Third Something Movie Day

For two straight months now, I've seen very little in the way of films. I have to seriously make up for that somehow.

I'm finally going through Deadwood season 2, but otherwise it's been a videogame month. Sometimes I think the problem is that I've been looking at the movies in my Netflix queue for so long, I feel like I've already seen them.

79 thoughts on “Third Something Movie Day”

  1. movies: I saw 'The Campaign' a couple weeks back. Some of the gags in the movie have me laughed so hard, tears were coming from my eyes. But most of the film bored me. I should have waited to rent this one.

    tv series: I watched the full series run of the Denis Leary project 'The Job'. If you liked his show 'Rescue Me', you probably would like this, but its most comedy than drama. Instead of being set in a firehouse, its set in a police station. I think this show was a little before its time with its use of no laughtrack/single camera set up (more along the lines of 'Arrested Development' instead of the documentary style of 'The Office'). If you dont want to watch the whole series, I suggest the episode 'Bathroom'

    'Party Down' season 1. Hole. Lee. Cows. I had to pause the dvd many time to catch my breath. I cant remember the folks here who recommended it, but thank you.

  2. Sheenie and I have continued to watch Cheers and are now halfway through season 3. Still funny.
    Started season 2 of Flight of the Conchords and I'm pretty certain it is the third funniest show of last decade (after Arrested Development and Party Down). Every episode completely cracks me up.
    Like david, I saw The Campaign and also thought it was, at best, rentable.
    Finished season 2 of Veronica Mars. Not quite as good as season 1.

    I think the film that got the biggest reaction out of me was Moonrise Kingdom. I laughed (a lot) at quite a bit of the movie

    Spoiler SelectShow

    , yet still didn't really like it all that much. It just felt completely hollow. Wes Anderson is just incredibly hit and miss to me. My favorites of his (Life Aquatic and The Incredible Mr. Fox) are phenomenal, and I don't hate anything, but it just doesn't quite click for me.

    1. Fantastic, not Incredible.

      I'm not into his films, no matter the modifier. His films look beautiful and have fantastic acting (he takes very good actors and gets their best performances out of them), but the stories mostly meander. As much as I like to see them, they often leave me hollow. Still, he's doing enough to draw me in, because every time he makes one I see it.

      1. I really want to see Moonrise Kingdom. I know exactly that hollow feeling you're talking about with regard to Rushmore and Life Aquatic (of the ones I've seen), but Th Royal Tenenbaums is among my favorite films. I'd almost think that hollow feeling is what he's going for, except that I've seen that one and know experientially that there's more he's trying to do.

        1. That's easily the one of his I liked the most, too.

          Every one of his films has left me with images and performances I'll never forget, but they never come together for me, either. There's no other director like him.

          I actually haven't seen The Fantastic Mr. Fox - I think I've seen everything that came before, though.

          1. Mr. Fox is my favorite Wes Anderson movie. I want him to switch completely to stop-motion children's fare.
            Also, even if hollow is what he's going for, doesn't mean I have to like it that he succeeds.

      2. I hope this isn't considered too spoilery, I don't think it is. At the beginning of Moonrise Kingdom, there's a piece of music playing from a children's record that explains a fugue. I read a review of the film (and unfortunately can't remember where) where the reviwer speculated that this was Anderson's way of responding to people who are critical of his films being similar by explaining what he's doing. I agree that the stories sort of meander, but the sense of whimsy and the way his characters interact just totally resonates with me. Moonrise Kingdom is easily my favorite film I've seen this year.

        So far.

  3. After getting the new BluRay player, I grabbed some low-hanging fruit from the local library to watch.

    The Aviator - nice to see Howard's eccentricities (germophobe, OCD) handled with a little care. I've been wanting to see this for a long time, esp. since "he" was my first employer. Cate Blanchett rocked.

    The Tuskegee Airmen - standard fare.

    Priest - this reminds me of Ultraviolet in that it's a stylized SF fight pic that takes four times longer to explain the world it resides in than it does to explain the plot (which you could do in a Fiction 59 and still have 49 words left)

    Heavy Metal 2000 - the first Heavy Metal film was more interesting in that each of the animators presented their portion of the story in their own animation style. Watched this one on Crackle using the player's WiFi capabilities; worked well, even with the 15 sec. ads ever 10 minutes.

    1. Watched this one on Crackle using the player's WiFi capabilities; worked well, even with the 15 sec. ads ever 10 minutes.

      I don't get how Crackle thinks this is a viable way to show movies. We watched a movie on Crackle twice and never went back. I know commercials are a part of many broadcast and cable stations, but it just didn't feel right on a movie we were streaming.

