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Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau - Movie Thoughts

Last night, we saw The Adjustment Bureau. It’s a pity nothing better is out for us to see, because we’ve been heavy into the movies this week (one of us will be seeing both Never Say Never and Red Riding Hood soon, so get excited). Now, we didn't spoil anything here, but we did make a comment about whether we liked the ending or not, so if you don't want to see that, be warned.

This movie was frustrating for us, because it had a love story we cared about, at least a little, and an interesting premise that the story sometimes took advantage of. There was tension, excitement, and running. The movie also explored the theme of free will versus fate, an often-debated and mused-over topic, in a fun way. It's also nice to see a movie that wasn't completely ruined by the trailer.

But there were some gaps in this movie’s logic, at least for us. Also, we weren’t nuts about the quick-fix ending. It wasn’t as disappointing as the ending to, say, Secret Window, but it was no Sixth Sense. The movie was entertaining and creepy enough to be a decent romp, but with the lackluster ending, it didn’t have enough to be a good movie.

The two leads and their cute personalities make the movie work. Who knew Matt Damon and Emily Blunt would have chemistry? The point of the movie is that true romantic love trumps everything (SHOCKER in our culture. Not), even plans from on-high. At least the love relationship is strong enough to make the audience believe that through the whole sci-fi show. The movie made us wish that this was a long, intellectual, romantic sci-fi book that could take the time and courage to have a thoughtful, satisfying ending and a more complex plot. We could have stayed in this world and premise longer with the likeable characters. This is one of the best movies in theatres right now, so you could do worse.

Movie Grade: B

Friday, March 11, 2011

Winter's Bone movie thoughts

Yeah, we skipped some of our shows and saw another movie. Oops. We WILL be on top of things after this weekend though. Spring break will be over, and we will have no lives again. YAY! Plus, most of the shows are on hiatus right? We want to savor the Southland finale. We guess we can always watch Off the Map or something. But we digress.

Winter’s Bone sort of looked like a modern-day Little House on the Prairie from what we saw of the pictures. Pretty Jennifer Lawrence running through the snow. Blah blah blah. How wrong we were. Winter’s Bone is, in fact, nothing like Little House on the Prairie. It’s actually a movie about poor, meth dealing hillbillies in the mountains and a 17-year-old girl trying to track down her father so she can keep the family house. It sounds grim, but it’s actually not depressing. Halfway through the movie, you realize it’s a mystery story.

We liked the acting, the story, the characters, and just about everything else about this odd movie. What we didn’t like so much was the pacing. There were minutes that snailed by. There are moments with genuine tension, and the movie almost evolves into a gripping thriller that you run and tell your friends about. That wouldn’t have gotten the Oscar nod for Best Picture though. Instead, what you get is an interesting little movie that you will probably never want to watch again or own on DVD. We were sad to leave the setting and situation and wondered if there was more potential for a great mystery story there, rather than just a well-made movie. It took too long to get going to get a perfect grade from us.

Movie Grade: B+

Readers from Japan

Our thoughts go out to the Japanese people. Ya'll will get through this with the same honor, sense of community, and intelligence Japan is known for. Praying for you guys.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Company Men - Movie thoughts

Ashthon went home on American Idol. We are happy. She was not good. Her exit song was one of her best performances though. Too bad she didn’t give America that earlier. We agree with the America’s Next Top Model exit too.

In the past two days, we have shunned most TV in favor of movies with our families. Don't worry, we will catch up on all of our shows. We saw The Company Men today.

The Company Men is less of an entertaining movie and more of Hollywood trying to reach the public where they are now. As a timely message piece trying to hit Americans during a recession, it's great. As entertainment, it was bland and a little forgettable. It was a little depressing, but lacked enough emotion to really touch us. It had a good cast, but there wasn’t much of a story, just a good message. The movie centered on things we can relate to, not people we can relate to.

The movie centered on three rich men. One, Ben Affleck, lost his high-paying, competitive job and had to humble himself, take a lower paying job, and spend more time with his family (and fantastically supportive wife). It was hard to relate to his character at first, because he had a very large ego, and none of us think we have very large egos. : ) Also, he was living paycheck-to-paycheck, spending everything he earned to keep up a showy, extravagant lifestyle. Note to selves: Live well beneath your means, so you have savings and you aren’t relying on material things and your next paycheck. We didn’t want Ben Affleck to find a job, because he was learning too much by not having one, so that plotline lacked tension. Another, Tommy Lee Jones, was laid off at an older age and was able to keep up his lifestyle, but he felt bad about the direction the company he had built had taken. The third man also had a hard time with losing his job. None of these men were remotely poor. They were all white collar and could survive and provide decently for their families, unlike a lot of people in the country right now. So what these men suffered was more of a loss of identity. Reflecting on how the company used to be in the past, Tommy Lee Jones said, “Those men knew their worth. Those men knew who they were.”

We’ve said it before, and we will say it again: Identity and a sense of purpose are central to who we are as humans, and you have to base your identity on something that won’t be a waste of your life. If you base your identity on something you will lose, believe us, you WILL lose it. This movie echoed this truth, but it picked the family and a life without worry as a replacement for work. Being dedicated to your job, taking pride in providing for your family, and working to succeed are all good things. When good things that aren’t ultimate things become your obsession, they turn into bad things. It’s for you to decide what you will devote your life to. If you don’t make a conscious decision, you will make an unconscious one/something will pick YOU without your active permission. You will end up obsessing over what people think of you, stuff, your job, worrying, one specific person, your children, romantic love, whatever. It’s much better to consciously pick what you’re about and monitor it. These men were so surprised by the devastating effect of losing the prestige and purpose their jobs brought them. To be making more than $120,000 per year and then have to live off of $65,000 per year? GAH!!! (Sarcasm. These people went from rich to still rich.) This movie is perfect to take your work-obsessed husband to. It’s well-written, but you already know what’s going to happen. Just watch the trailer. People get fired, lose a sense of self, then either pick their lives up…or don’t. Stretch that over two hours.

