Saturday, August 23, 2014

2014 Blind Spot Series: 12 Angry Men

What I knew going in: That this film spends the majority of the time in one room.

I had a really strange experience while watching this film. There was the fact that I couldn't take my eyes off my computer screen while I was watching this. (It's on Netflix Instant right now) but at one point in the film, it starts raining, and I felt like I could actually smell it. Apparently it's possible to get TOO into a movie. Has that ever happened to anyone else?

12 Angry Men follows a jury as they deliberate over a murder charge. A young man from a troubled home as killed his father, and everyone except Juror #8 (Henry Fonda) thinks he's guilty. Now they must go over the facts and debate on whether or not that is the case.

Like I said, this film was fascinating. I imagine it's hard to make a feature length film in one location and have it work every step of the way. I've seen films like this before, but none as good as this one. I can see why so many people speak so highly of this.

Grade: A+

Memorable Quote: "You don't really mean you'll kill me, do you?" - Juror #8 (Henry Fonda)

Friday, August 22, 2014

2014 Emmys: Who will win, who should win.

It's Emmy weekend! Here are my predictions. Normally, I find the Emmys to be fairly easy to predict, but last year they had so many surprises that I don't even know what to expect this year. I'm probably going to be wrong. I didn't include all of the categories in this post. Just acting ones.

Outstanding Drama Series
"Breaking Bad"
"Downton Abbey"
"Game of Thrones"
"House of Cards"
"Mad Men"
"True Detective"
Who will and should win: Breaking Bad. This game changing series deserves to go out on top, and I think it will do just that.

Outstanding Comedy Series
"The Big Bang Theory"
"Modern Family"
"Orange is the New Black"
"Silicon Valley"
Who will win: Modern Family. Unless Emmy voters decide to change and give it to OTTNB.
Who should win: Veep. It's the funniest show on TV right now, IMO.

Outstanding Miniseries
"American Horror Story Coven"
"Bonnie & Clyde"
"The White Queen"
Who will and should win: Fargo

Outstanding TV Movie
"Killing Kennedy"
"Muhammed Ali's Greatest Fight"
"The Normal Heart"
"Sherlock: His Last Vow"
"The Trip to Bountiful"
Who will and should win: The Normal Heart

Best Actor - Drama
Bryan Cranston - "Breaking Bad"
Jeff Daniels - "The Newsroom"
Jon Hamm - "Mad Men"
Woody Harrelson - "True Detective"
Matthew McConaughey - "True Detective"
Kevin Spacey - "House of Cards"
Who will win: Matthew McConaughey. It really is his year.
Who should win: Bryan Cranston, because Walter White deserves another Emmy, damn it!

Best Actress - Drama
Lizzy Caplan - "Masters of Sex"
Claire Danes - "Homeland"
Michelle Dockery - "Downton Abbey"
Julianna Marguilles - "The Good Wife"
Kerry Washington - "Scandal"
Robin Wright - "House of Cards"
Who will win: Robin Wright
I don't watch any of these shows so I have no idea who actually should win. Lizzy Caplan because she's Janis Ian?

Best Supporting Actor - Drama
Aaron Paul - "Breaking Bad"
Jim Carter - "Downton Abbey"
Peter Dinklage - "Game of Thrones"
Josh Charles - "The Good Wife"
Mandy Patinkin - "Homeland"
Jon Voight - "Ray Donovan"
Who will and should win: Aaron Paul, bitch!

Best Supporting Actress - Drama
Anna Gunn - "Breaking Bad"
Maggie Smith - "Downton Abbey"
Joanne Forggatt - "Downton Abbey"
Lena Headey - "Game of Thrones"
Christine Baranksi - "The Good Wife"
Christina Hendricks - "Mad Men"
Who will and should win: Anyone who watched Ozymandias knows that Anna Gunn is already walking away with this.

