Movies

24th January
2010
written by Steph
Somewhat of a slow week for us here at Steph & Tony Investigate, but that didn't stop us from prattling on about the 3.5 movies we watched.  Why 3.5?  Well, you'll have to listen to find out! This week we watched: Highlights include:
  • Is Jean Claude Van Damme secretly cool?  We discuss this while talking about JCVD.
  • Steph gets passionate about the portrayal of women in guy movies while discussing The Hangover!
  • Is Ink the worst movie ever?  Probably not.  But it might be.
  • We discuss whether Easy Virtue was rented because of Jessica Biel or Colin Firth. (Hint: It wasn't because of Jessica Biel...)

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17th January
2010
written by Steph
The results are in and are conclusive: the new podcast feature is a hit, both for you and for us!  This was a pretty busy week for us, but we managed to squeeze in the following four movies (one of which, I'm sure you've been waiting with bated breath for us to watch): Highlights from this week's podcast:
  • Tony learns just how important good bread is to Steph while we discuss Ratatouille
  • How to incorporate Super Size Me into your life for a healthier 2010
  • Was Avatar deserving of all the hype?  Don't want to spoil it for you, but: no.
  • The Shop Around the Corner proves that oldies can still be goodies (even if they are culturally insensitive)
Additional highlight for you the listeners: we've updated our audio-streaming plug-in for added functionality, namely the ability to rewind time (or skip ahead) so that you can listen to your favorite clips again and again!

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10th January
2010
written by Steph
Here is a new feature we are thinking of including regularly on our site: a short(ish) podcast in which Tony and I recap the movies we watched during the past week. What are you in for?  Well, we cover the following four movies: Other bonuses:
  • Hear us bicker... about several things, but mostly about whether "Jim from The Office" is really called James Krasinski
  • We insult Twilight... again
  • Is Henry Tilney gay?  Find out our final take!
  • We outline one of the major pitfalls screenwriters grapple with when penning prequels
  • Finally hear our crazy accents!
Click the play button below and take a listen and let us know what you think!  If people enjoy this, we're open to doing it again... Is that a threat or a promise?  Only you can say! [NB: When we talk about Northanger Abbey being a 1986 production... well, Steph should have checked IMDB and not trusted Tony, because this was NOT an '80s production, but rather one from 2007...]

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5th January
2010
written by Steph
Bon appetit!

Bon appetit!

I’m pretty sure Tony thought there had been some kind of terrible mistake with our Netflix when Julie & Julia showed up in our mailbox.  What Tony always fails to recognize is twofold: 1) I like watching crappy movies; 2) Just because I don’t make him see something in the theater doesn’t mean I’m not going to rent it when it comes out… in fact, I’m probably waiting for it to come out on dvd so I can do just that!  Given that I love food and cooking as much as I do, it really should have been a no brainer that this movie was going to make an appearance in our home sooner or later. And what can I say?  I actually liked this movie for the most part!  It’s not a groundbreaking piece of cinema, but based on most of the reviews that came out when it was first released, I expected it to be fairly horrific, especially the parts featuring Julie Powell.  Instead, I found this a pretty pleasant movie that was soothing and charming, if not challenging and provocative.  I enjoyed Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Julia Child (then again, I do have a bit of a girl crush on Ms. Streep) and loved when Jane Lynch popped up as Julia’s sister (again, another girl crush there), I liked seeing all of the kitchen antics that took place for both women, and I adored the little journey into the past and overseas to Paris that we got to take, even if now I’m trying to figure out when we can pack our bags and move to the city of lights. (more…)
17th November
2009
written by Steph
Tony's Take A couple of weekends ago we went to our local drive-in movie theater (the Stardust) and enjoyed a nice double feature: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Where the Wild Things Are. Personally, I had very few expectations for Cloudy as I knew very little about it. Steph asserted that she had heard it was funny, and that was enough for me, as Steph is usually right on when it comes to what I’ll like. As far as Where the Wild Things Are, my preconceptions were a little different. I had seen (as had we all) the preview where they blast the Arcade Fire song and all the imagery just breathes in time to the music and it is magic. Fortunately for Spike Jonze this was enough to convince me to shell out my seven dollars (that’s right, seven dollars for two movies) and sit in our car for several hours.  Unfortunately, I also knew that Dave Eggers had a hand in this movie so I really didn’t know what to expect (I like McSweeney’s well enough, I suppose, though not usually the parts Eggers himself writes). (more…)
23rd October
2009
written by Steph
Today Tony turns... another year older! (I will leave it to him to share the not at all old number that he is turning, should he care to!)  To celebrate, we have orchestrated a weekend of extravagant proportions.  We started celebrating early last night by heading out to see a double header of Toy Story 1 & 2 in 3D at the Theater that Time Forgot (seriously, we were the ONLY people there... I get that it was a Thursday, but come on!).  We'd both seen the two movies before, but never in 3D, and having the theater all to ourselves meant we could do running commentary, which was actually a lot of fun.  We also got to see the trailer for Toy Story 3, and, well... I hope it is better than what was shown!  In my mind, Toy Story 2 is a lovely way to cap off the franchise and completes the full story arc that the movies aim to tell, but I will try to have faith in Pixar and assume they know what they're doing.  But here's the thing: remember in Toy Story 2 when Jessie is sharing her story (via the montage accompanied by Sarah McLaughlan warbling When Somebody Loved Me) about her time with her previous owner Emily and it was SO SAD? (As in, every time I see that scene, I possibly tear up!)  And the whole point there is that kids grow up and leave for college and their old toys get left behind and given away and that is sad?  But then Jessie gets saved because Andy always can do with new toys, and then we are happy!  But now in Toy Story 3, Andy is leaving for college and so the toys are given away to a day care!  Is this the story we really want to see?  OK, and even if that premise isn't somehow sad (I guess the upside is the toys are now making other children happy...), the jokes in the trailer are just not very funny, and that is a shame because generally speaking the Toy Story flicks are both heartwarming AND amusing.  See for yourself: (more…)
10th September
2009
written by Tony

