Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Man in the Moon

I didn't even know The Man in the Moon was in my queue til I got it, and I can't imagine why I would have possibly added it. According to Wikipedia, Reese Witherspoon's first movie "is notorious for a glimpse of the actress's underage, naked rear end." Hah. Anyway, it wasn't bad. It really made me want to move to a farm in the South. Reese, who I generally like, plays 14-year-old Dani Trant, who falls in love with an older guy who moves in next door (played by Jason London-the twin from Dazed and Confused and that Aerosmith video, not the one from Mallrats). He falls in love with her older sister, a girl who everyone spends the whole movie talking about how beautiful she is, which is kinda weird cause she has a mustache. There is lots of skinnydipping in the local pond. The dad is played by a guy from Law and Order I think. There is a really creepy scene where the older sister goes to a dance and gets groped by her date's father, then by her date. Anyway, eventually Dani finds out that the guy and her sister are sneaking around behind her back, but then Jason London is killed falling off his tractor, and then the sisters forgive each other. It was a pretty decent coming-of-age type movie--the acting was good, and it wasn't overly sappy, but it was kind of boring. It has that ubiquitous teen movie scene where a tomboy type girl gets disgusted when she finds out that you kiss boys with her tongue, and then she practices on her pillow (or in this case, her hand.) At one point, Jason London tells Reese "someone's gonna get your cherry one of these days, but it ain't gonna be me." Hah. The tone and setting and themes reminded me of Inventing the Abbotts which was a lot trashier and thus, much more entertaining.

In the Land of Women

First Netflix sent me The Man in the Moon instead of Heavy Metal Parking Lot, then they sent me Heavy Metal Parking Lot cracked into three pieces, so I was stuck watching In the Land of Women, which seriously had no point. Adam Brody from the OC plays this kid who writes soft porn movies and gets dumped by his actress girlfriend so he goes to live with his grandmother and gets friendly with the family across the street--the mom (Meg Ryan), a teenage daughter, and a younger, annoyingly precocious and child-actressy daughter. He kisses both the mom and the daughter. Meg Ryan's face looks weird. Adam Brody is all smug. The mom gets cancer. She doesn't die though. But the grandmother does. Nothing else happens! That's the whole stupid movie. Actually, to be honest, I couldn't even make it all the way through. I watched for an hour and then just read what happened on themoviespoiler.com. And when I found out that nothing happened, I just put it back in its red envelope. Ugh.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I loved Juno. It left me feeling really happy, and that's all you can really ask from a movie, right? I thought it was loads better than Little Miss Sunshine, which it has oft-been compared to, and I actually thought, as unplanned pregnancy movies go, it was much better than Knocked Up (which I enjoyed). I don't want to say too much since this is still in limited release and a lot of people probably haven't seen it yet, but some stuff I really liked:

-the music, I thought it was perfect. I rarely ever buy movie soundtracks and I want to get the soundtrack.
-it was structured around a school year and there were little subtitles for spring, summer, fall, and winter. This worked really well in my opinion--when you're in high school, so much hinges around the changing of the seasons.
-Michael Cera's character didn't have much to do, and his head-in-the-sand behavior regarding the pregnancy bugged me.
-there was one scene, that I don't want to describe because it was a pivotal plot point (and one I didn't see coming), that was so emotionally awkward and visceral that it made me uncomfortable. In a good way.
-I liked Ellen Page in Hard Candy and I like her even more now.
-Yes, some of the slang was awkward and felt forced--particularly one line "honest to blog?" that made me cringe--but I think that died down as the movie went on.
-Loved Alison Janney as the stepmom. Loved when the dad said "I'm gonna hit that Paulie Bleecker kid in the wiener"
-There was a slag against ultrasound techs! My fiance, currently in school for medical imaging, was very defensive. Hah.
-Jennifer Garner always seemed kinda blah to me in a Sandra Bullock way, but she was very good here.
-Funny that Juno learned that babies have fingernails when they are born, cause I just learned that myself a couple weeks ago and was totally grossed out.
-Much has been made about the media about the treatment of abortion (and lack thereof) in recent movies, including Juno. I liked that it was treated as a valid choice and not some life-ruining trauma.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


So my semester is officially over, I have a 14 day vacation coming up and I'm ready to watch a shit-ton of movies. The only thing that could possibly be better is if Netflix finally started to offer Watch it Now for Macs...

