Looking Forward to Fall (which, in my book, is tomorrow)

Movies Coming Out This Fall That I’m excited about:

This Fall seems to be a very exciting movie season. Hopefully, it will make up for the not-so-great movie season that was this summer. Always an optimistic, I will list the features coming out in Sept- Dec that could put my faith back in Hollywood:

Zombie film+ comedy + road trip movie = such promise. I hope they don't fuck it up. 

I liked Moulin Rouge. I liked Chicago. This looks to be a combination of both, so it should be good.

It’s Fight Club meets Where the Heart Is. I love intelligent movies that are just commentaries on American life. Michael Cera- awkward yet again, but by now we’ve all just accepted and moved on.

I’m intrigued to see how Drew Barrymore does as a director. This movie looks very promising as a good girls-kick-ass flick.

We’ve learned in the past that movies involving the supernatural seem to have good marriages with high school settings (I Was a Teenage Vampire, Teen Wolf… okay, maybe not Teen Wolf, but you get my drift). Plus, if Diablo Cody wrote it, it should be good.

Tim Burton. The end of the World. Computer animation. Sounds like enough information to make me see it. Plus, they took enough effort to time it so that the movie comes out on 9-9-09.

Ben Affleck as a stoner/ drug dealer? I have to check this out.

A psychological thriller with Michael C. Hall in it?!? No way! I hate to see what this will do to his career (typecasting is an actor’s worst fear), but the film itself looks like a good ride.

You wouldn't be able to guess from the title what this movie is about. Actually, when I saw the ad for the trailer I thought it was going to be about farmers. Instead, I see what looks like a hilarious comedy with... wait for it.... George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, and Jeff Bridges. What an unusual medley. Don't believe me? See for yourself. 

When was the last time Disney made an animated movie? Oh, right. 2004. Five years ago- that movie about the farm animals. Don’t remember it? You shouldn’t. It was garbage. However, I am verrry excited for this feature, and I’m sure everyone is asking the same question: is this the movie to put Disney back on the map? Or is it a lost cause? Because honestly, right now, I think without Pixar it would crumble. And that would be a sad day for animated films. I just wish that half the trailer didn't consist of shots from other Disney films.


The Best and Worst (and Undiscovered) Movies of Summer 2009


As summer is officially coming to an end, I will follow the lead of other Movie Bloggers and wrap up the highlights of this summer’s moviegoing season. I have quite an eclectic mix of films, so bear with me..

First, the “It Should Get An Award, But I Can’t Place It Anywhere” Award: Up

You already know that I don’t think this is a children’s movie. I loved it, but… I honestly don’t know what to do with it. It’s not the “Best Children’s Movie of the Summer”—that would go to Ponyo. But it’s not the greatest movie I saw this summer. But it’s beautifully done and has a touching storyline. I just don’t know where to put it. I know that it deserves recognition, however (and no, I’m not hoping it wins next year’s Best Animated Oscar- I’m praying for the sake of animation that that award goes to Coraline). So you can see my predicament. 

The “Best Movie This Summer” Award: Inglorious Basterds

I cannot express my awe for the badassness of this movie. Though not as good as Tarantino's other films, it definitely was the highlight of my moviegoing this summer. Read my more official review here to get a better opinion. 

Runner Up: Ponyo

Again, one of my favorites. I actually had a very hard time deciding between this and Basterds for my favorite. In the end, I based my decision on how I remember feeling coming out of the theatre, and although this is one of the greatest and most magical animated films I've ever seen, the emotion I felt coming out of watching The Basterds was stronger. Tough love. Read my review here

Winner of the “I Thought it Would Suck, but It’s Not so Bad”: The Proposal

As Romantic Comedies go, this one delivered a lot more than I thought it would. It reminded me of the days when you could have a romantic comedy without sex that still delivered. I found myself laughing hysterically and enjoying myself even though I could predict the ending from a mile away. I hate to say it, but I'm getting really tired of "dirty" Rom-coms. Knocked Up was funny, but Judd Apatow seemed to start a wave that has gone on for way too long. Maybe The Proposal will help bring back the spirit of Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, Amelie, or any other romantic comedy that's actually remembered. 

Runner Up: Funny People (SPOILER ALERT)

I heard from every review I read that this movie was slow, boring, and scattered. Those are all true. However, it did make me laugh, something you would hope out of a movie titled "Funny People." And after the first hour or so, it picked up. And I thanked God that Apatow did not take the cheese route and have Sandler's and Mann's characters end up together. He kept it real, and in that way, this movie delivered an honest picture of comedians and show business. That was what made me enjoy it. 

