Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kung Fu Panda 2

Nope, not as good as the original, but plenty fun (and sentimental) in its own right.

Terra Nova: Season 1

About as good as Stargate Atlantis. Sure would be nice if they gave this series the same chance.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Margin Call

Clearly, the main focus of this flick is to humanize the bankers, et al. Not certain they achieved their objective.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Point Blank

I think the French are still feeling their way in the action genre. (Original title: À Bout Portant)

The Help

There's a reason Viola Davis is going to get an Oscar nod. If this performance doesn't convince you, watch Doubt.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Great to see these stupendous drawings, but I think the main selling point of this film was the 3D. So, in the theater next time it comes around...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Descendants

Is this film taking the same path as Sideways? Not that you either love it or hate it, but you either love it or you like it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cars 2

At least they got the Japanese culture down pat: vending machines, capsule hotels, and silly toy cars.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Yet another example of a film that needs no words. (And that's not a good thing.)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fast Five

Mission: Impossible II meets The Italian Job meets Ocean's Eleven. (Read: a bit cleverer than usual.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Maya Rudolph sitting in a wedding dress in the middle of the road is hands down the funniest thing I've seen all year.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Scream 4

Trying for Night of the Living Dead, but getting only 60% of the way there.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I was stunned at how riveted an entire audience was by baseball statistics.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Big Bang Theory: Season 2

Hands-down best episode was "The Financial Permeability" for teaching everyone what it takes to run a business.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Guild: Season 5

I appreciate them setting this at Comicon (and thrilling all the lucky fans/extras) but this season had less oomph than normal.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Walking Dead: Season 1

Wow, that was a lot more gory than expected. (And a little too much like 28 Days Later at the beginning.)

Sunday, October 2, 2011


All I've heard and all I just saw give me good reason to believe this is shot straight from the hip.

Doctor Who (new): Season 6

Heh. Primo last line. Don't know how I feel about the rest of the season yet, though.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Numb3rs: Season 2

By far the silliest part of this show is how much time Charlie Eppes has to work on FBI files while also holding down a full-time professorship.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Another Year

More disjointed than most Leigh productions, but by no means less uncomfortable or affecting.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mad Men: Season 4

I am constantly wondering what Draper is thinking. And how he's about to mess up his life further. (And how they'll top this season.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


My favorite geek nod was what the band was playing at Roy's Roadhouse. Anyone else get that?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Breaking Bad: Season 1

Episode 2 made me ROTFL, but I'm not sure I get why I should sympathize with the main character. (Cancer notwithstanding.)

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Tudors: Season 1

Despite the overwrought tenor of this series, the arguments for and against religious reform makes it worth the watching.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Way Back

I expected more of the famous Weir soundtrack. Actually, any music at all would have been welcome.


Way to use your leading man's most stunning feature.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mad Men: Season 3

It's all about waiting for it. Last episode of this season? "Peggy, get me some coffee." "No."

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

It's been a long time since I've seen that amount of truth in a would-be sex scene.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Don't understand the critics. Just the Rube Goldberg devices put this over the top (not to mention Robin Williams, Britney Spears and Gene Kelly).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Dog Tulip

Ackerley has it exactly right when he describes pets as looking as if they're saying "What?" and "WHAT!!!" at the same time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Numb3rs: Season 1

I couldn't care less that it's standard crime drama with characters with no real lives. The math is fabulous.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Aside from doing a nice job depicting Rio itself, this is fairly standard start to finish.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011


Old school horror! Title font, solid camera work, understated action, and all. (Consequently, it was a LOT scarier.)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Pacific

Two dissimilar things I learned from this series: you can recreate the incessant horror of war on television, and the armed forces does make a significant investment in each and every man.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Driving Lessons

As with many coming-of-age films, the best part is the soundtrack... especially Salsa Celtica.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Captain America: The First Avenger

The unfortunate effect of retro stylization is that the flick lacked more of Evans in his hip costume and bike.

Friday, July 29, 2011


Liam Neeson and January Jones?? Aside from that, seeing Berlin on film was pretty sweet.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Long Way Round

"These aren't the bikes you're looking for. Move along." Fifteen thumbs up for this travelogue.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Joyeux Noel

Hints at more than the expected "all men are comrades" pablum, consequently it is more palatable.

Slings & Arrows: Season 1

Really important distinction: this series is not so much laugh-out-loud funny, but extraordinarily clever.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mad Men: Season 2

I suppose Don Draper is the quintessential onion. But every season they seem to add more layers.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Pro: adequate ending of a saga. Con: emotional detachment from both Felton and, especially, Rickman.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Winter's Bone

Now that's a rarity, a movie better than the book. And the book was a lovely piece of work.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Temple Grandin

Having seen Ms. Grandin in person, I can say without a doubt that Danes nails this portrayal.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Doctor Who: Season 9

For every completely ridiculous serial (The Sea Devils? really?), there's an intriguing one (The Time Monster).

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Nowhere Boy

I figure when you can act, sing and look handsome, and you're excellent at 2 of the 3, your movie career is made for you.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Season 2

Being told by a machine that heaven has a storage problem was the creepiest moment from the entire show.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Fighter

I think this is the only boxing film I've seen that's given me a clue about strategy.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Friday Night Lights: Season 5

It is surprising to me that I have cared this much about a high school football team, much less a Texas high school football team, and even more a fictional Texas high school football team.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


Dear Mr. Eastwood, there is quite a large difference between filming everything as reality and filming just the important parts as reality. Regards, me.

