Friday, October 30, 2009

Beautiful and moving - "Sommersby"

This was recommended to me by the lovely Elva as one of her must-see's. And... I loved this movie! I even watched it in one sitting, which I hardly ever do with my Netflix DVD's. It's a sweeping and sad love story that made me cry at the end, which I don't often do at movies. It's also intriguing and makes you wonder about who he really is? Is he Jack Sommersby? Or someone else? Could Jack Sommersby be changed so much by the war that he is a new person? It was interesting from minute one, and didn't disappoint throughout. I'd recommend it as a love story that both women and men would enjoy, because it's not just a simple they-love-each-other blah blah blah plot like some other love stories. Not any bad language that I recall, but there are a few violent scenes where the slaves are beaten by a KKK-like group. Thank you Elva for the great movie recommendation! *hugs* :)

Pretty Brilliant - "Pulp Fiction"

Okay. I watched this like 10 years ago and didn't understand it at all. Probably because I was 19 and not really paying that much attention. So I've spent the last 10 years trying to explain to everyone that I didn't really "get" what the big deal was about this movie. Skip forward to present day and I totally understand after re-watching it. This movie is brilliant. And confusing. And funny. And makes you think. It is VERY gory and has LOTS of bad language, so I wouldn't recommend it for everyone. But for adults who can handle all of that - I'd say this is one of the best movies I've ever seen. (Whoa, I know!)

Austin Film Festival wrap up!

Okay, I didn't get to see ANY of the movies I listed as hopefuls. But, I did go to 3 events that were awesome!

First night of the festival, my boss and I went to the Ritz on 6th to hear the creator of Mad Men talk about the show and show an episode. It was SO cool. They played a recent, craaazy episode (the one with the lawnmower incident, for those of you who watch it!) and then he did a Q & A afterward. It was awesome to hear him talk about this world he created. If you don't watch the show, you should. It's the best show on TV - and I take my TV very seriously :)

Last Friday night, I drove all the way out to the Alamo Lake Creek (next to Lakeline mall, which is oh so far from my house) for "The Donner Party." For those of you who know me, you know I am SO into this kind of stuff. I love movies and documentaries about true stories of survival and the human body being pushed to it's limits. (I've seen the movie "Alive" about the rugby team stuck on the mountain like 8000 times.) However, "The Donner Party" was not really what I was expecting. I did enjoy it - it was VERY independent (no budget) but it was good. It even had Crispin Glover (McFly from Back to the Future) and let me tell you, that guy is creepy. But it wasn't what I was expecting because they weren't really pushed to the limits by their situation, more like from the mean man who was deciding who should be killed next for food. Alot of the crew that made the movie was in attendance, and the director, a few producers and one actress talked to the audience at the end about making it and working with Crispin Glover. It's really interesting to hear about how to make a film - alot more goes into it than we realize!

Monday night I convinced my friend Michael to go with me to see some "Shorts." We went to "Shorts 6" at the Hideout Theater on Congress near the Paramount. It was weird because the theater is in the back of a coffee shop, where, NO JOKE, they were having poetry readings in the front. The theater had probably only like 60 seats total, and reminded me of those little shady theaters you see in foreign films or old movies. Anyway, we both really enjoyed the "Shorts." Here's a list and descriptions of the ones we saw:
"My New Toy" - made in Australia, 5 minutes long. A little boy works hard to earn money for a special reward.
"What's Virgin Mean?" - made in the UK, 3 minutes long. The Birds and the Bees are the secret ingredient in this mother's recipe. Haha - "so what's extra virgin mean?"
"Good Advice" - made in Sweden, 15 minutes. When a boy runs away, he leaves behind a helpful tape for his unborn sibling.
"Love Child" - Sweden, 7 minutes. Kittens and kids - more alike than you think.
"An Evening with Emery Long" - USA, 14 minutes. On a cold Saturday afternoon, as day gives way to night, industrial carpet salesman Emery Long prepares for his first date with the sales department's receptionist.
"HIV: The Musical" - The UK, 12 minutes. A Playwright's socially conscious script turns into a "bloody" nightmare, proving that important social messages are best delivered in a pink tutu.
"All My Dreams on VHS" - The UK, 14 minutes. A man's videotaped dreams make for an awkward ice breaker.
"Las Pelotas" - Switzerland, 15 minutes. In bad economic times, there is nothing like a son with soccer talent. If you don't have one, it takes a good mix of science, sex and a grandma to get there.

Overall, I really enjoyed the Film Festival and can't wait to go again next year! Now that I know what to expect, hopefully next year I will make it to more events.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Austin Film Festival!

Today is October 22, 2009. It is my 9 year anniversary at work, and my high school best friend's birthday (Happy Birthday, Wendy!!). It's also the start of the Austin Film Festival - and I'm the film geek who's going. Here's some of the movies I hope to see this week!

