What I Watched

What I Watched (and am Reading), What You Watched #183

Got a book to share you may be interested in reading

The Searchers: The Making of an American LegendI'm going to start by telling you about a book I just started reading, titled "The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend" by Glenn Frankel and I'm hooked after only the first 25 pages. The main thing to note is that while Frankel delves into the making of John Ford's The Searchers, a film considered by the AFI to be the #1 American Western of all-time, his primary focus is the story that inspired it and how the film stuck to that story and diverted from it.

Now, again, I'm only 25 pages in, which is hardly enough reading to give any kind of review of a 416 page book, so I'll let the book's description do the rest of the talking:

In 1836 in East Texas, nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by Comanches. She was raised by the tribe and eventually became the wife of a warrior. Twenty-four years after her capture, she was reclaimed by the U.S. cavalry and Texas Rangers and restored to her white family, to die in misery and obscurity. Cynthia Ann's story has been told and re-told over generations to become a foundational American tale. The myth gave rise to operas and one-act plays, and in the 1950s to a novel by Alan LeMay, which would be adapted into one of Hollywood's most legendary films, The Searchers, "The Biggest, Roughest, Toughest... and Most Beautiful Picture Ever Made!" directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne.

Glenn Frankel, beginning in Hollywood and then returning to the origins of the story, creates a rich and nuanced anatomy of a timeless film and a quintessentially American myth. The dominant story that has emerged departs dramatically from documented history: it is of the inevitable triumph of white civilization, underpinned by anxiety about the sullying of white women by "savages." What makes John Ford's film so powerful, and so important, Frankel argues, is that it both upholds that myth and undermines it, baring the ambiguities surrounding race, sexuality, and violence in the settling of the West and the making of America.

Frankel's writing is passionate and fun to read, though there has already times I felt like I was reading the book of Matthew as he introduces the Parker family. Nevertheless, you come away with an understanding of what you're reading and he doesn't skimp when it comes to the bloody details similarly to Cormac McCarthy in "Blood Meridian", though I already get the impression he's setting the reader up for mixed emotions down the line as The Searchers was more than just the hunt to rescue a kidnapped little girl as it dealt with serious race issues, which I actually explored briefly following the release of Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino.

Otherwise, as I detailed on Friday, I watched Abraham Polonsky's 1948 feature Force of Evil, which I enjoyed every bit as much for its story as for its penetrating black-and-white, noir cinematography.

And late Friday night we watched It Happened One Night, which is truly one of the greatest romantic comedies of all-time, if not the greatest. At the very least I can say it's one of the best I've ever seen.

This coming week I have Oz the Great and Powerful and I'm going to try and squeeze a rewatch of The Wizard of Oz in advance, but I'm seeing the new one on Monday and not sure I'll be able to find the time in-between.

That does it for me, now it's your turn. What did you watch this past week and are you reading anything interesting?

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  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

    Brad, you said you were changing over to the Disqus commenting systems, but Disqus isn't here. You still have the original commenting system on every article.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Yeah, after about two minutes of trying to use it I hated it. I had zero control over individual comment threads and no easy way to moderate. At this point it clearly was not an option.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

        Ok thank you for changing it over because to be honest, I like the original commenting system way more.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

        THANK YOU!!!

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

        Also, about this subscription stuff, is every rope of silicon user going to have to start paying for their account? I

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

          Nope, you'll see... It will be for a few added features and to help support the site. Virtually everything that is free right now will be free with the subscriptions.

          • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

            Ok that's good to know.

          • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

            Brad, I was also wondering, in a box office draft does the loser pay the winner money?

            • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

              Not unless you decide that's how you want to do it. There are no official rules.

              • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

                Oh ok, I was just wondering because I want to try and do a box office draft with someone.

            • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Corbin/ Corbin

              No, I don't want to do that. Want to get started?

              • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

                Sure, you pick first.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Corbin/ Corbin

        This comment system is far better, in my opinion, than Disqus. Thank you for this. Now, let us all hope that there isn't a movie in the future that outrages Brad like Disqus did.

      • http://www.criterion.com/my_criterion/27913-criterion10 Criterion10

        Glad to see you went back. Didn't like Disqus at all for the few minutes that it was put into effect. :)

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

    My letterboxd: http://letterboxd.com/as/

    At home (first viewing):

    Cat People (1982) – Meh.

    3 / 5

    Berberian Sound Studio (2012) – It’s like Holy Motors, if Holy Motors were uninteresting and boring. Nothing terribly riveting happens. Toby Jones does give a solid performance though.

    2.5 / 5

    Orpheus (1950) – I didn’t find this remotely interesting. In fact, it was very tedious.

    2.5 / 5

    Sweet Smell of Success (1957) – First off, this film features the most degrading and offensive depiction of women I’ve seen in some time. Most of them freely admit to being “brainless” and others stand up and passionately defend their cheating husbands. The level of misogyny is shocking. One of the few prominent female characters in the film (also characterized as brainless blonde) exists only to be traded off as a sexual object in exchange for a business favor. When the woman in question initially refuses to prostitute herself, Tony Curtis suggests she “not be dumb.”

    Misogyny aside, there’s no denying that this film’s screenplay is smartly written. The dialogue is quick-witted and the plotting is complex. The film also makes good use of some impressive cinematography; but the real highlight is Burt Lancaster’s fantastic performance. Curtis is excellent as well, but Lancaster steals every scene he’s in.

    Sadly (but unsurprisingly), the film ultimately abandons its cynicism and instead opts for an easy happy ending (in which all of the morally bankrupt characters get their comeuppance). Shame.

    3 / 5

    Lone Star (1996) – This was really good, but it’s too long and it lost
    momentum at the 90 minute mark. All of the performances are very good and the screenplay is pretty impressive.

    3 / 5

    Smashed (2012) – It’s a very formulaic and predictable addiction film, but it’s well acted. Winstead’s character was really annoying, which is big a reason why this film didn’t fully work for me.

    3 / 5

    At home (repeat viewing):

    Skyfall (2012) – This was my 3rd time watching the film and I enjoyed it just as much if not more so this time as I did the first two times. I feel that Skyfall is a masterful triumph in terms of performances, writing, direction, cinematography and editing. I really have nothing negative to say about it. The first time I saw it, I criticized the opening sequence (which didn’t bother me as much this time, apart from some obvious use of green screen) and the pacing of the first 20 minutes. Neither of these things bothered me this time around. The only thing that still irritates me is the in-your-face product placement (every time I see that early shot of Craig laying on the bed and drinking Heineken I can’t help but feel as if I’m watching a TV advertisement). But that’s a small problem and the product placement quickly fades into the background.

    Not only is Skyfall a great Bond film, it’s just a great film in general. For me, it stands perfectly well on its own as an independently superb film (franchise or no franchise). So it bothers me that most people seem to just write it off as “just a really good Bond film” or “an above average action film.” Skyfall is so much more than that and I think that after people have been saturated with enough brainless and generic action films, they’ll return to Skyfall and speak more highly of it. But who knows, maybe it’s just me. Anyway, I do not need to hesitate when I say that (for me) Skyfall is above and away the best film of 2012.

    4 / 5

    The Master (2012) – This is the 2nd time I’ve seen The Master. Sadly, I don’t really have anything profound to say about it. The two things I like most about it are the performances (obviously) and the screenplay. It’s so intellectual and intelligent I suppose I’ll never understand how this didn’t score a Best Original Screenplay nomination. But I digress. The problem with The Master (in my opinion) is that it lacks the juice and energy that P.T.’s other films had. It is VERY slow and it does tend to drag quite a bit. While I do really respect, appreciate and admire the film, it never really compelled me in any way. Some films just grab me (Skyfall, Killer Joe) and others don’t. That’s not to say that The Master isn’t great, but I will never be able to enjoy it as much as others.

    There’s certainly much to dissect and analyze in The Master. There are many theories and conclusions one could come to, but I just wasn’t compelled enough to put a tremendous amount of thought into it. Still, it’s a film to be respected. Other notes: If I wasn’t as blown away by Phoenix as others were, it’s because the eccentric character of Joaquin Phoenix we’ve all come to know is so similar to Quell that it doesn’t feel like that much of a stretch. Btw, the picture quality on the Blu Ray is amazing. EVERY film should be shot on 70mm.

    3.5 / 5

    On TV:

    The 85th Academy Awards – I was just happy to see Christoph & Quentin take home a 2nd Oscar; no one deserves it more than they do.

    Girls (Season 3): Ep. 7 – Ben Mendelsohn on Girls… I didn’t see that coming…You could put this dude in a white suit up against a white wall and he’d be dynamic.

    • http://letterboxd.com/gman/ G-Man

      Nice reviews, AS. I'm really tempted to re-watch Skyfall. Need to pick up the blu-ray.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Xarnis/ Xarnis

      I agree with you on The Master's slow pacing, but I thought it was balanced by the performances that were, well, masterful (crappy pun intended).

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Travis/ Travis

      Is that the same Orpheus with all of the mirrors and shit?

