Sunday, December 29

About Time

The best movie of 2013 you all forgot to see.

2013. Rated R. 123 minutes. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams, and Bill Nighy. Written and directed by Richard Curtis.

At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think. [imdb] 

Nicole. Occasionally, a movie comes along that revives you and reestablishes your faith in the art of storytelling. About Time is that movie. Richard Curtis, the creative mind that brought audiences Love, Actually and About a Boy (neither of which I enjoyed a great deal), weaves a magical tale about time travel. While the plot should be hokey and corny and saccharine, it's actually thought provoking, bittersweet and moving (as long as you suspend belief in the established rules of time travel). Naysayers will call me a hopeless romantic who is a giant sap to love a movie like this; I say stuff it. If loving this movie means I'm sentimental, call me a sentimental fool…a whimpering, simpering sentimental fool—as Cassidy and her stash of tissues can attest. 

elizabeth: What a second. You did not adore Love, Actually and About a Boy? Well, Missy, as you like to call me, you don’t get into the Richard Curtis fan club. In fact, give me back all those tissues you confiscated from me. Let me just ask you this: how can you be a romantic sap and diss 2 out of 3 of Curtis’ homage to love, sucking face and having your toes curl without a vampire in sight? I don’t know you anymore. 

Nicole: I don’t like vampires… I like elves and dwarves and superheroes. Get it straight. I’m a fan of Curtis’ other work (The Vicar of Dibley, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral..need I go on?) But those two were just “meh” for me. So sue me.

elizabeth: While I did not turn into a whimpering, simpering sentimental fool like someone I know, I was really looking forward to a movie that celebrates love, passion, humor, family and life and death. I longed for clever dialogue and secret glances that said more than a screenplay about men with pointed ears who live in caves. About Time is a movie that you all forgot to go see. Hello? Are you all still stuck in outer space with Bullock and Clooney? The universe gave us all a kiss on our lips with this little film and yet you all wanted bigger and louder and more violent films. Shame on you. 

Nicole. Did you think I missed the dig about men with pointy ears who live in caves? I didn’t. Don’t start your car tonight… I agree – this should have been a hit. Hopefully it will be on DVD. At its core, About Time has a clear message about life that I won't reveal, because you should see it and let it dawn on you. It's a very satisfying “aha” moment without being preachy. 

elizabeth: I loved the chemistry and the dance of seduction between Rachel McAdams’ Mary and Domhnall Gleeson’s Tim. It was just the right mix of tenderness (corny not apply), humor and a deep devotion to each other. You know what? I loved the love that each character had for each other. You felt it. One knockout role is that of Uncle D played brilliantly by Richard Cordery. By the end of the movie, I was ready to put myself up for adoption with the hope that this family would embrace me into their lives.

Nicole: That’s a lovely sentiment—even if it does come from you. The cast is wonderful overall, but Bill Nighy, McAdams and Gleeson standout for me. It's hard to deny Bill Nighy's gravitational pull. Try to dislike him in anything, I dare you. As the patriarch of an unusual family, in which the male lineage is capable of traveling through time to re-experience pivotal moments in their lives, he is a pure joy to watch. The chemistry between McAdams and Gleeson is palpable. They are adorably matched and light up together on the screen. If you missed About Time in the theaters, fret not, it's out on DVD this February. And when that time comes, rush to rent it. You won't be sorry you did.

elizabeth: I can be lovely and sentimental, but not at the same time. All I can say is shame on the public for letting this movie slip out of your hands. You missed a gem. 

The Film Fatales give ABOUT TIME
 (and it's wonderful soundtrack...)

Wednesday, December 4

Dallas Buyers Club

Can The Film Fatales convince you to sit this one out?

2013. 117 minutes. Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Stephen Zahn, Denis O’Hare, Griffin Dunne. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee.

In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease. (IMDb)

elizabeth: I am going to start with my strongest reaction to a movie in a long, long time. I hated this movie. And maybe not for the reasons you think. McConaughey should get an Oscar nomination. Jared Leto richly deserves an Oscar nod also, but I hated this movie. 

I thought I would need a case load of tissues because the movie trailer always left me in tears.  AIDS in the 1980s. Count your blessings if you weren’t born or in a coma. AIDS made the Black Plague look like a mild case of the sniffles.   

And there was a huge segment of our society that did not give a damn. It started with the president of this country and trickled down to a lot of fools who sat around drunk and drugged out and called gay men with AIDS a whole lot of disgusting and vile names. And it was very macho to physically hurt people with AIDS. Real men. I think not. I hated this movie.

I could not stomach watching these actors portray what I consider the lowest of men. The scum of the earth. And that is why I hated this movie.

I am sorry. I can’t review this movie without is becoming personal for me.

Nicole: I suppose it can be said, to play Devil’s Advocate here, that this movie depicts the ugly truth of the origins AIDS epidemic. I suppose one can say telling Woodroof’s story without sentimentalizing him was a brave, if offensive, choice. My conflict is this: why him? There were so many other people to immortalize in film who did amazing work to fight the stigmatism of the AIDS diagnosis. I’m afraid people will bestow upon Woodroof hero status as a result of this film, when he’s no hero. Anti-hero…sure. 

