Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sons of Anarchy Season 4 Review

Before you check out my review, I suggest you go read this in-depth interview Kurt Sutter did with Alan Sepinwall  

Why are fans (including myself) so frustrated with this show after 4 seasons?

[Spoilers for Sons of Anarchy Season 4 ahead]

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Ides of March (2011): Film Review

The latest George Clooney directed film is less political thriller and more a comment on the standards of integrity we, as Americans say we value, but how we quickly push them aside without even realizing it.

There isn't much point in discussing this film without spoilers.  If you don't want spoilers, but still want a recommendation, I will tell you that it is worth your time to see this movie.

[Spoilers Ahead]

50/50 (2011): Film Review

A film about a young man being diagnosed with cancer is somehow incredibly funny and dramatic at the same time.

Adam Lerner (Gordon-Levitt) is a young man with an apparently good job, a house, a hot girlfriend (Dallas Howard), and a best friend (Rogen).  Then he is diagnosed with cancer of the spine.  The film deals Lerner's journey from diagnosis to the day he learns about whether or not chemotherapy will save his life.  His journey shows how the various relationships Lerner has in his life change and develop the longer Lerner lives with the cancer.  The film almost perfectly balances comedy and drama as the relationships play out on screen.

[Spoilers Ahead]

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Brief NBC Comedies Reviews: Community, The Office, Parks & Recreation, and Up All Night

i don't have enough to say about any of those shows to warrant an individual post for any of them, as each of the season (or series) premieres seemed more like table setting episodes for the rest of their seasons.

The Office: I don't want to judge yet as it is far too early, but this episode was not very funny...and when it was funny, it was mostly just a side gag as opposed to any character/storyline driven humor.

Community: A fun episode where I was glad to see John Goodman and Michael K. Williams.

Parks & Rec: I question the wisdom of putting Leslie and Ben together if they were just going to break them up in the Season 4 premiere...we shall see how it plays out though

Up All Night: I'm going to stick around for at least through Christmas too see what this show turns into as the pilot was solid and the cast is pretty damn great...Maya Rudolph seems to be a character from 30 Rock though, instead of a dramedy about raising a baby

Moneyball 2011: Review

An Oscar Nomination worthy performance from Pitt carries this film to be one of my favorites of the year

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 8 Thoughts

After the heights reached by Larry David, Jerry Seinfeld, and company in the seventh season of Curb, it was near-impossible for David to create the same level of magic this season.

Drive 2011: Review

I've decided that I only I really want to write reviews of shows and movies where I feel like have something unique to say, or at least I have a point that I feel is worthy of sharing.  Writing about something just because I can, is a waste of yours and my time (besides, Roger Ebert does that for movies and Alan Sepinwall does that TV, and I can't do it better than them).  With that said, if you're looking for reasons to see Drive, you can go to a million other places because here you will only find frustration.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thor 2011: Review

Of all the films that were designed to introduce one of the major characters from The Avengers, this seems like the biggest cash in/advertisement for the 2012 mega-picture.  This movie felt like a 3 hour epic that was cut down to 2 hours, and in the process, all the heart of the film was taken out, and all that was left was uninteresting action.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Strong Ensemble Somewhat Wasted in Plot Heavy Film

Contagion is dutifully directed by sometimes artist, sometimes hack Steve Soderbergh, in a crisp, efficient, if emotionless manner.  The movie is about a disease rapidly spreading with the potential of wiping out a good chunk of the world's population.  Usually in a giant disaster movie, films primarily follow a family; people who are at risk of exposure and lack the means to save themselves.  This film instead primarily focuses on a few government workers trying to come up to a solution.


Friday, September 9, 2011

The Debt

The Debt was easily becoming my favorite film of 2011, and just an all around great movie...then the last 3 minutes of movie aired and this movie went from great to lazy.  Let this film serve as an example for how to ruin a great movie with a terrible ending.

Maybe I'm wrong, and maybe you should just see it for yourself.  I'll just leave you with a brief synopsis and some scattered thoughts on the performances.  This ending really through me for a loop; I was all prepared to start promoting this movie as my favorite of the year.  Oh, well.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Louie Season 2 Finale Thoughts (w/ Chris Rock!)

"Waive to me dummy"  
"I will wait for you!"

What a perfect end to one of the finest seasons of a sitcom ever.  Louis C.K. is no doubt a television auteur; he has created a television program that needs to be passed down for generations to come.  It is art.  Uncompromising Art.

Batman Begins

The film that saved Batman

It's easy now to expect another great Batman movie next year, but in 2005, I had never seen a truly great Batman movie (or even a good one as far as I am concerned).  The Tim Burton films were not for me and the Joel Schumacher films were not for anyone, not even Schumacher's mother*.  Christopher Nolan flew in like a hero and saved fans of the greatest comic book character of all time from only having memories of uninspired interpretations of the Caped Crusader.

* I can't confirm this but I would like to think that it is true

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sons of Anarchy Season 4 Premiere Thoughts

I'm not living off my wife.  I can't.

Season 2 of SoA seemed to indicate that the latest great television show had graced our screens.  Season 2 was a roller coaster of emotions, where the audience was living and dying with the characters.  Season 2 ended on a cliffhanger of limitless potential, as Jax's son was kidnapped by an Irish thug and smuggled to Ireland in an act of delusional revenge.  Everyone was excited for season 3, but that season failed to live up to the promise of season 2, and it left many fans and critics lukewarm on the show (although everyone pretty much agreed that the last 15 minutes of the finale was damn fucking great).

