Thursday, September 30, 2010

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?(1988)

If I'm going to delve deep into my known archive of cartoons, how can I not pause fondly at remembering Roger Rabbit?

I hold it as a serious crime when people meander around the Toon Town section at Disneyland and not recognize who Roger Rabbit is. A serious crime that is punishable by intense and annoying screaming during the rides. Yes. Very loud screaming.

Rodger Rabbit is a crazy cartoon rabbit. Simply crazy but fun. He's happy, hyper, and in love with Jessica Rabbit, a VERY sexy and buxom toon lady. I really loved this couple. Roger Rabbit is just that sweet and funny geek that lucked out with the sexy chick who loves him back.

The movie is based on a novel by Gary K. Wolfs entitled, " Who Censored Roger Rabbit?". I did not read the novel so I have no clue if how well this movie aligns with the novel. In the movie, Roger Rabbit is a famous cartoon in a world where toons and real life humans coexist. He's married to Jessica Rabbit. Roger Rabbit is accused of murdering a human. He goes under hiding and enlists the help of another human named Eddie Valient to help solve the crime. Valient is reluctant but gets dragged along for the adventure.

At the same time, the toon world is threatened to be extinct thanks to the villain of the movie, Doom(played by Christopher Lylod). Doom absolutely hates cartoons and even created a chemical called the Dip that kills toons. There is a missing deed from the murdered human that can save the toon world. Now it's up to Roger Rabbit to clear his name and save the toons!

I loved it the first time I watched it since it was full of cartoons and silliness. I also really loved the cartoon cab driver. I wished so much that this world actually existed. I used to live near the Hyperion Bridge where they would go into Toon World. Every time my mother drove under I pretended that I could hear the theme song and that there would be an explosion of color around me. Alas, everlasting disappointment and the crash from over-active imagination.

Not only is the nostalgia value render this movie high on my favorite movie list, but it still holds the same enjoyment as I'm older. It's utterly silly from the get-go. You can't take it too seriously when you realize that it's a hybrid between reality and cartoon. I can understand the story now and it's really good. I still consider the answer to the mystery very simple and clever.

How cool is it to make a hybrid movie in the first place? What a cool idea! It was clever how they integrated the humans with the cartoons. It's not perfect but for 1988, that was pretty awesome.

It's really easy to create a crazy character (Freakazoid comes immediately to mind). It's rare to have a crazy character that is charming and endearing without being overly annoying. Ultimately I always felt I could relate to the antics of Roger Rabbit. Especially with a good dose of soda.

This movie is hilarious if your familiar the comedy antics of Looney Toons, then your familiar with the style. Yet there is also alot of sexual and dark humor.It's pretty much a great combination of crazy cartoons, mystery,and comedy. A treat for anyone who is young at heart.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Goofy Movie (1995)

It is seriously the hottest day I have ever experienced. The highest temperature in the area I live in was....get this...115 degrees. No seriously. 106 degrees can scramble a large canine unconscious.

Therefore, there was no basis for me to convince myself that I would be able to muster any form of coherent thought into my studies. None. I will blame my lack of productivity on the heat. And the wonderful supply of ice cream and soda that I have stocked in the freezer.

I came home from work with sweat poring out of every pore in my body. Nursing my first of many glasses of ice cold coke, I weakly contemplated what movie in my collection I could watch.

The parameters of my selection were as follows:
1. must be a cartoon
2. must be old
3. must requiring only the minimal amount of synapses firing in my CNS
4. must have songs
5. must be Disney

And so I chose, " A Goofy Movie".

This is seriously one of my favorite Disney movies. Goofy is not my favorite Disney character but the movie is just plain amazing.

I also feel that I must defend this movie since some of my coworkers were quick to blanch when I mentioned this title.

As far as I am concerned, it has every element that makes a movie enjoyable. There is obviously silly humor, drama, romance, and excitement. I would even argue that is one of the most well rounded of the Disney movies. Even more surprising since it's star is Goofy.

As his name implies, Goofy is a goofy and ditzy character. He was always played to be a bit of an idiot but with a big heart. There is alot of history around Goofy since he was one of the originals so feel free to trudge through that.

What makes the Goofy movie so awesome was that it gave Goofy more depth and personality. In the movie, he plays a single father(once again the single parent syndrome in a Disney movie. Why?I have no clue).

He has a son named Max. Max is right at the stage of teen angst and romance. There is a huge disconnect between father and son when dealing with cultures ( as in musical tastes) and demeanor ( Goofy's goofiness and Max's awkardness).

Goofy is presented as more than a numb skull here. He is a single father who deeply cares for his son. No matter how alien that son is, he still loves him. Goofy just wants what's best for his son. I mean, wow! That is a different Goofy than what I've seen in other media outlets.

