Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

26 June 2008

Star Wars, dir. George Lucas (1977)

National Lampoon's Pucked, dir. Arthur Hiller (2006)

NIKKI says:
You know, I say it after every movie I watch in which Jon Bon Jovi appears -- he is a really good actor who needs a really juicy role to prove himself. Even stuck in the middle of this lame National Lampoon's comedy, he sticks out. He is genial, relaxed, interesting, and way above his co-stars as far as his natural talent. I know that sounds like the ravings of a mad fan, but it's absolutely true. Hes a great, natural actor. And he's fucking loaded. So, WHY is over hrere making shit like this?

JBJ -- PLEASE pay someone to write you a good movie!

You know, though, for a National Lampoon's piece, this one wasn't that bad. I'm saying that a lot this week, aren't I? As if "not being that bad" is the new "good". Sometimes, it feel like the best you can expect. Anyway... this is about a guy who accidentally gets sent a lot of credit cards and decided to start a women's hockey league. He believes it will make him lots of money so he can pay back the credit card companies and his sister who has been looking after him for years.

He's also a former lawyer, so when the card companies come looing for their cash, he can effectively defend his character.

And that's about the gist of it. Add a sort-of love story, a weird David Faustino, and a rich drunk who lives in the hockey rink, and you've got a recipe for a strangely not-annoying movie to watch while you finish your Chinese food.

I like to think JBJ took this role on because he found out the movie was to be directed by Arthur Hiller. I know, right?! What?! The guy who made Love Story, Author! Author!, Plaza Suite, Teachers, The Lonely Guy... is directing Booger Armstrong. Weird.


Steve did not view.

Blonde Ambition, dir. Scott Marshall (2007)

NIKKI says:
I thought she was adorable. I know it's de rigeur to heap abuse on the big-haired, big-boobed, poorly-educated Ms. Simpson, but she held her own here. I thought she was cute, and that's really all the movie needed her to be.

This is supposed to be an update of Working Girl. It's got a similar premise -- small-town girl makes good in the big city and overthrows her manipulative bosses while finding love. But it's so bubblegum, it's less an update of that movie and more a dumbing down.

Which doesn't mean it's not somewhat enjoyable. Luke Wilson is cute, too, so is Rachael Leigh Cook (though I fear for her self-esteem now that she's found herself playing second fiddle in cheap rom-coms to Jessica Simpson). I didn't like the big-black-secretary jukes, and I could have done without Andy Dick falling about the place. But it was alright for a rainy afternoon alone on the couch.

A really funny cameo from Penny Marshall who gets the flame of hate in her eyes when Penelope Ann Miller dares bag out Milwaukee.


Steve did not view.

The Tracey Fragments, dir. Bruce McDonald (2007)

NIKKI says:
It's been a long time since I've hated a film so much. This one put in a Harmony Korine frame of mind -- the old self-important picture that says nothing about reality but thinks it indeed comments on the evil world at large. Look at this girl who is forced to take her panties off for the big mean man! Look at her as she is consistently beaten and battered by those around her. Look at her as I take her as far into the hell of teendom as I possibly can without any redemption, without any discerning meaning, or intelligence.

Am I wrong? Is there any reason for this picture beyond its 24-like split-screen gimmick? Why am I supposed to care about this girl who turns her brother into a barking dog and them loses him and has the gall to shout at her parents who are afraid for their missing son? No MOM, my teen ansgt is WAY more important than your missing SON who I turned into a barking DOG!

Tracey tries to find the little boy in the city, and we watch her as she prowls the slums calling his name. She thinks she sees him, she follows him, all the while telling us about a boy who loves her, who she loves. The movie attempts cleverness through weird editing, colour choices, and even a little TV-show opening starring Tracey and her boyfriend Billy-Zero. God, I was bored. Anyway, so eventually we learn that Billy-Zero is not all Tracey makes him out to be (don't you love movies that pull the rug out from under you without warning or, um, plot development?), and we discover his part in the brother's disappearance.

The revelation didn't make me sympathise with Tracey, but just hate her more. Believe me, too, that's saying something. Remember how bad the dialogue was in Juno? Well, get a load of these Tracey-quotes:

"I kinda like to ride a different bus every night depending on my mood. Like, if I'm depressed, I enjoy being around other depressed people. And happy people, they frickin depress me! You know?"

"When things happen to people, they radiate a light. Because they have a picture caught inside them. Because they were there and you weren't. And because you only got a piece. And because all you can do is shrink and blow up that one tiny piece."

"How do you know what's real and what's not when the whole world is inside your head?"

"Look, I'm not what you think. I'm not junk, I'm not a dink. I'm not garbage flowers you leave to rot and stink, and smell, and curl up all dry and papery so they crumble as crusty as the flowers on this fucked up shower curtain."

And my favourite:

"I don't cry over spilt milk. I don't even drink milk, because I’m lactose intolerant."


Steve did not view.

Moving McAllister, dir. Andrew Black (2007)

NIKKI says:
You know, more and more I find myself telling customers at work that something was "cute". It really has become my word for inoffensive comedies that make me laugh but never really resonate.

Moving McAllister was exactly that sort of movie -- I liked everyone in it, I laughed a few times, I don't think I'll ever watch it again, and I wouldn't have died never having seen it. It is, in a word, cute.

The lead guy, who also wrote the script, was cute. Mila Kunis, though very annoying in the beginning, turned out to also be cute. And even Jon Heder who gets a pimple squished and wears his undies a lot, is cute, too. The story is cute -- Ben Gourney must drive Kunis across the state to California to impress his boss. Along the way they pick up a weird hitchhiker who believes he swapped bodies at birth with an American Indian. Mila doesn't not want to make Ben's journey easy and they end up having to escape from Billy Drago who stole their truck. Among other things.

It's a road movie, a romance, a comedy. And it's cute.


Steve did not view.

Kings of South Beach, dir. Tim Hunter (2007)

NIKKI says:
When a movie's blurb tells me me it's written by Nicholas Pileggi and directed by Tim Hunter, I'm there. I was looking forward to this one for those very reasons, and, a bit, because Donnie Wahlberg stars. It was good, but not great. It told me a story I was unfamiliar with -- the rise and fall of Miami club owner Chris Troiano -- but it was so very TV movie that it lacked any real grit of Pileggi's Goodfellas or Hunter's Saint of Fort Washington.

The story goes that Andy Burnett spent years infiltrating the Miami club scene, acting as a newbie who wants nothing more than to cozy up to the big players. He gets in the good graces of Troiano, who makes him somewhat of a protege. At the same time, Troiano is facing bankruptcy and is doing some illegal dealings on the side. Burnett wants to take him down, but he's also quite into the lifestyle Troiano offers him.

It tries to offer two sides of a complex relationship, but time restrictions meant that what could have been an explosive clash like that in American Gangster is really just a Law and Order-lite bust.

Good attempt, interesting story, great performances -- not enough meat, though, for such a story.