What I Watched, What You Watched #179

House of Cards posterThis week's theatrical trips included a screening of Warm Bodies and then a 10 PM screening of Bullet to the Head on Thursday night. The latter I had to catch due to getting hit hard with a stomach virus on Sunday night that had me in bed most of the day on Monday and recovering for two days after that. The week of watching was not over yet however.

Over the last two days I have now managed to watch nine episodes of the Netflix 13-episode mini-series "House of Cards" though by the end of the weekend I hope to have it completed entirely.

I am actually writing up this edition of "What I Watched" on Saturday night, ready to hit play on episode ten and hoping I'm done with the show before midnight, since I don't really want to interrupt my Super Bowl viewing experience with concerns of finishing this series before the end of the day.

That said, I am going to do my best to have a complete write up of the series done by midday Monday for discussion. I am currently enjoying what I'm seeing and this thing is a showcase for two actors in particular, but I'll remain mum on those thoughts for now so we can discuss a little later.

In fact, that does it for me. How about you? What did you watch and did any of you catch "House of Cards"? I know some of you saw Bullet to the Head and Warm Bodies as those discussions where carrying on bit-by-bit throughout the weekend, but let's hear about it all in the comments below and feel free to toss in a Super Bowl prediction if you have one... My pick... the Ravens, but I'm really just hoping for a good game.

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

    The Conversation -- Already gave my thoughts on this one in the movie club. A very well made film, with excellent direction by Coppola. A little slow moving, but still very good nonetheless. A-

    Pink Flamingos -- Pure trash, and I loved every minute of it. This is a film that is by no means well made, but boy is it just a lot of fun. It's a great, crazy, over the top exploitation film that is not for the easily offended. The actors (Divine in particular) are all great in this, and much of the dialogue had me laughing hysterically. This is the first John Waters film that I've seen, and I'm now interested in checking out his other films. B+

    The Mirror -- This is the second Tarkovsky film that I've now seen (the other being Solaris) and I think I can now tell that he's just going to be a very difficult director for me to get into. While his films are well made and incredibly dense with deeper themes, they are simply way too slow moving for me. I'd like to give this film another chance at some point, but for the time being, I can say that I really wasn't too crazy about it. To be honest, I shut it off at the last 20 minutes or so. I won't assign this one a rating as a result.

    The Silence of the Lambs (Rewatch) -- This is a film that has slowly grown on me. When I first saw it, maybe the hype had kind of already ruined the experience for me, as I found it to be nothing more than a well made thriller. But, the characters and atmosphere of the film have since become incredibly memorable, and when I saw this was on TV and only meant to watch a few minutes of it, I ended up watching the entire film. A truly great, original thriller, worthy of all the acclaim it receives. A

    Collateral (Rewatch) -- Another film that I hadn't seen in years. I really like this movie, everything about it. Tom Cruise and Jaime Foxx give two of their best performances. Mann's use of digital photography greatly enhances the LA atmosphere. Plus, the soundtrack is killer. This is simply excellent entertainment. I really need to pick up the Blu-Ray. A

    The main attraction for me this week was that I finally got around to checking out Pasolini's Trilogy of Life. The only other Pasolini film I had seen prior to this was Salo, which is one of my favorite films. I can easily say that Pasolini is slowly becoming another one of my favorite directors. I'm planning on importing some of his other films from the UK (i.e. Accattone, Gospel According to St. Matthew, etc.).

    The Trilogy of Life works beautifully as whole. The first two films, The Decameron and The Canterbury Tales, are essentially a series of short stories, adapted from their corresponding literary sources. What is interesting is that within the film, Pasolini makes an acting appearance as the author of the respective sources. I found this to be a very interesting touch. The films themselves are very good, though I wish there was more to bring the separate stories together, instead of making them solely exist on their own. The other problem that these two films face is that some of the stories are less interesting than the others. Regardless, I still liked these two films very much. There are many memorable moments, and Pasolini's interesting approach to sexuality, as also seen in the Trilogy's final installment, makes them worth a watch.

    Arabian Nights is by far the best of the Trilogy. Pasolini allows for different short stories to develop within the film, but they are all connected by a central narrative. The film also succeeds by developing these stories out greatly, which allows for each one to be interesting and memorable, as opposed to the problem the previous two films faced, where some are more interesting than others.

    Ratings for the Trilogy of Life:

    The Decameron -- B+
    The Canterbury Tales -- B
    Arabian Nights -- A-

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

      Nice watching. I had a dream about Silence of the Lambs last night - funny to wake up and see this.

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

    Mystic River - Always a good watch. One of Eastwood's best I think. Tim Robbins carries it, but there are great performances all around. I like to think of this one as more of a character study, and how one event can change three peoples lives. Beyond that there are some issues with the plot, namely Kevin Bacon's, mysterious phone calls with his wife, which are incredibly forced. This one is one of my favourites though, and I can't see myself ever getting tired of it.

    The Hunger Games - I rewatched this one on Netflix. I think I liked it better the first time I saw it. I found the first half of the movie really lacked any kind of emotion. It was just a grey-toned, robotic blur until they actually get inside the arena. I think Ross may have been more focused on pleasing fans plot-wise than creating any kind of emotional attachment to the characters.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

    I'm intrigued by House Of Cards as well, but currently watching West Wing on Netflix Instant and feel like it will be Washington DC overkill if I watch both.

    Move watching was a bit light this week thanks to West Wing, but:


    Slumdog Millionaire (2008) - Blu-ray Netflix - Didn't particularly care for the first hour when it was mostly them as little kids, but the second hour and specifically the ending were really well done. Freida Pinto is gorgeous. 7.0 / 10 or "B-"

    Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005) - Blu-ray Netflix - Everyone always told me that all the prequels "suck". I might have been semi on board with that until this one, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Some great action, terrific narrative backstory and nice acting. Granted I just saw the original trilogy for the first time last year, so perhaps my perspective is different from others, but I had a really good time watching this. 8.0 / 10 or "B+"

    Chinatown (1974) - Netflix Streaming - Really well done film with an intriguing story and a great performance from a young Jack Nicholson. There really were no moments I was bored during its 130 minute runtime. This uses Los Angeles as a setting really well. I could actually see myself watching this again in the future. 8.0 / 10 or "B+"


    Silver Linings Playbook (2012) - Theatre - Still thoroughly impressed with this and got quite a bit of laughs that I didn't remember from originally watching. I really noticed a lot more from the performances the second time around and I think Jennifer Lawrence is deserving of the Best Actress Oscar. I will say that Chris Tucker's character is a little weak and unnecessary. 9.0 / 10 or "A"

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

      Interesting to note that the only 2013 movie I've seen so far this year was "A Haunted House" (which I wasn't even that interested in). Nothing has really intrigued me.

    • Winchester

      About Chinatown - I would definitely say watch it again. Because the first viewing your trying to stay abreast of the plot's twists and turns I found when I rewatched it with the foreknowledge of the ending that the experience of viewing it was smoother and more engaging the second time around because you could then go back and pay attention to the clues and little pieces of acting that play into the conclusion and reveals of the end of the film.

