December 30, 2011

Friends With Benefits Review

This past year two movies came out with essentially the same plot. There was Friends With Benefits, and another movie starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. I went with the one starring Mila Kunis. I don't know if that was the right choice or not. I didn't watch the other one, and I probably never will.

I didn't expect much out of Friends With Benefits, and that is probably a good thing.  It didn't do a whole lot other than parade Mila around in her underwear, which I'm not saying is a bad thing.

December 19, 2011

Breaking Bad Season 3, a retrospective

I just finished season 3 of Breaking Bad last night and I think it has solidified itself as one of my favorite television series of all time. I've heard season 4 is even better, so I can't wait to start watching.  It is going to be tough to top season 3. The slow burn of the first few episodes made the last half just that much sweeter. I wasn't a fan of "Fly" when I watched it last week, but it really did fit in with the narrative much better than I initially thought it did.  I should never doubt the writers of Breaking Bad again. It is simply one of the best written shows going today.

At the end of season 2 going into season 3 the tone totally shifted. I wasn't feeling it right at first. The show has always taken on very serious subject matter, but there was a sense of hope that made enjoyable to watch, along with a little humor mixed in. Sure they were making and selling drugs to pay for cancer treatments, but it was all in good fun.  In season 3 it wasn't fun anymore. Things got real.

The cancer inside Walt seemed to be gone, but the cancer of his actions was spreading. Even though he never used his own product, drugs ruined his marriage and tore his family apart... just like so many of his anonymous users. He is so good at what he does he gets the chance to go corporate. He is able to reach a much larger customer base, and become even more disconnected from the damage he is doing.  But by the end of season 3 Walt gets a very personal reminder of chaos he is involved in, and is forced to take action. 

Walt and Jessie had their ups and downs all through the season, and I was not expecting the ending we got. Walt has always been so logical and pragmatic in his decision making. It was strange to see the emotion and depth of the bond he had with Jessie. It might have been guilt driving it to some extent, but I didn't expect him to throw away everything to save his partner.  Walt had been veering from the path of logic for a while, and it culminated in a surprising end to season 3. 

The Breaking Bad we have now it not one I ever invisioned when I watched the pilot. The characters have changed, and the world is more cruel and unforgiving than anything we saw early on. That is hard to imagine when you think about how heartbreaking those first couple episodes were. The show we have now has changed quite a bit, but it is still about cancer.  Now it isn't the cancer in Walt's lungs; it is the cancer of humanity. It is the cancer of greed, selfishness, indulgence, and addiction. I have no clue where the show is going to go from here, but I bet it is going to be good.  

Breaking Bad is one of my favorite television shows of all time. I would have said that about LOST too until the final season. I don't think Breaking Bad can suffer the same failings that LOST did.  LOST was all about bringing things together at the end, which it completely failed at. Breaking Bad isn't dependent on weaving 20 different story lines together. If it ended here I woulnd't feel like I got screwed. 

It is crazy to think there are 13 episodes that the rest of the world has seen that I have no clue about. A ton of what I'm writing here could be stricken completely irrelevent just a couple episodes into season 4. I really have no clue where it is going, and that is why this show is so much fun to watch.   

December 15, 2011

December 13, 2011

The Bottle Episode

This weekend I went on a Breaking Bad season 3 marathon. The last episode I watched was episode 10 entitled "Fly"; one of the most blatant bottle episodes in television history. The concept of a bottle episode was not new to me, but rarely is it so obvious as it was in this case. Usually I only realize in retrospect what was going on. This time I knew it from the very beginning, and I found it very off-putting.

Even though it was technically well made as all episodes of BB are, it might be the worst episode of Breaking Bad I've seen in the series thus far. That is an opionion, not a fact. Some people loved "Fly". I did not.

December 9, 2011

The Office isn't horrible this year!

My enthusiasm for The Office had really cooled off the last couple years. Last year when I heard Steve Carell was leaving I thought it was all over. The only reason I was tuning in each week was to see what stupid stuff Michael Scott would do. Without him I wasn't sure it was going to be worth watching.

The show felt stale. It was spinning its wheels trying to deliver jokes with characters who didn't have any room to move beyond their cliched bubbles. Meredith had to have a alcohol/sex joke every episode. Kevin was the stupid fat guy... etc.  There were still some very good moments over the last couple seasons, but none of it seemed to be going anywhere.  I didn't mind watching, but I didn't care all that much if I missed an episode or two. I didn't care anything about the story, I was just watching and hoping for laughter.

