Indie Gems: We Are What We Are

I wish we could be like everybody else.

We start off by seeing a very nervous looking Emma Parker. (Kassie Wesley DePavia) She's jittery, disoriented, her nose starts to bleed and she falls back, hitting her head and landing in a deep rain puddle during a downpour. She's dead. Her daughters, Iris (Ambyr Childers) and Rose (Julia Garner) are forced to fill her place in an ancient custom their secluded family follows. Their father, Frank (Bill Sage) grows even more paranoid while the doctor performing the autopsy on Emma (Michael Parks) realizes what exactly caused the illness that plagued her before her death.

I've had this film in my Netflix queue for awhile, but after a few new recs I finally got around to it. It sets a very creepy atmosphere. The score is beautiful, yet haunting. While it's not a huge secret what this family is up to, it's still quite jarring when the climatic scenes happen.

The whole cast is perfect. Childers and Garner carry the film, while Sage is quietly terrifying. Parks' character provides a bit of hope for this family, which they definitely need. Then there's that ending, which I won't spoil, but let's just say

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "Nothing comes between this family." - Iris (Ambyr Childers)

Thursday Movie Picks: Twins

This week's All in the Family theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is movies with Twins. I wanted to BE an Olsen Twin when I was a kid, so I probably could've made this all about those movies, even though they're the same movie just in different locations. But I refrained. Here's some films with Twins that I adore. Spoiler alert for my last two picks!

1) The Dreamers

So what if Theo and Isabelle go full Lannister? This film is actually quite beautiful and it's one of my favorites. Saying they have a unique twin bond is kind of an understatement.

2) The Prestige

 The twins here may come as a shock at first, but you have to admire their dedication. That finger scene..

3) Avengers: Age of Ultron

Okay, so I had some major problems with Ultron, but I kind of love it on principle just because of the Twins. Wanda and Pietro were two characters I anticipated the most. It's a shame Whedon fucked it up in the end. Hopefully the new directors retcon him. (Yes, I'm hoping for a retcon) I'm buying the DVD just so I can watch the alternate ending where he lives.

Bonus: It Takes Two - Come on, I had to throw one Olsen Twin movie in here, and it was between this or Billboard Dad. I got one of these because of Billboard Dad:

DVD Review: The Voices

Lucky Ryan Reynolds kept his shirt on.

There's no way these accounting chicks wouldn't be throwing themselves at him otherwise. I mean, the women in the accounting department at the company I work for are all somewhere in their 40's-60's and make a ton of dick jokes.

Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) is extremely awkward. He hears voices, mainly from his beloved dog and asshole cat. He doesn't exactly admit this to his shrink, Dr. Warren. (Jacki Weaver) He has a massive crush on Fiona (Gemma Arterton) and jumps at an invitation from their fellow coworker, Lisa (Anna Kendrick) to join them on an outing. When Fiona stands him up on a later date, he accidentally kills her, and of course he just can't go to the police with something like that. 

It's always amusing to me when a film like this gets all these good actors in it, because it's weird as fuck. It has it's amusing points, and all the actors do well. (Even Arterton, whom I normally hate) I wouldn't go as far to call this "good." It just kind of exists. I suppose it's good enough for a boring afternoon viewing.

Recommended: Sure

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "I am SO sorry." - Jerry (Ryan Reynolds)

Dream Vacation Blogathon

Katy over at Girl Meets Cinema has a wonderful idea for a blogathon. She asks us to pick places in films that we'd like to visit, and to pick characters to tag along on our journey. I've been thinking on this for awhile, and I couldn't just decide on one place or one person. So my dream vacation will be about jet setting all over. 

Who I'm bringing:

I decided to make this a group thing.

Luis from Ant-Man - because you know he'd tell a good story. Plus he likes art and wine so that makes him perfect in my book.

Ariande from Inception - because she's clever and down for adventures. (And the least crazy of most of Ellen Page's roles) 

Adam and Kyle from 50/50 - because 1) I'm a shameless JGL lover and 2) Kyle is fun.

Kim from Trainwreck - Amy might be the party animal, but Kim is level headed and funny. She can leave her weirdo husband at home and join us. 

I'm bunking with Adam if you're wondering. 

First stop

Paris - and not just regular Paris, time travel Midnight in Paris. We'd hit all the touristy spots, then go back in time and dance during the 20's. 

