27 November 2010

27 Nov - "My mother told me to be wary of fauns"

Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
dir. Guillero Del Toro (Hellboy II: The Golden Army, 2008)

Ivana Baquero
Sergi López (Dirty Pretty Things, 2002)
Maribel Verdú (Y Tu Mamá También, 2001)
Doug Jones (Hocus Pocus, 1993)
Ariadna Gil

I saw Pan's Labyrinth in Ithaca's Cinemopolis a long time ago. I guess that's when it first came out, but now i can't remember if I saw it twice in theaters or not. I don't usually do that.

*Movies I saw twice in theaters*
1) Superman Returns (2006)
Tragic, and not worthwhile, I know. I saw it the first for shits and giggles, was horribly disappointed, but then I went to see it again because a boy I liked asked me to (pretending it was the first time!)

2) The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the witch, and the wardrobe
You guys, I flipped out when I saw this movie. I was so excited and happy. I had to find more buddies to watch it again and again (I might have seen it 3 times). Now I'm kind of over it. Will I go see Voyage of the Dawn Treader? Yes, because that's the best one - except for maybe The Horse and His Boy, which I don't believe they are planning to make a movie of because it's sort of the outlier in the Narnia series (Much like Farmer Boy for the Little House on the Prairie novels).

3) You know, that's all I can think of right now. Seeing movies 2ce in theaters is sort of lame. Generally, it stresses me out to sit still for that long. When I watch movies at home I have to mend pillowcases or paint my nails or something.

What was I talking about? OK - tonight my little brother picked out Pan's Labyrinth for him and my mom and I to watch together. Sucks for him because we forgot that this movie is subtitled (isn't it awesome when you don't even notice that you have no idea what the actors are saying?) and once it had started we didn't really feel like taking it out again. So I guess he was playing with his toys or something during this thing. Although occasionally he interrupted with a question so maybe he was attending more than I thought. When my older brother saw this movie, he called me and said, "So it was just a desperate fantasy and she dies at the end? That sucks!" But I say that it wasn't a fantasy, it was magic, and she goes to the magic underground kingdom at the end after she sheds her earthly body. She's not dead! She gets ETERNAL LIFE (omigosh Christ metaphor!) Here is what i submit as evidence:

1) Captain Vidal sees Ofelia talking to the Faun in the Labyrinth. He doesn't see the Faun, but he hears her shouting. There's a difference between pretending and whackadoodle crazy. Ofelia was having a REAL conversation (with a Faun that only she could see)

2) The Chalk: The Faun gives Ofelia a magic piece of chalk which Captain Vidal SEES and TOUCHES. She uses it to escape her room with a LOCKED DOOR and GUARD.

3)Ofelia disobeys the Faun. If it was a fantasy, then Ofelia wouldn't have imagined that the Faun ordered her to do something which she would refuse. OBVIOUSLY!

26 November 2010

26 Nov - "You've gone native, and I was into that"

It's Complicated (2009)
dir. Nancy Meyers (What Women Want, 2000)

Meryl StreepFantastic Mr. Fox (voice) (2009)
Steve Martin - Shopgirl (2005)
Alec Baldwin - Running With Scissors (2006)
John KrasinskiAway We Go (2009)
Lake Bell - Shrek Forever After (voice) (2010)

As a young person, I don't generally like movies about older persons getting it on. But everyone likes Meryl Streep, right? And I had to pick a movie On Demand that I could watch with my stepmother (this was after All I Want for Christmas) Well, I thought Streep played a very relate-able character, even though I'm just a young pup and know nothing about the tribulations of sexagenarian (pun!!) romance.

This was probably due to the comedic assistance of John Krasinski - who I thought was totally cute in this movie even though I'd successfully watched six and a half seasons of The Office while maintaining the opinion: "I don't get what the big deal is here..." And so even though his character was entirely accessory to the plot, I really enjoyed J.K. in this movie.

