Friday, October 31, 2014

Indie Gems: Hellion

Metal and Motocross

Jacob (Josh Wiggins) is your typical angry 13 year old. He's into motocross, metal, and causing trouble with his friends. Eventually that trouble leads to his 10 year old brother, Wes (Deke Garner) getting taken away by CPS to live with their aunt. (Juliette Lewis) Their father, Hollis (Aaron Paul) has been drinking heavily since the death of his wife, and has been leaving them to fend for themselves. Both he and Jacob need to clean up their acts in order to get Wes back.

Aaron Paul continues to be amazing, this is a far departure from Jesse Pinkman. Garnder and Wiggins were wonderful as well. This film reminded me a lot of Hesher, and I think that contributed to me liking it so much. The story was interesting, and it didn't make CPS look like the bad guys. (I always appreciate that, because I hate that so many people view them) The way the film escalates felt organic, and it could've very easily been over the top. 

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "I love you more than anything, you know that, right?" - Hollis (Aaron Paul)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review: Fury

Ideals are peaceful. History is violent.

Fury takes place in 1945. WWII is coming to the end, but the United States Army is still trying to subdue the rest of the German forces. On board the tank that the film is named after, we have Don 'Wardaddy,' (Brad Pitt) Boyd 'Bible,' (Shia LaBeouf) Trini 'Gordo' (Michael Pena) and Grady 'Coon-ass.' (Jay Bernthal) They've been together for years and when one of their own is killed and replaced by the young Norman, (Logan Lerman) they're sent off on another mission with the inexperienced kid. 

One major complaint I've seen about Fury is that "it's just another war movie." Maybe that's true, but honestly I don't watch a lot of war movies, so this felt fresh enough for me. I loved the main cast, they were all wonderful with Shia LaBeouf in particular being a stand out. Lerman, I'm usually on the fence with, but I think he gives his best performance here. Even topping Perks of Being a Wall Flower.

The film is understandably bleak, and even though it's easy to guess the story's eventual outcome, it's beautifully shot and scored. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "This is an American tank, and we speak American." - Don (Brad Pitt)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Favorite Movie Titles - Halloween Edition!

I've been racking my brain over what to do as a Halloween theme this year. I've done lists, horror themed Indie Gems, films that scared me, but since I've been on a movie/TV title kick this year, I figured it fit. Here's a list of my favorite Halloween/Horror/Thriller related titles. Keep in mind, I don't necessarily like these movies, but their titles are awesome.

An American Werewolf in London
Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

Cannibal Holocaust
Dead Hooker in a Trunk
Event Horizon
Fright Night
Ginger Snaps
I Saw The Devil

Killer Klowns from Outerspace
Let The Right One In
Midnight Meat Train
Nightmare on Elm Street
Orca: The Killer Whale

Planet Terror
Queen of the Damned
Red, White, and Blue
Sleepaway Camp
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Valley of the Zombies
Wicked Little Things

You're Next
Zombie Strippers

Monday, October 27, 2014

Rambling TV: Boardwalk Empire recap + thoughts on The Walking Dead

Boardwalk Empire

The series finale of Boardwalk Empire is definitely something I'm still thinking about this morning as I write this post. Yes, it did feel rushed, but while some parts were satisfying, others were not. Yet, I wouldn't call it horrible, but it did leave me with a lot of questions on one particular characters.

Let's breakdown where we left each of our cast.

Luciano and Lansky are head of their crime organization, and they take out Narcisse at church. The Narcisse part felt rushed, but we always knew that's where Luciano and Lansky were.

Margaret makes a ton of money in stocks for herself, Nucky, and Joe Kennedy. And when he tries to make a move on her, she puts that bastard in his place. She visits Nucky before he leaves NYC and they dance together one last time.

Al Capone is heading to court for tax evasion, but he can still have a tender moment with his deaf son first. Stephen Graham is amazing as Capone, I don't care what everyone says. They way he showed him as nervous, then he flips a switch and puts on a show for the cameras was brilliant.

Eli and Nucky have one last scene together in which Nucky gives him some money and tells him to try to make it right for his wife. I honestly thought there was going to be a gun in the bag, and Eli was going to shoot himself. So that's where my mind goes.

Nucky visits Gillian in the home in what was the most disappointing scene for me. They didn't actually TALK about anything. wtf?

Nucky's final scene was with "Joe Harper" the kid that came into his service this season, and was intercut with a flashback of Nucky about to pimp Gillian out to the Commodore. "Joe" reveals himself to be Tommy Darmody, Jimmy's son. He says his grandma always talked about Nucky, he thought she might be in love with him. Then he shoots him in the same place Nucky shot Jimmy in season 2.

The "Joe Harper is Tommy" theory has been around the net for awhile. At first, I didn't subscribe, because that kid looked way too old to be Tommy, who at this point in time would only be about 14-15. But hey, he looks like Michael Pitt so that's where the casting director's thought process was apparently. The finale scene was very poignant, but I felt like they missed a huge opportunity to have a flash of Jimmy instead of Gillian. That wouldn't packed more punch, in my opinion. Jimmy was Nucky's surrogate son, and yes he ruined Gillian's life, but he was always closer to Jimmy.

