MINI MOVIE REVIEWS 2024—PART I
Earlier this month, when the Golden Globes came around, I had not seen one film outside of the awful Barbie. (If you missed my thoughts on it when it came out in August, just click here: itsnotaboutme.tv/news/movie-review-barbie-movie-do-not-take-the-kids-and-stay-away-yourself.)
But since I have to vote for the Screen Actors Guild Awards in a few weeks, and I do not think it’s fair to vote unless you’ve seen all the nominated performances, I had to get cracking on my movie viewing recently.
As always, I try not to know what a movie is about before I see it; I want to experience it for myself, with no preconceived notions. So I was surprised by most of them. And never in a good way.
And let me say, and perhaps even caution, that I have seen more genitalia in them than I have seen in total in my entire life up to this point! So, if that’s your kind of thing, this crop of films just may be for you.
To show you what I’m talking about, I’m beginning my Mini Movie Reviews with what I call the “Genitalia Group.” So let’s get started on them, in no particular order:
Saltburn—What the F did I just watch??? Why does Hollywood celebrate this creepy screenwriter? (Emerald Fennell won an Oscar for writing last year’s horrible and decidedly unspecial Promising Young Woman.) Saltburn is basically a low-rent rip-off of both The Talented Mr. Ripley and Primal Fear.
Besides everything else bad about it, why did it take place in 2006? That designation was totally unnecessary. All but the very end takes place over that one year, so why mention it at all? Not to mention that the star, Barry Keoghan, doesn’t look at all like a college kid—he looks like the thirty-one that he is! His character is a little older in the few end scenes, but it’s not worth it to have him as the teen for ninety percent of the film! It’s easier to make someone look older than younger. But they didn’t even bother to try to make him look college-age, anyway!
On the TV system Mr. X and I use at our house, you have to verbally ask for subtitles, which, trust me, you definitely need for this British film. (I had been lamenting that I missed all the screenings of it, so therefore we had to see it on our own big-screen television, which is not the same as in a theatre. But I’m so glad that I didn’t have to sit through this mess in public, and was able to use the closed captioning to help us understand what they were all saying!) At one point near the end of the film, when Barry Keoghan was literally having sex with the dirt on his friend’s grave, I said, “Subtitles off,” (because the words were over that visual, and I needed confirmation of what I was seeing,) to which Mr. X immediately added, “Picture off!” That’s the only mirth I had in those two and a quarter hours, (which felt like seven!!!)
But at least that Jacob Elordi is gorgeous! So there’s that.
Poor Things–I finally found a natural alternative to Ozempic! It’s watching this film! I was nauseated the entire time and couldn’t even think of chowing-down during it! Since I saw it, every time I consider a snack, I just think of Poor Things, and immediately get queasy. No lie.
It’s basically porn. (Great—now many of you are going to run right out and see it!) And besides that all of those goings-on are unattractive, so are all of the men Emma Stone’s character have all that sex with. They would need to pay me at least a hundred billion dollars to simulate the act with even one of them!!! The looks of those characters in the Paris section of the movie were even worse than those on the men in The Name of the Rose.
And I know this is unpopular to say, but Emma looks pretty unattractive, as well. Her always-red nose tip, jet black uber-stringy way-too-long hair, and tiny rack are not what anyone wants to see on a big screen.
And one weird thing about her acting is that she doesn’t have her usual annoying little lisp when doing this British accent! Go figure.
As someone who studied Cinema as part of my college major, (and excelled in the class, I must say,) I could really break this whole thing down for you, like that it’s on purpose that the black guy character, (played really badly by comedian Jerrod Carmichael,) is the only one she didn’t have sex with. But I don’t have that kind of energy. I will say, though, that when I was analyzing the film in the middle of the night and in the subsequent days, it did get more interesting.
The Golden Globes organization classifies films as either “Dramas” or “Musicals or Comedies” so they can give out double the number of awards, and thus get more famous nominees on their broadcast. So they put Poor Things in the Comedy category, when it’s far from that. It’s more of a low-level horror movie. That’s not an exaggeration; it even has a major Frankenstein component to it! So please do not be fooled by the Golden Globes purposefully-erroneous categorization.
Mr. X said that it is “high-quality filmmaking,” with which I agree. But then he added, “But the content is hard to swallow,” which is a much nicer way than what I’m saying, which is that Poor Things sucks the big one. (Which, by the way, we never saw in the film—a big one. Oh no—these films are rubbing off on me! Ewww.)
The two positives are that Marc Ruffalo is really good, and the Scenic Design is unbelievably stunning.
But the end credits are absolutely offensive, to the audience, but mainly to the people who did all that work, no matter how big a screen you’re seeing it on. And God forbid you’re seeing this movie on your phone; you’ll be rushing to the optometrist the next day.
To sum-up Poor Things in one sentence, I wish a Memory-Erase pill had already been invented!!!
May/December—This is another bummer. I don’t understand the fuss about it, before the SAGs and Oscars just about shunned it. (It did get one Oscar nom, for writing, though I don’t understand that, either.)
But it’s so slow, it will be a great one to help you fall asleep.
I honestly do not understand why this movie was made. Nor how it even got the greenlight! It’s a total rip-off of someone’s life, with no credit nor even consultation! Julianne Moore should be ashamed of herself for being involved in it.
The second I saw Julianne Moore’s character kiss the young exotic *ethnic guy, (played by Charles Melton of Riverdale,) near the beginning, I said, “Mary Kay Letourneau and Vili Fualaau!” I love being right. *[Note: The actor is Korean while the real-life guy is Samoan. Therefore, many people are upset about that erroneous representation, even though this is not supposed to be Mary Kay and Vili’s true story.]
But I sure hope that Villi can sue this film company. He’s acknowledged that they did not even reach-out to him about it, and called the film a “rip-off of my original story,” adding, “I’m offended by the entire project and the lack of respect given to me, who lived through a real story and is still living it.” I agree with—I was upset the whole time I was watching this super-slow film. If they wanted to make that infamous couple’s story, just tell the real one! Or at least ask his permission. And perhaps involve him in the process. Or disguise the tale much more than just changing what the grown-up woman’s job is. The filmmakers are actually victimizing Vili’s children. (Very sadly, Mary Kay died from cancer four years ago.)
Besides all of that annoying-ness, May/December is a snoozefest and a half! Instead of concentrating on the tale of that fam, the powers-that-be made it about an actress shadowing them to play the woman in a movie! So boring. And creepy. I kept waiting for a murder to happen.
I really want my time back on this one.
These films, (plus Barbie, of course,) are all that I’ve seen so far this season. At over two hours each, (some over three hours!,) there’s just not enough time in life to get to them all right away. (Especially when there were so many special sporting events—NFL conference finals, Aussie Open finals, and all of the National Ice Skating competitions!–on this week-end!)
But the SAGs aren’t until the end of February, and then the Oscars come in early March, so I’ll get to my second group of Mini Movie Reviews next week, no matter how awful some of them may be. You’re welcome for watching them for you.