My brother says that Alec Baldwin's been riding one successful movie for twenty years (He said this was The Hunt for Red October). I can't present with confidence any counter-evidence. This movie was cute for a night in with another female person, but it good enough to redeem a career composed largely of guest appearances on Saturday Night Live.

I was reading another blog the other day, and the author was talking about something called the Bedchel Test in screenwriting in which, in order to pass, a movie must have at least two named female characters who have a conversation about something other than a man. There are two scenes in It's Complicated in which Meryl yaks it up with her gals over wine a cake. None of those ladies have names and all they talk about is Streep's character bangin' Baldwin's character. So, that fails. But even if that isn't a good portrayal of a rounded female person. I think maybe I would be more annoyed by a conversation that was irrelevant to the story (you know about me and simplicity in the plots), and since the story was about relationships I think that expecting an extraneous conversation is unrealistic, and even though this is a chintzy movie, it would be unartistic, at least for the genre we're working with here. You understand?

I dunno, this probably isn't the best movie to use to support an ideological. So I'll leave it there for now, and hopefully someday I'll watch something that will fodder a more coherent argument. Not that I'm anti-feminist, you guys.

Nov 26 - "Jesse didn't ask for his mom to get a boyfriend"

All I Want for Christmas (2007)

dir. Harvey Frost


Gail O'Grady (Deuce Bigelow, Male Gigilo, 1999)
Greg Germann (So I Married an Axe Murderer, 1993)
Robert Mailhouse
Jimmy Pinchak
Saige Ryan Campbell (I Heart Huckabees, 2004)

I watched this Hallmark channel Christmas movie while at my Dad's house the day after Thanksgiving (that's today, BTW). Widowed mother Sarah is a workaholic (at the community center/ soup kitchen which she runs). Her son, Jesse, spends all his time with the conventionally attractive male neighbor. The ending is patently obvious within the first few scenes. Jesse sends a video to a toy company's make a wish come true contest, asking for a husband for his mom. I know! I saw Sleepless in Seattle too, a much better Christmas movie.

But here's what I don't get, the kid sends in the video to the contest, but as soon as his mom meets a passable, wealthy, guy, he gets all pissed off and mean. But it's okay because we're supposed to be rooting for the neighbor who writes novels, I guess. Anyway, I was only half watching it. So maybe there's a better reason.

Honestly, Hallmark churns out these Christmas movies so fast. It seems like there's a couple guys in a conference room somewhere just writing down premises. "How about Santa gets amnesia?" "An elf looking for romance wins the lottery!" "Divorced parents get back together...on Christmas!"

Anyway, is Christmas supposed to be a romantic holiday?? (Sleepless in Seattle; Love, Actually; The Holiday; Serendipity) Has there ever been a romance movie about Thanksgiving? (Home for the Holidays, 1995) Other holidays??

22 November 2010


Cowboys and Aliens

This is a great idea! First of all - why do aliens always have to attacking in the present or the future? As my fella' keeps telling me, the History channel makes a pretty convincing argument that they wreaked some extraterrestrial shenanigans in the past as well (of course, only in exotic places like Mexico and Egypt, everything white folks ever made was solely by virtue of their advanced intellects and ingenuity).

Alien movies are metaphors about xenophobia, right? And cowboy movies are the most important metaphors of all - because they're generally about those critical American value of individuality and freedom (and vigilantism?). So I guess that a movie about ETs in the old west is trying to tell us that the terrorists and the illegal immigrants aren't just after our awesome land and democracy, but the very nature of the American Spirit. Dammit. They're after our IDENTITY!

So I was trying to think about if Harrison Ford had ever been in a western, because I haven't seen one. Some light internet research came up with A Time for Killing (1967), which is not on Netflix but wikipedia tells me it's about a group of Confederate soldiers who escape from a Union prison and are running for the Mexican border (I'd head back to Georgia, but fine.) The other one is the Gene Wilder Classic, The Frisco Kid (1979). So I guess it's been a while since Ford exchanged the Fedora for a Stetson (see what I did there!?)

So this comes out next summer and I'm already quite pumped up about it.

