Dear Santa, hear my prayer: Please allow me to someday be enlightened enough to pick a proper movie to see on Christmas day. One that will entertain me, lift my weary spirit, make me believe in the magic of the all-mighty, bright and shiny, benevolent God that is the Large Format Digital Experience featuring Bigger Screens, Bigger Sound and Bigger, more Luxurious Seats thereby providing me with the Ultimate Entertainment Experience... Amen.
We have a tradition. We normally, as in more often than not, see a movie on Christmas day. This started as a way to combat boredom and the inevitable OK so now what? feeling that always seems to creep in on the Big holiday. It does help from a distraction standpoint and is a nice way to cap off the holiday that doesn't involve gorging yourself on a huge meal and company you don't really want anyway. Well, there IS the popcorn, but....
Anyway - so, the problem is that we have been on a half a decade run of really shitty, down right depressing Christmas day movies! LOL.
It all started with Matt Damon. Damn him. That guy has made some great movies. Unfortunately, the ones we have seen on Christmas day are not any of them. The Good Shepherd. Yup, in 2006 we trudged through the snow to see what was touted as "the greatest spy movie ever" and were treated to the slowest, most depressing, most boring life a spy has ever known. In 2010 we sat through the Coen brother's rendition of True Grit. I personally had truly high hopes for this one. Having watched the original 57 thousand times as a kid I couldn't wait for a Coen twist. Some additional character development, some great plot maker that threw the original story line on its ear.... Waiting....Waiting....
This year we knew we were golden because we got our crappy Matt Damon movie out of the way at home! See Elysium review in prior entry...
So, we picked something we couldn't go wrong with. A legend. With Keanu Reeves! And we plopped our tired asses down with a bucket of popcorn for Sam to finally see a good Christmas day movie. So, the plot description "a band of samurai set out to avenge the death and dishonor of their master at the hands of a ruthless shogun" pretty much sums it up. Oh, and there is magic. Can't go wrong, right?
Oh....god....why must I be prone to horribly depressing Christmas movies that don't even make sense?
Please note that for purposes of this review I am not taking into account culture, belief, tradition...or even the accuracy of the same. But, first...boring....yawn...why does it take SO long to get to the action? And the point? Second, I don't understand the culture, beliefs, traditions of ancient Japanese society. OK OK, so I guess this review is taking those into account. My, modern, feminist Americanized brain cannot wrap my head around it all. Nor do I want to. But, I could get past it if the action was good. Maybe.
How about the completely, non-climatic end to the ruthless shogun? Or the ruthless dragon-lady, witch thingy? Or how about the lack of tactical logic and planning from a continuation of your society perspective in allowing these dudes that just defeated an army to go belly down on their own daggers as dictated by the emperor's displeasure over a situation the he created in the first place? Blllaaaahhhhhh!!! My gypsy mind cannot compute.
To be fair, this movie is a remake of an ancient tale and prior film versions have been produced so it isn't like I didn't know where the whole thing was heading.
Still, it would be different if the road traveled at a slow speed toward the illogical cliff of customary practice involving stabbing oneself with a Kool-Aid dagger were a little more...entertaining?
On the upside, we DID get to see a preview for Non-Stop, which is the latest Liam Neeson action movie coming out. It looked absolutely horrible...in that wonderful, loud, full of crazy stunts and one-liners delivered by angry ,aging, action stars way. And I will know exactly what I am in for when we see it. Unless there are snakes. I wonder if there are snakes on that plane?
Ahhhhhh...the season of DVD. A chance to catch up on everything you missed because you were too busy to get to the theater.
***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS SO DON'T READ IF YOU CARE***
What I really wanted to rent yesterday was 2 Guns but alas, it was sold out at Redbox. So, we came home with Elysium, being the good science fiction people that we are...
Now, I generally do not read movie reviews because I am of the humble opinion that they SUCK. Well, except mine of course. So, what I'm saying is a may have a vague idea what a movie is about but I bring one home with an open mind.
So, Elysium takes place in the future. A future in which we have done the inevitable and screwed up our planet but unlike in Firefly where all these other planets get prepped for human habitation there is one massive space station that houses all the rich, happy people while everyone else gets to live on the now fucked up earth.
