Monday, September 13, 2010

Hanging in There

Man, it's been a busy August! A family trip in the beginning of the month and a hiking trip towards the end sandwiched one of the typically busiest months of the year for me. I haven't actually been watching many movies that I felt like I had a lot to say about- mostly mainstream and family fare. And I'm waaaay behind on your blogs, John and Brandon- I hope you haven't given up on me...
Here's a list since the last time I posted:

The Blind Side (well done, don't understand how it's an Oscar movie)

Surrogates (a one night sci-fi stand- I need my fix. Read the comic, don't worry about the film)

Night at the Museum 2 (utterly illogical and ridiculous, but I laughed my rear end off)

Transformers 2 (Entertaining, great special effects- no disappointments there. Can I lambaste a movie for having a lame-o storyline when I went into it fully expecting it?)

Legion (awesome special effects- I love how horror FX guys are so committed to doing it without CGI as much as possible. It really does make a difference in a film, I think. But the content of this film was deplorable. "You gave God what he asked for; I gave him what he needed." BARF)

Pirate Radio (This doesn't work at all as a linear narrative. Too much feels forced because it tries to fit into that framework. I didn't really like it at all until I watched the deleted scenes and realized how much good material there really is in the film. Curtis should have presented it as a series of episodic snapshots into their lives- more open-ended, day-in-the-life kind of stuff. Otherwise, who cares? It's not even historically accurate, so why even play that aspect of it up at all?)

Extract (I like Mike Judge, I like Bateman, I liked the film. Judge's most thoughtful work to date. and he does it without sacrificing the unique sense of humor he is so well known for. The infidelity stuff made me sad and uncomfortable, but I found myself very forgiving of the characters because they were all so genuine, even lovable.)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (I hated how they messed with the original ending- I mean *really* hated it. So I've been recommending that folks read the first 5 volumes then watch the movie. I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more had I done it that way. Still, until the end, I was fully on board and throroughly enjoyed myself)

Gentlemen Broncos (This film totally doesn't deserve all the bad reviews it got. Hess loves his characters and presents them without guile and affect. We laugh not because we are mocking them but because we know that deep down there's a little of them in us. This film was an unpretentious breath of fresh air. I'm actually really curious if either of you have seen it, J and B, and what you thought of it. I think Hess is onto something really important where characterization is concerned and he doesn't get the credit he deserves for it)

Hogfather (I got this to watch with the family, and while it requires several suspensions of disbelief, it was a lot of fun. I read Pratchett's novel a number of years ago, and figure any adaptation of a book of his has to retain at least some of his trademark humor. The character of Death is really a hoot.)

Julie & Julia (Great film; more heartwarming and entertaining than the real story of Julie Powell... Amy Adams trumps real life every time! Streep is unbelievable as Childs. A lot of people thought it should have been all about Childs, but I thought the "compare and contrast" element of the film was new and very entertaining. I'm not much for the biopic, really, so this gave me some of what Ilike about biopics without having to sit through 2 1/2 hours worth of it.)

Nordwand/North Face (Intense, tragic. Starts slow but finishes furiously. I did a bit of reading of the history afterwards and was impressed at how well the fictional elements were incorporated into the facts if the account. The love story was not overdone at all and added a real human and cinematic element to the narrative. I'm a sucker for mountaineering drama and thought this was on the level of Touching the Void, which may be the best mountaineering drama movie I've seen so far. Highly recommended.

I'll try to catch up soon and post with responses and such. Here's to hoping John hasn't publicly flogged me again.

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