Archive for the ‘Movie Reviews’ Category

Two Blondes Go to a Movie: Sunshine Cleaning

March 19, 2009

Two Blondes review a movie and mostly ramble about themselves:

JESSICA SAYS:

Are you starting to get a little depressed after suffering through an economic ‘downturn’ or ‘recession’ or ‘complete and total implosion’ or whatever you want to call it?  Sick of the malaise of winter (I know, I live in LA, but I remember what it’s like elsewhere) and ready for a little pick me up?  Well, have ‘the producers of Little Miss Sunshine’ got just the thing for you!  Sunshine Cleaning!  You know how Amazon will give you those, “If you like Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, then you’ll also like…The Hobbit?”  Well, the correlation between Sunshine Cleaning and Little Miss Sunshine is too great to ignore, so if you loved Little Miss Sunshine and you want to see the exact same movie again, then might I suggestSunshine Cleaning!

I’m not saying the fact that they are twins is necessarily bad.  I liked Little Miss Sunshine.  I was throughly entertained watching Sunshine Cleaning.  Alan Arkin plays exactly the same role in both films, but hey – it won him an Oscar the first time around, so why not give it another go?  I’m not sure there are two more charming actresses working these days than Amy Adams and Emily Blunt.  Plus, I adore Mary Lynn Rajskub.  She’s quirky, smart, and perfectly cast in her role here.  In someone else’s hands Rajskub’s character could have ended up a bit pathetic.  On a side note, I never really realized what a rockin’ little body Amy Adams has on her, but you see her in various stages of undress several times in this film and she manages to be even more adorable in a bra and panties than fully clothed.

In case you aren’t familiar with the plot, two down on their luck sisters decide to start a crime scene clean-up business.  However, they are a little short of the knowledge and required training certificates for such a job.  Chaos, hilarity, and emotional growth ensue.  I was impressed with what I felt was a pretty accurate portrayal of the remarkable relationship between sisters (and I have two of my own).  You love each other, you are annoyed by each other, but no one will ever understand you the same way that your sibling does.  It made me miss my sisters a little bit.

I recommend seeing Sunshine Cleaning in theaters.  I mean, we all need a little pick me up and if we all go out to the movies, it pumps cash back into the economy.  It’s a win-win!

ALISON SAYS:

I remember reading an article about people who ran a business cleaning up crime scenes and thinking that would make a good movie.  And it did.  Of course when you add Amy Adams, Emily Blunt and Alan Arkin, it’s hard not to make something that’s going to be entertaining.

I’m so glad someone like Amy Adams made it to the top of the heap of the many, many actors in the world.  She’s always a delight and eternally charming and really good as Rose Lorkowski.  Of course she had another wonderful actress, Emily Blunt, to play off of.  These are two women who gained big careers out of small roles in previous films, and I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more.

Can we also talk about Clifton Collins Jr?  I’ve never been the type of girl to crush on a guy who makes model helicopters and has a long greasy ponytail, but Collins is amazing as Winston.  There’s a sweetness and quiet strength that just draws you in, despite the character’s ponytail.

I was super excited when I realized this film was written by a woman and directed by another woman.  Can I get a “what what” for girl power?  Okay, I realize I may lose both Jessica and a large percentage of my audience for that last sentence, but sometimes it’s okay to show enthusiasm in a nerdy, outdated manner, especially when it’s enthusiasm for female filmmakers.  As a whole, I enjoyed the film immensely.  I laughed a lot (along with the packed house at Arclight).  I even felt a tad choked up during one sad scene that I knew was coming (it was in the trailer), and was annoyed at myself for being so manipulated.

There were definitely some predictable plot points and character background that you could see coming from a mile away, but I was still glad I went to see it.

LA Viewers: Go check out a matinee at Arclight.

Translation for non-LA viewers: Yay for matinees and yay for movie theater popcorn!

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Two Blondes Go To A Movie: Watchmen

March 10, 2009

Two Blondes (plus a guest “Blonde”) review a movie and mostly ramble about themselves:

We have something special for you folks today.  Today we have guest “Blonde,” Jim Campolongo, weighing in on Watchmen along with Alison and Jessica:

 

ALISON SAYS:

Jessica and I went to see Watchmen at the dome at Arclight Hollywood.  Before the movie started, Jessica turned to me and said: “I love movies.”  I agreed and we sat back contentedly (not sure if that’s a word) into our theater seats ready to watch a movie, even one that was 2 hours and 45 minutes long.

I had not read the comic book series before seeing this film. I didn’t have the same expectations that some of the diehard Watchmen fans might have.  All I really knew was what I had seen in the trailer and I heard there was going to be a lot of blue dong in the film.  I had warned Jessica that I might giggle when the naked blue man appeared on screen, but some semblance of maturity must have taken over, cause I watched the movie like a grown-up rather than the twelve-year-old girl who lives inside my heart.

I thought the film rocked.  My favorite part was the amazing opening sequence.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself for all 2 hours and 45 minutes of it.  I was blown away by the cinematography, the effects, the and by the sheer spectacle of it all.   There’s a part of me that wonders if I would have enjoyed watching this film as much as I did if I hadn’t seen it in a theater like the Arclight.  I’m not sure if it would have struck the same chord.  Despite my enjoyment, I don’t think every plot point would stand up under close scrutiny.  I wasn’t that into the ending, but was so happy to be watching a movie like this in a big, beautiful theater, that I didn’t care.  Also some of the music was a little heavy-handed, but once again I was still happy and thrilled to be along for the ride.

And now for some fun random trivia regarding the people who created Watchmen.  The director, Zack Snyder, turned down a chance to direct S.W.A.T., because it wouldn’t be rated R.  I gotta give the guy props for knowing what he wants to work in. The film 300 would not have been the same if he had been forced to make a PG-13 film out of it.  And one of the screenwriters, David Hayer, played a role on the show Major Dad.

LA Viewers: If you’re into violence and comic book movies, go see it at Arclight.

Translation for non-LA natives: It’s a really cool movie to see in the theaters, but it’s long, so don’t buy a large soda.

JESSICA SAYS:

I would like to start this review out with a warning to my mother:  Mom, this is not a movie for you.  You know how you don’t like any violence or sex in movies, much less gratuitous sex and violence?  Yeah, don’t see this.  It’s not your average PG-13 comic flick.  The costumes alone would make you blush.  I’m not even going to mention the full-frontal naked blue man because I’m sure Alison has.  She couldn’t stop talking about it before the film started.

