Saturday, April 30, 2011

This movie drove me crazy

Drive Me Crazy
Director: John Schultz
Cast: Melissa Joan Hart, Adrian Grenier, Ali Larter
Released: October 1, 1999

Yes, that pun was intended.

This movie is really bad. In fact, I'm trying to determine which is worse: this one or She's All That. At least the latter had better actors (Freddie Prinze Jr. notwithstanding) and while the plot was stupid, it at least made more sense than the plot of this movie, but I'll try my best to explain it.

Nicole (Hart) and Chase (Grenier) are next door neighbors. They used to be best friends when they were younger, but now they want nothing to do with each other because they fell into different groups during middle school (or, "junior high" as Nicole said. Good Lord, movie, nobody calls it "junior high" anymore!) She's part of the popular, school spirit crowd (hmm, wonder if she's going to make everybody sign her yearbook?) and he's the rebel who's too cool for school and hangs out with the other outcasts.

Don't worry, Ali, "Heroes" is only seven
years away!
There's a big dance coming up and Nicole is in charge of putting it together. She thinks her crush is going to ask her out, but he ends up asking another girl and now she risks the humiliation of attending the dance alone. Meanwhile, Chase's girlfriend has broken up with him and he wants to get her back. She's played by Ali Larter who is usually attractive, but they made her really ugly in this film. They gave her this awful dyed red hair and she wears this awful lipstick that clashes with her hair. Ugh, just ugh! (And speaking of superficial bickering, what is up with MJH's eye? One of them is significantly smaller than the other. I grew up watching Clarissa Explains it All and Sabrina the Teenage Witch and I never remember her eyes being so noticeably wonky.)

Nicole proposes an idea to Chase: that he take her to the dance so she'll have someone to go with, but he has to date her for a few weeks before so it doesn't look like he's only just taking her to the dance. Chase agrees with this because he thinks it will make Ali jealous and she'll want him back. Or something. I don't know. Honestly, there were a few minutes of the movie I missed because watching my cat playing with his catnip toy was much more entertaining than this dreck.

Obviously, as you can imagine, they both decide they like each other at the end of the movie. Wow. I didn't see that coming! In a weird turn of events, it turns out that Nicole's mom and Chase's dad (her parents are divorced and his mom died) tell them that they're moving in together. HUH? When did that happen? I don't remember their parents starting to date. This must have happened when I was paying more attention to Milo doing some crazy acrobats across my floor. Do Nicole and Chase object to this weird and awkward reveal? Oh, no, they handle the news with great big smiles on their faces. Um, hello, you two want to date/have started dating and now your parents tell you they're moving in together? You're technically stepsiblings now! This is the third teen movie now that has dealt with stepsibling incest. It is not cute when stepsiblings date! It is creepy and icky!

Time for the checklist:

Is there a party scene? Yes
Is there a prom scene? It's not the prom, but there is a dance scene
Is there a football scene? No, but there is a basketball game
Is there a make over scene? Yes, Nicole makes over Chase to make him appear more with the in crowd. First of all, he looked better before, and second of all, I would be pissed if somebody tried to get me to change my hair and wardrobe especially if I didn't need to. 
Is there a scene where all the different high school cliques are being shown? No
Was this movie spoofed in Not Another Teen Movie? No. Wow, even this movie wasn't worthy of getting spoofed in that one. 

Do I own the soundtrack/favorite song - I do. I bought it because I love the Britney song so much. The one on her CD is different from the one on the soundtrack which has the "Stop" remix which I like better than the original version. I also like the cover of "Keep on Loving You" by the Donnas.

Darkest scene - Not too many, but there is one scene when some drunk frat boy starts getting frisky with his girlfriend and starts beating up a kid who comes to her defense. 

Favorite line - Nothing stands out.

Favorite character - Chase, but only because he's cute.

Favorite scene - Nicole and Chase singing "Keep on Loving You" in the car. I doubt you would ever see teenagers nowadays singing to REO Speedwagon!

Hey, it's the '90s! -  A couple of references to the X-Files are made. 

