Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Peanuts Movie

Well this movie was fan-flilpin'-tastic!



You know I feel so bad I never really watched Peanuts when I was a kid, oh sure I read the comic strips in the newspaper but never really watched it until very recently. This movie started off perfectly with Vince Guaraldi's beautiful music, I highly recommend you listen to his music if you are a jazz lover like me, and what followed was a very charming, sincere, funny, and just a wonderful movie to watch. It seriously made my day! So what's the story this time around? Charlie Brown is being very Charlie Brown as always, until a new girl moves in across the street and our boy Chuck has got a crush. The movie pays such a loving and excellent tribute to Charles Schulz comic and the various specials that came out over the past 50 years, and I'm so happy they made this movie cause I feel like current generation kids don't know Charlie Brown very well, and maybe this movie would get them to watch the cartoons and read the comic strips (Do kids even read comic strips anymore, or are they just for me?) so I applaud the people who did it. And while I'm at it, the animation is...wonderful. So much color and expression, with beautifully detailed backgrounds, and somehow mixes a three dimensional world with two dimensional characters and they mix so well. It just looks so dang good! Just everything was done so well. I especially loved Peppermint Pattie and Marcie in this movie, they are absolutely fantastic, Peppermint Pattie almost stole the show for me. All the voice acting is spot on, and I'm very happy they continued the tradition of using real kids as the voice actors, it really really does add so much to the performance. The only bad thing I can say about the movie is, there is modern music in it. It is not a complete jazz soundtrack which I can kinda, sorta understand. You need upbeat music for kids to enjoy it, I doubt most little kids would love to listen to some relaxing jazz music for about an hour and a half but I still wish it had more music which I associate Peanuts with. But regardless I am thrilled to own this movie, and you know it's funny, most people will admit Charlie Brown is not a happy character. He's a very down trodden, depressed character but with this movie it really is his time to shine which puts you in such a good mood! I haven't been this happy in...a long time, let's just leave it at that. So I'm walking on sunshine right now, I loved this movie to death, I really hope you go check it out, I feel so bad I did not watch this in theaters but I feel I appreciate it and love it a thousand times more than I would have when it came out. So I'm very happy I decided to review it now, I needed this pick me up so badly and I will no doubt watch it more in the future. Well.....you know what tomorrow is. I'm not ready. But we cannot stop Christmas from coming. Or can we?

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Killing Of A Sacred Deer

Jesus Christ, and I was shellshocked by Mother? This is a whole new level!




There are no words. I am still trying to wrap my head around this movie. This is not a part of the program, I am legit blank in my head. How do I talk about it? Guys? Please help me. Okay, deep breaths. What the flaming ostriches was that?? Okay, so apparently The Killing Of A Sacred Deer was directed by the same person who directed The Lobster, and whereas The Lobster was an off beat but still interesting and entertaining movie in it's own weird ass way, with this movie? I got nothing. No wait, I take that back. It was like, no it IS, a movie directed in the style of Stanley Kubrick. Like textbook Kubrickian cinema! Problem is, it's overdone, they tried to out-Kubrick Stanley Kubrick and while it is a well made (shot, edited, pacing, and overall atmosphere) film to the point where a simple zoom-in shot made me feel highly uncomfortable, the execution of it all and the story is just odd. Basically, it's a eye for an eye revenge story concerning a surgeon and his family being tormented by this teenage boy who lost his father. That is literally as much plot I could get from the movie, cause it spirals out into insanity very quickly. I will say this though, if the film's intention was to make me incredibly uncomfortable, and uneasy, and make me squirm in my seat, it's easily a 11/10 star movie in that respect. Like, I was so queasy when I left and felt very...out of it. I need to watch something like Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, or Mother just to feel normal again. Cause at least with Mother, you can be very confused by it but then you read and hear other people's interpretations of it and it suddenly makes complete sense. Or with Fear And Loathing, honestly it's not that far off from the book and though it gets odd it still stays true to our reality. This movie's world feels like The Lobster on vicodin, and everyone acts the exact same way as in The Lobster, very unearthly, blunt and straightforward, totally accepting of what we the viewer would call madness. I mean, to a T! Like they totally wrapped shooting on The Lobster, same actors, same crew, and immediately started filming this. So maybe this is what happened about 20 years after The Lobster. It makes about as much sense as anything else in this movie, so why not? I just....ugh, I need a drink. Or at the very least a more down to earth movie. So tune in tomorrow where hopefully I can find something that doesn't make me feel like I had a lobotomy.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Lady Bird

You know, for the highest rated and all around best reviewed movie on Rotten Tomatoes.....it was good.


