2 Chicks and a Flick


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Dracula Untold


First impression . . . Loved it! You know I adore the retelling of ancient stories, one that blends old with new in a seamless plot. One that makes me empathize with the antagonist.

Even if—there is a huge BS flag—and several small ones. Ones that I won’t point out because I don’t want to ruin the Flick for those who haven’t seen it.

I know, I’m sweet like that.

No I’m not.

But I will only do one, and it’s at the beginning, so that doesn’t count.

Did none of the soldiers think to attack the castle instead of waiting around to get their ass kicked by one man?

Really?

This is why I am not asked to write screenplays. Flicks wouldn’t last longer than twenty minutes. Just long enough to get in a good fight scene and then an awesome moment to “bump uglies.”

Now that I think about it, this also might be the reason nobody asks me to write entertainment blogs on their sites.

Seriously. Anybody looking for a guest blogger? J

Moving on.

The reason this Flick is so good is simply because I didn’t care about the flaws. It offered me: love, loyalty, action, betrayal, well thought out plans of escape and sex scenes where I don’t have to look at hairy bare asses.

I enjoyed the soul mate aspect of the story. Who doesn’t like a lady who stands behind her man even if he says things like, “I swear, I will not kill you.”

WTH? I love me my Y-Chromie but I never want to hear that come out of his mouth!

And speaking of Love, it is, and always will be, the most powerful reason mankind acts. It is the root of all things good . . . and evil.

Think about it.

While you are thinking, let me share with you some nuggets I learned from the movie:

Don’t bring a sword to a bat fight.

All Igor’s characters are creepy, no matter the Flick.

If you push a warrior/winner too far, you’re gonna get your arse kicked.

My Y-Chromie is watching me write this post and told me to “just say ass.”

How insulting . . . to get critiqued as I write.

Now, I really do think there are too many asses in this review!

J

In the end (notice I didn’t say ass) I will leave you with my favorite line. “Sometimes the world doesn’t need a hero. It needs a monster.”

Because I am a Chick and not a Cock, I cannot crow about this Flick. But I can cluck.
“This one is worth the cash. Rent it!”

As always, like my opinion, share the love and my site. Don’t like it . . . go check out the other Chick @ www.annerhoades.com







The Maze Runner

First impression . . . I don’t remember, I watched it a month ago. And that people in itself is the problem. I don’t remember a lot (and not because of the concussion I suffered) it’s because I didn’t think much about the movie when I watched the thing.

Unimpressed.

Now if you want to talk about the new Dracula Untold I would be happy to do so. That Flick rocked! It totally brought out my inner Y-Chromie!

But since we’re not talking about it, I will provide you with my opinion on The Maze Runner.

Lucky me J

Now I know I have been a little hard on all of the recent YA novels turned screen fan-favs . . . like Divergent

Okay I guess that was it, but I hated it enough for at least two, three Flicks worth. And I refuse to watch The Fault in Our Stars . . . however according to many screaming, crying young teens in my home, it was FANTASTIC!

I guess my stubbornness might have something to do with the actor Shailene Woodley. I just don’t seem to be able to get past the whole The Secret Life of the American Teenager thing. Perhaps I have pigeonholed her into a snotty, bad choices type of teenager. I hated the finale! But that happens and I’m old, so—

Anyway, according to the Other Chick, The Maze Runner novel was better. It always is, but in this case it’s especially true. Apparently they left out A LOT of important details in the Flick. Which made me wonder:

Why should I care about Thomas?
Who’s the Chick?
Are there Chick camps or are there only Y’Chromies left?
Why are they killing children to test them?
Do we not have any “non-lethal” test in the future?
Did our intelligence disappear with the virus? Because, to be honest, that seems to be a common thread with movies today, something bad happens to the planet and all the smart people die.

But most importantly, I wondered this:

Where was the disclaimer at the end that let me know “no child was hurt during the making of this film?”

All kidding aside, I don’t understand a world that murders its youth for what seemed to be no good reason. In The Hunger Games, I understood the downfall of humanity. The significance of their situation was shown to me. I didn’t have to read the book to get it.

In The Maze Runner, I just felt lost and didn’t understand why things happened. Why was it necessary to create a big mechanical bug/monster? What was it all for? How did watching a child endure a fabricated life isolate a gene that would help mankind survive a virus?

I know the answer was in the novel, but for a movie,

It’s all in the story-telling, people.

So if you didn’t read the book, this Chick says this Flick deserved a stinking egg.

As always, like my opinion share the love and my site with your friends. Don’t like it, well, check out the Other Chick’s @ www.annerhoades.com

SIDE NOTE: Click on the link to NYC Challenge and tell me what you think of my contest piece. Talk to me people!





Maleficent

First impression . . . Loved it. How could I not? It’s Disney and stars Angelina Jolie what more assurance is needed? It is a Flick for all ages. See it!

The end.

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 V

Seriously?

Did you think I would pass up an opportunity to dissect a movie?

Hell no!

The thing I love most about movies is when 90 plus minutes of screen time can make me think or question how I feel about things. How it can show me a different side of a story, even one I thought I knew so well. So with that in mind, I did a little digging.

All I really wanted to know was did the woman make the name or did the name make the woman? You know, like did the Chick or the rotten egg come first.

That’s it! I just wanted to give you a little bit of trivia. But what I got was a good old fashion history lesson. And to make it worse, it didn’t come with any singing birds, talking mice, short bearded men or even a drunken man who sings to penguins to make it fun.

But since I had to satisfy some sick need to answer this question, you, too, must suffer with me.

I was raised in the– seriously? Did you really expect me to own up to my age?

Anyway, when I think of Sleeping Beauty, I think of Disney. However, I also know he took it from the Grimm brothers, who took in turn, had taken it from folklore circulating in the early 1800’s.

I ALSO KNOW:

Maleficent is a Latin name dating from 1670-1680 and basically means to do evil.

So from that information, I would think the name came first . . .

Unfortunately, I am often wrong.

Turns out that the Grimm brothers took it from Charles Perrault who published the story in 1697. But it doesn’t stop there people. I wish it did, but it doesn’t.

Perrault took the story from Giambattista Basile and his version was published in 1634.

And HE got it from a piece called Perceforest published in 1528—well before the name Maleficent is known to exist.

So the answer to the question is . . .

Who knows! And to be honest, at this point, who the F*** cares? This is a movie blog and I’m not going to read all those versions to find out when the name came into the storyline! I’m kind of shallow like that.

If you want to, by all means do and then comment on it so I can use it at a later date.

I’ll give you credit.

I’ll even promise not to trip you if you’re running beside me in a zombie apocalypse! Instead we will be the best of friends. I will call myself Shane and you will be Otis! I will love you and hug you and then shoot you in the leg so I can get away—but no tripping.

J

What I do know is this:

There are always two sides of every story and somewhere in the middle is the truth. With Maleficent, Disney made an old worn plot seem new and fresh.

Personally, I loved the facelift Disney provided. I even loved the -albeit predictable- twist at the end. As a matter of fact, I loved just about everything this little beastie of a movie did—we can talk about those dreadful flying scenes later--I guess Disney can’t always be perfect.

So, as always, like my opinion, share the love and my site. Don’t like it, well click on over to the Other Chick’s @ www.annerhoades.com








The Hundred-Foot Journey

First impression . . . WTH . . . it’s been twenty minutes and we’re just now getting to the storyline??????? (Head shake) I should have known better when the Other Chick picked it.

JK—I liked it—you know—once the movie started—so—about a FOURTH of the way through!


The Flick starts with the main character Hassan (Manish Dayal) explaining why he and his family need to move to France. Like the Y-Chromie behind the glass wall, when Hassan first started talking, I didn’t care. However once he told us about the fire, I perked up.

But then, it took forever for me to care again.

Because, the movie—m o v e d—a t—a—s n a i l s—p a c e.

And I’m gonna tell you why. There was no CONFLICT. At least there wasn’t until the lady across the street played dirty. A.K.A. Where the storyline took off.

It will also help you to know, AND come to accept, that nothing’s going to blow up. No “uglies” are going to get bumped.

So who makes movies without violence or sex you ask? The artful ones, or at least that’s what the Other Chick told me.

She said it was beautiful to look at.

And I said, “What?”

Needless to say, I didn’t find it as pretty. To me, there was no vibrancy in the setting. The clothes, the landscape, the food and most of the dialogue between characters fell flat—with two notable exceptions—

1) The beautiful mentorship between Hassan and Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren).

2) The relationship between Madame Mallory and Papa (Om Puri). Now that had some great spice and I loved it—other than the time I thought they were going to have sex. That, well, that just plain scared me. :)


Before you get mad, yes there was beauty in the green countryside, but that was it. They could have added some CGI to give it some flavor. Perhaps a bright blue sky or a patch of flowers could have been manufactured—something to contrast with the green.

 To me if you want to express beauty with words, settings and life, take a lesson from 2005’s Memoirs of a Geisha. Or look at 2002’s Hero if you need to add some visual volume to your Flick. A little well placed color goes a long way to set the tone!

