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Monday Movies Has Done Just What We Set Out To Do

The Muppet Movie is perfect in every way.

What did you see this week?



December 19, 2011 - Posted by | Monday Movies |


  1. We went to see Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I was expecting just a condensed version of the TV series, but obviously they reworked a lot of things — they even added new plot points and executed some more elegantly. (The Christmas party was probably my favorite addition.) I have no idea how we could’ve possibly followed it if we hadn’t come in already knowing the plot, though. And I was very disappointed in the Bill Hayden character — Colin Firth seemed like a bad choice, and they toned down his anti-Americanism so much that his betrayal just made no sense whatsoever. I was also puzzled as to why they made Alleline a midget.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | December 19, 2011

  2. I had an active movie watching weekend. We went to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol on Friday. One of the stars of the movie was the super duper tall building in Dubai. They did a good job of using the camera to make the audience very uncomfortable with the idea of playing around on the outside of the building, 130 stories up. There were about a dozen scenes where Tom Cruise would do something and you’d think, “I’m pretty sure that would kill him”. But Impossible is right in the title and this is the fourth one, so if you’re surprised I think it’s “shame on you” at this point. Overall, I thought it was pretty enjoyable. It did a very good job of keeping things tense, but with a much lighter tone than the third one. I guess that’s to be expected when it’s directed by the guy who did The Incredibles.

    Yesterday, on a spur of the moment kind of decision, we caught a matinee of Hugo. Josh covered this one better than I could, but I will say I liked it a good deal. The main story was very touching and I loved the side stories we, the audience, keep seeing in glimpses. It seemed to me the innocence and simplicity of these side stories were additional homages to the old, silent films.

    Comment by Matt in Toledo | December 19, 2011

  3. 12/14/11 – Tampopo – Itami 1986 9/10
    12/15/11 – Tokyo Lullaby – Jun Ichikawa 1997 8/10
    12/16/11 – After the Flowers – Nakanishi 2010 7/10
    12/17/11 – All Good Things – Jarecki 2010 5/10
    12/18/11 – (Homeland finale)

    Talk about the Nakanishi. This is the 4th movie I have seen based on the fiction of Shûhei Fujisawa, and as Mark Schilling of Japan Times says, it may be impossible to screw it up, so I will simply recommend anything with that name attached. Disagreeing with some, I think this was technically inferior to Yoji Yamada’s “Samurai Trilogy”, but this may have been the best story. A young female protagonist this time, great with a sword. An unexpected twist at the end simply exploded the story, themes, and implications, made me rethink the entire movie, and made me cry. Just a little bit uninspired in its prettiness, but still very pretty. Conservative? Well, in a brutal repressive society, the first rule is survive and take care of each other. Terrific entertainment.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | December 19, 2011

  4. To just show what I’m thinking here, everybody including me loves them some Kobayashi Harakiri, Samurai Rebellion but you that leftist had his heroes fight the system and like they all fucking died.

    Shûhei Fujisawa is not disagreeing with that diagnosis or description of the system, but writing in the 70s and 80s is trying to come up with a sane alternative. Like not dying. And how to love.

    This may be useful as the world becomes a repressive authoritarian system.

    Comment by bob mcmanus | December 19, 2011

  5. i’ve almost finished all of the lenfilm and mosfilm channels lately, what i could watch, cz many films are too outdated or too soviet socrealist, so i would just start one and drop it out, but their 60-70-80ies melodramas are nice and the adaptations of the classical plays, A.I. Ostrovsky’s for example, are the best, these three i enjoyed very much if one knows russian one might enjoy them too, pity there are no english subtitles to them this, this, and this

    Comment by read | December 19, 2011

  6. Matt, good eye on the short “silent” films embedded within Hugo. Kristin Thompson saw them exactly the way you did at her and David Bordwell’s site. Link

    Comment by Josh K-sky | December 19, 2011

  7. pardon, that is A.N.Ostrovsky

    Comment by read | December 19, 2011

  8. We watched “Piranha.” Our standard for movie greatness is rather low–watch the movie in a single sitting without getting up except to refill drinks, take the dogs outside, or go to the washroom–and this movie passed with flying colours. Adam Scott was surprisingly hilarious, but we were saddened that when he took his shirt off that there wasn’t a body-double sick pack like in “Step Brothers.” Jerry O’Connell was likewise funny–not Tom-Cruise-Scientology-advertisment-video-funny, but funny all the same. And a lot of people died in horrible ways from a variety of moderately clever piranha attacks. I think the movie was filmed in 3D, but we saw it in regular-D. I’ve never seen a 3D movie and I doubt I ever will.

    Comment by Craig McFarlane | December 20, 2011

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