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#05 The 40-Year-Old Virgin

The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Starring Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Catherine Keener and Jane Lynch

This is probably the first movie so far that I haven’t been looking forward to watching. This DVD was actually given to me. I don’t have anything against the movie, it’s just a little too much of a bro movie for me. I love the cast and I think the writing is actually clever at times, but most of the supporting characters are the type of people I hate in real life.

I ended up giving up with this movie half way through. I convinced myself since it’s technically not my movie, I don’t have to watch it. Over a month has gone by since I started watching this I never ended up finishing it. I have seen it at least 3-4 times. I think that’s good enough for me. I think I just really wanted to move on to some better movies and for some reason I got stuck with this movie.

So for a quick recap from what I saw and what I remember: This is a good movie. Actually it’s probably a great movie. It’s funny yet sweet and it was one of the movie’s of this generation of comedies to push the boundaries on what is and isn’t too vulgar. People are this vulgar in real life so it’s sometimes refreshing to know that other people have minds as dirty as I do.

Overall I give this 6/10

Next up A.I. Artificial Intelligence

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#04 28 Weeks Later

28 Weeks Later

Starring Robert Carlyle, Rose Byrne and Jeremy Renner

6 months later, Mainland Britain has been able to contain the rage virus. The US Army has taken over and is now letting civilians back into the country. Things seems like they might be getting back to normal.

But first we open up with a nice homage to the original Night of The Living dead. A few people are living in an old house with its windows boarded up. And as we all know, a few wood boards don’t hold back the infected for too long.  After a man leaves his wife to die for his own safety, he finds his way back to London where the military has taken over. Soon after, his kids make there way back and they hear daddy’s lie about how mommy died and there was nothing he could do. And since kids are stupid they decide to leave the quarantine zone and head home quickly to find a picture of mommy so they can remember her. But surprise, surprise: Mommy is still alive. She was able to make it home with just a few bites and all her limbs. She’s been hiding out there for who knows how long. She’s infected but she’s immune. When the military finds the children, they also bring in mommy so she can be prodded and poked. Maybe they can find a cure after all.

But as with zombie movies, it’s never that easy. She knowingly infects daddy by kissing him. Payback’s a bitch. Once this happens all hell breaks loose. Again. With this disaster, the military decides that killing the infected is too hard. They’re just gonna have to shoot everyone, and then they just might as well blow up the whole damn city. Because one infected can quickly turn into 1,000 and they just can’t take the risk.

Most of the rest of the movie is about getting the little boy to safety because one of the scientists believes he’s the last hope to find a cure. A few deaths later and we’re brought to another ambiguous ending. They made it to safety, for now.

Do I like this better than the original? I’m not sure. It’s not a flat out yes or no, so I’d have to say they are both above average zombie movies. Though I guess at this moment I might give the edge to 28 Days Later. This one seemed to be more of an action movie while the first one was able to fit in a little bit of a character study.

8/10

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I would like to see a zombie movie without such an ambiguous ending. I realize unless the planet blows up there can always be a zombie hiding in a dark alley somewhere but with so many zombie movies you’d think a few could come up with more than an open ended rescue.

Though I would love to see 28 months later in Paris.

I’m always surprised at the cast of this movie. When this first came out Rose Byrne and Jeremy Renner were fairly unknowns. And then I realized I knew Mr. Gold from ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

Up next…..The 40-Year Old Virgin.

#03 28 Days Later

28 Days Later

Starring Cillian Murphy and Directed by Danny Boyle

Ive always loved Zombie movies. A lot of people do. Many of us Zombie fans like to think that we’d be really good if we were ever in a real zombie takeover. We think that way because we know the rules and we know what to do to ensure we stay human long enough to find the true safe haven or even better, a cure. 28 Days Later is one of the first of it’s kind ( at least the first that I’ve seen) tthe zombies zombie fan question that belief. These aren’t you just any zombies. These zombies are filled with Rage.

