Indie Gems: What Maisie Knew

Just because you can have a child, doesn't mean you know how to be a parent.
There's a time in our lives when it's okay to be a little self-centered. We need to care about our performances at our jobs, and be wrapped up in our own love lives. We have to find a time to love ourselves and live our lives. That being said, when you choose to bring a child into this world, you need to put their needs before yours. This is a little person that depends on you, and you need to be there for them. Poor  6 year old Maisie (Onata Aprile) doesn't have that.
Her mother, Susanna (Julianne Moore) and her father, Beale (Steve Coogan) are separating. Her father has booked up with Maisie's long time nanny, Margo. (Joanna Vanderham) They are in a bitter custody battle with the courts, they openly fight in front of her. Susanna talks to her like she's a friend rather than her young child and encourages her to lie about things in court. Beale seems to love his daughter, but he's far too caught up with work to give her the time of day, that usually falls to Margo. Susanna marries a man named Lincoln (Alexander Skarsgard) to "look better for court, since her ex is remarried as well." Lincoln and Maisie enjoy each other's company, and eventually Margo and Lincoln end up watching her more than her own parents do.
This was a hard film to watch, it was terrible seeing Maisie get let down over and over again. Her parents can't keep their days straight on who's turn it is to pick her up at school. Susanna leaves her at Lincoln's work one night when he's not even there. Margo and Beale get divorced, yet she still ends up responsible for Maisie. It's just sad all around. Especially since the whole story is told from Maisie's point of view, and even though she loves her family unconditionally, we the audience know she deserves better.
The performances are great all around and little Aprile has such a presence. This is one of the best films I've seen in 2013.
Grade: A
Memorable Quote: "He said we could go on the boat, tomorrow!" - Maisie (Onata Aprile)

Guilty Pleasure Review: The Brothers Solomon

I literally cannot wait to feel myself inside of you!
John and Dean Solomon (Will Arnett and Will Forte) are two stupid men with hearts of gold that want to fulfill their dying father's wish - He wants a grand child. The brothers find cash strapped Janine (Kristen Wiig) online, who's willing to be a surrogate.
The Brothers Solomon is easily one of the dumbest films I've ever seen. At times it comes off as a raunchier Dumb and Dumber, but it's not short on the laughs or the one liners. You can tell everyone making this film was having a blast. Both Wills never disappoint when it comes to comedy. Especially Forte who somehow rattles off his lines with a straight face.  While the film feels like an overblown SNL sketch, it's never boring.
Bottom Line: You might lose a few brain cells while watching this, but at least you'll laugh while you're doing it.
Memorable Quote: "We have dick!" - Dean (Will Forte)

Rambling TV: Breaking Bad episode 5.12 and The Newsroom episode 2.7

Walter White: Master Manipulator.
Breaking Bad started off with Todd leaving a message with Mr. White telling him the lab is under new management. He then proceeds to tell his uncle and another man about the great heist they pulled off on the train last season. He's using their real names, which I found pretty stupid. He leaves out the part about him shooting a kid. Then they take off to new Mexico. Denise Warner over at Entertainment Weekly pointed something interesting out in her recap: That Todd is wearing a shirt that we've seen a few times before. That's not the only thing in her recap that caught my eye. More on that later.
Hank finally gets his alone time with Jesse. He tells him he knows Heisenberg is Walt, but Jesse's not budging. Saul eventually comes in throwing around lawsuit ideas and Hank just leaves.
We get a scene with Walter Jr. telling his father he's going to go to aunt Marie's to fix her computer. Walt's not an idiot, he knows what she's trying to do. He sits Junior down and tells him about his cancer being back, which Junior immediately feels bad about and says he's staying. It's insane to see Walt manipulate those he loves. Technically he's telling the truth here, but the poor look on Junior's face was heart breaking.
Next we see Walt sitting on his bed with Skylar and a video camera in front of him. He begins to say "this is my confession."
Earlier we had seen Hank and Marie arguing about him not telling the DEA about Walt. Now they're meeting Skylar and Walt for dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Walt and Skylar want their kids left out of it. Marie says she thinks Walt should just kill himself, since that's what he's waiting for. No one agrees with that idea. Walt eventually slides them a CD with his confession on it. What comes next is probably one of the best "holy shit" moments in Breaking Bad history.
Walt's confession is him basically lying about his involvement and stating that it was Hank who came to him to make meth. He also drops the bombshell that his meth money paid for Hank's rehab, which Marie never told him about. He's stuck. He can't go to the rest of the DEA with this. He looks like an accomplice.
Jesse and Saul meet Walt out in the middle of nowhere. Walt tries to reason with Jesse and tells him he needs to go start a new life. Walt doesn't like to see him hurting, and Jesse can leave town and forget all of this. Jesse becomes angry and tells Walt to just tell him the truth. Tell him that "He needs to ask a favor of Jesse or he's going to kill him just like he did Mike." It's hard to read Walter here. He hugs Jesse, who starts crying but cannot return the hug. Is Walt sincerely upset that Jesse feels this way? Or is he just trying to pull his strings like he does everyone else? I like to think that Walt does care a great deal for Jesse. One of the things Breaking Bad never followed up on that got my on my nerves was in season three when Walt accidentally calls Junior "Jesse." I always wanted Junior to ask who that is.
Next we see Jesse in Saul's office calling the "Vacuum cleaner guy." who's going to give Jesse a new identity. Jesse whips out his weed in Saul's office, which causes Saul to chastise him and tells him the guy won't pick him up if he's high. He shakes Jesse's hand, and they part, but not before Jesse bumps into Huell on his way out the door.
While Jesse is on the side of the road waiting for his ride, he searches for his weed, which he had stuffed back in his cig box. It's missing. This is when Jesse has his "aha!" moment. He knows Huell lifted the weed off of him in Saul's office, which means that Huell lifted the ricin cigarette off of Jesse to poison Brock. Jesse now realizes that Saul was helping Walt all along. He ditches his ride and runs back to Saul's office, and promptly beats the shit out of him. He pulls Saul's gun out of his desk and forces Saul to confess. Saul said he didn't know Walt was going to poison a kid. He just did it because Walt said he was saving Jesse. (which we know is sincere because Saul tried to get out of this whole mess last season.) As Jesse leaves his office, Saul calls Mr. White to tell him they have a problem.
This is where Denise Warner's recap brought up another good point. Walt is wearing the same clothes in this episode as he did in did in 'Blood Money,' the season opener. When Walt told Saul to "calm down" in that episode, it seemed a little out of place since Saul wasn't really freaking out at the moment. But he was here, the "calm down" would be completely justified in this situation. Is Breaking Bad doing a bit of a time jump here? And if so, where does that scene with Todd fit in? Before or after all of this?
The episode ends with Jesse taking a gasoline can to Walt's house. That was a damn good hour of TV, but it wasn't the only show that had that last night.
Some things I learned from The Newsroom ep 2.7

