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Showing posts from February, 2013

DVD Review: The Campaign

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Will Ferrell + Adam McKay doesn't always = comedy gold. When Cam Brady, (Will Ferrell) a four term congressman from North Carolina starts to falter, two Big Wigs decide to push a naive candidate to rival him. That man is Marty Higgins. (Zach Galifianakis) I could explain the film a little bit more, but really, it's not worth the time. I personally never tire of Will Ferrell. I think the guy is hilarious and I always watch whatever he's in. Especially when he works with Adam McKay. Anchorman, Talledega Nights, Step Brothers, I loved all of those. But The Campaign just falls short. Though Farrell and Galifianakis have some great lines, and Jason Sudeikis steals scenes as Brady's campaign manager, Mitch, it just feels long and inconsistent. The character of Marty felt A LOT like Jack Black's character in Bernie. The voice, the peppy personality, even though the films were likely shot around the same time and had no influence on each other, I just kept thinki

2013 Academy Award Winners + my thoughts

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Well, this is it. The end of the road for awards season. As for the show itself, I enjoyed it for the most part, but it was a little hit and miss. Seth MacFarlene was a good host in my opinion. I know Twitter seemed to be pretty split on him, but I thought he was hilarious. Sure, he had a few jokes that failed, everyone does. But he had plenty that were gold. If Flight had actually been done with sock puppets, maybe I would've gone to see it.  The tributes to musicals were good, even if Catherine Zeta Jones sounded terrible in the Chicago performance. Adele killed it, obviously, but she didn't get the standing O that Jennifer Hudson did. Probably because she yelled more. Anywho, here's a list of the winners. My thoughts if needed will follow in green. Best Picture Amour Argo– WINNER Beasts of the Southern Wild Django Unchained Les Miserables Life of Pi Lincoln Silver Linings Playbook Zero Dark Thirty   There were plenty of "Ben Affleck got snubbed" jokes this

Final Oscar predictions: Who will win, who should win.

These are my final picks for the 2013 Academy Awards ceremony! Best Picture: AMOUR ARGO BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD DJANGO UNCHAINED LES MISERABLES LINCOLN LIFE OF PI SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK ZERO DARK THIRTY Who will and should win: Argo 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 Who will and should win: David O. Russell. This is actually really hard to predict. Since they didn't nominate Ben Affleck, I see SLP as the best film in this category. But, I have a feeling Michael Haneke could be a hit with the Academy, or Steven Spielberg. Either way, this is pretty open Best Actress: Emmanuelle Riva, AMOUR Quvenzhané Wallis, BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD Naomi Watts, THE IMPOSSIBLE Jennifer Lawrence, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK Jessica Chastain, ZERO DARK THIRTY Who will and should win: Jennifer Lawrence. After Emmanuelle Riva won the BAFTA, I can no longe

Indie Gems: Celeste and Jesse Forever

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Best friends forever? Celeste (Rashida Jones) and Jesse (Andy Samberg) are going through a divorce. But you would never know it until one of the characters (scene stealing Ari Graynor) in the film points it out. They are separated, but Jesse is still living in the guest house. They are trying to remain best friends, still sharing plenty of inside jokes, and the occasional tryst. When Jesse starts dating someone else, Celeste isn't as cool with it as she would've hoped. It seems that Celeste and Jesse have the world's easiest divorce. How many unmarried couples can joke like they do? Probably not many. Jones and Samberg have amazing chemistry, but I felt they struggled a little when the film got more emotional. There's some great supporting players; Ari Graynor as Celeste's BFF, Beth. Elijah Wood as her partner, Scott. Last but not least is Emma Robert's as a spoiled pop star that Scott and Celeste are working with. Celeste and Jesse seem perfect fo

DVD Review: Nobody Walks

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There's something missing.  Martine (Olivia Thirlby) is a young filmmaker who arrives in LA to put the finishing touches on her art film. She stays with Peter (John Krasinski) and his family. Peter is a sound mixer who is helping her finish her film. Meanwhile his shrink wife Julie (Rosemarie DeWitt) has a hard time with a patient that's obviously pursuing her, and with the slight crush she notices Peter has on Martine. Then there is their 16 year old daughter Kolt (India Ennenga) who is fascinated with Peter's assistant, and also ends up unknowingly attracting her Italian tutor. Nobody Walks felt like it was missing something. There is no climax to this film, nothing gets resolved. That's how life is, but it doesn't make for a very interesting story. Olivia Thirlby does a great job of playing Martine. You never know if she is aware of the sexuality she possess or not. Men fall all over her in this film, and she doesn't turn them away without giving

