Thursday, January 10, 2013

Oscar Nominations

Wow... I'm really disappointed by the nominations this year.

Best Movie
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained 
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Glad to see Beasts of the Southern Wild included and I haven't seen or really heard anything about Amour so it's nice to see the Academy stretching out but where is The Sessions? No Golden Globe love and no love from the Academy. A bit disappointing. 

Best Lead Actor
Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln
Hugh Jackman for Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix for The Master
Denzel Washington for Flight

Denzel for Flight? Really? Joaquin? He doesn't even like awards so why honor him with a nomination when John Hawkes isn't even on the list? I'd even like to see Matthew McConaughey for Magic Mike on this list over Joaquin. 

Best Lead Actress
Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva for Amour
Quvenzhane Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts for The Impossible

This is a good list. I would've liked to have seen Keria Knightley nominated for Anna Karenina but I'm not mad about it. 

Best Supporting Actor
Alan Arkin for Argo
Robert De Niro for Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master
Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln
Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained

I would've gone with Christoph over Leo DiCaprio as well for this category. I'm glad DeNiro made the cut when he didn't for the Globes. But I still would've liked to see Javier Bardem for Skyfall. It just bugs me that he won't get that recognition. Plus Tom Holland, who played the oldest son in The Impossible should be on this list. He was incredible. Or Russell Crowe? Where is he at in all of this? Not on the list I can tell you that much. 

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams for The Master
Sally Field for Lincoln
Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables
Helen Hunt for The Sessions
Jacki Weaver for Silver Linings Playbook

Jacki Weaver replaces Nicole Kidman from Globes to Oscar but I like this list. 

Best Director
Michael Haneke for Amour
Ang Lee for Life of Pi
David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook
Steven Spielberg for Lincoln
Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild

Where the hell is Ben Affleck for Argo? I can't BELIEVE he didn't make this list!! I'll nominate you for Best Movie but you're directing had nothing to do with it?!? Same goes for the snub of Tarantino. I just can't believe it... And where is Joe Wright??? His ambitious take on Anna Karenina alone should've guaranteed him a spot as a nominee.  This category is BEYOND frustrating!! No Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty. No Tom Hooper for Les Miserables. What the hell is going on here?!?!

Best Original Screenplay
Amour - Michael Haneke
Django Unchained - Quentin Tarantino
Flight - John Gatins
Moonrise Kingdom - Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola
Zero Dark Thirty - Mark Boal

Good list. No qualms over this one.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Argo - Chris Terrio
Beasts of the Southern Wild - Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin
Life of Pi - David Magee
Lincoln - Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook - David O. Russell

No Les Miserables? Seriously? Ugggg!

Best Animated Movie
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

I only saw two of them (still need to see Frankenweenie) but a really solid list.

Best Foreign Language Movie
War Witch
A Royal Affair

Best Original Score
Anna Karenina  - Dario Marianelli
Argo - Alexandre Desplat
Life of Pi - Mychael Danna
Lincoln - John Williams
Skyfall - Thomas Newman

Very good list of nominees. I don't even care who really wins this one.  Although I do miss Brave. What a great score that was. And I'm wondering about the exclusion of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Is it because it borrows on themes from the same composer's other work about the same world/topics? Because that makes total sense (read: sarcasm). 

Best Original Song
"Before My Time" on Chasing Ice by J. Ralph
"Suddenly" on Les Miserables by Alain Boubil, Claude-Michel Schonberg and Herbert Kretzmer
"Pi's Lullaby" on Life of Pi by Mychael Danna and Bombay Jayshree
"Skyfall" on Skyfall by Adele and Paul Epworth
"Everybody Needs a Best Friend" on Ted by Walter Murphy and Seth McFarlane

So Adele does get included when Clint Mansell wasn't even a consideration for Black Swan. I wonder what they're excuse is. It's a beautiful song, don't get me wrong. But what I like most about it IS the use of the original James Bond theme by Monty Norman. Really makes me wish Ted wins it. 