Winner of the “I’m Laughing, But It’s Not Supposed to be Funny” Movie of the Summer: G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra

I really don't have many words for this movie that haven't already been said. The overacting, cartoonish characters made me laugh at serious moments, and also the fact that the main villain has played the same character in every other movie I've seen him in and therefore can't really be taken that seriously. If you want the full review, read it here. 

Runner Up: District 9

Are we supposed to love the aliens or hate them? Blow them up or have conversations with them and their weird looking children? This movie was divided, and I found myself laughing just because I didn't know what else to do or how to feel about what was going on. 

The “Best Summer Indie Flick” Award: Adam (Semi-Spoiler)

Quite possibly one of the most adorable films I've seen in a while. No, it isn't as adorable as Ponyo, but it has a sweetness in its realism that can't be ignored. Hugh Dancy was brilliant as the young inventor with Aspberger's Syndrome, and Rose Byrne went where no girl in a romantic dramedy about someone with a disability would go: she put herself first. I definitely did a double take when I saw this movie, and then afterward I immediately had the ultimate respect for the way it accurately portrayed a couple such as Adam and Beth. I could completely imagine this entire movie existing in real life, and that's the beauty of independent film. 

Runner Up: Away We Go

Although it reminded me of an adult version of Juno (think about it: instead of a teenage couple, it's an couple. Instead of searching for the perfect family, they're searching for the perfect home. Even the animation reeks of Juno), I found this to be a delightful little film about growing up and embracing responsibility (wait... where did we see that? Oh right! Juno.). Anyway, I liked Juno, and therefore also liked this film. It was witty, charming, and gave us a lot of really interesting characters. It's nice to see John Krasinski out of the Office and into open air, and I enjoyed this film. 

The “Worst Movie of the Summer”: G-Force
Fucking. Talking. Hamsters. Oh, wait- I’m sorry. Guinea Pigs. Who fight crime. Excuse me while I go cry for Disney’s fall from grace.
Um, no runner-up for this. 

So, there you have it, folks. The end of this summer. It's been grand at times, and there have been times where I wanted to shout, "Hollywood, you're not helping your case right now!" Just remember, good or bad, a movie still deserves to be discussed, because there's always a reason behind the madness. 


The Movie Mistress

Oh, and please comment if you disagree. I want opinions, people! 


The 10 Best Opening Credit Sequences (in no particular order)

Because I like the meshing of music with movies so much, the opening credits to a film are very important to me. The opening titles have to 1) keep your interest, 2) reflect the mood of the rest of the film, and 3) look sharp. In my opinion, if you aren't willing to put any effort to a movie's opening, don't try. There's nothing wrong with white-text-on-black-background titles as long as you have a good score to go with (see selection 6). Anyway, of the movies and television shows I've seen, these 10 have the opening titles that made the cut.

1) To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

Undisputedly the best opening titles sequence ever. I'm not making this up.

2) Napolean Dynamite (2004)

I didn't like this movie so much, but at least when I saw the opening credits I thought I was going to like it because of how awesome they were.

3) Amelie (2001)

Although the opening credits reminded me a little bit of Matilda, I still thought they were incredibly well done and captured completely the spirit of French cinema (which is totally in sync with the film).

4) Juno (2007)

The creators of this movie said that the opening titles, which were all drawn by hand, were a labor of love that surpassed the film itself. I can believe that. I couldn't find an embedding code, so instead I'll link to the site where they are up for viewing:

Juno Opening Credits

5) Strangers on a Train  (1951)

I'm including the opening scene of getting on the train as part of the titles, even though technically they've ended by this point. Hitchcock's opening to this film is just too good to be left off the list, and I have a feeling that were he a filmmaker now, the credits would have gone up during the shots of the shoes. Because all titles went before the movie back then, however, it is shown this way:

6) Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)

Tarantino is known for simple titles, and the opening scene of this movie combined with the opening song is just beautiful. It gives me chills every time I watch it.

7) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) / Spiderman  (2002)

They're both similar, they're both well done, and they're both composed by Danny Elfman. Therefore, I think they should be grouped together.

8) Se7en (1995)

I already reviewed this movie, but I needed to include it because the opening credits sequence is chilling. I also think the remix of "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails fits the theme of the film perfectly.

