September 28, 2006

The Last Kiss, or Can I Kiss Ze?

Don't Ever, EVer, EVEr, EVER try to watch a movie trailer on WiMax (802.16 wifi, really only 2x better than dial-up, do not believe the hype. aka... Irish Broadband sucks). Really. Believe me. After the damned thing times out 13 times, you lose the plot of the trailer. Yes, the 2.5 minute trailer. Plot gone.

Now you ask, why is Ms. Jen, the woman who never, ever, never watches movies watching a Movie Trailer????

It is all Ze's fault.

Ze is my new internet crush, next to JDD. Apparently, Ze and I have both attended SXSW Interactive during the lean times and I recognize his face, but I never met the man. Sometime during the midst of studying for my Master's degree exams a couple of months ago, I found a link to one of Ze's shows. Probably the fault of my morning reading on my mobile phone's browser of Metafilter on the Luas while commuting into Trinity.

If you don't watch Ze's daily vlog, then you suck. TV rots your brains out. Movies... bah! But your local professional art/political/opinionated hipster with a daily video show available only online? Now that rocks.

To support his bandwidth fees, Ze sometimes has a static advert at the end of his show. After watching yesterday's show today (sorry, I was busy all day yesterday with defending my Master's Project to internal & external examiners), I decided to click on the link to "The Last Kiss" that was at the end of Ze's show.

"The Last Kiss" - Zach Braff, aged 30, having his Middle-Aged-Guy-Crisis-Early. Now this is a funny premise. I had a good Young-Aged-Gal-Crisis-Early when I was 19 and am glad I got it over with. I wish Zach all the best of luck, esp. since both of his love interest hotties in the trailer were brunettes who belong to the itty-bitty-titty club. Any woman who makes it in Hollywood and does not get a boob job and hair frosting deserves an Oscar in my book.

With Lauren a bit out of commission as Barflies.net's film reviewer due to a long commute and a boyfriend, I guess that I, the woman who firmly believes that the only good use for a TV is for testing sledge hammers, should take up the mantle and review the trailers for movies that are advertised at the end of Ze's Show. I won't go the cinema to see them, I won't rent the DVD, I will watch the trailers online and report back to you all on whether you should brave the cinema or local Blockbuster on my behalf.

Posted by Ms. Jen at 7:30 AM

March 17, 2006

Dance Hall Crashing in my living room

Sitting on the floor by my seldom-used TV and DVD player (a fairly recent purchase, wrought by the fact that it's hard to rent videos anymore and it was only forty bucks) because there's no room on my cluttered couch, I saw a pair of DVDs waiting for me to pop them in and, uh, watch them. Tink gave them to me who-knows-how-long-ago to review for Barflies.net, but I didn't know they were DVDs when I got them. I guess Kung Fu Records started recording and releasing bands' shows as concert DVDs. For no good reason, I put the Dance Hall Crashers one in before the Bouncing Souls disc.

Sandwiched between two of my favorite artists on my first of three large CD racks, Dakah Hip Hop Orchestra and Charlie Daniels Band, are four DHC discs. The first two I bought. The second two are ones I kept from all the freebies I received when I was on everyone's promo list. The mid-90s was the beginning of 3rd Wave Ska's ascent into the mainstream. The first time I saw DHC was at the Palace, back when it was called the Palace and they could pack it. Their horn section was already gone. Tim Armstrong, who played with them in between OpIvy and Rancid, was already gone. Basically, they were just a pop-ska band with sticky-sweet tunes and tandem chick singers. The Scandanavian one, Karine or Katrina or something, was the bouncy, hyper, sexy one and even Elyse, the chubby one, was cute. Their shows were fun because you jumped up and down a lot. If there was room, as was the case at all such ska shows, you skanked. Throughout the 90s, I went to hundreds of shows and the measure of how good the punk or ska show was, was how big a puddle I made when I rung out my shirt afterward.

Watching the DVD, I see how much each has changed. To be fair, I think it's stupid to watch a show on DVD, more or less so than produce it in the first place. What's the point of Kung Fu putting out this "The Show Must Go Off" series? If you've seen the band, it's a million times better live. If you haven't, it's hardly at all a substitute for the real thing. Confined to the tiny TV screen, the band member's moves seem mechanical and the songs are flat. Worse, all the shots of the audience are just the front (they didn't use that fun glass ball with the stabilized camera in it like in that Motley Crue vid) and often capture them just standing there not moving or singing along. I keep seeing one girl holding a sign, but they never show what it says. I am surprised how I still know all the words, though. I can't believe DHC are still around. And filling the HOB at that.

I really need, need, need to go see more shows. I'm the same age as the folks in DHC or younger (they started in 1989 I think) and they still put on shows, so I should still be going to them. Not theirs, per se, because I've seen them about 4 times and watching this DVD I can tell you it hasn't changed much and I doubt that even if I had seen this set back in my heyday, the resulting puddle would've been that big. I don't even need puddles anymore. I just want to be really into some bands out there. Indie 103.1 is a great station, but I realize they haven't turned me onto anything in a huge way. They play Matisyahu, but I actually saw him before they ever played him on the air. They just started playing Gogol Bordello's "Start Wearing Purple," but I saw them a couple years ago, too. Hey, check me out. I'm still ahead of the game sometimes. If anyone knows of a good gig coming up, lemme know. I'd rather see them live now for cheap than watch the DVD in a decade from now.

Posted by occulator at 12:02 AM

February 10, 2006

February 10th Film Releases

Um. Hello? Hello? Anybody there? Anyone who didn't think seeing When a Stranger Calls was a good idea last weekend? Anyone with half a brain? I'm only asking for half? Anyone who is completely turned off by the releases this weekend and logging onto Netflix?

Hello? Doesn't anybody give a damn that there aren't ANY good movies to see this weekend?!!!!

1) Brokeback Mountain (for those of you not in fear of losing your heterosexuality, it was wonderful)
2) Walk the Line (I shouldn't have to explain this)
3) Underworld: Evolution (I'm still a sucker for chicks who kick ass)

Yes, I know they're not new. That's the point. I have to go cry now.


Firewall
Okay Han Solo, we get it. You're still a virile heroic figure even though you are clearly hitting the edge of "Aged But Still Sexy" and beginning to cross over into "Just Plain Old" territory. You, your immense computer security building brain, and your powerful (expensive, and gas guzzling) Chrysler are completely capable of saving the day from those totally hot young bad guys.

Can we go home now? Can I take one of the evil youngsters with me?

Final Destination 3
I can't believe they're churning this out again. Here's the plot - a young good-looking teenager sees his/her own death in a vision, and "cheats" Death. This really pisses Death off. Death is apparently like my mother and would rather eat glass than get cheated.

But here's the thing that bothers me, the whole concept of cheating death is just a bunch of bunk. I mean it's impossible to cheat death. Either you die young and pretty and much too soon, or you die old and spent and in a slow painful kind of way, or it's somewhere in between, but either way, you die. He's either going to get you full price or on sale, but the bottom line is - he's going to get you. Just like my mother and that Calvin Kline blouse.

The Pink Panther
Who on Earth thought this was a good idea? You like Steve Martin? Go see Shop Girl. This is just embarrassing.

Curious George
The only way to see this movie is if your children force you at gunpoint. Voluntary viewings will be met with obvious brain shrinkage.

Neil Young: Heart of Gold
A documentary about Neil Young playing in Nashville. It makes me sleepy just thinking about it.

London
A young going nowhere drug dealer/junkie finds out that the love of his life is moving to LA. Time to straighten up and get your act together, right? Wrong. According to this genius it's time to score a massive quantity of cocaine and crash her going away party.

Let the idiocy begin!

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 2:20 PM

February 2, 2006

February 3rd Film Releases

Okay, I admit I haven't done this in a while, and now I'll say I'm sorry. See, not so hard. Now it's your turn.

What do you mean you didn't do anything wrong? That's just rubbish. Oh well, I forgive you regardless and give you my top three.

1) Good Night and Good Luck
2) The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
3) Something New

There. I feel so much better now, don't you?


When a Stranger Calls
There's like this teenager who's babysitting in a strange house when she starts getting these totally creepy phone calls. Then she has to run for her life and stuff, but she can't really because the house is like SO isolated. I mean it would take like forever to get to the closest mall. Is that like scary or what?

Rated IM for Immature.

Something New
I only put this in my top three due to lack of options. A strong idealistic black woman falls for a white man and has to deal with her own feelings about interracial dating and those of her friends.

Go get your swirl on.

Good Night and Good Luck
I know this has been out for a while, but only in limited release to qualify for the 2006 Oscars. If you haven't seen it yet, go. It gives a historical perspective on the current climate of feverish patriotism and media self-censorship under outside pressures by telling the story of Edward R. Morrow’s defiance of Senator McCarthy during the height of the Cold War.

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
If you don't love Tommy Lee Jones (in that favorite uncle kind of way) then there is something seriously wrong with you. This is his directorial debut and I can say from experience that it is very good. It's not a terribly exciting movie, but the characters are colorful without being unrealistic and Jones gives us sharp twist to the plot at the end.

If you don't see it in the theaters, then rent it on DVD.

A Good Woman
Um. I don't really know anything about this movie. By all accounts, the critics should be clamoring for this piece. It's set in the 1920's and it has a stellar cast, but the silence is deafening. This is a bad sign. Avoid this film at all costs.

Suits on the Loose
Two delinquents escape a rehabilitation camp by posing as Mormon missionaries and are taken in by a small, unassuming, Mormon town.

Once again, avoid this film at all costs. It's been produced and distributed by a Mormon company. It's pure propaganda. I don't need to tell you about the time John Travolta tried to do the same thing for Scientology, do I? No good can come from this. It's a historic fact.

What the Bleep!?: Down the Rabbit Hole
An artist and photographer uses interviews and animation to illustrate the connection between quantum physics, neurobiology, and human consciousness.

Okay. I freely admit and embrace my geekness, but I draw the line at a movie like this.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 7:43 PM | Comments (1)

November 3, 2005

November 4th Film Releases

I'm very disappointed in you, movie going audience. I know I've been neglectful and that last weekend was Halloween, but that is no excuse for making Saw 2 the #1 movie in America. That is just plain wrong. Especially when revival houses all over the city were offering some fantastic alternatives. Heck, the New Beverly was doing a double feature of Lost Boys and Land of the Dead. Wouldn't that have been the perfect movie set for a Halloween weekend?

Why do you torture me like this? Please, end the cycle and stop seeing bad movies. Good cinema begins at home.

1) Jarhead
2) The Dying Gaul
3) Chicken Little

Jarhead
An unflinching, sometimes sad, sometimes humorous, sometimes scary look into the life of a young Marine in Desert Storm. Do you smell that? Sniff, sniff. Smells like an Oscar nod to me.
(On a side note - Jake G, I love the biceps baby! Grow out the hair a little and call me anytime.)

The Dying Gaul
Ah the independent filmmaker's favorite subject, the seduction of immoral, tasteless Hollywood. A screenwriter befriends a big studio producer and his wife who want to bank roll his next film. But, there's a catch. There's always a catch. The producer wants the writer to make the main characters straight and also have sex with him. The writer, not the characters.
Heavy, heavy stuff. Sex, trust, money, marriage, artistic integrity, and death. I'm sure this film simply reeks with metaphors.

Chicken Little
I really wish I could say this movie looks like it blows. The last guy I dated worked on it and couldn't stop beaming over what a great movie this is and ever since we broke up I have been faced with Chicken Little's ass everywhere I go. Coming home from my parents' place, Chicken Little's ass. Driving to work, Chicken Little's ass. Driving home from work, Chicken Little's ass. That's a lot of ass people!
The good thing is, the movie is out now so soon I will stop seeing chicken butt everywhere I go. The bad thing is that I have to be honest and say this movie looks like it's a lot of fun and if you're looking for some light entertainment then go for it. The only reason I listed it last is because it's up against some serious competition from heavyweight award show contenders.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 8:06 PM

October 13, 2005

October 14th Film Releases

Okay, I'm not sure what happened here, but somehow the Hollywood studio system has blessed us with an event rarely seen in theaters these days - options. Ladies and gentlemen we have several good movies to choose from in theaters this week, and I'm not just talking about the new releases. There are a few movies I didn't get a chance to skewer that are worth seeing.

1) Domino
2) Elizabethtown
3) Good Night, and Good Luck

But don’t forget Wallace and Gromit, Flightplan, Capote, Corpse Bride, A History of Violence, and Serenity.

Elizabethtown
A young male elf gets fired for a multimillion-dollar mistake and then is promptly dumped by his less than loyal girlfriend, just before he finds out that he has to go to Kentucky for his father's funeral.
Admit it. You love Cameron Crowe films. Who doesn't? The dialogue is smart. The love connections are awkward. The families are embarrassing. There's no shame in saying you can relate. Lord knows I can.

The Fog
A deadly fog filled with spirits invades a small New England town and completely ruins a young couple's chance at having sex for the first time. If the Scream trilogy taught me anything, it's that only virgins stay alive. So keep'em crossed kids!

Domino
A young Ford model from Beverly Hills turns into the hottest bounty hunter EVER! What can I say? I love movies with chicks that kick ass and Tony Scott has an amazing style.

Good Night, and Good Luck
A dramatization of Edward R. Murrow's battle against Senator McCarthy and his historic witch hunt for Communists. I don't have a joke for this one, because I think the current attitude towards dissention reminds me a lot of McCarthyism. I know it's a George Clooney project, but this movie provides a lot of thoughtful philosophy about the role of the media and it's relation to the public and the government.
If you don't see it in the theater, make an effort to see it on cable or on DVD.

Nine Lives
A compilation of nine short films about different women at different points in their lives. It might be good, but it feels just a little too much like it's trying to make enormous drama out of everyday occurrences.

Where the Truth Lies
A young reporter tries to find the truth behind a long buried murder involving a once famous singing duo (think the Rat Pack with only Sinatra and Dean Martin). It looks good, but I hear it involves a three-way between a girl, Kevin Bacon, and Colin Firth. I don't know about you, but I need a few more degrees of separation.

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till
A documentary about a black man who was killed for whistling at a white woman. I'm sure IFC or Sundance will be showing it soon. You just have too many other options this weekend.

Innocent Voices
Can you tell I'm getting tired of writing?
A young boy in El Salvador must decide between joining the army and joining the guerrillas. Could be good, but it's hard to tell.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 7:48 PM

September 8, 2005

September 9th Film Releases

Summer is over and the dry spell has hit. You may as well just keep those NetFlix DVDs coming until next week, when we have some real options.

1) Green Street Hooligans
2) The Exorcism of Emily Rose

I want to give you a third pick, but I've got nothing.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose
A legal drama pitting a Catholic priest accused of negligent homicide, when all he really wanted was to get that poor girl's head to stop spinning, against the LAW. I don't know about you, but I would much rather see Trent cast the green goblin out of that beautiful baby. Now that's a concept I can get behind and I don't care if it was based on real events or not.

The Man
Annoying. Annoying. Annoying. Eugene Levy is way too annoying to carry a lead role in any film. I don't care if Mace Windu is in it, he's makes enough money that he can afford to be more selective about his roles.
Fine. Go. Listen to that nasal voice until your ears bleed for all I care.

Green Street Hooligans
Poor little Frodo gets kicked out of Harvard, takes an extended vacation to London, and falls in with a gang of soccer hooligans. I don't know about you, but I'm having a hard time picturing Frodo in a gang fight. Then again, maybe that's the point.
Anyways, this is the most promising film coming out this week. Too bad it will never make number one at the box office.

An Unfinished Life
Um. On one hand, we have two of the finest actors of our time. On the other hand, we have JLo. It may be excellent, but I just can't get past the JLo.

Crustaces et Coquillages
Well, it's French. We like French. French is good. A French sex comedy about an entire family having a sexual awakening while vacationing in the Mediterranean may just be a little too creepy for me.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 9:08 PM

August 25, 2005

August 25th Film Releases

Happy Friday! I am in dreadful need of a full night's uninterrupted rest, a square of dark Venezuelan chocolate, a blood donor technician who can actually hit my vein, and a hairdresser who can fill in my roots and cut my hair for under $80; but you my readers, you get my picks.

1) The Brothers Grimm
2) The Alzheimer Affair

I finally saw Wedding Crashers this week and it was hysterical. I haven't laughed that hard during a movie in ages.