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

        Yes. There are definitely mirrors.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Travis/ Travis

          The mirrors and the mirror shot were the only part that entertained me. My Seminar last semester read the myth and then watched this and Black Orpheus. One was food. The other was this one

          • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Travis/ Travis

            I meant good, not food

    • adu

      Hey AS, since you're a Skyfall fan, I posted a review, give it a glance:

      http://letterboxd.com/adu/film/skyfall/

  • http://letterboxd.com/gman/ G-Man

    Letterboxd: http://letterboxd.com/gman/

    First watch:

    Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) - Blu-ray Netflix - Funny how Quentin Tarantino can make a simple revenge story entertaining as hell to watch for 100 minutes. While the fight sequences were long and drawn out, I never got bored. As always, Tarantino creates some damn interesting characters. Feel like I'm going to like this even more after watching Vol 2. 8.0 / 10 or "B+"

    Top Gun (1986) - Streaming Netflix - ***Minor Spoilers*** Had a good time watching this one for the first time the whole way through. Just solid, mindless fun with a killer soundtrack. I loved how they teased the "Take My Breath Away" music for several scenes and didn't introduce the lyrics until Cruise finally makes the move. Val Kilmer as "Iceman" is easily my favorite character, and Michael Ironside has such a badass voice. 7.5 / 10 or "B"

    Re-watch

    Gangs of New York (2002) - Blu-ray Home - ***Spoilers*** Daniel-Day Lewis crushes it as usual. Not quite as good as I remember after originally seeing it in theatres, but definitely has some fantastic scenes. The one that really stands out to me is the showdown between Day-Lewis and DiCaprio at the Asian themed restaurant, along with "The Butcher's Apprentice" game. As for criticisms, the ending is fairly anti-climatic due to the Navy cannon interference, and Cameron Diaz's character is pretty much worthless throughout. 7.5 / 10 or "B"

    Identity (2003) - DVD Home - I remember liking this one a lot more when I saw it for the first time in theatres. Still though, it's pretty entertaining and perhaps the fact that I remembered the ending made it a little less climatic once it wrapped up. One to check out though if you haven't already seen it. 7.5 / 10 or "B"

    • http://letterboxd.com/gman/ G-Man

      Also continued watching The West Wing and watched the Oscars (with B&L live blog).

      Brad - something I meant to post on Sunday as feedback for the live blog (which I loved), but figured it would get buried in the loads of comments. Is there an easy way in future live blogs that the page you and Laremy are currently posting on is always page 1? The reason I ask is that every time someone comments, it takes them back to the first page and then they have to click again to go over to whichever page you're on. Yes, I know it's just a simple click, but for those of us who make lots of comments, it just makes things easier if your and Laremy's commentary is on the first page. Thoughts?

    • Winchester

      I love 'Gangs of New York' but I always feel that Scorcese kind of forget up until the finale that he had to put a finale in the film. I think he was much more interested in making a film about the formation of New York at that time and less so in the romantic triangle he hung on the film to provide a narrative for the characters to follow.

      It always feels to me that he kind of cheats by having the final fight ended exernally, but then by the same token on other viewings it also kind of fits because of the relatively weak nature of DiCaprio's character. I don't mean weakly written as such, just an actual weak man who never quite had the insides to be able to do what he wanted to do with Bill.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Fox/ Fox

        Yeah it's hard to get into the whole Cameron Diaz thing going on. I liked your idea about DiCapro being a "weak" character and that's why it ended the way it did. I hadn't thought about that before.

        Unrelated, but I love that seen where DiCaprio wakes up and Bill is wrapped in the American flag.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Corbin/ Corbin

    On an unrelated note, did you hate Disqus? Because that seemed awfully quick for a trial run. But, in related news, I saw one movie this week, and it was:

    Argo- Don't get mad at me AS, but I really enjoyed this movie. I thought Ben Affleck did a great job both in front and behind the camera (Note: I have not seen either Gone Baby Gone or The Town, so I can't compare his directing skills to his previous works), and I thought that John Goodman was very good as well. But I have two beefs with this movie: Alan Arkin and the ending. I thought that while Arkin was good, I expected a bit more from him, so he felt kind of 'meh' to me. And then with the car and plane chase on the runway, I felt that Affleck and Chris Terrio put that there to appeal to a wide audience, but I feel as if that they lost some integrity doing that. If you are going to have a smart historical drama, don't dumb down the ending so that you can make a couple million more than you would've. Still, save for the runway sequence, I enjoyed myself greatly, and rank this as one of my favorite films of last year. 4/5

    Also, you can check me out on Letterboxd at letterboxd.com/corbin_123/ , where I have Predicted my top 10 of 2013, have my temporary list of 2012, and my best of list of 2011.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

      Brad has said he hated Disqus and that's why he got rid of it and went back to the old commenting system. Also, I highly recommend you watch The Town, it's a great movie.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Corbin/ Corbin

        Yea, when I was making my above comment, there were no other comments, so I didn't know. I estimate about two people will be upset about switching back over to the old system. And I'll try to see The Town, but it probably won't happen for a while.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

          And I thought Gone Baby Gone was incredible! I highly recommend it. Casey afflek does a good job acting. Amy Ryan is fantastic as well. Ben had a hand in writing as well as directing the film.
          I'm interested to hear what you think of it.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

      lol, you can like what you want dude. I just hope people understand how offensive and jingoistic the film is. That's all. There's a terrific article about Argo (which Xarnis referenced) which I would highly recommend Argo fans read: http://www.wideasleepinamerica.com/2013/02/oscar-prints-the-legend-argo.html

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Corbin/ Corbin

        Ok, I'll give that article a look. Also, it is offensive to the Iranians. They were not that one-sided in real life, and the fact that they showed them as ruthless killers was completely offensive to them. That is another problem with the movie that I had, but I still enjoyed the film on the whole.

        • Chris138

          Well, luckily for all those who are unsatisfied with Argo can look forward to Iran's cinematic take on the same situation. I'm sure that will be full of just as much BS as Affleck's film.

          Although, it would be awesome if it ended up winning or being nominated for the foreign language Oscar.

          • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

            You laugh, but I'm sure it'll be more accurate than the CIA's...err, I mean... Affleck's version.

            • Chris138

              I remain skeptical of historical objectivity in any movie that has government cooperation while in production, no matter what country. From what I've read it seems that the Iranian version shows the revolutionaries delivering the American hostages to U.S. officials. While I agree that it's a bit absurd (and offensive) to depict all of the Iranians in the film as the bloodthirsty mob that they come off as in the film, I somehow doubt that other story is much more accurate.

              Or maybe I'm just too cynical.

              • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

                I agree. But my one of my biggest problems with Argo was that it depicted a justifiable and, quite frankly, righteous revolution as nonsensical, meaningless and chaotic. This is not something you would have to worry about coming from the Iranian Govt. (seeing as how history is on their side).

                It's like if Ben Affleck were to make his next film about the Cuban revolution and depict Fulgencio Batista as a hero and savoir and portray the revolutionaries as violent and zombie-like (and I wouldn't put it past him). In fact, if they ever make another film about the Grenada invasion, Ben Affleck is probably the only guy who could make it seem like a success...

              • Chris138

                @ AS: Fair enough. Although I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised to see that Affleck attempted to put some historical context into what happened leading up to the revolution in the very beginning with the animation bit. Unfortunately most audience members won't remember 98% of it once the movie gets going, so in effect it's kind of pointless.

                I think for subjects like this the best way to try and get a more fair (and hopefully accurate) depiction of events is by making a documentary. I think the whole Argo scenario would be an interesting subject for one, with interviews of those on both sides who were involved. They should do that with other one-sided and jingoistic films like Black Hawk Down, too. Here's hoping.

              • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

                Regarding your 2nd point:

                Much as I'd like that, I'm confident that Hollywood films will only get more and more jingoistic from here on out. How I long for the 70's...

      • Jake17

        The last 30 minutes are grossly jingoistic and offensive to the effort put forth by the Canadian government to help get American citizens out of Iran.
        Disregarding the movie's blatant racism for a moment, the ending is ridiculous anyways. That car chasing the plane down at the end was so overdramatic and ruined the tone of a solid thriller. After that, the final shot with him hugging his wife and the American flag waving behind them earned a major eye roll from me.
        And then the racism: not one of the non-white American characters in this movie are ever developed. Argo's basic message is AMERICA GOOD, TERRORISTS BAD!!!!! The movie never acknowledged what the Americans did wrong outside of the beginning animated sequence, and never attempts to show us a different side of the Iranians. I gave it 6 / 10 or C+, but I feel that's a little gracious.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

          My thoughts exactly.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Fox/ Fox

      I'll agree, Argo was 'good', but I don't think you can call it a historical drama, given that about 20% of the story is true. The other 80% is changed to make it seem like America/Hollywood were responsible for the rescue.