Episode Review:

Red State

An admirable failure

Monday, September 5, 2011

Internet Issues over...more posts coming

Hurricane Irene gave me internet issues, but all back to normal now...posts are coming back soon (tomorrow hopefully)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Space Jam

Michael Jordan + Looney Tunes + Bill Fucking Murray = Incredible Time Capsule Item

I don't even know what to say about this movie. Space Jam is the synergy of the NBA and Warner Bros. to create a product to simultaneously hype the return of Michael Jordan to the NBA, play into the perfect image of the Michael Jordan character that advertisers count on, and restore the marketability of Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes. It is not art in any way, shape or form. It is a commercial.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Gung Ho

Entertaining but still fairly racist and lazy

A Japanese car company comes to American to save an American plant and the jobs of everyone in a small town.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Thing

After watching the miserable failure that was Don't be Afraid of the Dark, it was nice to finally watch The Thing, so that I can enjoy a proper horror film. While not flawless, The Thing is a great piece of horror entertainment that I recommend everyone see as soon as they can (even if they have to spend money on it!).

Friday, August 26, 2011

Don't Be Afraid of the Dark

Instead, be afraid of Katie Holmes trying to act

What an incredibly poor movie and a waste of money this was. In order for a scary movie to properly work, the audience must have an emotional connection to the main characters, or the characters who are being subjected to the horror. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark fails at this miserably. A little girl is the main character and she is spoiled, stubborn, obnoxious, ungrateful, etc. She brings on all of the bad things that happens to her, her father (Guy Pearce), and her soon to be step-mother (Katie Holmes). So, when her actions create the horror situation, we, in no way, shape, or form, do not feel sympathy for her.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Independence Day

I have a confession to make. I may be a little snobbish when it comes to movies and TV shows, but Independence Day is probably the movie I have seen more than any other movie. I saw it in theaters with my dad when I was 7, I own it on VHS (and I have probably watched it a dozen times there), and I watch it every time it is on TV (such as this morning). Why do I do this? Because it is a fun movie.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Date Night

Date Night is one of the laziest movies I have ever seen. It has an insultingly stupid script, the most obvious mainstream musical choices for the soundtrack, and it completely forgoes substance in favor of popular Film/Television actors and actresses distracting the viewers from the uninspired story and filming choices. Luckily for Date Night, they hired very charismatic, up for anything, actors and actress.

Steve Carell and Tina Fey have such a natural chemistry that you can't but help root for them. As insulting as the premise is, that suburbia is the doomed place that boring married people go (and the city in turn is the place of danger and excitement), Carell and Fey manage to overcome that most of the time. And to their benefit, they are constantly surrounded by other great comedic actors like Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Mila Kunis, Ray Liotta, William Fichtner, and J.B. Smoove who add some spice to all their scenes they are in. Franco and Kunis in particular have show-stealing scene as a pair of criminals that Carell and Fey are confused for.

In no way would I recommend spending money on this movie, but it's been all over HBO recently so if you are looking for an easy movie to watch, there are worst ways to spend your time.

Rating: 5/10

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

If someone were to write down the plot of this movie and then I read it, I would say that this movie would be horrible. However, somehow, this movie was a great summer entertainment. I'm not sure if it is an 'OK' 'good movie or just a 'GREAT' 'bad' movie, but either way, I had fun watching it.

I think we finally found a motion-capture performance worthy of Oscar love. On the degree of difficulty scale, Andy Serkis' performance would have to be considered the most impressive performance of the year. While the technology allowed for the audience to suspend their disbelief, and believe that it was actually an ape on screen, it was the humanity in the ape that gave the audience an emotional connection to the movie. It is that performance that makes the movie work.

Having said that, there are a number of things wrong with the movie. James Franco had his least inspired performance in years; Franco was never meant to play conventional roles completely straight. He is not actually bad in the movie, he just does not really add anything to the movie. The movie also does not take advantage of the solid supporting character actors, John Lithgow and Brian Cox. So much more could have been done with them. Finally, Tom Felton, more famous for being Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, is so bad here that I fear he may never act again.

Movie Rating: 7/10

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Breaking Bad Season 4 Update at the Half-Way Point

It seems to me that Breaking Bad has been slowly building this season to an explosive conclusion. While we know there will be 16 more episodes after this season, so many elements are being to built to come to a head by this season's end. Walter and Skyler's relationship is connected by a rickety bridge. Gus and Mike are slowly driving a wedge between Walter and Jesse. Walter's self destructive tendencies seem to be on the way of crossing paths with Hank's growing frustration with his paralyzed state (thus a desire to make himself feel useful). I sense that at least one (if not more) of these elements will reach some sort of conclusion between now and the season's end.

Breaking Bad, much like Justified and Sons of Anarchy when they are at their bests, has created an atmosphere where you feel like at any moment, something horrible is going to happen to any of the characters. This atmosphere has been earned though; it's not a false feeling built from sloppy and impatient writing. It's earned by creating charismatic and compelling characters that the audience is attached to despite the wickedness of their ways. I don't know where Breaking Bad is heading for the rest of this season but I can't wait to find out.

Posts are coming soon...