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Remember Me (2010)
Remember Me Shows That You Aren't Insignificant
When I saw the previews for "Remember Me," and I saw Robert Pattinson, I had already written it off as a movie that I wouldn't be interested to see. I'm not a fan of "Twilight," so I thought any he would be in would probably be cheesy. My mother saw this movie last week, so she told me that it was sad, but to watch it. I decided to go ahead and go for it.
From the beginning, the movie resonated with me. As someone who lost a loved one, I saw at once that life and death were the main themes of the movie. Both Ally (played by the lovely Emilie de Ravin) and Tyler (Robert Pattison) lost loved ones in tragic ways. Ally saw her mother being murdered right in front of her eyes, and Tyler lost his older brother who committed suicide. It's one of the reasons that they come together.
Side note: Ally's mother was played by Martha Plimpton. I loved her in the 80s! She was River Phoenix's girlfriend. If you are an 80s kid, I know you saw "The Goonies" and "Mosquito Coast." She was awesome.
I was impressed by Pattison's acting. I really felt this was the role for him, and he did it well. When the "Twilight" series ends, I can see a future for him. The only thing I worry about is that he will be typecast as the brooding loner with "issues."
Rubi Jerins, who played Pattinson's sister, did an amazing job. She was convincing as an artistic, shy girl who was being bullied by the popular girls at school. My heart ached for her. When you feel for a character, this is when you know that she was successful.
Both life and death affect people's lives. They change everything about you. Emotionally and mentally. It even changes your surroundings, including the people in it. However, the movie's message is true. This is a big world, and you might feel insignificant because you might think "What can I do?" However, even if you feel that way, you still need to try to do something. You might think it means nothing to others, but you are wrong. Everyone and their actions affects this world in some shape or form.
Ignore that Pattinson is in "Twilight," and watch it.
He's Just Not That Into You (2009)
I Was Just Not Into This Movie
"He's Not That Into You" had some good advice for women, but it should have taken some advice on how to make a decent chick flick. The acting was lackluster; the script was meh, and I barely even faked a laugh. I was pretty disappointed because of the potential that this movie had. They should have just left it as a one-liner in the "Sex and the City" episode that it came from. It was funnier and interesting to hear Berger tell Miranda this, and her sharing the wealth with some reluctant women.
Even though I kind of forwarded through the movie, I did have to say that the advice is sound. I even see myself doing this with my daughter. "Oh honey, that boy is bothering you cause he likes you." It did make me start thinking about what I say to my daughter and friends when it comes to "guy advice." However, I probably would have gotten more from just reading the book of the same name from Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo, instead of being tortured to watch the entire film.
The character that annoyed me the most was Gigi. She had this desperate personality when it came to men and then wondered why they ran away. It was worst because the one guy who would probably run faster when dealing with her is the one who was the love interest. If they wanted to keep it real and make it as a self-help guide for women to understand men, it should have been more realistic.
I hate when movies have potential to be great, but then end up like this one. Let's hope that the next chick flick isn't as bland as this one.
L: Change the World (2008)
Only Death Note Movie That Might Disappoint
Today, fellow movie expert Punchy Critic and I went to watch a special viewing of "L: Changed the World." It is the final chapter of the live-action "Death Note" movies, which is based off of the popular anime series of the same name. Before I went to the theater, I kept reminding myself not to compare this to the anime series because this movie should be isolated from the first two live-action films. Why? The second Death Note deviated from the anime series in a big way, so I knew that this third film was going to be a completely different animal; It was.
Campy and cheesy doesn't even begin to describe this movie. The script was poorly written to the point that I was cringing throughout the entire movie. The movie was about L's final 23 days on this Earth and his final case. The case was about an environmental group who developed a lethal virus to wipe out human beings for their role in destroying the world around us. It seems that everyone is "going green," and this didn't leave Death Note behind. There was no antidote for the virus, so the group was trying to find one, so they can go ahead with their vicious plans.
