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11th April
written by Steph
Good morning, read-a-thoners!  In case your eyes are too tired to do any more reading, why not take a listen to what we've been watching over the past few weeks? Featured in this installment:
  • Red Riding (1974) makes us wonder whether movies that feature actors from Yorkshire, England qualify as "foreign language" films...
  • Another win for Pixar with A Bug's Life (even if it's about actual bugs, and not our little bug, Rory).  Also, Tony geeks out.
  • Tony schools Steph in American history, though she makes a legitimate point about settlers in Washington state while talking about Sleepy Hollow.
  • We revisit Savannah and Kevin Spacey with Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.  We probably prefer Spacey's performance as a grasshopper to Jim Williams, but we definitely prefer John Cusack when he plays "that guy who is not in whatever movie we're watching".
  • We belatedly continue to watch movies that were nominated but did not win the 2010 Oscar for Best Picture, this time with A Serious Man. I think we know why this one did not win.
  • Did you know Bruce Willis once had hair?  Don't believe us? Watch Die Hard.  Also: Alan Rickman!  Who knew?!?!

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  1. nice selections! i prefer the book version of ‘midnight’ and love savannah. i haven’t seen any of the other movies you watched but my husband is a fan of ‘die hard’. also, for more on a hairy bruce willis, check out the tv show from my childhood called ‘moonlighting’. 🙂

    with netflix this month, my new obsession, i watched ‘the september issue'(documentary about anna wintour and vogue magazine), ‘julie and julia’, ‘every little step’ (a documentary about the broadway show ‘a chorus line’), season 3 of arrested development, a few episodes of ‘the office’, and ‘precious’. 🙂 i’m hooked on netflix!

  2. 04/11/2010

    What did you think of Red Riding? How was the violence level? Time commitment?

    I loved watching Bugs life with our kids, and how one correctly noted that the bug brothers were the best characters, and the 4yo knew that the bird decoy would work.

    What’s with the Cusack slam? Not that’s he’s done much of note lately, but I found Hot Tub Time Machine funny in a B-movie way. Along with the Willis/Rickman comments, I think you’re pegging yourself as a young-un.

  3. 04/11/2010

    @ nat: Yes, the book version of Midnight is VASTLY superior. Next best thing to actually being in Savannah! 😉
    Oh, and I definitely have plans with a friend to watch The September Issue, and A Chorus Line is already on our Netflix queue too! Love Arrested Development and The Office… Netflix is a beautiful thing!
    @ Girl Detective: Red Riding was a bit of a rough slog, though we only watched the first of the trilogy. The accents were hard to follow and it does get extremely violent at times. I felt much of the film was muddled and motivations were somewhat unclear. It’s about corruption, and that comes across loud and clear, but I found myself wondering if there was anything more to it. I wonder if the second and third films were better, but then again, we didn’t feel compelled to watch those ones.
    I just find Cusack kind of pretentious and don’t think he’s all that good of an actor. Haven’t seen Hot Tub Time Machine, so can’t comment on his performance there, but most of the stuff I’ve seen him in he’s been a scenery chomper. Do most people love him because he was/is Lloyd Dobbler?
    And finally, I honestly had never seen Willis with hair, so I guess that makes me a youngun. But I believe Rickman still has a lush head of locks, I was just surprised to see him in Die Hard! 😉

  4. 04/14/2010

    I had never heard of Red Riding before, and I am wondering if it might be something that I would like. I would definitely want to wait for Netflix and use the subtitles for sure! It sounds like the crazy man at the movie may have been a bit senile or something. I have seen A Bug’s Life, and thought it was pretty good. We also have been to the Bug’s Life interactive ride at Disney. It was like a movie/puppet show, and I think it was more directed towards younger kids than anyone else, but it was fun. Love, love, love Sleepy Hollow! I am a huge Johnny Depp fan, and I think it is one was one of his better movies. I also agree that it was a dark and creepy movie and Burton did a really good job with it. I have been debating whether or not I should watch Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, or read the book. After hearing your opinions on it, I think I will try the book and possibly see the movie after I have finished it. It does sound as if the book is a bit more distinctive. A Serious Man sounds utterly confusing and like something I most probably wouldn’t get. I also haven’t ever seen Die Hard, but my husband really wants me too. He says it is a fun movie. I am not much of a fan of action/suspense movies, but I am willing to give it a chance. Also, I hated Transformers. My son thinks it’s the greatest movie ever filmed, but I know better. The second one was even worse than the first, which is a hard feat to manage!

  5. 04/14/2010

    I feel so honored that I got to watch two of these films with you. 🙂

    Of the two we saw, A Serious Man was my favorite. It grew on me afterward, the more I thought about it, and in some ways it’s nice, if confusing, for a movie to just ask questions instead of wrapping everything up with a bow (and the ending made up for a lot). But I am still with you on not-best-picture, and the weirdo prologue, which didn’t add anything for me.

    Ah, Die Hard. The cheesy music, hairstyles and dialogue, and the limo driver, made this one fun for me, though it’s not even at the top of my action movie list.

  6. 04/14/2010

    @ zibilee: Subtitles would be SUPER helpful with Red Riding… it’s the only way I’d consider watching the other two movies in the trilogy. All in all I’d say the movies we watched for this installment were all pretty good, even if A Serious Man was confusing. It wasn’t a bad film by any means, but it was perhaps more open-ended than I may have liked. And really Midnight is such a good book that it wasn’t really surprising that the movie paled in comparison. Read the book – I know you’ll like it. And Die Hard is pretty goofy and ridiculous, but it’s fun and there are certainly worse action movies to watch!
    @ Trisha: I’m so glad we got to watch two of these films with you too! And I did enjoy A Serious Man, even though the beginning was random and bizarre!
    I can’t remember if we gave a shout-out to the limo driver when talking about Die Hard, but I loved him. I was glad he didn’t die!

  7. 04/18/2010

    Steph, for a lot of women my age (early 40’s) and slightly younger, I think Lloyd Dobler became the perfect guy. Not for me, though. I always kinda preferred Jake Ryan.

    And yes, it does have to be kind of shock to see Bruce W with hair from the early years, except for those of us who watched Moonlighting back in the day!

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