The Business of Strangers

Release Date: January 19th 2001

Plot Outline: Two businesswomen meet and bond over possible revenge on an accused rapist.

The Business of Strangers is a twisted drama about two women that seem to be in a constant power struggle.

There’s not much I can really say about this movie besides that it was odd. The women’s attitudes were quite intense for some time. I couldn’t tell if they loved or hated each other. Sometimes I thought they were going to murder each other while other times I thought they were going to hook up…

The overall mood of the film was uncomfortable with a sexual edge. I constantly expected something risky and unconventional to occur just based on the tone of the voices and body language of the two leads.

Stockard Channing and Julia Stiles had a great on screen chemistry. Their chemistry was intense and intriguing. There was a bit of mystery to this film.

The movie itself wasn’t all that good but I am impressed by the way it came off. It might sound odd but the mood and constant discomfort and suspense was refreshing. There wasn’t really a climax to the movie. The entire film is purely getting a rise out of the audience.

This is one of those movies that you won’t really remember but you will remember how it made you feel while watching it.

Whatever Works

Release Date: April 22nd 2009

Plot Outline: An elderly man finds himself smitten with a young southern Bell whom looks up to him very much. He hopes to instill his ideologies on her.

Much like all of Woody Allen’s films, Whatever Works was wordy, fast paced, full of quirky characters, and of course, entertaining.

The problem with Woody Allen films is that they are all the same. The good part about Woody Allen films is that you know what you are going to get…wordy entertainment.

Woody Allen films usually contain the same main character; an intelligent, cocky, narcissistic, paranoid, hypochondriac.

Whatever Works was cute, quirky, and contained a meaningful message: life is short, live life how you want to and be with who you want to be with despite what others might say.

All of Woody Allen films are quite similar but at least I know I will always like them 🙂

Last House on the Left

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Release Date: March 13th 2009

Plot Outline: After kidnapping and brutally assaulting two young women, a gang led by a prison escapee unknowingly finds refuge at a vacation home belonging to the parents of one of the victims – a mother and father who devise an increasingly gruesome series of revenge tactics (imdb.com)

I loved Last House on the Left. It was SO good. It was the whole package. It was sweet, funny, horrifying, suspenseful, scary, and sad. Completely an emotional roller coaster.

We absolutely hate the killers and want the parents to kill them. We are stressed, we are nervous, but we are also very, very sad. There were quite a few heartbreaking scenes.

We root for Mari (Sara Paxton) and her parents the entire time. They are a nice family. We want these evil people to pay…to suffer.

The acting in this film was so convincing on all counts. We really felt the sadness, the desperation, the anger, and hate. The emotions were made very obvious to us.

Both the parents were awesome. Monica Potter kicked ass! She was amazing in this movie.

The killers in this were deranged and twisted. Their family issues were very apparent to us as well. We actually got to know them and their psychotic family dynamic.

This movie was very intense and gruesome. There were quite a few ‘edge of your seat’ moments.

Last House on the Left was stressful to watch. There were times when a character needed to be quiet but everything seemed to be so loud.

It was nerve-wracking to watch. I was a mess!

It was fascinating and disconcerting to see the transformation from loving parents to vengeful killers for their daughters suffering.

Definitely see Last House on the Left but watch with caution and a box of tissues.

Just a side Note: My parents liked this movie. They don’t like ANY movies! I think that says a lot…

Scott Pilgrim vs The World

Release Date: August 13th 2010

Plot Outline: Scott Pilgrim must fight off the league of evil ex’s to date the girl of his dreams, Ramona.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was a mix of a comic book, a video game, and guitar hero.

In short: it was awesome!

Though awesome, I felt the first half was much better than the second. It got kind of weak in the second half. But that might just be because the awing over the effects and humor wore off.

This movie was hilarious. I laughed the whole time…the quick one-liners, the acting, the funny characters – the humor was the whole package.

Scott Pilgrim vs The World was fun to watch. The special effects were awesome as well as humorous. They made it a really unique movie to watch.

One thing I disliked was that I didn’t see the chemistry between the two main characters that were supposedly dating. I didn’t really know why they liked each other.

There was an interesting moral aspect of the movie. Scott Pilgrim & co. speak about love and self-respect. And our main character Scott apologized for cheating on each of his love interests. He took on the full responsibility of his actions.

Another fascinating aspect to the movie-they bleeped out “fuck”. Because of that you notice that there are no curses throughout the movie. I really liked that there weren’t any.

It’s so rare…if impossible to watch any genre without foul language content. It was refreshing and just different.

Oh and I have to mention how fantastic Kieran Culkin was. What a great character! Hilarious. This movie really was full of great characters. They were each so unique and quirky in their own way. I enjoyed that aspect as well.

See Scott Pilgrim with friends for an enjoyable night together.

Diary of the Dead

Release Date: January 18th 2008

Plot Outline: While filming a horror movie, a group of film students run into real life zombies.

I was really excited to see Diary of the Dead because I love zombie movies. I couldn’t wait! Especially because of all the fantastic things I heard about it. Many of my friends loved it.

I finally got a chance to see it and wow…what a let down! It was extremely disappointing. I jumped one or two times just because something popping up that was unexpected.

Nothing in this film was able to make up for the horrible acting…beyond horrible acting. Not to mention the terrible graphics. The random blood and gore spurts were so fake looking. They made me laugh at their stupidity, not cringe as they are supposed to.

This may be the most disappointing zombie movie I have seen aside from The Zombie Diaries.

I really don’t understand why so many people liked it. Maybe it’s just me…

How To Train Your Dragon

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Release Date: March 26th 2010

Plot Outline: A young Viking aspires to be a dragon hunter to impress his father…until he is befriended by a young dragon.

