Sex, Lies, And Videotape (1989) Review

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Sex, Lies, And Videotape (1989)

Directed & Written by Steven Soderbergh

Starring: James Spader, Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher, Laura San Giacomo

Running time: 100 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A sexually repressed woman’s husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything.

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My Opinion:

This should probably be one of my mini-reviews with a couple of other movies but I’ve not had time to write anything for the blog yet this week so… here’s just one quickie! And I guess you can take that in a dirty way since I’m talking about yet another movie where James Spader is being a kinky bastard. What’s with that guy?!

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Look at that awesome 1989 hair…

I didn’t see Sex, Lies, And Videotape at the time. I have to say that it looks SO late 80s/early 90s now. Especially Andie MacDowell’s clothes! What an ugly time (but I’ll always love that time as I was in my teens then). Well, I was too young to watch this at the time anyway so I’m sure I appreciated it a bit more seeing it for the first time now as an adult. I quite liked it, actually! Although I’m not sure why. I found Spader creepy, as always, but this time there was a sexy sort of creepiness going on. Yeah. Did I just type that? Gross. I mean, I liked his character for a change. He wasn’t an asshole like in Pretty In Pink. I’ve hated him ever since that movie! But here he just seemed misunderstood, I guess, and somehow managed to be a sympathetic character despite the fact that he videotapes women talking about their sexual desires & stuff and then watches the videos over and over again like a filthy perv.

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Seriously, though – Spader’s character was the most likeable person in this. I also thought Laura San “Cinder-fuckin-rella” Giacomo was really good as the dirty slut. I don’t mean that in a nasty way – I mean that these two did a good job in their roles and were the best things about the movie. Andie MacDowell was of course crap as usual (how was she in so many movies?!) but I really liked her unusual relationship with Spader’s character. Finally, we have Peter “Eyebrows” Gallagher as MacDowell’s husband. I hate this guy. Maybe he’s a lovely person in real life but has he ever played someone who wasn’t an asshole? I’m too lazy to go look. I don’t think he’d be able to play anything else – he just has an asshole face. I’m really glad he & MacDowell are probably far too busy to read my blog…. 😉 Well, they’re married to each other in this and don’t have sex – I guess they did a good job playing a married couple who really shouldn’t be married to each other.

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I’m really not selling this movie to anyone, am I?? Lol. It’s definitely not for everyone but I think it was a good exploration of relationships and how we behave differently with different people. Like I said, Spader & San Giacomo were really good and I liked the story, although it was a pretty simple one. I’d even go so far as to say this may be my favorite Soderbergh movie that I’ve seen. Let’s see… I’ve not seen a lot. I thought Side Effects was pretty good, Magic Mike sucked ass BIG TIME, Erin Brockovich was overrated, Out Of Sight was underrated, The Limey was okay, and Contagion was meh. Oh yeah – I forgot about Ocean’s Eleven! That was fun & I remember really enjoying it but I’ve not watched it since, so…. Yeah, I’ll say that Sex, Lies, And Videotape is actually my favorite Soderbergh film that I’ve seen. And mullet-head Spader was kind of creepy sexy.

That was a fairly long quickie. Here’s my rating!

My Rating: 7/10

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Check out the Polish poster for this:

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Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015) Review

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***SPOILER FREE REVIEW***

Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015)

Directed by Joss Whedon

Based on The Avengers by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Starring:
Robert Downey Jr.
Chris Hemsworth
Mark Ruffalo
Chris Evans
Scarlett Johansson
Jeremy Renner
Don Cheadle
Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Elizabeth Olsen
Paul Bettany
Cobie Smulders
Anthony Mackie
Hayley Atwell
Idris Elba
Stellan Skarsgård
James Spader
Samuel L Jackson

Running time: 141 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.

