Sunday, May 9, 2010

Movies That Make You Cry - THE NOTEBOOK

First of all, Happy Mother's Day 2010. Now if your mothers are anything like my mother, then she is generally sensitive, caring, motherly, a tiny bit suffocating-- and in short, "emo." In fact, you may say she is sometimes addicted to all movies/TV shows that make her exercise those varying levels of estrogen. Basically, she likes to have a good cry every now and then. [case in point: right now, all my mom wants to do on this day dedicated to her, is watch her effin soap on TFC-- the (fucking) filipino channel.] But if you prefer legitimate acting, writing, and directing in films, then I would suggest watching one of the 20 movies I'll be blogging about throughout the week....

Make no mistake, these movies are *guaranteed* to make you shed a tear and I hope you enjoy clips of them for your cry-worthy, viewing pleasure. So go on ahead and grab Mom or anyone dear to you for that matter. Hold tight as you watch these tearjerker movies... coz soon you're gonna wanna sob like the baby.

The Notebook
I just had to begin with this movie. For one, there are so many lines I can quote from this incredibly romantic, honest, moving film about young summer love that endures snobby parents, a war, another man, Alzheimer's, and essentially, a lifetime. We are sucked into Noah and Allie's love almost immediately-- at which point, there is no turning back.

The Breaking Point: just moments after Noah and Allie find themselves happy together again, they have a fight in which she realizes she must leave him. His last plea for her to stay is the smartest, sweetest words I've ever heard any man say. [Sorry Boyfriend!] And for those of u who don't remember it or wanna relive what LOVE really looks like... Here it is....

Monday, March 22, 2010

When Harry Met Sally Scene

oh... the classic friends become lovers romantic comedy... don't hate it because its used over and over again in the movies. it works. simple as that. why? because let's be honest, who hasn't thought about having sex with a friend of the opposite sex? it's not really a bad thing... it's simply natural. and when one of you can fake a really good orgasm during brunch... well, that's a beautiful movie scene. relive it below!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


1st impressions: any movie that starts with a chumba wumba song is very scary. but an opening scene in which our main characters storm into a party as darth vader and storm troopers is made of win... yes, this movie is a geek movie in its purest form, you'll either love it or you'll hate it.

the Story: a group of fanboy friends, obsessed with Star Wars take a road trip to California in order to watch the rough cut of Episode I before one of them dies of cancer in a couple of months. They're chased by Trekkie fans, get thrown in jail, end up stripping, and have a run in with hookers in vegas. Sounds like a movie you've already seen right?

The Love Story: Kristen Bell plays the girl who's one of the guys, but secretly crushing on one of them. Eventually her nerd boy love realizes this after having a conversation with a hooker of all people. Sorry, but i just cant hate on nerd love and the actors look super cute dressed as a jedi and slave girl Lea.

Extras: Seth Rogen makes a hilarious cameo as a Trekkie Fan. He was so good at it, it took me awhile to realize it was him. Good ole Shatner pops up at some point also.

The VERDICT - Why i Enjoyed the Movie

I'm a nerd. And if you're not a nerd / geek / someone who isn't ashamed to pledge full allegiance to a made up fantasy world, then this is NOT the movie for you. For example, seeing the Episode I viewing party at the end with fans fighting in the theatre aisles with their light sabers and in full costume....! What's NOT to love?!!? The best part is when one of the guys asks the inevitable question of "what if the movie sucks?" And then we cut straight to the end credits. Because sometimes, its not really about the content of the movie... its about that spirit a movie can create... a fantasy world we want to escape to.

Confessions of a Shopaholic Review

1st impressions: i remember being the little girl forced to wear ugly clothes that were durable rather than fashionable... so this movie strikes a certain chord with me. i was mortified at having to shop at payless, mervyns, jc penny!!??! even as a 9 year old, i wanted pretty things and ONLY pretty things.

the Story - a sweet journalist who has a shopping addiction ironically lands a job writing for a magazine emphasizing on "successful savings." in spite of attending shopaholic meetings, constant support from her best friend, and escaping the clutches of a terribly miserable debt collector... she still manages to lose her career on national tv, lose the man she loves, and... finally learns to control herself and her addiction.

The Love Story: her love interest is Luke Brandon. her boss who is secretly family connected but wants to be successful on his own. he's just about as real and honest as most journalists should be. SPOILER ALERT, when Rebecca ends up selling everything she owns in an attempt to get rid of her bad habit, he hires not one but two bidders to buy the green scarf Rebecca purchases in the beginning of the movie-- which actually led her to meet Luke in the first place at a hot dog stand. Hugh Dancy who plays Luke is one of my top 10 foreign hotties. MMmmm....

Extras: Isla Fisher as Rebecca Bloomwood was excellent casting. Her fellow shopaholic meeting members were also hilarious and the choice of John Goodman & Joan Cusack as her pennysaving parents was both believable and endearing. My favorite line of the movie is in a scene where Rebecca reviews all her unopened bills while drinking tequilla. She falls to the floor in a clutter of late notices and says, "They said i was a valued customer, now they send me hate mail." Hee...

