9.30.2009

Chocolat (2000)

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My rating: 4 stars 


((SPOILER ALERT))


Why had I not seen this movie before? It's absolutely fucking adorable. It makes you feel like someone has come up and hugged you for a whole two hours. And it isn't just a feel-good movie- it has a darkness to it that doesn't come along with your usual chick-flick. There is an eerie mood that accompanies the quirky little warm fuzzies you get when you watch this. 


Maybe it helped that I happen to love chocolate. Or maybe it was that I'm attracted to unconventional films. Either way, something clicked with me while I was watching this movie. It is about overcoming adversity and holding to your own beliefs, but unlike a lot of movies in this genre, there was actual legit adversity to overcome. Johnny Depp's fucking boat was lit on fire. A fucking BOAT. 


Plus, I absolutely loved that they made no pains to hide the hypocrisy in the town (and that they made it comical). I mean, I am not trying to demean the Catholic religion, but it is kind of funny that the people of the village are literally freaking out over eating chocolate, which seems like no big deal to most people. Like going to confession every single day because they ate a truffle. It's pretty hilarious, and I guess that plays into the offbeat humor of the film. There is a slow transition among ALL the characters to be more open and accepting, and the fact that this was portrayed in such a realistic way made it both entertaining and thought-provoking. 


I also liked that the ending was finished, but not concluded. They left you with a sense of unease at the fact that Juliette Binoche's character decided to stay in one place. She chose to do so because of her daughter, but it was still very unsettling because you could tell that only half of her wanted to. The other half yearned to roam. There is still a lot to this story that could happen, and the opening makes the movie that much more interesting. 


All in all, I thoroughly recommend this movie for being in its own genre. Watch it, and I just might add it to my Best Movies to Watch While Sick. After all, I think this would make me feel better any day. 


Peace and chocolate!


The Movie Mistress

9.27.2009

How many prices can you put on Matt Damon?

1 comments
Sorry, I came across this and had to share:


epic fail pictures
see more Fail Blog



Peace!


The Movie Mistress

Jennifer's Body

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My rating: 3 stars


((SPOILER ALERT))


I've officially christened this Fall's movie going season, and what better to kick it off than with a demonic Megan Fox? I expected this movie to be absolutely terrible, and it was... not bad. I mean, who doesn't love a bad horror movie? There was plenty of awesome zombie-esque killing going on, and the special effects were better than I've seen in this genre of horror in a while. 


The plot was a little loose, but that's to be expected. What I just didn't like about it was that everyone is so blase throughout the entire thing. The main character seems to be the only one concerned with the fact that people are dying, which makes you kind of disinvested in the story because she really has nothing to motivate her except for that everyone thinks she's crazy. I also did not understand Needy's approach to dealing with the fact that Jennifer's evil. If Jennifer still thinks they are best friends, wouldn't the one smart thing to do be to keep Chip close rather than break up with him because then Jennifer would not want to hurt Needy and go after another boy? For someone who was supposed to be a quirky geek, the protagonist wasn't very intelligent. Pretty much everyone knows that the approach to dealing with possessed people is to gain their trust, not push it away. 


Also, why didn't Jennifer just tell the guys she wasn't a virgin once she figured out what they were doing? That would seem like the logical thing to do. Then again, if that had happened, we wouldn't have a movie. 


So, basically, if you ignore the plot devices that don't make sense, this movie's pretty good. I enjoyed it as a horror movie and as a fun movie-going experience, but I don't know if I would want to rent this unless I was inebriated. Maybe if it was on the $1 Rental Rack. Maybe. But I would definitely have to be with a large group of people not taking it seriously at all. 


Then again, isn't that how most horror movies are? Superficial, yet still badass. 


Anyway, go see it for yourself, and if you have seen it, tell me what you think. 


Peace!


The Movie Mistress


9.26.2009

The Room

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If you haven't seen this movie, you are in for an experience. It was so epically bad when it came out that it has become sort of an underground cult classic, and I witnessed for the first time yesterday what all the hype is about. 


