Monthly Archives: July 2012

Episode 20: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES EXTRAVAGANZA!

As Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy comes to an end I feel that there is no better way to celebrate his masterpiece than to dedicate this week’s episode to The Dark Knight Rises and Christopher Nolan’s Gotham City. Since 2005 audiences around the world have been enthralled with this world that manages to look somewhat our world today but is filled with larger than life heroes and villains. We have eagerly anticipated each installment, waiting on the edges of our seats to find out what lies ahead for Bruce Wayne/Batman. We have cried as he has faced loss again and again. We have laughed as he has quipped while foiling the plans of his villains. We have chewed our nails while trying to keep up with the multitude of plot twists. But we have never doubted that Christopher Nolan, along with his cast and crew , would deliver an amazing film. As the trilogy comes to an end we can reflect back on how each film has led the way for this conclusion. I’m sure the debate will last quite some time on which of the three films was the best, but for me this is a trilogy where each film strengthens the others. I am certain that it will be difficult for anyone trying to reboot the Batman franchise in the future to beat what has been accomplished with these films.

News & Gossip:

  • Should Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman get her own movie? article
  • What would you say to additional films set in Nolan’s Gotham without Batman? article
  • Top 10 things Christopher Nolan got right article
  • Rating the actors in The Dark Knight Rises article
  • Christopher Nolan says “goodbye” to Batman article
  • Christian Bale has a generous spirit (in my opinion) article

In theaters now:

  • The Dark Knight Rises (trailer): Christopher Nolan has given us a top notch finale to his Dark Knight trilogy. It has been 8 years in Gotham since Batman has fought for justice. Bruce Wayne has become a recluse, trapped in a self imposed prison. Gotham has been made safe by The Harvey Dent Act. But events are simmering beneath the surface that once brought to light, will force Bruce Wayne to wear the Batman cowl once again. This film is not The Dark Knight. Those expecting a film that mirrors The Dark Knight will be disappointed because where The Dark Knight was all about the villain, The Dark Knight Risesis all about Bruce Wayne’s personal journey coming to an end. He is fulfilling his destiny and becoming the hero he was meant to become. Tom Hardy’s Bane is not the villain The Joker was. He is not crazed or manic. He has a purpose in life and believes that he is doing what’s right. He has a physicality that is greater than Batman’s and is able to do the unthinkable: best Batman in a fight. Anne Hathaway was a real surprise as Selina Kyle/Catwoman. Upon initial reports that she would be playing Catwoman I was unsure that she’d be able to pull it off… but she did. She was Catwoman without being overly campy or sexual, while giving audiences a voice from the underprivileged in Gotham City. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was able to give depth and emotion to a character that could have been completely one dimensional. Anna and I agree that at a run time of just under 3 hours the film didn’t seem as long as it was. We were able to experience a wide range of emotions and Anna was so excited at one point she even clapped (I know, I know). We both rated this 5 out of 5 and neither of us can wait to see it again.
    • 10 things to know before seeing The Dark Knight Rises (no spoilers) article

What’s on the horizon:

This weekend’s agenda:

[audio http://archive.org/download/TwoWomenOneMovieAndAMicrophone/2women1movieEp20.mp3]

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And to close this post I’ll leave you with a little bit of humor…

Episode 19: The Favorites Episode

You know what, Anna? I’m pretty sure I can explain why we’re still single in two words: Jake Ryan.

It’s fun talking about the new movies that we see each week but honestly some of the movies I like to talk about the most are old favorites. I love being able to share a movie that I have loved with someone else in hopes that they’ll love it (or like it) as well. Anna and I took some time over the last week thinking about which films we love to watch over and over again. I have my standbys, movies that I watch every time they’re on TV, but I wanted to pick a couple films that you may have missed but should check out.

News & Gossip:

  • The 21 Jump Street sequel is in the works article
  • Daniel Radcliffe to star in a romantic comedy article
  • Matt Damon probably won’t be back for another Bourne film article
  • Interesting thoughts on why there should be a sequel to John Carter article
  • A plethora of Catching Fire casting news article
  • 10 overlooked films of 2011 article
  • on a side note this is an interesting article on why men should go see Magic Mike

Our Everlasting Favorites:

