Friday, May 30, 2014

I can’t help falling in love with ‘Her’…


Some films just come around that explore facets of our being with such organic tenderness we can’t help but nestle into their storytelling arms and rest our heads on their delicately detailed shoulders and just fly away with them, to a part of our souls that sing so sweetly despite the lingering heartbreak we know we are bound to experience.  Heartbreak laced with hope that the future, while seemingly bleak, is not as daunting as we imagine it to be.

‘Beginners’.
‘Once’.
‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’.
‘Lost in Translation’.

And now, we have ‘Her’.  These are all films that, despite their quirky sides or their detailed (and effective) use of gimmicks all bare their hearts on their sleeves in a remarkable natural tone.  There are no unnecessary dramatics, no processed manipulations.  They all embrace the fluidity and organic nature of life itself to create real grounded stories about relationships that blossom and flourish and ultimately come to an end and yet they are never broken, shattered or dire.  There is a beautiful message of hope, of life awakening even in the midst of despair because as human beings, we can move on, we can grow and we can survive.

Vaughn’s oats have been sewn…


As a man, I think it’s safe to assume that I’ve spent quite a few hours of my life lingering in the shower long after I was done getting cleaned up.  It’s just a part of being a guy.  One thing I’ve never done (well, I won’t say never) is tended to particular duties in a public place.  While you may say that a sperm bank isn’t public, it is a place where everyone knows what you are doing behind that closed door.  I have a hard time with that.

True story:

A few years back (quite a few) when my wife and I were attempting to start our family, we visited a fertility doctor and of course the first thing they did was hand me a plastic container and pointed to a small room in the corner of a bigger room that was full of women sitting at desks, all of the desks regrettably facing that small room.  I walked over there and had a very pretty young woman point to a box of ‘magazines’ and tell me to make sure I didn’t get any saliva in the cup.  Not sure what she thought I was going to do in there all by myself, but honest to god she told me that.  Leaving that room and facing all of those women while I was holding this plastic cup in my hands (because I didn’t see the paper bag next to the sink that I was supposed to put it in) was really…well, there are no words truthfully.

I’m not a shy man by any means, but that was awkward.

How Vince Vaughn managed to do that 600+ times is beyond me.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Fistful of Cannes!


I'm so late to this party!  I mean, I was around when the winners were announced, but I left for vacation almost immediately after and so I was not able to get to a computer to discus this at all.  UGH!  I hate when that happens.  I love vacation (honestly, I wish I lived on perpetual vacation) but I kind of hate when it interferes with my awards watching!  Stupid wedding interfered with my live streaming the awards ceremony (but did not deter me from checking Twitter constantly for updates) and vacation has postponed my breakdown of the winners.

So let's get into this!

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Fistful of Links...


Again, I'm sorry to all that I missed linking to last week.  Friday was a shitstorm.  Way too much going on, between fenderbenders, sick children and previous obligations, let alone a surprisingly busy day at work (work is only busy when I have other stuff to do), so it was just not possible to get a list together.

Here are a dozen (yes, I have a weird fascination with the number 12) links to some of my favorite posts of the past two weeks!

The Movie Man gives us 10 film facts about himself.  I smell another blogathon!

Serious Film gives us a quote to live by, and one of the many examples why Paul Sorvino should have won the Oscar for ‘Goodfellas’ instead of Joe Pesci.

Films and Coke gives us 20 reasons to love ‘(500) Days of Summer’…as if we needed any more!

Lime Reviews reviews one of my favorite movies, ‘Harold and Maude’!  Why doesn’t this have a bigger audience?  Ahead of its time?  I think so!

My Filmviews wants to know what films have keep you thinking long after you’ve seen it…

The Movie Scrutineer has interviewed a fresh face who isn’t so fresh by may not be on the tip of your tongue…but should she be?

Mettelray discusses 10 things about the upcoming ‘Gone Girl’ to get us even more excited!

The Cinematic Spectacle has a list of his 25 favorite movie posters!

