This is the movie that made me a huge James Bond fan. I haven’t had much experience with the franchise in the past. I’ve seen a couple Pierce Brosnan films, I’ve seen the Daniel Craig ones as well as read Casino Royale. That’s it. But after seeing the latest James Bond outing, Skyfall, I have been converted. This is an action movie at its best. Skyfall’s greatest success is taking an old, rundown formula and making it feel new and fresh again.
Saying something like that is kind of funny since it also describes James Bond (the character’s) journey through Skyfall. James is brought to his lowest low (ahem, Quantum of Solace) to be resurrected and brought back from the dead…
On Christmas Eve I wanted to watch my favorite Christmas movie, Bridget Jones’s Diary but my boyfriend argued 1) It is not a Christmas movie and 2) It’s dumb. So instead we settled in to watch the very Christmassy and very intelligent The Interview instead.
The Interview (2014)
If you look back at my trailer review for The Interview you will see that I was excited for this film before the Sony hacking scandal occurred.
Was I disappointed by this film? A little bit, yes. It is a funny movie, but not uproariously so. It takes longer than it should for the story to get off the ground. The first quarter was boring, but once the action moves to Korea things get better. The Interview has its funny moments that are enjoyable if you are a fan of Seth Rogen’s brand of comedy.
What I like best about The Interview is the ‘bromance’ Dave Skylark (James Franco) develops with Kim Jong-Un (Randall Park). Both actors are excellent in their roles, but Randall Park in particular steals the show. He makes Un funny and strangely charming/sympathetic. But he also does well to show the darker side of Un. I also like that The Interview takes shots at North Korea’s policies, but also that of the United States. The United States isn’t condemned like North Korea. But a few jabs here and there show that the US can be hypocritical with some of their policies.
I enjoyed The Interview, but it is definitely not a movie worth starting a war over.
Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
At midnight on Christmas Eve I couldn’t sleep, so I thought, fuck it, I’ll watch Bridget Jones by myself. And I’m glad I did because as always this film put a big smile on my face. My boyfriend may not think this is a Christmas movie, but nothing screams Christmas like “I realize that when I met you at the turkey curry buffet, I was unforgivably rude, and wearing a reindeer jumper.”
I find that over ten years later this movie still works. Yes, the telephones and VCRs are now dated, but the humor is still relevant. Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant all give great performances. Renee is a perfect Bridget, making her both quirky, charming, and realistic. Colin Firth is great as Mark Darcy, but that’s to be expected from the man who also played a similar Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. And Hugh Grant is very humorous as Daniel Cleaver.
I like Bridget Jones’s Diary because it makes me happy. I find it very funny even after multiple viewings. It’s a Christmas tradition that I like to try to maintain every year. Well, it and reindeer jumpers.
I hope everyone had a good Christmas. I want to say thank you to all my subscribers, I really appreciate each and every one of you.
I was bored the other night and this film was literally the first thing to pop up on Netflix. So I thought I’d give it a try although I was pretty sure I would not like it. I have never seen any of Wes Anderson’s films. His films look pretentious and weird and … I still feel the same way after seeing The Grand Budapest Hotel. But, I did like the movie more than I thought I would.
The most enjoyable aspect of the movie for me was all the cameos from great character actors. Each time I saw someone new I got a thrill. Tom Wilkinson! Jude Law!
Jude Law was great in his brief role. But I absolutely hated the way he narrated some of his scenes with “he said,” “then I said,” It just pissed me off. I’m watching a movie, not listening to someone read out a book.
The humor in this movie is just too weird for me. Most of the time I didn’t even giggle (and I usually laugh at everything). Although there was one moment I absolutely loved.
Oh God I laughed and laughed. So funny.
I also thought Adrien Brody was great, he is such a talented actor who isn’t in nearly enough movies. Vampire Alien Queen Tilda Swinton was also great in her brief role.
I don’t understand why everyone else seems to think this movie is so great. The humor mixed with such violence and darkness…it really put me off. There are some fine performances from the actors, but The Grand Budapest Hotel is too bizarre for me to really enjoy. 6/10.
So everybody is shitting all over this movie. Literally everyone. I haven’t seen even one mildly positive review for Ridley Scott’s latest epic, Exodus: Gods and Kings. Personally, I don’t understand all the hate. I don’t think Exodus is a very good movie, but I also don’t think it’s very bad either. There were a few moments when I zoned out. But there were also a couple exciting moments that I was glad to witness.
