The triumphant return of my “What I’ve Been Watching” segment! In case you haven’t been following me for that long, I used to have a weekly segment where I listed everything I watched that week and did a brief write up on each item. I stopped last summer right before the Fall semester started because with nursing school it was getting difficult to watch anything. So here’s a quick rundown of how it works. “New” are movies/TV shows that I watched for the first time ever, “Rewatch” are movies/TV shows I’ve seen before and watched again, and “Bought” is pretty self-explanatory. I just like to use this segment to keep track of what I’ve seen as well as shed some light on movies/TV shows I would recommend or not recommend.
- The Americans season 1 (Hulu) - 9/10
- Parenthood season 2 (Netflix streaming)
- The Cabin in the Woods (Blu-ray) - 9/10
- Star Trek Into Darkness - 8/10
- The Great Gatsby 3D - 7/10
- Starsky & Hutch - 8/10
- The Cabin in the Woods (Blu-ray)
I finished up the first season of The Americans and it is so good! Great character drama mixed in with ultra-tense scenes and some great action. One of the best new shows that I’ve seen and I can’t wait until season 2.
I’m really trying to like Parenthood more than I should just because it’s from Friday Night Lighters writer Jason Katims, but I’m finding it hard to attach myself to the storylines. Maybe it’s just because I’m so used to emotional extremes with shows like Breaking Bad and The Americans or profound shows like The Wire, but I don’t find much of the drama in this show compelling. This isn’t necessarily a knock on the show because obviously a show about a big family doesn’t have to have high stakes end of the world tension, but where a show like Friday Night Lights has such memorable characters and interesting drama, I haven’t found that to be the case in Parenthood with the exception of a few characters. The show has actually started to pick up some steam heading towards the last few episodes of season 2 so I’m liking where the show is headed.
I just saw The Cabin in the Woods and OH MY GOD it was awesome! I’ve heard great things about this movie but it completely delivered. A great subversive deconstruction of the horror genre that is both scary and flat out hilarious. This movie had a few scenes where I was in hysterics and had to rewind the movie to watch it again. I’m actually planning to rewatch it again soon to see what I can pick up the second time around.
I was in the mood for something light and inconsequential and Starksky & Hutch fit the bill quite nicely. I’m a little surprised how much general people hate this movie lol. It has a decent enough score on RottenTomatoes with a 63% but the audience score is 54% and the IMdB score is 6.0/10, which is really low for IMdB. This movie is hilarious! There are a lot of great comedic actors in this one that are right on the money. My friend Chris blew my mind when he told me that Todd Phillips (The Hangover, Old School) directed this movie, I seriously had no idea!
I’m working on my review for The Great Gatsby 3D and you can check out what I thought of Star Trek Into Darkness right here.
It’s been a great first week of summer and I’m excited for the upcoming summer movie season!
The first Star Trek film kind of took everyone by surprise - including myself - by how much fun it was. It was an action packed summer blockbuster with a thrill a minute. I’ve never been a Trekkie but most people who were fans of Trek said that it basically bastardized what the franchise is about, which is space exploration and diplomacy between species, but what’s the alternative? Star Trek stays dead, so really which is worse?
My opinion of J.J. Abrams’s first Star Trek movie is that it’s great blockbuster entertainment but on a popcorn level. It was a movie that satisfied on a basic level of entertainment but rarely - if ever - got cerebral. I feel that Star Trek Into Darkness is very similar except amped up another notch. Bigger set pieces, more action, more laughs, basically if you liked the first one you will probably enjoy the second.
The biggest flaw of this film is that it feels like you can pick apart the actions and the logic of the characters to death if you wanted to, very similar to Iron Man 3’s logic at times. If you just come in to be purely entertained and not think about the themes or what it all means then you will be better off for it.
While I’ve never been a Trekkie, being a nerd in general means that I am familiar with some Star Trek lore. This film does feel like it’s playing to the nostalgia of fans and relying on it in order to succeed. I can’t say any more without spoiling the movie but if you are familiar with Star Trek canon then you will immediately notice it when you see it.
The main selling point of this film is the action and it is stunning. It feels like there’s always something going on in this film every 5-10 minutes. It never lets up and the pacing feels just right even though the film is over 2 hours long. The space jumping sequence was so damn beautifully executed, Abrams’s once again shows that he knows how to build up the tension in the scene with little details that make you anxious for the character’s safety.
I’ve got to give it up to the main trio of performers: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Benedict Cumberbatch. There were a few emotional scenes where my immediate thought was “this is cheap, they haven’t earned this” but then the performances just completely sold me that I was into it by the end of the scene. Cumberbatch is fantastic as usual and a total bad ass. Simon Pegg also has a lot more to do in this film and gets a lot of laughs. I will lament that Alice Eve once again has absolutely nothing to do in this film - which was similar to her role in Men in Black 3 last year - and is an extremely convenient plot point that is negated almost immediately. No idea why she was even in this film to be honest and I think she’s a promising young actor (watch Starter for 10, which also has Benedict Cumberbatch! Haha).
