What I Watched

What I Watched, What You Watched #188

Five movies in three days for me... and then some

evil-dead-red-band-featThis was one of the busiest movie-going weeks I've had in some time, catching five movies in three days. Three of those movies I've already either reviewed or commented on -- Evil Dead, Trance and Upstream Color. I have more on Upstream Color on the way, but more on that soon enough.

The two other films were Before Midnight, which I don't believe I'm embargoed on, but I'm not going to review it until closer to its release date, alongside a minimum of three great features, and the other was Disconnect, which I also responded to favorably.

After that I caught the first episode of "Hannibal", which I've also embedded at the bottom of this post and plan on writing about at the beginning of the week. I will say, though, I was impressed though have some reservations. Give it a watch and join the conversation when I post the story.

In addition to that I caught bits and pieces of TRON: Legacy, The Other Guys (Desk pop!) and Knight & Day on FX this weekend while waiting to watch the Final Four. One thing was clear about all three -- movies are almost always better at home, particularly the mediocre ones.

Now, I actually like The Other Guys and even Knight & Day, but TRON: Legacy isn't very good and yet at home, sitting in my living room chair, it was perfectly acceptable entertainment. This doesn't make it a good movie, but there's a lot to be said for comfort changing your mood and, let's face it, today's multiplex theaters are hardly interested in your comfort and/or experience watching a movie.

Otherwise, the rest is up to you. What did you watch this week? I still haven't watched the first episode of Season Three of "Game of Thrones" and think I'm just going to wait until all ten are available and take care of 'em in one weekend.

Thanks for Reading! Join the Community!
Support the Site! Make it Faster! No Ads!

Your support goes a long way in ensuring RopeofSilicon.com stays stable. For less than the price of one small popcorn, you can can help support RopeofSilicon and, in turn, visit the site every day without ads! Including this one!

Subscribe Now!

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

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

    I’ve been busy lately so no movies for me this week. I’ll be seeing The Place Beyond the Pines (my No.5 most anticipated film of the year) on Friday/Saturday and I hope it doesn’t disappoint.

    On TV:

    Californication (Season 6): Ep. 12 – A solid season, but not one of its best. Still, a weak season of Californication is 5 times better than most shows.

    4 / 5

    Shameless (Season 3): Ep. 11

    The Walking Dead (Season 3): Ep. 14-16 – That season finale sealed the deal: I’m officially done with this show. The Walking Dead has had its share of flaws (flaws, which become increasingly glaring with each passing season) but this week, things reached a tipping point. I won’t sit here and list off every absurd, ludicrous and insultingly moronic cliché, but suffice to say, the writing has never been lazier.

    *Spoiler Alert*

    First, two characters (that’s right, two) fend off and push back an entire army that’s equipped with high powered firearms. The only reason this was done is to further stretch out the Governor’s story arc. Then, Andrea spends 35 minutes trying to get ahold a tool… and then stopping and starring… and then trying to pick up the tool. As the episode got closer and closer to the one hour mark, I vowed to stop watching the show if they had the gall (after a 13 episode arc) to drag the Governor into the FOURTH season as well… and then they did, and so I’m done.

    2.5 / 5

    Game of Thrones (Season 3): Ep. 1 – It was a decent premiere, but in contrast to the last two season openers, it was fairly uninspired. And can I just say that I hate that they keep altering the main theme song. They’ve now made 3 adjustments to the theme and I’m not feelin it. Call it nitpicking, but it really irritates me.

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

      I totally agree on The Walking Dead. That season finale was awful.

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

      Disagree in part on The Walking Dead, though the Season Finale could have been better, the Governors story line being pushed into Season four I kind of predicted from the start... Only because in the comics (and though have really changed a lot of the prison story line for the show, mostly for the better) they are in the prison for a long time and have two run ins with the Governor and his people attacking the prison and the first time they are able to fight him off even though they are out numbered, so it fits inline with what happens in the comic.I have a feeling that Season Four will only deal with Governor for the first few episodes and/or it will end his arc in the Mid-season Finale... I do agree with you about the overdramatization of Andrea trying to grab the tool and her staring... but that is not something that will keep me from watching the show...

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

      Agreed on TWD. SPOILERS!

      I was so pissed that they kept The Governor around. As much as hated Andrea the way they went about her death was lazy to say the least.

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

      Game of Thrones premiere was just a set up episode to what's coming in the rest of the season. For me it was just as expected, setting up all the different story lines.

      The intro is still epic!

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

    I will be posting later as I am currently watching Star Trek and I would like to finish it before I post.

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

    Letterboxd: http://letterboxd.com/corbin_123/

    I had a decent week this week in terms of quantity of movies, not so much the quality, so I'll just jump right into it.

    The Godfather: Part 2: A very good film that doesn't quite live up to the first one, in terms of it being too long. But I love all of Michael Corleone's transformation into the mob boss. 4.5/5

    G.I. Joe: Retaliation: A movie with a lot of plot holes and unnecessary characters (What was D.J. Cortona's purpose again?). Still, there are some funny one liners (You're Just like Fox News: Fair and Balanced!) that don't make it a complete waste of time. 2.5/5

    Rise of the Guardians: First off, there are some SPOILERS for this movie, so for those of you that care about seeing this film, don't read it. But anyways, I did not like this film at all. There were undeveloped story lines, such as the whole Sophie subplot, that never went anywhere. And there are three logic flaws that I really need to get off my chest. First, who's heard off the Sandman? Second, how does Jamie believe in Jack Frost if he didn't even know who he was before? And Finally, the kids in one town believe in all the Guardians. Great, but how are other kids supposed to believe in them? I mean, kids aren't contagious when they aren't sick, so how are other kids supposed to believe? And one more thing, some of the animation is horrendous. Dreamworks has done some good hair before, why drop the ball here? So, in summation, I just really didn't like this movie. 1.5/5

    The Outsiders: I'm saving my thoughts on this one for movie club.

    I'm hoping to see Borat later this week, and I may make a faux Terrence Malick Trailer as well, so that's what's coming up for me this week. Comment bleow with your opinions about the films that I did.

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

      I personally prefer The Godfather Part II over the first. You may not have Brando, but you have De Niro which evens it out. Secondly, it feels like a more powerful story to me.

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

        Agreed on The Godfather Part II. Though it's a close call.

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

          I won't disagree on the story, but I feel that since Vito Corleone is dead, we don't need to see how he ascended into power. I just found all the flashback unnecessary. Still an extremely good movie though.

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

        Part II deals with the key criticism of the first film - namely, that it romanticized gangsterism. The second film is about as cynical and bleak as it gets.

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

      I honestly wouldn't recommend Borat all that much. It's not all that funny, so I wouldn't recommend getting your hopes up for it or else I think you will be dissapointed.

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

    first watches

    Salo - impossible to grade, a mixture of intriguing and deplorable but glad i watched
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas B+ interesting, funny, mental
    Bellflower B+ raw, energetic and ambitious
    Wall-E B a bit disappointed after initial joy

    Rewatch

    The Fighter A- gets better and better
    Step Brothers B+ really enjoyed, very funny in places

    ps Brad, i wasn't messing with you about the D being silent in Mads

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

    Over the past few weeks I’ve taken the time to watch/rewatch all of Wes Anderson’s films, so I figured I’d review them all now, from my least favourite to favourite. I’ve found he’s the type of director where the more you watch, the more you love, probably due to his distinctive style.
    7) The Darjeeling Limited – My least favourite, but still a pretty great movie. It tends to drag a little bit, and a few of the scenes in the middle feel a little too calculated. I will say, however, that the brothers and their interactions with each other are some of the best character work that Anderson has done.
    6) Rushmore – Jason Schwartzman is amazing as an annoyingly ignorant yet sympathetically kind-hearted misfit. He lifts the film up and makes it delightfully funny and fairly groundbreaking for its time
    5) The Royal Tenenbaums – I had a hard time placing this film on the ranking, as it is definitely the most touching and emotionally powerful Anderson film. I don’t think I was as affected by it as others, but it still stands as one of the most ‘complete’ films in Anderson’s collection (behind maybe Moonrise).
    4) Bottle Rocket – I was shocked at how good this one actually was. I had previously just assumed that it would feel amateurish, as it was his debut effort, but it flows well and the final heist scene is one of the funniest I’ve seen.
    3) Fantastic Mr. Fox – I may be a little biased here because I loved the book as a child. It’s crazy how Anderson could completely make it his own without compromising the original story.
    2) The Life Aquatic – I was completely taken aback when I saw how critics panned this one. Without a doubt one of Anderson’s funniest movies, and it has so many original distinctive qualities that have made it the cult classic that it is. I also think that the ending is very powerful.
    1) Moonrise Kingdom – I can’t quite put my finger on what makes Moonrise Kingdom so great. It’s the perfect mix of humour, substance, and charm, and a shining example of how well Anderson’s style can work.

    Curious to see if there are any other Anderson fans out there, and how you would rank them.

    Also, in theatres, I saw Olympus has Fallen. It was awful, and I mean awful. The feasibility of the plot was so incredibly outlandish that I couldn't take anything seriously, and the inclusion of incredibly forced cliched sentimentality (Maybe we'll go for ice cream another time, champ) had me trying desperately to stifle laughter. Overall, and incredibly formulaic film that takes itself way too seriously. Although it did have me laughing almost the whole way through, it was the worst thing I've seen in theatres in a long time.

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

      I'm not the biggest fan of Wes Anderson, I do wish he would branch out a bit more from his comfort zone, though I agree that Life Aquatic is criminally underrated. Having not seen Fantastic Mr. Fox, here's how I would rank them:

      1. The Life Aquatic
      2. Rushmore
      3. The Royal Tennenbaums
      4. Moonrise Kingdom
      5. Bottle Rocket
      6. The Darjeeling Limited

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

      Of what I've seen so far:

      1. Rushmore
      2. Moonrise Kingdom
      3. Fantastic Mr. Fox
      4. The Royal Tenenbaums

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

      Congratz on watching all of his stuff! He's one of my favorite working directors, a truly unique style... My order is pretty similar to yours, but I would switch Bottle Rocket and The Darjeeling Limited, which I love quite a bit.

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

      I'd rank them like this
      1. Moonrise Kingdom
      2. Rushmore
      3. Fantastic Mr. Fox
      4. The Life Aquatic
      5. Bottle Rocket
      6. The Darjeeling Limited.
      Haven't seen TRT.

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

      I haven’t see Life Aquatic or Bottle Rocket yet.

      1. Rushmore
      2. Fantastic Mr. Fox
      3. The Royal Tennenbaums
      4. Moonrise Kingdom
      5. The Darjeeling Limited

      Also, totally with you on Olympus has Fallen. Just a frustrating movie to get through, although it did give me great unintentional laughs, my favorite being when the lady getting dragged on the floor decides to start reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

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

      Of what I've seen:

      1. Fantastic Mr. Fox
      2. Moonrise Kingdom
      3. Rushmore

    • Tom Beet

      I'm a huge fan of Wes Anderson. His works are often so distinctive that people mistook them as "style over substance", but the more you watch, the more you realize his love to the world he created and his characters.

      My ranking of his films:
      7) The Darjeeling Limited: Like you said, while it is better than your normal comedy, it lacks heart compare to his others. (but who knows, maybe it'll grow on me)
      6) Bottle Rocket: A very promising debut.
      5) Life Aquatic: also like you said, criminally underrated. The first 10 minutes for me is the best part Wes Anderson has done. "It is a rare species, so what is the scientific purpose of killing it? -Revenge!" gets me everytime.
      4) Fantastic Mr Fox: I think this is the one where he ultimately controls his style. Sometimes in his previous works it does seem he don't know where it headed, but here (and also Moonrise Kingdom) everything is precise and add up to the film as a whole.
      3) Moonrise Kingdom: His most accessible work and therefore his best, partly because it has clear storyline (as I mentioned above), in conjunction with his signature style. I have a feeling this is his most mainstream work and he would never achieve that again. (not that I mind, as I'm his core fan)
      2) Rushmore: I agreed with one critic who said that the montage in the beginning is a good test of whether you like his style or not. If you love it, you gonna love the rest of the movie; if not, unlucky. I love about everything in this film.
      1) The Royal Tenenbaums: It's his most typical work, and not necessary his best (that goes to Moonrise Kingdom). This is the film that I would recommend people to start if they want to explore Wes Anderson. It contains all of his signature, both positively (his attention to details, his unique style) and negatively (he seems lost in his own world). Besides, I consider this is one of the richest screenplay I've read and the screenplay indeed inspired me in many ways. Margot Tenenbaums is still one of my favorite character he ever created.

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

      I've only seen two of his films but I would rank them

      2) The Fantastic Mr. Fox
      1) Moonrise Kingdom

      I really enjoyed both of those films (Moonrise Kingdom was in my top 5 of last year), so I would say that I'm a fan of his.

  • http://couchpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt

    First of all, I finally jumped on the bandwagon and joined Letterboxd: http://letterboxd.com/potato_digest/

    Anyway,

    In Theaters:

    Evil Dead- A fun horror film that is basically as plotless and as gory as I expected. It's certainly one of the best horror films in recent memory, and is a lot of fun. I really liked Jane Levy's performance- I definitely think she has a solid career ahead of her. It's nothing spectacular, but it's worth a trip to the theater for fans of the genre. B

    At Home:

    Roman Holiday- I really loved this film. The chemistry between Hepburn and Peck is unbelievable, and the script was quite strong, even if it is a bit clichéd. It's a charming and extremely entertaining film, with an ending I enjoyed quite a bit mostly because I didn't expect it. A

    Witness- A solid thriller with quite a few strong performances. It feels a bit too by-the-numbers at times, but it's still entertaining and has a great final third. The cinematography is really incredible. I loved the shot of the three criminals closing in on the town. B

    Crash- I absolutely hated this movie. Racism is, obviously, an important topic that should be addressed in film, but not like this. These characters are nothing like real people- they are cartoon characters that walk around constantly talking about race and their own prejudices in long winded speeches, without ever taking into account where they are and who they are around. Not a single interaction between characters felt realistic, and many of the big dramatic moments were contrived and overdramatic. The ending was also extremely pretentious. I know many people complain about this film beating "Brokeback Mountain." Well, "Brokeback" is certainly the better film, but the real travesty here is that "Crash" was nominated for any Oscar in the first place. The only reason I'm not giving it an F is because the cast tried their best with a truly terrible script. D-

    Jurassic Park (re-watch)- I wanted to see this in 3D in theaters, but I couldn't find anyone to go with. So, watching it at home on Bluray is pretty much the next best thing. This is one of my favorite summer blockbusters- the film is so entertaining and suspenseful, with special effects that hold up surprisingly well. A

    TV:

    Mad Men (Season 3)- Not as strong as Season 2 in my opinion, but still really great and far better than most shows on TV. As I've said before, the whole cast is incredible, though I can't tell how I feel about January Jones. She does really well in some scenes, but in others she feels somewhat miscast. The actress that plays Sally, however, is giving one of the best child performances I've ever seen. I also feel like this season didn't focus on the supporting characters as much, but that's a minor complaint. (Spoilers for Season 3) The scene where Betty and Don tell their children they are getting a divorce ranks amongst my favorite scenes from the series as whole.
    Overall Season Grade: A-

    The New Normal (Season 1)- Even though this series was incredibly flawed, I found some mild entertainment with it. The characters are incredibly one dimensional but the cast is uniformly strong and quite funny. And, while it may be a bit hamfisted, I found some of the sequences to be surprisingly moving. My biggest complaint with the series, however, is the way Ryan Murphy deals with political issues. I almost always agree with his politics, but the way he does it lacks subtly and ruins the comedic elements in the episode. I don't think it's getting renewed for a second season based on the ratings, and I wouldn't particularly miss it, but I enjoyed the first season for what it was. C+

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

      Totally agree on that Roman Holiday ending. I watched it last week and was just as surprised as you, and enjoyed the film even more because of it. A truly great romantic comedy.

      • http://couchpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt

        I agree. The ending left a huge smile on my face. There aren't many romantic comedies with an ending like it.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HarryFuertes/ Harry Fuertes

      Glad to see you liked Evil Dead. Have you seen the original films?

