Friday, March 27, 2015

Indie Gems: Paradise: Hope

Paradies: Hoffnung

The 3rd part in Austrian director Ulrich Seidl's Paradise trilogy is Hope. This one follows Melanie (Melanie Lenz) a thirteen year old who is sent off to a weight loss camp and finds herself falling for her camp doctor, (Joseph Lorenz) who also seems to have some serious issues understanding his own feelings.

This film is morbidly fascinating. I always find movies where someone feels uncomfortable interesting for whatever reason, but I call this "morbid" because I wanted to sit down pick these character's brains and at the same time shake them and yell "what the fuck are you thinking?"

It's easy to see why a thirteen year old insecure girl would have a crush on an adult. Being a teenage girl is filled with a lot of weird emotions, but the doctor himself wasn't helping. What on Earth could possibly be going through this guy's mind? He should've shut that down immediately. The weird thing is, the film didn't even answer that question, but I wasn't upset about it. I was just happy things didn't go where I was afraid they would. 

I hope to see the reset of the Paradise trilogy, but for some reason Netflix took the other two off Instant stream and only left this one. 

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "Why don't you ever answer when I call?" - Melaine (Melanie Lenz)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks: Mother/Daughter Relationships

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is mother/daughter relationships. The kicker once again is that they have to be biologically related. Here's my favorites:

1) Thirteen

The ongoing battle between Tracy and her mother is one of the most interesting parts of this film. I think every teenage girl should watch this film. Even with their mothers

2) What Maisie Knew

I've never wanted to smack Julianne Moore as much as I did in this film. Poor Maisie. This little gem is a fascinating look on parenting. 

3) Carrie

"Worst. Mother. Ever." - Carrie, probably.

*click those gifs to be redirected to their makers*

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cinematic Moments Blogathon

The wonderful Andrew over at A Fistful of Films has a wonderful idea for a blogathon. He ask us to post a collection of moments where the film we were watching really spoke to us. Here are the rules:

1) Pick a number between 1 and 100 (any more than 100 is just gaudy)
2) Choose that many cinematic moments that are either your all time favorites or ones that could, on any given day, be your all time favorites
3) Post them on your blog (or Tumblr or whatever) with the above header (or one you create for yourself)

4) Send me the link by either posting it here in the comments or getting ahold of me on Twitter ( @fististhoughts )

Here's an example of what he's looking for

We all have them in the back of our minds; those moments that make us think "man, this is what the movies are all about". We relive those moments in our mind's eye, remembering them and dissecting them and adoring them. They come in all shapes and sizes, from all types of films, and yet they all share one very important aspect; they define why we love the movies. It could be the way that the moment is cut; the way it's edited together. It could be the way the moment uses it's actors to evoke a powerful emotion from us. It could be the way that music floods the scene and draws us even closer to the moment in question. It could be a grand climax, a breathtaking introduction or a simple interchange. It could be any and all things, because for every film lover, the list is different.

And here is my collection of 20 moments that moved me in no particular order. These are just a few of the reasons I love the movies.

1) The end of Whiplash - This film has one of the best endings I've ever seen. It's editing porn, it's electric, it's SO intense. I felt like I was going to have an anxiety attack on behalf of Andrew Neiman. I've never felt that way before.

2) This line in American Beauty - "It's a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself." That always sticks with me. I think it's one of the most beautiful things ever written

3) "You're baby loves you, I love you." - This is a quote from Precious. The funny thing about it is that it was actually in the trailer. So I heard it dozens of times before I saw the film. But actually seeing it in context moved me to tears. It was so powerful. 

4) "Imperial March" in the Star Wars movies. There is no score more menacing than that. 

5) The Pencil trick in The Dark Knight. I cheered along with the rest of the crowd at the midnight showing I went to.

6) When 8 year old me saw Susannah of the Mounties and taught myself how to Waltz from this scene. I think I pictured it every time I've ever danced. 

7) The fight scene in the snow in Kill Bill vol 1: It was shot so beautifully. I started to appreciate cinemotography a lot more after seeing that. 

8) Seeing the little girl in the red coat's body in Schindler's List. I watched that film for the first time in my high school history class, and we were all just gutted. It was like I suddenly realized the brilliance of her red coat being the only bit of color in the film. Brilliant and heart wrenching. 

9) The elevator scene in The Departed. I love it when a film truly shocks me, and I did not see that coming. 

10) Tracy's breakdown in Thirteen. The scene starts to lose its color. Everything just gets grayer and grayer as she just loses everything. That technique was perfect. 

11) WALL-E in space. That is the first time I've ever looked at an animated film and really thought about how far animators have come. It was just gorgeous.

12) The Quaaludes scene in The Wolf of Wall Street was a nice reminder that even serious dramatic actors like Leonardo DiCaprio can make me laugh so hard that I nearly cry. 

13) "Jack, I swear.." Those three little words in Brokeback Mountain crushed me. 

14) The bath house fight in Eastern Promises. How brilliant was that scene? Nikolai is as vulnerable as one can be, yet he kicks some major ass there. I think I gawked at that scene. I've ever seen anything like it. 

15) The "there's a storm coming" scene in Take Shelter. No one flips shit quite like Michael Shannon. I froze when watching that. Then to see how the film ended, wow...just wow.

16) The use of the typewriter in the score of Atonement. Genius.

17) Her. All of it. The idea that people could fall in love with their operating systems. It really doesn't seem so crazy to me. I could not stop thinking about this film after watching it. That was a perfect screenplay. 

