13. Snatch (2000); Stealin' stones and breakin' bones.


Written and Directed by Guy Ritchie

Starring Jason Statham, Brad Pitt, Benicio Del Toro

This movie was pretty excellent. The story was tangled and twisted with violent action and comedy. The cinematography used throughout the film was wonderful; the dark and distressed colors, using red as a bold statement. It reminded me a little of Sin City (2005) but maybe because Benicio Del Toro was in that one as well.

The fact that mostly all the characters had British accents made the story even more interesting. Their crazy lingo and slang words were hard to understand at some points, but mostly it just made their conversations more comical. Have all really awesome names like Turkish, Franky Four Fingers, and Boris ‘The Blade” Yurinov.

One of my favorite conversations:

Avi: “London.”

Rosebud: “London?”

Avi: “London.”

Rosebud: “London?”

Avi: “Yes, London. You know; fish, chips, cup o’ tea. Bad food, worst weather.

Mary f*ing Poppins. London.

I disagree with the use of Brad Pitt’s crazy Irish/Scotish/Britich accent. Why did he have to be different? What purpose was served by his accent being different from all the others? It would have been the same story if he was solely British, or Scottish, or Irish. His dialogue would have been funny all the same. Boo.

I thought that it was very interesting how females were blatantly overlooked in throughout the film. Only two female characters existed in the entire movie and they were not important at all. There were no romantic relationships or even shallow one-night stands. With this movie being so male oriented, I was so surprised that in these modern times, a strong badass female gangster was not incorporated. I am a little disappointed.

I also thought that the lack of a police department was a fun little element. In similar films I have seen, the cops are always involved somehow- whether it be with a corrupt officer taking orders from the “Kingpin” leader, or even just the overall fear of prison or punishment. The characters in Snatch simply seemed afraid of the discipline enforced by the violent rulers of the area. I think that this element is present as a small rebellion against the conservative standpoint of any sort of organized union or group other than their own. A sense of understanding about each character’s role was understood by all the characters, and in a way, they disciplined and keep each other in check.

Other than those couple comments, I really enjoyed this movie. It was action-packed, a little suspenseful, and absolutely hilarious. Check it out!

12. Everything is Illuminated (2005); Leave normal behind.

Everything is Illuminated

Directed (and screenplay) by Liev Schreiber

Based off the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer

Starring Elijah Wood, Eugene Hutz

Let me just start off by saying that I have a small thing for Liev Schreiber… so when I started the movie and saw that he actually directed the film, I kind of freaked out a little bit.

Everything Is Illuminated is the story of a Jewish-American young man (Elijah Wood), named Jonathan Safran Foer, who goes across the world in search for information about his late grandfather. He hires a translator (Eugene Hutz), a man named Alex, and a driver, Alex’s grandfather, to accompany him across the country. Little does he know that Alex doesn’t speak English very well and the grandfather claims to be blind and hates wealthy Jewish people. Along the way, they realize that their stories are tangled in some twisted up web of memories and connections, only to then realize that they were meant to take the trip together.

Ever since Sin City (2005) I have not been able to accept Elijah Wood as anything else than a jumpy cannibal that looses all this appendages but his devilish eyes. And while this movie didn’t help with the creepy eyes thing, due to the fact that his glasses were 4X’s over magnified, about halfway through I was able to put aside his previous role and believe that he was a Jewish-American that kept strange things in Ziploc bags that hung on his wall.

About that- I loved the idea of keeping a little something from all your memories. He said that he was afraid he’ll forget things, and I’m sure we can all relate to that. Of course, I’m not saying that I want to go about with tons of plastic bags in my pocket and keeping small things like rocks that are stuck in a tire or half of a half of a skinned potato that fell on the ground. It just made me remember some of the things that I had forgotten.

I thought this movie was good. There were only a few things that I didn’t care for. I felt like one of the only things keeping it interesting was the comedy aspects through the dialogue or awkward gestures. Alex’s incorrect translation of English words is an example of this. He would use other synonyms for words that only barely resemble the original meaning. For an example, (Alex to Jonathan) “You were proximal with your grandfather, yes?” Or “My legal name is Alexander Perchov, but all of my friends dub me Alex, because this is much more flaccid to utter.” These mistakes seemed to carry the movie along a bit faster. The dog was another scratch at comic relief throughout the film. For one, Jonathan was deathly afraid of dogs but was forced the sit next to the “demented seeing eye-bitch” for hours. This uncomfortable arrangement forced on Jonathan was only foreshadowing how much worse their cultural differences would be. One of my favorite parts was their first meal together. Jonathan, being a vegetarian, orders potatoes for supper. Only then to be served one skinned potato. The awkwardness of Alex and his grandfather watching Jonathan pick at the potato was so silent and still that it was funny.

