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Showing posts from January, 2015

Indie Gems: The Skeleton Twins

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What the hell happened to us? Twins Milo (Bill Hader) and Maggie (Kristen Wiig) haven't spoken to each other in ten years. Coincidentally, they both attempt suicide on the same day, though Maggie gets stopped before the act while Milo gets stopped after it. She decides he should move back to New York with her to figure things out. I was a little worried about this film because I'm not a Kristen Wiig fan, and her attempts at drama in the past have been very lackluster. She's clearly the weakest link in this cast, but she's not bad. She and Hader have excellent chemistry, though it's him that soars in this film. Supporting cast includes Luke Wilson and Ty Burrell, who are all great in their roles as well. The film finds a good balance between comedy and drama, even if the ending is eye rolling predictable. Suicide is the main theme here, and the film goes to some dark places, but never for long Grade: A- Memorable Quote: "I've never tak

Thursday Movie Picks: Married Couples

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I was kicking myself last week for not including Blue Valentine in my post, but it actually fits in this week too! (I could've done all of my picks with Michelle Williams movies) This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is Married Couples, and because I love all things dysfunctional, I picked films where the marriages are troubled. Take This Waltz Poor Margot just doesn't know what she wants anymore. She was happily married, then ends up falling for her neighbor. Yikes.  Blue Valentine The ultimate depressing "I'm losing my marriage" movie.  Celeste and Jesse Forever They probably have the chillest divorce in movie history. It's weird to call a movie about a marriage falling apart "sweet," but this one really is.

In With The New Blogathon

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Wendell over at Dell on Movies is hosting this blogathon ! He wants us to share our favorite remakes that we think are better than the originals. Here are the rules: 1. No sequels or prequels. That means even if the movie in question has an entirely different cast it doesn't count if it positions itself as such. That means Superman Returns, which sets its timeline in a way that makes it a sequel to Superman II, is not eligible. On the other hand, Man of Steel is since it retells our hero's origin story. 2. Create a post by Sunday February 8th, 2015. Leave a link to your post in the comments section below. On Monday the 26th, I'll feature links to all those who have participated. 3. Use one of the banners in this post or feel free to create one of your own. Just be sure to include the name of the blogathon and that it's being hosted by Dell on Movies . The first thing that came to my mind when I saw this was horror movies. Yes, we love to bitch when our fav

Review: Cake

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This isn't going to be easy. Claire Bennett (Jennifer Aniston, not the cheerleader from Heroes ) suffers from chronic pain. She's  pretty much closed off from everyone besides her maid, Silvana. (Adriana Barraza)  In the wake of one of the members of her support group, Nina's (Anna Kendrick) suicide. She gets herself kicked out for being, to put it lightly, a total bitch. She then begins to hallucinate Nina and finds herself drawn to her life. This includes dropping in on Nina's widower, Roy. (Sam Worthington)  Cake is a very interesting film that's handled poorly. I have to admit, I've been intrigued about this film for awhile, simply because Anna Kendrick talked about it so much on her Twitter account while she was filming it. It's too bad it didn't have more Nina in it. Jennifer Aniston delivers the best performance of her career for sure, but it's only because we're used to seeing her in romantic comedies. That's why it seems t

DVD Review: Boyhood

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The film 12 years in the making. We all know what makes Boyhood special. Director Richard Linklater shot this film for a few weeks each summer for over 12 years, using the same actors. So we get to see them grow on screen. That's also where the special runs out. The story follows Mason (Ellar Coltrane) who starts off the film when he's around 6 or 7. It's about his life with his single mother, (Patricia Arquette) his annoying older sister, Samantha (Lorelei Linklater, nepotism at it's finest because she's nearly unbearable to watch) and their father (Ethan Hawke) who comes in and out of their lives. Other than the fact that Boyhood was filmed over 12 years, this film is generic. Nothing stands out. The 3 hour movie drags along while people go in and out of their lives without a mention of them later on. Which is true, sometimes that's life, but there's a specific set of people they encounter, then leave who I find it a little funny were never

