Category Archives: movies

What’s with all the Megan Fox hate?

America's philosophy: hot girls should be seen and not heard.

I was disappointed to hear last month that Megan Fox would not be in the third Transformers movie. From reading Teh Interwebs, I think I’m the only one who was. I like Megan Fox. Yes, I have boobs, am not a lesbian, and I like Megan Fox. Flies in the face of everything you read online, doesn’t it?

I don’t understand all the Megan Fox hate, or the rejoicing that she would not be in the third installment in the Transformers franchise. Most of the vitriol seems to spring from comments she made in an interview regarding Transformers director Michael Bay.

“I mean, I can’t s**t on this movie because it did give me a career and open all these doors for me. But I don’t want to blow smoke up people’s a***s. People are well aware that this is not a movie about acting.”

This statement is so, so true. Transformers is not about the acting. It’s about giant effin’ robots blowing shit up while the audience gets to relive parts of their childhood. It’s why I love both movies so much, despite the actual plot that sometimes gets in the way. I don’t go to see movies like Transformers for the acting. I go to see the special effects and experience some nostalgia.

After her comments, Fox took some vicious verbal heat for daring to criticize the director and franchise that made her a star. As HollywoodScoop put it, “Megan’s head has gotten so big, she’s already forgotten the people responsible for her success. Let’s face it, she’s not exactly an Oscar worthy actress, she’s just great to look at. So maybe she shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds her.”

And here’s where the Hollywood double standard comes in. Recently, Shia LaBeouf has also made some critical remarks not only about Transformers, but Indiana Jones 4. Regarding Transformers 2, LaBeouf pretty much agreed with Fox.

“When I saw the second movie, I wasn’t impressed with what we did…There were some really wild stunts in it, but the heart was gone…we got lost. We tried to get bigger…Mike went so big that it became too big, and I think you lost the anchor of the movie…You lost a bit of the relationships. Unless you have those relationships, then the movie doesn’t matter. Then it’s just a bunch of robots fighting each other.”

(Poor Shia. I know you want to be considered a serious actor, but honestly, the movies really are just a bunch of robots fighting each other.)

Instead of the same condemnation Fox received, LaBeouf was lauded as being gutsy and honest. From ScreenCrave.com, “We give Labeouf props for recognizing where he went wrong…”

Oh, Hollywood.

We claim to be proponents of free thought, but when an actress is allegedly fired speaking her mind, what are we really saying? Why does Shia LaBeouf get a pass when Megan Fox is, from reading some reader comments, a “slut who got what’s coming to her”?

I’ve never heard of any major sex scandal surrounding her. Those are a dime a dozen in Hollywood anyway. Is Megan Fox a slut because she’s aware of her sexuality and uses it in her career? I don’t think so.

Fox has yet to prove herself as an actress. I don’t think she’s been given the opportunity to do so yet. I think it will come in time. It’s not her fault Transformers made her a superstar before she had a chance to prove herself. Right now she’s using her biggest asset — her looks — to land parts. And I don’t think that’s so wrong.

I will go see Transformers 3. I go to see the robots, not the acting. Who knows? The new girl might be a better match for the franchise, but I will miss Megan’s character. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.

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Crying makes it better

I suffer from depression. I don’t know how long I’ve had it, and I sometimes think I am not doing enough to combat it, but most of the time, I can get by. Medication helps a lot. But there are some days where not even that helps and I find myself crying for no reason. Which then pisses me off because so many people in this world have a real reason to cry and I feel like I should just put my big girl panties on and deal with it. But it’s hard. And crying, oddly enough, can make me feel better.

"You're not supposed to look back, you're supposed to keep going."

So when I read a book or watch a movie that makes me cry, it feels almost cathartic to let go and just let the tears fall. I don’t actively seek out books or movies that are sad. Just the opposite. I don’t like crying. My nose gets all stuffed up, my eyes turn red and itch, and my head will just hurt all over. But afterwards, when I put the book down or turn the movie off, and the tears have run their course, I just feel… better.

Last weekend I went to visit my brother in Chattanooga. We stopped by a discount book store after we ate and I picked up a book called “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan” by Lisa See. It is a very sad, moving book. I read it in less than a day and must have cried through the entire second half of the book.

Tonight, I watched The Lovely Bones. I had read the book by Alice Sebold last year and fell in love with it. I cried through the book. And even though the movie is different from the book, I cried through it, too. And now I have dried tears on my face and a headache, but I feel better right now than I have all day.

