Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

“I thought that somehow we'd save each other.”
“We did. Penny. I'm really glad I got to know you.”
            I hate end of the world stories and movies. Yes, I do know that Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is about the world ending. Usually ending of the world movies make me so nervous. I am terrified of that aspect. Let the world end when I am dead in the ground! I could not help but want to watch Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. I had wanted to see it for the past three years ever since I was working in a movie theater when it was released. This is one end of the world movie that did not make me freak out. Instead it made me bored as hell.
            Dodge (Steve Carrell) is left to face the end of the world alone. His wife Linda runs out on him to be with someone else. He still goes to work at an insurance company even though no one else is really showing up. Dodge goes to a friend’s house for a big party and everyone is going off their rockers have a good time. Dodge does not want to spend his last few days partying or going all crazy, he wants to be with someone.
            That someone who comes into his life is his neighbor Penny (Keira Knightly). She literally climbs through his window and asks to stay with him after she and her boyfriend get into a fight. Penny reveals that for the past three years she has forgotten to give Doge his mail that mistakenly was put into her mailbox. One of the pieces of mail she never gave him was a letter from his old high school flame. Dodge is happy with Penny because he had really loved that person and she was finally available. They decide to go look for this woman together.
            Of course Penny and Dodge become close and they spend their last moments on earth together.
            Seeking a Friend for the End of the World was dull and boring. I regretted turning it on almost as soon as it started. Keira Knightly was great her performance is the only reason to sit through it, well, and to also see a young Amy Schumer before she became really popular.
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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Silent Sundays: The Pleasure Garden (1925)

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There are so many aspects of early 20th century history I would have liked to have witnessed. If someone can invent a time machine I would love to travel back to when my favorite classic films were released in theaters including silent films. That would be incredible to go back and actually see these films for the first time on the big screen. I would also love to be able to go back and visit some of the beer halls and vaudeville and Broadway shows. The beer halls or music halls and vaudeville seem to have been seedy yet interesting places. One silent film in particular that makes me wish I could go back and visit a music/beer hall is The Pleasure Garden from 1925.
            The Pleasure Garden is a music hall in London where Oscar Hamilton has gained great notoriety for his chorus line. His lead chorus girl is Patsy Brand. After a show an old man is introduced to her and comments that he likes the curl in her hair. The curl is part of the blond wig all the girls wear so she pulls it out to give to the man much to his horror.
            By the stage door is a young girl named Jill Cheyne. She is looking to speak to Hamilton about getting a part in the show. She had a letter of introduction but something happened to it. When she returns outdoors her money is taken by some men. Patsy walks out just as Jill’s money is taken. As a gesture of good will Patsy lets Jill stay at her place and tells Jill she can talk to Hamilton the following day about auditioning.
            Jill does so well at her audition that Hamilton gives her a part in the show. She eventually becomes very popular and her picture is all over the paper. Her fiancé Hugh comes to town to see her before he leaves for two years to work on a plantation. Hugh is a nice man who wants to work hard and come back and marry Jill. He brings his friend Levet to the apartment. Patsy is immediately taken with Levet.
            Down the road Jill becomes diva and forgets all about Hugh and begins seeing a Prince Ivan. Patsy has been seeing Levet and they are soon engaged and married. Levet has to go down to the same plantation to work with Hugh. One day Patsy gets a letter that Levet is sick and she has to somehow get down to where he is to be with him. She goes to Jill for the fare but Jill has become a snob and will not lend her some money. Fortunately Patsy’s landlords like her and loan her the money.
            When Patsy gets down to the plantation Levet is not really sick he is just a drunken idiot who has been messing around with a native woman. Patsy of course becomes very upset with Levet and tells him she never wants to see him again. Levet in a fit of anger begins to beat Patsy. His boss sees what is going on and shoots Levet dead to get him off of Patsy.
            Big shock, Patsy and Hugh wind up getting together in the end.
            The Pleasure Garden was alright. There really was no focus on the music hall throughout the film it was just in the first few minutes. Maybe it is a metaphor for other things, I don’t know. But for some reason this film made me wish I could go back in time and go to a music hall for a show (go figure). The only reason I watched it and the only reason it is not obscure is because it was the first film to be directed by Alfred Hitchcock. His direction is not what we know it to be. He had yet to master direction plus the story is typical melodrama and the acting is atrocious. The Pleasure Garden is only worth watching just because it is Alfred Hitchcock’s first film.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Age of Adaline (2015)

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“Tell me something I can hold on to forever and never let go.”
“Let go.”

