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/

Kick-Ass

“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.”

Clash of the Titans

“Ah yes, the dreaded April action movie. The attempted blockbuster that doesnt quite have what it takes to be released a month later, when its officially summer season movie wise. I knew to expect nothing going into this one. Was somewhat tempted to skip it, but we all know that was never gonna happen.

What also didnt help was that the guy behind me while waiting for the ticket taker mentioned to his movie buddy that the 3D in the movie was gonna suck because it was originally intended and shot as a 2d movie. \m/. I’d forgotten that fact, and I was hypercritical of the third dimension the whole time. But the truth is, no it was not worth it. You know how if you take off the glasses, the screen looks blurry, and however blurry it is is proportional to the effects. In other words, a really detailed 3D scene will be really blurry. The picture looked pretty clear a lot of times I took off the glasses. Not good. It was not noticable at all. On the upside, at least it wasnt headache inducing as last minute 3D often is. Or maybe its just that the movie was putting me to sleep.

Yeah, it was all just dull. I dont know what it was. I did like the characters, which was an easy win for them because of course Im gonna love mythological peeps. I guess the story just wasnt anything too special. And there’s the added fact that I dont know my mythology as well as I’d like. Yup, thats another one of those I-should-study-up-on-this-subject comments that Im never gonna actually do. My usual one is I should study up on WWII. Moving on.

The action scenes left a lot to be desired. Im very much an action junkie, so if those scenes were the ones putting me most to sleep, we got a major \m/ problem. There was one good fight towards the end-ish but it didnt come close to making up for the rest of ’em.

The comment I have about the cast is that I didnt recognize most of the actors I should have. Yes I caught Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Alexa Davalos, and Nicholas Hoult (although I didnt remember his name and referred to him in my head as the cute guy from A Single Man) but I totally didnt catch Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, or Jason Flemyng. I mean, yes, I did see they were there, but I didnt realize who they were. Bad movie afficionado. *slap on the wrist*. Also, it hurt my soul a little bit to see Liam Neeson (and Ralph Fiennes when I realized it) doing a movie so beneath him.

I know this is a movie that you pretty much know what you’re getting into if you do decide to see it, which an unfortunate number of ya’ll prolly will. My only advice is that I’d recommend spending the extra 3 bucks supersizing your snacks for a 2D showing. At least you’ll get some extra M&M’s out of it.

Clash of the Titans – \m/ \n

Nashville (AFI #59)

“Hey, its one of my signature I-didnt-pay-much-attention-to-the-movie-so-this-is-gonna-be-a-short-AFI-write-up entries. Best.

So the deal I made with myself this afternoon when I got back from filing my taxes (I’ll spare ya’ll the rant, but the short version is the private screening of Vampire’s Assistant screwed me over a bit) was that I’d watch a movie out of my queue and then if I didnt have anything else to do tonight, THEN I’d watch an AFI. Watched National Treasure 2 and still didnt have anything else better to do once it was over. And thus, here we are.

This ones got me puzzling as to why it was included on the list, and it missed the top half by that much. I was bored. It was more musical performances than anything else, and while I can appreciate country music, I dont quite dig old school country. Some of the characters were interesting, but there wasn’t enough going on at a time to really hold me.

Clearly, Im missing something”

Repo Men

“Hello there, gentle readers. I hope there’s still some of you out there. Apologies for the unexpected hiatus. Shit happened that I had to deal with. Been on the fence about how full disclosure I wanna be about it. Not that it something I need to hide, but at this time I dont feel my movie blog is the appropriate venue to discuss. Nothing to worry about. Life goes on.

I actually got to go see this Repo Men on Thur, but am just now getting around to doing the write up. Not sure if Ive mentioned this before (I feel I must’ve) but Im now on a later schedule at work. Im in from 11-7, and how that affects my movie-ing is that I typically can’t make it back in time for showings in the 7:00 hour, but I can go to a 10:00 hour one and make it back before bedtime. Downside is its either bedtime on time or immediate write up. Since then, I’ve realized after the fact that I had time to do it. Sort of a “”hey that 30 minutes that just went by, woulda been great”” So, sittin’ down and hittin’ it now.

I’d been really disappointed that life got in the way of seeing Repo Men right away. I’d been really psyched for it. Sadly, extended excitement equalled extra disappointment (dammit, couldnt think of a synonym started with “”e””). The pacing and structure sorta killed it a bit for me. Given that’s been my typically complaint lately, it makes me wonder if Im just getting too picky about movies or there really have been that many with that issue.

So, why was I stoked for the movie to begin with? I love shoot ’em ups. No secret there. ‘Specially love ’em when they’ve got an interesting premise. Bonus points if its a messed up on. Add a very promising cast on top of that (Jude Law, Forrest Whitaker, Liev Schriber) and you got a very good formula for a possible Dawn movie, and it was to some extent.

The first bit of it was very quick and streamlined, which is typically a good thing. You dont have too much excess and dont spend needless time on scenes people couldnt give a \m/ about. But, care needs to be taken that the movie doesnt feel like it has a false ending. I thought we were reaching the end, then I looked at my watch and realized we had another hour to go. If you dont quite get what Im describing, a classic example is Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. THe last 45 minutes had like 10 places where you thought the movie was ending. You get mentally prepared for it to be over, tie up the lose ends in your head (or justify why they’re there), and start thinking of what snack is waiting for you at home. But instead you realize its not over yet, and it takes a lot of effort to reengage. Or maybe Im the only one. Either way, there were several times it felt like it was building to an end, and each was harder to come back from than the last.

The action scenes didnt disappoint, except maybe for their quantity. I really coulda used a few more. Word of caution: this film is definitely not for the squeamish. I’m pretty tough when it comes to that sorta thing, so if I was getting borderline grossed out that tells you something right there. Bear that in mind if you’re sensitive to that stuff.

No complaints about the cast either, but not really much special to say about ’em.

Anyhoo I guess thats all the majors for Repo Men. I think I might like it better on a second watch, once I know what Im in for. Unclear how Im gonna proceed movie wise this weekend. I should try to get in a couple AFI’s but Im lacking motivation. Im taking off for my cousin’s wedding next weekend so that’s also gonna put a major halt on the movies. Hopefully after that I really will get back on track and finish that damn project already. Im so close.

Repo Men – \m/ \m/ \n