After Max puts on an elaborate stage show to impress his crush, Roxanne, he lands in trouble with the school. Easily impressionable after hearing the premonitions from the principal and even Goofy's friend Pete that Max will become a delinquent, Goofy hopes to prevent that by forcing a father/son road trip.

At the same time, Max is able to secure a date with the girl of his dreams only to feel resentment upon realization of the forced trip. In an attempt to make sure Roxanne will be focused on him, Max blurts out that the reason for the trip is to perform onstage with a huge pop star. So begins a tale of lies, trust, father/son relationships, and music.

Yup, there's alot of music and it's cool! I still find it cool all these years later. I still get really giddy whenever I hear the "Stand out" song. The musical score in this movie was so on par. Nothing was cheesy or strained. It was positive and had great messages all around.

I just realized that the time I watched this movie, I was the prime target audience. I grew up on Disney and I was a teen in the midst of making my raging hormones into typhoons. I could immediately relate to Max's character.

Any teen now can still relate to Max's character. It's that classic frustration that stems from trying to un-tether ourselves from our parents. The point where there starts to be a clear division between the me and the Parents. Where Parents become synonymous with jailors and stick-in-the-muds. It didn't matter that these people cared and loved us. At this point in teen development there will always be an explosion. An explosion that leaves resentment and frustration to taint the aftermath.

As I lounged on the sofa with my tongue lolling to the side of my mouth, I still felt the same tremors of enjoyment and excitement. There was not one moment that I did not enjoy.

As a small, geeky aside, I just realized the Wilhelm scream can be heard in this movie.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Heathers (1989)

I've been trying to find a good time to write about this movie. I was really rolling in the catty mood a few days ago and this movie popped immediately in my mind. My mood has improved but the itch to write about this movie hasn't gone away.

It was from watching "I love the 80's" special on VH1 that I even heard of this movie. It was so weird the first time I watched and I bet it was too for the initial audience watchers. It isn't the subject matter, its the dialogue that makes this movie awesomely weird. The dialogue is unique in exaggerated tones and lingo.

The most famous line from the movie is : "drink it up baby, drink it up!" spoken by the character played by Winona Ryder. Yup. Winona Ryder. Just like Christina Ricci, if Ryder is in the movie then it's gonna be weird somehow.

This is a really bitchy, catty, dark comedy. It involves a clique of four girls. Three of the girls are all named Heather(One Heather is played by Shannon Dougherty) and one (Ryder) is Veronica. The four girls are led by one dominant Heather. As with any dominant bitch she lords it with insults and control. Until a new boy,J.D., (played by a very handsome and young Christian Slater) comes and captures the attention of Veronica. Inspired by Veronica's contempt of the Heathers, J.D. kills the lead Heather and makes it look like suicide.

The funny thing about killing a dominant pack leader of any species, you just left a vacuum. Nature abhors vacuum. And whoever fills that space will not always be necessarily better than the previous leader which J.D. and Veronica find out.

It's the follow through of killing and destroying these vile girls just give me a satisfaction like no other. It's not even just the Heathers, its the destruction of the two idiot bullies too that is satisfying. Speaking of which, that reminds me of another classic line from the movie:"I love my dead gay son!".

I forget the writers name but I can tell he had some strong opinions through his portrayal of certain issue. One issue obviously media coverage of teen suicide. I suppose teen suicide was barely being recognized and wasn't given the proper attention.

It doesn't get much darker than murder and teen suicide and yet there are alot of funny bits in this movie. My favorite part was how they killed the first Heather and she crashed right into the glass table. I have no idea why that strikes me funny. I must be a very morbid creature indeed.

This movie has more of a cult following than positive public favor. Some people get caught up in the suicide and murder and are completely insulted by the seemingly tasteless handling of it(Of which once again the write purposely did to echo what was being done to such issues during that time). People don't have a problem with the idea of the mean girls of the clique. I think the main issue people have with the movie that I must warn people about is the dialogue. It is heavy with slang that is current, old, and not even existent until the movie played out. Whether or not it was on purpose, any movie whose lexicon is almost purely of slang is going to be difficult. Hence why I had so much trouble reading "A Clockwork Orange".I'll admit that.

If this movie was a parent then it's offspring would be "Mean Girls" and "Jawbreakers". Hope that helps to put this movie into perspective.

(Sorry if this post seems to be more of a ramble....i'm sleepy and i rushed it....i promise i will do better next time)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Big Fish (2003)

As I'm rereading "Water for Elephants", I keep imagining a circus that I pieced together in my mind from what I've seen on the television. I've never been to the circus (or at least that I can remember), only to fairs and zoos. The only stable and reliable model I have for a circus is the one that Tim Burton produced in "Big Fish". Pretty much, I just wish this how all circus really were. Magical and homey.

