And Then?

February 3, 2012 § 4 Comments

Alright. We’ve something to discuss here. Let me preface this by saying if you plan to see any of the movies discussed this evening (Another Earth, Beginners, 50/50, The Romantics, Door in the Floor) and do not wish to know how it ends, stop reading right now. But really. Because we’re talking about final scenes!

As I’m sure you are all aware, I love watching indie films. I’m all about the little, baby independent movies that no one has heard of. Sadly, I have a soft spot for the romancy ones. But I digress. Fortunately, I have watched a significant amount of movies in the past week or so. Yay, Redbox!! And I have been seeing a trend. Many indie movies end ambiguously. Like you need to figure out where the story was going once the credits roll. You hope for the best, but there is never a firm confirmation. You just assume. I was ok with this for my indie films. They’re artsy and interpretive and the directors want to make their audience “really think about the film”. Fine, I’ll think. I like to do that. But now, the mainstream producers/directors/writers are catching on to this artful technique and taking it out of control. Let’s take a look!

The Romantics
The Premise
This is a semi-independent film. Little film, big stars. Katie Holmes and Josh Duhamel to name a few (and a bunch of people you would recognize if you saw them). This follows a group of lifelong friends that got the name “the romantics” because they all had love affairs with each other. Long story short, Holmes is in her best friend’s wedding but is in love with the groom.

The Final Scene
Everyone is at the wedding, Holmes has had relations (yes, I’m 65) with the groom. The ceremony commences. It starts raining. Everyone runs inside. Holmes and Duhamel remain standing in the rain laughing. Is the wedding called off? Are Holmes and the bride still friends? Does Duhamel still love his fiancee? See? What do we do with that ending?

Another Earth
The Premise
I loved this movie. It was beautiful and poetic and deep and sad. But I’m trying to make a point here. Rhoda, the heroine in our story, kills a family in a drunk driving accident leaving only the husband alive. She was distracted because a second Earth – Earth 2 – was discovered. Turns out, it’s a direct reflection of our Earth. The movie then poses many questions about what would you do if you could meet you? What would you talk about? The thought of traveling to Earth 2 becomes a hope of a second chance for Rhoda. A way to find herself.

The Final Scene
Rhoda wins a trip to Earth 2. To go meet herself. The last thing we see is a head shot of her face. Camera pans around and we find out she is standing in front of her Earth 2 self. Did she accept herself after the terrible thing she did? Did she forgive herself after all this time?  Such a deep movie and all I want to see is a small smile on her face to put my heart at ease that she had reached forgiveness. Is this too much to ask?

The Door in the Floor
The Premise
Jeff Bridges is a dysfunctional dad/writer/painter/squash player. The movie begins with Bridges and his wife deciding to separate. They had many marital problems after their two sons were killed in a severe car accident. He hires a young intern to drive him to his appointments and book signings and illustration meetings. Bridges is a real dirtball. Yadda, yadda, yadda his wife takes everything from him even the hundreds of photos of his sons hung around the house – the only thing keeping him grounded.

The Final Scene
Bridges finishes playing squash in the top floor of his shed. He sits down in complete exhaustion looking dejected. He opens a small hatch in the floor – the door in the floor (you see what they did there?) – and walk down the stairs. You’re left with an empty squash court. Granted, we find he wrote a children’s book about a mother wanting to protect her child from “the door in the floor” aka the scary world. So there’s some serious symbolism. Ok, this wasn’t a great example, but it’s still a little ambiguous right?

Beginners
The Premise
Here we go. We’re getting into mainstream. Beginners is up for a bunch of Oscar’s and Christopher Plummer has been sweeping up in previous award shows. Rightfully so, he did a nice job. So Plummer, as an old man, comes out of the closet to his son, Ewan McGregor. The movie then follows McGregor’s emotional journey through this and his father’s death. He runs into a French girl (the girl from Inglourious Bastards) and they have a little romance. She’s a hot mess, lives in hotel rooms, stays in town for a month and then runs off to another city. McGregor’s a wreck, lost his dad who was able to find true, he still hasn’t found that lucky lady. They’re quite a pair.

The Final Scene
After finding out French girl didn’t move back to New York like she said she would, McGregor professes his love. Turns out, she’s into him to. They’re sitting in her hotel room next to each other on the bed. She looks over at him and says “What’s next?” So I suppose they’re together? Yes. But she’s so fleeting! They’re going to run around the city and she’ll leave. So they’re not together. But I know she said she loves him. They’re together. Yes. Come on! Give me a little something!

50/50
The Premise
This just came out. And I just watched it last night. Joe Gordon-Levitt is dreamy as ever and I want to marry him. He plays a guy, Adam, that gets cancer. It’s the story of friends and family coping with someone they love having a terminal illness. He’s got some issues of his own, well, because he’s dying. So he starts seeing a therapist, Kathryn (Anna Hendricks). Yadda, yadda, yadda he has a meltdown and realizes Kathryn should be in his life forever. (Side note: there is a moment where he comes out of his surgery, cancer free, and talks to Kathryn. He says “I’d like to make you pancakes.” Adorable.)

