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Mooooooooovies!

Posted by on September 18, 2010

I just felt like saying that.

So, the Movie Project has been mooooving right along (feeling rather bovine this evening…look for the tie-in later) and I realize I have not kept up-to-date in my reviews.  Let’s talk about a few movies, shall we?

First up was a documentary I watched in which I got to see Ricki Lake naked and giving birth in a bathtub.  Doesn’t that make you want to sign right up?  Actually, it was a fairly interesting film called The Business of Being Born; the movie had an unapologetic crunchy-granola slant on giving birth.  The agenda, from what I can recall of it a month after watching it, was to empower women to see birth as a natural and un-scary thing; to encourage them to do it at home if they want to and not feel pressured into a bunch of interventions.  I would have liked it better if it hadn’t been so slanted…the medical doctors they interviewed were total idiots.  Now, I’ve done this whole “giving birth” thing three times and all were different experiences (though all took place in a hospital…the same lovely, lovely hospital.)  I never had a c-section, so I can’t speak to that at all, but I can say this: epidurals are great and so are midwives.  The end.  But yay for Ricki, doing it old school in her tub, and then producing a movie about it. 

Kinky Boots was a recommendation from my Crazy Aunt Linda (hey, CALi!) who is a twin soul so I knew I would like it.  Joe saw it was slated for delivery and was like, “Um, honey…what is this movie you’re getting?”  I think he was sort of disappointed to learn it was not, in fact, an attempt on my part to spice things up but rather a movie about transvestite footwear.

Based on true events, a British men’s shoemaker finds his father’s company failing financially and sees that to keep the legacy of the small-town factory and its employees afloat, they need a new niche market.  A chance encounter with a fabulous transvestite and voila!  Niche market located.  Getting the factory employees on board is another thing, however.  It was a great (albeit light) story about the transvestite experience and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who like transvestites or shoes.  Or Britain.  Why am I suddenly thinking of Eddie Izzard?

Do I have to admit I watched Sweet Home Alabama?  I did.  It was dumb.  Supremely dumb.

Okay, this next one was fun.  I watched The Sandlot  with the boys one night when Joe had class.  I don’t know how I hadn’t managed to see it before, having grown up with a baseball-playing younger brother, but it must have been released right in the middle there somewhere, like when I was in college or something.  Anyway, most of you probably know it’s the story of some boys in a neighborhood who always play pick-up baseball.  And a mythical dog just over the sandlot fence who menaces their psyches. 

This provided a humorous example of the differences between my two older sons: one was terrified of the dog and kept asking me to turn it off (Oliver) while the other was running to hide in another room anytime the phrase, “…until I would get us all into the biggest pickle we could imagine…” (Maxwell)  “WHAT’S THE PICKLE?  Have they gotten in the pickle yet?  Are they out of the pickle!?!?!”  I had to bite the inside of my cheek to avoid laughing aloud at him.  That kid cannot tolerate interpersonal conflict…more than any monster, that’s what freaks him out.  Anyway, if you have boys or like boys, it’s a cute movie.  (Warning: a few “s” bombs in there, but my kids didn’t notice because they don’t even know what that word is.  And I wasn’t about to point it out to them!)  And now Oliver really wants to play baseball…

LASERBLAST!  Okay, so the title pretty much sums up the whole movie.  Thank God the Mystery Science Theater 3000 guys gave this truly awful movie a send-up, because it was richly deserving.  And unlike Manos: The Hands of Fate, the commentary rather than the hilariously bad movie was what stole the show.  Mike, Tom Servo, and Crow did a good job poking fun at this title.  Joe and I watched it together (!) and were laughing so hard we had to pause it for awhile…our way of cry-laughing “uncle!”  Good stuff.

Did you know I have some TV boyfriends?  Because I do!  And one of them is Vincent D’Onofrio.  Because of his character Robert Goren on Law & Order: Criminal Intent.  But he has also starred in many, many movies, including a little gem I found titled Happy Accidents.

It’s hard to describe this movie…it’s another sci-fi/romantic comedy mash-up (ala TiMER) with similar excellent results.  Marisa Tomei (whom I also love) is a girl who meets a humble, innocent guy from the Midwest (D’Onofrio) and begins a whirlwind romance.  But then he begins telling her, in response to some of his weird romantic and social blunders, that he is actually from the future.  His story of the future world and the time travel he’s experienced to get back to where she is seems totally out-there and somehow believable simultaneously.  You’re lead to question along with the girl: is it the truth, or is he mentally ill?  Both actors do their work admirably.  Several times throughout the viewing I changed my mind about “is he or isn’t he?”  I really, really recommend this movie.  Loved it.

