Third Monday Movie Day

Movie of the Month: Delicatessen (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 1991)

Delicatessen is another beautifully shot, dark but ultimately hopeful film from not-prolific-enough director Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Louison (Dominique Pinon, a Jeunet regular), a former clown, moves into a sad, rundown tenement in a rustic (post-apocalyptic?) world, answering an ad to be the building's handyman. The ad's been placed by the tenement's butcher, who draws in helpers, kills them and sells the meat to the tenants, who have little else to sustain them.

The butcher's daughter falls for Louison, and well, that's a movie right there. Highly recommended, and not as dark as it sounds. It's largely a comedy.

I didn't see any terrible movies this month, but the most disappointing was Easy A, a high-school romp very loosely based on The Scarlet Letter. A few good performances can't save the thing from being predictable down to the letter, even by teen comedy standards.

What have you seen?

138 thoughts on “Third Monday Movie Day”

  1. I watched Bullitt Saturday night. I didnt know until after the movie that the car chase through San Francisco set the bar for all other car chases in movies.

        1. I had to wait until The Deep 🙁

          (not that there was anything wrong with Countess Andrenyi in 1974)

        2. I try to keep my aspirations within the realm of possibility. But I still don't have a Mustang GT.

  2. I saw Eagle Eye, starring some newcomer that apparently had a supporting role in the most recent Indy film and the Transformer series; I don't remember. Anyway, it was an entertaining action film on a totally unoriginal plot.

    I've wanted to share this website for a while now: every Monday I go to FilmWise and check out the Invisibles challenge for the week (and get the previous week's answers). Someone goes to the huge effort to remove the people from a movie still, leaving behind the clothes and everything else, and it's up to you to guess the (usually eight) films each week.

  3. I've recently watched Scott Pilgram versus The World, Speed, Fast and Furious, and the first forty minutes of Benjamin Button.

    Scott Pilgram reminded me way too much of being 18, you know, assuming the fights were inside of his head.

    Speed is exactly as awesome today as it was in 1994. Take that however you will.

    Fast and Furious, which I believe is the forth in the franchise, had cars going fast and things blowing up. If you have not seen any of the other movies, I had not, you should not have a difficult time following along.

    I started Benjamin Button and I am sure I will get back to it. I was watching with Ms Buffalo and she fell asleep. So then I turned on Speed.

    Oh, and I also watch part of the Mask when the Twins were playing poorly Saturday. My favorite part was when Cameron Diaz fed Jim Carrey popcorn.

    1. had cars going fast and things blowing up

      It's good etiquette to not give away spoilers on films. Now I won't be able to watch this one without knowing what happens.

      I enjoyed Delicatessen a lot. I've mentioned before that Jeunet is much like Terry Gilliam in his directing, but he also is like David Lynch, in that each of his characters are imbued with some interesting (and often quirky) aspect to them.

    2. Scott Pilgram reminded me way too much of being 18, you know, assuming the fights were inside of his head.

      My understanding (as I still have the graphic novels sitting on my dresser unread) from people who have read the graphic novels is that the fights literally happen, however that is not something that is very clearly explained in the movie. If his fighting skills remind you of being 18 I never want to mess with you.

    3. I was watching with Ms Buffalo and she fell asleep

      You'd better get used to that. Oh, and just one of the many ways in which the DVR is miles ahead of the DVD player -- not needing to get up to change the disk when the Mrs. falls asleep!

  4. A few good performances can't save the thing from being predictable down to the letter

    It was an 'A' wasn't it.

    I finally saw Winter's Bone this week. Really good movie, you never feel like the main character is safe, and you know that she feels it, but she keeps carrying on. Very straightforward plot-wise, but still remarkably good.

    Also saw Thor and Water for Elephants in the theater. Thor was different from what I expected as a comic book movie, but I'm still not sure that it gets any better comment than "it was OK" from me. 'Water' was alright, nothing special.

    1. The last scene of Winter's Bone between the lead and John Hawkes is incredible.

      Never thought of the "down to the letter" thing. Oops.

