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john tucker must die


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Not only was my glamorous reviewer friend Jason kind enough to extend a press pass to me for an advance screening of ‘John Tucker Must Die’, but he was also delightful enough of an acquaintance to grant me a compliment.

“Ooo, fancy. What’s up with the dress?” Jason queried, “You going to the prom or something?”

“In point of fact, I shall be attending the prom, on the arm of John Tucker,” I snootily replied.

“You bitch! John Tucker is mine!” Jason screamed.

“Whores! I’m the slutty one!” yelled the middle-aged, balding man in front of us in line.

“Lying is bad!” we all chorused. “Food fight!”

If you think this review is simply too incomprehensible for words, than I don’t recommend seeing ‘John Tucker’ the movie either.

Whether it was Sophia Bush, fresh from her brief-marriage-to-Chad-Michael-Murray fame, being a slutty vegan activist or Ashanti, I liked her in ‘Bride & Prejudice’ but really not in the ‘Muppets Wizard of Oz’, being an aggressive head-cheerleader, OR Arielle Kebbel, Dean’s wife from ‘Gilmore Girls, anyone?, being an overachiever (and apparently Maxim’s 2005 95th Hot 100)–this movie had many low points. Most of which stemmed from the casting of Brittany Snow, the precocious teenage daughter from ‘American Dreams’, as the female lead, Kate.

Notwithstanding the fact that her on-screen mom was played by Jenny McCarthy and thus she should be cut a little slack right from the beginning, Snow is just not that good of an actress. Or eye candy. Hell, her similarly TV-morphing-into-movies co-star from ‘American Dreams’, Vanessa Lengies, did a better job in ‘Stick It’. At least when Lengies says, “They’re not called gym-NICE-tics”, I could believe her acting skills unlike Snow’s, “I didn’t have a pen.”–in response to the sexy gardener from ‘Desperate Housewives’, (Jason Metcalfe), asking why she didn’t call him after he spouted his phone number over the school’s intercom system for her.

Admittedly, the first 20 minutes were not half bad. Quite intelligently funny, really, but I gave up almost all hope when the secondary male lead appeared singing Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles’ song from ’10 Things I Hate About You’–‘I want you to want me’–and even having Ledger’s hair. The blatant rip off of this and the utilization of the song again at the end clinched the desperate nature of ‘John Tucker Must Die’ trying to be funny, trying to be a parody, trying to be good and failing. Like a whipped boy in a thong, I give this movie…squished balls, the gift that keeps on giving.


stick it


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from the arty-farty world of international film festivals to the brightly candy-colored, teeny-bopper thrill of ‘stick it’–gymastics’ answer to the cheerleading delight of ‘bring it on’. this is me, living on the raggedy edge. it’s by the same writer as ‘bring it on’. also ‘aquamarine’. stupid mermaid movie.

‘stick it’ (that link comes with music) is amazingly obnoxious, colorful, slangy, and an utter delight. there’s no real message–other than to be disobediant–but there is a never-ending series of amusing one-liners. one of these is the movie’s un-motto: “I wasn’t great, I was obediant.” said by the main girl. and, hoo boy, she is no longer playing nice. instead, she’s torturing me with voice-overs.

plot: (is this really important?) girl abandons world championships during the floor routine and becomes the most hated gymnast in the world. time passes and she’s now a delinquent kid trashing newly constructed houses while riding her bike in swimming pools. the judge offers her two choices: texas military academy or the VGA. VGA is vickerman’s gymnastics association, a boarding school for gymnasts. her mother’s horror at this option is palpable. and laughable since she can’t act worth shit. judge makes her go to VGA. she goes and is very rude, annoying, has horrid voice-over moments, finally gives into fate and starts training for some upcoming competition. walks out on competition. yes, she’s just that stupid. goes back again, trains for nationals, and then they go to nationals. 4 girls from VGA, which is a record for jeff bridges’ crap gymnast boarding school. they get really pissed at the judges for deducting points from one girl’s routine because her bra strap showed. so they all start defaulting to prove that instead of the judges’ stupid rules, the gymnasts can pick the best competitors. an interesting conceit and not without merit. girl power! rock on, my sistas!

seriously, the angry girl power of this movie is really quite appealing. i even teared up in one part. it was embarrassing. i also kind of liked some of the soundtrack of this too.

some good quotes:

“Why you always got to bite my moment? Taste good?”

