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Showing posts from September, 2014

Favorite Episode Titles A-Z

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Similar to my old post  (and later blogathon ) about Favorite Movie Titles. These are my favorite titles for various TV shows. I don't necessarily love all the episodes, but I love their titles. A Scandal in Belgravia (Sherlock) B ear and the Maiden Fair (Game of Thrones) C ripples, Bastards, and Broken Things (Game of Thrones) D ays Gone Bye (The Walking Dead) E rlenmeyer Flask (The X Files) F ace Off (Breaking Bad) G liding All Over (Breaking Bad) H old Me In Paradise (Boardwalk Empire) I Will Rise Up (True Blood) J udge, Jury, Executioner (The Walking Dead) K issed By Fire (Game of Thrones) L izard-Spock Expansion (The Big Bang Theory) M ystery of the Urinal Deuce (South Park) N ight on the Sun (True Blood) O zymandias (Breaking Bad) P retty Much Dead Already (The Walking Dead) Q uintuplets 2000 (South Park) R ains of Castamere (Game of Thrones) S ecret Fate of All Life (True Detective) T o The Lost (Boardwalk Empir

A Fisti Recast-athon

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Drew over at A Fistful of Films poses a great idea. He wants us to pick an Oscar nominated performance by a white actress, and replace them with an actress with color. Here are the rules: 1)  Pick an OSCAR NOMINATED performance given by a white actress that didn't require a white actress (no biopics here, even though Todd Haynes taught us that you don't need to be the same race or gender to play a real life person).  This performance can come from ANY film year. 2)  Pick an actress of color who could have been a great fit for the role instead of the one cast.  Keep in mind the time of release and chose actresses who were working at that time.  So, in other words, don't select the role of Calla Mackie in 1968's Rachel, Rachel (played by Estelle Parsons) and suggest it be a great fit for Naomie Harris, because, well, she wasn't born for another eight years. 3)  Explain WHY that actress would have made a great fit.  Plead her case.  Let's tell those Hollyw

Indie Gems: Night Moves

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You said no one would get hurt. Josh (Jesse Eisenberg) and Dena (Dakota Fanning) are two environmentalists who team up with Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard) to blow up a dam in Oregon. The consequences that follow their quest turn out to be more than they imagined. I don't want to give a lot of the plot away, because that would ruin the experience. When I first heard about this film at Sundance, a lot of people were comparing it to The East , another film about eco-terrorists. But really, that's all they have in common. Night Moves has a completely different structure and story and stands well on it's own two fee. Fanning and Eisenberg both play sullen, paranoid people and of course they're both great at it. They had very interesting chemistry together. Sarsgaard isn't in it as much as I though, but he makes his little screen time memorable. The film did leave me wanting more. I wish a book would be written with the events that follow, but the film is ver

2014 Blind Spot Series: North by Northwest

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What I knew going in: Pretty much the entire movie, I just never sat down to watch it. Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) is an advertising executive that ends up being mistaken for a possible spy named George Chaplin. Suddenly, people are trying to kill him, he gets accused of murder himself and has to go on the run to escape police and figure this all out. I like Cary Grant, and I hope I get to check out more of his movies. He had a lot of charisma. The film created an interesting story that continued to escalate, but at the same time felt kind of predictable. The film is also distractingly dated. Any scene involving a crowd of people (or just more people than the main characters) didn't feel organic and looked way too staged. Then there's those car scenes, but that's really nitpicking. I had a similar reaction to Citizen Kane. I felt like I was watching an important movie, but it really just wasn't my cup of tea. I'll stick with Hitch's horror movies. Grad

Rambling TV: Thoughts on Boardwalk Empire and more.

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If this week's episode of Boardwalk Empire moved any slower, it would've been going backwards. Episodes like this drive me nuts, because in a show's final season, you don't really have time to waste. (Hello, True Blood) The end of this episode was great though, because of what it set up. Click those gifs to be redirected to their makers. What happened in this long hour? Chalky played Home Invasion with two women who refused to open up a safe at their house. He eventually killed his henchmen and left. Thanks for that. We know Chalky is a good guy deep down, did we need to fuck around for an hour to know that? Mickey's back! Margaret's boss says someone has been taking money from Rothstein's account after the man died, and her signature is on all the forms. Someone has to pay. She pays his wife a visit who sees right through her bullshit and tells her she knows she's Nucky's wife, and plans to smear her in the papers. Luciano and Se

