Charlie Wilson’s War

January 16, 2008 at 3:15 pm | Posted in Movies | Leave a comment
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SPOILERS: DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FILM 

One of the many things to compromise on when you are in a relationship is on movies. Bill would never go with me to a chick flick and I would never go with him to see an action movie. So this past weekend we met in the middle and saw Charlie Wilson’s War.

The timing of this film is appropriate in a scary way. I did not know too much about the situation in Afghanistan in the 1980s, other than what I read in Khaled Hosseini novels. The movie was like a history lesson with a little bit of nudity on the side. This read like a classic case of “If we only knew then what we knew now….”. In the 70s and part of the 80s, we thought the Soviets were the biggest enemy of all time. Little did we know about fundamentalist Islam……

The most striking part of the film for me was near the end when Charlie Wilson was meeting with a few of the congressmen asking for a million dollars to build schools in Afghanistan and the request was met with indifference. It’s like the only thing that mattered was kicking Soviet butt and once that was finished, the fate of the Afghans was tossed aside.

It is a rare thing when a movie actually is able to teach you something and give you a new perspective on the current situation in the world and Charlie Wilson’s War definitely did that. Plus, it was so nice to see Tom Hanks back on the screen again. We missed you, Tom.

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Juno

January 9, 2008 at 3:05 pm | Posted in Movies, Opinion piece | Leave a comment
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 WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

The movies that stay in your head are not necessarily the most dramatic or violent movies. They are movies that take you back in time, teen movies have always done well in box office, well most of the time. Who doesn’t remember Ferris Bueller and the John Hughes trilogy of Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, and Breakfast Club? The latest entry into this genre is Juno and it has been getting fantastic reviews. Is the movie worth the hype?

While Juno is a funny, amusing movie I don’t think it is the greatest movie ever made. The dialogue was witty although I don’t think most high school kids really talk that way in real life. I enjoyed all the acting, particularly Allison Janney and Jk Simmons as Juno’s parents. I really loved the scene where Juno’s step mom tells off the ultrasound tech. I was touched when Juno’s dad was telling Juno to find someone who loves her for exactly who she is. Her parents were making the best out of a tough situation.

 I loved seeing the relationship between Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman. You could see there were some issues right from the beginning and I liked how their relationship was portrayed honestly, adopting a baby was not going to fix their marriage. In the end, the dad left the marriage.

Overall, I do think Juno is worth the $10 admission fee. It is a slightly new twist on the teen movie.

The Mist

December 10, 2007 at 3:30 pm | Posted in Movies | Leave a comment
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WARNING: IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE FILM, DO NOT READ THIS POST.

On Saturday night, Bill and I saw a late night showing of The Mist. I was expecting a scary film but the messages and implications of the movie left a deeper impression on me than any of the locusts and tentacles ever did.

The character that scared me the most was Mrs. Carmody, played by Marcia Gay Harden. In the beginning of the crisis, she was a crazy lady spouting out Bible verses, not one to be paid attention to. But as the crisis progressed, her views started gaining attention and she attracted all but a handful of the people in the grocery store. The things she got them to do within a day or two was frightful, they beat up and stabbed one of the military guys when they found out about the Arrowhead project and his involvement in that, even though it was minimal; they were going to hurt Mr. Drayton’s boy and Amanda before Ollie, the store manager, shot her. I was thinking about the Milgram experiments and how people blindly follow the herd, even though what they’re doing is the wrong thing. It was complete anarchy in the store and Mrs. Carmody appeared to be a leader, even though she was absolutely nuts.

There were a handful of people that were able to keep their cool; Mr. Drayton, his little boy, Amanda, Irene, Ollie, and an older gentleman whose name I can’t recall. They managed to escape from the grocery store and drive south. All they saw around them was the mist and not a sign of human life. Mr. Drayton realizes that there are only 4 bullets and with the silent approval of everyone in the car, he kills them all. A few minutes later, Mr. Drayton sees army tanks full of people and is heartbroken to realize that if he waited a few minutes longer, they all would have been saved.

The ending was absolutely heartbreaking; I am familiar with Stephen King’s work and understand that there are no happy endings in his novels. Intellectually I understood that the ending was the right one for this kind of movie but I was very upset anyway. If you are squeamish at the sight of blood or extreme violence, do not see this movie. After this emotional roller coaster of a movie, I’m seeing a comedy next time.

Happy Monday

December 3, 2007 at 3:30 pm | Posted in Blast from the Past, Movies, Music | Leave a comment

I started off this Monday morning with a dentist appointment.  I don’t have any cavities, so to celebrate this little piece of good news let’s take a little trip back 20 years to this movie, and this very funny song.

