Showing posts from January, 2013

DVD Review: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Matilda is coming. Matilda is the name of an asteroid that's heading towards Earth. Everyone knows once you name something it becomes less of a threat, right? Dodge's (Steve Carrell) wife skips out on him the minute we learn that Earth is going to end soon. He decides he will spend his last few weeks road tripping to his see his long lost love from high school. His neighbor, Penny (Keira Knightley) tags a long and changes everything. I'm not sure what exactly I was expecting from this movie. It specifically says it's about the end of the world, so why was I surprised that it was so damn depressing? I don't know. I like seeing Knightley in movies that aren't period pieces. The film itself was endearing at times, had a few great jokes, but really, it was a downer. Although this film does pose an interesting discussion: Do you hate the term 'Manic Pixie Dream Girl?' Do you think Penny fell into the category of that? Personally, I'm split

2013 Screen Actors Guild Winners

Here are the *slightly belated* SAG Winners. The winners are in bold and my thoughts as always follow in green . I have to say one thing, whoever was the announcer during the ceremony was terrible. That montage of shots of the honorees on the red carpet was so painful I was embarrased for her. "Zero Dark Thirty's Jessica Chastain looks Zero Dark Flirty." "Hey Daniel Day-Lewis" "Ben Affleck better Argo Find his seat." Seriously? Who wrote that? Outstan ding Pe rformance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Bradley Cooper (“Pat”) - Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company) Daniel Day-Lewis (“Abraham Lincoln”) – Lincoln (Touchstone Pictures) John Hawkes (“Mark”) - The Sessions (Fox Searchlight) Hugh Jackman (“Jean Valjean”) - Les Misérables (Universal Pictures) Denzel Washington (“Whip Whitaker”) – Flight (Paramount Pictures) DDL gave a really classy speech with shot outs to Joaquin Phoenix, Liam Neeson, (Who had the part of Lincoln before

2013 SAG Predictions: Who will win, Who should win

Here are my final predictions for the SAG awards. I did pretty well with my Globe picks, but the SAG are a different animal. They tend to be more about performance than flair. (as they should be) Outstan ding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Bradley Cooper (“Pat”) - Silver Linings Playbook (The Weinstein Company) Daniel Day-Lewis (“Abraham Lincoln”) – Lincoln (Touchstone Pictures) John Hawkes (“Mark”) - The Sessions (Fox Searchlight) Hugh Jackman (“Jean Valjean”) - Les Misérables (Universal Pictures) Denzel Washington (“Whip Whitaker”) – Flight (Paramount Pictures) Who will win and who should win: Daniel Day-Lewis I don't see anyone taking him down this season, as interesting as it would be to see Jackman or Cooper honored, it's going to be DDL all the way. Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Jessica Chastain (“Maya”) – Zero Dark Thirty (Columbia Pictures) Marion Cotillard (“Stephanie”) – Rust and Bone (Sony Pictures Classics

Indie Gems: The Living Wake

On this final day... Today is the day that K. Roth Binew (Mike O'Connell) will die. He's a self proclaimed artist and genius and he goes about his day handing out invitations to his "living wake" where he will put on a show, then drop dead. He enlists his trusty friend Mills (Jesse Eisenberg) to drive him around on his bike/buggy to hand out said invitations, and they go about their peculiar day. O'Connell and Eisenberg have great chemistry and were a joy to see on screen together. I wouldn't call A Living Wake "laugh out loud" funny, it was almost like watching an animated movie. It was very amusing throughout. It reminds me a lot of Safety Not Guaranteed when it comes to the ending. You go through the entire film wondering if they will actually "go there" or not. If you are an Eisenberg fan, I suggest you check this one out. It's a good lazy afternoon film. Currently, it is streaming on Netflix Instant. Recommended