Anyway... those are the categories I'm going to be paying the most attention to. I'm hoping The Hobbit rakes in a fair amount in the technical categories. An Unexpected Adventure isn't going to be the best of the trilogy so I can wait a few more years for those amazing people to get their due diligence. Here are the rest of the categories if you're interested.  PS: I laughed every time I typed Snow White and the Huntsman and Prometheus. Lol

Best Cinematography
Anna Karenina
Django Unchained
Life of Pi

Best Editing
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

Best Production Design
Anna Karenina
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables
Life of Pi

Best Costume Design
Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
Mirror Mirror
Snow White and the Huntsman

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables

Best Sound Mixing
Les Miserables
Life of Pi

Best Sound Editing
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty

Best Visual Effects
The Avengers
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Life of Pi
Snow White and the Huntsman

Best Feature Documentary
5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for Sugar Man

Best Short Documentary
Kings Point
Mondays at Racine
Open Heart

Best Animated Short
Adam and Dog
Fresh Guacamole
Head Over Heels
The Simpsons: The Longest Daycare

Best Live Action Short
Buzkashi Boys
Death of a Shadow

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Anna Karenina

Once again the fabulous Fleur Cinema & Cafe got the movies I really want to see; Anna Karenina included.  I have a very limited background when it comes to Russian literature. I once had a Russian lit professor for Women's Lit and we talked about Anna but we didn't have to read it. Masha (my professor) said she read the book twice. Once when she was 16 and it was required for one of her classes and the second time after the birth of her daughter. Two very different experiences she said.

I have attempted to read Anna Karenina a couple of times. The first time I couldn't get past all the farm-talk. I get it Levin... you're a farmer. I don't need to know the ins and outs of your day-to-day life. I never even met Anna because I couldn't get past Farmer Levin. Another time I made it to Anna but she was so annoying to me I couldn't keep reading her. I was probably 19 years old at that time. Now I'm trying again. There is a website called They will send you a section of a chapter of a free-domain book to your email at the same time everyday. I'm slowly making my way through Anna Karenina.

Needless to say, I'm not finished with it. But I saw the film anyway. I generally like Keira Knightley. Bend It Like Beckham, Pirates of the Caribbean, Pride & Prejudice, Atonement.

Pride & Prejudice and Atonement are what really pushed me to see Anna Karenina. Not just for Keira Knightley but for director Joe Wright. Those two films are beautifully shot and he seems to know how to film Keira properly. How else would she look so good in the rain? Nobody else does!! Anyway....

Anna Karenina for those that don't know is a massive novel by Leo Tolstoy. It centers around Anna, who is married with a son and she goes to visit her brother. Her brother Oblonksy (Matthew Mcfayden) is cheating on his wife, Dolly (Kelly Macdonald)  and she's thinking about leaving him. Anna is there to try and make Dolly (the wife) see reason and not leave. Under the law if Dolly files for divorce she won't see any of her five to six kids (can't remember how many she had). While Anna is there she hangs out with Dolly's sister Kitty and learns that she is in love with a man called Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). A man Anna has already met on the train when he came to meet his mother whom Anna traveled with. Then there is Levin who is in love with Kitty but she denies his proposal in the hopes of one from Vronsky.

Anna and Vronsky hit it off - - too much. He follows her around persuading her to begin an affair. And so begins the action of the story. Anna's affair becomes apparent and she stops trying to hide it. When her husband (Jude Law) finds out he refuses a divorce and now she is stuck.

Anna is a very unlikable character. I'm of the opinion if you're going to do something don't half-ass it. Don't try to make a cake and eat it to... or whatever that saying is. You want to be with Vronsky then be with Vronsky! Although the further along in the movie we got Aaron Taylor-Johnson looked more and more like Gene Wilder in  Young Frankenstein. It was a real turn-off since he wasn't anywhere near as funny.


