The Year 2010 as a Frequent Movie-Goer [part 4]

Unless drowsiness somehow finds me, which I doubt because its still relatively early to my reclaimed night-owl ways, I will be able to finish tonight.

[Crowd cheers]

“Yeah, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Not gonna lie, though. It’s been an absolute blast writing about the movies as it was seeing them (with one or two exceptions)

First a little more of that aside commentary, though it might have a different flavor to it than last night where I was comparing psychopathic notes.
To add to that pile, though, it looks like Pine Valley’s resident nutjob is starting to resurface. Darn it, I’d really been on the edge waiting for JR and Annie to tie the knot. But I’m with her on the whole Marissa thing. I still twinge whenever I hear anything about her being the mom of JR’s kid because of something called an adoption that took place a year ago. Supposedly JR asked Marissa to adopt AJ so he’d have someone to take care of him if the cancer killed JR. But c’mon, that’s not the same thing. I may be speaking out of legal terms here, but it sounded like complete bs to me. Marissa didn’t have any right to sue for custody because she’s not his biological mom. Ridiculous…
And she turned into such a bitch when JR and Annie started messing around. Yeah, there’s that word again.

…if I had more female friends, I probably wouldn’t throw that word around so much.

A while back, we’re going back a little less than four years ago. There was a moment where I became overwhelmed with the whole load of Prince’s catalogue. I mean, to the untrained ear, it’s humongous.
Right now I’m pretty much at a point where I can recall a song in the album and hear it clear as a bell. I think of something to listen to and everything is following through automatically. I’m not jaded necessarily, but everything is pretty much a one-way street. Though certain special tracks pick their heads up and give me butterflies for a few precious minutes.
It was a Sunday. I had probably just seen Purple Rain for the 2nd or 3rd time that weekend. Earlier that day, I listened to 3121 the first time and found myself loving it 10x more than Musicology before it. That more or less was what I was expecting to hear on both albums. Everything comes crashing down that evening, and I’m guessing some responses to my thread on Housequake.com might have lit that fuse.

“Gold” helped everything come into the open and after crying my eyes out for a good five minutes, I had several epiphanies that helped get me through that panic attack. Most of that stuff doesn’t even bother me anymore. I got used to the language and heck, my mind speaks it sometimes… Darling Nikki and P. Control became more tolerable and in the case of the first, I totally get into it no matter how bad that may sound.

A friend of a friend’s friend’s girlfriend was named Nikki. She wasn’t a sex fiend, necessarily, but she was kick-ass. Her sense of humor is remotely similar to Emma Stone in “Easy A,” though a tiny bit more mature but her voice didn’t have quite as much of an edge. Now I’m trying to think of what actress she might look like, but strange as it sounds seeing as how many movies I’ve seen lately, I can’t think of any right now. Perhaps another time. 😉

Five movies to go [SPOILERS AHEAD]

Secretariat– starring Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Kevin Connolly and James Cromwell
Grade: A

I believe I saw this trailer around March and then I knew that I had to get a piece of this action. If ever a horse deserved a movie, it would be this one.
For the fun of it, my dad cued up the videos of all three triple crown races. The Belmont was mind-blowing, a record lead of 31 lengths. It actually surprised me that the first two races weren’t runaways.
Seriously, people, I can’t care about the Oscar buzz around the people in the last movies released in 2010… Diane Lane deserves an Oscar as much as anybody, more than most. But then again, I thought Freedom Writers should have gotten an Oscar when I saw the trailer in March of whatever year that was. That movie actually made me a fan of Hilary Swank who had starred in other movies I didn’t give a rat’s ass about… Million Dollar Baby infuriates me to no end with its nonesensical title and she taught me that you can’t have a Karate Kid film without Ralph Macchio. (Dude, the remake should have proved to EVERYONE that you can’t a Karate Kid film without Mr. Miyagi… dammit). She shoulda got Oscar for playing Ms. Gruwell.

