# 30 – The Soloist

My latest addition to my original DVD-movie collection was The Soloist. I watched it with some friends and a lovely wine bottle but I think I can still give a good overview of the movie.

It was another movie based on real life where this journalist finds a homeless man who can play the violin (but his instrument of choice is the cello). The whole story revolves around this unlikely friendship, music and the fact that there are 90,000 homeless people in LA.

In my opinion there weren’t enough of each story line, I think that I needed something to stand out more to make the movie more powerful. But the performances of both Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Fox were amazing. I like them both and I think that they can’t do wrong in my book.

But as a serious movie it wasn’t the best I’ve seen and I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars cause I really think they could’ve done better with emphasizeing one specific part of the movie more. I’d for once would’ve liked the music to stand out more and to show the friendship being connected to the music. The backstory was in its right place (the homeless issue in LA) and it brought the whole story together quite nicely.

# 29 – I Love You Phillip Morris

This was the last comedy of my comedy-marathon and how glad was I that I watched this the last. This one saved comedy for me, in my opinion and not because Jim Carrey is funny but because the STORY was funny! And the fact that it was based on real life made it even more funnier and unbelievably surprising.

I had already read wiki’s short bio on Steven Jay Russell so I knew something but I had forgot about the ending and that ladies and gentlemen was the surprising ending I have been talking about! I’m not gonna ruin it for you cause this is the only comedy out of 4 I recommend and I don’t want to give away much so I’ll just give a short summary of the movie.

It’s about this conman Steven Russell who gets into an accident and decides to come out of the closet: “I’m gay – gay,gay, gay, gay, gay!” he says and leaves his wife and kids to live the big shiny gay life! The story is interesting since the storyline is a little messed up and they don’t give everything away at first, so that is why I kind of liked it – it wasn’t predictable. And don’t even get me started on Jim Carreys performance because this was probably his best performance in years – thanks to the character (thanks to the real conman Steven Russel!). And who is Phillip Morris, why he is the sweet blond played by Ewan McGregor who Steven falls for.

I recommend to watch the movie and not read the wiki summary of  Steven Russells life cause this would give away so much about the movie (since I read it a while back I dind’t remember it, but if you do it before watching the movie you’re gonna ruin it for you): cause I give it 4,5 stars out of 5 and you should see that movie… real-life seems much more interesting and funnier after that.

# 28 – Hot Tub Time Machine

Another long title for a very slow movie. I don’t know what I didn’t like about it, was it the storyline in general or the characters individually.  I liked Clark Duke though, I think he was the one holding the group together since he seemed to have the most clearest mind of them all – young and smart!

So the main story begins (not the film) with them traveling back in time with a hot tub (that makes sense already!) thanks to this Russian energy-drink (I say, huh?). So they are all in their teens (to others) but we see them as old men getting beat up and getting it on with young teenagers – disturbing? Not really since the teenagers look like they are getting close to being 30 or something. And that is the weird part, all the guys have a younger version of themselves in the past, but the ladies who appear in the future (and in the past as well) are the same women. How come men get a younger version of themselves but women stay the same? And then they changed the future! What a delight for the old guys..

I have to admit that there were some good jokes: for instance “This didn’t happen in the past, this didn’t happen! What if we made Hitler the president or something!?” (What makes this joke interesting is the fact that it was supposed to be 86 and Hitler died like 41  years before that..) And to think of it, most of the good lines were said by Duke’s character. But to be honest, I don’t care about the movie much. It was a solid comedy with its 2,5 stars out of 5 where the storyline was a disappointment: probably because of the time traveling thing and the fact that they sang “Let’s get it started!” in 86.. and Google became Lougel.

# 27 – She’s Out of My League

Jay Baruchel is having a big year – How to Train Your Dragon and soon to be released The Sorcerer’s Apprentice addition to She’s Out of My League are bringing this geeky guy into the spot light.  I don’t know about The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (except the difficult spelling of the title for me) but How to Train Your Dragon was wonderful and She’s Out of My League wasn’t as bad as I thought. (Doesn’t it seem that the names of the movies are getting longer and longer?)

Any how, after watching Kick Ass, She’s Out of My League seemed quite a good comedy with its awkward jokes and moments. I have to admit, I laughed at times but I wasn’t surprised of the outcome of the movie. It seems that it’s harder and harder to make a movie which ending isn’t clear at the beginning (The Ghost Writer had that actually!).And in addition I think that the comedy is so hard to write to appeal to the more sophisticated crowd – I for one have had enough of the silly penis jokes and premature ejaculations. I mean, how many times can that be funny?

