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Monday, December 21, 2009


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Goolphipp Award: 2.5 (See the Cheap Matinee)

Oi. This movie was slow. I've seen slower movies, but this one just couldn't decide what type of movie it wanted to be. More than half of the movie was the build up to the show down. Basic plot- bunch of guys down on their luck decide to steal money from one of their armored trucks they drive. Of course one guy grows a conscious and the conflict is born. The build up took far too long. Once the action did start happening it was great. I love smart characters. We got suckered into this movie because of Milo Ventimiglia, and I'm sure we'll get suckered into any other movies he does. He continues to make bad decisions though, such as Pathology which stands to be the only movie I have ever walked out of. None the less, we learned that Milo needs to work on his dying skills and control his noises. Phipps and I talked through the whole movie, never a good sign. Meh, that's what I got to say about this movie, meh.

Oh, oh, one more thing. I correctly identified a semi-obscure actor all on my own (a major achievement for me). Skeet Ulrich, best known for his role in Scream. I recognized him from The Craft and The Newton Boys. Kudos to me.

Goolsby overall: 2.75
Too little, too late.

This movie had its moments, but I was hoping for more. In the end, the build-up to the robbery should have taken a max of a half hour - and I could actually see it done well, too. There should have been more of logistics being discussed, plans being made, etc. This was not like the Ocean's movies or The Italian Job. I'm guessing the writers of the film had this idea about stealing armored trucks...and then didn't know how to make it stretch into a full-length film, so they dropped in all this dramatic dialogue and attempted angst.

The only interesting thing about this movie is when Ty, played by Columbus Short, finally switches into fighting mode. He does some amazing things. But, all the cool stuff happened in the last twenty minutes...and by then, Goolsby and I were obsessed with Matt Dillon's strange facial structure and Milo Ventimiglia's hair.

Good actors, good cinematography - but the script failed them.

Phipps overall: 2.3
The script actually matters.

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The Princess and the Frog

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Goolphipp Award: 4.5 (No Peanuts Chucked)

The long awaited black princess. The Princess and the Frog delivered on all levels. It strange to think of new Disney movies as "classic" but that is what happens to all Disney films - they either become classic or fade. Watching this movie as an adult was fun. Disney dropped several throw backs to other films. The first thing I saw in the opening number was the magic carpet. The Little Mermaid characters made several appearances too. This movie was fun to watch. I loved the vivid color palette. They brought the bayou culture to life and it was awesome. I loved the firefly Ray, definitely my favorite. This movie was great, a new princess movie for the masses, but I wasn't blown away - and I can't tell if that's because I'm an adult or something minor in the movie.

Goolsby overall: 4.5
Who doesn't love a frog?

I was excited to see this movie. Who doesn't like a good Disney movie? I know some would call Disney's move to classic hand-drawing risky, but I enjoyed it! The old classics haven't gone out of style because they don't have the Pixar stamp. I appreciated the nods to the other movies too. I want to watch it again so I can catch all the hidden funsies.

The traditional Frog Prince fairytale always makes a fun plot, and the New Orleans twist was inventive. I'll confess that I was a little worried about having a fairytale set in the twentieth century - I was wondering where the magic was going to come from. Voodoo, of course, which I discovered was just as creepy in a cartoon as it is in the Skeleton Key. I'm actually wondering how small children reacted to that aspect of this movie, because the scary shadow spirits rivaled Snow White's Queen-in-ugly-witch-form.

Aside from the voodoo, the rest of the movie was quite fun. It had something for everyone. Talking animals. Humor. Romance. A blind, good witch. Handsome princes. Kisses. Trumpets. Jazz. Firefly tour guides. Good triumphing over evil. Action. Dreams coming true. Happily ever after.
I liked the underlying message too. You have to work toward your dreams - ie, owning a fabulous restaurant, but that shouldn't be your whole life. Love, family, fun should be a part of the equation too.

Cast was wonderful. Animation was great - as Goolsby said, the color palette was unique. I'm not going to say it's going to make it to "classic" status, because it's too early to tell...and I don't want to jinx it.

And one last thing - Tiana's wedding gown? Perfect.

Phipps overall: 4.5
Go on, kiss the frog.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Fantastic Mr. Fox

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Goolphipp Award: 3.75 (Worth 11 Bucks)

Hahaha. So I dragged Phipps to go see this with me because I knew my family wouldn't let me see it with them. I'm known for picking the random movies, and this one sure delivers. Fantastic Mr. Fox is based on the children's book by Roald Dahl and brought to life by Mr. Wes Anderson. I really liked this movie. Although I'm confused at the target audience. It makes sense that the 18 to 30 will enjoy this movie, but I don't think it's really meant for children. Children wont appreciate the stop motion animation, and the quirky humor will fly over their heads. So what is there left for children? I guess all that is left is a long plot and weird looking animals. Phipps and I saw this in a theater that had a handful of children, one even sat directly behind me. The kids got bored and the movie was not able to pull them back in. If you are an adult, go see a matinee showing and have a good time. The voices were great, George Clooney has been a busy man this year.

