Thursday, May 28, 2009

I've watched a lot of movies over the past week. I'll remember as many as I can.
I watched Crimes and Misdemeanors on a Saturday night and Stardust Memories the following morning. I didn't like Crimes and Misdemeanors. I found it pretty boring, and I didn't like Martin Landau...I don't know. I can't pin it on anything in particular, it just didn't resonate with me. I gave it three stars on netflix, which now I'm thinking was too generous. I'd probably give it a two. In my four star ranking system, I give it one and a half stars. I felt really stupid as I watched Stardust Memories because I feel like everyone always talks about how great Crimes and Misdemeanors is, then I like Stardust Memories A LOT, and I started worrying that I was a retard who likes all the shitty movies. I don't know if Stardust Memories is supposed to be a shitty movie. But I liked it so much better than C & M. Charlotte Rampling is my new favorite. Three and a half stars.

Stagecoach and The Tall T are both about people who ride in stagecoaches in the old timey west. Stagecoach has a super young John Wayne, which is good, and an old timey western prositute, which is also good. It's a pretty sweet and comic movie, with some awesome action too. John Ford is a legendary director for a reason. Three stars. The Tall T was pretty good too, but not as good. Randolph Scott is pretty old, and some pretty fucked up stuff happens. Definitely not as lighthearted as Stagecoach. Two stars.
I watched this movie because I have a sick obsession with watching Scarlett Johansson movies, and because it is based on an Oscar Wilde play, and I've found that no matter how bad the actors and the director, it's hard to make a movie based on Oscar Wilde material unenjoyable. And this was no exception to the rule; in spite of two of the least appealing actresses ever in the lead roles (Scarlett Johansson and Helen Hunt) this movie was much more entertaining than I expected it to be. The twist is pretty disappointing though. One and a half stars.
This movie is really fucked up. Some real messed up shit goes down. Young Lawrence Tierney is very good looking. Two and half stars.

I watched The Times of Harvey Milk last night at the Castro Theater. Gay rights issues make me unbelievably weepy. I think I first started tearing up about 15 minutes into this movie, the first time they mention the California Gay Rights bill thingee. Anyway, I found this movie really interesting, even though I'd seen Milk already (they were playing the two movies on a double bill last night and some people were whining because they covered the same material, or one was slighter than the other...I was ok with it). So yeah, it was good, and it makes me cry and it's a documentary. I think that equals up to three stars.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I stopped writing in this blog because I wasn't having fun doing it, I was too worried about making it seem like real writing...well, now I'm bored, so I'm starting again, and I don't give a shit about how retarded I sound. I'm going to go as far back as I can remember, which isn't very far.

I saw Disney's Earth in a Harkins Theater in Chino Hills this past Monday. I had never heard of Harkins Theaters before. It was the first time in a while that I'd been to the movies on a weekday morning, and it was nice. The only downside was that I was all psyched that I would have the theater all to myself, but about halfway through the trailers some old decrepit guy came in. And sat in the same row I was sitting in. In an otherwise completely empty theater. But it was ok, he left about 25 minutes before the film ended. I originally didn't want to see this movie (I wanted to see Obssessed, but the timing was wrong), I was worried it would be kind of boring. And I did fall asleep in the middle of it (and subsequently had some really terrifying dreams about animal attacks) but it wasn't because I was bored, it was more because I had gotten about 8 hours of sleep in the last two days. But it was full of baby animals, how could I not love it? The scene of baby ducks jumping out of a tree plays on our love of baby animals by showing about 80 ducklings (ok, more like 10) jumping one by one, and sometimes in slow motion, but really I could have watched that all day. It was adorable. Spoiler alert! some animals die, but I guess that's how it goes. So, out of 4 stars, this movie gets **1/2, because it is adorable and awesome, but the narration gets a little preachy at some points. Also, it will give you nightmares.

Before Earth, I saw Star Trek.

I'm not going to say much about this was pretty awesome. I saw it in Sacramento on the second Friday night it was out. The audience was a mix of Trekker nerds and teenagers playing with their cell phones. So yeah, everybody liked it and so did I. Three stars.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

This is my Top Ten

crossposted from Robotoid.

