So since not all of my friends/followers have gone over to follow my new site, I figured I would do a weekly update over here for DVD rentals that will hopefully tempt your palates enough to go over for the bigger (and let’s face it bigger IS better) and newer stuff.
So here, it is. My recommendations for your rentals this week, all can be found on Netflix or even possibly at your local library (seriously, check out your local library and not just for the flicks).
1. Dedication - In Justin Theroux’s directorial debut you catch a glimpse of something unlike anything I have ever seen - real, dramatic love. Anyone that knows me gets that I loathe romantic movies but this does not feel like one … AT ALL. This feels like some warped, yet total real, version of love story which stars Billy Crudup and, one of my favorite famous people, Mandy Moore. Crudup is a total nut (but adorably so) who writes children’s books but it a total misanthrope (basically he hates everyone, there’s your word of the day). And he gets stuck with a new illustrator, Mrs. Ryan Adams, and so begins a very odd yet fascinating and genuine story of two very strange people. If you like drama, dark comedies, or either actor, give it a go. (Not available for Instant)
2. Beginners - Do you love Ewan McGregor as much as I do? Then you need to watch this. Immediately. For instance, I went and bought it the day after renting it (from my local library but it is also on Netflix). Ewan plays a graphic artist who learns that his father (Christopher Plummer), who is dying, has been keeping the secret that he is gay and decides to come out. While this is all going on, he happens to fall for a French actress played by Melanie Laurent. Honestly, this movie is in my top five. Go watch it. (Not available for Instant)
3.The Woman in Black- This movie comes out today so I know it won’t be up straight away or even in the library but it is definitely my suggestion for horror movie lovers. I saw this when it came out and it really blew me away not only with the acting chops of Harry Potter himself but also with the plot and just how creepy the entire thing is. It’s about a young lawyer (a single papa) who goes to this crazy out of the way town where kids keep dying in these horrible suicides. While there he discovers, you guessed it, the woman in black (a freakish and vengeful ghost). I think any person who loves a good horror flick or thriller would definitely enjoy it. (Not available yet, but Netflix tells me it will be a short wait).
In my queue -
1. Shame - Finally getting around to watching this flick starring one of my newest Hollywood crushes, Michael Fassbender. It also stars Carey Mulligan who I have begun to like immensely after seeing Public Enemies and will also be starring as dear Daisy in the upcoming film adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Basically, Fassbender is a total nympho and it gets all screwy when his sister (Mulligan) comes to stay with him. Since it was a limited release I’m just now getting to see it. (Not available for Instant and is on short wait)
2.Martha Marcy May Marlene- Elizabeth Olson broke out onto the Hollywood scene with this indie flick starring as the brainwashed ex-cult member, Martha, who is trying to reconnect with her sister. It made quite the splash at Sundance and I am so sooooo excited to finally get to watch it (partially because I adore Hugh Dancy). (Not available for Instant)
3.Melancholia- I will admit, I am no fan of Kirsten Dunst, but I am, however, a huge fan of Alexander Skarsgard and Kiefer Sutherland (and Alex’s papa, Stellan, is also in it). The plot seems very odd to me, Earth is about to crash into another planet where everyone is certain to meet death, and all the while Dunst’s marriage is falling apart along with her relationship with her very depressed sister (I’m guessing that’s the melancholia part). I honestly didn’t read any reviews on this one - I’m just going to see how it all pans out on my own. (Available for Instant!)
So I’ve applied to this new blogging site where I have a chance to earn some money for my posts. What I would absolutely LOVE is if all of my lovely darling friends would go over there and follow me so maybe I can be reimbursed for all those movie tickets I am buying.
The url is dis - http://thecriticalfilm.hubpages.com/
Puh-lease do this for me, I will be ever so grateful. I probably won’t be posting much on here anymore except for silly little things.