December 3, 2011

Review: Trollhunter

If you have netflix instant you might want to queue up this little Norwegian film. Sure it is subtitled, but don't trick yourself into thinking you are watching some deep artsy film. Trollhunter is a lot of fun. We watch from the perspective of college students who go out in search of an alleged bear poacher. They track down the culprit, but get more than what they bargained for.

The entire time is spent behind the lens of their camera, so it is a found-footage style film. While I did enjoy The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield, the format is not my favorite.  Trollhunter manages to do it in a way that is not nauseating or distracting. They actually use the format to add to the tension and tone of the movie. And that I can get on board with.

November 28, 2011

Maybe 'We Bought A Zoo' isn't gonna totally stink

When I saw the commercial for the film We Bought A Zoo I completely wrote it off, not even realizing it was a Cameron Crowe film. I've really enjoyed what he has offered up in the past.  Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire are both memorable movies that have plenty of re-watchability. Even though Elizabethtown didn't get much love, I thought it was decent and pretty charming.  Maybe We Bought A Zoo was coming too close on the heels of Kevin James's Zookeeper, but for some reason I assumed it was going to be a major stinker.

November 3, 2011

The League on FX

I am a recent fan of The League on FX. I heard about because season one was on Netflix, so I decided to check it out. It was only 6 episodes, but it was great. I loved the style of humor and the interaction between characters.

 By this time season 2 was already over, and I couldn't find any way to watch it. I dvr'd a few reruns on FX, but didn't even see half the season. Not that continuity really matters much in the show, but I saw them totally out of order as well. Season three is a few episodes in, and I am becoming even a bigger fan.

September 19, 2011

Qwikster, your new dvd by mail provider

When you say "Netflix" most people probably think of dvds by mail. Alas, it is no more. Netflix is all about the streaming now. They have spun off the dvd mailing business into a new thing, called Qwikster. I have to believe they came up with the name in a 15 minute meeting.

 They didn't even go to the trouble of procuring the twitter handle that went along with new service. See @Qwikster. Qwikster seems like an afterthought. It seems to have been conceived to almost drive away customers from the old way of doing things. I'm not confident that the service is going to be around for a real long time.

August 31, 2011

My last discs

Tomorrow Netflix prices go up. I had planned on canceling my discs today, but that isn't going to happen. My goal was to finish Breaking Bad season 3 by the end of August, but I didn't even make it all the way through season 2. Things have just been too busy and it is taking us way too long to turn the discs.

September is going to be an extremely busy month and at this rate we aren't going to get through season 3 until mid October. Still, I am going to pay for the discs until we finish that off, then I am done.

August 25, 2011

#137: I Love You Phillip Morris

I Love You Phillip Morris is a couple years old but I sure of heck had never heard of it before a few months ago when a couple critics I respect were singing its praises. It is a pretty small film but it stars Jim Carey and Ewan McGregor as gay lovers.  Sound like a laugh a minute right?

 I'm not totally sure that it is a comedy, or a love story, or a prison escape film, or a true story for that matter.  I went in blind having no clue what to expect and I left a little confused as to what I'd just watched.

August 21, 2011

No more numbers

Back in the day I was waffling about giving a number rating to every movie I watch. I untimely decided to go ahead and assign a score out of 10. The main reason being that grading or scoring films is so prevalent I felt I needed to do the same. The problem is I hate doing it. I can love certain things about a film and hate others. It makes it impossible to boil contrasting feelings down to a single number. I've think I've decided I want to kill the number thing. I don't like that idea that it allows you to directly compare how I've felt about two completely different films that would otherwise be incomparable.

August 20, 2011

#136: Horrible Bosses

A couple weeks ago for my birthday we decided to visit the cinema to see Horrible Bosses. When I saw the trailer for this movie a few months ago I had high hopes. It looked like it could be the best summer comedy of 2011. I enjoyed Bridesmaids a lot, but I didn't find it all that funny. Hangover 2 seemed like it was a flop. I never saw it, but when it comes out on dvd I will form my own opinion. I was holding out hope for   to come out on top.

