Sunday, March 11, 2012

Movie Review: Friends with Kids

Do you know someone who is desperate to get you to like him or her (or gender neutral pronoun, who knows)? This movie is sort of like that friend--charming at moments, and lord knows this friend has a checklist of all of your favorite things (aka Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, etc). Yet, the desperation to win you over is ultimately off putting. That's how I would describe Friends with Kids.

Sure, there are profane jokes--poop jokes included, which I love. Sure, there's dirty sex talk--even floppy vagina jokes, which I love! And sure, it features a third of the cast of Bridesmaids--which I love! But this movies tries to throw too much, too fast and never really packs the punch it could. I'm not saying it's a bad movie--far from it. But it could have been great.

To save time, I'm going to boil this review in to a Pros/Cons list


1. Poop jokes
2. Floppy vagina jokes
3. Casting
4. A sizable amount of humor


1. For a movie trying to say something different, the ending was kinda cliched
2. Never really found anyone too believable, which made it hard for me to care about the characters
3. Could have been more poop jokes
4. Can Jennifer Westfeldt's face move?

Anyway, it was a pleasant enough way to pass two hours, but isn't going to shake up the world like Bridesmaids did.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Top 10 Movies of 2011

Yes, I know it's this is kinda overdue. But I wanted to catch enough good 2011 movies so that my list was coming from the 25 movies I saw last year, as opposed to previous years when I make a top 10 list from 13 movies seen. Holler.

Anywho, there were a bunch of movies I didn't see this year that were critically acclaimed, so if one of your favorites isn't on this list, there's a good chance I didn't catch it. Or I did and didn't love it. Deal.


10. Melancholia

Best Actress snubee Kirsten Dunst pulls out all the stops, but for me, it's the unraveling Charlotte Gainsburg that steals the show. Never has the end of the world felt so simultaneously bleak and exhilarating.

9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Note that I didn't read the book first, nor have I seen the Sweedish version. So I went in fresh and I was blown away. The move is 2.5 hours long, but is so tightly edited that it never drags. Mara is a revelation as Lisbeth, but with a role so complicated, you'd hope so. I would have never guessed that anal rape could be portrayed as less depressing than tossing a leather jacket in a dumpster.

8. Bridesmaids

Someday the Academy will be cool enough to recognize the difficulty of comedy and give an Oscar to a performance like Melissa McCarthy's. Until then, I'll be content rewatching this comedic masterpiece--specifically the volcanic diarrhea scene. Please don't make a sequel unless it is mind blowing.

7. The Descendants

Where was fucking Robert Forster's Oscar nomination? I think I cried about four times during this movie. Some of my friends are really apathetic about this, but I don't really care. It's my list.

6. The Artist

Although The Artist was never my first choice for Best Picture, Best Director, or Best Actor, I'm damn happy that I really enjoyed a Best Picture winner for the first time since 2008 (and clearly the alpha Best Picture winner of the 2010s. Eat a dick, King's Speech). And even though Jean Dujardin wasn't my vote for actor, he sure charms the pants off of me. Feel free to take that previous statement to a dirty place.

5. Drive

Super cool. Super violent. Just super all over. Gosling underplays the lead brilliantly. Albert Brooks should have been a contenda (for the Oscar). Poor Christina Hendricks. That elevator scene is a work of genius. This is a super disjointed commentary.

4. Tinker Tailor Solider Spy

Ah. Now enter my actual vote for Best Actor: Gary Oldman. Incredible. I think my advice to anyone going to see this movie is that you better be prepared to pay attention to every g-damn detail. But it's worth it. Also, the movie really effectively uses the guy who plays Lupin in the Harry Potter movies.

3. Hugo

Ugh. I really love this movie. Probably the 2nd most rewatchable of the list, after Bridesmaids. I wish Ben Kingsley had been an Oscar contender (opting not to go for the Marlon Brando reference this time). Anyway, get over your aversion to 3D and go see this movie right away. It's delightful.

2. The Tree of Life

Admittedly, this movie is a little hard to watch at times. But I can't think of a single film more lovingly crafted. Every shot is a thing of beauty and it pains me that the cinematography Oscar went elsewhere. Both Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain got Oscar noms for other movies, but my gut is saying they gave better performances here. Really stunningly shot and has a lot of emotionally profound moments. Definitely something special

1. A Separation

I cannot, for the life of me, think of another movie where literally every scene, shot, line of dialogue--everything--comes together in such a brilliant way. Honestly, this movie was so well planned and executed that it blew me away. There are so many layers of meaning in this film, and it starts in such a simple way. To me, this movie really raises the bar for other films because not a single moment is wasted--but you don't realize how important everything is until the film wraps up. I wish I could say more, but spoiling even one little detail of this movie would do it a huge disservice. Just see it.

That's it. I've had a cold for two whole weeks, so if I don't sleep now my throat might quit on me. Blergh. NIGHT NIGHT.