  5. I saw four movies this month. That's getting awfully close to a record.

    Gattaca: Some annoying contrivances keep this from being an excellent movie, but the acting is very good (especially from the impressive supporting cast) and the music is out of this world.

    Apollo 13: Yeah, yeah, I'm behind. I was annoyed by the phony personal conflicts, and for me they detracted from a real-life story that's already awesome enough on its own. Pretty solid overall.

    This Is Spinal Tap: One of the funniest movies I've ever seen. I was giggling for days afterwards. And now I want to hear Denholm Elliott reading T.S. Eliot.

    The Graduate: I was disappointed by the second half of the movie, wishing character motivations would have been more realistic, or at least explained. I wonder if those motivations are explored more in the novel. Anyway, it's hard for me to like stories when every character is unlikable; however, Bancroft gives such an amazing performance with layers to spare that she makes me enjoy watching her be unlikable. On a lighter note, I knew I recognized Ben's dad from somewhere...turns out he was K.I.T.T!

  6. I had a fairly interesting month for movies/shows.

    I've been watching Game of Thrones, which is turning out to be really well done. The performances are all strong and its about as faithful to the book as it can really get, even if it, for some unknown reason, took 4 episodes for Jon Snow's direwolf to make an appearance. They had me worried there for a bit.

    I also watched Primer last week. It was impressive for a movie with such a low budget. The plot was somewhat confusing, so I need to re-watch it, but I enjoyed the technical babbling they did during the invention phase of the movie.

    This weekend I watched Best Worst Movie followed immediately by Troll 2. The former being a documentary about the cult following of the latter made by the lead child actor in the movie. The documentary was interesting less in terms of the cult following, but because it followed the other lead actor as he went around to some of the showings of the movie. It was the only movie he'd ever been in, so he seemed to really enjoy the attention due to his terrible, terrible performance. They also rounded up the director and writer who had an almost Uwe Boll-like disgust for critics who said the movie sucked and felt like they actually made something deep and important. Unfortunately, I probably should have watched Troll 2 before seeing the documentary, as its terrible-ness didn't seem as funny after I hyped it up in my mind while watching the documentary.

    1. Primer's plot is confusing, and I re-watched it a couple of times, but the confusion doesn't really count as a negative for me, particularly because the re-watches were so rewarding.

        1. That's two endorsements for re-watching it. I do need to do that, hopefully in an environment where I can pay closer attention.

    2. I'm enjoying GoT, too. The performances are all very good (the aforementioned Jon Snow, the girl doing Arya, and of course Tyrion are all fantastic). Sometimes it feels a little too much like they're trying to stay really faithful to the book; sometimes I get a sense of the writers going "Now we have to show this and this, and then this and this" rather than telling the story organically as an adaptation, but I like it overall.

      1. It'll be criminal if Peter Dinklage doesn't win some kind of award for this.

        There's a few tv blogs doing recaps of each episode with their opinion of the episode and what they think will happen as they haven't read the books. Those are fun reads while I sit thinking "oh, just wait."

          1. Plus, the dude's a mensch.

            what are you talking about? i heard he was a really great guy.

        1. Those are fun reads while I sit thinking "oh, just wait."

          There are some interesting turns to the story that I definitely didn't expect Martin to take- not always good turns, but he keeps the action moving.

      1. I can remember going to one of the early "modern" Disney animated films with the Mrs. not too long after we were married. Some older lady (uh, in her 30s) turned around and said something to the effect of "you're here without your kids too?", smiling.

        1. Linds and I have been to every Pixar movie to come out since we started going out. We only brought a kid (our niece) with on one of those ventures.

        2. Something I find interesting at my job is the way that a great many adult Americans don't understand that animation =/= child fare. I get customers that simply don't understand why people buy The Simpsons or Venture Bros. because animation is for kids, and they don't understand how South Park can get away with what it does, because kids shows don't do that!11!1!!