The plot is pretty ridiculous. Three friends are all having trouble at work and they decide each of their lives would be much better if their bosses were dead. After a little bit of shopping the assassin market they decide to get the job done themselves. Each one would take another's boss so as to not be traced back to the murder. With sheer stupidity and veiled racism they go about blundering through the whole deal obviously making a mess of everything.

August 13, 2011

#135: Rango (8/10)

Every now and then a movie comes along and totally surprises you with its awesomeness. Rango was one of those movies for me. I expected a run of the mill Pixar wannabe animated film. It turned out to be so much more than that. I liked Rango better than most of the Pixar fare from the last few years. It is filled with amazing visuals, interesting looking characters, and plenty of solid action. It was very pleasant surprise that I can't wait to watch again.

I admittedly haven't thought about it too much, but I can't recall another film where the characters, especially the main one, is so ugly. They are ugly in the most beautiful and interesting way possible. Each animal is this film is given so much detail and texture. It seems like a lot of care was given when coming up with the designs for each and every character in this film. They came up with some very detailed and very ugly looking creatures and I loved looking at them. Even the minor characters who didn't get much screen time were designed very well.

August 7, 2011

#134: The Fighter (6/10)

It seem like I always have a backlog of movies to write about and no time to do it.  It has been over 2 weeks since I saw The Fighter, and it is actually tough for me to remember my initial reaction. I definitely liked it a lot more than I thought I would, but I had really low expectations.

When I first saw the preview for it last year it didn't seem like the type of  movie that would appeal to me.  Its run at the Oscars only made me want to see it less.  Despite the positive reviews I hadn't really planned on going out of my way to see it.  Then I noticed it was streaming on Netflix instant, so I gave it a shot.

July 29, 2011

#133: Black Swan (7/10)

I finally got around to seeing Black Swan. It seems like an entire year has passed since this was initially getting hyped. Amazingly I went in completely unspoiled. I knew nothing about the film other than the actors' names and the subject matter. Overall I was really impressed with it. It lived up to most of the praise I'd heard over the past several months.

Even though I really liked the complete film it was uneven for me. I loved 80% of it, and hated the other 20%. I suppose that is the way I am with most films that I really like, but this one felt exaggerated in its unevenness.

July 26, 2011

Awesome movie weekend

I really haven't been watching many movies this year. I've had a new baby, a new job, and little interest in the movies that have come out over the last few months. There were some leftovers from last year that I still hadn't gotten around to. I decided to change that. I started the weekend off with Black Swan on Friday night. I watched Trouble the Water and The Fighter on Saturday. Then on Sunday I saw Rango. I wasn't too impressed with Trouble the Water, but the rest were great.

For some reason I always get a little put off by the movies that get tons of attention during awards time. I still haven't seen The King's Speech, but plan to at some point. Black Swan wasn't a film that excited me all that much, but still I felt like I had to see it. This was the same with The Fighter. I was impressed by both, but for totally different reasons.

July 9, 2011

#132: Devil (5/10)

The Sixth Sense blew my mind. Unbreakable wowed me. Signs disappointed, and The Village down right pissed me off.  I skipped Lady in the Water. I laughed at the scathing reviews of The Happening and frowned when everybody hated The Last Airbender so much.  I had no intention of watching Devil, even though it got middling reviews when it came out last year.  By some miracle we got free HBO and Cinemax for a weekend and Devil was on, so I DVRed it.

I suppose my expectations for Devil were so low that it could only exceed them, so it is a little unfair to say something like "it was better than I thought it would be". However, it was. I have to admit that I very much enjoyed the entire process of watching this movie. It is short and sweet. I'm not saying there isn't any room for improvement; because there is a lot of that, but I'm definitely glad I watched it.

July 4, 2011

The dark of the Internet

I have been on the fence about watching Transformers 3. I didn't particularly like the first film. It was okay, but just kind of meh. The second one had a few cool moments, but overall was horrible. The last half hour seemed to drag on for an eternity. I have never been so excited to get out of the theater. Now the 3rd one comes along, and to make matters worse it is in 3D. I am not a fan of 3D.

I've been free all weekend. I had every opportunity to go see it, but I haven't done it. I guess I am scared that I will have a similar experience to the previous movie. Early in the week lots of people were able to go see press screenings. The early reaction was one of surprising approval. Most probably had extremely low expectations, and this film was able to exceed those. Then the second wave was the backlash from the somewhat positive comments that were being shared. It seemed as though some people on the internet have a deep seeded hatred for Michael Bay and the Transformers franchise. I've read several things lately (not all related to TF3) that reminds me some people think the internet gives them the right to be an asshole. I hope I never come across like that. I do write a blog in order to share my opinion about film, so it is already clear that I am full of shit.

