Friday, May 20, 2011

Worth Mentioning - Far from Perfect

We watch several movies a week. Every Friday, we'll talk a little about some of the movies we watched that we felt were Worth Mentioning.

This week, Jay imagines A Perfect World on The Asylum's Titanic II and Cody is never the bride.

Directed by Clint Eastwood
Stars: Kevin Costner, TJ Lowther, Clint Eastwood, and Laura Dern

I first saw A Perfect World when it became available on home video when I was only six or seven years old. I had no recollection of having ever viewed it until the other night when certain scenes clicked with me. The film is directed by Clint Eastwood and stars Kevin Costner as an escaped convict who kidnaps a young boy (TJ Lowther) and takes the kid on a road trip through Texas as he heads for Alaska. Costner is excellent as fugitive Robert "Butch" Haynes, who at times comes off as the perfect likeable bad guy and at other times is downright despicable. Butch and the kid, Phillip, form a bond and Butch starts referring to the kid as Buzz. Young Phillip even steals a Casper the Friendly Ghost costume at a store since his religion forbids him from participating in the Halloween holiday. Even though it's a day past Halloween now, Butch takes the kid trick-or-treating in the middle of the day and secretly puts a gun to the woman who politely tries to tell the boy that he's missed Halloween. This results in some less than ordinary trick-or-treat goodies, but Buzz at least gets to participate in the most awesome holiday of all!

Clint Eastwood plays Chief Red Garnett and is hot on the trail of capturing Butch. Laura Dern plays Sally Gerber, a new member of the manhunt who isn't very well received by the men on the force. Their segments are fine but nowhere near as engaging as the Butch/Buzz stuff. The film has a nice charm, some late 1950s and early 1960s period piece appeal, as well as some great acting from Costner and Lowther. Check it out now as it's streaming on Netflix Instant Viewing!

And in a perfect world...

You'll head over and check out this new Feast of the Vampires review from Brett G. at and also feast your eyes upon this new artwork for our second run of the Deluxe Edition DVD which is available at our website.

Ah, shameless plugs! They never get old. Now in the spirit of moving from Oscar worthy to self-produced B-movie, I'll take you to the depths of the ocean with....

Directed by Shane Van Dyke
Stars: Bruce Davison, Shane Van Dyke, and Marie Westbrook.

Why is an Asylum-released Titanic cash-in worth mentioning, you ask? Because I'm obsessed with the Titanic and while this movie is high up there on the "bad taste" meter, it still grabbed my attention. Mainly I wanted to see how they pulled off the look of the ship. Much like my appreciation for The Room, this gets a mention because it's enjoyable if you're willing to enjoy it... and enjoy it I did. Though I have to admit I only made it through fifteen minutes alone. I had to rewatch it with a friend, but that's the best way to see this movie, if you do decide to give it a whirl.

The plot is simple. 100 years after the RMS Titanic sank, a bigger, badder version of the ship takes the same route and ends up with a similar fate. "What a ridiculous plot," you say? There's no way anything like that could really happen. Well, minus the fact that IT IS! Though at least in that case there will be no replica ship involved.

 One of these pictures is from a 2010 movie. The other from a 1999 video game...

Anyways, due to global warming, icebergs are falling apart and causing major tsunamis, which spell doom for the Titanic II. Bruce Davison plays the hero and director Shane Van Dyke plays the playboy with a soft spot. The CGI footage of the ship looks like video game footage from the 1999 release of Titanic: Adventure Out of Time. It's a fun, though distasteful, ninety minute romp.

Cody's pick:


Annie's best friend since childhood is getting married and has asked her to be the maid of honor, but the closer the wedding gets, the more overwhelmed Annie becomes. Her friend's rich new acquaintance usurps the maid of honor duties, the expenses climb, the bride-to-be's personality changes, Annie's jealousy over the new friend grows and her private life falls apart, sending her into a meltdown spiral of self-sabotage.

The title and plot may scream "chick flick", but this isn't the saccharine schmaltz of the average rom-com. Annie, as played by Kristen Wiig (who also co-wrote the screenplay), is definitely not the perfect sweetheart, the dialogue can be vulgar and the movie is full of funny situations, which can occasionally be raunchy. I also appreciated that the characters are largely outside of the high profile, successful, privileged world of most "chick flicks", only entering that world via the bride-to-be's rich friend. In her day-to-day, Annie is the former owner of a bakery, almost broke and living in a small apartment with two other people, while her mother wants her to move back home. If Annie goes somewhere, she usually drives through a long stretch of road surrounded by farm fields to get there.

Director Paul Feig assembled a great ensemble of comedic talent for this film, including Maya Rudolph,  Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Rebel Wilson, Jon Hamm, and Melissa McCarthy, who is a major standout and gives a great pep talk to kick off the third act. Rose Byrne is good and effective as Annie's nemesis.

I also really liked Chris O'Dowd as a good guy State Trooper who Annie gets involved with along the way. He speaks with an accent and I thought he was Canadian, and I mean Canadian as it gets, raised in the wilds of Newfoundland or Nova Scotia by the cast of My Bloody Valentine (1981), but it turns out that the actor is from Ireland. Anyway, he sounds cool. Some guys at (all of whom enjoyed the movie) make jokes about the fact that one of their critics was quoted as saying Bridesmaids was "relatable", but I think it does have relatable points and for me, the relationship between Annie and O'Dowd's character Rhodes was very real and relatable. I've been through something similar to what happens between them, and I liked that Rhodes isn't so quick to forgive and forget.

Bridesmaids is 125 minutes long, overshooting what I think is the ideal running time to aim for with a comedy by over 30 minutes, so Jay could tell you that I obviously really enjoyed it to still be mentioning it despite that. In almost no circumstances do I feel that a comedy should hit the 2 hour mark, but then again, The Blues Brothers is 133 minutes. Exceptions can be made.

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