What I Watched (and Read), What You Watched #182

It was a busy week for me of not only watching movies, but I was also able to finish a new book.

To begin, I watched the entire second season of "Game of Thrones", finished watching Before Sunset and finished the week off with viewings of The Fast and the Furious and 2 Fast 2 Furious as I'm trying to come up with an idea on a feature to write centered on the franchise before the release of Fast & Furious 6. Any ideas or anything in particular you'd like me to explore with regard to the franchise?

The Office of MercyAs for the book I read, it was "The Office of Mercy" (buy it for Kindle) from new author Ariel Djanikian.

Here's the description:

Weaving philosophy and science together into a riveting, dystopian story of love and adventure, The Office of Mercy illuminates an all-too-real future imagined by a phenomenal new voice in fiction.

Twenty-four-year-old Natasha Wiley lives in America-Five--a high-tech, underground, utopian settlement where hunger and money do not exist, everyone has a job, and all basic needs are met. But when her mentor and colleague, Jeffrey, selects her to join a special team to venture Outside for the first time, Natasha's allegiances to home, society, and above all to Jeffrey are tested. She is forced to make a choice that may put the people she loves most in grave danger and change the world as she knows it.

That's a pretty good little teaser, not revealing too much, it gets you hooked and yet leaves a lot to discover.

The dystopian future the story describes is a future Earth long after the events of a massive "storm" that resulted in a world where the privileged live in glass domes referred to as the Inside. They've gained the knowledge to keep themselves alive for centuries, with the ability to regenerate body parts and replacement organs are created as soon as you're "born".

On the Outside live the Tribes, people initially not deemed worthy enough to live on the Inside who now struggle for survival off the land. Instead of letting the Tribes carry on, the first generation of people living on the Inside (the Alphas) have developed a department known as the Office of Mercy, where the employees carry out "sweeps", killing those on the Outside in the largest groups possible with what are essentially nuclear blasts. Why? As the department is named, it's deemed a merciful act to stop their prolonged suffering and misery as a result of their living situation, the knowledge they will die and their inability to prolong their lives.

This last bit I had an issue with throughout most of the book's brisk 304 pages, but by the time you reach the final chapters Djanikian really nails it to the wall using religion, philosophy, science, politics, morals and all that you have read to her advantage, causing you to question not only the story you've been reading, but the world around you.

For the first several chapters I wasn't ready to declare "The Office of Mercy" as anything all that great, but with those final chapters there really is something to look at closely here and something that would make great book club fodder if you belong to one.

You can buy it from Amazon right here and get it for the Kindle here if you're interested.

Otherwise, your turn... What did you watch and if you read anything worth discussing share away. I think I am going to turn my attention to George R.R. Martin's "A Storm of Swords". I read "Game of Thrones", skipped "Clash of Kings", but think I'll pick things up with the third book.

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

    *Check out the video montage I did of the 9 Best Picture nominees: https://vimeo.com/60328139

    At home (first viewing):

    Room 237 (2012) – This is a film any Kubrick fan would really enjoy. It’s fascinating to see some of the wild and outrageous theories people have come up with over the years. Probably the funniest theory was that the scene in which Dick Halloran drives by a car wreck (where a red Volkswagen is demolished by a large tanker) was actually a subtle “fuck you” message from Stanley Kubrick to Stephen King. Apparently, in the original novel, Jack Torrance drives a red Volkswagen. In the film, the Volkswagen is yellow. This, according to the individual interviewed in the documentary, is Kubrick saying to King: “I smashed your car”…. because Stanley Kubrick evidently had the mentality of a 10 year old… But the theories go on and on, as interviewees draw comparisons and analogies between The Shinning, WWII and the holocaust of the American Indian. It’s a film that must be seen to be believed. I highly recommend this.

    3.5 / 5

    The Most Dangerous Game (1932) – The performances are awful and it’s about as subtle as a sonic boom.

    2 / 5

    At home (repeat viewing):

    Hotel Rwanda (2004) – This is essentially The Impossible set in Rwanda. It’s extremely Hollywood (as it shy’s away from some of the gorier details and sets up an endless amount of “tense” moments, which quickly resolve themselves without incident). Joaquin Phoenix shows up for 10 minutes and Nick Nolte seems as if he hit the sauce one to many times in between takes.

    3 / 5

    On TV:

    The Independent Spirit Awards

    Californication (Season 6): Ep. 6

    Girls (Season 2): Ep. 6

    Shameless (Season 3): Ep. 5

    The Walking Dead (Season 3): Ep. 10

    I also picked up the 2nd season of Game of Thrones on Blu Ray for $30 and Skyfall (which I plan on watching tomorrow). The level of clarity and detail of the image on the Game of Thrones Blu Ray is astonishing.

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

      I'm jealous that all these people are getting to see Room 237 already. Is it still good to watch if you haven't seen a lot of other Kubrick films beyond The Shining (yes, I know I need to see more of them)?

      It's also funny how whenever I see AS gives something a 3.5 / 5 I'm thinking it must be the greatest movie ever, haha.

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

        Ha, just wait until I give a film a 4.5....

      • dslacker

        Kubrick's other films are referenced, but Room 237 is mainly about The Shining. That's the only Kubrick film you need to have seen to enjoy this. Includes the theory that while the US did land on the moon, the video from there was faked, by none other than Mr. Kubrick - and uses Shining footage to 'back up' that claim.

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

      Great montage, AS!

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


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

      I can't wait to see Room 237, I've been waiting for it for so long. I'm going to have to watch it online :/

  • Brett McNeill

    On the top of the Fast/Furious article, if would be cool to talk about the 3rd on and it's place in the series. I really want them to bring back Sean Boswell

    And you could always rank them, that's always fun :)

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

    Not much this week since I traveled to Miami for The Host related events.

    House of the Spirits (1st viewing)

    The Host (2 advanced screenings)

    Red Riding Hood

    10 Years (friend's movie night pick)

    The Wizard of Oz (8 millionth time. I'm finally making my way though all 3 bonus discs from the 70th anniversary release.)

    Once Upon a Time- Season 1 (4th viewing)

  • Winchester

    A lighter week than last week for me.