      When it come to 'Sith' then I would personally say it is the best of the prequel trilogy but I would actually say that it's for me the third best of the entire 6 films (I would put Star Wars itself and the Empire in the first two spots even though I do also reverse them from time to time). It isn't that 'Jedi' is bad...................it's just that even after having watched it more times than I can possibly count since I was a kid (the whole trilogy was one of my favourites as a child) it's more than almost everything on Endor is padding and the opening act is really just a tick box exercise to sort out the cliffhangers from 'Empire', but the material on the Death Star and the finale between Luke, The Emperor and Vader is good. In 'Sith' there are moments and sequences that actually work very well (Order 66 and also Palpatine's final seduction of Annakin are well done parts of the film) and I think the film does have it's moments. I would not disagree that there are flaws within the prequel trilogy, but that said, I never hated them the way that some do and I think that 'Sith' definitely has moments which work. As much as I have problems with Lucas these days, there are moments where he has to be given a little credit for what he did as well.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

        Thanks for the reply. Yeah - I actually do plan to watch Chinatown again at some point. Unfortunately it just went off Netflix streaming.

        For me, Sith was pretty much on par with Return of the Jedi and A New Hope. Empire Strikes Back is still my favorite.

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

    In Theatres

    Lincoln (rewatch) - I loved this film the first time I saw it, and I am glad to say that it hold up to rewatchability. I enjoyed this film even more this time than I did the first time. The acting from Daniel Day-Lewis, James Spader, and Tommy Lee Jones is phenomenal, and the intricate political dialogue is made interesting.
    4.5/5 (or A)

    At Home

    Moneyball - Another film that got better on the second viewing. The acting is great, especially from Brad Pitt. In my opinion, the cinematography in this film is unappreciated, and Wally Pfister did great work as always. This is my favorite film of 2011
    5/5 (or A+)

    5 Broken Cameras - A good documentary. Nothing too special, but I have no specific criticisms.
    3/5 (or C+)

    The Invisible War - A better documentary than 5 Broken Cameras but, again, I have no specific things to say about it.
    3.5/5 (or B)

    On TV (or Netflix, I should say)
    I watched the first 3 episodes of House of Cards, and I hope to finish soon. It is very good, and Kevin Spacey's performance is great. I can't make too many judgments without watching the rest of the series, so I'll save most of my comments for later.

    I ordered The Conversation, but it didn't arrive in time for the Movie Club discussion, but i plan to watch it before next Sunday.

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

      Agreed 100% on Moneyball. Real overlooked work by Pfister

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

        Pfister is one of the best cinematographers out there, for sure.

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

      Also, follow me on Letterboxd if you haven't already

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

        Apparently I need a Beta code to join lol

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

          I can send you one. Just leave your email.

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

      The Conversation is available on Netflix Instant Stream. I assumed you have Netflix since you said you watched House of Cards. I am done with 4 episodes of it so far.

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

        I wasn't aware. I wish I knew, because I actually bought the film before checking on Netflix. Oh well, I got it pretty cheap

  • Winchester

    This week in cinemas -

    'Lincoln' (2012): As I try and continue to be thwarted in the attempt to catch 'Les Miserables' I was however able to catch this first. I very much enjoyed it and I can at least say that whether it does or does not pull off a victory at the Academy Awards I will not be upset if it does. I think I want to watch it again at least once or twice just to be able to get a handle on the heavy dialogue aspects of the piece since so much of the film is reliant on dialogue and conversation. It really did feel less like a biopic and more of a legal drama in a sense for me. And I found it extremely engrossing as a result watching the machinations of the machinery of the Government of the time and the essential 'buying' of votes to get it passed. I liked that in a sense the film showed the drive to end slavery was while in part connected to Lincoln's own opposition to it also very much connected to political expediency in pursuit of ending the War. And that was repeated many times. The performances were across the board pretty good and there's no way I could be upset with DDL winning the Best Actor award either. He simply does his best not to just act but to as much as possible become the character. While debate may continue over some aspects of his work I found it extremely well done. Including the voice which I had no issue with. Sally Field had a couple of good scenes but I don't see her winning out of it even if her key scene with Day Lewis over the decision of Robert to join up was just two great actors getting it done. Jones was solid and the only performance I may gripe with was Micheal Stuhlbarg. Spielberg's direction was understated and willing to just let the camera follow the action and I think he also injected some humour into proceedings as well that was relief as the film did sometimes feel it's length. I guess I didn't perhaps love the final minutes of the film all that much but it's not a sentimental film which he often gets lambasted for including, so there's that. But overall, a very well made and very enjoyable film.

    At Home:

    The Conversation (1974): DVD, rewatch - I watched this obviously for film club so will not say a lot here other than it's a great thriller and character study that has still relevant themes about surveillance underpinning a great performance by Gene Hackman.

    The Iron Giant (1999): TV airing, rewatch - Slowly but surely becoming a real animation favourite of mine. Terribly flopping on release though but actually a well crafted story with lovely of not ground-breaking animation and voice work. I almost always watch this when it's on TV now.

    Wonder Boys (2000): DVD, rewatch - This is one of my own personal favourite films because there's something within it which I connect to but yet which I can't necessarily explain. Like music sometimes. You know it affects you and you need to listen to it or watch it from time to time...............but exactly why eludes you. As such, I can only say this film is for me. And it may do nothing at all for others.

    The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec (2010): TV airing, rewatch - Luc Besson's fantastical adventure based on a French (I think) comic strip is a masterclass in how utterly ludicrous and nonsensical plot elements can be combined into a fun and engaging film that makes no sense (while yet kinda also making sense!) and just has to be tried to see if it works for you or not. Fun performances as well from the cast, especially plucky Louise Bourgoin in the lead role.

    We Bought a Zoo (2011): Blu-ray, first watch - I seem to remember some people being hard on this one at the time and I may be wrong in that memory but this really just sets out to be a family crowdpleaser and I think in that sense I got my couple hours worth from it. It is loaded with movie clichés and conveniences while being based on a real story but in general it's warm and comfortable and it features yet more evidence for me that the beautiful young Elle Fanning may well be an acting force to be reckoned with when she matures a bit more. Even here in a limited and predictable role what she does with it is one of the more striking things. Her face can convey so much so quickly.

    Headhunters (2011): Blu-ray, first watch - This Norwegian thriller on the other hand has reportedly a 90+ rating on RT. Which provides more evidence for me for why it is never a good idea to go solely on an RT rating. This 'thriller' really did nothing for me at all and I'm finding it harder to not hit fast forward on so many films these days. It was just a string of nonsense from the start for me and not in a 'switch off the brain and enjoy' kind of way. I imagine I will also skip the upcoming remake. If it gets as far as production.

