Career Opportunities (1991) Review

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Career Opportunities (1991) Review by ME, Cinema Parrot Disco!

Directed by Bryan Gordon

Written by John Hughes

Starring:
Frank Whaley
Jennifer Connelly
Dermot Mulroney
Kieran Mulroney
John M. Jackson
Jenny O’Hara
Noble Willingham
William Forsythe
John Candy
Barry Corbin

Running time: 83 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Josie, the daughter of the town’s wealthiest businessman, faces problems at home and wishes to leave home, but is disorientated. Her decision is finalized after she falls asleep in a Target dressing room, and awakes to find that she is locked in the store overnight with the janitor, Jim, the town “no hoper” and liar. A decision to go to L.A. is established, but first they must get through the night. A relationship develops, only to be interrupted by a break in by two petty criminals.

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My Opinion:

Okay. I suppose it’s about time I finally do another review for this big blogathon I’ve organized (as well as the review I did with Eric for Weird Science, which you can read HERE). I should start by reviewing all the John Hughes classics that I know & love so well. Truth is, I’m finding it hard to know what to say about those just yet so for now I’ll start with Career Opportunities. I’d never seen this one and watched it about a month ago specifically for this blogathon. The other films I plan to review are my favorites so I probably won’t be re-watching all but a couple of them. However, I also thought I should pick at least one I hadn’t seen at all. Hmm… Not sure if I picked the right one!

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I hate to write a negative review for this blogathon. Clearly I love John Hughes and a lot of his films (especially the teen ones) are very dear to me. I picked this as it seemed like another teen one at least. Unfortunately, it has none of the charm of things like Sixteen Candles or the great characters of things like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I’d say the latter is the one that Career Opportunities is most trying to be. It feels as if Frank Whaley is trying to copy Matthew Broderick’s Bueller & Jon Cryer’s Pretty In Pink Duckie but he truly lacks that special something that both those actors brought to their roles. And he’s just not a very well-written character. He’s a bit of a loser who’s going nowhere with his life and you don’t really care if he succeeds or not. The same goes for Jennifer Connelly’s character. Again, I don’t think it’s a very well-written character as you don’t care at all what happens to her. She’s a spoiled rich girl who contemplates shoplifting to rebel against her wealthy father & miserable wealthy life.

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So these two not-very-likeable characters end up locked in a Target store overnight & do fun things like ride around on roller skates and of course quickly develop feelings for each other until, out of the blue, two burglars show up (which feels completely pointless & out of place). Actually, the whole plot seems pretty pointless and I’m not sure if they even knew where to go with the story. It’s a really short film as it is – I guess they were just killing some time adding in a couple burglars (who felt a little like Home Alone’s bandits without all the fun slapstick, come to think of it). Meh. It’s not the worst film I’ve ever seen but, a month later, it’s shocking how little of it I even remember.

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I will say this, and I’m not saying it to be immature or gain male followers (mainly I’m just trying to make this review a bit longer as there’s nothing else I can really say about this film): I never knew Jennifer Connelly had such big boobs! Seriously – they’re huge in this! (Also never fully realized that she DOES indeed have a unibrow – funny how girls didn’t worry about that in the 80s & early 90s…). Anyway, apparently guys have realized this (I’m a girl – I don’t tend to obsess over boobs) because all the pictures I could really find when looking for ones for this review were of her in the tight white top she wears.

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Oh! And…. There’s a scene where she rides one of those toy horses you put money in and this is also apparently a well known scene amongst Internet pervs as there are photos & animated gifs of this all over the place! (She rides it in front of the burglars while trying to seduce them). She rides it a pretty long time for the film’s 83 minute long running time. So… this movie isn’t really worth watching AT ALL unless you’re a boy who likes to watch pretty girls with big boobs suggestively riding toy horses. *CPD sits back & watches the guest reviews of this one come pouring in from the male readers* 😉

My Rating: 4.5/10

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**I’d just like to say that, even though this John Hughes Blogathon is going on, I haven’t stopped watching movies. So far, you can expect reviews from me in April for Night Of The Creeps, Bernie & Non-Stop. And of course more IMDB Top 250 Guest Reviews. As Non-Stop is a current film, I’ll give you my rating! Hmm… 5.5/10. So… Just a little better than Career Opportunities! But without the sexy big-boobed horse writhing, er… Riding. 🙂