Last year my goal was to watch 200 movies I had never seen before. I don't know if that sounds like a lot, but it was a lot for me. Sure, it averages to less than 17 movies a year...but you go try it, ok? Anyway, I achieved my goal, wrapping everything up in a pretty little bow by seeing my 200th movie on New Year's Eve. Now I'm attempting to make my top ten list for 2007. It's a little different this year. In previous years I would peruse the list of all the films released in a year, note how many I'd seen, then pick out my favorites from that list. This year, I already have a list of all the movies I saw, and they are rated on a 0 to 4 star scale, so it's fairly simple to pick out my 4 and 3 1/2-star movies. The only difficult part has been deciding which 3-star movies belong on the list, so I will follow the list with a few "honorable mention" films. I was interested today to discover that the movies on this list fit into three categories: comedies, really bleak and depressing movies, and documentaries. Here we go, in descending order: 1. Superbad - This was my most highly anticipated movie of the year and, for once, I was not disappointed. I have already written a lot about this film, and there's not much more I feel I can say...I'm sad it wasn't recognized in the Best Original Screenplay category in this year's Academy Awards because I think it was an amazingly well crafted movie. And I think it is kind of hilarious that Seth Rogen has no picture on his IMDB page . If you want to read my review/rant click here. 2. Hot Fuzz - This movie was hilarious, not quite as exquisite as Superbad, but geez it was good. There has been some contention among the people I know as to whether Hot Fuzz or the earlier movie from the same team, Shaun of the Dead, is better. I can't make a definite yay or nay on either side; it's been far too long since I've seen Shaun of the Dead, but I believe that, overall, Hot Fuzz was a far worse received movie. It was, in fact, this movie and Superbad that resulting in my ceasing to read reviews by Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly, in part because she didn't like Hot Fuzz because, according to her, it was too "British" to be funny to Americans. Unfortunately for Ms. Schwarzbaum, she is retarded, because, even if Americans don't realize that Pegg and Co. are gently poking fun at them, they will still find much to laugh at in a movie that so cleverly references American classics like Point Break and Bad Boys II. I think you may have trouble with this movie if you've never seen an action film, but I'd still give it a try, if only for the very exciting supporting and cameo cast. 3. The Host - Horrifying, uplifting, touching and heartbreaking. All with some of the most awesome special effects I've seen in some time. Please see this movie. 4. Juno - This is the movie that caused a friend of mine to comment, "I realized, Michael Cera has no range!" and I would have to respectfully disagree. If you're of the same mind as my friend, I would check out Clark and Michael at Anyway, I may be too enamored of Michael Cera, but I don't think it clouded my judgement of this movie. It is, at times, overly precious and stilted, but I felt that everything came together and it was, in the end, extremely sweet without being treacly. I was really surprised by Jennifer Garner in this movie, I usually find her stomache-ache inducing, but she was believable and relatable. 5. Protagonist - I don't know if many people were able to see this movie, I think it may have played only at Sundance theaters, but it is available through Netflix, so put it on your queue right now! It tells the seemingly disparate life stories of four men, weaving them together using the plays of Euripides and puppetry. It's directed by Jessica Yu, who is the auteur behind another of the most inventive documentaries of the past few years, In The Realms of the Unreal. I think this movie was especially interesting to me because of my interest in the Greek Tragedies, but even if you don't know Clytemnestra from Medea you will find the tales the four men have to tell fascinating. 6. No Country For Old Men - I think I could say Javier Bardem and that would be enough. But then I would be neglecting to say Tommy Lee Jones. And Kelly Macdonald. And I'll throw Josh Brolin out there, heck why not? Also, I think I get more excited about bleak Western expanses than most. But...Javier Bardem. That's really all you need to know. 7. Margot at the Wedding - Margot is another movie that got very little love. I am actually trying to understand why I liked it so much, because it is a very nasty and mean little film. At first I thought maybe you had to be from a supremely fucked up family to relate, but now I think maybe it has to do more with sisters specifically. Nicole Kidman is more alive in this movie than she has been in...probably forever. Noah Baumbach is really good at finding great young actors, but his interest in childhood sexuality is still creepy. 8. Knocked Up - I am a Judd Apatow fan from way back, I was a little too young for the Ben Stiller Show (besides, wasn't it on HBO? You think I was some kind of rich kid?), but I watched Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared when they first aired and I'm really glad that they are getting some of the attention they deserve on DVD. The 40 Year Old Virgin was my number one movie of 2005. I was a little disappointed in Knocked Up, I have to say, and more than a little disappointed in the "anti-abortion genre" discussion it incited, but it was solid; it was funny and sweet. And I'm glad it made Seth Rogen a star. Paul Rudd is the highlight of the movie for me, but when is he not? Paul Rudd is a genius character actor, and I hope one day he gets the recognition he deserves. 9. Stephanie Daley - Another movie I think no one saw, but that I absolutely can't get out of my head. I was musing just yesterday why it wasn't brought up in the whole anti-abortion genre discussion, but I guess it was too small to be noticed and it is all the better that it didn't have it's name sullied by any association with that nonsense. This movie is a little crazy, and I'm not sure why it had such an affect on me; I saw this movie probably in June of last year on a whim, not knowing anything about it. It drew me in totally unexpectedly. I think it is so fascinating because it is so outlandish and rather shocking and at the same time very real. Amber Tamblyn is perfect, mostly innocent and bland with just a hint of something really sinister lurking underneath. 10. Deep Water - Wow. This movie is a total wow. It's one of those documentaries that make you wonder "why have I not heard this story before?" It tells the story of a contest sponsored by the Times of London to see who would be the first person to circumnavigate the globe, nonspot, completely alone. It focuses on the most unlikely competitor, Donald Crowhurst. I don't want to say too much because I don't want to give anything away, I'll just say that this movie will make you think, and that will probably make you more than a little uncomfortable. Honorable Mention: *Zodiac - I was totally geeking on this movie because a lot of it was filmed in San Francisco (in fact, around the same time The Pursuit of Happyness was being filmed here as well) and it was exciting to walk past film sets on my way to work in the FiDi. I was also excited because, hello! Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo (who, the year before this filmed, had been giving me and my roommate palpitations by filming Just Like Heaven in our Chinatown/North Beach neighborhood) and Robert Downey, Jr.! When I actually saw the movie, I was surprised to find more of my favorite actors, like Adam Goldberg and John Ennis had roles as well. There was nary an actor who wasn't somebody. Anyway, Zodiac was good, even though it turned a little movie of the week at parts. Robert Downey, Jr. was pretty amazing in it. *Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains - Before I saw this movie I didn't know much about Jimmy Carter except that when I wore my Jimmy Carter button around the neighborhood, the Palestinian shop keepers really liked it. "He's a great man," they would say. I mean, I also knew about the energy crisis and the Iranian hostage situation and Habitat for Humanity and the Nobel Peace prize. And that he is universally hated by Republicans. But that's just history class. Through this documentary, which tells his story as it follows him through his book tour for "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," you get to see an incredibly compassionate, forward thinking man who is unlike any politician you've ever known. See it even if you're not into politics, it may restore your faith in humanity. So, that's it. My 2007 in a nutshell. Sorry it's so long and rambling, but that's kind of who I am. Sue me. Mel

