What I Watched, What You Watched #186

The Wolf of Wall StreetMy week has largely been dominated by basketball. The coming of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament is one of my favorite times of year and I have been making the most of it. That said, my week wasn't entirely void of movie watching.

On Monday I did see Olympus Has Fallen (read my review here) and before Matt posted his excellent piece on The Black Cat (read it here) I made sure to watch it so I knew what images would best fit the piece and I loved putting together the lead montage image of photos. Matt said more than enough about the movie already and hopefully you've already read it, but I will say that as I was watching I paused it just to make sure there was mention of the playing of Beethoven's 7th... of course, there was.

Finally, last night, I watched a little of A Few Good Men on AMC, but there were too many commercials so I bailed and went to bed and read, which leads me to...

I finished reading Glenn Frankel's "The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend" and am now onto Jordan Belfort's "The Wolf of Wall Street", which, of course, Martin Scorsese is adapting for release later this year with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead, though I must say, I immediately don't see DiCaprio as the best man for the role. I think it would have been a great film for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but I am only about 110 pages in so far and it already has the appearance of being something of a mash-up of Wall Street and Boiler Room covered in cocaine and accompanied by twelve hookers. There is a lot more for me to discover, but I'm interested in seeing where it goes.

Now it's your turn. What have you been watching and/or reading for that matter?

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

    Life of Pi: A visually stunning, well acted film that unfortunately runs on a bit too long, has some script issues, and is not as moving the second time around. But still, one of my favorite films from last year, even if my opinion of it lessened. 4/5

    Resident Evil: Apocalypse: Well then. A number of flaws are to be found in this film, and I'll run through them without revealing any spoilers, for those (hopefully very few) people who want to see this piece of sh*t. First off, a bunch of unnecessary characters. If they had cut out the news reporter or the urban gangster, nothing would have been lost. Second, Umbrella inconsistency. Oh sure, you won't allow people with NO TRACE of being zombies to be rescued, but later, you try to save a woman who has NO IMPORTANCE to anybody, who is also being cornered by zombies. Slick, Umbrella. Real smooth. And finally, the main character is immortal. In one action sequence, the main character should have been killed 3 times. Nice, Paul W.S. Anderson. 1/5

    I'm also watching Rashamon in the background, and so far, it's ok, although it would probably be better if there weren't any commercials. And I watched a bit of March madness, and it was strange, seeing my two places that I've lived in compete against one another. You can also follow me on letterboxd at http://letterboxd.com/corbin_123/

  • http://letterboxd.com/gman/ G-Man


    Was traveling through Friday this week, so only one movie for me:

    First Watch:

    Olympus Has Fallen (2013) - Theatre - I thought I would enjoy this and was not let down. Antoine Fuqua does a great job keeping the audience on the edge of their seat for the 2 hour runtime, with excellent pacing to the action. From an acting perspective, Morgan Freeman was the highlight to me. I think general audiences will enjoy this as fun, popcorn entertainment, while the artsier crown probably won't enjoy it as much. Was kind of a "Die Hard" meets "Air Force One". Recommended for a night out with a date or friends. 7.5 / 10 or "B"

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

    I will be posting what I watched and read this week later as I am currently watching Moneyball and am waiting until I finish watching it to post.

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

      Moneyball is great. Hope you like it!

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

        Well I've seen it once before back when it first came out on DVD and I thought it was rather mediocre and overrated. But during this viewing, I must say, I'm enjoying it far more than I did the last time I saw it.

        • Bertram J. Krogh

          I also liked it much better after the second viewing, and ended up placing it 8th on my list of Best of 2011. Great film, highly rewatchable.

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

    In theaters:

    The Croods: A decent family film with gorgeous animation and fun voice work. However a few moments of genuine warmth and humor can't entirely salvage a plot based entirely around cliches. 2.5/4

    At home:

    Before Sunset: Fantastic. This is what a sequel should be. It takes the fact that we already know and love theses characters and uses that chance to build them and explore darker regions of their personalities. The movie is almost entirely made up of one long conversation between two people, and Jesse and Celine are just as much fun to listen to as they were in Before Sunrise. Yet, while clearly the same people, they are also older, a little more weary, and a lot less naive. The film is helped by its eighty minute running time, careful not to over stay its welcome or to shatter the illusion of a real time conversation. One of my favorite scenes in the entire film is when they walk up the stairs to Celine's apartment. No talking, no bickering, just enjoying each other's presence. I cannot wait for Before Midnight. 4/4

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: The least Fincher-y of all the Fincher films I've seen (now all but Panic Room and Alien 3). While the story is not entirely there and at times the narrative seems a bit jerky and uneven, I haven't been able to shake these characters for the last couple days. Pieces of Benjamin's story keep popping into my mind, and the film has definitely grown on me. Fincher's directing is, as always, at the worst assured and at his best phenomenal, and Pitt is reliably good. I think I'll have to watch this film again to get a firmer opinion on it, but the fact that I want to rewatch it so soon is definitely a good sign. For now I'll be optimistic and say 3.5/4

    The Gold Rush (rewatch): It's amazing how much of Chaplin's humor holds up. Familiar with the plot, on my second viewing I was able to turn my attention to other things, and I was struck by how well shot the movie is. My favorite shot is the one in which the tramp first enters the dance hall watches the dancing from afar, separated. He stands in the center of the frame, completely alone and unsure of himself. Really classic cinema. 3.5/4

    Se7en (with commentary with David Fincher, Brad Pitt, and Morgan Freeman): Fincher's commentaries are the best I've ever heard. Pitt is interesting when he goes back and forth with Fincher. They are clearly strong friends. Freeman didn't particularly add much for me, but he talks quite a bit about the craft of acting, so if that's your cup of tea, it might be better for you. Don't be surprised if I follow up my repeat viewing of Button with the commentary. 3.5/4

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

      Is that a 3.5 for the Seven commentary, or the movie itself?

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

    Follow me on Letterboxd: http://letterboxd.com/criterion10/

    I started the week by continuing to go through the Alfred Hitchcock masterpiece collection.

    Rear Window (Rewatch) – This has always been an all-time favorite of mine. Everything about this movie is top notch, from Hitchcock’s innovative direction, to Stewart’s performance, to the excellent, fluid camerawork. Plus, it is simply a marvel to see the story unfold. This is probably my favorite Hitchcock after Psycho. A+

    The Birds (Rewatch) – I actually enjoyed this one more than I expected to. It’s an odd film in a sense, in that the birds don’t really start to attack until about an hour in. The whole first part of the film is spent developing the relationships between the different characters. But, somehow, it works. And once the birds do start to attack, the film really contains some great, memorable scenes. Overall, this is a fun piece of entertainment, but it is nowhere near the innovation of Hitchcock’s best films. B+

    Then, since I knew that I would be seeing Spring Breakers this weekend, I decided to focus my attention on rewatching many of Harmony Korine’s films. Unfortunately, time is never on my side, and I planned a little late, so I didn’t fully succeed in my goal. I did watch almost all of the short films/music videos/other film related projects that he has made, all of which are on YouTube. Some of these highlights include his “Gold on the Ceiling” and “Sunday” music videos and the first film that he ever made as a high school student, entitled “A Bundle a Minute”.

    Trash Humpers (Rewatch) – I decided to watch this Korine flick before Spring Breakers as I heard the two were similar thematically. Now, having seen Spring Breakers, I can definitely understand the comparisons. I have conflicting opinions on this one. My problem with the film isn’t its plot, but rather its execution. As a matter of fact, I think making a film about old people in masks that hump trash is a rather brilliant idea. It’s just that, while there are some typically great Korine moments in this film, there are also many dull moments. Still, I suppose it works in its own regard. It’s very difficult to judge a film like this. B-

    Spring Breakers – The last time I was this excited for a movie was back in 2009 when Inglourious Basterds came out. Ironically, while I do like Inglourious Basterds very much now, I was incredibly disappointed when I first saw it. It simply wasn’t what I was expecting, and I blame part of that due to my frequent watching of trailers and clips. Much has changed since then. I now do my best do avoid trailers and marketing. Although, considering my excitement for Spring Breakers, curiosity did get the best of me, and I did read some reviews and skim the trailer without sound.

    So, I want to begin by saying that all things considered, I liked Spring Breakers very much, although even myself, a Harmony Korine fan, someone who was expecting an arthouse-like feature, was somewhat surprised by what the film turned out to be. The film’s opening titles with neon font immediately impressed, but it was the opening party montage set to Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” that simply blew me away. Korine does best here one of my favorite aspects of his directing. He captures a sort of beauty and innocence in a situation that we, the audience, find to be without beauty and corrupt, impure.

    The manner in which the story progresses impressed me very much, but this was also part of where I feel the film went slightly wrong. The entire second half of the film is great, basically once James Franco comes in. But, I found the first half of the film to be almost a misstep. Not that it doesn’t work, but maybe it goes on for a little too long without much of a purpose. The plot point that eventually leads the film towards its conclusion was not what I was expecting at all. But, it worked for me. Even the conclusion of the film, almost done in an anti-climactic manner, impressed me greatly. And I will say that part of this is due to the excellent, ambient score from Skrillex and Cliff Martinez.

    I also thought the frequent repetition and montages that seem to drive the film were absolutely wondrous. They both worked beautifully. The performances are also good all around, with James Franco being the highlight. This really is a great performance, and sure to be one for the ages. I actually thought that the girls did a very good job for what their roles required.

    I have much more to say about this one. I’d love to attempt to analyze some of the deeper themes and commentary on our society that many reviews have addressed, but I will cut it short for now. I really encourage people to see this film. Whether you like it or not, you’ll certainly agree it’s different.

    Final Grade: A-

    As a side note, I should add that Spring Breakers is by no means a mainstream film. I saw it with a friend who said he absolutely hated it, and that it was quite possibly the worst film he has ever seen. Plus, a large group of girls that go to my school saw it, all of whom were incredibly excited for the film, only to be disappointed beyond belief.

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

      Speaking of Hitchcock, I saw Strangers on a Train. Talk about a stalker! The build up of tension is beautifully done.
      There is an old theater in my town that has been beautifully restored to it's former glory. With a balcony and an organ that rises up at the front of the theater one feels as though he has been transported back in time! The organist plays during intermission. For the price of a ticket, you can attend a double feature. This theater is entirely devoted to classic films.
      I give this film a 4/5 and and bonus points for the theater experience.

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

      I think I like The Birds a little bit more than you do, but I agree 100% on Rear Window. It's definitely my favorite Hitchcock film. Did you get the blu-ray collection?

      Plenty of girls at my school were also excited for Spring Breakers and I had no idea why. At my school, the excitement really just came out of nowhere. I haven't seen it yet, but I told one of my friends that it's not what you think at all. It's an art house film that's disguised as mainstream. I haven't really heard good things about it, but it must be a really polarizing film.

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

        Yes, the Blu-Ray collection came in the mail about a week ago. I previously owned the old DVD collection but felt the need to upgrade.

        Spring Breakers is totally an arthouse film disguised as mainstream. It's similar to Drive in that regard, which was hated by audiences yet loved by critics (although I wouldn't say Spring Breakers has been loved by critics, but rather received a mostly positive response). I certainly recommend checking it out.

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

      Knowing that you're a big Korine fan, I was looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Spring Breakers! I'm glad you liked it as much as you did! I did as well, possibly the best of 2013 thus far (maybe tied with Side Effects and Stoker with me).

      I loved how, as you said, they repeated quite a bit of things, showing several clips again and again, completely changing their meaning every time.... If that makes sense.

      Great write-up!

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

        I sadly missed out on Side Effects, though Stoker is now playing near me, so I'm going to try to catch that one.

        And yeah, I thought the repetitive nature of the film was one of the best parts about it. Truly great editing that I'll certainly be remembering for years to come.

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

    AT HOME:
    Gun Crazy- A terrific noir. It is deliciously sleazy, and devoid of morals. Very terrific, and entertaining. 8.5/10

    Get Carter- Michael Caine at his best. The film stinks of 70s grime, and is bettered because of it. 9/10

    People on Sunday- A very interesting experiment. Despite being silent, and starring non-actors, it breezes by quickly, and is incredibly entertaining. 8/10

    Sherlock Jr.- Very funny, with Keaton at his bumbling best. The stunts are jaw dropping, and only advance the already fantastic plot. 8/10

    Victory- This movie is really bad. In fact, it's so bad, it's actually really funny. It goes beyond camp and into laughable cheesiness. 6.5/10

    Dexter, Season 5: The second worst season of Dexter yet, but it still has enough twists and turns to be interesting. 7/10

    I also finished reading The Cement Garden, which was good, but not as good as Atonement.

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

      I adore Sherlock, Jr. It's among my Top 10 favorite films of all time and my favorite comedy. Buster Keaton was a comic genius. Each scene is a comic delight, and the ending scene, which changes tone, is one of the greatest movie endings ever. The fact that all of this movie is packed into a 45 minute running time is also impressive.

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

        So far, I haven't seen many Keaton's, only jr. Our Hospitality and The General. Any recommendations?

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

          Sorry to jump in, but Seven Chances and The Cameraman are some great ones to see!

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

          Both College and Steamboat Bill, Jr. are funny too, but any of Keaton's silent films are worthwhile. If you like Keaton, it's also worth seeking out the silent films of Harold Lloyd who is nearly as good.

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

            I've been meaning to watch more silent films. So far, I have only seen Keaton and Chaplin in the comedy arena, but I definitely want to check out Safety Last!, and it just came out on Criterion, which may be the excuse I was looking for.

  • Winchester

    This week two planned cinema trips became just one due to weather.


