This week, I’m a little late with the post, but it’s because I’ve been watching a movie I really love. The more I’ve watched this flick, the more I identify with the characters.
This week, I’m focusing on The DUFF. I wasn’t sure I’d like this movie because it seemed like yet another teen flick. What would make this one resonate with me? It’s about teens and I’m not a teen any longer.
It’s the pecking order thing and knowing your place. Bianca, the main character, has been labeled a Designated Ugly Fat Friend by her perceived as better looking friends. It’s all about perception. She thinks she’s not as good as the others, so she tries to find out why. Then there’s the social pecking order. The people who believe life in high school is only the start of how important they will be for the rest of their lives. This is a microcosm of high school. We want to find our places and how we fit into the world. Bianca chooses to try to improve herself, but all she really needs to do is be herself. High school only lasts for four years. Life goes beyond that.
I was that kid in high school that people knew, but didn’t pay much attention to. I sort of blended in until they needed something. Oh, and I was labeled. Not the DUFF, but a brown-noser. Yeah, how nice was that? I did my thing and didn’t complain, yet I was seen as someone who kissed up to the teachers. It took me a little longer than Bianca to realize I wasn’t just that one thing. So I was the weird kid? So I wasn’t like everyone else? Didn’t mean I didn’t want to be a little bit like them. Didn’t mean I didn’t want to be accepted. I’m older now and am comfortable in my own skin. The DUFF proves you should be yourself. It might not be the easiest thing to do, but it’s worthwhile. You’re being true to you.
There aren’t too many movies that make me squirm. Secretary was one of those movies. I can’t say I squirmed because of the sexual content. Honestly, that didn’t affect me all that much. What did bother me was the subject manner…the relationship between Lee and Mr. Holloway how hot and cold it could be…and her cutting.
Lee was a ball of confusion, stuffed into an awkward dress. She deals with her problems by cutting. I can’t imagine doing something like that to my body and seeing what she went through did make me cringe. I enjoyed watching her journey to find success, despite her background and family. Good grief was her family a mess…
There is definitely a sexy angle to the story. Lee enters into a BDSM sort of relationship with Mr. Holloway. James Spader is great as Mr. Holloway. He does unhinged, but with a tick of control very well. Maggie Gyllenhaal is fantastic as Lee. You feel for her, even when some of the things she does doesn’t seem to make sense.
Watch this movie if you want a different perspective on BDSM relationships and healing. It’s not that other BDSM movie by any stretch and that’s a good thing. If it were hokey in any way, that would take away from Lee’s growth as a character. Her character must be handled delicately. There are some odd moments in this movie, but definitely worth watching at least once.
This week, I thought I’d talk about a movie I’d long wanted to see, but hadn’t had the chance. Mannequin. There are certain movies that are revered as being an everyone’s seen this kind of movie. To me, Mannequin was one of those movies. I hadn’t seen it and I was missing out.
I have to admit, I’m a sucker for Andrew McCarthy movies. I don’t know. I guess it’s his special mix of silliness and nerdiness, while still being handsome that does something for me. This one didn’t disappoint.
Andrew McCarthy plays an artist-slash-window dresser who happens to lose his job (one of a hundred so it seems) and by coincidence, ends up at the store where Emmy happens to be. I loved Estelle Getty in this flick. She’s not Sophia from the Golden Girls and it’s refreshing. She’s got great comic timing. James Spader plays the baddie, yet again, quite well. I almost have a hard time liking him as a character when he’s NOT playing the bad guy. He does smarmy so well. Meshach Taylor does a great star turn as McCarthy’s side-kick. He has the flair and was funny. A tad dated, but I could overlook it.
I’ll admit one must suspend their disbelief a lot for this movie. The premise is almost laughable, but I wanted escapism. I wanted a happy ending, too, and wasn’t in the mood for a Hallmark flick. I had a pretty good idea what I was getting when I started this film and I wasn’t disappointed. If you want something fluffy and a little ridiculous, but fun, then this might be the film for you.
I have to admit, I’ve been on a bit of a Tyrone Power bender of late. He’s handsome. Who can deny that? Some of his movies were pure schmaltz, but that’s okay. I wanted something light-ish.
Johnny Apollo isn’t a light movie. Not by a long shot. It’s not super heavy, but it’s not dashing-leading-man-sexy-and-fun fare that I’m used to by Power. Sure, he took a serious turn in Nightmare Alley, Blood and Sand and Witness for the Prosecution, but I guess I wasn’t expecting this story to be quite so dark. Still, I enjoyed the viewing.
Johnny Apollo is definitely a movie of it’s time. The mob was in full force and so was the depression. The notion that crime doesn’t pay is woven throughout the film. Yes the crime happened and Johnny wanted it for the right reasons, not the wrong ones… still it doesn’t pay.