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Number Four 2007

4. Because I Said So 1/2

Mandy Moore has found herself a disappointing niche in the movies, playing young women with parental, or parental-figure issues. I am only a little bit embarrassed to admit that I really like Mandy Moore; I think she's charming, pretty and talented, not necessarily, but probably, in that order. So I'm sad to see that, according to IMDB, she has no upcoming projects. I hope she can find work after her disastrous 2007,which saw the release of Because I Said So, License To Wed, and Southland Tales.
The basic plot of this movie is; Diane Keaton doesn't like the guys daughter Mandy Moore is dating, so she sets her up with a guy she approves, then everyone gets mad at each other and Diane Keaton (spoiler!) ends up marrying the dad from 7th Heaven. Along the way Mandy Moore dates both Tom Everett Scott and a really hot guy with a kid, she has a threeway phone conversation with her sisters, in which one of the sisters receives "oral pleasure" from her husband, Diane Keaton acts ridiculous, and Mandy Moore and Diane Keaton rearrange Mandy's apartment.
The only good thing I have to say about this movie, aside from the aforementioned hot dad Mandy Moore ends up with, is that Mandy Moore is a small business owner (which is also becoming a trend for her in her roles; see also License to Wed), which is cool, but the business is some sort of baking/catering company, because all women are good for is cooking and being klutzy on a Hilary Duff-esque level.
I wish Diane Keaton would make a really good movie. We all know she can do it, and there's really no excuse for her not to; the last two years have shown that people are writing amazing roles for women "of a certain age." I mean, I liked The Family Stone just fine, and I am still kind of interested in seeing Mad Money, but come on. This is Annie Hall we're talking about. She can do so much better.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Number Three 2007

