Thursday, January 24, 2013

Why I Don't Get Political on Facebook...

...and finishing off the "C" movies.

As I try to get through this monumental task of watching all my movies and writing reviews on all of them, the bigger chore becomes trying to get the motivation of writing about other things on the blog as well so as not to make the readers bored.  I have a very low readership (I am just assuming this by the number of comments) so I want to make it so the blog doesn't become so monotonous.  But writing all those movie reviews plus coming up with other topics to write about can be time consuming.  I'm trying though.

Over the weekend I was having a discussion with a friend or two about political debates on Facebook.  Surprisingly, I try to stay out of them for the most part on Facebook.  I was a little vocal with the whole Chick-fil-A topic only because I started talking about way before it became such a hot topic and I felt very strongly about it.  But I noticed that no matter how strongly I felt about it, no matter how many points I tried to make, I didn't sway anyone to my side of the argument.  And therein lies the problem.  People have strong opinions on a variety of subjects and it pretty much takes an act of God to get them to change their mind.

I've yet to see on the countless political posts on my wall someone say, "You know, that is an excellent point, I am changing my view on this."  It just doesn't happen.  So despite my very strong feelings that I see on Facebook, I stay out of it.  Obama, gun control, etc, these are all things that I could talk endlessly about.  But why?  What would it accomplish other than letting people know where I personally stand?  Does anyone really care?  I post enough on Facebook as it is, does anyone need me to share posts about my political views 20 times a day?  Hell, that might even get me blocked by some people.  I know I block people that post these all day long.  I get your view.  I got it after the first or second post.  I don't need to see it fifty times.  And that is not how I want people to feel about me.  Look, I am a pretty opinionated guy, but I just feel it is in my best interest to stay out of these things.  I know I'm not changing anyone's mind any time soon.
 Soapbox done.  Let's finish off the Cs.

Movie Review #56: Cliffhanger

If you're looking for Qualen, try about 4,000 feet south of here. He'll be the one wearing the helicopter.

I LOVE Cliffhanger.  When I first started this blog, I did a review of my favorite, non Rocky or Rambo films and this came in at number 2.  On a sidenote: Why don't I own Cobra, my number 3 movie?  Back to the point, Cliffhanger is just an awesome action movie.  You want nonstop action, this is good choice.  And it starts off right from the beginning.  I challenge you to find a more suspenseful first 5 minutes of a film than the one in this one, at least the first time you see it.  It really is edge of your seat stuff and it while it never reaches that level of intensity in the rest of the film, you can't help but have your blood pumping throughout the film.

Besides the great action, it is really John Lithgow who makes this film.  He is completely awesome as the villain in this film.  A little over the top, but it really works!  While looking up this movie, I noticed that he was nominated for a Razzie for Worst Supporting Actor (along with 3 other nominations for the film).  This is one of the reasons why, despite the Razzies being fun, I often don't pay attention to them because they are nominated on reputation alone.  I think Lithgow was considered for worst supporting actor simply because he was in a Stallone film.  C'mon, man, broaden your horizons.  The film is just fun action, not an attempt to win Best Picture.  But lighten up a little, it isn't bad at all.

7.5 out of 10 cheeseburgers

Movie Review #57: Collateral 

 There's no good reason, there's no bad reason to live or to die.

I was blown away by Collateral the first time I saw it.  The storyline, the performances, the subtlety of it; all amazing.  I just love how much happens in this film and how intense it is when really, the movie is pretty slow, plodding, quiet, and pretty low key.  There are a few action moments, but for the most part, the story keeps going at the same slow pace throughout the film, but I think that is really what makes the movie works.  The movie is about the characters in the film, their interactions, and life in general and and full on action movie, while possibly making it more exciting, wouldn't have made it into the great film it turned out to be.

Good story or not, the film wouldn't have worked if it wasn't for the great performances put on my Foxx and Cruise.  I LOVED seeing Cruise as a bad guy in this film.  He was totally believable and I loved how evil he was without being over the top psycho.  He needs to be a villain more.  And I loved Foxx in this.  While I liked his earlier performance in Ray which I had seen earlier, I liked him even more because it was a more down to earth role that I really feel he sunk in to.  It was this film, not Ray, that convinced me of his acting abilities.  I think a lot of people missed this movie, but it is worth a rental.

7.5 out of 10 Cheeseburgers


 Movie Review #58: Commando

 You're a funny guy Sully, I like you. That's why I'm going to kill you last.

