Indie Gems: I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK

Take off your mask.

Last week I watched a Norwegian film about characters suffering from mental illness, and while I didn't plan for this to happen, this week I watched one from South Korea. 

Young-goon (Su-jeong Lim) believes that she's a Cyborg. When she slits her wrist at work, she winds up in a mental institution. She refuses to eat, thinking that she can charge herself to get the energy she needs. She licks batteries and talks to lights. She catches the eye of Par Il-Sun (Rain) another patient that frequently steals things. She intrigues him, and he makes it his mission to get her to eat.

Director Chan-wook Park is someone I'm really coming to love. He did Stoker, Oldboy, and Thirst, all great films, and this one couldn't be more different. In fact, this might be one of the weirdest fucking movies I've ever seen. Unlike Elling, my Indie Gem from last week, this one isn't out to make a case for the mental health community. Every part of this movie is completely over the top. Even the doctors seem tongue in cheek about their jobs. It makes for a beautifully strange atmosphere.

Young-goon and Par Il-Sun blossom into a sweet couple, and while I was never sure if romance was a good idea for them, I couldn't help but root for it at times. Sometimes two souls just need each other. Pacing does become somewhat of an issue for a film like this. It felt longer than it needed to be, and it let the weirdness linger. Thankfully the upbeat and infectious soundtrack always keeps us going. 

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "You knew right away that you were a light?" - Young-goon (Su-jeong Lim)

Thursday Movie Picks: The Internet

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is movies where that thing we bloggers all need and love; the internet. I'm an admitted internet addict. I'm not sure I could function without it at this point. The Social Network and Disconnect are two of my favorite internet based movies, but I used them in other weeks, so I went with a two documentaries instead.

1) The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz was a programming genius who is responsible for things like RSS and Reddit. He was also an activist that wanted all kinds of information to be readily available to anyone, and sadly, some trouble he got into lead to him taking his own life when he was 26. This is a fascinating doc, and in true Aaron fashion, the whole thing is on Youtube.

2) Me and You and Everyone We Know

There's a lot of interweaving stories in film, but one of the biggest involves two brothers in an internet chat room, with the youngest one striking up a relationship with someone on the other side of his screen, even though he's far too young to even comprehend the things he's typing.

3) Talhotblond

Another documentary, this is a hot mess of fucked up. So much so that it ended up being a Lifetime TV movie by the same name. (I can't speak to that, but the doc is fascinating) It involves an internet love triangle that leaves one party death and another in prison. 

Rambling TV: Thoughts on Game of Thrones, Agents of SHIELD and Veep + more

Game of Thrones

The Wall/Molestown

Sansa is sewing away when she gets a raven from Littlefinger to meet her in Molestown. She and Brienne head off. LF swears he didn't know about Ramsay, we know that's bullshit. She details the abuses he inflicted on her and told LF "If you didn't know, you're an idiot and if you did know, you're my enemy." I liked that line. But of course, LF has to get in one last manipulation by pointing out he has the Vale army standing by, Riverrun has been retaking by the Blackfish, and that Jon is only her half brother and she needs people fighting for her. She should've had Brienne kill her.

Later, as Jon, Davos, and the rest of them are planning their strategy, Sansa tries to school Davos about the North when she really should've listened to him. She reminded me of Daenerys there in a way, thinking she knows more than she really did. The whole scene rubbed me the wrong way. I loved Sansa in the last episode. I like her in general but I hate when she's snobby and this felt snobby. Then she lied to Jon about how she know Blackfish has control of Riverrun and I do not understand the logic behind that at all.

She did win me over a bit when she sewed Jon Stark armor, even though I'm not so sure what the motivations are. 

Vaes Dothrak

In a very emotional scene Jorah shows Dany his greyscale and tells her he loves her, but he has to leave her so it doesn't spread it. She commands him to find a cure and return to her. It was so lovely and Emilia was actually very good here. Iain is always phenomenal. 

Pyke
The boring Iron Born have their Kingsmoot to determine their new inept leader. Yara, who is probably the best candidate makes her case. The newly cleaned up Theon backs her, then their uncle Euron shows up. You know, the one that threw Balon off a bridge. He admits to this, says he's going to build a huge fleet, then marry Dany after "showing her his big cock." Kinslaying be damned, they pick him and Theon and Yara and some men loyal to then escape with their ships. Now Euron has to build new ones. 