Being a District 9 type movie (same director) I was fully expecting all the moral questions of what happens in an elitist society, how expendable human life must really be, to what limits does power and the threat of losing it push people, etc. etc....
My initial problem with this movie is that it has been done. Many.Many.Times. There really wasn't anything new to the questions or any new spin on the answers. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and that is that. Matt Damon's character is the same guy that we see over and over. The anti-hero who just can't seem to stay out of trouble despite the fact that he half-heartedly tries. And they want you to care about him because deep down somewhere he has a heart, had dreams, really does have a soul.
And then there is the cool as a cucumber Jodi Foster character. Of course we are supposed to hate her! I mean, my gods could there be anymore of an (attempted poorly) extreme example of the contrast between the world of Elysium and earth? She wears crisp, white suits, her hair is cut short and is a perfect, molded to her head white-blond, the sharp edges of her facial structure even more accentuated by the hair and the clothes. This woman is cold and they want to remind you of that with each scene. So, why do I say attempted poorly? Because OMG the black and white extremes of this movie....blahhhhhhh.....OK, we get it. The rich and powerful have left earth and don't give a shit.
To make matters even more neat and tidy, Elysium has these machines that can cure any illness or defect. People have them in their homes, like MRIs or something. Got a broken leg? Just hop in and get all fixed up. These machines can fix other things too. Including cancer and someone getting their head blown half off. Ahhhhhhhh.....Well, of course they can. What a convenient well I can see where this is all going addition to our plot.
But, what bothered me most about this entire couple of hours of my life that I will never get back is that when the movie climaxes and our hero does what he is meant to do and all the unhappy little people of earth are now Citizens of the great Elysium I turn to Sam and say:
OK, so now we have a population problem on Elysium, the earth is still shattered and the guy that built the only place left is dead? All the little people of earth who have continued to excessively breed and kill each other have now been saved and are taking over the BRAND.NEW.BRIGHT.AND.SHINY.WORLD. They have overthrown the entire royal lot and....
I'm not saying there should always be answers in Sci Fi (or any movie). I'm not even saying there should be happy endings - although this movie definitely made an as Disney-like as you can get attempt at one, which is another reason it was uber annoying.
I'm just sayin....blaaahhhhhh. Yawn.
Sadly I do not have a review of World War Z and have missed it at the
theater. I know, right? I suck. Not even worthy of being a zombie fanatic. My excuse is that every single time I was going to go something came up. Now, alas, it is the DVD waiting period. Maybe I will have a perfectly full zombie fall, you know, with TWD coming back on and all...
But, Sam and I have caught some movies over the past couple of
And as a result I have coined a phrase. Remember it because I will use it again. I am in a state of entertainment dissatisfaction. Severe dissatisfaction. This is worse than being dissatisfied with food, clothing or sex my good people. Entertainment is my oxygen. How can this be happening? It is summer for Hades-sake. Everyone knows summer holds the best movie gems EVER. WTF is going on?
A couple weekends ago Sam and I went to see The Lone Ranger. This was more Sam’s choice than mine. I agreed because Johnny Depp was in it and plus there were horses. LOL. I make lots of entertainment choices based on actors and whether or not there are horses apparently….
WHAT.A.BORE. OMG there was nothing really good about this movie at all. It dragged along. Tonto was
basically Jack Sparrow without the spark or the flamboyance. The writing sucked. The acting was…well, no one even seemed to be interested. Simply awful. God. Tonto didn't even GET a horse until the end of the movie. LOL.
So, I thought OK, one bad movie can't be followed by another, right? Well, today I seriously had time to nap in the theater and really wish I would have had that second pint because I could’ve used a good nap. It is summer after all. I am overworked and tired.
