Monday, December 29, 2008


So what is this one about?
Netflix tells us,
In a Catholic elementary school in the Bronx, Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep) begins to have doubts about one of the priests, Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who seems to have become overly involved in the life of a young African American pupil. But Flynn isn't the only one she has doubts about. Is she overreacting to the situation or is there a truth that needs to be discovered? John Patrick Shanley's drama was nominated for five Golden Globes.
I think they do a better job of describing this movie than even the movie described itself in the previews!

And how much did I pay to watch?
Even though my mom and I had to truck it into DC to see this bad boy at the good ol' E Street Cinema, she paid. But, I do seem to remember that I was surprised by the fact that the movie was cheaper than I thought. I think it only cost like $7. WOAH! But, like I said, I didn't pay.

And what did I think?
Heavens. Well, first things first, I love Phillip Seymour Hoffman. (Lets just call him PSH)I think he is just faaaaaantastic! But, I Doubt that even Phillip Seymour Hoffman could keep me awake during this one. I also doubt he will win an Oscar...god, more talk of flipping awards? But, that doesn't mean I love him anyless.

I didn't really love Doubt, really at all. In fact, I fell asleep. I'm pretty sure I didn't miss much, and you've got to give me a break...I wake up at 3:30am! I suppose the other actors were good. I mean, he was good, don't get me wrong. I do find Amy Adams endearing even though she seems to play the same role a lot! She was 'the hot girl' in the Office though, so she holds a special place in my heart. Meryl Streep was great as the evil nun. Man, her accent just made her evvvvvvvvvil.

But, I thought the movie was too much like a play. I mean, you can make a play into a movie and it works, but to me, it just seemed like this one didn't. It had that typical "ambiguously moral" ending like plays have that force the audience to think about how they *feel* about the show. And, while I do appreciate the audience critically thinking about what they have seen, I felt that the end of Doubt was not ambigious enough at all to merit any sort of actual thought. It seemed very obvious how the audience was supposed to feel.

They were supposed to hate Meryl Streep because she ruined PSH (ooops, sorry, I just gave it away, except it wasn't much of a spoiler at all...) and she wasn't even sure. What I hated about it was that her "punishment" was feeling bad and doubting herself when she thought she wouldn't. So what does this tell us about society? What are we supposed to take from the film? (and by "we" I mean "I") It tells me that bad people don't always/ever get what they deserve and if you ruin someone's life there is no consequence except maybe you feel "bad", and to me, that was a very depressing realization.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
wasn't horrible, the acting was really good, but other than that I didn't like it that much. I give Doubt a 6.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Reader

You cannot imagine how impossible it is to find a movie poster for this film...
thanks wikipedia, you have the only one on the whole internet!

So what is this one about?
Netflix describes this film as
Michael Berg (Ralph Fiennes) reflects on the formative sexual relationship he had with older woman Hanna Schmitz (Kate Winslet) as a young teenager in this poignant drama (nominated for a Best Picture Golden Globe) set in post-World War II Germany. The passionate affair ended when Hanna disappeared. But years later, Michael learns she's on trial for horrific Nazi war crimes. David Kross plays the teenage Michael in this film based on Bernhard Schlink's best-seller.
And how much did I pay to watch?
Nothing. Because I am a baller who has friends who work at movie theatres and let me and my mom (who is so pumped for these events) in fo free!

And what did I think?
You know, I am always torn. I see a preview for a movie that looks excellent: The Reader, Revolutionary Road (*angels sing*), The Constant Gardener, etc. Then I don't know if I should read the book before I see the movie, or see the movie before I read the book. You pretty much always know that the book will be better. Books are better forms that films. A film maker can put so much less in a film than is in the book...I mean, just look at the Harry Potter films for proof! But, if you see the movie first, it is all new, and can therefore have the punch you in the stomach goodness that you rarely get when you read the book (except, of course, when Dumbledore died in HP6...sorry if you haven't read it!)

Well, I read The Reader before I saw the movie, and I think this one is a good example of the book ruining the movie. Now, don't get me wrong, the movie was good and the book was great... but, when I saw my mom reacting to the plot with absolute shock, I couldn't, because I already knew what was going to happen. Not only that, but I kept thinking in my head that Steve Daldry didn't take advantage of the amazing narration that Bernhard Schlink wrote. It was beautiful.

And there are things in the book that cannot translate to film without seeming contrived. Michael Berg, as the narrator in the book, communicated things to the readers that would have been impossible to show--his memories of Hanna, his confusion about his role in the guilt of the Holocaust (as a German). However, there were things that the film showed that the book couldn't, like how Berg felt once he heard what Hanna had done in the camps. In the book one can only imagine his reaction, but on film he reacted in a way I hadn't imagined. And seeing it in person I realized that his acting of the situation really couldn't have been any other way. It was spot on.

But, film is a different medium than the written word. And, I love film (big surprise), and I love these actors. Man oh man.

I thought it was really funny that the young actors were all Germans but when they were adults they were all British. And David Kross was amazing--as he is in everything--as was Kate Winslet. But, Kate Winslet is amazing in everything too. She is a goddess. She is perfect in everything she is in. But, this isn't supposed to be an entry that is a love letter to Kate Winslet...when I finally see Revolutionary Road, I am sure that entry will be. (God, I cannot wait to see that one!) And, the funny thing is, Kate Winslet was originally asked to play Hanna, but she had to decline because of RR. Then Nicole Kidman was cast, but she had to drop out because she got preggers. Then Kate Winslet could be in The Reader because she was done with RR. God, can you imagine if Nicole Kidman had played the role of Hanna Schmitz? It would have been a fucking disaster! Comparing Nicole Kidman to Kate Winslet is acting like Britney Spears will win an Oscar. (god, more talk of Oscars....ugh) I mean, she isn't that bad, she's been downright delightful in things, but Kate Winslet is amazing.

Anyway, like I said, I think the problem with this movie was that I read the book first. The emotional impact of this film comes from it being a total, knock you off your feet suprise. Don't read the book first. Go see the movie first. Then read the book.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Even though it didn't have a big impact on me, I can tell this movie was good. I am going to give it an 8. I was gonna say a 7, but I will give it an 8, because my sadness of already knowing what was going to happen doesn't say the film wasn't good.

It was. It is going to be a big deal this awards season. Kate Winslet is going to win an Oscar, it will be exciting!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Black Christmas (1974)

So what is this one about?
I didn't even know this movie existed until I read about it on the Toronto livejournal group, here. (Yes friends, there are still people who who use livejournal, hahahaha) Then after learning it took place in Toronto I added it to my netflix queue. The description is,
Terror reigns inside a sorority house a few days before Christmas break as a series of menacing phone calls -- and the discovery of a dead girl's body -- transform yuletide cheer into fear. Margot Kidder, Olivia Hussey and Andrea Martin ("SCTV") co-star as just a few of the petrified sisters at the mercy of an unseen stalker in this 1970s horror gem from director Robert Clark, who told a much happier holiday tale with his 1983 classic, A Christmas Story.
tah freaking dah.

And how much did I pay to watch?
Well, I got it on netflix, and this month I am averaging $2.83/movie. Yikes.

And what did I think?
Oh, Canaduh. I couldn't understand a damn word the killer was saying. I mean, come on! I guess that made it a little scarier when he called on the phone, because I was straining to hear, but all I heard were gurgles, screams, a scary voice, and completely unintelligible words. The film makers did a great job at those phonecalls. For sure.

