Double Feature: The Women (2008) & Storks (2016)

And we’re back with another Double Feature!

These two have been sitting in backlog forever. Maybe Storks is a newer watch since that was the last rental I had a few weeks ago. I saw The Women over a month ago so if details seem hazy on my end, it isn’t intentional. However, I do want to still write about it. Animated movies and Meg Ryan sounds like a great double feature to me since they are two of my favorite things ever.

The Women (2008)

Director: Diane English

Cast: Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Eva Mendes, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett Smith, Bette Midler, Candice Bergen, Carrie Fisher

A wealthy New Yorker wrestles with the decision to leave her cheating husband, as she and her friends discover that women really can have it all. – IMDB

The Women is the centre of what female empowerment strives to be. It has pretty much a complete women cast. In fact, I really can’t remember any men except for perhaps passerbys in the scenes whether they were someone the characters were talking to just a husband or partner mentioned. It is pretty amazing to watch a movie that is done in this particular way since it highlights different types of ladies and their different values and aspirations coming into their own and learning how to be themselves. While I do acknowledge that this movie has many flaws and I actually found it a little tiresome to watch, the cast here does great with the material. It helps that I’m a huge fan of Meg Ryan. I remember really loving Debra Messing before although I’m not sure what she’s doing now and of course Jada Pinkett Smith. There are some smaller supporting roles like Candice Bergen who shows another generation of women as well as Bette Middler who really can do no wrong in my books.

The Women has its moments mostly from these charming women however, it never seems to get above from being average. I think I loved watching the actress more than actually grasping a lot about the story. After a few weeks, the details are a little blurry right now and as I watched it again to refresh my memory, things started coming back to me. It seems that The Women does try to get a lot in there about relationships and friendships of all sorts while also talking about all these women who are trying to embrace who they want to be, whether it is setting a positive image for other women via media (like Annette Bening’s character, Sylvie) or setting a good example about strong women role models for the younger generation (like Meg Ryan’s Mary).

Storks (2016)

Storks poster

Director: Nicholas Stoller (writer) & Doug Sweetland

Voice cast: Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Kelsey Grammer, Jennifer Aniston, Ty Burrell, Anton Starkman, Danny Trejo, Stephen Kramer Glickman

Storks have moved on from delivering babies to packages. But when an order for a baby appears, the best delivery stork must scramble to fix the error by delivering the baby. – IMDB

Storks came out in a year with a plot that seemed a little odd and far-fetched and it didn’t appeal at all to myself when it was released in theatres. Sure, it looked cute and the idea of storks delivering babies came from the Dumbo days. Plus, I never caught on to Brooklyn Ninety-Nine because I’m not exactly sure I grasp Andy Samberg’s sort of humor. It feels a tad stupid but then I don’t know, maybe I’ve changed as well since I didn’t really like Big Bang Theory before and I do now. However, back to Storks, the moment I turned on Storks, it set the stage that this was a charming and funny little animated film. The voice cast and the characters and the dialogue was amazingly fun. I’m sure if I wanted to, there are holes in the whole story but it highlights so many fun things plus it is geared towards children by the way the talk or address issues. The voice cast is also quite impressive. While Junior (voiced by Adam Samberg) is the  main character and its really his character development that highlights this movie a lot, my favorite moments come with Tulip and moments with both Tulip and Junior. Plus, since my friend, Phoebe (aka Starry Traveler’s Road) hangs out quite a bit and she has her little bunbun, the baby in this one reminded me so much of bunbun and I actually texted her to see this movie ASAP.

Storks

Storks was a pleasant surprise for me and I think that makes it stand out even more. We had a good many laughs. Its colorful and entertaining. There are some solid jokes and even the more silly ones will spark at least a giggle or chuckle depending on what you like to do. Its never too violent or vulgar or sexual. In fact, its really about the storks and what it means to be a family and to have a family and to not be alone. The courage to do what is right and not let manipulation and sometimes to just follow your nature and instincts. Storks is a ton of fun and definitely worth a viewing.

That’s it for the double feature!
Have you seen these movies?

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Addicted to Screwball Blogathon: Addicted to Love (1997)

Today is the anniversary of Addicted to Love and in honor of that, Paul at Pfeiffer Philms and Meg Movies has put together this Addicted to Screwball blogathon event. You read more about it here or by clicking on the banner above.