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My Opinion:

I enjoy superhero movies. I go to them all (usually as soon as I possibly can after they come out). They’re fun! But then I kind of forget about them… I realized while watching Age Of Ultron that I rarely watch most superhero movies ever again after that first viewing in the cinema/theater. There’ve been a few exceptions – I watched The Dark Knight twice, the first couple X-Men movies at least twice, and of course Superman & Burton’s Batman several times. I really should have re-watched the first Avengers film before going to this one because I barely remember it. I think I’m a little superheroed out. I have a pretty good memory when it comes to movies (I mean, I’m a movie blogger after all) but I know I must not be too into these countless Marvel films when I keep having to ask my hubby questions during them. Things like “who’s THAT?” to which he rolls his eyes & replies “only someone who’s been in most the Marvel films so far!”. Also, as I always have to say in these superhero movie reviews, I ONLY have knowledge of the films. God – I can’t even keep all those straight in my mind! I can’t imagine actually reading the billions of comic books as well.

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So now that we know where I stand on these types of movies (I like them & have a lot of fun with them but wouldn’t say I love most of them), we can move on to what I liked & disliked about Avengers: Age Of Ultron. I did a super-short mini-review of the first Avengers movie HERE when I did a roundup of all the films I’d seen in 2012 (I see I ranked it as the 9th best film that year & gave it a 7.5/10). I’ll say I think Age Of Ultron is the better film overall. It drags a little in the middle but the second half is much better than the first half & I think it’s a better finale than in the first film. It’s close, though – I think people may be pretty evenly divided on which they prefer. Also, I thought they actually did a pretty damn good job on character development in this one considering just how many characters are in this thing. It must have been hard to get the balance right between that & all the kick ass action but I think they did very well. What I really liked is that they spent more time on the characters we don’t know as well from a million other movies (Hawkeye, Black Widow & Hulk) and I enjoyed their stories quite a bit (especially Hawkeye’s). Don’t worry – you still get loads of time with the others as well but we already know a lot about them from their own films. I’d have liked a little more focus on Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver but, like I said, there are so many characters that you can’t expect anything too in-depth with each of them in only 2 hours & 21 minutes.

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I guess I didn’t really list anything I disliked about this movie. Well, I suppose I didn’t really dislike much. I wasn’t crazy about Ultron’s voice but that’s because I’m old (that asshole in Pretty In Pink?!). It did feel a little overlong plus it didn’t really pick up until (a character who is on one of the posters but I still won’t name in case it’s a spoiler to some of you) showed up (he was great). There’s some light humor between the characters as always, which is fun (especially a bit involving Thor’s mighty Mjölnir). Speaking of Thor & his big Hammer, I was once again very distracted every time his bare arms were on screen. Chris Hemsworth is so insanely beautiful. Too pretty, really. Maybe it’s why my mind goes all loopy during these movies & I never fully know what the hell is going on. I’m just going to wrap this thing up – I’m picturing those arms again now & I can’t think straight.

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Summary:

If you love all the Marvel films & you loved the first Avengers film, you’ll love this one too. It’s, well, the same thing again. Which is fine… It’s a formula that clearly works. But I have to say I kind of prefer some of the individual films as, while it’s loads of fun seeing all the superheroes together, I like seeing & knowing more about each of their individual stories. I probably almost like the first Iron Man movie & maybe even Captain America: The Winter Soldier more. At least, I think they’re probably better films than either of the Avengers movies but they’re not quite as flashy or cool. We’re talking about superheroes, though, not the Oscars – flashy & cool is sometimes okay too. Avengers: Age Of Ultron has proven one thing to me, though – I really did LOVE Guardians Of The Galaxy. That felt unique instead of the same old superhero movie once again. I think it’s time I do a massive update of my Top Ten Superhero Movies because there will be a lot of changes. Age Of Ultron will make the ten but I’m not sure where. However, Guardians Of The Galaxy will be at number one. Sorry, Age Of Ultron! You were loads of fun. Thanks for entertaining me but I won’t remember much of you in a year. You’re still one of the better films in this genre, though.

My Rating: 7/10

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Is There A Scene After The Credits? Like, duh. It’s a Marvel film. However, there’s ONLY a mid-credits scene & nothing at the very end. However, do not take my word on this, Americans! We may have gotten this movie a week before you but we’ve been screwed out of end credits scenes in the past (the end credits scene from the first Avengers film wasn’t shown in the UK). There have been rumors & supposedly leaked footage of an end credits scene that wasn’t the one I saw here in the UK.

