I Love You Phillip Morris

Release Date: January 18th 2009

Bechdel Test: Fail

Plot Outline: After a car accident Steven reevaluates his life and decides to come out of the closet and live life to the fullest. Once being sent to prison for…living life to the fullest, Steven meets the love of his life, Phillip Morris and he is willing to do anything to stay with him.

I Love You Phillip Morris was not what I expected at all! It was shocking but in a very pleasant way. I liked this movie a lot and its always nice to see Jim Carrey branch out. This was a very different role than he usually plays, same with Ewan McGregor. The film could have done without the accents but I’ll overlook that. It was based on a true story so maybe that’s why.

The cast of actors really threw themselves into their roles. They acted their roles with every thing they had. Both McGregor and Carrey really showed us their talents and acting abilities. Leslie Mann as well, this role was nothing like I’ve ever seen her play. She usually has a bigger role but I was glad she decided to take this role, small but good and impressive.

Everything throughout the movie was very out of nowhere and things kept happening that I didn’t expect so I had to keep watching to see where this was going. It definitely kept me interested. Everything was so over the top that I just couldn’t guess what was going to happen. I liked that, even though at times it seemed a bit ridiculous.

The whole movie was pretty upbeat and not too serious. There were a few emotional scenes but I couldn’t take these scenes seriously just because of the way the movie was. The emotion didn’t flow; these scenes came out of nowhere. It wasn’t the tone of the movie at all. They were out of place and didn’t transition well.

Towards the end I Love You Phillip Morris got very serious. In this case it was more built up so it was better received than the emotional scenes that were just out of nowhere. I absolutely love it when Jim Carrey does a different, serious role because it’s always fantastic and impressive. Nothing in this movie was what I expected at all. I loved that it kept surprising me. I Love You Phillip Morris was a very odd love story and I loved it even more because it is based on a true story.

The Stone Angel

Release Date: July 11th 2008

Plot Outline: Hagar is nearing 90 years old. She runs away to the town she grew up in when her son and daughter in law inform her of their plans of putting her in a nursing home. On Hagar’s adventure we learn about her upbringing, her husband, her children, and her dream that never quite came true.

The Stone Angel was sad, so, so sad. Hagar (Burstyn & Horne) leads a very sad and tragic life. She married her first love at a young age but this love was less than perfect. Choosing to be with her first love against her families wishes turns out to be one of the worst decision she ever made.
Hagar appears to be a heartless woman but she has a soft side…somewhere in there. She wants so much from her life but could never find what truly made her happy. She lived a long and unhappy life.

Though I did not particularly like The Stone Angel, I still highly recommended it to friends. Not because I loved it and it was a great movie but because it impacted me so strongly.

The Stone Angel contained a lot of important life lessons. It shows you the course of this woman’s life. You see her decisions, mistakes, and regrets. It is so important to not let life pass you by. It’s over sooner than you know it. Sometimes friends and family do truly know what is best for you.
The Stone Angel was inspiring but in the saddest way possible, by actually showing you a failed life.
Sometimes it helps to watch other people’s failures to know you want more from your own life. Living life to its fullest potential is so important. The Stone Angel shows this to us.

The acting in The Stone Angel was fantastic. You really see the weight of the world on these characters shoulders. Throughout the movie the emotions and situations feel very real. The story is totally believable and sad because I can see this being many peoples lives.

 

Surrogates


Release Date: September 25th 2009

Plot Outline: Set in a futuristic world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots, a cop (Willis) is forced to leave his home for the first time in years in order to investigate the murders of others’ surrogates. (imdb.com)

Surrogates was a fascinating movie. It really gripped me because it made me think of human beings today and our incredible advances in technology. I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty terrifying. Thinking of how far we have come and how far we are going gives me the chills. There’s just something unnatural about it. Surrogates demonstrates this idea in a very dramatic way. It brought up a lot of interesting questions and debatable points that maybe we can argue already.

I enjoyed watching Surrogates a lot because not only was it a great, entertaining action movie but it brings up a fascinating conversation if you so choose to think about the plot on a deeper level than just people dying and things blowing up.

The Stepford Wives

Release Date: June 11th 2004

Plot Outline: A high strung, city couple move to a town where everyone seems to be perfect and old fashioned. Why is everyone so perfect? How does one become a Stepford wife? There is only one way to find out and no way to come back.

I know this is a remake, like everything else in the world. I didn’t see the original, like I usually don’t. Anyway, the plot was just fascinating to me. What an intriguing idea. I liked The Stepford Wives just based on the idea alone but then it just kept getting better and better from there.

