Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 43: Texas (Friday Night Lights)

Category: Drama/Sport

Quote of Interest:

“Gentlemen, the hopes and dreams of an entire town are riding on your shoulders. You may never matter again in your life as much as you do right now.”

–coach gary gaines

Three words to describe this film/state: Another football movie

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Journalist Jim, played by Jeff Gibbs
  • Jake the Flag Boy (uncredited), played by Charan Andreas
  • WalMart Buyer (uncredited), played by Dan Burkarth
  • Hottie with Boobie Miles (uncredited), played by Sharri Jones

State food/recipe to try: Slow-cooked Texas-style beef brisket / Topo Chico / Micheladas / Balcones Distilling Whisky

Earring Inspo Character: Mrs. Winchell

Other Notes: The quote above is one of the main reasons I don’t understand football and likely never will. I found no merit or depth in this film and this quote sums up that sentiment. I can admire almost any singular pursuit, but #sportslife is not one of them. The movie tried to be artsy and attempted what I call ‘art-doco’ style, with its fancy documentary-type filming and drama. This mostly translated into looking like an ad for Marine Layer (and certainly didn’t cause it to stand out from any of the other sports movies out there). As always, someone’s momma was trying to get in the way of her boy’s hopes and dreams–because football is all there is and all there ever will be. This one was based on a true story and the team didn’t even win in the end…I’m all about slices-of-life, but what was the point of this one? Go read any of its ‘notable’ quotes online and see if you don’t agree.

Grade: D+

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/texas

Next up: Utah (SLC Punk). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 42: Tennessee (Nashville)

Category: Drama

Quote of Interest:

“Does it make sense that the churches should remain untaxed on their vast holdings of land and corporate investments? Does it make sense that a multi-million dollar income should go untaxed year after year? No, all will not be easy. But, we will bask in the satisfaction of having done what we should have done. And if we don’t get it done today, we may run out of tomorrows.”

–hal phillip walker

Three words to describe this film/state: Epic noisy nonsense

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Man at Lunch Counter (uncredited), played by Gailard Sartain

State food/recipe to try: Goo Goo Clusters / Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Hand Made Sour Mash Whiskey / Moonpies / Short Mountain Moonshine

Earring Inspo Character: Tricycle Man

Other Notes: This so-called epic film was a three-hour epic waste of time. I really don’t understand how movies like this get the accolades they do. Too many characters whose lives are interwoven into a clamorous blanket of inane nonsense. Even with subtitles, it was too noisy and chaotic to follow–too many people, too much babbling, too much singing. I can leave the house at any time to experience the idiotic racket that went on in this movie. Where does its merit lie? Please enlighten me by leaving a comment.

Grade: D-

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/tennessee

Next up: Texas (Friday Night Lights). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 41: South Dakota (Dances with Wolves)

Category: Drama/Epic Western

Quote of Interest:

“Somebody back east is sayin’, ‘Why don’t he write??'”

–timmons

Three words to describe this film/state: Accepted and adopted

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Pretty Shield, played by Doris Leader Charge
  • Toughest Pawnee, played by Wes Studi

State food/recipe to try: Hot beef commercial / Kuchen / Pasties / Wojapi with Indian fry bread / Tanka bars

Earring Inspo Character: Stands with a Fist

Other Notes: Another three-hour war movie, but not another war movie. There’s something classic about this one, with its quirky characters/conversational humor in the beginning, its warmth, and its genuineness without trying too hard. More on the theme of war/the stupidity of man, but most of the focus was on the humanity and potential of man to love and live in harmony with others.

Grade: A-

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/south-dakota

Next up: Tennessee (Nashville). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 40: South Carolina (The Patriot)

Category: Action/War

Quote of Interest:

“Aim small, miss small.”

–benjamin martin

Three words to describe this film/state: Everything for one

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Continental Private Hit in Leg by Cannonball (uncredited), played by Danny Nunn
  • Redcoat Colonel Saying ‘Make Ready!’ (uncredited), played by Marvin Schroeder
  • Beach Slave (uncredited), played by Kemper Sease
  • Redcoat Hacked to Death (uncredited), played by Phil Warren

State food/recipe to try: Barbecue / Boiled peanuts / Sweet tea / Pimento grits at Five Loaves Cafe

Earring Inspo Character: Susan Martin

Other Notes: I’m not into war movies (why do they always have to be 3+ hours long??), and this one was okay. A little cheesy in parts. What struck me the most was how utterly stupid war is–thousands of men marching in lines to their deaths, to obliterate each other–and for what? Men are astoundingly stupid, but this is nothing new. No epiphanies here. And then there’s the part where the main character is ‘loosely based’ on several real-life characters who actually affected the war and its outcome. Just as in Mississippi Burning–why bother? Just make it fiction.

