Deadwood: Season 1, Episode 8; Suffer the Little Children

Miles (Greg Cipes) and Flora (Kristen Bell).
Miles (Greg Cipes) and Flora (Kristen Bell).

Deadwood has some of the most brutal, intense scenes that I have ever seen on TV or even in the movies. I’ve seen the whole series once before, but certain events will still make my jaw drop and make me want to cover my eyes. One of those scenes is in this episode involving the kids, Flora (Kristin Bell) and Miles, Cy (Powers Boothe), and Joanie (Kim Dickens). It is extremely brutal physically, but the psychological torment Cy puts Joanie through is equally as horrifying.
This episode of Deadwood offers a really interesting examination of the lives of the women who live there, particularly Joanie, Trixie, and Alma (the Widow). Joanie and Trixie parallel one another quite well. But I think the scene I discussed previously shows that Joanie’s position is worse than that of Trixie. Both women are ruled over by strong, cruel men. They are both ‘whores’ who have a desire to seize control of their lives, yet they are continually oppressed. Both women try to kill themselves this episode as it seems to be the only way for them to escape Deadwood. But when you see the relationship between Trixie and Al you get the sense that there is some kind of love or affection there. When Trixie is gone Al frets over where she is, what she’s doing. He’s a little afraid that she is out of his control, but he also seems worried about her.
Al: Now, what’s she doin’?? She makin’ a point? No grabbin’ at the cunt? Is that what she said to you?
Jewel: No.
Al: I mean, y—you—she told you, right, that I grabbed her. Did-did she have an attitude about it?
Jewel: She didn’t have an attitude she just said her pussy hurt.
Al: Agh. Point’s made with the snatch grabs, okay.
And when Trixie finally comes home to the Gem after her failed suicide attempt Al is not angry. He doesn’t say a word to her. There’s an understanding between the two that does not need to be put into words.

Cy (Powers Boothe) and Joanie (Kim Dickens).
Cy (Powers Boothe) and Joanie (Kim Dickens).

Cy on the other hand does pronounce verbal affection for Joanie. Yet it has a ring of insincerity to it. He says he cares for her, yet he ignores Joanie’s desires and her unhappiness. He wants to control her. And he does control everything about her life. Yet he can’t make her happy or make Joanie want to be with him. By making Joanie kill Flora, Cy commits a cruel act that even Al wouldn’t do. The death of Flora is also the death of Cy and Joanie’s relationship. She wants out. Desperately. There is no understanding between Joanie and Cy. Cy is incapable of truly understanding Joanie.

Alma (Molly Parker) and Trixie (Paula Malcomson).
Alma (Molly Parker) and Trixie (Paula Malcomson).

So while Trixie and Joanie want the hell out of Deadwood, Alma wants to stay there. Quite stupidly. Alma does not seem aware of the dangers in the community, especially for a woman. I guess she has Bullock to protect her. Alma is naïve and self-centered. I can’t stand her or her story line with Bullock. Alma has a life and position that Trixie and Joanie would probably love to have. Yet she is prepared to squander it because she wants to have sex with Bullock.
• Jewel! She should be on the show more often.
• Alma’s decided she’s leaving Deadwood.
• Nope, now Alma’s decided she’s staying.
• Newspaper Dude thinks he might have the small pox. The Doc just tells him he’s fat. Ahahaha.
• Flora: “You geek-looking fuck. Get away from me before I cut your fucking heart out.” Flora was quite a vicious little girl, that’s for sure.
• Flora: “[Joanie] held me in her arms all night like I was a fuckin’ little kid.” Flora is resentful of the kindness Joanie showed her. It seems to make her really hate Joanie.
• So the kids decide to rob the Bella Union. Definitely not a good idea.
• Bullock finds gold on Alma’s property.
• Alma is so bad with the little girl it is hilarious. Trixie and even Jane are much better with her.
• Even Al is giving Dan the side eye over his infatuation with Flora.
• The little is fond of Trixie and reveals her name: Sophia.
• Flora: “Who am I? (Stepping towards Joanie, Joanie backs up with each step) Your little baby? Your little sister? You?” I think Flora is spot on with that last guess.
• Of course the kids fail in there robbery attempt and there is hell to pay i.e. the brutal scene.

