Last week, when I blogged about Notting Hill, I mentioned that it reminded me of There’s Something About Mary (1998) because they both had the homecoming queen falling for the ordinary guy, and us guys love that scenario. Well, the Mary flick was on HBO, too, so I decided to give it another viewing, and loved it all over again. Although I didn’t recall how farcical the cast of characters were, they were enjoyably funny. More importantly, Cameron Diaz is more attractive than Julia Roberts, with both of them at their best, and the stalkerish Ben Stiller is more likeable as an American than Hugh Grant as a milquetoast Brit. The Rotten Tomato critics loved the movie at 83%, but only 60% of the audience did. That must be a misprint because the movie was a blockbuster (highest grossing comedy of the year) that catapulted Diaz and Stiller into stardom. There is no way 40% of the audience didn’t enjoy the movie. I give it four stars out of four.
Sound City (2013) is a documentary about an LA music studio that started in 1971 and survived until 2011. It produced records from Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Rick Springfield, and Nirvana. The movie is primarily the work of Dave Grohl, Nirvana’s drummer, who purchased the studio’s iconic mixing console, moved it into a new studio, and has recorded new music from stars of the past who recorded in the original studio. The Rotten Tomato critics love this documentary at 100% and the audience is almost as favorable at 89%. Although I enjoy music, I have no appreciation for the distinctions that create great music. As pitcher Jim Palmer said about his Hall of Fame coach Earl Weaver’s pitching knowledge, “The only thing Earl knew about major league pitching was that he couldn’t hit it. I just don’t get it, but I give the movie three and a half stars out of four.
Rust & Bone (2012) is a French flick about two losers who use each other. The guy is a no-account kickboxer who moonlights as security/bouncer, and the girl is a former killer-whale trainer who becomes even more depressed when she loses her legs in an accident at work. She, Marion Cotillard is the movie’s claim to fame, as she won as Oscar in 2008 in La Vie en rose, about singer Edith Piaf. The Rotten Tomato critics score it at 82% and the audience is almost as favorable at 79%. I didn’t enjoy the characters, so obviously the movie was a downer – one star out of four.