Thursday, September 29, 2011

Colombiana

Of the three movies I watched the night of my “people in dire straits” marathon I liked this one the best. I really like Zoe Saldana. She’s living proof of why you don’t mess with little women.

Anonymous summed up the movie on IMDB as “A young woman grows up to be a stone-cold assassin after witnessing her parents' murder as a child in Bogota. She works for her uncle as a hitman by day, but her personal time is spent engaging in vigilante murders that she hopes will lead her to her ultimate target - the mobster responsible for her parents' death.”

I am so going to bag on whoever wrote this. I hope it’s none of the three or four people who claim to read my blog. This person very obviously missed the Movie Summation 101 class in which everyone learned that if someone is one thing by day they must be something else by night. And that should be hit person. Just kidding. Sorta. And I so so so so love the use of “stone-cold” as an oft-used adjective for film characters. Insert sarcasm font here.

And now for how Anonymous was wrong. Cataleya (Zoe) is a hit man/person/woman but the people she’s “hitting” are the ones who played a part (even if it was teensy tinesy) in her parents’ murder. The only thing she does that is not condoned by her uncle is she leaves a calling card of sorts. She decorates the “victims’” bodies with the flower after which she’s named. Yeah. Not so smart.

How was the acting in this film? Not too bad for what it was. What on earth does that mean? It’s an action-y film. No one expects the acting to be Oscar worthy. Well, they don’t. Okay, I don’t. I have no idea what you expect.

I loved young Cataleya. This girl was one tough cookie. I wish she’d been in the movie longer. And I loved how the movie peeps didn’t make her “stone cold” at the beginning. Sure, she held it together during her escape but cries it out when she’s safe in the arms of her uncle. Awwwww! And older Cataleya isn’t as stone cold as Anonymous would like you to believe. She loves her grandma and her uncle and seems to really care for her boyfriend/lover/whatever (so romantic, no?).

Some of the scenes left me scratching my head (figuratively) or giggling at the blatant irony. At the beginning of the movie when the bad guys are coming to kill the family, Cataleya’s dad leaves her sitting at the dining table while he and the Mrs. go to face the intruders at the front of the house. But wait! There’s more! Not only is she left sitting in plain sight, he’s also just given her something important that she needs to see safely in to the hands of someone at the American embassy. He hasn’t exactly set things up so that this can be done easily. Nice planning, dad. It’s not ruining anything to let you know that she escaped. If she didn’t this would be a very short movie.

Another scene shows Cataleya going to “hit” one of the bad guys who just happens to have a glass-covered shark pool on his patio. Even if you haven’t seen the movie yet you pretty much know where this is going, don’t you? If you know that someone is in your home to harm you DO NOT GO ANYWHERE NEAR THE SHARK POOL! And certainly don’t stand in the middle of the glass. This is good to remember if you’re ever in that situation. I’m just sayin’.

This is another movie in which foreshadowing occurred that I was really really really hoping wasn’t foreshadowing. It involves her family. I’ll leave it at that.

Colombiana is “Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, intense sequences of action, sexuality and brief strong language”. I would’ve rated it R just because I wouldn’t want PT or anyone around her age to watch something like this.

The breakdown is simple: Sex/Nudity (partial), Drinking, Cussing, Violence? Yes, to all. IMDB lets people comment in the “Parents Guide” about each topic. The following was said about the cussing. “At least 1 F-word (9 in the international version), 1 not fully enunciated F-word, 13 scatological terms (1 mild), 2 anatomical terms, 6 mild obscenities, name-calling (stupid, crazy, idiot, bad apple), 1 religious profanity, 8 religious exclamations.” I am SO going to use “scatological” in a sentence some day.

I would recommend this movie if you’re wanting to watch an action/revenge/romance type movie and you’re over 17. Otherwise…not so much.


Straw Dogs

What can I say about this movie? Let’s see. I guess the question I should actually ask is, “What can I say nice about this movie?” The answer is…not much. This wasn’t at the top of my I-really-want-to-see-this list but I was determined to have myself a little movie marathon and this is what was showing. The other two movies I saw that night were Colombiana and Shark Night 3D. Nope. It was not a good night for a marathon. Unless you’re talking about running…and we’re not.

Let’s hear from IMDB:

” L.A. screenwriter David Sumner relocates with his wife to her hometown in the deep South. There, while tensions build between them, a brewing conflict with locals becomes a threat to them both.”

Seriously. Do the people who write these summaries actually watch the movies? The first statement is correct. The rest is most definitely reversed. And don’t get me started on the trailer. Gah!!!

This came out a few weeks ago so, once again, I’m hoping that everyone who is going to see this has because I’m going to totally ruin it for those of you who haven’t. Following is my attempt to sum up better than the IMDB person did.

