Many Movies!

New Year! Hope your December was good and all. I haven't updated for a while because I've been busy. Sleeping till noon. But don't worry, I'll make up for it now by mini reviewing all the things I saw over the break! What fun!

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

RDJ decided to ramp up the silly
this time around. Someone direct this man! 
The film as a whole feels pretty inconsequential.
Nothing really sticks. There are some cool camera
tricks and action set pieces, but there's no substance
to back them up, so whatever Guy Ritchie. Also, 
Noomi Rapace is stuck playing the most 
unnecessary character in film history, so that's 
too bad for her.

The Adventures of Tintin

This was very good looking. Very good looking  
 indeed. The 3D was great and the motion capture
looked like it's own medium instead of some weird
real-life impostor. So I appreciated what was going
on here. However, I found the whole thing to be 
too loud and show-offish and overworked for my 
tastes. Isn't Spielberg too old to be making this kind 
of stuff? I know he's a holy vessel of eternal innocence 
and the bringer of childlike wonder into this terrible 
world, but still. Maybe I'm just being a curmudgeon.

The Palm Beach Story

This was great. It was funny, witty, and snappily
paced. Snappily paced short movies are nice.
For added enjoyment, the prologue and the
conclusion were aggressively nonsensical and
deliberately confusing. I like when that happens. 
That is all I have to say.

Christmas In July

More Preston Sturges! Also starring my lover from
the past, Dick Powell. This film is similarly fast paced and 
delightful, filled with witty quips and amusing non sequiturs.

Shipmates Forever

Also starring Dick Powell. And Ruby Keeler, the most adorably 
bad actress of the 1930s. I didn't like this one much. The characters
lacked any believable motivation and the big plot points felt 
unearned. I also found the excessively nationalistic, "join
the Navy or else you're useless" approach to be unappealing.
Different times, different attitudes. I guess it means well, though.
Rare Exports

Bah. I'm disappointed that a perfectly good demon Santa
concept was wasted on such a terrible movie. Poor
relationships, stupid and unmotivated plot developments,
and a 12-year old who talks to his stuffed animal so the
audience doesn't get confused or anything. Probably made by
some BYU film graduates. There are a lot of naked old men
running around, though, so I guess that's kind of funny.

In Time

This was an interesting concept that was pretty well
executed. There was a little bit of clunky dialogue
and Justers couldn't quite pull off a key scene, but mostly
good. It also had a pretty radical political message that it was
promoting, so that's always fun to see in a mainstream
release. As a card-carrying communist, I approve. Also,
Amanda Seyfried looks like a fashion alien and her shoes
are extremely impractical.

Real Steel

So this was extremely manipulative,  what with its
crying children, father-son redemption crap, and
lovable underdog boxing robots. I guess it worked,
though, because I liked it. Hugh Jackman is a giant man.

Year One

This is low brow humor. Jack Black eats poop at one
point. However, once you embrace the dumbness of
it all, the whole exercise ends up being kind of
endearing. There is a long and uninterrupted shot in
which Michael Cera pees on his face while hanging
upside down. I laughed.

Pineapple Express

I watched this with my mother. Daughters of Zion and
all that. She made that loud laughing mom noise that
she tends to make many times. Success. I like this film.
It's sweet-natured and extremely funny. I cannot ask
for more.


I saw this on New Year's Eve. My friend and I had to
go through a DUI checkpoint to get to the theater.
The circumstances in which I saw the film are neither
important to the review or particularly interesting. So
why relate them? I don't know. I though this film was
smart, exciting, and good looking. It also had an
interesting and satisfyingly uncertain ending. So, cool.

Harold and Maude

This is a fun wee film. It's got that early 1970's feel 
 that is pleasant sometimes. There's nothing life
altering or particularly inspirational going on here,
but it is nice. The cheerier aspects are balanced
out by the more grim elements, so it doesn't go too
far in either direction. And I like this shot.  

The Trip

I liked this one very much. It was episodic, intertextual,
and digressive. I enjoy all of these things. It also 
featured lots of good looking food, so that is nice.
I especially appreciated how the film was content to 
let scenes go beyond what would normally be considered
an acceptable end point. I also like how Coogan and
Brydon converse. I wish more dialogue was that way.

Anatomy of a Murder
This is the kind of film that doesn't attempt to make
things simple or straightforward. It expects the viewer
to exert themselves both through its stylistic and
narrative choices. It unabashedly uses complicated and
technical legal vocabulary and frankly discusses a very
adult subject. So, respect. I like a film that doesn't feel the
need to accomodate everyone. The subject matter and moral
 implications presented are genuinely surprising, even after all
of these years. So, adult, interesting, and deliberate.
Good film. Jimmy Stewart is more natural in front of a camera
than any man should be.


For some reason, my siblings and I watched this film
a lot when I was a young lass. As well as this.
Consequently, certain elements of Oliver! are ingrained 
into my brain for all time. So, revisiting it after a 
while was an interesting experience. It's easy to see 
why this film was so memorable for my tiny self, for 
it is a very impressive piece of work. The production 
design is amazing, it's shot beautifully, and the score
is pretty great. It does drag a wee bit in the middle. 
However, considering the fact that the film is two and 
a half hours long, some draggage would be hard to avoid. 
I forgive it.


  1. Drew,

    Oliver! drags, for sure, even though it has an exclamation point in its title. When I watched Moneyball!, I pretended it had an exclamation point in its title, and it made me like it even more. I am glad you didn't like Shipmates Forever because I would have accused you of only liking old movies even if they were bad. And that movie looks terrible in the way that those old movies where both the male and female are wearing the same navy outfits and singing to the camera are always terrible. I wish I got to see Pineapple Express with your mom--there is nothing as satisfying as hearing one's mom lose it in laughter despite herself. A key event from my childhood was being in a hotel room with my family late at night, and my mom found herself watching the old sitcom Night Court with all the kids, and she was losing it laughing so hard. She never watched Night Court again, but the image and sound is, to me, one of those memories that stays.

    By the way, please keep up this kind of post: it is the kind of posting that I will eagerly read and comment on.

  2. You make me laugh. Hard, and out loud.