Monday, June 8, 2015

A Fistful of Thoughts...about pointless stories, ageism, non-celebrities, selling a movie, a swift kick in the balls and the most important movie any parent can see!


Happy Monday everyone!  Time to get back into the swing of all things life related and leave the fun-filled weekend memories behind.  Here's to hoping you had a fun-filled weekend.  Mine was pretty great, can't lie, but it's Monday and work is already starting to look like it's going to be...long, so I'm here to break up that monotony with a little cinematic dishing.  Yup, it's time for A Fistful of Thoughts, and since I'm feeling generous today I'm going to talk about six things instead of five!

Apparently, my coffee is kicking in.


Let's get this thing started by talking about The Walk.  Ok, so word on the street is that The Walk is opening NYFF this year, which is a pretty big deal (previous openers included The Social Network, Life of Pi and Captain Phillips) but in the wake of this news, we got this trailer:


Looks good, right?  Yeah, but I have an issue here.  Having just recently watched Man on Wire (and loved it) for our 4 Ways a Best Picture Bloggers Roundtable, I'm scratching my head trying to understand the point of this film.  This trailer makes this film feel so pointless to me.  Man on Wire was so incredible because it incorporated such life into this story, with all the reenactments and Petit's bubbling personality, and it told the story with such thrill and excitement.  I'm not saying that this trailer doesn't look thrilling or exciting, but it looks like a carbon copy of the documentary.  Same scenes, same tone, same story, the only difference being the 3D visuals.  I'm sorry, but I see no reason for this movie to exist.  Man on Wire was practically a live action movie to begin with, so I just can't with this.  It truly looks like scenes from Man on Wire were spliced together with Joseph Gordon Levitt's face CGI'd over the face of the actor from the documentary.  I will say this, it looks visually impressive and JGL's accent work is spot on, so there's that, but I'd rather just go watch Man on Wire again.

Let's move on to more ageism/sexism talk in Hollywood, because, well, there's always something new to baffle our minds.  So, I was reading this article that was highlighting the massive age gaps between actresses like Scarlett Johansson and her leading men and it contained a link to an interview where Maggie Gyllenhaal states that she was told she was too old to play the love interest of a 55 year-old actor.  She's 37.  This bothers me for so many reasons, but just the audacity to use that as an excuse not to cast one of the best actresses of her generation (like, for real, she is incredible) is just gross.  It saddens me that while her brother is finding his footing in the industry as he ages, she is be shoved out the door (and let's be honest here, pre-2012, Maggie was the sibling with the FAR more impressive resume and overall body of work).  When will this end.  Is Hollywood going to literally going to force all of our greats not named Meryl Streep into retirement before they hit 40?  Like, Maggie needs her Oscar, and not for playing someone's grandmother!  I want to know which project this was for so I can vocally boycott it, because I will!

Funny to speak of forced retirement, when we have an actress declaring her own 'acting hiatus' so she can make more people uncomfortable.  Yup, Gwyneth Paltrow says she's not going to act for a year so she can focus on her 'lifestyle brand' (you know, GOOP) that everyone hates.  This is so weird to me because, like, does anyone associate Paltrow with acting anymore?  I'm asking this seriously, because she's crossed over into this stage in her career where she's mainly talked about because of the stupid shit she says and not the films she's part of.  Even her role as Pepper Potts in Iron Man, which sparked interest in her acting once again, was quickly overshadowed by the inclusion of Scarlett Johansson, and so I kind of forgot that she had a scene or two in the sequels.  It's a shame, because I find Paltrow to be a far more interesting actress than celebrity, but she seems more intent on creating a world where she can force everyone into hating her.  This is all so baffling to me.  Maybe she is just completely unaware of the world around her.

Next, watch this:


Yes, that is the official trailer for Ridley Scott's upcoming sci-fi thriller, The Martian.  I don't know how I feel about this.  I mean, I hated Interstellar but I loved Gravity, so these types of stories are somewhat hit or miss with me, and yet this looks somewhat like an amalgam of the two films and so I'm cautiously optimistic.  Ridley Scott has also been sucking a lot lately, so I'm starting to lose all hope that he'll turn it around and produce something wonderful again.  

I also wish that this hadn't happened:


Remember those incredible viral videos made to promote Prometheus, the ones staring Michael Fassbender as David?  Yeah, this is not that.  No, this is boring as fuck and shows absolutely no personality or any kind of charm or charisma or even, like, anything at all.  This was a bad move.  But apparently they are really trying to sell the crap out of this movie.  There is even going to be a live Twitter chat on IMDB with Drew Goddard and Andy Weir (screenwriter and novelist respectively) today with regards to this film, so...

