Sunday, January 30, 2011

Movie Recommendations - The Winter Edition

It's winter here in New Jersey and we have been solidly spanked by Mother Nature, who seems to gleefully be dumping tons of snow on us with wild abandon. According to the news people, this is the worst winter we've had in sixty two years. I know some of you may be used to dealing with oodles of white snowy goodness but... we're not. Call me a pussy all you want, there is no way in fucking hell I want to go outside unless it's walking directly from my porch to the car.

Image courtesy of Daddy (not a)Jerkface

There is one good thing to come of all this wintery mess, however -- I've been catching up on my movie-watching and I don't mean that I've just been watching an endless loop of Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse, either (though I kind of have been). I've been so immersed in Twi-land these past couple of years that I really haven't had much of a chance to watch anything outside of it, until now. As much as I love Edward in all his sparkly goodness, a girl needs to mix shit up once in awhile, you know?

It's okay, Jasper. She'll come back to us. She always does...

Regardless of whether or not you're currently squirreled away in your house, I'm sure many of you need a little break from vampires, emo heroines and werewolves. If you do, I have a few suggestions for you.

Winter's Bone -
An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. (From Rotten Tomatoes)

This is a dark and somber flick that details just how devastating the effects of poverty can be. The heroine, Ree, is played by Jennifer Lawrence and I was absolutely blown away at how amazing she was.



The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest:

I'm just going to group these together. These movies have it all - crime drama, suspense, mystery and action. All three movies follow badass computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist when they are originally paired up to solve a forty-year old cold case of a missing girl.

Be warned - these movies are not all puppies and rainbows. There is a good deal of violence in them, including a particularly brutal rape scene in the first one. But the storyline is superb and sucks you in and the acting is incredible.









Want more? There are a quite a few movies that are still playing in the theater that look absolutely amazing. Sure, you might have to leave your house but who doesn't want to re-finance their mortgage for a bag a chemically produced buttered popcorn and a big gulp of Coke?

True Grit -
Hands down, this has probably been one of the best movies I have seen in awhile. With a stellar cast of odd-ball characters, this is a true Western flick, with just the right amount of quirk that the Coen brothers are famous for. Jeff Bridges as the cantankerous, drunken Marshall Rooster Cogburn and Matt Damon as the obnoxious, puffed-up Texas Ranger LaBouef are positively flawless and Hailee Steinfeld as the stubborn, hardnosed young heroine Mattie Ross steals the screen. I really can't say enough about this movie, except that you must see it. You won't regret it.



Speaking of amazing actors, my last recommendation stars a particular actor that I was convinced would never be good. Thankfully, I've been proven wrong countless times and he's since moved to the top of my "kick-ass actor" list. You go, Mark Wahlberg.

The Fighter -
Based on the true story of boxer "Irish" Micky Ward, The Fighter is gritty and unapologetic. Christian Bale plays the crack-addicted ex-pro boxer Dicky Eklund, Micky Ward's (played by Mark Wahlberg) older brother.

The portrayal of the family dynamic, including manager-mom Alice Ward (played by Melissa Leo), and a brood of tough talking, heavy-drinking, hard-ass sisters were nearly as interesting as the boxing scenes, some of which left me gripping the armrests of my seat, grimacing with every hit. It's one of those movies that honest and stripped-down and you leave the theater in a stupor. Or trying to recreate the fight scenes in the theater parking (I don't recommend this. It hurts.)



So there you have it. For those of you who are also currently battling the freezing cold elements, I hope some of these suggestions can help alleviate your cabin fever. For the rest of you, who are probably basking in warm weather and glorious sun, who don't have to don forty-two layers just to get the mail... I hope you can enjoy these too.

Also, I hate you. In a loving way.

26 comments:

  1. Love the pic that Daddy (not a) Jerkface took. No movie watching, but I did get some reading in and am watching the Winter XGames on tv. Tired of the white shit but I do enjoy watching winter sports on tv in my warm home with a glass or two of wine.

    On the bright side, I'm heading down to SC in a few weeks to visit my sis for her birthday. Sure hope I don't bring the snow with me like I did last year! She'll stop inviting me if I do it again!

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  2. Yeah - you guys have been stealing all our snow. Quit it would ya! I want time off of crappy work.

    I'm going to 2nd your vote for True Grit. Very good.

    Also going to recommend the King's Speech. Mainly because I adore Colin Firth, but it's extremely well done I thought.

