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Did You Miss Me?

So we've been watching some movies lately, and since I haven't given you a good solid review post in a while, I figured I'd oblige for all one of you who actually cares:

1. Cube, Cube 2: Hypercube, and Cube Zero: Those who know me will realize that I am not in general a fan of the sci-fi genre. However, these were (with exceptions) pretty good movies. Cube is okay, and for the first movie in the series, the premise is cool and kind of interesting. Plus, it twists and turns all over the place to keep you interested. However, there's not a lot to the characters--the movie is pretty much totally plot-driven. Cube 2: Hypercube was in my opinion the best of the three. The characters (though there was not a ton of character development) were a little more fleshed out and at no point during the movie did I find myself bored. The premise of the first movie is definitely amped up in the second, and the twists are even more aggressive. The special effects were also pretty awesome. And then there's poor Cube Zero which is meant to be a prequal to the first movie. What can I say about it? It starts with a guy getting his face melted off and just goes on to get worse from there. The dialogue is stupid, there's too much focus on what's going on outside the cube, and the whole thing just makes no sense. Not to mention that even though it's a prequal it really has NOTHING to do with the other two movies. Watch the other two, skip the last one.

2. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End You know, I was really pretty disappointed with this one. I of course LOVED the first movie. Then the second movie I was kind of m'eh about. This one...could they have shoe-horned in ANYTHING else? I mean, jeez, every single person from every movie showed up, often for no reason at all. The plot was totally convoluted to a point where I almost couldn't keep up. Johnny Depp was fine, but he can't carry the movie by himself. Kiera Knightley was also okay, but Orlando Bloom looked bored/annoyed throughout the whole thing. (Maybe he's finally realized that almost no one cares at all about him or his character?) There was just too much going on for no apparent reason. AND I hated the ending. As much as I wanted to like it, this gets a thumbs down.

3. Dexter In light of the dwindling amount of interesting new programming due to the writers' strike, The Boyfriend and I decided to combine our Netflix powers and rent the entire first season of Dexter. I'd seen a few of the first episodes during a free-Showtime weekend, and we'd both heard really good things, so we decided to give it a try. GO RENT IT RIGHT NOW! This show is damn close to perfect. The lead character and his narration are funny, profound, and creepy by turns, and the rest of cast does a fantastic job with making their characters more than just stereotypes. The show begins tightly focused on Dexter, but then it starts to expand as everyone else is drawn into Dexter's great mystery (whether they know that's what it is or not.) On the whole, I'd say that this is one of the better TV show I've ever seen, with great acting and a compelling plot. Surprisingly, The Boyfriend liked it just as much as I did, and that's very, very rare.

4. Resident Evil: Extinction I will admit that I really like Milla Jovovich. I thought she was adorable in The Fifth Element and competant in the first two Resident Evil movies. However, this third one (as is oftent he case) kind of stinks. I think my main problem with it had to be that's it's boring. Like "I'm just going to go ahead and fast forward a little bit and see if anything exciting is going to happen anytime soon" kind of boring. There was nothing to compare to the tension and the claustrophobia of the first film, or the kick-ass fights of the second one. Plus, there were a ton on of side characters with almost no personlity--most of them didn't even have names! It's hard to care about characters you don't know. In the first movie (and somewhat in the second) the characters were people, not just cannon fodder. Even Milla Jovovich looked like she was dragging herself through the whole thing. This is another one I don't really recommend unless you are very dedicated to the franchise.

5. Bowling for Columbine I have now seen 3 of Michael Moore's movies: this, Roger & Me, and Fahrenheit 9/11. This one is not quite as good as 9/11, but it's still not bad. I really wish he'd stick more to the heartfelt interviews than the cheap stunts--they are what turns off people who might be on the fence to his opinions. It's hard to take seriously someone who's running around K-Mart with a mega-phone. Also, some of the connections drawn in this one seemed a little shakey to me. In Roger & Me, the connections were obvious: this factory shut down, and this is what happened to the people in the town. In Bowling for Columbine, I think Moore overreaches a little bit, trying to tie too many strings together, and ends up sounding a bit like a conspiracy nut. Some of his interviews were very hard-hitting, and that's where I think Moore excels--sitting down and talking with ordinary people about what's going on in their worlds. He manages to turn off his schtick and just listen to what they're saying, thus making the viewers listern to people they might otherwise ignore. Admittedly, I also really enjoyed the animated short by the creators of South Park and the interview with them that followed it. I recommend this one as long as you know what you're getting into.

6. Book Bonus: I just finished reading a book Captain Obvious sent me for Christmas called Apathy and Other Small Victories by Paul Neilan which is totally and completely hilarious. It's surreal and bizarre and the narrator's voice and attitude had me laughing alound on the train, which I hardly ever do. It's difficult to really explain what it's about, but suffice to say that it's so good I've been reading bits alound to The Boyfriend and he laughs aloud as well. It's a pretty short but highly entertaining read--you should definitely pick it up.

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