Category: Movies

Say Anything


After seeing and hearing about the iconic scene where John Cusack holds a boombox over his head in order to win back the girl he loves, I decided it was finally time to see this movie.  I started it one evening, and stopped it halfway through and then finished it last night. Although it didn’t hold my attention enough to finish it in the same sitting, I am happy I watched through it to find out the rest of the story. I think I had built this up too much in my head because the actual movie didn’t pan out to what I had hoped it would be.

The first half didn’t grab me much, but it was your overall typical high school story.  I found the second half more interesting, but then was let down by that pivotal scene I mentioned above.  Because it wasn’t really that pivotal.  That scene isn’t what got them back together, it didn’t change the story any.  If she would have at least looked out the window, or allowed herself a private smile that showed she was hearing and responding to what he had done for her, I would have enjoyed it more.  As the scene played out it was very anti-climactic.

I enjoyed John Cusack’s performance, as I always do. He’s an actor I really like. Other actors in the movie also put in wonderful performances.  The dad was phenomenal, and got across all the emotions needed to portray someone doing something so distasteful, but yet believing it really was the best and right thing to do for his daughter.  I enjoyed that Jeremy Piven showed up, he’s another actor I enjoy watching on the screen and he came off well as one of the guys.

I believe that if I had seen this movie while still in high school, or around that age range, it would have affected me much differently, and perhaps I would have connected with the characters more.  As it stands, it’s a cute movie.  I don’t dislike it, but I don’t really like it either.  I’d say 3 stars on my scale.

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

aliceinwonderland.jpg Alice in Wonderland


I hope I haven’t spoiled anything, but since I am talking about the movie please beware.

Saturday evening I had the pleasure of accompanying Dan to the movies, or rather, he accompanied me.  I was kind of in charge of this date night, so the plans were set to go see Alice in Wonderland.  I was intrigued by the ads for the movie from the first moment I saw them.  One look at Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter with all the vibrant colors and larger than life fell, and I knew I wanted to see this movie.

The funny thing is, I’m not really a big Alice in Wonderland fan.  I remember reading the story as a kid and enjoying it, and for a brief while I think I was hooked on the movie, but then I kind of…grew out of it, I guess.  I remember many times growing up when I couldn’t remember what it was I had liked so much about the book and the movie.  For some reason Alice and the imagination fantastic world of Wonderland just didn’t resonate with me anymore.

lookingglasswars.jpgEarlier this year I read The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor, urged by Dan to do so after he finished reading the ARC Meiran had given me.  I had always thought it sounded like an interesting take, so I read it and enjoyed it immensely.  I have the second one sitting at home on the shelf, waiting to be read.  Shortly after reading the book is when I discovered the ads for the movie (I think that’s how the timing went, although I could be off).

The different style of the book allowed me to see the story in a new light, so I decided I definitely wanted to see the movie.  On a recent vacation I got to have hot chocolate in a little cafe that was completely decorated in an Alice in Wonderland theme to promote the movie. The tables were all white and different shapes, and there were macoron trees used as centerpieces.  It was  a very fun experience, and only served to strengthen my resolve.

So I guess there was quite a bit of hope built up for this movie, although I didn’t really feel that way as I headed into the theater. I was just hoping for a good, fun movie.  I like Tim Burton’s style, and felt sure that I wouldn’t be disappointed.  And I wasn’t.

The movie opened in a way that almost had me wondering if this was indeed Alice in Wonderland.  We start out following Alice in the “real world” and then the story progresses and we saw Alice in Wonderland, and everything there was as imaginative and fantastical as I could have hoped.  The CGI seemed to blend in almost flawlessly, in large part I believe because it was a make believe world that didn’t have to follow any norms.

Hatter was an amazing character, and I have to say he has always been one of my favorite characters.  Depp did well, although sometimes I have to say I could see Captain Jack Sparrow there too.  Both characters are insane, and it’s hard not to call forth that imagery when it’s so well ingrained because I love the first Pirates movie.  That was only a couple of brief times though, mainly through the way he spoke something, and then it was gone and I was back to seeing him as just the Hatter.

The White Queen did bother me a little bit, she was just too…I don’t even have the right words.  Too floaty, maybe?  In the scene where were introduced to the White Queen, she drops the floatiness and runs, seemingly picking up more normal behavior. I had hoped that would continue throughout the movie, but she was back to being floaty in her next scene.

The Red Queen was very well done, and I enjoyed disliking her.  Which I think is the mark of a good bad character.  Alice herself was also well done, but I can’t say I dearly love the character so I wasn’t super invested in her.  I liked that she grew and learned about herself as the movie went on.  She could have just returned to the “real world” pretty much the same girl as before her trip through Wonderland, but instead she was able to realize more of who she was and apply that to her life.

If you enjoy the Alice in Wonderland story, or Tim Burton films in general, give it a go!  It was a lot of fun, and the Bandersnatch is just awesome!

If you’ve seen it, please share your thoughts. I’d love to know what you thought.

Cold Souls

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect with this film.  I had heard about it somehow, and stumbled upon a website to promote it –  The site was a lot of fun and as I read up on the movie I wanted to see it because it sounded quirky and odd.  I didn’t get a chance to watch in theaters, as it was a limited release.  Once out on dvd I added it to my Netflix queue and last night I finally watched it.

