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REVIEW – Trading Places

January 1, 2017 Leave a comment
Trading PlacesDirected by: John Landis
Produced by: Aaron Russo
Written by: Timothy Harris, Herschel Weingrod
Edited by: Malcolm Campbell
Cinematography by: Robert Paynter
Music by: Elmer Bernstein
Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Denholm Elliott, Paul Gleason, Kristin Holby, James Belushi, Tom Davis, Al Franken
Year: 1983

 

I’d always managed to forget this movie for the Christmas/New Year’s season in years past – it takes place predominately over the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Not this year, though, thanks to a friendly reminder to not do that. My family was pretty big on this movie when I was growing up. Sure, I had to cover my eyes quite a few times (it’s an R-rated ‘80s comedy, after all), but apart from that, even I found it pretty enjoyable as a kid. But I haven’t seen it in a few years, as evidenced by my constant forgetfulness of its existence, and as the years went on, and the cycle of trying to remember this film at an appropriate time, forgetting, and then holding off until an appropriate time continued, I began to wonder to myself – was it actually Coming to America that I liked better than the other? Well, I don’t really know the answer to that one, as I also have to watch Coming to America again for the first time in years. However, the time has at least finally come for me to get around to reviewing Trading Places at what is ostensibly an “appropriate time” of year. So… Read more…

Review: “Clueless”

May 31, 2013 3 comments
CluelessDirected by: Amy Heckerling
Produced by: Scott Rudin, Robert Lawrence, Twink Caplan, Adam Schroeder, Barry M. Berg
Written by: Amy Heckerling
Edited by: Debra Chiate
Cinematography by: Bill Pope
Music by: David Kitay
Starring: Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Breckin Meyer, Dan Hedaya, Elisa Donovan, Justin Walker, Wallace Shawn, Twink Caplan, Jeremy Sisto
Inspired by the novel Emma by Jane Austen
Year: 1995

 

Every once in a while, a film comes along that transcends its trappings and finds a broader than expected audience, only to become a renowned classic. Star Wars was such a film – a silly space opera that managed to become one of the biggest and most influential films of all time. Without it, we would likely have not had the revival of Star Trek and the creation of Alien. The Dark Knight did the same for superhero films, as well, taking its subject seriously and forever changing the expectations regarding the quality of a subgenre that was still considered to be mostly a catalyst for special effects.

Clueless is one of those films – a high school comedy that manages to be both smart and likeable enough that it was a hit with both audiences of all ages as well as becoming a darling with critics who recognized it for its witty dialogue and well developed characters. It was enough of a hit that it even became a well-received TV series. Teen comedies featuring a blonde rich girl protagonist are bound to either make fun of its main character for being a dimwit or, even worse, treat her like a princess who goes on a sort of fun, supposedly meaningful high school experience that will apparently change her life forever. Clueless remains a refreshingly down-to-earth in its scope, despite the characters’ social status. Read more…

Review: “Mean Girls”

May 30, 2013 1 comment
Mean GirlsDirected by: Mark Waters
Produced by: Lorne Michaels, Tony Shimkin, Louise Rosner, Jill Messick
Written by: Tina Fey (screenplay)
Edited by: Wendy Greene Bricmont
Cinematography by: Daryn Okada
Music by: Rolfe Kent
Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Lizzy Caplan, Daniel Franzese, Lacey Chabert, Amanda Seyfried, Jonathan Bennett, Tina Fey, Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, Neil Flynn, Amy Poehler
Based on the book Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence by Rosalind Wiseman
Year: 2004

 

Girls are awful. As a guy who had to go through his fair share of teasing from other guys from pretty much kindergarten onward, I can say with all honesty that no matter how mean the guys were, nothing compared to the way I saw my female peers treat one another and the guys they were around. One particular incident in 7th grade, where I had a note asking a particular girl out along with a ribbon rose made my mom in what I thought was the girl’s favorite color, has possibly tainted my romantic life forever thanks to the girls teasing me about getting the color wrong and the girl I was asking out taking until the end of the school year to tell me “Yeah… sorry, no,” after months of her flirting with the guy who picked on me. My sister had it even worse, however, being — well, another girl. The stories I heard from her make my experiences seem like a fairy tale with a happily ever after. The types of girls she dealt with apparently either did not see or understand Carrie – they even pulled the old nominating my sister for homecoming queen trick. Luckily, my sister heard about a scheme and managed to avoid whatever it was they were planning. Read more…

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