Third Whatever Movie Day

Yesterday would have been so convenient for me, too. I had this in mind all last week and weekend, and...there it went.

Anyway, what have you seen? It was a video game month here, more or less, though I did see more of Deadwood and a hyper-violent Hulu show called Misfits.

187 thoughts on “Third Whatever Movie Day”

  1. TV:
    Finished up Veronica Mars. Seems like they completely ran out of gas on the storyline front about five episodes into Season 3.

    Almost caught up with Luther, with just one episode to go. They sure come up with some bizarre villains.

    On the Cheers-front, I think I have about five or six episodes to go until Diane leaves for good. Much like with Veronica Mars, the Sam-Diane storyline has completely run out of steam.

    I also finished my second viewing of Season 2 of Deadwood. That show was beyond brilliant.

    I saw Lincoln and like it way, way more than I expected. I thought it would be typical Spielberg-fluff (and it still had quite a few of those moments, especially with Sol Starr, Delmar O'Donnell, and Alan Shore out their yukking it up while practically smirking beyond the fourth wall), but overall it was very, very good. I could have done without the over-the-top Sally Field histrionics (although that seems to come with every role she is cast).

    Zero Dark Thirty was stupendous. Despite knowing the ending (I suppose the same was true of Lincoln), I was completely hooked by the dogged determination of Maya throughout the search. Just great, great stuff.

    1. I got the impression Mary Todd Lincoln had quite a few histrionics in reality, though no doubt it was played up too much.

      1. I completely understand that Mary Todd was slightly disturbed, but Sally Field plays batshit crazy in every single role and its tiring and uninteresting.

        1. I think Mary Todd was played pretty spot-on. She was ALMOST put away (like they did in those days) and I have to believe she had to be close to a nervous breakdown.

          I liked how Spielberg allowed the actors the time to think before speaking. The discussions between Day-Lewis and Haley had some nice pregnant pauses in them.

          1. I liked how Spielberg allowed the actors the time to think before speaking.

            Pauses can be effective, as long as it's not like Driven, where Ryan Gosling and whoever he was interacting with waited approximately three minutes in between delivering monosyllables. Cripes, that movie annoyed me.

            Of course, comparing Day-Lewis and Gosling as actors is kinda of like comparing apples to grapenuts.

    2. I think the Sam-Diane storyline had a shelf life simply because the show would revisit it at the end of nearly every episode. I love that show, but there were formulaic bits that they never strayed from.

      I did see the second season of Luther a while back. The first two episodes are a little meh, but I really dug the last two. The villain in the first couple seemed so...horror movie to me. I couldn't buy him. Strangely, the villain in the second half, despite the high concept, seemed a lot more real. Maybe it's because we get to see his face.

      1. yeah, good point there on the Sam/Diane thing. Even in episodes that had no plot surrounding those two, they'd still revisit their lovemelovemenot thing at some point.

          1. going back to the recent newsradio conversation, at the beginning of the show, NBC was pushing for a sam/diane dynamic/buildup between dave and lisa. the creators, not wanting any real part of that, had them sleep together in the second episode.

            1. I recommend to any fan of that show to seek out stories about the production. The show's creators were constantly pushed to make it just like every sitcom on TV, and their solutions were hilarious. The network was pushing "Four Weddings and a Funeral" and they actually stepped in and said every show airing that night had to either have a wedding or a funeral. They had a rat who's living in the station die, and the lead characters hold a melodramatic funeral to mourn his passing.

      2. I haven't seen Cheers in years and I expect that it probably hasn't aged that well, maybe it has, but the formulaic bits were dynamite. They also were able to survive the loss of two major characters (Diane and Coach), plus the introduction of Frazier and then Lilith was fan-freaking-tastic. Kirstie Alley never did it for me, though. Luckily, they had Frazier and Lilith.

        Also, I was not sad to see Diane go, I really didn't like her at all.

        ... adding again, freeing Sam from Diane allowed the show to improve a lot, I think, even though the Rebecca storylines almost always went flat.

