Jan 18

Revenge of Moe B*tch*s… and His Gal Everyday.

Moe Bitches

The story that is attempting to be told here is a great one: 1940’s gangsters, a hero cop, not one but two independent females, a slightly dirty cop, racial unity, and a little bit of the good guys win.  Its premise is familiar, as it is repeated often when telling a Wild West tale.  Throw in that it is based on true events and you got yourself a gauranteed money maker right??? No?

Ok well then lets throw in a slew of top notch actors and hot names in Hollywood.  We need a tough guy, sociopath, boxing, mob man?  Oh Sean Penn would be perfect for that.   Wait, Sean Penn???Thats right, folks.  His performance is flawless and easily the best in the entire film.  It isn’t over the top, mockery of the Godfather, but its not so serious that you can’t believe it either.  Then you throw in then dynamic duo of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone for sex appeal and to bring in the young crowd.  I don’t know who made the decision to make Gosling talk like he got kicked in the nuts the whole time, but I had to admit that by the end of the film I was questioning if I would ever be able to talk him into the red head sandwich Emma and I had waiting for him.  With Giovanni Ribisi, Michael Pena, and Robert Patrick bringing in the comedic relief, Anthony Mackie helping out the racial unity, Josh Brolin playing your “Captain America”-ish good guy lead, Nick Nolte making an appearance as a Police Chief (strangely enough), and Miereille Enos bringing your speaking females in this movie up to two, there is an actor in here to make this movie a hit to anyone right?

Then the dialogue happens.  The writing makes this movie feel like it has Bipolar Disorder; it doesn’t know wether it wants to be a serious movie about righting Mob Crimes in the ’40’s or if it wants to make fun of the serious movie about righting Mob Crimes in the ’40’s. You’ve got everything from rewording well known sayings (Don’t shoot where its at, shoot where its going to be son), to your typical over-the-top good guy sayings (“Chief Bill Parker: I want to talk to you about the war for the soul of Los Angeles.
We’re losing her to an eastern crook. This isn’t a crime wave, it’s enemy occupation. I want you to wage guerrilla war against Mickey Cohen.Sgt. John O’Mara: Yes, sir”
), to your one liners meant to reach out to your rebellious crowd
(“Mickey Cohen: A cop that’s not for sale is like a dog with rabies, you just gotta put ’em down.”)  Add to that the slow moving pace that even an amazing car chase sequence couldn’t help, and well I have to say this movie wasn’t very interesting.  The cliche meter was well above acceptable readings and I damn near fell asleep whenever Josh Brolin talked at all. 

From the sex sells stand point, the people who marketed this film did an amazing job.  We saw this opening weekend, on date night, and wasn’t dissappointed in the amount of attractive people I saw.  Even with all the problems, if you aren’t spending 30$ at the theater it isn’t a horrible waste of your viewing capabilities.  However, I would recommend waiting til its on cable, for free, and there is nothing else on.  Unless you are really light on spank-bank materials…

Seriously, who wouldn't want to be in this bed???

Sep 23

The Great Gatsby: Greatly Anticipated

 

Everyone has a bucket list.  However, how many of us have a reading bucket list????  This list can include the classics (such as Of Mice and Men, A Tale of Two Cities), Sci Fi/Fantasy favorites (such as Ann Rice’s Vampire novels or the Louisiana Vampire Series), the latest Physics theories, or the newest Young adult fiction series (the great Harry Potter owns the corner on this market, but there are other notables like Rick Riordans Heroes series that are so delicious and The Hunger Games series that I couldn’t put down). Yeah I’m that kind of nerd.  My list has all of this and more.  My favorite category of literature, though, are period pieces.  I love the past, but specifically, I like the idea of going back in time and trying to process things the way others would have with the moral code of the times.

The latest in my list consumption was The Great Gatsby.  In case you haven’t read it, I won’t spoil the actual plot points or anything.  I will just say it is a ridiculously sad book.  It brings home the saying of “there are no happy endings”.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and now CANNOT wait until Baz Luhrmann’s film version!  I love what he did Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge so I hope it is more in that vein, as opposed to Australia (the film, not the country).

In particular, I look forward to seeing how they navigate the point of view.  Also, it is inevitable that every book-turned-film loses a bit of content, and its not always the useless bits you want to see cut out.  I am hoping that Baz gets rid of a lot of useless bits that irritated me as a reader.  However, I am fearful that there will be some issues with the resolution.  The book does this rather abruptly I’m not sure this will translate gracefully to film.  I guess we’ll find out in May 2013!   Who knows, maybe by then I will be adventurous enough to do a Vid Pod Quo!

