Tuesday, March 3, 2015

DVD Review: The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them

"You must really hate the Beatles."

When we first meet Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) and Conor (James McAvoy) they're happy and laughing and seemingly on their way to a long, happy love life. Fast forward a bit and they are separated and Eleanor is throwing herself of a bridge. After he failed suicide attempt, we watch her try to navigate life along while he attempts to get her back. After he finds her, of course.

There's a lot of really lovely things about this film. The cast being the best. McAvoy and Chastain have so much chemistry. This film was always going to be ambitious. It was shot in two different segments, "Him" and "Her" showing their different points of view. But apparently that's not for everyone, because we get the sloppy cut of "Them" together. Knowing how it was supposed to go, Them feels like it's just missing something. I'm not one to advocate for longer films very often, but I would've happily watched two different versions of this. Combining their view points just makes this seem like another love story. 

Recommended: Yes. It's still good, I just wish there was more.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "What are you thinking?" - Eleanor (Jessica Chastain)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Rambling TV: Thoughts on The Walking Dead, Agent Carter + more

I forgot to do this last week because I was in Oscar mode. So here are my jumbled TV thoughts for the past two weeks

The Walking Dead

So the group finally ends up at the Alexandria Safe Zone. Here are some things I love:

Carol is a genius. Acting like she's a meek little housewife, can't hold a gun, and loved Ed. LOL She's the group's secret weapon for sure.

Rick saying they'll take this place if the people are weak. And that shower scene! Why isn't this show on HBO?

Glenn punching douchebags. 

These last few episodes have really picked up after that awful hospital story.

Agent Carter

Please, please, PLEASE renew this for season 2. This show is so intense for something on ABC. They blew someone up last week and ended on one hell of a cliffhanger. 

Then there's the fact that Peggy let Steve's blood go. That's the perfect way to show that this show can exist without dropping Captain America references. Peggy is strong enough to have her own story.

19 Kids and Counting
I know no one except Fisti cares about my Duggar obsession, but you seriously have to watch these people! It's such a train wreck. They're like poison. Then of course there's Jessa telling all of us liberal Christians that we're going to hell on Instagram. This is like the gift that keeps on giving.

Better Call Saul
Does anyone else want to punch this family in the face? I do. 

Also that billboard scene, I'm not afraid of heights, but that scene scared the shit out of me. I couldn't even watch. 

And here's some random Carick, because fuck you, that's why

Friday, February 27, 2015

Indie Gems: Honour

 Honor isn't everything...

Poor Mona. (Aiysha Hart) She's a successful woman from Pakistan living in London, and falls for a Punjabi man, Tanvir. (Nikesh Patel) But her mother (Harvey Virdi) and brother (Faraz Ayub) see this as dishonorable and try to kill her for shaming their family. They hire a nameless bounty hunter (Paddy Considine) to find her after she bolts on them.

The film is told out of sequence, so don't assume you know the ending right away. It's very interesting and sad knowing that things like this actually happen. I'm really becoming a big fan of Considine. I haven't seen this guy give a bad performance. All of the cast here really shine, even though there's so much tension going on.

It's very bleak and makes for a good, quiet thriller. 

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Come home. For me" - Adel (Shubham Saraf)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thursday Movie Picks: Father/Son Relationships

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is father/son relationships. The only rule is that they must be biologically related (which unfortunately ruled out one of my favorites, There Will be Blood.)

1) The Music Never Stopped
Not enough people saw this wonderful little indie with top notch performances from J.K Simmons and Lou Taylor Pucci. Maybe more people will now that J.K Simmons has finally won an Oscar.

2) The Lion King
Simba and Mufasa's relationship is what drives one of Disney's best features. This is still one of my favorites to this day.

3) Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi.
How about that daddy reveal at the end of Empire Strikes Back? Luke had to rethink his entire strategy after that. It probably has the most famous father/son reveal of all time. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

DVD Review: Calvary

Should've left town.