Best Actor - Comedy
Louis CK - "Louie" 
Don Cheadle - "House of Lies"
Ricky Gervais - "Derek"
Matt LeBlanc - "Episodes"
William H. Macy - "Shameless"
Jim Parsons - "The Big Bang Theory"
Who will win: Jim Parsons
Who should win: Louis C.K

Best Actress - Comedy
Lena Dunham - "Girls"
Edie Falco - "Nurse Jackie"
Julie Louis-Dreyfus - "Veep"
Melissa McCarthy - "Mike and Molly"
Amy Poehler - "Parks and Recreation"
Taylor Schilling - "Orange is the New Black"
Who will and should win: Julie Louis-Dreyfus. Taylor Schilling is a dark horse though. I'm not sure if the Emmys love OITNB as much as the general public does.

Best Supporting Actor - Comedy
Andre Braugher - "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"
Adam Driver - "Girls"
Jesse Tyler Ferguson - "Modern Family"
Ty Burrell - "Modern Family"
Fred Armisen - "Portlandia"
Tony Hale - "Veep"
Who will and should win: Tony Hale. I don't see another Modern Family win in this category, I think he'll nab it.

Best Supporting Actress - Comedy
Mayim Bialik - "The Big Bang Theory"
Julie Bowen - "Modern Family"
Allison Janney - "Mom"
Kate Mulgrew - "Orange is the New Black"
Kate McKinnon - "Saturday Night Live"
Anna Chlumsky - "Veep"
Who will win: Kate Mulgrew, this category feels like a OITNB win.
Who should win: Anna Chlumsky, or Kate McKinnon, really.

Best Actor - TV Movie/Miniseries
Benedict Cumberbatch - "Sherlock: His Last Vow"
Chiwetel Ejiofior - "Dancing on the Edge"
Idris Elba - "Luther"
Martin Freeman - "Fargo"
Mark Ruffalo - "The Normal Heart"
Billy Bob Thornton - "Fargo"
Who will win: Mark Ruffalo
Who should win. I think ALL of these men are deserving. I wish they could all tie.

Best Actress - TV Movie/Miniseries
Minnie Driver - "Return to Zero"
Jessica Lange - "American Horror Story: Coven"
Sarah Paulson - "American Horror Story: Coven"
Cicely Tyson - "The Trip to Bountiful"
Kristen Wiig - "The Spoils of Babylon"
Helena Bonham Carter - "Burton and Taylor"
Who will win: Jessica Lange
Who should win: Sarah Paulson. Give her some love for once.

Best Supporting Actor - TV Movie/Miniseries
Colin Hanks - "Fargo"
Jim Parsons - "The Normal Heart"
Joe Mantello - "The Normal Heart"
Alfred Molina - "The Normal Heart"
Matt Bomer - "The Normal Heart"
Martin Freeman - "Sherlock: His Last Vow"
Who will win: Jim Parsons
Who should win: Either Hanks or Freeman.

Best Supporting Actress - TV Movie/Miniseries
Frances Conroy - "American Horror Story: Coven"
Kathy Bates - "American Horror Story: Coven"
Angela Basset - "American Horror Story: Coven"
Allison Tolman - "Fargo"
Ellen Burstyn - "Flowers in the Attic"
Julia Roberts - "The Normal Heart"
Who will and should win: Allison Tolman. Please!

Outstanding Variety Series
"The Colbert Report"
"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"
"Jimmy Kimmel Live"
"Real Time with Bill Maher"
"Saturday Night Live"
"The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon"
Who will win: The Colbert Report
Who should win: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Thursday, August 21, 2014

DVD Review: The People vs George Lucas

Star Wars fans are a passionate bunch.

I love Star Wars. I was born in 1987, so obviously I missed those films when they were originally released. I only had The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi on VHS, so when the Star Wars films were re-released in theaters in 1997, that's when I finally got to see A New Hope, and really started to fall in love with them. I remember being excited for A Phantom Menace when it came out. The theater was so packed I didn't even get to sit with my dad. I had to sit with a bunch of randoms. My initial reaction to that film, aside from Jar Jar and "Yipee!" being awful was that it wasn't so bad. Then I met up with my dad in the back of the theater. He fucking HATED it. And so my weird relationship with Lucas' films began..