    Oz The Great and Powerful (2013): I didn't enjoy this really at all. I had watched The Wizard of Oz on TV last week and so when I met a friend this week to go to the cinema it was pretty much this or 'Identity Thief'. I saw it in 2D format and decided to forgo the 3D option. Basically I think this is one of those films where all the elements just fail to come together in a satisfying film. The casting is all wrong IMO, from the lead in James Franco downwards. I appreciate that he seems to be a decent person outwith acting and that in his CV he seems to be trying to diversify but as an actor he is lacking in expression and charisma for me. He reminds me of Mark Wahlberg in that respect. No life about him at all when he delivers dialogue. But then the three actresses chosen as co-leads don't fit their roles either. Michelle Williams goes far too far down the road of sugary sweet to the point she doesn't bring any feeling to things. Weisz can't play her role and Kunis was a real sticking point. Now, was it just me who thought her character was a delusional crackpot within about five seconds of her meeting Oz? Like, really if I just met a girl and then almost immediately she was talking about settling down I'd be like...............you're a crazy person. Get away from me!So, her character's entire arc and development seemed to come from a place where I wasn't buying a thing. I didn't buy the wicked witch's transformation (or more relevantly the apparent reason for said transformation) therefore. It really felt like I was watching one of those films where there are great junks lying around in the cutting room floor where plot development was jettisoned in favour of getting to the next visual effects sequence (such as the throwaway reveal of the villain which was kinda just shrug-worthy in delivery and as a result it all felt very disjointed and rushed. Side characters were flat and even the visual effects were not really anything the blew me away apart from China Girl. Some small touchesin the film like the black and white introduction and credits sequence were OK but overall it was a bit of a slog to get to the end of it all. I won't likely watch it again.

    At Home -

    The Remains of The Day (1993): TV airing, rewatch - The novel by Kazuo Ishiguro is actually a personal favourite of mine and one of the few books I reread from time to time. This adaptation is quite faithful to the core themes and motifs of the book as it's essentially a character study of a life totally subsumed and given over to service and duty at the cost of all else. With outstanding performances from Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson and a supporting cast with several future faces (including a pre-stardom Hugh Grant, Ben Chaplin and Lena Headey in their youth) supporting it's really a tragedy in many ways when looked at through the eyes of the main character. A beautifully shot and acted production when Merchant/Ivory were riding high on the success of the likes of 'Howard's End'.

    Micheal Clayton (2007): Blu ray, rewatch - A terrifically acted and directed thriller involving corporate conspiracy and legal dramatics. I had forgotten that back in 2007/8 this was a big Oscar contender (and obviously Tilda Swinton won Best Supporting Actress for this performance) with nominations in several major categories. Anyway, the treat here is in the calibre of the script and performances led by George Clooney and the non flashy direction by Tony Gilroy. There's an evocation of quality filmmaking harking back to decades earlier here and it seems to succeed. All in, a good couple of hours spent.

    Up in The Air (2009): Blu ray, rewatch - While I didn't intend to have a Clooney double bill this week these things kinda happen. This is possibly my favourite Jason Reitman film after 'Young Adult' (I like but don't love 'Juno' and 'Thank You For Smoking') and he is a director I do really like for the kinds of films he makes, even if I don't have them all in my collection. Partly because I think he has made, perhaps unknowingly, a minor future classic. This film is incredibly light in tone, but also incredibly still relevant to the economics of today's world and people's place within it. This film could be released fresh today and be just as relevant to the world it would be released in. And I think you could do the same in ten years time because it's themes and issues won't go away from one cinema year to the next. It has a timelessness about it. It doesn't hurt it has great performances and direction as well and it's one that I'm happy to revisit.

    Hope Springs (2012): Blu ray, first watch - OK, so I'm not in the age demo for this film, so I didn't enjoy it as much as I might were I to fit the target audience, but with nice work from Streep and Jones as the couple drifted apart who need to find a way to fix themselves it's fine enough. I don't think it should have been marketed as a comedy though, as it's really an (at times) uncomfortable relationship drama about the older age group. Nice acting, but there isn't a huge amount to say about it apart from that.

    In TV Land I finished watching season 7 of 'Cheers' (1988 - 1989) on TV this week and next week the channel it's on will start showing season 8 (1989 - 1990). It's definitely in comfortable shoes mode despite some developments this season and the next that will shape the final years of the show. But it's perfectly good to watch still.

    Bookwise, it's been a while since I really read anything. I flirted with re-reading 'Life of Pi' after the film but never got far into it and I have a stack of others to check out on the bookshelf. Could be a while before I start any of them though.

    That was all this week.

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

      I love Up In The Air and find it immensely rewatchable!

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

    Follow me here: http://letterboxd.com/navaneethks/

    Movies watched at home

    Ocean's Twelve: 6/10 (first viewing) - I wish this movie didn't exist in the trilogy. I really liked the first and the third movie.

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: 8/10 (first viewing) - I don't know why i kept putting off this movie for over a year. It's currently my #3 David Fincher movie. I wish they would make the sequel for this with craig and mara but I guess that's not going to happen unfortunately.

    United 93: 8/10 (re-watch)

    Ocean's Thirteen: 8/10 (re-watch) - Way better than the second movie. Almost as good as the first film of the trilogy.

    Enemy of the State: 7/10 (re-watch)

    WarGames (1983): 6/10 (first viewing)

    Rosemary’s Baby: 3/10 (first viewing) - I am usually not into horror movies, but thought I'd give this a shot. And I was fine even with the horror movies I've watched like The Exorcist which was good. This movie was good until the very end when they go crazy with the 'hail satan' stuff. That kinda turned me off. I mean I am not religious or anything, but that just messes with my head. But absolutely great performance by Mia Farrow though.

    Se7en: 7/10 (first viewing)

    North by Northwest: 8/10 (first viewing)

    The Way: 10/10 (re-watch) - Directed by Emilio Estevez

    You don't choose a life, you live one.

    It's movies like this that restores my faith in cinema. Not The Dark Knight, not The Avengers or even Skyfall, but movies like The Way. Unfortunately this movie never made it wide release and was only a limited release.

    I absolutely loved this movie. The story of the movie is heartfelt and meaningful, but the director Emilio Estevez makes it feel like it's a fun journey. From start to finish this movie is told in a beautiful way. Shot amidst beautiful landscapes in Europe, you would expect the quality of the movie to be high definition to perfection, but here is something for you:

    "The look of the film and Blu-ray results from a decision by director Estevez and producer David Alexanian to forgo hi-def video (which would have produced spectacular travelogue footage) and shoot the movie on 16mm film, specifically Super16. They wanted this look for The Way, because, as Estevez says in the commentary:

    "I also love how we kind of throw away these landscapes. . . . I mean, it's positively extraordinary and gorgeous. And yet it's not about that. It's about what's going on emotionally with the characters.""

    I absolutely agree with the director. Without focusing on the landscapes, it helps the audience to connect to the characters in the movie.

    The soundtrack of this movie is just so beautiful. The music has a very relaxing tone to it and goes perfectly with the movie.

    And last but not the least, Martin Sheen's performance is one of the best of his career.

    I hope to find more movies like this in the future to watch and keep my love for the movies alive. The Way, in my opinion, is oscar worthy and deserved some Oscars nods. Unfortunately it was definitely overlooked by the Oscars.

    Jaws: 7/10 (first viewing) - Watching this for the first time in 2013 made me realize that a lot of the older movies that I've watched lately, if made today, will not be a hit like it was back in the days.

    • Winchester

      'The Way' is a great little film. I thoroughly enjoyed it when I watched it a year or so ago.

      Funny you should also have watched Fincher's version of Tattoo since both feature the actor Yorik Van Wageningen and the characters he plays in each are so completely and utterly different from each other. I could hardly believe it was the same actor.

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

      The Way sounds like a must for me. Thanks for the review.

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

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

    A fantastic viewing week for me (probably because I rewatched a lot of my favorites). Probably a record three 5/5 ratings, and Spring Breakers a film that exceeded my expectations

    Spring Breakers – I went into this film with low expectations, mainly because I’m unfamiliar with Director Harmony Korine’s earlier work (which has something to do with Humping Trash, I think?). But This film definitely delivered. The standout to me was James Franco’s performance, which was totally outrageous. However, the film’s first half is not as good as the second half and the performaces from the 4 leading girls weren’t as good as I had hoped
    3.5 / 5 (or B-)

    True Grit (2010) [Rewatch] – This film is astounding. True Grit sucks you into the old west, which is beautifully photographed by Roger Deakins. The simplicity of the plot and the smart dialogue create believable circumstances and unforgettable characters. Said characters are wonderfully memorable, and the actors that portray them are superb. Newcomer Hailee Steinfeld is fantastic, as is Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn, in a performance that tops John Wayne’s by a mile. True Grit is one of the few modern masterpieces
    5 / 5 (or A+)

    Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl [Rewatch] - This is just a fun film to watch. While the story line isn't that deep, it's solid and bolstered by great performances from Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush. While Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly aren't up to par with the actual pirate characters, they're still entertaining as well. It's unfortunate, for this film's reputation has been so tarnished by its sequels, that people forget how good this movie is. It's probably one of the best pirate movies ever made (not that there are many to begin with).
    4 / 5 (or B+)

    The Outlaw Josey Wales [Rewatch] - Many people forget that Clint Eastwood directed this film, despite the fact that it is his best film to date. Not only that, It's on of the best westerns of all time. Eastwood is also great in the lead role, and the supporting cast is just as good. The story is exciting and involving and has some great action pieces. the cinematography is beautiful, and the sound and visuals form a great picture. Overall, this is a fantastic film, and one of my favorites.
    5 / 5 (or A+)

    Zero Dark Thirty [Rewatch] – I’m sure I’ve said enough about this film already, but It’s just so good. Upon rewatch, however, it stood out to me how great the editing was. It’s probably some of the best I’ve ever seen, and it deserved the Oscar. Every member of the cast gives a great performance, especially Jason Clarke, who I hope to see more of in the future. This is just a fantastic procedural film, with powerful directing, editing, and acting
    5 / 5 (or A+)

    X-Men: First Class - Definitely the best film in the X-Men series. The strong performances from Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy are the clear standouts along with some good special effects and sound. Unfortunately, the film's third act loses steam, when the villain reveals his plot which is incredibly generic and somewhat silly. Overall, it's a very good superhero film with some good acting and great visuals.
    3.5 / 5 (or B-)

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

      And, if anyone cares, I picked Louisville and Georgetown to be my final 2 in March Madness, with Louisville winning. Unfortunately, only half of that can be true, as Georgetown lost. And my hopes of a perfect finals are lost...

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

        What is this March Madness thing? I've never heard of it before.

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

          It's a college basketball tournament.

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

        I know, I was rooting for Georgetown all the way.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/JoshB/ Josh B

        I picked Louisville to win it all over Michigan. Both have been pretty impressive, but UL has looked like the best team to me. So far some great games and today has started of great too.

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

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

    I’m on spring break now so I’m going to try to watch most of the 36 films on the IMDB top 250 list that I haven’t seen yet. It’s gonna be rough, since there are more than a few animated films on there (I just can’t picture myself watching How to Train Your Dragon). But I’m committed, so we’ll see. Still haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to sit through all of those Miyazaki films. I’ll most likely limit it to just Spirited Away, since I really don’t feel like torturing myself…. actually, in writing this, I think I’ve just talked myself out of it. I’ll just stick to the live action films and call it a day.

    At home (first viewing):

    Near Dark (1987) – It seems that Kathryn Bigelow has been a political filmmaker since the beginning. Near Dark is a vampire film that’s essentially just an allegory about American Exceptionalism and values. The film follows a good old blonde Oklahoma boy (salt of the earth) who gets kidnapped and assimilated into a family of vampires (terrorists). Meanwhile, his father and little sister are out looking for him (their scenes are always bathed in white light, which is contrasted with the darkness of the vampires). It goes from there, as his family tries to draw him back into the light (literally).

    The political subtext gets increasing obvious and cringe worthy as the film plays out. At one point, his little sister walks into a motel room populated with evil vampires and turns on the TV. Guess what’s on… an American flag blowing gently in the wind with the Star Spangled Banner playing in the background. Get the message? Well too bad, cause Bigelow is determined to hammer it home in case you missed it. In a showdown between the Oklahoma boy and the vampires, our protagonist rides into a deserted Midwestern town on horseback wearing a cowboy hat. It looked like something lifted directly from one of Reagan’s campaign ads. On the positive side, the score is somewhat interesting, but the overall hokeyness of the film really brings it down.

    2.5 / 5

    Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (2012) – Gibney does it again. His film about the systematic molestation of children is a much needed reminder of how disgusting and reprehensible the Catholic Church is (the organization, not the religion).

    3.5 / 5

    Lonesome Dove (1989): Part II

    Yoimbo (1961) – Wildly over the top. The performances are embarrassingly cartoonish and the fight choreography is laughable. Leone’s version is a towering masterpiece compared to this.

    2 / 5

    At home (repeat viewing):

    Burn After Reading (2008) – It was great when it first came out and it’s great now. I don’t get why people just shrugged this one off. It’s totally hilarious and the performances are all terrific (Pitt, in particular, is brilliant). For me, it’s one of the Coens best.

    4 / 5

    On TV:

    Californication (Season 6): Ep. 6-10 – It’s getting really redundant.

    Girls (Season 2): Ep. 8-10 – I don’t plan on following Season 3; at least not until it ends. The show is mostly entertaining and it’s witty at times, but I don’t really like any of the characters and I find it difficult to relate to them on any level.

    3 / 5

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

      Burn After Reading is definitely underrated. It's hilarious. And good luck on your attempt to watch those 36 films.

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

      Gotta agree with you and Xarnis, AS. I've really enjoyed Burn After Reading every time I've watched it, and I find Brad Pitt's performance in it to be completely hilarious.

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

        and Malkovich is really funny too especially when he loses it on the phone haha

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

          Yes. I love that moment in the first scene when the CIA guy mentions his alcohol problem and Malkovich just slowly turns and shoots him a look. It's hilarious.

