Re-Watch: Big Business (1988)

Big Business
Director: Jim Abrahams
Writer: Dori Pierson, Marc Reid Rubel
Cast: Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin, Fred Ward, Edward Herrmann, Michele Placido, Daniel Gerroll, Barry Primus, Michael Gross
Seen on: 24.4.2020

Plot:
One night in a small town hospital in Jupiter Hollow, two very different pairs of parents each have a set of twin girls. In the confusion, two babies get switched. 40 years later, Rose (Lily Tomlin) and Sadie Shelton (Bette Midler) have taken over the family company in New York that still owns a company in Jupiter Hollow. But they want to sell it. Rose (Lily Tomlin) and Sadie Ratcliff (Bette Midler) who grew up in a poor family in Jupiter Hollow and know that the entire town depends on the local company not being sold, decide to go to New York to confront the Sheltons and stop the sale. But given the circumstances around their birth, things are bound to get very confusing.

Big Business is one of my total-flashback-to-my-childhood movies. I think we had a VHS tape with Big Business and Ruthless People (for the Bette Midler double whammy) and it feels like we watched it once a week. We probably didn’t because TV time was very limited, but I’m sure I’ve seen the film a lot, although I haven’t seen it in 20 years, if not more. I definitely never saw it as an adult or in English. So, even though everything was very familiar about the film, it was also a very different experience. I might not love it as much anymore as I did as a child, but it is still very entertaining.

The film poster showing Rose (Lily Tomlin) and Sadie Shelton (Bette Midler) on one side and Rose (Lily Tomlin) and Sadie Ratcliff (Bette Midler) on the other side.
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Re-Watch: Something Borrowed (2011)

Something Borrowed
Director: Luke Greenfield
Writer: Jennie Snyder
Based on: Emily Giffin‘s book
Cast: Ginnifer Goodwin, Kate Hudson, Colin Egglesfield, John Krasinski, Steve Howey, Ashley Williams
Seen on: 30.12.2019
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
Rachel (Ginnifer Goodwin) and Darcy (Kate Hudson) have been best friends since about forever. Darcy is an extroverted party girl, while Rachel is pretty comfortable in Darcy’s shadow. But after a drunken night Rachel sleeps with Darcy’s fiancé Dex (Colin Egglesfield) who she’s been in love with since about forever. What starts as a single mistake soon ends up an affair that puts most of Rachel’s values in question.

It’s been almost ten years that I saw the film for the first time, and to be fair, when I decided to watch it again, I wasn’t even sure anymore if I had seen it. But I liked the film back then, and I liked it a lot again now.

The film poster showing the main characters of the film.
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Re-Watch: Moulin Rouge! (2001)

Moulin Rouge!
Director: Baz Luhrmann
Writer: Baz Luhrmann, Craig Pearce
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, John Leguizamo, Jim Broadbent, Richard Roxburgh, Jacek Koman, Matthew Whittet, Kerry Walker, David Wenham, Kylie Minogue
Seen on: 22.12.2019

Plot:
Young, promising artist Christian (Ewan McGregor) finds his way to Paris where he hopes to be part of the bohemian revolution. He is quickly adopted by a theater group who hope he can help persuade the Moulin Rouge to put on their play by convincing its most important star Satine (Nicole Kidman) of his talents. Satine is quickly convinced, but the Moulin needs the help of the Duke (Richard Roxburgh) to finance the play – and the Duke wants Satine. That Christian and Satine fall in love, then, is the most inconvenient thing.

Moulin Rouge! came out when I was a teenager and it hit me in just the right way in pretty much everything. I still listen to the soundtrack regularly, but it had been years that I have actually seen the film. Now that I have, what can I say but that it’s still one of my faves despite the many (many) problems I can see.

