Liberals Hate Families

A vessel for a muse or two

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Well it was fine, I guess?  I don’t know.  I didn’t mind watching it, but when I think about it it’s a movie that can’t survive or be funny unless you find sex really funny.  And I do, but there needs to be something…else.  Actual gags and jokes. It’s not enough to detail and simulate sex, there needs to be a joke there, and I don’t think this movie had that a lot of the time.  It did in some parts for sure, and the relationship between the leads was nice and cute, but this felt like a funny concept with not enough actual humor. 

Well it was fine, I guess?  I don’t know.  I didn’t mind watching it, but when I think about it it’s a movie that can’t survive or be funny unless you find sex really funny.  And I do, but there needs to be something…else.  Actual gags and jokes. It’s not enough to detail and simulate sex, there needs to be a joke there, and I don’t think this movie had that a lot of the time.  It did in some parts for sure, and the relationship between the leads was nice and cute, but this felt like a funny concept with not enough actual humor. 

Filed under For a good time call Movie Review

4 notes

This is a good adaptation of a good book.  Even when I was reading The Hunger Games, I was picturing it as a film.  It’s a plot destined for film, and I think that has been realized very well here.  The film is very well cast, and mostly well directed.  It’s a little MTV generation for me with all of the cutting.  I’m not sure why directors of action films feel like they should shake the camera so much that you can’t tell what’s going on, but the shaky camera thing is a great tool often overused.  And it is so here.  Otherwise, it’s very engaging, and it made me care, and it was true to the story, so I’m happy. 

This is a good adaptation of a good book.  Even when I was reading The Hunger Games, I was picturing it as a film.  It’s a plot destined for film, and I think that has been realized very well here.  The film is very well cast, and mostly well directed.  It’s a little MTV generation for me with all of the cutting.  I’m not sure why directors of action films feel like they should shake the camera so much that you can’t tell what’s going on, but the shaky camera thing is a great tool often overused.  And it is so here.  Otherwise, it’s very engaging, and it made me care, and it was true to the story, so I’m happy. 

Filed under Hunger Games Jennifer Lawrence Movie Review

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I watched this movie like three days ago, but it was so brilliant that I was afraid I would write a raving, barely intelligible review praising it and compromising whatever credibility I have.  I still cannot write that calm review I thought I could, and I think that speaks to the quality of this film, A Separation.  This film admires complexity, and once you see it you’ll recognize how much of an understatement that is.  Never have I seen a film paint such an elegant web of catastrophe coming from good intentions as I have with this film.  Every character rightly deserves some combination of justice and blame in this film.  No one is culpable, or everyone is.  No one is innocent, or everyone is.  Because of this quality, and the continuing complexity of the story, I was completely engaged by A Separation.  It feels like a thriller, but in reality it’s a richly layered drama about people, culture, and understanding.  It takes a massively disruptive problem in culture and shows the personal effects of it.  A Separation is not preachy: in fact, it knows that there aren’t many answers to the questions it proposes.  But that’s why it’s so compelling, and so necessary.  As difficult a picture of the complicated world this film paints, I’m thrilled that in reaction to that world we have films like this that change our perspectives, and our lives. 

I watched this movie like three days ago, but it was so brilliant that I was afraid I would write a raving, barely intelligible review praising it and compromising whatever credibility I have.  I still cannot write that calm review I thought I could, and I think that speaks to the quality of this film, A Separation.  This film admires complexity, and once you see it you’ll recognize how much of an understatement that is.  Never have I seen a film paint such an elegant web of catastrophe coming from good intentions as I have with this film.  Every character rightly deserves some combination of justice and blame in this film.  No one is culpable, or everyone is.  No one is innocent, or everyone is.  Because of this quality, and the continuing complexity of the story, I was completely engaged by A Separation.  It feels like a thriller, but in reality it’s a richly layered drama about people, culture, and understanding.  It takes a massively disruptive problem in culture and shows the personal effects of it.  A Separation is not preachy: in fact, it knows that there aren’t many answers to the questions it proposes.  But that’s why it’s so compelling, and so necessary.  As difficult a picture of the complicated world this film paints, I’m thrilled that in reaction to that world we have films like this that change our perspectives, and our lives. 

