Review: Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003)

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“I’m here to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.”
– Elle Woods

SYNOPSIS: Elle Woods heads to Washington D.C. to join the staff of a congresswoman in order to pass a bill to ban animal testing. – via IMDB

Really?! Really?! WHY?! That’s all I really have to say on this matter. Legally Blonde 2 is everything you expect from Hollywood and their bout of sequelitis (thanks again, Tom). This is such an unnecessary movie, one that goes out of its way to reuse to much that made the first one good, and instead of it carrying the same charm with it, it just falls flat. Luckily it is not as offensive as The Princess Diaries 2, because that was such an abomination.

I particularly resented the whole animal cruelty, save Bruiser’s mom thing. Yes, I know how cold that sounds, but it was such a stupid, shallow plot to base this whole movie on. Yes, the first is fluffy, but Elle going to Harvard, learning to be herself and doing well for herself, was one thing. This? I just don’t even know what this was even remotely about, except annoying. There were things I liked, like seeing silly Elle again, Paulette being that inapproprialtely weird friend, and her courier still being around. Also, Bruiser’s outfits still reigned supreme. Aside from that, I hated the shallow rehashing of things, the silly “coincidences”, the ridiculously unbelievable way that the characters interacted, and have I mentioned the excessively stupid main story of the animal right’s bill just to get Bruiser’s mother invited to Elle’s wedding?! I am not even joking. What a useless plot device.

This movie was definitely quite a painful watch. It had moments where it tried to break through and be its predecessor, to bring the goods to the table, and there were times it succeeded. Mostly, however, it was just messy and overly ridiculous. Overall, Legally Blonde 2 is a pretty meh experience that has some heart at times, but is totally annoying at other times. Typically unnecessary sequel that we could have done without.

Review: Legally Blonde (2001)

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“I just don’t think that Brooke could’ve done this. Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”
– Elle Woods

SYNOPSIS: Elle Woods, a fashionable sorority queen is dumped by her boyfriend. She decides to follow him to law school, while she is there she figures out that there is more to her than just looks. – via IMDB

Yes. The nostalgia man. The nostalgia. I cannot tell you how many times I watched the silly movie growing up, and I have no regrets. I decided the other day to trip down memory lane as rewatch Legally Blonde, and I am glad I did. It is a silly fluffy film for sure, but it has heart, some spunk, and quite a solid message to it, and all this makes for an enjoyable watch.

Reese Witherspoon is the perfect Elle Woods. Like seriously, she just pulls of that totally ridiculous blonde with all the aplomb you would hope that goes with it. She comes across as a totally shallow, brainless airhead, and yet she is not slow. She is just interested in other things – like makeup, beauty, fashion, hair care, and her handbag dog. I love how sassy she is, too, and she has some really priceless lines (like getting into Harvard not really being that hard xD). But when her asshat boyfriend, Warner Huntington III, rips the rug out from under her, Elle goes above and beyond to win him back, and instead proves to the world that she is more than the stereotypical dumb blonde.

Disclaimer: check your brain at the door before you head in for this. If you try to take this too seriously or apply this all as happening in real life, you are going to be in for a bad time. Reality suspension, to be sure. Now, back to the movie. Harvard changes Elle, and in a good way. She gains more confidence than ever before, and feels like she is useful and applies herself, she makes a difference. She also makes real friends that side, and watching Witherspoon’s Elle and Jennifer Coolidge’s Paulette together is something else altogether. I quite enjoyed the little awkward side story between Paulette and the delivery guy, and I thought that Luke Wilson’s Emmett was terribly sweet. I also really liked how much heart Legally Blonde brought to the table, and the strong messages peppered throughout it.

Legally Blonde is a charming, light, fluffy film that tackles some strong issues and actually has quite a good, solid message that it conveys. It also helps that it is really fun and has moments that will stick with you (I mean who is in a hurry to forget the ludicrous bend and snap?!). Also, it’s totally nostalgic, and that wins points for me. It’s such a chick flick, this cannot be denied, and is cute in that slightly sickening way, but you gotta love it.

Review: Cruel Intentions (1999)

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“Most people are sheep. Who are you to criticize something you’ve never experienced?”
– Sebastian Valmont

SYNOPSIS: Two vicious step-siblings of an elite Manhattan prep school make a wager: to deflower the new headmaster’s daughter before the start of term. – via IMDB

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GRADE 8Rewatching this recently was very rewarding. I watched it many years ago, definitely when I was way too young for this on way too many levels. I was on such a nineties binge, and this was right up on my list. I watched it with my hubby, and then again shortly after with Natasha, because she hadn’t seen it.

Right off the bat, the movie is twisted. I don’t say that in a bad way (you all know how much I love a little bit of the icky). Cruel Intentions explores some really dark subject manner, touts some truly reprehensible characters, and really looks at the depths of depravity and cruelty that some people are overly familiar with. The cast played their roles so convincingly, and that really helped it along. Witherspoon was sweet, pure, and adorable, while Phillippe and Gellar both nailed the dark, twisted, sadistic beings that they were. The supporting cast, too, was quite good.

Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe has fantastic chemistry here (yes, I know they were together, but it conveys so well on screen). It was great to watch them. Selma Blair’s Cecile just annoyed me endlessly. I am sorry, she was just so… silly. Pointless. Annoying. I get why she was there, and Blair played Cecile well, but she was one character I was not overly fond of. I would have liked to see more Joshua Jackson, and his character was a right snake!

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The pacing for this is pretty good, and it all works together to bring about a solid story, albeit quite a nasty one, and it provides the viewer with a most satisfying, unexpected conclusion, and just looking at the fact that it is not the same stale story with a little twist in it is pretty refreshing.

There are flaws, surely, but the movie is engrossing and fascinating regardless of that. The dialogue is a little odd at times, and these kids are really hard to identify with. These people are sick and twisted, and yet you cannot help being drawn into their crazy games. Sebastian is a character that develops quite a bit, yet Kathryn never even tries to change her ways. I found Cruel Intentions to be dark and devious, and definitely something to keep you hooked from the off. That being said, I just don’t think it is going to work for more sensitive viewers.

Rapid Review: Just Like Heaven (2005)

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just like heaven poster

“I shouldn’t be seeing a little blonde control freak.”
– David Abbott

SYNOPSIS: Elizabeth Masterson is a dedicated, workaholic doctor who is way to busy for a life. One night, she gets into a horrible car accident and becomes a spirit stuck between heaven and earth. She doesn’t know she’s dead and thinks nothing has happened until she meets David Abbott, a lonely architect, who rents her old apartment. David thinks he’s crazy by seeing Elizabeth’s spirit and tries all ways to get rid of her, but she just won’t go away. Although the two are complete opposites they somehow may just form a relationship. – via IMDB

just like heaven faintingjust like heaven kis

GRADE 6.5I don’t know why and I cannot explain it, but this is one of those little closet guilty pleasures for me once every few years. I liked this because as much as it border on cliché at times, it manages to bear itself over rather well. There were highly amusing scenes in this film, and who knew Napoleon Dynamite would graduate, talk a little more, and get involved with all things spiritual? I have a real soft spot for Mark Ruffalo, and I am always really happy when I get to see him in films, I think he is talented and underrated. He’s adorable in here, but not in that I-want-to-retch soppy, romantic crap kind of way. He was quite nice. Now, there is nothing revolutionary about this plot, but instead of this frustrating you, it is sweet and draws you in, despite your very best intentions. If you take this too seriously, you are definitely going to hate it. Just embrace the cheese, and the silly plot between the two leads, and enjoy the humour and the way it takes shape, too. I can’t remember when last I saw Reese Witherspoon in something, another one of those actresses that was in just about every other movie years ago and just slipped away (with the exception of last year’s Wild). I enjoyed her and Ruffalo in here, her incessant need to control, and his insistence on getting on her last nerve. It’s sweet and it is shameless and corny to boot, but it all comes together rather well I suppose, especially seeing how it is following a tried and tested recipe. This one just manages it better than most. I think, however, this is still really more of a chick flick than anything, but it is fun and heartwarming, and certainly not the worst movie of the genre to spend time on.

Review: Mud (2012)

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“There are fierce powers at work in the world, boys. Good, evil, poor luck, best luck. As men, we’ve got to take advantage where we can.”
– Mud

SYNOPSIS: Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love. – via IMDB

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GRADE 7The movie was pretty good, and I liked how the story came together and was presented, though at times I thought that it was massively underplayed and sometimes far too slow on the presentation of events. There are also a few things that are just left open and unexplained, so there is an air of confusion to it. I do like the drama aspect, as it was executed very well. Ellis’s family problems and the effects thereof could visibly be seen in his actions, and it is easy to see how Mud could have gotten him to do anything (not necessarily knowing what he was up to, that is). That Neckbone eventually relents and joins Ellis on the journey is well done, too. McConaughey delivers a great performance as Mud, and it is easy to see how two young boys would be drawn into his terrible mishap. Michael Shannon’s role was so minor, and it was a pity that he was not utelised more, he is a very good actor that can carry a story. I really feel for Ellis, being at that point in life where you are not yet an adult though you are no longer one hundred percent a child anymore. Ellis hits his pubescent age and has a bad time – his parents are getting a divorce, he is supposed to be moving to town and his life as he knows it is coming to a close. He throws himself into helping Mud in a way to look for answers to himself, to prove that not everything is broken with the world. I enjoyed how a lot of the movie was spoken, so it was more down to characters and their actions as opposed to big action scenes and losing everything to CGI and massive effects.  The film does keep you engaged. Maybe I just like a drama like that, but it was lovely how it was put together, how the boys were adventurers, how Neckbone eventually got on board with the whole Mud thing, as well as Mud’s whole story. The boys were prepared to help him and while they were at it they learned a lot of new things about people as well as some things about themselves. I enjoyed this, though I do not think that it was that fantastic as people made out, though do not mistake that for me saying it was bad or substandard, I really did enjoy it.