Thursday Movie Picks: High School Reunions

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is movies with high school reunions. I've never been to one and I'm not sure that I even care enough to attend mine when it happens. I hated high school that much. In fact, I'm having a hard time coming up with movies this week too. I haven't seen the big ones like Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion and Peggy Sue Got Married. Here's what I got: 

1) American Reunion

This movie had its problems but it managed to be far better than American Wedding and did a great job at capturing the nostalgia of the first two American Pie movies. I especially like the use of songs from the original. MILF for life...

2) Zack and Miri Make a Porno

I actually didn't care for this movie much at all, but the high school reunion scene, the one that gives Zack and Miri their bright idea was one of the highlights. 

3) Just Friends

Okay, so this wasn't technically a "high school" reunion, but it did involve friends from high school meeting up again. Only it was for Christmas. As far as rom coms go, this one wasn't bad. 

DVD Review: Regression

Satanic Panic

Detective Bruce Kenner (Ethan Hawke) is investigating a sex abuse claim by a seventeen year old, Angela (Emma Watson) against her father. (David Dencik) He turns himself in, but he doesn't remember anything. With the help of a psychologist, Kenneth Raines (David Thewlis) they attempt to uncover suppressed memories and soon Angela's story goes beyond a single assault, and turns up satanic rituals.

I was really looking forward to this movie when it was announced. Cults are interesting to me, this sounded up my alley, but I'm also glad I read reviews first to lessen my hype once I saw they were mostly bad.

It's true, this film isn't good. What's frustrating is that it's full of good ideas, but it's poorly executed. It reminded me of an earlier movie this year, The Witch. See, they balanced this slow burn with occasional frightening imagery and pulled it off seamlessly. When Regression attempts to do the same, they completely lose the tone. it's like watching two separate movies. One a police thriller, and the other a bad B movie.

It doesn't help that the acting is truly horrendous. Ethan Hawke, who is normally so reliable completely overreacts at every turn. Emma Watson is wooden as always, but she's actually Goblet of Fire bad here. I didn't think that was possible, but hey, the movie's called Regression. I suppose she can regress back to that time when she was a horrible actress as opposed to a bad one.  I'll give her credit though, her American accent here is much better than it was in Perks of Being a Wallflower.

They got the feel of 90's Satanic Panic down, but not much else. It's truly disappointing.

Recommended: No

Grade: D

Memorable Quote: "I had to have, right?" - John Gray (David Dencik)

Rambling TV: Thoughts on Game of Thrones, Veep, and OITNB

It was the season finale of Game of Thrones and Veep on Sunday, so there goes the bulk of my TV watching. I probably won't write another rambling TV until I pick up a few new shows. But we'll see how it goes.

Game of Thrones

King's Landing - The star of the episode kicked things off in a big way. If you haven't listened to the track Light of the Seven you should. It's one of the best tracks Ramin Djawadi has ever done, and the show incorporated the entire thing. It starts off with Cersei, Margaery, Tommen, and the High Sparrow getting ready for their day. Everyone piles into the sept sans Cersei and Tommen. Loras admits to all his sins and gives himself to the Faith. They carve their symbol in his forehead. Margaery is furious because that wasn't part of her plan. She starts to point out something is wrong because Cersei isn't here, but the HS ignores her. He sends Lancel after Cersei who notices a child running from him beneath the sept. Then he encounters vats of wild fire with a lit candle. It blows up in his face and burns the entire sept, killing everyone inside. Cersei smiles from her balcony and sips wine.

For those keeping track at home, Cersei murdered Lancel, Loras, Margaery, Mace (RIP Tyrells) Kevan, The High Sparrow, and 100+ people.

Oh, and Qyburn's little birds stabbed Grand Maester Pycelle to death.

Then Cersei wine boarded Septon Unella and left her in a torture chamber with Gregor Clegane. 

The Tommen, horrified with all he witnessed from his window throws himself out of it. 

KL ends with Cersei sitting on the Iron Throne like she always wanted. Jaime, who just got back to the city looks on horrified. 

The Twins - Jaime tells Walder Frey that no one fears the Freys, they fear the Lannisters because they came and helped. Then he and his troops leave. Later, a serving girl brings Walder a slice of pie. When he asks where his sons are, she tells him they're in the pie. She removes her face, and it's Arya. She slits Walder's throat after letting him know the last thing he's going to see is a Stark smiling over him. 

I can't help but be extremely disappointed at the way the Red Wedding revenge went down. Lady Stoneheart would've been a better story. The North Remembers subplot from the books with the Manderlys would've been a better story. But no, they gave it all to Arya while asking the audience to suspend their disbelief once again. How is she able to use faces still? How did she managed to kill two men, CARVE them up, and bake them into a pie without anyone noticing? It's frustrating to see one of my favorite characters defy all logic because she's "badass. I hope they improve her next season.

