the moment, balanced against the guy dressed up as a girl on the other team (presumably for funding reasons) was just a pathetic attempt to win us back over with her conversion. but words in one ear and out the other, no attention was being paid by me at that point to anything she said.

and why, but oh why, did the boy take her in the end? heh. i really quite like lindsay lohan, (as i've said before), but i didn't particularly like her in this.

Posted by michele at 10:43 AM
the story of the weeping camel

(international film festival, san francisco, kabuki 8, 4/27/04, 5:45 pm, with jason and laura)

camels! yurts! mongolia!

also sheep and cats and deer and goats. this movie was fucking sweet like a menagerie.

the camels have pierced noses. ouch. but that's nothing compared to birthing a baby camel. shown in all its more horrifying detail. see, for a while i thought it was a breach birth, but i think in the end either the baby was just too big, or the mother was just lazy. i think it was her first birth. anyway, the baby wouldn't come out. eventually the yurt dwellers are trying to pull it out and they get it out mostly and wipe the goo off its nose and mouth so it can breathe. and the mother is just kind of laying there with this baby half-in and half-out of her vagina. finally the baby starts trying to get out the rest of the way, right? so its kicking the mom's uterus with its back feet trying to propel itself forward. blood and birthing fluids everywhere! kicking the uterus! i'm never giving birth!

there's not much talking in this movie. mostly they just go about their camel, sheep, goat tending duties. there's 3 little kids. CUTE. they tie the little girl to a pole in the yurt so she can't go getting into trouble. and then they gave her a pot and spoon to bang on. thus cementing my theory that all little kids, whether in mongolia or the US can be pacified with a spoon and bowl. it's the banging noise. and the way it vibrates. fuck, i love me some spoon hitting bowl music.

um. anyway the point of this movie is that it's a fake documentary. the family in it act out what a normal month or so for them would be like. so the movie is made with the cooperation of the family and the film-makers (first timers from sweden or somewhere) film stuff. the plot is that this camel gives birth to a white camel (which is a good omen) but then refuses to suckle it. so the family tries all these different ways to make the mother feed her baby and keep failing. and they think the baby will die (also its anus drips nasty looking liquids. yes. i watched it.) so finally they send the two boys to town via camel-riding to bring back the violin player. the violin player can make beautiful music and there is this little mini-ritual to impress the cosmos upon the camel mother to give it a sense of civic duty. or at least of motherhood. and then she cries.

and they all live happily ever after. especially the yurt residents who get a tv and huge satellite reception thing. presumably for having hosted these film-makers. so see, even in the middle of the mongolian desert you can be connected by tv to the rest of the world. you might have violinists and weeping camels, but we can indoctrinate you with crap programming to be just as unoriginal as the rest of us.

Posted by michele at 10:26 AM
double dare

(International Film Festival, San Francisco, Kabuki 8, 4/26/04, 6:15pm, with Kristen)

the premise of this movie was already so wonderful, that i was won over before even having seen it. it's a documentary about stunt women, in particular the ones who did stunts for wonder woman and xena warrior princess. obviously i invited kristen to this. she loves wonder woman. i love xena wp. it was like a match made in heaven. and then we met zoe.

zoe bell is the pretty, young thing who did all the stunts for xena. oh man. kristen and i fell for her completely. and then she was there at the end walking on her hands and being all slightly tipsy and kiwi at us. sigh.

ok. but this movie was edited superbly with the going back and forth between zoe on set with zena and jeannie epper (stuntwoman for wonder woman who is now older and trying to find work and/or become a stunt coordinator). the dichotomy between young and old and the abilities of each was set off nicely. and then, of course, the two were brought together as zena completed it's last season (zoe in a flaming dress going thru a wall) and zoe decides to come to the states to try to find work. so jeannie and zoe become friends and jeannie helps zoe to get a job (ready!? drum roll!) as uma thurman's double in kill bill!

at the end of the movie there was a question and answer period with the director (amanda micheli), zoe, and jeannie. during the final filming of kill bill, zoe broke her arm and so she didn't get to kill bill, which still rankled quite a bit with her as she talked about all the work for that movie and then she didn't even get to kill him. it was adorable. also she said, "i wasn't even capable of wiping my ass, let alone walking on my hands." this after she showed us that she could walk on her hands again. she'd only managed that for the first time that week. she was a dirty mouthed, muscled, tanned, blonde new zealand girl. and i loved her.

as an introduction to what the lives of female stunt doubles are like, this movie was awesome. so if you're interested in xena, some behind the scenes footage of the fighting in kill bill 1, or swearing, i recommend this movie.