Second Stop

We head over to England to visit Harry Potter's world. We start with a drink at The Leaky Cauldron. Then hop on the Hogwarts Express on platform 9 3/4. We hang out at Hogwarts, then go down to Hogsmeade and have another drink at The Three Broomsticks. (We're here to get drunk and see weird shit, basically)

Third Stop

We decide we absolutely need to be In Bruges. We may or may not buy some weed from Jimmy. But mostly, we're taking in all the beautiful scenery. 

Fourth Stop

Tracks made us want to go on an Australian walk about. But we're going to nix the camels and isolation and stay near Gold Coast instead. This is a very calming stop, where we do a lot of reflecting. 

Fifth Stop 

Now we head up to Tokyo. We decide that we need to get a bit of partying out of our system so we look for the seedy neon light flooded parts of Tokyo from Enter The Void. Only we don't shoot anybody.

Sixth Stop

Back in the U.S.A, we take a page out of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and stop in Hawaii at the Turtle Bay Resort for a little R&R. 

Want to come with us? 

Review: Infinitely Polar Bear

That's too much routine!

Cameron (Mark Ruffalo) suffers from manic depression and bi polar disorder. When we first meet him, he's having an episode. He lost his job, keeps his kids out of school, and is running around in a speedo. His wife, Maggie (Zoe Saldana) is patient and understands that he's ill. After he's committed, they lose their house and Maggie and their two daughters, Amelia and Faith (Imogene Wolodarsky and Ashley Aufderheide) are forced to live in a small apartment, with Maggie barely making ends meat. She gets a scholarship to Columbia for their business program, determined to get a better job and get her kids a better education. Cameron stays back in Boston to watch the girls while Maggie is away.

Ruffalo is so great here. It's almost weird for me to think that about 5 years ago I didn't like him as an actor at all. Now I think he's just brilliant. Having been around people suffering from these illnesses, I think Ruffalo was really spot on with the highs and lows. Wolodarsky and Aufderheide were absolute gems, sometimes hilarious, some times heart breaking. Saldana was solid as well.

I expected this movie to be sad, but it was actually very funny. My only issue was the score. The way they used the musical interludes almost bordered on a cheesy Lifetime feel. Not that the music wasn't good, on its own it probably is. But mixed here it just felt a bit off.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "I vow to never cry again." - Faith (Ashely Aufderheide)

DVD Review: Inherent Vice

Hippies, man!

Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) is a PI in 1970's Los Angeles. His ex girlfriend, Shasta (Katherin Waterston) comes to him for help when she believes her current boyfriend is about to get into a load of trouble. Soon, that boyfriend goes missing, SHE goes missing, and Doc is being set up as a suspect in a murder and is found by LAPD Detective Bjornsen (Josh Brolin) who has an interesting relationship with Doc.

I have to be blunt, this movie is fucking weird. It's very weird, and very long. It's an interesting, and often times very amusing ride, but since it dragged out so much it got a bit hard to follow, for me anyways. I can appreciate the complex layers this film had even though I'm not sure I'm fully comprehending them yet. 

I have to say, I love this cast Joaquin and Brolin are fantastic. Reese Witherspoon makes a bit of a cameo, and I really enjoyed seeing her chemistry with Phoenix again. They play off each other so well. I really liked the use of a Narrator too. Joanna Newsom has a very pleasant voice.

Over all, I'm not sure I fully grasp everything that went on in this film, but I laughed and was never bored. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorabe Quote: "Inherent vice in a maritime insurance policy is anything that you can't avoid. Eggs break, chocolate melts, glass shatters, and Doc wondered what that meant when it applied to ex old ladies." - Sortilège (Joanna Newsom)

Indie Gems: Mommy

Parenting isn't easy.

No one knows that more than Diane. (Anne Dorval) Her son, Steve (Antoine-Olivier Pilon) has recently been kicked out of a detention center. She sent him to that one in the first place to avoid a stricter jail-like setting that wouldn't help him. He suffers from ADHD, ODD, and as she puts it "some attachment disorder." After losing her job, she's forced to try to raise him herself, despite is violent outbursts. Their quiet neighbor, Kyla (Suzanne Clement) eventually becomes an important part of their lives. 

This film got so much buzz at Cannes that it's not one of the most unheard of "gems" that I talk about here on my blog, but the release this got in the U.S was so pathetically limited. It's a shame, because this film, like nearly all of Dolan's work is stunning. Sure, the ratio that this film is shot it a bit hard to get used to at first. But Dolan wanted the focus to be on the characters and nothing else, and it really works in his favor. There's two scenes where the picture goes fully in frame, and it's even more breathtaking after watching the smaller, condensed scenes.