I don’t know a whole lot about comics (or graphic novels).  Maybe that’s because I’m a girl, but I think I would probably enjoy them.  I was just never exposed.  I don’t know where you would have found comic books for sale in the tiny town I grew up in.  I sort of feel like there is a whole pop culture world out there of which I’m not a part, by not knowing comics.  So I guess what I’m saying is, don’t expect any, “It doesn’t match the glory of the comic,” kind of reviews from me.

I see most of the comic-based movies when they come out, and I must say, this is one of the better ones I’ve seen recently.  All of these heroes are dark, twisty, and above all flawed.  They are almost flawed to the point that it’s hard to root for any of them.  Almost.  I was pretty won over by Patrick Wilson’s Night Owl.    It didn’t hurt that he’s pretty, besides playing the lone nice guy.

Most of all, what won me over about this film was the visual look.  It somehow manages to be slick and gritty.  It was, in a nutshell, exciting.  It probably helped a little that Alison and I saw it in the Cinerama dome at the ArcLight in Hollywood.  For those of you who don’t live in LA, the Cinerama dome is awesome.  The experience there is how movies are made to be seen.  It feels like an event.  There are ushers who come out before the show to give a little talk that is half audience warm-up and half ‘please shut off your phone’ reminders.  The screen wraps completely around your field of vision.  The sound system is overpowering (almost a little too overpowering).

I recommend you go see this move, but only if you’re old enough that all the violence and sex in this movie can’t corrupt you any more than you have already been corrupted by rock-n-roll and cable TV.  You should try to see it in IMAX or the Cinerama.

JIM, OUR GUEST “BLONDE,” SAYS:

Before we get into this review I have to admit something: I am not now, nor have I ever been, a blonde. There was one misguided attempt in seventh grade to streak my hair, but even then, the hydrogen peroxide shaded my locks a less than lovely pumpkin-vomit orange, leaving no trace of blonde anywhere except maybe within the act itself.

I will say this, though — I, like any red-blooded American male, love blondes. In spades. And I thank Alison and Jessica for the honorary club membership. I’ve been waiting for this ever since I bought those Green Day and Offspring CDs in middle school.

So without further ado, let’s get to the reviewin’…

Like a good chunk of our moviegoing public, I too saw Watchmen this weekend. And I’m baffled by my reaction. Why? Because I’m a nerd.  Before we get all accusatory here on the interweb, trust me, I’ve got the nerd cred to prove it: I still hit the comic shop every Wednesday, own multiple Batman shirts, and did not see a girl naked in real life for several years longer than I care to admit. I’ve owned the graphic novel of Watchmen for over a decade now and revere it.

So imagine my surprise when I walked out the theater thinking the movie kinda sucked.

If I subtract my bias for the material, I’m left with a film that doesn’t engage me, plain and simple.  Despite a well done set piece or two, the story lacked a sense of pace. There was no rhythm. No forward momentum. For example, just as we get an interesting helping of plot progression, the movie would pause for ten minutes to tell us how the character of Dr. Manhattan came to be. Or how anti-hero Rorschach lost his moral compass when confronted with a panty sniffing pedophile. This kind of non-linear presentation may be structurally sound in the novel, but it sure as shit doesn’t work in this film. While non-linear storytelling can be well executed in cinema, Watchmen’s dense source material plays as though its been compressed in all the wrong parts. As an average viewer, the character moments feel tangential, while the story’s mystery crawls at a snail’s pace, leaving me indifferent to both. I’m watching this thing from the POV of a dude wanting to be stimulated, but I’m feeling every second of the near-three hour runtime instead. And not in a good way.

watchmen-scream-awardsPetty stuff like plot and character work aside, I also had massive problems with the music. Every song cue, from the opening Dylan track to the closing “Desolation Row” cover, felt so damn bush league. I’m still not over the crazy laughable sex scene set to Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” (Note to the baked film school undergrad who compiled the soundtrack: I’ve seen more subtlety on Cinemax after dark.)

All right, all right…  So I’m ragging on the flick pretty hard. But I do think it’s warranted. Remember, I’m a nerd. When I add in my bias for the source material, I remember Watchmen is supposed to be a commentary on the comic book medium itself, demystifying the idea of the superhero and showing him as a possibly psychotic, flawed, and maybe less than average being.

So why does the movie treat us to delicately choreographed fight scenes in which our heroes emerge unscathed? Where they can perform daring feats of martial arts wire trickery set to amped techno music? In presenting these guys as bad-ass crime fighters, the film becomes the antithesis of the novel’s primary themes. Leaving the geek inside of me pissed enough to order more porn on my mom’s credit card, even though I know she’s gonna see the bill and ground me again.

I guess I can only blame one person for this inevitable exile: director Zack Snyder. To be fair, I’ve never been a huge fan of the guy.  His Dawn of the Dead remake lost a lot of steam after the first ten minutes, and his follow-up 300 played like a vapid Lexus commercial for guys who won’t admit they subscribe to the Here! network. Snyder’s perception of cinematic cool has never been cerebral.  It’s always been sex, violence, and rock and roll. Which may explain why the only thing he brings to this film is excess; excess in gore, violence, and even misogyny. The attempted rape of Silk Specter, for example, is far more brutal in the movie than the novel (check out the panels if you don’t believe me). It’s unnerving to me that this is where the filmmaker decides to step in and expand upon the source material.

Truth be told, the only thing I can’t accuse Zack Snyder of is being insincere. I truly believe the guy set out to make the most faithful adaptation of Watchmen possible. I just don’t think he understood a damn word of it.

And there you have it, a nerdy non-blonde’s review of moving picture. If you liked it, hurrah. If you hated it, blame Alison and Jessica.

Two Blondes Go to a Movie: He’s Just Not That into You

March 4, 2009

Two Blondes review a movie and mostly ramble about themselves:

JESSICA SAYS:

I was apprehensive about seeing this movie. You see, I like (well OK, more like love) romantic comedies. The problem is 80% of them aren’t even tolerable. I have paid good money to be bored to tears numerous times watching Kate Hudson and Matthew McConaghey’s chemistry fizzle in stories whose plots stretch the limits of logic. For every Bridget Jones’s Diary, there are 12 Bridget Jones: the Edge of Reasons. It’s just that when things go right, you get repaid with a classic like When Harry Met Sally (on my all-time top five movie list). When I saw the previews for He’s Just Not That into You, I had hopes for it to rival Love Actually, but fears it might end up like…well any Jennifer Lopez rom-com. It ends up landing somewhere in between.

