For years, teen Boggy held the Netflix queue hostage, moving the rest of the family's selections around like chess pieces on a board, or deleting them as heartlessly as toppling pawns. Then he magnanimously created the Boggy Movie Tournament, and a meta game was born. The playing field is finally open. The competition is fierce. You'll never recommend another movie without asking yourself, "But, is it a winner?"

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Nominations for Round Fourteen

[Editor's Note: Despite the fact that the last post was in July, we have been watching movies almost every night. The tabs above (Nominees and Winners, and Curated Movies) are updated and current, even though the blog posts aren't.]

Without further ado, here is Eric's summary of Nomination Round Fourteen:

Lydia's nomination: Alpha and Omega

Sigh.  If I'm going to do this I might as well do it properly. 

Hayden Panettiere plays Kate, a natural-born Alpha wolf who is friends with Humphrey (Justin Long), an Omega wolf.  In case you're unfamiliar with wolf hierarchies, Alpha wolves hunt and conduct wolfy politics while Omega wolves play around and diffuse any conflicts between Alpha wolves.  That's true! Don't even bother Googling it!  Kate is supposed to marry Garth (affectionately nicknamed Barf by the Omegas) and unite two warring wolf tribes.  Unfortunately, in a long and decidedly painful scene in which wolves howl (i.e. do a song and dance number) at the moon, it is revealed that Garth is impotent.  Or he can't howl right.  Or maybe he's gay. It's kind of unclear.  Anyway, Humphrey and Whatshername get kidnapped and relocated to repopulate another part of Canada. (You only need two wolves to repopulate. Do! Not! Google!)  With the help of two ducks they find their way home and teach Dennis Hopper that it's okay for Alphas and Omegas to be in love.  Many questions remain unanswered, especially why Lydia chose this movie.

 The Uncanny Valley: now in animal!

Wait, Christina Ricci was in this? 

Eric's nomination: The Town

Ben Affleck is an Omega bank robber who falls in love with one of his Alpha hostages. You think I'm joking. 

The film was meh. Overwhelmingly meh.  A burning, all-consuming, blinding singularity of meh. 

 We have found a solution to our Maria problem.

Sally's nomination: Grizzly Man                  

"Jewel, yoo mast NEVAH leesten to this."
"I know, Werner. I'm never going to."
And yoo mast NEVAH look at the photos I've seen at the coroner's office."

 ... It's Mithtuh Chocolate!


John's nomination: Das Boot

I fell asleep pretty early in this movie and slept through the entire middle part.  The story I saw was about a bunch of people shipping out in a submarine and then coming home okay and getting the snot arbitrarily bombed out of them in the harbor by our allies.


Beth's nomination: Little Otik

Or, what Sally thinks childbirth is like.  This movie deserved to win.  The only flaw with it was that it was too long.  When you're adapting a fairy tale, make it short and sweet, or add plotlines and characters.  Say, a horse. Who likes to do his job a lot.  Named Maximus.  

 I'm sorry, Sally, but if this guy isn't funny, I don't know what funny is anymore.

Gene's nomination: Source Code

Jake Gyllenhall time-travels to try to stop a bomber.  Except for some reason a movie exec really didn't want it to be "time travel," so Jake is actually reliving the last eight minutes of brain activity from a dead man.  Somehow he can learn things the dead man had no way of knowing.  And he can change the past and live out the dead man's life.  But it isn't time travel!

 Captain Colleen Goodwin and Dr. Rutledge browse Reddit during their coffee break.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Round Eleven: One-Sentence Summaries

Posted by Beth

Oy, this was a pretty dreadful round of nominations.

Eden of the East the Movie 1: The King of Eden (Lydia)

One-sentence summary: No consideration whatsoever is given to non-fans to bring them up to date with either the story or the disturbing goal on the part of allegedly sympathetic characters to install a benevolent world dictator.

Gattaca (Eric)

One-sentence summary: The only positive thing about this movie is that we found a new family saying: "I never save anything for the trip back."

Lost in Translation (John)

One-sentence summary: We dutiful viewers are supposed to accept that Bob and Charlotte's last exchange is just between the two of them, but after being forced to endure the droning details of their platonic intimacy for 102 minutes, it's just annoying ("Wha? What did he say? Rewind!").

Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Beth)

One-sentence summary: A pedestrian, plodding, sequential treasure-hunt plot with bad acting, culminating in a trident through the neck.

