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Saffy and Meghan give us more female perspectives on the flicks of BNAT, including ROCKY BALBOA and 300!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a pair of female views on this past weekend's BNAT! Up first we have Saffy, a devoted attendee of many years. The only thing I'd have to add is a note to Saffy about Paul Verhoeven... Check out his early work, pre-ROBOCOP. You might find that he's had a movie like BLACK BOOK in him from the beginning. Enjoy Saffy's rundown and I'll be back to introduce Meghan!

Things I learned a BNAT Episode 8-The Return of the Ball Stomp Whew! Sorry this review is so late. We came home to a broken pipe, a foot of water on our floor, and a broken keyboard. That said, “ I WILL NOT BE MOVED”, so here I am to write a review of this most wondrous event! Oh chirpy...words cannot describe that magic of BNAT. I can tell you for hours about the movies, but the people make the festival special! But I will try like hell anyway. 1.) Black Snake Moan- Justin Timberlake does not Suck! The Blues, that most sacred music, is the theme of the new Craig Brewer movie. However, this film is so much more than its fabulous predecessor. In the tradition of the great Southern Gothic writers like Faulkner and Flannery O’Connor, Brewer creates a perfect southern fairy tale. Brutally real this movie never once blinks from the truth of the characters pain. Yet, this film is not punishing, it is actually quite therapeutic. Jackson and Ricci share a scene where the hurt is purged by a song in a storm that is all at once literary and cinematic. We also see Brewer play with the Gender construct of the fairy tales in a powerful way. The Princess is not pure and innocent, and the Prince is not brave and strong. This movie is smart and heartfelt, and a must-see. 2.) Dreamgirls-GIVE EDDIE THE OSCAR! The magic of Bill Condon is that he makes musicals numbers so organic. Some non-musical fans complain that musical performances take them right out of the movie. That is not the case for me, as I see the Laundromat as a perfect place to have a Busby Berkley-esque tap number with sequins and glitter. However, this film manages to make every number feel like it belongs to the movie. Of COURSE these characters are going to break out into song. Jennifer Hudson is blessed. There is no other word I can find that describes the power of her voice and that “thing” behind the eyes. Beyonce, despite all the criticism, really disappears in her character. EDDIE MURPHY OWNS ALL. 3.) Once Upon a Girl- Winnie the Pooh is a dirty pervert. 4.) Inherit the Wind- Gene Kelly OWNS! We all know the story behind this film. Logic, reason, thought...all good things. Gene Kelly is a great thing. Sure, our memories of Gene include the most acrobatic and fantastic dance numbers. His acting in this move is a true revelation. Witty, dry, natural and handsome, handsome, handsome! I really enjoyed this film with a crowd that isn’t afraid to react to a great scene, even in a courtroom drama. Great choice for vintage! 