"Big Fish" is a mature and fantastical Tim Burton Burton movie. Which is odd compared to his dark and brooding stories. This is the one movie that Burton did that really focused on relationships. He explored love and friendship but mostly focused on therelationship between a father and son. I have this feeling that this is a favorite exploration with Burton. The added story sequence of Willy Wonka's dentist father comes immediately to mind.

In the movie, Will Bloom's father, Ed, is dying. Will isn't really close to his father since Ed loves to tell tall tales about his life. Tales like when he was fishing in a lake, a large fish the size of a dog swallowed his wedding ring. So Ed wrestled that fish until he got it back. Or the one where during his army days, he took on dangerous missions in order to get back to wife. So he took the one where he parachuted into enemy territory and met the singing joined siamese twins. Will grew up with these stories and came to distrust his fathers repetitive stories. Everyone else enjoys the stories despite its' silliness which frustrates Will and widens the chasm between him and his father.

As his fathers retells his story from his deathbed, Will reluctantly relives the stories again.

As the stories are narrated, Ewan McGregor (sigh) plays the young Ed Bloom as he journeys from his small hometown and ends up at a local circus group. There he meets the love of his life who abruptly disappears. Bloom then takes on various jobs at the circus in order to earn the name of the love.

That is barely the first part of the movie. Actually it's only a smidgen of the story. Your taken into Eds stories as he progresses through his life. You know that theses stories can't possibly be true but you don't really care. The stories are beautiful and magical.

There's also that wonderful saying: Every story has a grain of truth. At the end of the movie, your not too sure how true the stories are but you sense there was some truth in it. Will senses it and a new image of his father emerges.

There is a definite Burton trademark throughout the movie. The best way I can describe a Burton film is that it's a dark and almost child-like wonder vision. Just watch a Burton movie and you'll see the shared trend through it all.

This one is a hard movie to recommend. If your the kind of audience that enjoys dark and beautiful background with story that is comedic and dramatic, this may work. There is no song and dance number. Lots of beautiful scenes. Plus, Ewan Mcgregor.

Ultimately, I feel that this movie echoes what every parent wants to leave behind for their children. Not some drab image of them taking care of them but the sensational and amazing road that it took to get there.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Birdcage (1996)

During my lunch break, a coworker and I watched the beginning part of the VMAs. When Lady Gaga won the award for "Best Female artist", she was weeping and thanking her fans, the "little monsters". Her parting thanks was "for the gays". My friend turned to me and wondered aloud why she would make that the parting words. I explained in return that Lady Gaga is a huge supporter of the gay community. He gave me an honest, bewildered look and simply asked,"People are still hatin' on the gays?"

Yeah. They still are and it pisses me off.

I grew up in Los Angeles. I work in an area that neighbors West Hollywood. My mom's transsexual friend did my hair and makeup when I went to prom. My mom's gay boss is our dear friend. I love David Bowie and Lady Gaga.

I am a huge supporter of the LGBT community. I adore their culture, ideals, and strength. Frankly I never understood this homophobia that stains this country.

I rather not go into a huge ramble about gay rights so I will summarize my feelings into this: if you love someone, you have every right to be with that someone. The ONLY obstacle that should stand in your way is whether that person returns the same feelings.

It's bad enough dealing with the insecurities of the vulnerable heart, then to worry that your natural feelings will instigate a public outcry.

No surprise that my thoughts jumped to movies.I really love tranny movies. There's too much to mention but I thought I would mention one of the funniest ones I know.

"The Birdcage" has Nathan Lane and Robin Williams. I have to mention again, Robin Williams. It's a really, really outdated movie and many people would find it offensive. Offensive in that Lane and Williams characters try to hide gay identities to appease the approval of their son's fiance's parents.

Once again, Robin Williams. So brace yourself.

Nathan Lane("Albert") and Robin Williams ("Armund")play a longtime gay couple who run a cabaret in Florida. Lane plays a melodramatic cross-dressing "female" while Williams plays a slightly more subdued "male". Williams acting is pretty subdued (yes!!!) while Lane steals the scenes with his antics (double yes!!).

Armund has a biological son. His son decides to marry the daughter of a conservative senator. For his son, Armund and Albert try to emasculate themselves to appear normal to the future in laws. The scene where Albert is trying to butter the toast like a man is freaking hilarious!

In what seems to be a nod towards the Auntie Mame character, Albert dresses as a woman and pretends to be Armunds wife. Once the future in laws arrive you can pretty much predict what kind of comedic antics will ensue.

Before anybody gets their knickers in a twist, this movie was made in 1996! Some of the jokes may fall flat for todays audience who are more used to the LGBT culture on the screen. To put in another perspective, this movie came out two years before "Will and Grace". People were barely beginning to accept that LGBT people were people and not just freaks that put on costumes for mere entertainment.

If you didn't grew up watching movies in the nineties, then this quality of movie would most likely make you cringe.

