Dec 17, 2018

Noggin it at the Movies Again

I saw two movies yesterday. One of them is new, one of them is old. They have nothing to do with each other. Here we go.

Some friends wanted to see Roma.  It was by some director they knew of and it was all in spanish with subtitles and in black and white.  It's a Netflix movie.  I'd never seen a Netflix movie in the theater so when I saw the big Netflix logo on the screen and didn't hear the loud "CHUNNG KUNNNG"  sound I sort of involuntarily made the sound out loud and people laughed.  A kind of laugh that people make when they know they shouldn't laugh because they were all prepared to see a serious movie.  Sorry. 

When people were telling me about this movie I fully expected to be bored and hate it but it was pretty riveting and never had a dull moment.  It was a glimpse for me, into a world I had no familiarity with,  Mexico  in 1970.  There isn't really a plot or story really.  It's sort of set up like a day in the life,  but it's over the course of about a year in the life of a maid and family that she works for.  The cinematography is something you'll notice right away.  From the opening credits on,   you really get sucked in.  You quickly start to care about the lives of the characters and their little world.  One of the things about the closeness to the people in the movie is that you start to fear the worst at every turn.  Movies tend to do that set up where you get really attached to a character and everything is going good...then they die or something really fucked up happens.  Not to say that this story is all cupcakes and rainbows, because that would be boring and this movie really wasn't.  It had moments of humor and some really, real life shit happening.     If you get a chance I recommend seeing it. 


The other movie Meg found after searching "Christmas movies" on the HBO app. We watched it before we met friends to see Roma.   It was a totally cheese-ball rom-com Christmas movie from 2004 called Surviving Christmas.  It had pre-action hero Ben Affleck still trying to be lovable and funny.  It had Christina Applegate who was still riding out her rebranding as an adult woman and in true mid-2K's fashion we got the still-getting-typecast-as "Tony Soprano-like character" James Gandolfini.  (RIP) Rounding out the cast is Catherine O'Hara who was like a more gritty version of the mom she played in Home Alone. She's almost too good to be in this movie.  Anyway,  like Roma, I was fully expecting to hate this movie but it's absurd plot-line had me intrigued and it kept getting weirder and weirder. 

Basic set up;  Ben Affleck is a successful movie industry hot shot named Drew who's got no where to go for Christmas.  We see him run through his rolodex in a montage and realize that he's just a douchey exec who has no real friends. 

Basic premise; Douche bag rich hot shot exec goes to see his childhood home and ends up paying the dysfunctional family living there $250K to be his family and let him live there for Christmas.  Obviously, there's a christmas miracle and he stops being a douche and saves the family. 

Christina Applegate shows up midway through his visit and this surprises him.  She's their adult daughter.  Of course, they fall in love at the end but at first he's angry because he never had a sister in real life.  He then hires a community theater actor to play his grandpa "Da Da"  to even things out.  Tony Soprano dad is naturally irritated by everything but goes along because of the money.   Every time Drew has some new childhood memory he wants to conjure up or when Tony Soprano gets pissed he just offers them more money and they reluctantly keep playing along.  It's so weird and stupid I was hooked. 

They also have a teenage son who has a wonderfully 2004-era beige computer with a huge CRT monitor and a shitty 2004 internet connection in his bedroom, which he is using to jack off to porn through most of the movie..  Drew insists on sleeping in his room "my childhood bedroom" which forces the kid to eventually jerk it to magazines in the garage.  There's a pay off scene near the end involving the mom and grandpa which I've just now realized I overhyped way to much. 

This movie sucks but I was kind of loving every minute of it.



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