      Also you should check out Gone Baby Gone, and especially The Town, the latter is great.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Corbin/ Corbin

        I just took what it was classified as on multiple sources. I know that the Canadians had a bunch more to do with saving the hostages. It wasn't at all like it was in real life, but then again I wasn't really looking for that. But it still should have ramped up the Canadians involvement, along with other things. As for Affleck's other movies, it'll probably take a while for me to see them, but I'll try.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Fox/ Fox

    Wreck-It Ralph - Pretty decent movie. Charming enough, but aside from some reference jokes and toilet humour it wasn't all that funny. Although it did have me hooked all the way through (despite Sarah Silverman). Though it wasn't as ambitious, it was infinitely better than Brave.

    The Fighter (Rewatch) - Always a favourite. David O. Russell is quite the filmmaker.

    Thank You For Smoking (Rewatch) - This is a great movie that not too many people have seen. It's a brilliant satire that's a intelligent as it is laugh out loud funny. Jason Reitman at his best.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Fox/ Fox

      Also in terms of books, there one called The Sisters Brothers that I read awhile back. It had a very Tarantino-y feel to it. I wasn't a huge fan (probably because I'm not a huge Tarantino fan), but I know a lot of people who loved it, and I know that a lot of people on this site love QT.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

        Ill have to give the Sisters Brothers a look . I love a quick witted read.

  • Winchester

    That book on The Searchers actually sounds like an interesting read. I do like Ford's film but I haven't watched the Blu Ray for a while.

    As a quick aside regarding the new commenting system, since the article went away soon after going up I may be reading it incorrectly but it seemed that as I understood it (and I may well be wrong) that an individual would have to log in using one of their other accounts (i.e Facebook - which was the only one of the options I have) or join this Disqus thing and register with them. I gotta say, on a personal level if I am correct then I'm not overly keen on that. I don't like the idea of having to register once place to comment on another and I pretty much dislike Facebook and only use it for contact with personal friends, so I wouldn't be keen on having to join via that either really. I wasn't clear if other options remained though but I guess I may just have to view the site for news/etc instead.

    Unless I am totally wrong in my understanding (easily possible!) in which case if the article goes back up it will be clearer. I only managed to read it the once.

    Anyway, back to the column itself.

    At Cinemas -

    A Song for Marion (2012) - This will actually be released in June 2013 under the changed title 'Unfinished Song' in what I imagine will be limited release but this small budget British film starring Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave and Gemma Arterton was actually a perfectly sweet little dramedy thatever so slightly may be coasting on the 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' vibe of senior citizens focused films. A simple story though well acted and performed by the cast though. Especially Stamp in the main role. The UK title is better and more applicable to the film though than the rather weird change for the US market.

    At Home -

    Lawrence of Arabia (1962): Blu Ray, First Watch - I was blown away much more by the stunning visuals here in an absolutely faultless and incredibly beautiful Blu Ray remaster and transfer for the film almost as much as the sweepingly epic nature of the film itself. While certainly not what would be termed a 100% factual story of T. E. Lawrence as long as that's born in mind then what stands out is a portrait of a man who rises and falls whilst being torn between two lovers (his home country and Arabia) during the First World War. With jaw dropping scale and scope and photography it's a feast on the eyes but also features a wonderful performance by Peter O'Toole and a starry cast in support. This is apparently Steven Spielberg's favourite film of all time and he contributes on the Blu Ray extras. I could easily watch this again sometime despite the nearly four hour length. It did feel a long film, but one that didn't feel as if a minute was wasted though.

    Adaptation (2002): TV airing, rewatch - Although I think the last time I saw it was not long after it originally came out on home rental. I had forgotten that I quite liked it, although again more for the performances than the entire film, which at times seems to get a little pleased with it's own meta-ness (I know that strictly isn't a word) at times as it goes but nonetheless impresses in it's ability to weave the multistrand story together along with several riffs to previous Kaufmann films as well. A good couple of hours spent watching this one.

    Tyrannosaur (2011): Blu Ray, First Watch - A fairly hard going first debut film by actor Paddy Considine featuring two knock out performances by Peter Mullan and Olivia Colman (stunning and heartbreaking and completely in her role) as two extremely damaged people living who come into each other's worlds. Harsh at times in terms of the implied and shown violence, emotional without being sentimental you really feel like you've been through a ringer after this one. But Colman was utterly, utterly brilliant in her role as her character's secrets emerge. I would not be in a rush to rewatch it only because it is so bleak most of the time, but it's a good quality drama with a very hard edge.

    Ted (2012): Blu Ray, rewatch - Something a little lighter and frivolous after an epic and the aforementioned 'Tyrannosaur'. I liked it the first time round and I did again (the scattershot/cutaway style humour employed on Family Guy etc doesn't quite translate to live action too well though) but there is definitely 'The Hangover' diminishing returns issue I suspected I would have with it. As in, I found it hilarious on first watch...................less so on the second and so on until by the eight time or so I saw 'The Hangover' it just wasn't funny anymore. That would definitely happen with me with 'Ted' so I imagine it will be quite some time before I ever come back around to this one.

    I plan to try and catch 'Stoker' this week, and apart from the above. continuing with 'Cheers' and also some random episodes of 'Modern Family's' first season that was about all this week.

    • Winchester

      Oh, I see the trial on commenting has already run into choppy waters........................um, I guess that whole paragraph can be disregarded.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

      You know Ive never watched Lawrence of Arabia all the way through! Sounds like I should give it a try from what everyone is saying. It seems so slow to me.

      • Winchester

        Well I had absolutely no idea what to expect but the cinematography alone in places had me glued to it. You do need to set aside a good body of time to watch it though. The version I watched was just under 220 minutes.

  • http://letterboxd.com/ragingtaxidrver/ RagingTaxiDriver

    My full reviews can be found @http://letterboxd.com/ragingtaxidrver/

    No Rewatches this week

    - Panic Room: A thriller that many like myself have put off, but once you get on this ride, there's no going off. Overall Grade: 4/5

    - Grand Illusion: There's so much to analyze here; definitely needs a second watch. Overall Grade: 4.5/5

    - (500) Days of Summer: What roller coaster. Even though it is annoying, I still can't help but like this quirky and fun rom-com. Overall Grade: 3.5/5

    - Deadfall: Nothing to say. Overall Grade: 1.5/5

    - Manon of the Spring: I thoroughly enjoyed its predecessor, but Manon des Sources just doesn't hit me emotionally. While it boasts strong performances for the most part, I just can't get into the story as I did with Jean de Florette. I think that it would have been better off as a 4 part TV-Movie like Fanny and Alexander. Overall Grade: 3/5 (But as a whole with Jean de Florette; 4/5)

    - The Master: This was my most anticipated film of last year and now that it's finally out on DVD, I was able to witness the latest entry of PTA; and he didn't disappoint. I can't really give it a full review because there's so much to analyze. It definitely needs another viewing. While this may just be my bias towards PTA speaking... Overall Grade: 5/5

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

      I saw manon of the spring years ago and loved it. Sounds like manon des sources is a french remake?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HelloKitty/ Hello Kitty

    Brad, re The Searchers. I just got a hold of the original story from the library and will be reading it shortly. I've heard the rumor that the character John Wayne played in the movie was a small role in the original story, so I want to check that out. I've scanned a few pages of the story and was suprised how adult it was in content.

    Anyways, I love the iconic old west feel of the movie and look forward to reading Glenn Frankel's book.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Yeah, I was reading more last night and started wondering what a Coen remake of this Wayne western would look like. Seriously dark content.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Xarnis/ Xarnis

    Letterboxd: http://letterboxd.com/xarnis/

    No trips to the theatre

    District 9 - a very good Sci-Fi film with a good script and interesting plot. The parallels to apartheid are obvious, but are used well. However, the pacing was strange, and the main character's goofiness hurt the film more than helping it.
    4/5

    Argo [Re-watch] - still a very good film, despite some historical inaccuracies (pointed out to me by AS). The reason I praise Ben Affleck and Chris Terrio for their direction and screenplay, respectively, is for their ability to create tension despite having the knowledge of the outcome. I still found myself gripping the armrest of my couch as the final minutes ticked by. The script also creates realistic banter and dialogue, and even some dark humor with a line that may go down in history. My problem with this film (which increased on 2nd viewing) is how the film is paced. The opening 30 minutes and ending 30 minutes are thrilling. However the film does drag in the middle, but never to a point of absolute boredom. I believe Argo is a very good film and a fine winner of the Best Picture Oscar.
    4/5

    Lawrence if Arabia [Re-Watch] - speaking of Best Picture winners, this one surpasses Argo on every level possible. This is a masterpiece of a film if there ever was one. The cinematography is sweeping and majestic and coupled with the masterful performance by Peter O'Toole it creates the definitive epic film. The film's grand scale is one of the biggest even 50 years later. This is one of my all-time favorites and a pleasure to watch
    5/5

    Batman & Robin - on the complete opposite side of the spectrum comes this atrocious piece of garbage. I have called this the worst film ever made, and I mean it. If any film matches the complete silliness, stupidity, and the horrible acting of this film, I will be legitimately shocked. This is a disgrace to cinema. This is the worst film I have ever seen.
    0.5/5

    National Treasure [Re-watch] -
    I caught this one on TV, and I accept the fact that it is not good. that being said, I was entertained for the most part, in spite of the film's cheesieness and completely implausible plot line.
    3/5

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail [Re-Watch] - ending the week on a positive note is this hilarious film. Low-budget and proud of it, Monty Python and the Holy Grail is endlessly quotable and equally hilarious. Few comedies today can match this in terms of comedy and rewatchability
    5/5

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Xarnis/ Xarnis

      Also, on the more literary side if things, is began (and finished) C.S Lewis' book 'Out of the Silent Planet' which is the first in his lesser-known space trilogy. At only 160 or so pages, it's a brisk read, but very good. The description is very vibrant and the world of Malacandra that Lewis creates is intriguing. My problems with the book, however are it's length (which I already mentioned) and the descriptive language occasionally goes a bit too in depth, describing things you don't really acre about and aren't relevant to the story. Over all, it's good, and easily re-readable
      B+

      • Jake17

        Funny that you said Lewis tends to be too descriptive, I have the same problem with him and Tolkien.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

        I read Out of the silent planet when I was in jr high. I have always loved a good sci-fi. This one was an eay read. Thanks for the reminder!