The content was so serious, that they needed something to keep the entertainment aspect afloat. Each character was searching for something, whether it was answers to questions that bared no response or simply their own purpose in life.

The soundtrack to the film was pretty awesome. Eugene Hut, being the lead vocal performer in the band GoGol Bordello, was very involved in the musical selections chosen for the film. I then had to go and listen to some of their stuff. While their music might only be good alongside the context of this film, they weren’t all that bad by themselves either. (Check them out- http://s0.ilike.com/play#Gogol+Bordello:Start+Wearing+Purple:109971:s2075283.8771891.2663693.0.2.55%2Cstd_3b2ad78b43ba496d916fb2d5e27d092f)

Favorite quote: Alex- “I have reflected many times upon our rigid search. It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past. It is always along the side of us, on the inside, looking out. Like you say, inside out. Jonathan, in this way, I will always be along the side of your life. And you will always be along the side of mine.

So, if you are in the mood for a serious film about family history guided by a crazy translator and a blind elderly driver, then this is the movie for you : )


11. Lars and the Real Girl (2009); The search for true love begins outside the box.

Lars and the Real Girl

Directed by Craig Gillespie

Written by Nancy Oliver

Starring Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Paul Schneider

This film follows Lars Lindstrom, a delusional young guy who falls in love with a plastic doll named Bianca that he orders from the internet. The story revolves around him and his instabilities and how his neighborhood society comes to accept his newfound relationship.

This movie was really cute. It had this sense of awkward loneliness’ that was entertaining, but also presented the audience with this slow simplistic life much different than what we are used to. I thought that the lack of technology in the film really helped portray his plain lifestyle. Technology is supposed to make everything easier and faster, but in this film he didn’t need it. The computers were old and fragile; I don’t remember seeing a cell phone or any sort of music playing device. I know I am young make it made me remember and think of a time when those devices weren’t necessary for daily needs.

I felt like the plot was a web of paths broken by opposing decisions. Every choice made throughout the movie seems to have an opposite. Lars chose to do something about his long lived loneliness’ by purchasing a sex doll online. (Something so unconventional it seems like an opposite.) Lars’ brother and sister-in-law were both scared of his condition, the sister-in-law chose to pretend that Bianca was real and his brother chose to be rude and blunt about Lars’ insanity. The doctor they took Lars to see chose to pretend to be treating Bianca’s “sickness” but was really treating him.

What I thought was really interesting was the decisions the community chose regarding Lars and Bianca. At first they were skeptical then accepted her as part of the neighborhood. They gave her a haircut, found her a job, and spoke to her like she was real. I can only wish that someday I live in a society that would accept someone’s illness with the ease and class that they did. I mean, how far would you go to make someone feel loved?

I thought that the overall concept of the story was interesting. How ironic is it that he wanted a serious relationship with someone/something that represented such shallow sexual behaviors? The combination of the two social qualities was a complicated twist. It’s the meshing of opposites. Being shallow in an intelligent healthy relationship VS being sophisticated with a shallow one night stand. All Lars wants is a deep emotional relationship and he has it with a sex doll.

Ryan Gosling was so wonderful at portraying such an innocent and “pure of heart” character. He was awkward and the shy innocence that he lived in was a nice get away from the craziness of some of these other romantic comedies.

The other romantic character, Margo (played by Kelli garner), was one of the only things I didn’t like. Most of her dialogue is with Lars’ officemate, who is as immature as Margo. They are always fighting and stealing each other’s things. Lars and Margo bonded when the officemate stole her teddy bear and strangled it with a printer cable because she had hid one of his action figures. Why was she crying about a teddy bear? She was supposed to be in her twenties. What was the purpose of surrounding Lars with immaturity? I would think that if he was surrounded with more mature things, like his brother and sister-in-laws pregnancy, then it would make his character look more helpless and out of his element… But hey, I didn’t write it : )

This movie was sweet and simple. Definitely see it- if nothing other to see Ryan Gosling once again prove that he is a talented actor.

FOUND Magazine Entry

I somehow came across this website called FOUND Magazine. I glanced through some of the "Finds Of The Day" and saw this one : )

Never Forget the Dinosaurs
FOUND by Sarah in Alaska
My brother and I spotted this little drawing on a bulletin board while visiting some tourist spots in Alaska and we couldn't help but giggle. We also saw it one other place on our trip a few minutes away from the bulletin board. I guess someone was trying to spread the word. (September 8, 2008)


So, I need some ideas...