The Cabin in the Woods -
Joss freakin’ Whedon, man. Do you know how pumped I was when I heard he was writing this movie? I’m a fairly big fan of his, for those of you who don’t know me all that well. And, after seeing this movie, I truly see his influences in the perfect balance of horror and science fiction that is represented in this film. And, since I love both of those genres to no end, I loooooooooved this movie.
The film follows two basic principles - a group of foolish kids in a cabin in the woods and another plot about a group of scientists creating strange monsters. Okay, maybe that one isn’t so basic but it IS awesome.
And the stars, of course, the beautiful Thor himself Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly (haven’t seen much of her, though she had roles in movies like Revolutionary Road and Certainty), Anna Hutchison (also, not many roles though she was the Yellow Ranger on some Power Ranger spinoff), Fran Kranz (The Village and Donnie Darko), Jesse Williams (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2). Not to mention, Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford. Oh, and, Amy Acker from Whedon’s own Angel series. There is a special appearance at the end, but I don’t wanna spoil it ;).
I don’t want to talk too much about this movie because I don’t want to give anything away but there is so much to love about it - zombies, Thor, sci-fi surprises, gore (but not Saw-level), monsters … so much.
I am always complaining about the lack of originality in horror movies these days and look what comes to my doorstep? Something totally unique and awesome. Thank you, Joss Whedon, you never fail to disappoint. All around, this movie is EPIC. From the horror-ness (new word I just created) to the slight comedic relief which is actually rather clever. I loved it. I’d see it again. I’ll probably even buy it.
Go see it if you’re into the genre(s) at all. You won’t be disappointed.
Jeff, Who Lives at Home -
Only took Ohio about a month to get this at the only indie theater within fifty miles of me, but I think it was worth the wait. Not only do I love Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Judy Greer, and Susan Sarandon but the story was so heartfelt, yet comedic and unique and surprising. I loved it. I thought it was clever and real and all around superb.
For those that do not know the plot, Jason Segel plays Jeff who, shockingly, lives at home in his mother’s (Susie) basement. His brother Pat (Eddie) thinks his wife, Linda (Judy), is cheating on him. The film takes place in one day where the two brothers who are vastly different from one another, stalk Linda and discover their destiny. There are different story lines throughout the movie and they are woven together beautifully. I have no complaints at all about this flick - truly great.
Now, I believe it’s out of theaters since it took me a few weeks to write this but I expect it on DVD within the next few months. If it happens to still be at the indie theater (the Neon for my fellow southwestern Ohioans) then you should definitely go and see it!
Mirror Mirror -
I used to say you can never go wrong with Julia Roberts (or Sandra Bullock). I’m not saying that she was terrible in this movie but I just can’t buy her as an evil queen, I guess. She was great, don’t get me wrong, but I find myself wondering (now that I’ve had approximately three weeks to dwell on this film) if they couldn’t have found someone a bit better. For instance, I think Charlize Theron is going to be amazing.
After all, they cast the PERFECT Snow White. Lily Collins, man. She really blew me away. I hadn’t seen her act in anything before and I was fairly impressed with her performance and she looks sooooooo much like how I would envision Snow White in real life. I thought she was pretty awesome. And probably better than Kristen Stewart will be (gross).
In the previews I thought the prince looked very blah and then I saw the movie and actually enjoyed him quite a bit. Prince Alcott, played by Armie Hammer, was one of my favorite characters and totally adorable. And yes, he is the guy playing The Lone Ranger to Johnny Depp’s Tonto. So excited!
Some other notable mentions - Nathan Lane, of course, who doesn’t love him? Sean Bean, remarkably short appearance but memorable. And I sort of developed quite the crush on one of the dwarves, Wolf, played by Sebastian Saraceno.
I had very low expectations for this movie and it turned out to be a lot funnier than I thought it would be. It took me by surprise a few times and though they switched up the story a bit, I consider them all improvements because Snow White was never my favorite fairytale. But it was humorous and enjoyable despite the low score it seemed to have gotten everywhere I liked it. Do I think it could have been better? Yes, definitely. But it wasn’t bad by any means.