But, despite not really understanding what was being said on the phone (AND the terribly annoying accent of the main character...apparently she is Argentinian) I am going to tell you, the end of the movie was pretty suspenseful, it made me real uncomfortable...a little scared even. Can you imagine?! A scary horror movie. It also demonstrated the ridiculousity of the Canadian police force in the 1970s. har.

What I don't understand about Canadian movies is this: why do they never admit they were made in Canada? Anyone who knows Toronto can tell that Land of the Dead was filmed in Toronto! Same goes for Hairspray! And Black Christmas, jesus, can you possibly have more actors with Canadian accents and timbers? (I say timber because good lord, in Toronto I heard people who had the exact same voice as others, I am convinced Canadians talk in the same way) So, if it is filmed in Canada, and maybe even at the University of Toronto (holler, alumni!), AND it doesn't mean anything to the story where the movie takes place, with the exception of it taking place in a town with a University, then WHY, WHY, WHY were there American flags in the police station? Why couldn't there have been Canadian flags?! OR, why did there have to be flags in the first place?! They never said what city it took place in, so why couldn't the filmmakers make it as ambiguous as possible? Do Canadian film makers really think that Americans can't relate to a film if it doens't take place in America? I mean, we all liked The Pianist, and Schlindler's List, and Saving Private Ryan, and Dr. Zhivago, and Lost in Translation, and Life is Beautiful (AND THAT ONE WASN'T EVEN IN ENGLISH!!!!!) I don't beleive that Americans are so stupid that they can't relate to a movie that takes place in Canada.

Overall it was pretty good. The new point of view that never showed the killer but allowed the audience to see through his (I assume it was a he) eyes. Apparently, from the extra features, that was very revolutionary at the time. And I suppose it did make me interested to see the remake, since it didn't take place in good ol' T-dot.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
It was sufficient. A little scary, a little stupid, and a little Toronto as a backdrop makes a sufficient movie watching experience for me.

Black Christmas (1974) gets a 6.

Before Sunset

So what is this one about?
What is this one about? This one is about me. It is not really about me, but it strikes a chord so deeply within me that it may as well be.

What it is actually about is this, and because I love this movie so much I will take the long description from wikipedia...

Nine years have passed since the events of Before Sunrise, when Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) had met in Vienna. Since then, Jesse has written a novel, This Time, inspired by his time in Vienna with Celine, and the book has become a minor success, with Jesse doing a book tour. The last stop of the tour across Europe is Paris, and Jesse is doing a reading at the bookstore Shakespeare and Company. As Jesse talks with his audience, flashbacks are seen of him and Celine in Vienna; the memories of their night together have clearly remained with him despite it being nine years later. Celine appears in the audience and sees him and he, in turn, recognizes her. Jesse has a short time before his plane departs, and invites Celine to share it with him.

As they talk, each reveals what has happened since their first meeting. Both are now in their mid thirties. Jesse, now a writer, is married and has a son. Celine has become an advocate for the environment, lived in America for a time, and has a boyfriend, a photojournalist. It becomes clear in the course of their talk, both are dissatisfied to varying degrees with their lives. Jesse reveals that he only stays with his wife out of love for his son. Celine says that she does not see her boyfriend very much because he is so often on assignment.

As they recall their prior meeting in Vienna, they slowly approach the subject of why they did not meet as promised, six months after their first encounter. It turns out that Jesse had returned to Vienna, as promised, but Celine did not, because her grandmother had suddenly died before the scheduled date of the meeting. Because Jesse and Celine had never exchanged addresses, there was no way for them to communicate with each other and to learn what the other was doing, or what had happened.

Their conversation as they traverse Paris places them in various venues, including a café, a garden, a bateau mouche, and Jesse's hired car for his stay in Paris. Their old feelings for each other are slowly rekindled, even with tension and regret over the missed meeting earlier, as they realize that nothing else in their lives has matched their one prior night together in Vienna. Jesse even admits that he wrote the book in the distant hope of meeting Celine again one day.
(then there is more, but the description becomes too romantical and spoilery, so, thats what you get!)

And how much did I pay to watch?
Well, I own this. So, technically I didn't pay anything. Except that when I went to go watch this the dvd was broken and unplayable. So I had to go buy a new copy at good ol' Best Buy, and I think that cost like $14.99 or something. Whatevs.

And what did I think?
God, it is so hard to me to explain what I think about this movie while still keeping what is mine to myself. Lets just say, I can relate to this film...but it isn't why you think. It really isn't. I don't know if anyone would be able to correctly idenitify who, and why I associate so much with this movie.

But beyond my personal idenifitication with the story, I identify with it because this movie epitomizes everything I think is romantic. Sick, but romantic. I've always been very touched, and broken, by love stories that aren't rom com happy endings. Endings like Dark Blue World, that shows that love sometimes can't defeat war, endings like The End of the Affair (or even Forrest Gump) that says love cannot defeat sickness, and endings like Attonement (the book, not the movie) that tell us that sometimes love doesn't promise a happy ending. Sometimes love is just love. It can be fleeting, and intangible, and sometimes it isn't given the time and attention it deserves. Maybe it is because I always thought there was something romantic about loneliness. Or maybe I thought there was something romantic about suffering. I realize as I get older, of course, that suffering and loneliness aren't really romantic, unless it is on a movie that people can watch. In real life people suffer alone, and it is miserable. BUT, that isn't the point.

The point is that the actors in this movie are able to actually communicate what I just said on film. And the pain, and longing, and miserableness they feel actually jumps off the screen. These two actors have such amazing, incredible, unbeatable chemisty that the audience actually feels like they are watching Celine and Jesse pull themselves apart for eachother. Throughout the film there are lumps that well up in my throat because they are so real in their portrayals. It just rips you apart.

Or, it rips me apart. And that is why I love this film.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Like you even needed to ask, this one gets a 10. It is the most cathartic, personal film experience I know. And I have no idea if it translates as such to other people, but I would be very curious to hear from you if you have seen this.

Il y a longtemps que je t'aime (I've loved you for so long)

So what is this one about?
Netflix tells us,
After more than a decade apart, estranged sisters Juliette (Kristin Scott Thomas) and Lea (Elsa Zylberstein) try to rebuild their fractured relationship. But the task is hardly easy, considering Juliette's past. She's been in jail for 15 years -- for killing her own son. As she settles into small-town life with Lea's family, the locals can't help but talk. Philippe Claudel's feature film debut garnered him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
oh ho, it is Oscar season folks, and lets understand that a lot of the movies I will be seeing soon are the big Oscar films of the year. (You know how the filmmakers are, releasing all their big guns at the same time)

And how much did I pay to watch?
Well, my mom paid, because she was dying to see it. So I paid zippo.

And what did I think?
Well, at first I thought I would fall asleep during the show, because I am notorious for falling asleep during films that are subtitled. But, I didn't. I watched the whole thing with rapt attention. Now, you have to believe me because I know it took a sickeningly long time to finally get this review up. But, it was good. Worth all that hype you're going to hear.

I watched the film for almost the entire time trying to dissect what the message of the film was. (In fact, with a lot of films I have been watching lately I have been trying to figure out their messages. I wonder what that means?) It was towards the very end that I figured it out. (Now, I am of course having a hard time remembering, since I waited nearly a month to write this...I'll have to write about other stuff while I try and think about it)

The acting was fantastic. French women are so beautiful. They aren't like American movie stars, but they are so effortlessly beautiful. Especially the actress who played the sister. But, lets face it, Kristen Scott Thomas will get some sort of award nomination for this. First, it is really great that she is a bilingual actress...BILINGUAL! She is great in French. Her portrayal of the just released prisoner was so layered and painful. She was just fabulous. She was self possessed and guarded, and you truly believed that she was the character she was playing. She was so wounded.