PS: My friend leaned over and asked me when he looked so familiar. I replied "That's Kick-Ass." She said 'He's in Kick-Ass?" I'm like "No. He is Kick-Ass!" Wrap your brain around that one. Same goes for Domhnall Gleeson who plays Levin. It took me a minute but he is one Bill Weasley. Ahh. Harry Potter. My one stop shop for British actors when I can't remember where I've seen them before.

Levin here on the left. Bill Weasley on the right.


So Anna seems to not be able to make up her mind if she wants to stay married and see her son or get a divorce and run off with her lover. She debates throughout the movie. This is over the course of years. Now the movie had very little farm-talk in it.We see Levin on his farm and doing what it is he does while caring for his alcoholic brother but the driving force of the film is just the love entanglements. Maybe Anna has some internal dialog of rationalization while she's trying to figure out her life in the novel but you don't see that in the film.

Remember earlier when I said that I really like how Joe Wright directs his films? Pride & Prejudice is set up like a painting in each and every shot. It is beautiful when you take the time to notice. Atonement has a 5 1/2 minute tracking shot when Robbie (James McAvoy) hits the beach at Dunkirk. That is a steady camera movement for over five minutes!! It was simply amazing. In Anna Karenina he chose to film the story as if it were taking place on a stage. You go backstage to travel and come up on a new stage in a new place. I'm not sure if it was less prominent towards the end or if I was just so used to it that it didn't seem as shocking but I felt it was used less. It is quite jarring at the beginning. I felt like I was in a musical and someone should've broken out into song at some point. Probably because the actions on the stage were so fluid it looked like they were dancing.

I'm also not sure if that was how Joe Wright intended to film or if it was how Tom Stoppard wrote the screenplay. He also wrote Shakespeare in Love which is set primarily on a stage as well. I should look into that....

Dario Marianelli did another amazing score. In Atonement he used the keys striking the typewriter in the music. Incorporated it in so smoothly that it just enhanced the film. The same element is used in this score to foreshadow, although instead of typewriter keys it is sounds associated with the train station where Anna and Vronsky first met. Marianelli has scored a fair many of Joe Wright's pictures. They make a great team... like Spielberg and Williams................. Maybe that's a little presumptuous. But Wright and Marianelli do make a nice pair.

I did like Anna Karenina. It was a very good movie even if Anna is an annoying character. I'm looking forward to finishing the book now. Let's see I'm on part 091 out of 423. Another year and I'll be set!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Golden Globe Nominees

Golden Globe time - - I love it. :)

Here's a list in case you don't know the nominees yet. There are some movies I need to move my ass on to see. (Hopefully after finals are over with).

Best Movie - Drama
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty
(Where is Beasts of the Southern Wild? The Sessions?)

Best Movie - Musical/Comedy
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Les Miserables
Moonrise Kingdom
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (Color me surprised by this one. I thought it came out too long ago)
Silver Linings Playbook

Best Actor in Drama Movie
Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln
Richard Gere for Arbitrage
John Hawkes for The Sessions
Joaquin Phoenix for The Master (If he doesn't like the institution of awards and accolades then why nominate him for one? This spot could've gone to Ewan McGregor for The Impossible or Anothony Hopkins for Hitchcock)
Denzel Washington for Flight

Best Actress in Drama Movie
Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty 
Marion Cotillard for Rust and Bone
Helen Mirren for Hitchcock
Naomi Watts for The Impossible
Rachel Weisz for The Deep Blue Sea
(No Keira Knightley for Anna Karenina?)

Best Actor in Musical/Comedy Movie
Jack Black for Bernie
Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook
Hugh Jackman for Les Miersables
Ewan McGregor for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Bill Murray for Hyde Park on Hudson (Also a curious entry. Is this a comedy? Where is Matthew McConaughey for Magic Mike?)

