Tuesday, July 31

The Amazing Spider-Man

Excelsior! The latest Spidey reboot hits and misses, but is still a super-fun ride. 

The Amazing Spider-Man

Peter Parker finds a clue that might help him understand why his parents disappeared when he was young. His path puts him on a collision course with Dr. Curt Connors, his father's former partner. [imdb]

Rated PG-13. 136 minutes. Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Dennis Leary, Martin Sheen and Sally Field. Directed by Marc Webb.

Nicole: So, Cassidy. It would seem I can’t get enough quality comic book hero time this summer – and I’m in luck, ‘cause apparently there’s no shortage of adaptations and sequels. Some people might think that it was a little soon for a reboot of the Spider-Man series, since the Tobey McGuire series is so fresh in everyone’s minds. And, that may be so.

elizabeth: I hope you are not going to try to convince me that this is a period film because of the costumes. Now Colin Firth in tights might get me into the theater – or arrested for breaking into his London home. Adaptations and sequels – does the literal translation mean – we haven’t had an original idea for a movie since phone booths were on nearly every corner in this country (and not for Superman to go stripping in).

Andrew Garfield, the latest to don the uniform, does a fine job.

Nicole: I miss the good old days of phone booths -- for stripping in. Now, I’m not saying this flick ain't worth your 12 bucks. It is. And, it’s enjoyable. But there’s something missing, though I can’t quite say just what. Perhaps it had something to do with all the backend editing in post-production. Perhaps it was the choice of villains (Lizard isn’t exactly polarizing or all that frightening – and frankly, Rhys Ifans (Dr. Connors) deserved to play a more compelling villain as he’s certainly got the chops to master one).

elizabeth: A lizard takes over Manhattan? Send him down to any subway station – our rats will take care of it. Girl gets Spider-Man in her web. Fade to black.

Emma Stone and Garfield create on-screen (and off-screen) sparks.

Nicole: LOL. Yea, any NYC Rat King could likely undo this villain, but I digress. So, Cassidy,  you know how Emma Stone (Gwen Stacey) and Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker/Spider-Man) became an item on the set of this movie? Yea, well – the chemistry is pretty obvious. That’s why their scenes together are so convincing. Shame there wasn’t more of them. At times, the movie felt rushed to hit key plot points, and then at times it felt like it was wasting time covering the same surface. I found myself wondering what better use could have been made of that time. And that kind of brought me out of the film, when instead, I should have been riveted.

elizabeth: I think I will continue to boycott these rehashed movies until Hollywood understands that the fate of this country rests on original scripts. Or me getting my meds adjusted. Again.

Martin Sheen and Sally Fields perplexed by their nephew's odd new behavior.

Nicole: Pah-lease, H-wood hire a writer to pen something original? Not bloody likely. Special effects-wise though, they did a pretty fabulous job, but Lizard could have used a little more fine-tuning on the CGI end. Overall, performances by Garfield, Stone, Sheen, and Leary were stellar. The right mix of humor, angst, and suspense. And, I prefer Garfield’s Spider-Man to McGuire’s. His expressions, stammering lack of confidence, and humor—all were incredibly endearing. I just wish he had a better script to justifiably make himself shine. So, should people run out to see this latest adaptation in the Spidey series? Yea, they should. Why? ‘Cause there’s gonna be a sequel. And, I have a pretty good feeling it’s going to kick this one’s ass.

elizabeth: Did I ever tell you that I am allergic to spider bites? And I think I might have had a bad reaction if I saw this movie. Give me a movie with people and maybe a little less latex and Spanx. Great – now everyone knows what I wear on the weekends. I get to pick the next movie. You obviously cannot be trusted.

The Film Fatales give The Amazing Spider-Man...

Tuesday, July 24

With the deepest respect...

The Film Fatales would like to pay our most heartfelt condolences to the victims, survivors, and family members of the terrible tragedy in Aurora, Colorado. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this most difficult time. Peace and love.