At the start, it looks like a legit, good movie- the music swells as a great landscape shot of San Fransisco (which is used again and again throughout the movie). A great establishing shot to what looks like, in the first three seconds, a good movie. 


And then the first scene starts. 


From there, it is a series of badly acted mishaps and absolutely ridiculous sex scenes montage-d to original music written specifically for the movie and that reeks of a 1990s porno soundtrack. If I recall, the first and third sex scenes (yes, there are that many in a row) reuse footage. There definitely was the same waterfall in both scenes. The sex scenes also last FOREVER to the point where you just want them to move on (and trust me, you do- it's not as if they're hot or anything; they're actually sort of disturbing). There were really only three sets, and somehow all the characters seem to revolve around the same living room (which has photographs of spoons plastered all over it for some reason- see the last paragraph for more info). 


There included (in no particular order): a creepy relationship between a kid neighbor and the protagonist which included a drug bust, a character who mentions in passing that she is dying of cancer and the subject is never brought up again (was she cured? Who knows?), a strange outing between the guys in the film where they get dressed up in tuxes and then toss a football around, a completely unnecessary scene regarding said football in an alleyway that is never referenced again, and a terrible psychologist who almost gets thrown off of a balcony. 


There was much, much more, but I don't want to confuse the shit out of you.


Yet, despite all that, I had more fun watching this movie than I've had watching a movie in a while. I saw with a large group of people who laughed, shouted at the screen and threw spoons (!!!), and I have to say that it restored my belief that all movies, no matter how low budget or badly acted they are, have merit. This movie was obviously someone's baby, and it deserves to be seen (even if it isn't for its high quality). Go watch it for yourself. There are screenings. 


Right now. 


I'm dead serious. 

9.25.2009

Double Feature Friday- Dance Movies!!

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Today is one of those days where it's so beautiful outside that you just wish everyone would burst into song and dance among the fucking leaves outside, Enchanted-style. Because I don't feel like discussing movie musicals, however, I decided to profile the next best thing: dance movies! Oh, yeah! 5,6,7,8...



Step Up


Okay, so this is the epitome of a shitty dance movie. It has a weak plot, so-so acting, and completely unrealistic beginning, middle and end. However, I think that the dancing makes up for everything that goes wrong in this movie just because it's awesome. The final composition is a combination of Modern, Jazz, and Hip hop that blows me away every time I watch it. Honestly, I think that if there were no dancing in this movie, it would have gone straight to video. I like that this movie is a perfect example of the symbiotic relationship between dance styles. It isn't Save the Last Dance, where the sole focus of the movie is Julia Stiles learning to be "cool" by integrating hip hop into her ballet routine- in this movie, both characters learn how to dance in their partners' respective styles. Channing Tatum learns ballet (in a really cute setting with an obnoxious six-year-old), Jenna Dewan learns street dancing, and what comes out of that is a really kick-ass final composition. 



Dirty Dancing 


When speaking of dance movies, if this one, Flashdance, and Saturday Night Fever do not immediately come to mind, then, I'm sorry, but there's something seriously wrong with you. This movie is a classic, and I'm not just including it because of Patrick Swayze's recent (and tragic) death. It is a dance movie that actually has a riveting plot, and although the period is a little off (it supposedly takes place in the 1960s, but I know a song like "The Time of My Life" would not have been played then), the dancing is fantastic. The chemistry between Swayze and Jennifer Gray is hot, and I love that this movie wasn't designed or intended to be a blockbuster hit because it makes it much more raw and real. It's almost like the Juno of dance movies. It will forever be an amazing cult movie experience and when I watch this, I remember why I am ashamed to watch most of the dance movies that come out these days. They just don't live up.


Peace!


The Movie Mistress


9.22.2009

The Best Movies To Watch When You're Sick

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Because I have been in bed for the past two days with a fever, I have been unable to think of a good post. Then I thought, "Why not share the movies you watch over and over again when you're sick with the world?" I mean, all that I have been doing is watching movies day in and day out. So now I give you...


