Saturday, May 17, 2008

Juno: A Review

So, my wife has been using Netflix to catch up on all kinds of TV stuff like Desperate Housewives and Next Top Model. Stuff I really have no interest in.

On Friday, a movie showed up. It was Juno. Now, I have heard of Juno but didn't really know what it was about. I asked the wife and when she told me, I figured "chick flick". I was right too.

The movie is about a 16 year old girl who gets pregnant and wants to give the baby away for adoption. Tears, laughs, etc. Yeah. It is that.

I decided to watch it with the wife. Brownie points if nothing else, you know.

Even though it is a chick flick (your girl will cry at the end, I'm sure), it is actually a very funny movie. I don't recognize the main girl from anything but she plays the offbeat Juno with a straight face and her timing is excellent.

The boyfriend, Bleeker, was in superbad. He plays pretty much the same part in Juno that he did in that. He's funny.

Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman are both in it. Odd casting for an odd movie and it all works somehow.

So, if you are a chick, you want to watch it. If you are a dude, you want to watch it with your chick. The women will enjoy it and the men get some painless cuddle points. Everybody will get a few laughs.

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Friday, May 09, 2008

Day Zero

I caught another movie on tonight. It's another movie I have never heard of. The synopsis said it was scifi but it's not really. It's more speculative fiction. That's nitpicking though. The movie is Day Zero.

It's a very near future biopic of three friends who are New York City residents. In this near future America, the draft has been reinstated so that we can fight the war on terror all around the world. All three friends lose the lottery and are drafted. They have 30 days to present themselves for zero poster

The three friends handle the issue very differently. The successful lawyer, who has just been made a partner, doesn't want to go and asks his father to try to get him out of it. The successful writer, who hasn't actually lived at all (but has been to Malaysia), completely freaks out and goes off the deep end. The not successful cabbie, the fighter with a troubled life, handles it the best. He supports the draft and while not eager to go, accepts it as his duty.

They picked some really good people for this movie. You can get the entire cast list at the wikipedia entry above. I just want to say that Elijah Wood puts in another excellent performance. He plays Aaron, the writer. He sees a psychiatrist, is afraid of his shadow and has never really lived. He is so meek it's almost painful. Most of the funny scenes are his. By the end of the movie, he is creepy scary as he descends into his top 10 list.

This is another movie that I expected to suck that surprised me. This movie is definitely worth watching. Regardless of you political views, if you wonder at all where the "war on terror" might go, you should watch this. The gamut of political viewpoints are shared in the story but the director does not preach. No view is made to be "the truth". This isn't a liberal or a conservative movie. It's just the story of three people and how they respond to being drafted.


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Monday, May 05, 2008

Logan Makes 5

My son Logan recently made 5 years old. He's really more like 5 going on 30 but he really enjoyed his birthday this year. It was a two day event. One day was a kid's birthday party with a jumpy castle and a pinata. The second day was spent at Disney World in Orlando, FL. Disney is about 50 minutes from my house.

Logan is crazy about Bionicles right now.

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He got a boatload of presents but his favorites were the bionicles. My wife got him a cowboy dressup outfit which he really likes too.

After presents was time for the jumpy castle. If you don't know what a jumpy castle is, they are also called Moonwalks. They're giant, heavy latex baloons that you climb inside and jump around.

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The day started off with me climbing a tree to hang a pinata. Logan thought it was quite amusing the see the old man climb a tree. I still got it!

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Day two was spent at Disney World. We all had a really good time.

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Waiting to get on "It's a small world."

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On the way to Tom Sawyers island.

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Mom, Logan and Leo

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Dad, Logan and Leo

I think this was Logan favorite birthday so far. He is so proud to be an entire handful old. That's a handul of fingers. heh


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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Primer: A Movie Review

I had some free time tonight and decided to hit Netflix Instant View to see what was available. I've watched just about everything that has any interest to me. There are quite a few documentaries that I haven't seen yet but I have to be in the mood for one of those.

Anyway, I noticed a 2004 flick called Primer. I didn't really think I would like it as I had never heard of it. I like B movies though so I was hoping it would be one of those classically bad movies that I can enjoy.

It is not a B movie. It's a movie written and produced (for USD7000) by an engineer. He wrote the movie like it would be engineers watching it. At times I was a bit lost but the movie proved to be incredibly intense. Much better than I anticipated.

A couple of engineers decide to make a room temperature super conductor. I don't think that was the goal. I think they were trying to do something with gravity but I'll have to watch it again to be sure.

They finally get a proto-type working and one of the engineers happens to notice a slimy film on the weeble they are using as a weight/test subject. The film turns out to be a fungus that could not possibly have grown in the amount of time it did. After some tests with watches, they decide that they really have built a time machine.

Hilarity does not ensue. They decide to travel themselves and make some cash. Things happen. Watch it.

What I liked about this movie is that it is a zero action movie. I don't mean that in a bad way. There is plenty of tension. There are multiple mini-plots arcing around the main plot. There are a couple of mini-plots I got completely lost on but that was still unimportant to the overall story. I'm sure I will get those on the next watching and I will be watching it again.

If you don't give a rat's ass about science, time travel, super conductors or casuality, don't watch this movie. You have to already understand, at least conceptually, the finer points. If you want everything explained and wrapped up for you, definitely don't bother. It just does not happen.

This is a movie like I might make in my head while day dreaming. The writer just happened to think of a few things I might not have. There is plenty of dialog and the dialog sort of replaces action. That's normally a bad thing but in this context it works.

The quality of the film is amazing for how much was spent. I mean USD7000! The actors had to have done this for free. Speaking of which, while no Oscars will be won, the acting was pretty good. Sound quality was good, too.

All in all, two thumbs up.

Check it out.

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