Movies Make Me Cry

Thursday, February 9th, 2012 by Rachel

The Vow is coming out on Friday. Every time I see the trailer for it, I almost cry. It’s terrible. The instant I hear that the wife can no longer remember her husband and he’s going to work to bring those memories back to her and rebuild their relationship, my eyes well up uncontrollably. It’s happening right now. I can’t even stop it. And I want to see this movie so terribly. I’ve never requested a Valentine’s movie date before. Ever. But I can’t help myself.


Now let me just say that in general I am a cryer. Yes, this is my confession. I’m Rachel. I cry. Most people who have known me for a long time have seen me cry. But most people also would know that I don’t go out of my way to cry—it just happens, spontaneously (but still appropriately).


I have watched five movies this week… and four of the five made me cry. Perhaps these tears are because my movie selection this week has been a little different from the chainsaw/murder-fest I usually put on for background. Our HBO/Cinemax/Starz trial has brought me movies that wouldn’t normally show up in our DVD lineup. Maybe this is a seasonal problem/craving, brought on only by my mild obsession with The Vow. Still, not all of the movies that have made me cry have been tragic romances. I’ll stop blabbering now. Here are my little mini-reviews… Perhaps you want to cry too?


Read the rest of this entry »

Mini Movie Reviews from the Past Month

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 by Rachel

I’ve let my list get away from me, but hopefully I’ll be posting these in smaller batches in the future. Any missed movies will be added in a future entry for the sake of my sanity.


Child’s Play 3: After overcoming my childhood-phobia of Chucky, I’ve begun to enjoy these. I give Brad Dourif most of the credit for this, as his voice and sense of humor are what pulls me through this. Second-Jimmy-Olsen and Ari’s Wife aren’t bad either.


Basket Case: I’d wanted to see this movie for a long time, but I was disappointed. In between grossness and weirdness, I somehow managed to doze off in the middle of this movie and wake up again for the ending. As an anti-napper, I think this says a lot about the pacing of this film.


The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: I’d seen this before in high school, but rewatched it because I thought Derrick needed to see another drag queen movie. This movie blends humor and drama extremely well because of the fantastic cast.


Fragile: After watching some Ally McBeal, I thought I’d give this Calista Flockhart movie a shot. It’s a haunted hospital, with creepy kids and spooky noises. It’s okay.


Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer: Derrick and I gave up on this movie after the first 10 minutes, but I returned to it a few days later by myself. Once the structure evens out, this really becomes a horrifying view into the world of serial killers (both amateur and experienced). Michael Rooker and Tom Towles are both very disturbing in this movie. I’d definitely recommend this movie, but not for the squeamish or skeptical.


Read the rest of this entry »

Movie Views of the Past 2 Weeks

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 by Rachel

Maybe this can become a reoccurring column. Movie watching is a regular activity in our house, but I definitely pick up momentum in the summertime.


Suspiria: My first Dario Argento film. Worth watching for the set design, music, ending, and, of course, a brief appearance by UDO KIER


Opera: I watched Opera on the recommendation of a stranger’s tweet. I liked Suspiria more, but Opera is worth watching for the death scenes and the birds!


Eat Pray Love: Beautiful scenery, but I have a hard time getting behind a heroine who cannot figure anything out for herself and has to be told what to think/do.


Raging Bull: As far as boxing movies go, I like Rocky and The Fighter more. But the Boogie Nights –esque ending, De Niro’s bizarre physical transformation, and the beautiful Cathy Moriarty are what made this an enjoyable afternoon watch.


Fire in the Sky: A man gets abducted by aliens in Snowflake, AZ (only 2 hours away from Flagstaff). In AZ, Derrick worked with a man who knew the abducted man. What I really enjoyed about this movie wasn’t the abduction, but the focus on those who are left behind.


Father of the Bride: I’ve never seen this before, strangely enough! I wish I’d watched it during the wedding planning process. Steve Martin’s physical comedy (especially around the pool) made me too nervous, but I enjoyed watching a bride wear sneakers, just like me!


Exit Through the Gift Shop: We don’t normally go out of our way to watch documentaries, but this was a really interesting one. The question of “what is art?” is what takes over this film, when we see a bongo-cans man really lose it as he attempts to become an “artist”.


The Great Buck Howard: A mentalist from Johnny Carson’s day attempts to revamp his career. Watch it to see how John Malkovich shakes a hand. Strange stuff and good cast here.


