Third “Monday” Movie Day

Yeah...I forgot. Plus, this way I'm not fighting with the doubleheader.

Movie of the Month: Kick-Ass (2010, Matthew Vaughn)

Now, this isn't the movie of the month because it's the best movie I saw this month. I saw much better fare, but the best film I saw (Out of Sight) has been covered here already. I wanted to cover this one because of what it did poorly. Spoilers abound. In fact, I'll use the spoiler tag.

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Okay, one more gripe, this time on The Crazies (2010, Breck Eisner)

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Aaaaaaand sigh. What have you seen?

152 thoughts on “Third “Monday” Movie Day”

  1. I also caught Bull Durham for the first time...just finished minutes ago. Perhaps this is sacrilege 'round these parts, but it did nothing for me. It wasn't particularly funny nor dramatic, and Costner was as wooden as he ever gets. It's not actively bad or anything, but I just never really engaged with the story like I should have.

      1. He had a monologue on the bus about the time he made it to the show, and it was obviously the "star moment" for him in the film. I couldn't help thinking it might have had some punch in another actor's hands.

        1. Costner's monologue would have been better if he complained about how difficult it is to get paid on time by the smalltown minor league owners.

          1. Heh, yeah. A documentary about a real-life Crash Davis might have been the way to go here. Then again, the movie was hardly a failure, so I guess I can't take them to task too much.

    1. Give me Major League any day. The first one. Whoever thought it was a good idea to make a sequel should be drug out into the street and shot, let alone the third one.

      1. Yeah, that's my baseball comedy of choice. I wouldn't say making a sequel to that movie was a bad idea, but making that sequel to that movie was a pretty bad idea.

  2. We went to the drive in a couple of weeks ago, thinking that Cars II was going to be the first movie. I checked the Internet a day before and that's what it said, but the day before was Thursday and on Friday, they changed. The first movie was Zookeeper. On an inverted scale of one to ten, this one goes to 11. Awful.

    How does a movie this terrible get sold? Scripts that bad usually end up with wannabe starlets disrobed.

    1. ...and I see that Stallone voiced one of the animals. This movie is a new low for him. And that, my friends, is saying something.

    2. As for how scripts like that get sold, when you're talking studio comedies, that's usually not the process. Quite often, it's just that the studio wants a Kevin James movie with talking animals, so they either talk with guys who've already written a fitting spec script or they find the scribe they want and commission him to write it. If it isn't good, big deal, because "big dumb oaf trips around a zoo with talking animals" is enough to sell to the least common denominator.

      1. Wasn't this also a Happy Madison production as well? What I truly want to know is why Adam Sandler is still allowed to make money off of movies.

          1. Really? That sounds about right. I've always wondered why it was so easy for SNL alums to get so many really awful movies made, in addition to the handful of decent ones.

  3. I watched The Sweet Smell of Success the other night. Terrific film. Curtis and Lancaster were both great, but it was the black and white NYC cinematography that really stuck with me. Just a beautifully shot piece of work. Wonderful soundtrack, too.

    (Thanks for recommending, spook and Klaw.)

    1. It really is a success in every way. The worst I can say about it is that a few of the minor characters (I'm talking 1-5 lines here) are played by poor actors, but that's it. It's the perfect example of how a script that's all about words can still be stunning visually and aurally.

      1. I always notice! I'll try to bring it up more often. Okay, here's an unconventional favorite of mine: Basil Poledouris's score for Conan the Barbarian.

        1. Including the greatly titled (I believe) track "Orgy and Kitchen Scene" or something like that.

          I have a personal collection of favorite tracks from otherwise poor movies; someday I should share those.

          1. As many dopey elements as that movie has, I actually kind of like it. Epic score and sets, a great evil performance by James Earl Jones and wild action scenes. Now, the sequel, however...yeesh. Wilt Chamberlain as the lead villain? Wow.