Braavos
Arya is STILL getting beat up by the Waif, though she's taking it like a champ. Jaqen sends her off to kill an actress in a play. The play happens to be of Ned Stark's beheading and poor Arya has to watch while everyone else laughs. When she questions the motives of this actress being killed, Jaqen tells her not to ask any questions. Yeah, this isn't going to work out for her.

Meereen
Tyrion and Varys meet Kinvara, a priestess of R'hollor like Melisandre who is going to spread the good word of Daenerys after thoroughly creeping Varys the fuck out.

Beyond the Wall

Bran and Bloodraven are having a vision of the first While Walker being created. The Children of the Forest are responsible for creating them. The men were cutting down their trees and wouldn't leave them alone. It's tragic to think the thing they made to protect them from man became both of their enemies. Later, Bran goes back into a vision alone and sees the army of Wights, but the Night's King seems him in his vision and touches him. When he wakes up, Bloodraven tells him he's marked and needs to leave. He then pulls him into another vision as Meera scrambles to pack everything. Then the Wights and White Walkers show up. The CotF try to fight them off, Hodor is freaking out and Meera is trying to shake Bran out of his vision so that he can get Hodor to help. He hears her and sees young Hodor in his vision, so he wargs into them. The White Walkers enter the cave. Meera manages to kill one and she, Hodor, and Bran on the sled run off. Summer stays behind to fight the Wights and is killed. Dog whimpering, cue the tears for me. Then the Night King kills Bloodraven in the tree. Leaf sacrifices herself so that Meera and Hodor can move futher.

Then we find out the meaning of Hodor. There's a door at the back of the cave, He gets it open but the Wights are approaching. Meera yells at him to "hold the door" shut as she runs pulling Bran's sled. Bran looks at young Hodor in his vision who begins to have a seizure while screaming "hold the door" over and over, eventually all running together and coming "Hodor." Adult Hodor is then ripped apart by Wights


So Bran is responsible for Hodor being the way he is. It's devastating. Hodor knew his entire life he was going to die at this moment for the boy he grew to protect. He was normal before. This has been the hardest ending since the Red Wedding. To lose Hodor, Summer, and Bloodraven like that, plus Leaf and all the other CotF was too much. And to think how Bran is going to feel when he wakes up, he and Meera are alone, and he's lost his pet and Hodor who he's known his entire life. That's rough.

Veep

Thankfully Veep was pretty funny this week, I needed a few laughs after I got done crying over Game of Thrones. Dan became Tom's version of Gary which was hysterical. I did feel a bit bad for Dan after they made fun of him for his panic attack though. Selena also got some cosmetic surgery under her eyes and spent the entire weekend holed up in the Oval office with two gigantic shiners. 

My favorite quote:

"You look like a southern housewife who just burned dinner."

Agents of SHIELD

The two hour finale saw Hive and Lincoln dying in that rocket towards the end, Lincoln taking Daisy's place unfortunately. I'm just happy because Fitz was wearing that stupid jacket for half the episode and I was worried it was him.

SHIELD was picked up for a 4th season, probably because they're close to syndication, and I'm honestly not looking forward to more of the Daisy show. The ending jumped ahead 6 months, Daisy is now "Quake" in the papers and is robbing banks in some Robin Hood act to steal from the rich and give to the poor. Coulson is no longer the director and is trying to catch her. So more Daisy worshipping next season. Yay.

Here's the problem with this scenario. In order to be a good show, AoS needs to avoid situations where the viewers can ask "Why don't they call the Avengers?" Shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones handle this so well. They make mentions of the "big guys" but they handle things small time. Someone like Daisy taking down buildings and robbing banks is begging for the Avengers to intervene and it's not realistic that they don't. Then you have Chloe Bennett, the actress that plays Daisy bitching about the movies not paying attention to their show. Sorry Chloe, I know she's probably pissed she didn't get made an instant movie star after they cancelled Inhumans, but she can't barely hold her own in a TV show. She wouldn't be able to carry an entire movie. AoS is better when they focus on the actual agents doing spy stuff. Not the Inhumans. I hate how this show has some great characters and interesting things to say and lets it get muddled by their boner over the Inhumans.

Daredevil

I watched 208-210 of the superior Marvel show. The choreography in this is so amazing. Especially compared to Jessica Jones. I love how Fisk came back to manipulate the Punisher and those fight scenes in the prison were amazing.

I still feel bad for Foggy, Matt is being such a dick. But I love Claire showing back up. She and Matt belong together, I need them to be a couple, please.

