Question of the week – Which movie/tv genre(s) have you decided to stop watching?

Image courtesy of forum.kodi.tv

Happy weekend all! I haven’t done this question-of-the-week post in a looong time. Well, my pal Ted sent me an email about this topic and I thought it’d be a good one to pose to all you fine movie lovers out there. I’m hoping this would be an interesting discussion point as we’d all have different answers to this question.

So let’s start w/ Ted’s thoughts on the matter…

I constantly hear or read people complaining about certain movie genre that they’re tired of seeing and promise they would stop watching that certain genre from now on. Of course the genre I’m referring is superhero and there are some people who said they’re sick of seeing these larger than life characters hitting the big screens every other months or so. Personally I love this genre and will keep watching it until it dies out, but I hope/wish studios would churn out more quality products in the upcoming months/years.

The genre that I actually quit watching is horror. I used to love this genre, when I was younger I would watch all of the Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween and tons of other horror films during Halloween month and would always go see any new horror film opening each weekend. But as I got older and the introduction of torture porn in the late 90s and 2000s, I was turned off by the countless gore and torture scenes. I don’t see any entertaining value in watching someone gets their hands or legs cut off or just torture in the most painful way possible. Now I do love The Walking Dead TV show but the show is more about human dramas dealing with post apocalyptic world than just zombies tearing into people’s fresh.

TWD

Another genre I quit watching, well it’s not really a genre but I hardly pay attention to independent films anymore. When I was a young inspiring filmmaker, I would attend indie film festivals all over the country, been to Sundance a couple of times. But as the years gone by, I found that many of these so-called “indie” films to be more pretentious and just plain bad. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great indie films that were made within the last several years but I don’t want to waste my time sitting through crappy low budget films just to find one or two good ones.

And here’s two cents…

Well, in response to Ted’s comments, I’ve never been a fan of horror films. Of course there are exceptions, in fact I’m still curious about The Babadook as I heard it’s more of a psycho horror than a violent, bloody genre film. I completely agree w/ Ted that I have no stomach for gore and torture and I really think that far more often than not, it is absolutely gratuitous.

But in terms of indie films, given that I’ve been on an indie kick this past month thanks to MSPIFF and other press screenings, that’s one genre I’ll never get tired of. In fact, just this week alone I saw a couple of indie gems on the big screen!

I think just like big budget films, there are as many bad apples as there are good ones. But with indie films, even if it wasn’t successful, they seem to be more character and story driven than big-budget ones. Even if they’re not perfect, I’d still get something out of most indie films I watch, whilst that’s not the case on bad big-budget movies.

I’d say that the genre I’m not as keen on watching anymore is the one a lot of people might share… and that is comic-book movies! Now, I used to LOVE comic-book movies, I mean one of the first Hollywood movies I saw as a kid was Superman: The Movie, and there have been countless of them since that I enjoyed. But lately I’m just tired of ’em that I can’t even watch the trailers anymore. As with anything, an excessive amount of anything is never a good thing. Alas, this is one genre that seems to be impervious to critics and box office numbers. Yes, I’m still excited for Captain America: Civil War next week because I LOVE the first two films. But I’m not really that excited to see X-Men: Apocalypse or Suicide Squad later this year.

CivilWar

I don’t even know if I’ll see those on the big screen to be honest, the press screening for Apocalypse has been scheduled but I’ve passed on it. I don’t even pay attention to Marvel Phase 3 movies and whatever schedule DC’s got cooking to counter that (apart from Wonder Woman that is, for obvious reasons). I’m also sick of those endless cash-grabs that gargantuan studios *cough* Disney *cough* keep churning out, i.e. Maleficent 2 (???!??!) I sincerely hope my darling Sam Riley would say no to playing Diaval again in this pointless sequel, as much as I enjoy watching him in all the hilarious promo interviews!


So what about you folks? Is there a movie genre(s) that you’ve decided to quit watching?

