June 2011 Watching Thread

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June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Andrew Forbes » Tue May 31, 2011 8:04 pm

After you, Vargas.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby J.M. Vargas » Tue May 31, 2011 8:57 pm

Thank you dear. :cry:

Been busy as a dog at work. Little time for anything except "Law & Order," "Law & Order: SVU" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" repeats on TV and...

MST3K #301: CAVE DWELLERS (1991/1984) on Amazon On Demand. It’s amazing how consistent my experience with "Cave Dwellers" remains the same through all the times I’ve seen it (as far back as Rhino VHS): starts slow (too much talk, not enough O’Keefe even though there’s allegedly ‘Miles’ of him around), can barely stay awake through the ‘fake’ credits, gets going after the ‘fishing’ conversation (the arrival of Speedy Delivery Guy’s ‘package’ to the village signals we’ve turned the corner :o) and, when Ator whoops up hundreds of years’ worth of human discoveries/inventions in one fell swoop (i.e. the handglider), “Cave Dwellers” soars as high as its hero and ends on a strong note (the taunts from the Mads to their SOL captives are priceless). If we were ranking “MST3K” episodes by how well they close an episode “Cave Dwellers” would be in the Top 5, no questions asked. It’s as if the movie’s complete disregard for logic with the glider both stuns and invigorates the Brains with a shot of riffing Spinach; from ‘Charlie McCarthy’ to the many ‘Nooo!’ exclamations, the last 15-20 minutes of “Cave Dwellers” are, to quote Joel. boss! Here begins Season 3 and the most consistent and productive run of “MST3K” episodes ever made.

SHAMELESS (2011) on Showtime On Demand for the first time. Even though its based on a rowdier (or so I've been told) UK program of the same name, the Stateside version of "Shameless" benefits from being on a premium cable channel that lets the Gallagher clan's sexual, emotional and poverty-driven misadventures land on the viewer like a wet towel snap to one's private parts. The meaner and more politically incorrect "Shameless" gets (and each episode that follows the pilot tries to top the previous one's outrageous topper) the more I both loved it and cringed while watching it. It's like an urban Midwestern "Weeds" but with chronic poverty/alcoholism instead of dope and no lovable characters except for Fiona (there's no way Emmy Rossum doesn't become a movie star when this gig ends, she's perfectl) and, at least during half his scenes (the other half I couldn't stand him), William H. Macy. Chicago in the winter is the absolute perfect setting for this type of show/story and "Shameless" exploits its location shooting to the fullest. If you can get past the pilot then dive in, and if you hated it (I did but glad I kept watching anyway) you might as well turn around. This ain't your daddy's "Married... with Children" no more. ;-)
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Bryan Pope » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:50 pm

The Wrestler -- This one caught me by surprise even though it shouldn't have. It had a great pedigree, and critics loved it. I just didn't realize Mickey Rourke had that performance in him.

Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas -- One of mine and my family's favorites. So much fun, and the animation is fantastic.

The Last of Sheila -- Works better each time I see it.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby mavrach » Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:09 pm

House of 1000 Corpses - My second viewing. After reading the review here and seeing the movie again, it really does look like this movie got butchered by the MPAA. Now this movie gets trashed around here, but I see the makings of a good movie in here somewhere. Rob Zombie has a passion for movies that I've only seen otherwise in Quentin Tarantino (shame that he doesn't have Taratino's ability). His references and homages are knee-deep all throughout Corpses. And I think the performances here were amazing, there are some great villains in Sid Haig's, Sheri Moon's and Bill Moseley's performances, and in a different movie they'd be iconic roles.

It's just a shame that the movie falls apart right at the point where it should be getting exciting. Zombie throws so much horrific imagery at you, yet I came away bored because too much was edited out, and you can see it. There's buildup and buildup, then where you expect to be gore, you get a cut to the next scene. And the finale made zero sense. Is it Zombie's fault, or is there missing material that would have made that all worthwhile? Here's hoping he releases a complete version to video.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Andrew Forbes » Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:25 pm

mavrach wrote:House of 1000 Corpses - My second viewing. After reading the review here and seeing the movie again, it really does look like this movie got butchered by the MPAA. Now this movie gets trashed around here, but I see the makings of a good movie in here somewhere. Rob Zombie has a passion for movies that I've only seen otherwise in Quentin Tarantino (shame that he doesn't have Taratino's ability). His references and homages are knee-deep all throughout Corpses. And I think the performances here were amazing, there are some great villains in Sid Haig's, Sheri Moon's and Bill Moseley's performances, and in a different movie they'd be iconic roles.

It's just a shame that the movie falls apart right at the point where it should be getting exciting. Zombie throws so much horrific imagery at you, yet I came away bored because too much was edited out, and you can see it. There's buildup and buildup, then where you expect to be gore, you get a cut to the next scene. And the finale made zero sense. Is it Zombie's fault, or is there missing material that would have made that all worthwhile? Here's hoping he releases a complete version to video.

I like House of 1000 Corpses a lot more--like, a lot more--than The Devil's Rejects, which lacks the comic distance that makes the brutality bearable. There's an unpretentious enthusiasm to Ho1000C which makes its glaring flaws somehow forgivable. Unpretentious is definitely not a word I would apply to TDR. The Rob Zombie of Ho1000C seems like a kid in a candy store. With TDR, he bought into his own hype. Freebird? Fuuuuu...