Review: This is Where I Leave You

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Dysfunctional family meets again at funeral. This has been done time and time again. The only thing that makes films like this worth it is their casts, and luckily this particular film succeeds on that front. After their father passes away, a mother (Jane Fonda) tells her four adult children that his dying wish was for them to remain under the same roof together for seven days. They've been slightly preoccupied with their own lives, and this is the first time they've been together in awhile. They consist of Judd (Jason Bateman) whose just walked in on his wife having sex with his boss. Wendy (Tina Fey) in an unhappy marriage who becomes full of regrets when she's faced with an old flame. Paul, (Corey Toll) whose struggling to conceive with his wife, Annie. (Kathryn Hahn) And Phillip (Adam Driver) the much younger family fuck up. The film is incredibly predictable. There are very few things that happen that you couldn't guess within the first 10 minutes. T

Indie Gems: Breathe In

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Growing up and having responsibilities isn't for everyone. This is especially the case for Keith (Guy Pearce) a musician who dreams of living in New York City again, playing the cello for the NYC Orchestra. Instead he's out living in the suburbs, with his wife, Megan (Amy Ryan) and his 18 year old daughter, Lauren. (Mackenzie Davis) He teaches piano at his daughter's high school, and occasionally subs for the Orchestra. His wife is more realistic about his dream of moving back to the city: They can't afford it. The decide to house a foreign exchange student from the UK, 18 year old Sophie. (Felicity Jones) She's a piano progeny who's unsure of what she wants to do with her life. She and Keith share several sexually frustrated glances, and soon her presence turns into a big problem. Aside from the fact that Lauren and Sophie apparently attend the Academy of Students That Look Like They're Old Enough To Be Teachers Here, I actually really liked Brea

Back to School Blogathon

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Wendell over at Dell on Movies has another great idea for a blogathon . He asks us to create a class based on characters from different movies. Here are the rules. 1. Choose at least 1 character to fit into each of the following roles: Administrator (either a dean, principal, head master, or some other equivalent) Teacher Star Student/Nerd Jock/Class Bully Popular Girl/Diva Invisible Girl (aka not popular girl) Class Clown Troubled Youth Of course, include a few words on why each character was chosen. Some of the categories have slashes because there is a lot of overlap within. However, feel free to break those up to make your class even larger. For instance if you use a jock who is a nice guy, you can also include a bully. As long as you have the minimum number of students and others, your class can be as large as you like. 2. There are NO RESTRICTIONS on age. Theoretically, you can have Zach from Kindegarten Cop in the same class as Rodney Dangerfield's charac

Rambling TV: Thoughts on Boardwalk Empire

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"Sometimes I find it easier to despise someone than to love them." That brilliant line was uttered by Van Alden in this week's episode of Boardwalk Empire. I think it sums up his character pretty well. Don't forget to click those gifs to be redirected to their makers. Van Alden and Eli Thompson were missing from last week's premiere, but they make the most of it in this episode. Eli has turned into a depressed drunk who watches a warehouse get raided. Capone's warehouse, and he loses 20k. He's pissed, and they have to get it back. Capone is sporting a large scare, and it dawns on me that skipping ahead to 1931 completely misses the St. Valentine's Day massacre, which I thought would actually be a part of the show.  Gillian is in some kind of mental hospital and bribes a warden into giving her a pen and paper - something she can't have. She's going to write a letter, but we don't know who to. Willie Thompson, Eli's son i

Review: The Double

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It takes two. Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg) might as well be a living, breathing door mat. He lets everyone walk all over him. He's been at his job for seven years, yet everyone thinks he just started. He has a crush on his neighbor/colleague Hannah (Mia Wasikowska) but won't do anything about it. Then one day his exact double shows up in the form of James Simon. He's calm, collected and wins over everyone around him. Simon knows he's got to go. I never read Fydor Dostoevsky's novel, on which this is based on. Something tells me this would be better as a book than a film. I liked the tone, it was very dark and eerie but the pacing was terrible. It's almost painful to watch Simon try to make it throughout the day, I just wanted to tell him to "hurry up" half the time. It makes the film feel much longer than the hour and a half it really is. I see online this draws a lot of comparisons to Enemy, another film in which the lead character fin

Indie Gems: Dom Hemingway

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"Jude Law is Dom Hemingway and you're not." That's the tag line for this movie and it's awesome. Dom (and his unfortunate hairline) is a thief who just got out of prison after 12 years. The first thing he does when he's free is promptly beat the shit out of the man that his wife married while he was locked up. He then meets up with his former partner, Dickie (Richard E. Grant) who goes with him to collect money he's owed from Mr. Fountaine.(Demian Bichir) But Dom's attitude is never good and things are not as easy as he'd like them to be. He's also estranged from his adult daughter Evelyn (Emilia Clarke) I honestly think this is the best performance Jude Law has ever given. Dom is kind of larger than life in a way. His temper is short, he frequently loses his shit and his ego is massive. Law is so charismatic that I actually felt myself rooting for Dom towards the end, even though his character is awful. The film itself loses ste

