Indie Gems: Departures

Well, that's not what I signed up for.

Daigo (Masahiro Motoki) recently lost his job as a cellist in an orchestra when they go out of business. He decides to move back to his home town with his wife, Mika. (RyƓko Hirosue) He sees an advertisement for a job involving "Departures" He thinks it's a travel agency, but soon finds out it's actually someone who prepares dead bodies for their burials. Though he's cautious at first, he ends up taking a lot of pride in this job.

The film gets off to a bit of a slow start, but when it gets going it's nothing short of amazing. Motoki is perfect here. He's very charismatic and it's a joy to watch his journey. His chemistry with Hirosue is spot on as well. The supporting cast of Tsutomu Yamazaki and Kimiko Yo are excellent as well.

The score and cinematography are equally beautiful. It's easy to see why this film won the Best Foreign Film Oscar. 

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "...you mean dead bodies?" Daigo (Masahiro Motoki)

Thursday Movie Picks: Mother/Son Relationships

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is mother/son relationships. They have to be biologically related. Out of all the other "All in the Family Editions" I had a hell of a time thinking of movies for this one. No idea why, but here's what I came up with.

1) I Killed My Mother

This is a very intense character study on mother and son here. It was the first one that came to mind.

2) Looper

There's a lot of things going on in this movie, but the relationship between Cid and Sarah, and what would eventually happen with it is what moved the entire story. And little Pierce Gagnon was so good. 

3) We Need To Talk About Kevin

I read this book right after I had my own son, and he got extra kisses every day. Is it possible to have a more complicated relationship between mother and son than Eva and Kevin did here? For everyone else's sake, I hope not. I mean, look what he's doing in that gif! 

DVD Review: Top Five

Tupac. Biggie. Eminem. Nas. Jay-Z...Ludacris at 6 (seriously)

Andre Allen (Chris Rock) is a former comedian and huge franchise star that is desperate to be taken seriously. He has a controversial new drama out that no one seems to care about. They only care about his impending marriage to a reality TV star, Erica. (Gabriella Union) Andre spends a day walking around New York City with journalist Chelsea (Rosario Dawson) who's trying to get a good story.

I've always been a fan of Chris Rock, especially his stand up. His movies might not always be for me, but this one was surprisingly funny There's a lot of cameos from other great comedians as well. Rock doesn't miss a beat and Dawson is perfect for the part she's playing.

It does tread into typical waters towards the end, but the humor makes it enjoyable. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "He said 'I wouldn't see his movie if it were playing on my glasses.'" - Andre (Chris Rock) 

Movie Roulette Blogathon


The beautiful Mettel Ray is hosting another blogathon. This one is interesting. So interesting that at first I wasn't sure how to exactly play. It kind of blew my mind.

You'll need to head on over to her blog for the full experience, but here are the rules:

. There are 25 facts, you have to pick 5 or more and for each, you drag out a movie as an answer!

*Click on the gif, hold it and drag out a single movie*

2. You can only drag out one movie for each statement, no do overs, guys!

*If you haven’t seen the movie (or can’t recognize it) you can pick again.

*If you pull out a movie you already dragged out, you can try again until you get a different one.

3. Write down your answers and feel free to comment whether they make sense or not.

4. Link back to this announcement, and link to the Movie Roulette Ultimate Gif Set as well!

*The gif set does have some movie title glitches, apologizes!

5. Last but not least, have fun!


I chose random numbers without reading what they were first. So here is what I got:

#3 This movie inspired me as a teenager
Gremlins - This is kind of hilarious. I watch this movie at Christmas time every year, and I actually had a record of this movie. (Yes, a record talking about the film) I loved it. I'm not sure if it inspired me, but it was a staple in my life as a kid.

#6 I always wanted to punch this movie’s main character in the face.
Back to the Future - Fuck you, Marty.

#12  The lead actor of this movie is my future husband/wife.
Sin City - Technically there's a lot of leads in this film, but I'll take Clive Owen and Bruce Willis, as my husbands, please. Jamie King as my wife too. You can keep Mickey Rourke

#13 This movie is about my relationship with my best friend.
White Chicks - HAHAHAHAHAHA oh my God, This movie so describes my relationship with my best friends. We quote this movie often. I get "OMG, Brittani.." all the time. 

#16 This movie makes me so emotional I even cried while watching it.
National Treasure - I cry tears of boredom because my husband loves this movie and I think it fucking sucks. 

