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Movie Review; Calvary (2014)

August 30, 2014 Leave a comment

Calvary (2014)

Director: John Michael McDonagh

Writer: John Michael McDonagh

Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly
You who are not reading, may notice I’m taking a little more care in offering information here.
It’s because this is one of those rare films that should be taken better care of. This is one of the finer ones. This, is one of the few, that capture an essence, a quality, of life, and the living, that is seldom seen reaching the screen, or then appreciated once there- but that is another matter.
Brendan Gleeson does not amaze in that he delivers his excellent form of the art he’s given to. It seems he was made for this, and these parts. So that you could witness things you might otherwise not in your life, he is there, doing what he does in the way he does it. A quality not reached until the midpoint or latter points of films like In Bruges , where you see the reason why it’s him, there before you selected for this part- because he can do that, then there, at this point or that… well here the moment lives from the time light hits the screen, until the credits close. Was it written for him? It may be so, but it would be no less brilliant a film than it is if I were to find it was.
I’ll say it now- If you value a film that’s a cut above- that captures life in that way done by the likes of Iñárritu in Amorres Perros and the other two thirds of that masterpiece, and others that do not come to mind at this time- the ones that most people walk out of the theatre rejecting for the simple reason they’re too steeped in the every day denial of what life really is- for their own sense of self preservation or their lack of ability to see the beauty in it still with it’s stark truth laid bare… If you’re one of those people who can appreciate it all and recognize that it’s only really beautiful with the blood and guts left in, than it is the lie without… then see this film. You’ll be glad you did.
I say it now because as I go on there may be spoilers and you might want to save the experience for later.
See it, if not for the simple enjoyment of the performances by these great new character actors supporting Mr. Gleeson in his delivery of the overall message, or messages of this film- then for the rest, like when Aidan Gillen first hits you with the free flow of that wickedness he’s holding back in Game of Thrones, you know you love it, or when Kelly Reilly shows up and melts those susceptible to the fair ginger beauties of that land, or when Killian Scott shows up and captures the moment in that character he’s taken on- you just have to know, if you can figure him out, what’s next? When Isaach De Bankolé says anything and you just want to listen what he might mean with that squinty eyed delivery of his, or when Chris O’Dowd takes you further from remembering his IT Crowd days with every laugh evoked, or Dylan Moran‘s deeply troubled performance- see it. See it for them all. See it and if you appreciate these kinds of films, the ones you would go to the Angelika or Sunshine for… You won’t regret it.
No spoilers, but I was afraid.
If you don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about with any of this, or the movies or shows I’m referring to, skip it. You won’t enjoy it and you’ll only have uninformed gibberish to squawk about when asked about it- so do the film a favor and don’t see it. Don’t influence anyone else not to see it, becaus eyou can’t grasp it. There’s nothing wrong with you- it’s just you shouldn’t go where you don’t belong. That’s all.
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Movie Review; Sin City, A Dame to Die For

August 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Sin City, A Dame to Die For (2014)

See it.

Worth the twenty bucks, I’d say, if you’re a fan of the Sin City genre with it’s noir-ist animated graphic novel come to life imagery and the campy pulp style of writing that went terribly wrong in the follow up to the original… whatever the name of that waste of time was.

See it if you like laughing at the over the top action- Mickey Rourke doing what he does best in the best way possible to capture it on film… kicking ass in again, a campy over the top manner.

See it, if you’ve said to yourself, “you know what I’d love, a black and white movie that shows me as much of Eva Green’s perfect tits as I can handle”. Well this is the film for you, because even if you don’t particularly like Eva Green (I happen to), those breasts I’m sure you will agree, are nearly perfect. In fact, they’re on screen so much, they should have their own script credit.

All kidding aside I did enjoy this movie very much. The adult kids out there like myself will no doubt love it too. If I had to critique it on some level, it would be the storyline/ the order in which they chose to tell the story. I have not read this graphic novel if there was one- but for me, it didn’t play as smoothly as it might for those who had, if it is true to that work. It seems we went somewhere else in the middle of the movie, and through that time I asked myself more than once- uhm, what about you know who and how does this all play into his story… and when are we getting back to that by the way?? Director Robert Rodriguez, of Desperado fame, might have done something better with that I think. I did go in for a long blink, if you know what I mean, during Powers Booth’s last little speech… now, was that for the writing or for PB’s lack of appeal in my opinion? I couldn’t tell ya. But I did feel my attention wain during his other scenes as well.

Overall I’d say, again, see it. It was fun and it does the original justice.

