I feel validated in my opinion of Movie 43 by this review from David Edelstein over at Vulture. I just wish I had seen his review before I went to see this piece of trash. It’s not even worth seeing in a “so bad it’s good” sort of way. It’s just bad. Seriously, you guys, I can’t stress enough how ardently it should be avoided. I’ve never walked out of a movie before and I earnestly considered it multiple times; I never left because I figured there had to be something redeeming around the bend. There wasn’t.
Ok, now I promise to never mention Movie 43 ever again. I’ve already given it more time than it deserves.
Worst. Movie. Ever. Ok, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl is the worst movie ever, but this is a close second. It was so bad I’m not even bothering to include the poster on this post because it doesn’t deserve the publicity. There were a few slightly humorous bits (namely, the Naomi Watts/Liev Schreiber segment and a superhero spoof featuring the reunion of Justin Long & John Hodgman), but I don’t recall anything eliciting more than a chuckle from me. By no means did I expect it to be great, but it was so bad I’m actually angry at the people involved. Why did you involve yourself with this movie, Emma Stone? Who is blackmailing you, Hugh Jackman? Whatever dirt they have on you can’t be worth all this. Is someone hurting you Chloe Moretz? Do you need me to call Child Protective Services? Are they there right now? Cough twice if you want me to call 911.
Thankfully, Guys and Dolls is on TCM right now. Guys and Dolls is one of my absolute favorite movies of all time. For the next two hours I’m going to sit back and let the brilliance of Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra wash away the horror of what I just saw. It’s the only way.
Movie 43: Skip it. In the name of all that is holy, SKIP IT!
Watch Guys and Dolls, or absolutely anything else (other than Sharkboy and Lavagirl), instead.
You guys, I finally watched Ruby Sparks last night and now I think I’m in love with both Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan. I want to intrude upon their relationship and be with them at all times, absorbing their adorable genius every second of the day. If that doesn’t pan out, I will at least watch any and all movies Zoe Kazan writes in the future. I should have expected to have such a strong, positive reaction given her incredible pedigree. Her brilliant grandfather's movies are some of the greatest of all time (On the Waterfront is in my All-Time Top 5; never mind that whole Blacklist nonsense), so I should have made a bigger effort to see this one in the theater last summer. Better late than never, but I vow to never make that mistake again.
Finally, our long national nightmare has come to an end. For 68 long weeks we suffered, unsure of what the future held, but knowing that these were darker times than we had become accustomed. There were moments—nay, days—during which I could no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel. I feared that the darkness would never lift; that I would be subscribed to a lifetime of sightless wandering with only my rapidly fading memories to guide me. But at long last, our salvation. Sir Ryan Gosling has returned to our theaters, setting free the abundant joy of a populace who had long since forgotten how to feel. Sure, we had our Drive DVDs and our incessant BuzzFeed lists to keep us warm, but it wasn’t the same. And so I say to thee: Sir Gosling—welcome back. You have been missed.
Despite how grateful I am for Sir Gosling being back on the big screen, this is not a fantastic movie. It’s not a bad movie either, but it’s far from great. That doesn’t mean it’s not an enjoyable movie, though; in fact I enjoyed it very much, but I’m a sucker for 40’s/50’s Hollywood film noir. There’s just something about the way people dressed that draws me in, and Sir Gosling fit in very well in his nicely tailored suit and fedora. Emma Stone is no slouch herself. Plus, I’m a big fan of Ruben Fleischer (this is the man that brought Rob & Big to our televisions after all; he must be celebrated!). Overall, even though it was all just insubstantial fluff, the movie was just flat-out entertaining. It’s never going to win any awards or anything but as long as you don’t go in thinking it’s going to be Goodfellas (or even, more appropriately, L.A. Confidential) you shouldn’t be disappointed.
The only thing that really bothered me about this movie was the way the Mickey Cohen story was manipulated. I mean, yeah, I understand that the movie was simply “inspired by” a true story and was not intended to be an accurate biopic, and I get that tax evasion is a lot less exciting than murder. But I felt like they were trying to fool us into thinking the LAPD’s gangster squad took down Cohen, when in fact it was the IRS that sent him to Alcatraz. I guess it doesn’t really matter. Or does it? I’m torn.