The Best Movies To Watch While Sick or Incapacitated



1. You've Got Mail 


This is the perfect movie that you can watch without really paying attention and still know exactly what's going on. I've seen this movie a dozen times, and I have come to realize that the reason I like it so much is because half of it is montages (yes, again, I am referencing music and film mashed together. I'm just a little bit obsessed. Just a little). Because of this, though, it is really really easy to watch, and if you're sick, you can space out or be half in another world and this delightful little music video of a film will still be entertaining. Plus, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan make an adorable couple. Every time I watch this, I think, "I want Tom Hanks to bring me daisies right now..." and then space out into oblivion. 



2. Bride and Prejudice


There's nothing that gets your spirits up more than a Bollywood version of Pride and Prejudice. Not only do you get to see the characters fall in love, but they sing and dance too! Plus, the colors in this film are absolutely phenomenal, thus providing something entertaining to watch while delirious. I love the soundtrack to this movie, and think that it is a great movie to make you feel better about life. The fact that it is so universal both in the story and making of it (the characters span three continents) makes you feel more connected with the world even if you are just holed up inside your room with several blankets.



3. Amelie


I debated whether to put this movie on the list, because I don't exactly like to have to read subtitles when I'm sick (I know, I know, I'm lazy, so sue me), but I decided in the end that this movie is really good movie for making you feel better. It's just... therapeutic. Amelie touches every person in the film with her kindness and curiosity to the point that you feel like she has reached out and touched you. One of my favorite scenes is when she gives the fabricated letter to her landlady. It just makes you feel like the world is a better place knowing that there's a character out there who doesn't want anyone to suffer, not even you in your sickbed. 



4. Monty Python's Life of Brian


Why I like this one as a sick movie better than the others: it has a plot to keep your interest, but you can pretty much see what's coming if you've read the Bible so you don't have to be fully invested in order to find it humorous. I can't imagine sitting through The Meaning of Life while sick. I'd fall asleep (although, maybe that's something you want when you're sick). Anyway, I like this one because it's nice to have a good laugh that's a little bit intellectual but not intellectual enough that you get confused because you aren't focused. Plus, what better way to feel better than to listen to a song called "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life"? 



5. Gone in 60 Seconds


There's a paradox that you have to think about when you're sick: do you want a movie that is easy to watch but will tire you out? Or one that is peaceful and healing but will make you fall asleep? Gone in 60 Seconds is what I call a comfort movie, one that doesn't require much thought and also keeps you entertained. I can say honestly that it's one of my favorites to watch when I'm not feeling good (to the point that I have it on iTunes) just because it has an equal amount of action and plot (and the plot doesn't bore me to death). For some reason, the almost-sex-in-the-car-scene between Angelina Jolie and Nicholas Cage is highly entertaining when you're sick, maybe because it's easy to identify with the waiting-for-something-to-happen-but-you're-just-stuck feeling. All I can say is, when I am stuck in bed, I reach for Eleanor. 



6. The Little Mermaid


Goes without saying. Who else but Disney can make you feel like a kid staying home from school again?



7. Child Star: the Shirley Temple Story


Unlike the movies listed above, this one has the distinction of only being good while you're sick. It's totally an entertaining fluff piece, and if you watch it when you aren't sick, it's the type of movie where in order to watch, you have to make sure no one's in the room and no one's coming, and if you get caught, you have to say that you were flipping channels and turn it off until the person leaves. If you're sick, however, everyone just assumes that you're too delirious to know what you're watching. It's also a great movie to watch while sick because not once while you're watching do you actually have to think. You can just let the cute little songs and sugar-coated plot melt over you. 



8. Labyrinth


Nothing in the world cheers me up like David Bowie. Nothing. Even if he is a creepy father figure that's a setup for Jennifer Connelly to have an Electra complex. He sings and dances and makes us all escape from the Bog of Eternal Stench which is our sickbed. 



