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Archive for “Movie Reviews” news
There are stupid movies and then there are stoopid movies. The stoopid movies are the ones that should be avoided at all costs — those of the Glitter or Gigli ilk — which after viewing make you feel like you’ve lost part of your youth. The stupid movies, on the other hand—as my friend so eloquently stated—are those that are rented on a rainy night when it’s just you and a box of wine. (Well, she said a glass of wine. But whatever). Like Death Becomes Her and National Treasure. They’re dumb, but that’s their charm. New Year’s Eve, Garry Marshall’s new holiday schlockfest starring every available actor who wasn’t in his craptastic Valentine’s Day, falls somewhere in between. Though probably closer to the stoopid end of the spectrum.
It’s Thanksgiving, which means it’s time to be together. Watch the parade together. Make food together. Eat together. Watch a few games together. Drink together. Fight together. Go see a movie together. (Thankfully, though technically together, seeing a movie together requires absolutely no talking.) And this is a great Thanksgiving for films, especially family friendly ones. Here are a few of my suggestions.
The first part of the new Twilight movie is bad
Twi-hards scare me. Gleeks and Beliebers scare me too, but it is the fervent fanaticism of the Twilight enthusiasts that’s frightening. (At a screening, a complete stranger asked me if I was a reviewer and whether I liked the other films. For my safety, I answered yes to both). Negative reviews bring swarms of angry Twi-moms to leave scathing comments that disparage the reviewer and claim the writer simply doesn’t get it. The fans see beyond the flaws of the books and the movies and only focus on the love story—which, between a century old, sparkly vampire and a teenage girl, is a little creepy.Well fans, prepare for another negative review.
While most remember J. Edgar Hoover for little else than his leadership of the FBI—and perhaps his rumored homosexuality and alleged penchant for wearing dresses—he was a complex man. Obsessed with knowledge and power, he used both as tools (blackmail?) for the advancement of himself and the nascent bureau. His nearly 40-year career as FBI director spanned some of the messiest, tensest, and most trying times of our country’s history: the Lindbergh baby, gangsters, communists, civil rights, and a presidential assassination. So then with a subject matter so rife with drama, why does Clint Eastwood’s new film J. Edgar feel so sterile?
An interview with director Tim Chambers
Tim Chambers, writer-director of the new women’s-basketball movie, The Mighty Macs, became an expert in fast breaks before he knew how to dribble. It was a biological imperative. As one of 12 kids growing up in a house with three bathrooms in Newtown Square, Chambers had no choice. He was number eight in the birth order.“Sure, we fought over bathroom time,” Chambers, 48, says with a quick laugh. “The shower was never turned off. We just rotated in and out. Whoever got up late knew they would get a cold shower.”Chambers expects a warmer reception for The Mighty Macs when it opens nationally on Friday. (The world premiere was held at the Kimmel Center last week. See photos from the red-carpet event here.) It tells the improbable story of the 1972 national championship women’s team from Immaculata College, an all-girls Catholic school in Chester County.
Just Netflix the original
Let’s be honest: The original Footloose is not a great movie. A cheesy storyline, incredibly hammy acting, and a tractor chicken race—all ingredients for a movie disaster. Yet with the charismatic and swoonable Kevin Bacon, director Herbert Ross (Steel Magnolias), and the electrifying soundtrack featuring the eponymous Kenny Loggins’ single, the movie was greater than the sum of its parts. It became a box office smash and a classic. And for many, myself included, the movie still makes you feel nostalgic and kinda irritated that anyone would dare remake it. And after seeing the Footloose remake, you may still find yourself irritated.Why? Because a remake should try to find something new in the material. It should look for a fresh perspective. It shouldn’t simply reset the story in a different time or place and change a few details. Unfortunately, the new Footloose does just that. It is the original film set in present-day Georgia, with a few plot changes, and a cast that apparently stepped right off the So You Think You Can Dance set.
Drive, Moneyball + Warrior
Summer has come to an end. And while it is only September 30th — 116 days before nominations are announced — the Oscar season has already begun. With new Academy rules on movie campaigns, which bar non-screening events after the release of nominations, and the Best Picture category which will have anywhere from five to 10 nominated pictures, studios and critical prognosticators are already hard at work. (Even Movieline, the bastion of movie news and reviews, has already begun its Oscar Index.)And while many contenders — Eastwood’s J. Edgar, Spielberg’s War Horse, and Fincher’s The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo — are weeks from being released, three excellent films are already playing in Philadelphia theaters: Drive, Moneyball, and Warrior. Read on for reviews of each film.
I detest the movie Outbreak. There are many reasons I could list here, but let’s just focus on the one completely stupid, far-fetched, ridiculous reason I always tell friends (and yes, oddly, this movie does come up more than one might expect—or perhaps I just constantly bring it up): the ending. All they had to do to cure a horrendous hemorrhagic virus was to find one flippin’ monkey in someone’s hydrangeas? And voila! A vaccine in two days? Hate to break it to you, but that’s absurd.But this was the '90s. And a large outbreak of Ebola (the basis for the movie’s “Motaba” virus) had just occurred in 1995 that killed 250 people in Africa. So Hollywood was more interested in providing a (somewhat) happy ending to a movie focused on a much-discussed, horrific disease than ensuring scientific authenticity. Word of advice: don’t Google Ebola images.Stephen Soderbergh’s Contagion, on the other hand, is the de-Hollywoodized Outbreak.
Well here we are again, halfway through the movie season. And like every other year, 2011 has been filled with highs and lows. We’ve had movies that should have been directly released to DVD (Red Riding Hood). We’ve had movies where filmmakers were more interested in a paycheck than worthwhile storytelling (Hangover, Part II). But we’ve also had some bright spots that help us forget the rest. Almost. So here are my selections for the 2nd annual Philly Post’s Mid-Year Movie Awards. In no way have these “awards” been decided by a vote of movie professionals or even a panel of experts. No. They’ve been decided by me. And even though I was unable to see many award-worthy movies—mostly independents like Beginners, Win Win, and Cave of Forgotten Dreams—this hasn’t stopped me from making this list. And if you, my tens of readers, agree or disagree with any of my choices, please let me know.
A few weeks ago, fellow Philly Post blogger Christine Speer wrote about the appeal of the disaster movie in “Bring on the Alien Attack.” “These stories make a promise that when the time comes,” she writes, “we will be able to put down our differences and fight together to preserve the life we want to live.” So then, what can we say is the allure of horror movies? Do they, like the disaster movies, unite individuals from decisively different backgrounds to fight the bigger bad?Hell, no. Like an SAT analogy: disaster movie is to unity, as horror movie is to … being super-glad that that girl just got stabbed in the neck and not you.