Pacific Rim. Really? OMG so I had only seen maybe one preview for this movie but it was getting good reviews (I’m not sure how this happens) from not only critics but movie watchers. The premise is that there are these aliens, see? Only they don’t come from space they come from under the ocean floor and they are attacking the world and they are really big. REALLY BIG. So, we, being the industrious humans that we are, build these big ass hollow robots with “pilots” manning the arms, legs, weapons…
I’m not sure what the combination of yaaawwwwwwnnnnn was for me. I like sci-fi. I like action, and I love crazy visual action and special FX. Character development? I guess it tried. Maybe? It just fell way short in every way. I thought maybe for a minute it was because I don’t like robot movies. Although I loved the first Transformers despite grudgingly going so that isn’t it at all. I liked that robot movie with Hugh Jackman from a couple years ago... So, I can't blame robots. This entire movie was like a wanna-be almost remake of something sort of like Independence Day marries Godzilla only without Will Smith and the humor and holy crap was it suck-o-rama. The thing was with Independence Day for instance – like I still watch it whenever it happens to be on. Great rainy day fun movie. Like, you care about these people. And it is funny. Really funny. But I tell ya with this movie I did not give a shit whether or not any of these people today got ate, or squished or whatever else giant dinosaur-like creatures do to people. LOL. I just wanted it to be over. I got restless leg syndrome going on at one point. I went to the potty twice. The second time Sam tried to catch me up and I said - I got it and didn't care whether I had or not.
Blllaccchhhhh we should have seen The Heat everyone is raving about that one... We won't see comedies in the theater though. We are cheap like that. LOL.
Anyway - reaching for good points. I was damn glad to see Max Martini on the big screen. Love that guy. You have to find the little things in a bad movie, see?..... Oh plus there was a dog. Did I mention I had a beer before hand? Yeah the beer was cold. LOL. I’m reaching here people…. So, anyway now I am home. And being in a state of entertainment dissatisfaction always makes me sad. And lost. It is like a missing link in my well being...
I need my escape and I NEED it to be appropriate and satisfying. Bummer day.
And the previews sucked too! The ONLY preview I would even consider seeing would be the new Thor,
which is not until November. Until then I just may be reviewing TV or DVD rentals…
And I'm not done yet! I (hopefully) have one more night of glorious movie and TV mania from my crazycatladycation and I don't even know how I will spend it yet.
Here is a rundown of my escapism of the week:
Snitch: Oh, god can we just start kicking people's asses at some point in this movie pllleeeaaaseeeee???? C'mon Dwayne. Seriously? This movie was boring. And Shane was in it. LOL. I'm sorry Jon Bernthal will always be Shane to me. Although he was a much better guy in this very boring movie about a kid that gets the short end of the current 1st strike and you go to prison drug possession rule. I disagree with the law. I get the point of the movie. I was just not entertained.
Rock of Ages: Holy soundtrack of my old person life this movie was funny as sh&t. Now, yes, a lot of it is sort of "you had to be there" type humor but if you are anywhere from 42ish to just shy of 50 you will laugh your ass off. Tom Cruise is awesome in this movie - just like he always is when he does comedy. And I'm not a Cruise fan but when he is "on" he is ON. This is a movie that I would lie around on a rainy Saturday and watch again. And laugh again. And again....
This Is Forty: NOT SO with this movie. LOL. This movie was pathetic. The characters were pathetic. Their situations were pathetic. Their lives: PATHETIC. And worst of all these things were pathetic because they had made them that way. AND then the most pathetic thing of all was that we were all supposed to find it funny. I thought of this movie like I do TV comedy in general - it is either that people are supposed to feel better about themselves while watching it because the characters are just as f&cked up as they are, or they are supposed to feel better because by comparison they can think at least they aren't as bad as the people they are watching, who really don't even exist anyway. This was 133 minutes of my life that I will never get back. Well, I got a little back because I fell asleep before it ended. LOL.
Argo: Excellent movie. Shit. That is all.
LOL OK, that is not all. I was a kid when all this happened. I remember writing Christmas letters to the hostages with my school mates. I remember parents talking about it. I actually remember seeing many of the real footage newsclips scattered throughout the movie. Top notch production.
Once Upon A Time: I started watching this on Netflix from Season 1 because I never got to catch it real-time and had always wanted to. I stuck with it for 8 or 9 eps hoping I would eventually like it better. But, I gave up. I have this thing about fairytales. Not a fan. Too much traditional gender and societal role stuff for me and I was hoping they might flip that all on a dime more but it didn't happen.
