On Monday, Kari and I were treated to an advanced showing of the latest teen novella craze, “The Hunger Games.” As a fan of the books (note the use of fan, not die-hard, all-knowing, and emotionally attached super enthusiast), I was excited to see the film adaptation.
While I was impressed with the translation of the book to motion picture, there were some cinematic difficulties that were hard to overcome. The first 20 minutes of the film were pretty shaky, and I found myself craving a wide-angle shot (something I don’t ever think I never imagined I would desire). The constant close-ups on the faces of the actors and a really shaky camera was obviously a stylistic choice made at the expense of content.
But, the books and the storyline speak for themselves and the movie was still an overall hit. That being said, as a professor I thought I would share some lessons I learned from watching the picture.
1. I want to form an alliance with Jennifer Lawrence
Rooney Mara take note: Jennifer Lawrence is epic. After watching her in “Like Crazy” this weekend, its impressive to see the scope of her acting talents. And oh yeah, she kicks ass in all fight scene. If I was to head into the games, I want her on my team.
2. 142 minutes is not enough
The books are long, the movie is long, and yet I wanted more. Some critical roles were taken out of the film that made a big difference in the books. It will be interesting to see how they handle it in the next couple of movies. I would have liked a few extra minutes spent in District 12 or the capital, but I’m assuming that could come later.
3. Don’t take Harry Potter for granted
I think I have falsely made the assumption that if the book was good, then it shouldn’t be too difficult to turn it into a good move. Harry Potter is a good example of a good book series made into a good movie series. I always knew that the sacrifices in the HP movies were for the greater good and wouldn’t totally effect the viewing experience. I didn’t have that same level of trust with this film. There was something that put me on edge and made me stress over the parts that were removed and the implications it could have for the next two parts.
Overall, the movie was pretty well done and I give it a solid B+.
In continuing with the movie theme, I have found an upcoming film that will either leave me feeling one of two ways:
- My super sweet soul mate is out there waiting for me to find him (just like Where’s Waldo)
- I will leave hating all men
As you may have guessed, this one is for the ladiesssss!
‘The Vow‘ – February 14, 2012
“The Vow” stars possibly the two best actors in romantic drama history: Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum.
According to IMDb, “A car accident puts Paige (McAdams) in a coma, and when she wakes up with severe memory loss, her husband Leo (Tatum) works to win her heart again.”
Huge, right?! First of all, it’s hard enough to find a significant other in this battlefield also known as love. Jordin Sparks said it best: “Why does love always feel like/a battlefield/a battlefield/a battlefield?”
I couldn’t even imagine the rage blackout I would be in if my husband forgot who I was! I mean trying to get a man to wife up is hard enough the first time, but having to do it a second time…I don’t have the words.
What’s interesting about this movie is that it’s based on a true story. Newlyweds, Kim and Krickitt Carpenter were on a road trip to visit Kim’s parents in Phoenix, Arizona. When they got into a severe car accident, it left Krickitt with retrograde amnesia. The accident erased “virtually her entire memory of the previous 18 months—including any recollection of the man she had fallen in love with and married,” reported People.
“When the nurse asked, ‘Who’s your husband?’ she replied, ‘I’m not married.”
Since I’ve effectively ruined your emotional state with this sad story, I do have some happy news! It took quite a lot of time but Krickitt and Kim began dating and in 1996 got married again! I am not sure if Channing and Rachel’s characters achieve the same fate, we all saw “Dear John,” right? Still recovering from that blow.
Piece of advice: don’t cry on your keyboard. I’m still having trouble using the “G” on mine.
Last evening I had the pleasure of attending a screening of “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” The film starred Elizabeth Olsen (Lil Olsen!) and Sarah Paulson.
If you haven’t heard of this film, I will happily give you a brief summary:
Elizabeth Olsen plays Martha, a young woman who has fled from a cult that she has been living with for the past two years. Martha has finally had enough, flees and calls her sister to come pick her up.
The rest of the film is dedicated to Martha trying to live a normal life with her sister and her brother-in-law, but reliving/dealing/coping with the life-altering memories of cult life.
It’s one of those movies that travels back and forth in time. Normally I would be confuzzled, but the film does it perfectly!
Elizabeth Olsen is getting rave reviews…as she should. Lil Olsen is even getting some Oscar buzz. I’m willing to give her my vote right now! I think she really shines in this film…shines so bright it has been reported that Mary Kate & Ashley are jelly bellys. 0o0o0 burn!
Pretty soon, Elizabeth’s name won’t have to be prefaced with “Mary Kate ad Ashley’s little sister.” Lil Olsen is making moves.
By moves…I mean Elizabeth already has five movies coming down the pike! I’m making a decision…decision made: get used to Elizabeth, she will be around for quite some time!
BTW! One thing I learned from this movie…never EVER join a cult.
Finally! Finally! I can sleep in peace tonight.
