Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hick (2011)

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“You could grab the past and drag it with you like a bag of rocks. You can grab that new diet with grape fruits, and a brand new exerciser, and maybe that new washer-dryer set. You can grab and grab and grab, 'til your fists turn green. You can grab everything you ever wanted. Shake it. Try to make it go boom. Yeah, you can never ever grab enough. Pop!”

            I wish I could just pack up and go. Leave my house and my family for an adventure to anywhere. I am twenty-seven and bored at shit living at home in a town that voted one of the most boring places for young people to live and working a shit part time at a library where I get hit on by old creepy guys. If I had the money and a car that worked I would pick up and leave in a heartbeat. My mom told me I should move out to California and live with my uncle but I am not going anywhere without money. I literally have less than two hundred dollar in my bank account right now. If I were to go places I would want money so I can enjoy myself and not stress the fuck out over not having any money to do anything or go anywhere else.
            I wish I had the guts to pack up and go like Luli McMullen (Chloe Grace Moretz) does in the movie Hick. The girl is thirteen and has the balls to leave her home to travel to Las Vegas where she thinks she will find a sugar daddy. I would not go to Vegas I would want to head out to California so I keep in tuned with the movie scene (as a fan and watcher of movies not as an actress. You do not want me to act)… also the weather is ten times nicer than New Jersey’s.
            Luli lives in a small town in Nebraska. Her parents are alcoholics and never really pay any attention to her. After seeing a commercial of show girls in Las Vegas Luli decides to run away. While walking she gets picked up by a guy named Eddie (Eddie Redmayne). He says something she does not like and gets out. Luli then gets picked up by a sweet southern girl named Glenda (Blake Lively).
Image result for hick 2011
Image result for hick 2011
Image result for hick 2011
            Glenda and Luli travel together for some time until they come to this guy’s house. Glenda is apparently working with him in some capacity. When they get to the guy’s house they see Eddie is now working for the guy and neither girl is very happy to him. Eddie convinces Luli to go out with him to leave Gelnda and the guy alone. Eddie is a dick. He basically kidnaps and rapes Luli and ties her up to a bed. The following day Luli wakes up to Glenda in the room. Glenda recalls her story about her and Eddie. Eddie comes back into the room. He has a gun which he says is not loaded but it goes off and there was a still a bullet in it that winds up killing Glenda. Eddie tries to smooth things over with Luli but she grabs the gun and kills Eddie.
            Luli makes it out. She gets help from the hotel owner Beau (Alec Baldwin). He brings her to the bus station. Luli calls her mother but her mother has other shit going on that makes Luli not want to go home. Beau puts her on the bus with a note in her sketchpad telling her where to find him and his sister out in California.
            I was bored watching Hick. It literally took me three days to watch it because I would get bored and fall asleep. It was not god awful but it was not fun to sit through. The story did solidify that I will never travel without money or a car. I never ever want to end up in a situation like Luli’s! I will not say to skip Hick it was not that bad but it was not that great for me to even say it is worth watching once. 
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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Senator Was Indiscreet (1947)

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“You can't go around quoting politicians correctly! That's dirty journalism and you know it!”

            Politics can suck it. I am not a registered voter. Before anyone starts getting all pissy with me I do not vote because I do not follow politics they bore me to tears and I am not going to vote for lying people that I do not know anything about. I am not going to be an ignorant idiot going to the polls to vote when I do not know what they are promising… in the words of Grace Helbig “Too deep! Moving on!”. There is a point in my too deep ranting and that is I do not like politics and I do not like politics in film form. Even in satire politics drive me nuts. The only way I even bothered to sit through a film entitled The Senator was Indiscreet was for the always entertaining William Powell.
            Senator Melvin Ashton (Powell) has been a member of a certain political party for thirty-five years and has been in the senate for several years. He has been very content in his job as a US Senator. His new agent Lew Gibson is young and believes he can help Melvin reach the White House. Melvin has no aspirations for the White House but Lew’s fiancé Poppy McNaughton (Ella Raines) has a different idea. Like Lew, Poppy wants to see Melvin get into the White House only she wants to get him there by making him a laughing stock.
            Melvin really has no chance of getting into the White House. His speeches are incredibly long and excruciatingly boring. He is a bumbling mess of an old man. Poppy keeps writing up stories about him running for the highest office and the party Melvin belongs to is not too happy with him. They believe that the only reason he is denying he is running and traveling is because he wants to run for the presidency. The head of the party wants Melvin to leave but Melvin has a trick up his sleeve. For the past thirty-five years he has been keeping a diary of every single meeting and event of the party. This back the head off of him as he is afraid of will get out if he does not let Melvin have his way. A few days later Melvin finds the diary has gone missing.
            To make a long story short: the party tries to get Melvin to leave but he has no skills outside of being a senator; Lew and Poppy find the diary, Poppy desperately wants to print everything in it but Lew gets it away from  her and gives it back to Melvin; somehow Melvin becomes a leader of a tropical island.

