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Posts Tagged ‘Adam Brody’

Jennifer’s Body (revisited)

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024

Seeing LISA FRANKENSTEIN pushed me to do something I’ve been meaning to do for years – rewatch JENNIFER’S BODY (2009). Uncharacteristically, I came right home from the theater and put it on. It made a good double feature.

In a way it doesn’t seem like that long ago, but in other ways it seems like ancient history. It was Diablo Cody’s second movie, coming two years after JUNO, which won her the best original screenplay Oscar. Director Karyn Kusama was on her third movie, trying to make a comeback after AEON FLUX (2005), her one studio project after the indie smash GIRLFIGHT (2000). Since then she’s done THE INVITATION (2015) and DESTROYER (2018) and lots of acclaimed television. (read the rest of this shit…)

Anatomy of a Fall/American Fiction

Monday, January 22nd, 2024

Awards Season Catchup Double Feature: ANATOMY OF A FALL and AMERICAN FICTION

There’s a specialized little genre of music I love – modern funk bands doing covers of classic hip hop songs. It’s just a best of both worlds kind of situation, combining my two favorite types of music, and bringing things full circle in a way. So much of hip hop comes from curating and collaging the best parts of old funk songs, and now we’ve got new funk bands curating the best hip hop songs and filtering the sound through their instruments. Many of them also have a working knowledge of the sampled works, covering them as well or mixing them with a song that sampled them. That happens on the two albums of Wu-Tang Clan covers by El Michels Affair, as well as Brownout’s Public Enemy tribute Fear of a Brown Planet. I also have this record called Expansions by the German group Bacao Rhythm & Steel Band where they cover Jay-Z’s “Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” but also “Space,” Galt MacDermot’s song famously sampled in “Woo Ha” by Busta Rhymes. And they play them with steel drums! So I immediately recognized their cover of 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P.” when it started playing at the beginning of the Palme d’or winning French legal drama ANATOMY OF A FALL (Anatomie d’une chute), and I was surprised. I was even more surprised when it turned out to be an important part of the story, played about as much as “Fight the Power” is in DO THE RIGHT THING. Wouldn’t have guessed that in a million years, even with hints. I hope they play it every time it’s up for anything at the Oscars or any of those. (read the rest of this shit…)

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Tuesday, June 20th, 2023

After watching BLACK ADAM I figured I might as well complete my DC movie checklist before seeing THE FLASH, by crossing off SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS. Not that I was against seeing it otherwise. I wouldn’t say I loved 2019’s SHAZAM!, but I was pleasantly surprised – as I said in my review, I thought it was a decent kids movie with some laughs, some monsters, and some sweetness.

Of course, I also said “I don’t really care if there’s another one or not” except that I was excited by the introduction of a talking caterpillar villain at the end. If I had remembered that I might’ve been disappointed that this sequel is not about the talking caterpillar, but also maybe I would’ve thought it was a funnier joke when he appears briefly to say he’s not quite ready to enact his evil plot yet. It is a funny followup to the previous teaser, even moreso now that it seems unlikely to ever be followed up on. (read the rest of this shit…)

Scream 4 (revisited)

Friday, March 17th, 2023

As I mentioned in my SCREAM VI review and elsewhere, I consider Wes Craven’s SCREAM (1996) to be one of the great horror films of the ‘90s, and since then I have dutifully watched each of the sequels as they were released and enjoyed at least parts of them. SCREAM 2 seemed quite good in 1997, but my attachment to it has faded over the years. SCREAM 3 was disappointing in 2000, and hasn’t much grown on me. That seemed to be the end of it, and it seemed questionable when a SCREAM 4 came along 11 years later.

I remember I saw it at a preview screening. After the debacle of CURSED and the (enjoyable) mess of MY SOUL TO TAKE, I didn’t necessarily believe that Craven would be able to pull off the difficult task of a decade-plus-later part 4 that few had asked for. I also remember there was a guy sitting near the front talking to himself and the screen throughout the movie, being pretty annoying, but when it was over and he was leaving he made direct eye contact with me and said, “That was great!” with so much more enthusiasm than I had for the movie that I forgave him. (read the rest of this shit…)

Promising Young Woman

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN is a black comedy I heard some good things about and had been wanting to see for a while and then right around the time it came out on disc it got nominated for best picture, director, original screenplay, actress and editing Oscars. Okay – didn’t know it was gonna be that kind of party, but I’m down.

The movie opens in a bar as three co-worker bros talk shit. One of them (Adam Brody, JENNIFER’S BODY) seems like the nice one, standing up for a female co-worker the other guys are complaining about, and seeming unimpressed by their sexist horndog talk. And of course when they spot Cassie (Carey Mulligan, DRIVE [the Refn one, not the Dacascos one]) so plastered she can barely sit upright on a bench, he’s the one who goes over and tries to make sure she’s okay.

Put quotes on that last phrase. We all kinda know where this is going: he offers her a ride home, playing it like hey, I know what this looks like, but I’m just trying to make sure she gets home safe before some jerk comes along. But the next thing you know it’s why don’t you come up to my apartment and let’s have a drink (!?) and then he’s on top of her taking her clothes off while she asks him what he’s doing and he keeps telling her it’s okay, she’s safe.

And actually she is fairly safe, because as she reveals when she sits up, she’s completely sober. She just has this hobby of faking drunk to see what assholes try to take advantage of her, and then shame them when they do. Try to scare them out of doing it again. Just a weird vigilante crusade of hers. (read the rest of this shit…)

Ready or Not

Monday, September 9th, 2019

READY OR NOT is a funny horror movie about one of the less romantic wedding nights. Grace (Samara Weaving, Ash vs. Evil Dead, MONSTER TRUCKS, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI) is nervous about marrying into the Le Domas family, who are super rich from their great grandfather or whoever’s board game company. So when the groom, Alex (Mark O’Brien, ARRIVAL), explains the family tradition that at midnight they have to go downstairs and play a game with the family, she doesn’t complain. She’ll do any silly thing to win them over.

They challenge her to a game of hide and seek. If she can stay away from them until dawn, she wins. She laughs and doesn’t take it seriously until she realizes they’re taking it very seriously. Like, trying to kill her seriously. (read the rest of this shit…)

Summer Movie Flashback: Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

tn_mrandmrssmith

2005
2005

MR. & MRS. SMITH is an action comedy from Doug Liman, the director of THE BOURNE IDENTITY and JUMPER.  It has had a bigger imprint on pop culture than JUMPER because it caused Brad Pitt to ditch the lady he was with at the time and stick with his wife in the movie, LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER THE CRADLE OF LIFE star Angelina Jolie. The two play John and Jane Smith (of course), who have been married for “5 or 6 years” without knowing that each other are highly skilled assassins for rival secret organizations. It’s kind of like TRUE LIES I guess but less hateful, more equal (though also the action, like the movie in general, is not as huge).

John works out of a cluttered headquarters like a construction office, his partner a misogynist loser who lives in his Mom’s basement (Vince Vaughn, his shtick already pretty worn out by that point). John keeps his weapons in a secret bunker under the tool shed. Jane’s firm is a high tech MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE type joint in a high rise. She seems to be the boss, pampered by an all female, all model staff including Kerry Washington. At one point she tells two of them to make her coffee. Her weapons, of course, are in a secret compartment under the oven.
(read the rest of this shit…)