20 November 2010

19 Nov - "I'm an elf"

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)
dir. David Yates (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2009)

Helena Bonham Carter (Alice in Wonderland, 2010)
Michael Byrne (Braveheart, 1995)
Robbie Coltrane (From Hell, 2001)
Warwick Davis (Return of the Jedi, 1983)
Frances de la Tour (Alice in Wonderland, 2010)
Michelle Fairley (The Others, 2001)
Tom Felton (The Borrowers, 1997)
Ralph Fiennes (The Prince of Egypt (voice), 1998)
Michael Gambon (Sleepy Hollow, 1999)
Brendan Gleeson (The Secret of Kells (voice), 2009)
Domhnall Gleeson (Never Let Me Go, 2010)
Richard Griffiths (Sleepy Hollow, 1999)
Rupert Grint
George Harris (Raiders of the Lost Ark, 1981)
John Hurt (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, 2008)
Rhys Ifans (Little Nicky, 2000)
Ralph Ineson (From Hell, 2001)
Jason Isaacs (DragonHeart, 1996)
Tony Kirwood (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005)
Simon McBurney (Jane Eyre, 2011)
Helen McCrory (Stand and Deliver (TV movie), 1998)
Peter Mullan (Braveheart, 1995)
Bill Nighy (Love Actually, 2003)
Daniel Radcliffe
Alan Rickman (Love Actually, 2003)
Fiona Shaw (Super Mario Bros., 1993)
Maggie Smith (The First Wives Club, 1996)
Timothy Spall (Enchanted, 2007)
Richard Strange (Batman, 1989)
David Thewlis (The New World, 2005)
Julie Walters (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, 2001)
Emma Watson (The Tale of Desperaux (voice), 2008)
Mark Williams (Stardust, 2007)

OK - a friend got me to go with her. And so she's already heard my Harry Potter rant but I'll hash it out again for you all, my dozens of readers.

The problem with a magical story world is that you've created a premise which supercedes any and all plot challenges. THEY HAVE MAGIC POWERS!! Something impossible needs to be accomplished? There is a magic spell for that! Not only that, but magic spells are incredibly easy to perform. Hermione erases her own existence with a single word! She re-attaches Ron's arm with a few drops of essence-of-dittany, but she can't heal Dobby's knife wound? She can't even think of something to try??? She can build a tent that's bigger on the inside than the outside, but she can't slow down the bleeding? She can't even put pressure on the wound!!!??? What's the deal??

I like Dobby.

Here's the other problem. I get that it's a treasured piece of literature and such, but do you all rememeber my rant about too many damn characters? I haven't read Harry Potter in a super long time and it confuses me and I couldn't keep all those whacky names straight back then and I'm not going to get myself all invested in them now. Am I supposed to be sad that Mad-Eye Moody died? We didn't even meet the REAL Mad Eye Moody until the end of the last movie (I think). And you're killing him off right away and expect me to give a shit? UNlikely. It's like in LOTR when Haldir died (who I thought was the same guy as Jason Isaacs, who plays Lucius Malfoy, but he's actually Craig Parker.)

Ok - different guys. but my point is, and I hope you felt the same, that there's this awesome death scene and I'm trying to be moved but I'm all distracted because who is this guy??? I had to look up his name right now! I vaguely recalled the character from reading the book at summer camp when I was 11, but for serious, this is why it's important to be conservative with your characters: because I didn't give a shit about Haldir's death because you didn't spend enough time developing his character, Peter Jackson!

HP has a different take on elves, am I right?

Aww. He's a cutie.

Why do I bring this up? There are too many stupid characters in Harry Potter and I can't keep them straight and they are trying to address all these side plots but it's unnecessary. Just tell the stupid story without them. And what's the deal with Harry following stuff all the time? Why would you follow a ghostly deer into the forest when magical villains are after you? Didn't you learn your lesson when the silent old woman you followed home turned into a snake? You wanna stop being stupid, HARRY POTTER?