          1. Norm and Carla's one-liners have not aged all that well, but then again I was 9 years old when I started watching, at the age when that kind of humor is funny.

            1. Yeah, Carla in particular comes off as totally unnecessary to the show, which is pretty funny since she was the one nabbing all the Emmys for whatever reason.

              1. Her best role was to be the Diane tormentor. When Diane left, she was reduced to tormenting Cliff and dealing with Nick.

      1. I really enjoyed (enjoyed is just such a weird thing to say about this movie...) zd30. That makes three movies this year (argo, ZD30, Lincoln) where the ending is absolutely known but, in the hands of capable directors, are still extremely entertaining (and tense).

        1. I was just going to mention that 'enjoyed' is a funny word to use. ZD30 doesn't quite occupy that same space as a Schindler's List for me, where almost the entire movie is soul crushing. Not to stray into the forbidden zone (because an in depth conversation on ZD30 would almost have to), but I did actually 'enjoy' parts of it (mostly in the middle section, particularly when Maya's writing numbers on windows), but the overall experience is a complicated one, and one that I'm not entirely certain what my feelings are.

          1. What's the right word for that feeling? It's not enjoyment, per se, but it's something more than respect (there are plenty of movies that I respect, but dislike).

      2. I thought the assault on Osama's compound was one of the most intense things I've seen on the screen in a long long time, even though I knew exactly how it all was going to play out. If I was in the situation room watching that play out in real time, I'd probably need a couple changes of underpants.

  2. The TV displayed the video and audio from New Years Eve, but it's a stretch to say I watched it.

  3. My last big movie watching month for a long time I'm guessing.

    Babes in Toyland (1961): Ugh, a poor, depressed man's version of Wizard of Oz. Almost nothing redeeming.
    Lincoln: Exceptional performances, interesting history lesson. Not much there as far as drama. Enjoyed myself a lot, but don't see myself watching it again.
    Life of Pi: Pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. Wonderful CGI work, very touching story. If I had to rank it against Lincoln, I'd have to pick this one first.
    Il Mare: South Korean film, later remade into The Lake House with Bullock and Keanu. This one's better, but not by a lot. Beautifully shot, but too cloying for my tastes.
    Empire Records: Has every indie film cliche imaginable, but I laughed out loud a few times. Awesome soundtrack.
    Cashback: An indie British film about an artist/grocery employee who is depressed after a break-up and finds he can slow down or stop time. Not terribly interesting, too much narration. Lots of nudity, some of it gratuitous.

    Time Crimes: Excellent Spanish film about a man who travels back in time, all the way to 90 minutes ago. Explores really well how much one can fuck things up just by travelling a short distance through the continuum. Highly recommended to fans of time travel movies. On Netflix streaming.

    1. "Cashback" always grabbed my attention while browsing Netflix because of the poster/cover art/whatever it's called. Then I always remembered that it sounded dumb. I'm glad I didn't ever watch it, if you think it wasn't any good.

      1. It was a short film first, and even grabbed a best short film Oscar nomination. It barely had the steam to sustain its thirty minutes, and it definitely walks over the gratuitousness line. It's kind of the point, but it's pretty silly. I'm glad I saw the short, because the full movie was on my radar, and now I can't see how it was possibly stretched out to three times the length.

        1. Yeah, we actually shut it off after 45 minutes to go to bed and we finished the last half while we were playing a game on the computer.

      2. "Cashback" always grabbed my attention while browsing Netflix because of the poster/cover art/whatever it's called.

        Yup, me too. Then I read the description blurb again and go, "hmm, maybe later".

      3. I think that movie holds the record for most times I have picked up a movie without actually renting it.

        1. For me, the one that held that record was I Spit on Your Grave. On Netflix, it probably was Cashback. I considered it a hundred times before I stumbled upon the short and dropped the feature from my queue.

  4. I watched The Dark Knight Rises, which gets a big "meh" from me. The Dark Knight was a tough act to follow anyway, but overall this one would have been not that great even if it were #2 in the series. Also, I have no idea what the purpose of Ann Hathaway was. She was there, but that's all I can say.