            The Senator Was Indiscreet is definitely not one of the best William Powell films I have seen. I liked seeing his goofy side he had an excellent goofy side he was brilliant with comedy. The story just did not catch my attention. There were some scenes where I was like what on earth is happening, who the hell is this character, who wants this diary. I am sure it was explained but I did not catch it. Throughout the film Melvin kept calling his wife to keep her updated on certain things. In the end he sees her on the island. I will leave you to guess who his wife was. Other than the surprising ending and William Powell’s screwball antics The Senator Was Indiscreet was boring. I am glad to have seen it as it is a William Powell film. If you are not a fan of William Powell skip it.
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Monday, May 25, 2015

Summer Interlude (1951)

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“Let me mourn my youth alone.”

            I have never had the feeling of being truly in love with someone. I do not want any sympathy or pity or comments. It is not something I ever went looking for. I think I am the only one not worried about my love life. My parents and even some other relatives are always trying to set me up with people. Even my ninety-eight year old great-grandmother has resorted to asking about my love life! There are times where I wonder what it would be like to be so deeply in love with someone and having that person be there for you all the time. I have had boyfriends before, only two, and they were both almost ten years ago (NOT AT THE SAME TIME!) but they were big babies and not very fun to be with. I watch so many romantic films especially from Hollywood’s Golden Age and a lot of my friends and cousins are engaged or married that I have started to become a little envious and even find myself wanting a boyfriend. I have NEVER been that type of person to want a boyfriend, just to put it out there.
            As I have gotten older the more romantic/dramatic films I see that deal with love, especially young love make me wish I had a significant other. Since I am behind the times with the dating aspect of my life I feel like I am still in that bracket of young love. Or maybe it is because I refuse to accept that I am pushing thirty and still consider myself to be younger. Whatever it is whenever I see young couples in a film it makes me a little sad that I have not had a romance like that in my life. That could be all the garbage rom coms and dramas have instilled in me over the years talking though (does anyone truly realize the impact rom coms and dramas have had over people more specifically women when it comes to their ideal of love?) One film that made me feel that way is Ingmar Bergman’s Summer Interlude.
            At an opera house there is a dress rehearsal for the ballet Swan Lake. The theater is a buzz with nervous energy and excitement for opening night the following day. A package arrives for the lead dancer Marie. A reporter named Nystrom says he knows Marie and will take it to her dressing room but one of the theater workers knows all the tricks the press use to get a scoop and will not let the young man in. The theater worker brings Marie the package in her dressing room. She does not look to happy to see the notebook within the package.
            Marie does not come out of her dressing room. Everyone is talking about how there is something wrong with her. She does wind up coming down to rehearsals but she still seems on edge. During the rehearsals a light fuse breaks and everyone has to report back that night after the light is fixed.
            Back in her dressing room sitting in front of her mirror Marie opens the notebook. It is a diary of a boy she knew years before. She does downstairs looking for David Nystrom the reporter who was looking for her. They meet outside. They are seeing each other. David took the night off so they could be together before the opening of the show. He is upset when he hears that Marie has to rehearse that night. He leaves in a huff to go off to work. Marie decides to go on a ferry. On the ferry she sees a priest she has not seen in years.
            The ferry takes Marie to a small island. On the island Marie sees a woman walking down an empty, dreary road and follows her for a short time. Marie goes up to a small beach house and sits on the bed. She remembers back to a few years before. Marie narrates that at the summer she is remember was a time of happiness, sadness, and disappointment.