5.) Rocky Balboa- The man rules allow for crying during Rocky. Yes, yes I was the girl in the Philadelphia Eagles’ shirt who stood up and screamed at the announcement of this film. It will be a biased review. Just thought I’d let you know. Where Rocky Balboa succeeds is that it recaptures that feeling of the East Coast working class experience. Rocky represents a whole group of men who go to work in the foundry all day and then come home and listen to opera and read philosophy books. Those men who take the punches life throws at them, but never lose their soul. OK, yeah they do boo Santa and throw batteries and ice one’s perfect. However, seeing this movie with the BNAT crowd was a religious experience. The chanting, the man crying, running up and down the steps of the draft house, just perfect! THANK YOU HARRY! THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Oh and you too Sly! 6.) Knocked Up- Paul Rudd is God. What more can I say about a Judd Apatow film? Funny, real, and charming I adore it! 7.) Black Book- Paul Verhoeven has been replaced by aliens who can make movies. This film is by no means perfect. However, the depth of emotion and the bravery of the story was from Verehoven’s past works. I am sure I am going straight to hell for this, but man, the Nazi love of the main character was smoking hot. That being said, it was a very brave story showing the strange reality of war. War should be black and white, but war still includes people who are shades of grey. 8.) The Informer – Foggy movies make people sleepy I had actually seen this movie a month prior to BNAT. On my quest to watch all Oscar winning films, this was on the list. If you really want to read about the experience of this film I suggest Frank O’Connor’s “The Guest of the Nation” or James Joyce’s “ The Dubliners”. This movie tries to recapture the feelings in those works, the main word there being tries. ***Note to film makers The Dubliners + Neil Jordan=BLISS** 9.) Raw Force- I drifted in and out during this movie. I think it made more sense that way. 10.) Smokin’ Aces – LONG LIVE THE BATEMAN! Yes, I HAVE had a crush on Jason Bateman since middle school. A picture of him, cut out of BOP magazine, graced my trapper keeper. Besides that factoid this movie was deliriously fun. It should’ve been titled “ BODY COUNT THE MOVIE”. It also had a coked out tranny Bateman...BONUS! The performances were great, the action was non-stop, and there were some eye-popping shootouts. Remember this name oh brothers and sisters of Geekdom- THE TREMOR BROTHERS. You shall be screaming this name from the mountains. 12.) 300 – I AM NOT WORTHY! This movie, for my synesthetic brain is like nothing I have ever seen. Part hallucination, part sexual desire, total body experience. Zack Snyder has created a visual world that defines the word sensual. The metallic tones of the film give it a sense of antiquity. The bronzes, the silver, the gold, are breathtaking and convey varying heat sensations. You can almost taste the shimmer of the wheat fields, the iron of blood, the cold of the night. Ok I can actually taste it, but I have synaesthesia, you can read more about it on Wikipedia...but I won’t get into all that as if you see the movie you will understand it perfectly. The fight scenes were majestic. It was like they crossed Circ Du Soleil with a nut-sack. I really, truly, loved this movie. I understand why Harry showed all of the boobs, because this movie was also chock full of amazing male bodies. HOLY MOTHER OF MERCY Gerard Butler. I would also like to thank the people of BNAT for making this so special. I am so sorry I had to miss Pan’s Labyrinth and Children of Men. However, a weekend of people who “get it”, guitar hero, and playing “ Who’s Harvey Dent!” rocks so hard. Harry, man, my heart is still full from these films and I thank you so much for giving me the ROCKY experience. Your fiancée is wonderful; you two will have such a great life! CHESS KING RULES!! Thank you again! You guys rock Saffy