Also, Karen Black.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Gabriel Girard » Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:38 pm

Andrew Forbes wrote:I like House of 1000 Corpses a lot more--like, a lot more--than The Devil's Rejects, which lacks the comic distance that makes the brutality bearable. There's an unpretentious enthusiasm to Ho1000C which makes its glaring flaws somehow forgivable. Unpretentious is definitely not a word I would apply to TDR. The Rob Zombie of Ho1000C seems like a kid in a candy store. With TDR, he bought into his own hype. Freebird? Fuuuuu...

Also, Karen Black.

I have to defend The Devil's Rejects - its brutality and its excesses creates a more distinctive work than House....IMHO it's the best film Zombie has and probably ever will direct. It never came across as pretentious to me.

Also more Sid Haig= more fun!!! Na Bill Moseley is just fantastic in TDR.


On the other hand of the cinematic spectrum I've seen The Seventh Seal- Simply genius!!! I perticularly liked the fact that Bergman portrayed a wide variety of human archetypes. The film seems to want to encompass the entirety of the human experience. There's so much stuff in this movie -symbols,layers of interpretation etc. There's even humor, granted it's a very Scandinavian warped sense of humor but it's there! No wonder it's become a classic.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby JoshRode » Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:21 am

Bryan Pope wrote:The Wrestler -- This one caught me by surprise even though it shouldn't have. It had a great pedigree, and critics loved it. I just didn't realize Mickey Rourke had that performance in him.

Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas -- One of mine and my family's favorites. So much fun, and the animation is fantastic.

The Last of Sheila -- Works better each time I see it.


Assuming you're referring to the Sinbad voiced by Brad Pitt et al, I totally agree. Very underrated film, despite the anachronisms ("What didja think of that last move? Pretty cool, huh?"). And the animation, as you said, is great, especially the parts dealing with Eris and her chaotic realm.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby azul017 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 7:49 pm

True Grit (2010 - It's a good Western, with good performances and a nice Carter Burwell score. Roger Deakins' work on this film isn't as stunningly beautiful as The Assasination of Jesse James, but it's still a work of art. It's a technically solid film overall, it just lacks that distinct touch the Coens usually do with their films.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Steve T Power » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:07 am

azul017 wrote:True Grit (2010 - It's a good Western, with good performances and a nice Carter Burwell score. Roger Deakins' work on this film isn't as stunningly beautiful as The Assasination of Jesse James, but it's still a work of art. It's a technically solid film overall, it just lacks that distinct touch the Coens usually do with their films.


Gotta respectfully disagree there. From the opening seconds, the film OOZES atmosphere like few westerns before it. It doesn't have Jesse James' artistic flair, but the visuals are equally distinct and lush, the dialogue is wonderfully eloquent and unique for the genre, and the incredibly strong characterizations are a Coen hallmark. I'd consider it a top three film for them, and one of the best westerns to come out of Hollywood... ever.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby HGervais » Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:05 pm

X-Men: First Class....it's too bad this movie wasn't around when George Lucas was prepping the Star Wars prequels because then he would have known how to make them. This is a movie that very much stands on it's own feet but also slots in rather well with what comes after it. The whole 007/You Only Live Twice vibe really works. The whole backdrop of US/Soviet tensions and the Cuban missile crisis works to the movie's advantage. Look at Shaw's submarine and tell me somewhere Ken Adam isn't demanding a fee. Kevin Bacon kicks ass as Blofeld....sorry...Shaw. Michael Fassbender is pretty great as Magneto and James Macavoy really nails Xaiver. The whole relationship between Mystique & Prof. X works especially well. Of the the new characters Banshee is the best. As is usual with the Fox produced Marvel Comics movies f/x is hit & miss although the film is much more on the hit side effects wise. I still really like X2 but this one is close behind it. Light years better than X3 & Wolverine and better than the first as well. All in all it is a rather nice surprise.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby azul017 » Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:44 pm

Steve T Power wrote: I'd consider it a top three film for them, and one of the best westerns to come out of Hollywood... ever.


Westerns aren't my cup of tea, but True Grit is really good. I can see why the film was a big hit last Christmas, but for me it just doesn't stand out as a Coen best.

And Harold, you got the gist of my feelings for X-Men: First Class down for the most part. I really wasn't looking forward to it until I heard the reviews, and so I checked it out. Fassbender makes this film, and at times I wanted this to be an X-Men Origins: Magneto film -- he is that good. I get some of that Bond vibe due to the time period and some scenes (like Eric sneaking aboard Shaw's boat).

January Jones really disappointed me though. She may visibly sparkle as Emma Frost, but she was phoning it in. No personality at all. And while Fassbender and McAvoy had great chemistry, I just couldn't accept McAvoy as Professor Xavier. Has a nice pace overall, and I thought most of the visual effects were good.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby JoshRode » Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:38 am

Kung Fu Panda 2 is surprisingly good. Surprising because I enjoyed it more than the first which, as y'all surely know, is a rare feat. They did an especially great job with Shen the peacock; his effects, from fighting to flying to just standing, were imaginative and fluid, and Gary Oldman was spot on for his voice.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby mavrach » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:04 pm

Gabriel Girard wrote:
Andrew Forbes wrote:I like House of 1000 Corpses a lot more--like, a lot more--than The Devil's Rejects, which lacks the comic distance that makes the brutality bearable. There's an unpretentious enthusiasm to Ho1000C which makes its glaring flaws somehow forgivable. Unpretentious is definitely not a word I would apply to TDR. The Rob Zombie of Ho1000C seems like a kid in a candy store. With TDR, he bought into his own hype. Freebird? Fuuuuu...

Also, Karen Black.

