Double Feature Friday- Um, What Else?


Okay, so I am trying to get back in the swing of things. What better way to kick off my reintroduction to the Blogosphere than a Double Feature Friday about Horror Movies (it’s only natural- Halloween is tomorrow). I haven’t gotten a chance to see Zombieland yet, but I’m super jazzed, so let’s start with some older flicks. So here we go:

I know, I know, a lot of people thought this movie was a bad female-based remake to the Sixth Sense, but I actually found it to be legitimately scary. And they set up the characters in a way that the ending is unpredictable yet still makes perfect sense when you’re done watching. There aren’t a lot of movies out there that explain how ghosts are born, and this one does so in a way that is still hauntingly entertaining. Now, I don’t know how I would have felt had I seen the sixth sense before watching this. I might have found it predictable. But I still like this movie for its creep factor and for the fact that it shows that bad shit can happen to good people, even to kids. It’s… real, in a way that movies like Ghost and The Eye aren’t. Kudos to Nicole Kidman for playing a fucked up crazy woman!

Cult classic + zombies + weird, “realistic” ending = favorite Halloween movie to watch in my book. What else can I say about this movie except that it doesn’t try to “say” anything? There’s a zombie attack and it’s every man for himself, simple as that. The first time I saw this movie, it made me so angry because of how anti-climactic it was. I later came to realize, though, that that’s what makes it genius. Zombies can look like humans, and humans can look like zombies, and a policeman with a gun doesn’t know the difference. Sometimes, life just hands a you a shitty card, and even the survivors can’t survive. Hmm. Maybe there is a message to this after all. Anyway, this movie is brilliant.

Okay, I’ve said my piece. Now go, eat shit tons of candy and watch scary movies until your voice runs out from screaming. Oh, and if you’re into laughing about Halloween, check out my earlier post about horror films that are fucking hilarious.


The Movie Mistress


Sorry for the Interruption

If you haven't noticed, I haven't been on for a while. Please enjoy these lovely upcoming movie trailers while I sort out some personal responsibilities. 


The Movie Mistress


The Best Movies That Remind You of Fall

"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms." --- Tom Hanks as Joe Fox in You've Got Mail

Why is it that all the movies that are supposed to be about Autumn (Autumn in New York, Sweet November) suck royally and all the ones that have nothing to do with this wonderful season just make you want to jump into a big pile of leaves? I went outside today and it was just so beautiful, that, well, I wanted to write about all the movies that remind me of Fall. So here we go:

Juno (2007)

This movie really only takes place in the Fall at the beginning, and the beginning doesn't really hold the most crucial plot points of the movie. However, that opening credits sequence gets me every time, and I just want to head back to school with a brand new backpack and pencil in hand while walking through the leaves on the way. I'm not even sure why, since the movie pretty much depicts the Fall as shitty since that when she gets knocked up and ends up with all her problems. Maybe the producers just failed at doing their job, but I just end up dressing in red, orange, and yellow after watching this movie.

Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) ((SPOILER ALERT))

Maybe it's the famous image of Justin Henry running to Meryl Streep with his scarf blowing behind him. Maybe it's the leaves all over the ground when Dustin Hoffman has to tell his son that he lost custody. Actually, now that I think about it, a lot of this movie takes place in the Fall. And there's really no better setting- it hasn't yet gotten really cold, and yet it's still colorful outside. Bam! Metaphor. Anyway, this movie is one of those where you can just smell the atmosphere even though you aren't there. It makes me think of Autumn not only because of the setting, but because of the topic- it's about the end of something, the same way we think about Fall as happening toward the end of the year and the closing of Summer.

A Beautiful Mind (2001) ((SPOILER ALERT))

I think that the direct connotation to academia inspires a feeling of needing a fresh Fall breeze on your face. This movie takes place over the course of several decades, but because of the college atmosphere presented in most of the scenes, I am reminded of Fall. I mean, Fall is when college students head back to school. It's when people dress up in crazy costumes and pretend to be someone else. It's when you can go on a date outside and not look like an idiot because it's cute (Winter's too cold, Summer's too hot, and Spring's too sappy). Unless I'm mistaken, all of these things happen in this movie (ok, maybe there's no shot of Russell Crowe with a costume on, but he's schizophrenic, so I'm counting it). So send in the semi-cold!

What Dreams May Come (1998)

The tree! The tree! God, I love this movie. Why it reminds me of Fall, though, I can't tell you. Honestly, I have no fucking clue. Maybe because the tree changes colors? But it's based on her mood, not the season. Hmm. If anyone can provide me with answers, please comment. The only thing I can think of is a peanut butter sandwich reminding me of going to school every day. Although, I only wish that I could share it with someone on a boat. So fucking adorable. 

