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New to Your Queue

Scene Staff | Wednesday, November 30, 2011

 

1.     “Limitless”

After his girlfriend breaks up with him, Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) hits rock bottom. He struggles to begin his novel and also doesn’t have the funds to pay his rent. When he runs into an old friend, he discovers a miracle drug that allows the user to utilize 100 percent of their brain capacity, as opposed to the normal 20 percent. After writing half his novel in one sitting, he becomes hooked. Morra reunites with his ex-girlfriend and the drug allows him to become a financial wizard. Everything seems to be going great until his supply starts to dwindle. Morra gets caught up with Russian mobsters and other unsavory characters, who are just as eager to get their hands on the drug,

 

2.     “The Notebook”

Based on the novel by Notre Dame alumnus Nicholas Sparks, this sweeping romantic film is equal parts aesthetic perfection and plot depth. Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah (Ryan Gosling) fall in love the summer before Allie leaves for college. They are forced to leave each other because Allie’s parents don’t think Noah is an appropriate companion for someone of her status. After years of remembering her first love, Allie moves on and becomes engaged to Lon Hammond (James Marsden). In a moment of panic before her wedding, Allie takes trip to visit Noah. The story and its method of delivery makes for perhaps the greatest love story of all time.

 

3.     “Arrested Development”

Hopefully you’ve heard the recent news that “Arrested Development” is coming back with all new original episodes, premiering exclusively on Netflix in 2013. While you eagerly await the return of the Bluth family to your life, grab a frozen banana, hop on your Segway and catch up with three seasons of “Arrested Development’s” comedic perfection on Netflix now.

 

4.     “SNL Presidential Bash ’08”

Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin impression made “SNL” a hit leading up to the 2008 election. If you get bored watching real presidential race politics in action, head to Netflix to check out Fey and the other members of her comedy cohort leave no candidate un-mocked in this collection of skits.

 

5.     “Michael Collins”

This powerful biopic about the life of General Michael Collins (Liam Neeson) traces his journey during the Irish Civil War in the early twentieth century. Collins was a powerful figure in the Irish rebellion and Neeson portrays this strong character amazingly well. The story is gripping, recounting Ireland’s bloody struggle to gain independence from England. The blood and violence tear the country apart, pitting Collins against his former friend Eamon De Valera

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New To Your Queue

| Sunday, November 20, 2011

 

“Limitless”

“People” recently crowned Bradley Cooper the Sexiest Man Alive — check him out in “Limitless.” The movie follows Cooper as a man who takes a drug that opens up the limitless powers of his brain with some unfortunate side effects.

 

Gnomeo and Juliet”

You probably didn’t know that “Romeo and Juliet” would make for a good animated musical comedy, but it absolutely does. Set to Elton John’s music, “Gnomeo and Juliet” follows the neighboring gardens of the Montague and Capulet families and those that call these gardens home. Two young garden gnomes from each side of the fence fall in love amidst the turmoil and, well, you know the rest of the story.

 

“Return of the Pink Panther”

Peter Sellers shines in this classic comedy. A thief has made off with the Pink Panther diamond in Lugash, and Inspector Clouseau (Sellers) is called in to help the investigation. Despite his bumbling police work, Clouseau somehow manages to find the real thief and bring him to justice. Although threats on his life come around almost every turn, Clouseau stays alive and completes his investigation in the hilarious manner that Sellers has become known for. The slapstick comedy and goofy disguises will keep you laughing through the whole 95 minutes.

 

“A Knight’s Tale”

Just a year after his supporting role in “The Patriot” with Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger landed the leading role in this action-adventure film set in Medieval Europe. He plays William Thatcher, a peasant masquerading as a knight so that he can compete in jousting tournaments. Ledger’s brooding looks and handsome face make him perfect in this leading role, and his supporting cast complements him well. Although the film is considered to be in the action-adventure genre, there are still hints of comedy and romance, from the character of Geoffrey Chaucer (Paul Bettany) to Thatcher’s love interest, Jocelyn (Shannyn Sossamon). It’s your stereotypical story of love and good moral character conquering evil, but it’s not one to miss.

 

“Never Been Kissed”

In case you missed this classic high school flick during one of the million times it’s shown on ABC Family don’t worry because it’s now on Instant Netflix. Budding journalist Josie Geller (Drew Barrymore) goes undercover at a local high school to give parents an inside look at the lives of their teenage children. A complete dork during her own high school experience, Josie enlists the help of her cool younger brother. He becomes a popular baseball player and she moves up the social ladder with him. In the end Josie’s romance with her English teacher consumes her and the plot culminates on the high school baseball field. 

 

“Hope Floats”

After her husband reveals that he is having an affair with her best friend on national television, Birdee Pruitt (Sandra Bullock) and her daughter move back to her hometown of Smithville, Texas. Birdee must rebuild her life and find some kind of stability for her daughter, but instead she finds herself attracted to her former high school classmate, Justin. It is a touching tale about finding oneself after a traumatic experience.

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The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.

