Re-Watch: Mean Girls (2004)

Mean Girls
Director: Mark Waters
Writer: Tina Fey
Based on: Rosalind Wiseman‘s book Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and Other Realities of Adolescence
Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdamsLizzy CaplanDaniel Franzese, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey ChabertJonathan Bennett, Tina FeyAmy Poehler, Tim Meadows
Seen on: 3.8.2016

Plot:
Cady (Lindsay Lohan) spent basically her entire childhood in Africa* with her zoologist parents (Ana Gasteyer, Neil Flynn), but now they have returned to the USA and Cady finds herself in a regular (USAmerican) high school for the first time in her life. She is understandably overwhelmed, but finds first alliances with outsiders Janis (Lizzy Caplan) and Damian (Daniel Franzese). But also the Plastics, the popular girls of the school led by Regina (Rachel McAdams) take an interest in Cady – and Cady will have to figure out where she fits in and who she is.

(*I am not sure anymore whether it’s specified where in Africa, or if this is yet another case of “Africa is a country”. But neither wikipedia nor imdb give any hint other than Africa, so I’m leaning towards the latter.)

I watched Mean Girls a few years ago and found it entertaining enough and on the better end of the teen movie spetrum, though not amazing. Since it has gained quite a cult following (on tumblr at least) in the meantime, I thought I’d give it another go. But it didn’t really change my first impression of the film.

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Inside Out (2015)

Inside Out
Director: Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen
Writer: Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley
Cast: Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Mindy Kaling, Kaitlyn Dias, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlanFrank Oz, Flea, Rashida Jones
Seen on: 4.10.2015

Plot:
Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) and her parents (Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan) have to move to San Francisco. Being uprooted that way causes quite some chaos inside Riley, where Joy (Amy Poehler) desperately tries to keep Riley happy. But Sadness (Phyllis Smith) keeps messing things up and who needs sadness anyway? In her attempt to make things right, Joy and Sadness find themselves a long way from the command center, where Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) are left to try to keep things together, to keep Riley together. But that’s not so easily done.

Inside Out took its time to make its way to Austria – but it was worth every minute of the wait. It was cute and hilarious and very, very touching.

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Yes Please (Amy Poehler)

Yes Please is an autobiography/autobiographical essay collection by Amy Poehler.
Finished on: 8.9.2015

Plot:
In little bits and achronological pieces, Amy Poehler tells us about her life and the lessons she learned so far. From her early career in improv to her successes on SNL and Parks and Recreation, she gives us a glimpse into her experiences and also gives other people – her parents, Mike Schur, Seth Meyers – some room to tell us their thoughts about Amy Poehler and her life.

I’m a fan of Amy Poehler’s, particularly due to Parks and Recreation, though I also like her openly displayed feminism and her feminist projects like Smart Girls at the Party. So I decided to read Yes Please, even though I usually don’t care for (celebrity) (auto-)biographies. And Yes Please was nice overall, but also a little boring.

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Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

Wet Hot American Summer
Director: David Wain
Writer: Michael Showalter, David Wain
Cast: Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian BlackMolly Shannon, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Ken Marino, Joe Lo Truglio, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Sussman, Judah Friedlander
Seen on: 7.9.2015

Plot:
The last day of Camp Firewood puts the various councelors under stress to complete their open business that they’ve been pushing off for the rest of the summer. And camp director Beth (Janeane Garofalo) has to try and keep everything together. Which is easier said than done when you’re dealing not only with various romantic entanglements, a cook suffering from PTSD (Christopher Meloni) and a deadly piece of NASA equipment hurtling towards them. Oh, and of course, the talent show that is planned for the end of the day.

Wet Hot American Summer is a loud, silly and enjoyable movie with a cast that parodies everything that doesn’t get out of the way fast enough. I had fun.

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Hoodwinked Too! Hood VS. Evil (2011)

Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil is the sequel to Hoodwinked. It was directed by Mike Disa, written by Mike Disa, Tony Leech, Cory Edwards and Todd Edwards and stars the voices of Hayden Panettiere, Glenn Close, Patrick Warburton, Cheech Marin, Joan Cusack, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Martin Short, Brad Garrett, Andy Dick, Danny Pudi and Heidi Klum.

Plot:
Red Riding Hood (Hayden Panettiere) started training with the Sisters of the Hood to learn the sacred art of kung fu bakery and left The Big Bad Wolf (Patrick Warburton) and Granny (Glenn Close) to take care of the bad guys by themselves. That doesn’t really work out that well. While trying to save Hansel (Bill Hader) and Gretel (Amy Poehler), Granny gets kidnapped and Red Riding Hood has to rescue her. At the same time she also has to figure our who stole the recipe for the supertruffel from the Sisters.

I liked Hoodwinked a lot. But Hoodwinked Too was pretty disappointing. A huge factor of this disappointment was that the German dubbed version was the only version I could see (legally). For a film that relies so much on puns, that’s pretty much a death-sentence right there. But the translation didn’t change the inanity of the plot, nor did it produce the fat-hatred that was casually inserted into the movie.

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Monsters vs Aliens (2009)

Monsters vs Aliens is the newest Dreamworks Animation movie, directed by Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon and with the voices of  Reese Whitherspoon, Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Kiefer Sutherland, Stephen Colbert, Rainn Wilson, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler and Renée Zellweger.
Unfortunately I had to choose between seeing it in English or in 3D and I went for the 3D.

Plot:
On her wedding day, Susan (Reese Whiterspoon) gets hit by a meteor and suddenly starts growing until she’s as tall as a small scyscraper. The government intervenes and Susan gets taken to a secret facility where she lives with some other monsters – B.O.B., a kind of sentient (though not much sentient) jelly (Seth Rogen), Dr. Cockroach, a crazy scientist who turned himself into a man-sized cockroach (Hugh Laurie), The Missing Link, a creature between fish and man (Will Arnett) and Insectosaurus, an oversized caterpillar (and when I say oversized, I mean as big as a scyscraper).
Anyway, when a giant alien robot lands on the earth, it’s the monsters who are called upon for help.

I really liked Monsters vs Aliens. It was full to the brim with references for geeks (starting with dialogue like “CODE NIMOY! CODE NIMOY!” to “Once again, a UFO has landed in America, the only country UFOs ever seem to land in.” and referencing movies from The Day the Earth Stood Still to Close Encounters of the Third Kind). Plus, it’s probably the most feminist kids’ movie in a while. The story was a bit old though, but at least that insured that it worked.
The 3D was really good, but I thought that they could have made more “gags” – things really coming out of the screen etc.  [Yeah, I’m a sucker for the cheap thrills.]

monsters_vs_aliens

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