Regardless, this movie was a fun time. If you, like me, were suffering from Sir Gosling withdrawal, you should definitely see Gangster Squad in the theater, because The Place Beyond the Pines doesn’t come out until March. Otherwise, this one can probably wait for your Netflix Queue.
I was really excited to see this movie. The trailer gave me chills every time I saw it, both in the theater and on TV. I knew it was going to be an emotional experience on both joyous and heart-wrenching levels. It definitely lived up to the hype. But at the same time, this isn’t a movie I would recommend to everyone. I can easily recognize that Les Miserables is not everyone’s cup of tea.
I feel like I should make it known that I love musicals. Gene Kelly is my absolute favorite actor of all time (and my generation-eclipsing soul mate), so I’m already predisposed to enjoying movies where there is a considerable amount of singing. I love musical theater as well, even though I don’t get to see as much of it as I would like, what with the living in the Midwest and whatnot. However, I tend to prefer movie musicals to musical theater, or at least I prefer the types of musicals where people simply burst into song and then get on with their business as opposed to the more operatic musicals where people go about their business via sing-songy talking. Sing your song, then speak your words; that’s my motto. Therefore, because Les Mis is closer to the latter than the former, there were definitely moments where I was thinking, “Ok, let’s get on with it already.”
But despite those moments, my overall opinion on Les Mis is exceedingly positive. The chills I got from the trailer were nothing compared to the effect of seeing the movie in its entirety. It was just thrilling and amazing. For every five minutes of eye-rolling due to Russell Crowe talk-singing, there were ten minutes of chill-inducing magic. And as much as we all love to hate Anne Hathaway, her performance as Fantine was brilliant; the only reason I don’t want her to win the Oscar is because I’m not sure I can sit through another of her awkward acceptance speeches. Hugh Jackman was also fantastic; this is Daniel Day-Lewis’s year, but I’m thankful for the Golden Globes’s Drama & Comedy/Musical category split, which enabled him to get some well-deserved recognition. Pretty much everyone else was great too (how cute is Eddie Redmayne?!?!).
But getting back to my initial point, this is a really excellent movie if you’re into this sort of thing. If you’ve seen Les Mis on stage, or think it’s something you may be into, you should definitely see this movie. If you hate musicals or opera, hate stories about the French Revolution, or can’t bear to have an emotional experience in the theater, maybe you’re right to skip it.
Les Miserables: See it in the Theater (but only if you can tolerate talk-singing)
If you have been reading this blog from the beginning, you know that the Golden Globes is my favorite award show to watch (and to dream about attending). This year, my excitement for the Globes has been exponentially enhanced by its hosts. Whomever made the decision to have Tina Fey and Amy Poehler host is the smartest person in Hollywood. I’m pretty sure this is the first time in history that I’ve ever been excited for an awards show because of the host(s). I mean, yeah, I would be excited about the Globes if it was hosted by an empty refrigerator box, or if they went back to the no host format. But I’m just as much excited about Fey & Poehler as I am about the awards themselves, which means I’m so excited about the Globes that my head might explode. Don’t let me down, ladies!
Now I’ll give you a quick run-down of who I want to win tonight. Not who I think will win, or who should win, but who I want to win. As we all know, guessing what those looney toons in the Hollywood Foreign Press are going to do is a fool’s errand anyway. So here are my selfish picks in the main movie categories:
2012: The Year In Review (Plus a look forward to 2013)
2012 was a great year for movies. All nine of the Oscar Best Picture nominees are eminently watchable, and I think that’s saying something. I had a great time watching and writing about all of the 50 movies I saw (we have fun, don’t we?). I’ve even caught a couple flicks on DVD that I had missed at the theater. It’s going to be very difficult to narrow it down to my 10 favorite, but such is life. Without further ado, and in no particular order:
(50) Days of Movies's 10 Favorite Movies Seen in 2012:
As I mentioned previously, I saw this movie at the ArcLight in Hollywood. I can’t say I did not enjoy this movie, per se; to the contrary, it was a fun flick. But the fact that I was watching it at the ArcLight was definitely the highlight for me. Tom Cruise is an interesting fellow—he can be simultaneously magnificent and creepy. I was obsessed with Top Gun, Cocktail and Rain Man as a child, so I will always have a soft spot for Mr. Cruise; but I also can’t erase from my memory the weirdness that has dominated his publicity in the last 10 or so years. I think he still has many very admirable leading man qualities, and is still capable of opening a movie, but as I’m watching him I can’t completely ignore the creep factor. Alas, it is what it is.