3) Wedding Crashers


The Brothers Grimm
A pair of con artist brothers who have made their living off dispelling fake hauntings, stumble on the real thing. Terry Gilliam may be a disaster to any production schedule, but the man has an amazing artistic vision. I just hope this lives up to the hype.

The Cave
A troop of spelunkers goes exploring a cave whose entrance is located within a mysteriously abandoned village littered with bones and skulls.
What did they need? A flashing neon sign shouting, "DO NOT EXPLORE THIS CAVE!! DEATH AWAITS YOU AND YOUR IDIOTIC TEAM!!"

Undiscovered
A wannabe actor falls in love with a wannabe rock star. I've got two words that will be the only movie repellant you need - Ashley Simpson.

Dirty Deeds
The cute James Dean Rebel Without a Cause type from Gilmore Girls is starring in his very own B movie. Well, you've got to start somewhere, but that doesn't mean we have to torture ourselves by seeing it.

The Alzheimer Affair
Two detectives track an aging hit man turned serial killer. The twist is that the hit man is losing his memory. Has this been done before, or is this one of those rare movies that can actually be considered to have an original plot?

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 8:30 PM

August 11, 2005

August 12th Film Releases

I know I've been neglecting you, my readers, and I'm sorry, but I have really good reasons. Really. Don't give me that look. Hey! I said I was sorry. I started a new job, I moved, I moved into a place that didn't have an internet connection, I had dates (no, that plural is not a typo), and I was a bit neglectful.
There I said it. I was hindered my circumstances beyond my control AND I was neglectful. Now don't you start with me. What else do you want?!

Oh... you want my picks. Well why didn't you say so? Making me feel guilty. You're just like my mother.

1) Asylum
2) The Great Raid
3) Pretty Persuasion

Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
This is my punishment isn't it? I don't write reviews for a month and you're punishing me with another Deuce Bigalow movie. Wait, it's set in Europe? Well, that changes everything! Now it's a steaming pile of crap with an Eiffel Tower stuck in the middle. A completely different animal.

Skeleton Key
Sources say it's a mystery/thriller without the mystery, and once you take out the mystery, it's not much of a thriller either. Kate Hudson, I understand, she can't act her way out of a see-through dress, but Peter Sarsgaurd? I know you've been doing the indie thing for a while now, but you can't be this hard up for a paycheck, can you? What is it? Gambling debts? A botox addiction? Just come clean. Help is available. If you can just be honest with us, then we can find it in our hearts to forgive you, and then you can go back to making good movies.

Four Brothers
I guess Marky Mark missed his Funky Bunch, so he decided to make a movie with a bunch of black people in hopes that it would bring him back to the days when he could dance around in his underwear and rap like a kid from remedial English. Some plans have potential. This isn't one of them.

The Great Raid
Okay, it's another WWII movie, but it's supposed to be a really good WWII movie and it takes place in the Philippines. That's different, right? Right? (sigh)

Asylum
A psychiatrist's wife at a maximum-security insane asylum falls in love with one of her husband's patients and decides to help him escape and run away with him. The trick is, the psycho was convicted of murdering his late wife.
I would say something mean spirited about this, but this is one of those glass houses and throwing stones situations.

Pretty Persuasion
A trio of well to do high school students decide to falsely accuse their teacher with an eye for the young'ns of sexual harassment. It's rumored to be well written with a fantastic cast, and if I were Ron Livingston's student I'd want him to have dirty thoughts about me too.
Spank me, Mr. Livingston. I haven't done my homework and I need to be punished. You call that a spanking?!

Grizzly Man
A documentary about some granola nut job decides to live among grizzly bears in Alaska and low and behold, ends up mauled to death by a bear. I hate to say this, but some people are just too stupid to live.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 7:52 PM

June 2, 2005

June 3rd Film Releases

A miracle has occurred and I'm not sure whom to blame. There is only one bad movie in this week's lot. Where am I supposed to get comedic material when the studios almost fail to disappoint me? At least I can still say almost.

1) Lords of Dogtown
2) Cinderella Man
3) Rock School


Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
A clique of teenage girls being separated for the summer decides to share a pair of jeans. There are only two reasons you could ever possibly want to see this movie:
A) You are a teenage girl
B) You want to sleep with a teenage girl
Save yourself some money and hit a chat room.

Cinderella Man
An ex boxer decides to pick up his gloves again when he can't find work during the Depression. I've got to hand it to Imagine Entertainment for not trying to hide the predictable nature of this film and putting it out during the summer when it doesn't matter. Two points for not being sneaky and trying to create Oscar buzz for a movie that clearly doesn't deserve it.

Lords of Dogtown
A dramatization of the documentary Dogtown and Z Boys, about the trio of kids who revolutionized skateboarding by applying their surfing skills to their boarding moves.
If you made this number one at the box office, I won't be mad. I promise.

After You
A restaurateur saves a man from killing himself and decides to help him put his life back together, but when he tries to reunite him with his exgirlfriend, he falls in love with her himself.
Pure cynics and people with no patience for subtitles need not apply.

Rock School
A documentary about a rock-n-roll summer camp lead by a former rocker with psychotic tendencies. Think of it as the social collision you can't take your eyes off of - hormonal teens collide with a crazy egomaniac. This is the stuff great cinema is made of!

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 7:40 PM

May 26, 2005

May 27th Film Releases

The good thing about last week being over, is that I don't have to listen to a bunch of social outcasts b*tch and moan about how The Great Swollen One has ruined the trilogy that shaped their adolescence. Over. Done with. It still hit number one at the box office no matter how many people felt betrayed by a terrible script and poor acting, they came back for more. They always do. It's what I like to call Movie Masochism.
This is also why JLo movies continue to be a draw. People enjoy self-torture.

1) Saving Face
2) Madagascar
3) Bomb the System


The Longest Yard
One reviewer said that there are only two things new and improved about this remake, and Courtney Cox has both of them. Well, I didn't know about the boob job, but I did have an unshakable feeling that this was going to be a stinker.

Madagascar
Four residents of the Central Park Zoo escape their confines only to be recaptured and sent to the wilds of Madagascar as punishment. It's a very "fish out of water" type story as these gentrified animals try to make it in the untamed jungle.
I have no doubt that it will be amusing, but it's no Pixar movie.

Saving Face
A super closeted lesbian daughter of Chinese immigrants has to take in her mother after she is shunned from the Chinese American community for carrying a child that was conceived out of wedlock. The mother, not the lesbian.
This is the kind of quirky human comedic drama I really enjoy. Stories about people struggling with their awkward sense of self against the confines of their culture or society. Another thing to like about it, it's not a remake.

Bomb the System
A group of up and coming graffiti artists wage a tagging war on the New York City government after one of their own was unfairly beaten by police officers.
Haven't these people heard of a video camera and a good lawyer?

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 7:48 PM

May 18, 2005

May 18th Film Reviews - Two Paws Up

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Angus had surgery last week, so I rented movies for him to watch during his recovery. We rented Miss Congeniality, Shrek 2, and The Incredibles. I'm sure he would have wanted to watch Milo and Otis again, but I put my foot down.

Miss Congeniality - I watched Miss Congeniality while Angus was still in the kitty hospital. I knew he wouldn't like it because there was too much talking and the plot was dumb. Angus hates dumb plots. Two paws down for a thin plot and lame fashion. Plus, there were no animals in the movie. Angus likes movies with animals.

Shrek 2 - We both liked this one. Angus especially liked the cat character, Puss in Boots, as voiced by Antonio Banderas. He also liked that the cast was almost all animals, or "creatures." We both hated the fact that it was a musical and there was too much singing. Two paws down for lame musical numbers. But two paws up for the evil fairy godmother (I liked her hair). In all honesty, Angus was wearing a morphine patch while he watched this, so I think it put him to sleep, but he couldn't help it.

The Incredibles - We both loved this movie. Angus liked the action and really watched the screen while the movement was happening. I liked the plot and the aesthetic of the house and the island. We both loved the way the characters moved, and the character of E was really hilarious. Both of us thought the movie went on too long, though, as we both have a rather short attention span. I was doing crafts and Angus was working on something else too (I think he was licking his balls), but we kept one eye on the screen. By the end of the movie, we were both stretched out with our paws in the air.

Ratings:
Miss Congeniality - lots of lame pussy, but no cats
Shrek 2 - two paws up for visuals, voices; two paws down for musicals
The Incredibles - four paws up!

Posted by DJWanda at 11:09 PM

May 12, 2005

May 13th Film Releases

It is Friday the Thirteenth and I can't think of anything more frightful than another JLo movie. If it were my spawn hell bent on marrying that twat, I'd turn into a vindictive bitch too. This is totally justifiable. I don't know why the Jane Fonda character is coming off like the bad guy.

1) Layer Cake
2) Unleashed
3) Mad Hot Ballroom


Layer Cake
I'll admit it; I love movies about gangsters who have no interest in redemption, but are working very hard just to get through the day. This is one of those movies.
XXXX (really, that the character's name) is trying to retire from the risky business of distributing narcotics, but his employers aren't too interested in seeing him ride off into the sunset. One last very complicated, very dangerous deal and he's free to go. Provided he survives.

Unleashed
The same genius who brought us The Professional and La Femme Nakita is bringing his gritty art form to another action film.
Jet Li stars as the animalistic lethal fighter his handler is Bob Hoskins, who is a master at being creepy to the core. The sound track is by Massive Attack, and if you need more reasons than that to go, then you need your head examined.

Monster-in-Law
Why? Why are you doing this me? Turn away. It’s not too late. You don't have to make this piece of crap number one at the box office.

Kicking and Screaming
Two stinking piles in one week? Two? Just because Will Farrell is in it, doesn't make it good; and they probably forced Robert Duvall at gunpoint just to repeat his lines.

Mindhunters
A bunch of FBI profilers, who are way too pretty to be believable, are sent to a deserted island for training, but it turns out the target is real and killing them off one by one.
Let's see... LL Cool J (when will he start using a real name, this is getting ridiculous) and Christian Slater (playing a part he is far too old for, at least he gets killed early). They may as well have called it Whatever You Do, Don't See This Movie.

Mad Hot Ballroom
Just watching these grade schoolers and their teachers get this intense about ballroom dancing in enough to make me collapse in laughter. One of teachers breaks down in tears while she's trying to console her students after a loss. Awesome!

Tell Them Who You Are
A son turns the camera around on his father, a cinematographer, and asks him the burning questions that have plagued him all his life.
If I wanted to spend two hours with a dysfunctional family, I'd go home for the weekend.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 7:13 PM

April 21, 2005

April 22nd Film Releases

Happy early birthday Ms. Jen!! There is absolutely nothing opening this weekend that I suggest you see, but I still say you try to catch Millions before it heads to video. Hit up Serious Dave for a pass, grab an Icee and sneak in a bag of Puffins. Enjoy your weekend Missy!

1) The Game of Their Lives
2) The Interpreter
3) Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room


A Lot Like Love
It actually should be named - A Lot Like When Harry Met Sally Only With Amanda Peet and Ashton "Media Saturated" Kutcher and Bad.

The Interpreter
An interpreter of an obscure African language overhears a plot to assassinate a dignitary and becomes both a target and a suspect herself.
Sydney Pollack is at his best directing intellectual suspense and with Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman costarring it's bound to be a solid movie.

Kings Ransom
A guy has himself kidnapped to avoid alimony payments and no one really misses him. To tell the truth, I'll be missing this entire film.
(Watch it become #1 at the box office, you people do that just to piss me off.)

The Game of Their Lives
You know those great movies you never hear about until there's a small stack of them on the shelf at Blockbuster and you wonder why this never got any publicity? This is one of those movies.
It has all the right elements to make it a terrific movie. It's based on a true story about an underdog team that overcame tremendous odds to win it all. Yes, it's about the World Cup Soccer tournament in the 1950's, but that doesn't mean it's bad.
To top it all off that loner hottie from American Beauty (Wes Bentley) stars and he didn't bring his video camera. Yum.

Madison
A movie about a dying town that needs to win a boat race in order to lift its spirits.
Here's my business analysis - Take the money you used for the boat, hire a consultant to suggest ways to attract new industries capable of revitalizing the town in a sustainable manner and lose the creepy kid actor who played Anakin in Star Wars I.

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
I'm just a curious as anyone else. A movie about the rise and fall of Enron. I want to know what happened and if the clips on iFilm are any indication, the events are jaw dropping.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 8:55 PM

April 7, 2005

April 8th Film Releases

Another Friday, another weekend. What will you be doing? Going to see Von Iva at Alex's? You lucky dog. I'll have to catch them on their next trip through town.
Me? I'll be baby-sitting a bride-to-be and making sure that nothing resembling her bachelorette party occurs. Don't worry. We'll be in the Valley. What's that worst that can happen?

1) Kung Fu Hustle
2) Winter Solstice
3) Fever Pitch

Kung Fu Hustle
As much as I love kung fu movies, I'm getting tired of all the stiflingly serious, overly stylized works that I've been seeing lately. Luckily, relief waits in the form of a comedy about a gangster wannabe in 1920's China caught in a middle of a war between the real gangsters and the iron-fisted landlady.
The selling point for me - The trailer is set to the music of Sweet. A bunch of clips of fight sequences with "Ballroom Blitz" playing in the background. Sweet.

Sahara
Dirk Pitt goes in search of treasure in the Egyptian desert. Utterly contrived and completely missable.

Fever Pitch
The Farelly brothers haven't hit one out of the park since Something About Mary. I guess that's the movie world's way of telling them to stick to something a little less bottom scraping and a little more tried and true. Say for example, a Nick Hornby novel that was made into a popular British movie.
I may be a little too much of a conventional romantic comedy for my taste, but it still looks like it could be worthwhile.

Smile
A shallow teen finds meaning through helping deformed Chinese kids get plastic surgery.
I would only see it if I were diagnosed with bulimia, because then it would cause me to retch without the nasty requirement of sticking my finger down my throat. Smile about that.

Winter Solstice
Anthony Lapaglia plays a widower trying to get on with his life and hold his family together. It may not be an upper, but it's a touching drama with balancing, realistic humor and a fantastic cast. No bouts bulimia necessary.

Eros
Steven Soderberg heads a team of three directors who bring three short films together for one feature length drama about love and sex. Could be good, but may be too much of an art film to have the necessary accessibility to make the top three.
I suppose it may make for a good date movie for couples ready to graduate beyond holding hands.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 7:24 PM

March 31, 2005

April 1st Film Releases

The Internet buzz that has been building for months has finally come to head and it's time to pop it like the pimple that it is! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Beauty Shop is finally out in theaters! Let your extensions down and pile on the curl relaxer because nothing says artistic expression better than Queen Latifa in a tight pair of pants.

1) Beauty Shop
2) Sin City
3) Kontroll

Happy April Fools!

Sin City
Now this is a little bit of gritty crime drama that I can get behind. Frank Miller's Sin City graphic novel series has been heralded as an artistic masterpiece and I have never seen a movie try to stick to the vision of original author better than this movie. If you don't believe me, check this out. See it. Live it. LOVE it.

Beauty Shop
I was joking people.

Look at Me
A fat girl with a famous father has a general outlook of cynicism towards every man that shows interest in her because she thinks it's all because of her genealogy and not because they genuinely find her attractive. Meanwhile, her father, the only man she wants any attention from, completely ignores her.
Can you see the clichés coming from a mile away? Are you blind?

Dust to Glory
A documentary about the Baja 5000. I hear it's good, but I'm not really into motor sports. Glamis freaks will flock, I'm certain.

Kontroll
A story about murder, love, and mayhem in the subway tunnels of Budapest. Yes, it really made the top two. Word from the festival circuit says it's visually stunning and takes you for an unexpected, fast paced ride.
Go for it. Life is short. Take a chance on a little independent film from the Eastern Block.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 7:48 PM

March 17, 2005

March 18th Film Releases

Happy Irish Hangover Day!!! I can't think of any better reason to see a movie than "you never want to drink that much ever again" and "please can we avoid the bar today?" For me, that was last weekend as I'm sure anyone in the vicinity of Manhattan Beach will be glad to tell you all about it.

1) Melinda and Melinda
2) The Ring Two
3) Steamboy

The Ring Two
She let the dead get in. I hate it when that happens. Samara is back and all she wants is a little love, so she tries to take over the life of Naomi Watt's son. Creepy.
Could be good. They brought in the original Japanese director. Could be bad. It is a sequel.
Thing to get the most excited about: Sissy Spacek's return to the horror genre.