    Queen of Versailles (2012): TV airing, first watch - A mixed bag for me. This kind of documentary film making isn't new to me and nothing here really broke any ground in terms of the structure or intent of the film but the topic of the piece and the family at the middle left me ho-hum as well. I can't relate to these kinds of people and I make no attempt to try because I couldn't. But from a perspective of curiosity the tasteless excess was intriguing. Wealthy people with no taste is nothing new, but here it was so proud of itself. The insight into the means by which the family became rich was amusing (the son is seen chairing a sales pitch meeting where he argues getting people to buy a timeshare will help save their lives so his team needed to sell something to these people to actually save their lives) but again I've watched documentary pieces that expose sales tactics like this and it wasn't anything surprising in that manner. What was of more interest was in the lives affected elsewhere among the staff and the associates of the main couple. I dunno, it was interesting but I didn't feel there was a lot of insight in it. It was OK.

    In TV Land I have been continuing with season 5 of 'Cheers' and it's coming to an end soon. But also over the last couple of weeks I have been watching a couple of pilot episodes of recent series as well. I saw the pilot for 'Elementary' but it didn't grab me. I may return to the series later to give it a second shot. I also tried to start watching 'Terra Nova' when it began airing here on a channel but after three episodes I gave up. It just wasn't drawing me in and the visual effects were not even that great. So, that's one show to leave aside.

    Apart from that I got tickets for 'Counting Crows' on their Euro/UK tour in a couple of months time so excited about that. Will be my second time seeing them.

    That was all this week.

    (apologies for the length in places but my laptop got fixed so I'm not restricted by my smartphone anymore! Sorry!)

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

    The Conversation: I explained some of my thoughts in the Movie Club but this is just a pretty fantastic movie. A-

    The Paperboy: Completely irreverent and completely fun. This movie is trash but it's watchable trash. The performance are also top notch all around. Hilarious. B-

    Killing Them Softly: Coming from the director of Jesse James, I expected something beautiful. I got that. I also expected something subtle. Didn't get that. The technical aspects of the movie are on another level. It's a technical masterwork. The message mongering is what killed it for me. It's so heavy handed it hurts. I could have watched a whole other hour if it was subtle. The line at the end would have hit like a ton of bricks. C+

    Amour: When I walked into this film, I was expecting something amazing. I got that and more. Now, I've only seen Cache and Funny Games U.S. by Haneke but I quite like those movies. This though, it's probably as perfect a film as any film gets. Every aspect of the movie is just far and away fantastic. One thing that gets me upset, is that, Trintignant also deserved to be nominated for this. Riva and him are a two handed performance. Never did I want a film to end faster than this one. Saying that, I think that's the point. You want these people to just move on from their suffering. It's unbearable. Never did I want to watch a movie again so fast yet dread it all the same. Masterpiece. A

    House of Cards: (3 Episodes) Fincher is so sorely missed after the initial rush of that 1-2 punch of the first two episodes. It stay a VERY fun watch though. The writing can be a little heavy handed and I'm not completely jumping out of my seat for the breaking of the 4th wall. I can't give a full evaluation but I'll probably have it finished by next week so...

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

      Trintignant was incredible in Amour. It was his character that I sympathized with the most, especially due to all of the extreme measures he undertook in order to help his wife. He was sadly snubbed.

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

    Check me out on Letterboxd: http://letterboxd.com/as/

    At home (first viewing):

    Cries & Whispers (1972) – This is the 3rd Ingmar Bergman film I’ve seen (the other two being The Seventh Seal & Shame) and I don’t really care for any of them. His films tend to become so self-serious that they almost border on parody. To call Whispers melodramatic would be an extreme understatement. Bergman is one auteur I just can’t get behind. I’ve never cared for films in which the abstractions and metaphors completely overtake the narrative/characters. But that’s just me.

    2.5 / 5

    Through a Glass Darkly (1961) – I found some of it interesting, but I’m just not a fan.

    3 / 5

    Frankenstein (1931) – Predictably over the top and cartoonish.

    2 / 5

    A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III (2013) – This is right down the middle of the road. It’s not very good, but not bad either. The performances are mostly fine (with the exception of Katheryn Winnick). The story is hardly original. The female characters are poorly conceived and consistently objectified. It seems Mr. Coppola likes his women scantily clad.

    3 / 5

    At Home (repeat viewing):

    The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) – I had to watch this again as a part of a film class I’m taking. I didn’t like it the first time and it didn’t improve on the 2nd viewing.

    2.5 / 5

    Crash (2005) – The criticisms leveled against this film are entirely valid, but I don’t think it’s a bad movie. It’s well acted and entertaining (which is more than I can say for most movies).

    3 / 5

    On TV:

    House of Cards (Season 1): Ep. 1 – Absolutely fantastic. I’ve been waiting over a year for this and it didn’t disappoint. Honestly, at this point, David Fincher is probably my favorite working director. His impeccable attention to detail and visual wit is simply unmatched. It’s not over-stylized and it’s not flashy, but his signature style is ever-present. Fincher is, first and foremost, a visual storyteller. You always know you’re watching a Fincher creation because he’s always figuring out innovative and interesting ways to tell the story visually (in one instance, the actual letters from a text message appear like a thought bubble next to a character). But beyond Fincher, the performances and writing is top notch. Spacey is brilliant and if he doesn’t get an Emmy it’ll be a crime. House of Cards is the anti-West Wing. It depicts Washington as the bitter, cynical and cut-throat environment it is. I’m so excited watch the rest of the season. Move over Game of Thrones & Breaking Bad, there’s a new boss in town.

    The SAG Awards – Lifeless and dull. Argo won… and I was sad.

    Californication (Season 6): Ep. 3

    Girls (Season 2): Ep. 3

    Shameless (Season 3): Ep. 3

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

      Fincher is sorely missed after that second episode...

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

        Really? I thought that the rest of the directors managed to keep the show up at the same level! Thoroughly great!!

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

          It feels, to me at least from the third episode, the same Fincher confidence isn't on display. It lost me a quick moment. Spacey always manages to bring me back though.

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

            Hm, odd.. Fincher is definitely the best director, but I thought Chapter Three had several fantastic moments too, specifically the eulogy Spacey offered...

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

      In film school, how often do you find that there is backlash from your professors if you don't care for one of the films they select as part of the syllabus? (i.e. will they hold a bias against you when grading)


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

        I mean, they don't necessarily know what you thought of the film (unless you volunteer your opinion). But from my experience, the professors I've had don't really care whether you liked or disliked a film. It's more of a lecture rather than a discussion.

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

      So Fincher's your favorite working director? Did Django knock Tarantino that bad?

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

        Yeah, but it wasn't just Django. I re-watched all of his films before seeing Django and with the exception of Death Proof & Jackie Brown, they all disappointed me to one degree or another. Right now I'd say my favorites are Fincher and Michael Mann.

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

          Fair enough. Fincher is my favorite working dramatic director. And I need to watch more Michael Mann. I loved Collateral, but both Heat and Public Enemies left me cold... might have to revisit.

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

          Michael Mann is one of my favorite directors too. I love Heat and The Insider.

