Intolerance (AFI #49)

So it turns out, when they call this one a silent movie, they literally mean that. Not even a musical score. I tried so hard, but Im not built to handle three hours of that. -3 movie lover badass points.

The African Queen (AFI #65)

“Given that I tweeted last night that I was gonna watch this movie, combined with my usual track record, but my write up is just now being posted, I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to figure out what happened.

Interesting scenario, but seemed kinda slow. Although I was very much amused by how overly formal the character’s interactions were. Then again, that’s something that’s stood out to me with all the older AFI films. I just cant get my head around calling a peer “”Mr”” or “”Miss””, even if we did just meet.

Non-sequeter comment. I think this is the first time I’ve seen Bogie in color. I find him more charming in B & W.

Im anxious to run out on a movie aquisition expedition. Best Buy Fenway was sold out of Minority Report on Blu-Ray so Im walking over to the Back Bay location, and will likely swing by Newbury while Im there. So cutting this write up short. I know, my AFI ones have gotten worse and worse as far as content. To be honest, I really just wanna be done with the damn project. Its gone on way too long. I’ve enjoyed it, but its feeling more and more like a chore with each movie I watch. Thats not supposta happen.”

The Losers

“Funny how staying out until nearly 3 AM, pushes back the start of your day until noon. Any other Saturday, and I woulda managed an AFI in the morning. Whoops.

Still managed to drag my lazy ass over to The Losers, for the last matinee show of the day. Its not so much the three bucks I save that motivates me, its knowing I’m have a personal bubble of empty seats next to me and in front of me (Im a feet putter upper).

Did very much enjoy the movie, although there wasnt anything particularly special about it. No complaints, but no major commendations either. Pretty standard plot. Good characters, that I very much loved. Decent action scenes. But nothing that’s gonna result in me telling everyone I meet that they need to see this one.

The one semi-complaint is that while it tried to partly pass as an action comedy, the comedy wasn’t very comedic. That made so sense cause I was trying to sound clever. Fail. There were definitely some one liners and gags here and there that were supposta get a laugh. Few did. But, at the same time, they were successful in establishing a lighter vibe than if this were going for a hardcore action film (which it would have failed at miserably). There was actually something kinda charming about that element.

I do think the movie was pretty well cast. Im not sure how I feel about Zoe Saldana appearing in EVERYTHING lately, but I was def happy with the boys. In particular, LOVE Chris Evans. And the nerdy edge he got from the goatee and glasses was _really_ working for me. Really liked Óscar Jaenada, as well, who I dont think I’ve previously encountered. His shy yet suave combination was actually distracting me from Evans–no small feat. Jeffrey Dean Morgan seemed very much in his element, and I also came to love Columbus Short.

Yeah so kinda drawing a blank on what else to say. Again, nothing in particular really stood out too far on either end of the spectrum. Enjoyable if this sorta movie is your thing, but not something you’d need to prioritize.

The Losers – \m/ \m/ \m/

Date Night

“Since we last spoke…

Really wanted to get an AFI in after Dragon. But I was falling asleep while I was doing my dance thing (as in I was moving, yet my eyes were closing) and I figured it wouldnt even be worth attempting. So what happens? I end up staying awake thru both Shorts and An Education. Go figure.

Monday was DWTS, and they had a movie night thing. Fave dances featured Pulp Fiction, Risky Business, and Pretty Woman

Tuesday, I saw 30 Seconds to Mars which was oh my God one of my all time best concert experiences ever. Those of you who have me on FB got some of the details from my giddy status update afterwards. Besides them being a rocking band with a damn good live show, Jared Leto (*swoon* like whoa) was great with the audience interaction thing. While the rest of the band distracted during an instrumental bit, he snuck his way to the back of the crowd for a song or two. Then went thru the crowd to get back to the front, hanging out for more than half of “”The Kill””. I pawed at him as much as I could. Then the band actually hung around to sign shit afterwards. No headlining band at that size venue ever does that. Granted, it was kinda rushed thru. One item, no pictures, minimal interaction, but still awesome of them. I managed a two sentance interaction with Jared as he signed my shirt “”I love you movies too”” “”thank you”” and I’ve been on a high ever since. Once I sort thru my low quality pix and video I may post some here.