Everybody’s Chattin’ & Question of the Week on Breakthrough Performer of 2014

Happy Thursday everybody! I’m going to hit two birds with one stone again today, combining two post *series* in one. I want to highlight some of my fave posts from the past week, as well as pick your brain on the topic of the week: Breakthrough Performer of 2014  😀

EverybodysChattinOk, so let’s start with the links, shall we?

  • Mark reviewed Frank which he calls a wonderful one-of-a-kind, whilst Natalie reviewed Cronenberg’s latest, Maps to The Stars
  • FincherTheGuardianAs Sati‘s been hugely anticipating Gone Girl, she kept up her David Fincher series by ranking his films.
  • Speaking of Gone Girl, Katy wrote this great article about the The Strangely Brilliant Career of Ben Affleck
  • Michael reviewed Tales From Earthsea, a thought-provoking fantasy film from Studio Ghibli and Melissa reviewed the recent thriller The Drop.
  • Cindy‘s perceptive eye is what keeps me coming back to her blog. This week she compares Kubrick’s stares vs Spielberg’s faces in their films
  • There’s been a lot of interesting blog series lately, check out Fisti’s Twice a Best Actress Bloggers roundtable, great discussion with my fellow movie bloggers
  • As I’m anticipating Twin Cities Film Fest in two weeks, my pal Melissa has been busy covering San Diego Film Fest! Check out her latest review of this coming-of-age drama Laggies.
    LaggiesMovieStill
  • A few notable September recaps w/ some great recommendations from Kristin, Chris and Steven.
  • Last but not least, A couple of classic reviews worth checking out: Paula‘s review of PULP for her Mickey Rooney Blogathon, and Stu‘s review of early 50s noir The Hoodlum.

Now for Question of the Week!

RosamundPike_GoneGirlWell, it’s inspired by the release of Gone Girl, more specifically the buzz Rosamund Pike‘s been getting in the role of Amy, I thought this would be an intriguing topic. Now that we’ve only got three months left in the year, we might have a few favorites of performances from this year’s movies. Now, they could either be from *new* actors who’ve never acted before on the big screen, or someone’s who’s been acting for a while but just recently caught your attention. I think the latter is far more interesting and Pike might fit the bill for a lot of people. She has been acting for some time in the UK and has been churning some great performances here in Hollywood as well, but Gone Girl might launch her career on a whole new level.


So my question to you is:

Which actor(s) do you think gives the breakthrough performance of the year?

P.S. I shall be launching a new mini-series highlighting some great performances of the year, so stay tuned! 😀

Everybody’s Chattin’ & Question of the Week on Movie Franchises

Happy Thursday everybody! I’m going to hit two birds with one stone today in combining two post *series* in one. Well, inspired by my recent viewing of Transformers 4 and some other news, the topic this week is: Hollywood Movie Franchises.

EverybodysChattin

Ok, so let’s start with some of my favorite posts from the past couple of weeks:

  • RIPEliWallachI LOVE actors appreciation posts! Cindy wrote a fan letter to the great Bill Murray, while Fernando paid birthday tribute to Queen Meryl, as in Meryl Streep. As we’ve just lost Eli Wallach, Michael paid tribute by listing his favorite films of one of the master Hollywood character actors. RIP Mr. Wallach.
  • A few reviews of 2014 movies I haven’t seen yet: Josh reviewed ENEMY, Sati reviewed MALEFICENT, and Melissa reviewed PALO ALTO, which was by yet another Coppola, Gia Coppola (Sofia Coppola’s niece)
  • Keith reviewed QT’s latest from 2012: DJANGO UNCHAINED and Mark reviewed a 90s sci-fi that’s definitely worth your while: CONTACT.
  • On the classic film front, Steven just reviewed yet another film by Douglas Sirk, Written On The Wind, starring Rock Hudson & Lauren Bacall.
    ///
  • Now, Andrew has been doing Recasting Posts of Best Picture Lineups, which is a VERY cool idea! Of course this one on Roman Holiday caught my eye, I mean I don’t think anyone could top Gregory Peck/Audrey Hepburn, but still it’s fun to see his picks.
  • Mikey recently interviewed Eli Roth & Lorenza Izzo and talking about the World Cup!
  • Vic gave us an updated list of what’s just been added to Netflix Streaming. Very informative, thanks Vic!
HitchcockJimmyStewart
Hitchcock w/ Jimmy Stewart on the set of Rear Window

Now for Question of the Week!