Maybe that was it. I missed the subtle messages. Wait! I didn’t miss them; I just didn’t care to invest into it because I wasn’t sold as a viewer on the Flick. I wanted to use my senses, to see, hear, feel. I wanted to experience the same sensations that Hassan had through the movie, not just the time his mother showed him how to taste. I wanted more than only two beautiful friendships that got the vibrant, well-written lines.

All in all the movies was good. Not great. I did not find Hassan as yummy as the Other Chick. I mean he’s cute and all, but more like an adorable nephew you want to rub on the head and say, “Who’s a good cook? You’re a good cook. Yes you are.”

I get that he’s like thirty-one in real life, but he doesn’t look it. Neither did Ralph Macchio or Mathew Broderick in the eighties.

Now after I did a quick little fact finding, I discovered that Thor is also 31. But seriously, who doesn’t look at him and say, “Welcome to my bedroom.”

Hmmmmm Thor! Oh, I’m not that shallow, I love me some Batman, too!

As always, like my opinion, share the love and the site. Don’t like it, check out the Other Chick @ www.annerhoades.com






Tammy


First impression . . . 80’s music is a great way to start a Flick for This Chick!

Props go to my wonderful Y-Chromie who rented the Flick for me because I have been jonesin’ to see it for forever! I love, love, love me some Melissa McCarthy! The 2013 movie Heat was hilarious and I wanted this to be as good!

It wasn't :(

You see, in Heat, Melissa had Sandra Bullock, a very funny actress—to bounce off of. In Tammy she had Susan Sarandon, who played Grandma Pearl, who is a wonderful actress, too, just not so bouncy.

Why do I think it failed at first? I didn’t relate to the character quick enough. I saw Tammy’s bad habits too soon. The fit she threw when she was fired was a bit much.

I know, I know, she saved a deer and that should make me like her . . . but it didn’t, not enough.

However, by the time I got to the bar scene, I liked Tammy; therefore, I overlooked her bad habits and enjoyed her quirks—like the way she danced.

Bless her heart. Tammy’s special! She is socially stunted. She’s that one person we all know who makes us feel better about our own crap cuz at least we’re not that bad—

Don’t pretend you don’t have this nugget of a person tucked away on your acquaintance list!

Hell, I am that person for many of the people in my life. J

Now, the film did have some great moments. And some of my favorites that made me ponder were:

Man those are some big kankels!
Was that old man ass-crack in the back seat?
Damn. You know that counter left a bruise.
I get that rockin’ a Mahalo bear shirt and crocks with socks don’t scream fashion week in NY, but does she own a brush?
Aw, Katy Bates dances like that special kind of person, too.

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST--was the moment where I cringed and prayed “Please don’t let Sarandon do what I think she’s about to do. Please don’t let me see her boobs.”

In the end, the gist of the Flick was this: Tammy has a crappy life, Grandma Pearl is a drunk, and Tammy needs to grow up because life isn’t fair.

And that, believe it or not, is what I enjoyed about the Flick. It resonated with me.

It’s true. Life isn’t fair.

1) Some people will always be A-holes. 

2) People don’t change very often; it’s only how you deal with them that can change.

So wrapped around this Flick’s harsh realization that life is cruel is a blanket of humor. And similar to life, sometimes the humor worked, and sometimes it didn’t.

As always, like my opinion, share the love and my site. Don’t like it, well don’t let the deer hit you on the way out, and check out the Other Chick’s @ www.annerhoades.com






  

Blended

First impression . . . someone check to see if there are zombies on the lawn cuz the Other Chick and I both liked this Flick. The end of the world as we know it must be near.

With that said . . . I bet we liked it for different reasons. And I bet the reasons we disliked it vary as well.

This 2014 Flick teams up Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore for the third time in cinematic history (I think), and together they have great comedic timing.

HOWEVER . . . they lacked chemistry.

I know, I know, it was a ROM COM and I don’t deny that it had comedy . . . but I cringed more at the end watching them kiss than I did looking at the end of Kim Kardashian this week.

What was she thinking? Negative attention does not boost confidence.

Moving on.

Now a lot has happened since the 1998 The Wedding Singer (you know the Flick where they had chemistry) was released. Both Sandler and Barrymore are now married with children in real life. We all know how that can dampen the mood so maybe that is the case here. But still, I want some electricity between the characters. Some spark. Some . . .

Oh just give me a half-naked Chris Hemsworth and we’ll call it good.

Hmmmmm, I love me some THOR. Who wouldn’t love a man carrying a big hammer?

Point is, I know I’m a fiction writer, but I don’t want to have to make everything up in my head . . . give me something to work with. If you don’t, I end up making lewd comments about big hammers.

I did like Blended for the standard “Sandler” reasons: the awesome soundtrack, the slapstick comedy, and an appreciation of how he uses all of his struggling actor friends in all of his Flicks.

I wish some of my writer friends would throw me that bone.

Seriously . . . anyone want to do that for me? ANYONE?

Even without the rom in this “romantic comedy” I enjoyed the movie. The kids were adorable. The plot was good. It made me laugh and I bought the Flick. So This Chick says, “watch it!”

As always, like my opinion, share the love. Don’t like it, check out the Other Chick @ www.annerhoades.com







The Family Stone


First impression . . . hated it. Every time I watch this Flick the worse it gets.

When a young—I use the term loosely. Seriously how old are these characters—They didn’t act like forty-something’s experiencing love for the first time. They just looked like geriatrics playing too young of a part.

No disrespect, I'm not throwing shade, and I love me some SJP but those hair color and eye cream adds aren’t fooling This Chick!

ANYWAY, as I was saying, when this “young” lover brings home his uptight (somebody please pull the stick out) significant other to meet the judgmental family, he wants to blend two cultures together. Bless his heart . . . he thinks this is going to end well.

The problem you ask? It was 103 minutes of seeing two types of family dynamics, the ones who try (too hard to fit in) and the ones who judge them.

And it was done all without any humor, people. That’s like an action Flick without any crap blowing up or inappropriately timed sex scenes. Imagine a Bond movie where this happens . . . the train blows up, people are shooting, the end of the world is knocking on the door. . . and no one bumps uglies.

WHAT?

We (the viewers) know you don’t have sex if your life is in danger for real. Ever! But in Flicks, it’s what we expect to see. Which is what leads me to my next statement.

The Family Stone is listed as a comedy. That to me is like saying Dumb and Dumber is a mystery . . .

 And okay, I will totally concede that I have a problem with these types of dysfunctional families. God help me for the month of November because in the spirit of thanksgiving, the Other Chick and I decided to showcase these types of Flicks.

In the end, we all have days where we judge, are rude, are selfish, act like a jerk, and bitch a little. But it’s not funny when characters don’t know how ugly they act and no one pokes fun at them for being buttheads.

As always, like my opinion share the love and the site. Don’t like it, check out the Other Chick @ www.annerhoades.com







Oculus

First impression . . . Wow. Good. Kids are hiding from a trusted family member. Something scary is going down! I’m loving me some Oculus. Then . . .

We go to a scene of a bouncy ponytail. It swayed back and forth with an annoying exaggerated force for what seemed like—forever the viewer watched the back of a young woman walk through some rooms, grab some papers, and then make her way into an area where an auction is taking place . . .

Bored?

Yeah so was I. I am NOT loving me some Oculus anymore.

Not only did this scene deflate all the suspense, it irritated me.

Don’t get me wrong; there were some great moments. I liked the flashbacks. The parts where we saw the demise of a family were good. It is truly scary (sad) to watch those we trust the most slip into insanity and then come after you.

And the “current” part of the film had some well thought out “rules” that they did a good job of establishing.

 *** Before I go any further, I feel it necessary to give a small synopsis of the Flick. Family moves into new home. They bring in a new piece of art (a mirror) that contains paranormal elements that makes the people around it go crazy. Even the dog goes nuts. ***

To continue:
The protagonist sets up fail-safes. This lets you know you are not dealing with dumb teenagers who make bad choices in horror Flicks.
Plants die quickly within the area of the evil mirror. This establishes where the mirror has influence.
The mirror cannot mess with your mind outside the home or in other places like the family room or the upstairs bathroom or the kid’s rooms.

Unfortunately it was those rules that I felt were part of its downfall.

STORY TELLERS NEED TO DEFINE CLEARLY AND STICK TO THEIR OWN RULES!

All the established rooms could clear the hallucinations, but the parent’s room was upstairs too. Meaning only the kids rooms were safe??????  Was it like how rain sometimes falls on one side of the house but not the other? Some magical cut-off that splits the house? Left side possessed, right side no worries?

The plot used this “convenient divide” as a reason as to why the children weren’t affected like the parents, but then eleven years later it didn’t work that way . . . or did it? I truly don’t know because I was lost and too bored to care.

