Saturday, January 29, 2011

#$*&, Shinola.

Thank Goodness this month is almost over.

Friends With Money, 2006, directed and written by Nicole Holofcener.
starring: Jennifer Aniston, Joan Cusack, Francis McDormand, Catherine Keener.

"After she quits her lucrative job, Olivia finds herself unsure about her future and her relationships with her successful and wealthy friends." (IMDB).

Something here just didn't compute. I mean, I thought the money thing was fine, mostly because I know what it's like to be broke. Maybe it was that J-Aniston was *at least* ten years younger than each of the co-stars who composed her BFF circle. The other actresses were competent and believable, but the relationship with Olivia didn't seem very realistic; maybe they should have cast someone older. That was unbelievable issue #2, actually. Unbelievable issue #1 that still irks me is that Olivia, while cleaning houses, just decided to help herself to an employer's, um, bedroom device? This happened in the film's montage opening while each of the characters are being introduced. Really? Is this customary? I suppose the weirdness of it helped to bridge my gaps of boredom between Jason Isaac's few (lucious) scenes. I spent a lot of the time thinking (about Keener's character), "You are married to Lucius Malfoy. And instead of tapping that, you're complaining that he doesn't say anything when you burn your hand? You're dumb." See, this is why I swear and rant and do all the other things I do; if I ever became like any of the women in this film it would really upset me.

Battlefield Earth, 2000, directed by Roger Christian. Written by Corey Mandell.
starring: John Travolta, Forest Whitaker, Barry Pepper.

"After enslavement & near extermination by an alien race in the year 3000, humanity begins to fight back." (IMDB).

Whoa. So this is what all the fuss was about! I'll take an apocalypse film over a chick-flick any day, but yeah, this was mostly garbage. NICE CLAW-HANDS. The one thing I think they did well was the way they filmed the first chase scenes from behind Travolta's head, showing only the dreds and nothing of his face. If that was even him, maybe it wasn't. I'm not a fan, at all. Honestly I can barely stand the guy; I think the only good scenes he had in Pulp Fiction were his (non-speaking) dance scene at Jack Rabbit Slim's and the (non-speaking) driving of the Malibu straight across the sidewalk onto Lance's lawn. Throw this and everything else in the trash.

I'm sorry, that was a little harsh, I'm sure Mr. Travolta is a perfectly lovely person. But you won't get  anywhere playing it safe. . .

Also, in terms of shinola, I found three films that served as an antidote to this horrible, horrible list:

Crazy Heart (hottest Colin Farrell has ever looked, swear to God)
The Lost Boys ("hello, Thorn!" + killer soundtrack)
The Fighter. (first thing I've seen where Christian Bale *does not* make me want to procreate, but very, very well done.)