3. Dreamgirls **

Dreamgirls is the first movie on this list to bring up a problem I found myself having throughout the year as I was trying to rate all these movies. I am generally of the school of thought that if I liked a movie, it's good, I try not to get myself bogged down in details like, say, craft. And that works both ways; if I am bored by a movies it doesn't matter how masterfully it's directed or whatever: it's bad. I enjoyed Dreamgirls a good deal; I love musicals and it had a few really good songs and the movie was very visually interesting, it was fast paced and the story was satisfying throughout. I have, in fact, watched Dreamgirls (or parts of it) on TV several times. BUT...I can't bring myself to say it was good. There's too much about this movie that really bothers me; mainly that the majority of the songs are really corny, even for Broadway, the character development generally falls short and Jennifer Hudson is good but not as good as she might be. Also, I was really bothered by some of the shots in the big climax scene where J.Hud sings her big song; it looks really cheap sometimes, and I guess I can appreciate that you're trying to show that she's just letting it all hang out here, but the angles used are beyond unflattering to her. It's just not a three star movie. I am maybe also still kind of bitter that the director's Chicago won the Oscar for Best Picture because that movie really really stunk. So, two stars.


Friday, February 1, 2008

Number Two 2007

2. Smokin' Aces *

Gosh this movie really stunk. I'm not sure why I wanted to see this one, or how it is that I actually ended up seeing it...I think Steve wanted to see it as well, because he loves magic. I think I wanted to see this because there was a point in my life where I was a bit of a Jeremy Piven fan, around the same time that I was a big John Cusack fan and was watching Comedy Central all the time and they were constantly showing PCU. Which, in less words, would be when I was in high school. Jeremy Piven now...I don't know. I just hear about him being really gross and sleazy, and he is on Entourage which is a show that I pretty much hate. That is all beyond the point though, because I did see this movie and it was one big clusterfuck of crappiness. Oh, I just remembered that Ben Affleck is in this movie! For like, maybe 5 minutes all together! And that he is probably the best part! Well, him or Jason Bateman. I'm undecided about Mr. Bateman in this movie, I'm not sure if his part was genius and hilarious or just...gross like the rest of the movie. To conclude, this movie was more than tolerable at times, it had it's moments where it was actually entertaining, and some of the large assemblage of talent was surprisingly enjoyable (I was unexpectedly charmed by Alicia Keyes and Common). BUT it was too long, some of the characters were totally unpalatable, and the plot was just to deeply steeped in ridiculousness.


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Number One 2007

1. Curse of the Golden Flower **1/2So this was the movie with which I started out 2007, the year of 200 movies. I'm not sure now why I gave this movie two and a half stars. I think that at that point I wasn't totally comfortable with scoring movies. I had never done a starring system before, and I probably didn't think about it as thoroughly as I do now. I would just say, "oh, that was, mm, a two star movie." Now I've determined that my four star system is structured like this:
0 stars - absolutely horrible movie
* -pretty poor, but not unwatchable
** -an average film.
*** -really good, but not great
**** -destined to be one of my all time favorites, in my top ten for the year, i was able to watch this movie the whole way through without wanting to check my (nonexistant) watch.
So, I'm not sure I would have given this movie two and a half stars if I were to watch it for the first time today. It would garner maybe one and half or two stars.
I'm not saying I didn't enjoy this movie. I did, it was very interesting visually, lots of lush colors and, towards the end, lots of blood. The story was pleasantly soapy and, again, towards the end it got very bloody. A review I read compared it to Shakespeare, and there are Shakespearean elements to be sure. It's just kind of a tired story. But maybe I'm just missing the point, because I guess all these Chinese movies are supposed to be government propaganda or something. I don't know, I think that's what Steve said. Anyway, this is a good enough movie if you are super into Chinese movies. There's not a whole lot of that flying around stuff, if that's what you're looking for, there's some, but the film is mostly set in the palace.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Year's Resolution; Fright Night, Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Hello again. For 2008 my New Year's Resolution is to not let this blog die! I will be attempting to post regularly. First of all, I did indeed reach my goal of 200 movies last year. I will be posting writeups of last year's movies, starting from the beginning of the year, hopefully once a day. At the same time, I will be posting reviews of movies from this year as I watch them. So far, I do not have a goal regarding my movie watching this year. I haven't yet decided if I want to try for 200 again, especially since I've so far seen only four movies. I will keep you updated. So, without further ado, 2 reviews from this year.
1. Fright Night - **