Lies & Illusions: I’ve never seen the last third of a movie go so horribly wrong. I don’t know what happened! The beginning (especially the animated opening credits), concept, and even Christian Slater’s acting really work, but everything eventually falls apart.


The 50 Worst Movies Ever Made: An hour long documentary. Since each movie is only addressed for about a minute, it’s enough to give you a taste of each film without spoiling any major plot points. Derrick had actually seen a few on the list (Howard the Duck & Troll), but I hadn’t. Ed Wood reigns supreme here.


Monday, June 14th, 2010 by Rachel

My alterego’s at it again… I’ve written a post over at which details my top 10 favorite Lifetime movies.


Enjoy!!! Click here: The Recasts


Thursday, April 15th, 2010 by Rachel

I’m exhausted. I had strange dreams that students crashed a party I was throwing. I’ve had bridesemaid nightmares. I dreamt that Carrot Top gave us discount tickets because we were on our honeymoon. You wouldn’t believe how crazy my sleeping has been. The past two weeks have just been insane. But I had to get this down while it was fresh in my head.


A few months ago, Katie (future maid of honor) told us about this movie The Room. We watched a Youtube clip of this man entering a flower shop and picking up a bouquet of flowers at least a hundred times. (See video here. And it IS supposed to sound like that.) The creepo in the trenchcoat’s tonality of “Oh, Hi!”s was strange and hilarious. Unfortunately, this movie was unavailable for rental and purchase in the boonies of Middle Georgia. I waited and waited and waited. Then I couldn’t take it anymore and ordered it from Amazon.


The Room arrived last Monday. After a night of Mellow Mushroom and trivia on Tuesday, we came home and felt like we were in the right mood to watch it. It isn’t a movie. It is an experience. In the basic plotline, Johnny and Lisa are engaged. Lisa’s bored with the relationship and decides to cheat on Johnny with Johnny’s best friend Mark. That’s it. Subplots include Johnny’s “adopted” son Denny doing drugs and Johnny missing out on a big promotion. It’s all like watching a train wreck.


Written, directed, and starring Tommy Wiseau, The Room was never supposed to be a black comedy. This was supposed to be a drama. Unfortunately, the dialogue, plot, and character development is so ridiculous that it fails miserably…in a good way. Wiseau now claims that everything about this film was intentional, but we have NO idea where the 6 million dollars that went into this film actually went. Wiseau’s interviews on the DVD and online are definitely worth looking into, if only to fall in love with the completely bongo cans Wiseau. Seriously, I could listen to that man ramble for hours. His voice…the mysterious accent (he claims to be American)…the uncontrollable inflections… Pretty classic.


After two viewings in a two week span, I feel pretty confident in recommending this movie. At some point, I would love to throw a Room-inspired party, complete with cheese pizza and lots of drinks (even if Johnny wouldn’t approve of the drinks).


Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009 by Rachel

I know my posts have been lacking, but I’ve been taking care of the normal holiday housekeeping types of errands.  Look forward to my list of all of the Christmas movies I’ve been able to watch this month.  It’ll be coming soon!  Just wanted to post something really quick to wish you all a merry Christmas, wherever you are.  Drive safe.

Umbilical Fluids?

Friday, December 11th, 2009 by Rachel

This is a totally serious question. When babies are born on TV or movies, one of two things happens. 1) Baby comes out all squeaky clean (which is strange and bothersome to the viewer as we know this is not how things work in real life). 2) Baby comes out all gross and goopy. Sometimes it’s red, white, tannish. But there is a definite texture on the surface of the baby’s skin.


My question is: what material is used to make the baby goopy? It’s got to be something nontoxic and safe, as sometimes it’s in the baby’s eyes and stuff. Is it a food product? Chicken fat? Food coloring?

The Allstate Guy

Monday, October 12th, 2009 by Rachel

allstate guyYou know who I’m talking about. He’s tall, handsome. He sort of reminds you of Denzel Washington. Then he speaks. “That’s Allstate’s stand. Are you in good hands?” The rhyme is almost a little bit too much for how deep his voice is. That second “and” echoes. It’s weird.


But that’s the Allstate Guy. I never felt bad about calling him that, though I definitely feel bad about calling Jamie Lee Curtis the Activia Lady. I mean really…Halloween, True Lies, and My Girl aren’t memorable anymore? Now she has to be known as the woman who endorses the yogurt that regulates your digestive system? Ridiculous and sort of gross.


The Allstate Guy never really had any depth to me the way Jamie Lee Curtis or even Sally Field, wanting women to have strong healthy “bow-nes,” did. I heard he was on 24, and I assumed that he got the presidential job simply because he was/is…the Allstate Guy.


