July 8, 2009

Watchathon - July 2nd to July 9th

One of my current jobs is working for a certain video rental chain. In the interest of keeping my job, the only thing I will disclose about my employment is that I have the opportunity to watch at least five movies a week for free. This means I watch lots of movies, sometimes before they're available to rent.

This week's movies are...

Rating: MUST SEE if you care whether or not Luke wanted to tap Leia.

You've probably already heard of this movie considering that Fanboys is a very nerdy movie and this is a rather nerdy blog. For those of you who haven't (seriously, who are you and why are you here?), the main premise of the movie is a group of old high school friends meet up in their early twenties in 1998 and road trip across the US to Skywalker Ranch in hopes of seeing Episode I before it is released about in about six months.

There may be something about cancer and true love and mending friendships, but it pales in comparison to the sheer geeky hilarity worked into each scene. So what if the movie wasn't a critical masterpiece? That wasn't the point. I was amazed and truly enthralled by the little details in the sets and clothing, and I'm sure there was much that I missed considering I'm just a casual Star Wars fan. And that is the point. It became a 90 minute Where's Waldo fest for the fans that fell in love with the franchise back in the 70's and the new generation they passed that love on to. It was made so we can reminisce, at times laugh at ourselves, and overall remember why we still love this franchise, the cash cow that it is, thirty years after its creation.

While the Star Wars allusions will top the list for many Star Wars enthusiasts, for me it was the exploration of the contemporary problems concerning the social acceptability of being a nerd. While this was portrayed quite humorously through the various battles of our Star Wars protagonists and Trekkie villains, one of the main dilemmas for the characters is the immersion into fantasy versus The Real World. I feel that the movie stayed true to its 1998 roots, however, many of the ideals and arguments given still apply to today, eleven years after the setting of the film. Plus, it has the Shatner. And you thought he wouldn't appear this year since he wasn't in the Star Trek reboot. Tsktsk.

Rating: Funny until it became too vengeful for The Goddamn Batman.

I like Anne Hathaway. I may even love her. She portrays sweet and interesting characters, let alone that she gives me an excuse to watch Chris Pine and his pompous accent. However, her charm couldn't save me from this movie. Not even her pseudo-relationship with Chris Pratt, co-star in one of my most favorite TV series ever, could stop my palm smacking my head. By the time her amazing sex dance occurred (if you've seen Fanboys, perhaps you're realizing a trend here?) I simply did not care about how it would end, other than I wanted it to end.

I was initially excited for this movie to come out. I love chick flicks, as a girl I can say this without shame. As a woman in her early twenties watching many of her friends engage and marry, weddings have easily become a steady part of my life (in fact, I just finished being in one in late May and will be traveling for one again in early August). Bridezillas is a pleasure of mine, the melt down of a ghastly bitch is like hot fudge on a very creamy sundae. Perhaps I expected too much, or perhaps the movie expected too much of itself as half way through the warring friends were straining to outdo each other in very over the top and vindictive ways.

I'll be the first to admit that my gender is very catty. We're prone to jealousy in rather backwards ways, so the heated conversations between Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson and drawing the line between their mutual friends, let alone the fiances watching stupidly from the background, is to be expected. Perhaps the movie anticipated this and decided to throw a big curve ball of not only one Bridezilla, but two, and watch them rampage around the city shambles that has become their lives. And we're talking about Mecha Bridezillas, here. The armored souped up ones that have added help your friend lose her job and destroy your friend's relationship during their wedding to their list of finishers.

While the movie leaves a sour aftertaste, it will only help sweeten your current BFF relationship under the mutual understanding that you would never replicate the movie in real life. It's nice to know that your friends have the same moral standards as you do.

Rating: Alan Tudyk isn't the only reason to see this movie.

I can't even begin to describe how absurdly funny Death at a Funeral is. I started laughing a minute into the movie, and the scene fit seamlessly into the plot and just kept rolling. Much of the humor is quiet, lots of one liners, misunderstandings, and just the wrong place at the wrong time. There is plenty of physical comedy present as well, rather unrealistic, but at the same time the overall feel of the movie lends itself to the believability of Alan Tudyk's character on an acid trip for most of the movie, for example.

It's hard for me to write much more without giving away good portions of the movie, and a lot of what I would like to rave about simply would not make sense without any context. For those of you who enjoy Monty Python and Wes Anderson films will most likely enjoy this movie.

Plus Alan Tudyk runs around naked. That's 3 Firefly cast members shirtless down, only 5 more to go.

Rating: Just to say you have.

Teeth is not necessarily a horror film. Okay, for females it isn't a horror film, for males it very much is, and it should be. As a one liner, Teeth is about a penis eating vagina. In more lines, Teeth is about the exploration of modern sexuality. It features A typical male behavior where the woman lays submissive to their advances, sexual and not. Eventually the tables are turned when the female lead adopts a more modern ideology to sex for her own empowerment.

This isn't to say the movie holds an anti-sex and man hating message. The main reason why the "horrible" turn of events occurs is because the characters of both sexes are ill-educated and sheltered, mentally and physically. The female protagonist has no understanding of herself or agency, and the men believe women are to their subjugation rather than their equal. All of this plays out against the backdrop of a small Christian town.

That also isn't to say I didn't giggle every time a guy lost his penis, because I certainly did, but the thematics of the movie extends far more than that. I appreciate the exploration of gender roles, society, history, and what it simply means to be a woman, and I certainly love that it was presented in a rather cheeky penis eating package.

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