Monday, September 12, 2016

1007. Bridesmaids

Directed by Paul Feig

Since anything female driven generates an enormous amount of hate (i.e. the new Ghostbusters, Gamergate, women's general existence), I thought I would pop over here and celebrate one of my favorite comedies of all time.

Annie Walker's life is a huge mess.   After the failure of her bakery, she is forced to take a job as a sales clerk in a jewelry store and move in with the eccentric Gil and his sister Brynn.  She is sleeping with Ted, a narcissist who is terrible in bed (but he's Jon Hamm so who could blame her?).  Basically, she is drowning and has lot all motivation to swim.  When her best friend Lillian becomes engaged, she is asked to be the maid of honor.  As every woman knows, being the maid of honor is incredibly expensive, time consuming, and overall horrific.  Annie is introduced to the rest of the wedding party, including the beautiful and intimidating Helen.

I hope I don't sound like a male hater with this next statement (particularly since most of my readers are men; hey fellas!), but I really appreciated the subtlety that the women brought to the table.  I know, I know, Melissa McCarthy could hardly be called subtle.  But there were several moments that I thought were perfect.  For example, when Helen approaches Annie for the first time.  Annie says, "You are so pretty!" and Helen replies "You're so cute!  Oh, you're so sweet!"  Every woman who watches this scene knows what a dig that was, but I am not sure men would pick up on it.  Even if they did, I don't think they would have ever put it in a script.

Of course, the male director literally had to shit all over this understated brilliance by making them include a diarrhea scene, presumably for the men in the audience.  I always fast forward that scene.  The rest of the movie is hilarious, heartwarming, and inspirational.  Also has a kick ass soundtrack.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Highest grossing R-rated female comedy of all time.

Maya Rudolph was pregnant with her third child during filming.

Monday, September 5, 2016

1006. The Aviator

The Aviator
Directed by Martin Scorsese

Good morning and Happy Labor Day!  It has been an incredibly busy week, but I didn't want to neglect my lovely readers just because I have a ton of work to do.  In other words, I am using you guys to procrastinate.

The Aviator tells the story of Howard Hughes, a man who is seemingly invincible.  He survives deadly plane crashes, he successfully woos the hotties of yesteryear, and makes profitable big budget films.  Hell, he even invented the modern hospital bed.  Despite all of this, Hughes still has demons and their presence becomes increasingly obvious throughout the film's nearly three hour run time (I wonder if I will complain about that...).

This is going to be a rather short review, as I feel that the film's strengths really speak for themselves.  Leonardo DiCaprio, of course, gave a brilliant performance as Hughes.  Many actors would have completely overacted this role (I won't name any names because I don't want to get in a fist fight, but I have several rants about this topic in my arsenal), but DiCaprio approached the part with subtlety.  Cate Blanchett also did a great job as Katharine Hepburn.  Hepburn is a tough woman to imitate.  Maybe that's why people keep asking me to stop trying.

Anyway, I do have to gripe about the sheer length of the film, as I felt like the impact of the ending was slightly lessened by my own restlessness.  Still, it's Scorsese so I suppose he is worth it.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

I know this might come as a surprise, but this was the acting debut of Gwen Stefani.

Received 11 Academy Award nominations.