Saturday, June 29, 2013

White House Down

I love the fact that we have two capture-the-White-House movies in one year.  I went to the first, so of course I had to go to the second.

It was big fun. 

Make no mistake about it: White House Down is a B movie.  It's a guilty pleasure, with a plot that makes as little sense as you would expect, a script that abuses foreshadowing to the point that the term begs to be shot and put out of its misery, and a cute kid as a central character. 

It's still fun. All of us who went together had a good time despite the movie's many flaws.

As with so many other films, you know from the trailer whether you're in the target audience for this one.  I am.  If you are, check it out, and have a good time.  

Friday, June 28, 2013

The Boat That Rocked

is, as long-time readers will know, one of my all-time favorite movies.  Tonight, we gathered for our annual summer viewing of it.  The Richard Curtis film was, as always, glorious.

Here's a lovely scene that comes after the government has made the boat's operation illegal.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Another must-see flick for any bad-movie fan

I knew it was coming.

Kyle pointed out the trailer. 



Escape Plan

I am so there.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My new ride

I bought a new car.  In the process, I traded in the LEAF, so it is gone.  In its place, however, is something rather nicer.

I'll tease the car's identity with this picture of Sarah in part of it.

Click on the photo to see a larger version.

By way of a further hint, I'll note that Sarah is not in the trunk.

More about this wonderful new vehicle in a later post.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Much Ado About Nothing

According to this article, Joss Whedon used to invite friends to his house to read aloud sections of Shakespeare's works.  One day, he decided to make a movie of one of the plays--quickly, at his house, with his friends.  The product of that decision, 12 days of shooting, and who knows how much editing, was the film, Much Ado About Nothing.

I loved it. 

For the better part of two hours, Whedon and his cast of friends brought Shakespeare's comedy to black-and-white, present-day life, but wisely kept Shakespeare's words.  The film's composition is what makes it.  The black-and-white approach somehow feels just right.  The setting--Whedon's house--seems tailor-made for romantic comedy hijinks, and the cast all appeared to be having great times doing the movie.

Sadly, the weakest bits were the performances, because many of the line readings felt too fast and too simple, but most of the time in the movie that didn't matter, because it kept chugging entertainingly along. 

Though it's far from a flawless film, because of the performances, and though I doubt it'll get an Oscar nod, I recommend this one without reservation.  Check it out before it vanishes. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

This Is the End

Yes, I went to see this giant exercise in guy humor.  Hey, I'm a guy who's seen all three Jackass movies.  So sue me. 

The thing is, This Is the End made me laugh a lot.  I wasn't alone; all around me, men and women alike were also laughing a lot.  Of course, some of the time we were all also groaning, other times some were laughing and some were clearly disgusted, but, hey, what else would you expect from this sort of movie?

If you don't already know, I can summarize the plot without giving away anything of great importance:  A bunch of Hollywood celebrities, each of whom plays himself or herself, gather for a party at James Franco's house.  As the evening wears on, bad shit happens.  Hi-jinks and more ensue.  Eventually, we get a humorous but ever so slightly uplifting (for a nanosecond) resolution. 

Along the way, the movie hits us with so many types of dumb male humor that at least some of it is sure to make you laugh.

If you're looking for a film by the next Fellini, or if you want to make a good impression on a first date, This Is the End is almost certainly not for you.  If you want to wonder if men are really that dumb (yes, we are) even as you laugh at a bunch of them doing stupid shit, then check it out. 

As you might expect, I quite enjoyed it.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

World War Z

With last night's Zombie rules post conveniently available to explain my terms, let's first get one thing straight about World War Z:  It is not a zombie film.  It is a hybrid zombie film, part apocalyptic medical epidemic thriller and part zombie flick.  This distinction is vital, and the sooner you accept it, the sooner you'll be able to accept and even enjoy the movie's take on zombies.

For these are very special zombies indeed.  They run.  Boy, do they run.  These suckers are fast.  They leap like long-jump contestants.  They climb, particularly over one another.  They're attracted to loud noises.  There are people they won't eat.  These hybrid zombies are some scary critters. 

Having made all those zombie customizations, the World War Z gang then play the rest of the movie straight up, no humor, all horror, and lots of the emotions you would expect people to feel should a zombie uprising occur.  Brad Pitt never smirks; this is serious shit, and he wants us to know it.  I appreciated that quite a bit, because it both helped maintain the tension and was nice to see in a big-budget Hollywood zombie flick. 

The cast around Pitt, the vast majority of whom I don't recall seeing before, also play it straight, so that everyone we meet is genuinely having a hard time with the new reality.

Pitt's character is a bit of a stretch, a man who is some vague sort of U.N. special investigator who's been in bad places and knows his way around a gun but who otherwise is only occasionally the sort of bad-ass you'd expect him to be.  Fortunately, the movie's pacing is fast enough that his nebulous credentials bother you only occasionally.

I don't want to spoil the plot for you any more than the earlier hints already have, so I won't go into the story itself beyond saying that within its rules it does a reasonable job of being self-consistent.

Though World War Z wasn't a pure zombie film, I enjoyed it quite a bit and recommend it.


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