“The ‘I hate you sandwich’. Meet the bread.”

“What country are they going to represent? State of delusion?”

“I’m so Sure, I’m practically deoderant.”

“I’ve totally earned my spot, I’m practically a dalmation.”

“Too much rock for one hand, baby.”

“It’s not called ‘gym-nice-tics’.”

“Call me.” “Stalk you.”

“Dude, what’s so bad about being whipped? When is that a bad thing–ever?”




solo dios sabe


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let me just preface this review by saying, jason, you would have loved this movie. you are a fool for not coming. also i am now going to give a complete and utter spoiler about the end of this movie within the review. so if you want to see it with no knowledge of the end you shouldn’t read this. i’ll surround the spoiler paragraph by ** and SPOILER so you could just avoid that one paragraph too if you wanted.

the director of solo dios sabe, carlos bolado, was at the screening christine and i attended at the kabuki on sunday. he won me over pretty much immediately with his overwhelming need to speak with his hands. so there he was, thoughtlessly waving the microphone around in one hand while the other hand gestured in sync–all the while his mouth is moving and potentially interesting observations were issuing forth. we could only hear half of them though when the haphazard microphone strayed close enough to his mouth to pick up a tidbit or two. so crazy adorable, i was in heaven!

the movie itself was pretty much like heaven also as it exceeded my previous hope for it. my only hope having been, “please let diego luna be in it A LOT.” oh thank god for him being one of the two main characters as this meant he was in it practically all the time. heaven. it also exceeded my expectations by actually being really good.

the story line follows dolores (played by the phenomenol alice braga) who loses her passport in mexico (TJ) and needs to go to the brazillian embassy in mexico city to get a new one. diego luna (fuck if i care what his name in the movie was) lives in MC and has been in TJ on a journalism job so they hook up and he is driving her back to MC with him. unbeknownst to her, but known to the whole audience, diego actually has her passport as he found it on the ground. he is concealing this fact from her in order to enjoy her company. anytime diego luna wants to steal my passport, i’ll just hand it to him. no problem.

along the road trip diego’s spirituality becomes apparent while dolores’ lack of faith is equally made known. they become intimate while drunk and alice braga gives the best sex simulation i’ve ever seen. normally watching people have sex in movies does not make me want to immediately go out and have sex with someone. however, alice is a complete sensory overload. honestly. it’s incredible. and she has sex quite a bit in this movie. and is flashing her breasts almost continuosly. christine and i were both in awe at her complete lack of a bra thru the movie.

they get to mexico city and alice calls her mom in brazil to fax a birth certificate and finds out her beloved grandmother has been hit by a car. so then diego gives her the passport so she can fly to brazil and she is pissed that he’s had her passport all the time and ditches him. so far we’ve be in san diego, tijuana, thru mexico to mexico city, and now we’re going to brazil. this movie is spanning all over central and south america in a variety of languages. it’s great. and they’re still going to el salvador too.

*********SPOILER PARAGRAPH**************

the story continues as dolores finds out more about her grandmother’s religion, becomes religious herself, discovers she’s pregnant, diego finds her again, they get together, she gets diagnosed with cancer, decides to have the baby instead of getting the cancer removed, she dies. this is an end you really don’t see coming at the beginning of the movie.

*********SPOILER PARAGRAPH**************

there’s a lot of parallels in this film: between diego and dolores’ spiritual journeys–as dolores finds hers, diego loses his; dolores and her great grandmother’s experiences in childbirth (dolores also does amazing childbirth. she completely made me want to have sex and never have a baby. that is how good she is.); journeys from home, to home, defining home, finding home, etc.

there’s also some incredible imagery and flashback/fore-shadowing flashforward interspersals spaced throughout the film. the film quality occasionally has a super grainy-ness to it which is an interesting technique for the scenes it was part of. the story was good, the two main actors were incredible, and the soundtrack was fucking awesome (otto, interpol, the doves, christine took my list of the other bands carefully culled during the credits, curse her).

so i highly recommend this movie. i find it vaguely interesting how much i liked the first and the last movies i saw at the festival and how moderately unimpressed i was with the other 3. but i still love film festival season and am already eyeing some of the entries in the documentary festival starting in like a week. particularly the dan akroyd UFO one and the japanese male host club one.


hot hot hot!