This episode gets 4 out of 5 Hoopleheads. It is so exciting, thought-provoking, juicy. And the MVP is by far Kim Dickens, she is incredible here as Joanie.

Instances of:
• Fucking: 70 (that’s a fucking record!)
• Hoopleheads: 2
• Pussy: 3
• Cocksucker: 3
• Cunt: 3

Side note: I recently discovered a website called Deadwood Chronicles which has transcripts of each episode (I used these for some quotes). And I also borrowed a few pictures from there as well.

Trailer Review: Child 44


“Murder is strictly a capitalist disease.”

Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman are teaming up yet again for Child 44. I think this is collaboration #4? This time they are embroiled in a murder mystery within Soviet Russia. Noomi Rapace, Jason Clarke, and Vincent Cassel are also in the film based on the novel by Tom Rob Smith.
I think this looks like a good, gritty film. I’m not really excited for it because the subject matter is depressing as hell. Children being murdered? I had enough of that shit in Changeling (seriously, that movie has traumatized me). I will be seeing Child 44 though as I am a huge fan of Tom and Gary. Noomi not so much, I wish they had cast a different female lead. I am also extremely interested in Russian history, so I’ll be there opening weekend. The music in the trailer is great, very dark and dangerous feeling (other than that annoying Inception BAAAAMMM used in EVERY TRAILER). And I think everyone nails the Russian accent.

Your thoughts on Child 44? Have you read the novel? I wanted to, but probably won’t get to it before the movie comes out.

Deadwood: Season 1, Episode 7; Bullock Returns to the Camp

Oh, it's just Bullock returning to camp (lamest episode title ever).
Oh, it’s just Bullock returning to camp (lamest episode title ever).

There’s one interesting thing I forgot to note about Deadwood’s previous episode, Plague. And that is the absence of Bullock. While the community of Deadwood is banding together to prevent a small pox epidemic, Bullock is off fighting an Indian. If Bullock had been in the camp during the plague dilemma I think there would have been a lot of chaos as opposed to unity. Bullock is an interesting character because at first glance he seems like ‘the good guy,’ someone always trying to do/be right. Yet he creates a lot of problems and tension everywhere he goes.
This episode in which Bullock returns to Deadwood is not one of the best. It’s 2 Hoopleheads out of 5. This episode could also be called “That moment when I forgot Veronica Mars was on Deadwood.” Kristen Bell plays Flora Anderson, a young, orphaned girl that arrives in Deadwood with her brother, Miles. The two seem very sympathetic, innocent children. At least at first. There are brief hints that the two are more cunning and worldly than they first let on. Are they planning on trying to rip off both the Bella Union and the Gem? Can they (or anyone) accomplish such a feat? And survive?

These kids think they can compete with the likes of Al and Cy. Ahahahaha, yeah, right.
These kids think they can compete with the likes of Al and Cy. Ahahahaha, yeah, right.

• Bullock finds Jack McCall, but doesn’t kill him. He instead takes him to Yankerton to be put on trial. An instance of Bullock abiding by the law. Kind of.
• Dan (Al’s henchman) develops a creepy attraction/obsession for Flora. Like, really creepy. Like, killing a man for looking at her creepy. (Funny since Dan looks at her so much).
• So far on Deadwood there has been a funeral every episode. Last time it was the Indian’s. This time it’s Garrett’s (remember him? His death seems like a long time ago).
• I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but Jane is a huge source of the show’s profanity. HUGE. More so even than Al.
• Sol Star (Bullock’s business partner) seems to have a thing for Trixie?
Veronica Flora chooses to work at the Bella Union instead of the Gem. Can’t really blame her.
• EB tries to talk business with the Widow during her husband’s funeral. Baaad move EB.
• Alma aka the Widow decides to stay in the camp FOR NO GOOD REASON. She pisses me off. As Trixie says fuck Bullock and get out of Dodge!
• Am I the only one picking up on some lesbian undertones between Veronica Flora and Joanie? It’s almost as creepy as the Dan thing.
• Trixie is quite smart. And logical. She’s one of the only people able to successfully stand up to Al. And maybe grudgingly earn some of his respect. Just a little. Trixie totally owns her decision to go against Al and wean the Widow off dope.
• Bullock has remorse over his conflict with the Indian. “He was trying to live, same as me, and do honor to his friend.” A great, genuine moment from a character that so often tries to hide his feelings.
• Bullock: “Can we have a private talk?”
Al: “Sure we can. Should I be hard?” Ahaha.

