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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Tag Archives: Elizabeth McGovern

The House of Mirth (2000)

The grubbiest paws aren’t always the easiest to bother.

Lily (Gillian Anderson) is a ravishing socialite who takes her charm and beauty for granted. For one, she thinks she’s way better than a lot of those around her and while she’s not necessarily wrong, said beauty and charm does start to bring all sorts of interest her way in the form of men, but it also brings upon jealousy in the form of the fellow women who surround her and can’t stand the fact that she gets so many eyes towards her ways. And just like a lady did back in the day, she seeks a wealthy husband and, in trying to conform to social expectations, she misses her chance for real love with Lawrence Selden (Eric Stoltz), a man she think she’s better than, even though he thinks that they would be perfect, no matter what. Eventually, her search for a husband takes her to many different men and prospects, none of whom quite work out once Lily is accused of having an affair with a married-man, not just making her bad news, but also an outcast from the rest of the socialites who she used to wine and dine with so often.

See? There’s those long walks.

The best period-pieces are the ones that, no matter how old the tales in them are, or are taking place, still hold some relevancy in today’s day and age and can be looked at through the modern-eye. The House of Mirth is such a period-piece, in which we get a classic tale of a woman trying to find love, be rich, and relaxed for the rest of her life, which isn’t all that relevant nowadays, but sooner or later, eventually does. To say that the House of Mirth takes a turn for pure darkness about halfway through wouldn’t be necessarily such a spoiler, because it’s a story that’s been around for many years and it’s also quite obvious by a certain point just where the story itself is actually headed.

But there’s still something about its deep dive into sadness and darkness that still sticks with me.

And honestly, it’s a true testament to writer/director Terence Davies, who not only has a knack for nailing the period-details to this story down perfectly, but also knows how to make each and every one of these characters, inherently interesting just in the way that they are. Sure, watching a movie where a bunch of rich people bicker, eat, drink, dance, take long walks, and gossip, may not seem like the most entertaining two hours ever put to screen, but somehow, Davies makes it all click and pop off of the screen. He doesn’t take these characters, or this story, as a product of its time, but instead, a product of any time, where rich people sneer at those who they feel are lesser than them, for sometimes awfully silly and ridiculous reasons.

Which is why the House of the Mirth, both the source-material, as well as the movie, still work, way beyond most other period-pieces do. It’s a tale of love, sure, but it’s also a rather chilling, disturbing tale of one person’s descent into sheer madness and depression, and just how that can all happen, solely through people’s words and actions. It follows a very clear path early on and never really strays away from it, but the path is compelling to watch; we know where the story is headed, but to watch it all play out, as sad as it can sometimes get, honestly, is hard to turn away from. It’s like a train-crash you see from a mile away, can’t do anything about, and for some reason, you don’t want to miss the end-result of.

Just take him, Lily! Don’t be silly!

Okay, so that maybe that’s a bit harsh, but you get my point.

And of course, the movie works as well as it does because Davies has assembled a pretty solid ensemble here, what with Gillian Anderson leading the charge as the complex and heartbreaking Lily Bart, a character we get to know, love, and feel so much sympathy for over the two hours. Anderson has always been a very strong actress and it’s interesting to see her here, because she has to show so much emotion, by barely showing much at all; it’s the kind of stuffy, yet, subtle performance so many actresses try to work with and nail, that Anderson does so flawlessly here. Watching her try to navigate through life, as well as all of these various people around her, can truly be hard-to-watch, but she always stays rich, true and honest, and it’s why her character works as well as it does, all issues aside.

Eric Stoltz also has a nice role as the love of Lily’s life who, for some reason, she doesn’t ever come around to loving because she think she’s better than him; Anthony LaPaglia plays another possible suitor for Lily who, may or may not, have the best intentions in mind; Dan Aykroyd gives a truly surprising and shocking performance as a married-man who instantly takes a liking to Lily and wants to help her out in any way that he can, with obvious strings attached; Terry Kinney plays a very similar character; Laura Linney plays a married-woman who doesn’t take so much of a liking to Lily’s naughty ways; and the same goes for Elizabeth McGovern.

Basically, everyone here is evil, sick, or twisted. But hey, they’re rich, so they’re able to get away with.

