The Parent Trap (1961)

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I normally don’t watch BYUTV, but when they’re playing The Parent Trap, then why not? I didn’t intend to drag the whole family into it, I was just trying to be annoying…but they all got sucked into it.

These children of mine were so confused at first. It’s like they’ve never had to sit and listen to dialogue in a film to figure out what’s going on.

My mom was in love with Hayley Mills and had us watch all the movies, but she especially loved Pollyanna and The Parent Trap. She even cut her hair like Hayley – that weird, split down the middle mullet. She called it…’The Rutabaga.’ I feel like she had to force us to watch it, but my kids jumped in with gusto. The girl was watching TV in the other room and just wandered in…and she stayed! She actually chose THIS instead of her current Disney Channel shows.

I absolutely do not remember all the music being by Annette Funicello…but really, who else could it be? She was like the 1960s Selena Gomez. I also didn’t remember all the spousal abuse. She punched him in the fucking eye!

Ultimately, the kids liked the movie, but they said it was “so weird.” If they think this one is weird, I need to get them into the really hard stuff…Old Yeller, Pollyana, The Shaggy DA – all that shit. It will blow their minds…

On a sidenote, the commercials on BYUTV are super weird. They’re all for other weird shows I’ve never heard of. I guess Mormons have special shows? One was for a prank show…they were hiding in high school trash cans. Huh?

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

As soon as I heard the opening riff of “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver,” I was in love…

Kevin Smith has always had a way with picking the music for his films. I’d argue that the soundtrack for Clerks is one of the top soundtracks ever, alongside The Crow, Singles and Pulp Fiction. I may be a bit biased, as my musical tastes are still a bit stuck in the early to mid 90s, outside of my increasing fixation on Lady Gaga. In any case, I appreciate Kevin Smith taking me on a walk down Memory Lane…I almost cried tears of joy/laughter when I heard the safe sex anthem “We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off” during the credits. (If you ‘relax and drink some cherry wine,’ chances are that you will end up with your clothes off anyway?) I’m gonna have to get the soundtrack to snag that and the Boba Fett song.

Anyone that knows me…or is at least a constant reader…knows how much I abhor Romantic Comedies, AKA Rom Coms. I have never seen Pretty Woman or anything starring Sandra Bullock, except Demolition Man. The problem is not that they’re unrealistic – I watch a lot of unrealistic movies. I can’t put my finger on it, they just annoy the fuck out of me. I don’t care much for Romantic Dramas either, but at least one of the leads usually dies at the end…or may even be already dead. Even with my bias, I do like it when Kevin Smith gets romantic. After Chasing Amy, the bar was set pretty high, but again, he hits the nail on the head with Zack & Miri. Even though the situation is unrealistic, their relationship and the challenges they face ring true…which is the exact opposite of most movie romances.

So Seth Rogen is all buff and hot now…somehow I don’t think his role would have played the same way if he wasn’t all fat and schlubby. I guess they could’ve cast Jonah Hill?

I am so glad that Craig Robinson is no longer The Office’s best kept secret. His comedic timing is so precise you could set the Pentagon’s Atomic Clock off it. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him on the screen.

Casting Traci Lords was a stroke of genius. Katie Morgan…meh. Her voice is annoying…then again, she’s not known for her voice. I’m glad Smith was conservative with hiring porn stars. Once you start getting Ron Jeremy or Jenna Jameson involved, you’re in camp territory.

So my best friend is obsessed with Brandon St. Randy. I totally understand. If I was a dude…a gay dude…I would want to be just like Brandon St. Randy, too.

So Smith’s next film is Red State…a horror movie…FINALLY! Details are slim, but I know it’s about crazy fundamentalists ala Fred Phelps. BRING IT ON!

  

Enchanted

If I was 5 or 6 years old, Enchanted would have been one of my favorite movies, right up there with The Wizard of Oz and Annie.

It shocks you, doesn’t it? It shocks me, for fuck’s sake. I conscientiously try to avoid letting my kids watch the Disney Channel…more for my sanity, than for any real objection to the shows, notwithstanding Hannah Montana, of course. (I actually kind of like The Imagination Movers…they’re cute in a dorky, High School Band kinda way.) I complain about Disney – especially the Disney Princesses Marketing Machine – ALL THE TIME. For the most part…excluding PIXAR of course…Disney is synonymous with stupid princesses, slutty teenagers in need of rehab and sucking the money out of parents’ wallets. Even so, I kinda liked Enchanted, sappy happy ending and all.

Amy Adams is adorable as Princess Gisele and Patrick Dempsey (I don’t call him McDreamy…I call him RONALD) made a pretty good knight in shining armor. My hate for Cyclops is well documented, but I’ve got to admit that he made a good Disney prince. Susan Sarandon was great, too…but I’ve got one burning question. Can someone tell my why everyone BUT Idina Menzel sang in this film?

So yeah…I can admit when I’ve been beat. I actually liked a Disney/chick flick/family film. I owe someone somewhere some money.

   

Employee of the Month

About midway through my recent maternity leave, I had watched so many films that required my full attention that I just started DVRing things that didn’t require a full set of brain cells (or a full night of sleep) to digest. Employee of the Month was one of them.