None of them noticed the shot clock during the basketball game. That's a perfectly understandable scenario, but it's still sad to see the team fail there. The shot clock was the first thing that came to my mind when Jerry said he couldn't edit out the tape. If you're not familiar with basketball, no one would think about the shot clock.
So when is Maggie going to have a huge emotional breakdown and cut her hair? I still think they should've had that happen immediately after Africa like Unintended Consequences made it seem.
Jane Fonda was on fire in that last scene. Holy shit.
I really loved this episode all around. It was very strong and very fast paced. It focused solely on Operation Genoa. No side stories, no time for love stories, strictly Genoa and other relevant news in their time line.
Oh Neal, I could handle you at your ultra man mode.
Thanks for reminding me how sick I am of hearing about Benghazi.
I want to see this lawsuit play out, and I want to see Jerry burn.
Poor Jim, he kind of got shit on here.
Poor Elliot for getting put in that awkward position live on air.
Poor Charlie, that manifest revelation was insane. Can they sue that guy for providing false information?


Indie Gems: Magic Magic

She needs a doctor.
Alicia (Juno Temple) is a naïve young woman that is leaving the U.S for the first time to visit her cousin, Sara (Emily Browning) in Chile. Suddenly, Sara is told she has to finish an exam, and she leaves Alicia with her three friends, Brink,(Michael Cera) Agustin (Agustin Silva) and Barbara. (Catalina Sandino Moreno) They drive/boat for 12 hours to a remote island off of Chile, and Alicia is feeling very alone. There's barely anyone else on this island except them, she has no cell reception, and Sara isn't there for her. On top of that, she's suffering a bout of insomnia that's going to drive her over the edge.
Ignore the cheap looking 80's horror movie poster that this film got, because it's actually quite interesting. Juno Temple gives one of her best performances. (it's up there with Killer Joe) Alicia's isolation is handled very well, and her downfall keeps you interested. In fact, it's because of that downward spiral that I wasn't quite sure what kind of movie I was watching. Is this going to end up being a super natural thing? Does it have something to do with hypnosis? (Agustin hypnotizes her early in the film) When the film does end, I found it to be very practical. That's the best word I can think of. There's a scene leading up to the ending that I felt was a little unnecessary, (especially the nudity) but the film was a good watch either way. I'm a huge fan of both Temple and Browning, and Michael Cera really showed some range here. Seek this out for them.
Grade: B-
Memorable Quote: "These people are sadists!" - Alicia (Juno Temple)

DVD Review: Zero Day

What could happen when bullies drive their victims to a certain point.
Zero Day came to my attention when Alex Withrow of And So It Begins.. did a list of his top 10 favorite found footage movies. While I don't care much for the genre itself, there were a few on that list that sounded intriguing. This is one of them.
Calvin (Cal Robertson) and Andre (Andre Keuck) are two angry teenagers that call themselves 'The Army of Two.' they've declared war on their school and plan on shooting it up on 'Zero Day.' We're watching this movie via Andre's video camera, as they've made a diary of sorts, kept the tapes in a safety deposit box and bequeathed it to 'The Media.'
This movie felt really authentic to me. No one in it looked like an actor, this could've easily been real. It's sad to hear how angry these boys are. How sick they are of their classmates tormenting them. There's scenes of the boys hanging out with their obviously loving parents, and it's a shame to know that their sons are about to commit a terrible crime and leave them behind. The actual crime is shown through security footage from their school, and its pretty terrifying, but isn't gratuitous in it's violence, but man it is hard to watch.
Recommended: Yes
Grade: B
Memorable Quote: "Don't think about that, we love you." - Andre (Andre Keuck)

What's your opinion on movies being released in theaters and on VOD at the same time?

