Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Hangover Part II

I watched the original the afternoon before seeing the sequel. Having the first fresh in my mind made it obvious the great effort that was made through the extended opening to mirror the first movie. The font of the credits, the phone call, the ominous song over the opening credits with views of a city time lapsed. Every effort was clearly made to touch on as many elements of the first flick as possible. The referenced moments were not forced or overdone and there were enough original moments to make part two its own movie. I do however think that the original was better. The sequel was funny, laugh out loud, need to rewatch to catch some of the lines funny. In an effort to push the limits for the second one, they went much cruder. Some to a funny extent, others just seemed part of an increased penis count.

The soundtrack is not as strong as in the original, though the comedic song by Ed Helms was very funny, and crude. I had previewed the soundtrack on iTunes before seeing the movie. With my advanced ticket purchased Fandango included an offer for the single Black Hell by Danzig. Black Hell is featured in the trailer and plays over the opening of the movie. It is probably the most encapsulating song of the movie. The music seems to be a good analogy for the sequel. Good, but not as great as part one.

Act one is my favorite part of the flick. We know these characters and it is fun to see them live in their wacky traits. Now is certainly the time for the R rated, raunchy comedy. Bridesmaids and the Hangover 2 are fourth and first at the box office this weekend. This is Bridesmaids third week in release, not bad. When asked if I would see Hangover Part II for a second time next weekend, my answer was no, but I would like to see Bridesmaids again.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Movie Night 5/27/11 BLACK SWAN

I have been eagerly anticipating my second viewing of Black Swan. I originally saw the movie just as Oscar season began, on a frenzied December opening night in downtown Portland with Miss Katy Hagert. Throughout the first time I watched the movie, I was tense. I was glad that I saw it and it was a great movie going experience, but I could not wait for it to be over. So this second time around I thought, no problem, I know what is coming and I will be able to relax and enjoy with a more critical eye. This proved to be mostly true. I simple avoided a scene early on that haunted me for weeks, by closing and covering my eyes and ears. I made it eyes open through a later gory scene and took more away from the movie as a result. Of course I zipped my sweatshirt up to cover my throat before said scene began, something Laura noted and giggled at. Rightly so. Another reason I was excited to rewatch Black Swan, was watching it with Marla. She is the classic movie watcher who asks questions out loud. I have a personal no spoiler policy that I try to strictly follow. After about her fourth question she said, "you just aren't going to answer are you?"

My conclusion is that this movie is not as great as it has been lauded. It was certainly an Oscar winning vehicle for Natalie Portman and my post about the body-double controversy remains my second most viewed blog. I will say that the characters have depth and the movie was part of a strong year for independent films. That said, there are many moments that are almost laughably too orchestrated to manipulate tension or anxiety. Those moments made me wonder if the movie will age well when the accolades are a distant memory. The film is a great thriller, bordering on a horror movie with the amount of gore included. You may have noticed that I have no posts about horror movies. This is because I avoid them at all costs. I do not even like to watch a preview for one. When confronted by a horror trailer I have been known to look away and cover my ears if need be. Often this occurs before a romantic comedy. Seriously, marketing people, I do not care how many men you think are being forced to see the latest rom com, now is not the time! Black Swan is an excellent thriller and it certainly challenged this movie lover.

Next up...I have had my ticket to The Hangover II prepurchased for days and am excited to see it tonight with my wolfpack of Katy, Kari and Emily.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Overall, I did thoroughly enjoy Bridesmaids. Much has been written about a comedy for women, or how this movie really is a comedy for all, and why in 2011 is a movie featuring funny women a headline. Apparently it does not matter how many successful, truly funny projects, created and featuring women are made, this is still news.