Holy Fucking Shit. Pardon my language, but given that this is a Quentin Tarantino movie I feel it’s appropriate. I loved this movie. Yes, it was probably 40 minutes too long, but I very much enjoyed the way it ended so who am I to say what should’ve been eliminated to save on time. And yes, I felt a bit uncomfortable at times with the incessant use of the n-word and the horrible truths on display, but thems is the facts. Despite those things, I absolutely loved this movie.
I’m not sure if having gone on a long road trip with your mother is required for enjoyment of this movie, but it certainly helps. I mean, sure, a lot of people go on road trips with their parents when they are children for vacations and whatnot, but there is something both magical and completely ridiculous about spending that much time in a car with a parent when you’re an adult. I’ve driven to Florida with both of my parents, individually, and it was quite an experience. Neither of my parents are anything like Barbra Streisand’s character in this movie, but I definitely related to many of the jokes.
Freaks and Geeks. Undeclared. The 40-Year Old Virgin. Knocked Up. The Ben Stiller Show. Heavy Weights. The Larry Sanders Show. Pineapple Express. Funny People. Anchorman. Superbad. Bridesmaids. Girls. The list could go on and on, and hopefully it will. Judd Apatow has been involved in one way or another with some of the greatest comedy of the last 20 years. Whether as a writer or a producer (or both), it seems like more often than not Judd Apatow has his hand in the cookie jar that is my favorite movie & TV comedies. Hell, even the Vanity Fair issue he recently guest-edited was spectacular. He has built up a very good reputation with me and therefore I give him a lot of latitude. In other words, I will enthusiastically watch just about any TV show or movie he is even marginally involved with, and—unless it is a complete disaster (which hasn’t happened yet)—I will also enjoy it on at least some level. And the same goes for anyone who has graduated from the Apatow Academy. I am, to say the least, a big fan.
Posting this quick update just under the 2012 wire to announce that I totally achieved my goal, you guys! I haven’t written the reviews yet, partly because I’ve been on vacation and partly because I’m lazy, but in the last twelve days (some may say the twelve days of Christmas, but only because they don’t understand what that means) I’ve seen the following movies:
47. This Is Forty
48. The Guilt Trip
49. Django Unchained
50. Jack Reacher
That last one was supposed to be Zero Dark Thirty, but it unfortunately didn’t work out that way. I would’ve also liked to sneak Les Miserables in there somewhere, but certain constraints (e.g., hanging out with family that was not interested) prevented me from doing so. But, as a consolation, I saw Jack Reacher at the ArcLight in Hollywood, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time (see a movie there, not see Jack Reacher). The ArcLight was everything I hoped it would be. And you know what? All four of these movies were pretty enjoyable, some more than others. Reviews to come. Happy New Year!!
46. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2: Ghost Protocol
Yup, you read that right. We’re talking about Twilight here. I can’t even believe this movie will go down in history as one of the movies I watched in theaters this year, but that’s neither here nor there. The fact is: I didn’t not enjoy this movie experience.
My wise co-worker/friend Laurie wisely suggested on Friday morning that we blow off work that afternoon to go see a movie. I thought it was a great idea, because work is stupid and going to the movies is decidedly not stupid. There are a host of movies we could have seen that would’ve helped me in this, my time of need(ing to see 5 more movies before 2013 arrives). But you know what we did? We went to the Value Cinema and saw Looper. Why? Why would I go see a movie for a second time when I’m so close to my goal and yet running out of time? Why, I ask you?? BECAUSE LOOPER IS FUCKING GREAT. That’s why. Laurie hadn’t seen it yet and I wanted to share that joy with her. It was worth it.
But if I don’t make my goal, I’m blaming Rian Johnson.
