connielane: (books are teh sexy)
posted by [personal profile] connielane at 04:06pm on 30/10/2016 under ,
For the third straight year I schlepped up to the Alamo Drafthouse in Yonkers for their annual horror marathon. I had been torn, because the Nitehawk had a pretty awesome lineup (which they announced well in advance), but the two events overlapped and I had to choose. Ultimately, the Nitehawk's event cost more than twice as much as the Drafthouse's and I decided to trust to the Alamo's surprise programming.

My expectations for awesomeness were somewhat lowered, since the programmer for the last two events was now the programmer for the Brooklyn location and wouldn't be involved. But it turns out I needn't have worried. As usual, they didn't announce the titles, letting us find out what we were seeing only when the title appeared on screen.

Read more... )

Another great year, and I wonder if the Brooklyn location will join the fun next October.
connielane: (bride)
posted by [personal profile] connielane at 04:06am on 01/11/2015 under ,
For a few years now, I've been lucky enough to live sufficiently close to an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema so that I don't have to get on an airplane or drive for several hours to get there. The theater in Yonkers, though, still takes around 2 hours (one way) to get to, and that Brooklyn location needs to hurry up. Since a trip to Alamo Yonkers and back can take up to five hours (more, if you have to get back late at night), I tend to reserve trips up there for special events -- AGFA screenings of movies I would never be able to see otherwise, usually, and multi-film events like Van Dammage and Dismember the Alamo.

Last year's Dismember the Alamo was super-rad -- Night of the Creeps, Basket Case, Demons 2, and Society were our films -- and I was very happy that they decided to do it again this year. I was also excited that it was happening on Halloween night, as I rarely get to do much celebrating on the actual day anymore. I'd had my ticket for around six weeks, and my only worry was that, with all the horror movie watching I'd been doing this month, I would have seen one or more of the films in the past few weeks/days. I should learn to have more faith in the Yonkers programmer.

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connielane: (king)
posted by [personal profile] connielane at 11:13am on 22/02/2015 under ,
I'm planning some movie-themed food for consumption during tonight's Oscars -- drumsticks for Whiplash, chips/queso for Boyhood, and a Crumbs cupcake for Grand Budapest Hotel. I don't often do a full list of predictions, but here goes. These guesses are highly influenced by Oscar blogs I follow, namely In Contention, and they reflect likely outcomes, not my own personal preferences. After years of following the Oscars, I've learned to just let go of my personal feelings and enjoy the show. Mostly. :P

And the winners (might be)... )

Unless some unforeseen technical snafu happens (like with the Golden Globes), I'll be livetweeting tonight (@pknail).

ETA: I just figured out you can't do that thing LJ used to let you do where you could pick a mood pic and write your own mood on it.  Now if you want to make up your own mood that's not on the list (say, "anticipatory"), you can't put a pic with it. :(
Mood:: 'good' good
connielane: (this. is what. you get...)
posted by [personal profile] connielane at 04:32pm on 20/01/2015 under
This weekend I went to the Alamo Drafthouse in Yonkers for their VAN DAMMAGE marathon - four Jean-Claude Van Damme movies in 35mm, with accompanying trailers and clips. I won't go full-on BNAT style memoir on this one, but I did want to chronicle it because it was a lot of fun. And I was glad I was not the only female in the room (but I very nearly was).

Now take your pig-stick and your boyfriend, and find a bus to catch. )

Overall, a very fun day. There were food and drink specials, including Uncle Douvee's Moonshine (served in souvenir Mason jars). And we all received JCVD Splits pins (pictured below). I'm so glad there's a Drafthouse I can get to once in a while, even if it does take a while to get there (hopefully the Brooklyn location will be open soon).

connielane: (bride)
posted by [personal profile] connielane at 05:52am on 19/01/2015 under
Since I don't do as many reviews on here anymore, I wanted to write a bit about my favorite "new to me" movies (vintage flicks that I saw for the first time) from this past year. Rupert Pupkin Speaks does a series of posts on this topic, with a bunch of guest contributors, and I was inspired to make my own list. It's a top 10, but I cheated a bit.

Read more... )
connielane: (movie theater (inglourious basterds))
posted by [personal profile] connielane at 08:59pm on 02/01/2015 under
Alright, here's my 2014 rundown of new releases. I'm also planning to do a "discoveries" list of vintage stuff that I saw for the first time this year. As always, there are movies that slipped through the cracks. I try to see as much as I can, but there are always things I just can't get to, whether due to time or money constraints. So I actually listed those as well, so it doesn't look like I'm just ignoring them. Well, I *did* ignore them, I guess, but I *am* aware that they were significant movies to a lot of other people.

Anyway, here's the breakdown:

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connielane: (theater)
posted by [personal profile] connielane at 09:03am on 27/12/2014 under ,


Full disclosure. I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Into the Woods musical. I never saw it on stage and it took several listenings of the cast recording before it became something I genuinely *wanted* to listen to. It grew on me over time, and while I like the ideas in the story and like several of the songs (“Agony”, “Giants in the Sky”, “No One Is Alone”), there are still songs that are so hokey to me that I cringe (notably the theme song and “It Takes Two” - I actually really dig what’s happening with the characters in the latter, but the song sounds like the theme to a 1980s sitcom … or Too Many Cooks).

