True Grit –Okay, so this movie IS very good. But I’m feeling a little down on it because I expected it to be mind blowing. That’s not fair, of course. But I loved no country for old men so much, I expected this to be the baddestass western I ever did see. Instead it was a pretty cool western. It’s very funny, the girl does a remarkable job, jeff bridges is great and presumably makes up for tron legacy (haven’t seen it, just heard meh things). The world looks very good, it’s all very well done. But for me, for some reason, there was a spark missing. Sad to say, because it’s not a bad movie at all. But it’s not my movie of the year (I’m not sure what was, I have to go look over the year). But don’t not see it! It is great!
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – Hmm…. Well, it’s pretty good. I think it’s probably as good as it could have been. I’m not at all surprised that it didn’t make money, and the fact that nerds even tried to convince people to go is really silly. It’s so so so nerdy. From the opening 8bit logo on, it’s firmly rooted in all that culture that the comic had. Pretty much 50% video games and 50% anime. I’m not really into anime, so that doesn’t strike me, but it is fun to see two fighters running at each other with fast-moving-lines-background (is there a word for that?). Michael Cera is, and I swear to god this is the last time I say this, forgiven for being Michael Cera in that it obviously fits perfectly. Everyone else is good, Ramona’s hair looks like a wig, but she’s pretty spot on. All the characters, really, fit. I did read most of the comics, btw. I read up till what was out when I discovered it, a couple years ago. I think there’s a volume or two since then that I never saw (hence never saw the ending). I did enjoy the books, but I guess not enough to seek them out aggressively. Now that I’ve seen the rest of the story, I don’t know that I need to. I’m not sure if you could do this heavily fantasized video gamey world any better. But I’m also not sure that that’s the best thing to watch. It’s kind of overwhelming, almost annoying after a while. Michael Cera plays the part perfect, but Scott Pilgrim is kind of an annoying guy at times. I don’t know, maybe there should have been more nerdy elements than just video games or anime? Not sure, I can’t really say anything specifically I didn’t like, but I did feel like it was a bit much. Probably not an appreciated criticism to most nerds, but that’s how it sat. Still a very fun very charming movie, though.
Toy Story 3 – This movie is pretty much as cute as you would expect. Well, that’s not true, it’s cuter, because I would expect a third movie to be pretty bad. I never saw Shrek 3, I have no need to see 4. So it’s better than that. Most of the movie is really just a fun adventure. Nothing amazing there, truth be told, same fun characters doing fun things. Feels a little like the 2nd one, actually, with the “bad” toy group. But the end is very very touching. It’s a silly thing, how do toys deal with their kid growing up, obviously not a real life problem. Nonetheless, it’s a tear jerker, it’s very sweet.
Robin Hood – God damn, what a disappointment! I didn’t expect to like this movie, but the first hour, maybe 90 minutes, were amazing. Crowe, despite being the same old gloomy guy he always is, is a really good robin hood. His band of dudes was actually awesome. Friar tuck was a little meh, but Marian was great. The world looks fantastic – I hate to use “gritty” since that was their whole stupid shtick for this reboot, but it does have that feel. So for the whole first half, thinking it was the build up to the real robin hood story, I was totally in. I kept saying aloud how impressed I was. Then… it went off the rails. I guess this could be considered spoilers, I’m not sure if what I didn’t know is not known by everyone, or if I just didn’t watch previews as I tend to not watch previews anymore. But, it could be spoilers, so be warned. So… this isn’t a robin hood movie. This is… a prequel? I guess? Robin comes back from the war, his gang is actually fellow soldiers, but that’s fine. But then…. nothing happens. Some stupid ass war with France, a new bad guy who is honestly just comically evil. Who the fuck kills priests just to kill priests? So instead of seeing this great iteration of robin hood in this great world, robbing from the rich like he ought to, we see a boring 30 second war on a beach with some french dudes, and that’s it. Movie over. John returns to being a dickhead, labels robin a criminal (“the hood”), movie over. Stay tuned to every other thing you’ve ever seen for the actual story. What an effing disappointment. They totally sold me on the characters (although marian turning into a helpless damsel with 5 minutes to go really pissed me off) and the world, and then forget to actually tell the story. I get, I guess, how telling the prequel is a clever idea in theory. But it isn’t, in real life, it’s just dumb.
Grownups – Holy shit what a horrible movie. What the hell are any of these people doing in this movie? I assumed it was just an excuse for them all to hang out, but christ those apatow people do that to and they at least cobble together some semblance of not shit. There are some funny jokes, but only when they are pissing on each other. The insults are actually pretty funny throughout. But every other aspect of the movie is painful.