Star Trek Into Darkness is about as much as you can ask for from a summer blockbuster. It has great action set pieces, it’s beautifully shot, has good performances, and a lot of laughs. Movies like these are the reason we go out to the movie theater in the first place, to be transported into a world we’ve never seen and taken on a ride. Don’t miss this one in theaters.
Some of my USF friends want to see The Great Gatsby this weekend and I know a few of them aren’t fond of 3D, but I’m not sure if I want to see it without the 3D because while I am looking forward to it I’m most likely not going to see this film twice in theaters. My reasoning to them was “What’s the point of seeing this visual spectacle on the big screen if we’re only going to let director Baz Luhrmann put the tip in?” lol. I’m a big fan of 3D when it’s done right and not a postconverted job. Like I saw Iron Man 3 in 2D because I knew they postconverted it and probably wouldn’t be worth the surcharge. I did make an effort to see a movie like ParaNorman and Life of Pi in 3D because they were made for 3D and the reviews praised the usage. If this was with my best friends I wouldn’t have to explain because they’re all movie people and they know the ins and outs of it, but it’s hard to tell a general movie goer who doesn’t really know/care about the difference between shooting in native 3D and postconverted 3D to go see a movie in 3D. I will concede that some people avoid 3D because it gives them a headache and I totally understand if that’s the reason you do avoid it. However, I wish more moviegoers were knowledgeable about this particular technological aspect of movies and even if I have to be “that guy” I still try to explain the differences.
To read about my thoughts on the movie before actually seeing it, check out this super long complicated post I wrote right here. I saw this film in theaters but I just never got around to finishing my review, what better time to finish than now when the DVD/Blu-ray release is next week?
Russ Fischer of /Film.com described this film as the paranoia of Contagion mixed with the duplicity of The Informant! and I think he’s spot on. The movie feels cold and clinical like Contagion and much like The Informant! I had no idea where the story was going at first. It’s a bit difficult to get into the movie without spoiling it, but I’m going to try my best not to reveal anything.
This is a small character driven film that does posit bigger ethical questions about the pharmaceutical business and where the responsibility lies between doctors and patients as far as medication goes. It shows how easily the system can be taken advantage of and looks into the grey areas of medication.
The four main actors are all in top form. Can I just say that I think Steven Soderbergh revived Channing Tatum’s career? Haha, at least acting-wise because his recent output has been so great and I think his collaborations with Soderbergh started that trend with Haywire, Magic Mike, and now Side Effects. Rooney Mara is continuing to show that she is a versatile acting threat and has a bright future. I can’t remember the last time I loved Catherine Zeta-Jones in a movie, but she pulled it off here. Jude Law has some really great moments as he tries to figure out what is going on in this film.
I love the way the movie changes in tone/genre. At first it’s a more of a character piece and you’re watching the Rooney Mara character try to work out her depression. By the second half it turns into more of a procedural thriller as you try to unwind the mysteries. There are a couple of moments that literally took me - and my audience - by surprise. It wasn’t like there were a couple gasps (I’ll never forget that screening of The Ides of March where some lady gasped at the most obvious reveal ever lol), numerous times throughout the film there were audible gasps from a majority of viewers in the audience.
If I have a knock on the film it’s that the second half feels a lot more standard whereas the first half was content to just do its own thing and leave the audience wondering. I suppose at some point you do have to unravel the mystery box, but there was nothing that new or innovative brought to that process.
This is a complete nonsequitur so I put it at the end of my review, but I got an added thrill at being able to keep up with most of the medical terminology as well as the protocols one follows for psychiatric disorders. At the same time the movie scared the shit out of me because I thought to myself “Oh dear God! What if I get put into that kind of situation???” lol.
Side Effects is a great thriller and one that I can’t wait to revisit again. The performances are great and the story has a multitude of twists and turns. I hope this isn’t Steven Soderbergh’s last film because he’s one of my favorite filmmakers. If this is truly his swan song then make sure you do not miss Side Effects in theaters.
The trailer for Ryan Coogler’s highly anticipated film “Fruitvale Station” is out. The film is based on the last day of the life of Oscar Grant, the unarmed 22-year-old black man who was shot and killed in Oakland by a transit officer on New Year’s Day in 2009. The film adaptation, originally titled “Fruitvale”, got lots of attention at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and stars Michael B. Jordan and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer.
After Grant’s death, Colorlines.com’s Julianne Hing reported extensively on the trial of Johannes Mehserle, the transit officer who was later convicted in his slaying. You can read that reporting here.
I’m always around fruitvale bart station…..