• Al eating canned peaches!!!!
• Al starts calling Bullock “your holiness.” Perfection.
• The scene in which Jane and Charlie talk to Bill’s grave is so touching and sad. “Can I tell him some more tomorrow?” *GrabsKleenex*
• Alma acts like a school girl over Bullock. Trixie says everything I would say to her. Okay, maybe not exactly. But we would have the same point.
• Alma gives Trixie the option of leaving town with the little girl. But Trixie refuses. She knows her place in the world. And for all the abuse she suffers, a part of her seems to like being at the Gem with Al.
Instances of:
• Cunt: 2
• Fuck(ing): 49 (That’s a lot of fucking)
• Shit: 3
• Cocksucker: 4
• Titty: 3

Genre Grandeur – The Ghost Writer (2010) – The Girl That Loved to Review

I recently reviewed one of my favorite British thrillers, The Ghost Writer, over on Movie Rob’s site. Hopefully you check it out!


For the next review for this month’s Genre Grandeur – British Thrillers, here’s a review from Sherise of The Girl That Loved to Review of the British Thriller – Ghost Writer (2010)

Thanks again to Emma from for choosing this month’s genre

Next month’s Genre, chosen by Justine of Justine’s movie blog is Coming of Age movies. To participate, send me your review to by 22nd Feb.  Thanks to Justine for a great choice.

Let’s see what Sherise thought of this movie…


The Ghost Writer (2010)

When picking a British Thriller to review for this month’s Genre Grandeur a few different films came to my mind. But I chose Roman Polanski’s political thriller because I think it’s a very good film that was largely ignored when it was released in 2010. Polanski may not be British and the film largely takes place in the United States. But the…

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Memorable Moments: The Seven Year Itch


For Christmas I received a 4 pack collection of Marilyn Monroe’s movies. I’m not really a Marilyn fan (Elizabeth Taylor all the way!!), but despite myself I do find her kind of fascinating. Marilyn definitely had a charming screen presence.
The first Marilyn film I chose to watch was The Seven Year Itch. This movie features THE iconic Marilyn Monroe scene: the skirt blowing incident. It’s funny though that to me, this scene did not stand out much while I was watching the movie. Probably because Marilyn is only shown from the shoulders up for the most part.
No, I much prefer the “chopsticks” scene to the skirt blowing one. This scene, in which Marilyn plays on the piano alongside her co-star Tom Ewell (who is quite hilarious throughout the film), perfectly embodies the allure and essence of Marilyn. She exudes childlike joy while bop bopping along to the tune. She also looks incredibly gorgeous, but she’s all the more appealing here because she is unaware of it. Caught up in the joy of the music Marilyn captures the audience’s heart through her enthusiasm rather than through overt sex appeal.

Blackhat (2015)


If you look at my trailer review for Blackhat you’ll see that I was on the fence about this film. But yesterday I decided to give it a chance. I knew when I entered the theater I had made a mistake. It was Tuesday, cheap night. And there were 4 people in the theater. Everyone else must have been seeing American Sniper.

A still from the only good scene in the film in which Chris Hemsworth does NOTHING.
A still from the only good scene in the film in which Chris Hemsworth does NOTHING.