Movie grade: B-

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Glee - Sexy review

Sorry about the five-day hiatus, faithful readers. It's called spring break. But one of us has crawled back from vacationland and was happy to see that our numbers did not suffer, even though we have deprived you. Muchos gracias. Now, onto the Glee.

It seems like Glee had already tackled themes like celibacy, teen sex, pregnancy, and talking through your feelings. We guess they had to do it again, only more seriously this time. What we DIDN’T like was Holly Holiday asserting over-and-over in the beginning of the episode that it is “unrealistic” and “na├»ve” to be a virgin through high school. That’s just what sluts say to excuse their behavior. It’s like saying, “Everybody does it, so I can too.” We know plenty of people who made it past high school. In fact, we think it's the majority. http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/06/04/us-youth-usa-idUSN0440966320080604 Also, by that logic (people can’t control themselves), people can claim it’s impossible to be faithful to your spouse. People can control themselves. Even teens. If they want to do that, if that’s their choice, it’s possible and a good life lesson on patience. Then the episode crossed over into just downright insulting when Holly said that these people were probably “frigid”. Way to make responsible kids who know they aren’t ready yet feel damaged and bad about themselves!

Either you are nodding your head right now, or you are thinking, “Whichever blogger wrote this post is just a sad virgin.” We have no response to that. The show had a lot of good sex tips for young viewers though. A condom protects against pregnancy and HIV. And making a sex tape is child porn.

SO much happened in this episode. It didn’t completely revolve around Holly Holiday either! Other than her previously mentioned comments, we enjoyed her this episode. Gwyneth Paltrow delivered her lines perfectly, moved the plot along, and served to be the funniest character of the hour. "Just remember, when you have sex with someone, you're having sex with everyone they've had sex with. And everybody's got a random." – Holly. Can you believe Emma hasn’t slept with Carl yet? Whoa Momma, he’s hot and they are married. That makes no sense. And the reason might be that she is still in love with Will Schuester? Sorry to tell you, Emma, but we’ve been watching this show for more than a year, and we are pretty sure that guy is gay. Speaking of the gays, the best song this week was probably Blaine and Kurt’s Warbler-backed “Animal.” Kurt was waaaay too autotuned though. If the show can pay to hire Max Martin to write Glee’s original songs, it can pay to have someone competent handle the autotune when they need to use it. There is a way to make it less obvious. It just takes longer. It’s pure laziness on the part of the producers.

We loved Brittany in this episode. We prefer Santana to Artie, but no one deserves to be cheated on. Brittany thinking she was pregnant was priceless. We actually felt for Santana when she very sweetly confessed her love for Brittany in her most vulnerable moment ever. She was shot down (nicely, in a mature way), and it was a good thing, but we felt so bad for her! Artie needs to die and that needs to happen. We know it’s weird that we would rather have Artie die than get cheated on. It might be partly that we don’t want to see him whine for weeks.

We have an apology to make. We thought it was awkward for Kurt to want advice from his dad on sex and for Burt to “educate himself.” We thought a sex talk from Burt to Kurt would just be unnecessary and lame. Blaine felt differently, and adorably went to Burt to ask him to give Kurt a sex talk. Blaine was concerned that Kurt would have a bad experience due to lack of knowledge. Blaine said, "I don't have the relationship with my dad that you have with Kurt. I think it'd be really cool if you took advantage of that." Burt wasn’t into the idea at first, but he came around. And with the following speech, Kurt’s dad became our all-time favorite Dad on TV.

"For most guys, sex is just always this thing we want to do. It’s fun. It’s feels great. But we’re not thinking so much about how it makes us feel on the inside or, you know, how the other person feels about it….But it’s about more than just the physical. When you're intimate with someone in that way, you're exposing yourself. You're never gonna be more vulnerable, and that scares the hell out of a lot of guys. I can’t tell you how many buddies I’ve got who got who have gotten in way too deep with a girl who they thought was just cool with hooking up. For you, it’s worse. With two guys you've got two people who think that sex is just sex. It's gonna be easier to come by and once you start, you aren't gonna want to stop. You gotta know that it means something. It's doing something to you, to your heart, to your self-esteem, even though it feels like you're just having fun...When you're ready, I want you to be able to do everything. But when you're ready, I want you to use it as a way to connect to another person. Don't throw yourself around like you don't matter, because you matter, Kurt…That’s it, for now. Can I make you some toast?" Pair him with Lorelai Gilmore, and you would have the perfect parents. Who knew one of the most true sex lessons we’ve ever seen on TV would come out of a Burt/Kurt sex talk? If kids listen to this advice, it will save them from getting hard, cold hearts.

As for the other songs, "Kiss" was unbearable. What a butchering. Matthew Morrison’s falsetto sounds like someone is choking him. "Don’t You Want to Touch Me?" was “meh.” Glee’s "Afternoon Delight" didn’t hold a candle to Michael and Maeby Bluth’s version. "Landslide" was lovely, but that song has been remade enough already. As for more coupling news, we do not like Quinn and Finn STILL, even though their scene this week was pretty cute. And yay for Will moving on, even though we know Holly isn’t the endgame. Also, Lauren kissed Puck, even though he joined the celibacy club and didn’t make a sex tape with her. "I like wooing you. Next to dropping my afternoon deuce, it's my favorite part of the day." – Puck.

Last comment: For an episode about sex, it sure was light on freaky Tina and Mike’s abs, right? Light on the Sue too, and everyone knows she is pure sex.

Episode Grade: B (Points off for no substantial Lea Michele song, duh.)