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Aug. 7th, 2008


The Crying Game

A Movie Review in Ten Words:

Everybody has a penis. 

Even the women.

Especially the women.
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Jun. 23rd, 2008


Romancing The Stone

Come on, you know you loved it when you were eight.  And I'm sure, if you're channel-surfing and you find it on TBS, you'll watch quite a bit of it before you remember that it's not 1985 anymore. 

Of all the Indy knock-offs, this is the most decent, and that's entirely because of the chemistry between Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas.  Just don't watch The War of the Roses directly after this, or it will kill your happy rom-com buzz.
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Sexy Beast


From the title, I'm sure you also thought this had to be about Hugh Jackman or James Purefoy.  It's not, but I don't blame you in the least for thinking that way.

This is not a great movie, but it has fantastic performances in what's really a character-driven piece. If you only think of Ben Kingsley as Gandhi, you need to check this out.

Also, I'd like to take a moment to talk about Ray.  Since Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, everyone seems to recognize Ray Winstone.  I first saw him several years ago playing Henry VIII in a BBC miniseries and my jaw hit the floor.  Holy hell.  Here is a guy with a map of London pounded into his face.  In Nil By Mouth, he plays an abusive, alcoholic shit from New Cross, and scares the hell out of you. 

But in this film, he pulls off one of the greatest ever castings-against-type.  He is the biggest, squishiest, most sun-burnt, wimpy fuck you've ever seen.  He plays one of those boozy idiots who buggers off to Spain and you hope never comes back to the East End.  I know Kingsley got all the hype from this movie, including an Oscar nod, and he was brilliant, but Ray is the hidden jewel of this film.  I love him.  I'm scared to death of him, and if I ever met him, I'm sure I'd think quite hard about running in the opposite direction, but he's fan-bloody-tastic. 

Ray Winstone: I would hate to be the boy who dates his daughter.


Shakespeare in Love


A fun, smart script with delicious inside references.

"What's it about, then?" 
"Well, there's this nurse..."

This was also the first movie for me that ever provoked a standing ovation from the audience -- not at the end, oddly, but when Judi Dench traipsed thr...(read more)ough the puddle muttering "Too late" to all the cloaks suddenly thrown down. If you see a Shakespeare movie in a university town, be prepared for the historians and English scholars in the crowd to get very excited very quickly.

I was very happy when this won for Best Picture ahead of Saving Private Ryan.  Very.  Happy.
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Jun. 22nd, 2008


Bram Stoker's Dracula


Yes, it's over-the-top and uses every gothic cliche available, and yes, it includes the necessary Coppola footage of religious ceremony + blood bath, and yes, Sadie Frost makes me wince, and yes, Winona Ryder tends to annoy me in everything she does, and yes, Keanu Reeves is *horribly* miscast (though with Harker...(read more) that might be the point)...

All that being said, this still gets 3 1/2 stars from me because Gary Oldman utterly transforms himself and, for once, I actually believed Dracula was something more than a blood-sucking fiend. Gary makes the Count's emotions, however warped, come through in a quasi-heroic style, changing this from a horror film into more of a twisted romance a la Angela Carter. And, not for nothing, when I first saw this on tv as a thirteen-year old, Dracula and Mina's mutual seduction in the insane asylum was pretty damn hot.  I think I even wrote about it in everyone's yearbook that I signed in grade nine.  If you can get the thirteen year olds hooked, a movie's influence can last forever.  Rowr.

I'd also like to point out that I once had to write about this movie in an essay for my Science Fiction and Fantasy in Film course at the University of Toronto.  I was so happy, I think I grinned throughout the entire exam.


Becoming Jane

It is a truth universally acknowledged that this movie falls short of its cinematic promise -- if it ever had any to begin with. Also, I didn't need to see the morning sex with Farmer Hoggett.  Christ.




4.5 stars just for seeing these two members of the Sextamvirate together on film. The new audio commentary with O'Toole is great if you listen to it. At several points he is completely overcome watching his late friend on screen again.  If Hal Wallis had just spent a little bit more money on production value, it could have been one of the great historical epics.  Instead, it stands as a brilliant character piece and a damn good bit of medieval history.  Simply beautiful all around.

Jun. 12th, 2008


G.I. Jane

In my world, this movie counts as pornography.  And the reason is just there in that picture, on the left, in the white dress uniform.

Viggo Mortensen + short shorts + D. H. Lawrence poetry + bad ass attitude = HAPPY DR JANE!!!!!!!!

Master Chief Jack Urgayle is an asshole who literally pulls no punches.  The fight scene during S.E.R.E. Training is brutal and Ridley handles its direction with the consummate professionalism that characterises his films.  The sexual atmosphere Ridley creates between Urgayle and O'Neil is instantaneous and he keeps it just below a rolling boil through the entire picture, making that last scene in the locker room feel like a culmination, rather than a cheesy cliche.  And I think it probably gave birth to a lot of fanfiction.  I haven't looked yet, but maybe some day I will.  This was my first Viggo movie that I saw when I was sixteen.  I suppose you could say it's responsible for a lot of things.

Oh yeah, Demi Moore is in this too, but trust me, that's not the reason to watch it.  Viggo.  Short shorts.  Boo-yah.


Some Like It Hot

"But why would a guy want to marry a guy?"

One of the first films I ever saw, thanks to the PBS telethon drives that used to (still?) happen every spring and autumn, before I ever understood about the Chicago Mob, Prohibition or why men might like to wear women's clothing.  It's still one of my favourites.  Easily Marilyn Monroe's best ever performance, with Tony Curtis making a fine faux Cary Grant and Jack Lemmon mercilessly stealing every scene he's in.  It's a thing of beauty that never gets old, tired or stale and that I still find myself quoting at odd hours of the morning.  Perfect, perfect, perfect.

This movie is on my Desert Island list. 


Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

That was the shortest Anthony Stewart Head cameo ever.

Although there were some flaws, both in terms of direction and character development, I thought Helena Bonham Carter was especially good.  And Johnny had talent with a blade.  I just wish I cared about what happened in the story.  Apart from the rare grimace at Todd's slashing technique, I was rather unmoved by the whole thing.  And I'm a girl who loves macabre stories about London.  That's why this film remains two stars short of perfection.

And I'm still pissed that Anthony Stewart Head's song got cut out of the film.  Serious grrrrr.

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