Now don't get me wrong, Lady Bird is a very endearing, very well made, and just plain nice movie, I very much enjoyed the film and thought it was a very faithful and interesting movie that still rings true to late teenage years for most people. I mean the movie can be summed up in about two sentences. Lady Bird is your everyday, ordinary girl mainly living her life. She goes to a catholic high school, makes friends, finds romance, deals with her family, and all around is trying to progress through life. Bam. Easy plot, but so well done. Like, this movie legitamately feels like the life of a teenage girl like she was a real person. Saoirse Ronan is excellent in this movie, and I actually do look forward to seeing more from her in the future, she just nails it in this movie. You feel for this girl, can identify with her, and really wish for her to succeed in life. Now whether this movie can be described as an independent (because I refuse to call it 'Indie') is up to debate, but I love the look of the film. It's very basic in camera movement, but in terms of style, use of color, and environments it gets an A+ very easily from me on visuals. I don't know, for such a simple movie it had so much heart, and intelligence to it, there are few to no cliches in the movie, and honestly I only have one problem with the movie. The ending. Now let me clear this up, not the actual ending. Well....kinda. Basically the movie could have ended perfectly at several different points! Like, there was at least 4 or 5 instances where the credits could have rolled and I would have been very satisfied. But the film just keeps...sort of, meandering on and ends right the hell out of nowhere and it kinda hurt the film. I thought Return Of The King had a severe case of multiple endings disorder, this reaches a whole new level! The movie ends on a fairly basic and just all around "Eh." moment, and it could have done better! Did I still like the movie? Yeah! Do I recommend you watch it? Very highly, yes. It is a very good movie, not perfect, but very well done and an important movie to see, regardless of age, gender, or current standing in life. Will it win awards? Yeah. Do I still love Lady Bird? Without a doubt. But let me know how you thought the movie was, until next time good friends.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

In Retrospect: Atomic Blonde

You know it takes a lot for a spy thriller to keep holding your attention once you know how it all ends, but thankfully this movie does it well.


Yes, Atomic Blonde is still a fantastic movie that I would gladly buy and own for the rest of my life. Charlize Theron carries the whole movie, and she does a phenomenal job. Honestly if they announced her as the next 007, I really wouldn't mind that much! She gets the ever living hell beat out of her and she still comes into combat with all piss and vinegar, nobody and I will stand by this, has ever been beat down as much as her and yet she still fights back and wins. Pick any movie. Any protagonist. They don't even get a scratch on them compared to her. Jesus God almighty Charlize is the queen! The action is done so incredibly well utilizing slick and quick editing, while still giving the audience a wide view of the action so you can appreciate the choreography and brutal fighting displayed. The espionage element is still very good, with alliances, betrayal, and twists to keep it interesting. And of course, Sofia Boutella. Ohhhh my yes. Movie's perfect! It's perfect! Buy it, that is all. But in all seriousness, she is the cherry on top of this awesome movie. Just every aspect of it is so well executed. Story is very good, characters are interesting, action is exhilarating, the mystery is intriguing, the soundtrack is kick ass, it's just a really good movie! I was so happy to see it again, because I knew I was in for a blast and I highly enjoyed it as I did the first time. Although mind you, it wasn't an easy movie to watch with my mom. Cause she wanted to see the movie, and when it got a little...ahem, steamy, oh dear. Cause you remember how I described those scenes, and it really has not changed in terms of uncomfortableness, like I still feel like I am watching full on hardcore adult movie. Just....God. Beyond that though, very good movie! I might die tomorrow from massive consumption of food, but at least I will die happy and fed. So I'm okay with that. And if I live, I get to run around and breathe in the chaos of Black Friday, so it's win-win. And next week we will have lots to talk about...

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Music Don't Start Until Pie Day Ends

Some people call it Thanksgiving, I call it Pie Day. Because that's what I look forward to the most. And it all kicks off soon, helping the family cook, checking out the ballons at the Macy parade, wearing sweatpants for the sake of not busting buttons and breaking zippers, and of course being witness to a trial next Monday because someone curb stomped a lady because she got a television set before they did. Holidays man....they mess with you. So how about a review before I become comatose from too much ham and mashed potatoes? Atomic Blonde hit video, and I do need some Sofia Boutella right about now. Plus it was a damn fine movie that deserves more analysis, so what the hell. And maybe if I survive the Black Mass, uh I mean Black Friday and grab a thing or two I'll share it on my twitter. Oh dear can you hear it? The distant sounds of sleigh bells, and carols.....the horror. Oh God it's coming, and I cannot stop the inevitable but I must stay strong until Black Friday then I will have to endure the assault of the "most wonderful time of the year". Give me strength. I do not hate Christmas, but I don't like it as much as I did when I was 5. So we'll see.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Justice League

Yep, I loved it.


