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Showing posts from March, 2014

Review: Bad Words

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What's your favorite word? Guy Trilby (Jason Bateman) is a 40 year old man who through a loop hole in the rules of the national spelling bee, enters himself. He proof reads for a living, so he's a good speller. Following his story is a journalist, Jenny (Kathryn Hahn) who's having a hard time really getting anything out of him. Guy has a very specific reason he's doing this, he just won't tell anyone. Along the way he befriends a lonely boy, Chaitanya (Rohan Chand) who is also a fellow contestant.  I was a little worried that all the funny parts were going to be from the previews, but I was wrong. There's plenty of laughs throughout, especially if you like crude humor. Guy says a lot of really fucked up things to children (and their parents) through out. The ending was surprisingly touching too. This is Bateman's directorial debut. (side from TV episodes) I think he's off to a good start. He and Hahn had good chemistry. I'm starting to

Rambling TV: The Walking Dead season finale

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The season finale of The Walking Dead, A , was like having really good sex with your partner. Then they get up and leave before you finish. Sticking to the awful bottle format, we start off with Carl, Rick, and Michonne. They camp out in a car overnight, and get surrounded by Daryl's group of Marauders. Comic readers recognized this scene, it's a re-imagining of a similar one with Carl, Rick, and Abraham instead. Daryl tries to offer himself instead, but he gets his ass kicked instead. Pervy marauder decides he's going to try to rape Carl, Rick goes full Shane and rips out his throat with his teeth.  Rick and Daryl have a little bonding moment, but instead of appreciating it, it just made me angry. Rick says he doesn't blame Daryl for being with them, he was alone . That was a key word for me. Alone, like Rick left Carol alone. Daryl was supposed to care for her, this would've been a good moment to bring that up. Either for Rick to apologize to Daryl for doin

Indie Gems: Afternoon Delight

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Boredom.  Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) is a bored yet privileged housewife. She used to work, but she quit when she had a baby, who's now 5. Because of this, she doesn't feel she fits in with the other moms in her PTA group. She never has sex with her husband, Jeff. (Josh Radnor, who's uninteresting douchiness actually fits well in his role for a change) After a trip from a friend, they decide to spice things up and go to a strip club. There she meets a dancer, McKenna. (Juno Temple) Rachel is enamored by her and automatically thinks she needs to "save" her from this life, despite the fact that McKenna seems pretty okay with her line of work. After semi-stalking her, Rachel invites her to move in with her family. Kathryn Hahn is pretty fascinating. She's always been kind of a background character in comedies that's given juicy one liners (Step Brothers, for example) In this film, she proves she's far more than that. Especially when Rachel isn

DVD Review Oldboy (2013)

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Why even call it 'Oldboy?' A man named Joe (Josh Brolin) is locked away in a motel room for 20 years. He has no idea why. While he's in this isolation, he finds out he has been framed for his wife's murder, and his 3 year old daughter has been raised by foster parents. He decides to kick his alcohol habit, get into shape, and escape. He doesn't get the chance to do that last thing, because one day he wakes up in a suitcase in the middle of a field. He's got some cash and a cell phone on him. As he wonders around, he runs into Marie (Elizabeth Olsen) a woman that works for a clinic that offers to help him. Together with his old friend, Chucky (Michael Imperioli) they try to figure out what happened. Eventually the person who did this (Sharlto Copley) reveals himself, but he's not finished with Joe yet. Spike Lee's version feels like he watched the original and said "I can 1 up that." There's more blood, more torture, hell even the