The first 20 minutes are pretty damn intense. We first see the beginning of the epidemic when animal activists invade a laboratory doing experiments on chimps. These chimps were infected with this rage, and the activists unknowingly introduce the world to its demise. 28 days later we meet Jim. He wakes up in a hospital after being hit by a car in a bike accident. He missed everything. We miss it to. We know something happens, just not to what extent. The streets of London are empty. And then we are slowly introduced to the infected. He has no idea what’s wrong with them but he’s smart enough to know to stay away.

The excitement stops for a little as Jim meets Selina and Mark, 2 survivors still hanging out in the city. Here Jim has time to learn what happened over the past month and let it sink in that he’ll never see his parents or friends again. He’s lost everything.

It doesn’t take long for the action to start again when another attack occurs and we already say goodbye to Mark. Goodbye. Nice knowing you.

Soon we meet up with a father and daughter. The father being played by the wonderful Brendan Gleeson (aka Mad-Eye Moody). The core of the movie takes place with these 4 characters. What I like about this movie is that it continuously keeps the tension even when it’s all smiles and laughs as they fill up on candy and liquor at a grocery store that’s surprisingly well stocked.

The third act, in my opinion, is what makes this movie even more original, and yet, what makes me not absolutely love the movie. Once we get to the “sanctuary,” the pacing changes. It happens often in zombie movies when the core group eventually has to stop somewhere for a long period of time. I’ve always enjoyed the journey part of a zombie movie. I like seeing what they come across and the hope that they’ll turn a corner and come upon an oasis of  life and hope for a better future.

What happens in the third act is interesting, but we lose track of the core characters.  Instead of an individual character study it becomes a study of humanity. What does society do when left to their own devices? As one of the characters says, not much really changes. It’s still the survival of the fittest. The powerful will still take advantage of the weak. The soldiers at the sanctuary abuse their power and now it seems that traveling across the country and fighting the zombies seems like a better option.

The ending of a zombie movie is always interesting because you really only have a few options. Either everyone  dies, or the few remaining people restart their journey leaving the audience to wonder how long they’ll make it this time. Because life really never gets to start over. You can’t run forever.

This movie ended well because the last 15 minutes were so intense that you didn’t care which route they went. The fight against the soldiers and the zombies  mixed with the score made the slightly cheesy ending better. Even though they were believed to be rescued, who knows were they we’re taken to this time.

8/10

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-You’ll never hear an original piece of music again, you’ll never read a book that hasn’t been already written, and you’ll never see a movie that hasn’t already been filmed….scary thought.

-Love the scene of them watching the horses run freely and wondering if they are infected. All of a sudden you forget that the world is almost over.

-Jim seeing the plane high in the sky is an eerie sight. In these movies, you never really know what is happening on the other side of the world.

-While watching The Walking Dead a few weeks ago I asked myself why you never see naked zombies. Surely, someone was attacked while changing or in the shower or whatnot. Well, upon rewatching this, I found a naked zombie near the end of the movie!

-Up next… The sequel 28 Weeks Later…

#02 2 Days in Paris

2 Days in Paris

Starring Julie Deply and Adam Goldberg

I am a huge fan of the Julie Deply and Ethan Hawke films Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. Once I heard Julie Deply had not only starred in this, but had written and directed it, I knew I had to check this out. This movie shares a lot of the qualities of the Before Sunrise/Sunest movies. It’s about an American man, Jack,  and his French girlfriend, Marion, who stop in Paris for a couple days and sty with her parents. These 2 days consist of running into numerous ex boyfriends of Marion and the hilarity and, most importantly, the poignant dialogue about learning who you are at the crossroads of a relationship.

You will also easily see the resemblance to Woody Allen with  just about any Julie Deply film. What I love about both of their films are their willingness to narrow in on the characters thoughts so we see all their flaws. We see what makes them tick, what makes them happy, and often, what makes them act bat shit crazy.  Deply loves to talk about life, love, religion and politics. And let’s face it, those things make up who we are as humans. You cover those 4 basics principles of who we are. You don’t have to agree with these characters but you have to applaud their openness in discussing the things that define us. Yet, they steer away from coming off as pretentious, because how many of your snotty intellect  friends will admit to being so flawed or hop around Paris, smacking their mouths like a Native American Indian?