Father James (Brenden Gleeson) is a kind priest who is told during confession that he will be killed in seven days time. Why? Because the man confessing was raped by a priest when he was a child. That priest is dead, and even if he wasn't, no one cares about bad priests that die. He's going to kill Father James because he's good.

The film is very slow, very grey and dreary. It seriously drags its feet. It also has dog death about an hour in that I was not expecting and gaaaahhhhh I hate that!

But back to the film, Father James knows who confessed, he lives in a small town. But he doesn't call the police, he doesn't leave town, he just goes about his normal week. Gleeson gives a grand performance, as does the rest of the cast. I can see where this film might not be for everyone with it's pacing, but I enjoyed it for the most part. Even if I was kind of yelling at Father James to leave inside.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "I don't hate you at all, it's just you have no integrity." - Father James (Brenden Gleeson)

Monday, February 23, 2015

2015 Academy Award Winners + my thoughts

This felt like the longest Oscar cast ever. Neil Patrick Harris was a shit host, I'm sorry. He's a great singer and showman but when he's not singing he's awkward as hell. The strongest part of this telecast were the Best Original Song performances. "Everything is Awesome" was the highlight of the night. "Lost Stars" is always a beautiful song to hear. Rita Ora has one hell of a voice, and the performance of "Glory" was very moving. Another great part about tonight? BIRDMAN!! Oh that makes me happy. I'm totally fine with not winning that annual pass to my movie theater for correctly predicting the Oscar winners. 

The winners are in blue, my thoughts follow in green.

Best Picture
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Sean Penn took way to damn long to announce the winner, but it was perfect when he finally did.

Best Director
Alexandro G. Iñárritu - Birdman
Richard Linklater - Boyhood
Bennett Miller - Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson - The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum - The Imitation Game
This made me so happy. I was worried Linklater was going to be rewarded for being mediocre for 12 years in a row. I'm glad they gave it to the very deserving Iñárritu.

Best Actor
Steve Carell - Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper - American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton - Birdman
Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything
Redmayne fangirled so hard. Like, the hardest I have ever seen someone fangirl at an awards show. I know people are going to hate his speech. Even though I wanted Keaton to take this, I'm fine with Redmayne. I know that's unpopular.

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard - Two Days One Night
Felicity Jones - The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore - Still Alice
Rosamund Pike - Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon - Wild
Why can't Rosamund have nice things?!??! Also I can't believe they missed the opportunity to show Jones' "I have loved you. I tried my best" clip. That scene broke me. 

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall - The Judge
Ethan Hawke - Boyhood
Edward Norton - Birdman
Mark Ruffalo - Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons - Whiplash
Predictable, but awesome. Call your parents.

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette - Boyhood
Laura Dern - Wild
Keira Knightley - The Imitation Game
Emma Stone - Birdman
Meryl Streep - Into the Woods
I really wanted to get on board with Arquette's girl power speech but the whole thing just felt so awkward. And she brought a list again!

Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki - Birdman
Robert Yeoman - The Grand Budapest Hotel
Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski - Ida
Dick Pope - Mr. Turner
Roger Deakins - Unbroken
I loved this win too. Not surprising. 

Best Foreign Language Film
Wild Tales
I totally thought Leviathan had the momentum here, but Ida took it right back. good for Poland. 

Best Adapted Screenplay
American Sniper
The Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
The Theory of Everything
I picked Theory to win here, and I was rooting for Whiplash, but I'm glad The Imitation Game won something and this acceptance speech was so beautiful. #stayweird

Best Original Screenplay
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Make Up and Hair Styling
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy
I actually picked Foxcatcher here. I'm dumb.

Best Original Score
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Mr. Turner
The Theory of Everything
Good for Alexandre Desplat. I think I actually preferred his score in IG, but Budapest was on fire tonight. I'm just glad he won.

Best Original Song
“Everything Is Awesome” from The Lego Movie
“Glory” from Selma
“Grateful” from Beyond the Lights
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me
“Lost Stars” from Begin Again
The people that performed these songs were the stars of the night. 

