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Rating History

The September Issue
7 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

The September Issue, the documentary aboutVogue Magazine and its Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour is sure to rustle the glittered feathers of the fashion industry. It is not that it is a wildly controversial film or even a blown open expose on the industry itself. It is quite the opposite. It makes fashion and fashionable people...wait for it...human.

What we are presented with, by director R.J. Cutler, is the human side of these fashion divas. Anna, although strong handed and sometimes down right cold, has reasons for why she is the way she is. Did you know her father, Charles, was also an editor of the Evening Standard in England? Did you know she has a daughter that doesn't want to pursue her mother's path and who finds the fashion industry silly? I didn't either.

What also is so endearing about the film is the cast of characters that surround Ms. Wintour from Grace Coddington, the former model and now Creative Director behind Anna to Thakoon, the featured fashion designer who inspires Anna and she him.

We are able to follow the crazy and cut up world of trying to put together Vogue Magazine's largest annual feat, which is the September issue of their publication. I do not use the word "large" lightly. By the time the 2007 issue, which the film is based on, went to print it weighed over four pounds, reaching an audience of thirteen million people and was and still remains the biggest issue the magazine has ever produced.

To say this film is not put together like your average documentary is a gross understatement. There really isn't a centrally guided narration to the piece but more of a voyeur approach to documenting the day to day operations of producing the publication.

If you are looking to find the Anna Wintour that inspired the character of Miranda Priestly in the movie The Devil Wears Prada you will not find it presented here. In fact, even though there are brief interludes that portray that, the film makes Ms. Wintour out to be more of a quiet recluse than a raging, well you know what. This is most assuredly attributed to the editing and pairing down of the documented film.

By the time the film is over you are left with the feeling of being able to view numerous more hours serving as a fly on the wall in the halls of Vogue Magazine. You are left wanting more, which, in the world of fashion, is always a good thing.

Observe and Report
7 years ago via Rotten Tomatoes

I knew there must have been a reason why I had a funny feeling when I first saw the trailer for Observe and Report. I remember thinking yes Seth Rogen is in it, yes Anna Faris is in it and yes it looks a bit funny, but it seemed just a little too far to the side of comedy to be one. It looks like my initial feeling was correct.

Seth Rogen plays a mall cop, a "rent-a-cop" if you will and to put it very mildly he takes it very seriously. He looks at himself as a renegade, a mall version of Patton if you will and the mall his war theater.

Sounds funny right? Okay, let me pose this question though: what if there really was someone like that and you saw not only how he handled the job but his everyday personal life. Not just the funny little tid bits of how mall patrons and employees look at him but his views on the world and the world around him. Starting to get that 'not-so-funny' feeling?

This isn't to say this movie is a bad movie. Not at all actually. Yes, there are silly trademarked funny Rogen parts, but they are few and far between. What is odd and yet wildly appealing is the storyline of looking at the man we all laugh at and are plunged into his delusional world. It is scary and is a ride that at first is fun but then you begin to look for the exit signs very fast.

Ray Liotta enters the mix about halfway through the film, which is when you know things are about to take a turn to the dark side. Liotta plays a veteran detective, who although a bit menacing, is not a bad guy or a out to get anyone...except Rogen....when he pisses him as up and up away as possible.

The whole movie rides a very fine rail, which it does very well, of funny, yet dark, yet strange. You are not sure whether to turn it off, look away, or play it again. It is one of the oddest feelings I have been left with after a screening in a long time. That said you may want to check it out, if for the very reason of thinking twice before you make fun of and laugh at someone, you never know what they might be thinking.