The real problem, in my humble opinion, is simply the way the story was told. When you use flashbacks, then present time and then mix them without any frame of reference, you have to be very clear about the rules of the story, or at least make it interesting. Make me care! They tried to blur a great “past” storyline with a “current” predictable one, hoping the middle ground would make for a scary Flick.

It didn’t.

Unfortunately, this movie was a flop for me. It didn’t scare this Chick, and I think we all know how easily that is done! It mostly tired me. Too predicable, too cheesy, too whatever . . .

As always, like my opinion, share the love and my site. Don’t like it, check out the Other Chick @ www.annerhoades.com






Sinister

First impression . . . do any of these characters know how to turn a damn light on??????

You know how I said last week that I upped the ante and put hair on my chest for watching a scary movie by myself in the dark without hiding my eyes . . .

Well I’m sad to say that I backslid-ed. I know it’s not a word, I’m just stuttering.

Let me set the scene:

Lights are out.

It’s a little after 11pm.

The house is quiet . . . I start the Flick.

I’m feeling cocky.  I just watched a scary movie a week ago and I aced it!

As the opening credits rolled—an eerie 8mm home movie begins to play.

WTF?

Where is my opening “feel good” moment where I think this Flick is going to be easy to watch? Where is the part that deludes me into a false sense of security? Where is Morgan Freeman’s voice-over (see previous reviews for further explanation)?

WHAT DID I DO?  YOU ASK? Awe, thanks for asking! 

I did what any normal, red blooded American does when they get scared. They call for back up.

In this case, I called my daughter up from the basement to watch it with me. Now don’t go all CPS (Child Protection Services) on me, she’s eighteen and didn’t have school the next day!

After the first thirty minutes, I felt the need to turn on one, small, teensy weensy lamp to help dissolve the BLACK ABYSS in the room.

Whew, no creepy dead kids in the corner. No more worries, it’s all-good.

An hour into the Flick, I incorporated a new technique I would like to coin as the “Stalker move.” It’s where you pace for a while, watching, and waiting—for the scary crap on the TV to happen.

That way you can run if you need to. Plus it helps to get a head start if you need to push someone larger into the path of danger. 

I blame the ominous music of course. I wonder if that’s a plausible defense in a court of law? “The music made me do it.”

After the “stalker” move I then perfected the sideways stare. Watching the movie out of the corner of my eyes and squinting. All the while I’m checking out what is behind the couch and making sure my daughter doesn’t do something to scare me.

You see, in my world, if you just get a glimpse of what happens on screen, it still counts!

Another ten minutes go by and I’m turning on lights faster than teenagers making stupid decisions in Slasher Flicks.

I also used the pause button several times in the hopes that I could somehow stop the madness.

No—It never occurred to me to use the fast forward control. But now that I think of it, that wouldn’t have been an option. What if you miss some key piece of information that you need so this never happens to you? Not a risk I’m willing to take! I know the rulebook.

And NO—I couldn’t have just turned it off. That’s against the rules! I may not have a backbone or any street cred, but I still have my integrity!

—That and a big ass Y-Chromie will allow me to sleep comfy in my bed tonight.

Now I realize that I am almost finished with the review and I haven’t said anything about the actual movie, so here it goes . . .

IT SCARED THE HELL OUT OF ME FOR 110 MINUTES!

Done!

Oh, and it starred Ethan Hawke.

Okay, fine, here it is in a nutshell.  There is a freaky man-looking thing that likes to kill whole families except for one child that he takes to consume later.  He likes to film the horrible things he does. The protagonist enjoys watching these snuff films in the dark . . . the rest you need to see for yourself.

As always, like my opinion, share the love and my site. Don’t like it, check out www.annerhoades.com








Thir13en Ghosts

First impression . . . Holy crap what did I agree to do this month? JK, it was my idea to spend October reviewing our favorite SCARY Flicks.

In the past I have admitted to being a scare-dy cat, so this time around I thought I would amp up the ante. Put some hair on my chest. Seize the moment.

I watched the Flick at 11:00 pm and we all know that only bad things happen at night.

I watched it in the basement of a new house where all the moans and groans of a house are heard.

All the lights were out!  

My personal bogyman defender slept . . . upstairs.

That’s like three levels away from me . . . so in scary movie terms, my Y-Chromie was out for the count. SOOOOO, totally unable to hear my screams for help.

And last but certainly not least; I didn’t cover my eyes while I watched it!

Okay, let’s talk about the ninety-one minutes that scared the hell out of me.

This 2001 fun Flick starts out interesting enough. You’re in a junkyard, things are being thrown, people are dying, it’s all-good. No worries. Then we move to a house. Time speeds up and we get a glimpse of the family we are supposed to care about, but does one really care about the protagonist in a “scary movie”?

 NOPE.

We just care that it’s not us!

Hence, I don’t have to be faster than the zombies; I just have to trip the person next to me 

Don’t pretend you wouldn’t do the same.

Now I’m not going to tell you about the plot because if you haven’t seen the Flick, do so! What I will share with you is the “Red Flags” also know as . . . Why I wouldn’t be so stupid as to get caught up in this story line.

     1)   Lawyer is creepy enough, but did anybody notice the DEAD people in the background on his laptop?
     2)   You get to a new house and it’s glass . . . okay, not scary, but really? A house of glass? I get that it was miles from the nearest neighbor, but I don’t want to be able to see my young boy pick his nose from two flights down and four rooms over . . . not to mention other “private” things people do. Just sayin’
     3)   The walls are all inscribed with Latin, a dead language. And we all know Latin wakes up mummies and evokes bad mojo.
     4)   Some crazy dude (Matthew Lillard) in on your doorstep when you arrive.
     5)   IT’S NIGHT!!!!!!!!! DO THESE PEOPLE NOT KNOW THE RULES?

Okay, that’s why Patricia wouldn’t go in, but let’s say you are braver and you do. So now you are trapped inside a house with twelve ghosts, what do you do? You have to figure out who you can knock off so you can stay alive.

I'm telling you, there's always a slow one in the herd.

Although I loved the Flick, there are some BS moments. You know the ones. Those times where you sit on your couch, slightly leaned forward, waiting for something to happen and then you yell “bullshit!” because all rational people see the huge plot hole and it deflates the moment.

Perhaps it’s something like telling the viewer that the walls are soundproof, except for when the plot needed for the characters to speak to each other . . . through the walls.

Or when it is told to the viewer that the writing on the walls are containment spells to keep the ghost away and these spells can be written or spoken. Umm . . . we also know two of the main characters know Latin.

Now I love me some Y-Chromie, but this is why they get trapped in situations like these. How hard would it have been for them to use their words?
You see this is how I would have handled it.

“Hey, Arthur (Tony Shalhoub) if you read what this walls says out loud the ghost can’t touch you.”
“Thanks! I’ll share that with EVERYONE ELSE!”

Case closed. Problem solved. But I guess if I were there we wouldn’t have a movie either. 

I love this Flick even with its plot holes because of the ghost. They are well thought out (watch the extras at the end of the movie) and they scare me every time I watch the damn thing. I dare you to not think of the Princess or the Jackal the next time you close your eyes in the shower!

As always, like my opinion, share the love and the site. Don’t like it? Check out the other Chick’s Flick @ www.annerhoades.com





Divergent

First impression . . . Give me a minute; I’m busy watching another Flick. Will the other Chick (www.annerhoades.com) and I ever agree?

Doubt it, but what’s the fun in that?

Let’s get started. I don’t know if it was because I was not paying attention or if the Flick lacked some storytelling, but for the longest time (139 minutes) I sat, waiting to learn what a Divergent was. Then I was like—WTH?

Imagine my disappointment when I discovered she didn’t have any super powers and her gift was basically FREE WILL? So let me get this straight. She has many sides to her personality? So, she’s just like me?

How is that supposed to be clever and entertaining? I’m around me all the time and I wouldn’t make a movie about me.

Okay, I totally would, but nobody in Hollywood thinks I’m all that.

Yet!

:)

Now I get that I’m suppose to connect to the main character because she’s just like me.

But I didn’t.

I didn’t feel Tris’s (Shailene Woodley) inner struggle. You know the one . . . the frustration of having . . . oh wait, she’s Divergent, there was no real struggle . . . she chose to leave her family for something she wanted, chose another faction because she liked it better, chose to become skilled at combat to kick some ass and not be left behind, chose to warn her brother of the upcoming danger . . .

WAIT! Then he chose to return to his family and fight for them instead of his own faction—he wasn’t Divergent. He can’t think for himself and have more than a one-track mind!

 Unless the plot called for it—

That’s right folks, because in this flick, people could think for themselves . . . They did it all the time. They allowed the government to assign the world “factions” or jobs as we like to call them, but there were no cameras watching their every move. The people made their own choice to follow the rules within their lives and often we saw different sides to their personality. Like Tris’s mother who picked to be “selfless” but still used her skills to be “brave.” Or the man who was “a lawmaker,” but beat his own kid?!

There were no magical forces to make mankind stupid. They did it themselves.

