Showing posts from September, 2012

Review: Looper

Bruce Willis is still a badass.   The year is 2044. Time travel doesn't exist yet, but it will. When the mob wants someone dead, they tie them up, gag them, and send them back in time for people called Loopers to kill and dispose of the body. Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a Looper. He's also a struggling addict. The thing about Loopers is that eventually they will have to kill their older selves. This is called "closing the loop." When Joe's older self (Bruce Willis) is sent to him, he gives Joe a terrible warning and takes off. Now Joe's employers are after them both, because you have to close the loop.     In a world of remakes, sequels, book adaptations, it's nice to see something so original. Director/Writer Rian Johnson put a lot of thought into this and it pays off. The story is wonderful. The future is different, but not over the top "spacey" either. He adds some interesting quirks. At first I was a little distracted by the am

Indie Gems: Tonight You're Mine

I want you instead.   Adam (Luke Treadaway) and Morello (Natalia Tena) are musicians at the T in the Park music festival in Scotland. After a random fight, a minster handcuffs them together and runs off. They both have to perform and as they search for a way to remove the cuffs the find a deep connection between them instead.   I normally would trash a film for this, but the lack of direction and script actually works for it. If you've ever been to a music festival, you know how chaotic they can be. I wouldn't be surprised if all the dialogue in this film was ad-libbed. The quick cuts and casual conversations we see just make us feel like we're at the festival with them. The leads have quite a bit of chemistry, even if they don't start off as the most likeable people on the planet. There was a few side stories that I found annoying and unnecessary, but when the final scene of the film was shown, it all came together beautifully. Turns out they served a bit of

DVD Review: The Lucky One

Of course this is based on a Nicholas Sparks novel.   Is there a more repetitive writer than Nicholas Sparks? All of his novels turned movies follow the same formula. Two people are in love, one has a secret, someone important dies. Wash, rinse, lather, repeat.   The Lucky One follows Logan (Zac Efron, possibly the world's most unrealistic Marine) while he's on tour in Iraq. He finds a picture on the ground, and while he's admiring it, his platoon is attacked. He survives and credits the girl in this picture as his guardian angel. He doesn't know who she is, so he goes on a hunt to find her. He sees a lighthouse in the background of her picture, so he goes online and finds that it is in Louisiana. (I'm sure he spent hours doing that, right?) Logically, he and his dog WALK there and find that the girl in the picture, Beth (Taylor Schilling, who could pass as Efron's mother) works at a dog trainer/kennell. Of course he gets the perfect opportunity to ex

Film and Food

As a movie lover, it's safe to say that film effects my life in several different ways. Occasionally, that includes the way I eat. Think about it. Has a film ever changed your opinion of food? Made you crave a certain something? Or make you never want to eat it again? It certainly has for me. Here's 5 films that make me either crave it, or cringe at the sight of it. The Film: Se7en The Food: Spaghetti sauce The Reaction: Cringe As if eating yourself to death isn't gross enough. They had to have that bucket of puke underneath the table to top it off. I have never looked at spaghetti sauce the same since. I'll take my noodles with butter, thanks.  The Film: Matilda The Food: Chocolate Cake The Reaction: Cringe Watching that poor boy eat that entire chocolate cake in front of the entire school was enough to make me stick with white cake for quite some time. I've since welcomed chocolate cake back into my life, but it took awhile.  The Film:

2012 Emmy Winners

Well the Emmys sure went sour for me after they didn't give Bryan Cranston his deserved trophy. Besides that glaring mistake, the Emmys were pretty predictable. Here's a list of winners. My thoughts will follow in green .  Outstanding comedy series: Modern Family Everyone saw this coming. No surprises here. Outstanding drama series:   Homeland I don't watch Homeland. For all I know, it's a great show. Still, The fact that Breaking Bad didn't win this is insulting. I'm surprised they've never won when every single episode is golden. Even the filler episodes are great. Outstanding miniseries or movie:   Game Change I thought American Horror Story would take this, but HBO once again comes through. Game Change was great. Outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie: Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys Kevin Costner, really? Outstandi ng directing for a miniseries or movie: Jay Roach, Game Change Outstanding lead actress in a miniseries o

Indie Gems: Normal Adolescent Behavior

Oh by the way..Havoc 2   When NAB was released on DVD, they changed the name to include Havoc 2. Even though this movie has absolutely nothing to do with the original. The plots are not even similar. The only connections are teens that are having sex.   Wendy (Amber Tamblyn) and 5 of her friends have one big open relationship. They want to avoid the typical heartbreak and drama of high school, so they stick together and are essentially a rotating set of friends with benefits. They were once a group of 8, but two members left because they only wanted to be with each other. The group now shuns them. Wendy meets Sean (Ashton Holmes) and she's torn between starting a relationship with him, and leaving her friends. Billie (Kelli Garner) who is also part of the group doesn't want Wendy to ruin what they have.   This isn't 5 star film making, but I actually thought the movie was really interesting. The idea of 6 friends having an open relationship like that was diff