Rambling TV: Thoughts on The Walking Dead

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After last week's episode, The Grove ripped everyone's hearts out, we were treated with something a little more uplifting in the form of Us .  The best part of the episode was the focus on Glenn's group. Glenn is one of my favorites and he's really elevated Tara for me as a character. I wasn't too keen on her in 4A, but her loyalty to Glenn is very moving. Glenn got to reunite with Maggie, which was adorable, despite the fact that I think Maggie is kind of a bore. She tells him "You'll never need a picture of me again." as she burns the one of her sleeping. Yeah, That's not going to come back and bite you in the ass or anything. I loved how Maggie hugged Tara to thank her as well, but I'm a little worried about Glenn lying about who she is. Rick and Michonne are going to recognize her for sure when they all meet up. Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene have got to be some of the best casted people on this show. The comic relief they provi

DVD Review: Capote

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In Cold Blood In the wake of Philip Seymour Hoffman's untimely passing, I decided to revisit a film of his that I actually didn't like. I had kind of a weird reaction to Capote the first time I saw it, and now I realize that I sort of misunderstood it.  You know the story, Truman Capote (Hoffman) was a writer who heard about the terrible murder of the Clutter family in Kansas, and went to write a story about it with his friend Harper Lee (Catherine Keener). Once they've caught the killers, Capote forms a bond with one of them, Perry Smith (Clifton Collins Jr) and initially tries to get them a better lawyer. He ends up writing an entire novel on the case. The mistake I made when first watching this was not really understanding Capote's motives here. I saw them as glorifying a murderer, no matter how bad said murderer's home life was prior. In Cold Blood to me always felt a little disrespectful to the Clutter family. There were a few quotes in the film

Indie Gems: The Kings of Summer

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Who needs parents? That's a popular attitude among teens. I know, I've been there. It's that attitude that gets the ball rolling in The Kings of Summer Joe (Nick Robinson) is your typical angsty teen. His mother passed away some time back, and he doesn't get a long with his often dead pan father, Frank. (Nick Offerman) He convinces his best friend, Patrick (Gabriel Basso) to leave his clingy parents and come live with him in the woods. Free of all the adults in their lives, where they can live off the land and live like men. A new boy in town, Biaggio (Moises Aries) also tags along. But his parents apparently don't give a damn where he is. This film came highly recommended by many bloggers, so like I was previously advised, I suspended most belief (like really, these kids are hiding out in a thicket that's within walking distance from their houses and NO one finds them?) I actually ended up enjoying it quite a bit. It reminded me a bit of Mud, if the

Rambling TV: The Walking Dead actually made it about a woman for once.

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I've been kind of down on writing about The Walking Dead lately. I felt like since I had nothing nice to say, I shouldn't say anything at all. I couldn't bring myself to recap Still , because nothing happened. It was literally just Daryl and Beth playing a drinking game for 45 minutes. I didn't recap Alone because it was yet again more Daryl and Beth doing stupid shit. (And Beth getting kidnapped because of course we need some damsel in distress story) Although we at least got to see Maggie, Sasha, and Bob. They didn't really accomplish anything, but since we haven't seen them in awhile, I'm just happy for something different. Then this week, we were treated to the episode I was impatiently awaiting; The Grove . I think everyone knows by now that I read a lot of spoilers for The Walking Dead. It's the only show I do that with, so I've known for a long time that episode 4.14 was "Carol's big ep." In this episode we see 1) Carol

Spin Off Blogathon

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The always lovely Lady Sati over at Cinematic Corner is hosting her first ever blogathon ! If we could pick a background character from any film, and give them a film of their own, who would it be? I'll have to turn to my all time favorite film for this one. Thanks for hosting, Sati! I picked Barbara Fitts from American Beauty. Barbara is the epitome of a meek housewife. She seems dazed, uninterested, she's probably terrified of her strict husband at times. Who knows how she ended up with him in the first place? Let's assume she leaves this marriage after Frank shoots Lester. The original ending of American Beauty had Ricky and Jane going on trial for Lester's murder. Barbara knows it's Frank, and seeing her only son being persecuted for his crime is the one thing that pushes her over the edge. Yet she's too afraid to speak the truth. The movie would be about her journey to happiness. Barbara was a spit fire before she got married and now that

