Catching Up

It’s been quite a while since I wrote anything here. I haven’t felt the desire to really put my thoughts about what I’m watching into words. Not to say I haven’t watched things lately that weren’t worth writing about. I’ve slowed down a lot on movies, but I’ve watched some great TV Shows. I’ll do another quick fire of things I’ve watched recently to get my juices flowing. Then the next movie I plan to watch, At Once, will hopefully have something worth writing a full post about.

The Newsroom (2012)

This is a TV Show that aired on HBO for 2.5 seasons. I watched the first episode and was hooked. I actually couldn’t make myself stop watching it. I watched the first season and a half in just 2 days. I thought the premise to try and run a news broadcast that focuses on the news and not ratings was interesting because I hate watching the news for that exact reason. I immediately fell in love with the ideas, the characters and the dialogue. I’m a fan of the fast talking sarcastic quips they do fairly often. I laughed a lot and ended up caring about almost every character on the show. Season 2 was brilliantly laid out and made it so I had no choice but to keep watching. They start off somewhere in the middle of the season’s plot and then fill in the pieces with each episode until you’re caught up. I watched the first episode and just had to know what could’ve possibly happened that was so bad. Season 3 took a little bit of a dive with the first 2 episodes feeling dull, and the series finale wasn’t bad but it also wasn’t that great. If they were able to do a full last season and finish it off stronger I would have given it a perfect score. It’s definitely worth a watch, just make sure you have a couple hours set aside cause you won’t be able to watch just one episode.

Verdict: 9(.5)/10 


carolCarol (2016)

I absolutely loved this movie, it’s now one of my favorites and is on my regular re-watch list. I’ve seen it twice and am probably going to go for a 3rd watch soon. Maybe tonight because writing about it makes me want to see it again. It was so beautiful and restrained, nothing felt forced or unrealistic. It was slow but it sucked me in completely. Carol is kind, sophisticated and knows what she wants. There is something about her that just draws you in and it’s easy to see how Therese felt drawn to her. The movie had ups and downs that kept me emotionally invested and I felt so much throughout the entire movie. That feeling of thinking you found something special and then having it ripped away from you is devastating. I don’t want to say too much on the plot cause I think not knowing how it turns out really amplifies every decision the characters make and leaves you in suspense. It’s one of my top favorite romance movies and 100% recommend it.

Verdict: 9/10


hushHush (2016)

This is a horror movie where the main protagonist is both deaf and mute. I’ve never seen anything like it before in my life. As far as thriller/horror movies go, this is one of the most suspenseful and thrilling ones I’ve seen. I really wanted the main character, Maddie, to succeed and get out of there alive. Every scene is straight out of all the other horror movies out there, but it’s elevated to a new level when we know she can’t hear anything. He could be coming up behind her and she would never know it. When she’s trying to be quiet walking on the roof, she doesn’t know if she’s making lots of noise or not. That unknown makes it all the more suspenseful. Not to mention the fact that they inject some realism into the story with her not being able to load the crossbow.  Great, she got a weapon, but she’s still just a regular person and didn’t immediately become some badass who can shoot a man with a crossbow from across the room. Not that I don’t love that, but when I don’t have to suspense my disbelief as much, I enjoy movies a lot more. This one is on Netflix and is definitely worth the time.

Verdict: 9/10


10_cloverfiled_lane.jpg10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

As I was writing my other reviews, I realized a common actor among them–John Gallagher Jr.. He was in the Newsroom, Hush and in this review’s movie, 10 Cloverfield Lane. This is a “sequel but not really” to Cloverfield which I liked a lot when it came out. I didn’t know much about the movie before I started watching it and felt myself getting frustrated wondering when the Cloverfield things were going to start happening. So much so, that I almost couldn’t finish the movie because I thought it was crap and a waste of time. So I paused it, went over to IMDb and realized that it’s a standalone movie that merely exists in the same universe as the other. Once I understood that, it became a lot better of a movie. It was suspenseful and mysterious. I kept going back and forth in my mind wondering if John Goodman was telling the truth or if he was lying to keep her imprisoned. If it were me in that situation, I wouldn’t want to believe him because all I could think is that I’d end up as some idiot who was tricked into living in a bunker for 10 years. Momma didn’t raise no fool, so I really felt her predicament. On the flip side,  I’m really crushing on John Gallagher Jr. now. He was so sweet in this movie as Emmett and in the Newsroom. Ok sure, he was like a serial killer in Hush… but he was also in Short Term 12 which was an equally amazing movie. It all balances out in the end and I loved his character in this movie. When Emmett, let’s just say, was no longer part of the movie my jaw hit the floor. I love when movies have balls and just shock me with a plot decision. Overall, this was a really cool standalone movie that I will definitely re-watch.

Verdict: 8/10


And lastly, one sentence verdicts on some of the other movies I feel deserve a shout out.