Does Thor take his shirt off once again? Yes. Yes he does. However, it’s not at all gratuitous like it was in his own films. He is, however, soaking wet while shirtless. But there’s no lingering shots. It’s quick. Too quick. I’ll have to buy the Blu-Ray…

What were we talking about again??

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Pretty In Pink (1986) Guest Review

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This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Rob of Movie Rob. 🙂 Thanks again, Rob! Let’s hear his thoughts on Pretty In Pink

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“We don’t have none of this stuff in the boy’s room! Wait a minute! We don’t got none of this… we don’t got doors on the stalls in the boy’s room, we don’t have, what is this? What’s this? We don’t have a candy machine in the boy’s room!” – Duckie

Number of Times Seen – 1 (12 Mar 2014)

Brief Synopsis – A poor high school girl is pursued romantically by a rich kid and also has a best friend who is in love with her. She must decide between the two.

My Take on it – I can’t even explain why I’ve never gotten around to seeing this one being that I am a big fan of most of John Hughes’ 80’s teen movies.

Because of this blogathon, I was inspired to finally watch it and I must admit that I somewhat regret never having seen this back when I was a teenager myself.

What’s good about that now is that Hughes was so adept at making us feel as if we were a character in the movie whether it meant spending Saturday in detention, taking a day off of school to have fun or even wanting to be part of the popular crowd that watching this movie made me feel as if I was once again back in High school in the 80’s.

I always liked the Molly Ringwald kinda girls and hated the preppy guys so I could relate. I could probably actually compare myself in some ways to Duckie since I was always friendly with a number of girls in my class who I had hoped would eventually turn into something (but never did) and ultimately felt spurned when they would one night talk about how much they hated so and so and then a few days later would be going out with him.

Never could understand that. (still don’t cause none of them ever married those guys)

John Hughes himself was very upset about the fact that the studio forced an ending of the movie on him that he didn’t want. I agree that this ending was not what I had hoped for. This actually lowers this movies rating a bit for me.

The cast for this movie is filled with numerous up and coming young brat packers; Molly Ringwald, Andrew McCarthy, John Cryer, James Spader and Gina Gershon.

Nice cameo by the Diceman, Andrew “Dice” Clay.

Bottom Line – A pretty good Hughes film that once again perfectly captures the high school mood and makes us feel like we are back in time to our teens years. Great cast of brat packers who still are around 30 years later.
Recommended!

Rating – Globe Worthy

Pretty In Pink (1986) Review

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Pretty In Pink (1986) by Me! Cinema Parrot Disco finally wrote another review for this blogathon!

Directed by Howard Deutch

Written by John Hughes

Starring:
Molly Ringwald
Harry Dean Stanton
Jon Cryer
Annie Potts
James Spader
Andrew McCarthy
Kate Vernon
Andrew Dice Clay
Kristy Swanson
Alexa Kenin
Dweezil Zappa
Gina Gershon

Plot Synopsis:
Romeo And Juliet. With 80’s Hipsters.

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My Opinion:

You all know I love my John Hughes teen films but I’ve never loved Pretty In Pink QUITE to the same degree as The Breakfast Club or Sixteen Candles (my review for that HERE). I re-watched this a few days ago for the first time in years to see if my opinion would change. It didn’t, really, but I still appreciate two of the best characters that John Hughes created (Jon Cryer’s Duckie & Annie Potts’ Iona). And, as usual, some classic quotable lines that Hughes always did so well.

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I think the main problem is that I never could fully relate to these characters. The main theme here, “rich vs poor”, isn’t something I really experienced in my extremely tiny Midwest American town. The (three!) families in town who had a bit of money still weren’t exactly rich by big city standards. High school popularity was based, mainly, on things like being good at sports. And I suppose sluttiness. So… I really had no chance at popularity either way. 😉

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As for the “original hipster” look of Andie & Duckie’s clothes… Again, I couldn’t relate. I’d like to say I had the balls to dress like that back in high school (well, except for her ugly ass prom dress at the end) but dressing like that in my little farming community would have made me an outcast. Individuality wasn’t considered a good thing! For today’s teenagers, however, I’d want them to watch something like Pretty In Pink & realize that being a “Duckie” really is the way to be. Don’t conform, teeny boppers! Did I just say teeny boppers?? God I’m old…

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Molly Ringwald is okay here, even if I can’t fully relate to her. If I had to choose the Hughes Ringwald character I was most like as a teen, it would be the socially awkward Samantha in Sixteen Candles. But at least in this one she’s possibly the strongest character in that she does stand up a bit to the rich bitches (but still gets too silly over a boy). And she’s not an annoying popular snob like in The Breakfast Club (who can relate to that??). But, as mentioned before, it’s Duckie & Iona who really make this a better film overall. Unfortunately, for me, the biggest thing that doesn’t work in Pretty In Pink is the romance.