Lol, did you read about how only two people showed up to the first US screening of United Passion, the new FIFA movie starring Tim Roth.  This made me laugh, especially since I haven't heard of the movie and don't care about soccer at all and, like, apparently there is scandal in the soccer world that is causing people to not want to see this movie (that, and the reviews are SLAUGHTERING IT)...but like, now I do want to see this.

Or maybe I don't.

And lastly (I know, this post is long), I just wanted to raise awareness to a doc that I'm sure some of you (maybe all of you) have at least heard of, but you may not have taken the time to see yet; Bully.  After watching this film last week (and bawling like a baby for two hours), I planned on dedicating an entire post to this film (and I may eventually do that), but time is not my friend and so I wanted to just get this out there.  See this movie.  If you  are a parent, especially, SEE THIS MOVIE!  Bullying is something that we are all aware of, and if we've been to school ourselves we've either seen it happen or have maybe even been a part of it ourselves (whether we've been bullied or done the bullying), but recent years are rough and this is genuinely getting worse and worse.  The film exposes the effects of bullying by interviewing and following a school year in the lives of a handful of kids (ages vary) and what is uncovered here is truly heartbreaking.  I'll forewarn you, this is not an easy watch (to see children threaten to murder young kids, stab kids with pencils, hear kids breakdown and cry over the abuse they face, to watch a young kid at as pallbearer for his 11-year old friend who committed suicide over the bullying...fuck, I'm crying right now) but it is, in my eyes, the most important film of this current decade.  I've got three kids, two of them are school age (my eldest just completed second grade and my middle child starts kindergarten this year) and this further cemented in my mind the fact that they will never attend public school.  Children are vicious, and bullying is no joke.  Our children are in fragile states already, battling emotions they don't understand and dealing with growing up and finding their footing, and to have all of that threatened, scrutinized, condemned and prodded at the hands of their peers is life scarring.  The reaction from the principle in this movie made me want to hit things.  I just...seriously, see this movie.  There are no words I've ever heard more powerful and more life-altering than, "My son will be 11 years-old forever"...but we truly need to do something in order for those words to have the meaning they deserve to have.

You can also follow the film's director here and the movement here.

That's all from me, now it's time to hear from you!

Also...

Here's What I'll Be Reading Today:
Steven reviews Tom at the Farm
Andrew breaks down the 1979 Supporting Actress nominees
French Toast Sunday drools all over Bryce Dallas Howard
Myerla reviews Ex Machina
Andy talks Bond potential spin-offs
Matt FYC's the crap out of Rose Byrne
Anna compares book to movie with Far From the Madding Crowd
Shane gives us his Top Ten Movie Villains of All Time
and finally...
Britt breaks down the Duggar interviews!

42 comments:

  1. That is horrible 37 year-old Maggie Gyllenhaal was told she was too old to play the love interest of a 55 year-old actor. Who will they cast instead, someone who is young enough to be his granddaughter!? booo! I hope Maggie finds some other people to work with.

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    1. Yeah, she's such a bright talent and so the fact that she's already being shoved aside is just gross.

      They'll probably cast Jennifer Lawrence.

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  2. Lots of interesting statements. The stuff about ageism is curious because as you said, calling a 37-year-old "too old" to play the love interest of a 55-year old man has some disturbing implications. What also comes to mind is that there may be some double standards and inconsistencies at play. After all, Jessica Chastain is only a year older and nobody seems to have any objections to giving her leading roles in Hollywood blockbusters.

    I still haven't had a chance yet to see the trailer for The Martian. I didn't even realize until you pointed it out that it was a film (I honestly thought it was a television series) and that Ridley Scott was behind it. I might be in the small minority of people that didn't hate Prometheus but I can still see a lot of the problems with that particular film. I suppose it is possible that doing something different in the sci-fi genre might give it a chance (after all, Ridley's two big science fiction films, Alien and Blade Runner, were drastically different stories). On the other hand, it does have some good actors in it. Jessica Chastain seems to be great everything so even if the rest of the movie ends up being terrible at least she'll be there, I guess.

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    1. Chastain is having her moment, which is nice for her, and she's super ambitious, but even her reaction to her age (she lied about it a few years ago and flipped out when her actual age was revealed) goes to show just how effed up the ageism is in Hollywood these days. I should say, 'ageism/sexism' because older actors get great roles ALL THE TIME!