Jay’s characters mom was that mom from That 70’s Show and I was so thrilled when I first saw her and that was about it. I think my expectations of her character were bigger and that disappointed me a little. The storyline itself was quite common: guy meets girl, guy falls in love with girl, then messes it up, then they get back together, then brake-up and in the end make out! And then there are the crazy friends who are very good at giving advice (at least they themselves think that) and helping out with the laughs. What actually made me like the movie, was the fact that the main girl character was treated well. She had some punch lines too and she didn’t fall or embarrass herself in any way, so that was good – we don’t need another Good Luck Chuck moment or There’s Something About Mary…

So all of that considered, I’d give the comedy 3 stars out of 5 – and I think it has something to do with the “I think I have already seen that” efect that the it had, that a lot of comedies have francly.

# 26 – Kick Ass

I had some spare time in my not so busy life to watch some of the newest movies. Kick Ass was the first comedy that I watched cause somebody suggested it to me. Well, the suggestion was valid but the movie was not my 5 star action-comedy-superhero movie I prefer. (I still think Spiderman is the best, or maybe it’s my (L) for James Franco.)

It was all good and I even thought, there it is, a great movie! But then, Hitgirl appeared and the magical superhero powers that were supposed to be human.. (well not magic but she was 11!) and it all went down hill from there. I’m trying to remember my favorite part in the movie, but since I have watched so many new movies in these couple of days, I can’t even remember Kick Ass.

I think the movie could’ve used a better script, the idea of a normal human superhero is actually cool and can be awesome. A 11 year old being pushed to kill people by his father (Nicolas Cage, I’m sorry, I don’t really like you anymore) who is dressed like a bad version of a batman.. was bad. Big Daddy? Seriously.. I wouldn’t let my daughter call her father Big Daddy.. that just sounds wrong in so many ways.

And the main character, Kick Ass.. he had some cool friends and I liked them more than the main characters, cause they weren’t over written. So basically I give it 2 stars for the story and 0,5 stars for an effort.. But judding it is hard, because I watched some other comedies this week and they all seemed better than this but not good enough, so Kick Ass lost some stars because of She’s Out of My League, Hot Tub Time Machine and I Love You Phillip Morris  (writing something about them later this evening or tomorrow.)

And now I’m actually re-watshing Spiderman’s first movie because Kick Ass left me wanting some real superhero to kick some real bad-ass ass! Stay tuned !

# 25 – Forrest Gump

You don’t know jet, but I love Forrest Gump! I’ve seen the movie probably about 6 or 7 times and I just finished watching it again – still good, still emotional, still close to my heart, even after all these years.

I love how the story comes together, all those things that really happened all because of this guy, who has a southern accent and an IQ of 75. All those lines that have been with me all those years, for example “My momma always said, life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you gonna get!” just came rushing back when I started watching the movie. I remembered how emotional it was, when Forrest asked Jenny if little Forrest was smart or like him – just broke my heart. And the movie is wise, because it shows that no matter what, you can always become something great, even if the rest of the world tells you that you are stupid!

My friend told me that she hates Jenny, and watching the movie from that point of view made me hate her too, a little. She was good for Forrest, she didn’t treat him bad but she made a lot of mistakes in her own life that kind of led her to hurt Forrest. Luckily he didn’t understand it, the pain and heartbreak, he just had such a big heart.

Tom Hanks, who is in my heart for many roles in movies that I call classics, deserved that Oscar. And Gary, he was a true friend. Only thing is, how the hell did they filmed him without the legs? A question that has hovered over my head for so many times. Were they able to do that with computer back in 1994? watching Buffys visual effects in that time made me think that it wasn’t possible because it seems so true and life-like, that considering that Gary cut off his legs for that role makes more sense than computers.

Hanks got an AFI lifetime award in 2002 and I truly believe he was forth it and I secretly like to think that that was mostly because he is Forrest Gump – this amazing guy who saw more of the wolrd (and met more presidents) than others will ever see.

# 15 – Avatar vs The Hurt Locker

First of all I’d like to apologize for my absence these past few days, since it is the end of my second year in university I have a lot of studying to do, writing to be exact. And keeping up with the writing in a blog just doesn’t seem as fun when you have loads of other stuff to write for credit. But that doesn’t mean I don’t watch movies – Avatar was this weeks pick.

I had already seen it, before I saw The Hurt Locker and now after I saw Avatar for the second time I just don’t get it. I just simply find it so hard to believe that Avatar didn’t get the almighty Oscar. Okay, I get that the waris important and Bigelow can make a wicked action scene but Avatar – it was art! Even IMDb agrees with me by giving The Hurt Locker 7,9 (with 72,592 votes in) while Avatar is surfing on a 8,4 (with 233,017 votes!). So I’m thinking it’s politics, like everything nowadays seems to be – in 82 years first woman to win an Oscar for best movie! while her ex-husband was also nominated in the same category. Or maybe I’m just one of those people who likes blue things running around in a imaginary world with moss which glows when you step on it and the Academy Awards didn’t find it worthy of being called the best.

