Archive for the ‘Movie Reviews’ Category

posted by on Movie Reviews, Movies/TV

3 comments

5 out of 5 stars

The craziest thing about Casa de Mi Padre (House of My Father) is not the movie itself, which is very out there (woot!) but the fact that I almost missed it’s very existence. I only learned of the film a few months ago due to the fact that I adore Nick Offerman. This means that I follow a ton of Parks and Recreation and other tumblrs that celebrate him. When I saw an unfamiliar still from this movie I immediately pulled up the trailer and was knocked sideways. How was this being kept from me?

Well Case de Mi Padre is a new Will Ferrell comedy that is completely in Spanish, aside from the English characters like Offerman. Yes, that’s correct Ferrell is playing a Hispanic character in this film.

The reason that I had no knowledge of the film was that it had a very limited release (368 screens). I suppose most theaters didn’t want to release a movie that was being shown completely in Spanish.

So what is the movie about? Well Ferrell is the loser son of a Mexican rancher. While his brother Raul (Diego Luna) is out making money and romancing a lovely woman, he’s content to hang out with his buddies (Efren Ramirez and Adrian Martinez) in the wild like a true rancher.

All hell breaks loose when everyone becomes entangled in the web of drug dealer Onza (Gael Garcia Bernal). Then Ferrell’s hapless character (who continuously gets slapped in the face BTW) must get some balls and protect his family’s ranch and his bro’s woman, whom, he’s of course fallen for.

I simply loved this movie. It’s truly hilarious. The film was written by Andrew Steele. There are many times when you feel the humor of Saturday Night Live and it’s no wonder that feel is stamped all over this movie since Steele wrote for SNL from ’95-’08.

It’s not just the hilarity of the movie that draws me to it but also the fact that Ferrell is playing the underdog. Back when he was on SNL and then transitioning to film it wasn’t uncommon for him to play an underdog. However his later comedic roles often elevated him to a god like (to the other characters’) figure. In this he gets to come up the chain from the slapped to the slapper and I really dug that. (BTW-Yes I know he often plays a loser in his indies but the less said about those, usually, the better, I mean, the one where he was living on the lawn? Blech!)

Luckily since the movie is now available for rental or sale you can watch it with subtitles and don’t need to be fluent in Spanish to enjoy it. As someone who took 6 Spanish courses and used to hang out with Hispanic people sometimes (but still couldn’t really keep up with the convos) I was asked by my sister (who is fluent) how Ferrell did with the Spanish. Well he does his best. Like me, he speaks much slower than the actual Hispanic actors in the film. I also think that he probably just memorized the lines because in large groups scenes he doesn’t seem to understand what others are saying and is looking around for his cue.

You definitely need to rent this movie to check it out. If you are a big Ferrell fan then just buy it outright, you won’t be sorry.

Watch it on Netflix Instant Streaming or rent it from your local Redbox.

You may also enjoy:
Movie Quotes: A Night At The Roxbury-starring Will Ferrell
Movie Review: Wanderlust
Movie Review: Dark Shadows
Movie Review: Starcrossed with James Spader

Share

posted by on Movie Reviews, Movies/TV

2 comments

3.5 out of 5 stars

“I’m afraid of being afraid”

“Is that a shoudvitation or an invitation?”

Take This Waltz has definitely been lauded as many things, most of these adjectives sound positive and sexy: sultry, hot, steamy. You rarely see adultery or cheating in the headline. It may be a sign of our times or just that most reviewers want to focus on the positive in the case of this film.

However it is a difficult film to watch. Particularly if you believe that cheating is the worst thing anyone can do (as do I) or you are a huge Seth Rogen fan (as am I). This is despite the fact that I am predisposed to be a fan of anything by Sarah Polley (who wrote and directed the film).

Unlike many independent films, after making the festival rounds and being picked up for distribution, Take This Waltz is currently available to watch by most anyone with an internet connection, thanks to the wonders of Video on Demand.

Take This Waltz centers on Margot (Michelle Williams). She is a sometimes writer and supposedly happy housewife to Lou (Seth Rogen). The film opens with Margot on a puff piece writing assignment, though we never get to see her work again during the film. While on assignment and during her return trip home she meets an intriguing man named Daniel (Luke Kirby). They make a connection with each other and then find out that they now live across the street from one another.