    A couple days later I watched Looper, though, so my movies this month turned really good. It was great (and JGL!), I loved everything about it. Plus, it had Garrett Dilahunt, which is always a plus.

    Other than that, I've been watching a lot of It's Always Sunny... and am about to finish season 1 of Homeland. Both of which I really enjoy. Although my wife desperately hates IASIP, which is annoying because she complains whenever I watch it despite spending most of her tv time watching Keeping up with the Kardashians.

    1. Heh. Check out my list. I disagree about DKR, but largely because I thought TDK was... fatally flawed. So my bar was set low. I'll completely agree w/ the Catwoman critique though. Meh.

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      Ok, yeah, I'm more down on DKR than I thought I was...

    2. Whoa. No room for complaints from that one, har har.

      I've been watching It's Always Sunny as well. For whatever reason, I stalled in the middle of season two way back (probably 4-5 years ago) and just now got back to it. I'm in the middle of season three - maybe the best so far - though I hear four is a huge dropoff (or is it five? Whatever it is, it's coming, I guess). I'm constantly impressed by the acting on the show, though it just didn't need Danny Devito. The character is often shoehorned in (at least more so than the others). I think they were forced to look for a well-known star to keep it on the air, though.

      1. Season 4 has "The Nightman Cometh" which more than makes up for any other perceived shortfalls. Season 5, though, is where I bailed (and will now only catch a rerun once every few months).

        My favorite parts of the show are always when Charlie is impersonating someone (Serpico, a Texas oilman, etc.). I just love Charlie sooooo much.

        1. that's about where i left off too. charlie's attempts at lawyering always crack me up (especially when pared with brian unger, who is repeatedly awesome as a guest).

      2. The show definitely drops off but I think the Halloween episode where Dee is pregnant might be their funniest. I am not sure of the season but it was at the point where I was ready to stop watching.

        I would put that episode up against Dayman, Nightman Cometh, and when they took the road trip.

          1. Weren't those all, like, right in a row, too? I still get Nightman stuck in my head regularly.

  5. This was my best month for movie watching in a really really really long time.

    The Dark Knight Rises was better than I anticipated, though, like many of Nolan's films, it suffered from a bit of climax confusion. Not as bad as the previous one though.

    Midnight In Paris is the kind of stuff I just eat up, and I totally did. It was paced brilliantly. I always like Woody Allen's films more than I think I will. This one was just awesome fun. I mean, it took an idea, and did what could/should be done with it; nothing more and nothing less. Expertly edited. That's probably my biggest complaint with movies over the past 5+ years... I always feel like they need to be edited, since they tend to drag things out way more than should be. Almost every film I've seen in that time I've said... "eh, could have used a re-write" or "it was like 15 minutes too long... if they just would have cut...". But Woody Allen knows what the heck he's doing.

    Looper is hands down the best "original" sci-fi idea in... ever? Usually these movies turn out like... Wanted (Shudder. Talk about needing a re-write.) But Looper was another one of those tight stories, didn't drag on, showed what needed to be shown, and just created this little world that was really freaking cool. Plus, it was like that story Beau wrote...

    1. The sad thing is, movies like Wanted almost certainly went through loads of rewrites in an attempt to please the director, the stars, the producers and the production house. Then...Wanted resulted.

      1. From the previews and things I'd heard, I avoided watching Wanted for a couple years after it came out. Then when I finally did watch it, I expected so little that I was pleasantly surprised by it. Not saying it was great or even good, but I was expecting something even worse.

        1. That's what I hear, and yet, the cycle goes on primarily to appease egos.

          The worst is always when I hear about headlining actors going in and saying "That's a great line - I want it," and it's given to them. If the line was written for someone else, it may or may not work for your character. Respect the material a little. Ugh.

    2. Yeah, I'm irritated Looper didn't get more critical love. I agree on the "ever" part. I never thought I'd love a sci-fi movie more than Terminator 2, but here we are.

      1. It never even came to our theater. Kinds and I were looking forward to it (after all, JGL). At least we can watch it on Netflix now.