2. Terminator 2: Judgement Day - *1/2So, I didn't particularly like either of these movies, but I think I enjoyed Fright Night more because I was expecting much less and ended up not hating it as much as I thought I might. The most awesome thing about Fright Night was, of course, Chris Sarandon's wardrobe. So much 80s awesomeness. And I liked Roddy McDowall, he was pretty adorable and I really liked his fake white hair. I did not like the freaky kid, I can't remember what his name was in the movie but that it was something weird. Let's see here, IMDB says, oh yes, "Evil" Ed. His character was annoying and kind of pointless really. Steve told me that that actor was well respected for a second in the 80s and that he came to the Bridge Theater when they played Fright Night at Midnite Mass and that he was really messed up and it was kind of sad. So...I feel kind of bad for hating him so much in the movie. Anyway, back to the movie, it was fine, I guess, except that it was lame and all the sexy stuff was creepy and gross, especially when the girl from Married...With Children looks like she's going to blow Chris Sarandon in that weird dance club they run into for whatever reason...yeah.

Terminator 2 I was much more disappointed in, and I was especially disappointed in Arnold's performance. Geez, he was so lackadaisical. I was expecting more excitement, but everybody was so dull. Also, I had never realized how gross Linda Hamilton is, maybe because I'm not sure that I've ever seen any of her movies before this one. (I guess I should mention that I'd never seen any of the Terminator movies before this) Anyway, yeah, Linda Hamilton is yuck. Her grossing me out so much really took away from any joy I may have found watching this film. Two things that were neat about this movie were, 1. Budnick from Salute Your Shorts plays little Eddie Furlong's friend in the beginning, and 2. the woman who plays "Gwen, Night Nurse." Steve and I both commented that her voice was really familiar, so I looked her up on good ol' IMDB and discovered that she played Susan Leffert's mom in LA Confidential (Susan Lefferts is the gal who gets killed at the Night Owl). The really interesting thing about this actress, whose name happens to be Gwenda Deacon, is that she has appeared in 3 movies; Terminator 2, released in 1991, LA Confidential, released in 1997, and Joy Ride, released in 2001. I haven't seen Joy Ride, but IMDB tells me she played a character named "Truck Stop Waitress." She has no bio on IMDB and no wikipedia page. A google search reveals nothing. Who is this woman? She has to be some gaffer's mom or something, right? It just seems so strange, 3 teensy roles in 3 fairly big movies with an average of 5 years between each role? If anyone has any info on her, I'm dying to know what the deal is.

To wrap it up, if I had to watch an Arnold movie, I'd rather watch Total Recall, because it is not lame, and Edward Furlong isn't in it.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

134 &135

134. Closing Escrow(2007) *

Sorry, no poster for this one....good sign, no?

135. Superbad(2007) ****

It's been a while since I saw these two movies, but I wanted to see Superbad a second time before I wrote about it. First though, briefly about Closing Escrow; it sucked. It had some funny bits, the funniest of which I will now relate, because I know nobody will see this movie: they show a backyard pet cemetery, there are crosses and a tombstone with a star of David (get it? some of their pets were Christian, some were Jewish. Ha ha.). It gets a better score than Reno 911! because, while it was pretty boring, it was not aggressively unfunny. What was weird about it was that it spent a lot of time actually featuring aspects of homes that characters in the film were looking at. What's the point of that? It is neither funny nor does it advance the action.

