The Spectacular Now
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this, especially considering that 10 seconds before I left I found out it was rated R + the reasons why and basically went "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" and had to mentally drag myself kicking and screaming to the door. As I said in the other post, the "first time" scene was nudity free and relatively tame - tame enough to air on Grey's Anatomy - but still uncomfortable, much like Grey's Anatomy.
Much worse was a scene that was literally just them repeatedly shouting the M-F word for like two minutes straight to, I guess, empower the girl and encourage her to stand up to her mother? That was almost as much as watching him convince her to start drinking from a flask on the regular. Best way to bond with your boyfriend, right?? He even gives her one of her own for Prom. So romantic!!11!!!
Buuuut, I really love Shailene Woodley, and it was a like a chorus of heavenly angels to get to see her act in something that was not Secret Life of the American Teenager and thus actively painful. She was great. Ironically, her name in this movie was also Amy, and I'm pretty sure it was not a far cry from a non-pregnant version of that character. The guy even looked a little like Ricky, if you squint, so I'm sure some shippers somewhere are having a squealing AU blast over this movie's existence.
Also, Kyle Chandler as a loser drunk with weirdly flat hair is...oddly spectacular.
Where was I going with this? Um. I have no idea. Unpleasant moments, but all in all they added up to a pretty interesting small-town-high-school-romance story, like the movie version of a YA novel, which is the best way to feel about high school movies.
BREAK: speaking of high school movies, I've never seen High School Musical, but oh my god what is this legendary emoting!!
Chris was very excited to show this to me and insisted its hilarity would be spectacular. It is. I actually laughed until I cried the first time, and I still can't make it more than 40 seconds without cracking up. (bonus "THAT'S where that macro is from!" moment)
I feel like this choreography made sense in the practice room, maybe if your intended platform was a stage where you would be a small part of a group and would need big gestures for people in the audience at a distance to see anything. It does not translate well to closeups. But bless Zefron's earnest little heart, he just goes all out for it. It's like someone promised him it would look good on camera and he believed them.
(don't get addicted to the song don't get addicted to the song don't get a DAMN IT) (Voice: I totally bet on it.)
The Iron Lady
It was really weird watching ONTD erupt in joy and celebration when Margaret Thatcher died, because "Didn't Hollywood make a movie about her? Where she seemed like...a hero? Isn't she always mentioned among the really great and influential historical figures? Where is this coming from??" (I did not know anything about her before other than the fact that she was Britain's first female prime minister.)
After considering all sides and taking in a great deal of information from multiple sources, I figure that was just ONTD being Tumblr, and I greatly prefer the movie's celebratory perspective of her life. Mostly, though, it just made me marvel at what a genuinely amazing actress Meryl Streep is. I never really got the hype about her when I was young, but the more I see of her, the more I am actually impressed. I didn't know that the movie was going to be set in the present day with flashbacks and featuring her decline at the center, but my mom even commented on how she not only looked, but moved like a frail old woman with such accuracy you forgot she wasn't actually that age.
Anyway, as far as the movie, definitely recommend! As far as recently-Oscar-nominated historical films set in Great Britain go, I was infinitely more engaged by this than, say, The King's Speech. I loved the scenes with the young blonde version of herself just as much as the later ones.
Perspective going into this movie: aww, remember when Darren Criss & his girlfriend dressed up like these kids for Halloween? (also something about the really attractive vintage children's book covers, but mostly those two looking precious, which seemed like a quality movie endorsement)
Perspective after this movie: WTF did I just suffer through.
It seemed fairly charming at first, if tainted with a tinge of "loser indie film" weirdness (it clings to those films like unpopularity clings to social outcasts in elementary school, I can't explain it). I definitely loved the 60s style of filming for nostalgia purposes, even though I don't like actual old movies. And the eccentric mother was kind of funny.
All that went out the window when they randomly killed the dog in a particularly gruesome manner.
It was the cutest dog, too; do you know how often wirehaired fox terriers turn up? Never, that's how often. WHY.
I mean, the assorted awkward child sexuality later on didn't exactly endear me to the movie, but nothing was worse than the dog, which was just so bizarrely violent and graphic for a movie that really isn't either of those things. And then after the assorted creepiness in the beach scene, things were so incredibly boring that I just kept hoping one of the kids would die instead. It's possible I was motivated by just really loathing the toady kid's face by that point (Darren Criss: the infinitely cuter and more charming khaki scout), but mostly it was the boredom and the increasingly heavy "I'm a quirky weirdo" theme grating on my nerves.
In conclusion, skip the movie and just make up pleasant stories about these cuties watching things together instead:
Meanwhile, I'm about halfway through Dolphin Tale, and it's just making me clasp my hands for joy at this fantastic, fantastic animal story + how to do cute-children-with-mutual-crushes appropriately + Bonus Hot Dad/Marine Wildlife Rescuer Harry Connick Jr., so there's that.