June 20, 2011

#131: Super 8 (6/10)

Maybe I pay too much attention to film news, but I feel like I heard about Super 8 coming out a full year ago, and it was one of the most anticipated movies for me this summer. I didn't know anything about it, and I had no reason to be excited about it. I suppose I bought into the hype. Now I have seen it, and the result has been to plunge me deeper into my abyss of film despair. I wanted so badly to be blown away by this film. I was too young to experience the magic of the Amblin films back in the 80's. Super 8 was my chance to have a little piece of that.

The beginning of Super 8 was pretty great. The first shot specifically was wonderful. As we meet the main characters I felt like the groundwork was being laid for a super enjoyable movie going experience. There was a simplicity; almost a familiarity in how it was set up. As we built up to train depot scene everything was still on track. Unfortunately it peaked right there, and much like the chaos that took place in that scene, the movie went off the rails and never managed to get back on. Of course I didn't know that at the time. I was always rooting for it to pull everything together in time for a magical ending. That didn't happen. I left the theater scratching my head.

June 14, 2011

#130: Trick r Treat (6/10)

I watched this movie on Netflix instant in broad daylight about as far away from Halloween as you can get.  I'm guessing that was not the intended setting, but it might have been the only way for me to partake.  I've never been a fan of scary/horror/blood/guts... though I do I love an intense thriller.  I guess there is a fine line, which makes it difficult to know which movies are suitable for watching with the lights out.  As a child the supernatural always scared me more.  If we found out the murderer was a mere mortal I was mostly okay with it because he/she/it could be killed. If it were a phantom/ghost/Freddy Krueger I was freaked-the-shit-out.

June 11, 2011

Neglected movie blog

Yep. I'm once again writing about how I haven't been keeping up with this blog like I wanted to. Interesting reading ehh? I honestly haven't been watching many movies at all. What I have been watching hasn't gotten me excited. It seems like more often than not I hit a slump and I need something to break me out of it. Bridesmaids was good, but I liked it in spite of a lot of things. The more I thought about it the more criticisms I came up with.

This weekend was supposed to be that weekend to break out of the slump. Super 8 was coming out. I'm not sure why I was so excited to see Super 8. The first teaser trailer looked kinda cool, but the extended trailer that came out a few months ago totally killed my anticipation for the film. It looked nothing like I had initially expected. But all the hype that has been building over the last few weeks reignited my desire to get out to the theater and see what JJ had to offer. There was only positive buzz and it looked to be setting up as an amazing film.

May 21, 2011

#129: Bridesmaids (7/10)

I don't like to read reviews before I write my own, but this time I did. After seeing Bridesmaids I wasn't blown away by it... at least not as much as all the hype that I'd heard about it from the public and critics alike. I had to check them out and see what everybody liked so much about it. I started with the staples... Ebert and Armond White. Everybody should read Ebert's review just to enjoy the awkwardness (fyi I am reviewing reviews right now... meta!). I read a few other reviews and I came up with a consensus of why everybody liked it... because it proves women actually can be funny and that is such a refreshing surprise from their usual bitching and moaning.

May 11, 2011

#128: Wet Hot American Summer (5/10)

Back in high school, especially the last couple years of it, I didn't watch all that many movies. I felt like I did, but other than going out on dates from time to time I really didn't. Even in college I didn't see that many. Later on I started watching more, but for the first couple years I watched almost nothing. This means I have a gap from 1998 to 2003 where I saw very few movies (by comparison to what I see these days anyway). I missed out on a lot. I've been trying to go back and fill in the gaps. The good part is that I can pretty easily filter out all the crap movies that came out during that time and focus on the good ones. One that I'd been meaning to catch up with forever finally came to Netflix instant... Wet Hot American Summer.

May 8, 2011

#127: Before Sunset (7/10)

Last week I treated myself to a couple of talkies... ones about love you see.  You should have already read my thoughts on Before Sunrise.  I couldn't wait to sit down to see what became of my two favorite jabber mouths. Most people who watched the original film in 1995 had to wait 9 whole years to know if they met in December on that train platform. I cheated the system and only waited mere hours before learning what happened to the young lovers.  I'm not sure if Before Sunset was better or worse because of that.

