Thursday, September 27, 2007


Besides gluttony, pride is my second most favorite deadly sin. For the most part, I don't really understand why it's a sin in the first place. Pride is necessary and integral to lead a fulfilling life. Without it, dignity and self respect are moot. Now, if you're Mr. Darcy, it's a bad thing, but in healthy doses, pride can take you a long way. The title, Pride, is probably an elephant size hint of what the theme of this movie is, but it wasn't any different from any other sport themed film.

Terrance Howard stars as Jim Ellis, the real life swim coach of the Philadelphia Department of Recreation (PDR) swim team. During a time when prejudice was rampant, talented and promising swimmer, Ellis, was unfairly treated during a swim meet, which set the tone for the rest of his life. Years later, unable to find work because of the his skin color, Ellis is sent to clean out PDR prior to its closing. Instead, he takes some inner city kids under his wing and teaches them discipline, integrity, and self respect. Bernie Mac costars.

Pride has the perfect plot formula for a successful sports film, but it lacks in creativity and meaning. The plot moves quickly at the beginning but drags at the end, and the believability in the story was greatly choked by corny acting and poor pace. One minute the kids are unruly, the next they're driven; Terrance Howard is crying, then all of a sudden they're winning meets, Terrance Howard cries again; its pretty awful. Then there was this weird subplot of inner city gang activity and of course the awkward romance storyline.

It is really amazing to know that this story did happen in some form or another, and to this day, Jim Ellis still coaches the PDR swim team. That's dedication. But Pride does not do this real life story justice. Read his biography instead.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 6:39 PM 0 comments  

The Number 23

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Before I saw this movie, the number 23 only meant Michael Jordan's jersey number. That is thanks to my childhood friend, Sabrina. Jim Carey changed that for me. It's astonishing how I can make the number 23 appear anywhere. It's astonishing how paranoid I am.

Carey stars as an average, ordinary dog catcher, whose wife buys him a thrift-store, self-published, shady novel entitled The Number 23. Slowly, he is drawn into the mysterious story of Detective Fingerling and his many women; a part of him disturbed by his close similarity to the fiendish investigator. 2 In the end, he becomes so consumed by the book, that it begins to consume him. Does he know the killer? Does the killer know him? Did I just tell you who the killer is?

Despite the innovative story concept, it was just a bad movie masked by some cool cinematography and discreet subliminal messages. The Fingerling scenes had a kind of New Age, Film Noir style, with shadowy mis en scene and illuminated characters, and the camera movement is sleek and light-weight. Oh, but the story was appalling! The plot was so stupid . . . and weird . . . And that neck slashing scene was so not necessary. And the ending, don't even get me started on the ending. I'd rant even more about it, but I'd be giving stuff away. Between you and me, waiting to see what happens in the end is the only thing that should keep you watching.

So to all those paranoid numerology freaks out there, spare yourselves. You'll start seeing 23 everywhere. I even got my birthday to make 23. Heck, I am 23. I bet you I could even make this blog somehow be 23. I bet you I even used only 23 out of the 26 letters of the alphabet writing this blog; I bet you I only used 323 words up until HERE. Count them. I dare you! I'm awesome.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 4:23 PM 1 comments  

The Nanny Diaries

Friday, September 14, 2007


Am I the only 23-year-old female who still doesn't consider herself a woman? I'm a kid trapped in a big kid's body. If I told people I was still in high school, would they believe me? Probably. And this is why I'm slightly jealous of Scarlett Johansson. Have you seen her womanly figure in an evening gown? Have you seen paparazzi shots of her well-groomed beauty? She's EXACTLY my age. Actually, she was born one year before me, but no matter. She looks like a woman. A woman gosh darn it. Will I ever grow up to be a woman? "I'm not a girl, but not yet a woman . . ." sing it Brit, sing it! At least in her latest movie, The Nanny Diaries, she looks like a normal 22-year-old, which cushions my complex a little bit.

Johansson stars as recent college grad, Annie Braddock, who is pressured by her mother to pursue a stable and successful business career despite her aspirations of becoming an anthropologist. In order to by some time to figure things out, she takes a nanny job with a posh, Upper East Side family only known as "The X's." Wrongfully assuming this for a cushy job, Annie, AKA "Nanny," finds herself being controlled and manipulated by Mama, Papa, and Baby Terror in this romantic, The Devil Wears Prada-like comedy.

Annie Braddock narrates her experience in retrospect with an anthropological spin. Using this creative way of story-telling, The Nanny Diaries is slightly different from other comedies of this genre. However, outside of that, it's you're average, everyday chick flick. It didn't do anything wrong to make me hate it, but it didn't capture my attention either. The boy accessories, both boyfriend and little tyke, were cute, and some of the situations were funny, but, ::shrug:: eh . . . it was whatever. This makes me sad because it seemed like there was a lot of thought and creativity that went into executing the script, but the characters and the story just weren't good enough. I also don't see how these stories went into any sort of diary she was writing, as she didn't write in a diary. Go figure. Plus the anthropological theme wasn't used enough.

