Beautiful Girls (1996)

Bouncing back to a more recent recommendations from MovieRob, he suggested I watch Beautiful Girls and another one that I’m still looking for.  Luckily Netflix had Beautiful Girls so here we are! I’ve been following Rob fairly recently and he does amazing reviews and he has a side project of currently reviewins Oscar Best Acting Winners and the respective movies. You should definitely go check it out!

beautiful girls posterDirector: Ted Demme

Cast: Matt Dillon, Timothy Hutton, Noah Emmerich, Lauren Holly, Annabeth Gish, Rosie O’Donnell, Max Perlich, Natalie Portman, Uma Thurman, Michael Rapaport, Mira Sorvino

New York City piano player Willie (Timothy Hutton) heads back home for his high school reunion.  Being with his friends and in his old surroundings, while at the going away to think about the crossroads of his life, career and relationship, he sees that nothing has changed much for his friends who stayed at home. They still have the mentality of when they were in high school and each has their own personal struggles to work out as they all face growing up; making the responsible choices.

Beautiful Girls is a thoughtful movie, possibly more geared towards men as they struggle between the idea of growing up and growing old.  Its pretty refreshing because we rarely get the view of men in this phase and a lot of movies like this are more formed in chick flicks geared towards women.  There’s a lot to love about this movie, especially the cast and character development.

beautiful girls natalie portman timothy hutton

I’m not going to say I understand men very well.  I’m happy most days I somewhat understand the logic of what my boyfriend does.  Its a never-ending process.  This movie was special in that way because I’m not saying that men ALL go through the same thing because that would be unfair but this was a nice way to see things. Giving each of these guys, mostly 4 of them, a bigger, more focused story meshed with the women in their life in a rather balanced way was a good thing.  I understood a bit more of the characters: Willie (Timothy Hutton), Tommy (Matt Dillon) and Paul (Michael Rapaport) while Mo (Noah Emmerich) had a more solid life set so he was something of a guiding light along with some of the other sub characters.  It was a very subconscious thing but even though a lot of their mentality seemed off to me, along the way I grew to connect in a way where I wanted them to do the “right” thing.

beautiful girls uma thurman

Other than the guys having a good impact, they needed some ladies that could match up to them.  One of the most intriguing one was Uma Thurman’s appearance as Andera.  She was a beautiful girl that they all were attracted to.  The beautiful thing that was also so understanding and for many of them, she also was helpful in an enlightening way.  Another one that I liked was the young Natalie Portman who had sudden and oddly deep but simple conversations with Willie and in many ways, made him understand a few things and question his life.  Another character that was funny was Rosie O’Donnell’s supporting character, especially when she talked about the unrealistic portrayal of women.

beautiful girls matt dillon

Beautiful Girls was great not only for its characters but it had a really awesome soundtrack.  If you’ve seen this, one of my favorite feel good moments was when they all were together and starting singing Sweet Caroline. Its full of these fun moments but was also thoughtful and engaging.  Its a side we rarely see in men and just the thoughts that might go through their heads as in a way, they shift their vision of women as they get older.  The longing to not grow old but also to not grow up.  Thats one of my favorite conversations in this movie where Mo and Willie talk about this exact thing of his “attraction” to Natalie Portman’s Marty as a way of showing that he didn’t want to grow old and Mo says its his way of not wanting to grow up.  See, Mo = enlightening 😉

The essence of the movie really is in this ramble from Michael Rapaport when he goes on about “beautiful girls”:

Supermodels are beautiful girls, Will. A beautiful girl can make you dizzy, like you’ve been drinking Jack and Coke all morning. She can make you feel high full of the single greatest commodity known to man – promise. Promise of a better day. Promise of a greater hope. Promise of a new tomorrow. This particular aura can be found in the gait of a beautiful girl. In her smile, in her soul, the way she makes every rotten little thing about life seem like it’s going to be okay. The supermodels, Willy? That’s all they are. Bottled promise. Scenes from a brand new day. Hope dancing in stiletto heels.-taken from IMDB

With that said, I have no idea how I’ve never heard of Beautiful Girls.  Its a pretty awesome movie.  Great soundtrack, thoughtful characters and packed with a nice pace and a few feel good moments.  Its fun and fantastic! I totally recommend you to watch this!