Tranquil Dreams reviews three films, including one I have opening loathed…Less than Zero!

Two Dollar Cinema has celebrated a birthday!

Dell on Movies has reviewed The Act of Killing, one of the most controversial films of last year.

And So It Begins has given us another amazing Top 10, this time with split screens!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Fistful of Thoughts...about bitter celebrities, a drunk and some moviegasms!


It's been a while since I put one of these up.  I don't know what has happened to my blog these past two weeks, but apparently I'm getting lazy.  I mean, it's the 22nd of the month and I only have 16 posts (this will be the 17th) and I usually try and keep my post/day number the same.  I'm slipping.

These damn kids.  I'm just so tired!

Well, the truth of the matter is that I've been ingesting so many movies lately (young and old) and just haven't had the time to compile all my thoughts and make time to discuss other things, and then when I get a grip on a slew of things I want to talk about I feel like they are slowly becoming old news.

Cry me a river, right?

Well, to make up for the dip in my 'Thoughts' posts, I'm giving you six things to chew on instead of five.  Consider it a bonus, because I'm awesome.

You might want to put your penis away...


I don’t make it a habit of watching pornography.  I mean, I won’t lie, I’ve seen it, and I’ve seen all kinds of it, but it’s always a more ‘spur of the moment’ decision and never something that I make plans to see.  I certainly never pay for it, and I certainly never watch it for its story (I fast-forward that mess).  But, I remember a time when I was in my teens when I would actively seek out movies for their nude scenes.  I mean, I think most every teen has done this.  They even have entire websites dedicated to alerting you to the films and exact moments where a celebrity bares all.  I’ve cruised those sites and I then visited Blockbuster (remember those?) with a list. 

I’m always open to a little (or a lot) of skin.

The difference with this and ‘porn’ is that I expect that this skin is backed up with an interesting story.  So, when tuning in to watch ‘Stranger by the Lake’, I was well aware of the large amounts of nudity and explicit sex (I’m an equal opportunity player here, I’ve made that clear before) but I was also under the impression that the film had a story.

It does not.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Fifth Element...is true BlockBUSTED awesomeness!


When Girl Meets Cinema posted her latest Blogathon at the beginning of the month, I knew exactly what I was going to write about.  B-Grade movies were such a huge part of my teenage years, because they were just so appealing to the average teenage boy.  Things explode, girls are scantily clad, guns are huge and oftentimes the monsters/aliens are just really freaking cool.

For me, there has always been one B movie that is supreme over all the rest, simply because it kind of has everything.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Blind Spot Series 2014: La belle et la bete


Well, it's that time of the month again...time for the next entry in my personal Blind Spot series, and I have to say that this is, by leaps and bounds, my favorite film to be seen so far.  I was super excited to finally get my hands on this beloved classic, and I must say that when I actually compiled my list all those months ago, this was by far the one I was most excited to see.

Please feel free to look up my previous posts on The Shop Around the Corner, Penny Serenade, Sergeant York and Shadow of a Doubt.  Exploring the 40's this year has truly been a real cinematic blessing.

But for now, let's talk about a fairytale!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Trailer Break: Calvary


Moving on from a pointless shoe commercial to one of the single best trailers I've seen in a very long time, Calvary looks remarkable.  Let alone that Gleeson's performance is one of my most anticipated this year, but now this film has shot to the tip top of my most anticipated list.  It looks incredible.  A great mix of sheer drama, intensity and black humor, Calvary looks to have it all.  What do you think?

Trailer Break: Cinderella


My question is...why put out anything at all?  This is just plain stupid.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Fistful of Thoughts...about whiny bitches, bad parents and total divas!


O
M
G

There is just so much shit to talk about.  I had ten subjects, and it's only Tuesday.  I narrowed this down to five, which means that I'm sure another one of these will be coming tomorrow.  I just can't chew that much at one time.  These are by far the juiciest stories anyways, and they are all pretty similar (my god, there was some bitching going on this weekend/week) and while I make it a point to generally speak of films and movie stars first, I just can't NOT talk about this Beyonce/Jay-Z/Salonge drama because it's just the greatest thing to ever happen to celebrity scandal since forever.