Consensus: As stuffy and blase as it may start, the House of Mirth soon turns into a sad, shocking and rather upsetting tale of class and gender roles that still feels relevant.

8 / 10

Then again, can you blame all men for practically drooling over this woman?

Photos Courtesy of: All About Gillian

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Johnny Handsome (1989)

It kills to look so good.

Due to a disfigured face, John (Mickey Rourke) has spent most of his life either being ridiculed, or never understood. The only thing that he really knows to do in life is set up heists and have them to according to plan. And for his latest one, everything works out perfectly, with all of the money being taken, and very little casualties, until, well, he gets double-crossed and left to be arrested by the cops. John is soon taken into custody where a doctor who specializes in facial-reconstruction surgery (Forest Whitaker) wants to test something out on John and see, if at all possible, he can get him to look like a normal person. It works, but of course, John himself has a lot to get used to, with people not staring at him any longer. And then, sooner than later, John’s out of jail, back on the streets, and ready to be an everyday, law abiding citizen. But before he does any of that, he wants to get revenge on the two criminals, Sunny Boyd (Ellen Barkin) and Rafe Garrett (Lance Henriksen), who screwed him over in the first place.

Eric Stoltz?

Johnny Handsome is an odd movie because, as is the case with most of Hill’s movies, it seems like it wants to be two different one simultaneously. There’s one aspect that wants to be this goofy, high-concept heist-thriller with guns, action, violence, drugs, booze, and cursing, but then there’s this other, that wants to be a thoughtful, quiet and small character-study about this guy Johnny and how he learns to get along with life after finding a new lease on it. By no means has Hill ever been considered the most perfect director for heart-warming tales of humanity, so obviously, the later story doesn’t quite work out for him.

But at least the former does.

And yes, that’s exactly where Johnny Handsome works, in the grit and the action of the tale. As is usually the case, Hill knows how to craft a solid action-sequence, whether it’s a heist scene, or a brawl between two characters, and it just goes to show you what the guy can do, when the material is there for him to play around with. Sure, has he had better action movies on his plate than this one here? Sure, but it also helps that Hill gets a chance to revel in the sleeze that this tale sometimes promises getting to the nitty gritty of. Of course, it doesn’t quite go as far as it should with that, but it gets close enough to make it feel like a worthwhile effort, on the part of Hill’s.

It’s just that, once again, the movie also wants to be something of a stern, serious character-study that, at the center, does have something interesting to say about Johnny himself. But of course, it’s trapped in this wild and rather wacky B-movie that knows what it is, when it’s doing its thing, but when it’s getting away from that, it feels weird. It’s as if Hill knew that there was some true dramatic promise with this premise and did want to develop it a tad bit more, but also didn’t want to scare too many others away from how melodramatic he was able and willing to get.

It’s an odd mix-and-match Hill has to work with here and honestly, in the hands of a much better director, it probably would have worked. Not to say that Hill isn’t a good director, but you can tell his specialties do heavily lie on action, not drama.

I’d hang with them. Maybe not rob a bank, but definitely hang.

But hey, at least the cast is pretty great.

Mickey Rourke, in what would probably be one of the last performances for awhile where he actually seemed to give a crap, does a solid job as Johnny, even though, like I’ve said before, he may be in a tad bit of a different movie. He’s doing his usual cool, calm and collected brooding thing we’ve seen from him before, which may seem a tad dull, but makes sense in the general sense of the story and just who this character is. It would have been nice to see him play this character in a less messier movie, but hey, at least Rourke’s good here.

The real fun from the cast comes from the supporting side. Lance Henriksen is evil and detestable as one of the baddies who rip-off Johnny; Morgan Freeman plays a cop who is on Johnny’s ass from the get-go and seems to push him way too far at times; Elizabeth McGovern is very much playing it serious like Rourke, but is interesting enough to watch; Forest Whitaker plays his doctor character a little creepy, which works; and Ellen Barkin, well, steals the show as Sunny Boyd. As Boyd, Barkin gets to let loose, showing that she can be beautiful, sexy, and a little bit dangerous, never allowing you to fully trust her, but also kind of love her, too. She clearly came ready to play and it’s why her performance is the one worth remembering when all is said and done.