AND THAT WAS THE PROBLEM, at least it was for me. Divergent was just another way to say “rebel.” The movie wasn’t about NOT having the choice to think differently; it was about the unwillingness to do so.

They drank the Kool-Aid. They chose a cult?

This is where I felt lied to because the storyline told you repeatedly that only certain people could think differently, have interest in other factions, yet the physical actions of the characters (her brother in particular) showed this to be untrue.

Another reason I had such a problem with this Flick is simply because I only saw the world in a limited point of view. I didn’t feel others’ pain or repression because Tris never experienced any until the end of the Flick. Yes, she had bad things happen to her, but it wasn’t enough for me to connect. And with the expectation of a few times, I felt the main character, although I liked her, never took me to a level that I needed to be at.  

Don’t get me wrong, there were things I liked. Stuff blew up. The main character changed her name from a frumpy Beatrice to a kick-ass Tris. I thought she was funny and resilient. And I really liked her love interest Four, AKA, Theo James. I’m sorry but even his real life his name is hot. This Chick loved me some Theo!

BTW did you know there are two ways to spell the name? Beatrice and Beitris. Now I didn’t read the book, so I don’t know how the author spelled it, but I would have used Beitris. It breaks down to Be-I-Tris. How clever am I?

As always, like my opinion, share the love and my site. Don’t like it, well, click on the Other Chick’s link @ www.annerhoades.com






Robin Williams

First impression . . . It is with great sadness that I have to write this blog, but in honor of the late Mr. Williams, I will try to do it in the spirit of “him”.

So, with no further ado, here are my top ten (no special order) Robin Williams Flicks:

     1)   1982 The World According to Garp
     2)   1987 Good Morning, Vietnam
     3)   1991 Hook
     4)   1992 Aladdin
     5)   1993 Mrs. Doubtfire
     6)   1996 The Birdcage
     7)   1998 What Dreams May Come
     8)   1999 Bicentennial Man
     9)   2002 One Hour Photo
    10)  2006 Night at the Museum


Some of you might be thinking WTH, Patricia, there were so many other Flicks that were better than what’s on your list. So before you go all Seymour Parrish (AKA—Crazy) on me, let me explain.

The World According to Garp—this Flick was my first real introduction to RW’s real acting talents. This Chick grew up on Mork and Mindy and when this film came out; I saw just how talented Robin was. He was not JUST a goofy actor. I loved the movie.

Good Morning Vietnam—another Flick where lighthearted humor meets drama. It’s a great movie.

Hook—
Aladdin—
Mrs. Doubtfire—
The Birdcage—

I have the same words for all four—these films WERE Robin Williams. They came alive because of him. They were creative, fun, entertaining and above all else, brought smiles to our faces. ‘NUFF SAID.

What Dreams May Come—bring some tissue! It, like 1998 Patch Adams, made me cry. Robin wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows and this Flick allowed him to showcase real pain and suffering.

Bicentennial Man—great Flick, watch it.

One Hour Photo—this one is probably the least favorite on my list, but I felt it was important because it showcased another facet of Robin’s talents. He plays a crazy man who does evil things and it’s a little disturbing to see him so far from humor. Notice I didn’t say out of his element. And the reason I didn't mention it, you guessed it, he nailed the part.

Night at the Museum—although it’s a great movie, this title made the list because it not only showed Mr. Williams’ class, it showed us that he knew how to make a part his own. He stood out in this Flick, but didn’t steal the show from the real star. That to me is exactly what the saying “there are no small parts, only small actors” means!

Robin Williams was larger than life and it breaks my heart to have to use the word “was”. He will be, and already is, missed by millions of adoring fans, including This Chick.

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Move Over, Darling


First impression . . . Sorrow as this week we are paying tribute to the versatile actor James Garner.

With that being said, I don’t know what saddened me more, his passing or that the announcement (even by people.com) seemed to be just a quick blurb in the news.

Now because I knew the other Chick (www.annerhoades.com) had probably only seen The Notebook (yes, an awesome Flick) I suggested she expand her horizons and watch something vintage.

A.K.A.—I forced her to watch an old Flick.

Don’t fret for her, I asked my Y-Chromie to watch it, too, and there was nothing to entice him. Nothing blew up. There were no self-serving sex scenes. Not even a side-boob shot. But on that note who want’s to see Doris Day’s goodies?  

So . . . to pay my respects, I’m reviewing a “re-make,” and I’m going to tell you how great it is.

That’s the ultimate complement for a re-make! Right?

During the opening song I can just about bet that the other Chick is rolling her eyes and cursing me for picking this movie, and I agree, the sound track doesn’t set the stage very well, but just watch, I promise the Flick is 103 minutes of CUTE!

It’s not as cute as Cary Grant in the 1940’s original My Favorite Wife. But in a way, Garner was a tad sexier. Perhaps it was because Garner’s was made in 1963 and sex in Flicks had come a long way.

Married couples slept in the same bed. J

Oh My. The Fifty Shades of Grey movie better watch out.

I know it’s off topic, but I can’t wait for Mr. Grey to come out and play because I want to compare it to 1986’s 9 ½ weeks. The 80’s version of Fifty where people did more than sleep in the same bed.

Back to the review, and here it is in a nutshell. Wife declared dead. Man remarries the same day. Wife comes back and man can’t have sex with his new bride. Man discovers wife number one lived on an island with another man who she nicknamed “Adam” and who is more attractive than husband—not really but the audience gives this to the directors only because we all know the second man can’t be better.

This is where I would like to comment on the small role Don Knotts played. This Flick was filmed in 1963, so like in the midst of The Andy Griffith Show. What I want to know is how THAT conversation went with the casting department? Did they approach him and start the conversation like this?
“Hello, Don. Look we know you’re famous and all but we have this small part that we think you would be perfect for, because you know, you’re small, skinny and not too attractive and that’s the “look” we’re going for.”

Seriously?

It must have been sort of like the one they had when they casted the bad witch in The Wizard Of Oz. Check out the behind the scenes interviews on that one. She is hilarious when she tells the story of how they needed her because she was ugly.

To be honest, I think this Flick may be a bit too old for anyone born after 1975. It doesn’t stand the test of time and is dated, an unfortunate fate, but I still saw the glimmer in what it once was. If you can get past the yellowing of the Flick, watch it for the light, romantic, and humorous subject matter.

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Summer list

First impression . . . Don’t hate me but I didn’t watch a Flick this week. In my defense, this cross-country move is kicking my butt!

Instead of a Flick the Other Chick (www.annerhoades.com) and I decided to treat you to a “summer list.” So, in the spirit of Easy, Breezy days, lets get started.

    1)   2004 Shall We Dance –starring Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez and Susan Sarandon. This Flick is about a middle-aged man who’s lost his joy in life and rediscovers it in the form of dance and of course in the holding of another woman in his arms. Even so, I still really like this movie. You get to connect with John (Gere) and see how he comes to his choices.

Now don’t get me wrong, if my Y-Chromie pulled this stunt on me I’d have to pay homage to Waiting to Exhale and have a bonfire in our front yard with all his crap. J

    2)   1962 If a Man Answers—starring Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee. I love this Flick! I have loved it since I was a kid and I think every woman should watch it for the fun simple wisdom it shares.

Y-Chromies are excused, but it wouldn’t hurt you to see it, too. Just chill a few 6-packs to bring up the testosterone level and if push comes to shove the beer will help raise the “give a crap” factor.

    3)   The Godfather series—‘nuff said! And don’t skimp out. Do all three movies. If you can, get a copy of the director’s cut or the one where it’s put in chronological order!

    4)   1983 The Big Chill—starring –UM . . .EVERYBODY! If you haven’t seen this Flick shame on you!


    5)   2011 Something Borrowed—starring Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson and Colin Egglesfield. This one is Yummy even if it skirts some serious dating boundaries. I couldn’t help rooting for the underdog!

    6)   2009 He’s Just Not That Into You—starring too many to list, but it runs along the same lines of the Flick listed right above only this Flick gives women some great advice about dating. They could have named it Clueless, but that title had already been taken.

    7)   2002 Signs—starring Mel Gibson (before his mental meltdown) and Joaquin Phoenix (before his mental meltdown) Hmmmm . . . coincidence? Maybe. Maybe not! But I’ve seen this several times and I’m okay. J

    8)   1949 A Letter to Three Wives starring—another huge list of people, but other than Kirk Douglas, let’s face it, you probably wouldn’t know them anyway. Even though this one is about romance, it really plays out as a “who done it?” It’s well worth your time.

We all know that re-makes are my nemesis, but this is one Flick that I wish some heavy hitter director or screenwriter in Hollywood would take on!

    9)   2012 Anna Karenina—starring Keira Knightley. Loved it and you will too.

