Saturday, August 16, 2014

CWE: "Juno" (2007)

Summary: After having sex with her best friend, high school student Juno finds herself pregnant. She decides to give the baby to Mark and Vanessa in a private adoption.

I don't think I'm going to do my usual bullet point this for this one. I know that this movie has its detractors, but I like it a lot. Yes, the dialogue tries way too hard, especially at the start, and there's a solid dose of quirk for quirk's sake, but I really like Ellen Page. Her face breaks my heart. And pretty much all of the actors in the movie are great, although to be honest, I've never really loved Jennifer Garner -- although she works very well here. I like that, although Mark seems like the cool one and Vanessa like the uptight bad guy, Mark is actually a weak, sketchy guy who doesn't want to grow up while Vanessa is an actual adult. Also: random Daniel Clark (from early Degrassi)! And no cell phones is weird. And J.K. Simmons is awesome.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

CWE: "The Journey of Natty Gann" (1985)

Summary: After her father leaves for a job in Washington state, promising to send for her once he earns enough money, Depression-era teen Natty sets out by herself from Chicago to find him.

  • Quite possibly the most family-friendly DVD that I own! It's Disney, no less.
  • Also, I have loved this movie since I was a kid. It's also probably the source of my lingering affection for John Cusack.
  • This is clearly not any kind of remastered video. I'm watching the DVD and it's still kinda jittery over the opening credits. Also, I can't imagine opening credits like this today -- just light yellow text on a black screen. And, like, a ton of credits too, not just title and stars.
  • Ray Wise is *so young*.
  • Meredith Salenger was only 15 when she made this, not much older than the character's age. John Cusack was 19.
  • Oh, it's 1985. Let's clarify that Mr. Gann is *not* a Communist, despite being a union leader.
  • Someone put this on a list of "worst movies of all time." Not even close, even if it wasn't a favorite of mine. They put "Mad Max" on that list too, so I'm inclined to think them an idiot.
  • Oh, it looks like Natty doesn't just up and leave; the woman who's supposed to be watching her decides that she's too much trouble and reports her as abandoned.
  • Jumping to get on the train seems like a good way to get hurt.
  • Oh, yes, the wolf.
  • Train crash!
  • Aw, the wolf brought her a dead bunny. I appreciate that she knew that she needed to clean and skin it, but obviously had no idea what she was doing.
  • Sadly, my cat will not let me use him as a pillow like that.
  • Somewhat kindly farmers. Well, kind wife and not very nice husband.
  • Foxes in the henhouse!
  • And reports of the train crash get back to Natty's father, who assumes that she's dead.
  • Given that this is a G-rated Disney movie, I don't expect it to deal too much with the fact that she's a 12-year-old girl on her own with a lot of older men. There are a few subtle nods to reality, though, like with Parker trying to put his arm around her.
  • Lucky she picked the right car trunk to hide in or her escape from the orphanage place would have been very brief.
  • See, that's what you get when you expect the rough-looking blacksmith to be a bad guy. He goes and saves your wolf.
  • Ah. "You're a pretty thing, you know that?" There it is.
  • I know it's a dummy, but pretty effective shot of the guy falling with the tree.
  • I've been trying to track Natty's journey on a map. They mentioned the town where she was, but I got distracted and forgot the name. The train crash was in Colorado and she's heading to Seattle, so I'm guessing Wyoming or Idaho at this point. Maybe even Oregon.
  • Look! Harry (Cusack) is back.
  • I rewound. River Bend. which is in ... yeah, I'm not sure.
  • The friendship drifting toward romance between Natty and Harry is kinda sweet and kinda creepy. She is 12 and he's probably supposed to be around 18. But it's also pretty innocent.
  • Oh, the pan and scan/cropped image has never been more noticeable than in this scene, with her talking to him off camera
  • I'd like to think that Natty goes to find Harry at some point in the future, you know, when she's not 12.
  • Jed is a pretty dog (or, you know, malamute-wolf mix). Died in 1995.
  • I'm not entirely sure why they are blowing up trees now. And, apparently, doing their best to kill the workers.
  • Also, I get why she's upset that her father apparently passed by without seeing her, but isn't he just headed toward the base camp? And can't she find him there? The woman there knows that she's looking for him, so I'd think that he'd wait for her.
  • Sweet ending reunion.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

CWE: "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" (2001)

Summary: After learning that the "Bluntman and Chronic" comics that Banky and Holden drew based on them are being turned into a movie, Jay and Silent Bob go to Hollywood to either get the compensation they deserve or prevent the movie from being made.