Posted by michele at 10:01 AM
kill bill 2

i took a lot of notes during this movie. but i don't really have much to say about it. i didn't like it as much as the first one. it was more expositional and, hence, boring. it dragged in places with the slow blah blah blah. nothing could really compare with the fight scene in japan with the crazy 88's and lucy liu.

the scene in the coffin, for example, went on wayyyyy to long. at first it was all creepy what with the being buried alive. but then it was just breathing in the dark. the chinese kung fu master...well it was certainly central to the plot, but it was completely absent from the first one and its induction in this one seemed like a slightly non-exact puzzle piece turned on its side and glued in. with paste. the kind that dissolves in water. all right now i'm just being picky and overzealous.

it was good. parts of it were good. i think that really i just need to see it again. it's a movie which needs to be appreciated not loved at first sight like the first one.

Posted by michele at 09:47 AM
June 11, 2004
jersey girl

(amc kabuki 8, with christine, 4/2/04)

"you love me to the moon and back down to the ground."

in a shocking turn of events, view askew presents us with an incredibly sweet story of father/daughter love. also funny! i really enjoyed this movie and recommend it heartily. the little girl is so damn cute, and even though i don't have quite the obsession with ben affleck as christine does, he's none too shabby either. plus as smaller roles/cameos, matt damon, jason lee, and jason biggs are all in this movie too. you can't go wrong with those boys, you know? jason biggs almost kicked me in the face once and i'm going to never let that memory die.

funny lines:
"they're just skinny because they're all coked out whores." -ben affleck to j.lo.
"mark my words, you're going to give her the crotch rot." pampers delivery guy to ben affleck who is trying to change the baby's diaper and pouring way to much powder on her ass.
"i'm not really a whore-monger, dad." -ben affleck
"what are your intentions towards my daughter?" -ben affleck to the boy who just showed gertie his genitals.
"what are you intentions towards my father?" -gertie to liv tyler after catching them half-naked in the shower.
liv tyler, the elven princess, admitting she masturbates twice a day. shudder.

the early 90's humor (like the 70's humor in starsky & hutch) was excellent in this movie. the whole will smith thing was also funny. and the incorporation of a bit of sweeney todd was brilliant.

Posted by michele at 10:30 AM
scooby doo 2

(amc kabuki 8, by self, 4/2/04)

seth green seth green. his first appearance goes into slow-mo even. whimper.

and buffy and linda cardellini:
"i'm not hot!" -velma
"i'm not either!" -daphne
said while crawling around on the floor. and then velma wears red leather and asks seth green who his mommy is. eep.

this movie also has one of the best expositions of the reasons behind the villains actions that i've ever seen. old man winkles in the villain's hang-out says something along the lines of how they wanted people to believe they were something they weren't because they didn't like who they were. so he would dress up in costumes and terrorize people and get caught by those damn kids, but at least he was being something that was dissimilar to the self he hated. psychologically fascinating.

seth green totally wasn't in this movie enough. though the dance sequence at the very end when he's letting loose on the boogie floor with daphne (linda cardellini) is almost worth any disappointment i might have been feeling. rock on with dance sequences. more movies need them.

Posted by michele at 10:15 AM
the prince and me

(amc van ness, by self, snuck in, 4/18/04, 4:20pm)

there's something to be said for movies where a girl from the mid-west can fall in love with the prince of denmark. this is the kind of film i like to see when my brain just wants for a moment to be transposed into happily ever after. sigh. fantasy vs. reality and all that bullshit. well, this movie came thru on that score. there's even some crappily done CG butterflies interspersed with wedding rings.

there's a whole hamlet undercurrent (and how could there not be?) only he doesn't have sex with him mother, and though his father does die, he's not murdered. whiny prince who just wants to play does grow up though. and the girl gives up the real-life fairy tale for her dreams of becoming a doctor. it's an interesting moral tale about taking responsibility for your actions and for your future. about giving up love, but not giving up on it. and then at the end, of course, they get everything. because he wants her in his life even if it means waiting. that's a lot of power for her to hold over him, so you got to question his ability to be an effective ruler. plus, how the hell did their relationship even get going? whirlwind romance, thy name is hollywood faking. (ultimately i cynicize.)