Last night I ended up watching most of Season Four of Fringe. I had seen most of Season Four but missed the end because our DVR went bad and we lost a bunch of stuff. I have not seen the final season AT ALL and just ordered it so I figured I had better get reacquainted with my favorite defenders of whatever reality we might find ourselves in currently. I had forgotten how much I loved this show. Peter and Olivia. Can these two ever really be happy? LOL. I think not or it wouldn't be Fringe.
I'm not sure what will be next. I have lots of stuff on my list. Too much to watch and I meant to get more random entertainment in my life this week but work ended up being ridiculously busy and I had two evening meetings come up that really screwed with my DVD dates. So, I will think it over when I get my face in front of a Redbox later today and let ya know what I come up with!
Well. I need to rewatch this movie. LOL. Because I love to rewatch awesome movies. The first Star Trek (of this generation's Star Trek) we have probably watched 27 times. It is our "stand-by" movie. One of the movies we pop in the player when we are bored or just need a good movie. So, now, we will have a two-fer! And I loves me some multiple movie watching.
So, basically, as the story goes things get quite personal in this installment of the adventures of the little ship called Enterprise. And I won't spoil (much) of it (OK I am lying so read no further if you care) I will simply say ~ well done. Well effing done. Our villian could have been anyone. But he was not. He was someone that we older Trekster people have ever forgotten. Our timeline shifts, yet again, making the purists mad. MAD MAD MAD like temper tantrum MAD (are you hearing me Sam's BFF????) to which I say....
The love of science fiction without the acceptance that anything you see may or may not be reality, can be changed at any second, can exist despite something else existing in another reality is just....well, you aren't a true lover of science fiction, dickhead.
Uh, where was I? Oh, yes, our timeline shifts, our alternate reality skips, we repeat our mistakes and our words, actions, good deeds and sacrifices. Only differently. Just one more possibility (or several) in my favorite genre where all things are possible.
Friendship transcends time. Courage crosses realities. Actions and words are repeated and felt just as deeply. And even Vulcans cry once in awhile.
****Some Spoilers if you live under a rock****
I really miss Andrea. Please don’t be mad at me I know she was a pain in the ass and annoying and she basically had no sense most of the time and furthermore she shot Daryl
that one time but…
I can’t stop thinking about how I miss Andrea.
I don't know why I miss her I was one of the people who always bitched about her and wanted her to get eaten like so last year ago. Is it because we all need someone to hate and now that she AND Lori are dead we just don’t know where we will filter that? I didn't miss Lori. NOT.ONE.BIT did I miss Lori but was that just because Andrea was still alive?
Maybe. Who knows but I can’t imagine filtering it to any other chick at the prison so maybe it is good that there is a whole busload of people at the prison now that Rick will have to figure out how to feed and care for. I wonder if any of them even know how to load a gun? What will they do? I mean, I'm sure some of them might be useful but the question is will there be anyone worthy of hating as much as Andrea?
So, yeah, back to Andrea. One thing that has been bothering me about Andrea’s demise is the fact
that we have all watched her for three years now and know damn well she can kill zombies. She does it with any weapon she can find but her personal favorite is usually a knife. And a small knife at that.
This bitch loves the wet work. So, how exactly did she get ate by…Milton. Milton? Are you kidding
Yes, she talked too much and too long rather than just getting’to the snipping of the damn wire around her wrists. I didn’t get that either really I mean she knew Milt was eventually gonna die and turn and attempt to eat her brain. Why are you babbling – tell Milton to talk so he can live longer you don’t have to keep answering him!
So, exasperating till the end she was, our Andrea. Just like at the CDC when she was gonna blow herself up with the scientist and everyone was screaming – just let her! Annoying, Exasperating, Ill-Advised Andrea.
Yet she had her moments. And Sam loved her fitted shirts. I think he will miss her too.
OMG am I digging this show. Actually, I am nowhere near caught up to present so everyone DON'T spoiler me. LOL. I get to spoiler here, not the other way around. I think I have three eps to be current...