      • http://couchpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt

        I've only seen the first one, and I did enjoy it quite a bit, probably about the same as the remake. They are both really entertaining horror films. I haven't seen "Evil Dead 2" or "Army of Darkness", but my brother is a huge fan of them and plans on watching them with me eventually. Are you a fan?

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HarryFuertes/ Harry Fuertes

          I really enjoy them both. They're much better movies in the company of other people. Me and my brother watched them both together and we both loved them. We prefer the second one because it's better crafted and scarier in our opinions but they're both really fun. I'm planning on seeing the remake today with my mother.

          • http://couchpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt

            Good to hear. And I agree, had I not been with a big group for "Evil Dead" I probably wouldn't have been as much fun. Hope you enjoy the remake!

    • Manus Andurkar

      I think you're WAY too harsh on Crash. No, it's not as complex as it should have been, but I still think it had some interesting ideas. Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, and Thandie Newton were all fantastic in their roles.

      As for whether or not it deserved the Oscar, I would say no, but I don't love Brokeback Mountain quite as much as other people do (even though I do think it is better than Crash). I have not seen Munich but my pick would have been Capote, which I love very much.

      • Manus Andurkar

        Whoops, did not mean to comment with my real name. I'll have to check that next time.

      • http://couchpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt

        I definitely agree about the performances. I was particularly impressed with Bullock, who I usually find somewhat one note. But even with the performances, I just really hated the movie. It reminded me of a Lifetime film- it takes a serious issue that is worthy of being discussed but sensationalizes it to a point where it becomes too overdramatic to actually say anything. The racism in this film didn't feel realistic at all, and that really bothered me. But, that's just my opinion. A lot of people (obviously) really love it.

        As for the Oscar debate, I loved "Brokeback" and "Capote" ("Brokeback" only slightly more), but I really haven't seen enough films from 2005 to say for sure what my pick for the Oscar would have been. But I just don't think "Crash" was worthy of a nomination, let alone a win, at all.

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

    Dead Man Down:
    Decent film with good performances, a straight forward plot with some good plottwists that weren't to much in your face..i really liked the first 1.15 hours but the final 20 minutes were out of tone from the rest of the film and that wasn't really working for me..the first part was so subtle and then they just went all out with explosions..but ok..fine film and i agree with brad when he reviewed this on the podcast..they should have skipped that last 20 second scene.
    7/10

    G.I Joe retaliation
    Better than the last one, but still not good at all. had some fun moments and some good action things but it was still not good enough
    4.5/10

    at home
    Star trek:
    liked the first star trek movie, really excited for the next one. The movie is well paced. had good action sequences and some funny moments, very enjoyable film. acting was good, the movie looked good as well. but still wasn't without flaws.
    7/10

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

    Dazed and Confused – This one is one of my personal favorites. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen it but it never seems to get old. I remember Tarantino describing it best as revisiting old friends every time you view it, which is my exact sentiment. A

    Rio Bravo: I’m not a great fan of the traditional, John Wayne type of westerns, but I found this to be quiet enjoyable. Dean Martin’s performance was by far the standout for me and I found his character arc to be the films real driving force. It goes without saying that Hawks’s direction is solid throughout, the opening being the most notable, conveying so many things about the characters without a single piece of dialogue. However, after such a long build up, the final shootout was somewhat disappointing and anticlimactic. It seemed very nonchalant and was over as soon as it began. B

    Olympus has Fallen: Went in expecting some mindless fun but this was just way too cliché and uninspired for me to enjoy. The supporting cast is passable at best, judging by the materiel they had to work with, though Dylan McDermott’s character is beyond pointless. Butler tries his best to carry the role and the failings of the film don’t really fall on him. Everything is just so by the books and carried out abysmally. Also wow, the effects in this film are some of the worst in recent memory. I mean if your big action piece is reliant on a plane that looks like it came out of a late 90’s videogame, then it should just be scrapped. The worst example was that terrible cg flag getting thrown of the roof, taking away whatever hint of emotional value that image would have, since the flag looks like a piece of clip art. D

    Fallen Angels: I hadn't seen any of Wong Kar Wai’s films before this, but this one got me eager to check out the rest. It started out looking like a hyper stylized John Woo actioner but after the first twenty minutes, it kind of detours to its own thing. I somewhat lost interest during the middle portion of the film, but near the end, things really came together. I fell in love with its unique and sporadic visuals and the quirky group of misfits the story followed. It also has a great soundtrack that’s stuck in my head and a very memorable ending that I can’t get enough of. B+

    Aguirre: The Wrath of God- Very atmospheric and this is definitely one Kinski’s best. His presence just commands the screen, the last ten minutes being the most obvious showcase. B+

    My Best Fiend: Klaus Kinski- Interesting documentary that any fans of Herzog or Kinski should check out. Gives a good peek into the relationship the two had with one another. B

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

    Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 [first watch] - this was an April fools joke that I did not laugh at. One of the worst films (if not THE worst) that I have ever seen.
    0.5 / 5 (or F)

    Jurassic Park [rewatch] - When I first saw this film, I was 8 years old. I was so happy because I finally got to watch a film that was rated PG-13. And when I watched the film, I was completely in awe. Watching this now, 11 years later, that original awe has subsided but I can't deny the brilliance of this film.

    The visuals still hold up and back in the day they were incredible then and very solid now. The acting is what has aged the most in this film, for better or for worse. Jeff Goldblum's performance has grown on me while Sam Neill and Laura Dern's have paled.

    And yet, the film is still thrilling, still exciting, still marvelous. We will never again see a film like Jurassic Park.
    4.5 / 5 (or A-)

    Trance - a film with a unique and interesting visual style, but ultimately fails as a result of false cleverness.
    2.5 / 5 (or D+)

    The Ten Commandment [rewatch] - one of those films that define the word "epic." Cecil B. DeMille's final film is also his best. With great acting (especially from Yul Bryner), a great story, and visual effects that were revolutionary at the time, this film is a triumph. My only issue (and the reason I don't watch it often) is the length. And even at that, this is probably the greatest biblical story ever told on film
    4.5 / 5 (or A-)

    On TV:

    The Walking Dead (season 3 finale) - terrible. The first half of the season started out decent, but unfortunately, what started good, has degraded into this utter mess.

    I also plan to watch Hannibal fairly soon

    Books:

    I started reading The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien, and wow, that is not light reading. Almost biblical in diction and structure, it's tough to read, but the content is extremely interesting and rewarding. I haven't finished it, but I hope to have it completed by next week.

    Micro by Michael Crichton - it's clear that Mr. Crichton didn't finish this book. Is occasionally silly, but always entertaining until the third part where (I assume) the replacement author took over. Then it becomes a sloppy mess, with many lazy attempts at plot twists and a predictable ending. Not Chrichton's best, but it's fairly entertaining.
    B-

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheMovieGuru/ The Movie Guru

      Superbabies 2 is one of the absolute worst movies ever made

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

        If I had the opportunity to erase it from my memory forever, I would do it in a heartbeat.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheMovieGuru/ The Movie Guru

          Exactly. I liked it when I was one year old, but when I watched it again, almost threw up

    • http://couchpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt

      Sad to see you weren't a fan of "Trance." I was really excited for it, but it seems like a lot of critics I trust aren't liking it. I plan on seeing it next weekend, but my expectations are considerably lower now.

      How was Rosario Dawson in it? I've always liked her, but she seems to find herself in somewhat crappy movies and would love to see her get more attention.

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

        She was decent, but he performance wasn't anything special.

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

          i was shaking my head most of the time with Trance, it wasnt a film worthy of Vincent Cassels magnificence

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

    Evil Dead (B) - first time - A really good and extreme horror film. It is very extreme there is an obvious Asia extreme Cinema influence on this film. This horror film is for the experienced horror fans only I'll say because my girlfriend could not muster though she was covering her face half the time. I have not seen the original but after seeing this I'll have to check it out.

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

    Another light week for me, largely due to studying for the most difficult exam I've ever taken thus far, but I did get to a few films later in the week and finally finished reading "Catch Me If You Can," a book I'd highly recommend to anyone who likes a good story.

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

    IN THEATERS

    None.

    AT HOME

    Argo: This was my first time seeing Argo since I caught it in theaters last October, and I think the film holds up very well. I know there are some who think the dramatized ending is a bit far-fetched and over-the-top, but it works for me. In real life, the airplane boarding and takeoff was relatively uneventful, but you know that those involved were fraught with anxiety and nerves the entire time. To me, the ending does a good job of replicating the tension they all must have felt, even if the artistic liberties taken in doing so are vast. Without it, the tension that builds throughout the film leads to a very anticlimactic ending. 4.5 / 5

    Catch Me If You Can: I just finished reading Frank W. Abagnale's book, upon which the film is based, earlier this week -- and I highly recommend checking it out -- so I decided now was as good a time as ever to revisit Steven Spielberg's adaptation, which I'd seen dozens of times on television over the years and always loved. Centered around a veritable game of cat and mouse, Catch Me If You Can is effortlessly enjoyable and fast-paced, truly a breeze to watch even after so many previous viewings. The film deviates from the book a great deal -- as most adaptations do -- with various character amalgamations, excised events, and fictionalized sequences, but the base story remains intact and compelling. And man, it doesn't get much better than that opening sequence. 4.5 / 5

    Ferris Bueller's Day Off: One of my favorite comedies, and possibly one of the most rewatchable movies I've seen. It never fails to entertain and has yet to lose its luster: I'm not sure that it ever will. 5 / 5

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

    No cinema trips this week.

    I haven't included it below because I nodded off after 40 minutes (due to apparent tiredness and not the film), but I started to watch 'The African Queen' (1951) on Saturday. I wasn't too bothered as I have seen it before however and it isn't one that I particularly love, although it is enjoyable.

    At Home -

    Citizen Kane (1941): TV airing and also Blu ray, rewatch - On Easter Monday I was off work and flicking through the TV schedules when I saw that a channel had an Orson Welles morning. I had missed an hour long documentary on him but was able to catch the two films I'm listing this week. Then, by twist of fate the film came though to me on Blu ray rental as it had been on my list anyway. Now, I know and appreciate the contentiousness with which some view 'Citizen Kane' and it's position as the Greatest Film Ever Made (or something like that) and while that's a general position the film has risen to I in fairness would not say the film is in my own Top Ten of all time favourites. However, THAT said.......................Kane is in and of itself a very good film. My feeling on it has always been that it's place and stature arises from a very complex set of circumstances and factors that go far beyond the actual story of Kane within the film and I think that is born out by some of the extras and material on the Blu ray release I watched. This is a piece of cinema that threw certain narrative conventions of the time out the window, and experimented greatly in what could be done with a two hour story. Technically it also features filming decisions and camera techniques that at the time were involved and technically inventive which I knew nothing about until viewing the extras. So many things which have influenced film since and still do are all present within Kane (which also has some stunning set design and photography, particularly at times using light and shadow). And all of this came from a 25 year old first time director. There has been mountains of analysis and interpretation and volumes written on Kane which could never be touched on here by myself or anyone else but the film is impressive over seventy years after it was made and that is likely no small feat. While that top spot amongALL films will always spark agreement and disagreement certainly I don't disagree that it deserves to be in the conversation.

    The Magnificent Ambersons (1942): TV airing, rewatch - Welles' follow up to Kane is in it's own way equally as ambitious in it's intentions as I feel the best way to describe it would be it's attempt to put the 'Great American Novel' onto the cinema screen. Using that most simple of underpinnings (one of the 'old' wealthy families fallsin fortune as one of the 'new' wealthy families rises in the Twentieth Century thanks to the automobile) as the basis it's easy to remember the massive changes made by the studio to the film and wonder whether or not what's here (which is still a very good film) would have been even more impressive under Welles' original vision. It remains pretty good and I think I liked it better than I did the last time I watched it (which was the first time I had seen it).

    Hairspray (2007): TV airing, rewatch - I can't not watch this when it's on TV. It never gets dull and it never gets anything less than immensely entertaining thanks to some killer songs and across the board performances that all gel together very well from a capable cast. It's just damn entertaining!

    Knocked Up (2007): TV airing, rewatch - But the first in a long time. I believe I used to find this film better than I did on this rewatch. It's probably too long and a bit rambling for the bulk of the story (which in retrospect seems to be a hallmark of Apatow actually) to need over two hours to play out. But the cast is another case of a collective group working well. It's a little bit of a shame that Katharine Heigl seems to have self-destructed her career with her choices after this, because here she's appealing and not without light comedy talent.

    Iron Man (2008): Blu ray, rewatch - What with all the emphasis on 'Iron Man 3' coming up soon I felt like going back to the MCU and the very start of it all. I like this one a lot more than 'Iron Man 2'. It feels fresh and has energy and pace and it's a lot of fun. Hopefully the upcoming third film will feel more like this film and less like the bloated and flat 2010 sequel.

    Silver Linings Playbook (2012): Blu ray, first watch - By the time it ended, I really did like this film and had enjoyed it a lot. But it took me a while to get there. Initially because I really did not like or sympathise much with the character of Pat (Cooper). Even Tiffany was a bit unlikeable at first but Pat really was one of those people I wasn't responding to until after he and Tiffany began their relationship. However, I would also allow there's a possibility that is what Russell was going for. And I think it has been a while since two characters then won me over so completely by the end of a film that I WAS rooting for them. There was a lot of conversation about the film's ending at the time. My take on it is probably a combination of the two perspectives. I didn't feel let down by the happy ending given (it is, as was noted in an article by Brad, well foreshadowed at the start of the film as was the dance element) but the film does (intentionally obviously) throw in a lot of cliches to get there. The betting subplot that formed part of the film's finale felt to me too much in the cliche for cliche's sake direction (maybe because the frequent references to the Eagles sadly went over this non-American's head and so weren't entirely paid off) but I don't think you couldn't be rooting for a win in the dance competition by the end. Both Lawrence and Cooper were a great pairing (don't really have any issue with Lawrence winning Best Actress although I would also have been happy with Emmanuelle Riva) but I wasn't as taken by DeNiro as many others and felt that while she was good, Jackie Weaver probably rode the wave of SLP to her Oscar nomination rather than really deserving to be in there because of her work specifically. At the end of the day, I felt it was actually a very life affirming picture. We all have shitty lives indeed sometimes, and sometimes you get dealt a particularly bad hand at times. But life isn't always that way, and sometimes we all get a break and a 'happy ending' at least for a while. On a final point, I think I would class this as a romantic comedy as much as it could be called a drama (it felt very much like 'The Apartment' in that sense) but I don't think it can quite be pushed as a serious attempt at looking at mental illness. It's too easy in it's conclusions for that I think. But, I would probably have been able to find a space for this in my 2012 Top Ten had I seen it in time.

    That was about it this week. Nothing major on the TV front as 'Cheers' has been taking a break and has been replaced by International Football last week and next week. Although that will free up a lot of time for me to watch more films this coming week than I've had time to lately.

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

      One thing I forgot that I also did this week was actually a part of the Blu ray extras on 'Citizen Kane'.

      I spent an hour or so listening to Orson Welles' famous 1938 Radio broadcast of 'The War of The Worlds' which was included in apparent entirety on the disc. It's somewhat hard to imagine a world in which radio was the prime method of entertainment vs today but what I will say is that the broadcast was extremely well done and even to me, sounded very plausible. Welles' decision to structure the story as a part newsreel was a brilliant stroke of invention and lends believability to the story as presented.

      It's not entirely hard to imagine people falling for it actually and as it was something that I had known about but never heard it was extremely interesting to finally hear the whole production.

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

      After coming back and taking a look at the thread this morning and noticing there was some discussion about Top Ten lists for 2012 it occurred to me that I actually had now seen enough 2012 films to make an actual Top Ten of 2012 finally.

      I'll be doing it in straightforward alphabetical order and there are still several 2012 films I haven't seen that could change the list such as 'The Sessions', 'Rust and Bone' and a few others. But up until this point I hadn't even had ten films I could place at all. So, here goes......

      The Avengers - Simply the most fun and entertaining blockbuster of the Summer. Pure escapism.

      Cloud Atlas - Visually impressive, and even while it doesn't reinvent the thematic wheel it does it beautifully, managing to take six strands and never make itself feel too unwieldy or long.

      Les Miserables - Somewhat divisive, but as I had no knowledge at all of it going in it's brash big emotion led story of redemption amidst social/political unrest won me over in the end. It stumbles in places, sure (like 99% of movies) but I completely loved it by the end.

