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Showing posts from June, 2011

Music: Tegan and Sara -Wrists

I love Tegan and Sara.

Movie Review: An American Haunting

Watching this made me realize how many good scary movies I've seen lately. This isn't one of them.

We start off the way many movies before it  have begun: Girl is running in forest because she is being chased by something we can't see. Her breathing is heavy, she repeatedly looks back, she stumbles and falls approximately 889 times before reaching her destination. She locks the door behind her. She is safe. Then she is not safe. Then the opening credits roll.

Yup, that's pretty much it.

We begin in modern times with a young girl being haunted and her concerned mother. She starts reading some very old letters, which brings us to...

...A family in the early 1800s is being terrorized every night by some evil spirit. After some sort of land dispute, an angry woman curses the father and his daughter. Seems a bit melodramatic to me. Anyway, the young daughter is soon being attacked night after night by the spirit. Along with being physically attacked, she is plagued by ni…

Movie Review: Cloverfield

When JJ Abrams is involved, you know it will probably be good. I like a good scary movie, and I am fond of the camcorder method that some of them use (I am not talking about Blair Witch Project). It can seriously up the fear factor and make the whole experience more intense. For Cloverfield, it was definitely effective. Taking a page from Godzilla, it deals with a sudden attack on New York by a giant...thing. I called it Godzilla because it was so obviously inspired by that. It eats people, tears down buildings, and basically destroys everything that it can.

We follow a group of friends whose party was interrupted by this heinous attack. They go on the run, trying to get out of New York...or at least that's what they should be doing, but Rob decides that he must go and rescue the woman he loves, who is injured and trapped in her apartment near where the monster is. If that's not love, I don't know what is. Aww.

His friends tag along, because that's what friends do. F…

Short Movie Reviews

I've been watching a lot of movies lately (thank you local library!), and I thought instead of doing a bunch of regular reviews, I'd just give an overview for some of them. It's easier that way!

Last Chance Harvey: I like Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman, but from start to finish this film had a great big cloud over it, and despite good actors, the story didn't have much to offer. Not a complete dud, but not nearly good enough. My grade: C+

Harvey: Now here is a Harvey I like! A quirky classic featuring James Stewart and an invisible pooka/rabbit, Harvey. Funny and charming with interesting and entertaining characters. My grade: A

Run Fatboy Run: Oh, Simon Pegg, you can make me laugh! Not a great comedy. It's not all that original, but it does cause a few laughs and it didn't make me feel as if I'd wasted my time watching it. Entertaining. My grade: B

Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning: Seers! Sexism! Werewolves! I got this thinking that it would majorly suck. A…

Web Fights 2!

Yes, I have been at it again. But I am completely innocent, I swear!

...

Or not.

Alright, sometimes I have trouble holding my tongue, or my fingers, I should say, especially when it has to do with something I feel moderately to strongly about. You see, there was this homophobic Republican who is, well, homophobic. Now, I didn't go on a rant, and neither did he, but his little comment still ticked me off, so I said something. He basically replied that he didn't care about my opinion. Well, okay. Although that isn't really true, because a few days later he made a small fuss over my diss of Bristol Palin, as did an insane woman who I imagine has extremely frizzy hair and wild bulging eyes and puts poison in her guests' tea. But that was just my first impression. Who knows? Maybe she isn't as hateful as she sounded. Maybe the balding homophobe is the nicest man in the world (as if).

Here is my thing: I respect that everyone has their own opinions and has the freedom …

TV Review: The Hanging Gale

This is a depressing series set in Ireland during the 1846 potato blight. Now, I say it's depressing, which it is (terribly depressing at times!) but it is also a gripping story, not to mention well acted, well cast, and well done. It also made me think about my own Irish ancestors, and I wondered if any of this was happening to them back then.

The Hanging Gale boasts a cast featuring the four McGann brothers (Joe, Paul, Mark, and Stephen), and the story itself is based off of Joe and Stephen's original idea. There is also Michael Kitchen (Foyle's War). I'm already a fan of Michael Kitchen and Paul McGann, who I've seen in Our Mutual Friend, Collision, and an episode of Jonathan Creek. All of the McGanns are excellent in this, and it's a bit freaky because they look so much alike, especially Paul and Stephen, who could be twins. Just remember that Paul is the priest and Stephen is the insane school teacher.

