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My Ranking of the Oscar Films

In Uncategorized on February 17, 2015 at 5:10 pm

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My rankings of the movies involved with the Oscars this year, excluding Foxcatcher and Whiplash (Sorry guys didn’t have enough time and money to watch them) SPOILERS ABOUND!

I will provide you the movies in order from best to worst, in my opinion, the reason why the movie is ranked where it is, and my favorite scene from that said movie

1. Selma: Directed by Ava DuVernay, Starring: David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Carmen Ejogo as Corretta Scott King, Tom Wilkinson as Lyndon B. Johnson, and Tim Roth as Governor George Wallace.

The Reason: Because this movie made me feel unbelievably sad, happy, and disgusted with human nature. It also showed a side of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that, at least from what I’ve seen or heard of, that hasn’t really been shown before. He was doubtful, he had affairs, he smoked cigarettes, and he used race to solve conflicts. He was, and I hate this term, but a race-baiter. The scene where this is incredibly relevant is when Lyndon B. Johnson accused King of wanting some white people to get hurt and King doesn’t deny it. That’s not to say that he went in with the intention that a lot of white people were going to die or hoping that they would, but rather that he knew the power of race and he was going to use. Also, the scene in which the two African Americans get killed in the restaurant nearly broke me.

Favorite Scene: The scene where King finds out that two white priests have been killed and he nearly falls flat on his face. But he doesn’t. He composes himself and the next thing he says is “Get me the President on the phone” or something to that effect. He was upset with the loss of life but he also understood how this could be used to push policy and get the President to do what he wanted and what African Americans needed in the south.

2. Birdman Directed by: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Starring: Michael Keaton as Riggan, Emma Stone as Sam, Naomi Watts as Lesley, and Edward Norton as Mike.

The Reason: The cinematography. The meta-ness of this film. The story. The single shot. The acting. The relevance to Hollywood’s obsession with trilogies and superhero movies. All of it. Michael Keaton gets the most love from me within this film. He came right out of nowhere and played a character and acted like I personally have never seen him do before. He was utterly fantastic.

Favorite Scene: The final performance with Michael Keaton

3. American Sniper Directed by: Clint Eastwood, Starring: Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle and Sienna Miller as Taya

The Reason: Because Bradley Cooper gives one hell of a performance, the story is quite good, and I think it is neither a pro-war film nor an anti-war film. It’s a film focusing on one man’s story and relationship to the Afghanistan/Iraq war. It shows his relationship to it, how it affects him physically and emotionally and how it affects his family as well. It’s a movie that’s similar to The Hurt Locker in that it just shows war without, I believe, any politically agenda behind it. Which does not mean, of course, that it hasn’t been.

Favorite Scene: The scene in which Bradley Cooper nearly assassinates the kid who is picking up the rocket launcher. His facial expression, the noise that he makes, his eyes, his tone, everything within that minute scene were just spot on and appeared completely realistic.

4. The Grand Budapest Hotel Directed By: Wes Anderson, Starring: Ralph Fiennes as M. Gustave, F. Murrary Abraham as Mr. Moustafa, Jude Law as the young writer, Tom Wilkinson as Author, Tilda Swinton as Madame D. Tony Revolori as Zero, Edward Norton as Henckels, Adrien Brody as Dmitri, and Willem Defoe as Jopling, and Jeff Goldblum as Deputy Kovacks

The Reason: I am usually not a fan of Wes Anderson films. I liked Fantastic Mr. Fox, did not enjoy the Royal Tenebaums, and wasn’t a huge fan of Rushmore. The awkwardness of his characters usually bothers me. The characters in Grand Budapest are fantastic and the story is really really good. I loved Revolori and Fiennes and I thought they actually did seem like mentee and mentor. Their relationship was fantastic and it felt real. And the ending, ugh, was heart-wrenching.

Favorite Scene: The two scenes on the train. I liked how it encompassed so many things, mis-use of power, love, and strength. They were so well done and the ending to the second train scene was heart breaking.

5. The Theory of Everything Directed by: James Marsh, Starring: Eddie Redmayne, as Stephen Hawking, Felicity Jones as Jane Hawking, and Charlie Cox as Johnathan Hellyer Jones

The Reason: Because this movie is good, but not great. Eddie Redmayne’s performance is incredible and he does come across as Sir Hawking in a majority of a scenes but the story wasn’t as captivating as say Selma. Where Selma made me bawl, The Theory of Everything made me slightly upset. It’s a story that needs to be told and should be but I just didn’t think it was spectacular.

