Monday, December 29, 2008

Let The Right One In

I saw Let the Right One In at the Crest Saturday night.

The movie is very cold and the theatre felt colder (almost ironic because on Sunday several people complained that the heat was too high in that auditorium). It wasn't too traditional of a vampire movie - no crosses or cloves of garlic. Set in Sweden, the setting is dark and snowy. Blood looks really good against the snow and there's plenty of blood in the movie.

The story is of a 12 year old boy, Oskar, who is bullied a lot, goes back and forth between parents and is a bit of an outsider. He befriends a 12 year old vampire, who he asks to be his girlfriend. He comes to understand that she is a vampire, but it doesn't seem to matter. He saves her from her killer and in return, she saves him from his tormenters.

There was a lot of discussion after the movie and a lot of looking up things online. Is her older companion a pedophile or is he just another 12 year old all grown up? Was she castrated? Was his dad gay?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Most of the Time, I Wish I Was Home Alone.

Last night, to get into the Christmas Spirit Heckamax and I watched Home Alone while wrapping presents. Matthew and two of his stooges joined us for the last half hour or so, spreading their joy with a 12 pack of PBR Light.

Home Alone is clearly one of the best holiday films of our generation. I'm about the age of Macaulay Culkin and the movie really takes me back to being a kid. First of all, the siblings are dead on. "Kevin, you're such a disease" and "I wouldn't let you sleep in my room if you were growing on my ass" are such great lines! Second, the thing is full proof. There is no possible way he could not have ended up home alone. Third, the movie banks on facial expressions. Not only Macaulay Culkin, but Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern do great work.

Home Alone take a lot of different story lines (Kevin being alone, the mom trying to get to him, the attempted burglaries, the scary old man who actually just misses his son) and blends it with enough humor (both verbal and slapstick) and sentiment to make it work.

Holiday Classic!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Feliz Navidad

Amp took off for Germany, leaving me to celebrate Christmas on my own, or you know, with my family. However, she DID leave me with several Lifetime original Christmas movies. And that, really, is the gift that keeps on giving.

Last night I watched a little gem called "Noel". It has an "all-star cast" including Robin Williams, Penelope Cruz & Susan Sarandon. It's one of those lots of stories, entertwined type films. Characters meet by chance, etc etc. It really put me in the holiday spirit.

Susan Sarandon was a lonely single woman over the age of 40. Let me tell you, most Lifetime movies have a lonely single woman over the age of 40. Speaking to your audience, perhaps? Anyway, she's taking care of her mom who has Alzheimer's and is in the hospital. Robin Williams is visiting the patient across the hall who has no one. He's a priest. Later him and Susie spend the eve together and then he says her mom wants her to let go and she talked to him and Susie gets upset. Later, you find out that his character is actually THE PATIENT who is dying! Whoa! The Penelope Cruz storyline has to do with her finace being all jealous and her thinking she's preggers. There's this whole weird thing with this old man who thinks her finance is his reincarnated wife! At the end she comes to give her finance his Christmas gift and he says "where is it?" and she sayd "here" and puts her hand on her stomach. Now, THAT's drama!

Obviously, watching this movie was the best hour and 45 min I spent yesterday.

Monday, December 15, 2008

MILK made me cry

We braved the crowds yesterday to see MILK at Tower. Even though we had to sit too close to the front for comfort, I was mesmerized by the film.

It's really good. The parallels between then and now are staggering. Prop 6. Prop 8. It all feels the same sometimes. It's all infuriating.

I cried at the end. I really feel like I can't write too much about this film, except that I recommend it. Maybe I can find the words for it soon.

Oh, but I think that James Franco is doing his best for the gay cause, turning the straight men into homosexuals one viewer at a time!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Keanu Dig It?

I don't know if you've heard, but I happen to be a Keanu Reeves fan. It's a bond I share with my younger brother. It goes as far back as my dad making a big deal of Bill & Ted whenever we drove through San Dimas.

Although I shouldn't have to make this argument, I'll state that Keanu Reeves is the greatest comedic actor of all time. Have you ever seen a Keanu film and not laughed? Yeah, that's what I'm saying.

So, if you happen to not live in the world and weren't aware, today The Day The Earth Stood Still opens, starring the one and only Keanu Reeves, as an alien! In honor of the occassion, Esquire put out the Tao of Keanu, or all of lives lessons to be learned from Keanu Reeves films.

I suggest you check it out.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Modeling Solo

I went to the movies alone tonight. Going to the movies alone is always something that a magazine or an internet guide tells you to do. It's good for you or something. Like, why do you need company when you're sitting in the dark? Oh, we're supposed to eat dinner by ourselves no problem too. Just bring a book!

I used to go to the movies by myself all the time when I lived in New York. Part of it was my schedule, but mostly it was because I never had to pay. Most of the time I saw movies at the Sunshine, which just felt like watching a home anyway.

So, tonight I ventured to Natomas to see Role Models. I'd been wanting to see Role Models for awhile, but there was always something else to see. Turns out we should've seen Role Models all along. Mike C wasn't full of crap! The movie was pretty good!

