(Just in case you’re wondering, no I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth. Just the face of “movie-earth” for a bit.)


But now I’m here to talk about eye candy in the new movie Speed Racer. And no, I’m not talking about Emile Hirsch but the return of the Wachowski brothers to directing and the serious “eye-candy” they create on screen.

We all remember well the BRILLIANCE, visually, of the Matrix (mainly first one) and even though it looks primarily targeted at (10-year-old) boys, I  can’t wait to get a visual sugar rush watching Speed Racer. 


too much of a …. thing

Can you ever watch too many movies?



Most decidedly yes. 

Well, that’s been my recent experience. 

Can anyone relate?

new categories!!!

hey casual gold star readers out there!!!

I’ve put up a bunch of new categories on the right that let you browse by gold star rating as well as genre. 

hope this is helpful!!!

good news for serious film lovers…..!

I was imdbing after I heard of the death of director and writer Anthony Minghella (all they were talking about on the radio was his film The English Patient, which I never saw – I was too young when it originally came out and mum was all like “No its too scary for you, you’re too young to see it”. Perhaps at ten years she was right about her daughter, but I’ve sure showed her!I’m getting side tracked…Oh yeah, so after hearing 774 talking about about this fab writer/director and only this one film referenced, which I haven’t seen, but still knowing vaguely the name ‘Anthony Minghella’ I headed over to my trusty source in all things movie! As well as discovering he directed some other gold in Cold MountainBreaking and Entering and The Talented Mr. Ripley (In only really liked the first of these – too much Jude Law…possibly) I found this project, listed as filming entitled New York, I Love You    aka New York, je t’aime. (Ahhhhhhh!!!! My heart quickened and I got all excited).I just thought you’d like to know.Directors on this project, similar to Paris, je t’aime, are many and include Mira Nair, the aforementioned Minghella, Brett Ratner and Scarlett Johansson !!Other than that the list of directors is somewhat less impressive than its Parisian counterpart, but I still can’t wait!!!! 


posterNow I, once again, feel at pains (mainly a pain to me) to say that I missed the first little bit of this film and unlike 3:10 this film is directed by a non-american and therefore is arguably more intelligent (oh!) and refused to adequately recap for us tardy folk.So I’ll do my best to review this film, however it won’t be a wholly whole and accurate review…

The Set up? Egyptian born chemical engineer (Anwar) living in the US with a green card and am American wife and son is taken by officials at an airport as he’s returning home. Anwar El-Ibrahimi is suspected of being involved in a bombing that occurred in an Islamic country (that killed many including an American CIA operative). Under US legislation passed under the Clinton administration the American government give themselves the right to hold suspects indefinitely outside the US in order to extract terrorist related information. Anwar is stolen away to the country of the crime and his wife Isabella searches for answers. There’s also an intriguing subplot that I think you’ll get a lot more out of if I say – .



Omar Metwally is Anwar – though he doesn’t feature in the film’s propaganda and doesn’t get billing I rate him as the stand out in this film. He also plays the character the film is based around.walking and talking

Resse Witherspoon plays his wife Isabella. I used to love Reese but ever since the Oscar she seems to be dawdling. She’s good in this but not great. She doesn’t hit the my-husband’s-been-taken-away-by-my-government-on-the-basis-of-exactly-no-hard-evidence-and-I’m-“cheesed”-off nail on the head. She was probably distracted by her new love interest…(not that I buy into all that crap)

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Douglas Freeman, the CIA agent who takes over from his colleague who was killed in the bomb blast. He oversees the ‘interrogation’ of Anwar resulting in self-loathing but ultimately compassion. Gyllenhaal pulls this off well. He’s proving himself to be quite a fine actor, but similarly to his sister – he often plays abnormal characters – they’re always the same shade of abnormal.

Peter Sarsgaard plays Alan Smith, assistant to Senator Hawkins and formal college mate of Isabella and Anwar. He’s the first person Isabella comes to when she seeks to find out what happened to her husband. It is plain to the audience that Alan still holds a torch for Isabella. As usual, Sarsgaard pulls out the good stuff – hitting the perfect pitch in his performance.

Alan Arkin plays Hawkins,  the left-wing sympathising Senator who seems keen for social change but only if and when it will actually work.And of course we can’t forget the ever-bloody-brilliant

Meryl Streep who is Corrine Whitman, head of the CIA and defender of the greater good. Streep is icy cold and straight down the line as Whitman – did I mention brilliant?! (But when isn’t she?).

German posterWHY SHOULD YOU SEE THIS FILM? Well if I’ve got my timing wrong – which I think I do on this occasion – you’ll either already have seen it or will have to wait until DVD by now. But you should see this film if you enjoy/get something out of looking at the politiking and state of current events in our world. Although you might not get that much out of it. Without wanting to give it away – I agree with David Stratton (of At The Movies – oh, totally podcastable!) that the movie would be far better if it was less ambiguous as to the guilt (or lack thereof) of Anwar. It makes it too neat, too perfect in the end and therefore true blue lefties won’t like it. Its a bit too one sided in the end – doesn’t give the other side of the argument a proper hearing – narratively speaking.

