Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What I've been watching, July edition

I'm starting a new segment on my blog, talking a bit about what I've been up to (entertainment wise). I'll link everything to IMDB in case you are curious about what the heck I'm talking about.
We'll see if it's any fun.........

(You will soon see that I don't catch a lot of movies in the theater, some movies I don't even hear about until much much later (the main culprit: my dvr -ok I think the MAIN culprit would be young child + young baby) so sometimes I finally hear about a movie enough that I decide it is worthy of a look and I rent it.)

One more thing: I am not going to concern myself with being overly sensitive here when it comes to "spoilers". I am not going to give anything away ever that shouldn't be given away (The Sixth Sense was spoiled for me back in the day and that sucked). I know what needs to be respected when it comes to that, but I also know there are people out there that don't want to know ANYTHING and consider a lot of what I think it just innocent details to be "spoilers". If you think you may be one of those people, then you've been fair warned.

Alright, here's the list (to the best of my recollection):

CHILDREN OF MEN (2006) [R]: Drama - sci Fi. I never heard of this movie until about a year ago, when it kept coming up in movie review podcasts. When a movie pops up over and over, I start thinking that maybe I should see what all the fuss is about. I was glad I did! It was good. It takes place in the future where something happened to make it somehow impossible to have children (no one knows why and mankind is basically facing extinction). In fact, the movie starts with the death of the youngest person on the planet and he was 18. It takes place in England (mostly) and there is a scary government controlling issue and so there is a big circle of underground activists or rebels. This group discovers and hides a young pregnant girl from Africa and has to get her across the border safely and they have to hide the fact that she is the first pregnant person the world has seen in 18 years. It remains interesting because you find yourself suddenly very invested in getting this girl safe to have her miracle baby. Following the birth of the baby is one of the most powerful scenes of hope I've ever watched. The mother is found out very soon after giving birth and has to walk out of the building through an all out war zone. I swear, I had chills for a full 10 minutes. The sound of that wailing baby amidst gunfire and bombs basically stopped a war. As the mother walks through the building clutching her baby and outside, people stop and kneel and try to touch it's little feet and they cry, soldiers drop their guns- it's really moving. It really took me to a place where I could imagine what it would be like to hear and see a baby for the first time in almost 20 years and the hope that would come with it after such a miserable existence the world had become.
Anyway, it was great movie, Micheal Caine had a cameo and played a really unique character (especially for him), he did great as always.
Emily recommends it if you aren't opposed to a little language and a lot of violence.

ECLIPSE (2010) [PG]: Drama - Romance. I saw this movie up in Wyoming as is my family's tradition to watch the Twilight movies together up in Wyoming. It's fun to see it together and see it away from the heavier crowds of fan girls that reside in Utah. Not a lot to say except we were all pleasantly surprised at how much better this one was compared to the first two. This is good since this is my favorite of the 4 books. Better acting, better screenplay, better directing. It certainly isn't going to be up for any Oscars, but for a Twilight movie, this impressed me and I enjoyed it. Emily recommends it if you are a Twilight fan (but if you ARE a Twilight fan then you have already seen it).

loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies (2006) [NR]: Documentary. Matt brought this with him to my house so we could watch it together. I really enjoyed it and it was fun to see the band this way. It's very interesting how little the band likes each other and how little they have to say to one another. YET they make awesome music together. Once they are on stage they start playing, you wonder how these 4 people can have so little in common. Interesting group dynamics and insight as to why they didn't survive long. Glad they can come together again and play on stage for the entertainment of Matt, B and I this September. During the documentary, Matt and I found particular enjoyment over one scene. The drummer came walking into Kim Deal's dressing room and by the looks of it, has the intent of scaring her. You had just heard the other band mates being interviewed and talking about him and saying that he is getting concerning about a matter of some prescription painkiller abuse and they can't talk to him because he always has his ipod in his ears. So he is kind of sneaking into her dressing room (she's doing her hair or something) and he actually kind of stops sneaking and walks in normal (but it scares her anyways) and he goes (obviously really hyped up on something), "I am SO into music right now!". It just really made us laugh and we have found that sentence to be quite quotable since. It was just funny made more so by a genuis bit of editing. Emily definitely recommends it if you are into the Pixies.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1995) [NR]: Romance. B and I (and Matt now and then) watched this movie in little segments for the length of their stay. I am very sorry to report that I didn't get to see the whole thing (missed most of the good parts. BOO!) and I don't own it, so I need to hunt it out at the library or something to finish my fix. This was certainly not my first watch of this version (BBC / Colin Firth / Miniseries) but I say again with confidence - THIS IS THE BEST VERSION MADE TO DATE. I've said before (answering why I hadn't seen the film version with Kira Knightly yet) that I have no interest in a world where Colin Firth isn't Mr. Darcy. I have since seen the movie and enjoyed it a lot, but that dude was a pretty poor Darcy. Ami Hart, I am talking to you here- I would like to say on record that I think you are wrong that the girl that plays Lizzy in this version lacks all emotion. I like her. I think she makes a perfectly good Lizzy. I really liked Kira's Lizzy a lot (also just for the record). So, put that in your pants and smoke it, that's where I stand on this issue. One more thing- I did like the Mr. Bingley in the movie more then I liked the Mr. Bingley in the Miniseries. I thought he was FANTASTIC. The miniseries one is "ok". Emily heartily recommends this movie if you like a good romance and if you think that Colin Firth can say more with one look then Matthew Macfadyen could say with an entire speech.