I thought it was because I found The Hurt Locker to be bit boring for my taste. Off course I liked the whole vibe (desert, heat) of it and the ending was realistic (soldiers will always be soldiers)  but there was something off. Was it the constant ignorance towards commands and not obeying the rules that made it look stupid, I’ll never know because I will not watch it again nor will I ever go to war. But honestly, will 3 soldiers go into the dark to look for terrorist just because one crazy guy thinks it is okay and not tell anyone they’re going? Well, sure.. that makes total sence.  I found this quote that proves my point:

“The movie-goer in me thought it was an entertaining movie, the Soldier in me was disappointed by inaccuracies and the inaccurate portrayal,”

said Lt. Col. Gregory Bishop, Army Public Affairs-West film liaison officer.

So I guess I was watching it from a soldiers point of view (even though I am not) and was not even entertained because I was so disappointed at its non-realistic situations. Which is funny because while watching Avatar the non-realistic part was exactly what I was concentrating.

While The Hurt Locker was directed at realism, Avatar was a master piece of fiction – a world known as Pandora! I read that Avatar as an idea became to Cameron in 1994 but he had to wait for the technology to catch up with his fantasy. A good idea from a man who already has brought us Alien, Terminator, Titanic and now Avatar. Sure there was some mocking at the script (where somebody pointed out that it was just like Pocahontas) but I still think that the story wasn’t even the most important thing – Pandora was the main character and it played its part well. Thanks to the computer arts team that according to Wikipedia had about 900 people working on it at one point we got to see a world that Cameron had imagined 16 years ago in his mind – while people try to destroy it off course because that’s what we do.

But then comes Jake, a former marine who has to replace his dead twin brothers’ place as an avatar. There is love, there is betrayal, there is victory – a long story short, Jake is a hero and Avatar is about becoming a hero. Yes, it is simple, it is predictable but it is still thrilling and I should know, I’ve seen it twice and I have a sudden urge (while I write this post) to watch it again and isn’t that a good thing? If I think about it, all the movies I want to see again and again have simple plots, not something very serious just entertainingly interesting. So I guess that is the reason behind its massive popularity and the fact that Cameron is planning to make two sequels. (I don’t know what to think about it but when dead people start to return, I might think it is a little lame.) So, will Cameron get an Oscar for Avatar Two or Avatar Three, who knows, but as a movie blogger I know that sequels can go horribly wrong or happily right in the money hole.

# 11 – The Back-up Plan

So last night I forced myself in front of the computer to watch The Back-up Plan, which is probably supposed to be a come-back to Jennifer Lopez – well, how did that actually turn out?

This is the first movie Kate Angelo has written (I secretly hope, the last) and for Alan Poul, the director, it was the first big-screen movie – so a lot of first for people who are the backbone of the movie. And this actually might be the reason why I didn’t like this movie. I was bored most of the time, and I actually checked my mail, my Facebook and chatted with friends in messenger – a very bad thing while I’m watching a movie. A movie that was about a beautiful and a successful woman who has to use a sperm-bank to get pregnant, then she meets a man, tells him she’s pregnant, he stays, they brake-up, they get together, get engaged and then they leave us with a shocking end – she might be pregnant again (she had twins before they got engaged). What has happened to the classical romantic comedies where boy meets girl and they fall in love? Like I Got Mail or While You Were Sleeping.. I even think Knocked Up is better than The Back-up Plan because it makes more sense. What man will stay with a woman who he knows for 2 weeks (or something, the time moved crazy weird in this movie) who is pregnant with twins from a cup? And the back stories of the characters – a cheese maker who drives a tractor at home, single mom group where a 4 year old is still breast-fed? Sure, that might work but give me a brake!

So sure, I laughed, but because it was so ridiculous that I just had to laugh or else I would have cried or something. But I guess romantic comedies need new plots because the normal romance story is just not exciting enough – sperm-banks are popular (new Jennifer Anistons’ movie The Switch is also about a woman who uses the cup – I wonder how that turns out), a couple being chased by bad guys (Did You Hear About the Morgans? and Date Night) and so on. So I guess I want to say that I miss the classic romantic comedies which don’t have the inapproriate humor and unreal plots. Oh, the good old days… ain’t I a romantic.

