06 November 2016

In Movie Lines (with Cubs and Cubs fans, Crop Dusting, Non-Violent Violence...and links)

What I've Been Watching

October 23rd - November 4th, 2016

Truth be told, I was glued to the World Series most of last week. Sleep deprived. Sleepy at work. Witnessing history is exhausting. And amazing! So Go Cubs Go! That's the last time I ever say that. 


I Love You, Man
dir. John Hamburg, 2009

One of the perfect comedies since 2000. Endlessly hilarious, quotable and re-watchable. Paul Rudd is so good as the awkward guy. Jason Segel is so great...period. The crop duster play-by-play scene is one of the truly funniest bits of observational humor I can think of in a modern comedy. 


Captain America: Civil War
dir. Anthony and Joe Russo, 2016

I get it. Marvel makes a better movie than DC. It shows in every aspect. And this is a well-written movie. But that doesn't mean it's not still big and loud and somewhat messy. And I'm so behind. I have only seen one of the precursors to this thing. All this combined = meh. 

Free State of Jones
dir. Gary Ross, 2016

I'm not quite sure what to say about this one. It's sort of odd really. Not at all what I expected. It spends too much time cramming in everything from this man's life, albeit fascinating, and not enough time connecting us to him. It is handsomely made, gritty and detailed. But McConaughey sort of seemed off to me in this role. Playing it with some passion but at whisper level. Every line delivered in the same tone and cadence. Newton Knight's story is worth telling. But this thing just becomes a documentary about the man, which may have been better...barring the first half hour.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
dir. Jake Szymanski, 2016

Now, this one is far funnier than I ever would have expected. It is stupid. Yes. But it goes all out with jokes and gags and lands way more than it doesn't. I horse laughed...often. Adam Devine owns this thing, upstaging the rest of the fun cast easily. And I like that about it. 

Seven Samurai
dir. Akira Kurosawa, 1954

Well, it took me four sittings over several weeks to get through the bonkers run time under my too busy schedule, but I finally can say I actually truly watched Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai. And I get it. It's full of the things we love as movie lovers, many we still see, some we don't. No "action movie" today would take its time like this, helping us know its characters to such a strong degree. The classic nature of this story and how it keeps returning year after year is pretty amazing. It's too long. But it's worth the time. 

Hacksaw Ridge
dir. Mel Gibson, 2016

You know the beginning of Saving Private Ryan? Pick a number and multiply. That is the violence level of the last hour of this thing. A point of contention I know for some critics, as it is about a hero who shuns violence. I think that is value added actually. I pretty much loved it. A touch heavy-handed with its heroic message here and there, but it's solid. The cast delivers great performances all the way through. Full review coming soon...


Rebecca at Almost Ginger lists Films Set on Boats. 

Rhys at Feeling Fuzzier reviewed one of the best of the year, Hell or High Water.  

Allie at Flick Chicks reviewed the weirdly sweet Swiss Army Man

Sati at Cinematic Corner spins out her beautiful entertainment news and drops the new T2 Trainspotting trailer. 

Alex at And So It Begins... lists the Top 10 Looks of Parental Pride (and made me cry). 

The Numbers

I've watched 168 movies this year, so far.

Re-Watched - 61

First-Timers - 107

2016 Releases - 29


  1. I haven't watched as many movies as I've liked to recently, not only because of the absolute stress-producer that is high school (along with the high school play I'm currently in which has added more stress), but also because of the World Series. It was amazing to see the Cubs win. I fell in love with the Cubs this year (especially since the Tigers disappointed me again by not making the playoffs), & I felt so emotionally attached to the Cubs. GO CUBS GO!

    I thought Captain America: Civil War was Marvel's best film yet. It was everything I wanted in a Marvel film. You really need to watch the rest of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, man.

    Haven't seen Free State of Jones. I thought it looked good, but then the reviews came in, & I just didn't really want to see it after that.

    I liked Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates. It didn't make me laugh as much as I expected, but it was still pretty good (& definitely better than all of Adam Sandler's movies in the past 5 years).

    I have never seen I Love You, Man, although I do own it. My oldest brother has said it's one of the funniest movies he's ever seen.

    I actually bought Seven Samurai yesterday at Barnes & Noble because of the current Criterion Collection sale that's going on this month. (I actually bought 14 Criterions yesterday. I know, I have a Criterion addiction).

    Now... for the movies I've seen in the past couple weeks:

    I saw American Pastoral (amazing & CRIMINALLY underrated); Denial (one of the year's most important films); Doctor Strange (one of Marvel's best films); & Hacksaw Ridge (one of the 3 best films of the year, along with Hell or High Water, & Everybody Wants Some).

    This coming weekend, I plan on seeing Arrival & Moonlight.

    1. I've decided to hold off on American Pastoral. I think I'd rather read the novel and then check the movie out later. I was so excited about it, but the bad reviews nearly across the board really have me wanting to just read the book, like I said. I'm glad it worked for you. Hopefully it will for me as well when I get to it.

      I will see Arrival tomorrow night and hopefully Moonlight later in the week.

  2. Thanks for the link and comment! I'm very interested to see Hacksaw Ridge. Quite excited for it. And yeah, Seven Samurai is a long one for sure, but so necessary. It's still absolutely astonishing.

    1. No problem. I hope you get as much out of Hacksaw Ridge as I did.

  3. Thank you for the link! I like "I love you, man" a lot, it's such a warm movie and the cast is awesome, JK Simmons manages to be amazing and funny even in small parts like his role of a dad in this one

    1. No problem! It really is a such a good one. I love Simmons in that role as well.