      Lincoln - While the central performance of Day Lewis is what is mostly remembered from Spielberg's passion project the overall film is also surprisingly enjoyable. Densely dialogue packed and action free, it's got a raft of excellent performances and even if it's also probably overlong, the film itself is extremely well done.

      Looper - I've still never seen Rian Johnson's other films but this was a great film with yet more good performances along the way. Taking time to build the world it's characters inhabit it then shifts into a very well done sci-fi take on the 'nature vs nurture' theme. Emily Blunt is as fantastic as ever as is Joseph Gordon Levitt leading (doing a much better piece of work here than in TDKR).

      Prometheus - Ridley Scott's return is another film that divided many, but ultimately is one that I came down on the side of really liking. My feeling is that it's a film that improves the more you watch it in many ways and while I would never disagree it doesn't have flaws (particularly from the medpod sequence onwards to the finale) it's still a film that interests me. Visually it's stunning (but you would imagine no less from Scott) and I can only hope that when or if a sequel is made, we continue to go as far away from LV-426 as possible for a bit longer.

      Silver Linings Playbook - Talked about it above so won't again here, but definitely a life affirming warm piece of 2012 cinema.

      Skyfall - While I wasn't anywhere near as taken with this as so many other's were (not because of The Dark Knight echoes, which are present but Skyfall steals from plenty of other Bond films itself anyway for that alone to be a killer issue) it still is by a country mile the best of the Daniel Craig Bond films and features cinematography by Roger Deakins that should have won the Oscar. Judi Dench excels in her meatiest contribution to Bond in years and while I found Javier Bardem's character most unsatisfying and unmemorable in the Grand Hall of Bond villains, he at least has some presence as an actor within the film. It will be interesting to see where Bond goes from here.

      The Snowtown Murders - Powerful and disturbing, based on a story so bleak and hard that if it were presented as a piece of fiction no one would believe it. A strong and seductive performance from Daniel Henshall as serial killer John Bunting. I loved the direction on this one, and it's focus on the less is more approach regarding dialogue at times. With a haunting final sequence that has stuck in my mind this is well made but sometimes hard to watch.

      Your Sister's Sister - Three great performances anchor a slight film in and of itself but one which I just really enjoyed as a relationship drama. A bit of a rushed conclusion but I just dug this little flick.

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

        I thought I would rank your top ten based on what my opinion of these films were..

        1. Les Miserables
        2. Skyfall
        3. Looper
        4. The Avengers
        5. Prometheus

        Les Miserables made it on to my top 10 (at #3), as did Skyfall (at #6) and Looper (at #9). I liked Avengers, but not enough to put it in my top 10. I personally hated Prometheus, but I respect your opinion on it. I haven't seen any of the other films on your list.

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

          Prometheus is one of those ones that is an 'either/or' film. It seems you like it or you don't.

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

        Yeah, Your Sister's Sister was great. It would have made a Top 10 had I done one.

  • http://letterboxd.com/gman/ G-Man

    Just three this week: http://letterboxd.com/gman/

    First watch:

    Friday The 13th: Part 5: A New Beginning (1985) - DVD Netflix - While there are elements of good in this slasher (mystery, original kills), the majority of it is very predictable with some poor acting. A little bit of a step up from the fourth installment of the series. 5.0 / 10 or D+

    Evil Dead (2013) - Theatre - Although my rating isn't higher, I thoroughly recommend this movie. Well directed (seriously well done, especially for a director without much experience) with some fantastic cinematography and great practical effects which really added to the terror. The story and characters, which are kind of forgettable / boring are my main criticism, but this is a horror movie at the end of the day, and it works well for what it's trying to be. The acting is solid and this is a lot less campy, and just a better movie in my mind than the original. 7.0 / 10 or "B-"

    Rewatch:

    Old School (2003) - DVD Home - A favorite of mine from high school days. Highly quotable and hilarious. 7.5 / 10 or "B"

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

    I was traveling all last week, so I wasn't able to post. This is two week's worth of movies so I'll try to keep it brief.

    Death Proof- Tarantino’s weakest film, but by no means a bad one. This movie is quite a bit of fun with enjoyable performances and a perfect pulpy atmosphere. The film hits a bit of a snag when it essentially presses the reset button halfway through, killing off all momentum. But once it gets going again, storyline two is even better than storyline one. This movie has some exciting car chase sequences and possibly the best car crash sequence I’ve ever. If this is the worst Tarantino ever does, as is his goal, he’ll go out as one of the best of all time. Also Zoe Bell is awesome. 3/4

    The Bourne Ultimatum (rewatch)- A solid action flick that gets better as the film goes on. While its missing the emotional punch that makes Supremacy my favorite of the series, it still has great pacing, is well edited, and Matt Damon turns in his best performance of the trilogy. By the time Extreme Ways started playing, I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. This movie really gets to the core of who Jason Bourne is, and after viewing it again it has become even more clear just how unnecessary Legacy was. 3.5/4

    The Iron Giant- A fun animated outing from Brad Bird. It has moments of humor and genuine emotion, but unfortunately cops out with a tacked on happy ending. 3/4

    Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead- Great performances and a quick moving plot that doesn't let you take your guard down. This movie just drenches its characters with misery, and I couldn't take my eyes away. Unfortunately the film failed to completly come together in the end, although I have trouble placing my finger on why that is. I'm fine with films not having closure, if that's the intention, but this one just sort of ran out of story to tell. 3/4

    The Cabin in the Woods (rematch)- A fun deconstruction on the current state of horror films in America. Is a great watch with a group of friends. 3/4

    Lincoln (rewatch)- It just doesn't work for me. While I enjoyed Lincoln more this time, the pacing issues were more evident, as Spielberg cannot decide what story he wants to tell. And that ending goes on forever. 2.5/4

    Bernie- A decent outing by Linklater, but the mocumentary format quickly grows old. And the movie refrains from ever giving a satisfactory answer about who Bernie is, which is a shame because Black gives the performance of his career. 2.5/4

    Seven Samurai- My first film from Kurosawa but definitely not my last. This is an epic in every sense of the word and criterion blu ray looks phenomenal. 3.5/4

    Dead Man Walking- An OK film, elevated by two knock out performances. 3/4

    Requiem for a Dream- This one absolutely floored me. The quick-cut editing, use of split screen, and unrelenting nature of the film are phenomenal. I do believe this could become a 4/4 in the future, but I'd like to watch it again knowing what I'm in store for, because this viewing was so powerful, I'm not sure I got an accurate read on it. 3.5/4

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

      Requiem for a dream is definitely a powerful film that has a lot to take in, and at times is quite difficult to digest because of its candid portrayal of the effects of drugs.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheMovieGuru/ The Movie Guru

    In theaters:

    G.I. Joe: Retaliation- I liked this film going out of it, but after thinking about it, I wasn't as much of a fan. In short, I liked it, but it wasn't great. An improvement. Here's my full review: http://themoviegurusblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/gi-joe-retaliation-review.html

    The Croods- The first half is awful, but the second half was actually really great. Here's a link to my full review: http://themoviegurusblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/the-croods-review.html

    At Home:

    Battleship- Really, really dumb. Here's a link to my full review: http://themoviegurusblog.blogspot.com/2013/03/battleship-2012-review.html

    The Cowboys- An underrated John Wayne film. Not much action but kept my interest throughout. I'm not a Western fan, but I was entertained throughout the 2hr, 15 minute runtime. One problem though, like in all of Wayne's movies, the acting is pretty bad. Still, a good 2hr diversion. 3.5/5

    Iron Man- The film that started it all. By far, the most mature of all the Marvel films (I hope Iron Man 3 changes that) and its still really entertaining. I don't think that it's as good as Captain America (favorite Marvel film), but it's still one of the best. 4/5

    Room 237- The best movie I saw all week. Incredible. Here's a link to my full review:
    http://themoviegurusblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/room-237-review.html

    Watched some basketball as well and am hoping to watch several movies next weekend.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheMovieGuru/ The Movie Guru

      Sorry Brad. I won't put links in anymore.

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

    You can follow me on Letterboxd @ http://letterboxd.com/ragingtaxidrver/

    No movies until Friday night for me.

    - (High 3/5) Evil Dead (remake): I have not seen the original trilogy, but this really interested me in seeing it. While it wasn't amazing, it's concept was intriguing and was overall well executed. As Brad mentioned in his review, the cinematography was great, but I'd like to add that the score was great and was my favorite part.

    - (High 4/5) The Offence: I've always been a big fan of Sidney Lumet, and this film only adds to my likeness to his films. It's a great character study of corruption of a cop and his deepest feelings when interrogating a pedophile. Topped off with Sean Connery's best performance, it's a film that is criminally under-seen and should get more notice.

    - (4.5/5) Falling Down: All he wanted was some breakfast!

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

      If anyone's interested, here's my review of Falling Down: http://letterboxd.com/ragingtaxidrver/film/falling-down/. I'd like to say a full review, but it's not, there's so much I didn't discuss. If you haven't seen it, I highly reccomend it!

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

    In Theaters:

    The Incredible Burt Wonderstone - I wasn't planning on seeing this, but I was in the mood for a dumb comedy and thought this wold do the trick. After all, it has a good cast so how bad could it be? Well, it's pretty bad. I only laughed one time and that was at Jim Carrey when he first appeared. The rest just wasn't funny at all. It also made me hate Steve Carrell which I thought was impossible. He's so unlikable here and for no good reason. I didn't care about him at all and his romance with Olivia Wilde seemed forced and out of place. Her, Steve Buscemi and Alan Arkin are all likable, but there are no laughs from them. Just a very dull comedy.

    At Home:

    Goldfinger - I got the Bond 50 Blu-Ray set for Christmas and finally got around to watching them. The picture quality for Goldfinger is stunning and the other ones that I watched were very good as well. As for the movie itself, Goldfinger is my favorite Bond movie and easy to watch over and over again.

    Thunderball - Not bad, but compared to Connery's other Bond movies, it's not too good either. I like the underwater scenes, but it's not as fun or interesting to watch as Goldfinger, From Russia With Love or even Dr. No.

    Moonraker - You can either roll your eyes at the absurdity of it, or embrace the goofiness and have fun with it. I can't argue with anyone who says it's completely stupid, but I sorta like that about it. I have a lot of fun with it.

    The Living Daylights - I made sure to watch both of the Dalton entries just to see if my opinion changed on them. I still don't really like The Living Daylights because I find Dalton to be too serious as Bond. That, and the acting is bad along with a weak villain. The action scenes are alright, but nothing too special.

    License to Kill - I liked this one way more than Living Daylights. This is a much better fit for Dalton as Bond and he does a much better job here than in Daylights. It almost made me want to see a third one with Dalton. I like the whole "Bond goes rogue" element of it and the action sequences are thrilling. Especially the last one.

    GoldenEye - Another good Bond film and I Brosnan is very good as well. I like his charm and wit that he brings to the role. Sean Bean makes for a great villain and Judi Dench is great as M and I wish there was more of her.

    Skyfall - I loved it the first time, and I thought it held up just as well on a second viewing. The action sequences weren't as thrilling, but I appreciated the direction of the story, the cinematography and the performances a lot more than I previously did. This is easily my favorite one with Daniel Craig and I can't wait to see how Bond 24 is handled. The Dark Knight comparisons don't really bother me because I think the similarities are very well-executed and they never took me out of the movie.

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

      Yeah, I think with 'Moonraker' I kinda just try to bear in mind that Star Wars kinda caused that blip but it's mad enough to roll with and enjoy. It's one that I do tend to enjoy.

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

    I was sick this week, and spent most of my time sleeping or studying. Still got a couple things in though.

    Empty Quarter: a couple of indie directors came to my college to show off their new doc. I thought their 16 mm cinematography was good, but I will say that a film that had little point other than "Let's take a look at southern Oregon with no reason whatsoever" didn't grab my attention. 6/10

    I don't think I mentioned Run Lola Run: loved. The plot was strong, the cinematography was great, the acting was decent, and the direction superb. 9.5/10

    Evil Dead: I have seen the original and enjoyed it, and I know the plots of the latter two through the fantastic Evil Dead: The Musical. While this one never blew me away, I thought the film was quite entertaining. Jane Levy is a fantastic actress-she even almost made me want to see Fun Size (almost). I will say I was disappointed in the script. Even if her story isn't very good, Diablo Cody is good with dialogue. But the dialogue here felt shoddy at best. But the effects were great, considering they did it all naturally. Overall, I give it 7.5/10

    Watched my usual tv shows, and watched Game of Thrones for the first time. Enjoyed, but didn't love.

    And as someone who knows the Ann Arbor area, let me just say I am excited!

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

      Oh hey, you're a Michigandar too?? -Lifts hand in high five position-

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

        High five reciprocated.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HarryFuertes/ Harry Fuertes

    Follow me on letterboxd- http://letterboxd.com/harryfuertes/

    Unfortunately, I only saw four films in the last week including the first hour of Ordinary People which i plan on finishing this week.

    Zero Dark Thirty(rewatch)- An excellent and sleek thriller that blew me away again. Great performances, sensitive direction, gripping story with a quotable script, and some really wonderful cinematography, music, and editing. Truly one of cinema's future classics. It will haunt and disturb people for years to come. 5/5

    The Collection- A really fun and intense horror film with a killer soundtrack, original scares, and impressive cinematography. Everything else though is meh. 3.5/5

    The Flintstones- Eh, entertaining but mediocre. 2.5/5

    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey- Too long and no real development of characters besides Thorin and Bilbo but overall an enjoyable start to a hopefully better trilogy.

    - Martin Freeman's performance was impressive along with the dwarves each trying their best under slim time. Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis are great as usual.

    - The direction by Peter Jackson seems to lack the same cinematic magic of the original trilogy but he manages to direct certain sequences to perfection.

    - Way too long and plodding. 40 minutes could have easily been gone. The pacing throughout the middle was painful.

    - The visuals are excellent including the score and the cinematography.

    Overall, this was one of my most anticipated films of 2012 and even if it didn't really disappoint me, it could have been loads better than what it was. Entertaining and well crafted, The Hobbit was a good but not a great one. 3.5/5

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

      Loved The Flintstones the cartoon when I was kid. Also The Jetsons.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HarryFuertes/ Harry Fuertes

        Well, I loved the cartoon. The live action version sucked.

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

    Ted (2012)

    Shallow, elementary and plain not funny, Ted is the breed of humor you can expect from Family Guy everything guy Seth MacFarlane. Although MacFarlane clearly has a knack for comedy, it feels like he's just ran the gambit of New England-centric humor and everything he has to offer is ultimately slate or retread. The breadth of jokes don't go far beyond white trash, hookers, bong rips and the age old comedy gag: a shit on the floor.

    For a movie that spanned more than 106 minutes of my life, I think I laughed about three times, hardly a satisfying number. Surprisingly enough, the most redeeming quality to this laugh bereft waste of time is the genuinely sweet relationship developed between CGI Ted and Mark Wahlberg's Johnny but it hardly carries the film along nor does it excuse it's lazy plot and character development. If anything it was a much needed band-aid that just barely held the guts from spilling out.

    D

    Bully (2011)

    While I can appreciate the sentiment behind this revealing expose on the often devastating effects of bullying in middle and high school, it's too easy to see the strings being pulled in Bully. Even when a good cause is front and center, it's easy to tell when you're being emotionally manipulated and there is nothing in Bully that is less than a blatant grab for sympathy and tears. Unlike any great documentary, it doesn't present both sides of the story and only really scratches the surface of any one account.

    We don't spend enough time with one individual to really get a rounded view of their life, just disjointed sections piecemealed together into other dissimilar narratives. The desire to capture these moments in a voyeuristic manner is understandable but I was hoping for more of a Louis Theroux type investigative reporting. There are a few genuinely heartbreaking moments but they come across like an awkward victory for the documentarians, the icing on the cake of bullying depravity.

