I suppose the simple answer to that question is they don’t make enough money. But it is such a shame when there is so much potential within these shows. I only heard about The Red Road after it was cancelled by its network, the Sundance channel, and it showed up on Netflix.
Initially I was drawn in just by the appeal of watching Jason Momoa (I still miss Khal Drogo). But quickly other aspects of the show grasped me. The Red Road is about many things, but it is essentially about the tenuous alliance between Phillip Kopus (Jason Momoa), a member of a Native American tribe, and Harold Jensen (Martin Henderson), a white police officer that patrols the reservation and neighboring community.
The Red Road tackles two very interesting issues that rarely get covered in mainstream media. First, there is the lives and issues of Native Americans. The characters are all very well formed and never veer into becoming stereotypes. It is also interesting to see the Native community cope with the problem of preserving their own way of life or whether they need to assimilate into Western culture in order to survive.
The show also delves into exploring mental illness, something that I think needs more coverage like this in society. Harold’s wife, Jean (Julianne Nichlolson), suffers from schizophrenia. It is one of the best depictions of mental illness that I have seen. How can Jean and her family cope with this illness that she has hidden for years? Can the stigma of mental illness be erased from society? I wish there was more work like this that could bring attention to these issues in a thoughtful manner.
I also love The Red Road for its great cast and fast paced plot. Each season is only six episodes long, so every moment counts. There were quite a few shocking moments as well as very humorous ones. Jason Momoa is a real star here. I have heard people say that he can’t act; that he can only play Khal Drogo type characters. But here as Phillip Kopus Jason holds the whole show together and displays a wide range of talent. He is menacing, but also caring in his own way. His comedic timing is brilliant and he also uses his physicality extremely well.
I hope that this post may convince some of you to give this show a chance. It is very entertaining and worth your while. It is currently on Netflix (at least here in Canada). The second season ends on a real cliff hanger, so I am hoping that some way the show will be able to return for a third season, maybe through Netflix. And after watching this series I am more excited for the upcoming Aquaman film than ever before.
Well, he is one of the most talented actors working today and probably hardly anyone knows his name. Although that is sure to change after the release of Quentin Tarantino’s western, The Hateful Eight.
When you look up Walton Goggins on IMDB the film that first comes up next to his name is Django Unchained. I find that extremely funny because he has quite a small part in that film and he has done much more substantial work. He is one of those character actors that you have probably seen in many works, but you just don’t know his name. His best work is mostly on TV; The Shield, Sons of Anarchy, Justified. But now Walton is (arguably) the star of The Hateful Eight.
In The Hateful Eight, Walton Goggins plays Chris Mannix. Chris has the most lines of any character in the film (and that’s A LOT of lines since it’s a Tarantino movie). Quentin specifically wrote the part for Walton. That’s pretty amazing, especially since Walton isn’t a very high profile actor.
But he deserves to be, and hopefully now he will get the attention he deserves. I recently started watching Justified not too long ago (I’m only on the fourth season still, so no spoilers!). Justified is a very good show that really hits its stride in its third and fourth seasons. The show hinges on the relationship between Raylan Givens (played by the wonderful Timothy Olyphant) and Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins). It is so interesting to watch these two amazing characters/actors face off against each other. Raylan is a Deputy Marshall and Boyd is a hillbilly criminal mastermind. Often times the two are struggling against each other, but they also have moments when they are allies. Their interactions always feel organic and it is hard to know which character to root for. Walton has this great cadence as he plays Boyd. When Boyd speaks it feels as though the audience is being treated to a piece of poetry. Hard to believe when faced with Boyd’s appearance of wild hair and swastika tattoos. Walton creates so many layers to this character; Boyd is someone to be feared, but he also has a sympathetic heart at times. And he is also very funny. Boyd does terrible things at times, but when he proposes to Eva, his brother’s widow over a stack of drug money, you can’t help but feel your eyes tear up and hope that everything turns out the way Boyd wants it to. There are a million reasons to dislike Boyd, but Walton’s acting instead makes you love him.
When I was watching The Hateful Eight I was so excited when Walton came on the screen. I was so looking forward to hearing his lovely voice a la Boyd Crowder. After all, both Boyd and Chris Mannix are southern boys, so I figured Walton would play them in a similar way. But I was dead wrong. I was disappointed at first because Chris’s voice isn’t as poetic as Boyd’s. But Chris still has some of that same charm. I am amazed actually by how different Boyd and Chris are. The two characters are completely distinct from each other and both are quite amazing. The Hateful Eight is a very good film (not Tarantino’s best, but still good). I found the film lacks energy at times, but whenever the attention shifts to Walton suddenly everything becomes lively again. Chris seems to always be playing everyone else in the room and it makes me wonder whether he actually really was the sheriff.
Walton imbues Chris with all these little nuances and effectively steals every scene he is in. If you didn’t know who Walton Goggins was before, you’ll never forget him after The Hateful Eight.
Normally I find it hard to be harsh in my reviews of films. I try to find redeeming qualities even in movies I hate. But this morning I had the misfortune of watching Norma Jean & Marilyn. This movie is the most atrocious thing I have seen in my whole life. All across the board horrid.
I’m not a huge Marilyn fan, but I enjoy some of her films and I happen to have read Norman Mailer’s biography (of sorts) on her. So I know her story. This movie completely distorts her life story and the plot is all muddled and confusing.
Marilyn is schizophrenic (pretty sure she wasn’t in real life), constantly arguing with her ‘Norma Jean’ self. The dialogue is blunt and unimaginative and filled with garbage. It’s hard to decide who is worse, Mira Sorvino (who I loved in Mighty Aphrodite) as Marilyn or Ashley Judd as Norma Jean.
Simply put, just don’t watch this horrible movie.