The acting is flawless. I knew Dolan favorites Clement and Dorval would be, but it was Pilon that blew me away. His performance was so spot on. There's not much to gripe about this film. I only wish we knew more of Kyla's story. Why her husband and daughter never visit, what caused her stutter, why she's on her break, those were all answers I was expecting to get, and didn't. Sure, it wasn't Kyla's story. But those would've been nice to know.

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "I don't want you to think these last few months didn't mean anything to me." - Kyla (Suzanne Clement) 

Thursday Movie Picks: Sequels

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is sequels. I'm going to go all Kanye for a minute and just say THE DARK KNIGHT WAS THE GREATEST SEQUEL OF ALL TIME! But I already used it, so that's why it isn't here. In fact, I left all super hero movies off because I could've easily made this list all out of sequals. Here are some of my favs, and no they're not very original. (Can sequals really be original? Only popular movies get sequals)

1) The Empire Strikes Back

This is my favorite of all the Star Wars movies. It just worked so well. It was action packed, it had a lot of character development, and even though I knew Vader was Luke's father before I saw it for the first time, that reveal was still intense. 

2) Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

I suppose it's technically a "threequel" but, the Lord of the Ring movies got better as they went, and this is one by far the best. I wasn't even mad at the movie's 10 false endings. 

3) How To Train Your Dragon 2

The animators that worked on this film do not get enough credit. The way they aged their original characters was flawless. It was so detailed and I'm glad they decided to bump them up into their 20's instead of leaving them as teenagers. The score was still beautiful, and the story was even more complex. 

This Is How I Work Blogathon

This excellent idea for a blogathon comes from the lovely Mariah at A Space Blogyssey. Since my own work life has been a bit ridiculous lately, I spectacularly missed the cut off date for this one. (My drafts folder is ridiculous) So hopefully no one minds my late entry - totally unacceptable for work by the way. It's less about the movies, and more about the blogger process. She asks us to answer these simple questions:

What apps can you not live without? - Twitter and Netflix. Twitter is my #1 way to stay in touch with my fellow film fans. There are no video stores near me so Netflix is how I rent and stream. Plus, being the mother of a three year old, Netflix is so nice to have at a restaurant. 

What is your favorite blogging app? I don't actually blog with any aps. I think Blogger's mobile app is genuinely terrible. I do it all on my computer.

What gadgets (besides your phone) you can't live without? My lap top, obviously. I'm way too addicted to the internet. Also my iPod, because I'm still a loser who uses that for music instead of having it all on my phone.

What lifehacks make your life easier? Exercise is a big one. I love getting out to run, rollerblade, or ride bike with only my music to listen to. Reading is very soothing as well. 

Where do you get your news? BBC is my main news site now that CNN's new web page is so ugly and not user friendly. Though a lot of the times I just click links people tweet.

What are your favorite social media apps? Twitter by far because it's my favorite form of social media. Tumblr is nice too, but the ap itself needs some work, particularly with the tagging system.

How do you blog? I typically blog early in the morning before I go to work, or in the evenings after I've put my little one to bed. I always schedule my blog posts for 6:30am, because that's around the time I get to my office and I can just tweet them out before I start working. 

What is your day job? I work in a rehabilitation facility for teenagers. 

Review: Trainwreck

"Monogamy is not realistic."

Amy (Amy Schumer) is completely content on only having one night stands. Sure, she's sort of seeing Steven (John Cena. No seriously, John Cena) on the side, but that crashes and burns. Amy writes for a magazine and her editor, Dianna (Tilda Swinton) tells her to write a story on a sports doctor, Aaron (Bill Hader) who is saving athletes' careers one surgery at a time. The two meet and eventually start dating. 

Amy Schumer is hilarious. She's vulgar in the best way possible, and a director like Judd Apatow is a perfect fit for her. The cast is wonderful. John Cena, a guy I cannot stand in the ring is actually pretty damn funny here. (And since Schumer dated fellow wrestler Dolph Ziggler in real life I can't help but wonder if this was a bit of a dig towards him) Lebron James is another popular athlete that gets a lot of face time here. The always wonderful Brie Larson plays Amy's sister. Ezra Miller plays an intern who takes part in one of the weirdest sex scenes I've ever seen. Tilda Swinton is nearly unrecognizable and so perfectly bitchy. I could go on and on about them.

