Posts

Showing posts from 2022

Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition: Cold Cases

Image
  It's our final mystery theme of the month over at Wandering Through The Shelves and as always we end with TV picks. This theme screams docuseries to me, and thankfully I watch a lot of those. They're interesting and make for good background noise while I work. Here's what I came up with. 1) Unsolved Mysteries - I have to go with the OG here. I watched this a lot when I was younger and now that Netflix has brought it back, I've watched the newer seasons as well. My favorite thing to do after watching an episode of this is go straight to reddit to read theories.  2) The Keepers - This is also a Netflix documentary, and is one of the most frustrating murder cases I've ever watched because I truly don't think it will ever be solved. Sister Cathy deserves justice, and I hope I'm wrong about this, and one day the truth comes to light, but I just don't know. I highly recommend watching this.  3) Disappeared - This is one that I mostly listened to while wor

2022 Blind Spot Series: Rome, Open City

Image
  What I knew going in: That Anna Magnani gives an excellent performance. During Nazi occupation of Rome, a resistance leader Giorgio (Marcello Pagliero) attempts to hide with his friend Francesco (Francesco Grandjacet) and his soon to be wife, Pina. (Anna Magnani) Meanwhile, we also check on his ex lover Marina ( Maria Michi) and a helpful priest, Don Pietro (Aldo Fabritzi) who believes it's the Godly thing to help the resistance.  Rome, Open City was never on my radar until I watched a video from the lovely Be King Rewind on Anna Magnani. Seeing it was available on HBO Max, it easily became part of my Blind Spot list.  This film is BLEAK. How could it not be? It's about the Nazi occupation, but somehow I was still caught off guard by how relentless this movie is. It's dreadfully sad, but also incredibly brave. Director Roberto Rossellini started shooting this 2 months after the Nazis left Rome in 1944. The time this was made makes it feel more urgent and dangerous. Thes

Thursday Movie Picks: Female Investigators

Image
This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is Female Investigators! The rules specify they can be police, or private. I kept thinking of TV shows that fit this theme, but movies were a bit tougher. Here's what I came up with.  1) Lost Girls - The mother of a missing girl essentially turns private detective in this when the police don't do enough. This is based on a true story and is absolutely heartbreaking. 2) Destroyer - Nicole Kidman gives an excellent performance as a police detective that reconnects with an undercover mission from her past. I had some issues with the film overall, but she was amazing in it.  3) Every Secret Thing - This is one of my favorite Laura Lippman books, and Elizabeth Banks plays a detective trying to solve a kidnapping.

Review: Petite Maman

Image
Nelly (Josephine Sanz) has just lost her grandmother. Her parents (Nina Meuresse and Stephane Varupenne) are clearing out her house. While exploring the woods, she meets Marion (Gabrielle Sanz) who is building a tree house. I have to admit, when I first saw the trailer for this I thought to myself "I know the twist, but I want to see this anyways because it's Celine Sciamma" Only the thing is, there isn't a twist. This film is very up front with what it is. It has to be, it's barely 70 minutes long, and that made me love it even more. I love Sciamma's work, especially her queer stories. This isn't that, but it is about the love between a mother and daughter which I found so touching. It felt very authentic. Like we weren't watching a production, but rather children playing. It reminded me a bit of The Florida Project in that aspect. But more mystical.  Admittedly, it doesn't have the meat of her previous work but it's short and sweet and now st

Review: Barbarian

Image
Tess (Georgina Campbell) is in Detroit for a job interview. She arrives late to her Air BnB only to find that it's been double booked, and another man, Keith (Bill Skarsgard) is also staying there. The house looks nice, but is in a very run down neighborhood, so Tess chooses to stay. She then discovers a series of tunnels beneath the house. I'll admit, the only reason I went to see this in theaters is because of director Zach Cregger. I used to love his sketch comedy troupe The Whitest Kids U'Know. I had seen the trailer for this and thought it looked fine, but he was the deciding factor in making it a theater watch vs a home watch.  Barbarian is easily one of the best horror films I've seen in a while. It's effectively creepy. It's going to give you some visuals that are very disturbing, but it's also clever and at times pretty damn funny. I wouldn't call it a horror comedy, but there's a few bits that come in about half way through when Justin Lon