Why the class of 1999 is the most awesome graduation class:
1. Many teen/high school movies came out in 1999.
2. The song that told people to "party like it's 1999."
3.  Buffy Summers is an alum from the class of '99.
4. Bella Swan is not a graduate from the class of '99.
5. One of my favorite songs, "You Get What You Give" by the New Radicals came out my senior year (though technically it was released in late '98).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Graduation Day

Can't Hardly Wait
Directors: Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan
Cast: Ethan Embry, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Seth Green, Lauren Ambrose, Charlie Korsmo, Peter Facinelli
Released: June 12, 1998

Despite the grammatically incorrect title (and I am a grammar Nazi, people!), I really kinda love this movie which takes place in one day. The beginning starts in the afternoon at a graduation ceremony for high school seniors, the majority of the movie takes place at a huge party, and it ends the next morning.

"Special K"
There are tons of kids at the party (most of them probably extras, but there were a few familiar faces), but the movie follows six characters. The main character is Preston (Embry) who finds out the girl he has "loved" (I don't know how he can be in love with her when he's never even talked to her, but whatever) since freshman year has broken up with her boyfriend that afternoon. He has written Amanda (Hewitt) a letter and vows to tell her how he really feels. Preston attends the party with his friend Denise (Ambrose) who's really cynical and acts like she's more superior than everybody else and can't wait to get out of town and say good riddance to her high school life. At the party she ends up getting locked in a bathroom with her childhood friend Kenny (a hilarious performance from Green) who wears baggy clothes and acts all ghetto. He goes by the name Special K (and he's "special", alright!) and is not happy by this turn of events because he had planned to score with some "fine honey" at the party. They are in the upstairs bathroom, so nobody can hear them downstairs.

Meanwhile, William (Korsmo - he looked familiar, so I looked him up: turns out he played Robin William's son in Hook) the nerd who plans to get revenge on douche bag jock Mike Dexter (Facinelli) aka Amanda's ex who has made high school a living hell for him and his other nerd friends. He has this whole elaborate plan to humiliate Mike and while his two Star Wars-obsessed friends wait outside for him, William ends up getting drunk and becomes the life of the party.

In cameo roles we have  Melissa Joan Hart as an excitable girl with school spirit who wants everyone to sign her yearbook,  Jaime Pressly and Sean Patrick Thomas as part of the cool clique, Donald Faison and Breckin Meyer as part of the band, Selma Blair, Clea DuVall, a pre-How I Met Your Mother Jason Segal, a pre-24 Eric Balfour, a pre-BtVS Amber Benson, the Asian girl from Bring It On, and the Sherminator who plays a kid who steals everything. Rounding out the cameos is Jerry O'Connell as a college student who tells Mike breaking up with his high school girlfriend was the worst thing he's ever done and Jenna Elfman as an angel stripper who gives Preston advice on what he should do about Amanda. My favorite minor character was the girl who had the party at her house. She was hilarious with all her reactions and freak outs to how her house was being destroyed - everything from people defacing a family portrait to the curtains being set on fire.

Checklist time!

Is there a party scene? Duh
Is there a prom scene? Negative
Is there a football scene? Negative 
Is there a make over scene? Negative
Is there a scene where all the different high school cliques are being shown? Yes, they're all represented at the party.
Was this movie spoofed in Not Another Teen Movie? Yep. Lacey Chabert plays the Amanda character (interesting both she and JLH were on Party of Five!) and they spoofed the slow motion and wind blowing in her hair.

Do I own the soundtrack/favorite song - I don't own the soundtrack, but I have my two favorite songs from the movie on my iPod. The first is the title song by the Replacements that plays at the end credits and the second is "Paradise City" by Guns 'n Roses that Williams sings after he's been drinking a little too much.

Darkest scene - This is a pretty light movie so there are no dark scenes per se, but I was a little bit disturbed by how Preston was so infatuated with Amanda - well he was probably only infatuated with her for the same two reasons JLH is famous, haha - but this is a girl who dated the douchey bullying jock for the majority of her high school life. They try to paint her as somebody who isn't superficial, but let's face it: the girl is superficial. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the movie didn't go the obvious route and have Preston realize he has feelings for his female friend who has been right in front of him this entire time because that has been so overplayed, but I never understood why he was so into Amanda. Other than she's hot and they both like Pop Tarts. Maybe I'm just overanalyzing this too much. After all, it's just a teen movie. 