Posted by michele at 09:55 AM
connie and carla

(amc van ness, with jason, 4/18/04, 2:10pm)

jason and i quietly enjoyed this movie in a theatre full of gay men. it was funny, enjoyable, a rip-off of other movies though it claimed not to be, and full of singing, caked-on make-up, and dressing in drag in drag. or just one drag. it depended.

clint mentioned on his webpage that he had seen a preview for this movie and was confused because he didn't think there was a dinner-theatre circuit in LA, so i went into this movie armed with a skeptical attitude, questioning how they were going to present that. and really...connie and carla ended up creating the one and only dinner theatre venue in LA, so, i guess it made sense. i'd never really known about dinner theatre. i mean, i've been to that round table place in LA where you watch the jousting tournament while eating chicken with your fingers. which i guess theoretically is the same sort of idea. only for people from the mid-west. or camelot. merlin, ho!

but anyway, watching the gangster guy who is looking for connie and carla in dinner-theatres across the country is pretty damn funny. he calls 'rent', "poignant". and he sings along to the lyrics in auntie mame. he becomes, really, this freaky aficionado, and i can only applaud that kind of nonsense.

a lot of the characters actually had wierd idiosyncrasies. like nia vardalos was constantly saying things like, "your voice is giving me mono," or "your voice is giving me shingles." and no one had any eyebrows. alright, that's not a quirky behavioral thing, it's just a statement.

i kind of liked and disliked david duchovny in this movie. liked him because he's cute and sincere. disliked him because how lame is for not being able to tell she's a girl? and how lame is he for being so close-minded about gay people? though he does try. but the end of the movie only makes it right when she can be female and he won't accept anything else. "i could get used to that," he says at the end. bah on you, i say.

"i'm not gay." -david duchovny
"neither am i...it's complicated." -nia vardalos

on a side note, a guy who looked a lot like michael rappaport was also in this movie (i adore him. i don't know why. i think it's the tall red-hair first-boyfriend syndrome thing.) and at one point he's sitting on a park swing, swigging out of a paper bag, and clutching a kitten. abject adorable misery with kitten. some cops come along and are all like, "just put down the kitten. put the kitten down." beautiful.

Posted by michele at 09:29 AM
June 10, 2004
13 going on 30

(metreon, with kristen, sneak preview, 4/17/04, 7pm)

before this movie even starts kristen and i are giggling our heads off, which pretty much should indicate to you what type of girly movie this was and how prepared we were to revel in it. and revel we did.

oh jennifer garner, i don't care that erica's housemate went to school with you and hated you, because i myself adore you. i think it has a lot to do with how SERIOUS she is all the time on alias what with the losing 2 years of her life, gaining a sister, losing and regaining her man; but then in this she was smiling. with actual mouth muscles. it was amazing. she's so much prettier when she looks happy.

this movie began with footage of school photo day which is also how 'the girl next door' started. and...the girl actually lives next door in both movies too. also, the main male character is named matt in both. i became a little disturbed by these similarities. quickly though 13 going on 30 introduced time-travel and similarities ended.

an amazing thing about this movie is that the tagline is, "thirty, flirty, and thriving." which made me feel like i should be more excited about the whole 5 years till 30 thing. but i've come to accept the fact that if i'm not going to be jennifer garner in 5 years, there's still no real reason to look forward to it.

in my notes i have, "watching her try to hail a cab is adorable." " watching her clutch a fluffy pillow while drinking water is adorable." "her nostrils flare adorably when she looks at all her shoes." "watching her sit on the couch in their new front lawn with matt is adorable!"

at the end when the lights came up, i turned to kristen and said something about how adorable it is that she fell in love at 13 and got married to him at 30 and was still so fricking adorably in love. and how amazing it was to do that--to find someone at 13. my happy excited romantic face wilted slightly with jealousy in the face of kristen then saying, "well...i was 13 when i met gene."