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            Maria did not have a good show and she is in a flurry of anger. She does not recognize a young man waiting for her after the show. The next day they meet on a boat and he tells her he likes her and has seen her show quite a bit. His name is Henrick and they both discover they are going to the same island for the summer. Sometime later Henrick and Marie see each other again. There is immediate chemistry between them. He winds up confessing that he is afraid to die and be alone and she tells him that she is there for him.
Image result for summer interlude 1951
Image result for summer interlude 1951
            That same week Marie’s aunt and uncle come to their house on the island. Erland and his wife Elizabeth are not really Marie’s aunt and uncle they are friends of the family. Erland lusts after the beautiful Marie. He tells her that one day he hopes they can be together. Henrick had been lurking in the bushes and overhears what Erland tells Marie. When Marie goes to Henrick later on she sees he is mad at her and when she hears why she starts laughing at him.
            Henrick and Marie become inseparable that summer. They truly, desperately love each other. Erland notices this and becomes jealous but that does not bother either Marie or Henrick.
            In the present, Marie goes up to Erland’s house. She did not realize he would be home and is surprised to see him. He asks her about the package she received. He confesses he had the diary for all those years after he had taken it out of Henrick’s hospital room. Marie is disgusted with him and cannot believe she ever let him touch her.
            After some more reminiscing, it revealed that three days before their summer together ended, Marie and Henrick were near the lake talking about their future. Henrick jumped into the lake. She screams when she sees he did not land in the water right. He comes out of the lake barely hanging on for life. At the hospital Henrick dies. Marie feels like her life is over now that the love of her life is no longer with her. For months after that Marie walks around as if she were a zombie. Erland tells her that she needs to build walls around her to make the pain go away and he can help her.
            Back in the present, after rehearsal Marie stays in her dressing room in her costume as if she did not know how to proceed with her life. The stage manager comes in and tells her that there are times in life when people see themselves clearly like they never have before and that this is her moment of clarity. David finally manages to make it to the dressing room. He sees Marie and the stage manager sitting together and gets a bit jealous. He is upset that she is not fully committed to their relationship. She tries to explain that he will never understand what is going on with her. She accidentally calls him Henrick. At that moment she decides to give David Henrick’s diary so he can understand her better.
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            Marie, in a voice over, says that she feels like crying but she cannot do so and that for the first time in a long time she feels happy.
            Ingmar Bergman made a beautiful film. Through his direction you feel all the love between Henrick and Marie, you feel Marie’s anguish and sadness and need for someone to understand her, you feel every emotion pouring out of the characters, you even feel the sun warming your skin on the lake. Bergman’s direction puts you right in the film. The most beautiful scene to me was when Marie walks out of the theater after Henrik dies. Her facial expression is devastating. Bergman keeps the camera on Marie long enough for you to feel terrible for her and eventually feel almost uncomfortable as he lets the camera linger on her face for long. I loved every moment of that scene because of the direction and all the emotions and heartache you feel. This is one time where I feel that a film being shot in black and white really enhanced the film all around. It made the whole thing more beautiful. 

            Summer Interlude was a great film. If there was ever a film that made me truly genuinely envious of never experiencing young love or just the feeling of being loved by another person it is Summer Interlude. The film is absolutely worth seeing. It is one of very few films I can say is complete perfection.
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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Silent Sundays: College (1927)

“The student who wastes his time on athletics rather than study shows only ignorance.”

