Django Unchained is Quentin Tarantino’s latest, a western. You have to admire a guy like Tarantino, who both somehow manges to have a style, but also variety in the kinds of stories he choses. I can’t not like him, because if I was ever inclined to actually be a screenwriter or director, he’s who I would want to emulate. He knows what works for him, and you get the distinct impression he makes the kinds of films he would want to watch.
Django Unchained follows the story of freed slave Django, who wants nothing more than to be reunited his wife, Brunhilda.
- Casting. I may be late to the Christoph Waltz game but I now love him. I was even able to get over Jamie Foxx. Leonardo was Leonardo, but what can you expect?
- That humour. The past is scary, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be funny too. A Dentist Versus Candieland? Love it.
- Can all films have Samuel L Jackson arguing with Leonardo DiCaprio?
- It was a western. I love westerns. But can the woman in the film have more than one or two lines? Alternatively: I’ll acknowledge I probably would have been unhappy if he’d forced gendered roles that didn’t exist in those times on a modern film. I’m a hypocrite.
- Tarantino’s Cameo. It took me to long to figure out that was an Australian accent. The End.
- WHY DID SAMUEL L JACKSON NOT GET ALL THE AWARDS?
Everyone get over the use of the word nigger. Please. It is the 21st century. It was appropriate for the times, and just because it isn’t appropriate now, doesn’t mean it makes the film any less valuable.
Best Line: WHERE IS MY BEAUTIFUL SISTER?
Verdict: Worth it. Tarantino is worth it, because he clearly loves films. Oh and Christoph Waltz. Definitely a multiple view film. Tarantino has layers.
I came across Liberal Arts on my dear friend netflix. I may be in my mid 20’s but as a soon-to-be unstudent again, this movie struck a chord with me. What pseudo-intellectual doesn’t feel like their life is going no where. Liberal Arts is Josh Radnor (of How I Met Your Mother fame) second stint as writer/director/producer/actor.
It follows the story of a 35 year old university admissions advisor, and his struggle to leave his college years behind him. Not in frat boy way, but in an intellectual, I really liked school and miss it kind of way.
- Life is confusing. Adults need to admit this. Thanks Radnor.
- The casting. Smart choice on Efron’s part, Elizabeth Olson is good, I reserve my judgement on her acting until I’ve seen her in a few more things, but this was solid.
- It’s a little cliche. In a good way. Would you expect anything less from a film called Liberal Arts?
- It’s hard to see Radnor as anything other than Ted Mosby.
Best Line: I flew you bastard.
Verdict: Surprisingly touching in a cliched way.
Wreck it Ralph is a computer animated Disney film, following the story of a video game’s villain and his quest to overcome his “bad” image. What child, or adult child doesn’t know what it is like to imagine that their toys or stories don’t have a life outside of our interactions with them? Wreck it Ralph does just that, taking us into what happens after and arcade closes.
- Sarah Silverman didn’t irritate me. I enjoy her humor but her voice often gets in the way.
- The story. Not only does it remind us that even people who appear to be villains have value outside of their appearance. The small interjections of the human characters remind us how little people understand about actual technology.
- The references to real life video games and characters was just enough to ground the film in reality. I had wished they could have referenced two of my favorite games, Donkey Kong and Legend of Zelda, but that could get expensive.
- This movie was robbed of best animated feature. Brave was okay, this, this is amazing. I could rant forever about why animated films don’t get the respect they deserve from the “bigger” awards. While the story doesn’t tackle the serious issues, for example: Terrorism, it teaches children and adults about the simple problems of humanity that many of us encounter on a daily basis. That, in my opinion is just as valuable as the stories of films like Argo.
Verdict: Amazing. Easily in my top 10 of films from 2012, and better than Brave.
I’ll admit, I avoided The Life of Pi for a while. Not because I wasn’t drawn to the story, but because I have a deep and personal love for the book, having had to read it for the first time in my very first semester of university for the only english class I ever took. I was scared. I was scared that the story that “makes you believe in God” would somehow be less magical on screen than it is in my mind.
It tells the story of Pi Patel, named for a french swimming pool, and his exploration of his belief in God in India, and then journey of grief and courage across the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger.
It’s not often I question which I like better, the book of film.
There is none. The story, in my opinion is flawless, the adaptation has the same life and soul that the book has, and the casting and acting was perfection. The direction of Ang Lee continues to amaze me, in the idea what he continuously picks stories with very different styles and it always delivers.
The very, very good:
- The computer animation. It never steals the show. We know most of it is imaginary.
- Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan and all the others who played Pi.