Best Actress in  Musical/Comedy Movie
Emily Blunt for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Judi Dench for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook
Maggie Smith for Quartet
Meryl Streep for Hope Springs

Best Supporting Actor in Drama Movie
Alan Arkin for Argo
Leonardo DiCaprio for Django Unchained
Phillip Seymour Hoffman for The Master
Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln
Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained
(Good chance neither Leo nor Christoph will win as they'll split the Django vote. So why nominate both and leave out Robert DeNiro for Silver Linings Playbook? Or Javier Bardem for Skyfall?)

Best Supporting Actress in Drama Movie
Amy Adams for The Master
Sally Field for Lincoln
Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables
Helen Hunt for The Sessions
Nicole Kidman for The Paperboy

Best Movie Director
Ben Affleck for Argo
Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty
Ang Lee for Life of Pi
Steven Speilberg for Lincoln
Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained
(Easily my most favorite category. Great list of directors even with the omissions of Tom Hooper for Les Miserables and David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook)

Best Movie Screenplay
Amour - Michael Haneke
Django Unchanied - Quentin Tarantino
Lincoln - Tony Kushner
Silver Linings Playbook - David O. Russell
Zero Dark Thirty - Mark Boal

Best Movie Original Song
"For You" by Monty Powell and Keith Urban for Act of Valor
"Safe and Sound" by Taylor Swift, John Paul While, Joy Williams and T-Bone Burnett for The Hunger Games
"Suddenly" by Claude-Michel Schonberg, Alain Boubil and Herbert Kretzmer for Les Miserables
"Skyfall" by Adele and Paul Epworth for Skyfall (I'm curious about this one when it comes time for the Oscars. Clint Mansell's amazing score for Black Swan was deemed ineligible because of the use of Tchaikovsky's original score. Adele's song borrows Monty Norman's original James Bond theme.)
"Not Running Anymore" by Jon Bon Jovi for Stand Up Guys

Best Move Original Score
Anna Karenina by Dario Marinaelli
Argo by Alexandrew Desplat
Cloud Atlas by Reinhold Heil and Johnny Klimek
Life of Pi by Mychael Danna
Lincoln by John Williams
(I would've put Brave in this category. That score was very beautiful.) 

Best Animated Movie
Hotel Transylvania
Rise of the Guardians
Wreck-It Ralph

Best Foreign Language Movie
The Intouchables
A Royal Affair
Rust and Bone

Best Dramatic TV Show
"Boardwalk Empire"
"Breaking Bad"
"Downton Abbey"
The Newsroom"
(No "Mad Men?" "The Walking Dead?")

Best Musical/Comedy Show
"The Big Bang Theory"
"Modern Family"
"Smash" (Really? Is this show still on?)

Best TV Mini-Series/Movie
Game Change
The Girl
"Hatfields & McCoys"
"The Hour"
"Political Animals"
(Interesting on the lack of "American Horror Story: Asylum")

Best Actor in a Dramatic Show
Steve Buscemi for "Boardwalk Empire"
Bryan Cranston for "Breaking Bad"
Jeff Daniels for "The Newsroom"
John Hamm for "Mad Men"
Damian Lewis for "Homeland"

Best Actress in a Dramatic Show
Connie Britton for "Nashville"
Glenn Close for "Damages"
Claire Danes for "Homeland"
Michelle Dockery for "Downton Abbey"
Julianna Margulies for "The Good Wife"

Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy Show
Alec Baldwin for "30 Rock"
Don Cheadle for "House of Lies"
Louis C.K. for "Louie"
Matt LeBlanc for "Episodes" (Love the love for Matt LeBlanc!) 
Jim Parsons for "The Big Bang Theory"

Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy Show
Zooey Deschanel for "New Girl"
Lena Dunham for "Girls"
Tin Fey for "30 Rock"
Julia Louis-Dreyfus for "Veep"
Amy Poehler for "Parks and Recreation" 
(No Mindy Kaling for "The Mindy Project?" Where's the justice in that???) 

