Tuesday, April 25, 2006

I'm Baaaaaaaack.

~By popular demand, at that! (Popular demand meaning my parents) They said they "liked reading [my] reviews", and when I replied with the fact that school has been keeping me occupied they said that they would rather read my reviews than I do school work...so this one is for them.

~ Actually, it helps that both the University sponsored a movie tonight, and that my English term paper was pushed back from being due Thursday to next Tuesday. So now I have both a movie to review, and time to review it!

~Oh, and before I begin, just a note that my dad and brother came to visit this weekend on seperate occasions and were like flies to poop, at my computer saying "what's wrong with your spacebar?" and by trying to make it better, they both have made it worse and it is DRIVING ME NUTS. Hold on a sec, I am going to try and fix this so I don't go mad. *tries to fix space bar* OK that is a little better, at least its not making that really annoying clicking noise anymore.

So on to the movie, I really picked a light hearted film to get back into the swing of things. Actually that is a complete and total lie because the movie I saw tonight was Hotel Rwanda (2004). I don't remember too much about the movie craze, because I was caught up in Lord of the Rings fever at the time and besides hearing praise for the film, the only other review I remember is that of my Uncle Billy. Here, I will give you a little snippet: "Hotel Rwanda is 'tuckin awesome, if you see only one 'tuckin film this year, see this one. That guy who played that one part was 'tuckin great." For the one person who may come across this and doesn't know my Uncle, he likes to replace the 'f' in my mother's favorite cuss word with a 't' and this phrasing of words clearly shows high praise for the film.

Uncle Billy was right, even if I am two or so years behind the bandwagon. Hotel Rwanada was directed beautifully by Terry George (TV's The District and A Bright Shining Lie). George not only went back to Rwanda with the people who the film is based off of, but also spent an entire year writing the first draft. The film tells the story of Paul Rusesabagina played by Don Cheadle (Crash, TV's Picket Fences and ER) who was rightfully nominated for an Oscar for this role. Rusesabagina must save his family, friends, those at the hotel he works at, and other refugees trapped by the Hutu's in Rwanda, Africa in 1994.

He must deal with the military, enemies, and people terrified of genocide. His backbone through all this is his wife Tatinana, played by Sophie Okonedo (The Jackal, Ace Ventura:When Nature Calls) who was also nominated in the Best Supporting Actress Category for an Oscar. This film was produced independently, so generally not too many big names appear on the credits, however another big name star to appear was Nick Nolte (Lorenzo's Oil, The Prince of Tides). Thanks to his infamous arrest a few years ago, whenever I hear or see Nick Nolte all I picture is that mug shot of him with a Hawaiian t-shirt and bed head, his performace was so moving in this film as Colonel Oliver, that I didn't even picture the mug shot until I started writing this review.

Life is Beautiful, Schindler's List, and The Diary of Anne Frank (the recent TV version, not the old movie where they pronounce Peter, Pita) are just a few films that I go into prayer mode when watching. I don't know if its the twelve years of Catholic school or what, but whenever I am scared, or scared for the people on screen I go into automatic "Hail Mary Mode" or HMM for short. I just start praying, and don't stop until the people are safe. Other thoughts that run through my head are "Oh God, help them" or "Jesus, I am so sorry". Maybe its just my version of crying at movies. It is definetly safe to say that Hotel Rwanda is now on that list.

Whether you are a movie crier, HMM-er, or throw in a 'tuck' every now and then, know that Hotel Rwanda is an emotional roller coaster of a movie that will leave you shell shocked.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Time's A Wastin'

Walk the Line (2005).

I consider myself to have a pretty wide range of musical tastes, or at the very least, musical appretiation. In other words, if I don't like a piece of music, I can generally see why someone else would (unless of course said piece of music is really bad). However, when the grapevine started buzzing about a movie being made about country music star Johnny Cash, I can honestly say I really had no feelings about it.

One thing that I do remember running through my head was "oh well, this movie is just playing off all the Ray (2004), hype". Well after watching the commentary of this film I learned that Walk was actually rapping up production just as Ray was getting started, so as it turns out, Ray actually was made after this film. Shows you how much I know!
I watched this film post award-show season (my favorite season of the year) but I still tried to watch the movie as if it hadn't won a bunch of awards, including an Oscar for Reese Witherspoon (Election, Legally Blonde) in the Best Actress Category. For most of the movie, which was beautifully directed by James Mangold (Girl, Interrupted, Kate & Leopold) this pretending was very easy to do. However, in the case of Witherspoon, from the moment she appeared on screen, the thought that immediately popped in my head was "no wonder she won the Oscar".

She is charming, she is funny, she is June Carter. As for Joaquin Phoenix's (Gladiator, Ladder 49) performance of Mr. Johnny Cash himself, I was a little worried about my bias. Not a bias that you would find in most females my age, (Mr. Phoenix is a pin up favorite among the dorm rooms) my bias towards the type of character he was playing: a cheat on his wife drug addict. When watching Lifetime movies, where these type of characters seem to be in every storyline, I find myself mad. Mad at these characters, why would they ruin their lives, and their family's lives like that?? I found myself a little mad, but Johnny, and Phoenix's portrayal of Cash, won me over in the end, and I feel, that is saying a lot.

In the commentary, Mangold said that he wanted all actors involved in any musical numbers, which were wonderfully put into the movie, to sing their own songs, and play their own instruments. Mangold interestingly told a story of Phoenix, who normally has a higher singing range, seemed to suddenly drop in range, closer to Cash's real vocals, right before production started. After researching these artists, and their songs, I say in my own opinon, that Witherspoon sounds better than Carter does!