The film poster showing a woman and a man kissing in front of the Moulin Rouge windmill.
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Re-Watch: Easy A (2010)

Easy A
Director: Will Gluck
Writer: Bert V. Royal
Cast: Emma Stone, Penn Badgley, Amanda Bynes, Patricia Clarkson, Stanley Tucci, Malcolm McDowell, Thomas Haden Church, Lisa Kudrow, Dan Byrd, Cam Gigandet, Fred Armisen
Seen on: 29.11.2019
[Here’s my first review.]

Content Note: sexual assault, abuse

Plot:
Olive (Emma Stone) is a good student, though not a particularly popular one. But when a rumor is started that she sleeps around, it puts a quick end to her going unnoticed. Not content with just accepting the sexist double standard, Olive gets into a catfight with the religious do-gooder Marianne (Amanda Bynes), poses as a sex partner for various guys (who are gay or unpopular) and causes general mayhem at her school.

For whatever reason, I had it in my head that I had kinda not liked Easy A all that much when I first watched it (reading my review from back then, that seems not to be true) and that I wanted to give it another try because everybody else seemed to love it so much. Having done so now, I can confidently say that it is a fun film with even some feminist attempts, but it does have problems and I am still not sure why Easy A is the cult classic it seems to have become.

The film poster showing Olive (Emma Stone) in front of a blackboard. There are misogynist curses on the blackboard with arrows pointing at her. She holds a sign that reads: The rumour-filled totally FALSE account of HOW I RUINED my flawless reputation.
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Re-Watch: Zombieland (2009)

Zombieland
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Bill Murray
Seen on: 24.11.2019
[Here’s my first review.]

Plot:
In the near future, there are barely any people left – most of them have been turned into zombies. Among the survivors are Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) and Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson) who stumbled upon each other by chance and decided to stick together for a while, though the obsessive and anxious Columbus and the toughtalking, explosive Tallahassee don’t have much in common. When they run into Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), the girls first rob them, but later on, they throw their lot together, hoping to reach a place where they’re safe.

When I saw Zombieland for the first time (almost a decade ago), I was utterly cahrmed by it. Re-Watching it now, I have to admit that it lost a bit of its sheen, but it’s still pretty entertaining.

The film poster showing Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), all with weapons in their hands.
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Re-Watch: Little Women (1994)

Little Women
Director: Gillian Armstrong
Writer: Robin Swicord
Based on: Louisa May Alcott’s novel
Cast: Winona Ryder, Trini Alvarado, Samantha Mathis, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, Susan Sarandon, Christian Bale, Eric Stoltz, Gabriel Byrne, John Neville, Mary Wickes, Florence Paterson
Seen on: 10.8.2019
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Plot:
Meg (Trini Alvarado), Jo (Winona Ryder), Beth (Claire Danes) and Amy (Kirsten Dunst) are sisters, living with their mother Marmee (Susan Sarandon) as their father is off fighting in the war. Their lives are spent working or studying and trying to help the even poorer people in the neighborhood. In their sparetime, they like to play creatively. When their neighbor Mr. Lawrence’s (John Neville) grandson Laurie (Christian Bale) moves in with his grandfather, he quickly finds himself included with the girls. Together, they navigate life’s ups and downs.

There was a time when I was a teenager that I was very much obsessed with this film and I watched it quite a few times. But it took me until now to finally read the novel and it’s been many years that I saw the film, so I looked at it now with fresh eyes. I still love it, but I do see a couple of things more critically now.

The film poster, showing the four March girls (Winona Ryder, Trini Alvarado, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes) and their mother (Susan Sarandon).

[SPOILERS]

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Re-Watch: My Own Private Idaho (1991)

My Own Private Idaho
Director: Gus Van Sant
Writer: Gus Van Sant
Based on: William Shakespeare‘s Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2, and Henry V (loosely)
Cast: River Phoenix, Keanu Reeves, James Russo, William Richert, Rodney Harvey, Chiara Caselli, Flea, Grace Zabriskie, Udo Kier
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2018
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Plot:
Mike (River Phoenix) and Scottie (Keanu Reeves) are hustlers, living in the streets of Portland. Scottie has been living this way for longer than Mike and shows Mike the ropes a little, introducing him to Bob Pigeon (William Richert) who is something between a pimp and a father figure for a lot of more or less homeless hustlers in the city. Scottie also takes care of Mike when he has one of his narcoleptic spells. Despite their closeness, there’s a chasm between Mike and Scottie as Mike doesn’t have many choices to live the way he does, while Scottie comes from a rich family and chose to hustle to embarrass them.