I don’t even think an Oscar nod is necessary for this role. The Academy needs to stop rewarding actors for the physical transformations they are willing to inflict upon themselves to portray someone. McConaughey deserved a nod for his breakout role in A Time to Kill, but not for this. Jared Leto, on the other hand, was the only remarkable performance in the film.

elizabeth: I also hated how women were portrayed in this movie.  I don’t think we needed all those sex scenes (with people who don’t look like they bathe more than once a month) to tell this story. McConaughey’s R on Woodroof epitomized everything I hate in a man and he played it brilliantly. But the story should not have been about him.  I would have cheered this movie on if it was about Jared Leto’s Rayon, a transsexual with AIDS. She should have been the face that would have pulled you into the story. Not a sleazy dirt bag who went looking for drugs to keep his sorry ass alive. He was no hero to me.  Woodroof should have been a foot note in this story.

Nicole: Couldn’t agree more. There was way too much gratuitous sex and drug/alcohol abuse to establish Woodroof was a low life. We got it in five minutes; no need to beat us over the head with it.

elizabeth:  The movie dragged on and was looking to make us all cheerleaders for Ron Woodroof. Sorry, I could not buy into it. He was part of the problem and he was made to look like part of the solution? Maybe he grew a soul at the end of the movie, at the end of his life, but the damage was already done. I hated this movie.

Nicole: As did I. The best thing we can say is: we saved a bunch of trees by not wasting your stash of tissues on this poor excuse for a biopic.

The Film Fatales give DALLAS BUYERS CLUB

Thursday, November 7

EXCLUSIVE: The Worldwide Hobbit Fan Event

The Hobbit Worldwide Fan Event
November 4, 2013
AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13, NYC

Nicole: Roughly over 700 people, including moi, were treated to a worldwide “nerdgasm” on November 4th courtesy of famed Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit director (and Kiwi), Peter Jackson. From four host cities (New York, London, Los Angeles and Wellington NZ), The Hobbit Fan Event was beamed live worldwide to dozens of cities where self-proclaimed geeks who live by all things Tolkein enjoyed Q&As with the director himself as well as major cast members from The Hobbit trilogy. In New York, we were lucky enough to gaze upon a truly handsome panel comprised of Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Richard Armitage (Thorin Oakenfield) and host, the Silver Fox himself, Anderson Cooper. In Los Angeles, Evangeline Lilly (Tauriel); in London, Lee Pace (Thranduil), Andy Serkis (Golem), Luke Evans (Bard); and in Wellington, Peter Jackson.

elizabeth: Well, it is good to know that you were not alone when you dipped your toe again into the world of men with pointed little ears. What is the appeal? I bet you were the fan who asked Richard Armitage what his favorite line was. I don’t even want to picture him with little goofy beard when he replied, “If this is to end in fire, then we will all burn together.” Let Mr. Armitage know that I am available that day.

Nicole: No, I was not that fan…but oh, how I wish I were. He delivered that line with the sultriest of voices. Fans present in theatres for this free-of-charge event were also given a sneak peek of – count them – twenty minutes of exclusive footage from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which is slated for release on December 13, 2013. We also giggled like giddy idiots over a new blog reel featuring behind-the-scenes footage during the trilogy’s filming as well as Ed Sheerin’s video for the new movie’s theme song: “I See Fire.”

elizabeth: 20 minutes. I just stroked out from excitement. And can you please use the word Smaug in a sentence?

Nicole: I could, but I won’t…because you’re mocking me. That’s OK, you’re turn will come. Peter Jackson, an incorrigible fanboy himself, tailormade this event as a “thank you” to all of his loyal fans—making all but the twenty minutes of exclusive film footage available to online streamers. Respecting Jackson’s fervent request to keep the details of the footage private, I won’t say much about what we were shown…except: If you loved Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, you’re going to be head over heels with him in the next installment. And, that Lee Pace is perfectly cast as Thranduil. And, that the invented character of Tauriel is, in a word, kickass. And, Smaug… well, one word: CUMBERBATCH!

elizabeth: So you and Peter Jackson did the secret handshake? The world is now safe from you blabbing more about the film. This type of movie turns me into a CUMBERBATCH. Use the word Thranduil in a sentence.

Nicole: You’re lucky I have a sense of humor about these things, else I’d smite you! I don’t know what was most delightful about this event. Perhaps it was the rolling twitter feed from fans present and around the globe, offering up such gems as “OMG – I’ve just had a nergasm” and “Richard Armitage, I want to marry your voice.” Or maybe it was the live demonstration of elven movement conducted by Lee Pace and Orlando Bloom. Or, it could have been Anderson Cooper trying to one-up Peter Jackson’s barefoot Hobbit look by too taking his shoes and socks off. All I can say is – I don’t know what dumb luck managed to score me a ticket to this thing, but I’m sure glad I got in. I’ll never forget it.

elizabeth: Nergasm. Please use that word in a sentence and just remember – our mothers might be reading this post.

Nicole: The likelihood of our mothers reading this post is slim to none. Scratch that, none.

Prep for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (in theaters on December 13, 2013) by renting or buying The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Extended Edition…and prepare to be awed.