John Tucker Must Die

John Tucker Must Die 5Every once in a while there comes a movie that is timeless, no matter how many things in the film that can date it. This is one of those movies that is really just a feel good time, the kind of movie that you can enjoy without feeling guilty about it. That’s right, it’s a movie about women standing up for themselves and fighting back against the patriarchy in a hilariously over the top manner. What adds to this is that it effortlessly passes the Bechdel Test once the gals realize they don’t just need to argue over the all important man in the cast. And considering the subject matter, this is a feat in and of itself.

John Tucker Must Die 3John Tucker Must Die is a hilarious extravaganza starring Brittany Snow as Kate Spencer who has grown so used to her mother’s way of doing things that she calls all of the men her mother Lori, played by Jenny McCarthy, dates by the apt nickname of “Skip.” They look at her weirdly until they end up skipping out on Lori, prompting her to eat an entire tub of ice cream and move them to a new city. This, unfortunately, has left Kate with almost no presence in life, nobody notices her, talks to her, or takes the time to befriend her and she does her best to stay in the background, knowing that just around the corner is another Skip.

John Tucker Must Die 1Of course, this being a movie, her life takes a definite abrupt turn when they move to the suburbs in Portland, Oregon. Kate, now a senior, is thrown into a “tousle” when three young women in her school realize that they are all “dating” John Tucker (Jesse Metcalfe). The ladies in question are head cheerleader Heather Straham (Ashanti of music fame), pot-John Tucker Must Dieenthused animal rights activist Beth McIntyre (Sophia Bush of One Tree Hill), and the overactive school ASB President (Possibly, who knows she’s involved in literally everything) Carrie Schaeffer (Arielle Kebbel of The Vampire Diaries). John Tucker’s MO is to date hot women from different cliques so that they never even suspect that they’re being cheated on, because there’s almost no way in hell that they’ll ever speak to each other. This, also being a movie, takes the plot and tosses it into a great big ball of fire when John Tucker accidentally gives one of the gym teachers a heart attack with his hot kindness and the three gals, and Kate, are put into the same gym class, discover the truth, and get themselves (and Kate) thrown into detention.

John Tucker Must Die 2Enter The Other Tucker, Scott (Penn Badgley of GOSSIP GIRL!) who displays actual interest in Kate and shares some of her hobbies and likes. However, when the three lovely ladies enter the scene the movie is thrown into a cyclone of puns, plots, and phony romance as Kate accidentally tells them to get even with John Tucker for how he’s treated them. They John Tucker Must Die 6take Kate’s idea and run with it, first attempting to do this themselves with cheap plots and tricks involving estrogen and a photo shoot for herpes only result in making him more popular than ever and he eventually breaks up with all three of them.

John Tucker Must Die 4This prompts them to take drastic maneuvers against John Tucker and they deploy Kate to make him do the one thing he has never done before; fall in love.

John Tucker Must Die is one of my all-time favorite movies, featuring a cast of likeable actors and some zany schemes. It’s funny, entertaining, and includes a great moral at the end (which John may have missed the mark on). In the end, this is a movie that I assure you will enjoy if you haven’t seen it, and you’ll enjoy it if you’re watching it again. So sit back, pop that corn, crack the cola, and throw in some M&M’s for good measure!

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The Stepford Wives (2004)

The Stepford WivesThe Stepford Wives is a remake and while most remakes tend to be nothing more than an annoyance, this one is hilarious, entertaining, and brings its story to life in an awesome way.

The Stepford Wives 2Nicole Kidman plays Joanna Eberhart, a powerful, beautiful, successful business woman whose career takes a nosedive when the contestant of one her new pilots decides picking love over beautiful women while his wife chose a series of hot new men over him was reason enough to shoot a lot of people. Fired, shocked, and one crack away from a mental breakdown, her husband Walter (Matthew Broderick) decides that they should move away and start anew. The destination is Stepford, which seems eerily peaceful, serene, and perfect with elegantly dressed (and behaved) women, fun loving men who do nothing all day but golf, and overly large houses that put a new spin on McMansion. Claire Wellington (Glenn Close), the de facto woman in charge, introduces them to the new ways of Stepford and, with an eerie smile, welcomes them to their new home.

The Stepford Wives 3Not too long after this, Joanna meets Bobbie Markowitz (Bette Midler), a recovering alcoholic who has written at least one book that the film uses to measure her success, and Roger Bannister (Roger Bart) a rather flamboyant businessman who is also wildly successful. Much like Joanna, they are with less than stellar men, Dave Markowitz (Jon Lovitz) and Jerry Harmon (David Marshall Grant). The town of Stepford has a strange, dark secret of course, what with the women seemingly being perfect sex pots who dress well, act extremely demure, never talk back, and seem to dispense money from their mouths like an ATM.

The Stepford Wives 6The strange occurrences don’t go unnoticed by Joanna, Bobbie, and Roger and one by one their husbands become embroiled in the secrets of Stepford, possibly putting their lives in imminent danger.

Or are they?

As their husbands discover the secrets of Stepford, so too, do the wives as they investigate the town to try and figure out just what the hell is going on. Happening upon documents about the women, Joanna and the others are surprised to find out that these women aren’t just demure housewives, they’re powerful women with careers that truly make their husbands look lame by comparison.