I warn you up front, I'm so not in the mood for this one. And I'll probably only pay about 1/100th of my attention to it. But I've reached a bottleneck and need to push through!
  • We start at the Clerks convenience store.
  • And now Brodie from Mallrats. The comments about every studio buying up comic books to turn them into movies is even more relevant now than it was in 2001.
  • Holden! With meta commentary about the juvenile humor in the movies that Kevin Smith kept making... and about Ben Affleck.
  • Mooby's. Was trying to remember where this one fell in sequence with "Clerks II" -- despite Dante and Randal being in the Quick Stop at the beginning.
  • I do like the guys trying to get comfortable standing in front of a different convenience store.
  • I have a lot less patience for the gay jokes and the aggressive objectification of women than I used to, I guess.
  • And far too many glances at the camera.
  • Hee hee hee. Cyril! (aka Scott William Winters)
  • Also, I really love Jason Lee's smile. And yes, Banky is gay.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

"Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014)

Previews: Interstellar, Dumb and Dumber To; The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb; Annie; Big Hero 6

So. I'd heard a lot of very good things about "Guardians of the Galaxy" and it was a very fun movie. But somehow I expected something just a little more. The animation work for Rocket and Groot was very good -- and Groot was just great generally. But maybe it was the overcrowded theater, or the guy next to me who kept looking at his phone, or the endless parade of HITG!s (Lee Pace (yes, I knew he was in it), John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Sean Gunn, Peter Serafinowicz, Sharif Atkins, Brendan Fehr, Emmett Scanlan ... and I didn't even recognize Nathan Fillion!), but I never really got completely wrapped up in it. It was so much more sci-fi than most modern comic book movies have been, which is kinda cool. Somehow, I wanted something just slightly more.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

CWE: "Jay and Silent Bob Do Degrassi" (2005)

Summary: Jay and Silent Bob go to Canada to shoot a film at Degrassi High.

Episode 1 ("West End Girls"):
  • OK, my Degrassi history: Once upon a time, The N (formerly "Noggin," now "Teen Nick") used to show Daria. I love Daria. But peppered all through it were commercials for Degrassi (and other shows). I finally caved in. Then watched everything I could get my hands on, including the original series.
  • I haven't watched Degrassi for the past few seasons, but I did keep up with it long past this point. It's so weird to see all the old characters! Paige! JT isn't dead! Principal Raditch! Emma still looks like a normal girl! Craig isn't a total druggy yet!
  • Is Marco not out yet?
  • Oh, Paige being bitchy. She's always bitchy, but develops into a much more realistic person. I always liked her.
  • Ashley! Her, I never liked.
  • Wow, deliberately dropping Paige is just cruel. I don't care how mean she is, trying to get her hurt is awful.
  • Jimmy! It's Drake! OK, I'll stop just saying actor/character names now. He looks sad, in his wheelchair.
  • Ugh. Why is Toby being all creepy? He was a nice guy.
  • Aw, Jimmy wins prom king
Episode 2 ("Going Down The Road"):
  • Alanis Morrisette! OK, I said that I'd stop.
  • Aw, Jimmy is playing basketball in the opening credits. Before he gets paralyzed.
  • I can't remember why Craig hates Spinner and Jay (Degrassi character Jay). I'm guessing it's related to Jimmy's shooting and the bullying...
  • Hee hee hee. Ellie looks ridiculously fake goth.
  • "Ha, you're lying. "Mallrats" is no one's favorite Kevin Smith film."
  • I remember kinda liking Craig when they first introduced him (a very broken character, my fav), but man -- he really becomes a stalkerish jerk very quickly. It's also interesting how he kinda uses the bipolar diagnosis as an excuse. Not to not do things, but "oh, I have bipolar disorder so you won't let me do anything" when actually, having a serious illness that's maybe not completely under control is a darn good excuse for him not to be allowed to go to London by himself for some undetermined amount of time.
  • Everybody thinks Craig is off his meds. I forgot that so much of this series of episodes is about Craig (and Ashley).
  • Caitlin kissing Kevin Smith. Odd.
  • So Craig just stops taking his meds. Gah, kids.
  • Spike! We've seen no Spike or Snake before now. Where is Snake?
  • Craig goes to live in the school boiler room, as you do. And Caitlin is supposed to be a terrible actress.
  • Hey, it's Kevin's wife!
  • "Oh my god, who are you now?"
  • "All I know is that making a movie with a bunch of high school kids? Way worse than making a movie with Ben Affleck."
  • And Craig runs away. Again, I forgot how much of this is about him.
  • Just leave your expensive guitar with the homeless guy, Craig. While you go spend money (that I'm assuming your "terrible" step-father gave you) at the coffee shop. Also, Craig has an honestly terrible father -- physically and emotionally abusive. You'd think he'd know the difference.
  • "Shouldn't you be directing?" "Like I know how to direct."
  • Canadian Ninjas!
  • People keep interrupting filming.
  • Shocking, the guy beats Craig up and steals his guitar. Idiot.
  • Wow, this episode is over an hour long. I'm used to them being much shorter. Oh, actually, maybe it's both parts of this two-part episode.
  • "Who calls himself "Skinny" anyway?" "Who calls himself Snake? Or Wheels?"
  • "Jay and Silent Bob Go To Canada, Eh?" looks truly awful.
  • OK, what's with the rapping at the end? Is that Drake? (I think everything is Drake. It's probably not him.)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Saturday, July 05, 2014

