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Review: Men

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Harper (Jessie Buckley) heads on a solo trip to the English country side after her husband's (Paapa Essiedu) death. The caretaker of the property she's staying at, Geoffrey (Rory Kinnear) seems a bit off, but it doesn't bother Harper at first. Now she's suddenly seeing many different men, all with the same face and her vacation doesn't go how she planned. I'm a huge fan of director Alex Garland's work, and when I saw the trailer I was immediately sold. Well, even the mighty must fall at some point, because this was Garland going full Von Trier and I am never heard for that. This feeling is familiar. I felt the same way when I watched Duncan Jones' Mute, a movie I have not thought about since watching it until I sat with my disappointment after watching this. Being so excited for something from a filmmaker you love, only to watch it bomb is the worst. Garland doesn't trust his audience to understand his symbolism. He has to flat out explain it at fir

Thursday Movie Picks: Mazes

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This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is mazes! The Maze Runner came to mind immediately but I barely remember that movie, so here are three films that stuck with me a little better. 1) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - There's a lot this film gets wrong compared to the book, but the maze at the end, and the graveyard scene are amazing and elevate this so much. 2) Pan's Labyrinth - Ofiela is a young girl in Spain pulled into a mysterious labyrinth. I really want to re-watch this. It's one of my favorite foreign films.  3) Alice in Wonderland - Alice heads through a maze to get to the Queen of Hearts. I've always loved this weird story. I still re-read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland from time to time.

2022 Blind Spot Series: 2001: A Space Odyssey

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I think IMDb's description sums it up well: "The Monoliths push humanity to reach for the stars; after their discovery in Africa generations ago, the mysterious objects lead mankind on an awesome journey to Jupiter, with the help of H.A.L. 9000: the world's greatest supercomputer." Oh boy... It's not often I don't write my own summaries of movies but I felt it was important to remind myself of the official one while writing my thoughts. It is way too easy to forget what this movie is about while you're watching it. Honestly, I think the best thing 2001: A Space Odyssey has done for cinema is be an inspiration to better sci fi writers. It's harsh, I know. I've heard many a fan of this film state you need to see it multiple times to get its deeper meaning, but I'm sure there's a better movie out there for me to spend another 3 hours on. It's not that I hated this. I just wanted so badly to like it, and I found it dull and pretentious. Th

Thursday Movie Picks - Families Playing Families

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This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is a curious one. We're looking for actors who are in the same family in real life, PLAYING families in a movie. It's like a dream within a dream. I had fun thinking of this one, my only regret is already using Donnie Darko. Here's what I came up with. 1) The Good Son - Macaulay Culkin plays the son from hell, but did you know his real life sister Quinn played his younger sister in this film? I have a soft spot for this movie. It's so dumb, but little Elijah Wood is always a joy to watch.  2) White Chicks - The Waynes brothers also play brothers in my favorite "so bad it's good" movie of all time. 3) Paper Moon - Ryan and Tatum O'Neil play father and daughter in this film that wrongly one Tatum an Oscar in the supporting category even though she was a co-lead. That's my main take away from this film. I didn't love it. 

So You Want To Talk About Wanda Maximoff

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Or rather, I want to talk about her. She's my favorite Avenger after all. I'm used to defending my fav. I want her to succeed. She's a highly powerful witch that has suffered great loses but can use her tremendous power to help now, right? Well, not according to Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. Spoilers ahead. I'm writing this from an MCU perspective. Wanda has a long comic history that is occasionally translated to the films, more so now than in previous years. I've noticed there is sometimes a big divide between comic and movie fans. Those introduced through the films want Wanda to be a hero, as do a sizeable amount of comic fans. There's plenty out there that hate House of M for what it did to Wanda. But others want her to embrace her dark side and "go crazy." I'm firmly in the hero camp. That's what this post is about. I think Wanda in the MCU works better as a hero , and I'm baffled at the way the Multiverse of Madness was

