April 8th, 2006
ElizabethtownClaire Colburn: Sadness is easier because it's surrender. I say make time to dance alone with one hand waving free.

Top 5 Movie: Crushes.

April 5th, 2006

1. Reese Witherspoon in Fear

2. Kate Hudson in Almost Famous

3. Elizabeth Shue in The Saint

4. Kiera Knightley in Love Actually

5. Rachael Leigh Cook in She's All That

(Honorable Mention: Larisa Oleynik in 10 Things I Hate About You)

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Thumbsucker

April 4th, 2006

Link: http://imdb.com/title/tt0318761/

ThumbsuckerJustin Cobb (Lou Pucci) is a high school senior from a rather...unusual family. He refers to both of his parents (Vincent D'Onofrio and Tilda Swinton) by their first names since calling them "mom" and "dad" makes them feel old. His dad lives each day as if it should not happen. He is the manager of a sporting goods store, which is a far cry from the professional football player apparently everyone expected him to be, before the injury. His mother is a nurse with a not-so-secret and maybe not-so-innocent crush on a television star.

As a senior in high school, Justin was looking at college. His parents suggested local state schools. The explanation was that he may as well have stayed close to home since he would not have many options to go far because his grades would not have raised any eyebrows with admissions departments. Very matter-of-factly they pointed out that he just lacked the things that students need to get into the colleges worth attending.

Justin was socially awkward and had even less interaction with peers than he did with his parents. Issues with his parents and with school, primarily in Mr. Geary's (Vince Vaughn) debate club, kept Justin rattled. He coped...by sucking his thumb.

Justin had a very unique support group. His younger brother Joel was his conscience and his orthodontist (Keanu Reeves) was his spiritual and philosophical mentor. They helped kept things in perspective.

To relieve the anxiety that led to his unfocused approach to school, a counselor suggested medication. A.D.H.D. was the explanation given to Justin's parents. His pills and the hypnosis administered by his orthodontist served as the one-two punch to break his dependency on sucking his thumb.

Aside from his orthodontist, no one ever really wanted to help Justin. He was the natural scapegoat for the problems that faced his family. His father's life had turned out entirely differently than was planned. He chose to ignore that fact rather than deal with it, though he used Justin as his aggressive release, though it was verbal and emotional and never physical. He channeled his self pity into disappointment in his older son.

Justin's mother had a similar attitude. Though she claimed she fell in love with Justin's father when he suffered the knee injury, there appears to be a rather ironic lingering-resentment. Any pent-up hostility she has about how her life did not turn out anything like her fantasies of being with a big-shot became impatience towards her older son.

Justin's younger brother, Joel, viewed him as a loser. He pointed out Justin's social short-comings throughout the movie. His frustration was not known until the end when he had to tell Justin how hard it was to be the normal one since Justin had monopolized being different.

Towards the end of the movie, they almost became a real family. While on the medication, Justin became a very successful debater. For the first time in his life, Justin's parents were proud of him. They were able to ignore the pangs of personal regret and accept that their son had talent. Vicariously through him, they were able to forget their own failures. Though it is in short supply, he gave them hope. They focused their issues on him, but later it was in a more positive fashion.

A parent should arguably never be more supportive than when a child strives to meet a personal goal. Justin wanted to go to college out of state, though as mentioned above he was never encouraged to try. When it becomes clear that, even if it is without his family's blessing, Justin was leaving, his family pushed back. His dad said that he was just getting used to his son and his mom accused him of flying the coop, alleging he would never come back. Their motives were selfish ones, for with Justin out of the house, their own problems could not be ignored. What he really needed was to get away. Leaving the house, the town, the state could do nothing but good for him.

No one performance stuck out above the rest, though everyone did a decent job. The movie was relatively thought provoking, which is a plus.

I liked Thumbsucker. I liked how Justin was able, through trial and error (with emphasis on error), to realize how to be himself. He began to see how he was like his dad by never being open with the things that bothered him. And how he was like his mother by desiring a life outside his own family. He knew that while taking his pills, it was a glimpse of who he could be, but not who he was. He even tried recreational drugs before seeing that his way out was not through drugs, but rather on an airplane.