I have been waiting for this trailer ever since I heard that Michelle Williams snagged the role of Marilyn Monroe. After watching it, I am intrigued. When I first heard that Michelle was going to play such an iconic figure, I was a bit skeptical at first. Once I saw Michelle embody this icon, I slapped myself on the wrist for not believing in the “Dawson’s Creek” alum.
According to “Entertainment Weekly,” the film “focuses on a week in the summer of 1956, when, while filming ”The Prince and the Showgirl” with co-star-director Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh), Monroe spends a week enjoying British life with a 23-year-old assistant on the film named Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) while her new husband Arthur Miller is in Paris. Can she escape the pressures of being the world’s most famous woman? Does she really want to?” So profound.
Since Michelle has been snubbed twice by the Academy, could this be her chance at Oscar glory? I’m going to make a decision…decision made…Michelle Williams will have an Oscar on her mantle after this one (my fingers are crossed)!
For the final installment of my favise Christina Ricci movies, I have chosen…”The Addams Family.” Cue theme song.
“The Addams Family” started out as a cartoon by Charles Addams written for “The New Yorker.” It has grown from a cartoon into a TV series, movies and even a broadway show.
Ricci played the infamous character known as Wednesday Addams. Let me just say, Christina had the best skin tone and hair color for this character…it was a role she was born to play.
The character of Wednesday was first introduced to the world in 1938 and inherited her name from a nursery rhyme titled, “Monday’s Child.” The line goes as follows: “Wednesday’s child is full of woe.” If you have ever seen the Addams Family movies, you probably thought to yourself, “sounds about right.”
An interesting fact about this character…Wednesday’s middle name is Friday.
Wednesday offers up some hil.ari.ous quotes throughout the film. For example:“Girl Scout: Is this made from real lemons? Wednesday: Yes. Girl Scout: I only like all-natural foods and beverages, organically grown, with no preservatives. Are you sure they’re real lemons? Pugsley: Yes. Girl Scout: Well, I’ll tell you what. I’ll buy a cup if you buy a box of my delicious Girl Scout cookies. Do we have a deal? Wednesday: Are they made from real Girl Scouts?”
With a budget of $38 million, “The Addams Family” grossed $191,502,246 worldwide. Seems that Christina hit another one out of the park with this film!
While I know this is a clip from “Addams Family Values,” it’s too good to pass up:
Christina Ricci was in ‘Casper’ (the friendly ghost)
This 1995 gem starred Christina and Bill Pullman…he must have had time off from being the President of the United States…sorry for the dated “Independence Day” reference.
Hopefully everyone on Earth has seen this film. If not, I am disappointed in you and here is a quick summary: Bill Pullman plays James Harvey, who is a therapist that can communicate with ghosts. Harvey is hired to speed up the process of getting four ghosts to move into the afterlife. He brings his daughter Kat (Christina Ricci) along for the ride. The movie has tons of fun hijinks that involve Casper’s 3 ghostly uncles. Casper also gets to become human for a short time and shares a dance with Kat at her school’s Halloween dance…such a moving moment.
Another thing I need to get off my chest – This film offers up one of the greatest quotes in movie history…“Can I keep you?” It gets me every time.
Btw – a young Devon Sawa played the human Casper…another Canadian-born gentleman I wouldn’t mind stalking.
“Casper” did quite well at the box office. With a $55 million budget, this film grossed $287,928,194 worldwide. Point numero dos for Christina.
As I mention in an earlier post, “Titanic” is the one and only movie that can stop me from pretty much anything I am doing. In the past, this film has halted many activities such as: walking, breathing, blinking and even hitting the town on a Saturday night. If you know me, you know that’s a pretty big deal. I figured I would need a love story for the island and “Titanic” gives the love and so much more.
Debuting in 1999, this “epic romance and disaster film” caused a tsunami at the box office, grossing $1.8 billion worldwide. One of the pieces that makes this movie puzzle complete is the cast…mainly Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
DiCaprio played Jack Dawson – a poor young gentleman/artist who saves Rose and falls for her the moment he lays eyes on that ginger beauty (and/or when he sees Rose wearing her birthday suit). Winslet played Rose DeWitt Bukater – a 19-year-old who is en route to America in order to marry her fiancé, Cal. She meets Jack while trying to jump off the back of the boat. Obviously, the engagement to Cal wasn’t going too well.
The film follows the budding relationship of Rose and Jack. Then BAM! The ship hits a friggin’ iceberg and shit gets real.
You may be wondering why I would choose this film out of all the other love stories out there. Here are my reasons:
- Kate Winslet gave us ladies a new way to piss off your current boyfriend…by getting your new boyfriend to draw you naked and then give the drawing to the boyfriend you dislike.
- Kate Winslet also gave us females a new way to seduce our new bf. Scene: Rose and Jack are in backseat of car and Rose states, “Put your hands on me, Jack.” Now that’s classy.
- Celine Dion delivered an amazing song to bust out at karaoke night…”My Heart Will Go On.” Yes, I have rolled all my Honda windows down and exclaimed every single lyric…don’t pretend you haven’t.