Ice Princess
Talk about creepy. Figure skaters without any normal teen angst. Buy the bootleg for your niece.

Melinda and Melinda
This looks like the most worthwhile film Woody Allen (incestuous pedophile and I don't care if she was adopted you sicko) has put out in a great while. It’s the story of one very screwed up woman trying to straighten out her life told two different ways simultaneously. From one perspective, it’s a comedy. From the other, it’s a drama.
This is the kind of originality I can get excited about.

Steamboy
An anime cartoon based on a fractured family of inventors in turn of the century London, when steam was the primary energy source.
No, it won't follow any scientific logic or historical fact, but who cares? Its anime with Oscar winning actors!

Milk and Honey
Umm. I haven't heard anything about this, have you? All I know is that it’s about the breakdown of a relationship over the span of one night in New York. I'll bet he just wasn’t that into her.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 8:22 PM

March 10, 2005

March 11th Film Releases

Pacifier?! Pacifier is number one at the box office? I guess that doesn't count all the people who ran out midway through the film because it was lowering the audience's collective IQ.
See good movies people. Don't make careless movie going decisions, it only leads to sequels.

1) Millions
2) Upside to Anger
3) In My Country

The Passion of the Christ (The Passion Recut)
Now with less gore!!! What is this? If you can't get to church, see the movie? Why read the New Testament when you can see the movie?

In My Country
Two journalists covering the Reconciliation Hearings in South Africa, go into the cities and town to hear stories of oppression from the very people who experienced it. Self Discovery and Catharsis served with the usual fare of abhorred human rights violations.

Hostage
A couple rookies take the mafia’s accountant hostage, so the mafia takes Bruce Willis' family hostage to make sure the rescue job gets done right. Die Hard: The Reincarnation.

Robots
This little contraption has a dream of repairing other gizmos so they don't get taken to the trash heep. I only care if he fixes cars. I am going to need a new transmission in the near future.
Great if you have kids, too much other stuff worth seeing if you don't.

Millions
A little guy with a powerful imagination and a recently deceased Mum finds a bag of money and believes it's a gift from God and wants to do good things with it. His older brother isn't so sure about the Holy Ghost and wants to get cool clothes and a Game Boy. The thief who stole the money is willing to kill them to get it back.

The Upside to Anger
I love Joan Allen. Don't you? She plays the (drunk) matriarch of a family of four daughters whose father ran off. Kevin Costner plays a retired (drunk) baseball player (with an actual personality) who wants to get into Mom's pants and ingratiate himself into the family.
I am curious to see what a male comedian can do with a female dominated story. That, and you know my favorite premise - f*ed up people doing f*ed up things! Keep to that and you'll never go wrong.

The Boys from County Clare
I have actually seen this. It played at the Santa Barbara film Festival last year and I thought it was good. Two estranged brothers, who are not above resorting to sabotage, compete against each other in a music competition. If you like Irish music and dysfunctional family comedies, then see this. Otherwise, order it on Netflix.

Dot the i
I saw the trailer. I read the synopsis. I still don't get it. An engaged woman has doubts when she meets another man, then all hell breaks loose. And I don't mean the kind of hell you expect. This looks like really strange hell.
If you're in the mood for a romantic thriller with a really hot cast, then this could be fun.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 6:51 PM

March 3, 2005

Head Injuries & Sex Addicts In Blue Collar Baltimore

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I haven't seen this movie. I heard it was pretty bad. Like, dirrrrty bad. Like perverted "pulsating butthole" bad..

But then again, it's John Waters.

"Lust is in the air on Harford Road and Sylvia Stickles, a grumpy, repressed middle-aged Baltimorean, doesn't like it. Though Sylvia's handsome husband Vaughn still has marital urges, his wife could not be less interested -- she has more important things to do. Not only does Sylvia run the family's Pinewood Park and Pay convenience store, she's also responsible for watching over her exhibitionist daughter Caprice. A go-go dancer known to her adoring fans as Ursula Udders, Caprice and her stupendously enlarged breasts are currently under house arrest after several nude and disorderly violations. But Sylvia's world is turned upside down one day after suffering a concussion in a freak traffic accident. Sexy tow-truck driver Ray-Ray Perkins rushes to her aid, and the stricken Sylvia realizes he is no ordinary service man; he's a sexual healer who brings Sylvia's hidden cauldron of lust to the boiling point."

The cast highlights favorites Tracey Ullman, Johnny Knoxville, Selma Blair, Chris Isaak, Suzanne Shepherd, Mink Stole, and Patricia Hearst. You might recognize some from previous Waters films.

Think about this: "If you are a pervert, and like a movie that is only about one thing, sex, you are going to love this movie."

John Waters is known for his films including, "Cecil B. DeMented," "Serial Mom," "Cry-Baby," "Hairspray," "Polyester," and "Pink Flamingos."

If you see it, let me know how it is. Just don't take your mom.

Rating: NC-17
Movie summary taken from IMDB.com

Posted by xx - aprilfalling - xx at 3:53 PM

February 10, 2005

February 11th Film Releases

I am sick. I have one week left before my first PRB tournament and I can't stop my nose from dripping toxic ooze (I'm exaggerating the nature of the ooze for dramatic effect).
Fear not! I may be tired and infirmed, but I will not leave you without movie recommendations for the coming weekend. This, and this alone, is how I will earn myself a spot on the fast track to heaven. This is the Lord's work. Treating lepers in Calcutta is for wimps.

1) Inside Deep Throat
2) Uncle Nino
3) Ong-Bak

Hitch
This is being stupidly marketed as the perfect date movie. Guys, do you really want to take your girlfriend to a movie featuring a genuinely nice leading character with loads of personality to match is exceptional empathy for women and natural charm? Girls, do you really want to buy into another stereotype driven movie where all the men are flawed and the women are perfect? All that does is propagate the myth of inequity between the sexes and that doesn't do anyone any good.
People, this is the equivalent hiring a contortionist for him/her to sleep with on Valentines Day. Just try to measure up after that.

Pooh's Hephalump Movie
Not suggested for people who have reached puberty and beyond.

Inside Deep Throat
Now this is the perfect date movie. It's not a porno; it's a documentary about a porno. A physical and intellectual stimulant all rolled into one! What could be better?
My biggest reason for wanting to go see it - a clip of a little old lady telling the news cameramen that she didn't like being told what she could and could not see. "If I want to go see a dirty picture, then by golly I'm going to see a dirty picture." Go grandma! Get your groove on!

Ong-Bak
If you thought Hong Kong martial arts pictures featured amazing human feats, try Thai martial arts pictures. Plot? Screw the plot. This is fast as lightning Thai style fighting!

Uncle Nino
Good luck finding this in your local theater. An Italian family is Chicago is turned upside down when a father's estranged uncle comes to visit. (I was at a loss for #2)

Bride and Prejudice
Just when you thought you've seen every variation on that Jane Austen novel, Bollywood takes a crack at it. What's that whirring sound? Oh, that's just Jane spinning in her grave.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 8:03 PM

February 3, 2005

February 4th Film Releases

Sometimes I think this may be my favorite time of year. After Oscar season, but before the holiday blockbusters. This is when all the quirky independent films come out for their one shot at profitability. So go and give an oddly entertaining film a helping hand. It's not like you have anything better to see.

1) Rory O'Shea Was Here
2) Assisted Living
3) The Nomi Song

The Boogeyman
Brave little Camden has to confront his childhood demon before he can go to heaven. Ooooh, Xena's in it too. Those two monumental errors in casting alone make me want to stay away from any theater showing this movie.

The Wedding Date
Beautiful Jewish girl with so many neuroses she can't score a date to her sister's wedding (this is sounding oddly prophetic), so she hires a professional male escort and ends up falling for him.
A) Cliché. I saw how this movie ends when I saw Pretty Woman at the tender age of young. Hookers never look that good and who on earth would take a gigolo to meet their family?
B) If I wanted two hours of nuerotic self-loathing, I would go back on JDate or rent a Woody Allen flick. Both if I really felt like torturing myself.

Assisted Living
A stoned out loser who works at a nursing home and does nothing but good naturedly screw with the patients, get mistaken by one of the residents for her son.
Try and get find the trailer online; it looks funny as hell in the sweetest way possible.

Rory O'Shea Was Here
Cripple FIGHT!!! A snotty bastard with muscular dystrophy and his best friend, a guy with cerebral palsy, try to live fast and die, well, in fairly descent shape with the help of a young assistant, whom they hired because of her excellent "qualifications."

The Nomi Song
A documentary about New York 80's Club Kid icon, Klaus Nomi, who liked to dress like an alien and sing dance music.

Nobody Knows
A group of siblings, all having different fathers, are abandoned by their mother in Tokyo. The eldest does his best to keep the family together and alive despite the trying circumstances.
It's getting a lot of press and awards, and it almost made my top three, but the 80's is really hot right now and I was feeling slightly nostalgic. Otherwise, it's a toss up.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 7:18 PM

January 27, 2005

January 28th Film Releases

I leave you alone for two measly weeks and you go off and make Are We There Yet? the #1 movie in America. What were you thinking? All I ask is that you make one wise choice per week with your movie going dollars and you do this. These sorts of things always result in grave consequences, like Are We There Yet? 2.
For those of you who haven't seen it, but are tempted - It doesn't really star Ice Cube. It's actually alter ego, Ice Slushy. Not hard, and syrupy sweet coming up after the unsuppressed urge to gag.

1) Aliens of the Deep
2) Check out something nominated for a Golden Globe or an Oscar, everything else sucks

Alone in the Dark
Christian Slater plays a paranormal investigator. That boob-flashing boozehound, Tara Reid, co-stars. Enough said.

Hide and Seek
Finally, the perfect role for Dakota Fanning - playing the part of a very creepy little girl with an imaginary friend who likes to torment her father and kill people.
How much farther can Deniro fall? He was good once, wasn't he?

Aliens of the Deep
The one is for all us science nerds out there. The King of the World takes us on a 3D IMAX adventure to the deepest parts of the ocean to explore marine that I'm not sure has ever been shown to the masses.
He also brings along three hot, young scientists to partake in the expedition and give us the expert's point of view. Only in Hollywood.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 7:35 PM

January 17, 2005

Chick Flicks by The Teacher

When my male roommates go out of town, I make it a point to rent "chick flicks" that I would otherwise not watch. And I always learn that there is a reason I would not watch these movies otherwise. They're crap. Really. Here are some reviews of movies I watched this last weekend:

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Love Actually - This was the best of the bunch. It's sappy and sweet, and even though I took a "no Hugh Grant movies" vow after the debacle that was Four Weddings, we can overlook Hugh Grant's total lack of acting ability for the excellence of Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson and Colin Firth (yummy!). The music is also good - so good, that I would actually buy the soundtrack! This movie is set at Christmas time, and would be a good holiday rental, as it's all about the redeeming power of love, in its many forms. I laughed, I cried; I enjoyed it unapologetically. The teacher gives it an A.

Bridget Jones' Diary - This movie was an amusing little stinker. Renee Zellwiger looks like crap all the way through it, Colin Firth is yummy, and Hugh Grant makes a good bad guy. But the problem is that the character of Bridget is never really established, and as such, you don't give a hoot about what happens to her. Should have spent more time on her and her friends building the character. The teacher gives it a C for not enough development.

Lost in Translation - I know this movie was well-done, but I yawned all the way through it. What exactly is the point? Tokyo is a place I never want to spend any time at all! Good character development and fine acting from Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson save a tedious plot. Sofia Coppola is probably a bore at cocktail parties. The teacher gives it a B for good acting, C for no thesis whatsoever.

Old School - Can you believe I watched this? It's a pathetic remake of Animal House featuring guys who desperately want to grow up and be men, but can't. The women are no better, as they seek to emasculate the men they supposedly love. The whole thing is a nightmare with two funny bits, which would have been better as a SNL skit. Vince Vaughn is the only bright spot, playing the only intelligent male in the movie. You will like this if you are pre-teen or a male of any age. The teacher gives it a B- for being true to form.

Posted by DJWanda at 12:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 6, 2005

January 7th Film Releases

Happy New Year! You get no new movies. At least none worth your hard earned $10.

What's being released:
1) White Noise
2) Solitude

What you should actually go see:
1) Kinsey
2) Hotel Rawanda
3) In Good Company (I'm a sucker for these kinds of stories)

Well, at least it will be short.

White Noise
A horror story about the dead using eletronic devices to talk to the living. All this time I thought I just had a sucky mobile phone service, when it was really grandma trying to tell me not to call that guy who never calls me back (again). Thanks grandma! Next time send a letter.

Solitude
Demeted siblings play games with eachother while manipulating an outside observer. A little too Norman Rockwell for me. Maybe grandma will like it.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 8:12 PM | TrackBack

December 31, 2004

December 31st Film Releases

It is the last day (okay evening, I got off to a late start) of 2004, and we all know what that means - the studios are pushing our their last attempts at Oscar nominations. Movies with good buzz, but executives were unsure if it was Oscar worthy buzz.
So now you can push these out in hopes of generating some late breaking Oscar quality talk, without looking like a schmuck if it doesn't work out and you get completely ignored in the nomination process.
In my eyes, you'll still look like a schmuck.

1) In Good Company
2) The Merchant of Venice
3) A Love Song for Bobby Long


Beyond the Sea
If it weren’t for the fact that this was a biopic of Bobby Darrin, the movie would have been more appropriately titled, "Jerks and the Gorgeous Women the Mysteriously Love Them." No doubt entertaining, but there are far better choices available and this will be out on DVD soon Sandra Dee.

In Good Company
I was tempted to ignore this weekend entirely, but I really wanted to talk about this picture.
A good husband and father gets demoted and then a young and uncertain business school grad gets his old job and becomes his boss. The fresh-faced manager then falls in love with his subordinate's daughter, which adds new layers to an already complicated work relationship.
It looks funny, poignant, and touches on the nature of pride verses responsibility and the bond between fathers and daughters.
Crap like that always brings me to tears.

The Assassination of Richard Nixon
Don't bother. It's all about a guy who's so depressed he feels that killing the President is the only solution. Because he's depressed, it makes for a very slow movie, which makes you depressed, and no good can come of that.

The Merchant of Venice
Jeremy Irons, Joseph Fines, and Al Pachino interpret the words of Shakespeare. How can you go wrong?

A Love Song for Bobby Long
I guess Scarlett Johanson has been a very busy girl. Here she plays young (almost but not quite) white trash, who co-inherits a house in New Orleans along with a ner-do-well English professor and his protégé. She moves in and begins to change things for the better.
It sounds tired but the dialogue seems interesting.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 5:48 PM | TrackBack

December 9, 2004

December 10th Film Releases

This Hanukkah weekend we have been gifted with two movies. Two. I may be a little rusty on my Judaism here, but I'm pretty sure we're entitled to EIGHT days of presents. Two is for the goyem. Eight is whole reason Hanukkah kicks Santa's ass. Don't cheapen it.
And they say Jews run Hollywood.

1) Ocean's 12
2) Blade Trinity
3) Closer (released last week, but I'm trying to catch up)

Ocean's 12
And the Lord sayeth, "Women - I gift onto you the handsome presence and charm of George Clooney." And there was much rejoicing. Then the Lord speaketh, "Ladies you have endured much hardship - I bless you with the all powerful good looks of Brad Pitt." And domesticated animals were sacrificed in His name. This pleased the Lord and he announceth, "Girlfriends thou art awesome! Enjoy yourself a hunk of Matt Damon." And all womankind threw themselves into a fit of unbridled mirth.
Guys may enjoy this movie too.

Blade Trinity
Wesley Snipes gives vampire hunting one last shot by going after the first vampire. I hear it’s all of the stuff you loved about the first two without all the crap that made you want a refund.
The casting alone is interesting enough to be worth the price of admission. Parker Posey, HHH, Jessica Beals, and Ryan Reynolds. An indie queen, a pro-wrestler, a choir girl, and a hottie known for lukewarm comedy. Huh?

Closer
My favorite topic! Screwed up people doing screwed up things (to each other).
Finally, someone gave Clive Owen (aka Super Hotness) a role where he can show some personality and actually, well, act. It's about time. If he did one more stoic hero movie I was going to have to cut him from my list of potential soul mates.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 8:44 PM | TrackBack

November 11, 2004

October 12th Film Releases

Apparently the studios did not recieve my manifesto entitled, "No Christmas Before Thanksgiving," because this week my faithful, we have not one, but TWO movies all about Santa Claus' love and the power of commerce. I could just retch.