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Stoker (2013) Review

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Stoker

Directed by Park Chan-wook

Produced by:
Ridley Scott
Tony Scott
Michael Costigan

Written by Wentworth Miller

Starring:
Mia Wasikowska
Matthew Goode
Nicole Kidman
Dermot Mulroney
Jacki Weaver

Music by Clint Mansell

Running time: 99 minutes

Plot Synopsis:

India Stoker’s beloved father dies in a car accident on her 18th birthday. Soon after, the mysterious Uncle Charlie comes to stay with India and her cold & distant mother. India never even knew her father had a brother and she starts to suspect that Uncle Charlie may not be all he seems.

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My Opinion:

First of all, thanks to everyone for voting when I asked which film I should review next. Stoker was the winner.

I think it’s pretty well known that the inspiration for Stoker was Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow Of A Doubt. Being a pretty big Hitchcock fan and having just watched that one this year (review HERE), I can certainly see how similar the films are and how much Wentworth Miller clearly must love Shadow Of A Doubt. As to be expected, though, it’s not as good as Hitchcock’s film.

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I missed Stoker when it was in cinemas and I was so mad because it looked interesting & I really wanted to see it. But as it wasn’t Fast & Furious 23 or some shit like that, it was only on for one week at my local cinema. So, anyway, after fellow movie geeks seemed to love it despite some not so great reviews I think I had probably hyped it up too much in my mind & that may be why I was a little disappointed with the film.

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I’ve never seen Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy and had wanted to do this review along with that one but just haven’t had time to watch it. I’m assuming it’s a better film with all the best bits of Stoker, like some great visuals and all that director-y stuff that I know nothing about, but with a better story. Stoker looked great & it had this wonderful creepy atmosphere that I really liked. But the overall story wasn’t all that shocking or original and, with a different director, I think it would be a very forgettable film.

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I also think everyone did fine in their roles but no one really blew me away.
Mia Wasikowska was fine but I think plenty of other actresses could have played the role too. Matthew Goode has this insane look going on in his eyes so I think he was right for the role but, again, I think there are others who could have played Uncle Charlie and I can’t help but say that Joseph Cotten was a creepier Uncle Charlie in Shadow Of A Doubt. At least the character of India in Stoker has much more depth than Hitchcock’s Charlie, niece of the uncle with the same name. Nicole Kidman is also fine but she always is – I didn’t really feel like we were seeing anything new from her here.

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Overall I just found the story too predictable. It was too much “style over substance” for me. I don’t think it was bad but, if you’re going to make a film so clearly inspired by Hitchcock, I think you need to do a better job on the suspense in the film. You’re not going to top the Master in that regard but there are other films that have achieved a growing sense of anxiousness more than Stoker does, which never exactly had me on the edge of my seat.

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Summary:

Stoker is a very atmospheric film that is lovely to look at and one I’m sure that people who know anything about filmmaking would probably appreciate. In the hands of a less talented director (and without a certain shower scene), I think it would be a very forgettable film. It’s a good Hitchcock-inspired mystery but just can’t match his brilliantly suspenseful storytelling. But who can? Although it sounds like I almost hated Stoker, I did actually enjoy it. It’s a solid effort & I appreciate the attempt to make something other than the same old tired mainstream movie in this world full of horrible sequels, remakes, and “Ow, my balls!” comedies. Stoker is worth a watch for film fans but I would hope that everyone will have already seen Hitchcock’s biggest classics first to see the true master of suspense at work.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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And I’m on a Movie Haiku kick again so here’s one for Stoker. Warning if you’ve not seen it – SLIGHT SPOILER:

Strange Uncle Charlie
Masturbating in shower
Hitchcock this is not

Which leads me to two of my lists on which Stoker probably now at least deserves an honorable mention. 😉

My Top Ten Shower & Bath Scenes In Movies

My Top Five Movie Scenes Of Self-Pleasure