INCEPTION (2010) [PG-13]: Action/Drama with fantasy elements. I went and saw this with the Utah Family Movie Group (UFMG) or whoever can make it out of me, Cat, Sue, Ben, Dave, Dan, Lori and Rob. We all loved it, it was really good and classic Christopher Nolan (whom I love). Everyone is talking about this movie, so I feel like I don't have to. Emily recommends it to pretty much anyone- it's a good time.

PIRATE RADIO (THE BOAT THAT ROCKED) (2009) [R]: Comedy. I was either in the most perfect mood to watch this or I just don't share the opinion with most reviewers of this movie, cause I had a GREAT time watching it. It housed many elements that make a great Emily film: 1. Set in London in the 1960's. I was reminded once more that I truly believe I missed my calling by not being a teenager/20 something in London in the 60's. I love the style (hair, makeup, clothes so very much) and I love the music. It IS a style of music I have become somewhat bored listening to within the last 10 years, but this would not be so if I was there when it was happening. If I could magically transform myself back to any place and time, that is where I would be- all I ask is that I can take my Radiohead music with me. 2. Philip Seymour Hoffman is in it. He is one of those actors that only needs to be in a film to make me deem it worthy of watching. 3. It's a Richard Curtis movie. While he doesn't hold the kind of steam certain other directors/actors/etc. hold, if I see him involved in a project, I at least dig a little to see what it's about. He has a pretty good track record with me (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Bridget Jones Diary had it's moments). I am not going to say that these are A+ cinematic masterpieces, but they are my idea of "chick flicks" and enjoy them from time to time. 4. This is a GREAT character film. I really like interesting characters and in this movie almost everyone in it was interesting.
In addition to these four elements to make a formula pleasing to me, it also had Bill Nighy whom ALWAYS cracks me up. I learned an interesting fact watching the commentary (yes, I frequently watch commentaries- I'm a nerd). He is going to be in the last Harry Potter movie as Rufus Scrimgeour- perfect casting. I have always wondered why he is absent in the Harry Potter cast since every single other popular and famous British actor is in them. He seemed conspicuously absent. Ok, upon thinking about it, Hugh Grant isn't in them either. Neither is Colin Firth. But I never wondered about those two, just about Nighy. Maybe because he seemed like a good fit. Whatever.
I was a little disappointed when I looked up the background of the story and found out that it is based on very little fact. Only a few details are from history. Ships anchored in the North Sea did play 24 hours of rock when the BBC stations would only play an hour of it a day or something, but it wasn't as illegal as they let on and all of the events and characters are fictional. Darn. Oh well I still had a very good time and Tom Sturridge who played "Young Carl" was absolutely adorable. If you rent this movie a MUST DO is to watch the deleted scenes (with the intros by the director). I understand why they were cut, but most of them really were great scenes and well worth watching. Emily totally recommends this one if you don't mind a fair amount of language and some sexuality (nothing graphic or gratuitous).

THE FOURTH KIND (2009) [PG-13]: Thriller. Ug. I was not a fan at all. I have come to realize that I am a fan of the let's-scare-the-tar-out-of-people-by-making-a-movie-out-of-fake-home-movies-and-making-people-think-that-it's-real genre (think The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity). This movie tried to incorporate this element but without the finesse. I wonder if they had a smaller budget like the others, it may have been successful. My theory is that was it's downfall. Basically it is supposed to make you think that it is a documentary and they show "real footage" and also show their reenactment of the footage. They really went to great lengths to fool you into thinking that this was an episode of Unsolved Mysteries or something with VERY LITTLE SUCCESS. I went into the movie knowing the background, but I cannot imagine even for a second that their little scheme would have worked on me. It was just too badly done. It centers around a psychiatrist that finds out that she has several patients being abducted by aliens and she and her family are caught up right in the middle of it. This movie's only redeeming quality I thought, was the acting job of the lady playing the "real" doctor being interviewed about the happenings. She really looked all kinds of haunted. She did a good job. Also once maybe I got just a little creeped out. That's it. Even the score bugged me and I rarely think about the score at all ESPECIALLY when it comes to being bad, so good job The 4th Kind, you even screwed that up. Emily does not recommend this movie. Rent Paranormal Activity (or Pirate Radio).