I have to defend The Devil's Rejects - its brutality and its excesses creates a more distinctive work than House....IMHO it's the best film Zombie has and probably ever will direct. It never came across as pretentious to me.

Also more Sid Haig= more fun!!! Na Bill Moseley is just fantastic in TDR.



Just watched The Devil's Rejects again. I absolutely loved it, unlike it's predecessor it feels complete and uncut. I don't think it was pretentious either. And it was funny too! Between scenes of shocking violence are other scenes that I'm still chuckling about. Right after they make a girl wear a skin mask made out of her own husband's face, they have an argument about ice cream of all things. It goes from stunning tension to belly laughs, back and forth, a few times.

The three principal villains really come into their own here, especially Bill Mosely. Sid Haig & Sheri Moon Zombie weren't slouches either. The story felt unique as it was about the killers, and openly shows how cruel and evil they are, yet by the end you're rooting for them to survive against Wydell. The movie isn't perfect but it was a hell of a ride.
+1. this is very interesting.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby HGervais » Sat Jun 04, 2011 9:37 pm

Doctor Who: A Good Man Goes To War, mid-season finale. For all the complaints of Steven Moffat being all timey-wimey, this episode was really straightforward and linear.

The Horse Soldiers....I want more John Ford on hi-def. Now. Please.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Andrew Forbes » Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:56 pm

Defendor. I'm not surprised this has slipped through the cracks, as it was likely impossible to market properly. It is a comedy, but it doesn't often aim for belly laughs. Writer/director Peter Stebbings, who is probably best known to Canadians as a pretty-boy actor from lukewarm 90s series like Traders and Madison, is less interested in poking fun at the superhero genre than he is in presenting a heartfelt story about a deeply troubled man who is compelled to act out against the criminals around him. As with most low-budget debuts, it has its rough edges, but taken as a whole it's a remarkably confident movie. Stebbings obviously had a strong vision of what he wanted and he put it on the screen. The (awkward) trailer made it look like this would be relentlessly goofy and too cute, but it walks a really fine tonal line between comedy and drama and hardly ever falters. It helps that he has a cast of reliable actors like Woody Harrelson, Sandrah Oh and Elias Koteas. I suspect that most people who saw the DVD assumed this was a low-budget cash-in on Kick Ass and Super, but it's a unique animal (and beat those other titles to the punch by a solid year).
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Dunnyman » Mon Jun 06, 2011 12:59 am

Just returned from The Whisperer In Darkness at the SIFF and wow, blown away by what these incredibly dedicated fans have turned out. On what had to be a tight budget and done over four or five years, they've put together the best darn Lovecraft flick to date. Yes, some shots are minatures, there's some obvious compositions shots that won't be believable, but I'm not 100% sure that they were going for 100% realism. The film is set in 1931, and it fits it's time period, and more importantly, the material perfectly. After the movie, they spoke with the audience for awhile and their sheer love for the material shined. They dropped some tantalizing hints about what their next flick might be....hmmm...I wonder...
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Future Man » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:28 am

Barry Lyndon on Blu ray
Thoroughly enjoyed it, especially the leisurely pace that allowed the impact of scenes to build much like a memorable novel. (Somehow It only just dawned on me that most if not all of Kubricks' film were sourced from novels.) Has to be one of the most visually beautiful films I have ever watched. The PG rating is however a puzzle, even for the pre-PG13 era.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Andrew Forbes » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:47 am

Dunnyman wrote:The Whisperer In Darkness

I've been waiting for this since they first announced that they were making it. Did the post-screening Q&A hint at a blu release?
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Dunnyman » Mon Jun 06, 2011 1:12 pm

Andrew Forbes wrote:
Dunnyman wrote:The Whisperer In Darkness

I've been waiting for this since they first announced that they were making it. Did the post-screening Q&A hint at a blu release?

According to them, they're shooting for September, plus, tons of extras! Woo-Hoo!!
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Gabriel Girard » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:53 pm

Solomon Kane OMFG. I have zero familiarity with the source material and still found this fantabulous. A visual/artistic marvel that is also a kick-ass action movie and a nice character study. Definitely one of the best movies of 2009. Let's hope it comes to R1. Thanks to Steve for mentioning it a few times or I would never have sought it out.

The Ninth Configuration - William Peter Blatty's only other film besides The Exorcist III blends humor,philosophy and psychology to give a unique work that can only be compared to stuff like The Ruling Class. It doesn't quite reach that height, but it is still a very good, weird and intriguing cult flick that makes me wish Blatty had directed more films.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Mach6 » Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:07 pm

azul017 wrote:January Jones really disappointed me though. She may visibly sparkle as Emma Frost, but she was phoning it in. No personality at all.

I mostly agree with what Harold & Azul017 about X-Men: First Class. The early scenes with Magneto hunting down Nazis to me had a PG-13 Inglorious Bastards vibe & then the rest of it was James Bond. The only two problems I had was there was too much setup toward the end & (like Azul said) January Jones’ performance. I wonder if Jones can’t act or was directed to act like a cold emotionless character like Robert Patrick’s T-1000 or Roy Dupuis’ Michael from La Femme Nikita & just couldn’t make it interesting. While everybody else is talking about the cameo from a certain X-veteran, the cameo I got the biggest kick out of was from a certain Total Recall actor.