Now, before I start, I do want to be completely honest that I really have a lot of classic movies to catch up on and seeing as the rise of screwball comedy also lies in a lot of these iconic titles that i haven’t seen, I am almost completely unfamiliar with this subgenre. However, Paul did give me some suggestions and I ended up choosing to write about Addicted to Love with Meg Ryan.

Lets check it out!

Addicted to Love (1997)

addicted to love

Director: Griffin Dune

Cast: Meg Ryan, Matthew Broderick, Kelly Preston, Tcheky Karyo, Maureen Stapleton

Maggie’s and Sam’s former partners are in love; she wants revenge and he wants his lost love back, so they work together to break up the happy couple. – IMDB

If screwball comedy is what Addicted to Love is, count me in for more. Addicted to Love is such a great film. It is a ton of fun to watch with a lot of great characters. I love Meg Ryan and this movie is exactly why. She is so versatile in her acting capabilities. In Addicted to Love, there is a completely different side to her that we don’t see in some of the other romantic comedies. Let’s face it, maybe I don’t know how to talk about this in the whole screwball comedy spectrum but I’m watching this because there’s Meg Ryan.

Addicted to Love

Here’s a good time to switch over to talk about the characters and performances on Addicted to Love. Our leading lady here is Meg Ryan who delivers a great character, Maggie who is the opposite that needs to accomplish this sabotage plan. On the exterior, Maggie is calm and calculated with the plan. She is determined to achieve her revenge on this man that used her and broke her heart. A lot of who she is is already shown to us by how she makes her entrance into the movie as she breaks in and appears in her motorcycle get up and starts getting straight to work. Deep down, there is a softer side and as the story goes on, she has these layers that we see. Now that I am done fangirling over Meg, Matthew Broderick also delivers quite the performance. I always have a hard time pinpointing where I have seen him before in movies but his role here as Sam is a lot of fun. Sam is the opposite to Maggie in many ways. He really is calm but also a scientist so he believes in charts and predicting when certain signs will mean a breakup. He believes it will end naturally until he realizes that everything he believed in doesn’t apply in love. Sam’s character breaks out of this shell and becomes more daring as he turns into the guy who starts off lacking discretion and letting his feelings get in the way of the plan but turns into the guy who hatches the ultimate plan.

Addicted to Love

Addicted to Love is charming because of these two leading roles however, the charm extends to the outrageous scenes that are set up here. While Kelly Preston plays the not very special Linda, playing opposite her is the odd French chef who seeks perfection, Anton. Anton does catch most of the heat in the situation as they make him suffer mostly and creating the most unbelievable situations for him to explain his way out and create suspicion. Anton himself gets more screen time and much more focus in the last third of the movie when things start spiralling apart from the revenge/stalker plot of the exes team-up. The dynamic was turned around and we actually get to learn more about this character of Anton. The goal is not to care about him but rather to guide Maggie and Sam to realize what they have/feel for each other.

Overall, Addicted to Love is a really fun romantic comedy in the veins of a revenge of the exes storyline. While many things are still foreseeable, the charming cast particularly Meg Ryan’s Maggie shines as she takes on a fun and tough role opposite Matthew Broderick as Sam, an astronomer who breaks out of his own shell. There is a good blend of outrageously fun scenes and a lot of humor.

Ultimate 90’s Blogathon: Sleepless in Seattle (1993) by Life of this City Girl

ultimate 90's blogathon

We are wrapping week 2 of Ultimate 90’s Blogathon with an entry by Natasha from Life of this City Girl. She’s here with a review of Sleepless in Seattle, a great follow-up with another Meg Ryan movie from last year’s When Harry Met Sally. If you haven’t been to Life of this City Girl, she does book, movies and TV series reviews. Remember to head over to give her some love after you’re done here!

Movie Review: Sleepless in Seattle (1993)

Sleepless in Seattle

Hey everyone! Natasha here from Life of This City Girl. I’m so excited today to share with you a review I did for two of my favorite bloggers’ 90’s marathon. Thanks Kim and Drew for letting me take part! (and also making me watch this again)

I chose Sleepless in Seattle because 1) it meets the criteria and 2) I’ve really always been meaning to watch this film again. I’m not even going to pretend that I’m one of those girls who don’t love a good romantic comedy – I love them and I’m not afraid to admit it. The older ones are undeniably better than the newer ones, both in dialogue and acting, so it is always a real pleasure getting to them.

