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Showing posts from February, 2015

Whiplash aka Varsity Blues With Drums

I couldn't wait to slip the DVD in. I clapped as JK Simmons accepted his Oscar and couldn't wait to see this fine actor take control of a movie and make it his. My father had raved about it just the night before. I was so excited for this. Nothing I'd heard would have prepared me for what I was about to see.

Twenty-five minutes of instrument tuning and practice and then the movie begins. We realize something right away and my mind, a very experienced movie mind, started to map out the formulaic plot. Simmons, the strong coach/teacher, Teller the nervous, yet oddly bordering on cocky teen. His caring father, depicted as weak (because we all know, if you're not the coach or the teacher and the mom isn't there, you're either weak or abusive). The kid gets his shot. Yes, we never saw the reason coming six miles away. The blood squirting from his fingers...over and over and over. Wait for it, the coach shows he's human, the kid feels the shift of control, but th…

Free Writing - Take 73

I'm in the need for coffee, so this will be short, maybe five minutes tops. I just wrote about Solaris and might tweak it a little before hitting send or share or however I post my much ignored movie rants. I'm just so tired of people with some college philosophy or psychology classes writing about movies and metaphorical symbols and lions and tigers and bears, oh my. I'm seriously tired of $3 words and empty thoughts. I don't care that you used Sanskrit to declare your love for a Russian space movie. It impresses nobody, but yourself and one or two of your hipster fuck friends. I really am tired of the week old jokes you all think are new. You regurgitate last years hilarity with a coffee shop twist and your carefully manicured messy "do" and trust me when I tell you, we're laughing at you, not with you. I'm so tired of reading shit writing (yes fuckers, my own included) and sappy poems about how much you wanna fuck your mother, but hiding it inside …

Tarkovsky's Solaris and Why I Hate Academia

I've long heard about this movie. It managed to avoid my gaze, much like other similar foreign classics, which drag along, leading us down a familiar rode and then in those final minutes, dazzle us with a grand finale that captures our minds, our hearts and leaves us with a feeling of awe. Tarkovsky's Solaris leaves us with none of this, leading to my title. I should also add that I have gone over getting into each scene and honestly, it's not worth it, because the film is ninety percent filler and that is done intentionally. I also realize the twelve people who read this, don't want a twelve page essay, so this will be the truncated version of what I had intended on saying.

I cringe to think of pretentious college twits, babbling on about Freud, Jung and maybe these days, Ayn Rand. Anyone who knows anything about Tarkovsky (I admittedly, am just learning), know he wasn't big on symbolism and the dream-like universes he creates aren't dreams at all, but two or …

Food Familiarity

Why do we like or dislike things when we go out to a restaurant? Why are some great and some mediocre? Why are some reasons for liking a meal as ludicrous as some for not? The main thing, with even the most adventurous eaters, is familiarity.

A few years back a friend made me a pork ragu. Knowing I don't love pasta, he gave me a fresh baguette from an exceptional baker to accompany it. I went home, heated it up and dug in. Devouring every last bit of both. Without a doubt, the best meat sauce or bolognese I'd ever had. He later made it with beef and while I enjoyed it immensely, it lacked that originality for me. That being said, it wasn't like anything I'd had before. Later that evening, a friend, a professional chef and restaurateur came in and he asked him to try the sauce.  The chef took a spoonful, then another and then another, sopping up the final bits with a piece of hamburger roll. He was amazed. He said "I wish I could make mine this good, but you know w…

Why Gone Girl Fails In Making Its Point (No Spoilers)

Gone Girl was all the buzz, both as a novel and as a major motion picture. From the start there was a buzz, because good or bad, Ben Affleck creates one. Add David Fincher, Rosemund Pike and a few other familiar faces and you have the making for something good. The one big problem with buzz is buzzwords. Thriller is the first that comes to mind, but in reality, the real thrill of Gone Girl is killed during a scene in the first five minutes. Fincher swears there are no red herrings in the film, but we all know better than that. So if you pay attention, no part is a thriller. The next word is twist. I've seen Oldboy, Crying Game and some others, which to name would destroy their endings, so I'll refrain, but there is not one twist in this movie. Not one.