9. Ghost Busters


I'd like to know what happened to Rick Moranis. The Key Master was always so entertaining, and I really haven't seen him in, well, anything lately. Oh, well. This classic is still enjoyable now, and I like to watch it when I'm sick because of its classicness as well as its entertaining factor. Somehow, a giant marshmallow man is really fucking cool when you have had a fever for three days. As much as it makes me sad that Hollywood has to stoop to making a third one when all the actors are in their seventies, I still get endless entertainment out of the original and it always makes me feel ten times less sick. 



10. Guys and Dolls


Okay, so there a lot of things that I don't like about this movie, one being that it was cast all wrong and they left out the best songs and.... well, I won't go into any more griping. However, it is a really good movie to watch when you're not feeling well because you get honestly invested in the characters and want them to get what they want out of life. It's a nice movie to just let your eyes graze on, and as long as you don't overanalyze what they could have done to make it better (which, when you're sick, is hard to do because it takes energy), it's good. Besides, hearing Frank Sinatra's voice has a healing effect all on its own. 


You see? Sometimes a movie can be more healing than a bowl of chicken soup. For those Fall sniffles, take a suggestion from someone who gets sick a lot and also watches movies a lot. These are the best. 


Peace!


The Movie Mistress

9.20.2009

Is Jim Carrey back?

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Is he done doing incredibly overdone caricatures and silly children's films? Probably not. However, this new film of his looks funny, dark, and awesome. I can't wait to see it...





I Love You Phillip Morris - Trailer
by Zelluf


Peace!

The Movie Mistress

9.19.2009

Arrrrgh, The Five Best Swordfightin' Scenes!

2 comments

Arrrrgh, ye maties! It be Interrrnational Talk Like a Fucking Pirate Day! In honor of that, I, the Moving Pictures Whore, will make a tribute to all things pirate, beginning with Swordfightin'!


The Five Best Swordfight Scenes







Sorry, I know it's not a swordfight, buuuuut I had to. I just had to include it. It's definitely the fastest swordfight ever to come into a film, and one of the funniest. I think Lucas was one of the first directors to bank on the fact that death can be made comical (and if anyone knows a much earlier director, please comment! I'd like to know if I'm just forgetting or if there's something I should see- after all, it's what I do). It just speaks the truth, which is never theaten someone who has a gun with a knife. I included this because it just seems very pirate-like, and after all, today is Intl. Talk Like A Pirate Day.




Again, Errol Flynn (who, if you read about his real-life exploits, was a total pirate). This is a classic scene, and one of the best in my opinion. The shadow-play is spoofed in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and until I saw this movie I didn't know where that other scene came from. The original is much more epic, I assure you, and even includes the I'm-stabbed-so-I'm-going-to-fall-off-the-balcony bit. Tasteful, exciting, and lots of sweet fight choreography, I would say this one is pretty awesome (even if it doesn't involve pirates).










This is one of the best parts of this movie, probably because it involves piracy that doesn't include massive amounts of special effects (in case you can't tell, I have a love/hate relationship with computer animated stunts that goes back and forth). It involves actual skill, and also ties into the story (young Will learns that pirates don't actually tell the truth). Plus, just when you think the hero of the story is going to die, a jug comes out from behind and knocks out Jack Sparrow. Classic comedy, plus it moves the plot forward.


2. Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)





Okay, so it's not pirates, but this movie has plenty of Samurai sword action. In particular, the scene between Uma Thurman and Lucy Lu is pretty kick-ass. I mean, Uma Thurman just spent the last fifteen minutes killing 88 people with her sword to get to this fight, so how can it not be awesome? Tarantino knows his fight scenes, I can tell you that much. You want to cringe and cheer at the same time when Lu gets scalped and says simply, "That surely is a Hottori Hanzo sword." Epic.


