Monday, February 27, 2006

Movie Review:FAILURE TO LAUNCH -- by TG Barbie (9)

Opens march 10, 2006

I saw Failure to Launch last week at an advanced screening. I loved this movie. It’s very funny. Terry Bradshaw plays the dad, and he’s hysterical. His scene with the fish tank is priceless. Matthew McConaughey is, as always, hot. Kathy Bates is cute. Matthew McConaughey’s buddies are fabulous, as well as Sara Jessica Parker’s roommate. The roommate pretty much steals the show.

The only bad thing about this movie is Sara Jessica Parker. She is simpering, cheesy, and screaming at every little thing, as usual. Her scream count in this film is 5, quite high for a chick flick.
Yes, I know I'm recommending a Chick Flick, but it’s so much better than all the other crappy sappy movies in the genre. Failure to Launch definitely is not a Cinderella fairytale pipedream love story. (example A: Pretty Woman, and example B: Maid in Manhattan) This is a heartwarming "there’s-somebody-out- there-for-everyone,-no-matter-how-weird-they-are” type of story.

The best example of this is Sara Jessica Parker’s roommate who hooks up with one of Matt McConaughey’s buddies. Their side-story is better than that of Matt and Sara’s. (But Matthew McConaughey still wins for being HOT, and we do get to see him all steamy, just in a towel) I realize that Mr. McConaughey is HOT, and they had to cast him with someone Blond and sorta Famous. But really, they should just admit he’s the pretty one in the couple and just get anyone – oh, wait, maybe they did. Never mind.

The rest of the cast was fabulous. I really liked this movie in that I felt good watching it and it made me want to be nice to people. As a result, I said yes to a head injury dude who asked me out the next day. And no, he doesn’t drool.
Go see this movie, it’s cute and it’ll make your world a little cuter too (just be careful what you say yes to until the glow wears off).

Movie Review:THE FAMILY STONE -- by naudy (9)

On Friday night I found myself delightfully and completely without anything planned. Since I'm in the middle of opera rehearsals, this is a rare treat. I decided to celebrate my not-busy-ness by seeing a movie and THE FAMILY STONE was the one I chose to see.

I loved this movie. All of the actors are good, the writing is tight, the set dressing and costuming and filming were perfect, and the director managed to keep this pack of gigantic talents in one room and maintaining a consist ant, perfectly-nuanced tone. It's a Christmas movie, and a family movie, which means there's a potential for it to be a saccharin caricature or a pointlessly aggressive film. THE FAMILY STONE doesn't go in any of those directions but instead is effortlessly balanced right between in the zone called "reality." Life can be, has been, and really will be like this. Phenomenal film.

Of course, that being said, it's not going to become my favorite Christmas movie of all time since MIXED NUTS already is. And, I couldn't give it a perfect 10 because, bless his heart, Luke Wilson can't quite generate enough steam to be be charming AND a big pot-head AND a touch innocent/sleazy/nature boy. It's a tricky character and even though he's 92% of the way there, compared with the rest of the ensemble who's giving 110%, he's the weakest part. Which should give you an idea of how good this film is.

Anyway, I recommend it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Dam Short Film Festival 2006 -- by TG Barbie

Dam Short Film Festival 2006 February 9-12

I had a wonderful time at the film festival. I saw a total of 40 films. A couple of them were really good, most were just OK, and then the rest were just downright horrible. The bad ones were so bad they almost made me forget the great ones. My Top 5 favorites are:

"Rent-a-Person"12 minutes, 2005, USA Directed by Kurt Kuenne
The rags to riches story of L.A. bathroom attendant.

This won both the Audience Favorite Award and the Best Comedy Award. This was by far the best movie there. (And I sat by the director Kurt Kuenne during the screening -- He’s really nice, and quite handsome, which helps. Talent and beauty, a nice combination. He wasn’t stuck up or pretentious or anything like that. I think I’m in love. -- Kurt, call me!) The story is how the bathroom attendant starts his own business by renting people out to drivers who can then take the Car Pool lane. He gets homeless people off the street, cleans them up and gives them little baskets of toweletts and mints and cologne (just like in his fancy restaurant bathroom attendant job) Then the bums’ union goes on strike, the company folds, and he’s back in the bathroom, where he meets the attendant from the woman’s bathroom across the hall. It’s love at first sight. He asks to drive her home, they take the bus, and a photographer takes their picture and they become models, doing the rags to riches story all over again. The picture has a singing Greek Chorus who follows the attendant around and sing how he’s is pissing his life away. Very funny and very well done. This film was very beautifully done in black and white, with a Big Band/Frank Sanatra feel to the soundtrack. I loved it. The director did a Q and A at the end of the viewing. He said he’s made just 16 copies of this movie on actual film, since some film festivals just deal only in film, instead of digital. So I’m guessing it’s not on DVD anytime soon. But if it ever does, I highly recommend it. He just finished a documentary, so keep a lookout for anything by Kuenne, a very talented director.