If I have to rank it with the recent Marvel movies I say it’s better than Iron Man 2, Thor, & obviously Wolverine but not as good as The Incredible Hulk (I know I’m going to take a beating here by listing that so high) & of course the 1st Iron Man.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby J.M. Vargas » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:52 am

William Wyler's DODSWORTH (1936) on TCM-HD for the first time. Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton and Mary Astor have great chemistry (mostly the women with W. in separate scenes) in this melodramatic, Hayes code-enforced take on a rich couple growing apart and the man finding what he's lost with his partner (emotional intimacy) and found in the arms of another. Huston and Astor make a cute couple but the story and movie is stacked against Chatterton's wife character, thus her shallow actions give hubby a predictable path to happiness (though Wyler is skilled enough to wring some tension about Walter's true intent). An OK movie if you're in the right mood (I was) and don't mind the obvious studio sets masquarading as European locales.

GRIZZLY (1976) on TCM-HD for the first time. Decent "Jaws" ripoff with some good production values (Todd-AO widescreen cinematography, gory FX shots, etc.) and OK no-name cast that's undone by following the Spielberg playbook too closely (right down the a**hole local official with blood on his hands) and not being able to show a convincing money shot of the teased-at 15 foot killer bear. The perspective-challenged bear attacks (didn't know they attacked with the sneak-around mobility of a horror movie villain) are frequent and bloody-enough to make it worth to keep watching, but the final showdown between 'hero' Christopher George and the grizzly is so anti-climactic and dull (not to mention an almost-direct ripoff from "Jaws") I felt duped. Looks OK in HD, but that only amplifies how non-threatening and small the bear they shot actually is.

Dennis Hopper's OUT OF THE BLUE (1980) at NYC's Anthology Film Archives for the first time. I have a lot of problems with this movie (hilariously nihilistic in the extreme, which is appropriate since this is Hopper at the helm during his dark post-"Last Movie" period) but "Days of Heaven's" Linda Marz is never less than reveting to watch through her tomboyish acts of rebellion, survival and ultimately of escape from her dead-end cycle of life/death/abuse. For a movie about punk rock there's very little of it on "Out of the Blue" (much less than Elvis songs and that one Neil Young tune played several times) but Marz perfectly captures the brewing spirit of simmering resentment at life that feeds into punk youth mindsets from this era. It's the second best child performance from 1980 (after "The Shining's" Danny Lloyd) and wisely Dennis gives himself second-billing to let Marz hug the spotlight (although when Hopper is on he's equally intense). Uneven supporting cast (including an out-of-nowhere small role for Raymund Burr), a confining low budget and the most shocking use of a school bus full of children as a plot device (which makes "The Sweet Hereafter's" feel chaste by comparison) make this a rare treat for Hopper fans to watch on the big screen. Me? I was the only one in the theater who apparently didn't see the ending coming, and my 'Oh My God!' spoken reaction of shock made those around me laugh. Takes all types I guess.

Rewatched MST3K #302: POD PEOPLE and #904: WEREWOLF on Amazon On Demand. When you're on deadline working in the middle of the night doing repetitive work nothing beats the familiarity of a classic "MST3K" experiment and Joel/Mike and the bots' voices to keep one company and smiling through dusk... or something like that. :(
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby azul017 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:21 pm

Game of Thrones - My satellite provider is hosting a free preview of HBO for the weekend, and I caught one episode on HBO2. I'm hooked, and I'll try to catch the newest episode this Sunday before the free preview ends. If the next episode is as good, I'll definitely buy the DVD.

I'm glad Steve recommended this.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Steve T Power » Fri Jun 10, 2011 7:40 am

azul017 wrote:Game of Thrones - My satellite provider is hosting a free preview of HBO for the weekend, and I caught one episode on HBO2. I'm hooked, and I'll try to catch the newest episode this Sunday before the free preview ends. If the next episode is as good, I'll definitely buy the DVD.

I'm glad Steve recommended this.


It only gets better, more dense, and more intense as it goes.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Dunnyman » Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:45 pm

I mentioned it in another thread, but you really ought to look up Paul Merton's History of Hollywood on BBC if you can access it that way or snag a torrent if need be. The first one gave a general overview of the technical details and the early Edison films, and how the industry moved west, the second gives you the truth of the Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle incident, (like the fact that he HATED the name, and btw, innocent of any wrongdoing ever), and how the studio system began to evolve alongside Chaplin, Pickford, Fairbanks and Griffith starting United Artists, as well as some of the monumental efforts staged in the early days, and the third goes into the studio system deeper with detailed looks at Eric Von Stroheim (note to self: look up his early works, the dude was nuts) and the legendary Irving Thalberg and the colossal mistake Laemmle made in letting him leave Universal. Really, if you're a real fan of film, you will enjoy this show.
Also watched the first in The Librarian series, good, dare I say, family friendly fun in the Indiana Jones vein. Some good thrills and Noah Wyle plays it with the right amount of tongue-in-cheek that the material needs, plus some really good turns by the supporting cast. Can't wait to see the other two.
However, just started dating someone new, and she loooooves horror movies, but other than the early Universals, I need some rec's for the 30's-40's as she wants to get into early film as well.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Dimwitted » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:03 pm

I just watched Skyline. Most of the criticisms, particularly the ending seem to be way off the mark. I thought that it was a pretty decent movie for what it was. Sure, the interactions in the apartment got tiresome after a while (too much padding?) but overall, for such a low budget, no name flick, pretty respectable. I just wish that the trailer had not given away the money shot with the Ferrari.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Gabriel Girard » Sat Jun 11, 2011 8:46 pm

In The Mood For Love and 2046- Viewed in succession. «both for the first time. They definitley represent Kar-Wai at the height of his powers. I feel like rewatching them already, a second viewing will probably be even more enriching.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby J.M. Vargas » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:12 pm

^^^ I don't know, I think I prefer the 'caught lightning in a bottle' Kar-Wai ("Chungking Express") over the 'height of his powers' Kar-Wai ("Mood For Love").
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Gabriel Girard » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:06 pm

J.M. Vargas wrote:^^^ I don't know, I think I prefer the 'caught lightning in a bottle' Kar-Wai ("Chungking Express") over the 'height of his powers' Kar-Wai ("Mood For Love").