Best Actor in a TV Mini-Series/Movie
Kevin Costner for "Hatfields & McCoys"
Benedict Cumberbatch for "Sherlock" (I swear if he doesn't win this I'm going to freak!)
Woody Harrelson for "Game Change"
Toby Jones for "The Girl"
Clive Owen for "Hemingway & Gellhorn"

Best Actress in a TV Mini-Series/Movie
Nicole Kidman for "Hemingway & Gellhorn"
Jessica Lange for "American Horror Story: Asylum"
Sienna Miller for "The Girl"
Julianne Moore for "Game Change"
Sigourney Weaver for "Political Animals"

Best Supporting Actor for TV Show/Mini-Series/Movie
Max Greenfield for "New Girl"
Ed Harris for Game Change
Danny Huston for "Magic City"
Mandy Patinkin for "Homeland"
Eric Stonestreet for "Modern Family"
(Where is Martin Freeman for "Sherlock?" Come on Golden Globes!!)

Best Supporting Actress for TV Show/Mini-Series/Movie
Hayden Panettiere for "Nashville"
Archie Panjabi for "The Good Wife"
Sarah Paulson for "American Horror Story: Asylum"
Maggie Smith for "Downton Abbey"
Sofia Vergara for "Modern Family"

I don't understand these last two categories! If they're going to shove comedy shows, musicals, mini-series and TV movies supporting characters into two categories there should be unlimited entries! How Mandy Patinkin and Max Greenfield are nominated in the same category is simply beyond me! 

Interesting is the lack of nominees for "Glee" across the board and only John Hamm for "Mad Men." I thought that Lane Pryce... Jared Harris had an amazing last season. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Let me set a stage... Being the Harry Potter fans that my friends and I are we have been very excited about The Perks of Being a Wallflower and seeing Emma Watson in a non-Hermione role. The hair alone makes it worth a watch!

So imagine the waiting and waiting we endured for the Oct. 5 release date only to then find out it was limited. Heavy sigh. But hope against hope we waited again for another week as Fleur Cinema & Cafe promised they would get the film on Oct. 12 or 19. They weren't sure but they were sure they were getting it! Then it came! We made plans. They got cancelled. We made more plans and sticking to them we FINALLY got to see the movie the following Tuesday. Hoorah!!

Now this is a movie based off a book by the same name written by Stephen Chbosky. In a refreshing twist, he also wrote the screenplay and directed the film. He does very well indeed. In a sense of full-disclosure I have not read the book. That is usually not my policy in seeing films based on novels (read: all movies lately) but I just didn't get around to reading this one so I relied on my friends Gowdy and Lacy to make the comparisons for me. Meet Gowdy (left) and Lacy (right). Both really loved the book and went into the movie thinking 'It's not going to be better than the book.' 


From the trailers I thought I was going into a coming-of-age indie tale with eccentric characters. It's much heavier than that. Not in a bad way but it got more serious than I thought it would and Chbosky handled it beautifully. He got plenty of help from Logan Lerman who plays the main character Charlie. His performance exemplifies Charlie's hope in himself to put his past behind him and still shows how he's fighting to be "normal." 

Charlie finds acceptance in the self-proclaimed "island of misfit toys" led by Patrick (Ezra Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson). Next to Charlie, Patrick has the next heaviest storyline  Miller acts wonderfully with the material and never comes across as being insincere even with the over-the-top personality that Patrick possesses. Watson's English accent... what English accent? Her American accent was flawless. 

These little things stood out for me that I felt if I had read the book would make things more clear: 
  1. What year is it?? No cell phones just cordless phones with thick antennas. Charlie types on a typewriter as a posterity thing BUT he hands in handwritten papers so no computers? It was a bit distracting. 
  2. Charlie's sister Candace. I felt like she must've had a bigger story in the book that they couldn't accommodate in the film. She was under-utilized.
  3. Who Charlie is writing to? He starts off the film, and then continues throughout the film, to write to someone only referred to as Dear Friend. Who is that? Is that expanded upon in the book or is it Charlie's version of Dear Diary? 
  4. The song 'We Could Be Heroes' plays a big role in this film. But the characters have never heard of it! Not only do they not know it's David Bowie but the version they hear isn't even the Bowie version! It's a cover by... get this... THE WALLFLOWERS! For a group of kids who have self-proclaimed "great taste in music" and by all references they do, how do you not know David Bowie? 

