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The Laws of Motion

Comedy, Drama, Family No Comments »

lawsmotion.jpgI went to a screening of The Laws of Motion Tuesday night with my good buddy Jenn. The movie isn’t finished yet and we had to watch it and then give feedback. In studio speak, I think the movie would be characterized as Matthew Broderick’s character from election in a sibling coming to terms movie ala You Can Count on Me. The characters all seemed to have names of elderly people. The main character (played by Matthew Perry) is named Morrie and his sister (played by Ginnifer Goodwin) is named Ida. Morrie is married to Betty. All it needed was a character named Moishe to really complete the family tree. I don’t want to give the movie too hard a time because it ends nicely and someday I’m sure my mom is going to enjoy it on cable and ask me many times if I’ve seen it. I did write on the comment card, “Just because the character is constipated doesn’t mean the movie has to be,” so I am sure they will fix that.

(Image from http://flickr.com/photos/85181947@N00/386985062/)

The Station Agent

Comedy, Ding, Drama 2 Comments »

dinklage.jpgI’m cheating a little because I didn’t just watch The Station Agent, but… when I did see The Station Agent for the first time I liked it so much that I looked up the lead, Peter Dinklage. Whenever I see an actor I like in a movie I look up their name and info on the small chance I ever run into them, that I can say, “Hey, you’re Peter Dinklage.” A few years ago James saw another actor from the movie, Bobby Cannavale, at the MOMA Design Store and neither of us could remember his name. So, I went back and really made sure that I knew the three main actors’ names.

All of this is to say that yesterday by Union Square, my coworker turned to me and said, “Hey, that little guy from Elf just walked by.” F*ck! Well New York isn’t that big. Maybe I will see him tomorrow. (For the record, I would probably never actually talk to an actor I saw, but this way I am prepared for the small off chance they decide to talk to me).

(Image from http://flickr.com/photos/kjunk/348533140/)

Rotten tomatoes rating: 95%

The Darjeeling Limited

Comedy 2 Comments »

darjeeling.jpgI hate to get serious for a moment, but I went to see The Darjeeling Limited and there is really nothing funny to say about it so I have to get serious. I’m a big fan of Wes Anderson, but I don’t know how to place this movie in my Wes Anderson cosmology. I’m not the only one, check out A.O. Scott’s sort of endorsement:

“This shaggy-dog road trip, in which three semi-estranged brothers travel by rail across India, is unstintingly fussy, vain and self-regarding. But it is also a treasure: an odd, flawed, but nonetheless beautifully handmade object as apt to win affection as to provoke annoyance. You might say that it has sentimental value.”

Here are how I rank Wes Anderson’s movies:

Life Aquatic
The Royal Tennenbaums
The Darjeeling Limited
Bottle Rocket

(Image from http://flickr.com/photos/beatpiknik/1339995645/)

Rotten tomatoes rating: 68%

Bye Bye, Love

Comedy No Comments »

byebyelove.jpgSometimes I get caught up in a movie in the morning so my 2 hours of morning time is still not enough to get to work on time. That’s why I try to only watch NY1 in the morning. This morning, Bye Bye, Love was really not a worthy excuse. The movie is about three divorced dads played by Paul Reiser, Randy Quaid, and Matthew Modine. They meet at McDonald’s every week for the exchange with their exes. It is hard to imagine that this entire movie was not paid for by McDonald’s. The baby throws up in the car, take it to McDonald’s! You don’t know what to cook for dinner, exchange recipes with the dads at McDonald’s! What else can McDonald’s do? Well check the minor story line of widower Walter who gets a job at McDonald’s to keep himself busy. He and his young boss Max find inter-generational friendship at…. McDonald’s!

(Image from http://flickr.com/photos/britamora/175503371/)

Rotten tomatoes rating: 15%

Man of the Year

Comedy, Political No Comments »

tomdobbs.jpgMan of the Year is available on HBO so of course I watched it. I love when all the kind of bad movies come out on cable and then there are lots of things to watch. No Bear Grylls for me, when Man of the Year is on. I have a good buddy Sameer who used to claim that every time he came over we were watching Laura Linney movies. Now, I can’t see her in a movie without thinking “Laura Linney” in my head.

[spoiler alert: don't read further if you don't want any mystery in this movie]
Laura Linney plays a programmer that finds a bug in voting software that made Tom Dobbs, played by Robin Williams, win the election by mistake. She “cracks” the bug when she realizes that the software ranks people by the alphabetical order of the double letters in their name. So, Dobbs wins because he has double bs which are lower in the alphabet than the double gs of incumbent president Kellogg. What kind of crazy bug is that? Why doesn’t the system just add up the votes? I guess this is why we need code reviews. Accidental alphabetizing of double letters is the number one cause of buggy code in the country.