Interesting that on the same day I saw Transformers 4, I read Josh’s post on 10 Movie Series (Franchises) that he gave up on. Fortunately there’s only a couple there that I have seen, Twilight and Underworld, both of which are NOT worth following anyway.

EW_MadMaxCover

This past week I’ve also seen news updates on the reboot of the Mad Max franchise from the late 70s-mid 80s. In place of Mel Gibson, we’ve got the charismatic & bad ass Tom Hardy in the role. Check out the cover of EW with the first look with Hardy and Charlize Theron. Boy it’s been FIVE years since I first started blogging about that movie! Everything is old is new again, as it’s always been the case in the Hollywood… as the creativity has dried up long ago. I also heard news about the upcoming PREDATOR sequel or reboot, what have you. Something that made Tim VERY happy indeed 😉 He’s already offered up 5 Ways to do the Predator sequel right.

Well, I don’t mind some reboots and not every sequel is automatically horrible. I for one am anticipating this Mad Max movie that’ll be out May of next year. I’m also looking forward to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the third Hobbit film, as well as The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I later in November. Speaking of which, check out the latest teaser:

Whoah, that’s pretty creepy! Can’t wait to see that one.

But out of the few movie franchises I do like, there are dozens and dozens I wish would never get made. I think all that Josh has mentioned in his post are such time-wasters, and I definitely would add Transformers on the list as this fourth installment is so mind-numbingly horrible! And at 165 min (that’s nearly 3 hours long!!), it’s such another overindulgent Michael Bay’s plaything masquerading as a movie! It’s like eating the most gut-growing, heart-threatening, life-shortening junk food saturated with sugar & fat, but the worst part is, it doesn’t even taste good! Ok I’ll save my rant until my review this weekend.


So my question to you is two-fold:

Which film franchise(s) are you a big fan of & don’t mind that it keeps on going and which ones you wish would die a thousand deaths?

Everybody’s Chattin’ & Question of the Week: What’s your favorite BIG MONSTER movie(s)?

Happy Wednesday everybody! I’m going to hit two birds with one stone today in combining two post *series* in one. I’m just afraid I’ll miss doing a community-building post this month, but I want to pick your brain on the topic of the week: Big Monster 😀

EverybodysChattin

Ok, so let’s start with some of my favorite posts from the past couple of weeks:

  • Apparently Chris never cries at movies, but these nine films almost made him tear up.
  • sgdsd
    What is Jack Bauer doing in Pompeii??

    Mark reviewed Pompeii which I had a feeling is NOT worth your while.

  • One of my favorite Blog Series ever is Michael’s TMT (a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time). Check out his latest story on Escape from New York
  • On the TV front, Sidekick Reviews posted some thoughts on the latest Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Finale: Beginning of the End
  • Speaking of TV, Nostra discovered this TV Miniseries A Young Doctor’s Notebook I’ve never heard before, starring Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm
  • Hildebrandt_LOTRI always like learning something new and from this week, Cindy posted about book/poster illustrators the great Hildebrandt Brothers
  • Natalie posted about The Derby Film Festival in Derbyshire, UK coming up later this month. It’s always great to participate in a local film event!
  • Last but not least, Brittani just spearheaded yet another blogathon on Favorite Movie Titles A-Z. I LOVE this idea! I can’t participate next week because of my Europe trip, so mine would be posted later in June when I return.

