Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Remember when I wrote that I had a bunch of posts written and stored up? That way I could save time, and write when I had the chance and still be able to post something each day?

Well, I got too comfortable with that and just started relying on the stuff I'd already written. Also, I re-watched THE WIRE. I was just going to do an episode a day and stretch it out for a while, but I forgot how good it is and ended up burning through all five seasons pretty quickly at a pace of two or three a day.

Also, I saw a whole bunch of movies in April and thought I'd let you know what I think. I'm sure you're all dying to know.

SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN - I really like both Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor, but I don't care at all about fishing. There wasn't anything inherently wrong with this movie, because Blunt and McGregor were both great in it, but it was just really, really boring. Also, I've never been in a movie theater as cold as this one in my entire life. Most theaters are always a little cold, I think, but this one was like it didn't have a roof on it and there was a draft the entire time. I couldn't get comfortable. That lessened my enjoyment of the movie, because I'm a 70 year old woman.

THIN ICE - Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin and Billy Crudup had a little Coen Brothers-esque thing going for them. It wasn't great, but I was intrigued once things started moving along. The third act kicked in and it seemed like things were really going to ramp up and we'd start seeing some payoffs. Then the projector broke and the house lights came on. The lady at the Broadway came in and said it would be ten minutes before they could get things back up and running. Ten minutes later, she came back and said it would be more like an hour. We all decided that was too long, so we were all given a free pass to come back another day and went home. That following Friday, when all the new movies came out, THIN ICE was gone. I never saw how it ended, and while I'm not incredibly heartbroken, I'm still a little curious. I probably won't ever go out of my way to catch the end of it, but hopefully someday it'll pop up on HBO one night and I'll be able to finish it. Now if that's not a glowing review, I don't know what is.

CABIN IN THE WOODS - I've written before about how I'm always weary of movies that take forever to actually get made, how there has to be something wrong with them for it to languish in development hell for so long before finally getting underway. I'm usually right, too. So the fact that CABIN IN THE WOODS was written, shot, edited and finished nearly three years ago and has been sitting on the shelf collecting dust was a real red flag. So I went in skeptical.

As it turns out, there were a number of factors in why CABIN IN THE WOODS was so delayed. First, was the financial problems of the studio that originally produced it, MGM. Second, and more understandable than the confusion of the MGM fiasco, was the fact that no one was really sure how to market it. Third, once it had been put off for that long, what was another few months to give it a little extra push. Joss Whedon, the guy that wrote and produced CABIN IN THE WOODS and one of its stars, Chris Hemsworth, have another little movie opening at the beginning of May called THE AVENGERS. Why not put it out close to that and ride some extra publicity since those two are already going to be on the press path. Smart move.

I don't want to say too much about CABIN IN THE WOODS, because the less you know, the better. I will say this though. I loved it. However, if you don't have a sense of humor and a little bit of smarts, you probably won't. It's definitely a movie that you have to "get" and there were a few people that didn't that ended up hating it. I am not one of them. It was fantastic.

THE RAID: REDEMPTION - This movie has been getting a lot of attention on the festival circuit this year and with good reason. It. Was. Awesome. ( I write really well-crafted, thought-provoking reviews here, don't I?) Action packed from beginning to end, it had heart to go along with it. It also had plot points you could telegraph from a mile away, but still. When I was younger, I never cared much for martial arts movies, but they've gotten better and more inventive over the years and I've come around. This might not make its way on to my year end, best-of list, but it won't be too far removed from it either.

JEFF WHO LIVES AT HOME - The Duplass Brothers have turned mumblecore into an art form. Granted, I'm the guy that doesn't "get" a lot of art forms, so to me, mumblecore is just another bullshit genre that I don't much care about. Having said that, JEFF WHO LIVES AT HOME was a step above their last movie, CYRUS. Both movies have casts that I loved, but this time around they signed up Jason Segel and Ed Helms. Both of those guys are great comedic actors, and it seems like this time, Mark and Jay Duplass just kind of left them alone. In CYRUS, it seemed like they tried too hard to subdue John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill which didn't really work. Here, they just let it ride and they got a more enjoyable movie out of it.

LOCKOUT - I didn't really want to see this, but I really wanted to see it. Luc Besson has had his hands in some terrible, terrible movies over the past few years, but I'm always hoping for another TAKEN. Haven't gotten it yet. Guy Pearce is too good of an actor for this and for some reason, everything in the space prison that he and Maggie Grace are stuck on is made of thin aluminum that can be torn apart with bare hands. Also, it's 2079 and technology is super advanced, but they're still working with guns that need to be reloaded and no one has any inkling of how to hit a target. Also, the thin metal walls that can be ripped apart with hands? Totally not susceptible to bullets. They just bounce off. It was bad. And not bad in an entertaining way, either. Just plain bad.

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