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Archive for the ‘Movie Reviews’ Category

“We wanted to be more like Zeppelin. We didn’t want to be locked into a specific style.” – Eddie Vedder

“I might be a fucking genius, or I might be the biggest dick ever. I don’t know.” – Conan O’ Brien

There is a really funny and revealing moment in Cameron Crowe’s excellent documentary, “Pearl Jam Twenty,” that deals with what the band’s guitarist/founder Stone Gossard calls, “the birth of no.” After getting wasted at an MTV party for Crowe’s 1992 movie “Singles,” which was the band’s only day off in weeks, Pearl Jam realized they couldn’t say yes to everything asked of them. Even though they were still just happy to be asked to do anything, the up and coming band couldn’t do it all, or it would have led to an inevitable burnout and breakup. There is a reason that the band is celebrating their 20th anniversary though. They are an amazing live band but they also say “yes” to many causes they believe in: anti-monopolies (Ticketmaster), voting, the innocence of the West Memphis Three, and Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit. They say “yes” when it feels right, “no” when it’s too much, and try to add enough variety to keep themselves sane.

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PB&J has taken a little time off to meditate, reflect, prioritize, capitulate, regress, expedite, and conciliate. Phindo, at least, actually has a great excuse for not blogging – the power went out in all of Maine for the last two weeks and no one noticed. Anyway, we know you’ve all been dying for new and extreme content, so I thought I would honor my recent trip to Vegas with a top seven (important craps number) list of movies set in that wonderful desert town.

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Until recently, I hadn’t watched Saturday Night Live in probably 10, maybe even 15, years. I could easily kick the show in groin by saying that I haven’t been watching because the skits are no longer funny and neither are the actors. But I won’t. The real reason I haven’t watched is, of course, I can’t stay up that late anymore because I’d rather spend my Saturday nights out at the club. But after hearing that Betty White’s hosting of SNL was a hit, my SNL hiatus was over (I am an uber Golden Girl fan. Go ahead, laugh it up fuzzballs).

And that was when I was formally introduced to MacGruber.

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We had a request from one of our many, many loyal readers (don’t laugh) recently – Holley from http://holleyunedited.wordpress.com/ – Rotten Tomatoes recently ranked the top 11 movies based on Saturday Night Live sketches and here is their list:

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Over the past few weeks I have been trying to find a way to post something about Woody Allen. I am absolutely smitten with many of his films. And over the last few years, I am beginning to develop the attitude that, of all the great directors still making films today, Woody Allen may be one of the most underrated. So, being a site devoted to discussing films in all capacities, I think it is time we start some discussion about Mr. Allen.

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Far be it for me to ever disagree with the J, but I do have a few things I would like to be said in reference to Khaaaaaan….

First off, yes, Kirk is a late twentieth-century expression of the idealized American/western hero, and if I were to pick another actor or character that most closely resembles him it would be Mr. John Wayne. Furthermore, the finest example of Kirk as a character is “Khan” because of the contrast between its two main pieces, Ricardo Montalban being the other half of the equation. As many readers on here may already know, what makes a narrative sometimes isn’t really the hero. Rather, it is sometimes more dependent on whether or not the villain strikes a chord within us, either repulsion or as in the case of Khan….maybe we kind of like him.

But I digress, the point I wanted to bring up was about the whales. The first Star Trek movie I saw was the The Voyage Home, and as a little kid, I loved it. It was right up there with Goonies, and Indiana Jones. Upon a re-watching as an older, wiser adult, yes some of the scenes look somewhat trite or contrived, but I could never shake the enjoyment I had from watching the movie (The Voyage Home is definitely a movie, in the best sense). So, you can either chalk it up to brazen sentimentality, or disregard me as Neo-Platonic wonk, but I like that movie, it makes me feels good about myself and others. So sue me.

Also, this scene is sweet.

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Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how critics go about reviewing a film. That is, how is that they can come to the conclusion that a movie is either good or bad. For me, it takes several viewings before I can really come to a decision. Of course, your conclusions based on the first viewing do matter and decide whether or not you are willing to slog through another two hours to watch a movie again. For example, after one viewing, I know now I never have to see Nymphoid Barbarian in Dinosaur Hell again.

So, last weekend I decided to rent Up in the Air. I had already seen it in the theatre and was completely blown away; best movie of the year. The storyline was contemporary, a subtle commentary on the current state of the American economy. And, of course, Clooney was superb and charming as usual.

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