        1. oh, yes. It's not as scary or creepy, but it has a better script, a better story, better special effects, and it's way more polished. I don't like that 40 minutes into the first movie, we still don't know why Sarah is wanted, and when we do find out, we get about 30 minutes of slow exposition interlaced with a few explosions.

        2. Put me in the camp of the original Terminator being >> Terminator 2. I realize that it is low budget and all, but that's part of the charm. Plus, Ahnold was the bad guy, which was cool.

          I'll be baaaaak.

          1. It's a toss-up for me (which says a lot for 2, what with sequels typically sucking), but man, if Terminator had the production levels of 2? The original's film and the soundtrack look/sound like third-generation copies, and it's a shame.

  6. Lots and lots of stuff...

    The wife and I are about 3/4 through the second season of Parks and Recreation. It's got the wit of The Office, but has writing like that show hasn't seen in six seasons. I love it. We were both skeptical, but its already taken its place among my favorite comedies.

    Watched all the Archer that Netflix had to offer me again - speaking of 'favorite comedies, my god...

    So far as movies go...

    There was a Magnificent Seven marathon on the other day, so I watched the first three movies. I had forgotten how much the first owes to Seven Samurai. I mean, I know it's a western remake and all, but still. I still love it, though it's not quite on par with Kurosawa (then again, I like maybe 5 movies ever as much as Seven Samurai). The sequels suffer from formula copy and diminishing returns, but are still fun enough. Yul Brynner has a nice gravitas, and I had completely forgotten just how many stars were in that first one. That was a good movie day.

    A friend and I caught Zero Dark Thirty on Saturday. Very solid and sobering. The last hour is rightly regarded as brilliant moviemaking, but Jessica Chastain is great throughout.

    Let e Right One In. I was sort of mixed on this one. It's visually stunning, and it's amazing the performances they got out of the two child leads (most importantly, the boy seems like a realistic child). Something about it left me cold, though. I'm not sure exactly what it was - the tension was great, the children actors were great (the adults were okay, but that's obviously not as important). It was good and well done, but...

    Project X. I don't know why I watched it. It's a no plot party movie, but it was fun and dumb.

    The Five Year Engagement. Dislike. I have an issue with movies that treat the Midwest like a special circle of hell. Also, it's overlong.

    Men in Black III. Liked it a little less than the first one, much much more than the second. Jemaine Clement is probably an alien in real life.

    1. It's funny that you make the Office comparison and admit you were skeptical. Dude, it's the same head writer as the peak of The Office!

      Yeah, that show started slowly (like The Office) until it found its voice and then it just doesn't let up. I really hope Michael Schur sticks with it until it's over so it doesn't lose a ton of steam leading up to its finale.

        1. Not having watched it yet is one of my great regrets. I need to remedy that, but it does get tricky trying to fit in a movie that long with a wee one. Someday, someday.

      1. I can't say enough good things about Parks and Rec starting in Season 2. Thing is, it's only kept getting better. There has been no let down at all.

        1. I got behind on the current season because I no longer have DVR and the streaming was blocked at work so I can't watch it any more on my lunch break. I really need to watch what I've missed because its easily the best comedy on tv, though I will not compare it to The Office because then I have to put my unpopular opinion forth again, so I'll keep my mouth shut.

        2. On Parks and Rec

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    2. I'm sure the Ann Arbor Convention and Visitors Bureau loved it, though. Heh.

      I've never been to Ann Arbor, but I would have to think that with the University of Michigan located there, a chef might have at least some opportunities beyond making sandwiches.

        1. No, there are no bagel shops in flyover country. There are shops with "bagel" sandwiches, sure. But no bagels. Hence, no bagel shops.

          1. More than once, I've bought a bag full of bagels (just bagels!) at a shop in MPLS, so that must not be flyover country.

            1. They might be "bagels" but they're not bagels. Sheenie, in all seriousness, brings bagels back with her from New Orleans and whenever she can get a package mailed from her family in northern New Jersey because the bagels in Minnesota "aren't baked the right way."

        2. No, we have a bagel shop in Mankato. And no fewer than 4 McDonalds.

          [Grr, that was supposed to be to Zombieman.]