Consensus: Even despite the mess it eventually becomes, Johnny Handsome still gets by on its thrills and excitement given by its talented ensemble.

6 / 10

Oh, there’s the Mickey we all know, love and recognize. Basically, right before he started boxing, for some reason.

Photos Courtesy of: The Film Connoisseur

Unexpected (2015)

Being pregnant most definitely seems to suck. But being with someone who is pregnant, seems to suck, too.

Samantha Abbott (Cobie Smulders) is coming at a bit of a crossroads in her life. Though she’s been a high school science teacher for quite some time, the school she currently teaches at is closing down, which means that in a few months, she’ll be without a job. Her dream job as a tour-guide in a museum looks to be opened-up for her, and while she would most definitely be jumping at the opportunity right away, she now has to deal with something else major in her life: Her pregnancy. Coincidentally, while Samantha finds out that she’s pregnant, a smart student of hers, Jasmine (Gail Bean), also does, too, and they end up spending a lot of time talking about pregnancy, what they want to do, and what’s next for them. Considering that Jasmine was one of Samantha’s more promising students, she takes it as her duty to make sure that Jasmine gets into a good college, while also still being able to keep the baby at the same time. Of course, life doesn’t always go as some expect it to, and this is where Jasmine and Samantha run into problems – sometimes separately, sometimes together.

Anders Holm or John Gallagher Jr? Seriously having a hard time making that one out.

Anders Holm or John Gallagher Jr.? Seriously having a hard time making that one out.

Folks, it’s an old saying, but it’s a very true one: Never judge a book by its cover. If you look to your right, you’ll notice the utterly disastrous hack-job of a poster that is Unexpected‘s. While I’m pretty sure this movie had plenty of praise surrounding it early on, it’s hard to not wonder just what the hell the movie’s deal is: Is it bad, hence the terrible-y photo-shopped poster? Or, is it a good movie that didn’t care too much about advertising or anything like that, because they knew what they working with as is, was worth checking out? It’s definitely the latter, but lord almighty, that poster is terrible.

Anyway, aside from all of that, Unexpected is a pretty great movie and shows that it doesn’t matter what you have at your disposal, in terms of budget or scope – as long as your movie has a believable, breathing and human heart, then it’s all going to work out just fine.

And while some of you may be thinking, “Oh great, another pregnancy dramedy where characters act-out and piss people off all because they have a human growing inside of them,” I can assure you that co-writer/director Kris Swanberg is a whole heck of a lot smarter than that. Sure, some of the acting-out and pissing people off comes into display, but it doesn’t have much to do with the pregnancy, as much as it just has to do with the day-in, day-out frustrations with life itself. Rather than just focusing solely on the life event of pregnancy and all of the hell, as well as pleasure it can put people through, Swanberg uses the whole pregnancy angle to talk more about how people’s lives are affected when things don’t fully go their way.

Both Jasmine and Samantha have certain plans for their futures, but because of their respective pregnancies, they feel as if they not just have to put those plans on-hold for now, but for possibly ever. While Samantha may be all hell-bent on getting Jasmine into college and all settled-in, she seems to constantly forget that she’s got her own problems to deal with and is only just pushing them off, creating more problems of her own, and acting as if there’s nothing totally wrong with her own life or career, for that matter. This may make it sound like Samantha’s a mean, reprehensible character that needs to help out the young, African American kid, only to make herself feel more important, but that isn’t the truth. In a way, she’s a lot like most people; focus on other people’s problems as a way to forget about your own and eventually, they’ll just float away into space.

However, with pregnancy, the problem just doesn’t float away into space. If you decide to keep the baby growing inside of you, it’s a permanent job that will require a whole heck of a lot time, attention and dedication to keeping that creation of yours as happy and as fully-function as it can possibly be. While Unexpected focuses on this idea ever so slightly, it’s not the bulk of the film; wisely enough, it’s mostly about these characters growing up, learning more about life, as well as one another in ways that they never thought they would, had neither one gotten pregnant around the same time as the other had.

But don’t get worried, folks, as this isn’t the Blind Side for young women.

Yup, that's definitely a tell-tale that

Yup, that’s definitely a tell-tale that “something” is going on.