David does move himself and his wife to her hometown of Blackwater, Mississippi so that he can work on a screenplay. Soon after arriving, David hires Amy’s ex-boyfriend, Charlie, and some of his friends to fix the roof of Amy’s late dad’s barn. Are you still with me? David doesn’t quite hit it off with the townsfolk in that he thinks they’re simple and they think he’s a snob. When Charlie and the gang go beyond just taunting David, Amy labels him a coward. The couple later come to the aid of the town pariah thus inciting an attack by the boys and a local ex-football coach/drunk/bully.

Yeah, so mine had a few more words anyway.

Let’s talk about why I didn’t like this movie. It’s ridiculous! We’ll start with Amy. We find out a ways in that something bad happened to her when she was dating Charlie but we never really find out what. I’m figuring she was raped. Whatever it was, she very obviously never mentioned this to David. First, I think I would definitely include that in the “need to know” information packet before I left home. Second, I most definitely wouldn’t return to the town if the same people involved still live there! Then! She taunts the men who are constantly leering at her by undressing in front of them. Good decision!!! I don’t believe that women who are raped are “asking for it” because of the way they’re dressed, or undressed as the case may be, but come on! And then after we see her get raped she doesn’t say anything to David or anyone else for that matter. Get these guys in jail for the love of Pete! And she does call David a coward because he won’t stand up to these guys. These four strappin’ guys with power tools and guns.

Now for David. Amy does have the teeniest bit of a point. He does allow some things that a lot of people normally wouldn’t. One of the crew walks in to David and Amy’s house and helps himself to a beer from the fridge and then stands there and chats up David. I’m sorry. I don’t give a fig for local custom. Get.Out.Of.My.House! You keep your door unlocked all you want. I’ll use the dead bolt, thank you very much. And I’m guessing the tag line, “Everyone has a breaking point” is supposed to apply to him. I just don’t believe he came to a breaking point. He was defending his home and his wife. He never seemed out of his mind. In fact, he made some very intelligent moves in that defense. I’m not real crazy about how Charlie dies but David most definitely used what was handy.

And now for the part I hated the most but so saw coming. They killed the cat!!! Rude.

The acting is really not worth discussing. It wasn’t the worst I’ve seen but nowhere near the best. In all fairness, though, to the movie itself and the acting, I had had a really REALLY bad day and thought that seeing movies in which people were in dire straits (not the rock band) would help me put things in perspective. Unfortunately, a couple paid $8 per ticket so that they could sit down the row from me and talk. Through the entire movie. You think I exaggerate. While that is true on occasion, this time I did not. And they were using their outside voices. I did finally get fed up and politely asked them to stop talking. They had a few choice words for me from which I couldn’t walk away. Right? Right? Hello? So. I was frustrated going in and angry during. Just not a good combination. Did you need to know all that? I think so. Will I see this again when I’m in a calmer frame of mind. No. Despite the negativity on my part at that particular time I still don’t think I’d like this movie.

Now let’s talk about the rating. This was “Rated R for strong brutal violence including a sexual attack, menace, some sexual content, and pervasive language.” Amen to that. There is absolutely no reason a child should be brought to this movie. None. I will go ahead and break it down though.

Sex/Nudity. Partial nudity, sexual innuendo and a rape scene.

Drinking/Drugs. Lots and LOTS of drinking. I don’t recall drugs but that doesn’t mean there weren’t any.

Cussing. Oh crap yeah. And then some.

Violence. Please see answer above.

If you’ve seen the original film with Dustin Hoffman or have read the book (The Siege of Trencher’s Farm) I might recommend this version just to see how it adds up. If you haven’t done either of those things then I suggest almost anything else. Almost. I’m considering reading the book just to see if it’s any better. It’s got to be.



Thursday, September 15, 2011

Moneyball

Omigosh! I officially have a new movie to add to my favorite sports movie list. I'll try to remember to post that list soon. Leann and I went to see Moneyball and it is so so so so good. And did I mention...? Since we went to the pre-screening I'm not going to ruin it any more than life or the trailers did.

Leann mentioned that she had just recently heard about Moneyball whereas I've seen the trailer many MANY times since I am a movie freak and go to the theater more often. This is one I'd been anxiously awaiting and I definitely would not have minded paying for it. I guess that makes it that much better since it was free. Wahoo!

I should mention that I'm a baseball fan. Let me rephrase. I like to watch baseball. Let's try again. I like to watch certain teams and I tend to not care about any others. So! If you aren't playing the Rockies or the Redhawks you are not on my radar. I tell you this to say that I had no idea how this movie was going to turn out. Was I happy with how it ended? Not gonna tell ya. Oh! And I also need to mention that while I am a fan of baseball I enjoy it purely for the fun of watching. Do not ask me for stats. I won't be able to answer with even a teensy tinesy shred of confidence. It just won't happen. It's true.

This movie was all about the stats. Let's hear for a sec from IMDB:

"The story of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to put together a baseball club on a budget by employing computer-generated analysis to draft his players."

