Posts

Showing posts from February, 2021

2021 Golden Globe Winners

Image
  After 84 years we finally have another awards show to watch! I went 13/25 with my predictions which is pretty terrible. I usually get at least half right. Don't worry, I drank my shame in wine. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted again and they were wonderful as usual, but some of these winners tonight were...wild. Here are my thoughts. The winners are highlighted. BEST MOTION PICTURE - DRAMA "Nomandland" “Mank” “The Father” “Promising Young Woman“ “The Trial of the Chicago 7” I would've loved to had heard Chloe Zhao's speech but my local news decided that delays only apply to football and just carried on with their bullshit exactly at 10:00pm. They were still listing the nominees when the program switched over. And it wasn't even breaking news! The audacity. BEST MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” “Hamilton” “Music” “Palm Springs” “The Prom” I went back and forth over picking Borat and Hamilton so much and pick wise, I'm glad I

2021 Golden Globe Predictions: Who Will Win, Who Should Win

Image
  This Awards Season has been such a mess that I almost forgot to get my picks out *before* the big show on Sunday. How can I not embarrass myself publicly by getting so many picks wrong each year? Here are the people who I think will win, and in some cases, who probably should instead.  BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA “Nomadland” “Mank” “The Father” “Promising Young Woman“ “The Trial of the Chicago 7” Who will and should win: The Trial of the Chicago 7 I haven't seen The Father but out of all the others, Trial is my favorite and I think the best film overall. I see it winning here. BEST MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” “Hamilton” “Music” “Palm Springs” “The Prom” Who will win: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm Who should win: Hamilton I go back and forth on whether or not I think they'll award Hamilton. It depends on how big of sticklers voters are being since it isn't technically a movie. Since I expect Borat to win in Best Actress, I think it wins her

Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition - Romantic Tropes: Love Triangle

Image
  As we take Wandering Through The Shelves' final romantic trope to the small screen, we're going to talk about one of my least favorite tropes of all time. The love triangle. I find these rarely make for an interesting watch, but they're constantly used so there's got to be something there. Here are three shows I watched where triangle featured prominently.  1) True Blood - The Sookie/Bill/Eric triangle went on way longer than necessary, I'm assuming because Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer are married in real life. Everyone knows that Eric and Sookie belonged together. Those are facts, I make the rules. 2) Insecure - I think this show is an example where a triangle of sorts actually works. Issa and Lawrence break up in season one, and she sees two other men, Daniel and Nathan at various points in the series, but also goes back to Lawrence. It works, Issa is always funny and I can't think of a better show that depicts the stress of modern dating.  3) Agents of SH

Review: I Care A Lot

Image
Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike) does not want to be poor. So much so that she's created quite the scam for herself as a legal guardian for the elderly. She and her girlfriend Fran Eiza Gonz├ílez get court orders to get them under their care, then sell their properties for profits. It's only when they attempt to take control of Jennifer Peterson (Dianne Wiest) that they realize she might be a bit more than they bargained for. Marla is so deliciously vile. I never expected to be so invested into someone committing elder abuse. Especially in a film from a director whose had a few duds prior to this. But Rosamund Pike can do anything, and I especially loved her and Peter Dinklage together in this film. I've found a lot of talk about this film online to be unfair and annoying. Not to mention laced with misogyny. An alarming amount of people seem to take issue with the fact that Martha is a woman doing these things, while not batting an eye lash over the many times men have been in

Review: Sputnik

Image
When astronaut Konstantin Veshnyakov (Pyotr Fyodorov) crash lands back on Earth after an alien encounter in space, a psychologist Tatyana Klimova (Oksana Akinshina) is called to assess him but she's not given all the information at first and is horrified to find out what's actually going on. It feels like there's been a ton of space movies lately, particularly ones that deal with strange things happening in space. This is no different, and it will garner a lot of comparisons to Arrival due to Tatyana's character coming on board, but Sputnik is easily the best space movie I've seen since Arrival.  While it's advertised as a horror movie, it's definitely more of a drama with horror elements. Think Se7en . There's a few gruesome moments but the majority of the film is Tatyana trying to solve the mystery on what to do with Konstantin. It's the height of the Cold War, her male colleague isn't happy with her presence, and she was already dealing with

Thursday Movie Picks - Romantic Tropes: Forbidden Love

Image
  This week's picks from Wandering Through The Shelves is the kind of love that has to be kept secret. There's plenty of those, most of them tragic. I tried to take at least 2 of my picks in a different direction. Here's what I came up with. 1) Brokeback Mountain - This is always the first thing I think of when I hear "forbidden love." This movie is perfect. 2) The Girl Next Door - A teenager falling in love with his ex porn star neighbor is certainly forbidden. I'm sure there's plenty in this movie that hasn't aged well but it was a lot of fun. 3) Lars and the Real Girl - This forbidden love is about a man falling in love with his sex doll. This was a lovely little film and I jumped for joy when it got an Original Screenplay Oscar nomination.