Besides, the Knowles girls have both been in movies before, so they sort of count.

Let's do this!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Favorite Movie Titles Blogathon


I love blogathons.  They give me something to do to stretch myself and my blog and offer me new and fun interactive ways to get to know my blogging community better.  I've tried my hand at hosting twice, and with the success I had with the last one I'm anxious to do it again (but that won't be coming until this fall).  More than hosting, I LOVE participating, and so when the rest of us bloggers forced Brittani's hand over at Rambling Film, I was thrilled.  Yup, Brittani is hosting her very first blogathon, so everyone play along so she'll do this again!

The rules are simple:

1) Going through the alphabet, list your favorite movie title beginning with each letter.

2) You don't have to necessarily like the movie to use it's title.

3) Use the banner at the top of this post in yours. 
4) Please have submissions in by Friday, May 23rd. (But I'll be honest, if you send them to me after that date, I'll still add them to my post.)

So, this was harder than I thought it was going to be.  I even decided to stick only to films I've seen...and then only to films that I've reviewed at some point in time...but I currently have 3,346 reviews on my Amazon account and 90% of those are movies...so it's safe to say that this was taking way too long.  I started with the 20's and worked my way up through to the early 90's before I started getting antsy and decided to jump around and just SETTLE.  Some letters were just so hard.

But I want to talk about the letter E for a minute, because it was easily the hardest letter for me to finalize.  Well, it was the easiest and the hardest.  The obvious (and only correct answer) is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which could possibly be the greatest film title of all time, but it hurt like hell to deny film titles like Every Dawn I Die or The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds or Eyes Without a Face!  The letter alone is a bounty of awesome.

I also want to say that I stuck with the English translations for film titles, to make it easier.  It would have been nice to waver, only because the options for j were just so bland, and The Virgin Spring's real title is Jungfrukallan, which is all sorts of awesome, but alas.  Films that are only referred to by their native titles (like Onibaba, which is also awesome) are NOT translated here.  In other words, I went with the title we use here in America.

Let's just get it done, shall we!

Friday, May 9, 2014

My spider sense is tingling…


I can honestly say that I’ve never seen a film quite like ‘Enemy’.  I’ve been sitting on this review for the better part of a week (or two) trying to mull over in my head all the things that could possibly be said about it without looking at anything that anyone else has said about it, because at the end of the day (or at least for a review’s purpose) I’d like these ideas and these thoughts to be my own.

What is weird is that what I take away from a film like ‘Enemy’ almost seems too simple.

Sitting down to watch ‘Enemy’, I had a lot of conflicting feelings.  First, I was fresh off of a very disappointing experience with ‘Prisoners’, which was one of my least favorite films from 2013.  I had zero faith in Denis Villeneuve as a director, and yet the many, MANY faults with ‘Prisoners’ lied more in the script than anything else.  And in that regard, this film was an adaptation of a novel by Jose Saramago, and while I have NOT read this particular novel, I have read ‘Blindness’ and that novel was exceptional.  The film version was not, but there was at least hope here.  So, I was torn, but all the favorable responses to the film made me really anxious to see how it all came together.

I’m still not sure how it came together, but it came together and I kind of loved it!

Sad, sad little fuck...


I’ve been waiting for James McAvoy to make good on his promising start since 2006, but sadly I have yet to see him get the accolades and projects worthy of his talent.  The thing is, I don’t think many people really know who he is.  Despite having been in that Narnia series and despite having headlined some popular films (like X-Men), the majority of the world is unfamiliar with his name.  This is sad, because McAvoy displayed such thick character development in ‘The Last King of Scotland’, and while Whitaker had the flashiest character, it was McAvoy who deserved the accolades that Whitaker received. 

