Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Directed and written by: Todd Solondz
Starring: Selma Blair, Paul Giamatti, lots of other talented people we haven't heard of

I saw Solondz's "Happiness" maybe 4 years ago, and it became one of my favorite movies. It's so wrong it's right. So outlandish it's true. So dark it's funny. The character development in his films are fantastic (take that, Inception), and every time you laugh, you feel bad about yourself. Maybe you feel better about yourself because these characters are so fucked up, thus making you not that fucked up. Maybe we're laughing out of superiority. Maybe you don't think this shit is funny--just sick. Maybe you watch with horror while people like me are laughing. I mean, what else can you do when a little boy forces his underpaid, overworked Mexican nanny to clean up a juice spill moments after she receives news of her grandson's death? Or in the case of "Happiness", how do you deal with the conversation between a child molestor and his son, right after he has raped one of his son's friends? I mean, what else can you do but laugh?

Solondz blows my mind. Solid screenplays, brilliant performances, and just the right balance of comedy and stark, profound, social commentary.



Directed by: David Slade
Written by: Melissa Rosenberg and Mormon Idiot
Starring: Werewolves, vampires, and Kristin Stewart

Oh, you know...it's a Twilight movie. It's boring. They're pretty. Eyerolls galore. I wish these movies would really GO for it, you know? Maybe it's because the story isn't interesting enough to carry a super campy style, but I think they could do it. I want more pizzazz! Even WORSE acting! Swelling scores (no more Muse, please?)! Sex (fucking Mormons)! I want to see vampire limbs get ripped off, not shatter into lame sparkly little pieces! I want to see werewolves transform back into naked teenage boys! I want to see Kristin Stewart play with her hair and I want to hear R-Patz accidentally slip into his British accent. I want the vamps to still wear purple lipstick and have contact lens lines. Where are the sassy one-liners?

It's kind of like Hairspray. Or Glee. Both things I SHOULD be really into, given my susceptibility to gay shit that 12 year old girls like (BIEBER FEVER!). Both things that bore the hell out of me. They like energy. Self-reflexivity. All these teeny-bopper markets should take a cue from the High School Musical Trilogy--don't take yourself too seriously, and cheese it up! We love that! It's not like you're trying to win any Oscars. Right!?


Drag Me To Hell

Directed by: Sam Raimi
Starring: Alison Lohman and Justin Long
Written by: Sam and Ivan Raimi

I rarely enjoy movies as much as I enjoyed this one. I was in the mood for a ridiculous horror film, and ridiculous horror is what I got. This gem is full of gross-out gore and cliche gypsy superstition. There's a scary old lady with gross fingernails, some yellow mucus disease, and a propensity to curse bitchy loan officers. There's a bitchy loan officer who we are maybe supposed to like, but probably not (I was definitely hoping she would get what she deserved). Her boyfriend (Long) provides supposed comic relief, if this was a horror film and not a comedy in itself.

Ladies and gentlemen, we've got a talking, possessed, evil goat who calls the protag a "Whoooooore", a puppet-master Jafar dance, projective nose/mouth blood vomit at work, and a staple gun to the gypsy's fucked up eye. What's not to love? If you're looking to be grossed out, scared, jumpy, and laugh until you cry, this is the movie for you.

Take that, Shaun of the Fucking Dead.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Directed by: Mike Nichols
Starring; Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sandy Dennis, George Segal
Written by: Edward Albee

I can't say enough good things about this movie. My roommate, Jesse, has been trying to get me to watch it for awhile, but I'm never in the mood to sit down and watch something old and depressing. He finally just turned it on one night and I was completely hooked. The screenplay (originally a play, I believe) is one of the tightest, most brilliant pieces of writing I've ever witnessed. The acting is incredible, and all four of the main characters should have won Oscars for acting (the two women did). Movies today don't understand "fucked-uppedness" like the good old days. Or maybe just like Mike Nichols does. The impending doom you feel in films like The Graduate and Virginia Woolf are overplayed today. Only Todd Solondz has achieved something similar in Happiness, in later years. Wes Anderson kind of fuckuppery is entertaining, but not as completely spooky and funny and intense as movies like Virginia Woolf.

I can't recommend this movie enough--for the stunning cinematography, incomparable acting, and zingy, truthful one-liners. You'll feel better about yourself and worse about humankind. Thanks, Jesse!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Directed by: Henry Selick
Starring: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher

I liked this SO much more than I thought I was going to. Granted, I'm in the best mood of my life. Dakota Fanning's voice was killing me for the first 20 minutes or so, but either she got better or I got used to it. It was very imaginative in a Tim Burton-y way, but lacked the snarky self-reflexivity and contrived quirk that I hate about Tim Burton movies. It was "earnest," as my awesome new roommate called it.

I think I felt everything I was supposed to feel. A child's wonder, loneliness, fear, etc. Good job, Coraline. Favorite part: When Teri Hatcher turned into the REAL Teri Hatcher. Incredible. I wonder if that offended her.

The music was cute, too, but very Burton. However, I liked this movie more than any Tim Burton movie I've seen, with the possible exception of Edward Scissorhands.