This isn't anything new, but it's something we're starting to see more frequently. I remember a few years ago when the idea of movies appearing on Video On Demand (VOD) the same day they debuted in theaters frustrated some movie fans. We love the movies. We love the atmosphere, the popcorn, everything about the cinema. I initially brushed the whole thing off. It's great for movies getting a limited release to be seen by a broader audience, much like Only God Forgives and Lovelace got this year, but for everything else, I'd rather go to the theater.

Then I had a kid. That changes everything. Sometimes it's hard to get a babysitter. VOD is much more appealing to me now that I have a little person that demands so much of my love and attention. If new wide release films started debuting on VOD, I think I'd watch them at home. Sure, I would still prefer to go to the theater, but on those nights that I really don't feel like paying for a babysitter, VOD sounds mighty fine to me. (Plus I would've been even more pissed if I had paid more than $7.00 for Only God Forgives)

What do you think? If more movies debuted on VOD, would you stay home to watch them?

Review: Lee Daniels' The Butler

Cameo Heaven.
Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) grew up on a cotton farm. When he finally leaves that horrible place, he gets a job as a butler at a hotel and eventually works his way up to becoming a butler at the White House. Cecil served eight presidencies. He does his job well, but he's conflicted when his oldest son, Louis (played mostly by David Oyelowo) joins a group that is fighting for their civil rights in the south. Obviously he's concerned about all the danger there, but Louis wants to do what's right.
This film was very moving. I'm finding it quite hard to put it into words. Like all of Lee Daniels' movies, this felt raw and at times a little to real. Civil rights movies are always hard to watch. It's disgusting to see our fellow humans act that way. Daniels isn't shy with showing us the ugly side of all of this, but he does sneak in some really sweet and affectionate scenes every now and then. The score at the end of the film was so spectacular I almost think it deserved a standing ovation.
Whitaker gives a fine performance, as does Oyelowo and Oprah Winfrey who plays his wife. This film is littered with cameos from Robin Williams, James Marsden, John Cusak, Liev Schriber, and Alan Rickman playing past Presidents. To Nelis Ellis playin Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A great supporting cast featuring Lenny Kravitz, Elijah Kelley, Cuba Gooding Jr. The only bad part is we're subject to a few minutes of Terrence Howard and Alex Pettyfer.
Will this film be a big Oscar contender? Maybe. It definitely feels like one. I continue to be a big fan of Lee Daniels' work. I can't wait to see what he does next.
Recommended: Yes
Grade: B
Memorable Quote: "Don't use that word, it's a white man's word and full of hate."  

Rambling TV: True Blood, Breaking Bad, and The Newsroom

True Blood is the king of blue balling it's audience.
gif via mister-brett               
"Alexander Skarsgard is so good looking, it's an actual crime he puts on clothes." - A Tweet via Lady Sati
This is the truth.

I don't like to rant about True Blood, because honestly it's one of my favorite shows. I hate that I pick shows that do this to me. Hell, even Rescue Me at it's worst has not been as absurd as True Blood, but we go....
Sookie and Alcide see all of the vampires being all high and happy in the sun. She sees Jason, meets Violet, hugs Pam and Tara, and Bill apparently re-gains all of his Sookie feelings from a far despite him essentially telling her to go fuck herself 24 hours ago. Sookie goes back to Warlow to tell him she wants to take it slow, and shocker! He backhands her and tells her ain't nobody got time for that! That he did not wait 5,000 years to become part of her community.
Long story short, Jason, Bill, Violet, Andy, use Adalyn's faery light to get back into the Fae plane, save Sookie and knock Warlow around a bit. They get back to Sookie's house where Warlow promptly zaps Bill and Violet, throws Andy, and Jason in Eric's old cubby, and finds Sookie hiding in the bathroom. Suddenly Niall shows up from whatever dimension he's in, Grabs Warlow, and Jason stakes him. That's it. The season long arc ends with zero fan fare. Much like they disposed Russell last season. What the fuck, True Blood? You used to be good at rapping shit up. When Russell got buried in season 3, that was some crazy shit. When Marianne died in season 2, she went out in a spectacular fashion. When season 1 ended, we thought Lafayette was dead. It felt like an after thought.
 When Warlow died, all of the other vamps lost their day walking power. We cut to a scene of gloriously naked Eric sun bathing in Sweden, then he bursts into flames. I don't think for one second that this is the last we'll see of Eric, but if it is, that really fucking sucks.
6 months later, Sam no longer owns Merlotte's. Arlene does, and it Belleflour's. Sam is now Mayer, Girl I Don't Give A Fuck About is still there, and Bill is apparently a best selling author. And Sookie is with Alcide, because Sookie always has to be dating someone. Remember how innocent Sookie was in seasons 1 and 2? Then she gets a taste of dick and now has to be with someone constantly? You would think after all the emotional things she's been through she would want to be left alone? Like she said in season 4? Nope.
Hep V is viral and Sam and Bill have hatched a plan that every human should agree to feed a vampire for their own protection. Tara's mom offers to feed her. Isn't feeding supposed to be sexual? That's fucking weird. The season ends with a bunch of hungry vampires descending on Merlotte's Belleflour's.
6 months later and they still haven't got Tru Blood back on the shelves? How his Hep V all of a sudden viral? Wouldn't Eric, Willa, Bill, and Pam have got it from Nora? What does Hep V really have to do with anything, anyways? Vampires getting infected on it die quickly, we already saw that. So why are "sick and hungry" vampires roaming around? Shouldn't they die in about 24 hours?
This season wasn't nearly has bad as season 5, but I can't even begin to describe how disappointed I am with True Blood right now. I won't stop watching, I've invested way too much into this show. (And I'm sure season 7 will be it's last) The show runners wanted to bring everything back to Bon Temps, but then they changed everything. It's not going to feel like the True Blood I started watching 6 seasons ago.
Breaking Bad