      And I really, really hope that Scott performs well on this one. It could be great.

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  3. Maggie Gyllenhaal...ugh...that sucks. And it's really ridiculous. And a shame.

    I agree on how great Man on Wire is, but there is a purpose for The Walk. It exists for all those folks out there who either refuse to watch documentaries, or generally don't pay attention to them. They may not have even heard of Man on Wire. For us, the only thing it could really add is seeing the actual walk happen with various angles, close ups, and maybe some shaky cam, which the doc couldn't do. It gave us some stills, and used them well, but not any video footage.

    Watched Bully a year or two ago with my family...yeah...that was tough. Went through an episode a couple weeks ago where my daughter was cyber-bullied in a public forum. That's hard to deal with, for both parent and child, but I think we got through it. FYI, still be very aware because bullying goes on in private school, too.

    Great post. Thanks for giving us much to chew on.

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    1. So sorry to hear about your daughter. It's such a terrible shame what kids have to face these days. Why can't we all just get along.

      And we're home schooling. I like having my kids in my care at all times. I just don't trust people...

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  4. Ridley Scott isn't a flawless director but he never missed with sci-fi. I expect that The Martian will be great, you can't hire so many great actors if your film is shitty. I'll read the book to see what's the movie about.

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    1. Unfortunately, there are plenty of shitty movies with incredible casts...and you just have to look at Ridley Scott's last few films to see that. I mean, The Counselor was atrocious, and that had Bardem, Pitt, Diaz, Cruz, Fassbender and Ganz. Still, you are correct about his track record with sci-fi. I even liked (not love) Prometheus, so I'm intrigued and hopeful with The Martian.

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  5. I'm psyched for The Walk for obvious reasons. But the film is necessary because not enough people watch documentaries, unfortunately. Some have probably never even hears of Man on Wire. Maybe they'll seek it out after seeing this. I lovw JGL's accent. I knew he'd nail it, he loves the French.

    The ageism drives me nuts. I read Melissa McBride, who plays Carol on The Walking Dead wishes she dyed her grey hair before she started because of the crap she gets. Grey doesn't equal old. People need to stfu. Also Maggie Gyllenhaal too young to play a 55 year old's love interest. Fuck yoooouuuuu.

    Thanks for the link. I look forward to your Duggar thoughts.

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    1. JGL looks great in that trailer, so I'm curious as to how he works it through the whole film.

      More people need to see Man on Wire!

      Those Duggars...just...UGH!

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  6. Hey Drew!! I feel the same way about 'The Walk', I think I'd rather just watch 'Man on Wire' which surely is more accurate anyway.

    It's abominable what the studios are doing to women past 30, it's just sickening to see the likes of Emma Stone being paired w/ Colin Firth, etc who are twice her age!! Seriously, that NEED TO CHANGE, and SOON!

    Btw, I have seen Bully at TCFF a couple of years ago, in fact the social cause of that year is about fighting bullying. So yeah, a must see documentary for sure!

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    1. Yeah, Bully is essential viewing. Such a poignant reminder that we can't turn a blind eye to what is happening in the room down the hall from our own. Crushing.

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  7. I'm not a huge Maggie Gyllenhaal fan, I don't dislike her it's just that her name in the cast list neither pulls me in nor keeps me away, but realistically she is at a perfect age to co-star with and be believable as a romantic interest for a 55 year old-if not even a little young.

    I doubt that I'll see The Walk, heights and I are not friends-I barely made it though the trailer, and while I like JGL he sounds like Pepe Le Pew. I know Jean DuJardin is too old for the role but there has to be a current young French actor who would have made sense in the part.

    That item about Paltrow contains good and bad news. The good is that she is retiring from acting, the bad she's coming back! I've liked her in exactly one film, Emma, and find her wan and rather noxious in everything else. Strange since I love her mother Blythe Danner and think she is an actress of near infinite variety, the apple fell very far from the tree there. All of that doesn't even take into account her private self where she seems odious in her gauche entitlement and clueless boorishness. She could stay away forever and I'd whistle a happy tune. Now if only Kristen Scott-Thomas would decide to end her self imposed retirement that would be cause for rejoicing.

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    1. Oh, I love Gyllenhaal. From Secretary to Happy Endings to Sherrybaby to World Trade Center to Frank...she's just so good, so diverse in her talents. I've always preferred her to her more famous brother.

      DuJardin needs more work.

