Me and My Nine Iron

March 1, 2011

Movie reviews

Black Swan

Wow. The thriller in this “psychosexual thriller” should not be taken lightly. Well, neither should the psychosexual part too. As I mentioned in my recent post about my chest pains, this is an amazing movie from the story of a self-obsessed ballet dancer to Natalie Portman‘s award-winning performance. Easily one of the best movies of the year, but let me get a couple of things straight.

  1. For my gay guy friends who said that ballet could be fun to watch after seeing this movie are a) about as fickle as my friend who wanted to become a computer programmer after watching The Social Network for the glamorous social life (he was serious) and b) couldn’t be more wrong. It made it more disgusting to watch with all the contortions that shouldn’t be able to be done with the human body and the cracked toenail. Ew.
  2. Mila Kunis is overcredited. Yes, she’s the second person in the rivalry, but she’s not the second biggest actor in the movie like we’d think from looking at the movie posters. I’d give that title to Vincent Cassel, who plays the ballet company’s director. Plus, a) there’s not a single scene where Kunis displays a technical dance and b) it’s all in Portman’s head so does it even count? I guess that could be an interesting topic of debate.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5


Finally, Dwayne Johnson graced us with his first R-rated wide release movie; he made Southland Tales in 2006. Early reviews of this movie showed amazing ratings, and I was really blown away by it when I got a chance to see it. Like I said before, this is another one of those movies where one guy goes on a killing spree to avenge his brother’s death while the cops are after him. There were actually some emotional scenes, a plot twist at the end, the score was great and the cast was superb. Unfortunately, it managed to barely make its production budget – $25 million against $24 million.

Also starring Oliver Jackson-Cohen as the assassin, his girlfriend, Maggie Grace, who might be the hottest actress out right now (especially after watching this movie), Carla Gugino, who’s assigned to team up with the loose Billy Bob Thornton and his baby momma, Moon Bloodgood, my neighbor’s niece. Salma Hayek was originally supposed to play Gugino’s role, but thank God she didn’t. I wouldn’t believe Hayek as a detective, especially with her accent and busty figure.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The Kids Are All Right

The Golden Globe-winning comedy of the year was more a political statement from liberal Hollywood about a lesbian couple raising a family. I was surprised by the amount of sex and nudity in the movie, and while I find Julianne Moore to be a good looking 50-year-old, I thought her freckled body and bone-thin legs were hideous. Like Kunis, Annete Bening is another actress who got way more credit than she deserves–more so because she’s up for Best Actress–as she plays probably the same character as Melissa Leo in The Fighter.

Also starring Mark Ruffalo as the biological father to Mia Wasikowska, a filthy rich Australian who got her spoils as the eponymous character in Alice in Wonderland. She has a rustic look about her and will star again as the eponymous character in Jane Eyre coming out on 3/11.

Con: Not many laughs.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Quite possibly the most overrated movie on IMDb (7.8). I can see why a bad movie coupled with people growing tired of Michael Cera only made $48 million against a $60 million budget. And my apologies dearly to Kick-Ass for the comparison. It’s interesting that this was probably the number one movie last year where people asked me if I watched it, probably all of them liking it.

I get that it’s a cool special effects movie and I don’t have a problem with it being a part of the entire movie for the most mundane thing like a phone ringing, but the plain truth is that the movie is terrible. I don’t even know where to begin with this trash. The question shouldn’t be what I didn’t like about it, but what I did. And the answer is not much at all. I bet the same people who say they’re boycotting 3D movies made this movie the highest-selling Blu-ray the first day it came out.

The sad thing is I think I’m in the minority, as it made 18 critics’ top ten lists (which is a fucking joke) and won Satellite Awards given by the International Press Academy for Best Comedy and Best Actor of the year. And frankly, I’m not surprised Kevin Smith loved it. In the words of the Harvard Dean in The Social Network, punch me in the face.

Also starring Alison Pill and Ellen Wong, who they made as ugly as possible, Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza, who acts like she’s always on her period.

Con: The protagonist doesn’t struggle at all, probably the most fatal flaw in story structure. Casting Cera was probably a mistake. It was a comedy?