- For a story to make you believe in God, I personally feel it illuminates the tendency in many people believe in the things that make them feel good, or happy. Which is perhaps the whole idea of faith and religion. Yann Martel created a brilliant ending which allows you essentially to do just that. The characters chose, and the reader/watcher can choose too.
Verdict: The story has a happy ending, and it may make you believe in God, and humanity.
Let me preface this review by stating I am not overly emotionally attached to The Wizard of Oz as many people are. I love the movie when it is on tv, Judy Garland is perfection, and the message of the story is exquisite. I also enjoy the musical Wicked which serves as a prequel to The Wizard of Oz. So I guess what I mean is that if I didn’t like the Oz the Great and Powerful, I would just ignore its very existence and any relationship it has to the original story.
Oz starts out with a powerful concept, it wants to show us how the Wizard left Kanas and came to exist in the land that bears his name. James Franco plays the title character (a third choice I might add on Disney’s casting part) with Mila Kunis, Rachel Wiesz and Michelle Williams playing the various witches of Oz.
Credit where Credit is due:
- The homages to the original were nice, a subtle enough without slapping the audience in the face. We learn possibly that it was the wizard who created the cowardly lion.
- I really like the black and white beginning, it had a wonderful feel to it.
- Visual affects were stunning, and avoided an Alice in Wonderland affect it probably would have had if Tim Burton had helmed the project.
- There was a definite attempt to act in the style of the original, and while I appreciated it, it doesn’t necessarily work (see The Bad).
- Casting in general. We all know Michelle Williams exudes kindness, and that Mila Kunis is hot (did we need the gratuitous shots of her but in those leather pants? I had to try not to laugh they were so obvious)
- Why did Rachel Weisz have a half accent? Things like this always bother me.
- The overall plot seemed to be to show us as much as Oz as possible, something I’m not sure we needed.
- I’m not a James Franco Fan. I’m even less of a fan of his Wizard, although I’m not sure if that’s his fault or the writers. Oz is given repeated opportunities to realize his actions have consequences and ignores them. He is so good a convince other characters he is a worthless backstabbing fiend that they instantly believe when he runs off to escape, and yet they continue to give him opportunities to be his friend and do the right thing. His “transformation” at the end felt shallow, and left me not at all convinced he’d actually learnt anything. Sidekick characters are essential pushed aside and ignored for the sake of more shots of James Franco on screen.
- The camera moved so quickly in some action shots, that my eyes couldn’t actually capture the information on the screen. This blurriness was unsettling in a film where everything else was so vivid and fantastical.
- The dialogue changed frequently from a formal version of a movie era past, into answers like “yeah”. This doesn’t work and is distracting.
Don’t get me started on the idea that Oz needed a Man to solve its problems when there were three very powerful woman who could have done it all without him. I mean women are either overpowered by emotion so much that it makes them wicked witches (literally) or they don’t even deserve a name (China Doll).
Verdict: In terms of story, I prefer the Wicked version of events, but I didn’t hate this as much as I thought I did.
Warm Bodies is a 2013 romantic comedy that is set in a post-apocalyptic world. It uniquely tells the story of the zombie apocalypse from the perspective of a zombie. While not as self aware as Shaun of the Dead it is still an enjoyable film, even if it moves a little slowly. I love zombie movies, so I was excited to see one from the view of a Zombie.
- We see little of Dave Franco. The guy bothers me. I was glad he wasn’t in it as much as I anticipated
- Strong supporting cast. John Malkovich? Check. Even the other zombies are hilarious.
- Nicholas Hoult was exceptional. I hope to see big things from him.
- I hope, from the ending it won’t be a franchise. Not everything needs to be a franchise these days.
- The story moves a little slowly, with a lot of the action left to the last third of the film. I am willing to believe that this was a direction choice to mirror the re-humanization of the zombies.
- Teresa Palmer reminded me of Kristen Stewart. She was less irritating than her, but there was still an angst quality. I’m beginning to wonder if her blonde hair helped me ignore the angst.
- I was really unsure how old everyone is supposed to be. Teenagers? Not teenagers?
Verdict: Some pacing problems, but an intriguing idea. A Light hearted-repeat viewing zombie movie.
ummm not impressed with Seth
I’m just more embarrassed for him. a lot of it the writers fault
“we saw your boobs?”
I’m not offended cause its true
it just mostly seems dumb, and there is no precident for making it into a song.
Why are Charlize and Channing dancing?
And why is it not sexy at all?
like that should be sexy.
Be our guest? See this is good.
I love all these clips for best supporting.
Tommy Lee Jones smiling is the best.
how is Christoph Waltz as old as he is?
Jack Nicholson was like “who is quientin?”
