Tuesday, February 17, 2015

From Here to Eternity (1953)

Since this Sunday is the 87th Academy Awards show, I decided to watch a film that won best picture a long time ago.  So I chose From Here to Eternity.  I was very disappointed in this film.

There are different plotlines happening throughout the film.  We start off with Robert Prewitt who transferred into a new unit in Hawaii because he was passed over a promotion as a bugle player. He thought he was a better bugle player and left.  Yes, that is what we start with.  The captain wants him to box but he is like no way.  He blinded someone while boxing so that is understandable.

The captain puts him through all kinds of torture because he won't box.  So, all these soldiers do is drink, go to nightclubs with "hostesses" (whores), box, play around and do generally nothing?  This is what my tax money is paying for?

The only thing I knew about this movie was the makeout scene on the beach.  Turns out the woman is cheating on her husband, the captain, with his second-in-command.  She won't leave him but she sleeps around behind his back.  She uses him for his position and power.  She is a coward.  Even her boyfriend doesn't want to stay with her when she tries to manipulate him into becoming an officer.

Meanwhile, lots more drinking and whoring happens, and also a knife fight.  Because according to Prewitt, who refuses to box, stabbing is okay apparently.  He does box, once, however an obvious double was used as they don't even have the same hair color.  Also Sinatra is in this and he is terrible.  But he dies so there's that.  In the last ten minutes, the Japanese bomb the area so they all run around like chickens with their heads cut off.  Prewitt is wearing an Aloha shirt instead of his army clothes and gets shot for his poor fashion choices.

Prewitt's captain gets fired for treating him so badly because he wouldn't box.  In the book, he gets promoted instead.  However Hollywood was too chickenshit back then to insult the almighty government and maybe all soldiers and cops don't need to be worshipped.  The movie was a super sanitized version of the book. And who wants to watch that?  My disappointment makes me give this a 4/10.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

An Affair to Remember (1957)

Happy Valentine's Day! Today's film is An Affair to Remember.  It's about a couple that are engaged to different people that meet while on a cruise.

Nickie is a celebrity, but what is he famous for?  Basically the same thing the Kardashians are famous for; he's a whore.  He's engaged to a millionaire heiress.  Meanwhile, Terry is a stay-at-home girlfriend of a rich businessman.  They meet while on a cruise.  

It was funny how Nickie kept trying to flirt with her despite already being engaged. He has no shame.  A lot of times he reminded me of George Clooney.  One thing that bothered me is that if Terry is a trophy fiancee and has been for several years, how come she's not wearing an engagement ring?

They hang out on the ship together and people start noticing.  They try to stay away from each other, but they are not fooling anyone, especially the ship's photographer.

One thing that bothered me besides the fact she wore no ring, was that she couldn't lift the little boy on the ship and relied on Nickie to do it.  Later, she asks if he likes kids, indicating that she wants them.  Girl, that child is like 4 years old, and you can't lift him? How do you expect to raise children if you can't carry them? You need to work out.

One thing I thought was weird is that he took her to see his grandmother. He's engaged.  So, he takes another woman that's not his fiancee to meet her.  I wouldn't take random friends to meet my grandma, but then again, she's crazy.  At first, Nickie has to translate for Terry because she can't speak French, but then when grandma plays the piano, Terry reads the song and pronounces every word flawlessly.

As they leave the ship, they want to meet again, but they need to breakup with their partners first. This presents a huge problem.  Neither one of them has done a single day's worth of work in their lives.  They have always lived off their partners.  What should they do for a living? How will they support themselves?  Nickie wants to get a job painting, as that is his talent, and wants to earn money to support them both.  He is really maturing since he met Terry.

 Nickie has the idea of waiting 6 months to see if he can earn a decent living, then meet up with Terry if they want to continue their romance, which is also very mature.  Most movies would have them run off into the sunset without a second thought.  They didn't have Facebook messaging or texting back then, so they have to agree on a place to meet and might not have a chance to contact each other.  They decide to meet at the Empire State Building.

Nickie starts work painting, but doesn't use his real name to sign the paintings.  I thought he should because he would get more money for it.  He paints billboards as well.  He also painted a portrait of his true love without her knowing.

Meanwhile Terry's fiance Ken has figured out she's in love with Nickie and is surprisingly okay with it.  He loves her unconditionally and wants the best for her.  In six months, she goes to the Empire State Building and gets hit by a car because she is not watching the road, so let that be a lesson.  Ken comes and takes care of her, visits her in the hospital, helps her get a job, all while knowing she's in love with someone else.  She misses her meeting with Nickie and refuses to see him until she can walk again.

That is really dumb.  I lost the ability to walk four years ago, and it took surgery and lots of hard work to be able to walk with assistance, and then by myself.  And she thinks it's going to take less than a year?  Also, she knows that Nickie is a Kardashian, what's going to stop him from going to the next pretty face if he believes she's ignoring him?  At least she could talk to him.  If he truly loved her he wouldn't care.

Nickie finds Terry's name in the phone book and pays her a visit and is suprised by her condition. I am surprised by the fact there are stairs leading to the door. How does she get out?  He brings her his grandma's shawl and figures out that she lost her ability to walk because he figured out she was the one who bought his portrait of herself and his grandmother.  He doesn't love her any less because she's disabled, so they live happily ever after.  I will give this film 8/10.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Are you ready for fun happy musical?  Well me neither so today's film will be Saturday Night Fever.  This is the most '70s movie I have ever seen.