I bet you’re asking yourself why in the world I would sit through a film starring three individuals I cannot fucking stand. Dax Shepard hate here and here, Jessica Simpson hate here and although it’s not documented on my site, Dane Cook seems to be a big fucking douchebag, too. Truthfully, I don’t know why either. Probably the same reason that I watch CSI: Miami, even though I fucking hate Horatio and his sunglasses of doom. Or why I watch Celebracadabra even though I fucking hate magicians with the heat of a thousand suns. Hate fuels my creative juices – fuck yeah!

As romantic gross-out comedies go, this one is cut from the same mold as all the rest of them. Slacker (Dane Cook) and Mr. Smooth (Dax Shepard) fight over the new girl (Jessica Simpson). There’s not an original moment in the whole film. This is a rehash of every 90s Adam Sandler or Ben Stiller romantic comedy. I don’t have to tell you how it ends – Dane Cook wins Jessica Simpson’s heart and moves on to star in a romantic comedy with Jessica Alba. I hear he’s got one with Kate Hudson coming up next – who decided he is the type of guy that girls want to see in a chick flick? The fuck?

I can’t remember anything specific about the film that funny, except for the Store Manager brothers named Glenn Gary and Glenn Ross. I think I laughed at Harland Williams once. I might have laughed at Jessica Simpson’s big fucking ears, I don’t remember.

Boring and long.

 

Date Movie

This movie was not made for me.

It’s not that I don’t like spoofs or parodies – normally I do. It’s just that it’s hard to enjoy a parody of films you know nothing about. I know jackshit about chick flicks and rom coms. I intentionally avoid films starring Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock or Renee Zellweger – unless, of course, a chainsaw is involved. I’ve only seen three of the romantic comedies spoofed in Date Movie – Meet the Parents, Napoleon Dynamite and Say Anything. (Yes, I’ve seen The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but they are hardly romantic comedies, unless you’re counting the dirty gay hobbit sex.) There were plenty of gags to laugh at, but I suspect that some went right over my head, since I don’t have a clue about the source material.

Jinxers the cat, based on the toilet trained cat in Meet the Parents, was the star of the movie. Whether he was suffering from explosive diarrhea, gnawing on grandma’s corpse or making out with the cat lady, Jinxers was a scene-stealer. His star quality is sure to bring him oodles of film roles.

Alyson Hannigan was cute as the film’s heroine – not many ladies could have pulled off the goofy stunts that she was expected to take seriously. She seemed to enjoy getting sprayed in the face with hummus and having to wear a big latex fatsuit. I cry a single silent invisible tear every time an actor or actress dons a latex fat suit. Where is their dedication to their craft? Actors and actresses are quite thrilled to point out in interviews how they lost 25 pounds for a role or worked out for three months straight to get into shape…but the only ones willing to eat a bunch of donuts for a role are Renee Zellweger and Tom Hanks. (John Travolta doesn’t count – I don’t think he’s trying to look like that.)

Sophie Monk looks like an alien. Or maybe like one of those Bratz dolls after it’s been dipped in olive oil and put in the microwave.

At least Date Movie was mercifully short. I don’t actually recommend watching it on a date though – it probably won’t get you laid like Pretty Woman or When Harry Met Sally or Bridget Jones’ Diarrhea.

Say Anything…

How did I make it out of the 80s without seeing Say Anything…?

You’d think I grew up in a box or something. There are a lot of important movies I just haven’t seen. As you can probably tell, I’m making a valiant attempt to catch up. Say Anything… occupies a revered place in pop culture. The boom box scene has been spoofed innumerable times. Some friends of mine even used “In Your Eyes” as their wedding song. Kinda cheesy, but still kind of cute. I guess I can’t talk, since I used a popular song from a film made at about the same time for mine.

If Molly Ringwald is the queen of 80s rom com teen movies, John Cusack is definitely the king. I wonder why no one ever thought to put them together? Surprisingly, their careers have taken on totally different trajectories – Cusack is still making silly rom coms (Must Love Dogs – ew!) and Molly is…well…not doing shit.

I don’t know if this kept me from watching it or not…but the only actress that my mother ever said reminded her of me was Ione Skye. Although it’s possible that she had a little bit of Diane Court in mind, I’m thinking she was referring to her role as Clarissa in River’s Edge. (I’m fairly certain that none of my friends in high school killed anyone, then again – I’ve been wrong before.) As much as I would like to indulge in a bit of revisionist history and write a paragraph about how much I identify with Diane Court and how hard it is to balance a social life with education – it would be total BULLSHIT. The truth is – being smart in High School SUCKS. You either learn to hide it or flaunt it. And believe me – it’s far easier taking the low road and hiding it. And that’s how you end up like me and Clarissa – hanging out behind the administration building, learning to make a bong out of a coke can. Besides – Keanu Reeves or John Cusack – either way, Ione Skye wins. Does it really matter which path she takes?