There are too few audience shots.
Bradley Cooper’s mother looks like a treat.
Paul Rudd and Melissa McCartney.
Your mom just said you inspired Brave. Good luck with having a better life moment than that.
WHY THE FUCK DID REESE SAY THANK YOU VERY MUCH?
Like, for clapping for her?
Now I need to watch Life of Pi.
This child in beasts of the southern wild.
way to make fun of a 9 year old and sexualize her. That bothers me.
His delivery is terrible. If he delivered bad jokes better, it might be less uncomfortable.
what happened to Ruffalo?
Renner is eyefucking the camera.
eyefucking the FUCK.
Normally I am like oh there’s ruffalo, there goes my panties.
but no. He’s unrecognizable.
Having fun at prom Jen?
Her fillers aren’t doing her face any favours.
50 years of Bond.
Halle Berry’s skin isn’t real.
It can’t be real.
What is Shirely Bassey doing?
Am I supposed to like this?
I kind of like this.
This song is sex.
Bond is sex.
There is a lot of bad hair going on. But I don’t know how I’d fix it.
It is like they said hey celebrities, we want you all to act like uncomfortable teenagers.
Liam Neison does not want to be there.
JGL was in Lincoln?
Who is DDL? He can’t be a real person.
Jessica Chastin is stupid beautiful.
150 years and it is still too soon.
Is it too soon to say that was my favorite joke of the night?
YES REMIND PEOPLE OF GIGLI.
Making fun of the Kardashians is a universal language.
Why were there no cuts to the audience during that?
BEN IS PISSED ABOUT THE GIGLI COMMENT.
Best thing to happen in my life ever.
ARE THEY PLAYING JAWS TO GET PEOPLE OFF THE STAGE?
Mrs. Affleck is still campaigning on stage.
Sharp intake of breathe from Mrs. Affleck.
It’s like Ben will beat her if she doesn’t do this perfectly.
Why did she say Canada like that.
Oh John Travolta.
When I came of age = came out of the closet?
No one can read.
She’s lipsyncing. But I still want to be her friend.
Once in my life I’d like to be lowered off stage while I stand on top of a piano.
I still don’t like this new song from Les Miserables.
Why is this awkward?
This is an awkward mash-up
They’ve used the weirdest camera shot choices.
Tommy Lee Jones = not smiling.
Awards that don’t get broadcast
This makes me so excited for Star Trek.
UM LIKE 50 YEARS TOO LATE FOR A SOUND OF MUSIC JOKE.
They should have had Christopher Plummer host.
This was a solid year for supporting actress.
Amy Adams standing up for her.
Amy Adams needs an award.
Be less try Anne. I’m so happy for you but like, why are you whispering?
I feel like I’m reading her diary entry.
Adele is perfect.
She also has the best hair.
Like. This was just a day in the office for her
That took no effort for perfection.
Nicole my girl.
Tarentio either hates or wants to fuck Nicole.
I can’t ever watch Amour. I’ll have too many feels
WHY WOULD THEY SUBJECT HARRY POTTER TO BELLA?
And she’s doing the weird arm thing she does.
In Remembrance tribute.
“The hardest thing about writing is just writing” truer words never spoken Nora Ephron.
We need to stop with the musical = gay jokes
why is Renee bobble heady? and slurring.
and so squinty?
She’s drunk = my conclusion.
She nearly fell over!
Hey Nora Jones, didn’t know you were still around.
I feel bad for every song not Skyfall.
Richard Gere had to like steady Renee there.
And the award for worst fake embarrassment ever goes too: Charlize Theron.
My mother’s fake laugh is similar.
I’m scared Charlize might hurt Dustin Hoffman when she grabs him.
Jane Fonda is the best kind of bitch.
Stand up for Ang Lee guys.
Also, shout out to Yan Martel.
His wife looks fun. And he seems like a genuine nice guy.
Oh she falls.
and Hugh, ever the gentleman.
THE REST OF THE CAST IS SO HAPPY FOR HER.
Meryl Streep picks a wedgie and I don’t even care.
You’ll get your oscar Hugh. I promise.
Meryl clearly peaked at the envelope
Really, no one else has ever won three?
This Margaret Thatcher joke is brilliant.
Have DDL host the next oscars please.
And they bring out Jack, the unoffical mascot of the Oscars.
Who now has bangs did you notice?
Ben’s probably all like yay, I can stop being photographed with my wife in public now.
I like the George doesn’t want or need to talk.
He sounds like a Jewish boy thanking his parents for the Bat mitzvah they just threw him.
He makes it sound like its hard to be married to Jennifer Garner.
