Just us, the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark...

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Flick Chick 100: #100 - 91

#100: Trigger (2010)

Running just 83 minutes, Trigger is a very short work, but that doesn't make it sight. It's just a movie that gets the job done quickly. It centers on two women, each one-half of a band that broke up ten years earlier. They're brought back together by a benefit/tribute show that one has secretly put together and which the other isn't even sure she's actually going to attend because the music scene is so tied up in all of her experiences as an addict that she doubts she can set foot back into it without falling back down the rabbit hole. Unfolding as several long, dialogue heavy scenes in which the film maps the landscape of the duo's history, Trigger is basically just a story about two women who know each other so well that they don't even have to work at it to push each other's buttons and who remain tightly bonded even though they've spent a decade apart. A work that has a particular feeling of urgency for being co-star Tracy Wright's final film, Trigger is a brisk but engrossing movie.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Flick Chick Turns Ten

Ten years ago today I planted a flag in my little corner of the internet by publishing my first post on a blog I decided to call The Flick Chick. Since then I've written over 2,000 posts, seen a staggering number of movies, and written more words about movies than I can count. To commemorate the occasion I'm going to be counting down my picks for the 100 best movies released between October 21, 2007 and October 21, 2017.

Since release dates can be kind of nebulous due to the various kinds of wide and limited release schedules distributors use and the fact that movies get released in North America and elsewhere at different times, I'm narrowing consideration for my start date to movies that hit theaters in North America on or after October 21, 2007 (meaning foreign films that played in their countries of origin earlier but didn't play here until after that date are eligible) and my end date to movies that are playing in wide release today (meaning that anything that's only in limited release in North America as of this weekend isn't eligible).

The countdown starts Monday, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Review: Victoria & Abdul (2017)

* * *

Director: Stephen Frears
Starring: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal

To be taken with several grains of salt, I'm sure. Stephen Frears' Victoria & Abdul is an enjoyable movie, even though it feels like the sort of movie you're not supposed to be able to enjoy anymore. I suppose that what saves it is that it seems to know that it's that kind of movie and takes steps, however imperfectly, to try to address head-on the elements that might be used to designate it as "problematic" generally and as an undiscerning colonialist fantasy specifically. As I said, take it all with a grain of salt, but as lightweight period pieces - where the emphasis is as much on the lavish costumes and production design as on the marquee performance - go, Victoria & Abdul is pleasantly entertaining.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Review: The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (2017)

* * *

Director: Noah Baumbach
Starring: Ben Stiller, Adam Sandler, Dustin Hoffman

The last week and a half has been a pretty horrifying one in terms of the barrage of sexual harassment (and assault and rape) stories that have come out of Hollywood. It's been so depressing that on Friday I was very much looking forward to watching Noah Baumbach's new comedy, The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected), just for a bit of escapism and to have a few good laughs. I did, in fact, have several good laughs while watching it, but then mid-way through the movie one of the female characters tells a story about how when she was a teenager she went swimming and then afterwards was rinsing herself off in an outdoor shower only to turn around and discover one of her father's friends watching her while masturbating and it was like, "Is there no escape from these stories?" This isn't in any way to suggest that we shouldn't be paying attention to these stories and demanding better behavior from those who are privileged to wield power; it's just that it would have been nice to experience 2 solid hours without being confronted with a story about a dude luxuriating in garbage behavior towards a woman just because he feels that his penis entitles him to it. The Meyerwotiz Stories is a good movie, by the way, but God.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Review: The Mountain Between Us (2017)

* *

Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Starring: Kate Winslet, Idris Elba

I'll answer the two most important questions first: Yes, the dog lives. As a matter of fact, I left the theater convinced that the dog is immortal because nothing takes him down, but try telling that to Kate Winslet's character, who sends Idris Elba's to look for the dog each time it runs off. Second, yes, they do it. How often does a movie put two people that attractive together and not have them get into bed? Now that you know that, you can probably skip it at the theater and catch it when it shows up on your preferred streaming service or when it ends up on TV. It's not a bad movie, but it's definitely the kind of movie that probably plays best when it's raining outside and you have nothing else to keep yourself entertained with.