Dorne - Ugh, I know. We had to see them again. Olenna Tyrell told the Sham Snakes to shut up, so that was nice. But then they actually had the nerve to give Doran's famous line to Ellaria. At least Varys finished it. But they're on Dany's side against the Lannisters now.

Winterfell - The direwolves are back in the opening credits! Jon and Sansa have a weak apology about her hiding the Vale army. I thought that would be a bigger deal, but hey, The North Remembers, right? No one is going to want Sansa to rule if she treats people like that. Though she and Jon did have some sweet moments together. Later, Littlefinger tells her he pictures himself on the Iron Throne with her by his side, and he tries to kiss her again, which she refuses. When Lyanna Mormont rallies the Northern lords to name Jon King in the North. LF makes eye contact with Sansa while trying to fuck with her head again. Can this guy die already? 

Earlier in the episode, Davos made Mel confess to Jon about burning Shireen. It was a brilliant moment, and it ended with Mel riding South off to parts unknown. 

Beyond the Wall - Benjen literally lives Bran and Meera without a horse by a weir tree as he goes off to continue fighting for the living. Bran finishes his Tower of Joy vision, which included confirmation of the long running R+L=J theory. Jon isn't really Ned's son. He's the son of his sister Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. We don't get to hear all she whispered to Ned. "Jon" obviously isn't his real name, and we still don't know the real circumstances of her leaving with Rhaegar. I imagine Bran will fill in the blanks next season.

Oldtown - Sam shows up at the Citadel. They have an attended that acts like he works at the DMV. They permit Sam in and he seems their massive library. It looks amazing, and it reminded me of the line Stannis had in season 5 where he said "Keep reading, Samwell Tarly."

Meereen - Dany breaks up with Daario, thank God. She also named Tyrion her Hand of the King which I loved. It was such a beautiful scene. The season ended with Dany and several ships FINALLY sailing to Westeros. Of course we saw the Dragons, but no Direwolves. Dragons ate their CGI budget again.



Veep

Did the new showrunner just shoot this in the foot? I think we all expected Selena to become Tom's Veep again, but instead, Tom lost the election to Montez and now Selena and co are out of jobs. This show works best with them all together in politics. I don't know how it's going to work otherwise. This decision isn't giving me the most confidence going into next season, but I'll watch no matter what. 

Memorable Quotes:
"What am I walking on? "

"... grass, ma'am"

"Your head is so far up Montez's ass, the next time it's Alejandro"s birthday, he's going to come all over your face."

"I need a wallet.  I need to get stamps."

"Nights rated PG squirt-teen"

"I pee sitting down sometimes if it's going to be a long one."

"Kent, can you give a girl a warning before you jam it in the back door?"

Orange is the New Black

I'm on episode 6 now. Nicki is back! I was happy to see her, but sad she's going to go back to using again. That's really depressing. As is Sophia's story, someone needs to let her out of the SHU.

I guess the showrunners don't care that everyone hates their lead because they made Piper even worse by having her accidentally start a white supremacist group and get 3-5 years added on to Maria's sentence. If you remember, she's got the little girl who's dad hates taking her to visit. 

Poussey and So So are my favorite couple on this show. Their relationship has been so sweet. 

Rambling TV is a weekly series where I ramble about the things I've watched on television. Click those gifs to be redirected to their makers. 

Indie Gems: Everyone Else

Alle Anderen

Chris (Lars Eidinger) and Gitti (Birgit Minichmayr) are two Germans visiting Sardinia at Chris' parents vacation home. They're a bit of an oddly matched couple and when they encounter other seemingly happy couples on this trip, they're forced to contemplate whether or not they really are a good match for each other.

This is a very quiet film. Most of the scenes are just with Chris and Gitti trying to find balance between them. Gitti is a free spirit, she's quirky and very humorous. Chris is straight laced and very dedicated to his work as an architect. You kind of wonder how they got together in the first place. I liked how the movie made us see both characters in a positive and negative light before we inevitably started picking sides. Gitti comes on too strong at first, but I ended the film feeling incredibly bad for her as Chris was very condescending. And while he seemed very sweet at the beginning, that eventually changed as it seems he might have developed an allergy to laughter.

The film has some amazing shots and uses music in a very interesting way. Without spoiling anything, it makes sense when you watch it. I enjoy these type of films where they take the time to really examine characters like this. It makes you wonder where they ended up even after the credits roll.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Say it....I hate you." - Gitti (Birgit Minichmayr)

Thursday Movie Picks: School Competitions

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is school competition. You know, those things we take way too seriously as teens. The only restriction is that it can't be a sporting event.  I couldn't really think of movies I loved that were centered around competitions so here's two that are just okay, and one that's a bit of a cop out on my part. 

1) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

 This film had a great ending but missed on so many other levels. Hermione's pink Yule ball dress, Harry and Ron's hair, "HARRY DID YOU PUT YOUR NAME IN THE GOBLET OF FIRE!?!?!??!?!" But hey, it centered around the Tri Wizard tournament, which was a magical competition. This pick stands out from the rest as it actually involves a participant that dies. 

2) Pitch Perfect

When I first saw the trailer for Pitch Perfect, a movie about a college a capella competition, I thought it looked terrible. Turns out, it wasn't that bad. It was actually quite amusing minus Rebel Wilson. She's kind of the worst. 

3) Mean Girls

Here's my cop out. Caty competes in a math competition at the end of the movie. I'm sorry, I tried. I literally could not think of another school competition movie that I liked. I know I can't sit with you today. 

DVD Review: Locke

This commute, man...

Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is a construction manager and a seemingly decent family man with a wife and a son. Only tonight, he's driving two hours away because his mistress is having his baby. Not even a mistress, a one night stand. Ivan has to deal with his job, his angry wife, and his nervous girlfriend.

Movies like this a hard. It's literally just Tom Hardy in a car for 85 minutes talking to people on the phone. We recognize some of those voices, Andrew Scott, Ruth Wilson, but it's Hardy that's tasked with carrying the picture. Luckily he does. This role felt different. I'm used to Tom playing an abrasive asshole or someone that's kind of out there. This was about as grounded as I've ever seen him.

Obviously a film like this has limits. It can't really excel above anything because of the gimmick in place. Luckily we have someone like Hardy guiding us along. Director Steve Knight shoots it as well as he can. I appreciate the experiment. I can't say I had high expectations for this one, but it wasn't bad. At times it was very good, but it just happens to exist and can't be anything more.

Can you tell I'm struggling to write about this?

Recommended: No

Grade: C-

Memorable Quote: "How can I hate you, I don't know you." - Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy)

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


Since this is my first post of the week, I have to talk about Anton Yelchin's tragic death. This guy was a fantastic actor and one I've enjoyed watching since I first saw him in Alpha Dog all those years ago. Watching the new Star Trek movie is going to have an underlying sadness now. RIP.


Game of Thrones

Only two locations to talk about this week, but man did they deliver

Meereen
Dany has had enough of Tyrion's shit. She meets with the three Slavers as they attack Meereen and tells them she's here to accept their surrender, and that her reign is just beginning. Then Drogon flies in, she hops on his back, and Rhaegal and Viserion break out of their tomb and they destroy the slavers ships. Grey Worm gets the honor of killing two of the Slavers himself, including the extra douchey one. Later, Yara and Theon meet with Dany in the throne room and offer their services to her. She accepts.

The dragon CGI was SO much better than Daznak's Pit last year. I wish it would've looked like this the entire time. It's rare that I nerd out over the dragons, I'm more of a direwolf girl, but this was awesome.



Winterfell
Snowbowl begins! Jon, Davos, Tormund, Sansa, and Lyanna Mormont (glaring at Ramsay the whole time) treat with Ramsay and co at the beginning. Ramsay throws Shaggydog's severed head to prove he has Rickon (seriously, they kept that thing?) Sansa says he's going to die tomorrow. Later, she bitches about not being included in the war planning because she's the only one that knows Ramsay, yet she doesn't tell Jon about the Vale army. Had she done that, perhaps more people would be alive. Jon acts rashly later on, but Sansa was even more reckless, in my opinion. I really hated what she did in this episode until the very end.

Ramsay sends Rickon off running towards Jon while shooting arrows, right as Rickon is about to make it, he's shot through the heart and killed. It was a very tense scene and so sad to see the youngest Stark go out like that. The last time Jon saw him, he was just a little boy fetching his arrows, and now one killed him. Jon charges early.

The battle was tremendous. It starts with this glorious long shot of Jon fighting. It looked like something that belonged on the big screen. This deserves every CGI award out there. Words cannot describe it. At the end, when Sansa's secret Vale army makes the save, Jon races after Ramsay in Winterfell and beats the shit out of him. It was so pleasing.

The battle wasn't without it's casualties. Wun Wun died. Tormund went all Rick Grimes on Smalljon Umber which was fantastic. Davos found out about Shireen's death right before it happened. It ends with Sansa watching Ramsay being eaten alive by his hounds. It was a fitting moment, and even though she pissed me off at the beginning of the episode, I'm glad she was there for that. Her walk away from him reminded me of when she walked out of the throne room in King's Landing after she found out she no longer had to marry Joffrey. 

Next week's episode has a lot of ground to cover. I can't wait.

