March Movie Madness

Not an entirely accurate post title because I didn’t watch a whole hell of a lot this month. At least, not beyond The Walking Dead. Remember how I was supposed to be embarking on a new cinematic journey? Well, did not happen. Didn’t watch a single one of the four films I had vowed to make time for. Here’s what I did manage to get around to:


Veronica Mars (The Movie):

Of course I watched this and loved every single stupid second. LoVe for life, bitches.


Thor: The Dark World:

Jimmy and I just watched this On Demand a few days ago and mostly enjoyed. I love Loki so he steals the show for me EVERY TIME. Jimmy thought the cinematic scope of the film was gorgeous and wishes he’d seen it in IMAX theaters. Wasn’t the biggest fan of Natalie Portman’s character, but loved, loved Kat Dennings.


House of Cards:

Just started watching season one. Enjoying the Southern campiness of Kevin Spacey. And Robin Wright is fierce.


Game of Thrones, Season Three:

Squeezed this in just in time for the beginning of season four. The Red Wedding might have been even more brutal on screen than on the page. Of course, I did throw the book across the room during that scene and refused to pick it up again for three days. So both were highly affecting.

What did you watch in March?


New Project: The Watch List


For so long I’ve tried to become a pseudo film buff, but it never seems to stick. I’m not sure why. Perhaps I’m just too ambivalent about cinema in general. Or maybe I’ve just never found the right combination of time/desire to really advance my film buffery (a word I’ve just invented). Whatever the case, I’m embarking on a new cinematic journey and wanted to tell y’all about it.

I’ve compiled a list of great movies by decade starting with the 1930s. This list is a combination of hours of internet scouring. I’ve got movies loved by men, women, white people, and black people. I’ve gathered films in foreign languages and the English language. I searched lists of differing genres and those that are considered underrated, best of the all times, serious, quirky, etc.

With the trusty help of, I will be selecting four movies to watch each month starting in March. One from the 2000s, 90s, and 80s each. And then one from the 30s-70s. This method makes the most sense in my mind.

The only hiccup I’ve come across thus far is movie availability, particularly with foreign language films. For the more obscure movies, I’m either going to skip them altogether (what can you do, ya know?) or wait until the project really catches hold and consider spending extra money. I’m sure adding the Netflix snail mail plan would get me most of the way there, but I’m not ready to commit to anything beyond my streaming only option just yet. Amazon Prime seems to be the best way so far. Most movies are either free or $2-$3 rentals.

So, without further ado, here’s my To Be Watched list for March! Join me if you feel so inclined or ignore me altogether. Both are valid life choices.

High Fidelity (2000)

JFK (1991)

The King of Comedy (1983)

A Man for All Seasons (1966)

I haven’t seen a single one of these so I’m super duper excited. Let me know which ones you’ve seen and what you thought!!

Rec Thursday: Movies

This Thursday I’m recommending some recent movies I’ve watched since the beginning of the year. There have only been three so I’m just going to slap all of them down here. I enjoyed each for different reasons and think that others will appreciate them as well!!


The Heat – I know, I know. You’ve all seen this before. But I’m just now getting around to it so oh well. Sandra Bullock is my girl from the way back. Throughout the nineties, she was my favorite actress, hands down. Comedy is my least favorite film genre so I’m picky. Loved seeing a buddy cop movie that stars two women!


Drinking Buddies – I recommend this one with hesitation. People HATE the ending. But it was so realistic. Olivia Wilde and Anna Kendrick played very well here as ordinary girls dating ordinary boys. Neither was overly made up or felt like glamorous movie stars. A great look at what dating after college can be like, and Jake Johnson is a sweetheart. Plus, the actors improvised their dialogue!!


Her – Go see this now, oh my goodness. If only for the beautiful color palette, cinematography, and music. The story is sweet, haunting, and I felt the writing down to my bones. I’ve literally said some of the lines in this movie out loud in my own real everyday life. But Spike Jonze still left me with so much to ponder and yearn for. Joaquin Phoenix is brilliant. Amy Adams, despite having a small role, was utter perfection. I saw a lot of myself in her character. If Drinking Buddies was a look at adult dating, then Her is a lovely and brutal discussion of marriage/love in the 21st Century. Watching Her felt like reading a T.S. Eliot poem.

Have you seen any good films lately?

A Watch List

Okay, so just because I haven’t been reading much doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing other things. Most especially, watching the good ol’ television. Here’s what’s I’ve seen and the things I thought while doing the seeing:


The Walking Dead – obviously I love this show something fierce and just wanted an excuse to post more Norman Reedus. But also, I love how much of a character Georgia has become. It’s nice to see my home featured so prominently. Plus, I can literally feel what the characters are feeling (heat and humidity-wise) by merely stepping outside my door. I can take a drive down the same backroads they travel. And even take a trip to Woodbury (a.k.a. Senoia) if I so choose!

Six Ways to Sunday – a great little 90s indie film starring Deborah Harry (and maybe Norman Reedus, too) which I loved when it first came out and have rediscovered all these years later and still love it. It’s about a boy and his mother (the Jewish mob, Adrien Brody with some unfortunate hair styling, and Agent Coulson also make appearances).