              1. This whole thing is like when I read Wanda Gag's The Funny Thing before realizing that it wasn't just an italicized animal, but actually an aminal.

          1. Yes. That aggravated me to no end.

            Then, of course, the guy gets transferred to "the worst place on earth" (the University of North Dakota).

            1. Call me biased, but I believe that the University of North Dakota is the worst place on earth. 🙂

        1. great beer can make up for a lot.

          I am prepared to concede that someone discovered that a lack of good bagels in the midwest was a market inefficiency since I last lived there.

    3. Yul Brynner was a baaad man. I had no idea that there were other M7 films. What would be the point, other than cash grabs?

      1. Yul Brynner was something. The commentary on M7 is pretty frank about his egomania and how difficult he is to work with. When he did scenes with Steve McQueen, he was worried he'd look weak, so he'd build little mounds of sand to make it appear that he towered over McQueen. I've known one actor, actually, who is exactly like Brynner as far as ego and difficulty goes. There's not much you can do but laugh.

      2. Complete cash grabs. It was like M7 MadLibs...

        (Little Mexican Town) is troubled by (Mexican bad man). They call on Chris, who is played by (Yul Brynner/George Kennedy/Lee Van Cleef), who rounds up a gang of six addditional mecenaries and ne'er do wells. They have no particular reason to keep fighting, but they do. Four of the seven die in the climactic battle, leaving Chris to ponder (some semi-morose issue).

        All three had the same format. They were all fun, but only the first has any oomph to it.

    4. I liked Let the Right One In, it creeped me out, which seemed to be its goal. I'm not sure that it had anything to say, which is maybe why it's hard to get overly enthusiastic about it, but like nibbish said, it was really well done, and I think it succeeded in what it set out to do.

      I also liked how foreign it was. There were a couple of scenes/shots that probably wouldn't be in an American/Hollywood version (I haven't seen the American/Hollywood version), but that added to the dark fantasy aspect, and probably made me enjoy it more.

      1. I also liked how foreign it was. There were a couple of scenes/shots that probably wouldn't be in an American/Hollywood version (I haven't seen the American/Hollywood version), but that added to the dark fantasy aspect, and probably made me enjoy it more.

        That is one part I did like a lot. The fact that I couldn't simply pigeonhole their lifestyle into anything familiar did help a lot to enrich the atmosphere.

        I think you might be right about the movie, re:not having anything to say. The movie was hyped a ton, so even though I tried to temper my expectations, they were something along the lines of "people say this is one of the best horror movies of the past twenty years". It was probably unfair of me to think that that designation meant there was something deeper than "story of childhood love with a severely creepy vampire story woven around it", but there you go.

    5. I watched the original version of Let the Right One in and was quite impressed. Did you watch the American remake?
      IIRC, I summarized here that what most impressed me was that I never had any idea what would happen next.

        1. I'm pretty sure I won't get around to it. Only reason we had it is that SiL lived with us for a month between the end of her lease and moving to Chicago and left a lot of stuff in our house, including her DVD collection. No way that EAR is bringing that home from the Library.
          Please report back.

          1. I should expand this. I could take more control into things, but she gets enough of the things I want to watch that she'll enjoy and she generally gets things that she wants that I'll enjoy.
            Whenever I try to watch something she doesn't want to, she'll just go to bed early and I just fall asleep on the couch anyways.

            1. Whenever I try to watch something she doesn't want to, she'll just go to bed early and I just fall asleep on the couch anyways.

              In these scenarios I've watched movies "on fast forward" (I'll stop and actually watch if it looks like something interesting/relevant is going on), so as to get through them before falling asleep.

    6. The Office started to suffer after Greg Daniels and Mike Schur left to the Parks and Rec
      Although this season has been 'watchable' to 'hey, I remember this is why I loved this show!'.

      1. I'll agree to the 'watchable' point, which is a LOT more than I would've thought toward the end of last season. This past episode had some of the best laughs since Carell's last season.