          From what I've read, we're in one of the only countries in the world where animation has this stigma of being for children, though in the last 10-15 years - especially since the rise of Adult Swim - that's changed a lot.

    1. Kung Fu Panda left me shrugging from a story standpoint because it was pretty straightforward and obvious, but that animation was captivating and added a ton to the experience.

      1. I'm not sure what you were expecting from a CGI Panda voiced by Jack Black doing kung fu, but it sounds like your bar might be a little high.

        1. Well, first of all, I obviously am going to have a high bar. Beyond that, a CGI movie about a kung fu panda voiced by Jack Black sounds awesome to me, which is why I saw it. Add to that the fact that I love a story about a sad sack proving his worth, and it captured my attention.

          There's still no excuse for it to have such a predictable storyline, and for the majority of the supporting characters to have almost no relevance to the story. There's no circumstance under which I will ever say "Well, it was good for what it was." Pixar has proven that a CGI movie primarily aimed at young people can still be unpredictable and creative.

  7. My wife got The Gospel According to St. Matthew by Pier Paolo Pasolini from the library, but we didn't have time to watch it before its return was due. Due to the Coil song "Ostia (the Death of Pasolini)", I know that he was a gay communist who was possibly assassinated. (I didn't tell my wife any of this.) Has anyone seen the movie?

  8. not a whole lot here:

    the kids are all right: i thought this was a pretty decent flick, though not deserving of quite as much adulation as it received. well acted, though i thought the plot was a little flimsy at times, or least the motivations. honestly though, i thought it was well casted (mia wasikowska is strangely compelling) with the exception of moore and benning. not that they performed badly, i just felt they weren't right for the roles. regardless, definitely worth checking out.

    harry potter and the deathly hollows, part i: i know you should never compared movies to books, but i can never help it. while i generally appreciate the potter flicks for what they are, they are usually woefully inadequate when compared to the original material. that said, this was the least so so far; most likely since they have two movies for the one book. looking forward to the next and final.

    other than that, just been going through deadwood again, which is still fabulous. imagine that.

    1. Holy shamoles, I can't imagine anyone being better in those roles than Moore and Bening.

      I've gotten to the point where I no longer even think of the book when I'm watching a movie. A two-hour movie script is about 120 pages with tons of white space, so it's all about stripping away every single bit of plot that's unnecessary to the outcome. I heard this was a real difficulty in the Potter series, though, since they were adapting the films before the series was over. For instance, Kreacher was going to be left out of Order of the Phoenix but Rowling strongly suggested that he was in it, because he'd be needed later.

      1. nope, didn’t like them in the roles. there’s a part in the movie where they explain their dislike for the state of same sex female pornography as it tend to be disingenuous since the actress are all most likely straight women pretending to be lesbians (and “the plot is ludicrous”—oh wait, wrong movie). i felt kind of the same way.

        1. Wow, that should never enter the mind of the viewer. It blows my mind that viewers easily accept an actor as a serial killer, a cop or a judge but when they play gay, everyone suddenly can't get over the fact that the actor isn't. I don't understand that.

          1. no, i don't think it had anything to do with that, i'm just using that as an example of how i didn't buy them in the roles. i can think of similar situations in other movies where it never occurred to me. i'm basically saying i didn't buy them as a couple, moore's motivations to her relationship with the father didn't come across very well and are still unknown to me (if her explanation was all it was, that's pretty flimsy and/or either bad writing or bad acting), and it just didn't work for me. i'm not saying i didn't like the movie because of it, i just thought that was the weakest part.

            1. I know people who have been in a remarkably similar situation, with the same motivations, so it never occurred to me that the motivations were weak. I do see how it might come off as a stretch for one who hasn't seen it in practice, though.

  9. Also, at a Pamida, found the DVD/BluRay pack of Henson's Labyrinth, and bought it for a potential future blu-ray player. I would have never pegged the young Jennifer Connelly as a future Oscar winner.

