The Artist (2011)

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Chasing Amy (1997)

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I feel conflicted about this movie.  This conflict is reflected by the “drama” genre classification, as opposed to “comedy.”  The first 75 minutes were fantastically fun, comedic, and entertaining; the remainder was dramatic and full of crying, screeching, high-pitched arguing.  The latter did not please me.  It was not what I expected from a movie usually listed under the comedy genre.

The beginning was exactly the type of movie I was expecting and looking forward to.  The end was filled with so many stupid decisions and so much annoying yelling.  Although I do like the story, I didn’t like the execution.

My conclusion is that this movie should be watched when you’re in the mood for a serious movie, and not when you’re looking for a happier, more light-hearted romantic comedy.  I was looking for a romantic comedy, not this, when I watched it.

Shanghai Kiss (2007)

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Glancing over the name and description of this movie, I thought it would be a quirky romantic comedy between an Asian guy and a white girl.  Then I discovered that I was very wrong…  Instead, it is a movie about a pathetic Chinese-American guy trying to figure out “who he is” while cheating on his high school girlfriend because he doesn’t want to be a pedophile.

Throughout the whole movie, I find no love or attachment to the main character Liam, not even at the end.  Although, by the end he’s figured out that he needs to get a life, and that Ade is a great girlfriend.  And, Liam probably does have “potential to be an actor” in the movie.  I also believed that he really had genital herpes from his commercial audition.

There are only three reasons I paid attention during this movie:

  1. I’m a fan of Hayden Panettiere from her roles in Heroes and even Remember the Titans.
  2. I foresee myself becoming a variation of this pathetic guy in the near future, and not having a real life.  Thus, I wanted to learn what not to do so I could avoid becoming such a total waste of life.
  3. China is cool.

Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star (2011)

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I originally set out to see this movie on the opening weekend with some friends.  It didn’t happen.  The combination of a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 9 out of 100 on MetaCritic were more than enough to scare my friends and I away from it.  But still, in the back of my mind, the thought lingered, “Could this film really be that bad?”

After watching it, I almost created a new category of 0 star ratings for my blog, but decided that it was not worth the time or effort.  I expected it to be horrible and it was able to blow away all my expectations for how bad it could be.  Spare yourself the time and let us never think of this movie again.

The only possibly arguable redeeming factors are that I did not expect the details of the movie to play out the way it did, and I also did not expect it to be such a bad film for what was supposed to be a box office hit.  Happy Madison Productions, you’ve let me down…

Little Black Book (2004)

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I had intended to watch this movie when it first came out, but I didn’t and completely forgot about it, until today.  Finally, after discussing some Brittany Murphy movies, and seeing this pop up on Netflix’s recommended movies, we decided to sit down and watch it.  I remember this was supposed be a romantic comedy, but in the end, I didn’t think it was really funny at all.

The entire film was just a series of stupid events stemming from people’s lack of faith in their partners.  Though I can understand the desire for one to know everything about their partner’s past, it usually seems unnecessary to delve deeply into their relationship history.  With no suspicion and no problems, why would one go out of their way to cause so much heartache to one another?  I don’t understand why they would go out of their way to destroy their happy lives.  Although it seems that she wasn’t truly happy to begin with, it seems so illogical and tedious to go to such great lengths just to be honest with oneself.  Perhaps I just think differently from the average person.

I am reminded of a line from Minority Report which cycled through my head as I watched.  “Dig up the past, all you get is dirty.”  Well, that’s exactly what happens in this movie.  An hour and fifteen minutes of digging and getting really dirty, then about a half hour of what turns out to be a kind of quality ending.  Despite the nice ending, it was not enough to save this movie.  Despite being watchable and not utterly horrible, I don’t believe this is a movie that I’ll ever revisit again for any reason.

青春期『Pubescence』(2011)

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So this was quite a racy looking Chinese film.  In fact, I had almost expected it to be a softcore porn.  It wasn’t; however, it does appear that more Chinese films may begin to move in that direction.  With a short running time of around 51 minutes, I had expected this to be more of an artistic piece.  Instead it was flashes of artsy-esque scenes combined with an attempt at Hollywood style film making.  It seemed like it wanted to give insight into a controversial subject, but instead it just showed the results of creepy geek trying to be a man: he doesn’t get the girl and he gets beat down.

Littered with semi-random scenes of sex under the covers, masturbation, and erections in the pants, this movie was a little more than I really wanted/expected from it.  These scenes were not aptly used and often reminded me of those used in a slapstick sexual comedy movie, so it only disrupted the whole mood and feel of this film.  So for nearly an hour, we follow a creeper geek as he demonstrates his appreciation for a pretty girl despite her smoking, class skipping, abortion, drinking, drug, hooligan, etc. problems.  And in the end, he even comes to rescue her from being raped by gangsters only to get beaten senseless.  Heroic and, I suppose, realistic, but the movie and the main character are uninspiring and the ending leaves you feeling like there was no proper conclusion.  Then again the beginning was just as abrupt and incoherent, so it was really like a movie without a beginning or an ending; just some random sexual tension and creepiness in the middle.

I guess Chinese film studios are still trying to find their way.  They’ve recently experienced accelerated growth in a good direction, but this is not an example of it.  The movie did however remind me of a classmate’s senior thesis on the sexual opening of China.  I guess this movie is a clear example of the opening, and is an example of kids in today’s Chinese society.  I just wonder where they lived, to find a tree swing by a river.  Those aren’t very common in China.

Midnight in Paris (2011)


Rating:

Woody Allen has a new film and it was well rated so I thought I’d give it a shot.  It’d been a while since I’ve seen a movie in the theaters by myself and maybe it was time again.  I didn’t actually know what to expect since all that I knew was that it got a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.  I’m not sure what it was, perhaps good writing, but I felt a close association with the main character Gil.  I had forgotten that I am romantic at heart as well, and maybe this is the reason that I seemingly spend more time in a illusory world in my head than in the reality before me.

Just as Gil needed a departure from his reality to realize that he lives within the Golden Age himself, I too needed this movie as a departure from my reality to bring me back down to Earth.  Getting swept away by one’s dreams is a wondrous feeling, but it makes life difficult when harsh reality hits and you realize nothing is as ideal as you had fantasized.  You will continue to forever grasp at the dream until you realize both it and your life have escaped beyond your reach.

In my opinion, this shouldn’t be that highly rated a movie, but it could just be that I am merely not educated enough to enjoy such a higher pleasure.  But it is a pleasant break from a hectic life.  Probably not truly deserving of a $13.00 movie ticket, but definitely deserving of 100 minutes of your attention, this movie  is somewhat slow but whimsical and idealistic in its nature as well.  Perhaps we all need to stop for a moment and reflect upon our own lives; stop denying the truths that are apparent before us, and move forward.  This was like the movie Somewhere in Time, except much more comedic and with a much happier ending.  The repeated star cameos were exciting to see too.  I wonder what ultimately happened to the private detective…