Tag Archives: Awesome soundtrack

Cruel Intentions (1999)

Cruel Intentions

Genre: Drama

Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon

Synopsis: Two wealthy, spoilt, and morally corrupt teenagers enter into a wager in which Ryan Phillippe will seduce the headmaster’s virginal daughter. Things don’t go to plan, however, when he finds himself falling for her girl-next-door charm.

Sometimes I wonder why it is that I am such a ho bag. Seriously, I’ve lost count of all the individuals I have had trysts with…and I’m not including that homeless guy that grabbed my ass one time. I suppose it’s part of that nature vs. nurture debate and, if I were to pick a side, I would say that it was more of a nurture thing. Why do I say that? Well maybe it’s because, at the age of 10, I idolised Buffy the vampire slayer. I didn’t want to be with her; I wanted to BE her. I wanted to be Buffy so badly that I watched everything Sarah Michelle Gellar was in so I could learn her secrets. Eventually I found myself watching Cruel Intentions. With this in mind, is it really surprising that I turned out the way I did?

Let me explain, Cruel Intentions is all about Sarah Michelle Gellar getting in touch with her bad self. Up until this film, she had only played do-gooders and likeable characters. In Cruel Intentions, she lets out her inner bitch-whore from hell and has a bloody good time doing it. She makes being a slut look like fun. How slutty does she get? Well…she propositions her step brother with something no red-blooded male can refuse.

 Butt Secks

Yes, that’s right. She offers her brother anal sex. They’re not related by blood, you understand, but it’s still pretty scandalous. I don’t remember Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons offering John Malkovich entry to her back passage…although they may have had a different word for it in 18th century France. So much of enjoyment can be had watching Gellar play the villain and it is obvious she really relished the opportunity to do it. She even looks as though she had fun making out in the park with Selma Blair.

It pains me to say, however, that aside from Gellar the film really doesn’t really offer much else in the way of brilliance. Despite having an impressive cast, none of them match Gellar’s ruthless charm (except maybe Christine Baranski who is brilliant in everything she is in purely because she is Christine Baranski). This is perhaps one of Witherspoon’s weakest roles and Phillippe doesn’t get naked nearly as much as he should. Moreover, the plot plods along at a rather slow pace and not enough is done at the outset of the movie to inspire empathy for Phillippe’s character. When the climax finally happened, I was rather underwhelmed. Having said that, the film does have a banging soundtrack and features instant 90s classics such as Every You Every Me, Coffee & TV, and Bitter Sweet Symphony.

All jokes about me being a ho aside, the film does offer one useful piece of advice to teenagers and young adults: it’s alright to get your baps out in private but for the love of God don’t take photos. Tara Reid learns the hard way in this movie….which is kind of ironic if you think about it….or maybe it’s just appropriate…

Tara Reid BoobsI’ll let you be the judge

High-lights:

  • Sarah Michelle Gellar inspiring me to be a cunt and a slag. Although, I do draw the line at cocaine and incest.
  • Brilliant soundtrack.
  • IT’S SO 90s!!!!! So much nostalgia.
  • Score one for the lesbians.

Downers:

  • Boring and two-dimensional characters.
  • Wealthy teenagers piss me off.
  • Disappointing climax.

Summary:

Cruel Intentions is not the sort of film that will inspire admiration and it’s not the sort of film that will make anyone’s top 10 list. It’s clunky in places and, at times, improperly thought out and executed. However, I would advise you to watch this film purely for Sarah Michelle Gellar. Although she’s no Meryl Streep, Gellar has her own strengths and her own charm which are deployed in full force here and it’s always fun to watch a movie that has a brilliant villain.

5.5/10

4 Comments

Filed under Drama, Meh

Jackie Brown (1997)

Jackie Brown

Genre: Drama, Thriller

Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster, Robert De Niro

Synopsis: An aging flight attendant gets caught smuggling money into the US for a gun-runner. Unfortunately, some coke was hidden with the money. She then becomes the central figure in a plot to deceive both the dealer and the cops.