      I don't want to revisit with the Stick the relative merits of The Aviator, but put me down as not a fan.

      1. I think Crackle works fine for certain movies; it's less invasive than watching a weekend flic on FX or other non-premium cable, for instance, but I agree that I wouldn't want this to be the way I watch all movies.

        I have noticed that Crackle seems to trigger on scene changes, but a couple seconds after a scene change -- that's annoying.

        1. Netflix autoplays the next episode of the TV show you're watching. The thing is, it cuts off the end of the show when it loads the new one, as if hey, it's only the credits anyway. Nearly every show I watch there has a cold close, so I miss stuff every time this happens.

  4. Saw 2 Days in New York on Monday Night. Pretty funny. Chris Rock and the French Dad made the film. Plus its always fun to go to West End Cinema. Best Popcorn and good beer!!!11!!!1!

    Just finished The West Wing. Which was fine. I didn't realize it was still filming here in DC when I moved here. The show had 3 seasons I didn't know existed.

    Jimmy Smits must love being a season or two character, because I think he does it pretty well. (See Also Dexter). Rob Lowe too. What is with that?

    The wife and I are working our way through Mad Men which we both enjoy. I think season 4 shuffles things around enough to keep us interested.

    Rewatched The Lincoln Lawyer again. Of recent lawyer centric movies, I've probably watched this one second most. [I've seen Michael Clayton way too many times to be healthy].

    Thats about it I guess.

    1. Just finished The West Wing. Which was fine.

      That's not nearly enough praise!

      Rob Lowe leaving was all about the contract. He was originally going to be the main character, but it worked out to be more ensemble, and his pay reflected that adjustment, which made him unhappy.

      1. He is also one of many actors - and I understand it - who gets tired of playing the same character for too long. I'd be torn if I was in a long-running series, because I know I wouldn't be artistically satisfied.

  5. Right at the beginning of last month I watched three movies in the span of two days and assumed I'd have a ton to discuss. I don't have as much as I expected, but I still watched quite a bit of stuff.

    The Grey, or Wolf Puncher as my friend called it, was a lot better than I expected. The trailers did this film no good. They weren't quite as bad as featuring the film as Ravenous (which, if you haven't seen it, is a very dark comedy about cannibals which was advertised as a serious drama about cannibals and, of course, bombed spectacularly) but they really sold it short. I definitely plan on watching it again at some point as I know I missed quite a bit of the story.

    I lent one of my friends Jiro Dreams of Sushi, and he was intrigued by the trailer for The Sound of Noise. He showed it to us and it was pretty cool. It is a film about six drummers who illegally perform music using different objects in a city. It was a follow up to a short film called "Music for Six Drummers and One Apartment." If you enjoy this short you'd probably enjoy the film as well. One of the trailers on the DVD was for Beyond the Black Rainbow which I purchased immediately and will be watching with the same friends soon I hope. I know the one friend is going to loathe it. I'm okay with this.

    That same night we watched The Raid: Redemption which kicked total ass. The movie basically starts with no background to the story at all, though you get some as the movie progresses. Obviously you don't need it. It's a killer action movie, I highly recommend it.

    A couple weeks ago J and I decided to just hang out and catch up on our anime backlog. That weekend we watched all of Anohana: The Flower We Saw on that Day and Bunny Drop. Both were very good.

    Anohana is about a group of friends who drifted apart after one died in an accident when they were younger. One of the group starts to see the dead girl, Menma, one summer, and she asks him to grant her her wish. This leads to the friends reconnecting and working through a lot of the issues that were the fallout of Menma's death. It wasn't a terribly happy show, though Menma was very charming and cute, but it was very good. J & I were both wrecks at the end of the final episode. I haven't cried that much watching something in quite some time.

    We watched Bunny Drop next. It is about Daikichi, a bachelor who is around 30. Upon arriving at his grandfather's house for his funeral, the family finds out that he had a daughter, Rin, that no one knew about. No one knows who Rin's mom is, and Daikichi decides to raise her. It's the story of him learning how to be a parent, and her growing up. Each episode is just sort of centered around an event (first day of school, school program, losing a tooth, etc.) with a very loose, longer narrative. It's incredibly charming and really fun. I recommend it highly. I do not, however, recommend reading the manga (or even reading about it). The TV series ends where the manga series jumps from Rin as a little kid to Rin in high school. From that point the story is not as interesting and the ending is all kinds of bad. Just pretend like it doesn't exist, that's what I do.

    1. The Grey is probably the worst advertised movie of the year. I'm not going to say it was a masterpiece or anything, but to market a decent, introspective movie like that as "Wolf Puncher 3000: The Wolfening" is absurd.