    The ultimate failure of Bully though is the glossing over of the duality between the subjects and their alleged tormentors. Instead of trying to cut to the core of the problem, director Lee Hirsh and Co only cast brief glimpses into the perspective of the bullied and their families, failing to even broach the tumultuous psychology of those on the offending side which would make for a much more rich and deep feature. Perhaps the most offensive and off-putting aspect of the film is the various adults "dealing" with the situation whose views are often so obtuse and nim-witted that it's hard not to get frustrated.
    C-

    Holy Motors (2012)

    French avant-garde filmmaking at it's most eccentric and bizarre, Holy Motors deserves the win for most WTF movie of the year if not the decade. Following the journey of a man who plays different "roles" throughout the period of a single day, Holy Motors plays out like a wild acid-fueled symphony of imaginative vignettes.

    It's fundamentally disjointed and perhaps even pandering in it's quest for the title of art but there is captivating intrigue behind the mystifying theatrics that shamble from scene to scene. Denis Lavant, who plays the shapeshifting Oscar, is terrifically varied in his assorted incarnations and a scene where he plays the part of a sewer dwelling, mute, demonic leprechaun is sure to get a rise purely for it's unintelligible objective.

    While it's impossible to say what is real in this strange world crafted by Leos Carax, one thing that remains is a semblance of the human condition. He's clearly trying to say something, the only problem is it's nearly impossible to say what. In this collage of visual parables there is visionary tact but it doesn't really amount to anything concrete in the end. The question remains: must art have a purpose? Surely not but I like my movies to.

    C

    The Killing: Season 1 (2010)

    AMC's The Killing is a grim, brooding procedural that draws out what would normally be one episode of CSI into an entire season. What it manages to achieve with that is substantial. Instead of quick whodunnit turns, The Killing allows the events to play out like a plodding mind game, building characters and relationships while our expectations slowly ebb and change. By fleshing out all the pieces of the puzzle, every reveal feels more substantial, more gut-wrenching, more shocking.

    Mireille Enos plays Detective Sarah Linden with weathered restraint that is breaks the mold of the traditional female detective. This is an empowered, independent 21st century woman who never resorts to his sex to get the job done. A strong second fiddle to the tactful Linden is found in partner Stephen Holder, Joel Kinnaman, another atypical detective with a junkie past and questionable methods.

    While The Killing had me entranced for the duration of the first season, the finale, although satisfying to some degree, feels somewhat shortchanged and could perhaps even be charged with misleading it's audience. While some have knocked it for slow-playing it's story, I think that is the one thing that distinguishes it from the girth of other cop-drama-procedurals on the market. While The Killing hardly re-invents the wheel, it surely improves upon it.

    B+

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

      Holy Motors=Film. That simple. Not about humanity at all.

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

        I don't understand the distinction you're trying to draw. Are you saying it's a metaphor for film or it's *just* a film?

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

          Metaphor for film and all it's facets in todays world. Genres, acting, the way in which we capture it, and the effect it really has on society today.

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

            I like that interpretation for the film and I know that he's trying to drive at some commentary on the creative process but I don't think it really negates my feelings that the whole thing was disjointed. Also, you have to take into account the fact that Carax admits that Holy Motors was essentially an amalgamation of scraped projects. In my opinion, Holy Motors just didn't all add up to a central statement about said allusive creative process where a film like 'Seven Psychopaths' did.

            I still enjoyed Holy Motors, I just wouldn't sing it from the rooftops.

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

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

    Movies watched this past week, (not the best week)

    The Shining (first viewing): 9/10 – I felt like watching a Disney or a Pixar movie after watching this one. It’s perfectly crafted for suspense, mystery and horror. This is probably the second movie I was genuinely scared while watching. Great use of camera angles and music to induce a terrifying feeling to the viewer.

    Room 237 (first viewing): 6/10 – The Shining is wayyyyy too over-analyzed in this movie but it is still fun to watch even though I don’t think most of their analysis is probably not true.

    Into the Wild (first viewing): 7/10 – A wonderful story with a sad ending.

    Identity (first viewing): 8/10 – An adult slasher movie that is very well done.

    Schindler’s List (first viewing): 10/10 - This movie just blew me away. From the start I was drawn into this movie and it kept my attention till the very end. In all honesty I was in tears in the end. I haven’t had this kind of an emotionally response to a movie for I don’t know how long. The black and white helps the viewer to truly feel like what it was like to live during the early 40’s. The soundtrack in this movie hits the right tone and helps you to emotionally connect to what is going on. I immediately ordered the Limited edition blu-ray that was released recently for this movie.

    2001: A Space Odyssey (first viewing): 5/10 – I am sure a lot of you will be in disbelief right now when you saw the rating. Let me explain myself. When we rate any movie, we rate it according to how we felt, and for me I just could not truly enjoy this movie. I just kept waiting for the movie to end and hoping that it will get better before the end. But it never does, there is no sense of unity in the movie. When a 2 hour 40 minutes movie spends 85% of it’s time with just beeping sounds and slow movie space craft and not even trying to explain what it’s trying to convey, I just was not able to appreciate it other than the music and graphics aspect which is great for a 1968 movie. It is very slow and it did not make sense in the end. What was the purpose? What was going on? For me right now it is a forgettable movie with respect to the story. I will probably only remember the music and graphics. My roommate admitted that he didn’t really like it but he just wanted to be seen liking this movie. I wonder how many people out there feel the same way.

    If you have an explanation as to what was going on in this movie, please feel free to reply to this comment.

    Game Change (first viewing): 7/10 – As much as Palin says this movie is not true, I honestly would not be surprised if it was a very accurate portrayal of her. Russia is right across Alaska so I am good at foreign policy, come on…. really.

    Chasing Mavericks (first viewing): 7/10 – This movie did not do well in the box-office. It is good for what it is, a surfing movie.

    Run Lola Run (first viewing): 8/10 – A short movie with non-stop action. Parts of it will not make sense even after the movie ends, but if you get past that you might actually enjoy this movie.

    TV: Caught up on some of my current tv shows like Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Person of Interest, Hannibal, The Amazing Race.

    Watched some older TV shows like The West Wing.

    Check out HBO’s new show called Vice that airs right after Real Time on Friday nights.

    Da Vinci's Demons which starts this upcoming Friday on Starz looks good.

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

      I used to have the same thoughts on 2001, but I came to terms with it.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HarryFuertes/ Harry Fuertes

      Glad to see you loved Schindler's List. One of my personal favorites.

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

      I watched 2001 a few years back, and remember being completely taken by it's technical works and that's about it. I think it's time I sit down to really watch it this time. Hoping I feel better about it than you did. But I understand your feelings towards it.

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

        i've literally just purchased a used dvd copy of 2001 from ebay, im sure i attempted to watch it when i was a teenager but gave up

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

      I didn't respond very strongly to 2001 the very first time I saw it either. It was years before I came back for a second pass at it because I am a sci-fi guy and felt bad about not really having an opinion on it. But then when I did watch it again it kinda clicked. I had the same experience with 'Blade Runner' as well.

      I don't know if it was the weight of expectations undermining the first viewing or not, but once I tried it again I liked it a whole lot more. Plus the Blu ray presentation is excellent.

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

      I totally agree with you about 2001: A Space Odyssey. I've watched it twice at different points in my life. The first and final sections of the movie are hogwash in my opinion, and I thought that the middle section with the HAL computer was brilliant. Extremely overrated in my book.

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

    Ed Wood: (second viewing) This used to be a favourite of mine, and although it isn't still a film I would consider a favourite, it is quite good. Filled with brilliant performances and great black and white cinematography, Ed Wood is a film I will never forget.
    4/5

    Modern Times: (second viewing) Modern Times is great, although I don't consider it to show Chaplin at his best. It's a great film, but it's not the best one for me, personally. My full thoughts here:
    http://www.everycharliechaplinmovie.blogspot.ca/2013/04/modern-times-1936.html
    3.5/5

    Buffalo Bill and the Indians or Sitting Bull's History Lesson: There's really nothing good about this film. My full thoughts here: http://www.everyrobertaltmanmovie.blogspot.ca/2013/04/buffalo-bill-and-indians-or-sitting.html
    2.5/5

    I Heart Huckabees: Although it had certain message to say, I could not stand how distractedly stupid the stylistic execution was, which overall, made me lose any interest on what the film was trying to say.
    I think it's safe to say...
    I Hate Huckabees
    2/5

    Z: A very decent film filled with great acting, writing and political comments - however, they are slightly drowned out by the fact that the film is fairly predictable.
    3.5/10

    Television:
    Aside from re-watching some Seinfeld episodes I have watched:
    Curb Your Enthusiasm Season Two: Not quite as good as the first season, but Larry David continues to give me my fix of one liners and great Seinfeld-ish plots.
    3.5/5

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

      I didn't find the first season of Curb all that good, but the second isn't anything special either. Seasons 3 to now are great though. Defiantly one of my favorite shows, and the Seinfeld episode is great when you get to season 7.

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

      I heart Ed Wood. Definitely my favorite Burton film, and I love the entire cast -- especially Martin Landau as Bela Lugosi. Bill Murray steal his scenes.

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

    School of Rock: I said last week this was a B+, but I think it probably deserves a B. It's still a lot of fun, but I don't feel as strongly about it as I did. B

    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou: Anderson's darkest, funniest, and easily one of his best. Bill Murray leads an excellent all-star cast, and absolutely kills it (as always). Quirky, clever and charming, just like all Wes Anderson films, The Life Aquatic is a hilarious and heart-wrenching visual delight. B+

    Hanna: "I just missed your heart."

    HOLY CRAP. What a thrill ride! This should be a mess. It should be boring, soulless, silly garbage, but it's not. It totally works. Wanna know why? Let me count the ways....

    1. Joe Wright has the best eye for an action sequence since Paul Greengrass shot the Bourne films. AND THIS ISN'T GONNA START SOME CRAPPY SHAKY-CAM REVOLUTION (SCREW YOU HUNGER GAMES).

    2. Joe Wright. Oh, I already said that? Well he deserves all the credit in the world for making this surreal action indie fairy-tale work. He's a genius.

    3. Saiorse Ronan is a badass. She manages to capture the cold, calculated nature of a killer while still nailing the wide-eyed wonderment of a young girl discovering the real world. It's a damn fine performance.

    4. Eric Bana is also a badass. He and Ronan have this weirdly believable father-daughter chemistry.

    5. The Chemical Brothers score is a pulsating, tension builder that is absolutely awesome. Between Trent Reznor, Daft Punk and them, electronic music is the future of movie scores.

    6. OLIVIA WILLIAMS. She's always awesome.

    7. Cate Blanchett's weird Southern accent, and the fact that she's clearly having the time of her life here certainly help.

    8. The dialogue isn't crappy. Okay, maybe I'm reaching here, but that's a plus in any action movies these days. Here, it's actually surprisingly good. Here's an example below, which, in my opinion, is awesome enough to be another reason to love this movie:

    9. "Hanna, what did your mom die of?"
    "Three bullets."
    I'll just let that speak for itself....

    10. Alvin Kuchler is a very overlooked cinematographer. Between this and Sunshine, the dude has himself some fantastic work on his résumé.

    11. Awesome German hitmen. Need I say more?

    Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Hanna is, without a doubt, the best action movie I've ever seen, and yet it's so much more. It's that rare film that manages to be artistic and entertaining. A

    Dr. Strangelove: A very smart comedy that starts rather slowly but builds to an excellent conclusion. B+

    Clue (rewatch): A fun, late night movie to sit back and enjoy. Very well written and the performances are all pretty great. Much as I hate the term, it's definitely a guilty pleasure of mine. Plus, Tim Curry and Christopher Lloyd! Can't go wrong there. B-

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: A movie that gives the words 'emotional roller coaster' new meaning. So many ups and downs in this one film. I'm not afraid to call it one of the best films I've ever seen.

    No antagonist has ever made me want to reach through the screen and slit their throat until Nurse Ratched. Louise Fletcher should be commended for making her character so strangely complex, and absolutely infuriating. Jack Nicholson is at his best here as R.P. McMurphy. He gets so many great scenes (I personally love the commentary on the baseball game the most) and doesn't let any of them go to waste. Together, they make one of the most fascinating showdowns ever filmed.

    The supporting cast are all great as well, but Brad Douriff easily stands out as Billy Bibbit, it's a masterful performance that should not be overlooked in favor of the leads. Will Sampson also leaves an impression in an almost entirely silent role.

    I actually thought that Milos Forman was a one hit wonder director, but looking over his credits I see he's had a few more successful films, not the least of which is Amadeus. He did such a wonderful job here that I can't wait to check some of his other movies out.

    Ugh, right now that ending is still getting to me. It's like a stab in the heart followed by a burst of joy. So many emotions at the same time. That final image of Chief running away is gonna stick with me for a long, long time. So, yeah, if you're as big a loser as me and haven't seen this yet please do, I highly doubt you'll be disappointed. A+

    Marie Antoinette: BEST. COSTUME PARTY. EVER.

    All joking aside, the first half is quite good, and it's a fascinating approach to a biopic, but the second half falters and starts to drag. Jason Schwartzman is horribly miscast as King Louis XVI, but Kirsten Dunst is surprisingly good as the titular character. The film is distinctly Sofia Coppola, and it looks excellent. As I said before, her approach here to a biopic is fascinating, but it also keeps the viewer from making any emotional attachment with the characters. So, for me, Marie Antoinette is a beautiful film with a good lead performance that ultimately feels fleeting and empty. C

    To Kill a Mockingbird: Before I started watching this I wasn't really sure what to expect. I have not read the book (oh, trust me, I'm going to now) I only knew the touchy subject material the film dealt with and that it was told from the perspective of a young child. Quite honestly, despite it's status as a classic, I had fairly low expectations. Turns out I was really surprised, and I can't believe I've waited until now to see this.

    From what I've been told, the novel is narrated and shown from the eyes of Scout, and while she does narrate (or rather, her older self does) the movie is actually seen almost entirely from the perspective of her brother Jem. That's all just as well, as Phillip Alford delivers a knockout performance, perfectly capturing the arrogance, determination and kindness of his character, and just what it's like to start growing up.. Mary Badham also manages to pour on the charm as the aforementioned Scout, a youngster who is slowly coming to a better understanding of the world around her. Then, of course, there's Gregory Peck, every bit as iconic as has been said countless times before me. His courtroom speech is one of the the most affecting pieces of acting I've seen. Brock Peters is also quite good in a small but pivotal role.

    The script doesn't sugarcoat the details. Sure, no violence is shown on screen, but the film is so emotionally raw and the descriptions and performances so heartbreaking it doesn't need to show anything. You can see on every actor's face: the pain, the hatred, the sadness all seeps through. Of course, that makes the whole film sound depressing, and it's not in its entirety. In fact, a lot of the film is quite sweet, and there's a really adorable ending.

    With all that said, To Kill a Mockingbird is a film that absolutely deserves all the praise it has been given. A+

    The Host: I unfortunately missed the showtime for Evil Dead because I had to work late. I couldn't wait the extra hour and a half until the next showtime so I saw this instead.

    I wish I had just waited for Evil Dead. I was hoping for some unintentional laughs, and there were a few throughout. But, mostly, this was a chore. Terribly paced, horribly edited, and don't get me started on what may be the worst script ever (EVER). Not to mention that the characters are completely unlikable, especially Melanie. Saiorse Ronan, William Hurt and Diane Kruger try their best, but the material is just awful enough to drag their performances down with it.

    Andrew Niccol should be ashamed of the path his career has taken. From The Truman Show to this? It's depressing, to say the least. The Host is easily one of the worst movies I've ever seen. F

    Gone Baby Gone: After all the hype with Ben Affleck and Argo, and my general disappointment with that film, I was a little bit confused about why he was so lauded as a director. Most people seen to think either this or Argo is his best film, so I decided to check this out and see if I did see anything special in Affleck's direction. I'm happy to say I finally get the praise.

    One of my main problems with Argo was that Affleck took no new approach to making a thriller, and the result was like every thriller in the last ten years. Here he manages to craft a story of suspense that looks straightforward but grows more complex as the film continues. He also takes some interesting stylistic approaches in a few scenes, and it really pays off.

    Affleck also manages to get some great performances from his cast. Casey Affleck, Ben's younger, and, in my opinion, much more likable brother, proves himself to be a great actor yet again, as Patrick Kenzie, a private detective stuck between two worlds, he gives a great performance that grew on me as the film went on. Ed Harris is easily the best in the cast here as Remy Bressant, giving a fascinating portrayal of a cop who is willing to corrupt the law for what he feels is right. Amy Ryan also stands out in a small but stunning role as Helene McCready, the drug addict mother of a young kidnapped child. Michelle Monaghan and Morgan Freeman also give good performances.