I wish I could begin this review by saying, “The Sessions was Sessational!” because that would be both clever and hilarious. But to do so would ring false. Don’t get me wrong, this was a good movie, but I was largely unaffected by it. I kinda expected this reaction, and the only reason I went to see it was because I try to see every movie/performance that is likely to be nominated for one of the main Oscar categories. So I had to see John Hawkes’ performance, which I knew would be great because John Hawkes is always great. And I wasn’t disappointed. He definitely deserves the nominations he’s received so far this awards season and hopefully the Oscar nomination that is yet to come. He may even deserve to win some of those awards, or at least he would if it weren’t for that pesky Daniel Day-Lewis. But the movie, as a whole, felt a bit slight.
The Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nominations were both announced this week, and it came as no surprise to me that Lincoln is leading the pack this awards season. I think everyone can agree that, if Daniel Day-Lewis does not win all the awards, it will be a travesty of immense proportions. Actually, I hate to backtrack on a statement I just made, but I’m not sure Daniel Day-Lewis deserves to be nominated at all. Why, you ask? Because I’m not entirely convinced that it was Daniel Day-Lewis playing Lincoln, but instead may have actually been Abraham Lincoln himself, he a time traveler who Steven Spielberg arranged to have brought to 2012 for the sole purpose of being in this movie (do you know for a fact that Spielberg doesn’t have that ability? If Bill & Ted can pull it off, I’m pretty sure Spielberg can too). Ok, ok, it was Daniel Day-Lewis, but Jesus Christ that man sure looked a lot like Honest Abe (trust me, I’ve done the research). So much, in fact, that by the end of the movie I was mourning the loss (spoiler alert: Lincoln dies) of a man I never knew personally and whose death I have known about my entire life. In other words, his portrayal of our 16th President was so perfect, I forgot that it was Daniel Day-Lewis portraying a character. I felt connected to President Lincoln like I never have before. Daniel Day-Lewis is a genius, and I’m a sucker for method actors who you know are probably total lunatics but are so good at their craft that you accept and applaud their eccentricities (I’m looking at you, Christian Bale).
I had no intention of seeing this movie, if I’m being completely honest. I’ve never read the book, and watching a boy sit in a lifeboat with a CGI tiger for 2 hours just didn’t sound like a great time to me. But I was hearing some really good reviews, so when my co-worker friend Laurie and I were trying to find a movie to go see instead of working a few Fridays ago, Life of Pi made the list of possibilities. And it just so happened that it was the only movie showing at the right time in the right location. So I saw it. And I am happy to announce that I very much enjoyed this movie.
More like Holy Mindfuck! But in a good way. Like, in the best way. You guys, this movie is insane. I don’t even know where to start. Again, thank the lord for my Milwaukee Film Club membership, as this was the November member screening. It. Was. Amazing.
First of all, this is a French film. There isn’t a ton of dialogue, however, and some of the dialogue is in English, so if you’re afraid of subtitles for some weird anti-literacy reason, you’re going to have to come up with some other reason not to see this movie. The only reason not to see this movie—other than it isn’t playing in your city, which is a good possibility—is if you’re afraid of having your mind thoroughly and completely blown. I don’t know, maybe you prefer to live in a world where Tyler Perry’s movies are as experimental as it gets. That’s your decision. But this movie has to be seen. It just has to be.
I saw this movie on Thanksgiving with my parents and sister (yes, I’m behind on my reviews again). It was the only movie we could all agree on. Actually, my parents and I could easily agree on many other movie options, but my sister is super picky. Although I enjoy animated movies, I don’t usually see them in theaters because they don’t excite me enough to feel like I can’t wait until they’re available in other mediums. But other animated movies don’t feature John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman. Plus, a lot of people whose (comedy-related) opinions I respect have tweeted about how much they enjoyed it, so I figured it had to be good.
I’m no James Bond expert. I’ve never held myself out to be one. Hell, I can’t even fathom what steps would be required to attain such a certification. I’m sure it would be quite an undertaking and, frankly, I’m just not up for it. But I have seen quite a few Bond movies as well as the Austin Powers trilogy (I feel like that should count for something), so I feel like I AM qualified to say that Skyfall was definitely one of the best Bond movies I’ve ever seen.
