Indie Gems: Spring

You know, when you said condition...

Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) has recently lost both parents. Lost in life, he takes a trip to Italy which mainly consists of him getting drunk and wandering around until he lands a job working on a farm. Then he meets Louise, (Nadia Hilker) a foreign student studying there. They began a relationship, but Louise has a mysterious condition that causes her to change form unless she takes her injections.

The horror/romance genre is a tricky one. This might be one of the weirdest movies I've seen in a long time, but it certainly kept my attention throughout. The film gets off to a terribly slow start. So slow in fact that I assumed the film was going to be awful until he finally meets Louise and things start rolling. The beginning is swiftly made up. What I appreciated about this film is how they tried to explain the "science" behind Louise's transformations. It's so easy for horror films to explain a monster's origins in a single sentence, but here they kept elaborating and that was a welcomed change. 

The leads have a lot of chemistry, Lou Taylor Pucci has been giving great performances in the indie world for years, it's nice to see him play a fairly unlikable character for once. I'm not sure if this is a film I'd rush out to see again, but I'm glad to have seen it. 

Grade: B-

Watched on: Netflix DVD

Memorable Quote: "I feel like a grown man who misses his parents." - Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci)

Thursday Movie Picks: Cults/Secret Societies

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is cults. I've talked about my weird obsession with religious cults before. It's morbidly fascinating. It was easy to find three films that I love for this theme. In fact, It was hard settling on the 3rd choice.

1) Martha Marcy May Marlene

Lizzie Olsen's debut movie is about a girl who escapes from a cult and goes to live with her sister after having zero contact with her family for over two years. The ending of this film is left open, but just imaging what could happen next is very terrifying in itself. 

2) The Master

Freddie is kind of a drunken mess when he happens upon Lancaster Dodd and his very persuasive Cause. Paul Thomas Anderson took inspiration from Scientology for this film and it features amazing performances from Phililp Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams. 

3) Red State

This is the least "Kevin Smith" movie Kevin Smith has ever made. It's about three guys who answer an online ad for sex and wind up in the hands of a religious fundamentalist cult. It's so different and very surprising. It was tough for me to narrow it down between this, Sound of my Voice, and Faults, two other cult films I really enjoy.

Review: The Hollars

You should call more.

John Hollar (John Krasinski) lives in New York working at a publishing office that he hates. His girlfriend Rebecca (Anna Kendrick) is pregnant, but he won't marry her despite her being a very caring and understanding person. He gets a phone call that his mother, Sally (Margo Martindale) has just found out she has a brain tumor and must go into surgery. He leaves back to his hometown in somewhereville, USA to spend time with his mother, father Don(Richard Jenkins) and his older brother, Ron. (Sharlto Copley, barely hanging on to an American accent)

The Hollars gives off an immediate Garden State vibe, and unfortunately it can't shake it despite its wonderful cast. Don't get me wrong, the film has a lot of heart. And in those moments, it shines, but for the rest of it it staggers around between over the top and forced. There's a scene in the film where John is swinging on a rope swing over a river, fully clothed. You know that rope is going to break and he'll fall in. The film does this often, it becomes very predictable.

Money problems? Check. Drama with the upcoming baby? check. The ex that tries to get in the picture? Check, check, check. It all feels very unnatural. John has dinner with his high school sweetheart who isn't over him, despite (I'm assuming) everyone involved being in their late 30's. An awful lot of time to get over something like that.  Ron takes issue with his ex wife moving on to another man in the most contrived dialogue imaginable and makes some of the dumbest decisions I've ever seen. The film also tries to go out of its way to excuse John for not committing to Rebecca, despite her not doing a single thing to warrant it.

Martindale is the absolute star of this. She's wonderfully sweet as Sally and you're on her side throughout. Kendrick comes close behind her as Rebecca. Jenkins is always reliable, but even he feels like he's trying too hard here. This is just another example of a bad movie happening to a good cast.

Recommended: No

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "You won't know you're okay until you get there." - Sally (Margo Martindale)

Rambling TV: Thoughts on Mr. Robot, Stranger Things and Agents of SHIELD

Another thing I've been slacking on. I haven't done one of these since Game of Thrones ended, but here's some thoughts on what I've been watching on TV lately.