        1. Although I've seen almost all of the episodes, in my heart I believe that The Office ended with the final episode of Season 3.

          1. I can see that. Some people say the series should have ended after the Micheal Scott Paper Company story arc. Or after Steve Carrell left.

            1. I'd say the next best point would have been the end of Season 4 ("Goodbye Toby") except for the obvious problem

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              Season 5 is just a huge drop-off.

  7. I watched 3/4ths of Terminator: Salvation and a quarter of The Book of Eli the other night. The first was forgettable. I'm sure that Helena Bonham Carter is trying to forget. (or maybe she is just odd enough that she enjoys being in schlock)

    The Book of Eli was a long blood bath. Kind of odd, given that the story is about resurrecting (heh) the Bible.

  8. not much here. like the nibbster, watched everything netflix has to offer for archer, and yeah, just spectacular. like dana snyder as "shake" from ATHF, i absolutely love h. john benjamin's voice acting as archer. his tone, inflection, timing, etc. is brilliant. suffering from fabulous writing doesn't hurt either.

    finally saw inglourious basterds. i still don't know how i feel about this. i was extremely soured by the ending. maybe i'm missing something, but

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    that, and i guess it just didn't really grab me, though i definitely enjoyed waltz' performance. while i have some interest in django unchained, i have a bad feeling that it's just going to be inglourious basterds 2: slavery this time.

      1. it's a shame to because the set-up was relatively intriguing. that, and the production, performances, cinematography, etc. were all very well done up to that point. oh well.

        1. Up through the scene in the bar, I really, really enjoyed the movie. Then it devolved quickly into . . . whatever the ending was supposed to be.

          1. yup, that's about when it fell apart for me too.

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            1. I'm not a huge fan of the finale in the theatre, since it just felt overly gratitous.

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      1. Just in case... this was sarcastic. I mean, I think it's pretty much Tarantino indulging himself, and nothing more. I'm not as down on the flick as some, but those scenes were purely absurd. I wanted more from that movie.

          1. I really wanted more of the Basterds. Throughout even. Though I loved the other stuff too. But it was really two different movies.

            1. Ha. Wrong place. Though the rumors that Aldo Raine was originally going to be played by Tarantino himself make that last line even more groan-worthy.

    1. I forgot to mention, I did see Django Unchained. I liked it a lot. Walz' performance in it is again top notch (definitely reminiscent of a sort of mirror version of his role in Basterds). It's certainly violent, though. There is blood. Also, while the very ending is pretty great, the third act drags a fair bit where it shouldn't.

  9. Yay for Netflix!

    Freaks and Geeks- different than I was expecting, but mostly in a good way. And, to paraphrase what someone here said a few days ago, most of the best parts of show are the interactions between the groups- young geeks, teenage freaks and the adults.

    Psych- me and the wife are five seasons in, and I'm laughing more now than I was in the beginning. I think this show benefits from being on Netflix- there's a lot of in-jokes and tongue-in-cheek references to earlier episodes that I don't think I would get if I was watching it once a week.

    Movies- I've been on a Uwe Boll streak. Mostly because they're available on Netflix, and I don't really have to pay attention to them while they are playing since there's almost nothing going on, plotwise.

    In the Name of the King- Jason Statham! Burt Reynolds! Mathew Lillard! Ray Liotta! Great scenery, lots of fairly well-known actors, very little money left for special effects, apparently. The Krugs (think orcs, but uglier) are some of the worst costumes I've ever seen. Yeah, dumb movie.

    In the Name of the King 2- yup, I'm dumb. But this movie had slightly better special effects and spent no money on actors, so a decent trade-off. I feel a little sorry for Dolph Lundgren- he's getting really, really slow and clumsy. On the other hand, he's finally seems to have developed a bit as an actor and he's made millions. Don't watch this movie unless you like corny and stupid, though.

    Far Cry- based on the videogame, I guess- I've never played it. Ridiculous premise, terrible acting... umm, Udo Kier? Yeah, Udo Kier was probably the best thing about this movie, and he's terrible.

