Favorite Movie Titles Blogathon

Wow, I was not expecting this turn out. Thank you so much to everyone that participated! I'm so happy you decided to join in. (and if you haven't yet, I'll still add you if you are late) Plus this whole experience has turned me on to a few new blogs in the process, and that's always a great thing. Here was my original post with the rules. Click on the banners to be re-directed to everyone's posts!

DayMay Boyle - All my Danny Boyle directed reviews.

The always wonderful French Toast Sunday is hosting DanMay Boyle month! Anything about Danny Boyle is welcome, just click that link and contribute. 

Danny Boyle is easily one of my favorite working directors right now. I'm constantly amazed by his work. Here's a round up of reviews of his films that I have posted on my blog.

DVD Review: Interior. Leather Bar

James Franco has something to say.

Netflix's summary of this film is the "re-imagining of 40 minutes cut from the 1980 film Cruising. Which is comical because the first thing film maker Travis Mathews says to his lead actor, Val Lauren is that he doesn't want to do a full on re-imagining of 40 minutes of what they thought was cut. Because that would be the wrong way to go about this. 

At first, I wasn't sure where Franco was going with this, and I didn't feel like he was sure either. Then in a scene, he explains to Val that everything he's shooting here feels weird to him because of the world around him. Every commercial, every love story is a man and a woman, and he's sick of it. He also mentions sex being a story telling tool, and that people shouldn't be so afraid to put it into a movie. He doesn't see this S&M club as a dark evil place as depicted in Cruising, he sees it as normal.

I feel like this film would've worked better if Val Lauren, for lack of a better word, would've stopped acting like such a little bitch. I get it, as an actor, he's concerned about this project. (As his an unnamed friend/family member who asks him if he's shooting the "Franco faggot movie.") but come on dude, lighten the fuck up. I doubt Franco forced you into doing this. Hell, the most notable thing you've done was a film that James Franco directed himself. His attitude was really off putting. That's what kind of ruined the whole thing for me. I think Franco had really interesting intentions here, but it just didn't come together. I think Val Lauren shares a lot of that blame.

Recommended: No

Grade: D

Memorable Quote: "I like his mission, even when I don't understand it." - Val Lauren

Favorite Movie Scene Blogathon

John over at Hitchcock's World is hosting his first ever blogathon! Here are his rules:

1)Each choice must be a specific moment from a film, not the film itself, even if it's a movie like My Dinner With Andre or Twelve Angry Men.

2)Since picking out scenes is hard, you can write about as many different moments from as many different films as you like. There are no specific restrictions in what types of films you can draw from, even if it's one of Godard's movies or Tarkovsky's Solaris or any other film I have criticized in this blog. I'll even try to control myself is you pick a scene from one of Connery's James Bond films.

3) I'd encourage you to try and diversify your range of choices as much as you can. In both my lists I cover movies in the science fiction, war, western, comedy, surrealist, and adventure genres with periods ranging from the 1950's to the present day. 

4) For each film you refer to you can only discuss one scene. For instance if you decide on writing about 2001: A Space Odyssey, you can't do both the shuttle docking sequence and the scene where Dave disconnects HAL, you'd have to make a choice between one or the other.

5) For each scene, you should provide a reasonably clear description. I would advise some context regarding what is happening in the scene, but the focus should be on what you like about that particular moment.

6)I would also recommend making sure your descriptions are not too long. I'm not going to give a precise maximum length but try to keep your explanations from being longer than necessary.

There's a lot of different scenes I love, my list would be endless. But despite all of that, there is one scene that instantly came to mind when I saw this, one of my all time favorites, so I decided to devote my entire post to it: Lester's dream sequence with falling rose petals from American Beauty.*

This scene is a cinematic masterpiece. The music is perfect, the shot of the falling petals on Lester, while he looks up at the ceiling and sees Angela covered in them. He thinks "It's the weirdest thing. I feel like I've been in a coma for about 20 years, and I'm just now waking up."