Rating: 1 star out of 5

Winter’s Bone

Adapted from a 2006 novel, I personally didn’t understand what all the acclaim was about. The synopsis is a bit misleading so let me tell you what it’s really about. A girl goes to about five different houses looking for her dad so that she could keep her house for which he put up for bond and isn’t going to make his court appearance. No pretty Ozark Mountains, just dirt and barren land for as far as you could see. Hollywood, you don’t need to adapt every goddamn best seller, and I don’t back its Best Picture nomination.

Con: I found the second act boring.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Jackson 5 – Icon

Per Wiki, they have 15 compilation albums, and this one’s nowhere to be seen. But I chose this one because it has my favorite song, I Wanna Be Where You Are. It wasn’t until recently that I realized the Michael Jackson I liked was the little boy, ironically. Filled with your classics, I was pleasantly surprised to hear Dancing Machine from Superbad‘s opening, which I didn’t know it was from.

Con: I don’t care if it’s deliberate, but MJ can’t hit a lot of notes on his “ooh” and it sounds bad.

Favorite tracks: The Love You Save, Mama’s Pearl, I Wanna Be Where You Are

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Magnetic North – Home:Word

The follow-up album to its 2006 debut, the co-ed duo collaborated with Korean Taiyo Na, as Direct relinquished his music duties to Na. Same ol’ dope rhymes, and the beats, though mellower than the first, fit the “home” theme well. If I could change one thing about this album, I’d have all three add their own song like the first album.

Con: Only eight songs. Poor production, and Direct got a little carried away with his sweet flow at times.

Favorite tracks: We Belong, Summertime, Home:Word

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Add this song to your summer playlist. It’s also a great representation of how sick Direct is, where he kills it in the third verse. Take note, Drake. If I was an agent, I’d sign him and put him on the airwaves like Far East Movement.




  1. I’d only need two guesses.

    Comment by Chris Le — March 2, 2011 @ 2:43 pm | Reply

  2. Chris, you can guess which idiot that is, right?

    I didn’t have a problem with all of the visualizations, and my friend told me that he loved the transformation scene so the jury’s split on that, I guess.

    Comment by Bryan — March 2, 2011 @ 12:07 pm | Reply

  3. The glamorous social life of a computer programmer? Haha.

    Anyways, you know how much I love Black Swan. But I gotta admit it wasn’t a perfect movie. The CGI! Ahhh. Let’s just say I could’ve done without the hyperextended knees, the rippling skin, leading to Nina’s full transformation into the Black Swan, and most of all the ridiculous scene where her mother’s paintings are laughing at her. All of it seemed to cheapen the movie. I get what Aronofsky was trying to do — visualizing what Nina was feeling. But Portman’s performance was so on point that I could’ve seen this metamorphosis just through her acting: Nina’s altered mannerisms, her obvious confidence. Aronofsky should’ve trusted that the audience could pick up on this, and he should’ve trusted Portman’s performance. But that’s just one (forgivable) gripe in an otherwise awesome movie, what I think was among the year’s two best.

    Comment by Chris Le — March 2, 2011 @ 10:10 am | Reply

  4. I guess he has a familiar sounding name. He lives in an NYC apartment now, but you didn’t know him to begin with. Haha. Unfortunately, T-Vu is one-half of Magnetic North. I can understand if you find her voice annoying, but I thought she was better than Taiyo Na in this song. She has a better flow, and her lyrics are good.

    Comment by Bryan — March 1, 2011 @ 11:44 pm | Reply

  5. Scott Pilgrim was just ok. But I was thinking, man, if my demographic doesn’t like it, who would? which explains its box office failure, i suppose.

    And I like Summertime. The name Derek Kan sounded familiar so i looked him up on fb and apparently we went to Cal for one overlapping year. I don’t think i met the guy so i dunno why he sounds familiar. I love his last line, “and i like u so much, ur my #1 too.” Unfortunately, the girl mc was easily the worst. the song could do without her.

    Comment by Dan — March 1, 2011 @ 8:42 pm | Reply

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