Celine and Jesse meet again, this time in Paris. Just as before... they walk and they talk. We resume our role as voyeur, taking in their conversational musings on life and love. Just as before there is a pretentiousness that makes each of them unlikable in their own special way. Now they don't have the naivety of youth to use as an excuse.  I am nearly 29 years old. I am much closer in age to the Celine and Jesse in this second film.  Yet, I felt much more connected to the younger versions. There is probably some meaning in that... I should think about that more at a later date.

April 30, 2011

#126: Before Sunrise (6/10)

I'm still way behind on my movie watching, but I did manage to catch up with a 1995 Richard Linklater film known as Before Sunrise. I'd really never hear of it back in the day, but I was pretty young when it came out. The film was referenced a couple times on the Filmspotting podcast, so when I saw it on Netflix instant I decided to check it out. I had no clue what it was going to be like, but I was actually pleasantly surprised.

Before Sunrise is about an American traveling in Europe. He meets a French girl on the train and they decide to spend the day together until they will be forced to part ways. It is amazing that almost nothing happens in this film. They don't really do anything. However, they do talk a lot. Almost the entire movie is one conversation after another between the two characters. This type of "talkie" film doesn't appeal to everyone. If I'd watched it maybe 8 years ago I would have hated it. When I realized what it was, I probably would have turned it off.

April 25, 2011

#125: Hot Tub Time Machine (5/10)

Sorry for the lack of posts, but I really haven't been watching many movies lately. The problem with Netflix instant is that I start watching lots of movies, but if I'm not interested I can easily turn it off and never finish it. I've been doing that quite a bit lately, and I just haven't had much time to watch movies. Maybe I should start posting about TV.

This week one of the movies I started watching was Love And Other Drugs. I've had it on dvd from Netflix for a couple weeks and I wanted to get it sent back so I forced myself to start it up. Right at first I thought it could be promising, but that hope quickly faded. It was horrible. The interactions between the main characters were so awkward. The brother was supposed to be there for some comic relief, but he wasn't even close to being funny. I made it about 50 minutes in, but when I saw there was another full hour left I decided to bail on it. It is a total piece of crap movie.

April 10, 2011

#124: Burlesque (3/10)

I have become fairly pretentious about the films I watch, and Burlesque wasn't even considered to be worth my time. I am almost ashamed to admit I watched it. Even more so, I didn't hate it. Don't get me wrong, it is corny beyond belief, and cannot be taken seriously. Still... it has some entertainment value. It does feature Kristen Bell dancing around in her underwear, so that cannot be all bad... right?

I hadn't seen the great 2000 film Coyote Ugly since it first came out on dvd. I cannot speak to its quality, it has been so long. Burlesque felt like a straight remake of that film, with a slightly different setting, and a much less engaging protagonist... and overall much worse acting. Back when I saw Coyote Ugly I actually bought what was going on.  Burlesque felt more like a spoof of an actual movie.  Kristen Bell and Stanley Tucci did an admirable job making their performances feel genuine, everybody else was ridiculous.

March 27, 2011

#123: Batman: Under The Red Hood

Of all the cartoons I used to watch as a kid, Batman: The Animated Series was always one of my favorites. I loved the style of animation and in general Batman is just awesome. He is my favorite super hero by far. Despite the awesomeness of the Christopher Nolan films, the animated series will always be my favorite Batman franchise. When I saw Under The Red Hood on Netflix instant I was super excited. Based on my nostalgia there was little chance I would dislike it. It did not disappoint.

I remember getting off the school bus, coming in the house and turning the tv on. I'd watch Batman, then spend the next hour playing with my action figures and Batmobile. It was the sweet looking Batmobile from the animated series and one of my all-time favorite toys. Unlike most most cartoons, Batman could get dark and almost scary to a little kid. It was violent and funny at the same time. Under The Red Hood brings that same grittiness combined with levity. I was surprised by the brutal violence in the opening scene. It was probably never that severe in the television show, and it was a bit jarring to see at first. It wasn't quite the same as I remembered it as a kid, it was almost better.