These are the things that Gowdy and Lacy missed from the book:
  1. Candace has more of a story including her parents forbidding her to see Ponytail Derek after Charlie tells them he saw Ponytail Derek hit her. 
  2. Charlie has more of a relationship with his English teacher Mr. Anderson. Mr. Anderson invites Charlie over for dinner and they talk about life, books and Mr. Anderson's show in New York.
  3. Sam and Patrick are invited by Charlie to his house for dinner. Mary Elizabeth tags along and takes over the conversation. His parents are more interested in Mary Elizabeth when they find out she's dating Charlie. 
  4. Overall character development was much better in the book. 

This was a great movie. It was depressing enough to remind me why I hated high school. It made me wish I was brave like Charlie to actually want to be involved in high school activities. It was hopeful and reminded me how I found my own group of friends with whom I could be myself and not worry about what people thought. 

I need to read the book. 

Friday, September 28, 2012


Looper is not what you think it is. The trailers will tell you that Young Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a looper who kills people sent to the past (his present) for money. One day his mark is his older self (Bruce Willis) and Young Joe must "close his loop." But in his hesitation Old Joe gets the jump on Young Joe and now a chase begins to kill Old Joe. 

I was expecting just that above. I knew that Emily Blunt factored in there somewhere - - probably as Young Joe's love interest who can stop Old Joe because he remembers her. Nope. Not the case at all. And I liked that I was so wrong. Set in a dystopian-like future director Rian Johnson really goes for a washed-out color palette that helps set the tone throughout the film. 

Can I stop for a minute and say how much I enjoy watching Gordon-Levitt act? I really do. I'm not saying I've seen everything he's been in but ever since I first saw him in Angels in the Outfield I've been a fan. Then there was 10 Things I Hate About You and then Brick which is simply phenomenal. It was also his first outing with Looper director Johnson. The Lookout, Stop-Loss, (500) Days of Summer, Hersher, Inception, 50/50, The Dark Knight Rises. I really like him. 

Anyway... back to Looper. There is a lot of science fiction that goes on in this movie. Since Young Joe's present is 2044 there are hover bikes, designer drugs, advanced technology and 10 percent of the population have a telekinetic ability. As a sci-fi fan I was pleased with the level Johnson went to with the science fiction. It was believable without going too overboard with "futuristic" tech. There was a lot of action in the beginning and in the end but it was a slow burn, character focus in the middle. I didn't mind that but I heard rumblings from my friends that they wanted more action like they saw in the trailers. 

You are going to be distracted by Gordon-Levitt's face. Don't say you're not cause you are. While the prosthetics look natural enough you just know that is not his face. If I could've seen a side-by-side shot of Willis and Gordon-Levitt I might not have found it so distracting but you only get profile shots when they're looking at each other. A great testament to Gordon-Levitt though in that his acting comes through all the make-up. 

Johnson also does a good job of presenting/avoiding the time travel paradox. When you see a movie involving time travel liberties are going to have to be taken, beliefs possibly suspended. Some questions are brushed away with a simple line of dialog informing Young Joe that talking/thinking about time travel will "fry your brain." Johnson allows us to see the timeline of events from Willis' Old Joe perspective so when Young Joe does something to change that future timeline we can see how Old Joe's memories are being rewritten into a new timeline. Remember Doc Brown trying to explain alternate 1985 to Marty? It's kinda like that. But not really.

Johnson does ground the movie in a lot of realism which is where Blunt comes in. Her character Sara and Sara's son Cid are the ones who drive the slow-burn second act of this movie. Without them and the slower plot line on the Kansas farm this movie would burn itself out at a rapid pace. 