This scene works so well it's easy to forget that this is a 40 year old man perving on a teenager. Then he ends the scene by saying one of my favorite words in general. (and a perfect way to describe this film)


*Shocker, I picked something from American Beauty. I know

Indie Gems: Electrick Children

So that's why Rock n Roll is bad for you!

Rachel (Julia Garner, wearing an awful clip on braid) is from a fundamentalist Mormon community. She's curious, but sheltered by her father, Paul. (Billy Zane) Her mother, Gay Lynn (Cynthia Watros) isn't as strict, and tells her daughters stories of her travels outside their farm. One day, Rachel sneaks a VHS tape of a man singing, and then falls pregnant. She thinks the tape impregnated her. She runs away to Las Vegas hoping to find the singer on the tape, instead she meets a misfit named Clyde (Rory Culkin) who will change the way she views things. Mr. Will (Liam Aiken) who's accused of being the one that actually knocked up Rachel, chases after her.

This is one of those movies where you REALLY have to suspend belief, because the ending is actually pretty ridiculous. Once you've done that, the film is actually quite sweet and enjoyable. The thought of a naive young girl going to Las Vegas could be a horror story, but that's not what happens here. Regardless of some of the things Clyde and his friends do, it's nothing sinister. Rory Culkin, as I've mentioned before is a fascinating young actor, and I enjoyed his performance. Garner was good as well, and I haven't seen Aiken around since Lemony Snicket.

The film is beautifully shot and offers a great soundtrack. It's available now on Instant Netflix.

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "Can I go with you?" - Rachel (Julia Garner)

2014 Blind Spot Series: Rebel Without A Cause

What I knew going in: This was James Dean's second to last film.

Jim Stark (James Dean) is a troubled young man that has moved around a lot in his life. Once he and his family settle in a new town, he makes friends with Plato (Sal Mineo) and becomes attracted to Judy. (Natalie Wood) Too bad her friends aren't as smitten with Jim as he is with her. An accident happens that changes this group of kids forever.

Have you ever watched a film with a certain amount of expectations, then start to wonder if maybe you're watching it the wrong way once you realize you are having the polar opposite reaction that everyone else has had? That's kind of how I felt here. How was this movie nominated for Oscars? This is a joke, right?

I'll get the good out of the way first. Wood and Mineo gave great performances. They were quite young when they filmed this, and they were solid. The story overall was solid too, despite all of the theatrics.  That's what threw me off here, everything felt overly dramatic. James Dean probably had a lot of potential to be a great actor, but I felt like he was just mugging here. There's only so many times you can do the "dramatic head tilt," the "pout," and the "eye fuck" without it becoming a farce.  And The score! The way the music picked up during the dramatic scenes was laughably bad. Then there's the car crash, which I shouldn't make fun of because this film was made in 1955, but oh my God. That was awful. I know I kind of gave Vertigo crap on not aging well, but I take all of that back after seeing this.

This is the first film on my Blind Spot list that I flat out didn't like. Sure, I was underwhelmed by Citizen Kane, but I can at least appreciate what it did at the  time of its release. This was just..kind of bad to be honest. Wood and Mineo were the only saving graces. 

Recommended: No

Grade: D+

Memorable Quote: "You're tearing me apart, Lisa!" Jim Stark (James Dean)

Rambling TV: Game of Thrones recap + other TV thoughts

Feels. I have too many of them. Mockingbird was filled with so many emotional scenes. I know I said last week that Dinklage's Emmy reel was probably in that performance, but he was even better this time around. Don't forget to click those gifs to be redirected to their makers. 

We start out in Tyrion's cell, where Jaime is upset about Tyrion's decision to have a trial by combat. Jaime can't believe that Tyrion fell in love with a whore. Note the look on Jaime's face when Tyrion says "I was stupid enough to think she loved me back." Jaime tells Tyrion he can't protect him now, he couldn't fight a stable boy with his left hand, and Cersei has chosen The Mountain as her champion.

