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We finally got to see Force Awakens. I'm still thinking about it the next day, which is a good sign. It was definitely good enough to see, although I'm a little sad I didn't go with one of the super-pumped opening weekend crowds. The energy would have been awesome.

I'm in a place right now where the return of the old stuff really didn't do much for me other than elicit a few smiles-- and there was a lot of homage. The parts that gripped me were where they went somewhere new, and fortunately there was a lot of that too. Even better, unlike the prequels the heart was there. You care about the characters and what happens to them. Kasdan's presence in the writing room is palpable, and it's probably not much of an exaggeration to say that my favorite part of the movie was the humor.

I have some gripes and I'm not one of the OMG BEST MOVIE EVER people, but I definitely left the theater wanting more. I'm genuinely excited for the next one, which should break the mold more and use the excellent framework that this one sets up.

The one thing I'm wondering is how this movie works for kids who've never seen the other movies. I really hope this will be one of those movies for young people, like the originals were for me. But on that one only time will tell.

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I wonder if there will ever come a point where my list of things that have been rotated out of Instant due to limited time release is longer than my actual Instant queue.

There are an awful lot of movies that are going straight to the bottom because of that nonsense.

Next year

Jul. 18th, 2011 03:56 pm
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Every time I look at my Netflix queue I think, "Damn, I have a lot of movies to watch." It actually occurred to me that I now have enough that I could watch a movie a day for an entire year just from my queue.

I think next year's media goal is going to be movies again, going back to where I started-- not a movie a day (I'm not crazy), but some more manageable goal. I'll have to come up with some lesser scheme for books to keep myself reading (still got a lot of books to go too), but the primary one will likely be films. Wonder if I'm going to review 'em or just log 'em.

X-Men 3

Jun. 28th, 2011 06:49 am
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So, inspired by First Class, I went back and watched the first three X-Movies again. And on seeing The Last Stand again, I have this to say:

The writing was terribly reductionist and they tried to do too much in one film, but the mischaracterization of Charles and Magneto was nothing less than criminal.
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Anyone in the Champaign area who wants to borrow my Ebertfest pass to go see some shows next week should talk to me-- I'm only going to like three movies this year, so there's a lot of options.
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I'm looking for the ending of All the President's Men. It appears to have been misplaced. :-P
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I'd forgotten how much I like movies. Thank you Netflix for all of these. )
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The most taxing people in movies: an excuse to grouse about the most oversold people in Hollywood.
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A Fish Called Wanda is a really screwed up movie.
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They posted the schedule for this year. I'm unusually disappointed. Most of what draws me to the festival is seeing films that I either can't see elsewhere or have never heard of. This year's not so great for that purpose. And a lot of the ones I don't know about I strongly suspect I'm not going to like.

I've already seen Metropolis at Ebertfest. I have no interest in dog movies. Me & Orson Welles is in my Netflix instant queue already. Documentaries generally aren't my thing. Tiny Furniture was just showing at the Art. I am deeply suspicious of I Am Love, particularly given reviews from friends-- and it's also in my instant queue.

Basically I'm left with Tiny Furniture if I haven't already managed to see it, Only You, possibly 45365, Life Above All, and Leaves of Grass-- out of which the only one I'm actually excited about is Leaves of Grass. It's weird for me to have this few that I want to see; there's twelve movies in the festival and usually I want to see at least half.

ETA: On the other hand, I will happily lend someone my pass to go see Metropolis on the big screen with live accompaniment. It's awesome.
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Via Rotten Tomatoes.

There's a bit where the author talks about the marginalization of women as a potential audience that's... worded poorly... but otherwise it's an interesting article.

It also underscores what a lot of us have been saying for a long time: we watch tv instead of movies because the quality is quite simply higher. I can stack pretty much any two episodes of White Collar against pretty much any heist/action/comedy picture last year and I can guarantee with 95% certainty which one is going to be smarter, classier, more human, and less hackneyed.