      1. I mean, I guess I understand that marketing an introspective movie is difficult, but I'd think the group of people who want to see something like that would out number the group of people who want to see wolves get punched in the face. That's just my opinion, anyway.

        1. I wish that was true, but I highly doubt it is. Look at the blockbusters that lead the way in money every year. Wolf-punch fans almost certainly outnumber cerebral fans.

          1. Point taken. Maybe I just think my opinions on movies are more common than they actually are. I had zero interest in Wolfpunch but was definitely intrigued by hearing about the introspective stuff in the movie.

            1. I think we at the WGOM sometimes forget how...common...it is out there. Every now and then I read Yahoo boards just to see if the world's gotten any better. I don't know why I do that.

                1. You mean like this gem from the Strib on last nights game notes?

                  Plouffe is certainly a disappointment since returning from the petty injury he claimed he had. I have never heard of an injury like he cl he supposely had. I think he should go play ring a round the posey. BACK TO TRIPLE AAA next year until he becomes a man and a player.

                  I always know these to be satire when on the WGOM and just assume they're a completely honest take when read anywhere else.

                2. Over there, every story devolves into a weird bitch session about politics - no matter how thin (or nonexistent) the connection. Stories of children overcoming obstacles end up bringing comments about how parents are so much worse than the ones of yesteryear, and stories about other countries closing their air or space programs end up prompting horrible, xenophobic rants. Racism and sexism are everywhere, on every board. I can't imagine how exhausting it would be to disapprove of absolutely everything.

                  1. Don't forget the "stories" in which the STrib simply reposts, verbatim, a press release from MNDOT announcing a traffic closure over the weekend which devolves into several comical directions (suburbs vs. inner city, TPaw vs. 35W bridges, Tea Party vs. North Minneapolis).

                    1. Yes, but how bored am I that I read them. (Road closures are the only time I really delve into the comments because I get so amused.)

        2. I was expecting "Wolfpuncher", perhaps hoping for the "Taken" Liam Neeson and missed the "introspective" all together...though I wanted to, I didn't give it a very good review.

          1. I don't remember where I saw it first, maybe Patton Oswalt's twitter, but the joke was along the lines of "Those wolves are going to regret kidnapping Neeson's daughter". I enjoyed that one.

  6. Battle: Los Angeles
    Linds and I watched this over the weekend. It actually did a good job of scratching the particular itch I had that night (action movie with light sci-fi elements). One major problem I had with it was Michelle Rodriguez. There is not a single actor in the entire world that I can think of that takes me out of a movie faster than her. She always gets these fake badass lines, and she delivers them in a way that seems to be meant to make you think she's a badass. All it ends up doing is taking me out of the moment and cause a bit of mild eye strain from all the rolling.

    The Bourne Legacy
    It's a Bourne movie without Matt Damon. I like Jeremy Renner well enough, but while I really liked the Bourne movies, it feels like this one was a little lacking in the 'soul' department.

    Friends with Kids
    I was coerced into this one. I knew it was going to be bad, but sweet heavens, it was awful. The whole "semi-knowing, edgy, 'we know romantic comedies are dumb, so we're going to deconstruct it to the point of parody even though we're going to follow the exact same template'" genre has got to be the most irritating genre ever created. They're weirdly popular these days.

    Linds and I also started Breaking Bad. It's good so far (we're about 5 or 6 episodes in). There's been some "holy crap" moments, but we're both sort of waiting for the "best show evar" to show itself.

    1. Yeah, Michelle Rodriguez is pretty limited. She cocks her head to the side, slowly and methodically delivers lines...she has a character she does somewhat well, but it's always the same character.

      Best show "evar" doesn't show for BB for a bit longer. I was already in love by then, but seasons 3-4 are where it's at. I'm still a few episodes behind, since the last two days were surprisingly busy for me.

      1. My 17 year old has been watching BB and I've forgotten how intense the end of season 2 was as well. It definitely needs some space to grow on you and I remember it took me about 4-5 episodes to really click.

  7. The following list is probably 2 months worth of movies, but I rarely get the chance to participate in Movie Day discussions so I'm throwing them all in.

    Ramona & Beezus - Fun family movie - my wife is a huge Beverly Cleary fan and this was a nostalgia rental. It was fluff, but I enjoyed it.

    Chronicle - Terrible

    Anonymous - This one got panned and I guess I can understand the critics (& scholars) disapproval; but, if you're not a Shakespeare scholar or aficionado or you can suspend your belief and enjoy the performances, it's a fun movie. Also, the set, costumes and score were great.

    Mary & Max - Spooky's critique "It's a little heavy at times, but you should see it. It's awesome." I would whole-heartedly agree.