Agents of SHIELD

SHIELD came back for its 4th season this past Tuesday, and they're heavily promoting Ghost Rider. I was a bit worried about how he would look on TV. Agents of SHIELD tends to get really over ambitious with their budget, and sometimes the SFX look awful, but Ghost Rider was not a casualty of that. He looked great, possibly even better than the film version. The move to the 10:00 pm time slot was welcomed too, as we got to see Rider murder a bunch of people. 

Of course, the show still makes the mistake of focusing too much on Daisy. She's still the least interesting character and Chloe Bennett continues to be a very bland actress. It's a bit disappointing she's our eyes to Ghost Rider at this point.

We still don't know who the new director is, only that Simmons has been promoted to his personal staff and currently outranks the rest of her team. May's not too thrilled with that. 

Mr. Robot

The season finale was last week, and it ended on a cliffhanger that makes me wish season 3 started tomorrow. I liked this season, I know it had a lot of critics though.

For the life of me, I can't understand why anyone would bitch about the episodes being longer. It's more story and the story is good. It's not like The Walking Dead where they stretch a very one dimensional story into 90 minutes. 

I was happy to be right about the jail/mental hospital theory. There's so many theories out there about this show. Tyrell finally returned at the end of the season. I personally don't care much about him as a character, even though his wife is deliciously bat shit, but it looks like he's here to stay.

I liked the introduction of Dom and seeing things from the FBI's point of view.

Angela and Elliot FINALLY kissed! That makes me happy.

Stranger Things

Everyone and their mom watched this show, right? It was delightful. I liked the creepy Stephen King vibes it had and they really found a great cast of kids. 

I love seeing David Harbour in something too, I enjoyed him in The Newsroom.

Fuck Nancy though, right? Who the fuck goes back to Steve? Steve's face begs to be punched.

I'm looking forward to season two, but they really need to cut down on the press. They're going to over expose these kids if they're not careful.

Rambling TV is a series where I ramble semi coherently about the things I watch on television. Usually there's wine involved in writing things. Click the gifs to be redirected to their makers. 

2016 Blind Spot Series: The Apartment


Okay, now I'm back on track. This is my 2nd Blind Spot for the month since I missed out in August. 

What I knew going in: That Billy Wilder directed it. 

CC Baxter (Jack Lemmon) is a lower level employee at an insurance company who has been letting his bosses use his nearby apartment for their liaisons. When he's up for a promotion, another big wig, Mr. Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray) wants in on the arrangement too. Baxter finds out the hard way that one of Sheldrake's hook ups happens to be Fran, (Shirley MacLaine) a woman who Baxter has a crush on.

Billy Wilder has been one of the more interesting directors to grace my Blind Spot lists. I notice that I don't often find classic films funny. I'm used to the raunchier stuff they have nowadays, I guess. But Wilder's films always make me laugh. This one is no exception. It's not a through and through comedy. Actually, the tone changes quite drastically with whoever is on screen. When it's Baxter, it's funny. When it's Fran, it's quite tragic. I like that is so seamlessly went between the two. 

Jack Lemmon has such a wonderful presence, has does MacLaine, I enjoyed watching them together. In an effort to squeeze in two Blind Spots in one month, I ended up watching this on YouTube instead of waiting for my DVD from Netflix, which was probably a mistake considering they sped up the voices to (I assume) avoid copyright infringement. It did make a few things more amusing, I suppose. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable quote: "Certainly  not, I'm a happily married man" - Kirkeby (David Lewis)

Indie Gems: Louder Than Bombs

Selective Memories.

Three years ago, Isabelle, (Isabelle Huppert) an accoplished war photographer died in a car crash. Now, someone is planning on writing an article about her death and it brings her husband Gene (Gabriel Byrne) young son, Conrad (Devin Druid) and adult son Jonah (Jesse Eisenberg) together for the first time in a while and forces them to come to a mutual understanding of how they remember her.

This is director Joachim Trier's first English language film, he did the wonderful Oslo, August 31st. He approaches Bombs in the same way. It's very quiet and almost cerebral. We spend a lot of time in our characters' heads listening to their narration. Sometimes they're not reliable narrators, or other people say what's in their minds. It's an interesting approach. 

Devin Druid gives the strongest performance here, as he's tasked with being the most angry and kept in the dark about his mother's death. Gene is somewhat resenting her and Jonah worships her. He may be another moody teen but circumstance makes him more interesting than most.

I do wish the film would've elaborated on a few more things, mainly a sub story with Jonah and his wife. Aside from that, this was a very enjoyable film.