    Trying to find more family-friendly fare, my wife also got The Never-Ending Story and The Flight of the Navigator through our library, although she's watched them with the kids and without me. I'm interested in similar films: not too frightening, but different from all the cartoons we otherwise watch. Any suggestions?

    I'm still planning on cutting down* Spirited Away into like six to ten episodes for my kids to watch one at a time, so they don't get too wound up and can let it sink in more, but that'll have to wait for later in summer or into fall.

    *I assume there's an easy way to do this with some freeware: import DVD to computer, cut into logical 10-20 minute segments, re-burn on new disc. If not, please let me know.

    1. I just got my wife to sit down and watch Labyrinth with me last month. She never knew how to respond to my /best Ludo voice/ "Smell bad" as she hadn't seen it. Now she just gives me that patient smile when I say it. That being said, I don't think she enjoyed it as much as I do.

  10. Had a fairly busy week, movie-wise.

    Saw Fast Five in theaters on whatever day that was. It was loud, and had fast cars and hot womens. The "heist" plot that was grafted on was ridiculous, but kind of awesome, anyway. I enjoyed that whole thing quite a bit, but if you disliked the others, there's zero point in even bothering.

    Watched 127 Hours with the wife this last weekend. It was decent, and Franco was very good, but it just sort of stalled in the time leading up to the infamous amputation. All the hallucinations and whatnot started to feel like padding an already short movie. Good, but not as good as many had said.

    Linds and I saw Away We Go, and liked it. A little bit of mood whiplash throughout, and it doesn't quite know how to end, but I thought it to be forgivable.

    We also watched The Wizard to test our new Netflix streaming capabilities. Oish. Childhood nostalgia takes it on the chin yet again.

    1. We also watched The Wizard to test our new Netflix streaming capabilities. Oish. Childhood nostalgia takes it on the chin yet again.

      ha! i've wanted to see that again for a long time. i remember the climactic finale... with the power glove (the thing was useless)!

      *checks repository page* holy crap! that was jenny lewis?!? now i have to see that again.

    2. What bugs me about The Wizard and so many other movies I loved when I was a kid is that every single adult is portrayed as a bumbling idiot that just gets in the way of a kid's dream.

      Then again, we got Jenny Lewis.

    3. Surely you didn't expect The Wizard to hold up very much.

      I had an unfortunate experience with that one; it was on HBO during one of the big holidays and the kids roped the adults into seeing it. So, while my cousins, brother and I were trying to enjoy it, a few of the adults were mocking it relentlessly. As a result I came away knowing it was terrible, even though I would have had fun with it otherwise.

      1. heh, most of the time if i have a need to say it by itself in a sentence, i still pronounce it, "caaaalllliffooorrrrniaaa!"

      2. Surely you didn't expect The Wizard to hold up very much.

        Ha, obviously not. We had my brother in law over at the time, and I think he expected it to hold up.

  11. I'm torn on seeing X-Men: First Class. The first two were awesome, XIII had issues, and Wolverine was just not good. This graph definitely has a negative slope.

    1. I wouldn't put too much stock into how each film has been to this point, since really nobody important involved in the making of those is involved in this one. This is as much reboot as it is sequel. Er, prequel.

      I didn't like the second one very much. The Nightcrawler BAMF stuff was cool but it was all on the commercials, and there were entirely too many characters. When Pyro turned, I didn't care, because no more than three minutes had been spent on him. Beneath all the style, though, there was a little substance; I liked the story about Senator Kelly (my cousin through marriage, Bruce Davison!) and Brian Cox was great in the Stryker storyline. I just wish they'd stripped the thing down a little rather than try to tell so many stories in one movie. Hence, I never saw any after that one.

  12. I went to see Paul at the cheap theater with a friend on Thursday. I generally like the films Simon Pegg & Nick Frost do quite a bit, but this was merely okay. There were too many gay & rape jokes for my liking, and overall the film wasn't nearly as clever as Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, but it was worth the $2 I spent on seeing it.

