Thursday, March 31, 2011

Movie List - March 2011

Apparently, March was a tad busier than February. That and I did a lot of reading this month. But here are the movies I snuck in in between books.

1) Zodiac
2) Molly
3) Frozen
4) Beastly
5) Inception
6) Red Riding Hood
7) Morning Glory
8) Sucker Punch
9) The Sound of Music
10) She’s Out of My League
11) The American

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sucker Punch (Rated PG-13)

I went to see "Sucker Punch" today despite it's horrible reviews. It was directed by Zack Snyder who also directed "300" and "Watchmen". Both of those movies received better reviews than this film. Let's try to figure out why, shall we?

- "300" has lots of violence and killing AND a lot of blood and gore. "Sucker Punch", while having lots of violence and killing kept the b & g to a minimum. A very minimum. And most of the killing happens to non-humans.
- "Watchmen" has one very VERY bad sex scene. "Sucker Punch" doesn't have any.
- "300" shows lots and lots of half-naked men and naked women. "Sucker Punch" shows midriffs and cleavage.
- "Watchmen" has characters dressed in Marvelesque costumes that have, for some reason, shrunk as the characters have aged. "Sucker Punch" dresses their heroines in school girl/steam punk outfits. Okay, not so great but at least they fit.
- "300" has a very basic plot. Beat the enemy. "Sucker Punch" also has a basic plot. Escape from the mental facility.
- "Watchmen" has Carla Gugino as a washed-out superhero. "Sucker Punch" has Carla Gugino as a psychotherapist/dance instructor.
- "300" has male action heroes. "Sucker Punch" has female action heroes.
- I've run out of "Watchmen"/"Sucker Punch" comparisons for now.
- "300" has Gerard Butler. "Sucker Punch" has Scott Glen. Oh wait. Okay, so in that case, "300" is way better.

Of the three movies, I think "300" was truly the best. But! Of the remaining two, "Sucker Punch" blew "Watchmen" out of the water. I had to force myself to finish watching "Watchmen". It was painful!

I've decided that the reason critics didn't like "Sucker Punch" as much as "300" is because it's more believable for men to kick tuckus and take names. Right? Ummm...no. I will have to admit that it's pretty amazing that none of the women had a scratch on them after very closely escaping death. Neat trick.

Some critics mentioned that this film is full of eroticism. I have a feeling some of them must have been on a short fuse the day they saw this. "Sucker Punch" alludes to the main character's erotic dancing...alot...but we never really see it. It also alludes to forced prostitution but we never see that either...thank goodness. Yes, "Sucker Punch" is a tad fetishistic (is that even a word?) but I didn't spend the entire movie thinking "If only I liked short skirts and leather." If I did, "300" would have another vote in it's favor. I'm just sayin'. Maybe the critics think that the bustiers were enough to label it erotic. Who knows?

Other critics mentioned that the action scenes dragged on way longer than they should. I LOVED the action scenes. Well, most of them. I did NOT love the dragon scene. I was so not rooting for the good guys in that one. I would really really really like to have the imagination that brought about those scenes. I would also really really really like to have a synonym for the word "scene".

I would like to mention that there is a bit of a cheese factor in this. It would have come only dangerously close to the line without one character but Scott Glenn managed to throw it over that precipice all by himself. "You've got stand for something or you'll fall for anything." Wow! Poignant. Who needs Yoda when you've got this guy?

Yes, I did like this movie but I also have a few questions. How on earth did she manage to do what she did at the beginning of the movie? Why can't this director EVER end movies the way most audiences would want him to? He's just mean that way. Why are there no marks on the main character at the end? Very confused. Why was the orderly crying? It was his fault!!! Why don't they answer these questions?

If "Sucker Punch" hadn't ended the way it did I would watch this movie again. With it's strong message of girl power through most of the film it still ends with the statement that no matter what they did the men win. Grrr!!! I did, however, enjoy the opening song and it's connection to the mental facility. You sneaky dogs, you.

I was told that P.T. wants to watch this movie because the heroines dress anime-ish. I would definitely not recommend this movie for her. Even though, as previously mentioned, there is very little blood & gore there is still lots and lots and lots and lots of killing and violence. I also think she's smart enough to connect the dots regarding the prostitution allusions. And finally, I wouldn't want her to see it because of what happens to the heroine at the end. It made me mad when it happened in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and it made me mad here. Oh, and there is some cussing. Just thought I'd throw that in.