Review: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

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Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is still dealing with the aftermath of opening the multiverse. When young America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez) comes into our universe with monsters hot on her tail, Strange along with Sorcerer Supreme Wong (Benedict Wong) have to help her along with keeping the world in order. Full disclosure, I have a longer post set to come up tomorrow specifically on how this movie handles Wanda Maximoff. That's going to have a fair amount of spoilers about how her arc ends, but this review will remain spoiler free. My biggest takeaway from this is that I hope Michael Waldron never writes these characters again. He was fine as a writer in Loki but the dialogue and characterizations here borderline on being awful at times. This is a film that truly only works because of its actors and the director's signature style. If you like how Raimi shoots his films, you'll love this. His weird camerawork is back and there's a scene he does with piano notes that

What I Watched on TV in April

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After a brief flirtation with Spring, we're back to being winter here in the upper Midwest so that meant for more time indoors. Here's what I watched on the small scene last month. The Dropout - I finished up this limited series. I was hoping the final episode would go a little bit more into her trial, but I suppose they completed filming before all of that happened. Overall, this was a lot better than I expected, and I'm glad I watched it. Tokyo Vice - If there's a show that caught me by surprise, it's HBO Max's Tokyo Vice. I kept getting ads for it on youtube. Ansel Elgort gave me pause, because I really don't care for him as an actor, but I'm glad I gave this a shot because I really liked it. I hope it gets a second season because the finale left a LOT of cliffhangers. It was also the weakest episode because of course one of our main characters had to do a Very Dumb Thing™ to add drama. That was my biggest complaint. Moon Knight - I think I'm in

Thursday Movie Picks - Cinephile in Movies

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I've been excited for this week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves because we get to talk about fellow movie fans IN movies! The following picks came pretty quickly to me, and are easily my favorite of the topic. Here's what I came up with 1) The Dreamers - This might be a bit risque for some, but it's a film I think about and have seen often. Our protagonist Matthew has a line in the film where he says he sits in the front row at movie theaters because he wants to receive the images first, while they're fresh that I really love.  2) Cinema Paradiso - I was very late to this one. It was on my Blind Spot lists a few years ago and I think the final scene is an absolute masterpiece. It's one the next pick clearly took some inspiration from as well. 3) Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl - Our main characters make a movie for a dying classmate, and of course I cried like a baby at the end when they show it to her. 

Review: The Worst Person in the World

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We first meet Julie (Renate Reinsve) in university, jumping from major to major. But our main story starts on the cusp of her 30th birthday as we follow her relationship with her older boyfriend Aksel (Anders Danielson Lie) and her longing to find a concrete place in the world. With a title like this I expected Julie to be somewhat insufferable. After all, she's the worst person in the world, right? Wrong. There's no denying Julie is extremely flaky. In fact, it's something Aksel actually likes about her. But I never wanted to reach through my screen and shake her out of a decision. In fact, I related to Julie quite a bit. Especially now that I've also hit 30. I think (hope) it's natural to get to that age and wonder if you made the right career choice or to reflect on where you thought you'd be at this age. It's nice to see that internal crisis play out without being a dramatic mess.  Renate is outstanding. She's an easy lead to follow and she makes Jul

Commenting Issue

Hi everyone! I've been having issues with Blogger this week, and it is not allowing me to sign into my Google account to reply to comments, or to leave them on other blogs powered by Blogger. I'm trying to figure out a solution, hopefully I'll be able to reply soon! -Brittani 

Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition: Royalty

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  This week's TV theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is royalty! There's plenty to choose from this week so here are three I enjoy 1) The Crown - The telling of Queen Elizabeth's story throughout the years. I think this show is really well done. Season 3 was a bust, but the other ones have been great and I can't wait to see what season 5 has to offer. 2) The Great - I did not expect this fictionalized version of Catherine The Great to be so funny, but it is. It's absurd. 3) Game of Thrones - You know I had to bring my frenemy Game of Thrones into the mix. What was once my favorite TV show of all time that ruined their goodwill with a horrible final 2 seasons. I wish I knew how to quit you, GoT. 