    Lockout - Stupid
    fun with too many plot holes and instances of asinine dialogue to recommend. I was hoping for more than I got as I think both Guy Pierce and Maggie Grace are pretty talented actors.

    The Grey - Meh...probably worth the $1.29 from Redbox but not much more.

    Safe House - Denzel Washington was, as usual, pretty good (though nothing groundbreaking) and Ryan Reynolds wasn't bad...not really a ringing endorsement I guess.

    Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - Another "Meh - worth the $1.29..."

    Coriolanus - Another Shakespeare film, though this one was actually penned by the Bard and Fiennes' take did get a pretty good critical response. Apparently, a lot of the audience didn't see it that way, but I really had a good time with it. The casting was impressive and the performances were uniformly well done. My pick of the month(s)

    1. Ryan Reynolds wasn't bad

      If true, this would make it the best Ryan Reynolds movie ever (Adventureland not withstanding, but that's not really a Ryan Reynolds vehicle).

        1. I don't know, I kind of liked him in.....uhmm...I don't know. As mindless diversions go, I didn't mind Van Wilder.

  8. I have not see any new movies in the past month. However, LoisLane and I are caught up on Louie and it's amazing, natch.

    We did try one night to go through a bunch of stand-up comics on Netflix. What a disaster. To wit:

    Steven Wright (When the Leaves Blow Away): I prefer some inflection in my comics. Also, too random. Shut it off after 5 minutes.
    Bill Burr (Let it Go): Cocky with no point. Shut it off after 2.5 minutes.
    Jake Johannsen (I Love You): I don't. No bite to any of his jokes. He lasted about six minutes.
    Thomas F. Wilson (Bigger Than You): Painfully awful. The guy has a lot of bitterness that he tries to deflect but really can't get away from. Also, his delivery is dreadful. Lasted about four minutes after the BTTF song.
    Bo Burnham (Words, Words, Words): Okay, time for a rant here. Is our culture really to the point where our attention span is no longer than three seconds? There is absolutely no continuity in any of his bits. It's like a filmmaker who does 30 cuts in a minute for no reason other than to seem edgy. Bo has a few good one-liner jokes, and a couple of his songs are amusing (and even insightful I must say), but he has zero ability to engage with the audience. Therefore, I don't give a damn what he's saying. Hopefully he gets better at this as he gets older, because it's obvious he has some talent.

    We did watch both of Jim Gaffigan's specials. I didn't think I'd like them, but they were a few genuine laughing tears despite some occasional boring meandering. Hot Pocket!!!

    1. I like Steven Wright quite a bit. I can take or leave the lack of inflection gimmick, but as much as I dislike randomness in movies, I like it plenty in comics. I'll take fifteen jokes about nothing in particular over a long stretch of jokes about waiting in line, I guess.

      I've only seen (well, heard; a co-worker in the warehouse at Best Buy in Apple Valley spun it constantly) one of Gaffigan's specials, and I didn't like it at all. Maybe it was the powerfully unfunny "Hot Pocket" thing that got to me, but it soured me on him. I've long meant to give him another go (he's been in my Netflix queue for something like six years) but haven't taken the time.

      1. I definitely don't like when Gaffigan starts talking as the audience talking to him. He does it a bit less in his second special and makes fun of himself for doing it, but it gets old. We were on a road trip to my cousin's wedding this summer, and the four of us (including my brother and his wife) spent like two hours making hot pocket jokes. I'm not sure why, but it had us giggling all day.

        Anyway, he's not fantastic or anything, so it's not like you need to see the second special. But at least I didn't want to break the television.

        Mike Birbiglia, as you know, is a master at engaging the audience and staying away from cliche jokes (well, his first special was awful, but he improved immediately). He can talk about real things that happened to him, but not in the Dane Cook "hey, this uncomfortable thing exists, ha ha" way. He makes you care about him, while also using the right delivery and exaggeration to make it funny. Louie does the same thing, but it also took him a decade doing stand-up to figure it out.

        1. Birbiglia is probably my favorite right now, as I've almost certainly told you. It's rare I re-watch a comedy special, but I've seen What I Should Have Said was Nothing about six times.

          1. he's only got one video special, but several audio ones you need to catch. Also, "Sleepwalk With Me" is in selected theaters.

    2. I'm extremely particular about my stand up comedy. As much as I love Louie (like, close to my favorite thing on TV love) and Louis C.K., I am only lukewarm on his standup material. David Cross was probably my favorite for some time. In fact, the first time I listened to Shut Up, You F*cking Baby I laughed so hard I fell out of my chair at work, and was under the desk in tears. The last thing I heard him do had him just ranting, basically, and it wasn't very good. Patton Oswalt is probably the most consistant guy out there for me. There was some stuff on his last special that fell flat, but there were a couple amazing moments.