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

        I will also agree, and say that Burn After Reading is a very good film. I wouldn't call it great, though I do quite like it. And Brad Pitt is absolutely hysterical in it.

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

      PLEASE watch the Miyazaki films! Grave of the Fireflies is also in the Top 250. It's not Miyazaki but it is Studio Ghibli. Those movies are too good to shrug off as any other animated film.

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

        But you don't understand, there's a 0% chance I'll enjoy them. I cannot appreciate children's films. I just can't. But I will watch Spirited Away. I'll commit to that one.

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

          Miyazaki films and Ghibli film in general are so completely adverse to the children's genre. They may look like children's features but they're so entirely adult in their storytelling and themes. I'd recommend watching Grave of the Fireflies first. Spirited Away is in ways, they're most "kid friendly" but still thematically adult. Don't shrug them off too quickly.

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

            Trust me...

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

              Put it to you this way. My 4 and 6 year old cousins get bored by them. Miyazaki doesn't make them for kids. If Spirited Away let's you down, don't give up, Especially when Princess Mononoke isn't even a children's film at all...

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

                If I only watched one, which should it be?

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

                See, I don't know. They're all so different and they handle different themes that range from super serious to not totally serious. The most mature, I think is Grave of the Fireflies. I think you should watch that one because it's actually not even a movie I'd show to kids. I'd say watch that along with My Neighbor Totoro maybe. GotF is a WWII drama basically. If you can get the original Japanese dub, it's preferred. Same with My Neighbor Totoro. That one is probably a little too kid friendly but it's also one of their most thematically potent and sad films if you pick up on a few things. Both of those films deal with death in different ways.

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

                Grave it is.

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

                Just throwing in my two cents: I haven't seen Grave of the Fireflies so I can't really comment on that one, but if you don't like children's films, I'd avoid Totoro. The themes can be decidedly adult, but they're packaged in such a way to make them digestible to children. Personally my favorite Miyaziki film is Princess Mononoke which is really more of a fantasy epic than a kids film at all.

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

            I saw both Spirited Away and Grave of the Fireflies when I was very young. Spirited Away is simply excellent. That's one that I'd like to watch again. As for Grave of the Fireflies, if it's the film that I remember it being, than I was simply very depressed by it.

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

      How to Train Your Dragon is great, you should seriously reconsider watching it.

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

        Like I say, I just don't have any patience for kids movies. I get that some people like them, but not I. I remember when everyone was raving about Toy Story 3 and I was like "all right, I'll check it out"... and then it was just like every animated film I'd ever seen. The same is true of films like Up and Wall-E. I was goaded into watching those films and I regret wasting my time. To each their own, as they say.

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

          My opinion on UP which i watched for the first time last month is that it had the most profound effect on me, no other film has made me laugh and cry so much, i think its a genuine masterpiece

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


          • Winchester

            I would partially agree with that about Up. While I think it is absolutely one of Pixar's best films the true masterpiece segment is the opening montage.

            I don't think any animated film's opening has so perfectly captured life and marriage whilst essentially using just sound and vision. It's just a sequence that is perfectly done and puts your emotions through the whole range of them in minutes. I really like the film overall but that opening is pure brilliance.

            It's a bit like Wall-E for me. It's a wonderful near silent film that expresses everything perfectly about the character. I do think it loses it's brilliance once they leave Earth but I love that film's first half hour or so.

            • Winchester

              I meant the first part of Wall-E being silent in terms of dialogue. Obviously the back of the film isn't!

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

              Nailed it, Winchester; Up's prologue is beyond great, in my opinion, and easily sits among my favorite pieces of cinema. It's just so honest, shifting from joyousness to sadness, portraying love, life, and grief in a manner you wouldn't expect from an animated film. It's perfection.

          • Chris138

            I like Up a lot as well but I have to say the Pixar movie I have enjoyed the most from beginning to end is Ratatouille.

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

              Same here. I've seen Ratatouille so many times that I've lost track. And it's still really good on each viewing! It may be my favorite Pixar movie.

              • Winchester

                Ratatouille is the one Pixar film from their pre Disney run that I just can't connect to. I've tried a couple of times but I can't put my finger on why I don't love it as much as everyone else seems to.

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

                I've heard that from others too. I think it's usually because Up and Wall-E were much more serious and were more mature than Ratatouille. There's a lot of things to take away from Up or Wall-E, as you pointed out above, but not so much with Ratatouille. Wall-E and Up were more game-changers than Ratatouille was, even though I do really like all three of them.

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

              Ratatouille is my favorite Pixar film by a considerable margin.

          • Bertram J. Krogh

            Up is my favorite animated feature. The best scene is of course the "marriage" scene - I really do cry every time I watch that scene. I just think it's astounding how the filmmakers tell the story in such a way that it is appealing to both children, adults and the elderly. And it's just a really great story.

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

          I agree with your opinion on Up. It has SO MANY inconsistencies.

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

        Well, I respect your opinion Corbin, but I personally didn't like How To Train Your Dragon at all. I thought it was an over-hyped, boring, mess of a film.

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

          Oh well. If everybody liked the same things, there wouldn't be any opinions. I can see where people wouldn't like it, and I respect that.

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

      I have seen Burn After Reading at leat 3 times. I like it so much, I didn't even know that it was under rated!! Each character has their own version of ridiculous ignorance. Pitt and McDormand are a great crime team!!

      • Bertram J. Krogh

        I loved Pitt, he really delivered hilarious award-worthy material. But it was like McDormand played the same character as she did in Fargo. She was good though. Overall I disliked the movie, though it had its moments. A kind of crazed and fun, but terribly inconsistent movie, probably my least favorite of the Coens'.

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

      AS, sorry if you've covered before, but what is it about animated / children's films you can't enjoy? Not entertaining? You don't appreciate the film from a film making perspective?

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

        It's like cartoons: there just comes an age when you lose interest and stop watching them. I think that's probably the best way I can put it.

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

          lol. I thought the same thing about Yojimbo, only that knowing its a very respected film I didn't feel like being bashed by a couple of film lovers.

          I own Burn After Reading, I got it as a present from my mom and haven't given it another chance, I'll try but I remember it being one of those Coen brothers movies that are more depressing than funny.

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

            It's cynical, but I don't know if I'd call it depressing. Cause when you've got Richard Jenkins going "I'm not here representing HardBody's," how could you be depressed? It's just too funny.

        • tombbet

          It's the same thing happens to majority of people who don't watch animated movies. They seen it as "kid's stuff". For me, while animated films tend to be light theme and kid's friendly (especially those from American), it is one of the most imaginative genre and most of the time it presents its story by its own brand of logic. And to be honest European animation pretty much has adult as its main target.

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

    As those of you who are in college or have been through college know, the week following spring break is one of the most terribly difficult weeks of the entire school year: your motivation is lacking, laziness still coursing through your veins, and to make matters worse, it's often a busy week. And so it goes for me, too, but I still managed to catch a few movies, especialy later in the week. I also watched Louis C.K.'s "Live at the Beacon Theater" special on Netflix, which is more or less what you'd expect from the guy if you've seen his other stuff.

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




    Finding Nemo: One of Pixar's many fantastic entries in its animated catalog, Finding Nemo is a tale that is immensely likable, highly watchable, and best of all, magnificently crafted from beginning to end. 4.5 / 5

    ESPN Films 30 for 30: 9.79*: As a collegiate track and field athlete with the opportunity to train and compete both with and against some of the greatest athletes in not just the United States, but the world entire, I found myself immediately enamored with 9.79*. What was referred to on that day as the greatest race in history, the 1988 Men's Olympic 100-meter final -- a match-up of some of the fastest men the world had ever seen to that point -- quickly became known as the sport's dirtiest. In the days following the race, winner Ben Johnson was stripped of both his world record status and his gold medal after testing positive for steroids. An ESPN Films "30 for 30" entry, 9.79* is a compelling look into not just that fated 100-meter final itself, but also the years leading up to the 1988 Games -- and specifically, the rivalry and animosity brewing between Lewis and Johnson -- and the drug culture developing in a sport where speed endurance and minuscule fractions of a second make all the difference. 4.5 / 5
    Click to read my FULL REVIEW

    ESPN Films 30 for 30: The Best That Never Was: Of the ESPN Films productions I've seen, from their "30 for 30" series to their other original documentaries, The Best That Never Was sits as one of my favorites. It has the two true essentials of any great sports-documentary, an intriguing subject and a fascinating tale, but succeeds mostly because of the Bigfoot-sized legend surrounding it all. Director Jonathan Hock captures the essence of the story so beautifully, building up the legend of Marcus Dupree and developing him into an almost-mythical specimen of immense athletic ability. There is an intoxicating air of humanity here, an air that allows us to easily associate with a man of such physical stature, mythical proportion, and astounding ability. Simply put, The Best That Never Was just might be the best there is when it comes to ESPN's "30 for 30" series. 4.5 / 5
    Click to read my FULL REVIEW

    ESPN Films 30 for 30: June 17th, 1994: Condensing one day into 52 minutes doesn't ordinarily seem a difficult task; I can usually rail off the important events of any one day in my life in the matter of 30 seconds or less. But cutting June 17th, 1994 down to 52 minutes is an achievement worth celebrating. Kudos to you, Brett Morgen, for doing so in both an extremely effective and an extremely affecting manner. Spliced together with myriad clips, June 17th, 1994 recreates the day as it happened, narrated not by voice-over but by clips of the various sports, news, police, and other personalities directly involved in the events of the day. It is an experiential affair, one that could have easily failed in less capable hands. June 17th, 1994 is an exhilarating ride, a documentary that presents one of the most storied media events in history -- O.J. Simpson's slow-speed police chase -- in the only way it could truly be done, by recreating the day as it happened, as it unfolded: through the media. 5 / 5
    Click to read my FULL REVIEW

    Zero Dark Thirty: After seeing this film for now the third time, I'm thoroughly convinced it is among the best films of the last five years. For a political thriller with a swath of characters entrenched in the story of a manhunt whose ending we are entirely familiar with, Zero Dark Thirty has immense replay value. Jessica Chastain's performance remains brilliant and nuanced, Jason Clarke's turn is still vastly underrated, and Mark Strong's limited role is understated but magnificent -- so many performances here have gone almost entirely overlooked, overshadowed largely because of Chastain's ruthless, bone-chilling turn as an intelligence official who won't stop until bin Laden is erased from the world landscape. Every time I watch, or even think about, this film, my mind turns to Zodiac, which can only mean one thing: a Zero Dark Thirty/Zodiac double bill in my near future. 5 / 5
    Click to read my FULL REVIEW

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

    Frankenstein - This was Kenneth Branagh's version. I actually did not like this movie. It's just not a good adaptation of the novel. The entire movie feels rushed throughout and never slows down. I'm usually not a fan of slow pacing, but this is one where I wished would slow down to explain things and allow for a reaction. They rush through some important parts of the novel and they never really get inside Frankenstein's or the monster's head. And that was my favorite part of the book. The cast is alright, but I thought Kenneth Branagh and Robert De Niro were both wrong for their roles. When De Niro was onscreen, all I saw was him in bad make-up. He never becomes the character and I never bought Branagh as Frankenstein. The movie is also way over the top and melodramatic and the book is not. At times it's even laughable. And the ending is just really off the rails. It was really disappointing to see such a great book adapted in such a stupid way. I did like the scene where Frankenstein is creating the monster, but that's about it.

    Frankenstein (1931) - I've never seen this before and I don't have much to say, but I did enjoy it. It's over the top and certainly of its time, but that's part of its charm. I'm not really into the old monster movies, but I do think they're fun to watch if only for its style

    Young Frankenstein - A great comedy and a great parody of monster movies. There are so many funny moments that it's hard for me to pick a favorite. I wish more parody movies would try to be more like this rather than another Scary Movie.

    Rashomon - This was the first Akira Kurosawa film that I've seen and I really liked it. I must admit that I never heard of the "Rashomon Effect" before. It really does use the flashbacks in a great way because all versions of the story are believable in some form. I also liked how the true story is never revealed. The message that every man is out for himself is cynical, but Kurosawa still presents it with some hope and optimism. I like that he found some optimism in what is a disturbing subject. A pretty great movie overall.

    Sanjuro - When I first saw the list that Brad made, I thought for sure that I would see Seven Samurai first. But that 3 and 1/2 hour running time did not encourage me. After seeing both Rashomon and Sanjuro, I really want to watch Seven Samurai, but that'll happen on another day. A day when I have about 4 hours to kill. I watched Sanjuro because of its ending and it is indeed surprising, but in a much different way that I originally thought. Like Rashomon, I really liked Sanjuro. The acting is pretty good, mostly from the lead character, the story is great and it's also pretty funny at times. While the fight scenes are kinda laughable, there's something about them that makes them fun to watch. I'll try to squeeze in one more Kurosawa film before Hulu ends it at midnight.

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

    at the cinema

    Compliance - i believe it happened but maybe not like this, still good though B

    first watch at home

    House Of Flying Daggers - very good, stunning costumes and landscapes B+

    The Master - enjoyed the performances and the film was intriguing B+

    Sparkle - can't remember why I queued this but it was fine C+

    Killing Them Softly - much better than what i was expecting, Pitt rules B+

    Bel Ami - good cast, story and performances but ignored by all B


    Cobra - 80's gold, how could you not love this? Stallone at his best/worst B

    Copland - an old favourite of mine, very rewatchable, Stallone not good though B+

    plus half a dozen old B&L podcasts A++

    • adu

      If you liked House of Flying Daggers, give Hero and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon a watch. Both have great visuals and story.

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

    Annie Get Your Gun (1st viewing)
    I love musicals and westerns, but between this and Calamity Jane, it's safe to say that I do not like musical westerns. The only good thing to come from me watching this was discovering that Annie Oakley (1935) with Barbara Stanwyck was on TCM last night. Hopefully that will be a better viewing experience.