 

 

Movie; Into The Storm

Into The Storm (2014)

If one of the greatest moments of your movie watching life was the movie Twister, or if you loved the TV series The Walking Dead up to the point where the character Sarah Wayne Callies played (Laurie) met her end- or if you need some father-son, we lost mom and we’re gettin’ on but not too hard core catharsis- then here’s your movie. I was only forced to check my phone a couple times for the unnecessary line or comment, but overall it was good entertainment.

The special effects do not let you down, they are definitely awe inspiring. The action only had me asking once- why didn’t they just drive around that tree? So if there as anything else done simply to support the suspense of the story, it was held together well outside of that moment. Suspend your disbelief entirely if you can, because the most of the film employs a hand-held camera, switch back and forth style… and there will be a climactic moment you will ask yourself, if overly observant like myself- uhm, who’s filming right now? But again, you may not and it’s just me.

A simple PG-13 natural disaster action flick built around a simple wholesome family theme, with some comedy relief thrown in for good measure. If you’re taking the kids out for some “holy crap!” movie fun- I say go for it. You might even think about global warming a bit (one line in the movie devoted to the ecologically conscious), or the inspiration for the movie’s subject matter (one or two actual footage of catastrophe’s involving twisters used). But nothing too off putting for the fans of the smash and trash environmental disaster flick to worry about.

Have fun!

 

Movie Review; Wish I Was Here (2014)

IMDB Link

Zach Braff surrounds himself with three of the most beautiful faces in Holywood, Joey King, Pierce Gagnon and Kate Hudson, a gargantuan favorite of nostalgic move fans, Mandy Patankin of My Name Is Inigo Montoya You Killed My Father and more recently Homeland fame, tying the knot tightly with the comedic turned dramatic talent Josh Gad, and he seals the deal on his latest people living real life drama…

No secret, I loved all of Zach’s movies. Expecting from the previews of this film that he finally pushed the cart over the hill to find the chasm of failure we all expect of such good writing and character portrayal, much like that of M. Night Shaymalan history, but it shall not be his fate this time around. If anything Braff caught me off guard with a weakness I hold close to the vest, the difficult father/ son story. There was mention of it I think, in a synopsis I might have read- but I didn’t expect it to be so impactful- perhaps for the strength of the acting, the smart writing keeping you right there in the story and only with the story, not letting you waiver for one moment… but I found myself wiping a tear here and there.

Some might find it difficult to watch if they’ve mourned recently, but they may also find it cathartic and healing. With the complete risk of sounding cliche, you will laugh, you will cry and you will find yourself routing for the characters in this film, unless you are cynical heartless fool- which many think I am actually.

I’m glad I didn’t let this one go out of theatres before seeing it. Worth the price of admission, I’d say it’s a five star for the Braff afficionado, and 3-4 for those uninformed of the talent outside of his work in Scrubs.

 

Notes:

Great seeing old Scrubs pal Donald Faison and a host of other famous friends make appearances that took nothing from the theme of the movie at all.

 

TV…

An abysmal well from which I could draw bucket upon bucket of writing sustenance to quench the thirst of an army facing a season of hellish desert combat is the subject of television. The reason I have not done this (at least I think I haven’t) since starting this little blog is partly because back then, I used to actually watch a lot of television. So much in fact, the most important advent in technology was the larger capacity DVR provided by my cable carrier at the time. This is in the time of the iPhone 4 coming out- and I was concerned with having more space in my Tivo… That should tell you something. Suffice to say- I didn’t want to expose to the world how much TV I actually did watch. Because though I enjoy it to no end, the fact I can always see more than one side to a situation told me, that’s pretty damn couch potato to watch that much TV, or it would at least appear to be to the reader I thought, so I refrained. Am I saying that I regard critics of other mediums as their negative stereotypes might suggest? The food critic being a fat ass that eats too much? The tech critic or reviewer a recluse socially inept nerd that got along better with his electronics than he did his peers in his youth? Yes, I am. And mainstream media agrees I think. I’ve not seen the depiction of a skinny food critic or a socially adept tech writer unless it’s a woman to this day. And remember- I watch some TV.

What’s different now? I’ve long since cut my cable and pocket that monthly sum, a move I consider both convenient and frugal, as well as defiant to the ridiculous charges we, well all of you pay for simply turning on the television to stay in sync with your friends and co-workers, or to indulge in some entertainment, or both. If someone did a study I’m willing to bet they may find that a larger percent of the population puts more money into having cable than they actually put in their savings accounts each month. A premium package costs anywhere between $80 (with the less desirable and bad weather susceptible satellite service) to upwards of $200 a month with a mega media conglomerate like Time Warner who puts nothing but frustration into their brand of customer service (if you judge by their service).