Enough about that boring movie. Now I will try to be equally as brief about Superbad, because I'm sure everyone has heard enough about it. I want to start by saying that this is the movie that put me off Entertainment Weekly forever (not meaning that I will stop reading EW, it just means that I now officially do not respect it). Lisa Schwarzbaum has written her last terrible review that I will read. Lisa Schwarzbaum is dead to me now. She closes her B rated review with this line: "Superbad is cute if you like guys who aren't even remotely bad, in a coming-of-age tale so old-fashioned the girls might just as well be wearing bloomers." Cute? I'm not sure where she gets that adjective from. And maybe the film does retread a story that has been told before but, first, it puts an interesting twist on it by having such an intense relationship between two teenage boys and putting the emphasis on that friendship, and second, I'm pretty sure that hasn't bothered Ms. Schwarzbaum in the past. In another part of the review she wants to know why the underage and really looks like it actress who plays Becca doesn't take her bra off. Then she says the lack of development of female characters is "the movie's limitation." Uh, is it just me or is are those two viewpoints slightly contradictory? And why would it be necessary to elaborate on the two girls, Becca and Jules? Again, the boy/girl thing is not really the focus of the story, and isn't it pretty normal for teenagers to be totally infatuated with people they know little to nothing about? Is that misogynistic, as Ms. Schwarzbaum seems to be inferring, or is it just part of being in high school? Also, Ms. Schwarzbaum basically calls the movie puritanical; the raging party, with drugs, booze and sex is not wild enough for her, and she pokes fun at the fact that the two main characters do not have sex(saying she is "fascinated" by the movie's "righteousness" and "chastity"). So, again, the movie and its ilk are too mysogynistic, and, in her next breath, Lisa Schwarzbaum would like a drunk teenage boy to engage in what some would consider to be date rape. Hm.

Well, I think I've gone on long enough about that. For my part I really liked this movie. I thought it was extremely well done, and not just for a "raunchy" (a word I am really starting to hate) teen comedy, but for any movie. I thought it was nearly perfect. I felt there was no point where the movie lagged. As Steve said, it has a very high LPM; laughs per minute. I can't help comparing it to the Judd Apatow movies of the last two summers, Knocked Up and The 40-Year Old Virgin (and neither could Lisa Schwarzbaum, but her reasoning was to further perpetuate her misogyny line); I loved both of those movies, but I definitely noted that there were several scenes that fell flat. Those seemed to be scenes that were heavily improvised; perhaps they were funny at the time, maybe you had to be there? I was glad to see there were no such scenes in Superbad. Even though I am really into Michael Cera right now, I think I enjoyed the scenes with McLovin and the cops the most. I also appreciated the parallel theme of friendship, LISA SCHWARZBAUM, you dummy. Well, I didn't really mean for this to turn into a diatribe against Lisa Schwarzbaum, even though I HATE HER, I meant to have a more well thought out summary of the movie from my own point of view, but after I started, I just couldn't stop, and now I just feel lost. Next time will be better, promise.

PS - I also wanted to relate this; one of my coworkers said she didn't like Superbad because she felt it was "too vulgar," and I've been thinking about this a lot lately, what with the rise of the R-rated comedy, reading everywhere all these actors talking about how liberating the R is, how you can be funnier and more real with the R...then I heard Bob Saget. I heard him twice; a few days ago I watched the beginning of his HBO stand up special, then today I heard him on Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! on NPR. On HBO he was unbearable to watch, again, I'll use the term "aggressively unfunny," and not just that, but he was unintelligible and INSANE. On Wait Wait he was about ten billion gazillion times funnier. In fact, he was so much funnier, that he was actually mildly funny (yeah, that's how bad the stand up was). So....I just thought that was kind of interesting.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

132 & 133

132. Reno 911!: Miami(2007) 1/2

133. Doc Hollywood(1991) *

Ok, I really don't have much to say about these movies so, I'll just say this: I had high hopes for Reno 911! because, like Night at the Museum, it featured a denver boot early on, this time in the opening credits, and it was used for a satisfyingly funny gag, so I thought that was a good sign. But I was wrong. Doc Hollywood, all I really remember from it was that Michael J. Fox's haircut would really be better suited to a lady. And there was a scene where it was just a shot of him standing next to pig and he and the pig seemed to be about the same height.


