Cleaning Up the Queue: Film Edition


It’s hard to be inspired to write (or do anything productive) when it’s hot out. I’m lucky to live in an area where 98% of the time I don’t regret not having an air conditioner, but today kind of blows. There isn’t much air moving and the fans I’ve set up just seem to be stirring up a hot breeze. I think I am more of a cool weather person, and am looking forward to the cozy autumn evenings that are just on the horizon. Now that’s writin’ weather!

 

In my last barrage of reviews, I only focused on the television shows I’ve seen but neglected to write about. This latest post will cover the “films” (because that makes them sound more refined than “movies”) that I need to give my two cents on. Yes, I realize that is a poorly constructed sentence, but that is about the level I’m running at. Just be grateful this whole write-up isn’t just one long, run-on sentence. Very grateful.

 

The Big Year—What a surprise this film was! I had seen trailers for this bird-watching (yes, you read that right) drama starring Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black a few months ago and thought it looked interesting. However, it was so much better than I expected. The Big Year is simple (that can be a good thing, and in this case it is), allowing the characters to drive the story and make it compelling. I would definitely recommend this one.

Score: A

 

Forks Over Knives—A documentary which asserts a diet that either omits or seriously cuts down on animal products would reduce the amount of surgeries and medical issues in the American populace, Forks Over Knives is a straightforward film; stating its point of view without preaching. While I won’t delve into my opinion on the subject matter, I thought this movie did a great job handling the information and pushing its agenda (because, yes, documentaries have agendas) in a non-annoying way.

Score: B

 

The Hangover: Part II—As the Roman numerals would imply, this is one classy piece of cinema. OK, I kid, I kid. I think some movies should just leave well enough alone. Such is the case for The Hangover. The first one was funny (unexpectedly so). The second one is both redundant and repetitive. See what I did there? Yeah, kind of like watching The Hangover: Part II.

Score: D-

 

Season of the Witch—First, don’t judge me—any of my avid readers should know I have a hard time resisting anything starring Ron Perlman. Second: wtf, Nathan from the Misfits? Why would you do this film as your “break-into-Hollywood” role? Also, since I’m asking questions, what is up with the caterpillar on your lip and why did you kind of have an American accent? And—SPOILER ALERT—is this movie’s claim that the plague was caused by demons with zombie-monk minions based on actual fact? If so, could you please direct me to that book? It sounds like one I would love to read…

Score: D+ (though some sick part of me actually kind of enjoyed this one)

 

The Thirteenth Floor—I like both a good sci-fi film and Craig Bierko, so this movie was pretty much a win-win in my book. It was fun, futuristic, and nicely layered. Yes, the “surprise” ending may not have been such a shocker, but I can overlook it since overall the film was a blast.

Score: B

 

To the Ends of the Earth—Admittedly, I added this miniseries to my queue after I watched the first season of Sherlock….and it took me over a year to watch the three episodes of the maritime drama. Yes, that makes it sound like the show blew or something. It didn’t. However, I felt a lack of urgency in the series and therefore didn’t feel compelled to watch it in a reasonable amount of time. It is well acted, though it definitely gives the “theater” vibe.

Score: C

 

Waiting for Superman—For a while there, I was on a documentary kick. Waiting for Superman, like The Lottery, focuses on flaws in America’s education system. While I appreciated this film, I actually felt The Lottery did a better job connecting to the audience.

Score: C

 

The Way Back—Any movie list wouldn’t be complete without the obligatory World War II film, and The Way Back is just that. It follows a group of escaped prisoners as they travel over several countries and treacherous terrain for freedom It was better than I thought it would be, but not as “great” as some WWII flicks. Still, I’m not pissed that I watched it, so that’s saying something.

Score: B-

 

I’m sure I am missing a film or TV show in these posts, but at least I am somewhat caught up. I hope the weather is cooler where you are and have a wonderful weekend!

 

Netflix Queue: 485

Watch Instantly Queue: 145


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