A bit strange to have two Snow White movies coming out the same year and it’ll be interesting to see the other with how different they are. I’m just waiting until they make a live action Beauty and the Beast. Now there’s a fairytale I can get into.
If no new movies strike your fancy, look for these movies coming out on DVD this month.
We Bought a Zoo -Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, some really adorable kids, and even cuter animals. Apparently it was based on a true story which makes it all that much more adorable. I did not see it, but I heard really amazing things about it. Who wouldn’t want to live on a zoo??
War Horse - Didn’t see it, didn’t want to even though I loooooove horses. It was a huge huge hit, as most Steven Spielberg movies are, and again was supposedly based on a true story. I’m all about historical movies when done correctly, and I even prefer to study WWI as opposed to WWII but this didn’t interest me in the slightest.
The Darkest Hour -Emile Hirsch and Olivia Thirlby star in this sci-fi thriller. I wanted to see this very badly but it didn’t last long in theaters. Kind of terrifying to think we can be attacked using our power supply since everything we do runs on power these days. Creeeeepy. And who doesn’t just love Emile Hirsch?
The Iron Lady - No thank you.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol -Despite better judgment, a part of me wanted to see this. What can I say? I like Simon Pegg. And I do find it impressive that Tom Cruise still does the majority of his stunts including hanging off of one of the tallest buildings in the world. Eep! The dude may be crazy but he’s talented.
Shame - Michael Fassbender (who does full frontal nudity in this movie from what I hear and a lot of it) and Carey Mulligan (love her) star as brother and sister. The brother which is apparently a complete nympho has to deal with her untimely arrival. Played for a short time at our indie theater but didn’t stay long enough for me to go and see it. Both actors are wonderful so I’m sure it’s good.
Contraband -Saw this in theaters so for a full review, mosey on over there. Marky Mark and some dirty action.
The Innkeepers -Sadly this horror movie never came out in Ohio but I am please it’ll be on DVD soon. I very badly wanted to see it even though movies with ghosts tend to freak me out ( save for Paranormal Activity ). Sara Paxton is the main star and I believe her to be completely underrated.
Not a whole lot of DVD action either, but I’m sure they’re just having a bit of a cool down before May! Maybe this is a sign that y’all need to be studying for exams and not going out to the movies …. Nahhhh!
Since the saying goes ‘April showers …’ I think we can all agree it might be a fantastic movie watching month. Unless you’re with me in the Midwest and you’ve been having crazy rollercoaster weather. In which case … who knows? We may need our swimsuits next week.
Anyways, as per usual I am giving you the head’s up on what movies are coming out this month in a theater near you with perhaps a small sampling of those limited release because I have a soft spot for them despite the fact Ohio isn’t cool enough to get them.
Titanic 3D - Good God, why? It’s like when they released Star Wars Episode I again. It has me shouting WHY at the top of my lungs, internally of course otherwise people might think I’ve gone completely mental. I don’t care how gorgeous Leo is… no thank you once was enough.
American Reunion -Normally, I would be thinking, seriously? The last one sucked and aren’t these jokes getting old? But I think there’s a very good reason that all those classic characters are back with the original actors and actresses. And that reason? Good comedy. The trailer looks hilarious. I like that they’re actually going back after a couple of years when things have actually changed and not have them still in college or doing whatever. I think this looks very promising. And am I the only person on the planet kind of attracted to Chris Klein?
Lockout -Guy Pearce fighting bad dudes in a space prison? Sounds super cheesy but you know what? I applaud the originality behind it. I mean the whole in space thing being original, there have been plenty prison movies and plenty prison break out movies but this one is definitely unique. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing. Maggie Grace is the other star and I do think she’s pretty great so we’ll see.
Three Stooges - I just don’t know. Maybe this was just before my time. I’m not amped about it like a lot of other people are. Will Sasso kind of gets on my nerves, I do love Sean Hayes for sure (he was the only reason I watched Will & Grace), Chris Diamantopoulos is way too attractive in real life to play Moe but you know I can roll with it. I love that Jane Lynch and Sofia Vergara are in it, too. We’ll see - it’ll have to be good to live up to everyone’s standards and also all the hype it’s been getting.