    10)  2006 Casino Royale—starring Daniel Craig. I love this Flick for a few different reasons. Not only does this movie have romance, it has Bond getting his ass kicked, and then it showed on his body. Yes people bruise and cuts don’t just go away in a few hours in real life and I for one thanked Hollywood for an actual portrayal. Oh, and who didn’t like the ocean scene where Craig wades out of the water with his sexy blue eyes? It almost took me back to Paul Newman in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof . . .another Flick everyone should see!

So here it is, my list for the summer. Notice I didn’t say favorites, or top and that’s because it’s not. I am a true lover of the cinema and I could never, EVER choose a top or a favorite. I also shied away from current Flicks because Hollywood is already promoting them.

 Like my opinion share the love and my site, don’t like it check out the other Chick at www.annerhoades.com





The Conjuring

First impression . . . if they handed out medals for watching Flicks through your fingers—This Chick would get the GOLD! The first time I watched this movie I molted. Feathers flew, and my Y-Chromie found it quite amusing.

I did not! L

Now with that said, I’m not sure if the Flick was scary, or if I just psyche myself out? Was it because I heard the rumors that the film had to bring in a Priest for movie-goers? Or was it because I knew it was based on a real-life family and the Warrens? Either way, it was 122 minutes of scary sh*t.

Although I was terrified, it didn’t remove my I.Q. (not something I can say about the 2004 Flick Gigli) and I found a few flaws in the parents’ thinking.

Number one: why in the H. E. double hockey sticks did they play the clap game upstairs? Who does that? How did they NOT fall down the stairs? What parent says, “Sure girls, blindfold yourselves and walk around a unfamiliar house on the top floor. Don’t worry about how close you get to the landing. We have luck on our side. Look at this large, beautiful house we got for hardly any money. What could go wrong?”

Seriously?

Then, Mom and Dad continue this path of logical thinking. “Look Honey, the last owners boarded up and hid a staircase leading to a creepy basement. I’m sure they didn’t meant to. Let’s tear it down. Wow, look at all this great free stuff we found. How lucky we are!”

Um . . . I hate to be Captain Obvious here, but can I just point out the amount of effort it takes to carry in wood, hammer it, and then disguise the DIY as an ordinary wall?

Just sayin’.

Give me a moment to try and shake off the parents’ stupidity.

*Sigh* I get it. It was 1971, nuff said.

Now I’m going to list the reasons This Chick wouldn’t have spent the night, otherwise known as RED FLAGS to everyone else in the world.      

      1)   Family dog won’t enter house and dies first night.

That’s it people. That’s all it would take.

Now I’m willing to concede that I’m a scaredy-cat when it comes to this type of Flick. I will also admit I’m a little sensitive to the paranormal. And I’m sure that all of you wouldn’t be as wimpy as me.

So when would you leave?

Perhaps it might have been when your youngest starts talking to an invisible friend who she can only see if she plays her new disturbing music box.

No?

Maybe you’re real tough and it doesn’t bother you that things fall off the wall for no reason, or all the clocks stop at the same time. Heck it doesn’t even bother you when the bruises show up. But come on people, when your child tells you that a man behind her door just told her the whole family is going to die, I’m thinking it’s time to pack things up.

So, on that note, I’ll do the same and end this review.

What’s my opinion you ask? Watch it. I dare you!

Like my opinion, share the love and the site with a friend. Don’t like it, check out the other Chick’s @ www.annerhoades.com







The Rebound

First impression . . . Didn’t watch it.

Wait!

Before you go all “what’s the deal, Chick?”, give me a second. This week I am pleased to introduce a new Chick.

Guest blogger—Evelyn Wiant.

So sit back, relax and give her a whirl.

The Rebound

I like this movie. I liked it so much that when the Two Chicks asked me to write one of their Flick posts, I immediately suggested it.

Around my house, (oh, I live with my mom and stepdad) my mom and I like to save the girly movies for the long weekends when my stepdad goes to something he calls “Man Camp.” Man Camp basically a three-day camping trip for a bunch of middle-aged, male high school teachers to get drunk and eat hot Cheetohs. Anyway, Man Camp is “Girl’s Weekend” for us.

The movie opens with Sandy, (Catherine Zeta Jones) in her early 40s and the classic modern soccer mom. She teaches her kids, Sadie and Frankie (Kelly Gould and Andrew Cherry) to talk like adults, and gives them little pep talks about confidence and ambition.
Unfortunately, Sandy’s husband is a neighbor-screwing man whore. Sandy’s divorce from Man Whore….ok fine, “Frank” (Sam Robards) drives her to move into NYC, where she rents an apartment above a coffee shop.

Aram (Justin Bartha) works in the coffee shop. He’s adorable in that nerdy way. He’s also 25 years old and lives with his mother while he figures out his life. A little too close to home for me; I’m 25, live with my mother. I work as a barista in a hospital (though for me, it’s my 2nd job, not my career-job).

Aram also has a French wife who left him for a man who pretended to be her brother. Aram is such a good guy that he hasn’t divorced the French girl because she’ll get deported.

Somehow Sandy decides Aram is good with kids, and she asks him to babysit her kids at the last minute. Aram turns out to be a regular Nanny McPhee, and Sandy offers him a second job as her Manny.

Enter some montages about how awesome Aram is with her kids, and Sandy slowly becoming attracted to him. Their first date is “totes-adorbs” as the kids say.
I won’t give up the ending, but I will say that it’s super duper cute. One of the great things about this movie is the chemistry between Sandy and Aram. A gradual attraction that grows out of mutual interest and their intriguing differences, their situation feels real. They could be a couple you know. One of the best scenes in the movie involves Aram and some truly funny back-and-forth with Sandy’s coworkers about the couple’s age difference.

I did get a little annoyed because this movie fell into an uncomfortable grey-area between a “Slapstick RomCom” like Good Luck Chuck 2007, and a serious but witty Romance like The Holiday 2006. I found myself looking at scenes and thinking “why?” Then wishing at the end that they’d cut the silly stuff and spent 10 more minutes on the deep stuff. Like how Aram’s mom clearly has a problem with her son dating a 40-year-old. Or how Sandy gets over her husband’s betrayal.
Regardless, it’s a good movie. It probably won’t ever make the list of all-time best romances, but you’ll probably feel all warm and fuzzy when it’s over.


Evelyn Wiant has written for The Brighton Banner and Local Color, and is currently working in communications at a small hospital. At home she writes for short story contests and chips out her first novel. She grew up in Colorado and enjoys mountain trail rides with her horse.  






About Last Night

First impression . . . I’m glad I gave it more than ten minutes. Now maybe it’s the other Chick (www.annerhoades.com) rubbing off on me. Or maybe it’s the fact that I committed to do a review, but either way I’m glad I finished the Flick.

There might be several reasons for the initial lack of appeal. It could have been the way the movie started. I’m all for smut, but this Flick jumped the shark with the opening scene. I for one didn’t need a “blow by blow” recount of a sex scene.

See what I did up above there? Clever, right? Of course it was because that’s how you achieve a level of dirty without the “shock value.”

To continue, my early distain in the show may have also stemmed from the fact that this movie is a remake . . . This Chicks natural arch nemesis.

A notable exception to this rule would have to be the 2000’s Mission Impossible II.

Here is where I put the disclaimer that this is only my humble opinion and that I feel it was similar to another—so parallel that they needed to use the same lines. Seriously. The same lines . . .

Now this is also where I think all the Y-Chromie are yelling “You idiot. That film wasn’t a remake.” (Chicks probably don’t give a crap).

So, put me to the test, watch MI II and then watch Hitchcock’s 1946 Notorious and get back to me with your thoughts.

Moving on. Let me tell you what worked in this Flick.

)     1) It stuck to the bones of the original—always a good idea.
      2) It deviated just enough to make it different. 
      3) They modernized it and even taught me a little something about                         hitting the ignore button on my phone.
      4) They paid homage to the 1986 version.
      5)   Joan (Regina Hall) was feisty, yet not a –B*tch.
      6)   Bernie (Kevin Hart) was funny!

Then there’s what didn’t work.

       1)    As I remember it, in the original, Bernie was the outside pressure, always telling Danny that he couldn’t be happy in a relationship. So when life got hard, he turned into an ass. In this 2014 version, Danny (Michael Ealy) was just a jerk. All the time. No outside influences needed. And no reason to root for him in the end.
       2)   Joan and Bernie stole the show like Blair and Chuck did in Gossip Girl and I ended up not really caring about Debbie (Joy Bryant) or Danny as much as I should have.

That’s it!  Other than the EPIC FAIL of the opening scene that went on and on and on and on and . . . you get the idea.

This Flick isn’t for anybody who doesn’t like crude humor. It’s not as bad as 2010 Hot Tub Time Machine, but don’t watch it with your parents in the room . . . no matter how old you are!

I know I’m slacking in the humor department in this review, so I thought I would dazzle you with my movie knowledge. How did I do?  As always, like my opinion, share the love and the site with a friend. Don’t like it, check out the other Chick’s @ www.annerhoades.com








Authors Anonymous

First impression . . . man it hit a nerve. And there’s no SEX!  I have no idea what the other Chick (www.annerhoades.com) thinks at this time, but the next movie must, I say, MUST, have some romance in it—or at least male nudity.