    I've also been watching a ton of the new My Little Pony series Friendship is Magic with J. It was created by Lauren Faust who worked on Powerpuff Girls. It's a very, very well done cartoon. Great animation, music, characters, voice acting. It's very well done.

    1. There were too many gay & rape jokes for my liking, and overall the film wasn't nearly as clever as Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz

      I haven't seen it yet, but I'll just assume any problems with the movie are Seth Rogen's fault.

        1. Seems plausible. However, I have such distaste for Rogen that I assume, regardless of the facts, that all things that suck are his fault.

          1. The alien was basically a CGI Rogen. He pretty much plays the same character in everything, so this isn't a surprise, but it basically seems like a waste of money as I assume the CGI wasn't cheap.

          2. I don't feel strongly about Rogen. He doesn't have (or at least he hasn't shown) much range, but I have no major issues with how he comes off. I'd neither avoid one of his movies nor make a point to pay to see it.

            1. I don't think I entered into a Rogen-boycott (also on my list: Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler. There are probably others, but I'm not thinking well this morning.) until I saw Knocked Up. It might be the worst movie of all time.

              1. Huh. I thought Knocked Up was...just there.

                Stiller and Sandler are in some good movies too, but normally, it's despite their presence. I thought Sandler was very good in Punch Drunk Love, but Paul Thomas Anderson always pulls out the best performances from his actors, so no surprise there.

                1. Punch Drunk Love is one of my favorite films ever, Sandler's performance was great. The opening scene to this movie is so awesome.

              2. Ben Stiller is my boycott list- excepting Night at the Museum, and I'll give most of the credit for that to supporting cast (thank you, Carla Gugino). Sandler I can stomache, and Rogen is way overpaid for playing himself in every role he's been in, but I don't avoid their movies the way I do Stiller's.

                1. A lot of actors play themselves pretty often, I think, and it's way harder than it looks. In my first college class, our first assignment was to play ourselves onstage, and it was a disaster.

                  Stiller was in Tropic Thunder, which I liked, and he even looked somewhat like the lead, although he disappears for long stretches and never does much of importance. He's honestly the dullest character as written, which is awfully strange for the character who's billed first.

                  1. I've heard he's generally pretty strong in his least comedic roles. Maybe he's a guy who suffers from only wanting to do the type of movie and role he's not particularly good at.

                    1. There you go.

                      I'm not the world's biggest fan of Wes Anderson's movies, but he shoots beautifully and he gets fantastic performances from everyone. That's probably my favorite Stiller performance, now that you mention it.

  13. We saw Dogtooth a couple of weeks ago and hated it. I had decent reviews and was an Oscar nominee but way too weird for me or the wife.

    Also we saw Meek's Cutoff at the Walker Art Center, including a discussion with the Director. It's slow and somewhat lugubrious but good nonetheless. This is not your typical Western and really doesn't have a resolution but if interested in Pioneer's travels cross country, real compelling. I would suggest streaming it someday when it's available.

    1. Huh. I found Dogtooth strange and disturbing. And at times very funny. Definitely not for everyone, but I generally don't go for stuff that is.

      1. I had heard good things about it and was real interested in seeing it, but it just rubbed me raw. Closest I came to turning off a movie mid-way in a long long time.

  14. Wow, I thought of two movies I saw this month that were worse than Easy A.

    Jarhead was one. Some of the drama worked, but mostly, the movie just meanders.

    Machete was a huge disappointment. I'm sick of the way that Robert Rodriguez treats his female characters, making them paper-thin sex objects but claiming he's empowering them by giving them big guns. Beyond that, this movie tries to tackle a deep political issue with the smallest amount of tact possible, and the over-the-top setting and style just makes the immigration business seem way out of place. I was so ready to love this movie. Oh well.

    I finally finished the first season of Deadwood after probably over a year. It just gets better as it goes.

    I started The Shield. Perhaps I'm ruined by The Wire, but it's leaving me unimpressed after the first disc. Some of the acting outside of Chiklis isn't great and some major actions haven't proven to have repercussions. I'm only one disc in, though.