Thursday Movie Picks - Mystery Edition: Media or Technology Mysteries

Image
We have another Mystery edition at Wandering Through The Shelves ! This time we're focusing on media or technology. I kind of wanted to go a bit "out there" with this one. There's a lot of great journalism movies that fall under media, but I got stuck on one idea in my head and it just snowballed from there.  1) Hated in the Nation - Since it's Emmy week, I have been thinking about their dumb rules and how the series Black Mirror was allowed to submit episodes as individual movies - which brings me to one of their best episodes, the 90 Hated in the Nation, where several unexplained deaths seem to be linked to autonomous bees that are meant to combat climate change. This is so thrilling and interesting. It's one I've reached several times.   2) Searching - Told entirely through a screen, this film is about a father trying to solve his daughter's disappearance through her social media.  3) Arrival - There's a lot of technology involved with attemp

2022 Emmy Winners

Image
I went 14/21 with my picks...just like last year. Don't let anyone ever tell you I'm not consistent. Overall, the show itself was kind of boring. There were a lot of comedy bits that just didn't land for me, but thankfully the speeches and some of the presenters made up for it. A lot of my favorite shows won, and a few others that I need to watch did too! Here is a list of winners + my quick thoughts. OUTSTANDING DRAMA Better Call Saul Euphoria Ozark Severance Squid Game Stranger Things (Season 4, Volume 1) Succession Yellowjackets I'm glad Succession won this. I was starting to lose confidence with how much they'd been losing in other categories.  LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA Jodie Comer, Killing Eve Laura Linney, Ozark Melanie Lynskey, Yellowjackets Sandra Oh, Killing Eve Reese Witherspoon, The Morning Show Zendaya, Euphoria Zendaya wins again! Her speech about hearing fan's stories and knowing a Rue and loving a Rue was so lovely. You can tell she pours her heart

Review: Elvis

Image
Director Baz Lurhmann is back with a sprawling biopic about the legendary Elvis Presley (Austin Butler) as told through the eyes of his manager, Colonel Tom Parker (Tom Hanks) I attempted to see this movie in theaters several times throughout the summer and every plan fell through. Thankfully it's now streaming on HBO Max, so it made for an easy viewing. (and no theater money wasted) I like Baz's style, but I don't always love his movies. Moulin Rouge! is the only one I absolutely love, but when I heard he was directing this, I thought it was the perfect fit. However, the finished product is quite muddled. It's held together by a very strong lead performance by Butler, but it's very chaotic and messy. Having Parker be the narrator on paper sounds fine, but Hanks is so over the top it became very distracting. It's like he was in a completely different movie than everyone else. Thankfully, it's not all bad. I liked that the film didn't shy away from how mu

Thursday Movie Picks - Historical Mysteries

Image
It's another mystery edition at Wandering Through The Shelves. This week we're talking about historical ones. Let's see what I came up with.. 1) Changeling - I'm usually not a huge fan of Eastwood movies but I adore this one, about a real life kidnapping. Angelina Jolie gives one of her best performances. There's a few weak spots (hello Jeffrey Donovan and whatever the fuck your accent was doing) but overall, I really enjoyed this. 2) The Black Dahlia - This murder mystery is infamous. I know this movie is overwhelmingly known as "bad" but I've always enjoyed it. All the actors involved were good and the costumes and set design were lovely. 3) JFK - Back and to the left. You can't deny this film about a murdered president is very engaging. 

What I Watched on TV In August

Image
This month flew by. I did a lot of flying at the beginning of it, which contributed to this list a lot. I also meant to finish Hacks and start Reservation Dogs and I didn't accomplish that. Maybe next month. Here's what I've been watching on the small screen. Westworld - S4 was definitely better than S3. It ended on a really interesting note and as always, Aaron Paul stole the show. I'm disappointed Thandie and Evan didn't share the screen. Season 5 will be its finale season and I am interested in seeing how they end it all since they appear to be going back to their roots.  What We Do in the Shadows - The episode where they make fun of home flipping shows is fantastic. This show is so consistently funny, you should watch it if you aren't already. The Most Hated Man on the Internet - This is a documentary series on Netflix that my sister recommended and it's another reminder of how vast the internet is. The website this doc is about was apparently huge, but

2022 Emmy Nominations: Who Will Win, Who Should Win

Image
It's almost time for the Emmys and I have to get my predictions out there. Last year I went 14/21 for the categories I predicted. Not terrible, but not great. Let's see if I can do better this year. I'm predicting 21 of the categories again. Let's see who I think will win, and in some cases who should win instead.  OUTSTANDING DRAMA Better Call Saul Euphoria Ozark Severance Squid Game Stranger Things (Season 4, Volume 1) Succession Yellowjackets I'm so torn on this. Ozark and Better Call Saul are ending. Squid Game made a huge showing at SAG, everyone loves Succession, and Yellowjackets is a very popular freshman series. The only thing I'm sure of is that Stranger Things and Euphoria aren't winning. I have to go with my personal favorite. Who will and should win: Succession LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA Jodie Comer, Killing Eve Laura Linney, Ozark Melanie Lynskey, Yellowjackets Sandra Oh, Killing Eve Reese Witherspoon, The Morning Show Zendaya, Euphoria For me it&

