The Resident Bitch's Movie Log

→ in

Welcome to the human race...
Way too much stupid talk on the forum. Iroquois, Iím thinking about you.

I do have to wonder though how a movie like this would fair if it were released in today's ultra P.C., feminist environment.
I just don't think it gets made today and I don't think it would've for a long, long time.
5-time MoFo Award winner.

Love & Mercy (Bill Pohlad, 2014)

Date Watched: 1/15/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: John Cusack, Swan's recommendation
Rewatch: No

When I first heard about this film, I had my reservations about the casting choices. I really don't like Paul Dano. He's got the right look for the part, but in nearly every movie I've seen him in he overacts and irritates me to the point of taking me out of the film. John Cusack, on the other hand, I love but he doesn't look anything like Brian Wilson.

I was wrong to have reservations on both counts. Dano did a shockingly great job with this performance, bringing to vivid life the tortured mind of a musical genius. It turns out the guy might actually be able to act after all. We'll see if he can do it again. With his performance, John Cusack gave me a startling reminder of why I love him. He still looks nothing like Wilson, but he has an innate vulnerability and a damaged quality that works so perfectly in this film as he portrays the broken shell of a man that remained from years of abuse at the hands of a psychologist that had misdiagnosed him, over medicated him, manipulated him, and isolated him from friends and family. And on that note, Paul Giamatti should be commended as well. His turn as that manipulative monster Dr. Eugene Landy was nothing short of terrifying.

All in all this was a really well constructed and memorable film.


Really glad you liked it. Despite the difference in the looks department, I still love Cusack's performance for his depiction of someone battling mental illness. He did a great job. He never came off as "crazy," but more realistically vulnerable and docile. Great stuff.

No, I haven't seen that. I hated him in There Will Be Blood, Little Miss Sunshine and especially 12 Years a Slave though. He was mostly okay in Ruby Sparks but not impressive.

Haven't seen Overboard in years either used to really like it though. It is one of my Sisters favourite movies, her favourite actress is Goldie Hawn so she used to watch this and Death Becomes Her quite a bit.

Good review of Love & Mercy. I had a somewhat different reaction to the overall film, but I agree with you that Cussak and Dano both did an awesome job. I thought Paul Dano was also effective in Meek's Cutoff (2010).

Miss Vicky's Loyal and Willing Slave
Great to see that you really appear to be getting into this Victoria. The films keep coming and you write-ups are becoming more detailed. Not bad for someone who told me she could never write anything resembling a review as she never knows what to say!

Anyway I also really like Overboard even with its ludicrous and rather worrying premise. I'd say Goldie Hawn is one of the best ever when it comes to romantic comedies like that, and she has great chemistry with Kurt Russell; admittedly not surprising given their real life relationship. Prince of Thieves is one of those films I was a fan of as a kid but that I've not seen in years and years and am actually kind of scared to. I wonder if it's one of those films best left to my childhood memories of it. Sometimes you go back, discover something is crap and it's really disappointing. And Love and Mercy I've not seen but would like to at some point

Wrinkles (Arrugas) (Ignacia Ferraras, 2011)

Date Watched: 1/16/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: I remembered reading about it before the animation countdown and found it to stream on Amazon Prime
Rewatch: No

I don't recall who it was that had recommended this film in the time leading up to the Animation Countdown, but ever since reading that MoFo's write up on it, I've wanted to see this.

This is a bittersweet and beautiful tale of an elderly man named Emilio who is sent to live in an old folks home and of the friendships he forges while there. It deals with the subjects of love, abandonment, loss, loyalty, the desire for independence, and the harsh realities of old age and sickness. It casts a sad gaze on the way the elderly are abandoned and forgotten in today's society, but it's not really an indictment of the elderly care industry.

It's really a story about people in the last days of their life trying to hold onto their humanity. It shows their fear of the "upstairs" - the place where those who are too far gone are taken and forgotten. It's not physical death but the loss of their minds and of their identities that they dread. Among the residents, we see a wife, still possessed of her faculties, who has essentially given up her freedom to remain by the side of her husband, who has Alzheimer's and doesn't speak. We see a woman who wanders the halls in search of a phone, desperate to call her sons to pick her up because she's "all better now" - if only she could find the reception desk to make that call or remember why she's looking for it in the first place.

But there's plenty of humor here too - especially in the form of Miguel, Emilio's roommate, who spends his days conning the other residents out of their money little by little while boasting about how he's never needed anybody. He scolds the other residents for yearning for visits from their families or for clinging on to their past lives and to those they've loved, and yet he has a little secret that is revealed as the film draws to a conclusion.