    In Cinemas -

    Cloud Atlas (2012) - Loved this. Absolutely loved it from the opening initial montage through to the finale. And for me it didn't even feel like it ran for nearly three hours to the degree I could have easily sat through it again immediately. Because it came out several months ago I revisited Brad's original review of the film out of curiosity. I tend to agree that thematically the film isn't reinventing the wheel as it goes along but it does take it's themes (as eternal and elemental as they are but I think that's almost the point of staging it across so many timeframes) and packages them beautifully. Ranging as it does across hundreds of years and six main stories it's an editing achievement to have cut all the different strands together so well that it never bores. Unusually enough, while sometimes in a multi-stranded storyline film some strands can be dull or feel unrequired (aka Marion Cotillard's strand within 'Contagion') here all the stories felt they were a piece of the whole. It has a little of everything from amusement and comedy (within the 2012 sequence less the truly atrocious 'Irish' accent of Tom Hanks briefly) to sci-fi eye candy (within New Seoul) and so much inbetween. I can see this being a film I would revisit enough times that I already want to try and catch it again in cinemas before it stops playing and will almost definitely buy it on Blu Ray when the time comes.

    At Home -

    The Ring (2002): DVD, rewatch - It had been a very long time since I watched this and it certainly stands as the best of the American J-Horror remakes by a fairly wide margin thanks to some good direction from Gore Verbinski utilising atmosphere and mystery appropriately over too many cheap shocks. As the mystery unfolds he blends enough creeps and chills to still give the odd shiver and by the time he hits the Ferry and the Horse sequence your pretty drawn in. A good lead performance by Naomi Watts and a very greeny/blu watery colour palette also gives the film a visual atmosphere to match the plot twists and turns. The sequel kinda wrecked it, but I thought this actually remains one of the better big budget US Horror films of the last decade or so.

    Master & Commander: The Far Side of The World (2003): Blu-ray, rewatch - One of my own personal true favourite films of the 2000s and in general. While it approaches it's tenth birthday I can't say I ever tire of this film or the quality of craftsmanship that is clearly on display alongside some lovely and painterly like visuals when the ships are at sea. Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany make a terrific central pairing as the duo at the heart of the ship and it's straightforward narrative allows (since it's essentially a chase film) director Peter Weir to have his battles and also have his semi-documentary feeling look at shipboard life in that time period. I absolutely adore this film.

    That was pretty much all this week. In TV Land 'Cheer's continues (Kirstie Alley is an interesting Shelley Long replacement as her character is so different from Long's and I guess that was the point. It does feel sometime that some jokes are now getting to be familiar in their nature but bearing in mind this was a show by then in it's Sixth season...................well that tends to happen with show's that run that long and still have several seasons to go) and so does 'Nashville' but again it's early days on that one as well.

    This week though my main intention is get into the Blu Ray for 'Lawrence of Arabia' I got through on rental last week, but which I will need to set enough time aside for properly.

    That was all this week.

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

    I'm on Letterboxd here: http://letterboxd.com/gman/

    First watch:

    Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) - Blu-ray Netflix - My second Woody Allen movie after Midnight in Paris and now he's 2 for 2. Beyond the story, which was executed flawlessly, Allen does a great job of capturing the Barcelona landscape and makes me want to jump on a plane to visit again. Great colors and fantastic performances all around. Trying to decide if I like this or Midnight in Paris better. With rewatches, my rating could be higher, too. 8.5 / 10 or "A-"


    Alien (1978) - Blu-ray Home - Was finally time to crack open the Alien Anthology pack that I picked up for cheap around Christmastime. Beyond the blu-ray quality, which was fantastic, I liked the movie even more the second time around and it's one I can see myself continuing to return to in the future. 7.5 / 10 or "B"

    Aliens (1986) - Blu-ray Home - Served as a reminder of how damn good James Cameron is at writing and directing action. Just a freakin' badass movie with one helluva awesome ending. Seriously, those last 20 minutes are freaking amazing. I thought this was merely a "good" movie the first time I watched it, but just like the original, my thoughts were escalated the second time around. 8.5 / 10 or "A-"

    The Shawshank Redemption (1994) - Blu-ray Home - In the spirit of Oscars weekend, watched one of my all-time favorite movies. This film never gets old and my eyes are always glued to the screen from start to finish. You all know how good this is, so no need to go on about it. 10 / 10 or "A+"

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

    UPDATED: 2/22/13

    A decidedly less busy week than last week, which was nice, though I took some of my time off to get out a bit and firmly re-plant myself in my social circle after two weeks of being a hermit. Yup, that's midterm time for you.

    I also used some of my time to begin watching "Freaks and Geeks" on Netflix, and I'm really liking it so far. I also watched the special features for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which are very impressive and make my appreciation for the film grow even more, and have been reading Laremy's book, "Film Critic." A great read thus far!

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




    The Game: I'll open with a caveat: I love David Fincher. To this point, the only remaining unseen film in his oeuvre for me is Alien 3, and I've liked every single film of his I've seen. The Game is very much in line with most of his work; it is an eery, puzzling psychological thriller of coincidence and consequence that blurs the lines between its own reality and its primary subject's titular game. I really enjoyed watching The Game, and I personally think that even Fincher's so-called B-thrillers -- namely, The Game and Panic Room -- are far superior to most thrillers out there. 4 / 5

    Modern Times: Charlie Chaplin is a comedic genius, both in the silent era and the sound era. Frankly, if you don't laugh during his films, there could be something wrong with that funny bone of yours. Especially if that film is called Modern Times. Modern Times isn't just one of Chaplin's most well-regarded films, but one of the most well-regarded films of all-time -- and it's easy to see why. Pair Chaplin's mastery of physical comedy with a great story of companionship and love in a changing world, top it off with the beautiful Paulette Goddard as Chaplin's love interest, and you've got yourself one the the greatest, purest, most potent films in cinema history. Right behind Chaplin's own Gold Rush, in my opinion. 5 / 5

    Reservoir Dogs: There's something about having oral surgery that seems to bring me to watch Reservoir Dogs. The first time I watched it, over a year ago, I had just gotten my wisdom teeth out and was under the influence of Percocet. Then, this past week, I sat down to watch it again after getting some tissue grafting done on my gums. I held off on the Vicodin until later, so this time, I saw the film without any sort of drug-induced euphoria. Tarantino's debut feature is a great, original crime drama, a heist-free heist film and a marvel of independent filmmaking that set the stage not just for Tarantino's later films but for independent cinema in general. It's influential, stylish, and bold. Personally, I wasn't quite as fond of Reservoir Dogs this time around as I was on watch number one, and I wouldn't hold it in as high regard as Inglourious Basterds, Pulp Fiction, or Kill Bill, but by virtue of being both Tarantino's lightest film, thematically speaking, and his shortest film, it makes for a pretty easy watch, re-watch, and recommendation. Torn between a 4 and a 4.5, I've given it the benefit of the doubt and rated it 4.5 / 5 For now.