The VERDICT - Why i Enjoyed the Movie

because i AM a shopaholic. granted, i'm reformed now-- but i still understand the addiction. and sadly, i've had my share of hiding from evil debt collectors. i simply love the finer things in life. like rebecca, i feel a rush from buying something that i feel can personally define me. but in time, she and i both come to the conclusion that our personal relationships with the people in our lives can be the best accessory a girl can own. lastly, the whole idea of the "girl with the green scarf" brings back memories of brown and white stripes at Henri Bendel-- a store that i used to go to as a little girl to pretend i'd be beautiful and successful someday.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cheaters Never Prosper - Elevator to the Gallows Review

Referred by: Mark Deezy

Two french movies in two days! I swear I didn't plan it out that way! The reason I picked this as my second movie is because I've been holding onto it for quite some time. (Sorry, Mark!)

The movie is in black and white. There's an adulterous affair introduced at the very beginning. The DVD cover informed me of a murder mystery. It's French. And last but not least, there's a beautiful jazzy score done by Miles Davis. Yeah, I think it's safe to say this movie screams Film Noir. The first shot is taken of a woman's eyes and instantly, I thought "it's like LOST!" (So that's where Team Darlton got their opening sequence ideas...)

Basically, we have a Woman cheating on her Husband. She then convinces her Lover to kill her Husband (who happens to also be his boss). Lover successfully kills Husband (and makes it look like a suicide), but like any murdering amateur didn't exactly clean up his trail completely. Hence, in another careless act, Lover leaves his car running as he rushes back to the scene of the crime but then gets stuck in an elevator! Meanwhile, his car is jacked by two equally stupid teenagers-- who decide to go on a little murder spree of their own! After a long night of crime the two youths realize they could be in a lot of trouble and thus try to poison themselves. But somehow, they find a way to screw that up as well. The next morning, police try to the pin the murder of two German tourists on Lover since his jacket, gun, etc. were found on the scene. (All items he left in his car when the two teenagers truly responsible for the murders took off.) Cheating Wife, who spent the whole night looking for Lover and pondering the decisions she's made becomes hellbent on proving her Lover innocent. Her search for the teenagers leads her to their scene of the crime and unfortunately, some very incrimination evidence against-- well, EVERYONE. Yup, that's right kids. Nobody got away with murder today!

THE VERDICT - Why I Enjoyed The Movie
Well... that's a little tricky. I like that there's a certain soap opera-esque quality to these film noir movies. Lovers love to the extreme and if they can't be together, it's truly the end of the world. As an extremist myself, I tend to enjoy those now or never, OMG I can't possibly live without you moments. In addition, I like hearing each main character's thoughts as they enter their own reveries/stream of consciousness. The amount of dramatic irony associated with this type of film is also exciting because I find myself screaming at the characters about their own stupidity or ignorance. Having said that, there are a lot of dumb characters in this movie! I mean, I'm no professional hitwoman but some of the careless mistakes these people make are certainly annoying! Thankfully, the final scene (SPOILER ALERT) in which Cheating Wife discovers that a few loving photos from Lover's camera are what essentially incriminate them, is handled in a very poignant way. The investigating officer explains to her that photos should never be kept, because they'll somehow serve as evidence for the secrets one keeps. But being the film noir, cheating woman, extreme lover that she is... all that matters is that the pictures show her and her lover happy and together, still inseparable-- no matter how severe the consequences they'll soon face, will be.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

French makes the heart grow fonder - Amelie Review

Referred by: Gerk, Nicole, Noel...

First of all, I am so happy that I chose this film to kick off the search for MY favorite movie. For years people have been telling me that they can't believe I've never seen it, and now that I have, I completely understand what they mean. This movie totally screams the kind of movie I'd identify with. First of all, the entire film is in French! Pouvez-vous dire impressionant!? TRANSLATION: can u say awesome!? Second of all, the movie is all about characters and their flaws-- flaws that make them lovable and endearing and most of all, relatable. Lastly, the title character lives alone and owns a cat. [But more on that note later-- I hear u Dindin!]

What stood out almost instantly was the film's similarities to the movie, The Royal Tenenbaums. We learn about our characters through a flowing narration and labeling captions that make me feel like I'm watching part Demetri Martin standup, part Wes Anderson movies-- but with constant French music playing in the background. The minute I knew I'd enjoy this movie is after seeing the bit about Amelie's parents and how they emptied their things only to place stuff back in proper order. I mean come on, who doesn't love a neurotic?