Sons of Anarchy – I watched this in my efforts to avoid Breaking Bad. Just finished watching the third season and it’s hitting all of my buttons!! I’m feeling really nostalgic for Jimmy’s motorcycle which we exchanged for some much needed car repairs many years ago. We need another Suzuki cruiser in our lives.


Supernatural – I’m rewatching season 7. I’m not sure where I quit the show, but have decided to catch back up. Because Felicia Day. Plus, Dean Winchester. I missed him. And Cas!!

Moonshiners – Okay, I don’t want this, but Jimmy does. He is borderline obsessed.

What have you been watching?

Also, Bonus Reedus:


At the Cinema: The Artist, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, and Playing by Heart

This week’s movie roundup comes to you from our home cinema! We decided to take a break for spending a ton of cash on theater visits to watch some movies we had on hand or that were cheap from RedBox. Enjoy!


The Artist (own on bluray) – This film was a blind buy during Black Friday. It was priced really low and won the freakin’ Oscar so I was fairly certain it would be worth my money. I didn’t get around to watching until recently and I was both entertained and disappointed. The movie is definitely entertaining and cute. The actors are all beautiful people and the dog is a scene stopper! However, the movie never moves past cute for me. I think the gimmick of a black and white silent film in the 21st Century is what won this movie so many awards. I expected more.


Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (rented on RedBox) – Oh boy. We watched this movie Saturday night. Jimmy was very impressed with the action, but kept nitpicking historical inaccuracies. I was just mind boggled that this film could ever have gotten made. I suppose when Tim Burton throws his name into the game, anything can happen. But geez. I guess it’s a fast-paced romp and a fun take on alternate history tales, but Abraham Lincoln is entirely dismissed as a superhuman action hero in this flick. Know what you’re getting yourself into before starting this one and don’t expect anything more than what you’re given!


Playing By Heart (own on dvd) – One of my favorite movies from high school. I was such a Gillian Anderson fangirl at that point that I’d watch anything she was in. There is nothing particularly brilliant about this simple little romance, but I appreciate its ability to show real relationships – flaws and all. Worth a watch if you’ve never seen it! Besides Anderson, it stars Sean Connery, Angelina Jolie, Madeline Stowe, Jon Stewart, and many more!

Mini-Movie Reviews!

Been awhile since I’ve done some movie reviews! I’ve seen several films recently and here are some of the highlights:

Lawless (DVD):


I won this from Scribner (along with the book it’s based one) in a Twitter giveaway. Anything with Tom Hardy I will watch which is pretty much all I knew going in. Shia LaBeouf also stars and I’m not a fan, but sometimes you just gotta suck it up. Anyway, great flick. It’s about a moonshining family in Virginia during Prohibition. Lots of action, suspense, and some superb acting. Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, and Jessica Chastain all shine here and the story is based on a real life family! Definitely recommend.

Jack Reacher (Cinema)


I’ve never read the books so can’t compare, but the movie was a decent action flick. It does fall victim to some rather contrived dialogue and a definite cheese factor, but I expected that. I also think Tom Cruise is trying just a bit too hard to play Reacher which affected my viewing. On the plus side, there are some hilarious moments where you will laugh out loud and that made me happy. Don’t expect too much and wait for the DVD!

Les Mis (Cinema)


We went on Christmas Day since Jimmy is an obsessed fanboy. Earlier in 2012 we had seen the stage version (my first time – Jimmy’s third time) and have watched the anniversary show on television (yes, the one with the Jonas Brother). The film holds up well and was emotionally gutting. Even though I knew the story and what would happen, I still cried. Anne Hathaway was just outstanding. Hugh Jackman was a close second. Their performances are worth 3 hours of musical, I promise. Jimmy gave it two thumbs up.

The Hobbit (Cinema)


I’m a bit torn here. Having just read the book, I obviously had my issues with some of the changes although nothing to really detract my overall enjoyment. I just think things were over-exaggerated to add to both length and drama which were completely unnecessary. Still don’t believe three movies should have been made. The acting was great, the cinematography excellent, and the writing well done – just could have used some extra editing. I feel like the children’s story was lost for the sake of adult entertainment, but that makes more money.

Django Unchained (Cinema)


We went to see this last Friday night and I loved it. Some parts were hard to watch as the violence hit a little too close to reality, but I appreciated Tarantino sticking to the cold, hard, ugly truth of slavery. The language is also bothersome, but it should be. Django Unchained is not a rose-colored glasses view of slavery and wouldn’t it be far more insulting if it were? The acting was amazing by all involved. Christoph Waltz should be in every movie ever. Really enjoyed the script as well – only one single line of dialogue bothered me at the end, but what can you do? The score was excellent and almost felt like a character itself. Go see this!

TSS: A Week of Movies

This past week was filled with movie watching – far more so than book reading.  I’m not the world’s biggest movie person, but every now and again I watch an obscene amount of movies in a very short amount of time.  My husband and I devoured some cinema this weekend and enjoyed quite the eclectic mix.

