Thursday, July 10, 2008

Buckshot: Summer Viewing

With most of our favorite shows in reruns, Mrs. Buck and I have been making prodigious use of our Blockbuster Total Access account, along with the occasional trip to the theater. Here are the cinematic offerings of 2008 we've seen so far, along with some TV recommendations.

Definitely, Maybe
Grade: A-
A rather good romantic comedy anchored by a very strong performance from Ryan Reynolds. It didn't hurt that it came from the producers of Love, Actually, which I love...actually. (Yes, that was a terrible pun.) Recommended

Fool’s Gold
Grade: B
Hudson and McConaughey had better chemistry in How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, but this was a fun diversion nonetheless.

In Bruges
Grade: A
At times hysterically funny, at times almost heartbreakingly sad. Outstanding work by Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes. Recommended

The Incredible Hulk
Grade: B+
I didn't hate Ang Lee's 2003 Hulk venture, but it wasn't everything it could have been either. This year's Hulk was tons of fun, with good work from Norton, Tyler, and everyone involved. Recommended

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Grade: B+
Like I said in a previous post, it's still better than half the films that get released. A little goofier than I might have liked, but still a fun flick.

Iron Man
Grade: A
There's no doubt about it, one of the best superhero movies yet. Downey was superb, and the effects were great without completely disregarding realism. Recommended

Grade: B+
A fun action ride from director Doug Liman, but it almost feels like half a story at times. I wouldn't have minded another half hour or so of movie with some beefed-up backstory.

The Other Boleyn Girl
Grade: B+
I'm not normally one for the period romance, but this was pretty good. Eric Bana was excellent as historical asshole Henry VIII.

The Spiderwick Chronicles
Grade: B+
Our chief complaint was the that movie barely pauses to catch its breath after it gets going. You could almost call it a chase movie, except the characters hardly leave their house; it just has that sort of feel. Freddie Highmore was great, though. I look forward to seeing if he can carry his child stardom through adolescence and become a truly great actor.

27 Dresses
Grade: B+
Heigl's not bad, but James Marsden really stole the show (much like he did in Hairspray). A not-too-shabby date movie.

We've also been watching our recently-purchased first season of Psych, and I imagine I'll soon pick up the just-released second season DVD. And wouldn't you know it, the third season premieres next Friday. We don't get USA with our cost-cutting cable plan, but I'll be sure to catch it online. And speaking of season premieres...

Monk also starts its seventh season on Friday the 18th. I haven't been watching for a couple of years now, but I would like to catch the first few episodes and see how they deal with the absence of Stanely Kamel's Dr. Kroger (due to the actor's untimely passing) and the introduction of Hector Elizondo as Monk's new psychiatrist. I've always liked Elizondo, so I'm looking forward to it.

Finally, this very evening sees the second season premiere of USA's spy series Burn Notice. I got caught up on the show over the last few weeks thanks to Hulu, and can't wait to start streaming the new season online. It's got good action, gadgets that would make MacGuyver envious, and great humor to boot. It also stars this dashing fellow, so I am duty-bound to watch it.

So what are you watching?



Finn said...

I have been watching old episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm because I've never seen the show before and quite honestly didn't know much about it. I've heard the name of the show before, however, I didn't know who was in it (Larry David co-creator or Seinfeld) so I didn't have any interest. After I found out that the George character from Seinfeld was based off of Larry David and that Curb Your Enthusiasm was about Larry David's semi-actual life I had to watch. After watching the first 2 seasons I can really recognize the Seinfeld influences of Larry David. It's a great show, If you haven't seen it and you are a Seinfeld fan, rent season 1 or download it. I'm sorry I've never had HBO you might already know this but I'm sure if you've seen it you wouldn't mind seeing it again.

The Den of Mystery said...

I am familiar with Curb Your Enthusiasm, but haven't actually seen any of it. Come to think of it, I don't believe I've ever seen an entire episode of any of HBO's original series, critically lauded though they may be. I do plan to get caught up on Deadwood though.

Battlestar Galactica is also in my Blockbuster queue. With the final season not arriving until sometime next year, I should have time to make some headway with that series. Also trying to get caught up on Lost at Hooper's behest. I'd originally stopped watching part-way through the third season.