    Freaks and Geeks (Ep. 1-4): As I watch this show, I wonder why it never caught on with mainstream audiences when it was first released. It has all the makings of a great coming-of-age show -- witty dialogue, a nice balance of comedy and drama, earnestness and tenderness, a solid corps of actors. It feels like a less innocent, more honest, 1980s-set version of "The Wonder Years," and I say that as a big fan of "The Wonder Years." Of course, I have the benefit of hindsight and knowing that many of these actors have become stars in their own rights, but still, what a great show.

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

    First off, I will not be able to participate in the live blog tonight. I will, however, chime in with my thoughts right after the show is over. Secondly, I didn't have the time to write What I Watched last week, so this is covering two weeks of film.

    Cabaret- Well, while I can say that The Godfather certainly deserves to have won for the 1972 Oscar for Best Picture, I'll also say that this film deserves the amount of acclaim it has. 4.5/5

    Resident Evil- A light, not very good movie that features a truly awful performance from that one statue-oops-I mean Michelle Rodriguez, but managed to entertain me for a good 20-25 minutes of the run time. 2.5/5

    Warm Bodies- A good, well acted film that I think went on for a bit too long for my liking. 3.5/5

    Top Gun- While the aerial sequences are stunning, I feel that the dialogue left a bit to be desired, but all the same, I really enjoyed myself. 4/5

    Scott Pilgrim vs. the World- The tagline, an epic of epic epicness, I feel is right on about this movie. 4.5/5

    Birdemic: Shock and Terror- If you're looking for some horrendous acting, terrible visuals,and piss poor sound, while also having the first 45 minutes be completely irrelevant, this is the movie for you. 1/5

    Die Hard- A very good film, but not a masterpiece, as some like to call it. 4/5

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower- Well, there's a new film in my top 10 of 2012. This movie is stunning. The script was superb, the performances from Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller are fantastic, and I was just swept off my feet. Plus, where was this movie in the Oscar lineup? 5/5

    Skyfall- A very good film, but it has some pacing issues and some logic flaws. 4/5

    Frankenweenie- A bit overrated, the dialogue is not subtle (Fat Bob (when nobody is around to hear him): First Prize gets a huge trophy!), and it tries a bit too hard to make us cry and have tons of sad thoughts. Plus, if you're going to make the mayor THAT unlikable, and NOT have him be the central villain, you're doing something wrong. Still, there were some good aspects, and I had some fun. 3/5

    Finally, you can find me at http://letterboxd.com/corbin_123/
    That's all for now, can't wait to make a cameo appearance at the live blog after the show's over!

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

    Nothing at the theaters this week, but a pretty good group of at home watches.

    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou: As of now, I've only seen three Wes Anderson films (this, Fox, and Moonrise). While I've liked each to it's own degree, this is probably my least favorite one. I think the problem stems from the fact that I never really cared for any of these characters. Anderson's style is naturally quirky and a bit removed, but this one just seemed like it was missing the humanity that's usually so much a part of his work. Having said that, the writing is funny, the direction is assured, and that final raid on the island is quite a bit of fun. However the reason that I can so easily say I liked this movie is the scene when Steve and co. finally confront the Jaguar Shark. The music and lighting made it a moment of serene beauty- pure movie magic. 3/4

    Fantastic Mr. Fox (rewatch): I was in a Wes Anderson mood after Zissou so I popped in my DVD of this little animated gem. I've heard Anderson shot this on a lower frame rate in order to make the animation more obvious. And while he no doubt accomplished that, this still managed to feel more life-like than Coraline or Nightmare Before Christmas. Maybe it was the use of real materials instead of clay, I'm not entirely sure. Anyway this is a great film and the only movie I've ever seen that has managed to capture Dahl's sense of childlike wonder fused with his very adult feelings. Kudos Mr. Anderson. 3.5/4

    A Clockwork Orange: How nice it is to see a movie that forces you to sit down and think after it's over. Kubrick's meditation on free-will, violence, sex, government, and morality is very watchable. The violence and rape are off-putting, but the cinematography is phenomenal, the music is beautiful, and McDowell's acting is so spot on that my eyes stayed glued to the screen. Yet the film's real value is that once it's over I felt the need to consider what I had just seen, reflect on what Kubrick was trying to say, and make my own opinions on touchy subject matter. While I don't think the film is perfect (in my opinion it's sorely missing the novel's 21st chapter), I do respect a film that sticks with you. It seems so rare in this day and age. 3.5/4

    Juno (rewatch): Following Clockwork, I needed something a little more light. Juno is a fun film that in my opinion is a little over rated. Page is great, but the film is only as strong as her relationships. Her dynamic with Garner and with Simmons are the highlights of the film. I personally think J.K. Simmons should have received a little oscar attention for his role. Unfortunately Juno's relationships with both Cera's character as well as Bateman's never quite came together for me and as these serve as the central relationships in the film, the whole thing never really comes together. I think the movie would have benefitted from being a bit longer, as Bateman's character development seems rushed, which does tend to happen when 9 months is being condensed to 90 minutes. 3/4

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower (rewatch): One of my favorite films of last year holds up. The film effortless taps into the pain and awkwardness of high school and Miller gives a knock out of a performance. There's a moment when the group of friends are at a party and Patrick turns the corner to walk down the stairs, and in this simple turn, Miller injects so much cocky happiness that I couldn't help but smile. If only all that soft lighting was a little better as it was fairly distracting at times. 3.5/4


    House of Cards: I finally finished it and what a dirty, fun, politically-charged treat this was. I'm a little nervous to start the West Wing now as these feel like different worlds, but this is absolutely politics done right. Someone give Corey Stoll more work. Bring on Season 2. 3.5/4

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

      I just got back from Amour. And while I'll save my thoughts on the film for next week, I'd like to offer up my current rankings of the 9 best picture nominees. (Not by any means my predictions, just how I would vote if in the academy)