Review: Rust and Bone

I'm torn on this beautiful little French film.  Ali (Matthais Schoenaerts) has recently moved in with this sister, whom he hasn't seen for 5 years with his young son. He's a fighter, he gets a job as a bouncer at a club and that is where he meets Stephanie. (Marion Cotillard) He broke up a fight she was in, drove her home, and leaves his phone number just in case. Stephanie trains Orcas at a Marine Park, one day she suffers a horrible accident and loses both of her legs from the knee down. (You get the jist of what happened, but they don't actually tell you HOW the accident took place.) Stephanie decides to call Ali and they form a strange bond. There are parts of Rust and Bone that I really love. Cotillard gives a great performance. Even when Stephanie is most vulnerable, Cotillard still plays her as a tough girl who opens up more and more as she is with Ali. However Stephanie isn't the star of this film. It's Ali, and Ali isn't that likable. He

Review: Mama

Mama could've been an interesting psychological drama until some asshole said "Hey! Let's turn this into a jumpy horror film."  Yes, I realize this film was based off of a Spanish short film of the same name, but there was so much potential wasted here. More on this later. Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who is barely in this film by the way) is searching for his missing nieces, Victoria and Lilly. The back story is; Lucas' brother Jeff had a meltdown that basically involved him shooting his wife, kidnapping his daughters and taking them to a remote cabin in the woods. 5 years later, the girls are found, feral, and alone. Only they're not really alone. A spirit they call "mama" has been looking after them. Lucas and his rocker girlfriend Annabel (Jessica Chastain, trying a little too hard) want to care for them, but they don't have the money. So Dr Dreyfuss,(Daniel Kash) who has been studying the girls gives them a house that is used th

5 Winter Movies I Love

AKA other than awards season it's a slow movie month. I don't know how many of you live in the frozen tundra that is the north like I do, but if so, then you're also in the negative double digits today. It got me thinking about movies that I love that the winter weather plays a major part in. Whether it be in just a few scenes, or if the whole movie takes place during the winter time. I tried to stay away from holiday films since we're past that, so here are 5 of my favorite winter movies! The Ice Storm: My 2nd favorite Ang Lee film. (behind Brokeback Mountain) The winter weather plays a huge part in this dysfunctional family drama. Especially for Elijah Wood's character. Plus there's something I love about Christina Ricci's red cape, and Tobey Maguire reading Spiderman comics before becoming Spiderman, himself.  Winter Passing: This wonderful little film showed me that Will Ferrell can do drama and established Zooey Deschan

Indie Gems: Sweet Jane

Not that you needed any proof, but JGL excelled at the darker roles at a young age. Jane (Samantha Mathis) is a heroin addict. We first meet her when she's passed out on the streets, the cops take her to the local hospital where she finds out she's HIV positive. Not that she cares, she's more concerned with scoring her next hit. When she leaves, she's followed by Tony (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) a 15 year old AIDs victim himself. He has no family, no home, he forms a bond with Jane, even when she's not that thrilled to have him around. This movie is insanely low budget, and the editing is sometimes distracting. However low budget doesn't equal low quality performances. Both Mathis and JGL are great here. Mathis plays a convincing addict. She's unstable, unpredictable, but her growing affection for Tony feels real. (and even a little creepy at one point) It's no surprise to see that Joseph Gordon-Levitt has somewhat excelled in playing darker roles

DVD Review: Savages

We lived like savages. Beautiful savages.  Chon (Taylor Kitsch) and Ben (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) share a very successful pot growing business. They also share O, (Blake Lively) our narrator. They want to get out, but not before a dangerous Mexican cartel takes interest in them. Led by Elena (Salma Hayek) and enforced by Lado, (Benicio Del Toro) they kidnap O and hold her as ransom. Chon and Ben are not willing to go down without a fight. There are three main problems with Savages. 1) Taylor Kitsch 2) Blake Lively and 3) Oliver Stone. The two former, because they cannot act, and when the script actually gives them meaningful dialogue they recite it with little to no emotion. Oliver Stone has lost his touch. I was enjoying this movie despite the lack of quality acting to start, but then it just got crazier, more muddled, and produced one of the worst endings I've seen in a long time. One could argue that a movie about drugs should be a little crazy, and I agree. But this wa