On a more technical note, the style of the film is quite striking. Done in traditional 2D animation, the artwork is crisp and beautiful. It's not as highly detailed as some other animated films I've seen, but it does well to evoke the viewer's emotions.

This is a quiet and poignantly funny film that I highly recommend. I can't say that I would've voted for it had I seen it before the countdown, but I do think it's a shame that this missed the final cut.


Glad you liked Wrinkles! I also remember it being recommended before the animation countdown, and that's why I watched it. I am very sure the recommendation came from either Mateo or Mojofilter. Anyway, I ended up having it somewhere in the 20's on my list.

A Letter to Momo (Momo e no tegami) (Hiroyuki Okiura, 2011)

Date Watched: 1/20/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: I remembered Funny Face talking about it before the animation countdown and found it to stream on Amazon Prime
Rewatch: No

I'm not even sure what to say about this thing. The animation was beautiful, but the story and the characters left me cold and rolling my eyes. For two hours. But not all at once. It took me like five tries to get through this.

The film was also way, way too heavy on the fantastical elements with its goblins and weird made up creatures. I might as well have been watching a Miyazaki movie - but with fart jokes (Really? Really?!).

On that note, I think I was supposed to find those stupid goblins funny and endearing, but they were just creepy and annoying. And Momo herself struck me as irritatingly one dimensional and devoid of personality. I completely failed to connect with her. I also couldn't fathom why Yota gave a damn about this weird girl he barely knew and didn't buy his dedication to her.

I'll rate it a very generous
, and that's for the animation alone.

That particular scene takes place in a darkened attic so it probably isn't the best example. I thought the human characters were well drawn as were the background scenes. It's a bit tough to find good examples of this online though, since most of the images seem to be of those stupid goblins.

Here's one example:

Don't get me wrong, though, I'm not saying it's truly great. It's not like it's something from Makoto Shinkai (5 Centimeters Per Second, Garden of Words) or anything, but it was the only thing I found worthwhile about it.

The Quick and the Dead (Sam Raimi, 1995)

Date Watched: 1/23/16
Cinema or Home: Funny Face's House
Reason For Watching: We decided to watch a movie and I wanted something with a hot guy
Rewatch: Yes

Sam Raimi (the man behind the Evil Dead trilogy) seems an odd choice to direct a Western, but he brings a sense of over-the-top style to this tale of a woman out for revenge who joins a quick draw competition to bring down the outlaw who ruined her life.

Plot and character development take a back seat to pure entertainment in this film but thereís still plenty to love in the performances. Star Sharon Stone isnít exactly memorable but is more than passable. Gene Hackman sinks his teeth into his role of John Herod, the tyrannical outlaw who runs the town of Redemption and sponsors the competition. A young Leonardo DiCaprio brings a playful sense of fun as Herodís cocky son, known only as ďKid,Ē who has something to prove. And a then little known Russell Crowe injects the film with pathos as Herodís ex-partner in crime, now a preacher being held prisoner and forced to compete in the gun fights.

If youíre wanting a serious drama, this isnít the movie for you. If youíre looking to have a good time, you could do much worse than this movie. Itís been a personal favorite of mine for many years.

The Times of Harvey Milk (Robert Epstein, 1984)

Date Watched: 1/24/16
Cinema or Home: Home
Reason For Watching: I've been meaning to see this ever since I watched Milk
Rewatch: No

Before 2008, I was unaware of the story of Harvey Milk. That really shouldn't have been the case, given the time and place of his story (I was born in the 80s, not long after his "times" and have spent my whole life in Northern California) and my support of gay rights, but I knew nothing about him. And then Milk was released amid the tension and debate that surrounded California's Proposition 8 - the measure that sought to legally define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Milk - was timely and moving and it immediately became a personal favorite.

Since that time, I've had it in my mind that I should watch this film and get a better picture of Harvey Milk the man and the real story behind him. I'm not sure why it took me so long to actually do that, but I'm glad I did. For Milk, Hollywood did as Hollywood does and portrayed Harvey Milk as a loving and selfless man - which he may very well have been - but put blinders on to the temper his friends and associates describe in this documentary. Hollywood's version also ends with the solemn and peaceful candlelight march, while conveniently omitting the riots and violence that actually followed. This film offers a more complete version of the tale.

Either way, both films leave me with a sense of sorrow and disgust - at the tragic loss of life and the travesty of justice that followed but also a great sense of hope and the satisfaction of knowing how far things have come since then.