Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Cut Above the Rest

Edward Scissorhands
Director: Tim Burton
Cast: Johnny Depp, Dianne Weist, Winona Ryder, Alan Arkin, Michael Anthony Hall, Vincent Price
Released: December 14, 1990

Oscar nominations:
Best Makeup (lost to Dick Tracy)

I can just see Tim Burton's pitch for this movie: "I want to make a movie about this guy and he has SCISSORS for HANDS!" And the producers were probably like, "Hmm, that sounds interesting. Go for it, Mr. Burton!" If any other person had directed this, no doubt it would have been a horror movie. I mean, the guy has SCISSORS for HANDS! That is completely terrifying! And not just one pair of scissors for each hand, oh no, he has one huge pair of scissors for each hand, then a few other smaller ones. But being that it's a Tim Burton movie (and, if, for some reason you didn't know it was directed by Burton, you would totally be able to tell), it's very whimsical. There are elements of romance and comedy and some horror, but none of the horror is brought on by the guy with SCISSORS for HANDS! (Gee, how do you think they came up with his name?) I believe this is the first movie Burton and Depp made together and they would go on to make many more movies together, for better or worse!

I had seen this movie before, but it's been quite awhile. The only other person I remembered in this movie besides Johnny Depp as the titular character was Winona Ryder, who plays Kim, the love interest. She actually doesn't appear in the movie until about forty minutes in. Well, technically, she's at the very beginning as her character as an old woman so she's wearing lots of old age makeup. Her granddaughter wants to hear a bedtime story so she tells her the tale of Edward Scissorhands. I had completely forgotten about this scene and was thinking, That old lady sure sounds a lot like Winona Ryder with an old lady voice, then realized, oh, yeah, duh! That's because it IS Winona Ryder! 

One of the interesting things about this movie is that it isn't set in a specific time or place. It's sort of timeless like that. Obviously when we first meet Edward it's quite a few decades earlier as Kim was an old woman in the first scene and now she's telling the story of when she was a teenager. We first meet her mom, Pam (Dianne Weist) who is an Avon lady selling her products to the neighborhood, but not having any luck. All the houses in the neighborhood look exactly the same, only they are all different colors: either pink, blue, green, or yellow. They all live in a cul-de-cal and at the end of the cul-de-sac is this huge, looming gray castle on a cliff that is obviously CGI-ed in. Well, I don't know if CGI was a thing back in 1990, but they obviously did something to paint it in the picture. Pam gets the idea to sell her products to this place and that's where she meets Edward. She is quite taken aback by this strange young man who is very pale, dressed all in leather, has scratches all over his face, and, oh yeah, has SCISSORS for HANDS! Since Edward appears to be alone, she decides to bring him home because she feels bad for him. In the car, he gets very excited and points at something, nearly jabbing her in the face with his scissorhand. She uses her products to apply to his face to try to get conceal the scars. (Poor guy probably gets one every time he has to scratch his face!) 

There are quite a few funny scenes. Since Kim is away camping for a few days, Pam lets Edward sleep in her room. She has a waterbed and he pokes it with one of the blades from his scissorhand and water is sprouting everywhere. There's another moment where Pam has lent Edward some of her husband's clothes and is sewing something for him and needs a pair of scissors to cut a piece of thread and she's looking around, and, duh, she has Edward Scissorhands right there in front of her so she asks him to cut the thread and he does, looking quite proud of himself for being useful. Pam also has a younger son and there's a scene where Pam and Edward are sitting at the dinner table with him and Pam's husband (Alan Arkin). Since he has SCISSORS for HANDS, Edward is having a bit of a difficult time eating and it's pretty funny watching him try to scoop up one little pea and attempt to put it in his mouth. (You think he would just stab it with one of the blades!) I don't know why they didn't help him with his food. It makes you wonder how he ate before he even got there. Of course, being created by an eccentric inventor (Vincent Price), he probably doesn't really even need to eat. We see flashbacks of the inventor with Edward and Edward was suppose to get a pair of hands, but right before the inventor was about to touch them, he drops dead. I don't think they would have helped Edward much anymore as they were just plastic hands! I wasn't really sure how exactly Edward was created; I guess he's suppose to be a Frankenstein-like character. Instead of being scared of him (well, the extremely religious woman does call him the devil), all the neighbors are delighted by him, especially when he starts trimming all the hedges into delightful shapes such as people and animals. (He seemed to like cutting them into dinosaurs). He also gives haircuts and trims dogs. There's a scene where he cuts the hair of a very shaggy dog and it's so obvious it's a completely different breed of dog because the dog was much shorter before it got all its hair cut! 

Edward sees a picture of Kim and becomes quite smitten with her. Everyone remembers the relationship between the two of them and this might be because Depp and Ryder did have a relationship for a little while. Because, honestly, their relationship in the movie makes no sense. When they first meet, it's quite amusing. Kim must not have told her parents she was coming home early, because she's dropped off at her house and goes to her bedroom where Edward is in her bed. She starts taking off her clothes (but not all of them) and looks in the mirror when she suddenly sees Edward in her bed in the reflection and starts freaking out. Her parents go into her room and there's a funny shot of Edward getting out of the bed and walking down the hall really fast. A lot of Depp's acting is just based on physical comedy as he doesn't speak very much and when he does talk, it's only one or two words at a time. When he does say a full sentence, it's quite jarring because you're not used to it and it doesn't seem natural. Kim has a boyfriend, Jim (Anthony Michael Hall), who's a real jerk and uses Edward to unlock his dad's office with one of the blades so he can steal something. Edward ends up getting caught and blamed for the whole thing. Kim breaks up with Jim and helps Edward after the entire neighborhood has turned on him. One of the neighbor women has accused him of assaulting her when she opened a salon for him to cut hair. The woman has already been set up to be a bit of the neighborhood skank, so she has plans to seduce Edward, but he ends up running away from her. At first, I thought maybe he had accidentally killed her by slitting her throat by accident with his scissorhands when things started to get intense (I told you it's been awhile since I last saw this!) because he looks pretty scared when he runs out of the room, but a few seconds later you see the woman appear, looking quite angry. This is when she tells everyone that Edward tried to rape her. Jim is also pretty angry at Edward for taking his girlfriend away from him and he and Edward get into a fight at the mansion and Kim stabs Jim with one of Edward's blades and he falls through the window, crashing to his death. Kim kisses Edward and says goodbye to him and tells the others he has died so they have no reason to go in the house and look for him.

Like I said, the Edward and Kim relationship comes out of nowhere and doesn't make any sense. And really, do you really think that would work? How would it when the guy has SCISSORS for HANDS. How would you even....I mean, what if they.... Why would that skanky woman want him to.... Let's face it, the whole intimacy thing is a little freaky. I think they did the right thing by not taking it any further than a sweet little kiss. Instead, after Edward is back living alone in the huge mansion, he carves magnificent ice sculptures, often in the form of Kim.

I much prefer the mother/son relationship between Edward and Pam. It's much more fleshed out (even though she does disappear during the last third of the movie when the Edward/Kim relationship is trying to become a thing. Dianne Weist is great at playing the mom role (see Parenthood and The Lost Boys) and it made me laugh when she first enter Edward's house and says, "Hellloooo! Is anyone here?"

This is a very quirky, whimsical movie and it's quite moving and funny at the same time and if you have never seen this for some reason, I would definitely tell you to check it out. 

This also stars the first of my Christmas movies! From now until Christmas, I will be reviewing holiday movies. Technically, I wouldn't call this a true Christmas movie as there is only one scene set during Christmas and the rest of it takes place during the rest of the year.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

"King Kong ain't got nothing on me!"

Training Day
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Cast: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn, Eva Mendes, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Macy Gray
Released: October 5, 2001
Viewed in theaters: January 9, 2002

Oscar nominations:
Best Actor - Denzel Washington (won)
Best Supporting Actor - Ethan Hawke (lost to Jim Broadbent for Iris)

Before I get into my review, I would like to share a tiny triumph! If you remember, in September,  I posted my favorite movie podcasts. Well, when I tweeted that entry out, I at replied all the podcasts I mentioned. I got a fairly good response. Out of the eleven podcasts (technically ten made my list and one was an honorable mention) I mentioned as my favorite, eight of them liked the tweet. A couple tweeted me back to say thanks. And I got re-tweeted three times by the Action Movie Anatomy podcast (the @AMApodcast twitter handle, plus the two hosts re-tweeted on their own Twitter accounts). But wait, there's more! As if that wasn't enough, I got a little shout out on the AMA podcast. And it was on the episode they did for this movie. I don't always listen to episodes that come out right away. In fact, they recorded their review of Training Day back in September, but I didn't get around to watching the movie and listening to their review until just a couple weeks ago. If I see a movie I want to watch (or re-visit in the case of this one) that one of my favorite movie podcasts reviews, I will put it in my Netflix queue and go back and listen to the episode after I've watched it. So I'm listening to the podcast and at the beginning, one of them mentions that one of their listeners had written about the podcast in a blog and I'm thinking, Hey! I'm a listener and I wrote about their podcast in my blog! It took me a nanosecond later to realize they were talking about my blog! They seemed very appreciative I included their podcast among my favorites. Now they didn't mention my blog (and I was already pretty excited, but I probably would have freaked out if they said the name of my blog!), but like I said, they did re-tweet the original tweet three times, so I am very thankful for that. I'm just glad they talked about it on an episode I listened to...if they had mentioned it in a movie I wasn't interested in, then I may never have heard it! Now it makes me want to go back to the other podcasts I tweeted and see if they said anything! This isn't the first time I've been mentioned in a podcast. I once gave five stars to the Buffy Rewatch and on the episode where they reviewed "Faith, Hope, and Trick", one of the hosts said something like, "Thanks to Sara who gave us four stars." Of course, they could have been talking about any Sara(h), but I'm pretty sure it was me because this was right after I gave them the four star review.

And since I'm on the subject of tiny triumphs, I would like to share another one! Now I posted this on Facebook when it happened, but if you found my blog through another means of social media, this will be new to you. After I posted my review of Stand By Me, I tweeted the review to the cast and Jerry O'Connell liked my tweet! I mean, how cool is that?

Okay, so now that you're caught up with all my gloating (hey, leave me alone! I never have anything to gloat about!), let's get on to the review.

You may notice that I didn't see this movie in the theaters until three months after its release date. Well, technically, I didn't see this movie in a traditional theater. I did see it in a theater and I did see it on a projection screen, but it wasn't at a movie theater. My school screened it (for free - who doesn't love a free movie?) so that's when I first saw it.

Imagine the worst day you've ever had at work. Now watch this movie and stop whining! Did you just see the day of hell Ethan Hawke went through? In this movie, that takes place within a day, Hawke plays Officer Jake Hoyt of the LAPD who is being trained (hence the title) by Alonzo Harris (Washington), a narcotics officer who does not exactly do things by the book. They first meet at a diner in the morning where Alonzo is reading the newspaper. When Jake starts to talk to him, he tells him he's reading his paper and there's an awkward moment because Jake didn't order anything when the waitress came to their table. Once he realizes he's not going to be able to enjoy his morning paper, Alonzo tells Jake to tell him a story. You can tell by the moment Jake meets him, he's pretty intimidated by him and it's about to get a lot worse.

Alonzo has a very interesting way of working. He takes things to the way extreme. When they're busting a Volvo with three white middle-class college kids who have drugs, Alonzo pulls out his gun and scares the everliving sh*t out of them. He makes Jake smoke the weed (which turns out was laced with PCP) they've confiscated, because, after all, he is going to be a narcotics officer and needs to know his stuff. Of course Jake refuses, but after Alonzo stops the car in the middle of the traffic (and points his gun at a driver who angrily honks at him, but then backs off when he sees the gun) and bullies Jake into smoking the stuff when he points his gun at Jake's head. He tells Jake if he was a dealer he would be dead and to never turn down deals on the street. Later, when Jake is complaining that he could be fired for what he did, Alonzo just grins at him and tells him he's old enough to make his own decisions and "It's not like I put a gun to your head!" What an a-hole!

