Monday, March 4, 2013



Seven Psychopaths ***1/2
I Love You Again ***1/2
Rebecca *****
Cache ****
Bernie ***1/2
For Me and My Gal ***1/2
Argo ****
3:10 to Yuma ****1/2


The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers ****
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ****
Moonrise Kingdom ****


Burning Love season 2
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Game of Thrones season 2
Hou$e of Lie$ (one episode)
Parks and Recreation season 5
Real Time with Bill Maher
Seinfeld seasons 5 & 6
Sherlock season 2
The Simpsons (various episodes)


How Did This Get Made?

Notes: I enjoyed SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS quite a bit. Martin McDonough is a smart, creative writer and the film is an excellent showcase of his skills and brilliance; I particularly enjoyed the Quaker's story and Tom Waits' story. Also, I would argue that the film offers more than just killing and cursing; while dognapping to get the reward money is pretty scuzzy, Christopher Walken's character does it so that he can pay for his wife's medical bills. And in general, I would say that Walken's character gets us to feel. His death is also one of the more emotional scenes in the film. A week or so after I watched this one, my older brother, Brent,  texted me and said that he was getting ready to sit down and watch SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS with his in-laws; he wanted to know if it was appropriate. I texted back saying that it was pretty violent, had a ton of swearing, and had one brief sex scene. Brent then replied saying that his father-in-law hated the F word. I wonder if he got through the whole thing.

I LOVE YOU AGAIN was enjoyable. William Powell is obviously a very talented actor and he's very capable of playing both a respectable man and a beguiling crook. Without giving too much of the ending away, I will say that it's well done. You really feel for Myrna Loy in that moment, even though she's standing over her husband, about to bash his head in.

REBECCA, again, was brilliant and perfect. It's a great mood film, completely aware of what it is and what it needs to accomplish. Hitchcock is in deft control, as usual, and it doesn't hurt to have Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine to direct. I loved Fontaine's performance; she's very meek and sweet.

CACHE is one of Haneke's best, if not, the best (in my opinion, from what I've seen so far). He's an intelligent filmmaker and storyteller and I like him for that reason. I don't know that I'd necessarily call myself a big fan of his or anything, though. His films are, at the very least, absolutely worth the time to see. There's a beautiful shift over the course CACHE; at a certain point toward the end of the film, the mystery no longer we are left with is a man who cannot face reality or own up to the slightest bit of responsibility. Also, before I watched, Jeff had mentioned something to me about paying attention to  last shot of the film but of course I missed it. When the last shot was revealed to me, I thought it was pretty interesting, to say the least.

BERNIE started off kinda slow for me, but once it picks up, it doesn't disappoint and is quite the interesting story. Of course most of it is based on actual events, and for whatever reason, that fact didn't fully register with me until around the time Bernie was given his life-sentence. From the little that I've read about the Bernie Tiede case, it would seem that Linklater altered some things to keep the audience on Bernie's side. At least, there's where I stood as the closing credits rolled. #freeBernie

FOR ME AND MY GAL pits Gene Kelly and Judy Garland together. While I watched it, I had the idea of chemistry on my mind, for whatever reason. Obviously Kelley and Garland were two of Hollywood's most talented singers, but I like the fact that the two are never really on the same page with regard to how they feel about it each least not until we're pretty far into the second act.

ARGO is well done and full of tension. Like ZERO DARK THIRTY, I was aware of the final outcome of the story, but was never really briefed on the finer details. Granted, Ben Affleck and Chris Terrio take some liberties, but those liberties go a long way toward improving the film...simply because of the tension that it adds. You really feel for those hostages; how dangerous and terrifying that situation must have been. Of course, in my mind, it would've made more sense to give the Best Picture Oscar to something like ZERO DARK THIRTY, which is the better film. But as we talked about last weekend, who really cares what the Academy decides to call Best anything.

I know I wrote that 3:10 TO YUMA was a great western on Letterboxd, but really, what I should have written was that it's everything a western should be. It hits on its themes without beating you over the head or boring you. The performances from Glenn Ford and Van Heflin are subtle yet powerful. As John stated in his post, Heflin is given opportunities to get out of the dangerous mess he finds himself in, but turns them down to finish what he complete something that he does have some control over. But it's also interesting to note that without Ford's help, Heflin would not have made it on the 3:10 train.

After re-watching LOTR: The Return of the King, I have say, it's beautifully done and I feel very comfortable making it my number one movie of 2003. The emotion is still there for me, even ten years later.

My mom loves to watch THE BACHELOR; on certain evenings I'll make my way past the living room and hear/see some of it as she watches...and I'll want to stab out my eyes and ears. Thankfully, someone decided to make a webseries, BURNING LOVE, that mocks the shit out of The BACHELOR and other reality shows. Even better, the people behind BURNING LOVE are Ben Stiller and Ken Marino. I have a feeling our Ben would enjoy this, considering his love for PARTY DOWN. Anyway, the second season started recently is up on yahoo. Hopefully the first season is up there somewhere as well, because I actually enjoyed that one more...though there's still time for season 2 to change all that. Anyway, it's still very funny stuff.

I can't wait for the 31st of this month when the third season of GAME OF THRONES premiers. Jeff and I have been re-watching the second season in preparation. Although I have a feeling that when the third season does arrive, it'll pass by far too quickly.

I only watched one episode of Showtime's HOUSE OF LIES; I honestly couldn't bear to watch another. I hated it; nothing about the show interested me. Consulting firms aren't compelling. And what's worse, Don Cheadle is asked to go out there in the first episode and completely dumb down the language so that the viewer can get caught up to speed in the shitty, awful world that consulting companies inhabit. For me, Cheadle was a reason to check the show out, but I hate his character. I was also interested in seeing Ben Schwartz but his character wasn't given much to do. I know if I stick with it I'll eventually see more development with his character, but I guess I just don't care enough. The sex in the show is a bit much as well, and seems forced into the script for the purposes of keeping morons and creeps alert. Hell, Don Cheadle has sex with three different women in one episode. I know he's a good-looking guy and all, but goddamn. One of those women is his ex-wife, by the way, and I believe the first line of the series is, "Never fuck your ex." For me, that tells you everything you need to know about this show. Stay away from the things that eat your bad tv shows. And honestly, it sucks to write all of this because Cheadle, Schwartz, and even Kristen Bell (who I didn't mention, but is pretty good in the one episode I did see) are all great and they deserve better too...not just the audience. I'm sure there's a chance that the show improves as it goes along, but honestly, the first episode is terrible.

It's okay, though...SEINFELD also cures my television blues. As with THE SIMPSONS, I could watch the same episodes every day and still laugh.

It took me a while to start watching SHERLOCK, but I'm all caught up now and I realize what I had been missing out on. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman make a great team. But honestly, I was mostly impressed by Andrew Scott playing the role of James Moriarty. Brilliant stuff. Really looking forward to season 3.

Jeff recently brought the podcast HOW DID THIS GET MADE? to my attention. Despite it being a discussion about awful movies, I still find it fun and intriguing. I like the way Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael, and Jason Mantzoukas handle each film. It's more than just a small group of people shitting on a shitty film. And as I tweeted to John and Ben a few weeks ago, listening to HDTGM has me thinking more and more about a CR5FC podcast; I'd love to do it even though I probably wouldn't say much on it...given how little I say in conversation. Oh well, I think it would be a hell of a lot of fun though. Perhaps someday.

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