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Monday, May 23, 2011

BRIDESMAIDS a film review by Maia

Bridesmaids stars SNL cast member Kristen Wiig as Annie the down on her luck single gal whose best friend Lillian (former SNL cast member Maya Rudolph) suddenly and unexpectedly becomes engaged. At this point Annie still has yet to get her life in control. She attempted to open a bake shop, but due to the recession it failed. And with it's failure her passion for her job and life went with it. So she decides to settle in life. Her job as a sales clerk in a jewelry store is unfullfilling and frustrating. She has to sit back and watch all the young in love couples buy engagement rings as she sulks and makes snide comments and gives then the stink eye. Albeit unintentionally. She lives with not one but two roommates who are gross and intrusive and her love life is lackluster. She is reduced to a rich assholes booty call and of course he treats her like crap. And worst of all she allows it.
Annie's feelings over Lillian getting engaged are mixed with genuine joy for her friend, depression that her life hasn't taken the right turns to get her where she needs to be at this age in life , to resentment and anger that her position as best friend is being usurped by Lillian's new friend Helen (Rose Byrne). Helen desperately battles with Annie for the coveted position of maid of honor, and as a single, broke, woman in her 30's Annie feels that she can't measure up to the perfect, beautiful, rich trophy wife that Helen represents.The other bridesmaids that are included in the wedding is the wonderful but underused Wendi Mclendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, and break-out star Melissa McCarthy as tough, unpolished Megan.
Other critics say that McCarthy steals the movie, but to me the one who clearly owns the film is Wiig. Who knew the girl had such range? She is able to portray bona fide emotions such as fear, insecurity, anger, and hopelessness but in a simple turn can crack you up with her sharp sarcastic wit and rubbery faced features. She is the true breakout star. Writing and co-producing a smart, heartfelt film about the bonds and love between women and their close friends. And most importantly casts women that are authentically talented and funny not just pretty faces or matinee idols.
If you've haven't seen this movie yet, go now!! As soon as you can! Do not wait for the DVD because this is best enjoyed in a theater with others. And don't worry guys this is no mere chick flick or boring, bland rom-com. You'll dig it too! Truthfully I haven't' laughed this hard at a film all year. If you don't like it then your funny bone is clearly broken.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tirbeca Film Festival Shorts: The Dungeon Master reviewed by Maia

Newcomer filmmakers Shiloh and Rider Strong (of Boy meets World fame) first short film shows a lot of promise. It opens with a couple of friends Shane and Cooper chatting about how much they used to love the role playing game Dungeons and Dragons in high school. Cooper says he knows a guy who is totally into the game and can be their dungeon master. So one night, they get a few friends together to play D&D. Maximilian the Dungeon Master arrives totally in character and dressed for the part wearing a floor length cape and of course his multi-sided die. The guys are not into the game as much as Maximilian and are clearly amused about how excited a grown man is to play D&D. However, this film takes an unexpected turn when the tone suddenly changes and Shane starts belittling and humiliating Maximilian because of his love and dedication to Dungeons and Dragons. Without wanting to give too much away I will say that the guys don't expect Maximilian to be as authentic a Dungeon Master as he is and has a surprise in store for them.
I found this movie to be pretty good but not great. The pacing is done well; however, the change of tone towards the end is a little abrupt and not without a lot of explanation. The ending was too open for my taste with no real resolution or feeling of closure, but it does leave you wanting to see more. If this short film were a part of a series or perhaps a full length film then it would have been a lot better. So to the Strong Brothers I say make this film into a mini series.