Eat, Pray, Love

Well, I tried reading the book and only made it through Italy.  I tried listening to the book on tape and barely got to India.  This time around, I was going to finish the story.  The film, much like the book dragged for me.  The pacing was grueling and the film had a ghastly 140 minute running time.  That's just too much.  The basic blocks to build a female-friendly story of self discovery were there but in the end, I was left feeling sleepy with dreams of Bali.

Little Children

Wow.  This movie is not a light watch.  In fact, it's fitting right in with the majority of my viewings this August - depressing and dark.  To be honest, I found the first 30 min or so to be positively mesmerizing.  I thought it was clever, funny, and visually engaging.  Then everything changed and we plummeted down the rabbit hole to a very uncomfortable story.  The filmmaking blew me away.  A re-watch?  Naa, I don't want to sit through that painful tension again. 

Big Night

What a delightful surprise.  Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub play Italian brothers who are trying to get their restaurant off the ground.  This movie is chalk full of starts (hello Isabella Rossalini and Minnie Driver) but the winners here are Tucci and Shalhoub who are virtually transformed.  Great watch, especially with some vino.

Precious Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire

I'm not going to sugar coat this one and I'll do my best not to be preachy.  You have got to be in a safe place in your head before watching this movie.  It will shake you.  If it doesn't - well, there just might be something off kilter about you.  I now fully understand why this film received such critical acclaim.  It's quite frankly, earth shattering.   It's the kind of movie that literally makes you gasp and desperately try to come up for air.  Being a part of Precious' journey makes you feel like you just want to hold on to those around you and squeeze.  It's a story that few of us film-goers can legitimately relate to however sadly it's a story that too many people have experienced.   See this movie.  Support it.  Witness.  Understand that not everyone is given the same chance when they enter this world.  Perhaps you will view things a little differently even just for a moment.

Shutter Island

Martin Scorsese has a way of just getting under my skin, and generally not in a good way.  I want to like him.  The man is a truly a film-lover full of knowledge and appreciation of film history and theory.  Very few within Hollywood 'royalty' can claim the intensity of his study of cinema.  I salute him for that repeatedly however for me - his films always leave much to be desired.  Maybe it's because I'm a woman and his films are generally overtly masculine.  I really don't know what it is but over and over again, I'm unenthusiastic about all of it.  Shutter Island was a bit of a snooze fest.  I honestly don't have a lot to say about it.  Seems like those couple of hours could have been spent on something more interesting. 

Food, Inc

I appreciate a good investigative documentary however I am always leery of what I'm being told because I know how incredibly powerful and manipulative a documentarian can be to forward their agenda.  I despise people reaching gargantuan decisions about the way they live or what they believe exclusively because of what someone manufactured in the edit suite.  I don't mean to say there isn't truth in every documentary and I also don't mean to imply that they aren't useful tools to raise awareness for important issues.  I'm merely stating that we must all seek out multiple sources for our information and sometimes look in unexpected places.  Be your own detective if you must.  The truth is out there - a documentary will always be showcased through the biased lens of whoever is telling the story no matter how 'observational' it may appear.

With all that said, Food, Inc is eye-opening and incredibly disturbing.  It makes you to want to pick up the phone, call the president and say, "fix this".  The truth is, the change will need to come from us.   Start little.  Clearly, we can't all afford local and organic foods.  However little bits will add up if we all try.  We live in one of the most bountiful nations in the world and we've allowed it to become driven by corporate greed.  In the end, it's leading to our demise slowly but surely.

Youth in Revolt

Okay Mr. Cera.  Can you break free from George Michael's character?  Is it indeed possible?  That's my only question going into this movie.  Umm, you kind of did!?  Yay for you!  Youth in Revolt  was at times hilarious and at times only meant for teenage boys.  However, the quirkiness worked to its advantage and overall I was left amused rather than annoyed.

Zack Galifianakis, Steve Buscemi, and Jean Smart were drastically underutilized.  They're such all-stars and weren't the scene-stealers that they should have been.   However, the movie would have been incredibly flat without them.

Michael Cera?  It's time for you to get a new character to play.  Hopefully you will surprise us in the upcoming Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World.