Super 8 (2011)
Cheating a little here. I watched this last week but hoo-doggy did I freaking love it. An homage to Steven Spielberg that is The Goonies, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. all wrapped up in a mind-blowingly beautiful movie with some of the best kid actors I've seen in a long time. Is there some tension at the Fanning household now? Methinks there might be, because Elle, Dakota's little sister, is fabulous here and steals the show. The train crash at the beginning was big and loud and crazy and a lot of CGI but it didn't bother me so much because it was just awesome to watch. At the end of the film, all I could think was, "Hey! I really wanted to see the movie the kids were shooting!" And they totally show it in the credits which made me giddy. Pretty good little zombie flick for it being shot by 10 year olds, I must say.
The Help (2011)So many rave reviews and award nominations came out of this movie and I'm a sucker for that kind of stuff so I had to at least give it a chance. Though it's a bit long, I really enjoyed this movie as well. Emma Stone is one of my new favorite actresses, as she has more than delivered performance-wise in everything I've seen her in (I even loved Easy A) and as Skeeter in The Help she adds to much of the film's comic relief and heart. I always get angered at movies set during the 50s that focus on the civil rights movement (is that supposed to be capitalized or not?) because it absolutely boggles my mind that people acted or even ever thought that way. Building another bathroom in your house because you don't want your black maid to use the same toilet as you? Really? Yet they counted on them to raise their children and do everything around the house because they were too lazy to do it. That's insane to me. So the story that this movie explores - where the maids get to share all their horror stories about working for bitchy white people - is a breath of fresh air to me, and I think the movie handled it well and produced something really good.
Seen this one about 25 times already but for some reason I had to break it off the DVD shelf the other day. Clue is by far my favorite board game EVER, though no one likes to play with me much because I always win (never be afraid to make a guess! And keep notes on who has what cards, that always works for me... and never forget that I am always Miss Scarlet) and the movie version of this great game is fantastic. Tim Curry, Lesley Ann Warren, Christopher Lloyd, and one of my all-time favorites Madeline Kahn all make this an immensely entertaining and hilarious movie to watch from start to finish. Kahn is a bit more subdued in this role but she does have that great scene... "I hated her SO MUCH. It was... FLAMES... flames... on the side of my face... heaving... heaving breaths..." Kills me every time.
Straw Dogs (2011)Oh, another remake. And I'm not for sure on how I feel about this one yet. It was fairly well-made, and James Marsden didn't bother as much as he usually does so that's a plus. But they break away from the main storyline too much and dwells on that Jeremy dude who apparently is some kind of pedophile but it's never explained. Speaking of that, the rape scene here is just as confusing as it was in the original. I feel horrible saying this, but in both films it looks like a half-rape half-sex scene between Amy and Charlie like she sorta wants to do it but doesn't at the same time. Not very feminist of me, but you can't deny that this scene is a little weird because I can't tell if she's giving in out of fear of more physical pain or because there's still some feelings there for Charlie. Anyway. One thing this movie does wrong is the end battle where some of the killings are too stylized and not realistic at all - the nail gun and the bear trap, mostly. Also, the movie takes too long to get to the exciting parts and has too many characters, when the story should have centered more on David and Amy and the hooligans.
Leon: The Professional (1994)
Ah, one of my favorite movies ever! I used to watch this all the time on TV (it was one of USA's favorite movies for a while there, too) and liked it as a fun action flick but when I watched it as I was older and was looking at movies in a different way, I saw this movie in a completely different way, too. This is a movie with a big heart and a very emotional story to tell, it's not just about guns and blowing things up or Gary Oldman acting like a psycho, although that is always fun to watch. Natalie Portman delivers one of the best movies of her whole career, even though she was only 11 years old and it was her first movie. She and Jean Reno are beautiful together and they, and Luc Besson the director, created something very special with this movie. Love it to death.
Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010)This guy I work with talked about how excited he was for this movie a while ago and I never got around to looking into it or anything. But I saw earlier this week that it was on Netflix and decided to give it a go right away. So glad I did! Though it was not quite as funny as it could have been, I loved the story of two nice hillbillies being mistaken for the cliched butchering hillbillies that so many other horror movies have relied on. Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine play the title characters to a T, although I was more excited to see Tudyk (love him from Firefly) when the movie was more about the Dale character. But Labine is so freaking lovable in his role that I was totally sucked in and loved watching this story unfold. The psycho preppy kid with the popped collar was also hilarious in his role of wanting to kill Tucker and Dale, plus some of the death scenes were fabulous and hilarious as well. Diving into the woodchipper and impaling yourself on sharp sticks is simply brilliant. This movie was a fun ride, really enjoyed it.