Thursday Movie Picks - Mystery Edition: Capers

Image
  We're starting a new monthly theme over at Wandering Through The Shelves.  All during the month of September we're talking about mysteries. Our first theme is films about capers. Here's what I came up with. 1) Snatch - This is the first film to come to mind, and now I really want to watch it again. It's just so quick and fun and silly. 2) The Brothers Bloom - Admittedly, this is probably my least favorite of Rian Johnson's work, but it also came to mind pretty quickly. It's still a good enough watch if you want to round out his filmography. 3) Dog Day Afternoon - This one I'm a little iffy on it necessarily being a caper, but it's pretty light so it feels that way. Great performances by those Corleone boys ;) 

2022 Blind Spot Series: Through A Glass Darkly

Image
  What I knew going in: The premise. Karin (Harriet Andersson) is recently released from a mental hospital and goes on vacation with her husband, Martin (Max von Sydow) to visit her father and brother (Gunnar Bjornstrand and Lars Passgard) in their remote cabin. She slowly starts to unravel. I had to bring my boy Ingmar Bergman back to the Blind Spot series. Yes, he's my boy now that this ongoing series is what is directly responsible for introducing myself to his work. I've been wanting to see this one for a while considering how much I love von Sydow's work with Bergman, but it's Andersson who is the true star here. Frankly, all of the men in Karin's life kind of suck. Her husband talks to her like she's a child while simultaneously trying to have sex with her, which dials the ick factor up to eleven. Her dad is pretty self centered. There's nothing wrong with Minus, her brother but this poor kid doesn't have it easy either. It's devastating in a w

Review: Bullet Train

Image
Ladybug (Brat Pitt) is bestowed with that unfortunate code name as he's about to do what he thinks will be a simple "snatch and go" job aboard Japan's bullet train. He soon realizes he's not the only one after that bounty. I can't said I had much of an opinion on Bullet Train . The trailers looked fun enough, and it's full of actors I enjoy, but it never did make my "must see" list. Clearly I'm a clown because this movie was awesome. Know what you're in for. It's goofy as hell, occasionally gory, and feels an awful lot like a Guy Richie movie at times. I had so much fun watching it. Most of that is due to Pitt and Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry, who play a pair of British assassins also aboard the bullet train. Their banter is absolutely hilarious and I would watch hours upon hours of their adventures. I wasn't expecting to laugh at this nearly as much as I did. I daresay I had about as much fun with this as I did Top

Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition: Boarding School

Image
This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is a cultural difference that I will never be able to wrap my head around: boarding school. I can't image sending my kid away for school and seeing them at the end of each day. I know it's normal, I just couldn't do it. When it comes to this theme, absolutely NOTHING came to my mind. Several movies did, but not TV shows. It took me a while, but I managed to string something together. 1) The Facts of Life - This was a show that was occasionally on Nick and Nite that I'd watch. I remember liking it, but at this point I think I remember the theme song more than I do the actual episodes.  2) Umbrella Academy - I gave up watching this after a few episodes, but if I recall the kids were at a boarding school/home school type situation a la X-Men.  3) Wolfboy and the Everything Factory - This is a cute show on Apple TV. Wolfboy gets sent to a boarding school before he finds himself in the Everything Factory. 

Review: Fire of Love

Image
Maurice and Katia Krafft were two French volcanologists who met by chance and fell in love. They shared a mutual love for volcanos and spent the rest of their lives getting as close as possible to them. Their research has informed several scientists after them, and even helped aid countries with evacuation plans. Narrated by Miranda July, this film is told entirely through their vast collection of archived footage. Necessary backstory: My 10 year old son wants to be a volcanologist when he grows up. He's watched every nature documentary on streaming and read every book our local library has on volcanos. When this film premiered at Sundance, I mentioned the Kraffts' names and he immediately relayed information about their untimely deaths. I knew I had to put this on my watch list, and lucky us, our theater got this film. You know that Once Upon A Time in Hollywood meme of Leonardo DiCaprio pointing at the TV? That was my kid every time they mentioned the name of a volcano he rec

