Saturday, October 2, 2010

What Emily's Been Watching, September Edition

Look at me! It's October 2nd and I am doing this post! I DID keep a list of this month's movies, only thing is.................I lost it. So- here is my attempt at remembering once again......

ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, SEASON ONE (2003-2004) [NR]: Comedy. I have been hearing good things about this show since it aired, yet it took me until now to finally say, "I need to rent this and see what all the fuss is about". As expected (by you and myself), I loved it. It's hilarious. I think this is actually the first thing I have really ever seen Jason Bateman in. I just checked IMDB and I forgot about Juno (didn't care too much for that movie), and I also saw Starsky and Hutch but don't remember him)- so never mind. But my point was that he is funny, he's cute, he's good- he should be in more stuff. Oh and it had David Cross in it of chicken pot chicken pot chicken pot pie fame! I am excited to see the other two seasons and wish there were more- but I guess there aren't because of people like me who ignored it while it was on air. BUT because of people like me that are enjoying it now on DVD, I believe they are going to make a movie with the original cast. Cool. That will be fun. Emily recommends this show to anyone really, it's about at the same "clean" level as the office and is a very clever comedy.

LAST STOP FOR PAUL (2008) [PG-13]: Comedy. This was a movie I just happen to walk by at the library, saw the cover was plastered with independent film festival awards, read the back and decided to give it a go. This was a film about two work friends, one of the dude's best friend dies (the other guy doesn't know him, it was a childhood friend). This dead friend had a trip planned to travel around the world and obviously, couldn't make it. The other guy was one of those guys that takes off on a whim to Mongolia for the weekend (or the like), so he talks the other guy into taking the trip for the dead dude and scattering his ashes along the way. So basically, the film is two guys going around the world and the adventures they come across (their ultimate goal is to go to the "Full Moon Festival" in Thailand). I watched this movie in two parts- while watching the first night I kept thinking "WHAT IS UP WITH THE ACTING? HOW did this guy get this gig?" Things felt really amateurish, etc. In the morning I googled the movie and found out some stuff about it. 1. The movie was directed and "written" by one of the friends (the better actor). 2. the movie had no script. 3. the movie was filmed with one little camera and had no crew. 4. the other friend was a producer with no acting experience (duh). 5. Practically everyone else in scenes they interact with are just locals that were stopped on the street and asked to be in the movie and fed lines.
This on hindsight made me forgive the movie of a few things. I thought that when I finished the movie the next day while folding laundry I would totally forgive it. This did not happen, somehow I got a tad more critical. But the thing is, I can't say I didn't enjoy it. I enjoyed the exotic locations and the plot was pretty interesting and kept my interest the whole time. I also have respect for that kind of film making. It was an interesting idea and he carried it through fairly well. After watching it however, I lost a little of my warm fuzziness for the movie when I watched the extras and found out that the directer/lead actor was a total douche. Mostly because in the out takes he kept getting REALLY pissed off when some hapless tourist would walk in front of the camera and ruin the scene. How are these people supposed to know that the little camera resting on the stairs is filming a major motion picture (if they indeed even saw the camera in the first place- most didn't)? I can see how that can get frustrating and he was no doubt under pressure, but to the average person watching from their couch, he seemed pretty douchy. Lastly, when reading the awards caked all over the cover, you figure out that they are mostly weird, never have I heard of film festivals, so that part wasn't as impressive as it seemed. That isn't really an issue here though. All in all I enjoyed myself and the acting far excelled "BTK", so did the (non existent) script and non existent cameraman for that matter. I also support independent movie makers with an interesting idea executed better then I could do it.

UNITED 93 (2006) [R]: Drama. First off, let me say that I have avoided this movie since it's release on purpose. The events surrounding Sept 11th 2001 still fill me with such an ickiness I do all I can to just avoid stirring up those terrible times again. While watching this movie I watched footage of the planes crashing into the towers and the falling of the towers for the first time in almost 9 years. Call me an avoider if you like (because it is pretty accurate).
I decided I was ready to face it this 9/11 and rented this movie (I mean it's not like I was there or anything- I was back, and safe in Utah in a little basement apartment when the planes hit). So I thought seeing this movie would be good therapy. I actually rented this from the library a year or so ago and it sat at my bedside for 4 weeks while I never got up the guts to watch it. Well, I did this time and it was crazy. What a story. What an event. This story nine years later is still SO unbelievable to me. Not really up to talking about the movie much so that's all I'm going to say. I confess to not having the guts to watch the extras with the real families and stories. Couldn't do it, maybe someday. Emily recommends this movie if you like an incredible story of bravery and sacrifice and fear (and if you aren't a whimp like me- if you are, perhaps you might give it a go anyways. Therapy.)

