Monday, April 14, 2014

Now Playing: Muppets Most Wanted

Indulged in my inner child in some Muppet mania with Muppets Most Wanted. Yes, the plot was thin and the cameos bordered on overkill, but it was what Muppets do best - funny and cute.  No secret that I'm a fan of Kermit - maybe it's because he's so earnest or that he loves the impossible Miss Piggy or his unfailing loyalty.  I don't know.  I like him a lot.  Seeing a mean Bizarro-Kermie? Pretty awesome!

My favourite moment has to be the green piglet and the pink tadpole, though.  Probably not worth going to the theatre - I'd even say it's a bit too slow for kids.  But it's a nice trip down nostalgia lane. 2.5 out of 5 stars.

For some bonus fun, check out:
Gordon  Ramsay v Swedish Chef 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Now Playing: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

I’ve been sitting on this for a while, and I’m not sure why.  Last Sunday, we went to see Captain America: The Winter Soldier in IMAX 3D (if you’re going to do to 3D, poppets, take it from this veteran: only bother if it’s in IMAX).  This is the second Captain America movie (and I must have not liked Cap; The First Avenger very much at all, as I didn’t even bother to review it) and the ninth Avengers movie in the series.  We should be getting tired of these by now, but they just seem to be getting better and better.

Case in point: TWS is really good.  I mean, really good. Yes, yes – action sequences, special effects, yaddayadda is all good. Pretty great, actually.  Especially on that crisp IMAX 3D screen.  But that’s to be expected.  What makes this one really good is script and, yes, acting.  I really felt for the Captain (something I was missing in the first one) and the Big Bad is the kind of antagonist I like: many shades of grey*. There are so many spoilers if I try to talk about this topic, so I’ll expound below.

Needless to say, it’s a good movie.  4 out of 5 stars.
*I hate that the phrase “shades of grey” has been co-opted by mediocre erotica.


Tuesday, April 01, 2014

new look

Have decided to enter the Web2.0 era (just as 3.0 is getting going) and reformat the blog to fit more naturally on widescreen monitors.  While it is a bit of an adjustment (I do miss that black background...), I think it's time.  No need to be alarmed.  Same old me, just a different skin.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Now Playing: 300: Rise of an Empire

Wow.  I actually completely forgot we had watched 300: Rise of an Empire, like two weeks ago.  That's a statement unto itself.  So, what do I actually remember? umm...

Eva Green! Oh yes, she had the hottest costumes. Her battle armour had these fantastic golden spinal ridge-horn-dealies that actually had a defensive purpose!  And she was a wicked marksman, which meant her bow was elaborate and goth-ish.  Oh, and her "off-duty" "dress"?  Several leather strips that hid everything but gave her complete mobility.  drooool.  She also had the best lines.  Anyway - that's what I remember most.

 The rest is pretty much a blur of abs.  That's sad.  Oh, and the lack of anything remotely historical.  As we learned from Spartacus, when it's bloody and believable?  The combination is, simply, thrilling.

So, I guess I can't do anything but give it 2.5 out of 5 stars.  Anything more would be a lie.  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Now Playing: Veronica Mars

It’s funny, I never did share my love of Veronica Mars with you, poppets, via a dedicated post.  I mean, I’ve mentioned the show in passing, but haven’t had an ode to it like I have with others, and that’s okay.  That may change this summer.  After watching the movie, I’ve developed an itch to rewatch the show in its entirety.

The movie was like a really good, double-part episode.  Right down to not tying up all the loose ends and hinting to what’s coming up in the future.  The mystery is good, pacing is good… it’s all good.  The actors slipped right back into their roles , too.  No awkwardness there.  It’s great to see father and daughter reconnect (my favourite father-daughter relationship on TV, actually).  And LoVe? They’re perfect.

All in all: 4 out of 5 stars.  But if you’re not a fan – don’t even bother.  The movie will make so sense and half the dialogue quips will be lost.

Friday, March 07, 2014

oscars 2014

For the first time since we've made the Oscars a betting event, I actually won.  (the first year, my dad won, and he made the picks according to “the sound of the titles”…go figure). The difference this year is instead of choosing with my heart, I picked things that the Academy would choose.  The two categories I really went with my gut – Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay – I lost. So, there you have it.

For a recap, here you are:

The BIG SIX (a nice mix)
Best Picture: 12 Years a Slave
Best Directing: Gravity
Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett
Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto
Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o

Hard-to-find-in-theatre Awards
Best Foreign Language Film: The Great Beauty (Italy)
Best Animated Feature: Frozen 
Best Animated Short Film: Mr. Hublot
Best Live Action Short Film: Helium
Best Documentary Feature: 20 Feet from Stardom
Best Documentary Short: The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life

Creative Awards
Best Original Score: Gravity
Best Original Song: Frozen (Her was robbed…)
Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years a Slave
Best Original Screenplay: Her

Technical Awards (a sweep!)
Best Film Editing: Gravity (Alfonso CuarĂ³n, Mark Sanger)
Best Sound Editing: Gravity
Best Sound Mixing: Gravity
Best Visual Effects: Gravity
Best Cinematography: Gravity

Production Awards (no surprises)
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Dallas Buyers Club
Best Costume Design: The Great Gatsby
Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby

The real winner though? Ellen DeGeneres.  She broke Twitter with that selfie (product placement as an art), ordered pizza (which the glitterati actually ate), and was cute-and-cuddly.  I mean, she wasn't mean like Gervais, or risky like McFarlane, or even as witty as the Fey/Poehler 1-2 knockout, but she made me laugh and made 3 hours go by at a good clip.

Plus, I made $30 and learned how to spell BennyCumby's name.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Now Playing: Nebraska

Finally - the ninth and final movie on the Best Pics list: Nebraska.  It was a slow piece, lots of pauses and long stares.  your typical Oscar fare.  Bruce Dern was pretty good, but in watching him do the talk show rounds, I felt it was just an exaggerated version of himself.  Will Forte?  I've seen that earnest character on lots of SNL skits too. The best of the bunch had to be June Squibb, the cantankerous  wife who was equal parts valkyrie, bitch, and faithful partner.  I kinda liked her.  As a movie?  3.5 out of 5 stars - a rental.  Would I have bothered to watch it if it weren't nominated?  Nope.