Review: Orphan: First Kill

Image
A sequel to 2009's Orphan, we get the origin story of a dwarf woman (Isabelle Fuhrman) turned child pretender Esther before she landed with the family we knew. Here, she escapes from an asylum and poses as the missing daughter of a wealthy New England family. Murders ensue.  You have to admire the filmmaker's audacity in using the same actress THIRTEEN YEARS after she played a 12 year old. Gone are her chubby cheeks from the original, and in is a mature face that the filmmakers just ask us to pretend is 10. Sure, why not. It's a Paramount Plus release after all. I was a fan of the original, and honestly I'm a big fan of this one too. Without going into spoiler territory, this film has a twist that is completely bonkers and made the film so much more fun to watch. It also helped me come to terms with Isabelle's casting. It makes sense. I know that sounds weird, but watch it and you will see. So is this for you? If you're a fan of the original and have access to P

Thursday Movie Picks: Dark Academia

Image
  This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is Dark Academia. I'm not going to lie, I had to Google that. It's not a subculture of film I've heard mentioned very often. After educating myself quickly, here's what I came up with. 1) Kill Your Darlings - This movie is a fictional take on the poets of the beat generation. I love it. There are so many wonderful actors in this and If I had my way, I'd be throwing awards at everyone in this left and right.  2) Jane Eyre (2011) - When I read the description of "Dark Academia" I thought of this first, but I wasn't sure if it exactly qualified. Since Jane is a governess, I decided to go for it.  3) Cracks - So I hated this movie, but I think it fits. It's about an elite boarding school in the 40's and it wastes the talents of Juno Temple and Eva Green. 

Review: Marcel The Shell with Shoes On

Image
Marcel (Jenny Slate) is a shell that talks. He has one googly eye and of course, his shoes on. He once lived in a home with a huge family of shells, but after the humans who owned the house got in a fight, all the other shells minus Marcel and his Nana Connie (Isabella Rossellini) where taken away. Now a documentary film maker Dean (director Dean Fleischer-Camp) begins to film Marcel, and he turns into a sensation. I knew this film was based off a previous work, but I haven't seen the short films that both Fleischer-Camp and Slate wrote together. I went to this based on the adorable trailer and it was exactly what I hoped it would be. Heartfelt and pure. Slate has a beautiful voice and I loved listening to her as Marcel. She brought so much character to him and I thought shooting this like a documentary was clever. It touches briefly on trending culture. Marcel initially wants help finding his family, but people are more concerned with posting their photos in front of his house ins

Review: Not Okay

Image
Danni (Zoey Deutch) is a photo editor at a New York magazine, and she is desperate for attention at any cost. She's rude, tone-deaf, fake. The movie even has a disclaimer of an "unlikable female protagonist" and she lives up to it. When she decides to fake a trip to Paris on her Instagram, she ends up taking it a step further by faking to be a survivor of a violent incident that happens there.  I can admit this movie isn't perfect, but it was very fun to watch. It's extremely on the nose, logic be damned. Danni sucks, but she was fascinating to follow. Watching her go lower and lower in her depravity was never annoying and Deutch was so believable. Then there's Dylan O'Brien playing a Pete Davidson type. It was the icing on the amusing cake. What I appreciated about this was it isn't trying to be a commentary about Zillenials (which is what Danni calls herself and where director Quinn Shephard falls as well) as a whole. It's about a specific type o

Thursday Movie Picks - Actors Playing Younger

  *We’re still on an image break here, I’m sorry it’s ugly* This week’s theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is a bit long. It was written as “Aging leading men playing younger, against younger actresses.” That’s very specific and I’m going to try my best to find dudes playing way younger than they’re supposed to be. The first film that came to mind was The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, because Casey Affleck is laughably supposed to be 19 in it, but he has no leading lady to qualify. So here’s what I came up with. 1) Save The Last Dance - I loved this when I was a teenager, but the internet absolutely clowns on it now and I’m afraid to re-watch. Still, Sean Patrick Thomas was 30 when this movie came out, and he was playing a high schooler against Julia Stiles who was legitimately 18-19 when the film was made. 2) Ferri Bueller’s Day Off - Alan Ruck was a whopping 30 playing a high schooler. Sure Broderick was in his 20’s but the women in this movie were d

What I Watched on TV in July

*We’re almost done with the image break!* July really flew by, didn’t it? I had a decent amount of things I watched on the small screen and will finish up in August. Have you seen any of these? What did you think? Stranger Things - The last two episodes dropped at the beginning of the month, and despite me not *loving* this season, I binged all 4 hours of those two episodes back to back starting at 10:00pm. It was very engaging, I couldn’t help it. Going into their final season next year will certainly be interesting considering where they left of. Hopefully there’s not as long of a wait between seasons like there was this last time. I hope the Duffers take the criticisms this season got to heart like they have in the past, and make the necessary corrections going forward. This show really is at its best when everyone is together in Hawkins.  Hacks - I watched the first few episodes but ended up putting a pause on it to catch up with some other things. It’s funny so far. I see now why