Before I go any further on this specific movie, I want to take a moment to defend the romantic comedy. Are they predictable? Yes. Formulaic? Certainly. Completely unrealistic? Absolutely. However, they are no more predictable, formulaic, and unrealistic than action, horror, sci-fi, or any other genre films. My fear is that romantic comedies get such a bad wrap because they are ‘women’s’ movies and therefore deemed somehow less relevant in the grand pop culture scheme than say, the latest comic book adaptation. Is it asking too much, as an audience member, to wish that Hollywood would be willing to invest in more charming, smart, funny love stories and that those stories could actually be relevant and meaningful? Yes? Damn, because I and a lot of my friends would go see such a movie. To quote Pretty Woman, “I have all this money *sob* and nobody *sob* will help me.” OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now.

Surprising things about He’s Just Not That into You:

1.) Ben Affleck was charming and I even forgot I was watching Ben Affleck at times.

2.) I identified most with a male character (I’ll let you guess which one). This caused a teensy bit of what’s-wrong-with-me self-examination, but then I ate some ice cream from the container, sang ABBA into a hairbrush with my girlfriends while trying on different outfits, and forgot all about it.

3.) Other audience members are dumber than I think they are. There is a moment when it is officially revealed that Bradley Cooper’s and Jennifer Connelly’s characters are married to each other. This fact was obvious to me within the first few minutes of the film. The woman next to me audibly gasped when it was officially confirmed at least an hour later.

In short, if you like romantic comedies, rent this one or go to a matinee. It’s entertaining enough for a Sunday afternoon. Also, Lisa Schwarzbaum wrote an interesting piece on chick flicks for Entertainment Weekly, check it out.

ALISON SAYS:

I’m the kind of girl who chooses to go see a movie like Taken on Valentine’s Day, the kind of girl who owns and repeatedly watches the Die Hard movies.  I’m not a romantic comedy gal.  But I agreed to go see He’s Just Not That Into You.   I had seen previews and was super annoyed by the scene where Drew Barrymore says, “He MySpaced me.”  My reaction: “Did I just teleport back to 2005 when MySpace was relevant?”  It seems crazy to me that studio executives couldn’t update that line for the release (Ever heard of Facebook?).  Despite that,  I’ll admit I was actually pretty charmed by the movie and laughed out loud numerous times.  It was a more realistic, modern take on love than I expected.

My favorite part was Ginnifer Goodwin.  I already had immense respect for her, because of her work on Big Love, but now I absolutely adore her.  She was charming, vulnerable and incredibly funny.  I also thought Jennifer Aniston was great.  Despite it being a rather fluffy film, Aniston’s performance showed some depth and emotional range that I hadn’t seen from her since The Good Girl.  I’m a huge fan of Jennifer Connelly.  I thought she was incredible in Requiem for a Dream, but her dramatic skills felt constrained in a movie like this.  For lack of a better metaphor, it felt like a bull in a china shop.

Justin Long was charming and funny, but he’s just still not my type as a leading man.  Watching him kiss Ginnifer Goodwin was one of the most awkward, chemistry-lacking kisses I’ve seen, even worse than some I witnessed at a 5th grade roller skating party.  In regards to Kevin Connolly…. eh.  He’s not a terrible actor, but he’s just not who I care about winning the girl.  Ben Affleck was actually pretty darn good, in an understated way.  SPOILER ALERT: But I was really disappointed when his character proposed at the end to Jennifer Aniston.  I had been really moved by what he had to say about love and not needing the label of marriage and Aniston’s character realizing he was already more of a husband than her sisters’ ever would be.  But I think I’m in the minority with being miffed over that plot point, since all the women in the audience “ooh’d” and “ahhh’d” when Aniston found the ring.

Speaking of audience reactions… Scarlett Johansson plays a young, beautiful, carefree girl.  And she is damn hot (though someone should talk to her about bad hair extensions).  In one scene, where Connelly’s husband (played by Bradley Cooper) grabs Miss Johanson’s magnificent bosom, a guy sitting next to me in the movie theater actually yelled out, “Oh!”  I guess he was excited.  My point is, there’s something in this movie for both the girls and the guys.

My mom also saw this film.  She did not really enjoy it.  Here’s what she had to say: “I wouldn’t waste the money going, but I already did.”

LA Viewers: A matinee at the Grove or Landmark with girlfriends is recommended.  But maybe leave your mom at home.

Translation for non-LA natives: If you’re suffering from the recession, wait for the DVD.  But if you’re suffering from not enough girl time or want to be charmed by Ginnifer Goodwin, go catch a matinee.

Two Blondes Go To a Movie: The Reader

February 24, 2009

Two Blondes review a movie and ramble a lot about themselves:

thereader_poster061

ALISON SAYS:

I really related to the The Reader, because Jessica and I often read our blogs out loud to one another, while playing with each other’s hair and one of us carries a terrible secret that will cause the other great pain and intimacy issues.

300thereaderkrosswinsletlc1211081All joking aside, I thought this film was fantastic. Sure, I had trouble sympathizing with Hannah Schmitz, a woman who chose duty over human life. But she was one of the most complex characters I’ve encountered on film. And she was brought to life by the amazing Kate Winslet, who deserves every accolade and naked, golden man to come her way. I also was equally impressed with David Kross, who was barely eighteen when they shot the film. He held his own while sharing the screen with one of the world’s most famous actresses. And made me believe his story as he evolved from naive innocence to a man burdened by betrayal.

Here’s what we’ve also learned from this film and the Oscar winners: Stephen Daldry + talented actress + special effects makeup = Oscar (Please see either The Reader or The Hours as examples.)

I read that Daldry will be directing The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. This was one of my favorite books of the last ten years, so I’m both excited and nervous to see what he does with it. If you haven’t read it, please run out and get it right away.

LA Viewers: Hurry to Sunset 5 and go see this film.

Translation for non LA-viewers: Go see it. And be prepared for a lot of nudity and top-notch acting.