Grade: B

Watched on: Netflix DVD

Memorable Quote: "You know, if I had a girl, I'd never lie to her." - Conrad (Devin Druid)

Thursday Movie Picks: Teen Angst

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is something we all go through; teen angst. This also happens to be a topic I suggested when Wanderer was asking for them. Why did I suggest it? As a one time angsty teen, I find those characters the easiest to relate to at times. Here's three of my favorite movies where teen angst plays a part.

1) Thirteen


Tracey is the ultimate angsty teen. She's angry, she cuts herself, she does whatever her new friend Evie tells her so that she fits in, even if it means drinking, doing drugs and making out with strange dudes. I think this is the best movie about a rebellious teen out there. 

2) Short Term 12

Though Jayden is not the star of this film, her anger reminds Grace of her own youth, and she knows Jayden has a very good reason for being the way she is, and not one she's going to be willing to admit any time soon. 

3) Fish Tank

Mia is angry, really angry. Her only outlet is dancing and even that's not going to be enough to cope with the massive amount of shit she gets herself in. 

2016 Blind Spot Series: JFK


Since I fell behind on this last month I'm hoping to do two of these in September.

What I knew going in: The plot

The film follows New Orleans DA Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner) as he attempts to prove that the murder of President John F. Kennedy was a conspiracy that involved more than one shooter. 

We're all to the point where we kind of at least believe there was a conspiracy, right? That alone made me interested in checking this out. One thing I didn't notice before I put this movie on my Blind Spot list...it's over three hours long. THREE + hours of Kevin Costner whom I barely tolerate as it is. I suddenly started dreading this a bit. I attempted to watch it on an airplane (Which I found out later when I got the DVD in the mail was actually heavily edited so I had to start over anyways) and one minute I'm watching a long Kennedy montage, then the next "We're now beginning our descent into...." Whoops. (but bonus: I NEVER sleep on planes)

Anyways, I psyched myself up for this movie in the worst way and it ended up being pretty interesting. It's certainly way too long, but it wasn't as hard as I was expecting it to be. That being said, I am confused on its "masterpiece" status.

How did this get editing and cinematography Oscars? There's some parts that I feel are very masterful, but others that were so choppy it was almost distracting.

How did Tommy Lee Jones end up with an Oscar nomination? He literally does nothing of note. Kevin Bacon, in my opinion was the best actor in this film. Was it because Jones playing an allegedly gay character was ground breaking at the time? I'm scratching my head over that one. 

Coster, despite how much I normally dislike him was actually very good. He kept my attention during this marathon of a movie. Gary Oldman was also impressive as Lee Harvey Oswald. 

Don't get me wrong, JFK is a good film, but I stop myself from calling it "great" or even something I'd consider watching again. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "Back, and to the left." - Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner)

Review: Snowden

They're watching you.

Edward Snowden (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a man who worked as a contractor for both the CIA and NSA. During his time there, he's shocked to learn just how deeply the U.S government is spying on its own citizens. The film starts in 2013, when Snowden means with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras, (Melissa Leo) and journalists Glenn Greenwald (Zachary Quinto) and Ewen MacAskill in Hong Kong. If you remember, they brought us the brilliant Oscar winning documentary Citizenfour. The film is the told through flashbacks of how Snowden got to that point through his work, and through his relationship with Lindsay Mills (Shailene Woodley)

The best thing a movie that's dramatizing something already covered in a documentary can do is not try to replicate it, and thankfully director Oliver Stone does that well. While Citizenfour spoke about a lot of what Snowden leaked, this film lets us get to know he was as a person as he goes along this journey. Snowden is humanized mostly through his relationship with Lindsay, and also through his supervisor at the CIA, Corbin O'Brien played by Rhys Ifans. Having enjoyed Citzenfour so much, I was worried how this would compare, and I'm happy to say that I enjoyed this version very much.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives a solid performance as always. It makes me wish this film was getting better reviews overall so that this would be an Oscar vehicle for him. He certainly deserves it. He says so much with his face, every time Snowden seems something he shouldn't, or is faced with the reality of how much surveillance there really is, you can see his eyes drop a little, even though he's trying hard not to show his emotions. He changed his entire voice for the role as well, and when we hear the real Edward Snowden talk at the end of the film, you see just how close he actually gets. Shailene Woodley and the rest of the supporting cast all give strong performances as well along side him, but he's the clear stand out.

