Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Donnie Darko

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

This film deserves to be more popular than it is but in my humble opinion it has an image problem. If you look at the Wikipedia entry they call it a science fiction film but its not really it has a bit of pseudo sci-fi about it but it’s a comedy that takes the mickey out of horror films and sci-fi films if you ask me.

Secondly the main character Donnie (Jake Gyllenhaal) is always referred to as “troubled” and you get the feeling he’s one of these spooky, scary kids who causes havoc but really he’s not. He’s a nice kid meets a nice girl and just happens to find weird things happening. The name doesn’t help either if he was Donnie Smith it would give a different impression.

Donnie is seeing a psychiatrist played by Katherine Ross looking like she’s spent too much time in the sun and she does the part pretty good.

Thirdly people talk about this giant rabbit that tells Donnie to do things which again makes him sound like a psycho and although there is a large rabbit type thing involved it is not made to look realistic or scary. That’s because this is a comedy like I said.

It also has similarities to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in the way the acting is done particularly Donnie’s parents who are cool and don’t freak out about things like they might in other films. Jake’s sister Maggie Gyllenhaal plays his sister here and she’s good but kind of in second gear all the time because it’s not a big part. She’s quite sexy though I like her she’s done some good stuff and she was good here even as young as she was and her brother too she looked more like him in those days.

Seth Rogen is in it as one of the school bullies he’s a strange guy Seth I think he manages to be amusing but not funny funny whatever he does.

I suppose part of the Ferris thing is it’s set in a school and some of the teachers are funny and there’s pompous people for you to dislike especially this kind of goody goody played by Patrick Swayze who turns out to be into child pornography but again that’s not actually what the film is about.

Drew Barrymore is one of the teachers but she’s a good one I wouldn’t have thought she was old enough but time flies she’s not too bad in this not one of my faves usually.

“Weird? me?” Yes you, Donnie. It says so in my contract.

Like Ferris the soundtrack is full of British music Tears for Fears and Echo and the Bunnymen it seems American kids thought that sort of stuff was cooler than their own country was producing at the time well this was in 2001 so I don’t know really they use the strange slower version of Mad World not the TfF one.

It was supposed to be set in 1988 which is Bueller era I don’t know why they didn’t want it to be contemprey or whatever

The main sci-fi bit is people keep having these clear plastic things growing out of their chest like elongated bubbles and you get the Rabbit talking and giving the date and time of the end of the world but although the captions do a countdown of that its not scary or tense or nothing really. Just a device as they say and it has no baring on what happens I don’t reckon.

So just watch it as a fun film it’s well done well acted and all that stuff you only notice in a film when its not there the quality I mean.

 

 

 

 

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Mona Lisa Smile

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

You could say this is a chick flick if you like but I reckon it stands up pretty well in any company? just because it’s a mainly female cast with lots of pretty young things don’t mean it ain’t got a brain just like the girls themselves.

It stars Julia Roberts as Katherine Watson an art lecturer at a posh all girl college in Massachusetts she’s from California which makes her a bit of a rebel they think and this is her first lecturing job and she ain’t the type to conform so she’s out of place at this stuffy erstablishme… whatever.  Plus she’s 30 and not married and this is the 1950s so there all wearing dresses and long skirts and blouses quite a nice look I always think although I don’t go in for skirts much myself who does these days.

It’s a bitchy class she finds herself teaching there all dead keen and know everything on the syllabus which is like a list of what their going to study so she has to get onto things their not expecting to wipe the smug smiles off there faces. The worst of all is the Kirsten Dunst character I won’t bother with the film names cos its too confusing Kirsten is a real spoilt upper class cow and the funny thing is there all at this college but there also trying to get married its like a competition almost and Kirsten is with this real posh dickhead whose going to be rich and he already is because of his family but he’s a pipe smoking serious type old before his time.

Kirsten actually takes time off college to get married have a honeymoon and expects that will just be okay but Katherine’s not impressed. And of course dickhead isn’t as good as he makes out always disappearing to New York “on business” ha ha were not stupid are we girls.