Sometimes I will fight crying so badly I make myself sick. I know I shouldn’t, but there are times when crying can be embarrassing, like at work or a gathering of friends. But when I’m alone, I give in, because I know I will feel comforted after having a good cry, like I’ve let all the stress and little resentments I’ve picked up during the day out with the sad story. But that still doesn’t mean I’ll be renting more sad movies.

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WMD: Gut-punching movies

This week over on Geek Bits, the ‘Weapon of Mass Discussion’ topic was quite an interesting one. “What movie or movies have left you feeling like you’d been punched in the gut?” Since this was one of my topic suggestions I emailed to the boys a while back, and since I am experiencing a bit of a writer’s block at the moment, I’m going to steal it.

For a movie to leave me feeling “punched in the gut,” it doesn’t have to be a sad movie. It has to leave me feeling like I’d just experienced something amazing, special, awe-inspiring. The Geek Bits boys had several good examples. This is my list.

Haley Joel Osment may have seen dead people, but I totally did not see the end of this movie coming.

1. The Sixth Sense

This is the movie that inspired this topic in the first place. I did not see The Sixth Sense in the theater. I did not rent it straight away when it came out. Somehow, I managed to stay completely in the dark about the ending between the time it came out and the time I eventually rented it. Because I totally did not see that ending coming. Normally I can predict how a movie will end. The Prestige? Totally saw that one coming. The Village? I’d read the book M. Night Shyamalan stole his idea from. But The Sixth Sense? At the big reveal, I was literally left gasping at the plot twist. No other movie has ever surprised me like that. Sure, I may have been a little bit drunk while watching it for the first time, but that was really the first time I had felt a movie had really packed a punch.

2. The Matrix

The combination of the amazing special effects and the idea that the world around us isn’t real but rather a virtual reality really blew me away. Of course, the special effects pioneered by The Matrix are old hat now, but at the time I was awe-struck by the time-freezing technique used in the movie. I remember leaving the theater and standing in the parking lot, looking around at the world and wondering if it were really real. It left me hungering for more. Too bad the sequels sucked.

3. Sliding Doors

Though this movie predates The Sixth Sense, I didn’t see it until years later, renting it on DVD. If you’ve never seen this movie, you should. It’s an amazing concept. Two sides of the same story are shown almost simultaneously — parallel views of a woman’s life depending on whether or not she caught the train. In one reality, her life is seemingly perfect. In the other, not so much. But being happy doesn’t always lead to a happy ending. It’s a feel-good movie with a twist, and one that was exceedingly well done.

4. The Reaping

This is a gut-punching movie for two reasons. And it’s kind of hard to explain why without giving away the plot. The story revolves around a small town where the 10 biblical plagues are destroying the town and the people in it. The cause appears to be a young girl, a child of the devil. The twist at the end would have made this a great movie if it had ended right before the last scene, and the second twist. I had been really enjoying the movie — to which I was dragged to see — up to that point, and when the second twist occurred, I wanted to throw popcorn at the screen in protest. No other movie has made me change my mind about it that quickly before. (Though I still wish the second twist hadn’t happened.)

5. Transformers

I’ve said it before. When I saw the first Transformers movie for the first time, I cried when Optimus Prime spoke for the first time. That voice was a sweet, fun memory from childhood. And the visual effects of the transforming vehicles were so stunning, I almost expected the cars in the parking lot to transform when I left the theater. It was a remake of a childhood favorite done right, which turned it into one of my favorite movies of all time.

6. Star Trek

I was really doubtful when I heard they were making a Star Trek prequel. I wasn’t sure if it would be any good, though I was pleased that Zachary Quinto was picked to play Spock. But the hype around the movie was huge and the trailers looked pretty good. And since I was a huge Star Trek fan, I decided to give it a shot. I left the theater in a daze. That’s when I realized J.J. Abrams was a true cinematic genius. And that he had some serious BALLS to turn the whole of Trek history on its head and not piss off the Star Trek crowd. Bravo, Mr. Abrams. Bravo.

There have been other movies over the years that have left an emotional impact — The Boy Who Could Fly, Star Wars, Labyrinth, The Little Mermaid — but none of these ever really surprised me or left me feeling that the world was just a little bit different now that I had seen them.

So now I pose the question to you. Which movies have you seen over the years that have left you feeling as though you had been punched in the gut?

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Celebrate your inner nerf-herder

Today, May 4th, is the unofficial official International Star Wars Day. (And, in case you live under the same rock as I occasionally do and want to know why May 4th… “May the Fourth be with you.” Get it? Yuk yuk.)

