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Showing posts from November, 2021

Review: House of Gucci

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Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) is a normal woman who by chances, meets Maurizio Gucci. (Adam Driver) His family is behind the powerhouse fashion empire, and Patrizia takes this opportunity to pursue him, fall in love, and eventually instigate several changes within the company. A movie like this could go several different ways and for one as hotly anticipated as this, many people had their expectations set. For me, I wanted over the top and ridiculous. One look at Jared Leto in his fat suit, and Lady Gaga's over the top accent in the trailer, I knew what I wanted from it.  Thankfully, I received that. As much as I dislike Leto as a person, his take on cousin Paolo Gucci made me laugh my ass off. For a film that cracks two and a half hours, that levity was needed throughout. The real stars are of course Gaga and Driver, who are both well cast. Patrizia has a big personality and Gaga was perfect for her. Maurizio is shy, and I love when Driver tackles these more understated characters

Review: tick, tick...BOOM!

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Aspiring playwright Jonathan Larsen (Andrew Garfield) is about to turn 30 and is about to showcase what he considers his life's work. He's broke, his relationship is facing hurdles, and his friends are dying. Life isn't easy. Jonathan Larsen would eventually go on to create Rent , which I have to admit that I don't exactly care for. I appreciate it for tackling the AIDS crisis and for being a huge hit with many LGBTQIA+ characters, but at the same time...I kind of hate most of them. I bring this up because there are aspects of Larsen's life that are present in the film that clearly inspired Rent . He wrote what he knew, obviously, so that did effect me negatively. If you love Rent, or haven't seen it, it probably won't be that way for you, but I have to be honest about my bias.  Andrew Garfield is truly wonderful in this. For a guy who never sang prior to this film, he did a great job. He's not a very strong singer, but he's the writer. No one expe

2021 Blind Spot Series: My Fair Lady (Girl Week)

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  What I knew going in: The drama with casting. Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) is a full of himself professor who bets a colleague he can turn crude flower seller, Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) into a well spoken lady. Once again, the movie I had planned to watch this month (Jungle Fever) fell through, but thankfully Dell's Girl Week blogathon was there to give me some inspiration. I've been wanting to expand my Audrey films lately, and this one is currently streaming on Netflix. I know a lot of people kind of hate Audrey in this role. Marni Nixon dubs all of Audrey's singing because she didn't have the range required for the music. Julie Andrews didn't get to reprise her stage role which angered everyone. However, all these years later I feel I can unequivocally say that Audrey and Marni are the best part of this movie and it's utterly dull every moment they're not on screen. Audrey plays Eliza like she's on stage. Her movement are very over the top

Girl Week 2021: One of The Best Movie Scenes in 2021 is Because of a Six Year Old.

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  One of the best things about Dell's blogathon, Girl Week is that sometimes an actress or a film is put on your radar that wasn't there before. The film I'm going to talk about today is Annette , which was very talked about this summer (because its excellent) but I want to focus on one particular actress today, and how her small scene left such a huge impact. While the majority of the film, the titular Annette is played by a puppet, but in the final 10 minutes, she's played by Devyn McDowell. Annette visits her father in prison, and tells him a lot of hard truths. She's never going to sing again, he ruined all of that for her, and she struggles with whether or not she should forgive and forget her parents. These are big emotions for a small child. Annette never should've been put in this position in the first place, but she is and what takes place is the best scene of the film. Devyn and Adam Driver sing "Sympathy for the Abyss" which is a beautiful,

Girl Week 2021: Ranking Kirsten Dunst

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  Friends, I'm really excited for The Power of the Dog . It's one of my most anticipated films of the year, and it stars one of my all time favorite actresses - Kirsten Dunst. And since Dell is kind enough to host another Girl Week , I thought today would be the perfect time to nerd out about Kirsten's performances ahead of her next release. I've seen way too much of her work to do a regular numbered list. We'd be here a long time if I talked about every film, so I'm breaking them down into a few separate categories.  We're Dun(st) Here (or: films I didn't like, but watched for her anyways)  Woodshock On The Road Melancholia (she's actually amazing in this....but Lars Von Trier) Elizabethtown Mona Lisa Smile All Okay Things Wimbledon The Beguiled Hidden Figures The Spider-man films Kiki's Teeny Service (Or, same as the previous category, but tween me loved them ) All I Want Dick Fifteen and Pregnant Bring It On Nostalgia™ Small Soldiers Anastasia

Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition: Mystery (Girl Week)

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  Happy Thanksgiving, American friends! I hope you're celebrating with friends or tolerable family today. This week's TV edition from Wandering Through The Shelves is one of my favorite genres...mysteries! And because it's also Girl Week over at Dell's blog, I'm picking three shows with female leads. 1) Mare of Easttown - In a world of binge watching, HBO dropped Mare of Easttown this year and it seemed like everyone was watching it together on Sundays and talking about it the next day. This was a great series filled with wonderful performances.  2) Nine Perfect Strangers - This show overall is pretty weird, but I cannot stress enough how great Melissa McCarthy and Bobby Canavalle are together in this. They were the absolute highlights. (along with Manny Jancinto's bare ass) 3) The Undoing - This was from last year but Nicole Kidman's hair and green coat in this lives rent free in my mind. 

