Sunday, April 22, 2012

What I watched This Week: April 15-21, 2012

Welcome to the second installment of What I Watched This Week. I don't review everything I watch, but I have time for quick comments about the movies that I don't fully review.

I seem to have watched the two biggest box office successes of all time this week. Don't worry, I haven't sold out.

April 15 - 50/50 (2011) (Blu-ray)

This was my second viewing. I enjoyed it the first time and perhaps liked it even more on this viewing. It's one of the best comedies from 2011.

You can read my full review here.

Overall score 4/5


April 15 - Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990) (Blu-ray)

I think Die Hard 2 is a lot better than most people give it credit for. Maybe it's because they prefer seeing Willis take out enemies one at a time? This sequel is broader in scope and the danger felt real to me. I like the broader airport setting and William Sadler was an effective villain. Worth seeing if you like action movies. 

Overall score 4/5

April 15 - Needful Things (1993) (DVD)

I read the book and saw this in the theater, but my memory of it was slightly better than the reality, Still, some very good performances, particularly from Max von Sydow and Ed Harris.

Here's my full review.

Overall score 3.5/5 (down from 4/5)

April 16 - Titanic (1997) (TV)

I was warned about Titanic. Common complaints are that it's too long and it's just a chick flick. I was entertained throughout the three hours and liked a lot of things about the film. The structure worked, with an old woman in the present reflecting on the accident. Winslet and DiCaprio both did well, although both have gone on to better things.

I will be picking Titanic up on Blu-ray in September.

Overall score 4/5

April 17 - Heat (1995) (Blu-ray)

I took part in the weekly discussion over at 137exactly and it was the perfect excuse to watch Heat again and review it for the first time. The discussion taught me something about the film and I recommend it highly if you have seen the film.

Here's my full review.

Overall score 4/5

April 18 - Super 8 (2011) (Blu-ray)

I watched Super 8 for the second time and decided to review it. It feels like a combination of Stephen King and classic Spielberg and it's an ideal family film.

Here's my full review.

Overall score 4/5

April 19 - Sideways (2005) (Blu-ray)

I first watched Sideways a couple of months ago because I can't stop watching The Descendants and I wanted to see something else from director Alexander Payne. The initial viewing left me a little disappointed, but I think it was because expectations were sky high. After seeing it a second time, I'm glad I added it to my collection. The writing sets everything up, and the acting and direction are excellent too. I'll probably review this in full soon.

Overall score 4/5

April 20 - none

April 21 - Avatar (2009) (Blu-ray)

I've seen Avatar around eight times and this was my second or third viewing of the extended edition. It adds depth to the story and the demise of one of my favorite characters is given closure. I know that Avatar has received a lot of criticism, but I always enjoy it. The setting is what makes it such a fantastic experience and it enables me to overlook the shortcomings of the script.

I watched the movie again after deciding to upgrade my blog by adding images. That's still a work in progress and will take several days, but just seeing the images from Avatar made me excited about watching it again.

Here's my full review.

Overall score 5/5

Click here to see what I watched April 8-14.


  1. I liked most all of these movies, Titanic being my favorite of the bunch. It's depth of story, character and the disaster itself, make it Cameron's finest film after Aliens. Avatar was a huge disappointment for me. It was like gorgeous looking frosting with stale cake underneath. The f/x were great, but the acting was rather stiff, especially Worthington who is clearly in need of lessons. The characters complete stock and the plot was recycled parts from other films. Just could not get into beyond the f/x. I think I must be the only one on the planet who didn't like it. :)

  2. Hi Melissa,

    Don't worry, I know a lot of people who loathe Avatar.

    Have you seen The Abyss? I thought that it had plenty of good moments, good acting, and a relationship that we could become invested in.

  3. I have not seen The Abyss in years. I forgot about that one. Now I have to go and re-watch it. Thanks! :) Hope you're having a great weekend.

  4. There's quite a lot of characterization in The Abyss by Cameron's standards. I just got back from a 7km walk. That's 13km in two days. Time to relax. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

  5. Looks like you had a fantastic movie week (with the exception of a certain movie I hate haha). Re-watched 50/50 last night and liked it even more than I did upon first viewing. I'm going to have to bump that rating up a little!

    1. Hi Fernando,

      Yes, it was a good week. This week is looking busy, but I did see Take Shelter again last night.

  6. Sideways is one of my favourite films. I think I'll have a similar reaction with The Descendants but I think Payne's films get better on each viewing. I loved The Descendants when I first saw it, and I'm looking forward to viewing number two. I hope Sideways will keep getting better for you. Every time I watch it I love it a little bit more.

  7. ...Re: 50/50 glad you enjoyed that one...I have it on DVD to watch but haven't yet seen it. I'll have to give it a spin.

  8. Thanks Dan,

    I'm going to read the book before I review Sideways at the suggestion of the author. Hoping to pick up a copy today.

    I think you will enjoy 50/50.