Thursday, November 20, 2014

DVD Review: A Promise

Promise me you'll make a better film next time.

I'm going to spoil the ending of this film towards the bottom of my review. But let's face it, this film isn't that great to begin with, so you're not missing much.

The film takes place in Germany before WWI. Friedrich (Richard Madden) is an ambitious young man who comes to work for Karl Hoffmeister. (Alan Rickman) Karl takes him under his wing and when he becomes ill, asks Friedrich to move into his house to help him with day to day operations, then report back to the office. While doing that, Friedrich and Karl's young wife, Lotte (Rebecca Hall) fall deeply in love, practically after first sight.

You'd think with a cast like Rickman, Madden, and Hall, this movie would be great, but aside from them giving good performances the movie just fails all around. The editing is terrible, I felt like I was watching a slide show at times, and I had to wait for the slide to be replaced as we changed scenes. Then there's Friedrich and Lotte's relationship. It basically consists of them staring at each other. When Friedrich is sent away, they pledge to wait for each other..and they don't even have sex. Not once. Nor do they even kiss. Not even after he returns after six years. No sex scenes at all. I was deprived of this:

I knew this movie got bad reviews, but I watched it anyways for the cast, and also thinking I'd be getting some glorious Richard Madden nakedness. Nope. Then get this, on his death bed, Karl tells Lotte he brought Friedrich there FOR her. Because he could tell they loved each other from the beginning. WHAT?!?!?! Yes, of all the mediocrity that is this film, this is what I choose to bitch about the most, but I can't help it. It was the least they could've done.

Recommended: No

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "Don't you think it's a little late for work?" - Karl Hoffmeister (Alan Rickman)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Review: Birdman

Or the unexpected virtue of ignorance. 

Riggan (Michael Keaton) is a has been actor who was famous for playing a super hero called Birdman. He's trying to stay relevant by directing and starring in his own broadway play. He clashes with his diva co star, Mike. (Edward Norton) His fresh out of rehab daughter, Sam (Emma Stone) resents him and is working as his assistant. He's driving his best friend/producer, Jake (Zach Galifianakis) crazy. Andrea Riseborough, Naomi Watts, and Amy Ryan also star.

Birdman is so batshit crazy that I'm not even sure how it works, but it does. It's shot in "one continuous take."(Really there were a few edits made, but they're not easily spotted) There's always loud music playing. Riggan appears to move things without touching them and his alter ego Birdman is the voice in his head. The film is beautifully spazzy and all over the place.

Let's talk the the actors, because they're wonderful here. Admittedly, I can't remember the last time I saw a movie with Keaton in it that blew me away, but he's certainly fantastic here. The supporting cast is equally strong with Norton, Watts, and Stone all possible Oscar contenders in my opinion.

I haven't seen a lot of director Alejandro González Iñárritu's films, but the ones I have felt a bit more bleak than this. This felt so different, and now I need to check out more of his filmography.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: " with my balls." - Mike (Edward Norton)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Rambling TV: Thoughts on The Walking Dead, The Newsroom, and Agents of SHIELD

The Walking Dead

The search for Beth felt like an afterthought. This episode's main focus was thankfully on Carol and Daryl's feelings. We saw what Carol did for the short amount of time after Rick banished her. We learned that she once took Sophia to an abused women's shelter, but only stayed for a day before heading back to her abusive husband. She talked about not being sure if they get to save people anymore, but she's trying.

Of course Daryl really gets Carol. He didn't push her into talking about what happened with Mika and Lizzie. When he saw she was bothered by a child walker in the shelter, he took it upon himself to burn the body for him. I love the relationship between these two. They work really well as a unit, and even though the plot called for them to make so many stupid mistakes during this episode, I can almost forgive it.

Carol gets taken by the hospital people, and Noah held Daryl back from attacking them. So there you have it, Noah WAS the one in the bushes with Daryl.

The Newsroom

As much as I like Kat Dennings, I wasn't too crazy about the whole "twins trying to sell the company" subplot. Even if it meant seeing Jane Fonda again. There's only 4 more episodes this season, do we really need to fuck around with this? I'm trying to hold off judgment for awhile, but it's hard.

Neal really wants to run the story about the stolen documents he has, but now he's the one on the run. I really hope that's not the last time we see Neal this season.

Sloan and Don are still adorable.

Hallie got fired from ACN. I was hoping that would lead to Jim finally getting with Maggie, but of course Maggie met a guy on the bus that looks like her future love interest. Oi.

Agents of SHIELD 

This week started off like an episode of Law and Order, but definitely got better as we went on. It was actually kind of disturbing, ABC level disturbing that is.

We figured out why Coulson was carving in true AoS fashion where everything is tied up with a neat little bow. Yet they still left us plenty of questions to keep moving.

Ward shaved his beard, the only thing that was making him somewhat tolerable at this point. That's a shame.

Is it just me, or is Jemma not liking Mac? She and Fitz didn't even interact this episode, but Fitz had a moment with Mac how he said the Brain's memory is never completely wiped, things just get disconnected. There's hope for him to get better, though I think he's going to have to go into that memory machine to achieve that.

*Click those gifs to be directed to their makers.*

Friday, November 14, 2014

Indie Gems: Life After Beth

You will never look at hiking and smooth jazz music the same after this.

Zach's (Dane DeHaan) dealing with the aftermath of his girlfriend, Beth's (Aubrey Plaza) death. When her parents (John C. Reilly and Molly Shannon) start inexplicably ignoring him, he comes to find out Beth has come back from the dead and they are trying to hide her. She doesn't remember anything from her death, and she's starting to show strange symptoms that are parents are in denial over.