    Barney's Version - Again, excellent. I know I was pissed when Rachelle got canned because filming overlapped with this movie, but I think she may have made a better choice (even though she isn't in it a ton). Paul Giamatti seriously got robbed here when it came to awards. ROBBED. So did Scott Speedman for that matter. It was nice to see Dustin Hoffman other than is some shitteous "Fockers" movie. As a side note, it was also fun to play "spot the famous Canadian director" Yeah I'm lame-o like that. Anyway, see it.

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  3. We (TH and I) just saw Winter's Bone about a week ago. So. Good. Jennifer Lawrence is fanTAStic. But, yeah, it's really raw and not very feel-good, although the last moment is sweet.

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  4. @jj - You can come stay at my house if you are tired of the snow. I have lived here for most of my life and have never seen a snowflake fall in the little city I call home. Srsly, open invite for you & @sty anytime.

    As for the movies, I am dying to see The Fighter, but, alas, it has already been phased out of the theater here, so I'll have to catch it on dvd.

    Stay warm :)

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  5. I'm in Jersey too & am so fucking sick of the snow!! Thanks for the movie suggestions, JJ. I just watched a good one - Chloe - starring Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore & Amanda Seyfried. Very good adult drama.

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  6. Hate you too, JJ :)

    The King's Speech is also fantastic and would be a well deserved Oscar winner, IMHO.

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  7. You Easterners have stolen my promised Winter of Big Snow! Here on the Olympic Peninsula we've had rain,heavy rain,monsoons,fog and mudslides since late November, rather than the ballyhooed La Nina frozen landscape we expected. Edward weather, so I guess I shouldn't complain...but it's starting to get OLD after a grey, rainy summer. Just as perfect for movie-indulgence, though,and you've picked all my face views and want- to-sees,Jen. Might I add Downton Abbey (PBS 4-parter on Masterpiece Theatre) to your list for all the Twitarded Anglophiles? Very posh and such fun! Incredible setting. Upstairs/Downstairs on steroids.

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  8. That was supposed to be FAVE views. Still can't work this fucking iPad keyboard!

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  9. Ha! They were just showing the Lisbeth Salander movies on TV three weeks ago (during our Christmas), and my husband and I totally loved them. Awesome recommendation, JJ. But you know what pisses me off? I read that Hollywood is making a remake. Guess who's playing Blomkvist. Daniel Craig! Ugh.

    Not sure whether I want to see Winter's Bone. Seems a bit too depressing to me for the moment. True Grit however, is definitely on my list.

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  10. Im in PA and am getting just as sick of the snow as you are, JJ.
    It's scary how much we all think alike, those are all my picks too. I do want to add 2 more. If you have not seen "The Social Network" go rent it TODAY! It was extremely good and absolutely deserves all the Award noms it has received. The other is "Takers". Amazing action movie with an interesting cast; Paul Walker, Jay Hernandez, Hayden Christensen, Chris Brown, rapper TI, Matt Dillion, and Zoe Saldana (just to name a few). It's about a group of high stakes thiefs trying to rob an armored car and the cops trying to catch them. It doesn't hurt that they show Paul's bare ass.

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  11. I'm in Philly and I can't take the cold and snow anymore. It's getting ridiculous! We did manage to get out without kids this weekend and saw The King's Speech which was really good. I love Colin Firth but the whole story was really interesting and very well done.

    I really want to see True Grit in the theater. Might bring the kids to that one.

    We're expecting more snow and ice in the next day or two. Not looking forward to that at all!

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  12. Everyone who has seen The King's Speech is raving about it - it's definitely on my list. I'll have to add all these others as well!

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  13. The Kings Speech is SOOOO GOOD! Go see it people!

    On another note that has nothing to do with this topic. AT. ALL. I heard this morning that Henry Cavil is going to be the new Superman. This was the guy that Stephenie Meyers pictured as Edward. :-) He's so HOT! I am happy he's going to be Superman now. Hopefully this movie will be better than the last.

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  14. still looking for my vampJanuary 31, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    True Grit was fabulous, and I LOVED The Fighter. His sisters just slayed me! Absolutely hysterical. And old Marky Mark...nom nom nom.

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  15. OMFG, I just saw The King's Speech yesterday and holy shit what an awesome movie. Colin Firth's portrayal of King George VI's life-long battle with stammering was just absolutely heartbreaking. If he doesn't win the Oscar, I'm going to punch someone. And I LOVED The Fighter too. Christian Bale and Melissa Leo are my favs for Oscars in their categories... And Winter's Bone... another amazing movie. Not much fanfare but wow, some great performances! Ok, I'm going to attempt to watch Black Swan today. This movie scares me so someone may want to check in on me later on...

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  16. What's worse than gray snowy days? Sunny days with a bunch of snow on the ground. It's fucking blinding around here today.

