Jennifer Jason Leigh

The Jacket

Year: 2005
Directed By: John Maybury
Written By: Tom Bleeker, Marc Rocco, and Massy Tadjedin

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is a weird movie but when I was in college I saw something in it that I liked.  It does have an interesting story that will keep you guessing but frankly that isn’t really enough now.  This movie has a strange tone to it and an awful music score that creates a mood I’m not able to pinpoint. I can’t figure out if I’m supposed to be sad, scared, confused, or interested at different times throughout the film. There is this one musical note that plays over and over continuously at different stretches throughout the film and it’s just unnerving. When we started this movie I was excited because it had been a long time since we had seen it and I couldn’t remember much about it.  All I remembered was that I liked it enough to buy it and I was looking forward to seeing what it was that I liked about it years ago.

We are now over half way through the movie and I have conceded to Amber.  She has been sitting here the whole time telling me this was a stupid movie and I told her to simply be patient.  She is right, when she’s right she’s right, and in this case I have had to relinquish.  This is a stupid movie, it’s really really stupid.  Yet it has woven a story that I feel compelled to see an end to all the same. Check that, the farther we get into the movie the dumber it all seems.

First of all, despite Back to the Future 2I think the idea of time travel into the future is ridiculous.  The future hasn’t happened yet.  In the already ridiculous idea that time travel exists I think that going forward is totally out of the question.  That’s just a pet peeve and I could be totally wrong about it as well, I’m no physicist. I think that the idea in this movie, that Adrien Brody time travels to the future under the circumstances he is in, is completely ridiculous and I’m wondering what the hell I was thinking when I bought the movie.  The idea of him falling in love with this girl in the future, having sex with her, and then visiting her as a little girl in the present is weird.  In fact that is borderline creepy and possibly toppling over into the full blown pervish zone. This doesn’t even cover all of it but I feel like going deeper would be a waste of my time.  This movie is ridiculous in so many ways that I feel embarrassed and can only chalk it up to ignorance in adolescence as to why we own it.

I have to seriously re-evaluate my opinion of Adrien Brody.  I had reluctantly become a fan over the years but since Splice I just haven’t been sure what to make of him. What is it I came to like about this strange looking guy and the weirdo movie roles he chooses to play? There is a point in this movie when he is talking to Keira Knightley, who plays the adult version of the young girl we met earlier in the film, and he keeps asking her “don’t you remember me?” What he should have been saying was, “look at my nose, you don’t forget one that looks like this, was there any other time in your life you saw an adult male as skinny as me?” How did this guy get into the business of acting anyway and how did he headline so many movies? I will say for the record too, that had Brody not banged the freaky monster in Splice I wouldn’t be so critical of him, or his role in this movie. He has made many films I have enjoyed but I find myself second guessing him now despite his better roles.

As for the rest of the cast I think they all look good on paper but didn’t really fit right in the movie.  I have always only seen Keira Knightley as a poor man’s Natalie Portman.  I was never a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean  movies and outside of that I haven’t seen anything she has done that one would call distinguishing.  She doesn’t do much in this movie distinguishing either simply playing the part of a miserable bitch who had an unfortunate hand dealt her in life.  Kris Kristofferson may have been great as Whistler but otherwise I haven’t been impressed.  In this movie I think he is out of place and has a weird way of doing things as a doctor.  Daniel Craig sure has come a long way in the last eight years from where we saw him in this movie.  I think he was one of the better actors in this movie and I liked his role but he is better than this.  It was early in his transition to an American star and certainly played an important part as a stepping stone for him in that process.  He is a big time actor now and I am a fan of what he has accomplished.  I’m not a fan of his Bond movies but nevertheless think he was a great choice for the role.  Jennifer Jason Leigh plays an important role in the movie and does it well enough but I don’t think she ever really fully reached her potential as an actress.  She was very talented and showed a lot of promise over the years but never really got to the top.  Blink and you will miss him in this movie; Brad Renfro plays a really small but significant part as well.  The boy that America fell in love with after The Client never could really get it together. Unfortunately he died young only a few years after this movie was made.  If I’m not mistaken I think it was a drug overdose that did him in.

This movie gets a relatively high rating on IMDB but take it from me, this is a stupid movie.  If you are reading this as a big fan then by all means leave me an argument in comments and tell me I am wrong.  I at one time too was a fan of this movie so you will find me sympathetic.  If you haven’t seen this movie then don’t waste your time because it’s not worth it.

AMBER’S REVIEW

What. A. Stupid. Movie.

jacket

I hardly even want to write about this poster. I have had a hard time watching anything with Adrien Brody ever since we watched Splice.

Ok. I don’t like the poster. There is this feathery glow around their faces and then it just cuts to another photograph at the bottom. The transition is rough and doesn’t flow well. And I really hate the typography of the title. I think you can be a little less cliché and still put forth a thriller movie vibe. Bad movie, bad poster.

