AN INVISIBLE SIGN (2010)

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Christopher

A classic already! We watch a lot of films where the main character comes off more creepy than relatable but nothing so intense as this movie. Jessica Alba plays a psychotic 25? year old teacher who brings an ax to school, has crippling OCD and dresses like a five year old. I thought this movie was great and I for one would see it if they wanted to release it in theaters.

Elizabeth

Here is the IMDb synopsis of An Invisible Sign:

Mona Gray is a 20-year-old loner who, as a child, turned to math for salvation after her father became ill. As an adult, Mona now teaches the subject and must help her students through their own crises.

Here’s what An Invisible Sign is actually about: an elementary school, located in an idyllic but nondescript town, for the mentally retarded and/or psychologically disturbed. Except it’s not the students who are mentally retarded, it’s the entire staff. This is obviously most prominently shown in Mona Gray (Jessica Alba), the protagonist with extreme and unchecked obsessive compulsive disorder. Mona began basing her life around magical thinking at age 10 when her father gets sick with an illness unknown both to Mona and the audience. Mona loudly knocks on wood when she’s stressed, stops seeing her friends, stops running (which she loves for some reason), stops going to movies, stops listening to music, doesn’t finish college, eats soap to punish herself when she enjoys something, decorates her house and classroom with numbers, dresses almost exclusively in brown, and constantly wears pigtails. Among other things. In the beginning of the movie, her mother (played by Sônia Braga, who also played Samantha’s lesbian lover in Sex and the City, and because of that I couldn’t get the image of her saying “pussy” out of my head anytime she was on screen) kicks her out of their house by putting all of Mona’s stuff on the lawn. So, Mona’s mom is awful. They imply that she won’t be able to afford an apartment, so instead she rents a sweet-ass house, which makes TOTAL sense. Then Mona’s mom runs into Mona’s old elementary school principal, which leads to Mona getting a job as the new math teacher despite being completely insane and not even having a college degree.

There’s a lot going on here. But it’s important to note that at one point, Mona brings an ax to school because it’s shaped like a seven. And then one of her students, Lisa, whom Mona has taken under her wing because Lisa’s mom is dying of EYE CANCER, gets the ax and threatens another student, Ann, because Ann is a bully. Mona takes the ax from Lisa and tells her to stand by the door. Lisa then bangs her head into the glass of the door, cutting her head. While this is going on, Ann grabs the ax and repeatedly tells Mona she is going to chop Lisa into pieces. Before she can, however, Ann slips in a pile of piss (there’s a girl in the class who pisses on the floor when she gets nervous . . . whatever), loses the ax, and the ax hits Mona in the leg. Mona ends up with only 20-something stitches rather than a severed limb, but whatever. That’s just the level of storytelling we’re working with here.

An Invisible Sign missed an opportunity to be a possibly interesting movie about a woman with super severe OCD and instead just turned into a melodrama about dying parents and love curing psychotic disorders. Cool!!!!!

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I LOVE YOU, MAN (2009)

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Elizabeth

I love Paul Rudd, I love Jason Segel, and I love when guys are friends. So, naturally, I pretty much loved I Love You, Man. I really liked seeing a movie address the very real issue of making friends as an adult. Chris and I are both really lucky to work in jobs with people we like and with a lot of people close to our age, but if we weren’t in that situation both of our friend counts would be significantly lower. And I would imagine for guys it’s harder than for women, because for whatever reason it’s easier for women to meet up casually for dinner or drinks or something without it being weird.

I love how Peter (Paul Rudd) and Sydney (Jason Segel)’s relationship throughout the movie mirrors most romantic comedy relationships, but without any real reference to homophobia. I thought the fact that they made Peter’s brother, Robbie (Andy Samberg) gay, but didn’t load him with gay jokes and instead used his character to help Peter connect with men was really smart.

Sometimes I Love You, Man felt a little sexist, especially the scene where Sydney doesn’t want to play golf, or any sport, with women, but sometimes I can’t tell if I think a movie is stereotyping women, or if that’s just how I perceive it because I’m not like that. I guess the best example in this case would be Zooey (Rashida Jones)’s “girl nights” where she and her friends get together and drink wine and talk about relationships. That made me roll my eyes, because of course the women in the movie do that, but maybe women really do do that, and just don’t do that. I don’t know. BUT. I Love You, Man is great.

Christopher

I’m glad we finally got to watch this movie because I knew Elizabeth would like it. Or at least I hope she does or this post won’t make a lot of sense.

For me the best part of this movie was having the great Lou Ferrigno in it! Also I think anything with surprise vomiting is pretty funny.

SEASON OF THE WITCH (2011)

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Christopher

THIS MOVIE IS GREAT. The film truly has no tension because you don’t care about any of the characters. Who really cares if everyone dies. But I think this movie is brilliant in its awful CGI, forgettable cast, and lack of a real story.

I do enjoy a good Cage film but I think this is the best one I’ve seen in a while.

Elizabeth

There are about a million awful things that distract you from the awful story of Season of the Witch, but I think probably the worst offender is the fact that Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman, though credited as playing the characters “Behmen von Bleibruck” and “Felson,” respectively, they’re really just playing Crusader versions of NIcolas Cage and Ron Perlman. Not that I necessarily would want to hear Cage or Perlman attempt British accents, but the fact that they don’t even attempt accents and just sound like Americans fighting in the Crusades makes this movie seem like some sort of weird and awful time travel movie. Which actually would have been more interesting.

I think what Season of the Witch is supposed to be about is the plague (not sure if it’s THE plague that we all know and love or a made up plague for the movie) being caused by a demon that possesses women. Or something? All I know is, Nicolas Cage and Ron Perlman play Crusaders who kill a shitload of people in a bunch of battles (thanks to a very extended montage of this), and then suddenly get a change of heart when they realize they killed women and children. Now, I’m not about to pretend to be any kind of scholar on the Crusades, but I have a feeling that this wasn’t a once-in-a-Crusades occurrence. But they’re such good guys! Or something.

I don’t know.