9) Marie Antoinette (2006)

This is one of my favorite movies, and I don't know if it would be if it didn't have the score that it does. That being said, I absolutely am in love with the punk-rock-style opening titles.

10) Dexter (2006-2009)

Okay, so I normally don't blog about TV shows, but anyone who has seen this show will know that the opening credits (which have stayed the same for four years, thank God) are fucking BRILLIANT. The creators took a mundane morning routine and made it the most creepy, sadistic image you could think of. If you haven't seen this show, watch the titles. They'll get you interested.


Double Feature Friday- Kevin Spacey


One of my favorite actors, Kevin Spacey is known for playing quiet, down-trodden characters that seem sociopathic or creepy. I decided to choose two movies where he plays a team player, or where the main focus is not entirely on him, because of how he relates to others. The great thing about his performances is that he never makes it about him; it's always about the other person in the scene (which is what an actor is supposed to do). So, without further ado...

(image from loud.com)

“Mr. Soze rarely works with the same people for very long, and they never know who they're working for. One cannot be betrayed if one has no people.”

This is, in my opinion, one of the greatest movies ever made. It’s smart, fast-paced, and humorous, while still keeping you on the edge of your seat. It doesn’t just keep you guessing- no, it explains everything down to the very last detail, and then when you think you understand the entire movie, you get hit in the gut with a wrecking ball that has a big “FUCK YOU.” Anyone who says that saw the ending coming from a mile away either

1) is a dirty liar or
2) has seen similar movies trying to emanate and channel this one

It set the precedence for the modern “Doppelganger” film, and when you finish watching, you’re just filled with absolute awe for the creators. This is the type of movie where you finish and say, “Wow. I am so fucking stupid.” And suddenly, you’re filled with this brilliant insight on the world, and everything you saw up until that moment makes perfect sense.

I am trying very hard to do a review where I don’t give anything away, which is hard with this movie because you just have to see it for yourself to understand any tiny bit of plot that I include. It’s been almost fourteen years since this movie came out (not that I saw when it came out- I was a bit young), and it still blows my mind every time I watch it.

If you haven’t seen it, rent it NOW. It’s probably in the $.50 section, although it deserves to be a new release. 

(Image from www.murphsplace.com)

I miss nostalgia films with the style of this one. Now, it seems as if everything is about realism and portraying a period accurately. Take Married Life and Revolutionary Road, for example. While they’re very good movies that present accurate portrayals of the 1950s, they are clearly films made today, in the “i-heart-indie-films” age. They lack the quality of feeling as if they were made in the 1950s, which is where this film shines.

What I love about this movie is the film noir quality that keeps you wanting more. Each body in this film is not just a person, they’re a character. They each have something to gain, whether noble or not, and that is what makes this film interesting. The shootouts are fun, but the plot and characters are what drives this movie.

My one criticism is the length. There were parts where the movie just seemed to drag a bit. In my opinion, the “Bloody Christmas” bit could have been cut altogether, or, if they needed a way for Guy Pearce’s character to get his Detective badge, it could have started with him as detective and then been mentioned in passing. It wasn’t really necessary to the rest of the plot.

Other than that, however, this movie is excellent. 


The Movie Mistress


New Layout

As you can see, I decided to redesign my blog. Please tell me if it's good or if it's shitty (please be honest- I want a blog that others want to look at). Also, I tried really hard to make a "Rate This" Feature and have not had ay luck. Please be patient and know that soon, hopefully, once I stop being frustrated and figure this out, there will be a rating widget with the traditional 5-stars at the bottom of each post.


The Movie Mistress

G.I. Joe- Rise of the Cobra


Yes, I went to see this movie. I know what you’re thinking. Why would anyone go see it? And why is it at the top of the Box Office charts? Well, I got out of this movie exactly what I expected to get out of it: a really good time with lots of shit blowing up. It didn’t ever really feel like a movie… it felt like more of a video game that was, oh, non-participatory. There was a little bit too much animation at times, which annoyed me. Until I discovered something.

I discovered that once I pictured the movie in cartoon form, (trust me, it wasn’t hard to do- there’s already so much CGI that it’s animated almost constantly) I found it ten times more enjoyable. Seriously! All the voices (which, up until I decided to just treat it as such, had irritated the shit out of me) sounded like they came out of your Saturday morning super-hero cartoons, comic style. In particular, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character, who sounded like what I suppose Darth Vader would sound like if he had emotions.

