Archive for April, 2011

Apr 13 2011

Movies: Freakonomics, Invictus, Black Snake Moan, Fat Head, Football

Published by under Entertainment

I’ve decided to save up all of my IMDB movies to do in 1 post so I still have a couple more to watch before I put those in here. This list is a bit documentary heavy with 3 of them and also I listed a couple of bad family movies I watched at the end. I don’t recommend them, but kids should like them.

Freakonomics

Freakonomics is a collection of documentary segments from content of the popular book of the same name. Each segment was produced by a different documentarian. This gives each segment a very distinct feel and tone. Despite that, the whole film was produced with a very high quality. Some of the segments try to find truth in data like the segment on finding cheating in the professional Sumo industry or in some cases, trying to find possibilities as solutions to things that have happened. A perfect example of this is the segment on how Roe Vs Wade, or making abortion legal, could have had an influence on a gradual drop in crime rates across the country 20 years after the fact. Freakonomics was written by an economist so each point is supported with real data. Some of them are pretty light heared like the way people name their children. Some not so much like the drop in crime segment mentioned above. Either way, it’s an interesting movie.

Great

Invictus

Ever since Gran Torino, I’ve been a huge fan of Clint Eastwood directed films. There have been a great number of them over the years that I never realized was his work that I enjoyed too. The sheer breadth of his work is absolutely impressive so I keep seeking out things he’s had a hand in. This one is not one of his best, though. Morgan Freeman does a great job as Nelson Mandela but there is something just amiss with Matt Damon’s character. Maybe it’s that awful fake accent. The movie is about Mandela’s attempt at bringing together a divided country by trying to get the whole country behind their World Cup rubgy team. It has it’s moments, but I wasn’t really impressed with the film.

Bad

Black Snake Moan

I’m a big fan of both Cristina Ricci and Samual L. Jackson. Even though this movie got a bunch of mixed reviews, I really wanted to see it. It’s an interesting story. Jackson plays a poor southern farmer who’s wife is leaving him for his brother. He finds a passed out and beaten Ricci in his ditch one morning and after he finds out about her promiscuous ways and sordid past, decides to take it upon himself to cure her of her wickedness. I don’t think any one would argue that Jackson plays the part of an angry black man as well as any. Ricci’s character is a bit over the top, but she does a good job with it. The movie is a bit disappointing with the ending. It’s difficult to feel any of them are really any better off. The best part about the movie is the blues music that is throughout the movie. A few are even sung by Jackson. If you are a blues fan, that in itself makes the movie worth watching.

Good

Fat Head

Fat Head is a lower budget response to the popular Morgan Spurlock documentary, Super Size Me. This documentary seems to not so much take exception to the message that fast food isn’t good for you, but more the reason’s Spurlock uses to make his point and some of the supporting information. Receiving a smaller amount of the criticism in this film is the government and popular health and nutrition beliefs that are evangelized by various government agencies. This seems to be just as well thought out as Super Size me even if it lacks the polish. There are a ton of reused jokes and the video quality definitely won’t be mistaken for a high budget film. Nonetheless, the message seems interesting and tries to support it’s points with actual science instead of opinions and suppositions. It makes for an interesting counter to Spurlock’s now infamous documentary. The really only bad thing I have to say about it is the overused term “Baloney” which he uses as almost a pun-ish battle cry for all the misinformation that gets pushed out.

Good

Two Days in April

This documentary follows 4 prospective draft picks as they prepare for what will likely be one of the biggest and most important days of their lives. The NFL Draft. It seemed fitting to watch it now since, well, I’m a huge football fan and the draft is coming up. It’s an interesting watch as you see all the stress, the hype, the struggles, the anticipation and everything else they go through over the few months leading up to that day. Almost the last third of the movie you watch as they wait with bated breath for their name to be called out and they get picked. It’s far from a great movie, but I think any sports fan (in particular football fans) would enjoy watching it.