    However, there are a couple problems. Some scenes in the film certainly stretch plausibility. One of these said scenes is what leads to another scene near the end of the film with a surprising twist, and while it doesn't lessen the impact of that twist (which also poses as a fascinating moral question that you'll be left thinking about), it does lessen the scene and the film as a whole.

    Despite those minor complaints, I found Gone Baby Gone entertaining. It is a tense, at times disturbing thriller that triples as a engaging character study and an ode to city of Boston. B+

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

      You've made me want to watch Hanna again. I don't love it as much as you, but I do really like it.

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

        Thanks, I tried my best to make a fun review that still did the film justice!

    • http://couchpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt

      Loved your review of "Hanna." I don't think I liked it as much as you did, but it was my 8th favorite of 2011 and a really great film.

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

        Thanks, I try! It'd probably be my #2 or #3 of 2011, just behind Drive and, depending on my mood, The Tree of Life.

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

    I'm not going to bother with the introduction today because I just lost everything I wrote (the introduction and 2 movie reviews) because my IPad died while I was typing and I would rather redo the movie reviews. The only thing I'm doing that's different this week from any other week is I'm going to do my revised top 10 of 2012 list because I've made a lot of changes to that. So let's get started..

    Movies-

    In Theatres:

    None

    At Home:

    Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994) (first viewing) (DVD)- A couple weeks ago, I reviewed The Mask and I called it Jim Carrey's best movie. This movie has now taken that title. This is hands down one of the best comedies of all time. I laughed my butt off consistently throughout the film. Jim Carrey turns in his best performance yet. Everyone else in the movie is just ok. My only real problem with the movie is that it's a little boring in some parts, but I can overlook that. So overall, if your looking for short but great comedy that will have you laughing constantly throughout, this is the movie for you. Grade: A-

    This Is 40 (2012) (first viewing) (DVD)- I honestly kind of regret buying this movie because although I enjoyed it to an extent, it was kind of disappointing and I can't really see myself revisiting it all that often. Let's start with the pros of this movie. There are quite a few funny moments in the movie and the performances are all great. I was particularly impressed by Megan Fox who has definitely improved as an actress since her Transformers days. Now the cons. I think one reason I didn't enjoy the movie as much as I thought was because I'm not exactly in the age demo for it. I mean, I really could not relate to any of these characters at all! Another reason is that the movie kept switching genres. At some points it was a comedy and at other points it was a drama and that just bothered me for some reason. Another problem with the movie is it's length. This movie could have been cut down to maybe 100 minutes and it probably would have been a lot better. So overall, This Is 40 is disappointing, but decent. Grade: B-

    Parental Guidance (2012) (first viewing) (DVD)- Last week, everyone said that they were not interested in this movie because it looked like your typical crappy family comedy. I'm here to tell you that it's not. This is actually a funny and heartwarming movie. I laughed out loud multiple times during this movie. If your bored, go rent this movie, it's a good way to spend 90 minutes. Grade: B+

    Sinister (2012) (first viewing) (DVD)- This is a very, very creepy movie. I would probably call this my second favourite horror movie of all time (Insidious is just slightly better). The performances are nothing special, their just alright. But other than that, this is a highly enjoyable movie that I would recommend. Grade: B+

    Zero Dark Thirty (2012) (first viewing) (DVD)- Wow, I am very, very glad I bought this movie. Thank you to everyone who recommended this to me because it truly is an excellent, excellent movie. The performances are all great, the action is very well done and the direction from Kathryn Bigalow is amazing. She should have gotten an Oscar nom for this movie because she does a great job. So overall, Zero Dark Thirty is a great movie and I highly recommend it. Grade: A+

    Argo (2012) (first viewing) (rental)- Wow..this is a truly amazing movie. This 100% deserved it's BP win (it's not my favourite movie of last year, but it was the best out of the 4 BP noms that I've seen). Ben Affleck should have been nominated for Best Director and he should have won too. Alan Arkin should have won Best Supporting Actor, him and John Goodman were the two best parts of the movie. This truly is an extraordinary film that everyone should experience at least once. Grade: A+

    Skyfall (2012) (first viewing) (rental)- Now I will admit to not being a huge Bond fan. The only other Bond film I've watched the entire way through was Casino Royale and I didn't really like it. But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this movie. Finally, an action flick with an interesting and coherent plot and not just mindless action sequences (although the movie does have a few of them). The performances were almost all great (I didn't really like Javier Bardem as Silva, but his performance was the only one I didn't like). The action was very well done. I would highly recommend this movie even if you aren't a Bond fan. Grade: A-

    The Prestige (2006) (first viewing) (rental)- This is now my favourite Cristopher Nolan movie. This is a great, great movie. The performances were great, the plot was interesting. The movie kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. I would highly recommend this movie. Grade: A-

    Ted (2012) (I have no idea how many times I've seen this movie) (DVD)- I think this is honestly the most rewatchable movie I've ever seen. I absolutley love it every time I watch it and I still laugh my butt off every 5 minutes or so when I watch it. This is just a really great comedy that you absolutely need to see at least once. Grade: A+

    Star Trek (2009) (I have no idea how many times I've seen this movie) (rental)- I don't love this movie as much as everyone else, but I still think it's good. It has quite a few flaws, like some of the acting is not so great and it drags a little sometimes too. But overall, it's a decent movie, although the sequel looks much better. Grade: B

    TV-

    Arrested Development: Season 1 (Episodes 1-6)- I had heard a lot of people talking about this show on the site, so I thought I 'd give it a try. This a really, really funny show and I'm really enjoying it so far. I can't wait to watch some more episodes and see what happens next. Grade: A

    Trailers-

    Grown Ups 2- I'll probably still see it in theatres, however it doesn't look as good as the first one and just feels very unnecessary. Grade: C

    Carrie- Now this movie actually looks fantastic! Probably a theatre watch for me. Grade: A

    Books-

    I'm still reading The Return Of The King, I'd still give it a B.

    Top 10 Of 2012-

    10. That's My Boy- An outrageous comedy that I absolutely loved.
    9. Looper- An interesting and very well done film.
    8. Hotel Transylvania- A funny and touching animated flick.
    7. 21 Jump Street- A very funny comedy with great performances.
    6. Skyfall- A well done action flick.
    5. Moonrise Kingdom- A perfect rom-com.
    4. Zero Dark Thirty- An excellent thriller.
    3. Les Miserables- An extremely touching film.
    2. Argo- An extraordinary film.
    1. Ted- The funniest, wittiest, most original film I've ever seen.

    Well, that's all for reviews this week, but it's time for the Q/A section. Here are my questions this week...

    Would you recommend I watch the Ace Ventura sequel?
    What is your opinion on the films I reviewed?
    What is your favourite Judd Apatow film? Why?
    What is your favourite family comedy? Why?
    Which film do you prefer: The Hurt Locker or Zero Dark Thirty? Why?
    What is your favourite best picture winner? Why?
    What is your favourite Bond film? Why?
    Which do you prefer more: Ted or Seth Macfarlane's TV shows? Why?
    What is your favourite R-rated comedy? Why?
    What is your favourite Sci- Fi film? Why?
    What is your opinion on Arrested Development?
    Are you looking forward to any of the films that I reviewed trailers for?
    Do you agree with my top 10? Do you disagree? Why?

    Until next week..

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HarryFuertes/ Harry Fuertes

      To answer your questions-
      1. Not really.
      2. I loved Zero Dark Thirty, The Prestige, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
      3. 40 Year Old Virgin. It's fucking hilarious and surprisingly heartfelt.
      4. n/a- can't think of any right now
      5. Zero Dark Thirty. It's more broad and ambitious and in my opinion more powerful.
      6. The Godfather because it's in my top 5 favorite movies.
      7. I haven't seen many Bond films but my favorite thus far is Skyfall. That's cinema at its finest.
      8. His TV shows. I found Ted to be very dumb.
      9. I loved 40 Year Old Virgin. There's probably others though.
      10. Blade Runner is the best sci-fi of all time. No explanation needed.
      11. I have never watched Arrested Development.
      12. Carrie looks ok.
      13. Ted should not be number one but that's like your opinion, man.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheMovieGuru/ The Movie Guru

        1. Don't know, but probably not.
        2. Argo and Skyfall are my 1 and 2 of last year, so yeah I agreed. The Prestige is good too.
        3. Haven't watched much Apatow, but if Anchorman counts, then.
        4. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
        5. To my anger, I have not watched either.
        6. Casablanca- greatest film ever
        7. 1. Skyfall 2. Goldfinger 3. The Spy Who Loved Me. Skyfall's a Dark Knight copy done right with a few twists.
        8. Family Guy
        9. Nothing off the top of my head.
        10. 2001: A Space Odyssey
        11. Arrested Development is amazing
        12. Neither
        13. I think that Argo and Skyfall are great, and I haven't seen much else off that list

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

        I didn't review One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

        I've never seen The Godfather.

        I've never seen Blade Runner.

        I respect your opinion on Ted also.

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

          Lol, I was the one that reviewed Cuckoo's Nest. He must have seen my review above your comment.

          • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/HarryFuertes/ Harry Fuertes

            Oops, sorry. lol

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

      I endlessly watched Ace Ventura Pet Detective with my buddies growing up. Definitely a classic 90s comedy and Carrey at this finest. Did you see/predict the ending and reveal?

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

        No, I didn't, that reveal actually really shocked me!

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

          Yep - I kinda take it for granted now that I've seen it so many times, but they actually do a pretty good job of keeping the mystery.

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

          The window scene where he pwns the Miami PD is probably my favorite

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

            My favourite scene is the one where he's in the mental institution, I literally could not stop laughing at that part.

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

              Haha true. so many good ones. may need to give it a rewatch at some point soon.

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

                Yeah, even though I just watched it a week ago, I really, really want to revisit it again soon. Did you ever see the sequel?

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

                Yep - another movie I watched a lot growing up. Prefer the original, but worth checking out.

    • http://couchpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt

      1) I haven't seen either Ace Ventura film, so I can't really say.
      2) I loved "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Skyfall", thought "Argo" was good but overrated, "Ted" is really funny, "Star Trek" is one of my favorite action films and "Sinister" was cool. I haven't seen the rest.
      3) I like "The 40 Year Old Virgin" and "Funny People" a lot. They are both funny films that blend drama fairly well. I know a lot of people don't like "Funny People", but I enjoyed it quite a bit.
      4) I really can't think of a definite answer. I'll go with "Mrs. Doubtfire" I guess- I've had a real soft spot for it ever since I was a kid.
      5) "Zero Dark Thirty." "The Hurt Locker" was good but "Zero Dark Thirty" is a masterpiece, in my opinion.
      6) That's a really tough question. I'll have to go with "American Beauty", "Amadeus" and "The Apartment"
      7) The only Bond film I've seen is "Skyfall", so I'll go with that. It was a great film.
      8) "Ted" by a lot. I actually really hate Seth Macfarlane's TV shows, and thought I would hate Ted but was pleasantly surprised.
      9) My favorite comedy, "Heathers", but "American Pie" is close behind.
      10) "The Matrix", it's extremely exciting and the script is so layered and filled with interesting ideas.
      11) I haven't watched it yet, but I plan on it eventually.
      12) "Grown Ups 2" looks terrible, and I'm not too excited for "Carrie" but I love Julianne Moore and will probably check it out.
      13)"Moonrise Kingdom" was my second favorite, "Zero Dark Thirty" was my fourth favorite and "Les Miserables" was my eight favorite from this year. I liked "Looper", "Ted" and "Skyfall" a lot too, and "21 Jump Street" was pretty funny. I don't necessarily agree with the order of some of these but, hey, everybody's got their own opinion.

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

        I'm glad someone else agrees with me about how funny Ted is!

        I actually loved Funny People!

        Why do you hate Seth Macfarlane's shows?

        Just curious, what order would you put my top 10 in?

        • http://couchpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt

          I don't like the sense of humor on Macfarlane's shows. I tend to find his characters annoying, and it tries too hard to shock audiences by being edgy. And they rely way too much on pop culture references.

          As for your Top 10, I haven't seen "That's My Boy" or "Hotel Transylvania", but-
          8. Argo
          7. 21 Jump Street
          6. Ted
          5. Skyfall
          4. Looper
          3. Les Miserables
          2. Zero Dark Thirty
          1. Moonrise Kingdom
          As I mentioned before, "Moonrise Kingdom", "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Les Miserables" were on my Top 10 of the year, along with- "Magic Mike", "The Master", "Lincoln", "End of Watch", "The Perks of Being a Wallflower", "Cloud Atlas" and "Silver Linings Playbook", which was my favorite from last year.

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

            Fair enough, everyone has a right to their own opinion.

            As for your top 10 of 2012, I haven't seen Magic Mike, but I've never had much interest due to what it's about. Was never all that interested in The Master or Lincoln either. I really want to see everything else on your list though.

            • http://couchpotatodigest.blogspot.com Matt

              "The Master" certainly isn't for everyone, but I strongly recommend you check out "Lincoln" and "Magic Mike." "Lincoln" is fantastic and "Magic Mike" is extremely entertaining. I thought I would hate it given the plot and the cast, but it's actually hilarious and has a great story. While the characters are strippers, it really isn't about stripping, if that makes sense.

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

                While you're at it RyGuy, I'd also suggest There Will Be Blood from the same director as The Master. It's a difficult film, and definitely not for anyone, but I love it.

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

                @Matt: Ok, I might give Magic Mike a watch sometime. I think my local library has a couple copies of it, so I can rent it from there. They have Lincoln and The Master too, so maybe I'll give both of them a shot also.

                @Jake: I've heard quite a few good things about There Will Be Blood, I'll try to search it out too.

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

      1. I haven't watched any of them.
      2. I love ZDT and The Prestige, Star Trek is very good, Skyfall is good but I didn't really care for Argo.
      3. I'm ashamed to say I haven't seen any of them yet.
      4. The Muppets, probably.
      5. Hmm, it's darn close, but I'd give the edge to Jessica Chastain and ZDT.
      6. Either No Country for Old Men or One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
      7. Easily Casino Royale, which I think you should give another chance at some point.
      8. I didn't see Ted, but I'm not a huge Family Guy fan.
      9. The Big Lebowski. My #2 would be Shaun of the Dead.
      10. Children of Men, by a long shot. I'd also recommend Alien, 12 Monkeys and, though it's more of a romance, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which blends some sci-fi/fantasy in.
      11. AD is by far my favorite TV show ever.
      12. Not really. I like Julianne Moore and Chloe Moretz, so I'll probably see Carrie.
      13. Like I said, I didn't much care for Argo, or Les Miz, but I loved ZDT, Looper and Moonrise Kingdom. Silver Linings Playbook was my #1 movie of last year so I recommend you see that as well.

      Since you seemed to like Moonrise Kingdom, I'd also recommend you watch Harold and Maude. It's another one of my favorite comedies, and a huge inspiration for Wes Anderson, the director. Thanks for the Q&A, I really enjoy them and am interested in your thoughts!

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

        If you want to try watching a Judd Apatow film, I would recommend Funny People, that's the best movie he's directed that I've seen.

        I've been thinking about giving Casino Royale another chance.

        I would recommend Ted. I like Family Guy, however Ted is way funnier.

        Why didn't you care for Argo or Les Mis?

        I will definitely be checking out Silver Linings when it comes out on DVD. I wanted to see it in theatres, but I never got around to it.

        I might try to search out Harold And Maude sometime, thank you for the recommendation!

        Thank you, I'm glad to hear that your enjoying the Q/A!

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

          I'll probably go through most of Apatow's films at some point. I've heard a lot of different reactions to Funny People, but I'm definitely interested in seeing it. Same goes for Ted.
          I thought Argo was an over Americanized retelling of history that Ben Affleck has stated several times was absolutely true. I actually enjoyed the first hour, but the rest was cheesy and over the top, in my opinion. Especially the ending.
          Les Miserables is a film I did enjoy, but I thought Russell Crowe had a bad voice, and that Hugh Jackman's singing wasn't right for the part. I also felt that the relationship with Marius and Cosette was underdeveloped. I did like Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks a lot, but they only had a limited amount of time on screen. Everything that wasn't during the French Revolution or a big musical number really dragged for me.
          Definitely seek both of those out, they're very much worth your time.