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New To Your Queue

| Monday, November 14, 2011

“The Last of the Mohicans”

It is rare that a movie is both critically acclaimed and action-packed, and it is even rarer that such a movie is available to watch instantly. “The Last of the Mohicans,” deftly directed by Michael Mann and based on the novel by James Fenimore Cooper, is one of those rare intersections. A film most people remember hearing about or watching clips from in a middle school history class, it features a performance from the always-spectacular Daniel Day-Lewis and is definitely worth watching again or for the first time.

“Toddlers and Tiaras”

“Toddlers and Tiaras” teaches us so much. Poise, mistakes to avoid when spray tanning a small child, the differences between a natural and a glitz pageant and vocab such as “flippers.” No matter how often you watch it though, you will never understand the crowning process. A helpful hint is that the more horrified you are, the higher they place.

You will laugh, you will cry and you will learn how not to raise your children. But perhaps the most entertaining aspect isn’t even the toddlers of the title — it’s their stage moms (and dads). If you like watching these parents spend more money on a highlighter yellow dress than you spend on your college education, you need to get on the pageant circuit. 

“Weird Science”

Everybody knows “Sixteen Candles,” “Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” but John Hughes also had a more obscure entry in the teen genre called “Weird Science.” Starring Hughes’ favorite Anthony Michael Hall, the film follows two nerds on the quest for the perfect woman. The film is an odd but rewarding blend of sci-fi, parody and the teen humor for which Hughes is known. Keep an eye out for hilarious supporting performances by Robert Downey Jr. and Bill Paxton.

“Borgia”

You may have seen, or at least heard of, Showtime’s new series “The Borgias” about a notorious Italian family. Netflix now has you covered with the other new version of the story, simply titled “Borgia.” A French/German co-production, this series from “Oz” creator Tom Fontana is just as racy, but likely more historically accurate than its Jeremy Irons-starring competition. Broadcast across Europe but seen by few Americans, Netflix is ready to bring this European hit across the Atlantic. Warm up your Thanksgiving break with a good, old-fashioned costume drama.

“Exit Through The Gift Shop”

This documentary is a fantastically done work of art set up like a house of mirrors. It’s almost impossible to determine who’s telling the story and who can be trusted. Thierry Guetta sets out to document street artists and their guerilla-art style. In the process, he comes in contact with possibly the most notoriously secretive street artist of all time — Banksy. As the film progresses, Banksy turns the camera on Guetta as he in a sense creates a manufactured art collective. The Academy Award nominated documentary maintains the mystery surrounding Banksy and continuously asks the question, “What is art?”

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New to Your Queue

| Monday, November 7, 2011

“A Knight’s Tale”

Good movie, or greatest movie ever in the history of movies and knights and horses and jousting? It’s in there somewhere. Sporting a stellar cast of the late great Heath Ledger, Paul Bettany in the role of lifetime as Geoffrey Chaucer, and Alan Tudyk, the guy who played Steve the Pirate in “Dodgeball,” this 2001 medieval action-comedy follows the rise of Ledger, a peasant, who poses as a noble in order to compete in jousting tournaments. In addition to expertly stylized action scenes and well-timed comedy, this film sports one heck of a soundtrack, including one of the best uses of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” in any movie to date.

 

“Fraiser”

You’ve probably heard of Fraiser, the most popular spin-off series of all time (the character Fraiser Crane was first on Cheers) but chances are you never watched it. Now you are finally old enough to appreciate the high-brow, sophisticated humor that made the show a critical success for years. The series follows Kelsey Grammar as the eponymous psychiatrist who moves from Boston to Seattle, hosts a radio show, takes care of his elderly father, and gets along with his brother Niles.

 

“Carlos”

With Carlos the Jackal once again making headlines as his trial gets underway in Paris, there has never been a better time to delve into this 5½ hour miniseries that chronicles the long career of the Venezuelan terrorist whose bombings and assassinations brought havoc all over the Middle East and Europe from 1973 to 1994. Cold War-era leftist terrorism is personified in the figure of Carlos and his Che Guevara style beret and beard, brought to you in this Golden Globe winning miniseries. But be warned: this is in French, with subtitles.

 

“Dumb and Dumber”

Of course, as the title suggests, this movie is stupid comedy, but it’s still that visceral style of comedy and outrageous behavior that make for one hysterical movie. Lloyd Christmas, a limo driver, and his friend Harry drive cross-country chasing after Mary Swanson, a woman Lloyd falls in love with while driving her to the airport for his job. She leaves a briefcase of money at the airport and Lloyd thinks he’s helping her by driving the money out to her in Aspen, but in reality the money was ransom for Mary’s husband. Jim Carrey’s zany humor and heartfelt devotion to Mary make the movie so completely dumb, but loveable at the same time.

 

“Meet the Parents”

Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro splendidly play off each other as father and soon-to-be son-in-law in “Meet the Parents.” Stiller plays Greg Focker, a male nurse who plans on proposing to his long-time girlfriend Pam only to realize he needs to ask her father for permission first. Pam and Greg head out to Pam’s parents’ house for her sister’s wedding and everything that could possibly go wrong for Greg does. Pam’s dad Jack (De Niro), has it out for Greg and uses his CIA skills to interrogate him, make him feel uncomfortable, and intentionally throw a wrench in his daughter’s relationship.