Review: Side Effects

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Jagged little pill. Emily Taylor (Rooney Mara) has had issues with depression before. She thinks it is all behind her. When her husband, Martin (Channing Tatum) is released from a four year prison sentence for insider trading, she hopes for the best. That doesn't happen, and one afternoon she purposely drives her car into a brick wall. A psychiatrist at the hospital, Dr. Banks (Jude Law) takes over her car and prescribes her a new drug called Ablixa. But it has some serious side effects, and Emily ends up taking someone's life while on this drug. Soon, Dr. Banks is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, but he starts to uncover secrets about this case. Rooney Mara is a hell of an actress. I know I complained about her being over exposed during The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo's run, but she really gives a great performance here. It's easy for actors playing characters with depression to just look like hollow zombies, but when we look at Rooney's Emily,

The SONSOFBITCHES snubbed James McAvoy and Paul Dano!

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Mette over at Lime Reviews and Strawberry Confessions  is hosting her first every blogathon, asking for performances in any category that were snubbed at the Oscars. This is totally up my alley, but Alex over at And So It Begins  actually covered a lot of the ones I would chose. So, I'm going to split this between two actors who I thought were snubbed in the supporting actor category. In this case, both of the lead actors in these films went on to win Oscars. While they were both deserving, their awesomeness somewhat over shadowed their co-stars. So here it is. Those SONSOFBITCHES snubbed James McAvoy and Paul Dano James McAvoy - Best Supporting Actor - The Last King of Scotland Many people will remember The Last King of Scotland as Forest Whitaker's movie. And while he did a fantastic job as the tyrannical Idi Amin, the story was told through Nicholas Garrigan's (McAvoy) eyes. Though McAvoy had some tough competition in the supporting category that year, I think

Indie Gems: Joshua

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Is he Damien reincarnated?  That's kind of the feel you get from Joshua at first. That it will be just another creepy kid movie. While the cheap score certainly tries to push that theory, it is a little more than that. Brad (Sam Rockwell) and Abby (Vera Farmiga) have just had a new baby. Abby mentions that she's struggled with postpartum depression in the past, but everything seems to be different with this baby. Their 10 year old Joshua (Jacob Kogan) starts to feel left out. Soon, strange things start to happen. The interesting thing about Joshua is that the film gives us an opportunity to see things from Joshua's perspective, instead of only his parent's. Brad and Abby aren't the most nurturing parents around, and it's obvious they neglect Joshua. Sure, new babies take a lot of the attention, but neither are making an attempt to make sure Joshua's needs are met. So when crazy shit starts to happen, you can't exactly blame Joshua for seemi

Motifs in 2012 Cinema: Appreciation of Life

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Andrew, over at Encore's World of Film and TV  is hosting a blogging project regarding motifs in Cinema. Choosing only films from 2012, he presented a list of themes to pick from, and I chose appreciation of life. Motifs in Cinema is a discourse across 22 film blogs, assessing the way in which various thematic elements have been used in the 2012 cinematic landscape. How does a common theme vary in use from a comedy to a drama? Are filmmakers working from a similar canvas when they assess the issue of death or the dynamics of revenge? Like most things, a film begins with an idea - Motifs in Cinema assesses how the use of a common theme across various films changes when utilised by different artists. - Andrew, Encore Entertainment  Appreciation of Life: Finding the silver lining The first film that comes to mind is Silver Linings Playbook . The entire premise is about finding the silver lining. Pat messed up, he let rage take over, and now he's determined

5 Stupid Camping Movies I Loved as a Kid

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We all have them. Movies that we loved watching when we were young. When we look at them now we thank God that our taste in cinema has matured, but still hold a fond spot in our hearts for the stupid things that made us laugh. Although I initially didn't mean it, the films on this list have something in common. They all involve camping, boarding school, or being in the wilderness. So here's 5 stupid camping movies I loved as a kid. 1) Major Payne This is the catalyst that started this list. It was on TV the other day. I loved the Waynes Brothers, they used to do a lot of funny stuff. Lately, it hasn't been the same. But I'll always fondly look back on them for giving me so many laughs. (White Chicks, Scary Movies 1 and 2) 2)Heavy Weights A bunch of kids that get sent to fat camp. This movie made me a little less annoyed that my parents sent me to Girl Scout camp one year. Plus in retrospect, Ben Stiller's character here could've easily morphed int

2013 BAFTA Winners

Here's a list of the 2013 BAFTA Winners! I'm a little short on time today, but I do have a few quick thoughts: I'm really surprised Emmanuelle Riva picked up Best Actress over Chastain and Lawrence. Also Argo is now the clear Best Picture winner in my mind. Glad to see Affleck nab Director too. I'm also really psyched for Juno Temple winning the Rising Star award. She caught my attention in Notes on a Scandal and I've been a fan ever since. Good for her! Best Film  Argo Best Director  Ben Affleck, Argo Best Actor  Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln Best Actress  Emmanuelle Riva, Amour Best Supporting Actor  Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained Best Supporting Actress  Anne Hathaway,  Les Mis√©rables Best Original Screenplay  Django Unchained Best Adapted Screenplay  Silver Linings Playbook Best British Film   Skyfall Best Film Not in the English Language   Amour Best Animated Film   Brave Best Documentary   Searching for Sugar Man Best Editing  William Goldenberg, Argo Best Co

