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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Movie
This quiet gem surprised me immensely. I was not charmed by Adaptation or Being John Malkovich, so I expected to be disappointed. BUT NO! I was so taken with this movie from the beginning. Jim Carrey plays Joel Barrish, the quiet, esoteric "nice" guy. Kate Winslet play Clementine, his spitfire mismatch. Clementine changes her hair color as much as her underwear, while Joel scribbles furiously in his journal. These two opposites somehow find their way to each other, and it just seems right. Things go sour after a few years, and Clementine, wrenched by the heartache, undergoes a procedure to remove Joel from her mind. Brokenhearted and betrayed, Joel attempts the same procedure. While his memories are being erased, however, he has a change of heart. Most of the movie takes place in Joel's mind and runs chronologically backwards (like Momento). It's a bit confusing, but it's not as important to be able to figure out the chronology as to recognize the overarching themes of the movie. There is much here to chew on, and Charlie Kaufman throws us one massive bone. Would we be the same person without certain memories? Would we make the same mistakes again? Can we dive into the mind and leave it sacred? Does passion drive us to foolishness?

David Cross and Jane Adams are a wonderful addition to the all star cast, rounded out by Kirstin Dunst, Tom Wilkinson, Elijah Wood, and Murk Ruffalo. These players all delicately but superbly support the story that Carrey and Winslet bring to life with subtlety and charm. 10 out of 10.

Angels in America

This is worth watching if not just for the actors. They are brilliant people playing incredibly layered, challenging characters. I mean, Meryl as an old, male rabbi? Brilliant. The element of fantastic in this movie is somewhat challenging to integrate, but the movie does it pretty smoothly.

Bridget Jones's Diary

It's about time...a brilliant romantic comedy
Brigette Jones, where have you been? I have been wallowing in the pseudo-romantic comedies that Hollywood has been pumping out. And now, finally Bridgette has come along to save us from the insipid movies that have been plaguing our theatres. Bridgette Jones's Diary is witty, entertaining, and endearing. A story of a sexy but slightly overweight Londonite, "Diary" follows Renee Zellweger through the trials and tribulations of dating. And what a ride it is. Though I was a little tenuous to see Zellweger pull off an English accent, after 5 minutes I was lost in her clever non-sequitors and embarrassing faux pas. Colin Firth and Hugh Grant are both perfectly charming in the roles as Zellweger's would-be suitors. And, as in all Hugh Grant movies, the secondary cast of friends and foes are brilliantly written and acted.

Before the movie ended, I was already ready to see it again and enjoy the magic that Bridgette brought to the screen. Maybe that's what I'll do now :)

Charlie's Angels

fluff, but fun
Charlie's Angels has never taken itself incredibly seriously, and it is not starting now. And that's why I liked it. Though similar to the original (Charlie is still the incomparable John Forsythe, and the three leading ladies still kick ass), this version of Charlie's Angels is a notch higher than the original in the action sphere. The amazing special effects were enough to keep my rapt attention and were somewhat reminiscent of The Matrix.

I'll admit, the plot was not exactly original, but I don't think the makers of the film ever intended it to be the centerpiece. I think that this movie was meant to showcase powerful women doing extraordinary and fascinating moves. And fascinate they did (albeit half naked...I guess that was to bring in the male viewer.) The actresses all played their parts perfectly, with the right combination of strength and whimsy. The triumverate had great chemistry and played well with Bill Murray, who turned in another brilliant comic side-kick performance. (He's getting good at that. See Wild Things for another similar performance.) The villians were all a bit one demensional, but again I think that this effect was intentional in a movie that is more about eye candy and being a charicature of itself that it is about plot and character development. While I expected it to be somewhat lacking in seriousness, I was pleased to see that the makers purposely set out to create this effect, creating a movie that has fun with itself. For proof of this, just watch the scenes of what the Angels did pre-Charlie. Also, look for a great comedic performance by Drew's new husband as "The Chad."

This flick set out to do exactly what it wanted: entertain. Granted, it was all light hearted entertainment, but sometimes that is exactly what I am looking for. And I found it in Charlie's Angels.

Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

They should show this to convicts as punishment!
This was the second worst movie I have ever seen (the first being Gone Fishin'). Was I watching the same movie as everyone else who reviewed this? It was disgusting, inane, predictable, and lacking in any type of humor (other than cheap fart gags). Sure, Murphy's makeup is extraordinarily impressive, but, Eddie, send me a picture of your makeup art to admire. Don't make me sit through that again. It was one of those movies that makes you look at your watch every five seconds. I should have known that it would be bad when Eddie Murphy popped out of his own crotch in the first five minutes. Sheesh!

Boys and Girls

"When Harry Met Sally" for teens
Boys and Girls is a predictable but fun look at two young people who are friends with potential. This movie follows Ryan, an uptight nerdy type who feels all life should be planned out to the very minute. Enter Jennifer, a quirky fun and free girl who is out to enjoy life as the adventure it is. Ryan and Jennifer meet a few times over the years before finally settling into a comfortable friendship at college. Where will their relationship go as they share more of their lives together? It's an obvious movie with an incredibly close resemblance to When Harry Met Sally (somewhat less clever than its grownup counterpart, but cute nonetheless). Freddie Prinze Jr. and Claire Forlaini have wonderful chemistry and are fun to watch (especially in the dance club scene). Ryan's best friend and Jennifer's best friend are played by Jason Biggs and Amanda Detmer with whimsical freedom. They provide much of the comic relief and are an enjoyable distraction from the plot. If you want a little escape from life for a few hours, this movie is just the light, enjoyable distraction you could be looking for.

Nine Months

Mindless Fun
Nine Months is a movie that is mindless fun. It doesn't take itself too seriously and hopes you don't either. This is not exactly a movie to debate with people or invokes deep feelings. It's meant to entertain you for two hours, and I think it succeeds just fine. Hugh Grant doesn't show much of a range (but when you are Hugh Grant, that works wonders for your appeal). Julianne Moore plays Grant's cute and patient girlfriend longing for commitment. This movie is all about Grant's growth into embracing the commitment (with the catalyst of the impending baby). This movie is heavy on physical comedy (which, I admit, I am a sucker for) and just makes me smile. What can I say? It's no Oscar winner, but, if you need a laugh, rent it.

The Ref

There is a warm place in my heart for this movie :)
And you thought your family had problems...try being a Chaucer. The Ref is a delightful look at suburban life and the gaping cracks in its pseudo-perfection. Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis are brilliant as a yuppie married couple who cannot stand each other's company. In my opinion, this is Kevin Spacey's best role to date. Denis Leary, playing basically Denis Leary, is the thief who takes the couple hostage on Christmas Eve and is inadvertently drawn into the marriage hell they have created.

The Ref is wonderfully fun and charming. even more so, though, it is a realistic look at the progression of a relationship with all of its twists and turns, pratfalls and joyous occasions. The supporting characters that play the Chaucer family are a delight to marvel (and eerily compare to your own twisted family).

I have found that there are two types of people in this world: those who hate this movie and those who revere it. I am part of the latter group. This movie is such a gem and should be considered an instant classic.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Not as good as the show
Buffy, the movie, is a twist on the "young girl in trouble" story. Rather than being a victim, Buffy is the unlikely hero against the droves of California Vamps. Buffy the Vampire Slayer tries really hard to be the Fast Times at Ridgemont High of the 90's but falls short. There is excessive use of teen-speak that tries too hard to be the next hip lingo in High Schools everywhere. Still, some of the characters are comic gems (like the basketball coach and a surprising clever turn by Luke Perry). Joss Whedon, the creator of the movie AND the TV show, has shown real growth with his clever writing and story lines for the Television series. In fact, the TV show has highly superior actors, dialogue, and special effects (great vamp make up instead of just scary ears and fangs).

The movie has its entertaining moments and is worth watching if for nothing more than to see Hilary Swank (newly acclaimed Oscar Winner) as a vapid teen.

The movie was somewhat entertaining, but, if you have the chance, watch the TV show instead.

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