Kung Fu Panda (Gene)
One-sentence summary: Not the best animated film you've ever seen, but good enough to win this terrible round, and it's sort of hilarious the way the director never acknowledges that Po is adopted.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Quote Week

By Eric 

To mix things up a bit (because I assume our readers are as bored of this shitty tournament as we are), I'm structuring this week's summary around the reaction to each movie by a single participant: Beth. Maybe this will give you some insight into how my dear old mother interacts with movies.

Lydia's Film: Little Norse Prince Valiant
Mum says: "Is this thing not animated?"

Bless her heart, but my mother is always the last to show up to Movie Times. This is because she always gets distracted with some bullshit like reading emails or writing her book or doing my laundry. Anyway, sometimes we call her upstairs and she answers that she is "coming." Most people would call this an outright lie, but those who know our family understand that we have a unique understanding of the passage of time. In the case of Little Norse Prince Valiant (or Little Norse Prince for short) she allowed us start without her. When she did show up, she arrived during a scene in which they had stopped real animation to just show us storyboards. This happened twice during the film. It was the second worst animated movie I have ever seen.

Dad's Film: Cars
Mum says: "This premise doesn't work."

Cars is the worst animated movie I have ever seen. Mum's complaint is basically that no one wants to watch talking cars for two hours, even if you put googly eyes on them and alternate between three expressions: smug, smugger, and neutral.

Her Own Film: Get Low
Mum says: "Turns out all critically acclaimed movies suck."

Mum often picks a movie because every reviewer loved it. Now I'm not naming names, but Sideways, Winter's Bone, The Class, and The Kids are All Right were terrible terrible boring movies. Something finally clicked with Get Low and she realized that professional reviewers and Sundance sycophants have forgotten what good movies are, as a rule.

My Film: John Tucker Must Die
Mum says: "Hey, Eric? It's stretched. Can you make it widescreen? What's wrong with the aspect? I think it's a bit stretched.  Eric? Are you awake?"

I cannot fix it. You saw me try.

Gene's Film: Stand By Me
Mum Says: "This is what Stephen King thinks he was like as a kid."

My mother has an almost supernatural gift of pointing out when authors are being egotistical. While she's goodhearted enough to still admire them despite their moments of vanity, I can't read Neil Gaiman's website anymore since she pointed out that a new photo of him loads every time you hit refresh.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Round Nine: Minus Dad, Plus Sal

by Gene

Daddy was away watching some stupid movie called “real life” so we decided to have a mini-tournament without him. No one brought their A-game for fear of wasting a winner, but the list was pleasingly eccentric and wild-card Sally brought a movie that she didn’t end up watching anyway. So that’s something I guess.

High Fidelity (Beth)

Quick – top five music-centric movies. Go!

5. Fantasia
4. 1991: The Year Punk Broke
3. The Song Remains the Same
2. A Hard Day’s Night
1. Stop Making Sense

Notice what didn’t make the list, Mr. Nick “Impossible Ending” Hornby.

Jack Black was, oddly, loveable in this role.

Marathon Man (Gene)

Dustin Hoffman is a neurotic everyman on the run from ex-Nazis and is too out-of-breath to shut his goddam mouth. Ever. Big ups on the Dust-man, though, I still love him. If you’re going to Pee-wee Herman one of this week's movies, it’s either this one or Heathers, depending on which way you swing.

Hangin' wide.

Independence Day (Eric)

Explosions invade Earth threatening to destroy the White House, and Will Smith has to stop them from blowing up at such a radical, balls-out pace. There are aliens too I think.

 Wait. Is this a Ghostbusters promo shot?

Heathers (Sally)

A bunch of hideous girls are hanging out in the 80s, and then a hideous guy shows up, and something about murders and a school blowing up? I don’t know. 

The poster says "popular mean girls and young love." It's lying.

Tekkon Kinkreet (Lydia) - WINNER

Either we watched a Funimation anime about two orphaned brothers trying to make their way in a hard-scrabble semi-fantasy world using nothing but their pure wits and courage, or our Fullmetal Alchemist DVDs are really scratched.

 Theory: any animated movie is better than the average live-action film.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Nominations Ain't Horrid

By Beth

It could be worse. Actually, it has been a lot worse. This week's nominees are:

American Beauty: I was a little alarmed at how cool my boys thought it was that Kevin Spacey quit his lucrative job to work at Mr. Smiley's. Annette Bening reprises her Kids are All Right role, or rather, brushes up for it. The Japanese movie poster demurely omits any hint of belly button or waist.

