Archive for December, 2010


The Proposal

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds

Release Year: 2009

McCain Library Call #: 2089

Quick Rating: RUN. RUN FOR YOUR LIFE.

If 2005’s Just Friends (starring Reynolds) didn’t make you want to raid the world’s precious film vaults, throw every film reel in the history of film into a huge hill, and ignite the whole thing with lighter fluid, then The Proposal will. The film, directed by Anne Fletcher,tells the story of Margaret and Andrew. Margaret (Bullock) is a controlling , hated boss at an editing company. Andrew (Reynolds) is her meek, pushover secretary. When Margaret (who is Canadian) gets threatened with deportation, she blackmails Andrew into marrying her so she can stay in the U.S. Thus ensues a weekend with Andrew’s family full of failed comedic moments, in which the two of them end up falling in love.

The writing is crap, and aside from several clever moments on Reynolds’ part, and acting is, too. One particular scene, in which Margaret finds Andrew’s 90 year-old grandmother doing “Native American” chants in the woods, and which devolves into Sandra Bullock booty-shaking to Lil’ Jon’s “Get Low,” was just painful to watch. It suddenly felt like I was watching Epic Movie, and that’s never a good sign. Additionally, the film seemed to be dealing with race in a disturbing way. The only non-white character in Andrew’s hometown is some unspecified kind of Latino who keeps popping up throughout the film in a myriad of jobs–from the bachelorette party stripper to the convenience store clerk to the catering waiter. It’s supposed to be funny each time the character appears in a new context, however, I kept wondering: what is this film saying about immigrants? that they need to hold five jobs to make ends meet? The scene at theĀ  end, where he is jokingly questioned by the immigration officer, irked me especially.

Now, with all that said, you might (like me) be wondering the following: how the !$@&*$ did Bullock get a Golden Globe nomination for her role in this train wreck?

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Starring: James Franco, Sophia Myles

Release Year: 2006

McCain Library Call #: DVD 2397

Quick Review: good for a rainy day

Let’s take a step back to 5th century England, shall we? Tristan and Isolde, directed by Kevin Reynolds, was marketed as a sweeping, epic, Dark Ages version of Romeo and Juliet. While the film isn’t the most spectacular thing I’ve ever seen, the cinematography, costuming, and set design are fantastic. The story, which at times borders on the melodramatic, goes a little something like this: 1. Tristan meets Isolde, 2. Tristan and Isolde can’t be together, 3. shit gets crazy.

Tristan (James Franco) is the adopted son of the one of the kings of the scattered British tribes. And like all main men in this type of film, he’s broody and really good with a sword. While fighting mercenaries from the big, bad Irish king, Tristan is wounded and they think he’s died. Except, oops! he’s not actually dead. Not knowing this, he is set in a funeral boat and they shoot flaming arrows at the boat as it floats away. When his boat is washed ashore in Ireland (hey, I thought he was on fire..?), princess Isolde (Sophie Myles) finds him and nurses him back to health. They fall in love, but Tristan has to return to England. A lot of confusing political scenes ensue and suddenly Isolde is married to Tristan’s adopted father, the king (gasp!). More confusing politics happens, and Tristan and Isolde sneak around together behind the king’s back until the tricky Irish king (Isolde’s father) attacks.

The acting of the film is good enough, but certainly not award-quality. There are times when Franco’s character has to act really angsty because he’s jealous that his adopted father, the king, is shagging Isolde–however, Franco’s face just looks like a pouty raisin. I think that this film’s major strength is the visual aesthetic. The costumes rock, the landscapes are lovely, and the action scenes are pretty darn cool. Not to mention, Henry Cavill (the hottie from I Capture the Castle) plays Tristan’s friend. All in all, not bad.

Henry Cavill to the left...in case you want to know...