So where does that leave us? If it's a thriller that doesn't thrill and it's without the twist we've heard so much about, where does that leave us? It leaves us with more plot holes than Mr. Fincher or his cast c…

Free Writing - Take 72

I'm giving myself 12 minutes, not that it matters

A movie. Laying in bed, the world on the screen opening up my mind. I see what she sees and I see what they want me to see. Two worlds; one real and one a metaphor for an awakening. Or is it the other way around? The silly synopsis on the envelope leaving so much out and adding so little. I watch, as one of the most beautiful women on the planet looks like anyone else I've ever seen naked. A feat almost as incredible as the film's impact. It ends. I gather myself and 19 hours later I'm still thinking of it. I'm thinking about how it makes me feel and then it makes me realize something unrelated to the film. I have two people in my life I can discuss it with. That is all. Friends don't watch movie like I do. Not only the types, but the way I do. I want to be entertained, but I want more. I want to dive into the heads of the creators. Always watching, learning. Human nature is as odd as anything you'll see. A …

My 1001 Entry

Let me start by saying, I realize nobody reads this and blogs are very 2010.

Yes, it's #1001. I didn't realize that my hate piece on Linklater's Boyhood was my millennial moment and thus missed the chance to pop the bubbly. So if you figure each blog takes about ten minutes, that's close to 150 hours of my life, dedicated to writing things that basically nobody gives a shit about. I started out trying to be funny and thoughtful, turned combative and snarky, devolving into a self-help diary that did nothing but further my problems. I use it now, mostly to just jot down thoughts and give shitty reviews for movies, because despite being told I should elaborate more, I despise anyone who feels the need to tell others what happens in a movie or how to decipher it, before seeing it for themselves. Now I'm just telling you what I do in something you already don't read.

This started back in March of 2009 at a time when I was going through much of the same bullshit I fi…

Linklater's Boyhood - An Odd Misogynistic Trip

Now, I know what you're going to say, twelve years in the making and I'm going to read into something that wasn't in the film. Well, I would say you're wrong. Sure, the story behind Boyhood is extraordinary in terms of what went into it, but let's all be very very honest. If this film had used different actors to play the different stages of each character's life, we'd not have thought twice about this movie at all, let alone speak in terms of Oscars or its greatness.

Let's first talk about what is good about the movie. Patricia Arquette is magnificent with very little to work with in terms of major moments and an incredibly paltry dialogue. I'd be shocked if she didn't ad lib a few of her lines.  The only thing that exceeds Arquette's performance was the hype. Hell, no other movie in history has been rated as high as this one, before it even came out. That's right. Before anyone had seen it, it had 100 ratings. How does this happen? I&#…

Quickie Review - The Zero Theorem

Terry Gilliam is an absolute genius. His work, like most geniuses, is very erratic. While some find Monty Python's humor out of their range, his visual sense was evident from early on, especially with The Meaning of Life, one of their more ridiculous movies. He later went on to direct the critically acclaimed Brazil, which in some ways changed the way filmmakers looked at storytelling. Gilliam, for all his faults, was always ten steps ahead. For many though, my younger self included, the gimmicks get distracting. In The Zero Theorem, they are anything but. They are in fact a key character in the film. The distraction is the point in the Zero Theorem and to be honest, it took me a while to figure this out.

What separates TZT to me, is that it is so superbly acted, that it needs no distractions. It could be a play and might very well be as powerful. Maybe with nothing more than a blank computer screen. Thankfully, it isn't and we are treated to a feast for the eyes and ears. Chr…

Sharing Feelings

Ever get to the point where it becomes crystal clear that you can no longer have faith to confide in those you once did? It's not that it comes as a devastatingly jarring blow to you, but you wake up a bit. You realize the people you've known the longest aren't the easiest people to confide in, because of various reasons, the main being, they simply don't feel your problems are as important as theirs.

In recent months I've reached out to people with subtle remarks about my situation and after an initial comment that appeared to be heartfelt, I realized 40 minutes later that 90 percent of the conversation was about them. I've noticed this trend over and over with those I considered to be close, but have noticed even more that those I'm not as close with are there with a shoulder and open ears, more importantly open minds.

One thing that is getting to me, when speaking to those I know, is that when I make a statement about my woes, instead of picking me up, m…

January Movies

I decided to keep a list of movies I watch over the course of this year and here's my January total, with a very brief, one line view of my feelings on them. If anyone has some suggestions for me, please let me know. My current list of must watch films is at about 325, so a few more won't hurt. Here's January!

I, Frankenstein - Better than anticipated and Yvonne StrahovskiRoom 237 - Silly, aside from the obvious observations - war, genocide, labyrinthThe Outlaw (Korean) - Garbled mess with some worth ideas, but fails on each.Deliver Us From Evil - Great lead up to a disappointing final 20 minutesIda - The best movie of the year, if not the last fewVenom - Awful horror with a good castBarricade - Will from Will & Grace sucks in this supernatural nightmare.Calvary - Incredible film by the people who made The GuardSamurai Rebellion - Mifune. Slow start, but wow what a finish.H.H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer - Documentary - Crap!Neverlake - Extraordinary take …