Monday, February 18, 2013

Movie Madness

Over the past two weeks I’ve watched 4 movies I’ve never seen before and two additional ones that I own and have watched many times. Here are my thoughts on all of them:

Looper is a time travel movie. Time travel movies can be very difficult because they are never without many plot holes and paradoxes. And Looper is no different in that case. But they get it pretty close. It’s very entertaining and feels like two movies in one. You think it’s going to be about one thing and then it changes gears about midway through. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a little creepy looking with his makeup to make him look like a young Bruce Willis. He kind of lays it on a little thick – both the makeup and the Bruce Willis impression. But the story is good, it makes you think, and I always forget how much I like Bruce Willis.

I used to be heavily into Baseball. And this movie takes place during the time period when I was heavily into Baseball. I remember this Oakland Athletics team vividly. And, being from Minnesota and the Twins being my favorite team, I remember our impact on their season. We ended their 20 game win streak (I was at the game we did it) and we ended their post-season run. That game is very clear to me and the movie misrepresented it. It was a day game. And Denny Hocking made the catch, not Corey Koskie. The movie failed on these details and it soured me on a movie that I was somewhat enjoying. I say somewhat because I just can’t with Brad Pitt anymore. And it was too long. But, as Baseball movie goes, it’s a good one. I do think you have to enjoy and understand the sport to like the movie, though.

 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
I admit, my main draw(s) to this movie was Gary Oldman and Benedict Cumberbatch Acting together (‘acting’ being capitalized because these guys know how to act).  I went through a huge Gary Oldman period in my late teens and adore Benedict Cumberbatch now so seeing a movie with both of them had to happen.  Because, really, a super dry and serious mystery spy movie that takes place in the 70s and really really really looks like it was filmed in the 70s and is full of Russian dialogue is not my cup of tea. But, it was a good movie. Or film. This really seems like it should be called a film. I found it a bit hard to follow at first. Strong accents, a lot of names being thrown around, very quick scenes in the beginning  made it somewhat difficult for me to catch what was going on.  But as the scenes slowed down the film picked up and I ended up finding it very intriguing. It definitely demands a second viewing. And both Gary Oldman and Benedict Cumberbatch are fantastic in it. As are the rest of the cast (which includes Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, and John Hurt).

21 Jump Street
I watched this the same night as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy so it was quite the culture shock. But this is a funny movie. I had heard so many good things about it and I am happy to report those good things are right. It doesn’t try to stick to the actual 21 Jump Street story and is really more of a tale of two friends. It’s funny, but not gross out funny which is so common in these kinds of comedies these days. Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum have great chemistry. That Channing Tatum really is quite the Charming Potato (a nickname given to him from Pajiba).

(500) Days of Summer and Knocked Up
These are the two movies I’ve seen a number of times and just felt like ending my Sunday night with some comfort movies. Both are good for different reasons. (500) Days of Summer is almost too hipster for its own good, but I still really enjoy this movie. And I really like Zooey Deschanel, though I’ve never watched her show The New Girl. I’ve heard good things, though, so I should probably check it out.

As for Knocked Up, for reasons I cannot explain, I really like this movie. It’s a little long –as most Judd Apatow films are – but I just find it really sweet. It’s probably because of Paul Rudd. Paul Rudd makes all movies better.

Looking back on these “reviews” I just wrote, I’m reminded of Leonard from Community’s potato chips and frozen pizza YouTube reviews. Great. I sound like Leonard.

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