Wednesday, January 29, 2014

More Random Thoughts Of A Movie Insomniac.

Hello everyone.

It's been a while since I last wrote one of these posts, and you would think that with the recent break I was on(and technically still am). That I must have tons of movies I would like to write about.  Well I do and I don't.  You see many times after I see a film,I usually hunker down and write up a long review of it.  Or at the most just jot down a few sentences here.  The problem for me is that when I start to write up my thoughts.  I see that there are tons of other writers who are putting down the same things that I am.  Let's take for example, "Gravity".  I was blown away by this visual spectacle when I saw it in theaters, but when I sat down to write a review.  I noticed tons upon tons of other articles about the same movie.  Many of those pretty much agreeing with what I thought of it.  Spending time to write a review about a movie that everyone has already seen and wrote about seemed pointless at the time.  I would rather write about stuff that most  people may not have seen.   Although to be fair, I'm sure that many of you have already seen the ones listed here and I'm just late.

Sita Sings the Blues  

This is a flash animated movie and before any of you start groaning.  I should say that this is a mostly flash animated feature. There are some line animation and some Indonesian shadow puppets too, but yeah most of it is done in flash.  Although to be fair, the animation does look incredible.  The movie tells the story of The Ramayana and if you are unfamiliar with this Hindu story.  It's OK, I was too.  The story (in the movie) is about a girl named Sita who has gone with her husband Rama after he was banished from his kingdom.  While living out in the forest she gets kidnapped by another man, so Rama has to go out and save her.  This may sound very basic, but I assure you it's not.  That's not to say I found it very deep and meaningful, but it certainly does stand out from most other animated movies I've seen this year.   I really liked that all of the songs were just covers of old 30's torch songs by singer Annette Hanshaw.  You may think that incorporating a religious Hindu story with songs most normally found in a Woody Allen movie would not mix well. But surprisingly it does.  This is a feature that you can watch for free, and if you have the time.  I highly suggest that you do.  I won't lie and tell you that some of the actions done by certain characters were a little questionable, but I still found this to be one of the best animated features I've seen this year.  That's All.

Bad Grandpa

Yes, I am one of those people that finds the show "Jack Ass" to be funny.  I can't really explain why I do, and I don't feel any reason to apologize for it either.  The show was created by Johnny Knoxville, Jeff Tremaine, and Spike Jonze.  Yes the same Spike Jonze who has a couple of Oscar nominations for his feature "Her".  It basically features a bunch of guys putting themselves in very dangerous situations for our amusement.  The three "Jack Ass" movies were nothing more then a series of sketches.  "Bad Grandpa" tries to be more like "Borat" and infuse a story line along with the sketches, and this is where it fails in my
opinion. The story is about Irving(Johnny Knoxville) having to take his grandson Billy(Jackson Nicoll) to visit his father.  Along the way they stop and pull pranks with real people.  In the show and the first three movies.  Once the sketch ends and the joke has been established.  It's alright to move on to the next one, but in "Bad Grandpa".  There was never any aftermath or a conclusion. It just cuts to them back in the car on to their next prank. The sketches they do are really funny.  Including one where Irving dresses Billy up as a girl to win in a child beauty contest.  I just found the wrap around story line to be weak.  I will be rooting for this to win Best Makeup at the Oscars because I want Spike Jonze to have another feature win an award.
(Why the formatting of this post is messed up and the lines don't match.  I have no idea)

Captain Phillips.

This was a very good movie about the Somali pirates that take over a Container ship and how one man survives the ordeal.  I was most impressed at how the pirates were portrayed in this.  In most features they would have been your standard bad guys who you would want to see get killed, but in this.  There was this huge gray area going on with them.  I don't condone fully condone what they do, and yet I can somewhat understand why they do it.  I will be rooting for Barkhad Abdi to win the Oscar because he was living in my home state of Minnesota when they found him.  This was his first role and already he is being nominated.  Even if he doesn't win.  That is a huge stepping stone in his career.

 The Wolf of Wall Street.

Never before has debauchery look so tempting as it does in this black comedy from Martin Scorsese.  Leonardo DiCaprio shines in the main role of Jordan Belfort.  A man who has scammed lots of money from people and has lived a life that many of us would have secretly loved to.  The thing I love most about
this feature is that it points the finger mainly at us, then it does the characters on screen.  Jordan and his cronies are all bad people who do horrendous thing, and yet they are celebrated for it.  What does that say about us?   What would you do if you had more money then you knew what to do with it?  That's why I'm not really surprised when I hear about a celebrity getting into troubles with drugs and alcohol.  We are giving them all this cash and fame, and high paying lawyers.  Why not try a little coke.  They have the money to go to rehab.  We helped pay for it, by going to their latest blockbuster or downloading their recent hit single. As much as I loved Leo's work in this I should also praise Jonah Hill who is also very good.  I think the guy has become a fine actor, but I don't agree with the Oscar nomination.  He should get praise for the role,but not Academy Award winning praise.