Now for Question of the Week!

Godzilla2014
Well, it’s inspired by my first ever viewing of a Godzilla movie last night. Yep, I’ve NEVER seen any previous Godzilla movie before, not the Japanese nor the US versions. I don’t know, I guess I’m just generally not a fan of monster movies, though of course I made an exception once in a while and in the case of Pacific Rim, I actually LOVED every minute of it! This latest Godzilla movie is not bad, it’s entertaining though it started too slow in the beginning and the human drama is pretty run of the mill, I’d even say corny with cookie-cutter characters that wasted the talents of the great ensemble cast! I don’t know when I’ll get around to do a proper review but I’d say it’s more of a 3/5 movie for me, maybe 3.5 if I’m feeling generous. Certainly the special effects are fantastic though, I saw clips of even the 1998 version and it seems light years behind compared to this! I think the earlier versions are more fun to watch for pure nostalgia value as the effects are hilarious!


So my question to you is two-fold:

Are you a fan of BIG MONSTER movies and which one(s) is YOUR favorite?

Question of the Week: Which films with great ensemble cast that fail to deliver?

It really pains me that the movie that *inspired* me for this edition of Question of the Week is one I’ve actually been looking forward to for some time. When I first blogged about it in January 2013, I was super duper excited about the cast. The movie is called The Deadly Game in the UK, complete with an even cheesier poster. I much prefer the Paul Shipper version on below right, if only the film itself is even half as intriguing.

AllThingsToAllMen_TheDeadlyGame

I never thought a British thriller starring Gabriel Byrne, Rufus Sewell AND Toby Stephens be so insufferably dreary. Even the actors look bored here, only Rufus seems to be having a bit more fun than the rest. My hubby actually fell asleep halfway through and I didn’t bother waking him up. If it weren’t for these three of my favorite Brits, well four if you count London which is practically a character in itself, I would’ve turned it off within 10 minutes. I don’t really feel like reviewing it, but I agree with these reviewers:

All Things to All Men is the latest attempt to make a British Michael Mann-style crime epic based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what Michael Mann actually does as a filmmaker. – The Scotsman

“Despite Sewell’s laconic ruthlessness, Stephens’s steely taciturnity and Byrne’s world-weary arrogance, there’s an all-round lack of conviction.”Radio Times

AllThingsToAllMen_stills

Now this one sums my feelings exactly:

“[George Isaac’s] dizzying array of double-dealing gangsters, cops, hoodlums and hit men seem to be weirdly obsessed with taking in the sights. Issac describes his film as “a love letter to London”. Seriously, they should just get a room.”

So the only *character* that’s not wasted is London, but even so, the setting seems has no purpose. There’s a great shot of Stephens inside the London Eye but all he does is take a phone call! There is really no reason to have that scene shot there other than for pure visual spectacle. It’s a shame really, this could’ve been so much better and more gripping when you’ve got THIS kind of talents involved. It made me think of other movies that didn’t deliver despite the great cast, in fact you could say the cast is completely wasted. And I’m talking terrible films here, not just middling. Just from the past couple of years alone, we’ve got Gangster Squad, Now You See Me, The Monuments Men. Fortunately I skipped some of those Love, Actually copycats like Valentine’s Day or New York, I Love You (which I turned off after about 5 minutes). Oh and I avoided Movie 43 like the plague, I mean I don’t think ANY actor could’ve possibly saved such a movie.


So now your turn… what’s the worst movie(s) you saw with a great ensemble cast?

First Question of the Year: Which 2013 movie(s) do you appreciate but wouldn’t watch again?

MovieQuestion

It’s been a bitterly c-cc-cold start to the new year here in my neck of the woods! I know I seem to be obsessing over the weather a lot but really, you’d understand when the *high* only reaches -2˚F (that’s -18˚ C!) and I’m super excited that Friday is going to hit 20 degrees (woot woot!) Yeah, it’s pathetic!

