3.25.2010

Where We're Going, We Don't Need Roads

Back to the Future II (1989)
The time has come for my thoughts on Back to the Future Part II.

As a child, what interested me most about Part II, was definitely the trip Marty and Doc take to the future, more specifically: the year 2015. Crazy that we're now only 5 years away from that, eh? I always love seeing filmmaker's visions of what the future holds, and Back to the Future II's is probably the most fun take I've ever seen. Throughout the years, I always hoped that the advancing technology would somehow produce flying cars, hoverboards, and mini microwave pizzas that instantly turned into giant pizzas, to say the least. After watching the movie I came across these two really interesting articles:

11 Things Back to the Future II Got Right, and
11 Things They Got Wrong in predicting the future



I would also say all of the actors aged better than their future counterparts too!

Now, as to the actual film. Like I said, it had been years since I'd seen it and seeing it again was really fun. But when comparing it to the original, it's flaws are evident. It simply does not have quite the same magic that the first one did. The sequel marks the departure of Crispin Glover, as well as the original Jennifer. Elizabeth Shue's Jennifer doesn't really fit in that well and George McFly is missed. I read that much of the writing of the plot in this film was written around this.

According to writers Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale, Back to the Future was never intended to have a sequel. The last line of the original movie was just a joke. A joke that actually had them in a corner when writing the sequel. They said, if they knew there was going to be a sequel, they certainly never would have had Jennifer enter the car too. That's why she basically passes out as soon as the movie begins. And then they had to come up with a decent plot that involved their kids. You can tell that there wasn't really quite the same care in creating the script of Back to the Future 2 as there was with the original.

While the first film has everything tying together and working towards one end, BTTF2 is really all over the place. It is quite a frenetic film, which can be both good and bad. There's so much constantly going on and depending on the viewer this can either be great fun or it can be pretty confusing. But for this viewer, I think Back to the Future 2 is non-stop fun. It certainly is not nearly as solid as the first, but it is still a pretty good movie. I also think the plot with the sports almanac is a pretty cool way to show that even though time travel is such a cool idea, if the power got into the wrong hands, how much evil could be produced. One final thought before quotes, keep an eye out for Michael J. Fox playing his own daughter, and also Elijah and Billy Z. (like my last entry mentioned.)

That's about as funny as a screen door on a battleship. - Biff

No, I know; you *did* send me back to the future. But I'm back - I'm back *from* the future -Marty

There's something very familiar about all this.
-Old Biff

3.21.2010

Movie Themed MASHBOT

When I get bored (and when I have a pen and paper handy,) I revert back to the games that elementary aged girls do to entertain themselves. I blame this on my brother Clayton who showed me how entertaining the game of MASH can be when you have the right categories and options. His version is called MASHBOT. With B standing for Barn, O for Outhouse, T for a trailer. [Totally reformatting this blog 2 years later and just awwing over the fact they get to live in Paris. :) ]




A couple years back after I got bored using the same old prospects (because sadly I get bored A LOT,) I came up with the idea to do movie themed MASHBOTs. I'd pretty much play it all the time at church every Sunday with my roommates Anna and Andrea, and my favorite thing was that Andy would inherit the worst life possible every theme, particularly because she always got the worst spouse. With Star Wars MASHBOT, she got Jabba (though I don't know, maybe being married to Jar Jar would be worse,) Lord of the Rings - Gimli. Harry Potter - Hagrid, etc. We also did Johnny Depp, Jane Austen, Seinfeld editions as well (did Andy get Willy Wonka, Mr. Collins, and Newman also? I forget but hope so.) She certainly has a type... haha I jest!


So anyway on Sunday, in honor of our recent completion of the Back to the Future series (which don't worry, I will post my thoughts on the sequels soon...and you should be excited...its good stuff) Anna and I brought back the movie themed MASHBOT by trying our fortunes with life in the Back to the Future universe.

So how did we fare? Anna had a much cooler life than me. In fact...my life was basically that of Lorraine McFly. I reside in the 1980's, married to George McFly and mother of 3. I die as a result of a plastic surgery gone awry. I even have the figure of 1980's Lorraine. I guess it was "density"? Anna though? She resides in 1955, driving a cool 50's car, married to Billy Zane. With her husband, they adopted the young Elijah Wood as seen in Back to the Future II. She died in prison...probably as a result of being married to one of Biff's cronies. I wish I had married 1950's Biff. But at least I didn't get Biff from 2015...yikes. Another great option for guys' spouses would be Biff's grandma.