JANE EYRE (2006) [NR]: Romance. I have to give a GIANT thank you to my friends
Emily and Ami for bringing this movie to my attentions.

Confession: I watched it twice in it's entirety and about three more times in bits and pieces (my favorite bits and pieces of course which added up to about 3/4ths of the film) in a week's span. I had the long anticipated season 4 of Dexter in my possession and Bleak House I have wanted to see also for some time with me at the time, yet I shut it all out while I was in Jane Eyre land. Nothing else could interest me. The movie itself was so well done- it was beautifully stylized. The blend of gothic and softness was extremely well executed. They managed to make this film without playing up the gothic aspects too much. The shining jewel of this movie however was Toby Stephens. His portrayal of Rochester was epic in my eyes. I think Charlotte Bronte herself couldn't have been more pleased. I was so impressed by his performance and his mannerisms I had to watch over and over. He brought the essence of Rochester to life like I have rarely seen a character from a book before- I was fascinated and totally taken in. I could gush all day, but I suppose I will spare you all. The girl who played Jane did an excellent job too. I loved her despite the fact that she bore a stark resemblance to a childhood friend that was a little distracting at times. She was an excellent Jane and played off of Toby Stephens really well. Great on screen chemistry. By the way- what is it about those Brontes and their dark and brooding leading men? I don't know what it is, but it really appeals to me somehow. I have never seen a screen version of Wuthering Heights, but I LOVE that story too.
"Do you think I am a machine? That I can bear it? Do you think because I am poor, plain, obscure and little that I have no heart? That I have no soul?" Loved this movie!! Have started reading the book again (haven't since high school)...... Emily recommends this movie if you are of the "turns about the garden" and "fortnight" set. You know who you are (and you aren't Rob).

I had to use a fan trailer which I usually avoid watching at all costs (too dramatic), but the only other thing I could find was a spot done for BBC One that was even more dramatic then the fan ones. This was the best I could do.

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN (2008) [R]: Horror. I have heard a lot about this movie lately, since America is remaking it. Fans are pretty wary of this fact since they feel that it is already a perfect film. Why remake it? Is it just to make a English language version? (The film is Swedish.) I can see their point. The movie was very beautifully made. I am in full agreement that the American movie makers are going to ruin that aspect. It has a distinct foreign style to it that an American one just won't have, it will be a shame to lose it. Don't get me wrong- we make good movies, but different and in different ways. I will still see the new version, but it will not replace this one- it will have to be a very different film. It is a story about a 12 year old boy who is bullied by classmates and he meets a little girl who turns out to be a vampire. They are protective to each other and form a very sweet little union. It's gory at times, and there is one scene with attacking cats that was REALLY weird (anyone that has seen this film, what the bip was up with that cat scene? Please share), all in all, it was most excellent and well worth seeing. Emily recommends this movie if you like a good, well made, interesting horror movie without a lot of excessive violence and gore. Watch it with the subtitles, I implore you. It was set to automatically play dubbed and I had to fix the audio to get rid of the English dubbing. I only watched for about 3 minutes that way until righting it, but had to go back to the movie after shutting it off once, forgot- and continued it and it was dubbed again and I was scandalized! The voices were so horrible, I fixed it quickly. Just don't do it- watch it in Swedish.

So that's it (I think). Good movie month.


ajmah said...

Yay! I'm so glad you liked Jane Eyre (and Arrested Development). Wasn't it great?!!?? And yes, Toby Stevens steals the show big time. He was fantastic and I too cannot stop gushing about this movie. If it's of any consolation, I think I watched it through in its entirety several times and then finally went to my favorite parts. Oh... I just want to watch it again having typed about it. It seems a good fall flick!

Now the question is, have you seen Dr. Strangelove yet? Rob is probably a little more likely to enjoy this one.

ajmah said...

Okay, I just watched the fan trailer you put up for Jane Eyre and wow! I don't think it could be more dramatic, although having not seen the official one, I could be wrong.

And now I'm curious... who is the childhood friend that the woman who played Jane looks like???

Emily said...

I uh, started it again last night. Hee-hee. Think I best order it.

I believe my dad purchased Dr. Strangelove and we will be having a family showing of it when we are together next. Rob will be included for as long as he can stay awake.

Pops said...

First time ever I messed up ordering from Amazon and other places. They are sending me two (2) copies of Dr. Strangelove so I have one to keep and one to send to you that want to see it. When it comes I'll put the "pass-around" copy in the mail to you. How's that. I might even look at Jane Eyre if I get my arm twisted.

Sue said...

I can't believe this is the first you've seen of Arrested Development! I was a loyal watcher when it was on and terribly disappointed when it was canceled. It's your fault! IFC has been rerunning them lately and Cam and I have been watching them. Excellent cast! Jeffrey Tambor is the best. And Jason Bateman is so good. I love Buster and Job. I love Job's segue, I love everything about that show. It gets even better. Charlize Theron does a guest spot in the third season I think, that is hilarious.

I am so glad you liked "Let the Right One In" I loved that movie so much. I too, made it about 5 minutes into the English dubbing and switched it to subtitles. The voices were so bad. SO BAD! I have a couple of theories on the cat attack scene. One is that she just had a scent that the cats didn't like, and so they attacked her. Or, they say that animals can sense evil or bad vibes or whatever you want to call it, and they sensed it in her and attacked her. Whatever the reason, it was hilarious and cartoonish like, and totally took me out of the movie for a second. It made me laugh out loud too.

Wasn't that the best spontaneous combustion scene ever?!?

Sue said...

Oh yeah, and I'm totally going to watch the American version "Let Me In". I've heard the swimming pool scene is even better than in the original. And the original scene was awesome!

Cat said...

Arrested Development is definitaly one of the smartest and funniest sitcoms ever. Of course,it got canceled. I have Seasons 1 & 2 on DVD and never saw the 3rd. I'm so interested in 'Let the Right One In' too. Now that I have glasses, subtitles: No longer a problem.

Emily said...

Jane Eyre! I LOVE that movie. There must be an addictive chemical that makes you crave it fortnightly because , I too watched it over and over and over....Toby Stephens was so good. I watched a little snippet of the version with Timothy Dalton and it was horrible. (Timothy Dalton has ruined too many shows for me to like him. That's so rude of me.) So now I just need to see North and South. (P.S. I have the full 3-saga set of North and South the civil war mini-series! Timothy Dalton might as well have been in the third installment because is was painful.)
I've heard Arrested Development is really funny. I really like Justin Bateman too. And doesn't it have Will Arnett? He's funny too.

Matt said...

Let The Right One In looks amazing. I just watched the trailer on here and I want to see it so bad. B will have to just hang out with a friend or something... because I don't know if I can watch that thing after she goes to bed. There was a shot in there that reminded me of the Salem's Lot kid in the window!! Freak sauce!

W.V. frives

Is that when the church allowed for five wives? Ok. I guess that would be "fwives"

Emily said...

I just watched North and South last night and finished it today! (Not the civil war one, the one you need to see. Yeah, you need to see it.)
Timothy Dalton eh? I'm not a fan, nor am I a hater. I don't think enough of him to have an opinion either way I guess. Did he play Rhett in the mini series Scarlett? I only saw that once and too long ago to remember much at all of it. He might have been James Bond once or twice also. Eh.
And yes, Will Arnett. He is hilarious. You should watch that show too Em. Good stuff.

Sue: I believe you are right on why the cats attacked that lady, it was just weird, felt out of place, badly CGI'ed and yes, made me laugh out loud (lol!).

Matt: I don't think Let the Right One in would freak B out all that much. It didn't freak me out at all. It is awesome, but not sleep with the lights on scary- but that's just my opinion. Also, perhaps "frives" is five wives said in a 1950's Hollywood version of a "chinaman". Or Scooby doo......


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