Earlier in the week, I viewed Sarah’s Key by myself.  The Litwits read de Rosnay’s novel very early on and so I greatly looked forward to the film version.  Overall, I was quite satisfied, but didn’t find the movie amazing.  It was engaging, simple, did great justice to the book, and eliminated  most of the modern day Julia inner monologue that I hated in the novel.  If you’ve read the book, I recommend the movie and promise that the subtitles aren’t too distracting.

Friday night Jimmy and I sat down to Contagion.  They title really sums up the plot and I’m told the science in the movie is superbly accurate.  All in all, a decently engrossing film.  I particularly enjoyed the Matt Damon story line of father and daughter during the outbreak – touching, realistic, and worth the watch.  Jimmy jokingly thinks the movie is anti-Asian propaganda.

Out of the 5 movies I’m quickly reviewing, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is the only film I don’t recommend.  I think the movie LOOKED amazing, the actors are brilliant (Gary Oldman, Colin Firth), but the film itself is heavy-handed, convoluted, and extremely long/boring.  Maybe I’m just completely stupid, but many other reviews I’ve read have said this version of the story is incredibly hard to follow as it cuts out most of the novel.  People highly suggest the mini-series as an alternative.  Nothing good can be happening when I am repeatedly asking Jimmy – “do you understand what’s been going on?”

To rid ourselves of the bad taste left by TTSS, we immediately turned to True Grit which I admit being wary of.  Nothing about ‘western’ really turns me on.  But this movie was by far my favorite of the week!  I adored it entirely and all of the actors did an amazing job.  The movie is hilarious, but at the same time gives enough weight to its rather serious material and themes.  I loved Jeff Bridges as Rooster – superb performance.  Watch this movie!!

We ended our Saturday night with Harry Brown starring Michael Caine – because who doesn’t like Michael Caine.  Jimmy selected the movie just because he loves Caine’s accent.  Seriously – that’s all we need to persuade us to watch a movie.  Harry Brown is not a movie for everyone and I was pretty convinced based off the summary that I was going to hate it.  The story takes place in a modern day Britain where young thugs and the criminal element have pretty much taken over normal society – very reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange.  The police are barely even allowed to do their job – most times only knocking on doors to tell loved ones of violent deaths with no hopes of catching the guilty parties.  Riots are the norm.  Michael Caine loses his wife and best friend back-to-back, gets sick of how things have gotten, and begins a vigilante spree that is gory, gritty, and admittedly, extremely satisfying.

Who knows what we’ll watch tonight?!  In the way of books, I did reread Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins and loved it the second time around.  I’ve started One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest which sucked me in immediately.  Also began reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower which is the April read for book club.  Hopefully, I’ll be reading much more this next week.  I think I’ll probably post a review of Mockingjay on Monday since my opinion on the story did a complete 180.

Happy Reading!

Brooke’s Movie Reviews (or Warnings)!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving.  This holiday I’ve spent several hours in front of my television watching some movies – really terribly bad movies.  So, I thought since it’s the season of giving and all, I’d provide warnings to anyone thinking about watching the films I’ve forced myself to sit through!

Perhaps the worst offender is No Strings Attached.  I really don’t need to say more than – Ashton Kutcher, do I?  What was Natalie Portman thinking?  Just an easy way to pay the bills?  Anyway, it’s the whole friends with benefits turned soul-mate romance crap that has been done so many times.  Unfortunately, there is nothing to ground this movie in reality or make any of the characters endearing.  If you want a much better version, check out Friends With Benefits starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake – such a better movie.

Last night I sat down to The Roommate with Leighton Meester and Minka Kelly.  Just no.  WARNING: Meester’s character puts the most adorable kitten into a dryer – and then turns the dryer on.  However, if you like watching commercials for the CW, this movie might be for you since every actor from that channel finds their way into this film.

The whole Twilight series baffles me.  To be honest, this post was supposed to be a movie review of Breaking Dawn Part I, but I couldn’t bring myself to write it.  I just couldn’t do anything but write paragraph after paragraph of bashing every aspect of the film which would alienate people who love the story.  I don’t want anyone to hate me and leave the group!  But truthfully, the acting is ridiculous, the music (pan flutes!) comedic, the CGI moments unbelievable, and the wolves just completely stupid.  Any positives?  The special effects crew managed to do one good job – making Bella look super emaciated while the demon baby was sucking the life out of her.  This achievement only makes the other CGI bits that much worse.  The wedding scene was pretty and Anna Kendrick is hilarious.  Also, I liked the horror of the birthing scene.  See how nice I tried to be?

Finally, the one slightly shining moment was watching Matt Damon and Emily Blunt in The Adjustment Bureau.  I always appreciate a sci-fi/fantasy love story – they always feel a bit fresh and unpredictable.  Damon is really convincing as a politician and Blunt has obviously danced in her past which adds such realism to the script.  You feel like the what’s happening could actually happen unlike the prior three films.  Everything goes swimmingly until the end, which just kind of ends.  Abruptly.  I mean, everything is resolved.  Just there’s no big twist or excitement.  It’s just like the director yelled CUT! in the middle of a great chase scene.  Very jarring and ruined everything that had worked previously.  FAIL.

I hope y’all have had better luck than me with your recent viewings!  Let me hear about it in the comments!