Captain America Blogathon

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Andy from Fandango Groovers is back with another one of his fantastic blogathons ! This time, he asks what 10 movies would we recommend to Steve Rodgers, aka Captain America, who had been frozen for so long. I thought about this for a minute. I could recommend my top 10 favorite movies to insure that he has impeccable taste , but I figured I should be fair, and recommend a wide variety of different films so he can get the feel for multiple genres. So here we go. Thanks for hosting, Andy! 1) American Beauty - This is a good movie. 2) The Room - This is a bad movie. 3) To Kill A Mockingbird - This is a classic masterpiece. 4) Inception - This is a modern masterpiece. 5 ) The Exorcist - This is a scary movie.* 6) Step Brothers - This is a funny movie. 7) Only God Forgives - This is a pretentious movie. 8) Her - This is a thought provoking movie. 9) WALL-E - This is great animation. 10) Lord of the Rings - These are great book to mo

DVD Review: How I Live Now

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Angst. Angst. Angst. Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) is an angsty teen sent to England to stay with her aunt and cousins during a time when World War III is approaching. She's rude, disinterested, the only thing that seems to catch her attention is her good looking older cousin, Eddie. (George McKay) Okay, they're cousins by marriage, but I'm not going to stop making fun of this. Her aunt leaves for Geneva, then soon after a nuclear bomb goes off in nearby London, and an American consulate employee tracks Daisy down (because they do that?) and gives her a ticket home. However, she declares her undying love for her cousin, and burns the ticket. She holes up in a barn with Eddie, and his younger brother and sister, Isaac and Piper. (Tom Holland and Harley Bird) Soon, army forces find their hide out, separate them, and send the girls to one camp and the boys to another. Daisy vows to get back to Eddie soon. I think the biggest mistake a book to movie adaptation can make is as

Indie Gems: Enough Said

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Hey, go watch this movie about some 50 year old divorcees.  Sounds interesting right? If you're me, then probably not. Nonetheless, I decided to check this one out since I've been loving Julia Louis-Dreyfuss on Veep lately, and for the recently departed James Gandolfini. Eva (JLD) is a masseuse who hasn't really gotten back into the dating game since she's been divorced. Her only child is about to leave for college, and at a party she meets Albert, (Gandolfini) another divorcee with a child leaving for college. He's not her type right away, but they bond. Eva also unknowingly bonds with his ex, Marianne, (Catherine Keener) not putting two and two together until late in the game. This movie was just so damn charming. I never thought in a million years that I would enjoy something like this. I loved the relationship that Eva had with her daughter and her daughter's friend (even though the latter is probably not the healthiest) It feels like we don&#

DVD Review: Blue is the Warmest Color

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The life of Adele We meet Adele (Adele Exarchopoulos) when she's 15 years old. She's a quiet girl living in France, her friends pressure her into having sex with a boy from school, who she's really not that interested in. She spots beautiful blue haired Emma (Lea Seydoux) walking by, and is immediately transfixed. We fast forward a few years, and Adele is still thinking about her. (As we're shown in the most over the top wet dream ever) She wonders into a bar by chance, and ends up actually meeting her. They fall deeply in love, but Adele isn't fully ready to out herself as a lesbian. We see how this great love affects her life moving forward. Make no mistake, Blue is the Warmest Color is a beautiful film. One that will probably get overlooked because of the film's much talked about softcore porn sex scenes. I admit, I'm at a bit torn about how all of this was approached. Does this film need to be 3 hours? No way. They could've easily trimmed

DVD Review: Blue Jasmine

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That's kind of how I felt when I was watching Blue Jasmine. Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) married a rich man (Alec Baldwin) who's lavish lifestyle she became accustomed to. Then he gets arrested for fraud, kills himself in prison, and now "poor" Jasmine is forced to move to San Francisco with her sister Ginger. (Sally Hawkins) Jasmine is not used to life as a "commoner." She hates Ginger's new boyfriend, Chili (Bobby Canavale) and she doesn't know what she actually wants to do with her life. I had to see this based on the buzz around Blanchett's performance, and she deserves all of it. She's fantastic as Jasmine. Her character has absolutely no redeeming qualities, but Blanchett still captures her and makes us want to see what happens with the train wreck that is Jasmine's life. Hawkins and Canavale gave good performances too, but other actors like Louis C.K and Peter Sarsgard as wasted.  I honestly think I would've enjoyed