I usually hate remakes and resent them for their unoriginal ways but I did actually like this movie. I can’t compare it to the original but I did like it.

First off, I’m not a huge fan of the cast in this movie but the acting was very good and they really worked well together. All of the characters were great and they all had fantastic chemistry.

Bette Midler was simply phenomenal! Her character was quirky, fun, and bold. I wanted to be her friend!

A great thing that I didn’t expect was that I was truly inspired by all of the strong, independent, driven women in the film. It made me want to be a power woman.

Overall I really enjoyed The Stepford Wives. It was funny, intriguing, and actually kind of sad when you think about it. Also, I loved the ending. It just could not have ended better. I love when movies have good endings. I am so often disappointed by the endings and they just ruin the whole movie for me.

This definitely isn’t a memorable, top pick for me but I enjoyed it for what it was.

 

Sunshine Cleaning


Release Date: March 27th 2009

Bechdel Test: Pass

Plot Outline: Rose (Amy Adams) decides to open a bio-hazard removal business in order to raise money for her troubled son’s tuition for private school.

Sunshine Cleaning was something else; it was incredible and so enjoyable to watch. It unleashed so much emotion. I couldn’t believe it. I was so beyond impressed by the plot, the acting, and the characters…everything. It was an incredible movie all around. It was truly a phenomenal film. I bought it right away.

Sunshine Cleaning surrounds Rose (Amy Adams) and her hopeless, less than fantastic life. Rose is a woman in love with a married man who only uses her for sex; she has no money and is raising a son and caring for her father (Alan Arkin) with the help of her younger sister (Emily Blunt). Rose has many ghosts that haunt her from her past, one of which was finding her mother dead from suicide. Rose’s life is a mess to say the least.

You can’t help but pity and want to help her. She is so caring and loving and beautiful that you just want good things for her but her life is terrible. You feel hopeless for Rose but she isn’t. She has big dreams and is determined to make them reality. She struggles with moving on and pushing forward but she manages to do it with the help of her son sister, and quirky father.

Sunshine Cleaning contained a really great message. Push forward, take control of your life, and live your life to its fullest potential. The only person in control of your life is you. Change is possible. It contained all of these great, inspiring messages.

Sunshine Cleaning was full of inspiration and hope even when nothing seems to be going right and all your hopes, dreams, and goals are crumbling around you. I feel like it is something everyone can relate to from at least one point in his or her lives.

I simply cannot say enough positive things about this movie. I highly, HIGHLY recommend seeing Sunshine Cleaning. Just buy it. It’s a movie everyone should see and own. Writing this is making me want to re-watch it now.

 

The Stepfather

Release Date: October 16th 2009

Plot Outline: Michael (Penn Badgley) comes home from military school and becomes obsessively suspicious of his mother’s new fiancé.

The funny thing about The Stepfather is that I saw it and then started watching Nip/Tuck shortly after. I had no idea the main character, played by Dylan Walsh in my new favorite show was the Step Father! This is random but it blew my mind.

So I heard that a lot of people really hated The Step Father, I saw it because I will see anything with Penn Badgley in it. I aspire to marry him some day. I have to be honest; I liked The Step Father a lot. I felt it had a lot of great qualities that a thriller should contain. Though it was predictable, it had a fair amount of mystery. I also felt that it was very good with the tension building. The mood changed severely and naturally. Nothing was abrupt. It was very predictable but also suspenseful. I don’t know how they pulled that off but it works.

I have to admit that the acting was bad on all counts even though I am a huge fan of Amber Heard and Penn Badgley, mostly because I have crushes on both of them. Amber heard is beautiful but a terrible actress. She should just stick to modeling. I did love her in All the Boys Love Mandy Lane though.

I was surprised but there was actually good action in The Stepfather. Some things were a bit over the top but I was entertained and at the edge of my seat for some scenes so I didn’t care if it was overly dramatic.

I liked this movie but I have to say, I was mostly impressed by the way the tension was built. It felt very natural. They did an excellent job with that aspect.

The Stepfather was a good thriller. I would say watch it with a few friends with a bucket of popcorn on a stormy night. Not an award winning thriller but enjoyable and it has hotties in it 😉

The Last Exorcism

Release Date: August 27th 2010

Plot Outline: A doubtful priest decides to uncover the truth of demonic possession and films his exorcism for a documentary.

I love a good exorcism/demon movie so I was excited to see The Last Exorcism. It was a bit of a twist from the traditional exorcism idea which I was a big fan of. I liked the idea a lot, a priest not believing in demons and exorcisms and says he will perform them to expose frauds.

