Sunday, January 23, 2011
I have never seen a Rambo movie. Except for Spy Kids 3 or 4, I have not seen a single Sylvester Stallone movie. I don't get any references to Rocky or Rambo. When I though Stallone was yelling "Adrian!" on top of the stairs, I thought he was referring to his girlfriend.
I remember seeing trailers for this movie. It seemed interesting in that the references to Rambo were warped by a child's imagination. If there's a type of movie I love to watch, it's anything warped.
When I finally sat down to watch this movie, I didn't really have any high expectations. I was already mildly distracted on a costume project I was working on when the opening credits rolled through. So I missed a bit of the first segment.
When I did take a break from my work and actually paid attention to the movie, I was hooked.
It's a story about children handling issues that are bigger than them. Issues of friendship, betrayal, adults, and reality. They deal with their issues in the only way they know how. In the way that I am guilty of still employing: over active imaginations.
The movie centers around two young school boys. A young Brethren boy (which I believed is like the Amish,I'm not too sure) named Will Proudfoot and a bully with a hidden soft hard named Joshua. This unlikely pairing of friends become close as they embark on a film project to submit to a young filmmakers competition. Will is influenced strongly by Rambo and they make their film. As they film, they meet obstacles through an arriving french school of uppity snots, the oppressing order of the Brethren, an indifferent and dominant older sibling, and a near drowning experience.
This movie was funny and sweet. The boys are so creative and intent on making their movie. The adult somewhere in me cringes every time they pull a dangerous stunt. The kid in me cries out in excitement.
I loved the scene where Will is imagining the rescuing of Rambo. It's this super cool fast cutting sequence with a pretty intimidating scarecrow.
The rise, fall, and rise of the friendship is just too sweet for words. You can see that the boys are close and have a bond between them. Even in the movie extras, the directors noted that the boys actually did become great friends. How cool is that?
If I had the technology of today when I was young, I would make a gazillion nonsense movies. I would probably bug my mother by following her around the house. I would piss off the cat as I followed him after annoying my mom.
Most likely I would film the epic staged destruction of "town" by my brothers army of little green men. We had two buckets full of McDonald giveaway toys of plastic barbie dolls with stringy hair and other figurines. I would make several circles lined with yarn spools and top them off with a plastic lid. Underneath were all the toys. I remember having a shop, a school, and I believe even a farm. As I was carefully lining those up, my brother would quietly stuff his army men in his toy plane. At a quiet signal, the destruction and mayhem would begin! He would divebomb the plane into the houses. Toy and yarn would scatter every which way. I can easily imagine filming that as we both would make exploding sounds.
What is it about destruction and war that makes it a favorite children's game?
To add in another bit of trivia, the directors for the movie also directed "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy".
So even with my utter lack of knowledge of Rambo, this movie was really great. Sweet, funny, and entertaining all the way through.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
FLASH! AHHHHHH-AAAAAAHHHh!!!! SAVIOUR OF THE UNIVERSE!
Thanks to the epic power that is Queen, Flash Gordon has been immortalized. I've rocked out to this song a gazillion times. I've barely watched the movie now. I know I'm not the only person to do so. Shame on us all.
I surprised myself by really enjoying this movie. It took awhile to adjust to the obvious cheesines and campy atmosphere of it all. I even paused it and contemplated on returning it to netflix. Sheer boredom mixed with laziness saved the movie.
The movie is based on the serial cartoon of the same name from the 1930s. I have never read the comics nor do I have the urge to. I went in watching this movie only knowing that Queen did the theme song. It's amazing how music can function as a major vehicle in promoting a movie (ahem, Paramore for Twilight).
Here's what I can glean from the movie. Flash is a foot ball player.
What? Whoa! This whole time I thought he was a special super hero with powers. Huh...
It's a fantasy/science fiction movie. There's alot of sexuality and masculinity all over the place. Yet it's not overpowering or obnoxious. It's just right.
By the way did I mention how sex is involved in this movie? Well not the actual act itself. If you want that, then go watch "Barberella:. There is alot of sexual inneendos, teasing, and provocative clothes.
The guys in this movie are manly. Oozing in testerone and adrenaline. The women are full of power and wits. This movie was pumping with energy. If your watching this movie and your a guy, then you felt awesome. If you were a girl, then you felt sexy and awesome. Whatever gender you are, you wanted to jump out of your seat and kick some Ming ass!
He's a cheesy football player. Flash, his girlfriend that he met less than 10 minutes ago, and the crazy scientist, Dr. Zarkov are taken to a universe dominated by the tyrannical Ming. Through attempts to return home, Flash gains Allies to over throw the Ming regime.
It's the common man turned hero kind of story.It doesn't really get anymore difficult than that. The awesome ness of the movie comes from the characters themselves. The more I watched the more awesome these characters were.