Live Blog Verdict: That was 3 hours of watching really uncomfortable people read bad jokes.
Beasts of the Southern Wild is a 2012 fantasy drama as told through the eyes of young Hushpuppy.
- Quvenzhane Wallis. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with what this young girl was doing. I suppose you could make the argument that she was so young when this was filmed that she might not have even known what she was doing. Regardless. This girl has something. She is a Person with a capital P.
- It’s imaginative. Here’s a child, who by all accounts, shouldn’t have nearly as much hope and imagination as she does. It practically makes your heart bleed.
I can’t actually think of anything bad to say about it. It’s a good length (I’m a fan of the hour and a half run time. The scenery is real and powerful. The acting is superb. It may not be something you need to watch repeatedly, in fact, you probably won’t. It is a powerful little film about braver, love, and imagination.
Verdict: Watch it. Be in awe of Hushpuppy.
I may be a little late to the Pitch Perfect train. I knew I would watch it eventually, having a soft spot for musical numbers, but I never felt compelled to rush out and watch it right away. Shame on Me. SHAME ON ME.
Anyways, Pitch Perfect follows the story of Beca who just wants to be a DJ, but her dad is giving her a free college education. She gets sexually harassed in the coed showers, and auditions to join the failing Bella accapella group. Cue rivalries, and built in love interests.
- It’s mindless Fun. With a capital F.
- There are accapella versions of recent hit songs? Heaven.
- This movie makes me wish I’d done more in University then study, and makes me wish I did more then study now that I’m in grad school. What are these kids grades like?
- Rebel Wilson is great. Anna Kendrick, I want to be your friend. Brittnay Snow I forgot about you, how’s life? Hey Skylar Astin be in more things so I can look at you.
- Elizabeth Banks is always consistently good in small comedic parts. She comes off perfectly funny and sad. (She’s also good in Zack and Miri Make a Porno)
- Young adult angst is so cliche. But it works, so I’ll allow it.
- I was confused re: everyone’s ages? Beca was a freshman, but had tattoos etc. I know that isn’t a reason to think she’s younger, but it confused me. Everyone else seemed a lot more mature than I think all the freshmen were back in my day.
- Predictable Story, but then, we aren’t looking to rewrite the wheel
Verdict: If you don’t like fun then don’t watch it. But if you like fun, then why the hell aren’t you watching it?
It may be hard for many people to push aside their pre-conceived notions about a family like the Siegels. Filmed over the course of two years, we follow David and Jackie Siegel as the 2008 financial crisis hits and begins to change perception of the American Dream. It isn’t just a film about the American dream. It also depicts the failing family dynamic in the western world, and deals briefly with the struggles of immigrant laborers.
The Bad (Figuratively):
Every film needs a villain. Even a documentary isn’t complete without one. Whether the villain is a person, natural disaster, or the issue about gun control in America, it always exists. At first, Greenfield’s villain appears to be the 2008 economic downturn. Not even a quarter of the way through the film, another, more real villain appears. David Siegel. It’s obvious why he’s now suing Greenfield for misrepresentation. Siegel comes off as a greedy, workaholic, power hungry asshole. As the film develops it’s clear that family ties are strained. He ignores his wife and openly admits to building a house valued at 100 million dollars without having a penny saved for his youngest seven children’s educations. Siegel’s eldest son, Richard’s interviews suggest that this role of absentee father isn’t a new one. Richard also points out that his father’s own stubbornness (greed?) is the main reason behind the company’s financial troubles. Based on my minimal knowledge of the business world, I question how
Jackie Siegel. If her husband is the villain, Jackie is the hero. She comes off as genuine and uncalculating (the opposite of her husband). She serves as a refreshing reminder to not judge based on appearance (unfortunately the Real Housewives has poisoned our minds against the blonde hair, fake boobs and Roberto Cavalli outfits). While Siegel does have a penchant for expensive clothes and drivers, we also see how willing she is to help others. Her employees speak fondly of her, and her children seem to like her (even if she admits if she thought she couldn’t have afforded Nannies, she wouldn’t have had seven). Jackie admits she had no idea about the true state of her husband’s finances in the end. In the beginning Jackie states that she believes you can do anything if you work hard for it. By the end, it seems like she stopped working hard and let her husband do it for her. A shame given the warmhearted person she is.
I wanted more:
- Interviews with the family’s nanny’s nannies from the Philippines. This is as far as I know an untapped market in the documentary world.
- The children were eloquent and well spoken regarding their perceptions about life as a wealthy child. A reminder to all the children get it, even when we think they don’t.
Verdict: A must watch. Relevant for people of all economic status and a reminder that the American dream can quickly become a nightmare.