But back to the relationship. At first these two seems very happy together. But you also see that they are past their prime. The giddy feelings of a new relationship are gone. They can talk about their diarrhea with each other. That’s definitely more than a 4th date topic.  This is also the period where suspicion and jealousy can arrive. It doesn’t help that the couple are constantly running into Marion’s old flames. And it really doesn’t help that Jack doesn’t know French. For all he knows these handsome Frenchmen could be talking about how great the sex was when they were together and how much they want to get back in her pants.  This suspicious leads him to dig deeper into her past. And when you did deeper, you find things you probably shouldn’t. Even if it’s really innocent, your mind makes it not so. This all leads up to a brutally honest discussion about their relationship and where they stand. As with the Before Sunrise/Sunset films, it ends with a lot of ambiguity. Which is great because they could reconcile and be stronger then ever…for 3 days until life happens and these 2 people go their separate ways.  Or they could break up and then run into each a year later and fall back madly in love. These two characters, especially Marion, acknowledge that that’s how life works and they’re OK with it. That honestly is what makes this movie so great.

 

8/10

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– Just a few days ago I heard that she is going to make a sequel called 2 Days in New York with Chis Rock. Now I see that it came out last year. I need to do some research to see if i can find it somewhere.

-“I’m not a fucking human dildo?” “You’re not?”

– Julie Deply not only acted in and directed this, but she also co-produced, edited, created the score,  and sang a song. I love her.

-Jack sending the Bush/Cheney crusaders into the ghetto via intentionally bad directions and then running into them the next day, after they had apparently been attacked and spray painted, was definitely an LOL moment.

-Next to watch is….28 Days Later. Zombie time!

#01 (500) Days of Summer

(500) Days of Summer

 

(500) Days of Summer is a mesmerizing original film about a boy in love. It’s not so much a film about a couple, but about a half a relationship. One side of that relationship desires every cliche seen in every romantic comedy while the other desires, seemingly nothing. We never quite understand what she wanted or needed from this so called relationship, but that’s the point. When you’re young and in love, many times it’s with someone who doesn’t reciprocate those feelings. You never get to understand where the other person is coming from when you’re so blinded by love. You miss the obvious signs, because even if one day the person tells you they clearly don’t want a relationship, they can accidentally graze your hand the next day and you’ll think it means something. Maybe they changed their mind or maybe even there’s still hope.

This is a movie about hope. We see it with their first interaction in the elevator. Tom has already convinced himself that Summer, the new girl at the office, is not for him. He had to convince himself one way or another (either she’s out of his league or even a giant slut) that it wouldn’t work out between them. Until she heard him listen to her favorite band,  The Smiths, there was no way to know this girl he’d see everyday at work could be perfect for him. That happens in love. You realize you have a connection so you use that as a hook to reel in what could be. It makes you literally crazy. Especially when the relationship fails, because how could it fail?? Everything was perfect and we had everything in common.

We know from the beginning of the movie that this won’t have a happy ending. We see him trying, unsuccessfully, to get over Summer with the help of his two best friends and his extremely wiser little sister. (Who I was surprised to realize is one of my new favorite actresses, Chloe Grace Moretz, who can be seen in last years best film Hugo and the most recent 30 Rock) But even though we know it’s going to end bad, we as a viewer, still have hope. It’s literally that feeling of watching a movie for the second time and hoping the ending changes and maybe Jack will try one more time to get on that damn floating door so he and Rose can live happily ever after. We desperately want Tom to be happy because we all were Tom at one point.

What I also love about this movie is that it takes the cliches of most romantic comedies and makes them smart. The Hall and Oats dance sequence could have happened in a Katherine Heigl movie but the viewer would have just rolled their eyes. It works here because at that moment the viewer was ready to jump up and sing along. As I said before, the viewer is Tom. So when Tom gets up in front of his colleagues and bashes love, we understand because while we may not have the guts to jeopardize our jobs like that, we certainly want to.