Favorite line -  "THESE ARE MEMORIES FROZEN IN TIME, PEOPLE!" - yearbook girl. Also everything Kenny said was hilarious.

Favorite character - While Kenny was one of the funniest characters, I have to go with nerd William. He really stole the whole movie with his song and dance number.

Favorite scene - It's a tie between William singing to Guns 'n Roses and the bathroom montage with Kenny.

Hey, it's the '90s! - There's one scene where Preston is using a pay phone - a PAY PHONE! Come to think of it, it was really weird to see a whole houseful of teenagers and not a one of them was talking/texting on a cell phone. Also, Kenny is donning Tommy Hilfigure attire.

Now to add another reason as to why the class of '99 is the best graduating class in all of high school history:

1. Many teen/high school movies came out in 1999.
2. The song  that told people to "party like it's 1999."
3.  Buffy Summers is an alum from the class of '99.
4. Bella Swan is not a graduate from the class of '99. (Sorry class of two thousand whatever!)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pretty Little Liars

Cruel Intentions
Director: Roger Kumble
Cast: Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Sean Patrick Thomas, Joshua Jackson, Christine Baranski
Released: March 5, 1999

I was considering if I should review this movie, loosely based on Dangerous Liaisons, as part of my "Ten Teen Movies That Came Out When I Was a Teen" because it only fills one of the requirements in my teen movie checklist. Not only that, but the characters are rich and attend a prep school in Manhattan, not a public high school like the other characters do in the other teen movies. Also, the film takes place during summer and there's only one scene shown at the school at the end. But since this movie prominently features teenagers (played by actors in their early 20s, of course) and because it's one of my guilty pleasures, of course I had to count it.

Sebastian (Phillippe) and Kathryn (Gellar) are privileged stepsiblings who are teetering on the edge of having an incestuous relationship (and you all know how I feel about relationships between stepsiblings if you've read my Clueless review - yes, you are not related by blood, but your parents are married to each other!) Sebastian and Kathryn take delight in hurting other people and ruining their reputations, especially Kathryn. She puts new meaning to the term "evil stepsister." She is one evil bey-otch. I suppose one could compare her to Blair Waldorf, who is also a rich Manhattanite who loves to scheme and manipulate people, but the only difference is Blair is loyal to her friends, while Kathryn only pretends to be friends with people, but secretly hates everyone and is only looking out for herself. SMG's hair is dyed brown for this role and I'm guessing they did they so she wouldn't look too much like Buffy with her blonde hair, and also probably because Reese is a blonde, but the brown hair works for her character.

The kids aren't alright, but that room is pretty awesome!
Reese plays Annette, the new girl from Kansas (why is it always Kansas?) who plans to wait until she's married before she has sex. Sebastian bets Kathryn that he can make her fall for him and sleep with him before the school year starts. Meanwhile, Kathryn is set on getting back at a new girl who's starting at their school (Selma Blair) because her ex dumped her for Cecile. She has plans to ruin Cecile's reputation and make her the school floozy. I always thought it was hilarious how people made such a big deal of the kiss between Selma and SMG (remember, it won the MTV award for Best Kiss). I also loved how Kathryn just decides she should teach Cecile how to kiss while they're sitting in the middle of Central Park with tons of people around.

She kissed a girl..and she liked it!
I have always been a little confused by how old Cecile is suppose to be. I know the other young characters are entering into their senior year of high school, and while Cecile is really immature and acts younger than them, I just can't see a twenty-something Selma Blair playing a 14/15 year old. It just rings really untrue to me. Maybe she was also supposed to be a senior and was just transferring schools? I've seen this movie three times and still have never gotten that.

While Sebastian is busy trying to seduce Annette so he can win the bet, he slowly begins to realize he actually has feelings for her and realizes he is in love with her...but will they be able to be together? If you've seen the movie, you know the answer to this!

