Movie Review – The Spectacular Now

Another writing assignment from the folks at Lost In Reviews and this time I got a chance to sit down and watch The Spectacular Now.  With out going into too much detail and spoiling anything for people who might be interested in this movie, this is nothing short of perfect.  This is the coming of age movie that this generation needs and will be fondly looked at years to come.  Please please see this movie, I can’t recommend it enough.

Below is an excerpt from my review and a link to the full review at Lost In Reviews.

Enjoy!

It wasn’t until I saw The Spectacular Now, that I realized that we can get a high school movie with characters who aren’t just picked out of a yearbook of archetypes and clichés, that we can get a movie with characters we can truly resonate with and a movie that we can see and relate to the pangs of growing up and not knowing what to do with life.  I don’t want to say that this IS the quintessential high school/coming of age movie, but it sure feels like we are witnessing something spectacular.

Click here for the full review.

Film-Shailene Woodley

Movie Review – Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Been a busy bee as of late with multiple movie screenings, reviews and even some podcast work going on.  So here is a review for the latest Percy Jackson flick that I did for the fine folks at Lost In Reviews.  Suffice to say, I wouldn’t bother with it personally.  Enjoy!

There is really only like two monsters in the Sea of Monsters, which I guess does fulfill the plural form of Monsters, but I was hoping for like… a sea of them.  You know?  Anyways that is the sort of unfulfilled expectations that you will get with this sequel to the 2010 Chris Columbus directed Percy Jackson and The Lightning ThiefPercy Jackson: Sea of Monsters tries to continue idolizing the Harry Potter franchise, but will most likely end up being lost in the history books like the Titans who took on the Gods of old.

Click here to read the full review..

Sea of Monsters 1a

Movie of the Day – Black Dynamite

Movies are a labor of love, most of the time though, and we as movie lovers have to learn to appreciate the care that goes into making a movie.  Some directors choose to create original movies and wow us with something we have never seen before.  Other directors will take the route of retreading past movies as a directorial style.  There are even certain directors that will pay homage to movies that influenced them in their film making.  Homages in general are a tricky thing for directors to make, since we as a viewer will be familiar with the story and setting, so nothing can honestly take us by surprise.  Homage movies run the risk of also seeming unoriginal to others.  Tarantino has this criticism put on him many times as he takes story elements from numerous genre’s and places them into his movie.  I mean Kill Bill had almost all the elements of Lady Snowblood, but the Tarantino was influenced by the story and added his typical dialogue and flair to the movie.

Homages try and toe this line between parody and send-up of the genre the film maker is wanting to portray.  Often times they fall on the parody side and focus on the ridiculousness that the genre has to offer.  There was a little known cult movie that came out in 2009 that was a loving send-up to the genre of Blaxploitation movies.  You might be familiar with movies like Shaft, Super Fly, Foxy Brown, or maybe Blackula (Black Dracula).  Those films were iconic in the 70s as they part of a slew of films that focused on the black community.  They gave the African-Americans their own story, their own voice and their own heroes to root for when they went to the movies.  Their characters are strong and independent.  They don’t take shit from the man.  Most were even about the political and social climate.  So when a director wants to recreate the look and feel of the era, they will have to walk a fine line as to not upset those that love the genre.

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Cross Platform Promotion – Lost In Reviews Podcast

So ladies and gentlemen, I am now doing a podcast.  I don’t want to hurt myself while trying to pat my own back, but it was a little something that my counterparts over at LostinReviews.com wanted to start doing and well, here we are.  We are still figuring out the format and this was certainly a spur of the moment thing, but I am excited to just be bullshitting with my friends and talking about music and movies.

Our first one is just us chatting about Pacific Rim, Limp Bizkit and a bunch of other random shit.  The aim is to have this be a weekly podcast and fleshed out a bit more in terms of the format, talking points.  So this is a bit rough and frankly, we like how it turned out.  Hope you enjoy!