I loved the little things about this movie. The explanation of Ash's (played by Jason Schwartzman) odd character, and the hand gesture that ensued to explain "weird" to the opossum with a credit card. The modified tube sock burglar mask was a winner in my book. My type of movie all the way. I love Wes Anderson films.

Goolsby overall: 4
You know, you really are... fantastic.

Yeah, I really didn't want to go see this movie. That being said, I didn't hate it. I came out with some jokes I'll repeat. I think the hand motions associated with someone being "different" was amazing. I also found that the substitution of "cuss" for every swear word imaginable to be quite entertaining. It was super quirky, but the typical Anderson humor was there (as well as the typical cast). So, if you are a fan of their past work, you should see The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Really not a kids movie...or at least, not a young kids movie. Maybe 10+.

This was executed well, and was a good time. What else do you want?

Phipps overall: 3.5
Not my cup of tea, but still fun.

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Pirate Radio

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Goolphipp Award: 4.6 (No Peanuts Chucked)

I loved this movie. Hands down. I actually turned to Phipps half way through the movie and said, "I want to be part of this film." We knew the music was going to be awesome, but it was also very very well placed. The person that placed the songs, well they deserve an A+ for sure. The characters were loveable and the storyline obvious but timeless. You knew how it all ended of course - rock would prevail! There are certain parts of this movie that will stay with me for a long time to come. One question though, why do all the girls in this movie sleep with the fat man Dave played by Nick Frost? I'll never know. I'm a big fan of Bill Nighy and he gave a great performance again. I think everyone on this film just really had a great time and it shows. From overboard condoms, token lesbians, 1960's clothes, a beast named Bob, cheating wives, a game of high-seas chicken, and a man named Twatt, this movie rocked. Oh, and by the way, the stunning Tom Sturridge has new fans for life. A must see for any music lover.

Goolsby overall: 4.75
She loves you yea, yea, yea she does!

I really loved this movie. It was fun, and it's true, I wished I could don a Twiggy dress and step onto the Radio Rock boat. I appreciated the little things: the authentic posters, the vinyl, the occasional boa, and the pick-up line, "how about it then?" There's some serious characters in this movie, and all loveable...even Bob the Beast. But you know, being a conservative person, what I loved most, is that this movie is really about the music! It's a period piece, but they didn't capitalize on the "free love" aspect as much as I thought they would. I just found myself swept away in what the Count called, "the best days of [their] lives."

Performances...stellar, of course...everyone delivered. Cinematography...check. Sound...amazing. It was all good. It was just an adventure. I think it's one of the few good movies I've seen this year. So, you should see it too.

Phipps overall: 4.5
Board the boat and get ready to rock.

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An Education

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Goolphipp Award: 3 (Worth 11 Bucks)

When I saw that the screenplay was written by Nick Hornby, I sort of new what was coming, or at least knew how I would react to what was coming. Nick Hornby is most famous for the movie adaptation of About a Boy. I'm now curious about the memoir that An Education is based on. This movie is a period piece set in the 1960's of London. The all too wise teenage girl finds out just how little she knows about the world. I actually thought Carey Mulligan, who plays the main character Jenny, gave a really great performance. I did get icky Humbert Humbert vibes from Peter Sarsgaard in his role as David, way too close to flashbacks of Lolita for me. This says a lot, that creeper vibe is often hard to pull off and he did it very well... creepy. At the end of the movie I felt Jenny did not really learn her lesson. Phipps said that I just wanted something more tragic to happen to her, but I think it is really about the end message. I think teenage girls in movies lately get away with too much. I want a harsher reality depicted on screen. Go see it for the great period clothing, the on point performances, and a message none the less.

Goolsby overall: 3.0

I read a review of this movie and the author made the comment, "I can't decide if Peter Sarsgaard is sexy or creepy." I agree. He was kind of sexy and creepy at the same time, which is totally strange and totally perfect for the plot. You wanted him to be the dashing, romantic older man, but at the same time, you knew he was shady-cady. So, I thought it worked.

In fact, I thought all performances in this movie were fairly exceptional. Not over the top, or too obvious, but close to life. Subtle. You knew there was something shady about these guys, but their smiles said something different. Isn't that just like life?

Carey Mulligan is going to be an actress to watch, I think. Oscar nod for this role is a possibility.

As for the plot, there was one thing I hated, which vibes a bit with what Goolsby said - I hated that Jenny swept her experience under the rug. I was alright with the outcome, because she had to humble herself and realize the value of a proper education, realize the quality of those who taught her. It was literally the last two minutes...when Jenny says (paraphrasing) "I looked like all the other school girls, but I wasn't, not really. Once a boy asked me to Paris, and I said, I would like to see Paris, as if I'd never been." So in effect, she swept it under the rug, like she'd never learned a lesson or been a precarious situation, and I suppose simply lies - through omission - about this area of her life. I thought that was lame.

I thought An Education raised some good questions about fun and diligence, and the proper ways to go about both. So, I do think there is some value to this film, apart from the last two minutes.

As for the audience, college age plus, if you please.

Phipps overall: 3
For solid performances, being a brilliant period piece, and one sexy, yet creepy, older man.

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