Yup. That pretty much sums it up. They went completely by the numbers and not by popularity. I think I said that right. It's almost like the baseball version of The Replacements in that these were players that pretty much no team wanted. Some had knee injuries. One had a real weird, but effective, way of pitching (I need to see if he still plays. I would love to watch one of his games). Some were getting on up there in age. I hate that last sentence because the player I'm talking about was 36. But that's OLD in sports. One was a catcher who got turned in to a first baseman. Craziness! Why did the Oakland A's or, more to the point, Billy Beane want these guys? Because they could get on base. And that's way important in baseball. Yeah. I knew you knew that. I was just sayin'.

I could go on and on about the movie itself but I won't. I'll just give you the down low (yeah, I said it) on a few of the actors. Let's begin with Robin Wright. Why on earth did she get top billing? She's in the movie for about 5 minutes. Big woo! Moving on. Brad Pitt was great as Billy Beane. I say that knowing nothing about Billy but I'm guessing that he had some say in how he was portrayed. Not only did we get to see what a good GM he turned out to be but we got to see what a great dad he was as well. The music store scene about did me in.

Jonah Hill played the Assistant GM, Peter Brand. I haven't really liked him in other movies but I did in this one. Peter is basically the man behind the madness. He's the analyst who gets "recruited" by Billy. His figures decided who was going to be on the team. And he was loyal. Holy cow was he loyal! Once again, not knowing the real person I think Jonah was really good in this role. I hope he gets more roles like this and less stupid comedy.

Kerris Dorsey plays the part of Billy's daughter, Casey. I really REALLY want to know if that was actually her singing in the movie. It was so good! And I loved her rapport with Brad Pitt. I could totally believe them as father and daughter. I hope she is in many many more movies.

And finally, Philip Seymour Hoffman. In Twister he was annoying but somewhat likeable. In several other films he was just kind of meh (or so so if you will). The movie Capote is the reason I've had trouble watching him in anything else. I saw only an hour of it and it was one of the most emotionally painful hours of my life. Okay, that was a tad dramatic. I've had far more emotionally painful hours but that's the way it felt at the time. I was determined that I was going to like Moneyball despite him. I didn't have to. I liked him. Yea! I didn't like his character much at first but he was entertaining to watch. He is expected to take the new system on faith and he just doesn't do it. I can totally see his side of the argument but, of course, I was rooting for Billy and Pete.

Since a lot of you haven't seen this yet I'm going to jump on to the break down.

Cussing? Yup. There was. And the big ones too. It was mostly in the first half of the movie. The main reason I even noticed is because I saw two very young children a couple rows in front of me before the movie started. This movie is rated PG-13 and they were nowhere near this age. Grrr!!!

Sex/Nudity? Nope.

Drinking/Drugs? Drinking. No drugs but marijuana is mentioned.

Violence/Blood/Gore? Billy gets really angry and throws things but that's the worst that happens.

Whether you like baseball or not I recommend this movie. I think it'll be interesting and fun for most anyone. I will definitely buy the DVD when it comes out. Go see this if you have the chance. It's a good way to spend a couple hours. And I'm thinking at least one Oscar. Maybe?

P.S. There is no reason to sit through the credits unless you just happen to be sitting right in front of the projector and decide you want to make bunny rabbit shadow puppets on the screen. But I don't know anyone who would do anything so unmature (as one of my relatives has been heard to say).



Saturday, September 3, 2011

Movie List - August 2011

I have completely slacked on my blog this month. I did see 5 movies at the theater and only blogged on one. Shame shame. I'll give really REALLY brief comments in my list.

1) Rise of the Planet of the Apes
2) Rio
3) The Help - if you haven't seen this, you should. Very, very, very good movie. Some cussing with GD and $#!+ leading the way. I noticed it more because P.T. was sitting right next to me. Went with mom, Armat and P.T. We all laughed. We all cried. Mom clapped. I love going to the movies with her. That was NOT sarcasm.
4) Fright Night - this was SO 80s. This may sound a tad irresponsible considering the cussing and violence but I would totally recommend this for teenage slumber parties. If you grew up in the 80s you know what I'm talking about. This ranks right up (down???) there with the Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th films. Violent cheese.
5) Conan: The Barbarian - Good effects. Very sexist. Men will LOVE this movie. Especially the ending. Much nudity. Much violence. Not a movie for kids.
6) One Day - Anne Hathaway stayed clothed...for the most part. She does go skinny dipping but you can't see anything. This movie was painful to watch. It was a combination of When Harry Met Sally and (a little bit of) City of Angels. Was very angry at the end. If you haven't seen this...don't.
7) The Last of the Mohicans
8) The American President
9) The Last Airbender - I didn't see this in the theater but I'm going to comment anyway. I think I'm one of the few people who liked this. A little bit anyway. The acting wasn't great and I have a feeling that a lot of the people who didn't like it have actually watched the cartoon...er, pardon me...anime' and it didn't measure up. What really stinks is that they set it up to have sequels. Apparently the producers thought it was going to do way better than it did. Bummer.
10) Twilight
11) New Moon
12) Eclipse
13) The Lake House
14) Tombstone
15) Wyatt Earp
16) Moulin Rouge
17) Mulan
18) Sweet Home Alabama