This entire doc is about Fanboys/girls and their relationships with George Lucas. Most of which are pissed. Star Wars was their favorite, and they're not pleased with George Lucas essentially trying to "re-write history" by going back and making tweaks to his original movies. 

We've all heard the complaints,(Jar Jar, Han shooting first, medicholrians, "Noooo!") but there were a few brought up that I never really thought about until now. Lucas re-touched a lot of the special effects in the original trilogy once more CGI technology became available, but how would you feel if you were the one that did that work back then? The visual effects team got Oscar nominations, and now their hard work is being re-done. That's really shitty.

It's not all Lucas bashing, there's a few people that admit that some are too hard on him. Like the ones saying he "raped" their childhood. They brought up the episode South Park did right after Indiana Jones 4 came out. That's the only episode of that show I've ever felt uncomfortable watching.  They also give him credit for encouraging fan made contributions on his website.

This is on Netflix Instant right now, and I thought it was a good watch. Since Star Wars is the subject, it's not going to be for everyone. But the contributors are funny and come on, you know you heard "The Phantom Menace" for the first time and was like "wtf is that?"

Grade: B

Memorable quote: "This is a crucial scene, and you fucked it up! How are you going to un-fuck this?"

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review: What If

Men and women cannot be friends.

According to rom coms that is. Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe) is a Brit transplant living in Toronto who's finally just getting back into the social scene after a nasty breakup. His obnoxious roommate, Allan (Adam Driver) introduces him to his cousin, Chantry (Zoe Kazan) at a party, and they hit it off. The only problem is, she has a boyfriend. She proposes friendship, but can they really just be friends when Wallace as feelings for her?

Rom coms are NOT my thing. In fact, the only reason I went to see this was because I'm a fan of Radcliffe and Kazan. Had any other actor I was impartial to been in this, I never would've went. I didn't hate it, but I did get annoyed with the rom com cliches that it checked off.

1) Boys cannot be friends with girls. Check
2) Friendzone boy is painfully awkward. Check
3) Boyfriend is a douchebag. Check
4) Friendzone flies cross country to win back girl. Check
5) Girl has a slutty friend/sister. Check
6) Jobs always complicate things. Check

It did manage to do a few things right. There were a lot of legitimate laughs, and some of the conversations Chantry and Wallace had were amusing and felt like the actors ad-libbed it all. The cast was good. Some decent advice was given, and we had convincing leads. The ending was incredibly predictable, even though I still held out hope that it would've been different. If you're into rom coms, this is probably one of the better ones out there. If you're not, well, there's still something there. A little something, anyways.

Recommended: Yes.

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "One thing I like about getting married is that you get to stand up in front of everyone you care about and state for the record that you believe in the best case scenario." - Nicole (Mackenzie Davis)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rambling TV: True Blood recap

Robb Stark is gorgeous and yes I'm aware this has nothing to do with True Blood.

There's only one episode left! One more and True Blood will be completed for good, and judging by the previews, I'm probably going to hate it. Tonight's episode felt like it spent most of its time fucking around, but they did manage to have a few heartfelt moments, and one hilarious one. 

We'll start in Fangtasia. Jess and Sookie are pissed about Bill's decision, but he refuses to back down from it. Sookie slaps him a few times and Jess demands to be released. After Bill leaves, Sookie holds on to Eric and cries, and Pam actually gives Jessica a hug to comfort her for being released. Then tells her she's paying for her shirt if she bleeds on it.