DVD Review: The Rum Diary

Nothing in moderation.   Considering how excited I was to see this film initially, it's a little embarrassing how long it took me to review the damn thing.   Journalist Paul Kemp (Johnny Depp) is assigned to write for a newspaper in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He hopes this job will take him further, but he's really just swimming in circles. He's a drunk, his room mate is a drunk. They manage to piss of locals and tourists alike. Soon Kemp finds himself smitten with the wealthy Sanderson's (Aaron Eckhart) girlfriend Chenault. (Amber Heard) That brings on a whole other level of trouble.   I happened to be in San Juan while they were filming this, I even ran into Amber Heard in the hotel lobby. (who at that point, I recognized from All The Boys Love Mandy Lane) So it was cool to see all the sights that I saw on film. The film itself was a lot more boring than I expected. The reviews for this were sour, but I still thought it would be a little fun. It was at time

Review: Premium Rush

No brakes, no problem.   Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a thrill seeking bike messenger in New York City. One day he is assigned to a last minute delivery to get a very special envelope to someone in China Town. A corrupt police officer, Monday (Michael Shannon) attempts to intercept Wilee while he's on his mission. Soon, he finds out what the contents in the envelope really entail, and with the help of his fellow biker girlfriend, Vanessa, (Dania Ramirez) he's determined to get it to it's destination.   First off, I have to admit that a movie about bike messengers wouldn't normally grab my attention. However, since my favorite actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars, I'll throw that notion out the window. I had actually read some pretty harsh reviews prior, and I have to say that it really wasn't that bad. I actually had a pretty good time watching. The director gives us many shots of routes that Wilee considers taking in his head, and with those shots we see the c

Final Emmy Predictions: Who Will Win, Who Should Win

The Emmys are a hard awards show to call since I don't watch every single show that's nominated. (and also because their rules of who goes in what category are absurd to say the least) I try not to be completely bias about the shows I watch (I know Mad Men is a fine show, even if I don't watch regularly) so here is my final list of who I think will win, and who should win.  Best Drama Series Boardwalk Empire Breaking Bad Downton Abbey Game of Thrones Homeland Mad Men Who will win: Mad Men Who should win: Breaking Bad Why: Mad Men has taken the top drama prize for the last 4 years, I expect it to do it again. Mad Men's actors never win, so this is a way of awarding the show as a whole. Personally, I think Breaking Bad is the best show on television, and season 4 is easily one of it's best seasons. I think Breaking Bad will clean up the individual acting categories, so I don't see it winning here. Best Comedy Series The Big Bang Theory Curb Y

SYTYCR: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

This is my other review I did for the SYTYCR tournament at The LAMB. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that the first time I saw this film I had tried to talk my way out of it. I was young, and martial arts movies weren't really my thing unless they involved Jackie Chan. Go ahead and laugh, but for me at age thirteen, Jackie Chan was the man, damnit! If there was ever a film that was going to change my views on martial arts movies, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is it. The story follows Li Mu Bai, (Chow Yun-Fat) a famous warrior that's ready to lay down his powerful sword, The Green Destiny for good. He gives it to an old friend, but the sword is immediately stolen. Lin Mu Bai's fellow warrior, Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) aids him in his search. They have long been in love with one another, but have never acted upon it. Tying everything together is Jen, (Ziyi Zhang) the daughter of a wealthy family. Jen is unhappy with the marriage that has been arraigned by her fam

Indie Gems: Donnie Darko

What would you do if you knew the future?   Troubled teen Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) follows a giant rabbit named Frank out of his house one night. Frank tells him the world will end in 28 days. When he returns home, a jet engine has crashed through his bedroom ceiling. While he contemplates the reason for his survival, he continues to follow Frank's suggestions, even as they become stranger and cause more chaos.   One thing I'm not going to get into this review is my theories on it. If you've ever researched Donnie Darko you've probably found out that there are two versions, the original and the director's cut, and that the latter basically spells the movie out for you, where the former leaves a lot to your imagination. I think that's actually pretty off putting. There's just too many arguments out there. Watch it for yourself, form your own opinion, then join the discussion if you wish.   Jake Gyllenhaal is wonderful as a disturbed teen here. (Though I