    Calamity Jane (1st viewing)
    Slightly more enjoyable than Annie Get Your Gun, but nothing I will ever be tempted to watch again.

    Double Indemnity (2nd viewing)
    I saw this for the first time 5 years ago in a freshman film class and finally got around to watching it again. I definitely need to add this to my collection. Barbara Stanwyck is simply flawless.

    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (3rd & 4th viewings)

    Rachel, Rachel (1st viewing)
    I didn't really know what I was getting into with this one when I recorded in during TCM's 31 Days of Oscar. Nothing I will probably watch again, but an interesting movie from Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward (I really need to watch more her movies).

    Robin Hood (1973-Disney)
    Sometimes I just need to watch a Disney movie in the middle of the week.

    Swing Time (1st viewing)
    Very few things are more captivating than Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers moving across a dance floor. Rogers is another actress I need to watch more of.

    10 Things I Hate About You
    One of my favorites and a friend brought it for her movie night pick last week. Everyone in the group had seen it before, but we all still had a great time with it. It's always bittersweet to watch Heath Ledger on screen.

    The Town
    I wanted to re-watch this back in October after I saw Argo, but didn't get around to it until last week. Ben Affleck has consistantly delivered on the directing front and I'm excited to see what he does next.

    North & South (BBC miniseries)
    I watch this several times a year (last year was 5 or 6 times) and this was the first viewing for 2013. Richard Armitage and Sinead Cusack are fantastic as mother and son. North and South is tied with Jane Eyre (with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens) as my favorite miniseries.

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


    In Theaters:

    Django Unchained (2012) (1st viewing) - Oh Tarantino, Tarantino, Tarantino. My goodness, what a genius dude. His latest film Django Unchained is once again another spectacular accomplishment from him. Will just go to the facts. Jamie Foxx plays the title role (Django) and does a great job same with the beautiful Kerry Washington but they are not one of the highlights of the movie, unfortunately due to getting completely overshadowed by the supporting players including a now two-time Oscar-winner Austrian who recently won a huge award back in February. Yes, that is Christoph Waltz. He is fantastic once again only this time playing a good guy.

    Leo DiCaprio is in beast acting mode here in a very rare bad guy (I mean nasty, bad & very cruel guy) role, one of his best. Samuel L. Jackson also playing a bad guy gives one of his finest performances of his career here. Special mentions: Don Johnson & Jonah Hill (in a cameo role).

    The music from Ennio Morricone to 2pac/James Brown to Rick Ross, QT has such great taste as always. The setting, bloody violence, humor, action, characters, script, dialogue acting & overall movie is just brilliant. Mark another classic from Quentin Tarantino. 10/10.

    At Home:

    Zero Dark Thirty (2012) (DVD, rewatch 2nd viewing) - Bought this favorite of mine's when it came out last Tuesday and it's still my favorite film of last year wtih The Dark Knight Rises & Chronicle following behind it. Jessica Chastain's performance is so layered, understated & great than a lot give her credit for, definitely deserved to get that nod as this beauty is one of my favorite actresses working today. Jason Clarke is just fantastic, he just owns the screen for the first 30 or 40 minutes of the movie, I just don't see why he didn't get attention. Oscar-worthy performance. Rest of the cast from Jennifer Ehle to Mark Strong to Edgar Ramirez are very solid.

    Another extremely underrated part of the movie is Alexandre Desplat's tense, quiet & effective score that I prefer over Argo's any day which got Desplat nominated for instead. The editing, the cinematography, the story and the direction from Bigelow is fantastic. Kathryn Bigelow is a TWO-time Oscar-winning director in my books (refering to her ridicuolous Best Directer snub from the Oscars). A challenging, ballsy, well-crafted & brilliant (especially those last 30 minutes) directing show from Bigelow in this excellent, excellent film. 10/10.

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

    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari: I have this tenuous relationship with older films. There's something about them that I just can't fully connect to. It just always feels like I'm watching the film because you have to. Kind of like you have to eat your vegetables. Saying that, I did like this. Not to the extent of most everybody else though. The plot is surprisingly labyrinthine and tricky once you get to the end. And it was thoroughly creepy. Great performance from Conrad Veidt. B

    Sympathy for Mr Vengeance: I saw Stoker so I figured I should watch Park's other works as well. I've seen Oldboy and Thirst and liked the former and loved the latter. This is somewhere in between those two. It has some pacing issues but once you get past the first hour it's smooth sailing. Park is a phenomenal filmmaker. His movies are truly beautiful at times. The way the story is laid out is also fantastic and bold. B-

    The To-Do-List: I imagine no one is going to see this when it comes out. Unbelievable crude but it manages to also be charming at the same time. And that's because of the amazing cast. Aubrey Plaza can do no wrong in my book. I love her to pieces and she's the thing that keeps this a float. Not anything spectacular but a fun watch. C+

    Stoker: Like I said, a beautiful filmmaker. If only it did have a little more substance. It is a nice little entertaining diversion though and the performances are all quite amazing. S/O to the sound design and Clint Mansell's score as well. C+

    Evil Dead: So this is the first movie of the year where I walked out utterly happy. The original is my all time favorite horror film. Never did I expect something as good as it and it's not. But it is something as inventive and passionate as that original masterpiece. That was the whole point. I urge you guys to go see this film. The most fun in a theater yet this year. The director was also there for a Q/A and he dissed Kristen Stewart without even batting an eyelash. Very cool and intelligent dude. B+

    Spring Breakers: And this is the second. The theater experience for this was quite interesting. I told my friend right before the movie started that everybody is going to hate it including her and that I was going to have the exact opposite reaction. Lo and behold, the movie ends and everybody was booing. I don't want to get into the commentary on my generation in this. I will talk about the filmmaking itself. This is my first Korine film and just as everybody else has said, thanks to Criterion10, my awareness of this went up. Now, Korine is a filmmaker I plan to keep tags on and catch up with. The cinematography is truly stunning and the score and sound design and editing is all so unbelievable. The initial sequence of the robbery is now one of my all time favorite tracking shots and the best use of "Moment for Life" by Nicki Minaj ever in a film. The performances are also pretty great as well. Gomez and Benson being the standouts of the girls and Franco being the top performer of them all. Kris Tapley over at Hitfix proposed an Oscar nomination for him and I echo the sentiment. His character is so rich and complex. I'm not one who necessarily loves Franco, but I do respect his work ethic and commitment. Credit where credit is due. This and Evil Dead are the first must see movies in theaters for this year and first two candidates for my year end list. A

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

      Thank you very much for writing that about EVIL DEAD. The second Evil Dead film is my favorite horror film ever, and the first is a close second, so you writing that "It is something as inventive and passionate as that original masterpiece" makes me incredibly happy. Thanks for that.

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

      Glad to see you liked Spring Breakers. I'm interested to see where Korine goes next, as it appears that he is moving further and further towards the mainstream, while maintaining his artistic vision. Thus, I think Spring Breakers could represent a turning point in his career.

      I completely agree with your thoughts about the cinematography, score, editing, etc. I do hope to that Franco receives some sort of awards attention.

  • Chris138

    Wreck-It Ralph - Seeing this completes the past year's Oscar category for animated features. I have to say that I didn't think any of them were really outstanding, like Up or Ratatouille were in their respective years, but none of them were terrible either. This film is decent, but is a bit all over the place and kind of grows tiresome in the middle part. Luckily the ending picks up a little bit and helps to put some heart into it. I don't really play video games much at all these days so perhaps this movie would appeal more to those who do. 3/5

    My Week with Marilyn - A movie I liked more than I expected. I personally would have never thought of Michelle Williams to be the right person to play Marilyn Monroe, but she did a pretty good job. Kenneth Branagh clearly was having fun as Laurence Olivier, and it's an interesting look at the difficulties of making The Prince and the Showgirl. 4/5

    The Nun's Story - A very slow but ultimately rewarding movie that has some excellent performances and beautiful cinematography. I'm not sure what kind of cameras they used when they filmed this thing, but it still looks great even today. The colors really leap of the screen, especially in the scenes that take place and were shot in the Congo. Audrey Hepburn gives one of her most dialed back and introspective performances here that is one of her best. Like much of Fred Zinneman's work this film is littered with period details that really makes you feel like you've been to the late 1920s and early 1930s. In fact, the first 45 minutes do an incredible job of making you feel claustrophobic when Hepburn's character is spending so much time at the convent. Peter Finch is also quite good as a surgeon in the Congo. Overall I found it to be a pretty thought provoking film that really shows the moral and spiritual trials of someone who wants to devote themselves to this kind of lifestyle, particularly around the time of World War II. 4/5

    The Wind and the Lion - This movie makes it pretty obvious that John Milius really wants to be John Ford. The way the film is shot looks a lot like some of Ford's westerns as well as Lawrence of Arabia. Admittedly, it is a very well shot film, but I just wish the script were better. Candice Bergen's character grows tiresome about halfway through the film, and there wasn't as much Sean Connery as I had expected. It's pretty fun(ny) to see him as an Arab, and the film is surprisingly more sympathetic to Arabs than one would expect. I doubt this movie would get made today in Hollywood, but hearing Sean Connery throw around words like Allah and jihad, in his usual Scottish accent, is pretty priceless. 3/5

    Gummo - Sigh. Yeah, well. I don't even know. On the one hand it is pretty clear that Harmony Korine has a unique style, to say the least, and this film certainly has a visceral impact that is quite unpleasant most of the time. Most people would call this movie pointless, which perhaps it is, but to me it just came off as more dull than anything else. This looks like the kind of movie that somebody who's been watching way too much Terrence Malick in film school would make, and then throw in a lot of weird and disturbing things for mere shock value. To be honest, I didn't find it that shocking but more repetitive and, as I said before, dull. As it says on Wikipedia there are themes in the film, but I would hardly consider anything to be thematically relevant in this film. By that I mean there are depictions of these things, but nothing really explored. Maybe that was Korine's intention, I don't know. I don't really care either. The whole thing just comes off as some adolescent, nihilistic wannabe-rebellion statement that I couldn't get into. There is an article written by Paul Tatara of CNN for the film when it came out that pretty much sums up how I feel about the film as a whole, and it's on Rotten Tomatoes if anyone wants to check it out. Plus, on a personal level, the story takes place in the town of Xenia, Ohio. I have family in that town and have been there many times over the years, and I can tell you it is obvious that this film was not shot there. The fact that a lot of people speak in Southern accents kind of gives this away, but just aside from that it makes the place look like a complete shit hole, which it isn't. While there are indeed some people who would be described as "white trash" living there, I can tell you I have not come across any places in the actual town that resemble what I watched in this film. 1.5/5

    To the Wonder - Sigh. Well, first off I'd like to say that I am a big Terrence Malick fan. I think Badlands and Days of Heaven are two of the best movies from the 1970s; The Thin Red Line is my favorite movie from the 1990s and one of my top 5 favorite movies of all time; The New World is a good movie that drags a bit in the middle until picking up again by the last act; and I think The Tree of Life is the only movie along with The Social Network so far this decade that is truly great. Which brings me to Malick's latest film that I saw last night as part of the AFI Environmental Film Festival. I have to be honest and say that I was disappointed. I think it's great that Malick has found some creative spark in him and is making movies more frequently, but this film didn't work for me. I've found his other films to be hypnotic and have a rhythm that works for me, as well as characters and some kind of grounded story that brings his more wandering moments back into focus. In this film, I didn't really care about the characters or what was happening in their lives, their dilemmas or whatever else. The one exception is Javier Bardem's priest, who I actually think would have made the film more interesting if the film was centered around him rather than Olga Kurylenko and Ben Affleck. Admittedly, I was sort of caught up in the film for the first half hour or so, but once Rachel McAdams' character shows up the film kind of falls flat from there on. Most of the film is watching Olga Kurylenko twirl around in fields, run around supermarkets like an annoying kid, and crawl around her and Ben Affleck's bedroom or mope. Malick is clearly going further and further away from traditional narrative, to less than successful results. Yet the film is not bad, just not very good either. The cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki has some striking imagery, as expected, but I would say out of all his collaborations with Malick thus far this is his weakest work with the director. I hope whoever produces Malick's next film is a little more critical of the ways in which he's deciding to make his movies less and less narrative driven, because it is starting to become self-parody (Kurylenko utters a voiceover in French, "What is this love that loves us?"... I think you get the point) and only alienating his audiences more. I still think he's a great director, but this is a lesser work and for me, without question, his weakest film to date. 2.5/5


    Casino Royale (2006) - I think this might be the perfect Bond film. It holds up remarkably well on repeated viewings and I think contains Craig's best performance yet as James Bond. I also like Mads Mikkelsen as Le Chiffre, who just looks like a villain the minute you see him on screen. The opening chase sequence is still thrilling and impressive to watch, the movie has the most heart since On Her Majesty's Secret Service, and the ending is perfect. If I had one small nitpick with the film it would be that I thought some of the camerawork in a few scenes was less than stellar, but it doesn't diminish the movie for me. I'd have to say that this and Dr. No are my two favorite Bond movies ever. Just writing about it right now makes me want to go watch it again. 5/5

    Quantum of Solace - A big step down from the excellence of Casino Royale. I don't think it's quite the completely awful film that many make it out to be, but it's definitely one of the weaker Bond entries and a real mess as far as structure goes. The editing is atrocious, especially in the action sequences which come off as meaningless. The theme song is probably the worst I've heard in any Bond film, a truly bad piece of work. I forgot just how terrible it is until re-watching the film this week. After a minute or two it just becomes a bunch of noise mixed with Alicia Keys and Jack White yelling stuff, very loudly. Mathieu Amalric's villain is also pretty uninteresting, with no real sense of conflict between him and Bond. Yet despite these flaws the film is somehow watchable throughout, particularly in the second half when Giancarlo Giannini comes into play. His scenes with Daniel Craig are definitely the best part of the entire film, and lend some emotion to what is a mostly cold film. By the end there is a sort of interesting twist that makes Olga Kurylenko's character more interesting than she initially seemed, but overall the film was a step down from Casino Royale. 3/5

    Skyfall - This is what a franchise picking themselves up looks like. I hadn't seen this movie since its opening day back in November, so I was looking forward to revisiting this film again. Needless to say I found the movie to hold up very well on a second viewing and in some ways I liked it even more. As mentioned many times before it is certainly the most visually stunning Bond film ever made, and how Roger Deakins didn't get the Oscar remains a mystery to me. It is a little derivative at times from movies like The Dark Knight, and much like how that didn't feel like a Batman film this does not feel like a James Bond film. However, Skyfall stands on its own pretty well that such minor criticisms aren't a big deal. Javier Bardem is a very flamboyant villain and always fun to watch, although I still don't think he is quite as complex as the movie wants you to believe. I actually think the best performance in the film is by Judi Dench, easily her best outing as M in all of her appearances in these films. Contrary to what a lot of other people thought I actually like the last 30 minutes in Scotland, and is one of the better endings from last year. Aside from those criticisms mentioned, this ranks as one of the best Bond movies ever made and certainly one of the best movies I saw in 2012. 4.5/5

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

    Another week and nothing at the theater is enticing me.