That is all I can think of that I watched. Hope you got a small level of enjoyment or beginnings of discussions out of this. I welcome feedback about the movies above or any suggestions you might have for the coming months of what I should see. I may add books I read too sometime, but don't have the wherewithal to do it now. Maybe in the future.

I just got the idea to add the trailers of these movies below, so hope it works, here I go.....








Matt said...

I've been wanting to see Pirate Radio forever! Glad you liked it! Screw critics. I was not impressed with The Fourth Kind either. One part startled me pretty bad though for sure. (When the guy screamed and broke his back and kinda floated off the bed)
I knew it couldn't be real footage, that stuff would have been all over the news and the internet if it was real. I rented it one night becuase Kyle kept saying day after day that he wanted to watch a "scary alien movie". I had heard this was pretty freaky so I came over really late and Kyle, Annie, Kelly, Spoon, and I watched it. The funniest thing happened when it got over! I will have to tell you about it sometime.
Dude, that Loud Quiet Loud trailer was AWESOME! Holy bip! There were so many things in there that weren't in the film, or even in the extra features on the dvd! Thanks for posting that.
You forgot BTK and Zombie Land. hehe.

Emily said...

BTK HA! It is amazing the movies that are allowed to be made and that serious people actually made them, spent money, and wrapped up the filming of a scene with ANY amount of pride. As for Zombie Land- well, there are few movies I've seen in the last year that I liked better. That movie thoroughly tickled me. HOWEVER, I didn't see either of these movies in the month of July, so they didn't make the list. We watched Inglorious Basterds too = AWESOME MOVIE.

I think you guys would enjoy Pirate Radio. Good time. Good British humor.

ajmah said...

Yuck, Yuck, Yuck. I still disagree with you. Lizzie in A&E version is TERRIBLE!!!! I do like Colin Firth and allow that he is a good Darcy. But really, I can't even talk about how much I dislike that Lizzie. (Except, of course, that I am talking about it). Would you want to date her?!??! She's a simpering, smirking, emotionless chick. Yuck.

I have determined that my perfect P&P has not yet been made. However, my dream P&P would consist of Richard Armetage as Darcy, and the girl who played Emma in the most recent Masterpiece Theatre as Lizzie. What think you??

Emily said...

I will give you smirking- she does do that a little too much. I also give you that there isn't a perfect version yet. I would TOTALLY go for Richard Armetage as Darcy and I will have to see this Masterpiece theater episode to weigh in on Emma.

By the way, I'm renting Return to Cranford this week. I'm excited.

ajmah said...

Oooo... I haven't seen Return to Cranford yet. I'll have to put it on my queue. Did you see the most recent Jane Eyre? Perhaps I've asked you this. It's the 2006 version with Toby Stephens. If not, then you should.

And the most recent Emma was quite good. It isn't my favorite Austen story, but this is my favorite version of it. And did you ever find the Horatio Hornblower series at the library or Blockbuster or whatever? (They don't have them on Netflix). I think you and Rob would both really like Horatio Hornblower. Alex and I actually bought the series and we don't often buy movies anymore. Check them out. Just make sure you start at the beginning.

Emily said...

I have seen none of the above! What kind of movie buff am I? I have seen bits and pieces of that version of Pride and Prejudice, but not the whole thing. I've seen most of the Kiera Knightly version (can't remember where or why. It was OK). I would love to take sides on "that Lizzie", but cannot. And who the heck is Richard Armetage?
I really wanted to see Pirate Radio, but never got around to it. Love that Phillip Seymour Hoffman.
And I will second the Jane Eyre with Toby Stephens recommendation, Aim. It is FANTASTIC! I think we discussed this at some point. I love it! I like that story way more than Pride and Prejudice, by the way. Call me crazy.

ajmah said...

Okay, Em. Since you don't know who Richard Armetage is, you need to check out the movie North and South (and no, I don't mean the civil war drama). The man is the bomb!

Emily said...

EM!! You need to see North and South! (and Richard Armetage). I reviewed it on TKWAW here: http://thekidswereallwright.blogspot.com/2008/10/north-and-south.html
Here is a lame Emily fact: I haven't read Jane Eyre since high school and have never seen a movie version of it. So here is what I'm going to do. I've been talking about re reading it for a few years now, so I am going to get on that immediately, then I will check out this movie you speak of.
Also: For the record P&P isn't my favorite Jane Austin story, Sense and Sensability is. We'll see where Jane Eyre falls in my lists (I remember REALLY liking it in high school).