Sleepless in Seattle is really dialogue heavy. I like a film where the characters talk and there is sense to the chatter so for me to end up being frustrated with the amount of conversation going on, it must be quite intense. Some of the comedic timing seemed off and misplaced, and the parts I’m sure was created as jokes weren’t funny at all. It could have been the whole me-being-born-in-the-wrong-decade thing, and I simply don’t get the way they made jokes back then.

I also feel like I have to mention the amount of stereotypes the film bludgeoned into its’ watchers that I was none too pleased with. It was a given that these females were desperately looking for a husband – not someone to share a life with, just a title to change your name and status and follow the neat path the world set out for you. It is also downright insulting to all the wonderful single fathers out there that there is this constant insinuation that if you are a man, you need a woman with you to properly raise a kid. We all know it is not true! The director used a sledgehammer laced with zero subtlety informing us that women cry for romantic movies and men like action movies. I retched. Metaphorically, but I retched.

Apart from that, I found the film quite fun. Sleepless in Seattle is innocent and sweet. No kissy time even. The kid is adorable and I generally prefer movies without children. Rosie O’Donnell is one of those amazing women who emits sarcasm with perfectly pleasant facial expressions. It is a great attribute and gave me some good laughs during the film.

Sleepless in Seattle is not my favorite nineties film by far, but I can see why it is considered a classic. I also always have a good laugh about the fashion back then. I’m glad to report that everyone had better hair in the nineties than they did in the eighties, because that was bad, and although the clothes weren’t completely yet where we needed them to be, everyone was looking so much better. I am still really glad I didn’t have to wear all those bulky suits they forced women to wear when we started entering the workplace in earnest.
Sleepless in Seattle
The ending was naturally very cute and I enjoyed it, but sheesh, I wish we lived in a world where you’d be alive after meeting a random stranger in New York and immediately take his hand and go frolicking into the sunset. If he also looked like young Tom Hanks, I’d be so on board!

To sum this up I enjoyed this film more than just a bit. I wouldn’t rate it as first on a 90’s list or as a romantic comedy, but it is fun and sweet.

Thanks again guys!

Thanks to Natasha for a great review on Sleepless in Seattle! 🙂
Be sure to head over to Drew’s Movie Reviews on Monday for the next entry!

Anastasia (1997)

Time to revisit childhood favorites! I’m not going to lie. It might be a little deliberate to have chosen Anastasia since Netflix is doing “A” titles. Consider it a double feature in a way, especially since Anastasia is currently on Netflix (in Canada). Its also a good choice because I need to watch good movies also and not always average movies. It keeps the moral high and motivation even higher. So I’m going to try from now on. When the week is a little more quiet, I’ll work in another movie, hopefully with the same letter title as the Netflix that week. Summer is around the corner so I usually rest up in June to prepare for all the movie reviews in Fantasia Festival in mid-July.

Enough rambling! Let’s revisit Anastasia! 🙂

Anastasia (1997)
Anastasia

Director: Don Bluth & Gary Goldman

Voice cast:  Meg Ryan, John Cusack, Christopher Lloyd, Kelsey Grammar, Hank Azaria, Bernadette Peters, Angela Lansbury

The last surviving child of the Russian Royal Family joins two con men to reunite with her grandmother, the Dowager Empress, while the undead Rasputin seeks her death.-IMDB

Don Bluth does have quite the magic. When I watched all these animated films when I was a kid or just younger, I never knew much about who directed and voice casts and all that stuff.  Now that I’ve been in the movie blogger world, I know better. Certain names just seem to be the key behind a lot of movies. I never feel like Anastasia is appreciated or talked about as much as it should be. Fact is, Anastasia is really pretty and what shocked me even more is that its not from the powerhouses now. This is a Fox Animation Studios film. If you even look at the voice cast, there is quite a bit of amazing talent here. It even turns out that I’m doing a back to back John Cusack movie, unexpectedly. Much of Anastasia has to go to the beautiful animation and the fantastic music. I may have not seen this movie in forever, probably more than ten years, but I always hum Once Upon a December in sporadic moments. Of course, the whole soundtrack is quite memorable.

I probably should have reviewed Anastasia ages ago because I’ve always wanted to look at ALL of Meg Ryan’s movies and that project and even thought of it has faded away but I do still love Meg Ryan and her movies quite a bit. She voices Anastasia and she is so great in bringing to life our main character here. Anastasia is feisty and tough if not slightly naive also but she yearns to find her family but who knew that things would work out unexpectedly. She not only finds her family but also meets an unexpected guy who is flawed but also has his own secret.

