The Century 20 was closed for six months last year. It opened up sporadically, with a few screenings of a handful of blockbuster films. It only started to get back to regular screenings of new movies this past summer.
Self loves movies. She loves watching movies in theaters. As soon as theaters re-opened, she was there.
She didn’t realize how many films she’d seen this year until she started compiling this list.
Seems to diss Evan Peters, lol. But interesting for describing the film’s “American thing” (i.e. yearnings)
Even though without the heist there would be no reason for the movie, it hardly seems possible that the heist will happen, not with these guys. Indeed, it’s not certain that the participants themselves even want it to happen. Yes, Warren is all for it, but the rest of them just seem willing to go along.
Part of the explanation for their sticking with the plan may be Warren’s personal charisma — not the charisma evidenced by the actor playing Warren, but that of the real-life Warren. He seems forceful and funny and looks like the leading man in a zany romantic comedy. Another explanation, suggested by the movie’s title, is that this is just an American thing: the desire for money, the desire to be somebody, to have status, to have an interesting story.
Yet one has to wonder . . . where are the young women in this story? Why don’t Spencer and Warren have girlfriends? One gets the feeling that if either of them had one, the plan might have been scuttled immediately. The reason for this is that it often seems as though the guys are in this plot out of boredom, or out of some restless desire to feel that they have hope.
Self’s personal opinion? There is not enough Evan Peters on the big screen. Perhaps it’s Peters’s insouciant affect. The Quicksilver slowing-down-bullets scene never gets old.
We meet the brother of Isabella Thorpe, whose name is John Thorpe.
This is his appearance:
John Thorpe was a stout young man of middling height, who, with a plain face and ungraceful form, seemed fearful of being too handsome unless he wore the dress of a groom, and too much like a gentleman unless he were easy where he ought to be civil, and impudent where he might allowed to be easy.
The very plain-ness of the man means the heroine, Catherine, will be paired up with him because she, though not un-attractive, is decidedly not beautiful. So why should anyone in Bath, England, pay attention to her? Isn’t it rather presumptuous of her to go to Bath and look for romance? Most women of Austen’s day and age would be happy to have anyone, looks or affinity do not matter in the least.
Self knows there will be plot twists and blah blah blah, but why in God’s name does Austen allow John Thorpe to bore us the same way he bores Catherine with pages and pages of tomfoolery and dull dialogue that was delivered to greater effect by Tom Bennett in the recent movie Love & Friendship?
We get that John Thorpe has no other subject of conversation other than horses (“look at his loins; only see how he moves”) and gigs, and that he doesn’t see the value of novels, but — could Jane Austen please stop belaboring the point and get on with it, please? A point can be made twice. It cannot be made three times. This is a short novel.
All self can see in her head is the dinner scene in Love & Friendship when Tom Bennet takes great delight in “little green balls” on his dinner plate and asks what they are and Reginald de Courcy (who is brought to blazing life by a blazing hot Xavier Samuel) says, “They’re called peas.”
Speaking of Xavier Samuel, self cannot wait to have Love & Friendship in her Netflix feed.
Self has been browsing movie reviews, and binge-watching Ripper Street, and tweeting with fans about it, and beginning yet another fan fiction, which she needs like a hole in the head, but this one’s irresistible, this one’s got a Really Really Dark Peeta, a Peeta who just might be a murderer! Like Jack the Ripper! . . . Sorry! Back to the reason for this post.
From Critic After Dark’s review of The Shallows (which self saw aaaaages ago, at the start of the summer — feels like a lifetime!) starring Blake Lively, whose legs are so on point self can’t even:
Then of course death crashes the party in the form of a humpback whale carcass. Clever way to account for the Great White cruising nearby (otherwise it’s a bit of a puzzler why the shark — which habituates the waters of California, Northeast United States, South Africa and Australia — is hanging around a Mexican beach) but also raises a whole other question: why forego this tasty, properly wet-aged all-you-can-eat buffet of rich blubber and tender meat for a bony surfer who would hardly make up a satisfying snack?
In answer to which self wishes she could insert a hundred “shrug” emojis!