2015 Screen Actors Guild Winners + my thoughts

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Here are the 2015 SAG winners. I did better with these predictions then I did my Globe ones, that's for sure. SAG is a quieter show, so it wasn't overly exciting, but there were a few surprises. The winners are in blue . My thoughts follow in green . Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Steve Carell - Foxcatcher Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game Jake Gyllenhaal - Nightcrawler Michael Keaton - Birdman Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything I did not see Redmayne beating Keaton here. I'm not upset though. Generally, I prefer Redmayne as an actor and even though Birdman was my favorite movie of the year, Redmayne was great in Theory as well. I would've been happy with any of these gentleman.  Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Jennifer Aniston - Cake Felicity Jones - The Theory of Everything Julianne Moore - Still Alice Rosamund Pike - Gone Girl Reese Witherspoon - Wild I just wish Rosamund would

Review: Foxcatcher

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Do you have a problem with me? Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) won an Olympic gold medal at the 1984 games. When we meet him in this story, it's three years later and he's drifting by and training for the Worlds. He trains with his brother, Dave (Mark Ruffalo) who tends to overshadow him. One day, a mysterious billionaire named John du Pont (Steve Carrell) contacts Mark and asks him to train at his Foxcatcher farm. This starts a troubled relationship that ends in tragedy.  At first, I had planned on not reading about what really happened in this true story. Then I ended up having to read the bare minimum because a lot of reviews talked about the ending in their opening paragraph. This film changes quite a few things, but it doesn't matter. This is the definition of a slow burn. It moves at a snail's pace while building tension. It reminded me a bit of how Audition was structured.  The score is pretty ominous and sets the tone, but the best thing about this

Indie Gems: In Fear

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Look closer. I first heard about this film from Dan when he reviewed it on his blog. He straight up said, while this hits many of the normal horror movie cliches, it's still something more. He was right. Tom (Iain De Caestecker) and Lucy (Alice Englert) met only a few weeks ago, but are going on a date to a music festival. Tom decides to surprise Lucy by taking her to a beautiful looking hotel for the night, but when they get lost trying to find it, they realize something far more sinister is at play. Yes, Tom and Lucy make the typical horror movie mistakes, but where this story goes is quite fascinating, and I certainly didn't expect the end result. Most of this film is shot with them driving in a car, lost in a maze. That makes it feel extra creepy. I'm a big fan of De Caestecker, he's the best actor on Agents of SHIELD and was wonderful in The Fades. I'll really watch this guy in anything, and that's what drove me to see this film. I'm gla

Thursday Movie Picks: Colors in the Title

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This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is movies with colors in the title. You should be proud of me, by the way. I didn't include White Chicks even though I wanted to so badly. Here are my favorites. 1) The Color Purple I wore my VHS tape of this out when I was a kid. I just love this film so much. 2) Blue is the Warmest Color I don't think I'll ever stop raving about this wonderful French film. 3)Black Swan My favorite Aronofsky film and also one of my favorites in recent memory. 

2015 SAG Predictions: Who Will Win, Who Should Win

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Here are my predictions for Sunday's Screen Actors Guild Awards. Hopefully I do better here than I did at the Globes. Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Steve Carell - Foxcatcher Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game Jake Gyllenhaal - Nightcrawler Michael Keaton - Birdman Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything Who will win: Michael Keaton Who should in: Jake Gyllenhaal. Keaton deserves it too, but Gyllenhaal is still my #1 here. I'd be fine with any of these men winning, to be honest. Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Jennifer Aniston - Cake Felicity Jones - The Theory of Everything Julianne Moore - Still Alice Rosamund Pike - Gone Girl Reese Witherspoon - Wild Who will win: Julianne Moore Who should win: Rosamund Pike I can still dream for Rosamund, right? RIGHT?! Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Robert Duvall - The Judge Ethan Hawke - Boyhood Edward Norton - Birdman