In any case I’m not here to go over the injustices of American media- there are plenty people writing about that and when they end up disappearing I won’t be on that bus to no where. I’m here to snap off some quick reviews of some shows I still do watch. Because I do still watch shows of course. How? Well I download everything I want to watch. Yes I subscribe to both Hulu and Netflix periodically. I don’t maintain a consistent subscription because I’m proud to say- I’m not riveted to the television anymore. It’s not winter either, so I’m not home directly after work hiding from the elements. Between subscription months though I download shows from a popular torrent sharing site I won’t mention here. If you want to know more you can google the very word “torrent” or search for a show’s name with the word “download” and it won’t take you long to find the same resources I use. I will say the site I use is Kick Ass in how it does it’s thing and I have no need of another. I use the app Vuze to manage downloads as well as convert and stream any media from my laptop or desktop to any device that’s networked. Yes- think about that. It’s incredibly convenient. You move a file around by dragging and dropping it in the right section of Vuze and your device, Playstation, XBox, NDVD, whatever it is that’s attached to both your router and your TV can see Vuze and it’s content- and show it to you.

Now I may not be watching True Blood with you on Sunday night, but I’ll be watching Monday night that’s for sure. And the other part of this being my current viewing habit is because it affords me the control I need when setting entertainment like TV at it’s appropriate priority level in life. Have you seen how many shows are on, on a Sunday night? Right now, if you wanted to stay current for Monday morning water cooler chit-chat let’s see…

You’d be watching in no particular order;
True Blood
Masters of Sex
The Last Ship
The Strain
Falling Skies
The Leftovers
and
Ray Donovan.

All very good shows in their own right. They may not all be your cup of tea, but if you even watch half that’s 3 hours of your evening… You’re done. Seven hours of viewing time if you like it all… all of which start after 8PM… So if you do watch it all- you’re going to bed at 3AM- IF they let you, because they don’t all start at 8 or 9. Some are on at 10, so your second choice can only be seen at 11, third at 12, etc. It’s ridiculous. Why? Because if you’re like most people, don’t you have to go to work Monday morning? and sure- sure you say that’s seven shows, I can watch one a day till it all comes back around again- but no. Because that’s just on one day. Monday’s got a couple shows you like, Tuesday too, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and Saturday too. There’s too much TV on unless you bank it in a DVR for a binge watch, if you have a DVR that big, or save up to wastefully buy the DVD set when and IF it comes out, or subscribe to one of the services mentioned earlier- or be the sucker at the table who missed it. Network shows for example, most likely will not be put out on DVD. They may be repeated nowadays, but only during the season or on rerun when they’re off season. Try scheduling that. They might be recast on Hulu… but maybe not?

And by the likes of shows like Lost, The Black List, Elementary and The Mentalist, we can’t discount network for it’s quality. They’re still competitive for sure, and they’re worth tuning in for.

Lastly, not that I’m trying to get anyone else to cut their cable and put that money in a savings account for a well deserved vacation or anything, that decision is on you… But even I forget one of the bes things about going of grid like this so to speak… It’s the fact that I don’t watch commercials people. The shows I download are com-plete-ly commercial-less. Black screen to next scene. So whoever is providing these for their fellow share-ers out there is kind enough to omit all commercialism from them. An hour show is in the 45 minute viewing time zone. Not only do I enjoy not having my brain trained to have ADHD or whatever it is every 5 minutes, but I’m saving time in whatever I choose to see anyway. Sure- premium cable shows don’t have commercials, you’re right. But you paid for that, and I’m watching it for free. Basic cable does have commercial interruption, and I don’t pay to miss those either.

OK! So I don’t watch as much TV any more and I keep the habit inconvenient enough to be managed to an acceptable level, and convenient enough to be streamlined and at my fingertips when I call on it, not the other way around. I’m not forcing myself to watch a show because the DVR will erase it if I don’t, I’m not choosing to watch a show based on what the DVR will allow me to because it’s busy recording three others, or missing a show because it conflicts with other recording times or they’re just not streaming it via any service at all. It’s all under my control now and if I get to it when I get to it.

Allllll that being said… want to know what I have bookmarked for download?

Get ready. Because the last person who asked me what shows I like to watch almost shot themselves as the list went on and on. But again, keep in mind, I’m not watching all this every day. Some is off season, some is on season but I’m letting it pile up, and some, very little in fact, I choose to watch before bed after a long day at work, the gym and school. And come to think of it, looking at the list now… some of it is even cancelled, or they are shows I haven’t even downloaded to watch yet- but I’ll indicate each as I go down the list, and give a quick little recommendation if not a review, which is why we’re here.