I had some hopes for Blackhat despite it opening in January and being a Michael Mann film. I wanted it to be a smart cyber thriller. Which it is for the most part. It just isn’t very exciting. I don’t really like Michael Mann’s movies, and I don’t like his techniques for the most part. I saw Heat once (a film that everyone else loves) and I didn’t like it. Admittedly I was tired at the time and not fully paying attention to it though. I do like Public Enemies though (a film that everyone else hates). The first time I saw it I hated it, but on the second viewing it was quite good. Mostly because of Marion Cotillard, but there are other things to like about it as well. I hate the shaky camera thing Mann always does, it takes me out of the movie and makes me feel a little nauseous. Also the gunfire in his films is always so loud it’s almost deafening.

Well, at least Viola is looking gorgeous.
Well, at least Viola is looking gorgeous.

While I don’t like Mann for the most part, he is able to do a great action scene. There are two action scenes in Blackhat that are great, really absorbing. And the whole shaky camera, slow-mo, loud gunfire works. Amazingly. If only the whole movie could have been more like that. But it’s hard to make a movie about hacking exciting. I think having a more present score would have helped (it felt like there was nearly no music in Blackhat). The score is an integral part of creating tension and here it is very absent. A more charismatic leading man would have also helped things. Chris Hemsworth is fine, he just doesn’t bring any drama or excitement to things. I read another review that said something like “imagine Tom Cruise as the lead instead.” Someone with that kind of leading man quality would have greatly enhanced the film. The other big fault with Blackhat is the villain. He is boring. He has no motivation at all. He doesn’t even “want to watch the world burn.” The stakes don’t feel high because the villain is a non-entity for most of the film and when he and his big plan are revealed it is extremely anti-climactic.

Seriosuly??? Maybe if they were phone books, but thin magazines???
Seriosuly??? Maybe if they were phone books, but thin magazines???

There are a few good things about Blackhat. It isn’t dumb (except for bullet proof magazines???). The diverse cast was also quite refreshing (Leehom Wang and Wei Tang are good). Viola Davis is a standout, bringing humor to the film (Chris has a few funny lines too). But overall Blackhat is a disappointment. There’s about 10 excellent minutes and the rest is mediocre. 5/10

Leehom Wang and Chen Tang.
Leehom Wang and Chen Tang.

Deadwood: Season 1, Episode 6; Plague

The community of Deadwood comes together in a surprisingly optimistic way, courtesy of Al Swearengen (Ian McShane).
The community of Deadwood comes together in a surprisingly optimistic way, courtesy of Al Swearengen (Ian McShane).

In this episode the small pox hits Deadwood. This episode is notable because it shows how a lawless society, filled with volatile and combative personalities, can come together to overcome an obstacle that threatens its existence. They organize, help each other, and come up with solutions. And no blame is laid anywhere. Just a surprising amount of positivity. If only society could always function that way.
• Bullock has a WTF fight with an Indian. Bullock bashes the guy’s head with a rock 15 times. That is literally overkill.
• I think Elsworth is the only genuinely likeable character on the show.
• “Truth isn’t in you, Al.” “That makes two of us.” EB and Al really are a lot alike.
• “You better have a paying dwarf underneath you.” Al to one of the whores as she is sitting there crying, afraid she’ll get small pox.
• “Stick to hand jobs for a day or two if you like.” Al’s way of being nice to this whore.
• Calamity Jane becomes Nurse Jane since she is immune to the pox.
• Joanie is depressed by her life. But at least Cy gives her some time, he doesn’t beat her or rape her. But the threat is still there if she doesn’t cheer up soon.
• Al does Cy a favor by not ratting him out to the community (since Cy was trying to hide Andy and the small pox).

Cy (Powers Boothe), EB (William Sanderson), Al (Ian McShane) and the much fretted over plague article.
Cy (Powers Boothe), EB (William Sanderson), Al (Ian McShane) and the much fretted over plague article.