Dobby got some good reflection time on his death. But that's cool. Dobby was a decent dude. One thing I noticed while doing my customary background research on the stars is that this franchise has kept those kids pretty busy - because they have NOTHING going on in the their resumes. That must suck a bit. It's been like ten years and they can't get an outside acting gig? That's worse than Disney channel, but hopefully those little English kids won't end up all coked out and in jail. I could go on but I have to do some homework. Next I'm going to do something with the trailer for Cowboys and Aliens, so watch out.

16 November 2010

16 Nov - "You know, Lee, there's a long history of this in Catholicism"

Secretary (2002)
dir. Steven Shainberg
Maggie Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko, 2001)
James Spader (2 Days in the Valley, 1996)
Jeremy Davies (It's Kind of a Funny Story, 2010)

So I'm having kind of a hard time figuring this one out. It's about this girl, Lee, who's clearly unstable and vulnerable. She's just gotten out of a mental hospital, her father's a drunk mess and she has no healthy social relationships, except maybe with her high-school boyfriend, Peter, but clearly something is awry there as well.

So she becomes a submissive to her boss, Mr. Grey. And I feel like the way the filmmakers intended it to work out is this thing about how there's all different kinds of love and this dom/sub thing isn't wrong, just different. Here's some quotations I lifted off imdb to that effect:

Lee's father: "You are the child of god's holy gift of life. You come from me. But you are not me. Your soul and your body are your own, and yours to do with as you wish."

Lee: "In one way or another I've always suffered. I didn't know why exactly. But I do know that I'm not so scared of suffering now. I feel more than I've ever felt and I've found someone to feel with. To play with. To love in a way that feels right for me. I hope he knows that I can see that he suffers too. And that I want to love him."

Mr. Grey: "Is it that sometimes the pain inside has to come to the surface, and when you see evidence of the pain inside you finally know you're really here? Then, when you watch the wound heal, it's comforting... isn't it? "

OK - I get it. It's edgy. She finds fulfillment in punishment and control. Ok. But it's still fucked up. Lee has a family that cares about her, but she probably never really felt cared for. We get three males in this movie. The first is Lee's father, who is an alcoholic, calls her from random parts of town, and generally gets up to shenanigans which always prompts her to cut or burn herself, but then towards the end he seems to get cleaned up a little. The second guy is Peter, played by Jeremy Davies, he's kind of geek but well meaning and you can tell he wants to take care of Lee, but she is unsatisfied with him, especially after he refuses to spank her. The trick is that she liked him a lot before she got involved with Mr. Grey, who does a lot of spanking.

I guess what I'm having trouble with is that, if Lee was a passive and lonely girl, was she being self-actualized by accepting a life with Mr. Grey, as I think the filmmakers are trying to suggest, or was she caving, as I am inclined to believe. Instead of letting Peter love her as an equal, she decided she would always be weak and in need of control. That's the opposite of a self-actualized person, as I've understood it from Nietzsche.

She decided to be happy with her lot, which I guess was caused by family relationships and other psychological factors, rather than confronting whatever it was that made her feel so weak (prolly the dad). But then again, she's not sad at the end of the movie. She's happy with her life and Mr. Grey. The movie ends with a long, self-satisfied stare into the camera. Still, I'm left with the feeling that she's simply run away from her problems. She gave control over her life to someone else so she wouldn't have to deal with them anymore. I dunno...

SO maybe it was a happy ending, but she's no Ubermensche.

11 November 2010

10 Nov - "It smells like a hobo's band-aid"

It's Kind of a Funny Story (2010)

dir. Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

Keir Gilchrist (Saint Ralph, 2004)
Emma Roberts (Nancy Drew, 2007)
Lauren Graham (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (voice), 2009)
Jim Gaffigan (Super Troopers, 2001)
Zach Galifinakis (The Hangover, 2009)
Asif Mandvi (The Last Airbender, 2010)
Jeremy Davies (Lost (TV), 2008-2010)
Mary Birdsong (Adventureland, 2009)
Zoe Kravitz (No Reservations, 2007)
Viola Davis (Eat Pray Love, 2010)
Novella Nelson

As my partner in crime pointed out, It's Kind of a Funny Story has a really shitty title. It doesn't sound kind of funny at all. In fact, it sounds saccharine, like something that should be on the Hallmark channel. Possibly about Santa Claus. Nevertheless, wrapped in this ditsy package with those faces smiling banally at each other is a pretty damn amusing movie which has a lovely moral about how them teenagers are too damn stressed out.

