Friday, May 23, 2014

Movies That Made Me Go...What the...? And The Week in Reviews

[I review the movie "Moms' Night Out," DVDs "A Case of You," and "Bettie Page Reveals All" plus Diane Keaton's new book and a lovely little Vancouver, B.C restaurant.]

But first

Have you ever watched a movie and when it was over, thought What the...? 
(I could be more explicit with that, but there might be children in the room)

Here are some movies I have questions about:

 


Scarlett wanted Ashley Wilkes over Rhett Butler?  You're kidding, right?


         Him?                                                                   Or him?


You be the judge.







If it's never ending, how come it ends?




Alien (1979)
 
 

"In space no one can hear you scream." 

Is that really true?  Do you mean, if I was in space and Hubby was standing right next to me when a bloodthirsty alien was coming toward us, he couldn't hear my bloodcurdling scream?

 
 

In general, ???????  I don't have a clue what this was about.

 
 
 
 

How can Bruce Willis not know he is dead?  No one talks to him except the kid who sees dead people.






Citiizen Kane (1941)

 

How did they know Kane's last words were Rosebud?  It looked to me like he was alone when he uttered his last words.

 
What movie plot twists didn't make sense to you?
 
 


***In Theatres Now***
 
 
 
 
 
Allyson (Sarah Drew), a harried young mother who can't handle the stresses of motherhood and  her own perfectionism, arranges a night out with her girlfriends to "unplug" and unwind.
 
Rosy, repeat after me.  "I will never again go to a movie I know nothing about, especially starring Patricia Heaton." 
 
"I will never again go to a movie I know nothing about, especially starring Patricia Heaton."
 
Here I have been nagging you all to read reviews (mine, I hope), and I didn't follow my own advice.

But, in my own defense, I live in the 'burbs and film choices are limited.
 
Anyway, I was expecting something along the lines of "Adventures in Babysitting," "Bridesmaids," or a female version of "Hall Pass" or "The Hangover."  Instead, I found myself at a movie with a decidedly Christian focus extolling the virtues of motherhood. That in and of itself is not a bad thing, but the most egregious part was that it was not funny (and I am fairly certain it was supposed to be).
 
The women plan a nice dinner out and leave the kids with the husbands (Sean Astin and Robert Amaya).  In the course of the evening, there is no dinner reservation, a baby goes missing, a parakeet gets sat upon and a tattooed biker named Bones (Trace Atkins) gives our heroine the message she needed to hear.  God doesn't expect her to be perfect.  And her husband confirms the importance of her role as a mother.
 
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
 
And let's not say this film didn't try to emulate those aforementioned films.  Hard-working women want a night out so they leave the kids with the husbands, so you expect them all to get into trouble, which they do.  But it's silly trouble.  Not "The Hangover" kind of trouble.  Not even "Adventures in Babysitting" kind of trouble.
 
At the start of the film, Sarah Drew, best known for roles on "Mad Men" and "Grey's Anatomy," was almost as annoying as Leslie Mann in "The Other Woman," another film that failed (See my review in my blog "Must See Biopics").  However, as the film progressed, she got better.  The film didn't.
 
How this film scored a PG Rating, I will never know.  It's G all the way as far as I can tell.  I haven't seen a film like this since Summer Bible Camp.  It's perfectly safe to take the kids and Grandma.  But again, it's not funny.

This one will definitely make my worst of the year list.
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...Even if you have been wishing for a Christian-themed film or something non-offensive, this is not worth your time.  The fact that it is not funny makes it very offensive. Avoid, avoid, avoid.


***DVDS***
You Might Have Missed
And Some You Should Be Glad You Did
(I see the bad ones so you don't have to)
 
 
 
A Case of You (2013)
 
 
Sam, a nebishy writer (Justin Long) tries to impress Birdie (Evan Rachel Wood), a free spirit,  by becoming what she says she admires on Facebook that she admires in a man.  The problem is:  they fall in love and that's not who he really is.

It starts out cute and promising, but the second half deteriorates when our hero finally gets what he wants and then resents what he thinks he has to do to keep her.  He takes ballroom dancing, guitar and judo lessons to impress her and then gets mad at her for the pretense.  But it's a rom-com and through some contrivances, he sees the error of his ways.

My big problem is the fact that Sam found out everything he needed to know about Birdie on her Facebook profile - without friending her.  Is Birdie so clueless that she doesn't know how to do privacy settings on FB?

Also, nebishy or not, I just don't get Justin Long as a leading man.

