Archive

Archive for the ‘movies’ Category

Movie Review; A Most Wanted Man

September 14, 2014 Leave a comment

A Most Wanted Man  (2014)

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Daniel Brühl

Now I’ll admit, I wanted to see this movie, and every movie that Philip Seymour Hoffman is in, just as when he was alive, but more so because the brilliance of his acting is no longer on the same plain as ours. Though I would not have gone to the movies to see it, instead putting it on my TBD (to be downloaded), or wait for cable mental list- I thought to make the pilgrimage the way I do for James Gandolfini’s first release after his death, Enough Said, and pay the price of admission which for me is the defining point for some films these days. “Is it worth it?” you think to yourself, and you have to if you’re the frugal sort, not privileged to have the money to throw away on indulgences you can work your way around otherwise. I procrastinated I’ll admit too, since it seemed to be in limited release, or sticking to the art houses at first, but then to my surprise I saw it listed at my local theatre, a major chain in the area- so I seized the opportunity and sat down in the predictably nearly empty theatre to take in the brilliance…

I was not disappointed. But as I will do in my reviews- I WILL WARN YOU! This is a German made film apparently, if not English, with the direction of a definite German at the helm, Günther Bachmann. I am not versed as some snobs are, in the German film other than WWII propaganda I might have seen in documentaries here and there, but this definitely has a feel of a German style film, not just because it’s set in a German city. Now understand me- I enjoy German films I have seen- And I enjoy whenever a film takes you to Germany, and I happen to love the sound of the German language- so note my bias if you will. I liked this film. You might not.

As I also tend to appreciate- it adheres to life’s true bleak ire, with little romanticizing or melodrama. The briliance, and yes I will refer to it as such as many times as needed- of PSH’s acting is executed (another apt word) through the undercurrent. Not as in Capote (2005) or The Master (2012), where it is character acting if I am correct- with a bit of invention and flair the creativity runs broad along the canvas, no. Here the brilliance (yes! what!?) in in delving into the portrayal of the common, yet real word-like uncommon man. He plays a doggedly adept investigator in the war against terror, marred by past failure, and undermined by superiors as a result. You can’t get much more commonly uncommon than that.

Well he does it so well that you wonder if the character didn’t have an effect on his personal life, knowing as we all do, the details of his unfortunate passing.

So you are warned. It is a very good film, but you have to know what kind of movie you’re going to see. and now you do, because I just told you.

Recommendation; If you like what you just read- Go see it! If you have your doubts, or you categorize as I do and have less a sentimentality towards PSH, then wait. It’s OK. You’re not a bad person and you’re no less a movie lover I promise.

Oh, and Rachel McAdams looks mother fucking delicious in this movie!

OK?

Done reading? Go see a movie now!

Advertisements

Movie Review; The Drop (2014)

September 13, 2014 Leave a comment

The Drop (2014)

Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini

This “slow burner” as they say, lives up to that description, serving up a dish of cold blooded could-be-true crime drama only the faithful will enjoy watching.

If you think to yourself “yeah, thats me” because you loved Scarface or The Godfathers I, II, and III… or you can recite Goodfellas lines and do impressions of Joe Pesci asking if anyone thinks you’re funny… My friend, you’re not the type to sit through a slow burner with your mouth watering for the meal you’re about to be served. You’re a fast food mafia crime drama aficionado is what you are. No. You need to have loved Millers Crossing, or The Pledge, or the absolute classic slow burner… Blood Simple. Of course there are many more, some more recent, like the well made No Country for Old Men (incidentally, by the same brothers Coen who penned Blood Simple AND Millers Crossing- so they’re good at it), and surely more that fall in line with the theme of this film- but ye who knoweth, knoweth what I speak of.

You aren’t just there for one of James Gandolfini’s last performances, nor are you there for Tom Hardy, but the fact they’re both there makes you suspect this is going to be good. And it is. For you who can appreciate it.

See it.

You’re welcome.

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.

 

WordPress, but not WordPress…

February 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Special thanks to the developers at Links Alpha for such a great plug in. Also at Dallas Pro Web Designers for their plug in/ widget. Both made it really easy to move this blog off the Wp servers and keep some of the functionality.

Told ya… I was gonna do it. And it’s done.

I have a couple other blogs to move under my main domain umbrella and I’m done, at least publicly, with WordPress. After initially looking at the glamorous and glitzy Tumblr sites, I was impressed, but I couldn’t find comparable themes and templates. Mind you, they have some nice ones, but the really nice ones are about 20-60% more costly than those you would pay for in Wp format, and even if I did swallow that small pill, I would be losing the familiarity with which I’ve grown into, aesthetically, on my blogs.

Initially I was dismayed at the thought of eating my words and coming back, tail between my legs and continuing my begrudging relationship with the ever-silent racist sympathizer WordPress has become in my eyes, but no. Despite my keep-sh*t-simple life-motto, I knew that I wanted out from under and this was it, this was the time.

