Everything I Watched – May 20- June 2

May 19 - June 3I had the chance to see a few films in theatres this past few weeks and to re-watch some from the past few years at home.

Star Trek: Into Darkness – 2D – J.J Abrams – 2013 – Cineplex Odeon

I was pretty pretty excited to see Into Darkness, and I came away feeling pretty satisfied. I am definitely not a hard core Star Trek fan, and I recognize that sometimes emotions can run quite high when new material is added to the Canon. But, I just went wanting to see Benedict Cumberbatch be a total bad ass and see a bunch of explosions and ubiquitous anamorphic lens flares ; I was not disappointed. I must say I also thought the opening scene was visually stunning. I think Abrams has done a clever bit of storytelling by developing this new alternate timeline, which gives him the freedom to place well known characters in new situations while still being able to pay homage to what has been done before. Oh, you should also totally watch this Audi commericial featuring Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy.

Star Trek – J.J Abrams – 2009 – movie2K.to

After watching into Darkness I wanted to refresh my memory of how and why the alternate timeline was created in the first place. It probably would have been more logical to watch this one before the other. KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!

The Great Gatsby – Baz Lurhmann – 2013 – Cineplex Odeon

In my humble 33 years on this planet, I have not yet read The Great Gatsby. And I think in this particular instance, I was glad I hadn’t. Much like Into Darkness, I wans’t worried that the director might somehow mess up something that I held dear. Rather, I was just able to watch the film as a film. And there was a lot going on in that film. My mind simply can’t comprehend how Lurhmann is first, able to have such a grand vision for the aesthetic of a film and more than that, how he is able to actualize that vision onto the screen. There is just so much going on that eventually,  I just stop trying to learn from what I am seeing, and just sort of take it all in.

Master Chef  USA- Season 3 – Episodes 1 and 2 – 2013 – globaltv.com

I love Master Chef. I am fascinated by Gordon Ramsay, I think Graham Elliot is adorable (particularly the way he uses the word “yummy” to describe food), and Joe Bastianich plays a great grumpy judge. I think the challenges are intriguing with stakes high enough to keep my interest. And a blind contestant took home the Master Chef Trophy last year, I mean, what more do you want?

Hanna – Joe Wright – 2010 – Personal Film Collection

Hanna is far from a perfect film, but it gets so many areas right that it’s one that I keep coming back to. Solid performances, palatable stylization, beautiful cinematography, effective soundtrack, and engaging themes. I suppose the one shot of Cate Blanchett baring her teeth through a cracked window might be a bit too much, but hey, it’s all about fairy tales right?

 

 

Everything I Watched – May 13-19

MAY 13-19This week I got around to watching some films I’d been meaning to see for a while, and then spent the long weekend at my wife’s family place with Satellite TV. I will watch anything on Satellite it seems.

Dawn of the Dead – George A. Romero – 1978 – DVD Borrowed from a Friend

I’ve never been huge into the Zombie Genre, but had seen Night of the Living Dead years ago, and thought it was about time to watch the seminal Dawn as well. I really enjoyed the shopping mall setting as a seemingly perfect sanctuary from the Dead. The soundtrack was very effective, and there was much more humour in the film than I had expected. I thought the climax fell flat, but appreciated the open ending. I’ll have to watch the 2004 remake sometime soon.

Holy Rollers : The True Story of Card Counting Christians – Bryan Storkel – 2011 – Edmonton Public Library

I had known about this documentary for quite a while, but my preconceived notions of the story were way off. I figured the film would follow crazy Evangelicals who claimed that God told them what cards would be dealt next. Instead, the film follows a number of very ordinary dudes who start a legit company of card counters who pay their employees based on their winnings. It’s a pretty interesting exploration of Casino culture, Christianity, Community, and Ethics. Soundtrack is by Frank Lenz who has played in several bands including Starflyer 59, Pedro the Lion, The Weepies, and Headphones.

The Fifth Element – Luc Besson – 1997 – Satellite TV

I hadn’t seen this movie in close to 15 years. Chris Tucker is as annoying as I remember, however I think overall it holds up pretty well. It is yet another example of how talented I think Gary Oldman is. I mean when I watch Oblivion I am constantly aware that I am watching Tom Cruise play some space guy. But with Oldman, man, it’s like he’s never ever himself in any role. He takes on characters so convincingly that there have been times that it wasn’t until much later I realized he had played a certain role.

Top Gear – Various Episodes – Satellite TV

For what it’s worth, I think Top Gear is one of the most entertaining shows on TV right now. There, I’ve said it. Oh, you’re not into cars? Doesn’t matter, watch this show.

Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta – Various Episodes- Satellite TV

Sometimes my wife and I have to take turn choosing what show to watch.

Kitchen Nightmares – Season 6 – Episode 16 – Amy’s Baking Company – 2013 -Youtube

I read some article on how Amy’s Baking Company was pretty much committing Marketing Suicide in real time as the owners responded to the Social Media frenzy surrounding their Kitchen Nightmares episode, so I watched it. This must be the only train wreck I could not tear my eyes away from.

Duck Dynasty – Various Episodes – Satellite TV

I can now say I have given this series a try.

Eat Street – Various Episodes – Satellite TV

I like food trucks and I am glad to see that Edmonton is finally getting it’s fair share.

 

 

Everything I Watched – May 6-12

Posters_May 6-12

 

Pretty quiet week for watching films as you can see. The ironic thing, I suppose, is the one I thought would be brilliant was far from it, and the one I assumed would be total garbage was pretty decent.

 

Three Stars – Lutz Hachmeister – 2010 – Netflix

A documentary following a number of chefs who have received the coveted Michelin 3 stars. The premise was very intriguing, however the whole project seemed very poorly executed. The film followed too many chef’s which made for a muddy and convoluted story line. And for a documentary set in the crazy fast pace of 3 star kitchens, it often fell flat and seemed to drag on. I would much rather watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi any day.

 

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters – Tommy Wirkola – 2013 – movie2K.to

I had a pretty intense weekend of shooting, and by Sunday afternoon I was pretty bagged. I napped like a sonoffagun, and thus was not remotely tired that evening. I had recently read an article stating that H and G wasn’t as awful as many had said, so I thought I’d check it out. I was pleasantly surprised. Don’t get me wrong, it won’t change your life on anything, but as far as late night mindless entertainment goes it was pretty good. It maintains a very playful tone throughout and never takes itself too seriously. Mind you, the same director did Dead Snow about Zombie Nazis, so like you know, whatever.

Everything I Watched

I thought it would be an interesting exercise to keep a record of all the films and television shows I watch each week. It will definitely be a mixed bag and may provide commentary on the type of week I was having. This is an unedited record, so please  feel free to post any questions or comments below. May I present:

BLOG_APRIL 28-MAY 5

Futurama – Season 3 – Episode 9 – Cyber House Rules – 2000-  Netflix

Leela undergoes plastic surgery to have a second eye implanted, Bender adopts 12 orphans. Best moment is an Arboretum sign that read: Yes, We Have Looking At Trees.

Stanley Kubrick: A Life In Pictures – Jan Harlan – 2001 – Edmonton Public Library

A super fascinating look into Kubrick’s biography and filmography. There’ some rare footage of Kubrick at home with his family, and on set footage of 2001 A Space Odyssey.

Artificial Intelligence – Stephen Spielberg – 2001 – Edmonton Public Library

I thought it would be fitting to watch AI as it originated with Kubrick, and then handed to Spielberg after his death. This isn’t really the platform for an in depth discussion, however, visually the film was outstanding. I appreciated Haley Joel Osment’s performance as David, the robot who wants to become a real boy. The film does seem quite disjointed however, and I would question it’s exploration of what devoted love actually looks like. Once I work out my workflow for film reviews I will try to look at AI in much more detail.

Castles and Dungeons – History Channel – 2000 – Edmonton Public Library

I picked this up on a whim when I was returning some other library materials. I was hoping for an in depth look on medieval life and society. It was pretty lacklustre.

Back To The Future Part 2 – Robert Zemeckis – 1989 – Trilogy Borrowed From Friends

Spielberg makes another appearance this week as Producer in BTTF Part 2. As a child I remember thinking part 2 was super awesome because I actually got to see what the future might look like. Self tying laces and hover boards not withstanding, I now think it’s probably the weakest film. I’m very impressed with the amount of work that went into recreating sets and scenes from the first film, however it just kind of felt like rehashing the old story line. There is a pretty great playful nod to Spielberg in the futuristic movie theatre showing Jaws 19 : This time it’s really, really personal.

Futurama – Season 3 – Episode 5 – Amazon Women In The Mood – 2000-  Netflix

The crew find themselves on a  planet inhabited by giant amazon women. Kif and Amy fall in love, Fry and Zapp are forced to endure ceremonial snoo snoo. Best moment is shell-less Zoidberg.

 

 

 

 

Video Blog April 23

Film Reviews

Citizen Joe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like films – watching, discussing and making them. And for a while now I’ve wanted to create a platform to talk about films that I have enjoyed, influenced me, and challenged my personal filmic taste. Stay tuned for some totally subjective and amusing posts.