Ben Affleck, you talented bastard. You’ve come a long way from the TV Movie A Body to Die For: The Aaron Henry Story, wherein you played a teenager who just couldn’t stop taking steroids. My friend Matt was obsessed with that movie in high school for some reason and always talked our Home Economics teacher into letting us watch it on days when we weren’t cooking something (and no, it had absolutely nothing to do with home ec, I’m pretty sure she was just as bored with the subject as we were). Even though he’s gone on to do SO MUCH more, for some reason I can never erase the Aaron Henry Ben Affleck from my memory. It’s like he’s the kid who peed his pants the first day of Kindergarten and, even though he went on to be some successful big shot, at his high school reunion he’s still Pee Pants to everyone. And that’s a shame, really, because Affleck did plenty to catch my attention even before Aaron Henry, including being in two of my favorite movies from my high school days, School Ties and Dazed and Confused. He has such a knack for playing assholes, doesn’t he (see also Mallrats)? His career has definitely had its ups and downs (the J Lo/Gigli period being an especially low point), but I am certainly hopeful that the Ben Affleck who is getting handsomer as he ages, who married the lovely Jennifer Garner, who won an Oscar for writing Good Will Hunting, is the one that has prevailed.
You guys, I’m having a real hard time keeping up with my reviews for some reason. I saw this movie WEEKS ago and have been super lazy about writing anything. And it’s not like I haven’t had the time—I spent all day yesterday marathoning episodes of Bones for some reason (I’d never seen the show and could no longer live with the uncertainty of not knowing for sure which one was called Bones). Definitely could’ve done some multitasking and churned out a review or two (I also have Argo waiting). And as a direct consequence of my laziness with writing these reviews, I haven’t seen a movie the past two weeks because I couldn’t stand the thought of having ANOTHER movie waiting in my drafts folder. So I’ve got to soldier on and get through this. Here goes…
Wow. Long delay, huh? I have no excuses, other than that fact that I work in an industry that requires me to sometimes work longer hours than I would prefer and therefore leaves my brain tired at the end of the day and unlikely to voluntarily look at or draft written words. But that’s not a good enough excuse. I’ve also gotten pretty lazy. But enough about me, on with the review!
Holy shit, you guys, this movie was GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD! It’s been a long time since a movie excited me as much as this one did. I know, Avengers and Dark Knight Rises were both only a few months ago, but I went into both of those movies pretty much knowing I was going to love them. With Looper, although I had high hopes, I had no idea what to expect. I had a lot of faith in Rian Johnson, but time travel movies are tough. Thankfully, this one did not disappoint. It was really good, in fact. Like, I-am-probably-going-to-buy-the-DVD-good.
I saw The Master last weekend, but I haven’t written about it until now because I wasn’t ready. I sort of feel like I’m still watching the movie, even a week later. The scenes have been playing out in my mind as I go about my daily business. I can’t shake it. It’s just one of those movies, you know?.
I’m getting really bad at this whole blog thing. I saw this movie like two weeks ago and I’m just now writing about it. I’ve been pretty busy, so that’s part of it, but also I just didn’t really have anything to say. But don’t get my wrong, this movie is great. If you’re already familiar with Mike Birbiglia and his sleepwalking story, you already know the plot. And yet the journey is still very enjoyable. It’s really no different than seeing a movie based on a book you’ve read. Was Hunger Games any less of a fun ride because I knew what was going to happen? Absolutely not. But I’m assuming that most people familiar with Birbiglia—either his comedy, his This American Life performances, his memoir, his one-man show, or all of the above—will have already seen this movie if it is available to them. The rest of you, seek it out.
Ok, I admit I am a total sucker for indie movies about love, life, and the pursuit of happiness. I’ve been looking forward to this movie for quite a while, and not just because of the subject matter. I am also a big Rashida Jones fan, and knowing that she co-wrote this movie with Will McCormack really gave me confidence that it would be good. Plus, Andy Samberg is my future husband (a girl can dream; but seriously, he’s my dream man. I love him.), and I will always support his endeavors (I’ll probably even watch That’s My Boy eventually). THANK GOD, this movie met my expectations. I adored it. See it. Love it. Let it affect your life choices.