How awesome is that picture? This is my new desktop background.

Strangely enough, this episode of Breaking Bad felt like the calm before the storm. Hank called Skylar before Walt even got out of his driveway. Skylar obviously knows she's screwed, she tells Hank she thinks she needs a lawyer. That's the smartest thing she's did in awhile.

Marie visits Skylar at home later, and promptly bitch slaps her when she finds out Skylar knew. Marie tried to take Holly, but Skylar stopped her. I was actually rooting for Skylar there, if someone tried to take my kid away from me I'd flip shit too. Marie tells Hank "you have to get him."

Walt can't get ahold of Jesse, but he has Saul's men move his money, and we got a hilarious scene of Huell laying on Walt's giant pile of cash. I would do that too, after I pocketed a couple hundred thousand of course. What? You would too. I had to laugh when Walt gets all defensive over killing family. This dude blew up a nursing home and has psychologically screwed Jesse, who one could argue is like Walt's surrogate son, over and over.

Walt buries it in the middle of nowhere, memorizes the the longitude and latitude of the location, and smashes his cell phone. When he gets home to Skylar, he passes out from exhaustion. This was a great scene between Cranston and Gunn here. Walt says Skylar has to keep the money. He didn't want to go through all of this for nothing. She knows it's not that simple.

Lydia goes to the underground meth lab to see how everything is going, and has everyone slaughtered. They aren't good enough. Lydia in her Louboutins doesn't want to see the dead bodies, which is ironic since she's the reason they're dead.

Hank goes back to work, he's got to tell the DEA about his hunch. Lucky for him, poor Jesse has been arrested for generously throwing millions of dollars around. Hank asks to question him, he enters the interrogation room, and that's where the episode ends.

One thing I love about Breaking Bad is how great they are about continuity. They're so careful, and I don't think they've ever contradicted themselves. True Blood could learn from them.

Things we learned from The Newsroom
I swear this gif is relevant.
1) Hallie and Jim's awkward make-out session was painful to watch. The Newsroom is going to have to do better than that if they're ever going to have sex on this show.
2) Why is Taylor still around?
3) Poor Neal, again.
4) I find it a little funny that ACN has no HR department. (Jim takes a video call at the office? My upper management trip balls when they see us texting on the job)
5) I also find it funny that despite living in New York City, Jim and Maggie would run in to each other at a bar that isn't their usual hang out.
6) I almost thought Don and Mac were going to sympathy make out. Almost.
7) Jerry Dantana, you're such a fuck. I wanted to jump through the screen and strangle this guy. That basketball game that you left in shot is going to come back and bite you in the ass.
8) So Maggie heard Stannis Baratheon Stanislaus Stomtonovich say "it happened," but she was telling the lawyers in an earlier episode that he didn't say it? She's lying? Or do I need to watch this again? (it's 11:30pm right now, it's late and I'm lazy)
9) Will, you should've known how ridiculous morning shows are.
10) Jim, if you were really concerned about Maggie's drinking, you should've just invited her back up to your suite.
11) I actually want a Don and Maggie interaction after all of this. There's got to be one.
12) Stephen Root is the man.

Indie Gems: Lawn Dogs

When innocence can be a dangerous thing.
Watching The Way Way Back put me in a bit of a Sam Rockwell kick, and it got me thinking about a film I'd seen so many years ago with him in it. Lawn Dogs.
Devon (Mischa Barton) is a lonely 10 year old that moves with her parents into an upscale housing development. She doesn't quite fit in, so she takes up an unlikely friendship with a 21 year old named Trent. (Sam Rockwell) he mows the yards in her neighborhood, and lives in a trailer in the woods. Her family would call him trashy, so of course she's intrigued. Though their relationship is completely innocent, it's obvious that others will not see it that way.
I remember being quite fascinated by this movie as a kid. It was always on TV, but I was too afraid to tape it because I thought my parents would find it inappropriate. Which is kind of funny, since that's the theme of the entire movie. Trent is obviously uncomfortable with Devon showing up at his place at first, and what adult wouldn't be? Devon is too young to understand that this is wrong, but when something very wrong DOES happen to her, and her parents choose to ignore that, and focus on Trent, that's when Devon does a lot of growing up and a little amount of time.
Despite my nerves being fried over this as a kid, this isn't a hard movie to watch. It has its uncomfortable moments, sure, but it certainly is a great little film to find. (and if you want to find it yourself, the whole film is currently on Youtube.) Rockwell is amazing as always, and Mischa Barton was actually quite a good actress until she did the O.C. It's funny to compare them as actors now. This is probably Mischa's best performance, and it's certainly in the top 5 on Rockwell's list. (Moon is his best, IMO)
Grade: A-
Memorable Quote: "This is my river! You hear me?" - Devon (Mischa Barton)