And self has a question of her own for reviewer Noel Vera: How does he know the carcass is that of a humpback whale? Because it literally is half gone. So there is no possible way to determine whether it really does have a humped back. Har, har, har! Sorry, self just couldn’t resist making a lame joke.
Self will close with a list of the summer 2016 movies she most enjoyed:
For self to like a review enough for her to post bits of it on her blog, it’s got to be funny.
So, you all know about “The Interview,” right? The movie that ended up starting a Mexican stand-off between North Korea and the United States? The movie that had self making statements like: It is a God-given right that Americans watch what they want, when they want, and especially on holidays like Christmas, when all the shopping malls are shut!
Then “The Interview” came out, just as Chris Rock said (to Jon Stewart on The Daily Show) that it would, and judging from the remarks floating around the lobby of the Redwood City Century 20 on Christmas Day, the general consensus seemed to be: This is a stupid movie. Why the North Koreans ever felt it was so threatening — IDK (with shoulder-shrug emoji)
Finally, self lands on rogerebert.com (which she’s avoiding since coming to Mendocino because there are no movie theaters in the vicinity, and she’s too lazy to drive all the way to Fort Bragg, and anyway even if she did make it to Fort Bragg, they’re not showing it), and reads a wickedly entertaining review from Steven Boone. It’s so entertaining, self wonders why she never heard of Steven Boone before. So here goes (Note: The worst barbs are reserved for James Franco)
“The Interview” is nothing new, but it looks great.
You expect Kanye West and some X-Men to show up. It’s the visual approach filmmakers like Edgar Wright and various cohorts of this film’s star, Seth Rogen . . . spent the past decade indulging, to give their flouncy bromantic comedies the sizzle and swagger of a good romantic adventure.
Rogen’s co-lead, James Franco, takes a break from winking roughly one-third of the time . . . Early in the film, and for much of it, he is simply trying too hard. Imagine James Dean aiming for Will Ferrell speed and pitch. In Franco’s relentless hyperactivity I sense immense fear, of not supplying enough energy to this gargantuan film, of not giving Rogen enough to volley back.
There are several raunchy quotes from the movie, of which this one is the most tame:
“Welcome to the jungle, baby, welcome to the jungle. Na na na knees.”
Oh, fan fiction. You have self on pins and needles all the time. All the time.
The Fourth of July weekend is coming up. On the Monday following (July 7), self sails off to Squaw Valley for the Writers Conference. She just arranged to share a ride with someone from Benicia. Excited!
This afternoon, self casts a very cursory look over the summer movie offerings. She still wants to see “22 Jump Street”, though The Man saw it while she was in Los Angeles and declared it not good at all.
She still wants to see “How to Train Your Dragon 2,” as she loved the first one.
She’s seen “Edge of Tomorrow.” Oh, that was good! Emily Blunt is packin’. It is so great when an actress with proven dramatic chops switches gears. Blunt’s Full Metal Bitch deserves a place on the pantheon of Female Action Stars — maybe not quite on the level of Femme Nikita or Ripley, but definitely equal to Scarjo’s Black Widow.
She still wants to see “The Fault in Our Stars.” Son and Jennie saw it and liked it, though Jennie maintained that the book was better.
She saw “Maleficent” down in Pasadena, with Son and Jennie. 3 1/2 out of 4 stars. Self found Jolie’s razor-sharp cheekbones a tad distracting. So was her lightning-fast change into leather pants in the movie’s climactic confrontation.
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” — four out of four stars! Magnificent! Love the Vietnamese-talking Mystique! Love J-Law/Mystique in 70s bo-ho hippie attire! Love unrequited angst between J-Law/Mystique and McAvoy/Xavier and also with Hoult/Beast, and the jealous macho-ness of Fassbender/Magneto! Not to mention, Ellen Page is one darn cute actress! She hasn’t been this cute since “Juno”!
Ricky Gervais was the subject of Alexandra Wolfe’s Weekend Confidential, two weeks ago. He is as sharply witty on the page as he is while doing his stand-ups. He plays Dominic Badguy in the upcoming “Muppets Most Wanted.” He’s probably most famous for creating The Office, which debuted on British television in 2001.
About Twitter: “They worry about what someone on Twitter says about them . . . You may as well walk around public toilets and look for graffiti about yourself, because it’s as relevant.”
