Director Will Gluck's previous feature Fired Up! was hilarious and probably my favorite teen comedy of the last couple years, and this, his 2nd movie, is even better (if not necessarily funnier, but smarter and more well crafted), and maybe the best teen comedy since Mean Girls. Just a great cast, sharp writing, and a story that takes a decent number of twists and turns not given away by the trailer. Whatever the hell Amanda Bynes is doing to her face in some futile attempt to still play a high schooler is just disturbing, though.
b) The Expendables
This seems like such a fun idea for a movie on paper but I dunno, the execution just left a lot to be desired, maybe Stallone should've let someone else direct.
c) The Other Guys
As Will Ferrell flicks go, this was pretty decent, not up there with Anchorman or Step Brothers but still good, will probably have some replay value. It was great to finally see Michael Keaton in something actually funny for the first time in forever, there's a whole bunch of great stuff of him just riffing one scene on the DVD extras.
I have to admire the craft and ingenuity of this movie and how well it pulled off such an ambitious concept. But I also have to admit that the end product was a little dry and overwrought, even compared to Nolan's Batman movies, which I thought had just the right amount of lightness and levity. It didn't help that most of the main cast is former child stars who I don't find especially likable or engaging as adult actors, or that most of the mind-blowing special effects shots were shown in the trailers. It was good, but I could see it being so much more amazing if they'd just punched up the script with a little more style and personality and stopped it from feeling so unrelentingly conceptual and cerebral.
This was one of the horror movies we watched on Valentine's Day this year, but I don't remember much about it beyond the color scheme. So I guess it was boring, or maybe I just wasn't paying attention.
f) Paranormal Activity
We saw the sequel in the theater last year without having seen the original, and it worked surprisingly well as a standalone movie. But maybe it just upped the ante too well, because seeing the first movie afterward ended up really underwhelming. Also, I liked the alternate ending on the DVD way way more, even if it didn't leave things open for sequels like the ending they used.
g) "Pushing Daisies," season 2
I'm enjoying re-watching this show but it's definitely not as entertaining the second time around, and the really bad CGI is all the more garish now.
h) Best Laid Plans
Since "Terriers" was one of my favorite shows of last year I've been kinda going back and checking out creator Ted Griffin's earlier works as a screenwriter, and this is right in the same niche as "Terriers," very inventive neo-noir, with great performances by Josh Brolin and Reese Witherspoon. Can't say I loved the whole thing and it felt a little late '90s dated in parts but there was a lot I enjoyed about it.
i) "Northern Exposure," season 1
I loved this show when it was originally on, and watched it a lot in reruns on A&E for years afterward, but I don't think it's been running anywhere for a while and I've been feeling nostalgic so I decide to rent it and watch it all in order for the first time. It's fun to watch it from beginning and instantly remember how different so many of the characters end up from where they started.