    At home:

    I finished Season 2 of Arrested Development. I love the Bluths. Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Tony Hale are amazing.

    Angels in America (2003) - 6 hour long adaptation of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Strong points: the acting, the general plot, the message, Mike Nichols's direction. Weak points: meta-fiction elements, many unlikable characters, incessant demagoguery. I'm glad I finally watched the, but was disappointed, despite admiring pieces of it. Grade: B-

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

      I find it hard to single out my favorites actors in Arrested Development. I'd probably pick Tony Hale or Jessica Walter, maybe even David Cross.

  • http://letterboxd.com/anish1996/ Anish Ghosh

    Link to my letterboxd: http://letterboxd.com/anish1996/

    The Truman Show 2/5: The Truman Show is a good story, but it's not a good film. It has an unique plot and an interesting one but the execution, in my opinion could have been done a lot better. My problem with the film is that while dealing with such a real issue it is just not realistic enough. There are times in the film where it feels too simplistic, childish even. All the conversations fell artificial, like the words from the script were just being processed to the screen, nor do the characters feel very real, especially Truman's little girlfriend, what's the point of keeping her in the film after the revelation is made, after that she's just like a cheerleader, telling the audience when to be happy for Truman, is that really necessary? But still, The Truman Show is a likable film, I just wish I could like it better.

    Braveheart 3.5/5: A good film, the first half feels a bit long but after that it's a very good watch.

    • Chris138

      I haven't seen The Truman Show in many years but I remember it frustrating the hell out of me. Perhaps I should give it another go sometime down the line.

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

      I'm glad someone else agrees with me about The Truman Show. Like you, I always thought it was a great concept that made a very mediocre movie. I don't think Carrey's performance is all that great either.

      But Braveheart! My favorite film of all time!

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

    Amelie: I saw this movie after heavy goading from a friend, although I wasn't completely reluctant. I can say this-the art direction and cinematography was stunning, the score was great, the first 15 minutes were flawless, but after that, although I was never bored, the film dragged and lost the almost Wes Anderson-esque vibe that I was enjoying.overall, 8/10 (10/10 for first 15 minutes)

    Angels in America: I saw all 6 hours in one go (I wanted it to feel like the plays). I thought that the script, direction and acting were spectacular, but some of the effects seemed cheesy for 2003. I feel like it was less impressive than the stage. Overall, however, 9/10

  • http://coachpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt

    I was on spring break this week so I got a lot of watching in and had one of the best weeks, in terms of quality, in recent memory:

    In Theaters: None

    At Home:

    Happy-Go-Lucky- An incredible film that really blew me away. Sally Hawkins gave an incredible performance and I loved the way the film managed to stay hilarious throughout, while still throwing in some serious moments and always remaining realistic. I really loved it and can't wait to see it again. Thanks to everyone who recommended it! I'm going to continue watching Leigh films and check out "Topsy Turvy" tonight. A

    On the Waterfront- A classic I've long put off watching that completely lived up to the hype. I'm shocked with how well it has aged as it felt more modern than most films from the 50s that I've seen. Brando's performance really is incredible, and I also loved Eva Marie Saint's. I look forward to checking it out the Criterion version. A

    The Grifters- An above average crime thriller thanks primarily to the three strong performances at it's center. I found that the film moved at too quick a pace but it was still extremely entertaining. Anjelica Houston was incredible, probably the best performance I've seen of hers. B+

    Hustle & Flow- It dragged a bit in the middle, but this was still a surprisingly great film with terrific music. Terrence Howard, an actor who usually doesn't impress me, was quite good in the film, though I thought Taraji P. Henson and Taryn Manning stole the film. I really loved the final sequence in the film. B+

    Rushmore- I'm also working my way though Wes Anderson's filmography and this was, unfortunately, the first film to disappoint me, even though it's still pretty good. I just found it's quirkiness to be a bit overbearing at times, and none of the emotional beats really worked for me like they did in "Tenenbaums" and "Moonrise Kingdom." The three main performances were quite good though, I loved all of the school play scenes, and still found it fairly entertaining. B-

    A Tale of Two Sisters- A scary film, if one that was a bit overhyped by my friends that had seen it. The scene in the kitchen was quite scary, and the cinematography was impressive, but I found the scene where the twist was revealed to be far too long and that it left too much for the audience to decide. Also, I had seen the American remake years ago, so I'm sure that lessened the experience for me a bit. B-

    Forgetting Sarah Marshall (rewatch)- One of my favorite comedies, with some very well developed characters, a surprisingly compelling romance and some very funny moments. The TV edits are laughably bad, however. A


    Mad Men Season 2- An incredible season that I found much better than the first. Each member of the cast had a moment to shine and the story lines were all compelling. If Jon Hamm, Elizabeth Moss and Christina Hendricks don't become huge stars when the show ends, I'll be very upset. They are some of the best actors on TV and worthy of success on the big screen. A

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

      Wes Anderson is probably my second favorite working director, and the issues you had with it are the same I have with it. It's his weakest, in my opinion.

      However, it gets better ever time you see it, I think... Maybe revisit it sometime, and it may grow on you. It has on me.

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

        The only Wes Anserson movies I've seen are Moonrise Kingdom and The Fantastic Mr. Fox and I highly enjoyed them both. Is there another Wes Anderson film that you could recommend to me?

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

          Check out Rushmore once, wait a couple months, and then watch it again. It really is one of those films that gets better the second time around.

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

            Thanks for the suggestions Corbin and Jake!

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

          Personally, I disagree with Greg and Matt and I'd highly recommend Rushmore, my 2nd favorite of his behind Moonrise Kingdom. Bottle Rocket is pretty good, but I'd advise you skip The Darjeeling Limited. I found it unfunny and quite boring. Haven't seen Life Aquatic or Tennenbaums yet.

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

            I've never heard anyone have the same reaction to Wes Anderson films. My personal order for them would be:

            Moonrise Kingdom
            The Fantastic Mr. Fox
            The Darjeeling Limited (along with the short attached)
            The Royal Tenenbaums
            The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou
            Bottle Rocket

            The first four I all love equally, essentially. The other three I enjoy more every time I rewatch them.

            @Ryguy, for what I know of your sense of humor, I'd suggest Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums next from his films.

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

              Thanks for the suggestions Greg!

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

              W/o having seen Life Aquatic and Tennenbaums, I'd rank them:
              Moonrise Kingdom
              Fantastic Mr. Fox
              Bottle Rocket
              The Darjeeling Limited
              I've noticed almost everyone has them ranked differently as well. He's an interesting filmmaker, for sure.

          • http://coachpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt

            Granted, I've only seen three so far, but I'd say "Tenenbaums" is my favorite. It really resonated with me emotionally. The same could be said for "Moonrise Kingdom." When it comes to "Bottle Rocket", it just didn't connect with me like those two did. But I agree with all of you, I have yet to see two people have the exact same list.

      • http://coachpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt

        I'm happy to hear it improved for you on a second viewing. I really loved "Moonrise Kingdom" and "The Royal Tenenbaums" and think he's really talented, so it'd be great if the film worked better for me on repeat viewings. I will definitely revisit it sometime!

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

          As you should!!! I think all of his work better on repeat viewings, actually. There's more to see in all of them, save for possibly Bottle Rocket, where it seems he had the least creative control.

      • tombbet

        I second that. For me it's The Royal Tenenbaums that has grow a lot on me. By the record I think Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore are his most signature works (that contain both his strenght and limit)

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

      If you've never seen Anjelica Huston's Oscar-winning performance it Prizzi's Honor, do yourself a favor and give it a look!

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

    Follow me on Letterboxd: http://letterboxd.com/ragingtaxidrver/

    - (2/5) Moby Dick (1998): Most of the film is hysterical because it's so bad. But there are some moments with Starbuck and Ahab that are worth watching. But for a great majority, it's all laughable; the supporting cast, the characters themselves, and the dialogue. There were some cool aspects to the film regarding the story that weren't developed enough for me to return to again. Hard to believe Francis Ford Coppola was anywhere near this film.

    - (3.5/5) Tootsie: Not sure what all the fuss is about. It's a good film, but not anything extraordinary to me.

    - (High 4.5/5) A Serious Man: SPOILER ALERT
    This dark comedy from the Coen Bros combines comedy and drama seamlessly together. It’s a story of a serious man (what a shocker!) named Larry that lives under some incredibly strange situations. Everyone around him seems to be unserious. From his wife and her lover, his two foul-mouthed children, the rabbis Larry sees, and the Korean family that is threatening Larry’s tenure. Through the madness he faces, Larry keeps his comfort by knowing that the world still has structure through physics, but questions the existence of God because of these hard times he is facing. He may be cursed because of his ancestors that may have killed an innocent man or a dybbuk, but either way, the Coens’ ending answers that question. Yes there is a god, and he is pissed off! Though many people hated the ending because it left them hanging not knowing what was going to happen, that’s where the genius lies…
    Just like the Schrodinger’s Cat experiment that Larry discusses with his class, we don’t know what happened in that box. In this case, Larry and the rest of the world is the cat, the test result and the storm is the vile of poison, and the cut at the end is the box. All of these combined create what may be one of the most creative endings I’ve seen.

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

    This week I watched about half as many films as last week (last week I watched 16, this week I watched 8) and I read some more of my book. I'm also going to talk about the trailers I saw this week and what I watched on TV and also, like every other week, I'm going to pose some questions for everyone because I enjoy discussing movies with you. So let's get started..


    In Theatres-


    At Home-

    Wreck-It Ralph (2012) (first viewing) (rental)- Now I was really excited about watching this movie because the trailers looked really good and I had heard a lot of good things about it. But to be completely honest, I thought this movie was just the tiniest bit overrated. I mean, don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed it for the most part, it just wasn't quite as good as I expected. I thought that some of the characters were annoying (King Candy annoyed me to no end) but the main reason I didn't love it as much as other people was because it was just slow and boring at times. Also, I heard some people thought that they spent way too much time in Sugar Rush and I would 100% agree with that. But the movie still had quite a few parts that I enjoyed and quite a few funny moments too. I would also like to add that the animation in the movie was beautiful and in my opinion, it rivals anything Pixar (well Brave, The Incredibles, and Toy Story 3 were all better movies although they weren't better in the animation department) or Dreamworks have ever done. So overall, Wreck-It Ralph is a good animated movie, although it's nothing special. Grade: B

    Insidious (2011) (first viewing) (rental)- If you asked me to use one word to describe this movie, that word would be terrifying. This movie scared the crap out of me! I would go as far as saying that this is the most terrifying film I have ever seen (although I've never seen The Exorcist or Sinister, two other movies that people consider truly terrifying). Also, after the cliff-hanger ending, I can't wait to see what they do with Insidious Chapter 2! If your looking for a good scare, I would highly recommend this movie because like I said before, it's terrifying! Grade: B+

    Little Fockers (2010) (I've lost track of how many times I've seen this movie) (rental)- Now I know a lot of people hate this movie and to be honest I don't understand why at all. I mean, sure, it wasn't as good as Meet The Fockers (one of the funniest movies of all time in my opinion), but it was definitely better than that unfunny crap-fest Meet The Parents. I mean, it's certainly not the greatest comedy ever but it's not complete crap either. I mean 10% on RT??? Come on!! This movie was funny and it deserved better than that. So if you enjoyed the other films in the Focker series, than I would recommend this movie to you. Grade: B-

    Arthur (2011) (I've lost track of how many times I've seen this movie) (DVD)- I've never seen the original Arthur, but this remake of it is really funny. Russell Brand is better than he's ever been in this movie. Helen Mirren is pretty good too. Everyone else is just alright. This is a sweet, funny comedy that I would recommend. Grade: B

    Across The Universe (2007) (first viewing) (rental)- Now I normally hate musicals (the only one I had enjoyed before I saw this movie was Rock Of Ages). I also usually hate romance movies, although not as much as musicals. That being said, I actually liked this movie. I think the only reason I liked it though was because it was set to Beatles music and I'm a fan of The Beatles. I think that if this had been set to original songs, I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much. Also, another thing that kept me interested in this movie were the visuals. This is hands down the most visually stunning movie I have ever seen. If you haven't seen Across The Universe and you are a fan of The Beatles, I would recommend this movie. Grade: B+

