Monday, January 10, 2011

yours truly dear's favorite movie of 2010: the fighter

as you can tell from juji's last post, we had two favorite movies of the year. my #1 was the fighter, and juji's #1 was black swan. we both love both of these movies, i just happened to like this one a littttttle bit more (obviously they are both amazing though).

this movie is AMAZING, and is based on an incredible true story. Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg) is trying to revamp his boxing career and go pro. he has always been in the shadow of his older brother, former boxing champ Dickie Eklund (Christian Bale). the fact that his controlling mother is his manager hasn't done any wonders for his career, as she has put him in fights that he shouldn't have even been paired up in, among other set-backs.

in the movie, Dickie is being filmed by HBO for a documentary on him. Dickie's shining moment was when he punched out Sugar Ray Leonard. Dickie has gone extremely downhill since his glory days and is addicted to crack, but insists on training Mickey. this movie is mostly about Mickey's trials trying to make it pro, how he deals with his brothers shenanigans and addiction, and how he stands up for himself against his family. thankfully at some point he gets his act together and asks out a local bartender named Charlene (Amy Adams), who turns out to be a great support.

the acting in this entire movie is phenomenal, by all characters. Christian Bale is amazingly believable in his role as a crack addict who can't get over his glory days. Mark Wahlberg is perfection (as always!). And Amy Adams really shines in this role--I haven't ever been super impressed with any of her roles until this one, and she more than makes up for it. i definitely think she should win best supporting actress for this movie.

overall, the fighter was gripping and inspiring. it's definitely not your average sports movie. if you haven't seen this movie yet you need to go asap!!!


Juji's favorite movie of the year...Black Swan

2010 was a year of good movies. I had favorite after favorite. Among the best to me....
-Shutter Island
-the Social Network
-127 Hours
-The Fighter (loved it)

Quite the list....but in my opinion, the best of the year (and my favorite) has to be......Black Swan.

I was instantly intrigued by this movie when i saw the looked dark, dramatic, thrilling, scary....and it was all of those things wrapped up into a beautifully twisted masterpiece. The movie stars Natalie Portman as Nina, an member of a New York Ballet company who is obsessed with being perfect. She has been a supporting dancer for several years, but after the aging star of the company retires, she gets the part of her life: the swan queen in the companies new rendition of "Swan Lake"

To say Nina is socially awkward would be an understatement. Though they never really say, it seems that she has schizophrenia. She constantly see's things, and imagines bizarre images. Her overbearing mother doesn't help her situation much either. She thrives while portraying the perfectness of the white swan, but struggles to dance as the "un-perfect" black swan. The role consumes her every being. She becomes paranoid that another girl is trying to steal her role and fears that she isn't good enough to be the lead dancer. There's so much going on, it's just hard to explain. It all culminates in a thrilling, and i think fitting, ending.

Now, let me say this. I will say, as a disclaimer, I saw this movie 2 times. The first time, i thought I liked it, but it's such a strange, freaky movie at times, I wasn't sure. I thought, "well, i liked it, but i'm not sure why". I was actually kind of let down b/c i had heard so many good things about it. But day after day, I became more obsessed about it. (much like the movie?....freaky) I kept thinking, "Maybe I really did love that movie". So we went again.
The second time, I was able to pay attention to so many things I missed before. It made a TON of more sense and I LOVED it. So honestly, seeing it again made the difference.

There are some people who just won't like this movie. (crazies, as I call them... ha ha) It's definitely not for someone who's just looking for a run of the mill, regular movie. It's artful, entertaining, dark, thought provoking, and strange. I loved it. Natalie Portman is a shoe in for the Best Actress Oscar and the movie has my vote for best picture.


true grit

i'm not going to lie, i did NOT want to see this movie. i don't really like western-y movies or shows, and it looked like it could be long/boring/annoying from the previews. my dad was dying to see this movie, so we were nice and went and saw it with him. let's just say, i was pleasantly surprised!

in this movie Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfield) is out to get revenge for her fathers murder. she enlists the help of a US Marshall, Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) who is known for having true grit. Mattie is a sharp young girl who knows what she wants and will go after it until she gets it. Mattie and the marshall set off in Indian territory, and are joined by a Texas Ranger, LaBoeuf (Matt Damon), who has been on the trail of Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) for quite some time even before he killed Mattie's father.

