Entertainment Magazine

MMM - Fist Fights and Freaky Frolicking.

Posted on the 04 April 2011 by Saratpierce
Happy Monday friends!
I feel like I've been slacking a little on my reviews lately so these are going to be a little more detailed then in the past months.
Let's get right into it...
The Fighter

MMM - Fist Fights and Freaky Frolicking.

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Holy catfish Christian Bale, no wonder you won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Within the first 2 minutes of the movie I knew why he was chosen to win. SUCH a phenomenal performance. While many people have said The Fighter was too similar to Rocky and Cinderella Man, I thought it stood out as extremely original. Yes, it follows the journey of a down-in-the-dumps boxer but the surrounding story was quite different than the others and somewhat difficult to experience. When I say it was a difficult to watch I don't mean that it wasn't good. It was fantastic, amazing and inspiring. But to know that everything I was watching was based on true events was, at times, heartbreaking. The life of "Irish" Micky Ward {Mark Wahlburg} was filled with one struggle after the next. Pardon the pun but he spent his life getting punched in the face left and right, without even being in the ring. When someone's life is surrounded with drugs, lies, and a misguided family with a sometimes skewed sense of reality, it's pretty unbelievable that they could come out the other side with only a few bumps and bruises, but these guys did. The entire cast was so perfectly picked it would be impossible to imagine anyone else in the roles. You instantly side with the characters who deserve your support and hate the ones you know are nothing but trouble. Better yet, you find yourself switching your opinion on the characters who's stories toggle from bad to good and back again. In the extended features you get a glimpse at the real Micky Ward and Dicky Eklund. Wahlburg and Bale hit it SPOT on.  Amy Adams brilliantly steps out of her normal smiley-chipper roles and gives a stellar performance as Charlene, Micky's love interest while Melissa Leo, who dropped the f-bomb in her Best Supporting Actress acceptance speech, was sensational as Alice Ward, head of the crazy and psychotic Ward household. This is a must see for anyone who loves to see redemption in the face of struggle as well as anyone who has a passion for boxing.
My Rating: K for a true KNOCK OUT! {totally cheesy but would you expect anything less from me?}
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

MMM - Fist Fights and Freaky Frolicking.

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I didn't know that Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was a well-known comic until about 10 minutes into the movie but I can tell you that I'm officially a fan. That doesn't mean I will actually read the comic... ever... but I am happy to add the film to my collection of nerd-er-ific favorite flicks.
Z and I watched this one with a friend of ours who had not only seen it already but was also familiar with the comic before hand and could confirm how spot on they got it.  WHAT A FUN MOVIE! I absolutely loved it. I found myself cracking up and smiling through the whole thing and LOVED how they tied the comic-feel into each scene with flashing action words {see photo} and written narration/speech bubbles. If you don't know, the story of Scott Pilgrim follows his adventures of defeating his love interests' 7 evil exes. Talk about baggage. What would you do if you had to SLAY everyone your significant other had ever dated before you? Oh yeah, and they all have magical butt-kicking powers and super-human strength. Good luck!
While I've heard that Micheal Cera is a total douche bag in real life, he never fails to deliver an outstanding comedic performance. I guess he can afford to be a jerk when he constantly makes people laugh on screen. His dead-pan stares get me every time and his pairing with Kieran Culkin was a match made in heaven. I haven't seen Kieran since his less-significant role as Simon Boggs in She's All That {he's done a number of others since then, but I'm clearly a little behind on his career.} and I'm so glad he's still making movies. He is absolutely hysterical and far from the nerdy cousin-character in Home Alone
The storyline, characters and script were so unique and creative, the cast was fantastic and the connection between film and comic really made it special; I absolutely loved it. This is a must see, comic fan or not!
My Rating: K for KAPOW... go see this!
Black Swan

MMM - Fist Fights and Freaky Frolicking.

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I know that my little isn't going to like this next review so I'd better just get right to it. I intentionally waited to see Black Swan until it came to Netflix {or in this case, Blockbuster by mail} because I had heard so many mixed reviews. Most of my dancer friends were less than impressed while other friends were absolutely blown away. Dance-focused movies usually get an extra bit of criticism from me, as well as from other dancers, so I took that into consideration when hearing reviews. The funny thing was, most of the 'not-so-good' reviews had little to do with the dancing and more to do with the surrounding story. So, while attempting to put aside both good and bad reviews from friends, Z and I hunkered down Friday night and gave it a shot. Here are a few points I'd like to highlight:
1. While I was quite impressed by Natalie Portman's dancing, it was her acting that missed the mark. While I'm quite aware that her character was being severely tormented, whether by her own mind or the evil works of others, was there really a need for her to have the same look on her face throughout the entire movie? Seriously I would guess that the 11 lines between her eyebrows were permanently creased from filming alone. It just didn't seem believable that she was going through such a hard time when her face never changed.
2. I can handle sexually graphic scenes in movies {hello Girl With The Dragon Tattoo... review coming soon btw!} but generally I feel like they are there for a reason or at least are there as a pivotal part of the story. Perhaps it was my overall lack of enjoyment and understanding that led me to this verdict but all the girl on girl/masturbation action seemed a bit excessive.
3. What the heck even happened? One of my fellow Sideways dancers told me before seeing it that "nothing is what it seems" and that was the only hint I let myself remember while watching. Still, by the final scene I found myself just sitting there with what I'm sure was a "what the frack" look on my face wondering what I had just watched. I tried to think of it in terms of an underlying message and how {possibly} the backs story followed the story of Swan Lake just like the ballet did, with Portman's character fighting between the choice of perfection and reality, but I was still left a bit perplexed. I'm no stranger to open-to-interpretation endings to films but generally there is enough within the body of the movie to lead you in one direction or another. I felt this one was lacking that quality.
Overall, Black Swan left me scratching my head. I'm glad I was able to hear varying thoughts from friends beforehand, otherwise I would have been REALLY caught off guard. So, after a novel-esque review, while the dancing was quite beautiful everything outside of it left me quite disappointed.
My Rating: C for CLEARLY not what I was expecting and NOT for everyone.
Until next time...
A little trivia for your Monday... What book-based film did Kieran Culkin star opposite Sharon Stone? Comment with your answer!
Last MMM answer: Tangled marked Disney's 50th Animated Feature Film.

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