NEXT MOVIE: Jackie Brown (1997)

The Hudsucker Proxy

Year: 1994
Directed By: Joel and Ethan Coen
Written By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, and Sam Raimi

RYAN’S REVIEW

I am a huge fan of the Coen brothers and typically like everything they do.  I actually went out of my way to specifically buy this movie for the blog a year ago.  Having finally reached it at the end of the “H” section on our DVD rack I am disappointed in my decision to make the purchase.  This is a really great movie with all the Coen brothers’ talent on hand, but I just don’t like it.  I don’t know if it’s the time period of the setting, the gloomy look of the movie, or the stars on hand but I just can’t get on board with this one.

I can clearly see how good the movie is, but nothing about it appeals to me.  The fast talking style of most of the characters really displays the talent of the actors playing the parts but I don’t care for it.  Specifically Jennifer Jason Leigh does a wonderful job, and Paul Newman is every bit as talented as he always was.  I have never been a big Tim Robbins fan though, and I loathe that stupid expression he has on his face throughout the whole film.

This movie offers many classic scenes and a story that I’m sure would appeal to many people.  Don’t take my word on this one because it’s a Coen brothers film and they are always worth your time.  On this one anyway I will tell you that my not liking it says nothing about the quality of the film itself.  Despite my opinion of the film I’m going to tell you that it is still worth your time to see it and maybe you will enjoy it more than I did.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I love this movie. I think it is hilarious and true to its makers. The Coen Brothers are known for their very unique style and shtick. You can usually tell you are watching a Coen Brothers movie when the characters are very exaggerated. Think about Marge in Fargo. “O ya, ya say!” This movie stretches it even further. The accents are out there and the actions are out there. Everything is very much Coen Brothers, but stretched out a little further to really tell this story. I love them all, and this one is a great one too. You should see all the Coen Brothers movies. They are definitely two of the greatest movie makers out there today.

And the poster. It feels the theme and time period of the movie. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it either. I really wish they would have just let Tim Robbins take on the poster alone. I think if they would have simplified the poster a little bit, it would feel cleaner and easier to bring people in.

NEXT MOVIE: Hustle & Flow (2005)

Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Year:1982
Directed By: Amy Heckerling
Written By: Cameron Crowe

RYAN’S REVIEW

I have written in several other posts about what it is that makes us love high school movies likes this one and all of that applies to this film.  This is a great movie that I always enjoy watching.  It is a good insight into life in the early 80s and it sports an awesome soundtrack with lots of music from the time period. What I find most interesting about all movies like this is that no matter what time period it comes out of the kids are always doing the same things.  They are doing the same things now only they have headphones in their ears and cell phones in their hands.  The great high school films are timeless despite being a product of their time period.  This movie came out before I was born but it has always spoken to me despite my growing up in a completely different time.

I think this was the best of all Amy Heckerling‘s films by far. I like that certain songs are used multiple times to express the mood of the character on screen. I also really like how she incorporates graffiti from so many locations.  I love when Judge Reinhold is practicing what he will say to his girlfriend in front of a mirror with “BIG HAIRY PUSSY” written on it in giant letters.  I have always liked Reinhold and I think he is really great in this movie.  He is just one part of a great cast though.  Phoebe Cates is great here too, and she has such an awesome topless scene set to “Moving in Stereo” by The Cars. Jennifer Jason Leigh is very much the main character in the film and I think she does a great job but she scares the shit out of me because I have daughters. Sean Penn is so classic in this film, he has gone on to have such a great career but I think many of us will always remember him most as the stoner Jeff Spicoli. Ray Walston is great as Mr. Hand, playing a teacher that reminds us all of a teacher we had ourselves.   Forest Whitaker has a small role as the star football player at Ridgemont.  Also taking an important career step in this film is Nicolas Cage before he was Cage.  He was credited as Nicolas Coppola in this film and was only cast as an extra.  Before his career took off he changed his name to Cage to distance himself from his famous relative Francis Ford Coppola.

There is a lot to like about this 80’s high school flick and it is really fun to watch.  It is a great depiction of life in 1982 and I think that makes it special. They are wearing the crazy 80’s clothes and smoking everywhere. The movie did lead to a television show that ran for a while and Amy Heckerling directed it.  I have never seen it though and don’t know much else about it.  If you haven’t seen this film and have the opportunity I would recommend to anyone.  It is an awesome movie that is more than worth your time.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I totally love this movie. It is a classic movie about teens during a certain time period much like Dazed and Confused. There are so many famous actors in this movie that weren’t yet super famous at the time. The amazing Sean Penn plays the stoner that has pizza delivered to class. This movie is a great one because it takes you back to your own high school days and makes you reminisce. I definitely recommend this one. It is light-hearted and fun; a movie that doesn’t make you think too hard about it.

NEXT MOVIE: Fearless (2006)