While driving, Jake sees a teen girl in a school uniform being assaulted by these two bums and makes Alonzo stop the car. He runs and fights the guys while Alonzo just stand there and watches. After the two guys are in handcuffs, he tells the girl, who is only fourteen years old, to get out of there and after giving the two men who just attempted to rape the girl, a quick beating he gives them the ultimatum of, "Do you want to go home or do you want to go to jail?" and lets them go. This shocks Jake. He tells his trainer that the girl should give a statement and the two scumbags should be in jail so they don't do this to anyone else. It's a good thing Jake helped stop the girl from being harmed because later in the movie, Jake finds himself in a situation where he's been ditched by Alonzo and is about to get killed by a guy named Smiley. He has found the wallet of the teen girl that she had dropped and Jake had picked up. Turns out the young girl is Smiley's cousin and Smiley wasn't so smiley when he found out Jake had it and accuses of him of doing unsavory things to his cousin. Jake tells him what really happened, but he doesn't believe him. He does call the girl and she lies and tells him she was at school that day, but finally caves in and tells him what really happened and that is what saved his life.

A few well-known musicians are in this movie. Snoop Dogg plays a wheel-chair bound man who is caught with a gun and crack. It is pretty amusing to watch Jake chase a man in a wheelchair down a street and through a shop. Alonzo also gives him the ultimatum of, "Do you want to go home or go to jail?" and makes him spill who he is working for. Snoop doesn't want to be a snitch and Alonzo tells him for every bullet that's used from his gun, that's an extra ten years in prison. He starts releasing bullets from the gun until Snoop finally caves in and gives him a name. They go visit the home of the man who's wife is played by  Macy Gray ("I try to say goodbye and I choke! Try to walk away and I stumble!" - Love that song). Alonzo shows her a fake search warrant and then steals drug money from the house. Also in the movie is Dr. Dre, another narcotics officer who joins Alonzo, Jake, and three other officers in an elaborate plan to steal drug money from an ex-cop/current drug dealer (Scott Glenn) that Alonzo and Jake visit earlier in the movie. Didn't really quite get this part. They end up shooting and killing the ex-cop and Alonzo shoots one of the other officers twice in his vest to make it look like he was shot by the ex-cop. He offers a share of the money to Jake, but being that he is of moral character, he refuses. He also says he's not going to let them get away with this, but Alonzo reminds him that he has PCP in his system and nobody will believe him and he will be the one to get the can for this.

Denzel won his second acting Oscar for this movie, but it was his first win for a lead role. I think there were a few factors that led to his win. Of course he was great in the role. I would say this is one of my top five Denzel performances. I do think a part of his winning is that it was a bit of a makeup Oscar for not giving it to him nine years ago when he was nominated for Malcolm X and lost to Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. Now we all love Al Pacino, but, well, Denzel should have won that Oscar. It's been awhile since I've seen Malcolm X, but I have heard clips on podcasts and seen clips on YouTube of it and it's really no contest. Also, the fact that Russell Crowe (nominated that year for A Beautiful Mind) seemed to be Denzel's biggest competition also helped. For one thing, Crowe had already won the year before for Gladiator, and, unless you're Tom Hanks that never happens where you win two consecutive Oscars. And Russell Crowe is no Tom Hanks! This was during the time Crowe was being a huge a-hole and was throwing phones at people and cursing at and punching everyone. I remember South Park did a parody of this where Crowe goes around the world to beat people up! I was very anti-Crowe during this time and was rooting hardcore against him. Meanwhile, I was rooting FOR Denzel and when Crowe won the Golden Globe and SAG that year, I may have been hyperventilating just a little! Needless to say, I was very thrilled when he won the Oscar.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Celebrating 15 years of Harry Potter cinema

I don't know if you were aware of this, but fifteen years ago today on November 16, 2001, the first Harry Potter movie was released in theaters. (The Americans say "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"; the Brits (and probably the rest of the world!) say "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone"). I still remember seeing the movie in theaters with my mom over Thanksgiving break on November 22, 2001. (I know, I had to wait SIX WHOLE DAYS before I could see it...poor me!)

If you click on the "Harry Potter" label, you will find my reviews of all the movies (well, all of them except the fifth movie which it seems I never reviewed!) as well as my rankings of the film. Would the ranking still be the same? I have no idea, but it looks like I may have had some recency bias since I ranked the last movie as #1 just having recently seen it when I wrote that entry! It has been five years since I saw the movies, at least the latter ones, and probably even more since I've seen the first three (or four or five...I have no idea the last time I saw those movies were!) Someday, when I have nothing but time, I would like to revisit the movies. I know there have been plenty of movie podcasts (including the ones I listen to on a regular basis) that have done their own retrospective on the movies.

Back in 2001, I was all about the Harry Potter hype. I read the first four books in about three months. I had Harry Potter notebooks and pencils. I bought a Harry Potter towel off of e-bay. And I still have the towel; the notebooks and pencils, I don't. I still have a videotape (yes, you read that right!) of the appearances of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint on Oprah, Rosie, Katie Couric, Leno,  and Letterman. Unfortunately, I do not have 12 year old Daniel's TRL appearance, though I did watch it and I found a message I wrote about it from November 13, 2001:

Did anyone see Daniel Radcliffe on TRL today? Poor kid, looked scared to death! They were playing Genie in a Bottle when he came out. Uh.....Harry Potter isn't a genie. He said he thought New York was "cooler" than London. There was this girl in a HP towel outside (I think it was at that moment that Daniel wanted to move to NY -LOL) and Carson had her come up. Hehe, I have a HP towel! But hers was different. Carson asked him what he had done and he said he went to the Empire State Building and thought it was scary. (Hmm...I would be scared to go up tall buildings in NYC too....)
Anyway, the kid was scared to death and it was really cute lol. 

Since I chronicle everything (important, anyway!), I thought I would share with you excerpts of my experiences with the movies and books.

This is when I saw Chamber of Secrets in November 2002:

As I walked to the front entrance, I noticed that everybody and their mother seemed to be there. I gave the usher my ticket and decided to use the restroom first. As I was walking towards it, I could tell that everybody was there to see Harry Potter or had already seen it because all around me I heard comments such as, “Did you see the first one?”, “I should have left when he started burping up the slugs!”, “That snake was scary!” I mean, what else would they have been there to seen? (Well, maybe that Eminem movie). I noticed a young kid in the line dressed as Harry Potter. He was wearing glasses and a black robe and carrying a wand. He had black hair so it worked for him. Behind me there were these really obnoxious kids who were trying to “catch” the shooting stars on the screen above them. They kept yelling, “I GOT IT!” Augh, I wanted to yell at them to shut up. Thank GOD they were in a different theater! They started letting people in at 6:20 and I sorta snuck into the line. I found a seat in the middle of the theater in a middle of a row. It was a packed house. There were parents with kids, teenagers, pre-teens, toddlers, old people, middle aged people, all kinds of people were there. Everybody was white but I did see an Indian family! After watching fifteen minutes of horrible movie previews (except for The Two Towers, of course), the actual movie started.

This is when I got the fifth book in June 2003:

The day has finally come! I still can't believe I'm in the middle of reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix right now. So it happened like this: I got up at nine this morning and drove to Barnes and Noble. I didn't pre-order or reserve my copy, so I was praying that I would still be able to get one. I do have to admit I was a bit worried that I wouldn't find a copy.

So I get there and walk inside and there's a huge Harry Potter stand with HP stuff and the OTHER books...but not the ONE! So I'm thinking, "Oh crap, they're sold out!" But I decide not to panic quite yet. I go to look at the back of the store and there it is, a table stacked with thick, hardcover books with a blue cover and those two words: Harry Potter. I grab one and I go back to the front to pay for the book and I pass a girl about my age holding the book! Hee! Then as I was paying for it, I noticed a guy putting more books at that entrance of the store. And then I saw a woman about my mom's age with the book get in the line after me. Hee! The saleslady asked me if I had found everything I was looking for and I said I was very relieved I found it because I was a little worried there and she told me to enjoy it. Aww. And I got a good deal too: the cover said it was $29.95, or something like that, and I got it for $19.25 on sale.
And as I was leaving I saw a boy around 12 with his mom. He looked very excited. I wondered what he was going to get? Hee!

You can tell I was very giddy because I kept saying "Hee!"

This is when I got the sixth book in July 2005:

It's about 9 pm when I get to Borders (and the parking lot is pretty full) and go inside and I'm looking around for the unmistakable green cover ofHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, but I don't see any shelves full of it or anything like I was expecting. However, to my left I see a stack of about ten of the books on a table with a young guy sitting behind it. He says, "Did you pre-order one?" My heart sinks and I say, "No,". "That's okay," he says, "We have extras." and gives me a book. Whee!

This is when my mom and I saw Goblet of Fire the day before Thanksgiving, 2005:

We caught the 3:20 showing of GoF! My mom has only read the first book and seen the first movie, so I gave her a brief synopsis about what this movie was about. (It was so sad...she didn't know who Voldemort was!) She asked if Harry's mean relatives would be in this one and I told her they were cut out, then I told her all about SPEW and how that was cut out too. Hehe, now she says she wants a house elf! During the movie, Mom actually jumped and screamed! LMAO. It was during the first task when Harry is flying his broom and almost collides into the dragon. After the movie I asked her if she was able to follow it along and she was. She added, "I didn't know it was going to be so scary! That dragon, that snake, those skeletons in the graveyard!" I just rolled my eyes. She thought Harry was "cute as a button" and he was the only one who hadn't changed that much, to which I replied, "Uh, he didn't have long hair in the other movies." She also thought they gave Ron the long hair so he wouldn't be cuter than Harry. Ouch, Mom!  During the movie, I'd have to lean over to Mom and explain things to her, like who Sirius and Mytrle were.

This is when I got the seventh and final book in July 2007:

This was the first time where I pre-ordered a Harry Potter book from and last night I began to have my doubts. I know I'm not the only person in Omaha who's getting the last book via mail, so who knows who long it would take to get them all delivered? What if I don't get it until really late in the evening? That would have been a whole day wasted where I could have read it! So I was hoping that it would at least be delivered before two o'clock; noon would be even better.

So I wake up this morning at nine to use the bathroom (then promptly go back to bed!) and think that I could have gone to Barnes and Noble right now and gotten it, but I really didn't want to deal with the crowds and I remember one year parking was a bitch.

Imagine my surprise when I hear a knock on my door at 9:40! I quickly go to answer the door and laying on my door step is a rectangle-shaped box. I (very quietly) squealed. Haha, on the box it says, "Attention Muggles: do not deliver or open before July 21st." 

I actually haven't opened mine yet. I want to get situated before I start reading and I'm afraid I'll flip to the last page if it's just laying around. I need to have self control. I even went to the grocery store yesterday to stock up on food so I don't have to leave my apartment at all this weekend.

And this is when I saw the final movie in July 2011:

I woke up at 10:30 this morning and saw the 12:15 showing of Deathly Hallows Part 2. Even though my alarm was set for 11 and I was planning to see the 1:00 or 1:45 showings, I kept having these dreams (nightmares?) that my alarm didn't go off and I slept through the afternoon and was late to see the movie. So when I woke up after the second of these dreams, I just decided to get up. 

I used the bathroom before I went into the theater and while I was in the stall I heard this really weird noise. It sounded like a computerized wail. When I walked out, I noticed this paper mache head with a face with a black floating dress hanging from the ceiling. It was Moaning Myrtle, ha! I hadn't even noticed it (er, her) when I first walked in.

I changed my seat three times before I finally got settled. The first time I moved because there were two young boys behind me and I was afraid they were going to kick my seat, then I moved because the woman in front of me was playing with her cellphone and I did not want to be behind somebody who had their cell on through the movie (there is nothing more irritating and distracting!), so I finally found a seat in a row third from the top. A young boy and his mom sat in the same row, just one seat between us and the boy took out an iPad and I'm thinking, "This kid better not have that thing on when the movie starts!" Luckily when the lights dimmed, he turned it off and handed it to his mother. 

