I have a really weird history with films– born in the late 80s, you’d think I would’ve grown watching loads of 90s kids stuff, but I actually grew up with a lot of Silly Symphonies (which were released in the 30s) and loads of Disney 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s stuff, plus a lot of more grown up 80s movies. Poltergeist, The Thing, The Fly and The Stuff were particularly scary stuff (and I’m pretty sure I was scared of yogurt or white stuff at some point).
I don’t ever remember buying any original VHS tape, except for the rare birthday gift of a Disney’s Sing-Along Songs chapter or that X-Men tape I have. My first DVDs buys were Coyote Ugly, She’s All That and Loser — you can’t blame me. I was a 15-year-old girl. The collection grew bigger, and possibly exploded during my years abroad. I’m nearing my 500th movie.
I was finally doing some room cleaning, and ran into this plastic bag that had a whole bunch of the tickets of movies I caught while living/staying in Van. The results? Of course, I spent over two hours trying to make out some of the fade tickets, arranged them and put them in order of attendance.
The first movie that I caught there was Hulk at what used to be Tinseltown Cinemark. The first two columns cover my first year of studies. My maximum number of movies a month was 9 flicks in January 2004 (Cold Mountain, Big Fish, Peter Pan, 21 Grams, Along Came Polly, Monster, Butterfly Effect, The Cooler and Ginger Snaps 2), April 2004 (Hellboy, The Delicate Art of Parking, Kill Bill, Connie and Carla, Home on the Range, The Punisher, Dogville (twice) and Man on Fire), followed by July 2006 (Devil Wears Prada,Â The Omen,The Lake House,Â The King, PotC 2,Â Lady in the Water, Strangers with Candy, and an unidentified movie that’s already faded) with 8 flicks.
Ah, it’s been a busy weekend, but finally found the time to watch Hard Eight. Here goes to the Potluck! Why do I think about Chinese Hot Pot when I say Potluck? Makes me hungry~~~
First, I must admit that aside from There Will Be Blood and Punch-Drunk Love, I’m not familiar with Paul Thomas Anderson’s work. I mean, Magnolia and Boogie Nights do belong to my “to watch” list — the properly watch, not caught on TV when it was already on one — but it’s not like that list is getting any shorter.
Hard Eight beings with a very young John C. Reilly playing… Well, John being a bum outside one of those American diners, when Philip Baker Hall playing Sydney — which apparently was the original P.T. Anderson title… even though Hard Eight seems like a better title — picking him up, and offering aÂ cigarette. Sydney asks John what’s up with him, and he says he’s broken even from the Â casino trying to get some money to bury his mom. Sydney asks him what he would do if he gave him $50. Simple John just tells him he’d buy a meal, but Sydney seems to have other plans… he’s going to teach him how to survive with just $50 and head over to Las Vegas for some trick gambling.
However, this is not a film about how John learns the craft, and lives happily ever after. First there’s a two-year jump, and we see John well-dressed, as Sydney plays Keno — isn’t that Bingo? Why the name-change? — They are living the life, but what were Sydney’s motivations for picking John up? It certainly wasn’t for cheap tricks, or taking advantage of him… as John responds “I will f*ck you up if you f*ck with me, ok? I know three kinds of Karate: Jujitsu, Aikido, and regular Karate.”
Oh, yeah~ Three kinds of Karate~
Thought Hard Eight is a bit “okay, I did not see that one coming” as much as it could be predictable, it’s pretty much worth it. I mean, not only because almost 15 years after — feeling old again — Gwyneth is being addressed as Gwyneth (and won an Oscar), and Philip Seymour Hoffman is an Oscar winner, and John C. Reilly is an Oscar nominee while P.T. Anderson is like a what – five-time Oscar nominee?
Hard Eight is the movie for Sydney, you want to know about him, why he does what he does, and in the end – you know, it’s worth it. The acting is convincing, but it just made me realize John C. Reilly pretty much plays that same role over and over again. And… must all actresses play a version of a hooker before they turn to serious acting? It’s Gwyneth… with, it must be some kind of neurosis! She just loved to get in trouble. That incident with the motel and the handcuffs… you must admit it came out of nowhere. LOL
I guess this might be the perfect time to get Magnolia and Boogie Nights~~~
It’s funny, it’s got loads of moments for laughs — my dad even said so while saying it’s just a film to watch for fun with the kids.
My favorite – most surprising – moment was actually with Scarlett Johansson playing Russian-non-Russian super heroine Black Widow (aka. Natalie Rushman, aka Natasha Romanoff) taking on a dozen or so guards as Happy Hogan (played by Jon Favreau, who directed the film) was taking one of his own. But then again, it was because I literally burst out laughing, not because I thought it was the coolest thing ever… this is the best Johansson has looked on screen in a really LONG time.
Iron Man 2 – for the ones who don’t follow anything about superhero films – follows Tony Stark after he’s announced to the world that he is Iron Man, and that he’ll be the keeper of world peace, as he cockily says that he’s managed to privatize it. However, as he keeps using the Iron Man suit, his body begins a toxic transformation as the material used to power it is… well, toxic.
So as Stark processes the idea of dying, he begins setting his business affairs in order, and living a self-destructive last-days. Little did he know that an enemy is ready to use the Stark’s Iron Man tech to disrupt “world peace”.
Visual effects were their usual top-notch selves, except when Rhodey (played by Don Cheadle, replacing Terrence Howard) was using a suit… there was something funky with his moving and flying… maybe because it’s meant to not be as cool as Iron Man.