Monday, November 19, 2007

Party of Five

I haven't been watching much of anything lately but after finally finishing The Office, over the weekend I got around to watching the first episode-and-a-half of Party of Five. I was always intrigued by this show when it was on, probably because of my penchant for teen melodrama and, well, who's not curious about the logistics of five orphans raising themselves? I found out that it's really boring. How are we going to find/pay for a nanny, though we have a seemingly endless fount of money from our dead parents? Why is Julia such a dork? How can their parents' restaurant still possibly be open? I found Bailey to be like nails on a chalkboard, and my fiance lost interest as soon as he realized that Jennifer Love Hewitt isn't (I think) in the first season at all. I turned it off halfway through the second episode and still haven't decided if I'm going to give it another shot.

On deck? Dexter, Havoc, and In the Land of Women (which I added to my queue only in a fit of mourning about the end of The OC).

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Gone Baby Gone

I really loved this movie--it felt complete in a way that most films don't, and I felt satisfied at the end. The first half moved quickly and really held my interest, and I loved the way that the actors weren't "movie-attractive" (at least apart from the leads). Some of them weren't attractive in any realm, movie or not. They looked like real people from a real city. I'm not a Ben Affleck fan as an actor, but I thought this was a really great job for a first time (I think?) director. The woman who played the crackhead sister was totally believable. It is rare that a movie has a moral message that's not dumbed down and oversimplified (Crash, anyone?). Casey Affleck was also good. I have no doubt that he wouldn't have been cast if not for his relation to the director, but he was decent as a kid who knew the neighborhood and knew who wouldn't talk to the cops. Also, it's rare that a movie about kidnapping doesn't feel exploitative and go for the cheap tearjerks, but Gone Baby Gone doesn't at all. The action sequences were very exciting--and this from a girl who hates action movies--and actually made me jump once or twice. I am stoked to check the book out of the library.

Monday, November 5, 2007


I saw Gone Baby Gone over the weekend, which was very good, which I will write about later, but in the included trailers for two movies that I am stoked for:

love that kid from Superbad. and the girl from Hard Candy.

I would not be nearly as excited for this if I hadn't loved The Squid and the Whale so much.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Office

One thing I've been watching for awhile but not writing about is The Office (American version). My friend got me into it when we used to watch The OC every Thursday, probably about halfway through season 3, so I've been watching the first few seasons ofn Netflix. I wanted to catch up before season 4 started but obviously that didn't happen--we're now about to the point where I started watching. One interesting thing that I didn't catch the first time around is how they made Roy into such a dick while he and Pam were engaged. I think when I started they had just broken up, and Jim was starting to date Karen. I wish they did more with the tertiary characters. Stanley is my ultimate favorite, followed closely by Kelly and Phyllis.
The first few season 4 episodes were not so great (I don't think they can sustain an hour), but last night's was pretty good ("Climb on top of her and think of Stanley!")

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Reign Over Me

I was very excited to see Reign Over Me when it was out in theaters, mostly because I am (embarassingly) a sucker for anything with Adam Sandler, and I like Don Cheadle too, and I like the Who song. And Liv Tyler was cute if kind of unbelievable as a psychiatrist. It ended up taking me over two weeks to watch--I fell asleep during the first half, and was meh about finishing the rest of it. It was a pretty decent movie that was suitably funny in the funny parts and dramatic in the dramatic parts, but for me, it raised some interesting questions about whether it is too soon to dramatize 9/11. Is it just me, or is it weird to have a movie about a man who is grieving over his fake family who died in a real tragedy? I might not have even been thinking about that if my fiance hadn't pointed out that no children were on any of the planes. (Not only were Sandler's wife and three daughters killed, but their poodle too). I know there are tons of war movies with stories of fictional soldiers but, I don't know. It seemed emotionally manipulative.

The other problematic thing, for me anyway, is that Adam Sandler's whole career is based on the fact that when he yells loud, apropos of nothing, it's funny. So when he freaks out in the movie, it's almost funny instead of having the intended tragic effect.