Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Week 2: Netflix, why hast thou foresaken me?

Wither thou new disc, Netflix? We accidentally received a duplicate copy of Drop Dead Gorgeous again today. I've never had this happen before in my near-perfect Netflix relationship. It's a little like dating the perfect guy only to discover one day that he has a long nose hair or an unmistakable odor of beets. Sigh.

Oh well, so we watched it again. And it was hilarious all over again. Which brings me to another topic on this movie, which I was just discussing with my coworkers, Lisa and Brad. Get comfy because this might take a while.

Brittany Murhphy. WTF?

In both Drop Dead Gorgeous and Clueless, Britt is this adorably quirky, chubby, off-kilter girl with an insane laugh and a great ability to be the butt of the joke. And we loved her for it. Among all the pert profiles, glossy hair and plasticene features of the typical teenage movie actress, here was a girl who looked like an actual real human being. Awkward ninth-grade girls everywhere, rejoice! Here was a Hollywood actress just like you!

She seemed to be on the path to a Parker Posey-esque career of playing the oddball in quirky films. Remember her in Girl, Interrupted? Wasn't she great? Life with Britt was good.

And then suddenly there was an actress claiming to be Brittany Murphy, but this was not OUR Brittany Murphy. No, this one had a starvation figure, a new nose, a new hairline and was starring in some commercial crap called Uptown Girls. I'll say it again, WTF?

Like most problems in Hollywood, I'm choosing to blame Britt's downfall on her brief association with Ashton Kutcher. I can understand that while dating him, it must have been hard to know that he was the prettier girl in the relationship. That could drive a girl to do insane things. Like switching to a celery juice diet and surgically altering your hairline.

I can understand, really. But let this be a warning to you, Brittany Murphy, if I see you starring in a Jerry Bruckheimer film next, you're officially out of my life.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Week 1: Drop Dead Gorgeous

Okay, so we've seen this movie before but thought it would be fun to kick off our Motley Queue project with an old standby that we really love. We stumbled across this movie years ago but we loved it just as much upon re-watching it. I call this movie Heather's Light. It's got the same sadistic, subversive humor as Heather's but in a more shiny, candy-coated sort of way. Kirsten Dunst is the lead and she's kind of charming in her formerly fresh-faced way. Before she played a supermodel in Spiderman. A supermodel? Seriously? Isn't she about 5'6" with a snaggletooth? I found it easier to believe that a man could shoot spiderwebs out of his ass than I could believe Kirsten Dunst as a model. But I digress. Kirstie Alley is also in the movie as the pageant organizer, presumably because she spells her name in the same weird way as Kirsten, with the "i" before the "r". Don't get me started.

Anyway, this movie is a faux documentary about a small-town beauty pageant in which contestants are routinely being killed off in dramatic and hilarious ways. Anyone with half a brain can figure out who the killer is, but it's meeting the colorful townsfolk along the way that is the most fun. My favorite is the trailer park neighbor, Loretta, played by Allison Janney. She's razor sharp as a big-haired alcoholic who helps mother Kirsten Dunst after Kirsten's mom (Ellen Barkin) is injured in a trailer explosion and has a beer can permanently adhered to her right hand. (I swear some of my family members have been injured in just the same way).

Also great is one of the contest judge's, a nerdy little pervert who claims not to be a pervert but proceeds to chew lasciviously on his cigarette whenever a young girl passes him by. Hilarious.

And, sorry to the PC Police, but they use the word "retard" in this movie at least a dozen times to describe the - well - retard, played by Will Sasso. And I laughed every time I heard it. Retard. When used correctly and unexpectedly, it is one of the best words in comedy, and if that makes me a bad person then it must make you a retard.

If you have one of those lame Friday nights where all your friends are busy and you're kind of bored but not bored enough to watch Jennifer Boob Hewitt on The Ghost Whisperer, this is the movie to rent.

Week 1: The Good Shepherd

Is it just me, or has anyone else had it up to hear with Angelina Jolie? I get it that she's spookily sensual and eerily compelling, but I'm way past the point of being able to believe her in any role. She's so overexposed that I can no longer separate the "my hot husband and I are saving the world" Angeline Jolie from the "I'm a serious actress" one.

I just find her distracting in her performances now. And in the Good Shepherd, it's no different. The movie is moving along swimmingly until she shows up in her demure dress and let's-get-it-on lipstick and the movie is ruined. Well, not ruined exactly, but diverted. While I'm on the subject of weird distractions in this movie, there is no way anyone could believe that Matt Damon has a grown son in the movie. When said grown son makes an appearance more than half-way through, Grant, my husband, literally spit out his wine. I mean, seriously? I bet Matt Damon still gets carded when he tries to buy beer at the Circle K. He looks YOUNG. You're not fooling anybody here, Matty.

Anyway, back to the movie. We both liked this movie, although we had to watch it over three nights because it is so damn long. It tells the story of the creation of the CIA and manages to make it look oddly boring, but in a compelling way, which is tough to accomplish. It's full of double-crossing spies, girls with hearing impairments, and men who are good at their jobs but bad at their lives. Matt Damon is really good at playing a tortured, conflicted man. I love the line where Joe Pesci tells him that Italians have their families, blacks have their music and jews have their traditions before asking Matt Damons what he (a Waspy-Wasp) has. Matt Damon's response is "We have the United States." Ouch. I found myself agreeing with him, although I think the Waspy control of the United States that seems cooly evil in this movie has long since been relegated to the bible-beating evangelicals and their nascar compatriots.

In the end, we were kind of disappointed by this movie because it felt like it was on the verge of being great but settled for being pretty good. We kept expecting a larger, more dramatic plot to unfold but we could pretty much see everything coming a mile away. Maybe we should work for the CIA.

I say rent it but be prepared to roll your eyes at the Angelina Jolie parts.
Grant says Angelina Jolie is hot. Big surprise.