The buzz around this film has been amazing. I’m a HUGE fan of Michael B. Jordan’s work in The Wire, Friday Night Lights, and Chronicle. I hope this is the movie that helps him get bigger in Hollywood.
SIX movies! You are crazyyyyyy ;p What movies are you planning to see? Hope you have fun :)
My record is 5 back in 2011 when I saw Source Code, Rio 3D, Hanna, Soul Surfer, and Insidious haha. I was looking at what’s playing at the theater closest to me and if I REALLY wanted to I could see The Croods @ 9 AM, Mud @ 10:30 AM, 42 @ 1:15 PM, The Place Beyond the Pines (my second viewing) @ 3:40, The Great Gatsby 3D (6:25), and Iron Man 3 (my second viewing) @ 9 PM. I would most likely too exhausted to go through with the last Iron Man 3 viewing, but that would be the plan. I also want to check out Pain & Gain and I saw that Jurassic Park 3D is still in theaters! Really want to see how that postconversion job turned out and I absolutely love Jurassic Park so seeing it again on the big screen is something I really want to do. I might just wait until Star Trek Into Darkness comes out so I can see more movies I haven’t seen before haha. We’ll see! It’s a long summer, I’m sure I’ll get in many movie marathon days! =D
Check out the teaser trailer for Alfonso Cuarón’s GRAVITY, starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts who are stranded in space after their shuttle explodes. It’s amazing how this minute and a half trailer is able to capture the tranquil beauty and the sheer terror of space at the same time. I don’t know about you, but I got goosebumps watching this video and I can’t wait to see it. Gravity plummets into US theaters in October 2013.
I know that film geeks all over the world are losing their minds over this trailer but I don’t know… I’m more so worried. Alfonso Cuaron is one of my favorite directors of all-time after A Little Princess, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and Children of Men (which is a flat out masterpiece). I’m just sort of wondering how they can possibly make Sandra Bullock floating in space for the last hour entertaining/thrilling. I suppose I shouldn’t doubt a great filmmaker like Cuaron because someone like Danny Boyle managed to make a guy stuck in a spot fascinating with 127 Hours. I’m not blown away by the visual effects, something about it just feels off. It feels a bit too floaty and artificial to me although I might just need to see this on a movie screen vs. my laptop. It’s like how Avatar didn’t look so great from the trailers but looked beautiful on the big screen. I know the talent that Cuaron has and his attention to detail and character so I’ve got my fingers crossed that he’ll deliver another spectacular film that will stay within the film culture.
The freedom and simple beauty is too good to pass up…
Into the Wild (2007)
Into the Wild
(2007) Rated R - 2hr 28m
A young man gives up everything — including his trust fund and ties to a seemingly stable family — to lead a solitary life in the wild. Eschewing convention to trek across Alaska’s harsh and unforgiving terrain, he resolves to live off the land.
8.2/10 - IMDB
INTO THE WILD IS NOW ON NETFLIX WATCH INSTANTLY!!!!
GO WATCH NOW NOW NOW NOW!!!
I hope to have a little closet dedicated to movies/TV shows. I think If I got a big book shelf my current Blu-ray/DVD collection might look similar to this right now though haha.
The Place Beyond the Pines (dir. Derek Cianfrance)
I was planning on studying today for my last Final which is on 5/13 but I’ve felt completely out of sync today. I got home at like 2 something AM after watching Iron Man 3 last night at 11 PM. I didn’t fall asleep until about 3 something AM and I woke up at 10:30. I had breakfast and then I don’t know what it was but I started feeling dizzy and getting a headache so I basically laid down in bed until about 4 o’clock which is when I started getting ready to go to church. I’m feeling better now but I think I need to take the rest of this day off to recuperate after studying my ass off for that HESI exam yesterday. I’ll get back on the studying wagon tomorrow because I need to kill this Final. Paige asked me to recommend her a movie to watch and I said Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and thought to myself “I’d sure like to watch that movie right now”, so that’s what I’m doing lol. Plus, I did just watch Iron Man 3 which was directed by the same man who made Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Shane Black FTW!). I’m taking the rest of this day off, have a good evening everybody!
Jessica Chastain l Oscar Nominees Luncheon 2013
There’s a girl in my USF cohort that I think looks like Jessica Chastain so I keep making jokes to all my friends that it’s ACTUALLY her in our nursing program LOL. So every time I see her I make comments like “I can’t believe she can juggle a Hollywood career and nursing school! How does she do it?” and “Jessica Chastain walked by me! I was too starstruck to ask for her autograph!” One of my favorite ones was “Ooohhh Jessica Chastain left class early, I think she must have a movie shoot she has to get to!” LOL. Paige was playing along with me saying “She looks great for 36!” and I responded “Yeah, she barely looks a day older than 21!” hahahhah!