And because the 12 year old inside of me never leaves, here is my favorite line in the entire series. It's from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and makes me laugh every time:

Tired of walking in on Harry, Hermione, and Ron all over the school, Professor McGonagall had given them permission to use the empty Transfiguration classroom at lunchtimes. (p. 608)

Saturday, November 12, 2016

50 First Dates

50 First Dates
Director: Peter Segal
Cast: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Rob Schneider, Sean Astin, Blake Clark 
Released: February 13, 2004
Viewed in theaters: February 16, 2004

Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore are like the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan of my generation in that they have starred in three movies together just like Tom and Meg did. Those three movies are The Wedding Singer (1998), this one, and Blended (2014), the last of which I've never seen. I haven't seen The Wedding Singer in awhile, but that's probably my favorite of the trio of movies they've done together, but this movie is very cute, albeit pretty stupid at times. It's simultaneously sweet and raunchy.

Sandler plays Henry Roth, a guy who lives and works in Hawaii as a veterinarian at an aquatic park. He is a bit of a player (okay, that may be an understatement!) and has commitment issues because when the movie opens, we see a montage of women (and Kevin James, haha) who are talking to their friends about this amazing guy they met and had a fling with while on vacation in Hawaii. He never dates women who are from Hawaii so he doesn't have to be tied down. He always has some kind of excuse to end a relationship and makes up some elaborate lie whether it be he's a secret agent or married or gay. I don't know why he has to come up with these excuses when all he has to say it won't work because none of the women lived in Hawaii! 

One day, by chance, he has breakfast at a place he's never been to before and that's where he sees the quirky Lucy (Barrymore). She is making an architectural design out of her waffles and he's intrigued by her, so much so, that he goes to the same place the next morning where she is also back, and starts a conversation with her. They hit it off and he becomes smitten with her and she invites him to have breakfast with her the next morning, which he accepts. There's a funny scene where they're each by their car, both of which are blocked by a large truck. They both start dancing in front of their cars and when the large truck between them moves, they catch each other dancing and sheepishly look at each other.

Henry goes golfing with his friend, Ula (Schneider) who gives him a phone number of an attractive woman he met. Ula is married with four kids and lives vicariously through Henry's trysts. To Ula's shock, Henry doesn't want the number. That is, until he gets hit in the head by a golf ball and has a daydream of Lucy wanting to date him and it freaks him out, so he agrees to go on a date with the woman, but when he's with her, he discovers he's not interested in her and keeps thinking about Lucy. He also tells his date, who claims she's drunk enough to go back to his place and have sex, that there wasn't even any alcohol in the fishbowl drink she had, haha. I think that would be an interesting experiment and I'm sure it's been done before: tell people they are drinking an alcoholic drink when there's no alcohol in it at all and see how they act. I'm sure many would act drunk.

When he goes back to meet Lucy the next day, she has no idea who he is. When he introduced himself the first time the other day, he apologized that his fingers smelled like fish because he had been feeding the walrus where he works. She said that she liked the smell because it reminded her of her father and brother who are fishermen who are gone for months at a time, so when they come back, she gives them long hugs and they smell like fish. So, the next day, when Henry arrives for their second date, he tells her, "My fingers are extra fishy today if you care to take a whiff" and wiggles them in front of her face and she says, "What was that?" and he says, "I was petting my walrus this morning and thinking of you" and she goes, "Okay, pervert, I think that you should leave." The waitress, who has known Lucy for quite some time because she was friends with her mother, takes Henry, who is obviously confused, aside and tells him that Lucy lost her short-term memory and doesn't retain any new information. Every day she wakes up, the previous day has been wiped from her memory. This happened nearly a year ago when Lucy and her dad were in a car accident. Her dad broke some ribs, but she suffered a terrible head injury which resulted in her short-term memory loss. I guess being a guy, Henry never noticed or thought it odd, on his third day in a row of seeing Lucy, that she was always wearing the same outfit: a pink shirt and white pants. (Actually, I never caught that on my first viewing!)

The day of the accident was October 13, which is also her dad's birthday, so she wakes up each day thinking it's her dad's birthday. When she parted ways with Henry yesterday, she told him she had to go because it was her dad's birthday and they have a tradition of picking a pineapple. Her dad, Marlin (Blake Clark) and brother, Doug (Sean Astin) do the same thing every day so they won't upset Lucy with the fact that she lost her memory and nearly a year has passed. They're living their own Groundhog Day! They got a bunch of papers of the day of the accident that she reads so she thinks it's October 13 everyday. As the waitress explained to Henry, she has breakfast at that place every Sunday, and since October 13 was a Sunday, she starts her day every morning having breakfast there.

When she gets home, she's ready to go pineapple picking, but her dad tells her he already got on at the farmer's market. Now I'm not sure if he does this because of the traumatizing accident when they went to pick a pineapple on his real birthday or because he doesn't want to drive all the way out to pick a pineapple every day, but I guess it could be a combination of both. Instead, he tells her he painted his workshop white, but it's too white and wants her to paint something. Since she teaches an art class at an elementary school, she loves painting. She tells him to watch a football game the Vikings are playing (hmmm, they must originally be from Minnesota!) she knows he's been looking forward to, so they watch a tape of the show. They're not even paying attention to it while she's painting, but when she comes in the house, they turn their attention to the TV and act like they're interested in the game. Lucy makes a bet with her brother about a play and he in return bets there's going to be a very specific play, and of course, having seen the game hundreds of times, he's right.
 My favorite part of the movie (and the only thing I really remembered from seeing it in theaters) was when Marlin opens his birthday present from Lucy and it's a copy of The Sixth Sense. Now you all know how big I am a fan of that movie (do I need to remind you?) so I got a big kick out of that. I love the looks on her dad's and brother's faces when she suggests they watch it right away because you know they've been watching this movie every day for nearly the past year! I don't care how much you love a movie; I would get so sick of watching the same movie every day! I can't even watch the same movie once a year! And after the movie Lucy is like, "I can't believe it! The whole time, Bruce Willis was a ghost! Did you guys see that coming?" and both of them go, "No, I had no idea!" (At least Lucy didn't give her dad Groundhog Day because that would be a really sick joke!)

Once Lucy goes to bed, they get ready to do the whole thing again the next day: they repaint over the wall Lucy has painted on, they wrap up the copy of The Sixth Sense, they find a pineapple, they wash her pink shirt and white pants she always wear, and they get the October 13 newspaper ready for her.

Why Marlin and Doug just didn't do what Henry did, I will never understand. He makes a video that he has her watch everyday explaining how she was in a car accident and how they met. Of course, she is very upset when she learns this information (which is new to her each time she starts a new day), but at least she isn't living a lie and her dad and brother don't have to re-live the same day over and over again! Lucy starts keeping a journal to help her remember things. As the title of the movie, Lucy and Henry go on 50 "first" dates and each time Lucy tells him she wishes she had met him before the accident. There's a funny montage where they share their "first" kiss about five different times and after each one, Lucy says, "There's nothing like a first kiss!" Of course the morning after they sleep together, Lucy wakes up to find a stranger in her bed and she screams bloody murder at her. Henry had said the night before he should probably leave, but she insisted he stay a little longer and they both fell asleep. It did take Henry awhile before he became a part of Lucy's life. Each day at the restaurant he would try to reintroduce himself, but it didn't always work. He even sets up a scenario where he's pretending to be mugged by Ula so Lucy will see them when she's driving by. She does and gets out a bat to beat Ula with it. Ouch.

When Lucy discovers that Henry wants to go out to sea to study walruses, she decides to erase him entirely from her life because she doesn't want to hold him back, but being that this is a romantic comedy starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, of course Henry finds a way to win her back and tells her he loves her and wants to be with her. And we learn, that even though she doesn't remember him, there is some part of her that does because she's been painting pictures of him in her studio so we know he has made an impression on her. At the end of the movie they are married and have a kid and both are out at sea so Henry can study walruses. Each morning, when Lucy wakes up, she has a video to watch to remind her what's going on in her life.

Friday, November 4, 2016


Director: Ron Howard
Cast: Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Gary Sinise, Delroy Lindo, Brawley Nolte, Lili Taylor, Evan Handler, Donnie Wahlberg, Liev Schreiber
Released: November 8, 1996


Alright, I can never be too careful with my spoiler warnings. I haven't gotten a complaint once, so I think my warnings help! I've seen Ransom twice in the past, but it's been quite awhile since I last saw it, it felt like I was watching it for the first time. These were the only things that I remembered (and now you will understand why I put that large spoiler warning above!): the scene where Mel Gibson dives into a pool to retrieve a key, that Gary Sinise played a cop that was involved with the kidnapping, and that the kid is reunited with his parents. Those three things were the only things I remembered, although, for some reason, I thought the reveal of Gary Sinise as the kidnapper was revealed much later in the movie, but I must be thinking when Mel Gibson figures out it was him. 

Mel Gibson and Rene Russo play married couple Tom and Kate Mullen who have a ten year old son, Sean (played by Brawley Nolte - he is Nick's son). They live in a penthouse in Manhattan as Tom is multi-millionaire owner of a successful airliner. Their son is taken when they're in Central Park at a science fair. Kate is a judge and Tom, who was with Sean, gets distracted and starts talking to people. When both parents realize their son isn't where he was standing a few minutes ago, they begin to get a bit frantic and start looking for him and Kate uses the intercom system to page him to the judges' table, but that doesn't work. When they get home, they have an e-mail waiting for them. So they logged on to their NETSCAPE (hahahah, remember Netscape? I personally never used it;  I was using AOL back in '96...remember AOL? Remember IMing? Those were they days, I tell you!) and there's a video of their son laying on a bed, blindfolded and handcuffed to the bed. There's also an audio recording of a man with an altered voice telling them he wants a two million dollar ransom for their son that is to be delivered within 48 hours and he will contact them later on how to deliver the money. He tells them if they get the police involved, he will kill their kid. Naturally, Tom and Kate are very shaken up at this. Even though they are told not to get the police involved, they do get the FBI involved, which makes no sense to me, but whatever. And the thing is, the kidnapper KNOWS that the FBI is involved. But it turns out to be a good thing he has the FBI helping him. 

Special Agents Hawkins (Delroy Lindo) and his team trace the calls that Tom receives from the kidnapper. He thinks the kidnapper may be connected to a guy named Jackie Brown who is currently in prison. There was a whole side story with a shady business deal Tom did in the past and he paid off some people and somehow Brown was sent to jail, though he thinks it should have been Tom. I have no idea, but they just wanted to give the audience a red herring (even though the audience knows who the real kidnapper is long before Tom and everyone else does). 

The real kidnapper is a police officer named Jimmy Shaker (Gary Sinise). He has a team which consists of his girlfriend, Maris (Lili Taylor), who was also the waitstaff at one of the Mullen's fancy parties, so she was an "insider". And there's also three other guys played by Evan Handler (for all of you Sex and the City fans, he played Charlotte's divorce lawyer turned husband), Donnie Wahlberg, and Liev Schreiber. When we first see Shaker, we think he has found Sean and is going to rescue him, but surprise! He's the mastermind behind the whole kidnapping! Shaker calls Tom with a disguised voice and tells him how he's going to drop off the money which includes jumping into a pool with his clothes on to retrieve a key at the bottom (which also burns out the mic he's wearing) and changing into different clothes and driving a different car so the FBI can no longer follow him. Tom is lucky he didn't kill his kid since he didn't follow instructions about not getting the police involved. Actually, Tom changed a lot of the rules that Shaker had planned for him, so he is very lucky nothing happened to his son! 

After all this game of cat and mouse, Shaker instructs him to turn off a certain exit and give the money to Wahlberg, who, in turn, will give him the address. When Wahlberg demands the money, Tom demands the address, but Wahlberg doesn't seem to know what he's talking about. There's a big shootout as the police have located them and Wahlberg has died before Tom can get the location of where his son is out of him. He believes Shaker never had any intention of ever giving back his son because he could tell Wahlberg had no idea what he was talking about when he asked for an address.

