Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year’s Movie Marathon: New Year's Resolution Movies

We all have our goals, our New Year’s Resolutions. This year we’ll work out every day, this year we’ll stop eating the entire pie in one sitting, we’ll take longer than three months to finish a book, we’ll stop smoking (hint hint Shaun), and we’ll stop spending money on shoes. Well we’ll try at least. So, what a better way to start than to find inspiration in those people on screen trying to do the same, with some even succeeding. So, whether you are living vicariously through these characters or laughing at their failures, seeing your future unfold across the screen, here’s a helpful list of titles. So watch them all if you wish or just scroll down the list and find the appropriate title for your resolution {resolutions (goals) for each movie are provided under each title}. This list also serves as lovely time filler for an uneventful New Year’s Eve. Hope everyone has a great one.

Alfie (1966) & (2004)

Goal: “What’s it all about?”-life, that is

Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)

Goal: Stop drinking, stop shagging boss, stop smoking, lose weight, etc., ad nauseum.

Fireproof (2008)

Goal: Save marriage

Evan Almighty (2007)

Goal: Build an arc

Miss Congeniality (2000) & Beautiful (2000)

Goal: Become a pageant queen

Confessions of a Sociopathic Social Climber

Goal: Climb the social ladder

Beauty Shop

Goal: Open a salon.

Hot Rod

Goal: Save dad so you can kick his ass later

Zach & Miri Make A Porno

Goal: Make a porno

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Goal: Get out of debt

Wicker Park (2004)

Goal: Find long lost love

Can’t Hardly Wait

Goal: Finally tell that special someone you love them

Alex & Emma

Goal: Write a novel in 30 days

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Goal: Forget that special someone who broke your heart

Someone Like You (2001)

Goal: Figure out men & write a theory about them

The Proposal

Goal: Fool the INS

Audrey Hepburn Story

Goal: Become a actress/singer/dancer

28 Days

Goal: Kick that drinking habit


Goal: Win that case. -Any law film will do as well


Goal: Create the perfect actress

Reservoir Dogs

Goal: Steal those diamonds- Any heist/caper film will also do (not condoning this)


Goal: Revenge (not condoning this either)

Kill Bill vol.1 & 2

Goal: Kill Bill (again not condoning)

The Bourne Identity

Goal: Figure out identity

Cast Away

Goal: Survive on a deserted island/may also help in cases of wilderness survival

Gone in 60 Seconds

Goal: Steal 50 Cars in 1 Night (again with the not condoning)

Time Machine (1960) & (2002)

Goal: Build a time machine


Goal: Win a karaoke competition

August Rush

Goal: Find long lost relative

I Am Legend

Goal: Find a cure for a disease


Goal: Become an astronaut

Valkyrie (2008) & Inglorious Basterds (2009)

Goal: Kill Hitler (am definitely condoning this)

The Labyrinth

Goal: Solve a maze in 12 hours or less

Super Mario Brothers

Goal: Save Daisy from King Koopa

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Death Defying Acts

Looking at the cast and the subject, Harry Houdini, I was looking forward to this movie. For some reason, I really enjoy magician movies. The Illusionist and The Prestige were great. This movie was not. An interesting premise with some great ideas of character development with Harry just didn't add up to a complete movie. If this movie was supposed to be more of a character study, which I gather it was, there wasn't enough character development. If it was supposed to be a love story, a plot which took up a lot more of the story, it failed miserably because Houdini was married, and therefore, was cheating on his wife with the so called loved interest. Grrrrr. This film should have steered clear of the love angle and stayed with the character study. It would have been far more compelling. What a waste of the terrific Guy Pearce and Catherine Zeta Jones.
* for the acting.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Movie Catch Up- 9 reviews in 1

OK so I'm seriously behind. So in order to catch up, I will be reviewing 9 movies in this blog very briefly.

DOA: Dead on Arrival- stylish, great art direction and set design with lots of t&a shots (though no nudity) for the primarily male audience it's aimed at, nice fight sequences and no plot. Still, a lot of fun. Surprisingly, I give it ** 1/2 stars for style.