Review: The Northman

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When Viking Amleth (Alexander Skarsgard) was a child, he fled his kingdom after his father, King Aurvandil (Ethan Hawke) was betrayed and murdered by his brother, Fjolnir. (Claes Bang) He swore to take revenge. Many years later, he disguises himself as a slave to infiltrate Fjolnir's home to go through with this plan. He's helped by another captive, Olga. (Anya Taylor-Joy)  Robert Eggers is easily one of the most interesting filmmakers working today, so this has been at the top of my "must see" list. I'm happy to say it met all my expectations. This film it very harsh. It's violent, the elements look unforgiving, our protagonist is treated very realistically. It would be easy to make Amleth a noble and just character, but he's still a Viking Beserker and sacks the towns he rides through. For me personally, I'm glad Eggers didn't include any gratuitous rape scenes. We know that happened, and it is certainly acknowledged, but we never see any on scre

Thursday Movie Picks: Environmental Wrongs / Disasters

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  This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is environmental wrongs/disasters. Wanderer specifies that this can't be a natural disaster, but rather something like Chernobyl. This made it really hard. I kept thinking of global warming related movies, but I'm not sure that counts here. I'm not even sure if these will end up being what she's looking for but I'm giving it my best shot. 1) Mockingjay (Part 1 and 2) - War is what made the Hunger Games series what it was, but I landed on the Mockingjay trilogy because the Capital going nuclear on District 13, to the point where they have to live underground in secret feels like it fits here.  2) 9 - Now, it's been a long time since I've seen this, but the world is destroyed because of man-made machines leaving behind a wasteland. I need to watch this again. I remember liking the animation quite a bit.  3) The Cove - This one is a stretch, but I'm going to count mass dolphin slaughter as an en

Review: Antlers

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Julia (Keri Russell) is a teacher who has recently moved back to her home town to be with her brother, Paul (Jesse Plemmons) after her father's death. One of her students, Lucas ( Jeremy T. Thomas) is starting to display signs of abuse, but what Julia uncovers about his family is much, much worse. I had meant to see this in theaters, but then the bad reviews gave me pause. It's been available on HBO Max for ages and now 84 years later I'm finally giving this a go. Let's say we split a film in two. On one half, we have atmosphere, and on the other half we have character. This film does everything right with atmosphere. It's dirty, gloomy, and oh so creepy. The special effects for the creature are very good and they take their time showing it in full to build tension. There's even a few effective jump scares - one that got me as much as I'm ashamed to admit it. Then there's character. This is where the film flops and it's so frustrating considering how

2022 Blind Spot Series - Bicycle Thieves

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  What I knew going in: That it's considered a cinematic masterpiece In Post WWII Italy, Antonio (Lamberto Maggiorani) is given a job that requires him to have a bicycle. His wife ( Lianella Carell) goes to the trouble of buying back the bike, which she just recently sold so they could eat. While out on said job, the bike gets stolen, so Antonio and his young son Bruno (Enzo Staiola) roam the streets trying to find the thief. Italian neo-realism is a sub-genre that I haven't really dabbled in. Yet this year, I have two films on my Blind Spot list that fall into this category. Since this is the more famous of the two, it's where I decided to start.  True to the genre, it feels like we're dropped directly into poor working class Italy. Nothing about this film feels polished, and that's meant as a compliment. I found myself hoping for a happy ending that never came. I think the thing that surprised me the most was how depressing it was from start to finish.  None of th

Thursday Movie Picks: Psychics/Mediums

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This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves features a word I misspell every single time I type it; psychics....and mediums. This topic was last week's theme for some due to a scheduling mix up, so you might see some diary/journal posts today. I posted my theme for that last week, and now here we go with 3 movies I enjoy. 1) Nightmare Alley (2021) - I never saw the original but I loved the remake so much more than I expected. Bradley Cooper's character cosplays as a psychic...or does he really have that touch? 2) The Conjuring - Our favorite horror mediums investigating the paranormal. This was another movie I was late too but it easily the best horror film of the past 10 years.  3) Doctor Sleep - Keeping with the theme of being surprised by films, I liked this one too! Doctor Sleep is somewhat of a medium and while this film is a bit overlong, it's very good and very creepy.