I think that ''In The Mood For Love'' and ''2046'' are definitely the work of a more mature artist than ''Chungking Express'' or ''Fallen Angels''. On the other hand I prefer ''Ashes Of Time'' over any of his other films. To each his own...
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Dunnyman » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:21 pm

Mach6 wrote:
azul017 wrote:January Jones really disappointed me though. She may visibly sparkle as Emma Frost, but she was phoning it in. No personality at all.

I mostly agree with what Harold & Azul017 about X-Men: First Class. The early scenes with Magneto hunting down Nazis to me had a PG-13 Inglorious Bastards vibe & then the rest of it was James Bond. The only two problems I had was there was too much setup toward the end & (like Azul said) January Jones’ performance. I wonder if Jones can’t act or was directed to act like a cold emotionless character like Robert Patrick’s T-1000 or Roy Dupuis’ Michael from La Femme Nikita & just couldn’t make it interesting. While everybody else is talking about the cameo from a certain X-veteran, the cameo I got the biggest kick out of was from a certain Total Recall actor.


OK, don't know that I agree with the assessment of Jones' performance. The character is a cold, emotionless bitch who is incredibly arrogant. I thought the snide look on her face while she was, uh, getting info from the general said it all. It's what I would have expected her to be like. (I base this on how she was written up until I quit reading around 93-94 or so) The FX I thought were pretty solid although I don't know about a sub bending, I thought it would have torn apart, but eh, it was pretty good overall. Bacon shines as Shaw, and Fassbender is Magneto, despite his native Irish accent showing up a time or two. The cameo previously mentioned was hilarious, but where was Stan? It's not a Marvel flick unless The Man shows his face! Macavoy did very well as Xavier, and he got the whole slightly cocky/caring/willing to believe the best in everyone part down cold.
My sole major gripe?
Angel's a chick now? WTF?
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby HGervais » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:05 pm

The Angel in the movie is a creation of Grant Morrison's from when he took over the franchise in the late 1990s. She doesn't replace Warren Worthington, she is simply an earlier character with the same code name.
Dunnyman wrote:OK, don't know that I agree with the assessment of Jones' performance. The character is a cold, emotionless bitch who is incredibly arrogant. I thought the snide look on her face while she was, uh, getting info from the general said it all. It's what I would have expected her to be like. (I base this on how she was written up until I quit reading around 93-94 or so) The FX I thought were pretty solid although I don't know about a sub bending, I thought it would have torn apart, but eh, it was pretty good overall. Bacon shines as Shaw, and Fassbender is Magneto, despite his native Irish accent showing up a time or two. The cameo previously mentioned was hilarious, but where was Stan? It's not a Marvel flick unless The Man shows his face! Macavoy did very well as Xavier, and he got the whole slightly cocky/caring/willing to believe the best in everyone part down cold.
My sole major gripe?
Angel's a chick now? WTF?
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Dunnyman » Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:14 am

HGervais wrote:The Angel in the movie is a creation of Grant Morrison's from when he took over the franchise in the late 1990s. She doesn't replace Warren Worthington, she is simply an earlier character with the same code name.
Dunnyman wrote:OK, don't know that I agree with the assessment of Jones' performance. The character is a cold, emotionless bitch who is incredibly arrogant. I thought the snide look on her face while she was, uh, getting info from the general said it all. It's what I would have expected her to be like. (I base this on how she was written up until I quit reading around 93-94 or so) The FX I thought were pretty solid although I don't know about a sub bending, I thought it would have torn apart, but eh, it was pretty good overall. Bacon shines as Shaw, and Fassbender is Magneto, despite his native Irish accent showing up a time or two. The cameo previously mentioned was hilarious, but where was Stan? It's not a Marvel flick unless The Man shows his face! Macavoy did very well as Xavier, and he got the whole slightly cocky/caring/willing to believe the best in everyone part down cold.
My sole major gripe?
Angel's a chick now? WTF?

There goes my comics cred....lol
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby the5thghostbuster » Wed Jun 15, 2011 2:31 pm

So far this month:

X-Men: First Class - best of the series by a long shot. There are still some flaws, but Vaughn made a smart and fun little prequel to Bryan Singer's films.

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights - so bad that, yes, I had to review it. http://experiencecinematic.blogspot.com/2011/06/green-lantern-emerald-knights-berkley.html

If things work out, I plan to watch The Outfit, Me and Orson Wellesand Kiss of the Spider Woman soon.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Dan Mancini » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:08 am

The Green Hornet - What a drag. The movie could have been an interesting study in what happens when a mainstream genre flick is made by an indie director with enough confidence in his indie director cred that he doesn't feel the need to turn the genre on its head and get cutesy in order to impress everyone. But then Seth Rogen comes in and, instead of jumping at the opportunity to play against type, just gets his Seth Rogen-ness all over everything. Too bad. Gondry shot the movie in all sorts of interesting ways and Jay Chou was entertaining, but Britt Reid was just all kinds of wrong.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby J.M. Vargas » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:36 am