Yesterday had to take care of some apartment stuff. Watched The Invention of Lying and The Informant! in the background.

Tonight was Date Night, as in the movie, not an actual date night for me. Even though I rarely go to AMC theaters anymore, I’d managed to rack up 100 points on my card last January and got a “”free night at the movies”” freebie which is a movie ticket, popcorn, and soda. Even though I dont care much for the Common (will spare that rant, although add “”the bathrooms reek of piss”” to my long list of complaints cause ew they were gross tonight) the location is much more conveniant than the Harvard theater. So that’s where I went. And of course, no one could figure out how to ring up my ticket, and I had to argue with 3 people that I was supposta get snacks too. The third person finally understood, but was almost too lazy to go get the coupon for me. She finally did and its a little certificate thingy with a tear off for each of those items. And she gave that to me after I’d gotten my ticket. And it doesnt expire until January. That means I essentially got a second free movie (which I feel no remorse about cause I’ve defintely let AMC free tickets expire before), I have months to use it, and I figured I didnt need the snacks tonight so I got that saved for later to. Go me.

And of course, I’ve wasted all this time typing out backstory before I even get into the movie and my wrists are starting to bother me. Crap. Might need to keep this short. Sorry peeps.

Date Night was very much a win in my book. Comedy, action, all around top notch. Love Tina Fey. Can I be her when I grow up? And pairing her with Steve Carel. was genius. The two of them make a believable and utterly hilarious couple. Fantastic performances from the two of them, as should be expected.

While on the subject of the cast, lots of great appearances from other faves. Hadnt known Mark Wahlberg was in this, and there was quite a lot of him (with not a lot of clothing! *grin*). Absolutely no complaints from me there. James Franco and Mila Kunis, two others who are high on my approval list, also making small yet fantastically fun appearances. Ray Liotta playing Ray Liotta, err I mean, playing a gangster. Prison Break’s William Fichtner was there too, as was Taraji P Henson, Mark Ruffalo, and Kristin Wiig (seriously, is she in _every_ comedy released this year?)

The story was simple, but effective. I cared enough about the characters that I was feeling the suspense right with him. The structure was very streamlined, yet satisfying–a difficult feat for a comedy or an action film, even though this qualifies waaay more for the former than the latter. There were only two bits I felt might’ve gone on a bit long (the car crash and the dancing) but thats just me being picky cause the rest of the crowd was in stitches.

Im actually very surprised, and frankly quite happy, that the more recent April flicks have been very good. If April is when you release the movies that dont quite make the cut for summer, that does give me some high hopes for my favorite movie season of the year. There’s definitely some shit Im really looking forward to, so here’s hoping the summer doesnt disappoint.

Date Night – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

How to Train Your Dragon

“I know, Im waaay behind (by my standards at least) in seeing this movie. Here’s my chronological list of excuses. First, I planned to see it opening weekend. I got back in town from Texas trip 2010 #1 the day it opened, and I woulda had plenty of time for a matinee before the Spurs/Celts game that Sunday. But, the roomie wanted me to see it with her, and for a few different reasons that was gonna hafta get postponed a bit. The day before I leave for Texas trip 2010 #2, she comes home and announces that she just saw it with her bf. So I resolved to take my baby cousin to see it while I was at home. But then the timing didnt work out. The only chance we woulda had to go was on Monday night, and thats DWTS night for me. No, I didnt totally abandon family, so I had said baby cousin come over to watch the show with me. She couldnt have been less interested. Decided I’d just go during the week this past week, but the roomie wanted to see it again so we agreed to postpone it til the weekend. All of that worked out rather well in the end cause I had to go buy some furniture. So that meant I was gonna head over to Jordan’s Furniture this afternoon, which just so happens to have an IMAX theater in it that is currently playing Dragon. Yes, so bit delayed, but oh so very much worth the wait.

I thought that overall it was a \m/ good movie. And this isnt just an inverse expectations thing. I had actually high expectations from all the buzz I’d been hearing, and for once it actually measured up. Im not even sure where to start gushing.

