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Being Cute Just Ain't Enough
Yes, they're cute. Yes, the actors are top-notch for the animal voices. Yes, 3-D animated movies are awesome. Yes, you will want to buy a guinea pig/mouse/hamster after watching the movie. But overall, this movie is definitely better suited for kids (despite the fact that the twist was so unexpected, it literally blew my mind). If you don't have a kid, skip the movie, unless you're an avid 3-D movie watcher like I am.
Probably the best thing about the movie, besides the fact that the guinea pigs are adorable, would be the voice talents. Penelope Cruz is a perfect Juarez, although it made me wish that Antonio Banderas would show up in the form of Puss in Boots to add some more Latino sassiness to the mix. Steve Buscemi was perfect for the ferret-hamster and wow, I didn't even *recognize* Nicolas Cage! Zach Galfianakis is quite a strange choice for Ben, especially after he just hit the big screen with "The Hangover" recently. And Bill Nighy was also a strange choice. Side note: why did he sound like Davy Jones every time he talked in this movie? Or was that just me? Anyway, it turns out that Speckles (the mole) is the bad guy! Who would've thunk? Okay, seriously... That was a nice and unexpected twist for me - forgive me, if it was obvious, but I'm currently suffering from pregnancy brain. The movie tries to teach us (or kids... whatever) that moles have feelings, too, and so, we shouldn't... terminate... rodents? I'm sorry. But... The mole wasn't even cute as a 3-D character and yet you expect me to not want to kill them if they turn up somewhere that would bother me? I mean... what? I've never even seen a mole in my entire life. Why would I care what happens to moles? What do moles actually do that is beneficial to us by the way? Besides being characters in the awesome Whack-a-Mole arcade game? In a nutshell, this movie simply didn't work. I'm only giving it 2 stars because I saw "Stuart Little" on TV the other night and that movie was so bad, it made this one look acceptable. Do. Not. Bother.
Is it me or have recent movies been so bad lately that coming across a movie starring Bruce Willis - with hair! - actually gets a good rating in my eyes? (I don't know where that comment came from since Bruce Willis actually makes good movies. I'm just bitter at Hollywood for not releasing anything good in a while.)
Anyway, as mentioned earlier, this movie is actually pretty good. If you liked Equilibrium, you'll probably like this movie, even though it doesn't have the great acting prowess of Christian Bale and isn't laced with beautiful poetry by W.B. Yeats.
The reason why this movie is so likable, I believe, is because deep inside, we know this could happen. Unlike Equilibrium, where the entire society injects themselves with something so as to be void of emotions (waitttt... why would you not want to feel anything ever again?), Surrogates involves getting to live your life through surrogate robots that look extremely hot while staying safely at home and not having to worry about dying or getting robbed or getting raped or anything like that. And, well, with technology escalating the way it is, we know this could happen. Did I mention that you can be a fat, balding gay guy and live your life vicariously through a hot blonde lady surrogate, so you can get with hot male surrogates? Chyeah.
Now, in theory, this sounds great. But what happens when suddenly everybody can afford these surrogates and therefore has one and everybody starts relying on them so much, they forget to actually *live*? Again, we know this could happen. As people get addicted to drugs, it is also possible to get addicted to surrogacy. And well, that's no good.
Now, see, I think it would be great if *some* people had surrogates. Like, if they get disfigured because of an accident or can't walk or to fight wars or to have gigolos like in A.I. or just for fun, every once in a while like in a virtual reality game. But all day every day? Anyway, this movie delves into all that and I thought it was pretty cool. You should look into it and then definitely read below my spoilers line, so we can argue. Arguing rocks my world.
***** SPOILERS : DO NOT READ BELOW THIS LINE IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE (unless you don't mind spoiling it, then that's fine) *****
At the end of the movie, Canter wants to kill all of the humans still plugged into their surrogates because, as he puts it, "addicts must die with the addiction" and "the world should witness the rebirth of humanity". This makes perfect sense to me. Why did Bruce Willis stop him? Those people deserved to die! Am I wrong? By just killing the surrogates, Bruce Willis didn't really achieve anything. You know what's going to happen? Humans will simply figure out how to make new surrogates - and better ones, at that. Congratulations. You made things worse. If he had only let Canter do his job, people would have been killed and the people who remained living wouldn't dare make new surrogates because they'd be scared of the possible repercussions, i.e. death. Am I the only one who sees sense in this? What did Bruce Willis actually achieve?
A Scanner Darkly (2006)
Headtrip at its Finest
I have always been a huge Richard Linklater fan. Well, after "School of Rock", "Waking Life", and "Dazed and Confused", how could you blame me? When I was told to watch this movie, I expected it to be good. But I did not expect it to be excellent. Which this movie clearly was. I have not read the novel by Philip K. Dick, but I will definitely see it now.
Based on the world supposedly seven years from now (2013, for those slow in Math), a new addictive drug, simply called "D" is spreading across the world. "D" which could stand for depression, drugs, dilemmas, and (dare I say it?) death.
From the beginning scene where Rory Cochrane hallucinates and sees bugs crawling all over him (he even jumps into the shower and saves bugs in a jar to show to Berris, only to end up at the diner with an empty jar!], it's a definite headtrip, too, I must add. I had to rub my eyes five times to make sure I wasn't high myself. And the reto-scoping is mind-boggling. It's amazing what people can do with animation today! It's the closest thing to real since the real thing itself!
But I guess the movie truly got to me because I can relate. I can relate with the drug abuse, not because I abuse drugs myself but because I have so many acquaintances who are hooked onto these substances. I know so many people who are destroying not only their lives, but the lives of those around them by abusing these drugs. They use up all their money, put all their relationships at stake, all for acceptance by taking these drugs. Drugs that will ultimately lead them to nowhere (i.e. death).