      1) Silver Linings Playbook
      2) Django Unchained
      3) Zero Dark Thirty
      4) Life of Pi
      5) Argo
      6) Amour
      7) Beasts of the Southern Wild
      8) Lincoln
      9) Les Miserables

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

    Busy and great movie week for me, and as always check out my Letterboxd: http://letterboxd.com/ragingtaxidrver/

    - The Departed: It’s not a perfect film, but it is very well executed and is highlighted with memorable performances from the whole cast. Overall Grade: 4.5/5

    - One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest: I watched it twice in a row; once for my Film and Lit class and another for richer analysis. It’s such a simple movie, but is full of subtext; so, it resonates with each audience member. Overall Grade: 5/5

    - Drive: I absolutely love this film. I have recently adopted taking notes, and on average write a page every 18 minutes, but here, I wrote one for every nine minutes. There’s just so much to love here. Ranging from Gosling’s performance to sound editing. Everything here is executed with utmost skill. Overall Grade: 5/5

    First Watches:
    - Zazie in the Metro: This film is so quirky, and I just can’t help but thoroughly enjoy it. Like Life of Pi, many thought this to be a book that couldn’t be filmed, but Louis Malle proved everyone wrong. There’s so much to discuss, but the main thing to discuss is how Malle treated this live-action film as a cartoon to show how children see the world, and how they see how stupid adults look to them at times. Overall Grade: 4.5/5

    - Alphaville: It definitely doesn't lack in thought provoking concepts. It shows that our society could someday be run by computers and that through their dytopic reign, humanity will suffer from a lack the freedom and thoughts we once had. But for a great majority, you're wondering what was Godard smoking? Overall Grade: 2.5/5

    - Notorious: This is the weakest Hitchcock film I have witnessed. Like The 39 Steps, I had high standards, and it didn't deliver. I was fairly impressed by the first few scenes with Bergman and Grant in all aspects, and the premise Grant introduces is intriguing. But, once the thesis begins, my interest level plummeted. The plot doesn't sound contrived, but it turns out to be just that. Overall Grade: 3/5

    - Children of Men: This film is impeccably crafted in every sense, , and is one among the best the first decade of this millennium had to offer. It's an instant classic in my book. Overall Grade: 5/5

    - The 400 Blows: The sense of direction Traffaut shows here is remarkable, he could have easily made the film more about the subplot of Antoine's parent terminal marriage, he didn't. He could have started the film with Antoine in the correctional institution, he didn't. He could have had Antoine commit horrendous crimes for no reason, once again, he didn't. Rather, he paced it perfectly, and kept a proper amount of time on each event of the film. It's such a thought provoking film and is handled with utmost precision. Overall Grade: 5/5

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

      Regarding Zazie in the Metro; I think this film influenced Wes Anderson quite a bit.

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

      I absolutely LOVE One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

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

      All amazing movies, The Departed and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest are some of my favorites of all time. I have yet to see Zazie dans le metro and Alphaville, but the rest of them are all great films.

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

    At Home:

    The Ides of March - One of my favorites from 2011. A dark, cynical look at politics that shows how someone can turn from an optimist into a pessimistic person. I'm not a political person and this only added more to what I dislike about politics. All of the performances are great and so is the cinematography which I think got overlooked. The writing is very good and the film moves at a nice pace. Its neither too fast nor too slow. It has enough breathing room to take in what you just saw. George Clooney is a solid director, but I really like him as a leading actor and I hope, for his net film, he is a lead rather than supporting. He's certainly one of the better ones working today and I'm excited to see his next directorial effort.

    Anna Karenina - I didn't really like this one. While I admired all the craftsmanship that went into it, it just goes on forever and never ends. It's way too long. The acting is fine but nothing special. I didn't like Aaron Johnson though thats more due to his character than his performance. I found the characters to be unlikable and didn't care about any of them. It was hard for me to stay involved in it. Overall, I really just didn't care about any of it or where the characters ended up.

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower - A great little movie that holds up very well on multiple viewings. While watching it again, I was even more impressed by the performances from Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller. Al three fit their characters perfectly. I think Watson has a bright future ahead of her. Not once did I think of Harry Potter while watching her. And her American accent is pretty good. I also appreciated Stephen Chbosky's direction even more this time. He really does capture the essence of High School. From the awkward, nervous feeling of the first day to the feeling of freedom on the last day and everything in between. Everything is just done so well that I was still moved emotionally by the end.

    Argo - After seeing this again before the Oscars, I can safely say that Argo is a great movie and my favorite movie of 2012. It has great performances, some humorous moments and is one of the better thrillers around. The way Affleck creates tension and holds it throughout is a credit to his direction. I don't even think the ending is as over the top as some proclaim it to be. I think it fits in with the rest of the film and raises the stakes.

    Looper - Another favorite of mine from 2012 that also holds up well to repeated viewings. Bruce Willis's performance here is almost underrated. It's a limited role, but he is great in it. It's a shame that he made A Good Day to Die Hard after Looper. I will admit that the beginning moves a little slow, but once they get to the farm, it hits its stride and leads up to its fantastic ending.

    Philadelphia - I actually really love this and it's one of my favorite movies. I can't really explain why, but maybe because it's the first movie that caused me to see them differently. It's definitely the one that started my passion for film. And I think that's strange because I don't think there's anything groundbreaking in Philadelphia, except maybe the subject matter. It's just a really good movie with great performances from Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington. And the songs from Springsteen and Neil Young are very strong.

    • dslacker

      Agree with your comment about Bruce Willis. He shows up and just repeats previous performances while doing action films. Then, he turns around and does a smaller role in a smaller picture and is nearly perfect. Looper being one example - Nobody's Fool is another one. A star turn in Twelve Monkeys was very well done. Never know what you're going to get from him.

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

        Bruce Willis was amazing in Looper, two scenes he's in hit me real hard, the one where *spoiler* his wife gets killed and the one where he starts killing all the loopers, I loved how the second is very emotional, he seems to feel he's doing it for his wife and I love how they cut right at the point where he's about to kill Abe, if we had seen that the emotion would be gone and it would've turned into Kill Bill.
        About Bruce Willis's career, he is stuck to action movies, all I hope is that he tries to choose the good ones (Sin City 2) and not the bad ones (GI Joe).

