Saturday, April 26, 2014

Movie Week - Let The Right One In

The final offering for Movie Week is Let The Right One In.  It’s sort of a departure for me because I’m not really the biggest fan of the horror genre.   I don’t care for monsters or demons and I’m not interested in slasher flicks. 

But this film had a few things going for it.  First off it was foreign.  Secondly, the word of mouth has been nothing but glowing.  And lastly, I was genuinely curious about it. 

So did Movie Week end on a high note or a low note?

Friday, April 25, 2014

Movie Week - Jack Reacher

After the dismal movie that was Oblivion, I was reluctant to watch other Tom Cruise movie.  I really didn’t know if I could deal with being disappointed twice in a row.  But then I remember something Un Gajje said to me about Jack Reacher. 

Actually that’s not quite right, I remember that Un Gajje had said something to me about Jack Reacher, or rather the female lead, but I didn’t remember what he said.  “The female lead in that…” Tried as I did, I couldn’t remember what he said. 

Spoiler alert: I eventually did.

Movie Week - Oblivion

Ok, so the actual final double feature for Movie Week is a Tom Cruise double feature.  As my fellow Bronx resident Un Gajje likes to point out to me every chance he gets, Tom Cruise is the greatest living movie star around.  So Oblivion should be a great, right? 

As an added bonus, the film also stars Morgan Freeman, which means if I’m lucky Morgan Freeman’s Dead Hand will be front and center during much of the action.  I think it’s fair to say that I’m the world’s biggest fan of Morgan Freeman’s Dead Hand. 

And so we have Oblivion.

Movie Week - Mud

Everyone has their own theory about when exactly the McConaissance began.  Clearly we’re still experiencing it, though a loss at the Emmys could possibly signal its decline.  Still you can’t argue that Matthew McConaughey is in full swing. 

But did the McConaissance begin with McConaughey selecting different roles and turning in performances with nuance or did it begin when the critics noticed that he’d begun doing that?  If it’s the latter, then Mud is when it began. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Movie Week - Big Fan

For the final double feature of Movie Week, I opted to pick two films that had perception shifting performances by the lead actors.  First up is Big Fan.

Patton Oswalt is a minor deity in geek culture.  He not only wears his geek flag proudly, but he’s also taken part in some of the most cult shows ever.  He’s incredibly funny and a talented comedian.  But can he act? 

Big Fan sets out to answer that. 

Movie Week - The Girlfriend Experience

The second half of our Soderbergh double feature is The Girlfriend Experience.  This is very much the other side of Soderbergh.  This is the Soderbergh of K Street.  This is a challenging Soderbergh. 

But on the plus side it stars Sasha Grey. 

Oh, have I got your attention now? 

Movie Week - Side Effects

I couldn’t do a Movie Week without having a double feature of Steven Soderbergh.  This time around we start things off Side Effects.  Side Effects is billed as Soderbergh’s final theatrical release before he retired. 

Soderbergh is always a fun director, because you never really know what kind of film you’re going to get.  Sometimes you get Traffic Soderbergh and sometimes you get Full Frontal Soderbergh. 

So which one is Side Effects? 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Movie Week - Veronica Mars

The second part of our hardboiled double feature is Veronica Mars, which is slightly weird, because I never got into Veronica Mars.  I was definitively outside of the target audience for the original show and, until recently, I’d never seen an episode. 

I mean, it was always one of those shows that I fully expected to watch one day.  All the right people said all the right things about it.  Plus, I really enjoyed Party Down.  I was happy for the fans of the show, when the Kickstarter campaign lead to the film getting greenlit.  Then I binge watched the series once it hit Amazon. 

So I was totally ready for the feature length Veronica Mars movie. 

Movie Week - The Friends of Eddie Coyle

The next two installments of Movie Week are crime films.  Who doesn’t love a good crime film?  Doesn’t everyone secretly wish they could disregard societal norms and be a bad guy?  Criminals make for compelling stories. 

Oddly enough The Friends of Eddie Coyle wasn’t the first crime film from 1973 that I’d watched this week, that would be Charley Varrick.  But since I’d already seen Charley Varrick it was excluded from this project, which is about seeing a film for the first time. 

Which brings us to The Friends of Eddie Coyle. 

Movie Week - Spring Breakers

After The Bling Ring I desperately needed something to cleanse the palette. 