Later, Eric visits Bill again to try to talk him out of this (ugh) Bill tells Eric that he needs to do this FOR Sookie. That's she's drawn to vampire's darkness the same way they are drawn to her light. Bill says Eric knows this is true (but something in Eric's face tells me he DOES care for Sookie beyond that.) He asks Eric to talk to Sookie for him and to let him call on her. Eric will do this, but he's not a fucking marriage counselor. 

Sookie for some reason takes Jess to Sam's trailer, only to find out he's moved out with Girl I Don't Give A Fuck About. Apparently we WILL see Sam again judging from the preview, but this was a let down. I've always loved Sam, and this entire arc was beneath him. He leaves Sookie a heartfelt letter, and leaves Andy a short one saying he resigns.

Arlene is hosting a dinner at the restaurant, Sookie breaks the news that Sam is gone, Jessica apologizes to James for being a shitty girlfriend, and Arlene gives Sookie a much needed pep talk about starting over. She knows if Sookie gives her heart to someone else again, she'll give it her all. 

A good 30 minutes of this episode was spent with Jessica/Hoyt/Jason/Brigette, and it was too much. Hoyt and Bridgette fight some more, Jessica confesses their past to Hoyt. Hoyt punches Jason, who takes Brigette home with him. The only redeeming part of all this was Jason telling Brigette about Hoyt and Jessica's romance while it was being intertwined with scenes of Hoyt and Jess having sex. (In true Deborah Ann Wohl has a no nudity claus fashion) The rest of it felt too long, and I much rather would've spent it with Eric and Sookie.

accurate gif of the True Blood writers when they know they waste an entire episode on unnecessary bullshit.

Eric takes Sookie home after meeting her outside of Arlene's party. She invites him inside, but he declines and says Bill will be there soon. (ugh) He goes back to Fangtasia and finds Ginger who yells at him for not telling her she was cured. He's in such a bad mood that he wants to have angry sex, and agrees to make Ginger's dreams come true. They go to his throne, she says she's hep V positive, but he mentions he's now immune. (So that's how that is going to work. Eric CAN be with Sookie) He rips her panties off, and she orgasms before he can even get inside her, then she falls off the chair and falls asleep. That is some of the funniest shit I have seen on this show in a LONG time. Honestly, it almost made the whole episode worth it. This was the look on Eric's face afterwards:

Earlier, Pam was dying Sarah's hair back blonde and telling her she's going to sell her like a trollop to the highest bidder since she is a full on cure, but when Eric goes to find Pam, Mr. Gus has her chained in the basement. He demands to know where Eric went. When Eric admits he saw Sookie, and she knows about Sarah, he ominously asks where Sookie lives. Cut to Bill arriving at her house, and the episode ending.

The previews for next week's episode (which is running against the Emmys) look like Bill and Sookie will indeed be endgame, and that there won't be a lot of room for Eric and her. I hope that's misleading like most previews are.

What are your predictions for the series finale?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Indie Gems: Before The Devil Knows You're Dead

It's a victimless crime.

Andy (Philip Seymour Hoffman) has been embezzling money from his employer to cover his drug habit. When an upcoming audit is going to expose all that, he convinces his also hard up for cash younger brother, Hank (Ethan Hawke) to help him rob their parent's jewelry store. They will use fake guns, do this when neither of their parents are working, and insurance will cover them. It's a win all around. Hank decides to act first without Andy's consent, and things go horribly wrong.

It's taken me a long time to finally see this movie in one sitting, and I don't know why because it was so fascinating. Admittedly now after Hoffman's death, watching him play a drug addict is really hard. That thought pulled me out of the film a few times. 

Hoffman and Hawke give great performances, along with Marisa Tomei and Albert Finney in supporting roles. The film has a quick pace and never drags.

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "I feel like less of a fuck up when I'm here." - Gina (Marisa Tomei)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rambling TV: True Blood recap + thoughts on Jonah From Tonga

So I'm super late with this recap. I was out of town for work over the weekend, and didn't get to watch this until last night. I'm torn about the dumb fuckery in this episode. Some things I found really sweet, others were so fucking stupid I can't even believe True Blood wasted 8 episodes getting to that conclusion. 

