Category Archives: At The Movies

Third Monday Movie Day

I have this crazy plan to watch a movie a day one of these months. I'm so behind it's ludicrous.

This month I saw The Grey and Beverly Hills Cop, as I'm always on the cutting edge. I actually think I've seen BHC, but it was in my high school years that I...don't remember very well. The Grey was interesting, I guess, though I'd love to sit down with the director and see if there was anything more he was trying to say or if it was essentially about death being sad. I want to give the movie more credit because it was shot rather well, but I have a feeling the script was pared down to the essentials because there wasn't much there.

Otherwise...Archer, Justified, Deadwood, Downton Abbey. I'll finish some of them one of these days and move on to something newer.

Third Monday Movie Day

Another one I'll probably miss most of. Dang.

For the sixth or seventh month in a row, I've seen very few movies. I had one in mind for this day but I'll be damned if I can remember what it is. I have, however, been all the heck over Netflix's House of Cards, a political drama based (somewhat loosely) on an '80s BBC drama of the same name. It's one of those shows that's so good, it doesn't matter that the backdrop does not, as a rule, interest me.

Oh, I remember the movie I was going to use. Comedian Mike Birbiglia starred in the movie Sleepwalker which I took in a few weeks ago. Watching relationships fall apart is a hell of a lot more interesting to me than watching them come together (this is largely due to the fact that Hollywood focuses so heavily on the latter), and this didn't disappoint me. It's funny enough and it's wrenching enough. Plus, it focuses a lot on his rise in comedy (it's not purely autobiographical, but he plays a comedian) so final feelings are somewhat mixed, as he's really made it in that business as the movie comes to a close.

I think I'm in the mood for more melancholy sorta-drama, sorta-comedy. Suggestions?

Or, hey, ignore all this and talk about blockbusters and porn. I'm down for whatever.

What have you seen?

Third Wednesday Movie Day

Why yes, I forgot, but I wouldn't have been able to participate on Monday anyway.

It was real light on movies here last month (and really, 2012 has been a lousy month for me catching movies in general) but I did see a bit of TV. I started Sons of Anarchy after the hundredth person asked me to do so. Two episodes in, I'm liking it just fine, though the writing occasionally doesn't trust the audience and over-explains itself.

I watched an episode of Mad Men for the first time in over a year, too. I'm not sure how I stalled on that, though I suppose it has something to do with how depressing it is.

The next movie I watched was going to be the feel-good documentary about Kevin Clash, the Elmo puppeteer, but I'll probably head in a different direction now.

Third Monday Movie Day

Movie of the Month: The Rock-Afire Explosion (2008, Brett Whitcomb)

Do you remember the Rock-Afire Explosion? They were the animatronic rock band at Showbiz Pizza. Do you remember Showbiz Pizza? They merged with Chuck E. Cheese, and The Rock-Afire Explosion was phased out in favor of Chuck E. and his friends.

This documentary is about the whirlwind success and downfall of The Rock-Afire Explosion, brainchild of Aaron Fechter, who once employed 400 people but now runs his company alone. The story is a bummer at times but is ultimately hopeful; fans have kept the "band" alive through the years, and superfan Chris Thrash even bought a set of the band and programs birthday shows for local kids.

The film could focus on big, bad Chuck E. Cheese taking over if it wanted to, but it glosses over the takeover (called "concept unification") and focuses on the idea of lost childhood memories instead. It's a documentary that definitely leaves you with mixed emotions, and at 70 minutes (and on Netflix streaming) I'd definitely suggest it to you.

Otherwise, this month, I mostly focused on zombie movies for some reason. All styles, all budgets, all countries of origin. I guess Rammbock: Berlin Undead was probably the best of them.

What have you seen?

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.

Third Monday Movie Day

Movie of the Month: The Escapist (2008, Rupert Wyatt)

So, I loved this movie...I think. It's got a great atmosphere and mood (not happy ones, but effective ones) and the acting is superb - Brian Cox leads, and is supported by Joseph Fiennes, Damian Lewis and Steven Mackintosh, among others. It's an Irish film about a man who decides to break out of prison when he learns his daughter is dying, and the narrative is told in alternating scenes of the breakout and what it took to set the breakout into motion; there are another four characters, all interesting themselves, involved as well.

I figured the dual narrative would annoy me at some point, but it really didn't. Pacing often dies when films go into flashback mode, but this one was effective in giving us pertinent information every time we delved into the past.

The film is tense and the viewer never feels comfortable with the question of whether or not the breakout is going to work, which is what I want out of any movie (this is the reason I don't watch a lot of blockbusters; if I know the good guys will win, a part of me disengages from the film).

Now, the only thing is, it's tough to talk about this film without discussing the ending, which in a way, nullifies the entire film that came before it, or at least half of the narrative. I can't decide if it killed my adoration for what came before, or if tied the film together perfectly. I think, perhaps, it was both. So, if any of you would be so kind as to see this one and talk about it with me, that would be appreciated.

What have you seen?