DVD Review: Hungry Hearts

Parenting Fails: The Movie

Jude (Adam Driver) meets an Italian woman named Mina (Alba Rohrwacher) by chance in New York City one night. They fall in love, when Mina mentions having to move away for work, Jude gets her pregnant when she specifically tells him to pull out. After having a strange reoccurring dream after their wedding, Mina becomes obsessed with "toxins" and "purity" in food, and it has dramatic results for her and their newborn son.

The premise of this film is really interesting, but it became so implausible that all I wanted was for it to be over. This film does something rather extraordinary in making the dude that didn't listen to his wife during sex to be the more likable party. Sound impossible? It isn't. Mina refuses to eat during her pregnancy. Ignoring doctor's advice about morning sickness and thinking her body is trying to "detox" itself. When she doesn't gain enough weight to have a natural labor, she has to have a C-section, which she holds as a slight over Jude. She becomes obsessed with germs and toxins. She doesn't vaccinate, and won't give her son antibiotics when he runs a fever for over two weeks. She doesn't allow him in direct sunlight either . When her milk supply stopped at 4 months, instead of getting formula she weaned him on solid food consisting of mostly seeds and avocados. In doing so, her seven month old child looks like he's two months. Jude inexplicably doesn't question her about any of this right away. He smuggles his son off to see a doctor, who informs him that his son is malnourished and in the 7th percentile. He says to feed him meat to help him gain weight. So what does Mina do with this information? She takes him in the bathroom with her after every meal to feed him oil so he doesn't absorb the nutrients from the food.

So we have Mina, a delusional child abuser and Jude who doesn't do shit about it for seven months? It's one thing to watch a film with unlikable characters and still be interested in their journey, but this film didn't do anything with their story. No grand statement on mental illness, no epiphany for Mina, no calls to social services. Mina's character had sympathy practically gift wrapped for her at first, yet she remains completely unlikable throughout. I have no respect for parents who endanger their children like this. Jude had redeeming qualities but all of those went out the window when he didn't do more. I give him credit for trying but he was going about it all the wrong way.

The film's only redeemable quality is Adam Driver's excellent performance. He's a brilliant actor, but even he can't save this.

Recommended: No

Grade: D-

Memorable Quote: "I go to this church three times a day just so I can feed him ham." - Jude (Adam Driver)

Rambling TV: Thoughts on Agent Carter, X Files, and American Crime

Agent Carter

I cannot explain how much I loved this week's episode of Agent Carter. We got flashbacks of both Peggy and Whitney. Peggy is the tom boy, who was engaged, gets offered a job in the field, and her fiance says it isn't her, despite Peggy's brother disagreeing. Soon, her brother is killed in war, and in a beautifully shot scene Peggy leaves her wedding dress and ring and goes off to war herself. It was heart breaking.

Then there's Whitney. Who we meet under her real name, Agnes. She's a brainy child, she hates her mother's boyfriend. She just tries to go about her studies only for her mother to give her a harsh lesson about her looks getting her where she needs to go. Something that is unfortunately true in their time.

We also got some series UST between Peggy and Sousa. I've never been crazy about them as a couple (Though I'm 90% sure that's who she marries eventually) but they really had great chemistry. Then there's the fact that Peggy and Jarvis kidnapped and tortured (with fake malaria) the man who tried to kill them last week.

X Files

This episode was weird as fuck. X Files occasionally did these "Monster of the Week" episodes and I always got a kick out of them. They were campy in a series that was nearly always straight faced. Here, they a have a hilarious Kiwi named Rhys Darby, who I can't believe was not on my radar give a great performance.

My issue is the amount of episodes in this series. There's only 6, and this felt like a waste. I get it's there for nostalgia, but I would've rather they continued with the main story. If this were a full season, I'd be fine. But we don't have the time to dick around here.

American Crime

Those sensational promos finally drew me in. The ones talking about rape and how people don't think it happens to Men. It's true, it's something that isn't talked about enough, so I started watching and am officially hooked. I caught up on Demand and should see the newest episode this week. The story is interesting and not a second is wasted. It also hasn't gone exactly where I expected yet.

I can't get over how great the casting in this show is. Everyone is perfect. 

DVD Review: Spy

You didn't see that coming?

Susan (Melissa McCarthy) works for the CIA, but she's the one behind the desk. Telling her field agent partner, Bradley (Jude Law) what to do. After something major happens, she finds herself in the field trying to get close to a crime bosses' daughter, Rayna (Rose Byrne) while also dealing with another disgruntled CIA agent, Rick. (Jason Statham)

I'm not a Melissa McCarthy fan. I didn't like Bridesmaids, I think her Oscar nomination is still bullshit, so when I saw previews for this, I had no interest. It was only after the blogging community gave it rave(ish) reviews that I decided to check it out on DVD. I'm glad I did.

This is the least annoying I've ever seen McCarthy. She does have great chemistry with Byrne, and whether she's yelling at her or fighting with some Kardashian wannabe, McCarthy works here. Jason Statham is the star though. Every word that comes out of this guy's mouth is hysterical.