The Cabin in the Woods -I am actually very excited for this movie. Partly, because I love horror movies, even when they are terrible. But also because Chris Hemsworth is in it and though I love him suited up as Thor, I’m thinking the flannel look suits him even better. I digress. There’s something different about this horror movie which I can definitely get into. Almost sci-fi in some of the glimpses I’ve been getting. Love that.
Think Like a Man-Don’t shoot me, but this actually looks kind of funny. I don’t do romances as anyone who knows me knows, but I actually think parts of this look pretty hilarious. And it’s not a gag me romantic movie from the looks of it. It IS typical that four guys would use a self help book to get women into bed. Sorry, gents, but that is the stereotype. There are A LOT of people in this - Gabrielle Union, Arielle Kebbel, Meagan Good, Taraji Henson, Chris Brown (I find that humorous, too), Regina Hall, Romany Malco, Jerry Ferrara, Kevin Hart. Laundry list of actors.
The Five-Year Engagement -Yes. Please. Jason Segel? LOVE. Emily Blunt? Might love even MORE. Mindy Kaling is even in this. It’s going to be AWESOME.
Safe -Well, Jason Statham in an action movie, again. Trying to keep a little girl safe, again. Regardless, I’ll be seeing it. I’m a sucker for Statham.
The Raven -John Cusack as my favorite writer of all time, Edgar Allen Poe? YES PLEASE. A horror movie with a killer based off his writings while he tries to solve them? Double yes please! And Luke Evans. He’s becoming a favorite of mine.
I suppose it’s a bit of a lull month between the great March and May releases, but there are some gems in there. Of course, you can always go and watch The Hunger Games again like I plan to …
Wrath of the Titans -
First things first - who on earth thought it was a good idea to have Sam Worthington grow out his hair? Seriously. It made him look like a douche.
Now that I got that off my chest I can honestly say I enjoyed it, but I might prefer the first one. The effects were definitely much better this time around and I liked the characters they inserted into the storyline such as Agenor and Andromeda (who was in the first one but played by a different actress). I did like the storyline a lot, going to the Underworld is always an interesting idea in my book.
Of course, it’s hard to have a terrible movie with stars like Liam Neeson as Zeus, Ralph Fiennes as Hades, and Bill Nighy as Hephaestus. You also have Sam Worthington, of course, and Rosamund Pike as the new Andromeda. I always hate when actresses and actors get changed in the middle of a series and this one was particularly bothersome because they went from a brunette to a blonde. Call me a biased brunette, but it irked me no matter how much I appreciate Rosamund Pike. I do think she’s a great actress. Plus, she was a Bond girl. Another actor I appreciated was the man playing Agenor, Toby Kebbell who actually has a rather impressive resume such as Prince of Persia and RocknRolla, which I love. Underestimated actor, for sure.
One change I was not okay with was the actor playing Ares, Edgar Ramirez. It’s not that I thought Tamer Hassan was better in the first one (in fact I can’t even place him what with the heavenly hottie Luke Evans clouding up Mt Olympus as Apollo) but it’s the fact that I just can’t buy him as Ares. The entire time I’m watching him I’m thinking about how he looks like an idiot. It kind of reminded me of the end of Step Brothers when that guy was telling Will Ferrell about how he needs to change his face or he’d change if for him? Yeah, that’s how I felt about it.
The creatures were way cooler this time around and there’s a bit more comedic relief which I think everyone can appreciate. I like when the gods get into the fighting, it always makes for a good scene. Plus, who doesn’t love a good Pegasus? I wish I had a horse with wings. FOR REALZ.
All in all it was enjoyable. My brother made me go see it in 3D which was lame because I don’t think any movie is necessarily better in 3D and it gives me a headache. Save the extra four bucks and get a small soda.*
*Sodas at movie theaters are more than four dollars, be prepared to pay extra.