            1. Poledouris can do epic. Check out "Klendathu Drop" from Starship Troopers sometime (can probably even find the scene on YouTube) -- brilliantly epic low brass treatment.

          2. I bought Ryuichi Sakamoto's score for Nic Cage's "Snake Eyes" because when I watched the movie, I thought that the music was the best part. (I also have his score for "Love Is the Devil", a biopic about Francis Bacon which I've never even watched. But I got that because I was a Sakamoto fan by that point -- Following Dischord.*)

            *OK, that timing's wrong. All three albums came out in 1998.

  4. The wife forced Hereafter on me the other night. "Clint Eastwood directed, it's got to be good, right?" Uh, wrong. I felt like it kept trying to make these really big statements, but had no reason to do so. Also, any "story" there may have been was tacked on and unguided. We sat through the whole thing, but barely.

    Saw Super 8 a week or two ago. I thought it was sort of enjoyable, if a little cheesy in places. A decent look back on the old Goonies style movies of the 80's.

    1. Oh yeah. I saw Super 8 and really like it. Definitely an homage to movies like Goonies.

    2. Ugh, Hereafter was the worst movie I've seen in quite a while. After we saw it, I read some positive reviews to see if I was missing something. Nope, the critics who liked it did so for the same reasons I hated it. Agreed on everything nibbish said.

  5. During the last month, I finally saw Hot Tub Time Machine. It was actually much funnier than I expected. Stripes, on the other hand, has aged absolutely horribly. The technology is just laughable. Despicable Me was decent but I had higher hopes after hearing many adults raving about it. I think those might have been the only movies for the past month.

    1. I haven't seen the latter but I absolutely agree on the former two. HTTM knew what it was and embraced it. Stripes I actually started watching a week or so ago for the first time since the early '90s, and I couldn't get very far before I decided not to totally ruin my fond memories.

  6. I saw The Woman in the Mirror which is an ok noir film. It's famous for a tacked on Hayes Code ending which changes the ending from something dark to a head slapper.

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  7. I didn't end up seeing The Tree of Life this weekend, and I'm bummed about that. Probably going to go next time I'm in Winnipeg.

    I did, however, finally watch all of season two of Bored to Death. I really, really love this show. I liked the first season quite a bit, and the second season was just as good. The sense of humor totally falls in line with mine, and all the main characters are pretty fantastic. I think this is probably my favorite show on TV now. I'm so excited that the third season is coming up pretty soon.

    I also finished up season two of Treme. The show is great, if you're okay with the pacing. The amount of characters is very overwhelming at times, but I think the show is very rewarding. I like the pacing, but I'm a big fan of "slice of life" type stories.

    I'm planning on going to Barnes & Noble to pick up some Criterion Blu-Rays while they're 50% off (until 8/1). I'm thinking of Yi Yi, The Thin Red Line, and Kiss Me Deadly to start with.

    1. The first disc of "Treme" is sitting at my place in LA, since I was supposed to be there two weeks ago. Now I'm stuck here and I'm considering having my roommate just send it back so I can re-order it. I'm annoyed...I'm very psyched for that show.

  8. I also finished "Luther," the six-episode British miniseries starring Idris Elba. It's on Netflix streaming and I can. Not. Recommend it enough. Smartly written and superbly acted. Perhaps a little dark for some, as the "happy" endings on the show are always tinged with huge downsides.

    1. I missed "Luther" when it was on BBC America. It's in my Netflix queue. I should get around to it now that I'm caught up on "Breaking Bad"

    2. I'm calling BS on this one. I went looking to watch this after work to day, and there are other Luther available for immediate streaming, but not the British miniseries. I was bummed.

  9. Watched Avatar: The Last Airbender as I mentioned last night. Ugh. The Chronicles of Riddick except even MORE wooden acting.

    HP7+ was alright. Hard to separate it from all the others, but it didn't disappoint. Nothing new in the soundtrack.

    The BBC Sherlock Holmes three part miniseries is on Netflix instant play, btw -- it has its problems, like most BBC dramas, but the present day reboot was a great idea, and the acting is great.