10.000 km (2014) – Another great romance movie, except the characters start out in love and the movie progresses from there. Verdict: 8/10

Victoria (2015) – A 2h 18m movie all done in 1 continuous shot with strong characters and plot. Verdict: 7/10

Moulin Rouge! (2001) – A loud, obnoxious, annoying movie with weak characters and plot. Verdict: 5/10

Ant-Man (2015) – Pretty boring super hero movie that was lacking something that I just can’t put my finger on. Verdict: 5/10

Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) – Great movie but needs a re-cut without the Mr. Yunioshi scenes… Verdict: 8/10

 

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On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

on_her_majestys_secret_service

A James Bond movie, how can you possibly go wrong with that? Well, the answer is simple, you sort of can by having a completely insane plot. But let me discuss something else before I go down that road because there is something positive I would like to say about this movie. Replacing Sean Connery with George Lazenby was a good move for my enjoyment. I never liked Connery as Bond, maybe it was just because of the decade it was made but he was a real jerk to women. I mean the woman says no I don’t want to have sex with you and then he pretty much does it anyways… I think that’s called rape. But he’s Bond so we let that slide I guess. Hard for me to get past that. Not to mention, I didn’t find him attractive in the least so it wasn’t believable to me that he got all those women. Lazenby was sort of weird but he was at least a likeable guy. He wasn’t as smooth and cool as the other Bonds I’ve seen though, he seemed too nice at times but then he’d throw some guy off a really tall cliff to his snowy death… there was a little give and take there. I liked the direction they were heading in this movie away from how Connery acted towards women, even if another guy did knock a woman unconscious so she would get into the helicopter.

Now to talk about something that really turned me off from this movie in the first half. Bond was undercover as a gay genealogist named Hilary and wore a kilt. Maybe in the 60s this was the epitome of suave cool manliness like Bond is supposed to be, but… uh yeah not doing it for me. The whole “I only sleep with men” thing seemed entirely unnecessary since he almost immediately slept with 2 different women on the same night he got there. Fine, I can excuse that as long as the rest of the movie is reasonably plausible. Nope, he is at a clinic that tries to cure women of their allergies. At dinner everyone was eating the food they were allergic to, like the one woman with a plate of corn on the cob or the girls that were allergic to meat, and were suggestively eating it in front of Bond. Is that supposed to be some kind of innuendo, like “look at me, I love eating meat, isn’t this so sexy?” One of the women’s reason for coming to the clinic was because she worked at a chicken farm and was allergic to chickens… did the woman allergic to corn work on a corn field too? They should have saved time by making all the women allergic to men then they’d have to eat Bond at dinner and we wouldn’t need to suffer through all that nonsense. I will say though, the idea of Bond getting married was sweet, and Lazenby was really good in those scenes. I leaked some sort of clear fluid from my eyes at the end, made a doctor’s appointment to get that checked out. I will also mention that I liked the bobsled fight scene and even some of the skiing. The green screen was obviously hilarious and fake, but still much better than a CG fight scene where you can’t even tell what’s going on.

The first half was just awful but I liked the second half more and I would have liked to see Lazenby in another movie over Connery. Connery’s Bond movies had a better story, but Lazenby was a more likeable guy. Because of the ridiculous story, I was going to give this a pretty low score but I did like that ending so I have no choice but to raise it up a little bit.

Verdict: 7/10 Needs less men named Hilary and women with chicken allergies

The Third Man (1949)

source: http://silberius.deviantart.com/
http://silberius.deviantart.com/

I put a lot of effort into trying to enjoy this movie; sadly, it didn’t happen. The Third Man is currently in at least 31 official top movie lists including the top 100 British films, the top 50 film-noir, the best of rotten tomatoes and various others. Sometimes you watch a movie you don’t enjoy but you can see why other people would and why it’s held in such high regard. I didn’t feel that way towards this movie, so much so that I’m considering adding it to my grossly overrated movie list. The only moments I enjoyed were when Anna started talking about how she felt about Harry Lime and the scene on the Ferris wheel. These were the only moments where I felt any connection to the characters. For the rest of the movie, I honestly couldn’t have cared any less for what happened to any of the characters. I don’t need to know a character’s entire life story, but give me something more to work with here.

Another problem I had with getting into this movie was the story and how it was presented. People praise this movie for the cinematography and I can see why, since some shots were fantastic. Most of the scenes, however, were really short and the movie felt very fragmented. A new scene would start and last maybe 20 seconds then change to a completely different setting and you have to keep readjusting. I’m not saying that a movie has to stay in the same place so that my tiny brain can follow along, but I felt like I wasn’t given a lot of time to take everything in. I had such a hard time figuring out what was supposed to be happening in the beginning that I went back 10 minutes to try and catch up. An hour into the movie I was still unsure so I looked up a synopsis for the plot up to that point. Even that wasn’t enough to get me interested in what was happening.

Combining the lack of character development, the jumping around from scene to scene, and the muddy plot made for a rather unenjoyable movie. I don’t have much more to say about this one. Maybe in a few years I’ll give it another watch, but for now I’m just going to stay disappointed.

Verdict: 6/10 Needs more character investment

Mirai Nikki (2011-2012)

I’m going to start this post with a disclaimer, read this at your own risk because this could very well be the most rage filled post I’ve written to date. It took a godly amount of will power to finish this 26 episode series. The mere fact that I survived it is a miracle. The only thing I liked about this show is the OP. The first OP was pretty awesome, which really does mislead you into thinking you’ll be watching a good show.

