#3 Milk

Jan. 29th, 2009 11:40 pm
sleepymaggie: (Default)

A charming movie, which seems a sad way to put it. Gets the end out of the way at the beginning so you can focus on his life rather than his death. Marvelous acting from everyone, particularly Franco and Penn and Brolin (who does a lot with a small amount of screen time; i'm starting to really love him as an actor.) Loved the grittiness of the film quality. Only disappointment was the lack of the dead kennedys playing "i fought the law."

sleepymaggie: (Default)
I've decided to try and see 50 movies before my birthday next year. Only movies seen in a movie theater count. No promises about quality, as you'll see in the first entry.

#1 Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
I love bad movies. Like really, really. This movie is awesomely bad. It's the third movie in a series and yet it makes no attempt to explain the vast majority of what happened in the other two. Bill Nighy chews scenery like he's in an eating contest. Michael Sheen (late of The Queen and Frost/Nixon absolutely throws himself into the camp insane plot -- spends a lot of time screaming and bulging his eyes out. There's a point where he changes to a werewolf, thereby shredding his clothes. Immediately afterwards, another character throws him a leather trench coat to wear and then suddenly he's also wearing tight leather pants. Out of nowhere. Amazing movie.

(The Onion has a great review of the movie here; some spoilers I guess, but mostly just humorous stuff that isn't going to kill the movie for you.)

# Frost/Nixon
Also awesome, but more for its greatness. Great acting, great directing, great everything. Michael Sheen playing the exact opposite of the character in Underworld: with money and perfect hair and class. A lot of the movie came down to eye movements and facial expressions. There were a lot of echoes in sentiment too -- between that time frame and now. The characters talked about wanting to put Nixon on trial; they talked about wanting an apology or at least some admission of guilt. Which I couldn't help comparing to the how I've felt for the past 8 or so years. Anyway, great flick, my current vote for best picture (although I've only seen two of the nominees so far).

50 films

Dec. 26th, 2007 02:44 pm
sleepymaggie: (Default)
I haven't been to the movies much recently: being depressed and having no money equals no movies. So I prolly won't finish my 50 in time for my birthday. I've decided to keep going anyway, cause I find that seeing movies regularly keeps me sane and I like writing about them.

#15 No Country For Old Men
Awesomely awesome. Yay Coen brothers. There can't be more than five pages of speech in the whole thing.

#16 I Am Legend
I really liked this movie, although it wasn't the best I've seen this year. Almost every review I read of it found it awful, so I went into it thinking it would be bad. And it turned out to be pretty good. I think the things that I liked most were little details. I liked the the main characters subtle hidden OCD. I liked the carefully constructed defense system. I liked how he built lives for mannequins around the city. I really didn't like the sappy bits near the end, but can't win 'em all.

#17 Sweeney Todd
This is a movie you will either love or hate. I always enjoy Tim Burton's visions: I love his sets and his costumes and his style -- the whole package. But I found myself cringing through the whole movie because it just didn't seem to mesh well with the original musical. I didn't really like the music to the musical to begin with and the actors-who-can-almost-but-not-quite carry a tune didn't help. But it is worth seeing for the ocean scenes in the middle of the movie: best costume on Johnny Dep ever.

50 films

Nov. 8th, 2007 12:42 pm
sleepymaggie: (Default)
#14 American Gangster
Really good. I disagree with most of the reviews I've read. You should see it.

50 films

Oct. 31st, 2007 12:50 pm
sleepymaggie: (Default)
#13 Dan in Real Life
I went into this with two basic notions: 1) Steve Carell is hot and 2) this'll prolly be a midling funny romantic comedy.

#1 is definitely correct. #2 -- not so much.

I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable this movie was. I went in expecting zany wacky comedy. Instead, I got something really heartfelt. I connected with the main character on a level I usually don't with this kind of comedy. Actually though, I'm not really sure what kind of comedy this was...it definitely wasn't your normal family comedy or romantic comedy. It was just something different.

Carell did a great job of not just being hot, but also creating a character that was believable -- someone I could empathize with. And Dane Cook wasn't horribly annoying, which is a major accomplishment for him.