Justice League is another hit in my book, dashing all insecurities and paranoia that this cinematic universe could not take shape. This film was awesome, everyone was perfectly casted even in supporting roles, the action was very well done, all the characters got their screen time to shine, they did not feel shoehorned in or forced in anyway which made me very happy. In fact let's talk superheroes. Batman is still done very well by Ben Affleck spearheading the charge to form the League, Wonder Woman is really the backbone and soul of the League holding it all together while really throwing her all into kicking ass, Flash is perfection, (No I have not seen the CW show yet, so currently Ezra Miller is my Flash.) and you can tell he is having the time of his life in this role, Jason Momoa is Aquaman (Need I even say more?) and the sad part is most of his best moments are in the trailer but screw it Aquaman is the King, Cyborg was done I though incredibly well giving the character his struggle between man and machine and finding his new place in the world. However! You underused Mera, how dare you? You do not disrespect the Queen, and damn it I wish there was more of her! J.K. Simmons is really good as Jim Gordon, again terribly underused but it's great seeing him. And actually that's the thing, true these characters migh not be seen much but there will be more movies so we can fully appreciate the potrayals of these beloved comic book characters. Now I must admit, I have never heard of Steppenwolf in the comics, quite frankly he sounds like a Norwegian metal band, and I'd be lying if though while he is a formidable foe for the League, he is not that great a villain. He's basically a "all he sees he conquers" type of villain, and the best part of his character was that he mentioned an even bigger, badder villain than himself. Though that reveal will be easily detected by any fan of the comics or their related media. So the villain was not that strong, but the actions scenes are so well done, though the slow motion has reached Zack Snyder levels over 9000 thanks to The Flash now, but regardless it is all framed and shot well so you can get a large scope of the battles. And it does do justice to the comics incredibly well, and I highly suggest you stay after the credits. It may not be what you are expecting, but I think you will like it. It's by no means incredible like The Dark Knight or the 1978 Superman movie, but it is worth your time and money if you love comic books and love the movies even more.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Murder On The Orient Express

Well bollocks, turns out I did know the ending!


You ever have something either ruined or spoiled for you, and yet somehow you didn't know? Like it wasn't this buildup to a reveal, it was more or less just said in conversation and your brain didn't register it? Because all throughout Murder On The Orient Express, I was paying attention to the facts, not jumping ahead to any conclusions (though I did make several correct deductions), being calm and collected and not being spirited away by my theories and thoughts and just soaked it all in. However! In the back of my mind, that thought kept nudging. You know the one, where your brain is pretty much telling you, you already know the truth/ending/reveal. Did this hurt my enjoyment of the film? Surprisingly not, cause there were twists, and revelations that led to the big reveal that I did not know so it was this, really weird and surreal feeling where you know the ending and yet did not know the events leading up to it. Same sort of thing happened with Psycho for me. But I digress so we can actually get on with it! Murder On The Orient Express, though a classic story has been done justice in my opinion, and you know what really surprised me? This is a movie that could actually tell the story in modern time, but it chooses to stay in 1934 so visually, the film is spectacular! The fashion, sets, and setting all look wonderful. Our story follows a world renowned detective having to spontaneously board the Orient Express, where shock of all shocks, a murder takes place, the train is stuck in an avalanche, leaving the detective to solve the crime before the train can move on and the culprit can escape. Now while this is a very star studded cast, what I loved was, the characters were not one dimensional and just the actors who potrayed them. There is backstory, and important tidbits of information to almost each and every character, making them feel more real and not, oh that's just that suspicious looking guy, or it's just that mousy girl who is shy. There's more to them than that so I was very happy it wasn't just stereotype on top of stereotype. The mystery aspect is done very well, with enough twists and revelations to keep it interesting and not seem absurd with a new twist every 10 minutes. The logic of the crime solving is legitimate and there's no huge Sherlockian moments where the case is nearly completed in less than 60 seconds. Our detective is a perfectionist, very OCD, so detective work is merely an extension of his normal everyday life, he's not a super intelligent genius but he is intelligent and uses common sense and logic to solve the case and find evidence. It could have been so easy to make him an eccentric genius with a superhuman brain, but they did not and I applaud them for that. All the actors do their parts well, though Judi Dench is criminally underused, seriously how dare you? But anyway, another major positive is there is no red herrings, or fake outs with who killed our victim. Sure, you can have your suspicions but there is nothing concrete to go on. It reminds me a bit too much of Clue, downright to some scenes and instances which I can deal with, I love that movie to death so I guess one of the most underrated and cult classic of mystery films influenced this movie. But hey, I haven't read Agatha Christie's novel so maybe Murder On The Orient Express inspired Clue to a massive degree! Actually yeah, if I can go on one more brief tangent before I wrap this up, um what is the point of going to see a film adaptation of a crime or mystery novel if you have read the book? Like, you know how it ends and all the events leading up to it so why go see the movie? That never made sense, probably because it doesn't! Like what the hell is the point? Either watch the film or read the book. Granted this doesn't count with ALL books, I want to read all the Lord Of The Rings books including The Silmarillion even though I've seen the movies hundreds of times. So this gripe is only with murder mystery novels. Man, I really went off this time didn't I? It's rare I get this many tangents and ravings on my reviews so I'm sorry about that! Uh, to close the file on this one, if you legit do not know the ending go see the movie! This movie felt really concise and quick for a two hour movie, so I say go for it! But if you do know the ending, or read the book, or just don't care that much, pass it.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Suburbicon

