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Tuesday Media Roundup #42

New TV shows
Glee – Without a doubt the new show I’m most enjoying. Fun characters with good song and dance! It’s the only show where I would be disappointed if it were to be cancelled, and I see myself getting it on DVD.
Cougar Town – It’s like getting a Scrubs fix, not in content but in presentation. The rapid fire joke style and editing are much like Scrubs which make sense since it’s the same creator. I don’ tknow if they can keep it up but it’s fun so far.
Modern Family – Documentary/reality style comedy. Because of that it can spend a long time building up a joke, but they often pay off. It’s fairly uneven, but there’s almost always something I find funny enough to keep going.
FlashForward – Clearly meant to replace Lost when it ends, but I don’t know if I’m totally sold on it yet. There are a lot of things they can explore with the idea and so far it’s been smart, but I’m not convinced it will stay that way.

The Receptionist – I just thought I would mention this channel. It’s a channel for short films he makes while at work. Everything in the video aside from himself is made form the office supplies. Good stuff!

88 Minutes – 16 minutes. The time it takes to be fully convinced it’s going to be pretty dump. Luckily the actors are generally entertaining and it’s pretty short.
The Jane Austen Book Club – I like the parallels between the characters and the books they read. It all ties together well and seems thought out. Of course I’m just basing this on the movie and other Jane Austen movies (not including Jane Austen’s Mafia).
No Country for Old Men – More intense and less violent than I anticipated. Not to say it isn’t violent, just not as much as I was led to believe. The use of silence in the film was great. Everything about it was compelling.
Quarantine – Watch this movie with the best sound system you can. The helicopters and other outside sounds were completely immersive. The single camera shoot works well too and wasn’t a turn-off like in The Blair Witch Project.
Becoming Jane – What made Jane Austen into Jane Austen? I don’t know how accurate this movie is in answering that question but it is pretty entertaining. I’m sure the entertainment value goes down the more you know about her life. Good thing I don’t know!
Snow Dogs – Have you wondered what Cuba Gooding Jr is up to? This is it. It’s a mildly amusing, cheesy, light film. Something that’s completely non-offensive.
WALL-E – Great movie about humanity and is very close to being a modern silent movie. A lot is communicated with an economy of words. Also it’s a more realistic look than your typical Pixar movie which I think is a good thing.
The Truth About Charlie – While I was watching this movie I kept thinking that it felt like an old movie. Sometimes I was able to picture the scene with the exact same dialog. It turns out it’s a remake of Charade. I think it should have been pulled fully into the modern day because it felt out of place in the modern day setting.
Kickin’ it Old Skool – It started off with some funny stuff, but then it went stale.
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story – I was thinking this was going to be the same joke over and over, but instead there were a good variety as it was able to mine the history of pop music. I probably would have been happy enough with a machete fight an the Beatles in India, but I know I have low standards.
The Foursome – A reunion movie and a golf movie mixed into one. I normally like golf movies but this one is one to avoid. It’s dull, predictable, and poorly delivered.
Bedtime Stories – This movie doesn’t fit too well into categories. Maybe Adam Sandler and fairy tale work. It’s a pretty enjoyable movie unless maybe Adam Sandler bugs the shit out of you.
Gray Matters – An odd love triangle movie that pays homage to old Fred and Ginger type movies. It’s a good bit of fun!
Summer of Sam – After the first hour is settled down and got pretty good. Until then you’re wondering what anything you’re watching has to do with anything else. Overall I’d recommend it, but be prepared for it to take awhile.
First Sunday – It seems like it would be an offshoot of the Friday series, and I think that what they want you to think but they have nothing in common except for Ice Cube. There are some good community building messages among the hit and miss comedy.
This Christmas – Family holiday gathering with all the family comedy that goes with it. It’s probably most similar in feel to The Family Stone. I think it comes off well, but then again I like these kinds of movies. My favorite is still Home for the Holidays.
The Invisible – Most similar to Ghost, but it’s pretty good. I haven’t seen the Dutch film this is based off of but I thought this version was well done.
We Own the Night – I wasn’t expecting much based on the trailer, and it turns out the trailer for this only covers about the first thirty minutes of the movie. There ends up being a fairly good cop-brother drama in there.
Die Mommie Die! – This is a 60s parody. I think it started as a 60s porn parody because there are a lot of scenes that lead right up to getting it on. But it’s also a parody of other films of the era. It’s purposefully bad and it doesn’t carry that off at first like an unintentionally bad film can. I don’t know what changes but the camp starts connecting. I think I have to attribute it to Natasha Lyonne.
Fido – A great boy-and-his-dog movie, but with zombies! It’s not scary and has very little gore so it’s safe for pretty much everyone to watch.
Pineapple Express – Why do I like stoner movies? I don’t know, but this one is pretty good. Maybe it’s the pothead logic? This one has characters aware that they have pothead logic and an over the top ending.
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant – The pacing on this kept it pretty entertaining from start to finish. I also like their take on motion blur and I hope it’s used elsewhere.
Head Over Heels – It’s like Zoolander except with female models, and they all live. Freddie Prinze Jr is the love interest and that’s find but he’s not very believable at playing someone in his job… either of them. There’s enough funny to keep it entertaining though.
Capitalism: A Love Story – So far my favorite Micahel Moore movie is still Sicko. It is straight to the point and doesn’t rely on his usual gimmicks. This one shows in general he’s improving, but he still falls back on his gimmicks from time to time. The first hour feels scattered, and while the stories are sad, they have little connection to one another or the point he’s trying to make. Later he finds his focus and that’s great! Except you’re wishing he would have tied those earlier stories in to the now focused narrative to drive the point home.
Trojan War – This movie must ahve been sponsored by Trojan condoms. It’s one of those everything goes wrong in a night kind of movies. In this case the guy is trying to get laid and his quest is to find a Trojan condom. Not the best movie of its type but it’s amusing.
Miracle at St. Anna – Good WWII movie, but it’s about the black soldiers who served. Surprisingly there is a decent amount of humor to keep it from getting too heavy. It’ll still get heavy but it won’t stay there. It doesn’t feel as long as it is.
The Brothers Solomon – This has to fall along the lines of A Night at the Roxbury. Except these two brothers aren’t dumb, just insulated from the world and insanely positive about everything. Nothing escapes their positive spin.
Inkheart – Bringing characters to life in a story can be tricky but this manages it well. Kind of like an inverse Never Ending Story. Unfortunately I don’t think it did well enough for the sequels to be made into movies.
Easy Virtue – Funny period piece about an American woman causing upheaval in an English family. It didn’t have the ending I was expecting, or a lot of events throughout the movie for that matter. Check it out.
Lakeview Terrace – Samuel L Jackson plays the neighbor from hell. The trailer only shows a small portion of what goes on. It’s not like there’s even a transformation, he’s just messed up from the start.
A Christmas Carol (2009) – The level of detail was amazing! The leather, the wood, the buildings, the cloth, the motion! You could even see that the outside of his foot comes down before the inside when he climbs the stairs! On top of it, it was a good telling of the story. It even make use of an absence of sound. How often does that happen in an animated movie?
Factorum – This has the same main character as Barfly. I’ve never seen Barfly, and I’m not sure I want to. The main character is interesting in that he can be repulsive and sympathetic at the same time. It’s listed as a comedy, but the only really funny part I though was when he got crabs.
We Don’t Live Here Anymore – Irritating characters who don’t like one another destroying their relationships. Surprisingly the kids don’t seem too effected by the whole situation despite Laura Dern having some impressive angry yelling and throwing things.

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