Throughout the entire film, they kept referencing the United States. As always, the United States got blamed for everything. I am so tired of these "the USA is to blame for everything going on in the world" plots. It was so typical of them to do this. I knew before the movie started that they were probably going to go that route, and of course, they didn't disappoint.
Another annoying factor was how they totally thought the audience forgot a major part of the storyline. In the beginning, a Thailand village gets infected by the lethal virus and men with Hazmat suits come to take blood from the infected to take for research. One of the operatives, who is like L, befalls the fate as the villagers and tries to warn the initiative that L is part of. He is accompanied by a little boy, who even though he was in the village, is completely symptom free. However, for the rest of the movie, til the last 30 minutes, no one thought about it. You are telling me that L can find that Light Yagami is Kira, but he didn't think about that fact? Punchy and I were cracking up.
The Hazmat Suits being used as a fashion statement was pretty funny. It came in all colors of the rainbow: yellow, blue, orange, red, gray. I told Punchy that I wanted my own Hazmat suit because they sure were pretty. It didn't make any sense. What was the point of having different colors? It just made the movie more cheesy.
The death scene of the leading scientist was laughable. For a moment, I thought I had started watching a bad horror film. The blood looked, like Punchy said, like it was sweet -n- sour sauce. For me, I thought some of it looked like water with red food coloring. Additionally, the amount of time it took that dude, who had just injected himself with tons of the virus, went from sympathy to laughable. Everyone was laughing because he kept coming back and back and back.
The environmental group was another stupidity. Here are these nerdy students who are working with plants. All of a sudden, they become these hardcore vigilantes who know one could beat. The girl upset me the most because she was skinny as a rail, I assume had no combat training, but she turned into this psychotic, blood-thirsty killer who everyone should be afraid of. Ughhhh...I kept whispering to Punchy, "What the hell is that about?"
They took L's eccentricity and turned it into something that we are suppose to mock and laugh at. It irked me how they tried to make him this physically weak individual who couldn't even lift a finger. Even though I said I wouldn't compare this to the anime series, I had to on this. Why? L is suppose to be the same character as in the anime. In it, L knew martial arts and could beat the best of them.
I can't really type more because then I will reveal the entire plot, and I don't want to spoil it for anyone. The movie was disappointing. Even if it was more of a standalone movie, it still shouldn't have deviated that much from its roots. It was this slapstick comedy that was still trying to have something of the Death Note series.
When the credits rolled, everyone around us stayed behind because they promised that someone would win an autograph of the actor who plays L. Punchy and I looked at one another and rolled out.
Gardens of the Night (2008)
Every Parent Should Watch This Movie
"Gardens of the Night" is about two children, Leslie and Donnie, kidnapped by two men and their lives together. It's directed by newcomer Damian Harris who based his story on the kids, counselors, police officers, and pimps that he met during his two years of research. His years of perfecting the story was seen in how well made this movie was. As a parent, I felt the pain of what would happen if my child was taken and having to endure the horrors that these children did for over nine years. After they get too old, they are dumped by their captors and left to fend for themselves.
The actors did an amazing job bringing this script to life. The two children, Rayn Simpkins and Jermaine Scooter Smith, who play the young Leslie and Donnie really showed the pain that children who have dealt with this probably felt. I was impressed on how well they did for being so young. I was glad that they didn't get too graphic on the parts when the children had to do deal with pedophiles because I probably would have nightmares for awhile thinking about how this really happens every day. The director was able to make his point across without showing too much. Some other directors would have gone for the shock factor, so I am glad that he was smart enough to realize that he would have lost his audience doing that.
The cinematography was great because it didn't look like it was made in a fancy studio. It gave the feel like you were actually there with them throughout the entire ordeal. I also like how they show how this is usually a vicious cycle that occurs and that it usually doesn't just end. You expect a big, happy ending where everything is perfect at the end, and I am glad that he kept it realistic. Every parent should watch this. Even if you aren't a parent, you probably should. It will make you think twice about what to do if you see a sad child, who doesn't seem like he/she belongs with that adult, looking at you with helpless eyes.