Veep

Did anyone else feel terrible for Mike in this episode? I didn't realize everyone hated him so much. This was different as it was shot through Catherine's documentary. It was an interesting touch. So Tom James is going to be the President. Will Selena be his Veep? I think she will.

Memorable Quotes: 

"That's the least reassuring sentence I've heard since it's okay, it's just the tip." 

"Is it weird going hallway to hallway with your mom's twin?"

"Why would I want to stand next to that twig when I can stand next to you.

"Alabama, first in the alphabet, last in everything else."

The Path
I started watching The Path because I love Aaron Paul and have a fascination with religious cults. Turns out Hulu isn't free anymore. Like at all, even the hulu.com/free wants you to sign up for something. So instead, I'm watching a very filtered version on youtube where the voices are lowered dramatically to get around copyright infringement. Even with all that, it's interesting so far. Hugh Dancy is a creep.

Orange is the New Black
I've watched the first two episodes so far, and saw a massive spoiler later on that's breaking my heart, but I won't talk about it until I get there.

OINTB is always brilliant with their song choices, but hearing Last Resort by Papa Roach as Alex and Lully are literally cutting up the CO that tried to kill Alex last season was priceless. I usually never enjoy Alex, but I loved her in that first episode.

Piper of course is an insufferable bitch. It's interesting to see how far Red has fallen too. Season 1 Red would've had the girl that snores moved out of her bunk, but not anymore. 

Rambling TV is a weekly series where I ramble semi-coherently about the things I watch on television, mostly under the influence of wine. Click those gifs to be redirected to their makers. 

Review: The Lobster

What kind of animal would you be?

In a society where there are no single people allowed, David (Colin Farrell) goes to a hotel where if he doesn't find a partner within 45 days, he will be transformed into an animal of his choosing. He travels with his pet dog, who is actually his brother that didn't make it through. 

The Lobster might be one of the weirdest fucking movies I've ever seen. I love that about it. There's a lot of deadpan, most of the relationships feel cold because of the way the movie flows from scene to scene, and that's okay. The story itself is so interesting. Especially when the characters venture out into the city and you see people being stopped for marriage certificates by the police.

I really liked director Yorgos Lanthimos' other film, Dogtooth. This one also had some quietly shocking images like that did. (Though I personally could've done without the dead dog) It's not without its issues though. Since the film is very irrelevant in a way, as it moves from scene to scene it begins to feel very slow. The pacing suffers drastically in the 2nd half. 

I liked seeing Colin Farrell in this role. This is the type of film where you can't really get dynamic performances from, but they were always interesting, and that's good enough.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "I would later learn that she had no heart." - David (Colin Farrell)

Indie Gems: The We And The I

"You're not supposed to put "fuckin'" in a poem."

It's the last day of school and this is the longest bus ride ever in the Bronx. We see several different groups of students board and sit with their friends. They share their drama, whether it be planing a sweet sixteen party or watching a viral video of another boy slipping and falling on their phone. The "story" is told to us in three parts, Bullies, The Chaos, and The I.

I put "story" in quotations because there really isn't one, and that's okay. If there's such a thing as a normal avant garde movie, this is probably it. I became intrigued with it after reading Dell's review. This film feels so natural. I was often reminded of my niece. She's 15, and when she comes to visit she loves to fill me in on her high school drama. I imagine several of her daily conversations play out like this.

All of the actors come from The Point, a Bronx based community center. Most are acting under their own names and some of these stories are based on their real experiences. It's another reason why the film feels so authentic. Teresa Lynn was the big stand out to me, playing a girl trying hard to fit in with the boys at the back of the bus even though they treat her badly. Laidychen Carrasco and Meghan Murphy are also great as two snippy girls trying to plan a sweet sixteen party.

This movie won't be for everyone. It lacks structure, while most of it is on the bus, director Michael Gondry sprinkles a few flashback scenes outside of it. I think it works. It does a good job of showing how teenagers act in a group versus how they act alone or with one other person.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "You're not my girlfriend, don't send me an ecard - Michael (Michael Brodie)

Thursday Movie Picks: Store/Supermarket/Mall Movies

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is movies centered around stores. Your favorite place to kill time, or your worst nightmare. Here are three of my favorites.

1) Mallrats

I imagine I'll see Clerks somewhere this week, but I prefer Mallrats. I worked in a mall when I was a teenager, and this film captures the essence of that well. The boredom, the drama, the weird shit. This film has it all.

2) Empire Records

This film is very nostalgic for me. It's been ages since I've seen it, but my friends and I used to watch it in high school all the time. I still wish I could buy Renee Zellweger's version of SugarHigh on iTunes.