While Apatow is a good fit for Schumer's humor, unfortunately the final 3rd of the film falls victim to his style. It drags and becomes very cliche. It's frustrating because it's a tick he hasn't seem to shed yet and the film was so strong up until that point. (though thankfully he left his kids out of this one) Still, it's not enough to completely derail the movie and this is easily one of the best comedies released all year. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable quote: "Your dick is huge! It does not end. It's like the entire cast of Game of Thrones. Have you had sex before? Where is she buried?" - Amy (Amy Schumer)

Rambling TV: Thoughts on True Detective, OITNB + more

True Detective.

This was probably my least favorite episode of the series so far, but I have to admit it built interest like nobody's business. I'll get what I didn't like out of the way.

Paul's fight with his mother. Kitsch has been doing a really good job in this series, but this scene reminded me of why I can never fully get behind him as an actor. It was just bad. Plus, who hides 20k cash in a duffel bag in their drunkie mother's house and expects NOTHING to happen to it? Come on...

Too much of Frank and his wife. I get it, they're having marital problems. They're broke but they want a baby, but that's not the interesting part of the story here, they focused on it too much.

Ani's comment about dicks in her sexual harassment group gave me life. I hate that she's stuck logging evidence, but it's interesting to see her going back to the missing girl case we saw in the first episode. 

I liked her meet up with Ray, and his "Didn't realize you were on my mind." comment. Get back into the police work, Ray.

Speaking of which, he quit after the shootout and is working for Frank. Remember how we met Ray and we learned he killed his ex wife's rapist? Well, turns out he didn't kill the right guy. Frank set him up, and the final scene of the episode was him confronting Frank about it. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Orange Is The New Black.

That season was massively meh, but it wasn't terrible. I can't tell if Piper is serious about her Walter White schtick. Is she supposed to be this awkward? Or is this really bad acting from Schilling? I just can't tell.

Ruby Rose's character was such a huge deal on Tumblr that I'm kind of disappointed now that I've seen the whole thing. That's it? Will she be back next season? Since she's going to Max, they better at least show Nicky there. It's criminal they didn't to begin with.

I was worried Soso was going to kill herself, and I'm glad she didn't. I feel like I can relate to Soso. If I were in prison, I'd probably be really depressed with no friends either, so I wanted something good to happen to her. I hope she and Poussey are happy.

Alex's cliffhanger seems kind of silly because I doubt anything bad happens to her.

I am relieved Boo and Tiffany didn't go through with their dragon tattoo plan, because ewww.

I want to kill Aleida for telling Pornstache's mom that Daya's baby died. I fucking HATE her. 

That lake scene went on wayyyyyy too long. Especially the part with Crazy Eyes and her fan throwing the turtle? What the fuck was that?

I'm not looking forward to more prisoners, to be honest.

19 Kids and Counting FINALLY got cancelled! I'm assuming it took them so long to announce because TLC's lawyers were going over their contracts with a fine toothed comb. You know Jim Boob would be the one to sue. The Duggars are fame hungry, so they won't disappear. I'm sure we'll get plenty of snark worthy facebook posts, youtube videos, and probably political runs. I'm hoping Josh Duggar also gets a civil suit against him because he's an untreated pedophile who just had another daughter born this week. 

One problem I do have, TLC is doing a one hour documentary on sex abuse and they plan to include Jill and Jessa. Unless they're going to be an example of what not to do, I don't want to see them there. All Jessa and Jill did was minimize sexual assault. They felt they were worthy enough to speak with other victims as being "totally okay" with being molested. Then they argue that their brother wasn't a pedophile (but still refer to themselves as victims) They're too brainwashed. They have never had an original thought in their lives. They need to be away from the Christian Patriarchy movement long enough to reflect on the fact that they have been seriously stunted and taken advantage of. Then whatever they will say will be useful. All they can offer now is to essentially keep sweet and help hide abuse, which is what Gothardism is kind of about. 

It's probably just going to be clips from their Fox News interview. Jill's too busy being a professional grifter/harasser in Central America anyways.  

Review: Ant-Man

Be the person they think you are.

Scott (Paul Rudd) has recently gotten out of jail for grand larceny and it determined to set himself straight so that he can spend time with his young daughter. He finds it hard to get a job with his record and reluctantly takes a job offer from his friend, Luis (Michael Peña) to help rob a rich man's mansion. That rich man ends up being Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and it turns out he lets Scott break in. He wants his talents specifically to become the Ant-Man and steal back some tech Pym hid from the world, only for his former protege Daren Cross (Corey Stoll) to dig up and try to perfect for himself. 