            Let me just start off by saying that I hate romantic movies. I have sworn them off to no end. I am talking only about modern romantic movie because classic movies are all romantic and I can handle those. Anyway, modern romantic dramas bore me to tears. Every cliché has been done every love story has the same trajectory. It is rare that a romantic movie is different these days. Fortunately, someone got a hold of the book The Age of Adaline and turned it into a movie. The Age of Adaline is the rare occasion where a modern romantic movie is done differently and even perfectly.
            The story is about a woman named Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively). She was born on New Year’s Day in 1908 in San Francisco. Adaline had a decent life. In the 1930s she got married, had a daughter, and unfortunately lost her husband in an accident while helping to build the Golden Gate Bridge.
            Adaline’s life forever changed when she was driving on a dark road to visit family. For the first time in decades it snowed in California. Adaline lost control of the car and crashed into a ravine. The cold water and a strike of lightening saved Adaline but that combination has caused her not to age.
            Her not aging causes Adaline problems through the decades. In the 1950s she officially goes on the run. From then on every decade she changes her identity and moves to a different city. She rarely sees her daughter but the two do keep in touch. In this current decade Adaline is now Jennifer Larson, an archivist in a library in San Francisco.
            At a party at a hotel on New Year’s Eve Adaline meets a very handsome young man named Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman). Ellis likes her and pursues her. He becomes a member of the board of the library Adaline works at. Eventually they start dating but Adaline’s fears of getting too close to others because of her condition come to the surface. She decides to let her fears go for one weekend when Ellis asks her to come up to his parents’ house. When they get to the house Ellis’s father William (Harrison Ford) sees her and says her real name. Adaline recovers by saying Adaline Bowman was her mother.

            William is consumed with the thought of Adaline. He loved her when he first met her in the 1960s and was heartbroken when she disappeared. William notices a scar on Adaline’s hand is in the same place she had cut her hand when they were together and, being medical student, he stitched it up for her. William confront Adaline and she runs away.
            Adaline is again in another car accident and again it is another cold night and again electricity is coursed through her body. But this time the reverse happens and Adaline can now age. She lives happily with her daughter and Ellis.
            The cast of this movie was brilliant. I was not too sure how Blake Lively was going to be. I had seen bits and pieces of her other movies and some of the shows she has been on and she was alright. Lively was amazing. Katharine Heigl was supposed to play Adaline and as much as I adore Heigl I cannot for the life of me see her doing a better job than Lively. Michiel Huisman I love from Orphan Black where he plays Cal Morrison (yes, he is also in Game of Thrones, I know, I have seen bits of him on that show too). Besides the plot I really wanted to see the movie for him. I wanted to see what Huisman was like outside of the two TV shows and he was great. I hope he gets more leading roles. Harrison Ford was also very good.
            The story was amazing. I liked how different it was. There were so many aspects of it that I enjoyed. I really liked how Adaline never really complained about not aging. She did find it as a burden but she had enjoyed so many things in her long life like traveling and reading and learning languages. Adaline only ever got upset when she would see her daughter or when she wanted to fall in love with Ellis. Another aspect I really liked was how William reacted to Adaline being back. In other modern romances I have the feeling that William and Adaline would have fallen back in love and their old beautiful relationship would have resumed. Very, very fortunately that does not happen here. William had to reassure his wife that it is she who he has been married to for the past forty years and that was the end of that conversation. Adaline was meant to be with Ellis.

            The Age of Adaline is now one of my all-time favorite movies. I was enthralled and enamored with it almost from the moment it started. Everything about the movie is flawless and perfect. Do yourself a big favor and watch The Age Adaline as soon as you can. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Men, Women, and Children (2014)