Wait for The Nanny Diaries to go on DVD. It just didn't cut it on the big screen. Maybe it'll be better on the little one.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 10:55 PM 0 comments  

The Contract

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


The only reason I even knew this movie existed was because I decided to browse the aisle of Hollywood Video. It's so unknown that the promoters didn't even release any movie stills. All I could find was an image of the movie poster. I was hoping that it was one of those diamonds in the rough; a movie only a handful of people have seen but is cinema of the highest caliber. ::shudders:: I was so wrong.

John Cusack and Morgan Freeman star in this tepid thriller, The Contract. Morgan Freeman plays a high ranked, professional assassin. He gets caught following an incident that had nothing to do with the hit. His men make an attempt to free him, but in the process, he is unfortunately lost in a river. Cusack who happens to be on camping trip with his son, rescues Freeman, notices the handcuffs, decides to be a hero, and takes Freeman in 'custody.' Now Freeman's team is after Cusack and his son, and somewhere in there is a two-timer working for another team.

And that's basically it. There's absolutely nothing special about this film. I still don't understand why Ray Keene (Cusack) decided to take responsibility for an at-large murderer with his son in tow. Maybe he wanted to be a good role model for his son. "Do the right thing," he was saying to himself. Or maybe he missed the control he had as a cop, and the small taste of power influenced his decisions. Maybe. But convey that on the screen, filmmakers! A film like this isn't necessarily about the action. It's about the characters, especially considering the amount of dialogue between Freeman and Cusack, so you'd think that the filmmakers would have done a better job establishing character motive and writing a better script. Something that is usually important. You'd think. Plus don't even get me started on that blonde chick who Cusack picks up during their hike, as they're being chased by professional killers.

This was not a good movie.

Oh my John. I still love you even if you do crappy movies. I will still forever be your number one fan.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 11:20 PM 0 comments  

Blades Of Glory

Saturday, September 08, 2007


I'm going to preface this article by saying that I don't know what a good spoof movie is. I know that Not Another Teen Movie and any Monty Python movie is funny, but other than that, I can't see the line between stupid and funny stupid. So understanding this, I'm writing this article based entirely on opinion alone.

Blades Of Glory stars seasoned comedian Will Ferrell and Napoleon Dynamite's very own John Heder. A parody of the ice skating circuit, bad-boy wannabe Chazz Michael Michaels and rival goodie-goodie, light in his loafers Jimmy MacElroy are banned from singles competition as a result of a rumble. Despite their competitive differences, they pair up as a doubles team when all other female skaters are spoken for.

Will Ferrell and John Heder were ridiculous as usual. Heder plays a surprisingly delightful innocent man-child, and he doesn't look half as gnarly as he usually does. As for Ferrell, I have no comment.

Poking fun at ice skating means zeroing in on some key questions we all ask when we watch profession figure skating:

  1. What are the wearing?
  2. Is he gay?
  3. Just where did he put his hand to lift her exactly?
  4. Why are the commentators so cheesy serious?
  5. Are you sure he's not gay?
  6. Isn't that, like, incest?
  7. I really don't care either way, but is he gay?
With a blunt force, Blades of Glory focuses and answers all of these questions that are too taboo and socially inappropriate. Although funny because of the exaggerated comedy, I thought the majority of it was pretty stupid, and stupid funny movies in my book can never be rated that high. Thankfully, it wasn't gross or blatantly over sexual. That would have pushed it WAY over-the-top. It was colorful and flamboyant, like its characters, and the large number of professional ice skaters and commentator cameos added to the goofiness of this flick.

Of the same genre as Talladega Nights and Anchorman, Blades of Glory isn't one of Ferrell's best. Its a perfect popcorn movie for non-movie snobs, which I am definitely not. Laughing at stupid is not my forte, so if it's not yours either, I'd watch something like more like Zoolander. It's a little more clever in its humor, parody, and outrageousness. Blades of Glory: not worth your time.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 9:06 PM 0 comments  

Georgia Rule

Thursday, September 06, 2007


The earliest memory I have of Jane Fonda is my mother standing in front of the television copying every move of Jane's latest exercises video. I remember her looking young, healthy, and strong, so I was both shocked and amazed at how old she'd gotten but how great she still looked. Now I know Hollywood is all about the Botox and the Dr 90210, but there's no way any amount of oil, hair dye, or relaxers could have given Jane Fonda the gorgeous mane she had in this movie. Her hair makes even Lassie jealous. All I can say is I wish I could look like Jane Fonda when I turn 70(<--I know! She's that freaking old!). Anyway, Felicity Huffman and Lindsey Lohan also star in Georgia Rule, a dramatic chick flick new to DVD last Tuesday, and they don't look too shabby either.

Georgia Rule centers around three generations of dysfunctional females; a grandmother, a mother, and a daughter. Rachel (Lohan) is a wild and self-destructive teenager who is sent to live with her grandmother, Georgia (Fonda). During her stay, she makes a confession. She'd been sexually abused by her stepfather since the age of twelve, but is she lying or is she for real? Her self-absorbed, alcoholic mother (Huffman) struggles with believing her daughter as Georgia pressures her to tend to her demons.