SYTYCR: The Room

I participated in this tournament over at LAMB, I was ousted in round 2, which is actually kind of a blessing because I would've had to review one of the Harry Potter films next and I think that would be a dead give away to anyone who's ever read my blog over the years. Nonetheless, it was a lot of fun. Here is the original review, any comments I've added will be in blue. Oh Hi, fellow LAMBs The film that was chosen for me was the train wreck cinematic masterpiece known as The Room. I feel like I should point out that this review is coming from someone that usually enjoys "bad" movies and can find the humor in them. I was really tempted to just write "what the fuck?" and submit that, but as funny as that would've been to me, no one would've voted. The main story line that is actually consistent throughout the film is that sweet Johnny (Tommy Wiseau, with an accent that suggests he grew up in Poland/Denmark/United States/Sri Lank

DVD Review: Margaret

Editing hell.   Here's a little back story on Margaret. This was shot in 2005 with a release date in 2007. Then the director apparently didn't meet the time restraints when he was editing the film. Then the guy financing the film got sued for not paying the studio. Then the financier sued the studio back. So after a few lawsuits and extensive editing process, Margaret finally saw the light of day in late 2011. I have to note that I didn't see the actual 3 hour extended cut. I saw the 2 1/2 hour version that Netflix is offering. I wish I could see the longer cut, because than maybe my review wouldn't feel like this:   I'm extremely frustrated with what I saw. Margaret is about an out spoken, moody teenager named Lisa Cohen (Anna Paquin, who 7 years ago easily passed for a teen) While trying to get the attention of a bus driver (Mark Ruffalo) she witnesses a horrific accident in which said bus driver strikes and kills a woman. Lisa can't help but feel a little gui

DVD Review: The Deep Blue Sea

"The" is the keyword.   Without "the," this could easily be confused for the movie where that shark ate everybody. No, Terence Davies' adaptation of the play is so much more.   Stage 5 clinger Hester (Rachel Weisz) is in the midst of a divorce with her much older husband, Sir William Collyer. She's also in a love affair with Freddie (Tom Hiddleston) who clearly doesn't love her as much as she loves him. We meet Hester in the aftermath of a suicide attempt and this isn't the first time she will do something like this.      The acting by our three leads is fantastic, and I love how Davies shot the film. It's based on a play, and it feels like one right down to the sets and lighting. Even the way the characters move makes it feel like they should be on a stage. The main problem for me was that I didn't care for Hester. Her attention seeking and mopey behaviors made me wonder what either man saw in her. Not to mention we don't know why she l

Indie Gems: Casa de mi Padre

Ode to Spanish soap operas.   Will Ferrell speaking fluent Spanish with Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal is what sold me on this. How could it not?   Armando (Ferrell) has worked on his father's ranch in Mexico his entire life. His brother Raul (Luna) has gotten into trouble with the drug king pin, Onza (Bernal) and soon Armando finds himself tangled in their fight. There's also the fact that Armando has fallen in love with Raul's fiancee, Sonia. (Genisis Rodriguez)   Case de mi Padre is very self aware of how ridiculous soap operas can be. They take full advantage of this. From obvious stages, fake back drops, horses, and even people at times. CDMP relishes in it's outrageous behavior. Onza smokes two cigarettes at a time, Armando and Sonia have an ass grabbing love fest, and blood always splatters in the most ironic of places. Everyone and everything in this film was hilarious to me.   Grade: A   Memorable Quote: "I will beat you with these hands!" - Armand

Breaking Bad Season 5 Review

I think Breaking Bad just might be the best show I've ever seen.   Even with the infuriating "mid season break" These 8 episodes really delivered. In this season we see the aftermath of Gus Fring's death, and Walter White's deeper descent into the world of drugs. His ego is consuming him. He's less the man that was doing this only to support his family, and more the man yearning for power. This season's tag line "All Hail The King" says so much. The final 8 episodes have to pack a powerful punch. Here's what I'm looking forward too. Keep Walt and Jesse connected : This season saw Jesse saying he was out. Walt still visted him to give him the money he owed. Walt and Jesse are at their best when they are together. Almost like a surrogate father/son. Their relationship is my favorite, and there has to be a powerful scene between them. We know Walt has screwed over Jesse in many unforgivable ways (Jane's death, Brock) and Jesse is

True Blood Season 5 Review

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack. Anyways, one of the things I've been eager to talk about is wrapping up my favorite shows. So for the next few days, that is what my posts will be about. We'll start with the highly anticipated, but ultimately a major let down - True Blood.  True Blood is starting to remind me of Rescue Me. I loved the show, defended it constantly, but it went downhill, fast. Even though it got pretty terrible at times, I still watched and loved it all the same. True Blood entered terrible territory this season. The main problem with this season was that there were too many story lines going on at once: The Authority - which was interesting, but since they were in the same room for nearly the entire season it felt like it was taking forever to take off. The Return of Russell Edgington - Which I was really looking forward too, and it was a lot of fun, but his send off was a disappointment. I was hoping for a fight. The "Obamas" - I wis