JESSICA SAYS:

This may sound dense, but I didn’t really think The Reader was going to be about reading. I know, it’s right there in the title, but I just didn’t give it much thought. I just assumed it was about a Nazi SS officer and probably sex, since Kate Winslet was supposed to be naked for a large part of the film. I must admit, I was quite pleased when I realized it really was about the joy/power/sexiness of reading. I love being read to, which I’m sure is true for a lot of people. However, I also love reading to someone. I like to put on voices for the characters and give my own interpretation, but don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely no designs on ever acting. I just like to give the occasional dramatic interpretation for an audience of one or two. Unfortunately, after somewhere around the age of 12 (junior high), people think it’s weird if you want to read to them. Well, most people. My sister and I have logged hours on beaches or in bed at Mom’s or Dad’s house with me reading to her (until she falls asleep). I was particularly proud of my Bridget Jones’s Diary reading I gave at Myrtle Beach some years ago. You should try it. It’s fun.

Kate Winslet is splendid, as always. I’ve never seen a performance of hers that I did not enjoy…and that includes The Holiday (not a great film, but she’s lovely). She is so completely raw and daring; totally deserving of her Oscar and Golden Globe win. However, she won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and this is clearly a lead actress role. I understand that by putting her in the supporting category, she wasn’t competing against herself for Revolutionary Road, but it just seems weird to call this role ‘supporting.’

I am very thankful I can read, especially after seeing The Reader. That’s the main thought I came away with at the end of the movie. You see, Hanna Schmitz (Winslet) is illiterate and the big question of the film is does this excuse not only being complicit, but directly involved in one of the most tragic and horrifying events in history. I felt like the implied answer by the end of the film was yes and that bothers me. Well, OK, perhaps the statement made was closer to saying the fact that she teaches herself to read in prison somehow makes up for allowing innocent people to be murdered.  I think instinctually, even if you had never seen a book in your life, a (sane, adult) human knows it’s wrong to kill another person. The fact that there was some sort of redemption for a Nazi in this story was hard for me to swallow.

After you see this movie, I want you to think about Ricky Gervais’ quip at the Golden Globes about Holocaust films garnering automatic acclaim and see if there isn’t the ring of truth there. Kate Winslet is splendid. The Reader is…OK. I recommend waiting until it comes out on video.

Two Blondes Go to a Movie: Doubt

February 10, 2009

Two Blondes review a movie and ramble about themselves.


JESSICA SAYS:

I had my doubts about whether or not this film would live up to the hype.  Get it?  ’Doubts?’  It’s a pun!  But I digress.  My mom saw this movie before I did and every time we’ve talked since she tells me how good she thought this movie was.  Now, Mom doesn’t have bad taste in movies, per se, but her taste is not necessarily the same as mine.  For instance, she enjoys watching made-for-TV-movies on Lifetime Television for Women.  I do not.  I enjoy Pulp Fiction.  There is not a single scene in that movie Mom would enjoy (violence + swearing + sex + drug use = a film Mom would never sit through).

It turns out Mom and I pretty much agree on this one.  I’m not ready to say it’s the best movie I’ve seen in years, as Mom did, but it is definitely worth seeing.  The hesitation I had going in to this film was that the previews made it seem so dour and bleak.  You have to be in the right mood to want to sit down and watch a story about sexual abuse allegations.  I now realize that this film isn’t really about sexual abuse.  It does deal with that, but the story has more to do with gossip, standing up to authority figures, and trusting your instincts, than abuse.

The acting performances in the movie all around are as good as you have been hearing.  What can I say about how great Meryl Streep is that hasn’t already been said?  She really is a force to be reckoned with and Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Viola Davis all more than met the challenge.  I want to give John Patrick Shanley a huge amount of credit because this story and the way he tells it are fascinating.  The characters are constantly making twists and turns and as the audience, you never are quite sure who to believe until the end.  That is not an easy feat to pull off.

I was raised Catholic, but I didn’t go to Catholic school, so I can’t really speak as to what that experience is like.  The nuns in my parish didn’t seem as draconian as Streep’s Sister Aloysius, but they were certainly not to be messed with.  I remember Sister Ruth Ann specifically who told us in CCD (the Catholic version of Sunday school) that it was healthy to have a glass of wine each night and in fact sometimes she just drank straight from the bottle, since it was only her and Sister Rose. I said I was raised Catholic, not I am Catholic because I’m still working out whether or not I really want to be Catholic.  All the issues raised in the film about the Church are issues I struggle with internally, being Catholic.  To say the Church is patriarchal is a bit of an understatement.  It is the oldest of old boys clubs.  Why does the mere fact that she is a woman determine that Sister Aloysius is a subordinate to Father Flynn?  That’s only the tip of the iceberg of questions you’re left with at the end of Doubt (sexism, sexual abuse, the effects of progressive reform, racism, etc.).  Let’s just say, like Sister Aloysius, I too have my doubts.

I recommend seeing this movie and it is worth a full-price ticket.  Maybe you should plan a dinner or drinks afterwards with whoever you see it because you will want to discuss.

ALISON SAYS:

I’ll be honest, I thought I’d find Doubt boring.  I knew I loved Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams, but when I saw the trailers, it just looked like an overblown Oscar-baity drama with lots of boring outfits.  I was wrong, very wrong.  It’s great, truly great.  My grandmother, who NEVER goes to movies anymore, actually made her way to the theater to see this film and said it was really good.  My mom, who attended Catholic school with nuns as teachers, also saw the film and loved it.  It was interesting to me that two of the main women in my life both made the effort to go see a film where one of the main themes is that of womens’ powerlessness in the old days.

As always, Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman blow you away with their skills as actors and remind you again why they’ve had enduring careers.  Amy Adams is also fantastic and charming, continuing her streak of being the best thing to ever come out of dinner theater.  And then there’s Viola Davis as the mother of Donald, Mrs. Miller.  Her screen time is minuscule compared to Streep, Hoffman and Adams, but her performance was one of the most memorable of the film and haunts you long after watching it.

I just looked up the director, John Patrick Shanley, on IMDb and noticed the last thing he directed was Joe Versus The Volcano and he wrote Moonstruck.  What a varied career.  It also goes to show the Midas touch Scott Rudin has as a film producer, whatever that guy touches turns to Oscar gold.  I talked to Rudin on the phone a few times at an old job, and just his voice alone can put the fear of God in you.   Maybe that level of fear is it what it takes to continually create amazing, Oscar worthy films.