Just an FYI...if you stay for the credits there is a sort of music video. If you don't want to see that there is nothing else worth staying for. This is not one of those movies with the extra scene at the end.

P.S. I will definitely be getting the soundtrack.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Beastly

This modern day version of Beauty and the Beast, while a bit over the top at times, still brings across the same tried and true lesson. It's not what's on the outside that counts. It's what's on the inside. This post is more me just talking than encouraging P.T. one way or another as she saw this movie several hours before I did. I asked her if she liked it and she gave the typical response most people get from me and her mom regarding movies. "It was good but it was sad when they died in the end." I strongly believe she was told to say that.

I loved how they brought this story to today. How many times in high school did we see the not so attractive people get picked on and do nothing? And how many times did we watch the pretty people get away with everything under the sun? Alex Pettyfer plays the part of Kyle/Beast, a rich beautiful person who has a not so fun home life so he takes it out on people he considers lesser than him. Vanessa Hudgens plays the part of Lindy/Beauty, a beautiful person inside and out. And Mary-Kate Olsen did a really good job as the "witch". Kyle was horrible to her because she was ugly. What I don't get, though, is why she was chosen for the part (based on looks) or why they didn't ugly her up any? The worst they did was give her tattoos on her face and some funky hair-dos. She was different but not ugly. Who knows?

What I liked most about this version of the story is that you get to see that Kyle cares for more than just himself and his lady love. At one point he begs for things for other people without putting himself first. It was one of my favorite parts of the whole movie. The "witch" tells him that she will take care of those other people if he succeeds in making the girl fall in love with him. So now it's not only about saving himself but helping others too. So cool!

The main thing that bothered me about this movie is that, yes, Kyle became a better person but what about all the people who encouraged him when he was a jerk? You'll see their reactions when he walks into the school while he's ugly. Maybe the director is letting us assume that Kyle's change will cause a trickle-down affect throughout the school. Yeah. I'm going to go with that theory.

Oh, and major kudos to the make-up artists. I didn't notice any major differences in Kyle's deformities throughout the film. You know what I mean. Where there's a mole on one side of his face in one scene but on the other side in the next. Nice attention to detail. For all I know they have some stencil they lay over his face every day but I choose to just be impressed and leave it at that.

I can see me watching this movie many times in the future. I liked it that much. As to whether or not young children should see it, I'll leave that up to you. There is a scene with violence. A man is shot and killed. You don't see it happen but you hear the shots and see the aftermath. I didn't notice any drugs but the party scenes made me think that alcohol was being imbibed though you never actually see anything being poured so you can choose what you want to believe it is they're drinking. There was no nudity. You get to see Alex's chest several times and Vanessa's cleavage but other than that people stayed clothed. Now, as far as cussing goes, there was plenty of that. The word of choice for this movie was b!+@# followed closely by b.s. with a couple a$$es thrown in for good measure. So glad Hollywood feels this is necessary for pretty much every movie nowadays. Next thing you know the Teletubbies will be incorporating that into their baby talk.

I wish we lived in a world where inner beauty is more important to everyone but sadly, it's not. I am glad to know that in more than a handful of relationships this is the case. I'm still hoping to find the fella who will get to know ME despite my shell. This movie makes me feel it just might be possible. Yea!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Movie List - February 2011

I only saw one movie at an actual theater this month. Who knew February could be so busy?!!! So here is the list of movies I watched while continuing my role as Night Owl. Please excuse all the Disney Channel movies. I couldn't help it.

1) The Blind Side
2) Made of Honor
3) Aspen Extreme
4) Because I Said So
5) With a Song In My Heart
6) Taken
7) The Last Song
8) Cow Belles
9) Dorian Gray
10) Transylmania (so so so so stewpid!!!)
11) Beauty & the Briefcase
12) Princess Protection Program
13) Uncommon Valor
14) Starstruck
15) Read It and Weep
16) Wizards of Waverly Place
17) Trapped
18) Jennifer’s Body
19) To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar (only made it through half of it but only because I fell asleep. Have seen this before.)
20) Stick It
21) The Nanny Diaries
22) I Am Number Four (my one and only theater movie of the month)
23) Dragonball Evolution
24) Revolutionary Road
25) Repo Men
26) Whiteout
27) Saved!
28) Tea With Mussolini
29) Fantastic 4
30) Alice in Wonderland