Wednesday, December 14, 2011
I'm a sucker for the "small town girl moves to the big city and achieves her dream" kind of movie, so I loved this movie. It bears much resemblance to "Coyote Ugly" and movies of that ilk (some of the scenes are even exactly the same as those from "Coyote Ugly") but that's ok, because I love those movies too, so I don't mind. here, Christina Agiulera plays the small town girl who gets a job at a club in the big city and dreams of dancing and singing onstage like the girls she sees at the club. Of course the owner of the club doesn't want to let her, and of course she gets her chance and proves everyone wrong ans achieves her dream and yes, you know what's going to happen before you put the movie in, but so? I repeat my mantra: not every movie needs to be "Citizen Kane."
The music and the dancing in this movie is top notch. when Christina burst onto the scene in the 90s, she was part of a wave of teen pop that was fun but overproduced, so for years, no one recognized that she could sing this well, but she can. She has an AMAZING voice, and she KILLS every song in this movie, even though I'll be honest, I don't really like a lot of the songs she sings in this movie. I love her voice, but hate the lyrics. they gave Cher the best song, which is ok by me, since she, too, has an amazing voice and I love to hear her sing. she's been one of my favorites my entire life. she's also a lot of fun in this movie, and her sarcastic back-and-forth banter with Christina and with Stanley Tucci (lovelovelove him too) makes the movie a lot of fun to watch
Monday, December 5, 2011
I have been sorely misinformed about this movie. I thought it was going to be a documentary with people sitting around giving interviews on what it's like for "colored girls" out in the world, because I knew the movie was based on a book and a poem, and it had a lot of recognizable stars in it. It definitely speaks about the experiences of being a colored girl (and woman) in the world, but it's not a documentary, it's actually a movie with a multitude of main characters interwoven and interconnected into one big story. It's something I've loved ever since I read the Charles Dickens novel "Great Expectations" as a child, so I was riveted just because of that. also, the movie is interspersed with lines of poetry and with dance and music (not like a musical, but a bit like performance art) so that was fun for me to watch too.
I have to caution people who might be considering watching this movie, it is HARSH sometimes and it shows things that will hurt, and when you want the camera to pan away or give the characters a happy outcome to complex and often horrific situations, that won't happen. A few times this movie felt too real to me and I felt like I'd been stabbed in the gut, so I do want to warn people since I had no idea how hard this movie would be to watch at times. It's beautiful, though, with great performances from a strong cast, and no pat answers or surface-shiny happy endings, so I appreciated that, too. I think this movie is well worth checking out. I plan to buy it next chance I get.
I avoided this movie for a long time, even though I love Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter, because I thought it might be too stuffy or boring. It's neither of those things. I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat thrilled with tension because I was waiting for a guy to make a speech. Now THAT takes filmmaking talent. I thought the movie was riveting and am glad I finally checked it out. If you're worried this movie might be too stuffy or boring, give it a chance. I for one loved it.
Ok, I know this movie is a fantasy and all, but who in hell think Alex Pettyfer thinks he looks like he's in high school? What is he, 30? Give me a break. At least Vanessa Hudgens looks younger than she is. Plus I know this is missing the point of the movie and all, but does anyone else think the main character looks better after he turns into the beast? I happen to like tattoos and piercings, so I think he looks much better with them (and much better after he loses the hair he has at the beginning of the movie...dude, you look ten times better without it).
But like I said, this movie is a fantasy, and for all its glossy shallowness, it's still a fun watch. It's not trying to be realistic or anything (on what planet would Mary Kate Olson be the ugly girl in school?) And honestly, for a movie that seems to be trying to say that beauty is as much about what is inside as what is outside, it does like to contradict its own message all the time. When the "witch" Kendra turns Alex Pettyfer (Kyle) into the beast and he's supposed to be "as aggressively ugly on the outside as he is on the inside" I still don't think he looks bad (he looks better! Come on people, it can't just be me here). so yeah, "beauty is on the inside...look at all these ugly tattooed freaks omg!" It could be better if it stopped stepping on its own toes for five minutes, but it's not a bad way to kill two hours.
Anyway, after he disses the "ugly witch" in school, she turns him into a guy with major tattoos and piercings and his rich dad sends him off to live in an apartment in the city away from prying eyes, and he has a year to make someone fall in love with him. And that's when the movie is good. The developing love between the lead characters is actually sweet to watch. And the side characters, played by Lisa Gay Hamilton and Neil Patrick Harris, banter a lot and make the movie more fun. Also, usually in movies like this it's the girl who gives the speech about the end about how she loves the guy and when she's with him she feels beautiful, but in this movie, we get to see the guy make that speech, so it's a nice twist. Plus I always hate how these Beauty and the Beast stories seem to be saying that if you love someone, they'll change and be everything you want, which is shallow and annoying, but at least with this movie and the Disney movie version there are other people's lives at stake, other people affected by the curse too, so that adds an extra element that will benefit from the breaking of the curse. I don't know. This movie isn't perfect, but it was a fun watch, so I dug it.