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

    Only film I saw this week was John dies at the end. Definitely an insane movie that failed at times but ended up being fairly fun and one that I would easily watch again. B+

    Super Bowl prediction - 49ers 27, Ravens 20

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

    Amour- A very tough watch, if not for Haneke's unwavering realism, then for the brilliant performances by the two leads. I may not want to revisit it so soon, but it was definitely a great film. 8/10

    AT HOME:
    The Bad Seed- An interesting concept, and the performances are great, but the whole thing seems very stagey and it runs on for way to long. 7/10

    The Long Voyage Home- Brilliant cinematography, and a great first half. However, the second half runs on for a bit too long, and John Wayne's Swedish accent sounds off.

    I didn't see much in film this week as I am currently absorbed in two television shows. I finished series 1 of the 2005 reboot of Doctor Who, and I am almost done Season 2 of Dexter. That's all for this week.

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

    The Shawshank Redemption: 5/5
    Forrest Gump: 4/5

    First Watch:
    The 39 Steps - If you're looking for a good wrong man movie from Hitchcock, skip this and go for The Wrong Man with Henry Fonda. Grade: 2.5/5
    Full review @ http://letterboxd.com/ragingtaxidrver/film/the-39-steps/

    The Crucible - The Crucible overstays its welcome (even at its modest two hour run time) and doesn't provide enough substance for the audience to stay involved. But then the audience and the film wake up to provide a good ending. Overall Grade: 2/5 Full review @ http://letterboxd.com/ragingtaxidrver/film/the-crucible/

    The Conversation - Grade: 4.5/5. You can read my review on the Movie Club page or @ http://letterboxd.com/ragingtaxidrver/film/the-conversation/

    Killer Joe - Under recommendation from AS, This is the toughest movie for me to review yet. Killer Joe has a very interestingly dark and comedic premise. Right from the roll of the intro, the audience is completely intrigued. Then when the idea of killing his mom (not step-mom) from Chris is first brought up, we're not surprised at all because of how well the cast plays their roles off each other (AS, you were right about how good they were). As the film progresses, the story progresses in it's depth as well, with each scene presenting a new level of difficulty for the estranged family. Matthew McConaughey provides a sense of leadership and direction though, while the rest are struggling to even get through to the next day. But then at the 50 minute mark, things start falling. None of this is terrible film making, it just plateaus for awhile. Overall Grade: 4/5. Full review @ http://letterboxd.com/ragingtaxidrver/film/killer-joe/

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

      Regarding Killer Joe:

      You didn't comment on the humor. Did you find it funny? Cause I thought it was hilarious. The moment when Joe notices that Ansel isn't paying any attention to him and then gets up and destroys the TV kills me every time.

      • Lenny feder

        Only the funniest moment of the year besides, "I got em joe!!"

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

          Yes. Or when Joe calmly suggests that Gershon "get the potatoes started."

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

        Agreed, it was funny at times and very cynical. I'm totally for that TV scene. Definitely one of the funniest scenes of the year.

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


      Why does the family turn against Chris in the end? That's the one part that I still don't get.

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

        Well, that's the whole point of the movie. Freidkin & Letts' worldview (at least going by Killer Joe) is that humans are basically trash who will ultimately eat each other in the interest of self-preservation. It's black and deeply cynical (which is part of why I love it so much).

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

    I really want to watch House of Cards, but I don't have Netflix anymore. Need to find another way to watch it.

    In Theaters:

    Gangster Squad - A missed opportunity if there ever was one. This is one of those movies where all the problems come from the screenplay. It's terrible and really brings down the quality of the film. The performances are all pretty generic although none of them have a lot to work with. They aren't well-developed characters either. The biggest crime though is wasting Emma Stone and Michael Peña. These two have a great talent and it's frustrating to watch them in a movie where they have nothing to do. I did, however, like the look of the film. It looked like a graphic novel and I thought that was pretty cool. I'm a big sucker for that 1940's Los Angeles look and it's done well here. I also liked that it was never afraid to go there with the violence. I was surprised by how graphic it was. It feels like there is a great movie trying to break out, but it can't due to it's terrible script. It's got the style, now all it needs is the substance.

    Wreck-It Ralph - I kinda loved this movie. It's consistently charming, funny and creative . It has a great concept and contains numerous references to some video games that I enjoyed. This and Life of Pi have some of the best visuals I've seen this year. The voice work is also very impressive. Even Sarah Silverman made me laugh and I'm sometimes irritated by her. Overall, I really liked this and would love to see it win Best Animated Feature.

    At Home:

    Beats of the Southern Wild - I got around to finishing this and was more involved than last time. I admired it more than I liked it though. It's technically impressive, but I never made an emotional connection to the story. The performances are all pretty solid though and it's definitely worth a watch.

    The Campaign - I really like Will Ferrell and think he's one of the funnier comedians today, but this is not his best work. To me, the idea of a political comedy with Ferrell should be hilarious, but this wasn't. I did laugh at it, just as much as I laughed at Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Stepbrothers, or even Blades of Glory. A minor entry from Will Ferrell

    The Conversation - Already wrote about this for the movie club. Great movie and a great performance from Gene Hackman.

    The Watch - Meh. Some funny moments, but not enough of them. It could've been worse, I suppose. I've seen much worse comedies than this. I did like the cast and they actually make this watchable. Even if the jokes aren't that good.

    The Untouchables - Everything Gangster Squad tried to do, The Untouchables did it first and much better. I hadn't seen this in a while and I had a great time re-watching this again. If something good came out of watching Gangster Squad, its that it made me want to watch The Untouchables again.

  • Chris138

    The Great White Hope - A strange movie, based on the boxer Jack Johnson, that is well acted overall. James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander both got Oscar nods for their performances here, and indeed they are good. James Earl Jones smiles a lot in this movie, I mean A LOT, and I have to admit there's something kind of creepy about the look on his face when he does it. It kind of reminded me of a crazy looking Willem Dafoe. Anyway, the only problem I had with the movie is that it is very theatrical. The guy who wrote the play also adapted the screenplay for this, and it shows. It also ends on an unexpectedly downbeat note. I'd say it's worth seeing, but if you actually want to see a really great representation of Jack Johnson's life and how fascinating it all was, check out Ken Burns' documentary "Unforgivable Blackness" that was on PBS a few years back. It's about 4 hours long but riveting for every minute of its running time. 3/5

    The Other Guys - I have to admit that I had no expectations for this movie. I caught it on television and decided I'd watch the first few minutes, and 100 minutes later I had finished watching the entire thing. It's a little uneven at times, and the humor can get a little exhausting as it goes on, but I got some really big laughs out of it and was pretty entertained throughout. I think Mark Wahlberg is actually a pretty underrated comedic actor. The first 15 minutes or so with Samuel L. Jackson and The Rock were hilarious as well. 3.5/5