I love watching Dane DeHaan. He's got so much charisma and he provides a good balance of showing Zach's heartache, and still being hilarious at the same time. Aubrey Plaza is known for playing the same characters over and over (but she's good at her schtick) Beth is a little different, so it's a breath of fresh air for her.  Matthew Gray Gubler who plays Zach's older brother, Kyle is also hilarious in his small part. Anna Kendrick even shows up for a bit.

This was an interesting take on the zombie genre, and it feels very new when we've been so accustomed to seeing films like this. The acting was great, and there was plenty of funny moments. 

Grade: B+

Memorable Quote: "...really? It's smooth jazz.." - Zach (Dane DeHaan)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies About Making Movies

This Thursday's picks are movies about making movies. Check out Wander's site for future Thursday Movie Picks

Boogie Nights - Gotta love this look into the porn industry. This film has brilliant performances all around.

Bowfinger - Do NOT laugh at me! I actually think this movie is pretty funny. Come on, the premise alone is giggle worthy. 

Tropic Thunder - Bowfinger is funny, but this movie is hilarious and goes down as one of my all time favorite comedies. There's just so many memorable quotes. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Review: Interstellar

We were meant to leave this Earth.

Sometime in the future, the Earth is dying. Dust storms are the norm and some crops are no longer going. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) was once a brilliant pilot and now stuck being a farmer. One day, he cracks a code with his daughter, Murph (Mackenzie Foy, then played by Jessica Chastain as an adult) that leads to him what's left of NASA. Headed by professor Brand (Michael Caine) and his daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway) they tell Cooper that they need him to pilot a mission through a wormhole to find another planet to live on. That's the dumbed down version, there's way more too it, but it's probably better if you just see the film yourself. 

If Interstellar is anything, it's ambitious. It spans nearly three hours intertwining with what's happening in space, and what's happening on Earth. The story is very interesting, and there's even a few tear jerker moments thrown in there. It's a very good sci fi film, but that run time is going to put some people off.

I wanted this film to be perfect, but it just isn't. The score, while great is so booming at times that it drowns out the characters' voices. After seeing the film, I get why most of the advertising was solely focused on McConaughey and Hathaway, not just because they're the stars, but in doing so, when you see them start their mission with more people, you kind of already know what's going to happen to them.

I imagine this film is going to be a big hit in the technical categories at the Oscars, and it certainly deserves that. Maybe it will snag a Best Picture nomination too. It's a good film, but part of me still wishes it was just better.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B+ 

Memorable Quote: "Did you know?" - Murph (Jessica Chastain)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Rambling TV: Thoughts on The Walking Dead, The Newsroom + more

The Walking Dead

After last week's disaster of an episode, TWD pulled its head out of its ass and provided us with a good hour of TV. Sure, it was another bottle episode, but this one was needed.

The big reveal was that Eugene came out and said he wasn't a scientist. He lied because he wanted to live, he thought D.C would actually have the answers and he knew no one would travel with him if they knew the truth. Abe beats the shit out of him before Glenn pulls him off.

I think Tara was a big reason Eugene confessed as well. She was being very sweet to him and gave him a few good talks during this episode about friendship. I guess he felt comfortable enough to say it.

Glenn continues to be leadership material/mediator.  Every time Abe's dumbass wanted to do something, Glenn would try to reason with him and give him actual advise. This is why I love Glenn. Why don't more people listen to this guy?

AND we got a sex scene between Abe and Rosita! WITH THRUSTING! AMC actually allowed thrusting. Eugene did his best Jim Bob Duggar impression and perved from the Self Help section. 

The Newsroom

This season premiere (In it's final shortened 6 episode season because Aaron Sorkin wants you to go fuck yourself) wasn't kidding around with the pacing. We blew through 5 days worth of story within that hour.

Maggie is no longer the spaz she was in previous seasons, she's taking charge and people are noticing. Particularly Jim whose girlfriend from last season Hallie is working at ACN now. She can leave.

Sloan and Don are still going strong. Neal is in deep shit. Mac and Will haven't married yet, and I could still care less about their wedding/relationship.

The Genoa trial hasn't seemingly completed yet, so hopefully we'll see more of that. I thought this episode was fantastic.

19 Kids and Counting

Being the "hot" Duggar ain't easy

So I hate myself even more for watching 19 Kids this week. Why do you ask? Because I actually liked it. 

This episode centered around Ben and Jessa getting engaged. (They actually got married this past weekend) and even though it was all obviously staged by TLC, it ended up being pretty sweet. Normally, I think Ben is a moron, but it's pretty obvious how smitten he is with Jessa. And Jessa is usually a huge bitch, but she front hugged Ben when he popped the question, and damn it, I liked that about her! Fuck you and your courtship rules, Boob and Mullet!

Ben Seewald after his first kiss, probably.

Next week's episode is apparently all about Josh and Anna and their cabbage patch children, so I'm skipping that. But I have to talk about this: After Jessa and Ben married, she posted an intimate picture of them kissing on Instragram. Okay, that's normal. They're a teenager and a girl in her early 20's. Then Jim Boob and Mullet recreated their kissing picture and apparently texted it to Jessa, who in turn posted that on her IG again and talked about how great it was that her parents are still in love..

Excuse me? Her attention whore parents, who now even more so prove they have no boundaries whatsoever with their children texted them a make out picture? I'd be fucking mortified if my parents did that to me. The Duggars are so in your face about sex it's disturbing. Kissing isn't as big of the deal as they make it. They sexualize it to the point of rubbing it into their children's faces. The same children that they have trained (can't say "taught" Duggars train their kids) to repress any sexual desires until they're married. 

*Click those gifs to be redirected to their makers*