By the time I was 7, I had built a droid, left home, won a major space battle and met the woman I would marry. What have you done? Look at yourself. No hand, no master and you can't even levitate your X-wing out of a swamp...

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, arguably the best of the Holy Trilogy. But Empire holds special memories for me because it was the first live-action movie I ever saw in the theater. I was either just about to turn 4 or had already done so when my parents took me and my baby brother to see Empire. As my mom tells it, my brother started crying, so she had to go sit out in the car with him while Dad and I finished the movie. (It would be a long time before they took him to the movies again.)

I really have only one memory of the movie, and that’s the very end when Boba Fett is loading a carbonite-frozen Han Solo into his ship. I remember wondering, with my 4-year-old brain, why Boba Fett was going to shoot Han Solo out of his cannon, because that’s what his ship looked like to me at the time. It wasn’t until years later when I saw the film again did I realize it was a ship and not a big gun.

I remember going to preschool after seeing the movie and playing Star Wars on the playground. I was always Princess Leia because I think I was a little bully at the age of 4, while the other two girls in our group had to be the droids. I obviously had not learned the lesson of sharing yet. I think I would have been better suited to play Vader, come to think of it.

Those are really the only memories I have of the entire Star Wars franchise. I’m pretty sure we went to see Return of the Jedi, but I don’t remember seeing it. All my other memories come from when I was older and better able to understand the actual plot.

Star Wars Day has been a trending topic all day on Twitter, and that makes my inner geek proud. These movies have been with me since I was very young, and will continue to inspire and awe me for years to come.

Happy Star Wars Day! MTFBWY.

And as a treat, some Star Wars humor. (Watch all the way to the end!)

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5 years ’til hoverboards!

My friends on Facebook love joining groups. “I know I’m weird. I accept that.” “I don’t feel like folding my laundry so I just restart the dryer.” “Dear sleep, I know we had problems when I was younger, but now I love you.” A lot of these make me laugh. Sometimes they make me think.

One of my friends recently joined “the world won’t end in 2012 because Marty McFly went to 2015.” That one made me think.

To be honest, I don't know if my heart (or my bladder) could take scary holographic movies.

Twenty-one years ago, I remember sitting in the theater, watching Marty McFly travel to the year 2015 to rescue his son, Marty McFly Jr., from Griff Tannen, Biff’s grandson. How awesome was the future? Flying cars. Robotic gas stations. Food hydrators. HOVERBOARDS!

But it got me thinking. This is 2010. 2015 is only five years away. R&D departments need to step it up to get all these things out by 2015!

Sure, some of the stuff in the movie have come to pass. We do have games where you don’t need to use your hands. If you’re filthy rich, you can get your home automated. And while thumbprint technology isn’t quite here yet, many people can make mobile payments using cell phones.

Remember the holographic Jaws that popped out of the movie theater and tried to eat Marty? Not there yet, but with the recent strides in 3-D technology (thank you, Avatar), can holographic movies be far behind?

But fine years… can we really get flying cars in five years? Think of all the arial infrastructure we’d have to build. But I can live without flying cars. Forget flying cars, people. Start working on that hoverboard technology! Most of us 30-somethings are still drooling over the possibility of owning our own hoverboard. We expect them to hit the shelves by 2015, or else Back to the Future II was all a dirty LIE!

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Review: ‘Kick-Ass’

(WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the movie Kick-Ass. If you don’t want to be spoiled, please skip this post.)

I don’t go to the movies very often. I love movies, but most of the time, I’m content to wait until a movie I’m interested in hits DVD. But there are some movies I make exceptions for.

Kick-Ass is the first movie I’ve seen in 2010. Actually, it’s the first movie I’ve been to in almost a year. For those who may not know much about the story, Kick-Ass is the story of Dave Lizewski, an ordinary high school kid who dreams of making a difference and fighting injustice in the world. So he dons a wet suit and becomes Kick-Ass, which in turn spawns a wave of other masked vigilantes and angering a local drug boss.

Nobody messes with Big Daddy's little Hit Girl.

I had never heard of Kick-Ass until I listened to the Geek Bits podcast where the guy seemed absolutely ga-ga over it. A link in their show notes to one of the trailers piqued my interest. And when the red-band trailer hit the Internet, I figured it might be a movie I would pay to see. It looked pretty awesome, and I was very intrigued by the Hit Girl character. Also, the trailer was pretty funny.

Unfortunately, this was one of those movies where most of the funny bits are in the trailer. That’s not to say I didn’t like the movie, but it wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be, at least in the way of humor.