    1. I love the animated series of Avatar, and was crushed when I heard who would be making the movie.

      Then the reviews started pouring in, and it sounds like it was even worse than anyone could have dreamed.

    2. We just watched the Sherlock miiseries a few weekends ago. I really like it. I was particularly interested in how they'd adapt the stories that I was already pretty familiar with but yet keep my interest. That's a big problem with Holmes on TV - I've read most of the Holmes books, so the mystery is gone.

      1. watched the better part of it recently. Very well done. Benedict Cumberbatch makes for a credible Holmes, and Andrew Scott is very effective as Moriarty.

          1. Yeah, that's fantastic. That's the kind of name an American high-schooler writes, and his teacher says "You're laying on the British a little thick there. Dial it down."

      2. I loved everything about it except that it's a mini-mini-series. Three episodes? I was just getting in the groove and it was over!
        Without cable, this was the best TV going for me.

    3. I bought HP7(-?) last week and watched on saturday. It was...unfulfilling.
      Hermione has gotten hott, but the story was bleh and the ending rushed and abrupt. It was kind of like, "well, it doesn't matter how we end this one, our audience will stick with us through part 2 anyway. Let's just jerk 'em around a bit and stop...NOW."

      also, which one of you jerks took the remote for my upstairs DVD player? Bring it back.

      1. I watched HP7.1 just days ago as well. I thought it was well-executed, but yeah, that stopping point was pretty arbitrary, and I figured if I hadn't read it I probably would have felt a bit cheated there.

        1. I thought they did a good job of ending the movie. Having read the books, I wasn't sure how they were going to split it, but it set up the second half and resolved a couple of secondary plots.

          Whether it was the right decision to make 2 movies, I'm not convinced. But if you take the 2 movies as a given, I thought they did fine with it.

            1. I'm not much for movies that depend on plot surprises, so I think if the movie depends on the viewer to not know the plot, it's already at least a little weak. Surely discovering a plot at you go along is a different experience than watching knowing what the plot is, but I think a truly good movie should have plenty to keep the audience's attention even when they know the big picture.

              1. Also, I feel the same way about books. If the book isn't worth reading if I know what the ending is, it might not be worth reading in the first place.

              2. My biggest concern going into 7.1 was whether they would tell a complete, self-contained story. I thought they did, not the big story (obviously), but I thought it was actually well done. (keeping in mind that I already knew the story)

              3. I don't know if you brought this up under the assumption that I disagreed, but I definitely don't. It's just a different experience to try to review something I know letter by letter than it is for me to review any other movie.

            2. I stopped reading the books after the second or third, so the story is "new" to me. And you've seen my reactions to the ending to 7.1.

      2. I haven't read any of the books but we own all of the movies. Saw 7.2 on Saturday and enjoyed the conclusion of the franchise. Should I even bother to read the books?

        1. You should have read them in the first place, but yes, I'd still say it's worth it. The first couple are fairly rough, but she starts figuring out the whole writing thing with the third, and the fourth is great.

  10. In regards to the movie of the month, I've seen Kick-Ass, and other than the fact that I love hearing John Murphy soundtracks (his work in Sunshine is my favorite "epic-style" soundtrack, bar none), I had similar complaints to the ones you listed.

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      Dido on the soundtrack, too. No complaints there.

        1. Oh, it was definitely a funny moment, but I think the fact that I could too easily see Skim in the scene got to me. By the end, I didn't feel that way, considering Hit Girl's story arc to that point.

    1. I enjoyed it. I wasnt expecting too much out of it, but went to a matinee showing (5 bucks!) and got my moneys worth of laughs. But if one does not like crude humor, stay away

      1. Yes, I would give it a 3 out of 4 stars. I went in expecting to give it a 0, but it kept me entertained throughout.

        1. Unfortunately, I went in the other way. We'd been told it was legitimately really, really good and both came out a bit disappointed. Funny thing is, I'd probably still give it a 2.5 or 3 out of 4.