‘Filth’ is not going to change McAvoy’s popularity, mostly because half of the known world will not see it, but it is further proof of the fact that McAvoy deserves a better career.

Why is someone like Ryan Reynolds a household name but James McAvoy is known as “that guy who plays Charles Xavier”?

Once (a week) in a lifetime (movie)…


Who ever thought that it was a good idea for Tobey Maguire to narrate anything?  I mean, have these casting directors ever heard him talk?  Can you honestly tell me that you like listening to his whiney voice tell you everything that you can see clearly and don’t need narrated?  I mean, I absolutely hate narration for the sake of narration (oh, let’s tell a story) but if I have to suffer through someone vocalize every event on the screen, at least make their voice soothing or enjoyable.  When you factor in that the character Maguire is vocalizing is previously portrayed (in a two minute sequence, but still) by Dylan Minnette who has a voice that is drastically deeper than Maguire’s, it all feels so dumb.  I already had to suffer through his terrible narration in ‘The Great Gatsby’, but at least he was a prominent actor there.  Here, he bakes a pie.  They could have got anyone to do that.

I promise, this isn’t a review of Tobey Maguire, the actor that never was.

Anyways, that was the first thought that I had while watching ‘Labor Day’.  The second thought I had was “why is Jason Reitman directing this?”  I ask that because nothing about ‘Labor Day’ feels like a Reitman film, which is odd since he has, until this moment, carried such a distinct style of filmmaking.  ‘Thank Your For Smoking’, ‘Juno’, ‘Up in the Air’, ‘Young Adult’…while all different films all share a very similar tonal structure.  He knows how to make a really biting dramedy.

‘Labor Day’ is not a dramedy.

A Fistful of Links...


Posts that Make Me…

SMILE


It’s DanMay!  French Toast Sunday is highlighting the works of Danny Boyle all month long and is encouraging fellow bloggers to join in the fun!

On the Screen Reviews is all about defending The Grand Budapest Hotel!  Love that movie!

Any salute to the impeccable Charlie Chaplin makes me smile, and Flixchatter has a guest post that honors the legend.

Rambling Film posted her favorite movie titles (A-Z).  Now let’s all convince her to turn this into a blogathon!

THINK

Perspective of a Writer reflects on his personal blogging challenge with a thought-provoking piece on the power of relationships.

Fandango Groovers finds a pretty consistent trend in teen movies these days.  Is there more to that trend though?

Do you want to pay for your movies ‘per-inch’?  My Filmviews poses that question.

Remember the lauded Skyfall?  Of course you do.  PublicTransportation Snob breaks the film down, pro after con.

DEBATE

And So it Begins is breaking down his top ten ACTORS and ACTRESSES that have not been nominated for an Oscar.  Do you agree?  Who do you think has been snubbed?

Flights Tights & Movie Nights is compiling a list of the Top 100 Essential Superhero Movies!  He’s asking for your help in deciding the list, so head on over and voice your opinion on his latest inquiry.

Keith & the Movies posted his Top Five Working Directors.  Do you agree?  Who would you rank in the Top Five?

QUESTION

I’m not questioning anything, because I agree 100%, but hopefully My New Plain Pants post on George Clooney will cause others to question their love for him.

Reel Talk tackles the ever growing trend of fandom!  Are you a fan of this trend?

The Cinematic Spectacle has posted his May Oscar Predictions!

I’ve already linked to this, but I’ll do it again since I love me some Blogathons…but Girl Meets Cinema is hosting Invasion of the B-Movies!  Love them?  Hate them?  Join in!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Fistful of Thoughts...about lesser siblings, leading ladies and overdone cliches!


I was planning on holding off with this until tomorrow, but Two Dollar Cinema just reviewed something that sparked me to want to talk about this now.  Well, obviously not all of it but we might as well unload the whole thing now while we're at it.

This edition of A Fistful of Thoughts has to do with some casting news (or speculation), a lesser Fiennes, a dumb actress, some cool posters and a movie cliche that gets me really, really pissed off.