I suppose it’s getting pretty clear now how much I liked this show so let’s just dive right into it. I never want to hear the name “Yukki” ever again and if I do I might purposely rupture my eardrums. You can youtube videos of Yuno saying that name over and over if you’d like to get an idea of what this show is all about. I actually heard this rumour that they use it as a new torture technique for extracting information from hostages. I hate almost every single character on this show. They are the most annoying cliche ridden characters in anime. I mean the creator of this game is named Deus Ex Machina! I don’t know if the writers did that on purpose just to rub it in or maybe it was supposed to serve as a warning to anyone that might watch the show. If you don’t know what it is, it’s when the writers don’t know what to do next and make up some random plot device to solve the problem and save the day. This show had so many of them and so many “plot twists” that it became absolutely ridiculous. There was no consequence for any characters in this show because if one of them happens to die they almost always come back to life in some way. Maybe they were wearing a good ol’ bullet proof vest, or it looks like they died cause they gave this great death speech then the scene goes black and 10 minutes later you find out that they escaped in the nick of time off screen. This one is my favourite though, the one where someone gets shot, the screen goes black, and it’s all in slow motion, then you find out in a few minutes that they were shot but it just grazed their ear or they’re really hurt but not totally dead yet. Someone gets their hand blown off in an explosion? Oh wow, that’s crazy… good thing in the next scene they’re totally okay and just need a bandage to fix it. Someone gets stabbed? Oh wow that’s crazy… good thing in the next scene they’re totally okay and just need a bandage to fix it. I could keep going on and on, but for the sake of anyone reading this I’ll stop there.

Now I’ll talk about Yuno and Yukki’s “relationship”. It is appalling that anyone could be so stupid as to fall for Yuno. She is clearly a psychopath with more rage issues than me. I don’t care how many times someone says they love you, if they go from loving you to trying to murder you then you need to run in the other direction. There is absolutely no reason why he should ever love her and spend 10 years of his life grieving for her. He says he loved her because “she was always there for him” wow that’s a great reason. Even he knows that her only redeeming quality is that she’s a stalker who is literally always there for him, whether he wants her to be or not.

Look, for 26 episodes there are so many things that drove me absolutely insane and caused me to shout obscenities at my screen. If you’ve agreed with any of my previous posts then you won’t like this show and you should stay away. Please stay away. I don’t want to keep going with this post because I can come up with things I hate all day long. I am just going to give it a score that’s possibly more than it deserves and call it a day. I will be back soon with an anti-rage post to lighten things up a little.

Verdict: 4/10 Needs less existing

Rear Window (1954)

Let’s go back to a simpler time, a time when entertainment comes in the form of watching your neighbours through your window… your rear window. Compared to some of the other movies I’ve seen from the pre-60s era this was pretty surprising. The subject matter isn’t tip-toed around, they fully talk about dismembering a body, burying the parts and cleaning up the bloody mess. Not only was it cool they could go so far but it was a woman saying it. One of the reasons I liked this movie is the fact that Jeff was confined to his wheelchair and was pretty helpless, while the women got to do all the dirty work. Was pretty funny seeing Lisa and Stella climbing up to the garden and Lisa climbing up the fire escape to the window. Woo girl power! Grace Kelly was picture perfect with her hair and makeup, and her character, Lisa, was really deep. She wasn’t just the money obsessed socialite we were led to believe from the beginning. She became as obsessed as Jeff about the crime, and seemed to have fun trying to solve the case and messing with Thorwald. The dialogue felt so real, and it actually made me chuckle a few times. Maybe I’m a simple minded fool but for most of the movie I wasn’t totally sure if Thorwald actually did it or not. I had a hard time predicting how the movie would end which I love more than an ice cold pop on a hot summers day.

Now for the complaints I have! When Jeff is getting manhandled out the window, the neighbours coming out of their building to see gets all sped up. It looks really really bad and in the middle of the climax of the movie it kinda of jolts you out of the moment. There is a possibility that it was just my copy, but from what I can gather this was actually intended. The flashbulb trick was kind of funny too. After the first one or two, if it were me, I would’ve maybe covered my eyes? That part went on a little too long. This next complaint I have is complicated, on the one hand it is really cool that the only sounds comes from inside the movie (people talking, people playing music in the next building etc.). On the other hand, why can Jeff hear everything so clearly? He could hear the conversation in the music guys house as though it was happening in his own apartment. But at the same time he can’t hear Thorwald’s conversation on the phone. How very convenient. Also… killing a dog? You sick son of a bitch! Why didn’t you dig up whatever it was and let the dog live?! What, is he going to tell people there was something there? Killing the dog brought MORE attention to that spot because Jeff and the gang went digging there anyways. Come on! Whew, ok… got that out of my system. This movie starts off really slow and at times I might have been inclined to be bored. However, the last half of the film is superb and made me feel some sort of emotions.

Verdict: 8/10