Great characters, on so many levels. For one, Im pretty big on Vikings, given that’s half of my heritage (Hispanic being the other). And its also the half I wasnt immersed in growing up, so I do have a genuine interest in it. From the comment early on about how stubborn Vikings are (which is dead on if my daddy and I are any indication) I knew I was in for somethin’ good. Absolutely adored Hiccup. Very relatable, funny, sweet, and perfectly cast by Jay Baruchel. Also pleased to see, er I mean hear, Christopher Mintz-Plasse (making his second appearance this weekend for me), Jonah Hill, Gerard Butler, and Craig Ferguson.

The dragon characters were fantastic as well. A friend of mine told me that for her, as a cat owner, the movie took on a whole new level. I hafta concur with that. Toothless very much reminded me of my younger cat, Nosferatu.

Was also rather impressed with the story. Yes, its kinda basic, but they did have me in suspense at key moments. There were also some twists I didnt see coming, which given how many movies I see, its hard to surprise me. Great dialogue too. Its so easy to just have throwaway lines in a kiddie movie, but it was quotably good.

The visual was phenomenal. Yes, the extra depth from the third dimension was worth it, and there was some fun with things like ashes and such appearing to fall over the audience. I loved how expressive the characters were animated, and some of the dragons (especially in closeup) were absolutely gorgeous.

Guess it goes without saying at this point, but def recommend this one, especially to those of you with kids and/or a Peter Pan complex.

How to Train Your Dragon – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/


“You know how I know summer movie season is right around the corner? The movies at the theater have left “”No way in hell””, passed “”Do I hafta?””, moved forward from “”Yes please”” and are now starting to hit “”OMG CAN I SEE THIS NOW?!””. Kick-Ass falls in that latest category, as I have been anxiously awaiting its arrival.

Did it measure up? Yeah, Id say so.

Those of you who have a decent handle on my movie taste shouldnt be too surprised by my sentiments towards this, as it was very much a “”Dawn movie””. There was violence, and it was gratuitous, comic, and extra rare steak kinda bloody. There was comedy, and it was quotable, crude, and capable of inducing loud laughs outta this quiet little mouse. Yeah you really just need a decent helping of those two overarching categories and Im all set.

Beyond that, loved the characters. Kick Ass was sympathetic and relatable, I wanna hang out with Red Mist, and I wanna be Hit Girl (def considering it for a possible Halloween costume). They were all very well cast. Double bonus points for Christopher Mintz-Plasse for taking a few steps away from McLovin’ typecasting with a slightly less awkward character, and for generally being awesome. Will also give Nic Cage props for not annoying me as he often tends to do. According to IMDB trivia, some of the better gags for his character were his ideas.

Felt like they did a good job incorporating the whole comic book thing, especially the way they did the sequence for the Hit Girl/Big Daddy backstory. Really need to get my hands on the source material. Been a while since I last read a graphic novel and/or comic book so Im a bit overdue.

So yeah, all rock hands up in the air for this one. Gonna anxiously await the Blu-Ray so I can see it again

Kick-Ass – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

Blade Runner (AFI #97)

“So I just got back from Kick-Ass and I really wanna do that write up, but I should be a good little blogger and go in order–even though if I truly were a good little blogger I’d have done this write up this morning. Anyhoo, thats my excuse this time around for this one being inevitably short.

I dont know why I still keep trying to watch AFI’s on Friday night. I always end up falling asleep. And I was more into Blade Runner than I had been for a lot of the recent AFI’s I’ve crossed off the list.

In general, I have mixed feelings about it. I will say I liked it better on this second viewing, than I had a year and a half ago (or so) when I first watched it. Think it was too hyped up for that first watch, common story. Story wise, I find it very intriguing. Love the premise and Harrison Ford’s character. While I understand that it was ground breaking science fiction back in the day, the visual didnt age very well, at least not for me. But we’ve long since established that older movies have a harder time getting me to fully appreciate them. Personal character flaw.

Getting closer to the end. Will be kinda nice to go back to watching movies at home without feeling like its an obligation. I’ll likely start up another project in the fall, but def looking foward to a bit of a break first.”

