I didn’t waste quite as much time watching TV or movies this month, but I still watched quite a few. The two movies I saw in the theater were disappointing, though. Seventh Son was just dull and Jupiter Ascending was a fun mess. Still, I watched some really good new stuff on Netflix.
Clear and Present Danger – A perfectly entertaining thriller. Harrison Ford isn’t quite at his Indiana Jones best, but even his second best stuff is better than most starts. This film is good, but not really great. ***
The Triplets of Belleville – This is one weird film. Beautiful, but also strange. It tells its story brilliantly with almost no dialogue and is just thoroughly excellent. ****
Snatch – I love Guy Ritchie’s movies, and Snatch may be his best. Ask me that after I watch Rock’n’Rolla and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels again. Still, they can’t be much better that this. It is just the perfect whirlwind of bad decisions smashing into each other. *****
Indie Game the Movie – I like documentaries in general, but this one took a subject I am very interested in and made it dull. Perhaps I am being too harsh, but it seemed too long and somber for the subject matter. It did give a good idea of the kind of work that goes into indie game development, though. **1/2
Seventh Son – see here **
The Ideal Husband – An adaptation of an Oscar Wilde play, which means it is full of witty dialogue and veiled innuendo. It isn’t The Importance of Being Ernest, but it is still very amusing. ***1/2
The Great Muppet Caper – The best Muppet movie? Maybe. It starts with the perfect joke of Fozzy and Kermit being identical twins and is just hilarious and charming throughout. ****1/2
The Pink Panther 2 – Based on its reputation, I expected this to be worse. Based on it cast, it should have been so much better. Pink Panther 2 has a bunch really talented comedic actors going through the motions of some sub-par farcical material. **1/2
Jupiter Ascending – see here **1/2
A Knight’s Tale – It is charmingly anachronistic, but ultimately slight. I have fallen asleep trying to watch this movie no less than three times. Yet still, when I think on it I remember enjoying it quite a bit. ***
Austin Powers – It is odd to watch this movie nowadays. The “modern” scenes from the 90’s are almost as dated as the stuff from 60’s. Still, I find it more entertaining than it has any right to be. It is really just a solid comedy. ****
Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me – It isn’t quite as good as the first one, some of the jokes have worn thin, but it is ultimately still enjoyable. It is clear watching it that Mike Myers is having a blast and that is infectious. ***1/2
Austin Powers 3: Goldmember – Overall a touch more statisfying than the previous entry. You could tell they know this was drawing to a close and they just went for it the whole time. ***1/2
30 for 30: Winning Time – This covered the rivalry between the Indiana Pacer and the New York Knicks in the mid 90’s. It focuses mostly on Reggie Miller’s exploits, including a pair of unforgettable performances. Those Pacers were one of my favorite teams growing up, so I really got into this one. ****
30 for 30: No Crossover – This one is more somber than Winning Time, being about Allen Iverson and the legal troubles that nearly derailed his life and whether or not the trouble he got into was deserved. The filmmakers allow each side on this issue to present their case and does a pretty great job of present a complex issue. ***.5
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen – Terry Gilliam is a genius. No one captures the idea of imagination on film better than him. This is thoroughly satisfying all the way through. *****
Malcolm in the Middle S3-6 – This is the meat of the series, as Malcolm grows from a know-it-all kid to a whiny teenager and Lois and Hal take over the show. This is one of the best sitcoms of the last fifteen years. Just a brilliant seven year run, just shy of the sustained greatness of 30 Rock or Parks and Rec, but it is up there. I’ve always seen a lot of my family in the one on this show; I think a lot of the humor is near universal to anyone with siblings.
Poirot Series 1-2 – I’ve started reading some Agatha Christie, having picked up a couple of collections around Christmas, so I thought I would give this show a try and watch the adaptation of one of the Poirot books I’d read. After that, I just started from the beginning and started watching. They can be a little slow at times, but largely very entertaining on the whole. Just some solid mysteries.
Psych S3-7 – This is the show I turn on for white noise as I try to go to sleep. I love this show, but it makes perfect turn on Netflix and fall asleep material. I expect it to be on my watched list most months.
Danger 5 – I am so glad some people introduced me to this show. It is the perfect kind of madness. A team of superspies fight Nazis, trying to foil plots like the Nazis using dinosaurs to fight the war or stealing famous monuments for Hitler’s birthday present, all shown with delightfully cheesiness. It is perfectly low budget and delightfully over the top.