Anyway, we did our research beforehand. “Easy A,” I had just remembered, my mom accompanied me to the later matinee that started at 3:10 (lost track of time playing pool and missed the first showing)… we got there, they started the previews and turned the film off… I guess the guys didn’t realize there were a couple people in the theater eager to watch. I think we were the only ones there, lol

“Secretariat” was another later show that came from me procrastinating all day.
The story is really quite interesting. Diane Lane’s character made waves as the first woman owner of a race horse. The supporting cast was just as valuable, although her husband really didn’t seem supportive of her spending so much time with the horse… I figure that’s always gotta be the case, Patrick Dempsey had the same problem in Freedom Writers (he’d be much cuter if I didn’t hate his characters so much, jerks all of them… Valentine’s Day especially… two-timing dirty stinkin’ pig).

It was my first time seeing John Malkovitch in a movie, or at least I think it was. As the horse’s trainer, he really did steal the show, mostly with his wild pants and hats. I also learned that Secretariat didn’t win every race and if he did, that large margin was only the one time. But he comes from last to first a lot to the point it makes you nervous. Not that there was anything to be nervous about during the last three races.
There was this loser from New York who owned the horse Sham, who he thought could take down Secretariat and win. Man, was he annoying. Strangely enough, though, Kevin Connolly’s character wasn’t. He played a jerk in “He’s just not that into you”… I believe he was a realtor that had one date with Ginnifer Goodwin’s character Gigi and never called her back… and he’s dating a girl (Scarlet Johansson) that won’t sleep with him… and he’s that type in Entourage too, whatever little I saw of that show (time slot didn’t work for me).
He played journalist William Nack and he approached the role the right way, didn’t make a spectucale of anything, just told the news like it was. I paid attention to the credits in that end and his character was the one who wrote the book the movie was based off… it pays to have an eye out for some of these things.

So you do know the ending, obviously, if you pay attention to any sort of recent American history. But its the journey that matters and I say Disney did an excellent job painting the perfect story about America’s greatest horse.

By the by, its my fondest belief that, had he not injured himself in the Preakness, Barbaro would have been the next Triple Crown Winner. Not a doubt in my mind. His euthanization came about a week before Prince became part of my life… that was a very tough time for me because I did see something in that horse.
Much like the Eagles winning a SuperBowl, I want to see a Triple Crown winner in  my lifetime… one I can see and actually REMEMBER (the last one was Affirmed in 1988).

MegaMind (3D)– featuring the voices of Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Tina Fey and Jonah Hill
Grade: A+

This may be because it was one of my more recent ventures.
First off, I had no idea it was going to be in 3D… mainly because our local theater didn’t carry 3D. Well… apparently it had. When we went to see Avatar, we saw the likes of Piranha 3D and Sherk Forever After in the trailers…
We got Yogi Bear and Justin Bieber this time around.

Lets just say I had to take my 3D glasses off for the latter… are you frickin’ serious? Why the hell does he get a movie? He has as much right as the Jonas Brothers did… in 3D? $%#%&^%$
What is this world coming to? I shudder to think what I’m gonna do when they actually start showing commercials for that atrocity.

Give Jesse McCartney his own concert movie, someone who actually has talent… preferrably not one where he dies in the end… as what his Sundance debut “Keith” led me to believe… I hadn’t completely gotten over “Remember Me” at that time.
Grant me this, though. He is more or less my prince charming of the music industry, the one person  I gravitate towards to keep me bound to the ground. I’d spent ages waiting to see this movie and ShowTime finally got a hold of it. It was really good for what it was, though not necessarily as lucrative as Twilight as far as girl falls for mysterious boy goes. Wikipedia says that he presumably dies in the end and that’s all I have to go by, they didn’t go out and actually say it. I wish he’d gotten more acting opportunties outside of voiceover work so I can actually see him act, seeing as he’s an All my Children alum and I started watching the show because of him… long after he had gone from it. I vowed after seeing Keith that I wouldn’t go out to see movies like that anymore.

