“Holiday” Movie Roundup

In between finally watching Boardwalk Empire (SIGH, thanks for the recommendation and heartache, Dad) and the double whammy of Downton Abbey/Doctor Who, I was in serious movie watching mode over the holidays. It started with Shame and ended with Final Destination 5, both of which necessitated me to post my ramblings separately. But what about in between? Through a mixture of theater-going, Netflix, and Amazon Instant Video I took in: Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Midnight in Paris, The Trip, Mission Impossible IV: Ghost Protocol, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011), Hatchet II and Four Rooms.

I tried...I really did.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes stretched my imaginative capacity a little too far as I found the subject matter just too far-fetched (sorry to all the fans of the franchise). I enjoyed Midnight in Paris more than I expected, and this fella’s involvement certainly helped matters:

I found I could stretch my ability to believe way more in Midnight in Paris than in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Time travel? YES. Talking apes taking over the world? NO. Plus, I feel like the message resonated more with me: the idea that so many people long for the golden age when people at that time were longing for a time even further back.

The Trip was pretty fantastic: it probably helps if you are obsessed with either Steve Coogan or Rob Brydon. I enjoy Rob Brydon in Gavin and Stacey and I think I love him now after seeing this. I will never think of Michael Caine impressions the same way. Plus it is gorgeous in HD.


I saw MI: IV in IMAX; it was a good choice. Every scene was so much fun. Benji’s scenes were the best and I am so happy they included his character again; caveat, I love Simon Pegg.  Everything he did and said stuck out to me. When he took out a bad guy at the end, swooooon. The comic relief and still kick-ass. Jeremy Renner achieved the opposite: kick-ass with good comedic timing. And to think, he used to be “the guy that played Jeffrey Dahmer.” And I was immediately shippin’ a bromance between him and Tom. Immediately.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was an interesting experience. I don’t even know what to think at this point. I read the book and saw the Swedish film version and I feel like I know the core of the story by heart. I think making Anita really be Harriet was a good call, but very rushed. I think in this case Fincher should have adapted the ending differently because while it works in book-form, it falls a little flat in the cinema. It is hard to separate how I see the movie with how people who are just getting exposed interpret the film. My friend said it was fairly confusing at some parts. I can definitely see how that is possible. But, Rooney Mara was fantastic.

Hatchet II is what you would expect if you have seen Hatchet. A very mindless 80-something minutes.

Fate did converge on New Year’s Eve to lead me to Four Rooms on Netflix. I was browsing Netflix via the filmography option. I went from trying (and failing) to look up Christoph Waltz to landing on Quentin Tarantino somehow. And lo and behold, there was Four Rooms. I love Tim Roth so it was almost a done deal. And then I saw the film takes place on New Year’s Eve and of course, duh, I had to watch it.

Quentin's story only reinforced my belief we are very similar in life


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About Staciellyn Chapman

Grad student at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. This blog is an attempt to condense the craziness that is my TV viewing habits (with the occasional aside into film, music, and general life).

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