Annapalooza

My Top Movie “Awards”, Extra Snarky Addition November 16, 2012

Since MTV is known for giving out its own unconventional movie awards (Best Kiss, Best Fight, Best On-Screen Dirtbag, etc.) I thought I would come up with my own little movie awards. Although most of these are probably not actual awards but rather my own snarky opinion…but nonetheless if I could bestow my obscure “honors” on certain films, this is what I would say:

Movie I Surprisingly Never FinishedAvatar. Believe me, I’ve tried. I fell asleep both times. But I get the gist of it: Humans are bad, greedy people who always exploit the earth for their own personal gain; blue people are peaceful and noble fairytale-land dwellers. Yawn. No wonder I couldn’t stay awake to finish this. Isn’t that whole storyline getting old? How many more movies can be made about evil humans disrespecting the earth? Does Al Gore own a movie studio I’m not aware of?

Movie Remake I Never Should Have Seen But Did AnywayFootloose. I’ll admit I was warned; nobody should mess with a Kevin Bacon classic, but somebody did…and of course I was disappointed. P.S.: Ren is not from Boston! He is from Chicago!

Movie I Needed to Google for a SummaryTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Not even hot Colin Firth could save me from zoning out during this one, and that is saying a lot since he is my favorite Brit.

Movie That Left Me Hanging Too MuchMartha Marcy May Marlene. I understand that some of the most brilliant movies need to end with a cliffhanger or a big question mark. After all, how do you neatly wrap up the story of a woman who escapes an abusive cult, especially since she never tells her confused family about her previous life? You can’t. So if you hate movies where the ending leaves you saying, “What the…that’s it? And there’s no sequel?” then stay away from this one.

Non-Horror Movie That Scared the Hell Out of MeMelancholia. You just know that something is not right with Kirsten Dunst. Something tipped me off when she slept with another man on her wedding night. But then you learn that she knows the end of the world is coming, and you can’t blame her for going off the deep end. But unlike other films where Will Smith or Bruce Willis is there to save us, (spoiler alert!) everyone is doomed.

Most Irritating Kristen Stewart Movie Moment. Believe me folks, it was hard to narrow this one down to just one scene, but I have finally decided on the final scene in Snow White and the Huntsmen.

So there is Kristen, aka Snow White, standing among her court as she is once again crowned the rightful queen. You know she is scanning the crowd for the hunky Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth, looking downright meaty). After all he basically saved her ass, and they shared this hot flirtation while fighting off the bad guys.  Then suddenly the Huntsman emerges from the crowd, they lock eyes…and…and…nothing. Kristen just sits there with her mouth slightly open. Would somebody please call Susan Lucci and teach this girl how to play “lustful and regal”? I guess that’s what happens when you are having an affair with the director and he is apparently too jealous to give you any romantic scenes in the entire movie.

Movie I Didn’t Realize Was Bad Until Years LaterXanadu. We were all just coming off the high which was the movie Grease. We didn’t care how crappy the movie, we just wanted more Olivia Newton-John; she could do no wrong. Hence I sat through this disaster as well as the horrible Two of a Kind with John Travolta.

Bad Movie I Will Keep Watching AnywayGrease 2. All of the teenagers were played by 35-year-olds. (And how old was “Crater Face” from the Scorpions, who was still running with a teenage gang, even though he looked about fifty?) But I still can’t tear myself away from the bad (but catchy!) songs and that dreamy Maxwell Caulfield who played British exchange student Michael. Plus those twins from the short-lived TV show “Double Trouble” were in it.

Recent Disappointing MovieMagic Mike.  There were a couple problems here. The first is that what started out as a lighthearted look at the world of male stripping took a really dark turn into a whole drugs and business ethics storyline. Secondly, I understand how you are trying to be all arty, Steven Soderbergh, but shooting the film in that 1970’s gritty style does not give us ladies a clear picture of Channing Tatum’s chiseled abs. Shame on you for placing your artistic integrity above your audience’s shallow desires.

 

Review: “The Muppets” December 1, 2011

Filed under: Movie Reviews,Pop Culture — aniederkorn @ 11:28 pm
Tags: , , ,

I think there are two types of people in this world:  those that “get” The Muppets and those that do not.  I am firmly in the former camp, as I grew up watching this beloved show and always found it hilarious.  So when I went to see the latest Muppet movie, I was curious to see if the brand of campy Muppet humor would translate to a new generation.

A funny thing happened though.  There were no children in the entire movie theater.  It was a 6:30 p.m. showing, yet the people who showed up were just like me:  nostalgic adults who also longed to see the signature Muppet wackiness returned to the big screen.