Exodus has a few good things going for it. It is a relatively entertaining film, but the story was not modernized enough to make it really interesting and exciting. I don’t mean that it needed the Michael Bay treatment with more action, etc. I think the writers of Exodus failed to reinvigorate the story and add anything new to it. Other than the ‘God as a child’ thing (which was interesting, but never expanded on). There are a few things I wish the film had done and I’ll list them below. Let me know if you agree because I don’t honestly know if they would be good ideas or if my interests are very different from the mainstream: 1. I wish there was more of a focus on the relationship between Moses (Christian Bale) and Ramses (Joel Edgerton). I find it very intriguing that the two grow up together and appear to be quite close. And are quite suddenly torn apart by their different religious backgrounds and political perspectives. But the film doesn’t focus on this conflict, except for briefly at the beginning.
2. I also wish there had simply been more Joel Edgerton. He is an actor that only very recently I have noticed. While watching The Great Gatsby I was kind of bored until Joel popped onto the screen as Tom. Suddenly everything felt energized and interesting and I ended up liking the film, mostly because of Joel. The same thing occurred while watching Exodus. I feel like Christian Bale just phoned it in as Moses, he did not do anything particularly compelling. Joel on the other hand embraced his role as Ramses and made him into more than just a one dimensional villain. I would have loved to have a bit more background on Ramses. 3. For a religious movie I feel that Exodus hardly delves into any religious matters and largely ignores them. It briefly toys with the idea of ‘if God is cruel why would you follow him’ kind of thing. But that’s about it. I also don’t like the idea that Christianity (or should I say Judaism? I’m not a religious person) is shown to be the superior religion. The Egyptian Gods don’t really exist, I guess? And what the heck religion is Moses’s wife? (And why would she be so accepting of a couple hundred thousand Hebrews moving in?) In our modern world I think it would have been immensely more interesting to show the other religions more, like that of the Egyptians and Moses’s wife. An interplay of neither of them being necessarily ‘better’ and why everyone should be allowed to have their own beliefs. 4. Visually I find Exodus is stunning. The plagues in particular look great (and scary). The parting of the Red Sea also looks great and was exciting. Although I’ll be honest, I wanted Moses and Ramses to have an epic sword fight in a tunnel of water or something. Kind of lame, I know, but without a clash like that the ending felt anti-climactic. 5. For a film about Moses, I feel like I don’t know very much about him after watching Exodus. Why does he embrace his Hebrew heritage and ‘his people’? Why does he adamantly follow God? Exodus glosses over these kinds of issues and it is frustrating. Maybe the director’s cut would be more satisfying. There had to be a lot stuffed into just 2 and ½ hours (although it didn’t feel that long to me.
I haven’t mentioned the white washing issues with Exodus because honestly, while watching the film it didn’t bother me. The only person who annoyed me was Sigourney Weaver because she was blindingly white. She looked more like a vampire than an Egyptian.
I would give Exodus two Joel Edgerton eyeliner smeared eyes out of five (the eyeliner game in this movie is a 10/10). Or maybe six Aaron Pauls creeping around rocks out of ten (seriously, he is ridiculous). I feel that I didn’t waste my time or money watching it, but I won’t be watching it again. Well, maybe I would give a director’s cut a try. One very positive thing I can take from this film is the great talent of Joel Edgerton. I’ll be keeping an eye on him from now on.
My Holy Trinity consists of: Tom Hardy, Michael Fassbender, and James McAvoy. These are actors that I will see in just about anything. They’re charismatic, incredible actors and they also take on risky roles.
Tom is at an interesting point in his career. He has recognition and acclaim from critics, filmmakers, and avid film viewers. He has done some great work in Bronson, Stewart: A Life Backwards, and Locke. Yet he hasn’t quite caught on in a big way to the general population. He came close as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. But his face was covered up and he was overshadowed by Heath Ledger’s legacy.
Other than Mad Max Tom has quite a few intriguing projects coming up. Child 44, a gritty drama with Gary Oldman and Noomi Rapace will be out in the spring. He’s currently filming The Revenant with Leonardo Dicaprio. Tom will be returning to the DC movie universe, this time as Rick Flag in Suicide Squad in 2016. Most exciting to me is that Tom has signed on to play Elton John in a musical biopic about the singer. Tom is developing such a diverse portfolio. I hope he can successfully balance character study dramas with big blockbusters. Although I don’t understand why exactly he wants to do Suicide Squad. Maybe if he was Deadshot, that I could understand. But Rick Flag sounds like a very minor character. Mad Max is Tom’s first time carrying a movie, being the lead in a huge blockbuster film. He’s been in successful ensembles before (TDKR, Inception), but can he do it alone? If given the right material I’m sure he can. Is Mad Max: Fury Road going to propel Tom Hardy into super stardom? Trailer Review
I enjoyed the trailers previous to this one. But this trailer feels…weird to me. I’m not sure what the tone of the film is or what exactly it’s about. The positive of that is the trailer doesn’t reveal too much of the plot (a pet peeve of mine). I don’t like the music, I find that it makes the film seem like too much of a comedy.
