Critical MeMe

Time spent watching films, even crappy ones, is time well-spent.

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Location: Missouri, United States
    These aren't comments on ALL of the movies through which I've cried, yawned, laughed, and rolled my eyes, but just about everything I've seen since early 2002 is here plus a few from earlier. Post dates reflect my screening & parenthetical dates are the year of US release (aka Oscar eligibility).
    Yeah, a movie review blog isn't very original. But originality is overrated. Just ask Michael Bay.


Sunshine Cleaning (2009)

Two sisters, one a single mother having an affair with her married high school boyfriend and the other a perpetual screw-up still living with her father, stumble into the world of crime scene clean-up. And that’s about it.

This just felt so budget. There’s not really anything to be mad about, but I’m not sure why it exists.


Goodnight Mommy (2015)

Mom comes home after cosmetic surgery but her twin sons suspect she’s not actually their mother. That's a great set-up, but it goes to crap at the end as it settles for being torture porn.

Plus -- spoiler -- you’d really have to be trying to miss the coming “twist” not to see it just a couple of minutes into the film.



Hector (2015)

Hector’s homeless and making his way up to London to spend Christmas at his usual seasonal shelter with his makeshift family. He’s got some health problems (though the NHS treats him with dignity) and living rough isn’t easy, but in all he seems like a good dude who often happens upon goodness in others.

I have a feeling that most homeless have a rougher time of it than Hector -- at least in the states -- but, even still, it was nice to be reminded that everyone’s had a life, that nobody's only homeless.



Edge of Seventeen (2016)

A very good movie that I think I would’ve enjoyed more in my living room. Everything felt spot-on -- like the writer had been a less-than-popular teen girl less than a year ago -- but the movie just wasn’t BIG enough to fit onto a theater-sized screen. Woody Harrelson was pretty dang great.



Arrival (2016)

This is a better movie than Interstellar, but it suffers for being the second to the time-warping alien movie party.

Thinking about this movie after the fact, I feel like I was juked a little too hard. (SPOILERS) Clearly, we the audience were supposed to be fooled into thinking that Amy Adams was sleepwalking through life due the death of her daughter, but the fact was that there had been no daughter, so no reason for her depressive attitude and, actually, we were tipped to her daughter way before she was… just stop with the trickery. You can be a good movie without pulling a “gotcha.” Let us learn along with the protagonist -- don’t screw with our minds ahead of time. I promise we’ll think you’re clever anyway.

Oh, except for that whole “she’s gotta see the phone number” scene, which just called to mind Bill and Ted thinking really hard about hiding the car keys.



How to Be Single (2016)

Young woman decides to take a break from her long-term boyfriend to decide if he’s the one. Once she's ready to settle down, wouldn’tcha know it, he’s moved on.

There were tons of problems with this film, but the bulk of them seemed to be a lack of character development and a completely obfuscated timeline. There was no indication of how much time had passed -- so I was unclear whether her ex had found someone new in a week or 18 months. Also, I’m getting pretty tired of Rebel Wilson’s lazy party girl shtick.



Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

Second viewing. This movie borders on the surreal, which is something I didn’t remember. There’s a lot of flashback and fantasy, which I found to be offputing. But the underlying story is rather melancholy and touching.

I’ve thought about this film regularly since I first saw it nd have its soundtrack popping up in my playlists weekly. In my memory, this was an "A" so I'm kind of sad that I rewatched it and tarnished a bit.



Marie's Story (2015)

Basically a French “Miracle Worker” set at a home for deaf girls run by nuns. Based on a true story but suffers in comparison to the well-known Helen Keller story.