Filed under A Separation Movie Review

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I’ve been avoiding writing this review all day, because I know it might end up being one of those “long ones.”  The ones where my friends say “Geoff you got a little carried away with that one.”  Fine, I’m making it up as I go along, so we’ll see.  I’ll just tell you how I feel first off: I’m satisfied.  Honestly, I am.  The Dark Knight Rises is a worthy entry in this saga, and perhaps more importantly, a worthy conclusion to it.  Nolan balances some pretty unbelievable stuff here.  This movie should be overstuffed with themes, plots, and characters, but somehow it isn’t.  It moves at a brisk pace and fits everything in.  Some interesting aspects aren’t given the time they deserve, but you gotta make concessions when you have this much crap going on.  The addition of Joseph Gordon-Levitt is my favorite decision.  His character brings a youthful humanity to the cast, as the old wise humanity is covered by Freeman, Cain, and Oldman.   The story is interesting, creating a perfect scenario for Batman to save the day again.  Much like many of Nolan’s films, he uses revelatory themes as the starting point for his stories.  He doesn’t have much to say about them, but I can’t say that’s a flaw.  It’s not something I expect from these movies, because they have enough going on as it is.  Now, I begin to part with Nolan in some places here.  Firstly, The Dark Knight Rises is so dark that I felt like the nihilism was insurmountable.  The intention of the film was to bury me under hopelessness and rise(haha) up from that to show me the world is worth saving.  It certainly does that, but it doesn’t feel worth it.  I felt so bogged down in its darkness that the eventual catharsis was not enough to justify the beginning of the film.  Or at least it wasn’t to me.  I walked out unable to shake that feeling.  Maybe that’s a good thing because I’m angry about what the movie wants me to be angry about.  It shows that it had a deep effect on the way I was feeling.    Yet,  I still feel like the nihilism should have let up a little bit sooner so I could have basked in a 30 minute chunk of love for humanity.  There are a few scenes of “my brain thinks this is impractical but my heart is fluttering,” and I can’t really put that under the flaws section.  This is a superhero movie after all.  Essentially, I think this movie does its job.  I might change this review after I see it again, because it’s hard to know what I really think when the experience is framed by the excitement and expectation of a midnight showing.    But I do know that no matter where this is ultimately placed in preference of Nolan’s Batman films, it’s pretty damn good. 

I’ve been avoiding writing this review all day, because I know it might end up being one of those “long ones.”  The ones where my friends say “Geoff you got a little carried away with that one.”  Fine, I’m making it up as I go along, so we’ll see.  I’ll just tell you how I feel first off: I’m satisfied.  Honestly, I am.  The Dark Knight Rises is a worthy entry in this saga, and perhaps more importantly, a worthy conclusion to it.  Nolan balances some pretty unbelievable stuff here.  This movie should be overstuffed with themes, plots, and characters, but somehow it isn’t.  It moves at a brisk pace and fits everything in.  Some interesting aspects aren’t given the time they deserve, but you gotta make concessions when you have this much crap going on.  The addition of Joseph Gordon-Levitt is my favorite decision.  His character brings a youthful humanity to the cast, as the old wise humanity is covered by Freeman, Cain, and Oldman.   The story is interesting, creating a perfect scenario for Batman to save the day again.  Much like many of Nolan’s films, he uses revelatory themes as the starting point for his stories.  He doesn’t have much to say about them, but I can’t say that’s a flaw.  It’s not something I expect from these movies, because they have enough going on as it is.  Now, I begin to part with Nolan in some places here.  Firstly, The Dark Knight Rises is so dark that I felt like the nihilism was insurmountable.  The intention of the film was to bury me under hopelessness and rise(haha) up from that to show me the world is worth saving.  It certainly does that, but it doesn’t feel worth it.  I felt so bogged down in its darkness that the eventual catharsis was not enough to justify the beginning of the film.  Or at least it wasn’t to me.  I walked out unable to shake that feeling.  Maybe that’s a good thing because I’m angry about what the movie wants me to be angry about.  It shows that it had a deep effect on the way I was feeling.    Yet,  I still feel like the nihilism should have let up a little bit sooner so I could have basked in a 30 minute chunk of love for humanity.  There are a few scenes of “my brain thinks this is impractical but my heart is fluttering,” and I can’t really put that under the flaws section.  This is a superhero movie after all.  Essentially, I think this movie does its job.  I might change this review after I see it again, because it’s hard to know what I really think when the experience is framed by the excitement and expectation of a midnight showing.    But I do know that no matter where this is ultimately placed in preference of Nolan’s Batman films, it’s pretty damn good. 