I have a theory that you can instantly tell what a person is like based on what their favourite Tarantino movie is. After more than twenty years in the industry, Tarantino has produced a diverse filmography that not only caters to his own individual style but also to the varied tastes of his audience. For the aesthetes, you have the visual glory of Kill Bill. For the experimental, you have the intoxicating effect of Pulp Fiction. And for those who love boobs and cars, you have Death Proof. My favourite Tarantino movie, however, is one of his least well-received: Jackie Brown. This film is for those who love complex characters and those who give greater weight to substance as opposed to style.

That’s not to say that Jackie Brown is lacking in style because it’s not. On the contrary, the film is chock-full of gorgeous camera work and the hallmarks of a traditional Tarantino film (think rapid and sharp conversation, a soundtrack that is on point, and feet). What I mean to say is that Jackie Brown feels like a more mature and a more subdued version of a Tarantino film. It is a film that functions as a character study and, for the majority of its duration, the audience is left to observe the complexities the central characters. Other Tarantino staples, such as ultra-violence and general fucked-up-ness, take a back-seat.

It would be impossible to write this review without saying anything about Pam Grier. Let’s just get one thing straight: I love that girl with all my heart. I remember the first time I saw Coffy. I knew it was love right away. Any woman who dumps a salad bowl on a cracker bitch and is smart enough to hide razor blades in her weave automatically wins my respect.

In Jackie Brown, Grier delivers a nuanced performance and gives Jackie layers. We see her character’s strength, her intelligence, her wit, and also her vulnerability. As the film progresses, the audience’s affectation and admiration for her grows and, by the end, we are all rooting for her. She is a character we can all respect and one we can all identify with on some level. Grier is not the only one who delivers a stellar performance. Robert Forster and Samuel L. Jackson both give it their all, Forster as a love-struck bondsman and Jackson as the ruthless gun-runner Ordell. In fact, I would say that this is Jackson’s best performance ever. While some may prefer his role in Pulp Fiction, I think it’s this film that allows him to display his range: he’s funny, quick, and terrifying all at the same time. Plus, the man gets props for putting a bullet in one of the most annoying fuckers in the galaxy.

Ruby RhodBZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!

To be frank, you can’t go wrong with this movie. I’m having a difficult time picking out anything I actively disliked. This is simply Tarantino at his finest.

High-lights:

  • Pam Grier kicking ass.
  • Samuel L. Jackson with the rattiest looking weave I have ever seen.
  • A well-paced and developed storyline that isn’t going to make you say: “say wut???”
  • The hooker dancing to The Supremes was hysterical.
  • A lovely ending: bitter-sweet with just the right amount of romance.
  • Killer soundtrack.

Downers:

  • Sharonda the rock ho is pretty depressing.

Summary:

If this is a Tarantino film you have yet to see then you are in for a treat my friend. It’s got top-notch characters, acting, writing, the whole shebang. Plus, it’s on Netflix. I’m almost tempted to give you my log in details just so you can watch it now.

10/10

4 Comments

Filed under Drama, Mind Blowingly Awesome, Thriller

Celeste and Jesse Forever (2011)

Celeste and Jesse Forever

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama

Cast: Rashida Jones, Andy Samberg, Elijah Wood

Synopsis: Childhood sweethearts Celeste and Jesse are getting divorced but can they manage to stay best friends?

I like to keep as up to date as possible when it comes to movies. I read all sorts of things to keep abreast of the movie industry: trade magazines, newspapers, blog posts, reddit etc. As such, I get quite surprised when I come across a movie I haven’t heard a lot about. Celeste and Jesse Forever was one of those movies. I was instantly drawn to it because it has my future husband (Andy Samberg) in it and I was spurred on by good reviews and word-of-mouth. Overall, it wasn’t a bad choice.

The film boasts an impressive cast who manage to do a pretty good job for the most part. If this movie accomplished one thing it’s that it convinced me of Rashida Jones’ talents as a serious dramatic actress. She showed a lot of potential in The Social Network and in this film she cashes it all in. The best example is when Jesse tells her he got some book shop slut knocked up a few months after the divorce. Seriously, why is it always the bookish ones that are the hoes? Subconsciously, it’s probably the reason why I hang out in book shops so much…I’m looking for a gentleman in the streets but a freak between the sheets….moving on. Jones really impressed me in the scene. You can almost feel her pain as she desperately tries to reel it in. The other cast members also have their moments but it’s Jones that really stood out. Actually, do you know who else stood out?