I think maybe the point of the film is that it says to not judge people because you can never possibly know what their reasons are for anything. I don't know that this was what I came to when I was watching the movie, but I am old, so I forget. There was this scene where KST told a new employer why she was in jail, and he didn't even listen. He immediately dismissed her, and then at the end we learn why she was actually in jail. And maybe it wasn't less reprehensible, but maybe it was. I guess the point it, what is supposed to help people? Acceptance, and forgiveness. And allowing people to just be who they are.

Or maybe that is just Christmas talking.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
I will give I've Loved You For So Long a 7. It was good, but not especially good. But I bet it will do well this awards season.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

PBS's "Jonestown: The Life and Death of the People's Temple"

So what is this one about?
After watching the MSNBC documentary about Jim Jones and Jonestown I decided I needed to move this movie that was already in my queue to the top. The description of the PBS American Experience documentary (according to them) is,
In Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, award-winning filmmakers Stanley Nelson, Marcia Smith, and Noland Walker reveal the true, tragic story behind enigmatic preacher Jim Jones and his promise of a world of economic and racial equality that ultimately led to the largest mass murder-suicide in history. This new documentary tells the story of the people who joined Peoples Temple, following Jones from Indiana to California and ultimately to their deaths in Guyana in November 1978. Jonestown was an official selection of numerous 2006 film festivals, including Tribeca, Silverdocs, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
And how much did I pay to watch?
Again, I am very lazy. Some fraction of $16.99 ;)

And what did I think?
Well, I didn't like this one as much as the MSNBC one. I thought the PBS one seemed like it was trying very hard to make things seem very nefarious. Now, granted, there was a mass suicide, so it seems unnecessary to make it seem worse, ya know? This documentary focused on the "gritty" and "dirty" details of Jim Jones and the People's Temple, things like forced sex and stuff like that. I just didn't find that to be as engaging.

Now, one thing that was utterly fascinating about watching this PBS documentary and the MSNBC one was how Lord of the Flies it all was. There were all these instances where members of the temple would simply turn on other members. Was there even a reason? Did Jim Jones tell them to? Sometimes. But sometimes he didn't. And it was an amazing demonstration of how humans revert to their natural and cruel state when it is in their interest. As someone who studies the former Soviet Union, oh, I understand this. It is truly incredible to see it happen over and over again in different circumstances.

I think it is probably worth watching a Jonestown documentary just to see that.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Like I already said, this one wasn't as good as the MSNBC one. The same people were used--the survivors, I mean. And since I had already heard their stories they weren't as emotionally affecting. They were still very interesting, but they weren't as affecting. Now, however, the end of this documentary was great. Very poignant and sad.

However, I still give this a 6.

The Tattooist

So what is this one about?
Netflix is tricky. I mean, it is awesome...but tricky.
Because when I read this After swiping an ancient Samoan tattoo tool from a Singapore trade show, American tattoo artist Jake Sawyer (Jason Behr) flies to New Zealand, where he meets up with the lovely Sina (Mia Blake) and discovers the local Samoan culture. But when his stolen tool ends up unleashing an evil avenging spirit, Sina is imperiled, and it's up to Jake to save the day. This New Zealand horror extravaganza features gorgeous scenery of exotic locales.
I thought to myself, yeah, that sounds good.

Well, good job Netflix, for tricking me once again!

And how much did I pay to watch?
Well, I am much too lazy to figure out how much this one cost, but I would imagine it was a lot, since I've watched like 5 discs in a month. Yikes!

And what did I think?
Well, like I already said, Netflix tricked me. I thought, NEW ZEALAND!! Heck yes!! Alas, the accents were unintelligible (beyond what the normal NZ accent is) and the locales were not exotic or beautiful. Grumblies.

I suppose it is my own fault. Reading the description makes the movie sound just so awful! And it was. The story was so daft, and elementary and just plain old dumb. Wanna know the secret? The ink of the tattoos that the main character gave attacked the people and they died. And it was awesome when they died because they bled both blood and ink.

Now, when I watched Tony Bourdain's No Reservations: Malaysia I learned that some of the stuff that was addressed in The Tattooist is accurate because there is some sort of pride and meaning behind tattoos. They aren't all just names of your current boyfriend. I guess maybe if I had been more into tattoos and the art and history behind it maybe this movie would have been better.

But probably not.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
The Tattooist
was awful. I mean, yes, the two main characters weren't hideous to look at, but the story was so incredibly lame.

This one gets a 3.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

John Adams

So what is this one about?
Man, remember the first President? He was so amazing, what, with winning the Revolutionary War, giving up the office after two terms so as to avoid becoming a tyrant, and him never telling a lie. Ah yes, he was the best President ever.

Oh man, and what about the third President? He only wrote the Declaration of Independence and doubled the size of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase. No biggie.

But wait, I've skipped some President who was sandwiched in between those two fine Virginians. Who the heck was it. I hear he was obnoxious and disliked. And short. And grumpy. And from, GASP, Massachusetts. What was his name?!

Oh yeah, John Adams.
Paul Giamatti stars in this sweeping Emmy winner for Best Miniseries that chronicles the astonishing life of founding father John Adams: revolutionary leader, America's first ambassador to England, the first vice president and the second president. The iconic cast of characters includes Abigail Adams (Laura Linney), George Washington (David Morse), Thomas Jefferson (Stephen Dillane), Benjamin Franklin (Tom Wilkinson) and many more.
Right, that was his name. John Adams.

And how much did I pay to watch?
Well, technically I paid nothing, because I got my mom to rent me these dvds at the biggest damn blockbuster I have seen since high school. And she spent nearly $20. But she did it because she felt sorry for me because I couldn't eat or drink because I was having a colonoscopy done the next next day. (I do not recommend that)

And what did I think?
Jeebus, what did I think!?! I thought it was flipping amazing. A.MAZ.ING!!

For everyone who knew me in high school, you will know, and well, still know, that I am incredibly nerdy. My Virginia pride, and love for Colonial Virginia, and Thomas Jefferson are unending. And this miniseries brought to life one of my absolute favorite times in American history.

The portrayal of the times was so realistic, it was really like watching the founding of America unfurl before my very eyes. It was incredible. If I were a US history teacher I would absolutely use this as a teaching resource. (which is easy, thanks to HBO and their available 'teacher's guide' at their website. Ah, HBO, not only is everything you make completely amazing, but you are looking out for the youth of America in their academic pursuits.)

The settings were realistic, and the accents were fabulous. But the single greatest thing about this miniseries--no, it wasn't the masectomy of Sarah Polley, it wasn't the tarring and feathering of a British official, it wasn't the fruity Frenchies when Ben Franklin and J. Adams hopped off to Paris, it wasn't Sam Adams the brewer patriot, and it wasn't Jefferson at Monticello--it was the casting. Yes, the CASTING. It was the single most extraordinary casting job ever. Ever, ever, ever, ever, ever. In the history of tv miniseries. I can say this with no hesitation.