- This film gave us a new activity to participate in. If you have ever been on a boat, you most likely have tried to climb up the bow of the ship and scream, “I’m the king of the world.”
“Titanic” has made me permanently afraid to go on a booze cruise. Even if it is in the warmest of climates, I will not blink in case there is an iceberg just waiting to bring my ship down. I will also sleep/shower/drink with a life vest on at. all. times!
Below is a clip of my favises scene in the movie and before you assume…no, it’s not the part when Rose thrusts her hand against the glass. That is in the top 3 of course. Favises quote: “You jump I jump, right?”
BTW – I will be sailing to the movie theatre on April 6, 2012 for the rerelease of “Titanic” in 3-D!!!! And Leo – This message is for you. Put a ring on Kate’s finger…everyone knows you are soul mates.
‘Teaching Mrs. Tingle’
By now the whole world should know, but if not I’m okay with repeating this…Katie Holmes is my favises actress in the whole wide world. So it is vital that I pack one of her groundbreaking films for the island.
This movie debuted in 1999 and tells the tale of a girl and her two friends during their senior year of high school. Katie Holmes takes on the role of Leigh Ann, who’s goal is to become valedictorian in order to obtain a college scholarship (Does this happen in real life?).
Her best friend in the film is Jo Lynn, played by Marisa Coughlan, who is coasting towards graduation then heading off to Hollywood to become a star. Of course a teen comedy/drama needs a male hunk to rally the tweens. Teaching Mrs. Tingle’s hunk – Barry Watson. The “7th Heaven” alumni plays Luke, the badass who is too cool for school.
Enter Mrs. Tingle, played by the fabulous Helen Mirren…kind of shocking that she’s in this, right? She plays the History teacher from hell. Leigh Ann’s valedictorian status is contingent on Tingle’s final grade. Somehow Luke gets a copy of the final exam and Tingle catches them. The students head to Tingle’s house to reason with her and chaos ensues!
I have chosen “Teaching Mrs. Tingle” for a variety of reasons:
- This movie was written by the creator of “Dawson’s Creek.” That’s an obvious sign that this movie will be good.
- In my opinion, this movie successfully brought back the crossbow. Barry Watson accidently shoots an arrow at Helen Mirren…in the movie, not in real life of course!
- Who hasn’t wanted to kidnap and/or terrorize one of their high school teachers who made their life a living hell?
Favises quote: “A bottle of wine and I’ll be fine.” Isn’t that the truth!
This movie makes me feel young again. “Teaching Mrs. Tingle” really shined among all those high school themed 90s teen movies. I wish real life was like this.
Below is my favises scene. After a night of getting it in, Katie Holmes changes the grades in Tingle’s grade book. If Katie Holmes is going to hell…it will certainly be a party!
I highly recommend watching this movie at any age…Katie Holmes is beautiful as always. This is Katie in her prime…pre Tom (ahh the good old days).
Yesterday, I was enjoying my day of rest by giving 3+ hours of my time to the E! network. Why you ask? They were playing the movie that I will stop whatever I am doing to watch, all the way through…”Titanic.”
I began discussing with my friend (Hey, Sweet D) what movies we would pack in anticipation of being stranded on a desert island. Since all deserted islands come equipped with a flat-screen tv and dvd player, I will have no problem enjoying the following films while waiting for those beautiful coast guard men to rescue me.
And away we go!
‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’
Since I’m a big fan of laughing, I know I would need to bring a movie that consistently makes me giggle. “Drop Dead Gorgeous” debuted in 1999 and delivers these laughs with a surprising cast that includes, Kirstie Alley, Ellen Barkin, Brittany Murphy, Kirsten Dunst, Denise Richards and my favises…Allison Janney.
“Drop Dead Gorgeous” is a mockumentary that follows the contestants of the Mount Rose American Teen Princess Pageant as they prep and compete for the title. An interesting plot line in the film is that contestants keep getting injured and/or murdered. I know this doesn’t sound like a movie full of giggles, but I pinky swear it is! Here are some examples:
- Ellen Barkin’s character gets a beer can permanently burned into her hand after a fire breaks out in her house on wheels. She then shows up at the pageant on painkillers…loving life and blowing kisses to Kirsten Dunst’s character via beer can.
- For the talent portion of the pageant, Denise Richards’ character sings “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” with a doll that looks mysteriously like Jesus as in Jesus Christ.
- Kirstie Alley’s character portrays an epic pageant mom. This must be where those moms from “Toddlers and Tiaras” get their inspiration. Kirstie was also a previous winner of the Mount Rose American Teen Princess Pageant. Allison Janney’s character lets us know that “she (Kirstie) had a big ass then and a big ass now.”
- Allison Janney offers the funniest moment of the entire movie. Please watch below and get ready to lol.
Favises quote: “Oh, are we on cops again?”
While this film is described as a “dark comedy,” I’m 93% sure it will bring joy into your life.
Stay tuned throughout the day for my other movie picks for the island!