Well, a fun movie is good news in my book. There are many human and realistic moments. Those that shed a light on friendship, weddings and their accompanying events, and when life seems to just keep handing a person lemons. I love that imdb describes Kristen Wigg's character Annie as lovelorn and broke. It does seem to me that a few too many things were taken a bit too far. Gross out humor is not my favorite. The other moments more than make up for it and it was a very enjoyable movie going experience. There are some very detailed character layers that base the story in reality, allowing for the zanier times. There is also something so awesome, that I could not possibly mention it in the slightest way, because I would not want to spoil it for others.
The cast is phenomenal. Kristen Wiig is both a co-writer and main character. She even gets in what I swear is one phrase spoken in the Target lady's voice. Maya Rudolph as her marrying best friend, Rose Byrne as Helen the new friend of said bestie, Melissa McCarthy as the, quirky to say the least, sister of the groom (from tv's Glimore Girls and Mike and Molly), Ellie Kemper (Erin from the Office) and Wendi McLendon-Covey (from Reno 911). Jill Clayburgh portrays Annie's mom. This was her final performance before she passed away last November. I had thought that Love and Other Drugs was her last movie so it was a nice surprise to see her in the comedy. Jon Hamm is delightfully awful and Chis O'Dowd is a cute Irish cop.

Also, please be sure to respond to my poll on facebook. I am trying to decide which movie to plan an event for this summer. My top choices are Bad Teacher and Larry Crowne. I have voted and then un-voted, I want to be impartial. Bridesmaids would have been an excellent choice and if it was not so quickly approaching, Hangover II would be another.
Thanks for being patient with the flashing sign to get the picture Kari.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Jumping the Broom

The audience made this movie exceedingly more entertaining than I think it may have been on its own. First off, we were laughing hysterically during the previews. There was a very random assortment of trailers and many. One of the last ones was for a horror movie. The screen remained black for several minutes but everyone in the audience knew something was going to jump out at some point. Then we all started laughing. It was great! I loved the guy just down the row from Kari and I who said repeatedly throughout the movie, "No he didn't!" and how great Mike Epps is.
There were many funny lines from the strong ensemble cast. I am sure that there are several things I missed because of the laughter. That said, there were some moments that were a little too melodramatic as well. The audience made the different and seeing this flick was an entirely entertaining experience.

Water for Elephants

Pre-movie items: the trailer for Anonymous is crazy-good! I highly recommend seeing it in theaters but enjoy it here if you like. Excellent song selection, may just make the trailer. The movie will be released September 30th.

I saw Water for Elephants with Laura who had read the book. When I saw a trailer with her for it, she said that while reading it, it seemed like it would make a good movie. She also said that she pictured the main character as Tobey Maguire. Take that Twilighters. Honestly, I think Robert Pattinson seemed more age appropriate for the role. Interestingly enough, Tobey Maguire's next two movies are book adaptations. The Great Gatsby remake, and as a journalist in Life of Pi.

The movie was well done, no complaints. I think if I had been a bigger fan of the actors, I would have been more into the movie. That is really my only explanation for a less than stellar review. It certainly was much better than the review in Entertainment Weekly made it out to be. The world of the circus and the costumes from the depression era were visually captivating. I enjoyed the scenes most with the main character telling the story as an old man, played by Hal Holbrook. Paul Schneider (previously of Parks & Rec) was great in his scenes with Holbrook.

There is some darkness and violence to the movie, but it is rated PG-13 so it is not too rough. My interest was held and I was entertained, wanting to know how the story ended. The score was also excellent. The old fashioned style credits were also a nice touch. Laura also said that the movie remained true to the book.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Something Borrowed

As much as I delight in Emily's fabulous ability to score movie passes (and her generosity at sharing with me) Something Borrowed is not a good movie. In the words of Emily, I am glad it was free.

It was not a matter of too many romantic comedy cliches, it was a matter of bad people who were bad friends to one another. John Krasinski is the best thing it. Kate Hudson does what she can with a thankless role.

I was so underwhelmed by this screening, that I saw it last Thursday and am just now blogging about it. I am still getting the word out there before the movie comes out tomorrow. I am waiting for Bridesmaids, it looks to be the much better of the genre.