Your Highness

by CosmicTwin3

 

2011, Directed by David Gordon Green. Stars Danny McBride, Natalie Portman, James Franco, Zooey Deschanel.

This comedic spoof of sword-and-sorcery-heroic-quest movies is absolutely hilarious. And absolutely not for children –or anyone who disapproves of bathroom humor in general. Danny McBride takes center stage as Thadeous, the jealous younger brother of handsome Prince Fabious , heir to the throne of their father’s kingdom. The more successful Fabious is with each quest he undertakes, the more Thadeous feels overshadowed and underappreciated. When a dastardly wizard captures Fabious’ virgin bride-to-be to fulfill an evil prophecy, Fabious enlists Thadeous on the quest to rescue her. Mayhem ensues as the band of warriors encounters magical creatures, mythical monsters, valiant maidens, treachery, and ultimate triumph. Along the way Thadeous just might learn how to kick some ass and find his inner hero.

While not nearly the raunch-fest that The Hangover was, Your Highness is in that category of silly comedies that is sprinkled liberally with expletives and crude jokes. James Franco and Natalie Portman playing the ridiculous dialog and over-the-top action with straight faces make the jokes even funnier. Though it isn’t as brilliant as classic Mel Brooks parodies like Blazing Saddles or Spaceballs, this one is a solid comedy with excellent effects that cleverly finds every possible way to poke fun at a genre of movies that is too often overly hokey and pretentious. One of the things I enjoyed most about it was the variety of challenges the heroic band encountered every step of the way; this film redefined the ludicrous, outrageous situations that are the norm in the sword-and-sorcery genre.

I laughed out loud so much I totally forgot that I should probably be embarrassed by how much I was enjoying the low-brow humor. What the heck! This is a great rental that I plan to find time to watch again one day. Shamelessly.

Two boxes of popcornCosmic Twins rating: Double Serving

Black Swan

by CosmicTwin3

 

2010 Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassell. Directed by Darren Aronofsky.

Black Swan was creepily wonderful. Darren Aronofsky really knows how to make a psychological thriller that will make your flesh crawl and have you squirming in your seat. Natalie Portman is my pick for the best Oscar this year. With all due respect and kudos to the other nominees in that category, Natalie turned in an incredible performance while dancing ballet in this movie and that has to be worth some extra points.

Black Swan

Nina Sayers (Portman) strives for technical perfection in every ballet she dances. Sometimes oddly childlike, dominated by a doting and overbearing mother, ballet is her entire world. Elated to be chosen to dance the lead dual roles in Swan Lake, Nina’s joy slowly turns to apprehension as the new ballerina in town (Kunis) demonstrates the perfect blend of sensuality and skill that just might challenge Nina’s place in the ballet company.

As they are polar opposites who are also rivals for the same role, Nina has trouble accepting Lily’s friendly overtures without suspicion. Urged by the artistic director (Cassel) to loosen up and study Lily’s technique, Nina starts to exhibit increasingly more paranoid behavior. Is Lily her friend? Or is she out to get her? Lily’s determination to dance the most perfect Swan Lake ever seen consumes her psyche and leads to a terrifying descent into madness.

A full bucket of popcorn!Cosmic Twins rating: Full Bucket