1) Kinsey
2) Finding Neverland
3) Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

Polar Express
I'm sure you know all about this movie by now. Remember the cause and see it after turkey day.

Kinsey
I have been waiting for this movie for months! This is a biopic about Alfred Kinsey, a biologist who made a name for himself through studying human sexual behavior during one of the most uptight decades of the last century.
Without him, we would still think the missionary position was risqué.

Seed of Chucky
I really want to hate this movie. You have no idea how much I want to hate this movie. The only problem is, it's very tongue in cheek. Jennifer Tilly plays herself and one of the evil dolls, and John Waters (the King of Bad Taste) also has a small roll.
It's not going to be good and it's not even trying to be good. You've got to love that.

After the Sunset
If I wanted to see another jewel thief movie, I'd rent The Great Muppet Caper.

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason
Finally, a heroine who makes me look intelligent and self-assured. Now that Ms. Jones has the boyfriend, how on earth does she prevent herself from sabotaging the whole relationship?
I loved the books and I've been waiting on pins and needles for the second installment.

Finding Neverland
This is Johnny Depp's Oscar vehicle for 2004. The film is about JM Barrie and the inspiration behind his play Peter Pan.
I doubt you'll see any Keith Richards impressions, but I've never seen Depp play a character that wasn't deeply disturbed. A tendency which makes for great theater.

Veer Zaara
An Indian fighter pilot falls in love with a Pakistani woman and has 20 years in prison to recount their affaire.
I'll have no trouble missing this one.

Noel
A bunch of strangers in New York come together to celebrate Christmas. Now that is a miracle.
You know the rule. Don't be tempted by this pile of garbage, see it on TNT around Thanksgiving, that way you won't be supporting it in the theaters. Manifesto maintained.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 7:31 PM | TrackBack

October 21, 2004

October 22nd Film Releases

After the catastrophe, which was last week's releases, I am finally starting to see some movies I can really get behind.
Except for the Christmas movie. I am over a month away from being ready for a Christmas Movie.

1) Sideways
2) Undertow
3) The Machinist

The Grudge
They say that no one can beat American innovation and creativity, but when a Hollywood producer hires a Japanese director to remake his own movie in English instead of Japanese and casting a little blonde TV falling-star as the lead (to make it more palatable to US consumers, of course) I begin to have my doubts.
Go get a copy of the original Japanese version (which even has the same name) and flip Sam Ramie the bird. In the words of John Kerry, "We can do better." Besides, I hear they have this great new technology called - Subtitles.

Sideways
A TV fallen-star is about to get married, so his best friend (a never published writer) takes him on a trip through the Los Olivos wine country as a last hurrah before committing to the ball and chain. While they're busy doing manly wine country things (don't ask, I'm lost on that one), they meet two women and decide to have a little more than just a hurrah.
It's gotten great reviews and trailer looks more than descent. Dark romantic comedy and one of the guys gets beaten to a pulp by Sandra Oh. I love her.

The Machinist
Some people get insomnia. You take some Ambien or some other kind of opiate and drift right off to dreamland. All better.
This guy hasn't slept in a YEAR is bone thin and makes a living operating heavy machinery. Can you see the accident coming? How about the paranoid hallucinations?
Go see this instead of that remake if you want something scary. I'm not sure that it's better, but at least it's original.

Surviving Christmas
Gandolfini finally found a non-mafia role, but it's as the support for a lead who makes me want to puke.
I'll stick to my rule from last year on this one: "No justice, no peace; and no Christmas before Thanksgiving." Amen.

Vera Drake
A housewife does abortions on the side in 1950's England. Apparently it was frowned upon back then and grandma was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
This is her story. Da! Da! (Law & Order sound effect)

Celsius 41.11
The conservative answer to Fahrenheit 9/11. Good luck even finding it.

Stella Street
A bunch of people imitating movie stars move into a quiet suburb of London.
I'm not sure I can say, "No" fast enough.

Lightning in a Bottle
A documentary about a night when a bunch of Blues pioneers and future stars took over Radio City Music Hall.
I love Blues, but not enough to see this movie.

Undertow
Can't get enough family dysfunction? A backwoods Southerner is bringing up his two boys on his own quite handily. That is until his ex-convict bother shows to terrorize them all until he gets his share of the inheritance.
I'm very curious to see Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot) in this non-gay coming of age role. Could be good.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 6:38 PM | TrackBack

October 14, 2004

October 15th Film Releases

A lot of movies in limited release this weekend. It's no hemorrhage, but it does seem that the artery of good movies has been pierced in several places.

1) PS
2) Eulogy
3) Being Julia

Stupid Laughs (and small hope that another Stone/Parker movie will get an Oscar nomination for best song): Team America: World Police

Team America: World Police
Puppets and celebrity caricatures take on terrorism and seek to destroy any gigantic egos that stand in their way!

Shall We Dance
I saw the original Japanese version (don't I sound like a film expert), and found it sweet. Not terribly compelling, but sweet. Go rent the Japanese version. JLo isn't in it.

PS (Limited Release)
A professor meets a graduate student who shares the same name and likeness of her long dead high school sweetheart. Questions of reincarnation, second chances, and strange delusions come into play as she develops a romantic relationship with the doppelganger.
Writer/Director Dylan Kidd also directed Rodger Dodger, one of my favorite movies from last year (or was it two years ago?).

The Final Cut (Limited Release)
In this story, the rich and powerful can have chips implanted into their heads, which record their entire lives. Robin Williams plays the master editor who turns the 3 hour Pearl Harbor of an individual's memories into a 30 second Gap commercial. He is comfortably detached in his profession, until he finds a memory that links to a mystery in his own life. Life in danger, a lot of running, more running than you can safely believe Robin Williams is capable of, truth is discovered, bad people get punished, justice is served.
Moving on.

Eulogy (Limited Release)
A dysfunctional family comes together to burry their asshole of a patriarch.
Humor just the way I like it. Close to home and pitch black.

Stage Beauty
An actor, during the 17th century, who specializes in playing women's roles, is suddenly out of a job when King Charles allows girls to act on stage instead of just for husbands and boyfriends.

Hair Show (Limited Release)
Pray that it stays limited.

Riding The Bullet (Limited Release)
Steven King novel adaptation about a guy who hitches a ride to see his dying mother. Coming soon to DVD.

Spin (Limited Release)
After his parents die in a plane crash a young boy is taken in by his uncle and raised by ranch hands. After years of social exclusion by the locals, he reunites with an old friend who brings him out of his isolation.
I can't tell you much more than that. I haven't seen any trailers or reviews. My best guess is that it could be good, but that there's better out there.

Being Julia (LA/NY only)
An actress on the 1930's British stage takes personal melodrama to a new level.
These types of personalities make for fantastic entertainment, provided that they are kept at arm's length or safely on screen.

The Dust Factory (Limited Release)
A young boy has a near fatal accident and wakes up in a fantasy world. Go if you're 7.

Therese: The Story of Saint Therese of Lisieux (Limited Release)
A young woman goes to the Vatican to become a nun then proceeds to pray to God to grant her Sainthood. I wonder if she'll become one of those cool Saints that has her finger bones and eye balls stored away in some remote abbey in Sicily. That would be awesome!

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 7:14 PM | TrackBack

September 30, 2004

October 1st Film Releases

Just when thought Paul Thomas Anderson, Spike Jones, Charlie Kauffman cornered the market on deranged comedy, David O. Russell throws his hat in the ring. One day, I'm sure, this will get completely played out.

1) I Heart Huckabees
2) Dig!
3) Woman Thou Art Loosed
(Shark Tale finishing a close fourth)

I Heart Huckabees
A young corporate drone or environmental activist (I've found conflicting reports on this) is at a crossroads and decides to enlist a pair of existential detectives to examine his life and tell him how he can make it spiritually better. The story also involves a yuppie, a spokes model, a fireman, a valet, and a Wal-Mart/Target-like super store.
In it's most essential form, it is simply over-your-head comedy. If you have a taste for the bizarre (like me) you may in fact enjoy this.

Ladder 49
A fireman about to die in a towering inferno takes the time to reflect on his life and the events that lead up to that moment. Most people would be too busy craping their pants for any kind of introspection, but whatever.
I'll take a wild guess and say his fellow firemen save him and he lives happily ever after. There, now you don't have to waste your $10 seeing it.

Shark Tale
The son of a shark mafia don is a determined pacifist and there fore enlists a fish who likes to take short cuts to help him fake his own death and bring the fish some ill-earned glory.
Good cast. Cliché story.

Going Up River: The Long War of John Kerry
A documentary about John Kerry's service during the war, his public denouncement of the Vietnam War after his tour of duty, and his career as a prosecutor and politician.
I'm guessing all those people who think Bush is a man of courage and conviction will not be seeing this movie, for fear of being faced with the real thing.

Woman Thou Art Loosed
A young woman battles poverty and drug addiction only to go nuts and start shooting randomly into a church audience. Is that considered a step up?

Dig!
In the war of "Indier Than Thou" there are no fiercer rivals than the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jamestown Massacre. Watch this documentary as they battle for the title of "Most Avant-Garde."

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 7:09 PM | TrackBack

September 23, 2004

September 25th Film Releases

Since I never want to date again after reading Lucky's post, I'll be going to the movies this weekend and replacing the sensation of an orgasm with chocolate. Do you think I can talk the clerk into replacing the popcorn in an extra large tub with M&Ms?

1) Shaun of the Dead
2) The Motorcycle Diaries
3) The Forgotten

The Forgotten
This is just pain freaky. Parents loose their children and are then told that their offspring had never existed. All evidence of these kids ever being around disappears. Very Big Brother turns kidnapper. Julianne Moore stars and I think she's fantastic, so this could be worthwhile.

Shaun of the Dean
A British slacker and his friends go out drinking at the pub and sober up in a world full of Zombies. Screw the world, save yourselves!
I have been waiting for the movie to come out for over a month. It's about time someone parodied the zombie movies and thank god it's a Brit! Think splatter comedy. Think Monty Python's the Garden Party. Laughter doesn't get much bloodier.

First Daughter
I'm not even going to bother. Go watch something on the WB instead. Too bad, Marc Blucas is hot. Maybe one day he'll find a role worthy of my $10.

A Dirty Shame
Tracy Ullman plays a sexually repressed housewife who gets hit on the head and becomes the sluttiest woman in town. It may not be Divine eating dog crap, but it is a John Waters movie.

The Last Shot
An FBI agent recruits an unwitting director to make a fake movie as a sting operation to bust the local mob boss. I heard the true version of the story on This American Life and found it hysterical, but I hear it didn't translate well onto film. Too bad.
Lesson to be learned - Don't hire movie people to make fun of movie people. They aren't all that into self-depreciating humor.

Motorcycle Diaries
The young man who will later be known as communist revolutionary Che Guevara goes on a motorcycle journey all over South America and has experiences that will shape him into the man he will become.
See the movie, get the t-shirt.

The Yes Men
Who knew global activism could be so funny or so boring? Rent it on DVD so that you can fast forward through all the talking and get straight to the pranks.

Infernal Affairs
Two crooked cops are assigned the task of looking for the traitor among them.
I'll wait for Scorsese to make his version in English and lament about how I should have seen it in Japanese. That way I appear to be an intellectual movie snob without having to read subtitles. Clever me.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 8:23 PM | TrackBack

September 9, 2004

September 10th Film Releases

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? No kids, we're still not at Oscar season. This week's releases make that fact painfully obvious.
Damn you studio system! Damn you to hell!!!

1) Criminal
2) Paper Clips
3) Screw it. Stay home and jerk off.

I am not going to accept the probable excuse of "it's September 11th, we're trying to be sensitive to a distraught and mourning nation." Since when was Hollywood ever sensitive? Since when did potential profit not replace conscience? I am terribly disappointed.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Skinny Mini must save Raccoon City from a virus that turns people into zombies.
Is it just me, or does this little bit of casting featuring a stick figure/super model as a zombie-killing machine seem a little bit far-fetched. If I were in the driver's seat on this movie, you’d be seeing a hard-core butch lesbian or Vin Diesel in drag in the role of Alice before Milla Jovovov-whatever even had a chance to audition.
Now that, I would pay $10 to see.

Criminal
A con artist and his protégé attempt to pull of the score of a lifetime, but not before blowing it all to hell. Good cast, but it's a first attempt at the helm for Steven Soderbergh's assistant director. Hmmm. Looks like a gamble to me.

Cellular
A woman being held hostage MacGyver’s a smashed telephone and randomly connects to some guy on his cell phone. Lucky for her, he just happens to be a Good Samaritan who doesn't mind risking his life for someone he doesn't even know.
What are the odds that this guy is that stupid?

Reconstruction
A young man has a love affair with a married woman. He's in love. How sweet. He wakes up to find his entire life is gone. His apartment isn't his. His friends have no idea who he is. Job gone. Adulteress doesn’t even recognize him. Where most people would turn themselves into the local mental ward, this little Frenchman decides he needs to get his girlfriend back and does whatever it takes to feel her love again. Ah, Amore!

Paper Clips
A class of Southeastern middle school students collects 6 million paper clips from 6 million people to represent all the Jews who died in the Holocaust.
I'll admit it. I cried like a baby during the trailer. We survived, therefore we are Jewish.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 7:39 PM | TrackBack

September 2, 2004

September 3rd Film Releases

Okay, so I missed a week (maybe two I've lost track)(What am I? A machine!? Go pick on someone who doesn't have a life. Oh wait. That's me.). That's no excuse for the studios to release a week of pure trash. I did not deserve this.
In retaliation, I will recommend previous weeks releases that would have made my top three list had I been slightly less lazy. Procrastination and I are familiar friends.

1) Hero
2) Vanity Fair
3) Suspect Zero

Vanity Fair
Reese Witherspoon plays a poor Londoner in 19th century(?) England, trying to climb her way up high society's steep ladder. I like Reese, and I like themes involving women who kick ass. This could be worthwhile.

The Cookout
I'd rather choke on an Adkins diet than see this bowel movement about a basketball star that tries to keep it real by throwing a block party.

Paparazzi
A rising star is hounded by the evil shutterbugs until his family is killed in an accident al a Princess Di, then he gets his vengeance on.

Wicker Park
I'm still having trouble figuring out the plot of this movie out. Its a little bit Single White Female with some other stuff thrown in for good measure. The synopsis and trailers throw around the word "obsession" a lot. This could be good.
Then again, Josh Hartnett and Mathew Lillard are at the helm. This could suck.

Warriors of Heaven and Earth
Another sub-par kung fu movie. You're better off seeing Hero, which is stunning.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 8:25 PM | TrackBack

August 19, 2004

August 20th Film Releases

Happy Birthday Tink and Barflies alum, Yvonne C.. In honor of your birthday, Hollywood has released a f@#*ed up coming age film, a couple seemingly worthwhile foreign films, a prequel to the Exorcist, and a whole lot of crap. Luckily, Sunset Junction is this weekend, so who needs a good movie when you have X?

1) Mean Creek
2) Nicotina
3) The Women of Rosenstrasse

Exorcist: The Beginning
Good cast (you can't go wrong with Stellan Skarsgaurd) but I've heard not so nice things about the script and cast. All in all this is the kind of pandering movie that I'd rather wait to see on someone else's stolen cable than pay my precious $10 to see it in the theater.

Without a Paddle
Just looking at the poster makes my skin crawl. I like Seth Green, but when is he going to start picking descent roles?

Mean Creek
Young revenge gone terribly wrong. You know how I feel about movies revolving around messed up people doing messed up things. All scripts should have that basic premise. They can call it "The Lauren."

Benji: Off the Leash!
If you take your kids to see this movie, they will grow up to be good for nothing whores who blame you for everything. You've been warned.

Nicotina
A crime caper entry from South of the border. This one features a computer hacker who botches a deal with Russian Mafioso over his sexy neighbor and lots and lots of cigarettes. Apparently tobacco causes more than just cancer.

Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War
When Fahrenheit 9/11 turned out to have the explosive impact of a fart on the Bush administration, I'm beginning to fear that George W. is mysteriously untouchable and that this film won't do much better. Good luck anyway.