      And YES to Kristen Scott-Thomas coming back to us. I hate that she's 'retired'. She is one of the all time greats...like...one of the ALL TIME greats, and I'm not ready for her to leave us for good!

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  8. The film "The Walk" looks scary since I have a phobic fear of heights. I want to see Man on Wire because it just scares me and someone that nuts thought it is fun to walk between 2 buildings on a tiny little wire just because...Crazy!!! I am getting bored with these outer space movies (not Star Trek) where they face a major crisis. They seem to take something that is good and then beat it to death. The other are Zombie flicks. The film about bullying is something that would be very, very painful for me to watch. I was bullied from grade school until I started University. It went into overdrives when I went to high school. The words you wrote hit home for me and can still bring an unease in me even though it has been over 30 years. I was severely bullied. The boys were lined up in one hall and told me how ugly I was and to wear a bag over my head. they would fake throwing up and spit on me. The kids tried to trip me and every year I ended up in the hospital because they tried to break my fingers but, due to my joint problem, my fingers were just severely sprained. There were also these girls who lifted me off the floor by my neck and told me to watch out because they were going to slice my neck from ear to ear and they would try to get me to commit suicide because everyone would be better off. Needless to say it affected me. My beautiful mom was there for me and made sure I was aok through it all. Love can do wonders. Now on a lighter note, if we can just get Paltrow to actual shut up and start acting

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    1. My heart is breaking for you Birgit, literally. Being the father of two girls, I can't imagine the pain you and your family must have felt, and I don't want to. I'm so glad you were able to pull through though! So many children, unfortunately, give up.

      And yes, I'm with you on the fatigue of 'outer space disasters'. It will be nice when Hollywood moves on.

      And Paltrow...good lord!

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  9. I am a football/soccer fan and following the FBI investigation into FIFA you can call it soccer as much as you want because I am forever in your debt.

    I hate FIFA, I haven't even seen this film and hate it because I know its some disgusting vanity project that outright lies about the organization.

    I mean in what fucking world is Qatar a suitable host, in the summer temperatures can be a high as 45 degree centigrade, in what world is
    this safe? Now it's being played in the winter (screwing up European leagues for two-three seasons) but I haven't even mentioned the multitude of other reasons why Qatar is completely unsuitable to host a World Cup event.

    This film also tries to paint Sepp Blatter (the now ex-head of FIFA) as a hero when he has previously said that gay people should refrain from sexual activities when they go to Qatar and to get people interested in soccer women to wear shorter shorts. The man is either as corrupt as FIFA itself to just plain incompetent.

    John Oliver sums up the hatred for FIFA pretty well

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlJEt2KU33I&feature=youtu.be

    apologies for the swearing, the mini rant (it was longer, but the message wasn't sent for some reason) and thanks for the shout out!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. This film also tries to paint Sepp Blatter (the now ex-head of FIFA) as a hero when he has previously said that gay people should refrain from sexual activities when they go to Qatar and to get people interested in women's soccer women should wear shorter shorts. The man is either as corrupt as FIFA itself or just plain incompetent.

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    3. Thanks for the elaboration! Rant totally welcomed. I enjoy reading through someone else's passion, even if I don't fully understand it. This film seems like an ill-advised project. No wonder only two people showed up!

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  10. Thanks for the link love. I'm going to start serious work on my Dolan piece tomorrow.

    Maggie is too old to play a 50-something's girlfriend? BOO!!!

    Gwyneth Paltrow can go eat shit for all I fucking care.

    I do wanna see The Walk even though I know it will never be Man on Wire.

    I heard about that movie from FIFA, I read the 0-star review from the Dissolve. It's hilarious. It's good it's getting trashed as I saw John Oliver's rant on FIFA which is hilarious.

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    1. I can't wait to read your Dolan piece!!!

      And yeah, the reviews for that FIFA movie are brutal...and so funny!

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  11. The Walk, I doubt I will see in theaters. Not because it looks terrible, but I have a fear of heights and I don't want to get vertigo.

    Being 37 yet too old to play the love interest of a 55-year old? That's quite sad.

    If Paltrow were to retire from acting tomorrow, I wouldn't be disheartened. I mean, she is a good, actress, but her being out of touch is slowly getting under my skin.

    I had my doubts about The Martian at first because of Ridley Scott's spotty track record as of late. But the trailer has me pretty sold.

    I actually caught Bully, but not in its entirety. That'll change soon, though. I myself was a victim of bullying in middle school so I know how rough it is and that it must especially be hard for you as a parent. It's especially frightening knowing that kids can be so abusive on social media and not just in someone's face.