Hilarious.

You can play online here: http://www.espin.com/mash-game.php

But when playing on paper and using the movie theme in mind, here's some good categories to include: Spouse, Live, Pet, Children, $, Career, Body Type, Cause of Death....to name a few.

3.19.2010

Blast From The Past

So awhile back I was discussing movies that make us feel nostalgic with my roommate Anna, and she revealed something I found to be most shocking. Anna Hawkins had never before seen any of The Back to the Future films. I must straight up say that the original Back to the Future film is one of my favorite movies of all time. How much do I love it? It's in my top 5 favorites. It is a movie I would take with me on a deserted island. So naturally, I had to indoctrinate the poor girl and show her what she was missing. In doing so, we opted to watch the entire trilogy. It's been years since I saw the two sequels to the original, so I thought I'd share some new insights and feelings that I had on them, as well as fully describe my love for the first film. So for now, let's start with that one.



Back to the Future (1985) This film is practically flawless. It truly has it all. It's hilarious and fun...and incredibly tense too. No matter how many times I see it, the final sequence still will capture my full attention. To quote Adam Smith from Empire magazine, "To put it bluntly: if you don't like Back To The Future, it's difficult to believe that you like films at all." I really believe that Marty McFly's journey 30 years to the past to come face to face with his parents when they were his age is one of the cinema's finest adventures. As to the topic that got Anna and I talking about Back to the Future, this is a movie that I have loved since I was a little girl. While its nostalgia gives it a certain place in my heart, the film still holds up every time I revisit it. You see, it stands the test of time because it makes you care about its characters. Each one of the actors plays their part perfectly. I gotta say, Michael J. Fox has the perfect comic timing, and he gets a lot of help from a fantastic script. But honestly, Crispin Glover's George McFly is certainly one of the differences that make the sequels somewhat inferior. You don't really think of his character as being the one that brings the magic that the other ones lack, but most of my favorite moments in the original film he's almost always in! Anyway, every aspect of this film (script, acting, directing, editing, score, etc.) contribute to the love I feel for it, and that's probably enough said. I will leave you with some parting quotes :)

I'm George, George McFly. I'm your density. I mean... your destiny. (What I really love is Lorraine's response and delivery of "Oh....") - George McFly

Last night, Darth Vader came down from planet Vulcan and told me that if I didn't take Lorraine out that he'd melt my brain. - George McFly

I can't believe you'd *loan* me your car without telling me it had a blind spot. I could've been killed! - Biff Tannen. This line is a family fave.

Good to know: Michael J. Fox and Lea Thompson were the same age I am today when they made Back to the Future (boy does that make me feel unsuccessful). This movie ranks #3 on Emily's Top 100. In 2006, Back to the Future was voted the 23rd greatest film ever made by readers of Empire. The film is ranked #78 on IMDB's top 250 and has a Rotten Tomatoes ranking of 96%! In June 2008, the American Film Institute revealed the AFI's 10 Top 10 – the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres – after polling more than 1,500 people from the creative community. Back to the Future was acknowledged as the 10th best film in the science fiction genre. Back to the Future is among Channel 4's (what channel 4, I don't know) 50 Films to See Before You Die, being ranked 10th. (facts from IMDB and wikipedia...and one from me!)

To be continued....this post is getting long enough as it is. Look for parts 2 and 3 soon!

P.S. RIP Back to the Future: The Ride @ Universal Studios. This ride was so great :( Seriously. Riding in replica Delorean time machines was amazing. I know flight simulator rides aren't really the greatest....but come on...it's freaking Back to the Future! Sigh...at least there's still the backlot tour.

P.P.S. There's a hilarious video on youtube. Look up "back to the future sex scene" Sarah or Mom, you probably shouldn't watch. I know you'd both just say "inappropriate!" meanwhile Moomoo would do his funny guilty laugh. I am guilty too...

For those who missed it, My Top Ten of 2009

Yeah...it's March of 2010 now...but I really wanted to make this list and my motto is "better late than never." Partially to blame for this lateness was that I felt that I couldn't truly complete this list until I had seen some choice films on DVD I was very right in doing so, because some of the last movies I've seen on DVD definitely earned a spot on my list for sure. We'll start from the bottom and go to the top.