Oh wait, yes I can.

Eric drinks from Sarah's blood to cure himself from Hep V. He was about to just kill her, when Pam threatened to kill herself if he does. That gif above is when she's watching him get cured. That's also the face I'm going to make when Eric and Sookie finally have sex again.

They're informed by Mr. Gus that he doesn't want to distribute 'New Blood' as a total cure. He wants it to be something vamps need to take over and over so he can make more money. Pam and Eric are fine with this because it's more money for them too, but there's one little problem. Bill.

Earlier Bill and Sookie are talking about what Sophie Anne actually wanted to do with Sookie once Bill found her. Apparently she wanted to breed her. Sookie is understandably disgusted. Bill also says he didn't give her up because she made him feel his human heart again. Eric wanted Sookie to know he was cured, so he pays her a visit at Bill's, Sookie drops the bomb that Bill is sick, and Eric is now in a hell of a predicament because New Blood isn't going to be a flat out cure anymore.

Violet has Adilynn, Wade, Jessica and now Jason tied up in her dungeon and she's going on about the various ways she's going to torture them...only to be shot by Hoyt. This entire scene was about 2 minutes. Nice fucking build up there. I didn't care about Violet enough so I'm glad she's gone and won't waste anymore screen time, but now what are these people going to do?

In the midst of all this, Jessica and Hoyt meet again, and he's obviously smitten for her. Mind you, earlier in the episode his girlfriend and him get in a fight over not wanting kids, so she sticks to Jason for the rest of the episode. (He wants kids) I liked seeing Jessica and Hoyt together again. That was really sweet, but how is Jessica going to keep what happened in her past to herself?

Lafayette and Lettie Mae are still digging around in the yard of her old house. The Reverend shows up, and James convinces them all to go on a V trip to see Tara. They do, and we're "treated" to a flashback of Tara's dad being a total a-hole, and Tara actually considered killing him as a child with his own gun, but she buried it instead. She wants Lettie Mae to let her go.

What a fucking waste of time. I was hoping Lettie Mae had actually staked her, and this was Tara's way of letting Lafayette (the medium who apparently now needs V to see the undead) but no, we get some soap opera shit instead. Who did Rutina Wesley piss off exactly? 

Sookie shows up at Fangtasia to talk to Eric, but the Yakuza question her. Eric pretends to glamour Sookie to get her to leave (that scene was actually pretty funny) but instead she sneaks in through Fangtasia's tunnel to find out Sarah Newlin is the cure. "Even when you're the cure, you're still the fucking problem." she tells her. Later, she brings Bill and Jessica to the basement to meet Eric and Pam, who are pissed she came and want this to be done quickly so they all don't get killed.

Bill decides he doesn't want the cure. 

Now I'm convinced Bill will die. I figured he would live and he and Sookie would be together, but now I'm not so sure. Ausiello over at EW said "the most anticipated sex scene ever" is coming up. Is that Sookie and Eric with his memory intact? Pam and Eric? Sookie and Sam? Who knows. Another theory a friend on another forum threw out is: What if Sookie's blood ends up turning Bill back into a human instead of killing him? I will fucking rage if this happens, but it's True Blood so that is honestly a possibility.

Jonah From Tonga

Last Year when Ja'mie: Private School Girl premiered on HBO, I was introduced to Australian national treasure Chris Lilley. This guy is fucking hilarious, and Jonah from Tonga so far is living up to the high bar Ja'mie set.

God I hope my own kids don't end up like Jonah when they're older. So many awful dick jokes. 

Here's a picture of Melissa McBride as Carol on The Walking Dead. She's absolutely stunning. How many women in their 40's in film rock their grey hair? And some people within TWD fandom have the nerve to call her things like "sea hag," "lunch lady arms," "old bitch" etc. Fuck them. Team Carol.