3) Dawn of the Dead

One of my favorite horror movies, and easily one of the best zombie movies takes place in mall. It's the perfect setting for humor and gore. 

2016 Blind Spot Series: The French Connection


What I knew going in: That it was a big Oscar winner. 

Doyle ( Gene Hackman) and Russo (Roy Scheider) are two narcotics cops attempting to bust a big heroin ring. Doyle is a bit of an alcoholic, and sometimes their tracking methods aren't exactly by the book.

There's a lot of prestige around this movie, and I felt a little bad that I thought the beginning was so slow. I didn't find myself that interested in the crime at large here. It's not until about 40 minutes from the end that this movie really steps its game up and becomes incredible.

It's very much a Friedken film. I always say he's a bit of a horrifying director in that he has some startling imagery. He does here too. Even though we don't have Regan from the Exorcist or the paranoia of Bug, he manages to be very forceful, especially in scenes involving Doyle chasing a subject. 

Hackman is excellent here. You undoubtedly side with him as he's trying to bust someone for drugs, but he's such an unlikable guy it makes you question it. The score fits perfectly, but I wish the first hour of this film was as exciting as the last. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Pay attention, we're gonna ask questions later!"- Russo (Roy Scheider)

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

Game of Thrones

King's Landing - Another day on the slow moving KL train. This week we actually made a bit of promise. The Mountain crushed a Sparrow's head, and Tommen bitched out and got rid of Trial by Combat so that screws Cersei over. It ends with Qyburn basically confirming there's Wildfyre stored beneath the city. Cersei's going to light shit on fire.

Meereen - Tyrion plays more drinking games with Missandei and Grey Worm, who for some reason still isn't back in his Unsuilled armor. The masters start attacking, and Dany arrives at the end to, I'm assuming yell "I LEAVE YOU ALONE FOR A FEW DAYS AND THIS SHIT HAPPENS?"

Braavos - Arya went to Lady Crane for her gut wound, and she  patches her up. While she's resting, The Waif shows up and kills Lady Crane. Despite Arya's injury, she participates in a foot chase all through the city, jumps out of a two story window, and kills Waif with barely a look of discomfort. She adds Waif's face to the Hall of Faces, tells Jaqen she's "Arya Stark of Winterfell" and leaves. Jaqen looks after her like that's the outcome he wanted all along. I'm glad Arya killed the Waif and left, but they really should've left out the entire stomach wound because it made everything else completely unbelievable. Did she get whatever Noomi Rapace got in Prometheus to allow her to run around after something got ripped out of her stomach? 


The Riverlands - Now this was disappointing. Jaime and Brienne meet again, and their amazing chemistry is overshadowed by the fact that you know Jaime is about to go on an "I love Cersei" rant with Edmure. They've really thrown away all the development he got in season 3. At least Bronn was there to say what the audience is always thinking...."You think they're fucking?"

Edmure's scene with Jaime was actually really great until the Cersei 5eva rant. I loved how he asked him how he lives with himself. Poor Blackfish died off screen, which was a waste. 

The Hound gets some great lines while killing randoms but that's all ruined when he happens upon the Brotherhood Without Banners and Beric is still alive. I'm still not sure how this is supposed to be a better story than Lady Stoneheart? They name drop her in every single episode this season, and they decided to keep Beric instead? Did they really hate Catelyn that much? Did Michelle Fairley kick their puppies? Why on Earth are they leaving her out? The entire Riverlands story could've been so much better with her. 

The best part of this episode was when it ended and we got to see that glorious teaser for next week's. This was probably one of my least favorite episodes of all time, I need a pick me up for next week. 

Veep

We were treated to the most awkward gift giving scene of all time and the return of Minna Häkkinen who is one of my favorite reoccurring characters on this show. Her banter with Selena is amazing. My favorite part of the entire show was when Jonah literally shot himself in the foot on TV, and Ben couldn't control his laughter. It was amazing.

Memorable Quotes:

"Do you have a very narrow vagina? "

"That's the outfit I picture when I'm trying not to come."

"I know what he likes...Nordic beav."

"Which one of you johnny apple dicks..."

Other TV talk 

Daredevil - Now that I'm finished I "look forward" to whatever job Karen gets handed to her next season. You know, she's qualified to do anything. It wouldn't shock me if she becomes some powerful businesswoman that single handedly keeps the Defenders in check.  

The Walking Dead - So get this, AMC are being such huge babies about their precious Lucille Victim being revealed that they actually slapped one of the biggest spoiler sites out there with a lawsuit if they reveal it, as they were about to this week. Never mind that process of elimination will reveal it eventually anyways. (Highlight over this if you want to know who it more than likely is ---> Glenn, he hasn't shown up for filming and has been currently filming another movie in South Korea the entire time. <---- span="">

2 Broke Girls - No, I'm not watching this show. I want to ask my readers a question, why the fuck do people watch this show? It's just a bunch of dumb one liners. 

