“O” is for Obvious Child

source: imdb.com
source: imdb.com

Watched: April 14, 2015

Hashtag: #WatchingObviousChild

Year Released: 2014

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Starring: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy

Run Time: 84 minutes

Description (from IMDb): A twenty-something comedienne’s unplanned pregnancy forces her to confront the realities of independent womanhood for the first time.

 

source: tumblr.com
source: tumblr.com

So far, I haven’t commented on a film prior to watching it for this experiment, but I’m REALLY excited about this movie.  It had amazing reviews when it came out and Jake Lacy is an underrated gem of an actor (anyone else remember him from the short-lived television show Better With You?).  I know the movie is about a woman who gets pregnant from a one-night stand and makes the decision to have an abortion and a lot of critics lauded it for finding a way to be about a woman who has an abortion without it being a movie about abortion.  I hope my expectations aren’t too high because I am just ready to love this movie.

source: tumblr.com
source: tumblr.com

Okay, just finished it and I freaking loved it. I loved everything about it.  I had heard it called a romantic comedy and didn’t really believe it was going to be a romantic comedy, just thought that people were calling it that because it had a female lead and was a comedy and might possibly have a romantic subplot (I’m looking at you, In a World – so not a romantic comedy), but it actually WAS a romantic comedy. And a great one at that. A great, modern romantic comedy that showed two really seemingly incompatible people, who actually are super compatible, dealing with real life issues.  I appreciated the minimal use of romantic comedy cliches and the fact that the abortion plot was what it was – just a fact of life.  There were no politics or social commentary involved in her decision.  No one tried to change her mind, and the father/love interest was wonderfully supportive of her, even though he barely knew her.  I just loved everything about this movie.

source: huffingtonpost.com
source: huffingtonpost.com

Check out all of my tweets from watching the movie by following me on Twitter @RLHammAuthor and searching for #WatchingObviousChild

“N” is for The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

source: flickeringmyth.com
source: flickeringmyth.com

Watched: April 12, 2015

Hashtag: #WatchingNakedGun

Year Released: 1988

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Leslie Nielson, Priscilla Presley, OJ Simson (Yes, THAT OJ Simpson)

Run Time: 85 minutes

Description (from IMDb): Incompetent cop Frank Drebin has to foil an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II.

source: karmajello.com
source: karmajello.com

I was a little too tired while watching this movie to fully appreciate it, but I really enjoyed it.  For a dumb film, it does a lot of smart things with humor.  The visual gags come one after another and Frank’s lovable stupidity feels like a precursor to 00 comedies like The Office and 30 Rock.  Now that I know that there are 3 Naked Gun movies, I’ll definitely be checking out the next two.  Good, stupid, unwholesome fun!

My favorite visual gag was definitely the “chalk” outline of a body floating in the water at a crime scene, and Frank walking around a wall while his colleagues went through a door is a close second.  I’m looking forward to watching again and catching more gags I missed the first time.

source: karmajello.com
source: karmajello.com

 

 

To check out the rest of my tweets from this movie, follow me on Twitter @RLHammAuthor and search for #WatchingNakedGun

“M” is for Mr. & Mrs. Smith

source: imdb.com
source: imdb.com

Watched: April 12, 2015

Hashtag: #WatchingMrMrsSmith

Year Released: 2005

Genre: Action / Comedy

Starring: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie

Run Time: 120 minutes

Description (from IMDb): A bored married couple is surprised to learn that they are both assassins hired by competing agencies to kill each other.

source: wifflegif.com
source: wifflegif.com

I feel like the entire world went and saw Mr. & Mrs. Smith when it was in theaters ten years ago. Everyone except me.  And now, having finally seen it, I’m okay with that.  IT was not a bad movie, but it was by no means a great one.  It was just okay.  With different actors, it probably would have been a complete bomb.  The storyline didn’t feel fully fleshed out, and though there were great supporting actors included in the cast, they weren’t given time to shine.  Angelina was sweet and sexy, Brad was charismatic and sexy, and that’s about it.  I’ll be returning the dvd to my brother-in-law without feeling the need to ever see it again.

source: tumblr.com
source: tumblr.com

 

 

To read all of my tweets from my first-time watching Mr. & Mrs. Smith, follow me on Twitter @RLHammAuthor and search for #WatchingMrMrsSmith.

“L” is for Lost in Translation

source: imdb.com
source: imdb.com

Watched: April 9, 2015

Hashtag: #WatchingLostInTranslation

Year Released: 2003

Genre: Drama

Starring: Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson

Run Time: 101 minutes

Description (from IMDb): A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo.

 

source: wifflegif.com
source: wifflegif.com

I unintentionally had an Asian theme going on the past couple of letters!  I enjoyed it, but I think “L” will be the last Asian-based movie, at least for a little while.