#21 I accidentally watched a porn version of this movie and I liked it.


Maleficent - What would the porn version of this movie even be called? "Horny?" "Male-fuck-ent?" Is it revenge porn where Maleficent and Steffan have sex, then she kills him for being an uber douche? Because I'd watch that. 

#25 This is my ultimate favorite movie in the entire world, I want to marry this movie!
Bruno - You know the phrase "If you love something, let it go?" I let this movie go. I do not remember a damn thing from it. 

Thanks for hosting, Mettel! 

DVD Review: The Fault in our Stars

Okay?

Hazel (Shailene Woodley) has terminal thyroid cancer and is very uninterested in attending a support group her parents are forcing her to go to. But there she meets Augustus (Ansel Elgort) who lost his leg to cancer. He brings some much needed positivity into her life, and they form a tight bond, particularly over Hazel's favorite book.

I never read the book, and I didn't have any interest in seeing this movie, but when it came on HBO one night, I figured "why not?" It actually was pretty decent. I thought Woodley was very good, as she usually is when given the right material. Elgort played Gus well, but as an actor, he's kind of terrible. His lack of talent showed, but it didn't ruin the film. 

I was kind of expecting it to be a huge tearfest like My Sister's Keeper. But it wasn't. It showed the horrors of cancer, but still managed to be pretty uplifting. I wish there was more Sam Trammell though.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "No, I just want to cry and play video games." - Isaac (Nat Wollf)

Rambling TV: Thoughts on the Duggar Scandal + Non-depressing Shows.

Let's get the rant out of the way first.

19 Kids and Counting.
You've probably heard about this show in the news this week and I wanted to touch up on that since I make fun of the Duggars so much. Now maybe people who don't know about their cult will see why they are not good people. 

There's been rumors online for years that the oldest son, Josh molested someone. It was known as "sin in the camp" and many thought it had to do with a daughter of a senator that Jim Bob knew. There was also a rumor about a failed Oprah show where she brought up an accusation that Josh molested his sisters. Even less people believed that one over the first. Well, it turns out both are true. Here's the statement from People. and Here's the full police report from In Touch. Here's a quick timeline of events from Crushable.

Josh, or Smugger as I typically call him did molest five girls, and the police report gave away that four of them were his own sisters. If you follow the show it's kind of easy to narrow down who three of them are at least. It's disgusting. In the People article, Josh said he and his victims were given counseling, however when you read the police report, this counselling was basically JB and Michelle sending Josh to a construction worker friend who is not a licensed therapist. So he got mentored and did a bit of manual labor. Nice.

That People statement also has the audacity to focus on how it ruined Josh's life and barely says a thing about the victims' whose lives HE ruined and who were forced to live with him after all of this. And knowing the cult the Duggars are in, they probably made the girls to feel like it was something THEY did wrong. They teach girls that it's up to them to cover their bodies because men can't control their urges. Then Jim Bob ended that article with "as people watch our lives, know we are not perfect." He fucking shilled his own show. 

Now they've succeeded in getting the records expunged. Though what good will that do? The internet is forever. Plus, that court document basically flat out confirms which one of the girls is filing it. 

The sad thing about all of this, it isn't uncommon in the Gothard-cult world. Jim Bob and Michelle knew this was going on, and waited years to tell anyone. And when they did, they took him to a police officer who was a family friend, for a "stern talking to" and no report filed. That friend, by the way, is serving a 56 year sentence in jail for child pornography. I think I know why JB took him to this particular person now. When someone actually brought this to light, and notified Oprah's people at Harpo studios prior to the show taping, the statute of limitations ran out. Then they got him to court a girl whose parents do prison ministry and are big on forgiving people. 

Some say Josh is just a product of the fucked up environment he lives in. Where there is so much focus on sex and making babies, yet they are not allowed to do the number one thing that relieves sexual frustration. (masturbation) The girls are forced to dress "modestly" to stop desires of men because patriarchy. No front hugs or visible shoulders between siblings. Now we know why. I agree his environment warps his vision, but not enough to take blame away from him. A 14 year old knows not to fondle his young, sleeping sisters. A 14 year old knows not to molest his FOUR year old sister as he reads her a story. Another thing, one of the kids in that police report referred to the vagina as a "pee pee holder." That's a problem.