Emily said...

Where's my last comment? Oh well, I assume it will show up, it's in my inbox. Blogger.

Anyway, I just read that North and South post and was reminded that Haley picked him as one of her most attractive celebrities so I looked up and read that post too and had a great time revisiting it.

As an update to my North and South recommendation of TKWAW, Amy and Haley indeed ended up liking it very much (if you couldn't tell from Haley adding him on her most attractive celebrities). Amy ended up buying the DVD and she read the book too.

Emily said...

I meant to post that link too:

B said...

Hmm... I'll have to add that I LOOOOOOOOVVVVEEEEEDDDDD the BBC Pride and Prejudice. Sure, the Elizabeth was a little smirky, and doesn't have the adorable nose-crinkly smile that Kiera Knightley has, but still. The book was SOO good. I decided I had to finish it before I could finish the movie Em, and I was so glad I did. The Kiera Knightley version chopped it up WAY too much, and squished up one of my favorite scenes (them going on a walk and admitting their true feelings). I just loved that it barely left anything out, or glossed over any scenes. Also, Colin Firth gave me butterflies. And I am looking into Mr. Darcy's Diary, Sense and Sensibility, and North and South. Whoever that Richard Armitage is doesn't look that impressive in Google Images, but maybe I have to see his movies,

Also, I liked Inception just fine, but it wasn't as mind-blowing as I was expecting after hearing everyone talk it up. I just think there's been a lack of really awesome movies lately, so this one seemed extra good.

Emily said...

My comment never did show up. It was this:

EM!! You need to see North and South! (and Richard Armetage). I reviewed it on TKWAW here: http://thekidswereallwright.blogspot.com/2008/10/north-and-south.html
Here is a lame Emily fact: I haven't read Jane Eyre since high school and have never seen a movie version of it. So here is what I'm going to do. I've been talking about re reading it for a few years now, so I am going to get on that immediately, then I will check out this movie you speak of.
Also: For the record P&P isn't my favorite Jane Austin story, Sense and Sensibility is. We'll see where Jane Eyre falls in my lists (I remember REALLY liking it in high school).

And B- yes yes, I think perhaps one does need to see him in action. Go over to The Phisters while they are in Germany and borrow it! You will be glad you did. Haven't I made you watch Sense and Sensibility yet??? Or is it just the book you are talking about? If it's both- I recommend this order: movie, book, movie. If you haven't seen the movie, wait for this weekend (if you guys are coming out here for real) and we will watch it together. Yay!
Hope I haven't talked it up too much, it just makes me happy and I feel a kindred with the love story (or one of them anyway). You can borrow my book too.

Emily said...

Agreed with Sense and Sensibility. Love that one. I really like the movie too; the one with Emma Thompson. I saw another version somewhere, sometime, but didn't enjoy it nearly as much. I was one of those that was very sad when Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branaugh broke up. I thought they were the best. Maybe it was just because my mom and I watched Much Ado about Nothing every single day one summer. I love that movie so much.
And I'll get on that North and South. I want to see but just haven't gotten around to it yet.

Emily said...

LOVE Much Ado very very much. I haven't seen any Shakespeare in a long while. Lame.
I knew I reviewed for Ami the mini series Sense and Sensibility once (she is the one that clued me into it) so I looked it up cause I remembered liking it but having one or two issues. I found out my big issue was with the Willoughby character. I thought he played the part absolutely and utterly wrong. He missed Willoughby's essence entirely. Do you know who completely nailed the part? Greg Wise- the guy who played him in the movie. I also mourned the breakup of Emma and Kenneth, they went well together I thought and loved them together in Much Ado. Do you know who she is married to now? Movie Willoughby.

Aim- I located Horatio Hornblower at my library and the first movie is currently on hold for me.

B said...

Em, no, you haven't made me watch Sense and Sensibility yet. I'll wait until the next time we come to Utah for that one. We may need to make an Ikea run in the near future, to get stuff for our apartment, so we should plan it for then!!! Which version? Maybe I can Netflix it.

Emily said...

Crime! Don't bother renting- I own it. To be honest- I think I own three copies of it........ a vhs and two dvds (not quite sure why I have two, but noticed the other day). For the record- the one I favor is the one directed by Ang Lee and stars Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman and Hugh Grant. There is also a mini series which is certainly worth watching (mini series = longer running time = more depth), but DO NOT let that be your first foray into this story as I mentioned above- the Willoughby character is played totally wrong and would leave you with the wrong impression of him and I would have to do damage control. I need to go to Ikea too- to replace a picture frame that didn't make it after a fall involving Scout and Lola.


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