Anyway, this frakin creepy show... LOL. First, you know, who isn't fascinated with the human mind and how fragile, pliable, soft and easily led astray it can be? And who doesn’t love a serial killer? I mean, as long as they are on pages in a book or the nearest viewing screen and not in your own living room that is.
And who the hell doesn’t dig Kevin Bacon? LOL. Now, me personally I would have watched this show no matter who the bad guy was. Because, ya know, I like stuff that creeps me out. But to have James Purefoy as THE bad guy…. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. LOVE him in just about everything he does and he does this so damn well.
I did think the dog scene in the first episode was disgusting and not needed. Boo. I would like for once
to break the mold of the “10 things that serial killers do” rule in Hollywood and NOT mutilate animals. Isn’t
there ANYONE in the world that goes straight to people? LOL. Just sayin.
I guess this post is premature as I’m not caught up but – OK – really, girl in the basement? You
get outside and instead of heading for the woods you hang around the house for a bit? And for that you find
yourself right back in the basement. As you should. LOL.
Favorite “I can’t believe she is such a bitch” character award goes to Emma/Denise. What an unbelievably cold little skank she is. Although I did applaud a little when she stabbed her mom.
Claire. Do something other than bitch at the FBI and be borderline hysterical. Pllleeeassseeee….
That is all. For now....
….of Camelot. The BBC series Merlin ends this season. Actually it has already ended across the Pond. We catch it on SyFy here so we are still on board for a few more eps. So, my cozy little world also known as Camelot redone, where Arthurian legend comes to life but way differently than the traditional versions, will be no more.
Sam and I are both suckers for anything magical and he is an Arthurian expert who doesn’t mind at all a diversion from the purist path of the “traditional”story.
I will miss this show immensely. It unfolded like a neat little lotus flower with a dragon inside. You knew the dragon was there and would eventually light you up but that was part of the charm. It can be (and usually is at least in part) lighthearted and funny. It can be foreboding and dark. It is PG enough for the family to watch, but interesting enough for a couple of darklings like Sam and I to enjoy. It reminds me a bit of things I watched as a child that no one else was interested in.
Or of listening to the older kids talk about Dungeons and Dragons and wanting so bad to play but being forbidden by my mom to even begin.
There is a great deal of it that is simplistic enough for TV and for whatever reason rather than making me think…meeehhhhh….it makes me feel like cuddling up with a dog (or a gargoyle) by the fire and embracing some kind of innocence. Some kind of thing that says – tell me a story and make it have magic.
THIS show is my Harry Potter.
It presents a different set of circumstances. First, Guinevere is more often known as Gwen and is a personal aide to Morgana who, by the way, in the beginning of our journey, is nearly impossible not to like. Until it becomes impossible to not wonder, as Arthur now does, what on earth happened to make her
so vile? There is a dragon. And a baby dragon. Lancelot is hardly a factor. Until at some point he is.
But only barely. There is an old guy who knows some magic, a bunch of knights of course. But even they are different than historically portrayed. For instance, Gwaine, my hands down favorite knight in the series, has no knowledge of herbs beyond barley and hops (LOL) and his strength definitely does not lessen as the day dwindles.
And Merlin himself is not the wise wizard you think him to be. He is more like a young, bumbling
fool. But he can talk to dragons. And do some mighty powerful magic as it turns out. There are unicorns,
banshees, trolls, horses and swords. There are spells and tinctures and powders, potions and all manner of odd happenings. There are castles and villages, journeys to dark lands and yes, there IS a lake.
All in all this little show has been one of my favorite escapes for the past five years. I’m not sure how I will fill a void left behind from all the stuff above. Except that they hint there may be spin-offs?
January 26th ~ Unfortunately Sam and I are both working this weekend so movie options are out but I do plan to see Hansel and Gretel as soon as I can. And I'm asking, please, for the love of all that is good and properly entertaining in the world can we agree to NOT get the f*cking panties in a twitch about the "witch hunting" and just enjoy the movie? Please? That is all.