#10 An Education. The film certainly is not one that I would recommend to everyone. You know that scene at the end of Juno when Jason Bateman's character Mark comes on to Ellen Page's Juno? Yeah, that's the pretty much the entire tone of An Education. Tastefully telling the story of the seduction of a sixteen-year-old girl definitely is no simple task and the film certainly has no qualms about making the viewer feel pretty uncomfortable. That said, the film definitely has a lot of poignant things to say and features an incredibly strong cast. Carey Mulligan gives a fantastic performance (probably the best of the year by an actress as far as I’m concerned), as does Peter Sarsgaard and the supporting cast, particularly Rosamund Pike. My only gripe is that I feel that the ending is slightly rushed so that the audience doesn’t quite get the reward for their patience as they deserve, nevertheless the film as a whole remains strong. Again, this movie is clearly not for the faint of heart (at times its pretty depressing stuff) but it is extremely well made and worth a watch by those who are willing to take the risk.

Quote: Action is character. If we never did anything we'd never be anybody.

#9 The Lovely Bones Okay, I have to admit, I am a complete sucker for movies that blow me away visually (except Avatar…which I did enjoy to an extent…but not as much as the rest of the world apparently.) So naturally, when I saw the visually dazzling trailer for Peter Jackson’s latest film, The Lovely Bones this film quickly became one of my most anticipated. When I read the reviews, I was very disappointed and kept my expectations low. I was delighted that I kept an open mind (or I don’t know…maybe I went in there determined to love it) because I was completely engrossed the entire time. The film is gripping, heartbreaking, horrifying and visually stunning all at once. There’s so much going on under the surface as well that it’s a great movie to try and dissect. Also, Stanley Tucci’s performance shouldn’t be missed. I know this movie came out here in Utah in 2010, but as the IMDB lists it as 2009 I’m placing it on my list anyway.

Quote: There was one thing my murderer didn't understand; he didn't understand how much a father could love his child.

#8 District 9 I heard a lot of hype about this film, but really didn’t know quite what to expect, as I had only seen limited previews. This was a solid sci-fi flick that is set apart from the rest because it was told in a very compelling and unique way. While it took awhile for the plot to get going, the ambiance that sets the film up is absolutely necessary to get the audience invested in the events surrounding the characters. Once the film does get moving, it is definitely an intense ride that keeps the viewers attention constantly until the very end.

Quote: When dealing with aliens, try to be polite, but firm. And always remember that a smile is cheaper than a bullet.


# 7 Inglourious Basterds This movie is pretty great. The storytelling here is very well done in every way. The movie is very engaging and suspenseful. It also features some pretty great performances too. Tarantino builds an increasing tension throughout the film that culminates in a finale that really should not be missed. I guess hooray for revisionist history films! Who thought I'd ever be saying that?

Quote: You probably heard we ain't in the prisoner-takin' business; we in the killin' Nazi business. And cousin, business is a-booming'.


# 6 TIE Away We Go I don’t know how John Krasinski does it! Even with a beard and hipster dork glasses, he still is the most alluring male (to this gal) on the planet. Seriously, the guy is so lovable. But he is just one of the reasons I love Away We Go While the film, doesn’t really have the strongest plot (the familiar road movie formula,) it really benefits from the strong performances of both of its leads. Who knew Maya Rudolph had such dramatic acting chops in her? The film is equally hilarious and poignant. When I wasn’t laughing my head off, I was taking a deep look at myself at my ideas of love, marriage, and parenting. Away We Go is a very enjoyable watch from start to finish.

Quote: "What's wrong with a stroller?" I LOVE my babies. Why would I want to PUSH them away from me?"


#6 TIE Up in the Air This is a very interesting movie. Its characters are real, and its story is important. I don't really have a ton to say because I don't want to give anything away, but it is just a really good movie...It's just solid. The fewer expectations you have, the more you'll understand and enjoy it. Jason Reitman does it again.

Quote: If you think about it, your favorite memories, the most important moments in your life... were you alone? Life's better with company.

#5 I Love You, Man This movie is just ridiculously hilarious. A movie based entirely on my brother, Clayton’s favorite concept of “friend dating,” certainly has the potential for the amusement of the highest. I Love You Man definitely does not fail to capitalize on the wonderfully awkward and hilarious moments that friend dating offers (and Paul Rudd and Jason Segel have great bromance chemistry) This film is a solid comedy with great writing, and thus definite rewatchability.

