Chicago

 

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My son is currently ending a run in his high school’s production of Chicago, hence our household being soaked in “All That Jazz” for the last several months. (On a side note, these kids did an AMAZING job in this production – I mean, live music in a high school musical? Unheard of!) I’d never seen the play before, or even the movie version. Better late than never, right?

I can see how Chicago managed to nab Best Picture – it really is a spectacle of a film. The idea to stage most of the musical numbers in Roxie’s head was genius and well executed, although it caused the pacing to be stilted in parts.

Catherine Zeta-Jones also deserved 100% of her Oscar win – she was electrifying as Velma Kelley, stealing the show from Renee Zellweger. You know, I traditionally don’t care much for Renee Zellweger one way or another, but I hated her in Chicago. I wanted to punch her in the fucking face…no, I wanted to punch Roxie Hart in the fucking face. I guess that means that Zellweger did a good job, because she made me absolutely hate her character.

Poor Richard Gere, the only main actor who didn’t get nominated. Hell, John C. Reilly and Queen Latifah got nominated.

Cell Block Tango is the best musical number, followed closely by I Can’t Do it By Myself. Basically, every scene with Zeta-Jones was magic. I was missing My Baby and Me, one of my favorites from the stage version.

I gagged a little bit when the credits started and I saw “Harvey Weinstein” – so I guess that’s going to be a thing that happens now when I watch old Miramax films.

I was on the fence about the rating – is it two BOBs or three? Ultimately, I decided on three, because my husband – who hates musicals – sat through the whole thing. I know, I was shocked, too!

Sugar & Spice

Ahhhh…this film reminded me of my experiences in High School.

Well, not me personally, of course. I never had a “womb with a view” in High School…but many of the girls at my High School did. In addition to Waller High School being full of mothers, there were the infamous pregnant Hempstead Cheerleaders, one town over. Four pregnant cheerleaders…kicked off the squad. But one has an abortion and gets right back on the squad! Scandalous! They even made it into People! Of course, I took this as an opportunity for artistic expression – that Halloween, I dressed up as a pregnant cheerleader. It was inevitable that I was in the Principal’s Office by second period – he ordered me to change. I happily changed and when everyone asked what happened to my costume, I said that the Principal forced me to have an abortion to get back on the squad…

But enough about me, back to the film. It was humorous enough. I noticed a lot of similarity in tone to Drop Dead Gorgeous – and sure enough, it was written by the same guy. There were some outrageously funny parts, like the scene in the doctor’s office, the tampon passing and the whole bit about the cheerleader in love with Conan O’Brien. But there also were some really lame parts, especially the ending.

Is it me, or has Columbine ruined the film industry as we know it? The original title was to have been Sugar and Spice and Semiautomatics – what’s wrong with that? The film was originally intended to have been a true black comedy – Rated R and all. But of course, Columbine happened mid-shooting and the whole thing was turned into a slapstick teen comedy on the order of Dude, Where’s My Car? It seems that so many promising, yet violent films have been disney-fied in the wake of that horrible day three years ago. Films don’t kill kids, psychopathic kids with poor self-esteem kill kids.

Funny that the whole film seemed to be inspired by a John Cougar Mellencamp song – “Little ditty, ’bout Jack and Diane, two American kids growing up fast as they can…”

Don’t rent it, borrow it from a friend or wait a couple of hours from now and it will be on STARZ again.

Snatch.

I don’t know what’s wrong with the rest of you people – I could understand the Pikey just fine.

So Mr. Madonna made a movie starring Mr. Jennifer Aniston…I wonder if they ever double dated?

Pretty much the same drill as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, except it has Hollywood stars – though I’m not sure that’s a good thing. Snatch’s starpower is almost distracting. One of the things that I liked the most about Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was the fact that I had never seen any of these Brits before in my life, except for Sting of course, but he was hardly recognizable. But Snatch was like the fucking Golden Globes – even Spud from Trainspotting was in it!

Even so, I really liked it. It had pretty good pacing, didn’t get bored or anything. I was even surprised by the ending…well a little bit at least. Funny how the good guys always come out on top in these films.

What is it with feeding people to wild pigs these days? Snatch, Hannibal, Dude, Where’s My Car?…oh wait, those where ostriches…

I am hoping that Ritchie’s next film is a bit different than the heist films of late – I would really like to see what he can do. He’s gotten into a kind of Tarantino groove, not a good place to be stuck in, though I have high hopes for Kill Bill. Ritchie needs some box office, irrelevant as it may be. Of course it stars his wife, so people will go see it regardless.

  

Heist

Fuck, fuck, fuckity fuck. As usual for a David Mamet film, the dialogue sounds like it was written by Cartman.