Robert Downey Jr. went through rehabilitation himself. And I look up to him for appearing in this movie that shows youth (and everyone else) how harmful drugs can truly be. I don't think the world understands exactly how bad it can get yet and hopefully this movie will open their eyes.
Try Seventeen (2002)
Why this movie has two titles, I have no idea. Although personally, I would stick to "Try Seventeen" since it stems from the best, most memorable line of the movie.
"Try Seventeen" focuses on seventeen-year-old Jones (Elijah Wood) who tries to start his own life away from his mother, with hopes of finding the father he doesn't really have memories of. His infatuation with finding his father is so great that he constantly types him letters and keeps them in a trunk that he brings with him wherever he goes.
He settles down in an apartment, where two beautiful ladies, a blooming actress and a frustrated photographer find themselves falling for the weird, new boy-next-door and Jones' world no longer revolves around the fantasy world that he writes about to his dad, but around the real world, the world he has been refusing to actually live in, the world that he has been running away from all of his life.
"Try Seventeen" is a witty coming-of-age movie like no other. Although it may be hard to fall in love with the movie the first time you watch it because of its quirky antics and the strange things that Jones dreams up, it does get better.
If it failed to get you the first time, give it a second chance. You will no longer be disappointed.
I'm not a big fan of "chick flicks" and therefore refused to watch this movie the first five times that I was invited to see it. I eventually gave in and was surprised to see that it wasn't like any other "chick flick" at all.
What is great about this movie, first and foremost, is that it is REAL. It doesn't center on two people, recently broken up and lonely (although Rafi - played by the older, yet likable Uma Thurman - is recently divorced), rather it focuses on two people who are ultimately just out there to have fun. (Young hottie Bryan Greenberg, most well-known for his role as Jake Jaglieski in One Tree Hill, plays David.) We go into the usual relationship phase, but this time with an unexpected hurdle in-between them: the guy's mother who is coincidentally the girl's shrink. (Meryl Streep plays the role magnificently. It is hard not to feel her pain and embarrassment having to go through sessions hearing about her son's beautiful penis.) The conflicts that David and Rafi go through are situations that we all have gone through, or will go through - from the boyfriend's obsessive video game playing to the girlfriend's possessiveness of her apartment. Yet this is coupled with the playful lust the couple experience and the genuine fun that couples go through. Need I mention that Demi-Ashton relationships were "in" for a while? Most "chick flicks" end with a happy ending: the couple ends up together. What "Prime" does, is that it shows us the ending BEYOND the ending. Who knows whether or not Prince Charming and Cinderella end up cheating on each other or having a divorce? Real life doesn't end the way most fairy tales or "chick flicks" end. And although Rafi and David may not have ended up together the way most people probably assumed they would, they showed that they chose the path that was most reliable, most reasonable, and therefore, most REAL.
I recommend you to see this movie.
All About Eve (1950)
A True Classic
"All About Eve" follows the life of Eve Harrington, from being practically nothing to becoming a superstar. Her devious schemes matched with the sweetness of her smile and her "I'll get what I want no matter what it takes" attitude makes her the woman everyone would love to hate. Everyone, that is, except for those who strive to be like her (me, included).
It's a timeless classic with a great cast, great costumes, a great plot, not to mention an unforgettable ending. (What goes around comes around after all.)
Although I was born waaaay after this movie was made, I must say that it is one movie you shouldn't miss!
Wanting to see Jude Law in "Alfie", I asked my dad to buy the DVD. Wrong move. Being the father that he is, he got the Michael Caine version. I left the DVD untouched for months until I finally plucked the courage to give it a go.
I was glued to my seat (well, bed) throughout the entire movie. Never did I expect to be so into a movie with an actor I was almost unfamiliar with (aside from seeing him as a butler in "Batman Begins").
Caine had me mesmerized with his portrayal of Alfie, a carefree, happy-go-lucky bloke who knows how to deal with women, and GETS the women. His witty remarks to the camera and his side comments are hilarious, yet endearing. Wannabe-playboys could learn a thing or two (or three or a million) from this movie.
Although I have not seen the remake with Jude Law, I can safely say that Michael Caine has done his job well and it would be most definitely hard to try to live up to his portrayal of Alfie. It's no wonder why he had women swooning at his feet. I know I would.
I'm At Loss for Words
Looking at the movie as it is, with its name, and its plot line, it honestly did not do much for me. I was sort of "forced" into seeing this movie. But in the end, it did more good than bad, really.
Charlie Kaufman's inner thoughts (narrated in parts of the movie, such as at the very beginning) and Susan Orleans' passages from her book hit me quite hard. The screenplay is beautifully written and nothing like I've ever seen before.
It's not only about orchids. It's not only about Charlie Kaufman and his boring life. It's much more than that. But you'll have to see the movie for yourself to know what I mean.
A review just can't describe this movie.
Dude, Where's My Car? (2000)
Shibby-est Movie Ever!!!
Of all the stupid (yet funny) movies out there, "Dude, Where's My Car?" is definitely one of the funniest.
Nowadays, so many stupid/funny stoner movies are out, but none can really compare to the hilariousness that Chester and Jesse bring out of each other. Reminiscent to Beavis and Butthead, they cruise around as two aimless stoners with no real purpose in life but to shibby, shibby, and shibby. (Shibby, which could stand for ANYthing, really.) Being the first to fully implement the words "Dude" and "Sweet", Jesse and Chester deserve two thumbs-up for this stoner movie. Teenagers of any generation would definitely enjoy it. I've seen it a hundred times and still love it to this day.