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Six Movies for Home Viewing

June 14, 2009

I don’t think I’ve watched a minute of summer television other than the Daily Show. What have I been watching instead during dinner, you ask? Movies. Specifically, parts of movies. I’ll split a 90-minute comedy between two dinners; a 150-minute drama between three meals. Thank goodness for Netflix.

I don’t necessarily recommend all of these movies, as you can see by my ratings (out of 10), but there are movies in six different categories listed below. Pick your mood, update your queue, and enjoy.

Zodiac (8; true crime): I’ve been wanting to see this film–by the director of Fight Club and Seven–for quite some time. It was worth the wait. Like the main character, you’ll find yourself really, truly wanting to figure out the identity of the Zodiac killer.

Fired Up (8; teen comedy): If you’re a guy in the mood for a lighthearted, genuinely funny piece of cinematic eye-candy, rent this movie. The two leads work well together, and you have the pleasure of accompanying them on their romp through hundreds of scantily-clad girls at cheerleader camp.

The Descent (7; horror): I am not a horror movie aficionado, but from what I know, this one’s pretty decent. It’s about a group of girls who are trapped underground with some really creepy monsters during an ill-advised spelunking trip. The coolest thing about it is that the claustrophobia in the movie is just as nerve-wracking as the monsters.

He’s Just Not That Into You (6; romantic comedy): This probably would have been better if it were set underground with creepy monsters. It’s a paint-by-numbers rom com that tries to be Love Actually but fails on most accounts. It includes one of the worst of the rom-com cliches: A person who falls for someone else for absolutely no reason. In this case, it’s the main character of the film, who spends most of the movie being really annoying and desperate. She had no redeeming qualities (unless naivety is a positive quality).

Taken (8; thriller): I had serious doubts about this movie because it made big bucks around the time that people were paying to see Paul Blart, but it’s actually very, very good. Liam Neeson kicks a HUGE amount of ass during his quest to get his daughter back. Literally nothing stands in his way.

Requiem for a Dream (7; drama): This one is tough to classify as good or bad. The filmmaking is brilliant. For about two hours, you’ll feel like you’re inside the mind of a drug addict. The question is, why would you want to do that to yourself? I would conclude that it’s a must see that you only must see once. I wouldn’t want to watch it again. (It did, however, make me want to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy again, because it uses music very similar to the theme in the third movie.)

What have you all been watching? Anyone else excited about Year One this week?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. John Aughey permalink
    June 15, 2009 11:39 am

    Great timing. I have a promo code for RedBox that needs to be used today so I’ll grab one of these titles.

    I agree with the Taken review. The movie is different when you have girls of your own. I was so glad when he simply shot the last guy holding his daughter rather than talking or negotiating. There’s no question that’s what I would do.

    • June 15, 2009 11:49 am

      I totally agree. I don’t have children, but the movie was very real in the way in portrayed what a father would do to find and save his daughter.

  2. Neeraja permalink
    June 15, 2009 12:38 pm

    I hated Taken. Partially because the things that were happening to those teenage girls was so horrific, but also because there were several plot holes and some truly horrific characterizations. No 17 year old girl would run the way she runs. It’s like she’s playing 17 but her actions suggest she’s 11, all in the name of portraying innocence. Plus, what kind of mother would sit at home in LA and wait for her daughter to come back? Wouldn’t you at least be staying in a hotel in Paris? Your husband has a private jet, for god’s sake.

    I have to disagree with your 8, Stegmaier. I don’t think I could give it more than a 6.

    • June 15, 2009 12:50 pm

      Fair enough. I think the running thing is a little picky, but it does seem like her character acts a little young. And good point about her mother too. Those aren’t plot holes, though–those are character holes. Were there some plot holes too? The only big problem I had with it was how easily Neeson found out who the bad guy was (the guy who says, “Good luck”). It seemed so farfetched.

      • Neeraja permalink
        June 15, 2009 4:31 pm

        Fair enough, they were character holes rather than plot holes. But seemingly riddled with them.

  3. John Aughey permalink
    June 21, 2009 7:36 pm

    We talk about character flaws and plot flaws in taken but give fired up a free pass?

    • June 21, 2009 7:38 pm

      Definitely. Fired Up makes no pretense about what it’s about. It’s about fun and girls and fairly dumb humor. You didn’t like it?

      • John Aughey permalink
        June 21, 2009 8:51 pm

        Oh I did like it. It’s nice to be able to turn off the brain for a few hours.

  4. margot permalink
    June 22, 2009 7:28 am

    Hey do you have any comedies to watch at home.. the kind that just make you laugh without any real message?

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