Nope, Swanberg, like I mentioned before, is a lot smarter than that and shows that while Samantha and Jasmine may get along over certain matters of life, in no way, fashion, or shape are they the same person. Sure, they may be going through the same problems in terms of pregnancy and how to handle it all, but when they step outside of that situation, they still have a lot of differences between the two. Rather than point this out and make it seem like a huge problem, the movie instead embraces that fact and shows how these two are willing to work past those differences and make something of an appropriate friendship.

And honestly, it works as well as it does due to the talents of both Cobie Smulders and Gail Bean. While I’ve never seen Bean before, I can easily say that she handles herself well in this role as Jasmine. Though there isn’t an awful lot of heavy-lifting for her to do here, she still blends right into this role as a young teenager who, above all else, just wants things to work out for her, her family, and her on-the-way-child. There’s a certain layer of innocence to her that makes this character all the more realistic and makes me feel that I’ll be seeing more of Bean in the future.

But really, it’s Cobie Smulders who really nails every beat of this movie and shows why exactly it is that she should just drop anymore TV or Marvel roles, and just stick to indie-dramas. With Results and this, Smulders has proven herself to be a very reliable actress when it comes to playing a character as realistic as humanly possible; without ever trying, Smulders makes us see every inch of who this Samantha character is. She may not always make the best decisions, but she still has a good enough heart within her that makes it easy to see the convictions of her actions, which at least makes her sympathetic. Of course Smulders is funny, but honestly, we’ve seen her be able to do that many, many times before and it’s not anything new or surprising.

Now, her sinking into a raw, dramatic-role? There’s something I very much want to see more of.

Consensus: Smart, endearing, and sweet, without ever trying to be too much of either, Unexpected is a small surprise of a film that proves why Smulders deserves more roles of this nature, as well as puts newcomer Gail Bean on our radar’s for the future.

8 / 10

See, now why not just use that image right there and not try to Photoshop everything altogether? God, this is Web Design 101, people!

See, now why not just use that image right there and not try to Photoshop everything altogether? God, this is Graphic Design 101, people!

Photos Courtesy of: Indiewire

Woman in Gold (2015)

The Nazis just can’t help themselves when they see a lovely portrait, apparently.

Gustav Klimt’s iconic painting, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, has stood the test of time and will forever be known as one of the art world’s finest paintings ever created. However, during the Nazis raid on Vienna before WWII, it was confiscated and hidden for many years, all until Austria decided to start showcasing it in is museums. An elderly Holocaust survivor living in Los Angeles by the name of Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), notices this and is ashamed. Why? Well, because the subject of that painting was her aunt and she rightfully believes that the painting belongs to her, in the name of her family and late, great aunt. But for some reason, the Austrian government isn’t budging and doesn’t want to give it back, so this is when Maria calls into a son of one of her friends, E. Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), who doesn’t seem all that involved with the proceedings to really give all the juice that a high-level case like this would need. However, Maria is inspired enough to try and get him to change his mind so that he will see this is not only her battle, but all of Jewish people’s.

Without the eye-brows, one can only assume she's astonished by whatever is in front of her.

Without the eye-brows, one can only assume she’s astonished by whatever is in front of her.

With last year’s the Monuments Men, we got to see the art world portrayed as it almost had never been before: On the gritty and war-torn landscapes of WWII, where people were constantly killing each other left and right, yet, to ensure that a sense of culture would stay alive and well in the years to come, a group of inspired art enthusiasts set out to retrieve pieces of art work that they believed were to be burned away by the Nazis. It was an interesting premise, for sure, and while the movie may have not done it all justice, there was still this intriguing aspect surrounding WWII that isn’t just discussing the obvious; even though everybody is acting in heinous, sadistic ways, that does not mean we have to lose sight of what makes us who we are. And somehow, art is exactly what represents that.

However, this is all just me talking and not at all what this movie discusses. Instead, it has more to do with Maria Altmann, the person, rather than the whole idea that the Nazis stole and most likely destroyed more than half of these foreign countries pieces of art. And for what? Just to prove how mean and grotesque they are? Or was it just to ensure that they would be the tale-tellers of history for generations to come, understand and listen to?

