How It Works

I love movies, but I hate most movie reviews. I hate them for two reasons: First, they always begin with a 3-5 paragraph in-depth description of the film. I don't want to know the entire plot, I want to know if it's good! I may say generally what the movie involves but that's it. Second, most movie reviews are unclear. I've read countless reviews that left me with absolutely no indication as to whether or not I should even see the film. Not here. I developed three methods to rate television and movies:

1. Just your average 10 point scale.
10 is obviously the best and 1 is the worst. Although, Something Borrowed might make below a 1 if I ever get around to reviewing it. I consider myself quite harsh, so if you see anything above a 9, it's probably in my top ten of all time.

2. What's it Worth?
I will tell you if I think it's worth paying for and worth the 2 (and ever more increasingly 3) hours of your time. I also make an educated guess as to whether or not you can multitask during the film.

3. The (not-yet) Patented Clairometer
In honor of my college friend Claire, I developed this rating system in order to display how "appropriate" the film is. It is designed to tell you a more detailed rating system. I find this helpful. Sometimes you want to know ahead of time so you're not stuck watching Black Swan in an empty theater with your mom. The range between PG-13 and R is more vast than the plot holes in a Michael Bay movie. I hope to combat this. The scale shows photos and descriptions of a few well-known women in film and television. The rating is the farthest woman to the left of the scale who would approve of the film. For example, June Cleaver would not approve of
Tequila Sunrise. The woman who would is probably Mathilda.

THE CLAIROMETER:

Clairometer

Clairometer

conclusion

With this blog, I write as though someone will read it and enjoy what I have to say. I am under no false pretense that I have a wide readership. It is mostly for me and for the one other person who accidentally stumbled across this blog. If that is you, I'm glad you are here. With this blog, I send my thoughts about what I watch on a black box into the abyss of the world wide web. I hope you enjoy reading these thoughts as much as I enjoy writing them.

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Friday, July 26, 2013

What I'm Watching This Month

This concept is new. I hope that I can begin watching a new television show or miniseries every month. Who knows what will happen once school starts. I honestly feel as though this is a better time for television than for film. I know what your thinking, well then you picked a fabulous time to start a blog about movies. If you notice, I've slowly infiltrated good television shows into my discussion. However, the lack of quality movies being produced is all the more reason to write this blog and "dig through the dirt."

Veep (2011)
Starring: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tony Hale,
Anna Chlumsky, Matt Walsh, Reid Scott
Showrunner: Armando Iannucci
My Rating: 8.0
Television Show, Airing on HBO
Clairometer: Erin Brockovich

Anyone who knows me personally knows my distaste for HBO programing. That is, however, another post for another day. To describe Veep in a sentence I would say that it is a fabulous combination of Arrested Development-styled awkwardness and creative writing with a dash of dry British-esque humor and a pow of powerhouse acting by all involved. Veep was marketed horrifically. When I saw Julia Louis-Dreyfus on her press tour in 2011,  I got the impression that the show was a continuation of Tina Fey's portrayal of Sarah Palin from 2008; A sort of "what would happen if John McCain won?" But this is completely inaccurate. Selina, Julia's character, is a democrat. She's unmarried with one daughter. She has no crazy accent and does not claim to be from "the real America." She ran for president but lost in the primaries. Clearly there is no intention to politically comment on the Palin phenomenon. All this to say, watch Veep and you wont regret it. It's hilarious, uncomfortable, and genuinely entertaining.

Friday, July 5, 2013

The English Teacher

The English Teacher (2013)
Starring: Julianne Moore, Michael Angarano,
Greg Kinnear, Lily Collins, and Nathan Lane
Written by: Stacy and Dan Chariton
Directed by: Craig Zisk

My Rating: 5.3
Worth: 2 hours with lots of multitasking, no money
Clairometer: Erin Brockovich


I had high hopes for this, as quiet, bookish middle aged women are not typically protagonists. Calling an author trite is a plot point and apparently the worst thing one can say to an artist; however, I can't help but use it in describing this movie. Here are some steps to making a cliched film...
  1. Make a woman smart but "ugly" by pulling her hair back and throwing on unattractive glasses. (even though she's clearly very attractive, and everyone notices anyway)
  2. Make her fall down a lot in order to show that she's still funny. 
  3. Show her going on failed blind dates in the beginning of the film to demonstrate why she makes the wrong choices in men later on in the film. 
  4. Show her eating massive amounts of junk food to display her "depression." 
  5. Make all the teenagers rude, obnoxious and completely ungrateful. 
The English Teacher involves a lonely woman (see numbers 1 - 4 above) whose life gets a little more theatrical when she encounters a 20 something former student. The film leaves many things unresolved, which is a no-no in old-fashioned screenplay writing 101. However, more and more films tend to do this these days so I suppose it is no longer taboo. That being said, something was clearly still missing. She is punished throughout the film for one wrong decision in a lifetime of impeccable service and devotion to her students. Perhaps that is a reality of life, but the tone of this film does not match such a dark theme - if that was the authors' intention. There are funny moments and Julianne Moore is lovely as always. Watch it if you are incredibly bored and don't have access to any of the movies listed in my 5 romantic movies that you might have missed post.