The Stepford Wives 5The question remains as to why these women are acting so strangely subservient. Even when you know the secrets of Stepford, the movie is a grand experience filled with incredible actors, including Christopher Walken as Mike Wellington, the town’s mayor. It has great set pieces, an interesting score that sets the tone, and a superb storyline that is filled to the brim with laughs for the audience. So sit back, relax, and enjoy The Stepford Wives, because I know I’m going to.

The Stepford Wives 4Really, though, this scene was sadly hilarious.

 

 

Catch That Kid

Catch that KidBefore you really even knew who the hell these three were, there was a little movie called Catch That Kid which featured young actors in main roles. Now, of the three of them, you’ll easily recognize Kristen Stewart and Corbin Bleu and some (like myself) will recognize Max Thieriot before their breakout roles in Twilight, High School Musical, and a slew of films for Max Thieriot. Catch That Kid is an entertaining movie that may not have impressed critics or filmgoers at the time it was released but then this movie was intended for the typical moviegoer. It was about preteens, who would invariably rather sneak into an R-Rated flick. It also doesn’t help that it was released during the dump months for movies (January through April, October unless you’re a horror movie, and September if you’re not good enough for the Summer or Winter), specifically it was released in February of 2004. But what it lacks in planning it makes up for in execution.

Maddy (Kristen Stewart) is the daughter of Tom (Sam Robards) who climbed Mount Everest and his success has imbued a love of climbing in his young daughter. However, Tom fell a rather large distance during one of his climbs, and the fear of something happening to Maddy has prompted Tom and Molly (Jennifer Beals) to demand that Maddy never climb again in order to protect her. This being a young adolescent, of course, entirely disregards her parent’s more than reasonable request.

Catch that Kid 3Her two best friends are Gus (Thieriot) and Austin (Bleu) and both of them have major crushes on Maddy as they come into that time of their lives were love triangles are entirely appropriate, possible, and unfortunately expected in a movie that could spend its time on… anything else. The three of them are avid go-carters and enjoy spending time with one another to the point that Maddy (as a step away from the norm) is well aware of their feelings towards her.

That fall that I mentioned earlier comes back to haunt Tom as it caused internal injuries that doctors were either too incompetent to find or he simply didn’t go to a hospital after falling nine stories, and will be left paralyzed from the neck down if he doesn’t get an experimental procedure costing around $250,000. Here in comes the plot, of which either adults are stupid, bank security is not up to code, or something that could scarily happen in real life.

Catch that Kid 2Maddy decides to rob the bank her mother works in so that she can come up with the money to save her father, her hero. It just so happens her mother has built a security system for the bank that she works for. Just so you know, Maddy’s mother did very much attempt to get a loan from the very bank she works at, only to be coldly dismissed by her boss Donald Brisbane (Michael Des Barres).

Catch that Kid 1Maddy is able to convince Austin and Gus into helping her and they, rather ingeniously, plan a heist that would make the IMF (Mission Impossible) proud. Like I said, this movie is entertaining and you might just need a bit of this in your life right now. Also, it is absolutely awesome to see some of these actors in roles long before they made it into something that would explode their careers.

28 Days

This is one of those films where you have to make sure you’re grabbing the right one, as this film came out first but it has a name to a similar movie that is definitely not a drama.

28 Days

28 Days is a film about addiction and how to overcome it, staring Sandra Bullock as Gwen Cummings who lives her days loaded with alcohol, “VIKaDEN” as our lovely receptionist Betty calls it, and any number of mood altering substances. Raised by an alcoholic mother who may or may not have died from alcohol poisoning, Gwen is the younger of two sisters and the story comes to a head when she accidentally ruins her sister Lily’s wedding by giving a horrific speech that claims Lily (Elizabeth Perkins) is marrying her husband as a consolation prize, destroying their cake, and then subsequently steals their limo and crashes it into the side of a house.

28 Days 1Amazingly, she’s given the choice between rehab and jail because this is a movie and in movie-land crimes are forgiven and consequences are enjoyable if you’re willing to let go. Thankfully it isn’t like this for Gwen at first. The rehab facility is not what she wants to do, not only because she “doesn’t have a problem” but because of the chanting, the sharing, and the no electronics rule. Being separated from her boyfriend, Jasper (Dominic West) isn’t the best thing either, at least in her mind, and for these reasons Gwen decides to sabotage herself and get thrown out.

There’s just one problem, not completing the program the way they have laid it out means that she will face real consequences and go to jail for her sentence. Gwen doesn’t take this well but she finally starts to get this program and decides to take it seriously from now on.

28days2Around this point we are fully introduced to some of the other characters in the rehab, like Gwen’s roommate Andrea Delaney (Azura Skye), Eddie Boone (Viggo Mortensen), Gerhardt (Alan Tudyk), and Roshanda (Marianne Jean-Baptiste). They each play a part during the film, drawing Gwen into this world where she must self-accept, self-forgive, and she finally understands that she does have a problem and she must start to change what she is doing.

28 Days 2It is a sad story all around but it features an uplifting message that one should never give up, no matter how much is stacked against you. Sandra Bullock has always been able to keep me invested in a work, whether it was a drama, comedy, or romantic-comedy. She is quirky and interesting as an actress and a person and this is one of those films that is important for people to see.