Blah. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to say about this movie and I’ve decided that I treasure Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis way too much to say anything other than this movie was disappointing. A good idea in theory, had some funny moments, but overall was not that enjoyable. Instead of seeing this movie, just pop in your old worn out copy of Anchorman, or scour the internet for watchable clips of Late World with Zach (why this show isn’t available on DVD, I don’t understand; the Sneaky Jesus sketch they did on that show still makes me laugh, and I haven’t seen it in 10 years). But don’t bother seeing The Campaign in the theater. Wait for it on basic cable. *sigh*
Richard Gere is a sexy silver fox, is he not? He totally is. I am a fan, not just of his sexiness, but also of his quiet intensity. It’s like, he’s super serene and has it all pulled together, but you just know that at any moment he could explode with rage. Like, keep all snow globes out of his reach if you have reason to believe he could get angry with you, ya know what I’m sayin’? (Olivier Martinez in Unfaithful totally knows what I’m sayin’.) Plus, for whatever reason, one of the scenes from all the movies I’ve seen in my life that has stayed with me the most is the scene from American Gigolo where he dances around his apartment while picking out his outfits. I’m not sure why, but I constantly think about that scene and how it was both slightly awkward and extremely captivating at the same time. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, rent American Gigolo immediately (or just look it up on YouTube, I guess).
I used to be legit. I was too legit. I was too legit to quit. But now I'm not legit. I'm unlegit. And for that reason, I must quit.
False alarm! Don’t worry; I’m not giving up on my goal to see 50 movies in one year. But you guys! I haven’t been to a movie in over a week! And I probably won’t make it to the theater again until next weekend! Yikes!! I’m falling behind and it’s kind of killing me inside, but thankfully I have had good excuses to slack off on the humanitarian-esque project that is seeing 50 movies in one year. Last weekend I went to Nashville with my high school friends, and we had what some might describe as “too much fun.” I’m pretty sure we broke the record for the number of times anyone has said “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” in one weekend (if we didn’t break the record, it wasn’t for lack of trying). This weekend I’m going to Detroit for a bridal shower and pseudo-Bachelorette party for a college friend, and the baptism of my Goddaughter. All things worthy of not making it to the theater, but I’m still going through withdrawals. Yesterday I almost set my office on fire trying to make popcorn, and I’m not convinced AMC Theaters wasn’t somehow involved as part of an elaborate ruse to get me back to purchasing popcorn instead of making my own. I’ve been hoping I could catch a flick on a weeknight, but all this weekend traveling means I have a lot of work to do during the week. Nevertheless, I hope to have a new post up soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, you can pass the time reading this awesome AV Club review of one of my favorite movies of the last decade, the criminally underappreciated Hot Rod!
I have been seriously slacking on the movie watching these past few weeks. Not intentionally, mind you, but because my social calendar has been extraordinarily full as of late, which has consequently caused me to work more when I’m not busy being social. But amidst the various birthday parties, travels, comedy shows, and gorging myself on state fair foods (oh, and working too), I did manage to see The Watch. It was just okay. It wasn’t as funny as I had hoped, but I was entertained by the story so I wasn’t too disappointed.
Oh Sweet Jesus. This movie is amazing. By now you’ve probably heard the buzz, which has been heating up since it won a bunch of awards at Cannes and the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. It’s also getting Oscar talk, and I really hope people don’t forget about it come nominating time because—especially with the expanded Best Picture category—it certainly deserves consideration.
WARNING: HYPERBOLE AHEAD! I SAW THE DARK KNIGHT RISES AND IT WAS GREAAHHHHAHAHAHHAHHHAAHGSJSLBLSBLURGHH!!
(Ugh. Get ahold of yourself woman!)
Ok. Let me start by saying I don’t think my expectations or anticipation levels have ever been as high for any movie in my entire life as they were for this movie. And let me tell you: I was not disappointed. If it’s even possible, I think my expectations were exceeded. I’m actually kind of freaking out right now because I want to see it again so badly (the movie ended at 9:30pm; it’s 10:15pm as I’m writing this—it’s been too long already!). Seriously, you guys. This movie blew my mind. As a testament to its greatness, I saw it in a packed IMAX theater and only 2 people got up to go to the bathroom during the entire almost three hour runtime. We all, as a collective unit, decided that we would rather pee our pants than miss even a second of what was unfolding. And I would’ve sat there for another 3 hours to watch it again if that had been an option. It was just so fucking spectacular.