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

    I will be posting what I watched this week later as I am going to post later as The Losers is on on cable in about an hour and I want to wait to post until I watch that but in the meantime, I'm curious, did anyone see 21 And Over this weekend? Was it any good?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aleonardis/ Aleonardis

      21 & Over is serviceable. Not great by any means. Like an amalgamation of The Hangover and Project X in terms of quality then lowered a tiny smidge. Some homophobic humor which is really ridiculous at this point but it's not a huge deal.

    • http://www.twitter.com/GregDinskisk GregDinskisk

      I hated it more than I thought was possible. It was homophobic, racist, sexist, and not funny in any way.

  • http://smartfilm.blogspot.com SmartFilm

    Just checked out 'Hitchcock' at the three dollar theater and wasn't that impressed. It was a fine middle of the road dramedy that settled with making asides instead of creating much tension. While I enjoyed the whole informative aspect of it, the script, plot and movie was just kind of lifeless. I thought Hopkins played somewhat of a caricature of the iconic and portly Hitchcock whereas Helen Mirren offered the best performance of the film.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Xarnis/ Xarnis

    I love The Searchers film, so I'll have to check out the book. I recently listed my favorite Western films and placed The Searchers at #5.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Andrew13/ Andrew13

    In Theaters:

    Stoker: It's certainly all style and very little substance, but I really enjoyed how dark and dirty the atmosphere of this picture was. Park Chan-Wook uses sound about as well as anyone except David Lynch, and 'Stoker' is no exception. Performances were solid all around, especially Nicole Kidman's, though I thought the script could have used a touch up, as some of the dialogue, especially in the first 30 minutes, was pretty rough. (B)

    Side Effects: A great Hitchcockian thriller. Soderbergh is very much like David O. Russell, in that neither tend to create truly innovative material, but instead they jump from genre to genre, always elevating their material above the traditional genre tropes. Jude Law was better than he's been in year, and Rooney Mara proves again she's one of the finest young actresses working today. I have some practical issues with the final moments of the film, but overall it's the most enjoyable and well made film I've seen this year. (A-)

    At Home:

    Modern Times (first watch): It's certainly a product of its times, but I was surprising how well Chaplin's physical humor holds up today. That being said, there is little structure to the film, with really no climax to speak of, but it's overall a very enjoyable 90 minute romantic comedy. (A-)

    Dazed and Confused (first watch): I believe Quentin Tarantino called this the ultimate hangout film, and I'm inclined to agree with him. Nothing really happens in terms of plot, but that's the point. It's a very funny, enjoyable nostalgia trip, and I loved ever minute of it. (A-)

    The Master (rewatch): I've talked about this film at length before, but it's slowly creeping up to the top of my list of favorite PT Anderson films. A remarkable film, and every time I revisit it I find myself more and more invested in these characters, and that's a testament to the screenplay, which is arguably PTA's finest. (A+)

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Andrew13/ Andrew13

      Also you can find me, and a very early look at the 2014 Oscar race, on Letterboxd here: http://letterboxd.com/andrew13/

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aleonardis/ Aleonardis

    The Snowtown Murders: Tough to watch but also completely beautiful. What struck me was just how much wasn't seen yet, how terrifying it still was. This is just as much a horror movie as any other. I really could have watched more though. It ended and I wanted another hour. Which is somehow a bad thing and a good thing. B

    Hour of the Wolf: What makes this movie so scary isn't the images in the film, it's that one description. The one about the hour. It seeps into your brain, mixing with the images themselves to put you on edge. It's only afterwards, that I felt truly terrified.And look at that, while writing this my grade has changed. A-

    Jack The Giant Slayer: Useless 3D aside. Nothing else is useless in this. Not that it's particularly fantastic, but it is the best movie of 2013 if you're only considering entertainment factor. Mixing that entertainment with pretty good performances and an innovative story, Jack is something that you should see on the big screen, but don't expect something fantastic. B-

    I also wrote a crazy long review for The Dark Knight Rises on Letterboxd that I won't post here, but I will post the link because, I think it's a movie that deserves more discussion than it ever got. http://letterboxd.com/aleonardis/film/the-dark-knight-rises/

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HelloKitty/ Hello Kitty

      The Snowtown Murders was my #2 favorite film from 2013. Some gritty films coming out of Australia these days. Have you seen Animal Kingdom?

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aleonardis/ Aleonardis

        Haven't seen it yet, but I've been dying to for a while.

      • Winchester

        I really like Snowtown as well. I actually thought it was a better film personally than Animal Kingdom which quite underwhelmed me.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

        I like psychological thrillers like silence of the lambs. Crime dramas and a gritty murder mystery are my favorites. But stuff like the saw and paranormal get under my skin and enter my dreamland little too much!
        That said, do you think I would i like The snowtown murders?

    • http://www.criterion.com/my_criterion/27913-criterion10 Criterion10

      Snowtown is indeed a good film. Very disturbing, especially since it is based on a true story.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Kessler/ Kessler

    At Home:

    The Master - Finally caught up on The Master and while I didn't love it, I still like and respect it. Its not that it was disappointing, it was just different than I expected it to be. I'll start with what I liked about it. The performances are all great. I can't really say anything that hasn't already been said about them. The production design are is first-rate. I was really taken aback by how it looks. When Freddie is taking pictures of the people, I was blown away by how it really looks like that time period. The cinematography is also impressive and you can tell that each shot is well thought out. The score is also very good and memorable. So from a technical perspective, The Master is great and a very well-made film. My problems with it all go back to the story. It's a pretty simple story for such a long film. I didn't have a problem with the pacing, but that was a weird thing that I noticed after. There's also no emotional connection so it's tough to get involved with it. None of this would be a problem, except that none of the characters ever grow throughout the film. That was my biggest problem. By the end, neither Freddie or Dodd seemed to have changed. Even when they are separated, they don't seem to be affected by it. It's pointless because they didn't have an effect on each other at the end. They just go back to normal as if nothing ever happened. I will admit that the film, and this is something Brad has talked about, gets more interesting the more I think about it. Amy Adam's character is fascinating as it makes you question who is really in control of The Cause. I also really liked how the son questions The Cause and his father. And when Dodd responds to the guy who questions everything he says. On the other hand, while I do think those subjects are interesting, the movie itself doesn't spend a lot of time on them. The movie really should've been about Lancaster Dodd and his family instead of Freddie. To me, that would've been more interesting. Still, The Master is very good and I would certainly watch it again. I just can't call it a great film.

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit - I really do like this movie. It's a lot of fun and the effects are pretty great for a movie that was made in the '80s. It's still seamless after all these years.

    The Great Silence - Already wrote about this for the ROS Movie Club and I was really surprised by how much I liked it. If you can find this, I'd highly recommend that you watch this one.

    Hey Brad, what's the next movie for the Movie Club? Have you decided that yet?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Matt/ Matt

    No movies this week, unfortunately, but I do have some television to write about:

    House of Cards (Season 1, Episodes 12-13)- A weak ending to a very strong season that I'd still wholeheartedly recommend. I felt like there wasn't any resolution for the story lines, which may work for some people and may have been the intention of the writers, but it just didn't work for me. Still, the show kept me riveted due to it's smart writing, cinematography and acting. I really hope the show gets some Emmy nominations (is it actually eligible?), specifically for Spacey, Wright, Mara and Stoll. Overall Season Grade: A-

    Mad Men (Season 1, Episodes 1-4) I only just started watching "Mad Men" and I'm already really into it. The production design is, by far, the best I've seen for a TV series, and the acting is terrific all around. I've heard it only gets better so I'm looking forward to continuing.

    Hopefully I'll have some movies to share next week.

    • Jake17

      Love Mad Men and I totally agree on the production design, it's just fantastic.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

      I really enjoyed House Of Cards. I actually like endings that make you wonder, crave for more. Cards gave glimpses of each character's state of mind. Made me think about how the characters would unfold next season (assumed).
      Did you ever watch The Killing? I dont want to spoil anything for those who did not, but contrary to some, I liked how it did NOT sew itself up neatly at the end of the season. A fantastic murder mystery British style with fantastic character development and acting.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Matt/ Matt

        I like it when season finale's don't resolve everything, but with "House of Cards" it felt like nothing was actually accomplished by the end of the season. I felt like all thirteen episodes were simply setting up the next thirteen, which is just sloppy writing in my opinion.

