Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Week In Movies - Did You Hear the One About the Tramp and the Fat Kid?

Dirty Girl (2011) It's rare that I see a trailer for a film on a DVD and then end up watching that movie a week or so later, but such is the case with Dirty Girl. I thought the trailer looked pretty cool and it just so happened that it was released to DVD on that same week. I popped it on my Netflix queue and it was in my mailbox the next week. And I'm glad it was because I really enjoyed it. It's the 1980's and the class slut gets paired up with the class fat kid to do one of those projects where they have to pretend to be married and take care of a sack of flower. I always thought that was a cool project, and they did it in the 8th grade at my school...except the year I was in the 8th grade they decided to take a break from it. So, I never got fake married. But I was the class fat kid and I would have been all about being fake married to the class slut. So perhaps in a way, this is kind of a fantasy piece for me - but the movie is really good besides that point. There's a great 80's soundtrack and some genuinely funny and touching moments as these two kids from opposite ends of the high school hierarchy become good friends. I'm always a sucker for a happy film with an upbeat pace, and I'm always a sucker for movies about friendship...and sluts.

(500) Days of Summer (2009) I also loved this odd romantic comedy that actually manages to break the conventions of a romantic comedy. Zooey Deschanel is perfectly cast as the beautiful new girl in the office, Summer. Joseph Gordon-Levitt takes a liking to Summer and she likes him, but she is quick to point out that she's not interested in a relationship. Eventually, the two arrive at a crossroads where one wants more than the other. The story is told out of sequence, but not in a confusing way. There are several clever scenes that play with the audience's expectations of storytelling. It's all a really fun movie and well done all around. I could not have enjoyed it more.

Beauty and the Beast (1991) OK, I love this movie...I think we all know that. It's easily in my top 5 favorite Disney films of all time, possibly in the top 3. I've been super jazzed about seeing it in 3D but alas with one kid afraid of 3D movies and a busy schedule between my wife and I, it just worked out better that I took the kids to see it at a theatre in the next town over that had one 2D showing a day. And you know what, I don't think I need the 3D...even though it would be cool to see the ballroom scene in three dimensions. When my buddies and I were young animation geeks, the computer generated chandelier in the ballroom scene just about literally made our jaws drop! I've seen Beauty and the Beast in the theatre 5 times now, not to mention an additional time on the IMAX screen back in 2001. Plus I've seen the Broadway production, the Ice Show, the Walt Disney World stage version...I've seen this story in many mediums, but you just can't beat seeing on the big screen - 3D glasses or not!

The Hangover Part Two (2011) By now you've probably heard that this follow up wasn't that good. It's pretty darn funny, almost as funny as the original. The real problem is that the story is EXACTLY the same as the first movie. Sure, the guys get into different wacky misadventures but the story structure is just a retread of the first film as the same three guys go back and try to piece together the drug induced antics of the night before. Same story, different town (Bangkok this time) and equal laughs, but just not a good sequel.

Cindy and Donna (1970) Another drive-in "classic" that I was thrilled to get a chance to see. Yet again, this trashy drive-in flick is just about completely unwatchable except that the ending is so great. I'll give it away because I'm sure no one reading this is ever going to see it. Cindy and Donna are stepsisters, Donna is slutty and Cindy is just discovering her womanhood. Cindy watches her sister get it on with everyone from her boyfriend, her boyfriend's friends and yes, even Cindy's father. Cindy's father is also having an affair with a teenage prostitute, that storyline literally goes nowhere but I thought I'd mention it. So then Cindy decides she is ready to make the big move into adulthood and it turns out Donna's boyfriend is more than happy to help out. While they are getting it on on the sofa, Donna walks in and sees them. Donna's boyfriend takes a moment from having sex with her sister to pick Donna up and violently toss her outside. Donna cries and runs into the street where she is promptly hit by a car and dies. Cut to Cindy riding on a swing, for one last panty shot...THE END. It's profound, people!

Cinderella (1950) Simply put, a masterpiece of film making and the epitome of everything that a Disney animated film should be!

Class (1983) This flick doesn't know if it wants to be a raunchy teenage comedy or a mid-life crisis drama. It's neither, as Andrew McCarthy unknowingly has an affair with his roommate's (Rob Lowe) mother. There's no point to this movie although I suspect to 1983 audiences seeing Jacqueline Bisset's naked body roll around in the sheets with a guy half her age was a point worthy enough of a ticket price.

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