Now, how can I know this, you ask? Seeing as how all we have are drawings of the founding fathers. Well, the answer is, I just know. Also, I have seen 1776 like a million times. But seriously, the casting was amazing. Tom Wilkinson as Ben Franklin was amazing. The guy who played George Washington, amazing. The casting of John Adams, man, I am going to tell you, Adams was a real troll of a man compared to the other F.F.s, but Giamatti hit it spot on. Now, I will take breif issue with the guy who played Alexander Hamilton because, let's be serious, we've all seen the $10 bill and we therefore know that A. Hamilton was a stone cold fox, and that man who played him was full on ugly. (He didn't even have an alibi). And the entire casting of the Philadelphia convention where the DoI was being drafted, well, I could pick those guys out without even hearing their names...that is how good the casting was/how nerdy I am (aka, how many times I have seen 1776). No, the greatest casting was of Thomas Jefferson. Stephen Dillane was the greatest casting ever. He didn't just play Thomas Jefferson, he WAS Thomas Jefferson.

Here is where I will include a youtube video of all the TJ clips that some loooooser put together. You will see that Dillane's portrayal of TJ was amazing. Unless you don't know as much about him as I do, and then you'll just think, um, alright. neat? Well, I will tell you, it IS neat. He completely embodied what TJ was supposed to have been like. And good god. The resemblance is just uncanny. It was really like he was brought back to life. You know, in that non-zombie way.

So anyway, as much as I love to hate on Tom Hanks, and his stupid way of being, "oooooh, look at meeeeee, I'm Tom Hanks! Everything I do it greeeeeeeeeat. Give me and Oscar! Oh wait, I have a million already. My son looks just like me!" I have to admit. John Adams was incredible. In fact, if you have seen me in the past few weeks you know that it is all I want to talk about anymore. So really, just avoid me, because it is incredibly nerdy.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
As if you even needed to ask. John Adams gets a 10.

Friday, November 28, 2008

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 4

So what is this one about?
The laughs continue in the fourth season of this delightfully mean-spirited comedy series. Four friends -- Mac (Rob McElhenney), Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Charlie (Charlie Day) and Dee (Kaitlin Olson) -- run Paddy's, an Irish pub in South Philadelphia. Tackling a host of dicey issues ranging from abortion to mental illness, the series co-stars Danny DeVito as Frank, Charlie's father and the gang's shifty partner in crime.
And how much did I pay to watch?
I didn't pay anything. Some gentlemen I know have been yapping on and on about getting on (that is NBC's video site, as an fyi, if you didn't know) because all of It's Always Sunny 4 is on there. Well, I couldn't do that until I had finished Season 3. Well, I did, and fortunately the whole season is already posted.

Seriously, go to hulu. It is pretty awesome.

And what did I think?
Well, as Charlie says in the finale "I will slap your face off of your face"...if you don't agree that this is the funniest season yet! I had so many moments where I really laughed out loud, holy crap. This clip from "Who Pooped the Bed?" was one of those ones...

This episode was one of the most hilarious ones. For serious. Any episode that Artemis was in automatically became funnier. She is hilarious!!

Other episodes that I found ultra hilarious were "Mac and Charlie Die: Part 1" when Mac becomes enamored with, and wears around, a wedding dress. You know, so many episodes in Season 4 were laugh out loud hilarious. I swear to jeebus. Like this one,

and this one,

(yes, I know it is infantile to laugh at something like this)
and this...which I laughed at a ridiculous amount when I first viewed it,

(I swear, if you didn't watch those clips Ima be pissed, I will smack your face off of your face)

Danny Devito is such a creepy little troll in this show that he really makes my skin crawl. To see him padding around in his sleep shirt in like 4 episodes makes me want to vomit. I am pretty sure he must have had some sort of "no pants" clause in his contract, because jesus, he is sans pants a lot!

Did you know that Fred Savage is one of the directors? Yes, Fred Savage from The Wonder Years. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

And as I have said with all the other seasons, man, the men on this show are hot. Dennis (though creepy) is hot. And Charlie too, I don't know why the waitress wont go for him.

I will say one last tiny thing about this season. The finale, where Mac goes to rape Dennis (whoops, SPOILER) and Dennis asks him "dude, do you have a boner?" Jesus, I almost died laughing. I wonder if there is some sort of analysis of that musical on the internet somewhere. Hmmm.... there probably is. You can find all sorts of insane stuff on the internet.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Well, like I said, this season is hilarious. I may go buy it when it comes out on dvd because the more I watch the episodes the more amazing they get. Not only that, but I've watched the finale on hulu a million times and sing along with Dee's song Which is so weird and creepy, but still so catchy!!

It has been awhile, well, since Flight of the Conchords that I've been so excited about a show. This is great. I can fully get behind that statement now. Season 4 gets a 10!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


So what is this one about?
At first I thought this movie didn't actually exist. But, apparently it does. I have seen it. And Netflix describes it as
Academy Award winner Oliver Stone directs an all-star cast in this satiric retrospective of the life and political career of George W. Bush (Josh Brolin), from his troubles as a young adult through his governorship of Texas and all the way to the Oval Office. Among the key supporting players are Richard Dreyfuss as veep Dick Cheney, Elizabeth Banks as first lady Laura Bush and Thandie Newton as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
And how much did I pay to watch?
Well, I went and saw it with Mike at Cinema De Lux. I think the tickets there cost like $11. We also ate a lot of food. They have a starbucks there and I got some tea. And a pretzel. It was nice, but I think he paid for that because I am wildly underemployed.

And what did I think?
Honestly, I thought it was undignified. So, so, so undignified. I mean, be serious, I don't love GWB. I don't hate him like my mother does (man, she gets INSANE over him!) but it is still the president after all! To paint a portrait of him as an idiot, stunted, developmentally retarded man-child is mental. I mean, be serious!!! Why couldn't Oliver Stone have waited another six months before releasing this movie? It makes O.S. seem like an asshole.

The movie was ridiculous. It was incredibly hard to tell if the movie was supposed to be serious or if it was supposed to be mocking Bush, his entire life, and his entire administration. I thought it might have been a dumbing down of the Bush Administration so idiot Americans who don't read newspapers could understand what has been happening for the last 8 years. It was impossible to tell.

But, the casting was awesome! Again, it was hard to tell if the castings were somehow supposed to have been jabs at these actual people. For example, Mike and I actually laughed out loud when "Karl Rove" first appeared. He was such a troll it was impossible not to laugh. That casting, I am going to assume, was a total joke. See...Richard Dryefuss played Dick Cheeney like an evil gremlin, James Cromwell played GHWB...but with absolutely no accent or change to his voice or mannerisms, Ellen Burstyn played Barbara Bush as a HUGE grumpy-ass, grandma beyatch, ROB CORDDRY played Ari Fleischer (another casting that I laughed out loud at) and beautiful Elizabeth Banks was the most realistic portrayer of her person--Laura Bush. Well, I take that back. Thandie Newtown portrayed Condi Rice. And holy shit!
She completely physically transformed herself. Her mannerisms, the way she walked, the way she helf her mouth, all of it! It was extraordinary!! Now, of course, there were times I chuckled to myself because all in all, it was just so entirely ridiculous. I mean, Condi is a professional woman, and to have her portrayed by a glamazon Brit actress picking apart all of her mannerisms was just undignified.

And like I said, that is how I would describe the entire film. Just unnecessary and entirely undignified.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Well, if this movie were a mockmentary, or mockufilm I would give it a 9. But I don't know that it was supposed to be. It was interesting to watch, especially with a big politico like Mike, but it was absurd. If I were rating it as a regular movie I would give it no more than a 5.