True Grit is an interesting story of an admirable young girl and her relationships with the marshall and texas ranger as they go after Tom Chaney. it's a great action movie with excellent acting and filming. all of the main characters (Mattie, Rooster, and LaBoeuf) are fantastic. Hailee Steinfield pretty much came out of nowhere (in the acting world), and she was wonderful and believable.

the only things we didn't really like so much about this movie:
-once they got to the bad guy, it was sort of over...just like BAM--took care of that, what's next?
-the ending almost seemed incomplete, we kept waiting for something else to happen..

besides those two points, the movie was adventuresome, captivating, and action-packed. we'd recommend going to see it if you haven't already! the grade?



yes, we're still playing catch up with our reviews, i apologize. next up: burlesque!

Ali (Christina Aguilera) is a small town girl with a big dream. she loves singing and dancing, and so she takes off for the big city (LA) too see if she can follow her dreams. she ends up at a bar/neo-burlesque club and is immediately mesmerized by the dancing. Tess (Cher) is the club owner, and Ali asks her how she can make it to the stage. Tess brushes her off, but Ali is determined.

does any of this sound familiar? cyote ugly, anyone? this movie is literally just a cyote ugly remake... from the apartment break-in/stolen money stash to the tricky boy interest.

i don't even have to worry about giving too much away, because you can all guess what the ending is going to be. Ali becomes a star, she gets the boy, and she saves the club from being lost to the bank.

this movie is...entertaining. it made us laugh a couple times, and its kind of fun to watch the dancing and to hear christina sing like she did in her glory days; but it isn't a movie i would buy or even watch again probably. it was completely predictable, had only semi-good acting, and a semi-annoying story line. let's just say that cyote ugly did it better. if you only wanted to watch it for the singing/dancing, you might think it's pretty decent. otherwise... the grade?


Tuesday, January 4, 2011


For the sake of not outright swearing on this blog, I will type the movie like I did in this blog title. Sorry, parents who are reading this...

Ok, now that I've got that out, on to this delightful movie. Now...when we first saw previews for this movie, I was intrigued and Juji immediately wrote it off as stupid. #1 reason why we didn't see it in theaters? Nicolas Cage. We sort of hate him, except for in this particular movie... As a store clerk said, "This movie almost made me not hate Nicolas Cage."

All thanks to Netflix, we finally got around to seeing it. Not only did we watch it twice while we had it from Netflix, we then proceeded to buy it and have watched it again since then. Yes, it is that [shockingly] good.

Aaron Johnson (who sort of appeared out of nowhere in the movie world...) plays Dave, who "becomes" a superhero and calls himself Kick-A$$. He had never amounted to much in his life as of yet, and starts wondering why regular people can't be superheros, and why there aren't any around... He ultimately decides to take matters into his own hands, and buys a scuba suit. After getting seriously injured and losing a lot of nerve endings, he gets lucky to come across a fight, have it filmed unknowingly, and win--making him famous overnight.

Two semi-legit superheros, Big Daddy (Nicolas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz), take Kick-A$$ under their wing a bit, but their ultimate goal is to take revenge on a mob boss named Frank D'Amico (Mark Strong) for seriously wronging them. Frank D'Amico's son Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) joins in the superhero fun, becoming Red Mist in order to draw in the other superheros so the mob boss can take them down.

This movie is more than just a typical comic book turned movie. It's inventive, funny, and spectacularly absurd. Definitely in our top ten movies of the year!

The grade:


127 Hours

Well, well, well... We have been rather busy lately so there will be a lot of catching up to do. I've written myself a little list and I'll start tackling it right now. Here is one of the best movies of this year: 127 Hours.

I have always liked James Franco, but this movie made me love him. He is absolutely fantastic and 100% believable in this movie, which is great since it's a true story. Not just "based" on a true story... it is a true story. Did you hear about the guy who went out on his own in the Canyonlands, Utah, and got his arm trapped under a rock? He was stuck there for 127 hours, and eventually had to cut his arm off and climb out. Yeah, this is that story.

We had heard stories about this movie like people watching the movie and barfing/passing out in the theater over the scene where he cuts his arm off. Let's just say I was a little nervous... HOWEVER, I think all of those people were whack, because it was done in a way that was as tasteful as it could be. It was portrayed almost like they would in a medical tv show drama. so, if watching ER or House makes you vomit, maybe you should turn away during this particular scene...

This movie was fabulous. I loved seeing all the beautiful scenery of Utah. I loved how real James Franco was, and how I really felt like we were watching the true story play out. This is a story of stupidity, courage, endurance, and victory. Definitely one of the best movies of the year. If James Franco doesn't win an Oscar for this movie, my faith in the Oscars will go right down the toilet. Please watch this crazy, inspiring, and brilliant portrayal of a true story.

The grade: