Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

The Film Itself

I feel kind of like I’m cheating by doing a post about this movie because I’ve seen it before but it’s been long enough that I didn’t really remember what happened so you can all shut up. Even though you weren’t saying anything. Also weighing on my conscience: I recently watched Men, Women & Children and started a blog post but it didn’t save so screw that. All I have to say is I do not recommend it. It’s like an after school special on steroids. The only reason I could possibly recommend this is if you want to break your own sympathetic heart or if you want to see a couple of moments of really honest acting (specifically from Kaitlyn Dever and Rosemarie DeWitt).

Anyways, I love this movie. So good. It’s so unabashedly smart. It’s not witty and clever in a very deep and inspirational way. It’s in your face about how smart it is. Which is why Robert Downey Jr. is about as close as you can get to perfect casting. And don’t even get me started on Val Kilmer! Holy Crap! I want Gay Perry in my life. He needs to be at the top of every list of the most sarcastic characters in cinema. So great.

I will also say that my roommate is one of the worst people to watch movies with. However because of that, it teaches me more about the movie. For instance, my roommate has a habit of asking a lot of questions, mostly about what’s going to happen next. She was confused throughout this whole movie. But honestly it’s just cause she wasn’t paying attention. So pay attention if you watch this movie. Her review: Robert Downey Jr. is a sweetie, 8/10.

I don’t even know how to organize this post. I’m sorry. Bear with me. So let’s go with the writing first cause that’s by far the best part of the movie. God. So good and smart and sarcastic. I don’t even know what else to say. I love when movies use fourth wall breaks really well like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang does. Not only do they create an unreliable narrator, they also make fun of themselves and their audience. It’s “so meta”. They make fun of all the tropes they use, like (spoiler alert) Harry and Harmony being the kids from the home video and Gay Perry surviving in the end. They also make fun of the crime genre. I mean I think that’s what the cheesy music was all about. And that scene when Robert Downey Jr. plays Russian Rouelette!!! I love it when a movie can shock me. Very reminiscent of Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson. The only negative thing I will say about the writing is I feel like there was some discontinuity in the Harry character. He was smart sometimes and stupid other times? I mean I think maybe they were going for smart but uneducated or maybe he was smart but didn’t care? I don’t know. I feel Robert Downey Jr. was very fitting for this part but was maybe too smart for the character.

Now for my passion piece. Frickin Harmony. She makes me ashamed of womankind. Kind of. I mean she’s pretty much a bimbo but she is really smart I guess. I feel bad for calling her a bimbo because she’s had a tough life but COME ON! Have some self respect! I mean really?! You’ll give a guy a hand job just because it’s uncomfortable for him to have a boner ? What???? Jesus. I guess this is a good movie for girls to watch so they learn some self respect hopefully. And Harmony does provide a good foil to Harry, making him a surprisingly moral and sweet guy. Which was cool and unexpected and wonderful.

Quick word on the direction. I didn’t catch too much of it but I’m pretty sure it was good. I love indirect shots and there was this great one of Harry and Harmony having a conversation in the hotel room and the shot was focused on Harry with Harmony’s reflection to the side while she undressed. Soo cool.

Bechdel Test

This movie does not pass. I guess it’s kind of feminist through Harry, at least. Sigh. I guess Harmony’s a relatively actiony female character. Still a bimbo though.

Fun Fact

Gay Perry is generally considered the first openly gay character to lead an action film.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

The Film Itself

I thank God every day for Hans Zimmer. And now I might have to add Jesse Eisenberg to that list. He was a shining beacon in a very muddy movie.

As I write this post, I am watching The Grand Budapest Hotel for what I would estimate to be the seventh time. It feels so cleansing and wonderful to watch a movie with such beautifully- and smartly-crafted dialogue after watching a movie with SUCH terrible writing and storytelling. It has been said that you can make a crappy movie from a good script, but that you can’t make a good movie from a crappy script. I feel the truth of that statement in my bones after watching Batman V Superman. There were so many good things about this movie. The cinematography was AMAZING. Jesse Eisenberg was AMAZING. Henry Cavill was pretty good and so was Gal Gadot. I loved Laurence Fishburne. The score was great. I guess the fight scenes were pretty good. But none of this could begin to ┬ámake up for the horrendous script, which, by the way, I am so very confused about. Pretty much the only other movie this writer has written was Argo which won best screenplay? How do you go from winning an Oscar to writing lines like, “There was a time above… A time before… There were perfect things… diamond absolutes. But things fall… things on Earth. And what falls… is fallen.”? WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?? There were so many lines like this that I just could not decode. Also, I feel like you know the movie is bad anytime it contains the line, “May God have mercy on us all.” Not to mention the movie left me with a lot of unanswered questions. How does Superman always, ALWAYS know where Lois Lane is? Does he have a tracker on her? Does Superman have any respect for other people’s property? Why were there so many dream sequences? Why did Batman use so many guns? Why did this movie need to be two and a half hours long?

Look. I had high hopes for this movie. I like superhero movies, I like Ben Affleck. I really tried to like it. There was the scene where Bruce Wayne’s parents die and the cinematography was UNREAL and I was so ready. But then baby Bruce Wayne fell into the Batcave and started levitating via bat tornado?! Thank God this was just a dream sequence, of which there were about three, all of which I hated relatively equally. They pretty much all contained unnecessary jump scares that just annoyed me. After that, the movie started going downhill, VERY quickly. By about 30 minutes in, I was just done.

Other thoughts:

Why is Superman’s outfit made of sequins? I like it.

I watch Halt and Catch Fire so I’m a big fan of Scoot McNairy and he’s in almost nothing so I was super excited when I recognized him in this but he was barely in it!

Jesse Eisenberg is an absolute ray of sunshine. When he came on screen, my boyfriend chuckled, shook his head, and said, “F*cking Jesse Eisenberg”, which is pretty much the best description of Jesse Eisenberg I’ve heard. He was the perfect level of unstable, ridiculous, buttwipe-y teenager. I found myself frequently gaping at the screen in awe when he appeared. It honestly seemed like the writer saved all his best stuff for Lex Luthor because he actually had a few good lines. Which leads me to my conspiracy theory: Somebody out there is trying to sabotage Ben Affleck’s career just the way Lex Luthor did Superman’s. That’s what you get for sleeping with the nanny.

Why is Alfred the same age as Bruce Wayne? Is this one of those situations that they talked about in The Help where you become a servant at the age of 12 and have to raise a child who is 10 years younger than you?

If you had told me this movie was directed by Michael Bay, I would have believed you in a heartbeat.

I was upset that there was no batsuit reveal shot. The style of the batsuit has been very important to the film anthology over the years. The batsuit is to Batman as the Bond girl is to James Bond. We never got a real clear shot of what they went with for this movie.

Bruce Wayne and Alfred are both such jerks in this movie. It was explained to me that this is accurate to the comic that this movie was based on. I guess I respect that they didn’t dumb down the lore just to make it accessible to a larger audience though.

I really hate that a major plot point was that both Batman’s and Superman’s moms were named Martha. “What’s that? Oh you have a mom too? We can totally be friends now. Maybe we can share yours since mine is dead.” I mean I guess this moment was probably supposed to be like Batman sees Superman as being more human because he has a mom but it did not come across that way. It just seemed super corny and stupid.

The Bechdel Test

This movie definitely does not pass. I mean there are plenty of strong female characters, which I really respect, but the only ones that talk to each other are Lois Lane and Martha Kent and all they talk about is Superman so…

Fun Fact

So apparently the executives at Warner Bros. liked the rough cut of the movie they saw so much that they gave it a standing ovation and immediately tried to negotiate two more solo batman movies with Affleck, in addition to the one that’s already in the works. I’d like to see what they saw.

The Big Short

 

The Film Itself

I was so excited to see this movie! Five Oscar nominations, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, AND Adam McKay?! Not to mention I love a true story. Mind you, not one of those cheesy, inspiring true stories (Miracles From Heaven, barf.). And it was pretty good! Not as good as I had hoped, but still good. I’d watched Inside the Actor’s Studio featuring Steve Carell before seeing this movie, and James Lipton talked about how this wasn’t a horror movie but it was still terrifying. He was soo right. So scary! How could the entire government and housing market not know about this?!?!?! Well I guess they said in the end that the government did know, they just didn’t care, which is almost worse. I hate to say it, but I think “The Academy” was right in only giving this movie the Oscar for best adapted screenplay and nothing else. The storytelling aspect of this movie is definitely where it shines. You guys, THIS STORY IS SO CRAZY. Seriously. How was everything so messed up and no one knew about it?! And they told it so well! The cameos explaining all the real technical stuff, the fourth wall breaks, the time jump narration, so so stylish! Love it. And I think I actually understand on a very basic level what a CDO is (Although Selena Gomez would not have been my first pick to explain it). The thing that impressed me the most about the storytelling was how bad it made me feel. The whole time I was rooting for all these characters to be right and to win against all these people who said they were wrong. I gotta tell ya, I love me an underdog. However, as it started to dawn on the characters what they are actually betting against, it started to dawn on me that I was rooting for the economy to collapse and for thousands of people to lose their jobs and homes. It made me sick to my stomach, horrified, and completely awed. Thank you Adam McKay. You pulled one over on me. I still can’t get over it. That’s why I am so disappointed with the movie as a whole. There was so much potential here! The cinematography was awesome, all of the actors were great, a lot of the direction was really cool but none of it seemed fleshed out fully. I felt like there could have been a lot more development with the characters. There could have been so much more done with Steve Carell’s anger and Ryan Gosling’s assertiveness and Christian Bale’s … Asperger’s… I also felt like the direction was kind of unfocused. My guess is McKay was going for a documentary/not documentary mash-up, but it just felt like he couldn’t decide which way he wanted to go and just did both, fully committing to neither. I’m just going to chalk it all up to this being Adam McKay’s first crack at dramatic directing. Overall, lots of great stuff. If you’re looking for a really cool, smart, true story, definitely worth a watch.

Bechdel Test

This movie was far from passing the Bechdel test. I don’t think there were even two named female characters in the whole movie. The only one I remember is Marisa Tomei and I sure don’t remember her name. Oh I guess there was that pregnant boss lady. Kristen? I don’t know, still doesn’t pass. I mean I guess you can’t really blame them since this is a true story.

Fun Fact

Paramount Studios would only let Adam McKay do this movie if he made an Anchorman sequel. Many people probably disagree with me, but Thank you Paramount!

Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya.

The Blog Itself

Just kidding my name is Emma. I’m here because I really like movies and I have a lot of thoughts about them. If you like what I have to say, that’s awesome. If you don’t, that’s cool too, but 1) I’m not an omnipotent superhuman who’s always right about everything and 2) this isn’t really about you. No offense or anything, but this is just a place for me to put my thoughts down. It’s not really a review site, well I guess it sort of is, I don’t know. Just know that there are major spoilers ahead.

The Bechdel Test

So this is how I plan to format all my blogs. I promise I’m not some crazy third wave feminist, but I do think there is a problem with sexism in our country. But mostly I just think the Bechdel test is really interesting. Well, I guess I find it really interesting that the majority of movies don’t pass the Bechdel test. Which says a lot about our society, but what can you do? I think if I were a director or something I would make sure all of my movies passed this test because it’s such a small thing that seems relatively easy to accomplish.

If you don’t know what the Bechdel test is, let me explain. A movie passes the Bechdel test if it meets the following qualifications:

  1. There must be two named female characters
  2. They must talk to each other
  3. They must talk about something other than a man

Fun Fact

My all-time favorite movie is The Princess Bride.