Good

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

I won’t go into this farther than admitting I watched it. Rumor has it there was a sequel. I won’t be looking for that one.

Bad

Yogi Bear

There is a large history of the cartoon’s and pop culture icons from our youth being paraded around in sub par movies. This is no exception. The kids enjoyed it and there are a few moments that are entertaining, but don’t expect to find anything other than a soft, family friendly movie.

Bad

Share

No responses yet

Apr 07 2011

Movies: Food Inc., Darko, Megamind, Moon, About a Boy

Published by under Entertainment

I kinda fell behind again so I might put another one of these out this weekend. It’s been kinda busy around here so haven’t watched much in the last 2 weeks, but I had a good back log before then. I still have Citizen Kane on my desk so I expect to watch that this weekend. I’m looking forward to it as I’ve heard good things. Maybe I’ll wait for 5 movies from my IMDB list before I put my thoughts up on that one though.

Donnie Darko

I’ve heard a lot of things about Donnie Darko and how strange it was. I mean, if you consider a troubled teen age boy who gets visits from a bunny from the future who is trying to warn him of the end of the world strange. The clothes brought out from the 80′s are hilarious and at least they chose some decent music from that period. It was an interesting story but it does end without openly answering a lot of questions. I still don’t have a clue what was true with the story. If some one wants to explain it to me, I’m all ears. This also brought us this even more somber version of the Tears for Fears’ Mad World by Gary Jules:

Great

Megamind

I think a big portion of what makes Will Farrell funny is his physical presence. I know his expressive speaking makes him a good subject for voice acting, but for some reason, I don’t find him nearly as amusing. This is the 2nd of “Bad guy turns good” type animated films from last year and I think it falls in 2nd place in that category too. Despicable Me was just a much better story and was much better done. This is a perfectly entertaining film and kids will love it, but if you have the choice between the 2, watch Despicable Me.

Good

Food, Inc.

Food, Inc. tries to bring awareness to the industrialization of our agricultural and food industries to bring costs (and quality) down. By industrialization, I mean the factory mentality with large production, assembly lines and lower skilled jobs that concentrate on automation. It discusses the influence the fast food industry has had on it’s suppliers (agriculture) on providing quick, standardized portions and how that is filtering into other parts of our lives. This is one of the better documentaries I’ve seen lately and I think it makes a bunch of irrefutable points for even the most staunch opponents of it’s views.

Great

Moon

Think 2001: A Space Odyssey with a twist. This has a lot of familiar similarities to the Kubric classic except it’s not absurdly boring and the computer (voiced by Kevin Spacey) doesn’t appear to be evil. The basic premise is a moon mining mission is manned by clones with 3 year expiration dates at which time a new clone is thawed. When one clone has an accident and causes a new one to be reanimated early, they end up interacting with each other and piecing together the truth about their existence and have to come to terms with the fact that their perceived life is a lie. Truth be told, other than the setting of it being a space, sci-fi drama, it has little similarities to A Space Odyssey. That’s a good thing.

Good

About a Boy

About a Boy is a charming story about a douchebag playboy who befriends a troubled outcast preteen by sheer happenstance. Hugh Grant plays a remarkably convincing douchebag who is living a charmed life of leisure where the main goal in life seems to be to fill his shallow life with the next girl. The boy is a son a of single hippie mother with mental health problems and tries desperately to keep her on the right side of sanity even if it’s at the expense of his own social well being. Despite all the coming of age themes running through the story, it’s still interesting, and funny.

Great

Share

No responses yet

Apr 02 2011

Random Web: Where the fuck is this?

Published by under Tech

Ever seen a picture of some place on the internet and asked yourself that question? Apparently there is now a site dedicated to using the collective users of the internet to help you out. http://www.wherethefuckisthis.com

Basically you post a pic and random people go and give their opinions on where they think it is along with allowing them to pinpoint it on a google map for you. (via Jason Fried)

Share

No responses yet