Grade: B-

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/south-carolina

Next up: South Dakota (Dances with Wolves). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 39: Rhode Island (Moonrise Kingdom)

Category: Comedy/Drama/Romance

Quote of Interest:

Sam: [In the women’s dressing room] What kind of bird are you?

Sparrow: [Starting to point to the other actresses] I’m a sparrow, she’s a dove…

Sam: [Cutting her off] No. I said…

[Points to Suzy]

Sam: What kind of bird are YOU?

Suzy: I’m a raven.

Three words to describe this film/state: Away to love

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Noah’s Wife, played by Christine Noel
  • Sparrow, played by Ada-Nicole Sanger
  • Curlew, played by Caris Yeoman
  • Bittern, played by Violet Guinness
  • Owl, played by Isabella Guinness
  • Dove, played by Lily Tiger McEnerney
  • Trampoline Khaki Scout, played by Coledyn Garrow
  • B-B-Q Khaki Scout, played by Michael Malvesti
  • Morse Code Khaki Scout, played by Kevin DeCoste

State food/recipe to try: Coffee milk / Frozen lemonade / Hot weiners / Johnnycakes

Earring Inspo Character: Suzy Bishop

Other Notes: Wes Anderson is always a treat: the colors, the cast, the costumes, the scenic symmetry, the banter, even the fonts that he chooses. Everything is deliberate. What I love most about Moonrise is its mid-60s hazy, dreamy, muted pastel palette and the sweetness and simplicity of its story line: the protagonists fall in love via letter correspondence and want to be together. And why can’t it be that simple? It should be, but they’re children. And on the other end are Suzy’s mom and the police captain–but life is complicated. Does love draw us so strongly because we’re innately looking to escape–whether it’s a family that doesn’t understand us, a place where we never belonged, the boredom of married life, or the loneliness of island bachelorhood? Or is love itself that pure and singularly compelling?

Grade: A

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/rhode-island

Next up: South Carolina (The Patriot). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 38: Pennsylvania (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl)

Category: Drama/Comedy

Quote of Interest:

“Dear Pittsburgh State Admissions,

I’m writing on behalf of someone who gave me half a year of his life at the time when I was at my most difficult to be around. He has a very low opinion of himself, which is why I think it’s necessary that you hear from someone who sees him as he actually is: A limitlessly kind, sweet, giving, and genuine person–no matter how much he would deny it. The drop in his academic performance this year is the consequence of all the time he spent with me and the time he spent making things for me and how hard that was for him. You can ask him about it, but his sort of over-the-top humility will probably get in the way. No one has done more to make me smile than he has. And no one ever could.”

–rachel

Three words to describe this film/state: All that’s inside

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Theater Dork, played by Marco Zappala
  • Stoner Student (uncredited), played by Zachary Bolen
  • Lunch Lady (uncredited), played by Colleen Clark

State food/recipe to try: Pretzels (soft and Snyder’s of Hanover) / Italian hoagies / Tomato pie / Scrapple / Philly cheesesteaks / Birch beer / Tastykakes / Water ice

Earring Inspo Character: Rachel

Other Notes: A really sweet movie about the infinite worlds inside every person, if we just take the precious time to look and listen for, see and hear them–portrayed in lovely and creative ways in this Jesse Andrews YA novel adaptation. Wes Anderson and Michel Gondry fans would appreciate the dialogue, cinematotraphy, and attention to detail in this honest and genuine film.

Grade: B+

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/pennsylvania

Next up: Rhode Island (Moonrise Kingdom). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Movie Night Monday

The Movie Project

Week 37: Oregon (Wendy and Lucy)

Category: Drama

Quote of Interest:

“You can’t get an address without an address. You can’t get a job without a job. It’s all fixed.”

–security guard

Three words to describe this film/state: little girl lost

Best ‘Extras’:

  • Recycler in Wheelchair, played by Roger Faires
  • Security Guard’s Woman, played by Holly Cundiff
  • Kid(s) by Fire, played by David Koppell, Max Clement, Sid Shanley, and Dave Hubner

State food/recipe to try: Gardenburgers / Tater Tots (Ore-Ida) / Tofurky / Hazelnuts

Earring Inspo Character: Wendy

Other Notes: A good little sad indie slice-of-lifer. I actually got anxiety watching Wendy’s angst, Michelle Williams was so good. I think if we’re really being present in this world, that lost feeling is inevitable. You watch her life falling apart and the mistakes she’s making and get mad at her, feel her pain when she finally has an emotional breakdown, and root for her as she struggles to find her way up to the film’s end. She’s not really a likeable character, but she’s relatable…if we’re being honest with ourselves. Just like life–no closure necessarily or happy ending, just reality in its many forms–including that hope we all need and desperately look for. Worth the watch.

Grade: B

State Facts: https://www.factmonster.com/us/states/oregon

Next up: Pennsylvania (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl). Follow along to discuss! Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.