So fuck you, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. Michelle, you had the audacity to record a robo call telling people that transgender men and women will molest your children if they get to use the same public restrooms, yet your own fucking son molested your daughters. They continued to live together, and you sent them frequently to Washington D.C (where Smugger lives) to practically nanny for their molester. (And if you're interested in hearing what their cult says about sex abuse, Gawker has that covered for you.)

Fuck you Josh, for ruining people's lives. You worked for a hate group trying to take rights away from LGBT and women, yet look what you did? You say they are not fit to have children. You are not fit to be around your own siblings. 

I feel so terribly for his victims. I already felt bad for most of them for being stuck in this cult in the first place, but now it's even worse. Now the way some of the carry themselves makes even more sense. Look what they had to live with? I'm glad Oprah and her people did the right thing by turning these fucks over. It's too bad it didn't happen sooner. Also why does sex abuse have a statute of limitations? the fuck?

Also God damn, they beat their children with rods too? That was also in the police report.

And now so this week's Rambling TV isn't a complete downer:

Game of Thrones

Winterfell: Poor Sansa is getting the Jeyne Poole treatment. Locked in her room, bruised. She gives Theon the candle to go to the tower, and I held my breath the entire time he was walking up the stairs, and it all dropped when Ramsay was there. I loved Sansa bringing the subtle sass though, mentioning "bastard" to Ramsay a few times. Brienne and Pod need to make a move now, my God.

On the road to Winterfell: Stannis got all lusty after Melisandre, Sati fainted, and Davos told him they're losing men. Melisandre the Twat says they should sacrifice Shireen. Stannis kicks her ass out.

Mereen: Tryion beats a slaver's ass. Jorah kills a bunch of people, and Dany and Tyrion finally meet. That sound you heard was a million show fans coming.

Castle Black: Aemon's death scene was so sad. Talking about Aegon and telling "Gillyflower" to go South. I nearly cried. Gilly gets attacked by two men, Sam stands up to them, though he's beaten. Ghost makes the save. I fucking love Ghost. Then Sam and Gilly make love and Sam says the line of the night: "Oh my!"

Dorne: God, that jail scene was cringe-worthy. Though Tyene is super hot and Bronn has a lovely voice. New Myrcella sucks. 

King's Landing: Olenna bringing the sass, Margaery bringing the sass, Cersei bringing the sass. Tommen even brought some sass (and now I feel bad for being pissed at him last week because he talked about loving Margaery.) King's Landing was on fire tonight. Littlefinger's proposal to Olenna is interesting. Who is the handsome man he has? It can't be Lancel, even though the scene was cut that way. He must have confessed his past sins prior. My mind went to Gendry. Perhaps they're going to use him as proof Tommen is a bastard? Make him lord of Storm's End to rally more troops to the Tyrell's? Who knows. 

Cersei's arrest was perfect. "Look at my face. This is going to be the last thing you see before you die."

Veep
Mike saying "kill me now" before going out to do his job is basically me. I can relate.

Poor Catherine and her ice cream.

Dan x Amy for life.

Tears of a Clown Blogathon

Wendell came up with a wonderful idea for a blogathon and even provided us with the most terrifying banners I have ever seen. He asks us to talk about a comedic actor that took on a serious role. A clown we love that gave us a hell of a dramatic performance. Here are the rules.

1. Create a post about a comedic actor in a non-comedic role. Tell us what are your favorite comedic roles of this performer. More importantly, tell us why you like the dramatic role in question. Be as thorough as you feel you need to be. Convince us it's a great performance.

2. Use one of the banners I have in this post.

3. Include a link back to this post.


4. Leave a link to your post in the comments section below or tweet it to me @w_ott3

You know, there's a lot of comedic actors that give great dramatic performances. Jim Carrey came to mind first. A comedian who I loved as a kid, but now prefer his dramatic turn. I love Will Ferrell in Stranger Than Fiction and Adam Sandler in Spanglish as well, but I wanted to go with one that absolutely blew me away

Mo'Nique in Precious

If you told me a few years ago that Mo'Nique, a comedian who randomly popped up in sitcoms and movies was going to be an Oscar winner. I would've laughed at you. She's tried her hand at drama before (Remember Shadowboxer?) but this one she really nailed. She's terrifying as possibly the worst mother on Earth. The things she does to her daughter are unspeakable, and she does them with the coldest look I've ever seen in her eyes. 

And she threw a fucking TV at her daughter and grand daughter. You don't get much worse than that. 

You never get the sense that Mo'Nique could be funny in Precious. There's absolutely no spark of humor there. She complete shed herself of it and was cold and abusive. She deserved that Oscar for sure.

