Monday, May 13, 2013

Monday morning movie reviews...

The view from our rental...
A week is a long time to be away from my blog.  I find myself thinking about it while I’m sitting on the beach and sipping a cold beer and wondering what is going on in cyber world.  Am I obsessed?  I should have been enjoying the sand castles and whatnot but instead I was itching to get on the internet and post something or read something or comment on something.  Thanks to an unlucky boat ride, my phone was soaked in salt water and I’ve been completely dislodged from civilization since Tuesday. 

God, how do people do that?

So, while I was away I did happen to catch a few films while the tykes were asleep (and a few while they were awake) and so what the hell, here’s a few thoughts on those films:

I’m wondering what all the hoopla was about with regards to The Cabin in the Woods.  I mean, the world went apeshit for it.  It even nabbed a slew of critic’s mentions in the screenplay department and people were praising the rise of Joss Whedon.  Honestly, I don’t get it.  I wanted to get it, but at the end of the day nothing was overtly shocking (I had the big twist spoiled for me months ago, but even then I expected it to be impressively done) and the whole ending was one lazy barrage of horribly fake looking blood. 

My best friend was pimping Limitless the whole time we were on the beach and so I watched it with him one night.  It was far better than I expected, but it really shows the difference in cinematic taste between me and the company I keep.  There is no way that I would call this the best movie ever, and then again I get why he liked it.  It was interesting to a degree and Neil Burger finds a way to direct it with passion and excitement.  It’s somewhat stupid when you think about it, but for an action thriller it works on many levels.

Sleepwalk With Me was a film I had been wanting to see for a long time.  Ever since Mike Birbiglia was nominated for a breakthrough award at last year’s Gotham’s I knew that I wanted to see it.  This was surprisingly tender and truly hilarious, but in an intimate and heartfelt kind of way.  Based off of Mike’s life, the unexpected turns have a foundation in honesty that feels earnest and complementary to the material. 

His Girl Friday is a film I’m ashamed to say it took me this long to see.  I’ve seen the Lemmon/Matthau 1974 version and found it good but forgettable.  This wildly likable earlier version with Grant and Russell in the leads is far more exciting and memorable.  I’m kind of shocked this didn’t hit on with Oscar.  The dialog is sharp and expertly delivered and Grant and Russell are on fire here, especially Russell who commands the screen with such ferocity.  It’s a great little ditty that has certainly earned its reputation.

I had the fondest memories of Popeye, but my lord this shit was TERRIBLE.  Turning Popeye into a musical was a real silly idea, and the way that Williams delivers his development of character is just atrocious and hard to watch.  This is a Robert Altman film? 

As a kid, I loved The Rugrats.  As an adult I wanted my kids to love The Rugrats.  Truth be told, I’ve never seen The Rugrats Movie despite my love of the television show and so when I saw it on Netflix I decided to watch it one night with the kids.  I thought it would be something we all could love.  It was really bad, right?  I mean, the musical numbers were awful, the storyline was simplistic and silly at best and while the character arc for young Tommy was endearing, it was so skeletal and it lacked any real bite.  It just laid there and died in your arms.  No pulse.  No reason to watch it again.  It pains me to say that, but whatever.

The Giant Mechanical Man was the last film I saw while on vacation.  It was a random choice.  I couldn’t find anything to watch and my wife say “I want a romantic comedy” and on Netflix instant this was classified as such so I decided to take a peek.  It was cute.  The film plays with the clichéd formalities of the genre, but it does so with a fresh sense of awareness and an endearing storyline.  The performances are uniformly great, and Topher Grace is hilarious (what happened to him?). 

And that is all.  I’ve missed so much being gone.  I see the Gravity trailer is floating around and I hear that Joe Wright is in talks to direct Fifty Shades of Grey?  What the hell?  Please tell me that is a nasty rumor with no truth behind it.  UGH, I need a day (a week) to get back into the swing of things.  Until then, what’s new by you?


  1. Welcome back man!

    Awesome post! I liked The Cabin in the Woods more on the second viewing, but I can see how it might not hit with everybody. I liked Sleepwalk With Me too, and I also didn't care for The Rugrats Movie. I haven't seen Limitless or The Giant Mechanical Man.

    YAY! Thrilled that you loved His Girl Friday. Seriously, NO Oscar nods?

    Popeye is probably one of the 5 worst films I've ever seen. Period.

    Not much new outside of what you mentioned. Recently saw Iron Man 3 (meh) and Mud (great, but no Take Shelter). Oh, Ewan McGregor has joined Jane Got a Gun. That's news! ;)

    1. Holy crap! McGregor! I hope this movie is good for his sake. Like, now they just need to replace Portman with someone more interesting.

  2. Aww, that's a bummer you didn't care much for The Cabin in the Woods. I am one of those people that went totally ape shit over it. I loved Sleepwalk With Me too. I hope to catch more of his stand up in the future. I remembering going to see the Rugrats movie in theaters, and that was when I decided I was too old to be watching Rugrats. That was just terrible, I think someone even gave me the soundtrack as a gift.

    I see that Wright just passed on directing 50 Shades! That's a good thing. He's better than that.

    1. I kind of hope that 50 Shades never gets made ;-)

      I think the issue for me with Cabin was that I knew the big twist going in and so everything felt so anticlimactic for me.