Filed under The Dark Knight Rises Movie Review Gary Oldman Christian Bale Christopher Nolan Morgan Freeman Anne Hathaway Joseph Gordon-Levitt

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The most common positive review of a music documentary says “You’ll love this even if you don’t like this band!”  I can’t say that at all about Shut Up and Play the Hits.  It’s interesting, devastating, and emotionally resonant BECAUSE you love the band.  This film is a love letter to LCD Soundsystem’s career, spanning the weeks leading up to their final show and the day following it.  Concert footage is paired with an interview by Chuck Klosterman in which James Murphy defends his decision, and shares his philosophy of music and culture.  As I write that it doesn’t sound that interesting, but Murphy is a fascinating guy to listen to.  His intelligence, self-awareness, and self-consciousness is unparalleled in music today.  He seems to have this deep understanding of these subjects.  These comments combined with the footage from the final show remind me of just how much this band’s music meant to me, and I couldn’t think of a better send off than that show and this documentary. 

The most common positive review of a music documentary says “You’ll love this even if you don’t like this band!”  I can’t say that at all about Shut Up and Play the Hits.  It’s interesting, devastating, and emotionally resonant BECAUSE you love the band.  This film is a love letter to LCD Soundsystem’s career, spanning the weeks leading up to their final show and the day following it.  Concert footage is paired with an interview by Chuck Klosterman in which James Murphy defends his decision, and shares his philosophy of music and culture.  As I write that it doesn’t sound that interesting, but Murphy is a fascinating guy to listen to.  His intelligence, self-awareness, and self-consciousness is unparalleled in music today.  He seems to have this deep understanding of these subjects.  These comments combined with the footage from the final show remind me of just how much this band’s music meant to me, and I couldn’t think of a better send off than that show and this documentary. 

Filed under Shut Up and Play the Hits LCD Soundsystem James Murphy Movie Review

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Hold on to your hats, this might be a long one.  Oh Spider-Man!  What have you done.  Okay if you don’t feel like reading this entire thing here’s what I think: The Amazing Spiderman isn’t totally bad, but it’s very very disappointing.  Here’s why: To start, WHY IS THIS FILM BEING REMADE?  The issue is that this film treads similar(and in many places identical) ground to the first film, so it’s essentially the same story being told with a slightly different detail to justify its existence, but in essence it adds nothing to the mythology of Spider-Man we didn’t know already.  Secondly, and this is what is most heartbreaking of all, this film would seem painfully typical and obvious even if it wasn’t a remake.  It may seem petty to compare the earlier film with this one so heavily, but this is in fact a remake of a film in the modern era.  It’s fair to compare because Spider-Man, even being made ten years ago, has most of the same options as this movie.  But back to how it’s typical.  This film is so surface level that you almost wonder if a script exists somewhere that a studio read and said “Eh yeah the story is good just please take out all the depth.”  There is no emotion or intelligence in any of these scenes.  The first Spider-Man film, when described can sound very typical as well, but the difference is pathos.  The filmmakers and actors infused believability into every action, so typical plot devices don’t seem extraneous or derivative but instead essential to the story.  Here, when Peter Parker is bullied, it feels contrived.  It feels like “This is here because this is how superhero films go.”  There is a way to do contrived scenes effectively, and this film doesn’t do that.  At the heart of this the problem is verisimilitude.  Even as a superhero film, these movies need to be believable.  The entire movie falls apart without that component, and this film, between Peter’s seemingly endless strength, the villain interesting enough for the mind of a three year old, and the constant scenes of everything coming together in that final moment so that Spider-Man is okay, feels hokey and ridiculous.  As if these ideas weren’t enough to discredit the film, WHAT IS WITH THE INNUMERABLE SCENES OF PEOPLE HOLDING BACK TEARS WHILE VIOLINS SWELL?  Perhaps this is unfair but between the third Spider-Man film and this one our hero cries more than any human should.  All in all, this movie is a huge disappointment.  Andrew Garfield, to his credit, plays this role in a new way, bringing charm and love to the hero, but the script and direction fails him.  With a world with Chris Nolan and Joss Whedon and Sam Raimi, I’ve just come to expect a little more from my superhero movies. 

