what i'm watching, part three

I’m starting to notice a curious trend, that I enjoy writing a lot of my blog entries on a Monday morning.  For some reason, that’s the time I’m most interested in writing anything at all, and I generally have a slew of topics to pick from.  Today’s no different, it seems.

I haven’t written one of my posts about recent watching habits in a long time, so I thought it’d be a nice revisit since I’ve seen a few things again that aren’t really deserving of posts in of themselves.  I’ll ramble them off in whatever manner I even remember them.

Astro Boy

I ended up seeing Astro Boy, unexpectedly, on opening night even, at the theater … and I loved it.  The more I think about it, the more I realize how much I liked it.

I was *extremely* skeptical about seeing this one, because of it’s manga background … something that has proven time and time and time again, that I just don’t have a passing interest in.  I just don’t have the brain for it, I guess, which in some ways is keeping me from becoming a first-class art / entertainment geek.  Ah, well.  My tastes are in a world all their own, that’s for sure.

But I remember seeing the trailer, again, about a week or so before the movie came out, and I thought, “Huh, this actually looks pretty good!”  And I liked it.

The story was really simple, and, the best way I can describe it … almost … well, simple is the best way to put it.  The story doesn’t take any weird, random tangents, instead almost following a direct storyline of the events without any diversion or discussion.  It was actually quite refreshing to see the story neither dumbed down or trussed up.  With one exception, each of the characters was consistent all the way through.  It was just good.  I wanna go see it again.

Oh yah, and every scene with the RRF is just hilarious. :)


I had been waiting to see this movie for a long time, ever since I saw the trailer for the first time.  I just knew I was gonna enjoy it, regardless of how bad it might turn out to be.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, since it was a sci-fi action / thriller with Bruce Willis, which could go all kinds of directions.  As far as action movies go, it was rather tame … hard questions about society aside.  That surprised me.

The story itself was weak, which would probably explain why I haven’t heard much about it, good or bad, or in reviews and what-not, but the concept it portrayed — people living their lives artificially — struck me on a number of levels.  I kept thinking about the many analogies of how our society does that anyway, through the Internet, through virtual escapes of any kind (video games came to mind).  It was just really, really cool.  It also raised a lot of points of you never know who is behind the artifical mask, either.  For someone who gets really sucked into the virtuality of second lives sometimes, and suffers from the after-shocks of trying to use it as an escape during hard times, the film really hit me, and I enjoyed it quite a lot.  It’s definitely not going to be a popular theme with the masses, but I liked it a lot.  I wish the story was better, though.

Calling Philo Vance

Now this is an old movie (1940).  I recorded a bunch of Philo Vance movies on my Tivo when TCM aired them a while ago, and I just now got the urge to watch some old movies this weekend, and I found this one.  It was a little odd.

I had a little hard time following it because, apparently, this is a staple character of movies back in the day, and this was the first film I saw him in after he’d already starred in quite a few films and radio shows.  I imagine it would be like stepping in to watch the 14th of 20 Sherlock Holmes films, never have knowing the man or his methods before, and wondering what the heck is going on and why it’s interesting.  That’s exactly how it was for me, here.

I’d heard of Philo Vance, only in passing, since I’ve seen his name before in my attempts to collect old time radio shows.

The movie itself moved at a really clipped pace, and Philo solved the murder almost as quickly as he found the details.  Anyway, it was a bit strange, but I love watching old movies so it was still fun.


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