Sick Day

I hate being sick.  Feeling like death, drained of energy, unable to work up enough gumption to go to the bathroom let alone actually accomplish something.  It sucks.  Unfortunately, there isn’t much to do but stay horizontal and ride it out.  Put on that handful of movies you’ve seen so many times, you could practically recite them verbatim and wait for your immune system to kick whatever microbe it’s battling.  The list itself varies a bit but here’s a representative sample of what I like to watch when all I can do is open my eyes:

The Breakfast Club, There are so many quotable lines here but if I had to pick a favorite, I might go with: “Impossible sir.  It’s in Johnson’s underwear.” -John Bender in reference to his bag of pot.

Willow, When Val Kilmer was thin and brunette and way before Warwick Davis ever met Ricky Gervais, they had this awesome exchange:           Willow: “See this acorn? I’ll throw it at you and turn you to stone.”                                           Madmartigan: “Ooh, I’m really scared. No! Don’t! There’s a- a peck here with an acorn pointed at me!”

A Life Less Ordinary, Best line comes courtesy of Judith Ivey: “Remember my dear, they only want one thing.  Maybe they want it more than once, but it’s still only one thing.”

Moulin Rouge!, Though rife with quotable dialogue, the music here totally steals the show.  “El Tango De Roxeanne” is my favorite.

Drop Dead Fred, My sister and I might be the only 2 people ever to have seen this flick and liked it, but honestly, how can I not with lines like this: “Let’s play PIRATES!!  We’ll cut off our legs and glue on wooden ones!”

Fever Pitch, Best line?  Nearly every one that comes out of Jimmy Fallon’s mouth.

High Fidelity, There’s nothing more comforting than a wordy John Cusack rant.  Case in point: “What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over.  Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss.  Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable?  Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?”

What do you watch when you’re too sick to get out of bed?

~Nikki

Another Had Been Found…

Imagine scientists discover a planet capable of sustaining life as Earth does.  Imagine that planet looks nearly identical to Earth and exists in the same universe.  Imagine that upon initial communication with the life on that planet, it appears it’s a mirror image of Earth, by which I mean that the exact same life exists on it.  By which I mean, YOU exist on it.  Another version of you, that is.  Another version of your mother, your father, your grandparents and great grandparents, all the way back to the first people and back even further, because, it seems, given the same atmosphere, the same life-sustaining essentials, the same set of geological circumstances, life as we know it on Earth will follow pretty much the same course.  What does that mean, exactly?  Maybe it means we don’t make the choices we do because those are the best choices we can make or because we feel like it or whatever other whimsical cause we can think of but maybe we make them because in those particular circumstances, those choices are the only ones that will ever be made.  Am I over-thinking it?  Perhaps.  I don’t know what it means, really, but it’s an inspiring premise, isn’t it?  One ripe with possibilities.  With potential.

In Another Earth, scientists do discover a planet that (upon further investigation) seems to be a second Earth.  On which, everyone alive on Earth today also exists.  The film really isn’t about that, though.  At the start, main character Rhoda Williams is a 17 year-old high school senior who just got accepted to MIT.  She’s intelligent and beautiful and naive and ambitious.  She hears about the discovery of this second Earth over the radio while driving home from a party late one night and peers her head out of the window to see the tiny blue dot that is this other planet.  That one small choice – to look out of the window at a blue dot in the sky while driving – changes the course of her life and three others.  She wrecks into an SUV in a head-on collision, killing a woman and her toddler son and nearly killing another.  The survivor is the child’s father and the woman’s husband.  His injuries put him into a coma for months while Rhoda is tried, convicted and sent to prison.  Four years later, she comes out of prison a meek and broken 21 year-old smart enough to go to college and become an astronaut but too afraid of her own life to try.  Instead, she takes a job cleaning a local high school and shies away from human interaction.  She learns that this “new” planet is sort of a duplicate of Earth (or Earth is a duplicate of it) and she enters a contest to win a ticket to be among the first to visit it.  Given the course her life has taken since its discovery, why wouldn’t she want to escape to it?

All of that happens in just the first act.  Brit Marling, who co-wrote the screenplay with director Mike Cahill, carries the film with her subtle and powerful lead performance.  Though Another Earth is an engaging and provocative film with an original premise, I have to admit it left me somewhat dissatisfied.  I recommend it for all to see, without a doubt.  But as the credits rolled, I wanted more.  The final scene opens the door to countless possibilities and excites your imagination but, wait, it’s the FINAL SCENE.  As in, the end.  I may have even thrown my hands up in exasperation when that scene (and therefore, the film) ended.  Don’t stop now! I wanted to say.