So what is this one about?
Netflix tells us,
An American couple (Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer) seeking to smooth out their rough marriage buys a ticket on the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. But a chance meeting with two other passengers ends in an accidental murder and high intrigue. Ben Kingsley and Thomas Kretschmann co-star as two Russian police officers trying to solve the baffling case in Brad Anderson's taut and gritty thriller.
And how much did I pay to watch?
I didn't pay anything. Last week, after my mom got her endoscopy, before I got my colonoscopy, we went to the biggest dang blockbuster I've ever seen! Well, at least since the days of the huge BB at FairCity Mall (aka: the dirt mall)...anyway, I rented all three John Adams dvds and then I saw this one. Now, I had wanted to see it at Cinema Arts, and fortutiously, there it was, conveniently on a day where I had nothing else to do but sit and starve. So, she rented it, and it cost her a lot (I think like $20 for four dvds), but it cost me yay!

And what did I think?
Now, interestingly enough I didn't really know what this movie was about when I decided I wanted to see it in the theatre. I figured that a movie called Transsiberian would be right up my alley. I was suprised when I read the back of the disc at BB and then even more suprised when I realized the movie was about drug trafficking, NOT human trafficking. Then, after I watched the movie and was writing this I was even more suprised that the netflix description was much more accruate than what I thought it was about. har. All this demonstrates is that I can really be an idiot sometimes.

So, this leaves the question of what did I think about this movie? Well, I thought it was really good. Much much much better than that stupidass movie Eastern Promises. You know, I feel like I can say I am somewhat of a knowledgeable person regarding Eastern Europe and all that shit (what, with the MA and stuff)..and what I saw in Transsiberian is much more realistic for an American, uneducated in the ways of Eastern Europe, audience. A land of understated beauty, sadness, and mystery with a people who have had it tough, but somehow have made it work (wether that is good or not)--now, of course, I sound like a guidebook or somesort of Russo-phile...which I don't think I am.

Another thing that lent amazing credibility to this movie was the fact that the settings were so authentic. Looking at I learned that this movie was filmed in Lithuania, so there IS authenticity...with the trains and the snow and shite. (another movie that uses authentic trains was Darjeeling Limited and that makes the movie so much more realistic)

I also found myself talking to the screen as I watched this. Especially towards the end of the film when it turned out to be a bit more like an American action film than like a film chronicling what life can be like in EE. I guess that means I cared about the characters and what happened to them.

All in all, it was very enjoyable, and much more authentic than other movies I have seen that purport to be like this one. Stupid Eastern Promises. Don't bother with that one.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Like I said, it was good. It was really like being trasnported back in time when I rode those trains around Ukraine and Hungary. Train travel in the US is like another world comparitively. Hmm, I should ride more trains.

I digress. This was enjoyable and I would def reccommend it to anyone who wants to watch a film like this. I give it a 7.5.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 3

So what is this one about?
I am using netflix, rather than FX, to tell you about this show (like you don't know what it is, already)
The gang from Paddy's Pub return for more offbeat, hilarious humor in this cult favorite's third season. This year, Mac (Rob McElhenney), Dennis (Glenn Howerton) and Dee (Kaitlin Olson) try out for the Philadelphia Eagles, Dennis inherits the ultimate party house, Frank (Danny DeVito) believes Mac is a serial killer, a restaurateur kicks Paddy's off the list for the annual pub crawl, and Charlie makes the pub a prize in a dance marathon.
ta freaking dah.

And how much did I pay to watch?
I would like to point out that I had to wait over a month to get this one on dvd. Stoop netflix and it's dvd sending structure. But, it is three discs, and at $2.83 per disc it cost $8.49 to watch all three. I guess it would have been cheaper (read: free) to watch it on hulu, but i feel like stuff I watch on the internet isn't official and I am afraid I have missed something. I am odd. I admit it.

And what did I think?
Hmm, what did I think. I was entertained. This show is certainly something else. It is so, um, scandalous and offensive (to people who are offended by tv) and yet amusing as well. I love the shit all way that Mac and Dennis (and Frank, and I guess Charlie) treat Dee. You will remember, of course, that I was compared to Sweet Dee by two people from my high school, so of course I feel some comraderie with her. Even when she makes mistakes and is no better than her cruel brother I still like her. I mean, come on, we've all gotten addicted to heroin before, right? right?? and made a crippled preist's life miserable, right? right.

This season was not as good as season 1, I thought. I had fewer laugh out loud times. But, it was still entertaining. There were plenty of quoteable moments, like "Day Man" and "Night Man" and "fatty McGee". I mean, if you have seen the show you know that these guys are trying to basically be in the poorest possible taste. BUT, if that is your scene, you'll like it.

Oh yeah, and the episode where Dennis (hot) tries to be a hippie but just ends up screwing the other hippie's gf and then dumping her....CLASSIC! I like those episodes where you think any of the five might be doing something good but then you are an idiot, because these are the five worst people in the entire world. I mean, yeah, they're tv characters, but be serious.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
I gave season 3 4 stars on netflix, which is what I gave season 1 and 2. Thus, I will give Season 3 of IASIP an 8. It is funny, and amusing, not amazing, but still totally awesome.

The Last Laugh (Der Letzte Mann)(1924)

So what is this one about?
Well, my beloved tells us,
One of German director F.W. Murnau's most brilliant silent films, The Last Laugh uses a constantly moving and subjective camera to capture the emotional anguish of a man whose life is suddenly devoid of meaning. An elderly hotel doorman is demoted to washroom attendant and must give up his prized uniform. Crestfallen, he spends the day wandering the city, getting drunk and trying desperately to hang on to a shred of hope.
Ah yes, depression, hopelessness, and crushing sadness. Sounds just like my type of film.

And how much did I pay to watch?
Hmm, lets see here....well, its been over thirty days since I got the movie, I got it on September 9 (YIKES) and returned it on October 29. Does that show you how long it is taking me to watch a movie?? I can't even price that out. shooooooooooooooooooot

And what did I think?
One of the things that was so incredible about this film was the lead actor, Emil Jannings (or, walrus mustache, if you prefer), and his ability to change his physical being in order to communicate the utter despair, hopelessness, and humiliation he felt at being demoted, and losing his beloved and respected job.

One thing I really hated about this film was the 'epilogue'. As mentioned, the movie was entirely silent and only twice were intertitles used to explain the movement of the story. The epilogue intertitle says
"Here the story should really end, for, in real life, the forlorn old man would have little to look forward to but death. The author took pity on him and has provided a quite improbable epilogue."
And, let me tell you, improbable is no joke. It turned a movie that was crushing and hopeless into a stupid, trite, "Hollywood" happy ending. (It is of course "hollywood" vs. hollywood, because it is a German film, and they didn't do hollywood. At least as far as I understand) The movie could have ended with the poor old walrus mustasche all crumpled in the bathroom where he is the attendant, with the night watchman's flashlight on him. I mean, he looks like some animal who is trapped in a cage. It was a really striking image. I don't know what it would have said about life, or film, or anything. I mean, if that movie doesn't say that life is totally worthless, that you can lose the only thing that makes your life worth living and then no one will care and everyone will just kick you while you're down, I don't know what will.

Instead, the filmmaker (really?!) decided to add an epilogue where the walrus mustache was an attendant to a rich man and then the rich man dies and leaves all his money to the attendant. Then as the newly rich walrus mustache uses the bathroom he is kind to the attendant and is mean to the rich person who treats the new attendant like trash. While I appreciate that message at the end about being kind to people who are "under" you, it just seemed out of sync with the rest of the film.