DVD Review: Only Lovers Left Alive

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Expectations vs Reality  all vampires have dry, teased hair. meanwhile Yelchin does his best Rory Culkin impression I had really high expectations for this film the minute I saw it was in production. Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin? Sold. I expected it to be fascinating and sexy but by the time I actually got my hands on it, I found nothing really happens in this film at all. Adam (Hiddleston) is an old vampire living in Detroit. He's a text book emo who makes music, but doesn't want it to get "too mainstream." He hates his life, refers to humans as "Zombies" and contemplates suicide. His wife, Eve (Swinton) who has been living in Tangiers pays him a visit to liven up his mood. According to most summaries of this film I've read, all is going well until Eve's little sister Ava (Wasikowska) shows up and disrupts everything. I point that out because I thought it was going to be a big part of the movie, when

Rambling TV: Thoughts on Boardwalk Empire, 19 Kids, and why Lifetime is awful.

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Now that True Blood is done, I won't be giving full recaps until The Walking Dead comes back, so here's some quick thoughts on what I watched on TV this week. Click those gifs to be redirected to their makers, as always. Boardwalk Empire The final seasons jumps ahead seven years to 1931. Much has changed. Nucky is in Cuba with Sally trying to finalize a deal with the man who owns Barcardi rum. He wants to sell it in the U.S when it becomes legal again. (Or still while it's illegal. Whatever) He runs into Meyer Lanksy, who says he's on vacation with his wife. They haven't seen each other since "A.R's funeral" (In real life, Arnold Rothstein died in 1928) Later, a machete wielding assassin tries to kill Nucky, when his body guard disposes of him (after cutting off his eye and keeping it) Nucky approaches Lanksy's wife and finds out she's just a prostitute. Did he order the hit?  Chalky is in jail, but we don't know what for. Later,

Indie Gems: Filth

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Nothing but filth. To call Bruce (James McAvoy) a corrupt cop would be an understatement. This guy is pretty much an awful human being. He's determined to solve a murder case to secure a promotion at his job. He bullies his co-workers, played by Jamie Bell, Imogen Poots, and Emun Elliott. He's cruel to his "best friend" Bladesey (Eddie Marsan) and prank calls his wife. (Shirley Henderson) He harasses witnesses (Iain DeCaestecker) envisions his estranged wife (Shauna MacDonald) pining for him after he gets this promotion and also hallucinates dramatic meetings with his psychiatrist. (Jim Broadbent) This movie is a perfect example of how having an unlikable character can still work. Not everyone has to be a hero or an anti hero, they just need to be interesting or entertaining, and Bruce was both of those. He's despicable, but he does need help. McAvoy was brilliant in this role, which is probably the most extreme that I've seen him in. The supportin

Animated Sequels That Ruined Your Childhood With Singing (among other things)

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Tim over at The Film Experience was talking about All Dogs go to Heaven recently, which I've always loved. It also reminded me of the awful sequel. My dad was always quick to watch animated sequels with me, especially if they were following films we enjoyed watching together. Of course animated musicals have always been a big thing. There's a few films we loved that were not musicals to begin with, but their sequels ended up that way. And they were fucking awful.  All Dogs go to Heaven 2 (Because fuck your childhood memories) Apparently we didn't see any trailers for this movie, because we were shocked that it was a musical (and a really cheesy one at that) My dad kept leaving me in the theater for smoke breaks to suffer by myself. And they don't even mention Anne Marie in it. She was Itchy's owner, FFS! The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue (Also a lesson in re-writing NIMH's history) I actually got this as a Christmas present, and my whole

Review: Chef

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Food Porn: The Movie Chef Carl Casper (John Favreau, and a body double for the cutting food scenes that is obviously heavier than him) is unhappy with his position as head chef in a restaurant run by an asshole named Riva. (Dustin Hoffman) Riva doesn't encourage his creativity in the kitchen, even though his staff like Martin (John Leguizamo) and Tony (Bobby Canavale) do. One day, a prestigious food critic (Oliver Platt) rips Casper for conforming and not cooking the way he used to. What begins as Casper calling him out on Twitter escalates to something more, and soon Casper is without a job, but turns that around by starting a food truck to cook the food he really wants to serve. This movie is ideal for "dinner and a movie" only you should see this first THEN go eat somewhere because you will be starving afterwards. This movie is food porn central. The cast is great, even though I was yearning for a bit more Canavale and Robert Downey Jr. Favreau did a wonderf