Consumables #71

Crap, people. I have so much of the pop cultures to talk about that I’m drowning! Let’s do an all-movies lightning round.

The Holiday
To finish out my holiday movie binge, I watched this romantic comedy starring Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Jack Black. First of all you have to get over the fact that Jack Black is his usual air-guitar-y toodley woodley self AS WELL AS being a love interest. He’s cute, sort of, I guess, but really, do you want him to be giving Kate Winslet crazy eyes like that? Then, you have to get over the fact that Cameron Diaz seems like she is reading all of her lines off of a cue card and then hamming up any frustration by stomping and going “errrrrGHHHHHH!” a million times because really that’s what ladies do when we are frustrated and it is HILARIOUS. If you can get past these two things, there are two other things that maybe might make up for those. One, Kate Winslet has a storyline where she befriends her elderly neighbor and their pal-ship is really sweet. And two, Jude Law is at his most charmy, least smarmy ever.

How About You
I am not sure if this originally aired on tv or as an indie movie or what, but this one is a great pick for you Hallmark Channel holiday movie enthusiasts. This isn’t the romance-y kind of HC movie, it’s the young upstart bringing joy back into the lives of grumpy old people kind. First of all, the grumpy old people are fancy actors: Vanessa Redgrave, Brenda Fricker, and old Umbridge herself, Imelda Staunton. The young upstart is famous in the UK I am sure but all I could think of when I looked at her is that she looks like Kate Beckinsale 10 years ago. Sorry, young actress. But it’s got all the elements of an HC movie: poor man’s Kate B shows up from the big city where people are mean and life is not satisfying. She needs a job so although she thinks the country is BO-RING she starts work at an assisted living place that houses the crusty old people. She spruces things up with her feisty ways, and their withered up hearts get warmer. And it’s Christmas.

Total Recall
Speaking of Kate Beckinsale, I saw the remake of Total Recall starring her, Mrs. Timberlake, and Colin Farrell. My expectations on this were way, way, way low, so it turned out better than I thought it would be. Lots of chases, cool futuristic world, fights. Good times. And can we just take a moment to discuss Kate B’s hair? That shit is the shiniest, bounciest, Alberto-V-05-iest mane in all the land.

Looper
Here’s my thing with time travel movies. If they are sloppily done, or if they are well done but super complicated, I can’t tell the difference. Because if I perceive holes in the time travel logic, I either feel like the movie writers are dumb, or I am dumb because maybe there aren’t holes but it’s just going above my head. I felt like this one was right down the middle for me: it was complicated enough to be interesting, but not so complicated that I was all “huh?” Britney style. There are some kids in peril in this movie, so those parts can be hard to watch- fair warning.

Magic Mike
I went into it thinking that I knew from strip clubs. I know strip clubs, I have been in strip clubs, I have friends who have stripped, the family that lived three doors down from my parents when I was growing up owned a mom and pop strip club, blah blah. Really, the job of stripper is very normalized to me. But you know what I don’t know about and I didn’t realize? Male stripping. And you know what Magic Mike taught me? That a big part of male stripping is burly men dry humping women customers in the FACE with their sequined, oiled up banana hammocks. In the FACE, you guys. Which, WHAT??? That’s what it is??? Ladies pay for this service? I just… I mean…e-GADS, people. EWWWWW. I wanted to Purell my eyeballs.

Hope Springs
We can pretty much prop Meryl Streep up in anything and she’s luminous, so there’s that. I was also surprised that Tommy Lee Jones managed to do something that didn’t immediately bring to mind “search every foxhouse, outhouse, doghouse and henhouse” because usually I can’t get past that point with him. It wasn’t the best movie ever, but I got some laughs out of it.

Lincoln
Come to think of it, Tommy Lee Jones does that again in this one, so twofer! I mean, he’s still a grumpy cuss in both movies, but still- he stretched. So this one is a good movie in that Oscar-bait sort of way. It doesn’t really surprise- it’s just what you picture a movie about Lincoln to look like and be about. That doesn’t mean it isn’t compelling: I was quite happy with it. Daniel Day-Lewis is once again inhabiting a character to the point of creepiness, plus he wears shawls, which I loved a lot. Can we bring back the presidential shawl please? Or perhaps we update and have Obama sport a Slanket or something. Anyway. James Spader was all kinds of awesome in this one, and I wished that they could have brought more richness or layers to Mary Todd, because she just came off as shrieky and hysterical and tiresome. I don’t blame Sally Field- I think the part was just written that way. So, this movie will not make you see nuance or the contradictions of the time or push any envelopes, but it will make you feel super “yay, democracy!” and “Lincoln was a cool dude,” which I am totally behind, obvs. It’s a feel-good.

Katy Perry: Part of Me
I maybe watched this on one of my days off over the holidays where I never got out of my pajamas. That’s the appropriate venue to watch it, if there is one.

Arbitrage
This is a weird comparison, but I felt the same way watching this as I feel when watching Gossip Girl. Pretty clothes, pretty people, and posh New York City locations that are pretty. The story was sort of secondary to me. Still, Richard Gere as a ruthless businessman who makes a habit of morally equivocating was convincing. Bonus: everyone’s least favorite boyfriend of Lorelei Gilmore- Jason Stiles- shows up.

Skyfall
Ooh, those Tom Ford suits, honey. Put people in good fashion and I will see the movie. And like it. Ok, so I probably would have liked this even without that, but it’s a major factor. It’s so CHASE! BAM! POW! SEXY! PRETTY! PEW PEW! EXPLOSION! I like it. I also liked how they did a lot more winks to the old Bond movies than in the previous couple. I wasn’t really feeling the Bardem character, was the only thing.

That’s all I have time for today, peoples. Hope your Monday is grand.

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4 comments

  1. According to the director of Looper, every time travel story has some kind of holes, and it just must be accepted at if you are willing to believe in time travel, just ignore those holes and hope they are not too gaping.

  2. Great reviews, LG, for which much thanks. Angela and I gagged our way through Holiday and I had forgotten that trauma until now. I won't hold that against you.Your review of How About You is the kind of off-hand zorro-cut that could kill the feel-good movie industry, kill it for good. Brilliantly done (even though I am a total sucker for those movies).Kate BreckOnSale – She leaves me cold. I am not watching any more movies with Kate B in them. Or that McConaughey fellow. Looking forward to Lincoln, but our babysitting dollars are limited. I will watch Tommy Lee do anything with his clothes on. We loved Skyfall. I hear you about the villain. With a reimagined Bond the old-style supervillain seems ridiculous.If you're taking requests for reviews, we are eyeing Les Miserables and Silver Linings Playbook.

  3. Laughing off my sizeable arse at your Magic Mike review. We went to see it having heard good things from people who clearly do not share the same film taste as me, and came out utterly traumatised! I fear my eyes may never ever recover. Even now just thinking about it I'm shouting "my eyes my eyes"!

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