Plus, the characters spend most of their time bailing out other characters, which leaves the only real character development to be shown through cheesy flashbacks and sharply cut one-liners.

Basically, what we have here is a movie with hardly any plot (and the plot that is there isn’t really explained- ok, fuck that, nothing really makes sense) and shitty acting.
So why did I enjoy it? Three reasons.

1. The music. You know how I feel about music and movies, and this movie had a killer soundtrack which heightened the suspense.

2. It was exciting. Sure, watching a video game isn’t the same as playing a video game, but watching a jet fly behind a missile (and watching it from the jet’s perspective) is still pretty damn exciting.

3. There will be a sequel. At least, if there isn’t, the entire movie was pointless. I mean, just look at the title: GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. The entire movie was just a setup for the actual story of Cobra (as ridiculous as that sounds). And yes, it may be a total marketing ploy, but it kind of makes you want to see the sequel when they don’t explain shit in the first movie. Tarantino did it. Spielberg did it. Hell, I don’t think the first Harry Potter movie would have been made if they didn’t know seven more would be coming. It gives you hope that you’ll find out more to the story.

And hope that you’ll get to see more shit blown up.

Anyway, I would say wait until this movie has been on DVD for a while, rent it for a dollar, and then go borrow your neighbor’s flatscreen. It’s the perfect type of movie for a party- exciting, and you don’t actually have to pay attention to know what’s going on. Plus, you’ll be imitating the villain’s voice because it’s just that ridiculous, and trust me, that will be infinitely more entertaining drunk. 


The Movie Mistress


The Most Overrated Brad Pitt Movies


I promised I would post, and so I shall. But first, if you didn't read my list of The Best Brad Pitt Movies, I suggest you do that first because I don't want you thinking I'm a bitch who hates Brad Pitt. Anyway, most of these are big-budget blockbusters, so if you don't agree, I can understand. But comment about it! Otherwise I'll just assume everyone agrees with me, which is a really boring way to live. So, without further ado, here are

The Most Overrated Brad Pitt Movies

This movie made me laugh. Like, really hard. That’s just sad, because it really isn’t supposed to be a comedy. Seriously. Did Brad Pitt confuse old for mentally retarded? Because there were times when I seriously thought he was trying to be Forrest Gump or something. He either had no emotion or was just stoned throughout filming. The movie was supposed to be about Ben’s troubles with being born old and growing younger, but Brad Pitt acted- or rather, didn’t act at all- like he was hindered when it came to expressing anything because of his God-awful Louisiana accent (I tried to find an example to embed a video, but had no luck). And what was with the Oscar nomination? Granted, I didn’t like this movie for several reasons, so maybe I’m being unfair to Brad, but still. It was and is completely overrated.

2.  2.  Troy

I’m convinced that the only purpose Brad Pitt serves in this movie is to make Orlando Bloom look like a girl. I don’t really have anything else to say about it.

3.   3. Meet Joe Black

I get that Death is supposed to be emotionless, but when you take that and add it to a three hour long movie, it gets… sort of boring… and… oh, God, just let Anthony Hopkins fucking die already so that I don’t have to watch any more of this. If I hear Brad Pitt say one more word about stupid peanut butter, I swear…

4.  4. Legends of the Fall (SPOILER ALERT)

One word: ponytail. I bet you had forgotten. Aside from that, what irks me about his performance in this movie is that it isn’t believable that his character would go to war. He doesn’t sell us on the idea that he actually wants to protect his brother because of how carefree he is in the first half hour of the film. If anything, I would expect him to stay back while the other two go fight the Germans. He hadn’t quite mastered the art of crying yet, so when Samuel does die, he kind of just shouts uncontrollably in a Clare-Danes-ala-Romeo-and-Juliet sort of way, which makes me laugh every time even though it’s supposed to be sad. In short, a good film if you’re in the mood for epicness and shitty acting.

I always forget that Brad Pitt is in this movie. I like to play six degrees of separation on IMDB, and I had linked Tom Cruise from Minority Report to Interview, and I looked at the cast list, and said, “Brad Pitt was in this?” It took me a minute to remember that he played the main character. Which is sad, considering he was the main character. Then I thought about it, and realized that he really didn’t do anything. Tom Cruise jumped around like a homicidal maniac, and Kirsten Dunst made her evil-but-cute debut, but Brad Pitt sort of just stood there without expression. A good movie, but not one that showcases his acting. 

...isn't this fun? Tell me what you think!


The Movie Mistress