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Catching up again!

NOVEMBER MOVIES
115. Next, Cable. Not the most ridiculous Nic Cage movie ever, but it's certainly in the top 10. He has the ability to see two minutes into the future, except sometimes when there's a pretty girl it's a lot longer. Anyway, it's terribly muddled and not particularly fun. A few fun moments near the beginning, and Cage does his best to carry it with the crazy Cageness. But the end is a standard action thing only with a clairvoyant who walks in front of the SWAT team saying things like "Duck!" and "Wait. Ok, shoot!" and "Eight inches above the railing, fire!".

116. In the Electric Mist, Cable. A Dave Robicheaux movie. Tommy Lee Jones is Dave. Pretty serviceable. Love the books, and there's some lifted dialog/text. One of those movies where the critics loved it way more than the audience. So I guess that means it's smart.

117. Big Hero 6, Theater. My favorite movie this year so far. So cute. There is something about the animation that every time Baymax is on screen I just kill myself laughing. Charming and sweet. I hope they make a million of these, but I suppose that would kill it. "I am not fast."

118. The Prince, Redbox. Bruce Willis is very prominent on the cover, but the real lead is Jason Patric, who I haven't given one thought to since Lost Boys. He's not as pretty as he used to be, and they insisted on taking off his shirt so we could see his thickened middle-aged body. But really the problem with the movie was the plot. I rented it because the third person on the cover is John Cusack, and I am determined to see the entire John Cusack oeuvre, which is more challenging than one might think, since he's powering these out at a mighty clip. The plot is terribly mundane — Dad has a past, daughter has a habit, Dad goes off to find the daughter using the skills from his past. The body count is huge. And it's really not worth it. Not even for the five minutes John Cusack is in it, or the 15 minutes Bruce Willis is. Mostly depressing.

119. Goodbye World, Redbox. Another end-of-the-world movie, this time with a bunch of old college friends, serveral of whom are successful and wealthy, who get together for a party at their friends' off-the-grid paradise in rural California. The world ends while they're together because of a text and some hacking. And then they basically have to live together forever, since they're on a nice hill in California with solar power and a well, and everywhere else people are starving. There is menace from outside and conflict from within. The acting is fine, but the script is pretty first-scriptish, with characters quoting George Washington and the Constitution from memory and saying things no one would say, ever.

120. Interstellar, Theater. The earth has been all used up by us naughty humans. It's a giant dust bowl, and food is scarce. The most important job is farmer. All unneccessary technology has been repurposed to food production. There is a secret NASA mission to find new planets to keep the species going, however, and McConaughey is a pilot. Off he goes to save his kids. And a lot of cool sciencey stuff happens, and some crazy stuff, and some fun stuff. The best thing in the movie is the trippy walking computers. They're excellent. Overall it's pretty depressing. I found the cast to be miscast, on the whole. And I wondered why, if future we could stick a wormhole in the solar system so that humanity could use it to escape, couldn't future us stick it, say, next to the moon? Be a lot shorter trip! Why Saturn? Still, I really really liked it, and would like more intelligent science fiction movies right now.

121. Last Passenger, Netflix. Got really good ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, and I agree. Grippy little thriller about passengers on a train in the UK. The train stops letting people off and starts accelerating, and the six passengers left on board have no idea why and really really would like to get off the train before it crashes or derails. Dougray Scott is the lead, playing a single dad doctor, and he's quite good in this. Sneaky use of unseen villain. Excellent cast on the whole, really.

122. Not Safe for Work, Netflix. The main character has a really bad day. He screws up a couple of things at his job as a paralegal and is told at the end of the day that it's his last. The boss comes out and tells everyone that the server is down and that they should all go home. Tom dawdles a bit and sees something suspicious, so he goes back upstairs and ends up getting trapped in some kind of mysterious plot. On top of all of it, his iPhone has run out of battery!! Talk about a bad day! With several dead security guards and other late workers piling up around him, how does he get out? Makes my own office seem certainly nicer. Not terrible. Could have been better.