The main character seems to figure out the insignificance of his own problems almost immediately, so there isn't too much whining. Emma Roberts, who plays the self-destructive love interest, also spares us any angst (yeah I got's scratches on my face- what of it?) There's a scene where everyone goes all glam rock and she still has the scratches, but they're made of glitter, I thought that was clever.

If I had to complain about something (which I do, evidently) it would be the inconsistencies in the script. Not unlike Kamikaze Girls (which I'm still talking about because I enjoyed it THIS much), this movie played around with some stylistic interruptions, some fantasy elements (Like the glam-rock scene and a part where everything goes all cartoony when Our Hero (sometimes I can't remember their names) discovers he is good at arts (bye-bye business school summer program). These bits were cute and I approve of their inclusion, especially the part where Our Hero returns to his five year old self to have a conversation with his mom, where I think Lauren Graham really stood out in a way that many of her roles fail to give her the opportunity to do (does that make sense?).

However, these bits were few and far between, and I think they could have been integrated better so that I could accept them as part of the story-world and not awkward interjections into a narrative. The other problem was a sort of manic-depressive flip flop between parts that were really funny and parts that were really sad. I guess that's the nature of the beast when you're talking about stuff like depression and homelessness and mental illness, but I feel like I've seen it handled better before, just because the extremes were so stark: this is something you're definitely supposed to find funny, now stop because here's something overtly sad.

I used to volunteer at a group home for schizophrenics and I would sometimes have to bite my tongue to keep from laughing at something. There's this terribly awkward feeling you can get when something is wrong and sad but undeniably weird and ludicrous. In this movie the distinctions were very clear. There weren't any in-between places where you had to wonder whether it was funny OR sad or feel bad about laughing. I guess they were playing it safe like that. Making sure no one left confused.

Anyway, I liked it a lot so you should all watch it too and see if you agree.

09 November 2010

9 Nov - "That's a real shite story"

Ondine (2009)
dir. Neil Jordan (The Brave One, 2007)

Colin Farrell (The New World, 2005)
Alicja Bachleda
Tony Curran (Blade II, 2002)

The problem with Colin Farrell is that I can never decide whether he's attractive or not. This movie was good -for a lot of reasons- because Farrell plays a salty fisherman who's a recovering alcoholic so he's supposed to be a bit worn out and ragged, but IS good looking enough to be a compelling romantic lead. That being said, Ondine is not all the way in your face romance. There's only one kissing/sexytime scene and it's a classy, pan out and then return once they're fully dressed deal.

So the theme of the story centers around the Irish Selkie legend. Basically, a selkie is like a mermaid, except they can appear as either a seal or a person. In the fairy tale, the fisherman steals the selkie's seal-skin and makes her be his wife. They have lots of children and are very happy, but one day the oldest daughter asks her mom why the father hides an old leather coat in the roof of their house. And then the selkie gets her skin back, and even though she promises that she's only going for a quick swim, to say hi to her parents and whatnot, she never comes back again and it's sad.

So Ondine starts with Farrell's fisherman, Syracuse, hauling up this girl in his fishing net. Ondine ends of paralleling the selkie legend in more ways than one, but something more sinister is actually going on. That's why I don't understand why netflix sorted this as a fantasy - obviously someone didn't watch until the end. It reminds me of how the cable company used to summarize episodes of the Simpsons after they had clearly only watched the first two minutes. Do you all remember how the Simpsons used to start with one storyline and then go in a completely different direction after the first commercial break?