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

    Regarding your Fast and Furious article... I don't know if you have seen it, but Justin Lin directed a film titled "Better Luck Tomorrow" which follows some Asian-American straight-A students start a gang. It's pretty satiric yet scary, but quite good. I mention it because A.) Justin Lin, the director of the latest entries in the Fast and Furious franchise, directed it, and B.) Han from various random Fast and Furious entries is in it, meaning it is inside the universe...

    Just a suggestion!

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

      I've read that before, the fast & furious series is a guilty pleasure of mine (except for the second one) I'll try and see that one too.

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

        Better Luck Tomorrow is fantastic, I'd highly recommend it... Surprisingly good, actually.

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

    No theater trips this week.

    Skyfall [Rewatch] - One of the best films of 2012 and one of the Best Bond films ever made. The acting is great all around, especially from Javier Bardem. The action is spectacular, the dialogue is smart, and the plot is engaging. Occasionally however, the film dips into slow moments when you expect action and the pacing is a little off towards the end. Overall, it's great.
    4/5 (Or B+)

    Source Code [Rewatch] - A great mid bending thriller. Solid performances, aside from Jeffrey Wright who over does it a bit. The plot manages to keep the viewer interested even though the same 8 minutes make up most of the film.
    4/5 (or B)

    The Hurt Locker - A great, taut thriller with a fantastic performance from Jeremy Renner. The character development was a tad flat, however.
    4/5 (or B+)

    Die Hard [Rewatch] - One of the best action films ever made. The action is great and the camaraderie between John McClane and Al is highlight. A very fun film and worth the watch. However, some of the acting in the first half is sub par.
    4.5/5 (or A)

    I planned to watch Argo before it inevitably wins Best Picture tonight, but I didn't have the time.
    I look forward to the love blog
    And to Kessler, Andrew J.S., Corbin, and Thornsy I'll be keeping track of our game throughout the Oscar telecast and post updates in the Live Blog comment section.

  • m1

    I have only one movie to share this week but it's kind of a big one.

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)-Well, I hate to be the first one, but I didn't think this was that exceptional of a movie. I thought it was very good but not without its flaws. Chbosky is a fantastic director but the script rushes over the plot points that made the book so memorable. Not to mention that the voiceover was completely unnecessary. Still, the three leads are fantastic and the movie really does capture what high school can be like. I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up watching this again someday. 7.5/10

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

    This week has been much lighter for me than other weeks. I still haven't gotten around to seeing A Good Day To Die Hard and I'm starting to think I might not end up seeing it. Also I was hoping to finally rent Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World this week but no copies were available at my local video store. So looks like I'll have to wait a little longer for that. Oh well, maybe next week.

    In Theatres:

    At Home:
    Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010) (tenth viewing) (DVD)- I absolutely love this movie! It's so funny and witty and charming that you just can't help but love it. Definitely Edgar Wright's best film yet, although the third act isn't as good as the first two. 4.5/5

    21 Jump Street (2012) (eighth viewing) (DVD)- One of my favourites of last year. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum both give great performances. Rob Riggle was definitely the funniest person in the movie though. Just like Scott Pilgrim, it falls apart in the third act though. But other than that, it's a great movie. 4.5/5

    Moonrise Kingdom (2012) (first viewing) (rental)- I finally got around to renting this and I must say, this really is a great movie. I loved every second of it. It was consistently funny throughout. The performances from everyone here were great. I had absolutely no problems with this movie. I'm definitely going to change my list of the top 10 movies of last year so that this is on it. The only problem I'll have is deciding whether to put this behind Wanderlust at number 3 or to move it up to number 2 and make Wanderlust number 3. Also, I'm rooting for this movie to win Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars tonight considering I predicted it to win. 5/5

    Die Hard (1988) (first viewing) (rental)- Yes, I regret to say but up until a couple nights ago when I watched this movie, I had never seen any of the Die Hard movies. But I must say, I loved this movie! I can see why so many people consider it an action classic. It does take a little while to get going but once it gets going it becomes really good! Bruce Willis was great in the movie. Alan Rickman was truly fantastic as Hans Gruber. He definitely has a knack for playing villains. If you haven't seen this movie yet, I highly recommend you go watch it. 4.5/5

    Die Hard 2 (1990) (first viewing) (rental)- WARNING: SPOILERS...This movie is nowhere near as good as the first one. The first 20 minutes are terrible. After that the movie starts to get better. At the 40 minute mark, I was loving the movie. I did not see the twist with the army teaming up with the terrorists coming. This is a pretty good movie overall. 3.5/5

    Ted (2012) (tenth viewing) (DVD)- WARNING: SPOILERS... I've said it before and I'll say it again. This is my favourite movie of last year. Everyone in this movie is hilarious except for Giovanni Ribisi (he still got a few laughs out of me though). During this viewing, I found that the movie became kind of unfunny after Donny and his son kidnapped Ted. Also, I remember the first time I saw this movie in theatres, right after Ted died, I knew he was going to come back to life. What I'm trying to get at is the movie is kind of predictable. But other than that, this is a great and hilarious movie. 5/5

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

      You have a "local video store"?!!! I wish ours had not gone out of business :(

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

        Well, we used to have three, but two of them closed and now we only have one. Our library also tends to get a lot of the newer movies too, so most of the time I just get them from there.

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

          Lucky dog!!!
          our library has a pretty good selection too. I forgot all about that!
          I have in some cases rented things on Amazon. I usually get 48 hrs for $3-4. Its a bit pricey but I resort to it when I want to see a newer release.

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

            I rented That's My Boy off of ITunes one time and it took about 4 hours for the entire movie to download on to my iPad, so I decided never to try that again. But I've never tried Amazon before.

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

              yeah, the application is included on my PS3. But I know xbox has the capability as well. Amazon is nice because it fires up right away. check it out. iTunes sucks as far as that goes!

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

                Yeah, that sound nice. Have you ever tried using iTunes to rent a movie before?

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

              renting from itunes suck the big one!! It literally took an hour and a half to download the film!

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

                Yeah, Im know, I'm just curious, what film did you download from it?