Not surprisingly, the best parts of Ant-Man are the references made to the Avengers. Another Peggy Carter cameo, an "old storage shed" turning out to be the Avengers' new headquarters, a brief fight with The Falcon himself. Rudd is a very charismatic lead, but he's almost overshadowed by the awesomeness that is Michael Peña. While those two are high points on the acting front, Stoll and Evangeline Lilly are the lows. Stoll doesn't elevate Cross above anything other than a cartoony villain, and Lilly seems to be there only go between smirking and resting bitch face.

Still, while Ant-Man might not be the best super hero movie out there, it does well enough differentiating itself. The climax has a lot less destruction than other Marvel films, which is a bit of a welcomed change. Plus, you get to see Avon Barksdale as a cop, and there's a hell of a tease for Civil War after the credits.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "They had this Rosé that totally won me over." - Luis (Michael Peña)

Moment Brittani almost killed someone: Remember when I saw Wild and I complained about the couple I was sitting next to that kept saying "She's going to get raped. Right here, this is where it happens." etc etc? Well, I'm about 80% sure I sat next to this obnoxious assholes AGAIN. The lady gave me a weird look when I sat down, I figured it's because my assigned seat was right next to theirs and the theater wasn't full yet. (Yes, this particular theater here make you pick your seat when you buy your ticket) When the movie starts, they both kept talking to each other. The guy actually got up to answer a call, and when he came back, detailed his entire call to his wife WHILE the movie was playing. And they laughed SO loudly at the dumbest jokes. Just like the last time. 

2015 Emmy Nominations + my thoughts

The 2015 Emmy nominations were announced Thursday. While I knew the wonderful Melissa McBride and Andrew Lincoln would get snubbed because they happen to be acting on a show called The Walking Dead, I was pleasantly surprised by a lot of the nominations. (Except for the part where the weakest Game of Thrones episodes got the directing/writing nominations) Here are the major acting and series nominations, my thoughts as always follow in green

Outstanding Comedy Series
Modern Family
Parks and Recreation
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
This is exactly how I expected this category to look. Veep and Louie are my favorites.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Lily Tomlin - Grace and Frankie
Amy Schumer - Inside Amy Schumer
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler - Parks and Recreation
Lisa Kudrow - The Comeback
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep
AMY SCHUMER! God I love that. Same with Poehler and Louis-Dreyfus. Also what the fuck is Grace and Frankie?

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson - Black-ish
Matt LeBlanc - Episodes
Don Cheadle - House of Lies
Louis C.K. - Louie
William H. Macy - Shameless
Will Forte - The Last Man on Earth
Jeffrey Tambor - Transparent
I'm glad to see Forte in here. Last Man on Earth is stupid, but it's hilarious. It's always nice to see Louis CK and Cheadle in there too. And NO Jim Parsons. That's actually kind of a nice surprise, despite liking him.

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Niecy Nash - Getting On
Julie Bowen - Modern Family
Allison Janney - Mom
Kate McKinnon - Saturday Night Live
Mayim Bialik - The Big Bang Theory
Gaby Hoffman - Transparent
Jane Krakowski - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Anna Chlumsky - Veep
Why on Earth is Mayim Bialik getting Emmy nominations for playing the most inconsistent character alive? Amy is part of the reason I stopped watching The Big Bang Theory.

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy
Andre Braugher - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Adam Driver - Girls
Keegan-Michael Key - Key & Peele
Ty Burrel - Modern Family
Titus Burgess- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tony Hale - Veep
Seeing Keegan Michael Key here is a huge surprise, but a nice one. I love seeing Tony Hale here, but I wish some of the other Veep actors would get some love as well.

Outstanding Drama Series
Better Call Saul
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men
Orange Is the New Black
It's nice to see a freshman series like Better Call Saul here. Everyone else is the usual suspects. This is Downton Abbey's last season? Right? They bore me.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Claire Danes - Homeland
Viola Davis - How to Get Away with Murder
Taraji P. Henson - Empire
Tatiana Maslany -Orphan Black
Elisabeth Moss - Mad Men
Robin Wright - House of Cards
I don't even watch Orphan Black and I'm happy for Tatiana Maslany. Her fans have been rooting for this for ages. It's nice to see them rewarded.

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Kyle Chandler - Bloodline
Jeff Daniels - The Newsroom
Jon Hamm - Mad Men
Bob Odenkirk - Better Call Saul
Liev Schrieber - Ray Donovon
Kevin Spacey - House of Cards
The biggest question here is will Jon Hamm finally win? He doesn't have Bryan Cranston to compete with anymore. 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Joanne Froggatt - Downton Abbey
Lena Headey - Game of Thrones
Emilia Clarke - Game of Thrones
Christina Hendricks - Mad Men
Uzo Aduba - Orange Is the New Black
Christine Baranski - The Good Wife
Emilia Clarke being here is a joke. If they were going to pick someone from Game of Thrones, they should've went with Sophie Turner who is consistently better. I swear the Emmys have Khaleesi syndrom (which equals ERRRMAHGAWN KHALEEEEESII! #overhype) Melissa McBride should really be recognized for The Walking Dead, but that show's shit writing will always be working against any acting nom. It sucks. Also another gripe - Comedy had ties, why can't they tie for drama?

