Project X is a movie about a high school loser who wants to get laid. Ooh, never heard this idea before! No wait, this is the same plot for every high school movie that doesn't revolve around dance-offs. OK, so a kid with rich parents is having a birthday and his short, fat, Jewish friend from Brooklyn promises him that he can amp up the birthday party for him to epic levels. Since the kid's parents are going to be out of town during his birthday (which seems odd) they agree to have the biggest party possible at his house. The party gets out of control, there are lots of drugs and topless teenage girls and then a midget punches everyone in the groin and after that the police come and the whole neighborhood gets burned to the ground. Seriously. That's the movie. If you just want to see topless teenage girls then this movie is for you. If you want a laugh or two and maybe some entertainment beyond teenage titties, this movie sucks.
A couple, Joel and Clementine, played by Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet, has a break up and Clementine is so heartbroken that when she finds out that there is a procedure that erases memories for people, she signs up to have the entire relationship erased from her mind. Her ex-boyfriend, Joel, finds out about it and is so upset that he signs up to have the same procedure done. While his memories are being erased one-by-one, he realizes that he loves her still and doesn't want to lose those memories, so he fights the procedure. In his mind he takes Clementine by the hand and together they run from the memory erase. They run to all sorts of places and get into weird scenarios. The bottom line is, despite losing her, he realizes that the memories of what they had is too good to just throw away. Meanwhile, one of the techs who does the procedure, Patrick, played by Elijah Wood, has taken everything he learned about Clementine and why she fell for Joel in the first place, and he has tried to take Joel's place. When Joel shows up wanting the same memory erase procedure, Patrick has to try to help Joel while keeping Joel from finding out that Patrick has moved in on Clementine. The story is actually pretty good and everyone in it is top notch. It's a sad movie in a lot of places, but overall its good. I recommend it.
A beautiful girl, Alice, and a faithless man, Dan, played by Natalie Portman and Jude Law, begin a story about love and betrayal and what you have versus what you want and what you may lose. The story is complex. Even the relationship between Natalie Portman's character, Alice, and Jude Law's character, Dan, isn't clear at first, but when Clive Owen and Julia Roberts enter into the story and Dan begins trying to seduce Julia Robert's character, Anna, while Alice is right outside, you instantly realize that things are about to get blurry. What you don't realize is just how blurry it can be until the very end. It doesn't end the way you think it will. It's a good movie, but not terribly happy. I wouldn't take a date to see this unless you've been together awhile. It's a cynical film, but very good. I recommend it, just not for a date.
A poor Irish girl, named Mona, lives above the family pub with her brother, Phil. Both of their parents have died and the brother has just returned from prison where he became a Christian. With his new religious faith he tries to change completely, so he closes the pub, throws out all the alcohol, and uses it as a prayer house filled with religious people praying all the time. His sister is not a Christian and can't stand the changes, losing her parents and now feeling as if she's lost her brother, too, because she doesn't recognize this do-gooder where once her bad-ass brother stood. She leaves the pub and runs around the countryside trying to decide what to do, when she runs into a beautiful rich girl, Tamsin, played by Emily Blunt. Mona and Tamsin begin to hang out together and immediately Tamsin begins to pull Mona into a strange web. Tamsin, it turns out, is only home because she was suspended from her rich boarding school for causing endless trouble. Now home and bored, she decides to play her game with this lowly Irish girl and anyone else she meets. The result is chaos and destruction for the Irish girl. For the rich girl, Tamsin, it's all just a game and doesn't matter. The film is very unique. I've never seen one like it. And Emily Blunt, so very young when this was made in 2004, is fantastic. It's a cynical movie, but it's very good. I recommend it for when you are in the right mood. It will bring you down if you're not in the mood for it. But it will definitely throw you for a loop.
A bipolar man, Pat, played by Bradley Cooper, is home from a court-ordered incarceration in a mental institution. He is required as a condition of his release to take his meds. Of course he doesn't like his meds and doesn't like taking them. He has no place to go so he ends up back with his parents, who endure a lot of 3 am rantings from him while he's in his manic phase and not taking his meds. He's convinced that he's going to win back his ex-wife, who has had all she can take of his bipolar rollercoaster and has a restraining order against him. He is convinced that he's going to turn it all around, win her back and get his old job back and fix everything. Of course, everyone else can see that this is never going to happen. Meanwhile, he meets a crazy bipolar girl, Tiffany, played by Jennifer Lawrence. He pays no attention to Tiffany. He is fixated on winning back his wife. Meanwhile, Tiffany's husband has died and is never coming back, so she fixates on Pat. She promises to help him win back his wife, who he can't contact or talk to because of the restraining order, if he'll help her with a dance contest she wants to enter. He agrees. From there, the story begins to get brighter and brighter. Everyone in this film is extremely good. Robert DeNiro plays Bradley Cooper's father and he's massively OCD. This is a weird, but very entertaining movie. I recommend it.