The Final Scene
Adam’s hair is grown back and his best friend (Seth Rogen) is applying his scar cream to the massive surgery scar down his spine. Doorbell rings, Kathryn is there for a date. Rogen leaves, Kathryn and Adam stand in the dining room smiling at each other. She says “Now what?”. He pauses. Smiles. Credits. Come on! You know what would’ve been perfect? What I would’ve accepted as a sufficient, sure ending? She says “Now what?” He says “I’ll make you some pancakes.” I should be a writer. All job offers can be sent to my assistant. But really, I need a little more assurance.

 

I need to let all my movie lovers – and literature lovers, too! – know that I love analyzing film, and I love symbolism and imagery. So many of these endings are indeed poetic and beautiful and meaningful. But sometimes I just need a kiss at the end of the movie that says, don’t worry, everything ended the way it should have. Maybe it’s commitment issues. Maybe I just want Joe Gordon-Levitt to be happy. Who’s with me?

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Go Watch a Movie: LOTR: The Return of the King and more Oscar’s fun

January 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

First, to all of you out there making bets that I wouldn’t post on time: hand over the cash, I’m giving you a review!

Second, People’s Choice Awards is on tomorrow night 9pm ET on CBS. Don’t miss it. And after you watch it you’re going to post your thoughts on this blog entry.  Deal? Excellent.

And now, the beginning of the best picture reviews. Beginning with 2003’s winner: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. To my knowledge you have not had the privilege of seeing my dorky side. But after this you’ll be able to see that I’m much cooler than you thought. And by cooler I mean kind of a nerd.

This movie, the only LOTR that won a best picture was fantastic. It’s been quite some time since I’ve seen it so you’ll have to forgive me some of the details. The cinematography and effects in this film are absolutely unreal. Something you can only understand by watching it.  The story line is gripping, emotional, shows incredible camaraderie and heart. In its year, this movie was nominated for 11 awards at the Oscar’s. And won every. single. one. Still don’t want to watch it? Orlando Bloom is a total dreamboat. Yeah I’m not a fan either. But, there’s a plethora of attractive men to look at it. Don’t knock the fantasy genre till you watch it. This is the kind of movie you just can’t hate.

In other 2003 Oscar news, Billy Crystal was hosting for the 8th time, his 9th being this year’s awards. Sophia Coppola (daughter of Francis Ford Coppola) became the first American woman to be nominated for directing with Lost in Translation. And Finding Nemo won for Best Animated Feature. Because, well, Pixar kicks ass.

There ya have it, the first edition of our Academy Award reviews. I’ll be tweeting during People’s Choice and blogging on Thursday!

I <3 award season (I swear I’m not 12).

The Motion Picture

November 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Motion Picture:  a series of still or moving images.

Film, movie, motion picture, feature film, cinematic adventure – call it what you will, but it is all the same: a series of still or moving images. Movies used to be silent, you know. That’s right – no dialogue. Just actors, well, acting. Too often we forget to actually look at the movie – it’s all about the story and how does it make me feel. Let’s forget about the story, just for a moment. Look at the camera angle, listen to the music, see the lighting – the shadows, the highlights, look at the expression on the actors’ faces. How does that make you feel? I want to focus on a handful of movies not because their stories are heartwarming or inspiring, but because their cinematography is. Looking at the art of a movie with a theme rather than a plot, just streams of beautiful images – the motion picture:

1. New York, I Love You

This movie follows the love in New York, hence the title. Starring every celebrity and their famous neighbor, you can consider this a series of moving tableaus (is that an oxymoron?) showing every kind of love you can find in the city. Simply adorable and fun – you won’t find much character development here, but who cares, right?

2. The Tree of Life

I wanted so much more out of this movie. But we are not here to discuss that. We are here to melt over the heart-stopping pictures paired with the kind of music that makes you forget how to breathe. A gorgeous depiction of who knows what, I adored how this was filmed. The lighting, the music, the poetic narrative – just perfect to look at. The plot, the meaning, the length – not ideal.

3. A Single Man

This movie contains the most plotline. However, the picture trumps the story. My favorite part is the lighting and coloring. Under the direction of Tom Ford, I would expect nothing except a fashionable piece of art describing losing a loved one. It’s like looking at a series of paintings. Absolutely stunning, but the symbolism is a bit too much for me to enjoy the story.

Go Watch A Movie: Shortfilms

August 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

Short films don’t get enough cred in the everyday movie world. People don’t really think to watch short films – I’ll tell you now, you’re missing out. Call them artsy, call them pointless, you can’t deny the beauty in these mini movies. They’re just a small look into the filmmaker’s mind and get to see the world through their eyes.