Rectify – Excellent thought provoking drama
Dominion – Slightly cliché but compelling theologically based action drama.
Gang Related – I’m currently letting this one pile up for a binge viewing (DLPU)
Satisfaction (US) – Somehow this “real people” drama came to my attention- DLPU
Graceland – Highly recommend this undercover police drama. Good actors and decent writing.
Extant – Giving this a try. Sci-Fi, so I have to… so far not liking the attempt at suspenseful endings.
Suits – Excellent legal drama with an absolutely likable and attractive cast- all of them.
The Bridge (US) – Excellent quirky police detective drama.
Covert Affairs – I was with this for the first season, and have been letting it pile up since – lost interest.
Perception – Big fan of the main character actor, but it’s piling up- will definitely catch up one day.
Under the Dome – A Stephen King story, so I have to see where this goes. I think he’s a bit overrated.
Longmire – Pretty good modern day western police drama.
True Blood – Last season of this silly show. It’s fun.
Masters of Sex – The entire show is piling up.
The Last Ship – I’m a military show buff, so I must see this. So far not bad.
Halt & Catch Fire – Totally missed this show and binge viewed it in one night. Great nerd drama.
The Strain – This is going places I didn’t expect. Sci-Fi sort of fantasy horror kind of thing. Intrigued.
Falling Skies – Big fan of Noah Wiley- Ended up liking the show through my doubts.
Ray Donovan – The quintessential tough guy takes on the world drama. Love it.
The Leftovers – This seems indulgent to the spectating of the main character- but interesting so far.
Hell on Wheels – I grew to really like this old western drama about the building of the trans continental railroad.
Power (2014) – Co-workers asked me to watch this- I’m feeling it’s a low brow partner to Scandal
The Killing – I’m a sucker for the darkness perfected in this murder mystery detective drama.
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – I can’t keep up with a nightly show like this but it’s fun when I do.
Real Time With Bill Maher – Feed the high brow- no pun intended.
The Daily Show – Feed it some more, but again, it’s Daily, so I can’t keep up. Brilliant though.
The Soup – Feed the low brow. Hilarious and scary at times.
UFC Fight Night – When I can keep up with the evolution of pugilism I do.
24 – I mean to see this entire series, but it seems neurotic to me in it’s attempt at action.
Hemlock Grove – When I can be tolerant of the extremely strange, I’ll get through this horror online series
The Ultimate Fighter – Pugilism 2.0
The Art of… – just a very cool “how do they do it” kind of show.
Californication – This show is finished actually, last two seasons weren’t 100%, but overall a lot of fun.
Penny Dreadful This show is well done horror. Love it.
Nurse Jackie Love this character drama. One of the few at the top of my must see now list.
Orphan Black – Season two awaits the opportunity for viewing. Interesting, but a little cliché.

I’ve got to take a break right now and get back to the rest later… This is my second seating trying to get this post done… It’s easier to download and watch a show here and there it seems, than to actually chronicle them all. In total there are 128 shows on this list. There are some good ones down there I’ll add descriptions or opinions to next time. I’m considering taking this a little more seriously too and maybe starting a page on TV reviews, but we shall see.

Crisis
The Pete Holmes Show
Fargo
Game of Thrones
Vice
The 100
Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey
Turn
Orange is the New Black
Last Call with Carson Daly
Tosh.0
The Writers’ Room
Silicon Valley
Comedy Underground with Dave Attell
Hannibal
Revolution (2012)
The Mentalist
Saturday Night Live
Grimm
Elementary
Reign
Suburgatory
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Person of Interest
Chicago Fire
The Blacklist
Hawaii Five-0 (2010)
Blue Bloods
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Bates Motel
The Tomorrow People (US)
Resurrection (2014)
Vikings
The Following
Community
Scandal
Being Human (US)
House of Lies
Shameless (US)
Bitten
The Walking Dead
Talking Dead
Helix
Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Mr. Selfridge
Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory
Wahlburgers
Episodes
Black Sails
Banshee
The Bachelor
True Detective
House of Cards (2012)
The After
White Collar
American Horror Story
Dracula (2013)
Sleepy Hollow
Sherlock
Hostages
Strike Back
Real Husbands of Hollywood
Homeland
South Park
Sons of Anarchy
Boardwalk Empire
The League
Eastbound & Down
Hello Ladies
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Low Winter Sun
Talking Bad
Breaking Bad
Dexter
Satisfaction (CA)
Siberia
The Newsroom (2012)
Do No Harm
Joe Rogan Questions Everything
The Glades
Magic City
Luther
Doctor Who (2005)
Southland
Monday Mornings
Last Resort
Hunted
Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew
Damages
Hit & Miss
One Man Army
Comedy Central Presents