Movie Diary

a) This Is The End
I went to the movies the other day to kill time during a long job break, and went theater skipping after the first movie and wandered into this one after it already started. But that was kind of fine with me, since the first 1/3rd or so that I missed was the stuff they establish in the trailer and I got to see all the random other shit that happens. It really was like a long, expensive Funny Or Die sketch. There were a few laughs but also just a lot of 'here are the exact jokes you'd expect, along with a handful of really crazy over the top surprises that are also totally in character.' These guys really love to make movies that eventually just break down into constant arguing. Jonah Hill was definitely the funniest in this movie, just the way he was playing 'himself,' and what happens to his character. A few things got funnier at the end as it escalated, but mostly it was a bunch of stupid bullshit.

b) Iron Man 3
This was the movie I paid to see before wandering into the other one. I'd been really looking forward to Shane Black reuniting with Robert Downey, Jr. for this because Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a new classic as far as I'm concerned. This wasn't quite as snappy and breezy as I kind of expect from Black, though, at times it even felt heavier and less charming than the first Iron Man movie. Still, a pretty solid sequel, and the stuff with Ben Kingsley was pretty great.

c) The Campaign
These Ferrell/McKay movies are generally always good but get better with repeat viewings. So this didn't really hook me at first, and I don't even know what I'd be quoting or fondly remembering after catching it for the third time, but there were some funny moments.

d) Magic Mike
I thought this worked much better as a kind of low stakes slice of life story, before they introduced the kind of contrived Conflict and Danger in the second half. But in general it was pretty good -- Soderbergh's gift for awkward, genuine-feeling moments of dialogue came out really strongly, and was weirdly added by how Cody Horn had zero screen presence, and just seemed like a person, not an actor.

e) Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World
That other recent apocalypse comedy. I had no reason to expect this to be good, and maybe it wasn't and my weakness for sadsack Steve Carrell movies just knows no bounds. But really, it was nice, especially given the fact that it had the same screenwriter as Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Nice ensemble, lotta fun bit parts, and I like that the ad campaign downplayed the relationship between Carrell and Keira Knightley so it kind of catches you off guard by not taking too predictable a path, even if the ending is pretty sappy.

f) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
I tried to watch this for LOLs but there were no LOLs to be found.

g) That's My Boy
I tried to hatewatch this but it wasn't even demonstrably worse than all the Adam Sandler movies that were actually successful. It's pretty weird to see something that actually seems beneath Andy Samberg's usual intellectual standards.

h) Chernobyl Diaries
This was okay, not more tension or scares since you kinda know it's going to get gorey, but there were a few good unexpected moments, and they didn't pull their punches.

i) Think Like A Man
Pretty decent ensemble rom com, lots of likable people going through the predictable motions, although whoever's idea it was to make Kevin Hart not just the comic relief but the narrator should be shot. He basically shouts over the whole movie.

j) The Last Days Of Disco
Whit Stillman feels like the godfather of a lot of the kinds of movies I can't stand, but I think I actually like his stuff. Or at least, I liked Metropolitan when I saw it, and the other day I finally watched this, after seeing the trailer a a hundred times because it was at the beginning of a VHS I used to watch a lot (I think Zero Effect). Liked the whole ambiance of it, the way it captured the era without exaggerating it with cartoony clothes.
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