Saturday, September 25, 2010

Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)

Just one of the many outfits from the film that are overwhelming for the eye

So firstly a bit of background information on how I came across this film. I am addicted to my 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book, my head is always in it at least once a week. I came across this film called Happiness in it which stars the brilliant Philip Seymour Hoffman & Lara Flynn Boyle (Twin Peaks). I was so intrigued by it's story and watched the trailer to it numerous times and then began reading up on the director Todd Solondz. This is how I discovered Welcome to the Dollhouse, as Solondz is the director. I have been scouring the shelves of dvd stores for months in the hope of coming across either of these films. It was just last week that I would casually step into JB Hi-Fi with the intention of purchasing nothing (always a fail) and just come across a copy of Welcome to the Dollhouse, simple as that! After watching it though, I am feeling rather unsure about my discovery.

The film follows loner, Dawn Wiener, who is both an outcast at school and at home. Constantly being called Wienerdog at school and ridiculed for not being as sweet and cute as her younger sister at home, Dawn leads a fairly miserable life as a result. What I didn't like about this film is the shit Heather Matarazzo's character, Dawn, has to go through. The taunting at school is one thing but to get so much crap from the mother at home is just frustratingly annoying. The shit Dawn has to go through was just overwhelming and quite ridiculous really to the point that it wasn't quite believable.

This all aside though, I can see the film's appeal. It's quite quirky and funnily enough, original despite the overused storyline of the loner who gets taunted all the time. I just can't make up my mind though whether this is enough to make me like the film. When the film was finished I felt rather disappointed but over the past few days I've been thinking more about it and I think I liked it. I think I'm going to have to give it more time though or another viewing before I can fully make up my mind about it. So for that reason I am not going to give it a rating. However, I'll still be hunting for a copy Happiness.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Kids Are All Right

The family

I'm still trying to work out how I feel about this film. I appreciate it for its originality, incredible acting and all round terrific storyline but unfortunately there were unresolved parts that left me feeling a little disappointed.

The Kids Are All Right revolves around a modern day family; two children and their lesbian mums. When Joni & Laser decide to get in contact with the sperm donor who made their family possible, things begin to change and Nic, the head of the family, doesn't like it.

The film isn't all serious, there are moments where you find yourself laughing quite loud i.e. an interesting D.V.D. that the two mums have sex to, makes for some awkward yet hilarious moments. The acting is also remarkable, but what do you expect when you have a film starring Julianne Moore, Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo (I'm also a big fan of the Alice in Wonderland star now, Mia Wasikowska, an absolutely stunning yet quirky girl, I'm expecting big things!) Julianne Moore and Annette Bening are perfect as the lesbian mums, there's nothing stereotypical about their roles, they act them out perfectly and flawlessly.

But of course there is the matter of unanswered questions. I'm not going to give the story away, but at the end you are kind of left asking but then what happens with so and so, why are we left with this part unresolved. I guess it's left to interpretation or just assumption, which I can accept, but you can't help but feel a little uneasy.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with the film. It's not something I'd go out and rush to see again, but I'd recommend to those who are in the mood for something original and less Hollywood.

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Badlands, Carrie & Scott Pilgrim vs the World

Okay, so I'm going to do something kind of different today, rather than review one film I'm going to post a few films I have seen since watching New York, I Love You, with a little rant about what I thought of them and then a rating. I'm doing this firstly because I'm avoiding my assignment which involves me creating an animation in Flash (kill me), and also because I've been a bit slack and haven't posted anything for nearly a month.

Badlands (1973).

The dancing scene! So adorable. And goddamn, Martin Sheen was such a babe in his time.

I absolutely adored this film. Having found out about it from reading one of my favourite coffee table books, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, I went out and purchased it straight away. Unfortunately, being as lazy as I am, I didn't get around to watching it 'til about two months after purchasing it (I still haven't watched Dr Strangelove either, which I purchased in early 2008). Martin Sheen & Sissy Spacek are perfect as the young couple on the run. A favourite part in the film of mine is when they live in their tree house home out in the middle of nowhere. There's an adorable moment when they're just dancing around to their portable radio, it's so sweet. This film has inspired me to check out Director, Malick's other stuff. The Thin Red Line is on the top of my list.
Rating: 4/5

Carrie (1976).

Oh no! Carrie got her period!

Having seen Badlands, I wanted to check out some more of Sissy Spacek's earlier stuff so decided to rent out the horror classic, Carrie. Yeah, I'm not going to lie, usually I love old horror films but Carrie has aged pretty badly. The film opens with a female changeroom at a highschool showing naked schoolgirls walking around. This was a very long opening, basically just filming breasts and bushes all in slow motion... I watched this with my friend Katie and we both just had to laugh because we didn't quite get what the point of it was and it was a little uncomfortable to watch. There's a lot of slapping of students by the gym teacher and just awkward scenes between Carrie and her mother. I enjoyed Sissy Spacek as the character Carrie but apart from that I was a little disappointed and didn't find the film all that frightening.
Rating: 2.5/5

Scott Pilgrim vs the World.


Yay! I have been long awaiting this film since discovering it on the Internet Movie Database about a year ago. I constantly stalk Michael Cera and Jason Schwartzman's imdb profiles to find out what upcoming films they'll be starring in and to discover they were to be in a film together just got me super antsy. This film definitely doesn't disappoint. Amazing characters (Wallace, a definite favourite played by Kieran Culkin), computer game styling, a band called Sex Bob-omb and amazing fighting scenes where Scott Pilgrim must defeat the seven evil ex's. I went to this one on my own and haven't regretted it. Sitting there and viewing this on my own was one of the best moments of my life. I was so so happy that day. I highly recommend all to see this and view it's glory!
Rating: 5/5