Favorite Scene: The most upsetting and emotionally draining scene was where Hawking struggles up the stairs and finds himself looking up at his child at the top of the stairs. This was a well shot scene that displayed exceptionally well just how debilitating his disease was both physically and emotionally.

6. Boyhood Directed by: Richard Linklater, Starring Ellar Contrane as Mason, Patricia Arquette as Mom, Lorelei Linklater as Samantha, and Ethan Hawke as Dad

Reason: God I really did want to love this movie. I remember first hearing about it and seeing that trailer and just being blown away. This movie had so much potential but the one reason why I was very dissatisfied with the film over all was due to Ellar Coltrane’s performance. He was an affectively neutral kid who never got upset, angry, or even screamed for that matter, and performances like that only get better when the character goes to the other end of a scale. A character I appreciate is one who “loses it”. Let’s say the individual who has everything planned out and nothing goes according to plan, nothing. I want to see how that character reacts and I want to see how the actor performs it. Anyone can play the stoner Brad Pitt from True Romance but not many people can play Walter White as he runs over two drug dealers in an attempt to save Jesse Pinkman’s life. Matter of fact, not many people can play Walter White or Jesse Pinkman, two individuals who are rarely ever affectively neutral. And it is so frustrating because there were moments in which Mason could have reacted, he could have been angry, mad, thrown something at the wall, he had two deadbeat alcoholic stepfathers, but we don’t see any of that. Ellar Coltrane was exactly that and the phenomenal performances from Arquette and Hawke could not save this movie for me. I loved the methodology for this film but the performances were just lackluster. I also was not a huge fan of Linklater’s use of media to beat it over the viewer’s head to show the viewer what era it was. He did it several times throughout with the use of Samantha singing “Oops I did it Again” and the song choices he used throughout the film. I thought it was a bit much and it felt somewhat forced to me

Favorite Scene: The scene in which Mason and his sister are their step-siblings are being questioned by their alcoholic stepfather. It’s a tense film that came across as incredibly realistic and very disturbing.

7. The Imitation Game Directed by: Morten Tyldum, Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Allen Turing, Keira Knightley as Joan Clarke, Matthew Goode as Hugh Alexander, Mark Strong as Stewart Menzies, and Charles Dance as Commander Denniston

The Reason: Ugh. This movie should have been darker, rawer, and grittier. It was too “Disney” for me. The scene that did it for me, when Turing and his team did the Three Musketeers, all for one and one for all. He was told that he was being kicked off the team and despite him being rude and incredibly short to his team mates they say, “If you take Turing off this case, we’re going too”. It just felt too forced and incredibly scripted. I think Turring’s story is a story that needs to be told but I think that the story was too washed out in order to be more accessible by a wider audience and because of that, it lost me. I also wish more time was spent explaining the machine. I know, science isn’t often sexy, but I just got sick of him offering very little information as to how his machine worked and just shots of him constantly tinkering at it.

Favorite Scene: I guess the scene in which the viewer sees Turing post chemical castration. This is a gut-wrenching scene and Benedict Cumberbatch plays it quite well.

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I Want to Fly with “Birdman”

In Uncategorized on January 4, 2015 at 5:50 pm

“Birdman” was one of the best films I have seen in an incredibly long time. It is a film that I may have to see again not only because I want to but because I feel that Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu deserves to have as much money thrown at him as possible for making this film. I should really say that no only does he deserve recognition, rather, that anyone loosely associated with this film deserves recognition. In the age of franchises, sequels, and blockbuster explosions, “Birdman” tells an original story and it is a movie that will be spliced, discussed, and examined for years to come. If you consider yourself a cinaphile, watch this movie.