Three movies have changed my mind. First was Far from Heaven. It was March of 2008 and Derrick went to visit his parents. I couldn’t sleep well without him, so I stayed up late every night he was gone watching movies I’d never seen. The first night I watched The Thing. A bit too scary to be watching by myself at midnight, so the second night I watched Far from Heaven. The summary said something about a melodrama with Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid, and I thought that sounded great. But what really sucked me into this movie was in fact the Allstate Guy: Dennis Haysbert (yes! the Allstate Guy has a real name!) is sympathetic and believable as a gardener who begins to form a friendship with someone he should probably ignore.


I saw the second movie, Major League, for the first time EVER this summer. Now, this is probably hard to believe. I knew about Charlie Sheen wearing the skully sunglasses out on the field while “Wild Thing” played, but I never truly watched the movie from beginning to end. Haysbert plays Pedro Cerrano—quite possibly the creepiest character on this team of misfits. He smokes, has a voodoo shrine in his locker, and plays in the outfield. Love it!


Love Field, the third, caught my eye this week as Michelle Pfieffer was nominated for an Oscar in this movie about a woman’s reaction/life in relation to the JFK assassination. Love Field (and Haysbert’s performance) GREATLY influenced his later casting in Far from Heaven. In both movies, he’s playing a black man who gets a little too close to a white woman/housewife in a time when these kinds of friendships were discouraged. Regardless of the similarity, these are two completely different films in terms of context, mood, and genre. Haysbert is a little rough around the edges in this one.


I’ve decided that Haysbert is so much more than just the Allstate Guy. Those commercials still sort of weird me out though. How can someone so talented get stuck doing those for years of his life? I don’t care if the steady paycheck attracted him to the job in the first place. I care about the fact that people watching TV can’t even recognize talented actors anymore for who they really are—talented actors. It’s a tragedy, really.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Sunday, October 4th, 2009 by Rachel

103106jackolanternOctober is my favorite month, Halloween my favorite holiday. This October looks to be a busy one, but I’ll still make time to celebrate. First decorations went up on September 30th. For me, decorations will probably be up two weeks after Halloween, the last Friday the 13th of the year. My parents just stopped by the house for the night on their way down to the beach, and they brought me even more decorations, including my beloved Helga. Helga is a musical “statue” of sorts, with a button on the bottom that makes her dance along to “spooky” mechanical music. She is a very hideous witch, but I love her.


I remember watching my first scary movies in middle school with Mary Beth, but Mom says I watched them even earlier. She would come home from aerobics/exercise class to find baby me watching Jason movies with Dad. She attempted to put a stop to this, as I’ve always been prone to nightmares, but it didn’t work. Like many tween/teenagers, Scream had me hooked. Scream was the movie that brought the slasher movie to a whole new generation. This is the movie that made us go back and revisit the oldies. From Hitchcock to John Carpenter to Wes Craven to Sean S. Cunningham to Tobe Hooper to George Romero…I can’t get enough! I want to watch these movies all year (and I do!), but this is the month when my love of the gruesome and macabre actually becomes somewhat acceptable.


I wish I could go to school to analyze ONLY scary movies. Who cares about the dramas, independent films, or literary adaptations. I want to watch movies that scare the bejeezus out of me and figure out why they are constructed the way they are, why people die when they do. I think there is something much more complicated at work than what we give most slashers credit for.


On November 1st, I’ll post a list of all the scary movies I had the chance to watch this month. I started a little bit early, watching Rosemary’s Baby last weekend and My Bloody Valentine 3D the week before that, but that’s okay.

Why are writers so boring?

Saturday, August 8th, 2009 by Rachel

I watched White Oleander yesterday.  I am going to admit already that I have not read the book.  Honestly, I never had much interest in either the book or the movie. Yesterday, as I was planning on scrapbooking on the living room floor for most of the afternoon, it seemed like good background.  Of course, I didn’t end up scrapbooking at ALL and only spent my time watching the movie.  It is fantastic, especially with such a strong cast of women actors (especially Michelle Pfeiffer and Robin Wright Penn).


Like I do with all movies that I watch, afterwards I went to IMDB to check out the trivia and found this: “In the film, Astrid’s mom is an artist, while in the book her mom [Ingrid] is a writer – showing an artist working would make the movie more interesting than showing a writer write.”


Is this really true?  Is watching a movie about writing boring?


Read the rest of this entry »