Can we take a second to talk about how gorgeous this movie is? Yes, obviously the actors are all very attractive, but I'm talking about the props and the designs of the room. Sebastian has a sweet ride. It's a '56 Jaguar something something and it is one nice car. Also, the penthouse Sebastian and Kathryn live in (by themselves, since it seems his dad and her mom are always away on business trips) make the penthouses the characters from Gossip Girl live in look like shacks. Hell, their place makes Donald Trump's look really cheap! All the rooms are exquisite, filled with antique furniture that gives it a 18th century French vibe. I especially love the nice touch of those old rotary phones. I like how it mixes classic with modern. (Well, I guess you couldn't consider the cell phone Sebastian uses modern anymore, haha). My favorite room in their penthouse is Kathryn's room. I love that room! If I were one of those spoiled rich teens on My Sweet Sixteen, I would totally want and demand her room. Her room is painted this gorgeous deep blue color and she has a canopy over her bed and all her furniture, again, is very antiquated. If I were her, I would never leave my room! I also love how she has a framed photo of herself on one of the tables. Nice touch of her being narcissistic.


Checklist time!

Is there a party scene? Negative

Is there a prom scene? Negative
Is there a football scene? Negative 
Is there a make over scene?, unless you count Kathryn trying to "make over" Cecile. 
Is there a scene where all the different high school cliques are being shown? Negative
Was this movie spoofed in Not Another Teen Movie? Yes, the famous kiss scene was spoofed. I don't remember if any other scenes were, though.

Do I own the soundtrack/favorite song - Yes, and my absolutely favorite song in the movie is  Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve. I absolutely love that song.  Colorblind by the Counting Crows (in fact, the lead singer wrote that song specifically for the movie, which I had no idea), comes in at a close second and I also love  Trip on Love by Abra Moore, Every You, Every Me by Placebo, and Praise You by Fatboy Slim. 

Darkest scene - The whole movie is pretty dark, after all, it's about two teens who are trying to destroy reputations! But the scene where Reese and Ryan fight and yell at each other is pretty brutal.

Favorite line -  "Everybody loves me and I intend to keep it that way." - Kathryn. Also when Cecile complains that her iced tea doesn't take like ice tea and Sebastian tells her it's from Long Island.

Favorite character - Even though she's manipulative, I love to hate Kathryn. SMG did a fantastic job at making her so deliciously evil. Never once did I think of her as a certain vampire slayer. She makes the other characters look boring in comparison. A close second would be Joshua Jackson's gay, drug-dealing friend of Sebastian who wears sweater vests.

Good vs Evil
Favorite scene - The scene at the end where everybody learns the truth about Kathryn and that she's a deceitful, lying bitch who has done all these awful things. On the one hand, it's great that she's finally getting the comeuppance she so deserves, but on the other hand, SMG plays her with a vulnerability at that one scene and I started to feel sorry for her when she started crying, though we know she's only crying because she got caught and that she doesn't feel bad about what she did. This is also the scene where my favorite song is played and it just fits so perfectly with the scene.
Hey, it's the '90s! - Really, the only reference where we know it's the '90s besides the soundtrack is a scene at the beginning where Tara Ried is looking at the Internet and you can tell it's AOL. Ah, remember the good old days of AOL?  Actually, I hated AOL. It always caused me problems.

And now to continue on to my list on why 1999 is the best graduation year ever!

1. Many teen/high school movies came out in 1999.
2. The song  that told people to "party like it's 1999."
3.  Buffy Summers is an alum from the class of '99! (Graduation Day, Part Two, anybody?)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This movie, is, like, totally awesome!

Director: Amy Heckerling
Cast: Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, Brittany Murphy, Stacey Dash, Donald Faison, Breckin Meyer
Released: July 19, 1995

I considered writing this entire review in Valley Girl speak, but decided that would be too grating and annoying, so I will not do that! 