Shaker decides to try another drop off for the money, but this time Tom has different plans. He tells the kidnapper to turn on his TV and makes a stop at the news station, as being a prominent business man, his story has made not only national news, but WORLD news. On live TV, he announces that he will no longer pay the ransom, but instead offer a bounty of two million dollars for whoever turns in the kidnapper and ups the offer to four million dollars the next day after Shaker personally threatened Kate. Tom and Kate know Sean is alive because the kidnapper put him on the phone to prove it. Tom also announces that if his son is killed, then there will be no money rewarded. His wife and Agent Hawkins are against this plan and tell him he just needs to pay the ransom, but Tom holds his ground. He thinks this is the only way he will get his son back alive.  

Shaker calls Tom, one last time and demands the money right then and now or else he will kill Sean. Tom still refuses and a gun shot is heard. This is the first time Tom breaks down, thinking his son is really dead and what has he done? But it was just a warning shot and instead Shaker has other ideas where he plans to be the hero and pretend he's the one who saved Sean. He frames his other accomplices and kills them, making it look like they were the masterminds behind the whole thing and that he has found and rescues Sean. After Sean is reunited with his parents, Shaker comes to the apartment the next day to collect his money. He and Tom were supposed to meet at his office, somewhere else on another day, but he tells Tom he couldn't wait any longer and needed the money right away. This turns out to be a very stupid movie for the criminal because Sean, who is hiding behind a door and only his father can see him, recognizes Shaker's voice and judging by his reaction, Tom knows he was the kidnapper. Shaker has figured out Tom knows who he really is, so he takes him by gunpoint and demand he drive him to the bank to get the money, then on to one of his private jets to fly to Mexico. Tom tells him he has to call the airport to fuel a jet and as we see him talking, we see he has called Agent Hawkins. They get his money at the bank, then there's a big shootout and Shaker is bloodied, but he has enough life left in him to lift his gun and try to shoot Tom, but Agent Hawkins kills him first. Shaker, I mean, he kills the bad guy. 

I like that it turns the table with the offering of the bounty, but it's a pretty run of the mill kidnapping movie. I haven't seen it in awhile, but I think I prefer Man on Fire to this one. This movie got a little intense at times, but that movie was WAY intense. I think if I were a kidnapped character, I would much rather have Denzel Washington look for me than Mel Gibson because Denzel gets things done! Sure, Mel Gibson got his son back, but things got a little iffy there for awhile. Although, now I can't remember if Dakota Fanning survived that movie...I think she does. :::makes mental note to watch and review Man on Fire soon::::

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Past and Present

Now and Then
Director: Lesli Linka Glatter
Cast: Gaby Hoffman, Christina Ricci, Thora Birch, Ashleigh Aston Moore, Demi Moore, Rosie O'Donnell, Melanie Griffith, Rita Wilson
Released: October 20, 1995

When I reviewed Stand By Me a month ago, I mentioned that Now and Then was the female equivalent to that movie and I remembered not liking it, but I should probably give it a another chance to see if my opinion had changed. Well, I watched it again and while I don't despise it as much as I remember hating it when I was younger, I definitely didn't love it. (Okay, maybe I still despise it a little!) Like I mentioned in my Stand By Me review, by all rights I should love this movie because it's a coming of age story about adolescent girls and all these actresses were in my age range and while I was a couple years older than the characters they played, this movie was really targeted at me, but I just never really connected with it.

The movie follows four friends: Samantha (Gaby Hoffman and Demi Moore), Roberta (Christina Ricci and Rosie O'Donnell), Teeny (Thora Birch and Melanie Griffith), and Chrissy (Ashleigh Aston Moore and Rita Wilson) in "present day" 1995 (NOW!) and in 1970 when they were 12 (THEN!) Get it? Cuz it's called Now and Then! Although, I read on the IMDb trivia section that the "Now" section takes place in 1991, but that can't be right because "Now" Samantha listens to a cassette (yes, a tape cassette, didn't they have effing CD players in cars in the early '90s? I guess not!) of "As I Lay Me Down" by Sophie B. Hawkins and that song was released in 1994, so therefore the "Now" part can't take place earlier than then. Oh, sure, you could just do some quick math in your head because you know they were 12 in 1970, but they never tell you how old they are in their "Now" roles. There is really no clue to when the "Now" part takes place except for that song, so I have no idea why that trivia said the "Now" parts take place in 1991.

Even though the movie is called Now and Then, it mostly takes place during the "Then" time. The "Now" portions are only at the beginning and the end of the film. You think the movie would weave back and forth between the two time periods, but it doesn't. Honestly, I'm okay with that because I prefer the "Then" (the majority of the film) to the "Now". I never bought the older versions the younger versions grew up to be...something just didn't click with the casting. The casting of the younger girls was great, but when they casted their older versions, they just seemed more worried about getting "big" names (well, for the '90s!) I did not buy that any of these girls would still be friends with each other when they were in their early thirties or however old they're suppose to be. I can tell you right now that I am not still friends with anyone I knew when I was 12! Facebook friends, maybe, but I don't hang out with any of them because a) we went our separate ways and b) we have separate lives. And the friends I have now? I didn't know any of them when I was 12. Maybe if you were still living in the same town and never moved away from each other, then yeah, I can see that.

"Now" Chrissy still lives in the same town they grew up in - Shelby, Indiana. She obviously doesn't know how to dress as you can see in that awful pink atrocity she's wearing in the photo to your right. Seriously, what the hell is that? She's about to have her first baby and wants her childhood friends to be there for her. I think Roberta also still lives in the same town where she works as a doctor, so it makes sense she was there and that she and Chrissy are still friends. I did like that the movie mentioned that they hadn't seen Samantha and Teeny (I hope to God she was at least going by Tina as an adult, but I never caught that) in several years so it wasn't like they were always keeping in touch with each other. I'm not sure where Sam was living, but it's mentioned she's a science fiction writer, so probably New York. Just like Roberta being a doctor came out of left field, so did Samantha being a writer. At least with Roberta, you could say she wanted to help people since her mom died when she was young? But there was never any scenes to tell us that young Sam wanted to grow up to be a writer, and why a sci-fi writer? She was into seances and talking to the dead, but wouldn't that be a mystery writer? Obviously they were trying to copy Stand By Me as Sam is the Gordie of this group since she's the main character and Demi Moore provides us with these awful and flat voiceovers. Teeny has become an actress in Hollywood and has won People Choice Awards and has been on the cover of TV Guide. She has dreamed of being an actress since she was a little girl and of course she becomes one because everyone who dreams of becoming famous becomes famous! Seriously, this woman is famous and she's taking a limo back to her small town she grew up in to visit her childhood friends? Puh-leeze, that would never happen! So the beginning of this movie is total BS! 

While the four women are reminiscing, we cut to the summer of 1970 when they were childhood friends and are on a trek to find a dead body. I'm just joking - the movie doesn't blatantly steal everything from Stand By Me! No, they are trying to raise money to buy a treehouse from a catalogue. Um, I have never heard of being able to BUY a TREEHOUSE from a catalogue. Don't you BUILD those? I know you can buy the play sets that have the clubhouses, but that doesn't make any sense that you can buy a treehouse because how would you put it in the tree? You obviously have to build around the tree to make sure it fits. Why am I even worried about this? You think this is going to be a major part of the movie, but it's not. We just see them talking about it and counting how much money they have from time to time, then all of a sudden they have a treehouse in a tree in Chrissy's backyard (in fact, it's still there when they're adults) and we never have an explanation of them saying they had enough money for the treehouse or how the hell it got in the tree! Oh! And we see they have the treehouse, but yet they're still worried about making money for it because Roberta tells them her dad will pay them ten dollars if they paint the garage, but maybe they were just trying to get more money for something else? IDK! 

The movie quickly turns to being about the four girls wanting to find out how a 12 year old boy was killed twenty-five years ago. Well, it may not be them finding a dead body, but the fact that they're trying to find out how a young boy died is close enough to the plot of Stand By Me! He goes by the name "Dear Johnny" and they decide to have a seance to talk to him.  Now I remember being a girl around this age and while I don't think I ever participated in a seance (eh, I may have but I just forgot about it since nothing probably happened!), but I do remember all those other "spooky" activities like the Ouija board; Bloody Mary; Stiff as a Board, Light as a Feather (LOL, who didn't play that at camp or sleepovers, am I right?) and scary stories that you swore were true because it happened to a friend of a friend! And everyone knows whenever you participated in one of those, someone was always moving the little cursor on the Ouija board or swore they saw Bloody Mary or, in the case of this movie, was pretending to be possessed by the spirit of Dear Johnny which is what Chrissy does to fool the other girls since they're all so gullible. Right after she tells them nothing ever happens when they have these seances, a bolt of lightning strikes near them and it starts pouring and all the girls scream, Chrissy the loudest. This probably happened around midnight and the girls return to their homes. Well, no sooner than a few short hours later, Samantha thinks the spirit of Dear Johnny has come into her room (because it was windy outside and she left her window open) so she decides the girls need to meet again in the graveyard so she can tell them. Seriously, she couldn't wait until the next morning to tell them this? They only do this so they can show the clever way they get each other's attention because apparently they do this all the time in the middle of the night. Sam lives near Roberta and she pulls on a rope with a bell on it that wakes up Roberta, who in turn shines a flashlight into Teeny's room, and Teeny gets on her Walkie-Talkie to call Chrissy. (Maybe they should invest in more Walkie-Talkies!) When they return to the graveyard, they discover Dear Johnny's tomb has been knocked over so therefore he must be haunting them and they need to know how he died.  

That's pretty much the premise of the story: doing some research to figure out how this twelve year old boy died in 1945. Each girl has their own identity they bring to the movie. Of course, all of these are stereotypes. As I mentioned earlier, Samantha is the main character of the four girls (even though the Roberta character is credited first, but I suppose that's because Rosie O'Donnell / Christina Ricci were the most well known names in their respective age groups?) Sam's parents get divorced, well, actually her dad just leaves one night after having a fight with her mother without saying goodbye to her and her little sister, Angela (played by a very young Rumer Willis). Real nice guy, there. Seriously, if your parents were fighting all the time like hers did, wouldn't you WANT them to get divorced so you wouldn't have to deal with that anymore? But Demi Moore tells us in her flat voiceover that she found the fights to be soothing because she was used to them. Since divorce wasn't common back then, Sam doesn't tell her friends what happened and they all think her parents get along because she also never told them that they always fought. She eventually does tell Teeny, her closest friend from the group and eventually tells the others as well. After she tells Teeny (God, I can't get over how STUPID her name is!), Teeny in reply tells her that she read a statistic that in ten years half the population will be divorced. Har-har, movie! You're so clever and funny! Sam's mom starts dressing a little more provocatively...short shorts and tall boots and even brings home a man for dinner (played by Hank Azaria) where he can meet Sam and Angela on their first date....which is so weird. Needless to say, it doesn't go so well.

