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Our (almost) free summer movie fest (with notes, of course)

June 29, 2011 Leave a comment

So the desperate good folks at Blockbuster sent us an offer last week. We rent 1 new release (at 2.99) and get 1 free movie a night until July 4th. While I’m not a fan of Blockbuster, I am a fan of movies. And I’m a huge fan of taking advantage of silly corporate moves like this without contributing another dime to their bottom line. So we’ve watched a lot of movies this week. One a night, in fact. For free. Thanks, Blockbuster.

Here’s the list. We went mostly with movies that weren’t high on our netflix list or we couldn’t stream on netflix. I might also point out that I let K make a lot of the choices since I tend to be the one the picks the movies. And of course, I can’t help but make a comment or two about each.

True Grit – loved this film! Great performances. Even though it’s a western and a remake, it felt like a Coen brothers film (which I love). If you haven’t seen it – you need to see this movie. (K liked it too, btw)

Other Guys – This is the first time Will Farrell has been funny to me in a long time. Wahlberg is great, too. Ridiculous movie, but fun.

Kid movie – Rebekah picked it. I’m sure she loved it.

The Switch (aka Jennifer Aniston still plays Rachel pt.100) – I agreed to this b/c I love Jason Bateman. And he’s pretty good in it. Some funny moments, but it’s a rom com. SPOILER ALERT: The whole formula is there. Zany circumstances. They can’t be together. Wacky best friends (Jeff Goldblum is great in this role btw). The heartfelt revelation. I never want to see you again. Soul-searching montage. Reconciliation. Wedding. Weird thing from earlier in the movie is resolved. Happily ever after.

Just Go With It (aka Aniston as Rachel in Hawaii) – See above. Sub Sandler for Bateman (although I’m not as big a fan).

Underdog – Kids got to pick again. I have to admit – I kind of liked it. I loved the cartoon as a kid and the movie stays pretty true. They even go overboard to make Peter Dinklage look like Simon Barsinister.

Tron: Legacy – This just made me sad. First, George Lucas beats my childhood to the ground with the prequels (you know what I’m talking about) and Indy 4. Now, Disney has finished it off by sucking the life out of Tron. Remember all of the things you loved about Tron? Well, they aren’t here. Instead, we get 10 minutes of light cycles and disc battles and then 45 minutes of Jeff Bridges channelling “The Dude” while sitting in the Lotus position and “talking to the sky”. I felt like I needed to apologize to the kids for making them sit through it.

The Dilemma – I like Vince Vaughn and Kevin James. And I like Ron Howard films. My issue with this movie isn’t that it wasn’t good, I thought it was OK, the problem is that the movie that is advertised isn’t the movie that’s delivered. The trailer makes this film look like a comedy. It isn’t (really). There are some genuinely funny moments, but there is a lot of drama and friendship stuff worked out all the way through. Oddly enough, about 30 seconds of the trailer is cut from the film.

So there you have it. More opinion than you want, but perhaps some fair warning. Any suggestions for our last movie tomorrow?

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Categories: films, life Tags: , ,

Prince Caspian

May 20, 2008 Leave a comment

We took the kids to see Prince Caspian this afternoon. It’s one of the five films on my must-see list for the year and it didn’t disappoint. It didn’t hurt that we went to the new Warren Theater in Moore and saw it in the best digital video and audio available. The only bummer was the blackout that occurred about two-thirds of the way through the film and the twenty minute wait for things to get going again. Although two good things came out of that 1) we got to see one of the best parts of the film twice and 2) we got free passes for another movie for the inconvenience. Thanks to the Warren folks for doing the right thing.

On to thoughts about the film.

Good stuff

The action sequences were frequent and incredible. One of the best one-on-one sword fights since Gladiator. The film does a good job of being violent but avoiding being bloody or too much for most kids.

Performances – the “children” again were great. Eddie Izzard as Reepicheep was brilliant.

The look – every background and set were perfect. The creature effects and weapons / armor were as well.

Not so much good stuff

I didn’t like the actor who played Caspian. He just never sold me.

I felt like it was a little long. Of course this may be due to the 20 minute wait and 10 minute rehash, but even with those it felt like the peak happened long before the end of the film.

All in all – I loved the film. I have heard several people and critics (not to say that critics aren’t people, but. . . ) say that the first film (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) was better, but I don’t think you can compare the two films. They are two different kinds of narratives and have to be told in different ways. I applaud the director for making that choice and not caving to the temptation to try and make the same film over. I’m bummed about some of the changes they had to make, but that’s the cost of adapting to the screen.