So how did Tommy know all of this about Nucky? Was Gillian writing to him from the mental hospital? Surely he would have more memories of things Richard said over Gillian? And was be bluffing when he said he didn't have a home? I hope so, because wtf happened to Julia? Maybe my love for all things Jimmy and Richard blinds me when it comes to other characters having the spotlight, but I just felt that mentions of them would've worked better.

Oh well, you had a good run Boardwalk Empire. Even though you killed EVERY SINGLE ONE of my favorite characters. To the lost.

The Walking Dead

We finally finally got to hear Bob yell the famous "tainted meat" line from The Hunters arc in the comics. He sold the shit out of it too. I loved Gareth in this scene, calling Carol the "Queen Bitch." I'm glad more people are starting to realize Carol IS queen. lol

This episode was pretty tense and brutal through out. We learned Father Gabriel's secrets, how he locked everyone in his church out.

Tyreese attempts to comfort Sasha about Bob and tells her to forgive. I love Ty, but what happened to Karen and what happened to Bob are two TOTALLY different things, and I kind of felt like forgiveness was misplaced here.

Abe wants to go to D.C, Glenn tells them to wait 12 hours and if Carol and Daryl aren't back, they'll go with them. 

The Termites go back to the church only to get ambushed by Rick and co and brutally beaten to death. Tara, Glenn, Ty, and Maggie all look terrified of what their family members are capable of.

Abe leaves Rick a map to D.C, Glenn, Maggie, and Tara go with while the others stay and wait. I can't tell you how annoying it is to see the group split up again when they JUST got back together. Even though *START SPOILER/HIGHLIGHT OVER IF YOU WISH TO VIEW* I know they meet up again in a few episodes. *END SPOILER*

Daryl comes back at the end of the episode without Carol, when Michonne asks where she is, he says "come out" to someone hiding in the trees. Those idiot guests on Talking Dead last night actually thought he could be talking to Beth, because she, as a member of the group would totally be hiding. ffs.

Other TV Thoughts:

I'm giving up on both Gotham and Big Bang Theory, despite how much I wanted to like the former. Gotham has potential, but it just doesn't seem to be doing much with it, and BBT is no longer tolerable. It's just boring. At least Agents of SHIELD is picking back up, and Fitz and Simmons are reunited! I'm looking forward to next week's episode. I'm still watching the train wreck known as 19 Kids and Counting. This week's episode was titled 'All About Jill' despite this entire season already being all about Jill. Jim Bob is giving me some serious perv vibes though...eww...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

2014 Blind Spot Series: Wild Strawberries

What I knew going in: Not much, only that when I asked for recommended Bergman films, this one came up frequently. 

Igmar Bergman was the director I had in mind when I started my Blind Spot list. His films occupied 3 spots in my 2014 list, and 2 more in my preliminary 2015 one. This one was almost always recommended.

Dr. Isak Borg (Victor Sjostrom) is a professor that's been isolated from nearly everyone for many years. He's on his way to a University to pick up an honorary award and decides last minute he's going to drive there. Along the way with his daughter in law, Marianne (Ingrid Thulin) and eventually a few other passengers (including Bergman favorite Bibi Andersson) he reminiscences about his life and comes to the realization that maybe he's been a little too distant.

I kind of felt like this movie was a few beats away from being a road trip comedy. At least Bergman road trip comedy. Parts were amusing, other parts very ethereal. I think the pacing kind of dulls the movie a bit in places, but the story was fascinating and Sjostrom was wonderful. I can see why this is a Bergman favorite. I definitely preferred Persona to this one, but this was still a good watch.

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "I have liked having you in that house." - Isak Borg (Victor Sjostrom)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Indie Gems: Obvious Child

Remain calm.

I'll admit, I was determined to like Obvious Child before I saw it. The story follows a stand up comedian, Donna (Jenny Slate) who gets dumped by her boyfriend and is about to lose her job all within the same week. She has a one night stand with a very nice guy, Max (Jake Lacy) but ends up pregnant. She knows very well that she is in no place to be a parent, so she decides to have an abortion.

People saw the word "abortion" and jumped on this movie like white on rice. "I can't believe they'd make a joke over killing babies!!" people cried. of course, all these people bitching never even saw the film. I knew there just had to be more, and thankfully there was.

Obvious Child doesn't handle this topic lightly, but it handles it realistically. It's Donna's choice, she has her reasons for doing it, and really, it's not the focal point of the film at all. Donna's relationship with Max and subsequently getting her shit together is. We see her bomb at stand up a few times for getting a little too real. A scene where she's in the recovery room with other patients feels important and heartbreaking at the same time.

This film definitely provokes a conversation, but beyond that it's a very good little film with Slate shining as the lead.

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "I can't tell anyone to shut the TV off..." - Donna (Jenny Slate)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thursday Movie Picks: Vampire Movies

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is Vampire movies. This was hard to narrow down to three. You will find no Twilight shit here. 

1) Let The Right One In

This will always be one of my favorite movies, and I don't think I'll ever see another vampire movie I like more than this. Eli and Oskar's relationship is so sweet and free of judgement. I love it. 

2) Thirst

This South Korean film is a real gem and Kang-ho Song and Ok-bin Kim are fantastic in it.

3) Interview With a Vampire

This is one of the few films I actually like Tom Cruise in. It also started my fangirling over Kristen Dunst.