Monday, May 16, 2011


It's times like these that make me miss those days when I would be bummed out about missing just one weekend of movie watching. Another two weeks down the drain? I still can't believe my slacking has reached this level. And my alibi isn't exactly rock solid either: a few AP exams, some end-of-the year festivities...hardly anything more than what I've dealt with since day one. Somehow, though, I let my project take a back seat to everyday life- and that's not really ok with me. I set out to accomplish something with feverish resolve...and, sadly, have watched my ambitions slowly wane sans any effort to maintain them. What a waste.

But tonight, I'm all the way back (and sincerely hoping to keep it that way!) with a phenomenal picture off my list and my latest journey out to the movies. Get excited.

I restarted my challenge with Terms of Endearment(1983)-- a touching golden classic everyone should see. Seriously...I'm still drying my tears. It went from an edgy comedy to a heart-piercing, devastating drama so fast my head was spinning for a good ten minutes. How do they do that?? And why do they have to make it so damn sad??

Shirley Maclaine made this movie. She gives her quirky character so much personality that we can scarcely keep up with the woman. First she's classy and principled, then she's vulnerable and unbridled, and suddenly she's hysterical swiftly followed by a long bout of stoic? It's exhausting, trying to label this broad. She and Debra Winger, who's also fabulously dynamic in her turn, whip up some textbook on-screen chemistry-- but they only clicked for the cameras. Maclaine would later write that Winger was difficult and nearly unbearable to work with in the production of this film.

As for the men of Terms, Jack Nicholson takes the cake. This guy just can't be beat. He assumes a typical Nicholsonian role, portraying an old cocky womanizer with a reflexive fear of commitment like only he can. I found it difficult to take Jeff Daniels seriously because I only know him from his Dumb and Dumber days (despite his valiant efforts to be dramatic), and when John Lithgow opened his mouth all I heard was Lord Farquad from Shrek. I know, I know, I'm a terrible movie watcher.

Anyway. In a recent rare trip out to the movie theatre, I got blown away by Scream 4-- the surprisingly smart reboot of the classic 90's slasher franchise that essentially saved the genre from straight-to-video ruin. Fresh new faces and bold new turns reinvigorate the stale series, while the return of the original cast and numerous references to the original storyline keep the memory of what made these movies so great alive in our minds.
A brilliant opening sets the pace for this movie, letting us know that no one and nothing will be safe once it revs up, and a jaw-dropping finale that you won't see coming ties a neat little bow around a daring little movie. Still, its genius comes from its ability to laugh at itself, acknowledging its flaws and embracing its cliches. It's And while Neve Campbell's wide-eyed visage is always a treat, it's Emma Roberts who wows us here. She flaunts a frightening dark side here that's been kept hidden so far in her career under layers of innocent sweetness, which makes its debut all the more shocking and exciting. I'll tell you this right now-- she is definately one to watch. Now let's just hope they don't disgrace the franchise when they churn out Scream 5 in 2013.

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