Everything you need to know about this film can be summed up in this video.  This is every one of Arnold's estimated 87 kills in the film:

 Who needs a plot when you have utter destruction like this?  Although it may seem like a pointless movie, this was really a movie that brought Arnold out as the action star he is today.  Sure he was a novelty in Conan and a killer cyborg in Terminator, but this was his first role set in a "real" life and what led to so many other films of the same prototype not only for him, but many other actors of the 80s.  I can't begin to tell you how many times I watched this film as kid.  And you know what, it still hold up today.  Not as a movie masterpiece by any means, but as the epitome of mindless action.  Well, mindless action and over the top one liners.  It was this film that made me expect cheezy one liners in every Arnold movie that followed.  They way he spewed them out in Expendables 2 was a throwback to what he started here and you realized than no matter how ridiculous they were, you looked forward to them.

6.5 out of 10 cheeseburgers

Ok, maybe I won't finish the Cs off here.  Three more to go and I will save them for the next blog post.  Until then.  Thanks for reading and an even bigger thank you for commenting. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

C is for Cinema and Counting Blessings

Jess and I just went through another miscarriage (#4), but I am not sure how much I want to actually write about it.  It is what it is.  At this point, we don't really expect this to happen for us and the hurt was a lot less this time.  In the end, we know we have a good life together and although if we never have a kid, we'll know we'll have a little emptiness in our lives, we can't complain about all the other blessings we have been given.  With that, on to more movies.   

Plenty of movies to review.  I'll just keep going!

Movie Review #51: Cinderella 

No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true. 

So far in my movie watching, I have been fairly disappointed with the classic Disney movies that I have been watching.  They haven't been bad, but nothing spectacular.  Cinderella, thankfully, turned it all around.  This film is true Disney magic and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.  I was also surprised how many words I knew from the songs that were sung.  I must have watched this movie a lot as a kid or something.  It gives me a lot of hope for the viewings of future Disney Princess films.

7 out of 10 cheeseburgers

Movie Review #52: City of Angels

I wait all day, just hoping for one more minute with you, and I don't even know you. 

This may be the first time I have seen this movie since the theaters.  I remember being fairly touched by it the first time I saw it, but this time, I don't know, it seemed kind of corny to me.  Maybe because I knew how the film was going to end up, but it just didn't do anything for me this time.  Nic Cage seemed hokey as hell and while I can appreciate that it was a decent love story of  desiring someone you can't have, I've seen much better.  It's not a bad film, but it didn't seem to age well past the first viewing.  Meg Ryan sure used to be cute though.

5 out of 10 cheeseburgers

Movie Review #53: Clerks

 I'm not even supposed to be here today! 

The movie that introduced the world to Kevin Smith.  I am not even sure how I heard of this movie enough to rent it with some friends right when it came out, but I am glad I did.  I sat there dumbfounded that they were saying the things they were saying in a movie like this.  But it wasn't just pure raunchiness, it was smart at the same time.  It was something fresh and I am glad the film caught on enough so that Smith could make more films.  On repeated viewings, the films just doesn't get old to me.  Partially because the film is so funny and partially because the film is so quotable, I can simply watch this film over and over again and not get tired of it.

7.5 out of 10 cheeseburgers

Movie Review #54: Clerks II

Thirty-two and you're flipping burgers? Jesus, anybody else from our graduating class back there?

Clerks II is one of those rare movies that keeps getting better and better with each repeated viewing.  I enjoyed Clerks II the first time I watched it, but there was the slightest amount of disappointment that it wasn't as comical as the first one.  This one had a lot of serious things going on underneath the usual vulgarity.  But the more I watch it, the more I find things I can relate to and it becomes a more personable movie and I see why Smith names this as his favorite film he has made to date.  The jokes are still funny as hell and it crosses that line that you didn't think it would go, but I find the story amazing.  It is because of this that I now enjoy Clerks II more that the first one.

8 out of 10 cheeseburgers

Movie Review #55: Click

 Shut up, James Earl Jones! 

Off the top of my head, this was the last Adam Sandler movie that I enjoyed.  Hell, most of them I am have skipped just because of how terrible they looked.  Even this film has some eye rolling moments, but if you look past some of the cringe-worthy comedy, it has a story with a good lesson.  I don't really laugh out loud at any of the parts as I did when I first saw the film, but I am still touched by the point the film is trying to make.  I wish funny Adam Sandler would come back to Earth.

6 out of 10 cheeseburgers

I think I have about 6 or 7 more movies to review in the Cs and then I am finally done (and hopefully caught up)!  

Thursday, January 10, 2013

"C" What I Have Been Watching

Geez that title is terrible...

Since there are so many reviews, I will try to keep it short.

Movie Review #45: Cabin in the Woods

Cleanse them. Cleanse the world of their ignorance and sin. Bathe them in the crimson of... am I on speakerphone?

When I first went to see this at the movies last year, I didn't know what to expect other than the fact it was getting good buzz and heard it was not what you would expect.  I walked out of the theater having just watched one of the most fun movies I had ever seen.  The movie is truly unique, especially for a horror genre that seems to recycle the same storyline over and over.  After multiple viewings, it has become one of my all time favorites.  I really don't get sick of watching it because it is just so much fun.  Good horror elements, great comedy, and a storyline that I just did not expect.  It starts off looking so cliche and by the end, you can't believe the originality that you just saw.  Absolutely love it!