 

Apr 09

Hard (Core) Candy

While recording our latest episode, we dipped a toe into a discussion about a movie I’m a big fan of. Coincidentally, it was also a precursor of sorts to Quid Pod Quo,  in that it was movie I “forced” Justine to watch early in our relationship.

Hard Candy stars Ellen Page and Patrick Wilson in what is, essentially, a two character piece about guilt, innocence, perception and what justice and evil really look like. So much of the impact of the movie depends on processing the information as it is presented to you,  that I’m loathe to reveal much of the plot. I will say that Ellen Page plays Hayley, a young teenage girl who befriends the much older Jeff (Wilson) on the Internet. They meet at a café but Jeff convinces her to come back to his place to continue hanging out.What follows is not at all what you may be expecting.

At turns ugly, brutal, and hard to watch; but nonetheless, it will leave you questioning your own feelings about the phrase “let the punishment fit the crime”. And, as a comic book fan, it (perhaps unintentionally) makes you question the mindset that would drive a Batman, or a Wolverine to do what they do, and what that mindset looks like on someone not wearing a mask. Add to this stellar performances by Page & Wilson and you have what is easily one of my favorite films of the last decade.

Mar 28

The Hunger Games: They Will Leave You Sated!

 ****There are spoilers in this article if you haven’t seen the movie yet!  Also, it might be a good idea to read the books first.  In fact, yes read the books first.  Its ok.  I’ll wait******

I am the kind of nerd girl who was at the opening for The Deathly Hallows Pt2 with my Harry Potter Quidditch shirt, my Goblet of Fire hoodie, and my wand in hand! Unfortunately, though, I am also the kind of nerd girl who leaves the theater when seeing Goblet of Fire pissed as hell that they left Dobby out! What were they thinking! How are we supposed to care when Dobby dies! I even read all of the Twilight novels (yes I hear you all complaining already) and now only watch the movies to be pissed off that they don’t do ANYTHING right in them. I mean, if I were you guys I would be judgy too if, if I am basing my opinion on the series by the big steaming pile of crap that is the movies.

I digress. The point is I am very excited when my books I love to read make it to the big screen. I am also very critical of the things the producers and screen writers change or get wrong. So when we went into the theater to see Hunger Games, fresh on the heels of me finishing the first installment of the book series, I was prepared to be angry, confused, hurt or indignant. What I wasn’t prepared for was to actually be satisfied.

I had been putting off reading this series for at least a year. Everyone told me I would love it (Jared included). In many ways, I was just like my stubborn ten year old, who would also love this book series if he ever read it. Unfortunately, in my head I just couldn’t justify getting involved in yet another series about teenagers when I am still working on my bucket list of Classics, my current obsession with historical fiction, and for fun there is always the new Dexter I have been putting off purchasing. I am a grown up and should be putting away my childish things, right? Wrong! This is the first book series in a very long time that I was so excited for I read 850+ pages in three days. I just had to know where the world of Panem was going!

So apprehensively, scene by scene, I watched the characters come to life. Even though I was skeptical of the casting choices (I’m looking at you Josh Hutcherson), every actor was able to show me how they were the embodiment of their character. I believed Peeta’s love for Katniss, even though scenes were omitted or cut down for time. I also understood adding in Caesar Flickman and Claudius Templesmith as sort of play by play announcers and why they were necessary. I didn’t feel like it was an odd choice or that it took away from the movie at all. And now that I have finished book two, I even get why the gamemaker not only has a role, but a name and several scenes. I think they did an spectacular job on blending things in a way that will make this trilogy amazing for the screen.