Margot mainly seems like a bored, horny housewife. Though the film makes takes great pains to show that Lou’s family has integrated her into theirs with welcoming arms, Lou himself is inattentive. During the film she has to mention how embarrassing it is to try to seduce your husband and he just doesn’t get it. This, to me, is probably the most intriguing part of the film. Margot obviously has some type of anxiety disorder. She isn’t just shy. You rarely see this projected on screen. So in the beginning this makes it very easy to become endeared to Margot, even though you know what’s coming.

During the course of the film Margot tries to get her hubby’s attention but he is constantly working on recipes for his cookbook because he takes his writing seriously. Despite the fact that they have silly couple rituals that they perform to stay in touch he never seems to understand Margot.

“but I found out how that worked and you weren’t all that interested in me being gentle”

This should make it easy for us to understand her gradual seduction by wannabe artist, but actual rickshaw driver Daniel but he sometimes insults her, which I do not find at all attractive. There is a very steamy scene in the film in which they discuss what they would do if they got together. He seduces her so totally with words that it’s like reading a romance novel aloud, it’s incredibly hot.

During the film you don’t really know for the longest time whether or not she will actually cheat on her husband which makes for an awkward, yet suspenseful watch. I do not believe in spoilers so I won’t tell you if they get together. You need to go watch it instead.

It should also be noted that Sarah Silverman gives a stand out performance as Rogen’s sister, Geraldine, a recovering alcoholic. However she so completely steals the scenes that she is in that you wonder if she should just have her own film until you later realize that they are using her alcoholism as a metaphor and plot point for Margot.

On the other hand you have Rogen’s performance. While he isn’t given that much to do during the bulk of the film there is a very dramatic part that feels improvised and lacking. I find it very difficult to critique him in that way but it doesn’t reach the depth that he’s shown in other dramas such as 50/50 and Funny People.

During the flick Margot changes, becoming more free, this is most likely why Williams herself likens it to a coming of age movie. I would recommend watching this movie once just because it’s so different from other films out there but I won’t be adding it to my collection.

You may also enjoy:
Tenderfeet: 12 Hotties Under 30 (from 2010, featuring Rogen’s bare ass because, yumm!)
Movie Quotes: Paul
Movie Quotes: The Green Hornet
Movie Quotes: Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Movie Quotes: Observe and Report
Movie Quotes: 50/50
Movie Quotes: Funny People
Movie Review: The Shape of Things
Movie Review: All Things Fall Apart
Movie Review: The Ice Storm

Share

posted by on Movie Reviews, Movies/TV

3 comments

4.5 out of 5 stars

Note: spoilers abound

This post is for the current LAMB Movie of the Month: The Shape of Things. I’m not always crazy about the writer/director of this film, Neil Labute’s, work but I’m big fan of this flick. While the story is, of course integral to that, it’s actually the amazing acting by Rachel Weisz and Paul Rudd that initially drew me to (and continues to draw me back to) this disturbing film.

“You could be a sadist for all I know”  “Stop sweet talking me.”

Aside from Rudd and Weisz there are really only 2 other main characters, a yuppie couple played by Frederick Weller and Gretchen Moll. Weller looks like he’d fit right into a Whit Stillman movie, making the viewer (or at least this viewer) instantly hate him. Moll is interminably boring in this flick. Pre The Notorious Bettie Page I never saw a spark in her. Afterward she not only captured Bettie’s spirit but later tackled comedies, leading me to become a fan. However at this time, she was supposed to be the next big thing despite being as exciting as plain toast.

Neil LaBute originally wrote the The Shape of Things as a play. The cast who later went on to star in the flick originated the roles in the play two years prior to the filming of it. Probably my only real beef with the film is that the cast play college characters and only Moll was actually around college age during filming. However though the film is set at a college that isn’t really the point so it’s not that big of a deal.

“See I’m totally different, I think everyone should see themselves doing it and their friends should see it too.”

The film centers on Adam (Paul Rudd). He’s a shy student and museum guard. It’s always assumed that a shy character should be drawn out so initially someone would probably think that when an anarchist artist named Evelyn (Weisz) starts flirting with him that this would only lead to good things. I can’t even explain how much more attractive this type of woman is to the faux manic pixies of our current pop culture landscape.

In reality Evelyn is continuously altering Adam, mostly by using sex and flattery as tools of manipulation. Some of the things that she gets him to change about himself are his weight, fashion sense and haircut.