As I mentioned in my last post, I saw Ted last weekend. I guess I shouldn’t have waited so long to write this post, because now I’m sort of at a loss for words on what to say about it. I wasn’t super excited to see the movie in the first place, but a friend wanted to go and I always welcome the opportunity to see a movie with a friend. It’s not that I didn’t want to see Ted, I just figured I could wait to see it until it came out on DVD. I’ve always been a Seth MacFarlane fan (well, I was a huge fan of Family Guy the first time around, but I’ve stopped watching his shows lately; not because they aren’t good, but because I’ve simply lost interest). I’m also a fan of the Twitter account of one of the other writers (Alec Sulkin, aka @thesulk). Therefore, I knew it would have some funny moments, but my expectations were pretty low. I spoke to a a few co-workers that had seen it and got a mixed reaction, which further tempered my expectations. My assistant loved it, so that gave me hope, but one of the other associates at my firm said it had “too many 80’s references.” He was born in the late 80’s though (I know, right?!?! Disgusting!), so I basically just ignored his opinion. I was open to it being hilarious and hoped it would be, but I was also prepared for it to be terrible.
True Story: my dearest friend Alli and I bonded over a male stripper. What I mean to say is, when we were confronted with being in the same room as one, we snuck out a side door and hid in the alley until he left. The next time I found myself in close proximity to a male stripper, another of my dearest friends and I hid in a kitchen, using the refrigerator door as a shield. I guess you could say I’m not a fan of male strippers.
Why would I go see this movie, then, if I hold such an adverse position on male strippers? Three reasons:
I’m on my way! Six months of 2012 have come and gone, and I’m halfway to my goal of 50 movies. I thought it would be appropriate at this time to look back at the films I’ve seen and pick some favorites. Since it’s the halfway point, instead of picking a top ten, I think a top 5 is appropriate. Without further ado, in no particular order, here are my top 5 movies of 2012 (so far):
I saw this movie this past weekend but have had a bit of writer’s block regarding the review. I briefly considered just putting up a picture of Joel Kinnaman instead of a review, but I feel like I owe it to anyone who continues to read these (and myself) to at least make an attempt (don’t worry, I’m still going to include a picture of Joel Kinnaman). The difficult thing is, I’m not sure what exactly is keeping me from writing the review, so I can’t even really write about that. In short, this movie was the vanilla ice cream of movies. It was enjoyable, but not something that I’ll ever crave.
In addition to seeing Safety Not Guaranteed last weekend, I also saw Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. Sadly, the latter was not as good as the former. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it though, so I guess there’s nothing sad about it, it just means Safety Not Guaranteed was a better movie. But keep in mind: I think Safety Not Guaranteed was better than most, if not all, of the movies I’ve seen this year, so that’s a high bar. The bottom line is that Seeking a Friend was good, but because I thought maybe it would be great, it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.
I’m just going to come right out and say it: Safety Not Guaranteed may be the best movie I’ve seen this year. Yes, The Avengers was awesome, and yes, I have a strong Wes Anderson bias so Moonrise Kingdom is also at the top of the list, but this movie? Wow, you guys, it was just really great in so many ways. What ways, you say? I’m so glad you asked because I’d love to tell you.
I finally saw Moonrise Kingdom, and I absolutely loved it, as was expected. I actually saw it last weekend, but I’ve had a difficult time writing about it for some reason. I’m not sure why, but it’s hard for me to put into words what I love so much about Wes Anderson’s movies. My cinematic vocabulary is not very sophisticated, so I guess I will just say that I love the aesthetic of his movies; the colors, the music, the overall vibe. I love the supremely dry humor. And I love his recurring cast of collaborators. If you’ve ever seen a Wes Anderson movie, you know exactly what I’m talking about, so I guess I don’t need to describe it in any particular detail. Just know that I love everything about his movies and they are my favorite.