We check in with Baby Mountain killing some randoms. Henceforth, he will be known as "Baby Mountain" because he does NOT look old enough to be The Hound's older brother. Why didn't they just keep the season one guy?

Arya and the Hound find a wounded man, and put him out of his misery. Soon, Rorge and Biter (remember them from season 2) sneak up behind The Hound, trying to kill them for the ransom Tywin placed on his head. The Hound kills Biter, Arya kills Rorge. I guess Brienne is going to have a different story in S5 now.

Later, Arya tries to treat The Hound's wound with fire, but he understandably freaks. He tells her the story of how The Mountain burned his face for stealing his toy when they were kids. "I wasn't stealing it, I was just playing with it." he says pitifully. The Hound really was let down by his family. This whole thing very sad.

We check in with the Night's Watch, where Jon Snow continues to be brow beaten by Ser Alliser. Asshole.

Bronn finally visits Tyrion, and tells him he's now getting married. I was kind of surprised they had this in the show, to be honest. I thought they'd leave it out. Bronn won't fight for Tyrion. He's afraid of The Mountain, and when has Tyrion ever risked his life for him? All valid points, really. It's still sad to see Bronn and Tyrion's friendship seemingly end like this. 

Daario sneaks into Dany's quarters to complain about being put on bouncer duty on the streets of Meereen. He's good at war and women, he says. Dany asks him to do what he does best, and demands him to get naked. Later, as Daario is swaggering out of her room, he runs into Jorah. Because of course Ser Friendzone needs to witness this shit.

Dany lets Jorah know that she's sending Daario and the Second Sons to Yunkai to retake it, and to kill all the remaining masters. Jorah counsels her that killing them is sending a bad message. There's good and bad on both sides, and if Ned Stark had killed Jorah for sending people to slavery, he wouldn't be here having this discussion. She tells him to send Loraq with Daario to serve as an ambassador, and to tell the masters they will live in her new world or die in their old one. Then she tells Jorah to tell Daario that HE changed her mind.

Melisandre filled Game of Thrones quota for random boobs for the week. 

Brienne and Pod are in a tavern having a nice meal, served to them by Hot Pie of all people! I fangirled at the sight of Hot Pie. Brienne mentions Sansa by name. Podrick doesn't think this is a good idea, Brienne is about to consider this as a valid point until Hot Pie comes out to tell them he knows of Arya Stark, and gives them another wolf bread loaf to give to her. Now they've changed destinations to the Vale of Arryn to look for them both.

In what was one of my two favorite scenes of the night, Oberyn visits Tyrion in his cell. He tells him a story of how he went to Casterly Rock as a child, not long after Tyrion was born. The talk of the trip was the monster born to Tywin Lannister, but when Cersei and Jaime took he and Elia to see Tyrion. He pointed out that "That's not a monster, that's a baby." Cersei abused Tyrion until Jaime made her stop. Then told the Martells that "he's going to die soon anyways. He shouldn't have lived this long." You could tell Tyrion always knew Cersei hated him, but watching him try to hold back tears here made it seems like even he didn't know how deep that ran. He was hated from the moment he was born. 

Oberyn tells him he's looking for Justice for Elia and her children, and now that The Mountain has been named Cersei's champion, he will be Tyrions.

It's snowing in The Vale, so Sansa decides to build an elaborate snow castle in the shape of Winterfell. This was one of my favorite scenes in the book, and I'm glad it made it on screen. Robin comes out to be annoying and ruin Sansa's castle, so she bitch slaps him. As he runs of crying, Littlefinger appears (because he's apparently always watching her) and tells Sansa that Lysa should've slapped him a long time ago. Sansa demands to know why he really killed Joffrey. Littlefinger says he loved her mother, and "given the opportunity, what do we do to those who hurt the ones we love?" Taking his Perving to the next level, he remarks that if they lived in a world where it was love over honor, Sansa could've been his daughter. Then he tells her she's more beautiful than her mother ever was and kisses her. All while Lysa watches from a distance. 