Review: Earwig and the Witch

Image
Earwig (Taylor Henderson) is dropped off at an orphanage when she's a baby and is raised as Erica Wig. She's then adopted by a witch (Vanessa Marshall)  to work as an assistant.  If you follow me on Letterboxd , you might know that my family and I have been slowly making our way through Studio Ghibli's library on HBO Max. This film is their newest release and first feature length go at computer animation. And honestly, I hope they go right back to hand drawn animation. I admit I'm holding this film to a much higher standard because it's a Ghibli film. Had it not had that studio attached, this would merely be another dumb, forgettable animated film. But with that prestige? Now I have feelings attached. What I admire most about the Ghibli films aside from their normally beautiful animation was the lovely scores that always went along with them, and how easy it was to connect with the main characters most of the time. Neither of those things are present here. The music

Review: Judas and the Black Messiah

Image
William O'Neal (LaKeith Stanfield) is facing charges for stealing a vehicle when he's given an ultimatum by FBI agent Mitchelle (Jesse Plemmons) jail, or become an informant and infiltrate the Black Panther party and give information on the charismatic leader of the Illinois division, Fred Hampton. (Daniel Kaluuya)  We saw Fred Hampton briefly in another recently released film, The Trial of the Chicago 7 and while that touched briefly on what happened to him, this is obviously a much more in depth look on his story and that of the person who played a hand in his eventual death. Charismatic is almost an understatement for Hampton. In person, he's quiet and thoughtful, but when he's on stage he has the ability to to make everyone rise up and listen. The racists within the FBI were terrified of him for that.  There's plenty of films that touch on the Black Panther party and I'm sure I'm ignorant of many more in depth portrayals, but for me Judas and the Black

2021 Blind Spot Series: Monty Python's Life of Brian

Image
  What I knew going in: The general plot Born on the same day as Jesus Christ in the stable next door, Brian (Graham Chapman) finds himself mistaken for the Messiah after a serious of unfortunate mix ups. I watched Monty Python's Holy Grail for a Blind Spot a few years ago and many of you recommended that I watch Life of Brian next. While I still don't think I really vibe with Monty Python's humor, I liked this one a bit more. Like the last film, I didn't think there was an actor that particularly stood out, and that's one of nice things about Monty Python. All the members seem equally as funny and on par with one another. I had a few good laughs here and there. I also appreciate how bold a film like this would've been for 1979. Reading through the film's IMDb trivia, it sounds like they got a ton of shit from various religious institutions over this. While I have to say Dogma is still my go to religious comedy, Life of Brian was a good watch and it'

Thursday Movie Picks - Romantic Tropes: Friends to Lovers

Image
  This week's romantic theme from Wa ndering Through The Shelves is the ever popular friends to lovers. There's so much to choose from here. Here's what I came up with. 1) Just Friends - This is one of my favorite rom coms, Amy Smart (why is she not in more movies?) and Ryan Reynolds have great chemistry 2) Definitely, Maybe - While it's been a long time since I've seen this, the idea was cute. A dad telling his daughter three separate stories of friends he fell in love with while we the audience guess which one is her mother. 3) Love & Basketball - Nope, I'm not going for a Ryan Reynolds theme here. Now I want to pick one of my favorite movies from junior high. I love this, and I need to re-watch it again.

Review: Malcolm & Marie

Image
On the eve of his newest film's premiere, director Malcolm (John David Washington) goes home with his girlfriend Marie (Zendaya) and have a long fight about Marie's contributions to the story among other things. Yes, this movie is literally a couple arguing for 115 minutes. It sounds taxing and I kept that in mind before pressing play, but I was surprised at how into this I was.  We don't meet these characters before their fight, but we learn a lot about them as they spit their vitriol back at each other. Malcolm is a self absorbed filmmaker who hyper focuses on one particular film critic in general. (And God, can you imagine a director reading your review of this film and flipping out this way? Yikes.) Marie dealt with addiction and that still comes with its uncertainties. No one is perfect, both make valid points occasionally but ultimate I found myself very much on Marie's side of things here. I felt so many different feelings while watching this. What I wasn't e

Review: Promising Young Woman

Image
Cassie (Carey Mulligan) was once a promising young woman in med school, then when her best friend Nina is raped at a party and the school took no action, Nina and Cassie both dropped out. It's now seven years later, Nina has died by suicide and Cassie enacts her revenge by pretending to be too drunk to stand at bars every week. Inevitably, a man will try to take her home and take advantage of her, only for her to turn the tables on him and lecture them on what they're doing. A former classmate Ryan (Bo Burnham) comes back into her life and for a moment we think Cassie is finally going to move on. Then something brings her back. Promising Young Woman has been on my must see list for ages. It got mostly glowing reviews but a few reviewers I'm close with had some serious issues with it, which made me dial back my expectations a bit. Now here I am, 4 days after watching and still trying to put my thoughts together on how I feel about the movie as a whole. Because while I enjoy