When Sam confesses to Teeny what happened, Teeny (seriously, why does she have such a stupid name?) breaks her favorite bead necklace in half and makes them into two bracelets so they can each have one and be BFFs! When Sam gasps, "You love that necklace!", I was thinking, Uh, it's just beads and a thread....she can make another one, you idiot. It does make sense that Sam told Teeny first about her parents since Teeny doesn't have a very good relationship with her parents and would probably understand the most out of the other girls, but they also make it as though Sam and Teeny are the closest from the group, and therefore, by default, Roberta and Chrissy are each other's best friends. None of these girls seemed to be as close of friends as Gordie and Chris were in Stand By Me; it felt more forced to me. I could see the four of them hanging out, but I never saw the close knit bond of any two of them. Once Sam has her new friendship bracelet, which she promises she'll never lose, she and Teeny are riding their bikes in the dark and rain, and Sam loses her bracelet! Good job, you idiot! Even though it's just a stupid piece of string with beads strung on it, she has to find it NOW! Even Teeny is like, Eff it, let's get out of the rain and look for it tomorrow. That girl may have a stupid name, but at least she has some brains! Sam sees the bracelet in the sewer and decides to hop on down there to get it. Honey, I'm sure Teeny can make you another bracelet if you just ask her. So she's down there and gets the bracelet, but the rain is pouring in and both girls are freaking out because she can't get out and she's going to drown, although I'm pretty sure sewers don't fill up with water and if she just stopped panicking for a damn second, she could probably get out just fine. But it's sooooo overdramatic and Teeny is crying for help and who should appear, but Crazy Pete, this old scary man who rides on a creaky bide in the graveyard during the night. Crazy Pete must be Old Man Marley's older brother because both are cut from the same cloth. They're both scary old men characters, but in the end they turn out to be sweet old men who save children. Crazy Pete rescues Samantha and in a serious and somber voiceover, Demi Moore says, "Teeny and I both know what would have happened if Crazy Pete wasn't there that night." OMG, shut up! You would not have died! And why are you still referring to him as Crazy Pete as an adult when by then you know he was just a misunderstood old man (just like Old Man Marley!) and WASN'T crazy!

Teeny is the boy crazy one of the group (well, with a name like that!) Her parents are never around and are always having swingers' parties while she imagines herself winning Academy Awards. One of the few times the movie made me genuinely laugh is when she's pretending to give an interview after she has "won" an "award" and takes out her retainer in the middle of it. She's the one who reads Cosmos and makes her friends take those stupid quizzes and stuffs her bra with water balloons filled with (vanilla) pudding and is the resident "expert" on sex. She craves attention and even as as adult she's still vapid and annoying, bragging her boob job was worth every penny. Teeny may have been best friends with Sam, but she was pretty horrible to Chrissy, even flat out telling the poor girl she's fat. The girls play Truth and Dare all the time and they ALWAYS choose Truth, no matter what. It's like, girls, just ask each other the damn questions without the whole Truth or Dare charade. On the day it's just her and Sam, she asks Sam who she would eat out of the four friends if they were ever in such a dire situation and Sam says she would choose Chrissy because she would feed more people and both girls snicker. You know what? Samantha and Teeny are stuck up little beeyotches so it's no wonder they clicked the most with each other! 

As you may have already guessed, Chrissy is the "fat" one of the group. She's not fat, per se, just chubby. They make such a big deal out of it and as I mentioned earlier, the other girls are pretty horrible to her about it except for Roberta. Chrissy is no doubt the Vern of this group, although when the boys in Stand By Me gave Vern a hard time, they never called him "fat" or "chubby" - that was Vern who would bring it up ("Great, spit at the fat kid!") and I always felt they gave him a hard time out of love and respect, while Sam and Teeny give Chrissy a hard time just to be mean and catty little beeyotches. There is plenty to give Chrissy crap about without it being about her weight because the girl is so prissy and whiny! She hates being dirty and has a hissy fit when Roberta splashes on her. She also freaks out when a bird poops and it lands in one of her pigtails and the other girls are laughing at her. While I did feel for her, I also thought it was a little funny. Her mom is played by Bonnie Hunt in one scene and she gives her daughter a very weird and awkward talk about sex in which she tells her every woman has a garden and it needs a hose ("big or small!") to water and fertilize it. Of course the girl that's the most confused about sex is the one who is pregnant when they're adults! We see where Prissy Chrissy (seriously, why did the other girls never give that nickname?) gets her cleanliness phobia from as her mother tells her to keep the lid on her record player closed to keep it from being dusty and how to keep the canopy on her bed just so. 

I had no idea about this until just a couple months ago, but did you know that the actress who played young Chrissy, Ashleigh Aston Moore, died at the age of 26 in 2007? That was nearly ten years ago and I just found that out this year! I suppose it was because this was one of the very few roles she did and she stopped acting a couple years after this movie (which I think was her first one), so she was never a big name unlike the other young actresses who I knew from other things they were in. That just shocked me when I found out. Apparently she died of pneumonia. This part was offered to Kirsten Dunst, but she didn't want to gain weight for the role, according to the trivia section at IMDb.

If I had to chose a favorite out of the four girls, it would probably have to be Roberta. She's the tomboy of the group and has the best scenes out of all the other girls.  She's the type of girl who will slug the boy at the baseball field when he announces that girls can't play baseball. The only thing Roberta does that is truly awful is pretend to kill herself when the girls are splashing around in a lake and she climbs up a tree and dives into the water despite the girls telling her it's too shallow. They see her floating, lifeless and the girls naturally freak out and swim over to her. That's a pretty f***ked up thing to do, pretend to have killed yourself, but she says it was just a joke and a test to see who her real friends were as Chrissy was the only one willing to give her mouth-to-mouth. In another one of her flat voiceovers, Demi Moore tells us this wasn't the first time Roberta had pretended to kill herself, that she had jumped off a roof before and pretended to have broken her neck. Chrissy punches Roberta in the face which she deserved. We learn that ever since Roberta's mom died when she was four, she's had an obsession with death and that was her own sick way of dealing with it. When the girls go to the library to see if they can find any information about Dear Johnny, Roberta is doing her own digging about her mother's death. She seems very surprised that her mother died in a car accident and it was a pretty brutal death. I'm not sure if her dad told her that her mom had died another, more peaceful way or she thought she was instantly killed in the car crash, but either way, Roberta was under the impression that the death had been quick and painless, but, in fact it wasn't, which upsets her greatly, naturally. When the girls sneak into Sam's grandmother's (Cloris Leachman) attic where they know there's information about Dear Johnny, Roberta is at first upset when they find out Dear Johnny and his mother were shot by an intruder robbing their house, then turns her agitation into being upset about her mother and breaks a mirror and I'm thinking, That's her friend's grandmother's mirror she just destroyed there! This scene was like the one in Stand By Me where Gordie says "Why did he have to die?" referring to his brother right after they found the dead body of the kid their age. One thing I never understood about this scene is why didn't Sam just sneak into the attic, then let the other girls in? Duh!

The four girls have an ongoing feud with the four Wormer brothers. Why? I'm not really sure. At first I thought "Wormer" was a derogatory term they called them, but no, that's their last name. The oldest brother, Scott, is played by Devon Sawa, who, if you were a preteen or teen girl in the '90s, you probably had a crush on. To be honest, I was never on the Devon Sawa train, though I will admit he was VERY cute. I only saw him in this movie and Casper (the OTHER 1995 movie in which he "makes out" with Christina Ricci) and his roles in those movies aren't very big. I never saw his other movies in the late '90s/early '00s when he became a little more popular. He was like a second rate Leonardo DiCaprio of that time, haha. Of course the reason he gives the girls such a hard time is because he has a crush on Roberta and there is a very cute scene where they're playing basketball together and he compliments her on her skills, saying she's good, even for a guy. (Hmm, that comment seems a little bit sexist, but I know he meant it as a compliment!) Roberta invites him to have a soda with her and while they're on the porch swing he mumbles, "Can I kiss you?" and of course she doesn't understand him so he has to ask again to which she says, "Sure" and he eagerly scoots closer to her and she goes, "Now?" Uh, what did she expect? His eagerness just made me laugh. They share a kiss and Scott's like, "That was great!" and Roberta says, "It was okay." After an awkward pause, I thought Roberta was going to attack him and start making out with him (hey, it's been awhile since I saw the movie last!), but instead she threatens that she'll beat the s**t out of him if he tells anyone. I guess that was more in character for her. While she never tells her friends about it as a kid, I'm surprised she never brought it up when they were adults. Teeny would have been jealous because she had a crush on Scott too (I mean, who wouldn't?) because wasn't that Devon Sawa she's giving the flirty eye to at the beginning of the movie when they're played Red Rover?

Speaking of guys the girls flirt with, when they're riding their bikes back to Shelby after visiting the library a couple towns over, they run into a young veteran who just got back from the Vietnam War and is a traveling hobo hippie. He is played by Brendan Fraser who I had no idea was in this movie. It felt like this scene was thrown in at the last minute because they felt they needed something about the Vietnam War because of the time period the "Then" part is set during. The guy offers them cigarettes and gives them some sound advice about their parents not always knowing what they're talking about. When the girls are saying goodbye to him, Teeny is flirting with him, which is understandable, but flirting with him even more is Sam. It was a little creepy that a twelve year old was hardcore flirting with a guy in his early twenties. I thought it would have been hilarious if grown up Sam had ended up with him and we saw Brendan Fraser in the "Now" portion with old age make up, although that wouldn't have made any sense as he told the girls he doesn't stick around the same place for very long, so they probably never saw each other again. Also, "Now" Sam can't hold onto a relationship very long because she's afraid of getting hurt because she's still affected by her parents' divorce so she's bitter and single and dresses all in black and is a chain smoker. Just another cliche, you know.

All of these girls are really stupid. Why? Well, when Samantha is reading the article about how Dear Johnny and his mother died, she mentions the father/husband who found their bodies and his name is Peter Sims. My first reaction was "Crazy Pete is Dear Johnny's dad!" But none of these girls caught on. In fact, later, when Sam sees Crazy Pete at the cemetery in front of Dear Johnny's grave, she puts two and two together and says, "You're Johnny's dad!" And it isn't until several years later, during the "Now" portion when they're all adults when she reveals this to the other women and they're all SHOCKED! Seriously!??!?! You didn't know that???? That would have been the first thing out of my mouth had I been there in that attic in 1970 when Samantha read that article...I would have said, "Oh my God, you guys, Crazy Pete is Dear Johnny's dad!" And the other girls would have been like, "You're so smart!" And I would have replied with, "Well, any idiot could have figured that out!"

Can I just say how stupid the promotion poster for this movie is? It doesn't make any sense! As you see on the left, it's the "Now" actresses in the same shot as the "Then" actresses and they have their arms slung around them. This doesn't make any sense because how the hell can you touch an older/younger version of yourself. Now if this movie was a time travel movie, then sure, but it's not! What they should have done is divided the posted into two horizontal halves and have the "Now" portion on the top and then "Then" portion on the bottom. Because this just confuses everyone!

If you want to see a good coming of age movie, then watch Stand By Me!  

Thursday, October 20, 2016

de profundis clamo ad te domine

The Sixth Sense
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Cast: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams, Donnie Wahlberg
Released: August 6, 1999
Viewed in theaters: March 4, 2000

Oscar nominations:

Best Picture (lost to American Beauty)
Best Director - M. Night Shyamalan (lost to Sam Mendes for American Beauty)
Best Supporting Actor - Haley Joel Osment (lost to Michael Caine for The Cider House Rules)
Best Supporting Actress - Toni Collette (lost to Angelina Jolie for Girl, Interrupted)
Best Original Screenplay - M. Night Shyamalan (lost to Alan Ball for American Beauty)
Best Editing (lost to The Matrix)

"You know the accident up there?"
"Someone got hurt."
"They did?"
"A lady. She died."
"Oh my God. What, you can see her?"
"Where is she?"
"Standing next to my window."

Brrrrrr, it got a little chilly in here! I get goosebumps every time I watch that scene. I STILL remember seeing the trailer for this movie and that was the first thing they showed and I was so creeped out by it! Of course, in the trailer they used a different take and he tells his mom that the lady "broke her neck". 

Do I even need to put a spoiler warning for this movie? Everybody and their grandmother has seen this movie, right? Actually, being that this movie is 17 years old, there is a whole new generation that has yet to see this movie, and hopefully they will able to enjoy it spoiler-free. I look forward to my two nieces seeing it one day. As they are only four and a year old, they are much too young to see it now! With that said, yes, obviously there are spoilers, so if you are perhaps discovering this movie for the first time, please see it before reading the rest of this review. 