So, we finally made it to see Hansel and Gretel today. A blessed afternoon off in some otherwise busy schedules. We plan these sometimes. Do some pub crawling and then hit the theater for some needed escapism. My favorite past-time. Escapism that is...
So, my review. ***Kinda Spoilers Ahead***
This movie was dumb. LOL LOL LOL. And my review has NOTHING to do with the whole witch hunting thing. It just was, well, predictable, sort of boring honestly and visually mediocre (aside from the fact that Jeremy Renner was hot, but that isn't anything new). And I have an issue with people losing their Old World accents after the first fifteen minutes of a film. And couldn't we have been more creative instead of just droppin' the F bomb a lot? I mean, I have a sailor's mouth myself but it just seemed to be lazy writing to me. And lack of creativity in general. Hansel having some sort of magical candy induced diabetes ? Lame. The fact that they were witches. Er, yeah, Scene 1. Figured it. The fact that the lovely strawberry blonde was also one. Yeah, really? The fact that she was gonna die? OF COURSE she was. Uggghhhh. The whole thing was annoying the more I think about it. Even seeing Renner in leather was barely worth it.
And I LOVE bad movies! LOL. I mean, in general I like me some guy movies and some shit exploding (even if it is witches) and well, you would think with the horses and the swords and the magic...
I dunno. Maybe I am having an off day. It IS 11 degrees here and I'm sort of grumpy anyway but the thought occurred to me while driving home that I really could not care less about seeing another movie at the theater until Star Trek comes out in May. I have a 3D Smart TV at home and I could have waited for this one easily and then fallen asleep before finishing it on the first try.
But that Star Trek trailer during previews....oh baby...take me Into Darkness and help me forget shit like this.
I hate gangster movies. Have I said that before? Well, if not, please know that I hate gangster movies. The reasons why are plentiful but mostly revolve around the fact that I grew up around gangsters. Not real gangsters mind you. But, the type. I grew up in a very small, rural, predominately Italian, Catholic town. I was neither.
I am a mix of – let us see….I’m Irish due to migration from England with a good dose of German thrown in there so they say. For this reason Sam believes me to be a true gypsy. I tend to agree, but that is another whole thought process… They also say there is a splash of Native American somewhere. Possibly. Something I found
really cool as a child. But I admit to being basically a mutt. You may think I digress but it is pivotal to my review.
So, gangster movies remind me of every asshole I grew up with. Basically it is that simple. Every jerk off that picked on me, thought they were better, got to eat the little vanilla wafer looking thing on Sunday and be in on the big Secret that I was not. Yup, gangsters.
Gangsters are thugs. They are bullies. And mostly they are not very smart. Evident in the movie there was a point when Sean Penn’s character referred to a fork and the fact that he was happy there was only one because he didn’t have to know which one to use. Now, I am not an overly cultured person – LOL – I depend on Sam to tell me where to put the silver for parties. But, in combination with the rest of the film that comment simply said to me – stupid, bully with a gun. Pleeeaaassseeee someone shoot this fucker
Gangsters don’t care about much of anything but themselves and I am not sure what makes that villain different from villains that I do enjoy watching, like, I dunno, possessive demons or seekers of the One Ring, but gangsters make me angry from the moment I sit down in my seat to the moment that they hopefully, just die. Yet the thing that I hate most about gangster movies is that even if that happens I don't feel better. Because I know deep down there is always another gangster out there. Always.
I suppose most of my reviews have a personal bias. LOL. That is what makes them MY reviews. So, if you aren’t a fan of gangster movies in general, this isn’t a movie like The Departed for instance, that will surprise you and make you forget it is basically a gangster movie. But, this movie is about some guys who are different and do, in their own way, stand up to bullies. And I suppose that what it might be about is what some gangster movies are about. Justice in odd forms. And I admit Ryan Gosling was adorable. And I dug the way Emma Stone (and any other female seen at a glance as it was mostly a male cast) actually looked, you know, like girls. Yum. And an unexpected surprise with Michael Pena. Love him. So, as a gangster movie, not bad. But, still. A gangster movie.
Escaping reality - one movie, book, fantasy at a time :)