Posts Tagged ‘abortion’

Juno – Worst Hipster Movie Ever (So Far)

Posted 08 Jun 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Ezra Stead

Juno, USA, 2007

Directed by Jason Reitman

Juno is an insufferable and overrated quirk-fest.

Juno is, in my decidedly non-humble and belligerent opinion, not only the most overrated film of the last decade, but also one of the worst. Before we go any further, let me assuage any accusations you might be formulating that I’m just trying to espouse an unpopular opinion for the sake of doing so, or that I didn’t want to like the movie: the second part is true. But I also went into Little Miss Sunshine (2006) expecting and wanting to hate it, and it won me over. I didn’t think it deserved to be regarded as one of the best films of that year, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Let it also be known that I like all of Wes Anderson’s films (to varying degrees), The Squid and the Whale (2005) and Napoleon Dynamite (2004), so please don’t think I just hate quirky indie movies. That said, let me expound upon why this is the most insufferably cutesy and irritating film I’ve seen since Zach Braff’s Garden State in 2004 (and I think this one just might be worse).

The first thirty minutes or so of Juno are almost unbearable, as Ellen Page (an excellent actress who, like the rest of the cast, is completely wasted on this tripe) struggles to bring life to a character whose every line sounds like it was written by an angry, dumb teenager who thinks the audience callbacks at The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) are the height of wit. Worse than that, some of those lines are uttered into a hamburger phone that the character admits is awkward to use, but it’s all part of the ironic facade she uses to mask her true vulnerable, compassionate humanity. Sarcasm doesn’t translate well in writing, so I should probably point out here that the film spends another hour unmasking this facet of the character, all the while indulging in the kind of dialogue that would get you a “D” at best in any self-respecting screenwriting program. Read More

Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls

Posted 24 Nov 2010 — by contributor
Category Film Reviews, Member Movie Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

For Colored Girls, USA, 2010

Written and Directed by Tyler Perry

Based on the Play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange

for colored girls movies i didnt getThe thing that has always fascinated me about Tyler Perry’s films is how simple in structure they are. Everything has its place, and everything falls in line. It’s kind of elemental, or, even though this word implies a negative connotation, elementary; not really paint-by-numbers, but there are moments in his canon that are extremely formulaic, despite his “auteur” intent. Diary of a Mad Black Woman (2005), The Family That Preys (2008), For Colored Girls – all have elements of each other, and all have elements of a distinct kind of American film: Soul Food (1997), Woman Thou Art Loosed (2004), Precious (2009); he even subtly draws from the days of the transcendence of exploitation minstrel into the hands of African-American filmmakers who made thoughtful blaxploitation films. Perry’s well-rounded direction makes up for his choppy writing.

From Ntosake Shage’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, he draws a broader portrait from Shange’s view of what it is to be a woman of color in the ’70s to what it is to be a woman of color in today’s harsher world. Love, abandonment, disease, abortion, rape – the film follows a pattern like that of 2004’s Crash in that the broad portrait is painted with broad characters to whom all bad things imaginable happen. No one falls down a staircase, there isn’t any expository dialogue, but the effort remains cyclical in the same root: stuff enough plot into the box until it won’t close properly. The play itself is nearly un-filmable, so Perry did his absolute best with what he could. Perry’s Colored Girls are more accessible in this day and age, if not more thinly written. Rather than just colors for names, he gives each woman a full characterization and uses their original monikers as a motif in their costuming. His new characters have no such motif, but are more stoic in their additions. From the moment they pop onto the screen, we know why they are there. Read More