So it’s not a sacred cow for me. Inasmuch as anything *is* a sacred cow.

That said, I loved this movie. People have complained about the pacing, and I can’t help laughing at people who complain about this movie’s structure and yet think Boyhood is the greatest thing ever. But despite Rob Marshall’s attempts to turn a two-act stage production into a three-act movie, he … doesn’t really. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It’s not quite the perfection of Chicago, but it’s not an utter gutting like Nine was. Nor is it a very expensive music video like Les Miserables was.

Read more... )

Loved it and can’t wait to see it again.
connielane: (Arya Stark)
posted by [personal profile] connielane at 03:29am on 03/10/2014 under


Brief thoughts, because I feel like this is a movie that works best when you know as little as possible going in. Dan Stevens plays David, a guy who visits the family of a fellow soldier who died. It's fairly obvious from the get-go that there is more to this man than meets the eye, and that feeling is validated again and again, with increasing intensity over the course of the movie.

Also in the movie is Sheila Kelley (Richard Schiff's wife, who also played Zoe in the final season of Lost) and Leland Orser (the "Lust" guy in Seven). Oh, and Ethan Embry (who has come a looooong way since being The Bass Player in That Thing You Do). The unsung heroine of the movie is Maika Monroe (who reminded me a lot of Monica Keener, actually), who plays the daughter and is great and is someone I'm looking forward to seeing in other things. And it's directed by Adam Winguard, who made the fabulous You're Next (which I intend to write about at some point this month, because it's AMAZING).

This is a mostly great thriller, though there's a twist/layer to it that's rather sloppily conceived, in my opinion. The last ten or fifteen minutes are particularly absurd, and I wonder if the Halloween setting was chosen just so they'd have an excuse to do that climax sequence.

Like I said, the less you know, the better. But if you only know Dan Stevens from Downton Abbey or Sense and Sensibility ... hoo boy, are you in for a surprise. David is a fascinating character to watch, because a lot of the time you're cheering him on, even though you know he's bad news.
connielane: (Arya Stark)
posted by [personal profile] connielane at 02:23pm on 22/12/2013 under
This isn't a full-on review, because ... well ...

I must be missing whatever it is in people's brains that makes them go gaga over David O'Russell's movies. I liked The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, but neither was anything special (certainly not "awards movies" for me, except for performances, and not nearly as many of those as got recognized). And I think I like American Hustle even less. There's just something so abrasive about his movies, and I just can't get into it. And I don't understand why everyone thinks they're so amazing.


American Hustle (2013)


American Hustle is about a couple of con artists who get caught by the FBI and forced to entrap a bunch of politicians by creating a fake investment opportunity. It's set in the 1970s. All of the women look gorgeous. All of the men look ridiculous. Jennifer Lawrence is wonderful. Amy Adams is quite good. Jeremy Renner is great. Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper are okay, but the movie relies way too much on their hairdos. In fact, the movie relies way too much on "lol 70s." Surprise Cameo By Legendary Actor is fantastic and does what it's supposed to do. There's a lot of attitude in this movie, but no energy and no heart. And too many "naturalistic" talking-over-each-other conversations where I wanted to jump into the screen and shout "SHUT UP! EVERYBODY SHUT UP!"

This movie wishes so hard it was The Wolf of Wall Street. It is not even close.
connielane: (movie theater (inglourious basterds))
posted by [personal profile] connielane at 02:43pm on 21/12/2013 under


Holy mazoley, what a wonderful movie. One of the most fascinating, unique, judgement-free love stories I've ever seen. This feels like one of Spike Jonze's collaborations with Charlie Kaufman, but Jonze wrote this himself and it's easy to see why he and Kaufman made such a great team with Being John Malkovich and Adaptation. They're both people who don't want to write experiences and feelings that they learned from other movies.

Without getting too much into details (because a lot of the joy in this movie is in the discovery), the movie takes place in a near future. Not one with flying cars, but one where our devices and services are advanced in a believable way, and it kind of makes you wish some of this stuff existed now. (I really wish there was a service that provides what Theodore does for a living, for example.) One of these advancements is an operating system that uses artificial intelligence. It's not just a monotone voice - it has its own personality and thoughts and can learn and feel and evolve. Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix, in a role that couldn't be more different from his last role in The Master) acquires one of these OS's and takes it home to install it. The flat installer voice asks him a few questions - not as many as you might expect, considering how personalized this is supposed to be - and voila, meet Samantha (a name she chooses for herself), voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

I really want to say more about it, but again, the fewer details the better, I think. It's just such a fascinating love story and one that I think a lot of people can relate to - especially those of us who've formed relationships through our computers with people who we may or may not ever meet in the flesh. This movie got me thinking about those relationships that I've formed myself and how I interact with those people - usually with much more confidence than I would have in a face-to-face meeting, because I don't have to be self-conscious about how long it takes me to form a thought or what my voice sounds like or how my breath smells or what my body looks like. And it angers me to no end to hear those relationships dismissed as "not real" by people who don't understand

Love, LOVE this movie. So full of ideas and so light on judgement. And very much of the philosophy that if it makes you happy you should do it and to heck with anyone who thinks it's weird.

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