About his humor: “I enjoy deconstructing human behavior . . . That’s my favorite thing: social satire.”
About the criticism leveled at him for the way he roasted Hollywood stars while hosting the Golden Globes: “You usually have to be a serial killer to get that many inches” in the press.
On his success: “I’ve got a nicer house, and I travel comfortably, but . . . I don’t do drugs, I don’t race cars, I don’t gamble, I don’t buy jewelry, and nothing I couldn’t do when I was poor have I started doing when I was rich.”
He was in a band in college. It was called Seona Dancing.
He got his start doing “a satirical alternative news show” called Meet Ricky Gervais.
Hope for 2014: Self really, really hopes someone is making or has made a documentary of Typhoon Haiyan and the ongoing debacle in the Philippines.
Most Improved Show: SNL
Most Surprisingly Sexy Show: Sleepy Hollow (Just please never give Ichabod Crane a change of clothes. Self would hate to see his affect dissolve once he gets around to dressing in jeans and T’s like a regular American dude)
Borat * Doby the Shark * Christina Applegate * Will Ferrell * Paul Rudd * Steve Carell * Kristen Wiig * Liam Neeson * Kanye * Kirsten Dunst (as a beautiful goddess!) * an RV on cruise control * random comment about Filipinos * GNN (for Global News Network) * Marion Cotillard * Jim Carrey * Tina Fey/Amy Poehler * Vince Vaughn * precocious piano-playing kid
The funniest thing in Anchorman 2 (outside of Will Ferrell and Steve Carell) was a deliciously smarmy TV anchorman played by James Marsden. Self isn’t a big Marsden fan, but she really liked his performance here.
This is not really a review of Anchorman 2. If you liked the original movie, you will love this one.
Oh, and something else: the way Kristen Wiig’s character and Steve Carell’s character drive an uptight newswoman almost crazy is 100% believable. If someone who worked for you in an office screamed at maximum volume like that, would it qualify as abuse? Do dear blog readers realize how difficult it would be to label — even describe — such behavior? Therefore, it is brilliant.
On to Pajiba’s picks of the 5 Best Skits of SNL, which self read via Salon.com
Self loved the just-ended season of SNL. She watched it (almost every Saturday) without fail (but still managed to miss Kerry Washington’s hosting gig, which apparently was the best episode of the season, according to Salon.com — go figure!)
She caught Ed Norton (meh) and John Goodman (more meh) and Jimmy Fallon last week (surprisingly meh) and Josh Hutcherson (adorable!).
She missed Miley Cyrus’s appearance.
The best SNL skit of the season was a pitch-perfect parody of Wes Anderson (during Ed Norton’s hosting gig), called “The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders.” Watch and be slayed, dear blog readers! Self loved the way Ed Norton channeled Owen Wilson. It wasn’t just the bleached blonde wig (although that was pretty fabulous). It was the way Norton nailed the Owen Wilson drawl, the whole surfer-dude affect.
First, a digression: Today, self and The Man went to see the first screening of American Hustle.
J-Law is just a-DO-rable! Simply adorable!
Amy Adams was of course hot.
Bradley Cooper was the exact same speeded-up dude he played in Silver Linings Playbook. Only this time, he was an FBI agent. Many of the funniest scenes in the movie were his.
But Christian Bale. CHRISTIAN BALE. Since self had just seen him in Out of the Furnace, she couldn’t quite wrap her mind about this new Christian Bale iteration. But — he was magnificent. And also the only member of the cast whose Noo Joi-sey accent was firmly in place, from first to last.
The accent thing was quite a crucial thing in this movie. Alas, self has finally spotted a chink in the J-Law persona: Her accent was the messiest in the movie. But self feels so chary in pointing this out. For J-Law has the most hilarious scene with an exploding microwave. Not to mention, she brings such vulnerability to her role.
And now to — the ONE!
After the movie, we went to The Man’s favorite breakfast place: Broiler Express on Laurel Street in San Carlos.
This time, when they brought her order, the pancake had mouse ears!
BWAH. HA. HAAAA!
Self’s pancake never had mouse ears before!
This was the very first time!
Self’s face broke out in a huge grin, she just couldn’t help it. And the waiter was grinning, too.