REVIEW: Vicki Cristina Barcelona

vicki-cristina-barcelona

I’ll begin by saying that I am in no way a Woody Allen connoisseur,  but I’ve enjoyed the few works of his that I’ve had the chance to watch:  “Annie Hall”, “Matchpoint”, and the delightful but dark “Cassandra’s Dream”. I went into this movie with only a vague knowledge of the plot. Well  I really only knew that Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz kissed each other and that Ms. Cruz’ performance scored her an Oscar nod. From the previews I had surmised that it was some time of road trip movie where 2 girls fall for the bad guy from “No Country for Old Men”. I was a little wrong.

V.C.B is a 96 minute comedy starring Scarlett Johansson-Reynolds (is anyone acknowledging that yet?) Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Rebecca Hall (who is good in the movie but doesn’t even have a photo attached to her I.M.D.B page) as a horny bunch of coming of agers. ScarJo and Rebecca fly to Spain to spend the summer finding themselves. Rebecca is engaged to the perfect man, uber responsible and future minded, while ScarJo is a single, impulsive free spirit. They are shown around Spain by Rebecca’s uncle and aunt, whom they are staying with. They happen upon Bardem at an art gallery. ScarJo is immediately enthralled and finds out Bardem is a painter with a certifiably insane ex-wife and more charm than a Blow Pop. They  encounter each other after the art show at a local restaurant and Bardem invites the 2 ladies to an island to eat drink and make love. Temptation is offered and partially pursued, Penelope enters the picture and lights a firecracker on the screen. Her performance, a pertinent one to this film, was not in my opinion the best supporting female role of 2008. That being said, this movie is a solidly entertaining, filled with charm, variety and a cast that is fit to captivate even a non believer. I wouldn’t put Vicki Cristina Barcelona in your top slot but it has definitely earned a space in your Netflix queue.

I Love YOU, Man

I Love You Man
I Love You Man

For whatever reason, I randomly called KROQ fm on Tuesday morning to attempt to win  a  4 pack of tickets to the premiere of “I Love You Man” starring Jason Segel and Paul Rudd.  This attractive duo  from the comedy mafia led by Seth””marry me please” Rogen, are killing me with the anticipation of watching this potentially insanely hilarious movie.

I never win anything ever but I wound up winning those tickets and being 2 minutes late for work. Neuroses. Long story short, soiled myself with the possibilities of occupying the same theater as these guys  and proceeded  to gloat my good fortune in the face of anyone who would listen. The premiere is Tuesday the 17th and if I don’t get arrested for attempted rape or kidnapping, I shall share my unique experience with you, the inter-web . Hell, with those criminal charges under my belt, I may as well be a NFL quarterback.

House of D, and I’m done.

houseofd Now I will be the first to admit that I have a major dvd buying compulsion.  I own hundreds of  dvds and easily half of those I’ve never seen and a better portion of those are still in their original packaging. Back in the early 2000’s toward the end of Blockbuster’s reign, I perused their section of previously viewed dvd’s on a weekly basis. I’d spend $25 bucks every Friday and leave with a little white yellow and blue bag filled with upwards of 5 used but otherwise in good condition movies. Of those 5, I would watch one and throw the rest into my dvd bucket in the corner of my room.

The times they changed and so did my responsibilities so like any good 26 year old with rent to pay, I purchased my very own Netflix subscription. For $13.99 a month I can watch as many movies as I want but only 2 at a time. Only problem is the returning of said movies.  I find it to be as difficult as killing a newborn kitten to physically remember to return these movies. I manage to send back my movies once a month on average, meaning that I am spending $14 bucks a month to rent 2 movies. My name is Desiree and I am a sloth.

Then on a  day like today, after practically taking a lynching at the office, I get home with some Chinese takeout and decide that I want to be entertained cinematically. I saunter over to my makeshift library and I select a lesser known David Duchovny directed movie entitled ” The House of D”.

The cover reflects a few name brand stars with credible work, Robin Williams, Tea Leoni, David Duchovny, and Anton Yelchin and that’s pretty mucha recipe for a good hour and a half of entertainment. I throw the disc into my electric pink dvd player and snuggle into my Transformer blanket as the credits begin to roll.

The movie is of the coming of age variety. Kid has a bad childhood, a few horrible events follow him into adulthood and he  must revisit his painful past if he wants a brighter future.  I sobbed like a bitch for maybe 45 minutes of this heart wrenching film. It played like a shocking prediction. I was too shocked to see this obvious about to occur. Robin Williams was great as “Papass” a  mentally challenged man. Actors playing the ubiquitous mental retardation role for the Oscar nod should be smited. Duchovny (director, actor) was stoic and snarky per usual, even Tea Leoni was good as the single mom with the world on her shoulders. However, Mr. Anton Yelchin stole the movie and a tiny portion of my perv heart. He put a realness, warmth and empathy into a run of the mill movie. Erykah Badu was amazing and necessary, providing the movie’s much needed edge factor. I fully recommend this movie if you want to drop a few tears  or if you want to join the Anton Yelchin train. Not a bad ride. Wow I employed a lot of critique cliches in this post. How gauche.

Anton Yelchin Robin Williams
Anton Yelchin Robin Williams