The emphasis of the trailer seems to be on everything but Tom Hardy. Which worries me a little bit, although I’m sure he must give a great performance. I guess the studio realizes that Tom Hardy isn’t necessarily a bankable name. Instead there is an emphasis on the action sequences (which look awesome) and Charlize Theron. I’m not a huge fan of hers, but she looks decent in the trailer. What really jumped out at me though was Nicholas Hoult’s transformation. Wow, I had no idea that was him. If he can give a stellar performance he might just steal this movie out from Tom.
I haven’t seen any of the previous Mad Max films, but none the less I will be seeing Fury Road opening weekend (May 15, 2015). What do you think of the trailer? Do you like the career choices Tom is making? And are you even a Tom Hardy fan? (The only possible answer is “Yes!”)
While writing this trailer review I also got the idea for a new kind of post: Actor Analysis in which I will evaluate the past work of an actor and the direction they are/should be going in the future. Does that make sense? Give your opinions in the comments and nominate an actor for me to evaluate, possibly once a week. Or tell me it’s a shit idea, whatever. On with the trailer review:
I am not a Jennifer Aniston fan. It’s partly because I am Team Jolie (that’s so 2005, I know). But I also just feel that Jennifer reached her pinnacle many years ago now and needs to stop trying to reclaim it. The way I see it, the only reason she seems to still be popular these days is because of the love triangle between her, Brad Pitt, and Angelina that the media still perpetuates. Jennifer can be quite a good comedic actress, I’ll give her that. She was very enjoyable on Friends and in a few of her rom-coms.
With Cake Jennifer wants to be taken seriously as a dramatic actress. There are some rumors that she may even be up for an Oscar nomination for her role as a woman traumatized by an accident she suffered. Something like that anyways. The media (things like People magazine, etc.) are making a big deal that Jennifer wears no makeup and has a facial scar in Cake. I think focusing on something that superficial is insulting to women and especially to Jennifer, although she seems to be fueling these media outlets.
While watching this trailer I tried to look past surface and evaluate Jennifer’s performance as well as the film as much as I could from a 2 minute glimpse. I think Jennifer gives an okay performance here. Not bad, but nowhere near Oscar worthy (especially this year with actresses like Rosamund Pike and Julianne Moore presumably in the race). Also, I do not want to see Jennifer playing a pessimistic bitch. She also comes off as a creepy stalker, obsessed with someone’s dead wife (when you say “I’m not a stalker,” you definitely are). I don’t think even her biggest fans want to see that. There is nothing about her character in Cake that seems likeable. I think that’s also because Jennifer is trying just a little too hard to shed her good girl image. I think she should embrace it instead of moving away from it since that is where she has had the most success. Cake doesn’t seem worth my time, and that’s not just because of Jennifer Aniston. It just doesn’t feel exciting and new. It feels old and dull. Go watch Gone Girl again or something else equally intriguing. Cake feels like a snooze, as its January release date suggests. Also, why is it called Cake? Maybe I’d go see it if free cake was involved.
I’ve come up with a rating system for Deadwood, I think. This episode gets 2 out of 5 Hoopleheads (every time Al says that I laugh). But keep in mind, 2 Hoopleheads for Deadwood is like 8 stars for another show. Deadwood is in a class by itself.
This episode is very slow and melancholic. It is the after math of Wild Bill’s death and everyone is hurting (well not Al or Cy). I think one theme that runs throughout the episode is the value of helping each other and understanding that we are all in this together. Everyone has a part to play in order for the community to function. Sol (John Hawkes) helps Bullock (but he always does that). Jane is nurse once again, this time to small pox (?) ridden Andy. And Trixie, the whore with a heart of gold, decides to help Widow Garrett overcome her addiction to laudanum. And then there’s the Reverend going on about how everyone is a part of each other (or the part of a part of a part as Bullock says).
Also interesting is how it becomes apparent that the Gem and the Bella Union crews somewhat mirror each other. Al and Cy are quite similar, although I think Al has more heart (Al has a heart?!?!). Trixie (Paula Malcomson) and Joanie (Kim Dickens) are the two that are the most similar. At first glance Joanie appears to have more autonomy and power than Trixie (and she also has the advantage of bathing regularly). But Joanie is unable to prevent Andy from being dumped in the woods. And she also needs Cy’s permission to attend Bill’s funeral. The only difference I can see is that Cy has not exerted his power physically over Joanie yet. Tidbits:
• The Widow and Bullock finally meet. She she’s taken with him, but Bullock is aloof.
• Is it bad that I find every interaction between Jewel (the gimp) and Al hilarious? He is so rude to her. But I feel like deep down he actually likes her. Why else would he keep her around?
• I love the Reverend, he is so sweet. And Bullock is so mean to him. I don’t really understand their relationship. Does Bullock hate him because he talks so much? Or is Bullock an atheist or does he have some other issue with religion/God?
