Abbagirl and The Movies

Yes, I am a film junkie, I freely admit it. Every week I gorge myself on everything from big Hollywood productions to obscure indie and foreign flicks that few have even heard of. Thankfully, Ann Arbor has two great theatres downtown on campus that carry a diverse range of films. My favorite would be the Michigan Theatre, a historical old theatre (complete with a spacious balcony), which is famous for supplying all the art-house hits (and misses) as well as some bigger films, and they frequently dig out older films to show like “Alien” or even “Casablanca”. (This is where I first saw such films as “An American In Paris,” “Singin’ In The Rain,” “Vertigo” and “Doctor Zhivago”!) Plus they even host cool concerts (it has a stage) like Shawn Colvin and They Might Be Giants. Ann Arbor also has the State Theatre, which used to be a similar big old theatre, but now just the old balcony is the theatre; the lower floor is an Urban Outfitters store. The State is famous for hosting “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” every Halloween and occasionally other times, and this is also where I first saw “Pulp Fiction”. There’s also Showcase Ann Arbor and Quality 16, both huge multiplexes, for all the commercial hits. Plus, Ann Arbor film societies frequently screen films at buildings on campus cheaply; I saw “The Goonies” on the big screen at the Nat. Sci building that way.

Anyway, I usually make a trip to the theatres at least once a week (often more) – I like to see movies the day they’re released, which means my Friday nights are usually movie nights. I rent a lot of videos as well. I’ve also had the pleasure of studying film; in high school classes and also recently in my enjoyable American Film class (which I aced! My big critique paper, by the way, was on “Labyrinth”) ๐Ÿ™‚ and currently in my Women and Film class. I had my first film festival experience in Montreal in ’97, and returned for a second go in ’98. Well, here’s a listing of some of my favorite films, although this is certainly not all of them, in no particular order.

  • Clue (Heh, I have this movie memorized! A comedy classic with the impeccable Tim Curry.)
  • Australian films: including Strictly Ballroom, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, and Muriel’s Wedding!
  • Doctor Zhivago
  • The Parent Trap & Summer Magic (I love Hayley Mills!!)
  • A Hard Day’s Night
  • Kevin Smith rocks. I have a special Sundance Fest-edition mini-poster of “Chasing Amy”, autographed by Smith himself, on my wall. Long live Jay & Silent Bob! Snootchie-bootchies!
  • Reality Bites
  • The Goonies
  • All those great 80’s teen flicks (Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, The Breakfast Club, Some Kind of Wonderful, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Say Anything, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Real Genius, Girls Just Want To Have Fun, Mystic Pizza, Can’t Buy Me Love, Teen Witch, Better Off Dead, The Sure Thing…)
  • Foxfire
  • The Matrix
  • A Fish Called Wanda (“The Ca….the Ca…the Ca!” <–in-joke with my sister)
  • Swing Kids
  • Hair
  • Splash (the movie that was instrumental in triggering my mermaid obsession)
  • The Sound of Music
  • Antonia’s Line
  • Fame (The ultimate film for young aspiring performers! Irene Cara rules.)
  • Sense & Sensibility
  • The Truth About Cats & Dogs
  • Career Opportunities
  • Hairspray Metropolitan, Barcelona & The Last Days of Disco (all by Whit Stillman)
  • Labyrinth (Check the Labyrinth Links for more fantasy links as well.)
  • The Last Unicorn (THE best animated film of all time!)
  • Before Sunrise
  • Big Trouble In Little China (I can’t believe someone made a page for it!)
  • Heavenly Creatures
  • Titanic (the only film I’ve seen in the theatre 10 times!)
  • Bound
  • Empire Records (“Ooh, Rexy, you’re so sexy!”)
  • Practical Magic
  • Children of a Lesser God
  • Thelma & Louise (and the quite-similar Boys On The Side)
  • Beaches
  • Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael
  • Dirty Dancing
  • Pump Up The Volume
  • Freeway
  • All Over Me
  • Grease
  • Airplane!
  • The Four Corners of Nowhere (set & filmed here in Ann Arbor!)
  • Heathers
  • Pulp Fiction
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Don’t Dream It, Be It!)
  • Monty Python
  • Purple Rain
  • Velvet Goldmine
  • Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion
  • Never Been Kissed
  • 10 Things I Hate About You
  • The Legend of Billie Jean
  • Revenge of the Nerds
  • Anything with Michelle Yeoh (esp. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The Heroic Trio!) and/or Jackie Chan
  • Indiana Jones
  • The Star Wars Trilogy (Princess Leia fans must check out Leia’s Metal Bikini for lots of cool Leia stuff! I always did covet that bikini myself…)
  • James Bond (007)
  • *And of course, I had to include a link to the sexiest Bond ever, Pierce Brosnan….**

Enter my Kate Winslet Shrine!

