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Recently watched movies and TV

February 5, 2010

Hard Candy (2005)

Crazy movie where a young girl (Ellen Page) tortures a pedofile who tried to get into her pants.  I thought it was entertaining but it would be easy to skip this movie for sanity’s sake.  Good thing I lost mine a long time ago.  The director also did 30 Days of Night which was eh and is doing the third Twilight movie.

Altered States (1980)

This is one of my favorite movies of all time.  Directed by Ken Russell, the movie is about a Harvard scientist (William Hurt) who experiments on himself using psychotropic drugs and an isolation chamber to experience a different level of conciousness, and instead plays with evolutionary regression.  Its not your average trippy film.  It is smart and tries to take itself seriously (not too much though).  I would jump through many hoops to find more films that make me feel the way I do everytime I finish watching this movie.

Bad Lieutenant:  Port of Call (2009)

Nicolas Cage is quite good in this.  I still think I would rather watch the original.  Port of Call is a more accessable story but the shock scenes and the extent of  “Bad” is not nearly as jarring.  Oh, and Werner Herzog (director) is a weird dude, but I guess I already knew that.

The Cove (2009)

Strong documentary that deserves to be nominated for an Oscar this year.  23,000 dolphins killed from September to February every year in a small Japanese town well known as a Sea World-esque attraction.  The guy who trained Flipper realized his mistake in making dolphins “show animals” soon after the TV show got big and has spent the rest of his life freeing every single one he can find in captivity.  The Japanese fishermen use the meat in food despite high mercury counts.  This is all sorts of fucked up and deserves as much attention as possible.  Oh, and screw the IWC.

An Education (2009)

Excellently directed, acted, plotted story of a late teenager in the British 60’s who is planning on Oxford but finds life too bland to pass up a relationship with charming yet sketchy man twice her age.  I can totally relate to this.

In the Loop (2009)

England and the US want a war and many officials on both sides square off to do what they can to stop or supports the wishes of their leaders.  It is shot without a soundtrack and sets up kind of like an Office episode with its awkward relationships and film making style.  The best part of this movie is the acting as the story is not very strong and probably should have stayed as a British TV show as it has been for years (The Thick of It).  Well, lets say the story isn’t strong, but the writing is. It’s funny and worth it if you like the actors, but not amazing.

Invictus (2009)

The movie was decent if you want a really specifically timed biopic on Nelson Mandela during the Rugby World Cup.  If you were looking for a sports movie about an amazing story with charismatic larger than life characters, then you were disappointed.

Nine (2009)

A bit of an unconventional movie in a very conventional box.  This movie was billed like Chicago, but was way more abstract in every way.  The acting is decent.  Fergie had the best song, which isn’t a put down. Daniel Day Lewis is good but not great mainly because he seems to get so lost in the character’s emotions that I just wanted the plot to move forward and get on with the climax.  Eh.

The Blind Side (2009)

Not as surprised as many others with how good the movie is.  It is good.  But it is not mind blowing.  It is pretty straight forward as far as movies go, though it should be highly rated in the sports related but not a sports movie genre.  Sandra Bullock is good, I was entertained, but the football scenes were distractingly bad.

Avatar (2009)

Dances with Wolves had a better story and was less predictable.  Avatar had the best visuals of any movie I have ever seen, but I think it doesn’t make up for such a crappy rehashed story.  Alien Pocahontas was entertaining, and I don’t think I want to see it again.

Up in The Air (2009)

I liked it but I don’t think it deserves to be praised as much as it is.  The plot and acting are good but the movie isn’t great the whole way through.  It seems to get off track in the last quarter.  I didn’t learn anything even though I was supposed to.  I didn’t get more indie-fied, even though I was supposed to. But,  it was a believable and interesting story that is a nice indie film but is only a major box office success because of the names associated.  I hope the director, Jason Reitman, keeps improving though

Open Water– (2003)

Didn’t know what to expect.  I liked it.  It is original.  My nerves seem to relate to the terror.  It came close to being the second of my fears after being trapped in a burning building. It definitely should be added to the “This Could Happen” short list of horror movies.

Crimes of Passion (1984)

Another Ken Russell film (Altered States), this time starring Kathleen Turner as a office worker by day turned night walking hooker with a hole in her soul.  She meets a crazy “priest” bent on destruction/salvation and a recently separated customer/savior who is on and off her side.  Well shot movie, with purposeful over the top acting.  Reminded me a bit of Tommy without the singing.  Good movie.

500 Days of Summer (2009)

Indie (ok),  Joseph Gordon Levitt (Still somehow underrated),  Dancebreak (sweet).  Very well done movie about a very overdone subject; love, relationships, and timing.  Not #227 of all time as IMDB has it but a quality film.  People were calling it misogynistic but that is because ambivalently strong female characters with emotionally wrought love struck men is offensive to some.

A Christmas Carol (2009)

Lame,altering, faulty, flabby, flimsyinadequate,ineffectiveinefficientinsufficientpoorthin, unconvincing, unpersuasive, unpleasing,unsatisfactoryunsuitable

Kicking and Screaming (1995)

Noah Baumbach, who made Squid and the Whale, which I liked, has worked with Wes Anderson, who I like a lot, made this movie.  I think it was one of his first films.  Take everything you like about their movies but leave all the pretentiousness.  Make sure Baumbach is doing it purposefully  and shoving it in your face, then wait for the battle of this movie sucks verses liking the director a lot.

Sons of Anarchy (Season 1 and 2) (2008- )

Fucking love this show.  Badass.  Sopranos meets the Shield.  Sopranos for the dark take on family and the Shield for the content.

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Good action scenes, though I don’t remember Sherlock having many of them.  Downey and Law are great together, the story is good, the villain is great.  Can’t wait for the sequel.  Guy Ritchie slightly redeems for a bunch of shitty movies.

It’s always sunny in philadelphia (2005- )

Best comedy show.  <— That is a period. <— so is that

House (Seasons 5 and now up to date) (2004- )

I had already watched everything prior and while some people put down this show, I like it as much as when I started.  The reason is that it started as an interesting serial drama, lulled in the middle as the same serial drama, and now has less serial and is a lot more involved with the characters and a little less with the cases.  All the characters a great, their stories are great.  It is a comedic drama with an always interesting setting.  Enjoy.

Glee (2009)

Guilty pleasure due to a history of enjoyment related singing.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Gayle permalink
    February 8, 2010 6:02 pm

    yikes – you’ve been busy! where did you get all these????….great reviews

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