March 20, 2011

The Low Point Of My Film Year

Every year around this time my film watching hits a pretty substantial lull. The weather is starting to get nice, so I am spending less and less time indoors. College basketball season it reaching its pinnacle, so the time I do spend in front of the tv is mostly spent watching sports. During the week American Idol is wasting three hours of my idle time. I have also been reading a lot more lately. I haven't seen a film in over 2 weeks. I tried to watch The American last night, but ended up turning it off about 30 minutes in.

Not only do I tend to stop watching film around this time each year, but I also seem to stop caring about all the film news and rumors. I still make sure and listen to the weekly Filmspotting and /Film podcasts, but other than that I don't spend a lot of time keeping up with all the stuff that's going on. Everybody is starting to talk about the summer movies, and I tend to disengage. It seems like a bad time to try keeping up with a film blog.

March 10, 2011

#122: Dogtooth (7/10)

Dogtooth is a film that most casual movie watchers will not be able to stand. Even though I really enjoyed it, it is almost impossible to recommend. It is probably the first Greek film I've ever seen. It is shot in an art-house style reminiscent of Michael Haneke. There is lot of odd focusing and framing that will likely turn people off.  It is slow paced with almost no plot.  The characters speak with an unemotional, almost robotic style. It is entirely in a foreign language making it even more difficult to connect with the film.  It would seem to have a lot working against it, but it still resonated with me. More than any other film I have watched in the last several months, Dogtooth prompted me to seek out reviews, and demanded that I think about it further.  While it might not be the easiest film to watch, Dogtooth is one that will probably stick with you for a while.

February 28, 2011

#121: Let Me In (7/10)

Let The Right One In is a 2008 Swedish film that I quite liked. You can read my post here.  Let Me In is the American remake. They both have the exact same plot... a girl befriends an outcast young boy... she is actually a vampire... young love blossoms.  Both films have a fairly deliberate pace and a distinct tone, which is also very similar between the two. This is basically a straight-up exact remake, but I didn't have a problem with that. It is a very good story that I was looking forward to seeing retold.

A lot of critics cast hate on Let Me In before they ever saw it saying there was no reason for its existence. I understand their point as Let The Right One In is a very good film that was very recently released.  However, nobody is holding a gun to their head forcing them to see Let Me In.

February 27, 2011

The Day The Movies Died

I'm not one that buys into the comic book or super-hero nostalgia that is being sold these days at the multiplexes.  I wasn't even that big a fan of the "best comic book movie of all time"... aka The Dark Knight.  It is frustrating to see all the money in Hollywood get poured into these franchises.  For the most part I agree with Mark Harris from GQ Magazine. I might say that his piece "The Day The Movies Died" is a tad on the doom and gloom side, but he makes a lot a valid points.  If you haven't read it yet, make sure to check it out....

February 21, 2011

The Social Network: Additional Thoughts

I re-read my post on The Social Network and I realize that I didn't say a whole lot about the actual movie.  Here are a few thoughts....

~The beginning scene bothered me. It is okay, but the extremely fast talking almost seems silly.  The main question is how a guy like Mark Zuckerberg ever started dating a girl like that in the first place.  I wondered how in the world he could have ever been charming enough to land that chick. How did they meet? How long had he even been dating her?

February 19, 2011

#120: The Social Network (9/10)

In the spring of 2004 I sat in a Purdue University computer lab and set up a Facebook account. I had no clue at the time I was getting in on somewhat of the ground floor of a site that would change how we interact on the internet for years to come. I had no idea about the who, how, or why this site was created. I remained willingly ignorant of those facts right up to the time I started The Social Network.  Sure I knew the name of Mark Zuckerberg, but I had no clue who he really was or what part he played in the creation of the site. Now I've watched The Social Network twice. I'm still not sure how much I really know about the facts behind the creation of Facebook, but damn, what a story.

February 12, 2011

#119: Buried (6/10)

I don't like small spaces. I don't consider myself full-on claustrophobic, but I've never had a psychological analysis.  At the beginning of Buried there were a few moments where I didn't know if I was going to be able to continue watching.  Seeing a guy stuck in a casket was bad enough. Thinking about the earth weighing down on top of him as he pushed up on the lid was almost too much to take.  I was able to make it through, and I am glad  I did.

From beginning to end Buried takes place in the small, confined space of a wooden box.  It is so small that our protagonist can barely move. It is completely dark. There are no flash-backs or cut-aways to stuff going on in the outside world.  It doesn't sound like the most compelling setting for a thrilling movie.  It is most definitely an experiment in film making. I thought the experiment worked well. It offered a lot of excitement considering the situation.