Monday, March 29, 2010


Directed by: Sidney Lumet
Starring: Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall, William Holden

Oh, the modern era of cinema. It's my favorite. 1960-1977, I believe? Most of my favorite movies are in there somewhere. It's just getting artsy and a little risque, but still follows enough of the classic cinematography and screenplay structure to be solid films. The perfect combination.

This movie did not disappoint. It made me angry in a good way. Some of the writing/acting in a couple stand-out scenes were the best ever. It's soooo relevant to our nation's crises today, and I think everyone should watch it. Ta-da!


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Coco Before Chanel

Directed by: Anne Fontaine
Starring: Audrey Tautou and a bunch of Frenchies

Audrey Tautou is a goddess. She makes me wish I didn't talk so much and had that air of mysterious, elegant, sexiness. Also, an overbite. She's so cute. This movie was worth watching, if only for the clothes and Audrey Tautou. It's a period piece love story just like any other Jane Austen-y, Bright Star, tortured love wealth status issues, but it's all about an independent woman (throw your hands up at me).

But yeah. Cool clothes. Pretty cinematography. A nice movie for a woman on a rainy Sunday afternoon.


Requiem for a Dream

Directed by: Darren Aronofsky (hopefully he is distantly related to the Aronsons)
Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly

This movie has been at the top of my to-watch list for a long time. Everyone is always like, "OMG you haven't seen it?! It's one of my favorites and you'll want to kill yourself afterward!" I do generally like movies that make me suicidal, but I think this one was a little bit of a let down for me. Only because people made it sound SO depressing...don't get me wrong, it was really depressing. More than depressing, it was really stressful for me. It reminded me of what feeling cracked out on Adderall feels like, and also made me contemplate how thin I could be if I told a few adderall a day. Don't worry, I'm not going to do it...but oh, my room would be so clean and I'd be so productive. And I'd probably die from a heart attack, but that's beside the matter.

The Ellen Burstyn plot is a lot better than the Jared Leto/Jennifer Connelly plot, in my opinion. Although, sometimes it felt a bit "Long Day's Journey Into Night." A little OBVIOUS, if you know what I mean. But Aronofsky's got some amazing tricks up his sleeve when it comes to creative shots and editing and cool close-ups. He's pretty technically genius. And I love The Fountain. I'll have to see Pi now, I guess.

Oh yeah, and go Clint Mansell! Awesome score, I understand why everyone uses it for EVERYTHING.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

Starring: Who cares
Directed by: A black guy

Before I start this, I have to reference 30 Rock. They referenced a porn parody of Precious, titled "Fresh-Ass: Based on the Novel Tush by Assfire." HAHAHAHA. HA.

I hate this movie with all of my heart. When I was in high school, I was on speech and debate, and I focused on dramatic and humorous interpretations, aka 10 minute monologues. Most people in dramatic interp would do very dramatic pieces about rape/abuse/death and end up sobbing and pounding their fists on the floor and quivering their screamo voices. I always ended up rolling my eyes because, really, how hard is it to get all worked up and cry? As a woman, you are born with that gift (curse?). Anywho, that's what Precious was to me.

Precious is really fat. Like, morbidly obese. Not, Real Women Have Curves Go Get 'Em Diva Work It chubbiness. More like, Type 2 Diabetes electric scooter shopping cart can't walk up a flight of stairs obese. It's driving me nuts that Gabourey Sibide (is that her name?) is going around to all these interviews talking about wanting all these leading roles as the love interest and comedic blah-dy blah blah. Girl, you aren't Jennifer Hudson. You're not America Fereirra. Lose some weight or you're gonna DIE. On Demand promotes Precious as a story about "An overweight teenager." No! NO!

It's good to get all that off my chest. I couldn't help but think...damn...this girl needs a nutritionist! Pronto!

I didn't think Gabourey or Monique were particularly talented. Precious is all "mumble mumble caveman bad grammar mumble" and Mo'nique is all, "RAHRAHRAHSLAPSLAPCRYCRYCRYGRRRRRRRRRR!" and Precious is all, "wahhhhhhhhhh" and then Mongo is like, "blublublublubretardednoises" and then Paula Patton is all "My favorite color is purple" and Precious is all "mumblemumbleHIVmumblecry" and Mariah Carey is all, "I can help you!"

I imagine that whenever the camera stopped rolling, everyone was crying and telling each other how powerful this whole thing is. Self-important, over-the-top crapppppppppppp.


Bonnie and Clyde

Starring: Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway
Directed by: Arthur Penn

This has been on my "to-watch list" for a really long time, and I finally did it! This is probably my favorite era of cinema--the Modern Era. It's so unapologetically "cinematic." Lingering close-ups and beautiful cinematography and rich scores.

Anywho, Bonnie and Clyde. Beatty and Dunaway are so hot together, and I definitely was sexually frustrated for Bonnie. Clyde, just give it to her! You suck! I like shoot 'em up bang bang stuff, too. You really get attached to the five main characters, and they all have great chemistry with each other. It got a bit repetitive at times...repeated bank robberies followed by twangy banjos and a car speeding off. However, I definitely get why it's a classic, and I recommend it.