Also, apologies for the screwed up layout. Blogger is a useless POS now. *sigh*
Downton Abbey, season 1 - Exposing the snobbery, backbiting and machinations of a disappearing class system, this series chronicles the comings and goings of the upper-crust Crawley family and their assorted servants.
(rent) This is an enjoyable show with lots of drama. The acting is good, the set and costumes are amazing and gorgeous and while I enjoyed watching it, I don’t see myself continuing on. The majority of the drama is too much for me, which just makes me want to smack some people around, but I realize that’s definitely personal preference. If you want the equivalent of an excellent soap opera (aka, drama with better plots, good acting, etc), then definitely check this out.
The Maltese Falcon - Humphrey Bogart stars as private eye Sam Spade in this Oscar-nominated noir classic that finds the sultry Miss Wonderly (Mary Astor) seeking out protection from a man named Thursby. Spade's partner (Jerome Cowan) takes the case -- but he winds up dead, along with Thursby. Spade's subsequent hunt for the killer leads him into a world of deception and double-crossing, as a trio of criminals searches for a priceless statue known as the Maltese Falcon.
(rent) Whether you rent or buy will really depend on how you view old classics. There is a lot to be said for this movie, it has a well-done and interesting plot and some funny characters. The acting is super dramatic, especially the leading woman, which made me snicker. Still, there were many interesting elements that were entertaining, and I adored the secretary, although I didn’t think much of her boss, although he redeems himself a little by the end.
Coupling, season 1 - Six neurotic, sex-obsessed thirtysomethings share pointed barbs, romantic musings, relationship advice and (occasionally) passion in this award-winning British comedy that features a strong ensemble cast.
(rent) I picked this up on a friend’s recommendation, and while it had moments of being pretty damn funny, overall I was unimpressed. While the technical aspects were all good, the plots and stories weren’t terribly funny, they were heavily based around male and female stereotypes, and generally I wasn’t amused. It was offensive to men and women, and while I can get much of the humor, a large part of me wasn’t amused. Because how hard is it to make jokes about stereotypes? Yes, I laughed at some of these, but it was mostly the event-based humor that I found more worthwhile. If you like basic “men are horny, stupid, pigs and women are sneaky, plotting gossips”, then you’ll probably like this.
One blurb compares it to Friends with more sex jokes and overtones, and it seems like a fair comparison.
The Book of Eli - Determined to salvage a sacred text in order to protect humanity, Eli (Denzel Washington) goes on a quest across the country in this action-packed sci-fi adventure. Meanwhile, a blind woman named Claudia (Jennifer Beals) tries to protect her daughter, Solara (Mila Kunis). It seems that tyrannical town bully Carnegie (Gary Oldman) has taken a shine to the girl. Directed by the Hughes brothers, the film co-stars Ray Stevenson.
(rent) An enjoyable story with heavy religious undertones that didn’t overwhelm or detract from the tale. Interesting characters, simple but well-formed plot, and excellent acting makes this a good watch, although it’s not something I’d feel the need to watch more than once.
Bridesmaids - Named her best friend's maid of honor, down-on-her-luck Annie's competition with a fellow bridesmaid, the wealthy and beautiful Helen, threatens to destroy the wedding. Meanwhile, a local cop takes a liking to Annie.
(rent) An enjoyable chick flick that has some good and bad points. One of my favorite things about this movie is that all the pairings aren’t super-sexy. In fact, the lead male is goofy and, while not ugly, not the typical sexy male lead. The main character and the story are relatable, and while the tale isn’t riveting, it does have a strong emotional story. Much of the humor is mediocre and some parts lost my interest completely. Definitely a different kind of chick flick.