“What? Did she give you a haircut and a blowjob and now you’re her puppy?”-Phillip

His friends, in particular Phillip (Weller), call him out on this fairly quickly. However Phillip is a dick. Phillip is engaged to Jenny (Gretchen Moll). The fact is that Phillip is the type of guy who nabbed Jenny because he knew that Adam was interested in her. It’s basically impossible to see what Jenny sees in Phillip aside from his dominance (she often seems to disappear into the background in his presence).

While Jenny does compliment and end up hitting on Rudd (“You’re like this totally hot guy now”), in part due to his makeover and most likely also due to both of them being taken, she actually goes into the subject more thoroughly with Weisz. Weisz seems to want to change the subject when Jenny questions her. However what is truly scary about the film is that what Jenny says is true, people often are in actual relationships with other people and they think that person should just change for them. I’m the complete opposite type of person so I’ve never really understood that. To paraphrase Jenny, “Cosmo says if you change one thing you could have the perfect man. Well Phillip has about six of those one things”.

The cruelest part of Weisz’s makeover is cutting him off from his friends after both of them have indiscretions with the other couple.

“…from the scorned girl’s handbook.”

The big reveal is that Weisz has being using Rudd as her experiment or “human sculpture” for her thesis project. She is a huge fan of performance art and takes great pride in her unveiling.

"Tell me how cute this is then? Fuck you, you heartless cunt!"

It’s definitely Weisz that steals this movie. She is so strong and interesting to watch. When you rewatch the film it’s definitely easier to see her character a bit more. While she may smile, flirt and act interested in Adam, the only times that she truly seems emotional is when she is either espousing or arguing about art. Art is her life.

The Shape of Things is definitely a must watch, but it’s not an easy watch and not for everyone.

You can watch The Shape of Things on Netflix Streaming.

You may also enjoy:
Movie Review: Total Recall (1990)-for LAMB Acting School 101: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Movie Review: The Ice Storm-LAMB Director’s Chair #26: Ang Lee
Movie Review: ZPG Zero Population Growth-retrfuturism at its best
Sonny Movie Review aka Whores In Love-starring James Franco

Share

posted by on Movie Reviews, Movies/TV

2 comments

“Is this your first trip…well don’t worry things hardly ever fuck up around here”

4 out of 5 stars

“No wonder you’re having nightmares, you’re always watching the news”

This post is for the LAMB Acting School 101: Arnold Schwarzenegger. When I thought of Arnold Total Recall instantly came to mind. The remake starring Colin Farrell is being released in August so it’s fresh in my mind. My sister remarked, “well what sucks is that we already know the ending”.

That’s when I realized that I hadn’t watched the film in years. In fact when I dug out my VHS (yes, I still buy them at the flea market sometimes, that’s me with the quarters, jealous?) I wasn’t sure I’d ever watched the entire movie all of the way through. I was young when it came out, with a short attention span. I’m now pretty sure I’d only watched 20 minutes of it here and there before a commercial came on some cable station and I said fuck it.

While my sister has probably seen every Schwarzenegger flick a half dozen times over I’m not as familiar with his ouvrir. So, I thought, why not give the original a spin?

“…you ever fuck a mutant…”

“…I have to hand it to you, that’s the best mind fuck yet”

The consensus? I totally dug it. I realized when I saw Paul Verhoeven’s name show up on screen and what could be considered completely unnecessary cursing that this is a flick for me. In case you are unaware, Verhoeven is also the visionary director behind my all time favorite movie Showgirls. BTW-The amazing Dan O’Bannon was a writer on the film.

If you haven’t seen Total Recall let’s put it this way, it’s set in one of my favorite sci-fi genres, the paleofuturistic style flick (meaning an envisioned future that never came to pass). Plus it’s dystopian, you really can’t beat that combo.

Arnie is a construction worker with a beautiful wife (Sharon Stone) and the ammenities of modern life. However he feels strongly drawn to Mars. You see in this future Mars has been colonized. However on Earth people don’t really know what is going down there. They just know that it’s considered dangerous.

At the same time Earth’s inhabitants are bombarded with ads from a company called Rekall. Rekall will implant a memory in your mind. This way you can take an awesome trip and really feel like you went there for less than the price of the actual trip. Plus there’s supposedly a lot less risk involved, except you know, they are fucking with your brain.