Rambling TV is a weekly series where I ramble semi coherently about the things I've watched on television. Click those gifs to be redirected to their makers. 

Review: Me Before You

When the job makes you a whole new person...

Louisa Clark (Emilia Clarke) is perfectly happy just existing in her small English town. When the cafe she's worked at for six years closes down, and her family counting on her pay check, she takes up a job caring for a quadriplegic man named Will (Sam Clafin) who hates his life and just about everyone in it. Lou attempts to cheer him up and ends up with a completely different view on things herself.

I read the book based on a recommendation from a friend. I wasn't crazy about it, though it did have some parts I enjoyed. I didn't have high expectations going in based on that, and I probably shouldn't have been shocked at the amount of romance movie cliches ended up on this.

But I was. Too many musical interludes of characters 1) Thinking about something real hard. 2) Having a good time and 3) having a bad one. The way too staged romantic shots (Hey Lou, go stand by the window with your top slightly unbuttoned so the winds from the storm can make it sexy!) Actually, what surprised me the most was the grittier parts of the book they left out. Well, gritty for a romance novel, anyways

Book spoilers ahead

You see, Will hates when other people try to make decisions for him and think they "know better." He actually brings it up quite often in the books and explains very thoroughly to Lou how she can remedy it. He does this exactly once in the film and treats it as an afterthought. Will barely has any personality in this  at all other than "asshole" and eventually "smitten." But the biggest change is actually a huge part of Lou's character herself. If you've seen the trailer, you've seen how she dresses. It's quirky to say the least, and she's quite content with her life and is afraid to branch out. But they never address why. In the books, Lou goes out drinking one night and ends up sexually assaulted by some of her high school classmates in the gardens. She dresses odd as a coping mechanism. She no longer wanted to look desirable or like every other girl out there because of what happened to her, and they completely removed this story from her in the film. She's just an odd duck for no reason, never mind that this trauma shaped her in the book. It felt like a strange thing to let go of considering it was a huge fucking deal.

Clarke is always a hit and miss actress. She gives the occasional great performance on Game of Thrones, but she's not very strong here. She reminded me of Emma Watson and let her eye brows do all the acting. It's slightly annoying because you know she is capable of being good. Clafin was great though, some of the emotions that had to play across his face are heartbreaking.

Rom Coms are definitely not for me, but I will say I loved the scene of Louisa getting her bumble bee tights in the film just as much as I did in the novel. It still stands out as my favorite moment.

Recommended: No

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "It's too boob-y, isn't it?" - Louisa Clark (Emilia Clarke) 

Indie Gems: Coherence

Twilight Zone.

Em (Emily Baldoni) is on her way to a dinner party when her phone randomly cracks as she's talking on it. She blames the comet that's supposed to pass overhead tonight. She's read about strange things happening during that time in the past. While her friends laugh it off, while their phones start to break and all the lights go out except for a house a few blocks away. They find that Em may be right about this oddity. 

This movie is quite the mind fuck. It's like a puzzle that we have to watch these characters put together. At first it's amusing, then it gets down right creepy for them. Baldoni has a great presence, as do Nicholas Brendon and Hugo Armstrong who play two of her friends at the dinner party. 

The editing is really choppy, but without spoiling it, it makes sense as to why They're cutting the scenes that way once we get towards the end of the film. This is a short film, only around 70 minutes or so, but is definitely worth watching. It's not scary if you're not into horror, I know the premise could give off that impression. 

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Please take your glow stick so we can identify your bodies." - Mike (Nicholas Brendon)

Thursday Movie Picks: Immortals

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves will live forever....Immortals. AKA that time I tried really hard to pick something other than vampire movies.

1) Mr. Nobody

Nemo is over 100 years old. This movie is about his life, and it's a very peculiar ride. No matter how weird it gets, you can't help but enjoy it. (Okay, so he's probably *not* immortal but close enough)


2) Highlander: Endgame

HEEEEEEEERRRRREEEEEE WE ARE! BORN TO BE KINGS...okay, you get it. This movie is actually really bad, but I used to watch the TV show with my dad so there's there nostalgia factor. Plus Edge, one of my favorite wrestlers was in it for a minute. 

3) The Friday the 13th series

This bastard is immortal, it doesn't matter if we've seen Jason "die" several times. Dude just keeps coming back. 

Review: The Nice Guys

BOGO detectives.

Holland March (Ryan Gosling) is a widowed PI with a drinking problem trying to raise a teenage daughter, Holly. (Angourgie Rice) Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is not a licensed PI and essentially beats up people for money. March is looking for a woman named Amelia (Margaret Qualley) and she paid Healy to take care of the men following her. Once these two meet, they realize there's an even bigger crime at play, and they must work together to solve it.

