August 3, 2009

Weekend in Reviews

Twilight - I'm going to review each of the books in the series at the same time I review each of the movies - which means I'm planning to watch each of the movies, which is actually a really sad confession I'm making to you all right now.

So everyone everywhere loves the Twilight series except me I guess. It would be unnecessarily harsh to say that I hate the books; they're alright for what they are. But what they are, are books written about a sullen and whiny teenage girl, in the voice of said sullen and whiny teenage girl about "love" and "romance" as sullen, whiny teenage girls talk about those things. That is to say, I don't think it's really about love in any way and nothing about them is remotely romantic to me but I can absolutely see how a 15 year old girl would swoon over it all.

Young girls think that when a boy is a jerk, it's because he's misunderstood. When a boy treats them badly it's because he just doesn't know how to express himself. When a boy sneaks into their house in the middle of the night for months on end to watch them sleep without their knowledge, it's romantic. But you know what? That isn't romantic, that's stalking and it's creepy and if a boy does that shit to you, call the fucking police!

So whatever, the book is flawed. Bella is incredibly whiny and her self esteem is non-existent. She falls for Edward who is the only single guy in a "family" of vampires that don't eat people. He's also sullen and quite an extreme kill-joy. They're actually pretty perfect for each other. Absolutely nothing happens in the book for a good 350 pages and then finally some bad vampires show up and the shit hits the fan but everything works out just fine in the end (because did you really think that the main character would die at the end of the first book when there are three more to go?) and at last we're subjected to a whiny fit from Bella that we'll here again and again and again and again ad nauseum for the rest of the series - "please make me a vampire. Pretty, pretty, pretty please! Boo hoo hoo!"

The movie is a hundred thousand times less interesting than the book (which was barely interesting at all to begin with so...yeah). What the movie has done to perfectly nice characters is nothing short of an assassination and an outrage - all of Bella's human friends are made to seem like complete assholes in the movie and her father, Charlie, who is merely uncomfortable showing emotion in the book is a cold, hard, mean man in the movie.

You'd find better acting in a grade school production of "The Remains of Decay: Why We Brush Our Teeth."

The action starts a bit sooner in the movie version as the bad vampires leave a trail of bodies throughout the Pacific Northwest right from the get-go, but that doesn't really help ratchet up the intrigue because all of the action seems to take place off screen. The story is so watered down that I'm pretty sure it was one open-mouthed kiss away from getting a G rating.

Robert Pattinson is not good looking. In fact, I'll go so far as to say that the kid is ugly and I don't think Kristen Stewart is much better looking than that. The special effects are abysmal. While I don't love the books, there are characters in them that I do care a great deal for - Charlie, Jacob, Alice, Carlisle, Esme - but the movie has made the conscious decision to be all Bella and Edward, all the time so there's nothing there to hold onto and use to pull this piece of cinematic shit out of the depths of its own boringness.

If you haven't seen this movie, please don't. And if you haven't read the books, I wouldn't recommend that either. Just because the Pop Culture landscape is littered with Twilight garbage right now, doesn't mean you have to know anything about it to get by in life. This too shall pass.

Confessions of a Shopaholic - Stupid movies are not not limited to those aimed at the tweens. Confessions of a Shopaholic was trying to win over the 20- and 30-something women but as far as this 30-something is concerned, it was an epic fail.

Rebbecca Bloomwood (Isla Fischer in her most un-likable role ever) is a magazine writer who deeply wants to work at fashion magazine Allette (aka, movie Vogue) and who spends thousands and thousands of dollars she doesn't have on some truly hideous, exorbitantly expensive designer fashions. The less said about her orange Muppet shrug the better.

While being terrorized by collection agents and drowning in a sea of credit card debt that her best friend (the adorable Krysten Ritter) is constantly bailing her out of, she ends up with a job writing a column about being responsible with your money for a finance magazine. "Hilarity" ensues.

I didn't laugh one time during this movie. I wouldn't have paid $20 for her entire wardrobe, I can not to this minute understand why the dreamy Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy) would fall for her, I don't know why Krysten Ritter's character didn't punch Rebbecca square in the face and most of all, I don't understand what the hell it was that was supposed to make this movie a comedy.

I'd give this one a pass even if it were on cable some afternoon when I was sick in bed and the remote was out of reach.

She's The Man - I've watched She's The Man at least a dozen times and I really never get sick of it. It is a large wedge of (Gouda) cheese and it's 100% satisfying.

Viola (Amanda Bynes) is a soccer player, her twin brother Sebastian is a musician. Viola goes to Cornwall while Sebastian has been transferred to Ilyria boarding school for unnamed discipline problems (I'm guessing it's a truancy issue). When the girls soccer team is cut at Cornwall, and Sebastian asks Viola to cover for him with their parents and the school while he sneaks off to become a rock star in London for two weeks, Viola sees an opportunity to impersonate her brother at Ilyria, get on the boys soccer team there and show everyone how awesome she is.

This ruse creates a love...octagon? Monique is Sebastian's girlfriend but Viola hates her so when he leaves, Viola as Sebastian dumps Monique; Viola as Sebastian is roommates with Duke (Channing Tatum) who has a crush on Olivia who likes Sebastian who is really Viola who likes Duke. When Duke meets Viola as Viola he starts to crush on her too, which pisses off her ex-boyfriend Justin who wants her back. Duke's friend Toby likes Eunice who likes both Duke and Sebastian...who is still really Viola. Malcolm, the school weirdo, likes Olivia and therefore doesn't like either Duke or Sebastian (Viola). I like Viola's gay friend Paul.

This is a charming, cute, funny, wonderful movie and if you haven't seen it yet I HIGHLY recommend that you do, right away.

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