Monthly Archives: January 2004

The Butterfly Effect (2004)

Notice: I found Ashton Kutcher, star of The Butterfly Effect, on a trip to buy dog food, and cordially asked him to write a review. This is what he sent me. It’’s totally him. I wouldn’’t make this stuff up. That would be dumb.

“So, like, this Nate guy asked me to do a review of my new awesomest movie, The Butterfly Effect. Dude, like anyone needs a review for the most awesomest movie ever. I mean, like, the term “awesomest movie ever” should say, like, everything. The only thing possibly more awesome than The Butterfly Effect would be trucker hats …… or two chicks totally making out. And I only said “possibly more awesome,” which doesn’’t mean it is more awesome, because, dude, like I said before, The Butterfly Effect is the most awesomest thing ever. You can’t dispute that. Don’t even try. I’m awesome!

Like, the story goes like this, man. I play this guy, like I know big stretch there, but he’’s not the most awesome guy ever, which is what you’’d be thinking since it’s the most awesomest movie ever. But no, he’’s like this kid who blacks out and has this wickedly twisted childhood where he stars in his neighbor’s kiddie porn, has his dog set on fire, and, like, his dad is all crazy, or, like I like to say, insane in the ole’ membrane. Ha, I totally made that up right now. I’’m awesome!

So, you’’re like saying, “’Dude, that movie sounds less than awesome. Yes, sir, I am having definite doubts about the awesomeness of this movie. Like, do I need to go to the movies to, like, feel bad? I got my parents to do that for me. That and school.’” Hey man, I’’m there, I know what you feel. ‘Cause right when you are like, “‘Dude, when is Demi gonna’ show up playing his mom?”’ I find these old journals of mine and, dude, use them to travel back in time. I know, the awesomeness has returned. And I use the journals to go back and try and punk time, man. I try and make things better and change the future but I like totally just make it worse. I know, double punk’d, man! I try and fix the life of this hot girl in the movie (she showed her boobs in that Road Trip movie, did you see that? That part where she shows her boobs, oh man … It is awesome) but things don’’t work out. Like she becomes a crack ho at one point. Dude, total punk’d. I’’m awesome!

I should be taken as a serious actor. I didn’’t hit my head on something and I grew a beard, what more do people need to know I got the goods? I mean, I don’’t want to keep saying it but …… beard. C’’mon! When actors want to be taken seriously they, like, grow beards. That’’s why all those people in movies before 1970 (I know, it surprised me too that there were older movies) got awards and stuff. Beards, dude. Beards. When Billy Dee Shakespeare, like, invented acting, he totally imagined dudes, and chicks too, with beards. That’s why girls can’t be taken as serious actors, ‘cause they can’t grow beards. But dude, don’’t tell that to Demi, because she totally has one wicked ferocious beard, if you know what I mean. Ha. I’’m awesome!

So, like, if you ever wondered what it would be like to see me, Ashton Kutcher, the most awesome man alive …who ever lived, no… the most awesome human being …-the most awesome thing …- ever, as a frat boy, or like, some poor dude with no arms, then you should see my new movie, The Butterfly Effect. After all, it is the most awesomest thing ever. That’’s awesome. So, like, you people reading (is that what school is for?) should go see my movie. I’ll tell you why in two words: beard.”

Nate’s Grade: C+

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Monster (2003)

Monster follows the life of Aileen Wuornos (Charlize Theron, now nominated for a Best Actress Oscar), America’s only known female serial killer. In the late 1980s, Wueros was a roadside prostitute flexing her muscles with Florida motorists. She describes “hookin’’” as the only things she’s ever been good at. One day Wuornos has the full intention of taking her own life, but she meets 18-year-old Selby (Christina Ricci) at a lesbian bar and finds a companion. Driven by a growing hatred of men from sexual abuse, Wuorno’s starts killing her johns to try and establish a comfortable life for her and Selby.

Let’’s not mince words; Theron gives one of the best performances I have ever seen in my life. Yes, that’’s right. One of. The. Best. Performances. Ever. This is no exaggeration. I’’m not just throwing out niceties. Theron is completely unrecognizable under a mass of facial prosthetics, 30 extra pounds, fake teeth and a total lack of eyebrows. But this is more than a hollow ploy to attract serious attention to the acting of a pretty face. Theron does more than simple imitation; she fully inhabits the skin of Aileen Wuornos. The closest comparison I can think of is Val Kilmer playing Jim Morrison in The Doors.

Theron is commanding, brave, distressing, ferocious, terrifying, brutal, stirring, mesmerizing and always captivating. It may be a cliché, but you really cannot take your eyes off of her. Her performance is that amazing. To say that Theron in Monster is an acting revelation is perhaps the understatement of the year.

With previous acting roles in Reindeer Games and The Cider House Rules, Theron is usually delegated to “pretty girlfriend” roles (who occasionally shows her breasts). Who in the world thought she had this kind of acting capability? I certainly did not. If Nicole Kidman can win an Oscar for putting on a fake nose and a so-so performance, surely Theron should win an Oscar for her absolute transformation of character and giving the performance of a lifetime.

With this being said, and most likely over said, Monster is by no means a perfect film. Minus the terrific central performance, Monster is more of an everyday profile of a grotesque personality. The film weakly tries to portray Wuornos more as a victim, but by the end of the film, and six murdered men later, sympathy is eradicated as Wuornos transforms into the titular monster. Some supporting characters, like Ricci’’s narrow-minded Christian up bringers, are flat characters bordering on parody. The supporting characters are generally underwritten, especially the male roles that serve as mere cameos in a film dominated by Sapphic love.

Monster is proof positive that human beings will never be phased out by advancing machinery when it comes to acting. Monster boasts one of the greatest acting achievements in recent cinematic history, but it also coasts on sharp cinematography and a moody and ambient score by BT (Go). Monster is a haunting film that you won’t want to blink for fear of taking your eyes off of Theron. She gives an unforgettable tour de force performance that will become legendary.

Nate’s Grade: B

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