2013 Golden Globe Winners

Here are the winners of the 2012 Golden Globes! I have to say, this year's Globes were a damn good time. Tina Fey and Amy Poehlar should just host everything. Seriously, bring them back next year. Or allow Kristen Wiig and Will Ferrell to host, because they were the funniest presenters by a long shot. As always, my thoughts will be in green . As far as my picks - I was 18/25. Not bad. Best Motion Picture — Drama WINNER: Argo Django Unchained Life of Pi Lincoln Zero Dark Thirty Argo won big tonight, but the Globes are notorious for getting Best Drama and Best Picture wrong. Still, it's a confusing season. I'm not sure if this will curse Argo, or give it the momentum it needs. Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama WINNER: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln Richard Gere, Arbitrage John Hawkes, The Sessions Joaquin Phoenix, The Master Denzel Washington, Flight Even Daniel Day-Lewis knew he was going to win this. Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Pictu

2013 Golden Globe Predictions: Who will win. Who should win

It's time for predictions! Here's who I think will win, and who probably should win. Please note - I made this post before the Oscar nominations were announced and chose not to edit it afterwards. Best Motion Picture — Drama Argo Django Unchained Life of Pi Lincoln Zero Dark Thirty Who will win: Lincoln or Zero Dark Thirty Who should win: Argo I expect either Lincoln or Zero Dark Thirty to win. Why? Because I don't think either will win Best Picture at the Oscars and the Globes have gotten Best Drama wrong mora than right. Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln Richard Gere, Arbitrage John Hawkes, The Sessions Joaquin Phoenix, The Master Denzel Washington, Flight Who will win: Daniel Day-Lewis Who should win: Daniel Day-Lewis This seems like a no brainer. Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty Marion Cotillard, Rust & Bone Helen Mirren, Hitchcock Naomi

Indie Gems: Sleepwalk With Me

As if life wasn't complicated enough while you were awake. Matt (Mike Birbiglia) is a struggling stand up comedian. He works as a bar tender at a comedy club, he's in a long term relationship with his girlfriend, Abby (Lauren Ambrose) but he doesn't think it's going to work out. On top of all this stress, he's started sleepwalking. Once he starts getting gigs, he blows off his doctor appointments. It gets him into quite a bit of trouble. The movie is told in flashbacks as Matt is talking into a camera, making his own movie about his experiences. It was a nice touch to add to this quirky film. There is something very real and intimate about this feature, so when I learned it was inspired by Birbiglia's own life, I was not surprised. Matt's journey from being a stuttering comic that fumbled on stage to a confident man getting lots of laughs was rewarding to watch. Then there was the sleepwalking, while that can be a serious condition, it was taken

2013 Academy Award Nominees

Well, it's that time of year again! Here's a list of the Oscar nominees. For the most part, I'm pretty happy with them. There were plenty of surprises. My biggest gripe is that The Dark Knight Rises was COMPLETELY shut out. No sound, no visuals, nothing. Why does the Academy hate Christopher Nolan movies so much? TDKR was easily one of the best reviewed movies this year, and they can't even give it a damn sound mixing nomination? My thoughts, as always, follow in green . Best Picture: AMOUR ARGO BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD DJANGO UNCHAINED LES MISERABLES LINCOLN LIFE OF PI SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK ZERO DARK THIRTY Why do they only nominate 9 if there are 10 slots? You couldn't pick just one more movie to stick in there? No Moonrise Kingdom? The Dark Knight Rises? The Master? Nothing? Best Director: Michael Haneke, AMOUR Benh Zeitlin, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD Ang Lee, LIFE OF PI Steven Spielberg, LINCOLN David O. Russell, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK This totally