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Bongwater

April 3rd, 2006

Link: http://imdb.com/title/tt0125678/

BongwaterLuke Wilson is David, your ordinary, run-of-the-mill pot dealer from Portland, Oregon. He coasts through life by rarely, if ever, leaving his house, save the occasional "business trip" into the back woods to see his supplier and re-stock his inventory. He leads a very mundane existence, until Serena.

Serena (Alicia Witt) is a fiery red-head who can never seem to get her life in order, though she tears through the lives of others like a tornado on a warm Midwestern day.

Thanks to Serena, David's house burns down and he finds himself out of luck with love. The movie also features Andy Dick, Scott Caan, Jamie Kennedy, Brittany Murphy, Jeremy Sisto...and Jack Black.

I will forever remain skeptical of the question, "How bad could a movie be that has Luke Wilson and Jack Black?" The answer, if you are curious, is "Really bad."

I have made the sacrifice and watched this movie and can now warn you to stay away from it. I apologize if you beat me to it; in the event you have already wasted time watching Bongwater, there is nothing I can do.

This is not mainstream film, and should not be viewed as such. It is much more accurately described as a B-movie. From the blatant nudity of the opening credits; through the twisted drug use and the violent (though brief...like that is any consolation) rape scene; to the aliens; the movie was very bizarre.

There is a silver lining in that I now have a renewed motivation to write a screenplay. I am confident that if Bongwater can raise funds, I will be able to do the same.

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April 1st, 2006
Ferris Bueller's Day OffFerris: Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

March 27th, 2006

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

From the main screen move the cursor right to "Starz on the Set" and then move the cursor up. The arrow will appear in an empty part of the boat pointing upwards. Press enter to watch a continuous video of takes while they try to create a scene in which Bill Murray tries out a new pair of shoes. It is hard to explain, but they have him keep jumping and running and dancing around as his character, Steve Zissou, might do to test the merit of such a pair of shoes. Ok so I can't explain what it is, but I can say that it is hilarious.

Top 5 Movies: Starring Jim Carrey

March 23rd, 2006

Movie of the Month - April, 2006

March 20th, 2006

Whale Rider

Whale RiderA small Maori village faces a crisis when the heir to the leadership of the Ngati Konohi dies at birth and is survived only by his twin sister, Pai. Although disregarded by her grandfather and shunned by the village people, twelve-year-old Pai remains certain of her calling and trains herself in the ways and customs of her people. With remarkable grace, Pai finds the strength to challenge her family and embraces a thousand years of tradition in order to fulfill her destiny.

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Top 5 Movies: About War

March 14th, 2006

What's Eating Gilbert Grape

March 9th, 2006

Link: http://imdb.com/title/tt0108550/

What\'s Eating Gilbert GrapeWith Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Juliette Lewis and Mary Steenburgen. Gilbert Grape is a young man in a small Iowa town who must oversee his mentally disabled brother and seriously obese mother. When he meets a girl passing through town, he realizes that a normal life could be his.

Gilbert had a difficult time just getting by on a daily basis; things were never easy for him. His father was gone so he was left as man of the house. He had two sisters who did a fair share with the responsibilities around the house and in caring for their mother, but their mentally-disabled-brother Arnie was mainly in Gilbert's charge. The doctors said he would not live past 10, but the story picks up as Arnie neared his 18th birthday. Various distractions made Gilbert's life more tolerable, though after he meets Becky (Juliette Lewis) his life took on new focus.

Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Arnie Grape. When the movie came out in 1993, Leo's competition for the accolade was Ralph Fiennes (Schindler's List), Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive), John Malkovich (In the Line of Fire), and Pete Postlethwaite (In the Name of the Father). That is pretty stiff competition for a 19-year-old DiCaprio, though I thought he was fantastic in his role.

I liked this movie. There was nothing in particular that stood out about it aside from the performance by Leonardo. I try not to let movies like Titanic taint my opinion of him and focus more on other roles like The Beach and Gangs of New York, two movies that were not fantastic in my opinion, but he was good in them.

I was even slightly touched by the devotion Gilbert Grape (Depp) showed towards his family and enjoyed the way he and his siblings came together under the circumstances at the end of the movie.

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