I love how Karen, with no creditionals gets to essentially be a lawyer and question Frank, now she gets to be a journalist. If they would've mentioned her that she was originally a journalism student at the beginning of the series, I'd buy her getting a job at the paper. But some random with a good lead walks in and is given a job and an office? What? Karen's okay, I don't hate her character but her job situation is just weird at this point.


Rambling TV is a weekly series where I ramble semi-coherently about the things I've watched on television. This week was brought to you by my tears because of GoT. Click those gifs to be redirected to their makers. 

2016 Blind Spot Series: Funny Face


What I knew going in: The premise.

Admittedly, I haven't seen a lot of Audrey Hepburn's movies and this may seem like a weird place to start, but Funny Face is one that a good friend of mine frequently raves about. I had to see it for her.

Jo (Audrey Hepburn) works at a book store that is spontaneously ransacked during a modeling photoshoot by an ambitious editor, Maggie Prescott (Kay Thompson) and a photographer, Dick Avery. (Fre Astaire) When Dick stays behind to help Jo clean up, he's intrigued with her. Then when sees her in the background of one of his photos, both he and Maggie are taken in by her appearance and convince her to join them on a trip to Paris for a modeling show. Jo only accepts to see the city, but soon realizes there's a lot more to modeling than she thought.

For a musical, the numbers in this film strangely fell flat. What's actually the most memorable part was the dancing. Hepburn has this lovely ballerina body and she looked so graceful, particularly in the scenes where she dances in a wedding dress. The cinematography and costumes are stunning and make up for the lackluster music numbers. I like Hepburn and Astaire, but I didn't think they had any chemistry as leads. It's Kay Thompson that absolutely stole the show for me. 

It's a gorgeous film with a decent story, but as a musical I felt it could've been so much better. The songs shouldn't be the weakest link, but they were here. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "This must be the place." - Dick Avery (Fred Astaire)

Indie Gems: Elling

Why have an apartment if you just want to leave it?

Elling (Per Christian Ellefsen) is 40 years old and spent his entire life never leaving his mother's side. When she dies, he's institutionalized. There he meets his new room mate, Kjell Bjarne (Sven Nordin) another man in his 40's that was extremely sheltered, though much more outgoing than Elling is. After two years they are off to live in a government funded apartment and must learn how to function on their own.

For a movie about the mentally ill, I was surprised at how few clinical terms are actually used in this film. It's quite different from the type of film we'd see in the United States. No one is on medication, and the only disorder mentioned is anxiety, and only twice. No other diagnosis is given. Seems Norway treats mental illness far different than we do here, and that was a nice thing to see.

Ellefsen and Nordin have amazing chemistry. Both Elling and Kjell Bjarne are very different individuals who use each other as their crutch and it's fun to watch them slowly but surely come out of their shells, Kjell Bjarne with getting a girlfriend, and Elling learning he likes poetry. 

I kept expecting tragedy to strike, but it never did. The film remains fun and upbeat throughout and feels like a breath of fresh air.

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "Did I just make a friend without help from the Norwegian government?" - Elling (Per Christian Ellefen)  


Thursday Movie Picks: Aliens

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is Aliens. I gave myself a small rule, that I couldn't chose any from a theme last year, Alien Invasions of Earth. Here are a few of my favorites.

1) Alien

I'll start with the obvious, even though I know I should try a little harder to think of something more original. But come one, this movie is great. 

2) E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial

I can't not go with this. E.T holds a special place in a lot of people's hearts. It's another typical pick, but it would feel wrong to leave it out.

3) Space Jam

I fucking love this movie. I don't care how ridiculous it is. How can you not love little aliens possessing some of our favorite NBA players?

Rambling TV: Game of Thrones, Veep, Agents of SHIELD + more

Game of Ugly Crying, fickle shows, and maximum Selena shade throwing. Let's get to it.


Agents of SHIELD

Since Civil War didn't get the registration story they decided to dump it on Agents of SHIELD with registering the Inhumans. This episode was dreadfully boring and yet again contained way too much splooging over Daisy. I get it, Daisy is the ultra perfect Mary Sue, everyone must worship her. Too bad Coulson, May, Fitz, Simmons, and Mack are all more interesting. (And since Bobbi and Hunter's spin off didn't get picked up, can we bring them back?)

Lash died saving Daisy, and that was sad. I liked Andrew/Lash and it sucks to lose a good character to service a bad one.

Next week is the season finale. I thought it was this week, but nope. More suffering. This show is getting fickle again, it can't afford to do that.