Looks like I’m two for two. Indy is next! And we get to go for free!

five pieces of random goodness in my world

March 21, 2008 Leave a comment

Just some random things that have been greatly enjoyed over the last week or so.

Film – saw Juno tonight. Incredibly good. Every performance was spot on and I especially can;t say enough about Ellen Page and J.K. Simmons. If you haven’t seen it – you should.

DVD – King of California. Another movie with incredible performances. Michael Douglas at his best. Hilarious and at the same time a movie that really has something to say about suburban existence.

Books – Thanks to my trip to Vegas I got to read Into the Wild and Earth Abides last week. I love it when I have time to read and find great stuff with which to fill that time. Earth Abides is another in my way too long string of apocalyptic novels.

TV – While I didn’t send any peanuts to CBS, I am a fan of Jericho. I caught the first season on the internet this summer and while it had some incredibly cheesy moments, something kept me watching. I’m glad I did. With only a handful of episodes to tell it’s story, the show has really tightened up and has great pacing and storytelling this time around. If you haven’t been watching, check out season 1 on DVD and the season’s episodes at cbs.com

Hoop – It’s tourney time and I spent a good part of the day in the big chair watching teams I care nothing about play basketball because that’s what you do  on the first day of the tournament. And I plan to do it for the second day as well.

Ah the joy of simple things.

top five documentaries that will (should) infuriate you

February 10, 2008 Leave a comment

Over the last couple of years, I have really gotten into documentaries. After watching Maxed Out the other night, I got to thinking about the documentaries that have most struck a nerve with me.

Maxed Out –  On predatory lending and the credit / debt crisis in America.  (good review here)

Who Killed the Electric Car? –  On the different players involved in shutting down the growth of electric cars in the late 90’s.

Jesus Camp –  This is absolute abuse.

Sicko – On the American health care system and other around the world.

Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Prices – This one may just set me off because of my feelings towards WM.

top 20 geek movies

February 3, 2008 Leave a comment

In honor of finally seeing Blade Runner tonight I give you the top 20 geek films of all time as put together by ListVerse. The ones I have seen are in red. Not quite to the 15 that makes me official, but it won’t be long. There was also a pretty good conversation over at The Movie Blog about films that were left off.

20. Pirates of Silicon Valley 1999, Martyn Burke
19. Short Circuit 1986, John Badham
18. Hackers 1995, Iain Softley
17. Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan 1982, Nicholas Meyer
16. WarGames 1983, John Badham
15. Repo Man 1984, Alex Cox
14. Planet of the Apes 1968, Franklin J. Schaffner
13. Alien Quadrilogy 1979, Ridley Scott (I have to give myself .5 of a film here since I’ve seen two of them)
12. Akira 1988, Katsuhiro Ôtomo
11. Pi 1998, Darren Aronofsky
10. Office Space 1999, Mike Judge
9. Star Wars 1977, George Lucas
8. The Matrix 1999, Larry and Andy Wachowski

7. Metropolis 1927, Fritz Lang
6. Brazil 1985, Terry Gilliam
5. Serenity 2005, Joss Whedon
4. Lord of the Rings 2001, Peter Jackson
3. Spaceballs 1987, Mel Brooks
2. Bladerunner 1982, Ridley Scott

1. 2001 1968, Stanley Kubric

Categories: films Tags: , ,

passing on the legacy of Star Wars geekdom

January 12, 2008 Leave a comment

This is something that can probably only be appreciated by dads around my age.

We got our oldest son a DVD set of the original Star Wars films for Christmas and since then the kids have watched each film at least three times with Empire Strikes Back being the favorite (great taste there, by the way). This morning I am listening to the boys run through the house with blasters made out of legos reenacting  scenes from the films and yelling back and forth to each other things like “you can’t shoot me, I’m Chewbacca” and “take that stormtrooper!”. They even offered to let their little sister be Princess Leia. It sounds a whole lot like my house did 30 years ago. It may be time to break into my parents’ attic and get out all of the action figures and other junk that dominated my room for most of my childhood.

Got to go. They made a blaster for me. They need a bad guy. Cue the Imperial March.

Categories: family, films Tags: , ,

top 5 2008 movies I’m excited about

January 3, 2008 1 comment

do you care? probably not, but this is a good place for me to remember.

Thanks to The Movie Blog for the links to the lists from different studios.

Cloverfield

The Happening

The Dark Knight

Prince Caspian

Get Smart

Honorable mention goes to: Yes Man, Indiana Jones, Iron Man, and a bunch of others I don’t know anything about yet.