I think it is time to change around this look of this site. Get a new name, new pictures, the whole works. What do you think I should change it to? If I was my brother, along with his crazy friends, I would set up a competition of some sort and determine a winner by a night long game of poker filled with conversations of sophisticated put-downs and clever puns..... but I am not my brother. And puns are stupid.

What does this blog stand for? It would of been easier if I had stuck to one overall theme, but since that didn't really work all that well... I have no idea what to do with the title now.

By the way- It is so difficult to eat ice cream with a spork. Believe me, I tried a few hours ago. It's hard. Who even invented the spork anyway? What kind of drugs were they on?! It's impossible to eat anything with a spork. Well except maybe corn...

ANYWAYS, I am going to think about this for a few days. Get some ideas. If you have some, please don't hesitate to let me in : )

More entries about Joly's 15 coming soon!



February 16th

I have been following this website for a couple months now and it is so much fun! The illustrations are so cute, even if the facts are complete bull crap. Here are some of my favorite ones:

February 14th
February 20th

March 24th

April 2nd

March 4th

March 9th

April 14th

Check it out! http://www.learnsomethingeveryday.co.uk/ Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


Isn't this a cool picture?

Taken from Flickr.com

I came across this photo in my file folder full of randomness and I thought I'd share it with you. I'm not really sure why I love it so much.... but I do. What do you all think?


10. I Heart Huckabees (2004); An existential comedy.

I Heart Huckabees

Directed by David O. Russell

Written by Jeff Baena

Starring Lily Tomlin, Dustin Hoffman, Jason Schwartzman,

Isabelle Huppert, Jude Law, Naomi Watts

I was first introduced to this movie when I heard about the Lily Tomlin versus David O. Russell “freak out” a few years ago. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SG43wa7Alo&feature=related )As funny as I thought that was, I was truly interested in seeing what made her so upset and what he had spent three years of his life working on. I was so excited when I saw that I Heart Huckabees was one of the fifteen movies that Nicole chose for me.

The philosophies of existentialism and nihilism were portrayed through two sets of characters; Isabelle Huppert’s character (nihilism, believing that everything occurs by it's own accord; that nothing is linked) and the married couple played by Lily Tomlin and Dustin Hoffman (existentialism, which they rename to "universal interconnectivity".) As detectives and activists of their respected philosophies, the general public can hire them to help better understand a coincidence or any sort of unnatural connection they may have to something. Jason Schwartzman’s character, Albert Markovski, first goes to Mr. and Mrs. Jaffe to better understand why he has randomly seen this one man several times over the last few days. He feels that there is some special reason that he has connected with this man but he is unsure of how it relates to his life. By hiring the Jaffes, he has forced himself into a situation where they literally follow him around all day and butt into his personal and work related issues. Their esteemed rival, Caterine Vauban, also gets involved to prove them wrong and convince Albert that her philosophy of nihilism and absurdism is more believable.

Along the way, Albert meets Tommy Corn, played by Mark Walberg, who is a strong follower of Caterine’s. While obsessing over a petroleum related issue, he helps convince Albert that the Jaffes are wrong and the only way to believe is through the nihilistic nature. Albert is also confronted with the harassment from his colleague Brad Stand, played by Jude Law, who is trying to take over his position.

I loved Mark Walberg is this film. I have only seen him in a few things, but after watching M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, I had written him off in my book. His rendition of the character was so entertaining. He was moody and defensive and never took off his fire fighting boots. Whether it was the character itself, or just him, I am defiantly a fan of the performance.

One of the things I loved best about this movie was the story that Brad Stand kept repeating this ridiculous story about meeting Shania Twain and tricking her into eating a chicken salad sandwich. (Which, now that I think about might be one of Nicole’s favorite parts as well… right Nicole?) While this was shown to portray how his character needed to boost his own self-esteem and make it seem like he was “all that,” it was still really fun to listen to him obsess over it.

The production designs in this movie were wonderful. Little things such as the small squares and rectangles drawn onto Mr. Jaffe’s chalkboard behind his desk. And the overalls and bonnet Brad’s girlfriend decides to wear after her “run-in” with the Jaffe’s is hilarious. Except Naomi Watts is so cute that she would look good in anything.

This movie kind of makes you question your own beliefs and philosophies about life. The ending was just the way it needed to be.

Love it!