Technology is a wonderful and scary thing. It is a wonderful way to connect so many people whether we know them or not. It is scary in that it can connect us to so many people whether we know them or not. Technology allows us to see videos of cute puppies snuggling babies. The same technology also allows us to see porn and violent things. It brings out different sides of us as well. We can go on tumblr and lose our minds over a specific fandom or, bringing it up again, we can go on porn sites and both things are different sides of our lives we may hide. The movie Men, Women, and Children explores how technology is used to do things people would not normally do or how they try to hide things.
            Men, Women, and Children tells a few different stories all based on technology. One story has a mother (Jennifer Garner) having control over everything her daughter texts and posts. Another the star football player quits the team and becomes deeply enthralled with the world of online gaming. Another has a mother (Judy Greer) and daughter obsessed with fame and run a website for the daughter with pictures and videos of her. A couple has martial issues because they just do not know how to be intimate with each other anymore and each goes looking for love on a porn site.  And there are a bunch more stories.
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            All the stories are kind of terrifying. Not in a horror movie way they are terrifying because they are true. Who has not been obsessed with a video game? Who has not felt connected to someone they talk to online? Who has not looked at porn? (Me. Me, I’ve never truthfully looked up porn).
            The whole time I was watching this I kept thinking to myself how lucky I was not to grow up in today’s world. I graduated high school in 2006. YouTube was a year old and I had no clue what it was. Twitter was not a thing. For Christ’s sake I got just got a twitter account last November and I am twenty-seven!  Facebook was probably a thing but I did not join it until possibly my sophomore year of college. I got a cellphone when I was sixteen. I think like two months ago I got Snapchat but I only have it to follow certain YouTubers. As I was watching all the teenage drama unfold in the movie I could also not help to think about how I just got into YouTube fandom. As I said I am twenty-seven and there are a lot of much younger fans in the fandom. There was some recent drama in the fandom that involved my favorite YouTuber. It was not anything she did but she got unfairly called out (if you know what/who I am talking about leave a comment below!). The entire fandom for this particular YouTuber as well as for the entire platform went up in arms. I thanked the good lord I am older and not a teenager because I would have gone out guns blazing on all my social media pages like a maniac.
            I also thank the good lord that I never had the pressure of social media and texting on me when I was younger. Some the girls in this movie had either the pressure of social media or texting behind them. There was one story where a girl and a boy were texting each other even though they were only feet away. I just recently gave some advice to someone much younger than me who did not know how to talk to people she is having feelings for. She was going to text the person how she felt. I told her to talk to the person face to face.
            The cast was pretty good. I watched this movie solely for Jennifer Garner and her character was the most annoying and scary. She was the mother who has complete control over her daughter’s social media pages and texts and emails. The character actually went through her daughter’s computer and looked at what she was doing. I felt terrible for the daughter because it is an invasion of privacy and the matter of distrust between mother and daughter. The mother was fucked up! Adam Sandler was the husband in the couple that used the porn sites. He was actually really good. I normally cannot stand him at all and I liked his performance. Judy Greer was great too.
            Men, Women, and Children was a good movie. As I said it kind of scared me because it was a real look at what people use technology for. It scary to even have a damn Facebook. When I first started this blog I was afraid to even write down my opinions or even give out my one tumblr. I was afraid to even message people on tumblr now I am a tumblr addict and I have put my picture on my second tumblr a few times. Now you can see my face on my YouTube channel and you can check me out on twitter where I use my real picture. You just gotta know what you want to show people and what you want to keep hidden. And you gotta be careful with what information you put out there!
I am hoping that this review makes any sense. All the stories made me feel a few things since I practically live online. As I was watching this movie I was checking my tumblr and even sent out a few messages on there. Social media and technology runs my life and I struggle with how it makes me feel especially since I did not grow up on it.  Men, Women, and Children is worth watching at least once. 
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Monday, September 21, 2015

The More the Merrier (1943)

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“I'm too old.”
“Or the, the veterans' home?”
“I'm too young.”
“Well, I don't know what to think.”
“Well, sooner or later I'm going to rent half this apartment. Suppose I have a look at it, eh?”

            During World War II there was a shortage of everything. In Washington D.C. there was a massive shortage of housing since everyone was moving to the Capital to work for the War effort. People were living three or four to an apartment and carpooling with half the city. The 1943 film The More the Merrier hilariously parodies the housing shortage in Washington D.C.
            An older man named Benjamin Dingle (Charles Coburn) is looking for a place to stay in the Nation’s Capital. He is there on business for a few weeks and every place has no vacancy. Somehow Dingle manages to talk his way into renting out a room from a woman named Connie Milligan (Jean Arthur). Connie is furious and not very comfortable with the thought of having to share her apartment with a man but she gives in. Before they go to sleep for the night Connie shows Dingle her plan for the morning. It is a very strict minute by minute schedule for the both of them to follow in order to not be in each other’s way and to be out the door by 7:30am.
            Connie’s plan does not work out so well. She manages to somehow get out the door on time but Dingle gets left behind. As he is heading out the front door he sees a young man with an airplane propeller in his hands a suitcase looking desperately for a vacancy. Dingle decides to give the man named Joe (Joel McCrea) the other half of his room. He has no plans on telling Connie about Joe.
            You should know that Dingle’s plan does not work out too well and Connie eventually crosses paths with Joe in the apartment. She wants them both out but only Dingle leaves to stay somewhere else.
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            You should also know that of course Connie and Joe fall in love and it should be no shock whatsoever that they get married.
            The cast was very good. Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea made a great couple. Arthur has been fabulous in everything I have seen her in so far. McCrea is ridiculously handsome I cannot handle it! I love both Arthur and McCrea as actors the more of their films I see them in. Charles Coburn was a good actor but I am never really impressed with him to me he is just another unimpressionable.
            There was one scene in this film that I loved. Joe walks Connie home from a restaurant and they sit on the stoop to their place. It was beautiful because you can see the lust and desire and want not only on their faces but in their body language. McCrea and Arthur nailed that scene they were wonderful.
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            The More the Merrier was a cute film. There were some scenes that were dragged out and towards the end the story starts to get a little too much. The More the Merrier is a classic film worth seeing once especially for Joel McCrea and Jean Arthur. 
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