    I saw the first couple episodes of The United States of Tara and it's got a lot of broad humor that I can forgive because the performances are so tight. I like it but don't love it so far.

    I started watching Cheers for the first time since the first run. It's still awesome.

    Amazing Journey is another in a long string of documentaries I've seen about The Who, and it's one of the best.

    I saw the first couple episodes of Idris Elba (Stringer Bell)'s new British cop show, Luther. The conflict between the two leads is amazing and the writing is excellent. It's on streaming and I highly recommend this one.

    At home: Out of Sight (going on a month and a half now...), The United States of Tara and Modern Family

    1. I started watching Cheers for the first time since the first run. It's still awesome.

      I didn't watch Cheers a lot when it was on, but I do still go to the Youtube and watch the scene with Cliff on Jeopardy. That's some of the funniest television ever right there.

    2. I started The Shield. Perhaps I'm ruined by The Wire, but it's leaving me unimpressed after the first disc. Some of the acting outside of Chiklis isn't great and some major actions haven't proven to have repercussions. I'm only one disc in, though.

      The first season hits its stride around 5 or 6 episodes in, but the show is definitely one that gets better as it goes along. Season four through seven are incredible television.

      1. I was pretty sure that's what I'd heard. I feel like right now they want to do strong story arcs but they're being pressured to write stories that tie up nicely at the end of the episode, and it's hurting the quality. For all my criticisms, though, I think it's a good show so far that just has some obvious weaknesses.

    1. Saw that one years ago with was the first movie she ever asked to see and will have a special place for me forever as a result. I remember liking it, but I've seen so many animated kids' movies since then it's hard to be sure.

        1. Ha, I see what you did now...wasn't even really seeing what you were saying.

          I really have no recollection of the movie, only that it was Skim's first request.

    2. I didn't mind OtH, but it just happened to fill the right niche for our family that day (rainy day at a resort, on HBO in the morning) but it's definitely not great.
      Pixar makes films, Dreamworks makes cartoons. Dreamworks movies aren't really any better than the people that did "Hoodwinked" (for example).

  15. Not much movie watching this month, I've been so busy with work and watching the Twins lose and trying to get the house and yard in shape for a graduation party.
    But I did catch Robin Hood on HBO last weekend. Definitely the best cinematic take on that particular legend that I've seen since Michael Curtiz teamed up with Errol Flynn and Basil Rathbone in 1938.

  16. Related to the Knocked Up commentary above. I saw that in the theater with like six friends, and I laughed out loud many times. So even though I had many critiques of the movie, I had a good experience. However, I don't trust that experience.

    I saw American Pie 2 in the theater with two other people, and practically laughed myself out of my chair. I watched it again a few years later by myself and was bored to tears.

    So what's the deal. Is laughing contagious? I am sure I have been to see some stand-up comedians that would not have been as funny had they given me a private performance at home. Or do some comedies just not hold up on the second viewing once the shock of the original jokes wear off?

    1. Laughing must be contagious (and I think I've even seen a study to that effect). I always enjoy comedies more when I'm with other people. I always prefer to see dramas when I'm alone, though, unless I can trust those people to keep their mouths shut at all times. I don't want to be pulled from a dramatic scene because someone doesn't understand that James Caan is Juliette Lewis's father in The Way of the Gun.

      1. I have a friend that ruins comedies in much the same fashion. "Why did he do that!?!" "That's so dumb!" "Aren't they going to get back together?!"

        Just non-stop questions. After yelling at her several times "If you just watch the rest of the movie, they'll tell you!" I think she's afraid of me.

        1. Heh, I guess I don't have that kind of friend around me anymore. I did almost marry one of those, though. Ah, the stupid things her good looks made me do...

          I only get that way if it's a terrible movie, and it's even better if there are people who think the movie's good. I ran a commentary during Dirty Dancing that turned a few of my female friends against me for a couple of days. One came back and admitted she was so annoyed because she'd never thought about how terrible it was until I pointed everything out. I suppose I shouldn't have ruined her nostalgia like that...