No matter, I thought it was pretty good. It would have been much better without the end, but then if it had ended where it should have ended I don't know what i would have thought.

The rest of the film was good enough. It was confusing to not have any intertitles telling me what was going on. It was something I was entirely not used to as afar as silent films go.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
It was interesting to see a film like this. Additionally, FW Murnau is like one of the most famous directors evar. However, the end of the movie really didn't do anything for me. On Netflix I gave this film a 3 out of 5. I think I will give it a 7 here. I mean, it was interesting (which is mostly the reason I get all these silent films, to experience what films used to be like as part of my ongoing film education) but it wasn't extraordinary.

Friday, November 14, 2008

MSNBC's "Witness to Jonestown"

So what is this one about?
I am going to go real lazy on this one and have MSNBC describe this for me. Afterall, it was Lester Holt's preview of the film on Nightly News that made me super excited to watch it!

And how much did I pay to watch?
I didn't pay anything! I watched it on a DVR that my mom recorded on TV. I don't pay for the cable, and I didn't pay for the disc. Because I am a mooch who still lives with my parents. Go me!

And what did I think?
I normally wouldn't review a tv documentary. I really, really wouldn't. However, one thing you might not know about me is my unfailing dedication to NBC and its networks, its anchormen (I'm looking at you Brian Williams), and its programming (except not Dateline or To Catch a Predator...I have to still be picky, I mean, be serious). This one, however, was totally worthy of a review. It demonstrates what happens when people have no more options. It was amazing.

I didn't know anything about Jim Jones or his People's Temple. I only vaguely understood that when people said things like "drink the kool-aid" they meant to fall in line. And one time when I was in middle, or maybe even elementary school, my family went on a trip and stayed in Johnstown, PA. They had a big flood there, and our hotel room looked out over a cemetery. And then I remember that when I heard Jonestown I thought I had been there because I thought Jonestown, Guyana and Johnstown, PA were the same place. What can I say? I am dumb. And then I remember this amazing episode of The X-Files, called, the "The Field Where I Died" that was about a religious cult/commune where everyone ended up killing themselves. It was one of my absolute favorite episodes of that show. So, to actually learn about the event, in the form of a documentary, (which I LOVE) was super cool.

The program itself was actually very well done. Using former members of the People's Temple and surviors of Jonestown gave the documentary a very authentic feel that wasn't from a judgemental newsperson point of view. And it was just SO fascinating!

So fascinating, in fact, that I had to go and get another Jonestown documentary from netflix.

I will probably go into what I think Jonestown means for society in the review of the other film. But, for now I will say, if you want to borrow "Witness to Jonestown" let me know. It is seriously awesome.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
I know I said it is seriously awesome, but, lets keep in mind that it is an NBC doc. I would never ever slander NBC, but, it is what it is.

I give it an 8.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


(*note* I started writing this review immediately after I watched this film. Weirdly, this was over two months ago, on September 9. I keep thinking I will be able to say something profound about this one, but I just keep turning over the same things in my mind. And if the point of writing this blog was so I could remember what I thought of movies I watched, I guess I should write my opinions after I watch them. So, if some of the stuff in this entry is oddly tensed, or has an odd timeline, well, thats why. Here it goes...)

So what is this one about?
My beloved tells us about one of Heath Ledger's last films. They say,
Two young bohemians hooked on each other -- and on smack -- head down the path to perdition in this potent drama directed by Neil Armfield. Giddily in love, Dan (Heath Ledger) and Candy (Abbie Cornish) soon find themselves swept up in a vortex of addiction that inexorably unravels their relationship and their lives. Geoffrey Rush is outstanding as the indulgent chemistry professor (and functional junkie) who supplies the couple with heroin.
And how much did I pay to watch?
I paid $1.30 with my monthly Netflix. I was shocked to calculate this because it hasn't seemed like I've watched much. Between four discs of The Tudors, two lost/damaged discs, and one movie I got for my mom to watch while I was in New York, it doesn't seem like I've seen much. I guess I have though and I've just been terribly lazy at updating this guy.

And what did I think?
Well, I still can't figure out Abbie know, fat face/skinny body (see Stop-Loss) but she was really quite surprisingly amazing as Candy. She played tortured, conflicted, weak, crazy, and sad so well. it was quite amazing.

In fact, Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish together were amazing. They had this energy between them. I guess they had good chemistry. But not sexual chemistry, they had this sparking intensity between them. It really was like they were the characters. It was like they had all these levels between them, like the audience would really think they were watching real people with a history. I guess as an actor you can fake that intimacy, but I can't imagine that it is easy. Yet, watching them it seemed like they were so effortless. It was also quite amazing.

It was a little odd to watch Heath Ledger. I guess I probably yapped about that when I did The Dark Knight, but I will repeat a bit here. It is truly bizarre, because I wasn't a huge fan of his. I mean, he is a good actor. Was, I mean. But watching him more closely now because he is dead I see that he is an effortless actor. Everything was so natural, and he was so layered. It was also amazing. I kept thinking to myself, yes, I really was, "wow, it is like watching a fallen angel". And if you know me in real life you'll know I wouldn't say things like that. But that is what I kept thinking.

This movie is based on a book, of the same name, written by Luke Davies. I am going to read it, because the movie was so good, I imagine the book will be just as excellent.
I guess that is how the book was written, really.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Rating this film is hard, because I can't think of much I would change about it. That leads me to believe that it was a perfect film, which I am sure it wasn't. But the acting was so extraordinary. I mean, it was some of the best acting I've seen in forever. And overall it was just so beautiful.

But hot damn, the acting. The acting deserves a 100. It was fantastic.

I will give the movie a 9, because I don't think it was a 10, but it was sure good.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Les Miserables (1934)

So what is this one about?
Well, as you may or may not know, Les Miserables is not only one of my favorite books but also my absolute favorite musical. It is an amazing and touching story about the goodness of people no matter what their background. It is about forgiveness and absolution. One of my favorite lines of the musical is "to love another person is to see the face of god" and then also, (and this is a line that chokes me up when I have to say it outloud) "He let me eat my fill, I had the lion's share" (because "He" is in reference to a preist who let Jean Valjean--a former convict--stay at his house, despite the fact that he was a convict, and treated him like anyother, "he gave me his trust, he called me brother, he told me that I had a soul...") Anyway. You can read about the actual novel Les Miserables here, and then the musical here. But the movie, well, the movie has many incarnations...including a shittay version made in the 1990s with Liam Neeson as Valjean and Uma Thurman as Fantine (LAAAAAAME)

Anyway, my beloved told me that this movie was one of the most accurate adaptations of the over 1200 page novel. They said,
After serving a prison sentence for stealing a loaf of bread, Jean Valjean (Harry Baur) attempts to start a new life. But relentless lawman Javert (Charles Vanel), driven by Valjean's minor parole infraction, hunts him down in an unending pursuit. Helmed by revered French director Raymond Bernard, this five-hour epic is considered by many to be the finest film adaptation of Victor Hugo's literary classic.
So, I said to myself, sure, I have five hours. I'll get it!!

And how much did I pay to watch?
I've said it one time if I've said it 100. I haven't had as much time to watch movies. Between the two discs of this movie I'd say it took nearly two weeks to watch the whole movie. But, it cost about $5.66 for the two discs. Yikeso!