But come on, if my only real criticism of the movie is that I didn’t want it to end, does it count as a criticism?  No.  Here’s my real criticism: I wanted it to keep exploring the possibilities posed by the premise of an identical planet in the universe.  But even that doesn’t count as a criticism because Another Earth isn’t really about exploring those possibilities.  Maybe that’s what I wanted from it but that isn’t its point.  It’s a film about loss, remorse and redemption.  With that in mind, the story ends where it should.  It shouldn’t reflect poorly on the movie that I wanted it to keep going.  So, I guess what I’m saying is, I have no real criticisms of Another Earth.  By which I mean: go out and watch it.

~Nikki

Always Let Love Take The Lead

I saw the flick Happy Accidents on Netflix long before I knew it was one of the “50 Best Movies You Haven’t Seen” per EW, and thought it looked cute.  So when Annie proposed that we make a little project of watching all the films on said list, of course, I started with this one.

This very quirky and original romantic comedy opens with main character Ruby Weaver, played by the beautiful and irresistibly likeable Marisa Tomei, griping about her long history of failed relationships.  She and her friends have devoted an entire shoe box to photos of their ex’s, since, apparently, in NYC, true love is hard to find.  Ruby continually falls into the trap of trying to “save” men from whatever fatal flaws she finds in them and the movie begins with her vow to break this dooming pattern.  She meets Sam Deed (Vincent D’Onofrio, giving a surprisingly charming performance) in the park and a romance quickly ensues.  Trying hard to resist old habits, Ruby ignores some of Sam’s odd behavior until it escalates to an undeniable level, at which point she turns to her therapist.  You see, Ruby has fallen so much in love that she can’t find it in herself to walk away and yet, the secret Sam reveals begs an intervention.

Tomei and D’Onofrio have great chemistry and make this rather silly movie enjoyable.  The silliness comes from Sam’s secret past, which is slowly revealed and is so strange and peculiar, I won’t ruin it for you by giving it away here.  My initial reaction read like: “Are they serious?” but I soon found it bizarrely funny.  I wouldn’t have stuck around as long as Ruby does but, then again, I have no desire to “fix” anyone.  Their chemistry works enough, though, that as often as I thought she should ditch the guy, I found myself simultaneously rooting for them to stay together.

Marisa Tomei is impossibly cute and I’ve never found Vincent D’Onofrio more appealing.  The story itself is weird but the strong performances and sparkly chemistry between the two make it work.  It isn’t of the same calibur as When Harry Met Sally… or even Bridget Jones’s Diary but it is sweet and enjoyable.  A pleasant, light-hearted way to spend a couple of hours.

~Nikki

Our Movie Challenge

Partially inspired by one of our favorite bloggers, Netflix Russian Roulette and his movie challenge, we have one we’re gonna try ourselves. The July 6th issue of Entertainment Weekly featured the article “The 50 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen”, and we were intrigued and excited by their picks, and hadn’t seen the majority of them. So, we decided to make them 50 movies we have seen. We went over the list together and briefly talked about each one in our previous podcasts, here and here. If you don’t wanna hear us blab, here’s the list, in its entirety. As we watch each film, we’ll write a review and link them here. We’ll also have a new link at the top of our homepage with the list of films and links to their reviews. We’re fairly certain this’ll take quite a long time, but it’s all about the journey, right?

~Annie & Nikki

24 Hour Party People
Backbeat
Bamboozled
Box of Moonlight
Broken English
Bubba Ho-Tep
The Century of Self
Chuck & Buck
Daytrippers
Devil’s Playground
DIG!
Enter the Void
Eve’s Bayou
Fish Tank
Fly Away Home
George Washington
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale
Idiocracy
The Iron Giant
I’ve Loved You So Long
Layer Cake
Lilya 4-Ever
Love & Basketball
The Magdalene Sisters
Marwencol
Memories of Murder
Moon
Murderball
My Summer of Love
Next Stop Wonderland
Perfect Blue
Prime
Primer
Rare Exports
The Ref
Rescue Dawn
The Rules of Attraction
Safe Men
Smiley Face
Surfwise
Together
Two Family House
Walking and Talking
Wendy and Lucy
Wristcutters: A Love Story

Let Me Hear You Say, “JUMP, JUMP!”

Haters can hate, I could give a shit because I LIKE JONAH HILL.  Yeah, I said it.  He’s loud and obnoxious and often plays the role of a crude and vulgar asshole, but I like him.  Yes, in Knocked Up and Superbad, he was as offensively annoying as one can be.  In Accepted and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, he  was more of a pathetic, insecure nerdy type.  He showed us his more serious side in his Oscar-nominated performance in Moneyball and then followed that with 21 Jump Street, wherein he reprises and expands upon the role of insecure nerd.  (I choose to ignore The Sitter, which, as far as I’m concerned, should never have been a film and, therefore, does not exist.)  The thing is, though, whether a chubby dweeb or overbearing douche bag, he entertains me.