The scene that splits between expectation and reality is a kicker because just about everyone can relate to it. It’s not kind of like a feeling you know, it’s EXACTLY like it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt really carries the movie with his glances and reactions. I may be bias considering I would watch him stare a wall for 2 hours, but he is absolutely perfect in the role. You need someone extremely likeable and slightly goofy because the character of Tom is supposed to be us. The viewer is supposed to jump in his shoes and  fall in and out of love. And of course we all would like to consider ourselves to be extremely likable.

I began re-watching this movie while casually cleaning my room, but 10 minutes into it I found myself sitting in front of the computer with a disaster of a room behind me, because I was so immersed in the giddy feeling of a new relationship and new possibilities.

This movie has a perfect ending too because after these past 500 days it would be so frustrating to not find happiness. Once again, we’re left with new possibilities but since the story ends there, we can pretend things end a little different. This time reality ends and our expectations can continue.

9/10

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-This is the movie that got me, and surely many other people, into The Temper Trap. Sweet Disposition is absolutely the most perfect song for this movie.

-Community shout out Yvette Nicole Brown with her one scene as the new secretary. (NBC 8pm Thursday nights. Watch Community!)

-How freaking adorable was Joseph Gordon-Levitt during his dance sequence?? How could that not put a smile on your face???

-I really didn’t talk about Zooey Deschanel during the review, but while I’m kind of over her dorky cute girl routine, I have to say she was cast perfectly.

-I was a little late getting to this movie. I got sick, went on a vacation and the rest of the time I was lazy. But my next movie on deck to watch is 2 Days in Paris.

 

 

TheDVDCollection

Hello fellow moviephiles,

I am a lover of the cinema and an obsessive compulsive DVD buyer. Before all the Blockbusters started disappearing you could find me there about twice a month looking through the used 4/$20 bins to see what movies I needed to add to my collection. I don’t buy as many movies as I used to (mostly because I’m trying to watch my budget, but also because I’m running out of room to store them). I have about 400 DVDs plus many of my favorite TV shows on DVD.  I have come to realize that there is a good chance I’ll never get to re-watch some of these movies before I die, so I have decided to watch and review my collection from A-Z. This could take a while, but somehow knowing that I’ll get to see a lot of these movies that I’ve let get dusty over the past few years gives me comfort.

The 2012 Oscars are in a little over a week so I am trying to finish watching at least the 9 best picture nominees. I used to be a lot better at that, but I barely make it to the movie theater anymore and I don’t have a netflix account so I do the best I can. So far I’ve seen The Descendants, Midnight in Paris, War Horse,  and The Artist. I plan on watching Hugo and Moneyball tomorrow. I used to be able to watch every single movie nominated, but the past few years I’ve barely been able to knock out the best pictures. I have to say I kinda miss those days. I miss getting ready to watch the Oscars with my Entertainment Weekly Oscar ballot sheet with me to see how many predictions I got right. I miss the passion I had a few years ago.  Maybe I’m mad that each year there seem to be omissions that I can’t wrap my head around (Midnight in Paris is the only movie in my personal top 10 that made this years Oscar ballot) and winners that shouldn’t have been nominated in the first place. *cough*Crash*Cough* But whatever it is, I just miss enjoying movies the way I used to. And if I’m ever going to use my college degree, I need to get back into the habit just like Sister Mary Clarence.

Yes, I’ve become a little pretentious in my movie choices; five years ago I might have seen the newest Transformers movie, but now I realize that life is too short to spend 2 hours watching a Michael Bay creation. But I still love my fun, cheesy, popcorn flicks. Hopefully from my posts you’ll get to rejoice in the fact that someone else loves that random movie you quote everyday or maybe you’ll decide to watch something that you never would have given a chance before.

But anyway, maybe you’ll see me again next week after the Oscars. Once they are over I plan on starting with the first movie on my list. (500) Days of Summer. I believe that is a perfect movie to start off on because it’s got a little bit of everything I like in a movie: laughter, drama, random dance sequences and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.