I have a lot of history with this movie. As you can see, I didn't actually see it until seven months after its theatrical release. I saw it when it came out during its Oscar re-release. I didn't see it in its initial run because I hate scary movies, but then my brother convinced me to see it, that it wasn't scary at all. He was right; it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be, though plenty of scenes made me jump the first time I saw it. It's definitely more on the psychological thriller side than horror. After I saw the movie with a friend (we went to a 9 PM showing and I will admit, I did have a little trouble falling asleep that night, shut up!), I called my brother the next day because I absolutely loved it and there was SO MUCH to discuss! I even had a four hour conversation about it with my mom (who had also recently seen it) during a road trip. I even remember eating lunch at a pizza place and there was this couple near me and I could hear them talking about Mischa Barton's character from the movie and I soooo wanted to jump in and offer my opinion (can't remember exactly what they were discussing), but I didn't because I'm not the type of person to jump in strangers' conversations! 

In fact, there was so much to discuss about this movie, that I even made a website dedicated to this movie! Yes, it was my very first (and only) website. It was amazing; I wish I still had it, but I think it's in cyber heaven now. I made it with Angelfire....haha, remember Angelfire? High five if you do! I think it was called "Sara's Sixth Sense Site." That would make sense because I do like alliteration. I even remember the home page was the photo on the right of Haley Joel Osment and the text above it read in large red letters, "Do you dare enter the world of The Sixth Sense? Come at your own risk. Remember, not every gift is a blessing. Yo no quiero morir."  You clicked on the photo to enter the site. I had red text (because red was an important color in that movie) with a black background. Oh, man, I wished I still had access to this! I had so many features to my site, including FAQs. One of the questions was, "Did Cole know Malcolm was a ghost?" and 2000 me can't remember what I put, but present day me would say, Well, duh, of course he knew! He knew the difference between the living and the dead, RIGHT?!?!? And I had a question about whether the woman who poisoned Kyra (the Mischa Barton ghost) was her mom or stepmom, but I can't remember what I thought back then. They never actually say if she's the mom or stepmom. It has to be a stepmom because no mother could poison their own child, right? It would just be too horrible!  I think I even had the question, "What are triangle pancakes?" because I had never heard of those is my life. I assume they're pancakes in the shapes of triangles? I know, duh, Sara, but I have never heard of such a thing! Must be a Philly thing. Other features on my site included photos, a guest book, songs that reminded me of the movie, and a list of things that might indicate if you're obsessed with The Sixth Sense. Some of these included items like, "When someone tells you a  corny joke and you reply, 'I didn't know you were funny'" and "You wear glasses without the lenses". My favorite thing about my site was that I ranked all of the ghosts on a scale from 1-10 in terms of their scariness and I gave a little backstory about each one. If I remember right, I think I ranked the woman in the kitchen who screams at Cole (Osment), "You can't hurt me anymore!" and shows him her wrists in which she obviously committed suicide to get away from her abusive husband. OMG, she was so scary! Terrifying! She still scares me to this day! The other ghosts did scare me the first time I saw this movie, but she's the only one who really still scares the sh*t out of me!

After I saw The Sixth Sense and the Oscar aired, I was really impressed that an eleven-year-old was nominated for an Oscar (yes, I realize Anna Paquin was the same age when she WON her Oscar in '94, but I didn't start watching the Oscars until a couple years after), I joined an HJO message board where I met some great people. I'm even Facebook friends with a few I've met there. I created my site in the summer of 2000 (June 20, 2000, to be exact, but who's keeping track?) and posted a link. After sifting through many messages, I found a couple that complimented me about my site. I don't mean to toot my own horn, (okay, maybe a little!), but let's take a look shall we? Here's one message:
I just wanted to say that your page is excellent!! One whole month is a lot of time to put into something, and let me tell you, that was time well spent! I haven't seen all of your site, but I checked out most of it, and it really is great (not to mention that you thanked me and Mandi for providing you with the "you know your obsessed when...stuff! hehe that made it even better that my name was on it!!j/k) But really, thanks for the site, it's on my favorites, cause I know I will be checking back there a lot.

LOL, apparently I made a big deal that it took me an ENTIRE MONTH to create this site. OMG, shut up, 2000 me!

Here is another very sweet message somebody wrote to me:
I just had to tell you how proud I am of you!! Your page is very well done and I love the pictures. All of your hard work has paid off! You're a very talented and smart girl whom I admire greatly. Keep up the good work and be proud of yourself! Everyone go check out Sara's Web page, it's very cool!

Here's another one:
Sara's site is super, I've never seen a sixth sense site that even slightly resembles Sara's. Sara included lots and lots of new and very informative information and facts in her site. There are many sites about T6S, but Sara's is the greatest (God knows that I'm not saying this only to please Sara who's a regular in this board ). Unlike other sites, Words and text information spoke louder than pictures. This is why I believe that Sara's site is the best so far. It's not only pics and basic shallow few facts..but really Sara got in to the real deep concept of the movie, I'm sure this reflects Sara's own personality. She managed to -perfectly- analyze the movie and to answer every debatable scenes. It was very hard for me to leave her site after I firstly visited it. She also included very scientific concepts that the movie tackled. I have to admit, I enjoyed everything Sara did, and I do admire her talents.

Obviously, I should have won an award for my Sixth Sense site. It was an amazing site; it truly was. I really miss my awesome Sixth Sense site and wish I still had it. It would be interesting to see what I had written about it sixteen years ago.

Okay, I know what you're thinking. Shut up already about my Sixth Sense site from sixteen years ago that doesn't even exist anymore and get on with the review!

Don't you love the scene where child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) is telling Cole this really lame story about a family driving and Cole tells him that he needs to add "twists and stuff" to make his story more interesting. It was right there in front of our faces the entire time! And when Cole tells Malcolm, "I see dead people" and they zoom in on Willis's face. I feel like this movie started the whole twists trend, although obviously there have been twists in movies long before this one (The Usual Suspects comes to mind). I do think it was clever the reason his wife, Anna (Olivia Williams), never talked to him was because he thought she was mad at him and was giving him the cold shoulder. When he goes to the restaurant, he thinks she's mad at him because she was late and I like the touch of him not moving the chair when he sits down and when the check comes, she grabs it just a second before he's about to get it. Looking at that scene now, how depressing is it that she went to the restaurant her dead husband proposed to her on their anniversary? I think I would rather just stay home and drink a bottle of wine and cry. Can you imagine the conversation she had with the waiter?
Waiter: "Are you here to celebrate a special occasion?"
Anna: "Yes, it's my husband's and my [whatever number of years] anniversary."
Waiter: "Marvelous! Where is the lucky man?"
Anna: "Oh, he's dead. He was shot by a former patient in our bedroom and died in my arms, but I couldn't not come here on our anniversary. This is where he proposed to me."
Waiter: "Uh....our best bottle of champagne is on the house tonight."
I just wrote Sixth Sense fanfic, y'all! But seriously, that scene seems a little contrived now because nobody would ever do that!

I like that he can never open the door to the basement to get in his office and it always looks like he's reaching into his pocket to get a key, but towards the end it is revealed that there's a desk with a huge stack of book blocking the way. Remember, as Cole told him, "They only see what they want to see!"

One thing that really doesn't make any sense, now that I think about it (this movie always seems to produce more questions than answers!) is how Dr. Crowe and Cole became acquainted. When you watch it, not knowing the twist, you don't question it. It's a year after the incident with his former child patient, Vincent Grey (Donnie Wahlberg) and we see Malcolm outside of Cole's home with notes about him. He follows him to the church and says they were suppose to have a session that day, but he missed his appointment. (Um, how does an effing child psychologist miss his appointments? Good Lord, even the awful hack "child psychologist" from The Good Son never missed her appointments!) But if you're watching this, KNOWING the twist, it doesn't make any sense how a dead man could set up an appointment. Although there is a note saying that Cole was referred to him in 1998, when he was still alive, so maybe he had all the information about this kid, but hadn't taken him on as a patient yet? IDK! Maybe I just answered my own question.

Just like how they try to fool you with Malcolm and Anna, I think it's very clever how they try to fool you with Malcolm and Cole's mom, Lynn (Toni Collette). I was fooled, but now watching it knowing the twist, it's like, of course! The scene when Cole comes home from school and Lynn and Malcolm are sitting opposite each other in the living room should be one of the first giveaways that Cole knows he's a ghost. I feel like any other kid would have mentioned Dr. Crowe being there, but Cole doesn't say anything; granted, he is an odd child at times. When you watch this for the first time and Lynn tell him she's going to make him those famous triangle pancakes and that he "has an hour", you think, oh, she's referring to his session, but apparently it takes an hour to make triangle pancakes! You also notice Cole doesn't talk to Dr. Crowe during his mind-reading game as not to make his mom suspicious, but then he does talk later about the rainbow drawing, so never mind! Also, I don't know if you caught this, because it's easy to dismiss and I didn't catch it until my third viewing, but after Cole tells Malcolm, "They don't have meetings about rainbows", you see him turn his head and looks up, then down. He was so looking at a dead person, I know he was! I think it was his grandmother since he didn't seem to be too scared and the grandmother and the lady who died in the fire at his school (the one who helped him before the play) seemed to be the nicer ghosts who he talked to. The lady who died in the fire was the reason he knew about his teacher being called "Stuttering Stanley".

The other scene with Lynn and Dr. Crowe in the same room is after the birthday party when Cole has gone through that traumatic experience and they're trying to figure out what happened to him. Dr. Shyamalan tells them (but really only her) that the cuts and bruises on Cole is concerning him and wants her to talk to a social worker.

It's been a few years since I last saw this movie and I forgot that the first time you see a ghost, it's nearly an hour into the movie. (Okay, if you want to be technical, the first time you see a ghost, it's ten minute into the movie, but we're not suppose to know about that! Shhhh!) Now you do hear the ghost that was on the other side of that door at the birthday party Cole attends. (By the way, do yourself a favor and go to Spotify and play "Head" by Tin's the song from that scene). The first ghost you see is the Suicide Ghost, the one that scared me the most. Of course, earlier in the movie we have an interaction with her although we never saw her. This scene startled me quite a bit the first time I saw this movie and even when you know it's coming, it's still quite startling. It also seems like it's just one long camera take from the moment Lynn takes Cole's tie into the laundry room to get a spot out and retrieve a new one for him, then turns right around to walk back into the kitchen and many of the cabinets and drawers are open. Supposedly there is a very quick cut when she enters the other room, but it's so flawless you can't even tell. I was wondering how they did that!

Cole is afraid of the ghosts (as anybody would be!), so Malcolm suggests he help them. This is a turning point in the movie. The main ghosts he helps is that of a young girl named Kyra (a pre-The OC Mischa Barton) aka Puke Girl. That scene where she's revealed with vomit coming out of her mouth in his tent is absolutely terrifying! I find Kyra to be the most fascinating of all the ghosts, as she has the biggest arc out of any of them (and I'm sure 2000 me would agree), but there are so many questions. First of all, why does she even need Cole's help to play the video indicating her (step)mom poisoned her? She (and all the other ghosts) seem very capable of handling physical objects. She pushes the box containing the video in it out from under her bed when Cole enters her creepy bedroom filled with marionettes and porcelain dolls. Really, could they have made her room even more creepier? Also, why is she hiding under the bed? Doesn't she know she's a ghost? Oh, right, Cole tells Malcolm, "They don't know they're dead"....BUT if Kyra doesn't know she's dead, then why is she giving Cole the tape implicating her (step)mom poisoned her? Unless she thinks she's still alive and wants to save her sister, who they say is starting to become sick now? But couldn't she do that if she was still alive? ALSO...she KNEW she was being poisoned when she was alive, right? Because that's why she kept the camera rolling when Mommy Dearest came in with the poisoned soup during her marionette plays. But if she knew she was being poisoned, why the eff was she eating the soup? As I mentioned earlier, I assumed the woman was Kyra's stepmom, but honestly, they never say one way or another if she's a stepmom or the biological mother. Remember when I overheard a couple at a pizza place talking about this scene? I'm pretty sure they were discussing this same exact thing! They were also probably wondering why a parent could do such a thing to a child. I wondered the same and did some research. I think it was my mom who told me about Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Now if you've ever seen the TV show House, they did an episode about this. I also talked about it at length in my Sixth Sense site. Here is what Wikipedia says about it (the bold is emphasized by me): "In Munchausen syndrome by proxy, an adult caregiver makes a child or elderly person appear mentally or physically ill or impaired by either fabricating symptoms or actually causing harm to the child or elderly person to gain the attention of medical providers and others. To perpetuate the medical relationship, the caregiver systematically misrepresents symptoms, fabricates signs, manipulates laboratory tests, or even purposely harms the child (e.g. by poisoning, suffocation, infection, physical injury)." That's some scary stuff. Nice touch having the (step)mom wear red to the funeral while everyone was wearing black.