Game of Thrones

This episode was near perfect. They're on fire this season, it's already so much better than S5. This episode was particularly strong for the women.

Castle Black - Jon and Sansa reunite right away! I ugly cried when they hugged. It was slightly embarrassing. I love how they addressed Jon and Sansa's relationship as children, it flowed so naturally and I loved Sansa taking charge and telling Jon they need to take Winterfell. The letter Ramsay sent was perfectly worded and gave Jon, the Wildlings, and Sansa all the incentive they needed to attack. 

Speaking of Wildlings, that eye fucking by Tormund to Brienne was hilarious. 

I also liked how Ed pointed out that it was kind of bullshit of Jon to leave because of the White Walkers. I think Jon is right to leave, but Edd made a good point too.

Brienne confronted Davos and Melisandre about killing Stannis. I expected to hate this scene but I actually like how it played. When Brienne said "I don't forgive or forget" all I could think about is Lady Stoneheart. The hype is strong with this one.



Winterfell - Before Ramsay sent that letter, Osha attempted to seduce him and kill him but he stabs her in the neck first. I was sad to see her go so early, but I like that she threw a good insult at Ramsay before she died. "I've seen worse."

The Eyrie - Sweetrobin hit puberty and Littlefinger is still bullshitting Royce. Why do people believe this asshole again?

Pyke - Theon and Yara reunite. She calls him a "spoiled little cunt" at one point, and he says he wants to help her rule the Iron Islands

King's Landing - The High Sparrow has a long talk with Margaery and lets her see Loras, who has turned into a giant fucking pansy during his imprisonment. At least Margaery seems to be forming a plan. Tommen tells Cersei about the High Sparrow's conversation and she and Jaime, who still needs to leave her side by the way convince Kevan and Olenna that they need to work together to fight the Faith. KL has been all build this season, I really hope the pay off is worth it.

Meereen - Tyrion invites the Slavers that are funding the Sons of the Harpy to Meereen, gives them women, and tells them they need to end slavery in 7 years. He seems to be grossly underestimating how these slavers will act and Missandei and Grey Worm let him know it. He was a slave for a minute, they were slaves all their lives.


Vaes Dothrak - Jorah and Daario infiltrate the Dothraki, Daario finds out about Jorah's grey scale, and they run into Dany who tells them she needs their help. Then when she goes into a hut to meet with the Khals, she tells them they're not fit to lead the Dothraki, but she is. They tell her they'll all take turns raping her and like the HBIC she is, she knocks over all their lamps and burns the place down. Jorah and Daario blocked the doors. She emerges from the flames unburnt again, and the Dothraki bow. 

Veep

This episode was kind of serious, it had to do with Selena's mother dying, and she had to make the decision to turn off her ventilator. There was a lot of parallels to Selena's relationship with her mother and her relationship with her own daughter Catherine, but of course she doesn't realize it. 

Great quotes:

"He's fisting the American economy right now."

"Sounds like you just shoplifted a bunch of  vibrators."

"I need a quiet place to think that doesn't have Mike's stupid face in it." 

"Again?" 

Random TV Thoughts:

SNL - Drake hosted and I thought the episode was hilarious. It wasn't as strong as some of the sketches from his first outing, but he's a fascinating dude.

Pan - So I watched this on HBO, my husband and son enjoyed it, I, well..less so. You know what the weirdest thing about this movie was? Not the fact that the pirates are singing Nirvana, or that when the Natives die, they turn into big clouds of colorful smoke, nor the fact that I couldn't really tell what they were fighting about at the end, it's that over the top reaction Tiger Lily had every time Hook smiled or touched her. What the fuck was that?

The Family - This show recently got cancelled, but I always meant to start it. The premise sounded interesting. Holy shit is this show frustrating, it's like they have to end every single episode with a cliffhanger and a twist. Even going online to read about this show, because I've gotten to the point where I just want spoilers and don't want to sit through it anymore is a jumbled mess. 

Agent Carter - This show got cancelled, and I just want to take this opportunity to tell all of you that didn't watch it and contributed to it's low ratings that you suck and should be ashamed of yourselves. This show was great. Hayley Atwell got a consolation price by getting a pilot of yet another legal drama. Only Emily Kinney, aka Beth, the worst character and actress ever on The Walking Dead is in it so it's probably going to be shit. I'm bitter. I loved Agent Carter. 

Rambling TV is a weekly series where I ramble semi-coherently about the things I've watched on television. This week is brought to you by too many pain killers because I have a major headache. Click those gifs to be redirected to their makers.