Quote: If you see a cool looking guy, strike up a conversation and ask him on a man date.

#4 Zombieland What can I say? Another movie on my top ten list that I find absolutely hilarious. Could I be more predictable? This movie for me was basically the equivalent of a rollercoaster—it has just as many laughs and thrills. The characters and their dialogue are very memorable, but what I perhaps love most about Zombieland is just how outrageous it dares to be. During a certain subplot of the film, I kept thinking to myself “Is this REALLY happening…Yes yes, it is and it is amazing.”

Quote: "I'm not great at farewells, so uh... that'll do, pig." " That's the worst goodbye I've ever heard. And you stole it from a movie."

#3 Up It’s no secret that I love Pixar…in fact…I’m a bit of a Pixar snob. So I definitely was pleased to find that Up was yet another triumph. While the film could have perhaps fleshed their villain out some more, the rest of the characters in Up are incredibly portrayed and serve the story well. I always find it to a film’s credit when they are able to touch an audience so quickly and Up had many members of the audience in tears within the first ten minutes (me included, which is definitely a rarity.) Up, put simply, is just a beautiful story about the adventures that life holds.

Quote: Thanks for the adventure. Now go have one of your own.

#2 Drag Me To Hell What’s this? Another horror-comedy on my list? Kent Dunn is right. This is pretty much an awesome genre, and one of my new found favorites. What I absolutely love about Drag Me To Hell is that it demands your attention and definitely takes it captive until the very end. Like Zombieland, Drag Me To Hell is outrageous, hilarious and extremely entertaining. I have to give the edge to Drag Me To Hell just for the scene in the parking garage alone... it is so ridiculous its fantastic.

Quote: Here kitty, kitty....



#1 (500) Days of Summer It’s official. I’m in love with this movie. I love its acting, I love its writing, I love its editing, I love its soundtrack, I love the heart-shaped birthmark on the back of its neck..haha wait what? But seriously… I love this movie so much that I’ve allowed it to occupy a spot in my top favorites ten not only of the year…but of all time. Perhaps more than any other film I have seen in my life, this film actually makes the audience feel exactly what the characters do from the extreme highs of the relationship, to the utter lows. Don’t even get me started or else I WILL write out an essay length response in just how perfect this movie really is. But what I love most is that this movie is real and honest. As an experience, seeing this movie for the first time was amazing, but learning from it more and more after each viewing is just as important and why it goes down as an instant favorite.

Quote: This is a story of boy meets girl. But you should know up front, this is not a love story.


HONORABLE MENTIONS: Extract, Paranormal Activity, Star Trek, Where The Wild Things Are, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnussus, Adventureland, Bright Star, The Princess and the Frog, Public Enemies.

Hello friends

So....I did it. I finally started a blog. I've been told for a while now by many that this was something I should do, but I never really wanted to. I don't really know why I changed my mind...but now I'm here, and I have a lot to say! So enjoy my rambling thoughts on the topics of my two favorite things: film and fun.

3.18.2010

Podcast Appearances


Baconsale
Episode 24 The M. Night Show-malan

First Time Watchers
Episode 176 Ex Machina

In Session Film 
Episode 113 Top Movie Couples We'd Want to Hang Out With
   

 War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 76 Exodus
   

  War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 82 Two Days, One Night
  

War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 93 Unbroken
   

 War Machine vs. War Horse 
Episode 102 Into the Woods
   

 War Machine vs. War Horse 
Episode 105 The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby 


War Machine vs. War Horse 
  Episode 109 The Last 5 Years
   

 War Machine vs. War Horse 
Episode 110 Accidental Love
   

War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 124 Life Itself
   

War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 130 Candlestick
 
War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 133 Child 44
War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 134 God Help The Girl

Episode 135 Age of Adaline
Episode 139 What We Do in the Shadows
Episode 140 Pitch Perfect 2
War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 142 Tomorrowland
War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 143 Poltergeist
War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 148 Jurassic World
War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 150 Inside Out
War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 153 Me & Earl & The Dying Girl
War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 154 Terminator Genisys
War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 156 Clouds of Sils Maria
War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 160 Paper Towns
War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 162 Mission Impossible V: Rogue Nation
War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 163 Fantastic Four
War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 169 Mistress America
War Machine vs. War Horse
Episode 173 The Visit