  11. Forgot to mention that Runner daughter and I also watched Skyline and Battle of Los Angeles. All I can say is that good special effects available on the cheap make it much too easy for people to put out films. And the latter film (whose effects were NOT good) should never have left SyFy channel's Saturday TV schedule to be release onto DVD.

    1. Careful, there is Battle Los Angeles which is a megabuck movie and Battle of Los Angeles which is the low rent knock off.

  12. Only caught one movie last month, Serenity. It's decent, but I can't imagine being all that impressed as a viewer if I hadn't seen the show. They try to catch everyone up to speed in ten minutes, then try to be all things to all things, wrapping up several plot lines in two hours. I also thought they caricaturized some of the main characters. Still, fun.

    1. Agreed. It tried to be the first episode and the final eight in one movie. I still like it and think of it as the 15th episode.

      1. As someone who watched Serenity before watching any of the Firefly episodes, I thought the stress between the doctor and Mal seemed consistent, if more than a little forced.
        Overall, I was really impressed with the quality of the TV episodes, especially when compared to the movie. I do want to know what happened to the guys with the blue hands, though.

  13. Can't believe I forgot this. I blame it being a day late.

    Watched Transformers: Dark of the Moon. It's rather hilarious how many space errors there are, such as referencing things that didn't exist until a decade or more later. Characters come and go randomly as well. Finally, they can't decide if they are in D.C. or Chicago throughout the movie.

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    1. I haven't seen the movie, but I read your spoiler because I will never, ever be in the mood to do so.

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      1. I also read both spoilers because I didn't even watch the second one and have no intentions of doing so.

        1. I didn't bother with the second either. A friend dragged me to the first and I was a wet blanket, groaning at the dialogue throughout. He didn't think it was good either, but he's a little more forgiving to dumb blockbusters than I am.

          1. No amount of leniency towards blockbusters can forgive the scene in the first one with the tranformers "hiding" while Lebouff is looking for the glasses, or whatever it was.

                1. Maybe something coherent and following the original story line?
                  (Haven't watched much of them, all I got out of the scenes I've seen is "Machines Moving Fast. KaBlamm!")

  14. Finally saw the Facebook movie this week. Decent, entertaining, good acting, and yet still didn't get to the expectations I had set for myself from hearing everyone glowing about it the last year.

    Also, 2 episodes away from finishing off Deadwood, can't wait to see how this series ends. If things start to go bad for the hometown 9 tonight, I know what I'm switching too.

    Oh yeah, also recently watched Wall Street II. Zero expectations coming in and yet it somehow didn't match them and yet I couldn't turn it off. The Sheen cameo was a trainwreck, and I think the kid from Holes is an awufl actor and yet somehow is still likeable.

    1. "The kid from Holes" is an awful actor?

      Wow. I just don't get this. He's in a lot of crummy movies, but he's far ahead of most of his peers as far as talent goes.

      1. I'm going to have to trust you spooky because I have never, ever seen a movie in which he has appeared and plan to maintain my streak for as long as possible.

    2. I won't say LeBouff is a bad actor, but man has he been overused to death. His character in Holes was spot on, but he's becoming a parody of himself little by little. Just ask the Michael Bayifier.

      1. I will agree with all of this.

        I also wish he'd start getting cast in better fare, but I think his shot at that may be gone. The studios wanted him to be a "movie star" once they saw him in Holes, so they sort of killed his potential.

  15. I saw quite a few movies this month (just started my Netflix subscription up again).

    Enjoyed The Illusionist quite a bit, I'm not sure I've seen a dialogue-less film (not technically silent) that I've enjoyed more. Highly recommend.

    As part of my misguided attempt to see as many of the 2010 Oscar nominees as possible*, I also watched Exit Through the Gift Shop. It's a very interesting movie, and has an almost unbelievable conclusion, but I found myself liking it quite a bit.