Review: Ammonite

In 1840 England, Mary Anning (Kate Winslet) is a famed fossil hunter and introvert content on going about her routines. When a fellow scientist Roderick Murchison (James McArdle) happens in her shop looking to spend a day to learn from her, she allows him to tag along. He then decides to leave his wife Charlotte, (Saoirse Ronan) who has been suffering from depression in Mary's care. Though they initially don't get a long, they end up forming a strong and mostly silent bond. This movie dials the melancholy up to eleven. It's all crashing waves, meticulous work, long stares and sadness. The only bit of energy put into the film at all are during its brief sex scenes between Winslet and Ronan. I think more effort was put into those scenes and into the film's campaign of talking about Winslet and Ronan playing a couple more than anything else. Ammonite is just dull and lifeless. The costumes and set design are easy to admire and they make you feel cold while watching. Winsle

What I Watched on TV in January

Image
This month I really put the focus on movies so I didn't watch nearly as much TV as I did in the past couple of months, but thankfully what I did watch was very fulfilling. Here's what was going on with the small screen for me this month. Wandavision - This was my most anticipated show of 2021 and I'm happy it's here. Marvel really took a big risk with this one, playing up to the old sit com styles in each episode and for me personally it's paying off Wanda is my favorite Avenger and this feels like such a fresh take. I can see why this might not be for everyone as each episode thus far has only given us a breadcrumb of what's going on in the current time line, but I'm happy to analyze each week and see what comes next. While its mostly a light and fun show, the moments were the facade cracks are truly unsettling and Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Teyonah Parris and Kathryn Hahn are just wonderful so far. I can't wait to see where this goes next.  Ted Las

2021 Screen Actors Guild Nominations

Image
  We had the Globes yesterday, and now we have the SAGs. They made up for a few of the Globes' mistakes, but then they added a few WTF's of their own. Here are the nominees.  Cast in a Motion Picture “Da 5 Bloods” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” “Minari” “One Night In Miami” “Trial of the Chicago 7” Minari is a nice surprise! I figured the other 4 would make it but I thought Mank would get the 5th spot.  Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”) Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) Gary Oldman (“Mank”) Steven Yeun (“Minari”) Why are we pretending Gary Oldman was extraordinary in Mank? Delroy Lindo in Da 5 Bloods and Mads Mikkelson in Another Round would be better contenders.  Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture Amy Adams (“Hillbilly Elegy”) Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”) Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”) Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”) I nev

Thursday Movie Picks - Romantic Tropes: Fake Relationships

Image
  All February Wanderer is doing a romantic tropes theme for Thursday Movie Picks. I suspect this is going to be a bit difficult for me because I don't have a ton of romantic movies I love, but here's what I came up with. 1) She's All That - While this one isn't necessarily about two parties faking it, one of them is (initially so we're counting it) The stair scene remains iconic.  2) How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days - YOU KILLED OUR LOVE FERN!!! This movie is pretty dumb but it's also very endearing.  3) Easy A - I'm not sure if this technically qualifies as a romantic movie, but it's the first film that came to mind when I saw this theme. All of Olive's relationships in this are fake.

2021 Golden Globe Nominations

Image
With the extended eligibility window due to the pandemic, we're FINALLY at the time to announce the Golden Globe nominees. Normally we would've already watched the broadcast. I'm anxious to get back to the normal eligibility window because I like my normal structure, but until then, let's have a look at the nominations.  BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA “Nomadland” “Mank” “The Father” “Promising Young Woman“ “The Trial of the Chicago 7” I've only seen Trial and Mank, with Trial being my clear favorite, but I plan on seeing the rest of these when they're available to me. BEST MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” “Hamilton” “Music” “Palm Springs” “The Prom” Whooo boy, The Prom is awful and that Music movie also looks terrible. I'm happy for Borat, Palm Springs and Hamilton. I wish the HFPA would be less, well, The HFPA and nominate The Forty-Year-Old Version here instead. BEST DIRECTOR Emerald Fennell, (“Promising Young Woman”) David Finc

Review: The Little Things

Image
Joe Deacon (Denzel Washington) is a cop sent to his former precinct to gather evidence for an upcoming trial. We learn that Deke used to work homicide here, and that he was some of of a legendary detective. Then something happened. He meets his hot shot replacement Jim Baxter (Rami Malek) who invites him along to a crime scene. It's similar to one Deke investigated years ago and now the two work together to solve it despite nearly everyone on Jim's department advising against it.  Its 90's setting almost makes this feel a little like Se7en-lite. I really enjoyed that aspect of it. It's nowhere near as creepy, or as good, but I liked the mood of it. I was solidly with this film as a whole until we get to the last 20 minutes or so when everything becomes so implausibly dumb. Denzel is always fun to watch. I liked him in this role and was genuinely curious to find out his "secret" so to speak. Rami Malek surprised me. When Jim is first introduced, he comes off as