I hadn't seen this movie in a very long time and despite the technology and fashion (still love it though!) being outdated, the movie holds up quite well. It's very funny and charming. Alicia Silverstone has all seemed to fall off the face of the earth (starring in Batman and Robin probably wasn't the best move she ever did), but it's probably no surprise that playing the spoiled but lovable Cher is her most well-known role. 

Cher and her best friend Dionne (Stacey Dash, who was surprisingly 28 when she played a high schooler!) are friends because they "know what it's like to have other people be jealous of [them]" and they were both "named after famous singers in the '70s who now do informercials."(I don't remember Cher ever doing informercials...) They live in Beverly Hills (and this was during the time Beverly Hills 90210 was popular, so there are Luke Perry and Jason Priestly mentions) where they spend their time attending high school, going to parties, and shopping at the mall. 

They take Tai, the new girl (played by Brittany Murphy) under their wings and decide to "adopt" her because she needs a major make over and they see her as a pet project to make her as one of the in-crowd. But when Tai overcomes Cher in popularity, Cher starts to get jealous.

A Carrie Bradshaw in training.
Paul Rudd plays Josh, Cher's once-stepbrother. His mother used to be married to Cher's dad, but they're divorced now. Even though they're technically not step siblings anymore, it was a little weird that they got together in the end. I mean, it's not as bad as on Gossip Girl where Serena has feelings for Dan. Uh, hello, S, your MOM is married to Dan's dad. Do you know how sick that is? Yes, I know they were an item before, so she's already been incestuous with her stepbrother and it is pretty messed up for your mom to marry your ex's dad - and now I'm getting way off topic. I'm not here to talk about the stupidity of Gossip Girl! It's not just weird that Cher and Josh got together in the end because they were once stepsiblings; they just don't have anything in common! But, whatever. 

Now time for my teen movie checklist!

Is there a party scene? Affirmative
Is there a prom scene? Negative
Is there a football scene? Negative 
Is there a make over scene? Affirmative 
Is there a scene where all the different high school cliques are being shown? Affirmative 
Was this movie spoofed in Not Another Teen Movie? IMDB says it is, but I don't remember which scene(s) were spoofed. 

Do I own the soundtrack/favorite song - I don't own the soundtrack, but who doesn't love Rollin' With My Homies?

Darkest scene - Really, the only "dark" scene is when Cher is robbed at gunpoint, but it's played for laughs when the guy tells her to get on the ground and she whines that she's wearing a designer dress.

Favorite line - So many great lines in this movie, but I just love the way Brittany Murphy says, "Wow, you guys talk like grown ups!" The way she says it is so funny. 

Favorite character - I should say Josh because he's the most normal character in the film, but I am partial to Travis, the lovable stoner dude.

Favorite scene - The Freeway scene is one of the funniest in the movie. 

1995 just called. It wants its cell phone back.
Hey, it's the '90s! - There's one scene where this guy says, "Has anyone seen my Cranberries CD?" This is a double whammy of '90s goodness because not only is he asking for a CD (today, people would be asking for an iPod), but the Cranberries are obviously a '90s band. I bet you a teenager today could not name you a song by them. (Zombie!) 

Also, Cher and Dionne have cell phones, that may not be as big as they are in '80s movies like Wall Street, but they are still significantly larger than cells you see today. 

I laughed when Tai is singing along to the Mentos theme song commercial because I honestly cannot remember the last time I saw a Mentos (the fresh maker!) commercial. 

And now I shall continue my list as to why 1999 is the best graduating class ever (by the way, these aren't in any particular order - I'm sorta coming up with these as I go along!)

1. Many teen/high school movies came out in 1999.
2. There was a song that came out in the early '80s that told people to "party like it's 1999." 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Bag of Chips

It's springtime. You know what that means. Graduation Day is right around the corner. Congratulations, class of '11! (Er, or do they say Twenty-eleven/Two thousand eleven?) To celebrate this time of the year, I have decided to watch and review ten teen movies that came out when I myself was a teenager (and the majority of them came out when I was in high school). Oh, the memories, the memories! It's like being served nostalgia on a plate! We'll first start with...