Quick Book Reviews

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 I don't normally write book reviews on my blog, but I figured I'd include a few quick words on the things I read this past year since I was so pleased with most of them. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - I've raved about this book and its film adaptation extensively. I think it will go down as one of my all time favorites.  Dark Places by Gillian Flynn - This book was nearly impossible to put down. The ending was pretty cliche, but I welcomed it in this case. Sometimes I like having things tied up with a neat little bow, damn it! Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn - This was a good one too, though not as strong as Gone Girl or Dark Places. Still, I like the women that Flynn writes.  My Year of Flops by Nathan Rabin - I wasn't crazy about this at all. I like books about bad movies, my favorite being Showgirls, Teen Wolves, and Astro Zombies by Michael Adams. This just wasn't nearly as funny. The Guilty One by Lisa Ballentyne - I recommendation I got from one

2015 Blind Spot Series: His Girl Friday

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What I knew going in: That this was one of the more famous "screwball comedies." Hildy (Rosalind Johnson) was once a star reporter. She walks into her office after a long absence to tell her boss, Walter (Cary Grant) that she quits and is moving to Albany to marry the mild mannered Bruce. (Ralph Bellamy) But Walter is actually Hildy's ex husband, and he spends the rest of the movie trying to convince Hildy to stay and do her job rather than marry. This movie was just plain adorable. It didn't really make me laugh, but it certainly made me smile several times. I like how face paced the dialogue was. I feel like that will be the most memorable part of the film for me. The entire cast was great, especially Grant, even though I wanted to dropkick his character several times throughout. Recommended: Yes Grade: B Memorable Quote: "From now on I thank you to keep your nose out of my affairs." - Walter (Cary Grant)

Rambling TV: Strong Women of Television

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While watching ABC's Agent Carter , I couldn't help but be impressed with how good it was. I'm glad Marvel is finally getting behind a female lead franchise, and I think the show has a ton of potential. It got me thinking of other badass women on TV right now. These are just a few from the shows I watch. Tell me who your favorite female character on television is and what makes them strong. 1) Peggy Carter of Agent Carter Peggy's male co-workers may underestimate her, but we viewers certainly don't. She's not trained in combat like Black Widow or Agent May, but she still manages to kick ass and get things done.  Kick ass moment: Burning some guy on her stove THEN throwing him out a window.  2) Carol Peletier of The Walking Dead No character on The Walking Dead has seen an evolution like Carol. Starting as a meek, abused woman who found her inner strength and is now able to make some of the toughest decisions. She's my favorite character in al

Indie Gems: Coldwater

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Juvie from hell. A teenager, Brad (P.J Boudousque) is sent to a strict juvenile reform facility run by an ex marine. Col. Frank Reichert (James C. Burns) He soon realizes that not only is this place intense, but the power hungry staff make some seriously questionable choices when it comes to the treatment of the residents. The schtick of a troubled youth going to an awful reform school has been done plenty of times. Still, it never stops being interesting. I think there's a lot of good treatment programs out there, but I don't for one second think places like this don't exist.  This film is very bleak, and at times reminded me of The King of Devil's Island , but that's not a bad thing. Boudousque shows a lot of promise in this performance. I found this to be an intensely interesting study on the choices Brad had to make once he found himself in this situation. Just when you think things can't get worse, they do. Grade: A Memorable Quote: &

2015 Academy Award Nominees + my thoughts

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Joaquin may be smiling, but I'm not. The nominations started off so well with two very deserving Original Song nominees. Then the Academy descended into basic bitch status and played it way too safe. Seriously, what's with the Clint Eastwood boner? Here are a list of the nominees, my thoughts as always follow in green. Best Picture American Sniper Birdman Boyhood The Grand Budapest Hotel The Imitation Game Selma The Theory of Everything Whiplash The Academy can fill 10 slots, yet they only pick 8. They picked 9 the past two years. Why not just pick 10? Films like Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler, and Gone Girl all deserve to be here too. Selma's nod feels like a "Don't worry! We're not racist" nod at this point. It only got nominated here and for original song. Best Director Alexandro G. Iñárritu - Birdman Richard Linklater - Boyhood Bennett Miller - Foxcatcher Wes Anderson - The Grand Budapest Hotel Morten Tyldum - The Imitation Game Ty