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jonathan Banks - Better Call Saul
Ben Mendelsohn - Bloodline
Jim Carter - Downton Abbey
Peter Dinklage - Game of Thrones
Michael Kelly - House of Cards
Alan Cumming - The Good Wife
While I love Dinklage and think he's great, I feel like he's only being nominated because he's Peter Dinklage. Kit Harington, Iain Glen, and Alfie Allen had stronger seasons this year than he did. 

Outstanding Mini Series
American Crime
American Horror Story: Freak Show
The Honorable Woman
Olive Kitteridge
Wolf Hall

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Mini Series or Movie
Felicity Huffman - American Crime
Jessica Lange - American Horror Story: Freak Show
Queen Latifah, Bessie
Frances McDormand - Olive Kitteridge
Emma Thompson - Mrs. Lovett
Maggie Gyllenhaal - The Honorable Woman

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Mini Series or a Movie
Timothy Hutton - American Crime
Ricky Gervais - Derek Special
Adrien Brody - Houdini
David Oyelowo - Nightingale
Richard Jenkins - Olive Kitteridge
Mark Rylance - Wolf Hall

Outstanding Reality Show Competition
The Amazing Race
Dancing with the Stars
Project Runway
So You Think You Can Dance
Top Chef
The Voice

Outstanding Reality Show Host
Tom Bergeron - Dancing with the Stars
Jane Lynch - Hollywood Game Night
Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn - Project Runway
Cat Deeley - So You Think You Can Dance
Anthony Bourdain - The Taste
Wake me up when they nominate Ru Paul

Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Series
The Colbert Report
The Daily Show
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Late Show with David Letterman
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
Drunk History
Inside Amy Schumer
Key & Peele
Saturday Night Live
I seriously love all of this.

Outstanding TV Movie
Agatha Christie’s Poirot — Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case
Grace of Monaco
Hello Ladies: The Movie
Killing Jesus

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
Margo Martindale - The Americans
Diana Rigg - Game of Thrones
Rachel Brosnahan - House of Cards
Cicely Tyson - How to Get Away with Murder
Allison Janney - Masters of Sex
Khandi Alexander - Scandal
Go Diana Rigg!

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Alan Alda - The Blacklist
Michael J. Fox - The Good Wife
F. Murray Abraham - Homeland
Reg E. Cathey - House of Cards
Beau Bridges - Masters of Sex
Pablo Schreiber -Orange Is the New Black
Fucking Pornstache. LOL

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series
Christine Baranski - The Big Bang Theory
Gaby Hoffman - Girls
Pamela Adlon - Louie
Elizabeth Banks - Modern Family
Joan Cusack - Shameless
Tina Fey - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
The Emmys love Tina Fey

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
Mel Brooks, The Comedians
Paul Giamatti - Inside Amy Schumer
Bill Hader - Saturday Night Live
Louis C.K. - Saturday Night Live
Bradley Whitford - Transparent
Jon Hamm - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
You really should look up Giamatti's performance on Inside Amy Schumer because it's hysterical. 

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a  Mini Series or Movie
Regina King - American Crime
Sarah Paulson - American Horror Story: Freak Show
Angela Bassett - American Horror Story: Freak Show
Kathy Bates - American Horror Story: Freak Show
Mo’Nique - Bessie
Zoe Kazan - Olive Kitteridge
Mo'Nique making a come back! I love Zoe Kazan, so I'm glad she's getting some love. 

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Mini Series or Movie
Richard Cabral  American Crime
Denis O’Hare  American Horror Story: Freak Show
Finn Wittrock  American Horror Story: Freak Show
Michael Kenneth Williams - Bessie
Bill Murray - Olive Kitteridge
Damian Lewis - Wolf Hall
Maybe I should see Bessie. I love Michael Kenneth Williams, and it's about time he got an Emmy nomination. He already should've gotten some with The Wire and Boardwalk Empire

Outstanding Variety Special
BIll Maher: Live from D.C.
Louis C.K.: Live at the Comedy Store
Mel Brooks Live at the Geffen
The Saturday Night Live 40th Anniverary Special
Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek LIVE! 