So let's get into it!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Singing the praises of 1996!

No, I wasn't in a movie in 1996, but I'm awesome and I'm singing, so...

No, the 1996 Fisti Awards are not ready, but they are wrapping up and in the process of wrapping them up I've found that one category in particular is surprisingly VERY hard to narrow down this year.  I'm talking about Original Song.  I say 'surprising' because every year I find myself scrambling to even come up with a top five, let alone a top twelve, and in some years I just gave up the fight altogether and settled on five I felt were respectable enough to nominate despite not being in love with all of them.

But that is not the case in 1996.  

I'm just going to throw it out there, but 1996 may be the single best year for original movie music, ever, and there are two or three entire albums that are the reason for this.

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Fistful of Thoughts...about ambitious directors, fallen angels and a blogathon I'd readily give a B to!


Well, I initially was planning on talking about the new Star Wars cast, but Ruth beat me to it.  Then I was going to talk about Girl Meets World, but Ruth kind of beat me to that as well (thanks to one of her questions and my subsequent answers) and so then I was left a story short and a lack of patience until I stumbled across a blogathon that I just had to raise awareness for, since it sounds amazing.

So now I have five stories!

Five for the Fifth: or my answers to Ruth's questions for the month...


It's already May (where has this year gone?) and it's officially the 5th, and Ruth has offered up another set of interesting questions that range from TV to famous franchises to voluptuous Latinos with a famous couple and a movie trailer thrown in for good measure.

So let's get crackin'!

Friday, May 2, 2014

A Fistful of Links...


Posts That Made Me:

SMILE
Keith & the Movies has been spending the whole week fawning over Casablanca, but here in particular he asks for YOUR voice to be heard.  Let him know what you think of this classic.

Movies and Songs is sharing his current crop of musical interludes, and they are very diverse and worth a gander.

Speaking of music, jdbrecords always has an eclectic and interesting set list prepared for us each Tuesday!

THINK
Which performances slated for 2014 are you most excited over?  Film Actually gives us the twenty he can’t wait to see.

Why you so obsessed with me?  Flixchatter wants to know who you’re obsessed with now.

You ever watch a bad movie that you loved despite it being considered truly awful?  You need to check out Lime Reviews podcast from this week!

DEBATE
Cannes is happening very soon, and Surrender the Void is getting prepared by holding his own Palme d’Or Marathon!  Have you seen all these winners?  Did they deserve the award?

As we ‘re all mourning the loss of the great Bob Hoskins, And So It Begins is breaking down his favorite ‘essential’ performances from the legend.  Which performance is your favorite?

French Toast Sunday puts down her Top Ten performances in a Darren Aronofsky film.  Do you agree?

QUESTION
Two Dollar Cinema finally saw that trainwreck known as The Paperboy causing me to question why I ever defended this…

I just posted my May Oscar Predictions yesterday, and I’m already questioning them thanks to TheAwards Nazi’s current predictions.

The CinematicSpectacle updates his Top 100 Films of All Time, causing me to question whether or not I should finally put one together…

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Oscar Predictions


It may seem ridiculous to update these predictions every month, but it's also a lot of fun for me so deal with it!  Not a whole lot has changed yet (although the festivals are in full swing and early ink is trickling in, so some things are getting shifted) and yet enough is changing to make subtle differences.  My pony is still the same.  I'm riding this Unbroken stallion right on through to Oscar night, unless you know, if breaks its leg in those reviews and winds up getting shot prematurely.  

Some new editions to these predictions include films like The Imitation Game, A Most Dangerous Year and The Homesman, and a few others are getting scattered into the second tier.  Some category confusion has placed some actors (Chastain and Waltz to be exact) on both Supporting and Lead categories (in second tier position) as well.

I fear that my three most anticipated films of the year (Carol, Macbeth and The Water Diviner) are going to be released come 2015, so I'm not currently predicting them for anything, but that will change if word comes that they will make it to this year after all.

So, let's get 'er done!