Directors please see past critiques for proper and acceptable Y-Chromie butt shots! No hair. No flab.

The Flick starts us out as a viewer of a documentary on a writers’ critique group and I’m thinking this is going to be fun!

WRONG.

First I just want to point out the 92 minutes of my life I’m not ever going to get back. Oh, did I mention that I bought this film before I saw it. I would like to blame my disappointment in the movie on my premature exuberance—but I can’t. Because, there were so many other reasons not to like it!

The major flaw in the Flick was the fact that not once did anyone actually critique any of the writers’ work. This is what I imagine their checklist looked like:

Meetings at different places—check.
Food—check.
Self appointed leader—check.
A cool sign to announce the group—check.

BLOW SMOKE UP EACH OTHER’S BUTTS—CHECK.

Mention something about how Colette (Teri Polo) slips in and out of POV (point of view) in her first paragraph . . .unthinkable. Ignore how many “ly” words she used to describe her erotic scene . . . untouchable.
Well, to be honest, the group was probably still stuck on how Colette’s protagonist “sprayed her passion all over the ceiling”

Um—YUCK! Yes, that was gross, even for This Chick.

I would like to say that I’ve never read a submission like Colette’s before—I would like to . . . but since I can’t, nor can I erase the permanent scars it left, let’s pretend it never happened and move on to the characters in this Flick:

Member who tries to always one-up the others, John K Butzin (Dennis Farina),
member who brings the same stuff over and over, but doesn’t change a thing, William Bruce (Jonathan Bennett),
member who never writes, but has somehow appointed themselves the leader, Alan Mooney (Dylan Walsh),
member who can’t write, Colette Mooney (Teri Polo),
member who can write, but is unsure of himself, Henry Obert (Chris Klein). If it helps, I did root for him to succeed.

Then you have, Hannah (Kaley Cuoco) the uneducated writer who lands an agent first. She is labeled “lucky” because it’s the only way someone like her could ever get published, unless of course she slept her way to the top.

Can you even do that in this industry? Seriously, can you? If anybody has any information, please forward it to my . . . JK

The two things I did love about the film was the fact that we all justify our rejections. We read as much into agents’ or publishers’ words as we can.

“Did you see this?” The author holds up a rejection letter. “The agency said ‘not at this time,’ I’m sure that means they want me to send it again in a few weeks!”

Sadly, it doesn’t.

The other thing I loved was how Jealousy ran rampant in the group. Once it got ahold of a member (yes, I said member, but I didn’t say throbbing, okay I just did, but I didn’t say them together) it spread like chlamydia in a freshman college dorm.

I know, I know the movie was meant to poke fun of these types of people and I think a lot of writers should see the film. I know I saw myself as more than one of these people and maybe, just maybe, it’s why it hit too close to home for me.

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I, Frankenstein

First impression . . .um, I, Freaken-stein liked it—unlike the other Chick (www.anneroades.com). Now I do agree that this particular Flick is more oriented toward the Y-Chromie, but how could the other Chick not like the creativity behind all the crap blowing up?

I can tell you why (mostly because I’m awesome like that) . . .

It was because she looked at it as some deep, morally conflicting, horror Flick that simply didn’t add up to her expectations. When a person sees too many “BS” flags, they stop enjoying the movie and look for its flaws. This show didn’t inspire her inner Y-Chromie to come out to play. Instead it insulted her sensibilities.

I saw the Flick as a light fantasy that for 92 minutes allowed me to live in another world set right under my nose. Because I’m a visual person and I write fantasy myself, I loved the backstory of how the Gargoyle race was created. I loved how they lived, morphed, and died. My favorite was how they were so strong and ugly in stone form when they did nothing, but shifted into graceful, beautiful people when they fought for mankind. How was that not poetry in motion . . . literally?

I also loved how the Demons showed themselves and died. Very creative!

Adam, AKA Frankenstein’s monster, (Aaron Eckhart) had a nice character arc. He started out as a real jerk for killing Mrs. Frankenstein but soon showed us a “save the cat” moment by burying Dr. Frankenstein next to his wife. This one act shifted Adam into an antihero role.

Not as well written as Loki in Thor—The. Best. Antihero. EVER!

And don’t forget Damon from The Vampire Diaries, but Adam’s character in this Flick worked well enough for This Chick.

Now when I say I like a film, it doesn’t mean I loved it. I Frankenstein relied heavily on special effects to tell its story. It would have been nice to see the creativity stretched through the entire show. Sadly it didn’t and I do agree with the other Chick when it comes to the plot.  It lacked the same clever storytelling feature like the 2004 film Saw. There were no layers for us to get lost in.

When the viewer watched the “all hope is gone” moment, all we saw was CGI. So in this regard, the film fell short. The predicable ending didn’t help either.

While I didn’t walk away from this movie excited to see a sequel, it wasn’t a total waste of time. So in my opinion, rent it and use it as a reason to hang onto the arm of your own Y-Chromie . . . which might lead to your own explosions!


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Secret Life of Walter Mitty

First impression . . . wow, I can relate to this man–but surprise, surprise, I didn’t love me some Walter like I’m sure the other Chick (www.annerhoades.com) did. I bet this Flick was right up her alley. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it well enough, but I’m glad I didn’t go to the theater to see it.

It had some explosions, some danger, some romance, yet it lacked real tension. It was like one of those new male mannequins. It had all (okay, most of) the body parts, but didn’t do anything with them. The movie was the oatmeal of Y-Chromie Flicks. Good, not flavorful.

Walter (Ben Stiller) is a passive man who has nothing to put on his eHarmony profile because he lives only in his daydreams. Yes, people need to experience real life adventures, but instead of giving one up for the other, why can’t we play in both worlds?

Ted (Adam Scott) is Walter’s jerk of a boss. I’ve got to say, I haven’t watched a lot of Adam’s Flicks but he seems to play the “ass with no character arc” part really well. Aka the 2007 HBO series: Tell Me You Love Me.

During the entire movie, it’s clear Ted is the bully that insults, pokes fun of, and flicks things at Walter, all the while sporting some sort of growth on his face that I wanted to take a dry-eraser to. The beard is an eyesore and it’s obvious we are meant to hate it as much as we hate Ted. However how many of us felt the ending of the Flick left us a little dissatisfied?

Did you want Walter to put Ted in his place? Come up with some pithy putdowns, or punch him in the face. Or maybe the hit should be lower . . . wait . . . lower . . . yeah, right there, in the . . . Nuts, I wish I hadn’t made the promise to clean up my reviews, but you get the idea. Right? Just saying. How fun would it have been to watch?

Now, if you are opposed to violence, how about Walter just comment on how stupid that damn beard was? OUT LOUD! Where people could hear it.

This is why I wasn’t given superpowers or boobs—I’d use them for evil and in this case, I would use them on Ted . . . to inflict pain . . . the superpowers, not the boobs.

In the end, Walter won. But he also lost the part of him that I related to. I think we need real adventures and to experience the world. However, I disagree that if we shake things up in real life, there is no room for the daydreams that inspire us.

Creativity is born in the mind, and then it leads to an action. We wouldn’t have such great stories to turn into Flicks if we didn’t let both parts work together. What would life be like without a Frankenstein, Pride and Prejudice, or World War Z? All freaking awesome books and movies!

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August: Osage County

First impression . . . I wish I could blame this one on the other Chick (www.annerhoades.com) BUT . . . I can’t. We both picked this Flick and now we have to review it.

Okay here I go……………….maybe I should wait. My mother always told me that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. So with that in mind, I’ll put this on the back burner for a few days before I do the review.

NOPE! Didn’t help.

This movie sucked.

It depressed the hell out of me. And don’t give me that “you just don’t understand real drama. August was gritty, real and down to earth.” Yeah so was the 2004 movie Crash. It was so real and gritty that I had to pause the thing and walk away while I absorbed what was happening on the screen. But I watched it and I loved it. It made me cry, it made me angry and at one point my heart dropped so far I didn’t think I could ever pick it up.

Trust me when I say August: Osage County lacked that spark that’s makes a drama a wonderful movie. It lacked those moments where the audience connected with the characters.

Let’s look at this film objectively. The acting was brilliant, but the plot lacked human decency. It was one of those movies where you hang on to the bitter end, waiting for a character arc, for someone to grow as a person. Hoping that there is something so amazing at the end that you don’t go to bed thinking: Sucker, you just wasted 121 minutes of your life and you’re never getting it back.

AKA—Insidious, Wolf Creek, Bringing out the Dead.

Don’t let Mattie Fae (Margo Martindale) fool you either. She tricks you when she shows up with CAKE. Who doesn’t like cake? She sparred with her husband in that funny, cute way, and I’m thinking FINALLY, someone I like. Then she pulled back the curtains, literally, and it was all down hill from there.

