telling minor stories to avoid a major one

Netflix Rundown: August ’10 by Barbecue Bros

I’m actually surprised I watched this many movies considering I didn’t watch any the last few weeks of the month.

She’s Out of My League (2009) – 5/10
– A pretty generic Apatow-wannabe comedy. Jay Baruchel, I know everyone wants to be a lead in a movie, but please choose your future movies more wisely. At least Alice Eve was super hot in it.

Mystery Team (2009)
– 7/10 – The first film from the Derrick Comedy team (which includes Donald Glover of “Community”). A bit different, but funny enough and well worth the viewing. Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”) also co-stars, so it definitely had that going for it.

Favela Rising (2005) – 8/10
– A documentary on the afro-reggae non-violent music movement in the favelas (or slums) of Rio de Janeiro. Made by one of the guys who did the recent “30 for 30” documentary, The Two Escobars.

Kick-Ass (2010) – 8/10
– A fun, visually appealing movie from director Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake). Chloe Moretz and Nic Cage were both awesome and I can’t wait for the sequel in 2012.

Hot Tub Time Machine (2010) – 6/10
– Funny concept, and decently funny movie. Nothing about it stood out for me, though. Honestly can’t remember a ton about the actual movie.

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964) – 7/10
– Honestly, I watched this because Don and Lane considered going to see it in a recent episode of “Mad Men” (but instead ended up going to see Gojira). I love french movies (particularly french new wave), but I wasn’t quite expecting a “pop-art opera” where the dialogue is sung entirely (I’m not sure Don and Lane would have liked it either). Very french ending. Catherine Deneuve was lovely as always though.

Couples Retreat (2009) – 5/10
– I’ll always give a Jon Favreau/Vince Vaughn movie a viewing, but this just wasn’t all that funny.

Currently have out:
“Breaking Bad” Season 1 Disc 1 (2008)
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
The Stax Records Story

Linkdown: 5/12/10 by Barbecue Bros

Ben Folds covers Elliott Smith in the latest AV Undercover

Interview with legendary B-movie director and producer Roger Corman

Psycho gets a 5.1 surround sound Blu-ray release

– Andy Kaufman may or may not have opened a Twitter account and may or may not be appearing this Sunday at The Comedy Store in LA

M.I.A. names her album / \ / \ / \ Y / \ (“Maya,” her name), pushes its release back two weeks to July 13

Interview with Broken Social Scene masterminds Kevin Drew and Charles Spearin

– Consequence of Sound has video of MGMT, Jónsi, The National, and LCD Soundsystem, who all played last night on late night tv

– Rapper Gucci Mane was let out of prison this morning

– Props from “Lost” are making their way to auction; full list of the 100 items here (via The Live Feed)

Linkdown: 4/19/10 by Barbecue Bros

Kick-Ass falls short of its predicted $30M opening weekend at only $19.75M, but gets a 9/10 review from Slashfilm

– Robert Rodriguez’s Machete gets a Labor Day opening weekend date

“Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner says the show won’t go beyond six seasons (via Vulture)

– The Star Wars trilogies are heading to Blu-ray…at some point

– Vulture: Fifteen Films to See at the Tribeca Film Festival

Interview with the dudes from MGMT

Pitchfork: At the same time, something like the “Flash Delirium” video looks pretty insane in and of itself.

AV: On the first album, Ben and I wanted to be in control of everything in the videos but this time we really let go and found some really cool directors. Their ideas are even crazier than ours. [“Flash Delirium” director] Andreas Nilsson is so much more bizarre than we could ever be. [laughs] He doesn’t think the video is weird at all. We just shot the coolest video in Paris with director So Me [Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.”] for “It’s Working”. In it, Ben and I find this box and these instructions to put together a machine that’s constantly changing, and we end up losing control over it. Saying this now, it sounds so metaphorical for our musical career, which is really funny.

Another Stereogum “Premature Evaluation,” this time on Broken Social Scene‘s Forgiveness Rock Record

Some photos from this past weekend’s Coachella; also Spin compiles some of thebest and worst moments from day one and two from the festival

Linkdown: 11/19/09 by Barbecue Bros
November 19, 2009, 11:18 am
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– AV Club’s top 50 albums of the decade; I can’t find too much wrong with it

Interview with Ty Burrell of “Modern Family”

– The Oscar Documentary shortlist includes Food, Inc. but snubs Anvil! The Story of Anvil! (boo)

Interview with Carla Gugino, who plays a porn star who gets unexpectedly preggers in her latest movie Women in Trouble

Avatar will be nearly three hours long

– The Emmys are moving back to August next year

– High Def Digest’s Holiday Gift Guide 2009: Blu-rays for the Folks Who Have…Issues (kinda dumb)

– Here’s the Beach House single “Norway” from their forthcoming album and Sub Pop debut Teen Dream

Netflix Rundown: September 09 by Barbecue Bros

* indicates movies watched instantly

The Field (1990)
– 7/10 – The second film of Jim Sheridan (My Left Foot) about an unrelenting farmer who covets a field his family has farmed for generations, but does not actually own. In swoops a wealthy American (Tom Berenger) who wants to buy the field and create a highway. Things go horribly wrong when they confront the man.