  • Kari’s first choice: The Last of the Mohicans – I wanted to link a trailer but honestly the trailer made for this in 1992 was pretty terrible compared to the masterpieces that are trailers today. When I think of the films that made me truly fall in love with the movies this one comes immediately to mind. For me it has it all: amazing performances, a thrilling score, drama, action, a historically relevant plot, and most importantly a beautiful love story. Daniel Day Lewis can be trusted to deliver a spot on performance and he certainly does as Hawkeye. I can watch him save Cora from being killed over, and over, and over again. This does not get old for me. I also appreciate the beautiful setting in which the film was shot. The locations were in North Carolina and honestly it looks like land that time has forgotten. I would love to tour some of the parks and locations where the film was shot, and only hope that they look as lush and vibrant as they did in the film. Not to say this is only a great love story, it also depicts life in The Colonies during the French and Indian war and if you are a fan of either history or war films you need to check this out.
  • Anna’s first choice: Sixteen Candles – John Hughes has the ability to capture life as an American teenager like no other. His films, though dated in appearance, have been able to withstand the test of time. Molly Ringwald, as Samantha Baker, lives out every teenage girl’s fantasy when the most popular senior, Jake Ryan, falls for her during her sophomore year. Her family is hilarious, the trials she goes through are excruciatingly embarrassing, yet through it all you can’t help but relate to her feeling of alienation and the awkwardness of being a teenager. I know if Anna had not chosen this as one of her favorite movies, I would have. This is a classic and should not be missed.
  • Kari’s second choice: Galaxy Quest – This is one of those films that you probably missed when it was released in 1999. I had the pleasure of seeing it in the theater… though the only audience members were myself and my friend. We laughed the entire way through the film and couldn’t believe more people hadn’t show up to see it. The film is about a cast of a science fiction television show (much like Star Trek) who have long since stopped filming, but continue to join together on the convention circuit. During one such convention a group of actual aliens appear asking for the help of the cast. With Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, and Sam Rockwell leading the cast how could this go wrong? It doesn’t. They are all hilarious and today, 13 years later, I can still chuckle as I remember some of the more memorable lines. If you like comedy, sci-fi, or Alan Rickman you should give this a watch.
  • Anna’s second choice: October Sky- This is one of the first movies Anna bought and she still owns it on VHS. Made in 1999, the film is set in the late 50s, in a West Virginia coal mining town. A slightly bookish Homer Hickam (Jake Gyllenhaal) wants to escape the coal mining life desperately, but isn’t athletic enough to earn a sports scholarship. After he sees Sputnik, he’s inspired to build rockets and when he finds out that winning a science fair is a ticket to a college scholarship, he and his friends embark on a journey to build a rocket. However, at the heart of the movie is a story about a boy just wanted to make his dad proud. Homer and his father (Chris Cooper) have a very contentious relationship, as his dad wants him to give up the “foolish rockets” and follow him into the mine and Homer wants anything except the mine. But Homer still wants his father to be proud of him as he is his football playing brother. And Homer’s father does love him, but isn’t sure how to express it. It makes us both teary eyed every time we see it as we watch a father and his son try and connect and understand each other. This was Jake’s first big movie and his portryal of Homer hints at what a great actor he was becoming. Chris Cooper, as always, does a fantastic job playing his tough, but fair, father.

What’s on the horizon:

This weekend’s agenda:

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Episode 18: After a disasterous #17 we’re back!

I’m happy to be back in audio form this week after last week’s disastrous loss of our Magic Mike, Ted, and The Amazing Spiderman reviews. We have some fun news, one review, and what I think will be an exciting new topic: our favorite films. I’m excited to take a look through “the library” and figure out which two movies are so great that they deserve the spotlight for the recording and I hope to hear from you all on if you have favorites you’d like us to talk about or if you have categories that you’d like us to spotlight.

News & Gossip:

  • The most awesome bit of Catching Fire casting news yet! article
  • Mockingjay to be split into two parts article
  • R Patz as the next James Bond? article
  • Depp, Law, and more being being talked to for Wes Anderson’s new film article
  • Magic Mike 2? Say it’s so! article
  • Jason Bateman to make his directorial debut with Bad Words article
  • Which foreigners have the best American accents? article

In theaters now:

Savages (trailer): Oliver Stone’s new movie is quite violent. I thought I’d start with this as a warning. It was violent enough that Anna walked out before the end. Salma Hayek turns in an amazing performance as the head of a Mexican drug cartel trying to keep her organization from crumbling. Benicio Del Toro as her muscle is frankly terrifying. He plays an emotionless “savage” who relishes in killing  anyone seen as a threat to the cartel. Taylor Kitsch (Chon) and Aaron Johnson (Ben) play friends and business partners (maybe something more? I don’t know…) who share their lover, O played by Blake Lively. Their business is marijuana and they grow weed that is so good the cartel is trying to get them to teach their growers how to produce the same products, with disastrous results.  I would say (with some knowledge of the book the film is based on) that the relationship between Ben and Chon was one of the more interesting points in the film, although Anna disagrees. One thing we both agree on is how bad Blake Lively’s performance is. Frankly I can’t imaging what Ben and Chon find so fascinating with O and her narration of much of the film was in a sharp contrast with what was going on in the scene. Perhaps their relationship would have been more convincing with a different female lead. Overall I rated this a 3 out of 5 and Anna a 2 out of 5. To be fair I’m sure my expectations were much, much lower than Anna’s.

What’s on the horizon:

This weekend’s agenda:

  • This weekend we’re trying something new. Due to a lack of new films in theaters we will each be taking stock of our favorite, go-to films and we’ll be discussing those next week. Hopefully this will become a semi-regular occurrence, where we can revisit some of our favorites and hopefully introduce you all to some films that you may not have seen or may not have seen in quite some time.
[audio http://archive.org/download/TwoWomenOneMovieAndAMicrophone/2women1movieEp18.mp3]
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Episode 17: I love an R-Rated Weekend!