Thanks again to Rob for introducing this to me! He is as awesome as this movie and you have to check out his site.  I linked it on top with his blog name! 🙂

Thor:The Dark World (2013)

I’ve been saying to go see a movie in theatres for so long and finally, the other day (last Friday), my friends and I went to go see Thor: The Dark World.  Honestly, I think I was super hyped up about it mostly because of Table 9 Mutant at Cinema Parrot Disco’s adoration of Chris Hemsworth.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the first one so as much as the trailer looked fantastic, I still had a few reservations. Lets see how I actually felt!

thor the dark world posterDirector: Alan Taylor

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston, Jaimie Alexander, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard

Thousands of years ago (I think), the Dark Elves lead by Malekith wanted to purge the world into darkness.  Asgard’s leader then, the current King’s (Anthony Hopkins) grandfather destroyed the evil and sent the powerful source of energy,Aether to a hidden location so that no one could find it.  however Malekith and a few of his army survived and escaped, ready to be awaken when the Aether summoned them again.  Back to the present, its been 2 years since Thor (Chris Hemsworth) had left Jane (Natalie Portman).  While Jane waits for him, Thor has been trying to bring peace to the nine realms.  However, Jane and her assistant Darcy follows an anomaly and Jane ends up entering another space and find the Aether that enters her body. To protect her, Thor brings her back to Asgard and this leads to some serious consequences.  Thor has to make decisions to save Asgard, protect Jane and choose whether to trust Loki as he asks for his assistance.

thor 2 chris hemsworth

I don’t think I revealed too much. I feel like I’m just basically recapping the trailers released.  Thor: The Dark World is a pretty awesome treat, at least in comparison to the first one.  I love Chris Hemsworth and goodness, its HOT! but doesn’t help that I thought Thor was not all that great and I was yawning a lot.  This one was really good.  It felt a bit long for just a little while but did pick itself up rather quickly afterwards.  Visually, Asgard is beautiful.  The costumes were beautiful and everything was done so nice.  The story was pretty solid and the characters were all fantastic.

thor 2 loki

I know many of you will give me crap but I loved Avengers but what I felt fell short was Loki as the bad guy.  So unconvincing.  Most of you thought he was fantastic, I didn’t.  Now, Loki in this one, so convincing.  I loved him to absolute bits as the gray area dude.  Is he bad? Is he good? Has he changed? And c’mon, that ending ruled.  Most of you that saw it (and I know all of you did, since my inbox had about 50+ reviews of that movie on the first 2 weeks or something if not more), so you know what I mean.  And then that final sequence, I was like OMG! *ahem* I’m all over the place but point is, I loved Loki.  Now,  I’m excited to see him more!

thor 2 kat dennings natalie portman

I’m not afraid to admit my girl crushes but Natalie Portman is not one of them.  Maybe I need watch Black Swan since I haven’t yet, but as Jane, she’s a bit meh. However, I seriously love Kat Dennings.  Everything I’ve seen her in makes me laugh out loud.  She’s fun to watch.  I probably should start watching 2 Broke Girls (or whatever its called). Okay, aside from them, how awesome is Rene Russo as the queen? She is pretty awesome even though her screen time isn’t that much.

thor 2 malekith

On the terms of our main baddie, Malekith, played by  Christopher Eccleston. I really don’t have a lot of attachment to this character.  He wasn’t bad, ok? I’m going to get that straight.  I was pretty impressed with The Dark World in general.  It was fun, had lots of action and nice stuff to see and all the cast did a pretty decent job.  Plus, there was more Anthony Hopkins than in the previous one and I like him.  Malekith was alright.  I actually can’t remember much of him in the movie.  Is that a bad thing?

Overall, Thor: The Dark World was enjoyable and entertaining.  It had great action and the story was nice, maybe just a tad long but it picked itself up well.  Also, other than loving the very awesome Chris Hemsworth as Thor, I also really bought Loki’s role this time around.  I think it possibly had one of my favorite endings this year.  This was a pretty fun one and I’d definitely recommend it! 🙂

Which Thor do you like more: the first or this one? How much do you like Loki? What did you think of Malekith?