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

            Yeah, I agree that Argo had a few cheesy moments, but I still loved it a lot. To each his own I suppose.

            As for what you said about Les Mis, I know a lot of people found that Russell Crowe had a bad voice, but I thought that his voice was alright. Hugh Jackman's singing didn't really bother me either. I actually do agree that Marius and Cosette's relationship was extremely underdeveloped though. Anne Hathaway and Samantha Barks were 2 of my favourite people in the movie. They were both extremely good in the film, especially Hathaway when she sang I dreamed a dream.

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

              At least you can acknowledge the film's flaws, even if we do disagree. I wish I had enjoyed it more, since I usually like musicals.

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

      1) YES!! It's better IMO

      2) Glad you liked the first Ace Ventura, Zero Dark Thirty, Argo, Skyfall, The Prestige, Star Trek & found This is 40 at least decent (i'm one of the few that liked it).

      3) The 40 Year Old Virgin. Very hilarious, heartfelt, classic characters and just an all-around great movie. I love Judd Apatow movies but to date, this is his best.

      4) Yeah, can't of any right now but I know I have some.

      5) The Hurt Locker is great but Zero Dark Thirty is Bigelow's best achievement to date. The story, performances, scenes, last 30 minutes and just about everything else.

      7) Casino Royale right now.

      8) Ted was funny but slighty disappointing, I expected to laugh more but didn't happen. Right now, i'm sticking to his TV shows.

      9) Superbad because I laugh extremely hard everytime I see watch it, it's so rewatchable. The characters, the classic lines, wildness & story. Bridesmaids & There's Something About Mary follows.

      12) Both Grown Ups 2 & Carrie. I love Adam Sandler and I love the original Carrie, I want to see what terrific actors such as Chloe Moretz & Julianne Moore can do in it.

      13) Just Looper, Zero Dark Thirty, Moonrise Kingdom, Skyfall & 21 Jump Street being on your top 10. I liked Hotel Transylvania a lot & Argo was good. Ted was fine but not in my top 10. I respect your list anyways.

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

        Ok, I'll try to search out Ace Ventura 2.

        I've actually never seen Superbad or There's Something About Mary. Like I said last week, I wasn't a huge fan of Bridesmaids. Melissa McCarthy made me laugh quite a few times and the food poisoning scene was hilarious but those were the only two things I remember laughing at (of course, I haven't seen the movie since last summer so there may have been more funny parts that I'm just not remembering).

        I'm glad to see there's another Adam Sandler fan out there! What's your favourite Sandler movie?

        I noticed the only two films in my top 10 that you didn't mention were That's My Boy and Les Miserables. Did you not see them?

        How would you rank my top 10?

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

          My favorite Sandler film is Big Daddy.

          I haven't seen Les Miserables yet and That's My Boy was fun but not top 10 material.

          1. Zero Dark Thirty
          2. Looper
          3. Skyfall
          4. 21 Jump Street
          5. Moonrise Kingdom
          6. Hotel Transylvania
          7. Argo
          8. Ted
          9. That's My Boy

          My personal top 10 of 12':

          1. Zero Dark Thirty
          2. The Dark Knight Rises
          3. Chronicle
          4. Django Unchained
          5. Prometheus
          6. Life of Pi
          7. Wreck-It Ralph
          8. Looper
          9. Frankenweenie
          10. Lincoln

          Still, gotta catch up on some movies so my list could change.

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

            I'm going to rank your top 10 based on my opinions on them..

            1. Zero Dark Thirty
            2. Looper
            3. The Dark Knight Rises
            4. Chronicle
            5. Wreck-It Ralph
            6. Life Of Pi
            7. Prometheus

            For me, TDKR was really good and it probably would have made my top 20 had I made one. My feelings on Chronicle, Wreck-It Ralph, and Life Of Pi were all mixed. I personally loathed Prometheus, I thought it was one of the worst movies of last year, but I respect your opinion on it. I haven't seen any of the others.

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

      1. If you enjoyed Pet Detective, I'm sure you will enjoy When Nature Calls, even if it is a lesser film by most standards.

      2. Of the films you reviewed, I've seen (my ratings in parentheses): Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (3.5/5), This is 40 (2/5), Zero Dark Thirty (5/5), Argo (4.5/5), Skyfall (4/5), Ted (1.5/5), Star Trek (4/5).

      I really disliked Ted on almost all accounts, partly because a lot of the humor is far stupider than I could have imagined but mostly because the story focuses too much on John and Lori's relationship. It's a tired retread through the "friend comes in the middle of a relationship" story and it just really didn't work for me.

      This is 40 was more bearable than Ted but egregiously long, and the story grew stale almost as quickly as the main characters turned uninteresting, sour, and overly dramatized caricatures of middle-aged adults. As I wrote in my review, if this is what 40 is supposed to be like, please, Lord, save me the pain.

      Other than those two, I liked the rest, with Zero Dark, Argo, and Skyfall sitting among my favorites of 2012.

      3. The 40-Year-Old Virgin is probably Apatow's best feature, barely nudging out Superbad. It has everything he is known for (big heart, dirty humor) but without the bloat of some of his other films. Superbad and Forgetting Sarah Marshall are also big-time favorites of mine, and I personally believe Walk Hard is supremely underrated. It's certainly better than Get Him to the Greek and This is 40. Knocked Up is good as well, but Virgin is Apatow at his finest. I'd call it the best film of 2005.

      4. I think most any animated film could qualify as a family comedy, but instead of going the Pixar route, I'll say The Princess Bride. Great movie, fun for all.

      5. Zero Dark Thirty. It's just a better-made film and had me on the edge of my seat, bouncing my leg, and biting my lip the entire time. It has immense replay value, and although The Hurt Locker is good, Zero Dark blows it out of the sand.

      6. Casablanca, followed by American Beauty or Annie Hall.

      7. I haven't seen nearly enough Bond films to answer this question properly, but I really enjoy Casino Royale (2006) and Dr. No. I haven't seen some of the other beloved ones (Goldfinger, From Russia with Love) in a long time, and haven't really seen many of Roger Moore's Bond flicks.

      8. McFarlane's TV shows -- namely, "Family Guy" -- win here by a landslide. McFarlane's humor really lends itself to an episodic nature, which was another complaint of mine about Ted. Had it been the basis for an episode of "Family Guy," I'd have enjoyed it, but the film was just far too drawn out.

      9. Office Space. I just love it unbelievably so; I laugh every time I watch it and have some experiences to back up those seen in the film, which makes it even better.

      10. I really like Alien and Aliens, among others, but since it does employ some sci-fi elements, I'm gonna go with Back to the Future since it's one of my all-time favorite flicks. It might not be wholly science fiction, but that's the answer I'm giving.

      11. Arrested Development is among the greatest shows of all-time. It never fails to make me laugh, whether it's a minor chuckle or a full-blown belly laugh.

      12. Can't say I care to see Grown-Ups 2, and I probably won't catch Carrie either unless the buzz is decent.

      13. Gotta disagree, mostly because I thoroughly hated Ted, and really didn't care much for Les Miserables (though it wasn't really "bad"). I do like your inclusion of 21 Jump Street, and seem to agree with your opinion on both Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, and Moonrise Kingdom. For reference, my top ten of 2012 looks like this:

      1. Silver Linings Playbook; 2. Zero Dark Thirty; 3. Moonrise Kingdom; 4. Argo; 5. Django Unchained; 6. Intouchables; 7. Wreck-It Ralph; 8. Skyfall; 9. 21 Jump Street; 10. Life of Pi

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

        Oh, I forgot The Princess Bride. Great film.

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

        Of the Apatow films you mentioned, I haven't seen The 40 Year Old Virgin or Superbad. I've seen parts of Forgetting Sarah Marshall on cable, but I've never sat through the entire thing although I did enjoy what I saw. I've never seen Walk Hard, although I had no idea he was involved with it. I liked Get Him To The Greek for the most part, it has a few problems, but it's still funny. I've never seen Knocked Up.

        I've only ever watched the beginning of The Princess Bride, I've never been able to make it any further.

        Family Guy is my favourite Macfarlane show. Do you watch his other 2 shows, American Dad and The Cleveland Show?

        I've never seen Office Space, although I want to.

        I've never seen Alien, Aliens, or Back To The Future.

        As for your top 10, I haven't seen Silver Linings or Django but I plan on seeing both when they come out on DVD. I might rent Intouchables sometime. I've seen Wreck-It Ralph and Life Of Pi, although my feelings on both were mixed.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheMovieGuru/ The Movie Guru

          Alien is slow to start, but ends up being really good.

          Definitely check out Silver Linings Playbook when it comes out.

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

            Yeah, the last hour of Alien is extremely intense.

            • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheMovieGuru/ The Movie Guru

              I watched it once and liked it. Then I tried watching it several more times and could never get past the first half hour. But when you do, man is that movie great.

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

                Yeah, I can't blame you. I liked the first half but it is rather slow.

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

          I did see a couple others below mention Anchorman, which I forgot about, but it's definitely up there on my list of favorite comedies.

          As for Apatow in general, if you liked This is 40 to the extent that you did but were left unsatisfied, I'm almost sure you'd enjoy his other work far more. The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Superbad are, in my opinion, Apatow at the top of his game, and Forgetting Sarah Marshall isn't far behind. And Get Him to the Greek is a spin-off of Sarah Marshall.

          I don't watch either of MacFarlane's other shows, though I have seen "American Dad" a couple of times. It wasn't bad, I just didn't really care to get into it. I don't watch any of his stuff religiously in any way, but I will definitely watch "Family Guy" it's on while I'm channel surfing.

          Definitely do yourself a favor and check out Office Space, Alien/Aliens, and Back to the Future. I've spent multiple lazy Saturdays and Sundays watching the Back To The Future Trilogy, and for me, it never gets old. The first installment is definitely the strongest, but all three are quality films worth seeing.

          I would fast-track Silver Linings, most definitely, and though I think Django Unchained is one of Tarantino's "lesser" works, it's still a darn good film.

          Intouchables is worth at least a rent, though I'm looking to pick it up if it's ever on sale. I watched it one night, went to bed, and watched it again in the morning. If you are at all inclined to watch feel good flicks, it's a great one, but in all it's a fine film no matter the genre.

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

          Since I noticed quite a few others have done so, I'll expand upon my thoughts on your Top 10 by ranking them in the order I'd put them if they composed my Top 10, along with a small bit of commentary on each selection.

          Overall, I think you've got a solid list, with 5 of your chosen films finding their way onto my own Top 10 and another earning Honorable Mention. With the rest, well, different strokes for different folks, I suppose, though I certainly respect your opinion.

          Here are my rankings of your Top 10:

          1. Zero Dark Thirty (5 / 5) -- A massively vital masterwork in the thriller genre, Zero Dark Thirty is likely the most technically proficient film of 2012 and one of the best films in recent years.

          2. Moonrise Kingdom (5 / 5) -- One of the most delightful surprises of 2012, a simple tale of young love that is wonderfully touching and effortlessly enjoyable.

          3. Argo (4.5 / 5) -- A well-directed, well-written, and well-acted thriller that is, ultimately, an immense crowd-pleaser.

          4. Skyfall (4 / 5) -- The best action flick of the year, besting superhero hopefuls The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises by a landslide.

          5. 21 Jump Street (4 / 5) -- Boasting two leads with terrific comedic timing, this self-referential, self-aware, self-deprecating laugher is quite easily the best straight comedy of the year.

          6. Looper (4 / 5) -- A stylish, gritty sci-fi actioner that is nothing if not original and thought-provoking. Rian Johnson should soon become a household name, while Joseph Gordon-Levitt has proven himself a bonafide star.

          7. Les Miserables (3 / 5) -- The first third is quite good, but the remaining two-thirds leave a whole heck of a lot to be desired. Les Mis lags and fails to develop several seemingly important characters.

          8. Ted (1.5 / 5) -- A tired, dull, half-baked, and mostly unfunny retread of the "friend gets in the way of a relationship but ultimately brings the two back together" genre.

          Not Ranked (by virtue of not seeing them): That's My Boy, Hotel Translyvania

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

      1. If you liked the first one, then I'd definitely recommend the second. I prefer it to the first, though I'm not crazy about either of them.
      2. Zero Dark Thirty, Skyfall, and The Prestige are all very good (3.5/4), Star Trek and Argo are good films (3/4), it's been a while, but Id say Ace Ventura is okay (probably a 2.5/4), and I loathed Ted (1/4). I haven't seen the others.
      3. If you're talking Apatow-produced, then I'd go with Anchorman. It's one of my all-time favorite comedies, and I find it to be very rewatchable and the quotability factor is off the charts. If you're talking directed, then The 40 Year Old Virgin. Carell just gives such an endearing, likable performance, which is really missing in the rest of his work.
      4. It depends what you consider comedy, but probably something from Pixar. I don't know if I'd count it, but Ratatouille?
      5. Zero Dark Thirty, though I love both. ZDT is just more ambitious, and in the end more powerful. Hurt Locker's a little more watchable though.
      6. Godfather: Part II. It's my second favorite film of all time.
      7. Though I haven't seen that many, Casino Royale is the most fully realized bond film I've seen.
      8. His TV shows. American Dad and Family Guy have both made me laugh, and the Cleveland Show isn't entirely unbearable. Ted is.
      9. Hot Fuzz (check my avatar). I love both this and Shaun of the Dead, but I just got a soft spot for action films, so this one edges ahead. Can't wait for The World's End.
      10. I know its getting cliche, but Inception is pretty brilliant. However the reason I like Inception has nothing to do with its sic fi elements. In terms of realizing what a sci-fi film can be I'd probably go with 2001, though Star Wars V, District 9, and The Matrix also deserve mentions.
      11. Really like it, though not as much as some. Still pumped for season 4.
      12. I'm cautiously optimistic for Carrie, as I quite like Chloe Moretz as an actress. Grown Ups 2 employed people for a few months, so it was good for that I guess, but as a movie it looks truly abysmal.
      13. Looper, Skyfall, Moonrise Kingdom, and Zero Dark Thirty all made my top ten. Argo and 21 Jump Street are both good, but flawed. I haven't seen either of the Sandler ones, nor do I have any interest to. Les Miserables was very poorly put together and the worst best picture contender for me. Ted was atrocious. Just bad. I smiled maybe once.

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

        I was talking either Apatow produced or directed, it doesn't matter. I think Anchorman is my favourite Apatow produced too

        I haven't seen it in a few years, but I would probably count Ratatouille.

        My least favourite show of his would be American Dad, however I still find it funny.

        I've only seen the first 30 minutes of Hot Fuzz, but I really enjoyed what I saw.

        Why don't you have any interest in That's My Boy or Hotel Transylvania? I would highly recommend both, their both outrageous.

        Why all the hate on Ted? What was so terrible about it?

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

          The only Sandler movie I've ever genuinely liked is Punch-Drunk Love and I guess in the smallest of ways The Longest Yard. I've seen Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy, Click, Bedtime Stories, Funny People, and Grownups and none of them have worked for me in the slightest. Neither That's My Boy nor Hotel Transylvanis seemed like anything new from Sandler, so at best I would kinda-sorta like them and at worst (more likely) I would hate them, so I just let them be.

          And virtually none of the jokes in Ted worked for me. Humor is subjective, so I totally get people liking it. For me however it all felt incredibly obvious and not very edgy. It was really felt like MacFarlane-lite and he's already Parker&Stone-lite on his best days. So what you're left with if the humor doesn't work for you is a poorly-acted, cliche buddy film that seems like its trying to be funny.

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

            That's My Boy is kind of different in the way that it's raunchier than most of his other films. It's his funniest movie, you should give it a chance. As for Hotel Transylvania, it's not very different from his other films, so I doubt you would like it all that much.

            Yeah, I can kind of understand why people would hate Ted. Like you said, humor is subjective.