The Pillars of the Earth

This clinches it-- I will watch anything Matthew Macfadyen is in. His speech in Ep. 7 was breathtaking.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Downton Abbey: Series 1

Impossible to say enough good things about this, but the absolute best part? The costuming.

The Weather Underground

I think Sam Green is the bee's knees, but I found this less compelling than his short films.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Jackass 3D

As usual, 1/3 pukey humor and 2/3 physical humor, which comes to about 1/2 laugh out loud.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Company Men

Power of humility, living within your means, blah blah blah. What about the multi-million dollar actors portraying these parts? Leaves you cold.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Friday, June 3, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chuck: Season 3

Unfortunately, I think the thing I like best about the show at this point is the soundtrack.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

House M.D.: Season 7

Little to say, other than it remains the most intriguing (and amusing) medical drama on TV.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Little Dorrit

Dickens is the epitome of, on the one hand, ridiculous cliches and, on the other, sly commentary.

Glee: Season 2

The strangest show ever. For every terrible episode (Sexy) there's a fabulous one (Funeral).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Disney films may be super-specifically American, but when they're good, they're fantastic.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Illusionist

While the no-spoken-word aspect of Sylvain Chomet's films is intriguing, this story moved far too slow to engage me fully. (Original title: L'illusionniste)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Monday, May 9, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Black Swan

You know the black swan dance will be the crowning achievement of the film and Portman. Doesn't make it any less astounding when it happens.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fair Game

Dense. Factual. Well-acted. Ever so one-sided. Sometimes that is the only way to go.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Tourist

It's not that the stars have no chemistry, it's that the film isn't trying to create that. I don't know what it's trying to create, though.

Friday, April 22, 2011

MI-5: Season 9

How about in Season 10 we make Ruth the Bureau Chief? Even if only for half a season? Please? (Original title: Spooks)

Source Code

I need to stop thinking when watching movies. Or the filmmakers need to stop telegraphing the resolution to me at every turn.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision

Someone with less presence of mind would have folded under the Vietnam War memorial controversy. At 21, would you have been able to handle this?

Monday, April 18, 2011

127 Hours

It's not surprising that you need to be delusional to cut off your own arm. It's also not surprising that it takes something beyond that.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In Comparison

You would not think watching bricks being made, over and over and over, would be fascinating. You would be wrong. (Original title: Zum Vergleich)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Morning Glory

This is "His Girl Friday" combined with all the fox fur coats in every George Cukor film.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Solitary Man

I wish there were a new genre so I could avoid it: mid-life-crisis, or, all-about-cheating.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Due Date

First half: what? this is just Planes, Trains & Automobiles. Second half: whoa, that's a lot crazier than the original.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Star Trek: Season 3 (restored)

That last episode makes it even more clear why it's "where no MAN has gone before." I'm glad it's forty years later.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Next Three Days

The scene with Crowe and Banks sitting outside the van should have clued me in to the fact that this is a remake of a foreign film.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Tony Scott shoots from the hip: there's not much over-the-top here.


I have no memory of the tanks-rampaging-through-St.-Petersburg part, from the first time I saw this.

Doctor Who (new): Season 5

See, the unfortunate thing is that Matt Smith is being eclipsed by both his companion and the previous doctor.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Nostalgia for the Light

You need to know this is about Pinochet's regime before you watch it. Otherwise, it feels somewhat convoluted. (Original title: Nostalgia de la luz)

Foreign Parts

Very well edited. For a documentary by a couple of anthropologists.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Adjustment Bureau

I was convinced this was relying heavily on the Matrix legend, until I saw that it was a Philip K. Dick story.

Avatar: The Last Airbender: Season 3

Animation of the last episode was stellar. Storyline wrapped up a little too neatly, though.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Big Bang Theory: Season 1

From the special features: "Oh, and we have a physics consultant for the show." No, really?

Saturday, March 5, 2011


It is super odd to watch a film with scenes in it a block from your house.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sherlock: Series 1

The anti-Wallander, in its cleverness and quickness. The parallel-Wallander, in its wonderfulness.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011

MI-5: Season 8

Please, BBC, don't yo-yo around taking Ruth away, bringing her back, and then... (Original title: Spooks)


Highest grossing New Zealand film ever. A bit predictable in its script, but I can totally see why.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chuck: Season 2

No idea how they would have continued into a third season without the sea change.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Easy A

As with Clueless and She's the Man, clever goes a long way. Plus, references to 80s films!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Town

The ending definitely doesn't pack the kick of his first foray, Gone Baby Gone. Still above average, though.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

True Grit (2010)

I am not a fan of westerns (one tried-n-true approach thematically) but this is worth it even for those like me.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Doctor Who: Season 7

My goodness, the old series looks tame compared to the new one.

The Kids Are All Right

Lately, I heartily dislike films that speak many truths, but place those inside an unreal context, in this case the usual, well-to-do California context.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cedar Rapids

John C. Reilly turned to his director and said "I've played a lot of dumb characters, but this is the dumbest." Naturally, the director took that as a compliment.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Win Win

Apparently, Paul Giamatti had a big problem with playing this character: he's happy.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The American

I think Clooney just wanted to spend more time at his vacation home in Italy.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

My healthy dose of skepticism was to a large degree eliminated by the animation. (It might even have been better in 3D.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Despicable Me

Surprisingly boring for the first half and weirdly stilted overall, it does have its funny moments.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Runaways

Joan Jett and her early band seem to have influenced both Madonna and Japanese-pop girl groups.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Friends: Season 10

Poor Courtney Cox looks puffy. That's what you get for being suckered into doing something while pregnant, I guess.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011