I don't expect this movie to replace the documentary as a source of information, it shouldn't, but it's definitely geared towards those who may normally skip them, and that's okay.  His story is an important one and it deserves to be heard in many formats. Stone plays it safe too regarding what you think should happen to him. The film isn't saying one way or another on whether or not he should be pardoned for the information he released. On one hand, you get to know Snowden and are on his side, but you also feel for O'Brien for a brief moment when he sees what his protege has done. 

It loses a bit of steam towards the end, but it remains an engaging and thought provoking film throughout.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "Can you tell me where you're going?" - Lindsay (Shailene Woodley)

2016 Emmy Winners


This year's Emmys played a lot of things by the book, but they also had some nice surprises. Kimmel was a great host. He started out by saying there was a new rule that if the winner wasn't there, they would just give the Emmy to the next person on the list. Then he directed a tirade at Maggie Smith for never showing up and winning all the time. He also had a great joke about Transparent being in the comedy category despite being a drama (Born a drama, identifies as a comedy) and Matt Damon even came on stage at one point to harass him. Game of Thrones and Veep also took home the big wins of the night, so that makes me happy. Here's a list of the nominees and winners. 


Outstanding Drama Series
The Americans
Better Call Saul
Downton Abbey
Game Of Thrones
Homeland
House Of Cards
Mr. Robot
I'm glad Game of Thrones won this. They were so bad in season 5, and to come back and give us a mostly perfect season 6 was great. I'll miss them next year when they won't be eligible due to their late start date. 



Oustanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Kyle Chandler - Bloodline
Rami Malek - Mr. Robot
Bob Odenkirk - Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys - The Americans
Liev Schreiber - Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey - House Of Cards
I squealed when Rami won this. So deserving. 


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
Keri Russell - The Americans
Robin Wright - House Of Cards
Maslany's fans are always saying how she's getting screwed over in the awards department, so I'm happy she finally got a win here. 


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jonathan Banks - Better Call Saul
Peter Dinklage - Game Of Thrones
Kit Harington - Game Of Thrones
Michael Kelly - House Of Cards
Ben Mendelsohn - Bloodline
Jon Voight - Ray Donovan
Who will win: Peter Dinklage
Mendelsohn wasn't even there. I wanted Harington or Banks to take it. 


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Emilia Clarke - Game Of Thrones
Lena Headey - Game Of Thrones
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Maura Tierney - The Affair
Maisie Williams - Game Of Thrones
Constance Zimmer - UnREAL
Seriously, fuck Maggie Smith and Downton Abbey. Lena deserved this win. Those Downton people just scowled at Jimmy too when he joked that Maggie shouldn't keep winning because she's never there. He said her Emmy will be in the lost and found since they won't mail it. 


Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
The Americans ("Persona Non Grata")
Downton Abbey ("Episode 8")
Game Of Thrones ("Battle Of The Bastards")
The Good Wife ("End")
Mr. Robot ("eps1.0_hellofriend.mov")
UnREAL ("Return")



Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
Downton Abbey ("Episode 9")
Game Of Thrones ("Battle Of The Bastards")
Game Of Thrones ("The Door")
Homeland ("The Tradition Of Hospitality")
The Knick ("This Is All We Are")
Ray Donovan ("Exsuscito")
I'm so happy Sapochnik won this. Battle of the Bastards was beautifully directed. 


Outstanding Comedy Series

black-ish
Master Of None
Modern Family
Silicon Valley
Transparent
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Veep
I thought Transparent might bump them but I'm so happy Veep took it home again. 


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson - black-ish
Aziz Ansari - Master Of None
Will Forte - The Last Man On Earth
William H. Macy - Shameless
Thomas Middleditch - Silicon Valley
Jeffrey Tambor - Transparent
Tambor gave a beautiful speech about giving more roles to the trans community and that he hopes he's the last cis male to win anything for playing someone that's trans (that won't happen)



Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Ellie Kemper - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep
Laurie Metcalf - Getting On
Tracee Ellis Ross - black-ish
Amy Schumer - Inside Amy Schumer
Lily Tomlin - Grace And Frankie
JLD made history winning her 5th consecutive Emmy for the same part. She gave a very emotional speech and dedicated it to her father, who died on Friday. 