• Garrett Dillahunt is great as Jack McCall. He’s hilarious and somehow quite charismatic despite playing such an asshole.
• Apparently “Nebraska pussy” is really good. I didn’t know that was a thing.
• William Sanderson as E.B. is also excellent. I love the scene where he talks to himself.
• Jack cleans up for his trail yet still looks like he’s caked in dirt.
• “You want a blow job while I talk to you?” Oh, that Al, so considerate.
• Bullock has to help bury yet another body. That’s at least one an episode so far.
• Jane is such a wonderful, gentle nurse. “Shut the fuck up!”
• Trixie is supposed to get the Widow hooked on more dope, but instead wants to help her get off it. I foresee a beating from Al coming soon.
• Jack is found “innocent.” He proceeds to get drunk and celebrate.
• But his bubble is broken when Al tells him he better get out of Dodge before he gets murdered.
• “Jack McCall runs from no man,” Jack says as he runs out of the Gem.
• Jane is more comfortable with sick, vulnerable people. Perhaps because she can relate?
• The Reverend is epileptic. People see him have a fit and don’t care. It’s so sad.
• Of course Bullock wants to chase after Jack and kill him.
• Umm, what was with Joanie’s lesbian scene? It was hot, but…. Why? I don’t get it.
So I finally got around to watching the winter finale of HTGAWM (it takes me a full 30 seconds to type that). Nearly two weeks late, but I recently started a new job, so I’m a little behind on blogging.
Anyways this ended up being a pretty good episode. Although it didn’t start out that way. The crime this week is Sam’s murder.The first three thirds were pretty easy to see coming as most of it had already been alluded to in past episodes. I was starting to hate Annalise and her pathetic need/love of Sam (Tom Verica), her a**hole husband. And then near the very end of the episode as Wes says to Sam’s body “I’m so sorry” Annalise utters the words “Don’t be.” And I was excited and enamored with the show again. Annalise’s pathetic, sappy voice mail to her husband was just an act! She’s actually glad he is dead (as is the audience). Hopefully for the rest of the season (which doesn’t air again until the end of January) will see more of the strong Annalise than the weak one.
• The fight between Annalise and Sam at the beginning of the episode was pretty juicy! I’m glad they got all that out before Sam dies. It was satisfying to hear Annalise tell Sam about her affair with Nate. And Sam finally told the truth. Great scene from both actors.
• I’m still not totally convinced Sam is the one that killed Lila. He never actually admitted to it. Maybe Annalise did it…
• “You want the truth? You’re nothing but a piece of ass, that’s what I saw…That’s all you’re good for, dirty, rough sex, you disgusting slut.” Whoa Sam, you married someone that you found that repulsive?
• I was right, Wes kills Sam to protect Rebecca.
• “I’m like the most grown up grown up ever compared to your dumb asses.” Said like a true grown up with face paint on Asher.
• Asher’s pissed that his trophy got stolen then he says “Screw it” and parties it up. He knows how to live in the present.
• Annalise and Cop Boy Toy Nate have hot sex. This is a great improvement over Sam. Although it would be nice if Annalise could find a guy that’s single for once.
• Bonnie is making out with some old dude in order to forget about being fired. But then she’s like fuck it, I want some young dick, and calls up Asher. Bravo Bonnie!
• The Bonnie/Asher sex scene is very funny. “Just come here you idiot.” I feel bad for Asher though. He doesn’t seem to realize that he’s being used.
• “Enough about the ring, Frodo.” Connor to Michaela who was dumb enough to lose her engagement ring the night she is involved in a murder. This girl is so dumb, how can she even attend law school? They’ll all get caught just because of that ring.
• Frank’s girlfriend broke up with him. Tell someone who cares. And actually, why did she break up with him now if he has had a long string of affairs that she knew about?
• Oliver is kind of cute without the glasses.
• I was hoping Connor could fix things with Oliver. But he just fucks them up even more.
• Annalise emerges without her hair and make-up done in front of everyone. That must have been a shocker for the students.
• Annalise believes Sam has ‘fled.’
• Annalise turns out to be one of TVs great sociopaths.
Season rating so far: 8/10
I don’t normally watch this kind of TV show (I’m more an HBO/Showtime kind of girl), but I really enjoy How to Get Away With Murder. Yes, it is a little ridiculous at times and not very realistic. But it’s enjoyable. It keeps me guessing and intrigued. I think it must be very difficult to write a compelling TV show. This one has succeeded so far in keeping my interest. But I do wish some of the characters were developed more, especially Annalise. Hopefully the rest of the season is just as captivating.
Season MVP so far: Viola Davis, who else? This woman has given a flawless performance all season. Give her all the Emmys and Golden Globes already.