The school nurse gets sacked for giving out contraceptives and that tells you a lot about the place. And theres a male lecturer Dominic West who has affairs with his students you’ll know him if you watched The Affair on Netflix he’s English but gets a lot of work in the States. He is currantly bonking Maggie Gyllenhaal’s character she’s a bit of a tart but he fancies Katherine too but she’s having none of it and then her long-term on-off boyfriend shows up from California and thinks he can breeze in and marry her but she’s a modern girl and sends him packing.

There are other bits of the story with other girls and its too complicated to tell you you don’t need to know anyway but my favourite is Ginnifer Goodwin yes that’s how she spells it and she’s not quite as gorgeous as the rest still pretty good looking but a bit round faced and could get fat later in life and she’s a nice character too.

Maggie thinks she’s Sherlock Homes and that’s Ginnifer in the middle Julia Stiles right

You know what films about uni and college are like when the lecturer turns out to be a real nice guy (or gal) and they all end up liking each other in the end well I suppose this one is like that but its wrong to lump it in with crap films that have the same theme this one is real class and Julia Roberts is good so is Maggie so is Kirsten there all great really and its not soppy at all.

 

 

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Crazy Heart

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

crazy heart

Most actors try to hang onto their good looks and their sexy image even when they’re well past it and you’d of thought Jeff Bridges would be one of them after all he’s a pretty sexy guy or was when he was young but he seems to of decided he’s going to be a character actor in his later years. He did True Grit which was brave considering it is a classic that is always  linked with John Wayne and not just that but he did it as an overweight grizzled smelly old guy not like the smooth young seducer he used to be.

In Crazy Heart he does the same he’s a washed up country singer who used to be a big star but now he’s better at drinking than singing. You can see why Jeff would be interested in this because he’s always been into music I remember in the 1980s he fronted a long show about pop music which was all clips of classic songs and he linked it walking along beaches going “Rock’n’roll!”

He was also in Heaven’s Gate with Kris Kristofferson whose an old singer-songwriter my Mum says she thought he was a bit of alright and he was a bit beardy and gruff I think. That’s what Bad Blake is like in Crazy Heart.

The thing is these old geezers often get given a good looking girl as a co-star who falls in love with them or at least lets them into her drawers for some reason I don’t know I suppose we’re meant to find a mature man’s experience interesting and think we might learn something and all the older women these days are supposed to be “cougars” who want to teach young men all they know so the law of supply and demand means there’s this age gap thing going on.

Anyways in this there’s Maggie Gyllenhaal as a journalist who interviews him and gradually they get close to each other. The thought of getting close to someone like that kind of makes me want to gag but you have to remember that it’s just a film and forget that in reality he must smell like the devil’s handkerchief.

And of course he starts getting his act together and cleaning up and all that, all for the love of a good woman, but then he takes Maggie’s four-year-old son out for the day to a mall and has a drink and manages to lose him I tell you after I watched that once I didn’t want to see it again it was so horrible but after a year or two I gave it another go silly eh? I know it’s only a film and it is all right in the end but it still worried me.

crazy heart 2
Have you brushd your teeth, Bad Blake? No, I mean it

Apart from the love story which takes a big hiccup at that point for obvious reasons  there is the professional side with this younger guy Tommy played by Colin Farrell who used to be Bad Blake’s kind of protégé and is now a star in his own write and he wants Blake to write songs for him but he will perform them himself because now he’s the one that sells all the tickets and records. It seems fair enough you can see him thinking it’s wrong having to play second fiddle when you know you’re the real thing and this young twerp ain’t fit to lace your boots or whatever. Must be hard.

But at the end of the film Maggie comes back into it and there seems to be light at the end of the toenail as they say. Jeff Bridges won the Oscar for Best Actor for this and rightly so I reckon he’s growing old not exactly gracefully but he’s accepting change and getting on with it good for him.