I saw My Own Private Idaho around 20 years ago and I understood very little of it back then. Seeing it now, opened up the film to me much more. That in itself is already a beautiful experience, but even without that part of the experience, the film is wonderful.

The film poster showing River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves.
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Re-Watch: Body of Evidence (1992)

Body of Evidence
Director: Uli Edel
Writer: Brad Mirman
Cast: Madonna, Willem Dafoe, Joe Mantegna, Anne Archer, Michael Forest, Julianne Moore, Frank Langella, Jürgen Prochnow
Seen on: 9.7.2018

Plot:
When millionaire Andrew Marsh (Joe Mantegna) is found dead from a heart attack, handcuffed to his bed with a sex tape of him and his lover Rebecca (Madonna), suspicions immediately fall on her to have purposefully fucked him to death. When it’s discovered that she stands to inherit a lot of money from him, suspicions turn into criminal charges and Rebecca is arrested despite her protestations of innocence. Her lawyer Frank (Willem Dafoe) is very much drawn to her and even while he starts to investigate the case, the two start an affair.

Body of Evidence is sensationalist crap. With a bit of a more feminist and less voyeuristic/fetishistic tendency, it could have gone in the direction of Gone Girl, but instead we got objectification and misogyny. It’s literally hateful.

Film Poster shwoing Madonna laying on a pillow, apparently naked.

[SPOILERS]

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Re-Watch: Momo (1986)

Momo
Director: Johannes Schaaf
Writer: Johannes Schaaf, Rosemarie Fendel, Michael Ende, Marcello Coscia
Based on: Michael Ende‘s novel
Cast: Radost Bokel, Mario Adorf, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Sylvester Groth, Leopoldo Trieste, Ninetto Davoli, Concetta Russino, Bruno Stori, Francesco De Rosa, Elide Melli, Pietro Tordi, Hartmut Kollakowsky, John Huston
Seen on: 24.2.2018
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Plot:
Momo (Radost Bokel) lives on her own in a ruin in the center of the village. She knows everybody in town. In fact, everbody knows each other and takes care of each other, not minding that all the social niceties do take time. But the town’s slow pace is disrupted when mysterious gray men show up and make it clear to everybody how much time they are wasting. There’s only Momo who can try and get rid of them.

Momo is one of my childhood favorites, so when they announced a special screening at the cinema, I knew I wanted to catch it on the big screen. And it was a great opportunity to see a film that still holds up wonderfully.

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Re-Watch: Miss Congeniality (2000)

Miss Congeniality
Director: Donald Petrie
Writer: Marc Lawrence, Katie Ford, Caryn Lucas
Cast: Sandra Bullock, Michael Caine, Benjamin Bratt, Candice Bergen, William Shatner, Ernie Hudson, John DiResta, Steve Monroe, Heather Burns, Melissa De Sousa
Seen on: 19.1.2018
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Plot:
Gracie (Sandra Bullock) has always be a tomboy and feels more than comfortable in the guys’ club that is the FBI. But when there’s a threat that somebody wants to bomb the Miss USA pageant, her partner Eric (Benjamin Bratt) finds that Gracie really is the only FBI agent who could pull off going undercover as a contestant. She just needs a bit of refinement which shall be provided by old Miss USA coach Victor (Michael Caine). Gracie is not happy about it at all, but she’ll go through with it, causing a lot of confusion in the pageant with every step she takes.

When I saw the film the last time, probably around 10-15 years ago, I was still able to laugh about Miss Congeniality. But the film, unfortunately, didn’t age well.

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