Indie Gems: Rosewater

You are not alone

Maziar Bahari (Gael Garcia Bernal) is an Iranian-Canadian journalist covering the elections in Iran in 2009. When he goes with his driver he's befriended, Davood (Dimitri Leonidas) to see the more "controversial" sides of the people. He's eventually detained, beaten, and interrogated for over four months in prison by Javadi. (Kim Bodnia)

Sometimes I wonder if I should shy away from doing newer releases as Indie Gems. I go back and forth on this frequently. But Rosewater, though new seems like it was almost forgotten this past year. It's a shame too because it is a fine film.

I've been a fan of Bernal for a long time, and he's great here. This role is very far out of his comfort zone, but he nails it effortlessly. The whole cast really, is perfect. Of course since the film is directed by Jon Stewart, he throws in a bit of humor here and there and it's much welcomed. Otherwise this film would be very bleak. The way it is shot, often with digital phrases or pictures overlapping the scenery looks great. The score is also excellent. (And during one particular scene, it elevates it from "awkward" to "hilarious.")

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "...No. Go on, this could be important information." - Javadi (Kim Bodnia)

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies based on Graphic Novels

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is movies based on graphic novels. The only catch is they cannot be about super heroes. This one was a little tricky, because obviously super heroes immediately come to mind when you think of graphic novels. But here are a few great ones.

1) Sin City

Plenty of the characters in this movie are good fighters, but none of them are superheroes, even though a few would make good ones. This film is absolutely stunning and I never get sick of watching it.

2) Ghost World

Did you know this was based on a graphic novel? That threw me the first time I heard it. Either way, I love this little indie. Johansson and Birch were excellent. 

3) Scott Pilgrim vs The World

To this day, I still don't see how this movie bombed at the box office. I know this one might seem iffy, because the evil exes could be seen as super villains, so just in case this doesn't count...

Bonus: 30 Days of Night. This is one of the best vampire movies out there, and all three graphic novels were great as well.

2015 Blind Spot Series: Primal Fear


What I knew going in: I've seen bits and pieces of it over the years, and I knew Edward Norton gives a great performance.

A hot shot lawyer Martin Vail (Richard Gere) - and we know he's a hot shot because that's literally how he introduces himself to his client picks up a case involving a 19 year old man, Aaron (Edward Norton) who is accused of slaughtering an Archbishop. His former girlfriend, Janet (Laura Linney) ends up as the prosecuting attorney, but Martin starts to believe that his client may actually be innocent of this crime.

The one thing keeping me from watching this movie in the past is Richard Gere. I can't stand the guy, and I thought he was terrible here as well. Still, even though he is our lead, all the other actors around him are so good they drown him out. Norton obviously is brilliant. Laura Linney, Alfre Woodard, Andre Braugher, and Maura Tierney give great performances as well, even though they are small.

I love a good courtroom drama, and this one was very entertaining and the story felt very rich. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "Theeeeerrrrresssssss motive." - Tommy (Andrew Braugher)

Review: Clouds of Sils Maria

There's more than that.

Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) is a actress whose career was launched 20+ years ago in a play where she played a young seductress. Now she's been asked to be a part of the play again, only in the role of the older women her character seduces. She's torn as she feels connected to her previous part. Her assistant Valentine (Kristen Stewart) attempts to get her to see the play in a different light. The part she had previously is now being played by a young wild child actress Jo-Ann Ellis. (Chloe Grace Moretz) 

This film got quite a bit of buzz at Cannes last year, then felt like it dropped off the face of the planet. When I went to the theater to buy my ticket, the guy that sold me it told me the booking people emailed them this movie out of the blue on Friday and told them to play it. They'd never heard of it.  Still, I'm glad it came around and I finally got to see it after hearing so many wonderful things about the performances.

Binoche and Stewart are both spectacular in this film. Binoche was perfect as Maria, trying to let go of the past and embrace this new challenge. Stewart was my favorite as Val, who tries so hard to get Maria to see things her way. Val reminded me of the blogging community a bit. Trying to explain the deeper meaning of a movie while Maria (non cinephiles) stares at her like she's crazy.