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

      3 Probably the 40 Year Old Virgin, due to the fact it is more of a comedy than a drama, though I do like Knocked Up and Funny People.
      5 The Hurt Locker, only because with each viewing I like it more and more, I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing happens with ZD30.
      6 Don’t have a favorite as I like a lot of the winners.
      7 Casino Royale.
      8 Ted, mainly because I don’t really watch his shows. I’ve seen episodes of Family Guy, but not really my thing. I did find Ted pretty funny though.
      9 Too many to think of.
      10 Same thing as the above question.
      11 One of my favorite shows, if not number 1. It’s a show I can watch any time and enjoy it, while still finding it just as funny as the first time. Can’t wait for this summer to see how the new season is.
      12 No. Not my type of movies.

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

      1. Not really, but why not?
      2. Im glad you liked Zero Dark Thirty.
      3. The 40 year Old Virgin is funny throughout the film.
      4. Disney's original The AbsentMinded Professor. Good story, good humor, good acting.
      5. Zero Dark Thirty is a much more mature and epic film of historical importance.
      6. Braveheart. It has everything -- war, romance, political intrigue, the sweep of history, and a truly heroic real-life main character. Close behind are The Godfather, Ordinary People, and Schindler's List.
      7. Skyfall. It's a perfect action film that happens to be a Bond movie.
      8. Haven't seen Ted, but a little bit of Macfarlane goes a long way with me.
      9. When Harry Met Sally because of the Billy Crystal-Meg Ryan chemistry.
      10. Hmm. The Empire Strikes Back.
      11. TV's greatest post-Seinfeld sitcom.
      12. No
      13. Looper, Skyfall, Zero Dark Thirty, Les Mis, and Argo all made my Top 10 as well. So good list. I haven't seen Ted, but I can't imagine me ranking it that highly. When I watch it, I will do so with an open mind though.
      .

  • Good Grief

    In cinemas...

    GI Joe: Retaliation

    I can understand why someone would hate this film but, for me, it was 90 minutes of simple fun. Sure, it was cheesy and a bit of a mess but it was harmless and some of the action sequences were very well shot (minus the shaky cam of course).
    With just enough tongue-in-cheek and a tight run time, I thought it was a pretty enjoyable watch.

    Grade: C

    At home...

    The Grandmaster

    Wong Kar Wai's latest does not fail to deliver. I'm a huge kung fu film fan and this is one of the most important martial art centric films of all time. Beautiful, deep, ponderous and highly entertaining. It IS slow and some may dislike the fight sequences but I don't think they're there to kick ass. They're there to show the true beauty behind martial arts. A truly striking film.

    Grade: A

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

      Wow, nice job getting such an early screener for The Grandmaster! I'm definitely very interested in seeing it.

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

        I actually found all of The Grandmaster on youtube by luck, though sadly it has no subtitles. I watched one of the fight scenes and it looks spectacular.

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

          Nice! Is it still on YouTube or has the video been taken down? I might try and watch it myself.

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

            Here's the link
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLaoueWdoG0
            The video quality is pretty good.

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

              Thanks a lot! I'll make sure to watch it and hopefully have some brief thoughts next week.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheXWFOutlaw/ The XWF Outlaw

    Light week for me this time. So I will try to not bore you.

    Unfortunetly I had work all this week & was unable to catch Evil Dead. So next weeks collum will contain the review.

    Only one theater watch this week.

    In Theaters:

    Admission:

    The plot tries to be humorus in spite of itself as the lovable Tina Fey & Paul Rudd try to coax the audiance into thinking this is a straitfoward comedy, (like they have been doing in the tv ads) but instead a melodrama with just the hint of comedic elements. Michael Sheen's forced, played out, show up scenes of just to make Fey feel bad should not have been in the movie. Joyous but underdeveloped, Admission isnt even up to the Princton standards it makes so clear in the film. 6/10.

    Netflix Nexus:

    So happy Cartoon Network/ Adult Swim shows are on now. Im going to try to burn through the ones I like throughout the next few weeks.

    Archer: Season 3 review 7.5/10

    Squidbillies: Season 1 Ep. 1-3

    Holy Motors:

    Still trying to comprehend this one, so next week ill have a review for it.

    That's it this week, so Hopefully I'll have my review next week for Evil "Dead" as well as reviews for "The Host", "Jurassic Park- 3D", & maybe "Temptation" & "42". Till next week. ^_^

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

    AT HOME:
    The Company- a slow film, and one that takes a long time to get into, but upon reflection, it is a very well done film, and one of Altman's most Altman-esqe films. 7/10

    SInful Davey- Not a very good film, but John Hurt carries enough charm to make the whole affair bearable. 6/10

    The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring- Rewatch. This movie is epic. I really can't think of any other word that properly describes my sentiments. 9.5/10

    The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers- Rewatch. The worst of the trilogy, but in no means is it a bad film. The battle sequences and the plot itself makes it a more than enjoyable experience. 8.5/10

    The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou- One of Anderson's funniest, most original movies. Murray and the whole cast fire on all cylinders, and the result is a very, very entertaining and quite possibly great film. 8.5/10

    That's all for movies this week.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheMovieGuru/ The Movie Guru

    I posted some stuff earlier, but I put in links to my blog, so it didn't show up. Sorry. Here are my reviews from this week.

    In theaters:

    G.I. Joe: Retaliation- Well, it finally got to theaters. G.I. Joe: Retaliation was originally slated to hit theaters last summer on June 29 before being pushed back exactly nine months to March 29, 2013. The move was baffling. This was a film that was scheduled to hit theaters in less than a month when it was delayed and was highly anticipated by fans. Paramount cited a 3D conversion but some say the real reason was to put more Channing Tatum in the film. After seeing the film, I honestly have no idea what the real reason was. It certainly wasn't to put more Channing Tatum in the movie. But although the film's 30% approval rating by critics on Rotten Tomatoes says the film didn't get any better over nine months, I'm not sure that's the case. G.I. Joe: Retaliation is still an entertaining action flick. It certainly has its problems, but unlike other explosion-filled epics, it has an intriguing and cohesive plot. Too bad none of the characters have a story.

    G.I. Joe: Retaliation starts fresh from the much-hated original, The Rise of Cobra. This story follows Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson), Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki) and Flint (DJ Catrona), primarily. The film begins with a siege on a nuclear facility. The President's (Johnathan Pryce) new plan is to disarm the world's nuclear warheads. But the President really isn't the President. Zartan is the real President and he has a dastardly scheme behind his sleeve. His first initiative: killing the G.I. Joes. He succeeds in his mission, but the three Joes listed above survive. Eventually, the trio team up with former General Joe Colton (Bruce Willis), Snake Eyes (Ray Park) and another important foe to take down Cobra and save the world.

    First off, before I list off my criticisms, I will say that I really did enjoy Retaliation. It was a fun summer popcorn movie with a ton of good action setpieces and a really interesting plot. But it has its share of big problems. The first is the long lag in the middle of the film. It deals with building the plot up, but it switches between stories way too often and is definitely the least interesting aspect of the film. The good thing is that the dual stories of Roadblock and his gang and the pursuit of Storm Shadow (Byung-hun Lee) by Snake Eyes, come together in the last thirty minutes and make a really nice finale that is exciting and filled with tension.

    There are bigger problems than a slow middle act. Most films have that. Even Argo, one of my favorite movies, is slow in the middle. But most films don't have a character that just pops in and out and honestly serves absolutely nothing to the plot that I can remember. Seriously, maybe I'm forgetting something, but the screenplay of this film gave Bruce Willis not a thing to do. He just shows up and shoots a few people occasionally. It was one of the most mind-boggling things I've seen in a movie in a long time. That's the only problem in an otherwise clever and cohesive story.

    But the biggest problem of the film is character development or lack there-of. There is absolutely no character development and so many actors talents are wasted. We kind of already know the back stories of Duke, Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow but we don't know much about Flint, Roadblock and Lady Jaye. And honestly, I can't say that I learned a ton about them. Roadblock was a little kid who grew up in the hood. Lady Jaye's dad didn't want her to be in the military. And I know nothing about Flint. And what does Firefly (Ray Stevenson), one of the premiere baddies, have against Roadblock? They never explained that. I don't know if they (the screenwriters) just forgot or they didn't care, but it was annoying and noticeable.

    I read in a review of the film that although the film features the destruction of an entire city, it still felt small. And I was watching it, I realized that the review was dead on. It's a real tense film towards the end but the buildup isn't something that feels cataclysmic like Transformers: Dark of the Moon. It's quite different from that but isn't an epic film.

    Besides my criticisms, I still liked G.I. Joe: Retaliation a lot. The best thing is the story. They really did try to make a good story for the film, and you could tell in the final product. There were logical twists and turns and a tension filled final half although you know how it's going to end. I mean, I thought that it was a really interesting story. You might think that nuclear war is something that has been beaten down in films, wait until you see how Retaliation handles it. I'm telling you, you'll be surprised. There's a cohesive plot.

    In addition to the fact that it has a plot, it also has some great action scenes. The two best both involve ziplines. The first is the storm on the Pakistani nuclear compound which features a ton of explosions and shooting. It's a ton of fun and a very memorable sequence. The second is the mountain scene with the ninjas. That is an expertly made action scene and really nice considering the amount of skill that had to take. It's up there with Tom Cruise on the building in Ghost Protocol (although Ghost Protocol is a much better film). Also good is the last thirty minutes of the film which features a lot of nuclear destruction and shooting.

    Another thing that was an improvement on the last film was the fact that it finds the right tone. It's absurd (sometimes a little too absurd) and has a lot of dark humor and machine gun fire. It doesn't take itself too seriously. It's quite a bit of fun when a film does that. And G.I. Joe almost reaches an Avengers-like state where the film is just a lot of jokey fun. Unfortunately, Retaliation does take itself too seriously with its revenge plot and falls short of that happy medium tone.

    All in all, G.I. Joe: Retaliation is a perfectly fine action thriller. It's a fun movie that will entertain you for two hours. Just go in knowing what you are getting. Don't expect something with great dialogue. Don't expect anything substantial. Know that it's two hours of pure action film. The 3D was decent. You could either see it in the format or not. G.I. Joe: Retaliation is an improvement on the original but not an improvement enough to call it a really good action film. 3/5

    The Croods- Behind Pixar, Dreamworks animation has the best track record when it comes to film quality. These are the people that brought us Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar and How to Train Your Dragon. But they have also brought us stinkers like Puss in Boots, Madagascar 2 and the last two Shrek films. It's a mixed bag at some point. Out of all of Dreamworks films that I have seen, their latest effort, the prehistoric comedy The Croods is the weirdest. Not in terms of content, but in terms of execution. It's split right in half in terms of quality, with the first half being a mess and the second half being utterly terrific. It's got a lot of good things going on in the second half and if this film is 100% like its second half, it's an instant classic.

    The Croods tells the story of a prehistoric family called the Croods. They are comprised of Eep (Emma Stone), Ugga (Catharine Keener), Thunk (Chris Duke), Gran (Cloris Leachman), Sandy (Randy Thom) and their patriarch Grug (Nicolas Cage). Grug is afraid of the world and thinks that the only safe place is the family cave. His rebellious daughter Eep wants to go out and explore the world and try new things, but Grug is strongly against exploration. One night, Eep goes out and follows a light. Then she meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds). He tells her that the world is ending and that they must get to the mountain for survival. The Croods then becomes less exposition heavy and more heartwarming and fun. In my opinion.

    The first half of the film is an absolute mess. It's boring, exposition-heavy and just an absolute slog to get through. The best animated movies are the ones that create a world, put good characters in and are clever in their humor. The Croods does two of those things: one throughout the whole movie and one in the second half. But it's pretty odd in terms of creating a fully functional animated world for it's characters and humor to inhabit. It tries to make it seem like a prehistoric comedy and it has some truth to it, but it caters to the ADD generation way too much and sacrifices any sort of accuracy for bright and flashy colors. This is a nitpick but it's noticeable. The characters run around like cheetahs and there are green monkeys, so I figured that I would point it out.

    I don't really have many complaints that I can point out besides the sheer and utter stupidity that is the first half of The Croods. There's too much physical humor in a film that wants to be somewhat serious and it's pretty dumb. I was really bored. Halfway through, The Croods wakes up and becomes a Pixar-esque heartwarming family comedy. It just couldn't get the fire started fast enough.

    Once The Croods gets going, it really gets going. The second half is the culmination of all the ideas and humor that didn't pan out in the first half of the film. It becomes funny. There are better jokes in the second half. It becomes a very heartwarming animated adventure. The relationship between Grug and Eep becomes fully fleshed out and very enjoyable to watch. It also becomes a commentary on Grug's inability to "evolve" and learn to accept new ideas and become a better person. The second half is just a better movie. It's very entertaining.

    The voice cast is good. I don't really judge voice casts because it's a different kind of acting but there were a few actors that I felt were worth mentioning. Emma Stone and Nicolas Cage are really good as Grug and Eep. I don't know why, but they just bring their characters to life.

    My only other problem with The Croods is that it caters to all the latest animation stereotypes that have been brought on in the last few years. It's got bright, beautiful colors and a little creature that makes noises like in Despicable Me. It's not a problem, but I think that one of the main problems with the first half of The Croods is that it tries to make a film out of its wonderful animation. Not gonna fly.

    The Croods is 1/2 a D movie and one half a B+ movie. I think that the first half is unfortunately necessary to get us introduced to the characters (the execution could certainly be better), but in the end it pays off and I hope that they make a sequel. If you're a parent with kids, you'll find redeeming qualities in the second half of The Croods. It's beautifully animated and it's got a deep enough message. You don't see too many animated films like that. 3/5

    At Home

    Battleship- So, so dumb. This movie puts idiocracy at a whole new level. 1.5/5

    Iron Man- Still one of the best Marvel films and certainly the most mature. 4/5

    The Cowboys- A surprisingly entertaining John Wayne film. I liked it quite a bit. 3.5/5

    Room 237- My favorite film of the year so far. In 1980, Stanley Kubrick made his masterpiece of modern horror, The Shining. Today, fans are still obsessing over its hidden meanings. That's the tagline for Rodney Ascher's documentary about The Shining, titled Room 237. The fans definitely do obsess over the film, down to the finest detail. What you get is a really entertaining documentary about a film that is bound to frustrate some because of the pure lunacy of some theories, but will intrigue others. Room 237 sucked me in with the hypnotizing score and endlessly fascinating theories that provide a brand new way to look at a frightening horror film.

    Room 237 is a documentary about The Shining that is divided into pieces. There is no clear narrative to the film. It is really scattered and all over the place. I will argue that it's ability to flip-flop between theories is a good thing. This synopsis will basically describe a couple of the theories. This movie is not a film that you can spoil. I knew quite a bit about the theories presented in Ascher's film but I was still mesmerized by what was put forth. The most plausible theories are that The Shining is a film about the holocaust, with the number 42 showing up a lot (1942- Hitler put "the final solution" into effect) and a German typewriter. The other plausible theory is that Kubrick faked the moon landing and that The Shining is his confession for faking. All of this is presenting with actually quite a bit of significant evidence. Other theories about a minotaur and Indian genocide, I found less plausible. Room 237 not only presents theories about what The Shining means, but it also digs deep into the film's incongruence and continuity along with its sexual imagery and just a total history of the film.

    I honestly don't have a ton of criticisms about the film. Any movie that makes me want to watch it again immediately is good and right after I finished Room 237, I wanted to watch it again (thankfully, I have the rental for 48 hours). It's an endlessly interesting film and you can watch it 500 times and get something different out of it each time. In a lot of ways, it is a autobiography of director Stanley Kubrick and tells of a lot of the reasons he made the films he did. Judging by the 2.5/5 rating on Amazon with a lot of people saying that Room 237 was stupid and that none of the theories made sense. I don't know if it makes me crazy, but it totally convinced me on some of it's theories, especially the moon landing and holocaust.

    Ascher's direction and the way he cuts this film together is phenomenal. For a film that is nothing but people talking over intercut footage, the direction is spectacular. The way that Ascher puts together scenes from films such as Eyes Wide Shut, All the President's Men, 2001: A Space Odyssey and more to tell the story that one of the interviewees might be telling is a truly clever invention. The documentary's pacing is also incredible; thanks to many different things including music, the film moves along at lightening speed.

    The film score for Room 237 is mostly fast paced and intense. But it also includes re-recordings of the original Shining score with a new modern twist. It is absolutely one of the most riveting and terrific film scores ever made and it was mesmerizing. As if Room 237 doesn't suck you in enough, this puts the cherry on top and with this score, you are fully invested in the stories that the interviewees are telling.

