Posts Tagged ‘soundtrack’

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#9: Magnolia

January 14, 2011

So I pretty much spent a good part of my later childhood listening to this soundtrack, so I figured I may as well watch the movie.

So what’s it about?: That’s a good question… but I do know some chaos ensues!

The Good: The acting is great.  I mean, seriously, what the hell is up with this cast?  Julianne Moore, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, John C. Reilly, William H. Macy and Tom Cruise at the best I’ve seen him (and considering this is 1 of about 3 films I can even stand him in, that’s saying a lot!)  The list goes on, but they are all great!  And the soundtrack… well, it’s what drew me to the movie, and it is probably one of the greatest.  And any movie that does a character sing a-long (which isn’t many… this and the Skins season 1 final?) is good in my book.  And being a huge fan of coincidental urban legends and whatnot, I loved the opening.  Granted, I’ve heard all three stories, but it was cool to see them again… and with reenactments!  And I love, love, LOVED the last shot of the film.

The Bad: Okay, so this film didn’t quite make sense.  Usually frame stories have a common theme.  Like Crash is very clearly about racial stereotypes and The Breakfast Club is very clearly about high school stereotypes… but this?  No clue.  For a movie that appeared to be about coincidences, it didn’t really have a lot amongst it’s eclectic conglomerate of characters (I mean, I hear about better coincidences and “It’s A Small World…” moments all the time that actually have happened).  And then there’s the thing with the frogs…

The Verdict: This movie will hands down make you think, and think, and scratch your head and go WTF?  But if someone could please explain to me what the hell it was about, that would be greatly appreciated!

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#5: Hairspray

January 13, 2011

This is the musical, not the horrendously boring original John Waters film.

So what’s it about?: It’s 60’s in Baltimore and a girl dreams of being on a TV variety show and hooking up with it’s hot male lead (because what else is there to do in the 60’s?).  Only problem is she’s chubby, he’s taken, and she’s all for integration so naturally some shimmy and shaking chaos ensues!

The Good: Oh, the music!  So much fun and part of what made this show a hit on The Great White Way.  Even the new songs fit right on in with the old and make you want to get up and dance!  And Christopher Walken and Jonathan Travolta managed to turn my least favorite song into a hilarious song.

The Bad: Another sad case of a musical cast with people who can’t actually sing.  I mean, really?  Trying to hear poor Amanda Bynes and Brittney Snow try to match the great Kerry Butler and Laura Belle Bundy?  It’s kind of sad.  Especially when there’s so much good talent out there!  And honestly, this could have gone bigger and campier.  It just seemed so tame!  Sometimes attempting to go mainstream just isn’t the correct route for a movie.

The Verdict: A perfectly acceptable movie-to-musical-to-movie-musical, but definitely nothing to run and tell your friends about!

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#68: Crazy Heart

December 20, 2009

So what’s it about?: A post-famous alcoholic country singer struggles to travel from crappy gig to bar to crappy gig when he meets a journalist and her son and ensues some chaos.

The Good: Naturally a movie about country has an awesome soundtrack.  But this also has a touching story and SUPERB acting.

The Bad: This is basically The Wrestler.  And I don’t mean they’re similar, I mean they are the exact same movie, only Crazy Heart has music and a tangible ending.

The Verdict: Yeah, it’s worth seeing, though yet another film you don’t need to see in theaters.  But sure to get some noms for acting and a guaranteed Best Original Song win.

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#59: Pirate Radio

December 20, 2009

or The Movie Formerly Known As The Boat That Rocked

So what’s it about?: 1960s England.  Pirate radio stations broadcast illegal music from off-shore.  Uptight politicians would rather listen to elevator music.  Chaos ensues.

The Good: This movie is HILARIOUS!  Like, really, really funny.  It’s basically Love Actually on a boat in the 60s, and of course it would be seeing as how Richard Curtis wrote and directed both films.  While not as touching as Love Actually, and not nearly as good of a film, it’s still charming and in the end has you rooting for all of its five bajillion characters.  And naturally, for a movie about rock and roll, it has a killer soundtrack.  Plus bonus points for great opening and closing credit sequences.

The Bad: There are a lot of characters, which results in not a lot of development.  Some plot lines just get dropped to the wayside never to return.  And some scenes are just plain filler.

