Posts Tagged: movies

Badlands: The Most Stylish Movie I’ve Ever Seen About Murderers

Recently I watched Terrence Malick’s Badlands because Alex kept telling me I would like it, and I trust his opinion (but only enough to watch something several years after he recommends it, apparently). He was right! It was great! If you ever want to talk about Badlands (especially the scene with the fish in Martin Sheen’s room, SERIOUSLY WHAT WAS HAPPENING?), I’m available. But until then, let’s talk about how great Badlands looked.

Kit and Holly may be some truly messed up people, but damn it if they don’t always look great. Even when they’re living in the woods and on the run from the law, they still manage to look fly.
badlands woods

Apparently Sissy Spacek was actually in her 20s when she played 15 year old Holly, but I totally would’ve believed you if you said she was 12. Either way, her dresses are pretty amazing.
badlands dress

And, I don’t know, I’d probably wear this dramatic eye look.

Too bad only Martin Sheen is around to appreciate this.

Too bad only Martin Sheen is around to appreciate this.

And speaking of Martin Sheen…

He even looks hot holding a chicken.

He even looks hot holding a chicken.

I mean...

I mean…

I should probably find him less attractive because he’s a murderer. And I hate to play armchair psychologist and diagnose a fictional character (because that is a very boring way to watch a movie), but let’s get real: he’s psychotic. It makes it a little better if you look at this behind the scenes photo of him and Terrence Malick (ol’ Terry!). See? Totally not really a murderer!



But even aside from Martin Sheen being the most attractive murderer ever, this is a great movie. The tone is unlike anything I’ve ever seen, it’s totally weird, and it’s just beautiful. Check out Sissy Spacek’s house, which might just be my dream house (never mind that it meets an untimely end):

And it’s just a truly gorgeous movie in general.
badlands bridge
badlands martin

Badlands is a movie I could watch a million more times and always find something new. What about you guys? Have you seen it? Do you want Sissy Spacek’s weird eye makeup? Is Martin Sheen super hot? That last one was an easy question. You’re welcome.

Lady Film: Girl Most Likely

All I want is for this movie to be out TODAY, and then for me to watch it on repeat until I get sick of it. It has everything I love: mental breakdowns, people moving back in with their parents, Kristen Wiig, and Darren Criss. I feel really weird about my crush on Darren Criss because the only thing I’ve seen him in is Glee, where he plays a gay high school student. That’s not my type, guys. That’s illegal and impractical and fictional. But still, whenever I see him I can’t help but fall in love. It just can’t be explained. Also, I get interested in any movie that uses “I Love It” in the trailer because I work out to that song so hearing it gives me an endorphin rush.

In closing, please enjoy this picture of Darren Criss, my sort of inappropriate crush.
darren criss

Much Ado About Nothing Is Crazy But I Still Love It

much ado about nothing
I have a confession to make…even though I have an English degree, I don’t really like Shakespeare.

I know, I know. Everyone’s supposed to love Shakespeare. We’re supposed to think his plays are genius and laugh uproariously at them and use the word “bawdy” whenever we talk about them. Well, sorry. Perhaps my brain’s just broken, but I’ve always found Shakespearean language to be nearly incomprehensible. I hate the word bawdy. And nothing has ever annoyed me more than the people who would let out self-satisfied chuckles as we read a play aloud in class. Yeah, we get it. That was a sexual innuendo. Thank you for letting us all know that you understood it.

I’m not saying Shakespeare isn’t great. Clearly his plots have staying power, his words are still read after all these years, and he’s, like, the master of the love-hate rom-com (one of my favorite genres). But he’s just not my thing. So I went into Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing with pure curiosity and no expectations. Would I actually like a movie that used the original, Shakespeare-written dialogue while using a modern setting?

Turns out, I did! Yes, much to my surprise, I really enjoyed Much Ado About Nothing. Sure, it took my pal Chad and I a good 20 minutes to adjust to the language and figure out what the hell everyone was talking about, but after that it was actually pretty easy to understand.

That being said, Much Ado About Nothing IS CRAZY. I remembered nothing about the plot, even though I actually acted in my Shakespearean Comedy class’s production of it in high school, so I was completely shocked by how insane everything is. There are schemes galore! Lots of lying! Fake deaths! Betrayals! Someone who does something evil for no other reason than to be evil! Here’s Beatrice hiding under the island while two other characters pretend they don’t know she’s there and try to convince her that Benedick is in love with her. You know, normal love stuff!