CWE: "Iron Man" (2008)

Summary: After being held prisoner and nearly dying in Afghanistan, Tony Stark builds a metal suit and uses it to fight evil.

  • I have unending love for Robert Downey Jr.
  • My first entry that I'm posting to Blogger and Tumblr simultaneously. Well, OK, not simultaneously, since this will be queued on Tumblr and show up in ... over a month from now.
  • Blown up by his own bomb.
  • Why do I keep closing IMDB while I watch? I repeatedly need to reopen it to look things up.
  • Do they not know that he's in Afghanistan? That seems odd to me.
  • No, wait, he's there. Did we skip back in time? I wasn't paying attention.
  • I am indifferent to Gwyneth Paltrow.
  • They've created a club on the plane?
  • Damn it, now I want sushi.
  • OK, back in the present.
  • That would not be pleasant, either the tube up the nose or the battery attached to your chest.
  • Maybe 1/4 of my attention is on this movie, if not less. Not ideal.
  • Interestingly (maybe), this movie is also on FX right now. Two days in a row I've watched something on DVD at about the same time it was on TV (yesterday, "1776" for the Fourth).
  • Oh, I have creative thoughts and ideas that have nothing to do with this movie. I'll wait.
  • Oh, Tony has escaped. Into the desert. Alone.
  • Really? Burger King? I'd go for something a little better for my first cheeseburger.
  • I'd maybe have taken off my rings and watch before sticking my hands in someone's chest.
  • Tony talking to the robots makes me giggle.
  • You can't have a stout tummy and wear the Iron Man suit, that's for sure.
  • Why are there alarms on the cars parked inside his house?
  • They've recovered the suit ... dum dum dum!
  • You know, I appreciate the (granted, limited) sense of reality in this movie: we already know that Tony is an engineer, that he's rich, that he's got the time and the toys to play with. We see him building and testing and failing and trying again. Within the context of this universe, there is a sense of practical reality that I appreciate.
  • Also, warlords are bad. #lessonsfromIronMan
  • "An unfortunate incident during a training exercise..."
  • Ah yes, we learn that Obadiah is the real bad guy.
  • Doesn't he need the electromagnet with the old device?
  • Can I step out of the current movie to say that I hated how "Iron Man 3" ended? I will then.
  • I really like Clark Gregg and Coulson, although I still think of him as Christine's ex-husband.
  • Uh oh ... I've fallen into a Wikihole.
  • I do like the end. "Truth is (pause) I am Iron Man." It's great.