            As much as I struggled in school I always valued it. I value all the knowledge I have gained from classes over the years no matter how boring the subject. I look at the boring subjects as something I did not know before so it is a bonus. If I will ever use it again only God knows.
            One night my mom had some friends over. Her one friend has a son who was still in college but he was already drafted by a major league baseball team to play for them as a pitcher. I was curious to see what he declared as a major since obviously baseball was more important than academics. He just looked me dead in the eye in all seriousness and said “baseball.” I kid you not a now major league baseball player who has pitched for two teams so far told me he majored in baseball with all the seriousness in the world. I guess I should not judge him for that though I mean he is a professional pitcher. He did, however, tell me that he was taking a lot of anthropology classes because those classes fit his schedule around baseball practice.
            I think students who do athletics plus are fantastic at academics are amazing. They were always the type of student I wanted to be. I would dream of being on the track team even though I could not (and still cannot) run to the mailbox down the block without being winded. I dreamed I getting straight As but I could never sit down and do my homework without getting frustrated (to be fair to myself I went undiagnosed with ADHD up until I was twenty-six). There was one type of student I never dreamed of being or wanted to be and that was the athletes who were full of themselves, did poorly in academics, were the dumbest of dumbs the world ever crapped out, and were “popular” for god knows what reason. I may have even hated the students who liked those asshat jocks more than the jocks themselves.
            All this rambling about academics and sports and school is relevant to this Silent Sunday post I promise. For this edition of Silent Sundays I watched a Buster Keaton film called College. I bet you can already kind of tell what the story of this film is going to be about based off my rant/observations.
            On the day of high school graduation it is pouring. Ronald (Keaton) and his mother walk through the rain without an umbrella for most of the way. Once at the graduation, like all the other boys in the class, Ronald only has eyes for the popular girl Mary Haynes. Since he is late he has to sit off to the side next to a heater. His clothes are soaked and from the heat they shrink. The principal of the school calls Ronald up to the stage since he is the best scholar in the school. Ronald manages to infuriate the entire class with his speech on how knowledge and school mean more than sports ever will. Mary is furious with him for his speech and tells Ronald that unless he changes his attitude about athletics she will never be with him. On the way home Ronald tells his mother that he wants to go to college. His mother tells him they have no money. Ronald however is determined to prove to Mary he can be an athlete and decides to work his way through school like all the other boys.
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Image result for college 1927 film
Image result for college 1927 film
Image result for college 1927 film
            The first day of college Ronald sees Mary. She just brushes him off and walks away. Once in his room he unpacks his one suitcase full of sports equipment with books on how to play baseball and do track and field. The Dean of the school comes to see Ronald. The high school principal has given a Ronald a glowing recommendation and the Dean is excited that maybe once and for all the school will be known for something other than athletics. As the Dean leaves the room, in walks Jeff the stupid athlete from his high school and all of Jeff’s sports friends. They look at Ronald like hungry lions looking forward to making him their next meal.
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            Ronald gives baseball a try first and that bombs very quickly. He is chosen to play third base. He lets the ball go right between his legs and barely knows how to throw. Next Ronald gives track and field a try. After much fumbling and creating chaos Ronald gives up.
            The Dean calls him into his office. Ronald has been failing his classes because he is focusing on sports. He confesses to the Dean that he loves a girl and the only way he can win her is if he can become good at sports. The Dean understands since he had lost a woman he loved over wanting to be a scholar. The coach for the rowing team comes in with a list of students he wants as potential coxswains (they are the ones who yell out orders why the others row). The Dean tells the coach to put Ronald on the team since he is smart and has the small build for sailing.
            The coach and the team are not happy with Ronald as their new teammate at all. The coach comes up with the idea to drug him so he cannot be in the race. Well this being a Buster Keaton film and a comedy from the 1920s Ronald manages to switch out the drinks either knowing it was drugged or because he is just really silly and wanted the other guy’s drink.
            You all should know that Ronald wins the race for the team after several silly mishaps. Unfortunately Mary was not there to see him win the race. Before the race Jeff went to Mary’s room to tell her that he has been expelled and he wants her to come away with him so they can get married. When she refuses he does not let her go until she says yes. In desperation Mary calls any number on the school’s telephone line. The call happens to go to the locker room where Ronald is and he picks up the phone. He hears Mary ask for help just before Jeff comes over and rips the phone out of her hands. With adrenaline running through his entire body from the race and hearing Mary in distress Ronald all the sudden has the athletic ability he had tried to possess when he arrived at the school. He jumps over hedges, pole vaults into Mary’s room on the second floor, and throws things right at Jeff like a baseball player or a discus thrower, and even bats some things away.
Image result for college 1927 film
Image result for college 1927 film
            Ronald saves Mary and the two of them get married in the church on campus  right away.
            College was a cute film. Of course there is more of Keaton’s high jinks and screwball antics than what I have written. The baseball and track and field scenes were a little too long for my attention span but they were funny enough. I felt bad that Ronald felt the pressure of being an athlete over a scholar but in the end he was the one who made the big guy feel like a small idiot. College is worth watching at least once. It is available to view in full on YouTube
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