It was quirky and odd.  I believe that Paul Giamatti did a great job channeling the ways he was affected by having his soul stored, and by using a different soul.  While the premise comes across as far fetched, it was believable because the movie didn’t take itself too seriously.  Giamatti constantly expressed his doubt, surprise, and concern about the ability to store and switch souls.  Throughout the movie I think he also learns that his soul is the right one for him, the only one he’s supposed to have.

cynssoul.jpgCold Souls is definitely not mainstream, but it was a fun movie that I suggest for anyone looking for something a little different.  Be sure to check out the website as well, and get your soul stored. They’ll provide you with a picture of your soul, I’ve included mine – which seems to look kind of like a blood splatter.  Nice, huh?

In the movie Giamatti’s soul comes out as a chickpea. He’s incredulous, and this one small detail adds so much to the movie.  There are many small, amusing bits that keep the movie from going overboard, some of them tied to shape of Giamatti’s soul.

If you’ve seen the film or decide to, please let me know what you thought!


repo.jpgRepo! The Genetic Opera


Okay, it’s been a while since I’ve seen this actually, but I didn’t get around to writing about it and decided I wanted to do it now.  Repo! The Genetic Opera is a story about a Repo man and his daughter, and what they go through in a futuristic world where organs are harvested so that any ill can be cured.

It is definitely a movie off of the beaten track, and it’s weird and quirky nature is why I like it.  I was intrigued by the idea of it being a musical and an out there sci-fi/horror-eqsue movie.  It also stars Anthony Stewart Head (Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), which was easily enough of a reason for me to give it a try.

Overall I felt that it was a well done movie and it had several plotlines that worked together to forward the major plot and unwind the story.  The singing was also well done, and worked into the movie’s natural dialogue quite well, although some of it did bother me.  There were parts where the dialogue and singing mixed and that was a little offputting.  It just didn’t flow very well to me.

This is a very weird movie, and not one to just watch on a whim.  Or maybe it’s exactly that.  Dan and I had a hard time trying to find a night to watch this, because we just weren’t in the mood for something we knew was going to be weird and kind of wacky.  So we simply picked a night and decided that we were watching it and that was that.  I think with this kind of movie you either do like Dan and I did or you simply grab it and go for it.  It’s not a movie to wait around for the “right mood”  because I don’t think it exists.

If you like quirky offbeat musicals that also have lots of blood and guts, and organs in it, I say go for it!

Resident Evil: Extinction

I like the first two Resident Evil movies quite a bit.  I really like Milla Jovovich as an actress.  I really wish I hadn’t bothered watching this movie.  Such a disappointment.  Anyhow, I took some notes as I was watching, and I’ll share them with you now.


I was confused by the beginning of the movie.  I couldn’t figure out why they were replaying the first movie.  Then I thought that it was probably a dream sequence.  And there there was a pit of dead Milla Jovovich’s and a bunch of zombies.  Nice. 

Hicks and zombie dogs.  Nice.

The zombies eating people is just a little gratuitous in this movie.  Bleh.

And now Alice has telekinesis.  And little Red Queen doesn’t look nearly as cool anymore. She’s way too sweet looking.  The red holograph was a lot better.

And now it’s the birds.  If you can’t tell I’m not overly impressed so far. 

Is there an actual plot in here somewhere?

Milla is a superwoman.  Wheee!  She has awesome mind power abilities.  Un-huh.  Yeah.  Right.

Of course there were zombies in Vegas…..and they’re still fighting them….and still fighting them.

*sigh*  I didn’t think this movie would be this bad.

He has tentacles.  Why the hell does he have tentacles?

And now Milla/Alice is on the hunt for the big bad.

Great – Mutant Zombie is all mind-powerful too. 

I’m still wondering, where’s the plot?

And Alice #2 saves the day!  Or at least saves Alice #1.  Although #2 is probably really like #50 or something since there’s a bunch of them in a ditch.

Wheee!  A whole army of Milla-Alice’s!  That makes perfect sense for the end of this movie.

I’m glad I netflixed this and didn’t buy it based on my liking the first two movies.


So those were my thoughts as I watched the movie. I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to it, as I was also playing Eggbreaker on Facebook.  I think Eggbreaker was more interesting.  I think I’ll just pretend this one doesn’t exist. 

None of the new characters were very well done. Actually none of the characters were very well done. None of them had a purpose, there was no real story in there except that they had to avoid zombies.  That was it. And they didn’t do it very well. 

They could have taken the new abilities that Alice had and explained them better, then used them to better advantage. Some of the stuff there was kind of cool, like her shorting out the circuit in the satellite. Very far fetched, but kind of neat.  Only they just threw these abilities out there and didn’t really do anything with them.  They just wanted to make her look cool I guess.  It didn’t add to the story, there was no reason why she suddenly had mind powers.  The only time they actually worked was when she shielded Carlos from the fire.  Otherwise they were pointless.  And after she woke up and dropped her bike and all the rocks she had this look on her face like it had happened before.  The audience should have been in on that.  If it wasn’t a surprise to her then it should have been introduced to us that way. 

I think there might have been some potential to this movie if they had explored Alice’s character better, maybe showed us some of what she did out there on her own, and if they had developed a better villain.  This movie was a mashup of zombies, gore, death, and superpowers that just didn’t work. 

*sigh*  I am disappointed.  Don’t bother with this one, especially if you like the first two.  And to leave you with a really bad pun – this movie needs to be extinct.  

Go ahead and groan.  *laugh*