Thursday, October 28, 2010

138. October 27, 2010 - Let Me In (2010)

First thing's first - I don't care if it actually does snow that much in New Mexico. I think that it was a mistake right off the bat to move a story that originally takes place in Sweden to a US state that most people associate with the desert. Other than that, this is a very close adaptation of the Swedish film. I'm curious as to whether it's an almost slavish remake or if they're both just very closely following the book. I had issues with the one scene that they did change (the father and his unfortunate run-in with flesh-melting acid) and though the girl in this version grew on me after awhile, I prefer the Swedish girl as Eli/Abby (Lina something). Chloe Moretz has an edge to her that would normally be perfect for playing a vampire, except this little vampire girl isn't supposed to be hard like that. She's less of a vampire and more of a little girl who happens to be immortal and needs to drink blood.
My Netflix rating: 3 stars

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

137. October 26/27, 2010 - Hocus Pocus (1993)

There are some movie traditions that I just don't break- How the Grinch Stole Christmas on Thanksgiving, Love Actually around Christmas, Sweet Home Alabama if I'm single on Valentine's Day, and this just before Halloween. It doesn't matter to me that this movie is really made for 8-12 year olds (much like the Harry Potter or Percy Jackson novels - and hey, I still read those) or that it's campy and ridiculous. It's the film equivalent of macaroni and cheese - total comfort food. Plus, it's Sarah Jessica Parker's best work.

My first pre-Halloween entry is here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

136. October 20/24, 2010 - Let the Right One In (2008)

Swedish cinema has a certain feel to it. The color palette is often very pale and gray (though I suppose that may have something to do with the fact that 90% of the time, it's snowy) and, regardless of the details, the story seems bleak. Even this, which definitely adds an element of horror (what with the blood-drinking 12-year-old), still has that hopeless, empty air. The two child actors are very effective, especially the boy with his platinum blonde hair and ice blue eyes. I'm very curious to see how the American version is later this week.
My Netflix rating: 4 stars

135. October 23, 2010 - The Ring (1927)

Not to be confused with the horror movie The Ring, this early Hitchcock focuses on a love triangle between a woman and two boxing contenders. I'm wondering what sort of horrible family life Hitchcock either had or witnessed, because all of his early works seem to focus on scorned women or relationships broken by miscommunication. Some issues there? Watching this did make my mind wander to, what if Hitchcock had directed On the Waterfront? Food for thought.
My Netflix rating: 3 stars

134. October 22/23, 2010 - Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

I figured it was probably time to rewatch this, since I'm in the middle of reading the newest Camp Half Blood book, The Lost Hero. I do really have problems with the changes that were made to the plot, but I also really enjoy the casting choices that they made. Kevin McKidd is fantastic in everything he does, really, and something about Brandon T. Jackson as a satyr is hilarious. Not one of my favorite adaptations by a longshot, but worth watching every once and a while.

Original entries can be found here and here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

133. October 19, 2010 - Never Let Me Go (2010)

Here, I broke my cardinal rule and read the book before I saw the movie. The book is mysterious and creepy, keeping you on edge all the way past the point where they literally sit the characters down and explain everything. The movie gives away the secret in the very beginning. Actually, it gives it away in the trailer. The tone of the story shifts away from creepy and goes to gray and emo. Totally wrong. However, besides the tone, the story kept a very tight hold on the book. Keira Knightly can absolutely not rock those bangs they gave her, though I was impressed by how subtly venomous she was as Ruth. They matched the child actors to the adult actors phenomenally with Ruth and Kathy, but not well at all with Tommy. I could see nominations for acting, maybe cinematography, but that's really it.
My Netflix rating: 3 stars

Monday, October 18, 2010

132. October 15/16, 2010 - Ghostbusters (1984)

Still love this movie. It's one of those that I can watch over and over and over again and it's always going to be funny. It's cast perfectly, acted perfectly and shot as well as could be at the time. And they all look so young! It's hard to believe that the movie is over 20 years old. The sequel is fun too, and I still hear rumors from time to time about a phantom third installment.

First entry, here.

131. October 14/15, 2010 - Zombieland (2009)

This movie is just fantastic. I especially like the reason that they give (early in the movie, for establishing purposes) for the zombie infection - mad cow disease became mad human disease. I like it. It's not some bioengineered virus or a mad monkey or any of the normal zombie-causing agents. The main character's line now about not missing Facebook status updates is even funnier now that that actor is on every theater screen as Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg. Also, I still say, Best. Cameo. Ever.

