03 November 2010

November 2010 Movies

Spending 3 weeks travelling 18000 miles at 36000 feet allowed ample time to catch up on some movie goodness. Additionally a few weeks away from the fam actually gave me the chance to see the inside of a movie theatre (twice!) for the first time since August. Over the last few weeks, I saw The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (fun and a nice, if heavily abridged, adaptation of the novel), Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps (unworthy cash-in), The Social Network (amazing film), Smokin' Aces (awful...just...awful), Whiteout (better than Smokin' Aces, but well unworthy of the awesome source material), Up in the Air (good, if odd and depressing), Kick-Ass (better as a comic), and David Tennant's Hamlet. I also watched enough of Glee to give up on it and the first two episodes of The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret (great TV...painful to watch at times, but in a good, Gervaisian way).

Per my standard operating procedure, here are my top 10 or so movies in/to be in theaters or on DVD to see, with movies in my collection starred:

1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince*
2. Tron: Legacy (17 Dec)
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 1 IMAX (19 Nov)
4. Unstoppable (12 Nov)

To be honest, that's pretty much it...no chance of me ponying up to see any other movies in-theatre. Even Unstoppable is a stretch, but the trailer is fun. However, I will likely see the remainder of this list at some point...probably via Redbox.

5. Red
6. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
7. The Town
8. Tangled (24 Nov)
9. The Tourist (12 Dec)
10. True Grit (2010) (22 Dec)
11. Megamind (5 Nov)
12. Morning Glory (10 Nov)

06 August 2010

August 2010 Movies

What a difference two months make. Saw a bunch of movies over the last 8 weeks, three in an actual theatre, although none on a REAL bigass IMAX screen. Toy Story 3 3D was nearly unbearably sad, but still a masterpiece. I could've seen Inception IMAX at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, but didn't want to pay $10 for parking, so I caught it in a very nice stadium theatre in a double-feature with Despicable Me 3D. Inception was breathtakingly awesome, and it elevated Christopher Nolan into my most-favorite-director slot, unseating Wes Anderson. Despicable Me was cute, but ultimately flat. I hope that Scott Adams is getting residuals for the clear use of Dilbert's Pointy-Haired Boss as inspiration for the Mr. Perkins character.

A side note to Hollywood: quit with the 3D bullshit. Toy Story 3 and Despicable Me were both made worse by having to wear those stupid glasses that darken the entire picture, and the effect for both movies was nearly nonexistent. In fact, the only time it was even notable was in the end credits of DM. Essentially we're paying extra money for a worse product. Unless you can say, with confidence, that the story couldn't be told as effectively without the 3D effect, then just go without. And, if the purpose of the 3D effects is simply to distract the audience from how derivative and banal your script is (I'm looking at you, Avatar), then perhaps you should just turn in those storytelling credentials and let someone else take over.

On DVD I caught Hitman (surprisingly watchable, if ridiculous) and You Don't Mess with the Zohan (also surprisingly enjoyable).

Still, 5 movies in 2 months is a little ridiculous, but since the littl'un now doesn't fall asleep until 9:15, I don't expect that to change anytime soon. Here are my top 10 or so movies in/to be in theaters or on DVD to see, with movies in my collection starred:

1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince*
2. Tron: Legacy (17 Dec)
3. Red (15 Oct)
4. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (13 Aug)
5. Machete (3 Sept)
6. Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D (10 Sept...mmm, Milla)
7. Kick-Ass*
8. The Expendables (13 Aug)
9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 1 IMAX (19 Nov)
10. Iron Man 2 (7 May)

11 June 2010

June 2010 Movies

Okay, so Hot Tub Time Machine wasn't terrible, but it was a missed opportunity for greatness. Even The Onion agrees. The Brothers Bloom, however, was terribly disappointing, and doesn't at all help the contention that indie films are better than blockbuster ones. The sad thing is that most movies in the theaters aren't worth seeing at all, and the ones that may be worth watching aren't worth $10 or $12 per person. Let's face it, TV is better and costs less. Show me a movie that came out the last few months that's better than Breaking Bad. Also one-hour chunks are easier to digest when you got a littl'un who stays up till 8:30.

Having said that, I still love movies, especially shown on a REAL bigass IMAX screen (we've got a few of those here in our nation's capital). Here's my top 10 or so movies in/to be in theaters or on DVD to see, with movies in my collection starred:

1. Toy Story 3 IMAX (18 June)
2. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince*
3. Tron 2 (17 Dec)
4. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (13 Aug)
5. Inception IMAX (16 July)
6. Kick-Ass
7. Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D (10 Sept...me love Milla)
8. Despicable Me (9 July)
9. Iron Man 2 (7 May)
10. The Expendables (13 Aug)
11. The Sorcerer's Apprentice (14 July)
12. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 1 IMAX (19 Nov)

07 April 2010

April 2010 Movies

I've had a moderately successful start to 2010, having seen three flicks on my January list: The Invention of Lying (shockingly dull), Sherlock Holmes (unshockingly kinetic and disappointingly uncerebral), and Avatar (in 2D, basically a derivative pile of shit). In the spirit of catching Hot Tub Time Machine tomorrow night, here's my top 10 or so movies in/to be in theaters or on DVD to see, with movies in my collection starred:

1. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince*
2. Hot Tub Time Machine
3. Tron 2 (17 Dec)
4. Iron Man 2 (7 May)
5. Kick-Ass
6. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (13 Aug)
7. Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D (10 Sept...me love Milla)
8. Moon*
9. The Fall*
10. The Departed*
11. The Brothers Bloom*
12. Toy Story 3 (18 June)
13. Harry Potter 7 (19 Nov)

24 March 2010

Top 13 TV Shows of the '00s

As I finally worked my way through the entirety of Arrested Development last night, I realized my previous lists of decadal superlatives did not include TV shows. This is a pretty glaring omission, as 2000-2009, in my opinion, had the best quality television of the first four decades of my life. This was due, to a large extent, of a maturing of the medium through more cinematic styles and topics; however the stars that truly shone were able to take advantage of the episodic format to present long-format stories in episodic chunks. I credit The Sopranos for being at the vanguard of this; however it cannot make this list because it premiered in 1999.

Every single entry on this list, save two (sorta), is a non-major network show with a standard season of 13 or less episodes. I don't think this is an accident, as the 22-plus-episode shows by necessity are going to have decreased quality due to higher quantity. House missed the cut for too many mediocre episodes aired between the brilliant ones.

One confession: I've never seen an episode of The Wire or Deadwood. It's possible The Wire will someday be inserted into a Top 14 list, but I gotta see it first. With that in mind, here are the Top 13 TV Shows of the Aughts:

1. Doctor Who (BBC) (2005-Present)
2. Firefly (2002-2003)
3. The Office (BBC) (2001-2003)
4. Breaking Bad (2008-Present)
5. The Shield (2002-2008)
6. Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009)
7. Dexter (2006-Present)
8. Curb Your Enthusiasm (2000-Present)
9. Arrested Development (2003-2006)
10. Extras (BBC) (2005-2007)
11. Scrubs (2001-2010)
12. Slings and Arrows (2003-2006)
13. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005-Present)