I say pick this one, or you will Cry, Cry Cry while all your friends are discussing this film. Join the Ring of Fire and Go on Down to Jackson (or wherever your movie store is) and rent/buy this movie!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Return to Sender...

Elvis Has Left the Building (2005).

Some independent films are more clever than big studio movies and gather cult followings such as Donnie Darko. Some independent films are runaway hits, for instance, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. So one would expect that a film directed by Joel Zwick who also brought Wedding to the big screen would have potential.

Potential. Elvis Has Left the Building just screams this word. The cast list alone is promising. Kim Basinger stars as Harmony Jones, a Pink Lady makeup saleswoman in search for something..I can't really remember what to tell you the truth, not a good sign. The fellow lead is played by John Corbett, hunky actor of other wonderful indie films Bigger Than the Sky, and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. He likes things big apparently, and one would think that this movie which also has smaller roles filled by Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings, Rudy), Annie Potts (Designing Women, Any Day Now), and even a tiny cameo by Mr. Oscar himself, Tom Hanks (do I really need to list his films?) would be BIG. But its not, plain and simple.

It just kind of falls flat. The idea is wonderful, a string of Elvis impersonaters are killed with either Corbett or Basinger on the scene but it doesn't go anywhere from there. At first I was excited because Richard Kind (Spin City) plays the first impersonater, and does an fairly decent job, and his was the best of the comic relief. The movie was filled with jokes that went nowhere, plotlines that just sort of ended, and scenarios that would never happen in real life. For instance, if you accidentally put a bolt through someone's head as Basinger's Harmony did to an impersonater (portrayed by David Leisure, Empty Nest) would you just leave the scene of the crime?? This happens over and over again with the characters, acting as if nothing happened at all, not even surprised that they killed someone. They act like they ran over a piece of trash in the road, not a 250 pound man dressed as Elvis.

Verdict: Sorry to send you to the Heartbreak Hotel if you were looking forward to this one, but I say flick this one folks. Perhaps some fools did rush into making this potentially good script into a not so great movie.

Have your own opinion? Want more info, or felt that I didn't touch on something? Leave a comment and I will respond!

Monday, March 06, 2006

And the Winner Is...

My Review of the 2006 Oscars.
A few months ago when The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Jon Stewart as the host of this year's festivities I was a little worried and upset. Mainly because my favorite late-night talk show host, Conan O'Brien was also in the running, and I think he would have done a fantastic job. However Mr. Stewart, in my opinion, didn't disappoint. Everything I was thinking, he came out and said whenever he had the opportunity.
For instance, when Brokeback Mountain won for Best Adapted Screenplay, and one of the writers was wearing jeans, I promptly yelled at the TV "IS HE WEARING JEANS AT THE OSCARS??", Stewart came right out and said "Hey! I didn't know we were allowed to wear jeans!"
Just when I was saying to my dad on the phone (during a commercial break of course) "they are really montage heavy this year" Stewart came back from break saying "Next we will have a montage of montages. We have run out of film clips, please if you have any film clips, even if they are BETA, please send them in!"
I found Stewart's signature political satire and humor to be, well, humorous. I wouldn't go to hysterical, but at least give the guy some credit! During the opening monolouge, Stewart said something to the effect of: There are so many celebrities in this room right now, its like the democratic convention! Now, that was funny! I laughed and my friends whom I was watching the ceremony with stared blankly, one of whom asked, "Why was that funny?" I explained that a lot of people in Hollywood are Democrats to which my friend said "If you have to explain the joke, it isn't funny."
She is right about that. I won't go into a rant about people being informed about politics, but I will say this, what were you expecting Stewart to make jokes about? Hello! He is the host of The Daily Show, of course he is going to make political jokes!

From what I have read in forums and on other sites many seem to be upset over the fact that certain movies were "ripped off" at this year's Oscars. While the 2004 Oscars was amazing with Lord of the Rings:Return of the King winning 11 out of 11, but there wasn't one award that ROTK won, that wasn't deserved. Whereas with other Oscar years, when one movie dominates the winner's circle, I find myself rolling my eyes when they win another statue. I feel that this year, more than any other year, the statues were given out more evenly, and I feel that is how the awards should be given out.

Have your own opinion? Felt I left something out and you want to hear my opinion? Leave a comment and I shall respond!

Friday, March 03, 2006

For those of you who already read the side of this blog, you should already know why I created this blog. For those of you who thought you could get by without reading my lovely thoughts, boy were you wrong.

I created this so I could have a name when commenting in my brother's blog, but I didn't know what I wanted to do with this, so I let it sit for five months or so without another entry. In December something came into my life that changed it forever. I will never be the same again, I can't even put into words how much what this special something has done for me. *tear* My loving, devoted, thoughtful parents bought me what every little girl dreams of when she is growing up: a Netflix subscription.

Or wait, was that just my childhood dream? Anyway, after that loving man I call my father, who has the Netflix charges on his debit card every month, suggested that I start a blog about the radio station I work at, I got thinking about this blog. As it turns out Black Squirrel Radio was already in the process of creating another blog, but I was still thinking about what I could do with this one.

Eventually I had an epiphany, and came up with the lovely title Flix You Should Flick, and Flix You Should Pick. Clever huh? I thought so too.

Don't worry folks, I will not only be reviewing the movies I get from Netflix, but also other movies I see on TV or at the theatre, etc.

Friday, October 07, 2005

So what is this thing supposed to be?

OK I know what a blog is.

I have another one, in fact. but I have one question:

Is this supposed to be a political thing, because both my brother and my dad have their blogs centered around just that.

Although my brother has many funny photoshop pictures that make me giggle.

Until I figure this site out, how to use it etc, I have a feeling I am going to be very frustrated.