She's All That
Director: Robert Iscove
Cast: Freddie Prinze Jr., Rachael Leigh Cook, Paul Walker, Anna Paquin, Kieran Culkin
Released: January 29, 1999
Viewed in theaters: February 7, 1999

As you can tell from the title, this came out during the time when it was still cool to say "She's/he's/it's all that and a bag of chip"....which I will admit to sometimes still saying, but only as a joke, of course. This isn't that great of a movie. It pretty much blows if I'm being honest. This is the third or fourth time I've seen it and it doesn't hold up very well. There's no charm or cuteness that makes me want to watch this over and over. There aren't even any quotable lines. However, it is a quintessential teen movie that came out when I was in high school, so I had to include it. 

Freddie Prinze Jr. plays Zach who is the all-American wonder boy. He's on the soccer team, he's dating the most popular girl in school, he's rich, and he's been accepted to Dartmouth, Yale, AND Harvard. (I know, I know, I'm rolling my eyes too). For somebody who is supposed to be Darthmouth/Yale/Harvard material, why is he dating such a shallow and dumb girl? But that doesn't matter because his girlfriend dumps him after meeting a guy (Matthew Lillard) from The Real World (heh, how '90s!). Zach's friend (Paul Walker) makes a bet with him after Zach says he can turn any girl at their school into the Prom Queen (because we all know Mr. All-American will be crowned Prom King). So Walker says he'll take him on, as long as he gets to choose the girl. 

The Chosen One is Laney played by the doe-eyed Rachael Leigh Cook. (I do covet her eyes, they are so very pretty!) Laney is somewhat of a loser/outcast/weirdo. She only has one friend, she's into this weird performance art thingy, and she's very cynical. But it's very clear underneath those baggy clothes and glasses (gasp!), she's a very pretty girl (a lot prettier than Zach's ex, I would say) so it doesn't take much for him to be attracted to her. And in the end, he ends up falling for her. Awwww.

I love how in, like, one day, she goes from being the invisible girl to being a nominee for Prom Queen. the hell did that happen? Did they vote for her because she was pretty? Because she's hanging out with Zach? Because they felt sorry for her when Zach's ex was mean to her at the party? I don't get it! 

One of the things that doesn't make this movie work (besides the awful script and pointless scenes that have nothing to do with the movie - the pizza scene (ugh!) comes to mind-) the two main characters are very bland and boring and it's no wonder they fall for each other. I have never gotten the appeal of of FPJ; to me he is as exciting as watching a cardboard box. RLC was more more interesting in that 30-second "Any questions?" drug PSA she did right before this was released than she is in this movie. 

Don't give that girl a frying pan!

Besides Walker and Lillard, the supporting cast has everyone from Anna Paquin and Kieran Culkin playing Zach's and Laney's younger siblings to Usher and L'il Kim. Usher plays the David Silver of Harrison High School. (That means he's the school's DJ for those of you who may not get that Beverly Hills 90210 reference). Who knows why L'il Kim's name is on the poster because she barely has any lines, probably because she's a horrible "actress". There's also the kid who played the Shermination in the American Pie movies, Gabrielle Union (who will show up again in a couple more of my teen movies), and Dule Hill. Yeah, that's right: Charlie from The West Wing. Oh, and how could I forget Sarah Michelle Gellar's pointless cameo? In which she has no lines. Kevin Pollack is the only adult in the movie playing Laney's father. Oh, there is some guy who plays Zach's dad, but I don't know who he is. 

I've compiled a Teen Movie checklist/survey, if you will, that I will be posting on all my teen movie reviews. I've come to the conclusion that to be considered a true teen movie, they must have at least three of these six trademark teen cliche scenes:

Is there a party scene? Check
Is there a prom scene? Check
Is there a football scene? No...but there is a soccer scene, and soccer is called football everywhere else in the world, so on second thought...check!
Is there a makeover scene? Check! 
Is there a scene where all the different high school cliques are being shown? Nope
Was this movie spoofed in Not Another Teen Movie? Considering the majority of NATM spoofs She's All That, then definitely check. The main character in that movie is named Janey, after all! I love how they spoof the makeover scene when all she does is take off her glasses and takes down her ponytail and all of a sudden she's hot. Not a far cry from the actual movie! 