Reese Witherspoon plays Isabella, a woman married to a Muslim man who is trying to fly home to the US from Europe when he is mistaken for a terrorist involved in the 9/11 attack. He is taken to a CIA 'black site' for interrogation. Meanwhile, Isabella is waiting for him at the airport. When his plane lands and he isn't on it she begins asking questions. The US Government tells her various lies about what must have happened to him, but never admits the truth, that they have him. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a CIA agent, named Douglas, who is involved in the interrogation. At first Douglas is convinced that they have the terrorist they were looking for, but gradually he starts to doubt. Meanwhile, Isabella has contacted a friend who works for one of her Senators. The friend tries to find out information by asking the CIA director, but the CIA director simply lies and then gets him into trouble with his boss so that he'll stop helping Isabella. Meanwhile, Isabella's husband Anwar is being viciously tortured despite the lack of any evidence that he is the terrorist they're looking for. This movie is based on the actual case of Khalid El-Masri, a German citizen who was grabbed and taken to Afghanistan where he was beaten, tortured and sexually abused for 5 months. The fact that it is based on an actual case is reason enough to watch it. The fact that Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep and Peter Sarsgaard are in it only helps. This movie may piss you off, but I recommend it.
Josh Kovacs is the building manager of a New York high rise where wealthy New Yorkers live. He and his entire staff serve the residents every need. Josh is also responsible for investing the staff's retirement funds. Living on the top floor penthouse is Arthur Shaw, a billionaire hedge fund manager. Josh and Arthur play chess together and have a seemingly close relationship, so Josh talks to Arthur about the staff's retirement and Arthur agrees to invest it. But Arthur is a con artist, a phony who takes investors' money and spends it. When the FBI closes in and arrests Arthur, Josh gets fired. The rest of the story is about Josh and his friends attempt to break into Arthur's penthouse to steal Arthur's hidden stash of money. The movie stars Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, and Matthew Broderick as the building staff. Tea Leoni plays the FBI agent who arrests Arthur Shaw. Alan Alda plays Arthur Shaw, unrepentant thief and asshole. This movie had a lot of hype when it came out, but then didn't do all that well. I thought it was OK. It had fewer laughs than you'd expect, but overall its pretty good.
Carl is depressed. His life is going nowhere and his woman long ago left him. He doesn't even accept phone calls from his friends. He just sits at home or goes to work. Finally one of his friends convinces him to come to a seminar about the power of "Yes." During the seminar Carl is convinced to agree to a covenant which requires him to say "Yes" to everything. That very night Carl, after saying "yes" to a homeless man's every request, finds himself out of gas and with a dead cell phone way out in the middle of nowhere. He has to walk all the way into town to get a gas can and some gas and he's grumbling about how stupid he was for saying "yes" to the guy when he meets Allison, a totally free-spirit who gives him a ride back to his car. From that point on Carl finds that saying "yes" completely turns his life around. Everything is going well. But it suddenly falls apart and Carl loses Allison. He has to find a way to win her back. This is a fun movie, plus a movie that you can watch with a date. I highly recommend it. As a bonus, it stars Zooey Deschanel. She's always fun.
Rose needs more money than she can make at her current crap job. Her married boyfriend recommends she get into crime scene cleanup. She needs help in order to do it, so she recruits her loser sister, Norah, to help her. Together they form Sunshine Cleaners. It's a quiet, independent film. There's no CGI explosions or shootouts or cars flying through the air. But its a good movie. Keep in mind, I LOVE Amy Adams and LOVE Emily Blunt, and both of them are in this movie, so that definitely influences my feelings about it. I recommend it.
Oh good Lord, how to summarize this film? I have read several other blogs that did excellent jobs of summarizing and explaining the entire story. But in order to do this, they have to tell you how the film ends. I refuse to do that. I watched this movie without the slightest idea of what it was about. I only knew that it starred Kirsten Dunst and was said to be a super cool film. Not knowing what it is about, I feel, helped me to enjoy it more. It made it harder for me to get through the first half, because I didn't really understand what was going on. But by the second half I was steadily more and more excited about the story. If you trust my opinions based on the other movies I reviewed above then you'll just have to trust me on this one - I highly recommend it. I was blown away by the story, which it turns out is not at all original, but nevertheless very cool. Clearly everyone in the film industry was aware of what a monumentally great film this would be, because the cast is packed with some very big names. Watch this film. Be patient and stick with it all the way through to the end. If you already know how it is going to end then there's not much point in watching it, unless you just want to see Kirsten Dunst nude, which I did and was very appreciative of. If you want to see another film somewhat similar to it, but made in France, and which also has high ratings from reviewers, watch Another Earth. I plan to.
And now, simply because I promised it, is Kirsten Dunst nude and looking up at the strange planet in the sky above her in the movie "Melancholia" ...