Talking about comic books, TV shows, movies, sports, and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

One Sentence Reviews

Well, aside from my St. Valentine's day post, it's been a while. My Vikings blog plus my own laziness has kept me from posting. But I should be more active now...maybe. But I'll start out with some light-weight lifting. In other words, it's time for some one sentence reviews!

Mass Effect 2 (X-Box 360 Video Game, 2010): Sure the game is awesome but when you're mining for resources, well, that's as lame as it sounds.

Grand Theft Auto 4 (PS3/X-Box 360 Video Game, 2008): Sure it's fun most of the time, but if I wanted to drive around and hang out with my 'friends' then I wouldn't be playing video games.

Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii Video Game, 2009): Aside from the multi-play twist, it's good old fashioned Mario Brothers fun...until your wife gets frustrated and throws her Wii-mote across the room.

Book of Eli (Movie, 2010): Interesting, but I'm ultimately unsure what its message or theme is supposed to be (and I couldn't stop thinking about Fallout 3 whilst watching it).

Inglorious Basterds (Movie, 2009): I heard it was great, I expected it to be good and it turned out to be just OK.

Up (Movie, 2009): I never thought that I'd think Up is more deserving of a Best Picture Oscar than Inglorious Basterds but, after watching both of them, it is.

Avatar (Movie, 2010): Fern Gully in space, but it was good.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3 Video Game, 2009): If you liked the first Uncharted then you'll love this sequel...funny how sequels tend to be like that.

Heroes Season 4 (TV Show, 2009-2010): *sigh*...I mean....they just...I dunno...*double sigh*


  1. I'm glad I gave up on watching Heroes live. It frustrates me so much I decided to just wait until it's canceled and then watch it.

  2. Eh, unless you hear good things about next season (IF there is a next season) then I wouldn't bother watching it even after it's cancelled.

    I just watch out of habit these days.

  3. Did the Baroness really chuck the controller!?!? If so, please tell me there was a string of profanity accompanying it for a good 90 seconds!

    I think I may be one of only a few people who didn't really like UP! It just seemed week compared to Wall-E and some of the others. I only saw it once and maybe I wasn't in the right frame of mind or something.

  4. if I wanted to drive around and hang out with my 'friends' then I wouldn't be playing video games.

    Yeah, but when you drive around with your friends, do you get to kill hookers and smash cop cars? Consequence-free, at least?

    I think I like Basterds a bit more than you (though I didn't think it was the greatest movie ever or anything). It was definitely a movie where its parts were better than the sum of its whole.

    There are specific scenes I could watch again and again, just for the dialogue and the direction, the push and pull of tension in the scene. But in the end, the movie as a whole didn't seem to come together as strongly as the individual scenes would suggest.

    Which isn't exactly a new criticism of Tarantino, I realize. Hell, the first half of Death Proof was basically just one long conversation, which while interesting and well done, didn't add much to the movie on the whole.

    Did you end up watching the Heroes finale? We should discuss. While there were parts of it I liked (because my standards have been dropped so low for that show) but the "bold new direction" setup at the end was rather infuriating, for one of two reasons:

    1. Either the show is canceled, and we never see the culmination of that direction.

    2. The show comes back, but I have no confidence this group of writers and producers can do anything interesting with the new direction, so it'll probably end up being just more of the same, so we still never see the culmination of the new direction.

    @boots, you might want to check out Up again sometime. I thoroughly enjoyed it, too, and thus far, it remains one of my favorite Best Pic noms.

    (Which isn't to say I didn't enjoy Wall-E, because I did. In fact, I'd probably be more prone to re-watch Wall-E just because it's not so emotionally devastating for me).

    I mean, come on, Up has talking dogs flying WWI-vintage fighter planes. What's not to love about that?

  5. I wouldn't say I absolutely loved Up, but I thought it was pretty good. Which made it, in my eyes, better than Inglorious Basterds. That's the point I was getting across.

    While I agree the individual parts to Inglorious Basterds were good to very good, I would also agree that its whole did not equal its parts and I guess that bothers me more than Teebore.

    After it was finished I was just left scratching my head wondering what I was supposed to take away from the movie. It's a movie with no soul...if that doesn't sound too snobbish.

    And, yes, boots~, I believe more than a few words banned by the FCC came out of the Baroness' mouth.

    And yes, Teebore, I did finish Heroes Season 4. I'll try not to give too much away with my opinon but this may be a spoiler:

    Let's just say I was *estatic* to see that the resolution to the final conflict involved a lot of conversation and inner reflection (and next to no actual conflict). (Yes...that's sarcasm.)

  6. Ha!

    Yeah, it's a sad testament to how low the Heroes bar is that two people standing with their hands outstretched over a quivering pile of rocks is more of a climatic final battle than anything we've seen before.

    I mean, that's a crappy final battle, but it's still better than watching someone watch a final battle...

    I think saying that IB is a movie with no soul is probably the best way to put it, although I still feel like maybe we're missing something.

    Ostensibly, it's a movie about revenge, which makes it Shosanna's story more than anything, as she's the character whose desire for revenge we see (and can relate to) most clearly. But at the same time, the movie is called "Inglorious Basterds" and the basterds are centered as the main characters (and yes, they're in it for revenge too, but it's much more abstract: they want revenge for their people, not their family).

    So maybe the problem is that the movie is at odds with who its protagonist is? Especially since Brad Pitt, who we can't help but see as THE STAR of the film, is really only tangentially connected to the emotional core of the movie?

    As a result, the ending, which is a great little piece of catharsis, isn't cathartic ENOUGH to leave us thinking anything other than "that was kinda nifty, I suppose, and... that's it?"

    I dunno. I'm trying to figure it out, because I REALLY liked a lot of its parts. I feel like a movie that contains that scene at the beginning, or the one between Landa and Shosanna in the restaurant, or, really, a movie that turns out such a great character as Landa HAS to be better than it seems at the moment. So I feel like I'm missing something. But maybe that's just because, in the end, the movie is missing it too.

    I read Ebert's review, which was glowing but less than helpful in figuring it out (maybe my scholarly film analytical abilities are just lacking).

    I found a letter from one of his readers that suggests the problem might deal with viewer expectations, which we discussed a bit already (I know I was expecting something a little different from the movie than what we got). It's worth a read.

    Then again, maybe there's nothing to figure out. Maybe it is just a flawed film whose whole can't match its parts.

    Sorry; I didn't mean to hijack your post there...

  7. Ugh. Heroes. I don't even like to hear about it anymore. I wish it'd just go away.


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