LA Viewers: If you’ve ever wanted to see the epitome of superb acting, go see this film in the theaters.

Translation for non-LA natives: Same goes for you.

Two Blondes Go to a Movie: Revolutionary Road

February 9, 2009

Two Blondes review a movie and mostly ramble about themselves:

revolutionary-road-poster-full1

ALISON SAYS:

If you’ve ever been someone who’s a little scared of the concept of marriage and life becoming stagnant and losing all meaning, don’t go see Revolutionary Road. It will only reinforce this fear. But the film will also reinforce your love and respect for Kate Winslet, Sam Mendes and for the costume designer on the film (her character had such great dresses). Kate Winslet rocks. There’s not much more to it. She’s beautiful, an incredible actress and has always chosen interesting roles (and even has comic chops, as exhibited on “Extras”). I can’t imagine though what it was like to make this film with your husband (for those who don’t already know this, the director, Sam Mendes, is her husband).

It was fun to see Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio reunited after all these years, and DiCaprio impressed me, at least in the second half of the film. During the first half, I never really forgot that I was watching Leo. He’s still too pretty to completely believe him as a grown-up, angry man. (Leo, go get a little rougher around the edges and those Oscars will roll in, I swear.) But during the later part of the film, I thought he had some great scenes that did show his depth as an actor and reminded me of some of my favorites of his past performances (Arnie in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and Jim in The Basketball Diaries). There were scenes where he broke out of being Leo and we saw a desperate, broken man who doesn’t know how to save his wife or make her love him again.

While I was impressed by some of the performances and aspects of the film, and still think Sam Mendes deserves loads of acclaim, I can’t say I loved the film as a whole. It was interesting to be in this world, but I couldn’t help thinking “Mad Men” did it and does it better. On a sidenote: my mom also saw this film and was recollecting how during her childhood, some women on her street would dress up for their husbands when they were getting home from work.

LA Viewers: Go see a matinee.

Translation for non-LA natives: If you live in the suburbs and ever doubt some of your life choices, maybe pick something more upbeat.

JESSICA SAYS:

For once, a movie makes you glad you’re a singleton and not a smug married. The portrait of a marriage provided by Revolutionary Road is anything but appealing. Take this scene:

April Wheeler: So now I’m crazy because I don’t love you, right? Is that the point?

Frank Wheeler: No! Wrong! You’re not crazy, and you do love me. That’s the point, April.

April Wheeler: But I don’t. I hate you. You were just some boy who made me laugh at a party once, and now I loathe the sight of you. In fact, if you come any closer, if you touch me or anything, I think I’ll scream.

Doesn’t that warm, kind exchange make you want to run right out and get married? No? Let me tell you, that fight only gets worse from there.

It is uncomfortable to watch two people completely emotionally eviscerate each other the way Kate Winslet (April Wheeler) and Leonardo DiCaprio (Frank Wheeler) do in this picture, but it’s completely riveting too. Kudos to Richard Yates and Justin Haythe (or ‘granola to you,’ as one of my friends might say) for a fantastic script. Yates’ 1967 novel this film is based on has been added to my must-read list. This is one of those films where you can just see that every member of the small village of people it takes to make a major motion picture brought their A-game. (I can’t believe I just used the phrase ‘A-game.’) Production design, props, costume, it is all spot on authentic.

REVOLUTIONARY ROADBoth Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet deliver Oscar-worthy performances here and the fact that neither of them was even nominated is ridiculous. It’s just further proof that politics and money have more to do with who wins Academy Awards than the performances too often. Michael Shannon is only in a few scenes, but he is so good I wished he got his own film about a mental patient in the 1950s. His performance is one of only three nominations for Revolutionary Road, with costume and art direction. If I ruled the world, it would get nominations for Best Picture, Best Lead Actress, Best Lead Actor, and Best Director. Alas, I do not; otherwise we would all take flying cars to work.

This movie left me thinking about a lot of things which, I think, is one of the best things you can say about any piece of art. For instance, as a woman, I am very thankful I was born at a time when the possibilities for my life were not determined by the fact that I’m female. Also, I marvel at how well Sam Mendes seems to understand the American suburbs for someone who grew up in Reading, England. In this film, he shows the same stiflingly powerful push to conform the suburbs seem to have as he depicted in American Beauty, only this time we get to watch a woman futilely struggle against it.

My advice? Go see this movie soon.

Two Blondes Go to a Movie: Happy-Go-Lucky

February 2, 2009

Two Blondes review a movie and mostly ramble about themselves.

ALISON SAYS:

I really wanted to like Happy-Go-Lucky.  Sally Hawkins seemed so cute and offbeat at the Golden Globes.  I’ve read some raving reviews for the film, but I hate to say, I wasn’t too impressed.  For about the first hour, I kept taking sideward glances at Jessica to see if she was as unimpressed as I was.  She didn’t seem overly involved in the flight of Poppy either.  My mom (who joined us to watch the film) had fallen asleep, probably from a combination of wine, jetlag and from the fact that she found the film boring as well.

I’m not saying I hated it or disliked it immensely.  It just didn’t grab me.  Maybe it was too British, though I do love British people and films.  Maybe Hawkins’ cuteness was too offbeat for me.  I can’t put my finger on it exactly.  There were parts I liked and things I related to in the film, but other than that, I felt an almost blahness in response to watching it.

LA Viewers: Wait for the DVD.

Translation for non-LA natives: Netflix, baby!

JESSICA SAYS:

When we sat down to watch Happy-Go-Lucky, I told Alison, “I have a confession.  I have no idea what this movie is going to be about.”  When the end credits rolled, I turned to her and again said, “I have no idea what the plot of that movie was.  Do you think it had a plot?”  (Long pause.)  We both answered, “Mmmm, not really.”


I thought this movie was…perplexing.  I was genuinely charmed by Sally Hawkins’ character, Poppy, but what makes it perplexing to me is this:  if you enjoyed watching something, but it had no plot does that mean is was good or bad?  Is having a plot central to any story’s success?  Mr. Oldvader, my high school AP English literature teacher says yes.  Happy-Go-Lucky definitely has a theme, and it happens to be a theme I quite liked:  happiness is a decision you make for yourself.*  Poppy is a perpetual optimist, not because life has been nothing but kind to her, but rather because she chooses to see everything as a glass half-full.  It’s just…where was the story?