    Of course, we went to Harry Potter 7.2. Liked it fine, it got a lot of the emotional moments right, but sacrificed a lot of the explanation or motivation of the characters in favor of the big events.

    We will almost certainly see Captain America this weekend. Early reviews seem promising.

    * Not counting the short film categories, there were 105 nominations spread over 41 movies. I've seen 15 of those, accounting for 63 nominations. I've seen every movie nominated for Art Direction, Cinematography, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects.

    1. I do those ridiculous "see every nomination" checklists too. It's worth it, in the end, but movies you legitimately want to see fall by the wayside in the interim. Oh well.

  16. If any of you with Netflix streaming want a good chuckle, pull up Shaun the Sheep and flip to the end credits of any of the episodes. That's why I love Aardman Animations.

  17. A bit late to the show here, but Cornsilk and I did make time to watch a few movies before studying got all crazy:

    Get Low: Great movie. Robert Duvall is untouchable and Bill Murray does his thing. 8/10

    Monsters: Enjoyed this one - much better than I expected. 7/10

    Layer Cake: Daniel Craig before James Bond. A warm welcome to Sienna Miller and Matthew Vaughn did a pretty darn good job in his directorial debut. 7/10

    Super 8: This was mentioned earlier, but "feels like Goonies" is a good description. I actually came out of it thinking "Jurrasic Park". Pretty good story, above average special effects and better than expected acting from the youngsters. Cornsilk asked me if the girl was Dakota Fanning's little sister. It was, but I missed it through the whole movie. Good thing too, I'm not a Dakota Fanning fan. 8/10

    The Switch I'm not event going to link to this one; don't waste your time. I wish I hadn't. 3/10

    Resident Evil: Afterlife: See The Switch, but worse. 1/10

    Middle of Nowhere: I really like Anton Yelchin and he doesn't disappoint in this one. Now, it started to feel a bit like Charlie Bartlett which was a bit like Ferris Bueller, but not bad company. 6/10

    Tron: Couldn't remember seeing this one and I don't really know what to say about it now that I have...groundbreaking? 4/10

    The Town: Can't remember if this has been reviewed here, but I really enjoyed it. I read the book Prince of Thieves back in '05 and was looking forward to the film a ton. Jeremy Renner was as advertised, Pete Postlethwaite plays a gangster with true malice, Jon Hamm was fun to see outside of Don Draper and I think Affleck continues to make a name for himself as a director. 7.5/10

    1. Layer Cake was alright. That is one wordy movie for an action film...definitely not what I expected going in.

      I haven't seen Get Low, but I take some issue with your wording...I think Murray is a better actor than Duvall. Anytime I see Robert Duvall on a movie, it's just Robert Duvall. The character he plays is great, but I've seen a lot of movies he's in and that character is usually played about the same. Duvall enjoys a pretty decent reputation, but I think it's a little overblown.

      1. Also, why aren't you a Dakota Fanning fan? Also also, why is the fact that you didn't notice they were sisters relevant to what you thought of her performance?

        1. I don't know, overexposure and guilt by association?

          character is usually played about the same - this is a good point, he really does play that role a lot, even in this one. Edit: That being said, I do like Duvall. Also, I didn't mean that to take anything away from Murray.

  18. I saw Cars 2. It was not bad. It and its predecessor are not the high points of Pixar's art, but they're still enjoyable kids films along the lines of the best of other CGI animation studios (say, Despicable Me). Sometimes, Toy Story 3 and Wall-E can be too much and you want something lighter. Cars and Cars 2 are lighter without being cheap.

    I saw a preview for Happy Feet 2. I couldn't watch the first one, the penguins' eyes are all dead, and there's so damned much Robin Williams.

    1. back to the original theme of the thread, how have ERB's Mars books NOT gotten blockbuster treatment by now? (I'm sure they could find ways to dodge/play down the misogyny and racism to focus on the action and hot alien babes)

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