Posted by michele at 01:22 PM
the girl next door

(metreon, by self, 4/17/04, 3:40pm)

it's high school porn! brilliant (in the british intonation)! with homophobic undertones voiced by the dood from joan of arcadia who calls joan, 'jane'! less than brilliant!

i admit to liking this movie. at the same time i was kind of horrified by how much it bashed "fags".

"the beach is for fags." -eli
"you know what? you guys are fags." -matt

"it's a cool ride, huh?" -kelly (male)
"yeah, if you're a fag." -jocks
"eli, i like this girl!" -matt
"and you can still like her with your penis inside of her." -eli

oh man, was it ever that sort of movie. that kind where high school boys swear, watch porn, and only think about sex, EVER. except this one guy who *likes* the girl, gets good grades, and never puts a toe out of line. except in this movie when he puts the toe over, follows it with his penis, and then falls in the pool with all his clothes on. ah the old adage about growing up and the adventures along the way wherein you fall in love with porn stars, make a porn video, and fuck with pinp porn executives. it's just like my life, i can totally relate. all right, now i'm being sarcastic.

honestly though, i do kind of have a soft spot in my heart for movies about gutter-minded high school boys. why is that? i think it's just because i have a crush on my memories of all the boys i knew in high school and how i was pretty much like them. and still sort of am. except for the fag-bashing. cause i don't truck with that stuff.

"shut the fuck up. next question. faster!" -eli

and they all live happily ever after.

Posted by michele at 01:06 PM

(metreon, with mom, snuck in, 4/15/04, 3:50pm)

i was so excited about this movie. this movie was hideously lame. much like jason right now is a gimp on crutches, this movie couldn't amble if it tried.

the dialogue! oh crap the dialogue! it was like, "i am going to be extremely dead-pan humor, nonchalant hero, sardonic, laconic hellboy now. watch me drops these pearls of perfect script for you, oh wait, wait for it, i slipped and puked poop all over you instead."

moral of the movie: what makes a man a man? (thus to grant humanity to the hell boy) the choices he makes, not how he starts, but how he chooses to end things. the end.

yeah, the lame choices, the bad acting, the stupidity, and bad fighting skills. heh. you suck, movie, suck.

Posted by michele at 10:58 AM
ella enchanted

(Metreon, with mom, 4/15/04, 2:10pm)

once again i read the book right before going to see this. i need to learn not to do that. the book, though, is excellent. witty even. the movie is fluff. with some odd additions to the concept. prominent among these is the species/race discrimination and prince fan club that runs rampant through the whole thing. there's also some really bad CG work done which puts you in mind of a crap computer game. and a lot of singing. i quite enjoyed the singing even as a i flinched in shame for liking the singing. anne hathaway though is actually not a bad singer. she belts out 'somebody to love' in quite a convincing fashion. plus, she's really pretty with all that hair and those big brown eyes. sigh.

there's a lot of lame jokes in this movie. like the Frell flower bed and community center, the IV Seasons Hotel, the mall opening, her dad looking at the want ads in the paper, minnie driver and the bend it like beckham indian girl being in this movie. at the very end of the movie, BiLB girl shouts at anne hathaway, "good luck, ella!" it's like one of the 10 lines she has in the whole movie. my mouth just kind of dropped open at this point though because what the hell was she *doing* in this movie? sheesh.

fluffy but fun, i give my support.

Posted by michele at 10:53 AM

(emeryville 16 with ellie, 4/11/04)

attention to detail made this movie. like you had to keep a special eye out just to take in all the props, where they were placed, whether they had dust on them. it was all integral. it was all...important. and kind of the camera paid loving attention to it all. like poetry.

what is with the coen brothers and that mannerism that all their lead actors takes on though? i mean...george clooney is always somehow the same guy in thier films, and now tom hanks was sort of the same guy too. branch out, people.

the music soundtrack was excellent. the cat kept changing. (it would develop fatness, different fur lengths, different patterns. odd.)

ultimately, interesting movie, well done, sort of dull.