This was a very different movie.


Now I'm gonna be honest, I liked the movie. I think George Clooney did a very good job directing and handling a Cohen brothers script, which basically concerns just your average suburban family being pushed too far and the ensuing chaos and death that follows. I gotta admit, that ending was great! I don't know, it was just such an odd little movie that had some genuine tension in some scenes, had a very good and very true social satirical viewpoint. All the actors did good work, with Matt Damon just being an average guy trying to cope with the terrible tragedy (get used to hearing that a lot in this movie) and how he tries to handle it all, Julianne Moore who has been cloned in this movie, yes you get not one but two Julianne Moores and once you try to get used to that...well let's move on. Next point, white people were assholes back then in 1959 or whenever this takes place, like Jesus do you people have anything better to do with your life than ostricize a black family? The most genuinely best and all around nice character, is a kid and he does great work for the dark and disturbing subject matter. The movie has a point but it sure does serve it in a very WTF way. And it finally happened, after 22 years, I have finally went to a movie theater and watched a movie alone. There was not a soul in there besides me. And I had a blast with it. I think that's why I enjoyed this movie, cause I could just say out loud "Dude....WTF?" when stuff started going to hell in a handbasket. Do I recommend the movie? Uh....yeah. Probably best just as a rental unless you have to see this movie soon. It certainly got reactions from me, so take from that what you will.

And yes, I did not forget about Murder On The Orient Express, we'll get to that next week. Best part is I have no idea how it ends so the mystery factor should be high for me! So I'm very excited to see that and can't wait to talk about it, so until then don't be a jerk to your neighbors but suspect all you like.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Batman Vs. Two-Face

Wow, this movie was great!

A loving last tribute to the bright, colorful, and wild Adam West Batman series that is everything you want and more. I was genuinely surprised how good this movie was, last time with Return Of The Caped Crusaders which wasn't bad by any stretch it wasn't what I was hoping for. This movie was leaps and bounds better than the last, with our Caped Crusaders unraveling a mystery of identity surrounding Harvey Dent. Now if you should know anything, Two-Face is my absolute favorite Batman villain of all time, better than The Joker, Mr. Freeze, or Scarecrow so when I heard William Shatner was going to voice him I had just one thought: please don't let it be cheesy. Well....more cheesy than necessary, this is the 60s Batman we're talking about. But to my surprise he did a great job, sure he had fun with it but you actually got the sense of the struggle between the two personalities which must be applauded. The best part is we get a whole volley of classic Batman villains, from King Tut and The Bookworm to Penguin and The Riddler, meaning I could revel in the lavish and ludicrous villains that I know so well. Another huge plus to the movie is the lore. This not only pays tribute to the Adam West show, but references the comics, Batman The Animated Series, previous films and I loved every last second of it. This movie was a blast, and though my heart is still shattered over the loss of our Bright Knight, I couldn't ever wish for a better send off to the Batman we deserve. The animation is great, voice acting is classic, the humor is off the wall and hilarious, and does the 60s TV show incredible justice. And of course the movie ends with a bat dance party, and yes I did Batusi. Well worth renting, buying, and wishing a fond farewell to the most beloved Batman in history. Until we meet again old chum.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

In Retrospect: Baby Driver

Yeah, been awhile since The Seventh Seal but I'm back!

