Saturday, January 9, 2010


So I didn't watch a movie yesterday. I put it off until today. Sorry to anyone who may actually be reading my blog regularly, as I'm about to confess. Life is just too crazy right now for me to be on a regular movie watching schedule. So I've decided that I'll still watch my list of movies and blog about them every once in a while, but only when I happen to have the time. And I'm just not sure when that will be at this point. For now, I can at least blog about the movie I watched today, Sleepers.

As much as I was apprehensive about watching this movie, I actually really liked it. I knew I'd have to watch it eventually because it has Kevin Bacon in it and it was my goal to watch all the Kevin Bacon movies by the end of the year. I'm still going to try to keep that goal but we'll see how it goes. So, conveniently, the last movie that I watched, Last Chance Harvey, had Dustin Hoffman playing the main character, which is how I ended up linking to Sleepers. I didn't realize that Dustin Hoffman was in Sleepers when I put it on my list of Kevin Bacon movies but he's actually good in his role. He plays one of the lawyers and doesn't show up in the movie until well into the story.

Sleepers is a gruesome but fantastically done story about childhood friendship, horrible life-changing experiences, and seeking revenge. If you can get through the violent crimes described in the film, the end is rewarding. I caught myself crying during the last ten minutes or so. Kevin Bacon, as usual, plays an awful character but does a fantastic job at it. He's just too convincing as a bad guy, but the media has always made clear that he's a great person in real life. Robert De Niro is really fantastic in his supportive role. One thing that I really enjoyed about the movie as a whole was the narration. I believe the narration was highly influenced by the book on which the movie was based. It was really a well told story. I just couldn't imagine such things happening to anyone close to me. If you can stomach it, I would encourage people to watch the film or read the book.

I'm not sure when I'll catch my next movie, but it too will feature Kevin Bacon as he'll be my link to whatever I watch next. Until next time...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Last Chance Harvey

First, an explanation of the events of last night, then my thoughts on the movie. Yesterday, classes started back up for me. I'm only taking one class this term but as soon as I was in the middle of it, I knew I had over-committed myself to projects for this year. I'm very excited about the class and I'm looking forward to developing my skills and understanding of many things from the class. However, in order to do that, I know that I must re-evaluate my commitment to my movie-watching/blogging project. I've gotten the good advice before, "if something's not working, change it until it works for you." "Nothing is permanent so always expect that there will be changes." And this is just me saying even the Constitution of the United States has Amendments. So, here I am, making adjustments to my plan of action in the interest of getting all I can out of my class this term. I've decided to watch a movie and blog about it 4 days per week and have 3 days off. My schedule will now be to watch a movie every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I will have Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off from movie-watching going forward.

The other crazy thing that happened last night is that the movie I was planning on watching was suddenly not available to me! I always plan a few movies ahead so that I know in advance what I'll be watching and I use Netflix to get access to all of my movies. Some movies are available instantly via the web so I don't have to get the dvd in the mail. The movie I was planning on watching last night was available instantly as far as I knew all the way up until I came home from class. I went to look for it in my list and, to my surprise, it was gone! I was panicked! My whole list of future movies I had planned was thrown off! And I was already wiped from class! So, I reorganized and came up with a new plan and last night, I ended up watching Last Chance Harvey. By the time the movie was over, I didn't have the time or energy to write about it, so here I am.