There’s also a masked party because of course there is.
much ado about nothing mask

Although the play/movie is REALLY about Beatrice and Benedick and whether or not they can put aside their pride and egos to fall in love, it’s Claudio and Hero who actually propel the plot. And, oh, what a plot it is! If you don’t remember from your high school English classes, Claudio totally wants to marry Hero, UNTIL this dick Don John decides to convince Claudio that Hero is cheating on him. Why does Don John do this? Oh, no reason! Just bein’ Don John. Anyway, once Claudio’s convinced that Hero is a lying, cheating hoochie, he decides to have a conversation with her about this before the wedding. Just kidding! He decides to humiliate her at the altar. And then everyone hates Hero and Claudio basically calls her used goods and her dad says he wishes she would die? Ugh, can we nominate Leonato for the WORST DAD EVER award? And where was Shakespearean times Jezebel, you know? What Hero needed was, like, a series of witty blog posts about how she owns her body and isn’t defined by her sexual choices.

Alas, this is Shakespeare’s world, and we’re just living in it for 109 minutes. Despite the fact that Hero has done nothing wrong (aside from hiring maids who like to have sex while wearing her clothes), everyone thinks she’s no longer a “maiden.” Which means virgin, FYI. You know what the solution is to this problem, right? That’s right. FAKE HER DEATH!
Yeah, guys, that was my reaction too.

We’ve really got to hand it to Shakespeare. The guy knew how to raise the stakes. Anyway, things get worked out because Claudio finds out that Hero didn’t really cheat on him, it was just that maid with questionable ethics re: dress borrowing. And instead of being like, “Um, actually you humiliated me in front of everyone so no thanks I don’t want to be with you!” Hero’s like, “Okay, back in love now!” And instead of being all, “Wait, you FAKED YOUR DEATH?” Claudio’s just like, “You’re alive! Let’s dance!”

And then Beatrice and Benedick totally get together, duh, and we can only assume they yell at each other for the rest of their lives. True love! I guess Don John goes to jail? Don Pedro is just going to die alone, I guess. We need a romantic comedy from Don Pedro’s point of view. You know…”Don Pedro spends all his time helping his friends find love. But when he meets the right woman, he realizes the person who really needs a matchmaker…is him.” Cue Phillip Phillips song/montage of Don Pedro running through city streets.

Guys, is Shakespeare fanfic a thing?

Lady Film: Frances Ha

frances ha
Okay, okay, so I know Frances Ha came out forever ago, but I just saw it this week, in a completely empty theatre. Seriously, H. and I were the only ones there. I’m sorry, do you people not like to see Greta Gerwig films many weeks after their release at 6 pm on a Wednesday night?! Apparently I just like to live DANGEROUSLY.

I wasn’t sure if I’d like Frances Ha or not. On the one hand, I love Greta Gerwig. I think she’s so funny and charming and she seems to care more about playing interesting characters than she does about always looking good doing it. Like, I bet Greta Gerwig spends WAY more time thinking about acting than she does picking out her clothing, and I admire that quality in a person. I also had high hopes for Frances Ha because Noah Baumbach’s Kicking and Screaming (the one with Eric Stoltz, not the one with Will Ferrell) was one of my favorite movies right after I graduated from college. But I also thought I might now like it, just because it seemed like it might be boring.

It wasn’t boring! Yay! To be honest, not too much happened, which is fine, but I just want to warn you going into this. The film felt very long, when in reality it was pretty short. But I did enjoy it, because Greta Gerwig made Frances into a real weirdo. Not, like, a cute, quirky weirdo who you can really relate to, either. Just a straight-up, annoying, really terrible with money, not aware at all of social cues weirdo. But she’s not unlikeable! You want her to gain self-awareness, but you don’t want her to fail. You don’t hate her. Greta Gerwig could make anyone likeable, even someone who tells the most boring dinner party anecdotes in the world.

One complaint I’ve heard about this movie that I think is super dumb is that it’s not “relatable.” Seriously. “I’m 27 and I’m not like that! They’re all so entitled and annoying! I don’t take money from my parents!” Well, yeah. Who says you have to relate to them? I really dislike people who can only read or watch characters they “relate” to, the same way I dislike people who can only read about “likable” characters. Art (or entertainment) isn’t a goddamn mirror. You shouldn’t have to see your reflection staring back at you in order to watch something.

So anyway, I’m 27, and no, I don’t relate to most of Frances’s struggles. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this film! As previously mentioned, Greta Gerwig is a delight. Adam Driver is around, bringing that weird energy of his into every scene he’s in. Sting’s daughter plays Greta’s BFF, and she has a very unfortunate pair of glasses but she’s still interesting. Also, the girl who looks like Meryl Streep is Meryl Streep’s daughter. No, not Mamie Gummer. There’s ANOTHER Gummer. Gummers for days!

And, of course, I loved the music. I personally feel that every trailer and film should feature David Bowie’s Modern Love, since it’s the best song ever written.

This Movie is the Best Movie: Post Grad

Just like with Elizabethtown, I’m not saying Post Grad is really the best movie. I’m not even saying it’s a particularly good movie. But I am saying I love this movie, even if no one else I know has seen it.