It's very over the top and fun and flows at a very fluid pace. You can tell the cast had a good time with this.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "I made it myself, didn't I?" - Rick Ford (Jason Statham) 

Indie Gems: Longtime Companion

Did you hear?

David (Bruce Davison) and Sean (Mark Lamos) are a long time couple inviting their friends over at their beach house for the weekend. There's Willy (Campbell Scott) and John, (Dermot Mulroney) Howard, (Patrick Cassidy) a soap star on a show that Sean is a screenwriter for. Willy's friends Lisa (Mary Louise Parker) and Fuzzy (Stephen Caffrey) who is also Howard's lawyer. And finally Paul (John Dossett) a business executive. The year is 1981, and they are talking about the "gay cancer" that the newspapers are talking about in regards to AIDS. While not all are overly concerned at the moment, the film takes us through 1989 as AIDS changes from something they've read about, to something that effects them personally.

I've had this in my Netflix queue for ages. This is (I believe) one of the first films to deal with the AIDS crisis head on like this. At times it feels very dated and even stereotypical (that music and those beach scenes..) but it has a lot of heart. It flows very smoothly through its chapters. I believe what caused me to throw this in my queue in the first place was watching The Normal Heart or Dallas Buyers Club and looking for similar films. It's really hard for me to describe how I felt about this film compared to the others. The horrors of AIDS is still very predominant, but somehow this film seems lighter in tone. Which makes zero sense because this was riskier for the time it was made, but it feels less harsh.

The acting is very good.Stephen Caffrey gave one of my favorite performances of the film. Davison was Oscar nominated for his role, he's easily the stand out. It feels like a big deal too when you see how small this film started. It had a budget of about a million. Shot in about a month, started in a few theaters but eventually got a wide release, unheard of for this type of film. 

This is a film that definitely won't be leaving my mind any time soon.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "You can go." - David (Bruce Davison)

Thursday Movie Picks: Star Crossed Lovers

It's Valentine's Day edition all month long at Wandering Through The Shelves, and Wanderer is starting us off with star crossed lovers. Fuck Romeo and Juliet, here are some of my favorites.

1) Her

Theo is in love with his operating system, Samantha. He can't touch her, can't see her, it was never going to end well.

2) Crazy/Beautiful 

Remember this movie? I've been a Kirsten Dunst fangirl since I was a tween, so I do. Carlos and Nichole live on "opposite sides of the tracks." She's rich, her dad doesn't approve of their relationship, teenage angst ensues. 

3) Brokeback Mountain

Brokeback Mountain is one of the best love stories ever told, but poor Ennis and Jack never got to live the life they wanted together, and that also makes it one of the greatest tragedies. 

DVD Review: Song of the Sea

Can you hear it?

Ben (David Rawle) is introduced to us as a wide eyed, curious boy who loves his mother's magical stories and eagerly awaits the arrival of his new baby sibling. She tells him about the Selkies, people who can turn into seals. Then something happens, and we fast forward 6 years to see that Ben now has a little sister Saoirse, and no mother. His father (Brenden Gleeson) is having trouble coping. But Saoirse, though she doesn't speak is actually a Selkie like her mother, and she and Ben after they are shipped off to their grand mother's house must get back to their light house to find Saoirse's Selkie coat.

I really love the simple animation here. It's nice to see something that looks so different from what we're used to today. The Gaelic music is absolutely beautiful, so much so that I just kind of let the DVD credits play for awhile to listen to it. My son wanted to watch it over and over, even if the owls scared him. (He picks the weirdest things to be frightened of)

This film would've been a better Best Animated Picture winner than Big Hero 6, I'm sorry. I didn't love it as much as How To Train Your Dragon 2, but Song of the Sea is magical in its own right and is one of the most unique animated films I've seen recently.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "Don't go near the water." - Ben (David Rawle)

Rambling TV: Thought on Agent Carter and The X Files

Agent Carter

This episode had a lot of tongue-in-cheek moments. Peggy remarks to Howard that no one will watch a movie based on a comic book. We begin to see the start of security system Jarvis, and Jarvis himself remarks that he has no interest in spending his eternity as a voice.

I liked this episode a lot. We saw the return of Howard, and he helps bring Dr. Wilkes back to "life" so to speak. Something happened to him in the explosion, he's no longer himself. Howard had to spray a chemical on him to get him visible and even now he cannot be touched. Things go right through him. It's interesting and I'm glad he's back.

Agent Thompson is back in major dick mode. It's kind of annoying because his character was a lot more interesting when he was being more sympathetic last season. I suppose the show needs him to be a pain in the ass, but I wasn't crazy about it. Though Peggy calling him a coward to his face was awesome.

The X Files

This episode was a step up from the last. It brought in a bit of gore, which I always like. My favorite episode of the X Files was always "Home" because it was so creepy. I like when the show attempts to get to that level.

We also saw many visions of what life could've been with William. If part of the series had to do with finding him, I wouldn't complain.

Two more weeks and The Walking Dead (which judging by interviews and filming spoilers, I might go back to hate watching again) and Better Call Saul return. 

Did you watch any of these shows? What do you think?

Rambling TV is a weekly series where I ramble semi coherently about the things I watch on television.