This movie is still really damn good guys, like I was surprised how much I was still invested and gave a crap about the story even though I saw it all play out before. Ansel Elgort is still fantastic and I want to see this guy in more movies, Kevin Spacey is still Kevin Spacey and I love that guy, the action and driving is still incredibly done. And Edgar Wright has steadily become a name I am familiar with and look forward to seeing attached to a project, just the style of editing and music mixing is sublime and is really the driving force behind the movie, editing can make or break a movie and this movie is made in aces. I do think it will be one of those movies that does live on, well regarded and has it's fans but by no means a big blockbuster or classic, but it's a fine movie that will be appreciated and enjoyed for years to come. I have to say, when I first saw the movie I knew barely any of the songs which disappointed me a bit, but now I'm a much bigger fan of the music and own a bit of it which is funny because only until recently have I really been expanding my horizons and listening to different music. Most people do that in their teenage years, so I'm a late bloomer without a doubt but I'm happy to find new stuff that I love. And that's an undeniable fact, with film and music there is always something new to enjoy.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Seventh Seal

This was a very fascinating movie.


I can see why it has become such a popular and renowned film since it first came out, but did I like it? The short answer, yeah. The long answer, well here we go. You know what actually surprised me about the movie? The chess match was played in sessions, so really the whole structure of the movie was nothing like I anticipated it. I thought it would be, buildup, buildup, dialogue, dialogue, "Who are you?" "I am Death.", chess match, end of movie. But no, the match is split up between character action, development, and dialogue. Even Death himself is kind of more in the background, with the main focus on Antonious Block played by a very young Max von Sydow and his search for knowledge of God, existence, and death. It's strange seeing Max as a very young, dashing man because every movie I've seen him in he always looks the same, awesome elder gentleman so this was a new light and he does good in the movie really capturing that viewpoint of, what's the point of it all when you get right down to it, that sort of cynical, I need proof, no nonsense attitude towards life and more importantly religion. See Antonious was in the Crusades, so after 10 years of bloodshed all in the name of God, you kind of start having your doubts about the whole religion thing. And most of Death's screentime is devoted to him toying and antagonizing Antonious, with a very menacing presence and just this sort of uneasiness. Which is how it really should be when you get down to it! You shouldn't look upon Death as a grandfather figure, or someone you have deep emotional attachments to, you really should have your skin crawl in his or her presence which is how I felt! Especially in the second to last scene, I mean my God I felt so uneasy and disturbed, it was dripping with such a doomy atmosphere and dark ending to it all, it really hit me believe it or not. Surprisingly as much as it touches upon death, it takes the time to appreciate aspects of life. Seeing children learn how to walk, having a meal with friends, pursuing love, simple joys but can mean entire worlds to some. It was an interesting experience, I was a mere witness to this story and these people but really felt a lot. Solace, anger, fear, shock, apathy, empathy, happiness, sadness, a whole volley of emotions. Certainly made me appreciate the day I was given. So yeah, I do recommend the movie. You certainly have to be in the right mindset and mood for it, but if the time comes go ahead and watch it. I found it well worth the time I had of living.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

When Death Is On The Mind....

Not so much the actual act of dying but more the personification of Death. I have been reading Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, specifically the Death novels (I'm currently on Soul Music.), which are great and very enjoyable reads that I do recommend if you like more off the wall, absurd, and just plain fun writings in the world. But also, I watched Death Takes A Holiday and it was quite good I have to say, almost certainly worth talking about more in the future, and even a Twilight Zone episode that may not be as surprising as others but it was still good and young Robert Redford makes it worth your time. Now of course it has some inspiration from one of my many reviewers, in this case Lindsay Ellis (Formerly known as the Nostalgia Chick) who did a brief sort of, example slideshow of the personification of Death itself filed under her series Loose Canon which is a highly entertaining and informative series which you can watch on YouTube. So yeah, she certainly put me in the right mindframe and death is more common than dirt around Halloween time. I saw at least 3 Reapers on Halloween day, so that was cool. And as I live and breathe now, I saw Death. I mean like, the real deal. Straight from the pages of Neil Gaiman's acclaimed Sandman series, I saw her. All black clothes, 80s level of big hair, I could have sworn I saw the ankh around her neck, and it was as brief as a whisper. Came and went in the blink of an eye. It's a shame I'll have to probably wait 100 years to see her again but hopefully not or hopefully so depending on your point of view. Yeah, it's been an interesting week to say the least. So what do I make of all of it? Difficult to say, but I highly doubt it will hinder how I live my life in the future, yesterday was such a wonderful day and today may have been just a wretched day of existence but I assure you I am quite well and in much better spirits as I write this. I do have to say Lindsay brought up a classic film, one I have never seen and very much want to, so with Death on the mind, tomorrow we will watch The Seventh Seal and I'll see how much I like it.