Real Talk Reviews by Monterey Talk

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I Love You Phillip Morris

I don't know why people get so bent out of shape about this film. Is it because it's about two gay guys? Who knows. I know this - the movie is funny. Much funnier than I thought it would be, in fact.

This movie is based on the real life con man Steven Russell. It is almost fitting that Steven Russell is gay, because the dude has gigantic balls. The cons that he pulled off are nothing short of legendary. They indicate not only a keen awareness of human psychology, but also the ability to think big and out of the box.

If the real Steven Russell was purely fictitious, he would not be imprisoned today. Instead, he'd be the lovable bad guy who changes for the better after the world sees that he didn't really mean it (see: Megamind, Despicable Me, Green Hornet). But no, Steven Russell is real, and so is his life sentence.

Which is ridiculous, considering they routinely let murderer's go free. But I digress...

This movie is about love, the capacity of the human spirit, the inventiveness of the criminal mind, and the things people can achieve if they set goals. And then lie really hard. As such, it is required viewing for all incoming congressional freshmen.

Can't say the acting was great, although I was impressed with how Jim Carrey committed to his role. Ewan McGregor was about as good as Ewan McGregor can be. I'm still angry at him for pissing on Obi Wan's memory with his horrible reprises (or is it pre-prises?) in Star Wars Ep 1-3. And yet, the movie was funny. What can I say, I laughed.

I think straight men with latent homosexual tendencies will feel very uncomfortable watching this film. On the other hand, if you take your girlfriend, like I did, maybe you can talk her into anal later. Did I just say that? Shame on you Phillip Morris for corrupting my thoughts!

127 Hours

I am going to assume that you have heard the story and discuss the movie. If you have not heard the story, then this is your SPOILER ALERT. Leave now.

127 Hours is based on the true story of Aron Ralston, a hiker that was trapped in a canyon by falling boulders and had to amputate his own arm in order to survive.

The story starts off positively upbeat. Enter Aron Ralston, young, carefree hiker exploring the world on his own terms. He’s cycling through the mountains. He’s talking to girls. He’s living life under an open sky. Then, all of a sudden, fate intervenes. One bad decision, one piece of bad luck. And all of a sudden, he is trapped.

Initially he doesn’t realize the severity of his situation. First he thinks someone will rescue him. Then he thinks he can escape. Then, he realizes he might die in this place. Desperate to survive, he tries to amputate his arm, but his knife is too dull… it won’t penetrate the bone. Then he has a flash of insight… if he BREAKS the bone first, he can hack through it with his dull knife and escape.

Not only is this a true story about survival, it is also a poignant parable about the realities of marriage. Except with marriage, you would have to sacrifice an arm AND a leg to escape. Aron got off easy.

Jokes aside, this is a harrowing movie. You know exactly what is going to happen, but faced with the deed, it really makes you question if you could have done what he did in order to survive. This movie reminded me of North Face, another film about insane sitautions and impossible odds.

When you look at the risks men like this take from the comfort of a movie theater, it makes little sense. Then again, how can wage slave zombies really ever make sense of people that choose to LIVE their lives, people who are either stupid or daring enough to hold its balance in their own hands?

I’m glad that I saw the Aron Ralston story, but I’m equally glad that I have not had to live through it. Life is fragile, and stories like this remind us how quickly everything can change. Recommended.

Black Swan

You can't say the movie was bad. But it's not good either... at least not in the sense that it is anything that will make you glad that you watched it.

I have long been a fan of Darren Aronofsky. I watched PI when it was fresh out of the film festivals, and I actually bought a copy of The Diary of Darren Aronofsky, which I still consider to be an excellent and inspirational account of this director's rise to fame.

And yet, you can only live on angst for so long. Aronofsky's a tin man of sorts. In all of his projects since PI, he's shown a brilliant eye and mind, yet lacks a beating heart, the result of which are cold, soulless movies that fail to inspire.

Black Swan is like that.

It is technically excellent. It is totally committed. And it is off the rails. If it didn't take itself so seriously, it would completely come unglued. And like its lead character, it manages to hold itself together until the show is over. Kinda.

If I wanted to listen to the insecure screams of a paranoid and tortured soul, I could just close my eyes and talk to the voices in my head. I don't need this movie to tell me that skinny chicks with eating disorders are crazy. So, if spending two hours experiencing these revelations sounds like a good time, this is the movie for you.

Oh yeah, Natalie Portman lesbian scene. Snore. Sex is the only thing psycho chicks have going for them. The problem? Who gets turned on by a psycho? Not this reviewer. Totally ruins the 'sexy' part for me.

There are some truths about performance and commitment to be found in this movie. Unfortunately, it's one of those flicks long on knowledge and short on wisdom. It's not a cautionary tale. It's just a tale told by an idiot. Full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing.

Which is ironic, because he continuously admonishes the lead character to stop being a perfectionist, stop being a coward, and to let it all go... something he, himself is incapable of doing. In the trailer, we hear "Watch the Way She Moves... She's not Faking It. Attack it. Attack it!" Aronofsky definitely attacks. But watching the way he moves, you can tell he is still faking it.

I really like your reviews, your a very good writer!

Definitely second that. Awesome reviews, I especially love you absolute disregard for popular opinion (atleast regarding Black Swan) writing exactly how you feel, which I completely disagree with but wholeheartedly appreciate.

It is almost fitting that Steven Russell is gay, because the dude has gigantic balls.
If I had a dollar for every existential crisis I've ever had, does money really even matter?

I am unaware of any correlation between sexual preference and testicle size.
That's 'cause it's not your area.