This is another example of a movie where the trailer for the movie doesn't match up with the actual tone of the movie. The trailer is what gave me the impression that I was in for a wacky comedy. Maybe they felt like that was the only way to get people in the door -- trick them into seeing a different movie than advertized.

Anyways, good movie, recommended.

50 films

Oct. 25th, 2007 12:40 pm
sleepymaggie: (Default)
#11 Gone Baby Gone
Right off the bat I have to say: yes, this is a good movie. Yes, you should see it. Yes, it's worth your money.

Behind those statements are these thoughts: Affleck (the director) tried really really hard to make you know this was Boston. Real Boston. Or at least one kind or sort of Real Boston. Not the tourist town, but the place where people work and live.

I like the moral ambiguity of the movie. I liked the fact that by the end of it, no one is right anymore. There are no right decisions left to be made.

I liked how quiet it was. In some ways it was just as stark as 30 Days of Night, but in a completely different way.

Go see it.

#12 The Darjeeling Limited
Hi, my name is Maggie and I love twee. I love precious. I love insane attention to inane detail. I love diarama-style sets. I love characters that are paper dolls. I love dialogue that consists of people talking at each other, rather than to each other -- really, I love monologues that are happening simultaneously.

And I love Darjeeling Limited.

Most critics don't agree with me, its true. Most of them thought this was another over-the-top, too precious, inanely detailed Wes Anderson movie.

And really I don't particularly care. I loved it, just as much as I love Royal Tenenbaums, which is saying something. I predict bright shiny summer afternoons that I'll spend in my darkened house watching this movie over and over again.

And they *are* playing the movie with the related short (Hotel Chevalier) before it. Which is a very good idea, since I'm not sure that the movie makes total sense without it. In fact it doesn't. So good on them for putting that on there.

50 films

Oct. 22nd, 2007 02:56 pm
sleepymaggie: (sad)
#10 30 Days of Night
I went into this movie with pretty low expectations. I thought I would see a midling horror film, with gore and violence. In some ways I did see that. In other ways though, I saw a completely unexpected film.

Everything came together to create an overall experience. The colors were skewed towards reds and blacks and overwhelmingly white. The snow was used as a magnificent backdrop for everything else. On top of that was blood. So the colors worked to create an overall feeling throughout the movie...of...almost starkness.

The music worked right along with the color. It was mostly atmospheric, but different than the usual horror movie screeching. Instead, it somehow went with the color palette -- it felt sharp and stark in all the right ways.

Ok, I'm putting this into too many silly words now.

The script has some rough edges, some plot points are a bit too predictable. But really those are minor issues.

The vampires here are pretty different from how they're normally used. These are shown almost as animals, although they do talk and wear clothes. These aren't goth emo sad depressed vampires -- these are fast, furious killers, who get covered in blood and guts.

Anyways, I liked it quite a bit more than I thought I would. It's definitely not a typical horror movie; it's not even scary. You should see it.

50 films

Oct. 16th, 2007 10:32 pm
sleepymaggie: (Default)
#9 Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Woo-boy. Where to begin?

[We joked that this movie should better be called Elizabeth: the Elizabethaning.]

So it's got a cast of generally amazing actors (Cate Blanchett and Geoffrey Rush its hard to go wrong with; Clive Owen is often good). It's also got overwrought music, a script that sounds like a high schooler's book report, and weird combination of boring and artsy shots.

The first Elizabeth movie was charming in all the ways this one is not: it was dark and dirty and emotional. This one is plain and clean and boring.

The movie has split personality problems. Half the shots are plain and boring, wide angles. Every now and then there are these strange "artistic" shots thrown in -- scenes shown from behind pillars or through screens. I've seen movies where this sort of thing works; putting the character in a tiny box while the rest of the screen is blocked off can be great for showing emotion. Here it just makes you squint and wonder.

The writing is terrible. Terrible.

Same with the music. Too loud and out of keeping with the what was happening onscreen. Seemed like they were trying to drive emotion through the music, but mostly it made me roll my eyes.