Great film. Go see it. Loved it. Will probably see it again. Definitely a buy when it comes to DVD.

**UPDATE: I saw it again. Gordon-Levitt's nuanced performance as a young Willis is so much better the second time. Probably even greater a third time. I might have to check that out. I could focus on his facial expressions, the tone of his voice... it was like Gordon-Levitt sat around watching "Die Hard" and "Moonlighting" reruns to get his mannerisms down.**

House at the End of the Street

First of all when I just typed the title of this post I realized that this title is practically all articles. Anybody else notice that? Just me? That's ok.

I watched this at an employee showing we had at our theatre after my plans to go to a drag show with some friends fell through. The movie was definitely not how I wanted to spend my night but I was still optimistic about it. By optimistic you should read: very excited. Namely because I love Jennifer Lawrence. Winter's Bone was fantastic and I love just about all things X-Men so her as Mystique was a casting dream. I love her even more with the dark hair she sports as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. She's just a terrific actress.

            Click to view full size image

So during our employee showing I live tweeted as we were watching with #hates on the posts. Ironically that became more and more how I felt about the movie rather than identifying a trending topic on Twitter. You can view my tweets here if you would like.

This movie turned out not to be predictable but I still didn't really like it. Don't expect anything supernatural which is what horror movies have become associated with lately. But it's not exactly a thriller either...

Katniss and her mom Elisabeth Shue (God do they look alike!) move into a really nice, really cheap house. Cheap because four years ago Carrie Anne murdered her parents in the house across the backwoods. Carrie Anne's college-age brother, Ryan, still lives in the house. I'm still not quite sure which house is the one at the end of the street: Katniss' or the murder house. I really thought they lived in a cul-de-sac...

Shue on the left. Katniss on the right.

After the nice guy shows he's a "dickhole" (yes... that is a direct quote) Katniss decides to walk home from a party and gets picked up by the-guy-with-the-murdered-parents Ryan. Leading to my question: which is better a sexual assault you can/do fend off or getting murdered in the woods? It always seems to be the question in these types of films.

Gil Bellows shows up as small-town cop with a receding hairline that would make Ally McBeal cringe. He has a soft spot for the-guy-with-the-murderer-sister Ryan. He also seems to be the only available guy for Elisabeth Shue to hit on.

House at the End of the Street             Ally McBeal

In typical horror movie fashion people are stupid. The-guy-who-lives-in-his-murdered-parents house Ryan forgets to lock the basement door which leads to late night knife chases through the backwoods. At this point in the film, I don't know how Katniss survived the Hunger Games. This behavior would've gotten her killed at the Cornocopia.

Katniss brings on her own horror show by poking around the-guy-with-his-murderer-sister Ryan. She goes through his trash, his wallet, his house... THIS ISN'T YOUR HOUSE. HE'S NOT YOUR BOYFRIEND. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS KATNISS!!! You'd think she'd never seen a scary movie before.

I will say that she displays her Hunger Games-esque skills of getting out of tight situations later. But there is twist in this movie at the end that is genuinely interesting.... and should've been more of the main focus of the movie. If you want to know what it is - - send a message so you don't waste your time at this movie. The twist comes with 10 minutes... if that... left in the film. Too little too late.

Friday, September 21, 2012

New Trailer for "The Hobbit!!!!!"

I don't know why I love The Lord of the Rings films so much but I do. Well... except for The Return of the King. That is the one I like the least because I think using a ghost army is a bit of a cop out. But that is beside the point because today...

I just saw the full trailer for The Hobbit and it... was... FANTASTIC!

All of the warm colors!

The beautiful music!

The dwarves!

Just the cadence of Martin Freeman's voice as Bilbo Baggins is enough to put a smile on my face.

And the in a great turn of tongue-in-cheek there are FIVE alternate endings to the trailer. :) There is the Gandalf ending, the Bilbo ending, the Sting ending, the Gollum ending and the Dwarves ending. (Bilbo's my favorite... in case you couldn't have guessed.)