I'm so glad that this movie recovered from the opening. The film opens up with a kid stealing a porno from underneath his parent's bed. Not just any kid, but Ty Simpkons, the worst child actor I've ever seen. This kid ruined Iron Man 3 and Jurassic World (okay, he helped contribute to the latter) and I kind of freaked when I saw him here. Thankfully, it's his only scene and we're treated to the delight of Gosling and Crowe.

I don't think Gosling has good comedic timing, but Crowe and director Shane Black really bring out the best of him here. The story is so rich. It's not just about the laughs,  it forms a very elaborate and interesting mystery around it. It drives the film where as the humor normally would. That's not to say it isn't funny. There's some pretty hysterical moments in it.

The Nice Guys has a lot of heart. So much so that I feel bad for doubting it, even for a second.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B+

Memorable Quote: "Your sister is such a slut!" - Holland March (Ryan Gosling)

  

Rambling TV: Thoughts on Game of Thrones and Veep

Game of Thrones

Another average episode of Game of Thrones this week, though it seems things are really going to start kicking off next week, particularly in King's Landing.

The Riverlands
The show does a cold open for the first time since season 4, and it almost looks like we're watching a completely different show. It's shot through a more vivid lens, people are happily working together building some sort of structure. Then it cuts to a man carrying a log all by himself. It's the Hound. A septon found him and nursed him back to health. He tells him the Gods have plans for him since he's still alive. Later, some assumed defectors of the Brotherhood Without Banners come and kill all the people working there, and hang the Septon. The Hound picks up an ax and walks off. 

This whole thing was a wasted opportunity. Sandor in the books is a reformed man, and I expected him to be here too. I also expected Septon Meribald to give his "Broken Man" speech from the books, but apparently the title of this episode was just a cocktease. None of that happened. Sandor going off with revenge against the Brotherhood isn't a great story, and it doesn't work for my Stoneheart hype either. The only person Sandor should want to kill his is brother Gregor.

Riverrun

The Freys are holding the most pitiful siege ever outside of the Castle until Jaime and the Lannister troops show out and literally smack some sense into them. Jaime treats with the Blackfish who said he won't give up his castle, and that he's disappointed in Jaime after seeing him face to face. I'm disappointed in Jaime too, Blackfish. They murdered all his wonderful character development.

King's Landing.
Tommen, that little bitch boy has the nerve to tell the High Sparrow Margaery hasn't come to their marriage bed since she's been back. He tells her she has a duty as a vagina to accept the royal dick to make an heir. Obviously, she doesn't give a fuck. Later, Septon Unella won't give Olenna and Margaery some privacy. Olenna throws shade at her but Marg slips her a note and tells her to return to High Garden. The note is a drawing of the Tyrell flower, so she knows Margaery is playing a game. Later, Olenna tells Cersei how stupid she is and that she ruined everything. Maybe that's what Cersei needed to hear to unleash her crazy.

The North

Sansa, Jon, and Davos are on a Northern tour to gain alliances. Tormund gives a great speech to rally the Wildilngs. When they go to Bear Island and meet it's 10 year old lady, Lyanna. Jon and Sansa are failing quite miserably to gain her support when Davos steps in and wins her over. Turns out she only has 62 men, but hey they fight with the strength of 10 each! Then House Glover throws some major Robb shade and declines, they just got their castle back from the Iron Born.  Sansa has the nerve to keep questioning Davos despite him not doing a single shady thing ever and she eventually writes a letter at the end of the episode, probably to Littlefinger for the Vale army. She's wary of Davos, but will ask help from Littlefinger. Got it. 

Volantis
The Greyjoys have sailed to a brothel in Volantis where they plan to outrun Euron and treat with Dany. Yara, who's into women now, I guess, tells Theon to essentially suck it up because he had a "few bad years." It was completely insensitive and I felt bad for him. 

Braavos.
Arya books passage on a Westerosi ship and as she's standing on a bridge having one last look at the Titan, an old woman approaches her and stabs her in the stomach. It's the Waif wearing another face. Arya falls into the water to get away and she walks down the street with her gut bleeding and no one helping her. 

Veep

Selena was on fire tonight. She was at an event trying to gain more votes when she finds out Tom is going behind her back telling people to abstain because if you remember from last season, if the House can't split the vote, it goes to the Senate and the current vice president automatically becomes the president. 

She threatens a few people, then calls out Tom and they have a massive screaming match that leads to them hate fucking. (poor Gary walked in and saw it)

Richard also keeps fucking up his video and not getting anything on tape for Jonah's campaign trail. We also saw the return of Patton Oswald this week. 

