I confess, I did not think about Black History Month when I chose these movies. However, as I wrote up the reviews, I realized many of these films had black leads, which almost NEVER happens unless I'm being intentionally racist about my choices. But there you have it!
This movie is about competitive butter sculpting in Iowa or Utah… one of those states that you don’t think about unless your guy is trailing in presidential polls. The twist is, sigh, okay, when I finished the movie I was annoyed, so I was going to tell you the twist, but it’s been three weeks, and I’ve been annoyed by so much more since then that… I won’t. But here’s a hint. The star of the movie about competitive butter sculpting *IN IOWA OR UTAH* is a little black girl. *files nails* It's an okay movie.
I picked this as part of my quest to see every Ryan Gosling movie ever made so that when I meet him, I can be all “I LOVED YOU IN *insert obscure movie that ONLY I know about.*" Then he smiles at me and says “thanks.” And THEN I faint and he catches me and…wait, where was I? Right, Half Nelson. I have NO idea why this movie is called Half Nelson. No one is named Nelson and it’s not about wrestling. It’s about an “inner city” teacher who is also a drug addict (Gosling) and the little black girl who catches him smoking crack in the bathroom and how they try to save each other. Terrible. Terrible. Terrible.
Z.O.M.G. HOW DID I WASTE THREE TERRIBLES *BEFORE* I GOT TO ABSENT??!?!!?!?! DAMMIT, PATRICE! Okay, so this is a “documentary” about “absentee fathers” and the “father wound” that children from “fatherless” homes suffer, due to the absence of the aforementioned father. Now, as a child raised by a single mother, I was quite surprised to learn that I am a hypersexualized whore seeking approval from men. Evidently, I had many children when I was a teenager by many different fathers and if those children were girls, they too now are hypersexualized whores. For the men who were raised in “fatherless” households, you are rapers and arsonists who kill yourselves. So sorry. The problem is… the movie seeks out the most damaged people they can find, puts them on film and then says “SEEEEEE?” Never mind, that one of their damaged whore women WAS RAISED BY HER DAD WHO MOLESTED HER. Or that one of the "damaged" was a drummer or singer in one of those Hair Bands AND WAS RAISED BY BOTH PARENTS!?!?! AND IS A SUCCESSFUL music celebrity guy now (I don’t know who he is. Al Can’t Hang and Bad Blood would know though…(James Hatfield or something like that) ARRGGHHH. I WAS SO MAD. (Could you tell?) The movie opens with a little girl struggling to ride a bike, but she keeps falling over and then scrapes her knee and starts crying. And of course, I’m all the cameraman is the asshole here. And then at the end, a man appears from the park to help her ride AND SHE DOES. Then she probably blows him. WHAT? THIS “documentary” SUCKED IT, why wouldn’t that kid. Okay, that was inappropriate. My bad, I have a father wound!
This movie was great. It’s an Italian flick about a fatherless boy and his friendship with the town film runner guy (that’s not the right word…projectionist? That’s better.) It’s a bit contrived how they get it so the old man teaches the boy how to be a projectionist even though he knows it’s unsafe AND promises the kid’s mom he wouldn’t. And then it’s creepy how the old man fakes an injury so he never has to run the stupid projector ever again. But all in all, it was haunting and nostalgic and will make you very very sad… even though I think the message of the movie is that nostalgia is dumb and everyone needs parking lots. I don't know. I don't speak Italian. Sigh.
The Thin Blue Line
This is a great documentary about a man on death row after he was wrongly convicted of murdering a cop. Give you one guess what state it’s set in. ONLY ONE. NO PEEKING! If you guessed anywhere but Texas, I laugh at you.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
THIS MOVIE IS AMAZING!!! It’s a fictional survival story set in Louisiana around a Katrina-ish hurricane/flooding event. It’s about a plucky six year old and her sick, abusive dad who are basically living off the land/river. (My favorite part is when he leaves her for a few days and she thinks to herself, well, if he doesn’t come back soon, I’m going to have to eat my pets.) It’s great. Funny, terrifying, insprational. Me likey.
Julius Goat's review captures my thoughts on this movie fairly well. I liked it a lot. It’s not what you think from the trailer, though the ending is one we’ve seen before. I wonder if there is a director’s cut with an alternative ending floating around out there.
This movie is gross, homophobic, sexist, lame and juvenile. Sadly, I think that was the point, so "well done, guy who is going to host the Oscars?" Sigh. And, dear lord, someone get Ryan Reynolds' career a reboot. AND FAST. (I did like the line where the teddy bear is all "That's awesome. A quarterback who saves the world. Tom Brady could do that! And then Marky Mark is all "Tom Brady COULD do that!" Tom Brady so could.)
Um... the next two movies are both, animated "horror-flicks" starring little boys. I admit right now, I'm not quite sure which was which. However, I thought both were okay, but absolutely missable. I don't think either would be really appropriate for true kids, but I think teenagers will think they're dumb. I really don't know who the target audience is for a flick about a resurrected dog. And other pet zombies. Meh.
See above Frankenweenie review. I really don't know who the target audience is for a flick about a boy who sees dead people and tries to save the town from a ressurrected witch. Meh.
The Bourne Legacy
Good glory lord in heaven this movie was bad and long and bad and...um...long. Blarf. It's about a rogue super soldier and the scientist on the run with him.
This movie is NOT about baseball! And that's perfect! It's about college acapella group singing competitions. And there's a romantic comedy aspect to it. It's very funny and I loved it, but there is a lot of singing and dancing, so if that's not your thing etc. etc.
This movie took me 24 days to finish and it's only 92 minutes long. It's about a bike messenger -- who graduated from an Ivy League Law School, mind you, who SAVES THE WORLD ONE SPOKE AT A TIME! ONE GOTDAMN SPOKE AT A TIME. I'm kidding. There are lots of spokes all going at the same time. It is laughably awful. And then it's agonizingly awful. And then it's sad, and you wonder, why didn't I become a bike messenger after graduating law school?!! I'd probably be dead by now AND NOT WATCHING PREMIUM RUSH!