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Showing posts from January, 2020

8 Times Adam Driver Was Scarily Relatable in Marriage Story

Noah Baumbach's tearjerker and Best Picture Academy Award nominated Marriage Story tells the painful story of the dissolution of a marriage. Baumbach cleverly reveals Nicole's (Scarlet Johansson) and Charlie's (Adam Driver) marriage story by depicting their divorce story. We join them as things are falling apart, and as it crumbles further, we gain a greater understanding of how these two people have always loved each other, and always will, but how sometimes that's just not enough.

The film has stuck with me because it has so much empathy for Charlie and Nicole. Neither is painted as a villain, because Baumbach seems to understand that love is too complicated for trite designations like that. Instead, we're given two flawed people whose wounds and heartache and selfishness and everything else that weakens their marriage will prevent them from going the distance. There is no winner or loser. It's just crushingly sad, and our hearts ache for both Charlie and Ni…

It Came From the '90s: Showgirls—The Miseducation of Penny

Exploring why the 1995 film Showgirls is an enduring cult classic.
(Due to the film's copious amount of salty language and nudity, these posts are probably NSFW)

If there's one character in Paul Verhoeven's deliciously trashy and impressively thongtastic 1995 classic Showgirls who epitomizes how the Vegas entertainment industry chews up and spits out innocent blood, it's Penny, AKA Hope (Rena Riffel). Poor, poor Penny.

After arriving at Al Torres's (Robert Davi) Cheetah's Topless Club, fresh and new and full of excitement for a career in dance, Penny is immediately and consistently degraded by one character after another, often through the use of very imaginative and colorful language. Her initial naivety is at turns hilarious and depressing. Here's a sampling, from the film's IMDb page, of the way other characters (mostly men) talk to her:

Al Torres : If you want to last longer than a week, you give me a blow-job. First I get you used to the money, then …

Guest Post: Andrew McCarthy's Against the Odds Romances

I'm excited to share a guest post from fellow blogger and film fanatic Gill Jacob, at Realweegiemidget Reviews. As an added bonus, it's about one of my favorite topics: Andrew McCarthy movies! I've been working on a long-gestating post about McCarthy that, fingers crossed, will see the light of the day this year. In the meantime, here are some of Gill's thoughts on Andrew's "against the odds romance" films. If you grew up on his films, you'll find a lot to love about Gill's post. Enjoy!

FILMS… Andrew McCarthy Against The Odds Romances

Heaven help me, 5 Times that Andrew McCarthy won my heart…
As a teen – and for a wee while after that – I confess to having a bit of a crush on Andrew McCarthy, famed for his sensitive roles… and usually falling for a girl but she usually came with some catch!

Frankie Forever

Everybody knows I love Frankie and Johnny. Everybody knows that, hard as it is to choose a favorite, Frankie will always have my heart when it comes to Michelle Pfeiffer characters. So, pardon me if you've heard or read all of this from me before, but here are just a few reasons why I love everything about this beautiful film.

Sometimes you form such a personal connection with a film that you can't even imagine who you would be without it in your life. Frankie and Johnny (1991) is that film for me. It hooked me first time I saw it, thanks to extraordinary performances from the two leads, Michelle Pfeiffer as Frankie and Al Pacino as Johnny; a sensational supporting cast, including Nathan Lane, Kate Nelligan, and Hector Elizondo; that sublime Marvin Hamlisch score; and Terrence McNally's exquisite adaptation of his own off-Broadway play, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune. Together, these elements combine to create something truly magical. I've been living under thi…

On Elizabeth Wurtzel and Writing Authentically

Author, essayist, journalist, and Gen X icon Elizabeth Wurtzel died earlier this week, after several years of living with cancer and its recurrence. She was only 52. For an intimate look at her life, I would encourage you to seek out any number of heartfelt and honest remembrances to this iconoclastic writer, this fierce and uncompromising woman, which are being written this week by friends and colleagues who knew her better than most.

Even for those of us who never knew her, Wurtzel's influence was everywhere, especially during my college years in the epic decade of the nineties, thanks to her first memoir, Prozac Nation, from 1994. I can remember standing against the shelves in some Borders or other, lost in the rawness of her confessional tale of depression. It was raw at a time when raw was not socially acceptable. When it came out, establishment critics at places like the New York Times were ripping her and the book to shreds with reviews that couldn't have been anymore di…

Favorite Films of the 2010s

Top ten lists for movies of the decade were everywhere in December. I even saw one top 200 list! Instead of taking that route, I've chosen to just list a few films from the 2010s that stood out as my favorites of the last decade. Each of these movies blew my mind, touched my soul, and otherwise made it impossible for me to forget them. I don't know if these were the best, but they're some of the movies I remember most from the decade past. These are not reviews, just a brief sentence or two about why I dig each movie, with links to more for those I've written about before. Here they are, presented in no order whatsoever, except of course leading off with a Michelle Pfeiffer film because that's how we roll around here.

mother! (Darren Aronofsky, 2017)
Aronofsky’s absorbing, anxiety-provoking assault on the senses. One of Michelle Pfeiffer’s most scorched earth performances—she deserved ALL the awards. Poor Jennifer Lawrence. “The sink’s not braced!!” Truly stunning.