Monday, April 28, 2008

S&C - The Movie!

So I had almost managed to forget about the upcoming Sex and the City movie - there's been so little hype since the first announcement that all the gals (and all the guys) were signed on. Then, a couple weeks ago, I saw re-runs of Big's famous dash to Paris. Last week, I saw the trailer on TV for the first time. And now I'm way excited!

Of course, a fave TV show going to the big screen is no different than a fave book - caution must be exercised to avoid having high hopes crushed. Still, the folks at HBO have always been so responsible with this series - aside from that phase in Season 5 when Carrie was even more of a selfish bitch than usual - and I'm hoping/assuming that they wouldn't have done the movie if they couldn't do it right.

The other potential problem, of course, is the need for conflict. Everything was tied up so nicely at the end of the show, and naturally they'll have to tear some of that happiness apart in the movie. The big question will be whether the new inevitable happy ending is as satisfying for all us long-term fans as the original one was? Will 2 hours be enough for us to approve of a new man for one of our girls? Will whatever tying-up of loose ends that they do feel forced or predictable?

I guess we'll have to wait and see... Here's the trailer:

Friday, April 25, 2008

Y Tu Mama Tambien gets the roundtable treatment

I never posted a Screening Log for Y Tu Mama Tambien, which I tracked down in a suburban Memphis Blockbuster back in mid-March, because I knew I'd be covering it over at World Hum for the monthly World Hum Travel Movie Club. Yes, email dialogues between two or more reviewers are, like, so hot right now - and I have shamelessly jumped on the bandwagon. I'm not sure how often the movie club is going to overlap with the content of this blog in future (there's talk of tackling Crossroads, Chasing Liberty or the like) but in the meantime, here's Part One of our take on the Mexican buddy road trip flick.

(Wondering how this qualifies as a chick flick? Dude, there are hot guys in it. And they're naked a lot. And they talk about their emotions sometimes. Comprende?)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Screening Log - P.S. I Love You

What is it with the chick flick marketing people anyway? I've noted here before the times I've been pleasantly surprised by movies that I had assumed, from the previews, would be complete crap - or at least, something entirely different from what they turned out to be (see: Prime, in Love in New York), and P.S. I Love You is another example. Not that I thought the trailer looked like crap. But I thought it looked like a light-hearted, upbeat romp (from a grim starting point, sure) wherein Hilary Swank's widow moves forward with her life, re-learns how to party and meets cute boys.

I guess in some ways it's all those things, too. But Gerard Butler's letters have as much to do with the past as they do the future. His dead Irish husband forces Hilary Swank's character to confront who she was and who she became, to think about who and what she cares about most, and to see in herself what he always saw. (Yeah, you know I cried my eyes out.) It's touching and funny, and doesn't lead you exactly where you might expect it to - and all three leading men (Gerard Butler, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Harry Connick Jr.) are dreamy.

In the end, this movie was about coming to terms with an old relationship rather than starting a new one - that part, I suspect they're saving for a sequel.

Screening Log - Juno

Finally! I've been following the Juno good/bad debate from the sidelines for much too long. Now, thanks to the pay-per-view offerings in a Fort Myers, Florida motel room not so long ago, I can at long last weigh in myself.

And the not-so-original verdict is... Dana Stevens was right. My teeth were inspired to start grinding almost instantly by the too-cute indie banter in the early scenes ("honest to blog"? are you serious?) but I gradually learned to overlook the overdone witticisms and just see the people hiding behind them. (As Stevens said, "Many critics, including me, pointed to the 20-minute mark as the point when irritation gave way to affection.) There's Juno herself, of course, with that mix of toughness, humour and vulnerability that earned Ellen Page her Oscar nomination, but I thought that the characters played by Michael Cera, Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner were equally layered. Cera's "whose idea was it...?" was a heart-breaker.

If I must address the whole teen pregnancy issue (and, considering the movie has been kicked around a lot in a role model vs. inappropriate viewing debate, and also been adopted by some as a pro-life vehicle, I suppose I must) I'll say this: I think the movie may have underplayed, slightly, the potential emotional consequences of giving a baby up for adoption. Juno's final "It never really felt like ours, anyway" moment strikes me as a little too easy. I also think the kids at Juno's school were remarkably easy on her, at least compared to the treatment pregnant girls got at my high school. Do I think that means this movie is going to convince teenage girls everywhere that there are no consequences to being knocked up? No. I don't. It's just one person's story, and an enjoyable one at that.