This is the first time that I have ever NOT wanted to stab Lili Taylor in the face. I hated her as Lisa (in Six Feet Under for the uninitiated) and I hated her as Rory. I hated her in The Haunting too, even though I didn’t watch it. But I didn’t hate her as Corey. Even though those songs she wrote were kind of lame and pathetic – I like how she finally rejected Joe and kept on with the music. For the record, I do still think she is weird looking.

I’m disappointed that kickboxing didn’t turn out to be the “sport of the future.” However, I did DVR a 2005 movie called Vampires: The Turning, which is about Thai kickboxing vampire hunters. Kickboxing still has a chance then, huh?

*ding*

 

Splendor

No director can make me feel like Gregg Araki.

I was prepared to be disappointed by this film. All I knew about it was that it was about a girl trying to juggle her relationships with several different guys. That sounds like most romantic comedies these days. It didn’t sound that exciting, but I was still dying to see it. I had been waiting for it for over 2 years and it never released theatrically in Dallas, it just magically appeared in video stores. I got the soundtrack, back in like…September or something. So I rent it, trying to hold back the fear of disappointment, since I have been waiting so long, checking the IMDb weekly for release dates and the day is finally here…

…and I loved it! It made me feel so many things at once, dissatisfied with my boring life, but at the same time, made me feel like I was moving in the right direction, having recently gotten out of a dead-end relationship and taking control of my life. Just as The Doom Generation provoked feelings of inertia and boredom in my personal life, so did Splendor. It just made me want to go out and DO something. Do something about the rut I’m in, do something with my hair, do something about the guilt I carry around because I am “liberated,” or whatever they call it these days. (ok, I guess I have never really been too guilty about that, but I hate it when people judge me) So I got as far as giving myself a porn star “haircut” and doing my nails, but hey – that’s a good start, right? There’s always tomorrow….

Enough of my personal bullshit – the film rocked! First off, my original sex god is in it. Jonathon Schaech is…words do not describe what he is. I think I am more in love with the idea of Xavier Red than anything, but that association in my head is enough for me to watch anything with him in it. (Except that craptastical Jennifer Love Hewitt show.) I am also gonna have to kick someone out of my love trailer to make room for Matthew Keeslar. He’s built and etc…blah, blah, blah, but he also looks a lot like this guy I have been obsessing over for the last 8 months…that doesn’t hurt either. Kathleen Robertson was pretty good as Veronica. She’s cute, but not in the annoying, make you jealous way. I like her better with purple hair though, like in Nowhere. I am sure that I will be Veronica in my dreams tonight…I can’t wait! Is it me, or did Eric Mabius look a lot like Beck here? He was such a rock god in Welcome to the Dollhouse that his dorkiness threw me off. I haven’t seen Kelly McDonald in anything since Trainspotting, she has matured nicely. And I can’t forget to mention the cameo by Mink Stole!

As usual, Araki uses color to great effect. I really liked the colored fades between scenes. Instead of the usual fade to black, he faded to color, matching the mood of the scene. When Veronica is angry, her face fades to red. When she is sad, she fades to blue, etc, etc… I also really liked the way he had Veronica narrate the story. It was a departure for him to have the story purely from one female’s point of view, as opposed to the point of view of a group, such as Totally Fucked Up or from a primarily male point of view, such as The Living End or Nowhere.

So go rent Splendor and you too will dream of having two boyfriends at your disposal. Every girl deserves two. I once had two guys rub my feet at the same time (in a hot tub, no less)…so I can imagine that Veronica was one happy gal.

PS – Prepare to be disappointed by the lack of nudity.

 

10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You…The Taming of the Shrew – how hard was it to come up with a title that not only rhymes with the original Shakespearean one, but conveys the theme of the film as well?

I had to go see this film by myself, because I didn’t know anyone who would go with me. I wasn’t sure what to expect either. At 23, I am a bit too old to enjoy mindless teen cinema…which I stopped doing at about the age of 14. Despite fairly good reviews, I had misgivings about cutting out of work to see it…but I wasn’t entirely surprised when it turned out to be really good…even though I am fairly bitter on the subject of The Taming of the Shrew since doing it in high school and not being cast as Katarina…but that is a story for a different time.

10 Things followed the original plot of Shrew fairly closely. The motivations were pretty believable. I understood the reason Kat was so hateful – a small penis can mess you up for years. For real though, I found the characters to be compelling and I really wanted Patrick and Kat to get together – way more than Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton anyway. Cameron and Bianca were an adequate couple, but no sparks. I think Cameron should have dumped Bianca and went after Mandella…

One thing that bothered me – 10 Things must have taken place at the same high school as in JawBreaker – the school of no dress codes. If I was Bianca’s father, I would be more concerned with the shit she was wearing to school, then who she was dating. In all the teen movies that come out these days, the characters are just absurdly dressed. There is no high school anywhere that would let kids dress like this! If I had a nickel for every time I was sent to the office for skirt-too-short or tits-hanging-out when I was in high school a mere 5 years ago, I would be dead. John Hughes, the master of teen cinema, never made this mistake. His teens were all dressed appropriately dorky – even the cool kids were fully clothed at all times. So, pretty please, with sugar on top, will filmmakers be realistic in portraying what teenagers wear to school?