Although I found myself almost laughing at points, this isn't generally a movie that's so bad it's good. Mostly it's boring. People all around me were yawning loudly through the whole thing.

So yeah. When it crosses your mind to see this movie, go to the video store instead and rent the first one. You will probably thank me.

[And Molly informs me (correctly) that I was wrong: I thought Raleigh went on to marry Pocohantas, but it turns out that I confused him with another R new world explorer. Doesn't matter that much anyways.]

50 films

Oct. 16th, 2007 01:03 pm
sleepymaggie: (Default)
#8 Michael Clayton
I originally did not want to see this movie -- but I really liked it when I did. Something about the trailer and the tv ads for it just turned me off. Looked boring. But it's not, it's rather good. You should see it.

50 films

Sep. 30th, 2007 07:15 pm
sleepymaggie: (Default)
#7 The Hunting Party
Surprisingly good movie. I hadn't heard or seen anything about this film, except for one or two commercials. Great quality in spite of the lack of advertising. The acting was great, the plot quirky but believable. You could tell at some points that their budget must have been tiny. I plan on looking up the story behind the movie, because apparently a good chunk of it was based on real events.

I should probably say something about the plot, since most people have never heard of this movie. Reporters in Bosnia hunting for a war criminal that no one else seems interested in finding. Way more complicated than that, but you're better off seeing it yourself. Funny and politically sharp.

I totally recommend this movie to people.

50films

Sep. 29th, 2007 12:38 am
sleepymaggie: (Default)
#6 the Kingdom
Overall I enjoyed this movie. They left the good vs. evil schtick out -- definite plus. All the characters are pretty nuanced. A lot of the film seemed to be about the tensions caused simply by the cultural differences. The acting was quite good. Liked the fact that Chris Cooper wasn't the top dog character; instead that was Jamie Foxx. Jason Bateman seemed to be tagging along just to crack jokes and cause international incidents, but I liked him anyway. I looked up an interview with him -- turns out that he adlib-ed most of his lines. The opening credits were amazing. They managed to convey a huge amount of information about Saudi Arabia (and America's involvement there) simply and effectively. Whoever edited that sequence together is a genius. Overall, the movie is well worth your dollars.
sleepymaggie: (Default)
#5 Eastern Promises
I enjoyed what I saw of this movie. It was actually not as violent as I thought it would be. The acting was great, the filming was great. The large amount of russian that was used really impressed me. I knew going in that it was a movie about the russian mob, but I didn't realize there'd be quite that much russian. The mix of russian and english was really well done. Viggo was, as usual, wonderful. I went into the theater with a bit of trepidation: I wasn't sure that I would like the movie. It was definitely worth it.

50 films

Sep. 23rd, 2007 12:48 pm
sleepymaggie: (Default)
#4 Good Luck Chuck
At the end of this movie I was balled up in my seat trying to hide my face. The scene that occurs during the credits is incredibly disturbing. Most of the movie was funny, but generally funny in a creepy I-feel-dirty sortof way.

50 films

Sep. 19th, 2007 10:20 pm
sleepymaggie: (Default)
#3 Shoot Em Up
Oh, Paul Giamatti! Why oh why did you end up in this film? It's totally not his style. Clive Owen on the other hand, this movie is right up his ally. Guns and filthy language and odd sex. In the end this movie is pretty much what you'd expect it to be: lots of shooting, silly one liners, tortured logic. There were a few sour notes, but mostly it was enjoyable. One of those movies where you end up exclaiming "What?!" every few minutes.

50 films

Sep. 19th, 2007 02:13 pm
sleepymaggie: (Default)
I'm going to try to watch 50 films in theaters by my next birthday.

# 1 Dragon Wars (D-War)
Crazy Korean movie made with American actors. Nuts in every way imaginable. Not very well edited or cast or scripted etc etc. Funny in that laughing at you sort of way.

#2 3:10 to Yuma
Gorgeous. Lots of characters that are interesting and worth your attention. Moral ambiguity. Gorgeous colors, wonderful use of the southwest. Acting was absolutely marvelous. A couple of odd cameos too.

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