Here's my original entry.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

130. October 13, 2010 - Easy Virtue (1928)

I think that I may have screwed up the order with some of these early Hitchcock films, but oh well. I'll get them all in at some point. This is another slow, overly-dramatic story that shows how good of a director he WILL be but isn't yet. The tragic heroine is slandered, deemed as having "easy virtue" (sleeping around), even though she's innocent and her past disrupts her present. At least it's short. Though, I have to say that this is another movie we are lucky still to have available. Bring on the good Hitchcock!
My Netflix rating: 3 stars

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

129. October 12, 2010 - You Again (2010)

I'm not marking this as a romantic comedy because, despite the fact that it centers around a wedding, it's not about romance (which is why I was able to take watching it right now). It's about a girl (who, tragically, has the initials M.O.O.) who has shed her ugly duckling image from high school and is forced, years later, to confront her brother's fiance - who just happens to be the girl who made her life a living hell back then. The story is a little predictable and nothing really new, but the female actors in the film tap into a comedic vein that I didn't expect from any of them (except Betty White. Because she's always fabulous). Not an award-winning film, but it's fun for a girls' night out.
My Netflix rating: 4 stars

Monday, October 11, 2010

128. October 10, 2010 - Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)

Someone should inform the Umbrella Corporation that creating a virus that makes zombies is bad and that this series should have stayed at three. In fact, at this point they aren't even zombies anymore - they're orc-like creatures with nasty tentacle things that come out of their mouths. Zombies were fun. These things, not so much. Also not fun was the overuse of slow-motion and the strange number of fade outs. I had to see the movie in 3D, which I deeply dislike, but I think I would have been disappointed no matter how many dimensions there were. I cared nothing for new characters when they were killed off, and even though the movie starts off with Alice being neutralized and turned into a normal human again, she still seems supernatural.
My Netflix rating: 2 stars

Sunday, October 10, 2010

127. October 7/9, 2010 - Babies (2010)

This is a very hard movie to sit through all at once, because there's barely any sound at all. No dialogue, only ambient sound effects, hardly even any music. It does make me really want to have a baby, or at least someone I know to have one, because all four children that the documentary follows are absolutely adorable. It's funny the kinds of things that show up in the film - even the most mundane activities become cute. I also find it interesting that the parents are hardly ever shown. If they do appear on camera, they are nearly always shown from the waist down or from behind. The four children are clearly the stars of the show.
My Netflix rating: 3 stars

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

126. October 4/5, 2010 - Wall Street (1987)

Since the 20-year-late sequel has been getting some Oscar buzz (though the reviews have been mediocre), I figured I should probably finally see this first. It's not all that exciting. Apparently, insider trading and shady stock deals are supposed to be exciting or something. It's possible that this would have been a better film if there was a single likable character, but there isn't. I don't feel bad for anyone - these people are effectively making their own beds. Don't complain when you have to lie in them, a.k.a. go to jail.
My Netflix rating: 3 stars

Monday, October 4, 2010

125. October 3, 2010 - Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle (2004)

This movie is hilarious. Call it a stoner movie - that's legitimately what it is - but don't write it off because of that. I love how White Castle becomes, over the course of the movie, this haven of mythical proportions, but when Harold and Kumar finally get there, it's just a shabby, sketchy burger joint. And it still feels like an accomplishment. Plus, this is the movie that returned Neil Patrick Harris to the center of the pop culture eye, and honestly aren't all our lives better for that?
My Netflix Rating: 4 stars

Sunday, October 3, 2010

124. October 1, 2010 - The Social Network (2010)

When I first heard that there was a movie being made about Facebook, I was concerned that there wasn't enough of a story to make it interesting. Of course, I had forgotten about all the drama and litigation that went with its creation (which I remember firsthand, since I was across the river at BU while it was all going on. And no, not all BU girls are bitches). None of the characters are particularly sympathetic, but David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin make the sympathetic character Facebook itself. It has become so much a part of our daily lives that we can connect to it as the center of the movie. The acting is fantastic and the writing is flawless, as only Aaron Sorkin can do. And thank you, Mark Zuckerberg, for giving Facebook to BU before BC.
My Netflix rating: 4 stars