Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Catching up on DVDs

It's clear that I'm old since I am one of only a few people left who still stubbornly sticks to getting DVDs. I started out getting DVDs of movies I wanted to see again and again. More recently however, with the drop in prices of DVDs, I would sometimes get movies that I really wanted to watch but was unable to catch during their theatrical run if the DVD is at around the P300 range since movie tickets now cost about P250 anyways. I have recently been able to catch up on a lot of the DVDs that I have. I also got a lot of older films from Amazon. There was a bit of a theme going on with films I watched: they were either "new" (I use this definition relatively loosely) or nostalgic.

Nostalgic: I got a few movies from the 80s and early 90s - all from Amazon - that I wanted to see again.
  • Defending Your Life (1991) stars Meryl Streep which is the main reason why I watched it in the first place. However, it does have a very interesting premise: when a person dies, they have to "defend their life" to prove that they can move forward to heaven; otherwise, they get reincarnated until they get things right. 
  • Working Girl (1988) is quite enjoyable to watch for the most part but I do still find the methods of Melanie Griffith's character to claim what is rightfully hers a bit (a lot?) unethical. Maybe it was called for given the circumstances and she does sort of explain in the end why she did what she did. Despite this, I obviously got the DVD so I feel that its entertainment value outweighs my disagreement with some of the operating principles of the lead character.
  • As a kid, I got to see parts of Brewster's Millions (1985) many times but I never got to see it fully so I decided to get the DVD. The plot involves Montgomery Brewster inheriting $300 million from a great-uncle he didn't know. However, to claim his inheritance, he had to spend $30 million dollars in 30 days without gaining any assets; otherwise, he won't get a cent. The reason for this crazy clause is explained in the film and it sets up a lot of interesting twists and turns.

New:  these are films that I missed watching in the cinema. All were released in the last decade and most came out in the last four years.

  • The World's End (2013) stars my favorite comedic duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and it completes the Cornetto Trilogy and while I found the first three-quarters of the film to be exciting, I found the end didn't quite live up to the build-up. Still, pretty fun for the most part.
  • Quartet (2012) came up as a suggested movie in my Amazon account and I thought that the concept of a retirement home for retired opera singers would be fun to watch. Not as good as Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which has a similar theme (sans the opera), but still entertaining to watch.
  • Hugo (2011) was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. I initially thought it was a heavy film - probably because of the darker, more somber tones at the beginning - but as the story started to progress, the movie turned out to be a lot more light and wonderful. Hugo definitely deserved its nomination. This also has to be the only film of Martin Scorsese that isn't intensely violent. :)
  • Looper (2012) was recommended by my friends who said that it was really cool and edgy. Its plot is quite unique: assassins kill people from the future who are transported back to the past. The whole conflict arises when the lead ends up having to kill his future self.
  • Sherlock Holmes (2009) - the one starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law - got pretty good reviews when it came out. I found  it enjoyable and I like how it ended with an allusion to a part 2 with introduction of Moriarty's name.
  • Warm Bodies (2013) is a zombie rom-com. I thought the plot of having a zombie fall in love with a human and start becoming less of a zombie and more of a human was quite intriguing and I wanted to see how that story would unfold.
  • 300 (2006) is such a part of modern-day pop culture that I had to see it after missing it in the movie theaters almost a decade ago. 300 almost makes you want to get into a gladiatorial battle after watching it LOL but kidding aside, I'm pretty glad I finally watched it. "This is Sparta!
  • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) starts out a bit slowly but this spy thriller picks up quickly after Jack Ryan goes to Russia and the pulse-pounding intensity doesn't stop from there. I initially thought this was going to be a prequel to the Hunt for Red October/Patriot Games/Clear and Present Danger series, showing how Jack Ryan would end up in the CIA but as it turns out, this was like a reboot.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) featured both the adult X-Men who appeared in the first three films as well as their younger versions from First Class. It calls for a whole lot of suspension of disbelief - I still can't quite understand what happens to Wolverine's consciousness between the past and the future - but this, after all is a superhero movie so it isn't supposed to be all that realistic. :)
  • The Boxtrolls (2014) came out last year and I was interested to see it when I read the synopsis on clickthecity.com: "An orphan is raised by cave dwelling trolls, who secretly collect the trash in the city. The orphan must save his family from the machinations of an evil exterminator." It turned out to be quite a good animated film.
  • Non-Stop (2014) is a suspense and tension-filled action film where the identity of the antagonist remains unknown until the very end. What made this more enjoyable for me that that I didn't figure out who the true villain is, giving the revelation even more impact.
I still have a lot of DVDs that I haven't been able to watch just yet so hopefully I can write a part 2 of this pretty soon.

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