Friday, August 31, 2012

Me and Orson Welles (2008)

Number Rolled: 63
Movie Name/Year: Me and Orson Welles (2008)
Genre: Drama
Length: 113 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Director: Richard Linklater
Writer: Holly Gent Palmo, Robert Kaplow, Vincent Palmo Jr.
Actors: Garrick Hagon, Zac Efron, Zoe Kazan, Megan Maczko, Simon Lee Phillips, Patrick Kennedy, Claire Danes

This was a cute movie centered around a high school boy with the ambition to be an actor and the luck to back it up. Christian McKay played a wonderfully believable Orson Welles opposite Zac Efron who played the main character, Richard.

I loved watching the interaction of Richard and Orson – as if it was a mentor relationship gone wrong. The story had familiar bits and pieces to it without being utterly predictable. If pressed, I could really only find one fault in it.

I didn’t like the beginning. It was like the camera’s opened up to the middle of the story. Its progress was like a bullet shot from a gun. There was no hike to the climax, you just kind of started up on the top of the mountain and tried not to fall off while you walked around the edge. It became easier to follow after that.

I would love to say I loved it, but I didn’t. It was cute. I’d watch it again if it happened to be on, but I wouldn’t seek it out. There was nothing really wrong with it, but my personal tastes in movies don’t really lean toward this one. I would still suggest giving it a chance and could easily see others loving it.

Overall Opinion – 3.5/5

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Tank Girl (1995)

Number Rolled: 46
Movie Name/Year: Tank Girl (1995)
Genre: Action Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Length: 104 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Rachel Talalay
Writer: Alan Martin, Jamie Hewlett, Tedi Sarafian
Actors: Lori Petty, Ice-T, Naomi Watts, Don Harvey, Jeff Kober, Reg E Cathey, Scott Coffey, Malcolm McDowell, Stacy Linn Ramsower

Following a meteor strike on Earth, the atmosphere is warped to such a degree that there is no more rainfall. All the remaining water on the planet is controlled by one power-hungry corporation, aside from the few people here and there who pirate some. After the corporation forcibly stops the main character’s pirating action and takes her captive, she spends the rest of the movie turning it around on them.

Rebecca aka Tank Girl, the main character played by Lori Petty, is an apocalyptic punk goddess who carries a big gun while riding around in a huge tank and throwing quips at everyone. Add in some genetic experiments, a shy, but tough, fellow prisoner and a ten year old that can kick your ass, and you get this movie. I highly recommend it.

I cannot stress just how much I love this movie. Granted, I’ll watch anything based off a comic, but not all of them prove to be as good as this one. Generally I don’t like movies that include flashes of the comics or video games mixed in with the actual movie, but considering the inherit silliness of this movie, it really works.

It had all the basic necessities of a hero movie. Tragic past/present, overcoming obstacles, etc., but it managed to do it without feeling old and tired. No matter how many times I see this movie, I never get bored with it.

Overall Opinion – 5/5

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sex and the City 1-2 (2008-2010)

Number Rolled: 24
Movie Name/Year: Sex and the City/Sex and the City 2 (I rolled the latter, but felt uncomfortable writing a review on the second one without at least touching on the first) 2008/2010
Genre: Comedy
Length: 145 minutes/146 minutes
Rating: NR/R
Director: Michael Patrick King
Writer: Michael Patrick King, Candace Bushnell, Darren Star
Actors: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Willie Garson, Mario Cantone, David Eigenberg, Lynn Cohen, Evan Handler, Chris Noth, Jason Lewis

People who know me well in person might be surprised to learn that I am actually a huge fan of Sex and the City. After all, I don’t subscribe to the wacky fashions or the fancy red-carpet life. I’d choose a day of gaming or watching movies in sweats over any restaurant opening. But as a young aspiring writer who had delved head first into her romantic life (making many wrong choices along the way – both as the wronged and the one doing the wronging), a lot of the storylines have rung true.

The first movie always brought me to tears. It was interesting and thought provoking without being unrealistic. Would the events of the movie have been commonplace? No, but still possible. Even the conversations were realistic enough to pass. The second movie, however, was mediocre at best. It was filled to the brim with terrible puns. It took intense worries from real life and fueled them with unrealistic conversations and responses. Those side storylines of Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte were deep, meaningful issues that were showed in a ridiculous light that made them look fake. The main storyline, however, they got right on.

We all have the one who got away. No matter how happy you are with your significant other, you have that “what if” man/woman. Maybe that person didn’t exist for you after you graduated high school, but the moment you see them, you still get that question in the back of your mind, “what would have happened?” Carrie is thrown into that situation when she runs into Aidan in Abu Dhabi (of all places). A minor issue in her marriage sends her back to that inevitable question that we all are so familiar with.

As the storyline goes, Carrie makes a mistake and is forced to face who she is, who she was and who she wants to become. She makes a startling realization.

I understand that feeling deep inside that she notes. That feeling that you both miss and hate who you once were. I’ve been there. I am there. I was that girl who was up for anything, always with a drink in one hand and a big glass of drama in the other. I like to think that I started changing a few years back when I went back to college, but those closest to me know that’s not true. I was trying, but didn’t care enough to try too hard. Then the pains started.

My lifestyle had become the cause of some severe health problems. Issues with my spleen and liver kept me from being able to get up for days at a time, even so much as to sit at my computer. A wrong choice in guys kept me from having the confidence I needed to take action to better my situation. It was during that time that I really began to like Sex and the City.

It took a lot to pull myself up once I had hit that stage. There was a point where I became suicidal. I was a product of my situation, the one I had put myself in – however unintentionally. Therapy was a good start, finding an amazing guy helped even more and together they led me to a little game store on East 15th and Kings Highway in Brooklyn, “Kings Games.” This place became my safe haven and in a great many ways, my savior. I found every reason possible to go there. I learned to play games I might have never taken an interest in just so I could find another reason to go. I met people who helped to pull me out of my shell. People who don’t know me nearly as well as some of my closest friends and have no idea that they became my guardian angels. It was a secondary therapy. I have no doubt that I would not be where I am now without them and that little game shop where I go to lose at Magic: the Gathering and Heroclix every chance I get. I thank the owner and all those people with all my heart. Even if it is mostly in private.

Sex and the City, at its heart, is simply a story about a woman who’s trying to find her way. It would be the same story if the sex was taken out and just left with the romance, but there would only be half as many viewers. In this movie, I think the creators forgot that there was supposed to be a deeper meaning in certain parts. It’s a shame, because the potential this movie had was limitless.

In the end, though, the moral was apparent. I learned my lesson a while back. Going through a much different travel to be happy where I am, and with who I will become and who I am. Sometimes, it’s still a little strange. Sometimes it still feels like I’m in a dream and I’m afraid to wake up.

For those who enjoy the series, it’s worth a watch – but only if you enjoy the series. There’s nothing there for those on the outside.

I would like to say this, though. It was very nice to see the Middle East portrayed in a light that wasn’t violent. The movie highlighted many beautiful points of the area and even delved a bit into culture without making it seem horrible, as many movies do now-a-days.

Overall Opinion – Sex and the City 1 - 4/5
Overall Opinion – Sex and the City 2 - 2/5