I wonder if "Flash Gordon" is where "Farscape" got their inspiration from?
I couldn't believe that Flash was a football player with the heart of gold. Easy to forget that football players were held to a moral code of some heart. Gordon is a classic American boy with all the characteristics of a hero: strong, kind, and faithful. Except he's kinda of an idiot. Likable idiot. But....an idiot. I have no idea why that makes him endearing.
I actually hated the girlfriend. She kicked ass and fought her way out. But she irritated me somehow.
The funniest character was Prince Vultan. He reminds me so much of a dwarf. My favorite line out of the whole movie : "Oh Well! Who wants to live forever anyway?"
Princess Aura was the one who sold the movie to me the most. The actress was beautiful with he cat like eyes and she oozed dangerous sexuality. She was the femme fatale turned heroine. She was freaking amazing. She reminded of a cat who played with her men until betrayal changes her whole outlook on life. Her flaws and strengths amazed me. She kicked ass!
It was such a fun movie to watch. I had a crazy visual overload from the colors, costumes, and scenery. For all it's extreme corniness, alot of work and attention went into it. The dialogue was pretty good. It's amazing how much the movie feels like a 1930's serial cartoon that has sprung into life.
It's such a bizarre and fun movie. There's not much else to it.
Now go watch it so we can sing the theme song together!
Monday, January 10, 2011
I am completely bored out of my mind.
I'm currently serving my jury duty.I'm bound to stay inside in this wretched windowless room. To add insult to injury, I'm not allowed to plug in my adapter to charge up my laptop. Of course I wasted hours browsing around the internet and now I'm alarmed to discover that I only have 32% power left. Great.
I was searching around for ideas and inspiration to make make up my costume for the renaissance faire and anime expo. As I'm looking around, I am seriously impressed by all the costumes that people have made up. Which indirectly reminded me of a movie that I saw years ago.
It was a movie I was inspired to watch after seeing a reference of it in "The Bad and the Beautiful".At one point during the movie, the filmmakers are brainstorming an idea for a movie. The costumes they made for a scary scene in the movie were ridiculous and could clearly see how poorly made they were. They come up with an idea to just highlight the eyes of the monster just like "Cat People".
"Cat People" is a pretty scary thriller movie. It reminds me a bit of "Rosemary's Baby" in it's allusion to horror. The movie uses shadows and music to scare the audience and increase the paranoia. Yet you never see the monster at all.
The plot circles around a beautiful woman named Irena Dubrovna. She is under the fear that she is the living embodiment of a myth:
"..According to legend, long ago the Christian residents of her home village gradually turned to witchcraft and devil worship after being enslaved by the Mameluks. When King John drove the Mameluks out and saw what the villagers had become, he had them killed. However, "the wisest and the most wicked" escaped into the mountains" (taken from wikipedia)
Irena believes that her mother was a "Cat person" who may been the cause of her fathers disappearance. Afraid that she herself is a "cat person", she tried to curb her passion and tried to keep impassive as much as possible. She married a man named Oliver. He married her despite her telling him her fears. And he still married her. Okay....
Anyhoo, jealousy begins to arise when Oliver begins to confide in his secretary Alice. Why is it always a secretary? Oh wait. Yeah common sexual fantasy. Irena's passions begins to flow and hell breaks loose.
I was pretty scared while I was watching the movie since I'm a sucker for any jump scares. I was also immensely intrigued by this movie. Stalkers are pretty scary. Add a supernatural element to it and damn that is scary as hell.
The tension in this movie is what really sunk it for me. Everything about this movie was tense. From the chase scenes with shadows, the panther lashing out, Irena's paranoia. I figured the tension was to represent Irena's battle with herself. Containing all that passion within herself. Alot of that was sexual tension which the movie alluded to throughout.
I also felt really bad for Irena. Irena could have easily been part of the X-men. She was suffering from a mutant genetic trait of which she held no control. I can easily imagine her fighting side by side with Wolverine. It's even more tragic how it ends.
For any starting filmmakers, this is an inspiring movie to watch. I can tell it was a low budget production but the movie is still really well done. The story was well played with complex enough characters that makes it so unique. With it's creative use of shadow and light, the atmosphere was just right.It was tense enough to have you grip the edge of your seat but intriguing enough to keep you wondering what happens next.
Just because you don't have alot of money doesn't mean it has to be bad. It just means you have to be really creative.
Ugh...when will this jury duty be over??!?!?
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Oh I love this movie. I love this movie so much.
Quotes from the movie that immediately come to mind:
"Just roll around...you'll be aight"
"are you lookin' at my Janet?"
"Who's The Bitch Now?"