Oh, also I want to point out that on imdb the plot keywords are: Fart Joke / Political / Fart / Satire / Political Thriller

(Image from http://flickr.com/photos/74855554@N00/99378415/)

Rotten tomatoes rating: 21%

American Dreamz

Comedy, Ding No Comments »

mandymoore.jpgI watched American Dreamz the other day and was pleasantly surprised. It is actually kind of funny and makes fun of as many people as possible. I like that it has Willem Dafoe acting creepy because I was starting to think from watching Inside Man that maybe he never was creepy. Mandy Moore performs a song in the movie called “Dreams with a Z”. For the record, that accounts for a lot of dings.  I can’t find the lyrics online so I guess I’ll have to re-watch the movie and painfully record the words for future appreciators. If I wrote a silly song like that I would definitely put the lyrics on the interweb.

Rotten tomatoes rating: 41%

(Image from http://flickr.com/photos/apexsensation/369247049/)

Little Miss Sunshine

Comedy No Comments »

littlemiss.jpgI was working on a movie web site when Little Miss Sunshine came out and I kept using it as my sample movie to work off of. Every day, I would see the names Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin and Paul Dano. Every time I visited the page, I read a bit about them.  Would you believe that the final tie breaker question on The World Series of Pop Culture finals was to name the 6 ensemble cast members from Little Miss Sunshine? I gotta go on that show.

Little Miss Sunshine was on tv the other day and it is still funny. I remember all their names too.

(Image from http://flickr.com/photos/jayswww/286900007/)

Rotten tomatoes rating: 92%

Dead Husbands

Comedy, Thriller No Comments »

John RitterDead Husbands is a made for tv movie starring John Ritter and Nicollette Sheridan.  The idea is that a group of women set up a chain letter where the woman whose name is at the top of the list gets to have her husband killed by the woman whose name is at the bottom of the list.  This way they can inherit their husbands money without anyone suspecting them of murder.  John Ritter plays the nicest guy in the world and Nicollette Sheridan the meanest gal.  There’s not too much remarkable about this movie except that I can’t believe I watched it.  I literally said, “I’m not going to watch that,” when I saw it was on next and then I happily worked on my sister’s quilt while it played.  I watched it last weekend, but I couldn’t update the blog until I read Harry Potter.

(Image from http://flickr.com/photos/feaverish/19420226/)

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Comedy No Comments »

BoratFriday night is movie night and last night we watched Borat. What makes Friday night different from all other nights? We watch movies every night, but on Friday night we are willing to pay for Movies on Demand. I had put off watching Borat for as long as possible. I love the character, but something seemed off about the movie. I normally like humor that makes me feel uncomfortable (see Larry David), but Borat was just too awkward and uncomfortable.

Two things struck me about the movie. The first is that it was nominated for an Oscar for best adapted screenplay. What do we call that Oscar phenomena? How would you feel if you actually wrote a screenplay and Borat was nominated instead? The whole time watching the movie, I kept thinking that the worst part about it was the awkward scripting. Obviously I don’t know from good writing.

The second thing that struck me is that Borat’s fictional producer, Azamat Bagatov, is a real actor. Ken Davitian is from LA and has appeared in numerous movies and tv shows. He owns a restaurant in Hollywood that specializes in French Dip sandwiches. Thinking back, it is no surprise that the guy who sat on Borat’s head does seems like he would like French Dip sandwiches. I had to watch two episodes of Man vs Wild to wash that image out of my head.

(Image from http://flickr.com/photos/streetart/265174666/)

Rotten tomatoes rating: 91% (oy vey)

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear

Action, Comedy No Comments »

The LibrarianOkay, so I have to admit that I have seen The Librarian: Quest for the Spear twice. The Librarian is a made for TV spoof/imitation of Indiana Jones starring Noah Wyle. It is a copy enough to give it a plot and it is a spoof enough to make viewers forgive that it is a copy. All of the music in the movie sounds like music from other movies with a few notes changed. It plays on TNT all the time and is generally enjoyable with a lot of actors who have earned the right to take it easy at this point in their career: Olympia Dukakis, Jane Curtin, Bob Newhart. The only real surprise is the appearance of Kyle MacLachlan as the bad guy. Every few minutes, I asked J if he preferred Kyle in The Librarian or in Twin Peaks.

The rotten tomatoes rating for this movie is the same as the odds that The Librarian is currently playing on TNT.

Rotten tomatoes rating: 100% (out of 2 ratings)