Arnie mentions his desire to visit Rekall to a friend who tries to warn him that it’s a bad idea. You could get lebotomized or something. At Rekall they try to talk him into a stress free trip but his heart is set on Mars. He dreams of Mars. He feels like he’s already been there.

His memory implant involves being a secret agent and dating a brunette (his wife is blonde, he needs the variety). So when everything seemingly goes to shit and they can’t implant him because the techs say he’s been wiped before you’re never really sure what’s around the corner, just like Arnie.

As they tell him, if that’s the fantasy you asked for then what’s the chance that’s your real life and this mission to help the mutants of Mars is true?

So what is the outcome?

Watch and find out.

You may also enjoy:
Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Showgirls
Movie Review: ZPG Zero Population Growth
3 Films Starring Samantha Morton-also for LAMB & includes Minority Report
Movie Review: Starcrossed With James Spader-in case you dig B movie alien romcoms

Share

posted by on Movie Reviews, Movies/TV

8 comments

This post is for the 2012 Queer Film Blogathon. This is also the first entry in hopefully what will become a recurring topic, my all time favorite movies.

“An artist should create beautiful things, but should put nothing of his own life into them.”Oscar Wilde
(I first heard this quote in the film)

I thought about just writing a movie review of the film but that seemed impossible. It’s not like I’ve only seen this film once or even a dozen times. There is no way that I could count how many times I’ve seen it and it means so much to me. There was a time (I call in 11th grade) that was particularly bad so I chose one favorite movie every month and watched it every day because it somehow helped me. One of those was Velvet Goldmine. In fact, it would only be slightly dramatic to say that this film helped keep me alive in high school. I say this because for me high school was like prison, which is when the VHS was first released.

Why?

Well Velvet Goldmine is an amazing movie. The fact is that it pulls from so many amazing sources that once my fascination with the movie was in full swing I was able (via newsgroups, totally showing my age) to find out about all of influences that went into the movie. Many of these were by my now favorite writer, Oscar Wilde. Yes, I bought a paperback copy of the collected works of Oscar Wilde, fell for his words and carried it with me for the remainder of high school, rereading whatever was my fancy that day. This was quite lucky for me as when we did get to a play by Oscar Wilde in one of my academic English classes the teacher skipped the entire section it was in and when I asked why I was told that the teacher didn’t enjoy “those writers”.

What else did Velvet Goldmine introduce me to? Well of course, the magic of glam rock. You don’t know how many times listening to David Bowie and Iggy Pop have gotten me through a tough time.

It could be said that I love the film so much because it introduced me to so many wonderful artists, because it helped teach me that I am not the only woman who gets turned on by guy/guy action (or slash if you like fanfic, and yes, I did used to read my fair share), that sexuality is fluid or the theory that I was ostracized so I felt that I fit right in with these characters. Yes, one year I dressed as a glam rock star for Halloween (in high school, I know). This means that I wore shiny pants and a fairly ugly orange and yellow striped sweater with huge boots and no one knew what I was.

The fact is that it’s simply an amazing movie. Years later I would visit New York City and become even more impressed when I picked up Velvet Goldmine creator Christine Vachon’s Shooting to Kill at the now defunct Biography Bookshop and found out how little money it was produced on and despite that fact it looks amazing.

THE FILM
So finally let’s forget about me and talk about this aFUCKINGmazing movie! Velvet Goldmine is basically an homage to the Iggy Pop/David Bowie/Mick Jagger bisexual glam rock days. In the film a former fan but now writer gets to track down all of the people involved in the superstar, BRIAN SLADE‘s, life. What happened to him everyone wants to know? He went out on top. He faked his own death. Did he really die or who is he now? This is basically about how Bowie later distanced himself from his Ziggy Stardust past and went mainstream with Let’s Dance in the ’80s.

I don’t feel the need to tell you about the entire film because you need to experience it.

Instead here are some beautiful screencaps from a movie that saved and influenced my life many times over. Right click and then choose “view image” for the full sized photos which you can use as amazing backgrounds for your computers.

You may also enjoy:
Top Gay Movies on Netflix Instant Streaming-my entry for last year’s Queer Film Blogathon
Gay Boys Kissing-includes clips from Velvet Goldmine & more treasures
Shirtless Beefcakes of the 90s-includes Christian Bale and Ewan McGregor
Movie Quotes: I Love You Phillip Morris-starring Ewan McGregor
Sexy Shirtless Superheroes-includes Christian Bale

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Share