That's all I have to say about that.

08 November 2010

8 Nov - "Fuck off! For Sure! Like totally!"

Valley Girl (1983)
dir. Martha Coolidge

Nicolas Cage - Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Deborah Foreman
Joanne Baron Real Genius (1985)
Colleen Camp - Wayne's World (1992)

Valley girl is one of those Nicolas Cage movies I've been trying to get around to watching for a long time. That and Leaving Las Vegas, plus I don't think I ever saw the end of Raising Arizona, although I assume that they gave the baby back. I don't know if this counts as a chick flick in the vein of my last two movies, since Nick is clearly at least half of the protagonists, but it's certainly an 80s teenager movie. I don't think it represents the decade as fabulously as Desperately Seeking Susan.

So We've got a Romeo and Juliet-style story between Julie, a bubbly valley girl, and Randy, a punk from Hollywood. Naturally, her friends disapprove, as does her preppy ex-boyfriend. At some point, the pressure gets to Julie and she breaks up with Randy, and he goes to extreme lengths to win her back. Of course it all comes to a head at the PROM.

I guess the first assumption one would make is that Julie is a vapid and impressionable twit who doesn't know what she wants. But then again, all the characters, even Randy and his punk friends, are kind of dopey and just doing their best to fit in. Maybe Julie just wanted Randy to prove that the she was worth some extra effort. All these girls are just clucking all of the time about who's a babe and who's bodacious and tubular or whatever, and they're fooling around with each other's boyfriends and being conniving all the time. You'll have to recall from yesterday that the moral of Kamikaze Girls is everyone else can just screw off, because you gotta be true to you. And if those dopey teenagers want to be mismatched airheads together, godspeed.

Which is why I think this era is Nicolas Cage at his finest. Face/Off and The Wicker Man, aside, Nicolas Cage has continued to make some quality pictures, usually playing the slightly loopy depressed guy as in Adaptation. and Matchstick Men. It's like a grown up version of the well-intentioned dope embodied by Randy. Some people say they can't stand Nicolas Cage, but I think the real problem is that they can't stand Ghost Rider.

07 November 2010

Nov 7 - "...and you obey, no different from the world we left behind"

Kamikaze Girls (2004)
dir. Tetsuya Nakashima
Kyoko Fukada (Ring 2, Japanese version, 1999)
Anna Tsuchiya

What do you call that genre where a realistic storyline is infused with elements of surrealism? Not like Pan's Labyrinth, which was overtly fantastic, not even like Like Water for Chocolate, which is, of course, magical realism. I mean like real-life but just infused with a little bit more imagination. That's what Kamikaze Girls was like.

It's a buddy movie about a sweet Lolita-type girl (Momoko) who is way overdressed for her rural Japanese town. She doesn't have any friends and she doesn't care about family and just likes to dress up and go shopping. She gets tossed together with Ichiko, a yanki-type biker chick. Both girls are way overdevoted to their style-identity, but the twist is that it ends up being Ichiko who is playing a part to fit in, Momoko is alienated, but at least she's true to herself.

This is some quality storytelling right here. It's not melodramatic except where it's supposed to be, and the two female leads are true to their characters without hitting you over the head (OH I GET IT SHE HAS INNER VULNERABILITY OK). Ichiko is particularly well-performed, the kind of girl you sometimes meet who's a little to cool to be natural. Momoko gets a little bit of guts in the end, and learns the importance of friendship. There's a little bit of bloodshed, but it's cool.

Celia and Julianne- you two should totally watch this, but separately, because you don't know each other. Or together, that would be a different kind of awesome.

3 Nov - "I'm really hoping it's cats that look like Hitler"

The Social Network (2010)
dir. David Fincher

Jesse Eisenberg (Cursed, 2005)
Rashida Jones (I Love You, Man, 2009)
Brenda Song (The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (TV) 2005-2008)
Justin Timberlake (Black Snake Moan, 2006)

This is the first time I get to post about a movie I saw in a REAL LIVE THEATER! Even though I already said that I didn't really want to see The Social Network (soon to be shortened to just "Social Network") It was either that or Hereafter, and I think we've established that I already know how that ends.