And what did I think?
Oh, what did I think? Well, I totally agree that it was pretty accurate as far as the book goes. Translating a 1200 page tome to a five hour movie is difficult, and I will admit that there were big chunks cut out of the story. Thankfully, the parts that were cut out had a lot to do with the Cosette/Marius love story plot line. Now, because I am such a terrible hag who hates love and people being happy, it didn't make me unhappy to cut out the superflouos love story plotline. The important plots in this book/movie/musical revolve around Valjean and his redemption and the student revolution.

The adherence to the Valjean storyline was flawless. It was super duper. Just fantastic! (The movie was divided into three parts, the first of which was entirely devoted to Valjean, and the second of which was at least half dedicated to him. The revolution plotline was sort of unclear. If I hadn't already been familliar with the plot I would have been confused as to what was going on. Finally, as for the romantical plotline, they left out a huge chunk. I would be forced to beleive that these two lovebirds met and were just in love automatically--which is what the muscial leads me to believe as well--which is not what Hugo tells us. However, I don't really care. Mostly, because the actress who played Cosette was 100% annoying and ridiculous. Now, as far as the actor who played the other characters, Valjean was amazing. At first I thought the actor was too bulky and ridiculous (because most of the Valjeans I have seen in the musical are more dimuntive and short but stocky and muscular) but I really found him to be endearing. The other actors were only so so.

One of the extraordinary things about the film was the film itself. I have no idea how, who, and when the film was restored, but unlike other movies from the 1930s that I watch on dvd, this one was of such high, clear quality that it easily could have been a movie that was made in the 1970s. The copy was so clear, and fresh.

The quality of the filmmaking was quite good as well. There was this scene that was supposed to be doing an aerial shot of Paris, but it was clearly a model that was filmed. Now, the model and the switching of the scale model to the actual street shot of Paris was flawless. It stands out in my mind as one of the most incredible parts of the film, considering the year it was made.

One of the only problems I had with the acting was some of the characters/actors propensity to yell rather than speak in a normal voice. I chalk that up to the year the film was made and that perhaps "talkies" were still a fairly new type of film.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
It was good. I will give it that. Other than the musical, which takes artistic liberties with the longass stor, it is the best adaptation I have seen. I mean, practically perfect.

The fact that I knew the story made watching this long movie more understandable. My background of the music made me hum the music along with where it would belong in the film. That actually made it more enjoyable.

Now, despite the fact that I have very little negative to say about it, it doesn't stick with me as something extraordinarily amazing. So, I give it an 8.

Monday, October 20, 2008


So what is this one about?
My wittle Netflix friend tells me,
This American remake of a Thai horror blockbuster follows the Shaws, a young newlywed couple who become haunted by strange shadowlike images in the photographs they develop after their involvement in a car accident. As more terrifying supernatural occurrences befall them, they begin to wonder whether the photographic ghosts are connected to the accident -- and to question whether they can survive learning the truth.
But, mostly I just rented it because I was curious to know what the heck was going on in the commercials I saw for this one on the FIOS network channels.

And how much did I pay to watch?
Yikeso-rikeso! I know I haven't been watching many movies in the last 30 days, but after checking my account I learned I have only gotten out 6 discs in the last month. That means it cost $2.83 for this one. I think that is the highest price I've ever paid.

And what did I think?
Good God Almighty. Joshua Jackson is one hot ass mother. I mean, on Dawson's Creek, lets face it, we all wanted Joey and Pacey to get together because Pacey's chemistry with any woman is explosive. I mean, he is just so hot. Not just hot though, but sexy too--and sexy is a word I absolutely hate, I actually save it for people who are. He is just so intense and emotes so well, he is just so sincere and romantic all the time! (Or, at least the things I've seen him in) And while is isn't unattractive, he is no Leonardo DiCaprio. But I am just so attracted to him. (God, I sound like a total pyscho!) But seriously, lets look at him.
mmmmmmmhmm. Hot hot hot.

The lady in the movie was totally hot too. Distractingly hot. You know the type. Oh, and she is Australian...big shocker.

The other thing I really liked about this movie was the focus on photography. It was like photographer porn to watch hot hot Joshua Jackson take beautiful photographs.

Then, the thing that saves the movie from being typical and dull was the fact *SPOILER ALERT* that the main character was actually a bad guy. I mean, it was sort of obvious that that was the direction the plot was going to take, but it was still reassuring, especially because his wife was so horrified by him.

Oh yeah, and David Denman (aka: Roy from The Office) was in it, and who doesn't like to see Office folks out of their office environment?

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
I mean, it was pretty basic. It wasn't that scary, but it was REALLY pretty visually. I mean, pretty, pretty, pretty. And the actors were beautiful, especially Josh Jackson. I think probably I'd watch anything he was in...though I haven't watched Fringe (thats the name of the show, right?). Lets face it, I only have time for TV on dvd, The Office, and Mad Men. I cannot be distracted.

Anyway...that was rather tangential, right?...I give the movie a 7.5...if only for JJ's hotness.

The Tudors: Season 1

So what is this one about?
Unsusprisingly, Showtime's website is worthless for a description of the entire show. Seriously though, what did I expect? I had to turn to my beloved Netflix for a proper description. They say,
This superb and visually lush Showtime series provides a look at the world of the Tudors in the days when King Henry VIII (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) was a handsome, charming, athletic 25-year-old. Inheriting absolute power at a young age, the king indulges his voracious taste for ladies-in-waiting, hangs out with his entourage of young nobles and makes momentous political decisions. The stellar cast includes Jeremy Northam and Sam Neill.
I don't know about all that, but I will give them this, it is visually lush.

And how much did I pay to watch?
Welp, since I've been working a bunch, and therefore going to bed sickeningly early, I haven't been watching as much. Therefore the movies I do get cost more on Netflix. In the case of the a tv show with four discs it not only takes me a long time to watch, but it costs more. The cost per disc was $1.69, so with four discs it cost me $6.79.

And what did I think?
First, man, Showtime sucks! Showtime wishes so much that it were HBO. HBO is like what god makes compared to Showtime. Showtime is like what the dog chewed and then vomited back up. Showtime attempts to cover up that they have poor writing and poor acting by making everything really sex-y. And I don't mean sexy, I mean, like sex sex sex porn-tastic. Now, granted, I have really only seen The L Word and The Tudors, but I feel like I am watching really soft-core porn. Not that I have a problem with it, really--I mean, I am not offended or anything. Its just that it seems like they put it in when it is entirely unnecessary to distract from the weak points of the shows otherwise. Like, when the first scene in the entire series was Henry VIII doin' some maiden from behind. I mean, is that really necessary? Or is it really what Showtime wants viewers to think of immediately? It probably is. Lame. Showtime is lame. HBO forever!!

With that editorializing out of the way I can actually talk about the show. I sort of hate all the main characters on the show. Anne Boelyn and Henry, man, I want nothing but bad things to happen to them. Now, Catherine of Aragon and Cardinal Woolsey, I want nothing but good things to happen to them. The fact that the other characters make things suck for the ones I like makes me hate them even more! And it seems ridiculous to call the characters, well, characters, because they are real people from history! And I was very sad, like, suprisingly sad, when SPOILER ALERT...they killed Cardinal Woolsey. Assholes.

Man, I was so glad when they added some gayness to the show. I got an inkling, and I thought to myself, "self, you know what would make this mildly pornographic show even better? Some gay characters getting it on with eachother!" then lo and behold. GAY!!! God, I was so excited.