The start of the movie was just great. I loved the priest and his dialogue. He was very intelligent and sweet. He had a good heart, an overall likeable character.

As the story progressed us as the audience had so much doubt. We don’t know what is going on at all; we don’t know what is real and what is fake. Is she possessed? Is she faking it? Mystery! And I loved it.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Last Exorcism until the ending. The characters were likeable and intriguing, I was confused, the plot was fairly original, and it was suspenseful and mysterious. The Last Exorcism had everything going for it but they just didn’t know how to end it I suppose. The ending was terrible…beyond terrible. It really ruined the whole movie for me. I saw this in theaters. In unison the entire audience let out disappointing groans and whining. You could actually feel the sense of disappointment overtake the entire theater.

It was soooo good. Why did they have to ruin it? Whyyyy?

The Good Heart

Release Date: February 23rd 2010

Bechdel Test: Fail

Plot Outline: A bartender takes in a young homeless man.

We know that everyone in our lives serve some kind of purpose though we don’t always know what this purpose is.

The Good Heart takes two very unique characters that are in desperate need of help and someone to care about them and throws them together. We get to see this unlikely duo become the best of friends in a love/hate kind of way. Everyone needs someone. The Good Heart shows us this need demonstrated in many different ways.

I loved this movie. It took unlikeable characters and made them loveable. We really get to know the characters and their self destructive ways . We get to know them deep down to the core. We get to know their hopes, their dreams, and their souls.

The Good Heart was very emotional. I laughed; I cried happy and sad tears, it was extremely touching. This film definitely made an impact on me. Not only did it show how people can connect but it also shows us the bigger picture, it shows us destiny and how things are meant to be. We don’t always know why things happen or why some people are in our lives but there is always a reason. The Good Heart really shows us this throughout the movie. It was beautifully created and very well made. It was a phenomenal movie that I think every one should see. It really made a strong impact on me. I was very impressed by it to the point I cannot express how great it was. See it!

Everybody’s Fine

Release Date: December 4th 2009

Plot Outline: A widower tries to become closer to his children. When they all cancel for the family weekend he put together he decides to travel around the country to visit each of his estranged children.

I immediately fell in love with Everybody’s Fine. It started off very sweet. Robert De Niro is an older man shopping for food and wine to impress his children. It was a role I’ve never seen De Niro in, a vulnerable older man with children.

You really love this old man as he is setting up this special family weekend to unite his family. It is extremely heart breaking when one by one all of his children cancel on his special plans. It was so sad, I nearly cried.

We follow Frank (DeNiro) on his journey across the country to visit each of his children. I can’t even get over how sweet he is. He tells everyone along the way about his kids and how proud of them he is. It’s incredibly endearing. I just loved him so much.

What I liked about Everybody’s Fine is that it felt real. The family dynamic was believable and there was even a bit of mystery to the movie. It keeps you interested.

Although the family isn’t close and there are some things Frank does not agree with, the most important thing to him is that his children are safe and he loves them. A family many people dream about.

I highly recommend Everybody’s Fine. It’s both heartbreaking yet a feel good film. I don’t know how but they pulled that off well.

See it now!

Buried

Release Date: January 23rd 2010

Bechdel Test: Fail

Plot Outline: Paul, a contractor working in Iraq, wakes up buried alive in a coffin with a lighter and a cell phone after being attacked by a group of Iraqis.

Buried wasn’t the best movie I have ever seen but any movie that takes place in a box and keeps you entertained for an hour and a half deserves major props!

I was highly impressed by Buried on many levels. For one, I was impressed by Ryan Reynold’s incredible acting. The entire movie is basically focused on his face and body. He really had to get into this role to make it convincing and he definitely accomplished that. His emotions felt so real. He conveyed his emotions so much that I even felt them myself. I was getting so frustrated along with Paul (Reynolds). He was yelling and screaming at people on the other end of the call. I was also screaming and yelling. Any kind of frustration you have ever experienced with trying to contact someone on the phone with no luck, being put on hold, or being transferred to 10 different people is magnified by a thousand in Buried.

Second, I was impressed by the music and the lighting effects throughout the movie. They elevated the emotion that Reynold’s was already showing us.

Buried stressed me out a tremendous amount. Within the first 5 minutes I was panicking. I had to take off my blankets and be totally loose while watching it. I felt my anxiety levels rising.

It was an intense movie to say the least. Days later Buried still haunted me. The ending was incredible. I could not get over it. I thought about for at least two weeks. I really wish I saw it with a friend.

See Buried…if you aren’t claustrophobic.