9.5 out of 10 cheeseburgers

Movie Review #46 - Cable Guy

Come back here, so that I may brain thee!

I don't know why this movie gets such a bad rap.  I think it may be my second favorite Jim Carey movie.  I think I like it because it is somewhat dark and creepy.  It's not just a comedy film with Carey doing his goofy schtick.  It's actually kind of sad and although Carey does some goofy things in the film, he is more of a disturbed individual.  This could have very well been turned into a top shelf thriller.  But they did make it into a comedy and there are some absolutely hilarious parts.  But it is that dark undertones that carry the film and I love every second of it.

8 out of 10 cheeseburgers


Movie Review #47 - Captain America

 I knocked out Adolf Hitler over 200 times.

I loved Captain America.  Even if it didn't have the background of being a Marvel comic, I would have loved it as it such a cool feel good story.  The story of Steve Rogers and his determination to serve his country one way or another is so inspiring, something you wouldn't expect to come from a comic book.  Sure, it has some comic-y type characters,  but at the root of the film is a story about overcoming odds.  And they did an awesome job.

8 out of 10 cheeseburgers

Movie Review #48 - Changing Lanes

Money. You... you think I want money? What I want is my morning back. I need you to give my time back to me. Can you give me back my time? Can you give my time back to me?

 I like this movie because it shows how seemingly good people can be driven to bad things because of circumstances that are almost out of control.  I like movies that make you think, "What would I do in that situation?"  Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Affleck are generally good people in the film, but they are driven to be so mean to each other, even if they know deep down it is wrong.  I like the solemn tone the film has because there really is nothing nice about what is going on in the film.  It's not depressing, but it sure makes you think.

7 out of 10 cheeseburgers

Movie Review #49 - Chasing Amy

What did I tell you? She just needs the right guy. 

After the hilarity that was Clerks and Mallrats, I was not expecting Kevin Smith's third film to be what it ended up being.  Sure, it is hilarious, but at the heart of the movie is a love story so it was kind of funny that me and three of my guy friends went out to see this in the theater when it came out.  But as it turns out, it was Smith's best written film to date.  It had the hilarious aspects of his first two films while also including a deep story that is both believable and touching.  It doesn't quite end up how one would expect, but I think I commend it even more for not giving it that typical romantic comedy ending.

7.5 out of 10 cheeseburgers

Movie Review #50 - Chicago

Pop. Six.  Squish.  Unh-uh.  Cicero.  Lipschitz.

I didn't want to see Chicago when it was out in theaters but had to because of it being nominated for Best Picture.  It was a musical.  I hate musicals.  I think by the ten minute mark of the film, I was hooked.  Chicago is so fun because not only is it just a good story, but the songs, the aspect I dread, are even more fun than the spoken dialogue.  That is what makes this film so enjoyable to me.  Hell, I even own the soundtrack and have it on my iPod.  I think that says something.  Because of this movie, I don't quite go into a musical with the same negative attitude, but I have yet to find a musical I have enjoyed anywhere as much as this film.

8.5 out of 10 cheeseburgers

Friday, January 04, 2013

Back and Better Than Ever?

Ok, I'm back to the blog.  I won't promise anything, but I fully intend to post more than the 20 times I did in 2012.  That is just terrible.  Since I last blogged at the beginning of November, I have been so incredibly busy.  It's not an excuse, just the truth.  So what has happened since then?

Well, we had an amazing 10th anniversary vacation.  I am truly blessed with a wonderful wife.  I had my photography exhibit  and that went amazingly well.  I feel so honored to not only be asked to have my works on display, but that people actually bought some stuff.  My pictures are good enough for people to want to pay for them and display them in their home!  It feels so good and yet, I can't believe it!  The Christmas season was equally amazing with a Disneyland trip and the normal Christmas awesomeness.  And of course New Years was wonderful as always with our always fun group of friends.  

Jess and I were talking about how compared to the last couple of years, 2012 was a pretty damn good year.  2010 and 2011 were filled with so much heartache that the great times of 2012 were even more appreciated and needed than would could ever imagine.  Here is to hoping that 2013 is just as wonderful if not even more wonderful than 2012.  I mean, we can always hope, right?

I certainly have not given up on my goal to watch all my movies in alphabetical order.  In November I moved on to the letter C and because I was so busy work-wise, got to watch a bunch of them.  But because I was so busy, I didn't have a chance to write about them.  Then December hit and because I was so behind on actually writing the reviews, I didn't keep watching films because I didn't want to get even further behind on reviews.  Thus, my movie viewing was kind of put on hold until I could write my reviews.  So, next blog post will be short reviews of what I have watched since the last review and I will TRY to stay on top of it.  Probably.  Maybe.