Lysa calls Sansa to the Moon Door and tries to throw her out. Littlefinger shows up to talk her out of if. He tells her there's only one woman he's loved his entire life -- her sister. Then he promptly shoves her out.

As awesome as this scene still was, I have to complain. The line was "only Cat" in the book. I'm assuming they changed it because even the most casual of viewers can't be bothered to remember who "Cat" was. I hate when shows dumb down shit like this. I expect this from shows like The Walking Dead, but not Game of Thrones. 

Now we have to wait two weeks to see the next episode, all because some people didn't tune into Blackwater over Memorial Day a few years ago. I suppose it's good strategy, people NEED to see these episodes, but it still sucks waiting, nonetheless. 

Best One Liners from Veep 

"Wasn't it Oscar Wilde who said Dan's a fucking awful campaign manager."

"I don't panic, I'm a fucking Ice Man, that's why I'm the campaign manager."

"Lets get the merry old fuck out of merry old England"

Jonah's entire reading of Dan's chart: "Cancer of the soul, inverted nipples, abnormally high douche readings. 37 different kinds of semen pumped from stomach. Anal bleeding. Tiny child balls."

Review: Godzilla

Ford Brody is having a bad day.

Everywhere he goes, monsters show up.

All kidding aside, Godzilla follows Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who is called back to his childhood home in Japan when his father, Joe (Bryan Cranston) is arrested for trespassing into former nuclear reactor zone. You see, Joe used to work there, and an accident happened in 1999 that caused the death of his wife. Now, the same thing is happening again, and he no one believes him when he says they're similar. Ford is reluctant to help at first, but follows his father. Two scientists, Dr. Serizawa (Ken Wantanabe, who permanently looks like he cannot believe what the fuck you are talking about) and Dr Graham (Sally Hawkins) know what's going on, but even they can't predict the destruction that lies ahead. On top of all of this, Ford is trying to get back to his wife, Elle (Elizabeth Olsen) and their young song back in San Francisco, where all this chaos is heading.

Godzilla really has all of the things a good monster movie needs. Likable leads, great special effects, cheesy dialogue, and a fantastic score by Alexandre Desplat. They sure knew how to build to the climatic fight scene between Godzilla and the M.U.T.O. Just when you thought you'd see them fight, the camera cut away. I've read some things were this bothered some, but I thought it was brilliant. I especially loved how our first shot of them fighting was on a news broadcast, watched by a four year old.

Overall, Godzilla isn't trying to be some critically acclaimed masterpiece, so it doesn't need to be treated like one. What it does succeed at is being massively entertaining, and is far better than the 1998 version. That's all a remake can really ask for, right?

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B+

Memorable Quote: "He's your family too." - Elle (Elizabeth Olsen)

Indie Gems: Trick R' Treat

Halloween is fucked up.

That's basically the moral of Trick r' Treat, a movie that I have taken way too long to finally watch. 

Four intertwining stories follow different people in a small town on the night of Halloween. Steven (Dylan Baker) is a high school principle/serial killer. Laurie (Anna Paquin) is not impressed with her much sluttier sister and friends dragging her along to a Halloween party. Mr. Kreeg (Brian Cox) is having the worst night ever. Some teens play a trick on a fellow student that goes horribly wrong, and some weird little kid dressed as a creepy pumpkin is reeking havoc. Actually, I don't really know what the fuck he is dressed as. It's weird.

I can see why this is consistently on people's "Favorite Halloween movies" lists. It will certainly be on mine from now on. Trick r' Treat is quite the little gem. It has plenty of interesting twists, a good amount of gore, and a pretty killer soundtrack on top of it. I can see this being something I re-watch on a fairly regular basis.

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "I look five." - Laurie (Anna Paquin)

Review: Neighbors

Time to bro out.

Mac (Seth Rogan) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are a young married couple with a 6 month old baby. They are enjoying their house and their new grown up life, then they get new neighbors in the form of a fraternity lead by Teddy (Zac Efron) and Pete. (Dave Franco) At first, Mac and Kelly party with them and promise not to call the police if they get too loud, but once they break that promise it becomes an all out war between houses.