"Emelia"9 minutes, 2005, USADirected by Derek Flood,
A young girl finds hope in the world.

This film was really cute, with a Addam’s family’s Wednesday type of character. She’s a mix of Wednesday and MTV’s Daria. She’s all dark and then decides to reach out and like people and the world. Just a feel good goth movie. Just makes me want to mix in pink and with my black Goth duds.

"Joyride"5 minutes, 2005, USADirected by John Cernak,
A mind-blowing interpretation of Queen's "Bicycle Race" song.

This was a crazy, jam-packed cartoon set to a Queen song. I can’t decide if I liked it just for the song or what. The story is pretty dark, not a light and fluffy Disney cartoon in any sense.

"I Killed Zoe Day"18 minutes, 2005, USADirected by Powell Weaver,
Two friends realize they've done something very naughty the night before.

This was very well done, with a crazy story. The film does a good job of flashback when the try and remember what they did the night before during their Tequila haze

"Wear Something Nice"17 minutes, 2004, USADirected by Camille Cellucci,
A single woman experiences the world's worst blind date.

This is my 2nd favorite, besides “Rent- A Person”. It’s about a chubby single thirty-something woman who’s mother sets her up on a blind date (with a therapist she’s secretly paying to do therapy on the daughter) The mom tells the daughter to ‘wear something nice. ’ A fight ensues between them regarding her clothes which ends up about all the Bride’s magazines the mom sends her. The woman shows up at the restaurant in a wedding dress (trying to stick it to her mom), sits down across from a man and begins to say all sorts of stuff to him and ends her tirade with a “lets just get it over with and go to Vegas and get married” It’s not her date. Her date is at the neighboring table. He blows her off and is ugly about it. The other man she just propositioned scoots over, buys her dinner and picks up the conversation were they left off, in Vegas. Cute little story about no matter how stupid you look (while trying to get back at someone) there’s always someone out there who likes you.

For more info, check out

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Movie Review:ANNIE HALL -- by naudy (7)

I hadn't ever seen this movie so I rented it in order to figure out why Diane Keaton is always dressed so oddly at the Oscars.

I found out she just likes to dress oddly. I also found out that in 1977 stringy over-processed hair was considered good looking. Also good was androgeny, huge sunglasses, strange "organic" foods, big cars, and Woody Allen.

Not much has changed.

This movie was funny (my favorite line was "Don't worry, we can walk to the curb from here" after a particullarly harrowing parking job) and seems to be a little time capsule of what society and relationships were all about in 1977. It's still pertinent today, though I don't know if it exactly defines things. Sneezing into your buddy's $2,000 stash of cocaine and blowing it all over his shirt is perhaps a touch less appropriate but still really funny. Your girlfriend needing to get high before going to bed with you is also less popular. But, people are still people, intellectuals are still pretentious, and New York and L.A. are still the same cities, even if Jeff Goldblum isn't there calling his guru because he "forgot his mantra."

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Movie Review:"Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit"

Wallace has no nipples. This is a fact neither I nor anyone else should be aware of. Unfortunately, this little bit of trivia comes to light in Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. The movie is true to the Wallace and Gromit standard- hilarious, clever, etc. I actually laughed out loud at several parts. What I didn't like was the strange presence of vulgarity. This vulgarity was so unusual for a Wallace and Gromit movie that I found it quite distracting. There are awkward placements of melons a few times, a "nuts" innuendo if you know what I mean, and even a reference to mooning. There is of course the part where Wallace is completely nude (hence the nipple discovery). Overall, it was a great, fun movie, but could have done without the naughty bits.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


This is to let everyone know that Naudy is officially too involved with opera rehearsals (see: for more info) to go see movies.

All new reviews will either be by other members of the team or will be after March 19th.

(If you're bored and looking for something to do, just read the synopsis of The Magic Flute []
and then write a paper examining the symbolism as it relates to:
  • Masonic rituals
  • Women's Rights
  • Traditional Fantasy Archetypes
  • German Folklore
  • Singspeil as a new/old form
  • Mozart as an Idealist
  • and Mozart as a lover of silly jokes

email your papers to and I'll post those instead of a movie review.

or, if you're not quite that bored, just bug the other contributors and perhaps they'll have a few things to say.)