Maybe, maybe not. But hey, look how witty that Maria Altmann was!

Or, at least, that’s what I imagined was going through this movie’s mind as it seems to be more concerned with the lovely, little witticisms Altmann, the character, has to offer. Which is to say that Helen Mirren, for what it’s worth, does a solid job in this role in that she shows us the never ending sadness behind this character that hardly ever seemed to left, even when she did get a chance to escape Vienna and save herself from impending doom. But even with that brave act on her part, still comes the realization that everybody she came to know, love and spend most of her time around in her younger years, are all gone; maybe if they weren’t killed during the Nazis reign, maybe they are now. Maria Altmann is a lonely woman who is literally trying to hold on to whatever source of family or love she has left in her life.

However, this is all me looking deeper and deeper into what is, essentially, a buddy-cop dramedy with Ryan Reynolds and Helen Mirren; which, trust me, isn’t as fun as I may make it sound. Sure, they fight the baddies (in this case, the Austrian government), they bicker, they solve problems, and along the way, get to know more about each other through revealing conversations about their past or their feelings. All that’s missing is any bit of emotion.

Actually, that’s a lie. Because the only time that there is any emotion at all to be found, is whenever we flashback to Altmann’s life in Vienne, both before, as well as during the time where the Nazis came around and started terrorizing everything and everyone they ran into. There’s a sequence that runs for at least ten to 15 minutes where the younger-Altmann (Tatiana Maslany) and her hubby (Jack Irons) are on the run from the Gestapo, which is thrilling and exciting, even if you don’t expect it to be. Because we know that Altmann ultimately survived escaping from Vienna before the Nazis got to her first, this shouldn’t work one bit, but somehow, it totally does and felt like a solid diversion from whatever the hell Riggs and Murtagh were doing or talking about.

Presumably, after they were just involved with a high-speed car-chase with some crooks.

Presumably, after they were just involved with a high-speed car-chase with some crooks.

And I guess there is something to be said by the fact that Reynolds, like Mirren, at least tries with this character, but he isn’t given much of anything else to do except whine a lot and then, seemingly out of nowhere, gain the courage to fight against the Austrian government once and for all. Even Katie Holmes’ performance as his character’s wife, feels like she’s there just to pump him up and give him inspirational pull-quotes that will ultimately do everything for him, but nothing for us. Which is all a problem, especially when you’re begging and pleading with us to be involved with Altmann’s tale of tribulations.

Although Simon Curtis does genuinely seem to care for this story and the outcome of it all, it never seems like he’s putting absolutely all of his heart into it. Instead, he’s just sort of going through the motions of how we’re supposed to feel somewhat compelled by this type of story, until we realize that Curtis himself is using it as material to talk about the fact that there are plenty more paintings out there, either hidden or in plain-view, that were taken away from their rightful owners during the time of war. Once again, this is probably the most interesting notion that the movie seems to highlight, yet, never actually seems to care about.

Instead, he just wants us all to laugh at the cheeky woman that was Maria Altmann, who is about as funny as my alcoholic uncle on New Year’s Eve.

Consensus: Going through all of the motions you expect it to go through, the Woman in Gold seems to suffer from the lack of any sort of emotion, even if both Mirren and Reynolds seem to be digging deep and far to find any of it.

4 / 10

Why have a painting? When you can have the real thing?

Why have a painting? When you can have the real thing?

Photo’s Credit to: IMDB, AceShowbiz

Clash of the Titans (2010)

Why fix what was clearly not broken?

Born of a god but raised as a man, Perseus (Sam Worthington) is thrown into the real-world where Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and his evil ways have seem to take over the rest of the world. To end this all of this pain and suffering throughout the land, Perseus and fellow warriors go on a dangerous mission, where they run into many obstacles along the way. However, seeing that Perseus is indeed Zeus’ (Liam Neeson) son, many of the obstacles can be powered through, except for one. And yes, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Yes, yes, yes! We all know that this movie sucked when it first came out, with post-production 3D and all, but just think about this movie in a different way, if only for a second: Maybe it’s somewhat okay? Alright, maybe that was asking too much but please, do bear with me here as I show you why exactly this flick may not be as bad as people say it is, and say if it is bad, why it is bad in a so-bad-it’s-good-way.