    BloodRayne- Yay, more Udo Kier, in another movie based on a video game! Also Billy Zane, Ben Kingsley (why? fire your agent, Ben!), and Meatloaf as a vampire! More terrible fight scenes, some ridiculous wigs on Sir Ben and Michael Madsen (oh yeah, he's here too!), gratuitous nudity and lots of fake blood. Don't watch this if you have any other choices.

    Finally, something non-Uwe related-
    Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol Far, far better than the second, but still not as good as the first or third. I did like that the agents finally seemed to take a moment to consider that they weren't invulnerable to harm before doing ridiculous things (yeah, even Ethan Hunt paused for a moment before climbing up the outside of a skyscraper). Still a lot of over-the-top stunts and unnecessary plot twists, but it was pretty enjoyable for me.

  10. Lincoln: besides what was mentioned above, gotta say the supporting cast was great. And it was refreshing to see Lincoln's political and legal savy highlighted.

    Yojimbo: it's the same age as I am, and it's aged better. Kurosawa was a pioneer.

    Fringe finale: It's been pretty much "X-Files for this decade", and it's sad to see it go. Runner daughter has taken to watching X-Files on Hulu Plus now. John Noble is a treat to watch.

    1. Despite being pretty down on season 5 of Fringe I thought the ending was actually pretty solid. I, too, am sad to see it go.

  11. I'm watching Stalker right now. Tarkovsky movies are just unlike anyone elses (they are available free online as well). I watched Nostalghia back in college, and I remember being a little confused and a little bored, but at the same time being completely transfixed.

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  12. I'm a little embarrassed to admit it but we saw We Bought a Zoo and I loved it. First I'm a Cameron Crowe rube (Vanilla Sky excepted) so that's part of it. Yes it was sappy, yes you know exactly how it's going to end, yes every one is perfectly cute, or quirky, or maladjusted. But as usual Crowe develops a nice vibe and can tell a story. Definitely not worth seeing in the theater at $11 a seat but a nice Friday night at home with the wife.

  13. I've been watching a lot of season 6 of The Simpsons. Man, that show was brilliant back when, huh?

  14. Re-watched Mulan with the kids after seeing the Terracotta Warriors exhibit at the MIA.
    Still like it, though I do think it's a lesser movie than The Emperor's New Groove among the late of the "Disney Animation Relaunch" or whatever it was that started with The Little Mermaid and probably ended with Lilo & Stitch.
    Mulan in armor (or with an armor set available separately) is the only Disney Princess doll that I want.

  15. I've mentioned before that my wife has been on a near-uncontrollable Austen kick for about the past year.
    Just watched Persuasion. I liked it. Feels like a bit more of a romantic-comedy than, say S&S or P&P. Too bad Austen died so young, she was quite skilled at that whole writing thing. We have the book Persuasion as well, and I picked it up and read a few passages and I was surprised by the readability given that it was written while James Madison was US president.

    1. Okay, I've read some Dickens, and he was 5 years old when Austen died. Feels like it should be the other way around.

  16. I watched a lot of stuff in the last month, but I'm not sure how much of it I can remember.

    Django Unchained - I'm a pretty huge Tarantino fan, and I liked it well enough. It's certainly not in my upper tier of his films (I don't think he'll ever do something as perfect as Jackie Brown again, but I'm always hoping), but I think it tackled the subject matter somewhat better than Inglourious Basterds. There was a lot to unpack with the constant string of n-bombs, and while I'm not totally against him using it, I wish Quentin would, uh, think about this shit more before doing it. Walz was fantastic, as expected. Leo, too. The final act was not as good, but overall the movie was good. I've been thinking about it a lot since I saw it, so maybe it's better than I'm giving it credit for. I just have issues with a lot of the specific criticisms leveled against the film's content, since while problematic, I think they handled a lot of shit really well.

    Dredd - This completely surprised me. It's like The Raid: Redemption in the future with guns. It's loud, brash, and fun. Great flick.

    The Virgin Suicides - I'd never actually seen this, so J & I watched it a couple of weekends ago. It was a rough watch, but a really well made film.