February 6, 2011

#118: Cyrus (6/10)

I'm finally able to get things back on track with posting to this blog. I've been watching a lot of really good movies lately, and I am way behind on writing about any of them. That is what happens when you have a baby I guess. We've been snowed in around here all week, so I will try to take advantage of that by catching up on a few posts.

When I initially heard about Cyrus it immediately went on my list of "most anticipated". I really enjoyed the other films by the Duplass brothers (Humpday & The Puffy Chair). Cyrus would be the first one with a more well-known cast. I really didn't care that the cast was more well-known, but I did care that it was Jonah Hill and John C. Riley. I really enjoy both of them as comedic actors. I thought they would be great together.  With the solid story from the Duplasses I really had high expectations for this movie.

January 30, 2011

#117: Winters Bone(4/10)

It's been a couple weeks since I posted anything. I took some "time off" as we welcomed our baby girl. I had planned to write a few posts ahead of time and space them out, but that didn't happen, mostly because I hadn't seen enough movies lately that I wanted to write about. Even though I haven't been writing the last couple weeks, I have taken the time to see a few films. I decided to try Redbox for the first time so that I could see The Social Network. Alas, they didn't have it on bluray, so I went with another one I really wanted to check out... Winter's Bone.

If you haven't heard of Winter's Bone... It is the story of a 17 year old girl who has to track down her father in order to keep their house, as he has put it up for his bail. It is set in the Ozarks of southern Missouri, not too far from where I sit right now. This film has received tons of critical praise, especially for the lead performance by Jennifer Lawrence. A lot of critics found a spot for Winter's Bone on their top ten of 2010, which made me want to see it even more.

January 14, 2011

#116: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (6/10)

What happens when a video game and a film love each other very much? They make a baby, and that baby is Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.  This movie is visually interesting and the detail of the auditory queues are impressive.  There is a lot to love about it, as long as you are up to speed on all your geek culture references. I found it humorous, but down the stretch my interest started to wane.  The movie's driving force is a romance, but it lacked emotional stakes. Director Edgar Wright succeeded at keeping my eyeballs happy, but left my heart out in the cold Toronto winter.

January 10, 2011

#115: Im Still Here (6/10)

2010 was a year where movies blurred the line between fact and fiction.  There were films like Shutter Island and Inception where the difference between the real and the contrived was very difficult to identify.There was The Social Network, that presented a highly fictionalized version of a true story. 2010 also had three psuedo-documentaries that presented themselves as 100% fact. One has come out definitely as a ruse, the other two still claim to be real, but there is a lot of debate as to whether that is the case.  These three films are of course; I'm Still Here, Exit Through The Gift Shop, and Catfish.  I'm Still Here is the only one that is admittedly a fake. Strangely it felt the most real of the three as I was watching it. I expected a tongue-in-cheek look at an actor's life spiraling out of control. Instead I got a very somber tale of depression and loss of identity.

January 3, 2011

#114: True Grit (9/10)

Sometimes you just watch a movie and there isn't anything in particular you like about it other than the fact that it is a damn good film. True Grit is all that and a bag of cornbread.  As I sat there watching young Mattie force her horse into the river to catch up with Cogburn I could just feel it. This  is a great movie. I don't care what happens from here until the end, my eye balls are going to love every minute of it.

The Coen brothers like to make movies in which something is a little bit off. They love to play with expectation; subvert the commonplace.  Going into True Grit I expected the Coen flair. And what did they give me but a straight up western. An amazing, wonderful, tangible feeling of being in the old west.  I liked 3:10 To Yuma really well, but this might be the best western I've seen since Tombstone.  I can't say enough about the quality of the casting, the authenticity of the setting, and the perfection of the dialog.  It was so enjoyable to watch, and totally worth going to the theater to see. If you haven't seen it yet, go out and do so asap.

January 1, 2011

2010 Stats

Back in 2005 I did a summer semester in college. Nobody was around and I had the Blockbuster pass to watch as many movies as I wanted. I was burning through dvds like you wouldn't believe. I decided to start keeping track. Since then I have documented the title, date, and some other random info for each and every movie I watch. Here are my stats for 2010.

I watched 124 movies in 2010.
63 dvds from Netflix
49 streamed on Netflix Instant
6 in the theater
6 (other)