SOYLENT GREEN (1973)

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Elizabeth (spoilers!)

I first saw Soylent Green 10 years ago in a film class at summer camp. I was lucky enough to see it for the first time without knowing the ending, which definitely freaked me out. I remembered the colors and the riot scenes more than anything, which are still great. But watching it again, the story is really the best part.

Robert Thorn (Charlton Heston) is trying to get to the truth, but the truth is something that is making people insane/kill themselves. He talks to a priest whom he knows knows the big secret, and the priest acts, looks, and speaks as if he’s completely lost his mind and is only barely a person. Thorn’s best friend, Sol (Edward G. Robinson) learns the truth and it prompts him to get assisted suicide. Of course, the big truth is that the government-issued food rations that this future United States lives off of is made of dead humans. If there was anything that would make people go crazy or kill themselves, that would probably be it. It’s just interesting to me that a simple fact can make characters do this, and it’s believable.

But probably the best scene in the whole movie, or at least the most moving, is Sol’s death. The assisted suicide center that he goes to gives him a seemingly painless poison, and while he waits for it to kick in, the room turns his favorite color, they play his favorite music, and they surround him with video scenes of nature that don’t exist in the world anymore. He watches and cries, and Thorn watches and cries from an adjacent room. It’s really scary, beautiful, and sad.

Christopher

I was expecting to hate this movie and be disappointed that I wasted my time. But this movie is weird. And in a great way. I also didn’t realize it was in some future. I guess I thought it was just supposed to be….I have no idea, but it was compelling all the way through even though I knew how it ended. I like to think that Charlton Heston’s character and his roommate were actually married. It made it pretty interesting if you started thinking that throughout. Much like thinking that Cora is Mr. Brown’s caretaker instead of his daughter.

Also, the old man looks like he should be in a Dr. Slump comic or something, I think it’s the suspenders and beret though.

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미녀는 괴로워 (200 POUNDS BEAUTY) [2006]

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Christopher

This movie is very misleading. Yes it’s about a girl losing 200 pounds but it’s not that she was ugly and now she’s attractive that she’s skinny, it’s she lost weight but she did it using plastic surgery so she has to try to make people like her because she got plastic surgery? So it’s basically a cry to start seeing people with plastic surgery as okay people?

I’m not sure what to say about 200 Pounds Beauty. It’s not terrible but it’s not good, BUT three of us did watch it and it is all in Korean. So there must be something there that’s compelling. If you feel like you have seen every movie on Netflix this might be worth your time. Just know that if you aren’t interested in the first 10 min you can try something else.

Elizabeth

Well, 200 Pounds Beauty is definitely one of the weirder movies we’ve watched. I’m not sure if it’s mostly from a culture barrier or what, but this movie is fuuuuuucked up.

It has a relatively interesting plot: Hanna (Kim Ah-joong) is overweight (though much more than 200 pounds as the title suggests) and a ghost singer for a famous pop star who lip syncs to Hanna’s voice. After trying to kill herself, Hanna eventually gets head to toe plastic surgery, disappears for a year while she has this done, and then comes back with a different identity, using the name Jenny.

This is where things get particularly weird. Obviously our culture is not against plastic surgery or anything, but, at least from this movie, I think things and views on plastic surgery are very different in South Korea. I had assumed the whole movie was about everyone, Hanna included, realizing that looks don’t matter, overweight people are people too, etc etc. But what it’s actually about, is the stigma plastic surgery carries and getting people to accept her new body. I don’t know if I’m getting the point across about how weird that ends up being in this movie, but it’s weird.

用心棒 (YOJIMBO) [1961]

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Elizabeth

Well, I don’t know what Chris is going to say about me watching Yojimbo. But if he says that I hated it, or hate Kurosawa, it’s not true! We ended up watching Yojimbo in two parts, because I started falling asleep the first time we watched it. Before you judge me, keep in mind that this was A.) After a full day of work, B.) In a room with all the lights off and C.) Because the movie’s in Japanese, it’s easy to close your eyes and not be distracted . . .