Super High Me (2007)*
– 7/10 – Doug Benson’s take on Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me, where first he goes 30 days sober and then goes 30 days smoking weed every day. Its a mostly harmless, somewhat amusing documentary about Doug and his standup until the last 15 minutes where it becomes kind of a proponent for a state’s right to legally have medical marijuana shops (shown to footage of various ones being raided by the DEA). There are several cameos from Benson’s comedian friends, such as Zach Galifianakis, Patton Oswalt, Bob Odenkirk, and Sarah Silverman.

The Last Emperor (1987) – 7/10
–  Bernardo Bertulucci’s epic story about the Pu Yi, the child emperor from 1908 until the Chinese revolution in 1911 when he had to abdicate. It won 9 Oscars (every one it was nominated for), and was the first film to receive permission to film in the Forbidden City. Beautifully shot and mostly interesting, but a bit long at 163 minutes.

The Karate Kid (1984)* – 7/10
– Probably the first time I’ve actually watched the whole movie start to finish, in preparation of my Mr. Miyagi costume for Halloween this year. Other than that, it’s The Karate Kid, not much more I can say. Elisabeth Shue was super cute.

Taken (2008) – 8/10
– Qui-Gon goes ape shit on a bunch of  terrorists who kidnapped his daughter. Like a boss.

Twilight (2008) – 5/10
– Decided to see what all the fuss was about after I enjoyed Kristen Stewart’s performance in Adventureland. It was what I thought it would be. Decent soundtrack.

Currently have out:
Sugar (2008)
The Girlfriend Experience (2009)
Michael Clayton (2007)

Netflix Rundown: August 09 by Barbecue Bros

* indicates movies watched instantly

Fever Pitch (1997)* – 6/10 – After reading the book by Nick Hornby a few weeks back, naturally I would be interested in the film adaptation. And it’s ok – it stars Colin Firth as the protaganist obsessed with soccer (football) to the point of affecting his relationships and regular life (it’s nothing like the lad film the above poster makes it out to be). I guess its tough to make a film out of a book recounting the big moments in Hornby’s life set to Arsenal soccer, so the producers went the romantic comedy route (as did the Farrelly brothers did for their baseball adaptation). I can’t see anyone else watching this but fans of the book.

Watchmen (2009) – 5/10 – An overly long, pretentious mess. But what was up with the song choices in the film? Zach Snyder regular ruins scenes in the movie with music that either doesn’t make sense or just plain doesn’t work in the context of the scene.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) – 4/10 – Absolutely awful, and I could rate it even lower. Was never a fan of the series, but this was disappointing considering the first one was a fun popcorn flick and the second one wasn’t completely awful.

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008)* – 5/10 – A film that tries to be way too cute but has a nice indie soundtrack. A couple of semi-interesting cameos from Seth Myers, Devendra Banhart, and Andy Samberg.

Tyson (2009) – 8/10 – This documentary mixes recent Mike Tyson interviews by director James Toback with archival footage of his fights. Interestingly, the only “narration” is the use of the Tyson interviews, in which he is very candid about his life – growing up in a troubled neighborhood, his rise to the top of the boxing world at age 19, his infidelities and drug use, his rape conviction, and the famous ear incident with Evander Holyfield, among other subjects. Definitely recommended.

Adventureland (2009) – 9/10 – Director Greg Mottola’s follow up to Superbad, though not in anyway related to Judd Apatow. It’s a coming of age story of Jesse Eisenberg’s character James after he has graduated from college and is stuck working a dead end summer job at a theme park at home (instead of travelling Europe as he had planned). Kristen Stewart is the romantic interest and gives a great performance that actually makes me want to check out other movies with her (including friggin Twilight). The movie has great heart and a strong supporting performance from Martin Starr as well as some funny scenes with Bill Hader and Kristin Wiig. Also, Zach Snyder should take note of the use of music in this film.

Currently have out:
The Last Emperor (1987)
The Field (1990)

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

Linkdown: 8/25/09 by Barbecue Bros

– Both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are available on Blu-ray at Best Buy a month earlier starting today; looks like I will be making a stop after work

Release date changes for Zombieland (now 10/2 instead of 10/9) and Fantastic Mr. Fox (limited 11/13, wide 11/25)

– Vulture has a post on the latest Bobby Draper

– More Intelligent Life has a post on the adventure game revival, spurred by the recent re-release of Sam and Max and Adventures on Monkey Island on Xbox Live Arcade

– Good deal: The Third Man Blu-ray available fo r$15.99 on Amazon, though it now looks like it is backordered (via High Def Digest)

– Allison Silverman, executive producer on “The Colbert Report” since it began in 2005, announced she is leaving the show