The Women of Rosenstrasse
A bunch a Polish women protest the captivity of their husbands under the Nazi regime regardless of the consequences to themselves. I'm a sucker for a good WWII story.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 8:38 PM | TrackBack

July 29, 2004

July 30th Film Releases

This is going to be a tough week for me. It's not Oscar season yet, so there aren't more good movies than are spaces in my top 3, but this is a very close top 3.

1) She Hate Me
2) Garden State
3) The Village

Sperm donors, disaffected youths, and monsters! Oh my!


The Village
No one is better at making you afraid of what you don't know than M. Night Shyamalan. Yes, he may have a formula, but it's one very good formula. I'll let you know when it stops working.

The Manchurian Candidate
I don't know why people say that the citizens of LA don't care about the environment. People who work in Hollywood recycle all the time.

Thunderbirds
Another recycling effort. This time it's a 60's TV show that no one ever watched about a family with nifty planes who fight evil.
Maybe it would be better if producers stopped recycling crap.

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
What's the big deal about pot? Really. Humor me. I've tried it and it made me do was want hack up a lung. The worst part about the experience was that I was actually stupid enough to try it again. Peer pressure is a bitch. Don't let anyone tell you different.
This movie is a dumbed down version of a Cheech and Chong flick.

She Hate Me
A white-collar biotech executive is fired for being a whistle blower and forced to father children for lesbians in order to make ends meet. The cherry on top of this sundae of plot is the fact that the movie was written and directed by Spike Lee. I love him.
"A sperm bank? That's like trying to Gucci at Wal-Mart." Funniest line I've heard all year.

Garden State
If you've seen Scrubs and witnessed Zach Braff in his goofy comedic brilliance, then you will be genuinely surprised by this movie.
This movie about a young man returning home during his 1/4 life crisis is visually striking and written with what I can only call a solemn quirkiness which I find to be a daring first writer and director effort for Braff. I can't wait to see it, but only after She Hate Me. Age before beauty, after all.

Intimate Strangers
A beautiful young woman tells all her secrets to a psychiatrist, who doesn't have the heart to tell her that he is actually a tax accountant. Opps. That never happens to the ugly chicks.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 8:05 PM | TrackBack

July 15, 2004

July 16th Film Releases

Nothing like sex and drugs to get me clamoring for a movie. Too bad there's no rock and roll. I always crave rock and roll after a hearty serving of sex and drugs.

1) Maria Full of Grace
2) Door in the Floor
3) Seducing Dr. Lewis


I, Robot
I don't really know how long I've been doing these film recommendations, but long enough to begin seeing patterns form. Take this film for instance. I'm not sure who's promoting it, but they've decided to prerelease a lot of clips from the movie over the Internet in anticipation of the feature. This is never a good sign. In movieland we consider this a sign of weakness and desperation, as in "we lack the confidence to promote this film off of strength of story and natural word of mouth, so we hope that by showing you the best scenes beforehand, you'll be tempted to squander your $10 on our failed attempt at fine cinema."
Don't waste your time; you can see most of it on the film's web site anyway.

Cinderella Story
Not recommended for people past the age of puberty. Unless your one of those creepy Hillary Duff fans who are about to be put in prison for downloading child porn. You make me sick.

Door in the Floor
A married couple grows further and further apart after the death of their two sons. The husband, a children's book writer, hires a young man to be his personal assistant and the third party forces the couple to deal with the issues of loss that they had been ignoring.
Sorry I wasn't funny.

Touch of Pink
A Muslim Indian must hide his obvious gayness from his overbearing mother who is determined to find him a wife.
Been there, done that. Great web site though.

Maria Full of Grace
What is a bright young unmarried pregnant girl from Columbia supposed to do with her life when the traditional options seem dismally dead end? Why lead the glamorous life of a drug mule and learn to relax her throat, of course! Oh the places she'll go! The DEA holding cells she'll see!

Seducing Dr. Lewis
A town on the verge of bankruptcy must convince a young doctor to set up his practice there in order to lure a factory to the area and save the community.
Think of it as Northern Exposure, only French-Canadian.

Zhou Yu's Train
A woman is tempted to end her long distance relationship by a man she meets on a train. Like these things ever work out.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 8:48 PM | TrackBack

July 8, 2004

July 9th Film Releases

Will the miracles never cease? Once again a documentary has made it into my top 3, this time it's a long hard look at what's really running this country - corporations. As a yuppie, I have a slight twinge of fear as to the light this film will cast my people in. But, as a citizen who went through years of unemployment and is still feeling the aftershocks of the Enron scandal among others, I can't wait to see a documentary really stick it to corporate America.

1) Anchorman
2) The Corporation
3) I'd rather recommend the home video of my bat mitzva than whatever else is being released this weekend


King Arthur
Let me start by saying, Clive Owen is hot. Now I will continue by stating that the guy who directed The Replacement Killers and Tears of the Sun (both remembered as abominations) also directed this film (and he isn't exactly Gaelic either). I will end by saying, Clive Owen is hot (but you can see him in I'll Sleep When I'm Dead).

Anchorman
Will Farrell plays a San Diego TV news anchorman who is desperately trying to keep television journalism an all boys club while Christina Applegate proves herself as the first female anchor. Sure, it looks stupid, but it also looks funny, and if it's funnier than it is stupid, then it could be a winner.

Sleepover
Sorry boys, these kids don't explore lesbian sex.

Riding Giants
A documentary about the history of surf culture. Dude, I am so not going.

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
I've seen this and it sucked. After three hours of mind numbing complaining and nagging and fighting, I only saw this band do one cool thing. They immediately made their new bassist a full-fledged member of the band with an equal share of the profits. I think that was on day 3,957 of the documentary.

The Corporation (limited release)
A look at the rise of corporations in recent history and their effect on society. If you thought Michael Moore was mad in Fahrenheit 9/11, wait until you get a load of these guys. Surprisingly enough, you will hear a bunch of high profile CEOs speak very candidly about their tenure as leaders of business as we know it.
If you can find it, go see it. In LA, it's playing at the Nuart in Santa Monica.

PS: Clive Owen is hot.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 8:50 PM | TrackBack

July 1, 2004

July 1st Film Releases

Happy 4th of July everyone! Some people know July 4th as the weekend of our nation's independence from Brittan. Studio executives understand that it is the weekend that will either make or break their biggest feature of the year. Vote with your heart and not with the masses.

1) The Clearing
2) De-Lovely
3) Spiderman 2

Spiderman 2
I will freely admit that during the romantic dnouement of the previous Spiderman film (you know, when MJ declared her love for PP while simultaneously figuring out that PP is SM) I laughed out loud and others joined me. I snickered and I was not alone.
Now there's a new entry and it is being hyped to death. I do not doubt that the fight scenes will be fantastic, but the more down to earth elements, like the love scenes and anything involving human-to-human interaction, will probably be unrealistic, and I will openly snicker once more.

De-Lovely
Cole Porter (played by Kevin Kline) looks back on his life through the songs he wrote. On the plus side, there are performances by Elvis Costello and Diana Krall. On the down side, you have to grind your teeth as Alanis Morrisset and Robbie Williams try to do jazz. What kind of drugs was casting on?

Before Sunset
Can you fit a very long, drawn out relationship into one single day? Ethan Hawk and that piece of Eurotrash give it another shot. But why? Could you imagine that pitch? "I want to film two hours of just two talking in different locations around Paris." Translation: "I would like your production company to fund my vacation."

The Clearing
Robert Redford portrays a captain of industry that has been kidnapped by one of his employees and its up to his once cheated upon wife to raise the ransom and set him free. Good cast, good story. It has promise.

America's Heart and Soul
A two-hour documentary on what makes America great. Go us! We're the best! It's a giant affirmation in celluloid. Just what we need.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 9:23 PM | TrackBack

June 24, 2004

June 25th Film Releases

If you are like my mother and have come to the preposterous conclusion that Bush can do no wrong and Michael Moore is just a big troublemaker, then Moore's latest documentary will be lost on you. My only prayer is that you are in the vast minority.

1) Fahrenheit 9/11
2) Facing Windows
3) The Notebook


Fahrenheit 9/11
Michael Moore is back and he is PISSED. If you care at all about what's going on in this country and the War on Personal Freedom, then you owe it to yourself to see this documentary.

Facing Windows
An aspiring pastry chef has elaborate extramarital fantasies about the bachelor who's apartment window faces her own. It has a good buzz on the festival circuit, and I never under estimate the overwhelming power of my sweet tooth.

The Notebook
She's uptown, he's downtown. They're madly in love, but from different worlds. She has a queen bitch of a mother who is determined to keep them apart. Will love prevail? Stay tuned to "As the Clich is Recycled."

Two Brothers
Tiger siblings separated at birth are reunited by chance in India. They wreck havoc on the town and its residents are less than pleased, but their owners insist that the animals are simply misunderstood. Pardon me, but I don't think there is a real margin for error when dealing with man eating Bengal tigers. Just ask Roy.

White Chicks
Two black male FBI agents have to pose as Paris Hilton-esque debutantes. I'm sorry, but I just can't buy it. The only black man that can pass as a waifish white girl is Michael Jackson.

Kaena: The Prophecy
This is a French feature length digital cartoon about people from another planet who are enslaved by sap eating gods. (furrow brow, scratch head) Sap eating gods?
Could be good, but it could also suck.

The Intended
I'm still having trouble figuring out what this is about. A land surveyor and his fianc are separated in Malaysia by an ivory trader. Your guess is as good as mine.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 9:37 PM | TrackBack

June 9, 2004

June 11th Film Releases

I'm back and ready for action. Sorry for my lack of postings for the past month, but I've been away, my computer was sick, and my dog ate my homework. You know how it goes.
But, in that time I've seen a lot of movies:
Super Size Me - Clowns are scary. Ronald McDonald is a clown. Ronald is the representative of McDonalds restaurants. Therefore, McDonalds is an instrument of Satan!
Besides that, it's a fantastic and funny look into why we're the fattest nation in the world.
Troy - Great battle scenes, but melodramatics are enough to make you hurl.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - The audience is almost as entertaining as the movie. Freaks will flock, but at least they know how to shut up during the film.

Top Three for the Week:
1) Napoleon Dynamite
2) Stepford Wives
3) Chronicles of Riddick

Chronicles of Riddick
An alien race is assimilating the inhabitants of human occupied worlds and leaving dead planets in its wake. Sound familiar? Yeah, I saw the Borg episodes of Star Trek Next Generation too.

Garfield
It's just like the comic strip. It even lacks a plot.

Stepford Wives
The men of Stepford are replacing their strong willed, outspoken wives with subservient robotic clones.
You see, I'm not entirely against this concept. My master plan is to create a Camp Stepford for new husbands and errant boyfriends. Weeks of fresh air, healthy diet, exercise, shock therapy for failing to put the toilet seat down, vacuuming 101, make your own damn dinner starvation treatments, post-coital cuddling 403 ... I could go on for days.

Napoleon Dynamite
This is like Freaks and Geeks on steroids. An eccentric small town high school student is in denial of the fact that he is the ultimate nerd and embarks on an elaborate plan to make his best friend class president.
I laughed my ass off during the trailer; I just hope the film doesn't let me down.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 7:42 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 22, 2004

April 23rd Film Releases

The pickings are slim this week, I had to reach into my archives for material. Well, last week's archives.

1) Man on Fire
2) 13 Going on 30
3) Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (came out last week, but I ran out of movies to recommend)

It's a kids' weekend. Creepy kid actors. Adults acting like kids. Movies for kids. When are children going to go out of fashion? Like legwarmers or flannel.

Man on Fire
Dakota Fanning is so cute you just want to rip her head off. I'm not alone, other people agree with me. One critic calls her the creepiest child star working today. I personally think she's bound to follow the dark path of Gary Coleman and find out exactly what Willis was talking about.
But is she enough to reduce shining magnitude that is Christopher Walken? Hmmm. She does get kidnapped, but is it soon enough into the movie to save it from certain disaster? It's risky. Good luck.

13 Going on 30
I think I'm going soft. For some reason I actually think this looks like it could be good. It's cute as hell. A definite chick flick (good luck dragging the boyfriend to this one, even with the hot babe from Alias).
Just think of it as the modern female version of Big. Even Hitler would have liked Big.

Cliffords Really Big Movie
For child and parental eyes only.

This So-Called Disaster
A documentary about the production of a Sam Shepard play. I'd see it if I had trouble sleeping since a glass of warm milk is out. I'm lactose intolerant.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 9:52 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 15, 2004

April 16th Film Releases

Tax day came and went, and for our pains we are about to be rewarded. Tarantino has brought us the conclusion to his epic of carnage, and I for one am thrilled!

1) Kill Bill, Vol. 2
2) Young Adam
3) Connie and Carla

It's here! It's finally here! Quentin ADD Tarantino is giving us his latest ode to blood and violence.

Kill Bill, Vol. 2
The bride is back and she's still pissed. Word to the wise - Try not to tick off little white girls who play with samurai swords. Especially if your name is Bill.

The Punisher
Another comic book hero, only this one is a no nonsense vigilante. I don't know about you, but I prefer my superheroes to have superpowers. I'd only call this guy talented with firearms. Hardly super.

Connie and Carla
Two women hiding from mob go underground as drag queens. It's like Victor Victoria meets The Birdcage, only gayer.
Stars Nia Vardalos (Big Fat Greek Wedding), Toni Collette (Muriels Wedding, Sixth Sense), and David Ducovny (X Files) star in what could be a really fun film.

Young Adam
A stellar cast consisting of Ewan McGregor and Tilda Swinton. Ewan plays a young sailor whose lover turns up dead. Love triangles, jealousy, and suspicion run amuck in this twisted tale of love, sex, and death (not necessarily in that order).

A Thousand Peace Clouds Encircle the Sky
A young gay man wanders the streets of Mexico City after abandoning his dying lover. This is probably the most boring movie I've ever heard of. Even the title is tedious. Go see it if you feel like self-torture.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 9:25 PM | TrackBack

March 25, 2004

March 26th Film Releases

I hope you're not busy this weekend, because you're going to the movies! Good (and bad) movies abound and we must participate in true American fashion with a display of fiscal democracy. Atlas shrugged and Ayn Rand shed a tear of pride.

1) Mayor of the Sunset Strip
2) Dogville
3) The Ladykillers

Surprise, surprise. A documentary made it to #1 on my list and I have to say that it is indeed a "must see."

Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed
I was surprised there was a first, let alone a second.

The Ladykillers
It may be a remake, but it's a Coen brothers remake. Remember the magic they worked with Homer's The Odyssey? Lets just hope it wasn't their shark jumping film.
It has none of their usual cast (no Tutturo or Goodman), but it does have Tom Hanks and I am very interested in finding out how this mixes.

Jersey Girl
It's a Kevin Smith movie, but it's also the last gasp from what was formerly known as BenLo. Kevin Smith (good). BenLo (bad). Kevin Smith ($10). BenLo (no $10). I could go on like this for hours, but I'll just wait for it to come out on DVD.

Never Die Alone
Another rap star vehicle, only this time DMX stretches his minimal skills as an actor to portray an exiled drug dealer. There's so much lack of breadth here, it makes me feel asthmatic.

Dogville (limited release)
Mysterious Nicole Kidman is on the run from gangsters during the Great Depression. She finds safe haven in a small mountain town, but the residents make her pay dearly for her refuge.
A great cast and a solid director known for taking great risks and being very successful (Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark). Its not an upper.

Ned Kelly
Heath Ledger (major hottie) plays the patriarch of an Irish family sent to the Australian penal colony. After having enough of being persecuted by his English oppressors, he forms his own band of outlaws and takes over the island.
Too bad it didn't come out St. Patty's Day weekend, but it's still a close runner up for my $10.

Mayor of the Sunset Strip
Sex, drugs, and rock and roll in a documentary film about KROQ DJ Rodney Bingenheimer (sometimes known as the Freakish Little Gnome or just plain Creepy). It's a great film about an amazing and sad individual who never failed to pick out the next big thing in music.
Features interviews with Gwen Stefani, Chris Martin, Chris Carter, Kim Fowley (Caligula in leopard print)(evil), and BOWIE!!!!

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 9:45 PM | TrackBack

March 18, 2004

March 19th Film Releases

What's this? Only one bad movie? I think it's a record for quality in cinema. Enjoy it while it lasts and stop seeing that Jesus movie. Give mere mortals a chance.

1) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2) Taking Lives
3) Intermission

What's the next best thing to a new Cohen brothers movie? A movie written by Charlie Kaufman. That beautifully warped brain that gave us Being John Malkovich and Adaptation has blessed with Eternal Sunshine. Oh happy days!