How to Train Your Dragon was pretty cute. It was definitely more for children than it was for adults but it did still have messages that adults should pay attention to as well. Example: don’t be afraid of the unknown, don’t be closed-minded, and be accepting. Also, an important one: love your children no matter what they do with their lives. They may not want to follow the path you want them to but that doesn’t mean you should judge them or look down upon them because of it.

This was a great movie for children to watch. It was full of lovable, moral characters. It contained life long lessons and morals every parent should want to instill in their child and the colors were outstanding and vibrant. This will surely entertain children for the full 98 minutes.

P.S: The voices belong to quite a few famous folk. Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, and Craig Ferguson

Cellular

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Release Date: September 10th 2004

Bechdel Test: Fail

Plot Outline: A guy answers his cell phone. It is a call from a woman that has been kidnapped. She is calling from a broken phone and has no idea where she is.

Cellular is one of those movies that I saw a while ago, bought the DVD, and continue to watch every so often with a friend who hasn’t seen it. It is very fun to watch. It is exciting, it is full of good looking characters, good soundtrack, and it is pretty suspenseful.

Not great dialogue, it’s kind of lame but overall the plot and acting make up for the lame one liners. Cellular is a throwback because this is when cell phones first started becoming popular.

I like how it addressed all the issues with cell phones in a life or death situation.

This movie wasn’t full of great acting aside from Kim Basinger. She acted incredibly, we felt her helplessness and desperation. Her tone of voice, her facial expressions, her body language…she was great. By far the best actor in this film.

Some scenes were surprisingly funny. I laughed out loud quite a few times.

This isn’t an award winning film but it is a lot of fun to watch with friends. I have seen it numerous times and still enjoy it.

King of California

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Date Released: January 24th 2007

Bechdel Test: Fail

Plot Outline: An unstable man recently released from a mental institution is on the hunt for hidden gold. He recruits his daughter for the adventure.

King of California was definitely offbeat. It wasn’t like anything else I have seen. It was mystical, hopeful, and quite sad.

The fragmented relationship between father and daughter (Michael Douglas & Evan Rachel Wood) captures our attention more than anything else in the movie; An unstable father trying to do his best to get closer to his daughter, but repeatedly screwing her over due to his drive to do anything and everything to accomplish his goals and dreams of finding unknown gold in California.

His daughter, also trying to get closer to him and maybe somewhat out of pity humors him and goes on this adventure with him.

The struggle the two go through bring them closer as well as rips them apart. The father’s one-track mind overrides his logic of how to treat his daughter.

This was an emotional roller coaster. It was very touching and sad. You will laugh. You will cry. You will smile.

Netflix vs. Blockbuster

In the never ending battle between Netflix and Blockbuster I decided to take it upon myself to unveil once and for all the true champion of the movie world!

I did the 2 week free trial for Blockbuster and the 1 month free trial from Netlix.

I will list the Pro’s and Con’s of each movie rental business:

Netflix:

Pro: A 1 month free trial.

Pro: Fantastic instant watch selection on the website.

Pro: Very fast delivery. A day or 2.

Con: A few of the DVD’s didn’t work properly.

Con: A few of the DVD’s didn’t arrive at all.

Pro: Once I complained about these 2 issues Netflix sent the new DVD’s right away and offered to extend my trial to a month and a half.

Con: I watch my movies the day I get them and send them right out. Once Netflix discovers this they tend to slow down the delivery time. (A man actually sued Netflix for this. I read the article a few years ago. No record of that lawsuit now)

Con: Netlix did not acknowledge the month trial and ended up charging me for 2 weeks, claiming it was only a 2 week free trial.

Pro: Once I called and complained the charges were taken away instantly.

Blockbuster:

Con: Only a 2 week free trial.

Con: No instant watch movies on the website.

Con: Movies took 2-4 days to arrive.

Con: Quite a few DVD’s didn’t work. Some came scratched and some actually came with dried food on them! Had to send them back and request new ones.

Con: My trial was almost over by the time the new ones would come.

Pro: I called to complain. They offered to extend my trail to a month but I declined and actually canceled the free trial before the 2 weeks was up because I was so frustrated.

In short: Netflix wins! Obviously…

My Favorite Alien/Monster/Disease/Epidemic/Zombie Movies!

These are some of my favorite alien/disease/epidemic/zombie movies so far. I will add as I think of them. Oh, they are in no particular order at all.

See them. Love them!

 

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Dawn of the Dead. March 19th 2004.

A group of people hide out in a mall during a zombie take over

The Signal. January 22nd 2007.

Technology causes people to become angry and violent.

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Carriers. September 4th 2009.

Four friends try to escape a viral pandemic but soon learn they are just as dangerous and deadly as the virus itself.

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Invasion. August 17th 2007.

An alien invasion takes over your body while you are asleep. Everyone is fighting for their lives. Fighting to stay awake.

Blindness.October 3rd 2008.

The world is over taken by blindness. What is everyone willing to do to survive?

Quarantine. October 10th 2008.

A group of people are quarantined inside a building by the CDC when a virus breaks out that turns humans into violent zombie like creatures.

Cloverfield. January 18th 2008.

An alien attack begins in NYC.

28 Days Later. June 27th 2003.

A handful of survivors struggle to stay alive after they discover the world has been over taken by zombies.

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28 Weeks Later. May 11th 2007.

The US Army helps to secure a small sanctuary in London and plan to repopulate the earth but things don’t according to plan when zombies interfere.

The Crazies. February 26th 2010.

A small Iowa town suffers a zombie like attack after their water supply was contaminated.