I really don’t have much to say about this film. It was okay I guess, though I was bored out of my mind at times. It was just so damn contrived. Old McPlotTwist had a farm…a plot twist here, a plot twist there, everywhere a plot twist….

Sam Rockwell really stood out, as he did in Charlie’s Angels – he is just one creepy motherfucker. I think it’s that molester mustache. Anyone with a stache like that has gotta be one bad dude.

I will never understand why they keeping pairing up young chicks with tired old farts in these movies. I can understand Sean Connery – he’s still hot. At least Harrison Ford and Michael Douglas used to be hot…but Gene Hackman? When was he ever hot? Why don’t they ever pair ancient bitches like Betty White or Anjelica Huston with some fresh ass like Freddie Prinze Jr? I would pay to go see that shit, no matter how stupid the film was.

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

I was the last person on earth to see this film, but I finally did. Early, early – one Thursday morning in November, I awoke to watch it. The Blockbuster Fairy did good this time.

I am quick to understand the most bizarre of Limey accents, but this film was one step away from Riff Raff, a film with British accents so unintelligable that it required subtitles. I didn’t have much of a problem understanding it though, besides, I had a translator with me who had seen it at least 20 times.

I loved this film. The plot was a beautiful maze which, unlike most films made since the ultimate in plot twists, The Usual Suspects, did not seem contrived. It is so hard these days to make a film that keeps audiences on the edge of their seat without just throwing logic out the window. The plot can be summed up in my favorite quote, which you can read above. I will refrain from describing any plot development, just in case there is one soul left who hasn’t seen it yet.

Go drink at The Londoner – Beltline and Midway, in Addison (bitchass yuppie section of Dallas). It is trying to be a British pub, but more importantly, they have the soundtrack in the Jukebox. The music rocked and there are the obligatory bits of dialogue in between. “Spooky” by Dusty Springfield is such a super-erotic song, I cannot resist playing it every time I go in there. That song always reminds me of a certain person, hmmmm…

Now maybe I will finally get around to seeing The Full Monty…

 

Payback

I hate you, Sean. Why do I hate you? Because you gave away the ending to Payback on my message board about six months ago. I didn’t think I would ever see it, so I didn’t care. For some reason, I ended up watching it last night and so now I hate you. I hope you don’t take it personally.

Okay, I’m better now. I am not exactly a Mel Gibson fan. I have never fantasized about “Mel Gibson, Gynecologist” or anything like that. He kicked a lot of ass in this role though. I would attribute that to the writer though, not Mel. I think that Bruce Campbell would have played the role better. No one can take head trauma like Bruce. I enjoyed the amount of times that Mel Gibson was hit in the head. It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I was amused to see James Coburn and Kris Kristofferson back together again after Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. How come Coburn looks the same and Kristofferson looks like spent 12 hours in a Ronco Food Dehydrator? I wish that Kristofferson would have loaded up a shotgun with dimes and shot Mel Gibson. Is that too much to ask?

I want to be a Chinese Dominatrix. I am a fourth Chinese already, so I think that I can cover being three fourths Dominatrix…The only reason this film got three stars with me was Lucy Liu’s character. I think that Porter should have ended up with her instead of that dumb blonde hooker. I am a romantic at heart…

A Simple Plan

Why is Billy Bob Thornton so good at being stupid? One may as well ask why RuPaul looks so good in a dress or why Clinton can’t keep the presidential pecker to himself – it is what they were born to do. Thornton steals the show as the ‘one taco short of a combination platter’ brother to Bill Paxton in this morality tale about greed and human nature.

This is not what I expected out of Sam Raimi. It’s almost as if Raimi got his film switched with a Coen Brothers’ film accidentally – and Evil Dead 4, directed by the Coens, surely must be coming out this summer. Everything I have read about this film so far has contained comparisons to Fargo – so I won’t even go there. Actually, the first thing I thought of when I saw this film was The Usual Suspects, I guess because of the surprise ending…or maybe because Gabriel Byrnes=Coen Brothers=Fargo=….Nevermind.

One thing – as SOON as I saw Gary Cole, I knew he was evil. Ever since Fatal Vision, he has totally given me the creeps. Fatal Vision gave me nightmares for years, and that was just the commercials. I got chills trying to watch those damn Brady Bunch movies.

I haven’t seen a film this thought provoking since Dark City. Even though it left a bad taste in my mouth, I would have to say this is going to be one of the best films of the year. Most people will not like this film, mainly because it points out fallacies in human nature and logic. You realize that if a tragedy like this can happen to ‘good upstanding people’ like Hank and Sarah, then it can happen to you too.