After staring at the cursor blinking here, in the spot where I’m supposed to say whether or not I recommend this movie for about ten minutes, I’ve decided to recommend it like so:  Add it to your Netflix/Blockbuster queue; not at the top, but on there somewhere, and some Saturday afternoon curl up on the couch with a cup of tea (obviously it has to be tea; Happy-Go-Lucky is v. British) and see what you think.  Maybe you will see a plot where I didn’t, but at the very least, maybe this will inspire some self-reflection in you.  It did for me.

*Alison agrees with me on this, despite finding the movie a little blah.  She did like that idea and theme in the movie.

Two Blondes Go to a Movie: Slumdog Millionaire

January 30, 2009

Two Blondes review a movie and mostly ramble about themselves.

JESSICA SAYS:

My mother is known for two constant comments, when it comes to movies:

“Well…it wasn’t what I expected,” and, “You know, I’m just such a Pollyanna…”  So it was no surprise that when I asked Mom what she thought of Slumdog Millionaire, she said, “Well, it wasn’t what I was expecting.  T (one of my other sisters) said it was going to be uplifting and I guess there was just too much abuse of children for me.  You know, I’m just such a Pollyanna…”*

*Please note:  To be accurate, any quotes by my mother need to be read with a strong Midwestern accent.

As it turns out, both Mom and T are right.  There is a lot of horrible abuse of children (and adults) in this film, but it still manages to be uplifting.  I think the beauty of this film is that really horrible things happen to the characters, but the hero doesn’t let it change who he is as a person and in the end (and I don’t think this is giving anything away), he triumphs.

The child actors in the movie (Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, Ayush Mahesh Khedekar, Rubiana Ali, Tanay Chheda, Ashutosh Lobo Gajiwala, and Tanvi Ganesh Lonkar – and yes, I had to copy and paste those) are fantastic and totally lacking in all the saccharine precociousness most child actors have that makes me squirm.  I listed all their names because each one of them was remarkable.  They will break your heart.

I am fully aware that this might sound a bit corny, but I don’t care.  It’s true.  This film reminded me that movies have the magical ability to transport you to a world you’ve never seen before.  This scenery was rich and beautiful and so much credit must go to Danny Boyle and Loveleen Tandan (directors), Anthony Dod Mantle (cinematographer) and Mark Digby (production designer).

I loved this film.  I recommend you go see this movie right now.  Seriously, go!  Also, if you like this movie I recommend Cidade de Deus (City of God) and Tsotsi – both similar films set in Brazil and South Africa, respectively.

ALISON SAYS:
Some of the reviews make this look like a feel good movie.  And I guess by the end, you do feel good about watching this film and feel uplifted by a tale of triumph over impossible odds and a story of love.  But be warned, this is not an easy film to watch.  The slums of Mumbai is not an easy place to be, either as an orphan on the run (like our main character) or as an audience member viewing a world that is harsh, dirty and dangerous.

I would love to pick Danny Boyle’s brain (the director).  Here’s a man who made Trainspotting and 28 Days Later and now this film.  These are three terrific, riveting films, but all so completely different.  I am happy to see him being showered with accolades, and while he is obviously is responsible for this film being so incredible, I also think a lot of credit should be given to the cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle and to A.R. Rahman, who composed the music.  The directing and acting in the film is superb, but what stayed with me were the images, the colors of this world I know nothing about.  And the amazing soundtrack.  According to IMDb, A.R Rahman is known as the John Williams of the Indian Film Industry.  I will definitely be (legally) downloading the music from Itunes.

Jessica and I went to see Slumdog Millionaire at the Arclight in the dome with my mom.  We paid full price on a Friday, dealt with huge crowds and it was well worth it to see a film like this on the big screen, especially in such a spectacular theater.  And I must thank Fox Searchlight for putting a film out there that both my mom and I could enjoy.  She tends to love romantic comedies, while I tend to hate them.  And usually any film that I love, she will call “interesting,” (which means she didn’t like it or enjoy it).  So it was nice to bring Mom to a fancy Hollywood theater, to a film that we both really enjoyed.  Mom used the word “exciting” a couple times when asked what she thought about the movie.  She also loved the dancing and said she “would recommend it.”

LA Viewers: It’s worth paying full price at the Grove or Arclight.

Translation for non-LA natives: Find a theater near you on www.moviefone.com

Check out this interesting article on Slumdog Millionaire:  http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0„20254915,00.html

Two Blondes Reflect on 2008: Year in Review

January 29, 2009

Two blondes review 2008 and ramble about themselves a lot:

JESSICA SAYS:

Best of TV

“Friday Night Lights” – Where do I start?  I already went on a little tirade about the lack of attention this show gets in our Emmy recap.  I grew up in a town where everyone went to the high school football games on Fridays.  If the team made the championships that year, it would most certainly be front page news for several days.  This show so completely and realistically captures at least the essence of small town life.  There is no other way to say it, it’s just really, really good entertainment.  Do not be discouraged if you don’t like or understand football.  I can attest that Alison has zero knowledge or interest in the game and I got her completely hooked on this show.  It is more the story of life in the high school of a small town in Texas than the stories about the technicalities of football games.  The key here is that this show is firmly rooted in reality.  These teenagers do not have a constant stream of witty retorts at the ready and are not clothed in $14,000 outfits.  The adults get equal time on screen and the relationship between the coach and his wife (the Taylors) is one of the most loving and real I’ve ever seen on TV.  There is not a single person I know who wouldn’t enjoy this show.  Seriously.  I’m not above begging you to watch it because I don’t want NBC to cancel this show–please, please give it a shot.  I promise you won’t regret it.  NOTE – this is my opinion on season two.  I haven’t yet seen season three.  For those of you out of the loop, FNL was picked up in a joint effort by NBC and DirectTV for season three.  DirectTV got to air it first.  Season three is on NBC now.

“30 Rock” – Please see the many previous posts we’ve made regarding our love for the best comedy on TV.

“Lost” – One of my all-time favorites got it’s groove back this year.  We true, diehard fans were rewarded for sticking it out through the Kate-and-Sawyer-in-Cages dark period with the Freighter folk, time travel, flash forwards, and Ben using some sort of weird donkey-at-a-mill thing in the season finale.  Awesome.  Signing a contract with an exact end date was so smart–good stories require good, planned out, endings.  I think the cast of this show doesn’t get enough credit becuase the writing gets all the attention.  If the scene where Sun (Sunjin Kim) watches the freighter explode with her husband, Jin (Daniel Dae Kim), on it doesn’t make you cry, then you must have no heart.  I’ll say it again, awesome.