Cirque de Freak – jeez, crappy crappy. Based on a young adult book, I assume. Not interesting. Not well acted, not well written, no interesting visuals, not a compelling universe. No, not just uninteresting, super crap. Pink fog lighting? high school quality wolfman costume? Some of this was legitimately bad. What a waste of John C Reilly.
The Cove – Um, wow. This is a documentary about the dolphin “trade” in Tai Ji, Japan. Basically, every year fishermen capture a bunch to be show dolphins, and kill many many more for meat. It’s a surprisingly dramatic documentary in that it shows their attempt to sneak camera equipment into this secluded cove where they do the killing. Though legal, it seems the japanese (fishermen and government) would rather people not see what they do, they go to great lengths to prevent recordings. So it’s kind of some james bond shit to get cameras in there. Pretty exciting. The truth of the situation is horrifying though. The movie will mostly just upset you. Meat eaters will want to stop eating meat, vegetarians will want to go vegan, vegans will want to go become an activist, activists will want to become terrorists. The slaughter is pretty hard to watch. But it is a very good movie, it shows something I never knew existed, and I’m sure most people don’t. Everyone should see it, even though I apologize ahead of time for it.
The Yes Men Fix the World – Here’s another protest movie. This guys, the Yes Men, have made a career (I guess?) of pulling hoaxes. They were the guys behind the fake New York Times a few years ago. The one from the future that had all the good news we wanted to see (end of iraq war, free healthcare, etc etc). That was the only of their hoaxes I had heard of. They set up fake public relations firms for big companies, then go around acting in their name. They went on TV and claimed Exxon was paying some billions of dollars to a town in India that was poisoned by some factory pollution. They go to industry conferences and promote ridiculously callous money-at-all-costs ideas and see how much people will agree to (sneak preview: a lot). It’s amusing, it’s sad. It’s kind of annoying too. But it’s done with good intentions, and it’s interesting to watch.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers – Huh. So, that’s an old timey westernish musical, huh? Interesting. Not really for me. Silly acting, silly look. Kind of awful story (abduct your woman, she’ll love you eventually!). The songs are decent, nothing amazing. The dance sequence in the middle is pretty awesome though. Just another musical, one I didn’t particularly love.
The Outsiders – We saw this one because we saw a high school play version of it recently. It’s… not really that great. It’s about some town where there’s two groups of kids that fight a lot, gang like, but it must be set a few decades ago, feels 60s-ish, so it’s not like machine guns or anything. Then some stuff happens, a little romeo/juliet, a little heroism, a little unfortunate death, movie over. It’s got an odd amount of people in it – Patrick Swayze, the karate kid kid, tom cruise, emilio estevez, matt dillon. But they don’t act all that well, Swayze is maybe ok, the rest kind of crappy. And that’s pretty much it.
Days of Thunder – So I’d never seen this. Not really that much to say, this much later. It’s a good race car movie. It’s amazing how much Ricky Bobby copied it (including using John C Reilly!) It’s pretty formulaic, hot shot driver, learns to be humble, comes back and wins the big race. Bet on the little guy. Corporations suck. The wise old mentor is always right. Etc etc. Good ole race car movie.
The Sting – Pretty cool old movie! Not that old, I guess, but old enough for robert redford to look like a kid. It’s in the 30s, I think, some scam artists decided to take down (i.e. take his money) this guy that killed their friend. It’s pretty fun, fun characters, a fun little scam. I kind of saw the big twists coming. It’s possible I’ve seen this movie before and so I cheated. Or maybe it was just obvious to me, I don’t know. I’m not really a figure-it-out kind of guy. I’m not all that great at it anyway, but I’d rather just watch the movie than fret trying to find the secret. But this one seemed like the obvious way to go, I don’t know. Anyway, fun movie.
Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story – Not really sure I should even put this one on here. It’s kind of a throwaway documentary that you’d only remotely consider watching if you really like Eddie Izzard, which I do. Even still, it’s only moderately interesting. Didn’t realize he got such shit from the press and public for repeating jokes. Have people been paying attention? Every fucking comic on the planet does that. I think most people don’t follow comedy, so have no idea. But comics work these things for years and then stick with what works for years more. It’s annoying, it sucks to go to a show (not that I’ve gone to many) and hear jokes you saw on TV. But it is standard, so why Izzard got railed for it, I don’t know. Nonetheless, the fact that he had this little spat with the world and quit comedy for a while and then came back was interesting. Of course, he came back and did Sexie, by far my least favorite thing he ever did, so maybe the world broke him, I don’t know.
The Crazies – I’m only putting this here for record keeping. I apparently saw it in december, netflix tells me. I don’t remember much about it. But I did rate it 2 stars, so it’s pretty shitty, but not the worst thing I’ve ever seen. I mean, it’s not Grownups.