Matt and George briefly wonder, along with the audience, why the hell George needs to be in this scene.
 Ocean's 11: Did you know that Matt Damon is a family man? That almost makes up for the fact that Julia Roberts is in this movie.

Sideways: This film does a great service by warning unsuspecting tourists that wine-tasting tours are actually mind-numbingly boring. For some reason I spent almost the whole 123 minutes (minus the wallet-stealing scene) wishing we were watching John Adams.

Flushed Away: Do these look like rats to you? We haven't even seen it yet, and I'm already creeped out by their human bodies and clothes.

Rocky: Whoever nominated this needs to know that it's not Rambo. It's a hackneyed, "uplifting" version of Raging Bull, and remember how you hated that one? (I'm not breaching our anonymity rule here, because this is just the sort of movie I would pick.)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Our Blog Has a Theme Song

by Beth

It's called Movie Time, by Secabest Bestabed (Gene Cochrane).

How many blogs do you know that have their own kick-ass theme song?


I thought so.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Lydia's Winning Week

By Eric

Since the beginning of this tournament we have been living in dread. Dread of a certain inevitable phantom: a Lydia or John week of curated movies.

Whenever we explain to John that the winner of the tournament gets to pick seven movies (this happens often, as he cannot pay attention to the rules) he always says the same thing: "Oh boy! Seven movies! Get ready for Das Boot, Rick Steve's Europe, Simon Shama: The Power of Art..." and as he lists his insults to cinema, a dark voice mumbles from the shadows: "Get ready for a week of Pokemon movies..."

I am relieved to say that the phantom has come to pass, and it was not as bad as it promised to be. Lydia won the tournament with Bolt (I know), and only chose one Pokemon Movie in her lineup of seven animated features.

1. Pokemon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions
As you may remember from Sally's Review, there comes a moment in every Pokemon Movie when a sane human, forced to watch it, finally cracks and finds something inexplicably, hilariously funny. In this case, Beth could not control herself over how they pronounced Zoroark. Was it Zor - oh - ark? Zor- oo- ak? Zor - uh- ork? Add in it's pre-evolution, Zorua, and you can see why Pikachu sticks to shouting "Pikachu!"


2. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs
Can we watch How to Train Your Dragon again please?

"The Technological Singularity is coming, Sam. You cannot stop it. You can only evolve with it."

3. Treasure Planet
Let me just clear one thing up: Treasure Planet was an awesome movie, Cat People withstanding.

Cat people run...

4. Summer Wars
Shampoo tricks Ranma into pretending to be her boyfriend for a weekend. But when the internet is stolen and Ranma is blamed, only a rag tag team of nerds can set the world right. As with all Japanimations, right at the very height of romance, our two star-crossed lovers will look into each other's eyes, lean in close and... HUG? Or maybe they kiss cheeks, or touch foreheads, or hold hands. Gah!

Take her! She wants you! Take her now and never stop!

4 1/2. Bambi
We made it about 20 minutes in, before the younger generation held a mutiny and vetoed Bambi as part of Lydia's week. We didn't get to Bambie's mother dying, but honestly we couldn't care less after nearly half an hour of a retard deer exploring a boring forest full of rodents.

Apparently baby deers walk like spider monsters.

5. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
"If you were asked to choose the most fabulous character in English Literature, who would it be? ... I would nominate... J. Falius Toad."

I agree with Narrator. Toad is boss! Toad does drugs all fuckin' day! Toad lives in a castle; he don't give a shit, his dad gave it to him. He and his horse buddy smoke grass until there's no grass to smoke. Toad's broke but he don't even care. Out of Marijuanna? He can just lick himself! He sees a swank-ass car? He'll trade you a castle for it! The cops bust him, but his horse buddy breaks him out of jail because they're tight as hell. Forget English Literature, Toad is the best thing to come out of humanity!
  Are they really animals or does Toad just THINK they're animals?

6. The Road to El Dorado
Opinion was divided on Chel, the love interest in El Dorado. The women in the audience thought she had inhuman proportions and distracted from the plot. We men thought she had inhuman proportions and distracted from the plot.

But if you take her back to Spain she might find out about bras!

7. Brother Bear
Brother Bear is about a hard-nosed black cop living in the wrong part Brooklyn in the early late 1970s, and it rounded out Lydia's week of Blacksploitation films very nicely.