My link from Love Actually to Last Chance Harvey was Emma Thompson. My heart aches for both of the characters she plays in both movies. As far as the movie, Last Chance Harvey, goes, it was really only okay. I don’t wish I had the two hours of my life back or anything, but it wasn't fantastic. It was a typical romantic comedy, and, I’m about to spoil it for you, everything works out just right in the end. I don’t highly recommend that anyone watch it, but if you’re looking for something romantic and entertaining, and you have a couple of lazy hours, it’s worth watching. Both Emma Thompson’s character and Dustin Hoffman’s character start out in just really agonizing, painful to watch, sad situations. It’s obvious that the movie wants you to be sad for them, and I was. But then everything falls into place and they’re both better people somehow by the end of the movie. Something that I noticed in this movie that bothers me about a lot of other movies in the last 10 years or so is the “movie montage”. It’s an event that allows for a series of scenes in which someone is trying on a bunch of different dresses or outfits until they finally come out of the dressing room looking fabulous. It’s usually accompanied by upbeat music. I’m over the movie montage and movies need to stop using them! When have you ever tried on 10 ridiculous, completely different styled dresses, and then finally decided, “oh, I know, I’ll try on the beautiful black evening gown, maybe that will look nice?” And there’s always someone watching to give the thumbs up or a goofy expression. So silly! I may just have my own movie montage this weekend to see why these keep showing up in my movies! My husband will be so excited! Thumbs up sweetie!

Given that I watched a movie last night and I blogged about it tonight, I’m going to go ahead and take tomorrow off. I’ll plan on watching the next movie and blogging about it on Friday night. After a fun-filled night in the city of course! I do have a life! Big news! Friday’s movie will be my second Kevin Bacon movie!! (As long as it’s still instantly viewable, Netflix!)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

No Movie! Craziness!

What a crazy night! A long list of things made tonight crazy but on the top of the list, I was denied access to the movie I was supposed to watch and blog about tonight! I'll have to work out all the details tomorrow but the short of it is, there will be no posting about a movie tonight. I did work it all out and I was able to watch a movie tonight, but I'm just too exhausted to blog about it. I will tell you that the movie that I watched was Last Chance Harvey. More to come tomorrow!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Love Actually

I cannot express enough how much I enjoy Love Actually! The two charming British actors that linked Bridget Jones's Diary to Love Actually are Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, they are both fantastic in Love Actually. This movie has so many amazing actors and actresses that it's actually hard to pick a favorite. However, of all the love stories throughout the entire film, my two favorites are those that involve Hugh Grant and Colin Firth. Hugh Grant's character is the new Prime Minister and his developing love story is both sweet and humorous. Colin Firth's character is a novelist who's working on his crime novel when he finds himself in the middle of a romance. I watch this movie around Christmas time every year, as it's set in London around Christmas, and I can never get enough of it. It's truly a must see!

There are several different love stories all interlocked in some way and each uniquely beautiful. Each story displays a different level and aspect of love, which is very unique to this film. I also believe that the music is all outstanding, including the ridiculous Christmas remix of "Love is all Around". Playing any song from the movie always puts me in a good mood. A few of my favorite single people can't be forgotten either. The lovely Laura Linney, and the underestimated Kris Marshall, who plays a hilarious character, Colin Frizzell.

While I adore every second of this movie, one of my favorite funny moments is an obvious one. Hugh Grant shaking his ass to the song, Jump (for my Love). And there are just too many wonderful romantic moments to have a favorite. If I can influence anyone to watch any movie I see this year, I would pick Love Actually. It always makes me happy.

With all the wonderful actors and actresses in this film, I can't wait to share the link for tomorrows movie! It can't be Colin or Hugh, but I'll be certain to see them both again this year...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Bridget Jones's Diary

I watched Bridget Jones's Diary today and I have to say, I wasn't as impressed with it this time around. I had seen it years ago and I remember loving it, but now, there were many things that just really bothered me about the story. First let me share the things that I did quite like about the movie. Above all, Colin Firth is dashing, charming, and all around perfection in this (and every) movie. But then, that's what his character is supposed to be and compared to Bridget Jones (who's set up to be a blithering fool), most other characters look like royalty. My favorite scene of the entire movie is the fight scene. I love when one of the friends goes into the restaurant just to say, "fight! a real fight!". Hilarious! Everything else that seems like it's supposed to be funny actually just makes me sad; sad for Bridget Jones and sad for all the women in the world who watched the movie and felt that they were like Bridget in some way. The last thing that I do actually like about the movie is that I noticed there were several connections between this story and the writings of Jane Austen. The obvious one is that the character of Mark Darcy shares both his name and his role in the story as Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. There is also the confusion surrounding what really happened between Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver, another nod to Pride and Prejudice. I do love Jane Austen's novels, so this was a treat for me to see the connections that were made.