Indie Gems: Sweet Sixteen

Hope you like cursing.

Liam (Martin Compston) is a 15 year old boy from a rough part of town. His mother (Michelle Coulter) is in prison because she took the fall for her asshole boyfriend, Stan. (Gary McCormack) Liam lives with his sister Chantelle (Annmarie Fulton) who isn't nearly as forgiving to their mother. He wants to buy a place for he and his mother when she gets out so that she can get away from Stan, unfortunately Liam's upbringing pretty much ensures that any means of cash flow won't be legal.

This film feels very authentic, and that's partly why I brought up the cursing. There's a lot of swearing in this movie. Almost every other word coming out of someone's mouth at any given time has a swear word in it. Yet, it worked and it wasn't distracting. (Think Rob Zombie's movies, for example, and how ridiculous all of the dialogue sounds) These actors could all be randoms found on the streets of Scotland for all we know, they feel honest and true.

Compston is magnificent. He fits the role of Liam so well and really delivers a stellar performance. He carries the film. Sure, some of it is pretty standard. Asshole boyfriend, stupid mother, etc, but it worked as a whole.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "If not Stan, then someone else, and someone else, and someone else." - Chantelle (Annmarie Fulton)

Thursday Movie Picks: Science Fiction Movies

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is Science Fiction movies. The kicker is, they cannot include space or aliens. So there goes 95% of what you know about sci fi, right? Here are three of my favorite sci fis that do not involve either of these things. 

1) The One I Love

This little gem I cannot stop raving about. It's one of those films that you would not expect to be sci fi at first glance, but it is and it's wonderful. I know some interpreted this as having aliens, I didn't. 

2) Never Let Me Go

I practically forced my friend to see this with me by telling him "It's a sci fi movie, don't worry!" He loved it, so I succeeded there. It looks like a simple period piece/probable love story on the surface, but it's kind of twisted when you think about it. 

3) Sound of my Voice

Creepy cults with a person that says they're from the future? This movie stars the fantastic Brit Marling and I just love it so much. Plus that ending may or may not throw out your entire perception of the movie. 

Review: Minions

 Yeah, popular cartoon side characters!

The break out stars of the (in my opinion) ridiculously overrated Despicable Me now have their own origin story. After a little lesson in Minion evolution, and many "bosses" of theirs crashing and burning, three Minions, Kevin, Stuart, and Bob set off to find the baddest villain of them all to follow. The end up in Orlando, FL at a "VillainCon" and set their sights on Scarlett Overkill. (voiced by Sandra Bullock) She wants them to steal the Queen of England's crown for her, but of course things don't go as she planned.

Like last years Penguins of Madagascar, the side characters popularity has grown enough to warrant its own film. I'd say they're on par with each others. (Penguins eventually grew on me since my kid has made me watch it with him 1000 times) There were a few good laughs throughout. I have to give the filmmakers credit, it's ballsy to make the lead characters in a kids movie speak a combination of Spanish/French/English/Gibberish. The film relies heavily on slap stick because of that.

I feel a bit redundant because I've given the same grade to the last few kids movies I've watched, but I haven't been wowed by any animated film since HTTYD2. (Though I did throw Song of the Sea in my Netflix queue and I'm looking forward to that) Minions is just okay. Amusing enough for the adults, and my kid at least enjoyed it. He wasn't on the verge of tears like he was all throughout Inside Out

Recommended: Why not?

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "King Bob!!!!" - Bob. 

2015 Blind Spot Series: Misery

Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is an author famous for writing a series about a girl named Misery. He decides to kill her off in the final novel so that he can move on to other things. His car skids off the road in a snow storm and he's saved by Annie (Kathy Bates) a nurse who patches him up and calls herself is "number one fan." But whens he gets her hands on his final Misery book, she keeps him captive and forces him to re-write it so that Misery doesn't die.

It's really sad how long it's taken me to watch this film. I always got the references when people made Annie Wilkes jokes about super fans, but it's nice to finally watch the whole thing. Aside from the performances, especially Kathy Bates, she was wonderful here, I loved the score. I loved how it was sweet, almost music box like when we first meet Annie, then it gets harsher every time she does something crazy.