I liked how Power played the character of Bob Cain, aka Johnny Apollo, like George Clooney might play him–dashing and sexy, but stern. He knows he’s doing bad things, but he makes it look…good. There’s a certain naivete in his performance that shows through the film. His heart is in the right place and he’s trying to earn the love and respect of his father. It’s typical of a young adult or one just out of college to think they know it all and while I agreed with some of Power’s character’s assessments, I could see the father’s side, too.
Power is shot well…almost better than costar Dorthy Lamour. You know he’s the star turn in this film. He’s handsome even in jail after being in solitary confinement for a while. That’s a challenge.
The movie isn’t long and it’s not bubbly fun, but it’s interesting to watch. I recommend Johnny Apollo if you want a crime drama or just another one of Power’s films for a Tyrone Power film fest. You can’t go wrong with Johnny Apollo…even if he’s very wrong.
It’s time for the Monday Movie Rundown. Stay tuned for news, but first, my review!
This past week, I caught yet another Tyrone Power movie. This time it was Day-Time Wife.
Initially, I thought this was a Hallmark channel fluff piece movie. It’s from 1939, well after the Hayes Code went into major enforcement. The man can cheat, but the wife can’t and as long as he’s sorry…it’s okay. Hmm… I realize it was part of the times, but I didn’t like him cheating.
At first, I thought there was a lot of schmaltz in this movie. Sweet, but not too offensive. Then came Jane’s, the wife, reason for getting a job with the business rival of her husband–because he was stepping out with his secretary. I get the idea of people getting married and sticking it out through thick and thin might be old-fashioned, but I wanted to see that.
I wasn’t fond of Jane’s attitude or the way she went about outting her husband. She seemed to think it was fine to cheat if he did and got almost a perverse thrill out of goading him. Hey, he deserved it, but I had hoped she’d have been a tad stronger of a woman. Rise above. I don’t know.
Still, there was fun and a cute dog. Can’t go wrong when there’s a dog in the family.
This was a good watch to represent the simpleness of the late 1930s and Power is shot well. He’s lit as if he were the leading lady. If you want a fluff story to pass an afternoon, this might be the movie for you.
NOW FOR THE NEWS!! Monday Movie Rundown is moving to Thursday. Why? It’s football season! Starting next Monday, the Monday Morning Armchair Quarterback is back! I can’t wait!!
This week I thought I’d talk about an oldie but goodie movie I’ve seen a couple of times, but haven’t watched recently until this past weekend. Inherit the Wind is a must-see movie.
In the movie, which takes place in the early part of the twentieth century, a teacher was taken to task for teaching evolution in school. Now today this would seem ridiculous. We’ve all learned about evolution. We learn science. But all those years ago, the church was the thing and the only way children were taught until secondary school. Science was considered…questionable. Can you imagine questioning science? But arguing that creationism was real…it happened. This movie tells a version (it’s a thinly veiled version of the debates between Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan and the teacher is based on a real person, John Thomas Scopes – hence the references in the marketing material about the Scopes Monkey trial) of the trial involving that teacher and those who wanted to bring him down.
Besides seeing actors I know from other situations – Col Potter from MASH is there, Darren from Bewitched, Mr Roeper from Three’s Company as well as Gene Kelly – there is the fantastic speech given by Spencer Tracy most of the way through the film, was very taxing on Tracy and done in one take. When you consider it was done in one take and all at one time…it boggled my mind.
Although the players in the movie aren’t real, they are based on real people. This movie is one to watch more than once and to discuss. Why? The moral of the story is when we fear something and don’t take the time to try to understand, we just might be hosing ourselves over.
I didn’t join the X-Men fandom until later in the game. I didn’t rush to see the first three movies. In fact, I saw them completely out of order. But this post isn’t about which of those movies was better or what order to watch them in. This one is about X-Men – Days of Future Past, primarily the Rogue Edition.
I loved X-Men First Class. I thought the writing was snappy and it had a very James Bond flair to it. That was the point, but unlike some, I got it right away. I saw it because I have a thing for James McAvoy. Hey, at least I’m honest. I loved it and devoured the rest of his films.
So when I found out about Future Past, I had to see it. I did. In the theatre, all by myself. It was a great time. But there were moments in the movie that didn’t quite make sense. I kept thinking, why did that cut happen? They were going some where…why didn’t they finish?
It took me a while to hunt down the Rogue Edition of the movie. When I did, all of those pieces I thought made no sense did. The extended pieces with Quicksilver and the better explanation between Kitty and Bobby were great. I recommend viewing both versions of the film, but this one IMHO was better.