Dawn of the Dead
"When there's no room in hell, the dead will walk the earth." What happened to heaven? Can't God loosen up a little of the qualifications for entrance? Mr. He-who-hasn't-sinned. Maybe then I wouldn't have to avoid this poor excuse for entertainment.

Taking Lives
The mystery villain in this movie kills people in order to assume their identity. Apparently he was never let in on the fact that all you need these days is a computer and a credit card number. Let's hear it for technological advancements and no messy dead bodies to dispose of!

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
After a rocky romance with Kate Winslet, Jim Carey decides to have all his memories of the relationship surgically erased. Charlie Kaufman must have borrowed some inspiration from Paycheck and made vast improvements because I am hearing nothing but good things about this movie.

Intermission
Irish ruffians (not to be confused with soccer hooligans, these guys take part in crime for profit instead of athletic celebration) take the starring role in this comedy about mishaps in love and thievery.
My advice - take a pee break during Colin Farrells rendition of "I Fought the Law."

Bon Voyage
Believe it or not, I actually saw this one. It's a good time. Not great, just good.
A 1930's movie star sets her lover up for murder just before the Nazi invasion. Eventually the manipulated lover must choose between the glamorous vixen, a passionate young student, and the future of France. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 9:06 PM | TrackBack

March 11, 2004

March 12th Film Releases

This week is a tough one. We finally have some good movies being released and I wasn't sure how to rank the top three. I guess it depends on what you're in the mood for. So in my best Moviefone voice, I give you my picks:

For a supernatural thriller, press:
1) Secret Window
For an action thriller, press:
2) Spartan
For a dark romantic comedy, press:
3) Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself

The drought is over! The Oscars have been awarded, everyone has been thanked ad nauseum, and I can go back to seeing good movies. Life is once again as it should be. Which is a good thing considering that all the good local bands are in Austin, TX for SXSW.

Secret Window
Johnny Depp can call me a whore and I'd still do him for free. Which is why I would happily pay ten dollars to see him play a recently divorced writer who is being haunted by a ghost who is convinced that poor Johnny stole his story.

Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London
Wake me when Frankie Muniz grows up and starts doing real movies.

Spartan
The President's daughter has been kidnapped and it's the crack team of Val Kilmer, William H. Macy, and Al Bundy to the rescue. With Mammet at the helm of this picture, you know you're in for a bumpy ride. I wonder how many double crosses will be in this story. One? Two? Twelve?

NASCAR 3D: The IMAX Experience
Apparently IMAX is having trouble attracting the trailer trash element to their theaters, so they made this two-hour piece of dung. What's next? A behind the scenes look at meth labs?

Broken Wings
Israel is known for being a hot bed of a lot of things, but movies isn't one of them. As Spike from Boston eloquently put it, "Land of milk and honey my ass."
Your $10 is better spent elsewhere.

Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself
As the title suggests, Wilbur is suicidal, but he keeps managing to foil his own plans for death. This doesn't discourage him from trying though, until he falls in love with his brother's fianc.
Who said love was perfect? Worth my $10, yes. Perfect, no.

How to Draw a Bunny
This is a documentary about modern artist Ray Johnson as told by his peers in the art world. I'm sure Ray himself would have been happy to contribute to the dialogue, but he's dead.

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March 4, 2004

March 5th Film Releases

Three. That's all we get. Three. At least it's a good three. I would be having a fit if it was a bad three.
It's not a great weekend for movies, but it could have been a whole lot worse.

1) The Reckoning
2) Starsky and Hutch
3) Hidalgo

Starsky and Hutch
One of the original ambiguously gay duos has been remade, remastered, and recast using the next generation of possibly not hetero couples - Stiller and Wilson.
Bottom line - it looks funny. Go have a good time. Best of all, Snoop Dog plays Huggy Bear.

Hidalgo
Vigo goes from being king of Middle Earth to being a washed up cowboy who won a lot of endurance races. I don't think I would classify that as a promotion.
Think of it this way - it's like Seabiscuit in the Sahara Desert and much, much longer.
I love horses. Seabiscuit made me cry and I'm not afraid to admit it. But I am not going to see this movie over the weekend. The other options are just too good.

The Reckoning
You're not going to believe it, but I actually saw this movie. It closed the Santa Barbara International Film Festival last month. So I can say with confidence that this is a good movie and a solid $10 candidate.
A priest on the run joins up with a troup of traveling actors during the Middle Ages. At their next gig they go experimental and do a play that isn't from the bible and inadvertently sove a local murder mystery.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 9:16 PM | TrackBack

February 26, 2004

February 27th Film Releases

Will you shut up about Jesus already! I've had enough. I don't want to listen to another word about anti-Semitism, anti-Romanism, or sadomasochism. If I hear one more whine about how Mel Gibson portrayed some group unfairly, I'll nail myself to a cross.
It's a movie people. Not a weapon of mass destruction.

1) Good Bye, Lenin!
2) The Passion of the Christ
3) Broken Lizard's Club Dread

All this hoopla and controversy, and I still end up recommending a foreign film. This is not exactly an endorsement of the domestic film industry. I guess I'm still waiting to be impressed.

The Passion of the Christ
One critic called it "The Bloodiest Story Ever Told" and I think he had a point. This is supposed to be a very literal portrayal of nothing but the crucifixion. Compelling? Yes. Moving? Undoubtedly. Enough gore to make you want to hurl? Possibly.

Twisted
A female homicide investigator is being stalked by a serial killer who is murdering all of her ex-boyfriends. Why can't I have this problem?

Broken Lizard's Club Dread
Another serial killer movie, only it's a comedy that takes place on a hedonistic resort in the tropics.
A multiple beer/low brain cell movie, but sometimes that's okay.

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights
Remember how we loved the original Dirty Dancing movie when we were kids? "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." Have you seen it recently? Now that we're all grown up? I have, and I switched half way through because I couldn't believe how awful it was. This is a direct copy and it doesn't even try to hide it, and I expect it to be just as awful.

Good Bye, Lenin!
Just before the Berlin Wall comes down a young East German man's mother falls into a coma. She awakens after the Cold War and the doctors warn the son that she mustn't be traumatized in any way. So, he goes about a comedy of errors of trying to hide the fact that capitalism has taken hold of East Berlin.
It was a huge hit in Germany and is supposed to be exceptionally funny. I recommend it highly.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 8:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 19, 2004

February 20th Film Releases

I survived the day of singleton hell, only to be met with a dearth of good movies. I looked and I looked and they are nowhere to be seen. My only hope is a lone Norwegian candidate.
Salad days these are not. Take an enormous risk with your $10 or go rent a movie. It's what capitalists refer to as "voting with dollars."

1) Kitchen Stories

No, I haven't lost my mind, I am just without options. I am really and truly recommending a Norwegian comedy about domestic life.
Think of it this way -- If this is what I'm recommending, then just imagine how much everything else must suck.

Welcome to Mooseport
A quaint little comedy about small town life (probably written and directed by a person who has never actually lived in a small town). This stars Ray Romano (block of wood) and Gene Hackman (vague recollection of acting superiority) as a local plumber and a former president vying for same mayoral office and eligible bachelorette.
I don't think there is a brand of weed strong enough to make find this amusing.

Eurotrip
Speaking of weed, how can you have a comedy about the experiences of young Americans in Europe without having a layover in Amsterdam? Then you'd have to go to France to abate your munchies and don't forget the absinthe. This probably goes through every clich and predictable joke possible and then doesn't know when to stop.
Dude! I am so NOT seeing this movie!

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen
The thing is, I know a few adult drama queens who would happily give me two hours of ranting and raving for free, so why would I waste my $10 on this pile of crap.

Against the Ropes
Meg Ryan is a feeble minded tool of Satan who must be stopped at all costs. It's actresses like her who can be blamed for the spawning of most bad movies. Think about it:
A bunch of stale movie executives deciding on the fate of future movies and they see one with Meg Ryan attached to it. They suddenly recall the hundreds of times their mistresses made them watch that movie about that insomniac in Seattle and are given the mistaken impression that she's a bankable lead. They greenlight the mediocre project, and forget about the stunning yet risky film project that should have gotten their money.
Financial democracy people! Don't forget you have a voice!

Kitchen Stories
Norway? I'm recommending a movie from Norway? Not only that, but it's a comedy set in the 50's about a team of researchers studying the domestic habits of male spinsters.
Think Ozzy without Harriet never meets Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

Clifford's Really Big Movie
If you have children and you must take them to a movie this weekend, then this is your best option. Even I remember reading about Clifford the big red dog growing up. To this day I still have fleeting fantasies about owning a Great Dane.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 7:57 PM | TrackBack

February 12, 2004

February 13th Film Releases

Not only is it supposed to be the unluckiest day of the year, but it's also the day before Valentines Day (a particularly unlucky day for me). Since I will be left unromanced by the opposite sex this weekend, I can at least ensure that the happy couples of the world don't pick bad movies.
If there's anything worse than spending a Hallmark holiday alone, it's spending it with someone and being miserable.

1) Monsieur Ibrahim
2) The Code
3) 50 First Dates (a grudging third)

French, French, and more French. I guess when the American film industry can't get it's act together enough to bring out any good movies, the French have to pick up the slack. Thank God Halliburton wasn't involved or they would have never been allowed in the country for theatrical release.
Let's hear it for free trade!

50 First Dates
A relationship avoiding serial dating veterinarian falls for a girl with short-term memory problems. Where most men with this problem would throw in the towel after being beaten to a pulp by aforementioned love interest, this one is a glutton for punishment. Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler were magical in The Wedding Singer, but they had the power of the 80's behind them then. Can they bring it home without the fuel of New Wave pop? Boy George and I have our doubts.

Highwaymen
A grief stricken widower roams the highways in search of the car that killed his wife. An action thriller with enough preposterous events to make me hurl. Not even Jesus can make me want to see this movie.

Monsieur Ibrahim
Omar Sharif stars as a Turkish deli owner in Paris who forms an unlikely friendship with a young Jewish boy during the 1960's. I don't know much beyond that, but it has received marvelous reviews and Sharif has aged gracefully since Doctor Zhivago and Funny Girl.

The Code
Another French film, only action packed. It's a familiar story - a man gets out of prison and tries to go straight, but only after he makes one last score. Sure you've heard that one before, but have you heard it in French? Oui or Non?

After the Life: Trilogy 3
And another French film. Remember the stupid prison escapee who returned home to hide? Well he's back. This time the story is told by the local chief of police whose wife is hiding the convict. Is that grounds for dismissal? It is certainly evidence of my not wanting to see it.

Robot Stories
A movie comprised of three science fiction stories about highly advanced robots interacting with the human world. It won 23 film festival awards, and which is one they choose to promote on it's website? The Special Jury Award for Emotional Truth from the Florida Film Festival. I didn't even know Florida had a film festival. This doesn't exactly inspire confidence.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
This is a digitally remastered re-release of a classic 1964 French musical which stars Catherine Deneuve as young woman pregnant with her absent lovers child (hes away at war). A rich patron of her mother's umbrella shop asks for her hand in marriage and offers to raise the child as his own. I'm sure many clichs are sung and danced their way through, which is why I won't be seeing it.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 10:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 5, 2004

February 6th Film Releases

A surprising amount of movies are being released this week. I haven't seen this kind of an outpouring since Thanksgiving. The only thing is, I'm not sure what to make of these. Most of them are foreign films, I'm lucky if I've seen the trailers, and I've heard very little buzz about any of these.
Ever feel as though the pilot is blind? It's usually not a good sign.

1) City of God
2) The Dreamers
3) The Return

Last week a friend of mine balled me out for recommending The Big Bounce. He told me that I wasted two hours of his life. He stated that we were now even and that he could go back to picking movies again (he was in the hole ever since he picked Paycheck). He has a tendency to overreact and is lacking in the taste department, but what can I do? He's the only person I ever see movies with.

Barbershop 2: Back in Business
The gang's all here and trying to save their South Chicago neighborhood from corporate development. Didn't anyone tell them that you can't stop progress? Either sell out or get out. Ice Cube should know all about that mantra.

Miracle
Kurt Russell stars as the coach of the little hockey team that beat the dastardly Russians for the chance at the gold medal in the 1980 Olympics. I like hockey and I love underdog stories, but Kurt Russell hasn't made a good movie since Backdraft.

Catch That Kid
I might consider this a worthwhile movie, if I was twelve.

City of God
According to rumor, this movie from Brazil about the underbelly of Rio de Janeiro is the front-runner for the Best Foreign Film Oscar. Lots of crime, double crosses, drugs, sex, and violence - all the elements of an excellent film.

The Dreamers
Based in 1969, during one of the more turbulent times in French history, a pair of fraternal twins and a new found friend take over their parent's apartment and create a world onto themselves completely oblivious to the turmoil outside. While taking this little vacation from society they experiment sexually basing their ideas on the movies they love. People get hurt and eventually the world outside comes crashing in.
Maybe too high concept, but has a chance at being worthwhile.

Osama
What's this? An entry from Afghanistan? I thought we bombed them into the Stone Age? Interesting.
Anyways, a mother and daughter living under the Taliban are left with no choices in regards to their survival. So, the mother disguises her daughter as a boy so that she can go out and earn a living. Sometimes regime change is a good thing.

An Amazing Couple: Trilogy 2
A perfectly healthy man is convinced he needs a biopsy and his wife is so suspicious of him that she hires a private investigator. My opinion - they may deserve each other, but we do not deserve this movie.

Perfect Opposites
This may be the romantic comedy I recommend for Valentines Day. Two young, freshly minted college graduates with nothing in common fall in love and she follows him across the country so that he can take job at a law firm. Once they start living together the reality of their relationship kicks in and roses don't seem nearly as sweet.
Begs the eternal question of "is love ever truly enough?"

The Return
The father of two young boys returns after 10 years and tries to reinsert himself into the family. There are a lot of problems with this situation, but the biggest problem is that the demons that chased him away the first time are still following him.
It has some of the elements of a potentially good movie - crime, estranged families, issues to be confronted, and violence. Can a Russian movie be worth my $10? Anything is possible.
Das ve danya.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 9:22 PM | TrackBack

January 29, 2004

January 30th Film Releases

Farewell my readers! While you're singing along with the boys of Punk Rock Karaoke on Saturday, I'll be pursuing journalistic integrity in the reviewing of movies at the 19th Annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Writing for free has finally paid off in the form of a media pass (when you don't have much, every little bit counts).

1) Girl With a Pearl Earring (wide release)
2) The Big Bounce
3) I can't decide between an independent gay film, or a French action film. You're on your own.

Now for the true test of the value of this pass -- will it get me into all the parties with the free food and booze? Cross your fingers and hope that dear Maureen in PR pulls through for me.

The Big Bounce
No one writes a comedy crime caper like Elmore Leonard, so if you're looking for something fun to see this weekend, then this could be your best bet. Owen Wilson stars as a con artist among con artists, and there is no honor between anyone. Girls get Owen Wilson (who is steaming hot in that funny/charming kind of way) and the guys get Sara Foster (who I've never heard of, but has a body I would kill to have and walks around in a bikini for the whole movie). Hard to beat.

The Perfect Score
Scarlet Johansson went from Lost in Translation and Pearl Earring to this?! What happened? Did she develop a sudden case of retardation after stellar back-to-back acting choices?! There's simply no excuse for this underwhelming teen comedy.

You Got Served
The best team of hip hop dancers in LA must learn to suppress their egos and work together in order to beat a team of white kids from Orange County. Do you hear that? It's the sound of crickets chirping in a movie theater.

Girl With a Pearl Earring (wide release)
I had to go with the intellectual choice for my first pick. The cinematography is breathtaking. The perfect choice for we art aficionados who can properly pronounce Vermeer and Monet.

Latter Days
A super gay party boy falls in love with his new next-door neighbor who is a missionary for the Mormon Church. The trailer looks sappy, but the competition is less than fierce.

On the Run: Trilogy 1
A man escapes from prison and returns to his hometown, where the wife of the captain of police agrees to hide him. Not to seem like a criminal genius or anything, but if I escaped from prison, that last place I would go is my hometown. Is it that obvious, or did I miss my calling as a felonious mastermind?
It's in French, and not to worry, it's only the first of three. Maybe he'll get smarter.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 9:18 PM | TrackBack

January 22, 2004

January 23rd Film Releases

I think stupidity is the theme for this week. Stupid teenagers, stupid accents, stupid criminals, stupid mountain climbers, and so on. You get the idea. It's not necessarily a bad thing, its just a commonality.