The film gets slow in parts, especially between the first and second act. It seems the director wanted to give this a play vibe, but I thought that made the editing look a bit choppy. Still, it's beautifully shot and features excellent performances from its leads.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "The text is like an object, it will change perspective based on where you're standing." - Valentine (Kristen Stewart)


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

Game of Thrones

Kings Landing: Littlefinger tells Cersei about Sansa and tries to pit her against the Boltons. His plan still doesn't make any sense, I'm sorry. He should've stayed in the Vale. I'm glad Olenna is back to throw some shade.

But Tommen, sitting there like a baby back bitch when Margaery got taken away? I almost miss Joffrey.

Jorah and Tyrion's walkabout: I have no idea where they are, but they ran into slavers and Tyrion convinced them to keep him alive to sell him to a "cock merchant" and I nearly died of laughter. There was a beautiful scene between them earlier where Tyrion told Jorah that his father died. Iain Glenn was brilliant.

Dorne: Trystane and Myrcella are the worst, I'm sorry. I don't want this Romeo and Juliet shit. Everything about the was awkward, even more so when she saw Jaime. The fight with the Sand Snakes was decent though, I expected worse. Though now I expect Bronn to die since he was cut. I'm sure the Snakes poison their blades like their father did.

Winterfell: Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww


That's all I can say. That final scene was easily the most disturbing thing I've ever seen on this show. I'm glad they chose to focus on Theon (Alfie Allen was phenomenal) instead of the act itself. I also liked Sansa throwing some shade at Myranda during that bath. 
Agents of SHIELD

Wow, that was a hell of a finale. Whoever choreographed those fight scenes was a genius. 

Bobbi really took a beating in that episode, but I'm glad she's alright.

Mack being a badass gives me life. "I'm the guy that kills Gordon" LOL

And Fitz, "science, biatch!"

It sucks Cal is still alive though, but hopefully since he got the Tahiti treatment we never see him again.

But more importantly WHY does this show hate FitzSimmons and me? Just let them be together! Stop separating them. 

Veep


That thing with Jonah "You all look like me!" was hysterical.

I really thought Amy and Dan were going to have angry sex in that parking garage and I'm a little sad that they didn't.

I love Hugh Laurie. 

Indie Gems: The Sea Inside

Life is a right, not an obligation.

Ramon (Javier Bardem) has been paralyzed from the neck down for the past 28 years. He longs to end his life, however the courts will not allow it without calling it a homicide. He hires a lawyer, Julia (Belen Rueda) who has an ailment herself to represent him. His path also crosses with Rosa (Lola Duenas) a woman who wants him to continue living.

As I'm making my way through the best foreign film Oscar winners, this is another one that's absolutely breathtaking. Bardem is wonderful here. Despite being in the situation he's in, and wanting it all to be over, he spends 90% of this movie smiling. It brings up an interesting subject on whether or not euthanasia should be legal or if "right to die" is valid. It reminds me of that girl that was in the news earlier this year who ended her own life before her terminal cancer could make everything even more painful. I thought of her a lot while watching this.

The movie feels a little longer than it should be at times, but the performances were wonderful and the story itself was very intriguing. My only issue was the character of Rosa. I found her to be very clingy and offputting, even if she somewhat redeems herself at the end.

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "Yes, run. You can do that." - Ramon (Javier Bardem)

Thursday Movie Picks: German Language Films


This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is kind of special to me, and also kind of hard. German is the only other language I speak besides English (though I'm getting quite terrible because I never practice anymore..I should) Yet, I haven't seen nearly as many German films that I've liked as I should. So here are the ones that stick out for me. And before you ask, yes I've seen Lola rennt (Run Lola Run) and I hate it. 

1) Nowhere in Africa

I just love this movie. I started off kind of hating the parents in this film, but they eventually got better and I had the ugliest cry face at the end. Though not all my Four Ways a Best Picture buddies agreed with me.  

2) The Live of Others

This film is just excellent from top to bottom. (Okay, I could've done without that guy forcing himself on the girl in the car scene) but it's is so interesting I couldn't really take my eyes off it. 

3) A Coffee in Berlin

This film was fun, and Berlin is such a gorgeous city when shot in black and white. This was one of my Indie Gems a few weeks ago. I hope more people see it. 

Review: Stockholm, Pennsylvania

Of course this ended up on Lifetime.

Leanne (Saoirse Ronan) was kidnapped from a park when she was four years old. Ben (Jason Isaacs) told her the world had ended and kept her in his basement for 17 years. He renamed her Leia, gave her a different birthday, and teaches her different things. After she's freed (but don't expect an explanation because why the fuck would we want to know that?) she goes back to live with her parents (Cynthia Nixon and David Warshofsky) but has issues adjusting.