    Z - I saw the first half of this film several years ago, and fell asleep. Not because I was bored or thought the movie was bad, because I actually really liked what I saw. At the time I was watching it, however, I was incredibly tired and just couldn't sustain the energy to keep awake through the rest of the movie. Now after having bought it during the last Criterion sale at Barnes and Noble, I am very happy that I decided to see the movie in its entirety because it's one of the best and most gripping political thrillers I've ever seen. It's a thrilling experience and holds up remarkably well even by today's standards. It's fast paced and keeps you riveted throughout with great performances all around, especially from Jean-Louis Trintignant as the magistrate. I can't say I knew anything about the real life story which this movie is based on at all, but it's a powerful one. This also contained another ending which I wasn't expecting. Can't recommend it enough. 5/5

    A Tale of Two Cities (1935) - I feel very fortunate for being able to say I saw two great movies this week. I finished reading the Dickens novel of this story a couple of weeks ago, and absolutely loved it. It's interesting to see how certain themes are still relevant today, and how Nolan incorporated certain parts of it into his final Batman film. As for this movie, I loved it. Inevitably, the narrative is tighter and more condensed than the book, but it basically depicts all of the essential and most memorable moments from Dickens' novel. The acting, cinematography, costumes and sets are all pretty astounding. The one particular set piece that is quite the spectacle to behold is the storming of the Bastille, where thousands of extras fill the screen in a way that sadly just doesn't happen anymore. The two standout performances to me were Reginald Owen as Stryver and, in particular, Ronald Colman as Sydney Carton. He was the heart and soul of the book, and I felt his character was even more apparent in this film and he played the role perfectly. I know this movie was nominated for Best Picture and Best Film Editing at the Oscars that year, but it's a real shame Colman didn't get a Best Actor nod as well. As I watched this film I was also surprised that no one has adapted this story for the big screen since the 1950s. The story has tons of drama and suspense that I think would be interesting to see adapted again. 5/5

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

      Z is indeed a great film.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

    Do you guys think it would be Washington D.C. and politics overkill to watch both The West Wing and House of Cards at the same time?

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

      I'm considering doing the same thing. In fact I just picked up Season 1 of West Wing on DVD (impulse buy!). From what I gather they paint two different pictures of Washington, so it could be a fun little exercise.

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

      One of the things that makes House of Cards so great is that it's the opposite of The West Wing. No 6th grade optimism or naive idealism.

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

    In theaters:

    Warm Bodies: Perfectly enjoyable and charming. The plot is fun, although once you get past the fact that it's a zombie love story, it's all very predictable. Hoult and Palmer have great chemistry, with Hoult's performance being a stand out. He might be the first zombie I ever cared about (assuming we're not counting those last couple minutes of Shaun of the Dead). I see a lot of people loving Corddry's performance, but I'm not totally convinced. He was definitely the funniest character in the film, but I never felt that he was a zombie in the same way I felt Hoult was. Corddry always felt like a comedian playing a zombie, which was a little distracting (obviously once the zombies start becoming more human this became less and less of an issue). I will disagree with Brad and say I did love the use of the music, with Hungry Heart being particularly inspired. My major complaint has to be with the final act. The film spends the whole time completely aware that it's a fun, forgettable, rom-com and then for little to no reason tries to throw some action and drama in and it just doesn't work. Up till then though, pretty solid. 2.5/4

    At home:

    The Conversation: Already shared my thoughts at movie club. A good movie with great performances and scenes, but questionable pacing. 3/4

    End of Watch: I liked it, but I think some of the praise was undeserved. The shaky cam was fine and fit the tone the film was trying to set, though it didn't elevate it by any means. Gyllenhaal and Peña have great chemistry and their back and forth is the highlight of the film. Kendrick is good in her small role and adds a fun dynamic that can take a break from the otherwise constant police stuff.I have two major complaints though. Firstly, I have no idea why the Ayer added scenes showing the criminals committing crimes and plotting. These characters never moved past basic stereotypes, and these scenes only served to take away the surprise when the shootout starts. Secondly, I absolutely hated the last scene. SPOILERS: We get it, they were friends. Peña's death was hitting pretty hard, because we just watched a whole movie about the loyalty and friendship between these two partners. The final scene served to just remind us of what the whole movie was about and felt completely manipulative. 3/4

    Before Sunrise: I had never seen this or Sunset, but would quite like to see Midnight when it is released so I figured I'd do a little catching up. I thought it was phenomenal. The whole film was very dream-like. Linklater, Hawke, and Delpy have complete and total understanding of these characters, which is vital to this film. If at any point a character said something that felt out of place, the whole film could unravel. I'm very excited to watch Before Sunset, but I'm forcing myself to wait. I really want to give this movie some time to breathe before jumping back into the world of these characters... after all people who saw this when it was first released had to wait 9 years. Finally I'd like to highlight my 3 favorite scenes, although I can't pinpoint exactly why I love them so much. Maybe they just hit home the most: pinball, fake phone call, train station. Great stuff. 3.5/4

    Finally I tend not to talk about my TV watching habits. I love the usual dramas (Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Lost) and the usual internet-loved comedies (Community, Parks and Recreation, Arrested Development), but I will devote a couple of sentences to House of Cards. Now I've only watched the first 2 episodes so far, but as of now, it's fantastic. Spacey crushes his role and Fincher should continue to work with the Mara sisters because he consistently brings out their best work. I'm a little anxious to continue, because Fincher's direction is so great, but as long as the performances stay topnotch, e-mail's keep appearing on the screen, and Spacey keeps tearing down the fourth wall, it can't be too bad. Finally that opening scene: Maybe my favorite TV opening ever. I'm with Laremy in trying to shy away from any animal deaths, but if that seen didn't sum up Spacey's character perfectly, then I don't know what could. I can't recommend this show highly enough. 3.5/4

  • Matt

    Unfortunately, I didn't get to watch any new movies this week. But, I've been watching quite a bit of "Breaking Bad" and just yesterday finished the third season, which was (in my opinion) significantly better than the first and second. I'm doing my best to avoid spoilers on Season 4, and will hopefully be finished with it within a week or two. I also watched the first episode of "House of Cards" and really enjoyed it. The performances, specifically from Spacey, Mara and Stoll, are quite impressive and the cinematography is wonderful. It reminds me, at times, of an edgier, darker version of "The Good Wife", which is one of my favorite series at the moment. Anyway, next week I'll definitely have some movies to talk about.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/CoryS./ Cory S.

    House of Cards (2013), Knocked out the first two Fincher episodes and of course, THE Fincher doesn't disappoint. The game of politics and the power one wields in the game. It's fascinating to watch the game and at times sad because it feels closer to reality than I think people are willing to admit. The performances, top to bottom, have been great, with Spacey and Wright being superb. From a craftsmanship standpoint, I wish more television, both on network and cable, looked like this. It looked like cinema. Yes, that has a lot to do with how Fincher crafts his films but it shows that it can be done for the small screen.