Desu nôto: The last name (2006)
Good If You Don't Watch the Anime Finale First
I made the mistake of watching the anime finale before watching the movie. I knew that "Death Note: The Last Name" wasn't going to be exactly like the anime because there were things that happened after the first movie, in the anime, that were too much to cover in one film.
If I had watched the movie before the anime, then I would say that the movie was good. It kept you at the edge of your seat watching the cat-and-mouse chase between L and Light. They didn't have time to introduce two vital characters, Mello and Near, from the anime in the movie, but I think in the time that they had, it would have left people confused.
The only complaint that I have is that it could have been trilogy. It seemed like they tried to tie all the loose ends in the span of time that they had, which could have been done if there was another movie. Who knows why the didn't. Maybe they didn't have enough funding, etc., but it's a shame cause I would have probably named this one of my top five trilogies.
If you have watched the anime, skip the second movie. I feel like I ruined the anime finale by watching this one. It tainted it and now I have to rewatch the anime ending to get the bad taste out of my mouth.
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Mamma Mia, Help Me Get Through This Movie
This was one of the worst attempts of a musical I have ever seen. I don't know if it follows that actually play to the tee, but if it does, then I can tell that people who rave about it don't know what a great musical is. The only saving grace was that the music all came from Abba, which is one of my favorite groups of all time.
It's about a girl who finds her mother's diary, and invites three men, who might be her father, to her wedding. Meryl Streep, Colin Firth (I LOVE HIM), and Pierce Bronson are part of the cast to this ill-fated musical, and I must say that I am shocked that they signed on to be in it. The acting was not bad, but they didn't finish a sentence before they were singing another tune. What's worse is that their voices were not up to par. I cringed a few times and decided to just fast forward whenever they jumped into song. The plot was campy, and that is a nice way of putting it. Additionally, the movie was way too long for my taste. 90 minutes isn't a bad number. I'm tired of this movies that want to extend over two hours.
Aside from Abba, the only good thing about the movie was the scenery. It was in Greece, which is where I want to go for my honeymoon. If it weren't for those two things, I would have just returned it without watching it. Don't waste your time. If you want to listen to Abba, get their greatest hits cd. If you want to see the Greek isles, get a documentary. If you want to see these fine actors, then go see another movie of theirs. I am trying to save you the pain.
Tokyo Goddofazazu (2003)
One Can Always Be Reborn
What do you think when you pass a homeless person? I know things that I have thought in the past are:
They are drug addicts Veterans who have been wronged Good-for-nothing bums "Tokyo Godfathers" was co-directed by Satoshi Kon, "Millenium Actress" and "Paprika," and Shogo Furuya, Animator Director of "Millenium Actress" and "Spirited Away." It deals with three hobos who find a baby abandoned in the trash bins and the mishaps and adventures they have in trying to find the baby's mother. The three of them are as different as you can imagine. One is a man, a girl, and a transvestite. We discover their stories and dreams during the search, and how the baby brings them all luck and hope in different ways.
I think that all parents should sit down with their children and watch this movie. It will teach them that you shouldn't be so quick to label people and be judgmental about their lives. Also, that they always have a chance to turn things around. Everyone is going to make mistakes in life because as we all know, no one is perfect. The people who don't give up and try to make up for these mishaps are the ones who are the real winners. This movie represents this and makes you feel positive that you can always be reborn. As that saying goes, "You can sleep when you're dead."
Another reason that I loved the film is that it showed that if someone really loves you, he/she will always forgive you. In the end, life is about second chances and forgiveness. You will not hold grudges for the rest of your life when you love because as another of my favorite saying goes, "Love is never having to say you're sorry."
The movie showed great life lessons in a way that children and adults alike could enjoy. My children and I laughed throughout the movie and never wondered when it would be over. It's definitely a movie that I would add to my collection of treasured films.
Growing Younger Never Was Interpreted Better
I have always loved "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald; both the book and the movie. When I heard about this movie in the summer, and I found out it was based off F. Scott Fiztgerald's book about a man who is getting younger instead older, I jumped at the chance to see it. It was a plus that Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, and Julia Ormond were in it. Today I headed to the theater with Heather to see if this movie was able to do Fitzgerald justice. It did.