If you noticed my sidebar, this is a movie I was really looking forward to this year. It premiered at Sundance, but got lukewarm reviews. I ignored this, because I love Saoirse Ronan and this plot is very interesting. An intense study on Stockholm Syndrome and coming back from that? Count me in. Unfortunately that's not what this film was about. 

I tried to look at this objectively. Is the fact that it premiered on the Lifetime Network clouding my judgement on the film? This is a network that loves movies that show women objectified and empowered at the end of it. This has been the rapey, kidnappy, look at all the bad shit men do to women network for years. They even aired several other kidnapped theme previews during the commercials. One of them for Hannah Anderson, a girl that many think was actually an accomplice over a victim. Did this give me a negative cloud going in?

It didn't need to. The moment Cynthia Nixon came on screen, I can see why Lifetime probably creamed their jeans and threw money at this kidnapping film. She was terrible. Ronan was not, and she tried her hardest to carry this film, but Nixon was over the top and eventually overshadowed everything else. I wanted to learn about Leia, about how she handles life now. About what happened to her while she was gone, the film doesn't answer any of those questions. I tried to justify it to myself. When we read about kids like Shawn Hornbeck or Elizabeth Smart. People wonder what happened to them, but we never know the whole story. It's not our business, but this film didn't share those things because it was private. It's because they didn't think it through. Perhaps it can be forgiven for a first time writer/director. Instead of giving us details she went for a ludicrous twist and shock value ending that was worthy of the Lifetime network, but not of the cinema. It's disappointing. Saorise Ronan and Jason Isaacs deserve better than this.

Recommended: No

Grade: D (Seriously, I'd give it an F if it weren't for Ronan)

Memorable Quote: "What the fuck is this?" - Me. 

Rambling TV: Thoughts on Game of Thrones, and Trashy Reality TV Rants.

Game of Thrones


The Wall - Stannis is still being a grammar nazi. He has a sweet heart to heart with Sam though, and mentions is father. He doesn't call him a massive fuckwad though, to my disappointment. Jon pisses off all of the Night's Watch, and pretty much confirms that Olly will be "for the watching" later on in the show. (book spoiler) Melisandre gets one last eye fuck of Jon for the road.

Winterfell - Myranda is still fucking pointless but the scenes between Ramsay and Roose were golden. I love Roose Bolton. He's a slimy fuck but he's so interesting and watching him troll Ramsay was amazing. Sophie and Alfie were so good in their scenes together. As much as I hate this Sansa in Winterfell plot, I look forward to her scenes with Theon.

Mereen - Barristan is dead, Grey Worm is alive (and taking screen time with Missandei) Dany decides she's too pissed to remember what Barristan said about her father going mad and burning people, so she takes the leaders into the dragon basement and burns one of them. This scene was total fan service, but I loved it. She comes to her senses later.

Valeria - That scenery was gorgeous and the Stone Men were creepy, but I fucking HATE that Jorah is the one with greyscale now. I suppose this kills any lingering thoughts of Jon Connington coming on the show, but this just sucks. 

Veep

At the beginning of the episode I was like "Man, Amy is going to lose her shit." Then she actually lost it and quit?! WTF is this?

Agents of SHIELD
Oh no, Skye's crappy actor parents are BOTH bad. I did NOT see that coming. 

For a post Avengers episode, that was pretty boring and predictable. I hope the finale is better, and I hope both of Skye's parents are dead by the end of it. 

19 Kids and Counting
Jill's birth episode, which was a 2 hour special that only had 10 minutes devoted to the birth, the rest was filler, should've been titled "Everything that is wrong with the Duggars." Actually, I'd be willing to bet the reason it was edited down so much was because People Magazine released Jill's birth story prior to this episode airing and the overwhelming majority of people though Jill acted like an irresponsible idiot. 

The only bright spot from this episode was DerickDillard saying "I think Jill would enjoy a man shower. She'd want to come too." At their baby shower. LOL

But let's get to the wrong: 

Slow motion montages of Jim Boob and J'chelle making out and STILL TALKING ABOUT HAVING THEIR OWN CHILDREN. You're fucking done having babies. Deal with it. They also said over and over that spouses should be first in a marriage. No, your children should be. But you have daughters that raise your children, so I suppose you think this works perfectly.