Teen comedies are one of my favorite escape routes from a hard day at work. Or if I just feeling really, really lazy. Hell I'll just make up a reason to watch this movie.
"The New Guy" centers around the most uncool dork this movie can define. After an embarrassing penile accident, our hero Dizzy winds up in a county jail. There he meets up with Luther (played hilariously by Eddie Griffin) and comes up with the idea to change his whole image. After expelling himself from high school, Dizzy begins the process to embody a whole new persona at a new high school.
As with all teen comedies before it, there's a lot of fast editing with layers and layers of jokes. You have your standard characters in a teen comedy with some oddball ones thrown in. There's Dizzy, our dorky hero. Then there's his sidekick friends of dorks (Zooey Deschanel is added in one of those sidekicks). The bullies from both school. The sexy love interest in the form of Eliza Dushku. I guess Luther would the warped mentor. Then you have the hyperactive coach on a horse. The midget tuba player. Even Tony Hawkes makes an experience.They all play their parts so hilariously and well making it a great cast to watch.
On top of that, there's a great nostalgic soundtrack for all of us kids who grew up in the ninetines. Offspring. Cypress Hill, Outkast,P.O.V. are one of the new bands featured in the soundtrack. Ahh, music that reminds me of high school.
On the surface, it's one of those underdog stories with the nerd growing into a higher status. Under all the jokes and pop culture reference, there is also a very sweet story with a great empowering message. No matter how times I watch it, I get super excited when I see the stampede through the fields.
There isn't that much else to write about this movie other than it's funny as hell!
Funny thing is, Dizzy would have been the cool prankster at my school!
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Mistress Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With cockle-shells, and silver bells,
And pretty maids all in a row.
How does your garden grow?
With cockle-shells, and silver bells,
And pretty maids all in a row.
I used to read alot of stories about little girls whose parents went to India or they themselves lived in India. It was a few years later I realized that I was reading alot of English writers from long ago.
Through these writings I believed that all British children were prissy with a connection to India somehow. Hell I think even Pippy Longstocking had a connection.Except she wasn't prissy. Just awesome.
I'm pretty sure I read the "The Secret Garden" but it's been a loooooong time. The movie does a great job of telling the whole story so it's good enough!
It begins in India with the beginning of Mary. Mary is a spoiled and quiet girl of a young aristocratic couple. An earthquake kills her parents along with other parents resulting in a whole lot of orphans. Mary is then sent to to live with her uncle in England. She never gets to see her uncle who is still in mourning for his wife, the twin of Marys mother.
Mary is left to explore the grounds. She finds a garden locked until she finds the key to open it. The garden is untamed and dormant until with the help of friends she is able to make it blossom again.
During Marys secret tending of the garden, she encounters her cousin, Colin. Colin is believed to be an invalid. Through Mary's stubborn streak, she convinces Colin to grow stronger and walk again.
Colin's "treatments" are so horrendous to watch. I remember not being fazed by it when I was younger. Now I see it and I'm horrified at the backward reasoning of it all. What the hell was dunking the boy in ICE COLD bath going to do to a supposed invalid? The electric shocks I can understand but the ice? Were you going to freeze the sickness out of him?
There is the tying backstory of Colin's father constantly running away from the manor. He refuses to relinguish the ghost of his wife and has left everything else in neglect. Through a bizarre and disturbing voo doo ceremony, he is lef back to witness the miracle of his son's health. I hate this part of the movie. What the hell! The father was a dick to ignore his son and then comes back to enjoy the fruits of his son's labor? What if the father came back a few months beforehand? When his son was struggling to take stronger steps? I bet he would have strapped Colin back to the bed instead of encouraging him. Ugh! The father disgusts me and I'm glad we barely see him except for the voo doo summoning.
It's a touching movie that doesn't resort to sappy tear jerking dramatic moments. It's endearing. I watched it when I younger and I completely related to Mary's loneliness and need to keep the garden a secret. I remember when keeping a secret was the most powerful thing you could do. To let someone in on that secret was not only a test of trust but also a very special personal invitation to your private world.
I hated gardening ( and I still do. I kill cacti ...how black of a thumb do I have???) but I loved that damn garden.It was wild and beautiful. I still love that garden after watching it. I still want to sit on that swing and look at the all the flowers around me. I bet I would get bored after a few minutes and chase a squirrel but that garden was still awesome.
I do remember having a crush on the boy who spoke to animals, Dickon. I thought he was so cute. He came off as sweet, kind, and strong. Not a bad character to crush on.
That is pretty much the whole story. There is no villain other than inner issues. There's alot of metaphores of growth and rejuvenation, blah, blah, blah. I enjoy it because it's a beautiful and endearing movie to watch. It's nice to have something pretty and substantial to watch now and then.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!