I have to say, this movie bored me to tears.  It didn’t have a lot of dialogue and it had absolutely zero momentum.  It was kinda like watching someone’s vacation slideshow from their summer trip to Japan.  The architecture of Tokyo was grand, and Scarlett rocked a pink wig at one point, but those were about the only things I enjoyed.  I literally felt “lost in translation.”  I didn’t get what the director and everyone who praises this movie was seeing.

source: tumblr.com
source: tumblr.com

As always, follow me on twitter @RLHammAuthor and look for the #WatchingLostInTranslation hashtag to see more of my tweets from this watching experience.

 

“K” is for Kill Bill Vol. 1

source: caragaleblog.wordpress.com
source: caragaleblog.wordpress.com

Watched: April 9, 2015

Hashtag: #WatchingKillBillV1

Year Released: 2003

Genre: Action

Starring: Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu

Run Time: 111 minutes

Description (from IMDb): The Bride wakens from a four-year coma. The child she carried in her womb is gone. Now she must wreak vengeance on the team of assassins who betrayed her – a team she was once part of.

source: taringa.net
source: taringa.net

I should start by saying I’m not a big Quentin Tarantino fan, but I felt like this is a big piece of pop culture, so I decided to watch it anyway.  There were things about it I really liked – Uma Thurman and Lucy Liu, mainly, and things I really didn’t – all the blood.  Seriously ALL. THE. BLOOD.  It was kind of ridiculous. Also, I didn’t like that it felt like you MUST watch the next film to get the entire picture.  I realize it was done like that on purpose, because the original script was too long for one movie, but it would have been nice if certain things hadn’t been so cryptic.

In my personal opinion, the fight sequences were too long to be enjoyable (not to mention, believable, but I doubt believability is what the director was going for), so I’m not really looking forward to Volume 2, which I’m sure will be more of the same, but I will probably watch it, just to know how it ends.  Does she Kill Bill?  Is she reunited with her daughter?  Inquiring minds need to know! No spoilers in the comments, please!

source: wifflegif.com
source: wifflegif.com

And now for the customary sampling of tweets. For more, follow me on Twitter @RLHammAuthor and search for #WatchingKillBillV1

 

“J” is for The Joy Luck Club

the joy luck club poster
source: amazon.com

Watched: April 8, 2015 on Netflix

Hashtag: #WatchingJoyLuckClub

Year Released: 1993

Genre: Drama

Starring: Ming-Na Wen, Lauren Tom

Run Time: 139 minutes

Description (from Wikipedia): Four older women, all Chinese immigrants living in San Francisco, meet regularly to play mahjong, eat, and tell stories. Each of these women has an adult Chinese-American daughter. The film reveals the hidden pasts of the older women and their daughters and how their lives are shaped by the clash of Chinese and American cultures as they strive to understand their family bonds and one another.

 

Based on the novel by Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club gives four mothers and their daughters a chance to tell their stories, one at a time.  It was beautiful, moving, sad, and heartbreaking.  Each woman had a powerful experience to share and by the end of the film I just wanted them all to finally be happy.  I think most of them probably did find their way to happiness, and I loved that it ended on a hopeful note.

I really, really, really liked this film.  I don’t know if I’ll use the word “love,” because it definitely had depressing moments, but I will most definitely watch again.

source: jezebel.com
source: jezebel.com

I had a little trouble with my 3G last night, so I ended up only tweeting about 2/3rds of the movie and they appear out of order in the feed 😦 To read all of my tweets, follow me @RLHammAuthor and look for #WatchingJoyLuckClub

 

“I” is for I Hate Valentine’s Day

source: imdb.com
source: imdb.com

Watched: April 5, 2015 on Netflix

Hashtag: #WatchingIHateVDay

Year Released: 2009

Genre: Romantic Comedy

Starring: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett

Run Time: 98 minutes

Description (from IMDb): A florist, who abides by a strict five-date-limit with any man, finds herself wanting more with the new restaurateur in town.

 

 

 

source: highdefnews.blogspot.com
source: highdefnews.blogspot.com

Nia Vardalos is probably best known for her smash hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding, which is the highest grossing romantic comedy of all time.  I saw it in theaters back in 2002, own it on DVD and watch it whenever it comes on tv.  I Hate Valentine’s Day is another sweet, quirky, semi-unconventional rom-com and I have to say, Vardalos knocked it out of the park again.  While this movie certainly didn’t share the success of MBFGW, in fact I’ll bet most of the people following my A to Z challenge haven’t heard of it, it was just lovely.  I found myself laughing over and over.