• The scene in which Al, Cy, and EB “help” Merrick write a newspaper article about the plague is pretty funny. Poor Merrick.
• “Is the idea to inform your reader or make him feel like a fucking dunce?” I’ve thought the same thing many times, Al.
• “Truth is, as a base of operations, you cannot beat a fucking saloon.” Cheers to that Al!

Instances of:
• Fuck(ing): 58
• Cocksucker: 7
• Shit: 6
• Piss: 2
• Pussy: 1
Plague gets 4.5 out 5 Hoopleheads.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)


Guardians of the Galaxy may not be technically be the best film. It has its faults. A boring villain. Some weak acting here and there. It doesn’t always logically make sense. But its greatest strength is something few movies can effectively achieve. It makes you feel good. The first time I saw GOTG I left the theater with a big grin on my face. I was truly happy! I can’t think of another movie that made me feel as good and carefree as Guardians of the Galaxy.

There are many things that I enjoy about GOTG. First and foremost I love Rocket Raccoon. Fiercely. I’ve gone a little merchandise crazy lately. I have multiple posters, t-shirts, a hoodie, I’m currently debating buying a very expensive collectible figure. Heck, I even have a Rocket Raccoon mug (that is admittedly very creepy). I love the CGI work on both Rocket and Groot. They look incredibly realistic (and adorable). Rocket has a great personality. Bradley Cooper really relishes the role and his voice work is some of the best I have ever heard. It hardly sounds like Bradley. The relationship between Rocket and Groot is very touching, I cried a little at the end when I thought Groot might be dead.

I remember Chris Pratt from his small, but hilarious role in one of my favorite action movies, Wanted. You just can’t help but like him. GOTG would not have been a success with anyone else in the role of Peter Quill. Chris is Peter. He’s able to embody the humor, goofiness, but also the vulnerability of Peter.
My third favorite part of the film is the awesome (!) soundtrack. Before seeing the film I loved 70s tunes, so I knew from the trailer Guardians would be right up my alley. I love how all the songs are things Peter actually listens to. It’s a nice touch that adds to the humor, but also the sentimentality of the film.

There are a few relatively minor things I dislike about the film. #1 being Zoe Saldana. In no way is she believable as a bad ass assassin. She has no edge to her. Also, she and Chris Pratt have zero chemistry in my opinion. I don’t really buy their relationship. This aspect really worries me for future films. #2 The villain sucks. I can’t even remember his name right now. He’s played by Lee Pace. He doesn’t really matter much anyways. #3 Some of the costumes and hair are silly. I’m looking at you Benecio Del Torro and Glenn Close.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a feel good, quirky film that took the world by storm in 2014. As good as dark, gritty films can be, sometimes the world just needs something positive for a change. I give Guardians of the Galaxy 9 “Oh yeahs” out of 10 because it succeeds on so many levels: humor, action, emotional impact. “Ain’t no thing like me, except me.”


Unbroken (2014)


Unbroken reminds me of when I was in middle school and got a creative writing assignment. It was always something like “write a short story.” I would come up with a great concept (in my twisted mind). I would begin to write and the beginning would be amazing. Then as I continued the rising action became less exciting and increasingly convoluted. Near the end of my word limit I would still have a ton of story left to write, but no space. Left in this predicament I was forced to abruptly end the story in a way that made no sense. Thus I would effectively undermine any good work I had done and firmly secure myself a barely passing grade.

I can't think of a better lost at sea scene than this (too bad that can't be said for the rest of the movie).
Save us, save us from the boredom! No, I’m kidding… (not really).

This is how I feel about Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, a biographical account of the life of Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell). The first scene inside a WWII fighter plane is great, really engaging and exciting. But after that scene the films gets bogged down with cheesy flashbacks. And then it just becomes very grueling. “If I can take it, I can make it” is not only Louis’s motto, but one I adopted while watching the film in order to get through it. I did like watching Louis and company when they were out at sea. I thought it was really interesting and the cinematography is beautiful. But once Louis is taken to the POW camp the film drags tremendously. When the Bird (Takamasa Ishihara) comes on to the screen it should be exciting, but it’s just bland.