    Criminy when did Christian Bale and Marky Mark get so old? Fuckity fuck they are in my age cohort.
    Aging along with celebs is a better mirror than the one in my bathroom.

    DVD rental rec: Empire of the Sun. I had such a crush on the 13-year old Christian Bale. And gotta love John Malkovitch. Also another western remake worth watching: 3:10 to Yuma with Bale and Russel Crowe.

    wv = "coloate" which should remind me of collate as in the office work I need to be doing. INstead I'll let it remind me of chocolate, as in sipping a mug of hot while watching the snow fall.

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  17. I live in Albuquerque, NM and it's gently snowing, slowly turning the trees outside my window into beautiful powder-sugar coated wonders. We'll probably have a couple inches blanketing the ground by morning. I don't mean to 'rub it in' but (much to my surprise, I've only lived here 10 years and I'm 65, I lived most of my life in Southern California) Albuquerque has the best weather ever, at least for me. We have 4 seasons, but they are all wonderful, none of them too intense. Anyway.....these movies are all on my list to go see, too. I'm probably too late to warn you away, LKW, but Black Swan sucks big time, it was horrible. My friends and I walked out of the theater saying "WTF was that all about?" Now, I like spooky, scary, suspenseful, not quite sure what's going on, but by God the storyline better come together and be resolved with answers to the questions introduced during the movie. Black Swan was, in our opinion, a big FAIL. I'll be interested to hear you take on it.

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  18. @OlyPeninsulagal - I second the recommendation for Downton Abbey! Boy oh boy, Mary & Edith are so screwed now!!! I just finished reading a book, Fallen Skies, by one of my favorite authors, Philippa Gregory (she wrote The Other Boleyn Girl, The Boleyn Inheritance, The Constant Princess and others). Fallen Skies was set in England just after WWI up til about 1925 and society was changing so quickly, especially for women and the aristocracy in England. You can see the beginning of these emerging changing in Downton Abbey. I am a total Anglophile, btw.

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  19. Also, Oprah's show today features the Oscar nominated movies and performances - The Social Network (one I really, really want to see) as well as The King's Speech, The Fighter, Black Swan, etc.

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  20. You're such a pussy. That's okay though because I still love you.

    Gee, which movie will I watch while I'm snowed in during the midwest blizzard of 2011 with at least one kid with the flu? Hmmmmm. I think I'll check out The Fighter just so I can see a topless Wahlberg.

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  21. I watch movies WAYYY to much latley..I've seen The Fighter..it was awesome.(LKW was on the edge of her seat at one point). No Strings Attatched was a chick flick, but funny. On MOD- I just watched Red with Bruce Willis I liked it a lot, and Takers with Paul Walker and a shit ton of other cool cats..that was awesome..I want to see Black Swan, The Dilemma and 127 Hours.. That is all..
    What has become of my former life??

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  22. I love that you recommended the Swedish original movies, and not the Hollywood remakes of the "The girl"-trilogy. It pisses me off when Hollywood remakes movies that were already done in original language, and were fucking awesome as well! What, do they think Americans can't read subtitles? It's stupid. *grumbles*

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  23. JJ, if this Twilight blogging thing doesn't work out, you could always review movies!

    I LOOOVED True Grit, and I'm delighted you did too. I went in with "meh" expectations, and left going "yeeehaw!"

    As a side note, I love that I can "hear" your "voices" - I can tell who's writing the particular entry, even before any identifying info! I do not know what this says about me as a Twitard fangirl.

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  24. @Sweden Sara - I'm not sure why Hollywood insists on doing shit like that. I happen to think that films made in other countries often surpass American blockbusters (though I secretly love watching the Transformers movies, lol). I was baffled when they remade Let the Right In and I don't think they should bother remaking this trilogy, because the original flicks were fucking amazing.

    @Fooorkspimp - Thanks, bb!!

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  25. I watch movies WAYYY to much latley..I've seen The Fighter..it was awesome.(LKW was on the edge of her seat at one point). No Strings Attatched was a chick flick, but funny. On MOD- I just watched Red with Bruce Willis I liked it a lot, and Takers with Paul Walker and a shit ton of other cool cats..that was awesome..I want to see Black Swan, The Dilemma and 127 Hours.. That is all..
    What has become of my former life??

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  26. I'm in Philly and I can't take the cold and snow anymore. It's getting ridiculous! We did manage to get out without kids this weekend and saw The King's Speech which was really good. I love Colin Firth but the whole story was really interesting and very well done.

    I really want to see True Grit in the theater. Might bring the kids to that one.

    We're expecting more snow and ice in the next day or two. Not looking forward to that at all!

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