Voicing Dimitri, the guy that Anastasia meets, is John Cusack. I’m going to be honest that I never acknowledged that he voiced this character.  While I have a lot of appreciation for his acting, I still have a lot to learn about the movies he has been in. But, I do like his voice as Dimitri. It carries a cunning but still very sweet character.  However, I do love Kelsey Grammar as Vlad quite a bit also. Vlad is such a charming and funny character, especially his obsession with Pooka. The cutest element of the entire film is Pooka. I guess dogs whether in real life or animated still are just uber adorable regardless.

Anastasia

 In any animated film, there’s always some villain and here we have Rasputin, voiced by Christopher Lloyd. While he is evil, he holds a comical value that is suitable for kids to watch. I’m not sure how young it would be suitable for but Rasputin is generically evil but still manages to make me laugh. Plus, he is literally falling apart and with the interaction he has with Bartok, his somewhat faithful bat, voiced by Hank Azaria, it becomes not scary but simply entertaining. Rasputin’s mishaps is what I looked forward to the whole time.  While, Bartok was really just a background character that made witty reactions as the comic relief. Hank Azaria does have a great talent in voices and here he demonstrates it yet again.

Anastasia

Overall, Anastasia may almost be 20 years old but it still holds the charm with enchanting music and charming characters voiced by a wonderful cast. Meg Ryan and John Cusack does a fine job as the leads but Christopher Lloyd makes a comical villain and Hank Azaria does a great silly sidekick. It helps that they added in an uber cute dog Pooka to follow them on their journey. A must-watch animated film! I still love it every bit as much as when I first saw it! 🙂

Before we leave, its important to add in a song (or two) from the movie!

Have you seen Anastasia?

When Harry Met Sally by Life of This City Girl – Ultimate 80s Blogathon

We’re almost at the end of the Ultimate 80s Blogathon with just one more guest contribution tomorrow. Today’s fantastic choice is by Natasha from Life of This City Girl.
Head over and check out her review on When Harry Met Sally! 🙂

Drew's Movie Reviews

Welcome to the penultimate review from our guests for the Ultimate 80s Blogathon! Today, Natasha from Life of This City Girl takes a look at the romantic comedy classic When Harry Met Sally.  Natasha writes reviews for all kinds of movies and TV series, as well as participates in the blindspot series and 100 Happy Days, plus much more. There is a lot going on at her site so go give it a look if you don’t follow her already.  But for now, let’s look at her thoughts on When Harry Met Sally.


HarrySallycover2 Plot : Harry and Sally have known each other for years, and are very good friends, but they fear sex would ruin the friendship

Rating: 8.5/10

Goodness! I am so happy that Kim and Drew got this idea – it made me actually sit down and watch this movie, something that I’ve been meaning to…

View original post 425 more words

Meg and Michelle 80s Double Feature by Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies – Ultimate 80s Blogathon

We’re in the 4th and final week of Ultimate 80s Blogathon! Time just flies when you’re having a great time. Next up to kick off the final week is Paul S over at Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies. I’ve never met anyone quite as knowledgeable as him when it comes to Meg Ryan and Michelle Pfeiffer.  These two ladies happen to be also two of my favorite actresses.  Its no surprise it is through one of the reviews of possibly a Meg movie that met Paul and knew about his fantastic site. If you want to read about movies and roles and performances of these two outstanding actresses, you can’t go wrong with heading over to Pfeiffer Pfilms and Meg Movies. Paul will be hosting the Meg and Michelle’s March Blogathon.  You can find the details HERE.

The 1980s. The carefree days of my youth and a decade that spawned so many classic films, from Raging Bull and Raiders of the Lost Ark, to The Fabulous Baker Boys and When Harry Met Sally…. I’ve spent the last few days scouring my DVD collection, trying in vain to select a favourite from the decade, ultimately finding I couldn’t choose between Innerspace and Tequila Sunrise.

innerspace

​Innerspace (1987)

Innerspace is often compared to 1966’s Fantastic Voyage for obvious reasons, but Innerspace is no run-of-the-mill remake. Whereas Voyage featured the simple narrative of a team of doctors treating a patient from the inside, Innerspace is more of an absurd, over-plotted movie, but it is endlessly entertaining. A convoluted comedy of errors in a Silicon Valley setting.

innerspace

The story follows Jack Putter (Martin Short), a hypochondriac who works at a supermarket. His mundane life is turned upside down when a man in a lab coat appears out of nowhere, jabs a hypodermic needle into his posterior, before promptly dying. What Jack doesn’t know is that the doctor was part of a top-secret project in which a willing subject, Lieutenant Tuck Pendleton (Dennis Quaid) is sealed in a submersible and miniaturized, in order to study a rabbit from the inside. Instead, he’s been placed inside Jack, to prevent a gang of corporate thieves from getting their hands on the miniaturization chip.