# 10 – 3D

I started reading this article that Roger Ebert wrote about 3D movies and how he doesn’t like them. I totally agree with him, not because of him, I actually have thought about the popularity of 3D a lot lately – how it is more like a new way for cinemas to earn money and attract people to the movies. I know from my own experience that I get headaches while watching 3D – I mentioned that I watched Alice in Wonderland in March (it was 3D). Maybe the reason why I didn’t like the movie as much as I like other Burton’s movies – the headache and the uncomfortable glasses which I had to wear with my own glasses – it was unpleasant.

I don’t really care for 3D and it bugs me that I don’t really have a choice, all the movies that are in 3D are in 3D only – so I guess I wouldn’t be as mad if I could still go to the movies and watch 2D if I want to. So I wasn’t surprised of Roger Eberts concerns, he has been around for a while and a fan of the classics – as am I. So what, that I am young and used to the era of computers and technology – I still love to watch movies that are 2D.

And if you want to read an article by a well respected man in Hollywood  who has addressed the same dislike I have, go ahead:

3-D is a waste of a perfectly good dimension. Hollywood’s current crazy stampede toward it is suicidal. It adds nothing essential to the moviegoing experience. For some, it is an annoying distraction. For others, it creates nausea and headaches. It is driven largely to sell expensive projection equipment and add a $5 to $7.50 surcharge on already expensive movie tickets. Its image is noticeably darker than standard 2-D. It is unsuitable for grown-up films of any seriousness. It limits the freedom of directors to make films as they choose. For moviegoers in the PG-13 and R ranges, it only rarely provides an experience worth paying a premium for.

Read more: http://www.newsweek.com/id/237110

# 6

As a movie fan I feel like it is my oblication to go to the movies and I have to admit, I’ve done a pretty good job this year – I know cause I have saved all my tickets just so I can keep count.

January was slow, I went to watch The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus – Heath Ledger’s last movie which I watched with  respect in my heart. I liked how it was so smooth as a story line and how the fact that Heath died during the filming of the movie didn’t seem to effect it at all. Jude Law, Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp were great to but even now I still remember watching the movie and missing Heath Ledger. But the trip to the cinema was worth it!

Feburary – Luckily I didn’t see Valentine’s Day on Valentine’s Day because I would have been even more depressed than I was when I watched it on Feb. 11th alone while everybody else had a partner or a friend with them. Was it worth it? Well, I think that this movie is for those happy lovy-dovies and I’ve would’ve enjoyed it better if I wasn’t alone. (NB: There where to many story lines and some that didn’t get enough screen time were better than the main story-line between Kutcher and Garner!)

But I wasn’t alone when I watched Did You Hear About the Morgans? and I actually wished I was because I would have left the building! Honestly, what happened to the sweet Sarah Jessica Parker and adorable Hugh Grant? I have written my self a little note – not funny, not romantic, not exciting, not pretty (SJP looked like a skeleton, HG was tired) – basically nothing! So enough said – waste of my precious time.

March – This was a busy month – 3 movies! First of all, I had to drive to a different city to see a movie  in English (others where all in Estonian) and it didn’t have subtitles! (This shows my frustration against Estonian cinemas). Anyway, the movie was Alice in Wonderland, another Tim Burton master piece which in my mind lacked in the “master” department. I blame the visual appeal that lacked the originality that I love in Burton’s earlier movies. But lets be honest, Johnny Depp is still awesome in my books and so is Tim Burton. And who knows, maybe it was the 3D that I didn’t like, I just have to wait for the DVD release.  3 days later I saw Shutter Island and let me just say – brilliant! Not just the story but the visual appeal that the movie had, the colors, the smoke – it all seemed so syrreal and it gave so much to the story. Well done, Mr. Scorsese! But  Legion – I have no words. Not because it was good, but because it was horrible! Every time some one said Jeep (which is a NAME!) I laughed and I actually think I found it lame because I had seen Shutter Island just two days before and compared to that a lot of movies might seem lame.

April – So I managed to drag my butt to the movies twice – first was Date Night and to my surprise it actually turned out to be a pretty decent movie. Tina Fay was funny, Steve Carell wasn’t a 40 year old virgin anymore,  James Franco and Mark Wahlberg both gave a memorable performance. In the end of the month I went to see a more serious movie The Ghost Writer and putting his personal life aside, Polanski is a genius! I loved everything about the movie, the vibe, the paintings in the beach house, the light humor in some situations and the cast. I’d put this movie somewhere next to Shutter Island because of their similarity using visual appeal to connect with the audience.

So these were the short reviews of the movies I’ve watched on a big screen with no popcorn to snack on because the tickets themselves cost a lot. I try to see at least one movie a month but it all actually depends on the movies that come out – hopefully something good this month!