Sunday, July 15

Magic Mike

The Film Fatales review Magic Mike and wonder whether it is worth shoving a dollar into a thong or should we just put a sock in it?

Magic Mike

A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money. [IMBD.] (elizabeth: I would like to add,  said stripper also saves Timmy’s dog from a well, goes on to become the president of the United States, and grants all strippers amnesty.)

2012. Rated R. 110 minutes. Starring Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Olivia Munn, Cody Horn, and Joe Manganiello. Directed by Steven Soderbergh. 

elizabeth: I rarely walk out of a movie praying to be kidnapped by aliens so they can zap the memory of a movie out of my brain. ET, if you are reading this, I am available any time after 10 AM on most weekdays. I have seen more than six naked men (okay, maybe not all at the same time…well, that is all I am going to say on that subject), but my initial feeling was that they all needed a bath and a better script. Cleanliness makes stripping so much more pleasant to watch.

More beef with that cake, madam?

Nicole: I wish we’d had seen this together so I could have seen you writhing in total discomfort. I saw this on a Monday night at 7:40pm. Where, pray tell, can you find a more incoherent, giggly gaggle of women? Answer: Nowhere, but at this showing of Magic Mike. I finally know what kind of movie gets droves of women off their asses and into the theatre. I don’t know whether to be dismayed, disgusted, and disoriented or proud? (It’s the former. Most definitely the former.) I will say this much for the movie: It is a truly authentic portrayal of what goes on inside those clubs. I won’t say how I know. Just that I know. ‘Nuff said. 

elizabeth: Got to give it to Matthew McConaughey’s character Dallas, the strip joint owner –  his body looked like it was slathered with left over butter from your local movie theatre. I felt dirty watching him and not in the good “dirty “way. Channing’s Mike appeared to be constipated during the whole movie and Joe Manganiello got me thinking that I should get HBO so I could see him on True Blood, but then he opened his mouth and I nixed going for the cable upgrade (although I am willing to give him a second chance if he wears that firemen’s outfit to my next birthday party). 

McConaughey hams it up.

But McConaughey was the best part of the movie, and I hated him and all he stood for. But that is okay because his sleaziness provoked an emotion out of me.  Can’t say that about the rest of them. B-O-R-I-N-G. And a quick note to the actors – please enunciate your words. Or, do it in French or Spanish. This way I might have thought it was an art film and would have been kinder in my review. Director Soderbergh should have stayed with just the stripping and fired the screenwriter. A storyline was not warranted. Don’t believe me – go see the movie.

Channing and company.

Nicole: I agree with you on all, save Tatum. Without him, I do believe this movie would have been excruciatingly unwatchable. I thought his comic deliveries were well-timed and on point, his dancing was a-maz-ing, and his character was endearing – given what he had to work with. It will forever remain a mystery to me why Soderbergh took this movie on. ANYONE could have directed this movie. So why Soderbergh saw it necessary to blemish his record with this one is beyond me.

elizabeth: I guess what I am thinking is that life is too short to spend time in the dark watching a movie such as Magic Mike. Women were just throwaways and I was offended by how they were just interchangeable and victims of date rape after a night of drugs and booze. Let’s try to elevate women in films a little more often. We are not your victims.  And showing your bum won’t make it all better.

Nicole: Agreed. And, no surprise that the lead actress (Cody Horn), who’s supposed to provide the film’s moral compass, is the CEO of Warner Brother’s daughter. Gee, I wonder how she got the part??? Suffice to say, she can’t act her way out of a wet paper bag and has one expression for every human emotion. [See image below as proof.]

elizabeth: Just watch the Magic Mike TV commercial. Save your money or send it to me.

The Film Fatales gives Magic Mike

Monday, July 2

Snow White and the Huntsman

A wooden princess, a murderous queen, and a beefy hunter – Oh, my! The Film Fatales tell you why it’s probably best that you skip…

Snow White and the Huntsman

2012. Rated PG-13. 127 minutes. Starring Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth. Directed by Rupert Sanders.

