On Brandon's response post to me...
Thank you for that; appreciate it. I do think, for the most part, and Jesse and Celine do a decent job of listening to each other. Because of the strong bond shared between the two, I think they often know what the other person is trying to say before he/she says it. It's why Celine knew that Jesse wanted to implement a big change in their lives very early on. They seem to be a very honest couple, but they both dance around the truth until they feel comfortable revealing it - in the way that many of us tend to do.
Agreed, the role playing and make-up sex won't mean much in the long run. I envision the fourth movie opening with Celine flying to the US to visit Jesse and his son. One of the things I was going to explore in my write-up for BEFORE MIDNIGHT was the worry that Jesse would view the probably make-up sex as a victory. I don't mean that to say that he's shallow or simple-minded, but the worry was him thinking that it would do more than just paper over the cracks. I doubt it, though, because I do think Jesse is smarter and more sensitive than that. But we do know that, for Celine, sex is an essential part of life (like eating or breathing). So for her, sex wouldn't necessarily do as much for her as it might do for Jesse.
Good point on Hank being the catalyst; like you, I love the way the script is framed. Also, it would be stupid for Jesse to go back to Hank without bringing Celine and the twins; otherwise, he'd lament the fact that he wasn't present while his daughters grew up. But in the one scene where Hank and Jesse are together, we see how insistent Jesse is that his son sticks with soccer. Based on that scene, I might assume that he enjoys having a son more than having a daughter. There's a little bit of the "living vicariously through you" thing happening there.
On the other movies I watched...
Yeah, I really enjoyed watching the transition Rock Hudson makes in MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION. He plays both the insensitive drunk and the sensitive romantic very well. ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS has been on my watch list for a while now; hopefully I'll see it soon. It's strange how a film like MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION would make the attention stuffed youth uncomfortable. Or even a James Dean flick. I'm sure if you were to screen REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE to a bunch of college students, they'd probably laugh through most of it.
I agree with your criticism of LIFE OF PI. Absolutely, the framing doesn't really serve a purpose and often deflates the story. It's also a weird moment when Pi explains to the novelist that he has to lie to the insurance agents. Ultimately, the get the point that's being made, but point itself seems a little sloppy.
There's also something about LIFE OF PI that makes me think of BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD. I guess both are popular pieces of Oscar bait. And while I'm not necessarily crazy about either, I do like the core emotional stories in both. The Pi/Richard Parker relationship and the Hushpuppy/Dad relationship. And really, that's all that I take away from those two films. The rest I could do without.
Yeah, it's amazing how shocking THE BIG HEAT is even today. I can't help but admire Fritz Lang for being that bold.
On THIS IS THE END's ending...
(Spoilers) Do you only hate the Backstreet Boys number or does your hatred for the ending begin earlier? I can't understand hating the Backstreet Boys joke, because it's one that plays out for 3-4 minutes and it isn't funny. Like Jeff, though, I have to say that in no way does this ending cheapen/ruin the entire film for me. It is a weird ending, though. There's the seemingly throw-away line about Channing Tatum that gets its callback. The Backstreet Boys' song gets the same treatment, so it isn't completely random or anything like that, but sure, it does suggest to me a bit that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg weren't exactly sure how to end the film. Ending on a dance number seems to be a bit of a throwback to 80s comedies like CADDYSHACK, though. I also think that Rogen and Goldberg get a kick at the idea that they're forcing the bros who attend their movie to sit through a Backstreet Boys music video.
But yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the ending by any means, but the rest of the movie is so enjoyable/hilarious that I can't even consider hurling complaints at it. Agree to disagree, I guess. I like the fact that THIS IS THE END is a strong contender for my 2013 list. And I was crazy to suggest that my love for the cast in this one was waning. I know everyone says it, but Seth Rogen really does seem like a cool guy to hang with. Same with the rest of the crew - I love you guys. My apologies and I look forward to the next film.
It's funny how Rogen and Goldberg have surpassed Judd Apatow now; they're making the better films/comedies.
"Failure" is too outrageous a word for THIS IS THE END...it needs to be said.
On Jeff's quiz...
DON'T LOOK NOW's ending is a great horror film moment. I wanted to avoid stealing other people's answers, but really, that is one of my favorites. Such a great film. The ending of SEVEN is a great answer too, Adrienne.
I wish I had seen THE SEVENTH SEAL earlier in life. It definitely had a big impact on me, and it remains one of my all-time favorite movies, but because I didn't see it until my 20s, the impact feels a bit dulled, somehow.
I will watch TO BE OR NOT TO BE sometime this month. That is my personal film club homework assignment.
I see that Adrienne had some trouble picking movie recommendations for some of us. I had similar trouble, so in some cases I just went with slightly random choices.
I'm an idiot. When listing my favorite movies that take place during the summertime, I should've listed CHRISTMAS IN JULY. Guess I subconsciously didn't want to use the same answer for two different questions. REAR WINDOW is a great answer as well.
I swear this isn't bragging or anything, but Jeff told me to watch DARK CITY back in the day, citing that he really loved it. I remember not being impressed. I think the moral here is that I'm a better film critic than you, dude ;)
I like ANCHORMAN and all, but I have a strong feeling that ANCHORMAN 2 is actually going to be worthy of the hate Brandon gives the first film.
I've been watching more TV than movies lately. I do hope to find more balance soon. And because I've watched a lot of the classic films that I wanted to see, the deeper cuts aren't as appealing and I've been in more of a place of wanting to re-watch the stuff that I haven't seen in a long time.