Love n Dancing: great west coast swing, a small part featuring the second season winner and third season top 10 contestants from So You Think You Can Dance, and Amy Smart can dance (who knew?). Those are the best parts; nay, those are the only good parts. Clichéd plot, zero chemistry between the leads, and some of the worst film music ever picked (who was their music supervisor?); seriously bad tracks that belong in an 80's dance movie. *

The Tournament: Interesting premise with a clichéd ending. Not sure what I think, because I've already forgotten the movie.

Inglorious Basterds: OMG amazing. Never seen a film like it, a fake biopic with an ending I just can't give away. Tarantino's a genius. Go see it. ***

GI Joe: More like GI Blows. I seriously don't know why this movie did so well in the theater. It contained a plot that was all over the place, a laughable villain (played by a usually pitch-perfect Joseph Gordon Levitt- not sure what happened here), huge plot holes, and way too many side characters and sub plots.

The Minis: The only reason I watched this cheap looking, horribly acted dwarf basketball (yes you read correctly) movie is because a friend of mine from college is featured as one of the Vipers team members. So it was cool to see a friend in the movie. That's it. BOMB (that means no stars)

Invention of Lying: More like the invention of religion. A seriously awful (though it started off so well with a great premise) propaganda film against religion. I walked out of the movie. As soon as the lead character opened his door (about an hour into film) and looked like Jesus, my husband and I had had enough. There is a way to poke fun at religion without being completely disrespectful (Monty Python comes to mind). This movie took a huge dump on anyone who believes in a higher power. A patronizing, unfunny, snob fest. ZERO STARS and a big prayer from me for God to smite anyone who appeared in this movie with a bad career.

The Wrestler: A poignant, compelling, moving, beautifully acted character study about an aging wrestler (or should I say wrastler) trying to come to terms with life after retirement. A truly wonderful, sad film. And might I add amazing acting by all. Though did Marisa Tomei really need to show all that nudity? ***

High School Musical 2: Yes, I'm a nerd. I know. Laugh it up. All in all, not very enjoyable. Though Zach Efron's voice had matured considerably (he was quite good), I always love Sharpe and her brother anytime they're on screen, and it was funny seeing Molly from Season 6 So You Think You Think You Can Dance as a featured dancer throughout the whole film, the plot was clichéd, Vanessa Hudgen's voice was still a helium nightmare and there was no chemistry between the leads who are dating now so there’s no excuse.

Next, the Houdini docudrama Death Defying Acts starring Guy Pearce and Oscar Winner Catherine Zeta Jones.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My One and Only

I rented My One and Only, a small film that is right now both in second run theaters as well as on DVD (something I don't understand. Why do that?) This film, based on the childhood experiences of actor George Hamilton, was exactly what I thought it would be: a beautiful showcase for young actor Logan Lerman and the always on-point Renee Zellweger and a fun slice of life in the 50's. I have two questions though: 1. Why was this not wide released? It would've been a great end of summer release, this being a road trip movie, which would have done a lot better than My Life in Ruins 2. What do I care about George Hamilton? It was a good movie on its own. I'm just surprised anyone deemed to actually make a movie about him. I digress. All in all, the story was good with an interesting premise, his brother was hilarious, the acting was great, and it had some big actors in supporting roles. My only problem was the exact reason my husband stopped watching it. It wasn't funny enough or sad enough to make enough of an impression to make me want to watch it again. It was great for a one watch, but I’m not sure if I'll watch it again.

**1/2 stars

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Yesterday I watched Orphan expecting a typical creepy child movie, which is a genre of film that I love no matter how bad they are. Creepy children and crazy stalker movies are kind of my guilty pleasures. To my surprise, this film was so much more. It was creepy and atmospheric with some great production design and cinematography, intelligently written with actual character development, and beautifully acted, especially by Isabel Furman as Esther (who deserves on Oscar nod) and actual real-life deaf child actress Aryana Engineer (Seriously the cutest kid I've ever seen). There were so many WTF moments in this movie. I was on edge the whole time. The writers really brought something different to this genre of film.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Fired Up!