Michael Kitchen is the new agent/ landlord, replacing…

Movie Review: Lilith

Lilith has an interesting premise. Warren Beatty plays a war vet with mommy issues who goes to work in an insane asylum for the rich, where he falls obsessively in love with one of the patients, Lilith (Jean Seberg). Another patient is also in love with her, Stephen (Peter Fonda). But as interesting and as good a cast as it has, it failed for me.

I had to keep reminding myself that this came out on 1964, so the way things were done and perceived were likely different. I still found it implausible that a male attendant would be allowed to spend as much alone time with a female patient as Vincent does with Lilith. Not only is he in her bedroom with her a lot, he is also allowed to take her out on little trips, just the two of them. In fact, he seems to spend the majority of his time with her. I found this ridiculous considering how obvious it was, not to mention the fact that the woman who hired him, and who may or may not run the place (I wasn't clear on that), was around so much.…

Movie Review: The Fourth Kind

Intense. Scary. That describes it pretty well. I should also warn you that it does a nice job of pretending to be real. On the back cover it says that it's based off of true events and includes actual archived footage. There isn't even a disclaimer in the film saying that the events and people portrayed are fictitious. In fact, they say just the opposite. They say that this shit actually happened and that you are watching real footage of it. Well, you're not, but if you watch the movie thinking that it's true, it does enhance the experience. I'm not going to knock off points for the fakery, though, because I enjoyed it so much.



The Fourth Kind didn't get the best reviews. It's at a measly 18% on RT, and the audience rating is 44%. I guess that places me in the minority of people who liked it. It's by no means perfect, but it's scary and atmospheric and it made me think about my grandmother, who believes in aliens. She listens to what I call "…

Movie Review: Ghost in the Shell

There are some movies that make me feel stupid. This is one of them. Why? Because while I was watching it, I was confused. And by the end, that hadn't changed. Perhaps I wasn't paying enough attention at the right moments, or maybe I should have looked it up before watching it. Still, I'm not as sci-fi literate as others, so I suppose that's why some information went over my head. It probably requires a second viewing to be better understood, but I won't lie, I don't want to watch it again. It was okay, and fairly entertaining, but not all that gripping.

It's set in the future, a future in which some humans are part machine, and some humans aren't human at all, rather man-made creations. Everyone has a "ghost". I was never clear on what that was, but I assume it's the equivalent of a soul. Correct me if I'm wrong, though.

The heroine is one such human/android, or maybe all machine save for some brain cells. She's androgynous, and s…

A Trillion Flying Ants Coming My Way

Forget Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! This is Attack of the Flying Ants!

A few weeks ago, my mom and I came back from work. It was a Wednesday, sunny and blue-skied, and maybe a little too hot to be comfortable. My dog was super excited that we were home, as usual. He had a toy in his mouth and his tail was wagging like crazy. Awww. Anyhoo, he sat himself down on one of the chairs, because we spoil our animals and let them get away with hairing up the furniture. I went over to him, petting him, and he dropped his toy on the floor, so I bent over to pick it up and...you can guess where this is going.

A gazillion flying ants! They were in a huge cluster on the floor underneath the window. I had a bit of a WTF moment. I called my mom over, she was horrified. Then I went into my room. Yup, my floor was basically a carpet of ants. Yay. So I whipped out the vacuum and murdered the bastards. Then I researched them to find out what the hell they were doing, and what we could do about it. Turn…

Movie Review: True Grit

I finally watched True Grit. I haven't seen the original or read the book, so this was my first Grit experience. Westerns aren't my kind of movie in general, but, as with everything, there are exceptions. I was curious to see Hailee Steinfeld, since she's been raved about since this first came out. I have to say, she was good, and very pleasant to watch. Then there is Jeff Bridges, who is quite adept at playing alcoholics. Seriously, does he always play alcoholics or am I just watching the wrong movies? Matt Damon, of course, is his usual lovely self. I tend to like him in whatever he's in, and he certainly didn't disappoint in this.