And now my survey:

Do I own the soundtrack?/favorite song - I do not own the soundtrack, but I do love the single Kiss Me by Sixpence None the Richer that is played about three times during the film. (I even had the CD single!) 

Darkest scene - Probably when Clea Duvall (another supporting character I forgot to mention) and some other girl tells Laney she should kill herself.

Favorite line - None, like I mentioned earlier, there are no memorable or quotable lines in this.

Favorite character - If I had to choose, then probably Anna Paquin's character, McKenzie. She's spunky and I had a cat named McKenzie, so she gets points for that.

Favorite scene - Uh.......................... oh, hell, probably when they're dancing to The Rockerfeller Skank at the Prom. I like that song. It was (unintentionally) funny when Laney started crying after Zach's ex g/f poured her drink on her dress. It was way funnier when they spoofed it in NATM. 

Hey, it's the '90s!: The fact that they all had pagers! Hahahahahahahahahaha! Oh, you silly '90s teens! (By the way, I was a '90s teen, but I never had a pager. Even I knew those things were outdated back then!) 

Now this movie came out when I was a senior in high school, so I thought I would make a top ten list on why the class of '99 is the best graduating class of all time (because we are!) Since I'll be doing ten movies, I'll post one reason for each review. (Who says I'm not good at math?)

1. Hollywood loves the class of '99! There are so many teen movies that came out that year where the main characters are seniors. Sure, She's All That wasn't one of my favorites, but there were better ones which I'll be reviewing. Okay, to be fair, maybe I've only noticed this because I was in high school at the time and these movies were targeted towards me. The only teen movies that I can think of that I've seen in the last ten years are Mean Girls, Easy A, and Superbad...but I'm sure there are lots more I'm missing. But I like to think that the class of '99 is so awesome, that Hollywood wanted to make as many movies as they could about The. Best. Class. Ever!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

10 '10 quick movie reviews

1. The Town - This was one of my top ten movies of 2010 along with Black Swan, Toy Story 3, How To Train Your Dragon, True Grit, Scott Pilgrim v. the World, The Social Network, Buried, Harry Potter....Part 1, and The King's Speech. Ben Affleck stars and directs in this film about four bankrobbers from Charleston, the town in question, which is a part of Boston. He ends up falling for the bank manager of one of the banks he and his gang robbed (while his face was covered in a mask, of course!) and they start a relationship. The FBI is also involved and it's a very good, very intense film which I highly recommend.

2. Knight and Day - Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz star in this action movie that's a fun watch for a Friday night. There's lot of (pretty much ridiculous, but fun) action and the movie takes you to different locations including Boston, the Azores, and Seville. The title doesn't really make any sense, though. The Knight surname isn't explained until more than halfway into the movie and nobody has the name Day. Also (slight spoiler) I don't think you can just drive from Mexico all the way down to the tip of South America. Maybe there's a road that takes you all the way down there? IDK!

3. Going the Distance - Real-life on-again/off-again couple Drew Barrymore and Justin Long star in this R-rated comedy about a couple in New York who just met, but once Drew has to go back to San Francisco to finish grad school, they must keep their relationship long distance. There were a few funny bits, but for the most part I thought this movie was trying to hard to be raunchy and edgy. Also, is it me or has Drew Barrymore played the same exact character since 2000? Skip it.

4. Grown Ups - Adam Sander, Chris Rock, David Spade, Kevin James, and Rob Schneider play childhood friends who were on a basketball team and reunite after their coach dies. They meet up at a gorgeous lake house with their families. (Salma Hayek, Maria Bello, and Maya Rudolph play the wives of Sandler, James, and Rock respectively). The movie just looks like an excuse for the five actors to hang out at a really cool location because the movie isn't that great. The funniest part is Steve Buscemi in a body cast. If you like juvenile movies, this one is for you.