So okay, like I totally rented this movie the other day, and let me just say, like, for the record, this is not a cheerleading movie. It does, however, contain lots of cheer leading or rather ers. It's basically a guy-centric romantic comedy disguised as a cheer leading movie about two guys who ditch football for cheer camp so they can spend the summer nailing cheerleaders. Pretty cookie-cutter in terms of premise and ending, but still really funny with some great dialogue, two great leads, and some great side characters, including a foot in the mouth cheerleader, a lesbian cheerleader, a bunch of gay male cheerleaders, and an awesome married couple that runs the camp (one's a cougar, the other is obviously gay). You'll laugh a lot, and sometimes that's all you need in a movie

**1/2 stars and a rah rah

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Proposal

So for mine and my husband's two year anniversary, we decided to stay in and rent a few movies (though we ended up going to see Gamer and ate dinner at Sonny's as well). My husband chose The Proposal (we were sticking with romantic movies). All in all, I enjoyed it. I was never interested in seeing it, didn't like the premise, thought it would be annoying, and doubted the chemistry between the two leads. For the most part, I was wrong. The two leads had some really cute chemistry, and I laughed a lot. I liked how they began to like each other pretty much from the beginning, instead of the good ole hate-each other-half-the-movie-then-inexplicably-suddenly-fall-in-love-before-the-end-of-the-movie romantic comedy formula. From the first day they are outside the office element, you see the attraction for each other right away. That was refreshing, and I thought both characters were likeable. My problem with this film was the ending. I won't spoil it, but it was so cookie cutter and unrealistic. Also, the ex-girlfriend character (played by Malin Ackerman of The Watchmen and Couples Retreat) was a completely pointless character. This actress has already had a lead in a big movie; she didn't need to take this tiny pointless role that did absolutely nothing for her. All in all, a funny, light film with a little suspension of disbelief.

Again **

Monday, November 2, 2009


So I've been watching a ton of movies lately, and have gotten behind. However, I am furiously catching up. I saw a movie yesterday at the dollar theater called Gamer. It was.... ok. It was like Death Race meets Surrogates, which would've been a nice combination had it not been for the convoluted plot. It just jumped around the whole movie, between the Death Race-like plot of a man on death row trying to win thirty tournaments so he can be pardoned and the Surrogates-like plot of the total disintegration of real society because of these more than virtual games. The two plots just didn't connect as well as they should have. I think that's because there were two directors. It's as if one director took the Death Race plot part of the movie and the other took Surrogates, but they didn't talk to each other. I think the film would've worked better if it had been more of an ensemble piece about a group of characters living in that virtual society with Kemble's plot as a man on death row and his wife's plot of a having a job in one of those virtual games as part of a bigger, more important story.

eh, 2 stars.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wendy & Lucy

I always add the Independent Spirit Award nominees (this film garnered 2) and winners to my list of blockbuster online movies every year. I watched this film last night, and though I thought Michelle Williams was fantastic (her nomination well deserved), I just didn't enjoy it. In this time of economic recession, a film like Wendy & Lucy serves as a nice slice of American life now; however, I just don't wish to be reminded of it. If the film had some type of upturn or Wendy had some kind of plan to turn her life around, then maybe I would have liked it more. There are many sad films that shake me to the core. This was not that kind of movie. It wasn't moving or emotional. It just left me kind of depressed, not moved or shaken, just blah. One star for Michelle Williams’s realistic, subtle performance. Watch it once for that then never watch it again.

What's to Come

My name is Mell, and I am a movie addict. I love film so much I studied it in college. I actually have an interdisciplinary studies degree in film, theater, and music. I have over 700 movies on my blockbuster queue. So after careful consideration and seeing that my mom blogged first (grr), I decided that it is in my best interest as a movie maven to review these films that I get from blockbuster. And that is what I'll do. I will also review new movies that don't interfere with the films on my mom's blog ( She sees movies every Tuesday afternoon at her local theater. I "will" interfere, however, if I blatantly disagree with the review she has given. Let the movie wars begin. The first movie I will review is the 2 time Independent Spirit Awards nominated film Wendy & Lucy.