My advice? Just relax. Enjoy the comedic duo of Nathan Lane and Robin Williams.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Baby-Sitters Club (1995)

I know I'm becoming that older generation when I begin to sneer at the newest teen fad.

What do I mean? Lemme see....

1. I've read the Twilight books and it was ridiculous. The only, only redeeming quality of is the underage eye candy in the movie.

2. High School musical was awesome. I gave Disney kudos for that one. Until they shat out High School Musical 2 AND 3....Unbelievable.

3. Justin Beiber. I can't even write out that name without rolling my eyes back while gagging.

4. Keysha.Where's my bucket? I need to vomit.

5. Not even to mention all the running belt of teen/tween starlets heading straight into the jailhouse and drug haze.

That got me thinking about what was my own teen fad. On the top of my head, I can remember the JTT and Leo fever, Titanic mania, Judy Blume novels, R.L. Stine series, the wholesomeness of Nickelodeon, the wackiness of Rocko's Modern Life, and the immortal world of the Simpsons.

Geez, that just seems so innocent and clean in comparison for the modern generation.

As a female growing up in the nineties, I was part of the large group of like-minded females who were completely devoted to one of the best and sweetest teen series ever. Every book was full of problems that seemed gigantic to our limited world and was neatly solved at the end. We all aspired to become like these characters who had unique personalities and traits. Ten best friends banding together for The Baby Sitters Club a.k.a BSC.


There is no way you would enjoy the movie based on the series if you weren't familiar with theseries. I guess you can try to understand the movie but the movie is assuming that you know the history of the BSC and doesn't waste any time in going over that. Plus, this is a movie entirely for females. Young, middle-schooled girls. Sorry boys.

The movie is mainly based on one of the BSC's summer special series. Aside from the main series (of which I own about a good sixty), there were the side series. There was the summer ones, the little sister ones, I believe a Scary one, Mystery ones, and the portrait ones. The series ran for so long, that I lost track of them after a few years.

The story goes that Kristy(the ringleader) has an idea to earn more money aside from the regular babysitting jobs. They all agree to start a summer camp. They become entangled in a cranky neighbor, young love, a surpise visit from a deadbeat dad, and legal red tape. All while strengthening the bonds of friendship.

Compared to the crap now, it just seems way too wholesome.Squeaky clean wholesome.

The movie is played out they way it was marketed for. Lots of cheerful colors and girly scenary. The characters were dressed as exactly described in the series. The story flows almost as if your reading the book. Just like the books, the problems within the movie are solved with no loose strings flowing. The jokes are childish and the antics of the "villains" (Cookie Mason) are kinda lame. It's still a fun movie for a BSC fan nonetheless.

I was completely obsessed with the BSC and seeing it come to life on the screen was AWESOME. Just plain AWESOME. I was wiggling and crying from happiness the first time I watched it. Every time I've watched it since, I become transported to Young me. It always reminds me of the ideals that inspired me and the kind of people I idolized. I'm just thankful that I grew up with the BSC. Thank you, Ann M. Martin!

If your familar with the BSC, I thought Claudia as the coolest person in the club.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Brother Orchid (1940)

I remember being awed by Dick Tracy and giggling during the cartoon mobsters during "Who Killed Roger Rabbit". I don't know much about the history of mobs. I know I give mobs my thanks for Las Vegas.

Frankly, I would rather remain ignorantly bliss of the actual methods of mobs. I like the Hollywood version. Sits better in my consciousness.

Knowing that this movie is a gangster movie, the title was pretty compelling. "Brother Orchid"; I was envisioning those serious and silently calculating gangsters or some cold hearted mobster with a penchant for flowers. That's as far as my musings went.

The beginning of the movie led me to believe this was going to be a dry and dragged out movie. We meet with our leading mobster, Little Johnny Sarto and his mob. A long convesation commences where Sarto decides to retire the mob and travel the world. '

Great. A prequel Sopranos,lots of talk littered with lingo and macho sneering.

I changed my views with the introduction of Flo Addams. Flo is Sarto's doting girlfriend. He doesn't really think much of her as seen when he keeps insulting her intelligence. Although, a dramatic part later on in the movie has me agreeing with him wholeheartedly.

Even then, Flo's character is so likeable and sweet. She's so earnest with her love for Sarto. That earnest love that a girl has who knows she's following a dangerous man. It triggers the "Awwww...dumb love..." in me.

So Sarto goes off for five years, comes back, gets kicked out off his mob, tries to build his own, get's shot, ends up in a monastery. Which part of that doesn't belong with the others?

It is silly. Definitely every silly and cheesy. But Sarto is our hero for of all the mobsters for he has a kind heart. At the monastery , he learns compassion, forgiveness, and humility. He also deals with the inner struggles of his mobster upbringing. It can almost seem childish and and silly but I really loved how it was played out. Sarto really is such a very loveable mobster.You can definitely understand why people can become devoted to him as followers. To see him don those robes and yet still retain his "mobsterness" is sweet.