Blurring Jill's knees during a pedicure. They blurred Michelle's knees when she went water skiing years before. How many men to you know that see knees and think "OMG, I need to go over there and rub my dick all over them." None. Knees are not sexual. (and neither are shoulder blades while we're at it, Duggars)

Now for the actual birth. Jill Duggar's arrogance put her and the life of her baby in danger. She's never been the sharpest tool in the shed, but this did prove that her "midwifery training" (I put that in parentheses because 1) She never completed her training, despite Michelle insinuating that she knows as much as doctors or nurses in this episode) she was training to be a lay midwife, which is not the same as a CNM, and oh, the person who trained her got her teaching license revoked.) didn't do much for her.

She labored at home for 48 hours. The show didn't mention that after her water broke, and she tested positive for group B strep, that she went out for a walk then out to a restaurant. This was all documented on her social media at the time. Then she casually mentions seeing meconium and says "that CAN indicate fetal distress, but it's not always an emergency." Uh, yeah, it's a big deal, Jill. I'm glad she actually went to the hospital at this point. But then it leads me to believe she was either A) dishonest about the time her water broke and/or didn't mention meconium at all or B) TLC is taking advantage of the hospital not being able to comment and staged filming because the Doctor says he will let her labor for a bit longer. Can you think of a doctor who would just "let it progress" if the water was broken 48 hours prior, saw meconium, and was already 2 weeks over?

 24 hours later, she gets an ultrasound and the suddenly the baby is transverse and breech. (which makes me wonder, did they check fetal position when she got there? If she had been truthful and said she was in labor for 48 hrs, they should have to make sure the baby wasn't breech. From my understanding it's very rare in first time birth for a baby to flip after being in the birth canal like that) C section time. (complete with J'chelle peeking over the curtain at every chance she can get)

All of this is so shoddy and I don't care if I'm being too hard on them.  What the actual fuck? Then the end of the episode Derick says "can we have another?" to Jill as they show off their 4 day old infant to her gigantic germ filled family. UGGGHHHHHHHH




Indie Gems: Middle of Nowhere

We're in some middle place.

When Derek (Omari Hardwick) is sentenced to eight years in prison, his wife Ruby (Emayatzy Corinealdi) puts her dreams of medical school on hold. She works long hours as a nurse. She has a somewhat strained relationship with her mother (Lorraine Toussaint) and shaky one with her sister. (Edwina Findley Dickinson) When things get harder, she begins to questions if waiting for Derek is really the best option.

I first heard of this movie on Candice's blog what feels like several years ago now. I immediately saved it in my Netflix queue, and I waited. And waited. And waited. And now after all this time, I finally got a hold of this DVD. I'm happy to report that this film absolutely met my expectations and was well worth the wait.

The only actors in this film I was really familiar with were Toussaint and David Oweyelo, who are obviously both fantastic. But Corinealdi, she was so good! Ruby is a strong character, yet she has all her emotions bottled up. She's absolutely heartbreaking in some scenes, and I was really rooting for her to find happiness throughout. Hardwick too is intense and perfect for his role. 

This film is lovely and so beautifully shot. It frequently uses dream like sequences and it blends so well with it's reality. 

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "I'm not sure if you like the same kind of movies I do." - Ruby (Emayatzy Corinealdi)

Thursday Movie Picks: Work Place Movies


This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is Work Place Movies! I tried not to go with the obvious pick, which would be Office Space. I think that movie probably comes to 95% of everyone's mind when they hear "work place movies" so I tried to pick something a little different.

1) Up in the Air

A movie about a job that requires you to fire other people from their jobs. This is my favorite Reitman film, and also one of my favorites in general. They might not be in the typical office all day, but the're traveling around, much like the rest of my picks.

2) Thank You For Smoking

Speaking of Reitman, who knew being a tobacco lobbyist could actually look so appealing? I also like how despite the entire film being about smoking, not one person is shown smoking on screen. 

3) The Social Network

You know who I would never want to go into business with? Mark Zuckerberg. Even with his hilarious business cards.

Honorable mentions: Anchorman, Empire Records, Chef. 

DVD Review: John Wick

One man's epic quest for a replacement puppy.

John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a retired hitman whose wife has recently passed away due to an illness. In one last token of love, she sends him a puppy to take care of. Then an asshole naemd Iosef (Alfie Allen) robs Wick, steals his car, then kills his puppy. Now he's pissed. Iosef's father, Viggo (Michael Nyquist) knows all about Wick and attempts to reason with him, but no avail. One does not simply kill another man's puppy.