Here is the link to the podcast page and we will eventually get this on RSS and iTunes.

http://lostinreviews.com/2013/07/the-lost-in-reviews-podcast-1-a-harvey-fierstein-fire-sale/

Movie of the Day – Despicable Me

Amongst the new batch of movies that are coming out this week, the only thing that looks like it is worth its salt is the newest Universal Animation movie Despicable Me 2.  I must attest I have seen The Long Ranger and just wished they would have shot that horse behind a barn and move on with their lives.  I guess a little lighthearted fun this time around with a sequel to a surprise favorite of mine will surely give some relief  in this weeks release.  But hey, I guess there is no better time than now to go back to the first movie of the series.

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Movie of the Day – Casa De Mi Padre

You know I think Will Ferrell has it fairly easy in getting comedy movies made.  He just has to come up with a premise, sports or generally weird in concept, and then basically say “and I am the star”.  I have to believe that this is the only reason why Will Ferrell got Casa de mi Padre made, it is a concept film that parodies/pay homage to Spanish Soap Operas or Telenovelas, while having Will Ferrell speak in Spanish the entire time.  You know what, I love me some telenovelas and I was pretty interested in seeing what a full blown, comedic concept like will pan out to be.

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Movie of the Day – Warm Bodies

I fear that we as a film seeing society, will hit critical zombie over-saturation and the zombie genre will be played the fuck out.  Almost every zombie movie is the same with the kills, character arcs and overall same plot structure in that the people try to survive a particular situation from zombies and live to tell the tale.  They ride off into the sunset, somehow one chapter of a larger story is done and it feels a bit cheap and easy.  Now we have shows like The Walking Dead which manage to continue the story that most zombie leave off on, the continuation of the lives of those living in a zombie filled world.  It’s a better story overall and gives us zombies, but not really, at least in the story structure sense.  So maybe that is why I took to Warm Bodies with such a receptive and wide open arm stance than anything else.  A zombie love story?  Alright let’s see how it plays out.

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Movie of the Day – Natural Selection

This is a movie I have been waiting awhile to talk about, mainly because it didn’t get a release in theaters other than the festival circuit.  It kind of sucks talking about a movie that a lot of people won’t be able to see unless they get the VOD treatment or some form of streaming.  Natural Selection was a movie I was back in November 2011 at a local film festival in Kansas City.  I have to admit, even rewatching it makes me realize how much I loved this movie and the subject matter presented.  A fantastic flick with a knockout performance from Rachel Harris, Natural Selection wowed me with a deep, character drama with some dark hints of humor.

So it was a relief to track this down on dvd and give it another watch.  With an amazing performance from the two leads, Harris being the standout of the pack.  The movie certainly is indie at heart, with a strong character driven script that propels the interesting story and filled with moments of earnest, heartfelt discussions about the issue at heart.

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Movie of the Day – Bachelor Party

I will tell you what, I have said before about Tom Hanks and 80s movies, but they don’t make them like they used to anymore.  You got your Project X, Hangover, and that one movie 21 and Over which was exactly like the Hangover, but nothing will ever really compare to the debauchery of a young Tom Hanks just  fucking killing it in this comedy flick.  Bachelor Party is pretty much “the” party movie that others need to live up to.  Sure you got Animal House, but that is the movie which defines college life/college comedies/college parties.  Bachelor Party, that is a fucking great comedy movie with some of Hanks’ best work.

Tonight I have a friends bachelor party, so this is a short update but at least I am able to give you the movie of the day today.  If you have never seen it, I suggest you watch some classic Tom Hanks movies.  For me, while his later stuff is phenomenal, something about young Hanks just being a comedic genius and a versatile actor that go from comedy to drama, he can shift from those roles with ease and frankly, I just love this damn movie.  Check it out folks and have a good night!

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Movie of the Day – The Rundown

It’s The Rock!  Holla!  Christopher Walken is also in this movie as well as the scene chewing villain of the movie, which is the primary reason I picked this movie for today.  The Rundown is actually one of my more enjoyable, not really a guilty pleasure, but a movie that is really just a popcorn flick and that is all.  It does manage to have a little of everything in it with some drama, lots of comedy, and pretty decent action sequences, that are a bit too cartoony in some instances.  But hey, it’s still a great movie to sit back and watch The Rock, Walken, William Scott and Dawson do their thing.

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