Movie of the Month - July, 2009

June 23rd, 2009

Rachel Getting Married

Rachel Getting MarriedWhen Kym (Anne Hathaway - Golden Globe Nominee, Best Actress, Motion Picture (Drama)), returns to the Buchman family home for the wedding of her sister Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt), she brings a long history of personal crises, family conflict and tragedy along with her. The wedding couple's abundant party of friends and relations have gathered for a joyful weekend of feasting, music and love, but Kym - with her biting one-liners and flair for bombshell drama - is a catalyst for long-simmering tensions in the family dynamic. Filled with the rich and eclectic characters that remain a hallmark of Jonathan Demme's films, Rachel Getting Married paints a heartfelt, perceptive and sometimes hilarious family portrait.

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June 22nd, 2009
The United States of LelandLeland: You want a why. Well, maybe there isn't one. Maybe... Maybe this is just something that happened.

Movie of the Month - June, 2009

May 22nd, 2009

The Five Obstructions

The Five ObstructionsLars von Trier (Dancer in the Dark, Dogville) now enters the world of documentary filmmaking alongside his idol, Danish filmmaker Jørgen Leth. In 1967, Leth made a 12 minute feature called The Perfect Human. Now, 35 years later, von Trier challenges Jørgen Leth to remake his film five times, each time with a new obstruction to force Leth to rethink the story and characters of the original film. Playing the naïve anthropologist, Leth rises to the challenge set forth by von Trier in a game full of traps and vicious turns and a surprising outcome.

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May 21st, 2009
The PrestigeCutter: Now you're looking for the secret. But you won’t find it because of course...you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled.

Hamlet 2

May 7th, 2009

Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1104733/

Hamlet 2One high school drama teacher is about to make a huge number 2 in this wildly irreverent and completely outrageous movie from the producers of Little Miss Sunshine. When his school's theater department is threatened to be cut, failed actor-turned-high-school-drama-teacher Dana Marschz writes a play that he hopes will solve everything: a sequel to Shakespeare's Hamlet. Now, staging one of the most politically incorrect musical-theater extravaganzas ever seen, Dana and his class will put it all on the line for one controversial, conflicted night of hilarity.

Steve Coogan is Dana Marschz, a former actor who freely admits that the only thing that kept him from fame and fortune was his complete lack of talent. Yet his passion for theater burns on. He attempts to share his passion by teaching drama at a high school in Tucson, Arizona. When he learns that the school is cutting the theater department, Marschz decides that his first original opus is the only way to save his job. Hamlet 2 is born from this epiphany -- a story of hope, second chances, forgiveness, a time machine and a sexy Jesus.

There was a lot written about how funny this movie was when it was released. The whole movie, and Steve Coogan separately, were reportedly little-known comedic gems of the year. I thought there were some very funny moments, but the level of humor this movie is billed to contain is misleading. Marschz's life becomes a series of disappointments that lead up to a big, controversial finish. There are a few one-liners along the way that add will make you laugh, but this is not a movie that will make your sides hurt from continuous laughter.

Steve Coogan has a very "Monty Python" demeanor; he has the slapstick, physical-comedy, tragic-hero, Eric Idle approach. If ever anyone could recreate Eric Idle's cameo in National Lampoon's European Vacation, Coogan is the guy. To conceal the true controversial nature of Hamlet 2, very few details of the musical are divulged as the movie moves along. For me, this meant that the story was a little weak, but I can see how the impact of the big finish would have been lost had more been shared over time. But with so little material, Coogan was just ok. There are more laughs from situations in which he has no pants on then from much of his dialogue. I do not know much about him, but I feel that he was wasted in most of this movie. But he truly shined in his non-speaking moments, especially during the musical at the end. But then again, maybe that is where his talent lies...

Anyone remember Catherine Keener? Four years ago she was probably one of the most promising actresses (after earning an Oscar nomination for her role in Capote) and here she is as Mrs. Marschz in a bizarre comedy about a high school drama department. Now you understand my bias when I say that she was a fish out of water here.

As a story about troubled high school students who become inspired by an unlikely, but passionate teacher, Hamlet 2 is cliché and falls apart. Without the actual production of the Hamlet 2 musical within the movie of the same name there is really nothing worth seeing here. But give me a spinoff movie of Amy Poehler's foul-mouthed, ACLU-attorney character and I might even see it in the theater.

Save your time. For a better version of this movie, The Family Guy did an episode where Peter produces his vision for The King and I ("The King is Dead", Season 2, Episode 7). It's funnier and significantly shorter than Hamlet 2.

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May 4th, 2009
Nick and Norah's Infinite PlaylistNorah: Are you sad that we missed it?
Nick: We didn't miss it. This is it.

Movie of the Month - May, 2009

April 20th, 2009

The Quiet American

The Quiet AmericanThe acclaimed performances of two-time Academy Award winner Michael Caine (Best Supporting Actor: The Cider House Rules, 1999; Hannah and Her Sisters, 1986) and Brendan Fraser (The Mummy, Gods and Monsters) power a stylish political thriller where love and war collide in Southeast Asia! Set in early 1950s Vietnam -- a young American (Fraser) becomes entangled in a dangerous love triangle when he falls for the beautiful mistress of a British journalist (Caine). As war is waged around them, these three only sink deeper into a world of drugs, passion and betrayal where nothing is as it seems! Based on the classic novel by Graham Greene -- you'll find yourself riveted by the fascinating intricacies of ever-developing intrigue of this outstanding motion picture!

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April 13th, 2009
SmokeAuggie Wren: If you can't share your secrets with your friends then what kind of friend are you?
Paul Benjamin: Exactly... life just wouldn't be worth living.

Top 5 Movies: Starring Clive Owen

April 1st, 2009

March 31st, 2009
DoubtFather Flynn: Where is your compassion?
Sister Aloysius: Nowhere you can get at it.