It came out right around the time I graduated from college, when both the economy and I were terrifically depressed. I was in a pretty awful headspace then, and what can I say? Post Grad spoke to me.

First off, it stars Rory Gilmore and Matt Saracen, and if one or both of those names doesn’t mean everything to you, then we probably can’t be friends.
alexis bledel zach gilford

Rory plays Ryden Malby, but I refuse to accept that name on the grounds that it sounds like a type of weird cracker. So Rory and Matt, who are childhood BFFs, just graduated from college. Rory ends up not getting her dream publishing job because some chick with a ‘tude who looks about 40 gets it. So Rory has to live with her family, which shouldn’t be a chore at all because they are the stuff my sitcom dreams are made of. Michael Keaton is her dad, Jane Lynch is her mom, and Carol Burnett is her grandmother. Give me a break.
post grad family

Anyway, Rory can’t get a job because of the economy, I guess? But mostly because she’s in LA. I don’t know that much about publishing, but even I know that the vast majority of publishing jobs are in NYC. Like, duh. So anyway, she takes a job at her dad’s store and she has to wear this, for some reason. Would you ever buy anything from someone wearing this uniform? No you would not. Don’t make that face at me, Rory. I’m on your side.
post grad alexis bledel

Matt works at a grocery store. I think? Either way, they have a genuinely charming scene where they hang out in a grocery store and we all find out that he’s nursing a serious crush on her. I mean, of course he is. Like any man can resist those Rory Gilmore baby blues.
postgrad feet

Rory inexplicably doesn’t care about Matt’s crush on her because…I don’t know. Like, if Matt Saracen himself has a crush on you, you should marry him. If Matt Saracen says jump, you say how high, and also you ask why this character hasn’t been developed at all. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a great love interest because Matt Saracen has a natural charm, but what’s his deal? What’s his family like? What are his hopes and dreams? What does he like other than playing guitar, basketball, and tagging along while Rory tries on weirdly fitting dresses?

Either way, Rory has a thing for this strange old dude who lives across the street from her family. He has inflatable furniture that they have an uninspired make out sesh on, to which I say BFD. Cool 21 Grams poster, bro.
post grad neighbor

Can he play a guitar like Matt Saracen? I THINK NOT.
post grad alexis bledel and zach gilford

A bunch of stuff happens, and eventually that weird 40 year old girl gets fired from the publishing job Rory wanted so she gets it. When she goes to brag to Matt about it, he’s all “Sorry, gurl, I’m going to law school in New York,” and she’s all:
post grad alexis bledel upset

Too late, Rory. You should’ve appreciated him when you had him! Matt Saracen waits for no (wo)man!

At least it seems like Rory’s job is going really well. Her boss is Andy Daly, for starters.
post grad andy daly

Yet she still misses Matt. And here begins the most confounding ending of any movie, ever.

She quits her job and decides to surprise Matt in New York. I have a lot of problems with this! First, she worked so hard for that job! Well, actually she didn’t. She interviewed once and then basically did nothing until that other lady quit. But either way, it was her dream job and at no point did it seem bad. Secondly, why didn’t she give Matt a call first? Send a few emails? Some texts? Some sexts, even. Something other than just showing up in New York.

So that’s weird, but here’s what’s really weird. When she gets to New York and finds his place, she mosies on up to his room and says this:
post grad you took my heart with you
Which is nice. I guess. I mean, there are definitely worse things you can say.

But then she looks over his shoulder and sees a girl in his room. Since this is a romantic comedy, she’s legally obligated to run away before getting an explanation. Matt chases her down oustide and says, “That was just my RA.”

Okay, imagine a record scratch. Did you imagine it? Good. RA? Why in God’s name does a person in law school live in a dorm and have an RA? Granted, I don’t know much about law school, but it’s weird to live in a dorm in, like, your junior or senior year of undergrad, let alone law school.

But Rory doesn’t care about this lapse in logic because finally, she and Matt are together! And she’s wearing a really cute coat! And they kiss! And she says, “I love you,” and he responds, “Good, because I love you too,” which is probably the least romantic thing I’ve ever heard in my life.
post grad alexis and matt

If that didn’t make you want to watch Post Grad, please know that I didn’t even get into the subplot about Rory’s dad Michael Keaton going to jail. It’s like Say Anything lite, but without anyone from Frasier. Oh, and there’s a boxcar derby race. There’s a lot going on in Post Grad.

So, okay, I’m not saying this movie makes even a little sense. All I’m saying is that I will watch it anytime, any place, and get incredibly invested in the romantic story line even though I already know how it will end. That’s all I want out of a movie.

Previously on This Movie is the Best Movie:
While You Were Sleeping
Valley Girl