Surprise Bitch

That’s right! Emma Roberts. Her character is complete fluff in this movie. She essentially plays some sort of bitchy Lindsay Lohan/Miley Cyrus combo. There is no real reason to have her in the film but I don’t care because I secretly love her. I also love her character’s song in this movie, “Do it on my face.” What I did not appreciate, however, was Jones’ characters’ attempt to market her to the gay crowd because we love dick in the butt. Yes, we do love dicks in butts, I will admit that, but I’m not going to buy merchandise or buy into a product simply because it references that. Gay guys are not that shallow. Fag-hags, maybe, but not gay guys.

While I enjoyed most of the film, it did suffer from two central failings. The first is that it tries a little too hard to be the new 500 Days of Summer by subverting the romantic comedy genre. I wasn’t convinced it accomplished it as successfully as 500 Days of Summer which, in my opinion, did it in an effortless and honest way. The character drama in Celeste and Jesse Forever is a little too ridiculous to be believable and borders on farcical at times. It feels a little too contrived. The second failing was occasional clumsy writing. For instance, I don’t know why the writers pretend that LA is some spiritual-health mecca. Don’t get me wrong, I love LA but it is not Nirvana. Angelinos don’t all do yoga or pilates. Moreover, people who say “Namaste” and discuss kale varieties are likely to get “Bitch please” looks.

Bitch PleaseChristina gets it

OK, you know what? I actually do love kale but I’m not THAT crazy about it. I swear.

High-lights:

  • Rashida Jones ability to do serious dramatic acting.
  • Beautiful LA. This is the city I fell in love with…although I swear to God the people who live there aren’t always like this.
  • Andy Samberg…drool.
  • Awesome soundtrack couples with some great Sofia Coppola-esque dream-like scenes.
  • Lots and lots of pot.

Downers:

  • Elijah Wood makes for a pretty dull gay friend.
  • A little too contrived in places.
  • Lazy stereotyping thanks to clumsy scriptwriting.

Summary:

I enjoyed this film. I’m not going to pretend it’s the greatest film out there but it was certainly a good way to kill a couple of hours. I can’t guarantee you’ll like, though. That will depend on your ability to overlook its sense of self-awareness. If you can look past it though I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

7/10

2 Comments

Filed under Comedy, Drama, Good, Romance

Tron: Legacy (2010)

Tron_Legacy_poster

Genre: Sci-Fi, Action/Adventure

Cast: Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Jeff Bridges

Synopsis: I have no fucking clue…something about being sucked into a computer and then Olivia Wilde shows up and she’s important to the story somehow but I couldn’t figure out why.

Weed can be both a blessing and a curse. There are times when it augments a viewing experience so much that it seems silly to watch movies without smoking a joint. Then there are times when your mind completely clouds over and you might as well watch a brick wall for all the entertainment you get out of it. I had one of those experiences last Saturday when I sat down to watch this movie with a friend. I let him choose the movie which, in retrospect, was a bad thing to do because during Tron: Legacy the phrase “What the fuck is going on?” must have been uttered about 20 times. Seriously, I was so baked. I caught a reflection of myself in the mirror and I looked like this dog:

Stoned dog

I feel like it would be unfair to review this movie in light of my state of mind while watching it. However, I don’t have any alternative movies lined up so you guys will just have to cope somehow.

Right off the bat, I can tell you that there were some very impressive things about this movie. Firstly, the visuals. This is the sort of movie 3D was made for. Part of me wishes that I had seen this in cinemas when it first came out. The neon lights, the crazy arenas and death matches, and Jeff Bridges digitally altered face would have been much spectacular had they been amplified on the big screen. When you’re watching the movie on an i-pad screen it just doesn’t have the same effect.

The second thing I liked about Tron: Legacy was the soundtrack. Make no mistake, this film is essentially “Daft Punk: The Movie.” I think the robot duo even have a cameo in the film. I think the constant robo-techno-techno would probably get on some peoples’ nerves but I enjoyed it and if you’re a fan of their music then you will definitely appreciate their contribution.