Review: Everything Everywhere All At Once

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Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) is a Chinese immigrant who is just trying to do her taxes, work in the laundromat she owns, and plan a party when she's swept up into a multi-dimensional adventure with various versions of herself, her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Kwan) and daughter Joy. (Stephanie Hsu) This film has been everywhere lately. At least that's how it feels on Twitter. It's nice to see what started as smaller film garner a wide release and have that many people talking about it. My theater was pretty full, and it seemed to cover all the spectrums. The people sitting behind me laughed their asses off the entire time, and a woman further down muttered "this is stupid" and got up and left half way through. Her loss.  If you're looking for cohesive storytelling, know that this film will offer you none. It rushes through their explanations because they don't actually make sense. None of this movie does, and that's the fun part. It's a serious of jokes and f

Thursday Movie Picks - Diary/Journals

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  This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is movies that feature diaries/journals. There's definitely some iconic films that fit with this theme. I'm going with the first three that popped into my head. EDIT: I realize that there was a mistake on Wanderer's blog and the theme was supposed to be Psychics and Mediums. I posted this 8 hours ago already so if I had noticed it, my picks for that theme would've been Doctor Sleep, Nightmare Alley and The Conjuring. But here's my Diary picks anyways: 1) Harriet The Spy - Harriet's journal is what causes the main conflict in this film. I loved it as a kid. I wonder if it contributed to me loving to write as a kid. 2) Diary of a Teenage Girl - I didn't care for this one. I thought the relationship between the titular teenager girl and her mom's boyfriend was gross. Bel Powley however is a treasure, so I'm glad this movie at least gave us her. 3) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Poor

Review: Red Rocket

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Mikey (Simon Rex) is a washed up porn star that heads back to his hometown in Texas much to the chagrin of well, everyone. He drops in on his ex wife, Lexi (Bree Elrod) and her mother Lil. (Brenda Diess) He leeches off an impressionable neighbor, starts selling weed when no one will hire him, and then strikes up a relationship with a 17 year old Strawberry. (Suzanna Son) Movies like this are an acquired taste. It isn't always easy to follow around a character as unlikable as Mikey. He has no redeeming qualities. Literally none. He's a dirtbag from start to finish. But, he's at least an intriguing dirtbag. He might not have the complexities of Bad Men™  like Tony Soprano or Walter White, but he's easy enough to follow for 2 hours. The film never tries to justify his behavior, especially when it comes to his relationship with Strawberry. We're never once meant to root for them as a couple. Mikey drops red flags where ever he goes, and I appreciated that the film didn&

Review: Fresh

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Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones) hates dating. The apps, the awkward small talk, all of it. She meets Steve (Sebastian Stan) and is tempted to through all those preconceptions out the window. Then she finds out what he's really about. I'll leave it at that, because I feel like the less you know about this, the better. I've watched quite a few streaming movies lately, but this is the first one I've felt compelled to write more about than just a letterboxd blurb. I loved this movie for the most part, even though it seems a lot of my friends didn't like it.  It walks the line between disturbing and humor very well. The situation Noa finds herself in is terrifying, but it's never too over the top and gratuitous.  It's not non-stop jokes either. It's very well balanced. My biggest problem with this is that for about 10 minutes, it gets REALLY dumb to serve the plot. I think the writers could've found a better way to make this particular scene more believable, whil

What I watched on TV in March

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Welcome to my monthly round up of what I've been watching on the small screen. This month I watched a lot of miniseries, binged a new to me show, and watched another season of a favorite. Here are my quick thoughts Pam and Tommy - I was too young to remember the fallout of Pam and Tommy's tape, but I thought the show did a really good job of showing how negatively if affected them. I felt so sorry for Pam, and to a lesser extent Tommy. There should've been a lot more consequences for this. The Dropout - This is doing a good job of dramatizing bits we already learned about in the documentary. Seyfried is great. As of this writing there's only two episodes left, and I'm looking forward to them. Reservation Dogs - I finally got around to watching this and it was so funny. The final episode is frustrating, so I'm glad there's a second season on the way because Elora...what was that?! Phoenix Rising - Evan Rachel Wood's documentary on what happened with her