My favorite scene in the movie, as I'm sure it is for many other people, is the scene I quoted from above, when Cole and his mother are in the car and Cole reveals his secret to her. It is very emotional when he tells her that his grandma, her mother, talks to him sometimes and she's the one who keeps taking the bumblebee pendant Lynn gets mad at him for taking. Even after watching this movie numerous times, I still teared up when Cole tells his mother that his grandma told him that Lynn came to her grave site and asked her a question and the answer was "Everyday" and Cole wanted to know what his mother asked and Lynn replies, "Do I make her proud?" Toni Collette is so good in this movie and she knocked it out of the park with that scene (as well as Osment, of course). I was shocked (-shocked!-) when I learned she was Australian. 

I think Shyamalan found lighting in a bottle with this movie; I don't think he was ever going to top it. I did see Unbreakable and Signs and I did like those movies, though I haven't seen Unbreakable since its theatrical release and I honestly don't remember anything about it, so I would like to revisit it. I've seen Signs twice and I did enjoy it, despite one very stupid thing (which I don't want to say because I'm not reviewing that movie right now so I don't want to spoil anything, but those of you have seen it, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about!). I also saw The Village, but I thought the twist was a let down. The movie as a whole was okay. I haven't seen anything since that one and I'm kind of glad because they all look pretty terrible. I have seen video reviews of some of those movies and it looks like I wasn't missing anything! However, The Sixth Sense is one of my all time favorite movies. I wouldn't make a site dedicated to it if it wasn't!

I have breaking news....

OMG, YOU GUYS!!!!! OH MY GOD.....I FOUND MY SIXTH SENSE SITE!!!!!! You don't know how HAPPY this makes me! I was able to find a link to the page that includes all the other links to all my features. Now the site is still down and it's all just a bunch of HTML gibberish and there's no black background with photos and red text, but the text is still there. You KNOW I have to share it with you! This was my introduction page. I've copied and pasted so I can get rid of the gibberish and it will be easier to read:

When The Sixth Sense first came out in August 1999, I wasn’t crazy to see it for two reasons: 
1) Bruce Willis was in it (C’mon, you have to admit he’s not the world’s greatest actor!)
2) When I saw the movie trailer, it just scared the living crap out of me. (I’m afraid of dead people.) 
I'm assuming most of you saw the movie when it came out in August. Well, I didn't. I saw it in March when it was re-released in theaters. I saw the trailer for The Sixth Sense when my two friends and I went to see South Park in the summer of '99. When I saw the scene where Cole says "Standing next to my window," I got shivers down my spine. When I heard him say "I see dead people," I thought, there is no way in hell I am going to see that movie. You don't understand my fear of dead people. I am utterly afraid of dead people. I've had these awful dreams and I am just mortally afraid of them. When I got to funerals (I've only been to three in my life - so far), I cannot look in the coffin because it freaks me out so much. You don't understand what a baby I am about this, but it scared the living you know what out of me! Oh, yeah, and I didn't want to see it because I don't like scary movies. (I guess it's classified more as a "psychological thriller", though.)
My friend who knows I hate scary movies saw it and she said, "Sara, don't see that movie!" But when I asked other people like my roommate and my brother who saw it, they said it wasn't that scary. And over Christmas Break my brother convinced my mom and I that we had to see it. I knew there was a "twist" at the ending and I begged him to tell me, but he wouldn't. And I'm glad he didn't! He convinced me that it wasn't scary at all. And when I saw that this movie had been nominated for Best Picture and young Haley Joel Osment had gotten a nomination got best Supporting Actor, I was becoming more curious. I mean, it's not every day when an eleven year old gets nominated for an Oscar! It soon began to grow more and more popular and when it was nominated for six Oscars, I decided to finally go see it and see what the fuss was all about. My friend Amanda and I went to see it at a Lawrence theater on March 4, 2000 at 9:20 p.m. (Yes, I still have the movie stub!) I was surprised that the theater was near full. I didn't think there would be that many people since it was re-released. But after seeing the movie, I understood why the theater was full. The minute we sat down, the lights go off and the trailer for Erin Brockovich comes on. (Talk about perfect timing!) 
You know what's really pathetic? I was scared at the first scene. I thought a dead person was going to jump out at us! But then I relaxed and then got a little tense when Vincent appeared. But then after that, I relaxed and enjoyed the movie. It wasn't until the party scene where I began to feel my heart beating out of my chest for the rest of the movie. From the moment Cole is locked in that closet till the very end, I was clenching my stomach so tight and had my hands ready to reflex quickly to my eyes if I needed to! But I'm proud to say that I never had to leave the theater and I never completely covered my eyes. (Although I did have to look away for a second when I saw that boy's half blown off head - ugh.) 

Well, it turned out that I absolutely fell in love with it. I did jump a few times, and it did scare me, but at least I didn’t have nightmares. (Although I did have trouble falling asleep that night and I kept waking up, thinking about the movie. Plus it didn’t help that my white robe hanging on my closet door looked like a ghost!) I saw it three times in two months. It’s one of those movies that you think might not be good to view after you’ve seen it a first time because you know already know the ending, but I think it gets better and better the more times you watch it. There are so many things you can catch that you missed on your first viewing. 

Because I love The Sixth Sense so much, I decided to make a website dedicated to one of my favorite movies. I don't think I'll ever get sick of this movie. I could talk about it forever. The day after I saw it, I called my mom and brother to analyze the whole movie with them. Then a week later when I went home for spring break, my mom and I talked about the movie for four hours on the drive home. (Hey, it made the time go quick!)

In this site you’ll find my opinions about the movie,  questions and answers, quotes, biographies and lots of other fun stuff! If you haven’t seen the movie, I’ve put an asterisk (*) by any links I feel might give away the deep dark secret revealed in the movie. (But hopefully you have seen it by now!) I’m not very experienced when it comes to making webpages and this is my first one, so please keep that in mind! 
And please remember to sign the guestbook before you leave! Thank you!

The Sixth Sense is about a young boy, Cole Sear, (Haley Joel Osment) who can see dead people. He doesn’t want his mother, Lynn, (Toni Collette) to know because he’s scared that she’ll think he’s a freak. The only person he feels he can confide in and can help him with his problem is child psychiatrist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis). Dr. Crowe is determined to help him after he has failed one of his former patients, Vincent Gray (Donnie Walbergh). But he soon finds out that helping Cole takes too much time away from him being with his wife, Anna (Olivia Williams). But in the end he discovers a shocking secret about himself, making the audience ponder, Was it Malcolm who helped Cole or was it Cole who helped Malcolm? 

And here are my FAQs which I found amusing. I can tell you right now that nobody ever e-mailed me to ask these questions; I just acted like people did and I was answering them! Haha!

Q: What is the name of the song that is played during the birthday party scene? 
 A: That’s Head by Tin Star. Unfortunately, it’s not on the soundtrack. 
Q: Trevor Morgan (Tommy Tammisimo) looks familiar, but I can’t quite replace him. Where have I seen him before? 
A: If you’re a religious watcher of  ER, you’ve probably seen him as Dr. Anspaugh’s son who had cancer. Plus he's been in a lot of movies since  The Sixth Sense, including The Patriot, Jurassic Park 3, The Glass House, and The Rookie. 
Q: What was the name of the product Tommy Tammisimo was endorsing in his commercial? 
 A: That was Pedia Ease, a cough syrup medicine for children. It’s a made-up product, but there is Pedia Care. 

Q: What is the significance of the color red in the movie? 
A: If you have a good eye (or if you’ve seen the movie multiple times!), you’ll notice that many items in The Sixth Sense are red: the doorknob, the balloon, the sweater Cole wears at the birthday party, the dress that Anna wears at the restaurant, the doors to the church, the sweater Lynn wears in the car, Cole’s tent, the light bulb, the box containing the videotape, the Zoloft pills, the religious figure Cole steals from the church, the frame, the ink of the pen that Cole wrote his “upset words” with and the dress the mother of Kyra wears at the funeral to name a few. M. Night Shyamalan explains that “anything that’s tainted from the [ghost] world or has a connection to the other side” is colored red. 

Q: Why did Cole and Vincent have a patch of white in their hair? 
A: Cole and Vincent were the only ones who could see dead people, remember? Shyamalan wanted them to share a physical trait. According to some researchers it is natural for one to loose pigment in their hair when they experience trauma. 

Q: Did Cole know that Malcolm was a ghost? 
A: This is one of those questions I’ve seen debated numerous times, but in my opinion (and lots of other people’s I know), I do believe he did know. Remember when Cole was walking fast to the church when Malcolm was following him? Well, he looked scared and I think he sensed that something was wrong. Plus, I think if you did have this ability, you could probably tell a live person from a dead person. 
Ahhhh! So 2000 me agrees with present day me! Good to know! I do know myself!

Q: Why doesn’t Cole’s breath show when he’s around Malcolm? 
A: Because it only gets cold when ghosts get angry. Malcolm gets upset in the end when he finds out he’s dead and hence we see Anna’s breath. Also, remember the scene where Kyra was unbuttoning Cole’s tent? You could see his breath then, but when he went back to her and pulled the blanket off her, you no longer saw his breath. 
Q: How come Cole never told Malcolm he was dead? 
A: I’m not sure about this one, but I think he wanted Malcolm to figure that out on his own. 

 Plus it would spoil the movie!

Q: How much money has The Sixth Sense grossed so far? 
A: According to it’s made an estimated amount of $661,500,000 worldwide. 
Q: How does The Sixth Sense rate in terms of top grossing movies of all time? 
A: In the United States, it is the 14th biggest movie (so far). It used to be the tenth, but movies like Spider-Man, Harry Potter, and  Lord of the Rings pushed it out of the way. Worldwide, it is the 13th biggest movie of all time (so far). 
Obviously those movies I listed didn't exist back in 2000, but I did see I last updated my site in 2003.

