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"Honey, could you hustle us up a couple of daiquiris and a cocktail weenie? On second thought, just bring the booze, I brought my own weenie. Oh, she's offended. And she should be. I'm a pig. And I hate me. That's what we have in common, nurse Ratched. We both hate me. " — John Goodman as Harling Mays in Flight

flight Flight (2012, USA)
3_5
I generally turn away from movies about alcoholics, but I stuck around to see what happened with this one. I was hoping for a bit more on the NTSB aircraft accident investigation process, but what there was was interesting, focused on the interaction between the different parties to an aircraft accident (the pilots’ union, the manufacturers, the airlines, the NTSB), and I think anyone with a bit of knowledge about the industry would agree the movie gets most of it right. I think what they got wrong was the lawyer’s freakishly easy ability to quash a damning blood alcohol test. As for the alcoholism: Denzel Washington played it well. I hated his character, but he played it well. Overall a very good movie, just difficult to watch, and people who live with alcoholics will probably have the same reaction I had.
More reviews below the fold ...

seeking a friend Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012, USA)
3_0
A sweet romance with Steve Carrell and Keira Knightley. Carrell plays it straight; Knightley is down-to-earth. I don't know that an end-of-the-world scenario is really necessary to bring out the romance between these two: surely some lesser calamity resulting in an unlikely man/woman pairing could have been devised. The sic-fi touch will probably draw more men, though, and maybe that's why they did it ... there have been a lot of end-times movies lately, so maybe they were just cashing in on a fad. But as a romance, this really is a sweet one, and we enjoyed watching it.
premium rush Premium Rush (2012, USA)
3_5
I wasn't sure about this one but it turned out to be a lot of fun. Pretty much a pure chase movie, and if you've ridden a bicycle in city traffic and have an appreciation for the dangers, a damned scary movie as well. The story is simple, the chase scenes are great, and the villain is villainous enough to keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. Bicyclists be warned: while the riding scenes are realistic, there's a certain amount of smug and annoying hipster no-brakes fixie bullshit to wade through. Viewers with brains be warned: the flash mob scene is bullshit and hokey beyond belief. Still, these are two very minor objections. You'll get your money's worth out of this movie.
little birds Little Birds (2011, USA)
3_0
I came close to giving up on this one during the depressing and glum opening sequence, with the unhappy girls and all the unhappy adults going nowhere in their Salton Sea trailer park slum. But once the girls run away to LA things get very interesting indeed. Little Birds is a gritty coming of age story for young girls, and the last 20 minutes are riveting. By the way, I'm becoming quite the Juno Temple fan.
compliance Compliance (2012, USA)
3_5
What I knew going in: Compliance is based on a true story and it's supposed to be uncomfortable to watch (it started an audience riot at Sundance). You'd think, knowing this beforehand, I’d have been able to watch dispassionately. Not so. I became so upset I started shouting and rioting all by myself. When I was still a teenager a co-worker stole a lot of merchandise. During the investigation, cops tried to browbeat false confessions out of the rest of us. I managed to hold my head up under the pressure but was scared to death the whole time. What I learned from that incident was to distrust authority. The employees of the McDonalds in Kentucky where the actual incident took place had never learned that lesson. One by one they fell for the outrageous demands of a prank caller posing as a cop, until a handyman finally waved the bullshit flag. What I did not know was how far the perpetrator and his victims went. I knew the young girl had been talked into disrobing; I didn't know what happened after and that's what upset me so, that anyone could be so trusting. In a more rational world, every high school junior or senior would be forced to watch this movie in class, followed by an open discussion about when – and when not – to question authority.
the samaritan The Samaritan (2012, USA)
2_0
Aware of poor critical and viewer reactions beforehand, I ordered this movie anyway ... I mean, c'mon, Samuel Jackson ... and of course it turned out I shouldn't have. The Samaritan is dreary and derivative. Ex-con tries to go straight but his past catches up with him: I've seen it a dozen times before, and that's probably an underestimate. Everything is grim and dark, characters aren't consistent, it doesn't have anything new to say, and the emphasis on physical violence and its bloody effects is the next thing to porn. I felt ripped off. Note: this movie has been retitled Fury and may be being marketed again to a new DVD rental audience -- don't bite!
robot and frank Robot & Frank (2012, USA)
3_0
A bit thin but nonetheless enjoyable. In the near future, an elderly and now retired cat burgler with mild dementia is given a helper robot by his son. The old guy recruits his helper into a life of crime. His memory, full of gaps when it comes to his own family, is excellent otherwise: he retains his criminal skills and cunning, so manages to pull of a nearly perfect crime: the imperfection is that the robot, who helped him with the theft, has a downloadable memory and thus can be used as a witness against him. In the end he has to kill the robot who has become his friend by reformatting its memory. Sorry for the spoiler, but there it is. The small-town New England setting, and Frank Langella in particular, carry this small movie along and make it charmingly watchable.
the avengers The Avengers (2012, USA)
2_0
A special effects orgy that drags on for two hours and change, with little internal plot or character consistency. I rate it as high as I do purely on the strength of the CGI. Adults who read comic books will probably like this splashy, colorful, violent movie. Personally, I think adults who still read Marvel comics are retards … and so am I for thinking I might have gotten some pleasure out of watching this.
skyfall Skyfall (2012, UK)
3_5
You can’t go wrong with a Bond film so long as it stars Sean Connery or Daniel Craig, who is Connery’s equal in every way. This one centers on a supervillain played by Javier Bardem, a computer-age Blofeld with unexpected depth of character. We also learn a bit of Commander Bond’s backstory. I totally enjoyed this one ... it took my mind off all my troubles and gave me my money’s worth in entertainment. Some of the best things about the Danial Craig Bond movies are the frequent in-jokes and references back to the Sean Connery classics, and Skyfall contains many such zingers. Finally, I must say as a motorcyclist the bike chase through Istanbul was marvelous.