Review: Elysium

Like WALL-E, only people got left behind.
It's 2154, Earth is nothing but over-crowded slums. The rich can afford to live on a space station called Elysium, where any illness can be healed. Max (Matt Damon) always dreamed of living there with his friend Frey (Alice Barga) ever since they were children. Time has passed, and Frey and Max meet again by chance after he breaks his arms and winds up in her hospital. We learn she has a daughter dying of leukemia. Max gets into an accident at work where he is exposed to intense radiation. He's informed he will die in 5 days. He and his friend (Diego Luna) strike up a deal with a man named Spider (Wagner Maura) to steal some important data from an Elysium citizen visiting Earth. Only Secretary Delacourt (a robotic Jodie Foster) is hell bent on keeping citizens of Earth from illegally entering Elysium. And she puts the dangerous Kruger (Sharlto Copley, bumping Peter Sarsgaard off the creepiest fucker in films this year) on their tail.
Writer/director Neill Blomkamp proved years ago with District 9 that he's ready to leave his mark in the sci fi genre, and track record stays clean with his newest feature. Elysium, in a way is what most summer blockbusters strive to be, but are hampered down by compliance with ratings. Elysium comes with a hard R rating, and there's plenty of brutal gore. I do feel like it suffered a little Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen syndrome during some of the action scenes. The camera could barely hold still and the quick changes made it hard to keep the people fighting in frame. Still, it's not enough to make the movie unwatchable.
Matt Damon is good as always, and Blomkamp really found a gem in Sharlto Copley. He's an absolute creep who you want to see meet his end. (especially for the amount of times this guys says "boy chick" throughout the film.) I found Jodie Foster to be really robotic, it sort of worked with her character, but I couldn't help but think someone like Kristin Scott-Thomas could've pulled that off better. Ryan Amon's score is very Hans Zimmer-like, and made the film even more enjoyable.
Recommended: Yes
Grade: B-
Memorable Quote: "Did I cut ya?" - Kruger (Sharlto Copley)