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Louie Anderson - Baskets
Andre Braugher - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Tituss Burgess - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Ty Burrell - Modern Family
Tony Hale - Veep
Keegan-Michael Key - Key & Peele
Matt Walsh - Veep



Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Anna Chlumsky - Veep
Gaby Hoffmann - Transparent
Allison Janney - Mom
Judith Light - Transparent
Kate McKinnon - Saturday Night Live
Niecy Nash - Getting On
Kate was so surprised when she won! (so was I, I did not see that coming) Her speech was so giddy and emotional. I'm happy for her.


Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
Catastrophe ("Episode 1")
Master Of None ("Parents")
Silicon Valley ("Founder Friendly")
Silicon Valley ("The Uptick")
Veep ("Morning After")
Veep ("Mother")


Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
Master Of None ("Parents")
Silicon Valley ("Daily Active Users")
Silicon Valley ("Founder Friendly")
Transparent ("Man On The Land")
Veep ("Kissing Your Sister")
Veep ("Morning After")
Veep ("Mother")



Outstanding Limited Series
American Crime
Fargo
The Night Manager
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Roots
People vs OJ was the big winner of the night. 


Outstanding Television Movie
All The Way
Confirmation
Luther
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
A Very Murray Christmas



Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Bryan Cranston - All The Way
Benedict Cumberbatch - Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
Idris Elba - Luther
Cuba Gooding, Jr. - The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Tom Hiddleston - The Night Manager
Courtney B. Vance - The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Kirsten Dunst - Fargo
Felicity Huffman - American Crime
Audra McDonald - Lady Day At Emerson's Bar & Grille
Sarah Paulson - The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Lili Taylor - American Crime
Kerry Washington - Confirmation
Sarah finally has an Emmy and she got up there and apologized to Marcia Clark for having a narrow minded view of her like everyone else did during OJ's trial.


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Sterling K. Brown - The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Hugh Laurie - The Night Manager
Jesse Plemons - Fargo
David Schwimmer - The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
John Travolta - The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Bokeem Woodbine - Fargo
Sterling's speech was amazing. He said "You probably didn't know who I was but you checked my name anyways." It was so cute.


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Kathy Bates - American Horror Story: Hotel
Olivia Colman - The Night Manager
Regina King - American Crime
Melissa Leo - All The Way
Sarah Paulson - American Horror Story: Hotel
Jean Smart - Fargo


Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special
Fargo ("Loplop")
Fargo ("Palindrome")
The Night Manager
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story ("From The Ashes Of Tragedy")
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story ("Marcia, Marcia, Marcia")
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story ("The Race Card")


Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special
All The Way
Fargo ("Before The Law")
The Night Manager
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story ("From The Ashes Of Tragedy")
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story ("Manna From Heaven")
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story ("The Race Card")
So Suzanne Bier winning this was kind of a shock. I don't think anyone saw this coming. 



Outstanding Reality-Competition Program

The Amazing Race
American Ninja Warrior
Dancing With The Stars
Project Runway
Top Chef
The Voice



Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
Documentary Now!
Drunk History
Inside Amy Schumer
Key & Peele
Portlandia
Saturday Night Live


Outstanding Variety Talk Series
Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Late Late Show With James Corden
Real Time With Bill Maher
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon


Review: Don't Breathe

Now who's the worst?

Rocky (Jane Levy) is sick of being stuck in Detroit with her abusive mother and dreams of a better life for herself and her younger sister. She and her boyfriend Money (Daniel Zovatto) and their friend Alex (Dylan Minnette) decide to rob a blind man's (Stephen Lang) house. He settled for a six figure pay out when a rich family causes the death of his daughter and they believe it to be hidden in the house. Of course, nothing about this robbery goes as planned.

I usually stay away from home invasion movies, they tend to all feel the same to me, but this one was getting great reviews and I enjoyed Levy in the Evil Dead remake and what I saw of Suburgatory. I'm glad I gave it a shot, this movie didn't go where I was expecting it to at all.

I love when movies make you question on who you should be rooting for. I haven't seen a film do it this well since I Saw The Devil. It relies a less jump scares (though there's definitely a few) and more on the sense of building dread. I found myself tense throughout as I kept thinking something would happen at *that* moment, only to find myself still waiting.

The acting from Levy and Minnette is very good, and Lang is extremely menacing. Zovatto is pretty terrible but he's not in it enough to ruin it. (That's not a spoiler, it's revealed in the trailer) It's not very gory, I was actually surprised to see that it had an R rating because it felt like a good PG13 throughout, which is so rare. 

