The High Countries

because it’s all paperweight…

Movie Marathon Madness!!

I watched a lot of movie recently — here’s my thoughts on them all.

Kick-Ass — 9.78/10
Its been a long time since I’d had this much fun in a theater, but Kick-Ass was the perfect fit for the weak summer. I skipped Robin Hood upon better advice, and went on over to the Kick-Ass theater with some close friends. I was grinning nonstop to this near-perfect script as I laughed both infectiously and shamelessly the entire way through, then went out and bought the graphic novel.

Clash of the Titans — 4.41
We all trucked down to the theater — sure, this was months ago — to watch this fatefully campy revamp of a fatefully campy original. I can’t say that we were all very surprised, but there are a few wonderful nuggets that came from this borderline horrible movie, including a favorite by my good friend Joel, which doesn’t bear repeating.

Ong Bak 2 — 6.94
Alone in my room I wanted this dubbed masterpiece. Well, its not so much a masterpiece as it is an orgy of sound, mud and violence. But that’s not important. What’s important is that Tony Ja, as a young boy, survived a fight with an crocodile in a slushy, muddy, murky pit and lived to make a movie about it. That scene is worth the price of the movie … not that I paid anything for it. You win again, Netflix.

Breaking Bad 1 — 9.41/10
Breaking Bad 2 — 9.40
Breaking Bad 3 — 9.01
OVERALL: 9.27
Its one of the darkest series I’ve seen to date. Any one feature of the show could be the perfect starting point for a series — a disabled son, a pregnant wife, the over-bearing wife, the absent father, the struggling marriage, the high school chemistry teacher ... the cooking crystal meth — and Breaking Bad puts them all together into one massive ball of swirling meth gas. To date, its the best dramatic pilot I’ve ever seen. And its only a matter of time before you come back for another hit…

Dexter 1 — 9.11/10
Dexter 2 — 9.38
Dexter 3 — 6.21
Dexter 4 — 9.67
OVERALL: 8.59
Your’e in for a treat if you start Dexter. Season’s 1 and 4 are simply dynamite. If you can stomach the appeal of loving a serial killer — this show is for you. I can’t wait for season 5 and the ratings (above; and on Showtime) should speak for the show loud and clear. Its Dexter. Its great. Michael C. Hall is my boy.

Friday Night Lights 1 — 9.84/10
Friday Night Lights 2 — 8.04
Friday Night Lights 3 — 8.71
OVERALL: 8.86
I just started season four, and its good. Its dang good. I don’t know how to sufficiently express my love for this show. I hate the campy drama. I hate the overzealous family show. I love real life. Friday Night Lights finds it all. I’ve never wanted to be back on the football field so bad as when I was sifting through these seasons, particularly season 1 and 3. How do I properly convey my thoughts? I like the show so much I asked my girlfriend to call me Tim Riggins for a week. She calls me Coach to this day; I love her.

Ps: Connie Britton’s beauty should be illegal.

Daybreakers — 7.41
Upon a recommendation, I watched this movie with the roommates. It was good, though I didn’t think it was great. Maybe it was because of all the vampires. Maybe it was because I really just wanted Denzel and Ethan Hawke to start hanging out again. Yes sir, the end was neat — though not SUPER neat. Like, not Inception neat, or Sixth Sense neat, but it was okay. Is it bad that I compare movie finales to The Sixth Sense, Usual Suspects and The Game now? Ooops.

Alice in Wonderland — 7.41
It was spectacularly visual and a great addition to a wonderful, historic franchise. It was Johnny being Johnny and apparently, lots of people will pay to see that. I liked this movie, though I didn’t love it. Let me be clear: I would have put many thousands of dollars on the fact that it would not make a billion dollars. I would have been wrong.

The Decent: Part 2 — 7.86
I’m not like the next guy (or girl for that matter); I REALLY love a good scary movie. Anything that makes me want to inch my fingers closer to my face is a keeper in my book. I wasn’t scared throughout this whole movie (don’t SHOW the monsters!), but I was old-fashioned freaked for a while. A couple GREAT jumps bumped it from the mid fives to the high sevens. Creep factor 5. I watched it with some buddies at the house in the pitch black — Benjamin Long will never be the same.

Toy Story 3 — 9.88
I’m not sure why I put 9.88 down for TS3, I just know that that is what the sheet says. The more I think on TS3, the more I realize that it likely should be a 10. It had all the makings of a 10 and then some. Sequels don’t typically find solid ground to stand on. In fact, the list of sequels that have even come CLOSE to their originals can be counted on one hand and have been done by the likes of Coppola, Lasseter, Cameron, Lucas (Godfather II, Toy Story 2, Aliens, Empire Strikes Back, respectively). Well, now we can add Lee Unkrich to the list again; Toy Story 3 is phenomenal.