Just recently, I fell upon Rick Mereki who made a series of three stunningly beautiful short films entitled Eat, Learn, Move:

 

Watch these. Go get a snack. And then watch them again. I’m in love with these short films and can’t get enough of them. Not too mention I’m in love with Andrew Lees – the actor featured in all three. Total babe, yeah?

If you’re on a total short film kick after watching Rick Mereki’s cinematic gold (as you should be) go to Hulu and check out USA network’s Character Project. It’s a series of about 6 (or maybe 8, I can’t remember) short films by different filmmakers. Beautiful stories about the “characters” of the world. I recommend “Fickle“, “Duck“, and “Perfect“.

So don’t forget about the little guys next time you wanna waste a little time. Turn off the cat videos (because let’s be real, you’re two views away to becoming cat lady) and put on something a little more entertaining. Something that makes you think. Because isn’t that what cinema is about?

Go Watch a Movie: Whip It!

July 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Saw this movie when it came out in theaters and it was just on cable the other day. I. Love. This. Movie. The story is a classic do-what-you-love-no-matter-what-anyone-says triumph but everything about this movie makes me giddy.

Drew Barrymore’s debuts as a director with this film. And I must say, she can make some cinema. To begin, the soundtrack is excellent. Super fun and so up my alley. Real indie tunes, but not the super weird indie stuff. The fun happy indie stuff. (I’m such a hippie). The story, of course, is totally fun and inspiring. But the cast. Killer. Ellen Page is endearing and loveable. Kristing Wiig, well I just want to be her. No seriously, I would do anything to be her. Drew Barrymore is just absolutely fun and crazy and hysterical. Juliette Lewis plays the perfect [insert derogatory term here] that you love to hate but don’t actually hate. This movie, every single time I watch it, makes me want to become a roller derby chick. No joke I get in this  crazy weird mood where I put on black skinny jeans, a gray v-neck tee, and put my hair in a messy side pony and pretend I’m a super cool, badass, roller derby..ist (?). I’m trying to come up with a great name. I love “Bloody Holly” and “Smashley Simpson” – But I really can’t just steal from the movie, ya know? Help me out here. Definitely changing my career path. You should too. Or you could just watch this movie and pretend like me.

Let’s play catch up

June 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

‘Ello readers. (that’s me pretending I’m a super cool and fantastic European) I figured that now that I have a spare moment – during my Wednesday night So You Think You Can Dance time – I should catch you all up on my movie watching experiences in the last few weeks. Believe it or not, I have been to the theater 3 times. That’s right. Three times. I know, I can barely recognize myself either. Pleasantly surprised with all of my “cinematic adventures”, let’s take a look:

 

Super 8

Big film surprise of the century! No one knew what Abrams and Spielberg had in store for their audience, but I can tell you it was so mint. Now, I’m not a big fan of alien movies. All those horror films that just end up being an alien invasion? Cop out. I don’t like them, I’m not interested in them, I don’t think they’re totally cool and possibly real. Don’t get me wrong – I like sci-fi as much as the next open minded, movie obsessed girl – but aliens? I’ll pass. So I was only kinda excited about Super 8. Was I pleased? Indeed. Go watch this movie. Like seriously.

Spectacular filming – which is to be expected. Abrams and Spielberg have such a fantastic eye for this kind of thing. Really draws you in and the special effects were just great. Acting was great – my man, Kyle Chandler from Friday Night Lights, delivering as usual. But the kids, oh the kids. Hysterical, emotional, relateable, loveable, endearing. Perfection. To leave the suspense, I’ll end the review here – watch it. Spend 9 bones, wait and rent it. I don’t care. But make sure your eyes view this at some point in the nearish future.

 

Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen is oozing from this movie. My mother and I took the evening to have little mama-daughter date and see this flick. Not even 2 minutes into the film my mom and I look at each other and say “This is SO Woody Allen.” Everything from the typography to dialogue paired with a black screen and white credits. I went into the theater expecting a more sultry sassy movie. And came out with an enchanting and charming experience.

Light-hearted, whimsical Gil and his high strung, bossy fiance Inez travel to France for a visit. Bored with tours and museum trips hosted by their condescending friend, Paul. He takes the evenings to himself. Where you ask? Oh, to the 1920s. One drunk night, he finds himself in a vintage cab that magically takes him to the 1920s. Magnificent. I want this to be real. So badly I want this to be real. He meets Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Dali, Picasso, Stein, and all the greats. To live in a time that contained some of the most artistically talented – with paints and words and pictures – individuals, I don’t know what I’d do! The movie focuses on the fact that we are never satisfied on what we have – the time before us is always better than the time we have now. Find the beauty and art around you now and love it.