    Die Hard (1988)/Predator (1986), I'm doing these together because during this week, I kept thinking about the 80's and what cinema gave us during that decade. When I think back to that decade, I can honestly only remember the action pictures of that period. And for me, besides the Terminator and First Blood, these two are the top two of the genre for that decade and maybe for all time. There's just something about Die Hard and Predator, as pure action films, that seems to work like gangbusters that only the Bourne trilogy were able to duplicate in this new century. Action pictures today just don' t have what Die Hard and Predator have. There are not thinking man pictures but they're supremely intelligent, have great characters, great action, and iconic performances/moments sprinkled all through out. It just doesn't get any better than these two masterpieces of action.

    I Am Bruce Lee (2011), I thought I knew everything about this icon. I did not. While this documentary wasn't a smashing eye opener, it did enlighten me to Lee's childhood and just how far reaching his legacy is. This guy will always be remembered. He's the best to ever do it. Nobody's even gotten close. It was really cool to see how far reaching his philosophies have reached all types of different people in different cultures and different types of professions. Which leads me to...

    The Big Boss (1971), It's really interesting to watch this film for the first time, after having watching countless Return of the Dragon, Enter the Dragon, and Game of Death in my youth. What's interesting in the Big Boss is how Lee's style hadn't fully blossomed when he made this picture. You can tell how he hadn't gotten to where he really wanted to be in his constant pursuit of more. The film isn't particularly good but it's always fun to watch the master take out the bad guys. Nobody takes out the bad guys quite like Lee did.

    Black Hawk Down (2001), Is this Ridley Scott's masterwork? I've been thinking and skimming over Ridley's films over the last week (it started with another viewing of Blade Runner) and the constant criticism of Scott is that he's mostly style without substance. Black Hawk Down feels like the very peak of that but because of the subject matter, I think it complete fits and in the process, we do get a lot of substance within this cinema war masterpiece. I do believe that it's Scott most visceral film by far. Again, that may be because of the subject matter but man, besides Private Ryan, I can't think of another war film/series that's as visceral as this piece. The performances are solid all around. I find it awesome that Bane's (Tom Hardy) first film role was this film. The actors in this piece are plentiful. It had been at least 8 years since I sat and watch this film and it still feels fresh and unrelenting as it did all those years ago. Again, is it Scott's masterwork? I think it might...

    • Chris138

      Black Hawk Down has a pretty mediocre (at best) script, but his Scott's direction is really what elevates the entire thing. It deserved each of the four Oscar nominations it received. Even though it tries to be apolitical about the whole thing, it does still kind of have a questionably one-sided stance to the whole thing, which is unfortunate. But that's a whole other discussion to get into. I wouldn't say it's his masterwork, but it's definitely among his most impressive directorial efforts. The way he's able to keep that story coherent with so much going on is quite remarkable.

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

    I've mentioned before that my primary shortcoming, when it comes to movies, is that I tend to only watch good ones: while many people's Letterboxd review distributions lean more toward the 3 to 4 star range, mine is heavily loaded with 4- and 5-star ratings. Well, I added 5 more of those 4- and 5-star reviews this past week, as I have been doing my best to work my way through unseen classics and films recommended to me by others. Screw it with even distributions: if I'm going to invest my time into watching films, I might as well skew myself toward the good ones, right?

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




    Before Sunrise: I had heard nothing but great things about this film of Richard Linklater's, and it certainly didn't disappoint. In fact, I found myself blown away. I really appreciate that, in Before Sunrise, we really get to meet two intriguing characters and simply listen to them talk, watch them interact, learn about them. Before Sunrise is a simple, beautiful story told in a way that provides us with a little sadness, but mostly happiness and hope, not just in these characters but in love itself. 5 / 5

    Before Sunset: One of the rare occasions where the sequel improves upon the (already outstanding) original, Linklater's romantic follow-up Before Sunset is truly inspired filmmaking. I could watch Celine and Jesse talk on screen for days, which makes me extremely excited to see what comes of Before Midnight. But for now, this and Before Sunrise suffice as two excellent romantic dramas in their own rights. More hopeful, sad, and beautiful than Before Sunrise, and with quite possibly the most satisfying ending I've ever seen in a film, Before Sunset is magnificent, romantic storytelling at its absolute finest. 5 / 5

    Boogie Nights: The ensemble of actors in Boogie Nights come together to drive the story through truthful, honest exchanges, no matter how disgusting or sad we might think them to be. And while, yes, this movie is about the porn industry, it isn't really about the porn industry. It's about the people involved, those who make these movies and those who star in them, their lives and motivations and feelings. Fantastic characters and excellent writing highlight this pure, unadulterated, stark naked treat from writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson. 4.5 / 5

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: One man's quest to erase the memories of a former flame is tainted by his mind's willful battle to hang on. Bold editing, powerful writing, and fierce emotion highlight this marvelous portrait of love's torment as well as its pleasure. And let's not forget Jim Carrey's performance here. It's great to see what guys like he and Adam Sandler (Punch-Drunk Love) can do when paired with great material and sound writing and direction. I'm happy to have finally seen this gem of a film. 5 / 5

    Singin' in the Rain: My my my, I've seen Singin' in the Rain before, but what an absolute treat this movie is. I have been watching a lot of movies lately and re-evaluating my own personal "best/favorite movies" list, and there is absolutely no way this one doesn't find a spot near the top. It's fun, heartwarming, and perhaps best of all, it comes complete with some of the catchiest tunes you'll ever hear. Me, I've been singing "Good Morning" and "Singin' in the Rain" for the past 3 days! 5 / 5


    House of Cards (Ep. 1 & 2): Two episodes in and I'm hooked. Actually 5 minutes into the first episode and I was hooked. "House of Cards" is just so diabolical, so fun, so campy, so utterly watchable that I couldn't possibly peel my eyes away even if I wanted to. I love Kevin Spacey, and I love David Fincher, so perhaps I'm a bit biased, but this is the best new show I've seen in quite a long time. Time to make the rest of this first season my life for the next week or so!

    • Jake17

      What did you think of Winslet's performance in Eternal Sunshine? I loved her, maybe even a little more than Carrey.

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

        I thought her performance was great, and certainly a tad different from some of her other work, but she has such a reputation as a great dramatic actress that I find it hard to make too much note of it. Carrey, on the other hand, is known as a goofy comedy actor, and to see him go toe-to-toe with someone of Winslet's dramatic stature is so fantastic and so opposite of most of his other work that his performance is well worth commending. Between Eternal Sunshine and The Truman Show, I really would love to see him transition into more dramatic acting during this stage of his career, even though I do enjoy many of his comedic roles.

        • Jake17

          Fair point. I loved Jim Carrey in The Truman Show as well, and would love to see him do more dramas and less slapstick comedy, even though I actually enjoy his comedies, for the most part. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like he's choosing that path.

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

            I enjoy his comedy as well, for the most part, even some of his lesser comedic work. But he's proven strong in his few dramatic outings that I can't help but hold out hope.