122. Stripes, Cable. Doesn't really hold up from a feminist perspective, does it? And why is Harold Ramis such a pussy? Sure, I'll just follow my pain-in-the-ass deadbeat buddy and join the Army. Why not? Still, it's a classic from my early adulthood and it gives me the warm fuzzies. Boom-chakalaka-boom-chakalaka-boom! BLOOOOOOWWN UP, SIR!

123. Hercules, Redbox. I can't help but love Dwayne Johnson. I don't expect that he's a genius in real life, but I bet he's a genuinely nice guy. Anyway, the movie wasn't terrible. Couple of big war scenes, some smaller fight scenes, lots of shouting and prancing about. Gratuitous use of John Hurt, who plays the ruler of some damned Greek place and hires Herc and his merry band of mercs to fight in his little war. I wonder if Hurt is like Cusack — some kind of demon making him work work work, no matter what the job? Because for the excellent actor that he is, he's got a lot of crap on his resume. Rufus Sewell is also here collecting a paycheck.

124. The Expendables 3, Redbox. So many actors I love or at least enjoy—Sly, Arnold, Harrison, Mel, Dolph, Antonio, Wesley, Jet, Kelsey, Jason (Statham). Then all the others they have to fill seats—they're all fine. But the movie is just a muddled mess! There's all the action you could possibly hope for. There's some "bring in new meat to let the old guys fade out" plot. There's a typical "crazy guy needs bringing down, and the actual CIA can't handle it for whatever reason" plot. There's some backstory about the new characters and some of the old that they laboriously try to fit into every non-action scene. They make Antonio Banderas into the comic relief, which is rather fun and winning. They even drag Robert Davi in (although he should really have been in the one where Bruce Willis was in, so they could relive Die Hard). But honestly, I decided to get some Christmas shopping done while I was watching it, so I figured I didn't give it enough attention and that's why I found it so confusing. So I let it queue up again and play a second time. And it's a hot mess. And that's a shame, because with the right script it could be simply amazing. I see Sly's name in the writing credits. Maybe it's time to just be a consultant, Mr. Stallone. Also? Good idea to watch with subtitles on. SO MANY ACCENTS! SO MUCH BAD VOCAL WORK!

125. The Giver, Redbox. In the future everything is in black and white, but everything is peaceful and everyone is scarily perfect in a Mormon-esque kind of way. It turns out that this is because every morning everyone takes a drug that keeps them that way, but no one in the whole community knows it except the .. rememberer? I can't remember what they call the position. (I could look it up, but why?) The Giver is the guy that was The Rememberer, but is going to die or retire or something so he has to teach the new Rememberer how shit works in their community and the history of humanity. They do it through a funky mind-meld, so the kid gets to actually feel like he's experienced these things. Of course The Giver is a rebel, and shows the kid all the delights mankind has given up to live in this safe, crime-free, all-needs-met utopia. And he shows him the bad things, too, like when the babies are born that aren't quite perfect what happens. Naturally the Rememberer decides that's decidedly uncool and figures out how to take down the memory blocks, and voila, just like in Oz, the world is in color again. Not terrible, but kind of a waste of decent actors (Jeff Bridges in the titular role, Meryl Streep as evil overlord, Alexander Skarsgard as Dad, Katie Holmes as Mom), really.

126. Life of Crime, Redbox. Based on the Elmore Leonard novel "The Switch", and you can totally tell (that's a compliment, son). Two guys (John Hawkes and Yasiin Bey, both of whom I love) take a woman (Jennifer Anniston) hostage and contact her husband (Tim Robbins) for a ransom. What they don't know is that her husband doesn't want her back, and is in fact divorcing her. Hijinks ensue. I love heist flicks and I loved this. Jennifer Anniston is excellent, really. I watched the deleted scenes and I have to say that I utterly agree with all of them. Smart editing can completely make a movie.
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