1. The Princess Bride (1987)





Okay, so as far as swordfighting scenes go, this one is the best in my book. The scene between Inigo Montoya and the Man in Black is so well choreographed that you're not sure if you're watching fighting or art. It's creative, entertaining, and keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. Maybe I'm prejudiced because this is one of my favorite movies, but I think it wins as the best swordfight in film history. 


Honorable Mention: The Mask of Zorro  (1998)





I don't think this is good enough to go on the list, but I really really like this scene. It shows swordfighting as sexy, which, in a way, it totally is. I would watch Antonio Banderas fight Catherine Zeta-Jones any day.


Peace!


The Movie Mistress



9.18.2009

Arrrrgh, Ye Double Feature Friday- Pirates

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Okay, so I know that International Talk Like A Pirate Day is actually tomorrow. Buuuut, I wanted to do my Double Feature on movies that have focused on these scurvy characters. Because, let's face it- who doesn't love a good pirate movie? It just seemed like a good theme. There are so many to choose from, but I had if I had to pick any two, I'd choose...


1. Captain Blood (1935)

Classic pirate movie featuring the dashing Errol Flynn and made in a time when Hollywood was all about spectacle in the sense that it was meant to look real (as opposed to Pirates of the Carribean, which was good until the stupid CGI skeletons. Really, Jerry Bruckheimer? Really?) even though everything was done with sets. The beginning is admittedly a bit slow, but it explains how he became a pirate (something that doesn't happen often- it almost always "runs in the family," except for the case of The Princess Bride). Plus, I always love seeing a historical piece with a female character that can hold her own, and Olivia de Havilland captures the character of Arabella Bishop brilliantly. A wholesome, entertaining movie that never gets old.


2. The Black Pirate (1926)

A pirate movie starring the first major star of these types of films, Douglas Fairbanks. If Flynn was the most famous pirate of the sound era, this is a delightful film that captures the spirit of swashbuckling without words. Featuring lots of stunts and excellent battle scenes (one in which Fairbanks captures an entire ship by himself- something that can only be accomplished in Hollywood), this is definitely one of my favorites. Plus, it's super short, making the action scenes that much more dramatic. When it comes to pirates, less talk and more action = a "gold" standard.


Arrrrrgh!

The Movie Mistress

For more pirate fun, check out http://www.thepirateking.com/movies/



9.17.2009

Comments

0 comments
Okay, so I've heard that people are having trouble commenting. If you are, please email me at ra_stiles.movies@blogger.com and tell me what the problem is so I can try and fix it.

Peace!

The Movie Mistress

The Informant Trailer

0 comments
The moment we've all been waiting for... this Friday, we get to see the role that Matt Damon has been publicly gaining wait for:





Looks like a good movie. We'll have to see. Hailing from the state next to the Land of Corn, I can see why it would be. Mmm, controversial-ness. 


Peace! 


The Movie Mistress


9.15.2009

Menu Bar Moved

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Just in case anyone is confused I moved the Menu Tabs down to below my posts. I think it makes it easier to navigate the site. Let me know if you disagree.


Peace!

Which Indie British Film About the 80s do YOU Prefer?

0 comments
There seem to be a lot of these going around lately (I'm not sure why), so I'll pick two of my faves and you can vote: 


1. Son of Rambow (semi-Spoiler)


By far, the most adorable movies I have ever seen. I can't think of any other word to describe it. A great movie about how "boys will be boys," this film is brilliant because you can see the big picture of what is happening in the young boy's life while recognizing that he really has no control. That's what makes you empathize with him. You want to shout at all the adults in his life to listen to him, and when they finally do, it is the cutest thing to ever hit the cinematic world and the world through his eyes. Rent this film- you won't regret it. 




2. This is England


On the flip side, one of the most disturbing movies I have ever seen. Drenched in realism, this movie about skinheads in the 1980s paints an accurate picture of how a kid can get sucked into the type of lifestyle that condones thievery and murder. This is an excellent movie on why we need a stronger foundation against bullying and its direct connection to gangs. You feel torn because you can see where the main character is headed and don't want him to go, but at the same time, you want more than anything for him to be accepted. An interesting and captivating paradox.