 

Now I completely lost track… Bieber screwed me up.
And I’m going to safely assume that Yogi Bear was a complete flop. But I will say this for Justin Timberlake, he should totally stick to the voiceover/acting gig and not pollute the music industry with his songs.

I’d seen the MegaMind trailer nearly as many times as Alpha & Omega through the course of the year. A lot of people are likely to say and already have said that it was DreamWorks double-dipping with an idea.

A villian turning good.
In the words of Minon, “are we allowed to just switch sides?”
Speaking of similarities, the fishbowl guy attached to the suit of armor is called Minion. Whereas as Gru in Descipable ME had several minions.

But stay with me here. I was brought along for the most amazing thrill ride with this movie. The 3D was done very well and actually gave the film a different look to it. It took a while to get used to, but it was pretty cool.
I will be the first to say I’m not a fan of Will Ferrell AT ALL. Sure, he was great as Ron Burgandy, but his other roles have been childish or just plain stupidity. He made bad look so good in this movie, I wish I were joking, but I’m dead serious. He made Megamind the most lovable untalented villian you ever saw. After a while, you really do start pulling for him despite the fact he defeated the town’s hero, MetroMan.

Megamind has several quirks. One of them that eventually gets him in trouble is referring to the setting of the film as “metrocity” rather than Metro City… I guess the indifference.

Let’s just say the film has all kinds of twists and turns and I was just over the moon with all of them. I learned to expect the unexpected. Endless entertainment. Few movies made me smile quite as much as that movie did… sorry again for the delay.

Due Date– starring Robert Downey, Jr., Zack Galifanaksis and Jamie Foxx
Grade: somewhere between a B+ and an A-

Hell, I’ll give RBJ the benefit of the doubt everytime.

One way or another, I knew I had to see this movie, even if I had to go on my own. Which I did. I actually managed to use seeing it as an excuse to get out of raking leaves that Saturday (I made up for it the next day by volunteering my services).

Reason 1: RBJ, end of story
Reason 2: the guy at the ticketbooth screwed up and gave us tickets that read Due Date on them for MegaMind that Thursday… so I had to see the movie so at least one ticket stub said I went to see the actual article

When I got there, it was an empty theater except for a young couple, both around my age if not a couple years older. When the guy arrived, he saw me and made a comment like “at least you won’t be alone”… kinda sweet of him to say. It was a quiet, but very chill movie experience with them. Though I can’t be sure if they spend some of that time making out, they were a little too quiet.

Not many people laughed out loud at the movies this year, at least not that I can recall.

The general premise you can get from pretty much any trailer. RBJ is an expectant father who needs to get home to his wife for their planned C-section in a week. He’s on his way home from business and ends up sitting near The Hangover’s most lovable idiot on the plane. He tried to give RBJ a line out of “She’s out of my league” about not using a Blackberry on the plane while they were sitting there waiting to go. Words like “bomb” are thrown around by both parties and both get put on the no-fly list.

For the record, according to RBJ, the dude’s last name is pronounced Gala-fah-knack-iss
naturally cuz he was the one that said it, I’m not going to forget it, which helps cuz that last name is tricky.

I wouldn’t have expected the film to get rated very high, but Ebert gave me the impression that Zack was a love him/hate him character. I see at points why he can be annoying… they say this is more or less a rip-off the classic “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” which I have yet to see.
Overall, though, I’m very tolerant of this guy. He’s likely the most lovable idiot you’ll ever meet and his French Bulldog has been known to steal the show.