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    1. Yeah, the social media aspect of bullying is terrifying to me, because it gets so personal and the majority of people feel like there are no real repercussions for what you post on the internet, and so they don't hold back.

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    2. Exactly. A long while ago, I heard about these two girls who wrote nasty things on the Internet about a classmate who committed suicide and then got arrested. Serves them right. But you want to know what's more unfortunate? Those two girls are 12 and 14 years old.

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    3. Yup. There is just no morals anymore. Kids are just as ruthless and cruel and disgusting as adults. Makes me sick.

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  12. I think The Walk looks very intriguing, but I never got around to watching the doc. Maybe I'll make it a double feature?

    I'm with you on Paltrow. She really used to be someone to watch. Now? Eh. I'm even tired of Pepper Potts...or whatever her name is.

    BULLY! I showed my students this movie one year, and essentially had to watch it ALL DAY. And still...it makes me an inconsolable shell of a person. So brutally compelling...

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    1. Man on Wire is pretty incredible.

      Fucking Bully...ugh...that movie...inconsolable shell for sure, and I'm sure it's worse for you, being a teacher and seeing most of it first hand.

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    2. Yeah, man,. And when I saw it, all I could think of was my won son going through that kind of stuff. It kind of broke me down.

      By the way, great comment at my site. Thanks for reading.

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    3. Yeah, it broke me because my daughter is now nearly 8 and her friends, for the most part, are about two years older than her and that age gap is starting to show considerably to the point where I've caught her best friend (supposed) picking on her and talking bad about her behind her back and it literally hurts my heart.

      Being a parent fucking sucks!

      And you're so welcome. I love discovering parts of blogs I hadn't seen before, especially since we've only been blogging friends for a little over a year, and so there's a lot you have that I haven't read yet.

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    4. My son finished Kindergarten yesterday, and the shit he tells me is gut-wrenching. I find myself hoping he's exaggerating way too much.

      Yep. It's the worst. And best.

      Hell yeah. Feel free to drop me anything at anytime. You ask, I'll look, you know?

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    5. The worst-and the best is the best way to describe parenthood.

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  13. I thought seriously about seeing Bully when it came out, but I balked. I know it will be tough for me, especially since I heard one of the kids portrayed was on the autism spectrum and was constantly tormented by his peers. One of the reasons we started homeschooling was that one of my kids is on the autism spectrum and suffers anxiety, and life at school can be a living hell for kids outside the norm. :-(

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    1. I don't recall a story about a child with autism, but one of the kids may have been and it was just not outright addressed. You may be able to pick up on that better than me.

      Regardless though, it's a rough watch, but you homeschool so it's not as pressing a watch (although, I've noticed the beginnings of bullying between the child friends in my church, so this is still a really poignant film...since bullying is everywhere).

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    2. It's sad to hear that this is happening in your church, but I guess it's inevitable. At least church is a family-centered setting versus having someone else in loco parentis for 6 hours a day. This gives parents the chance to see what's going on and work through it with their kids.

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    3. Exactly! I'm there with my kids...I can see it, monitor it and make sure it gets nipped. Thankfully, my daughter hasn't even caught on yet...she still thinks her 'friends' are awesome.

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  14. Huh. Given how I find it gross to be with anyone younger or my age, it sounds I've gotta go to Hollywood cause this brand of sexism would make it my little paradise :) But it is gross, the crap that women have to deal there with.

    Paltrow is the worst. I hope her wood fired oven explodes in her face.

    Given the recent developments on Thrones I don't think I'll see Bully as I'm gonna be watching comedies and Tom Hardy movies exclusively for the coming weeks to aid my PTSD

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    1. I'll be getting my first Thrones disc next week!!!

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  15. Yeah, The Walk doesn't look that interesting when compared to Man on Wire, which might be my favorite doc. Plus the makeup on JGL looks atrocious.

    Really? Ugh, how can you NOT cast Maggie Gyllenhaal?!

    I haven't associated Paltrow with acting for a while, but she killed it in the late 90's and in Two Lovers.

    I loved both Gravity and Interstellar, so I'm cautiously optimistic about The Martian as well (marketing aside). Though, it'd be weird if I nominate Damon when Bullock just misses my '13 lineup. :(

    Not sure what I think of the Roth movie. Meh.

    I really need to see Bully, even if it's a difficult watch.

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    1. Right! Every movie could benefit from a little Maggie Gyllenhaal!

      I really hope, for Scott's sake, that The Martian is good.

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