Frances Ha.

This is a movie I should hate.  I really can't stand characters who have things happen to them.  Instead of them actually doing something.  Yet for some odd reason.  I found Greta Gerwig as the title character to be very mesmerizing.  Mainly because I started to emphasize with her more as I watched this.  In it she plays a woman who has this dream about being a dancer and yet feels stuck at how to peruse it.  I feel that this is something we all can relate to.  We all have our dreams but are afraid we may get stuck in a job we don't like. Frances is kind of awkward and doesn't know how to socialize well with people. But I found that to be kind of endearing. But many of you may find it to be annoying.  There isn't much of a story line and if you just down right hate Greta Gerwig (although I can't see why) or black and white movies(I don't know why either).  This will not be for you.  However I did find this to be very enjoyable and it  showed me that you must never stop chasing your dreams.  No matter what you need to do to achieve them.

Drinking Buddies.

This is a really good movie that shows the differences between romantic love and friendship love.   The story has Jake Johnson and Olivia Wilde as two friends who work at a brewery.  They seem to have many things in common and are always around each other.  One may think that they are a couple.  But no.  She is dating Ron Livingston, and he is dating Anna Kendrick. Both of the people they are dating are nice and we can understand why they are with that person. Yet we still kind of want them to be with each other instead.  One weekend both couples decide to spend a weekend at a cabin and their attractions to the other person gets tested.  This could have easily gone to the usual cliches that these movies usually do and I'm glad it avoids them.  I'm also glad that no one is treated like the villain in this.  In most movies, you gotta make the person our main characters are dating to be downright  horrible.  This is established so that they will eventually leave that person and be with their friend who was with them all along.  I'm sorry but it doesn't work like that.  Humans are not the black and white.  It's surprising to learn that most of this movie was improvised.  It feels natural, but also scripted too.   I think all of the actors do a good job, and if your looking for something fun to watch on a week night.  Pop this in.

The Thin Man

If "The Wolf of Wall Street" made tossing midgets and having sex with tons of hookers look stylish.  Then "The Thin Man"  makes heavy drinking and chain smoking look very cool in this 1930's mystery comedy.  Retired detective Nick Charles(William Powell) and his wife Nora(Myrna Loy) want nothing more then just drink all day and party all night(while drinking of course) When one of their friends becomes the suspect of a murder and goes missing.  They'll stop at nothing to finish the case.  At least the case of scotch they have, but Im sure after that.  They will get started on this one.  What I enjoyed most about this feature was the charisma between William Powel and Myrna Loy.  They felt like a couple that has been together for a long time.  In one scene where a detective has come to ask them about the case(the scotch is long gone by then).  They are joking and teasing eachother with physical gestures rather then words.  I also love that after each night of heavy drinking.  The first thing they do when they wake up is to pour another cocktail.  I have heard that this does work in preventing a hangover. Now for those who think that this movie does nothing more then celebrates smoking and alcohol.  You should be aware that in the 30's everything that was bad for you was actually good.  If civil rights were better established back then.  It would have been a great time to relive.  I plan on checking more of these features out very soon.

Allright Cats.  That's the end of my post for this time around.  I'm taking a break from writing for a little bit, but you can still find me around the web on the  shows I'm on.  As You Watch and Silver Screen Speak.   Take care.


  1. Your intro pretty much nails why I seldom have any interest in writing a full review for a new movie. Adding one more voice to a course of "Yeah, me too." just seems like a waste of time, and plenty of other folks in the blogosphere already have it covered. I'm considering giving myself permission to write a review of You're Next, though, because I was stunned by just how much I didn't like it when I finally saw it a couple of nights ago. It seemed to make all of the horror movie "Best Of 2013" lists, and I honestly can't see why. Sometimes when I don't enjoy a movie myself I can still see what others find appealing. Not so in this case. Given that my opinion would be contrary to critical consensus, maybe a review of You're Next wouldn't be a bad idea. Then I wonder why I would want to waste any more of my time writing a scathing review when I've already wasted ninety minutes on it that I'll never get back.

  2. I would be very interested to read your review of "Your Next". I myself loved it, and thought it was a nice change of pace to the usual home invasion movies Ive seen like "Them", "Funny Games", "The Strangers", "The Purge". But Im sure your review will go into why I am wrong and I cant wait to read it. Thanks for the comment

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