Knew It Was Crap But Watched It Anyway


sinister Sinister (2012, USA)
1_0
Another gory, boring, predictable ghost story. By the halfway point I was spending as much time on Twitter as I was on the movie; by the end I was asleep. Where is it chiseled in stone that movies like this all have to be the same?
- See all my reviews

Originally posted to pwoodford on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:42 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I thoroughly agree with your review of Skyfall (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    arizonablue, Shahryar, RiveroftheWest

    I wasn't expecting much but found myself riveted to the villian and that motorcycle ride thru Istanbul was classic Bond. The cast change for the next Bond leaves me hungry but as I understand it Craig won't be back. Is that right?

    You can't assassinate the character of any of modern conservative. You'd have to find where it was buried, dig it up, resurrect it, then kill it. And killing a zombie isn't really assassination, is it?

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 07:54:00 PM PDT

    •  Craig will be back...in 3 years (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ontheleftcoast, RiveroftheWest, dewtx

      “We are currently developing the screenplay and working with our partners. We look forward to developing the script soon and signing a director. We are hoping within the next 3 years it will be released,” MGM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Barber said.

      I hated Skyfall. It has a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes so it's me and a couple of other people! Everyone else likes it.

      •  character development (0+ / 0-)

        I thought the writers did about as good as they could creating the sensation of character development in the Bond crew ... but was that even a good idea? I come down on, no, not really. Ultimately you feel cheated because there can't be any character development. Even by the end of this one movie whatever lessons Bond had learned, whatever personal growth he'd experienced had to be erased.

  •  "Compliance" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, Susan from 29

    Thanks for the reviews. But hey - I kind of felt like your review of "Compliance" needed a "spoiler alert" since you gave away that it's the handyman who puts a stop to the madness. How much does knowing that ahead of time diminish the suspense?

    If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - David Rees from "Get Your War On".

    by Oaktown Girl on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 08:31:35 PM PDT

    •  Obviously I hope not at all ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susan from 29, dewtx

      it's a dramatization of a real event, almost a documentary, so the facts are all out there. Still, I hope I haven't ruined it for you ... that was not my intention. I'll be interested to see if others agree with me that this film should be mandatory training for high school kids!

      •  OK, thanks. n/t (0+ / 0-)

        If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - David Rees from "Get Your War On".

        by Oaktown Girl on Thu Mar 21, 2013 at 09:05:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree absolutely. It was a frightening docudrama (0+ / 0-)

        that had me mystified and angry at the same time. We should always question authority.

        It bothered me that the manager, who should have known better, went along with it. That is why young people should question authority, simply because the authority, in this case I am speaking of the manager, doesn't always know what the hell they are doing.

