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Below are the 11 most recent journal entries recorded in Movie Brain's LiveJournal:

Saturday, July 27th, 2002
12:47 am
Lovely & Amazing
As much as I adore Catherine Keener, I can only say her latest was just Likable & Okay.

I somewhat think that my expectations of this movie were too high going in. Aside from the lovely Catherine Keener, L&A also features Jake Gyllenhaal, who was amazing in last year's Donnie Darko. The performances were good, especially Brenda Blethyn as Jane, the insecure mother of failed artist Michelle (Keener), failing actress Emily (Elizabeth Marks) and the adopted Annie (Raven Goodwin).

An early scene, which displayed Michelle's life like a botany experiment, blew me away. As she unsuccessfully tries to sell her artwork (small chairs made of twigs) to an midrange boutique, she runs into a woman she hasn't seen since high school. In just a few exchanges of dialogue, we learn that the former classmate is a busy pediatrician, while Michelle is still mired in arts and crafts. The matter-of-fact display of success and failure is stunning, but had me prepared for a movie where all the scenes would be as good as this one.

The final scene, final shot actually, is perhaps the other tentpole that holds the movie up. It consisted of a wordless, meticulous display of love and affection from a daughter to a mother, which was what much of the movie obviously built towards.

Lovely and Amazing is not a bad movie, it's just not everything the title claims to be.
Saturday, July 6th, 2002
12:08 am
Hav Plenty
I forgot to mention that I watched Hav Plenty today. Netflix rental, ya know.

I really wanted to like this movie more, but early on I was distracted by what seemed to be very unpolished performances. It seemed as though the actors never got a chance to rehearse the material, probably only having enough time to get blocking done before "action" was yelled. Also, there were several spots where the words really felt false and out of character for some people.

Kudos to writer/director/star Christopher Scott Cherot for getting the (quite witty) story sold, but maybe some time should have been put towards polishing the script and rehearsing the actors?

Or maybe I was just too distracted by CSC and Reginald James.
Friday, July 5th, 2002
11:12 pm
The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys
Boy, does this title really sum up this movie.

Tim Sullvan (Kieran Culkin) and Francis Doyle (Emile Hirsch) are a pair of cartooning Catholic schoolboys. They suffer under the tutilage of Sister Assumpta (Jodie Foster), finding solace in their original (and obscene) comic book, The Atomic Trinity. When their comic is discovered by Sister Assumpta, which puts their enrollment in jeopardy, Sullivan becomes the ringleader in a scheme to retrieve the book and make them legends among their peers.

I must admit that I feel just a tad bit generous towards this movie because it was partially filmed in Wilmington, NC, but even if it wasn't, I still would have enjoyed it muchly. The performances of the lead boys, along with Jena Malone (as one of the boys' girlfriend) are natural and sincere, and the writing assures us that these are young boys, not just youngsters with the words of grownups in their mouths.

Todd McFarlane of "Spawn" fame provides animated interstitials which illustrate Francis's thoughts while drawing parts of the Atomic Trinity. These sequences also nicely parallel the events of the boys' lives.

(4/5 Hail Marys)
Saturday, June 15th, 2002
4:32 pm
My Big Fat Greek Night
Quick one.

I just got back from seeing My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It was soooooo cute and fun! I love those cute widdle indy comedies. Nia Vardalos writes and stars as Toula Portokalos, a frumpy waitress in her family's restaurant. She decides to make a change in her life, which starts as a way to fend off the "get married" vibes from her parents. Along the way she meets and falls in love with Ian Miller (John Corbett), who, to the chagrin of her parents, is not Greek. Hilarity, of course, ensues.

This movie seems to tread well-worn territory, but does so with such a fresh look that it's all new, exciting and funny again. Much of the humor comes from the various eccentricities of Toula's family, who are thankfully never played as outright cartoons. There is nothing but heart in this film. Andrea Martin (whom I love, love, love) plays Toula's Aunt Voula as only Andrea Martin could.

And there's even an NSync-er in the movie.
Tuesday, April 9th, 2002
3:00 pm
Thursday, February 21st, 2002
10:40 am
Movie Merger: New Community
I was bored, so I created this new LJ community based off a game I used to plan on Movie Brain which was stolen from a TT thread of yore. It's called moviemerger and should prove to be lots of fun once things really get going.

The rules are pretty easy: Merge the titles of two movies, then post a description of that movie that allows the other community members to guess the merged titles. Here are some examples (I make no claims to their quality):

Read more...Collapse )
Thursday, June 28th, 2001
9:59 am
Super-Toys Last All Summer Long ... this is the short story that the upcoming movie AI is based upon.
Saturday, March 24th, 2001
6:04 pm
Not much of a content update, but I decided to put up *all* the movies I saw in past years, along with their "out of 5" ratings. I've really been slacking in writing reviews and with this year, I have only seen 4-5 movies ... and March is almost over.

Oscars are tomorrow night.
Sunday, January 21st, 2001
6:25 pm
Minimal updates: Added a link to The Z Review on the Links page and updated various reviews.
Sunday, December 31st, 2000
1:04 pm
Coming Attractions: Movie Brain's 10 Best Films of 2000...
Sunday, January 14th, 2001
2:37 pm
Movie Brain Site News updated to take advantage of LiveJournal technology.
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