          1. and it's even better if there are people who think the movie's good

            So it's cool for you to ruin movies for other people, but not the other way around? 😉

            1. To be fair, I haven't found myself stuck in a living room (at my own place!!!) watching something of that movie's...quality...since that happened ten years ago.

              That said, I suppose my rules as stated here are a little hypocritical...

              1. I can't watch crime dramas with my wife- she has no appreciation for why someone might have commit a crime to solve a problem. On the other hand, she can't watch romantic comedies with me- I can't buy that a guy looking like an idiot automatically solves all misunderstandings. Overall, we tend to just watch action and kids' movies together and watch the other stuff on our own.

                1. You have a situation fairly similar to mine with the Milkmaid, who can't watch horror or R-rated action because it's too intense for her.

                  It amuses me when people get so wrapped up in stories that they turn on shows simply because they wouldn't get along with the characters, but to some degree people are supposed to get wrapped up in it, so there's a fine line there.

                  1. I have a very similar situation regarding horror and R-rated action. The sucky part is how much I like horror movies, which makes it tough to find a time when I can watch them. I was trying to watch what I could on Netflix instant, but I got a new laptop at work and they wouldn't give me admin privileges so I couldn't install the freekin Silverlight plug-in. Dammit.

                    1. My resulting deal with horror is that I've almost completely stopped watching it. When the Milkmaid leaves, it's me and the kids. I'll put up something like Deadwood because when they walk in the room I can just pause it, but the sounds and even a single image on a horror movie aren't worth the potential nightmares Skim and Sour Cream would have, so I rarely turn them on.

                      The Milkmaid has seen three horror movies...ever. Ever! Scream, The Exorcist and one I can't recall.

                    2. Oh crap, I totally didn't even think of that consequence of having kids. Well, hopefully my daughter will have the ability to enjoy zombies with me. (I really need to come up with a good nickname for my wife and future daughter.)

                    3. Well, while they're tiny things, they won't even look at the screen. But, yeah, that consequence is looming.

                      As for their names...Queen Diamond? My Sugah? Mercyful Kate? The Hop Devil?

                    4. I figured the names should relate to one's username, which is why I'm struggling with coming up with something.

                2. My wife and I share quite a lot of tastes in movies, but we also have our points of divergance. I like a good special effects action adventure flick and 'dumb' comedy on ocassion (Sex Drive was probably the last one I saw), but she has no time for them. Those I watch by myself, usually while she's at work. Likewise, she really enjoys those ensemble cast vignette romances like Love Actually. Needless to say, I'm not a big fan.

                  1. I've never seen anything like Love Actually. It transcends that whole genre of cast vignette romances, which is definitely generally terrible. If nothing else, there isn't a bad performance in the lot, but I also enjoyed the writing more than I expected to.

                    Meanwhile, I couldn't get through more than ten minutes of Sex Drive, which is in a genre I normally like. Maybe I gave up on it too soon...I've done that before.

                    1. To be clear, I wasn't holding up Sex Drive as a standard for the genre or anything. I thought it was only middlin at best, but Seth Green as the sardonic Amish dude was pretty inspired.

  17. It was a busy month, but we managed to catch quite a few flicks: The Fighter (8/10 stars), Harry and the Hendersons (5), Fools Gold (4), Milk (7), The Tourist(7)*, Just Like Heaven(9), Restrepo (10), Hanna (6), Blue Valentine (9 for me, 4 for the wife...she doesn't thought it was too depressing, even though she could see the talent involved), and High Noon (9) as well as starting Season 2 of Dexter.

    *This movie was totally panned by most critics, but I actually enjoyed it. Nothing special there, but a fun distraction and a "surprise" ending.

    1. Wow, I haven't seen a one of those (those movies, anyway; I've seen the first three seasons of Dexter) yet, although Blue Valentine, Restrepo, Milk and The Fighter are on my short list.

      Okay, so there's nothing "short" about my list, but you feel me.