I could part with a layout I thought, if the layout is pleasing to the eye, as I feel mine are now- and I loved the fact I could apply the actual domain name without the subdomain (.wordpress.com) suffix to my blogs (something WordPress would reach into your pocket for!) at Tumblr… Then there were some functionality issues… Wp format is just more control-freak friendly, which I am. I needed a bit more control than is offered over there at Tum-Tum, as I’ve come to know affectionately refer to it. So what did I do? I took myself out of my comfort zone and got into the code a bit, installed the WordPress Application into my GoDaddy hosting account, and moved everything over. Some re-formatting glitches after familiarizing myself with the new operating procedures and log-ins, and here we are.

There are some tweaks on each site (two so far) that I have to come back to- but for the most part- the work is done.

I figure once in a while, I may repost an entry in the old (.wordpress.com) blog to attract some hits from the internal mechanism they have, freshly pressed and whatnot- but for the most part- we are free (and you can be too).

And we are under our own flags as well.

When you type in www.theoccasionalopinion.com you are led to the main domain The Occasional Opinion, then redirected to the subdomain under Damian Dezign. Looks the same as this one, so will you know the difference? Sans the stink of a background support staff that says nothing to you when you complain of racial epithets espoused upon you by other users of the free service- nahhhh, no difference at all.

This will be the last post here for a while, so if you don’t hit the link, and rss link or feed or do whatever it is you do to keep up at the new site, you will not receive an update when I comment on the absurdities of our world.

I’ve got some pent up thoughts on Lindsey and Hale, racism, white male model on black baby crimes, as if we need more daddy issues in this country… and more, waiting to come out…

All of which will not be posted here.

See you on the other side folks!

bye bye you mother f%&*($#s =P

More war anyone?

November 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Sitting around the thanksgiving table this year, that may be a question we hear. The Korea’s opened up on each other yesterday apparently, I’m hearing on the news today. Will we stay out of it? Likely not- we have “posts” there, about 38 at a glance. Some listed are closed when clicked on and the information quickly skimmed. They are occupied anywhere from 1500 to 6000 personnel both civilian and military- again, at a glance.

If the very secretive, very scary, very cultish (if not all propoganda) North Korea decides to nuke the South… many Americans will die. And of course, many good human beings otherwise.

It’s shocking to me that conflicts like this are still going on in modern civilization. But again, I have to remind myself of the other jargon I like to spit- that all of us, human beings, are just animals with clothes on. Civilization, is a quaint past-time, but by no means is it a standard we can absolutely adhere to.

Let’s all kill a large bird, bleed it out, gut it, stuff it, cook it, dress up real cute, sit around a table with forks and knives, and smile as we clink our glasses together and give thanks, all civilized, pretending the whole time we arent the beasts of ignorance we really are.

Oh wait, our pretense si so much more secure and equally hypocritical because in our “civilization” we have managed to seperate the necessary killing from the dinner table quite well. There will be no blood on the table, or even in the kitchen, because it’s all left miles away at the slaughterhouse.

Delicious.

I’m watching a documentary called Wartorn last night, feeling indebted to our veterans as I learn about the history of PTSD and the long examined, but unmentionable effects of war on the human mind. A barrier of understanding that I surprisingly cannot cross. I can’t empathize. I’m usually very good at putting myself in someone else’s shoes. Understanding, even if outside my personal experience, the feelings another must feel in their own. But here, I can’t?

I wonder if it’s because I really am the sociopath I suspect myself to be, or is it simply because I just don’t know the experience of killing another human being, or witnessing the disembodiment of another human being, in a moment converted from a living breathing being having a conversation with me, into a bag of bloody meat lying at my side?

I don’t know, and legally, I have no way of finding out I suppose, but no matter. More importantly I thought to myself, as they come to the same conclusion in the film, that maybe the problem isn’t so much the killing (my insensitivity speaking), but the reintegration to this society so dull and far removed from the visceral needs of survival.

Like caging the beast in a zoo… it is no longer a wild animal, and you can see, after a while, something you admired, dies in its eyes.

I think of hypnosis, and why they aren’t implementing hypnotic tools for separating the “civilized” mind from the animal mind needed in combat? A hypnotic suggestion could protect the soldier from the ravages of PTSD simply by creating a partition in the mind the soldier can go in and out of like a room when needed.

We do this on our own every day anyway. When we go to work each day, most of us at least, we don a set of rules and behaviors we would not bother with if in familiar and informal company. We behave certain ways with family that we do not with friends. The soldier’s main problem is coming home and hanging out with the family, kids, having witnessed and in many cases done things that they recognize as actions that their family, and society would admonish them for if they would have seen them do it.

The soldier’s conscious is one of the main problems.

Hypnotic suggestion can create a wall between what they do there, and life here. Because god knows with what they do to represent this capitalist twisted greedy privatized racist classist hypocrite government of or for anything but the people- they don’t deserve a living nightmare afterwards.

But anyway, the point really is, the question… North Korea, and of course by association, China, since we know they are backed by that superpower… Is it here we go again?

If so, and they don’t take steps to fight this war through smaller entities, such as the U.S. and U.S.S.R. did with Afghanistan during the cold war, then guess what folks… we’re fucked. This one will be too big to shield us, here behind our fatty foods, movie loving, media whoring, bullshit talking, blogging, wasted life- walls of ignorance.

So we may all, or at least more of us, save for the extremely wealthy of course- know what PTSD really feels like soon enough. Sociopath or not.

Life in the circus continues.