Rambling TV: True Blood, Breaking Bad, and The Newsroom

Can Jesse Pinkman show up at my house and throw a stack of Benjamins in my driveway?
Fair warning, this week and next are going to be kind of a cluster fuck for my Rambling TV, True Blood, Breaking Bad, AND The Newsroom are all on, but it's True Blood's season finale next week, so after that I'll be back to recapping two shows.
True Blood
True Blood did something kind of extraordinary last night, they only had TWO storylines going on in the episode. Shocker, I know, so recapping it will be quite short.
Story number one was Terry's funeral, we got many of our favorite characters from Merlotte's sharing stories about Terry, plus a few flashbacks. I thought these scenes were great in showing how Terry affected everyone. One bombshell Sookie dropped was that she was a telepath. This is the first time she's said that to anyone that wasn't her close friend, but even with that, she still managed to make it about Arlene and not about herself. She told Arlene what Terry thought of her on her first night, and it was so damn sweet. Plus I loved Lafayette teaching Terry how to "sexy the dip" when putting fries into the deep fryer.
Story number two was Eric heading over to vamp camp, freeing all of the vampires and having them attack the humans. There's one scene were he ripped some guy's dick off and let him bleed out. He finds Pam's shrink, who brags about fucking her, and as Jason pulls one of the best "Oh no you di-n'ts!" I have ever seen, Eric calmly tells him that he's not going to kill him...he's going to bring him to Pam so she can. Classic.
Sarah Newlin escaped the massacre and runs up into the tower to have the vampires locked in the white room meet the sun, when she opens the door, all except Steve Newlin are feeding off Bill, being immune to the light. Eric doesn't let Steve drink any blood, and holds him under the sun. Steve's last words were "I always loved you....Jason Stackhouse!" Awkward. I wonder if these vampires will only temporarily be able to walk in the sun, or if they'll be doing this all the time now. I hope it's temporary. Bill doesn't go back to Lillith's naked minions when they ask, instead he walks away with the other vampires.
Two things I'm not really happy with. Jason had the chance to kill Sarah, but he let her go as he didn't want any more blood on his hands. I really wanted him to shoot her in the face, damn. I'm sure she meets her death in the next episode, I just really wanted Jason to end it here. Another thing was Eric leaving. He wasn't shown in next week's teaser either. This makes me nervous. I really hope they wouldn't write Eric out, that would be beyond stupid. Plus, I think they'd lose a significant amount of viewers. I know what you're thinking, "one character won't make people stop watching." I urge you to check out the True Blood fandom and see how much people love Eric. They WOULD stop watching. Alexander Skarsgard's contract apparently ends after season 6, where as all the other leads are contracted to season 7. This little tidbit makes me even more nervous. So I really hope the writers are just fucking with all of us, and Eric will return to save Sookie from Warlow.
Breaking Bad
The episode started with another flash forward. A bearded Walt shows up at his old house, which is abandoned with a tone of graffiti, and kids are skateboarding in the empty pool. 'Heisenberg' is spray painted across the wall in his living room. Some serious shit is about to go down.
Back in present day, Hank is recovering from the shock that Walter was the cooker he was looking for all along. He tells Marie he's sick, and stays home from work, but not before getting all of his files delivered to him to go over again.
Things seems to be going okay with Walt and Skylar, they have a decent conversation about the future of their car wash business, until Lydia shows up and tells Walt their product fell under 68% purity. He's unwilling to help her, and when Skylar catches on, she basically tells her to fuck off and never come here again. Something tells me we won't be seeing the last of Lydia.
Poor Jesse is the one suffering the most. He's still torn up about everything he's done. He tries to get Saul to give his money to Mike's grand daughter, Kaylee, and to the missing boy that they killed's parents. Saul calls Walt, and Walt returns all of the money to Jesse, and they have a little heart to heart. Jesse thinks Walt killed Mike. Walt swears her didn't. (which we know is a lie) It's scenes like this between Jesse and Walt that break my heart. Think of when their relationship started. While it was rocky at first, Walt kind of filled in on the father-figure role that Jesse always craved. Especially in season three. Like when Jesse breaks down in Walt's arms after Jane's death, or when Walt accidentally calls Junior "Jesse" when they're in his condo. It's moments like these when I think despite what they are doing, Walt and Jesse are made for each other. But Walt has screwed Jesse so many times, it's heartbreaking to watch. When Jesse finds out about everything, Jane, Brock, Mike, who knows what will happen.
Hank staying home "sick" eventually gets back to Walt, and he finds a GPS tracker on his car. He confronts Hank, and swiftly receives a punch in the face. Hanks on to him, but Walt tells him his cancer is back and they both know he'll never see the inside of a jail cell. The cancer will get him first, even if Hank could prove it was him. He challenges Hank to "tread lightly." At first I was surprised we got this confrontation so early, but then again, there's only seven episodes left, and we have to get the ball rolling somehow.
The Newsroom
Here's a few things we learned from this episode of The Newsroom.
1) The interaction between Don and Sloan was fantastic. I think they'll eventually make a really great couple, but I don't see it getting rushed in to.
2) Bonus points for Sloan kicking her ex in the balls, punching him in the face, AND taking a picture of it. Classic.
3) I never thought Don would become one of my favorite characters to watch after season 1.
4) Concerned Jim is pretty hot, but I was really hoping we'd get the scene of him and Maggie talking after he had read her HR report. I guess not.
5) Poor Neal.
6) MacKenzie was acting like a total bitch in this episode, but then she goes and justifies the whole thing at the end when she's talking to that student. She still owes Neal an apology.
7) Jeff Daniels really killed it tonight. The look on his face when he tells Mac his dead passed, that was devastating.
8) The plot thickens with Genoa, I'm loving this "fake" storyline. I know it's getting its fair share of critics, but I like it so far.
9) They talked about Trayvon Martin, I am making myself a mental note to go over to IMDb to read about people bitching.
10) I still hate Reese, can Sloan punch him in the face too?
11) Maggie is apparently turned into a lush post Africa. I think I would too. At first the time line confused me a little, because her hair was still long and blonde. Last week's episode made me think she cut it right away.

Review: Lovelace

17 days in the pornography business changed her life.
We first meet Linda (Amanda Seyfried in a bad wig) when she's a naïve 21 year old hanging out with her friend, Patsy. (Juno Temple) Linda catches the eye of Chuck (Peter Sarsgaard) and soon, she's moving in with him. We then see how Chuck takes control over Linda's life, and forces her into the pornography business for money. Only she becomes an overnight sensation when she stars in "Deep Throat." Chris Noth, Bobby Canavale, Hank Azaria, and Adam Brody play they producers, director, and co-star of "Deep Throat" respectively, and Chuck is not happy with Linda getting all of the attention and not listening to every single word he says.
Bad wig aside, this is Seyfried's best performance. I wouldn't count her as a very strong actress, she's best in musicals because she has a wonderful voice. You can tell she worked really hard to play Linda. She nails the accent and vulnerability required to play such a character. Peter Sarsgaard is the stand out, he plays an absolute creep. You really fear for Linda when you see a certain look on Chuck's face. The rest of the supporting cast is also outstanding, with plenty of famous faces popping up for cameos.
A film like these could easily come off as exploitative, and while there's plenty of nudity galore, I felt like the camera knew exactly when to cut away to avoid overkill, and I appreciated that. Especially during a scene where Chuck forces Linda into prostitution in a hotel room. The scenes of Linda's parents watching their daughter talk about her career are heartbreaking and feel very authentic. The music was cheesy and campy and fit the film perfectly. Though when the film ended, I didn't feel like it wrapped everything up as nicely as it could. Still, with performances like these, this movie demands to be seen.
Recommended: Yes
Grade: B+
Memorable Quote: "Did I do something wrong?" - Linda (Amada Seyfried)

