Movies

Prometheus: Two Reviews

Kris and I took a day off work to go see Prometheus on opening day, so eager were we to see the new sci-fi film by Ridley Scott, creator of Alien and Blade Runner. I’ve written two reviews, and here’s the first one:

It’s a good, entertaining monster movie, but not the landmark piece of science-fiction I was hoping for.

Okay, now onto the second review, which is absolutely filled with spoilers, because despite my disappointment in the film as a whole, it was very entertaining, and it is a great deal of fun to talk about in detail.

Spoilerslots of them — below.

[Read more...]

Movies

Summer Movie Fantasy League: Wrap-Up

So! The long, stupid summer of stupid summer movies is winding to a end, and we can now more or less officially close the book on our First Annual Summer Movie Fantasy League.

Heading into August, I only had about an $8 million box office lead over Kris, and we each had a movie left: I had Captain America, and she had Cowboys & Aliens. CA set a high mark with a $65 million domestic opening weekend, and C&A just couldn’t match it, coming in with a little over $36 million.

[Read more...]

Movies

Captain America Is A Movie I Looked At

We went to a 3-D showing of Captain America this weekend, which, as promised, featured Captain America, eventually.

I guess I’m a little tired of superhero origin stories. I kind of wish they’d just start making the sequel right out of the gate and skip the origin movie. (And with The Amazing Spider-Man coming, we’re going to have to sit through his damn origin story, again, even though we did it already about ten years ago. Snore. I say this, of course, as if I have no choice but to watch these films. But I’m a dork, so I kind of don’t.)

[Read more...]

Lady Business | Movies | Netflix

Lady Business: Through Being Cool

(For any newcomers, a quick word: My wife, Kris, writes a column here every Friday under the heading “Lady Business.” — Chris)

I’ve never been cool a day in my life. I’ve been known to have my very occasional moments of coolness, but they end in a heartbeat. One moment, I’m letting a witty rejoinder fly. The next, I’m typing the phrase “witty rejoinder”. It’s tragic, really.

There was a time in college (and slightly after) where I wanted to be cool so badly that I did the unthinkable. I dated a hipster…for seven long years. Imagine living for seven years talking about Einstürzende Neubauten, Beat Poets, Brian Eno, Peter Greenaway and David Lynch. We would watch Robocop or Predator, but only ironically. It was a dark time.

When I look back, I see that Peter Greenaway’s movies are insanely beautiful, and late 1980’s/early 1990’s Industrial music was pretty darned awesome. I just felt like I was living in a box. Don’t put Robocop in a corner!

[Read more...]

Movies

Summer Movie Fantasy League Update 2

Well, well. Just a quick update to our summer movie fantasy league, to capture the record-breaking weekend ‘Arry Potta’ An’ The ‘Eathly ‘Allows just had. Box Office Mojo is reporting that Potter took in $168,550,000 over the weekend, destroying not just my top-grossing pick Transformers: Look Robots Cars Tits Explosions Robots, but officially taking the all-time domestic weekend opening record from The Dark Knight, which made $158 million back in whatever weekend of whatever year that was.

Potter took in $92 million just on Friday, which included $42 million from those midnight showings (I checked our local theater, and they had the movie starting roughly every five minutes). It also featured the biggest Friday-to-Saturday attendance drop-off in history, but even that wasn’t enough to stop it from crushing everything else ever.

[Read more...]

Movies

Summer Movie Fantasy League Update

So, back in early June, Kris and I decided to have a little summer movie fantasy draft, based on what the guys over at Filmdrunk were doing. We each picked five movies we thought would have the highest gross based on their combined opening weekend at the box office (domestic). We also picked three films apiece that we thought would combine for the lowest Rotten Tomato score.

We’re halfway through the summer, and most of the movies on our lists have opened, so let’s look at how our summer league is going.

[Read more...]