    Les Miserables (2012) (first viewing) (DVD)- Like I said before, I'm not generally a fan of musicals but I wanted to see this movie because the trailers looked really good and I had heard really good things about it from friends. But unfortunately, I missed this one in theatres. So yesterday I went out and bought it because it was on sale at Wal-Mart and I just hoped that it would live up to my expectations and be worth my money. I watched it last night and it was definitely worth the money. This movie was an absolute masterpiece! It is hands down one of the best films of all time and it's my second favourite film of last year. I don't see how anyone could give this a grade lower than at least a B. I mean, how could you not like this movie? Also, Brad, if your reading this, I was just curious, why wouldn't you want to watch this movie again? Also, I went into this movie knowing it was about 90% singing and about 10 minutes into the movie, that really started to bother me. But I got used to it after a while. Also, I very rarely tear up in movies (the only movie I can remember tearing up in was Marley And Me), but when Anne Hathaway sang I Dreamed A Dream, I actually teared up. That 3 or 4 minutes in the movie where she was singing that song was just so good! Also, people said that Russell Crowe seemed very out of place with these other actors that have a better voice than him, but I thought that his voice was fine and on par with everyone else's. Also, all of the performances in this movie are extremely solid. The only problem I had with this movie was it's 2 and a half hour length. I just don't like sitting for that long. But overall, this is an extremely good film that I absolutely loved and I can't wait to revisit it. Grade: A+

    Men In Black 3 (2012) (fifth viewing) (rental)- IMO this is the best of the three Men In Black movies. All 5 times that I've seen it, I've enjoyed it. I remember the first time I saw this movie I was very surprised at how funny it was and every time I've watched it, all of the jokes have still hit hard. I loved this movie and I highly recommend it. Grade: B+

    Moneyball (2011) (second viewing) (rental)- Now the first time I saw this movie, I thought it was extremely mediocre and overrated. This time, I appreciated it more because I've realized it really is a good film. I think that this site has helped me learn to appreciate good films more than I used to and I've also realized that since joining the site, I've become more critical of films than I used to be. But anyway, back to the review, the performances from Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill were great (Hill should have won the best supporting actor Oscar last year), and Phillip Seymour Hoffman is good for what he's given. So overall this is a good movie with good performances that kept me interested throughout. Grade: B+


    How I Met Your Mother (newest episode)- A-
    Family Guy (newest episode + reruns)- A-


    Despicable Me 2- Meh, looks alright, probably won't be as good as the first one. Might just rent it. Grade: C+

    Turbo- Now this is an animated movie that actually looks really good in my opinion. I think it might end up being the best animated movie of the year. Haven't decided wether I'm going to see it in theatres or just rent it though. Grade: A

    Hummingbird- Looks so bad I could only get though 40 seconds of the trailer before turning it off. Grade: F

    Epic- Didn't really like the first trailer for this movie, but this trailer looks really good and funny. I'll probably just rent it. Grade: B


    I'm still reading The Return Of The King and I have 19 pages left until I reach part 2 of the book. I must say, it is starting to get good. I'd give it a B- at the moment, but I'm positive that grade will be raised because in the first two books of the series, part two was better than part one and I can only imagine that it will be the same with this book too.

    Now, as usual, I have some questions for you all..

    What is your favourite animated movie of all time?
    What is your favourite horror movie of all time?
    Which film in the Focker series is the best in your opinion?
    Which film is better in your opinion: the 1981 Arthur or the 2011 Arthur?
    What is your favourite musical of all time?
    Have you seen the 2012 version of Les Miserables? What did you think of it?
    Which film is better in you opinion: the 1998 version of Les Miserables or the 2012 version?
    What is your favourite Men In Black movie?
    What is your favourite baseball movie?
    Do you watch any of the TV shows that I reviewed?
    Are you excited for any of the films that I reviewed trailers for?
    Have you read The Lord of The Rings trilogy? If so, what did you think of it?

    Well, that's it for this week, next week I might check out G.I. Joe: Retaliation at the theatre if I get a chance and maybe even The Host because it looks pretty good too. I'm also hoping to be able to see Argo next week and I should be getting a lot of new movies to watch next week because my birthday's next week and I usually get a lot of new movies for my birthday.

    Until next time..

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

      My favorite animated film of all time is a three way tie between The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Up, and Castles in the Sky. I looooove Wes Anderson, and Mr. Fox combined everything fantastic in his films and put it to stop-motion, to amazing effect. I hyperbolize a lot, sorry. Miyazaki is spectacular as well, as was Pixar Studios.

      My favorite horror film is the Evil Dead 2, such a fun film... I am a massive fan of the first one too, John Carpenter's The Thing, and Alien (which is possibly my favorite sci-fi too). I would recommend any of them.

      I don't like any of the Focker series. Not my kind of humor.

      I enjoy both Arthur movies, although the first one is probably better quality wise. I did like the 2011 one though, I don't understand why it received as much hell as it did.

      My favorite stage musical of all time is either The Kiss of the Spider Woman or Wicked, both are fantastic. My favorite film musical is probably Mama Mia... I feel really weird saying that, but I have a lot of fun with it.

      I saw the 2012 version, yes, and I though it was alright. It had some fantastic moments (especially the revolution, every moment Anne Hathaway was on screen, and Red and Black), but there was also a lot of blah. Many moments that easily could have and should have been cut. I'm mostly talking about the time between the end of the revolution and the final number. That felt like 45 minutes easily.

      The first Men in Black movie I enjoy quite a bit. I haven't seen the third one, I have no real desire to.

      Moneyball is my favorite baseball movie, saying as it isn't really about baseball so much as the management aspect of it. I don't like sports movies about the actual sports. That's one of the reasons I love Sports Night too (also a product of Aaron Sorkin, possibly the best writer for TV/film).

      I watch How I Met Your Mother, but am not quite caught up yet this season. I watch Family Guy now and again. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it.

      I have stopped watching trailers.

      I did not like the film version at all, no enjoyment factor, so I decided not to read the books. Probably won't at all.

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

        I've never seen any of the Evil Dead films, I'll have to check them out sometime.

        I've never seen Mamma Mia.

        For me, the first Men In Black was the weakest of the three. I highly recommend the third one too, it's really good. Have you seen the second one?

        I've been thinking about stopping watching trailers, however when a trailer for a movie I am interested in come out, the urge to watch it is just too much.

        Well everyone has a right own opinion, but in my opinion, the three Lord Of The Rings films are some of the best films of all time. They are cinematic masterpieces.

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

          The first Evil Dead is on Netflix. There are a lot of continuity errors, but the campiness of it is amaaaazing.

          Lots of people give Mamma Mia hell....

          I saw the second one, but it's very unmemorable for me...

          I was like that for the longest time. Takes awhile.

          I'm not the largest fan of films that seem to be purely "GIGANTIC BATTLE!!! WALKING!!!! LIGHT JOGGING!!! SAUNTERING!!!! MORE WALKING!!!" for long periods of time... I understand why people like them so much though.

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

            I unfortunately don't have Netflix but I will try to search out the Evil Dead films on DVD and maybe even see the remake in theatres.

            Yeah, I've never really been interested in seeing it (despite the fact that I enjoy the music of Abba), but since you liked it, I might try renting it sometime.

            I actually enjoyed the second, like I said I thought the series got better with each film.

            Yeah, but I'm sure that I can stop watching them eventually.

            Yeah, I would be one of those people that absolutely love films like that.

    • http://coachpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt

      1) Definitely "The Incredibles." It's so exciting and is more intelligent than most live action superhero films.
      2) "Rosemary's Baby" or "Scream." "Rosemary's Baby" is amazing, in my opinion, and while it doesn't scare me as I watch it I've had numerous nightmares based on scenes from it. "Scream" also isn't that scary, but I think it's incredibly entertaining and the script is terrific. I agree with you on "Insidious", though. I really liked it and it scared the crap out of me when I saw it in theaters.
      3) I don't like any of the Focker films.
      4) I haven't seen either Arthur film.
      5) I'm not a huge fan of movie musicals, but I really love "Chicago", it's definitely my favorite. I also really like "Moulin Rouge!"
      6) I loved "Les Miserables", it was my 8th favorite film of 2012. Anne Hathaway completely deserved her Oscar.
      7) I haven't seen the 1998 version, so I can't compare.
      8) I haven't seen the first in a long time, but I remember loving it as a kid. I also remember hating the sequel when it came out, and I thought the third was just OK. I think I gave it a B-. So, I guess I'd go with the first.
      9) I don't think I have a favorite baseball movie. I don't follow sports, so I don't really seek out sport films. I liked "Moneyball" though. I guess if I had to pick a favorite baseball movie I'd go with "The Sandlot", but I haven't seen it in years.
      10) I've only seen a few episodes of "How I Met Your Mother" and found them all funny, but I don't watch it regularly. I like the cast a lot though. I haven't watched "Family Guy" in a long time, but I never found it funny. I'm really picky when it comes to comedies, however.
      11) I haven't seen the "Hummingbird" trailer, but I've seen the rest and don't plan on seeing any of them. None of them look all that bad, but I'm not interested.
      12) I haven't read them. I liked the movies, but don't think I'd be all that interested, especially since I know how it all ends.

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

        Yeah, I think that The Incredibles might be my favourite too.

        I've never seen Rosemary's Baby, but I own Scream on DVD and I really like it. What did you think of the Scream sequels?

        Why don't you like any of the Focker films?

        I've never seen Chicago or Moulin Rouge! but some friends told me Moulin Rouge! was really good so I'll have to check it out sometime.

        Glad to see that someone else loved Les Miserables!

        I personally thought the Men In Black movies got better with each film, but everyone has a right to their own opinion.

        I don't follow sports either, so I tend not to watch sports movies unless they sound interesting or the trailers look good.

        If you would like to try watching the Hummingbird trailer, I can give you the link for the trailer because I'd love to hear someone else's thoughts on it. The link is:

        The books are somewhat different from the movies but they are also less enjoyable and far more hard to follow than the movies.

        • http://coachpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt

          I really like "Scream 2" and "Scream 4", but I'm not a big fan of "Scream 3."

          As for the Focker films, I just don't find them all that funny. As I've said before, I'm extremely picky when it comes to comedies and don't find much funny. It's just not my type of humor.

          As for the "Hummingbird" trailer, I checked it out and thought it looked better than most of Statham films, but still not all that good. I'll rent it if it gets good reviews.

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

            Yeah, I own Scream 2 and 3 because they came in a 3 pack with the first one, but although I enjoyed Scream 3 to an extent, it is definitely the weakest film of the series. I love Scream 4, it was my favourite film of the series.

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

      1) My favorite animated film of all time is a tie between Fantastic Mr. Fox and Wall-e.

      2) I don't watch horror that much, so there isn't a lot to compare it to, but for right now, it's The Others.

      5) My favorite movie musical of all time is actually Hairspray, because I was just getting into my love for film, and that film capitalized on it in a big way.

      6) I did see Les Miserables, and I did not care for it unfortunately.

      8) Seeing only MIB 3, that would have to be my default favorite.

      9) I love Moneyball. My second-favorite film of 2011 behind Midnight in Paris

      10) I watch How I Met Your Mother on and off.

      11) Maybe Despicable Me 2 or Turbo.

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

        If you want to watch more horror, I would recommend Insidious and The Posession. I've never seen The Others, what's it about?

        Hairspray was decent in my opinion, I didn't hate it but I didn't love it either.

        Why didn't you care for Les Miserables?

        I would recommend the other two MIB films, their both quite good, although MIB 3 is my favourite of the series.

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

          Ok, I'll try to check those horror films out as soon as I can, and The Others is about A mother and her two children who are allergic to sun or something like that hiring some help around the mansion that they own, and then strange things go on from there, including the use of the phrase "cowdie custard." I didn't care for Les Miz because I felt claustrophobic due to the camera angles, and the whole Marius thing just took me out of the movie. Oh, see him across the street? You fall in love instantly. See him sleeping? He's like your long-lost son. There were aspects of it that I liked, such as (most of) the performances and the production design, but overall, I just didn't care for it.

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

      1. Finding Nemo
      2. The Silence of the Lambs
      3. Meet the Parents
      4. 1981 Arthur
      5. Fiddler on the Roof
      6. A-
      7. 2012
      8. The first one
      9. Hard question, there are so many. Field of Dreams, if it qualifies. If not, then Eight Men Out
      10. How I Met Your Mother
      11. Couldn't get through The Hobbit, so I never attempted the trilogy.

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

      The Incredibles is my favorite as well.
      Probably The Shining, though Alien is amazing and The Evil Dead is very good. I'm trying to watch more lately. Might get to watch The Exorcist this week.
      Moulin Rouge! is fantastic, and I love The Sound of Music as well.
      The first MIB. I didn't like three at all and I skipped two because I was repeatedly warned not to watch it.
      Didn't see the 1998 Les Mix, but the 2012 one has some good moments, but at times it really drags.
      I used to watch HIMYM, but recent seasons have been pretty boring. I've watched some Family Guy reruns. It's fine. Not a favorite of mine but decent enough.
      I didn't watch those trailers. I try not to watch trailers unless I'm really on the fence about a film, and even then very rarely.

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

        Oh, and Moneyball and Field of Dreams are my favorite baseball movies.

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

      1) I love a lot of animated flicks but I choose WALL-E because it's my favorite movie of all-time. I already explained & mentioned this movie numerous times here so I don't really need to explain why. All I can is, it's Pixar's crowning achievement IMO that took them to another level and those first 40 minutes are just one of the best & the last 50 minutes is just as great.

      2) I love the Scream & Halloween franchises. I LOVE The Exorcist.

      3) Not a fan of Little Fockers (I did laugh a couple times but that's it), Meet the Fockers was the funniest IMO.

      5) I'm not a fan of musicals but I liked Chicago a lot. I'm also going to check out Les Miserables at some point because i've been interested for a while.

      9) I'm a HUGE baseball fan but doesn't mean I have a hard time picking one. The Sandlot, Sugar & Moneyball are the best for me & my favorites.

