Sunday, May 27, 2012

The thing about love stories is that we basically all know what's going to happen. Two people meet, they become friends, the friendship deepens, romantic feelings develop, they become all lovey-dovey and happy and gaze into each other's eyes and we all want to puke on the movie screen, then problems interfere, people fight, people say things they don't mean, people stomp off angrily into the night, sad music plays over a montage of the good times, people discover that their love is stronger than whatever is holding them back and they run back to each other and embrace, happier music plays, end scene. So we've all seen it before and it's hard to inject anything new into the proceedings, and people like to cynically point out that this is really the same movie filmed over and over and over again with different actors...and my response is "well don't watch it, then." I happen to LIKE these movies. I have been in love. I've gazed lovingly into someone's eyes, I've been having a bad day and suddenly melted into a puddle of smiley goo when my phone rang and it was the person I loved on the other line, I've had those fights and cried those tears and walked away and come back...I've done it all, and you probably have too, so if you don't want to watch two other people do that onscreen for two hours, that's fine, but I happen to like watching these movies and these stories because I know what it's like to be in those shoes, and it's the drama and the agony and the ecstasy that keep me coming back again and again (sometimes to the same movie dozens of times) because I get it. So this is a review of a love story, and if you don't want to watch it because you think you've seen it all before and movies like this are boring, and if that's the only criticism you can lodge against this movie, I remind one is forcing you to watch it. Go watch "Apocalypse Now" in your corner and leave the rest of us alone.

So this is a love story featuring an angsty young man who is stuck in limbo, graduated from high school for a few years now but not in college yet, stuck in a small town working a dead-end job so he can look after his five year old nephew, because his hard-partying sister can't often be bothered to look after her own kid. Our angsty young man has a best friend who's off at college who only comes back to town every few months, and he also has an on-again off-again relationship with a girl he's known all his life, and he doesn't really know where his life is going or what he wants to do when it gets there. One day his best friend's older brother comes back into town and they strike up a friendship, the friendship deepens...and then it turns into something more. this freaks out the angsty young man, because WTF? When did this start? He swears he wasn't gay last week...must have been something he ate.

This is the thing about this movie. It's the same sweet/sappy love story as the rest of them, it just happens to be a love story about two men. Every time I watch it, I'm struck by how much I can relate to this movie. I, too, was stuck in limbo at a few points in my life, I have had friendships that developed into something more, and I also found myself in love with someone I never thought I'd be in love with...kissed someone I'd never thought I'd end up kissing, and woken up next to that person the following morning thinking "Oh shit, now what?" Suddenly, you're thinking things like "We can't hold hands in public, someone will see!" and "what will my friends think? What will my family think? Hell, what do I think?" Maybe this would all be easier if there weren't this expectation for him to be all manly and masculine and not, you know, show human emotion or anything, but underneath all this angst, I think one of the movie's greatest strengths is exactly what some people would call a weakness. Yes, this IS the same love story you've seen a million times before...and the fact that it features two same-sex characters falling for each other doesn't change much, does it? Maybe love is the same, no matter who is feeling it for who, and all the crap we pile up on people because of society's expectations for "real" love and "real" relationships doesn't matter as much as we think it does. Or it shouldn't. Because all this same angsty-sappy-lovey-dovey love is really a lot more alike than it is different after all.

In closing...yes, I love this movie. Does that make me less objective to be writing this review? I don't know, probably, but I never really understood why someone who hates a movie is somehow more objective than someone who loves said movie anyway. The song "More than This" by Shane Mack, which plays over a pivotal part of the movie, has a line that I think sums the whole movie up perfectly for me: If this is all we ever were / at least I've loved enough to hurt. It's funny how you sometimes don't realize that love is real until it hurts, but that's how it works, or at least it has for me. Characters in movies like this always seem to be trying to figure out if what they feel is really love. How do you know if love is real? Well, it punches you in the gut, it pulls the rug out from under you but it's also there to catch you when you fall, it's the best of times, it's the worst of times, it's all the love songs you've always heard rolled into a big ball of verbiage in your head, it's the hardest thing you've ever done and the greatest thing you've ever felt, and after all is said and done, it's always worth it, no matter how it may end. So here's to love, and here's to this movie for showing two characters falling in love, and you should check it out sometime. If you do, I hope you love it as much as I do.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I Love Kristen Stewart

Isn't she gorgeous?

So I love Kristen Stewart. I think she's gorgeous, first of all, and even moreso because she has to deal with bullshit from people telling her "she'd be pretty if she smiled more" which is something people tell me all the time, and I gotta tell you, nothing makes me want to smile LESS than hearing a bullshit backhanded compliment like that, but yes, I love her because she has the unmitigated GALL to take publicity photos with a facial expression that is less than satisfactory for her detractors. She always looks to me like she's thinking "I love my job...but this bullshit is just ridiculous...are they done with the camera? Can I go sit down now? My feet are killing me in these heels." Which is to say that I love her even more because she seems like a human being (the horror!) and because she's been acting her ass off in movies since she was 12, and she's in some of my favorite movies (In the Land of Women, Speak, Panic Room, The Messengers, The Safety of Objects) and she's in a lot of movies that I enjoy watching even if they might not be my favorites (Eclipse, New Moon, Twilight, Jumper) and even this just scratches the surface of her career, because there are a lot of movies of hers that I keep hearing are good or that I hear about and think "I would LOVE that movie" but then I forget about them and don't ever get around to watching them, so I figured I'd make a post about them here, with a list of these movies, and that would serve as a reminder of the Kristen Stewart movies I still need to see, and then I could make posts with reviews as I watch these movies. This is crossposted to my "REAL BLOG" (tm) and I hope to finish watching all these movies before the end of the year. I have over 6 months, so it shouldn't be TOO hard. Feel free to comment with recommendations if you think I've missed anything.

Kristen Stewart Movies I Need to See

Snow White and the Huntsman
On the Road
The Runaways
Welcome to the Rileys
Into the Wild
The Yellow Hnadkercheif
What Just Happened
The Cake Eaters
Fierce People
Cold Creek Manor

Kristen Stewart Movies I Already Like

New Moon
The Messengers
In the Land of Women
Panic Room
The Safety of Objects

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Diary of the Dead (2007)

I think I see new things in this movie every time I watch it. I'm glad I gave it a chance even after the reviews were so polarized when it first came out. For me, this movie sums up my generation and what our zombie outbreak would be like in the same way that the original Romero zombie opus "Night of the Living Dead" did for its generation. seeing the youtube-esque videos and the handheld footage detailing the way regular people saw the zombie epidemic as it gets to me. I can imagine being off in the woods shooting a low-budget horror movie with some college friends when all hell starts to break loose in the world around me, trying to capture every moment on film as it happens...hell, I already try to take pictures to chronicle every important event in my life so I will leave something for people to remember me by. this movie resonates with me. that question at the end, "are we worth saving?" hits me too, and I still don't know the answer. sometimes I say an emphatic yes, sometimes I lean more toward no, but it always gives me something to think about. All the gore and cool zombie effects are fun to watch (exploding zombie eyeballs FTW) but I love this movie because it gives me something deeper to think about, too.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Newsies (1992)

I remember watching this movie on the Disney Channel when I was 12 and dancing around my living room and thinking it was the coolest thing ever. I haven't seen it since I was 12, and I was worried it would have lost some of that magic, but I was singing and dancing and crying and laughing all over again when I watched it today, so for me, it's still a lot of fun (perhaps I haven't mature3d since the age of 12, but that works for me).