Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

How to Ruin a Movie Sequel

For those Hollywood people who are considering an attempt to cash in on a previously well-received movie (or TV show, book, etc.), I offer the following suggestions. IF you want to completely ruin your production, that is!

* Take an interesting concept from the first movie, and then run it into the ground with overexposure. (Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions)

* Undo something really good that happened in the first movie. (Miss Congeniality 2)

* Remake the first movie rather than building on it. (Beverly Hills Cop 2)

* Or, change everything so that it’s nothing like the first. (Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and 3)

* Continue the story when you really should’ve stopped with the first one. (multiple offenders, including Grease 2, Speed 2, Men in Black 2, Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey)

* And in your rush to produce the sequel – and strike while the brand’s iron is still hot – settle for a weak storyline. (again, multiple offenders, including Ocean’s Twelve, Legally Blonde 2)

On the other hand, I found this post that considers what makes a good sequel – and I quite agree!


Five Life Lessons From High School Movies

1) “We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.” – Andrew Clark (Emilio Estevez)

2) “If you were happy every day of your life you wouldn’t be a human being. You’d be a game-show host.” – Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder)

3) “Just because you’re beautiful doesn’t mean you can treat people like they don’t matter.” – Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt)

4) “Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter… All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you.” – Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan)

5) “Life moves pretty fast. You don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick)

(found at: Yahoo movies)

Caution! Could be spoiler-y!

A few random comments about Prince of Persia: Sands of Time – in honor of its being released on DVD today. :throws confetti:

* The scene where a young boy charges into the street, causing a guard to be thrown from his horse mimicked a scene from Disney’s “Aladdin.”

* When Dastan and Tamina are escaping from Sheik Amar, why didn’t Seso throw a knife to kill him or them? He could certainly reach through the gate that was blocking their path.

* When it seemed Dastan was going to have to give Tamina up, there was an element of the Angel episode, “I Will Remember You.”

* As one reviewer pointed out, Tamina does get the worst lines. Plus, she frequently comes across as spoiled… or maybe she’s supposed to. :shrug:

* Plus, Tamina can face down the leader of the group who just invaded her city, but she screams at being mildly manhandled while posing as a waitress?

* The scene where the assassins – oh, excuse me, Hassansins(sp?) – are practicing in their lair/hideout is sort of funny. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve obviously got mad skillz, but they’re really just showing off at that point. “Look how easily I decapitate this dummy, who can’t move or fight back! FEAR ME!”  😆

favorite Clueless movie scene

Posted: September 7, 2010 in favorite-scenes, Movies

In the movie Clueless, in one scene, the teenaged main character realizes that she has a crush on a guy who works for her dad. After she realizes this, when he is around, she is so aware of him that she can’t laugh and joke around with him like she did before. Instead, she sits self-consciously on the edge of her seat, not able to look at him.

I think the previous scene does a very good job of depicting the agony and the ecstasy (such as it were) of a crush: you long to be around the person, but when you are, you want so much to be liked in return that you feel very awkward. (I’ve visualized this scene several times when I’ve suddenly found myself feeling attracted to someone.)

Originally Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 5:58 pm

In the movie Dirty Dancing, as Baby and her family arrive at the vacation resort, Lisa – Baby’s somewhat shallow sister – begins to whine that she should’ve brought a certain pair of shoes because they match a dress that she sees. (Is the dress for sale? I’m not sure, I’ve never understood that part. Anyway.)

The girls’ mother tries to console Lisa by reasoning, “Sweetheart, you brought ten pairs,” but Lisa continues to bemoan the shoes. Not exactly sympathetic, her father declares, “This is not a tragedy.” Baby agrees, citing examples of *real* injustice in the world.

[It’s a great scene.  Sometimes, when I find myself moping over some trivial thing, I hear Jerry Orbach boom, “This is not a tragedy!” And usually … okay, eventually … I see that it isn’t.]

(Originally Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:28 pm)


In the movie, Dirty Dancing, the father of the teenaged main character is angry/disappointed in his daughter for sleeping with an older man. In one scene the teenager – quite maturely – approaches her father, respectfully saying that she’s still a part of the family and he can’t keep giving her the silent treatment.

As she speaks, emotions soon get the best of her, and she cries, “I know I let you down … but you let me down too.” I thought that was a simple but powerful appeal for him to talk to her, a reminder that although he was disappointed by her, he wasn’t the only one who was hurting. 

(Originally Posted: Mon Apr 07, 2008 6:18 pm)

A plot in an episode of Friends involved Phoebe finding out how some classic movies really ended. It seems that when she watched them as a child, her mom would turn the TV off before something bad happened. In re-watching the films, Phoebe is devastated by the real endings, and she lists among the badness she has discovered that “Rocky loses.”

However, in the context of that film, I don’t think Rocky’s loss was such a bad thing. I mean, from the start, he didn’t think he could beat that other boxer; he just wanted to go 15 rounds with him, which he did. So what if he wasn’t deemed the winner by the event’s judges? He did all he could, and he accomplished what he wanted. Sounds like success to me!

