The Hangover - One word: Hilarious.
The Hangover - One word: Hilarious.
Four Christmases - I wanted to like it, but I really didn't. There were so many distasteful aspects to the characters that the glimmer of redeeming qualities really couldn't compensate.
This weekend I watched Every Little Step, a documentary about the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line a few years back. It included footage of the original cast and the audio recordings Michael Bennett based the show on. I'm a huge musical nut, so I loved it! It was fun to see some of the original people involved, including the fabulous Donna McKechnie. It was also fun to see Tyce Diorio, who is such a douche, NOT get the role of Mike because he was such a, well, douche in the auditions. It was embarrassing to watch him act that way, but he probably wouldn't have the sense to be embarrassed. Anyway, it was a terrific movie. So much fun to see the whole show come together and I was happy to see the producers cast all the actors I liked best!
The Orphanage (El Orfanato) - A Spanish horror/mystery film. It was very well done. Plenty of jump in your seat moments, but not gory at all. The story had some nice unexpected turns, and it didn't feel like the same old story to me. The lead actress BelÚn Rueda is quite striking. I won't comment on how it left me feeling because I think it would give away the ending! Apparently they are already planning a English-lanuage remake, but I would suggest watching this one because it was very good.
Capitalism: A Love Story - I like Michael Moore and I appreciate that he tackles some tough issues. On the other hand, I started becoming more skeptical of him when I watched Sicko and this film didn't do much to change my feelings. The foreclosure crisis has definitely been awful and has put hardworking people on the street. However, if you took Moore's story at face value you would only see the most tragic side of the story. He says nothing about greedy people who bought homes they could not afford and then had to give them up. Or people who signed on the dotted line for an adjustable rate mortgage because they only saw the low starting interest rate and banked on the idea that it would never increase. Even he touches on issues that make me think "I want to do something about that", I am left feeling pessimistic rather than feeling like I'm armed with the information to take action.
The Box - Set in the 70's, a couple finds a box on their doorstep. If they push the button on the box, they receive a million dollars but someone somewhere will die. Sounded good but it turned into some strange sci-fi thing involving NASA and aliens and other random weirdness. It completely sucked. Cameron Diaz should fire her agent over this one.
Paris - just watched this one today. A nice little ensemble piece with Juliette Binoche, who I love. Set in (duh) Paris and telling the stories of a number of interconnected people. Like most of these types of movies, some stories were better than others, but I still really enjoyed it. Plus, it also starred the very fabulous Romain Duris, who I could watch all day long.
I've been watching a lot of documentaries lately, including The Rape of Europa about Nazi art theft and Suzanne Farrell: Elusive Muse about Suzanne Farrell's years as Mr. Balanchine's muse. Really good stuff. :up Right now I'm about halfway through a series called Russians Deprived of Russia, which is about Russians who fought against the Bolsheviks and were forced to leave their country when the Red Army triumphed. The host/narrator is Nikita Mikhalkov, whose film Burnt by the Sun is one of my favorites. The series is on YouTube of all places, in 33 parts! :lol Each part is 10 minutes long and doesn't end at a natural stopping point, so I keep clicking to watch the next one! Really interesting, although it makes me sad I didn't keep up with my Russian...of course, it also makes me sad because the story is so awful in most cases. So tragic, but beautiful....so...Russian.
Also from Netflix this week:
The Hangover - It was good, but probably would have liked it better if there hadn't been so much talk about how great and funny it is. Still, I'm happy to watch Bradley Cooper for 90 minutes.
Up in the Air - Fantastic! I loved George Clooney and I thought Anna Kendrick was terrific. I don't quite get the award nominations for Vera Farminga. Maybe she got nommed because the other two did and the movie was so well-received, critically. Still, I just didn't see the big deal with her performance. Overall though, I really liked this one. A definite :up
Way late seeing Zombieland, but it was so worth it - the husband and I howled through the whole thing, particularly the "rules" and the Bill Murray bit. :up :up Also watched District 9, which I thought was great - but no one's renting it in spite of the Oscar nom, there were lots of copies at Blockbuster. :shrug
I tried to watch District 9 but the bugs were too intense for me. I did rent 2012 for last evening and I thought I might be looking at Independence Day without the aliens, but was pleasantly surprised. The science was specious, of course, but the action was non-stop and the ending, while predictable, made me want to see more. I enjoyed it very much - not in the category of Star Trek, but enjoyable none the less.
Love Happens It has Jennifer Anniston, and that guy from "No Reservations". It was okay. The male lead is a motivational speaker who helps people deal with the loss of loved ones... he sort of fell into the role after his wife died in a car accident. Jennifer Anniston runs a flower shop. I thought the movie would focus more on the love relationship between the 2 main characters than it does. The movie turns out to be 2/3 about dealing with the loss of loved ones, and 1/3 about the relationship. I think I would have liked it better if the proportions had been more equal or reversed. Anyways, I still got my $1.08 rental fee worth!
The first time I discovered Stanley Tucci was in a comedy with Kathleen Turner and Dennis Quaid titled Undercover Blues (1993). If you are a fan, check out his role as El Muerte. I'm re-watching Julie/Julia and I have Stanley on the brain.