There were problems with the premise – Vardalos’s character Genevieve loves romance so much that she believes you should get out of a “relationship” as soon as the romance is gone and she believes the way to do that is to end everything after 5 dates.  The reason for her closed-off-ness is her father, who cheated on her mother when she was a kid and so now she doesn’t trust men not to hurt her.  I think the backstory was probably necessary here, but I’d really like to see a story where the woman doesn’t want a traditional relationship and it’s not because she’s got trust issues due to being hurt by another man.  Just once.

Other than that, though, the movie was charming.  Even though Vardalos cast John Corbett as her male lead again (he played her love interest in MBFGW as well), neither of their characters felt redundant.  Their chemistry felt new.  I’m definitely going to be adding this movie to my Valentine’s Day single girl’s marathon.

Also, just a quick note – the supporting cast in this movie was such a breath of fresh air.  Every time the scene changed there was a new familiar face on the screen: 30 Rock‘s Judah Friedlander, SNL (& 30 Rock)’s Rachel Dratch, What If‘s Zoe Kazan, Dumb & Dumber‘s Mike Starr, Parks and Rec‘s Ben Schwartz (Jean Ralphio! he was uncredited in this movie).

source: onlinefmradio.in
source: onlinefmradio.in

 

 

For more of my thoughts on I Hate Valentine’s Day, follow me on twitter @RLHammAuthor and search for #WatchingIHateVDay

“H” is For Heathers

source: foreveryoungadult.com
source: foreveryoungadult.com

Watched: April 5, 2015 on Netflix

Hashtag: #WatchingHeathers

Year Released: 1988

Genre: Dark Comedy

Starring: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty

Run Time: 103 minutes

Description (from IMDb): A girl who half-heartedly tries to be part of the “in crowd” of her school meets a rebel who teaches her a more devious way to play social politics; killing the popular kids.

 

 

source: tumblr.com
source: tumblr.com

This teen comedy from the 80s is often compared to Clueless from the 90s and Mean Girls from the 00s.  And for good reason – all three are awesome.  Clueless is probably the least like the three as it has the popular girl as the heroine and not a villainy type, but Heathers is definitely the darkest.  It deals with heavy themes of teenage suicide, murder, and school massacres all while the characters are trying to either accept themselves for who they are or trying to completely hide who they really are in order to be accepted.

I have been having difficulty with the internet at my apartment this week, so I headed over to Starbucks today and sat for 4 hours, watching this and another film.  It was almost like I was watching with friends, even though I had headphones on and was sitting by myself.  There were distractions, moments when I had to pause due to MORE internet issues (stupid free public WiFi), but that almost made me enjoy the movie more. It felt more like a natural experience.

I really loved this movie.  It was so WEIRD. So random. So funny.  There were several moments I laughed aloud and caused other customers in Starbucks to look up and wonder what was wrong with me.  I’ve been quoting “What’s your damage, Heather?” for years  thanks to Gilmore Girls, but I have a feeling it’s going to become even more of a go-to phrase for me now.  I can’t wait to watch it again.

Did I mention I thought post-Girls Just Want to Have Fun, pre-90210, pre-Charmed Shannen Doherty was one of the best parts of the film?

source: gurl.com
source: gurl.com
source: tumblr.com
source: tumblr.com

 

 

For more of my Heathers tweets, follow me on twitter @RLHammAuthor and search for #WatchingHeathers.

“G” is for Good Morning, Vietnam

source: rogerebert.com
source: rogerebert.com

Watched: March 21, 2015 on Netflix

Hashtag: #WatchingGoodAMVietnam

Year Released: 1987

Genre: Dramedy?

Starring: Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker

Run Time: 121 minutes

Description (from IMDb): An unorthodox and irreverent DJ begins to shake up things when he is assigned to the US Armed Services Radio station in Vietnam.

source: tumblr.com
source: tumblr.com

The first half of this movie was really funny – I laughed aloud several times and the most of my tweets were just quotes from the film.  Unfortunately, there were also several dramatic moments, especially in the latter half, which made the story feel uneven.  I realize it’s a movie about war, but it didn’t weigh the comedic and dramatic moments equally, making the drama feel shallow.

I’m finding it very interesting as I watch some of these older movies the evident lack of respect for women.  A few years ago, I probably wouldn’t have noticed at all.  It would have been just another movie, just another group of guys being guys, but I DO notice now.  And it bothers me.  I want to watch a movie where there are an equal number of male and female named characters.  Where every woman a man looks at doesn’t immediately become his next sexual conquest.  Ideally, I’ll watch a lot of movies like that during my lifetime.  One thing’s for sure, Good Morning, Vietnam was not that movie.  It doesn’t even come close to passing the Bechdel test.

Here’s a sampling of some of my tweets while watching the movie:

 

To read all of my tweets for the full experience of watching Good Morning, Vietnam for the first time, check out my Twitter @RLHammAuthor and look for #WatchingGoodAMVietnam.