18) Regan getting thrown around on her bed in The Exorcist. I was 8 when I saw that movie for the first time, and I've never been more terrified of anything on my screen then I was when I saw that moment. The amount of fear I got out of that scene, mind you, it was before she even had a cut up face or scary voice was intense. 

19) "The Heart Asks Pleasure First" in The Piano. It's such a beautiful piece of music and it's perfect in that film. I think I listened to that piece over and over after watching it. 

20) The dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. This movie made me and a million other kids interested in them, and when a movie makes you want to learn more about something, what's better than that?

Thanks for hosting, Fisti! I hope this was coherent enough!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Rambling TV: Thoughts on The Walking Dead, Agents of SHIELD + more

My week in TV, brought to you by insomnia and too much wine..

The Walking Dead

Rick completely lost his shit and he's lusting HARD over Jessie. Damn

Little Sam runs to Carol during Rick and Pete's fight, aww.

Glenn telling Nicholas he's "saving him" is interesting. I think they're going to get in one hell of a brawl, and Glenn will kill him. His first human kill, by the way.

I loved seeing the women together on this show. Rosita, Michonne and Sasha were my favorite part.

I'm so nervous for the finale though. I need Carol to survive. Seriously, take someone else but her. I will rage. RAGE!

Better Call Saul
We got to see Mike in his sneaky action again, that was grand. We also got the batshit Kettlemans back in the episode. There's only three episodes left. I'm sad already, this season flew by.

Agents of SHIELD

Okay, Kyle MacLauhlan is fucking TERRIBLE. He is so over the top and campy and not even in a good way, and omg can someone please kill this guy and get him off my screen?

FitzSimmons were breaking my heart in this episode. When they were talking about May and her ex husband (loved seeing a different side of her by the way) They were really talking about themselves. It hurts, these two need to talk everything out.

So we find out Bobbi and Mack are working for "the real SHIELD." Personally, I think it's Maria Hill and Tony Stark, but there's so many questions. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

19 Kids and Counting

Josie is officially the most disgusting kid ever and watching her like all her pizza toppings then stick them on (as she sat on the counter with dirty feet) is just awful. 

That's what happened in this episode. People made pizza and got a marriage license. RIVETING TV. JB and J'Chelle did a radio interview this week where they said they trust their daughters online because "girls don't get turned on by pictures of men with little clothing." LOL I hope both Jana and Jinger have a spank bank full of pictures of Abercrombie models. They also had to take away smart phone from their sons because of temptations of looking at pictures, so they get flip phones of shame.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Indie Gems: Hunger

What extreme are you willing to go to get your point across?

Hunger follows the lives of prisoners in Northern Ireland in the 1981. Specifically around the IRA Hunger Strike. The main focus is on Bobby Sands (Michael Fassbender) who goes through the hunger strike. Though we start the film with a guard played by Stuart Graham and another prisoner, Davey (Brian Milligan) before we get to Bobby himself.

After seeing both Shame and 12 Years a Slave, I knew I had to check out director Steve McQueen's first feature film. His honest style is still there. He never shies away from showing us something graphic if it's necessary to see. Admittedly, I don't know a lot about the IRA hunger strike. So even though this film is very bleak, I found it to be very interesting.

Saying that Fassbender is great almost feels repetitive at this point because I don't think I've ever seen him give a bad performance. He works well with McQueen and it's easy to see why they did it two more times after this.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "I don't think I can see you again, Bobby.) - Father Moran (Liam Cunningham)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies Adapted from Young Adult Novels

Happy Thursday! This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is YA adaptations. I'm cheating this week. 

1) The Harry Potter franchise
My all time favorite YA novels. I'm not sure if I'll love anything quite as much as I love Harry Potter. I've never queued up at midnight for a release of another book.

2) The Hunger Games franchise
This was very unexpected. Even thought Mockingjay Part 1 was a let down (kind of like the book) the other two were so good that they're easily on my favorites list.

3) To Kill A Mockingbird
Whenever people bitch about YA novels, I remind them that technically this one is too. This is an important book to read when you're a kid. That's why so many schools assign it to them.

*click those gifs to be redirected to their makers*

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

DVD Review: Laggies

Quarter life crisis

Megan (Keira Knightley) is 28 years old and still not sure what she wants to do with her life. She went to college, got a degree, and ended up not liking her field. She's been with her boyfriend, Anthony (Mark Webber) since they were in high school. After he proposes to her, she flakes and crosses paths with Annika (Chloe Grace Moretz) a teenager she buys alcohol for on a whim. She decides to lay low with Annika and her divorced father, Craig. (Sam Rockwell)

I'm not quite sure how I feel about this movie. I can't fully relate to Megan, though I think it's natural that we all sort of regress a little here and there. I could never befriend Annika the way she did, but at the same time the movie really hammers in the fact that Megan's adult friends are the worst. It's easy to see why she would be attracted to a man that looks like Sam Rockwell. I would be, but I ended up feeling bad for her actual boyfriend who seemed like a pretty stellar and caring guy.

I adore director Lynn Shelton, and I wish I could've enjoyed this a little more. The actors do a great job. Knightley, Rockwell, and Webber are always wonderful, and her American accent is on point. This is the first time I didn't hate Moretz in something, and Kaitlyn Denver makes a small appearance as well. It's definitely not a bad movie. I wouldn't even call it a mediocre movie, I just had trouble connecting to it. 

Recommended: Yes, maybe it will work better for you then it did for me.

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "Now that I'm actually doing this, I feel like going to throw up." - Megan (Keira Knightley)