In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen. [imdb]

Nicole: So, Cassidy. Let me tell you about the last movie I saw: Snow White and the Huntsman.  You know the drill – pretty princess vs. an evil queen, some short guys, and an apple. Well – that’s where the similarities end. This movie was such a diversion from the original, popularized tale we know and love that it’s almost unrecognizable. I was thinking: Cool! A kick-ass Snow White! A princess for modern times. This should be awesome! Shame it wasn’t.

Snow White takes a bite of the Big Apple.

elizabeth:  I hate when people mess with things from our childhood. Fairy tales of yore tapped into my fertile imagination and each tale seems to include a little life lesson that this former six-year-old could comprehend. Hollywood screenwriters really should use their own damn imagination and come up with something original. If I was one of the Brothers Grimm (or the Brothers Gibb) I would sue.

Nicole: Yes, and especially if you were one of the Brothers Gibb—those post-modern spinners of yarn and creators of high-octave earworms. So, say I told you that this movie contains subtle (and not so subtle) themes of sexism, rape, incest, violence, sex, and murder – would you believe it was rated PG-13? 

Mirror, mirror on the wall -- you're freaking me out!
elizabeth:  That is really making my head start to sweat. How dare they even touch on themes like sexism, rape, and incest and give the movie a PG-13 rating. I would like to know how many women were involved with getting this movie off the ground. Guess it didn’t bother them. Shame on them and even the lead actresses. But I would imagine that their fat cash cows must have the power to lure them to sleep every night…in their own personalized glass coffins. 

Nicole: Yea, I’d imagine nobody involved in the making of this film has trouble sleeping at night. In my eyes, this movie should have been a hard R. But, let’s not forget: Kristen Stewart in it – which means H-wood didn’t wanna lose that ‘tween audience with an R rating. And frankly, that sickens me. But, I digress. (If I get on that soap box, I’ll never step down.) 

elizabeth:  I think you just stepped on my foot. Let me get off the soapbox so you can continue.

Nicole: Thank you. Ultimately, this movie has a flawed plot, lackluster dialog, and predictable direction. The best thing that can be said is that it’s visually stunning (Hello Prince William – when you get out of the Dark Forest, ring me up). Special effects, costume, and art direction all should be proud. Everyone else – well, they can shove it. Namely Kristen Stewart, who gives yet another wooden performance. How long must we be subjected to her lifeless portrayals and crappy deliveries? (Oh wait, wasn’t she just listed as the highest paid actress in Hollywood? I swear, I give up.)

This Evil Queen's beauty regimen can't be bottled.

As for the Charlize – she did a fairly good job as Snow White’s evil nemesis, but I think she probably was done a disservice by a weak script and poor editing. Her character was basically a fairy-tale altered Lucrezia Borgia/Elizabeth Bathory: incest, murder, drinking blood, robbing the essence of young women to maintain her youth, bathing in milk. Sure, it’s a mash-up of historical inaccuracy – but there’s enough homage there to clearly pick up what they were putting down. In fact, it repeatedly thumps you over the damn head. Gratuitous and unnecessary. 

elizabeth:  And I quote you (because I can), “Drinking blood, robbing the essence of young women to maintain her youth, bathing in milk.” Sounds like a Saturday around my house.

The Huntsman is mighty, but this script falls short.

Nicole: Come to think of it, you do throw a helluva party. But seriously folks, not even beefcake can save this movie: Chris Hemsworth can slay all the evil armies he can muster all while looking like Mr. November, but even he cannot save this movie. So, Cassidy, I really think you should skip this one. Save your 12 bucks and buy yourself a latte. You’ll enjoy it way more. 

elizabeth:  Lattes are now 12 bucks? Well that explains why the Evil Queen drank blood. It was cheaper. And I will have a side of beefcake with my goblet of blood. Make mine Mr. May I. 

 Nicole gives Snow White and the Huntsman