The Verdict: It’s certainly not a classic, award winning, memorable enough to even be talked about come 2010, but hey, it’s a fun movie, and if you ever find yourself looking for something to watch it sure won’t disappoint!

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#33: An Education

October 26, 2009

aneducationWell, after getting my new job (at a movie theater, of course!) I had to start using my perks of seeing movies, and this was getting good reviews.

So what’s it about?: A school girl with dreams of Oxford, a passion for Paris, and a curse of overbearing parents starts a relationship with a much older man.  As their romance lengthens, chaos ensues.

The Good: Carey Mulligan is AMAZING.  And of course she is.  After all, she was the center of THE GREATEST DOCTOR WHO EPISODE OF ALL TIME.  You know, THAT ONE.  But she’s also backed here by a great script and an equally amazing supporting cast.  And this film has some really profound moments.  And as an added bonus, this movie has an awesome soundtrack.

The Bad: Profound moments do not a profound film make.  The film was good, yes, but it was lacking something that’s really hard to pinpoint.  It just wasn’t great.  Perhaps in the end it was just a little too preachy.  But in the end this is going to be one of those films that’s forgotten in five years, only briefly referred to as “That Film That Launched Carey Mulligan’s Career.”

The Verdict: Go see it, for Carey Mulligan alone.  Or save yourself the money and just watch “Blink” (it’s available to stream on Netflix under Doctor Who, Season 3).

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#32: Risky Business

October 26, 2009

riskybusinessSo the day after I saw Paranormal Activity I had a job interview.  Only problem, I was so scared I couldn’t sleep!  So, in an attempt to stop analyzing every groan of my house I figured I’d watch something a little more upbeat to distract myself.  And I guess it worked, because I got the job (thus the not posting for a while!)

So what’s it about?: High school boy has the house to himself while his parents are away, so he uses his time joy riding in the family car, scheming with friends, and of course, hiring a prostitute!  Naturally, chaos ensues.

The Good: One of my favorite comedies of all time is The Girl Next Door, which is pretty much this movie, so naturally I liked it.  It’s a lot darker though, which is good on some level (more on that later).  The soundtrack is surprisingly simple yet very effective to the darker tone and I loved it.  And the supporting cast of characters was superb.

The Bad: Well, okay, I have to say it, but I think Tom Cruise is one of the most overrated actors out there.  He’s been in a lot of really amazing films, but in none of them did he actually help the picture, except, ironically, Tropic Thunder. But, back to this film, I have to say that my only real problem with Risky Business was that it was too much drama and not enough comedy.  It was just soooo serious and I just wasn’t buying it.

The Verdict: It’s definitely a film worth watching, but in the end I realized that The Girl Next Door took all the amazingness of Risky Business, added in a dose of lighthearted fun, and improved the cast by a bajillion and therefore comes out as the better film.  But, hey, it’s always good to view the source material!

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#30: Where the Wild Things Are

October 19, 2009

wherethewildthingsareI’ve been looking forward to seeing this film since forever, so Saturday afternoon I head over to the fabulous Universal CityWalk and saw this baby in the IMAX.

So what’s it about?: Max is out of control but has a great imagination.  He finds himself in a world of Wild Things where he is king and where chaos ensues.

The Good: This film looks really cool.  The combination of good old-fashioned puppetry and CGI results in a very real looking Wild Thing.  And some of the sets are just jaw droppingly gorgeous!  And the adaptation is actually pretty good considering the writers had hardly any material to work with.  The acting is spot on, the situations are all highly realistic.  When they aren’t in the land of the Wild Things they might as well be shooting a documentary that’s how real it is.  And this is just a good film beginning to end.  And the soundtrack is so fun, so props to Karen O.

The Bad: Okay, not quite beginning to end.  About halfway through the film when the awesomeness of the Wild Things began to wear off, the movie began to drift around and lose the path.  And it became a little dull.  Thankfully it picked up in the end, but I couldn’t help but thinking that if this had been a short film it could have been PERFECT.

The Verdict: Yeah, despite a PG rating, this is not a kids film (but, hey, neither is Good Night, and Good Luck and that has a PG rating as well).  It’s long, it’s dark, it’s painfully realistic at times, and the comedy is, well, lacking.  But it’s a good film nonetheless.  Just be warned, if never quite crosses the line into being a great film.