This movie definitely isn't for me, but a lot of people said it was fun, so I gave it a watch. It was pretty amusing. It also had cameos from actors on several of my favorite TV shows. Game of Thrones, Rescue Me, The Newsroom, The Wire, Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter. That was kind of nice. I'm pretty sure people are continuously shooting for the last 30 minutes. Sad Keanu racks up quite an impressive body count by the end of the film.

For a shoot 'em up movie, maybe John Wick excels. For me, it was just a good enough way to spend a boring Saturday night.

Recommended: If you're bored. 

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "I need to make a dinner reservation for 12." - John Wick (Keanu Reeves)

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

Game of Thrones

King's Landing - Cersei creates a religious army and has them storm brothels and eventually arrest Loras Tyrell. Margaery is pissed of course, and Tommen goes to try to free him, he chickens out because there's no way to do it without violence. She should've went with him. She had enough rage to probably get the job done.

Dorne - Jaime and Bronn head there to smuggle out Jaime's "....niece?" as Bronn puts it. There was this really great moment when they're on the ship that Jaime sees an island he mistakes for Estermont, but the captain tells him it's actually Tarth. He stares at it lovingly for a second thinking of Brienne. Later he says he wants to die in the arms of the woman he loves and I'm going to pretend that's all about Brienne and not Cersei. Later we meet the Sand Snakes, who were not as bad as I expected, but we only saw them briefly. Tyene has the worst wig I've ever seen on this show. Usually they're so believable.

Winterfell - Littlefinger tells Sansa the Harranhall tourney story, then after telling her he's bailing he pervs on her again and kisses her. Stahp. 

Castle Black - We had a beautifully touching moment between Stannis and Shireen that made me go "awwwww" Then later Melisandre tried to seduce Jon Snow. He denied her and was told "you know nothing." 

Meereen - *sighs* After Selmy tells Dany a nice little story about Rhaegar meeting with the people, Dany says he can go out to do just that. (After douche Daario says he can protect the queen himself) Soon the Sons of the Harpy attack Grey Worm and the Unsullied. They kill all the Unsullied except Grey Worm despite them supposedly being the best fighters in the world. Selmy shows up to help Grey Worm. He kills several, as he should, he has a reputation as a master swordsman, but is eventually stabbed himself. The final scene is of he and Grey Worm laying in the streets. UGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH


I love Selmy. It sucks that D&D are killing him off so early. I suppose within the show, it makes sense because there is no Greyjoy army, which is what Selmy is about to deal with in the books. But it still hurts, and now Dany's story is going to be even more boring until Jorah and Tyrion show up.

RIP Barristan the Bold, beautiful cinnamon roll that was too good for this world, too pure.

Agents of SHIELD

So the big Avengers tie in was that they found Loki's scepter and alerted Maria Hill to call on the Avengers. There was also a Sokovia mention (twins!)

FitzSimmons talking about other people being in love again. They need to bone and get it over with.

Cal is such a fucking joke. Someone kill him now. Also Ward, you're still a dick.

19 Kids and Counting
This week in Fundie trainwrecks - J Boob and J'chelle thought they'd profit off their kids once again by filming Josie having a seizure. Of course they weren't home, so head sister mom Jana had to deal with all of this. When previews of this episode first came out, I figured J'chelle wasn't there because she wasn't trying to throw a blanket or something over Miracle because MODEST! (Remember her trying to wrestle a jacket onto this kid because her shoulders were showing?)

Then Michelle had the nerve to say seizures were "One of Josie's glitches." Bitch, you're making it sound like it's her fault she has seizures. Technically it's yours for having 19 fucking children and having a micro-preemie because your uterus couldn't take it anymore. Okay, maybe that's unfair. I don't care.

But one thing that isn't unfair, and is one of the huge problems with patriarchy. Jana was shown handling this situation from start to finish. She called 911, she very likely administered medicine, she was watching for vomit, but who does J Boob credit with saving Josie? Scott the director, who was just watching over what Jana was doing. She deserved the credit and got none because vagina. 

On a lighter note, I laughed pretty hard when the older girls were trying to say they like sharing a room with their younger sisters. No woman in their 20's wants to share a room with their 5,6,and 7 year old sisters. Until recently, some even had to share beds. Fuck that. 

Veep
The best part of this episode was Gary and Mike dropping a bunch of mini bottles of liquor in an Iranian airport. And last week when I felt bad for Dan, now I feel bad for Amy.