Monday, September 23, 2013
Sunday, September 22, 2013
1. It's not what I was expecting - I didn't watch the trailer. I did, however, read a summary/description of the movie (I'm pretty sure it was from Entertainment Weekly) and from that, it seemed like the movie was about the breakdown of a marriage because Alec Baldwin's character cheats on Cate Blanchett's character with a younger woman, causing her to have a meltdown. Instead, it was more about the meltdown, itself, and it really had nothing to do with this relationship. The "main" relationship is focused on Jasmine (Blanchett) and her sister, Ginger (played by Sally Hawkins), as Jasmine has lost everything (except a few designer dresses and some Louis Vuitton luggage) and moves in with her sister, in order to get her life back in order. Jasmine is a self-involved, materialistic, shrew of a woman, drenched in self-loathing and it's absolutely fascinating to watch. The movie isn't quite as fascinating. The story isn't exactly new territory, in fact, it's predictable. It moves really slowly, and the dialogue isn't up to par with previous Allen movies. I can't say that I was bored though, and that's for one reason: Cate Blanchett.
2. And the Oscar goes to.... - So far, there is no competition for Cate this year. This performance is powerful, memorable, disturbing and simply sublime. The supporting cast is good, but pale in comparison to the lead performance. I'm not a huge fan of Sally Hawkins; I find her grating to watch - but to her credit, I think that is how her character is supposed to be. The men (Baldwin, Peter Sarsgaard, Andrew Dice Clay, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K. etc) are all in top form. But really, this is Cate's movie. There is no other reason to watch it.
3. It made me feel sane - While I can easily argue that Woody Allen is one of the most successful misogynistic directors around, I can also very easily argue that most of his female characters are fascinating, multi-layered and intelligent (and they are usually more interesting that his male characters). There are women like Jasmine in the world and Allen captured "her" well. I felt like I knew this woman personally, and I think that is a hard thing for a writer/director to accomplish. I felt really satisfied with the movie, because it made me feel really sane, while watching it. I am so thankful that I've never relied on anyone else and that I've never really cared for the monetary things in life. Sometimes, I feel a little crazy, but this is a wonderful reminder that I'm actually very sane (yes, maybe I'm a little too self-aware). It's odd that watching someone else self-destruct made me feel better about my life, but I came out of the theater feeling reluctantly good.
1. Jason Sudeikis is not funny - I really don't get it. He's mildly entertaining, at best. Definitely not funny enough to be the lead in a comedic movie. I'm not an avid SNL viewer (although I used to be), but he's been on the show for a decent stretch and I can't remember one skit, scene, character etc. that blew me away. He was the worst part of Horrible Bosses and ugh....remember when he hosted the MTV Movie Awards? Just awful. He's just so ordinary. Although, I could very well be jealous; I mean, he's engaged to Olivia Wilde. The world is an unfair place.
2. The "stand-out" moments - Overall, the movie is unexpectedly bland. However, there are 3 things from it that I will remember for all of eternity. These 3 moments made the other 95 minutes worth it. The ironic part is that 2 of them, have nothing to do with the movie. The first moment, happens right at the beginning with David (Sudeikis) browsing YouTube, watching this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Bmhjf0rKe8 . It's a 3 year old video with over 70 million hits, but I'm not really a YouTube watcher, so I've never seen it (I know, seeing that I am a self-identified crazy cat lady, most people assume that I sit around and watch cat videos all day, but I promise, I don't). I can't stop watching it. It's the cutest thing I've ever seen. The second moment is Kenny rapping to the 'Left Eye' part in "Waterfalls": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTzSw3h7aq4 (this is from the trailer, so it's not a spoiler, really. Although, I didn't see the trailer before the movie, so I wasn't expecting this). I laughed. I laughed hard - almost brought me to tears. Kenny (played by Will Poulter), is the best part of the movie. He out-shined the "big name" co-stars by a mile. The third moment is part of the outtakes at the end. It's the last moment of the movie and it is the funniest. It's an outtake from Kenny's big rap moment and it's Friends related. I won't link it because all of the videos of it were obtained illegally (but you can totally find it, if you want).
3. So much potential - The most disappointing part of the movie is that it has so much potential to be a hilarious movie. It has all of the key elements required - great cast (even though I'm not a fan of Sudeikis, his mild tone works well with Aniston), great supporting characters, a fun "dysfunctional family" plot and some solid jokes. The movie tries too hard to be mean-spirited, offensive and shocking that it loses everything that makes it good. It's tedious to sit through and it feels really, really long. When a comedy is good, I don't want it to end; with this movie, I found myself wishing for the end more than a few times.
Monday, September 16, 2013
That is from To the Wonder; but it could have easily been from Tree of Life. It's beautiful to look at, but it gets tedious after a certain amount of time (my max is at about 90 minutes). Malick does have a way of making drop dead gorgeous females, even more drop dead gorgeous. The best thing that I got out of To the Wonder is the line, "To commit yourself, is to expose yourself to failure...". It sucks that people let the idea of failure control how they live their life and the relationships that they choose to explore (or not explore).
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Saturday, September 7, 2013
http://bit.ly/153rpES) I spent most of the movie browsing the Internet for information about him and his time in Dumont. Turns out, he lived only a few blocks away from my mom's current location. I can't wait to ask her husband about him. He knows everyone in his town, so chances are he has some information. Too bad talking to him would involve me calling my mother and that is the biggest chore in the world. Anyway, like I said, I was distracted for a lot of the movie, but to be honest, it didn't really do much to catch my attention. Michael Shannon did a terrific job at being a cold-blooded killer, but that's expected. Since I did so much Internet searching on the subject matter, I find it weird that a lot of stuff was over-looked for the movie - like the fact that he was allegedly abusive to his wife (he may have even stabbed her). I think they were trying to stick to the "facts", but Richard Kuklinski was only convicted of 3 murders and the movie definitely shows him murdering more people than that. They showed a brief flashback of him being abused by his father, but it was a "barely there" moment that should have been explored. The movie just seemed to play it safe; stuck to the surface level of a murderer instead of digging down deep. I am constantly looking for stories that show the cyclical nature of violence and abuse - most of my interest lies from the female perspective of women who stay in abusive relationships, but it's also extremely interesting to think about the cyclical nature of the male abuser (ones who have been abused or witnessed abuse themselves, as a child). That's obviously not the story that these filmmakers wanted to tell, but it would have been far more satisfying. Even weirder is the fact that the poster states: "Loving husband" - Ummmm....what? That's completely offensive, considering that she has actually stated that she was abused. That just makes me think that the filmmakers either didn't do enough research, or really had no interest in telling the truth.