Check it out. In light of a somewhat of a gross scene (only in ramifications, this movie was rated R for adult content, drug use and language, no sort of nudity), there is a little bit of humor thrown in courtesy of his dog. The two guys are chilling one night in a rental car and RBJ keeps waking up to this really odd noise. The other dude, more or less, is “gratifying himself” because it helps him sleep… if you catch my drift. Me, I’m totally grossed at this point, thinking “are you serious”… then RBJ checks out the dog and he’s doing the same thing with one of his front paws.
I swear I’d never seen a dog do that. Whether the dog knew what it was or not, it was brilliantly acted out. Yes, I’m complimenting a dog on a really gross trick.
We find out that the idiot has glucoma (the reason why he’s allergic to waffles) and he treats it with medical marijuana (which got confiscated by the TSA). The two go to one of his suppliers and RBJ gets a taste of his own medicine, but is forced to get a little physical with the supplier’s two kids.
There’s a scene where the dudes and the dog are totally high in the car that’s pretty hilarious. A lot of hilarious moments thrown in amidst the chaos. Then RBJ gets his junk shot accidentally by the idiot, not very pleasant, not at all.
Of course, we have to throw some doubt and conflict in there. The idiot is carrying his father’s ashes in a coffee can, trying to find a place to set them free. They go to Jamie Foxx’s place and not knowing their contents, made coffee with the can’s contents. Pretty gross. Then there’s suspicions that Jamie Foxx had an affair with RBJ’s wife… thankfully, that doesn’t come to pace, though it is hilarious when he sees a black baby when he stumbles into the wrong delivery room.
If you pay attention in the very beginning, RBJ reaccounts to his wife a dream that he had the night before… in the strangest way, it came true.

Needless to say, RBJ and the idiot began a beautiful friendship once all the idiocy finished. And yes, that’s a term of endearment.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 1
starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Imeulda Stanton, Bill Nighy, Tom Felton and Helena Bonham Carter
Grade: A

This was around the time I discovered the Reelz Channel. I’d been spending a lot of time lately enjoying their top 10 movie countdowns. Before that, I was catching all of their behind the scenes stuff on this movie. It was probably the biggest event of the year and I suppose for what its worth, it was worth the wait.

The crowd that saw Avatar in 3D reunited for this outing and we won’t soon forget it. We sat in twos, one row behind the other. We were saying that we’d be fine as long as no big dude comes by and sits in front of us… of course, that happened just as they were getting to some of the better trailers (Red Riding Hood). My mom’s two sisters were nearly on the floor laughing. (Word is that very thing happened again when they went to see Rain- tribute to the Beatles in NYC last weekend)

Once we moved over a tad, it was smooth sailing. I will say that movie was better than the book because it kept my attention for much longer. I felt like things were actually happening from one scene to the next.
It starts a bit tad hilarious between everyone taking polyjuice potion to look like Harry while they move him… then George says he feels “Saint-like” after he gets his ear hexed off. Only the Weasley Twins could make light of that… Mad-Eye Moody didn’t live to see how the rest of the movie turned out. Dobby easily became my favorite character in the movie because it had been AGES since he hit the big screen. The films won’t admit it, but he was in [the books] The Goblet of Fire and The Order of the Phoenix as well. Given what’s coming, that makes me kinda sad too. Much the way I didn’t care too much when I read that Cedric Diggory got killed as I did when I actually saw him die… never mind it was Robert Pattinson, Harry made me a sympathetic cryer.

Then it starts to get a little more intense and reaches a boiling point when Ron leaves out of frustration. Xenophilius Lovegood was a true piece of work and the Christmas scene at Godric’s Hollow was very sentimental for me when they visited the grave of James and Lily Potter (getting teary right now just thinking about it).
It has everything a good movie needs. A great starring cast, suspense, joy, sorrow, anger and surprises left and right. It certainly felt weird to be outside of Hogwarts for an entire movie.
My mom, who really is quite the sentimental type, said she cried at least four times during the movie. For me, it was at least twice… at Godric’s Hollow and when Dobby dies

What wasn’t a surprise was when the movie ended because I had read it in one particular article. I found it strange that Snape was only in a couple scenes, despite how instrumental he will be later. Then the whole treatment of muggleborns after the settling in of the new minstry was just plain disgusting. First, my least favorite D.A.D.A teacher is accusing people of stealing wands from wizards because they can’t possibly have magical powers. Then, although we don’t see it, Bellatrix Lestrange tortures Hermonine for the same “offense” and carved the word “mudblood” into her arm.

My mom is literally dying to see this one again. At her request, I checked to see anything about the DVD release date. The best we have is a guestimation of March or April.

