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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

7 Movies in 4 Days

The Mini-W and I like movies. We like them a lot. We go to the video store and just about sweep our arms over shelves and take anything and everything. We figure we saw about 30 movies last summer. And those are just video rentals. We lost count of those we saw at the theaters. Some of the movies below, you're going to say HELLO oh my god, I saw that thirteen years ago! Well, yeah, but that's the point of our video store pillaging - if we haven't seen it, we see it. We are voracious movie omnivores and we bet that if you went to the video store and looked at every shelf we could probably go toe-to-toe with the greatest of cinefiles when it comes to classics. So we're playing catch up on other stuff and we love it. If we hate the movie, who cares, we order in Chinese and go to the next one.

Last weekend, we managed to see:

Artificial Intelligence AI: Wow. Fascinating premise. We were glued to the screen. Very cool and touching and then - geez - a sex robot combined with a fairy tale motif? Wha-? What a red hot mess it devolved into. Too bad. Very disappointing.

12 Monkeys: Wow! We loved it! Why is Brad Pitt so good at playing lunatics? Others said it was convoluted and confusing but we found it relatively easy to follow. We *heart* Bruce Willis and Madeline Stowe was okay too. Fun discussion about the nature of reality afterwards.

The Strangers: GREAT horror flick; scared us to pieces even though Mom had read the script about three years ago and knew what was going to happen. A knock on the door was never so terrifying. Simple, frightening, memorable. Mini-W and Mom have canceled vacation at cabin by lake.

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay:
Oh, lord. Funny moments but not as funny as the first installment of H & K. Gross-out factor: High. Intelligence and wit: Also high. Strange combination. Best moment: when Neil Patrick Harris sees the unicorn in the background as a policeman is interrogating him. But drugs are bad. Just say no.

Journey to the Center of the Earth: Uh - well - we do like Brendan Fraser and there were some pretty cinematic moments. Too bad we didn't have 3-D glasses but we got the gist. Seems like this could have been GREAT when it was only okay. This movie is aimed at fourth graders - which is fine by us but we're too old. Mom remembers when she was working at Walden Media and they were casting for the kid. A SEA of young boys around age 12 were crowding the lobby with their moms in tow. Mini-W unimpressed by this remembrance.

Role Models: Saw this in the theater. The Mini-W thought it was funny and cute, Mom sat in silence, anticipating a big laugh but never getting it. I thought it was under-cooked, trite and obvious and am surprised at the "hilarious" reviews I have heard from my friends who have seen it. Not that funny, not that cute. Could have been so much better. Disagreement solved by going out to a delicious lunch and putting the experience behind us.

Slumdog Millionaire: Wow! Dark! Dark and wow! Epic! Colorful! Unforgettable. The Mini-W and I are big Danny Boyle fans and love how he genre hops. Not exactly a feel-good movie and yet ultimately a totally feel-good movie. We give the Bollywood ending five out of five jelly beans.

Movies Mom is looking forward to: MILK and AUSTRALIA (five words: Hugh with his shirt off). Movies the Mini-W is looking forward to seeing: SAW V (video rental from which mom will be conspicuously absent) and UNBORN.

So there's a holiday weekend coming up, Wavers. You don't have to hit the theaters if you don't want to - it's going to be crazy-crowded. But hit the video store and load up. Particularly load up on movies in the genre you love best and make sure to see any and all movies that bear any resemblance whatsoever to what you're writing right now. If you haven't seen the classics, stoop down low on the shelf, toward the bottom, and load up on those. If you want to be a screenwriter, you have no excuse if you don't see a lot of movies on an ongoing basis.

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Anthony Peterson said...

I'm looking forward to "Australia". My wife and I are seeing it this weekend. It's the "Gone with the Wind" of the Australian outback.

And Oprah was right, they just don't make movies like this anymore.

There is just so much riding on this film. Baz went way over time in production - like waaaay over time. But he is a perfectionist, and I could think of worse character flaws.

I hear that Australian writer Stuart Beattie did most of the heavy lifting for the script, but a few other people had input (including Baz).

Look it may be a bit melodramatic - but its as adventure, its entertainment. And yes ladies, as far as Hugh Jackman is concerned - its all real. He's an A list star in my books.

I'm kind of glad Russell Crowe didn't take the role. He's a fine actor - but I think Hugh really needed a role like this to show the world what he's made of.

E.C. Henry said...

Love the mother daughter angle. Movies are meant to be shared. You two are a model for us all to consider.

I too LOVED "12 Monkeys," BUT then again I do have an affinty for them...

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

Sam said...

Hi Mama W and Mini W,

I would be very interested to hear your list of must-see classic films from a screenwriter's perspective. I'm sure I've seen some of them, but definitely not all of them (and I'm sure it probably start a debate/discussion amongst wavers).

I'm also looking forward to seeing Baz's 'Straya.. to pronounce it like us locals! x

Julie Gray said...

Hey Sam - a discussion of what classics every screenwriter should see is a GREAT discussion for the RWII! I'll start a thread on that...

Anonymous said...

Hey Anthony,

Saw Australia.

Just a unique but passionate love story with lots of action. Worth more than the ticket price.

Acutally I would pay $100.00 to see this movie. Yes, it's that good.

Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman make a beautiful couple.

I promise you, you and your wife will love this.

My wife loved the movie.

chaia said...

I can't believe you didn't like Role Models! I pretty much peed myself the whole 90 minutes.

As far as Journey At The Center Of The Earth is concerned:

Anonymous said...

I can't help it but want to share about a movie I just recently saw (rented from Blockbuster). It is an Afghani movie and is certainly different than American movies we're used to. But boy, did it leave me stunned for over a week after I saw it! The title is "Osama," but let it not mislead you, it has nothing to do with Osama bin Laden. It's about a little Afghani girl who has to pose as a boy in order to work and feed her family, and it is really, really touching. I'm so glad I saw it -- it's one of those rare movies that you remember for a long time after seen them.