Runner Up: The History Boys


I love this movie, but it is extremely obvious how close to the stage production they stayed while shooting. As a nostalgia film, it sort of forgets that with a film (different than with a play), realism is crucial to the believability of what you're watching (with a play the suspension of disbelief kicks in automatically). It was too staged, which works on the stage, but not in a film. We've seen in the past how this sometimes doesn't work: Death Trap, Noises Off, Mamma Mia...

9.13.2009

Match Point

3 comments

Match Point (SPOILER ALERT)

I saw this movie again for the first time in a while, and I have to say that watching it again has been just as enjoyable as the very first time I saw it. I think it is a film well made, and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone (why I decided to review it now, of all times, I’m not sure, but I haven’t been able to see anything new in a while, so bear with me here).

I don’t know if I like this movie for its merit, or because the first time I saw it, I had recently been in The Elixir of Love, the opera from which the main operatic theme of the film comes. Either way, it is pegged as Woody Allen’s comeback, and I wholeheartedly agree. There are so many references to classic film and literature that it’s hard not to think of this piece as satire. One of my favorite scenes is when the detective is lying in bed and suddenly solves the murder and sits straight up; this undoubtedly came straight from Crime and Punishment. We all know how Woody Allen loves his Russian lit.

Only Woody Allen can make a movie about killing your pregnant mistress funny. This is definitely one of my favorites, and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in a dark, twisted good time. Scarlett Johansson does a commendable job, Jonathan Rhys Meyers is brilliant, and Emily Mortimer is good as the naïve wife. It’s a movie where you want to pity all the characters, but at the same time, all of them deserve the events that occur. Meyers deserves to be in a passionless marriage; Johansson deserves to be shanked; Mortimer deserves to be in the dark the entire time. It completely fits all of their characters.

This is a very entertaining movie, both intellectually and aesthetically. Watch it now, if you haven’t before.

Peace!

The Movie Mistress





9.12.2009

Lying Trailer

0 comments
So... I saw this as coming out in theatres today (well, yesterday, now that it's two in the morning), and I thought, Wow! A movie with Jena Malone, Leelee Sobieski, and Chloe Sevigny. All fantastic, strong actresses that I admire. I want to see what this is about. Well, I watched the trailer. 


And it just made me want to complain. Why? Because I have no idea what the fuck this movie is about. A trailer is supposed to make you want to see the movie, not make you confused. I had the same reaction with Inception, but it was only the teaser I saw in theatres, so I forgave them. This movie, though, came out on the 11th. The trailer should be pretty legit. Instead, it's just reviews! And I say, fuck that. I can read those on the back of the box when I rent the movie. I want scenes! I want to know what I'm getting myself into. No one wants to watch a movie blindly- it's like walking into a rave without knowing that half the people there are going to be on drugs. Which, for all we know, this movie could have been made by people on drugs. See for yourself:




Do you see what I mean? The trailer doesn't sell me at all. And that really bothers me. It's as though the director expects you to see it just because it's indie without trying to want you to see it. As though the type of people watching the trailer are the people who would go see it anyway after seeing the description. The trailer doesn't even try. I don't want to watch a trailer that says how great other people thought the film was. I want to see it for myself, and I want the trailer to want me to see it for myself. Just because you're indie doesn't mean you don't have to sell your movie to your audience!


Okay, I'm done with my rant. Have a great weekend and see lots of good trailers.


Peace!


The Movie Mistress




9.11.2009

So souped for Whip It!

0 comments
The anticipation builds! I don't know why I am psyched for this movie, but I am, and I think it's awesome that Drew Barrymore is doing a US tour to promote it as well as meet-and-greets with actual Roller Derby-ers. Here is summary of the article telling more about this:

http://content.foxsearchlight.com/inside/node/3843

And a link to the article itself:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1212529/Drew-Barrymore-dips-ends-blonde-hair-black-dye.html

Sorry I haven't been on lately with legit posts, I haven't had a lot of time lately and need to settle back into a routine.