The only pit full (but it does redeem itself) is his treatment of Flo. We find out later why he treats her so and I have to give that character alot of credit. It was the basic truth and I believe he did the right thing.

This movie was not what I expected at all. I settled down to watch a movie about killing enemies and tearing lies from the mouth of snitches. Instead I throughly enjoyed a sweet movie and pretty funny movie.

Thank you, Daddy.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)

I'm always in search of that special high I get after watching a movie. A high that is not produced from inducing chemical narcotics or injecting some solution into my veins. A high not edged on by the mentally challenged antics egged on by idiots.

This is the kind of high that is triggered by the power of the inner imagination. The kind of imagination that encourages a young girl to huddle in her closet hoping that the door to Narnia will be open.

That high was easy to access when your younger. When the world is boundless with the possibility of shapeshifters and magic. I'm a firm believer that if not continually nurtured and encouraged, that access can deteriorate and turn a person into a sad and boring person. A fate almost as worse as death.

Okay, well maybe not that quite dramatic. Either way, nursing imagination is completely healthy.

Just as there are diverse people, there are even more diverse movies out there. It's personal. When a person watches a movie not just because someone else said it was great, or the critics recommended it, but because it was awesome to that person than it holds even more meaning to them.

It's just as special when that movie seems to appear out of nowhere. I love finding my visual treasures that way. This movie is definitely that movie.

This came out way before "Spirited Away" and "Howling Moving Castle" (which are also great movies)I wasn't familiar with Hayao Miyazaki when I watched this. . I can't even remember how I came upon this movie.

I just remember watching it and feeling the familiar tingles of my imagination. It was tingles of excitement. The potential for magic and possibility. The movie would always end with me feeling optimistic and younger.

"Kiki's Delivery Service" is the story of a young witch who travels to find a new home. It is customary for young witches upon turning thirteen to go out on her own and travel. Kiki is an eager and enthusiastic witch and sets out with her black cat, Jiji. She is tested by various experiences to find her inner strength and willpower.

I love the fact that Kiki isn't very talented and has to find her own way. Even though Kiki is a thirteen year old girl, the journey to find your inner passion is relatable to everyone. Only I wish I can find it by flying on a broomstick with a sidekick like Jiji by my side.

Such a simple and beautiful story. The art is amazing. It's a sweet and magical movie with lovable characters. Which I have learned is a trait of Miyazaki. In a a cinematic world of crazy action and flat characters, his movies continue to inspire the awe and beauty of animated movies.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Little Princess (1939)

This post is coming from a random movie memory. Nothing triggered it or influenced. I just started thinking of Shirley Temple movies.

I have no idea why I'm so intent on writing about it. I just watched "Spaced". Not even closely related...

"The Little Princess" is the only Shirley temple movie I can watch where I'm not grinding my teeth in annoyance.

Yes, Temple annoys me. I know I am speaking in blasphemous tongues when I admit that I am not a fan of the cute, ringlet curled starlett. I know she was needed in times of great depression to sing and tap her little toes away. Yes, she was oh so very cute.

Every time I see her onscreen, I feel that I am watching an alien pantomime a human child. She just does not seem natural at all. Lady Gaga seems more down to earth.

I guess it's no wonder that the only Shirley Temple movie I liked is the one where she is the least cutest in one of the saddest stories I know.

There was a modern version of this movie but since I can't find my copies of either version I'm going to go with Temple since it was the first one that my father showed me. Or the first one that I swiped from my dads collection. Point is, it was the first version and my dad is somehow attached to it memory-wise.

'Little Princess" involves a girl named Sara Crewe whose left in a boarding facility when her father goes off to fight in the Boer War. She's a wealth young girl and is treated accordingly. That is until her father disappears and is presumed dead, then the funds stop coming. She is immediately downgraded to a servant and is made to room with a nice young servant girl.

Refusing to succumb to sorrow of her downfall, Sara uses her hyperactive imagination to entertain herself and the servant girls that they are both princesses. They make friends with the neighbors (who are rich) and suddenly starts to receive extravagant gifts which they struggle to hide.

They are discovered however and both lives of the girls are threatened. Dum-da-duuuum!!

I won't tell you the rest. Just know it gets sappy and tearful. It's a justly satisfying ending.

It doesn't sound like movie that Shirley Temple is in does it? Of all the films I made myself endure, this was the only one where I can her an actress instead of cute act. She didn't overact the cuteness, she didn't exaggerate the sadness. I can actually sense the determination and strength. Whether it's the great depression of the thirties or the recession now, this type of movie encourages me to fight on instead of the silly and frilly musicals. I love musicals but it's almost like a cheap thrill ride. Your high for a brief moment in time until you walk away from the movie.