    Before I conclude this review, I actually want to review the theories that the film prevents. They do have evidence. Not a ton, but enough to make some of them believable. Let's start with the Minotaur in the maze. This theory makes no sense. The film lost me for a bit here. Apparently, someone decided that due to a Minotaur poster in the background, the film is actually about an evil minotaur or something. I don't know, there's not enough evidence. The genocide of the American Indians is also a bit implausible. The interviewee, Bill Blakemore, claims that due to a Calumet baking soda can in the background, along with pictures of Native Americans, that the film is about the Native American genocide. I felt that there wasn't enough there for that theory to exist.

    The theory that I found plausible was the fake moon landing. There is a ton of evidence to back it up and the storyline fits right with the story that the interviewee presents. The film could very well be about that and the fact that NASA has come after the man who said that puts even more evidence to present that as a plausible theory. I found that throughout the theories that the overarching theme was what the film was about. Coming to terms with the past. Danny can see the past and it's bad but you have to get through that. They address that in the film as well.

    If you like movies, you'll love Room 237. If you like The Shining, you will love Room 237 even more. I will say that I intend to look into this film further and will definitely watch The Shining again. I can say one thing, you won't look at that film the same. All the reviews have said that and they are spot on. 4.5/5

    That's it for this week. Sorry for the mishap earlier. I could see a lot of films this week and hope to but I'm not sure that I will. Definitely Scary Movie 5 and To the Wonder.

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

      Why do you think that Puss In Boots and Madagascar 2 are crappy? I thought that they were 2 of Dreamworks best films.

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheMovieGuru/ The Movie Guru

        Puss in Boots had its moments but Madagascar 2 I thought was just all around awful. There was no entertainment value and I found it pretty unfunny. What are your opinions on the rest of the Madagascar films?

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

          The first one was pretty funny, however I didn't find the third one all that good. The second one was my favourite of the series though.

          • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheMovieGuru/ The Movie Guru

            You gotta love movies. I really enjoyed the third one and thought that it was maybe the best of the series. And I despised the second. But I respect your opinion and understand why you would hate the third and like the second.

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

              Well, I didn't hate the third one, it wasn't an atrocious movie or anything, I just thought it was rather mediocre. I would probably give it either a C or a C+. Just curious, what is your opinion on the first Madagascar?

              • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheMovieGuru/ The Movie Guru

                I like it quite a bit. The third one I liked because of the general zaniness and fun of it all.

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

                @The Movie Guru: Just curious, you said in your review that you enjoyed How To Train Your Dragon. I was wondering why? I was never a giant fan of that movie. Also, you said you enjoyed Kung Fu Panda. I was wondering, have you seen Kung Fu Panda 2? What did you think of it? I personally thought it was rather boring and mediocre.

              • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheMovieGuru/ The Movie Guru

                I liked it because of the story and the more serious tone. However I haven't watched it since. Kung Fu Panda 2 was good once but the second time, it's boring.

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

    I'm really lagging on the movie watching lately...

    Grave Encounters 2: I'm almost embarrassed I watched this. The first is ok enough but this... F

    The East: Zal Batmanglij is such a mediocre filmmaker. Sound of my Voice is the most unintentionally laughable movie I've seen in a while. This isn't as bad as that one but it still has it's unwarranted laughs. We're talking Nic Cage Wicker Man style laughs. But those do subside at points and the story and characters shine through eventually, but it's too late at that point. Brit Marling continues to impress me, especially considering she co-wrote the film with Batmanglij. My final thoughts are just how someone with 3/4ths of a badass last name come up with something so middle of the road? I kid. C

    I don't know if anyone else is a gamer here but, I just finished playing Bioshock Infinite and think it's the greatest story told in gaming history. Not the most perfectly crafted game, but the writing is just exquisite. And if you haven't played the original Bioshock, I HIGHLY recommend that game as well. Both transcend their format.

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

      I've been planning on picking up BioShock and Bioshock: Infinite in the near future. Definitely very interested in both.

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

        I think the PS3 version of Infinite comes with a copy of the original. Mine did when I got it from Best Buy.

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

          I have an Xbox 360, unfortunately, so that won't work.

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

      Oh my god, Bioshock Infinite is incredible. What an ending!

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

        I guess I should elaborate... I loved the game, even more than the original. The game's attention to detail really struck me, as there's so much stuff to look at and explore. Columbia was truly a fascinating place to experience. The story was expertly crafted and well written, alleviated by excellent voice acting. The gameplay was also fantastic, the vigors and guns were fun to use an the skylines were awesome.
        I'd rate it 9.5 out of 10.

        Such a great story made me think about a film adaptation, but I don't think it would work. It would be hard to create the relationship between Elizabeth and Booker. If they could pull off a Bioshock Infinite (or just a Bioshok film in general) it would be awesome.

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

          I'm on my 2nd play through and I love how all the voxaphones make perfect sense in relation to the ending. The ending really blew me away and had me thinking about it for days.

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

            I got all the voxophones (and kinetiscopes and Telescopes, which are boring) on my first run through and thy all fit into the story perfectly.

            I'm playing again on 1999 mode, which hasn't been that hard. I'm just dreading the sections where I have to *spoiler* defend the Zeppelin and fight the Siren.

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

    At Home:

    Rust and Bone (2012) (Netflix, 1st viewing) - Good movie with a pair of excellent performances from Cotillard & Schoenaerts. Marion Cotillard's best performance since her Oscar-winning role as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose. 7.5/10.

    Rise of the Guardians (2012) (Netflix, 1st viewing) - A kind of Avengers version for kids, decent movie. Nice vocal performance from Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Isla Fisher & Jude Law (especially). Rise of the Guardians is a decent watch, I recommend it but not highly.

    TV:

    MLB Baseball, my Chicago Cubs.

    Spartacus: War of the Damned (2013), Episode 9 - 10/10.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/TheMovieGuru/ The Movie Guru

      Go Cubs!!! We'll never win it

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

    I've never seen any of the "Before..." movies so I decided to catch the first two before Before Midnight hits theaters.

    Before Sunset

    For a small little romance its pretty entertaining. By the end you do really love these characters and want them to be together, but thinking back on individual scenes I can't recall a moment I really loved. I think its a film that's better than the sum of its parts. The parts are often very repetitious and a little to hard to believe. We have two people in their twenties talking like college professors it is a little hard to grasp. Still though some of the points they make are thought provoking. Besides their super intellectual qualities, they come off as really real people. Hell the story is very real as well. There is nothing theatrical about this film. I would categorize this as one of the rare films nowadays that aims towards realism than formalism. After seeing this I want to check out more of Linklater's films and am looking forward to seeing Before Sunset. B+

    Glengarry Glen Ross

    Some of the best written films come from plays and playwrights. This is no exception. This was the first time I've seen the film and after seeing it I don't really understand the huge amount of praise it gets, but it is still a good movie. The whole cast is amazing. What a streak of spectacular films Kevin Spacey had in the 90's, right? I'm glad I saw it, but I do not see it as a classic. B

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

      If you want to check out a good Linklater film, watch School Of Rock, it's one of my favourite movies.

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

      Wait, did you watch Before Sunrise or Before Sunset? I love both of them, but I give Sunset the edge because it has moments that stand out but is still as consistent in quality throughout. It's in my Top 10 films of all time.

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

    Here's my Letterboxd: http://letterboxd.com/jchastained/

    TV:
    Shameless US: (season two, episodes 3-12; season three, episodes 1 &2)
    I'm going to be caught up on this show by the end of this week, which makes me so sad because it's been something I've looked forward to each day! Also there's no more until January- I'm going to try not get spoiled for the season finale that airs today haha. Another great, solid season. Still haven't had an episode that I haven't enjoyed (which is amazing). The first two episodes have shown a different side of Frank's relationship with his family- his behavior has been more extreme or aggressive or something and they're showing how it really impacts the kids (that scene in the second episode with Debbie was incredible). Can't wait to see how this season unfolds!
    5/5

    Films:
    Waking Sleeping Beauty: (rewatch)
    One of my favourite documentaries. I just love the insight it gives into a wonderful era at Disney Animation Studios. Since it consists of no new footage (punctuated with caricatures of prominent employees), one of the main marvels of this film is how so much of the history of Disney was captured on video, years before devices like iPhones would make this a simple task.
    4/5

    First Position:
    I've been waiting almost 2 years for this film, and it certainly didn't disappoint. A true delight that will have you as involved as the wonderful dancers it showcases are. Beautifully shot and scored, great interview subjects, lots of fun to be had. Definitely one for the DVD collection!
    4/5

    Trance:
    I still can't decide my feelings on this film. I think I liked it... It's just such a labyrinth of a film, filled with many twists and turns, to the point where you question what percentage of what you watched is reality, and what the plot actually was. My head hurts from trying to make sense of it. That being said, it is a very visually pleasing film and has a captivating first 10 minutes or so.
    3.5/5

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/movieman4445/ Austin Furley

    Pretty light week for me. Second week here!

    Theatres: Jurassic Park IMAX 3D: Wow. This film looks beautiful, to say the least. Had a lot of fun rewatching this one. The 3D was alright, only added depth, but i was so into the story; it did not matter. Definitely a near perfect film.

    Evil Dead: Not big into horror movies, but gave this a shot anyway. Just got back from seeing it and really enjoyed it. Not many scares, but it was definitely disturbing. I plan to buy this on blu-ray.

    GI Joe Retaliation: awful sequel to a god awful series. I will not be watching this one again.

    At home i watched The Rules of Attraction, Alfie, and the original Evil Dead. all good films in their own rights.

    till next week... i will be reviewing 42, Temptation, and maybe Scary Movie 5 if i can get myself to see that garbage.

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

    Movies:

    Rear Window: Great thriller, with all the performances marvelous. It's only in one room for 98%, but it's still keeps you on the edge of your seat.
    5/5

    The Incredibles: A fun family/ superhero film. I always thought if superheroes were real they'd be like this.
    5/5

  • Kyle Lucas

    In The Loop (rewatch)
    Tyrannosaur
    Moonrise Kingdom
    30 for 30: Unguarded

  • ishar kar

    Watched a few films at the starting of the week and then saw a few series.

    Death At A Funeral-

    I saw the original British one (rewatch) first and then the horrible american remake, just to compare the two. The original one is a truly original comedy that I believe is one of the only films create a satire out of a mundane situation as a dead person's wake. The film is directed by Frank Oz who is better known as the voice behind Yoda and is a wonderfully dark comedic ride. 4/5

    The American one in comparison is just plain awful right from the cast to adapting the dialogues as was in the British version which had no effect whatsoever in an American actors, who on top of that looked like they were overacting each and every scene. 1/5

    John Dies At The End-

    A thoroughly enjoyable cult film in the making. Initially I thought the over all look and feel of the film was bit B gradey, but all that was put to rest as the film progressed with some frenetic editing, old school effects and a narrative that was not that incomprehensible as I was led to believe. Will read the book sometime and see how it fares to the film. A very entertaining watch overall. 3/5

    High Fidelity (Rewatch)-

    High Fidelity is one of those films that everyone will have a different view about, though I feel that everyone would enjoy it as well, especially guys. John Cusack was perfect for the part and after the credits rolled I found out the he was one of the writers as well. The supporting cast are also unique and each character is presented very well on screen. From what I have read, the film sticks pretty closely to the novel by Nick Hornby with subtle changes like the location from London to Chicago and the name of the protagonist.

    Re-watching the film showed me that the film had an underlying commentary that is perfect in the world of Internet snobbery and criticism and has something that is a part of us all as we go about commenting and critiquing across different sites, forums, etc. I could as relate to the whole prospect of making lists about things that are dear and something that is perfectly apt for us all. 4/5

    I also saw the premieres of Hannibal and Game Of Thrones and I agree with you Brad and feel that it would be more enjoyable to watch all the episodes of Season 3 over a weekend.

    Hannibal I felt is in the same eerie tone of the Silence of the Lambs and look forward to seeing how Hannibal himself unravels in the later episodes, though the one gripe I had is that the show seems more concentrated towards the anti-social detective than Hannibal which to me seemed strange and may change over the course of the season. 3/5

    Interested to know your thoughts on the show Brad.

  • http://www.fairytalepictures.wordpress.com Satu

    I got inspired by you and started my own "Films of the week" section in my blog:
    (www.fairytalepictures.wordpress.com)

    "I had once again quite poor week within the films. But I did watch the second season of Game of Thrones, so that took most of my Saturday. So I’ll just review it as one of the films.

    Wimbledon

    directed by Richard Loncraine
    written by Adam Brooks, Jennifer Flackett and Mark Levin
    starring Paul Bettany, Kirsten Dunst and Sam Neill

    The first film of the last week was Wimbledon. I’ve seen it before but only once, if I remember correctly. I’m a huge fan on romantic comedies, so I’ve seen most of them, at least the famous ones, more than once. Some of them like 10 to 20 times. I’ve probably watched Wimbledon back in time when I still liked Paul Bettany a lot. And that was after watching A Knight’s Tale. He’s killer in that one. But not so much in Wimbledon. Nothing is really killer in Wimbledon except the cinematography and editing maybe. There are a lots of slow-motion pictures. Very beautiful ones, I have to admit. It felt like the cinematographer has made a career as a sport photographer. But that’s not the case. It just happens to be shot by Darius Khondji, the one of the best cinematographer’s alive (or dead, to be honest). I always love his work; Midnight in Paris is one of the most beautiful films ever shot. Or unbelievable cruelty of Amour or Seven, or the beautiful sliding shots in Panic Room. Yeah, the cinematography is definitely the best thing in Wimbledon. And I did like Kirsten Dunst’s lips. It occurred to me while watching the film that she has a few nice kissing-scenes for her in different films (Spider-Man, anyone?) and she shines in them. Her profile when kissing is really beautiful and that can’t be said of many. Oh! There's Nikolaj Coster-Waldau too! Didn't remember that, so I was pleasantly surprised (read my previous posts and you'll notice I'm getting a bit obsessed).

    Rating: **½ (out of *****)

    The Mummy

    directed by Stephen Sommers
    written by Stephen Sommers, Floyd Fonvielle and Kevin Jarre
    starring Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz and John Hannah

    The other one was The Mummy. I liked it back then when it was released. I still liked it but it does look quite awful. It is probably the best thing Brendan Fraser has ever done in the film industry and Rachel Weisz is as beautiful as ever (though I do think she’s more beautiful these days). Some of the writing is quite funny as is John Hannah’s supporting role as a brother of the main female character. But the special effects are just so outdated that it hurts to watch. And for some reason the film feels really long. I don’t usually use my iPhone at the same time when watching something on telly except maybe some reality shows but while watching this I got bored. Feels to me that The Mummy Ride that I took when visiting Universal Studios in LA was more fun. And for sure more scary.

    Rating: **

    Game of Thrones

    created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
    story by George R.R. Martin
    starring Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Michelle Fairley, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams, Iain Glen, Kit Harrington, Sophie Turner, Alfie Allen and Jack Gleeson

    Game of Thrones. I love Game of Thrones. I’m not sure but I think the second season was even better that the first. Doesn’t really matter because both are amazing. If there’s something weak in the series it’s the fact that it’s only ten episodes per season. But even that’s a good thing because that way the audience can’t get bored. I don’t know. I can’t really say anything proper. All the actors and actresses are on top of their game. The writing is astounding especially because I think the novels are a bit boring. At least I’m stuck with the second book and it took me a while to get through the first one too. And I like reading fantasy. The cinematography, the production design, the editing, everything’s top notch. The sound. I even got myself thinking how beautifully they’ve made the hairs of the actresses. And I’m not normally that girly girl who thinks things like that. But Game of Thrones is the nearest of the perfection that a television series can be. Can’t really say more. Except that I’m glad Natalie Dormer is in the cast. Once a one random person that I met through my work told me that I look like her. I hadn’t seen The Tudors (where everyone knows her) back then and I was so flattered when I saw her for the first time. I don’t really look like her, she’s a tiny thing with a fine body but we do have common features especially eyes and maybe cheekbones. But I still consider her as my famous doppelgänger, so it’s nice to see her in Game of Thrones.

    Rating: ***** "