I think my overall opinion of Snow White and the Huntsman is largely positive. I saw it after golfing 18 holes at the slowest moving golf outing in the history of man, so I was pretty exhausted and possibly suffering from heat stroke. Also, because the golf outing took so long, we had to go to a theater that I don’t usually go to, and unbeknownst to me the movie was showing in one of their “bistro” theaters. Now don’t get me wrong; I am fully on board with serving a full menu in the theater under most circumstances (I mean, if I was super geeked about seeing the movie I would obviously choose to see it somewhere else, but usually I’m cool with it). However, this theater did not pass muster. Probably the best of such theaters is the Warren Old Town theater in Wichita, Kansas. I know what you’re thinking, but trust me. It’s absolutely the best theater I’ve ever been to if you are interested in eating & drinking during the show (full disclosure: I’ve only been to a handful of such theaters, so I guess I’m not an expert). Back when I was a younger gal and I lived in Wichita, my friends and I would go to the theater on nights when they had $3.00 30 oz. beers, and we would try to drink as many during the show as possible (usually 2 was the most, but I think Brandon had 3 once). Anyway, that theater was awesome, but this one was just okay. My problem with it was that it was essentially set up like a lecture hall with high-backed office chairs for a seats, which is not that comfortable if you have your hair in a bun and want to recline. I was not a fan.
You guys, this movie is pretty kick ass. I was pretty sure that would be the case, but I was a little nervous. To be honest, I’m not a die-hard fan of the Alien franchise. Alien came out while I was in utero, and I saw it at some point on some cable channel. Although I am a fan of sci-fi, I’m not a fan of horror, and I would argue that Alien definitely straddles the line between the two genres (do I even have to argue? would anyone disagree?). But you know who I am a fan of? Ridley Scott. I pretty much trust that any movie he directs will at least be high quality, even if I don’t love it. So many good movies on his resume. Blade Runner. Thelma & Louise. Black Hawk Down. I could go on and on. White Squall? Jesus, my teenage, boy-crazy self was obsessed with that movie, which—to me—was basically just an excuse to spray water on cute boys in white t-shirts (exactly what I was looking for in 1996). And don’t even get me started on Gladiator. I think I’ve seen it a million times. Anyway, needless to say, Ridley Scott is the shit.
This post has taken me a long time to get up for two reasons. 1) I don’t really have that much to say about this movie. 2) I’ve been busy. I saw this movie last Sunday (i.e., 6/3) and then I had a busy few days before leaving on Wednesday night to head to Michigan for a long weekend. I’ve had a glorious time (and I saw Prometheus—review to come), but all my going to baseball games, the zoo, golfing, and dinner parties with amazing friends hasn’t let much time for blogging.
But anyway, here goes: I needed a serious break from Hollywood blockbusters last week. Moonrise Kingdom still hasn’t made its way to Milwaukee, although it did open in Chicago and I seriously considered driving down there to see it before I realized that would be crazy (kinda regret that decision). I had initially planned to see Snow White and the Huntsman, but then I saw that Bernie had finally arrived in town. Perfect, I thought. I welcome a weekend off from explosions and CGI. Still not sure if it was the right decision. I mean, I welcome a more low-key film with actual characters and dialogue that doesn’t rely on action alone for plot advancement, but this movie kinda bored me if I’m being totally honest.
I am starting to worry that going to so many movies will, instead of enriching my life, ultimately send me into a murderous rage. The problem is, at the theater I am required to be in close proximity to other human beings for two hours. And you know what? Other human beings are dickwads. Of course not all of them are, but I’ve become convinced that a large portion of our society is comprised of people who are so ignorant of social norms and the ideals of polite behavior that they are nothing more than dickwads. Wonder why people from other countries hate Americans? Yup. Dickwads. Don’t get me wrong, I love this great nation of ours and the people in it, but Jesus Christ do some people make it hard. A few tips: First, if your child hasn’t matured to the age where you are able to at least partially control its behavior for a few hours, maybe you shouldn’t bring it to a movie, especially one that isn’t rated G. Second, if you are incapable of being cut off from society for the duration of a movie, and must constantly check your phone and send text messages, maybe you shouldn’t go to a movie either. If you are waiting for a call so important you can’t call them back in an hour or two and you must answer the call IN THE THEATER, don’t fucking go to the theater!! Seriously. I know there are bigger problems in the world, but every time your goddamn phone lights up it distracts me from the movie, and I get angry. Don’t make Staci angry. Staci smash.
But anyway, the good news is I liked Battleship a lot more than I expected.