Tuck knows his freedom depends on Jack breaking out of his malaise, and so he becomes a new voice inside Jack’s head, one that tells him to take risks instead of wallowing in worry. Complications ensue, most of them involving Tuck’s beautiful, estranged girlfriend Lydia, played by a gun toting Meg Ryan. She sparks an odd, amiably original love triangle, when Jack inevitably falls for her, even though he knows Tuck is eavesdropping on every move he makes.

innerspace

​In the sweet-and-sultry-blonde sweepstakes of the late 1980s, Meg was emerging as Michelle Pfeiffer’s only rival, and here she elevates a character who could have been as much of a MacGuffin in the story as the microchips. She’s utterly cute and tenacious, so it’s no wonder Lydia becomes a bone of contention between Jack and Tuck, as the latter begins to truly realise how much she means to him.

Aside from a dubious plot point where Tuck is transported back and forth between bodies by the mechanism of a romantic kiss, director Joe Dante effortlessly guides the film from science fiction to action to comedy to romance, assisted by Sam Cooke’s wonderful Cupid and the undeniable chemistry of the cast. Remarkable when one of them isn’t in the same room for most of the film.

tequila sunrise

Tequila Sunrise (1988)

Directed by Robert Towne, of Chinatown fame, Tequila Sunrise also features an all-star late-80s cast. Semi-retired drug dealer Mac (Mel Gibson) and his old friend, policeman Nick (Kurt Russell) go back a long way, and share a healthy dose of rivalry, brought to the fore when they cross paths with the stunning form of Jo Ann Valenari (Michelle Pfeiffer).  

Tequila Sunrise provides plenty of twists and turns, audacious supporting performances from J.T. Walsh and Raul Julia, and some gorgeous silhouetted sunset shots. As with Innerspace, the plot is convoluted, but that only reinforces the prominence of its photogenic stars, as they deliver endlessly quotable dialogue and share some epic, drenched 80’s kissing scenes. Besamé Mucho!

tequila sunrise

The Pfeiffer-Russell kiss happens first, on a rainy night in a dingy wine cellar. Restaurateur Pfeiffer is trying to move a barrel from beneath a leaking roof and tells Russell she doesn’t need his help as he might get dirty. Russell ignores her warning and starts to move the barrel himself, but the pressure from the leak builds up and unleashes a torrent, completely soaking him. Cue the saxophone music as Russell grabs Pfeiffer and they passionately kiss. The scene fades out.

Later in the film Gibson’s Mac and Pfeiffer’s Jo Ann have their “moment.” During small talk Pfeiffer makes a comment and Gibson takes offense, so Michelle apologises. Now it’s Gibson’s turn to be embarrassed, so he proceeds to gently kiss Pfeiffer and before you know it the soft-rock music swells again and they’re destined for the hot-tub.

tequila sunrise

As white sheets billow in the background, the camera slowly, voyeuristically works its way back to where the conversation was taking place. Suddenly, Mel and Michelle explode from the water in slow-motion, locked in a lustful embrace. They’re like a drowning man tasting air for the first time in days. Were they having a contest to see who could hold their breath longest? Or did they get lost in the hidden depths of the hot-tub?  I still wonder!

We watch the liaison reflected in the water, their silhouetted figures masked by steam. Gibson stands and lifts Pfeiffer from the ground before pulling the white sheets down over their soaked bodies. It’s bizarre, but par for the course, given the decade.

Afterwards, Michelle spoon-feeds Gibson with yoghurt. (No, honestly.)

tequila sunrise

​In true 1980’s style, the film ends with a freeze-frame. Once again Gibson and Pfeiffer are locked in a passionate clinch, and of course, they’re both soaking wet. Kurt Russell looks on as the odd man out, frozen in a moment when Michelle Pfeiffer lips were never more alluring, Mel Gibson’s eyes were never bluer, and those California sunsets were never hotter. It doesn’t get more 80s than this.