        1. Yeah, David can definitely do that. On his stuff closer to the late '90s and early '00s, he did it while still making funny jokes about other things and not acting so superior. I dunno, I suppose things are a bit different for him now that he has all that Alvin & the Chipmunks money. Oh well, at least I'll always still have Mr. Show.

          With Louis, I think the issue for me is more that stand up comedy in general for me is extremely hit or miss. There are many things I definitely do not find funny, and comics often make jokes about these. With Louis, he seems to be more subversive about things. And he actually also seems to be interested in what saying those things do to other people. And that's awesome. But he still hits those buttons for me and it kinda bums me out. It's definitely a me problem.

          1. having a child has increased my appreciation of CK. i've listened to him going back a few years now, i always predicted that what he was saying in regards to his kids is how things would be like, but experiencing it firsthand really drives it home.

            1. I suppose this would make a pretty big difference. Having no children (and no plans of children) makes a lot of that stuff a bit more of a challenge to relate to.

    3. Is our culture really to the point where our attention span is no longer than three seconds? There is absolutely no continuity in any of his bits.

      may i suggest eddie izzard? i know a lot of his stuff is on netflix. maybe start with dressed to kill.

      Mike Birbiglia

      i've been meaning to get to him. all other comics seem to like him, and that's usually a good sign.

  9. The wife hosted her friends this last friday so I was able to watch a movie on my own after the kids went to bed. I checked the DVR for movies she wouldn't like. I started with the Harold & Kumar Christmas movie. I really liked the first Harold & Kumar film. It was definitely a stupid comedy but had an underlying "look at the racist idiots we have to deal with" element to it. I made it 15 minutes into the Christmas movie before turning it off. Keep in mind, I was a fan of the first movie. This one was so bad that even I couldn't take it.

    I then put on Hall Pass. I had very low expectations but actually enjoyed it. I think it just hit close to home for me. The obvious minivan and Applebees jokes hit the right spot. If you are a suburban dad with zero game, this movie may apply to you.

    1. I then put on Hall Pass. I had very low expectations but actually enjoyed it.

      yeah, that one was better than i was expecting, but that's not saying much. i agree with the relevant context that i'm continually slipping into.

  10. Once Spooky catches up on Breaking Bad, I think we need an entire discussion just for those at this point. I would also recommend reading Sepinwall. I don't agree with his thoughts on the second to last episode and his interview with the actor that plays Ehrmanntrout.

    1. It's been a long time since I read Sepinwall and disagreed. In fact, it's been a long time since I read Sepinwall, period, because it just ends up being a whole lot of nodding my head, because I noticed all the same stuff he noticed. I'll be interested to see what he said about that episode now, though. You know, once I see the episode.

  11. Right after the last movie post we watched a couple. Wanderlust was a big "meh," though it had potential. 21 Jump Street was surprisingly hilarious.

    We've mostly watched Battle Star Galactica. We're more than half way into Season 3. Some of the early problems have vanished, which is nice, though there are still a few things that pop up and make us scratch our heads from time to time, and not in a good way. Mostly I feel like the writers will create episode-specific issues, and tweak a character's identity to better suit the needs of the episode, instead of writing the episode to better fit the characters. People who aren't extreme become more so. People who were extremely one way are willing to gloss over what previously would have been a huge deal. Things like that.

    Still, the overarching plot is pretty compelling stuff.

    1. Mostly I feel like the writers will create episode-specific issues, and tweak a character's identity to better suit the needs of the episode, instead of writing the episode to better fit the characters.

      Now, this I'm in full agreement with. The show does that a few times, and the last time is the most egregious (though it's probably the best storyline of the final season). That trick - a favorite of sitcom writers - has always bugged me.

          1. Somehow this is the first time I'm putting this all together, but last year was really a banner year for great female players, wasn't it?

            1. I've been thinking that for a while, yeah. Sophie and Kim are two of the better winners ever, for sure.

              I wish I could get them back in Spookymilk Survivor.

      1. I've been a Penner fan ever since I saw him in Arrested Development.

        Also, I'm excited to see Mike back. If I remember correctly, that guy was crushing it until he fell into a fire.

          1. Skupin was a fun guy to watch, but (I've said this before) I wasn't too convinced he actually figured out how the game works before he left. To be fair, most players back then didn't. I'm interested to see him now to see if he's learned anything since it's been so long.

            Penner always knew how to play the game, so he should be fun to watch as always.

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