Q: Why did Kyra’s mother poison her daughter? 
A: She had a condition called Munchausen by proxy. It's when a parent purposely harms their child to get attention. 
Q: Wait! You're confusing me! What is that disease? Mun-what? 
 A: This is from the  Encarta Encyclopedia: I INTRODUCTION Munchausen Syndrome, mental illness in which a person intentionally deceives health-care professionals into believing he or she is ill. People with this disorder migrate from hospital to hospital, attempting to get admitted by continually faking or producing symptoms of illness. They embellish their medical histories with dramatic stories to attract attention, and they willingly undergo tests and treatments-even surgery-for contrived physical or psychological ailments. The term "Munchausen's syndrome" was coined in 1951 by British physician Richard Asher, who adapted it from the surname of Baron M√ľnchhausen. The baron, a German cavalry officer in the 18th century, had acquired an erroneous reputation as a pathological liar who greatly exaggerated his adventures. People with Munchausen syndrome intentionally mislead others about their health and assume the sick role typically because they want to be cared for and nurtured. In contrast, patients with hypochondriasis are preoccupied with illness because they misinterpret bodily sensations as evidence of serious disease (see Hypochondria). In malingering, people fabricate medical symptoms or illnesses in pursuit of specific external goals, such as qualification for disability payments or evasion of military service. Munchausen syndrome represents the most extreme and chronic variant of a group of similar mental ailments called factitious disorders. Doctors diagnose factitious disorders in approximately 1 percent of hospital patients who receive psychiatric evaluations. Individuals with Munchausen syndrome tend to be men who are unmarried, unemployed, and estranged from their families. II SYMPTOMS People with Munchausen syndrome or other factitious disorders may claim medical symptoms in a variety of ways. These include (1) total fabrication, such as falsely claiming to be HIV-positive; (2) simulation, such as mimicking a seizure; (3) illness aggravation, such as manipulating a wound so it will not heal; and (4) illness induction, such as injecting oneself with bacteria to cause infection. The maladies may either be relatively common, or so esoteric that most physicians would have only a passing familiarity with them. The most frequently fabricated physical signs include anemia, rash, fever, and bleeding. Factitious psychological disorders, in which people fabricate emotional symptoms such as depression, are much less common. In Munchausen syndrome by proxy, also called factitious disorder by proxy, one person (usually a parent) produces symptoms in another (usually his or her child) to experience the sick role vicariously. For example, a mother may induce vomiting or diarrhea in her child with over-the-counter drugs, then present the child for treatment while denying knowledge of the origin of the problem. The parent also may falsely report symptoms and alter laboratory data. Ailments commonly falsified or induced in Munchausen syndrome by proxy include seizures, apnea (cessation of breathing), vomiting, and fever. III CAUSES Many psychiatrists believe that Munchausen patients have suffered emotional neglect or deprivation in their past and that their "disease forgery" becomes a way of receiving attention and support. At the same time, people with this disorder combat a poor sense of self-identity by assuming the well-defined role of a sick person. Duping medical professionals also helps stifle feelings of weakness and vulnerability. A hypothesis that brain abnormalities cause Munchausen syndrome remains unproved. IV TREATMENT Patients diagnosed with Munchausen syndrome rarely consent to treatment of their disorder. Instead, when confronted with their ruse, they generally flee and continue their deceptions elsewhere. Non confrontational strategies, such as behavior modification, have been effective in selected cases. For motivated patients, psychotherapy can both enhance insight and provide the nurturance they once obtained through falsified illness. Medications such as antidepressants may be effective when the patients have additional mental illnesses. When addressing Munchausen syndrome by proxy, doctors focus on ensuring the ongoing safety of the child. 
Q: Was the woman who killed Kyra her mother or stepmother? 
A: I’m not really sure about this one. In my opinion, I believe it was her real mother. That’s what the script says. It doesn’t exactly say in the movie. I’ve asked many people this question and half think she’s the mother and the other half think she’s the stepmother. 
Interesting....2000 me thought it was her real mother while present day me thinks it's her stepmom. I don't remember reading a script. I guess we will never know for sure.  

Q: How did Cole know that his teacher stuttered when he was a child? 
A: Remember the scene where Cole is getting ready to play King Arthur in the play and his teacher told him how their was a fire in that part of the school? And remember before that when the burnt lady was helping Cole with his makeup? The lady had died in the fire and I do believe she’s the one who told Cole about “Stuttering Stanley.” 
Q: Why did the dog run and hide under the bed when the boy who shot himself in the head appeared? 
A: I don’t think the dog could see him, but animals have instincts and the dog could probably feel a presence in the house. 
Q: Was the battered suicide woman (the one we see in the kitchen) the same ghost who opened up all the cabinets at the beginning of the movie? 
A: Yes, she was. If you’re not hiding your eyes behind your eyes, you can see that all the cabinets are open when she yells at Cole. 
Q: Were there any ghosts besides Malcolm that Cole wasn’t afraid of? 
A: Yes, he was not afraid of his grandmother or the teacher who died in the school fire. Also, I read that he learned Latin from a priest who had died at the church. Whether or not that is true, I don’t know.
Q. How did Malcolm get a hold of those files about Cole? 
A: I think he had those files before he died; that’s the best explanation I can come up with. 

Q: Why can’t Malcolm open the door to the basement? 
A: He thinks it’s locked, which is why he’s always searching his pocket for the key, when in fact Anna had blocked the door with a table because Malcolm’s office is downstairs and she’s trying to shut out memories of him. The audience doesn’t see the table until we find out Malcolm is dead. Of course he gets downstairs because he’s a ghost and can walk through the door, but he refuses to acknowledge that he’s broken any physical laws. 

Q: What was the poison Kyra was gradually killed from? 
A: I’m not sure exactly what it was, but I’m told it was floor cleaning solution. 

Q: Would you recommend the soundtrack to me? 
A: Yes! Even thought the songs are short, it's a great soundtrack (with very creepy music). I like De Profundis (the song played at the very beginning) and Malcolm is Dead. (The song they played at the end, although I think they should have changed the title of that song!) 
Q: Where did Cole get all those religious figurines he had in his tent? Did he steal them from the church like he did with that one statue? 
A: I’m guessing he did. (Tisk, tisk! Stealing from a church!) 

Q: How does Lynn afford to send Cole to a private school when she’s juggling with two jobs? And how does she afford a Volvo? 
A: I have no idea! In the movie you got the impression they were struggling with the money. But perhaps her mother had some money and gave her it when she died? (Hey, maybe that bumblebee pendant is worth some money!) 
Q: What are triangle pancakes? 
 A: I’ve never heard of them, but I’m guessing they’re pancakes in the shape of triangles. Duh. Perhaps they’re a Philadelphia treat? 
And the last segment I'll share (because I don't need to make this any longer than it already is!) is my ranking of the ghosts.

My analysis of each ghost complete with a “Scary rating” from 1-10 (1 = not very scary, 10 = very scary)
The Woman in the kitchen:
This is the first ghost that we actually see in the movie. (Well, except for Malcolm, but we weren’t suppose to know he was a ghost at that point!) She was the one wearing the pink bathrobe and was in the kitchen, the one who Cole thought was his mother. (I knew it wasn’t though!) She was actually in one of the first scenes although we didn’t see her. Did you notice how all the cabinet doors were open? Well, she was the one who had opened them all the morning that Cole was eating his Cocoa Puffs and his mother was doing the laundry. I got the impression she committed suicide by slashing her wrists (that would explain her slashed wrists!) because her husband was abusing her (that would explain her bruised face). Remember when she started yelling at Cole. Well, I assume she was yelling her husband’s name at him and that’s why she was so angry. 
Scary rating: 9.. I have seen this movie numerous times and every time she walks by when Cole is in the bathroom I ALWAYS jump or scream!   

Still true. 

Well, I’m guessing you know who this ghost is! You’re right, it’s the young teenage boy from the seventies with the back of his head blown off. Obviously he killed himself by his comment to Cole, “Come on, I’ll show you where my dad keeps my gun.” He wasn’t murdered and he didn’t commit suicide. He was probably just playing with his dad’s gun and accidentally shot himself and blew out his brains. How nice. 
Scary rating: 7…. Well, at least he didn’t yell at Cole, but that line was just beyond creepy and when he turned around, oh Lord! The first time I saw that I thought I was going to be sick!
The three ghosts hanging in the school:
This appears to be a family: there is a man, a woman, and a young boy. Like Cole told his teacher when he was in class, their school was used to hang people back in the 1700s. The man is black, the woman is white, and the child is bi-racial, so they were hung for racial reasons. 
Scary rating: 4 … There’s only one shot of them, and even though they are a little bit blue, they aren’t that scary. They don’t scream at Cole and they don’t have blood or guts gushing out of them.
The burnt lady:
This is the lady who was helping Cole “practicing his lines.” She died when there was a fire in the theater. She was a teacher and taught Mr. Cummingham when he was a student at the school. We learn that from Mr. Cummingham who tells Cole that. I’m pretty sure she was the one who told Cole about “Stuttering Stanley.” And she is one of the few ghosts that Cole is not afraid of. 
Scary rating: 7 … She seemed really sweet, but I didn’t know she was a ghost until Mr. Cummingham comes in and asks Cole who’s he talking to and she turns around and you can see all of that side is burnt. That really freaked me out!
Biker lady: 
This was the dead person Cole was referring to when his mother asked, “Where is she?” and he replied, “Standing next to my window.” She was riding her book and broke her neck in the car accident and instantly died. 
Scary rating: 4 … a little creepy looking but not too frightening.
Kyra Collins:
I thought Kyra Collins was the most complex and interesting and had the saddest story of the ghosts. Here is a young girl, of about twelve, who was poisoned by her own mother. When I first saw her I thought she had died of bulimia because she was puking and looked super skinny. I still have a lot of unanswered questions about her death, but this is my theory of why she died: Her mother had Munchausen by proxy which you can read more about if you go to Questions and Answers. Basically what it is, is when a mother purposelessly harms their child to get more attention. By the father’s comment to the mother, “You were keeping her sick,” my theory is that the mother was the one who got her sick in the first place, making it gradual at first until there was so much poison in Kyra’s body that she died.  I’m guessing that Kyra sort of figured out what her mother was doing to her and that’s why she taped it. But that just gets me even more confused. If she knew what her mother was doing, why would she keep on eating the soup, and how would she know somebody would see the tape after she died? (Remember all those tapes she had in the room), Or perhaps I’m over analyzing too much? Maybe she was just video taping her puppet show and left it on accidentally when her mother gave her the bowl of soup. But obviously after she died, she had to get Cole to help her to give the tape to her dad to show her how he died because her little sister was beginning to get sick too and she didn’t want her to die.
Haha, I love how 2000 me has the same burning questions as present day me.  

Scary rating: 8…. A very sweet little girl, she probably was but she scared me when she was unbuttoning Cole’s tent and puke was coming out of her mouth, when Cole pulled the blanket off of her, and when she grabbed Cole’s foot from under her bed. (The first time I saw that, it nearly gave me a heart attack!) Also, I was a little creeped out by her room with all those hand and finger puppets. And the scene when she's under the bed and her hand reaches out and grabs Cole? That freaked me out just a tad!
The ghost in the closet: 
This is a ghost in the movie we don’t see, but I would have liked to out of curiosity. He is the ghost Cole gets attacked by when he is at Darren’s birthday party and Darren and Tommy Tammisimo throw him in the storage locker when they tell him they’re going to put on a play called “Locked in the Dungeon” and he’s going to be the one locked in the dungeon. The interesting thing about this ghost was that he wanted Cole to open the door, but the door was already open. According to Cole’s statement, “They only see what they want to see,” this ghost could not see that the door was open. From people I’ve asked, it seems that this ghost was locked in the closet and that’s how he died. If I remember right, he says something about taking his master’s horses, so he must have been punished. It scared the hell out of me when Cole was in that small space with that scary sounding ghost. And it sent chills down my spiny little spine when the balloon pops and all you can hear silence. :::shiver::
Scary rating: 8 …. No, you don’t see this ghost, but that scene always makes me nervous.
Cole’s Grandma:
We never see her (although I wish we had!) but she is mentioned a few times in the movie. It doesn’t say how she died, but I’m guessing of old age or from an illness. She was the one who took Lynn’s bumblebee pendant which used to belong to her and moving it. I thought one of the freakiest parts in the movie was when Cole told his mom, “Grandma says hi.”
Scary rating: 1 She’s his grandmother and she loves him. We don't have to worry about her hurting Cole. 
The Spanish ghost:
This is a ghost that Cole doesn’t meet, but rather Vincent, the young man who was a former patient of Malcolm and shot him before shooting himself. After Cole confesses his secret to Malcolm, Malcolm listens to a taped session he had with Vincent. Cole reminds him of Vincent and he wants to see why this is so. During the session Malcolm is called out for a phone call and that’s when the weird noises start happening. He turns up the volume on his tape player all the way until all he can hear is static, Vincent whimpering and a voice shouting in Spanish.
Scary rating: 3 You don’t see this ghost, but he sounds kinda scary and the scene itself is enough to send chills down your spine.
Malcolm Crowe:
The only one you didn’t know was a ghost until the end of the movie (unless you caught on before that). He was fatally shot in the gut by one of his former patients, Vincent Grey. It's hard to tell if he knew he was dead or not, but if there was was any part of him that thought he was dead, he refused to believe it.
Scary rating: 1 Became one of Cole’s only confidants and helped Cole with his deep dark secret.  
Wow, that was certainly a fun trip down memory lane! It felt like I quantum leaped back into 2000 me!