Memorable Quotes:

"Don't look around, no one's gonna help ya." 

"I feel like someone is going to play a trick on him, drop a bucket of pigs blood in his head or something."

"Feel my dick, I'm rock hard for you!"

"Sentient enema."

"This is the 50 Most Beautiful Staffers, not the 50 people mostly likely to kill themselves before trial."

I'm going to start The Path this week on Hulu. God help me with Hulu's ridiculous commercials...

Rambling TV is a weekly series where I ramble about the things I've watched on television. Click those gifs to be redirected to their makers. 

Review: Alice Through the Looking Glass

The Hatter's the matter.

Alice (Mia Wasikowska) has just spent the last three years as a sea captain traveling the world. When she returns home, the man she refused to marry in the first time threatens to take her ship in exchange for her mother's house, and give her a measly desk job. While Alice frets over this, she's drawn through the looking glass back into Underland in hopes she can cheer up The Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) who is dying of sadness as he believes his long gone family is now alive, and no one believes him. To help the Hatter, Alice must speak with Time (Sasha Baron Cohen) himself.

I'm one of the few that actually liked 2010's Alice in Wonderland. It wasn't the greatest film out there, but I've always loved the character of Alice and that movie making a billion dollars at the global box office was awesome. It's a shame that nearly all the cards are stacked against it this time around. (Whose idea was this to open it the same weekend as X-Men?)

Alice refusing to be slighted just because she's a woman is empowering. I appreciated that part of her story. I was a bit surprised on how the rest of the movie played out though. Time isn't a villain like the previews portray. He's just kind of an asshole who Alice literally steals from even though he tried to warn her. Then we have the White Queen (Anne Hathaway) having to come to terms with the fact that she's pretty responsible for the Red Queen (Helen Bonham-Carter) being the way she is. So both heroine's learn a big lesson. The ending was sweet, and fuck you, I may have came close to tearing up a bit. 

The visual effects are stunning. While the plot itself is all over the place and not exactly true to Lewis Carroll's story, the weirdness of it all is. I especially love the little metal "Seconds" working in Time's giant clock. They click together like Transformers to form minutes and hours. We didn't need this sequel. Most reviews are already shitting over it and it's bombing at the box office, but you know what? It's not that bad. For a film that doesn't even hit the two hour mark, I enjoyed it for what it was.

Recommended: Perhaps. (How's that for a rec?)

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "I came straight through the walls. Poof." - Alice (Mia Wasikowska)

Indie Gems: Mustang

Forcing girls to marry, what could go wrong?

Lale, (Günes Sensoy) and her four sisters, Nur, (Doga Zeynep Doguslu) Selma, (Tugba Sunguroglu) Ece, (Elit Iscan) and Sonay (Ilayda Akdogan) decide to innocently play a game of chicken with some boys at the beach on their last day of school. However someone reports their behavior to their very conservative grandmother and uncle who attempt to keep the girls locked in their home to learn to be more "lady like" before marrying them off.

When this was nominated for the Best Foreign film Oscar it got rave reviews, but a very limited release here in the United States. I've been looking forward to it ever sense. A film like this, about five sisters with religious caretakers is going to draw a lot of comparisons to The Virgin Suicides, another great film in its own right, but this one felt more powerful.

Patriarchal societies and their problems are somewhat fascinating to me, you may have noticed my critiques (ie: bitching) about the Duggar family multiple times. Watching these girls, who are forced into arraigned marriages because they essentially sat on boys' shoulders and went to a football game is frighteningly backwards. But the film doesn't only serve as a political statement, it's beautifully shot and Günes Sensoy, whose eyes we largely see everything through is magnificent. She's so free spirited and feisty it just makes you want to break these girls out yourself.

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "Dirty slippers are all the rage in Istanbul." - Yasin (Burak Yigit)

Thursday Movie Picks: Wedding Movies

How fitting that Wandering Through The Shelves has us start the month of June with movies about weddings. June brides are a thing, right? At least that's what people kept telling me when I got married in June. I just picked it because it was warm. To be honest, I don't like many wedding movies, so this was kind of tough, but here's a few I can tolerate.

1) Wedding Crashers

This is one of my favorite comedies until the last 20 minutes or so when it falls flat on its face. But it's so hilarious and quotable before all of that, I can forgive it. Lock it up.

2) Rachel Getting Married

I used this one for a pick last year but it's easily my favorite movie involving a wedding. The acting is fantastic. I

3) Corpse Bride

Truth be told, I wasn't crazy about Corpse Bride, but like I said. Slim pickings in the wedding movie world for me. I'd watch this over a "classic" like My Best Friend's Wedding or Runaway Bride any day. 

click those gifs to be redirected to their makers