In the same day, I also watched a(nother) documentary titled Up Syndrome.  The filmmaker was a lifelong friend of the film’s star, a guy named Rene, who has Down Syndrome.  It was short and sweet.  I loved how genuine it was; it literally was just filmed scenes of events in this young guy’s life.  He works, he loses a job, he tries to find another one, he has a girlfriend, breaks up with his girlfriend…just living his life, like we all do.  Another one I’d recommend.

You can’t ask me about Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, because Joe saw that one on his own in a theater on his night off.  Ask him.

So, I watched this next movie, The Price of Milk, not really knowing what exactly to expect.  I’d added it to my Netflix cue awhile back because the words “New Zealand” jumped out at me.  And New Zealand did kind of steal the show in this film.  It was…hard to describe.  It was sort of like a fairy tale in modern-day clothing…only stylish and gorgeous rather than cloying.

At the heart of it is a couple, quirky and loving, who agree to become married.  Around the time of their engagement, their bed quilt disappears in the middle of the night.  The guy is unconcerned, which makes the girl that much more concerned…what does it mean for their relationship that he doesn’t care about the fate of their communal bedcoverings?  The moment she begins to doubt, their relationship struggles begin.  Lots of allegory and incredible scenic eye-candy…give this one a gander if you can.  Bonus: great soundtrack.

And lastly for today, I watched Dear John at the recommendation of Mattie, who is my…uh, 3rd cousin?  See!  I *am* seriously entertaining reader suggestions!  And I have to admit…I was plenty skeptical about this one.  Even she introduced it as a cheesy movie.  Based on a Nicholas Sparks novel?  Hmm.  And it was about a solider, which…I don’t know.  I just try not to watch movies with soldiers in them if I can help it; it’s too heartbreaking for me.

But I soldiered on.  (tee.  teehee.)   And…I was surprised to find that I liked it.  I really didn’t think it would be my bag, but I found the ideas presented in the plot to be compelling.  I, for one, can totally see how young people could fall helplessly in love in two weeks.  And how those young people could think that time and space would not hinder their feelings.  And how with that time and space comes growth and grown-ups have difficult choices to make in their lives, which sometimes come at the expense of those they care for.  I’m not sure what else to say about it other than that I found it engaging and it was a good way to spend an evening.  So thanks to Mattie for the suggestion!

I’ll be featuring more suggestions from my faithful readers in the next couple of months…and wow!  Almost 70!  Right on track.

3 Responses to Mooooooooovies!

  1. mattie

    Woohoo….glad you soldiered on and found it entertaining! I tried to watch Sherlock Holmes yesterday, fell asleep. I’ll give it one more shot and if I can’t get into it, back to netflix it goes.

  2. Crazy Aunt Linda

    I just love the movie reviews because I just love you and movies! Thanks for giving Kinky Boots a try. I LOVE that it was based on a true story. Life is grand. I tried wearing Kinky Shoes to the Glam Nation concert in Rockford…outdoors. It darn near killed me but I would do it again because I say that when you limit yourself to ONLY sensible footwear your life is basically over.
    I love that Max is so caring but what does he do in the real world? There are just so many pickles out there waiting! God Bless and protect him.
    Any movie where they do Junior Birdman AND has Marisa Tomei I have got to see. When I get back to the real world.
    One thing I love about art and movies is the unbelievable story ideas that people come up with. A chink in the relationship armor comes when the bride discovers that her husband is unconcerned about the missing communal bedclothes!? Bill and I would prbably not notice unless the entire communal bed went missing. I guess when you have great scenery and soundtrack the depth of the story becomes less important. It is certainly true here in St Kitts!
    Saw “Cars” again with the kids from the Children’s Home yesterday. Love Mater and the VW Bus. That’s about the depth of my recent cinematic experience.

  3. Xeresa

    I also love Vincent D’Onofrio and I enjoyed watching him in Happy Accidents, but there is an earlier movie of his that you would enjoy called Household Saints. I completely fell in love with his character of Joseph Santangelo. For sheer sex appeal– molten hot sex appeal- then I loved him in Naked Tango as Cholo.(Warning: Icy cold showers will be needed to get your temperature back to normal!)

    My only regret is that Mr. D’Onofrio doesn’t make more mainstream movies. The Indies are very hard to find where I live!

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