I wouldn't say it's a depressing movie however. It's not dramatic enough to jerk some tears out of your eyes. It is a family movie, I remember that. Maybe more for the younger female audience.

Honestly, I haven't re watched this movie in at least six years. It's just one of those movies that impacted me so much that I can still remember certain emotions. There is the scene where they're playing around in the attic. I can still recall how chilly I felt watching that as a younger me.

I just read a tidbit on imdb that they had to use a scarlet macaw instead of a monkey since the monkey kept trying to bite Shirley Temple.

See. Even nature can tell she's abnormal (Scarlet Macaws are aliens too. They wouldn't attack their own kind).

"Yes Pinky...I will take over the world!!!"

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Auntie Mame (1958)

I woke up this morning to a dreary and dark day. Well, I refuse to allow my mind to slip into a dark and depressing atmosphere. I spent most of my time on the bus contemplating movies that have never failed to lift my spirits or shoot me up to an unbearable hyper attitude.

I noticed that if I really enjoyed the movie I come away sponging off some sort of character attribute from the movie. I wouldn't say I'm highly impressionable since I'm doing it unconsciously. I would rather say it's a natural adaptive technique to enable my survivor skills in the world by channeling the inner chameleon...

Just thinking about "Auntie Mame" makes me think in hyperactive inner dialogue. The main character, Auntie Mame, is what makes me think of what Holly Golightly of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" would be if she drank alot of soda. A TON.

Auntie Mame is a free spirited and friendly rich social woman who throws parties and knows a ton of people. Her nephew comes to live with her and she turns all of her unconventional doting attention upon him. Unfortunately, she falls on hard times through the years. She and her nephew grow and toughen it out through the hard times, the trials of love and heartbreak, and continue to experience life.

It sounds really light hearted but it's not. It's the time of movie where the lesson is to keep trudging on. Even if people are mocking you or things never seem to go right, you just keep going. Bonus points if you can trudge on with not only a smile but the ability to laugh in appreciation of life. For that's what life is, the ups and downs and what we come away with. I love Auntie Mame's character for her fighting spirit and her humor. If my inner conscious is insistent on adapting anything her character I hope it's those attributes.

I just realized that Rosalind Russell, who plays Auntie Mame, played Sylvie from "The Women"! No wonder I felt she looked familiar. Russell is becoming another actress I'm idolizing.I just need to watch "My Girl Friday" and I'll solidify that feeling. Where she had played "Sylvie" with a whimsical slyness, she played Auntie Mame with bubbling enthusiasm. She is so large than life that you can't help but be swept by her onscreen antics.

It's based on a screenplay and you can clearly tell the story arc in the movie. It falls and rises pretty predictably.It's not a short typical movie but it's hard to care when each segment is full of dazzling segments and outrageous moments. The heart of the movie is Auntie Mame and her dialogue which is rich in giving off her personality and vigor.

It's such a wonderful comedy. Not only is there clever dialogues, there's comedy treasure that please about anybody from slapstick to subtle. So many great moments. I remember cracking up when the nephew first visits and he keeps writing down all the crazy stuff around him. Or when the sofas starting flying up and down the cords. Or when she screwed the sales books.

I'm also starting to think that I'm seeing my future self as Auntie Mame. I like that future.

"Yes! Live! Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!"- Auntie Mame

Monday, September 6, 2010

Not Another Teen Movie (2001)

I spoke too soon about there being no good modern parodies. I just remembered another great parody movie. I would say it's better than Scary Movie but not as clever as Mel Brooks movie.

Think back to all the teen movies there are; "Pretty in Pink", "She's All That", "10 Things I hate About You", and more. They all share a same standard storyline:
1. Girl and Boy Meet
2. For some reason, Boy and Girl hate or cannot be with each other
3. Major Misunderstanding
4. Understanding is achieved at a school dance
5. At the crucial last moment, differences are set aside, and ta-dah! love!

It's a stupid and unrealistic story arc. It allows for no character development other than through jokes and distant dialogue. School dances are made to seem more exciting than the really are. Sterotypes of all sorts are constantly recycled. Whatever differences the Girl or Boy had were minimal and easily small enough to look over.

Teen movies are stupid. I KNOW.


I've seen about every damn teen movie. I can easily predict the outcome and am still happy and giddy when the Girl and Boy kiss. Deliriously happy. I am just an absolute sucker for these movies. My only defense is by knowing the inevitable outcome, I can just enjoy the road that it takes to get there.

Plus, the male cast members are usually dreamy. I know, vain. Whatever.

What I love most about "Not Another Teen Movie" is that I can tell that whoever wrote it feels the same way I do. You love them but there so ripe for ridicule. The jokes in the movie echo my thoughts. The background dialogue is especially funny. Plus four things makes this movie super special awesome:

2. Good Charlotte is the band that plays at the school prom (I LOVE GOOD CHARLOTTE!)
3. Molly Ringwald makes a great cameo.
4. Marilyn Manson's "Tainted Love" music video (features most of the cast members)

The story of the movie is pretty much what I've outlined above. If you never seen any teen movie, then this movie might be a bit hard to understand the jokes. Nevertheless, it's still an enjoyable movie.