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

      Your first paragraph is my exact thoughts. Right now I'm leaning on 4 and 5 stars as well right now, I'm starting to rate the bad movies I've seen. So now it's starting to level out. But I'm agreed, why waste time with bad movies? Just the good ones.

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

        I certainly do my best to not write off a movie simply because it has less-than-stellar reviews or because I don't know if it will fit in my wheelhouse (which is actually hard considering my wheelhouse is quite vast), but I really like to limit the number of times that I am required to say I felt as though I wasted 2 hours of my life watching a bad movie.

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

      Some great stuff there!

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

        It's been a fantastic year so far for movie watching, to be sure.


    What I Watched:

    Catfish- 3.0/5.0

    Hotel Transylvania- 2.0/5.0

    HBO's Girls- 4.5/5.0

  • Kenny

    The Exorcist - This week was surely an interesting one especially in my film class. On Wednesday we were watching parts from The Exorcist and after the scene with the crucifix masturbation came on one of the other students passed out and fell out of his chair. This is the first time that I have ever had someone pass out while watching a movie and I was really shocked. It still is an effective, disturbing scene but compared to the violence that has increased since then my tolerance can handle a lot more disturbing things. Still a classic movie though even if some of the disturbing things are humorous today. 4/4

    Glory - In my war film class we watched Glory and it was my second time viewing it. I am glad that Denzel Washington won an Oscar because he really dominated every scene he was in. I was almost more shocked at the violence in this movie then Exorcist because it is so visceral and you see so much more. Overall I enjoyed watching this more than the first time because I got to appreciate the performances more than the story. 3.5/4

    Paranormal Activity 4 - I would easily rate this as the worst Paranormal film yet. I can understand why some people would like it but it just felt like a huge diversion from what the other 3 films had. The story just didn't really match up and nothing was really answered. The ending didn't leave me wanting more but left me angry at why this film existed. The only thing I liked was the Xbox sequence but eventually that got tiring. So far the odd numbered films are the best ones so far, which only gives me hope that 5 will at least improve from here. Still this series isn't bad just please answer some bigger questions next time. 1.5/4

    Just got Moonrise Kingdom and Beasts of the Southern Wild from Netflix so I will have reviews for those next week. I did add House of Cards to my Netflix list so eventually I will have time to watch that as well. My roommate also got Ted from Redbox so there is that as well.

    Not sure what we're watching in my horror film class but watching Kubrick's Paths of Glory in the war film class, Really thinking about finally getting my film blog going again.

  • The XWF Outlaw

    So here I go again trying to write this weeks column in a time bind as my laptop can't get any wifi connection & my smartphone writeup was just about to be finished until one wrong keystroke erased the whole thing. Not to mention a little football game that's happening tonight that i need to start making preparations for. So now we start over.

    In Theaters:

    Broken City: This is another stinker in a long lone of bad 2013 movies. The story could have been interesting if this was made 40 years ago, but it wasn't, so that don't help it's case. Russell Crowe's performance was cancerous from the very beginning from the cringe-worthy dialogue to the hilariously bad over-tan for a NYC mayor. Mark Walhberg's performance has tolerable until the 3rd act when *SPOILER* he dumps his girlfriend (Who disappears for the rest of the movie mind you) & goes on a drinking binge across town. Now what was so bad about this was that after the garbled speech and FST failing antics, he gets a cell phone from the chief to come to a crime scene & by the next scene is completely sobered up. Now I have known a lot of drunks (don't ask me how) but I have never seen anybody snap out of being inebriated that quickly outside of being lit on fire. In other words, aviod this movie. 3/10

    Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters: IMAX-3D: I went into this one with mixed emotions as it was on my most anticipated list of last year before being pushed back to this year. A pretty ok movie but with the material that I was a little bit underwhelmed as it could have been much better. The one thing I can definitely praise this movie for is the use of animatronic puppetry for the character of Edward the Troll. Often times this kind of character would just be an invisible CGI monster that filmmakers are forced to compromise with that would have destroyed a lesser budgeted film, including this one. Bravo to Tommy Wirkola for this.

    With that said this film overall was a very, very, good SyFy Channel movie, but ill give this another look when it comes out on blu-ray. 6.5/10

    Netflix Nexus:

    Detachment: I decided to catch this one with the praise that other commenter on this column & bow were they right.
    Adrian Brody & company give knockout performances all around in a film that I can only describe as the perfect example of emotional indifference. Director Tony Kaye tells a brilliant story of not only the inner sanctum of America's failing education system, but also in showing the darkest & brightest sides of people who you would never know existed in them. I would go on to say that with a bigger distributor (Say Sony Pictures Classics as compared to Tribeca Films) we would be talking a lot about this movie at this year's Oscars as well as an Oscar noms for Brody & Kaye. 9/10.

    & also...

    South Park: (Season 2: Episodes 3 & 4) "Chickenlover" & "Dead Fetus Women". Trying to get through this series from the beginning but keep putting it off.

    Still no "Silver Linings Playbook" as i hope to finally end that drought this week. So look out for my reviews next week for Movie 43, Parker, Bullet To the Head, Warm Bodies, & Top Gun IMAX-3D.

    That's it for me everyone Till next week & enjoy the game tonight. ^-^

  • Jake17

    I didn't get many movies watched this week. I started both Days Of Heaven and The Big Lebowski, but I haven't had time to return to them.
    TV: 30 Rock (Season 7): I'm pretty sure this is the best season of 30 Rock since Season 3, and easily one of the best final seasons for a comedy, ever. I always laugh watching this. It's wonderful to have gone on this crazy weird journey with these characters, and to have it end is heartbreaking. Liz Lemon, you will be missed. 10/10 or A+

    House Of Cards: I watched the first episode, and I am officially hooked. Kevin Spacey and Kate Mara are excellent. David Fincher's style was clearly on display, and it translates very well into TV. My only complaint is that Robin Wright's subplot is a little boring, and drags when the show could be focusing on the more interesting political cynicism that the show has already perfectly developed. Other than that, House Of Cards is filled with great dialogue and fun performances.
    Movies: None, actually. Which is too bad. I'm seeing Django tomorrow, and hopefully Zero Dark Thirty or Side Effects later this week. And for the Super Bowl, I'm rooting for the Ravens!!!