Even if you don't like horror films, I have to suggest this one on general fucked up-ness alone.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Whatever you choose, I'm with you." - Alex (Dylan Minnette)

Indie Gems: The Driftless Area

I'm only casually concerned about this dude I pissed off.

Pierre (Anton Yelchin) is stuck in life. He left his small down in Wisconsin for college, then when his parents die he finds himself stuck there again. One day when his car breaks down, he hitches a ride from Shane (John Hawkes) a total douche that tries to steal Pierre's plant that he has with him. Shane kicks him out of his car, and Pierre ends up knocking his ass out with a rock and stealing a bag full of money he had in his truck. Not very smart, but hey, Shane's an asshole. Now he's an asshole that wants revenge. 

It's still hard watching Anton Yelchin on screen. Especially like this, Pierre is so laid back. He's a good looking guy, he's infatuated with his new, mysterious love Stella (Zooey Deschanel) and a great friend to Carrie (Alia Shawkat) and even his reason for stealing this bag of money is kind of justifiable. You can't help but like Pierre, even with the poor judgement and his seemingly lack of concern about it.

The film isn't perfect. It jumps between time and sometimes you're not sure whether or not you're viewing the past or presence. "Driftless" being in the title is accurate, it feels like we drift from scene to scene. There's also a lot of questions I had surrounding Stella that I can't really go into without completely spoiling everything. Regardless, the acting is great the cinematography is stunning. They really found a gorgeous place to shoot this film.

Grade: B-

Watched on: Netflix DVD

Memorable Quote: "I think you saved my life." - Pierre (Anton Yelchin)

Thursday Movie Picks: Sororities/Fraternities/School Secret Societies

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is Frats, sororities, and/or secret societies. When I was in junior high I thought it would be cool to be part of a sorority when I was in college. Then when I finally got there I realized that they were all kinds of fucking awful, at least at the college I went to. So it's only fitting that I find some awful movies I sat through to fit this theme.

1) Sorority Boys

Three guys get kicked out of their frat and decide to dress in drag and pledge to an "ugly girl" sorority. It manages to be both sexist and unfunny.

2) The House Bunny

A playboy bunny turns 27 and gets kicked out of the playboy mansion for being "too old" so she becomes a den mother to a sorority instead. There's a lot of funny people in this movie, unfortunately even they can't get any laughs from this atrocious script.

3) College

Three high school kids tour a college campus and spend the weekend at a frat party. The only reason I watched this in the first place was because Zach Cregger was in it and I loved him in The Whitest Kids U'Know, but God this was so bad. I don't even think I finished it. 

Review: Hell or High Water

Blood always follows money. 

Toby (Chris Pine) and his brother Tanner (Ben Foster) have been robbing a small chain of banks in Texas in order to save their family's ranch. Tanner is fresh out of prison, Toby is a divorcee who just wants a better life for his sons. They eventually catch the eyes of ranger, Hamilton (Jeff Bridges) and his reluctant partner Parker. (Gil Birmingham)  Hamilton thinks he has them all figured out, and Toby just wants to get this all over with.

I hadn't planned on seeing this on the big screen, despite loving Ben Foster, but after hearing how unexpectedly great it was, I made it a point to see it before my theater loses it this week. It's a very simple story but performance by Foster and Pine completely enhance it. This was an interesting double matinee I saw with Don't Breathe (review will go up on Sunday) as both involved characters robbing others. There's a lot less grey with this one.

Foster is so underrated. This guy has been long over due for an Oscar. I'd love if he got some supporting love for this piece. This is also the best I've ever seen Pine.

The score is lovely and the film paced well. My only complaint was when a group of bystanders all whip out their guns and attempt to take justice into their own hands. (And no, they don't save everybody by shooting at people with guns, they kind of made it worse) It just made me cringe. I'm sure it wasn't meant to be any kind of political statement but that's all I could think about when watching it. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Only assholes drink Mr. Pibb." - Tanner (Ben Foster)

2016 Emmy Nominations: Who will win, who should win.



The 2016 Emmy Awards are next week. I'll be rooting hard for Game of Thrones considering their late premiere date next season will make them ineligible. Here's my predictions for who will win, and in some cases who should win. 

Outstanding Drama Series
The Americans
Better Call Saul
Downton Abbey
Game Of Thrones
Homeland
House Of Cards
Mr. Robot
Who will and should win: Game of Thrones. If they can win for their shitty season 5, they deserve it more for their outstanding season 6. 


Oustanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Kyle Chandler - Bloodline
Rami Malek - Mr. Robot
Bob Odenkirk - Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys - The Americans
Liev Schreiber - Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey - House Of Cards
Who will win: Kevin Spacey
Who should win: Rami Malek.
Rami is amazing on Mr. Robot, but the Emmys love Spacey. They might not stray, even though they should. 


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
Keri Russell - The Americans
Robin Wright - House Of Cards
Who will win: Viloa Davis
Who should win: ?
I don't watch any of these shows, but from the clips I've seen either Viola and Tatiana should take it. 


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Jonathan Banks - Better Call Saul
Peter Dinklage - Game Of Thrones
Kit Harington - Game Of Thrones
Michael Kelly - House Of Cards
Ben Mendelsohn - Bloodline
Jon Voight - Ray Donovan
Who will win: Peter Dinklage
Who should win: Jonathan Banks
The Emmys also love Peter, as do I, even though I think his nomination this year is a joke. He got to two one meaty thing. Personally, I'd give it to Banks, but I think the Emmys might surprise us in this category. I don't know who will get it. 


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Emilia Clarke - Game Of Thrones
Lena Headey - Game Of Thrones
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Maura Tierney - The Affair
Maisie Williams - Game Of Thrones
Constance Zimmer - UnREAL
Who will and should win: Lena Headey.
For the love of God give her this Emmy! She's so overdue. 


Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series
The Americans ("Persona Non Grata")
Downton Abbey ("Episode 8")
Game Of Thrones ("Battle Of The Bastards")
The Good Wife ("End")
Mr. Robot ("eps1.0_hellofriend.mov")
UnREAL ("Return")
Who will win: Game of Thrones or Mr. Robot
Who should win: Mr. Robot
I think it could go to either, Mr. Robot deserves it a bit more for originality, even though Battle of the Basterds was a beautiful episode. 


Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series
Downton Abbey ("Episode 9")
Game Of Thrones ("Battle Of The Bastards")
Game Of Thrones ("The Door")
Homeland ("The Tradition Of Hospitality")
The Knick ("This Is All We Are")
Ray Donovan ("Exsuscito")
Who will and should win: Game of Thrones for Battle of the Bastards. That hour of TV looked like it should've been on the big screen. It was amazing. The Door is a great episode too, but directing wise, Battle is a bit better. 


Outstanding Comedy Series
black-ish
Master Of None
Modern Family
Silicon Valley
Transparent
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Veep
Who will win: Transparent
Who should win: Veep
There's a lot of good shows here, I can see them going with Transparent again, but Veep is still the funniest show around in my opinion. 


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson - black-ish
Aziz Ansari - Master Of None
Will Forte - The Last Man On Earth
William H. Macy - Shameless
Thomas Middleditch - Silicon Valley
Jeffrey Tambor - Transparent
Who will win: Jeffrey Tambor
Who should win: I'd be happy with Forte or Middleditch. 


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Ellie Kemper - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - Veep
Laurie Metcalf - Getting On
Tracee Ellis Ross - black-ish
Amy Schumer - Inside Amy Schumer
Lily Tomlin - Grace And Frankie
Who will win: ?
Who should win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
I have no idea who's going to take this, but I'm always behind JLD. 


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Louie Anderson - Baskets
Andre Braugher - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Tituss Burgess - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Ty Burrell - Modern Family
Tony Hale - Veep
Keegan-Michael Key - Key & Peele
Matt Walsh - Veep
Who will win: Tituss Burgess
Who should win: I'd love Hale, Walsh or Key. 


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Anna Chlumsky - Veep
Gaby Hoffmann - Transparent
Allison Janney - Mom
Judith Light - Transparent
Kate McKinnon - Saturday Night Live
Niecy Nash - Getting On
Who will win and should win: Allison Janney
I'd be psyched if Anna Chlumsky won, but even though I'm not a fan of Mom, Allison Janney is awesome in it. 


Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series
Catastrophe ("Episode 1")
Master Of None ("Parents")
Silicon Valley ("Founder Friendly")
Silicon Valley ("The Uptick")
Veep ("Morning After")
Veep ("Mother")
Who will win: Veep "Mother"
Who should win: Silicon Valley "The Uptick"
Those Silicon Valley episodes they chose were hilarious, but for some reason people really liked "Mother" from Veep, even though I thought it was the least funny episode they've ever done. 


Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series
Master Of None ("Parents")
Silicon Valley ("Daily Active Users")
Silicon Valley ("Founder Friendly")
Transparent ("Man On The Land")
Veep ("Kissing Your Sister")
Veep ("Morning After")
Veep ("Mother")
Who will and should win: Veep "Kissing Your Sister"
They went documentary style for that episode, since it's different, I think they'll get it. 


Outstanding Limited Series
American Crime
Fargo
The Night Manager
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Roots
Who will win; The People v O.J Simpson
Who should win: Fargo
Fargo is amazing, American Crime was amazing until their shit finale, but OJ got a lot of buzz this year. I think that's where they'll go.


Outstanding Television Movie
All The Way
Confirmation
Luther
Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
A Very Murray Christmas
Who will win: Confirmation
Who should win: Sherlock
I've only seen Confirmation and Sherlock, I enjoyed both, but liked Sherlock slightly better. Confirmation is an important story though, so I see it winning. 


Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Bryan Cranston - All The Way
Benedict Cumberbatch - Sherlock: The Abominable Bride
Idris Elba - Luther
Cuba Gooding, Jr. - The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Tom Hiddleston - The Night Manager
Courtney B. Vance - The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Who will win: Bryan Cranston
Who should win: ?
You know the Emmys missing giving them to Cranston.


Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Kirsten Dunst - Fargo
Felicity Huffman - American Crime
Audra McDonald - Lady Day At Emerson's Bar & Grille
Sarah Paulson - The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Lili Taylor - American Crime
Kerry Washington - Confirmation
Who will win: Either Washington or Paulson
Who should win: Taylor, Dunst, or Huffman
This category is hard, there's so many great performances here. I can't pick, maybe they all deserve it. 


Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie
Sterling K. Brown - The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Hugh Laurie - The Night Manager
Jesse Plemons - Fargo
David Schwimmer - The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
John Travolta - The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Bokeem Woodbine - Fargo
Who will win: Sterling K Brown
Who should win: Either Fargo actor.
I'm bias for Fargo, okay?


Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie
Kathy Bates - American Horror Story: Hotel
Olivia Colman - The Night Manager
Regina King - American Crime
Melissa Leo - All The Way
Sarah Paulson - American Horror Story: Hotel
Jean Smart - Fargo
Who will win and should win: Regina King
Despite American Crime completely throwing everything out the window in their finale, King was excellent throughout. 


Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special
Fargo ("Loplop")
Fargo ("Palindrome")
The Night Manager
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story ("From The Ashes Of Tragedy")
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story ("Marcia, Marcia, Marcia")
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story ("The Race Card")
Who will win: One of the OJs
Who should win: Fargo for Palindrome


Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special
All The Way
Fargo ("Before The Law")
The Night Manager
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story ("From The Ashes Of Tragedy")
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story ("Manna From Heaven")
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story ("The Race Card")
Who will win: One of the OJ's again
Who should win: Fargo, again. Maybe OJ deserves to win though, I'm still annoyed this show isn't on On Demand so I can actually watch it. 



Outstanding Reality-Competition Program
The Amazing Race
American Ninja Warrior
Dancing With The Stars
Project Runway
Top Chef
The Voice
Who will win: The Voice
Who should win: American Ninja Warrior
I love watching Ninja Warrior, I miss the Japanese version dearly, but this has become a show my whole family watches together. 


Outstanding Variety Sketch Series
Documentary Now!
Drunk History
Inside Amy Schumer
Key & Peele
Portlandia
Saturday Night Live
Who will win and should win: Key & Peele
They've been strong lately. But all of these shows have been great this season, even Amy Schumer, who I'm getting a bit sick of. 


Outstanding Variety Talk Series
Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Late Late Show With James Corden
Real Time With Bill Maher
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Who will and should win: John Oliver
Oliver deserves an Emmy. His show is hilarious, he deserves this just for his Trump coverage alone. And that song he wrote about Brexit. 


Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series
Full Frontal With Samantha Bee
Inside Amy Schumer
Key & Peele
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Portlandia
Saturday Night Live
Who will win and should win: John Oliver.
I'd be happy for Samantha Bee winning too. I haven't seen her show, but I loved her on the Daily Show. 


Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series
Inside Amy Schumer
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
The Late Late Show With James Corden
Saturday Night Live
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Who will win: Jimmy Fallon
Who should win: ?
Directing wise, Jimmy's show is a bit more lively so I can see it winning.