While I did like some aspects of the film, I couldn't get over feeling like the character of Bridget Jones was created to make every average woman in the US and the UK feel bad about herself. I'm sure the intention of the film was to showcase an average woman that women everywhere could relate to, but it seemed that everything that was average about her, was also everything that she hated about herself. First and worst, she supposedly weighed too much. Warning, here comes my soapbox. Women everywhere got to see on the big screen "weight 136 lb" and hear Bridget Jones say, "obviously, will lose 20 lb." I was appalled and just couldn't get over it throughout the entire movie. How could I get over it when they came back to her weight several times!? I don't actually consider myself overweight and I was still offended! I thought, well height matters, they didn't mention anything about how tall she is. So I did some research and found that Renee Zellweger (and so I assume Bridget Jones as well) is 5'4" tall and apparently the average woman in the US is also 5'4" tall. However, I'm just under 5'5" and I always feel like every woman in my life is taller than me. So, basically, all the ladies in the world who are taller than 5'4" and have seen this film have been unnecessarily told that they should be concerned if they weigh 136 pounds. Even saying that someone at 5'4" shouldn't weigh 136 pounds is ridiculous! Okay, second, Bridget is an exaggeration of all the little things women could possibly be self conscious about; she's sloppy, she's awkward, she's inarticulate. I feel like relating to her makes me feel like I'm a total wreck and then I just feel worse about myself than I did before I watched the movie. She's supposed to be lovable because she's a mess but I end up disliking everything about her because she's the things that women fear is true about themselves.

I have to clarify, romantic comedies are my number one favorite type of movie. I'm a hopeless romantic and will cry at the drop of a hat, for better or worse. However, I'm tired of romantic comedies and "chick flicks" making us women either feel bad about ourselves because we're not perfect (and having unattainably beautiful women play characters with average lives) or setting up a world (and our expectations) with perfect men and unrealistic romantic happy endings that our real-life men just can't live up to. That's not fair to men or us! And no more female characters who are only happy with their lives in the end of the movie because they got the man that they were missing in the beginning! Women, we should be happy with ourselves without the acceptance or appreciation of a man. I'm still working on this one myself and it's certainly not easy. And I have a husband! Which just goes to show, it's not the man who will change how you feel about your life, it's you.

Now, I'm going to completely contradict myself because tomorrow's movie is one of my favorite romantic movies and the love stories melt my heart every time. Tomorrow's movie is special because it's what I've just decided is called a "double link". I picked not just one, but two actors from Bridget Jones's Diary, who have major roles in tomorrow's movie. Hint, it's not Bridget Jones's Diary 2.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I know that I skipped over several great recent comedies with John C. Reilly, but I just love his performance (Mr. Cellophane) in the 2002 filming of Chicago, based on the musical which first hit the stage in 1975. I've never seen the live musical, and I'd love to, but this movie rendition is full of such amazing talent on many levels, it shouldn't be missed.

Chicago is fantastically sexy and portrays a subset of women who take control of their lives, for better or worse. Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Queen Latifah, and many other talented women fill the stage/screen with flashy, outstanding performances. Not to mention the men of the film, Richard Gere and John C. Reilly. A side note, I realized that the furniture salesman who Roxie Hart murders is played by Dominic West, smart-ass detective in The Wire, one of the best dramas ever on HBO.