About the movie:  I was happy that Jason Segel was in charge of the whole Muppet reincarnation, taking on both writing and acting duties.  If you know anything about this guy, you know that he is a Muppet fanatic and would do anything to make this movie a success.  If you’ve seen him in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” then you’ll also know that he is a talented and creative puppeteer.

Segel manifests his own love for the Muppets through a new Muppet character named Walter.  Although Walter is a Muppet, he is also the brother to Segel’s character,Gary.  If you were a true Muppet fan, this would not bother you – it can’t be explained, it’s just normal in a world where Muppets exist alongside humans.  The humans still take a back seat to the Muppets, however, which I’m glad Segel had the prudence to do.

Walter and Gary grew up watching “The Muppet Show” on TV, and Walter is still a superfan after all of these years, watching old VHS tapes of the show.  In the meantime, The Muppets have pretty much dropped into a life of obscurity, and the Muppet Studios are about to be bought out by an evil oil prospector.  Of course this can’t happen, so the Muppets need to come together and put on a telethon in order to save the studio.  This premise allows us to meet the Muppets once again; it’s a clever way to introduce them to Muppet virgins while still delightfully entertaining us veterans. 

The musical numbers are light and cheery, except for one slightly awkward song called “Party for One” sung by Amy Adams (who plays Gary’s girlfriend).  Sure, some jokes are silly and leave you groaning, but that is part of the Muppet charm.

Be prepared for lots of celebrity cameos, including some obviously hand-picked just to attract the younger crowd.  However, there is still the same style of ageless Muppet humor and silly acts all performed in the “big show”, including the actual reproduction of the opening “Muppet Show” montage, just as it was in the 1980’s (grumpy old men and all).

One complaint:  No Pigs in Space?

 

The Footloose Dilemma October 14, 2011

  

I knew this day was coming.  I read the initial announcement and then subsequent casting changes in Us Weekly.  I endured the previews at the movie theater.  I saw (but did not view) the clips posted on my Facebook page. 

That’s right.  I’m talking about the re-make of Footloose which hits theaters nationwide today.

The thing is, I’m terribly torn.  On one hand, it is almost blasphemous to remake such a classic from my childhood.  After all, it produced my first preteen crush in Kevin Bacon (who incidentally was 27 at the time, much like my other crush, Ralph Macchio.  What was with these guys playing teenagers?)  I went to see it at the theater three whole times.  I bought the VHS version as soon as it was available in stores.  My soundtrack tape was played until I knew every song by heart.  I still request the title song at every wedding dance, and I perform the prom dance to the final refrain.

So when I first learned that someone was actually going to touch my baby, I was a bit disturbed.  Who could possibly replace Kevin Bacon, not to mention the brilliant John Lithgow and Dianne Wiest?  What about Ren’s goofy sidekick Willard? (May Chris Penn rest in peace).  And then there is Sarah Jessica Parker as she was breaking out of her nerdy Square Pegs persona.  It’s refreshing proof that she didn’t always weigh 90 pounds. 

It’s not like a Footloose remake has not been attempted before.  I was one of the few who actually saw the Broadway version, and let me tell you folks, it wasn’t pretty.  There was a whole big line dancing number in it.  Line dancing!  I was also pretty miffed when the Footloose icon on my Facebook page automatically changed to the new 2011 version without my permission.  Now when someone sees the list of my favorite movies, they will see the poster for the non-Bacon version.  That’s just not right.

On the other hand, I am a sucker for cheesy dance movies, especially if they contain various musical montages, an art clearly perfected in the mid 1980’s.  To this day I still tease my mom that she would not let me see Dirty Dancing in the theater, even though I was fourteen years old.  I guess she was afraid that I too would be seduced by a thirty-something resort dance instructor.  Anyway, if the dance movie involves preparation for some sort of dance-off or competition, then it’s even better.  Case in point:  Flashdance. Girls Just Want to Have Fun.  Step Up.  Honey.  Breakin’ 2:  Electric Boogaloo.  You get the idea.  In the case of Footloose, it’s Ren teaching Willard how to dance.      

To be fair, some classics have been beautifully remade; True Grit and Pride and Prejudice come to mind.  (I never thought that anyone could replace John Wayne nor Colin Firth, but they turned out just fine).  However, my mind lingers with bothersome questions.  If I see the new movie, will I be betraying my loyalty to the original?  Will I be surrounded by a bunch of teenagers who don’t even realize this is a remake?  Will I then go into a tirade about all the sampling in the music industry and start lecturing a random sixteen year-old about Kid Rock’s horrible mash-up of Werewolves of London and Sweet Home Alabama?  Who knows what will happen.

Sigh…I know what will happen.  Stay tuned for a review.