Thanks, Saffy! Now on to Meghan's stuff! Enjoy!

I'm sitting here, finally off the plane and at home. If I concentrate I can still feel my hands just slightly tingling from massive amounts of clapping, as well as my stomach finally settling down and forgiving me for massive amounts of caffeine. Let me what I can remember (I took notes throughout, but my handwriting, never that stellar to begin with, deteriorated pretty fast.) This was my first BNAT... Prelude: Chirpy (John Goras, 2001) This was the appetizer and a litmus test all rolled into one. If you don't think a sweet little bird tripping on mushrooms can find love with a big black horse, than this wasn't the 24 movie event for you. But let me tell you, there is no better way to bond with the strangers sittng next to you than to share this particular experience with them. I got to see everyone's "Holy Shit" face before the festivities had even officially begun. First Movie: Black Snake Moan (Craig Brewster, 2007) Wow. This is just a gorgeous damn film, laced with what I'd have to called southern-gothic-magic-realism. The film builds slowly and surely, a rising crescendo with the perfect break in the thunder and lightening climax -- all set to Mr. Jackson himself performing the title song. The moral of this story? The blues can save your goddamn soul. Second Movie: Dreamgirls (Bill Condon, 2006) Jennifer Hudson performing, "And I Am Telling You, " and me with tears streaming down my face. Yeah, I'm a big damn softie. Third Movie: Once Upon a Girl (Don Jurwich, 1976) You know, I am totally in love with the idea of all these professional animators making a fairytale-themed porno cartoon on their off time. I truly, truly am. As delightfully cute as an X-rated cartoon can be. Fourth Movie: Inherit the Wind (Stanley Kramer, 1960) This is one of my favorite films that I didn't know was one of my favorites till now. It truly is perfect, and the price of my plane ticket to Austin was paid for being able to watch this particular movie with this particular audience. Sublime. Fifth Movie: Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone, 2006) I kinda feel like a bastard for saying this was anything less than wonderful, if only because I could tell how personal a film this was for Stallone. The beginning half of the movie is rather slow and grim, and for me the parts of the movie dealing with Rocky and his son never really gel. But... being in a audience shouting "Rocky! Rocky!" at the top of their lungs, that was pure joy my friends. Clips from Fanboys (Kyle Newman, 2007) A nice long clip of Star Wars and Star Trek fans beating the shit out of each others -- oh why couldn't we see the whole movie? There is no better audience in the world for this film than the one assembled for this night. Sixth Movie: Knocked Up (Judd Apatow, 2007) Pretty fucking funny. I can't wait to see this again when I am in my right mind, and I hope I find it as enjoyable as I did that night. 'Cause it was great to be laughing that hard. Scary fake-out where we were shown a full five minutes of Teen Wolf before the film stock "melted". Apologies to Michael J. Fox, but I knew I was going to pass out right there and then if that film had continued on any longer. The crowned cheered and groaned and there was much rejoicing as we continued on to the real next film... Seventh Movie: Zwartboek (Black Book) (Paul Verhoeven, 2006) God, I'm just to have to see this film again, because at that point in the night, the combination of three or four Diet Cokes and an empty belly had turned my gut into a roiling pit of acid. I'm watching all this horrible and serious shit (literally, at one point in the film) befall this young Jewish woman during WWII, and all I can think about is the raw, red agony of my stomach. Eighth Movie: The Informer (John Ford, 1935) So, so sad. This is a major bummer of a movie -- the kind where right from the beginning you know it's going to end badly. Sweet but dumb guy turns in a childhood friend to afford a trip to America for a girl he likes, but then proceeds to drink away the money trying to forget the horrible thing he's done. Goddamn, it was so sad. Ninth Movie: Raw Force (Edward D. Murphy, 1982) I'm missing about 20 minutes of memory from that night, and I think most of that occurred during this film. Look, if you were a cannabilistic monk, who ate the flesh of young nubile girls to give you the power to raise kung-fu zombies, and you wanted to keep your island home a secret... would you produce and distribute a brochure for tourists, some of whom are guaranteed to be schooled in ancient fighting techniques? Just asking. Tenth Movie: Smokin' Aces (Joe Carnahan, 2007) I hate to say it, but I enjoyed the director's filmed introduction (which we actually ended up seeing at the end of the film, funnily enough), then the movie itself. This kind of reminded me of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, but with alot more bloodshed. Eleventh Movie: 300 (Zack Snyder, 2007) I've never seen such gorgeous and choreographed violence, and I do mean that as a compliment. A true dance of death, with continually escalating set pieces of savage beauty. A perfect ending to a crazy night And just on a purely shallow note: I'd like to think that in some way, this one was for all us ladies. We had seen many a boob that night, and don't get me wrong, they were lovely boobs -- but a whole screen full of tanned and glistening men --- was a lovely sight indeed. Now back to sleep, before my eyes leak out of my skull. --Meghan
Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 13, 2006, 7:59 a.m. CST

    I still can't tell if 300 is for real.

    by Lance Rock

    Slobbering fanboys (and girls) who got to see the film months in advance at a wild party have me leery of their objectivity. But here's hoping.

