Friday, January 06, 2006

Media Update and Recommendations

The last movie I saw in theaters was The 40-Year-Old Virgin. And I now own it on DVD, so that should give you some idea of how long ago it was released. So if you've noticed a dearth of movie reviews, the long and the short of it is that I just haven't been to a theater in a long time. And when I finally get to one again, I'll probably be seeing something that was released weeks before, and therefore a review will probably be moot. But maybe one of these days I'll get to a movie on its opening weekend, and then I'll put up a review again.

Though I haven't been out to theaters in quite a while, I've gotten my fair share of movie watching in lately. Mostly Christmas movies. But Christmas movies - the good ones at least - have a special watchable quality to them, and somehow they never get old. How else can you explain the fact that on Christmas Day TBS broadcast A Christmas Story for 24 hours straight? Or the fact that in that time frame I watched it twice?

Sadly, A Christmas Story is not one of the Christmas movies that Laura and I own. We really just started building our Christmas collection this year (after all, it was our first Christmas together), and it already looks pretty solid after some wonderful gifts. I think we're up to six Christmas movies. Plus we now own Christmas lights, a 3-piece (plus manger) Nativity set, a cut-out Christmas tree glued onto a paper towel tube (I was feeling craftsy). But back to the movies... Of the six we own, two are essential Christmas movies: White Christmas and It's a Wonderful Life. To these movies I would add only A Christmas Story as an essential film, making a grand total of 3 essential Christmas movies. But maybe I'm overlooking something? Are there other flicks which people would add to this list of essential Christmas movies? (And for the record, I'm still debating The Grinch)

I should say briefly that I'm well aware that Christmas is past, and maybe I should move on to thinking about Valentine's Day, like our local Rite Aid. But I'm still in the Christmas mode, and I think it's ok to extend the season out a little bit. Especially since I had a really great Christmas.

We hadn't seen family in a long time, so that was great. Plus, I got some great gifts. Some nice new shirts, a beautiful new wallet, and in addition to the Christmas movies, we added some other awesome DVD's to our collection.

Like the Kill Bill movies. And The Godfather trilogy. Which, I didn't realize, just had the 3rd film made in 1990. Are there people out there who remember when the third one came out? I don't recall it at all. What was the motivating force behind it? Was it just the chance to make more money? I mean, I haven't seen the third one yet, but I hear it's awful. Is it really awful? Or is it just awful in comparison to the first two? (I mean, they are two of the greatest movies of all time). Someone who already knows, help me out on this one.

We also got the first season of Arrested Development (we already owned season 2). Which is the funniest show on television. Unfortunately, it'll be off of television soon, because too many idiot viewers think bland sitcoms with laugh tracks are better. Seriously people, you've got like 3 shows left before it's off the air, possibly forever. Mondays at 8/7 central. On Fox. WATCH THIS SHOW. Then, go buy the DVD's. Then, contact ABC or Showtime both of whom are considering picking it up from Fox. Or heck, even contact Fox. And when you do, kick them in the groin for not supporting this show more fully. And when you talk to the other networks, tell them to grow a pair and put on more sitcoms like Arrested Development, instead of idiot "safe" programming like 2 and a Half Men or whatever other crap they show.

Speaking of funny shows, I've got to applaud NBC for sticking with two other very funny shows, My Name is Earl and The Office. In light of what I just said about Arrested Development, this may seem odd, but My Name is Earl is the funniest show on television. Also, The Office is the funniest show on television. Ok, neither of those statements is true, since Arrested Development is the funniest show on television (honest). But they're both awesome. And neither of them follows that crappy idiot "safe" sitcom formula with a living room set and a laugh track and a quirky friend and/or neighbor. No, these both are much more original formulas. They're intelligent. They build on themselves and create their own little heavenly comediverse (comedy and universe combined) (comediverse can also be an attempt to gather comedians from a wide variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds). So watch these shows too. Thursdays at 9/8 central on NBC.

And, one last little media-related issue. I've started to read a book. I don't usually have time for leisure reading when I'm in school - when you read as much as a law student does, the idea of picking up a book, no matter how great or entertaining that book might be, does not usually have much appeal. But this book is different. It's called The Areas of My Expertise. And basically it's like an almanac of complete world knowledge and other tidbits. Except that it's all made up! It's hilarious. And brilliant. I've even got my sister doing a piece from it for speech this year. My guess is she goes all the way to state with it. And if she doesn't, I'll blame it on a J.O.D. (judge on drugs). Just like when I was in speech. Except, of course, that my sister is good at speech, whereas I refused to practice or take responsibility for my suckiness. Those were the days.

And of course you can't become if you only say what you would have done


Thinking Fool said...

Add Die Hard to your Christmas collection. Watched it on Christmas Eve - forgot how wonderful it is.

Stop reading law school textbooks and start reading for pleasure. You're a second-semester 3L for crying out loud!

Matthew B. Novak said...

I was telling my wife the other day that Die Hard 1 and 2, as well as the first Lethal Weapon also count as Christmas movies.

And despite being a second-semester 3L, I'm working on two things that keep me busy. 1. I want to get published, and 2. I still don't have a job, or a job offer of any sort. Therefore, nervousness ensues.

Ben said...

I can identify with the whole job nervousness thing.

For the record, Godfather 3 is not as bad as everybody says it is. If it weren't the sequel to Godfather 1 & 2 it would be considered a very good movie. It's just that 1 & 2 are so damn good they blow "very good movies" out of the water.