This is going to be a hot one. I’m not sure if there is any way to talk about this movie without starting some kind of fight with someone, so I won’t pretend that I can write some sort of neutral review and be done with it, or that this will be a review only. Despite the fact that this movie is over two years old, I think now was the perfect time for us to watch it, considering how hotly contested Obama’s healthcare reform is currently. I won’t lie, this is a depressing movie, for a lot of reasons. I’ll be the first to say that there are definitely times in his other movies when Michael Moore crosses the line from telling a story to flagrantly airing a personal bias. There have certainly been times in his previous movies where I agreed with his premise but disagreed with his tactics. However, this movie is largely free from those moments, though I will discuss some of them later. (more…)
28th August
2009
written by Steph
Mind you, it's a day unlike any other... including the one described in the book!

Mind you, it's a day unlike any other... including the one described in the book!

Today Persephone Reading Week (hosted by Claire at Paperback Reader and Verity of The B Files) draws to a close.  I’m more than a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to prepare appropriately for this joint reading experience and stock of up on some Persephone titles in advance, but I was happy to be able to at least read one book in the spirit of the week.  I’m sure it won’t be my last!  I dearly hope these two lovely ladies will host another PRW at some point in the future, as I’ll certainly be there with bells on if they do! As I had no more Persephones to actually read, I figured I could still participate in kind by watching the film version of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.  I’ve been wanting to see the movie for a while (it’s the reason I even knew the book existed), but was determined to wait until I had actually read the original source material (I’m very compulsive about this).  Now that I have, I moved Miss Pettigrew up my queue. (more…)
27th August
2009
written by Steph
But will I be into this movie?  That's the really important thing!

But will I be into this movie? That's the really important thing!

Normally Tony is very good about indulging my desire to watch bad movies. While he might not be first in line to see the latest chick flick, then again, normally neither am I. But sometimes I do want to see a predictable rom com where I can turn my brain off, but hopefully still be charmed. These tend to be cases where Netflix comes into play, so that we can watch from the relative safety and privacy of our own home. This is how I get away with watching crap like Twilight and, well, He’s Just Not That Into You. In this case, though, I actually watched this one day at home over lunch while Tony was at work, because while I knew he would watch it with me, I knew it would probably be little to no fun for him, so I figured I would save him the agony. To be fair, I was expecting this movie to be so bad that I wound up being mildly impressed by how not bad it was. Don’t get me wrong, the movie isn’t really very good, but I had expected it to be so irredeemably bad that I wound up feeling it had perhaps been too harshly judged by its critics. It’s not reinventing the wheel, it’s not breaking any new ground, but I don’t know that this is a huge crime against the movie-going public. It’s a romantic comedy! I’m not saying these can’t be thoughtful and well done, but that’s not normally their m.o., and moreover, the people who tend to go see them generally don’t want them to be surprising! If you go to see The Proposal and Sandra Bullock and Mr. Scarlet Johansson don’t fall in love at the end of it? A bunch of people are going to be pissed! (more…)
24th August
2009
written by Steph
G'day, G'day!

G'day, G'day!

I am not sure if I have ever documented it here, but I generally dread watching movies that are more than 90 minutes long.  Normally I can stretch myself to 2 hours if necessary, but in most cases, movies past the 120 minute mark are needlessly bloated and I get grumpy about having had to sit still for that long.  Plus I tend to get bored and sleepy.  Maybe part of this stems from the fact that we don’t have any kind of cable (basic or otherwise), so we tend to watch Netflix stuff during the evening… and if a movie is longer than 2 hours, then that means a good chunk of our night is gone if we’re watching it on a “school night”.  So things did not bode well for Australia going in, and some might wonder why it even wound up on our queue.  Well, I love me some Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge is probably one of my top 10 favorite movies) AND I have recently been going through a phase where I am fascinated by the land down under (mostly the accents, I think)… so both of these factors managed to cancel out the 165 (!!!) minute runtime and we decided to give this a go. (more…)
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