Have I lose anybody yet? Okay, if I have, it’s my fault and my fault alone. But I’m not done here just yet.

The thing about this movie that pissed so many off is the fact that it doesn’t really adhere all that much to the 1981 original. Sure, the story-line and plot-happenings are somewhat the same, but overall, it’s a bit of a different take, with a different way of telling it and a whole new tone that goes in well with what I said before. Then again, the tone here isn’t really too serious that it’s painful to watch, it’s almost so serious, that you can’t help but laugh every five seconds when somebody new decides to throw exposition-upon-exposition down our throats. Even the male-posturing that was always so present within these Greek myths, all gets over-played and used in ways that makes you wonder if the movie was trying to be funny, serious, or nothing at all. More or less, the movie rolls with the last option, but I’m fine with that, as long as it can keep me entertained.

"May we please get your autograph, guy from Avatar?"

“May we please get your autograph, guy from Avatar?”

And entertained is what this movie kept me throughout the whole hour-and-a-half. Basically, the whole movie is built upon three battle-sequences that are supposed to take up the whole run-time and keep us going for more – which seems really stupid considering that this is a movie about titans, having them clash, and eventually fight that lovable sea monster we all know of and love. But somehow, it actually works because the movie injects some fun nature into them. This is most surprising to me, mainly because I know the type of crap that director Louis Leterrier goes for when it comes to his movies, and injecting a quick, shaky-cam is one of them, but it somehow kept this movie moving at a quick-enough pace that I didn’t mind all of the stupidity. And do trust me, there is plenty of stupidity to be had here.

Even though it seems as if three writers were apart of this movie, it doesn’t seem like any of them were able to capture any sort of emotion, feeling or idea to this flick that would make it the least bit more interesting. Instead, everybody yells, screams, commands others to do something, goes “argghh”, and talks about the Gods up above and how dick-ish they are for releasing all of this agony on the people they are supposed to love, care for and watch over. Then again, the movie never really makes up it’s mind of what type of stance it wants to take concerning the Gods. At times, it seems like the movie is saying that to not pray to the Gods and worship them is a sign of being disrespectful and arrogant, but at other times, it tries to say that the Gods are wrong for all of the command they issue out onto these citizens, and even go so far as to show Zeus as being non-other than a high-class, serial rapist. I mean, think about that for a second: Perseus is Zeus son because Zeus decided to bed his mommy in the middle of the night, only to have her realize that the baby wasn’t her actual hubby’s babies, and instead, have it be Zeus’, the God of all things God-like.

Kind of creepy, eh?

You bet your damn ass it is!

However though, the movie isn’t too concerned with all that nonsensical logic and understanding – it’s about big, loud, and angry things being huge and monstrous, so that we all just go “oooh” and “aahhh” the whole way through. It works, but that doesn’t really matter to me since the movie has fun with it’s B-feel, and never let me forget about it. Maybe I was in a good mood; maybe I was feeling generous; and yeah, maybe I was being a nice guy (for a change), but I honestly cannot say that this movie is near-torture to watch and sit-through. Hell, if I caught it on television anytime soon (which with HBO, I most likely will), I’ll probably not mind plopping my rear down on the couch, grabbing a couple of snackaroo’s, getting myself a soda, find the remote and give it a nice, little watch. The worse it could do is probably ruin my day, and that’s all up to me, isn’t it?

I can tell that I’m losing all sorts of credibility here, but that’s what a movie-critic’s life and career is all about. Gotta start somewhere, right?

Since he's Zeus, of course he has to look like Liberace!

Since he’s Zeus, of course he has to look like Liberace!

As you could probably suspect, if the story, the script, and the themes of this movie blow, then, most likely, the characters do as well. However, they aren’t so damn bad, to the point of where watching them will also follow-through with the action of finding hot candle-wax and throwing it in your eyes, in hopes to release the memory of what you have just witnessed on-screen. Sam Worthington leads the pack as Perseus and has that feel and look of the type of Demigod you can believe in to not only just do the right thing, but to kick some fine-ass while doing so. That aspect of Perseus, Worthington does well with, but everything else is just Dullsville right from then and there. Then again, knowing Sam Worthington and what the cat’s been up to in recent-memory, you can’t expect too much from this dude. All you have to know is that he’s going to do some bad-ass things, use the same face for every scene, and somehow, change his accent with the reading of every line. There’s Sam Worthington for ya right there, in a nutshell!