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

    What I watched this week:
    Looper (2012)- A great film with an amazing ending that you won't see coming. 4.5/5
    The Avengers (2012)- One of the best superhero movies of all time. 4/5
    The Dukes Of Hazzard Unrated (2005)- A fun movie, but not much more. 3.5/5
    The Dictator (2012)- This movie was hilarious! It's one of the best films of last year. 5/5
    Dark Shadows (2012)- Now I don't usually enjoy Tim Burton movies, but I thought this one was great. One of last year's very underrated films. 4/5
    Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)- The best of all the Harry Potter films. An awesome finale to an awesome franchise. 4/5
    Rio (2011)- Beautifully animated, but it has kind of a weak story. 3/5
    The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (2003)- An epic finale to the greatest trilogy of all time. One of my favourite movies of all time. 5/5
    Ted (2012)- Now this is a film I tend to revisit every few weeks, so you expect it to be mentioned a lot in my comments for this column. This is my favourite film of last year and it is hilarious. 5/5
    Midnight In Paris (2011)- Not as great as everyone says it is, but still decent. 3/5
    Men In Black 2 (2002)- A giant improvement on the first in my opinion. The third one is my favourite of the series though. 4/5
    Goon (2012)- Hilarious. Seann William Scott gives his best performance of his career (even better than his performance as Stifler in the American Pie movies). One of my favourites of last year. 4.5/5
    The Pink Panther 2 (2009)- Good for a few laughs, but not much else. 3/5

    On TV:
    The SAG Awards- Not very good at all. 2.5/5
    30 Rock (series finale)- A fitting send off to one of the funniest shows on tv. 4.5/5

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

    Seven Psychopaths - Good but not nearly as good as In Bruges. Walken and Rockwell are great. Farrell was ok which is more than I can say for most of his movies but I was hoping for a bit more out of him after being so good in In Bruges

    Serenity - Somehow I always found a reason not to watch this. Now I'm sorry I waited so long

    Saving Private Ryan - Watched again for about the 100th time. In my opinion it's one of the best movies ever.

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

    A little of Doctor Who and House of Cards. 3/5 to both. I will continue on both of them though.

    America, America - 3.5/5 - Yes, this is filled with bad acting and an utterly boring first half. However, the second half consists of great acting from small roles and a great screenplay.

    Two For The Road - 3/5 - It has some great moments in both the drama and comedy. However, if we had cut out 15 minutes of Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn swimming I would have felt this was a far superior film.

    Missing - 4.5/5 - Amazing. Few films combine thrills with political thoughts so well.

    Downfall - 3/5 - It really is a good film... however, it was not what I was in the mood for at the time I watched it. I will be sure to check it out again later on when I do feel like a two and a half drama about Hitler.

    Casino - 3.5/5 - The main problem with Casino is it does nothing to change the way we precept Scorsese. It combines the things we find in every Scorsese film into one. De Niro and Pesci are no different. Still, any film combining everything we love in a Scorsese is pretty damn good!

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

      Doctor Who doesn't get any worse. It's the biggest uphill climb in quality in a show I've seen since Parks and Rec.

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

    Again, I signed up on the letterboxd website couple weeks ago, still catching up on all the movies i've seen (have about 9,000 movies left to rate and some to review) but in the meantime, follow me and here's the link: http://letterboxd.com/michael11391/ Also again, i'm a really shy guy, I don't like to conversate on movies that much so take it easy with me but still i'm a pretty good guy. Another thing, I rate movies differently than most of you though maybe because I can only rate up to 5. Which is why I love to rate movies 1-10 way better.

    At home:

    Dredd (2012) (1st viewing, Netflix) - Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby & Lena Headey are great in this visually-stunning, action-packed & violent unique of an action film. 7.5/10.


    Moneyball (2011) (6th viewing, DVD) - Best movie of 2011 and definitely one of the best & smartest baseball movies ever made. Moneyball is carried with very wit dialogue from two of the best writers today Aaron Sorkin & Steve Zaillian, it's The Social Network of baseball movies. Mychael Danna's score is moving and well-executed in every scene. The performances are excellent from a great cast. Brad Pitt gives one of the least showy & best performances of his career as the General Manager Billy Beane. Jonah Hill gives the best performance of his career as the computer nerd from Baltimore Peter Brand, he provides most of the films laughs with just the deadspan look. Philip Seymour Hoffman is terrific as the hard-attitude manager Art Howe. Moneyball is very witty, funny, smart & very depressing. You'll feel for Beane (Pitt) from beginning to end & the A's (coming from a Cubs fan, i know EXACTLY what it feels like every year, lol). Baseball fan (like myself), you'll love this movie. Not a Baseball fan, you'll still love it just cause of how amazingly smart this flick is. You'll enjoy it. 10/10.

    The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011) (3rd viewing, DVD) - David Fincher delivers again with another brilliant movie that's gripping, dark, disturbing & techinically well-written by one of the best Steven Zaillian . First off, Rooney Mara is absolutely excellent as Lisabeth. IMO she did better than Noomi Rapace who was really good in the other version but Mara brings more to the table with laughs, grit and heart. Thought she deserved to win that Oscar more than Meryl Streep. Daniel Craig is decent but I prefered Michael Nyqvist's Mikael who's more nice, charming & funnier. Fincher's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is again gripping, very dark, disturbing and very very well-written wth amazing dialogue from Zaillian to the actors also features another very good oscar-worthy eerie score by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross that fits and gets you very attached to every scene with that score. So is this better than the Swedish version? Absolutely. 9.5/10.

    Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004) (4th viewing, DVD) - One of Will Ferrell's funniest performances and as well Christina Applegate. 8/10.

    The Three Stooges (2012) (4th viewing, TV) - The Farrelly Bros delivers one of their funniest and better movies in a long while with The Three Stooges. As a major fan ever since I was 3, The Farrelly Bros thankfully brought me back memories of Larry, Moe & Curly. The 3 actors who portrayed them surprisingly captures all 3 original Three Stooges mannerisms, facial expressions and body language. Excellent job by all three of them. Supporting actors in this are not bad including the oh-so sexy, gorgeous, lovely and funny Sofia Vergara, sexy model who I have a crush on Kate Upton, Jane Lynch, Larry David in a hilarious role, Jennifer Hudson & Craig Bierko (who you might remember from Scary Movie 4). The Three Stooges is one of the funniest movies of the year. Will easily please fans of the 30's original guys, just a hilarious movie piece. The Farrelly Bros are back in top form...at least for right now. 9/10.

    The Grudge (2004) (4th viewing, DVD) - Still, one of the most creepiest movies i've seen. This & The Ring are probably the only good Asian horror remakes to this day. 9/10.

    Napoleon Dynamite (2004) (7th viewing, TV) - One of my go-to movies to laugh, it manages to consistently stay hilarious every single time. Classic comedy. 9/10.

    Caught a little of SNL: The Best of Will Ferrell today on tv even though I have it on DVD, he was one of the funniest members. I think almost all of his sketches were just classic.

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

      Oh also, glad to Spartacus back for the final season on Starz. So far, I thought both episodes were decent. Hopefully, the rest will be much better.

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

    Sliver Linings Playbook (A) - first time watch - Watch it with my girlfriend and we really enjoy, it was well acted from the whole cast. Especially Jennifer Lawrence what a power house performance, I love the scene when she goes toe to toe, acting wise, with the big guy Robert DeNiro she owned that scene. Lots of laugh and just enough seriousness. Really, really enjoy I would definitely watch it again.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/DavidG/ David Gaillardetz

    I have been re-watching the West Wing and loving it, obviously.

    I also saw The Conversation for the first time, I and I really enjoyed it. The pacing is confident but not forced, that closing shot is brilliant, and Hackman is better than I have seen him. Really solid.

    127 Hours

    Annie Hall