        We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty - Edward R. Murrow

        by Susan Grigsby on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 01:26:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A script of mine was produced this year (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Renee, LuvSet

    The premiere is later this year.
    http://www.youtube.com/...
    Maybe someday you can review it.

    N/S

  •  The purpose of reviews... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevemb, faolan, madmsf

    ...is not to tell readers what the reviewer likes, but to give readers a sense of what THEY will like. Otherwise it's an analysis, commentary or maybe a humor piece. But even commentaries shouldn't include spoilers.

    It took a movie on your list that I had seen to make it clear that your tastes are very different from mine... and that you seem to think yours are the only valid tastes. So, your commentary is not useful unless people share your tastes.

    •  Worse, I Can't Figure Out What His Tastes *Are* (0+ / 0-)

      I can understand not liking popcorn action flicks (the Avengers review). I can't understand immediately pivoting from that to declare Skyfall "totally enjoyed".

      On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

      by stevemb on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 07:13:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I only saw one of the movies (0+ / 0-)

    on your list - The Avengers.  I loved it.  Sorry, I guess I must be a retard.

    On a more general note - for those who like movie review programs (like me) - I'd highly recommend this one from BBC Radio 5live:

    Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's Film Reviews

    The weekly programs are all available as podcasts and you don't have to live in the UK in order to download them.  This is currently my favorite podcast.  The pair of presenters are very funny IMO.  They're like an old married couple who bicker all the time.

    •  not to beat a dead horse here... (0+ / 0-)

      but by coincidence in the current edition of the review podcast that I mentioned above, they have an interview with the director of Compliance and then a review of that same movie.  So if the mention of that movie in the diary piqued your interest, you might want to check that out. Other movies are reviewed as well.

      FYI.

  •  If I could troll rate this diary I would (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    legendmn

    Thank you for being ever so superior and telling me I'm a retard for being able to enjoy comic books. I grew up in a place that taught me to tell a person exactly what I thought of them but I have to censor myself here because I don't wish to be troll'd in return. Suffice to say that I think your opinion regarding Avengers, and particularly it's fans, is both merit-less and arrogantly judgmental.

    Fuck you for calling me a retard.

    •  I wouldn't troll rate because of that (0+ / 0-)

      but I agree that it was kind of rude to offend a large number of comic book fans...many of whom are members of DK.

      I usually like to see other's reviews of movies I saw, but that comment made it more personal than just a movie review.

      “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” - Anais Nin

      by legendmn on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 11:36:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Not cool! (0+ / 0-)

    I'll have to remember to not read your reviews in the future. First, you should give spoiler alerts for almost all of these reviews. You give away key elements. That's really not cool.

    Second, you really want to call comic readers "retards?" That's offense on a couple levels.

    I'm sorry I clicked on this diary. I'm even more sorry I read beyond the first review.

  •  I gotta go with "Hobo With a Shotgun" (0+ / 0-)

    Guess what it's about? A cartoonishly gory grindhouse Tarantino / Rob Rodriguez takeoff. Totally repellant and fun with Rutger Hauer. All he wants is to have a lawnmower business, but they won't leave him alone.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:57:20 AM PDT

  •  first and last time i read any of your reviews (0+ / 0-)

    insulting, full of spoilers, lack of any sort of research. maybe you should stick with something besides reviewing.

    Whose interest does ignorance serve? - Carl Sagan

    by spgilbert on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 10:00:17 AM PDT

  •  first and last time i read any of your reviews (0+ / 0-)

    insulting, full of spoilers, lack of any sort of research. maybe you should stick with something besides reviewing.

    Whose interest does ignorance serve? - Carl Sagan

    by spgilbert on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 10:00:44 AM PDT

  •  interesting, this IS the first time I've read one (0+ / 0-)

    of these.

    I don't mind spoilers, but I do think the review of Avengers might have gone better as "This really didn't do anything for me, but I'm not a fan of comic books." Period.

    May or may not read again, not many on this list that I was interested in before reading.

    "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

    by chimene on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 10:52:38 AM PDT

  •  Daniel Craig - the surly Bond (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Susan from 29

    I'm sure I'll catch up with Skyfall at some point, but it's been decades since I cared about this franchise. The current "reboot" is such a mirthless affair. Connery's Bond enjoyed his job - indulging in gambling, liquor, and women for his own pleasure. Craig's Bond scowls, no matter what the situation is.

    My other car is a pair of boots.

    by FutureNow on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 11:05:36 AM PDT

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