My Top Three:
1) Mystic River
2) Dirt
3) Touching the Void

Butterfly Effect
Ashton Kutcher is wanted for crimes against humanity. One count for Dude Where's My Car. A second for Just Married. A third for Texas Rangers (You've never heard of that one? Well, there's a reason). A fourth for My Boss's Daughter. Shall I keep going? I don't think I need to. But I will say this: I heard that he's so bad at dramatic acting that Cameron Crowe threw him off a set. Ouch.

Win a Date With Tad Hamilton!
Oh to be young and dumb. A naive but pretty West Virginia girl wins a contest to go out on a date with a Hollywood hunk who is not as clean cut as he appears (say it isn't so!). When she comes down from her little stroll in fantasyland, her childhood friend tries to confess his love for her, but not before Tad shows up to spoil the moment and steal the girl. Such a quandary for our little heroine. The hottie or the stick figure? Which way to go?
And yes, there really is an exclamation point in the title.

Dirt
This is another re-release. I finally saw the trailer and it looks funny as hell! Raising Arizona kind of funny.
Two brothers kidnap a woman from a grocery store parking lot to take over the role of their recently deceased mother (cook, clean, think, etc.). One problem, her abusive husband is the sheriff. Next problem, they need money so they start robbing banks.

Touching the Void
Its a documentary with reenactments of two boneheads with little climbing experience who decide to climb a mountain that has never been climbed before. Its not until they're halfway up that they realize that there's a reason it's still virgin territory. Poor planning makes for great film. Enjoy!

Mystic River
In a last ditch effort for Academy votes; Warner Bros. is re-releasing this South Boston drama. If you can get past that annoying Southie accent, then this has all the makings of a great film. Good actors, critical acclaim, and strong word of mouth. That stupid accent is the only thing holding me back from seeing this movie.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 9:10 PM | TrackBack

January 16, 2004

January 16th Film Releases

It's official. It's over. No more good movies. We have used up the resources of the oasis and now must brave the desert. So sad. So very sad.

1) The Cooler
2) Along Came Polly
3) Tokyo Godfathers

Weep with me. It is indeed time to mourn. The good movies are gone and the savage wilderness begins. Pray that there are points of light in this endless darkness, because otherwise, we are lost.

Along Came Polly
Um. Well. It has potential. It could be funny. Then again, it could be awful. Ben Stiller portrays a risk adverse tentative guy who likes his universe safe and small. He catches his newly betrothed cheating on him and goes into a tailspin. So far does he fall that he asks out a quirky adventurous old school chum (played by Jennifer Aniston) who gets him to make wild changes, like salsa dancing and Moroccan food. Amazing. How unpredictable. Next thing you know, he'll be getting his nipples pierced and jumping headfirst into mosh pits while head-banging to Static X.
All in all, it still has that wondrous quality, otherwise known as potential, and is one of the better films being released this week.

Torque
This is a 120-minute long Mountain Dew commercial. Filled with the lack of meaningful plot and amazing action sequences you come to expect from music video directors trying to cross over into legitimate cinema.
Just watch two hours of rap videos and not waste your $10.

Disney's Teacher's Pet
I got annoyed just watching the trailer for this. A talking dog who wants to be human so badly, he dresses like a little boy and follows his master to school. He even elects to undergo experimental surgery in order to become a "real boy."
Nathan Lane is the voice of the dog. Can you imagine 120 minutes of Nathan Lane whining on and on about how he wants to be human? I could barely sit through 2 minutes.

The Cooler (Wide Release)
I saw this and liked it. Macy is always great as the lovable looser, Maria Bello plays the hooker with the heart of gold to perfection, and Alec Baldwin is surprising good as the old school casino manager who doesn't want to let go of his Rat Pack ways.
Spend your $10 and enjoy.

Tokyo Godfathers
A runway, a bum, and a transvestite discover an abandoned baby while rummaging through the trash searching for their next meal. In a surge of altruism, they decide to reunite the baby with its mother.
It's anime and in Japanese with subtitles. If you don't mind that, this could be worthwhile.

Crimson Gold
Remember that Michael Douglas movie, Falling Down? Normal suburbanite snaps and takes all of LA with him? Well, this is that same movie. Only, instead of LA, its Iran.
I'd rent Falling Down instead. Its a classic and you dont have to read anything.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 8:38 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

January 8, 2004

January 9th Film Releases

Happy New Year my readers! Did you all make resolutions? I only made one:
To strive for greater things and to stop settling for less than what I deserve.
Then I saw what was being released this week and realized just how difficult keeping my resolution would be. Bleak. Yes my children "bleak" is the only word I can use to describe our options this week. So here's my top three:

1) 21 Grams
2) Monster
3) Big Fish

If you think they sound familiar, its because all the new movies suck.

The movie studios had their communal orgasm of good movies, rolled over, and went to sleep. What about me?! I'm not finished yet! I want to be held! Is that so wrong?
Well kids, break out the proverbial vibrator (Blockbuster and your DVD player) and take care of business yourself, because he ain't waking up until next winter.

Chasing Liberty
Mandy Moore plays the daughter of an overprotective president who ditches her Secret Service entourage and hitches a ride with a handsome stranger who just happens to be a member of the same club as James Bond.
Quite frankly, I think a reality series featuring the Bush daughters and the Gore girls would be a lot more interesting. Go rent Girls Just Want to Have Fun and go home happy.

My Baby's Daddy
As though Mandy Moore wasn't bad enough, it gets worse. Three bachelors just happen to get their girlfriends' pregnant at the same time. What are the odds? No one has an abortion, or gives the baby up for adoption, or skips out on the child support. Again, what are the odds? Its supposed to be a comedy, but I prefer to consider it a fantasy/horror story.
Rent Parenthood and save yourself $5.

Big Fish (Wide Release)
A son puts together a compellation of his father's tall tales to tell the story of his life. I saw it. Its fun. Go see it if you want something good that doesn't make you want to cry.

21 Grams (Wide Release)
But if you do want to see something to get the tears flowing, then this is the movie for you. I hear there's enough weeping in this movie to make Tammy Fae Baker want to use waterproof mascara.
This is a good solid Oscar candidate and worth my $10.

Monster (Wide Release)
If you're a guy, you'll cry the moment you see what Charlize Theron did to her body to prepare for this role. She plays a highway hooker who tries to clean up her act, but just can't seem to stop killing men. Does Nicotrol make a patch for that?
$10 worthy.

Girl With A Pearl Earring (Wide Release)
If you have any appreciation for art and even the slightest idea of who Vermeer is, then go see this movie. Its visually stunning, but the story is weak. It just goes to show that you can't have everything.

Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer
This is an unrated documentary of the serial killer who Monster is based off of. I think I'll skip this and see the Hollywood version instead.

Distant
A reclusive Turkish photographer lets a relative stay in her apartment while he's looking for a job. He brings her out of her shell.
What language do they speak in Turkey anyway? Turkish? It has subtitles so the illiterate will find it unpleasant, while the literate may not find it much better.

Battle for Algiers
Oh joy! A movie that's filmed like a documentary chronicling the French foreign legion's attempt to liberate Algeria in the 1950's. I'll give away the ending so you don't have to see it - They fail.
I think I need to say somehting about doom and repeating history, but I hate to be cliche.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 8:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 27, 2003

Ten Best Films of 2003?

Don't laugh. I know, I see about one film a year. For my one movie of 2003, I will see "The Return of the King" sometime in Jan. 2004 when my brother gets back from vacation. My lack of movie viewing is my great pop cultural shame.

For this reason, I refer to Lauren's film reviews, found on this blog and on the Barflies.net magazine, and to Salon.com's reviews. Today, Salon.com recommends:

The 10 best movies of 2003

From the eccentric, intimate "Lost in Translation" to the epic nobility of "Return of the King" to the rough-hewn affirmation of "In America," Salon critics Stephanie Zacharek, Charles Taylor and Andrew O'Hehir list 2003's best films.

"Lost in Translation"
"In America"
"A Mighty Wind"
"Spellbound"
"American Splendor"
"Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
"Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World"
"To Be and to Have"
"School of Rock"
"Masked and Anonymous"

Do you agree or disagree with their list? What about "Migrations?"

Posted by Ms. Jen at 8:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 26, 2003

December 26th Film Releases

Sorry for the delay. The holidays ran away with my Thursday and I'm just now catching up. But don't worry, I paid for my tardiness in spades by seeing the worst movie of the year - Paycheck. Don't ask me how I wound up there, but let's just say that my friend's movie picking privileges have been revoked. Possibly for good.

1) Cold Mountain
2) Monster
3) Big Fish

Runner Up: Japanese Story
Made me want to puke: Paycheck

A lot of movies being released this week and out of all of them, I went to see Paycheck in the theater. What on earth was going through my head?! I could say that I didn't pick it, but I didn't fight very hard against it either. I saw the signs - BenLo, and, and.... well, I guess BenLo was all the reason I needed to avoid this film. Is he even smart enough to carry an intelligent script? I doubt it.

Cold Mountain
Young lovers, Inman (Jude Law) and Ada (Nicole Kidman), have really bad names and equally awful luck. Just as their mutual adoration begins to bloom, Inman gets called off to war for the Confederate Army whose causes he doesn't really believe in, and Ada's father dies leaving her to fend for herself when the only useful thing she's been taught to do is sit there and look pretty (she's a pro at looking pretty). Ada waits for Inman (she's also a professional at waiting) and Inman deserts the forces of the South. Much unhappiness and self-discovery ensues.

Cheaper by the Dozen
Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt play the parents of 12 children. Either they're devoutly Catholic and sex crazed (which is physically impossible after a dozen pregnancies) or there is a secret sweatshop in the basement and this is their way of getting around child labor laws.
Anyways, it's not getting my $10.

Peter Pan
Another film for the modern nuclear family. Complete with dazzling special effects. Unless it can beat what I can get at Blockbuster from the good folks at Disney, then its not worth my $10.

Paycheck
BenLo plays a reverse engineer whose running for his life because he made a machine that can see into the future, and now he must destroy it before it is used to annihilate all of mankind. There, I've given away the "secret" plot, now you have no reason to waste your money on this pile of crap.
The only mystery that remains is how Uma Thurman went from Kill Bill to this.

Big Fish
Yummy Billy Cudrup is trying to make amends and learn more about his estranged dying father who tells nothing but long-winded exaggerated stories that only vaguely resemble the truth. Tim Burton does a wonderful job in bringing all the tales to the screen with all their wonder and surrealism.
This is a solid $10 contender.

The Company
Neve Campbell plays a ballet dancer on the verge of becoming a prima ballerina, but distractions via her hunky boyfriend (James Franco) and other outside forces inhibit her progress. Ah the joys of being a starving artist. No thanks, its business school for me!

Monster
I have heard nothing about good things about this movie. Charlize Theron plays a man hating serial killer who stalks her pray as a highway prostitute (which isn't much better than being a truck stop prostitute except there's more of a danger of being run over). Christina Ricci plays Theron's lesbian lover who gets caught up in the mess.
Not a date movie, but it is good for exploring the dark depths of the human soul.

Young Black Stallion
This is a prequel to the Black Stallion series from the 80's. A young girl uses a unproven colt she found in win an endurance race and save her family.
It's only playing on IMAX screens, so good luck even finding it.

Japanese Story
I don't know much about this movie. From what I've seen of the trailer and the clips being released on the net, it looks pretty good. I think Toni Collette in an amazing actress who chooses good, challenging scripts. This one is about an Australian geologist who has to play babysitter to a Japanese businessman who is considering purchasing her company's software. At first they don't get along, but after a tour of the Australian Outback, they become attracted to one another.

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December 18, 2003

December 19th Film Releases

Here it is D&D players! The climax you've been waiting three years to have has finally arrived! Next time just hire a hooker and get it over with. It will cost you a little more than $10, but does take a lot less time out of your day. Just think of how productive you could be. It boggles the mind.

Best $10 Candidates
1) Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
2) Mona Lisa Smile
3) House of Sand and Fog

And what and orgasm it is too. Now this is the kind of Oscar week that I've been waiting for. Three nomination candidates at once. Where have you been for the past month? This is like having rich Brie after weeks of starvation. I could make myself sick from such a sudden infusion of nourishment.

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
I don't think I even have to bother with a synopsis. If you don't know what its about, then you've been living in a cave for the past three years and probably don't even have the sense to know what a computer is, let alone internet access, and therefore do not have the means to view my ravings.
Go and see it. It will not be a waste of your $10.

Mona Lisa Smile
That hooker from Pretty Woman has gone straight and become an art teacher at Wellesley, a private girls college, during the 50's. Most of her students are on their way to becoming good wives and bear their husbands strong sons, but that little whore shows them that they have options and can achieve far more than just the perfect souffl.
This is the most obvious chick flick I have ever laid eyes on. Ladies, good luck dragging your man to this one. Grab a girlfriend and enjoy. Who needs men anyway?

The Cooler (Wide Release)
I reviewed this before, and while I think its probably a good movie, it just can't compete with what else is available. Catch it on cable in a couple months.

House of Sand and Fog
An ex-junkie loses her family home in an accounting error by the county, and by the time she gets her act together and hires a lawyer to help her correct the mistake, the house is auctioned off to a family of Iranian immigrants. Both parties believe they are in the right and take desperate measures to regain or keep what they believe is theirs.
The home is a central figure of the "American Dream," and this film makes a careful examination of that fact. Not an upper, but well worth my $10.

Calendar Girls
The women of a small English town take up arms and pose nude in a local charity calendar to raise money for cancer research.
Have you ever wanted to see your grandma naked? Then go see this movie you sick bastard.

The Fog of War
This documentary takes a look at pivotal moments in recent US history as seen through the eyes of the former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.
I wouldn't mind forcing Donald Rumsfeld to watch this little downer Clockwork Orange style.

The Hebrew Hammer
I have actually seen this. It was on Comedy Central last week and I LOVED it. Adam Goldberg plays a Shaft type character that watches out for the fellow members of the tribe. Andy Dick plays an anti-Semitic Santa who is out to destroy Chanukah and the Hammer must do whatever it takes to stop him.
Good luck finding this Certified Circumcised Private Dick (its not rated), but it will certainly be well worth it. The best Chanukah film since.... since.... ummm, I can't recall a good Chanukah film. This could be our last hope!

Two Men Went to War
This is about English army dentists during World War II. I think you can safely say the WW2 genre is dried out when they start making films about dentists.

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December 10, 2003

December 12th Film Releases

Hear any good pedophile jokes lately? Well, if they're not about Michael Jackson then they must be about the Catholic priesthood. (Don't worry; we Jews have the market cornered on guilt and mothers) On that note, let's get into this week's film recommendations- the Papacy, art, and love slightly past its prime.

1) The Statement
2) Girl with the Pearl Earring
3) Something's Got to Give

The dearth from last week is all but forgiven. Forgotten, never. But forgiven, almost. This week's crop of films is helpful in that regard. (I told you we had the market cornered on guilt)
Boys and girls we have a nice selection this week. Ranging from the asinine to the intellectual, there's something for everyone.

Something's Got to Give
Jack Nicholson suffers from acute Peter Pan syndrome. Its a terrible disease, which makes those who have it unable to date women their own age (art imitates life). After suffering from a heart attack he must be cared for by his girlfriend's mother, Diane Keaton. Autumn/Autumn romance blooms and wilts in the process.
The dialogue is supposed to be worthwhile, making it a good candidate for my $10.

Stuck on You
The people who brought you the magic of Dumb and Dumber and Something About Mary bring you this next little gem - Matt Damon and Greg Kinnear play Siamese twins trying to make it big in Hollywood (I really wish they would stop recycling these plot lines).
If you're in the mood to laugh without the benefit of thought then this is the movie for you.

Love Don't Cost a Thing
A lackluster remake of a lackluster movie geared towards the prepubescent. It would even make JLo gag, and she starred in Gigli.

Girl with the Pearl Earring
Colin Firth (dreamy) and Scarlet Johansson star in this adaptation of the novel inspired by the Vermeer painting of the same name.
As an admirer of Vermeer's work and Colin Firth, this is certainly a film I plan to patron eventually. Maybe not while its in the theater, but certainly when it comes out on video.