To be short, it's about a very quirky girl with a vast imagination & good intentions-- but is otherwise introverted to the point of disregarded loneliness. (Man does that strike a chord...) Luckily, she soon finds purpose in bringing about other people's happiness after reuniting an old box of childhood treasures to its adult owner. Almost immediately, we get a string of mini-plots that exhibit just how crafty and fantastic Amelie is. She puts bullies in their places, dabbles in matchmaking, tries to convince her father to travel by sending him pictures of his precious gnome in various landmarks around Europe... (Hee!) And while all this is going on, we realize the underlying question: Is Amelie capable-- or perhaps, brave enough to make herself happy?

You can't deny that in every movie there's some love going on somewhere. Here, Amelie's love interest takes the form of a fellow pariah obsessed with ripped up pictures of people hanging out at photo booths. He also works at a porno/peep show/sex toy type of business. Sounds creepy, but I can't say the boy aint cute in his own weird, quirky way. Their final scene near the end of the movie satisfies our official GIRLY MOMENT. Amelie, with a little push from her neighbor, is finally ready to run bravely into the arms of her paramour when tada! There he is, right at her doorstep. Do we get a dramatic declaration of love? A big Hollywood smooch? No. Instead, the two dreamers stare at each other for what feels like an eternity before she kisses him softly all over his face... before inviting him to do the same. Subtlety can go soooo far, boys. Take note!

Obviously, it's too easy to pick Amelie herself, so I'm gonna go with Dominique Bretodeau. Not only does the man drink cognac (waddup!), but he delivers a line in the movie that really hits home: "Life's funny. To a kid, time always drags. Suddenly you're fifty. All that's left of your childhood... fits in a rusty little box." All I can say is, we should all have a rusty little box somewhere and think about it from time to time. And get ready, coz I'm about to get all emo/borderline preachy on u. Here's the thing: I personally HATE people who feel like there's a rush, a timeline, an impending due date to "grow up." Needless to say, we gain responsibilities as we get older, but why must some people impose their own ideas of what being a "grown up" is onto you?! We're all different in our own unique way, and that is exactly what our rusty little boxes represent. So don't hit fifty so fast. Or if you must, don't forget about your box of treasures. Ok, I'm done with my rant.

Figuring out that the mysterious man who took pictures of himself so often was actually just the photo booth repairman. Why is this awesome? Because before we actually know he's just a repairman, we explore Amelie's ideas about him being much more. She imagines him as mysterious-- perhaps a ghost or a man conveniently tragic, not wanting to be forgotten. This view of the Repairman's identity represents the same covert courtship Amelie and Nino go through. Their entire relationship is based on stratagems, secret notes, meeting times and places that Amelie creates. It's all very romantic and fairy tale-like-- but let's face it, how seriously can she believe in his affection for her if they've never even met? Thus, by letting Nino in on the secret of Mr. Repairman, Amelie is able to test his reaction to reality. By pulling the curtain on mystery photo booth guy and revealing him as a normal repairman doing his job, she is symbolically taking a risk, fearlessly leaping out of a dreamlike relationship to more realistic territory.

THE VERDICT: So why did I enjoy this movie......?
Well, Amelie is a dreamer. She's a bit of a wallflower with an imagination that's kept her entertained AND thus, protected for most of her life. [See Angela Chase, My So-Called Life or Ally Mcbeal-- 2 characters I also identify with.] There is a part in the movie where a caption reads: "Its called a reality check. The last thing Amelie wants." Well, I can relate. Because the truth is, reality can be very disappointing at times. But even if our imaginative world paints a better picture than the one were in, there has to be a balance between the two. This movie seems to find that balance; because while we absolutely adore Amelie's elaborate machinations, we also want her to stop with the silly games and just let herself be loved already.

Agree? Disagree? Thoughts...?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

allow me to re-introduce myself...

Hi there everyone. So I originally started this blog a few years ago at the same time I started Tube-alicious. My original plan: to review movies, TV, and music simultaneously. Obviously, the procrastinator in me totally prevented that from ever happening. But here we are, years later, and now as fate would have it... there are circumstances forcing me to pick a favorite movie and write about why I enjoyed it.

Naturally, to pick one favorite movie is like asking me what kind of purse I want for my birthday. Seriously, how can one decide? There's Marc Jacobs, Betsey Johnson, Chanel... What about the colors? Brown, Black, Red... And how about the design? Do I go classic, seasonal, vintage? Ah yes, tis the same tricky decision. Picking a singular favorite movie is like a never-ending, confusing, forehead-wrinkling activity (like watching an episode of Lost and trying to figure out what the temple is, who's Jacob, and why is Kate the female lead again?!)

So here is the new plan: Lent starts tomorrow and because I don't believe in giving anything up, I intend on adding something new to my daily routine. No, I don't plan on buying a purse everyday. Instead, I plan to watch a movie everyday until Easter. It can be one I've seen before or one I've never seen at all. I'm open to any and all suggestions. Whatever Genre. Whatever time period. To discover, describe, and for all intents and purposes--blog about why I enjoyed it. Hopefully by Easter, I'll figure out which lucky movie I'll deem "THE Favorite" status.

Suggestions?? Lemme know!