Indie Gems: Now is Good

I guess Dakota Fanning still wanted to play the sick girl after dropping out of My Sister's Keeper.
All kidding aside, this movie surprised me. Tessa (Dakota Fanning) is a British teenager that is dying from leukemia. Like many, she has a list of things she wants to accomplish before she goes. Though her list includes things like taking drugs, shop lifting and having sex. Tessa struggles with her relationship with her father (Paddy Constantine) who can't stand the thought of losing her and with her mother (Olivia Williams) who is never there. Tessa meets Adam (Jeremy Irvine) and falls in love. That certainly wasn't on her list.
The outline of this movie is very generic. The sick girl that falls in love right before she dies, but Dakota's Tessa just feels different. There were times I was angry with her about how disrespectful she is towards her father, and then there were times I understood where she was coming from. I think that's what set this film apart from others like My Sister's Keeper. Tessa isn't perfect. She's actually got some pretty shitty morals at times, but she's still deserves something good before she passes. Even though the ending was predictable, it still tore me apart. It's sad to think of someone's child dying before them.
I almost referred to Dakota Fanning as a "good little actress" and I need to stop doing that. She's not little anymore. She's an adult, and she gives a hell of a performance. The music really stands out in this film. It's not the sappy sad songs one would expect.
Grade: B
Memorable Quote: "Not for much longer." - Tessa (Dakota Fanning)

Review: The Way Way Back

We've all been there.
Duncan (Liam James) is a shy teenage boy who is spending the summer with his mother, Pam (Toni Collette) at her boyfriend, Trent's (Steve Carell) beach house. Trent and Duncan don't see eye to eye. Trent is condescending and rude and Pam does nothing to stand up for Duncan. One day he bikes to a nearby water park and meets an employee, Owen (Sam Rockwell) who can see through Duncan's awkwardness and offers him a job. The rest is about Duncan trying to find his place in life, and ultimately finding happiness.
I was worried I was going to constantly compare this film with Adventureland when I saw the trailer, they seemed so similar. Lucky for me, they are totally different, though I would say Adventureland is far superior. James turns in a painfully awkward performance which fits his character, but it's Rockwell who steals the show. Owen is irresponsible and funny, but we can tell he has a heart of gold, and he's willing to stand up for Duncan when things get rough. He really brings him out of his shell, and the scenes of Duncan and Owen together are the best in the film. Unfortunately the pacing kind of ruins everything else. The film dragged along. We know that Duncan is eventually going to end up at the water park, yet the film takes forever to get to that point.
There's a lot of talented people in the cast, though all are small parts. Steve Carell plays a better asshole than he does a funnyman in my opinion, and Alison Janney is a pleasure to see as a drunk spazzy neighbor. I really wanted to like The Way Way Back, but it just didn't do much for me other than Rockwell's performance. It's certainly not a bad movie, but not one of the best coming of age stories out there either.
Recommended: No
Grade: C+
Memorable Quote: "This place sucks." - Susanna (AnnaSophia Robb)