ANYWAY. No, I didn’t hate Yojimbo, yes, I thought it was boring at first. I guess I just didn’t really understand the point; why is the samurai (Toshiro Mifune) getting involved in the gang wars of this town he just wandered into? But once things got real, once the samurai got caught double crossing one of the gangs, it got really interesting and good.

The best part was the relationship between the samurai and the old man who helps him (Eijirō Tōno). The samurai kind of treats him like shit at first, but once the samurai realizes this guy is pretty much the only honest person he can trust, they let each other help each other out. Which is cute.

Christopher

I really enjoy watching movies. And I really enjoy old foreign movies. And I really really love old Japanese movies.

Yojimbo to me is a perfect movie. It stars a complete badass, it’s set in a town in a civil war, there are sword fights, there are head games, there’s a lady/family to save, it’s fantastic cinema!! I mean, APPARENTLY coughElizabethcough the first half is slow. It may be but it’s so necessary for the finale. If you have not seen this please take the time, but I trust mostly people probably have.

I hope this doesn’t sound pretentious or anything, cause I obviously don’t have enough knowledge about the movie or this would be a better post, but it really is the definition of what I love about movies both now in my life and really good old memories.

HEAVYWEIGHTS (1995)

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Christopher

WATCH THIS MOVIE NOW! If you remember at all seeing this as a kid, see it right now. It’s been close to 10 years since I saw it, it’s still as funny as I thought it was when I was young. Fat kids versus a healthy Ben Stiller, who I don’t really like but think this is best role, is the perfect setup for hilarity!

But the other big thing Heavyweights does is makes me want to see all of the Mighty Duck movies, for some Goldberg (Shaun Weiss) action!

Elizabeth

I’ve seen Heavyweights a million times, but I hadn’t seen it in a really long time. Two things that I noticed this time were that A.) Judd Apatow co-wrote and co-produced it and B.) Paul Feig is in it.

I really enjoy seeing kids’ movies and shows from the 90s, if for no other reason than seeing how much stuff is in it that would never be in a kids’ movie today. Heavyweights has a lot of it: from adults smoking cigarettes around kids, to always saying “Oh my God” instead of “Oh my gosh,” to the bigger theme of what is essentially child abuse in comedy form.

One great thing about Heavyweights is that, unlike most kids’ movies, the kids and the adults are much more evenly comedically matched. The kids in this movie are actually funny. And Ben Stiller as Tony Perkis is working on Zoolander levels of comedy.

Much of my love for Heavyweights comes from pure nostalgia, but I don’t care. It’s funny and I love it.

HITCH (2005)

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Elizabeth

Hitch falls into what might be the worst kind of bad movie category. It’s mediocre. It’s not bad enough to be laughable, but it’s not good enough to be good. It’s just long, boring, and unfunny.

Hitch tries to be sensitive. Alex “Hitch” Hitchens (Will Smith) is a dating consultant who coaches men on how to date women. But really, a more accurate description is he’s someone who teaches men how to trick women they’re interested in into noticing them. It tries to be sensitive because Hitch is only in it for love; if he senses that a guy only wants to sleep with a woman, he won’t work with them. So, that’s nice. But what’s not nice is perpetuating this idea that if a woman says she doesn’t want to date you, you just need to try harder. It’s an idea that a lot of romantic comedies go with, that, at least compared to men, women are just child-like and need to be told what’s best for them. Good messages all around!

Christopher

Hitch is in the worst movie ever category. And not because the director, actors, story were terrible. It’s just because this movie is so boring! The worst movie experience to me is to be able to predict everything that’s going to happen when it happens. Maybe this movie would have been better if it was R, maybe more nudity or some kind interesting adult humor.

The only thing this has going for it is the fact that we can actually believe that Will Smith would teach Kevin James (KJ4Lyfe) how to pick up women. It felt nice that it wasn’t Adam Sandler for a change.

This movie might be close to the worst but nothing has passed TED yet.