      11) Despicable Me 2, I LOVE the first one. I don't know if it'll be better but hopefully the minions will get more screen time, they're the best & Steve Carell's Gru. I'm very interested in Epic. Turbo looks pretty good.

    • tombbet

      My favorite animated film is a little film called Paprika, which is known today as "the film that Nolan borrowed his idea from" => I don't know how's that happen because they're 2 entirely different movie. A very under-rated film

      My favorite horror film is The Exorcist.

      My favorite musical movie is The Wizard of Oz

      Ask me tomorrow and I may answer them differently.

    • Bertram J. Krogh

      I like the Q/A concept, so here you go :)

      What is your favourite animated movie of all time? I am tempted to say The Lion King or Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but the honor would go to one of the film experiences that moved me most - Up. I am endlessly applauding this film, it is hilarious, it is touching, it has wonderfully written characters, and the animation is superb. This is filmmaking at its highest.
      What is your favourite horror movie of all time? I'm not much of a horror-kind-of-guy, but I thought the original Psycho was fantastic. Truly horrifying, but also very unique and upsetting.
      Which film in the Focker series is the best in your opinion? The first one, definitely. The follow-ups weren't in the same league at all.
      Which film is better in your opinion: the 1981 Arthur or the 2011 Arthur? I haven't seen either :(
      What is your favourite musical of all time? I love love love love LOVE musicals! My favorite would have to be Moulin Rouge!. I really think this is a great, artsy masterpiece, as only Baz Luhrman could have made it.
      Have you seen the 2012 version of Les Miserables? What did you think of it? I am actually seeing it tonight in the theater, we are leaving in a few minutes actually.
      Which film is better in you opinion: the 1998 version of Les Miserables or the 2012 version? Yeah, haven't seen either yet.
      What is your favourite Men In Black movie? The first one. I disliked the second, and though the third was surprisingly well done, but only okay. Pretty standard opinion on these.
      What is your favourite baseball movie? I have to say Moneyball, even though it's from 2011. I liked it the first time I saw it, but wasn't impressed, but the second time something stroke me. I really, really loved it, and it is so much more than a baseball movie. It's about baseball and not about baseball at the same time. And I love the ensemble acting.
      Do you watch any of the TV shows that I reviewed? I am a big HIMYM- and Family Guy fan, and I too watch the new episodes every week, and sometimes rewatch older ones when they are shown in TV. Great shows, I am one of those who really dig McFarlane's humour.
      Are you excited for any of the films that I reviewed trailers for? Not really. I try not to get my hopes up for any movies, which is really rewarding when I get to see them.
      Have you read The Lord of The Rings trilogy? If so, what did you think of it? No, I did not. But I am considering reading the Hobbit, we have it and all of the Lord of the Rings books already. The truth is, I don't read much. I enjoy reading, but I am more a film-maniac, I watch movies all the time.

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

        Glad to hear someone enjoys the Q/A concept, I will continue to do it every week, so you can look forward to that.

        As for Les Miserables, I'd love to hear your thoughts on it when you come back from seeing it.

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

    Spring Breakers (A) - first time - A very intense, crazy and fun film. I really, really enjoyed it. The whole cast was great. Especially James Franco who is brilliant! He totally stole the show. I couldn't tell it was him, he absolutely disappeared into his character. It has all of Harmony Korine craziness and dark comedy it was totally worth a watch.

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

    United 93 (2006)
    First up, I revisited Paul Greengrass' critically acclaimed but controversial United 93. United 93 is a bold and inspired account of 9/11 told primarily from the perspective of the passengers aboard the ill-fated commercial jetliner. It's an intimate true story that doesn't descend to sentimentality. The ending is a sobering fore drawn conclusion but that fact can't negate the pulsing sense of suspense that Greengrass has managed to weave here. Where he could have easily turned these people into cheap caricatures, Greengrass instead humanizes his subjects, even unraveling to a degree the leader of this Al Qaeda suicide brigade. Using close quarter tactics, a talented fresh-faced ensemble and a tightly edited degree of propulsion, United 93 reaches an oft inimitable level of reality and intimacy. --- A-

    Dogtooth (2009)
    A bold, experimental Greek film, Dogtooth plays with the idea of obedience in seclusion to an often uncomfortable degree. We've all heard the horror stories of children exposed to harrowing, breathtaking amounts of domestic abuse but this film subverts that expectation in a discomforting way. There are no beatings. There is no physical abuse. Sure, there may be a little bit of forced incest going on but it's all about the journey that counts. What happens onscreen, in purposefully awkwardly framed shots, is a patient psychological degradation. This social experiment is a systematic dehumanization based solely on information manipulation and isolation. It's a film that revels in the subtext and offers little to no solid conclusions. Instead, it offers you a scenario and allows you to create the outcome yourself. While this sophomore effort from Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos is surely controversial, it doesn't quite reach the level of social commentary that he seems to have intended. Nonetheless, it is an intriguing attempt to illuminate and bastardize the supreme power of parenting. --- C+

    The Thing (1982)
    Gooey and gripping, The Thing represents all things great about horror. From the suspense-laden moments of still to the sudden and explosive acts of violence, The Thing is all about mood. Set in the snowy confines of nowhere Antartica, a team of scientists are attacked by seemingly possessed neighbors and become infected one by one. The atmosphere here is spot on with it's blistering winds and towering snowbanks and the special effects are top notch. The comparisons to Alien are certainly there and as that film is an immense accomplishment in my mind, I'm somehow more inclined to enjoy this film. Finally, effects like these really illuminates how much more realistic and downright grotesque puppets look compared to CGI. Why was the switch ever made?--- B+

    Lilyhammer (2012)
    Outside of the movie realm, I plunged through the overlooked debut from Netflix Original Series, Lilyhammer. An episodic fish-out-of-water story that features Sopranos alumni Steve Zandt Vanh as a mobster-turned-informer who is relocated to Lillehammer, Norway. As an international, genre-blending dramedy, the series succeed tremendously and while it doesn't have the weighty darkness that permeated and defined The Sopranos, the levity of the series is what sets it aside and makes it special. Vanh is essentially Silvio from The Sopranos with his perma-scowl, his affected diction and his iconic slicked back hair-do (which is actually a toupee) but sitting front and center of the series, we get to see a more personal side to Vanh that we never saw in The Sopranos. --- B+

    • http://coachpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt

      I completely agree with your review of "The Thing." I really love that movie. It's probably the grossest film I've ever seen.

  • The XWF Outlaw

    This is gonna be a long one considering i have been absent the last 2 weeks so i got a lot to get off this week.

    In Theaters:

    The Last Exorcism: Part II:

    Ashley Bell hold the film together with her great performance, but the first half takes so long to get itself going your pretty mutch out of it before the demonic ending. Bell has a future in cinema, she just needs to not be in a Part III. 6/10.

    OZ: The Great & Powerful- IMAX- 3D:

    I'm a huge fan of the original '39 movie, a childhood favorite that my mom got me into when i was i kid. So i would be underselling if if i didn't say that I was antisipating this. While the movie throughout is very pretty looking to somtimes stunning & the 3D is very well done, there is no real story to tell.

    The main problem is that as Brad points out in his review is that Disney only ownes the rights to the original stories by the author, not the '39 movie (MGM still has that). So no mention of Dorothy, or the Ruby slippers, or the songs used in the original. so nostalgia factor can only go so far. The script was horrid as some of the diologue is inintentionaly laughable. (SPOILER). It also dosn't help mutch that once Mila Kunis dons the Wicked Witch makeup it just dosn't work.

    James Franco never helped either as it somtimes looked like he just finished a joint right before action was called. Sam Raimi let him get away with too much. 5.5/10

    Identity Thief:

    Brad is right once again, this raunchy comedy is so unconfertably -not funny i cannot fathom how word of mouth hasnt killed this movie in its tracks. Aperrently Melissa McCartney can do no wrong with the female audiance as the movie just drags with stale jokes & just plain bad sub-characters & story. You never care about anybody (maybe McCartney by the end of the movie) that appears. Every one should fell like there identity has been stolen after they realize that their $11 was stolen after seeing this. A contender for Worst 25 of 2013 for me. 4/10.

    The Call:

    Halle Berry hasn't given me a reason to see her in anything since her Monster's Ball/Swordfish combo of years ago, but since stinkers like "Perfect Stranger" & "Catwomen", she could have a hard time getting back into the starring role spotlight. After my love for "Cloud Atlas" I could see her getting mojo back with the right script & director backing her. Brad Anderson is a director I need to get to see, His other films "Session 9", "Vanishing on 7th Street" & "Transsiberian" are on Netflix all the time so i need to get to see thoes soon. Berry & Abigail Breslin both keep you in the moment as the tention gets higher & higher. The only part i didn't like was that the tention takes a massive drop once Berry leaves The Hive (the name of the 911 operator station HQ: also the original name of the movie) 7 starts to go looking for the girl herself. Usally the villian in these sort of movies ted to be the biggest letdown as they are never convincing nor interesting. This one is pretty good. The silver lining for this is that now this movie has gotten some attention at the box office is that i hope Berry & Anderson get more mainstream work because of it. Defenetly a reccomendation. 7/10.

    Dead Man Down:

    Decided to make it a double dip of WWE films in a night. I'm a huge fan of the original "Dragon Tattoo" trilogy, so i was stoked to see the reunion between Oplev & his leading lady Noomi Rapace, Though not as good as any of the Trilogy movies, it is still a sustainable movie for its own good. A draggy middle takes the momentum out of it but Collin Farrell & Rapace's chemistry keep the tempo going. I was dissapointed by the overall product, but that should not affect my score for this movie. 7/10.

    Olympus Has Fallen:

    A Die Hard knock-off at its best, the worst movie of Antoine Fuqua's career at it's worst. Whatever great action setpieces it can muster together is killed by it's SyFy channel FX & the greatly underused sub characters. Mellisa Leo is the only stand out sub-character. Another great misfire is that this was the most non-intentinaly worst lit film if seen. Did this movie get lit with an iPhone? It's so dark in some scenes you cannot tell who's who in some of the action peices inside the White House at night without power. Butler & Eckhart get there roles they are built for as Freeman just seems to be pittaful in a role that he has, the villian is not interesting whatsoever, & it didn't help matters as a gentleman inside the theater i was in kept clearing his throat with the sublity of a f*cking earthquake. 5/10

    Spring Breakers:

    An awsome cotten candy crime thriller that I can't get out of my head still. The luscious shots with the combination of just full-on carnal plessure happening scene after scene after scene. All the female leads hold there own throughout this movie, untill the powerhouse scene-stealing performance of James Franco enters the fray. Man, imagine if the OZ movie had that kind of performa.... no, compleatly erase that idea from your head. Forget i said that last bit. Ill be seeing this film again soon as i need to get another look at the twisted nature that comes out of Harmony Korin's vision. BTW his best film to date by far. Anybody who's anybody over the age of 18 should deffinitley check this one out. 8/10
    Parent's: to anyone who decides to take there childern to see this movie should at the least need to turn in their Parent of the Year mugs. Not to soapbox this issue none & i feel that the MPAA is garbage but please: just don't.
    TV Land:

    My Week With Marlyn: (2nd Viewing)

    A great work allaround with Michelle Williams as Marlyn Monroe as she has a 3-month affair with on of Sir Lawance Olivier's assistance while shooting "The Prince & the Showgirl". An authentic period peice with a great cast. Anyone who has seen "Les Misrables", Eddie Redmayne has the lead role in this as well. 8/10

    Maxima Mea Culpa: Silance in the House of God:

    The Catholic Chuch is a dispicable lot that should be locked away forever as this doc takes account the vast corruption & criminal accounts that surround the sexual molestation & abuse of young alter boys, more specificly of deaf mute children who were more vunerable to these attrosities. Ginsby's HBO doc's are always a plesure and this one is no diffrent. 8/10

    ESPN: 30 for 30: Survive & Advance: (1st & 2nd viewings)

    Right before the start of collage basketball's March Madness (Watching Indiana v. Temple at time of this posting) I decided to get ready for it by watching this deeply touching and inprovable story of the 1983 NC State Wolfpack's underdog do-or-die run at the national title as well head coach Jimmy "V" Valvano's heart-churning bout with cancer 10 years later witch later propelled the Jimmy V Foundation as one of the leading charites for cancer trearment & research worldwide. The players of the championship season recall there impossible run through the ACC Tourament through the NCAA tourny to the Championship game against the #1 team in the nation: the future NBA Hall of Fame roster ofPhi Slamma Jamma of Houston U.
    So far the best doc of the year IMO and a must see for any sports fan: 8.5/10

    Netflix Nexus:


    The winner of the Oscar for best documentary last year is a solid doc to watch. You will have heatbreak for the players of a high school football program in an inner city looking to get the first playoff victory in school history. A fine doc to check out. 8/10.

    On Demand:

    The ABC"s of Death:

    I'm a sucker for a good horror anthology film but this was a bit underwhelming. Some very good one mixed with some very bad ones. but still worth a watch once. Im welcome to a dissussion about this film if anybody's interested. 6.5/10

    Blu-ray City:

    ARGO: (3rd viewing)

    Best Picture winner, Affleck is tremendous, deffinetly snubbed, nuff said: 9/10

    Next week will be filled a lot as i will be planning to see 4 films at my local art cinema including "Stoker", "John Dies at the End", & Forign language Oscar contender form Chile "NO". So check out reviews for all of those including ones for "G.I. Joe: Retaliation", "Admission, & maybe "Burt Wonderstone". Just have to remember to fill out that registrey before the 1st. Till next week. ^-^

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

      I 100% agree with you on Oz: The Great And Powerful, I think I may have enjoyed it slightly more than you though, I gave it a C+.

      I disagree with you on Identity Thief however, I don't really see how anyone could hate that movie, it was great and it had a lot of laughs, I gave it an A+.