Rambling TV: True Blood episode 6.8: Dead Meat

+ Things we learned from The Newsroom ep 2.4
We start things off with Bill telling Eric they still have work to do. Eric has zero time for this shit and starts taunting Bill for being too weak to tell Sookie to give him Warlow. He brings up the fact that she staked him. Bill dares to call Eric's maker Godric, weak.
Alcide's Shreveport back story is hopefully wrapped up. Nothing to see here.
We find out the old vampire that claimed Jason is named Violet and she's a medieval Catholic who "believes in the sanctity of their union." She's going to feed off his as she sees fit, and not share him with anyone else. Eventually, he's going to beg her to fuck him. Poor Jason.
Sookie goes back to Warlow to tell him Bill's plan, he says he'll do it if Sookie agrees to be his. He's wanted to her 6,000 years despite her only being around for what, 25? He wants to turn her. She says she'll need some time to think about it. If I were her, I'd say yes then blast him with her faery light once she's done. I'm a bitch like that. Eric overhears her complaining about men as she leaves the cemetery.
Jessica and James finally get caught in their conference room, and we got a great one liner from Pam about fucking her shrink on their way back to Gen pop.
Sam has a sad moment cleaning out Terry's cubby at Merlotte's, then Alcide ruins it by showing up and saying that Girl I Don't Give A Fuck About and her mother are in his trailer.. Gahhhhhhhhh!!!
Sam and Alicide are drinking in the bar and we find out that weres and shifters can smell pregnancy after what, 2 weeks? Because of course Sam needs to knock some chick up after just losing Luna and her child. Is there really nothing better for Sam to do?
Bill and Sookie have another moment together about their plan, and Bill essentially tells Sookie he doesn't give a fuck about anything that happens to her. Sookie calls him a "motherfucking monster" as she leaves, and I kind of wondered if Bill really doesn't care that much.
We got this awesome moment between Sarah and Steve Newlin. You see, Sarah found out some vampires were refusing Tru Blood, and that Steve was one of them. She decides he's the easiest to break, so she has him running on a giant hamster wheel and tells him that it's "scientifically impossible for him to be running that fucking slow!" God, that was hilarious. I hate the Newlins, but I actually felt a little bad for Steve here. Of course he spilled the beans because he's a little bitch.
Now this next scene felt out of place. We have Sam and Girl I Don't Give A Fuck About telling each other "I love you" in his bar. (Really, after two weeks?) Her mother is getting real tired of her shit, suddenly Sookie shows up. How Sam doesn't order her to work right now is a little beyond me. Where are his waitresses? She tells him about her light and how if she lets it go, she'll be normal. She's telling him this because she always assumed they'd end up together. He tells her that she's always put him aside for a more dangerous person. That's true. He tells her Nicole is pregnant. That whole thing was just weird. What about Luna, Sam? You know she wouldn't be happy for you moving on this quickly.
Arlene freaks out at Terry's mother and sister over his funeral, and her, Holly, and Andy have a really sweet group hug outside the funeral home. Arlene wants carnations because they're fucking happy. How awesome is Chris Bauer (Andy) this season? He's really killing it.
Sookie went to her parent's grave to blow off some steam. Really great acting by Anna Paquin here, but I still think the story of her parent's trying to kill her is bullshit. If Sookie was in the trunk of her parent's car, why did Warlow only smell her bandaid in the flashback? Why didn't Claudine do something about it? Didn't Sookie already say she was with her Grandparents when they drove off? This story has so many damn holes. Later she returns Jason's message he left her and she asks about Niall. It's about fucking time, you'd think she would be a little curious as to where that fucker ran off too.
The spokeswoman for Tru Blood showed up demanding the governor, she gets Sarah instead. She sees the research facility within the factory, and cunt punches Sarah to get by her. After a run into male gen pop and a little girl fight, Sarah, I shit you not, kills this girl with her stiletto. Holy shit. THEN she thanks Jesus afterwards! Oh my God, someone kill Sarah! I love her character, but I want her to die so badly.
Eric, still hanging around the cemetery catches Adilyn with Holly's boys. He glamours them and drinks from her. This scene will make sense in a minute.
The scientists overhear Violet, Pam, Willa, Tara, and Jessica talking about not drinking Tru Blood, so they get thrown in the ominous white room with James and Steve. Dun dun dunnnnnnn.
Sookie and Bill meet at the cemetery, and she takes him to Faery land. They find Warlow wounded. Someone drank from him. It was Eric. He used Adilyn to find the faery hideout. This entire episode, I was hoping Eric and Sookie would meet. They haven't had a scene together since episode two. I'm disappointed, but at the same time I'm in total "Fuck yeah, Eric!" mode. I'd rather him save the day than Bill.
There's only two episodes left of True Blood this year. (Since we're getting screwed out of our normal 12 episodes due to Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer's pregnancy. I know that sounds horrible.) Hopefully these last two episodes are focused more on Vamp Camp and less on other things. Unless they involve killing off Girl I Don't Give A Fuck About and that storyline all together.
The Newsroom episode 2.4 Unintended Consequences.
1) This was definitely Alison Pill's episode. Maggie was front and center, and what happened in Africa was heartbreaking. I have to admit, it did not go where I expected it too. I assumed that she was raped and Gary was probably dead. Neither of those things happened, but what did was still an awful conclusion. I just can't handle children dying in movies/tv anymore. It's always been sad, but I think there's just something about being a parent that makes watching/reading things like that 100 times worse. You don't have to be a parent to be devastated by something like that, but personally, I think it's made me a bit more of a wuss.
2) Also I stand behind Maggie's excuse to cut and dye her hair. I think I would've too after that.
3) Don didn't get a lot to do in this episode, but his character is still really growing on me.
4) The girl playing Shellie Wexler is doing a fantastic job.
5) Poor Neal, getting punched for being honest.
6) Poor Jim, getting fucked for being honest. Oh, wait...
7) I'm still not feeling the Hallie character.
8) Sloan sipping her drink after Neal called her smug was hilarious.
9) Will really took a back seat in this episode, but I loved his segment with Wexler.
10) Charlie is so fucking weird.



Indie Gems: Stoker

...Well that escalated quickly.
I never tire of using that line from Anchorman, but it does apply to several parts of Stoker in my opinion.
India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) is a quiet, introverted teenager who finds out her beloved father has died on her 18th birthday. Suddenly, her uncle Ozymandais Charlie (Matthew Goode), whom she never even knew existed shows up at her and her mother's (Nicole Kidman) door. He's charming, but there's something dark and disturbing about him. There's something dark about India as well, and she can't help but be drawn to him.
This is one of those films that I wanted to see because of the cast and from good reviews from my fellow bloggers. That being said, I didn't actually know very much about the film in the first place. It's nice to go into a film like this blind, because I never knew what to expect, and I sure as hell didn't expect the ending I got. I saw it going in a totally different direction.
Mia Wasikowska is such a fascinating little actress, and this is probably her best performance to date. She pulls off India's melancholy attitude perfectly, and gives some of the best "death stares" I've ever seen. Matthew Goode is wonderful in his role as well as the enigmatic Charlie. You can tell just by looking at him that something is not quite right. I loved the score as well. With a film like this set mostly in greys and blacks, it brightened it up in a way and made it beautiful.
Grade: A
Memorable Quote: "I mean, no, thank you." - India (Mia Wasikowska)