Robin Hood: Men In Tights (1993)

Of all the Mel Brook parodies, "Men in Tights" is my absolute favorites. The casting was great (Loved Cary Elwes as Robin Hood!), the jokes still cracks me up to this day, and it's just an all around great movie.

It's hard to pull off an enjoyable parody. Most parodies I've seen either try too hard to be clever or fall way too short of eliciting a snicker. Consider the chain of parody movies that have been spitting out. The initial 3 parts of the "Scary Movie" series were funny until they tanked. Date movie was funny but still disgusting and lame at many parts. "Epic Movie" and "Disaster Movie" pretty much prevented me from watching any more modern parodies. They weren't even parodies. More like taking cheap shots at whatever popular movie was out. Lame and cheap.

If only those writers and producers studied Mel Brook movies. I bet they were considered cheap and lame when those came out. However, there is a sharp and wide contrast between a Brooks movie and whatever cheap parody there is out there now. Brook movies were a great mixture of obvious, clever, and subtle humor. Everyone could get them, from a child to a senior citizen.

"Robin Hood: Men In Tights" is a parody of Robin Hood. That's pretty much it. The story of Robin is familair to everybody! There is no point of me even writing about it.

I Have so many favorite parts in this movie. I love it when the sing the "Men In Tights" song. I love it when Dave Chapelle comes as "Achoo". I love it when Maid Marion is singing in her bathtub. I love Latrine! Ahh! So many!

Above all my favorites is the cuteness and hilarity that is Cary Elwes. He played Robin Hood so well, that he will always be Robin Hood in my heart!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ella Enchanted (2004)

I don't know about anyone else, but I have a couple of movies that make me feel real good every time I watch them. I don't care how old I am or how silly it is. If I'm happy after I watch it, then I'm happy.

It shouldn't be surprised that one of my favorite feel good movie would be a modern take on a fairy tale ideas. The movie is based on a teen novel. I've never nor do I care to. Aside fraom caving in to "Twilight" from unfortunate curiosity of the rabid fascination, I don't care to read that style. Most teen or young adult fiction are really too mild and bland for me.

I have to mention one that has stood and is really amazing. That is the Mortal Instrument series by Cassandra Clare. Nice woman who wrote a dark novel series. It's completely worth it.

"Ella Enchanted" is set in a town called Frelle which has witty modern amenities such as a university (where they debate about slavery of giants) to a working escalator (which is powered by cranking the wheel).

Ella (short for Cinderella...hee hee) has been put under a spell from a fairy godmother to always be obedient. No matter what anyone asks of her, she does it. After her father accepts a stepwife and two obnoxious stepdaughters, Elle is immediately in danger of being abused because of her "gift". So she decided to run away to plead her cause with the fairy godmother who gave it to her.
In the meantime, a young Prince about to be crowned is in danger from his scheming Uncle. Ella (played by Anne Hathaway) bumps into the Prince by mere accident. They end travelingt together. Romance and hilarity ensues!

It's definitely a family movie with a mixture of tame adult jokes and childish humor. A few song and dance numbers are incorporated in clever ways. What really sold this movie for me was Anne Hathaway who plays Ella. Even though I am insanely jealous since she is my age and successful, I really enjoy seeing her on the screen.

It's bit on the girly side but it's still a fun and light movie to enjoy.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cinderella (TV movie) (1997)

I'm pretty wiped right now but I really wanted to write about this movie before I forget again.
Also excuse if my grammar and sentence structure are more out of whack than usual. My eyes are bleary.

I haven't watched alot of television lately since I'm not in the mood to sift through endless channels when I'm really exhausted. Now and then I will become riveted to a show of certain calibers. Unfortunately most of the shows I've loved are over or canceled.

Just because I'm in a bit of nostalgia wave, I will list down as many as I can remember:

* Rocko's modern Life
* Teen Angel
* Dawson's Creek
* Roswell
* Ugly Betty
* Pushing Daisies
* Dollhouse

What also pushed me away from TV is the lack of a great TV movie. I believe mainly NBC or ABC or Disney movies did the family movies that I remember when I was young. These were great and enjoyable family movies. Not movies based on whoever is the hottest Disney artist but upon what was an enjoyable story.

I have the VHS copy of it and have rewatched it to the point that I need to get the DVD copy.
"Cinderella" was a movie that aired on TV and later sold as videos. It starred Brandy (a.k.a Moesha), Whitney Houston, Bernadette Peters, Jason Alexander, Victor Garber, Whoopi Goldberg,and others. It was touted as a first in multi racial movies but I don't see race when I watch this movie.