“Battlestar Galactica” – This one is perhaps more of a DVD review from me because I just started watching this on DVD.  To be honest, I’m not someone who would immediately sign up for a show with such a name.  However, once I started watching it, I became a little odsessed.  When you run into another BG fan it’s hard to have you conversation blend in to those around you because you’re saying things like, “Well, I’m at the point where Starbuck is back on Caprica and Commander Adama is testing people to see who are Cyolns…”  That kind of talk will stand out to other folks in the office, I’ve found.  It’s really a military drama that just happens to be set in space.  That’s not so dorky, is it?  Oh well, it’s good.  That’s all I’m sayin’.

Best New TV Show

It’s a tie:

“Fringe” – I must confess that I love JJ Abrams.  Like if I met him I would probably resemble a teenager who ran in to Joe Jonas at Pinkberry–all giggles, screams, and repetitions of OhMyGod.  However, I did not love this show at first, but because it was JJ, I gave it some time and it really grew on me.  Mr. Abrams truely has a talent for working with strong leading ladies:  Keri Russell, Jennifer Garner, and now Anna Torv.

“Gossip Girl” – Deliciously trashy.  Do people and places like this really exist?  I doubt it, but it doesn’t matter.  You don’t watch this kind of show for reality.

Worst of TV

This is hard to judge because if it’s bad, I just don’t watch it.  I caught a few minutes of “Momma’s Boys,” the Ryan Seacrest-produced dating show.  There is just something so sad and uncomfortable about watching a 30 year-old man have his mother pick his clothes out for him.

Best of Music – Songs
“Single Ladies” – Beyonce.  This song is super catchy.  Plus you can waste hours on the Internet watching all the knock-off videos.

“I’m Yours” – Jason Mraz.  Sometimes his style of singrapping annoys the pants off of me, but not this time.  This is just a catchy, sweet love song

“Viva La Vida” – Coldplay.

Best of Music – Artists
Vampire Weekend – Yes, I know that all the cool kids have already fallen in love with this band and then broken up with them.  Heck, they maybe are even back in love with them by now, but I don’t care.  Their album makes me smile every time I listen and the geeky parts of my personality really get a kick out of lyrics like, “Who gives a f$%# about an Oxford comma.”

ADELE – I can enjoy Duffy, but if we’re going for young, English soul singers this year, I’ll go with ADELE.  She does a nice cover of Garth Brooks’ “To Make You Feel My Love.”

Worst of Music

Now, it pains me to say this, but Kelly Clarkson’s My December album was not good.  I’ve been a fan of hers since American Idol, so I preordered this album on iTunes.  Mistake.  The songs seem to have no structure (usually a bad thing in pop music), they’re depressing, and worst of all–boring.  I have high hopes for her new album, out March 17, though.

Best of Film

American Teen – I only saw one new documentary this year, but I really liked it.  Following Hannah, Colin, Megan, Mitch, et al. brought memories of the flood of emotions you go through as a senior in high school.  I’m still not sure how I feel about the animation sequences in this film, but I enjoyed the rest of it so much, that it doesn’t matter.

Bolt – I don’t want to bring about the end of my and Alison’s relationship by saying this, but my favorite animated film of 2008 was Bolt, not WALL-E.  I’m kind of obsessed with the hamster, with his bubbling super-fan excitement.  I was charmed by the pigeons’ New York accents too.

TIE: Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon – both are excellent and they have completely polar opposite tones, which makes it impossible to choose one over the other.  For my full Frost/Nixon review, see https://twoblondeswalkintoablog.wordpress.com/2008/12/28/two-blondes-go-to-a-movie-frostnixon/.  My Slumdog Millionaire review will follow shortly.

Worst of Film

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Apparently my opinion of this film is not the majority, as it just received 13 Oscar nominations.  I was just bored for most of it.  For the full review, see https://twoblondeswalkintoablog.wordpress.com/2009/01/09/two-blondes-go-to-a-movie-the-curious-case-of-benjamin-button/

ALISON SAYS:

What the fraggle happened in 2008?

Alison’s review:

Best of film:
WALL-E
It is the best film ever.  Period.

The Wrestler
See my past review.

Honorable mention goes to:
The Dark Knight – see my past review.

Worst of film:
Sex and the City
I know as someone with girly parts, I’m supposed to love this film.  I did watch the show on HBO and it was a big part of my life.  I remember meeting up with gal pals in NY and having drinks and watching “Sex and the City.”  The tradition continued once I moved to LA.  The movie, on the other hand, made me sympathize with disgruntled husbands and boyfriends all over the world who were dragged to see this film.  I was annoyed as I watched the women of Sex and the City scream and fawn over one another.  I wanted to yell at the screen: “Get over your issues and shoe obsession and stop wearing that tiny, weird hat!”

Indiana Jones
I didn’t see this, but I just know.

Best of television:“Lost” – Just watch it.

“30 Rock” – Read my many other posts on 30 Rock.

“Breaking Bad” – An amazing show.  You have never seen anything like this show on TV.

“Friday Night Lights” – No, really you can hate football and love this show.

Honorable mention goes to:
“Mad Men” – Just trust me and plug AMC into your TiVo.

Worst of television:

I wouldn’t know, because my TiVo is caring and knows what not to save.  But a safe bet would be any reality show produced by Ryan Seacrest.  Also from the five minutes I was able to stomach of “Knight Rider,” it looked pretty terrible.

Best in everything:

Tina Fey
How many Emmy’s did this woman win this year?  And how well did she portray Sarah Palin?  I can’t think of any other show that makes me as happy as “30 Rock” does.  Once again, I have to say it: “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah.”

Best online videos:“Where the hell is Matt?”
There’s always many funny, moving, interesting videos to be found on the worldwide web, but something that made my heart warm this year was watching Matt dance all over the world in the video, “Where the hell is Matt?” available here:
http://www.wherethehellismatt.com/videos.shtml?fbid=vpj970bQKUL

“I’m f-ing Matt Damon”
If you haven’t seen this, please look it up, unless you’re my mom, because she might get offended by the curse words.  Otherwise, you will find this hilarious.