Violet (Meryl Streep) Love her, hated Violet. She was a vile, mean, pill-popping arse! Now the other Chick will tell you that those who have had a horrible past are granted a certain amount of “jerk” to their personality. I say forget them  . . . I really wanted to use another word here, but thought I should tame some of my language . . . oh who am I kidding—I say f**k them. A person’s past is not a “free pass” for being a horrible person.

Barbara, Violet’s grown daughter (Julia Roberts), in this case the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Her husband cheated on her with some young thing and her mother is a witch. I get why Barb is bitter, but she didn’t have any REDEAMING QUALITIES, and the one time she had a chance to defend her own daughter, (see paragraph below) she didn’t. So, to be honest, I couldn’t give a good golly about what happens to Barb.

Spoiler Alert:

Then there was the whole pedophile subplot thing. Why doesn’t Barbara go ape sh*t on her sister, Miss Desperate or Mr. Mid Life Crises? No, they have a somewhat heated conversation but not once did I hear Barb scream, “HOW DARE YOU! JEAN IS ONLY 16!”

When they say on the box that this Flick is about a dysfunctional family, they weren’t kidding. The problem is, these people were the same miserable flesh bags at the end of the show as they were in the beginning.

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How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

First impression . . .This is the last time I let the other Chick (www.annerhoades.com) pick the Flick!

She will say I didn’t give the movie a chance because I balked at the idea of this film. I’ve tried to watch it in the past.

You see, in my house we follow Yoda’s rules . . . do or do not, there is no try. With that said, I always turn this movie off because it bores me. I have the attention span of a gnat. If I’m not hooked, or stay hooked, I have no problem letting go, much like Rose when she pried Jack’s fingers off her makeshift raft.

Bye, Bye.

Wait, you say? It’s a romance, isn’t that your shtick?

Why yes it is. But this 2003 movie lacked all three of my mandatory C’s in a ROM COM. No charm, chemistry or un-Clothe-ed-ness (yes, I know it’s not a word).

As a matter of fact, I caught my Y-chromie enjoying the movie. And he didn’t even try to hide his amusement . . . a sure sign that it’s only a comedy.

After I waded through the first ten/fifteen/twenty minutes, I did find some tidbits to snack on. Ben Barry’s (Matthew McConaughey) facial expressions cracked me up. I loved the funny stuff Andie Anderson’s (Kate Hudson) put Bennie through. And the male sidekicks were great, too . . .

However, I didn’t get that spark of chemistry between Ben and Andie, and that’s saying something. Even Tom Cruse and Kelli McGillis achieved a convincing attraction to each other in Top Gun and she doesn’t like men in real life. Unfortunately, for me, the only time I felt heat in this Flick was from when my electric blanket shorted out. At least it was across my lap J

The fights fell flat, the chase scene: predictable. And what was the cabbie going to do with her stuff once he got back to her place?

In the end the only lasting impression was Anderson’s lack of a certain piece of clothing during the film. Seriously, it’s not the nineties anymore. Did the word bra even come up in wardrobe during shooting? Every scene Hudson let her freak flags fly. Well okay it was more like small pennants. You know, like the ones on the sticks you wave on the fourth of July as the parade goes by. Yes, people, I’m talking about her nipplets. At least they gave a stand up performance—through the entire movie.

Don’t get me wrong, eventually it was a funny film and I liked it enough to not give it any rotten eggs, but not enough to watch it again or dare I say own it. I love Kate Hudson. I love Matthew McConaughey. I didn’t love them together, although they were great in the 2008 film Fool’s Gold.  So it wasn’t a lack of acting talent. Both have proven time and time again they possess comedic chops. The Flick was predictable, and the conflict felt forced. I chalk it up to a convenient plot and a vanilla screenplay. Except for the chocolate chips Hudson was sporting, of course.

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Last Vegas

First impression . . . Look kids it’s the geriatric Rat Pack.

Knowing the other Chick (www.annerhoades.com) like I do, she will say the Y-chromies are not old; they’re distinguished and charming.

Well, I say if the cocks in the hen house are too old to ruffle my feathers, I’m putting my eggs back on the shelf. Face it people, funny or not, these men are way past the “sexy” expiration dates on their packages. Yeah, other Chick, I said it! Packages.

Wait! Before you “cane” me, I will admit Kevin Kline did have an excellent head of hair!

All kidding aside, I loved the flick. For me, it was a Stand By Me, (the grown up version) mixed with some Ocean’s Eleven charm. And for 105 minutes, I got to laugh and relax with a good movie.

You got Kevin Kline (Sam) and Morgan Freeman (Archie) for the comic relief. And who doesn’t like Morgan Freeman? Oh yeah, except for the time he TRICKED us into watching March of the Penguins!!! Remember how his voice lured us into a false sense of safety as we watched the cute little penguins. Smiles plastered our faces; “awe’s and oohs” poured out of our mouths—Until the birds of prey swooped in and KILLED them all!!!!

Truly, what sick f**k thought that was good cinematography? My kids still shake when they hear Freeman’s voice. But rest assure, no penguins died making Last Vegas.

That we know of J

Back to the flick, Robert De Niro (Paddy) and Michael Douglas (Billy) head up the subplot of lost love. Now this is where this Chick feels like the storyteller of the movie lied to me, the viewer.

SPOILER ALERT

Later in the movie, Billy tells a story about how Sophie (the female of the love triangle.) came to him and said she wanted to be his wife. Billy then goes on to explain how he was the “bigger (cough, jerk, cough) man” and insisted Sophie return to Paddy.

Like Billy had that type of power—to re-gift a wife. Shmuck!

This is where I throw the BS flag! In the beginning, we saw Sophie clearly pick Paddy over Billy and as a hopeless romantic, I didn’t like the stain this subplot put on the love story between two characters. In the end, Billy’s confession didn’t matter to Paddy. He’d had 40+ years of a great marriage with Sophie and Billy was still clueless!

My final opinion: see it and have a good time. Even though this Chick can’t crow (cuz I don’t have the parts), I would still try for this flick.

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Crazy, Stupid Love

First impression . . . I LOVED IT! (Envision a happy dance similar to Snoopy’s, head bob and all.)

Of course I adored it! It was A ROMANCE!  HELLO. As a matter of fact, it’s romance on a stick. A tall handsome stick named Ryan Gosling.  Mmmmmm, Ryan Gosling.

Huh? What? Forgive me, this Chick drifted to a happy place for a second.

Well, unlike the Bro Flick Gravity the other Chick (www.annerhoades.com) talked me into a few weeks back, Crazy, Stupid Love is totally Chick Flick material. Nothing gets blown up. Or in simple terms, it’s what the Y-chromies suffer through to get laid—ha.  In turn, we get to imagine our man is just like the guy in the movie.

Lets start with the character, Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling.)

Um, I’m sorry was there anybody else in the flick?

Seriously, he’s so charming that I’m entranced every time I see the movie. Trust me when I say I’ve watched it like a hundred times and today was the first time I noticed they changed rooms in the naked gym scene. Indeed they did. Movie magic, I tell you. They are in one room, and then another. You don’t notice because you’re focused on something else—a naked Gosling.

Next, we have Hannah (Emma Stone). Loved her! And who else could have pulled off the “banging” Dirty Dancing scene? Oh yeah I said it, it was banging. You totally get I’d be like the best friend right?

Gosling and Stone play a hot twenties-something duo. They give us the three C’s, Charm—Chemistry—and the un-Clothed factor. Not really, but we get enough to enjoy. And Pu-leeze it’s nice to see an enticing male body once in a while. You know it’s true. Normally women get screwed in this area because we get the three Y’s when it comes to male nudity. We get the hairy, flabby, ugly men butt shots. NOTE TO ALL DIRECTORS—share the love. Just saying.

Anyways, Gosling and Stone are relatable to everyone and I bet, that if your twenties were in the last century, you still see yourself like this sizzling pair. You never pick yourself as the older couple.

Cal and Emily Weaver (Steve Carell and Julianne Moore) embody the older semi-attractive, yet funny couple that has fallen into a rut. But they are soul mates; therefore we root for them to find their way back to each other.

Robbie and Jessica (Jonah Bobo and Analeigh Tipton) reenact the crushing love of an adolescent non-couple. That’s right, the non-couple. This storyline reminds us how it felt when our own hearts were ripped from our chest while the object of our affections stomped out a Mexican hat dance on it. Thanks for the memories. JK.

Now, because I spent so much time clucking about Ryan, I had to cut the rest short, but this Chick gives the writers, directors and actors all a big fat swoon. It’s a cute, funny, hot and endearing movie. Haven’t seen it, do it! Seen it, give it another go.


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Saving Mr. Banks

First impression . . . Why oh why did I think this Chick could watch a Disney movie and not cry? But that’s what Walt does, breaks my heart. Every time. And like an idiot, I go back for more. There should be a support group for people like me.