Sadly due to technical difficulties the recording of Episode 17 was lost and unable to be recovered. Hopefully you’ll still enjoy reading the articles we found interesting last week and will get some use out of the quick reviews of the films we were able to see.

It seems as if it has been a long, long time since we’ve been able to see multiple movies in one week that were all good. This was one of the best theater weeks that I can remember having in quite some time. I can’t say for Anna, but I would also go on the record and say that I had the best audiences in a long time in all of the films that I saw [Oh yes, I definitely had a great audience!]. My week started with Ted, moved on to The Amazing Spiderman, and finished with Magic Mike. I don’t think I need to go into which I found to be the most fun… but I will.

Magic Mike night was tons of fun! I got together with three of my friends for cocktails and cheese before the movie, which got us a little more in the mood for the spectacle to come. Normally I am not one for clapping during movies, but I had to really restrain myself from clapping, whistling, hooting and hollering, or whatever else one does during a strip show. I wanted to scream like a fan girl at a pop concert, and let me assure you I can do that quite well. I did manage to keep my cool, as did my friends, but it was tough work [I’m sure she wasn’t the only one partaking in cocktails before the movie. There were a few in my audience…].

Sadly I’m sure there aren’t any awesome male strippers in the Des Moines area… but if there are please do leave a comment. I’d be interested in your services for b-days, batchelorette parties, baby showers- basically any type of party-like environment where lots of women would congregate.

News & Gossip:

  • Jena Malone is Johanna article
  • The bigger the blockbuster, the bigger the biceps article
  • An economic comparison between Batman and Spiderman article
  • The Amazing Spiderman the first in a new trilogy? article
  • The Dark Knight trilogy will be in theaters June 19, 2012 AMC tickets Cinemark tickets

In theaters now:

  • Magic Mike (red band trailer): If you’re into having fun, you must see this film. It also probably wouldn’t hurt to be a woman- not that men can’t watch this too, they just might not enjoy it quite as much as the women. Channing Tatum is mesmerizing to watch when he dances. They could have made a two-hour film of only dance scenes with him and the other dancers (Tarzan would be the exception) and I would gladly pay $10.00 to watch it.  I had no idea that Adam Rodriguez from CSI: Miami would be such a good dancer, but he was. The story follows Mike as he tries to transition away from being a stripper to becoming a custom furniture builder. Along the way he takes “The Kid” (played by Alex Pettyfer) under his wing and teaches him the way of being a member of the Cock Rocking Kings of Tampa. I wish that the other dancers played by Joe Manganiello, Adam Rodriguez, and Matt Bomer had a little more dialogue and story. They really were basically filler for the dance numbers. Matthew McConaughey turns in a performance that was equally creepy and fun to watch [but mostly creepy, in my opinion]. There is a tiny bit of romance in the film, but don’t think that this is a love story, because it is not. Magic Mike is occasionally dark, occasionally hilarious, and an all around good time. Anna and I both rated it a 4 out of 5.
  • Ted (red band trailer): Mark Wahlberg plays maybe one of the most loveable losers ever in Ted. He is way, way too attached to his foul-mouthed, pothead teddy bear, but in an enjoyable to watch type of way. Ted (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) was a normal teddy bear when he was gifted to John, but a childhood wish turned him into a teddy bear that could speak, eat, drink, and do basically anything a human could do.  I loved the relationship between John and his girlfriend, Lori (Mila Kunis), and loved the interactions between Lori and Ted. This movie isn’t just a story about a man who can’t grow up, it’s about making the adult decision to be the person that you want to be with the people that you want to be with. This film kept me laughing from beginning to end and I would recommend it to anyone who loves laughter and/or foul-mouthed children’s toys. Anna and I both rated this a 4 out of 5.
  • The Amazing Spiderman (trailer): Andrew Garfield delivers as the new Spiderman. His performance is that of a younger, snarkier, more awkward Peter Parker. He does a great job of showing Peter Parker’s transition into Spiderman. There are quite a few articles floating around (article) painting a rather unflattering portrait of this reboot of the Spiderman franchise, but as someone who hasn’t read the comic books I say that this has been my favorite of the Spiderman films. I enjoyed this new origin story but agree with this article that there were some questions and plot points promised in the trailers that were not shown in the film, I think to the film’s detriment. I don’t know why the scenes were scrapped, but I think they would have made for an even more interesting film. There was also an almost criminal misuse of the great Martin Sheen and Sally Field as Uncle Ben and Aunt May. They were not given the opportunity to shine as the amazing actors that they are. I did see this in 3D and would say that if you didn’t want to spend the extra money on the 3D ticket, don’t. The 3D effects weren’t as cool as they could have been and honestly I don’t think it really added anything to the film. All of this aside, The Amazing Spiderman was action packed and tons of fun. Both Anna and I rated it a 4 out of 5.

What’s on the horizon:

This weekend’s agenda:

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