In Case You Missed It

Review: Spider-man: Across The Spider-verse

Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is struggling with the weight of his secret of being Spider-man and his parents' expectations. He wants to go to college away from Brooklyn, and understandably his parents don't love that idea. Gwen (Hailee Steinfeild) is feeling a similar loneliness in her dimension.  When she joins a team of Spider-people across many universes set to keep everything in balance, her and Miles' paths cross again. If we talk specifically about the artistry, this is hands down the best animated film ever made. Every single frame of this movie is astonishing. They used so many different techniques. From the classic comic-book look for Miles, to the water colors of Gwen's world, to Spider-Punk who literally looks like someone brought a Sex Pistols poster to life. I was just in awe of the animation. It's something I praised in the last film as well, but it's dialed to eleven here. I can't wait to re-watch it just to see what I missed. They took so mu

Thursday Movie Picks - Movies With Seasons in the Title

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is films with seasons in the title. I love title themes and the picks below immediately came to mind.  1) Winter Passing - Remember when Zooey Deschanel was the queen of indie movies? This was one of my favorites from her. It also features a softer role from Will Ferrell.  2) Captain America: The Winter Soldier - I can't not think of Bucky when I hear "winter" This is still one of the best Marvel movies out there.  3) Spring - While I didn't *love* this movie, I think Lou Taylor Pucci is a very underrated actor and he was very good in this admittedly messy film.

Review: All Man: The International Male Story

This documentary takes us back to the 80's and 90's for a look at one of the most popular mail order catalogs of its time - International Male. I'm not gonna lie, when I saw "All Man" as the title I immediately raised an eyebrow. Then I saw the full picture and it was a memory unlocked. I had mostly forgotten this catalog existed but to many men - gay men in particular. This catalog was everything and it was a fine trip down memory lane. I enjoyed hearing all the stories from those involved with the magazine, to those who were just readers. One of them referred to it as getting "PG-13 porn" in their mailbox every month and I found that hilarious.  It's not all fun and games though, International Male had a lot of its staff die from the AIDs epidemic in the 80's and 90's and they touch on the racism involved with mostly casting white models. It's good they at least acknowledged these things, albeit briefly.  Barely over 80 minute long - th

2023 Blind Spot Series: Blood Simple

What I knew going in: Apparently nothing. Abby (Frances McDormand) is having an affair with Ray, (John Getz) a man that works for her husband Julian. (Dan Heyada) Juilan hires a seedy PI (M. Emmet Walsh) to follow them, and it all goes down hill from there. The funny thing about this blind spot is I was sure I had seen part of it before, then when I started watching it absolutely nothing looked familiar. So I was clearly mixing it up with something else. That said, the Coen Brother's debut is something I've longed to see. And it certainly is a debut. Very rough around the edges and not the most visually appealing, but you see the beginnings of what the Coen's will become as directors. The same goes for McDormand in her debut performance. She's the highlight of the film. I can't say I loved this movie. It's very uneven. The best way I could describe it is that its "in between" moments aren't very compelling compared to the bigger story beats. The l

Review: Reality

Based word for word from an FBI transcript during a search of her home, we follow Reality Winner (Sydney Sweeney) a former NSA linguist who is being arrested for leaking classified documents. Reality (yes, parents actually named her "Reality Winner") was eventually given the longest sentence ever (5 years) for violating the espionage act. Writer/Director Tina Satter originally adapted this story as a play, and it very much still feels like one on film. It's a very interesting concept to go word for word from an interview/quasi-interrogation. Using film as a medium allows Satter to add a few cuts to a script or a recording device when necessary to break up the scenes. It works very well for the most part. Sweeney has proven herself to be a very capable actor on various TV shows, so it's no surprised she shines here as well. We spend a lot of time in Reality's personal space, and Sweeney's face says so much. The FBI agents she interacts with, played by Josh Hami

Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition: Scores

This week's TV theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is one of my favorite things to talk about - a TV show's score or opening themes. This was pretty easy for me, and I ended up with a theme within a theme since they're all HBO shows. Here's what I came up with. 1) Game of Thrones - No hyperbole, but I think Game of Thrones has the best composed music of any TV show ever. Ramin Djawadi just completely knocked it out of the park. Not only are the opening credits iconic, but so many of the themes are perfection. 2) Westworld - Another product of Ramin Djawadi, I've been listening to this score a lot lately. It's very different from what he did with GoT, but it's still lovely and haunting. 3) Succession -  Nicholas Britell gave us an all timer with Succession's opening piano theme, but as of late he's really been stepping his game up during the show as well. As it's in the final season, I notice the music a lot more. 

Review: Anna Nicole Smith: You Don't Know Me

This documentary follows the rise and fall of one of the most prominent models and eventual tabloid fodder of the 90's and early 2000's. I read a lot of tabloids in the early aughts. It was an easy way to pass the time between classes or on breaks from work so I felt like I knew a lot about Anna Nicole even before watching this. And even though I didn't learn too many new things, it was nice to have the context behind some of it. With interviews with former friends, colleagues and family, the documentary does a good job of telling Anna's story. It's not afraid to mention her flaws or go easy on her eventual drug addiction, but it doesn't paint her as a saint either. I somewhat expected it to go heavy on her naivete but it was clear to point out when she was calling all the shots. What the doc doesn't have is interviews with Howard K. Stern or Larry Birkhead. Something I had wondered about. I suppose neither of those things are missed. Those around them tell