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A Movie Catch-Up

Posted by on April 27, 2010

So, remember our movie project?  The one where we decided, “Hey!  We’ve got lots of free time!  Let’s watch 100 movies this year”?

We’re on 24.  After 4 full months.  So yeah, a little behind there.

But man oh man, it’s a bit more challenging than I’d thought it would be to fit them in.  2 a week doesn’t sound so bad, until you realize that it has to be 2 nights you’re actually together (thus all the “halfsies”, when we watched movies separately) and have 2 hours before you pass out from exhaustion.  We seem to be lucky if we find one of those nights in a week.  But as my fortunately-less-uptight-than-I husband keeps reminding me…it’s supposed to be fun, not stressful.  I can’t help thinking that my teacher is never going to let me turn in so many late assignments.

Apparently I haven’t outgrown that.

In any case, I have a lot of catching up to do, so off we go!

The Blind Side: I watched this on the plane to St. Kitts.  It was cute, and I enjoyed it.  Not too much else to add.  I recommend it.

Ice Age 3:  Joe watched this with the boys while I was away.  I would guess it’s pretty much like the other two, with mammoths and sabertooths and sloths and such.  If you don’t have kids around, why would you watch this?

The Terminal:  I love Tom Hanks.  I love indeterminate-Eastern-European exile Tom Hanks even more.  This was a charming movie, made all the more charming by the company in which it was viewed. (Haaaay, Linda & Bill!)  I definitely recommend.

The Cove: Oh. My. God you guys.  Have you heard about this documentary?  It exposes the Japanese government’s alleged habit of shielding fishermen who mass-murder dolphins and mislabel it for consumption.  Wow.  I really do recommend it, but it definitely falls into the “watch it but expect to be extremely uncomfortable while doing so” category.  Weird aside: I watched this in St. Kitts, and a portion of the documentary was filmed at the International Whaling Commission’s meeting in…wait for it…St. Kitts.  At the Marriot, which can be seen from the patio of my aunt and uncle’s home.  Oh, and also it won the Best Documentary Oscar while I was in…St. Kitts. 

Raising Arizona: Ah, Joe and I, together again and watching a movie at last.  We’d heard lots about this one, and it did not disappoint.  It could be the only movie role actually well-suited for Nicholas Cage (who I normally loathe) and Holly Hunter is amazing as always.  Basically, an ex-con and the prison guard he meets on his many trips to the clink get married.  She wants a baby; they find she can’t have one.  So what better way to get one than to steal a baby from a rich guy with quintuplets, who’s said in the press that he’s got more than he can handle?  Throw in John Goodman and that fact that the Coen Brothers (and therefore Frances McDormand) worked on this film and you see why it’s a comedy classic. The scene where she blubbers, “I love him so much!”, clutching the baby to her chest?  Priceless.  And when Nic Cage’s character tries his old trick for making a quick buck while out on a diaper run?  Folks…just watch this movie.  Again, if you already have had the pleasure.

Inglorious Basterds: So I might have compared my good pal Tarantino to a certain children’s television personality, but this was anything but kidstuff.  Wow.  I actually really, really liked this movie; I don’t know if I could sit through the grueling suspense scenes again (the first 20 minutes almost gave me a heart attack) and there’s plenty of Tarantino-esque violence, but damn if Brad Pitt isn’t funny as all get-out.  Seriously, Brad Pitt, I know you read my blog, so take it from your former lover Courtney: stick to comedic roles.  You really shined in this one, baby!  And even though it’s enjoyable watching Hitler get obliterated, I still have to put this in the “worth watching but you’ll squirm the whole time” category.

The Hangover:  Because we have three young sons, we are horribly out-of-touch with pop culture.  This was an attempt to remedy that.  It was a very funny movie, but you probably already know that, as you’ve seen it.  Seems we were the last ones in the world to watch it.

The Big Lebowski:  Everyone loves this movie, and in theory we should have.  Coen brothers again, John Goodman again.  But it was just kinda “meh” for both of us.  Kinda bummed me out.

