The Killing of a Chinese Bookie ****
Touch of Evil ****1/2
Diary of a Country Priest ****
Holy Motors ****
Beasts of the Southern Wild ***
To Rome with Love ***
Zero Dark Thirty ****
Rust & Bone ***1/2
Premium Rush ***
Killer Joe ***
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring ****
30 Rock season 7
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Homeland seasons 1 and 2
Parks and Recreation season 5
Sherlock seasons 1 & 2
The Simpsons (various episodes)
The Twilight Zone (1 episode)
You Bet Your Life (1 episode)
Notes: John wanted me to review The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
after logging it on Letterboxd. I'm afraid I'd only
disappoint; I don't have much to say, but I did like it quite a bit. Ben
Gazzara's performance is great; he really embodies his character,
Cosmo. And one can't help but pity him; he's a decent guy (considering
the fact that he's a strip club owner) who gets in way over his head. But really, he
gets in over his head because he's awful with money. I really like the
scenes early on in the film when Cosmo's celebrating the fact that he's paid off one of his long-standing debts - he dresses in a tuxedo and, accompanied by two of his girls, takes a
limo to a card game...where he immediately falls back in the hole. Anyway, I
enjoyed it and I really like Cassavetes' style now that I've seen two of his films (this and Shadows).
Touch of Evil is really good and I'd see it again if I had a copy of the DVD. It moves pretty fast initially, but because it's intriguing you never feel like staying lost in the details; it's a film that makes you want to catch up to speed. And once you do, it's a very enjoyable ride.
Diary of a Country Priest was Jeff's number one movie of all-time. I can understand why Jeff and others regard it so highly; it's very well done. But obviously my four star rating indicates that I don't exactly agree with Jeff on the film. Oh, well. Guess we have to disagree on something.
I have ratings for the 2012 films above, but I'm still going to remain silent on them for now. I want to post my top ten list (soon, I hope) without tipping my hand. I'm not sure how set in stone those above ratings are anyway. Maybe sometime in the near future, Ben and I will discuss To Rome with Love and Beasts of the Southern Wild. I ended up being somewhat pleasantly surprised by both.
I re-watched The Fellowship of the Ring because I bought the Lord of the Rings: Motion Picture Trilogy on blu-ray; I didn't really care about buying the extended versions and goddamn are they expensive. It had been a few years since I last watched the Fellowship; it's also the one I've seen the least amount of times (3 or 4 times...something like that). Still very enjoyable. Glad I now own the trilogy on blu-ray.
January saw the end of one of the funniest television shows I've ever watched: 30 Rock. It was a great seven year run. I was pretty critical of seasons five and six, but I really enjoyed the final season. Many of the episodes had me laughing from beginning to end. I'm really thankful for this show; it provided innumerable moments of fun and hilarity. Great cast, great characters, great writing...and like the The Simpsons seasons of the mid 90s, the show averaged a large amount of jokes per minute. I'm really going to miss this show, but thanks the DVD sets that I own, I'll continue to re-watch the show.
I moved through Homeland pretty quickly. It's an interesting show and was easy to marathon. It isn't the greatest drama I've seen but it's more than serviceable. I'll probably write more on this show in the future; it's between seasons right now, so no one's really talking about it anyway.
Lookwell is a pilot that Conan O'Brien and Robert Smiegel wrote in the late 80s/early 90s. I saw a link to the pilot (which is up on youtube) from AV Club. Anyway, it stars Adam West and he plays a washed actor, Lookwell, who used to star on a cop drama in the 70s. Now Lookwell spends his time teaching acting classes and trying to solve actual crimes, which he is quite inept at. It's worth checking out, and it would've been nice had it been picked up and more episodes had been made.
I'm enjoying Sherlock quite a bit. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman make a good team. I only have one episode left to watch before I'm caught all caught up.
I've been slacking on the Twilight Zone stuff. I'm normally a procrastinator so it's tough for me to watch an episode before the deadline day of when everyone's supposed to have posted it. So when I did post for that first episode, everyone had already moved on the next one and I was left out of the discussion. I really blame John, though. He's a big meanie...or a blue meanie. My Beatles acid trips get me all confused sometimes.
I watched an episode of You Bet Your Life because I was desperate for some Groucho. It just might be time for me to re-watch a Marx brothers film. Maybe Duck Soup or Horse Feathers.
"Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others."