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Fuck objectivity.

    by Nordling

    We're at a friend's birthday party and we're seeing some badass shit. We laugh, cry, cheer, eat, drink, applaud, and hang out with friends that are as dear to us as family. There's no way any other screening of a movie can possibly compare. We are also passionate movie fans, and we know when something works and when something doesn't. Bad movies have played BNAT before (TIPTOES, dear God, TIP-fucking-TOES), and believe me, they get the derision they so richly deserve. But when a movie is clicking, firing on all cylinders, there's no experience like it. It's joy. 300 may not work for you like that - in fact, it's not possible to get that lucky in a regular screening, I'd imagine. But we do recognize a terrific movie when we see it, believe me.

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 10:35 a.m. CST

    There are Hard-Working People EVERYWHERE!

    by DarfurOnTheRocks

    ...and that is what makes Rocky so special, not only because it captures the working class ethos of the East Coast. It is interesting how the hard-working, gritty aspect of the East Coast is descended into stereotype, like the tough we-may-hate-each-other-but-will-unite-when-Zod-drops-by New York attitude. There are hard-working middle class people everywhere in the world. And I think that is why a person born and raised in the UK, of Indian descent, can relate to Rocky Balboa

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 11:31 a.m. CST

    So what you are saying is . . .

    by John Wesley Hardin

    You can not be a movie geek unless you have seen every Verhoeven movie? That is ridiculous. The fact of the matter is that you don't even have to like "older" movies to be a movie geek. All you have to do is like movies. I can like pepperoni pizza, and hate supreme, and still have pizza be my favorite food. I hate elitist snobbery. Why is it that if someone has different tastes, or disagrees then they are attacked? Why do I have to have seen Captain Blood to tell you if POTC is a good movie? It is obvious that Saffy is well educated, and is versed in popular culture. Leave her alone.

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 11:33 a.m. CST

    Oh, and Lance . . .

    by John Wesley Hardin

    I have had completely different cinematic experiences, depending on the audience, and my age. The first time I tried to watch Citizen Kane, I was twelve, and found it so completely boring as to be unwatchable. Yeah, different things can bias an opinion. My suggestion is that if you are worried about 300, go watch it in a full theater, on opening night. It may not be bnat, but you'll have a fun movie experience.

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 11:46 a.m. CST

    I guess we're using 'review' quite loosely

    by Heckles

    Squatting in the AICN litter box and dropping little word turds about these movies doesn't make it a review. And stop smoochin' butt, I'm sure you're invited back next year. Maybe by then you can string enough thoughts together to make clicking on this page worthwhile.

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 12:01 p.m. CST

    I've been patiently awaiting 300 to arrive

    by 1derWoman

    I must be an oddity. Here I sit, a few years shy of being a 40-year old single mom, and I have a serious love of the 'sandal & sword' flicks (almost all action flicks, really). LOVE them.. passionately, most of the time. I've been patiently, quietly waiting for 300 to hit. I've done the research to prep myself for it. The trailer is like the first taste of something instantly addictive - must have more. I'm half-jealous you guys got to see it, but I have just enough patience left in me that I can wait. I can do it. I'm so anxious to see the dark and beautiful colors, its vivid range speaks to me. The sets look incredibly beautiful in the trailer. The range of the costumes/creation of characters shown are intriguing to the point that when I first saw them, I couldn't help but actually utter "ooo, ahhh, oh" - seriously (how embarassing to admit I actually did that). No other movie listed, with the exception of Rocky Balboa, will I likely bother to seek out. I'll probably buy the Gene Kelley thing for my sister, who may insist I watch it with her - not like watching Mr. Kelley has ever been difficult. The description of Raw Force was hilarious, though. :) But 300... *sigh* sandals and swords.. blood and gold... underdogs destined to lose in one sense, only to win in another. Come on March.. get here already. I have such high hopes for satisfaction pinned on this one, and I'm pretty sure it's going to live up to it for me.

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Who cares what women think?

    by Elmore Rigby

    R.I.P. Peter Boyle

  • Dec. 13, 2006, 2:29 p.m. CST

    I wonder what the "Rocky! Rocky!" chants sounded like..

    by GibsonUSA Returns

    Were they REAL MEN chants....or were they nasally sqeaky geek sounding chants?