Let the Right One In — 5.79
It took a little mustering to work up the courage to watch this slow-as-molasses vampire flick. I wish the beginning and middle were as good as the rest of the movie, but they simply weren’t. Was it good? Yes. Was it dark and sort of new? Yes. Was it great? No. Did the little boy’s inability to wipe the snot from his upper lip ruin the movie experience for me and distract me from listening (reading) the entire film? A million times yes.

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead — 5.71
It was good. It wasn’t great. I actually thought my boy Ethan Hawke did a better job than my Philip Seymour Hoffman. Maybe that’s because I just wanted him to scream out “White Chocolate!!!”, “Let it Rain!!!” or “I sharted…”. Unfortunately, he did not. Although, there’s a great scene with Hoffman and Tomei in the kitchen/living room that is painfully packed with subtext and might even be worth the watch.

12 Monkeys — 7.12
It was years ago that this movie was spoiled for me when I accidentally watched the final 10 minutes. Ooops. I can see now that it was a good flick for its time, but I’ve never liked Terry Gilliam. I’m going to give him one last try though and watch Brazil. I hear good things. I can’t think of anything else to say; 12 Monkeys was spoiled for me. Dang it.

Old Boy — 3.01
Heralded as a dynamite foreigner, I was not impressed. I found myself ‘ugh’ing’ throughout the whole thing. And then the end? It was as if a bunch of guys got together and thought of the most disturbing, unnerving storyline ever … And then made it. It honestly felt like a snuff film. I wouldn’t recommend it to a soul.

Inception — 10/10
The perfect script from my favorite director. If you haven’t seen it yet — get out there and pay attention to every minute of the borderline-funnest-movie-ever-made. And take a look for the three main clues in the final scene that perfectly and eloquently describe the final, climactic, spinning groan.


Murder on the Orient Express — 8.17
It took me years to finally wade through the waters and watch this classic. And it was worth every minute. The performance by Albert Finney — who plays the film’s lead, Hercule Poirot —  is a rare masterpiece of the craft. The movie is a gem in and of itself and the final moments get dark. Real dark. If you haven’t seen it, get the peanuts and popcorn (something else traditionally old, maybe?) and sit down for a good, old fashioned mystery.



The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo — 8.11
This movie was good. The potential was even higher. I don’t want to give too much away (Rooney Mara has been casted as Lisbeth — the scheming hacker and dreadfully dark female lead) but I can tell you that there is one scene between Lisbeth and her parole officer that takes a turn you don’t see coming. I don’t think I realized how messed up Lisbeth was until this scene. My girlfriend just finished book two; she said …. “whoa”. I can’t wait for the trilogy.



Management — 5.62
I was about to shut this off around the 18th minute, but I decided to give it a few more. Then I started fumbling around on my new iphone because the middle section was about as interesting as Terminator Salvation, and then ended up tuning out all together. The end is … sweet?



Michael Jackson’s: This Is It! — 4.04
I was bored out of my ghord. Additionally, I thought at any moment I could kill Michael Jackson with a scream or a swift breath of air. It was a nightmare. I gave the film my whole attention and I wish that I could have just watched a bunch of backstory on the backup dancers because THEIR stories were AWESOME. They wanted it so bad. It was amazing to hear their stories and watch their dancing. Michael… Step aside just slightly,  THIS was THEIR “IT”.



Indiana Jones 4 — 4.98
I thought I’d give this one another watch just because I remember it being so bad. I’m happy to report that it was actually worse than I remember it. Something is wrong when I walk away from a film and literally say the words, “…well, Shia was easily the best part of that movie.” Even though…he was.



Catfish — 7.87
Its not a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination. But on a plane ride home, I got to watch this little thriller. Its a thriller doc. In a very “The Cove” way, this one grips you and you hold on until you see it…then you just sit and stare because you can’t believe what you’re seeing. Give it a watch; you’ll cringe, croak and cry all at once.



Wallstreet — 8.80
I am scared of Gordon Gecko and will be till the day I die. Watching this also made me excited to go and see the new one coming out soon(ish). Apparently its good, though, I feel as though I might be getting my hopes far too high. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a John C. McGinley cameo.



Mad Max — 4.81
The movie that was built up for years turned out to be slightly more engaging than Night at the Museum 2. The rating reflects my feelings towards it. And coming off Mel’s latest rant, I’m not sure it stood much of a chance.



Les Miserables — 8.08
My dad’s favorite musical and some of the best music ever written, Les Miserables, the movie, held up its end of the deal. A great story, with great acting that didn’t ruin a masterpiece. Something that can’t be said of Wolverine, Fantastic Four, League of Extraordinary Gentleman or Phantom of the Opera.



The Insider — 8.09
Somehow this one slipped through the cracks of my viewing pleasure. Thanks be the king of movies — Netflix — for putting it up to watch for free. Did you know Russell Crowe did this right before Gladiator? I didn’t! How do you pronounce the word “range”? Oh, I almost forgot (tidbit about me): I hate nearly everything Pacino has done since Godfather 1&2, until this! He was dynamite.


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August 25, 2010 Posted by | Entertainment | Leave a comment