Date Night movie review

Posted: August 6, 2010 in Movies, review

After reading another scathing review of the movie “Date Night,” I must rebut. First of all, unlike so many current movies, the trailer made the story look appealing to me. Critics have panned the movie as being low brow; well, I don’t consider myself a fan of “low brow” humor, but I‘ll take a flick that’s pure entertainment over one with self-important preaching through tall blue people any day. And I must not be alone in that, because the theatre we were in had a relatively good turnout, and the audience laughed in response to almost all of the attempts at humor.

I am by no means a fan of Tina Fey or Steve Carrell, but I disagree with reviewers’ claims that they have no chemistry. I think the mild awkwardness between their characters shows how much the marriage has fallen into a rut.

I really enjoyed watching as the couple gets sucked into their adventure. At one point as they’re scrambling to, well, get out of the mess, the Tina Fey character makes a bold move, and Steve Carrell’s character looks at her and gasps, “Who *are* you?” It’s very good when one can still be surprised by one’s partner. At the risk of over-thinking the story, that harrowing night embodied all of the troubles (boredom, doubts, etc.) creeping into their marriage, and it helped them see different sides to each other — and determine that they’re going to stick together.

Bottom line: no, “Date Night” isn’t Shakespeare, but it is definitely watchable. As with all movies, don’t let critics’ bad reviews – and honestly, I think critics look for bad things to say because they think it makes them sound clever – scare you off if the movie’s premise sounds like something you would enjoy.

(Originally posted on Tue May 11, 2010 12:21 pm)

I saw Prince of Persia: Sands of Time on its opening weekend and made note of a few non-spoilery thoughts to share:

* At least one part of all the reviews is true: you can easily spot the bad guy within the first few minutes, although the other characters remain blissfully unaware.

* My one complaint: I did not appreciate their attempt at being political. It was absolutely unnecessary. In fact it was a distraction, because it pulled me out of the story (and into a state of annoyance) for several minutes.

* There is a boatload of violence – no surprise there, given its inspiration – but at least things happen fast. Maybe that was intentional as part of the video game feel.

* I liked the ending very much, but, at the same time, it feels kind of like, “You cheated.”

Overall, I found the movie fun and watchable. In fact, I plan to see it again before it leaves the theatre, and that’s the first movie I’ve been able to say that of for a long time.

Favorite scenes from Prince of Persia

After seeing Prince of Persia again, I feel compelled to describe some of my favorite scenes.


As Dastan is scaling the walls of Alamut (in a very video-game moment) to break in during the Persian attack, his comrade is shooting arrows from a crossbow into the stone wall for Dastan to climb on. After several hits precisely where they were needed, the archer misses, and the arrow bounces off the wall as Dastan is reaching for it. Dastan casts an annoyed glance over his shoulder. A fellow Persian scolds the archer, “Have you been *drinking*?” [Side comment: the guy asking the question here reminds me of the Ben Affleck character in “Shakespeare in Love” when they’re at practice for the play and a displeased Ben critiques another actor’s performance by asking, “Are you going to do it like *that*?”]

Having fled after being framed, Prince Dastan camps out in the desert. Princess Tamina, knowing that Dastan has the time-shifting dagger (although he has no idea of its powers), wormed her way into going with him. That night, using her feminine wiles to get close to him, she suddenly attacks, trying to obtain the dagger. Dastan defends himself and retaliates, but in doing so, he accidentally activates the dagger, sending him back one minute in time to when she’s trying to get close to him. Understandably, Dastan is disoriented, but he recovers enough to realize that she’s about to attack. And she strikes again, this time slashing him across the chest. Mortally wounded, he decides to try the dagger again, and it works again, undoing his wound and sending him back to the moment just before her attack. Stunned, he asks, “Did you see that?” Tamina moves again to enact her plan (for the third time, although she’s unaware of this). Dastan grabs her arm and growls, “Go for that sword again, and I swear, I’ll break your arm.” Surprised and alarmed that he knows her intention, Tamina gasps, “‘Again’?”

Sheik Amar asks Dastan where he found Tamina. Not wanting to reveal who she really is – and who *he* really is – Dastan lies that he traded a camel for her in a (slave) market. The suspicious sheik doesn’t believe him. “A camel?” he scoffs. “Look at her. She’s worth at least two.”

After the battle with the spike-thrower, Seso smiles briefly at his victory, but then his face turns sad/pained and he looks down. The camera pans out to reveal spikes embedded in his chest. As his last act, he throws the time-shifting dagger out the window, and it lands precisely where the others are waiting. As a memoriam, Sheik Amar says proudly, “Have I told you about the Ngbaka?” And Dastan, similarly respectful of Seso’s skills – and sacrifice – says simply, “Yes. You have.”


After time has been reset back to the point where Dastan first got the dagger, he stands by as his brother, Tus, apologizes for the wrongful attack. When Dastan sees Tamina, he sort of catches his breath, and then waits as his brother starts talking about a union. No doubt Dastan is thinking that Tus wants to marry her, but this time Tus offers that she marry Dastan.

(“Thoughts” originally posted Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:57 pm,   
Favorite scenes originally posted Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:47 am)