1) Why didn't they just call the movie "Facebook" - is "The Social Network" (put in quotes and not italics because I'm not referring to the movie itself, but only the title) supposed to be a metaphor for the networking and subsequent alienation necessary to create the website.

2) Everyone's freaking out about how cool the Facebook is. It's just a website though, I mean, I know everyone is about making money and stuff, but it's not like Mark Zuckerberg invented something VERY cool - on the contrary, he invented something lame enough to catch on like wildfire, so did the Snuggie guy, but nobody's making movies about him (or HER?)

3) I think I'd really like to delete my facebook account, but sometimes I like to look at pictures of people (not always boys I like, thanks). Would that make me cooler? Or just less accessible?

4) It was a bit misogynistic, but not as much as that other blogger led me to believe. Mostly I was annoyed about how superfluous most of the female characters were. In general, I'm a fan of cinematic conservatism. That's not to say I don't throughly appreciate the intricacies of set design in a Wes Anderson movie, or the over-the-top style of Kamikaze Girls, which is a Japanese movie I watched this morning and I'm going to write about when I get a cool minute. Because in those movies it's understood that all the extra stuff MEANS something. That's why in film adaptations of books it's common to combine or remove characters. Every line and especially every character has to add depth and purpose and direction to the plot, otherwise why would they be there?

Which might have the problem with The Social Network. It had a plot, sure, but what was the story? Did it mean anything? In this respect, the girls, with the exception of Mark Zuckerberg's ex-girlfriend, did not add anything to the story. They were tacked on objects representing, if anything, only the carelessness of the lifestyle coveted by the male protagonists. Brenda Song, who I recognized from the Disney Channel, plays a whacky girlfriend who I can only assume was written in for comic relief (Bitchez be cRazzzy!) Rashida Jones played an assistant lawyer who was so obviously inserted as a token "admirable woman" to serve no other purpose in the story except to appear well-meaning that I feel sorry for her to have taken that part, it's that lame.

So that's a rant I guess. But for what it was, it was alright.

02 November 2010

1 Nov - "She'll ruin you, mate. She's high-maintenance"

Oyster Farmer (2004)
dir. Anna Reeves

Alex O'Loughlin (The Holiday, 2006)
Diana Glenn

I don't know if I would call it a "delirious romantic comedy," though I suppose there were wry parts, and there was only one sexy part, and spectacular seems like a strong word that should be reserved for, i dunno, Avatar? But I certainly enjoyed The Oyster Farmer a whole lot, and I recommend it to everyone except little kids because the one sexy part is very sexy indeed.

The story is that there's this guy, Jack Flange, who for reasons that are not clearly developed (I thought it was to help his sister get into a better hospital, but at the end she doesn't seem to need any help) steals a bunch of money in what I think is an INGENIOUS scheme where he knocks out the armed guards with a frozen lobster while wearing a mask made of fruit leather, snags the money and stuffs it into a prepaid envelope. Drops the loot in the mailbox, packs the lobster back with the others, and eats the disguise. And he would've gotten away with it too except something goes awry and the package gets delivered to the wrong person but who???. While he's figuring out this debacle, Jack matures as a person and falls in love with a girl named PEARL, which is the most obvious use of the name Pearl as a metaphor since The Scarlet Letter. But don't get me wrong, it was really good (i.e. The movie).

So the whole time I was trying to remember how I recognized the main character, and for I while I thought he was Alan Cumming (here's a picture of him looking fancy) but then I was all, Noo, that's not Alan Cumming. And then I figured it out! Alex O'Loughlin was the star of the erstwhile TV series Moonlight about a vampire detective ("He's Sexy! He's Undead!) in love with a human woman (no it's different from Angel) which was on back-to-back repeat sometime last summer and I'm pretty sure I watched all of the SIXTEEN episodes. This movie is better, a lot.