Enter my Claire Danes Shrine!

Michelle Yeoh kicks butt!! I worship her! I’m thinking about making a lil Michelle Yeoh page…if you don’t know who Michelle is, you need to go out and rent, say, “Supercop” right now.

Oh, and by the way – I worship Janeane Garofalo! ๐Ÿ™‚ I first saw her on the excellent but short-lived ‘The Ben Stiller Show’ (Stiller rocks as well!), and have since been a fan of her acting and stand-up. My fave Janeane film role to date might still be Vickie, the 70’s-obsessed Gap employee roommate-of-Nonie Ryder in “Reality Bites,” but I also loved her in “The Truth About Cats & Dogs”. And of course, she’s had small roles in a zillion other flicks, and recently more prominent ones in films like “Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion,” “The Matchmaker,” and “Mystery Men”.

Other favorite actresses: Angelina Jolie, Winona Ryder, Reese Witherspoon, Alicia Silverstone, Jodie Foster, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Julie Andrews (who I’ve seen onstage!), Toni Collette, Guinevere Turner, Danielle Cormack (who I’ve met!), Hayley Mills (who I’ve also seen onstage!), Lucy Lawless, Gina Gershon, Renee O’Connor, Hudson Leick (who I’ve met several times!), Emma Thompson, Melanie Lynskey, Amber Benson, Eliza Dushku, Anne Heche, Kate Beckinsale, Camryn Manheim, Catherine Keener, Chloe Sevigny, Parker Posey, Claudia Christian (who I’ve also met!), Mary Stuart Masterson, Geena Davis, Susan Sarandon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Julie Delpy, Uma Thurman, Rachel Griffiths, Sigourney Weaver, Lili Taylor, Neve Campbell, Christina Ricci, Kirsten Dunst, Leelee Sobieski, Fairuza Balk, Alison Folland, Molly Ringwald, Julia Stiles, Robin Tunney, Dana Delaney, Heather Graham, Jeri Ryan, Annabeth Gish, Natasha Lyonne, Clea DuVall, Bridget Fonda, Rosanna (and Patricia!) Arquette, Ione Skye, Meg Ryan, Juliette Lewis, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kim Cattrall, Sherilyn Fenn, Helen Slater, Dominique Swain, Michelle Meyrink, Sharon Stone, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and so many others!

Some favorite actors: David Bowie, Pierce Brosnan, Alan Rickman (drool!), Jeremy Irons, Ethan Hawke (who I’ve met!!), Tim Curry, Alan Cumming, Kevin Kline, Aidan Quinn, Hugh Grant, Harrison Ford, Kenneth Branagh (god of cinematic Shakespeare), John Cusack, Jonathan Pryce (who I saw onstage in “Oliver”!), Paul Mercurio, Ben Stiller, Rupert Everett, Jackie Chan, Jet Li, John Cleese (and Michael Palin, Eric Idle, and the rest of Monty Python), Gary Oldman, Robin Williams, Ewan McGregor, Bruce Campbell (who I’ve also met!), Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Johnny Depp, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Val Kilmer, Keanu Reeves, Tom Hanks, Laurence Olivier, Christopher Plummer, Bill Pullman, Ted Raimi (another one I’ve met!), Anthony Rapp (also met), Robert Sean Leonard, James Spader, Will Smith, Kurt Russell, Matt Damon, Eric Stoltz, Jon Cryer, and many others.

Actors/actresses I dislike: Melanie Griffith (ugh! Why does this woman have a career??), Pauly Shore, Mel Gibson (his “Hamlet” sucked royally!), Brad Pitt (overrated), Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Robert Redford, Demi Moore (she’s good in some films, sucky in others…”G.I. Jane” was almost actually good, although her breast implants were a tad distracting), Richard Gere (yep, we all know about his weird sexual practices with gerbils…), Nicole Kidman (ok, she’s good in some films), Helena Bonham Carter (the woman partially responsible for the Ken-Emma breakup…), Steve Guttenberg, Jonathan Taylor Thomas (ugh!!), Joey Lawrence and almost all other cheesy teen idol boys of the 90’s (the 70’s had *much* better teen idols, don’tcha think?), Jenny McCarthy (pure evil!), Pamela Anderson Lee (ditto), Steven Seagal, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts, and Andie MacDowell.

And my favorite source for movie reviews and opinions on the web has to be the excellent Girls On Film site, which I peruse on a regular basis. Witty, incisive commentary, dished up with the savvy of girls who really know (and love) film. Check it out today!

Another must-see movie site would be the famous Internet Movie Database, where you can find the details on pretty much every film and TV series ever made, not to mention filmographies for every star out there! This is where I turn to every time I’m pondering “Where on earth have I seen that guy before??”…it’s an absolutely essential resource for film lovers.