“Birdman” tells the story of Riggan Thomas (Michael Keaton), an aging actor who left Hollywood because he no longer wanted to continue making Birdman films and decided, instead, to adapt and start in a Raymond Carver story titled “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. The film begins a few nights before the show previews and Riggan must find another actor to replace a pivotal character. Lucky for him, Mike Shiner (Edward Norton) is free and has been rehearsing with Lesley (Naomi Watts) who also stars in the production. Because of this, Shiner knows all of the lines and comes with Broadway experience that equally frustrates and amazes Riggan. As the movie continues, the viewer finds from Riggan’s attorney Jake (Zach Galifianakis) that everything that Riggan has is on the line for this film, that Riggan’s relationship with his daughter Sam (Emma Stone) is severely strained, and that his lover Laura (Andrea Riseborough) may be pregnant.

This entire story is shown utilizing, basically, a single shot. There are some scenes where some craft editing is done, but with the utilization of a handheld camera, the story unfolds in a raw fashion, where the viewer feels closer to the characters and the characters themselves appear real. It was a fantastic movie, shots and interactions of which gave me chills.

Edward Norton is Mike Shiner. There appears to be no instance in which he broke from that character and his interactions with Emma Stone and Michael Keaton are fantastic. His monologues discussing the difference between Hollywood and Broadway will be quoted and studied for many years following this film.

I have no idea where Keaton pulled whatever he pulled to make this film, but he did it and he is unrecognizable. Seriously. It is a fairly meta film, he did play Batman as we all know, but the scenes when he goes on stage and when he begins to question his decision regarding this play, are Oscar-worthy.

The award winning part of this film, is the cinematography. I haven’t seen all of the presumed Oscar contenders, BUT, this film deserves the award for its cinematography. Some of the shots were set up so superbly and left me astounded as to how Inarritu did it.

This move set the standard for filmography and story telling and it something everyone needs to see and directors need to strive to create films as good as “Birdman”

Why I Will Never Go “Into the Woods” and Why You Shouldn’t Either

In Uncategorized on January 4, 2015 at 5:27 pm

Because, basically, it’s a crap film. I, personally, am not a huge fan of musicals, but given the hype machine surrounding this film, I agreed to see it and it was pretty terrible. The pacing was off, it stopped being a musical about halfway through the movie, and Johhny Depp as The Wolf was fairly disgusting. It also wasn’t that funny and I’ve heard that the musical is much better.

“Into the Woods” was directed by Rob Marshall based upon the musical created by Stephen Sondheim. This films involved the combination of Little Red Riding HoodRapunzel, Jack and the Bean Stalk, and Cinderella. This story includes three new characters, the Baker (James Corden), the Baker’s Wife (Emily Blunt), and the Witch (Meryl Streep) and all of these characters come together in the woods when the Witch is told that the Barker’s Wife can only give birth after a curse has been lifted. This curse was placed upon the Baker’s father for stealing the Witch’s magic beans and the Baker and his wife must collect various items from Jack (Daniel Huttlestone), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), and Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy). Throughout the movie there are various exposition-ary songs that explain everyone’s role within the film and what they want to gain from life.

The major downfall of this film is the pacing, it is a back heavy film where the second part includes very little singing, is fairly dark, and drags on and on and on and on. I presumed that the film had about half an hour 45 minutes left in it. Nope. It goes on for nearly an hour, none of which was necessary.

It was also not at all funny, which I am told, was one of the best parts of the musical. There were scenes where the character stepped out of themselves to comment on something that he or she had done that, from the audience’s point of view, was stupid. But these moments were sprinkled throughout, when this film should have been saturated with it.

The Wolf was a rapist and watching him sing and gaze upon a young girl, whose skin he describes quite clearly, is incredibly uncomfortable. I am told that Little Red Riding Hood was played by an adult in the musical and the use of a child actress within this film for this scene was careless and disgusting. Seriously, the song should have been cut or Little Red Riding Hood should have been played by an adult.

Finally, my last little pet peeve about this film, is that when the Giantess (Frances de la Tour) for some reason the camera shot only goes so far as to include her nose all the way down to here feet. Her eyes are rarely visible. It happens enough times within this film to be incredibly annoying and bothersome.

My thoughts, this movie was a waste of time and money. If you haven’t seen it. Don’t.

The Babadook: One Hell of a Movie

In Uncategorized on December 26, 2014 at 1:46 pm

“The Babadook” is one of the best horror movies I’ve seen in a very long time. It’s simple, it’s horrifying, and it was splendidly done.