AND ONCE AGAIN, THERE IS NO ROMANCE! I’m going to have to camp out on my couch and do a marathon of Something Borrowed, Crazy, Stupid, Love, and The Time Traveler’s Wife. If that doesn’t work, I’m going to have to pull out the big guns and watch The Notebook.

Don’t get me wrong, this Chick loved the movie. After all, don’t we all love Disney? Of course we do, even Hitler did. But after three kids and suffering through countless hours of repeated cartoon masterpieces, I vowed to stop watching those dang D—movies years ago.

Until today—

Today I didn’t just watch, I experienced 125 minutes of emotional conflict. Daughter loves dad. Dad falls short. Mother falls short. Life falls short. Someone steps in to fix things . . . and they fall short.

After the film went all Dumbo on my bottom (out of respect for the master of magical whimsy, I will keep this a G rated critique), I picked myself off the floor, grabbed a tissue and looked for the meaning behind the film.

The men in the movie couldn’t understand Ms. Travers (Pam to her friends), and so obviously Ms. Travers to everyone in her life. Was it really a surprise that the Y-chromies didn’t “get” the creator of Mary Poppins?  Not really. She was a grouchy old onion and in order to get to the root of the problem, they would have had to peel back the layers. Seriously, who wants to do that?

Am I totally afraid that I “got” her from the start? Yeah, little bit.

All in all, Pam, as I’m going to call her because I think she’d like me, built a wall to protect herself using the bricks from her childhood. Only instead of using them as they were, dirty and worn, she cleaned and repainted them into a pretty picture. A Survivalist instinct, I think.

HOW SAD L

Later, we learned Walt had his own Mr. Banks. Walt, as everyone called him, wasn’t afraid to see the bad in life. However, when he faced the darkness, instead of hiding behind a protective barrier, he simply turned on a light.

Now, we all know those who blow sunshine out their (insert throat clearing here) and well, it gets a little old, just like Eeyore people grate on my last nerve. In this movie, it was nice to see that both can live in this world and balance each other. It took Walt to lighten Pam, and it took Pam to show us depth in Walt.

In the end, there are no films I would compare this one to. There are no pithy comments for me to make. It was a great movie that did what it was meant to do. It showed us what it was like inside the life of a lonely person. It showed how two people choose different paths to deal with the sadness of their childhood while striving to save their own Mr. Banks.

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Gravity (spoiler alert)

First impression . . . Damn, that other Chick (www.annerhoades.com) talked me into a Bro movie. To be clear, that’s a movie with —NO ROMANCE—and lots of sh*t blowing up. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE me some action, but I didn’t get any eye candy to snack on while I watched. Not one morsel. That didn’t seem like a fair trade. Even chick flicks have gratuitous nude scenes to please the Y-chromies.

Well there was George Clooney— But in this movie there is only one word to describe his sex appeal: NONE.

Calm down and hold on to your britches. I get he wasn’t there to please my need to ogle men. And yes, he was totally hot in his day (not as hot as Thor, but of course I would have played doctor with him all day long twenty years ago.)

Sooooooo since there is no love story, let’s start with what I love to do—slaughter one movie while I put another on a pedestal.

I went into this with every intention of comparing Gravity to the 2000 film Vertical Limit. After all, they both dealt with scary shit I’d never be stupid enough to get myself into and a love for the great outdoors. But as I watched the movie I realized I needed to drop that idea and plug the 2000 movie Mission to Mars.

First, what I really want to know is why in 2013 Clooney could jet propel his way around space for like fifteen-twenty minutes and in Mission to Mars, THE FUTURE, they couldn’t save poor Woody (Tim Robbins) because the jet pack wasn’t good enough. WHAT? That didn’t seem quite right!

I will also go into the fact that Gravity spent five minutes on a scene that reminded me of two young lovers saying good-bye. 
“You hang up.”
“No. You hang up.”
“No you hang up. Okay, I will. Ready? Okay on the count of one . . .”

Hey if the scriptwriters aren’t going to give me any romance I have to make some up. But seriously. This is what I thought while Clooney played out his scene.
Clooney “Let go of me.”
Bullock “No.”
Clooney “Let me go.”
Bullock “No.”
Clooney “I’m gonna do it . . . I’m gonna do it. I mean it. Well give me a minute. Okay, I’ll wait until the rope unties almost all the way. Then . . . I’m going to unclip. I swear I will.”

It was like watching Rose kick Jack to the curb in Titanic. “I’ll never let go . . . or at least not until I let you freeze to death, then I’ll pry your gross icy fingers off and let you fall to the ocean floor. But I love you, Honey.”

Umm…we all know that plank would have held them both, just like why the heck couldn’t Clooney have used all that time to pull himself to Bullock instead of talking?

The other problem, in my humble opinion, was the lack of a connection I felt for the cast in Gravity. There were five people; three were goners before I ever saw their faces. I know, I know, it was very sad that Bullock had a four year old who died . . . but that didn’t give me a link to her. However, who wouldn’t connect with a woman who liked dogs and cried when she heard a baby? NICE JOB, but it was too late in the game.

Now, let’s talk about Mission to Mars—Sinise’s character lost the love of his life but still wanted to go to Mars for her. Robbins gave up his life for love. Cheadle loved his family. And O’Connell . . . well he was just a yummy treat. Point is, we all can relate to love. It links the human race together, whether it’s romantic or not. And that was the bond I was missing in Gravity.

So for a Bro flick, it was great. Stuff blew up and you got some undies shots of Bullock. So no stinking eggs today, but this Chick felt no need to swoon.

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The Great Gatsby



The title says it all for me. And unlike the other Chick (www.annerhoades.com) I don’t love me some Leonardo, nor did I read the book. I know—I know—I’m a slacker.

Growing up, my philosophy was, why read when you can see. Something I think I still subscribe to when writing fiction. Well today it’s all about the eye candy, so I’m going to compare two of the many Great Gatsby movies: the one from 1974 with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow, and the one from 2013 with Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. HINT—notice the order of the list . . .

I can’t make a claim that I like visual things and not talk about the 2013 movie first. The houses were grand, the parties were spectacular to watch and the valley of ashes looked grim and hopeless, but was it enough? Was Leonardo enough? And as much as I’m going to make myself a big old fat target, my answer is—NO!

WAIT!!!!! Let me explain before you DiCaprio lovers recreate some scene from Hunger Games and go all Katniss on my ass. Yes, I loved Leo’s entrance. It was smooth, sophisticated and charming, but that moment didn’t carry me to the end of the movie. In fact, I felt he dropped me on my bubkiss as soon as another woman came into the picture.

How rude!

What lacked you ask? Um . . . ROMANCE . . . HELLO . . . just my humble opinion and sorry to shout, but seriously? What else is the movie about? I means besides the total disregard for other people’s feelings, lives and the lack of moral compass from everyone but Jack— that’s totally another post.

Being the romantic that I am, what lacked in 2013 was the spark between Gatsby and Daisy. And I do agree with the other Chick. Every time I heard  “old sport” the need to put my head through the wall built to unbearable levels. Good thing I was still on the floor rubbing my tooshie from where Leonardo dropped me.

Now call me old school, but this is where the 1974 version with Redford flipping ruled. Don’t judge, I’m not so old that I love me some Redford either. If you threw in Chris Hemsworth (Thor) to go all “Asgardian” on me, or some PewDiePie (famous youtuber, sorry Smosh, you’re adorable too!) for the “Fabulous” factor, I’d be set . . . However, you can hold the whiney little bitch boy, Jacob Black.

Where was I? Oh yes, Redford and Farrow. Lets face it people, Redford wins. He faked real chemistry with Farrow (that’s like being attracted to paint.) And he lasted for 144 minutes. I was so caught up in his stamina; I never minded the phrase “old sport.” Hell, I didn’t notice it because Gatsby did everything for Daisy, and who doesn’t want a man like that? Who doesn’t desire to see that kind of spark in her man’s eyes? And as far as I’m concerned, no actor or actress could ever make me like Daisy, no matter how talented.

In the end, Redford not only carried me through the movie, he took me across the threshold and gently placed me on the bed. Overall, the 1974 version gets a swoon from this Chick and the 2013 get a stinking egg.

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P.S. I Love You . . . As much as I would love it, this title doesn’t stand for Patricia Sue, I love you. Instead, it’s the title of the hit movie from 2007, staring Gerard Butler, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Harry Connick Jr. and Hillary Swank.

Notice I arranged the names according to yumminess, although Harry really should go last because he plays such a tool in this flick. But according to the show, he can take a pill for being a shmuck and return to his mouth-watering, lip-smacking status. If only this worked in real life.

Of course this is a great movie for “Chicks.” It’s romantic, funny, and sometimes heartbreakingly sad. The husband (Butler) dies and just like in A Guy Named Joe, Always, and Truly, Madly, Deeply way, he leads his wife to acceptance.

I won’t give the flick away, but the best part of the show was Butler’s sexy  “I love you” smile. And yes, Morgan’s “Come to bed with me” grin threaten to claim my heart. But in the end, this Chick didn’t mind being sandwiched between the two.

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