The Grapes of Wrath (AFI #23)

“Back from a quick vacation to Texas for my cousin Ritchie’s (or Rick as he usually goes by now) wedding. Had some tentative plans for movie watching that didnt work out. Thought maaaaybe there’d be an hour and a half when I could watch The General online. Nope. Then I really wanted to take my baby cousin, Carys, to see …Dragon but timing didnt work out. Although that turned out for the best cause Im gonna get to see it at the IMAX this weekend. Anyhoo, as much as I wanted to just put on something mindless and pass out tonight, I figured that I really gotta get these AFI movies done. I keep missing one arbitrary deadline after another another, and I’m so \m/ close.

Before I get into tonight’s movie, I forgot to post this article. It amused me (mostly because it prominently features the word expletive, including the phrase expletive deleted) even if I dont agree with the writer’s stance on the subject.

Right. AFI movie. Tonight’s pick was The Grapes of Wrath. I dont know if its cause I didnt do a good job balancing out the movies so Im left with a decent selection, or if Im getting exhausted on the last legs of the project, or if its life in general, but Im finding it more and more difficult to get into these films. Although this time around, I swear I really was trying. And it had me sometimes. But the problem was that its really depressing (and slow) and with everything I’ve had to deal with lately (still not going into detail), depressing isnt exactly what Im in the mood for.

I did like the characters. Ma Joad in particular stood out to me, as did the preacher, err former preacher. Also particularly liked that diner scene early on where they’re trying to buy food for the trip. Found the way it played out and ultimately concluded very touching. I can see how the film is considered significant in the movie world, but just not quite something I woulda wanted to watch right now if I didnt have a mission to accomplish.”

High Noon (AFI #27)

“Really short write up, cause I got laundry waiting. And also, this was a western. We all have learned by now that those send my attention span to zero. this was among my distractions.

The bits that did manage to catch me were intriguing. I’ve just accepted that this whole western thing is a personal character flaw, and there’s not much I can do about it.

Wow this write up has no content.”

Star Wars (AFI #13)

“I still remember the first time I saw Star Wars. I must’ve been in about 8th or 9th grade. I’d gotten hooked on Sliders and was getting into sci-fi as a result. I was gonna spend the night at my grandma’s, so my daddy and I were at Blockbuster picking up a rental–a tradition for slumber parties over there. When he realized my newfound love of sci fi, he said he knew exactly which movie I needed to rent. He walked off for a minute and came back with Star Wars. And I loved it. I watched the trilogy a bunch of times throughout high school, and thought I was fan. Then I came to MIT, and realized I was nowhere close to the epic levels of fandom that many of the new friends I made had reached.

Then there was the whole Star Wars Trilogy: Musical Edition thing. Yeah that was interesting. I assume most of you reading this know exactly what Im talking about, but if you dont, yes I was in a musical theater production of Star Wars. I played a range of characters including (and I know Im butchering spelling) Dengar, Admiral Ozzel, dancing Jawa, dancing Bespin guard, MIT Quiddich player (yes you read that right), but mostly just random imperial officer in the background. I’ll say it was an experience, and I’ll leave it at that.

As far as the movie, to be honest I dont care so much for A New Hope anymore. Once I discovered it, I’d watch it every time it was on tv, and its a lot more readily available than the sequels so I think I saw it a few too many times. Dont get me wrong, Im not in any way trying to belittle it. It just has lost a bit of the magic for me. And, I’ll also admit that in general I’d prefer watching the prequels. I know, that blasphemous statement could result in my death, but bear in mind that I like recent movies best. And its more the visual and a cast Im more familiar with than anything else. I wont argue with you if you try to convince me the originals are better, but I can only handle so much old school special effects. Although I am vehemently against total CGI muppet-less Yoda.

Amusing antecdote that just happened. I was too lazy to turn off the tv, so I left the credits rolling while doing the write up. The roomie walks in, looks at the screen and hears the music. “”Superman?”” she asks innocently. Her BF yells out “”Star Wars!”” from the other room. It doesnt sound as funny written out, but it did have us all laughing.

Anyhoo, have a happy what’s left of Easter. Hoping to get in one AFI this week (aiming for Tues) before heading home again for a few days, but we’ll see what happens.”