French Kiss (1995)

So... not about Fall AT ALL. Yet still so reminiscent. I guess there's just something about Kevin Klein standing next to a vineyard that makes you want to put on a scarf and head to France this Autumn. If only, if only. Also, the fact that Meg Ryan is coming from Canada and trying to become a Canadian citizen. Because Canada's cold. Aaaaand Fall's cold. Yeeeah. Don't you just love my logic? 

Doesn't reading this list just make you want to go outside and play? 


The Movie Mistress


Movie Musicals!!

A quiz for all of you lovely people out there to combat the boredom of not having to work: 

Have fun and enjoy your Columbus Day Weekend!


The Movie Mistress


Double Feature Friday- Tudor England

I tried to think of a theme that would go with Columbus Day, but save for the makers of Animaniacs, no filmmakers really seem to give a shit about old Chris. So I jumped ahead a little in time am instead spotlighting two movies that capture the spirit of pre- through post- Elizabethan time. Starting with:

Lady Jane (1986)

People always seem to forget about the nine day queen, but Marie Antoinette's head has nothing on Jane's. This seemingly-tiny underground made-for-tv movie with Patrick Stewart and Helena Bonham Carter completely zeroes in on the brutality of Catholic vs. Protestant rule in England. With some of the best acting I've ever seen, it tells a compelling tale of young love and twisted politics. Seriously- I would never, ever want to be a woman in that period. You can't make your own decisions, and then once you can, you get executed for it. Pre-Tim-Burton-movies Carter is enchanting as Jane, and the love story between her and a really young Cary Elwes is adorable, which makes it all the more sad that the two of them are just pawns in a giant battle for an established English religion. 

This movie should be titled "If Shakespeare was Hot," because I'm pretty sure that if a noblewoman had met the Bard in actuality, the result would not have been a tumultous love affair, but instead a vow to never ever visit the theatre again. But because this is Hollywood and today's actors all have teeth, a story is unfolded around a supposed secret relationship. I like this movie because it makes you think about history in the sense that we really don't know what went on behind closed doors. I mean, from what we know about Shakespeare, he did write a shit-load of wonderful sonnets. But to who? That's where Shakespeare in Love comes in! It reminds us that no matter how much history we study, we weren't actually there, so it's totally possible to construct a fictional tale that could have easily happened. It features a stellar cast and amazingly accurate portrayal of theatre life (think Geoffrey Rush having a perfectly normal conversation about an upcoming play while in the midst of fucking). The only gripe I have about this movie is Judi Dench's fucking Best Supporting Actress Oscar as Queen Elizabeth. BULLSHIT. She was on for five minutes, gave Shakes some words of Wisdom, and collected her salary. Courtney Love could have played the same role for coke and they wouldn't have even had to deal with SAG.


The Movie Mistress


Pirate Radio Trailer

So many movies! So little time! What to do, what to do.... start an illegal radio movement? Meh. But maybe I'll blog about one...

I had wondered what happened to Kenneth Branaugh. 


The Movie Mistress


Boondock Saints II Trailer

So, I'm not going to lie- I blogged briefly about this trailer already. But it just hit me today that this movie is coming out THIS MONTH. Fuck yeah. Probably won't be as good as the first (sequels never are), but it still looks totally badass. Are you ready?


The Movie Mistress


The Worst High School Movies

So, when I was writing my post yesterday, I realized that there are a LOT of movies that focus on high school students. And a LOT of them are really really shitty. Because I never like to glorify a genre, I decided to make a list of movies you should only watch if you feel like stabbing yourself repeatedly afterward, or if you enjoy losing two hours of your life. Let's start with the least tolerable and work our way up:

How do you take an amazing movie like My Fair Lady and make it complete and total garbage? Set it in high school! Not only does the plot of this movie completely not fit the setting, but it is probably the most misogynistic thing I've ever seen. At least in My Fair Lady, Eliza DoLittle is working toward something of substance- it is actually helpful to be well-spoken and knowledgeable in the English language during turn-of-the-century England. In this movie, all she's working toward is being pretty, which can be done in a matter of minutes. Oh, look! The girl took her glasses off and lost all of her individuality so that somehow makes her a better person! I'll drink to that- but I'll probably puke afterward. Plus, somehow during the plot of the film, becoming pretty makes her art better. After she meets Zack, she gets scholarships to art school, as if outward beauty translates to creative talent. Someone please tell me how that makes sense. Or I just won't think about it and burn my VHS copy of this film. 

Another one of those films where superficiality is hailed and "geeks" get thrown by the wayside in favor of mini-skirts and Barbie-like mascara. There are a lot of things I don't get about this movie. 1) Why, if Drew Barrymore's character had such a terrible time in high school, would she want to relive it? No one wants to go back there. Especially not someone who was teased brutally. 2) How on Earth do the watchers of this movie not find her relationship with her teacher entirely inappropriate and creepy? Is he supposed to have some automatic intuition that she isn't actually a high school student? After all, she's supposed to be undercover, so I can't see why anyone would condone them going on a date without him getting fired. 3) If she is a high school graduate who has had a steady job for years, why would she want to date a high school jock who's probably underage? Can we spell L-A-W-S-U-I-T? What twenty-something would willingly start to fall for someone who isn't even old enough to buy a lottery ticket? I think the makers of this movie assumed that emotional maturity goes hand-in-hand with sexual maturity. Anyway, this movie is just wrong in so many ways.