At first I didn't think I'd enjoy Neighbors. The thought of douchey college guys playing pranks on a young couple with a baby just didn't sound interesting. (Maybe because I hated frat boys in college and I am part of a young couple with a baby) But that's what ended up making this movie so funny. The fraternity is made fun of, a lot. The things that Mac and Kelly talk about were at times relateable as well. And, you know, I enjoy a good dick joke. This film had plenty.

Neighbors is easily the funniest movie of 2014 so far and it feels like Zac Efron was born to play Teddy. I was hard on him when I saw The Paperboy, but he shines here. The always reliable Rogan, Byrne, and Franco do as well. Plus there's a Workaholics cameo that I loved.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "Your body is like a giant arrow pointing towards your dick." - Mac (Seth Rogan)

Rambling TV: Game of Thrones recap + Liebster and other TV thoughts

This week was the first Stark-less episode ever in Game of Thrones. We finally got to see Stannis in the day light (it's been awhile) Braavos was added to the opening map (but still no Eyrie?) and Tyrion's trial took up the bulk of the episode in The Laws of Gods and Men. Click those gifs to be redirected to their makers.

We open with Stannis and Davos sailing to Braavos. Great CGI shot of the titan, and I loved how they had multiple little islands like the book. At the Iron Bank, they meet Tycho "Mycroft" Nestoris. He doesn't believe in Stannis' cause because he doesn't have that many ships, or that many tradable goods from Dragonstone. He also makes a comment that thieves aren't given knight ships, looking at Davos. Davos puts that motherfucker in his place and explains the difference between a pirate and a smuggler. Then he shows them his hand, with his removed fingers. Stannis still punished him for crimes. He gives a long speech on why Stannis is the rightful king, proving once again that Davos is his biggest fanboy. Stannis looks on lovingly in the distance. 

Later, Davos visits his old pirate friend Salladhor Saan in a hot tub brothel. He gives him money, and tells him they sail at sunrise. I wish Stannis was in this scene too though, that would've been hilarious.

Yara reads Ramsay's note to her men, and gives one hell of a speech about why they're on this mission. This shot is intertwined with Ramsay fucking Myranda because of course it is. When they arrive, Yara kills some men with her ax (yes!) and demands to be taken to Theon, who is in the kennels. 

Theon tells Yara his name is Reek and refuses to go with her. Ain't nobody got time for that, so she drags him out of his kennel only to be met by shirtless, cut up Ramsay and his men. They fight, Reek bites Yara and returns to his cage. When she demands Theon, Ramsay tells her she has bigger balls than he ever did..then he sicks his hounds on them. They flee, but not because of the hounds, but because the cause is lost. "My brother is dead." she says.

Immediately after this scene, I was like "wow, that was pointless, much like the entire Iron Born. But after thinking about it, I'm glad it was here. It really was remixed of a few scenes in the book. (Mostly Kyra and her keys) Plus, it was good to see a female kicking ass like that again. Yara (Asha in the books) really is the only likable Greyjoy at this point, so showing her in this light is only helpful.

Ramsay rewards Reek with a bath, I expected them to show some Let The Right One In type stitches on Reek, but they actually left that out. Ramsay, proving he's still the creepiest fucker in Westeros helps bath Reek and tells him he gets to "pretend to be Theon Greyjoy" to take Moat Cailin. Ouch.

We cut to Drogon torching some goats, then to Dany in her throne room. The goat herder doesn't want to offend her, but throws his burned goat's bones on the floor and tells her about her dragons. She say she will compensate him three times over.

Then the noble Hizdahr zo Loraq walks in. (This is earlier than I expected to see him) He gives her a sob story about how she crucified his father even though he opposed the slave children being crucified. She argues, but eventually gives in and lets him bury his father. She asks how many more people she has to see today, and is told 212. She's overwhelmed by ruling.