Peace!

The Movie Mistress

9.10.2009

Random...

0 comments
Okay, so remember Cody "the Codesman" from Step by Step? Apparently he was in a B-list 1980s flick about the mafia called Spike of Bensonhurst. I watched it. I know.

As bad movies go, this one is pretty bad. But I think its ridiculousness is just what makes it so fucking awesome. None of the characters seem to actually like Spike, yet he ends up with three kids at the end of the movie from two different broads. It's whateva. The music (something that I always pay attention to) doesn't fit AT ALL. There's a dramatic fight scene and the background music is completely upbeat and happy. I can't tell how we're supposed to feel, but I can tell you this movie made me laugh. The head Mob boss is supposed to be in charge of all of Bensonhurst and head of the drug wars in Red Hook, but he isn't menacing at all. He coaches Little League, for crying out loud! Anyway, I think this conversation between Spike and Angel pretty much sums up the greatness of the movie:

Angel: So, you wanna have sex or somethin'?
Spike (to car washer): My world's fallin' apart and this cous wants to get her rocks off!
Angel: Just thought I'd ask...
Spike: So do you want me to kiss you or somethin'?
Angel: I thought you'd never ask.

I can see why this movie never made it to DVD, though. It can only be found on VHS. That's how successful it was. If you can, go watch it. It's entertaining in its own way.


9.08.2009

Elizabeth: The Golden Age

29 comments


My rating: 3 1/2 stars



I thought this was an excellent movie, but it definitely did not live up to the standards of the first. I thought that the costumes, special effects, scenery, and all that jazz were wonderful (which is to be expected from a high budget period), but it lacked the energy and charisma of the first.

As far as character goes, I was far more interested in the plot line between Clive Owen and Abbie Cornish's characters than that of Elizabeth herself. For some reason, it felt like all the strength and power that had been added to her character in the first movie had disappeared, and so the character development was exactly the same as it was in the first movie: she feels insecure and naïve (though spirited), and must accomplish a great feat for her country in order to feel like she is making a difference. I mean, sure- that’s a great plotline, but it already happened in the first movie. What also struck me as odd was that after the assassination attempt, there is a scene with Elizabeth crying and broken. There are three assassination attempts in the first movie alone! Why, now, is she so vulnerable and afraid all of a sudden? It didn’t make sense to me, especially because the gun wasn’t even loaded.

Elizabeth was much stronger in the first film,  and that was what moved the plot forward; for every assassination attempt, and for every failure, she still held her own. In this film, it was just endless scenes of showing her vulnerability and weakness. To me, it seemed that it would make more sense to have it the other way around: if she gains her strength and respect in the first film, she has to have it knocked down in some way during the second. Instead, it doesn’t seem like it was ever there to begin with.

I think that the bottom line comes down to this: if Elizabeth: the Golden Age were an entity unto itself, it would be fantastic. As a sequel, however, it doesn’t really live up to the expectations put upon sequels (which happens to most sequels anyway).


9.06.2009

More Movies to Consider...

0 comments
Boondock Saints II




Nice!!! This looks like fun. 


And of course,





Remake time!! 


Sunshine Cleaning: Too Much Sunshine, Not Enough Cleaning.

1 comments

My rating: 3 1/2 stars

I wanted to see this in the theatre, but didn't get a chance. Oh, well. Renting is just as tolerable, if not cheaper. Anyway, what I found in this little indie number was, well, a little indie number. It really didn't have anything surprising about it. In fact, it may as well be titled "The Little Indie That Tried to Go Hollywood." Part of the wonderful quality of independent film is the "anything goes" opportunity. People don't expect a Hollywood ending. Which is why I was a little bit disappointed in this film, because they had this brilliant and creative plot opportunity and made it conventional. You could tell who was going to learn what lesson, who would end up happy, blah blah blah. It's just that it was a bit boring after a while.