 

Bridesmaids

I loved this. So funny, witty, adorable. Kristen Wiig – I’d like to be her. Chris O’Dowd – I’d like to marry him. Rose Byrne – I’d like to punch her in the face. Every girl who’s best friend is getting married should watch this with said best friend. A good reminder and of is most important. Kristen Wiig plays the perfect goofy, yet classic girl. Melissa McCarthy is the total wild card – you don’t expect anything that comes out of her mouth. Jon Hamm plays the quintessential douche bag – which obviously makes me love him more because he has a great sense of humor, he can make fun of the classic good looking asshole, duh. Chris O’Dowd – I could go on for days about him. Charming, funny, just so darn cute! I’ve decided I’m marry a guy like him – I’m now accepting applications. The movie all around was great too. Good girls night kind of movie – if you don’t mind the occasional risque scene or explicit humor.

Summer Flicks: Part Two

May 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Summertime. The perfect season to waste time at the theater with your best friends, girlfriend/boyfriend, old buddies. No one really wants to catch up at the theater watching a sobfest of a film. You’re in luck though, many many comedies are coming out this summer and I’m hear to tell you on which ones to waste that time and money.

The “Treating My Girl to a Movie but Don’t Want a Major Chick Flick” Movie
Midnight in Paris: Starring Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams, this rom-com (that’s for you Meghan) takes place in, believe it or not, Paris, France. It follows a couple vacationing in the beautiful and when Gil (Owen Wilson) just isn’t satisfied with the museum visits and expensive cafes and takes off in the middle of the night only to find the magic that Paris has to offer. A light-hearted fun film that your girl will love and you won’t hate. Look for it May 20.

The “Movie Date With My Boy but I’m Not Watching a Bunch of Things Explode” Movie
The Change Up: A little cliche but the cast might make up for it. Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman are complete opposite best friends. Reynolds the single, womanizing freeloader. And Bateman the married family man. One night after a night at the bar, they wish they each other’s life. Lightning flashes, the wind blows, and they switch places. It’s been done before but I have a soft spot for Jason Bateman (and Ryan Reynolds for that matter). In theaters August 5.

The “Taking My Little Sister to the Movies but I am NOT Seeing a Cheesy Teen Flick” Movie
Monte Carlo: Bear with me here. A slight cheesy teen flick but it looks to be tolerable. Starring Selena Gomez, Leighton Meester, and Katie Cassidy. The three girls travel to Britain on a summer vacation when Gomez is mistaken as a British pop star and the girls take advantage of it – living the luxurious Europe life they’ve been dying for. Selena Gomez is definitely one of the lesser annoying Disney stars so I wouldn’t be opposed to taken a younger sibling to see this. Opens July 1.

The “Don’t Watch With Your Parents” Movies
Friends with Benefits: Yes, it is the same thing as No Strings Attached. Exact storyline but starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. Will probably be funnier because of JT, but my hopes are not high. Timberlake and Kunis are friends and agree to sleep with each other without having a relationship – “friends with benefits”. The trailer shows some funny JT one liners. Should be amusing. In theaters July 22.

What’s Your Number: Anna Faris has had her fair share of dating and is tired of looking for the right guy. After hitting her sexual limit of 20 guys she calls each one looking for Mr. Right. Chris Evans plays or male costar who helps her find the right guy. Anna Faris is less stupid in this movie and Chris Evans is super good looking. A bunch of cameos like Andy Samberg, Joel McHale, Mike Vogel and plenty of others. Look for it in theaters September 30.

The “Seeing a Movie with a Large Group of People and Need to Please Everyone” Movies
Bad Teacher: Justin Timberlake, Cameron Diaz, Jason Segel. Pretty sure that’s all I need to say. Cameron Diaz is the world’s worst teacher when she meets the man of her dreams. The catch? He likes big breasts. Diaz learns that the teacher with the highest test scores gets a huge bonus which will get her her huge surgery. Jason Segel plays the hilarious gym teacher, scene stealer type. Very excited for this film full of one liners and hilarity. Opens June 24.

Horrible Bosses: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis are stuck at their jobs with the worst bosses imaginable (Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston, and Colin Ferrell). The solution? Kill them. The hysterical trio take matters into their own hands and attempt to kill off their awful superiors. In theaters July 8.

30 Minutes or Less: Pizza delivery guy Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) finds himself delivering to two criminals (Danny McBride and Nick Swardson) who kidnap him, strap a bomb to his chest, and tell him he has to rob a bank for him. Nick recruits his best friend Chet (Aziz Ansari) to complete the mission and hilarity ensues. I have a major crush on Jesse Eisenberg so you can expect me to go watch that. Look for it August 12.

Other movies to keep an eye on:

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
The Hangover: Part II
The Art of Getting By
Last Night
Road to Nowhere
Moneyball
Brigton Rock

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