There is also Josh Brolin as the dude who killed whatsherface's father, but he has very few scenes. And Barry Pepper, who you see there up above, is another villain, though surprisingly kind. He seems to turn up in a lot of movies, but he's not really a big-name actor. He's on the sidelines, playing cool characters. He'…

Short Movie Review: Tangled

This is a fun movie. I think the horse is my favorite character. He has so much personality! The animation is good, and Rapunzel is spunky, which I love in a heroine. And the way she uses her hair as a weapon is cool. The only thing I honestly don't like about these animated children's movies are the mushy musical scenes. You know what I mean. They break out into a love song and stare into each other's eyes and gush about how in love they are and how surprising it is, yada, yada, yada. One of the sing-song scenes is funny, though, but the mushy one made me roll my eyes.

Aside from the gooey songs, it was entertaining and amusing.

My grade: B+

Oh, and *SPOILER*: At the end of the movie, didn't she resemble Alice Cullen? Did anyone else think so too?

The Random Sheet

Actor Whose Appeal I Don’t Understand – Gerard Butler. Am I missing something? The Last Book I Truly Hated – My Sweet Audrina by V.C. Andrews. I want to sacrificially murder this book. I want to stab it with a fork, set it on fire, squirt denture cream all over it, let my dog have a good wee on it, beat it with a shovel, cut it in half with a machete, and force it to watch every episode of Walker Texas Ranger in a row. Then I want to give it rabies. That’s how much I hate this book. Last TV Program I Couldn’t Finish – Any Human Heart. I’m pretty certain people liked it, but after twenty minutes in I stopped watching. The characters were already unlikable and the story was average. Last Book I Couldn’t Finish – Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin. What is wrong with me? This is a classic; a fat, snowy classic that is supposed to seduce me with tiresome descriptions of snow and a white horse. But I was so bored with the too-slowly progressing story and the not-so captivating characters that I …

Movie Review: Bridesmaids

It was effing hot today, which means: good day to go to the movies!

Bridesmaids has a good cast. Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Rose Byrne, Jon Hamm, etc. It promised to be raunchy and crude; The Hangover for women. I've never seen The Hangover, but I'm assuming it's funny. And Bridesmaids turned out to be raunchy, crude, and funny. There were plenty of laugh-out-loud scenes. Beware of trying on bridesmaid dresses. That's all I will say.

Melissa McCarthy (Gilmore Girls) is the funniest actress in here. She definitely threw herself into this role, and it paid off. There wasn't anyone I didn't like. I did notice how they ignored the two lesser bridesmaids after a certain point. That was disappointing. They all worked so well together!

I also liked Kristen Wiig. I wasn't sure about her. She's made me laugh on SNL, and I know she has comedy chops, but I was worried that she'd be the same in this as in everything else I've seen her in. But she pu…

Movie Review: Thor

I finally saw Thor. Finally! Not only did I see it, but I saw it in 3D, which I've never done before. Unfortunately, because it's been out for a few weeks now, I had to watch it in 3D, because that's all they were showing. I didn't like wearing the glasses for two hours, and I was on the verge of a headache once or twice, but it was pretty cool. It did enhance it to a point, but I'm still not a I-must-see-every-film-in-3D person.

Right, so Thor. First of all, I love that Kenneth Branagh directed it. Second, I liked Chris Hemsworth, whom I've never seen before. He made for a strong lead actor. I still kept thinking about how cute Thor's questionable brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) was, though. I mean, come on, isn't he? And Anthony Hopkins...I could watch him in almost anything. Oh, and it was nice to see Kat Dennings in something else, even if she does tend to play herself. It's been awhile since I've seen her, and that was in Nick and Norah'…

Movie Review: How To Be

I love these quirky little British comedies, don't you? There's nothing like British humor. I remember skimming through the movies at Blockbuster (before it closed) looking for those straight-to-video movies that just might be a hidden gem. Or terrible, you never know. They don't tend to play in the theatres, at least not here, and you almost never hear about them.

That's why I watched How To Be.

Sadly, the trailer ended up being more entertaining than the entire movie. I had such hopes for it, too!

How To Be tries to be funny, but fails at almost every attempt. It also tries to be clever, but doesn't succeed in that, either. A few mildly charming moments don't make a movie good.

I can see the point this movie is trying to make, however. Art is trying to find himself as well as get affection from his emotionally distant, critical parents. They take very little interest in him. The mother, Rebecca Pidgeon, often says, "I wonder about you sometimes, Arthur.&…