“The Babadook” tells the story of a mother, Amelia played by Essie Davis, and her son, Samuel played by Noah Wiseman, as they attempt to come to terms with a life without a husband and a father. Samuel seems to have a particularly difficult time coming to terms with the loss of his father and has an increased interest in protecting himself from the scary monsters that threaten his sleep by building a variety of weapons such as a crossbow equipped with a nice pointy dart. Amelia struggles as a result of this, often going nights without sleep, or very little of it, and struggles at work, at home, and with her sister, played by Hayley McElhinney. Things turn for the worst when Samuel discovers a book titled The Babadook and Amelia, being exhausted and stressed begins reading it despite never having heard of it or seeing it prior to that night. As can be expected, Samuel is traumatized by this book and mysterious spooky things begin happening to the house as a result of this single book. The movie is incredibly scary, fantastically done, and original, especially the ending.

The best part about this movie? It was directed and written by a female director, Jennifer Kent, and, the best part, this was the first time she has ever directed any film. A fantastic beginning? I think so. She definitely has a fantastic career ahead of her and I will most certainly follow her career.

The fact that this was directed by a female also appears to reflect on the plot as well, consists solely of a mother and her son and their relationship. There is no knight in shining armor that comes to rescue them, rather, it is simply through their own expertise and love for one another that they overcome this terrible episode. The acting that occurs as a result of this is fantastic. Essie Davis brings her all and is chill-worthy. Her scenes nearing the end of the film are nightmarish. This acting also demonstrates the need for this in horror films and not the over-reliance of computer generated scares and gore. The actors, the bumps in the nights, the pop-up-book, all bring about a tension filled horror movie.

I also have to at least comment on the ending. It was unexpected and original. I did not see it coming, nor will you. It was a great ending and I am pleased with the director Kent went with it because if she went any other way, “The Babadook” would have just been like any other horror movie.

See this movie. It is fantastic, scary, and incredibly original. Please please do. Support this woman and her work because she needs to continue creating films like this.

“NightCrawler” Is Nothing Like I Expected….

In Uncategorized on November 2, 2014 at 12:53 pm

The trailers appeared to depict Jake Gyllenhaal, Louis Bloom, as a camera man who attempts to get the story first, film it, and sell it to a television station. Louis appeared to lose it when he arrived a crime scene before the cops did, uncovers something he isn’t supposed to, and possibly gets hunted down or targeted because of it. This is what I thought the movie would be, but I was very much caught off guard.

“Nightcrawler” is actually a critique of 24 hours news and a study of man all wrapped up into one. It does still star Jake Gyllenhaal as a camera man but not so much in over his head as he is creating his own chaos. The story begins with Mr. Bloom selling scrap metal that he stole and along the way home from this encountering an accident and subsequently following that encountering Bill Paxton, playing Joe Loder, a fell Nightcrawler, who drives around Los Angeles at night capturing the car crashes, shootings, and stabbings as they happen, hopefully before the police even arrive, and sell the footage to a news station. Armed with a camera and a police scanner he buys from a pawn shop, Louis finds the gory blod spatter crime and films it and then sells it to local news station who is run by Rene Russo, playing Nina Romina. Utilizing the help of his trusty, but ultimately non-essential, side kick, Rick, played by Riz Ahmed, Louis’s company grows, and akin to Gordon Gecko, so does his power, worth, and ruthlessness.

Now Gyllenhaal, is unrecognizable in this film. A friend of mine told me that he was told by the director, Dan Gilroy, that Gyllenhaal was told to appear in the scenes literally hungry and his character comes across as such. Maniacal and vascular, Louis is equal parts cold and calculating and, if this film gains some notoriety, he will become an iconic character and reminded me of equal parts Patrick Bateman from American Psycho and Tom Cruise’s character from Collateral. I don’t know why Gyllenhaal chose this role but I suggest you see it for the sole purpose of witnessing his skill as an actor and never watch the movie again, because, it is, well….pretty damn dark.

Now, what I was referring to before, about this being a critique of the 24 hour news network, isn’t hard to miss. Ms. Romina is shown instilling fear into her audience and creating a story that was fairly fictitious all the while employing people like Mr. Bloom to go out and find gorier and gorier stories, because, stories like that pay and keeps the viewers interested. I also feel that this movie illustrates one possible, and I say that very lightly, outcome of what happens when you put a man in a corner. Bloom’s back is against the wall. He steals to survive and once he finds his career, he never lets go of it and quickly dispatches people who get in his way. Now, is he just a man chasing the American dream, or is he a sicko who managed to make a ton of money off of doing something that he really liked? I don’t know but maybe you do. What are your thoughts? If you’ve seen the movie, let me know what you think. And if you haven’t…check it out…and then let me know what you think.