Hold on to your hats, this might be a long one.  Oh Spider-Man!  What have you done.  Okay if you don’t feel like reading this entire thing here’s what I think: The Amazing Spiderman isn’t totally bad, but it’s very very disappointing.  Here’s why: To start, WHY IS THIS FILM BEING REMADE?  The issue is that this film treads similar(and in many places identical) ground to the first film, so it’s essentially the same story being told with a slightly different detail to justify its existence, but in essence it adds nothing to the mythology of Spider-Man we didn’t know already.  Secondly, and this is what is most heartbreaking of all, this film would seem painfully typical and obvious even if it wasn’t a remake.  It may seem petty to compare the earlier film with this one so heavily, but this is in fact a remake of a film in the modern era.  It’s fair to compare because Spider-Man, even being made ten years ago, has most of the same options as this movie.  But back to how it’s typical.  This film is so surface level that you almost wonder if a script exists somewhere that a studio read and said “Eh yeah the story is good just please take out all the depth.”  There is no emotion or intelligence in any of these scenes.  The first Spider-Man film, when described can sound very typical as well, but the difference is pathos.  The filmmakers and actors infused believability into every action, so typical plot devices don’t seem extraneous or derivative but instead essential to the story.  Here, when Peter Parker is bullied, it feels contrived.  It feels like “This is here because this is how superhero films go.”  There is a way to do contrived scenes effectively, and this film doesn’t do that.  At the heart of this the problem is verisimilitude.  Even as a superhero film, these movies need to be believable.  The entire movie falls apart without that component, and this film, between Peter’s seemingly endless strength, the villain interesting enough for the mind of a three year old, and the constant scenes of everything coming together in that final moment so that Spider-Man is okay, feels hokey and ridiculous.  As if these ideas weren’t enough to discredit the film, WHAT IS WITH THE INNUMERABLE SCENES OF PEOPLE HOLDING BACK TEARS WHILE VIOLINS SWELL?  Perhaps this is unfair but between the third Spider-Man film and this one our hero cries more than any human should.  All in all, this movie is a huge disappointment.  Andrew Garfield, to his credit, plays this role in a new way, bringing charm and love to the hero, but the script and direction fails him.  With a world with Chris Nolan and Joss Whedon and Sam Raimi, I’ve just come to expect a little more from my superhero movies. 

Filed under Spider-Man The Amazing Spider-man Andrew Garfield Movie Review Emma Stone Who cares

3 notes

Here’s a sweet movie.  It does have some of that feeling I get from time to time of ‘Why would someone make this?”  Like…I love its humanity and love for its characters but a story about time travel?  The more I think about it the more it actually works in the film but there is still something not altogether right about it.  Anyhow, the performances are very good all around and it’s not really a ‘smart’ movie but it’s overflowing with affection, and that’s a really nice quality in a film. 

Here’s a sweet movie.  It does have some of that feeling I get from time to time of ‘Why would someone make this?”  Like…I love its humanity and love for its characters but a story about time travel?  The more I think about it the more it actually works in the film but there is still something not altogether right about it.  Anyhow, the performances are very good all around and it’s not really a ‘smart’ movie but it’s overflowing with affection, and that’s a really nice quality in a film. 

Filed under Safety Not Guaranteed Movie Review

10 notes

I give this film a lot of credit simply because the characters are people that I would normally find pathetic or sad, but it’s a credit to the film’s acting, tone, direction, and writing that I don’t feel that way at all.  The characters are treated with such warmness and understanding that it’s impossible not to feel for them.  Jeff, a man obsessed with the M Night Shymalan film Signs(yes you read that right), helps his brother figure out his marital issues while their mother has a unique story of her own during this.  They all come together in the end with the promise of change and a cry for remembering why you love the people that you do.

I give this film a lot of credit simply because the characters are people that I would normally find pathetic or sad, but it’s a credit to the film’s acting, tone, direction, and writing that I don’t feel that way at all.  The characters are treated with such warmness and understanding that it’s impossible not to feel for them.  Jeff, a man obsessed with the M Night Shymalan film Signs(yes you read that right), helps his brother figure out his marital issues while their mother has a unique story of her own during this.  They all come together in the end with the promise of change and a cry for remembering why you love the people that you do.

Filed under Jason Segel Ed Helms Susan Sarandon Movie Review Jeff Who Lives at Home

2 notes

I’m not sure I’ve ever been so mixed on a film.  While I was watching Prometheus, I was utterly enraptured.  I love the films with the formula of “what happened here!?” the first half and “WE SHOULD HAVE NEVER COME” the second half.  Once the answers start piling up, the danger does too.  The problem with Prometheus is that the danger piles up but the answers do not.  The entirety of Prometheus feels like the 10 minute prologue to a movie that hasn’t been made yet.  Just as everything is beginning to the come together the film gives us a non-ending promising a sequel with the answers.  Either this is thoughtful writing taking me to the answers gradually with each film, or this is a half baked film with all kinds of intrigue without the explanations to match the mystique.  That being said, this film is very suspenseful and enjoyable.  It’s smart enough and great to watch, with a strong performance by Fassbender.  I just hope that these foundations lead to something interesting in later films, because the sense of needlessly extended exposition that Prometheus has does more to harm it than build it. 

