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Tuesday Media Roundup #41

I watched the beginning of the 1956 version of War & Peace but gave up on it because it was far too silly.

Saw part 1 of Black in America 2 on CNN. Now I wish I had seen the first one.

The Hangover – Pretty funny and well done trace-your-steps movie. All of the characters play well together. Nice setup for a sequel too.
Delirious – It’s kind of quirky and entertaining but Michael Pitt comes off as too wooden for me. Good thing he’s mostly paired with Steve Buscemi!
State and Main – This is a funny big-name ensemble. It feels like it was or could be a stage play. The dialog is clever and everything is fast paced.
I Am Legend – I think this tells the story better than The Omega Man and from what I’ve read it’s closer to the original novel (which I now want to read). The practicalities are seen. The loneliness is felt. The feelings of the others are made known too. Good stuff and I look forward to the prequel.
Keeping Mum – An English comedy that isn’t about celebrating the quirks of a small town. Sometimes it seems like that’s all you get from the English indie comedies. Anyway, it’s enjoyable and you should watch it.
Wedding Daze – This isn’t very memorable; I had to go look up what it’s about. It has some funny parts but most of it I just didn’t care about the characters.
Elegy – An affair between an older man and a younger woman? I thought this would be awkward or cliche. Instead it has some compelling relationship stories and I really felt for the characters.
Righteous Kill – It’s always fun to watch De Niro and Pacino. The story isn’t that great but you almost don’t notice!
Seven Pounds – Sometimes the story seems a little disjointed but it all pulls together and it ends up being a good story of the personal. It ended better than I expected.
Passengers – Kind of another version of The Sixth Sense, but not nearly as good. I just wanted them to get on with it so the movie could end. I don’t think I would think of The Sixth Sense this way if I had seen Passengers first.
Public Enemies – This is good but it felt like there was more cut out to get it to a good theater running length. I guess we’ll find out if there’s director’s cut. The film looks weird at times. It was obviously filmed with digital cameras that at times made things feel too smooth when filming in dark. It was both distracting at times and made things stand out at others. I’m sure that’s just a glimpse of what’s to come.
Swing Vote – It’s both a commentary on the political system and the stereotypical non-voter. Kevin Costner plays close to the type he played in Tin Cup. I say check it out!
The Dukes of Hazard – This might be hard to believe but I think the plot of the average episode was better than the movie. Highlights: They showed off Jessica Simpson’s legs nicely in the beginning, and Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg.
The Midnight Meat Train – I can say I’ve never been that crazy about Clive Barker movies. This is the first one I actually got into. The story was interesting. The gore was over the top so if that turns you off avoid this movie. Or just cover your eyes since you can see it coming.
Funny People – The trailer doesn’t spoil the movie for you and the story told ends up being good. I wasn’t expecting comedy, but a movie about comedians with some funny parts. With that in mind there was a lot more humor than I was expecting. Also I think it’s the first thing I’ve liked Eric Bana in.
Religulous – Bill Maher’s documentary to show how much religious is a big mistake. The best part for me is when he was talking to the Jesus at the Holy Land Experience. He talks to a variety of people but it’s mostly a rehash of ideas I’ve heard about why religion is bad.
Slumdog Millionaire – When I was watching this I was reminded of four movies it borrowed from but right now I can’t remember what they are. Anyway, good movie and I like how it was told with the flashbacks. I don’t think this would be my pick for best movie last year but I don’t think I saw any movies last year that were better.
Julie & Julia – I liked this but I, like many others, wished the movie focused more on Julia than Julie. Good job to the movie makers for making Julie more likable. I went and read some of the Julie & Julia blog entries and she comes across as much more self-centered there.
The Wrestler – This movie was better than I expected and I thought the ending was great (but I seem to like abrupt endings)! I had heard it was like a retelling of Passion of the Christ and I can see what they meant. The stories line up pretty closely.
Death at a Funeral – Funny! But if you haven’t seen this you can wait for the inexplicable remake next year. Remaking a recent English-language film directed by an American director doens’t happen that often but it’s happening here. Actually you should just see this one since you never know how the remake will turn out.
Sicko – Seeing this movie while the current health care debate is raging really drives home all the more that we need this change. I think this probably plays better now than when it originally played in theaters. The usual Michael Moore gimmicks are not as present here and when they are they are short lived; the material stand up on its own.
Michael Clayton – Well played by everyone and an ending I could really enjoy. This movie made me miss John Grisham movies though. What happened to them?
Gabriel – A rebellious teenage bible student watched the Matrix too many times and this is what came out. Why did the end have to go on so long?
Sex Drive – This movie takes awhile to hit its stride. It’s shortly before they get to the Amish. Seth Green cements that as one of the Amish, but what doesn’t Seth Green make better? It never gets great but it’s fairly fun.
Beowulf – I was wondering if I would haev any uncanny valley problems with this movie and I’m happy to report that I didn’t. This movie once again demonstrates that animated doesn’t make it a kids movie. The story is told well and I’m glad I saw it. I think it was perhaps the right way to film it.
Houseboat – Crazy living situation. Italian beauty. Drama behind the scenes according to imdb. It all makes for an entertaining movie. Good for a lazy afternoon or evening when it happens to be on.
District 9 – Really well done. I liked most everything being from the point of view of security, news, or documentary cameras. A main character that doesn’t think clearly and pays the price. I look forward to the sequel.
Video 3000 – A 5 minute foreign short about a universal remote. Kind of like Click but very short.
Porno – An odd Polish short film.
No Bikini – A great short story about a girl’s summer switch to another gender.
Uncle Nino – A well done story of the outsider coming in to show the family what’s important in life.
9 – My favorite movie of the year so far. I liked everything about it! No sequel for this one please. I don’t know how it compares to the short by the same name, but I’m guessing since I’ve seen this one the other probably won’t stand up. It might be the reverse for those who have seen the short.

2 Responses to “Tuesday Media Roundup #41”

  1. 1
    Liana Says:

    I saw “No Bikini” recently – on the Film Movement “Best of Shorts” DVD. I love those Film Movement DVD’s and fortunately my public library gets most of them.

    Also watched “The Omega Man” last week. Maybe I should see “I Am Legend” now, and then read the book too.

  2. 2
    Douglas Says:

    I used to love film shorts when they were on in between movies on the movie channels in the 80s. I’m glad to see they seem to be making a come back.

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