After the 30 minutes of commercials and previews, the movie finally started. It was very creative of Paramount to have the Paramount icon created full of buttons. I already knew that I was going to love the movie, even though that really had nothing to do with it.
The acting was superb. From the beginning of the movie, I had tears in my eyes and laughter coming out of my mouth. Pitt did an amazing job as the curious Benjamin Button. At every moment of his age, I believed him. He played the old man with a child's innocence with such precision that I had to remind myself that it wasn't based off a true story.
A big and happy surprise was the acting of Taraji Henson, who played Button's adoptive mother. I know that after this movie, she is going to have movie offers left and right. Pitt and Henson had such a wonderful chemistry that I felt the mother/child love from each of them. Of course, Blanchett and Swinton were just as amazing.
The symbolism in the movie was well thought out. I haven't read the book, so I'm not sure if it was in there already. The hummingbird flying around in unexpected times signified the freedom and bewilderment that surrounded Button and Daisy. The people Benjamin met all molded him into the person he was. It was great how he recognized that.
It was great how past events were shown using an old-fashioned camera. It kind of took the same method in "Forrest Gump." I thought that it gave visual breaks in the long movie. What made it more interesting is how they used different formats of old cameras to represent the past.
The movie made me cry. It reminded me of my true love and I, and how he was the only person who ever loved me on first sight. Button's and Daisy's love was beautiful and wonderful, and I wish that I could have this with him. It wasn't all about true love. It had a wonderful message about living your life and never thinking you are too old to do something. However, the love story helped.
Definitely a movie that I am going to get on DVD when it comes out.
Baby Mama (2008)
Baby Mama Drama
Yesterday, Dawne and I popped in the "Baby Mama" cd in hopes that it would increase the chances of cheering me up. It did the trick. If you haven't heard about this movie (have you been living in a bubble?), it stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, both from Saturday Night Live. Tina Fey is a successful, business woman in her late 30's who decides to have a baby on her own. She is unable to, so she enlists the help of Poehler to carry her egg for her. The beginning of the movie didn't make me laugh. I think it's cause I saw so many parts of it in the previews, so the jokes had already been worn out. In the middle of the movie, I began cracking up. Fey and Poehler are a great team, and they bounce off one another. Fey played her character well: an over rigid, control freak, health conscious, slightly neurotic woman who had neglected her personal life. Poehler's character was the opposite of Fey: a free spirit who lived every day as though it was her last. There were surprise actors, like Steve Martin and Greg Kinnear. Steven Martin, as always was hysterical as the overly earthy, green boss who would use that to his advantage. Kinnear was adorable as Fey's love interest. Overall, I thought it was a cute movie until the messy ending. I am not going to reveal any spoilers, but I was disappointed on how it ended. It finished in a way that was super unrealistic and it attempted to be overly cute. I couldn't help but roll my eyes. It was such a great movie until that point, and I couldn't help but wonder if the Writers had run out of time at the end. Overall, it's a good film to watch with your girlfriends to get a few laughs. However, don't hold your breath for the ending.
Village of the Damned (1960)
Those Were Some Evil Kids!
I am here watching the original "Village of the Damned." This was one of my favorite movies as a child. I use to have a crush on one of the evil kids and would have to watch it every time it was on television just to catch glimpses of him. If you haven't seen it, try and watch it. You won't be disappointed. I will have to say that the remake with Christopher Reeve did a pretty damn good job in sticking to the storyline. There is not much deviation, except a few details here and there. The plot is a little scary because what would you do if you were pregnant with an alien life form? Would you have love for that child even if you knew he/she was evil? I love how movies in the past use to explore these type of questions. It's something that is lacking in the movies of today. This movie had everything: good acting, amazing plot, deep questions, and the music was phenomenal. Foreign films still have some of those qualities, so I am glad that they haven't been completely lost. It is too bad that the sequel "Children of the Damned" was pale in comparison. Evil children, aliens, and death. What more could you ask for?