I think part of my problem with this film is that I had not seen the original Tron. The storyline probably would have made a lot more sense had I done some background research first. Plus, that way I would have been much less inclined to pick out the flaws of the actors in this movie…namely Oliva Wilde’s asymmetric fringe/bob that I just wanted to attack. Also, I have a hard time accepting Garrett Hedlund as the lead in a family friendly film after I saw him butt-fuck Steve Buscemi. There are some things that you just can’t unsee.

My eyes

High-lights:

  • Toe-tapping, shape-throwingly good soundtrack.
  • Great graphics.

Downers:

  • I have no idea what this movie was about or what happened in it. I seriously can’t even remember the characters’ names.

Summary:

This film was a bit of a write-off thanks to the fact I was baked off my tits. I feel like I should come back to this one after seeing the original though as this film clearly had its strengths. Maybe if I come back to it I’ll be able to grasp the plot the second time around.

5/10

7 Comments

Filed under Action/Adventure, Meh, Sci-Fi

Drive (2011)

Drive

Genre: Thriller, Drama

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston

Synopsis: An unnamed Hollywood stunt driver moonlights as a getaway driver and gets mixed up with all sorts of crazy shit.

I have to be honest: I did not find Ryan Gosling hot for a really long time. Everyone else was swooning over him and I sat there saying “meh” in a disinterested tone. Then, last year, I made a trip to the cinema to watch Only God Forgives with my mum. The whole situation was like 50 shades of awkward thanks to all the references to incest in the film but there was one thing I noticed: Ryan Gosling is smoking hot when he plays violent characters. It was then I realised what his appeal was to me. He is the tough guy with the puppy-like face who can fuck you really hard and then crack your enemies’ skulls with one punch just to prove that he loves you.

GoslingMy hero!

I was curious to see if my sick attraction to Ryan Gosling raised its head in the first Winding Refn-Gosling collaboration. Of course it did! In Drive, Gosling plays a hunky Jesus-like stunt-driver/mechanic/getaway driver with a sweet jacket who goes to strip joints to smack around pimps and pushers with a hammer. However, Gosling’s character in this movie is more appealing than the one in Only God Forgives. In this film, he’s neither a hero nor a villain and his complexity makes him an interesting subject. At times you don’t know whether to root for him or condemn his actions but he always holds your fascination. Plus the kiss he gives Carey Mulligan in the lift was epic. She is one lucky bitch who better watch her back because I will cut her if I ever meet her. I will cute her. To. The. Bone.

My Gosling induced boner aside, this film has a lot of strengths. One thing that really grabbed me was the sound effects and the sound editing. The opening scene was pure magic: a pulsing beat that builds up tension for a very clever chase scene which then morphs into electronica coupled with majestic shots of Los Angeles. The opening ten minutes provided a feast for the senses. At times the soundtrack can wander into “80s robot music” territory but for the most part it hits the nail on the head and it gives the film a stylishly retro feel.

Robot musicPictured: the Drive soundtrack

Like Only God Forgives, Dive is very violent. I mean like “fork in the eye grindhouse” kind of violent. The violence is gritty and gruesome but it never feels particularly gratuitous. Even the scene in the lift where Gosling beats a guy to death with his fists and boots served a greater purpose. The short and violent outbursts shock and appal but allow the audience to delve deeper into the psyche of the central characters. Although Gosling’s character inflicts some of the worst injuries, there is something raw and powerful about the way he does it. In a way, his violence feels more noble and honourable. It’s a strange way to feel, considering you’re watching people being brutally killed, but that’s one of the great things about this movie: it challenges you and allows your sympathies to wander in a way that may take you by surprise.

High-lights:

  • Ryan Gosling doing his wounded puppy pout and showing off the guns and fixing cars.
  • Beautiful shots of Los Angeles.
  • Smart car chases that grip the audience.
  • I want that jacket.

Downers:

  • The violence may be too much for some to handle.
  • The story with Mulligan and her kid veers towards cheesy at point…but only slightly.

Summary:

Drive is undoubtedly one of the best films released in recent years. It packs a powerful combo of both style and substance. I would highly recommend that you watch this film and, even if you don’t enjoy it, it will provide you with some great material for the Ryan Gosling wank-bank.

