Ryan Phillippe

So I was watching the film The Descendants, and I couldn’t help but to laugh my ass off when the grandfather points to Nick Krause’s dumb-ass character and says “I’m going to hit you.” – Then, without any room for discussion he proves to be a man of his word. It got me thinking about some of the other great comedic punches out there, and soon enough I was assigning my wonder into list form. Violence and comedy together at last!

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Back in May, the illustrious Matt Patches put together a list so honest, so compelling, so original, that I had absolutely no choice but to copy it almost totally wholesale to craft my own version. Patches’s list was comprised of eight films his previous girlfriends had forced him to watch that made him who he is today (the list was, of course, titled “8 Movies My Past Girlfriends Forced Me to Watch That Made Me Who I Am Today” because we here at FSR are nothing if we are not succinct). The list, while interesting on a purely cinematic basis, also said something surprisingly deep about the nature of relationships themselves – mainly when it comes to the all-important element of compromise. Patches, a gentleman and a scholar, found some compelling honesty in his consistently sweet tales of cinematic (and romantic) discovery. My list starts off with a film that made me realize my first boyfriend was possibly also interested in other men. That’s just the sort of list this is. Here are seven movies that seven different suitors all “forced” me to watch at different points in my (admittedly still young) cinematic life. More than any individual lesson each film taught me, together the list forms one giant reminder of what I love best about going to the movies – endless possibility. Take a peek at my list after the break, and then feel free to pipe in with any films that someone made you watch that ultimately changed your […]

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It seems like somebody working for the upcoming NU Image/Millenium production Straight A’s has been burning up the phone today trying to get word out about the project. So far Variety has come out with not one, but two casting reports for the film. First, a little bit about what the movie is. James Cox, who has not done much, but is probably best known for his last film, 2003’s Wonderland, is set to direct. The script, from writer Dave Cole, is about a man who has been in and out of rehab for a decade, and who is haunted by the ghost of his dead mother. This pesky old ghost continually gripes at him that he needs to seek out his family and make amends with the people that he turned his back on long ago. Armed with a cache of pills and weed, this man makes his way back to his hometown of Shreveport to spend some time with his brother and his brother’s wife, who still pines after our main character, as he was her first love. Oh what a tangled web we weave.

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The last few weeks have been emotionally exhausting and utterly surreal for me, and visiting with some of my favorite movies for advice has been a big help in moving forward. Of course this isn’t the same as talking with a good friend or crying into a whole box of Dunkin Donuts Munchkins (with sprinkles!), but sometimes the stories unfolding on screen just make you feel better in a way talking and eating just can’t. All my time watching movies has taught me if a heartbroken soul can get through it, head held high and sane, so can I. But where do we draw the line between real and too real when it comes to romance and sex in film? Sex complicates, but does it also have to destroy the lives involved? In Cruel Intentions, sex is used as a key element in an emotionally manipulative game between Kathryn and Sebastian, whereas in Y Tu Mama Tambien sex leaves best friends confused about their future, and in Blue Valentine sex brings upon the end of a relationship representing so many couples before and after. In each of these films, the act itself is both poignant and flawed, and no one walks away uninjured.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr starts a new regimen of drugs that comes in a clear little pill. The guy on the street corner told him that it would unlock the full potential of his mind, and he assured Kevin it was FDA approved. Why would this guy lie to him? While waiting for the drugs to kick in, Kevin decided to take a trip across the American southwest and search for skinny little aliens with fat man voices. He knows he’s safe, even if he’s picked up by the cops, because he’s retained a dead-sexy lawyer who runs his practice out of the back of his Lincoln Town Car.

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Universal Pictures has released yet another red band trailer for MacGruber, the Saturday Night Live sketch turned badass action movie that made its unfinished debut at SXSW this year.

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Bad guy steals nuclear weapon. Government calls in a top secret operative. A Saturday Night Live sketch is stretched to its limits.

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SXSW Film 2010

Anyone who said they saw a big screen production in the future of Will Forte’s MacGruber sketch from Saturday Night Live, would probably be lying…or they would probably be Lorne Michaels. I don’t know if I was ever on board for this one in the beginning… but as soon as I saw Jorma Taccone was attached as writer and director, I was pretty much sold.

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macgruber

They weren’t kidding about this MacGruber movie. In fact, we now have evidence of just how not kidding they are…

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kilmer-phillipe-1.jpg

Someone still thinks that this MacGruber movie is a good idea. I blame them for the upcoming apocalypse.

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franklyn_header

As you’ve come to expect, our radar for films has a rather far and wide reach, so it’s hard to say that a film ever really comes out of nowhere. So while Franklyn didn’t come out of nowhere, it is certainly a nice surprise.

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Stop-Loss

Although the picture is occasionally compelling and has hints of honesty, the script by Pierce and co-writer Mark Richard is a one-way ticket to nowhere.

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Stop-Loss

I am getting so tired of these movies about the war in Iraq. But Hollywood isn’t. And they are doing exactly what they’re accusing George W. Bush of doing – not listening to the American people. But like John Stewart pointed out at the Oscars, it’s Hollywood’s job to stay the course and keep making these movies. [Grade: C-]

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I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of these war movies. If only I could have drank when I saw the movie. Everyone else does in the film, so why can’t you?

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When director Kimberly Peirce took the stage, she called Stop Loss a tribute to the troops. Considering her own brother is a soldier in Iraq, why would she make them all look like incompetent, drunk messes of human beings?

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It’s not every day that you get to have a conversation with a real filmmaker. And no, your loser brother who got rejected from film school (and now writes for a semi-reputable website about movies) doesn’t count.

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