Tuesday, February 27, 2007


In the Bible, man created a tower so high that it could reach the heavens, and it was only facilitated through a commonality of language and race. To prevent man from reaching the skies, God destroys the tower, the Tower of Babel, gives everyone different languages, and spreads humanity throughout the world. As God crushes the tower, everyone is thrown into a state of confusion. They can no longer communicate with one another and their brothers and sisters sent across the globe to lead a life of their own.

Race, family, and communication; these themes rooted in this biblical tale are prominent throughout this Academy Award Nominated film. There are the two young, Moroccan brothers, both fighting for their father's approval, the Japanese Father who desperately longs for some emotional connection to his deaf, mute, teenage daughter, the American couple who does not know how to cope after the loss of a young baby, and the Mexican nanny, whose responsibility of being a pseudo mother to two upper class, white children conflict with her family ties in Mexico.

This film defines language as something larger than communicative words, it includes human action. The conflicts discussed in this film are all rooted in the idea that actions are never interpreted correctly. The American husband takes his wife to Morocco to take some private time for each other, yet the wife sees it as running away from their problems at home. The shot that wounds her is seen as a terrorist act, when in reality, it was the Moroccan boy showing off to his older brother. One action sets off a chain of reactions that magnify into an event controlled by fear and confusion. Meanwhile, we, as the audience, are frustrated. Why don't they just explain what's going on to each other?! Why can't they just understand!? But that's the point isn't it?

Babel was my pick for the Oscar win. Its type of story-telling may be similar to that of Crash, but its emphasis is completely different. It's about a chain reaction, not a full circle. Look past the cuts and edits to see what this movie is really about; babel.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 3:14 PM 0 comments  

The Departed

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


"Not psychologically graphic enough," says Scorsese, "Martin Sheen needs to fall off the building with UMPH!"

"But Mr. Scorsese, that blood and guts splatter was perfectly propelled onto Leonardo's shirt!"


Martin Scorsese's portrayal of the Irish mob in present day Massachusetts is so violent, yet so well choreographed. Only Scorsese can turn realistic, everyday murder into art.

This cast included some of Hollywood's finest. This complicated good cop-bad cop story stars Leonardo DeCaprio and Matt Damon. Jack Nicholson is the big Bad and Martin Sheen is the big Good. Mark Walberg is a cop who's character adds vigilante color. These are the main players, but what makes this film so interesting is that you don't know who's on who's side until the end... or maybe you know in the beginning?

Classic is the scene where Sullivan calls Costigan on the good-cop police phone, but both don't even dare say hello. The bearer of the good-cop phone just died, so Costigan knows something is fishy. He doesn't want to blow his cover. Sullivan doesn't say anything because he could give up the fact that hes the PD's leak. Meanwhile, I'm screaming "OH MY GOD!" because I can't take the oh-so-perfect suspense; silence hanging in the air.

Its stuff like this that makes the film, and the ending is mind-blowing...literally, and a HUGE commentary on where justice resides. I don't think that is deserved the Oscar for Best Picture, but it is definitely worth watching when you're looking for a pee-in-your pants antsy kind of movie.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 10:00 AM 0 comments  

Half Nelson

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Ever felt like there was a gigantic wrestler who had you pinned to the ground so all you could do was flail one of your arms uselessly in the air? Meet Dan Dunne(even his name sounds like a dud). This was his life.

Half Nelson stars Ryan Gosling as Mr. Dunne, a junior high school History teacher who strives to inspire his students to create for themselves a better life, but at the same time, maintains a healthy drug addiction. It's when Dunne is caught in the act that Drey, one of Dunne's students, sees her teacher's humanity and befriends this wreck of a man. Its no matter. She sees the man that he wants to be.

Ryan Gosling's performance in this film is superb. I'm not much of a Gosling fan (I can't get the young Hercules image out of my head), but he was able to bring such tragedy to this character. He evokes such sympathy from the audience, and regardless of his self deprecating behavior and despite the uncomfortable idea that a drug addict is teaching America's impressionable minds, we want him to succeed.

Dunne is a man down on his luck. Like some unfortunates, he uses drugs to escape from loneliness. But what makes this film special is the notion that anyone can be hopeless, and the most inexperienced of persons can the best people to lean on. Without judgement both Drey and Dunne share a mutual respect for one another, though both see each other's faults, and in a "Second chances are rare, Man. You ought to take better advantage of them," kind of world they find comfort in each other. They are friends.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 3:07 PM 0 comments  


Monday, February 05, 2007


When I first heard about Scoop, I immediately thought "ice cream." Scoop is actually about an amateur journalist who happens upon the scoop of the century. Staring Scarlett Johansson, Hugh Jackman, and Woody Allen, this comedy with dark undertones captures the audience's belief in the far-fetched.

The movie begins with a scene of a famous reporter on a boat/raft on the way to Hades with the Grim Reaper leading the tow. This famous reporter then begins a conversation with a woman who was the secretary of a famous British aristocrat, Peter Lyman. She believed that Lyman was the Tarot Card Serial Killer, and the reporter, being the man that he was, decides that he needs to try an escape that boat, get back to Earth, and tell someone.He appears to Sondra Pransky, played by Johansson (who is an absolute dork in this movie; so great), and this magician, played by Woddy Allen. They then go about investigating Lyman, and in the process, Lyman and Pransky fall in love.

Obviously this plot sounds pretty kooky, and it is, but the tone of this film really facilitated the idea that this movie was a story, not a film meant to portray reality. So you kind of go with the flow.

Woody Allen and Scarlett Johansson are a fantastic pair. I was very impressed with Johansson's capability to play a part where she isn't just the pretty face the movie needs, not to mention her ability to keep up with fast-talking Allen during his rambling rants and raves. Dialogue really makes this film, and combining this with an investigative, darkly comedic murder mystery, you've got yourself Great Woody Allen fun.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 11:59 AM 0 comments  

Catch And Release

Thursday, February 01, 2007


The people who made the trailer for this movie really needed to do a better job. I saw the trailer and I already knew the ENTIRE plot, with details, of the movie. However, I saw it anyway, and please don't waste your $8.00.

It was my mistake to listen to Roper and his guest critic who both gave it a thumbs up. I just checked the tomato meter, and it's pretty rotten. What were those 19% thinking?! There were so many things wrong with this romantic comedy.

#1: A woman whose fiancé just died would not fall in love with her fiancé’s best friend, a friend who she HATED 3 days following his death. Hello!? You were just sleeping with you fiancé 3 days earlier!!!

#2: A woman whose fiancé just died would not move into her fiancé’s room with his roommates following his death, nor would she sleep with her fiancé’s best friend in her dead fiancé’s bed. That's pretty sick.

#3: Why, oh why, would you decide to become friends with the woman who your fiancé was cheating with?! Maybe a couple of months later . . . not 4 days!!!!

Other than problems with the plot, there was no development of the love between Gray and Fritz. They looked like they just needed someone to sleep with. 0.5 Goombas goes to the cute friend who is secretly in love with Gray, but of course does not win the girl.

Catch and Release . . . I'm defiantly throwing this one back.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 3:47 PM 0 comments