Been on a huge MST3K kick lately, mostly because I've been stuck working late at night at the office and I can watch these episodes free on Amazon On Demand while carrying around a portable BD player from one room to the next while streaming. Rewatched #402: THE GIANT GILA MONSTER (1992/1959), #506: EEGAH! (1993/1962), #910: THE FINAL SACRIFICE (1998/1990), #1004: FUTURE WARS (1999/1994) & #1005: THE BLOOD WATERS OF DR. Z (1999/1972). One gloriously-goofy ride through old-looking 50's teens that like to have their leg up over whatever snakes they're watching out for while waiting for Rowsdower and Jean-Claude Gosh Darn to help Dr. Leopold (and Tom Servo) simplify his complicated masturbation ritual. :o :? :D

The only "MST3K" episode I had time to sit down and watch in the peace and traquility of my domain (!) was #507: I ACCUSE MY PARENTS (1993/1944) on Rhino DVD. Haven't seen this one in years but never thought much of it other than being perplexed at Joel Hodgson naming it his personal favorite "MST3K" experiment. A misplaced-blame youth crime flick with Poverty Row production values (though some money was obviously spent on the catchy tunes), "I Accuse My Parents" has OK-but-no-great-shakes riffing (the 'Truck Farmer' short that precedes the flick is funnier) but above-average theater segments. How the movie's producers/director were able to sneak in obvious references to swinging married couples and booze as OK for minors (!!!) while the Code was enforced can probably only be explained with the argument nobody cared because nobody saw this when it was theatrically released. Mary Beth Hughes (who had quite an up-but-mostly-down showiz career) is such a cute and spunky-without-being-obnoxious screen siren you wish the movie were more about Kitty Reed and not her gangster boyfriend Blake (George Meeker) putting the squeeze on Mary Beth's new boy toy Jimmy (Robert Lowell) over the latter's attempt to get over his parents' loose lifestyle. The Brains dig deep into the lead character's psychology (a look inside Jimmy's battered psyche is almost as good as the goofy song re-enactment segment) only to discover that he's just stupid and thankful for being white ( :lol: ). And it doesn't get more gay (or funny) in the pantheon of Dr. Forrester-TV's Frank scenes than the 'misplaced chip 'n dale dancer inside a baked cake' gag. Don't you hate it when this happens to you?

BLOOD DIAMOND (2006) on HD-DVD. I remember really liking this when it came out in theaters and when it debuted in HD-DVD. Five years later and I'm sad to say the movie hasn't aged well in its attempt to mix gruesome/realistic war in Sierra Leone with cliche' action-movie heroics (Leo gunning down dozens of armed men by himself, last-second driving escapes, etc.) all wrapped in the politically-safe message that the blood diamond industry is evil incarnate. There's no Earthly reason for Jennifer Connelly to be this homely-looking and as worthless a character as she is in "Blood Diamond," other than the producers' need for an exposition-spewing dex-ex machina character the audience could relate to (all for naught since the movie bombed theatrically). Djimon Hounson does the best with what he's given to humanize Solomon Vandy's plight (and largely succeeds) while DiCaprio, bless his acting heart, makes Danny Archer's transformation from from devil-may-care African mercenary to soft-hearted armed humanitarian as plausible in a big-budget Hollywood movie will allow. Movie looks great in HD and the sound rocks, but the subject matter and Ed Zwick's penchant for humorless message epics doesn't invite repeated viewings of "Blood Diamond" any time soon.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby HGervais » Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:49 pm

Paris At Midnight is the first Woody Allen movie in almost 20 years that I loved without reservation. It would make an awesome double feature with The Purple Rose of Cairo.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Gabriel Girard » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:14 pm

Desperate Living - As vile and enjoyable as I remembered it. The trashiest of John Water's trashy flicks. Now I want to see Female Trouble and Polyester again.

Big Trouble In Little Chine with my 18 and 16 year old brothers for the youngest one's birthday. They didn't get all the jokes but they still thought it was hilarious.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Andrew Forbes » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:16 am

Vigilante. From the first frame, as Fred Williamson—never cooler—steps out of the shadows and lays down the statistics, this movie had me. It's uneven at times and feels unfinished, but I have never seen a more visceral, unobtrusively stylish revenge movie. The cinematography and editing are top-notch, and the score is a hard-pounding mix of electric twang and Carpenter-esque synth. The fights feel brutal, unchoreographed and exhausting, and, while the violence is extreme, director William Lustig never lingers for cheap thrills. While the movie exploits the lynch-mob mentality of so many '70s crime flicks, it presents the vigilantes as men who recognize that they are an unfortunate symptom of a broken system and that there are—or should be—better ways of dealing with the crime on their streets. For all of Williamson's speechifying, these characters never seem to get a charge out of the street-justice they dish out, and there is no clean-cut happy ending. I can't agree with the argument the movie makes, but it's sure as hell entertaining to watch. Plus, any movie that features Robert Forster, Fred Williamson, Richard Bright, Woody Strode and Joe Spinell in significant roles is worth my time.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby azul017 » Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:42 am

The Adventures of Don Juan - It isn't as pure and enjoyable as Flynn's earlier Robin Hood but I still enjoyed the swordfights and music. And you can tell that hard-partying lifestyle was taking its toll on Flynn at that point.