A couple things I have been watching, have not been watching, and will be watching:

-The Mist, despite a few minor flaws, fully lived up to my expectations. Still not sure how I feel about the ending. That first time when the bug reared up on its bug hindquarters and showed all those spiny things gave me chills, and I jumped at one point in the whole pharmacy sequence and knocked soda onto my fiance's lap. It was thoroughly awesome. There is a great feature at the Onion AV Club that details the differences between the movie and the story much more thoroughly than I possibly could.

-Last Saturday I wasn't feeling too well and, flipping through the channels, I came across Jon and Kate + 8. Always interested in reality freakshows in the vein of Engaged and Underage, I kept watching, only to find that it was really really boring. Who cares about kids getting haircuts? I was left with the following impressions: I've never seen a man with such a look of utter resignation as Jon. That scene in the credits where it shows her belly full of 6 children--why, God, why? And I really love the little guy with the glasses. Still, I don't see why anyone would want to watch this.

-In the Land of Women is still sitting on top of my TV, along with a boring documentary about Kennedy that I certainly didn't pick. I was planning to watch Heavy Metal Parking Lot tonight, which I have been dying to see for years, but Netflix didn't send it. Stupid sexy Netflix. I also want to try to see Juno over the weekend.

So like I said, I am going to be watching like infinity movies from now til the end of the year, so please do post your suggestions!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Between finishing grad school, working two jobs, and the fact that I'm getting married in like five minutes, I haven't really been watching anything. However, last night I caught Tape, a movie Richard Linklater made the same year as Waking Life which didn't get nearly as much attention. In fact, I didn't even know this was a Linklater joint until the end credits. This is also notable as the first movie that I had never heard of and rented solely because Netflix recommended it to me and it sounded good.

It was pretty okay. Ethan Hawke and some guy with a wonky eye reunite ten years after graduating high school in a gross motel room in Lansing, MI. Ethan Hawke gets the other guy to admit that he raped his ex (Ethan's ex) at the end of senior year--and gets the confession on tape. He calls the girl (Uma Thurman) and forces them all to talk about it. Awkwardness ensues. This was one of those movies where you can really tell that it was originally a play, cause it's very talky and it all takes place in one room. I thought it was entertaining and it definitely kept me guessing as to what would happen next. Ethan Hawke seemed like a gigantic douche and I have a hard time believing he's not like that in real life.

Oh yeah, I sent back both Dexter and Party of Five--the latter for the reasons detailed in my last post, and Dexter because, despite the uniform raves I heard about it from like everyone in the world, I just couldn't get into it. I enjoyed the parts about Dexter's life but the murder stuff was a little too CSI, which I find boring. And the sister bugged me.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Party of Five

I haven't been watching much of anything lately but after finally finishing The Office, over the weekend I got around to watching the first episode-and-a-half of Party of Five. I was always intrigued by this show when it was on, probably because of my penchant for teen melodrama and, well, who's not curious about the logistics of five orphans raising themselves? I found out that it's really boring. How are we going to find/pay for a nanny, though we have a seemingly endless fount of money from our dead parents? Why is Julia such a dork? How can their parents' restaurant still possibly be open? I found Bailey to be like nails on a chalkboard, and my fiance lost interest as soon as he realized that Jennifer Love Hewitt isn't (I think) in the first season at all. I turned it off halfway through the second episode and still haven't decided if I'm going to give it another shot.

On deck? Dexter, Havoc, and In the Land of Women (which I added to my queue only in a fit of mourning about the end of The OC).

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Gone Baby Gone

I really loved this movie--it felt complete in a way that most films don't, and I felt satisfied at the end. The first half moved quickly and really held my interest, and I loved the way that the actors weren't "movie-attractive" (at least apart from the leads). Some of them weren't attractive in any realm, movie or not. They looked like real people from a real city. I'm not a Ben Affleck fan as an actor, but I thought this was a really great job for a first time (I think?) director. The woman who played the crackhead sister was totally believable. It is rare that a movie has a moral message that's not dumbed down and oversimplified (Crash, anyone?). Casey Affleck was also good. I have no doubt that he wouldn't have been cast if not for his relation to the director, but he was decent as a kid who knew the neighborhood and knew who wouldn't talk to the cops. Also, it's rare that a movie about kidnapping doesn't feel exploitative and go for the cheap tearjerks, but Gone Baby Gone doesn't at all. The action sequences were very exciting--and this from a girl who hates action movies--and actually made me jump once or twice. I am stoked to check the book out of the library.