The rest of the cast is only here for show, and all are probably just as interesting, if not less than Worthington and his Perseus. Liam Neeson seems like he’s sleep-walking through his role as Zeus, the type of role that seemed like it would fit Neeson like a glove by now; Ralph Fiennes tries too hard to seem vicious and evil as Hades, even though he just sounds like an old nut-ball; and Mads Mikkelsen doesn’t deserve to be here, and doesn’t seem like he wants to be either. He’s just there for that pay-check, in hopes that he’ll end up breaking the barriers down into the States someday. I think that wish has been fulfilled.

Consensus: Though it is remorselessly stupid and over-the-top, Clash of the Titans can actually be considered as entertaining and enjoyable if you take it as the B-movie it obviously sets its sights on being, and just leaving it at that.

5 / 10 = Rental!!

Okay, stop saying "aaaah".

Okay, quit saying “aaaah”.

Photo’s Credit to: IMDBColliderJobloComingSoon.net

She’s Having a Baby (1988)

I guess John Hughes can actually make films, that aren’t just about whiny teenagers.

This John Hughes classic follows high school sweethearts Jake and Kristy Briggs (Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern) as they settle into married life. But Jake’s not completely sold on the idea of giving up his freedom — or his fantasies of a dream girl. Kristy decides to speed things up by going off birth control without telling Jake — until three months later, when they’ve failed to conceive, and Jake agrees to go to a fertility clinic.

Much thanks to my man Peter, at Magic Lantern Film Blog, for mentioning this in his posts. I’ll make sure to keep on watching, what you say to watch my man.

Writer/Director John Hughes has always be known to make films that express restless teenagers, in a very adult-like situations, but with this one, he actually steps out of that shell, and puts real adults, in real adult situations, and the transformation is just great. So many people rag on this movie nowadays, saying this isn’t his best work, and their entitled to their opinion, but honestly, this is one of his best, mainly cause he is able to juggle out humor, and drama so well with this picture.

The screenplay is brutally honest. I’m not a father, nor am I husband of any kind, but the insight that is given here, is so real. These young couples in love, always move into nice, little suburban homes, have the kids, and become that pitch-perfect family, but do they really want that? The film brings this question up many times, as well as others, and it shows you the hard-ships that a wife, and husband, go through, when it comes to that idea of being dedicated, and having to put up with responsibility, ideas that this film bring up so well.

But the film has plenty of emotionally strong moments as well, that work, especially towards the end. The climax, works so well, that by the end of the film, after everything is all said and done, you are just stuck thinking about that little dramatic series, which rarely happens in films. There is also plenty of comedy in this film, much ado to Hughes great sense of satire when it comes to the “American family”, and how people view it as, and fantasize it as.

The one real problem I had with this film, that many others seem to have, is that it doesn’t know when to stop. John Hughes puts plenty of fantasy sequences in this film, to convey the sense of unbelievable feeling, and there are some parts, that are true, and funny, but other times, I found myself actually annoyed by how many there were, and how long they went for. There is just one stupid dream sequence, involving all the neighbors, and their lawn-mowers, as their dancing around, and its amusing for the first 3o seconds, but then it goes on for about 4 minutes, and then I just got annoyed.

Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern really do shine in this film, and keep you watching, even when the film is a bit stale. Bacon at first, starts off as this funny, immature, dude who isn’t ready to handle grown-up decisions, but by the end, you see him transform into somebody better, and more mature, and it’s all believable, but he still brings a lot of humor to his character. McGovern, is also very good, showing a lot of strength in her character, as well interest, even when it seems her character is pretty boring, compared to Bacon’s. Alec Baldwin also shows up in this film for about 3 scenes, and totally nails each one, mainly because he plays a deuche bag, and we all know he’s good at playing that, or is it an act?? hmmm…….

Consensus: Different, more mature, and overall smart film, by John Hughes that hits all levels of drama, and comedy, as well as showing great insight into the suburban life.

9/10=Full Pricee!!