Friday the 13th (1980) - Finally saw it in full a few days back, not really impressed. The low budget gives it some low key atmosphere, and the last 10-15 minutes are in the so-bad-it's-hilarious category. The catfight between Adrienne King and Betsy Palmer is CLASSIC.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby hoytereden » Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:12 am

Cars 2-Really could; should have been called Mater's Big Adventure since he is the dominant character (by far) this time around. I guess how well you like or dislike the character or Larry the Cable Guy will determine how much you enjoy the film or not and at nearly 2 hrs. plan accordingly. I had no problem enjoying the film but honestly, except for bits and pieces, it wasn't that memorable after I left the theater. It's two years in a row for sequels from Pixar and I think they need to rethink that trend what with Monster's Inc. 2 in the works. Also, the short that preceded the film was the the crew from Toy Story 3 doing a faux Hawaii vacation for Ken and Barbie. It was probably funnier for me, since I live here but once again even the short was a sequel and not something original.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Andrew Forbes » Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:39 am

The Changeling. Not scary, but very creepy and heartbreaking. When the history of the house was revealed it felt as though the filmmakers had tipped their hand too early, but they manage to keep building a sense of mystery and dread for another whole third. Scott is magnificent, as usual.

All that Heaven Allows. I'll have to check out more Sirk. This has to be among the most gorgeously filmed movies ever made. The only major flaw for me was the characterization of the children, which felt unconvincing even in the hyper-charged emotional landscape of a 50s melodrama.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Terrible, but still a head above X3 in my book. Taylor Kitsch was especially awful. Ryan Reynolds was wasted.

X-Men: First Class. I'll have to revisit this. At the halfway mark, I was ready to declare this the best in the series. The second half is a bit rockier, but the movie is still an elegantly realized prequel that actually seems to add to the characters rather than simply giving us more plot in an established franchise. My major problem is the execution of some of the student characters. Angel and Havoc are boring characters. Banshee is irritating and realized with very poor effects work. Taken as a whole, though, the film exceeded my expectations, especially with regard to the 1960s vibe (Angel, Havoc and Banshee excepted--they are purely 21st century and ruin the period illusion whenever they are onscreen). I love the evocation of retro opticals and in-camera effects in some scenes (some of the telepathic visualization, Shaw's mirrored reactor, other odds and ends). And was that a UFO opening-title reference during the recruitment montage? Speaking of that sequence, excellent cameo, for once. The highlight of the movie was definitely the Magneto/Shaw relationship and Erik's quest for vengeance (Argentina FTW).
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Gabriel Girard » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:32 am

Andrew Forbes wrote:All that Heaven Allows. I'll have to check out more Sirk. This has to be among the most gorgeously filmed movies ever made. The only major flaw for me was the characterization of the children, which felt unconvincing even in the hyper-charged emotional landscape of a 50s melodrama.


You should also check out Ali : Fear Eats The Soul which is a based on All That Heaven Allows but takes place within the proletarian class. The difference between the lovers is one of age and race - not one of class. Fassbinder also subverts the kitsch aspect of Sirk; taking an ironic stance towards the melodrama. At the same time he really makes you care about these characters . A great,great film.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby J.M. Vargas » Sun Jun 26, 2011 10:48 am

MST3K #505: THE MAGIC VOYAGE OF SINBAD (1993/1952) on DVD for the first time. I rarely watch new-to-me "MST3K" episodes because, frankly, I like the 100 or so experiments that I've seen and feel content rewatching them over and over. This one, an early 50's Russian flick with a hack edit/dub job attempting to pass it as taking place in the Sinbad universe, is a dog across the board. Bad dubbing, bad print, bad special effects (cartoon backgrounds straight out of a Fleischer short), bad acting, bad story (Sinbad searching for the bird of happiness?), bad scenes (the rave in Neptune's underwater palace with the dancing octopus takes the cake) and, worst of all, bad riffing from Joel and the Bots that barely scored a few chuckles from me. Except for the 'Rat Pack Chess Board' invention exchange (which is borderline-brilliant in concept and execution) and a shot of a very young kid and an old man with the riff 'the two stages of Jackie Cooper' :D "Magic Voyage of Sinbad" is dreadful, boring and life-draining, soul-sucking "MST3K" at its worst.

I felt so depressed afterwards that over the next two nights I had to watch #424, MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE (1992/1966) and #1001, SOULTAKER (1999/1990) just to restore my will and love for all things "MST3K." 8)

NURSE JACKIE: SEASON 3 (2011) on Showtime-HD for the first time. It won't score points for originality or season-finale cliffhangers, but for my money "Nurse Jackie" is the best 'fish bowl' workplace sitcom since "Sports Night" at letting the audience have fun hanging out with its characters whether the main plot is advanced or not. The writers made Peter Facinelli's Dr. Coop a little too much Looney Tunes for my liking this season. The simple joy of letting the positive energy from Merritt Wever's Zoey wash all over you though, or see Anna Deavere Smith's Gloria Akalitus throw the gauntlet against a fellow hospital administrator trying to get a major political figure to visit the hospital, are two of the many joys of simply tuning into "Nurse Jackie" and not caring whether Jackie gets caught or not. Based on the season finale Edie Falco may just repeat her Best Comedy Actress Emmy win from last year for giving the best dramatic performance... go figure! ;-)
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby HGervais » Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:57 pm

Andrew Forbes wrote:The Changeling. Not scary, but very creepy and heartbreaking. When the history of the house was revealed it felt as though the filmmakers had tipped their hand too early, but they manage to keep building a sense of mystery and dread for another whole third. Scott is magnificent, as usual.
Ball bouncing down the stairs is still one of the creepiest things I've ever seen in a movie.
X-Men: First Class. I'll have to revisit this. At the halfway mark, I was ready to declare this the best in the series. The second half is a bit rockier, but the movie is still an elegantly realized prequel that actually seems to add to the characters rather than simply giving us more plot in an established franchise. My major problem is the execution of some of the student characters. Angel and Havoc are boring characters. Banshee is irritating and realized with very poor effects work. Taken as a whole, though, the film exceeded my expectations, especially with regard to the 1960s vibe (Angel, Havoc and Banshee excepted--they are purely 21st century and ruin the period illusion whenever they are onscreen). I love the evocation of retro opticals and in-camera effects in some scenes (some of the telepathic visualization, Shaw's mirrored reactor, other odds and ends). And was that a UFO opening-title reference during the recruitment montage? Speaking of that sequence, excellent cameo, for once. The highlight of the movie was definitely the Magneto/Shaw relationship and Erik's quest for vengeance (Argentina FTW).