With Role Models you pretty much get what you expect. It's totally funny. There's a lot of bad humor (by that I mean gross-out humor) but it's subtle. It's a lot of puns and euphemisms, which I appreciate. Not as much slap-stick or physical comedy. All-in-all, a pretty good time.

I actually enjoyed the solo moving-going experience, but mostly because I enjoyed the movie. I actually got involved in watching the film. If I hadn't liked it, I'm sure I would have become insecure about being there alone and annoyed that there was no one to give looks to whenever a scene was particularly painful. The worst part about doing things alone is that you think for a second that the other people around you might actually notice you and care and see that you're alone. And then you realize that no one cares and that's worse. But hey, if they movie is good and you're into it, you can totally tell yourself you're independent and call it a great night.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Four Christmases Could've Taken Place on Easter

Four Christmases is NOT about Christmas. I repeat, NOT about Christmas. It's just one of those movies that lures you in, thinking you're going to get some holiday cheer, only to crush you with a bad plot, no moral and a few stale jokes.

The movie is about a couple who is forced to see both of their divorced parents (on both sides) in one day, because there's bad fog in San Fran and they can't go to Fuiji. Sidenote: how often to flights get cancelled because of fog? I mean, SF is pretty foggy all the time, right? Aren't they used to it by now? Anyway, these stupid people haven't seen their families on Christmas in three years, which is coincidentally, the same amount of time they've been together. If this was my family there would so be some shit-talking about the significant other who is stealing our brother/sister away. BTW, to my brothers: if you ever purposely missed Christmas, you wouldn't make it to the new year!

Anyway, at some point they think they don't know each other, but then somehow they realize that they want to be together forever and they DO want marriage and a family and blah blah blah. However, this realization seems to come from nowhere. Not from realizing their families are actually good and mean well (nope, come the next year they're still ignoring them). Not from the sentimentality attached to Christmas or even wanting to be together on Christmas. No, it's like Vince Vaughn doesn't want to be like his dad or something. Or maybe Reese Witherspoon realizes that families can pull it together? Or something like that? See, the problem here, is that the movie doesn't make this very clear. You keep waiting for a line or two to clue you in, but instead you're forced to create them in your head, filling in the blanks.

Vince Vaughn has some good laughs and he pretty much carries the damn thing. And next to Reese Witherspoon you realize (once again) that he's so tall! He kind of does this thing that reminds me of Billy Crystal, where he talks really fast, on-and-on, about nonsense and you're supposed to find it endearing. It works for a minute, but then I'd just rather watch When Harry Met Sally.

In the end, the movie has nothing to do with Christmas, with the exception that Christmas is the reason they have to go to all these places anyway. But it could've been Thanksgiving or Easter or any other family-centric holiday. You know it's not really a Christmas movie when they only Christmas song plays during the credits.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The French Don't Like Christmas

Last night the MNMN selection was A Christmas Tale, which we saw at the Crest. It was a pretty full movie, with a large number of older patrons.

The movie was, in a word, French. Everything about it, in all its 2 1/2 hour glory, reminded me that it was a French movie. I don't even know what that means, except that this movie had virtually nothing to do with Christmas and lacked any sense of Christmas cheer. I knew that from reading the reviews things were not going to get better just because Christmas dinner was being served. But for a moment there, I forgot that the film even took place over the holidays.

(unrelated sidenote: a Jay Baker look-a-like just walked past my office window, looking quite dapper in a full suit!)

The film was similar to Rachel Getting Married, in that it was about a screwed up family. Unfortunately, I'm still not quite sure where all the disfunction comes from. Much like a real family, the plot lines are confusing and messy. Maybe I don't relate, because my family is perfect. In the end, the French know that Christmas is just one day, but messed up families are forever. The crazies are still related to you, even if it's not a holiday.

It's no Elf, but the characters were complex, real, and charming. You're not sure exactly where the conflict lies and who is to blame. Everyone is a little messed up, no one is perfect and Grandpa is inexplicably sweet.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Best Day of My Life

Black Friday was celebrated by waking up on amp's couch because certain people (cough my roommates cough) decided to have a 2am Alice In Chains listening party while I was asleep.

I decided to spend the rest of the day on that couch, in borrowed sweatpants, repeatedly eating Thanksgiving dinner and watching quality (or was it quantity?) movies. A review:

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. The best part of this movie is watching the guy who plays Max on GREEK (not that I watch that show or anything) try to talk with a Greek accent. Heh. That's funny. He plays a Greek and is on Greek! A solid chick flick.

The Christmas List on ABC Family. This is probably the worst movie I've ever seen. The acting is terrible, there are major holes in the plot and the whole premise is stupid. Most enjoyable movie we watched that day.

Elf. Elf is a new holiday classic. I like it. It's funny. My favorite line is "bye Buddy, I hope you find your dad" and I don't know why.

The Santa Clause. I actually saw this movie in the theatre when it came out. For someone's birthday party. I think it may have even been a sleepover. This movie prompted the question "what would you do if your boyfriend/husband had to become Santa Claus? Would you still be with him?" Feel free to answer that question for yourself.

Tonight we might keep with the Christmas tradition and watch A Christmas Tale. Or Role Models. Heh.

Oh and here's a Christmas gift to you: Anonymous comments are now welcome.