WHO SHOULD YOU SEE IT WITH? Doesn’t really matter so much for this one. But save it for the over 16’s would be my suggestion.

ANY BITS?  Ummm….did I mention “interrogation”? Put on Uncle Sam’s hat and use your imagination.



Long time no post!

Hey readers of gold stars. My apologies for not posting here for a while. You may realise there are two possible reasons for an absence of movie reviews/rants here: 1 – Jess hasn’t seen any movies since August Rush and therefore has nothing to say, or 2 – Jess has seen movies but for one reason or another hasn’t had the time to post, or she’s just been super lazy. Well, let me assure you its the latter. I’ve been a bit lazy, its uni going back, its wedding videos, its …. my not being a total computer geek (that would explain the strange format of this post – help …anyone – the wordpress had gone funny on me).  ANYWAY over the next days you’ll be getting some posts on the movies I have seen:Rendition Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street  Run Fatboy Run  Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man Definitely, Maybe  Death Defying Acts Science des réves, La  (The Science of Sleep So look forward to your comments when I eventually get my act together! 

Valentines Day Films

heartAs a happily single girl I kind of see Valentines Day much the same way other “happily single” people see it…as a farce.

Talk to my now un-single friends and they’ll tell you how the day has special meaning. But if you’re un-single for long enough it becomes a farce again. Case in point: Asked dad what he was going to give mum (his wife for almost 28 years) for valentines day and he replied “That’s Sunday, isn’t it?”.

I was checking some emails and I stumbled upon what yahoo’s idea is of perfect valentines day movie fair. Furthermore they had a list of what were the worst valentines day (ie: anti-valentines) movies. Needless to say I was a little disappointed with the lists.

in the “Valentines Day Scrooge’s un-romantic Movie Guide” we have:

Closer – haven’t seen it…yet. Been thinking about it but yeah, also heard that its pretty full-on crude.
The Break-Up – well dah! I think the title would suggest that this film is not one to pick up to what with your honey unless you wanted to tell them something… Actually the film isn’t really un-romantic at all. In fact I give it gold stars for trying to hit some version of reality. Nice ending too – as expected but not saccharine.
unromanticFatal Attraction – haven’t seen it, and its from that era of decidedly bad American cinema so it is likely to remain unseen by me. If you liked it let me know! – Also the title doesn’t exactly scream “For richer or poorer” (more “Til Death” but we won’t go there).
The Shape of Things – haven’t seen it, although with Paul Rudd in it I may have to put it on my list of things to see.
Single White Female – Hey that’s me! – I already don’t like it. And haven’t seen it. The sequels called Single White Female 2: The Psycho.
The Opposite of Sex – haven’t seen it. Feel free to comment, infact DO comment if you think anything about any of these films.
Waiting to Exhale – haven’t seen it. Four women of a certain age sitting together laughing – I suppose you can guess why this is unromantic (looks like an African American version of First Wives Club).
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – What tha? Now, while this film isn’t your conventional love story it is definitely a love story – and the best kind of all – quirky, uncool, and unconventional. This is SO going on my romantic list. (I will review this film soon and to spoil the surprise its getting 4.75 Gold Stars).
Alexandra’s Project – never heard of it. Which is rather strange for me. Maybe its before my time. Looks Australian and therefore probably crap.

Now for Yahoo’s Romantic Fodder:
The Notebook – I could actually vomit- but then I’d get gunk all over the mac I’m wanting to sell. Well atleast it did bring two fine actors together and now they’re engaged…WHOOPS……Damn it! -I’ll have to buy a new keyboard.
Pretty Woman – how is this romantic? The acting alone-
Casablanca – as much as I love this super old school classic, its more an German (albeit Nazi) war propaganda film.
Music and Lyrics – I can’t write too much or I’ll vomit all over the-
The Holiday – Hooray for Hollywood! At last a relatively good and smart and well written rom com with the lovely Kate Winslet!
blah blahSleepless in Seattle – My mouth tastes all like salty and icky I’m starting to feel hungry but %$&%*&(* oh there I go again…I should really have a sick bag with me when I think about drivel like this.
The Lake House – okay, I must sadly and shamefully admit I kinda liked this one – no good excuses so I think I might just have to vomit on myself.
Pride and Prejudice (Wright version) – yes it is the Wright version and the right version! – As previously mentioned (a few times) on Gold stars I love this adaption. And when I get around to do a review on it you’ll see I have all the excuses in the world as to why this is worthy of your time (but maybe not on Valentines Day).
An Affair To Remember – Ooooh just the thought of the aging Cary Grant in this old classic and I’m gagging again. Haven’t seen it, although with a title like that, unless you’re up to what you shouldn’t be this valentines day I’d stay away from this one – although its a film from the era where gay meant happy so its probably safe. Then again I doubt my newlywed friends Bec and Geoff would hire out a film entitled A Gay Affair To Remember – no matter how innocent the content would be.

Well, whatever you’re doing tonight……I forgot what is supposed to come next.