Orange you going to watch “Orange is the New Black”?

In Uncategorized on May 22, 2014 at 6:39 pm

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This past week, I had the pleasure and privelige of being able to attend a screening of “Orange is the New Black” Season 2, Episode 1. For those of you who don’t have Netflix, “OITNB” tells the story of Piper Chapman, played by Taylor Schilling, who has recently been incarcerated at an all-female state penitentiary. “OINTB” is based up the true life story of Piper Kerman who wrote the book Orange is the New Black. The book and show are incredibly different and I would say that the show is arguably the better of the two, but that is neither here nor there. The show displays Piper has she struggles with her new confinement and away from her boyfriend, Larry, played by Jason Biggs, and amongst several females, one of which is her ex-girlfriend Alex Vause, played by Laura Prepon, who is doing time for the same bid. Amongst these cast of characters there are several worth mentioning such as Taystee, played by Danielle Brookes, Red, played by Kate , and Officer Healy, played by Michael Harney. I cannot express how little of this show I have touched upon but I highly recommend you watch it, because, well, it is a fantastic show.

But, I am here to discuss the season 2 premiere and will do so without spoilers!

Let me start off by saying this episode is quite dark and mainly focuses on Piper. Schilling has several moments throughout this episode where her abilities come shining forth, most notably a monologue in which the camera is about 10 inches away from her face. This episode also depicts the confusing bureaucracy that is the penal system, nobody knows what they are doing or why they are doing it, rather some superior told them to do so, and they shall do it. Also, a bit of back story is filled in regarding Piper’s life and what has been occurring within the time period between the two seasons. This episode was probably one of the better episodes I’ve seen, especially for Piper, because she appears to have come to terms with some aspects of herself she may have not known existed. I also have to say that the ending of the episode was perfect, in that it left me pressing the imaginary remote to continue watching the next episode. 

So, when June 6th rolls around you should be ready to have this season consume your life. 

This Movie Should Have Been Struck By Lightning

In Uncategorized on June 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm

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Seriously, never have I felt so deceived by a trailer before. This movie was God awful and appeared to hold so much promise given the actors that were involved and the story. 

“Struck By Lightning” was directed by novice Chris Colfer who also stars in the film as Carson Phillips. Carson, has a problem. He is in a dead end town and wants to become a journalist but needs to apply himself more in school to do so. He decides, inadvertently, that he will enlist the help of Malerie Baggs, Rebel Wilson, who films everything, to blackmail the popular kids in his school into submitting pieces for his literary magazine. This posse includes, Claire Matthews (Sarah Hyland) Dwayne Michaels (Matt Prokop), Vicki Jordan (Ashley Richards), Scott Thomas (Graham Rogers), and Remy Baker (Allie Grant). Oh did I mention that Carson’s mom, Allison Janney, is a divorcee who is addicted to prescription meds and her ex-husband, Dermot Mulroney, is getting remarried to Christina Hendricks? No, I didn’t. Well he is and basically Chris’s life sucks. 

Now, everybody loves an underdog story and they love seeing the individual rise above their circumstances and make something of themselves. Sometimes, along the way, these individuals come to find that well what they had wasn’t so bad and they end up coming to terms with that.

Nothing like this occurs in “Struck by Lightning”. Carson, doesn’t change. His parents don’t change. His classmates don’t change. Nothing occurs that is notable within this movie that involves change. Everyone stays that same and no one seems affected by any monumental  happening within this dead end town. Nobody, except perhaps Rebel Wilson’s character. But even she cannot save this movie.

Chris Colfer appeared to envision this character who railed against the system and, in the process, changed the view of his classmates, but I think he forgot that part when he was writing this script. His constant push against the system also comes off as quite stale and annoying. Alright, we get it. You’re better then everyone else, you’re smarter then everyone else, we know, we know. Eventually, his constant fighting comes off as somewhat narcissistic, without a bit of selflessness.

I could go on and on and on about how bad and disappointing this movie was, but I would just be beating a dead horse. This movie sucked and please refrain from watching it. 