The real stars here are the supporting cast:  Peter Dinglage as the fussy barista, Sam Rockwell as Sam's nutty guitar teacher, Brendan Fraser as Birdie's ex and Keir O'Donnell as Sam's horny roommate who loves Princess Leia but pleasures himself to Carrie Fisher as she is today because he feels it is more "age appropriate."  Justin Long and Keir O'Donnell wrote the screenplay so it looks like Long had to call in some favors.

Classic:  A guy does everything he can to get the girl and then when he gets her, he finds a reason to not want her.

The Moral?:  Don't try to be something you are not.
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...good rom-coms are hard to come by these days so despite a few wrong turns, this is a charming rom-com with some funny moments that outweigh the unbelievable ones.  If you liked "You've Got Mail" and "Silver Linings Playbook," you might like this one.



Bettie Page Reveals All (2012)



A documentary on the life of fetish pin-up and style icon of the 1950's, Bettie Page, in her own words.

The film starts with everyone from Dita Von Teese to designer Todd Oldham giving props to the influence Bettie Page had on the world of fashion, style and free expression.  Her dark black hair, iconic bangs and banging body influenced Madonna and Rhianna among others, as well as Uma Thurman's character in "Pulp Fiction," which was a direct homage to Page.

Bettie's story is told in her own words with the help of some stock photos and footage as well as many of Bettie's photos, from cheesecake to nudes to bondage.

She was an abused child whose personality and looks brought her to the attention of camera club photographers. She found fame as a photographer's model, but her apex in the mainstream was probably as Miss January in Playboy 1955. From 1952 through 1957, she posed for photographer Irving Klaw who catered to specific requests from his clientele for stills and films. These silent featurettes showed women clad in lingerie and high heels, acting out festishistic scenarios of abduction, spanking and bondage.

Her personal life was less successful. She was called before the Congress to testify against Klaw and to label his work as pornographic. Since she didn't feel that was the case, she never got over that. She had failed marriages, became an Evangelical Christian and tried to become a missionary but was rejected because she was divorced.  She had a mental breakdown and spent several years in a mental hospital. She eventually chose a quiet life until her popularity experienced a resurgence in the 1980's.

Bettie tells her own story but we never see her. It's eerie hearing her voice, but not seeing her.  She preferred to be remembered as she was.  Since she died in 2008 at the age of 85, one can understand that.

Some of the stock footage and photos used to illustrate the story are cheesy, but the actual photos of Bettie are amazing and make up the bulk of the film.  She exuded a combination of "girl next door" and temptress and her light hearted exuberance and self confidence in her body shine through in her photos, even when she is spanking another girl or wearing bondage gear and hanging from ropes.  Thus her popularity.

Homage was paid to Bettie in the film "The Rocketeer" and she continues to be a style icon today.

Rosy the Reviewer says... You need to know who Bettie Page is so you will know what all of the fuss is about.


***Book of the Week***
 
 
 

Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty by Diane Keaton (2014) 
 


In this sequel to her first memoir, "Then Again," Keaton waxes about her looks, her hair, aging, her kids and life in general.

Who knew Diane Keaton was so insecure about her looks and that she wears those signature hats because she is self conscious about her hair?

This is a rambling series of musings on life, which is what you do, I guess, when you are in your 60's, she said writing her blog.

Keaton was Woody Allen's inspiration for Annie Hall and now I see why.  She IS Annie Hall with all of Annie's um's and la-te-dahs and interesting fashion choices. Keaton's writing is also as fidgety as that character. 

But those of us of a certain age will find comfort to know that a famous actress has the same issues with aging as we civilians do, she embarrasses her children just like we do, and that she too wonders what it's all about.
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...if you were expecting a straightforward memoir, you might be disappointed, but if you liked the character of Annie Hall, here she is at 68.


 
***Restaurant of the Week***


La Brasserie Vancouver



If you are ever in Vancouver, B.C. you won't go wrong at this little French-German bistro right in the center of trendy Davie Street in the West End.

We arrived late on a Friday night as we started our 30th Wedding Anniversary celebration (if you missed my post about that, here it is, had not made reservations anywhere and happened upon this restaurant as we strolled Davie Street.  We sat at the bar and engaged the chef, who was from Germany.  He was charming and friendly.  I had the moules frites; Hubby had the steak frites and we topped it all off with a lovely crème brulee.  Hubby is a frites expert so of course we had the frites - magnifique!

Rosy the Reviewer says...Unpretentious relaxed setting with classic French comfort food and the best French fries outside of Paris.


That's it for this week.
 
See you Tuesday for



"A Retired Librarian's Bucket List"







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