Per the last episode, it's Cary Grant versus Ratso Rizzo.
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Lars and the Real Girl is flipping amazing.
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The successor to this note which in turn followed from this one.

1) I'm watching more television now than at any previous point in my adult life: Castle, Venture Brothers, Doctor Who, Sarah Jane Adventures, Fringe, Smallville, Burn Notice, White Collar, Leverage, Human Target... and I'm sure I'm forgetting some. If you ran all my shows together in one sitting it'd be like Saturday morning when I was a kid.

2) There are only two game shows I will ever love: Whose Line Is It Anyway (the British version) and QI. In other words, game shows that aren't really game shows but excuses to get neat people together to do neat things. I love the fact that they both embrace failure and that both crews are always willing to embarrass themselves for the greater laugh.

3) The Kids in the Hall were my Monty Python growing up. I loved the Pythons then and I love them even more now, but the Kids were the ones that me and my friends would rush back from classes to eat in front of.

4) I try only to keep books that I want other people to read, and that goes double for graphic novels. About a third of my comic library is floating around to different people at any given time. Right now I have one friend reading 100 Bullets and another reading Fables, and I'm waiting gleefully to start passing around Ex Machina and Astro City.

5) Every year I set myself a media consumption goal. For three years the goal was to watch 100 movies in 12 months, and I made it every time. Since then I've mostly fallen off the movie wagon--the last couple of years I've seen maybe a dozen new movies per annum if I was lucky. Recently, however, I got Netflix... and built a collected queue of about 200 in under two weeks. It still grows every time I look at it. I haven't even touched it for television series.

6) In the car earlier today I was reflecting that I really need to get a copy of Brick, LA Confidential, and Wag the Dog now that I have a real job and can afford it. Wag the Dog has a special place in my heart, and anyone who loves it is always welcome in my house.

7) A couple of weeks ago I found someone else who was introduced to The Prisoner by watching Harlan Ellison do an all-day marathon on the SciFi Channel in his bathrobe. It made me so happy.

8) I never got around to watching Buffy even though I always intended to. It was one of those series that everyone hyped up so much that I didn't want to touch it with a ten foot pole. I'll probably start cranking through it some time next year, safely insulated from the show's attached phenomenon.

9) There's a local comic shop that I love dearly and have been supporting for ten years now. I started off there because I wanted to get in on J. Michael Straczynski's Rising Stars from the ground floor, being a big fan of superheroes and Babylon 5. I ended up hating it by the end (and his current run on Wonder Woman makes me want to shake him really hard), but I do owe him a little gratitude for the hundreds of comics by other writers that I now have in my house.

10) I love bad movies. My dad used to watch MST3K with me (my mom and my sister didn't think it was funny at all), and eventually I branched out with my friends to start heckling movies ourselves. Old favorites include Zardoz ("Starring Sean Connery's chest hair."), Sinbad of the Seven Seas ("Oh no, not the nipple trick again."), Beastmaster 2 ("Some guy masters some beasts. He's done this before, apparently."), Dungeons and Dragons ("I attempt to disbelieve!"), and many others.
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There's a movie co-written by David Mamet and Shel Silverstein?!?

Why was I not informed?

Whoa

Nov. 10th, 2010 09:16 am
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So, I watched 25 movies in the first month of having Netflix... even including the hiccup where I couldn't do instant streaming. And not counting the three Eddie Izzard specials.

I guess I don't have to worry about that mode of media intake for the foreseeable future.
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#317: The proper way to deal with surprise incest is not to say "Hey, we're related to each other. Oh well, back to screwing." (Code 46)
#318: Lingering close-ups of someone's face are no substitute for actual storytelling. (Code 46)
#319: The Scifi Saturation Rule: Technologies that profoundly impact social structure should be explored no more than two at a time. (Code 46)
#320: Open endings are not an excuse to avoid closure. (Code 46)

It's amazing how many people don't seem to understand that last one.
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So Lucy, I finally got around to watching the original Nightmare on Elm Street.

And I have to agree with you, Nancy kicks ass.