      Oops, never mind. I've seen Harry and the Hendersons. That was years ago, though. I've thought about braving it with a critical eye because at least I might get a laugh out of the experience, but seeing something I might actually like always takes precedence.

    2. Just in case there's anyone here who hasn't seen it, or anyone has forgotten about it:


  18. I just saw Easy A yesterday afternoon and rather liked it. I thought it was a solid B. I guess I didn't find it predictable, but I guess I don't watch many teen comedies, or try to anticipate where they are going. I actually enjoyed it more than Mean Girls. Emma Stone > Lindsey Lohan, Rachel McAdams > Amanda Bynes.

    And I guess I was on an Emma Stone bender cause I also watched Zombieland. I can't be sure, cause it was 5 years ago, but I also enjoyed this more than Shaun of the Dead. But I think this was less horror, which is a genre I hate. The characters were meh. Apparently Eisenberg has one character?

    1. I never thought much of Eisenberg until The Social Network and I'm still not sure he did anything besides benefit from having a great director in Fincher. We'll see.

      Being a writer is rewarding in a lot of ways, but can be severely limiting as a viewer. When a character is introduced and shot in a certain way, I know where everything is headed. When Micah was shown sitting next to Amanda Bynes in the prayer circle, from the way he was shot, I knew almost exactly where that storyline was going. I really liked Mean Girls, which is the closest cousin I can think of to Easy A, but when I saw that one I didn't have as critical an eye as I do now.

      I gave Easy A 3/5 stars on Netflix. So, I liked it, but found it pedestrian, outside of the excellent scenes of Stone's parents (Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson, always favorites of mine). I have high hopes for Emma Stone, who I've liked in everything, even the unbearably stupid House Bunny. I think Hollywood will try to turn her into a dull ingenue of teen romance dramas, but hopefully she (and her agent) can resist the urge.

      I didn't do much more than shrug at Zombieland, which surprised me (another 3/5 for me). There was nothing I actively disliked; it was just less than the sum of its parts somehow.

        1. I'm not sure I'd even call it guilty. I remember being pretty impressed with the writing.

          Although I suppose there's some guilt over how I felt when the girls were in their Santa costumes and such. Ahem...

          1. Tina Fey wrote that, didn't she? I remember watching it with my daughter and rather liking it.

            1. She adapted the screenplay from a book, but it's got her humor all over it, absolutely.

              The characters and conflicts were believable, and nobody was written without at least a little bit of dimension, which is a rare thing in a film dealing with high school cliques.

    2. Okay, I remember now why Easy A really bugged me. There was no real conflict. Yes, the lead's reputation was ruined at school, but she admitted to not liking school nor the people in it, and besides...she was almost done with it. She also had a falling out with her best friend, but her best friend was a bitch.

      Meanwhile, her most important relationships were with her family, who supported her throughout even when they thought she might be a slut, and the boy she liked, who liked her all along no matter what.

      So, if she hadn't overcome her "obstacle," she would have merely moved on to a good college with the boyfriend she wanted and tons of support from her family, and she wouldn't have been tethered whatsoever to the high school she disliked so much. There was nothing at stake in the thing.

      1. I should note that I saw Mean Girls after Lohan went from hot bad girl of hollywood to hot mess. They are neck and neck but I guess my already existent liking of Emma Stone pushed the needle in Easy As favor. I think I have both rated as 7/10 on IMDB.

        And the lack of conflict is accurate. The one night after the failed date/rape attempt was the only time there was a shred.

        1. Yeah, and that's the character's only two scenes! He appears out of nowhere, as if he was written in at the last moment when they realized there was no real antagonist in the film.

          I can see how being a latecomer to Mean Girls could derail your thoughts on the movie. When I saw it, shortly after its release, I felt Lohan was a criminally underappreciated young actress whose popularity was causing some to question her talent. Then the addictions got to her, and now she's lost her voice, some of her looks and most of her talent. She was in Machete and sucked. Admittedly, the scripting of her "character" did her no favors.

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