        As for "The Killing" I started watching it when it premiered but after about six episodes I just lost interest. I really liked the performances, specifically the actress that played the dead girl's mother, but the show just dragged on and on. But, from what I know about the lack of resolution at the end of the first season, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't like it.

  • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

    Another relatively free week, which I'm really beginning to love. I used most of my time watching "Freaks and Geeks" on Netflix, and will probably start "Undeclared" once I finish, but I'm trying to get some movies fit in to my schedule as well. Oh, and I'm still reading Laremy's "Film Critic," which I highly recommend to all of you.

    As always, check me out on Letterboxd for more: http://letterboxd.com/jmbenesh

    IN THEATERS

    None.

    AT HOME

    This is Spinal Tap: A pretty funny mockumentary send-up of rock 'n' roll, Rob Reiner's This is Spinal Tap offers up some genuinely great sequences, though some hit notes slightly off-key. The "subjects" followed here are interesting and entertaining as fictional rockers, and the film's runtime certainly helps its case, as it is a light and breezy 82 minutes. If I were more knowledgable of Spinal Tap's style of music -- sex-driven rock 'n' roll played by men in too-tight spandex and leather -- or grew up closer to the times, I might find the film funnier, but on the whole, I enjoyed it. 3.5 / 5

    Ocean's Eleven (2001): Sure, there isn't a lot of conversation to have about Ocean's Eleven, but I'll be damned if it isn't a joy to watch, especially with a close group of friends or family. At the end of the day, the film just works, and I love it. With a terrific cast, a dazzling plot, and playfully witty dialogue, Ocean's Eleven is pure, unabashed fun -- the ultimate hangout flick, from beginning to end. 5 / 5

    Undefeated: Like the team this documentary depicts, Undefeated is resilient, a moving picture with its own emotional ups and downs it must fight through and overcome. As a former high school football player and a current collegiate athlete, the stories presented here are familiar and touch my heart. Sports movies have a habit of reaching me at my emotional core, and Undefeated is no exception. 4.5 / 5

    TV SHOWS

    Freaks and Geeks (Ep. 5-17): I spent most of my past week watching "Freaks and Geeks," and now have just one episode left. I love this show, and while I wish there were more of it -- much as I wish my favorite band, The Format, had made more than 2 albums before breaking up -- I find myself thinking it's probably for the best that "Freaks and Geeks" ended when it did. But for now, I've got one final episode to watch. I can cry my tears after that.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aleonardis/ Aleonardis

      THE FORMAT!!!! Are you a Fun. fan?

      • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

        I am, in fact. The Format is certainly better, but Fun. gets the job done. I firmly believe that The Format's two studio albums are flawless, though, and stand among the best albums released.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aleonardis/ Aleonardis

          I came upon Fun. before The Format so I guess that's why I'm more into Fun. Though Dog Problems is one of the best songs of the last decade...

          • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

            I started listening to The Format when I was in junior high -- about 2004 or 2005 -- and have been listening to them ever since. When Fun. came along, I was really excited to hear some similar music again, and I agree, "Dog Problems" is easily one their greatest songs. I really love "A Mess to Be Made," "Snails," and "If Work Permits," though all The Format's music is great.

            While Fun. certainly isn't the same in my eyes, they are still one of the best bands around right now (alongside Mumford & Sons, The Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men, The Black Keys, and Alabama Shakes) and are very unique in their sound.

            I'll be seeing Fun. in concert in September or October, which I'm really excited about. For my two cents, their best song is "The Gambler" off of Aim and Ignite, followed by "All the Pretty Girls," "Carry On," and "Why Am I The One." I used to hate "Stars" with a passion, but I've actually grown to love it as well.

            And if you've never heard their live cover of "Queen of the Slipstream" or their latest from the Girls (TV Show) soundtrack, "Sight of the Sun," you must.

            • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

              Didn't make it entirely clear in my first paragraph, but those are my favorite songs by The Format, not Fun. My bad.

            • Jake17

              Love your taste in music! I'm just getting into Alabama Shakes and Of Monsters and Men, and love The Lumineers, Mumford And Sons, Fun. and The Black Keys.

              • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

                Thanks! I've been turned on to a few local (Phoenix, AZ) bands as well as some smaller indie stuff, too, and I do enjoy some more popular mainstream and genre stuff -- Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, Coldplay, Eminem, Drake, John Legend, Justin Timberlake, Macklemore, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, and so on. I don't discriminate, as you can tell, though I certainly have my preferences.

                And, much to Brad's chagrin, I am a huge fan of Taylor Swift. Huge. Her music is fantastic, and there is no way anyone will be able to convince me otherwise.

              • Jake17

                Yeah I listen to almost anything: The Beatles, Adele Fiona Apple, Eminem, Coldplay, Janelle Monae, Beyonce, The White Stripes (Jack White's new album is quite good as well), Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals and The Decemberists are some of my other favorites but I listen to many different things.
                I'm personally mixed on Taylor Swift, but I really love I Knew You Were Trouble, Back To December and Ours. I'm not a hater like Brad ;)

              • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

                I personally agree with Brad on Taylor Swift I think she's awful.

              • Jake17

                That's fine and I totally get why people hate her music. I hate You Belong With me with a fiery passion, but I don't dislike any of her other stuff.

              • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

                Hey, everyone's entitled to their own opinion. Mine is that both Swift and her music are magnificent.

            • http://www.twitter.com/GregDinskisk GregDinskisk

              I've gotta thank both of you for talking about The Format... Looked them up yesterday after reading this and LOVED them...

              Thank you both!

              • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

                You're welcome, Greg! Sometimes I think it's a shame that so few people have heard their music, but at the same time it's cool knowing that 5 years after The Format split up, people can still freshly stumble upon their music.

                They're my favorite band, hands down, and each of the songs on their two studio albums -- Interventions & Lullabies and Dog Problems -- are great. There are song for all moods, settings, and occasions, but I can just as easily listen to all of them on shuffle without ever pressing "skip." Case in point, all 24 songs have a spot in my "100 Most-Played" list on my iTunes.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Travis/ Travis

      I just finished Undeclared. I really like it

  • http://www.twitter.com/marlonwallace marlonwallace

    On DVD...

    'The Master' - did not like this movie at all, was bored, and thought the writing was awful, did not buy any of the relationships. one of the worsts of the year as I saw.

    'For a Good Time, Call' - up and down for me, great start and decent ending but middle dragged.

    'Dead in France' - marketed as Tarantino meets Guy Ritchie, but could not connect with British humor and character development and writing were piss poor.

    On VOD...

    'Keep the Lights On' - Ira Sachs' semi-autobiographical look at a filmmaker's difficult relationship with a drug addict with a soundtrack as tribute to a great musician now deceased. great performances and writing from Sachs.

    On TV...

    'West Side Story' - love the opening sequence and will never tire of it. the singing and the choreography are just fantastic, and always will be.

    'On the Waterfront' - absolutely deserved every Oscar that it won.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

      Is this a british film or French film? Or neither? I love british crime drama. Is it worth a look?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

    Anyone else watching The Losers on tv right now?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

      You sound crazy for The Losers! What is this show?

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

        It's a movie about army guys that have to fight a terrorists that tried to kill them. I'm not totally crazy about it, it was just a fun way to pass some time.

  • Torryz

    Jack the Giant Slayer wasn't perfect but I really enjoyed it. It was very entertaining and was full of action. I would defiantly recommend it.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

      I'm honestly surprised that people are enjoying Jack The Giant Slayer so much. It didn't look that good from the trailers.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

        Yeah, the trailers made it look stupid. Flopped at the box office...

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mikey/ Mikey

    In theaters:

    Amour: A very well-made film with brilliant performances. Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva both create characters that seem 100% real and Haneke refuses to present anything in an emotionally manipulative way. A small down-side of this is that it makes it a little harder to care for the characters, because we are with them for such a short time. Having said that, Haneke and co accomplish exactly what they set out to do and I commend them for that. 3/4

    At home:

    X-Men: First Class (rewatch): A decent action film that is helped drastically by performances by McAvoy, Fassbender, and Bacon. While I actually like Vaughn, the movie seems to get away from him at times and dear lord the writing is bad. Yet I can't deny that I always enjoy this film, the ending does manage to create a bit of tension, and I can't help but imagine what Fassbender and McAvoy could do with a decent script underneath them. 2.5/4

    The Great Silence: Unfortunately, I didn't get around to posting anything in the MovieClub, although I did enjoy reading the article and all the comments. I'd just like to say that this movie is helped dramatically by its ending. While watching, I remember thinking that this is a good movie, and would need one hell of an ending to elevate it to greatness, but I couldn't think of any way for Silence to win that wouldn't come off as cheesy... I guess the director thought the same thing. Great stuff. 3.5/4

    Scream (rewatch): I can't quite put into words why I love this movie so much, but I've watched it at least 4 times now and every time I've had a slightly different reaction. I've been on the edge of my seat, and I've laughed uncontrollably at the same scene depending on which time I watched it. I guess it's a movie that just works for me. I will say that Matthew Lillard plays a great psycho. "My mom and dad are gonna be so mad at me!" 4/4

    • http://letterboxd.com/gman/ G-Man

      Scream - yes! One of my all-time favorites. Watch every Halloween season.