The Werewolf (MST3K version):  You have read before that we are fans of MST3K send-ups.  Bad movies are so much fun, aren’t they?  I love them almost as much as I love bad television.  Sometimes I find myself wishing that Tom Servo and Crow were sitting beside me while I watch America’s Next Top Model.  But I digress.  This movie was, in fact, really terrible and deserving of the send-up.  Unfortunately, I didn’t find myself laughing at the guys’ jokes as much as the dumb movie itself.  The leading lady is supposed to be American but clearly hailed from an eastern-European nation and thusly focused more on trying to sound American (and failing!) than “acting”.  The effects were tragic.  Just so awful…ly good!  I can’t say that I recommend it, unless you love bad movies as much as I do.

The Wizard of Oz:  Okay, okay…so technically Joe and I had both seen this one before.  But it had been years (since our childhood) and…it was our opportunity to introduce it to some cute rookies.

Okay, not those ones.  Our three, who may or may not bear a resemblance to the Lollipop Guild.  Max had just finished reading the book a week before this came in the mail (all hail Netflix!) and it was time for the inaugural viewing.  We all loved it.  Joe and I were surprised to find we knew nearly all the words to all the songs, though we hadn’t seen it since childhood and then only once a year when it was shown on TV.  Do they do that anymore?  I remember that being a really big deal, as a kid.  Anyway, it moved faster than I remembered and the kids didn’t get even a little scared by the flying monkeys.  Huh.  Kids these days.  It’s not like we let them watch anything scarier than Scooby Doo, but somehow WoO didn’t have the frightening impact it had on me and Joe as kids.  Max was a little afraid of the witch, and fortunately did not make the connection to the real-life figure who my brother Mark and I swore was a dead-ringer (ha) for the Wicked Witch in our youth.  Our poor mom.

The Great Outdoors:  Okay, so it was kinda funny.  But not so funny that it’s worth saying much more.  The funniest part to me was purely unintentional: the girl on whom the son develops a crush?  She looked like she was 40.  And he was 14 or something.  Also, the music played during the “teen romance” scenes cracked me up every single time.

Up In the Air:  I watched this one over at the casa of my good friend, Brad.  It was really, really good.  Again, charming.  And may I say, please, that George Clooney is the bee’s knees?  He makes me swoon.  And not just because Rosemary Clooney was his aunt; he’s also a little bit handsome.  And charismatic.  And you know he’s going to keep looking smokin’ because Nick Clooney is his dad and that is one very fine specimen.

Outsourced:  So Joe went away for a weekend and left me alone, so very alone.  I turned to the miracle that is Netlix streaming through our Wii and vowed to find the chickiest flick to watch in his absence.  There was not much to choose from in that category, surprisingly.  So I watched this cute little movie about a department manager who is sent to India to train his replacement and all the staff of his outsourced department.  And along the way he goes from annoyed and mystified by India to truly embracing it and his new friends.  He gives extra-special embraces, if you know what I mean heh-heh!, to his new assistant-manager Asha.  I would recommend it to anyone with Netflix streaming through their Wii when their husband is gone for the night.

Eddie Izzard: Unrepeatable:  This action transvestite is pure genius.  I don’t know if it counts as a movie since it’s just a standup routine but we watched it together from Netflix and we make the rules here so it counts.  Eddie is one of the funniest people alive, I swear.  What’s so awesome about him is that he just makes jokes about normal things.  He doesn’t shout, he doesn’t use props…he’s just a funny crossdresser observing our mad, mad world.  I definitely recommend him to anyone who enjoys laughing.

Eraserhead:  Good God, where do I start?  I feel like I need to write a separate post about the experience of watching this movie.

