back in the saddle, again. [five things, 10.24.11]

Things haven’t actually been all that sparse here on Roused over the last few weeks. I’ve gotten content up at least intermittently this month. Still, today marks my return to writing in earnest, so here are five more random things I’ve been enjoying of late.


1. Hanna

Just watched it for the second time, Emily’s first. I absolutely love this movie. The way its framed around Grimm’s Fairy Tales; a kick-ass heroine who isn’t masculinized, isn’t sexualized, and never loses her humanity in the midst of the struggle for survival; amazingly beautiful cinematography, editing, and great relationship between the visuals and the music, especially during action scenes.

Amazing performances as well, especially by the young Saoirse Ronan, who continues to amaze film after film.

Love. Love. Love.


2. Ides of March

People seem to be split on this movie. Sure, Rotten Tomatoes has it at 83%, which is nothing to scoff at, but when people don’t like it they seem to really hate it. I really enjoyed it, though.

I think a huge part of what drew me in was the power of Gosling’s performance. I really didn’t care much for him in the past. He had to go through a bit of a Leo DiCaprio style shift in how I felt about him. It started last year when I saw Half Nelson for the first time, and after Drive and Ides of March I am now wholly won over.

I think the Cloonster did a really great job in every facet of this film. There were always several layers going on at every moment, lots of implications that are never fleshed out, but are enjoyably playing below the surface for anyone paying enough attention. Every scene is filled with the characters off-screen, which isn’t an easy thing to do well, especially not with the subtlety of Ides of March.

It also seems important that the political darkness he is taking a look at happens in the world of his own political views. If the guys in this movie were all Republicans, it would have just felt like a cheap shot.

It’s a film of tremendous real-world darkness, which raised many questions, and the story is told with a skill that had Emily and me in conversation well after the film.

My feeling when I left the theater was, if a just world, this film locks up noms for Best Actor (The Gos), Best Supporting Actor, maybe twice (PSH and Giamatti), with some potential for Clooney as Director.


3. Summoner Wars

An awesome expandable nerd game that I love. I’m not very good at it, but I love it just the same. A bunch of fun ‘factions’ or armies to play as, lots of different styles of play to experiment with. Good times. Emily even likes it, which makes for lots of fun times.


4. John C Reilly as ‘Dean Ziegler’ in Cedar Rapids

The movie was decent. Uneven, but funny enough at times to be worth my 90 minutes. But, I loved John C. Reilly. If I was laughing out loud, it was almost certain to be Ziegler I was laughing at.


5. Starting the lists of 2011.

Yay! My favorite part of every year is making the lists of my favorite music, movie moments and characters, tv shows, video games, etc. Brian is back for a second straight year of collaborating on the music lists. We are getting started early to hopefully miss fewer great albums this year.