9/10

12 Comments

Filed under Drama, Great, Thriller

Flashdance (1983)

Genre: Romance, Drama

Cast: Jennifer Beals, Michael Nouri

Synopsis: A steel-town girl on a Saturday night, looking for the fight of her life…also her boss’ schlong.

I have a lesbian friend at work who is awesome. For a while now she’s been trying to convince me to watch Flashdance because it’s her favorite movie. I always considered it to be quite a lesbionic movie in light of the fact it’s about a female welder who moonlights as a dancer. As such, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to watch it because I fucking love lesbians. Fortunately, there is a copy of it on Netflix so, after a loooong day at work, I decided to relax with some Lemon Haze and get my 80s dance groove thang on.

First off, can I just say how much I love the 80s. I wish my life was an 80s movie, WHY ISN’T MY LIFE LIKE AN 80s MOVIE!? I’d wear all sorts of shoulder padded outfits or t-shirts with a large neck-hole so it hangs off one shoulder. Then I’d move to Pittsburgh to make it as a dancer because I’m sure that actually happens now. That’s one thing I love about 80s movies: they always have this sense of optimism and possibility. Not like today’s movies in which the obese girl is illiterate, steals a bucket of KFC, has a kid and then gets HIV…Precious broke my spirit. I also love that 80s movies didn’t always have big names in them. For a movie like Flashdance to get made today, it would need to star someone like Christina Aguilera and cost over $50 million to make (see Burlesque). Part of the joy of Flashdance is that it is essentially the little movie that could. Everyone loves an underdog, right?

I guess the reason why I liked this movie so much was because I felt like I could identify with the main character, Alex Owens. It’s all about one girl’s dreams to make it big and make her lovely old grandmother proud. I have dreams too…although they don’t involve dancing or sleeping with my boss…unless he has money. Flashdance is the story of my life but with a lot more metal work and welding. This fact, coupled with an absolutely banging soundtrack and surprisingly good dance sequences, ensured that I had a riotous time. The whole way through I was singing along and busting moves in my 420 stupor. I felt like I was at the club of my life and I was the hottest mo fo in the room. It got me in such a positive mood that I didn’t even care about the romantic side of the movie, until the moment when she fellates a lobster in a fancy restaurant virtually topless in front of her boyfriend’s ex-wife. Jesus Christ! That’s pretty extreme and keep in mind that I used to live in San Francisco…I seent some weird shit there.

All in all I really recommend this movie. It chucks positivity and awesome music at you and everyone needs that from time to time. Although, when I spoke to my lesbian friend today she told me that one of her talented graphic design friends is living the Flashdance lifestyle because she moved to Australia and had a baby with some awful guy who likes to hunt pigs with a pack of savage dogs. I can’t help but feel that she’s confusing Flashdance with Precious.

High-lights:

  • SHE’S A MANIAC! MANIAC ON THE FLOOR! Everyone do your on-the-spot running! NOW TWIRL!!!
  • Pittsburgh actually looked very pretty which I was surprised at because I was led to believe it was Detroit-Lite. All I know is that I want her apartment.
  • “Lady let me touch you there you know you want to ooooohh” *grabs boob.
  • The lackluster stripper friend whom Alex Owens drags out of the strip club. “YOU’RE A WHORE” *throws money at her “I’M NOT A WHORE!” *picks money up out of the gutter.
  • One of the ladies on the dance panel is eying Alex up like a crack addict would a spoon.

Downers:

  • OK, I admit it, the acting isn’t actually THAT good.
  • It depresses me a little to think that in England if I saw someone busting awesome shapes on the street I would just walk by and do that English thing of pretending I never saw it.
  • No real eye-candy for the ladies or gays.

Summary:

Flashdance is easily one of the best movies of the 80s. It’s just so full of perky 80s optimism that I can no longer really connect to…thank you Margaret Thatcher. If you’re going to watch this baked you’ll need a strain that will keep you active and encourage you to get up and bust a move. Watch it on your own or with friends, who cares!? You’re a steel-town girl on a Saturday night, looking for the fight of your life and that’s all that matters.

8.5/10

6 Comments

Filed under Drama, Great, Romance