Thursday, February 20, 2014

Things to See or Not #1

“Amelie, an innocent and naive girl in Paris, with her own sense of justice, decides to help those around her and along the way, discovers love.”

Quirky, sweet film complete with memorable characters, a gnome, and charming weirdness.  I’ve been trying to get Rob to watch this with me for ages.  I’ve pretty much given up.  Since I cannot get him to watch it, maybe you will watch it and enjoy it as much as I.  But if your taste falls along the lines of Shallow Hal then maybe this movie isn’t your cup of tea.  I have a friend who said this movie was weird and she didn’t like it and a few days later told me I’d love the Jack Black movie.  Yeah.  Not so much.  Give me Audrey Tautou over Gwyneth Paltrow any day. 

“A Naval veteran arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future - until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader.”

There are times when I watch something because of the actor and/or actors associated with a film because I have an implicit trust in what they do.  And with the death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman, this film sort of bumped itself to the top of my list.  This is not a comfortable movie.  Joaqin Phoenix is particular “ugly” in this film, a perverse anti-hero, not easily sympathized with by any means.  Hoffman, of course, is brilliant.  They both are.  But is shit a movie I would recommend?  Yes.  It’s disturbing but not all movies should be fun or even fun to watch.

“A brilliant and charismatic, yet psychotic serial killer communicates with other active serial killers and activates a cult of believers following his every command.”

Somewhat related to the above film, I binge-watched the first season of this television show at someone’s recommendation.  I did not enjoy it.  I sort of went along for the ride at first, assuming that it would have some depth.  If you liked 24 and miss it you could watch this somewhat derivative and far less intense program.  I’m assuming the season finale was supposed to be one of those mind-blowing moments that manipulates the viewer into being on the edge of her seat.   I obviously was underwhelmed. 


  1. Amelie is a great movie! I suggest you tie Rob to the sofa and make him watch it :) Although I don't like Tautou in general, she IS Amelie. Well, maybe that's exactly the reason why I don't like her in other movies :)

    1. True about Tautou. I don't necessarily love her but I like her more than Paltrow. Not that I dislike Paltrow. She's just sorta dull. And I even tried to convince Rob he should watch the movie because he likes gnomes.
      "You like gnomes. You'll like the movie."
      "Why? What do gnomes have to do with the movie?"
      "I can't tell you. You'll have to trust me."

      You can see how much he trusts me. :P

  2. The Master really is a disturbing movie; I saw it when it was in the theaters because it had such a great cast. Joaquin Phoenix is just icky in this movie (he's so good at icky) and Phillip Seymour Hoffman is just a beast of a character. Yes, I agree that not all movies need to make the viewer comfortable. But they do need to make the viewer think and this one delivers.

    1. Kathleen, I was telling Rob on our way to the park with the dogs that the character was just creepy from beginning to end. You know how sometimes you'll see an actor in a role that is so uncomfortable to watch that every time you see the actor in anything else you get that icky feeling? That's how I felt, glad I'd seen Phoenix in other things because this would have set a weird tone for anything that might have followed otherwise.

  3. I like your reviews. I had heard Following was great. I guess I won't bother checking it out now. Amelie sounds like something I would like.

    1. I'd heard good things too, Barbara, and there are things I liked about it but the ideas I found most compelling--like why/how this charismatic man inspired such devotion from his followers, etc.--remained unanswered. And the climactic moment of the last episode was a cheap ploy meant to push viewers to come back for season 2. If you loved 24, you'd probably like this show because it is somewhat derivative. I think 24 was good at first mostly because it was different and the timing of creating a show like that.

      Bear in mind that I also like very few television shows. I like Joss Whedon's stuff and Six Feet Under. Game of Thrones I like as much for the books as I do the series so I don't know if that counts. Ummmm . . . yeah. That's it. When I think of TV shows I'd want to own on DVD, that's it. Oh, and Dr Who but only the Eccleston and Tennant seasons. After the latter leaves the show, I'd be done.

      That's not a terribly long list of shows that I think stand up under much viewing. Then again, I'm not counting Masterpiece Theater productions. My list would be a bit longer if I included those!