Just kidding, she chose another Disney movie.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Meet Our Guest Player: Edgar Zeiler

By Eric
The nominations are in! This week we are screening:

1) Bolt
Miley Shyrus playsh a lishping teenage girl whose shiteating dog thinksh it'sh a shuperhero.

Rhino provides some relief, however.

2) League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
Sean Connery playsh a lishping adventurer who teams up with an invisible man, a dracula, a terrorist, and a schizo to take down a messy and meandering plot.
"There are women who take it to the wire. That's what they are looking for, the ultimate confrontation. They want a smack."

3) Harry Brown
Oh shit! Michael Cain has a gun!

4) Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
Why was this not nominated for every Oscar?
Comics plus Michael Cera?!
5) Thunderball
The sequel to Pokemon: Arceus: The Jewel of Life

"I don't think there's anything particularly wrong in hitting a woman, though I don't recommend that you do it the same way that you hit a man."

6) Mission Impossible II
It is important to note that none of us have seen the first Mission Impossible. Someone has finally learned to underestimate this family properly.

We're hoping for some more Tom Cruise tongue-action-in-silhouette, as in Top Gun.
You may notice there are six movies, and Sally is never cool enough to compete. Who is the sixth entry? Why, Edgar of course! Here's his bio:

Guest contender:

Edgar (Ed-gah)

Likes: Movies. REALLY likes movies. You-should-be-concerned likes movies.
Dislikes: How few American movies have french subtitles.
Catchphrase: "To find a movie I have not seen... it would be difficult."

Gene went on a foreign exchange to Edgar's home in La Rochelle. He saw Paris, Versailles, and the Louvre. Now Edgar's in the U.S. and we're showing him Netflix movies. We might get away with this because Edgar is a skinny little French database of movie trivia and a sworn film buff.  Avoid movies with made-up American slang, hope your DVD has French subtitles (he hates dubbing), and you might just pick up Edgar's vote. As they say in France, Nu vu vwyon!

(Editor's note: they do not say this in France.) 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Kids are Not All Right

posted by Beth

I won this round of the movie tournament with a piece of trash (Kick-Ass), so I'm trying hard to redeem myself by curating seven movies that don't make us feel like washing our brains with soap afterward. I haven't succeeded, but that's because I'd have to choose all Buster Keaton movies to fully satisfy that criterion. The curated list is:
  1. Do the Right Thing  
  2. Despicable Me
  3. The Kids are All Right
  4. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
  5. Leon: The Professional
  6. Tyson
  7. Oceans (Disney's documentary)
We've seen the first four, and I have to say that The Kids are All Right is the worst of the bunch so far. And yes, that includes Despicable Me.

At first I thought, "Why are people so excited about this movie?" Four academy award nominations? Best Picture and Writing? Seriously? It has way too many plot threads that aren't tied up (Laser's destructive friendship, Paul's genuine feelings for Jules, anything about Paul's future at all, Joni's relationship with Paul, Joni's advances toward her guy friend, Joni's lusty girlfriend), incomplete character development and motivation, and the coup de grace: nothing happens. Nothing but a lot of graphic sex that does not advance the plot one iota.

At some point we need to have a discussion about whether any overly graphic sex scenes in cinematic history have ever advanced the plot one iota.

But then I figured it out! I figured out why people are eating their poop (to paraphrase Eric) over The Kids are All Right. Or more specifically, I figured out who is eating their poop, besides a certain Lhasa Apso named Bella: it's movie industry people. Movie industry people who love themselves and their lives, and think the whole world revolves around them. They think they're so hip, writing about a lesbian family fighting to stay intact; writing a "day in the life" script in which people are struggling to remember why they love the people they love; writing about rich people in L.A.; including organic farming somewhere in the plot, and then ironically including the over-saturation of contemporary foodie-ism in the plot. This thing was so inbred — so Santa Monica and Venice and Mar Vista — even the college-bound protagonist ended up going away to a California college. The rest of the country rolls its eyes when we see this highly-specific southern California version of White People Problems on screen. Which only goes to show you who populates the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

And we can talk about the lame title later. Or not.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sixth Round Nominations

posted by Beth

This week's nominations are in:

 Kick-Ass. Lots of swearing = good movie. That's what Goodfellas taught us.
 The Lady Eve. Our third Preston Sturgess movie (third time may be the charm).
 Catch 22. The catch is that John will get to curate a week if this wins.

Enchanted. Go-for-broke appeal to the Disney lovers among us.

Minority Report. Tom Cruise plus Steven Spielberg: this could be great. Or hateful.

Saturday, January 1, 2011