Honorable mention goes to:

“Planet Unicorn” – I am too busy still laughing to explain it to you. http://www.planetunicorn.tv/

Cutest and most enthusiastic mom in 2008 (besides our own):

Michael Phelps’ mom.

Winner of Most Screaming Teenage Female Fans in 2008:
Robert Pattinson
I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing for you, Robert.  Either way, good luck with that.

Best on-air slip-up:

Spaghetti Cat – If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look it up.  Reading is fundamental, even if it’s about a cat who’s eating spaghetti.

Best Abs of 2008 goes to:Helen Mirren
Did you see that picture of Helen Mirren in a red bikini?  Damn, girl!  I mean… damn, Ms. Award Winning Lady!

Honorable mention goes to:
Our new president, Barack Obama, for those pictures from his vacation in Hawaii.

Best in technology:
Wii Fit – It’s sooooooo much fun and can actually give you a good workout, even tennis elbow.  There are a bunch of ladies at my grandmother’s “independent living home” who are in a Wii bowling league.  Is there any better use for a video game than a group of fun-loving senior citizens getting some exercise while having a laugh with their friends?

Worst in technology:
New Facebook – I’m still grumpy about it.

Best Review of 2008:

“Pop Waffle Does 2008” located here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18MMPhuHZIE

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Two Blondes Go To A Movie: The Wrestler

January 28, 2009

Two Blondes review movies and ramble a lot about themselves:

JESSICA SAYS:

Normally, if you said to me, “Jessica, do you want to go see that new Mickey Rourke movie about professional wrestlers,” I would politely decline and then reevaluate why we are friends. That was until I saw the preview for The Wrestler before The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I was intrigued. It actually looked good. Really good. Guess what? It totally is good.
Nine 1/2 Weeks was the only Mickey Rourke movie I had seen before now and I had never seen a Darren Aronofsky film. I know, I should totally see Pi and Requiem for a Dream and I want to, I just haven’t made it around to them yet (especially Requiem for a Dream; it stars my pretend boyfriend, Jordan Catalano…ahem, I mean Jared Leto. He’s so pretty.). What I did know about Mickey Rourke was, and I don’t know how to say this politely, but…OK, forget polite, the freak show that was his face after too much or just really bad plastic surgery.  But hey, I still enjoy Kathy Griffin even with somewhat distracting plastic surgery. I loved that Aronofsky made the decision to follow Rourke from behind for the first few minutes of the film. It had the combined effect of letting you get into the story without the distraction of Rourke’s face, while at the same time building tension for it’s arrival. mickey-rourke-ba1

The fact that I really enjoyed this movie is all the more remarkable when you consider that I abhor professional wrestling. My grandpa and my cousin, David, used to watch it when I was a kid and it scared the bejeezus out of me. Randy ‘Macho Man’ Savage, Jake the Snake, and of course, Hulk Hogan. I would try to watch with them, but I just couldn’t stand it. Even though I knew it was ‘fake,’ I found nothing enjoyable about watching a man hit another man with a folding chair. You don’t have to have any opinion on the WWF to appreciate this film.

Marisa Tomei is great. I never saw My Cousin Vinny, but I know there have always been rumblings that she didn’t deserve her Oscar for it. She deserves any accolades she gets for this part. Not to mention that every inch of her body is on full display in The Wrestler and she looks damn good. It’s fair to say that her performance is naked in every sense of the word, which is a pretty remarkable thing to watch.

I was really moved by this movie. If broke my heart a little, so if you’re looking for a pick-me-up, this is not the film. I won’t give away the specifics of the ending, but I will say I was pleased with it. Not everything is tied up with a little bow for you. For a change, an American film gives the audience’s intelligence the benefit of the doubt. Thank you.

I recommend seeing this film as soon as possible. Mom, if you’re reading, be warned that there are squirm-inducing injuries in this film–think staple gun. *Shiver*

ALISON SAYS:

It took me a while to finally sit down and write my review for The Wrestler. 45% of that may be contributed to procrastination and a new fascination with Hulu.com (yes, I know I’m behind the times, but I had an old computer up until recently that didn’t work well with Hulu). Anyway, my point is besides the 45% procrastination, there was also the 55% (is that math right?) that had to do with wanting to do this film justice and being able to put into words how I felt watching this film. The word “wrecked” comes to mind.
I never thought I’d be so moved by a film about a guy who spends his time in tanning booths and lycra, especially one starring Mickey Rourke. But that is why Darren Aronofsky is a genius (not that I’m not a genius, but on the genius scale, I would put Aronofsky just a tad higher). And that is also why I am saddened that Aronofsky wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for Best Directing. I haven’t seen The Reader or Milk yet, and of the other films in that category that I have seen, they were excellent movies and directors who proved why they’re at the top of their game. But nothing comes close to the surprising (some might say shocking) performance that Aronofsky got out of Mickey Rourke. I can’t imagine any other film feeling as real and heartbreaking as this one does. Aronofsky is a master at this, as can be seen in Requiem For A Dream, an amazing film.

leapThe Wrestler is gritty. It seems like a cliché word to use, but it fits. The graininess of the footage and the close-ups of Rourke’s surgery-ravaged face. Every bleak detail of Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson’s life broke my heart. There’s something about a over the hill, tanned, strangely chiseled man with bleached hair putting in a hearing aid or wearing bifocals that wrenched at my heart like nothing I’ve ever felt in a film before. Mickey Rourke deserves every accolade coming his way. I only hope he learns from the tragedy of the character he plays in The Wrestler, and uses some of that wisdom to deal with his rebirth as a movie star. Praise must also be heaped on Marisa Tomei. It took guts and fearlessness to play that role. I’m not just talking about being almost nude in the film. Tomei shows she is an Oscar worthy actress, along with still having an amazing body.

Sidenote: I found it interesting the script was written by Robert D. Spiegel, former Editor in Chief of The Onion, of which I am a big fan. I was also surprised he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for Best Screenplay.

Personal note: I used to watch wrestling on TV with my dad as a kid. Maybe that’s why I was so moved at seeing what some of my childhood entertainers may have turned into.

LA Viewers: Go see it now! It’s worth paying full price at the Grove or Arclight for.

Translation for non-LA natives: This a film worth seeing in the theaters.

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