Best Animated Feature
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of Princess Kaguya
Are you fucking kidding me? Big Hero 6? Who saw that coming? Ugh, how does the HTTYD franchise keep getting robbed like this?

Best Documentary Short
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Our Curse
The Reaper
White Earth
I actually got this right!

Best Film Editing
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
I may or may not have flailed when this happened. This film was editing gold. I wanted to throw an Oscar at the screen when I watched this film.

Best Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner
No one deserved this more, I'm glad Budapest won it. 

Best Animated Short
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life
I guessed this right too! I never get the shorts right, you guys!

Best Live Action Short
Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp
The Phone Call
I got this right too, just in case you thought I was done bragging

Best Sound Editing
American Sniper
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Best Sound Mixing
American Sniper

Best Visual Effects
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Best Documentary
Finding Vivien Maier
Last Days of Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth

Best Costume Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dysfunctional Family Cast-a-thon

The Flick Chicks are women after my own heart, I love dysfunctional families. (Probably because I come from one and it's easier to cope knowing mine isn't the only batshit one out there.) This new blogathon they've set up is a cast-a-thon! Here are the rules:

1. Build a cast for your dysfunctional family from movies ONLY.  You can have as many characters as you like but you must include the following:

Lead Character - Generally the most normal of the family and spends a lot of time rolling eyes or telling family members off for their bad behaviour.

Inappropriate Mother/Father/Parents - Usually involves oversharing, inappropriate comments, name calling, swearing, drinking and/or drug use etc etc.

Stroppy Teenager/Manchild - Either the immature teenager who hates his family or the fully grown manchild who struggles to accept that he is an adult and should behave like one.

Uncomfortable Stranger - Usually a new girlfriend/boyfriend of someone in the family who is utterly appalled by the behaviour of the family they are staying with/meeting.

Traumatised Child - This is usually always a small child who has to witness the craziness of their family first hand and behaves in a certain way because of it.

Embarrassing Grandparent(s) - Whether alone or with their equally awkward spouse, you can always count on them to say or do something that mortifies the rest of the family.

Damaged Sibling/Cousin - Whether they have gone off the rails due to their messed up childhood or have just lost their way in life, there is always the sibling/cousin who doesn't quite feel they match up to the rest of their family.

Loyal Pet [Optional] - Despite their entirely dysfunctional family, the lead character can always rely on their loyal pet. Or can they?

They don't necessarily have to be in the named role in their original movie (i.e. the character doesn't have to be a mother figure in their movie to be chosen as the inappropriate mother) however you do have to explain your reasoning behind your choice.

2.  Include the banner above in your post and link it to this post.

3. Comment on this post or e-mail flickchicks2014@gmail.com to let us know you have contributed. 

Here is goes...

Lead character (the normal one) - Gilbert from What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Inappropriate parents - Lester and Carolyn from American Beauty

Uncomfortable stranger - Iris from Your Sister's Sister.  

Traumatized child - Cid from Looper

Embarrassing grandparent - Grandmother from Flowers in the Attic

Damaged sibling - Kelly from 2:37

Loyal pet - Arthur from Beginners.

Manchild - Cyrus from Cyrus

The setting would be Lester and Carolyn pretty much being themselves from American Beauty. Gilbert, their oldest son is 100% done with his parents at this point. Kelly, the middle child feels that no one loves her because her parents are always fighting, Gilbert has left, and Cid, her little brother is too young to lean on and is prone to anger. Gilbert's girlfriend Iris thinks everyone is crazy but doesn't do much to help. Grandmother is so bible thumping insane that she has been locked in the attic. The only other family member in town is Uncle Cyrus, but sometimes even Cid is more mature than he is. In the end, Cid taps into his TK powers and blows everyone up to lead a relatively more normal life with the adorable family dog, Arthur. fin.

Can you handle that fucked up-ness?