For the curious here are a few horrifying clips:
(Don’t even get me started on that terrible JFK)
Even though I haven’t been blogging lately that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been watching anything. I saw Sicario, The Martian, and finally started watching Game of Thrones. But nothing has really intrigued me enough to write about it. Until last night when I saw Legend, a film about London’s infamous Kray twins.
Legend itself isn’t a very good a film. It’s okay. The main problem is that it can’t decide what it wants to be. A gangster film or a romance? It really fails at the romantic elements, but the gangster bits are good. I think that if they had cut out almost everything to do with Frances (Emily Browning) the movie would have been a lot better (and shorter, it’s a tad too long). I had no sympathy for Frances and just found her annoying. Oh, woe is me, I married a gangster and he does gangster stuff and leaves me alone at night. Didn’t see that coming! Everything about Frances has been done before and it was just plain boring. I understand that the writer wanted to create this struggle between Frances and Ronald over Reggie, but it just doesn’t work.
But the Kray twins, Ron and Reggie (both played by Tom Hardy) are quite a bit of fun. In this film, Tom Hardy proves yet again that he is one of the best actors of his generation. I had some doubts back when I watched the trailer in May. I thought maybe Tom was overacting, especially as Ronald. But it turns out that I was very wrong. Tom is able to create these two very distinct and different characters. They are both fully formed and interesting. Reggie is suave, smooth, the brains of the operation. Ronald is chaotic, awkward, and all over the place. They are both oddly charming in their own ways. The thing that amazed me the most was I completely forgot that it was Tom Hardy playing both parts, I was just so absorbed in these characters. There is only one moment where Tom sort of wavered for me as Ron since I felt like his voice was going into Bane territory. But other than that he is superb as Ron, I loved all the little mannerisms. And Tom was also surprisingly funny in both roles.
Legend gets 7/10, but Tom Hardy gets 10/10.
While I may not be actively posting reviews these days (it’s so hard when you work 6 days in a row!) it doesn’t mean that I haven’t been watching anything. So here’s a brief recap on what I’ve been watching/reading and my thoughts.
I haven’t been watching very many movies. But I have seen Rush for the millionth time; I think it’s just amazing and always absorbing. Daniel Brühl = ❤
This morning I watched Top Gun for the first time. Its total 80s fop and completely ridiculous. But Tom Cruise was so gorgeous and tanned back then… it’s hard to not fall in love with his big smile.
This might be a somewhat surprising choice, but over the last two weeks I have binge watched the first season of Sailor Moon! Relatively recently they redubbed the anime series and have been slowly releasing new DVDs. I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed the show! I absolutely loved it as a kid (seriously, I had Sailor Moon everything) so it was nostalgic. But I think it is also genuinely good and very funny. The new dub isn’t a kids show, instead preserving the original Japanese elements that were cut out of the 90s version. Most of the changes are for the better, but there are still things I miss from the 90s (meatball head > bun head).
Ray Donovan had its season finale this past Sunday night. I feel it ended on a rather mediocre note. Stuff happened, nothing really surprising or pleasing. Bunchy and Teresa are now my favorite characters as they seem more genuine than the rest of the show which has become a soap opera. I’ll still be watching season 4 next year though (you can never separate me from Liev, never!)
How to Get Away with Murder returned last week with its season 2 premiere. I found it interesting, but, like Ray Donovan, becoming a soap opera (although it has kind of always been one). The reveal of Rebecca’s murderer seemed way too soon and brief (I thought they would drag it out over the season). And Annalise’s relationship with Jean Grey (don’t know her real name, don’t care) felt extremely contrived. I’m going to keep watching the show, but I think it is starting to become unintentionally hilarious and takes itself way too seriously.
As for what I’m reading, well I have dipped into a few different books. I am absolutely loving and obsessing over Ronda Rousey’s biography My Fight/Your Fight. I love that it is a mix of biography and self-help tips. The book is very funny, interesting and above all inspiring. I’m going to the gym more, I’m not taking shit from anyone, I’m being more optimistic. And that is all largely due to Ronda’s book, I couldn’t recommend it more.
I have also started reading a book on Bob Dylan (so good), The Girl in the Spider’s Web (one good chapter into it so far), and just yesterday I bought The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin. I also finished reading Skottie Young’s Rocket Raccoon comic book series which has made me a huge fan of comics. His artwork is amazing and the series constantly makes me laugh out loud. I can’t wait for Skottie’s new series, Rocket and Groot.
So that’s what I’ve been up to. I’m off to see Black Mass tonight, so look forward to seeing that review as soon as I can get it up.
On August 9, 1969 Sharon Tate died. 46 years on, she remains a fascinating woman. Incredibly beautiful yet insecure she left a mark on Hollywood with her brutal murder. But she is about more than the day she died. She had a beautiful, gentle soul that can still be felt in her few films. This post is to celebrate her short yet vibrant life.
Sharon is too nice. She doesn’t believe in her beauty. Once when I was very poor in Poland, I had got some beautiful shoes, and I immediately became ashamed of them. All my friends had plain, ordinary shoes, and I was embarrassed to walk in front of them. That’s how Sharon feels about her beauty. She’s as embarrassed by it.
— Roman Polanski
She was kindness itself to everybody and everything around her — people, animals, everything. She just didn’t have a bad bone in her body. She was a unique person. It’s difficult to describe her character. She was just utterly good, the kindest human being I’ve ever met, with an extreme patience. To live with me was proof of her patience, because to be near me must be an ordeal. She never had a bad temper, she was never moody. She enjoyed being a wife. The press and the public knew of her physical beauty, but she also had a beautiful soul, and this is something that only her friends knew about.
— Roman Polanski
All of you know how beautiful she was, but few of you know how good she was.
— Roman Polanski