Goodbye Sopranos

“What the *bleep*?” was heard across the country as the final episode of the Sopranos ended. I know I yelled it, I know you did, and as I read on forums online, and heard on the radio and in podcasts, so did everyone else. I knew an unconventional ending was coming, but the last thing I expected was an ending that would make me check if the recording had been screwed up. They might as well have put “To be continued…” on the bottom of that black screen.

If David Chase wanted to show the audience that life goes on, he didn’t need to resort to a gimmick. There were plenty of loose ends and possible demises for Tony. Even with Phil dead, there was no guarantee his second-in-command would back off forever and if Tony didn’t get whacked, the Feds were coming after him with another case. The show could have faded to black with the Sopranos happily enjoying their corrupt, hypocritical, fake, ridiculous family dinner and I would have been happy. But instead Chase basically ended his story in the middle of a sentence by building up all the tension and then abruptly cutting to black. What a cowardly way to end such a fantastic show. I think I understand what he was trying to do, but I still hate it. There are other, better ways to leave an ending ambiguous and up for interpretation besides just crudely cutting it out.

I liked the episode, at least everything up to the final 10 seconds. I just wish that was executed differently.

The Island Review

If my girlfriend wasn’t obsessed with Scarlet Johansson (she has her entire filmography in her Netflix queue) I would never have watched The Island. The previews for it never enticed me and so I passed it off as a poorly done, cliché knock-off of every science-fiction movie from the past ten years. Now that I’ve seen it I have to say it’s a pretty well done, cliché knock-off of every science-fiction movie from the past ten years. The story is basically Brave New World meets The Matrix, but instead of machines using humans as a power source, humans are harvesting clones for their organs and offspring. Stylistically it reminded me of the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel: over-the-top action, humor from the absurdity of the situation, and all-together it has a very summer blockbuster feel. If you take either of the films too seriously you won’t get very much enjoyment out of them.

For example: a random person on IMDB panned the film for its blatant product placement, claiming it “ruined the film” for them. I have to laugh at the movie snobs who ever think this. If anything, a movie which uses generic replacements for obviously popular brands breaks the realism of the film for me more than an Xbox or Cadillac logo does (both of which are seen in The Island).

So I’m recommending this movie, just don’t go in expecting much and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It helps if you’re watching it with someone who can appreciate the simultaneous ridiculousness and awesomeness and you can yell things at each other and do high-fives while the movie is rolling.

More Movie Critic

I swore left and right, multiple times, often out loud, that I would never watch another (new) Adam Sandler movie after I shelled out my probably not hard-earned, but nonetheless my money to see Mr. Deeds. I might as well have lit my money on fire and swallowed it. Then, going against everything that is right in the universe, I actually paid to see Anger Management, which was really more of a marketing idea than a movie (“Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson! Together! Your life will be forfeit if you do not pay money to watch this!”).

I have since stopped making promises to myself. Whatever happens, happens. At least when it comes to paying for entertainment that sometimes pays back but more often than not just kicks you in the mean bean bag machine. What I am trying to say is: I just watched Punk Drunk Love, starring Adam Sandler.

The verdict: Best Adam Sandler movie. Ever. Happy Gilmore is a close second, but only because it is simply a pure comedy and nothing more. Whereas Punk Drunk Love is a wonderful, fully rounded movie. It has comedy, drama, symbolism, moments that make you feel actual emotion (I’d forgotten movies could do this), and after the credits roll, you actually get the inclination to ponder the meaning of what you just watched.

So what I am saying is, don’t let Sandlers past crimes keep you from renting this movie. It is really good. Read these comments, as they basically say what makes it so great.

I like movies.

Stanely Kubrick is a genius. For those of you who have already come to this conclusion: I’m sorry it took me so long. I guess I just wasn’t paying attention. For those of you not in the know: Stanely Kubrick is the main man behind such cinema classics as A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket, The Shining, Dr. Strangelove, and 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I watched today, for the first time. All hail Netflix.

My opinion: Greatest. Movie. Ever. First I was bewildered by the opening 5 minutes of a black screen accompanied by a booming, ominous symphony. Then the credits rolled. For the next 2/3 of the movie, I enjoyed finally seeing first hand all the scenes that have become part of the sci-fi lexicon. Then the final part of the movie literally blew my mind. I was criminally insane for a few moments, then my lunacy lessened and I was able to continue functioning at a low level of normalcy. I stumbled to my computer chair and searched for some kind of explanation on the Internet. Fortunately, as you would expect, there is a plethora of devotion to 2001 and I quickly found a good essay on the topic.

Now I think I will watch it again. Then I’m going to rent more Kubrick goodness. You are advised to do the same. Oh and if someone would buy me this, it would be greatly appreciated.