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

    To the Wonder (first watch): 'To the Wonder' is a great meditation on love and faith, and works well as a less ambitious companion piece to 'The Tree of Life.' It's got everything you'd want and expect from a Malick film, but it does suffer from a few underwritten characters, especially Javier Bardem's Father Quintana. Overall, definitely a worthwhile watch and one I plan to revisit in the future. (B+)

    Amour (first-watch): A devastating film, but one of the most honest and painful portrayals of love I have ever seen. Emmanuelle Riva is remarkable, but for me Jean-Louis Trintignant's performance is the highlight of the film. (A)

    Days of Heaven (re-watch): My second viewing, and I actually enjoyed it much more this time. It's possibly the most beautiful film every made, and though the narrative isn't the strongest or most compelling, it's a wonderful picture of American life in the early-20th century. (A)

    The Thin Red Line (re-watch): I could talk about this film for days, but simply put this is my favorite Terrence Malick film, and probably the greatest war film ever made. (A+)

    Argo (re-watch): Wanted to see it again before the Oscars. It's a solid film, and I've got no problem with it winning BP, but it doesn't do much new. It's a serviceable political action thriller, but there isn't much to discover on repeat viewings. (B)

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

    AT HOME:
    The Great Silence- I'll save my thoughts for the movie club, but I really enjoyed this nihilistic western. 8.5/10

    The Magnificent Ambersons- A brilliant film, as well as a tantalizing what-if. Despite being incomplete, the film still flows well and is very entertaining.

    The List of Adrian Messenger- An average film with a great premise, that fails to deliver on all counts. 6/10

    Dexter, Season 4- I found this to be the best season of Dexter yet, with all the cast firing on all cylinders and an amazing villain, courtesy of the superb John Lithgow. 9.5/10

    Doctor Who, Series 2- I loved this season, and David Tennent's Doctor has officially become my favourite. While some episodes are hit and miss, most of the season is hit, and it is very entertaining. 9/10

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

    Don't understand the love for Zazie in the Metro. I wanted to throttle the girl.

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

    Very eclectic the past couple weeks.

    Berlin Corner Schonhauser: I'll be honest. This film bored me and I literally could not pay attention to it. 3/10

    Young Torless: This film was decent. The view into violence and unrestrained emotion was pretty interesting. Liked, didn't love. 7/10

    I was supposed to watch The Bridge, but I'm a bad student? Tonight and Tuesday I have Aguirre and Marriage of Maria Braun, both of which are supposed to be classics, so I'm excited.

    On my own, I watched a shitton of romance movies and a few others.

    Ghost: I didn't catch all of this one, but I caught enough. I love Patrick Swayze, and Demi Moore was even decent. I thought Whoopi was pretty good. But the story and the music were what truly won me over and reminded me of a time where quirky beloved films had a chance at being nominated for Oscars. 8.5/10

    When Harry Met Sally: I really loved this film. The script was excellent, and Crystal and Ryan were great in their roles. While I often prefer original endings to audience friendly endings, I can't imagine the film with Harry and Sally not getting together. And I'll Have What She's Having is rightfully a classic American line. 9/10

    Pitch Perfect: for like the millionth time. Still enjoy it. Read my old reviews if you want to know my thoughts.

    Seven Psychopaths: I fell somewhere between Brad and Laremy on this. I think I'd go 7 or 8 out of 10. It kept my interest throughout, and Walken's "Hal-luc-in-NO-gen" is gold. But I was never stunned by it.

    Groundhog Day: Caught bits. Liked what I saw. I'll finish it at some point.

    I watched all of the shorts. I liked the animateds and Curfew. My picks are Paperman, Curfew and Open Heart

    In TV world, almost through season 1 of West Wing and almost done with all of Undeclared. I am enjoying Community and Parks and Rec. and when Archer did a The Natural spoof that had me on the floor laughing. And The Walking Dead is very good.

    I'll come back if I'm missing anything

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

      Oh, as I keep forgetting, I will now postmy Top Ten of 2012:

      10. The Sark Knight Rises (but Django and Zero Dark remain unseen)
      9. Moonrise Kingdo,
      8. The Master
      7. Magic Mike
      6. Argo
      4. Silver Linings Playbook
      4. Lincoln
      2. Skyfall
      2. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
      1. Les Miserables

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

      German cinema class?

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

        Yessir. It's fairly interesting. It covers the silent era classics like Nosferatu and Metropolis and ends with The White Ribbon.

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

      The Bridge. TV show or movie?

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


  • Chris138

    Warm Bodies - A decent little movie, but overall nothing that special. The guy who directed it also made 50/50, which I loved, but this was a step down by comparison. Perhaps I'm just not a fan of how zombies aren't even safe from the post-Twilight fever of putting romance into all of these traditional horror categories. Admittedly, vampires have a history of romance to them, but zombies don't. And it doesn't really work all that well here. Still, for what it is, it's decent enough but worth a rental, at best. 3/5

    The Aviator - I really loved this movie. I know a lot of people are mixed about Scorsese's more recent work, but I think this is one of his best movies. Leonardo DiCaprio is really good as Howard Hughes, his performance being a mixture of his more playful side in Catch Me If You Can with his more recent, serious work. I feel like he has gone on autopilot in recent years being so serious in every role he takes, but the combination that I mentioned previously works really well here. Cate Blanchett is also quite good as Katharine Hepburn, and I know she won an Oscar for it, but I have to admit that at times it came off more like a mimicry rather than a performance. Still, I imagine it's a tough role to play and she did well with it for the most part. It's almost 3 hours long and the thing flies by, with great cinematography and editing. It's a real shame that Christopher Nolan isn't going to make his Howard Hughes film that would essentially pick up where this one left off, because I think it would make for a pretty fascinating companion piece. 4.5/5

    Heaven Can Wait (1943) - A sweet movie with an interesting premise that is quite entertaining and charming. Don Ameche is well cast in the lead role as a man who wants to enter Hades, and the film is beautifully shot. At times I was reminded of It's a Wonderful Life, as the premises are a little similar in the fact that both have the lead characters reflect on their lives. Capra's film, however, obviously throws in the holiday part at the end of it. Even though the movie is under two hours it still felt a little long, but I can't really complain about much of it because it is very good and well worth checking out. 3.5/5

    The Insider - A movie that takes a little while to get started but once it's going, it really takes off. Russell Crowe and Al Pacino are both great, as well as an equally strong supporting cast (especially Christopher Plummer as Mike Wallace, who is arguably better here than he was in either of his Oscar nominated/winning performances). The score by Lisa Gerrard is haunting, the camerawork and editing both phenomenal, and the overall story is fascinating. I still think Heat is Michael Mann's best movie, but this is just a notch below. 4.5/5

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

    I usually watch more than I have this last week. But Ive been spending more time on reading (just finished Serena by Ron Rash the film erase in sept.)
    I finally made time to watch:
    Raid: redemption. but I could only find a dubbed version on netflix. Gave it a bit of a humorous slant.
    Argo (rewatch) for the 3rd time!! friends ant to see it and drag me along! A fun and faction blast back to the seventies

    Parks and Rec-first watch i find it hilarious. Amy Poler is classic in this series. Love it!

    the Wire (rewatch) season 1 I love the scence in the 4th or 5th episode where for 5 minutes Mcnulty and Bunk evaluate a crime scenne using only various versions of the work "fuck"! It is genius!