Don't get me wrong- I really enjoyed this feature. I thought it had some unusual laughs, and the plot was entertaining for the most part. I simply think they used too many cliches- the absent mother, father who's hung up on her death (after 30 years +), the older sister caring for the younger sister, using the crime-scene business to stir up memories of the mother's death (which happen frequently throughout the movie)... See what I mean? It seems to me that these are family issues that have been around in movies for years. Years. There are endless possibilities. Couldn't they have been more creative?

I also expected them to focus more on the business itself. There was a scene with a lot of blood, and there was a scene with a horrid stench, but... that was it. I expected more gruesomeness out of a movie where they clean crime scenes, for goodness' sake. I mean, write in a scene where the girls have to be creative at finding a way to clean. Write a scene with shit all over the ceiling. I know- you're already asking, "How would that get there....?" That's what would make the survival of their business believable. We see in the movie their advertisements and referrals, and reviews of how good a job they're performing, but we hardly ever see them do the job. Call me sadistic, but I wanted more blood out of a movie focusing on crime.

Overall, I would say this is a pretty good movie that I would have liked better if I hadn't known what it was about beforehand or if I hadn't seen the trailer. Here I was, all excited that finally some indie feature has a story that no one has done before... oh wait, never mind. If I could go back and watch this without having read or heard anything about it, I would. Because then, I wouldn't have been let down. Go see for yourself. You'll know exactly what I'm talking about.

Peace!

The Movie Mistress

9.05.2009

Layout Changes!

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Well, a small change, but I like it better. Now, if I can only find how to add a rating widget...

While you're waiting, enjoy the trailer for Cold Souls, which is out now and looks fucking fantastic...



9.04.2009

Double Feature Friday- 1969

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With the Woodstock 40th Anniversary hype and upon viewing this summer's Taking Woodstock, I decided today's double feature would center around movies that came out that year. After all, Woodstock wasn't the only thing that happened. There were many defining movies in film history that year. I've chosen two of my favorites...




Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice


Here is a movie that I truly believe to be lost on my generation. It is a quiet satire that was perfect for when it debuted, but today would not go over well (but how do we know that our views and opinions on such matters aren't because of this movie?). Anyway, it makes me really sad that I've brought up this film dozens of times, and not once have I gotten the response of "Oh, I've seen that!" It's always "I've never heard of that." 


I think that this is a film that needs to be watched, period. Its awkward silences and un-glorification of sex are nice refresher from steamy love-filled sex scenes we encounter so much today. It creates an actual realistic picture of sex, something that NEVER EVER HAPPENS. From the hilarious group retreat in the beginning to Bob making Carol's tennis partner breakfast after walking in on them having sex, to the uncomfortable ending orgy, this film is a riot (in a strange, shift-in-your-seat way). It was meant to make people uncomfortable by mocking something that a majority of the world found ridiculous. I just think that somewhere along the way it lost its flavor, and deserves to be watched by later generations the same way that The Graduate (another film of its "flavor" made two years earlier) is. 




Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid


One of the greatest critiques on the fall of the classic "Western," this movie was popular at its release and remains popular today. There is no other word to describe it except "brilliant." The only criticism I have is that the industry, do to the film's mild nature in comparison to today's features, has pegged it a "family film." Sure, its fast-paced, upbeat dialogue is funny- in fact, it's hilarious- but sort of goes over the head of people under the age of twelve. The first time I saw it, I was bored out of my mind and the irony was completely lost on me. I didn't understand any of the jokes. The only explanation I can come up with is that I saw it too young, and that is no one's fault because it was made before there were ratings (the system was introduced in '68 but was entirely voluntary and not widely regulated- it was all very touchy). 


Still, once I watched it again I saw the connection between Paul Newman's famous line, "Well, we can't rob banks forever," and the decline of the classic Hollywood shoot-em-up Western, which is why at the end of the film the two most famous bank robbers are left with nowhere to go and nothing to do. They weren't just searching for another bank, they were searching for another story- and found themselves literally trapped. 


... Like I said, fucking brilliant.