      Do you like the sequels?

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mikey/ Mikey

        Although none come close to the first one, I like both 2 and 4. I don't care for the third so much. 2 has some very tense scenes, but is lacking a little of the humor and the reveal is pretty weak. 4 is pretty hilarious, but is lacking any real scares and *SPOILERS* the ending could have been great had they let Sidney die. As it was it was still pretty fun. "Don't fuck with the original!" I'd rank 'em 1, 4, 2, 3.

        • http://letterboxd.com/gman/ G-Man

          Nice. We actually pretty much have the exact same outlook and ranking of the films. I really liked the fourth one quite a bit and hoping for a fifth.

          • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mikey/ Mikey

            @Michael as well, but I'm only going to reply to one comment.

            My only question is where would you want them to go with a 5th? Had they let Sidney die at the end of 4, I would be begging for 5. The idea of Jill being put in Sidney's place and then being targeted by a different ghostface (with her having her own experience as ghostface) OR to have Jill as ghostface as the protagonist as she tries to cover up her tracks, maybe target Dewey and Gale, both are great new ways for the series to go. Unfortunately with Sidney alive and Jill (and pretty much all the new teenagers) seemingly dead, the series seems to be going out on its own terms. A big Fuck You to the idea of endless horror reboots and sequels. I'll welcome 5 with open arms, I just don't see how it could happen.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

          Ok, I stopped reading at *spoilers* but I have become very curious about this series. Is it considered horror or thriller or somewhere in between?

          • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mikey/ Mikey

            It's a tough genre to nail down. The concept is that it's a horror film in which the killer has watched and is aware of other horror films. So in a lot of ways it's a sort of meta-comedy, but in my opinion, the first 2 still manage to be scarier than most horror films.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mv11391/ Michael

      Yes, Scream! While the 4th is my favorite of the series does not quite mean it's the best. The 1st one will be always the best. No one has came close to being better psychos than both Matthew Lillard & Skeet Ulrich as both Stu & Billy. I did like Emma Roberts as Jill in 4th, I thought she was pretty good as a psycho though some may disagree with me. I, too want a 5th one. 4, 1, 2, 3.

  • Chris138

    They Shoot Horses, Don't They? - All I can say about this movie is that it is strange, unpleasant and mostly dull. I suppose on a technical level there are things to admire, such as Jane Fonda's performance and Sydney Pollack's ability to make the story so claustrophobic and unsettling. There are also a lot of interesting things to discuss about the themes and whatnot. However, it doesn't register much at all on an entertainment level. It's very slow and I grew weary of the whole thing very fast. As I said, even though I didn't care for the film, it would be a source of starting up some interesting conversations about the nature of sport and exploitation. 2.5/5

    Re-watch:

    The Terminator - I got to see this in an original 35mm print on the big screen, and it was awesome. Certainly one of the best movie-going experiences I've had, it's a movie that is even more fun to watch in the proper cinematic setting. This is my favorite James Cameron film, and I am one of the few who seems to think that it is superior to T2. It's dark, suspenseful and unrelenting in its action sequences which are quite impressive considering the relatively small $6.5 million budget. To me, this is one of the definitive action movies. Some of the special effects look a little dated (as I said, the budget was fairly low) but the overall experience holds up remarkably well, and those action and chase sequences are still impressive. In fact the movie in general is better than most of today's action features. 5/5

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

      I agree about the terminator. I can deal with the aged special effects because the tension of the story is so well done. I didnt realize this film was made for 6.5 million. Very impressive. It's almost like "less is more" when compared to todays action films.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/RandallPMcMurphy/ Randall P McMurphy

    First, I have to say I loved the oscars, Seth Macfarlane was pretty funny and the awards to QT and Christoph Waltz were the best moments of the night for me.

    The Dictator - 6/10
    I love Borat and Religulous is my favorite documentary of all time, but this movie was just something simple, like Bruno, it didn't have much of a story and I didn't care for the main character at all.

    Goodbye Lenin - 6/10
    It was an okay movie, with a great performance from the guy who plays the nazi who's attracted to Melanie Laurent's character, Daniel Bruhl.

    Sin Nombre (rewatch) - 9/10
    Its an intense gangster movie, its Carlito's Way meets City of God.

    The Kids are All Right (rewatch) - 10/10
    One of my favorite movies of this decade, just behind Animal Kingdom, Django, Shame, Inception, Detachment, and The Descendants. Its a simple movie and easy to watch at any time. The dialogue is funny and the performances are all great.

    Grease (rewatch) - 7/10
    Its a chick flick, but its kind of fun and I saw a bunch of things Pulp Fiction must have took out it, some scenes had exactly the same shots. Plus they even mention a Pussy Wagon (like in Kill Bill)

    Being There - 6/10
    I don't know what to think of this, I really didn't like the main character and I didn't like any of the other characters at all. There is only one funny scene, when Chance/Chauncey (played by Peter Sellers) has just come out of the house he's been living in all his life (like the kids in Dogtooth) and starts talking to a gang, here's the clip:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NLuXod8bR0Q

    Rosemary's Baby (rewatch) 9/10
    A real creepy movie directed by Roman Polanski, about a girl pregnant with a baby who she believes her husband has promised to their neighbors as a human sacrifice in exchange for them helping him with his acting career. I love the ending and the emotion Polanski makes you feel of paranoia in this and in the Tenant is what makes it so great. Some simple scenes can be so creepy like one where Rosemary (played by a beautiful Mia Farrow) is calling someone while locked in here apartment and two guys tip tow behind her without her noticing, its kind of funny but creepy at the same time.

    The Name of the Rose - 5/10
    I was expecting a lot more from this, I had heard a lot of good things about it and it ended up being something so simple and boring.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Travis/ Travis

    Pretty decent week.

    Aguirre, The Wrath of God: this was a really good film. I thought the cinematography and direction were perfect. Klaus Kinski is a pretty good actor, but I didn't really care about any of the others (although I was fascinated by one who looked like Ron Jeremy, and somehow got away with calling the actor The Hedgehog through my entire class without getting in trouble). The film also dragged a bit, but I loved the final scene a lot, to the pointier may be one of the better endings I have seen. Overall, I'd say about 9/10.

    The Marriage of Maria Braun: I picked this for my class presentation, and I am glad. Everything about this film is flawless-direction, acting, cinematography, writing. It is a great film all around. This is proudly the first foreign film I have seen that can boast a 10/10 (although I haven't seen that many, and Black Orpheus came close)

    I haven't seen that many others, although I caught some of Lawrence of Arabia a few days ago.

    In TV world, I caught my usual lineup of TV sitcoms and a couple dramas-Girls, The Walking Dead, How I Met Your Mother, Bunheads, Castle, Modern Family, The Middle, Suburgatory, Community, Parks and Rec.

    I caught Parade's End, which I loved, and not just because I'm man-crushing hard on the phenomenal actor that is Benedict Cumberbatch.

    I watched some episodes of The Weat Wing-still great-and Chappele's Show-which has made me say I'm Rick James, Bitch and Wayne Brady about a thousand times.

    I finally finished Undeclared, which I thought was a fairly funny and likable show. It showed me Seth Rogen could be funny, and I always like Jay Baruchel.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/cradleman/ Jonathan

    I've been rewatching through some of my godzilla films since I have been way too busy with schoolwork to be able to watch a film that i haven't seen many times before. Always loved Godzilla even since i was little, and even though i recognize the cheesiness of some of the films, I still enjoy them and a couple (including the original) are truly great films.

    Gojira A+
    Godzilla, King of the Monsters A
    Destroy All Monsters A
    Return of Godzilla (Japanese) A-
    Godzilla Vs. Biollante B-
    Godzilla Vs. King Ghidorah A
    Godzilla 2000 C+
    Godzilla Mothra King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-out Attack A-
    Godzilla X Mechagodzilla B-

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/cradleman/ Jonathan

      oh, and Godzilla: Final Wars B

      • Chris138

        I never knew they made that many Godzilla films.

  • http://everyjohnhustonmovie.blogspot.ca/ Timothy

    AT HOME:
    The Vanishing- This is an amazing thriller. Sluzier's unwavering depiction of a man unable to move on after his girlfriend goes missing. Absolutely terrific. 10/10

    Kill Bill Vol. 2- Serving as both a high octane action film, and a fitting conclusion to Vol. 1, this is the rare example of a sequel (is it a sequel) surpassing the first film. 10/10

    The Small Back Room- One of Powell and Pressburger's most underrated films, this character study is cliched, yet still very enjoyable. 8/10

    Melancholia- I found it neither boring nor pretentious. I found instead a great film. 9/10

    The MacKintosh Man- An average spy thriller all the way down the line. Nothing here is different, and it provides minimal thrills. 6/10

    ON TELEVISION:
    Doctor Who, Series 3. Doctor Who just keeps getting better, and this series is no exception.