I’d heard good thing about Spring Breakers.  I believe when either Selena Gomez or James Franco was on The Late Show promoting it, someone said that I was a different side to Harmony Korine. 

I found that intriguing because I pretend that I’m a fan of Korine.  I’m constantly praising Gummo and I’m generally a fan of erratic behavior.  So a more mature Korine sounded interesting. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Movie Week - The Bling Ring

The theme for the next double feature is “girls gone wild.”  I figured that I’d start things with The Bling Ring.  Seems like a good place to start, right? 

I mean Coppola is a trusted name when it comes to filmmaking.  And I genuinely enjoyed Sofia Coppola’s first two features.  And the idea of high school kids breaking into the houses of celebrities seems interesting enough. 

What could go wrong? 

Movie Week - Pacific Rim

I decided to pair Pacific Rim with Red State, since both films are by directors with pretty rabid fan bases.  Kevin Smith has fans who sing his praises and Guillermo del Toro’s fans are equally loyal. 

I’d also been curious to check out Pacific Rim because I like when directors try something new.  Del Toro strikes me as one of those directors who is always trying to push the boundaries and makes movies worthy of the big screen experience. 

Would Pacific Rim live up to the buzz? 

Movie Week - Red State

I happened to be on twitter when Kevin Smith was promoting Red State, probably while he was still filming it.  He tweeted about it incessantly, which, if nothing else, caused me to remember that it was his film. 

And though I’ve had a complicated relationship with Kevin Smith films (I’ve yet to enjoy one) I figured I’d try this one out because I’d heard Kevin Smith was trying something new here. 

So, yeah, Red State.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Movie Week - Collaborator

I dig character actors.  I’m not really into movie stars; I can’t think too many “stars” who I trust to give me a good movie experience every time.  I’m much more apt to trust directors than actors.

But characters actors, they usually deliver.  They don’t have weight of an entire film on their shoulders, so they can do more interesting things with the material they’re given.  They can try out things and experiment. 

So Collaborator, a film anchored by two character actors, is really my cup of tea. 

Movie Week - Prince Avalanche

Watching two movies a day can be a chore.  So to liven things up during Movie Week, I try to come up with thematic double features.  Yesterday it was “New York stories.”  Today, it’s “two man acts.” 

I knew nothing about Prince Avalanche, other than it starred Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch.  I’ve only seen a few films that Hirsch has been in, but Rudd can be tough to peg.  He can be a in an indie comedy like Wet Hot American Summer or in Neil LaBute’s The Shape of Things.  You never know what to expect from him. 

Prince Avalanche was an experience. 

Movie Week - Roadie

I’ve always felt like Ron Eldard should be a much bigger star.  The first time I saw him was in way too short-lived Bakersfield P.D.  (Oh how I miss that show.)  But he was so good at being funny, that when he showed up on ER being equally good at being serious, I paid attention to the guy. 

When I saw that he was the star of the indie flick Roadie, I was immediately sold.  Plus the cast included Jill Hennessy and Bobby Cannavale, so how could I not be interested in watching this?  In fact it’s actually showed up here before. 

So how was it? 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Movie Week - Arbitrage

Since last week saw the three late night shows that I watch all airing repeats, I decided that I’d finally get around to watching the movies that I regularly add to my various queues.  Despite my free time I never really find myself willing to invest my time in movies. 

That’s why I’ve done the AMC Best Picture Showcase for the past four years.  That’s also why I did my Recommended Movie Marathon and last year’s Movie Week.  Well, this year’s Movie Week starts with Arbitrage. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Seth Rogen & Ed Sheeran

I’m really trying to think if I’ve seen a Seth Rogen episode of SNL before.  Either I haven’t or he didn’t make an impression.  Which is weird because I feel like he’s known for his comedy. 

I will say that I enjoyed Rogen on Freaks & Geeks, but there are times that I feel that his success is due mostly to who he knows rather than his actual talent.  Oh well, it’s just Saturday Night Live; how bad can it be?  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Anna Kendrick & Pharrell Williams

I know very little of Anna Kendrick.  I believe she was in End of Watch.  I know she’s in a ton of other movies that I haven’t seen, at least one of which recently got a sequel greenlit. Other than singing, I’ve got no clue what she’s going to bring to Saturday Night Live. 

But I do know Pharrell.  I know three things about him; he’s going to wear his hat, he’s going to perform Happy and the other 50% of The Neptunes will be nowhere to be found.  


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