It was awful.  Have you seen it?  Please don’t.  I’m not sure what I was thinking, choosing this film from our streaming queue last night.  I’ll give you three guesses who put it in the queue in the first place.  J. O. E.  I should have known better, though, because: David Lynch.  Can anyone watch one of his movies without running to their computer right afterwards to consult IMDB?  WHAT IS THIS ABOUT, DUDE?!?!?  It was essentially a group of really super bizarre images/scenes strung together.  There were no words spoken for the first 20 minutes.  By the time the whorish neighbor sleepily asks, “Are you Henry?”  I was ready to answer, “No, but clearly I’m CRAZY!  Because I’m still watching your movie!”  At least Miss Beadle was in it.

I’ve come to realize that I’m just an unsophisticated plebe when it comes to movies, because I just want to have fun.  Sometimes I want to think, but I’d really prefer it if I could decipher the message without my Ovaltine Secret Decoder Ring.  Just lay it out for me, filmmakers.  And that is why watching Eraserhead is one of the most regrettable uses of my precious free time I’ve ever experienced.  And it’s my own damn fault.  Oh, and Joe’s.

Coming soon to a theater near us: Slumdog Millionaire!  Because: see our explanation for The Hangover!  And maybe, hopefully, Stranger Than Fiction.  Hopefully sooner than 6 months from now.

6 Responses to A Movie Catch-Up

  1. Crazy Aunt Linda

    Thank you for this Court!!! I know I hounded you a bit but it was certianly worth it for me! Loved your reviews, as always, and I do get jealous about your access to all kinds of stuff…even the truly bizarro [which I think should come with the message: “you don’t need to drop acid to appreciate this movie but it might help!’]
    Although I will never join you on the Tarentino Train to Terror[there are some people in this world you get to detest just on principle] I think you will find that Slumdog Millionaire is similar to Basterds in that it is very difficult to watch but you will be glad you did. From one movie nut to another…THANKS AGAIN!

  2. Nat

    First of all, I love your movie watching madness. Secondly, I have to thank you wholeheartedly for putting your props here for “The Cove”. This documentary was shocking and made me squirm but I forced myself to watch the entire thing plus all of the extras. Then, I went and signed the petition. I didn’t even need to see the other docs to know that this one would win the top Oscar prize. Also, Inglourious Basterds was GLORIOUS! It was so good and should have won for best screenplay. I liked the revisionist shock of it all BUT why did all the cute guys have to get taken out? Brad Pitt wasn’t the whole movie and I liked that as well … good acting, creative screenplay, plenty of nail biting … thanks for liking it!

  3. Manda

    Wasn’t Brad trying to speak Italian just the funniest thing ever? Oh I laughed so hard; I’m not even a Tarantino die-hard and I loved it.

    And, I too remember what a HUGE deal it was when WoO came on once a year. They MUST still show it; what do kids look forward to?

  4. administrator

    Crazy Aunt Linda…You’re welcome, your Excellency. I’m here to do your bidding. And please tell me you know who Eddie Izzard is, because if you don’t, there’s an Eddie Izzard-size hole in your life. You would (must!) love him!

    Nat…thanks for the support of this nutso project. I know how wild you are for movies, so it just goes to show that I must be doing something right if I watch movies that meet your approval! I agree about the tragic demise of the cute guys in Basterds.

    And Manda…”Bahn Jurnoh” and “Gratsi” are now part of our household vernacular. It only works if you say it like Brad. I almost died laughing. As for WoO, I swear I haven’t seen in advertised for years. But then again, we don’t see many commercials ’round these parts, so maybe I’m just missing them somehow.

  5. The Corrupted Nun

    I just have to say I am so glad to know someone dislikes Nic Cage as much as I do. Mike loves him (which is probably no surprise) so it’s a constant argument at our house.

    • administrator

      I just have to say that when I saw this comment, I was like, “WHO is The Corrupted Nun?” Then I realized who you were and laughed and laughed.

      At least my husband dislikes Nic Cage as much as I do, if not more. If Mike weren’t so otherwise excellent in his role as husband, I would say it’s grounds for divorce.

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