Tangled– featuring the voices of Mandy Moore and Zachery Levi
Grade: A

To give balance to some of the more unpleasant events in the movie, I lowered it to an A.
There’s that spark of favoritism again where my more recent films are getting higher marks because of the time frame… them still being fresh.

I procrastinated with this one, although the showing was 1:50… it was at the mall, which was a longer drive than the local theater. We hit traffic and luckily managed to get there in time for a couple previews. Odd how I didn’t get into the almost-accident then because there was this slowpoke in front of me that was slowing the rest of us down.
I swear the theater was PACKED… I only saw more people in probably Harry Potter and Secretariat. My sister and I had to wait for the lights to come up a little before we could find a place to sit.

To add whatever the opposite of insult to the opposite of injury, this was probably one of the liveliest crowds I’d seen in a movie all year. They were laughing at all the right parts and really getting into a lot of the great scenes. There were a lot of great moments, not going to lie.
Also another movie I saw a lot of previews for, but they were mostly teaser trailers. Another one that panned out really well (in the vein of Megamind and Easy A).

This is a different take on the story of Rapunzel. I believe the original story was that there was a king and queen expecting a princess. One of them goes into a witch’s garden to steal cabbages because of cravings. After a couple offenses committed, the witch demands they surrender the baby to her. Rapunzel is kept in a tower and lets the witch in with her hair. A prince comes by and figures out how to get to Rapunzel and they fall in love. I believe Grimm’s version involves the witch blinding the princess by cutting off Rapunzel’s hair, using it to lure him into the tower and then throwing him into the thorny bushes below. It doesn’t seem to end well for him, but I hadn’t heard that story in a long time. I could be missing something.

In this version, Rapunzel is taken for a different reason. The witch finds this magical flower that gives her youth whenever she sings to it. The queen expecting a princess is very ill and the king sends his knights to find a cure. Despite the witch’s efforts to hide it, they find the flower and feed the queen a stew made from it. Rapunzel is born with golden hair, the same shade as the flower. The witch sneaks into her bedroom and tries to cut a strand to take with her. Unfortunately, once the hair is cut, it turns brown, loses its power and doesn’t grow back.
So for her own selfish reasons, the witch kidnaps Rapunzel and won’t let her leave the tower because she needs her hair to help her keep her youth.

Enter thief Flynn “Eugene” Rider. He and his two thugs steal crown jewels from the palace to make a profit. He cheats them out of the rewards and while evading the royal police, he comes across Rapunzel’s tower.
She asks the witch to see the lights that float into the sky every year on her birthday, but she keeps putting her under the impression that the world is too dangerous for her. Flynn stumbles in and she knocks him out with her frying pan. Contemplating escaping, she asks the witch for some white flowers to make special white paint… since she’s grounded for life, painting is something she does a lot. It’s something that takes a 3 day’s journey to return with, but she agrees.

Rapunzel uses Flynn to escape from the tower to see the lights.
For the first couple minutes, she’s very bipolar about the idea of escaping, bouncing between “I’m a bad daughter” and “I’m so glad I did this” and “I should go back” to “I’m never going back”
Then there are two creatures who add a little color to the story. Her chameleon companion, Pasquale and the royal horse that, I swear, has the characteristics of a bloodhound that tries to find Flynn and eventually becomes his friend/partner.

Oddly enough, the witch finds out about Rapunzel escaping and doesn’t drag her back home right away. She keeps putting the idea in her head that once she returns the crown jewels to Flynn, he will leave her and break her heart. That doesn’t necessarily come to pass, but with the help of the two thugs Flynn evaded earlier, it appears that he leaves her after they see the lanterns up close.

The ending keeps you guessing, that’s for sure and I don’t think I want to go ahead with all of it here. But its simply amazing how everything works out in the end.

 

I’m currently in the process of making a list of the movies I want to see this year. Despite what The Insider is saying, I’m going into this year with a positive attitude about the movies in that not all of them are going to be terrible.

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