Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ginger and Rosa: BFFs?

They were born on the same day in 1945 and 17 years later they are best friends for as long as they can remember. But as the great singer/poet of the era told us, "The times they are a-changing."

It's 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis is looming and life seems precarious. Ginger (Elle Fanning), and Rosa (Alice Englert) react differently to the changing times and the threat of annihilation and these differences test their relationship.

Ginger and Rosa is a coming-of-age story. And a thoughtful tale. It seems the girls reactions to the turbulent time is based on their childhoods and the homes where they grew up. And since it is the beginnings of the groovy, counter culture era of questioning and testing, you can be sure these were not traditional 1950s Mom and Pop homes.

Gina and Rosa is not a cheerful film and some moviegoers were grumbling when they left the theater. Not the Movie Slut. This one is well worth seeing if only to enjoy the excellent cast, including Fanning, Christina Hendricks (of Mad Men fame), Annette Bening and Oliver Platt.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Emperor: History Lite

In 1945, Gen. Douglas MacArthur went to Japan. His mission: To determine if the emperor was responsible for starting World War II. It's a grave task, because if the answer is "yes" the man revered by his people would have to be brought to justice.

This is one of those loosely-based-on-history films. But in it MacArthur, played by Tommy Lee Jones, substituting a pose and a pipe for acting, is too busy blustering around and anticipating his run for president to be bothered leaving his Japanese headquarters. Luckily for us he pushes the job onto  young Gen. Bonner Fellers (a wonderful Matthew Fox who's totally believable in the role.)

Did he or didn't he is the question this film asks. But alas, no real drama splashes onto the screen. Some might think the spy thriller is undercut by a love story between Fellers and a beautiful Japanese woman he met before the war, which is played out in flashbacks.

It seems this movie has something for everyone. But while The Movie Slut wonders if it has enough of anything for anyone, she's glad she saw it.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Admissions: Accepted, Not Denied

Finally, a romantic comedy without Channing Tatum.
Finally, a romantic comedy that's funny.
Finally, a romantic comedy that's smart.
Which brings us to the question: Can Tina Fey do no wrong?

Here she's an admissions officer at Princeton University, holding the lives of college seniors in her capable, if neurotic, hands. Well, at least the folders that plead their cases for admission to the prestigious bastion of higher education.

She thinks her life is just peachy. Great job. Adorable bonsai tree. Significant other whom she's been living with for nearly a decade.

How wrong she is.

It takes Paul Rudd, the founder of an alternative school who's pushing for the admission of a rather unusual student, to open her eyes. And you'll be happy you are there to see her transformation.

Admissions is about more than one woman's wake-up call. Lots of laughs surround the absurdity of the system that measures the worth and worthiness of teenage college hopefuls. A system ripe for ridicule. And it's done so well here.

All this, plus Lily Tomlin.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dead Man Down: And UP

Revenge is a dish best left in the kitchen. But if that happened there would be no crime thriller starring the wonderful Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace.

Rapace, btw, is the Swedish actress who was The Girl in the Scandinavian version of that tattoo flick. And far superior to the actress in the American remake, if you ask the Movie Slut.

Here she's a gal out for revenge, who meets a guy out for revenge and together they plot their diabolically evil scheme to extract justice from an unjust world.

But something happens along the way. In fact, lots of stuff happens, including assault-weapon violence (another high-capacity magazine, pul-eeze), fiery infernos ( if that's redundant, it fits the bill).  And, yes, even love among the dead bodies.

There was a brain behind this movie. One that would have been better served by avoiding the usual shoot-'em-up stuff. Aren't we over that yet?

DMD might not be all it could have been. But we'll always have Colin and Noomi and Terrance Howard, too.

Click here for info on the best revenge story ever told.

Snitch: Dady -O-No

Desperate dads do desperate deeds.

Oh dad, poor dad, someone's got your son and you're feeling so mad.

Well, dear readers, you've got the picture.

What we have here is one of those movies in which we're not supposed to care about how many random lives are lost, how much human collateral damage is done in order for the main character to save someone he (it's usually a he) loves.

Having said all that, this film wasn't as bad as it could have been. And if Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson wasn't as distractingly steroidally pumped, it could have been even better.

As it is, even Susan Sarandon, as the hard-nosed district attorney who pushes Dad into this awful scheme, couldn't save this flick, which was supposedly "inspired" by real life events.

In short, don't bother spending hard-earned $ to see this disappointment unless you're suffering from the late-winter, gotta-go-to-the-movies blues.