    Romantics Anonymous (Les émotifs Anonymes) first watch. A hilarious french film I found on netflix. explores two people who suffer terribly from social anxiety but want desperately to pursue their dreams and each other.

    Trade Secrets-(first screening) film about the disturbing realities of sex trafficking. Fairly well done for a low budget film. Dermot Mulroney and Mira Sorvino probably did this film for free! I think it is meant to be a docudrama-type film. It tends to be a bit predictable, but It is meant to be more of an awareness tool than entertainment.

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

    Rope (rewatch) - 9/10
    Its my favorite Hitchcock film, the long takes work perfectly and all the talk about murder is interesting, kind of like hearing Leonardo DiCaprio's Calvin Candie in Django Unchained talk about Phrenology.

    The Hunt (Jagten, 2012) - 9/10
    Wow, I don't know how Thomas Vinterberg movies go so unnoticed, of the ones I've seen, I love them all. Its a story about a pre-school teacher who gets wrongly accused of touching one of the little kids inappropriately, the girl who said it is his best friends daughter. Like Atonement, its a movie about how far a lie can go, and the friend I went to see with had another interesting theory, saying it was about a human being put in a hunted animal's situation. Its a very interesting movie and one of the most humane I've seen from 2012.

    Rise of the Guardians - 7/10
    Its an okay movie, kids would love it though. I loved Jude Law's voice performance, it was pretty creepy and made the movie a lot more interesting.

    The Breakfast Club (rewatch) - 10/10
    One of my favorite movies, I love the dialogue and the characters, I can identify with each one of them. Bender is my favorite but all of them are great and I guess this could be called a hangout film, my favorite hangout film.

    The Trouble with Harry - 8/10
    A comedy directed by Alfred Hitchcock, its really interesting, I loved the opening scene with the little kid holding a toy gun. Shirley MacLaine looked pretty good back then.

    I started watching Afterschool with Ezra Miller, it seemed interesting to me, but my friends asked my if we could watch something else so we watched Looper.

    Looper (rewatch) - 10/10
    I wonder what it would've been like if instead of making JGL look like Bruce Willis, they would've made Bruce Willis look like JGL. I guess it was a matter of Bruce Willis making more money at the box office.

    American Reunion (rewatch) 9/10
    A guilty pleasure of mine, I actually thought this was the best of the American Pie films, and also one of my favorite comedies of 2012 (behind Silver Linings, The Intouchables, Moonrise, and Love is all you need).

    Zero Dark Thirty (rewatch) - 9/10
    I enjoyed it a little bit more this time, the opening with the calls gave me chills.
    I loved the editing, the pace was fast and never did I feel the movie was almost 3 hours long. I find it hard to believe that Brad predicts it won't win anything at the oscars, I think it'll win at least one of these three: Screenplay, Actress, or editing. The editing in Argo was better and actress is going to Jennifer Lawrence so as much as I would want Django to win for screenplay I'm pretty sure its going to Mark Boal once again.

    I'm about to watch Kon-Tiki and A Royal Affair just before the oscars.

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

    I got to see a few films this week. Rewatched Gojira and the Incredibles, both of which are films that I love. New film this week was Bringing Out the Dead. Great little gem that is often overlooked in Scorsese's body of work.

    Review of Bringing out the dead, as well as my top 10 films of the year, top 5 acting performances and my oscar predictions can be found on my recently started movie blog here.


  • The XWF Owtlaw

    Review time: Again all in one day.

    In theaters:

    Beautiful Creatures:
    This is a great surprise for me. Seemingly a copy + paste Twilight knock off just with witches this is a decent movie. It does get marred by some bad cgi scenes that were all used in the advertising, witch could have contributed to its bomb at the box office. pretty descent. 7/10.

    Safe Haven:
    Pretty slow moving for another Nicholas Sparks adaptation. Mundane & a twist ending that wasn't that shocking. I have yet to find one NS movie that i can say i enjoyed. 5/10

    Cold & brutally honest. This story of an elderly couple coping with grief when one of them suffers a stroke. My second Michael Haneke film (White Ribbon). A good movie that hard to watch again. 7.5/10

    Side Effects: The best movie of the night. Sodenberg is just one of my favorite directors. His "final" theatrical film is a doosy. Though I wish it didn't pull his punches on the serious problem about the corruption & hypocrisy of the pharmaceutical industry. I still take it as a thorough slow burn Hitchcockian mystery-thriller. All actors are fantastic. though the beginning starts off a little slow. 8/10

    Snitch: Again never going into another broken American system in the mandatory drug laws this was pretty standard crime thriller. The Rock is decent, but too many plotholes damage it's credibility. 6/10

    TV Land:

    House of Lies (Episodes 4 + 5)

    Netflix Nexus:

    House of Cards: (Season 1 Review)

    A bar none exelent near perfect series that is one of the best shows i have ever seen. Like i said before, Kevin Spacy, Robin Wright, & Corey Stoll should all receive Emmy & Golden Globes noms. Stoll should win handily.
    Political backstabbing in an intertwining story is definitely worth they hype & I will proudly recommend it to anyone looking for a good watch. 9/10 (9.5/10 minus Ep. 8)

    That's it this week. Stay tuned as I will be watching the Oscars tonight and next week I'll be handing out reviews for Escape From Planet Earth, & maybe Identity Thief, Dark Skies & The Last Exorcism: Part II.

