The Social Network (2010) A rare viewing of a Best Picture nominated film The story of how Facebook came to be is pretty darn interesting. The way this movie goes about telling that story is a little less interesting. Right out of the gate, the dialogue is very hard to follow. That's supposed to be a gimmick but it didn't work for me or the other people I was watching this with. It was exhausting just getting through the first scene. The movie also takes about 20 minutes before it clearly establishes that it's being told as a series of flashbacks from the point of view of several different people at different points in time. It's all a bit confusing. Perhaps, if you're a young whipper-snapper and enjoy that kind of thing - it's all good for you. It took me about an hour to finally decide to ride the movie all the way out. Like I said, it's a pretty interesting story especially if you are like myself and enjoy the Facebook quite a bit. The lead, Jesse Eisenberg finally seems to drop him Michael Cerea impression, and Justin Timberlake (as the guy who founded Napster) is really good as well. In an odd bit of casting, Brenda Strong who plays some girl on the obnoxious Suite Life of Zach & Cody on The Disney Channel is also in the cast. She shows that she can act, instead of the over acting she does on Disney Channel, and it's kind of wild to see somebody from a kid's show in a sex scene. By the way, it's Rated PG-13. You would think a movie like this would carry an R rating, but I would bet they were shooting to keep this accessible to kids. Language and drug use is kept to a minimum and the sex scene is mostly implied with no nudity.
Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010) I'm not a big fan of style-over-substance in movies, but I thought this one might be a little different since it was a romantic comedy at heart. Visually, this flick is very fun to look at. Much of the film is made to look like a video game or a comic book and it's all a neat element to the film. But, this movie is too long. There's not enough story here to fill out two hours and the story is so self-aware silly that it can't carry the weight of a two hour runtime. In order to date a new girl, Scott Pilgrim must defeat her seven evil ex's. There's plenty of fight scenes that are exaggerated fun, but after the third fight it starts to get a little old. Rated PG-13 for sexual situations, some mild swearing and stylized violence.
Mega Python Vs. Gateroid (2011) Simply put, this is TV-movie film making at it's finest! The battle of giant reptiles is the first new SyFy Network original movie of the new year. It pits giant steroid injected gators against giant snakes who ate steroid injected gators. The movie also features the first on-screen match up of 80's teen pop stars Debbie Gibson and Tiffany. Debbie Gibson plays a radical environmentalist who tries to save rare snakes from captivity. Tiffany plays an Everglades park ranger who attempts to save the dwindling gator population of her park. The reptiles do battle in grade Z computer special effects while the pop stars do battle at a charity gala with cakes and pies. This sci-fi romp is masterfully crafted. It's tongue placed firmly in cheek, it never once winks at the camera that it's all silly but also never once for a moment takes itself seriously. The story is simple, tight and moves quickly like a great roller coaster ride. For someone like myself, who has been a huge life-long Debbie Gibson fan it was a treat to see Debbie in a leading role and to see her match wits with Tiffany. It's been noted in the press before that the "rivalry" between Deb and Tif was mostly manufactured by publicists back in their hay-day. Lately, Debbie and Tiffany have been playing up their silly feud for entertainment purposes. It's the great basis for a really silly, enjoyable movie that I look forward to watching again. Rated TV-14, quite a bit of swearing and violence plus it was a bit gory in parts.
January movie count: 20
Best new movie: Waking Sleeping Beauty
Best rewatch: The Little Mermaid
Worst Movie: Cavegirl