Monday, June 21, 2010

movie monday!

We've been watching season 2 of True Blood and lordy! It's gettin' good! We still have 2 episodes left, so don't spoil it!

Alice in Wonderland
Wow. It's palpable how much Tim Burton was phoning this in. Everything looked pretty, true, but I really hate CGI for the sake of using CGI and there was so much that was unnecessary. I'd heard from everyone that there was no real story, and there wasn't - so I at least was prepared for that. But everything else about this movie was so bad that it made me sad. I remember when Tim Burton movies were guaranteed to be great and I guess I just wanted to re-live some of that glory... but no. I didn't like this movie at. all. Good thing it only cost $1.50 to see it at the second-run movie theater!

The Informant!
I'd heard this whole story on This American Life, so I knew the premise already but still! What a fun movie! It was fun and funny and quirky and never got too heavy or dark - it was a good time! Matt Damon was fantastic, plus I liked seeing some of my favorite comedians doing little cameos here and there -- including Joel McHale as one of the lead investigators!

500 Days of Summer
Everyone loved it and everyone loves Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon Levitt, so I kind of thought... well, it was required viewing just so that I could stop getting the googly eyed reaction from everyone that I hadn't seen it yet. And it turns out, it's pretty good. Another fun and quirky movie that doesn't try to get too deep and serious and it definitely is NOT a love story, as promised. It was cute and sweet and one of my favorite things was that it was in LA! Movies are rarely set in Los Angeles, let alone shot on location. I loved using my knowledge from the Charles Phoenix tour of Downtown LA and spotting famous locations (the Bradbury building! Farmers Market! Angel's Flight! The hidden UFO fountains!) and admiring LA as the lovely city that it is (architecturally, anyway). It even factors into the story that JGL's character wants to design a way to unify LA and restore it's glory. You had me at hello!

Julie & Julia
Another fun movie. Meryl Streep? OH MY GOSH! She is excellent as Julia Child and I kind of really love Julia Child's story! As for Amy Adam's portrayal of the blogger, I can't say since I don't know the blogger - but she was super sweet and cute in the movie. Only minor little picky things from me (the Queen of Criticism) that really didn't affect the movie in any way. It was a darling little movie that I'd recommend to anyone. Also: if you love sweet Amy Adams, try "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" which is this bubbly fun Marilyn Monroe-esque film that is really adorable. By the end, you'll want to carry Amy Adams around in your pocket all day long.

Gigantic: the tale of two Johns
A documentary about They Might Be Giants which would appeal to everyone - regardless of whether you know TMBG's music or not. Interesting story, extremely well-told. Plus, there were so many bonus features and extras that we watched this disc for something like 5 hours!

Ladies or Gentlemen
An hour long documentary on cross dressing, primarily in film. No earth shattering revelations, but still interesting stuff. Such as: women who cross dress in movies do it for the power -- they want to take on a "man's world" or be taken more seriously, even in subtle clues like Diane Keaton in Annie Hall. However, a man who cross dresses in a movie is meant to imply that he's devious and untrustworthy - or at the very least, silly. Think of Norman Bates or Tootsie and at the extreme end is Divine. My favorite comment was from John Waters, talking of Divine and that he would have been ecstatic about the movie being made into a play and then into a new movie - and he would have wanted to star in them all! (And he rightly should have, John Travolta was a travesty and he had so many picky stipulations that actually changed the character and, in my mind, ruined Edna Turnblad)

Wendy and Lucy
We rented this a while back, I just can't remember if I posted about it yet. It was intensely sad and truly heartbreaking. It was this quiet little not-much-happens kind of a movie that was 100% character-driven and told through quiet moments with Michelle Williams. She was phenomenal. And I kind of hate it that everyone flocked to loving this movie, claiming that she was channeling her emotions for her deceased husband, because regardless she is a powerhouse of an actress and could have pulled that off either way. I'm only sorry that everyone saw her only as Heath Ledger's widow and not the brilliant actress that she is.

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