Girl Week 2021 - Studio Ghibli Edition

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The wonderful Dell over at Dell on Movies is once against hosting a Girl Week blogathon! From November 22nd through the 28th, the topic on Dell's blog is going to be focused on women and anyone can participate. If you follow me on letterboxd , you might know that I've been going through HBO Max's Studio Ghibli library in order to watch all of the films. So I thought I would start my first Girl Week post focusing on my favorite Heroines from the Ghibli films I've seen so far. Chihiro - Spirited Away: I have to start my list with the main character in one of my all time favorite movies. What I love about Chihiro is her heart. She comes to care deeply about many of the people she encounters in this film, and her loser parents don't deserve her.  Sophie - Howl's Moving Castle: Sophie is another character with a lot of heart, she's sweet and a bit of a smart ass and very brave. Not that she would acknowledge the last part. Kiki - Kiki's Deliver Service: I

Review: King Richard

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Richard Williams (Will Smith) has big dreams for his 5 daughters. He's raising future doctors, lawyers, and tennis stars. His two youngest, Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena (Demi Singleton) are the tennis progenies, and Richard wants to make them the greatest in the world, while still letting them enjoy being children. You have to give this film credit for not fitting so neatly into the standard biopic box. We know that Venus and Serena are two of the greatest athletes in the tennis world, but this film doesn't give them the main focus, and instead looks at what their father did for them. Both women are executive producers, and it comes off as a love letter to their father, for never once doubting them. I think that's a fascinating road to take here. Richard is determined not to have his kids grow up on the streets, but he also doesn't have the financial means to pay the high fees that sports so often require.  When he can't swindle, he has to let his girls' ta

Review: Spencer

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Princess Diana, (Kristen Stewart) desperate to end her marriage to Prince Charles (Jack Farthing) has to endure another Christmas at Sandringham. She's not in a great place. She's feeling overwhelmed, she struggles with an eating disorder, and is having visions. The new head of security. Major Gregory (Timothy Spall) is causing her even more stress. She just has to make it through these three days. As much as I love Kristen Stewart, I have to admit when her initial casting for this was announced I was surprised. She's not who I think of when I think of someone portraying Diana, after the first trailed dropped, I knew we'd be in good hands. She absolutely disappears in this role. Gone are her normal acting quirks, she fully inhabits the Diana we common folk "know." I haven't seen a lot of director Pablo LarraĆ­n's work (Ema is streaming NOWHERE) but I did see and love Jackie.   Spencer structurally is very similar, so if you enjoyed that, you should enj

Thursday Movie Picks - Book Adaptations

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  This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is something we never have a shortage of: Book adaptations! I decided I wanted to go with some underrated ones in my opinion that aren't talked about enough. Here's what I came up with.  1) Every Secret Thing - Laura Lippman is one of my favorite authors and this adaptation of her book, starring the wonderful Dakota Fanning and Danielle Macdonald went so under the radar. Maybe it's not for everyone, but I think it deserved way more attention than it got. 2) Choke - I've been thinking of Sam Rockwell's filmography lately and one I'd really like to re-watch is Choke. I never read the book based on it, but I saw this at the Uptown Theatre (RIP) in Minneapolis and I enjoyed it so much. 3) Persepolis - This film is the perfect example of a graphic novel coming to life. I enjoyed both, it's an important story. I wish it would've won the Oscar that year, but alas...Ratatouille. 

Review: Passing

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Irene (Tessa Thompson) is a mixed race woman who runs into her old friend, Clare (Ruth Negga) at a restaurant in uptown New York. While Irene lives her life, married to her black husband, Brian (Andre Holland) Clare "passes" as a white woman, and is even married to a racist (Alexander Skarsgard) who even has a disgusting nickname for her. Clare is desperate for Irene's friendship again, but Irene is torn between being offended by Clare's passing, and a longing to see her friend again. Rebecca Hall makes her directorial debut with this film, inspired by the book as her Grandfather "passed" in his life. I haven't read the source material myself, but from all the interviews, Hall really seems passionate about it. I had tried to find a copy prior to watching this, but I couldn't. She insisted this film be shot in black and white, allowing her to cast black actresses. For once, I actually agree with contemporary black and white. It makes sense in this con

Review: The Harder They Fall

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Nat Love (Jonathan Majors) is an outlaw who discovers the man (Idris Elba) that murdered his parents and maimed his face is free from prison. He and his crew are ready for revenge. Full disclosure, I hate Westerns. They've never been for me, and Hell and High Water and the 3:10 To Yuma remake are the only two Westerns that I can think of off the top of my head that I've enjoyed enough to watch multiple times. But the CAST in this one. Regina King, LaKeith Stanfield, Zazie Beetz, RJ Cyler, Danielle Deadwyler, Delroy Lindo. Easy sell for me.  I definitely like this more than 98% of the Westerns I've seen. It's very stylish. The cinematography is excellent, though sometimes the editing is a bit strange, but it was fun to look at. The cast is of course phenomenal. It's hard to *hate* Idris Elba when he looks this good, but it's always easy to get behind Jonathan Majors.  The only issue I had with it was the pacing, it really drags at certain points in the back ha