Get These Men Some Lights!

In Uncategorized on May 30, 2013 at 8:13 pm

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This past week, I had the privilege of seeing “Star Trek Into Darkness” and I was quite impressed with what J.J. Abrams did once again. I have been following this movie since I found out that Cumberbatch was going to be playing the villain and boy did he bring it. I mean really bring it. Like snapping necks and breaking legs bring it. BUT, I digress.

“Star Trek Into Darkness” is J.J. Abrams second installment of the Star Trek series. Chris Pine returns as James Tiberius Kirk with Zachary Quinto as Spock as well. Zoe Saldana as Uhura, SImon Pegg as Scotty, Karl Urban as Bones, Anton Yelchin as Chekov, and John Cho as Sulu all return to their respective roles as well. Simon Pegg is brilliant in this movie. He is the perfect Scotty, and I only know Scotty from all the skits that people have done based off of him, BUT, despite that, i still think he is quite good. This installment finds the crew observing and reporting and sometimes interfering with alien life, going against Star Fleet protocol, but all appears well within the crew. However, this blissful period ends when Kirk’s command is taken from him and Cumberbatch blows up a Star Fleet facility. Determine to bring the criminal to justice, Kirk sets out to find and kill/capture John Harrison, Cumberbatch.

Let me begin by saying, Cumberbatch and Quinto completely and utterly stole this show. Pine did not/could not/ would not be able to perform as well as these two. Cumberbatch was ruthless and singular in his goals. Quinto was just as singular and ruthless when he needed to be. Excellent acting in both respects and I swear on all that is holy that Cumberbatch better become a villain. A Bond villain would be preferable.

The script was also well written within this film. The conversations between Scotty and Kirk were great as were the conversations between Kirk and Spock. I thoroughly enjoyed their dialogue. It was witty, truthful, and often very powerful. It appeared that they truly cared for one another and they would go to the ends of the earth for one another. 

I also thought the story and action were interlaced quite well. There were slow parts but they served a purpose. Their was action but it illustrated a point. Things weren’t blown up for frivolous reasons, rather they showed something. 

 

So all in all, I really liked this movie. It was a separate story unto itself thus allowing it to stand alone as it’s own movie, which I think it could do quite well. J.J. Abrams knows his script, his characters, and his story. He doesn’t abuse fans and tread all over their beliefs, but rather he offers his own ideas while respecting the fan’s. Great movie. Check it out!

Our Parents Are the Best of Friends!

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2013 at 4:10 pm

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I am not one for romantic comedies, but the other night I decided to allow my significant other to make the choice in movies. I liked the look of this film, mainly the cast, but wasn’t the biggest fan of the title. I also saw the trailer when it came out a few months ago and wasn’t impressed. Boy, was I wrong.

“Friends with Kids” is a film directed by Jennifer Westfeldt, who also stars in it alongside Adam Scott, and it tells the story of Jason Fryman, Scott, and Julier Keller, Westfeldt, who decide to have a kid. They reach this decision by seeing the abysmal marriages of their friends Leslie, Maya Rudolph, and Alex, Chris O’Dowd, and their other friends Missy, Kristen Wiig, and Ben, Jon Hamm. Jason and Julie decide to forgo the marriage route and just have sex with one another and raise a baby. They believe that marriages destroy friendships and marriages themselves. So they decide, why not just be friends and raise a kid together. Set in a modern day New York City, “Friends with Kids” tells the story of relationships and love found and love lost.

This movie was unexpectedly fantastic and I blame the title of the movie, the trailer, and the poster for making it appear as a silly rom-com, because it isn’t. It doesn’t feature a glowing all star cast full of beautiful people doing beautiful things, rather these are normal people struggling in their marriages. Yes, Jon Hamm and Megan Fox are in it, but Megan Fox is barely given any screen time and Jon Hamm is not an attractive individual. This film was also shot in a much darker lighting, showcasing specific aspects of the characters that are rarely seen in a romantic comedy. 

I have to say, that my favorite part of this film, was Adam Scott. He was incredible. He appeared to be emulating his character from “Parks and Rec” but he really gave this character depth. He didn’t have all of the answers, he didn’t know why he did things and when he made a choice he couldn’t explain it completely. I mean no one really can. People just do things sometimes. His body language, the silences he had, and the little tid-bits he added to conversations, were all spot on, allowing his character to appear real. 