I'd agree in large part with what you thought with the exception of the f/x for Banshee. That sonic scream is a direct lift from the comics for how his power looks and works just about perfectly.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Andrew Forbes » Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:42 pm

HGervais wrote:
Andrew Forbes wrote:The Changeling. Not scary, but very creepy and heartbreaking. When the history of the house was revealed it felt as though the filmmakers had tipped their hand too early, but they manage to keep building a sense of mystery and dread for another whole third. Scott is magnificent, as usual.
Ball bouncing down the stairs is still one of the creepiest things I've ever seen in a movie.

Unfortunately, that's the thing that always gets mentioned around here, so whenever the ball appeared I was reminded to expect it to bounce down those stairs eventually. As a consequence, that scene didn't have much impact. The pounding is what got me (eventually).
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Andrew Forbes » Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:45 pm

Gabriel Girard wrote:You should also check out Ali : Fear Eats The Soul which is a based on All That Heaven Allows...

It's definitely on what I would call my short list if my short list weren't so f***ing long. ;)
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Andrew Forbes » Sun Jun 26, 2011 4:54 pm

HGervais wrote:That sonic scream is a direct lift from the comics for how his power looks and works just about perfectly.

It may be conceptually identical to what's in the comics but on screen it was realized with a combination of poor compositing, muddy CG and obvious, sometimes jerky wire work. That first flight is brutal. It works better in the final battle, except when he carries a fully-grown male in one hand and maintains perfect aerodynamic flight, despite gliding with just some flimsy arm flaps (and sans sonic scream, for the first hundred feet or so).
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Future Man » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:05 am

The Tree of Life
Just did not work for me but I could certainly appreciate that Mallick was swinging for the fences as they say. One of those movies that draws snickers from audience members only in attendance because Bad Teacher was sold out. Gorgeous to look at though.
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby HGervais » Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:40 pm

Green Lantern...well, that was kind of a mess. Martin Campbell for all his skills as a action director and a director who in the past understood how to do an introduction style of movie was completely & totally wrong for this movie. The screenplay just never works. It feels clunky and oddly disjointed with little in the way of actual characters or emotion. And for a 200mil dollar movie it looked kind of cheap in more spots than it should have. That said, I think Ryan Reynolds almost saves it. I liked the Oa sequences and the final sequence at least displayed a pulse but overall the whole thing just kind of laid there. And that post-credits bit just felt tacked on with nothing in the movie grounding the conversion. It's overall sense was something like "well, Marvel movies do it all the time so we should as well."
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Re: June 2011 Watching Thread

Postby Dunnyman » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:58 pm

OK, first run of summer replacements and/or returning summer series! First up, The Nine Lives of Chloe King about a girl who discovers on her 16th birthday that she's part of a magical race of cat people called the Mai and she has all these powers and she's the "Chosen One", yeah, yeah, paging Joss Whedon's laywer, but actually isn't bad at all. Two of her classmates are also Mai and they teach her about what she can do, and explain the slight hitch in that if she kisses a human, he'll die. She also has two normal classmates who are as generically annoying as the roles could possibly be, and they need work, stat. There's also a group of shadowy figures out to kill her, and it turns out that there's a guy who's into her, and she feels the same, but has to stay away. At first it all seemed too much of a Buffy clone sans vamps, but there's a few things that make it worthwhile, Skylar Samuels as Chloe is really, really good, and she has a missing adopted father who may or may not know about who she really is, and we don't know either, and she's desperate to find him. Big plus, looks like it's shot actually in San Francisco, and as a former Bay Area person, it's kind of neat to see streets I've been on a zillion times. I'm still watching so far.
Happily Divorced, once again, Fran Drescher mines real life and it's pretty darn funny so far. Her husband comes out as gay, they divorce, but must live together as neither can afford to live on their own, hilarity ensues. This could suck, but first off, John Micheal Higgins as her husband is genius as he channels his character from Best In Show, Valente Rodriguez (Ernie from The George Lopez Show) is great as Cesar, the dimwitted assistant, and bringing Rita Moreno in is never a bad idea. Second, Drescher's incredibly annoying voice has added some smoky sensuality to it, and isn't nearly as annoying as it used to be, and three, she's still damned funny when she's on. Tonight's episode where she loses a huge order for her flower shop because she has to tell the bride that her husband to be is gay was incredibly funny. She's also not exactly hideous looking for 54, so all in all, I'll keep watching.
Hot In Cleveland is back, and after their hysterical run through Amish country (and a guest spot by George Wendt!) the ladies try to fix each other up, every one of them gets to be brilliant in their reactions to their "dates" all of whom are soooo wrong for them, and the episode is tied together by guest star John Mahoney as a smartass waiter. Hopefully we'll see more of him in a few more guest spots the way we did with Carl Reiner.
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