Archive for April, 2012

Five-Year Engagement

I enjoy both Jason Segel and Emily Blunt, so I was hoping to enjoy The Five-Year Engagement. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

It definitely descended into what seems to be rapidly becoming a common area for comedies, even romantic comedies, which is vulgar humor. However, it was a little more realistic than I was expecting. I liked the emphasis on not having to find the “perfect” person, because after all, we are all human. Our quirks can be our strengths.

Both Segel and Blunt were good, even if the parts written for them descended into wacky and cheesy at times. It will most likely be a popular movie, and I enjoyed it much more than the acclaimed Bridesmaids.

Quote Quiz 4.27.12 – ANSWERS

1. “It’s all over the papers! It beats me how they get it into print so quickly.” — “They make it up, Hastings.” – Captain Hastings and Hercule Poirot, Poirot ”The Adventure of the Western Star”

2. “How sentimental. You know, I haven’t been this choked up since I got a hunk of moussaka caught in my throat.” – Hades, Hercules

3. “Whoever holds the conch gets to speak.” - Ralph, Lord of the Flies

4. “Oh, I don’t think anybody could puke more than than kid. I think I saw a boot come out of him.” – Robbie, The Wedding Singer

5. “They could have deserted. Thousands have. But these lads have not. They remain with me. And I, not you, General Gates, I command this army, and if I, a bumbling Virginia farmer, should decide to lead them into Hell, they will follow me into Hell.” - George Washington, The Crossing

Theater etiquette

Common sense theater etiquette doesn’t seem to be very common any longer, so I thought I would share what I think are some important rules of theater etiquette.

  • If you bring someone to a movie with you who doesn’t know anything about the plot, please don’t try to explain everything to them as the movie is running. It’s more interesting (and better for the others in the theater) to let them try to figure it out, and then discuss it with them after the movie’s over.
  • Try to obey the theater rules. These usually include not putting your feet on the seats and turning off your phones. Pretty simple.
  • Please throw away your garbage. The other theater-goers might not enjoy having to wade over your refuse as they leave.
  • Do not text during a movie. This is a relatively silent activity, but the screen on your phone lights up the area, and can be rather blinding in a dark theater. And anyone sitting in the same row or anywhere behind you will see it.
  • If you bring children to a movie, make sure it is appropriate for them. Taking young children to an R-rated movie is not a good idea. Also, please make sure your children stay in their seats, unless they are going to the restroom. A theater is not another type of playground.
  • Whatever else you do, please, please do not answer your cellphone, should it go off, and have a conversation during a movie. After all, cellphones were created as a convenience, not as a tool to inconvenience everyone in hearing distance.

Feel free to share any rules that you think are important if I didn’t mention them!

The Three Stooges

I watched a lot of Three Stooges shorts when I was young. As with most people, my favorite stooge was Curly. When I saw they were making the movie The Three Stooges, my initial reaction was that it wasn’t going to be any good. After all, how can you improve on some of the original masters of slapstick?

I went to watch the movie with low expectations, and was agreeably surprised. The movie was much better than I had anticipated. In fact, it managed to showcase some pretty good slapstick humor without breaking into vulgar humor. The movie even had a decent storyline, which was something else I didn’t expect.

The new stooges look remarkably like the original stooges, and were even able to imitate some of the trademark characteristics of the original stooges. I was impressed by Will Sasso as Curly, and Chris Diamontopoulos’ mastering of Moe’s scowl. What is most surprising, in retrospect, is that I did not once recognize that Larry was played by Sean Hayes, probably best known as Jack from Will & Grace

The Three Stooges was a surprisingly entertaining movie, one that is okay to take older children to, unlike most modern comedies. Some more like that would be appreciated!