We get a quick small council scene where Dany is mentioned again. Tywin wants to put an end to that too, he turns Mace into his bitch boy and tells him to fetch his quill and paper. Poor Mace.

Trial time! Tyrion can't believe they're actually chaining him up. Tommen excuses himself and Tywin sits on the throne like he was honestly, probably meant to be.

Let's do a witness run down:

Ser Meryn "fucking" Trant - complaining about Tyrion yelling at Joffrey in season 2 after he ordered Meryn to beat and strip her. Cunt.

Grand Maester Pycelle - Lying about Tyrion raiding his pantry after he threw him in the black cells in season 2. Ends his testimony with "He killed the most noble child the Gods ever put on this Earth." Cunt.

Lord Varys - Well, he's not a cunt. He's just playing the game like he knows how. He admits to Tyrion at the end of his testimony that he didn't forget what he said to him after Blackwater.

Cersei - SUPER cunt.

*breaks for recess*

Jaime goes into Tywin's office (chambers? Thrones has offices, right?) and calls the trial a farce and tells his father that if Tyrion lives, he'll leave the Kings Guard, go to Casterly Rock and marry. Just like his father wants him too. Tywin predicted this and said he will show Tyrion mercy and allow him to join the Night's Watch. Unsullied everywhere are giddy at the idea of Jon Snow and Tyrion in the same scenes.

Before I talk about the next witness, I love how the camera kept cutting to Margaery, who knows who REALLY killed Joffrey during the trial. Her bullshit meter was going crazy.

Their star witness is Shae the funny whore. She lies and says Tyrion planned this with Sansa. She shares intimate details of their relationship with the court, making everyone laugh. Tyrion is obviously heart broken, he tells her "don't" but she ignores him. Oberyn did have a nice line in there when he asked her "DID you fuck him like it was his last day in this world?"

This is where Tyrion snaps. He wishes to confess. He wishes he HAD killed Joffrey so that he was the monster they've all been saying he was. He's been on trial for being a dwarf his whole life. He tells Cersei he liked watching her bastard die, then he demands Trial By Combat. Oberyn is intrigued. 

Best One Liners from Veep:

"I can improve your posture by 6000%"

"She was a vicious bitch and a fucking drunk."

"Give me that gun, I'll shoot his balls off."

"Oh no, I hate violence!"

"He takes all the presents from the children."

Teach me How to Duggar:

This week on 19 Kids & Counting I saw a man step in between his 23 year old daughter and another man, because he *gasp* put his hand on her UPPER BACK. We all know what kind of impure thoughts that could lead too. *facepalm*

Annie over at Large Popcorn, No Butter has nominated me for the Liebster Award! I think I've actually gotten this a few times before, but I'm grateful for the nomination, and she asked some really good questions, so here are my answers:

1. If you had to pick between watching black and white or color movies forever which would you choose? Color, every time.

2. Would you rather watch a romcom or a horror movie? Why? Horror, because that genre is 100 times better, in my opinion. 

3. What's your preferred movie theater snack? My favorite theater here in town serves THE BEST mini donuts.

4. Who's your favorite character of all time? This is hard. Wow, Lester Burnham, maybe? He was very complex. Then there's Batman...

5. Name three of your favorite movies made before 1950. Classic movies - my weakness! I'll go with A Little Princess, Captain January, and Just Around The Corner. Do not judge me for only naming Shirley Temple movies.

6. Disney or Dreamworks? Disney. The only thing Dreamworks ever had going for them was How To Train Your Dragon. 

7. Wes Anderson or Quentin Tarentino? Tarantino. I enjoy both filmmakers, but I prefer more of Tarantino's films.

8. Dark humor or light humor? Dark, that's just the kind of person I am, I guess.

9. What's your favorite poster art that you've ever seen? I loved the posters Focus Features put together for Brick. They were all great.

10. If you had to watch a movie that was over 3 hours long, which one would you choose? Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

11. What's your favorite country for foreign film? I like French movies, just because the language sounds so beautiful. (and they make a lot of good movies)