I’m not sure I’ve ever been so mixed on a film.  While I was watching Prometheus, I was utterly enraptured.  I love the films with the formula of “what happened here!?” the first half and “WE SHOULD HAVE NEVER COME” the second half.  Once the answers start piling up, the danger does too.  The problem with Prometheus is that the danger piles up but the answers do not.  The entirety of Prometheus feels like the 10 minute prologue to a movie that hasn’t been made yet.  Just as everything is beginning to the come together the film gives us a non-ending promising a sequel with the answers.  Either this is thoughtful writing taking me to the answers gradually with each film, or this is a half baked film with all kinds of intrigue without the explanations to match the mystique.  That being said, this film is very suspenseful and enjoyable.  It’s smart enough and great to watch, with a strong performance by Fassbender.  I just hope that these foundations lead to something interesting in later films, because the sense of needlessly extended exposition that Prometheus has does more to harm it than build it. 

Filed under Michael Fassbender Movie Review Prometheus Charlize Theron

12 notes

We Need to Talk About Kevin is the ultimate example of that famous “Art is meant to disturb” quote.  This film is meant to disturb you from beginning to end, and not a single scene of it is enjoyable.  That may not sound like a fun night at the movies, and it certainly isn’t, but it asks important questions, and offers none of the answers, because there aren’t any.  The performances are haunting,and I’m not sure how someone’s mind can be dark enough to even make this movie, but I’m glad they did.  For the boldness of the subject matter alone, this film is worth supporting. 

We Need to Talk About Kevin is the ultimate example of that famous “Art is meant to disturb” quote.  This film is meant to disturb you from beginning to end, and not a single scene of it is enjoyable.  That may not sound like a fun night at the movies, and it certainly isn’t, but it asks important questions, and offers none of the answers, because there aren’t any.  The performances are haunting,and I’m not sure how someone’s mind can be dark enough to even make this movie, but I’m glad they did.  For the boldness of the subject matter alone, this film is worth supporting. 

Filed under We Need to Talk About Kevin John C. Reilly Tilda Swinton Movie Review

2 notes

I went to see this with a friend and when he asked if I liked it I said “Yes, it was lovably stupid.”  And I feel like that’s all I can say for this movie, and the Men in Black franchise in general.  Like can I help it that I think a young guy talking non-stop to a stern faced old misanthrope is a really funny dynamic, even one worth three movies?  The plot of this movie has astounding holes, but something tells me if you’re going to see this you’re not too worried about plotholes right?  You want to see an enjoyable movie where the primary goal is to entertain, and this works for that. 

I went to see this with a friend and when he asked if I liked it I said “Yes, it was lovably stupid.”  And I feel like that’s all I can say for this movie, and the Men in Black franchise in general.  Like can I help it that I think a young guy talking non-stop to a stern faced old misanthrope is a really funny dynamic, even one worth three movies?  The plot of this movie has astounding holes, but something tells me if you’re going to see this you’re not too worried about plotholes right?  You want to see an enjoyable movie where the primary goal is to entertain, and this works for that. 

Filed under Men In Black Men in Black 3 Men In Black III Will Smith Tommy Lee Jones Josh Brolin

6 notes

This movie is great.  It’s very creative and I think ti treats the subject matter realistically.  It’s one of those cases where a commercial movie is made with just enough art and nuance that it’s an appropriate blend of intelligence and entertainment.  And I appreciate how dark it is!  Like in the beginning it’s a joy to watch because these kids are just starting to understand their powers and they’re playing pranks on people and learning to fly and stuff, but the deeper, darker stuff comes towards the end.  I’ll leave that for you to watch for, but I was impressed.  My only complaint: WHY WAS THIS A FOUND FOOTAGE MOVIE?  The aspect really added nothing to the film as a whole.  It was a burden to write around more than anything else.  Either way, I was very impressed. 

This movie is great.  It’s very creative and I think ti treats the subject matter realistically.  It’s one of those cases where a commercial movie is made with just enough art and nuance that it’s an appropriate blend of intelligence and entertainment.  And I appreciate how dark it is!  Like in the beginning it’s a joy to watch because these kids are just starting to understand their powers and they’re playing pranks on people and learning to fly and stuff, but the deeper, darker stuff comes towards the end.  I’ll leave that for you to watch for, but I was impressed.  My only complaint: WHY WAS THIS A FOUND FOOTAGE MOVIE?  The aspect really added nothing to the film as a whole.  It was a burden to write around more than anything else.  Either way, I was very impressed. 

Filed under Movie Review Chronicle

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I watched this because Kate made me, but it wasn’t terrible.  I think the chemistry between the leads keeps it moving and it’s more charming than I expected, but still a little too typical for me to rave about, or even remember a few days later. 

I watched this because Kate made me, but it wasn’t terrible.  I think the chemistry between the leads keeps it moving and it’s more charming than I expected, but still a little too typical for me to rave about, or even remember a few days later. 

Filed under Movie Review