I have no words to describe this movie. I just have so many questions. What high school puts their heaviest sports emphasis on swimming? Seriously. I've never heard of a school that has a "star of the high school swim team." I don't mean to demean swimming- it's a legit and taxing sport, but what the fuck? Also, if a psychotic Erika Christianson was stalking me after school, I would not remedy this by cheating with her! Who thinks that that's a good idea? And why doesn't he just tell someone instead of letting it affect his swim life? I mean, come on. The plot of this movie could have been solved in 10 minutes. It's called the "Block" feature on IM. However, like a lot of seemingly serious movies, I discovered that if you watch this as a comedy, it's pretty enjoyable. Try it sometime. You will be enlightened. 

I'm pretty sure that when it comes to this movie, you either absolutely love it or despise it, and I have to say that I am among the latter. I thought this was funny at times. But for the people who hail it as a high school movie are just mistaken. A quirky movie intended at a certain audience that has no plot and happens to take place in a high school, maybe. But honestly, I can't see myself being able to sit through this entire thing again. Scenes of it at a time, perhaps. I love the dance scene. I love the scene with LaFawnda. But it just doesn't cut it as a high school movie. It's too much, well, not like high school. There are no stereotypes to fall back on, no memories to recount. Just random bits of information made into a film with no resolved ending. Jeez. 

Yes, I get that this is a musical. I've seen it. On the fucking STAGE. I can admit that there are good movie musicals. Chicago is badass. Dr. Horrible is the shit. But I think it's the director's job to say, "Wait a minute, guys. Would this really look good on the screen? Let's think this through." And for this movie, the answer is a definite NO. All I wanted was for them to stop singing (which isn't exactly something you're supposed to want during a musical). God, just please make it stop. I want the beat to stop NOW. Now, I thought this was a really good musical. It got me very excited and wanting to dance. But the satire and blatant parody of the 1960s was lost on the screen in the attempt to portray realism. The thing is, you can't portray realism in a musical, because the truth is that no one really bursts out into song at all hours of the day. Musicals aren't supposed to seem realistic. That's why they are musicals. So something like this just doesn't sit right on the screen. Yet still, we get Mamma Mia! and Rent. When are they going to learn?

All I can say is, there's nothing like a good shitfest. 


The Movie Mistress


Double Feature Friday- High School

I don't think anything can capture the mundaneness and idiocracy of this awkward place more than movies. It's the only genre of film where stereotypes are embraced and welcomed without seeming stupid, because everyone wants to feel nostalgic with statements like "There was totally a guy like that at my high school!" and "I once dated a chick like that." The producers know. They were there, too. I was thinking about dance movies from the last Double Feature Friday, and because Save the Last Dance was totally my high school, I figured this would be a good follow-up. So, before the bell cuts me off....

1. Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)

The ultimate high school movie. I still laugh when I see Sean Penn as a serious actor in other movies because I'm just like, "You ordered a pizza... in class! Fuck yeah!" This movie captures teen angst, apathy, and rebellion in a realistic and comedic way. I went to a high school where if you wanted a job, you went to the mall, and there was nothing more fun than complaining that you had to work there. So all the tension that is built up inside you from working at a job you hate and being forced to go to a place where you're ridiculed is built up until one day you just flip and beat someone to a pulp with a baseball bat. In that sense, this movie is totally accurate. Plus, they throw in offbeat, awkward humor that you don't normally see in this type of movie. Genius, man. Genius.

2. Mean Girls (2004)

Thank you, Tina Fey, for writing and debuting the character of the Poker Bitch. This movie was so good because you never saw the mean girls be outwardly mean. There was no girl knocking another girl's books out of her arms or some stupid cliche that other movies use. Honestly, if everyone knows she's a bitch, how does she have any friends? The great thing about this movie was the backstabbing, which is really the prevalent problem in adolescent girls. Regina George is a nice person on the outset, so it's totally believable that everyone would want to be her friend. Plus, I don't care what people say, this movie is fucking hilarious. Forget Juno, the dialogue in this movie is waaaay more fetch. It also doesn't help that it took place 40 minutes away from where I live, so I feel a connection. Anyway, I wanted to spotlight it for today's Double Feature. 


The Movie Mistress

****Other High School Movies Deemed to be of Merit by the Movie Mistress:

Juno (2007)
Dazed and Confused (1993)
Sixteen Candles (1984)
Pretty in Pink (1986)
Freaky Friday (the 1976 original)
Charlie Bartlett (2007)
Clueless (1994)
My Best Friend is A Vampire (1987)
Weird Science (1985)


Update: I thought of more!!! How could I forget these? Shame on me.