Friday, November 9, 2012

Stuck Between Stations (2011)

Number Rolled: 38
Movie Name/Year: Stuck Between Stations (2011)
Genre: Drama
Length: 84 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Brady Kiernan
Writer: Nat Bennett, Sam Rosen
Actors: Heather Amos, Sam Rosen, Zoe Lister Jones, Josh Hartnett, Casey Greig, Missy Conner, Nadia Dajani, Christiana Clark, Angie Dahlager, Brent Doyle

Disclaimer: Minor Spoilers

I initially put this on my Instant Queue because of Josh Hartnett. Granted, he’s in it for only about ten minutes, but still. He’s one of those actors I fan-girl over. I have to say, though, even if he wasn’t in it? I would have added this to my queue eventually, watched it and absolutely adored it.

I was completely engrossed by the storyline of these two characters that start the night apart and slowly become entangled. A man on leave from the army because of his father’s death meets a girl he once went to school with during a time in her life where her choices have led to some epic failures. They take comfort in each other (and a little bit of weed).  

The majority of the movie involves the two main characters just talking. Oh, there are shenanigans, but they are based around the stories of these two characters crashing into each other. I’m not so sure I would call it a drama, but I can see why someone would. I wouldn’t really call it a romance either, though I could also see that classification. I think Netflix did the best they could with this one.

“Stuck Between Stations” is this beautiful look at how our choices affect us and those around us. Near the end, we get a deep look at the main characters worst memories and how those choices affected their view of themselves. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, these stories are deeply disturbing and tear-jerking.

One of the lines Rebecca says in the last twenty minutes of the movie resonated with me. My bet is that it will resonate with most people who watch it. “I just remember thinking, that I had this choice. To be horribly traumatized or not to be. And… I chose door number two.” We all have that moment in our lives where we are faced with a fork in the road. Maybe you recognized that moment immediately, maybe not until later on in life when you were looking back. Maybe you didn’t recognize that moment at all, but think back and you’ll see you had one. If you’re convinced you haven’t, you will eventually be faced with it.

I remember my fork in the road like it was yesterday. I had introduced my best friend to my ex-boyfriend, Mike, when we were all around seventeen. The three of us spent the day together hanging out with Mike and his family in their apartment in Bensonhurst. There’d been some violence the day before within our group of friends, while Mike was in Jersey visiting family, so when it came time to leave, he chose to walk me and my friend (her real name will not be used to protect her identity, I will simply call her Martha) to the car service a few blocks down.

We were nearly there when the group of boys responsible for the previous nights’ drama stalked over to us and began to scream at Mike for what he said to them. Since Mike was out of town, they were obviously mistaken about who he was. No amount of the three of us telling them that mattered. We got silent when the head asshole put his hand to his lower back. We were certain he had a gun. All of us were very lucky to find out it was just brass knuckles. Of course, had the brass hit Mike’s temple a touch to the left, he’d be just as dead.

Martha freaked out and Mike fell with a concussion, the boys ran off. I’ll admit, I froze, but because I didn’t freak out, I had my choice at that moment. Martha was freaking out so badly that there was no coaxing her over to Mike so I could help them both. I was forced to choose between them. I chose Mike.

I have never regretted my choice, even as Martha stopped speaking to me. It was the start of a long line of battles Mike and I fought together, and our friendship was born from blood and violence. We stopped dating eventually, but there will never be a weapon strong enough to break our bond. I’ve been choosing him ever since.

This movie goes into the affect scenarios like that have on our lives. How they break us or build us up while aiding us in forging new bonds or breaking old ones. It’s a subtle drama that is built through the interactions of Rebecca and Casper and their attempts to get to know one another.

Even if I had hated the movie, which I so obviously didn’t, I would have changed my mind because of the ending. It was completely unexpected and pretty much beautiful. I think everyone should see this movie at least once.  

Overall Opinion – 4.5/5

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Hello Sister, Goodbye Life (2006)

Number Rolled: 29
Movie Name/Year: Hello Sister, Goodbye Life (2006)
Genre: Drama
Length: 89 minutes
Rating: TV-PG
Director: Steven Robman
Writer: Alan Marc Levy, Nell Scovell, Claire Scovell Lazebnik
Actors: Lacey Chabert, Sammi Hanratty, Wendie Malick, David Ramsey, Adam Kaufman

This was a movie about a young college student thrust into a difficult situation. After her father and step-mother’s death, she’s put into a position where she must take care of a sister she barely knows.

Now, let’s be completely honest here. It’s not the most unique storyline ever utilized in a movie. If you’re really looking for further honesty, the entire movie pretty much followed a very easy template. The beginning of the movie suggested it would and the ending proved it. It actually took a little while for me to even get into it at all. For about a half hour I was convinced this movie would have me falling asleep in no time.

As the story went on, though, I found myself amused by the sarcastic sense of humor the main character, Olivia, portrayed and the relatively realistic interaction between her and her little sister, Celia.

My final thought? It followed a recipe, but the end product was still somewhat fulfilling. It just barely made average for me, but it definitely could have been worse.

Overall Opinion – 3/5

Monday, November 5, 2012

Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach (2009)

Number Rolled: 13
Movie Name/Year: Balls Out: Gary the Tennis Coach (2009)
Genres: Comedy
Length: 93 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Danny Leiner
Writer: Andy Stock, Rick Stempson
Actors: Seann William Scott, Randy Quaid, Brando Eaton, Emilee Wallace, A.D. Miles, Leonor Varela, Ryan Simpkins, Conor Donovan, Justin Chon, Meredith Eaton, Daniel Ross, Vincent Coleman Taylor, Zach Thatcher

What the hell did I just force myself to watch? Obviously, Andy Stock and Rick Stempson were high when writing this movie and blackmailed Danny Leiner to direct it. It had its funny parts, true enough, enough to keep it from being a 1, but are you kidding me?

Think “The Mighty Ducks” only with Sean William Scott playing an older and even MORE ridiculous version of every character he’s ever played. You can’t really judge the rest of the actors/actresses because they were all acting in a script that was meant to make the audience groan and laugh at the cost of actually being good.

Look, I like a good raunchy comedy. Kevin Smith is my favorite writer/director and he’s made a lot of them. But this was… I don’t even know what to say. Tennis team coach has a heart-attack, Sean William Scott’s character takes over and the attempt at making child molestation funny begins. Seriously? Sometimes this whole random thing makes me want to punch the TV.

Overall Opinion – 1.5/5