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We have Beards so we know Movies: Midnight in Paris (2011)

September 12, 2011

My interest in Woody Allen started with his movies Manhattan Murder Mystery, Deconstructing Harry and Manhattan; i.e. the ones that take place in New York. It was about the same time I got a desire to have a brick wall in my apartment.

His latest movie, Midnight in Paris, is however not set in New York. It’s a romantic comedy-fantasy film about Gil (Owen Wilson) and Inez (Rachel McAdams). They visits the French capital to meet up with Inez parents who are on a business trip.
Gil already makes a lucrative living as a screenwriter in Hollywood, but finds it a bit shallow. He now wants to create greater art with the novel he has started to write. Gil finds a new, and quite spectacular kind of inspiration on the streets of Paris.

As many times before Woody Allen uses the atmosphere of the city as a important part of the story. And he does it very well, I have already started to google “cheap flights to Paris”. If I just can get there I will start to write that novel that we all, somewhere deep down, have a dream of writing. What the plot is? Never mind. Paris first, plot later.

However, enough about my future.

Owen Wilson, who plays Gil in the film, is a great but also brave casting choice. He got this unique quality that I’m always looking for in a Woody Allen movie. The “neurotic-nervous-close-to-a-panic-attack-Woody-Allen” quality. The script is weird and creative that no other director would get the money to make. But regardless of the weirdness, it’s already the highest grossing Woody Allen film to date. Impressive.

But as I still long for a brick wall in my apartment, I want Woody Allen to return to New York. It is were he’s at his best.

And even though Midnight in Paris has received a 8.1 rating on IMDb, making it his highest rated movie since Annie Hall, I don’t find it that good.

A 7.2 rating would have sufficed.

More “We have Beards so we know Movies!” Reviews

Green Lantern

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
The Complete Death Wish Collection 1-5
Transformers: Dark of the Moon 3D
Super 8
Red Riding Hood
The Hangover Part II
Fast Five
Thor 3D
Tron: Legacy


Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 30. Goodfellas (1990)

September 12, 2011

30. Goodfellas [DVD] (1990)

Plot: The New York Italian mafia is explored in this crime biopic of wiseguy Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) as he makes his way from young petty criminal, to big-time thief, to middle-aged cocaine addict and dealer.

Watching the rise and fall of Hill and his two counterparts, the slick criminal Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) and the intimidating Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci), this true story realistically explores the rules and traditions of the blue-collar part of the mob.

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a gangster.” — Henry Hill, Brooklyn, N.Y. 1955. (tagline)

Also Starring: Lorraine BraccoPaul SorvinoMike StarrFrank SiveroTony DarrowFrank Vincent
Directed by: 
Martin Scorsese
Written by: Nicholas PileggiMartin Scorsese
Length: 146 min
Budget: $25,000,000
Gross Revenue: $46,836,394 (USA)

Favorite Quote:
Tommy DeVito
How am I funny?

Review: It’s hard to steal scenes when you act against Robert De Niro, but Joe Pesci manages to outshine him in every single one.

He is simply brilliant. The “how am I funny?” scene is just amazingly awkward!

Oscar Count:
1 Win: 
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Joe Pesci)
5 Nominations: Best Picture (Irwin Winkler) Best Director (Martin Scorsese) Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Lorraine Bracco) Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Nicholas Pileggi, Martin Scorsese) Best Film Editing (Thelma Schoonmaker)

I’m not ordinarily a fan of Ray Liotta, but I found him excellent in this one. Perhaps the reason I don’t usually like him is because he usually stars in crap movies that I never even come close to renting. But here he actually proves to be a great actor.

Maybe he need to change agent? Or whoever suggests projects for him..
Robert De Niro, as usual, is great. Or at least good. Or.. I don’t know anymore. He has positioned himself, like Nicholson and Pacino, on a level where he simply delivers his “De Niro” acting and we in the audience love him for it, not because he delivers something new, but because he delivers what we have become custom to, if you know what I mean..? And if you did, I applaude you…
Anyway, great acting, great movie. If you haven’t, watch it. If you have, re-watch it.

Nerdiest Movie Trivia: The later life of Henry Hill, after he enters the Witness Protection Program, was also adapted, more humorously, into My Blue Heaven the same year. Appropriately, that film was written by Nora Ephron, who is Nicholas Pileggi’s wife.

PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 31. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)


Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 31. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

September 11, 2011

31. Monty Python and the Holy Grail [DVD] (1975)

Plot: King Arthur (Graham Chapman) is looking for knights to sit with him at Camelot, and finds Sir Galahad the pure (Michael Palin), Sir Lancelot the brave (John Cleese), the quiet Sir Bedevere (Terry Jones), and Sir Robin the Not-Quite-So-Brave-as-Sir Lancelot (Eric Idle).