    That's all this weekend. I have been reading Faulkner's Intruder in the Dust, which is his worst, from what I've read (which isn't much).

  • Jake17

    A quieter week than the last two, but with some great movies.
    Easy A:
    A fun, surprisingly touching teen comedy with an excellent cast (the standouts being Emma Stone and Patricia Clarkson), and excellent dialogue. Easy A is, well, an A grade comedy. 9 / 10 or A-

    An Education:
    A solid period drama with strong performances. It drags a little in the middle, but it picks up again in the last 45 minutes. 7.5 / 10 or B-

    Evil Dead II:
    It isn't quite as scary as its predecessor (which, if it were, would be be quite an achievement), but Evil Dead II makes up for it with excellent dialogue, a great sense of humor and cool characters (Ash and Annie are seriously badass.) A really "groovy" movie. 8.5 / 10 or B+

    Pitch Perfect: This film pretty much never strays from the formula of all teen comedies of this type. Structurally, this film is a mess, and should be a complete bore. The humor is fairly hit and miss, with a few gags being misogynistic and homophobic, and just flat out stupid. Pitch Perfect, however, has a great cast, especially Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson, making this a perfectly forgettable teen comedy rather than the disaster it should be. 5 / 10 or C

    Manhattan:
    I should preface my mini review by saying this is my first Woody Allen movie, and I will definitely be watching a lot more of his movies in the coming months.
    Instantly quotable, wonderfully acted (Mariel Hemmingway gives one of the greatest performances from a young actress that I have seen), directed, and especially written, Manhattan is a timeless love letter to the city of New York, and a tragic story about the hopelessness of love. And, the Zelda Fitzgerald Emotional Maturity Award = best fake award ever! 10 / 10 or A+

    Memento:
    I'm of a mind that Christopher Nolan is at his best working on smaller scale movies, in the vein of The Prestige, and that he can get a little caught up in the scope of his bigger blockbusters. Don't get me wrong, I really like The Dark Knight, but I don't love Inception and TDKR is a mess, albeit with good moments. My problem with Nolan's last two movies is that the characters fall flat; they're almost all underdeveloped in favor of telling a story with an epic scope. The Prestige is more focused on developing its two main characters while still giving us a superb story with great twists, and I now feel the same way about Memento. It's twisted, innovative and thrilling, with compelling characters, an emotional wallop and everything else you expect from a great Christopher Nolan film. 10 / 10 or A+

    • Chris138

      Memento is pretty great. I'd say that and The Dark Knight are his best movies. I'd like to see Nolan go back to making smaller scale films in the vein of something like The Prestige, even though I am a fan of his bigger stuff as well. I do like Inception but it loses a little something on each viewing, despite being very entertaining and well made. I think part of it has to do with what you mention, which is that the characters are mostly one-dimensional and/or underdeveloped. There are some instances of that in The Dark Knight Rises as well, but I give that movie a little more of a break because it's the third movie in a series where the main characters have already been developed in the previous installments. Also TDKR is a little easier for me to re-watch because I don't find there to be as much constant expository dialogue like there is in Inception. In fact most of the characters in that film exist for the sole purpose of explaining what's going on... which gets tiresome for me on repeated viewings.

      • Jake17

        I agree with everything you said, except on TDKR. I watched it twice and really disliked it the second time, though I may give it another chance at some point. But, yeah, Inception has lost a little something every time I've watched it. It's still a solid movie, but the lack of good supporting characters and the way the rules of Inception are presented weakens it for me.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

          TDKR was Christopher Nolan's best movie in my opinion.

          • Jake17

            I think it's his weakest for a variety of reasons, though there are things I enjoy (every performance is solid save Cotillard's and Matthew Modine's) What makes it your favorite Nolan movie?

            • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

              Gotta agree with you here, Jake. I enjoyed TDKR on first viewing, and actually liked it a bit more on my second watch for whatever reason. But the third watch was rough for me and I find myself wishing quite a few things had been done differently. It's certainly a good movie, but not nearly as praiseworthy as some of his previous efforts, especially Memento and The Dark Knight.

              I've yet to see The Prestige still, sad to say, but have heard great things and look forward to the day I finally watch it.

              • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Jake17/ Jake17

                Thanks for the input! You should definitely watch The Prestige when you get the chance, it's a great movie.

              • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

                I've got it on my watchlist, I just have to get around to it and locate a copy of it! I need to remember that, when in doubt, the public library is my greatest asset.

              • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mv11391/ Michael

                The Prestige is Nolan's most underrated film IMO. Since we're speaking of Nolan, here are my rankings of his films (haven't seen Following):

                Inception
                The Dark Knight Rises
                The Dark Knight
                The Prestige
                Batman Begins
                Memento
                Insomnia

            • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

              For me, although I do agree there were some glaring issues with it, all of his films that I've seen have had issues and it was his only film that I was interested in throughout the entire thing.

              • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Jake17/ Jake17

                Fair enough. The Prestige and Memento were the most engaging for me.

              • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

                I've never seen The Prestige or Memento. I'll have to check those out sometime.

    • Winchester

      I have to agree with the comments regarding Nolan.

      For me his films since The Prestige have all been films which suffer greatly on rewatches. Flaws that seem to be glossed over on the first viewing due to polished and dazzling visuals (though in the case of TDKR some issues were not even hidden on first viewing) begin to emerge as soon as second viewings and I find tend to continue with subsequent views after that. And I've always felt he had little ability yo write characters I could bring myself to care about. The Prestige is one of the exceptions to that however.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Jake17/ Jake17

        Yeah, I agree. Even The Dark Knight has its flaws (much as I love it), and I've certainly noticed them more every time I've rewatched it.
        Nolan writes great lead characters (i.e. Dom and Molls in Inception, Batman and The Joker in The Dark Knight, etc.), but his supporting actors often suffer because they have weak material. Inception is a prime example of this. Arthur and Ariadne are characters that are front and center throughout the movie, but we learn nothing about them. Nolan is too infatuated with Dom's story and the mythology of Inception to notice that these characters are underwritten. You could probably say the same of The Prestige, but it actually helps that movie because the protagonists have chosen to isolate themselves from those who care for them, so it makes sense we wouldn't get to know them.

    • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

      Haven't seen Evil Dead II or An Education, but our opinions on Easy A, Manhattan, and Memento are very much aligned.

      As far as Woody is concerned, definitely seek out Annie Hall and Midnight in Paris; both are great. Most consider Annie Hall or Manhattan to be his finest achievement, but I actually think that commendation goes to Midnight in Paris -- it's quite possibly my favorite film. I'm still trying to get into some of his other works as well, and intend to hit up my local library to rent some Woody flicks to watch over spring break.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Jake17/ Jake17

        Thanks for the suggestions! I actually DVR'd Annie Hall and Midnight In Paris, so I'll likely be watching both of those this week.
        The Evil Dead series is worth a watch if you enjoy horror films. I've seen the first two, and they're both great scary movies.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

      Of these I have only seen Memento, which was so intriguing I had to watch it twice in a row! I love the acting and creative writing

  • http://www.everyeliakazanmovie.blogspot.ca/ IngmarTheBergman

    Take The Money And Run: I love Woody Allen with all my heart. This film has a few laughs, but you feel guilty for laughing at them. For example, at one point Woody Allen takes a pill that transforms him into a rabbi. This was so utterly stupid I had no choice but to burst into a chuckle. That was Take The Money And Run's intent. In that manner, it succeeded. But that doesn't make it a good film. - 3/5

    A Simple Plan: A definitively entertaining thriller with sharp writing and acting. Very depressing film. As well, I very much enjoyed the sharp twists. - 4/5

    The Spy in Black: It very much resembles an old Hitchcock British film. Certainly a good film, but not a great one. My full thoughts to follow. - 3/5

    A Streetcar Named Desire: Second viewing. A Streetcar Named Desire is a very strong film, but an overrated film as well. My full thoughts here: http://www.everyeliakazanmovie.blogspot.ca/2013/03/a-streetcar-named-desire-1951.html
    3.5/5

    Annie Hall: A re-watch of my favourite Woody Allen film. Just marvelously delightful. An utterly brilliant film. 5/5

    Unfaithfully Yours: Preston Sturges is always a back-up Lubitsch or Wilder. But this was lots of fun right here. 4/5

    Gummo: What a difficult film to describe. Never has a film about youth been so poignant. It would be a lie to say I got most of it. But this is certainly a very strong film. 4.5/10

    • http://www.criterion.com/my_criterion/27913-criterion10 Criterion10

      I think you meant 4.5 out of 5 for Gummo... :)

      • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

        I was just going to say...

      • http://www.everyeliakazanmovie.blogspot.ca/ IngmarTheBergman

        Thanks. I'd edit that comment, if I could.

    • http://www.twitter.com/GregDinskisk GregDinskisk

      STEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • http://www.everyeliakazanmovie.blogspot.ca/ IngmarTheBergman

        Ha, I didn't see the L, so all I was STEA. Needless to say I was confused at first.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

      Ive never seen Annie Hall or even Manhattan. But I do love Woody Allen's work. Ive put these on my "to watch" list.