Indie Gems: God Bless America

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Hmmm...who to kill next? Frank (Joel Murray) has just about had it with society. He fantasizes about killing his obnoxious neighbors and their crying baby. He hates going to work and listening to his co workers talk about ridiculous reality TV shows. After he loses his job and finds out he's terminally ill, he decides he's going to rid the world of it's stupid people that are put on a pedestal. After blowing a spoiled reality teen's brains out, he meets Roxy, (Tara Lynne Barr) a 16 year old school girl who hates life just as much as she does. After constant pestering, she becomes his accomplice. The beginning of this movie wades in preachy territory, but it eventually subsides and we are left with a pretty amusing montage of Frank and Roxy getting rid of a variety of people. At one point, there's a scene where they off people in a movie theater for talking, then thank the lone person from their attack for being quiet during the movie and not using her cel

DVD Review: Lawless

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They believe they're own legends. The Bondurant brothers - leader Forrest, (Tom Hardy) Howard, (Jason Clarke) and Jack (Shia LaBeouf) are in the bootlegging business. There's rumblings all over town that these boys are invisible, something Jack really wants to believe. A new law enforcement officer Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce) shows up and threatens to end their operation. There's a lot of promising performances here, but the film itself just doesn't hold up. Forrest is barely audible, Jack makes plenty of stupid decisions, and a small part by Gary Oldman is squandered. His character's first scene makes him feel important, he shows up one more time and is gone for the best of the film. But the ones who really take the hit are the women. Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska, both very capable actresses are given little do to, and are treated even worse. This film isn't kind to women, though I suppose the bootlegging business wasn't kind to them either

DVD Review: Killer Joe

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Well that escalated quickly. Chris (Emile Hirsch) is in big trouble. After his mother steals his blow, he cannot pay his drug dealer back. He convinces his dimwitted father Ansel (Thomas Hayden Church) to hire a detective that moonlights as a hit man, Joe (Matthew McConaughey) to kill her. You see, she has a large insurance policy and they plan to pay Joe once they cash it in. Joe's not an idiot, he wants a retainer, and he gets one in the form of Chris's precious little sister, Dottie. (Juno Temple) Killer Joe is easily one of the creepiest movies I've seen in a long time. Every scene with Joe and Dottie felt wrong, even though we are clearly told that Dottie is 20. Juno Temple plays her so innocent, sweet and childlike it's easy to forget her age and just feel bad for her getting taken advantage of. I'm sure many of you have heard of "that scene" towards the end with Joe and Ansel's new wife Sharla. (Gina Gershon) Knowing about it ahead of

Review: Warm Bodies

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They're changing. R (Nicholas Hoult) is unlike any zombie we've seen on film before. He's conflicted and lost. He doesn't like the fact that he eats people, or that he can't speak to others. What we do know is that if zombies eat a human's brains, they get their memories. So when R eats Julie's (Teresa Palmer) boyfriend, and gets his memories with her, R is instantly in love. He protects her and slowly starts to become human again. Then there are the bonies. They are the zombies who just gave up and ripped their skin off. They aren't happy with the zombies changing. Now they have a common enemy with the humans. But can Julie convince everyone that they are curing themselves? It's hard to make a moving about the zombie apocalypse and stand out, but Warm Bodies does just that. Most of the movie is R's inner dialogue, which is a great addition. It's funny listening to him narrate his life and try to find a way to "not be a creep&

Indie Gems: The Good Doctor

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What if.. Dr. Martin Blake (Orlando Bloom) is getting the hang of becoming on doctor. He's a bit insecure, one of his nurses (played by Taraji P. Hensen) gives him a hard time. When Diane (Riley Keough) comes in with a kidney infection, Dr. Blake is suddenly fascinated with her. Once she's well, her family invites him to dinner, but he's not ready to let her go just yet. I always joke about how I wish Orlando Bloom was a better actor because he's so nice to look at. In this film he actually does a pretty good job. The supporting cast are nice touches, with Hensen, Michael Pena, and even JK Simmons shows up for a short time. I found the film to be very interesting but the generic score and choppy ending hurt it a bit. It's some of Bloom's best work and technical issues aside, it's a good film that is easy to get in to. Grade: B Memorable Quote: "There's something I didn't tell you.." Diane (Riley Keough)