When told by God to find the Holy Grail, they ride off on an adventure; forced to fight a killer rabbit, answer correctly (or die) at the bridge of Death, try to pass the knights who only say “Ni”, and survive the taunting of French soldiers. Who will survive the madness to find the Holy Grail?

And now! At Last! Another film completely different from some of the other films which aren’t quite the same as this one is. (tagline)

Also Starring: Terry GilliamCarol ClevelandNeil InnesConnie Booth
Directed by: 
Terry GilliamTerry Jones
Written by: Monty Python
Length: 91 min
Budget: $250,000 (estimated)
Gross Revenue: $5,028,948 (worldwide)

Favorite Quote: 
Sir Galahad
Is there someone else up there we can talk to?
French Soldier
No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time.

Review: I love this movie! And what’s not to love about a movie that have riders click coconuts together to fake the sound of horses instead of spending money on real ones?

Nerdiest Movie Trivia: Earnings from Pink Floyd’s album Dark Side of the Moon went toward funding this movie.

PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 32. Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (1989)


Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 32. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

September 11, 2011

32. Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade [DVD] (1989)

Plot: Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) acquires a diary from his father, Dr. Henry Jones (Sean Connery); containing clues and a map to find the mysterious Holy Grail. Upon hearing from private collector Walter Donavan (Julian Glover), that the mission for the Holy Grail went astray with the disappearance of his father, Indiana Jones and museum curator Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) travel to Italy in search of him. However, upon retrieving Dr. Henry Jones in Nazi territory, the rescue mission turns into a race to find the Holy Grail before the Nazis do.

The man with the hat is back. And this time, he’s bringing his Dad. (tagline)

Also Starring: Alison DoodyJohn Rhys-DaviesRiver PhoenixAlexei Sayle
Directed by: 
Steven Spielberg
Written by: Jeffrey Boam (screenplay) George LucasMenno Meyjes (story)
Length: 127 min
Budget: $48,000,000
Gross Revenue: $494,800,000 (Worldwide)

Favorite Quote: Indiana JonesNazis. I hate these guys.

Review: I’m a huge James Bond fan, but that doesn’t matter, this is my favorite Sean Connery movie.

The chemistry between him and Harrison Ford is magical and it was such a shame Sean Connery declined being in the fourth one Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, or I might have liked that one a bit more.

Oscar Count: 1 Win: Best Sound Effects Editing (Ben Burtt, Richard Hymns)
2 Nominations Best Music, Original Score (John Williams) Best Sound (Ben Burtt, Gary Summers, Shawn Murphy, Tony Dawe)

I mean, if I had to choose between Connery and Shia LaBeouf, Connery wins every time. How great wouldn’t it have been to see him battle Transformers? 

Nerdiest Movie Trivia: Denholm Elliott was diagnosed with AIDS before filming and was seriously ill on some days.

PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 33. Ghostbusters (1984)


Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 33. Ghostbusters (1984)

September 11, 2011

33. Ghostbusters [DVD] (1984)

Plot: After witnessing a ghost in a Library, a trio of parapsychology researchers—Drs. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), Raymond ‘Ray’ Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Peter Venkman (Bill Murray)—decide to go into business as ‘Ghostbusters’, a ghost extermination company.

Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) asks the team to investigate a strange occurrence in her home. While Venkman tries to get a date with her, Egon and Ray learn that Dana’s apartment building is a conduit for otherworldly energies, designed specifically to bring about the end of the word.

They’re Here To Save The World. (tagline)

Also Starring: Rick MoranisAnnie PottsErnie HudsonWilliam Atherton 
Directed by: 
Ivan Reitman
Written by: Dan AykroydHarold Ramis
Length: 105 min
Budget: $32,000,000 
Gross Revenue: $280,549,539 (Worldwide)

Favorite Quote: Dr. Peter VenkmanHe slimed me.

Review:  I was 11 years old the first time I saw this movie. It was the first “scary” movie I’d ever seen, and scared me it did. That ghost in the library scene proved too horrifying for the little eleven-year-old Swedish me and I was plagued with nightmares for weeks.

Today I don’t find it scary, but funny and entertaining.

Nerdiest Movie Trivia: The role of Peter Venkman was originally written for John Belushi.

But it is not only funny and entertaining, Ghostbusters is also educational! Here are some of the things we learn:

1. Rick Moranis is a comedy genius.
2. Sigourney Weaver can be sexy even when possessed by a demon.
3. When told not to think of anything, don’t think of anything.
4. Although it’s very common name in Sweden, Egon is a weird name in the U.S.
5. A third Ghostbusters movie without Bill Murray is a bad idea.
6. Who you are going to call.

Oscar Count: 2 Nominations. Best Effects, Visual Effects (Richard Edlund, John Bruno, Mark Vargo, Chuck Gaspar) Best Music, Original Song (Ray Parker Jr.)

PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 34. There’s Something About Mary (1998)


Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 34. There’s Something About Mary (1998)

September 10, 2011

34. There’s Something About Mary [DVD] (1998)

Plot: Geeky high school kid Ted (Ben Stiller) was going to go to prom with popular high school girl Mary (Cameron Diaz), but due to an unusual accident it never happened.

Thirteen years later Ted realizes he’s still in love with Mary, and hires Healy (Matt Dillon) a private investigator to find her. Healy falls in love with Mary too and feeds Ted false information to keep him away from her. But despite all that, Ted soon finds himself back in Mary’s life.

Everyone’s talking about Mary… (tagline)

Also Starring: Lee EvansChris ElliottLin ShayeJeffrey TamborSarah SilvermanWillie Garson
Directed by: 
Bobby FarrellyPeter Farrelly
Written by: John J. StraussEd DecterBobby FarrellyPeter Farrelly
Length: 119 minutes
Budget: $23,000,000
Gross Revenue: $316,983,808 (worldwide)

Favorite Quote: Mary: Is that hair gel?

Review: This is one hilarious comedy.

And I guess you all have seen it and agree with me so instead of writing about how funny it is or how cute Cameron Diaz is or how the zipper scene is one of the funniest penis accidents ever in a movie and always makes me rewind and re-watch it over and over again;

I’d instead want to raise an important question. I’m doing it in bold caps too, just so you understand the importance.


If you know, let me know. I think he’s hilarious and that question keeps me up at nights.

Nerdiest Movie Trivia: The dialogue between Mary and Ted about how there aren’t enough meats on cones was originally written for an episode of Seinfeld that never aired. The Farrelly Brothers liked it and bought it for use in the movie.

PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 35. The Social Network (2010)


Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 35. The Social Network (2010)

September 10, 2011

35. The Social Network [Blu-ray] (2010)

Plot: In 2003 Harvard undergrad and computer programming wizard Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) launched a website called The Facebook and is only six years away to becoming a billionaire; with Napster founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) by his side.

But despite all of Zuckerberg’s wealth and success, his personal life suffers as he is mired in two legal disputes, headed by his former college friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), whose generous financial contributions to Facebook served as the seed that helped the company to sprout; and the Winklevoss twins (Josh PenceArmie Hammer and Armie Hammer) battle Zuckerberg for ownership of Facebook.

You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies (tagline)

Also Starring: Rooney MaraBryan BarterBrenda SongRashida Jones
Directed by: 
David Fincher
Written by: Aaron Sorkin
Length: 120 min
Budget: $40,000,000
Gross Revenue: $214,517,897 (Worldwide)

Favorite Quote:
Marylin Delpy: You’re not an asshole, Mark. You’re just trying so hard to be.

Review: I actually wrote a review of this movie back in October 28, 2010 and I’m re-reviewing this movie based on that review.

The Script
Aaron Sorkin is a God. The dialog was flawless. Fast paced like in an episode of Gilmore Girls, but believable, real and not annoying. The characters was fascinating. I was hooked from the first scene.

Oscar Count:
3 Wins:
 Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (Aaron Sorkin) Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score (Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross) Best Achievement in Film Editing (Kirk Baxter, Angus Wall)

5 Nominations: Best Motion Picture of the Year (Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, Ceán Chaffin) Best Achievement in Directing (David Fincher) Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Jesse Eisenberg) Best Achievement in Cinematography (Jeff Cronenweth) Best Achievement in Sound Mixing (Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick, Mark Weingarten)

The Acting
Every bit of acting, all the way from Jesse “not Michael Cera” Eisenberg to my favorite “new” actor Andrew Garfield (the new Spider-Man) was great. Justin Timberlake did a scene stealing character and did a really good job, but I never understood the Oscar buzz around him. I mean; is it so much more of a great performance when it comes from somebody that should be singing instead of acting in the first place?

Nerdiest Movie Trivia: Mark Zuckerberg originally planned never to see the movie. He ended up taking several of his employees to see it. He later remarked that, despite some of the film’s inaccuracies, they got his clothing right.

The girl
Rooney Mara, my future wife was just lovely and she said that she doesn’t mind dating computer nerds and since I know very little about computers AND have a popular blog I don’t see why we wouldn’t be perfect for each other, right? Sure, one could argue she said it in character in a movie but the way she seems to have method acted her way through the “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”-remake with piercings and whatnots she must have meant it.

And finally, the words that emerge from my mouth every time I finished watching The Social Network; I want a sequel!!

Nerdiest Movie Trivia 2: David Fincher was unable to find suitable twin actors to play real-life identical twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, and hired Armie Hammer as Cameron and Josh Pence as Tyler.

Fincher thought that Hammer looked the most like the real brothers, so for some scenes, the visual effects team photographed Hammer speaking Tyler’s lines and created a computer-generated model of his face to paste over Pence’s. Traditional split-screen work, with Hammer’s separate performances as each brother stitched together in the same frame, was also used.

PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 36. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)


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