      I haven't seen any of the other films that you reviewed.

      I'll probably end up seeing G.I. Joe: Retaliation next week too.

      If you end up seeing Burt Wonderstone, I hope you enjoy it. I thought it had quite a few good laughs, I gave it a B.

      • The XWF Outlaw

        On your first segement: You 100% agree with me but you enjoyed it better. A contradiction if there was any.

        On segment 2: Well, Brad hated it, so thats one, and the theater I was in was 100+ strong, and the most that whole theater was a short burst of laughter when Bateman cracks the guitar over McCarthy's face. Then just quiet for most of the movie. So that agument must be a sutuble answer to your question.

        Get Netflix, catch some of the movies ive mentioned above, and hope to talk next week.

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

          Well I guess I didn't 100% agree with you, I just mostly agreed with you.

          As for the Identity Thief thing, I enjoyed it and you didn't and that's fine. Everyone has a right to their own opinion.

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

      I agree mostly with The ABC's of Death, although I liked more than I disliked... Ti West's was downright insulting, while I LOOOOVED many sections (specifically H, O, A, and D).

      I enjoyed Stoker and John Dies at the End. I've already preordered JDATE on DVD, actually. If you're a fan of Don Coscarelli (Bubba Ho-tep and the Phantasm series) you should enjoy it. If you're a fan of the novel, be wary: it's quite a bit different from the book. The novel is possibly my favorite novel of all time, but I still enjoyed it quite a bit.

      I'm going to see No in about two weeks, when it goes to a certain theater... I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

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

    The Red Shoes (Second Viewing):
    This is a very haunting film that I was glad to re-watch, consider it I appreciated it a lot more upon re-watching. My full thoughts here: (http://www.everypowellandpressburgermovie.blogspot.ca/2013/03/the-red-shoes-1948.html)

    The Visitors:
    It is the quiet and cold visitor that makes the impact. After watching The Visitors, I will never be the same. No, it is not a great film, no it is not a masterpiece, but it achieves precisely what it intended to.
    My full thoughts here:

    Glen or Glenda:
    Did I just watch a semi-documentary on transvestites... or did I just watch transvestite pornography... or did I just watched both? None the less, Glen or Glenda is among the most entreatingly awful films ever made.

    Hunger is a good film... But not a great one. It is filled with an overbearing need to be artistic. Despite that, it has a powerful leading performance.

    Sucker Punch:
    I cannot believe my father would make me watch this with him! AH! By the end of the film, I wish I could be the one getting a lobotomy! This is one of the worst films I have seen in a long time. It was not entertaining like Glen or Glenda, it was just sheer terrible. I feel like I was watching Zack Snyder masturbating into a camera! This is an utter mess filled with awful acting, near child-porn, and out-rightly boring and dull violence.

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

    Midnight in Paris: Funny and charming and full of wit, Midnight in Paris is an adorable film about longing for the past. It's the type of movie that pulls you in and never lets go. It's probably the weakest of the three Allen films I've seen, but it's still quite good. B+

    Moulin Rouge: Grand, romantic, daring, and absolutely gorgeous! This is definitely a film that will divide people, but I love it. The whole cast is excellent, especially Ewan McGregor. I had no idea he was such a great actor, and he blew me away here. Kidman is sexy and completely believable opposite McGregor. One more thing I must say, I think this film may have the best editing I've ever seen. With all my gushing about it done, I recommend you see this. Even if you hate it, it's worth a watch. I, for one, think it is spectacular.
    P.S. I wanna watch Jim Broadbent sing 'Like A Virgin' a million times. It's seriously hilarious. A+

    Before Sunset: "Baby, you're gonna miss that p
    "I know."
    SCREW YOU LINKLATER AND YOUR STUPID OPEN ENDINGS!!! Just kidding, dude, you're a freaking genius. Delpy and Hawke (especially Julie Delpy) give such human performances, its hard not to believe this is their personal diary. Before Midnight can't come soon enough. A+

    Primer: ...what?
    I like sci-fi and time travel movies, but this was boring. Nothing interesting really happens, and what does happen is told in such a fragmented way it's impossible to comprehend. It's filmed very well on a really low budget, and the time travel theory is sound, but it's just not much fun to watch. C

    Pulp Fiction: Do I even need to say why this is an A+? It's so very quotable and iconic, and beyond that it's quite possibly the most fun you can have watching a movie. Everyone involved is at the top of their game. Pulp Fiction is simply amazing, and nothing I can say can possibly describe how great it is. A+

    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford: Stunning. Featuring what is possibly Roger Deakin's best work, and two show-stopping lead performances from Casey Affleck and Brad Pitt, The Assassination of Jesse James is an excellent debut for Andrew Dominik, and a cautionary tale of the dangers of celebrity and idolization. A
    That's it for me! Quick Question: I'm gonna watch The Life Aquatic, Up in the Air, or Moon tonight. Which one would you choose?

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

      I would pick Moon, but it's definitely not for everybody. Sam Rockwell's performance is fantastic.

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

        Thanks for the suggestion! Generally, I love sci-fi, so maybe I'll watch that. I've heard Rockwell is really great, even those who don't like the film seem to love his performance.

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

      (Letting you know that Andrew Dominik's debut was Chopper, not The Assassination...)

      Moon is very hard sci-fi, so if you're in that mood... The Life Aquatic is VERY Wes Andersony (if you're a fan of him, you will know what I mean). Up in the Air is probably the most crowd pleasing, and the Cloons is a boss in it, so there's that. I'm a big fan of all three, so... Yeah. You have to be in a certain mood for Moon and Aquatic.

      By the way, Before Sunrise... Gah... I loved that beyond belief.. Such a fantastic movie... That song Delpy sings.... I don't usually cry but... UGH!!!


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

        Haha, thanks for letting me know! I'll make sure to correct that on my Letterboxd review.
        I'll probably hold off on Life Aquatic (I'm not in an ultra quirky mood right now) for tonight, so I'll try and pick between those two.
        Yes! Delpy singing The Waltz was just beautiful... that whole ending is absolutely perfect. (I love the Nina Simone impersonation!) I really can't wait for Before Midnight!

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

      I would watch Up in the Air, its the kind of like (500) Days of Summer in a way, its not your typical rom-com, its full of subtle humor and most of all its the type of romance in films I love. I suppose that if you liked the romance between John Travolta and Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction you're going to like it too.

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

        If Up In The Air is anything like (500) Days Of Summer or Vincent and Mia's romance (isn't that dance scene freaking fantastic?!), then I'll probably really like it. Thanks for the help!

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

    Is it okay to count movies I saw last sunday?

    One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (rewatch) -10/10
    My favorite movie of all time, I have a really good time watching it, its a perfect hangout film for me and has a refreshing feeling after I watch it, kind of like The Shawshank Redemption has on other people.

    Alice - 8/10
    I loved Mia Farrow's performance in this, she played a female version of Woody Allen's typical character. It was really funny and I also liked Alec Baldwin's cameo as Alice's dead ex-boyfriend, he reminded me of Ryan Gosling. My only problem was that it ended so fast.

    Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask - 9/10
    I loved four of the segments, specially the one inside a guy's body, like in that movie with Bill Murray, Osmosis Jones.

    The Sting (rewatch) - 9/10
    A fun film to watch, I guess Looper must've took a few things out of this film in the way it makes you sympathize with con-men, Looper does just the same thing except with Loopers. Its full of twist you would never expect and I can almost guarantee it will leave you with a smile on your face by when it ends. Robert Redford reminded me of Brad Pitt...I hope I'm not giving anyone any ideas for a remake.

    Chinatown (rewatch) - 9/10
    I've come to like this movie a lot now, Jack Nicholson gives one of his best man against the system performances and the man who plays Faye Dunaway's father gives an incredible performance too. I loved Roman Polanski's cameo in it and the story is pretty tense and leaves you wanting to know what happens next. I believe its one of the most important movies of all time, not one of my favorites, but one I consider to be very important for cinema, even more than The Godfather in my opinion.

    The Woman in Black (2012) - 4/10
    It is almost impossible not to recognize Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, I think he should lay off acting for a while until he's offered some great role able to change our view of him. As for the movie, its not even worth a rental. I wouldn't recommend this movie to anyone, if you want to watch a decent scary movie watch Insidious or Sinister.

    And Everything Is Going Fine (rewatch) - 9/10
    I haven't seen any other movies with Spalding Gray except for Gray's Anatomy, but I keep getting more interested in his life and thoughts every time I see this movie, there are some scenes that are very intense, like when he recalls the time his mother asked him "How should I do it?" (referring to her suicide) and at the end when he's describing what dog's bark means and he says it means his lamentation and looks down, I found those two scenes to be very depressing and I think this man deserved to be recognized in a documentary like this. The ending reminded me of Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures in the way it goes all the way back and shows footage of Spalding Gray as a child in his mothers arms. I think he even deserves a biographical movie done, maybe someone like David O. Russell or Soderbergh could direct and maybe Christian Bale or Scoot McNairy could act.

    In Bruges (rewatch) - 9/10
    A dark comedy that can be very human, the only down side of it was the music in my opinion, like in True Romance, the music just doesn't fit that well, but only for the first half, the music placed during the chase at the end was great.
    I love the ending which I find similar to Carlito's Way, it ends the movie perfectly.

    A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy - 8/10
    It reminded me of the recent Love is All You Need by Sussane Bier, its a light comedy with a lot of twists and it was pretty fun to watch. The end was silly though, maybe too silly for my liking.

    Life of Brian - 9/10
    I wasn't a fan of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but having gone to a catholic school I couldn't stop laughing at this one, some scenes were hilarious and had me laughing out loud and the ending was brilliant.

    Side Effects - 7/10
    Its hard to talk about this movie without spoiling it, I admire the way it was done and how you don't really have a protagonist or an antagonist up until you're halfway through the movie, maybe it could've been more interesting if they left the twist until the very end.

    what movie do you guys think I should watch on a date? Is Oz okay?

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

      You're a One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest fan? I never would have guessed!

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

      The music for In Bruges really is bad. It's very off-putting and at times takes away from the more dramatic scenes. Still, it's quite good and I love Ralph Fiennes' role

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

        Oh, and I forgot to put that I also agree that the score is much better in the second half.

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

        *the movie is very good

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

      The ending to Cuckoo's Nest is so emotionally resonant. I tear up every time.

      I thought the sheep section of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex was the funniest. The other segments are funny too, but I thought that one was the best.

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

        PS - Are you on Letterboxd? If not, you should join.

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

        One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest's ending is my favorite ending of all time. I love how the music crescendos just as the panel smashes through the window. That and the scene before (euthanasia) are very emotional.

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

    Nothing in the theaters sadly.

    Blu Ray:

    Fast Five: Not bad at all. I haven't even seen #4 but being a fan of pro wrasslin (and therefore The Rock) and the fact that I hadn't seen this one I decided to watch it.

    Zero Dark Thirty: Already saw this one but watched it again. Enough has been said about this movie so I'll keep it brief. Great movie.

    Grown Ups (on TV): Everyone said this movie was hilarious and everyone was laughing while watching. I was not. Thought it was a giant pile of crap.

    TV Shows:

    Bates Motel: I really liked this show. Vera Farmiga is what makes this show, at least based on the first episode. Really looking forward to the rest of the season.

    The Walking Dead: Season is almost over and I am sad about that. Season 3 has been a really solid season.


    Still reading Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Buroughs. Great Sci Fi highly recommended.

    Walking Dead Compendium One: Even better than the TV Show, made it halfway through the compendium, which is the first 48 issues collected.

  • http://letterboxd.com/jchastained/ JessicaChastained

    At home
    Imagine Me and You (2005)- 3/5 [re watch]
    I love this film. It's not brilliant, but offers lots of fun, laughs, and the right amount of angst.

    The Master (2012)- 5/5
    From the first frame, I knew I was going to love this film, and it certainly didn't disappoint. It's intense, unsettling, and poetic. Everything about it is perfect in my mind. I could talk for days about it (I spent all day today talking about it).

    Yesterday, it was Jessica Chastain (who's my favourite actor)'s birthday, so I spent the day watching as many of her films as I could.

    The Help (2011)- 4/5 [re watch]
    This film is just a delight. The performances are wonderful, it looks amazing, and it brings the many stories together well.

    Take Shelter (2011)- 4.5/5 [re watch]
    Starting off steady and quiet, this film builds to a startling last act that will harrow you for days through effective construction and presentation. The performances from Chastain and Shannon embody this film perfectly.

    The Debt (2010)- 3.5/5 [re watch]
    A solid, entertaining thriller that holds a few surprising, unexpected twists and turns.

    At the cinema
    Goddess (2013)- 3.5/5
    One of the cutest and most infectiously joyful movies I've ever seen, Goddess is best described as a modernized 1950s style musical.

    On TV
    Shameless (US)- Season one, episodes one, two and three
    I've heard a lot of good things about this show, so I decided to try it out, and fallen in love with it since. It's darkly funny and very entertaining, I'd watch it all day if I could! The style it's filmed in is great and something I haven't seen in TV before apart from Misfits really. Definitely recommend.

    Glee- Season four, episode 17
    I've watched Glee weekly since 2009, and have lost some interest this season, but I still watch it.

    Follow me on Letterboxd- http://letterboxd.com/jchastained/
    It's new, so I'll review more varied things as I progress. Have a nice week, everyone!

  • adu

    Re-watches (Blu-Ray):

    Dredd: I really enjoy this movie, and only gave it a shot because Laremy gave it good word-of-mouth. Pretty solid action film.

    Blade 2: Blade and Blade 2 are classic guilty pleasures for me. Blade 2 was a definite improvement on the first one in terms of action, and I though the main villian was pretty cool.


    Got Laremy's book from Amazon. Will put up a review on Amazon once I've finished reading it.