I expected the violence and the gore. I’m not usually squeamish about movie violence, but there was one scene where I had to look away (the scene where the bad guys stick the other bad guy in the giant microwave… I knew what was coming and just couldn’t watch). I’ve heard a bunch of criticism over the violence committed by the potty-mouthed, preteen Hit Girl, but none of that bothered me. Hell, it made me feel a bit empowered, even though I am separated from 12 a couple of decades.

Even though the movie wasn’t as funny as I thought it would be, watching Chloe Moretz’s portrayal of Hit Girl was definitely worth the price of admission. I’m not a big Nic Cage fan, but he also rocked the part of Hit Girl’s father, Big Daddy. Aaron Johnson, an actor I’m not at all familiar with, also did a really good job at playing the nerdy, but lovable Kick-Ass.

I have not read the comic that this movie was based on, so I can’t comment as to whether or not I liked or disliked the deviations from the source material, but overall I did enjoy the movie. I think, perhaps, the humor of the movie might have come through more if there had been more than six people in the theater when I saw it. I tend to feed on the energy of the audience. It’s hard to really laugh out loud when the theater is totally silent.

The action was crazy and Chloe Moretz shines in her role. Enough to where I’m actually hoping for a sequel, just so I can see more of her foul-mouthed, ass-kicking character.

All in all, a good movie, just not exactly what I was expecting.

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5 really bad movies I really love

There are good movies and there are bad movies. My taste in movies pretty much follows the theme, “If the critics loved it, it’s boring. If the critics didn’t like it, it’ll probably be OK. If the critics totally trashed it, BEST MOVIE EVER!”

Well, maybe not best movie ever, but one I really, really enjoy. Some of my favorite movies are ones most people hate. They’re so bad, they’re good. And I’m not ashamed to admit my love for them.

The following are my top five really bad films that I freely admit to loving.

1. Joe’s Apartment

Beginning as a series of shorts aired as filler on MTV, someone, somewhere thought that a tale of talking, singing cockroaches would make for a good feature film. And you know what? It was. I’ll admit, I had a big crush on Jerry O’Connell back in the day (I blame “Sliders”), but it was the smart-mouthed, musically-inclined roaches that scurried their way into my heart. I mean, come on, “Funky Towel” is the perfect college dorm anthem. And among my circle of friends, an instant classic.

The towel has got the FUNK.

2. Bio-Dome

I have a confession to make. I like Pauly Shore movies. Well, most of them. I haven’t seen Bio-Dome in a while, but I do own it on VHS… somewhere. This movie was just… fun. And, OK, maybe the fact that this guy I had a teensy crush on in college said he’d see it with me when I said I was going alone may have colored my memory of how much fun I had seeing this film, but I really did enjoy it. It made me laugh. And it had a pretty good soundtrack, too. (Which I also own, on tape… somewhere.) There was an attempt to get a message across (pollution makes the Native Americans cry), but unlike some films (I’m looking at you, Avatar), it didn’t linger on it excessively and provided some chuckles along the way.

3. Snakes on a Plane

I was one of those who got suckered into the whole Snakes on a Plane phenomenon on the Internet before the film’s release. I visited Snakes on a Blog almost daily. I’m not a fan of horror movies, but I wanted to see this in the worst way. How could I not see a movie called Snakes on a Plane, especially when it starred Samuel L. Jackson? The plot is ludicrous. The acting is dubious. But I love the fact that it wasn’t trying to take itself seriously, and the studio actually listened to fan feedback to add to the production. Snakes on a Plane is a campy trip, and I can only hope for a sequel, More Motherfucking Snakes on More Motherfucking Planes.

4. The Core

I’m a big fan of disaster movies. The more implausible the disaster, the better. In The Core, the core of the earth stops spinning, wreaking havoc on the world above. So totally cheesy. The science is bunk. But it’s one of those movies I will stop and watch if I ever find it on the TV while channel surfing. I have no problem suspending my disbelief while Hilary Swank and Aaron Eckhart try to save the planet by using (what else) nuclear devices to jump start the earth’s core. I liked the special effects. I am riveted to the screen when they drill into a giant geode. Giant diamonds at the center of the earth? Hell yeah! Bring it on! The Core is a fun ride all the way down.

5. George of the Jungle

I never watched the cartoon when I was little. I didn’t care. There is just one reason I love this silly flick: Brendan Fraser in a loincloth. OK, the animals are cute, too. But the main appeal for me is that loincloth. … Excuse me, I think I need a cold shower.

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