But then, the episode where my fave gay character died was so sad. But it was awesome, because I got to learn about "the sweating sickness" which was wild, and I knew nothing about because I don't do ancient, or imperial history of any sort. Hah.

Oh yeah, and everyone on the show is oddly unattractive. I would classify it as sexy ugly. Or, well, they aren't like classicly attractive, but they are sort of mesmerizing.

Oh the one gay guy is kind of attractive. But, well, then he died. Damn.

Also, Johnathan Rhys Meyer is freaky deaky. He has zombie eyes, "milky blue know, its not really the eyes that make them look all cloudy, it's actually tiny dust scratches on the surface, thousands of them, because Zack [Army slang for zombie] doesn't make any tears"(World War Z, page 278) like many others, namely Flyer's goalie Martin Biron, but JRM is odd additionally. Its like, because he has a shaved head he looks like a maniac! It is bizarre.

Now, I've been so self-obsessed for long enough that I understand my eyes can border on zombatic (thats my new word...meaning, zombie like; having zombie qualities) as well. As evidenced below, but luckily for me it really depends on the light and the colors surrounding me. (Interestingly enough, and getting WAY off topic, my eyes always look completely void of color at the place where I get my hair cut)


So what is the rating? (out of 10)
It is really annoying, because as I write this I have lots of complaints about the show, but it was really mesmerizing and I did always run to the mailbox to get the new disc when it arrived.

Those tricky assholes at showtime. I did the same thing with The L Word. I didn't really like it, and I found some of the characters absolutely miserable. I mean horrible, and I wanted only bad things to happen to them. And then I feel the same way about the Tudors, but I am dying to see what happens in Season 2, even though I know from history that Anne Boelyn bites it--TAKE THIS BEYATCH--but I am dying to see how they treat it.

Damn jerks, I give your stupid show a 7. I want to give it an 8, but I'll stick with a seven for now.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Not movie related.

You may or may not have noticed that I have been very absent from movie commentary. I've got those three movies I haven't reviewed that are in the sidebar and I've been slogging through this five hour, 1930s, French version of Les Miserables. Man, that shit is taking FO.EV.ER! shisse.

Anyway, the point is that my stupid ass flipping laptop is busted again. Yes, again. Like, when I was in Hungary and my computer died because the hard drive just all of the sudden didn't want to communicate with the computer, and then I had to send it back to the US. Well, that was October 12, 2007, and then again on October 8, 2008 the EXACT. SAME. THING happened. And the assholes at the Apple store acted like jerk stores and were wildly unhelpful. Now, I think I was able to get most of the stuff off the computer and put in on an external hard drive, thanks to Disk Warrior. (Except, that my mom closed the computer and it turned off before I could disconnect the EX HD and make sure everything was hunky dory and now it wont turn on at all...)

Anyway, the point is, I think the computer is busted for the time being.

Just know, I will be trying to watch movies--which has become exceedingly difficult because I work at 4:30am and I like to watch movies before I go to bed--and I will be updating. I swear.

See you at the movies!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

DC Shorts: Showcase 3

So what is this one about?
Well, this is impossible to explain, because it was actually 13 short films. The list of the films can be found here. DC Shorts, in general, is a film festival of 102 short films made by filmmakers from all over the world. The films were split into 8 different showcases. After each showcase the audience would have an opportunity to vote on their favorite film. My friend Steven was part of the production of the film that won the audience award for the showcase. The film is called Speed Dating, and was hilarious...and it isn't just because he is my friend.

And how much did I pay to watch?
It was $13 for the showcase. And was totally worth it!

And what did I think?
I guess this is the hard part. With 13 entirely different films I can't really speak to all of them. There were amazingly amazing films, and there were films I didn't like. Each audience member had three votes for audience favorite and I voted for Speed Dating (twice) and D. Mark: Hip Hop Artist, which was a hysterically awesome German film. Man, those Germans! (seriously, go to that link, it is hilarious). There were two french films, Diva and La Tangente, both of which were so beautiful and sort of heartbreaking. There was an Aussie film, Selling Hopkins, which was mildly creepy but awesome because of the excellent accents.

There were two DC films, one of which was made during the 48 hour film festival, and one that was a documentary about bar darts. That just showed that you really can make a documentary about anything. That gives me hope for my future.

The British films were all sort of eh. I had very strong negative feelings about English Language (with English Subtitles) but it seemed like the audience was really yucking it up. I thought it was one of these films that was trying too hard to be "arty". Grandma's Funeral was the opening film for our showcase, and it was good enough. Very touching and I thought the actresses were very real.

Hollywood Jerome
was a US film and it was weird weird weird. Not in a good way. I did not care for it at all. The US film, besides Speed Dating, that I thought was excellent was Shop and Save. It was flipping hilarious. How did the film maker think of that?? And then, Check Please, that was another one. How did the film maker thing of THAT?! My friend Mel, who I went with, who never goes to movies, actually thought it was really funny. So how do you like that?

And thats pretty much all of them. I left one out. I didn't care much for it either, but I did like that it was only three minutes long. You gotta give a film maker credit for being so concise.

Overall the entire experience was awesome. The final showcases, that have the winning films are going to be shown on Thursday at E Street. If you are in DC, I would suggest you go see them.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
I give the whole showcase a 9. I give the film festival in general, a 10.

Despite my living in Toronto, you know, the city that has one of the biggest film festivals in North America, I haven't been to many/any festivals. DC Shorts shows me that I will go to the same festival if I am still here next year.

A shorts festival is almost better than TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) because with shorts if you don't like the one you're watching, the good news is there will be another one in a few minutes!

A Tale of Two Sisters

So what is this one about?
My beloved Netflix tells us,
Terrified sisters try to exorcise their home of two dark forces -- their evil stepmother and a vengeful entity -- in this ghostly tale. Hospitalized after their mother's death, young Su-mi (Im Su-jeong) and Su-yeon (Mun Geun-yeong) return home to find a nasty new stepmother (Yeom Jeong-ah). The girls suffer terrifying events, but their father doesn't care, even though evil lurks around every corner. Can the girls free their home from its demons?
That made me want to see it.

And how much did I pay to watch?
Got it on Netflix. As you can tell by my paltry movie updating I haven't been watching much this month. I am averaging $1.21 per movie, because I have been watching a lot of tv. (Actually, I've also gotten one Russian movie that was unwatchable because it was dubbed in English, and some dvds for my mom....)

And what did I think?
Well, that tricky description made me think this movie would be cool. However, it was not. It was actually one of the most unimpressive movies I have seen.

It was hard to keep track of what was going on because the actress who played the mother and the actress who played the step-mother looked soo similar!! Their hair style what was helped me tell them apart. But then at the end the hair changed and I didn't know what was going on! AHHH.

And, I mean, what was the point? A lot of Asian movies like to build up a lot of atmosphere and foreboding, and then they scare the ever loving jesus out of you because they are so twisted and scary...I mean, what the hell are these movie makers thinking?! How do they come up with this twisted shit?! Well, this one built up a lot of tension--there was a point where I had to look away because I was scurred (which like, NEVER HAPPENS)--but then nothing really scary happened. Nothing, nothing, nothing. Dullsville!!!

Apparently, according to wikipedia, this is the highest grossing Korean horror film ever. And it is a pyschological horror film. Um, yeah riiiiiiiiiiight.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
Honestly, this movie was a total waste. It wasn't scary, it was hard to decipher, and it was just lame lame lame. Don't bother watching it.

This movie gets a 2.