Thursday, August 16, 2007


131. Night At the Museum(2006) **1/2
When this movie came out last year I really wanted to see it because Steve Coogan is in it! and I love Steve Coogan (he is very high up on my list of favorite Steves. And that is a real list). And Dick Van Dyke. Those two pretty much sold me. Oh, and that there was a dinosaur that comes to life. That about cinched it. The deal breaker? Yes, it was Robin Williams. So I never saw it in the theater.
Steve(not Coogan) and I watched it last night on DVD. In fact, it just occurred to me that we watched it on Blu-Ray. But let's not get into that now. I liked this movie, but it was for kids. It had some funny jokes, Ricky Gervais got a few good lines, but the whole being a hero for his son again story line was a bit of a yawn. The character of the son was too precocious (yuck) and the Mickey Rooney character was ... I'm at a loss for words when it comes to Mickey Rooney. However, the dinosaur did not disappoint.
So, this movie is for people who love Steve Coogan, dinosaurs, and Dick Van Dyke, or people who have children who want to watch a watered down version of a Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson comedy. If you do see this movie, do not miss Dick Van Dyke dancing in the closing credits. I think I seriously swooned.

PS - What gave this movie that extra half star was the opening scene. I am almost one hundred percent sure that this is the first movie I've ever seen with such a prominently featured denver boot. And in the very first scene! And I am definitely sure that I have never seen anyone try to kick a denver boot off their car. (I have a sort of sick fascination with denver boots. Sorry.)


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

128 - 130

128 - When A Stranger Calls (2006) 1/2

129. Thank You For Smoking (2006) *1/2

I watched these two movies on HBO on sunday night, after getting back from a weekend in Bodega Bay. When A Stranger Calls was first, I think Steve picked it, he said he was in the mood for a "junkie movie," meaning, not a movie about people on heroin, but just a crappy movie. WASC was certainly that. That old horror movie device where they use scary music and long drawn out approaches to make you all nervous and turns out it was just the cat making those scratching noises! Well, that went on for a full hour. The movie is only about 90 minutes long, so that means there was really only about 20 minutes of anything really scary happening. This movie could have been good I think, but it was just really boring. I guess it is a remake of late 60's movie with Carol Kane. That sounds way awesome-er.
Thank You For Smoking was fine. It wasn't great, but it was entertaining enough. I find myself getting bothered more and more by these movies that are really ambiguous about what they are trying to say. Especially when they do it in a kind of cocky way like this movie did. I kind of liked the kid who played his son, and I actually like Katie Holmes. She actually seemed like a real person in this movie, instead of Joey from Dawson's Creek.

130. Rocket Science(2007) ***

I saw this movie last night at the ECC. I didn't really know if I even wanted to see this movie. I didn't know anything about it except that it was directed by the guy who did Spellbound. I guess Spellbound was a pretty interesting movie, so I wanted to see what kind of scripted movie he would choose to follow that with. In the end, I'm glad I saw it because I really liked it. It was really funny, which I wasn't expecting. And it was pretty raunchy, which I guess is a kind of cliche thing to say these days, but, again, I really didn't expect it from the guy who directed a movie about a spelling bee. There were some elements I found problematic; the voice over narration seemed out of place (it was very sporadic, I generally do not like sporadic narration) and was kind of cheesy. But overall I liked it a lot.

Monday, August 13, 2007

One and one is four hundred?

That is wildly incorrect, except for here, where one is me, Mel, and one is Sarah, and four hundred is the number of new movies, collectively, it is our goal to watch this year. We figured, since that is a rather staggering number, that it would be nice of us to share our experiences and opinions with you. Perhaps it would also be interesting to see whether we can reach our goal, since we both have fairly busy schedules in the coming months.
The only rule when it comes to including a movie on our lists is that the movies have to be new to us, they do not have to be movies that were released this year (though many will be).
I realize, of course, that the year is already more than half over. I will be posting links to our lists so far soon, along with ratings. I rate my movies according to a four star system.
I hope if you have found your way to this blog you enjoy it and will come back to see how the quest is going.