My Encounter With Mr. Big

November 29, 2007 at 3:19 pm | Posted in Movies, Outings | Leave a comment
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My closest run-ins with celebrities have been a picture of me with Jesse Martin taken 6-7 years ago and a Saturday night at Brandy’s last winter with Theatre Chick where we struck up conversation with an Apprentice cast member. D-Listed and People are among the websites I surf daily and I have been known to peek at Perez Hilton once in awhile. Some people go insane over anything Hollywood. I never understood how anyone could stand in line for hours just to see a celebrity and get an autograph, to me it seemed like a big waste of time.

When I learned that Sex and The City was filming in my neighborhood, I had this intense desire to see every bit of filming that I could. As this New York Times article shows, I was not only the only person to feel this way. The woman who couldn’t care less about getting autographs from celebs was all about seeing everyone from Sex and The City, specifically Mr. Big. I was peeved when I learned that I missed an opportunity to see the first day of filming with SJP and Chris Noth by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Thanks to the NY Daily News, I learned that the cast was shooting on the corner of 70th St. and Lexington Ave. the following day and I went after work.  Chris Noth and Kristen Davis were supposed to be shooting a scene.

We must have stood there for at least 30 minutes; there was a lady telling us all the rules, no flash photography, no standing beyond the sidewalk, blah blah blah. Suddenly, I hear a buzz in the air and we see Chris Noth, aka Mr. Big aka Detective Mike Logan, in the flesh. It is hard to believe but he is so much better looking in person than he is on TV and he is not a bad looking man at all. Even though I stood around for at least 30 minutes and I only saw Chris Noth for a minute or two at most, it was so worth it.

Movies, TV, and music can serve as an escape from reality and/or as a window into the lifestyles of people whom you might never get to meet in real life.  However, there are those few times when you watch a show and you identify with some of the characters, despite the differences in lifestyle. That’s how I felt about Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte, and Miranda. Even though I might never make enough money to buy a pair of Blahniks, or go to all the hottest clubs and lounges, I felt like I had so much in common with them Who has not had dates that have gone horribly wrong, relationships that seemed so wonderful at first but ended in the most heartbreaking ways, and unexpected events in life that have forced you to re-evaluate your goals and dreams? Raise your hand if you have never gone through any of these things…..anyone, anyone? Okay, didn’t think so.

There are TV shows that bomb spectacularly, TV shows that last a season or two and then disappear, and then you have those shows that everyone talks about years after it ends. Through syndication, SATC has gained new fans and even the fans who have been around since the beginning can watch the Fab Four again and again. Will I be standing in line for opening weekend in May of 2008? In the words of Mr. Bib, absof*ckinlutely!

To reward your patience for reading this longer than I thought post, I have enclosed a few pictures for your viewing pleasure.

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August Rush

November 27, 2007 at 8:55 pm | Posted in Movies | Leave a comment

On Saturday night, Best Friend and I went to our local movie theatre to see August Rush. With popcorn and orange soda in hand, we rushed to get good seats. I’ve been seeing previews for this film for at least a month, maybe longer, and was beginning to wonder when this movie will come out. It’s not everyday that a group of your favorite celebs appear in the same film.

If you like your movies with a box of Kleenex on the side, then August Rush is your movie. Yes, it’s a sappy, somewhat melodramatic film that requires you to put reality on hold but at least the music is incredible, the actors are beautiful to look at, particularly the luminous Keri Russell and Jonathon Rhys Meyers, and the scenery is striking. I have loved Freddie Highmore since seeing him in Finding Neverland, he is very talented and I hope he does not become one of those tragic E True Hollywood stories. I also got a kick out of seeing Amanda from Ugly Betty in a short role.  I don’t think this movie will be nominated for any awards (Oscar definitely not, maybe Golden Globes) but I enjoyed the film anyway.

Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead

November 13, 2007 at 2:22 pm | Posted in Movies | Leave a comment

If you want to see this movie, you might not want to read this post, spoilers could be included.

Last night, I saw this movie with a couple of friends. I knew the premise of the film before seeing it but was still very surprised at how the movie progressed, especially the ending.  

I was impressed with the caliber of acting in the film, especially with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke. To me, the movie was a great character study of how ordinary people cope with less than ideal circumstances and the lengths they go to in trying to get away with things. I found the storytelling device very effective, I liked how the movie went back and forth between the day of the robbery, days before the robbery, and the days after the robbery. When you were shown the robbery at first, the viewer understood it in one context but when you saw the robbery scene again after seeing the scenes of the brothers before the robbery, the viewer got a whole new perspective on the robbery. 

It was also a fascinating portrayal of how grief makes some people absolutely crazy with the idea of revenge, like with Albert Finney’s character. It was the kind of movie I couldn’t turn away from even though I wanted to at some points (ie seeing Philip Seymour Hoffman naked, I could have gone my whole life without seeing that). The final scenes in the film were shocking, I still have the image of the last scene in my head. Overall, this movie was not for the faint of heart but I do think it is a very well made film with a high quality of acting that might be rewarded come Academy Awards time.

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