Whether you like the story-line of Chicago or not (women being let off for murdering the men in their lives), for me, Chicago is all about the singing, the dancing, and the lights. I love the Cell Block Tango, in which each of the women have outrageous explanations for their murders, which they convince you is what anyone in their shoes would have done. I was inspired to dust off my tap shoes and check in on my flexibility (I can at least still touch my toes), as though my next stop would be Broadway. I know, daydreaming about silly fantasy lives again. I guess that's what I like so much about movies. My husband, who shall always remain nameless to protect his image, always wants to watch movies that are too close to real life for me. They always make me sad in a bad way, because they're just too realistic. I want a movie to help me escape to a dream world where everything falls into place just so. I want it to make me laugh, cry, imagine, and dream. I remember reading that during the Great Depression, one of the most successful industries was the film industry because it allowed people to forget their troubles, if only for an hour. Of course my troubles are nothing compared to the real troubles of those who experienced the Great Depression. Mine are mostly built up in my head.

Well, anyway, Chicago will remain one of my all time favorite films for all of the art and talent it packs onto the screen. All lovers of musicals should see it and it is now my quest to see a live performance before I go blind or deaf in old age.

Renee Zellweger is an easy choice for my next link, but I chose her anyway. Romantic comedy, here I come!

Friday, January 1, 2010

The River Wild

This blog is my New Year resolution. I have to admit that nothing about this blog is a unique idea of my own. It’s more of a perfect storm of other people’s good ideas. I was inspired to start this blog by the movie, “Julie & Julia”. I loved that both women in the movie were looking for some direction in their lives and chose something they enjoyed doing to occupy their time. I’m too lazy and uninterested in cooking mouthwatering meals like Julia and Julie did, but I do love watching movies! So, I’ve decided to watch 365 movies in 365 days and blog about each experience.

To add a little twist to the plan, I’ve decided to build off of the concept widely known as the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”. Whether you’re into romantic comedies, creepy dramas, or something in between (80’s teenage movies incorporating singing and dancing perhaps), there’s a good chance that you’ve seen Kevin Bacon in a movie you love. He’s certainly in a few of my favorites. So, I plan to both start and end my journey with a Kevin Bacon movie, and find my way throughout 365 days to view at least 66 separate performances of Kevin Bacon. And so, 365 Degrees of Kevin Bacon begins. I’ll choose one actor or actress from the first movie to link me to the next movie and use the same process for each movie for the entire year. Let the blockbusters begin!

Given that this whole silly plan was conceived from watching “Julie & Julia”, I thought it only appropriate that my first Kevin Bacon movie, and thus the movie to kick off the project, should also star Meryl Streep, who I thought was amazing as Julia Child in “Julie & Julia”. So, the first movie that I’ve chosen to start off the year is “The River Wild”. I would put this movie in the “creepy drama” category. But I’m not saying this in a negative way. I actually enjoyed it. I remember watching it back in the 90s when it first came out but watching it over 10 years later was a completely new experience. I think it’s amazing how you can see the same movie several times and the fact that you’re at a different point in your life each time causes you to have a different experience each time.

Okay, so, the basic set up of the movie is that a mother, father, and son are on an outdoorsy, adventurous kind of vacation, traveling in a raft down a river that is full of exciting bumps and rapids and twists and turns. The mom, Gail, played by Meryl Streep, is a super kick-ass river rafter, highly experienced in getting through the bumpy parts. Can you say, “upper-body strength that I don’t have”? The beginning of the movie made me want to take up rowing and go back to New Mexico where I grew up to take on rivers in the Rockies! It was inspiring! I know, I know, you can probably tell by now that I’m easily influenced to take on new projects that may or may not realistically be possible outside of movie land.

Enter Kevin Bacon, and my visions of fun-filled white-water adventures vanished. Bacon plays a super-creepy vacationer, Wade, who latches himself to the family to get down the river without dying. Kevin Bacon is entirely too good at super-creepy. Bonus, Wade’s equally creepy, slightly goofy sidekick is played by one of my personal favorites, John C. Reilly. The last time I watched this movie I had no idea who John C. Reilly was so it was fantastic to recognize him this time around. I was so happy to see that he was in this movie that he’s my chosen link for tomorrow’s movie!

All in all, The River Wild was really quite an enjoyable film. I don’t want to share too many details, I just recommend picking it out for an enjoyable couple of hours on a lazy weekend. The end is very exciting!

Now, what to choose for my next John C. Reilly movie…