"Precious" - this looks so good.

"The Young Victoria" - looks beautiful!

"An Education" - I've heard it's getting great reviews, even from the NY Times.

"Godspeed" - looks depressing but interesting

"How I Got Lost" - (earmuffs for the trailer)

"Holy Hell" - okay, this looks quirky and VERY interesting!

"Passenger Side" - I love movies like this.

I'm so excited!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

By request (hah) - "The Proposal"

It was recently released on DVD - I saw it in theatres a few months back. This is a cute movie! It's pretty ridiculous at times, but it's a romantic comedy that doesn't disappoint. I, personally, don't understand the concept of falling in love with someone over a weekend..... but I suppose crazier things have happened (?). There's a few weird parts - there's an awkward strip scene for the Bachelorette party, and Grandma (Betty White) does some sort of rain dance at one point. Like I said, ridiculous at times. But other than that, I enjoyed it. The scenery from Alaska was beautiful! Overall, it's a cute romantic comedy that most people would enjoy (if you don't expect too much.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Didn't live up to the hype - "Paranormal Activity"

Okay. This movie is scary in a FEW parts, but mostly it's alot of speculation and silly arguments between the couple concerning what's in the house. I'd say there were like 3 parts where I was really scared. It is very creepy at times, but I wouldn't say it's the scariest movie I've ever seen. As with most scary movies, teenagers will enjoy it alot more than adults will. It definitely has that cheesy scary movie feel at times (For example: The one guy who can help these kids is out of the country for the next few days. How convenient.) The really scary parts are mostly all in the last half, maybe even last quarter of the movie. Overall, it didn't live up to the hype to me, but what ever does?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

LOVED IT - "Away We Go"

Okay, I loved this movie. But to be fair - it's totally my kind of movie and I looooooove me some John Krasinski (Jim from The Office!!!) and I love Sam Mendes (the director - American Beauty, Jarhead) and I love movies that seem like real life. So, the couple is trying to figure out where they want to raise their child, and in the process they reunite with all these people from their past and get to observe how screwed up they've managed to make their family life. Through this, they know exactly what they don't want... not what they do want. By the end of the movie, they've found the perfect place and even you, the viewer, knows they will be perfectly fine there for the next 50 years. John Krasinski is so sweet as the doting new Dad-to-be, and Maya Rudolph is believable as a pregnant woman who's a little freaked out. There are many other well-known actors who play their extended family that were great as well. Maggie Gyllenhaal is hilariously weird as the woman who hates strollers, and Catherine O'Hara and Jeff Daniels as the grandparents are ridiculously clueless and therefore funny! Overall, I thought this movie was GREAT. I will say a few times I felt like the movie was trying a little too hard to be artsy-fartsy. But despite that, I LOVED it. The opening scene is a little shocking - so be ready! It's on DVD now.

"Couples Retreat"

Pretty funny! Vince Vaughn is, of course, hilarious as usual. The yoga instructor and the black guy's young girlfriend are also hilarious! The movie does a good job of balancing the funny and serious stuff. The couples actually grow together during the movie to understand what they're not providing for their spouse, it's not just silliness the entire time. There is quite a bit of silliness, though! I liked that they didn't joke around about the fact that marriage is hard sometimes (like I would know, haha). Overall - very enjoyable! It's rated PG-13 so it's not too raunchy, but a few parts are borderline. And, ear muffs for some bad language.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Good remake - "Fame" (2009)

For those of you who have seen the original, this is almost an exact duplicate. Same format, same story line. Some of the characters from the original are mixed together to make one character in the new film. They did upgrade some stuff to make it a little more contemporary, though. The kids in the movie were great, again I wish I was more talented like them. I could see some people not understanding these kids' hope of "making it," and therefore not really liking the movie. It does seem unrealistic, because it so rarely happens. It's shocking at times to see what these type of kids might do in order to get their shot. They do seem a little whiny at times, like WAA WAA why doesn't anyone understand my talent? But I think we've all felt misunderstood, especially in high school. Overall, I enjoyed it, but some might not. I guess you could say it's a little "artsy fartsy." Not that that's a bad thing - I'd consider myself a little "artsy fartsy!" :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wish it was better - Confessions of a Shopaholic

This movie is cute, and has a good message, but it's a little sloppy. It was based on a book, I believe, and sometimes novels don't really translate well to film. I was confused a few times (how did she get the job? who's the blonde?) but I enjoyed it. It's hard to not like Isla Fisher. She's so cute! And Hugh Dancy is pretty dreamy himself. Also, the message of NO MORE CREDIT CARDS was great. This is something I firmly believe in so I liked the idea of a movie about it. Despite being a little messy, the movie got it's point across. I wish it had been a little better, and therefore more popular, to get this VERY important message out there. But overall, cute and fun. On DVD now.