The Statement
Michael Cane plays a French Nazi war criminal being hidden by the Catholic Church. He has lived a life of relative security and peace until an investigator (Tilda Swinton) learns of his whereabouts and decides to flush him out.
I can't even come up with a good joke for this one. All I can say is that it looks worthwhile and is the best candidate for my $10.

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December 4, 2003

December 5th Film Releases

Are you sure its Oscar season? Are you certain the holidays are almost upon us? I have my doubts. The reason for these doubts, you may ask, there are only four movies being released this week. This makes my job a whole lot easier, but it gives me a heavy heart in the process.
Where are you, good-movies? I know you're out there, but where?
(If you are a studio publicist or independent filmmaker with a film about to come out which is getting no press, e-mail me and I'll see what I can do.)
(If you are a studio publicist or independent filmmaker with a movie that you would actually like me to SEE before I review it, e-mail me and I'll see what I can do.)

$10 Candidates:
1) Last Samurai
2) The Two Towers
3) What Alice Found

Yes its true. I don't actually see these movies before I review them (my $10 is a very precious commodity and only goes to the most worthy of films). I read the synopsis, look at the cast and crew, and watch the trailer if possible. From there, I make my most educated guess as to its suitability for ridicule or recommendation. Usually ridicule.
Now my assessment of this week's films:

Last Samurai
This is the only actual Oscar contender for the week. That guy from Risky Business tries his hand at some real acting by playing a civil war vet with depression issues who is hired by the Japanese government to modernize their army and rid the country of samurais. Maverick gets captured by a samurai and learns to value their culture during his involuntary stay.
This is by far the healthiest candidate for my $10 (and it isn't even Manchurian).

Honey
A hip-hop dancer with a heart of gold tries to make it in the business on her own terms. Unless you're a die-hard Jessica Alba fan, go rent Flashdance or Fame. They're both classics that have withstood the test of time, which this film will not.

The Two Towers
This is just a re-release of the same film from last year. If you're one of those people who like to meet women on the Internet and plays Dungeons & Dragons on a regular basis, then you're going to see this again no matter what I say. So go, waste your $10, and cream yourself in anticipation for the last installment of the trilogy.

What Alice Found
A young small town girl with hopes of becoming a marine biologist hits the road to achieve her dreams. But, some dreams were meant to be crushed, so she gets picked up by a couple with an RV who drag her into the world of truck stop prostitution.
Truck stop prostitution? That's like being the janitor at Institute for the Digestion of Fiber. Your career path just can't get any worse.
This could suck, put the premise looks interesting.

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November 25, 2003

Thanksgiving Film Releases

Happy Thanksgiving my readers! Its time to stuff yourself silly with turkey, potatoes, stuffing, and yams while desperately trying to avoid the people you would never hang out with if it wasn't for the fact you call them "family."
For me, alcohol keeps the situation bearable. Hey, its free and it keeps a goofy grin plastered across my face.
There is an alternative - movies. I used to work at a theater and know for a fact they are open come rain, shine, and all national and religious holidays. So go see a movie and avoid the relatives for a couple hours. Its like a vacation within a vacation.
The Top Three Candidates for My $10:

1) In America
2) The Missing
3) My Flesh and Blood

A lot of movies are being released this weekend - some worth seeing, most worth avoiding (even if it means spending more time with veritable strangers your parents "say" are related to you)(this time I'm asking for proof). So without further delay, back to the business sparing the worthy and skewering that which should have never been made.

Haunted Mansion
Isn't this a ride at that bastion of Fascism in Anaheim? Where the only day you meet interesting people is on Bat's Day when all the local Goths do a hostile takeover of the Enchanted Kingdom and get Medieval on old Walt's frozen ass.
An uninspired cast, for an uninspired movie. Go to House of the Mouse at the end of August and ride the ride. You'll have a lot more fun and can play "Count the Piercings" while waiting in line.

The Missing
The dynamic duo that brought you A Beautiful Mind is back with their Oscar entry for this year. Cate Blanchet plays a single mother of two daughters in the late 19th century wilderness of the Southwest. One of her little whelps is kidnapped and Blanchet must turn to her estranged father (played by Tommy Lee Jones) for help.
Let's hear it for child stealing psychopaths who bring families closer together!

Timeline
Talk about getting Medieval, I wouldn't mind cat-o-nine tailing Paul Walker's fabulous behind. Unfortunately, Mr. Walker isn't enough to make me sit through this movie.
Evil Dead did it first and far better.

Bad Santa
Billy Bob Thornton plays a thief who cases department stores by playing Santa during the holidays; only he sucks at being Santa. Then, Angelina's ex-husband meets and befriends a young loser who helps teach him the meaning of Christmas.
Out of all the holiday themed movies this year, this could be the best. But that's like being the white stuff on top of a pile of chicken poop. It may be white, but its still crap.

The Cooler
Bernie (William H. Macy) is so unlucky he makes a living at it. The pit boss at a casino sends him to a table where someone is winning and his bad luck rubs off on them. Then Bernie falls in love and his luck changes for the better, except now he's out of a job. Happy Holidays to you too.
It looks contrived, but cute. Possibly worth seeing on cable in a few months.

In America
An out of work actor from Ireland drags his family to NYC so that he can be an out of work actor in the Big Apple. Okay, so he won't be joining Mensa in the near future, but the story is supposed to a deeply moving love letter to America and the immigrants who come here.
The director, Jim Sheridan, also brought us In the Name of the Father and My Left Foot (both awarded Oscars). This is by far the strongest candidate for my $10.

The Triplets of Belleville
This is a French animated film about a woman who in search of her grandson who was kidnapped by the mafia before finishing the Tour de France. Along the way she is joined by a cabaret sister act.
You'll have to tell me how it was because I'm not going.

My Flesh and Blood
This is a documentary that will make anyone's family seem like the descendents of kings. A woman in Central California is the adopted mother of 11 special needs children. One has no legs, the other is irreparably burned, another has anger issues, a couple are mentally deficient.
If you want to see a movie and go home being grateful for the family you have, then this is the movie for you.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 9:03 PM | TrackBack

November 20, 2003

November 21st Film Releases

I took my own advice last week and saw Master and Commander. It was awesome. I love it when I'm right.
Now for this week's picks. This week we have the white man's assisted attempt at a slam-dunk (please see extended version for explanation), Cat in the Hat. Not recommended for anyone older than 5 years or with an IQ above 60. For those of us who are not Neanderthal preschool students, my recommendations are as follows:
1) 21 Grams
2) Barbarian Invasions
3) Shattered Glass (wider release)

Cat in the Hat
A white man's assisted attempt at a slam-dunk is when good old Beaver Cleaver uses a stepladder to reach the net. There's no way he won't make it, but it doesn't make it any less pathetic.
This is the equivalent of making a Dr. Seuss film. You have a ready made, built in audience of kids who first learned to read using "Green Eggs and Ham" and adults who have an incurable case of nostalgia. You don't have to really strain your creative muscles to gross $20 million out of the gate. Its too easy. Where's the effort?
For those of you who will waste your $10 on this movie instead of waiting for it to come out on cable, I have a warning - The book is ALWAYS better than the movie.

Gothica
This is just another excuse to see Hale Berry naked.

Shattered Glass
Cheaters never prosper, and journalists who make up stories stand in the unemployment line.
I recommended this movie a few weeks ago. It did well enough in its platform release to deserve a wider screening. A good $10 candidate.

21 Grams
This is one of those everyone's-connected-it's-a-small-world stories that brings together a drug addicted single mother (Naomi Watts), a college professor (Sean Penn), and an ex-con (Benicio Del Toro). Now all it needs is the Skipper and the cast for the new Gilligans Island will be complete.
A solid cast and a hot young writer/director who is still stretching his legs, this is the strongest candidate for my $10.

Barbarian Invasions
An estranged son comes home to take care of his terminally ill divorced father, and then has the brilliant idea of inviting his father's friends, relatives, and old flames to see him off into the great beyond. Havoc ensues.
This movie has won more festival awards than I care to count. The only drawback, its in French. It is not for the illiterate or those with afflicted with ADD, but it is a candidate for my $10.

Blindness
A blind widow's house is broken into by a man who was wrongfully convicted of a crime committed by her late husband.
Your guess is as good as mine.

Blue Gate Crossing
A teenage love triangle set in Taipei, between a boy and two girls.
Hmmm... young Asian lesbians. This has average straight man appeal written all over it.

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November 13, 2003

November 14th Film Releases

Someone needs to beat the studio execs into submission until they fully and unquestioningly understand the notion that part of what makes democracy such a riot is freedom of choice. How can we exercise this right without VARIETY? Its like a MilkyWay without the caramel. All you have is a Three Musketeers, which is a completely different animal.
This week there is only one obvious choice for my $10, and it stars my favorite Spanish slave with an Australian accent. The good lord had a hand in creating him.

1) Master and Commander
2) The Big Empty
3) Tupac: Resurrection

Master and Commander
A hundred men. One boat. Months at sea. Are you sure they're not gay?
Russell Crowe is ready set the hearts of the world a flutter as Lucky Jack, the Captain of an English Navy vessel in 1805. There are storms, fight scenes, and explosions. With those elements and the direction of Oscar winner Peter Weir, we have all the makings of an excellent waste of two hours.

Looney Toons: Back in Action
Who green lighted this? Who in their right mind thought this was a good idea?
Cartoons and washed up actors save the world from an evil corporation. Commie bastards.

Tupac: Resurrection
If you like rap, if you're a Tupac fan, here is the film for you. Apparently its filled with original songs, poetry, and interviews.

The Big Empty
Jon Favreau (Swingers, Made) stars as failing actor John Person, sent to the middle of nowhere to deliver a package and make some easy money.
Hmmm. Art imitates life?

Anything But Love
Our leading lady is lounge act at the airport Howard Johnson hotel and has to choose between the stuffy rich lawyer and the scruffy poor piano teacher.
Cheesy and predictable. As natural together as a smoker with a hacking cough.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 8:22 PM | TrackBack

November 6, 2003

November 7th Film Releases

Not too many releases this week, and I think we all know why. No one wants to compete with the final installment of the Matrix series. Not even yours truly. I'm not even going to do my usual three recommendations. Why bother? You're just going to go see Revolutions anyway. So go. See it. Experience it. Be let down by it (you know you will, nothing will ever top the first).
But for the sake of tradition, I will keep a stiff upper lip, and state the top three candidates for my $10:
1) Neo
2) Morpheus
3) Agent Smith

But remember, there are other movies out there. They're just not The One.

The Matrix Revolutions
Ted Logan is back for his final round until some director makes the tragic mistake of hiring him for another film. Have you seen this guy act? Its as painful as watching the bingo finals at the Senior Olympics.
Anyways, you can't avoid it and you know you want to see it, so go. Watch Neo attempt to save Zion from the machines and the entire universe from Agent Smith.
There goes my $10. Flushed down the drain of "I couldn't wait for it to come out on video."

Elf
Will Farrell plays Buddy, a human who was raised in the North Pole by Santa's elves and goes to New York to find his parents and teach people the meaning of Christmas.
The holidays must be fast approaching for the studios to throw this one at us. Let me check my calendar.... Wait a minute!!!! Its not for another TWO MONTHS! Nothing good can come of the commercialization of religious holidays. Next thing you know you'll be hearing Christmas carols while shopping for your Halloween costume. The buck stops here people! No Christmas before Thanksgiving. I can only handle one holiday at a time.

Love Actually
If Neo wasn't making his last ditch effort to save Zion this weekend, this is where my $10 would go.
The people who brought you Three Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Bridget Jones Diary present yet another romantic comedy. This movie intertwines 10 love stories into one with the intention of telling us that love is everywhere.
Now I know this may shock you - but I have a soft side. Romantic efforts turn me to mush, unless they're sappy. I can't stand sappy. It lacks intelligence.
I've always enjoyed the director's past efforts and I fully intend to enjoy this one as well. Someday. Probably on video. Alone. By myself.

Billabong Odyssey
(Yawn) Another surfing documentary. Go rent Endless Summer.

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October 30, 2003

October 31st Film Releases

This week is a mixed bag at best. On one side we have our obvious Oscar contenders (The Human Stain, Shattered Glass), on the other side we have the boring run of the mill, love your fellow man (or beast), Disney craptoon (Brother Bear), then we have the third dimension of the purely bizarre (Die Mommy Die, Dirt), and THEN we have the stroke-the-director's-ego re-release of a classic sci-fi horror epic (Alien).
My picks for the week are as follows:
1) The Human Stain
2) Shattered Glass
3) Die Mommy Die
And, if all else fails -- Alien (it is Halloween isn't it?)

Oscar season has been here for a few weeks now and the studios are slowly releasing the quality films that they've been hoarding all year. One by one. Cell by cell. It's as though we've been starved all year and they can't give them to us all at once or we'll die from our own gluttony (but they're the cruel masters who starved us in the first place). No justice, no peace! Just give us the films worth seeing!!!!
Back to the task at hand:

The Human Stain
What is a poor discredited aging college professor to do? Well, if you're Anthony Hopkins and your cleaning lady looks like Nicole Kidman, you have yourself a darn good time. But, some good things just aren't meant to last. Just ask Nicoles abusive ex-husband, Ed Harris.
Good cast, mysterious story line (but if you read enough of the reviews you can figure it out), and a two-time Oscar winning director. Looks like it might be worth my $10.

Alien: The Director's Cut
The movie that made you freak out every time you had a bad case of gas is back. Digitally remastered with extra footage and our favorite acid dripping queen. Don't worry; it'll be out on DVD before you know it.

Brother Bear
So sweet it'll make you want to gag (and then go hunting).

Shattered Glass
Steven Glass is journalism's latest prodigy. A contributing writer for Rolling Stone and a staff writer for the New Republic, all at the tender age of 25. But this little turk gets his comeuppance when it turns out that he may have fibbed a little on a couple of his stories. Okay, okay - 25 out of 27 of his articles may be complete works of fiction. So he cut a few corners, can you blame a lazy Gen X'er?
Hayden Christensen (otherwise known as the future Darth Vader) may actually have an ounce of acting talent (I had my doubts after the last Star Wars installment). Another possible candidate for my $10.

Die Mommy Die
When a Hollywood producer dies of mysterious causes, his transvestite wife is always the first to be blamed. So typical.
This 50's melodrama inspired comedy stars Natasha Lyonne (one of my favorite indie starlets) and Jason Priestley (will he ever live down 90210?). Could be fantastic, could be horrible. Let's go gambling.

Dirt
I haven't heard anything about this film, nor have I seen an ounce of footage even resembling a trailer. But, the premise looks interesting.
Two brothers in Texas decide they need the presence of the fairer sex in their lives after their mother dies. The stripper doesn't work out, so they kidnap a grocery clerk and go on a crime spree. Mamma would be proud.
This is an even bigger gamble.

Suspended Animation
I've seen the trailer, and trust me, it isn't worth writing about. Move on.

Posted by xx - Ms. Lauren - xx at 9:16 PM | TrackBack

October 23, 2003

October 24th Film Releases

Movies coming out this week that are either:
a) Worth paying $10 to see in a theater, or
b) Worth illegally downloading off the net (I have no idea how, but I hear it can be done).
In order of preference:
1) Elephant
2) The Singing Detective
3) Kill Bill(its still out and its still amazing)

Let's see what the movie-making establishment has to offer this week for our discriminating pleasure:
Scary Movie 3
Yes, another parody. But, its written by Kevin Smith (for all you "Clerks" freaks out there like me) and directed by David Zucker (I am serious and don't call me Shirley). Possibly worth seeing on cable in a few months, but worth my $10, no.
Radio
Yes, another retard movie. I saw "Rainman" and "Forest Gump, Im through with the mentally challenged.
Beyond Borders
Angelina Jolie - Once married to a guy named Billy Bob. Don't waste your time.
In The Cut
Meg Ryan only makes a decent film when Tom Hanks is there to make it bearable. Tom ain't in this one, pick something else.
The Singing Detective
50's comedic noir. Can you even have comedic noir? The trailer looked interesting, and despite Mr. Downey Jr's chemical dependencies I actually like him as an actor. This could be worth seeing. Good for a romp, not exploring the depths of the human soul.
Elephant
Gus Van Sandt won the Palm de Or in Cannes for this film. Its about a school shooting and is supposed to be very disturbing. No known actors involved. If you're going to see a movie this weekend, see this one. But I warn you - its not an upper.

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