Monday, March 30, 2009

1218 - The United States of Tara: season one

Showcase really has anted up with their last few shows, and I dare say, they're leading the pack in terms of television. I love you HBO, but your number of stand-out-shows are dwindling compared to the line-up on Showcase these days. Here is a show that could have easily been a REALLY broad comedy or a REALLY harsh, potentially melodramatic, drama. Instead it's neither, and yet both. It has this great tone that's uniquely it's own. The entire cast is really quite enjoyable and have storylines and arcs that easily stand beside the main one. I really look forward to seeing how this show continues along in future seasons. If you haven't heard of it, you should really check it out. I believe you can download the first episode free in iTunes. Check it out.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

1217 - The Pacifier

Emily got this in the baby shower and I couldn't think of a good reason not to watch it. And here's the thing. Not horrible. Really. In fact, I can imagine that the script for this film is quite good. There's some really smart set-ups and pay-offs, it's well plotted, well thought out. It's a nice little story. The execution? Meh. There's some nice bits that are really over shadowed by some bad bad bad acting. Diesel is as good as he needs to be, and both Lauren Graham and Brittany Snow are fine. Scott Thompson is lovely as well. Carol Kane is wasted and everyone else just feels like they're props to get us to where we need to be.
Much better than I ever would have imagined, but still just an iffy film. Rainy afternoon-nothing-better-to-do kinda film.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

1216 - The Gold Rush

Slowly but surely I'm giving myself a Chaplin education. Seems that I'm starting with what's known as his best work and going backwards. There's a lot of fun stuff in this film, from the picture above, to the dinner roll-dance, the boot eating, the chicken fantasy. Some really great and inspired stuff. I watched the revival version with Chaplin's narration and I thought it was a different and interesting way to watch one of his films. I quite enjoyed it that way. A nice little story of rags to riches and finding true love. I liked it quite a bit!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

1215 - Big Love: season three

We've always enjoyed this show, but this season took it to an entirely new level. While some characters, Ben and Tancy, got the shaft this season, some others really got to shine. Nicky has always been one of the most interesting characters, but this season goes a long way in explaining how she got to be the way she is. I think she's fantastically complex and I think the showrunners have even more in store for us down the line with this character. Bill is a dick. But we love him because we can't wait to see what kind of scam he's going to pull. I'd love it if he starts to become the villain on the show. Anyway. Great season, although I'd like to see them stick with some of their changes instead of going back *SPOILERS AHEAD*, having the Ana storyline disappear halfway through the season, and Sarah losing her child just felt a bit like cop-outs. Roman on the other hand... well not that changes things for sure... can't wait for the forth season!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

1214 - The Office - season four

This is some of the best comedy writing to ever come from television. It's just really smart, clever, funny writing that all comes out of the characters and situations. Not a bad episode out of this whole season. They do this fantastic thing with having a really lose on-going narrative going on, in which they can still tell these brilliant individual stories. It's beautifully layered and fairy intricate. Far better than it needs to be, and that's why I love it. I'm ashamed that I never gave it a shot right away. It's quickly becoming one of my favorite shows.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

1213 - Juno

I'm a few days late on this. We actually watched this on the 8th when my wife was in labor with our new son, Ephraim. So this will be short and sweet. Still love this film to death. Still have problems with the first act. Mostly the scene outside the abortion clinic. I think it's bad casting and bad performance choices. What can you do. In a film full of gold there's bound to be some minor tarnish. I can't wait to see what both Reitman and Cody's careers bring them.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

1212 - Watchmen

It's been over a year since I last read the graphic novel, so some of the details of this are funnier than others. I went into this not knowing what to expect, and I'm glad I did. What I got was a film that really blew me away. Repeat viewings will solidify it, but I think this is a solid entertaining film that's dense and rewarding. Sure they took liberties with some of the moments, including a key piece in the end, but to be honest, I think that they improved upon those pieces. And the soundtrack is pure fantastic. Unexpected and wonderful. I don't want to give away too much, but if you're at all interested in seeing this, you absolutely must see it in the theatres. Nothing beats watching Rorschach scream out "I'm not locked up in here with you, you're locked up in here with me!"
Really really really enjoyed it.

Friday, March 06, 2009

1211 - The Amateurs

This is a fun little film that has a really stellar cast. I can't get over how literally every single role in this film is filled out with a really solid actor. Go them. Gives the little guys hope. The film is, perhaps, a bit much when it comes to the meta-voice over, but it's got a beautiful charm to it that it's hard not to like. A nice little comedy with a great cast.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

1210 - Working Girl

I never saw this film when I was younger and it's a shame since it's really quite good. Griffith is quite good and lovely. Weaver isn't too shabby herself! And Ford has a great charm going for him. Delightful really. The film is pure 80's when it comes to looks, hair and fashion. Some great over-acting here by Kevin Spacey, Alec Baldwin, and Joan Cusack (although I loved her here). It still stands up 20+ years later, probably because of the skill of Mike Nichols in the director's chair. Really great film with some nice story moments. I dig it.