21 Jump Street really has nothing to do with the TV show of old.  Sure, both have the basic premise of a couple of young cops assigned  to go undercover into a high school to investigate crime involving teenagers, but the similarities pretty much stop there.  In the film released a few months ago, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum play the screwball cops assigned to the operation whose headquarters reside at 21 Jump Street.  They were pseudo-rivals in their own high school days, Hill being the intelligent, Slim Shady wannabe nerd and Tatum the popular jock skating by with a D-average.  Once they enter the force, though, they develop a friendship wherein their strengths/weaknesses compliment each other.  Bored with policing the park on their bicycles, they seize an opportunity to arrest (or try to) a known drug dealer.  Inept as they are, they completely screw up the arrest and embarrass the police department, which is why they’re assigned to the defunct undercover operation down on Jump Street.  Their mission: to enter high school as brothers, infiltrate the dealers and find the supplier of this new unnamed synthetic drug that has become the new fad and has killed a few kids.

The interesting little spin comes when Tatum accidentally calls himself by the wrong undercover name, thereby taking on the role of the nerd and giving Hill the identity of popular jock.  While there’s nothing athletic about Jonah Hill, he pulls off the popular bit well enough.  You see, high school has changed considerably since the ’90s and now to be cool is to be tolerant, to care about the environment, to be involved in social clubs and activist groups.  Tatum has a little more trouble convincing his new classmates he’s smart but he manages to make a few nerdly friends who show him that science is, in fact, cool because it enables us to blow shit up.

There are several under-used cameos and while there is an actual plot, it’s pretty flimsy.  That being said, 21 Jump Street is surprisingly entertaining and, at times, raucously funny.  There’s a series of scenes about a half-hour in lasting 6 or 7 minutes or so that made me laugh until I cried.  Literally.  I rewound and rewatched that sequence no less than FOUR TIMES.  Jonah Hill has never been funnier and even Channing Tatum, whom I usually find bland as a boiled potato, gets a few laughs.  This isn’t a film to change your life or leave a mark on the world of cinematography, but it is a pleasant way to pass 109 minutes.  And I guarantee it’ll make you laugh.

~Nikki

Now You Have My Attention

I should start with an apology: today is one of those days during which I honestly don’t have the time to devote to writing a proper post for you.  But I have stumbled upon a couple of things I simply MUST share with you.

First things first, have you all heard that Angelina Jolie will play the evil villain Maleficent in the upcoming retelling of Sleeping Beauty (no doubt inspired by the recent success of Snow White And The Huntsman) which has actually been titled Maleficent?  Apparently, it will be the Sleeping Beauty story told from the villainess’s point of view.  Given my surprising enjoyment of Snow White And The Huntsman, due in large part to Charlize Theron’s fantastically wicked portrayal of the evil queen, Maleficent appears quite promising, especially once I saw this photo:

Leather-clad horns and razor sharp cheekbones…I’m intrigued.  We will have to wait more than a full year, though, since this isn’t due out until 2014.

Much closer on the horizon, and promising even more wicked fun at the extremely capable hands of Mr. Quentin Tarantino, is this raucous good time:

Now that, I CANNOT wait for!  Its release is set for Christmas Day this very year and between it and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I’m betting it’s going to be a banner fucking Christmas this year!!

~Nikki

Lill & Jill Response

Lill and Jill tagged us with a vital question (3 questions, technically) and here is our answer(s):

Q. Why should we all live in fear/hate of Angelina Jolie and what is the BEST and WORST film you’ve blogged about?

A. (In 3 parts) 1. She is a baby-making robot who barely moves and has arms as thin and sinewy as my beloved Gollum – though Gollum has good reason to have stick arms: he lives in a cave and survives on raw fish and the occasional overtaken goblin; he isn’t a fucking multi-billionaire with access to personal chef, nutritionist, trainer, pastry chef, organic gardener, etc., etc. – and all of her biological children look like clones of each other.  Cute, pouty-lipped clones, but clones nonetheless.

2. Best film: this one is pretty damn hard to answer.  Personally, I loved several movies that we saw and reviewed last year (Red State, Young Adult, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, X-Men: First Class, Jane Eyre, the list goes on…) but the one movie that I’ve re-watched most frequently and enjoyed every single time is Bridesmaids.  So, while I can’t say that there is just one film we’ve reviewed that is the best, I think my favorite has to be Bridesmaids.

3. Worst film: Something Borrowed, by-fucking-far. This response required zero consideration, as Something Borrowed is hands-down the worst film we’ve seen and reviewed. Oh my dear sweet aching baby Jesus, is it terrible. Shitty characters who you wind up hating and rooting against, a pathetic, predictable plot, and overall headache, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, and gas with oily discharge. It’s an unpleasant experience, start to finish, and if you are someone who actually enjoyed this shitshow, please just do us all a favor and quit watching movies – you’re only encouraging them!

Thanks for the shout-out girls!

~Nikki & Annie