Lady Business | Movies

Lady Business: Broken Hearted Edition

Chris and I got home from a family visit Tuesday night to a blinking answering machine. My nephew, Shane, was killed in an accident. He was a talented artist, a bicyclist, a drummer and the only person I ever knew who could pull off suspenders. He was 27. In the last few years, he’d been sending me little pieces of art out of the blue. In April, he sent me a small owl necklace made of metal that has moving wings. I’m not sure how he knew that I love owls. Perhaps it was a lucky guess.

I’m usually into comedy, but days like this draw me to sad movies. Here are some of my favorites:

[Read more...]

Movies | Netflix | Television

Stream Cuisine: All Out Of Bubblegum

Some selections on Netflix Instant you might want to watch, or re-watch (probably only if you’re in the U.S.):

They Live: What a weird, terrible, awesome movie this is. Horrifying “acting” by Rowdy Roddy Piper, hit-you-over-the-head social commentary, outstandingly poor production values, but still somewhat of a landmark sci-fi film, somehow. The long, quiet scene where Piper tries on the glasses that reveal the alien infiltration is still one of the best sci-fi scenes ever put to film, and the alleyway fight scene between Piper and Keith David, which goes on for about twenty-three minutes, then ends, then continues for eighty-six more minutes, is just hilarious. The rest is pretty much garbage, but highly watchable garbage.

(Just a note: I once saw Roddy Piper in an airport buying bottled water in a gift shop. After he left, I went up to the little Asian woman behind the register, and said excitedly, “Do you know who that was! That was Roddy Piper! Roddy Piper!” She looked at me, confused, then offered me a notepad and said “Writing paper?”)

[Read more...]

Movies

Summer Movie Fantasy League

I don’t know if you follow Film Drunk but they talked about a fun idea for a fantasy league for summer movies in their last podcast. Basically, they held a draft where they each picked which movies they thought would score big box office takes this summer. You can read about/listen to it here. (Film Drunk apparently got the idea from the makers of this podcast, who apparently got it from someone else, and so on to infinity).

Anyway. It sounded like fun, so Kris and I held our own little draft over the weekend. We started by picking five movies we thought would have the biggest opening weekends by box office gross. Kris picked first, nabbing the final Harry Potter film, a very good pick and a guarantee to score huge. For my first pick, I debated between the Speilberg/Abrams lens-flareaganza, Super 8, and Michael Bay’s Transformers 3: Even More Fucking Robots. I know they’ll both be huge, but I figure Abrams not showing a monster in the trailers won’t draw as big a crowd as Bay showing a million fucking robots in the trailers. So, I went with T3, and my wife immediately snapped up Super 8 as her next pick.

[Read more...]

DVD | Movies

Too Many Secrets: Sneakers

Whistler: “I want peace on earth and goodwill toward men.”

Abbot: “We are the United States government! We don’t do that sort of thing!”

Along with L.A. Confidential, which I wrote about here, one of my favorite all-time movies is Sneakers, made in 1992 and directed by Phil Alden Robinson. It’s a light, funny caper film, with a lot of ridiculous but enjoyable hacker nonsense and a great ensemble cast. I first saw it when I was working in a theater pub in Florida, and during its run there I saw twice a night for about two weeks. And that still wasn’t enough: I owned it on VHS and I’ve probably watched it another dozen times in my life. It’s still one of those films that, if it’s on TV, I’ll sit and watch it every single time. Major spoilers to follow.

Robert Redford is Martin Bishop, the head of a security firm who, as a teenager, got caught hacking into bank accounts and computer networks and fled to Canada, leaving his friend Cosmo to take the rap and the jail time. Sydney Poitier is the tightly wound ex-CIA agent Donald Crease, Bishop’s partner at the firm. The rest of the team is comprised of Darryl “Mother” Roskow (Dan Aykroyd), a technician with a head full of conspiracy theories, Erwin Emory, known as “Whistler” (David Strathairn), a blind computer whiz whose sharp ears make up for his lack of sight, and Carl Arbogast (River Phoenix), a young, earnest, yet somewhat awkward prodigy.

[Read more...]