Posted by michele at 10:34 AM
eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

(emeryville 16 with jason, erica, and jolie)

the editing of this movie is awesome. and awe-inspiring. and semi-confusing at first.

i tried half-heartedly to assign hair colors to the periods of the film. i really wanted them to have a comprehensive aspect. she names some of them. blue ruin, red menace, agent orange. i forget what green was. someone else should see this movie and then give me evidence for my hair color theory. or i could see it again. it should be out on dvd soon i imagine.

in my notes i have, "all the books in a memory turned white". i think this is referring to the scene in the bookstore where she works and he's trying to get her to run with him....man, i saw this a long time ago. anyway, what i think i meant is that they turn blank. except maybe not. did the spines of the books on the shelf turn white? does anyone else remember this? maybe this could further my color scheme ideas. dammit. the very beginning of the movie everything was grey. what's it like at the very end?

sunshine isn't only yellow.

Posted by michele at 10:30 AM

this movie had me internally screaming happily, "horsies!" and "kitties!" in turns whenever the horses or leopards were on screen. not only was this a true story, it's also a good story. watching bedouins makes me want to be one. i want to ride horsies all over that desert and wear those clothes and pet those kitties. my wants are many, my accomplishments few.

see this movie, you too could be cheering for hidalgo the horse.

Posted by michele at 10:24 AM
starsky & hutch

this movie i saw for free with gene who had comp tickets. i even got a free poster which subsequently was given to my brother and which has now been framed and sits on the floor. fat lot of good the framing did if it's just going to molder on the floor in my opinion. but whatever, not my poster, not my problem.

this movie = fucking hilarious. the writing, the acting, the jokes; it's all top-notch, my friends. i laughed really hard. the allusions to the 70's, snoop dogg, will ferrell's dragon syndrome, korean midget knife thrower, and ben stiller going, "do it! .... do it!" were delightful.

in the credits at the end there are some out-takes/bloopers, one of which is starsky and hutch walking towards the camera in slow-mo and a lot of pigeons fly up around them. this, i think, is a homage to john woo movies, which can also be seen reflected in the buddy-buddy, self-narcissistic homosexuality, male objectification, etc, but mostly just the slow-mo pigeons/doves things. i enjoy those slo-mo walking things. they do that (ben stiller and ed norton) in keeping the faith too. love it!

i strongly promote this movie.

Posted by michele at 10:03 AM
50 first dates

me watching this movie basically just became a squeal fest everytime sean astin came on the screen in a fishnet shirt with his speech impediment and flexing pecs and ass muscles. every time i'd go all "hobbit! hobbit! fish-net! hee hee hee hee hee!!!!" it just degenerated from there. much like that time i started screaming "legos" for "legolas" while watching return of the king.

but sean astin was not the main character of this movie. no, drew barrymore's head injury was. she got in a car accident see, and now has no long-term memory so she keeps re-living the same sunday over and over again. and then adam sandler spots her and falls in love and makes videotapes to show her how she should remember him the next day instead of him having to start all over every day to impress her with his ability to make lodgings out of waffles in a diner with toothpicks.

the interesting thing about this movie, i felt, was that it didn't offer a cure at the end and make everything completely better. no, she still had no long-term memory except they got married anyway and had a kid and live on a boat in alaska or somewhere with ice floes and penguins anyway. that right there was possibly a huge spoiler. sorry. this movie was funny and sweet though and had a lot of funny parts so i recommend it. not now though when you're all pissed at me for giving away the ending.

Posted by michele at 09:52 AM
confessions of a teenage drama queen

jacob and dianna got me the book (out of which this movie sprang like an alien) for my 25th birthday and i read it immediately and loved it. so i went into the movie theatre with an excited face and happy wiggle. then my parade got rained on. in the book, adam (friend) has dreadlocks and a pierced nose. in the movie, adam (love interest) is "normal" looking. bah, i say. give us the alt boy! this bothers me because it's like a lot of mainstream things where anything conceived of as too "different" is done away with and replaced with something tame. although, don't get me wrong, the boy playing adam was still mighty cute. lola, (main character) watches him walk away and there's a close-up of his ass (at which point a kid in the audience in front of me said, "ew!", later they also giggled in delighted horror at the kissing scene).

i enjoyed lindsay lohan singing in the school musical's adaptation of pygmalion (she was a check-out girl in a supermarket in new york. oh eliza.) i actually really like lindsay lohan. except for all the freckles. i'm not a freckle fan. do freckled people look diseased? or is that just me? but even though i like her and think she's a way better singer than hilary duff (damn her), this movie still kind of sucked ass.

Posted by michele at 09:46 AM