There were some really good scenes in this movie. However I felt like it never pulled itself together. These characters had depth and complexity, but the screen writing isn't good enough to handle them. The men merely serve as props who create situations that bring out the larger issues these women posses, and Rachel's way of acting out is far too crazy to just be resolved with a hug at the end of the movie (kind of like Lohan in real life). The relationships between these women weren't well developed. Not enough for a movie that whose key theme is matriarchal relationships.

Georgia Rule was thoughtfully acted and its characters nicely portrayed, but it isn't high cinema. If this had been based off of a novel, I would assume that the book would have been better; characters cheated out of key scenes due to screen time constraints. Unfortunately, Georgia Rule has no excuse. It was lacking on purpose. I'd watch this movie again if it were on TBS. I'd advise you to do the same. That's a Goomba Rule.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 1:32 AM 0 comments  


Wednesday, September 05, 2007


I remember feeling really uncomfortable watching 40 Year Old Virgin. I insisted that the movie was basically a misogynistic, derogatory commentary on the female gender, so imagine what I felt like sitting through Superbad. However, after putting my 'reviewer' cap on, I found that Superbad wasn't like 40 Year Old Virgin at all. It was on a completely different level of smart. Smarter than 80% of the movies out there, but I had to give up being a prude for 2 hours in order to see it.

Like others in the teen sex comedy genre, Superbad pays no attention to the rules of a civilized culture. It's ruthlessly crass, the language is something out of the sewer, and there are way too many penises. Not real ones, mind you. Just some disturbing, creative illustrations. And despite relying on sick, cheap humor it had quality. In the end, it wasn't about the teenage partying, the girls, or the sex. It was about two incredibly dorky best friends who come to the realization that its time to grow up, and nothing can stop it. It's straight out of a coming of age tale camouflaged by terrible potty mouth.

Its the end of their senior year in high school, and best friends, Seth and Evan, still haven't gotten with the girls of their dreams. In an effort to impress their girls, Seth and Evan offer to get the alcohol for a huge house party, and the girls accept. From there, hang on for the ride because in one night, Seth and Evan, along with fellow dork, Fogell (AKA McLovin), manage to get hit by a car, twice; dance with a period stainer; sing to a bunch of crackheads; befriend some crazy ass cops; and all the while become the hit of the party.

There are some interesting points I'd like to bring up about this film:

  1. There are no boobies in this film - None at all; surprising for such a raunchy film
  2. Becca, Jules and G String Girl are actually complete opposites of what the Superbadies thought they would be . . . except for maybe G String Girl - these girls were actually real characters, not just props with boobs.
  3. It ends in a mall - such a great homage to the teen flicks of the 80's and 90's
  4. Seth and Evan are neither uber nerdy or super hot; they're awkward and embarrassing, much like I remember 95% of the boys in high school.
  5. The dialog, though filthy, is amazingly clever and well written; not to mention well delivered by the young actors.
Superbad is not a movie for those with sensitive ears. I know people who have walked out of the theater 10 min into the movie. Remember, this is a teen sex comedy, so please enter the theater with those expectations. Superbad is crude and offending, but God help me, it made me laugh.

"Chiga Chiga"

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 6:49 PM 0 comments  

Unaccompanied Minors

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


I have a confession, but you have to promise not to tell . . . I not only love all teen 80's movies, but I have to watch every single pre-teen flick that comes out on DVD. Even the awful ones, which brings me to Unaccompanied Minors. I need help. I need rehabilitation, especially after watching this Christmas flop. I think it was even worse than Arnold's 1996 holiday, I'd rather be put out of my misery than watch movie, Jingle All The Way.

Why is it so bad? It's corny, over-acted, and definitely not heart-warming. Think Home Alone meets The Breakfast Club meets the dollar bin at Walmart. Usually, I like to cut kid actors some slack when it comes to the maturity of their acting, but I felt like some of these kids were trying too hard to be funny and ended up acting like Jim Carrey with A.D.D. The illiterate could have written a better plot, and even though it is a Christmas movie, which automatically grants extra cheese leeway, the authority vs. kids toboggan chase and the corn oil fueled car were WAY over-the-top. Not to mention that on Christmas morning the ENTIRE airport is in deep R.E.M. and only wake up when the kids ring the bells. ::rolls eyes:: Should I even bother telling you what this movie is about? I guess so, just in case you're curious.

Unaccompanied Minors begins on Christmas Eve when five kids are stuck at the airport due to a blizzard. Hundreds of minors are forced together in a large room since they are underage, and five teens create an unlikely alliance against the airport authority (AKA the Gestapo) to break out and save Christmas for themselves and for those stuck in the terminals. In case this helps, Wilmer Valderrama also stars in this holiday bust.

Don't see this movie. You'll thank me, I promise. I will understand if you are dragged into it by a 12 year old you associate with. After all, you don't want your minor to watch it unaccompanied. Someone has to be there to explain that, though glorified in the film, Hummers are still bad for the environment and no, it isn't safe to toboggan in a canoe.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 11:02 PM 0 comments