5. Unstoppable - This film about a unmanned runaway train was inspired by true events, that, (according to Wikipedia) happened in Ohio in May 2001. I had never heard about the incident until the movie came out, probably because there was no damage or fatalities. But'd think a runaway train would get a lot of news press! The train becomes unmanned when the conductor steps out to flip a switch or something and the switch on the train falls so it starts going faster and he can't hop back on to stop it. Enter train vet Denzel Washington and rookie Chris Pine who are conducting another train and have to connect their train to the back of the runaway train to stop it. I call BS when Chris Pine had to jump from the truck that one dude was driving onto the train which was going about 50 mph at the time. I'm sure that didn't happen in real life. The movie is entertaining, though, but maybe Denzel Washington and Tony Scott need to stop making movies about trains and subways for awhile!

6. Shutter Island - Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio team up for the fourth time to make this psychological thriller about a detective who goes to an insane asylum located on an island where it storms all the time to search for a missing patient. Now I knew what the big twist was already, so I was just curious to see how they were going to do the big reveal. Even if you've never seen the movie, the twist is VERY obvious is you think about it. I mean, it's Sixth Sense obvious. I didn't really like the movie; it was too weird for me and normally I like movies set in mental wards like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Girl, Interrupted. The moral of this story? Never marry a crazy person!

7. Eat, Pray, Love - Julia Roberts plays writer Elizabeth "Liz" Gilbert who takes a year off after she and her husband divorce to travel to Italy (where she eats), India (where she prays), and Bali (where she finds love) to "find herself". Probably only really rich divorcees in their 40s can relate to this movie. There were some beautiful shots of the different locations and while the Italian food they show did look good, it really didn't look much different then something you can find at any Spaghetti Works. This doesn't make me particularly want to read the memoir of the same name by Elizabeth Gilbert.

8. Morning Glory - Rachel McAdams gets a job as a producer at a morning talk show (think Today or Good Morning America) that has awful ratings and it's her job to get them up. Diane Keaton plays the perky Katie Couric-esque co-host to Harrison Ford's stoic, no-nonsense retired evening news anchor who was brought aboard to help boost the ratings. I assumed the name of the show was called "Morning Glory", but it's actually called "Daybreak". I think "Morning Glory" is a better name for a morning show. Cute movie, but very predictable.

9. Cyrus - This is an indie drama with a dry sense of humor. The previews make it out to be this hilarious comedy, and while there are funny scenes, it's more about dysfunctional relationships. John is played by John C. Reilly and his ex-wife invites him to a party because she's getting married and wants him to quit moping around the house and meet somebody which he does. Molly is played by Marissa Tomei and becomes smitten with John's quirkiness and honesty. They have a couple of dates before he finds out that she has a son. Twenty-one-year-old Cyrus who still lives at home is played by Jonah Hill. He's a really weird kid and he and his mom have a relationship that's a bit on the creepy side, but never crosses that line.  For instance, they always leave their bedroom doors open, even when John is sleeping over. John realizes that something is not right with Cyrus and confronts him. They get into an argument, but when Molly is about to enter, they pretend like they're getting along great. The funny thing is while Cyrus keeps coming between John and Molly, John keeps coming in between his ex-wife and her new husband because he keeps going over to their house to ask for advice. One of the funniest/strangest scenes is when Cyrus is playing this computerized music he composed for John and John goes, "It sounds like that one Steve Miller Band song!" and Cyrus goes, "No, it doesn't." I don't know why, but that made me laugh.

10. Salt - I really liked this movie probably because I loved Alias which had Jennifer Garner kicking ass and wearing cool disguises. This movie is exactly like that - only it's Angelina Jolie kicking ass and wearing cool disguises. She's Evelyn Salt and works for the CIA...or does she? A Russian man exposes her to working with the Russians and being a mole, but like Sydney Bristow in the first season of Alias, she's more of a double agent. There were a few surprises I didn't see coming, so kudos to the film for that. There was one scene where AJ was disguised as a man and I wondered if she ever went out in public like that because it looked nothing like her. I also wondered how her character had time to get such an elaborate disguise! Evelyn Salt kinda reminded me of a female Jason Bourne and I'm wondering if they're planning to do a franchise of these films because the ending just sort of...ended. If this were a TV show, it would be a cliffhanger.