executive koala

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executive koala was my fourth movie of the film festival and my second asian film. following along with princess raccoon’s utter bizarre-ness, EK’s gesture in the direction of the bizarre was to have some of the characters be animals. or at least humans wearing gigantic animal heads with visible zippers up the back and large furry gloves. this sounds hilarious in print, but after 2 hours of it you begin to develop a feeling that just having the main character in a koala suit does not a movie make.

oh, EK tried to have other filmic qualities. there was a murder mystery, for starters, and some kung fu masters with special powers from korea, but mostly it was just a koala. the guys behind me seemed to think this was all that was necessary to make the film hi-fucking-larious. if their ongoing loud laughter was anything to judge by. and the behemoth escaped from a hagrid audition in front of christine seemed to swell as the night went on. this had nothing to do with the film itself. except for how he blocked my view of the subtitles. technically, i didn’t often need the subtitles since they spoke in some very basic japanese a lot of the time. however, i still cling to subtitles like a crutch and was bobbing and weaving all over the place trying to garner as many letters out of a word as i could. my end result would be something like, “s-, – -m con—-ed t-at the –ala —led his -ir–riend!” and i’d be like, ‘why the fuck are they laughing? how is that funny? murdering your girlfriend is no laughing matter, people! even if SHE JUST WON’T DIE!’

much like princess raccoon again in this respect, the female character had a hard time accepting death and moving on with her afterlife. she just kept coming back with her crazy kimchi kung fu mastery of resusciation.

the movie ended on a lovely note of, “please, baby, come back to me and i promise i’ll never hit you again.” yeah, right crazy koala wife-beater. just put on your minimalist white tank top and show off some more of that hairy costume suit so the guys behind me can have a good laugh at how YOU’RE A KOALA.

i actually enjoyed this movie a little more than my angry diatribe is suggesting. parts of it were genuinly amusing. though not watching the koala’s eye’s blink red while he wavered back and forth in front of the camera for 5 minutes before killing someone (in a dream sequence). which was old halfway thru the first time it was done. sadly they did it like 6 more times. the korean kimchi producer guy was ok. though momo (‘peach’) his squirrel companion stole the fucking movie. and i kind of enjoyed the song and dance at the koala’s trial (dream sequence). the police officer also had his moments. and the office ladies were, at times, delightful.


princess raccoon

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i’m going to completely steal what i already wrote in an email for this movie’s review. totally cheating, but i am doing several of these in a row and it is 3am.

it was fucking bizarre. it would do these weird jump-cuts and it made no linear sense. it was all sort of staged like a kabuki/no play too and so it was all these big stages that looked like stages, with set design and everything. and then they would sing and then it would turn out to be magic or a dream and they’d be back where they were before but not really there either. and the princess tanuki kept dying and being brought back to life by this “frog of paradise” who sang in a high pitched girl-voice, “riiiiiiiibbbbbbit! riiiiiiibbbbbbit! believe in kanon!” so while there it had some boddhisatva action going on it also had italian and portuguese catholics at other parts.

odd? yes. zhang ziyi singing in japanese? not so believable. joe odagiri, the male lead, though is adorable. he was also just in this ninja movie i bought on ebay, ‘shinobi’, which is excellent and he is awesome in. ninjas!

jason and claudine fell asleep during it though. my friend candy and i kept looking at each other going, “what the FUCK is going on in this movie? was that really funny? i just don’t know.” and rachel was giggling at parts that i could tell she thought were funny but which i was suspicious of. possibly it was more parts where zhang ziyi was inexplicably speaking in chinese, and rachel is chinese so understood those bits. the italian and portuguese catholics spoke in italian and portuguese and no one understood them.

on the whole though, i enjoyed it. it was very pretty visually and it was odd enough to hold my attention without being too odd to make me irritated.


art school confidential

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the first half of art school confidential was really good. the second half was predictable.

plot: boy goes to art school to meet the model of his dreams. boy meets girl. girls falls for more jock looking boy. boys make art. girl models for art. people get murdered. art students get lambasted. wacky string of coincidences occur (not so wacky because by this point it’s predictable) and boy takes the fall. girls decides she loves boy after all. jock-boy goes back to his wife. presumably. it all turns out to be a movie within the movie. sort of. well, that part’s lame.

i really liked the first half. it was funny. i dislike how zwigoff lives in san francisco and daniel clowes lives in berkely and neither of them came. lame-asses.

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