Review: My Son

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Edmond (James McAvoy) gets a call from his ex wife, Joan (Claire Foy) that their seven year old son has gone missing from a campsite. Edmond is forced to take things into his own hands when it comes to finding his son. Director/Writer Christian Carion remakes his own French language film of the same name, with the same premise. The big seller for this film, is that James McAvoy, like the lead in his previous film, was not given a script, and is tasked with reacting at all the other actors who know what's going on. For an actor, it's a great exercise in improv. For a moviegoer, it's kind of a mess. Selling your film on only one actor not having access to a script, and then turning out *this* doesn't make for a great case. I didn't feel like anyone in this movie had a script. It felt like couple ideas written down on a napkin. Like they jotted down a few points they had to hit, but not really how to get there and definitely not to explain anything afterwards.  James

Thursday Movie Picks: Dream Sequences

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  This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is dream sequences. There's plenty to choose from this week. I decided to go with one pick I expect will be very popular, one sort of out of the box, and a newer watch for me. Here's what I came up with. 1) Inception - I can't read the word "dream" without thinking of Inception anymore. I adore this movie and it's held up on every single rewatch I've had of it. 2) Wild Strawberries - Dreams (and nightmares) play a big part of this Ingmar Bergman film. This is one I'd like to watch again. 3) The Eyes of Tammy Faye - This is more of a fantasy sequence, but one at the end of this movie made me laugh my ass off. I think it's perfect. This absolutely has one of the best endings of any film that came out this year based on this sequence alone. 

Review: Eternals

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7,000 years ago, a group of immortal beings known as Eternals were sent to Earth to protect the planet from creatures called Deviants. There's Sersi, (Gemma Chan) Ikaris, (Richard Madden) Thena, (Angelina Jolie) Ajak, (Salma Hayek) Sprite, (Lia McHugh) Kingo, (Kumail Nanjiani) Phastos, (Brian Tyree Henry) Makkari, (Lauren Ridloff) Druig, (Barry Keoghan) and Gilgamesh. (Ma Dong-seok) Now that the Avengers have restored Earth after Thanos' destruction, it opens another threat that only they can stop. I find myself at an interesting place going into Eternals . I read the plot leak that ended up on reddit months ago, and I didn't like it, but written spoilers can translate wildly different on screen. I've been reading them long enough to know that, so despite all the fuss over this being the first rotten MCU movie on Rotten Tomatoes, I went in with an open mind. If there's a project that could've benefited from a Disney Plus series prior to their film, it's this

Review: The French Dispatch

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Arthur Howitzer Jr. (Bill Murray) is the editor of an American paper based in Paris. He loves his writers, and in Wes Anderson's new film, we're taken through an issue of The French Dispatch story by story. I can't even begin to list the actors in this film. There's so many. We follow the stories in the paper, some varying in length. A reporter who bikes everywhere, a convict and his CO muse. A chef, a journalist, and some very eager revolutionaries. There's plenty to see here. The film has its signature Wes whimsy and quirkiness. He makes the strange decision to go back and forth between color and black and white, which makes parts of the film quite dull in contrast to others. I'm sure most will love the gradient shift. I didn't care for it.  The actors are all very good in their roles, though some don't get much to do at all. Benecio del Toro, Lea Seydoux, Steve Park, Tilda Swinton, and Timothee Chalamet stand out to me. There's some fun cameos in

What I Watched on TV in October

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I had planned to watch more horror series this month but I didn't get as many in as I wanted too. Still, I was busy! Here's what my October watch list was like. Ted Lasso - Season two came and went far too fast and this is officially a Nate Hate blog. Fuck that dude, forever The Morning Show - I feel like I can safely say about 5 episodes in that season 2 is a huge flop. I still have no interest in COVID-19 stories, and everything that has happened so far seems so forced and silly. I'm still watching, but I can't say I'm enjoying it.  Wolf Boy and the Everything Factory - The animation continues to be brilliant in this show. The plot is very irreverent, which works in its own way. I hope it gets another season and some more exposure. My son and I are enjoying watching this together. Mr. Corman - As much as I want Joseph Gordon-Levitt to succeed in everything, this show is not getting picked up for a second season and it's easy to see why. I just didn't lov

Thursday Movie Picks: Oscar Edition - Best Animated Film

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  It's another Oscar theme over at Wandering Through The Shelves and this week we're talking about Best Animated Feature! This is a category it took them way to long to start, and they don't always get it right, but here are three of my favorite wins. 1) Spirited Away - This is one of my all time favorite movies, and it's honestly been slowly inching its way up to my number one pick the last few years. It's hard to explain, but I just adore this movie. I love the story, the characters, the dark undertones, and the beautiful animation. It turned me into somewhat of a Studio Ghibli stan. 2) WALL-E - I've mentioned this before about WALL-E, but when I saw this for the first time, I actually thought to myself "Wow, look how far animation has come." It's such a fun story and it's strikingly beautiful to watch.  3) Zootopia - This film holds a special place in my heart because of my son. He was 5 when this movie came out, we took him to it in theat