I see the cutest prince courting a girl with lots of awesome musical numbers.

He was a really cute prince...

Damn, I still have a crush on him!

Cinderella is my second hated Disney princess and the Grimm original irritates me. Cinderella always stuck me as dumbass.

Brandy played Cinderella with a quiet and yet sassy edge to her. She did a great job of conveying the cooped up pressure of her internal dreams. I hated the evening gown at the end though (really? blue? completely unflattering).

The song and dance numbers are pretty extravagant colorful. Songs are light and catchy.

There were alot of stellar cast members in this movie. The one who fascinated me was the fabulous Bernadette Peters as the stepmother. I love it when she sings "Fallin' in love with love". Damn do I love that part!!!

I just can't get over how enjoyable and fun this movie was. It never fails to relax and put right back to child mood.

It's bugging me how eerily similar
Brandy in Cinderella looks like Tatiana Princess and the Frog...Hmmm....Coincedence?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Digimon the Movie (2000)

Does anyone remember Digimon?



Well get ready for a dose of nostalgia. Open up!

Digimon came at the tail success of Pokemon (which I was the first generation of kids to obsess over!!!!). Digimon was more of a cartoon suited for older kids. The story lines were a little bit more complex but mostly pretty weird. I actually barely remember the story line.

Let's just say Pokemon was for babies and Digimon are for those those can go potty on their own.

From what I remember, there were 7(?) kids who were transported to the digital world where they met with their digital animal friends called Digimon. Unlike Pokemon, these creatures had different names and personality. They fought monsters and something something. Whatever, the show was made for short attention spans. Hey we all had homework to do!

It was the movie that clenched it as one of my favorite animated films of my youth. This movie is so good, it can easily stand alone from the series.

My VHS copy is damaged so I can't go back and rewatch it so bear with me if I forget the details. The story is split into three parts with a common thread that links them all.

It was a pretty clever tactic which made the final part of the movie meaningful and exciting.

The first part is almost like a prequel that is full of cuteness and action. The second part is where I get fuzzy on the details. The final part stands clearly in my mind. Just remembering about it gets me really excited! I love that part!

I would go into detail about it but it would completely ruin the movie for you. Even if your older and haven't seen the movie, it's still really enjoyable.

I love the style it was drawn. I wonder if it's because of the subbed audio, but the dialogue timing is just hilarious.

Digital Monsters!
Digimon are the champions!


I couldn't call myself a film buff if I didn't mention "Clerks". It took a while for me to watch this movie. I was young and bored the first time I watched it. I was exhausted from classes the second time I watched it a few years later. It was the third charmed way that I loved the movie.

"Clerks" involves a convenience store clerk named Dante (whom I have a bit of a crush) and video rental clerk friend Randall. Dante has a slight problem with his girlfriend and the movie goes from there. Lots of dialogue and some really random funny moments. Plus you get the see the amazing duo of Jay and Silent Bob for the first time.

I believe you have to be of age to watch this movie. I don't mean you have to be at least thirteen or something. Although the amount of profanity in this movie would corrupt any impressionable youth.

You have to be of the same age and mind set of the tone of the movie. Alot of people like to call this movie for slackers. Which is true but it's so much more than that.

When I watched it for the third time, I was at the final year of college. I was working full time at Office Max and taking full time course at school. As I watched this movie, I felt a kindred spirit in the writings of Kevin Smith. The whole idea of people working in a schlummy job and yet they still hold on to their adolescent ideas of pop culture really resonates me. The humor in the movie is quick, dry, and absolutely witty. I could easily replay similar dialogues I have had with my own friends. I still do that now!

I have had the pleasure of meeting Kevin Smith at a Smodcast art gallery less than a year ago. He is easily the most nicest and approachable guy I have ever idoled. I've seen him speak at Comic Con several times and he is absolutely enjoyable. Conversations with him are never dull! Seriously, if you get a chance rent the DVD of "An Evening with Kevin Smith".

I have to mention something that always bugs me. I was reminded of this as I was sitting in an intro story writing class last night when a good 80% of the male students proudly credited "Clerks" as being their influential movie to write their own better movie.

I say screw you pricks for insulting this movie.

Any movie can be made technically better. With every coming year, a new tweak can be done to make movies more enhanced. However many shiny sparkles you put on a movie, you still have to have a story to tell and characters to care about. I didn't need a film class to tell me that.

"Clerks" is an amazing movie in that it was simple and sincere. It wasn't full of Hollywood fluff or crap. It was just a regular guy who had several cool topics to talk about and made a movie of it. People should be inspired to make an honest and sincere movie. NOT to make this movie better!

(Oh and for the record, I LOVE "Clerks 2" but for completely different reasons)

37! My girlfriend sucked 37 dicks!

: In a row?