But hey, it’s not a weather blog so let’s talk about movies! As I’ve been writing some reviews of 2013 releases the past few days (stay tuned for my review of Nebraska later this week), it made me think of how I view some of those films now that it’s sunk in. More often than not, the reaction right after seeing the movie is pretty different than how I feel days or weeks later. There are some films I rate highly that I wish I’d watch again, sometimes right away (Frozen comes to mind, and on varying degrees HER, Nebraska, Austenland, and of course Pacific Rim, which I had watched twice since its theatrical release).

On the flip side though, there are films I appreciate and truly respect, but not something I’d ever want to see again. This question is kind of a different twist to what I posed a couple of years ago in regard to The Hurt Locker. A couple of movies that comes to mind (which sort of sparked this post), are Inside Llewyn Davis and The Wolf of Wall Street. In fact, I was originally going to title this ‘Movies I Appreciate but NOT Love.’ That’s perhaps an equally appropriate question, though there’s perhaps other reason why you don’t want to watch something a second time around. Interestingly, those two films come from beloved and celebrated filmmakers (the Coen Brothers and Martin Scorsese) whom I respect but their work are not exactly my cup of tea. In any case, both are good films, some would even call a masterpiece. But for me, I can only appreciate some aspects of the film (i.e. the performances) but as a whole, it’s not something I’d want to see again.


What about you folks? Which movies you saw in 2013 that you’re glad you saw but wouldn’t watch again?

Weekend Viewing Roundup … and Question of the Week

Hello everyone! To those who celebrated Father’s Day on Sunday, I hope you had an excellent time with your family.

ManOfSteelHenryCWell, sounds like many of you have seen Man of Steel by now, judging from the stellar box office take $125 mil so far in four days (including the $12 Thursday night tally). It’s apparently broken a record for highest opening ever in June (ahead of Toy Story 3‘s $110 mil) according to Box Office Mojo. Well, it’s sort of made a record for me as well as this is the first film ever that I’ve seen twice on the big screen within a week 😀

Yeah, after the press screening on Tuesday, my hubby and I re-watched it again (also in 3D) Friday night. You know what, I actually liked it more the second time around, though I still have issues with the CGI-action overload in the second half. But the good still outweighs the bad for me so I settled with a score of 4/5 in my in-depth review. If you haven’t read it already but you’ve seen the movie, I’m curious to see if you agree with my praises and gripes about it. No matter how you feel about it though, it’s hard to refute the fact that Man of Steel was a major movie-going event of the year and I certainly felt a certain rush of excitement going into it (yes I’m not gonna lie, Henry Cavill in the role of Supes certainly has something to do with it, too!) 😀 I had a hunch he’d be perfect for the role when I saw him in The Count of Monte Cristo, but he still exceeds my expectations! I sure hope this means he’d get more prominent roles in Hollywood, the guy’s certainly earned it!


Now before I get to the recap, I’m curious to hear whether you’ve felt the same way I did this past week, that is wanting to re-watch a particular movie fairly soon after seein it. So my question for you this week is this:

Which movie(s) have you seen twice (or more) in a single week?


Now here’s a brief recap what I saw this past week besides Man of Steel:

MonstersU

Monsters University
(review done for posting later next week)

OutsourcedMovie

Outsourced (2006)
Apparently this movie is the inspiration behind the NBC TV series back in 2010 set in
a call center in India. It’s a pretty hilarious cultural comedy. It’s on Netflix streaming,
so it’s worth renting if you’ve got that subscription.

TheTudorsI actually watched a few episodes of this a few years ago as I quite like historical dramas
based on the British monarchy. I only watched a couple of episodes of season 1 this time
(if you guessed it’s because Henry Cavill then you’d be right 😉 )
Not sure how long I’d want to continue watching this one though.

Screenings this week: The Bling Ring & World War Z


That’s my recap folks. Please take the time and answer my question above and/or tell me what you’ve watched this weekend.