      • http://www.everyeliakazanmovie.blogspot.ca/ IngmarTheBergman

        Oh really? I can't imagine loving Woody as much as I do without those two films.

  • http://www.iamramiam.blogspot.com Movieram

    The only movie I caught this week was The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox. In was a truly inane and mostly unfunny comedy-western, but darn if Goldie Hawn doesn't have a riveting screen presence even in a mess such as this one. George Segal tries hard to keep things light but mostly the film falls flat. Goldie elevates it up to a C- though.

    I also watched Season 2 of The Walking Dead. This whole series is so much better than I anticipated. Not that it's perfect, by any means. I definitely enjoyed the ride, though. The story often went in directions I never expected and sometimes the dramatic payoff was brilliant. Grade: B+

    And I watched a few more episodes of Frasier Season 1. The cast is brilliant and the writing almost always is.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

    I had reviews for everything but I lost them so here are my ratings for everything.

    Movies:
    Wanderlust- 3.5/5
    The Change-Up- 4.5/5
    Borat- 3/5
    Total Recall (1990)- 4.5/5
    The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring- 5/5
    The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers- 4.5/5
    Battle: Los Angeles- 4.5/5
    The Losers- 4/5

    TV:
    The 85th Academy Awards- 4/5
    Robot Chicken- 3.5/5

    Books:
    The Return Of The King (currently reading)- 2.5/5

    I'll post a review for The Return Of The King when I finish it.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

      By the way I was wondering, does anyone else watch Robot Chicken? If so, what are your thoughts on it?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

      Im a huge LOTR's fan. I read all of the books back to back. When the fellowship of the rings came out (my favorite of the films) I re-read it. Peter Jackson made a phenomenal work of art in this trilogy.
      Among my favorite films of all time!

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mv11391/ Michael

    At Home:

    The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (DVD, rewatches)

    The Fellowship of the Ring - 9.5/10
    The Two Towers - 10/10
    The Return of the King - 9.5/10

    IMO and many, The Lord of the Rings is one of the greatest trilogies of all-time. 9+ hours of visually stunning effects (some of the best ever put on film, all 3 especially on Gollum/Smeagol), memorable characters you grow to like as it goes on especially in my case Andy Serkis' Gollum/Smeagol, the epic and wonderfully-composed score from Howard Shore, amazing direction from Peter Jackson, gorgeous cinematography & just a fantastic trio of stories. Just amazing films, I always applaud the work EVERYBODY involved has put in everytime I revisit these movies.

    The Oscars - 7/10.

    Spartacus: War of the Damned (final season) episode 4 - 9/10. Will catch the 5th one next time they replay it.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ryguy815/ Ryguy815

      I completely agree with you about Lord Of The Rings being one of the best film trilogies of all time. I think it's even better than The Dark Knight trilogy. For me, a comparison I could draw from both these trilogies is that in both of them the second films are the weakest ones. My rating for the LOTR trilogy would be:

      Fellowship Of The Ring: 5/5
      Two Towers: 4.5/5
      Return Of The King: 5/5

      Speaking of trilogies, I've got a question for everyone...which trilogy is better, LOTR or The Dark Knight Trilogy?

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mv11391/ Michael

        Two Towers as you can see is my favorite and I say the best of the trilogy, it wasn't just extremely well-made (obviously) but you get to see Treebeard and other talking trees which IMO put the icing on the cake for me to be calling it the best of trio (I freaking loved those talking trees), more of Gollum/Smeagol & the Helm's Deep battle was phoenomenal. I really have no idea which one of the other two movies are the weakest since I loved both FOTR & ROFTK equally, that's how great the trilogy is.

        To answer your question which is extremely tough, I really love & admire both LOTR & The Dark Knight trilogies a LOT. It's really, really close but I would say LOTR Trilogy.

      • http://hypethemovies.wordpress.com Jordan B.

        That's a loaded question.

        If Nolan had churned out a third film on par with Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, I would say The Dark Knight Trilogy is the better of the two, hands down. Nolan's first two Bat-flicks are outstanding -- Begins is quite underrated, I must say -- but after a couple of watches, The Dark Knight Rises really falters a bit for me. Who knows, maybe I'll watch it again and enjoy it more, like I did on the first two viewings.

        The LOTR Trilogy, on the other hand, is so even and entertaining that it makes for a pretty easy watch despite both everything going on story-wise and also its near-daunting length.

        Of the six films in the two trilogies, I'm inclined to say The Dark Knight is the best of them all, followed closely by Batman Begins and all of the LOTR films. If TDKR were a better film, I'd give this one to The Dark Knight Trilogy, but it's not. So I'll go with LOTR here, though I would choose to watch The Dark Knight and Batman Begins before I would watch any of the LOTR movies again.

      • adu

        LOTRs by a mile for me. All these years later, those films remain an evocative and beautiful cinematic experience.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mv11391/ Michael

        I'll say this: i've seen The Dark Knight Trilogy more than the LOTR trilogy. Especially both TDK & TDKR. Of The Dark Knight trilogy, i've seen TDKR more than the first two and of the LOTR trilogy, i've seen Two Towers more.

  • The XFF Outlaw

    Android tupe this week so brar with me on the typos.

    In Theaters:
    Dark Skies:
    A pretty standerd fright flick. But ultimetly a forgetable rental. 6/10

    Escape From Planet Earth- 3D:
    There are kids movies that parents & their kids will enjoy, & then there are kids movies. This falls in the latter catagory. Cast is ovious in there celebrety & its very pretty looking but I feel this was a very well budgeted Nickalodian movie. 4.5/10.

    On Blu-ray:

    Dredd- 3D: (2nd veiwing)

    Karl Urban & cast did a fantastic job recreating the 2000 AD comic book aitihero. The direction & cinemetography is simply stunning. A deffinet reccomend. 8/10.

    Argo: (2nd viewing)

    A masterful work by Ben Affleck. He should be the Best director this year. Fantastic Best Picture winner. 9/10.

    Tv Land:
    Academy Awards: 8.5/10
    The Amazing Race

    Netflix Nexus:

    Side By Side:

    Great filmmaking documentary. 8/10

    Thats it for this week. Next time I will be getting reviews for Jack & The Giat Slayer, 21 & Over, Identity Thief, & OZ.

  • Dale

    I saw "Stoker" on Friday and hated it; "Genius on Hold" on Saturday and thought it was an excellent documentary (heartbreaking story); and on Sunday I felt like something that didn't require much thinking so I caught "Jack the Giant Slayer" (in 2-D, I hate 3-D) and found it a lot of fun, as these kinds of things go (amazing special effects). Since Jack didn't set the box office afire this weekend, it will be interesting to see how "Oz The Great and Powerful" does next weekend. Rotten Tomatoes says it has a 99% want-to-see rating and 75% critical approval.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Thornsy/ Thornsy

    I, like many of the people in the comments, also re-watched Argo, as I do every year with the Best Picture winner. I kept in mind some of its criticism, and well, I don't see it. I mean, I get the points, and I read the article AS linked above, but I still don't see it. But I tend to de-prioritize over-contextualizing movies, so maybe it's just me.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/lalecture/ lalecture

    Nothing at the theaters this week

    Lots of re watches on tv though:

    Wallander with Kenneth Braunagh, series 1 & 2. Fabulous character driven crime drama takes place in sweden but many of the actors are British. 3.5/5

    The Following-a very gritty serial killer series with Kevin Bacon as the main character. Pretty gutsy and very refreshing for network tv. The writing and acting is so so. But any murder mystery is worth a first watch for me. I give it a 3/5.

    The Americans-A new series on fx about KGB agents in the early 80's. I love the nostalgia of the times in every way. Whats weird is that i find myself rooting for the Russians! And the FBI look rather ridiculous. One thing that always bothers me about law enforcement is that they LOOK like law enforcement! At least from what ive seen. I mean, come on! How stupid do they think criminals are? Nevertheless, I give it a 3.5/5

    Parks and Rec...need I say more?!! 4.5/5

    The Wire: season 1 episodes 6-8 (rewatch) I cant say enough about this brilliant show. The character development, writing, acting, direction, camera work, all superb. It like what you might imagine cops are REALLY like. 4.5/5

    Law and Order: Criminal Intent 3/5

    Movies:
    Death Proof First viewing- (recommended by Ryguy) Very trippy film. I almost gave up on it after the first segment. Im glad I did not. I wont spoil it, but suffice it to say, a very QT type of character evolution. I watched it through a second time and was able to enjoy some of those amazing details that QT brings out in his actors. 3.5/5

    Sexy Beast hilarious. Ben Kingsley is genius in this humorous crime drama 4.5/5

    Rewatch
    The Game-This is a fun movie even though You need a little patience to overlook the "yeah, like that's really gonna happen" thoughts!! Still I give it a 4/5

    Your Sister's Sister 3.5/5

    Up in the Air only made it halfway through. But it is great the second time 4/5

    thats it for me. Peace Out!!