  • Jake17

    I'll start with TV:
    House of Cards: Season 1: (Episodes 2-6)
    I'm really loving this. A great political drama with killer acting.
    The Walking Dead: Season 3:
    This show's writing gets worse and worse, and the characters are awful.
    Community: Season 4:
    I'm starting to lose faith in the chance that this can succeed post-Harmon.
    Parks and Recreation: Season 5:
    Currently my favorite comedy still running.
    We'll start with the Best Picture Winner:
    Argo is an average thriller that glosses over historical details and ends so poorly it's shocking. While the film is technically accomplished (the editing is especially great), there's nothing exremely special about the movie as a whole. Alan Arkin may be the least deserving Oscar nominee ever, and Affleck didn't really need a nomination, either, despite the outrage. Argo is a disappointment, even with lowered expectations. 6/10 or C+
    Reservoir Dogs:
    I'd argue at points this is an even harder watch than Django Unchained, because while Django's subject material is harder, the violence is shocking and just as effective. Filled with great dialogue and great characters (my personal favorites were Michael Madsen as Mr. White and Tim Roth as Mr. Orange), Reservoir Dogs is the type of movie that completely immerses you in a different world. 8/10 or B+

    The Darjeeling Limited:
    The Darjeeling Limited is gorgeous, and it has all of Anderson's trademark quirkiness, yet it doesn't have the wit or emotional core of the rest of his work. While it has some great sequences (the opening is an excellent bait and switch of sorts), Darjeeling just won't stick with me as much as Wes Anderson's other films. 5/10 or C

    Big Fish: This film tends to get lost in its lofty ambitions a little too much, but it manages to make up for that with an intriguing story and an excellent emotional payoff. This is definitely one of Tim Burton's finer movies. 7.5/10 or B-

    The Evil Dead:
    I'm pretty sure that this is the goriest movie I've ever seen. It's also quite twisted. Trees that rape people? People cutting off their own hands?! Yes, this movie has those things in it. It's quite campy, but in an odd way, the camp raises the scare factor. I must say that I was so scared by the time Ash was the only one left that I had to turn the lights in my living room back on. A really great, tense, gory horror flick. 8.5/10 or B+

    Fight Club:
    It's been a few days, but I still dont know what to say other than that this film is an experience like no other. 10/10 or A+

    Your Sister's Sister:
    A sweet, honest indie movie with three strong lead performances. 8/10 or B

    Heathers is an fairly effective comedy-thriler that works well until its messy third act. Christian Slater and Winona Ryder make for a sexy on screen couple, and they play off each other well. There are some great moments and some smart lines, but it loses its wit as the movie goes on, and the whole ending is a bit ridiculous. It's an enjoyable enough one time watch, but not a movie I'd watch again quickly. 6/10 or C

    • Jake17

      C+ for Heathers.

  • MajorFilmFan

    Safe Haven- Did I enjoy this movie? Absolutely. Is it a cinematic masterpiece? Absolutely not. Is it a GREAT Movie? Hell no. With that said, Hough and Duhmel are quite likable, and I found that it worked very well as a thriller as well as a drama. It's sappy and schmaltzy,but it's entertainingly sappy and schmaltzy. 8.5/10 (B+) (And yes, I am willing to take a lot of shit for my opinion on this movie)

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

    Snitch: "ARE THE SPRINKLERS ON?!" Seriously this is so completely laughable it hurts at times. It's just so mediocre. C-

    Safe Haven: The most fun I've had at the movies this year so far. Spoilers if you care at all, but she's a freaking ghost. Not Hough. Smoulders. Like...Hough's character is already batshit! David Lyons is a hero. His water bottle shenanigans...oh my. Just don't see this. Or do. D+

    Ice Age: Continental Drift: So...I know Larmey was wondering about the biggest ensemble casts, I truly think that this is it. Otherwise a harmless family feature. C+

    Reprise: After Oslo, August 31st planting itself into my Top 10 of 2012, I needed to check out Joachim Trier's first movie. What a difference yet also such similarities. Reprise is basically a sampler of sorts. A way for Trier do just show off his talents without becoming indulgent. It's pretty astounding actually. B+

  • Movieram

    At the theater:

    Side Effects - Since we no longer have Hitchcock, this is the next best thing to a Hitchcockian thriller that we are likely to get. Jude Law gives one of his finest performances in the Cary Grant role, Rooney Mara proves she's a cinematic force to be reckoned with, and Channing Tatum evokes fond memories of Janet Leigh, of all people. Fascinating film, despite the plot holes. I'm hoping Soderbergh's retirement is short-lived. B+

    House of Cards (2013) - Brilliant, well-crafted, and all-too-real political saga. Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, and Corey Stoll are always mesmerizing. Give them bushels of Emmys. Only episode 8 disappoints. A.

    The Walking Dead Season 1: I'm not a fan of zombie movies, but a younger cousin insisted that I watch the first episode and now I'm hooked. Each episode left me wanting to watch more. Love the show's character-driven nature with the walkers in the background. I wonder what direction the show will take. Compelling TV with a few bland characters that I suspect will be trimmed from the show soon. Much better than I anticipated! A-

    The Bourne Identity (1988) - Long before we had any idea who Matt Damon was, The Bourne Identity was a miniseries starring popular TV actors Richard Chamberlain and Jaclyn Smith. This miniseries more closely follows Robert Ludlum's source novel than the later movie does. It's actually an involving movie, given 1980s network standards. Smith isn't a very good actress but she certainly looks good! B

    Me and Orson Welles (2008) - Zac Efron plays a young actor who gets cast in Welles's Mercury Theater troupe's 1938 production of Julius Caesar. Christian McKay makes a fine tyrannical Welles. I liked the atmosphere and the name-dropping. The film reminded me of My Week with Marilyn, though it isn't quite as good. Nice period detail. B.

    Holy Smoke (2000) - A deprogrammer (Harvey Keitel) is hired by a young woman's family to free her from the clutches of a cult. Kate Winslet plays the young woman Ruth. Ruth retaliates by seducing the deprogrammer and then belittling him. Actually, the movie sounds better than it plays. Despite good acting from Keitel and Winslet, I never once believed that a character as strong and independent as Ruth would have ever been brainwashed by a cult. This is a watchable, never boring mess directed by Jane Campion that just turns out not to be very good. C-

    Also caught a few episodes of Frasier Season 1. One of my favorite comedies ever.