Quote Quiz 4.20.12 – ANSWERS

1. “I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this.” — “I was thinking the same thing. That John Denver’s full of it, man.” – Harry and Lloyd, Dumb and Dumber

2. “You know, I once read an interesting book which said that, uh, most people lost in the wilds, they, they die of shame.” – Charles Morse, The Edge

3. “I will live in Montana. And I will marry a round American woman and raise rabbits, and she will cook them for me. And I will have a pickup truck, maybe even a’”recreational vehicle.’ And drive from state to state. Do they let you do that?” – Captain Borodin, The Hunt for Red October

4. “You – You just dive in there, don’t you just, whoosh, anywhere, deep end. And I’m not, I’m not a bloody swimming pool, Harvey.” – Kate, Last Chance Harvey

There had to be a wood-chipper

After watching The Cabin in the Woods, I realized I should watch a movie that was recommended by a friend. It also falls in the horror category, or at least into  the horror-spoof category. The movie is Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010), and the tag line reads, “Tucker & Dale are on vacation at their dilapidated mountain cabin when they are attacked by a group of preppy college kids.”

The movie is based on the idea of what can happen when people misread one another. Tucker and Dale are two “red-necks” who encounter a group of college students on vacation. The students immediately think they are creepy hillbillies, of course. The movie manages to turn the idea of creepy hillbillies on its head, and makes the rather pathetic college students the victims of their own stupidity.

Since Tucker and Dale vs Evil is mocking horror movies, there are a lot of gruesome deaths and fake gore. And, of course, there is a wood-chipper. Why not? The Coen brothers used one in Fargo. It’s an entertaining movie, one that manages to mock stereotypes and horror cliches while creating something funny in its own right.

The Cabin in the Woods

I enjoy watching horror movies occasionally, but not for the reasons most people like watching them. I usually find them funny. There are so many stereotypes about horror movies that there are spin-offs using the stereotypes.

That’s the one thing about The Cabin in the Woods that I enjoyed. It explained why all horror movies have certain types, and why those types die the way they do. That was inventive and enjoyable. However, where the movie lost me was the reason behind it all. I won’t spoil it for those who want to watch it, but I thought the ending was lame.

The Cabin in the Woods also seemed to be trying to incorporate aspects of other recently popular movies. That is not so original. As horror movies go, it’s better than a lot that I’ve seen, but the ending was still a let-down.

Quote Quiz 4.13.12 – ANSWERS

It’s Friday the 13th! And time for another quiz.

1. “She tried to sit in my lap while I was standing up.” – Marlowe, The Big Sleep

2. “Cleric, I can only hope one day to be as uncompromising as you.” – Brandt, Equilibrium

3. “The corn is as high as a elephant’s eye…” – Curly, Oklahoma!

4. “Oh, come on, Casey. You have to admire its simplicity. It’s one billionth our size and it’s beating us.” – Sam, Outbreak

The little grey cells

I like mysteries. When I was younger I read a lot of Agatha Christie’s stories, particularly the ones dealing with Hercule Poirot. What’s not to like about a quirky Belgium private detective with ridiculous mustaches?

My Grandma also liked mysteries, but she tended to watch TV shows more than reading them later in her life. So I started watching Poirot with her. Although Albert Finney as Poirot is good in Murder on the Orient Express, it is really David Suchet who embodies Poirot. He has the voice, mannerisms, mustaches, head-shape, and walk down well.

I forgot how much I enjoyed the show until I started watching some episodes recently. If you’ve never seen Poirot, you should check it out. It’s well-done, clever, and entertaining. And David Suchet is impeccable.

Wrath of the Titans

The movie Wrath of the Titans picks up the story of Perseus a number of years after where Clash of the Titans left off. Since the mortals have stopped praying to the gods, they are losing their power and becoming mortal. Some of them decide they won’t abide this and make a pact to release the titans into the world. Perseus must step in to stop this from happening.

All of this is very far from the original mythological stories. About the only thing that is the same are the names and character traits of some of the people. It’s an entertaining story, but it’s certainly far from accurate. So if you enjoy the original stories, you might not enjoy this movie. I do like mythology, especially Ovid’s stories, but I still found Wrath of the Titans enjoyable. Much of my enjoyment, honestly, came from Bill Nighy as Hephaestus, the crippled smith-god and husband of Aphrodite.

The movie is really about the special effects, and they are well done. The story is a bit odd and tortured, but still generally enjoyable.