Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Celluloid #117

In Theaters

Bridesmaids (2011) Feig - Annie is perhaps less than thrilled when her best friend Lillian gets engaged. She's even less thrilled when she detects competition from a newer, richer, prettier (?) friend for Maid of Honor. Annie is already bummed out about her life. Her business went bust in the recession, her romantic life consists of a douchey, but handsome Jon Hamm as a callous fuckbuddy, and her two lame British roommates. The oneupmanship of the toast is hilarious, as is the face-off with a young female customer. I could have done without the scatological scene (and the sex scene involving food), but in general a funny and accurate portrayal of the nature o some female friendships. 4/5 [good]

Meek's Cutoff (2011) Reichardt - A feminist Oregon Trail story. A group of pioneers are trying to make it to the Willamette Valley by using a guide that has obviously, but accidentally gotten the group lost. Along the way, they also capture an Indian whom they hope can be a better guide. Michelle Williams is such a badass in this film, even set in an era where the women are forced to listen and never have final say in any decision. Eastern Oregon is both beautiful and really scary - a perfect background for a tense and quiet story. 5/5 [really great]

In Home

Airheads (1994) Lehmann - A goofy film about three metalheads (Brendan Fraser, Adam Sandler, and Steve Buscemi in strangely his most attractive role) who just want their demo played on the local radio station. When normal channels don't work, they end up taking the station hostage with realistic-looking water guns. During their coup, they manage to develop a following of fellow impassioned rockers. The film also includes lots of weird racial statements - I guess still reeling from the Rodney King incident. 3/5 [medium]

the Best Years of Our Lives (1946) Wyler - A bit too beloved of a film about three recent veterans of WW2. One man returns to his family, but struggles to return to his job at the bank that isn't always generous towards fellow veterans. Another captain comes home to his wife only to find that she is a moneygrubber and doesn't love him. - especially when he can't find a decent job. The last soldier was a Navy man who lost both of his hands in combat. His family struggles to treat him the same, but his girl still wants to marry him. Just a bit too sappy and normal for my taste. 3.5/5 [decent]

Don't Look Now (1973) Roeg - A quirky gothic tale about a couple who goes to Venice to cope with their grief over their recently drowned daughter. While in Venice they meet fellow British tourists, one of which is a blind clairvoyant. Even though the seer tells the couple that their daughter is happy where she is, they both become obsessed with contacting her spirit and they keep seeing her image around town. Getting involved with Satanic forces never proves beneficial, and the catastrophes of this film don't make the most sense. However, it's a Roeg film, so that shouldn't be the biggest shock. 3.5/5 [decent]

Easy A (2010) Gluck - Olive accidentally starts an untrue rumor about herself that she slept with some guy from community college. Initially outraged by the accusations, she finds that she actually likes the attention. She then agrees to do a favor for a gay classmate in the form of making people believe that they hooked up, so that he could stop being harassed everyday. Other nerds get in on this arrangement. Meanwhile, Olive's class is reading the Scarlet Letter - obvious parallels with her own life. The film also tries to incorporate some reflection on 1980s teen movies, most specifically John Hughes' films, but it doesn't go far enough or really do anything with this mild analysis. Mostly this film is just too annoying for the amount of voiceover and direct talking to the camera. Plus, the dialogue is just bad. 2/5 [bad]

Teorema (1968) Pasolini - A young man ends up staying with a family for unknown reasons. One by one, he sleeps with or has sexual encounters with all of them. The seem to be possessed by his dick. Once he leaves, each individual suffers. They stop eating or won't get out of bed. The son becomes crazy trying to create art. The parents each seek out random johns. His presence seems to have woken them up momentarily from the pointlessness of their existence, and his departure leaves them worse off than they were originally. 4/5 [good]

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