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I mean… Andrew McCarthy?? Reaaaaaally? I’ve never understood having a thing for him. Give me Jake Ryan any day! Plus Ringwald & McCarthy just have zero chemistry here. Unlike with Duckie. So… Okay – everyone knows the ending to this but I still feel like I shouldn’t come right out & say it. But I think it’s pretty widely known that most people weren’t happy with the ending. Well, that’s why Hughes went on to make (the Pretty In Pink remake, basically) Some Kind Of Wonderful which I think isn’t quite as good of a film but I still prefer in many ways. I’ll review that next week. As for Pretty In Pink, I do still like it A LOT as it’s typical of the Hughes way of writing that I loved so much but the overall story & the romance just don’t quite speak to me in the way they did in his other teen films. Oh, and great use of things like New Order. As always, John Hughes knew how to choose the right music for his movies!

My Rating: 8/10

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Pretty In Pink (1986) Guest Review

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This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Kim of Tranquil Dreams. Thanks for being a part of this blogathon, Kim! Let’s see what she thought of Pretty In Pink. 🙂

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Pretty in Pink (1986)

Director: Howard Deutch

Writer: John Hughes

Cast: Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy, Harry Dean Stanton, Annie Potts, James Spader

Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) is a poor girl living with her father (Harry Dean Stanton), a man that dwells in the past and won’t accept the fact that his wife has left him. She is smart, gets good grades and works at a records store for an eccentric owner, Iona (Annie Potts). The school she goes to is above her level in society and for this, she is usually made fun of along with her childhood friend, Duckie (Jon Cryer). Duckie has had the longest crush on her but is scared to express his feelings, however, when she starts falling for a rich guy called Blane (Andrew McCarthy), he feels betrayed. However, Blane and Andie are also encountered by problems of their own on a social level and to find a balance to be accepted in each other’s world.

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I’m going to confess right here and now that I’m a total newbie to John Hughes. Although, I mean I knew about his movies before I knew about him. Home Alone was kind of my thing when I was a kid and probably for the rest of the kids in my generation. But, full on John Hughes writing and all, I have to admit, Table 9 Mutant is the one who woke me up to it by first introducing me to Sixteen Candles and the very awesome Jake Ryan. So, Pretty in Pink seemed like the good choice to review for her John Hughes Blogathon.

Enough of my rambling, Pretty in Pink is a fun movie. Its not quite so well-written as Sixteen Candles if I had to put them next to each other but its still a good watch. The story is somewhat of an 80s version of a Cinderella story with a twist. Despite that, it targets also the social differences between class and money. For that, it deserves a lot of praise.

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What really works for me in this has to be the characters though. Molly Ringwald is awesome in her role as Andie Walsh. After watching her in Sixteen Candles and this one, there is undeniably something very special about her as a young actress. She captures this really nice charm in all her characters. At the same time, the guys in this are pretty great also. Jon Cryer plays Duckie, Andie’s best friend who has this massive crush on her. He is that dorky, nerdy, weird/awkward boy that does all these silly things but never gets the girl but somehow, he’s funny and supportive and that makes me want to cheer for him even though I knew the other guy would get the girl. The other guy is Blane, played by Andrew McCarthy. I spent a good bit of the first part when he appears thinking if I thought he was cute. Something about the way he looks at Andie that makes me really adore him. Its because of that, it builds the chemistry between him and Andie’s relationship.

Pretty in Pink is not the best John Hughes movie but it definitely has some lovable characters (or even relate to). Its a nice take on the poor girl meeting the rich boy and going through all the difficulties not step mother related but rather the bigger realistic issue of friends and social class. I’d still say its worth the watch and I’d totally recommend it 🙂

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