Tony works a menial job in a paint store, he can never please his parents, and he lives a mostly boring life.  Once a week, he and his friends go disco dancing at a nightclub.  There's a dancing contest, so he chooses a partner who seems somewhat snobby instead of his usual partner because she is too interested in a relationship with him.

Later, Tony gets a raise a work.  He shares it with his dad, but instead of being proud of him, his jealous dad puts him down every chance he gets.  Meanwhile, Tony's priest brother Frank, whom his parents practically worship, comes home because he quit his job.  He only became a priest because his parents pushed him into it, and now he has to figure out what he really wants to do with his life.  He tells this to Tony so he won't make the same mistake.

Tony's dance partner, Stephanie constantly brags about her job and namedrops all the time.  Tony has a crush on her, even losing his job to help her move.  Once she lets her guard down, we learn she has some problems too.

When Tony and his friends aren't working or dancing, they're either up on a bridge acting a fool, or being generally racist.  Also, scoring women is their #1 goal.  Tony and Stephanie enter the contest and are out-danced by a Puerto Rican couple.  However, Tony and Stephanie are awarded the prize.  Tony realizes the dance contest was rigged and gives the prize to the couple that should have won.  Then, he leaves his parent's house for good and travels on the subway to Stephanie's house. He has decided to stay away from his own and make a life for himself.  What kind of job will he have? What will he do now?  We don't know because the movie ends abruptly.  That was disappointing.  I will give this film a 6/10.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Muriel's Wedding (1994)

Today's film is Muriel's Wedding.  It's a film that teaches the lesson, be careful what you wish for because it might come true.

Muriel is a teenager who listens to ABBA records all day and dreams of the perfect wedding. She tries to be friends with the popular crowd who want nothing to do with her.  She has a spacey, absent-minded mom and an emotionally abusive dad who constantly promotes himself.

She is offered some blank checks by her parents to start a beauty consultant job (like Avon).  She immediately wipes their bank account clean and goes on vacation.  She goes to the very place where the popular girls are.  While there, she meets the free-spirited Rhonda, where dropped out of the same high school.  They become friends and move to Sydney together.

Muriel is still obsessed with the perfect wedding, doing some crazy things in her quest.  Such as trying on random dresses in the city and marrying a random guy out of an ad.  She gets the fairytale wedding she dreamed of, but she lost her friend in the process.  Her friend needs extra care and has to move back in with her mom, something no one wants to do.

After Muriel's mom's death, she realizes that she is a terrible person, and compares herself to her terrible dad.  She tells her husband she is tired of living a lie, and leaves him.  She goes to Rhonda's house and asks her to come with her back to Sydney.  Rhonda is happy to see her change and goes with her.  I liked this film because even though Muriel does terrible things, she learned from her mistakes and reconnects with her friend.  I will give it an 8/10.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Bull Durham (1988)

Guess what I don't want to do?  Listen to poetry and watch baseball.  Today's film is Bull Durham, which is about poetry and baseball.  This is not going to be a fun time.

The film stars Kevin Costner, who only ever does sports movies, or bad movies, or both.  He plays an intelligent catcher, Crash, who knows a lot about the game, but has little actual talent.  He has been ordered to train a rookie pitcher, Ebby Laloosh, who is a fantastic pitcher but is about as dumb as a hammer.

Naturally Crash is jealous of Ebby's talent and this leads to a lot of fights.  Meanwhile, there is a baseball groupie, Annie, who chooses one player a season to sleep with.  She is a pseudo-intellectual who quotes poetry on a regular basis.  I want to punch her in the face.

I don't understand why Crash doesn't get a coaching or assistant coaching job for baseball.  Those who can't do, teach.  He isn't great at baseball, but knows the game.  So, he should get a coaching job instead of forcing himself to play and being miserable.

Annie chooses Laloosh to sleep with, and give him the nickname, "Nuke".  However, once he starts winning, he refuses to sleep with anyone for superstitious reasons.  This leaves the poetry baseball whore lonely and sad.  For some unknown reason, Crash develops feelings for Annie.  Dude, she's been with an entire baseball team.  I understand about having a past, but an entire baseball team? Have some respect for yourself.  This is an '80s movie that needs to stay there.  I will give this film a 3/10.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Chariots of Fire (1981)

Today's film is Chariots of Fire, which won Best Picture in 1981.  The only things I knew about this were that it had something to do with running, and it has an awesome theme music.  So, I watched this with my runner daughter.  For a film about running, we expected it to be faster.  It is a slow paced movie.

The two runners we follow are Harold Abrahams, a Jewish runner who runs despite prejudice, and Eric Liddell, who runs to honor God.  At first, they meet at college and train to be great runners.  Later, they qualify for the Olympics.

Dunn  dun dun dun dun dun dun

So, now they're in the Olympics.  However, one of Eric's races is on a Sunday and he says he can't run because it's breaking the Sabbath.  I thought that only applied to work and how is running work? It's called the Olympic games not the Olympic work.  Also I thought Christians didn't do that anymore? I thought that was like an 18th century thing.  He has to go before the council and defend himself, and inspires a lot of people.  But that wouldn't work at a real job.

Harold also works hard at his races, even employing a coach to train him.  The council doesn't like this because a professional coach shouldn't train amateurs.  Which is really interesting because all of the Olympic athletes today have coaches.

One of Eric's teammates agrees to switch races with him so he won't have to run on Sunday.  Meanwhile, everyone goes home with gold medals because this is a sports movie and we expect that.  This film was very educational about a niche in history, but had little entertainment value.  I will give it a 5/10.