easy A: Only form of payment is gift cards, please

Taking gift cards in return for fake sex, or sexual encounters in some cases, is probably not the best way to gain positive notoriety in high school. Olive, played by the amazing Emma Stone, realizes this the hard way in easy A (that rhymed!).

Last night, instead of watching the good ole Maple Leafs lose to those annoying Senators, I went with the girlfriend and other friendly folk to see Easy A.  I’m a big fan of Emma Stone.. oh and her work too, from her small-ish role in Superbad to co-starring with Mark Zuck… er… Jesse Eisenberg in Zombieland.

This was one of those movies I wanted to see, but didn’t think I’d actually go to the theatres to see it. Needless to say I knew what kind of movie it was going into it, so my expectations for good acting and such, weren’t too high. I came out mildly surprised.

My two favourite characters in the movie were Olive’s parents played by Stanley Tucci (The Lovely Bones) and Patricia Clarkson (Six Feet Under, The Green Mile). When I was looking for a picture of the two from the movie, I came upon a great interview with Tucci from Cinemablend describing his and Clarkson’s relationship. Pretty much every scene they were in had great chemistry and they were hilarious. Nothing less can be expected from two great actors, though.

Of course this movie boiled down to a romantic high school comedy, but it was done in a way that all audiences could get something out of it. It also showed the modern school, with references to the new generation posting every mundane action of theirs on Facebook, or Olive’s video being a live stream sent to everyone who ends up watching from their laptops and cell phones. I give easy A, a 4/5.

Oh and I forgot to mention: because of this song I now have Natasha Bedingfield’s Pocket full of sunshine stuck in my head.

My top 5 movies of 2009

Time for my second “top 5” and these are my favourite movies of the year. I’m not a proper critic, but I see a tonne of movies and feel I can judge them fairly well. My criteria is random, just as it is for anything, but I think it’s a good mix and maybe one or two you wouldn’t think would make a top five. Let me know what you think and while you’re at it, share your own! Enjoy!

NUMBER FIVE

Zombieland

Zombieland, the movie starring Woody Harrelson and the carbon copy of Michael Cera, was not a movie I was expecting to enjoy as much as I did.

It started off well with the survival rules. At that point I realized this wasn’t going to be the typical zombie flick. The zombies actually seemed secondary, which is ironic given the name of the movie.

I recommend this one because it’s funny, exciting and doesn’t drag on like so many movies are guilty of doing nowadays.

NUMBER FOUR

I love you, man

I Love You, Man didn’t make my top five because of anything other than it made me laugh pretty much the entire time. Paul Rudd and Jason Segel have the chemistry for that hilarious bromance/ odd couple vibe.

If I may be critical for a bit, the story itself is a bit lame. I mean come on, who doesn’t have at least one friend of the same sex? Also, Segel’s character pretty much comes out of nowhere and by the end of the movie is his best friend.

Flawed, yes; Oscar contender? No. I’m not judging this movie based on its cinematography. Like I wrote, it made this list because it made me LAUGH.

NUMBER THREE

(500) Days of Summer

I’m not the biggest romantic comedy fan, but (500) Days of Summer had me interested from the get-go. Having Joseph Gordon-Levitt (aka Tommy from 3rd Rock from the Sun!) and Zooey Deschanel make up this on-screen romance, was a great fit. The soundtrack, featuring artists like Regina Spektor, The Smiths, Black Lips and Hall & Oates was a perfect mix and makes for easy listening. What drew me into the movie most, however, was the non-chronological order that everything takes place. If they’d decided to make it the typical way, it might’ve been your run-of-the-mill movie with good stars and soundtrack, but this way it kept me thinking and invested in the characters. This one should win some awards when it comes time, and I’ll be rooting for it!

NUMBER TWO

UP

What a fantastic and flawless adventure of a movie, brought to you by the fine folks at Disney-Pixar. UP was not a movie I was originally interested in. I saw the previews in theatres and thought, “How could a man floating in a house, be funny or interesting?” The more previews I saw, the more interested I became. Eventually I couldn’t wait to go see it.

This movie is a roller coaster of comedic genius and extreme sadness. I’ve never felt so sad watching a cartoon in my life as I did during the scenes of Carl recollecting his past. That one part of the movie made it an instant favourite in my books. On the comedy side of things, the two animals, Dug and that bird I can’t remember the name of, were HILARIOUS! Everything they did got a laugh out of me.

If you haven’t seen UP you should. It’s a definite classic by Disney-Pixar and dare I say their best adventure to-date.

NUMBER ONE

The Hangover

I truly thought I was over the whole, lets get drunk and have a crazy time with lots of stupidity happening kind of movies. Apparently not.

The Hangover, starring Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms, sees these guys head to Vegas for a bachelor party for their buddy. As you can tell that guy isn’t in any of the previews, so I think it’s a non-spoiler to say he was left somewhere while they went on their bender.

Since it’s called “The Hangover”, we don’t get to see much of what happened the night before (except for some very very very gross pictures at the end). It’s a movie about these three guys who are trying to retrace their steps so they can find the groom-to-be. As they figure out what went wrong the night before they end up trying to find a home for the baby, who happened to be in their hotel room; return a tiger to a very angry owner who loves Phil Collins; and finally get tased “in the face”.

I was in pain after watching this movie. I literally missed some scenes because of over-excessive laughing. This movie may not be for everyone, but if you think you can take it, you’ll love it.

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