Sunday, May 13, 2012

What I Watched This Week, May 6-12

Welcome to the fifth 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.

It's been another slow week due to my job search, but I did find time for a few movies.

Batman Begins (2005) (Blu-ray)

I used to watch superhero movies, but they have bored me over the past few years. Batman Begins is an exception because it's directed by Nolan and includes plenty of characterization. I enjoy seeing Wayne's motivations for his actions and Nolan makes everything seem plausible. I know that the genre doesn't have to seem plausible, but I find I prefer things that work logically.

Overall score 4/5

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011) (Blu-ray)

I enjoy mysteries and there is a lot to like about Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, but something is lacking. Tom Hanks was one of my favorite actors in the 90s and I keep hoping he'll reach that level again, but he doesn't spend much time on the screen. The scenes involving Hanks are the highlight of the movie, but once he's gone, the story becomes increasingly silly. Sandra Bullock is also underused, but I did enjoy Max von Sydow's performance. Worth seeing, but it could have been so much better if we had seen more of the relationship between Oskar and his father.

Overall score 3.5/5

The Dark Knight (2008) (Blu-ray)

I watched the best superhero movie ever made in preparation for a discussion over at 1:37 exactly. Nolan gives the characters a lot of depth and the supporting cast is superb. Aaron Eckhardt plays an interesting character and the story delivers plenty of thrills as well as a rich story. I'm looking forward to seeing Nolan's final installment when it hits theaters.

Overall score 4.5/5

The Blues Brothers (1980) (Blu-ray)

This Blu-ray has been sitting on my shelf for a few months and it had been years since I last saw it. I'm a fan of Belushi and Aykroyd, but the story wasn't as funny as I remembered. The picture quality on the extended version was also severely lacking at times. What I did enjoy was experiencing the music again. The cast includes Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, James Brown, John Lee Hooker and Cab Calloway, as well as the band members. I wouldn't watch this often, but the music definitely has something.

Overall score 3.5/5

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

Click here to see what I watched April 15-21.

Click here to see what I watched April 22-28.

Click here to see what I watched April 29-May 5.


  1. Great films except for Extremely Loud. Haven't seen it and have no desire to. It looks like one of 9-11 drama ramas that is designed purely to wring specific emotions out of the audience. Did Nicholas Sparks write this? LOL And you're right, Hanks hasn't had a great script in forever it seems.

  2. Hi Mel,

    It does seem odd that Hanks doesn't get better roles or make better choices. His last great performance was in Cast Away. He could be the James Stewart of his generation if he chooses a few more good roles.

  3. I agree. Cast Away was Hanks' last great role. He's done ok to meh stuff ever since. He needs to make smarter script choices or fire his agent or something.

  4. Good week. The Batman by Nolan films are so good. Agree that EL&IC was lacking but loved the performances, especially Thomas Horn and Sandra Bullock. Tom Hanks is a talented actor but I actually feel a little indifferent towards him.

  5. This week was better as I allowed myself more time and got through quite a few movies. I'll post it tomorrow.