My second favorite part about this film was the script. It was incredibly well-written in which the pauses and the lapsing of conversation said so damn much. It just sounded like real conversation happening between real people. It sounds easy to do, but it really isn’t. Imagine creating a real conversation on paper. It is incredibly hard but when done right, makes the movie fantastic. 

I also like the editing and the shots that were chosen for this film. Westfeldt gave the viewers glimpses of her characters throughout the film and these glimpses said a lot. A shot of a couple reading the newspaper eating briefcase, another shot of a character looking longingly at a family, and another shot of an individual looking at a Christmas card. All of these conveyed so much and yet were shown for such a little amount of time. It was just fantastic.

I also thought Jennifer Westfeldt did really well. She didn’t soak up the screen time, thus allowing for Scott to really thrive, but she appeared to have a good grasp on her character. I am not the biggest fan of directors starring in their own films so i typically judge them much more harshly then others, but I thought she held her own. She gave her character depth and meaning without sucking it away from other people. Her lines were delivered extremely well and she was just genuinely fantastic.

So check this movie out. It is not a rom-com but rather something more, something better, and with a lot more meaning behind it. 

I’ll Cop to That

In Uncategorized on May 14, 2013 at 10:03 pm

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The other day I was perusing Netflix, interested in watching anything really. I came upon this shower “Copper” and remembered seeing ads all over New York City about it and I knew, just from those ads, I would love this show.

“Copper” is a period detective story that was created by Tom Fantan and Will Rokos. This show follows the life of Detective Kevin Corcoran, Tom Weston-Jones, an Irish New York City detective who returned from the Civil War to find his wife missing and his daughter dead. Original? Not so much, but I don’t hate this show for it. The audience is introduced to Kevin and his two amigos Detective Francis Maguire, Kevin Ryan, and Detective Andew O’Brian, Dylan Taylor, as they delve into the underworld of 1800s New York City and try to solve crimes using wit, humor, guns, and fists. When the going gets tough and Corcoran finds that he cannot figure how a crime has been committed he enlists the help of Matthew Freeman, Ato Essandoh, a free African American who has studied the doctoral arts while in France. Corcoran also relies on the support of his Eva Heissen, Franka Potente, a hooker with a heart of gold. 

This cast includes a lot of characters from all over the socioeconomic field, allowing the audience to glimpse this time period from very different perspectives. We get to see the hooker’s take on the hanging of an African American while also witnessing Corcoran’s insistence on finding out who-dun-it.

I just finished the third episode of this show tonight and I am hooked. My fellow viewer compared this show to “Hell on Wheels” and I could see the similarities but I felt that this show suprecedes that one. For example, this show is a BBC production allowing the viewer to witness more gore, violence, and often nudity. It also doesn’t have that strange filter that “hell on Wheels” has, thus allowing me to watch it without rubbing my eyes. Finally, this show has some characters that I already really enjoy and I think will keep me watching.

I like Tom Weston-Jones, I think he plays Corcoran quite well portraying his lust for a women one minute and his indifference to violence the next minute, quite superbly. I also like his story, although it may appear cliche and unoriginal, I won’t to know who killed his daughter. I want him to find some peace and i want to know why he is so driven.

I also like the eccentricity of Robert Morehouse, Kyle Schmid. I think the best characters are often the ones that appear most unhinged and I think Schmid plays this character quite well. He has that sly grin that almost makes him appear as if he is drunk, when in fact, he might not be. Rather, he might just be scheming and I do enjoy a scheming character.

I like Essandoh’s character as well, however, I think it was a bit much to give him the last name, Freeman. Yes, we get it, he is free. I want some back story as to how him and Corcoran met and I want to witness an instance when his work his finally recognized.

The biggest item that this show has going for it, is the fact that the protragonist isn’t trying to change the system. Cocoran doesn’t believe in a world without police corruption, he understands it’s part of the job and works within these confines. The me-against-the-world theme, can often be very well portrayed but it also can be quite unrealistic. Yes, Corcoran will approve of changes within the police department that make it more legitimate and less illegal but he isn’t going to be the one leading it. 

So watch “Copper”. The first season is on Netflix and so far I enjoy it quite a lot.