    Marie Antoinette - We watched this immediately after The Virgin Suicides. It was pretty good. I wish there had been a bit more focus placed on certain aspects of her life, but I guess the intention wasn't a hyper-accurate biopic. Probably my least favorite of Sophia Coppola's films that I've seen.

    Frankenweenie - This was cute. I'd never seen the original short, but J had. It was an enjoyable watch, though I'm not sure if I ever need to watch it again.

    I think this might be it for movies. We watched a bunch of anime over Xmas & New Years, though.

    K-On!! - The second season of this was more charming, slice of life fun. Drink some tea, eat some snacks, maybe play a song. It's a really good show, I'm glad I spent the time watching it.

    Kimi ni Todoke - We watched both seasons of this. I love shoujo, so I loved this. It's very charming, and very well animated. Pretty excellent show.

    Space Brothers continues to blow me away, though. This is already close a top 3 all time show for me. It's really, really incredible.

    1. I actually enjoyed Virgin Suicides, and have watched it a few times. One of the VHS tapes we got from a Blockbuster when they were on sale and we realized it was cheaper to buy used tapes than rent them. EAR has read the book.
      Also: Probably the reason that the name "Lux" never got any traction for any of our girls.

      Marie Antoinette - ...Probably my least favorite of Sophia Coppola's films that I've seen.
      I'm with you there. It's so detached. The scenes are detached. It feels like there's no thread running through it.

  17. Made it half way through The Grey last night. Then my better half had me stop it; she still want to enjoy camping. I also don't want to always camp alone.

    We watched the fifth episode of The Kennedys on Netflix instead. I like the series, and it seemed fitting for our inauguration onslaught. Man it is fun, but I'm ready for people to get the hell off my lawn.

    Saturday we watched The Next Tree Days with Russel Crowe and Eliz Banks. The action/suspense was kinda fun, but I found it hard to root for the main characters. Although the turmoil over what I wanted to happen went throughout, which I thought was a good thing.

    Hugo was a movie I'd watch again and Workaholics is entertaining.

    EDIT: Also watched Kevin Bacon on Fox last night. I'll watch the next few. I like Marcus Antonius's character.

    1. I thought that The Grey was one of the best films of the first quarter of last year. The finale is... something.

      Really weirdly marketed, though... The movie about facing and fearing death and nature that has a load of very quiet, introspective scenes is marketed as "Liam Neeson punches wolves".

        1. Spoiler for what I already wrote? Or my answer. I'll do the answer, since I don't think what I wrote above doesn't give away anything, since everything I said was in the main trailers for the movie.

          Spoiler SelectShow
          1. No, your original post was fine. But if Liam Neeson punches wolves or not is (afaik) the main suspense in the movie.

        1. You guys were shut out more than the Twins, so I retired it.

          (Seriously though, I know when I'm not appreciated...)

          (And actually seriously, that whole thing was, appropriately, pointless; and thus retired.)

            1. It required far too much actual crap baking to qualify. I mean... I had a spreadsheet. This ain't the CdL after all...

  18. I watched The Avengers and The King's Speech. I was disappointed in both. Not that they weren't good but both were hyped (by different types of people) for so long that I was expecting better than good.

  19. 176 LTEs, no mention of The Hobbit. Surprising, that.

    I saw it, and let's just say that I disagree with Oscar, who claims it's one of the best 9 movies released this year.

    1. I thought it was fun in places, strange in others, and if they're planning for two more of these... well, I'll watch them, but I won't be quite as excited to do so as when the other trilogy played.

  20. New movie from the guy who brought us Primer. It looks interesting (as I would expect from the guy who brought us Primer)


  21. I saw a preview for a show called The Americans (the promo used The Who's 'Eminence Front' and it caught my attention, then I saw Keri Russell was in it). FX has been putting out some quality shows for a while now so I'll give it a look.

    Community starts in 2 weeks!

    I havent watch too many movies (Ive seen Iron Man 2 on tv about 5 times and stumbled upon The Man Who Knew Too Much) , but I did see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I think the only reason it got all the accolades is because its British, and British accents make everything sound smart.

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