The movie may not be great, but Jack O'Connell sure is pretty.
The movie may not be great, but Jack O’Connell sure is pretty.

Unbroken is a failure in part because it lacks focus. It would have benefited tremendously from more clear direction. And a better screenplay, one that could narrow things down a bit (Or maybe it’s just the Jai Courtney curse). I love Angelina Jolie, she’s an amazing woman. I think she’s done relatively well here for what is her second film. But I’m not convinced that she is a great director(although I think a lot of the hate directed towards Unbroken is only because people have a hatred towards Angelina, not the movie itself). I’m curious as to the quality of her future films since she already has two more on the way (By the Sea with Brad Pitt is completed and Angelina has signed up to direct a movie on the Ivory trade).

No denying the Bird (Takamas Ishihara) is an asshole. But he commits the worst cinema sin of all: being boring. (Oh yeah, that's Garrett Hedlund on the left).
No denying the Bird (Takamas Ishihara) is an asshole. But he commits the worst cinema sin of all: being boring. (Oh yeah, that’s Garrett Hedlund on the left).

Unbroken wants to be about many things, especially the power of forgiveness and the ability of the human spirit to overcome any obstacle. Unbroken hugely fails at the forgiveness part. None of that message is conveyed in the movie except for a church sermon and some text on screen at the very end. That ending really pissed me off. Just because you type some pretty words on screen at the end doesn’t make them true. What also bothers me about the film is that the Japanese are all portrayed as the “bad guys.” There is no attempt at all to make them actual human beings, including the Bird. There is no depth to his character, which is a real shame. In Schindler’s List, for example, Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes) is shown to be a complex man, yet still a despicable one. Unbroken would have been better if the Bird was treated in a similar fashion (although no one could ever best Ralph Fiennes).

Jack O'Connell and Domhnall Gleeson.
Jack O’Connell and Domhnall Gleeson.

Jack O’Connell gives a good performance as Louis even though, somewhat surprisingly, he doesn’t have very much to do. Sure, Louis endures a lot, but Jack doesn’t have to show a wide range of emotions. The camera absolutely loves his face though and he has some charisma, so he’ll be an actor to watch in the future. With some better material Jack can probably be quite excellent. I also really enjoyed Domhnall Gleeson’s performance. He impresses me every time I see him.
Unbroken had a lot of potential, so it is disappointing. While I was watching it, I enjoyed it for the most part (except for some of the POW stuff that seemed never ending). So it isn’t a complete failure. But there’s nothing particularly memorable about the film, except for two of its actors, Jack and Domhnall. Unbroken will probably just be a footnote in their careers as well. 5/10

Memorable Moments: The Sopranos


I’m starting a new feature that hopefully you will enjoy. Memorable Moments will highlight some of the scenes in movies and television that have had an impact on me. It can be a scene that invokes a deep emotion in me or something that just makes me go “wow, that’s cool!”

The first moment I’m picking comes from my favorite TV show, The Sopranos. My favorite character on the show is by far Christopher Moltisanti (played perfectly by Michael Imperioli). Christopher is a large source of the show’s humor, but he’s also an asshole. There are so many layers to his character, courtesy of the script and the acting. Christopher feels like a real human being, loveable in a way, but highly dysfunctional.

In this clip from Season 6 Part 2 Episode 17 “Walk Like a Man” Christopher is struggling and failing to maintain his sobriety. In this moment he realizes that the men he thought were his friends see Christopher and his alcoholism as a joke, something to be laughed at. No one is willing to help Chris or to empathize with him. Watching this scene breaks my heart because I feel so sorry for Christopher. It is truly tragic. Michael Imperioli’s acting here is excellent, capturing both Christopher’s drunken rambling, but also that very sober realization he comes to at the end.

This is a longer video (good), but it’s wonky for some reason (bad):

Do you have any favorite Sopranos moments?