Blind Spot Series: Some Like It Hot

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What I knew going in : That many Marilyn fans say this film is their favorite of hers. Musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) inadvertently witness the St Valentine's Day massacre and quickly try to leave town to avoid some mobsters from killing them as well. The only way out is to pose as women in a traveling band. They are "reborn" as Josephine and Daphne, they quickly befriend Sugar, (Marilyn Monroe) the naive singer in the band. They have trouble keeping their cover when Joe (out of disguise) tricks Sugar into thinking he's a millionaire and Jerry finds himself the object of a horny old perv's (Joe E. Brown) affection. Marilyn Monroe is just someone that never interested me. I don't idolize her like a lot of women I know do. When I took public speaking in college, someone used a quote from her in a speech, and the entire class got into an argument over whether she actually said that or not. Clearly, Miss Monroe evoked a lot of emotions.

Indie Gems: Short Term 12

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FINALLY! If you follow me on Twitter, you've probably seen me complaining about this film since January. I bumped it to the top of my queue a few days before it was scheduled to be released, and patiently waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. Never once did it occur to me that some asshole was probably just hoarding the blu ray and the regular DVD version might be available, so I switched the format, and it came right away. Awesome. I'm an idiot.  At least it was worth the wait. Grace (Brie Larson) is a supervisor in a youth home. When we meet her, it's obvious she's having some issues. She's somewhat distant to her long term boyfriend and co-worker, Mason (John Gallangher Jr.) and we meet her at a very difficult time in her life. Then they receive a new resident, Jayden (Kaitlyn Denver) who reminds Grace so much of herself that she digs up past demons, and she's forced to, for once in a long time, to really access this situation she's g

DVD Review: Grizzly Man

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Watching a slow motion train wreck. Have you ever watched something simultaneously fascinating and aggravating at the same time? Well look no further, that is exactly how I felt watching the documentary Grizzly Man Film maker Werner Herzog follows the flight of glorified bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell. Treadwell spent a lot of time in national parks "bonding" with grizzly bears. In 2003, he and his girlfriend Amie were killed by the same bears he thought had accepted him. In fact, audio of the attack was recorded. We don't hear it, but in one bizarre scene, Herzog actually listens to the audio and describes part of it in front of one Treadwell's ex-girlfriend.  I almost felt bad watching this. In my opinion, Treadwell seemed mentally ill. This man needed help. The way he communicated with the animals started off kind of cute, but then it just got to the point where it was tragic, delusional, and a little bit disturbing. I know you can't force adu

2014 Academy Award Winners + my thoughts

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Alright, alright, alright. The Oscars have came and went. I went 18/24 (mind you, I left the short categories blank as I had no clue) As always, I had a great time tweeting with everyone about it. Even though host Ellen actually broke Twitter after taking a selfie. I thought she did a great job hosting. She was very interactive with the audience. (both there and at home) Plus she ordered pizza and told a dick joke, so she wins in my book. Here's a list of the winners. They are in bold , and my thoughts are in green . Best Picture American Hustle Captain Phillips Dallas Buyers Club Gravity Her Nebraska Philomena 12 Years a Slave The Wolf of Wall Street This was very deserving, and Steve McQueen gave a great speech at the end of the night. Plus Paul Dano was up on stand, and I will never tire of watching that. Best Director David O. Russell,  American Hustle Alfonso CuarĂ³n,  Gravity Alexander Payne,  Nebraska Steve McQueen,  12 Years a Slave Martin Scorsese,  The Wolf of