The suspense is excellent and the film ages well. I never did read the book, though I might have to some day to compare.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "Virginia, when you're in this car you're not my wife, you're my deputy." - Buster (Richard Farnsworth)

Take part in the Blind Spot Series

Rambling TV: Thoughts on True Detective, 7 Days in Hell + more

I skipped last week because the only new thing I watched was True Detective, so I'll be talking about both episodes here:

True Detective

Last week's episode started off a bit slow, but towards the end we get to know a bit more about Paul and what's eating at him. This week, it turns out everyone's suspicions that he was closeted were spot on. He had a one night stand with his old friend, but now his girlfriend is pregnant, and he responds with the worst thing ever to a surprise pregnancy: "We should get married."

Ani found an interesting link between her case and the cult she belonged to as a child. Then she get slapped with probation for dating (fucking) a male colleague. She tells her boss "This wouldn't be happening if I were a man." Truth.

Ray actually has his shit together, he's not drinking as much, Frank even commented on it. 

Frank, after pulling a dude's teeth out last week is now back in the shady drug business.

Let's talk about that shoot out. Holy. Shit. That was intense. It had a typical plot device - all the other cops die except the main three, but I don't even care. That was so tense and was shot beautifully. I like that it was almost a near opposite of the long shot last season, this one had many cuts but was still brilliant.

It felt so real, especially the last scene of Ani, Ray, and Paul. They look defeated and you can see the "fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuccccccccccccckkkkkkkkk" on their faces.

Orange is the New Black

Crazy Eyes writing her smutty story is hilarious. "Can you live off only cum for a year?" LOL

Piper's panty speech was glorious. I'm glad that distracted me for a little bit considering what a train wreck her character is. I think it seems out of character for Piper to all of a sudden want to start this enterprise. She's on the down end of her sentence. I'm assuming this is just a plot device to get her more time.

Pennsatucky's donut speech rivaled Piper's, but fuck where it ended was depressing. We all figured Tiffany's life sucked prior to prison, but ending on that horrible rape scene. That was awful. I hope someone cuts that guy's dick off.

I do love this Alex and Lolly story though. Alex I can usually take or leave, but I'd rather see her than Piper at this point.

Where the fuck are Nicky and Bennett? You'd think they would've followed up by now.

I have 3 episodes left.

7 Days in Hell
That's the queen, by the way.

God this was perfectly stupid. I was a little surprised how short it was. It was only 45 minutes long. But it was packed with perfect randomness and SO much male nudity. I can appreciate that. 

There's also this wonderful thing Andy Samberg said when asked about the male nudity in it.

“I would be lying if I said it was not intentional. It was very intentional. We talked about it and, a) we thought it was really funny, just because people are so squeamish about that. Hilarious in itself. Also, just because we were on HBO and there’s so much “reverse cowgirl,” as I like to put it, on HBO. Last time I checked, that is not as popular a position as HBO might have you believe. So yeah, we just thought it was hilarious to turn it on its head. We’re childish. We think wangs are funny.”

I ship Matt and Claire. That's normal, right? Look how hot they are

Indie Gems: Rhinoceres Eyes

Seems legit.

Chep (Michael Pitt) is a socially awkward man living and working in a prop house. The owner, Bundy (Matt Servitto) took him in long ago, and often tries (and fails) to get him out to socialize. He's obviously suffering from some sort of mental illness, and though his co-workers mean and treat him well, they just dismiss it as "stupid." One day, a production coordinator, Fran (Paige Turco) comes in looking for a very specific prop. After Chep secures it for her, she takes advantage of Chep by asking for stranger things. He thinks this means they're in love.

I'm a big Michael Pitt fan, and I've been trying to make my way through his older filmography. This is one of the strangest movies I've ever seen. It's almost like being in a strange carnival house for 90 minutes. Added on to that is the fact that Chep hallucinates some of them moving around, talking to him, all done in a creepy stop motion style.

Pitt is perfect as Chep. It's very different from the other roles he has taken on. The fun house type production fits the tone. It gets weird, but it's supposed to be, and it works.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Buck nutty. Like running amok with an ax or some shit" - Bundy (Matt Servitto)

Thursday Movie Picks: Road Trip Movies

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is road trip movies! And no, I'm not actually picking the movie called Road Trip. Here are my favorites. 

1) Little Miss Sunshine

I'm not even going to try to be original with my first pick. I love Little Miss Sunshine and I expect it to be on everyone's list. But how could it not be? It's so perfect for this theme.

2) The Go-Getter

This movie is an indie darling's dream: It has Lou Taylor Pucci, Jena Malone, and Zooey Deschanel in it. It's very charming and original.

3) Into the Wild

Oh Emile Hirsch. Before you were choking out women you were an actor I really enjoyed, particularly in this film about a doomed escape that certainly counts as a road trip, IMO. 

Bonus: Zombieland