On a side tangent, though, I would like to address the racist controversy surrounding the casting choices of Rue, Thresh, and Cinna. I really don’t understand it at all. For the first, simplest, reason I would like to point out that when you are reading the descriptions for Rue and Thresh, there is the description of their skin tone, and her curly black hair. You really have to be a moron to not put two and two together. As for Cinna, I thought it was a weird choice too. Not to be mean, but I thought they were just going for name power on this one, not acting skills. In my head, he was Asian. I don’t know why, there was no description of him other than the way he dressed and his tattoos. Lenny Kravitz did a great job with the few scenes he had, though, and I don’t think any fans can be pissed at that. He played the character the way he was meant to be seen from the book. Most of all, I think that these racist fans missed the over all point of the book. United we stand, divided we fall. We shouldn’t be fighting with one another over where we’re from, what we have or what we look like. I know it sounds corny, but when I was reading this book I never once thought “oh, these people must be white!” nor did I read it on the page. There were descriptions of common features, hair color, eye color, skin tone, but not ethnicity. The worst definition you see is the division between the haves and the have nots. Because of this way Suzanne Collins described her characters, when Finnick arrives next movie, I almost see a mixed or light skinned man with “bronze” hair and sea green eyes, a young Robert Ri’chard. Yes, in fact, I would be disappointed if he isn’t exactly that. So for the Tweeting Twats that say the “little black girl ruined the movie” I’d like to say take a nightlock berry and do the world a favor. We don’t’ want stupid catching fire.

Feb 14

Not Another Shakespeare Movie!

Since my teen years, William Shakespeare has been my constant lover and companion.  I have to confess, we never really did a “getting to know you” session, though.  We went straight into the hot and steamy love affair.  I also admire historical fiction in general, in a “we can be friends with benefits” kind of way.  So when I first saw the trailer for Anonymous, it was already decided that I would see it.  I had to make a conscious decision to not research this story line ahead of time.  I wanted to come into this as clean as possible.  I have to say that wasn’t a mistake.  Jared and  I settled into watch this on a cold snowy afternoon and it was a solid choice.

The opening and closing way of pulling you into the movie was very Shakespearean in and of itself.  It was completely annoying to have the flashbacks in a flashback of a flashback, though, and did almost ruin the mood.  I felt like I needed a pen and paper to start taking notes on the timeline and who did what when.  This proved a useful tool however as I found myself rocking a wiki on my dear Williams life to see what was fiction and what was fact.  After all, isn’t the point of a good movie to send you home thinking about it later?

The movie takes the Oxfordian theory on Shakespeare (wiki it!  It was an interesting article!) as its base and builds a very elaborate story line, mixing historical fact and fictional liberties (like assuming the Queen of England could get pregnant and it go unnoticed!).   This is the brand of historical fiction I love.  It is passion and theory on the emotions of people who lived and died long ago.

Reading a historical textbook always was so damn boring to me in school, until Mr. Paddock, my 11th grade social studies teacher, taught me to not think of the month and year and event, but think of  the people of the times.  Shakespeare has often been referred to as the “Soul of the Age”.   This film portrays that very well, even if you don’t believe the Oxfordians and are a firm Stratfordian believer.   In the visual aspect alone, you are transported back to the early 1600’s and the dawning of a new age in England (even though the film was shot in Germany!).  Minor annoyances aside, I whole heartedly recommend RedBox-ing this movie!  It was not really worth a family going to the movies opening day, but it was definitely worth my money for a movie rental.  Don’t forget the cocoa and popcorn!

Jan 19

Straw Dogs: Just say no!!!!

For anyone who reads the plot summary and thinks to themselves “Wow, this sounds like a well thought out, exciting thriller!” I have three words for you:  Just say no!  Alexander Skarsgard has been the object of many of my (as well as many other women’s) late night fantasies (Sorry Jared!).  So when I saw he had a starring role in a movie, it was already on my must watch list.  Put him together with a cast full of other top quality actors, such as James Woods,  James Marsden, Laz Alonzo, and Dominic Purcell, well hell you would think you have a hit right?  Even the trailers made the movie appear exhilarating.

That exhilaration quickly turns into painful boredom as one is watching this film.  The beginning scenes in this film feel as though you are walking through three feet of mud in a snow suit.  The movie takes a great premise and a good thesis and ruins it by giving us boring and unmemorable characters.  David and Amy Sumner feel like a couple who are on their first vacation together and haven’t quite figured out how they feel about each other yet.  They feel far from the married couple of several years they are supposed to be.  Not to mention they do nothing to make us like David.  From word one out of his mouth you are already rooting for Charlie.

That is until Charlie has to talk.  It is actually painful to hear how badly Alexander Skarsgard’s accent fades in and out.   The only redeeming quality of the movie is the short and fast paced gore-riffic battle at the Sumner homestead.  You get a few inventive death scenes for the torture-porn enthusiast and that is about it.

This film tried to tell a story using only broad strokes and used too wide of a brush.  So for anyone looking to rent this movie, I say don’t!  From what I am told your money is better spent on the original.