May 28, 2009

Weekend in Reviews

Thursday is a little late to put up a post about what I watched over the weekend but computer problems and work have conspired to make for light posting this week. Apologies.

The Nanny Diaries - This movie was perfectly adequate filler for a Sunday afternoon while doing chores around the house or just enjoying mindless veg time. The "anthropology study" narration with "Mr. and Mrs. X" or "Harvard Hottie" was tired and annoying and the point that UES parents are self-involved ass holes is really much more fun to watch on Gossip Girl, but the kid was cute and the movie was well cast and I never argue with an opportunity to see Chris Evans look pretty. I can't really picture anyone loving this movie enough to, say, buy the DVD because there just isn't much substance, but as I said, if you're looking for something to watch the next time you're sick in bed or folding laundry and this is on cable, you could do worse.

Shooter - I have seen this movie about 10 times. I could watch it 100 more. I believe I've demonstrated here that I enjoy action movies so this is hardly a revelation, but I enjoy watching people kick ass. I like when shit blows up. I am never more satisfied than when someone is shot in a particularly horrifying manner on film. Maybe I have hidden rage issues or something, but I prefer to look at it as a cathartic way to work out my aggressions just by watching someone else get even.

Here, Mark Wahlberg is Bob Lee Swagger - a former army sniper, who is recruited by shady government characters to plan a fake presidential assassination, ostensibly to flush out the real assassin but really because they're looking for someone to pin it on when they shoot the Ethiopian arch bishop who is standing next to the President in order to cover up some other shady shit they did in Ethiopia. As is often the case in these movies, they grossly underestimate Swagger's awesomeness and hire some real morons to execute their plan so their asses are soundly handed to them (by which I mean they all die bloody).

Wahlberg is a very believable mountain-man sniper who knows his shit when it comes to shooting, survival and making things blow up. The rest of the cast is pretty well matched to their various roles as well - Danny Glover's orthodontic-induced speech impediment doesn't make him any less menacing as the nefarious colonel in charge of the assassination and frame-up; Elias Koteas specializes in creeping me out; Ned Beatty does crooked, sleezy politician about as well as anyone could ever be expected to; Michael Pena is under-utilized but still a pleasure to watch as the one person in the FBI who manages to smell a rat amidst the foul stench of corruption; Kate Mara is not a great actress but her southern accent is outstanding and her lack of affectation somehow works here. Also, she's REALLY pretty.

I highly recommend this movie for anyone who likes to see the bad guys get theirs and the good guys come out on top. And for anyone who enjoys lookin' at Mark Wahlberg without his shirt on or Kate Mara in her underwear. If bullets, blood and explosions aren't your thing, this isn't for you at all.

Bones - TNT thoughtfully ran a marathon on Memorial Day. I love crime-solving marathons more than anything on a holiday weekend so this was a perfect way to end my long, lazy weekend. The episodes didn't air in any kind of order but they did pick some dandy mysteries. I like Brennan best when she's being overly analytical and it was great to have so much Zack again. They were also nice enough to include the episode where Booth sleeps with his ex and spends the first couple minutes in his tighty whites so I think we all won.

ER - I caught two old episodes of ER and was reminded why I liked that show back in it's heyday. I would date these eps at about the second season - Benton was in the midst of his tour of tragedy and torture as he learned the fine art of pediatric surgery and was a total prick to Gant; Susan was preparing to relocate to Phoenix to be closer to little Suzy; Mark and Doug were bickering like school girls because Doug gets all the chicks and Mark's got a monster case of blue balls because he's too big a chicken to ask Susan out. I think I might put the first several seasons of this show in the ol' NetFlix queue.

Law & Order - I also watched several episodes of L&O: Original Recipe from the Lenny Briscoe years. It's been so long since I have watched these old ones I actually didn't remember how they ended which was nice. I really miss Jerry Orbach.

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