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 of the Day – Synecdoche, New York

Often times during my quest to take in all that is cinema, there are a few times in which I find myself have to retread over previously seen territory.  It’s usually for a number of reason that I re-watch movies, the most obvious is just because I rather enjoy a particular film.  Sometimes it is because a certain film just picks me up after a long day at work or when I need to hear something rather humorous in the background.  Then there are the films that I re-watch because I have to, not because I wasn’t attentive enough the first time around, but for the sole reason that it demands a second watch.

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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 – Kiltro

After going over Duel to the Death and that amazing ending battle between the two swordsmen, I decided to go back through my Netflix recommendations and past movies I have watched that were martial arts related and discovered a movie that I watched a few years ago.  It was a movie that some might think of as forgettable or a one and done sort of movie.  I instantly recalled this Chilean martial arts film from 2006 and was rather wowed by what I saw.  Kiltro is a gem amongst the roughage of martial arts movies, coming from a country that we don’t even associate with martial arts or action films, that is of course if you are one of those people that consumer South American cinema.  I am certainly not that sort of person, but hell, I will give it a shot if there are more flashy movies like Kiltro for the kung fu, martial arts movie enthusiasts.

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Movie of the Day – Celeste and Jesse Forever

This post is a bit of a cheat since this movie isn’t out until sometime next week, but I just have to bring this movie back up because I really feel it didn’t get the love it should have by the movie going audience.  Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg turned in mesmerizing performance, more so Rashida as she is the lynch pin of the film, in a romantic drama that honestly is one of the more accurate and earnest romance movies out there.  It isn’t so much a lovely dovey film, but rather a movie that tries to depict the struggles of moving on, of course while some indie music plays and Jones radiates on screen with her loveable personality.  Sigh, much like Beginners, I really hold this to be a perfect little romance movie.

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Movie of the Day – It’s a Wonderful Life

Well folks, I realize my post this evening is a bit later than usual, but I just came back from my side job at the Alamo Drafthouse in downtown Kansas City.  This evening was a special one as tonight we were showing It’s a Wonderful Life on two screens.  I lobbied to have the hosting duties for the evening as it has been a movie I have grown up with, mostly due to my father’s love of the film.  So I got the gig to host both showings and was absolutely floored that we sold out both showings.  As a film fan, it made my heart swell that a movie made in 1946 is still touching generations of movie watchers and getting them out to the theaters to experience this unintentional Christmas classic.

Now I have grown up a lot since my first viewing of the film.  I always thought Pottersville was pretty fucking sweet with booze, burlesque and fights on Wednesday nights.  It seemed like a great town to me at a young age.  Over the years though, I understand what makes this movie timeless and why it ended up becoming this holiday classic despite the directors insistence that it was never intended to be a Christmas movie.  It’s the message at heart, one that James Stewart learns over the course of the movie that your worth in life isn’t measure by material or even monetary possession, it’s the people that are in your life and the lives of those that you have touched.  That is what you need to take stock in and that is what life means.

It’s a movie that was panned upon its release, lapsed into copyright default to the public domain, and then found its home amongst the Christmas special rotation.  A movie that over the years since the 70s, has touched the lives of those that have seen it.  Capra and Stewart created a movie that has lived on through the years and to see all those people out at the two sold out shows tonight was amazing.

So today, I present the movie in its entirety for those that have not seen it.  Enjoy!

Its a wonderful life 1a

Movie Review – Celeste and Jesse Forever

I have never been one for the romantic comedy genre or even the even more droning dramedy genre.  In fact I will try and never use that term because Romance and Drama go hand in hand with one another.  I am not jaded in the least except for that one time I got dumped Freshman year in high school during debate class or that time I got dumped outside a movie theater (the worst place in the world to dump a movie lover), I just think that the genre itself is filled with the same fluff and thematic plot points that it all runs together, much like this sentence.

So why would I go see this movie?  Well it has Rashida Jones (who is just dead sexy) and Andy Samberg in an indie romance film that promises me at least a decent indie soundtrack and a few laughs.  I got all of that and some romance out of this film.

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Movie of the Day – Birdemic: Shock and Terror

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

*catches breathe*

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

This is fucking amazing.

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Movie of the Day – Solaris (1972)

This is a spoiler warning for those that are hoping to find a movie that has lasers, space battles, sexy green alien chicks, lightsabers, and cool looking spaceships.  You aren’t going to find any of that stuff in this science fiction film from acclaimed, Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky.  Instead of all of the usual science fiction tropes we get these days, you are getting an incredible introspective, slow and psychologically deep film about understand humanity and its existence, just like everything that has come out of Russia cause that’s how they roll.

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Movie Review – Moonrise Kingdom

Wes Anderson has made the most Wes Andersony movie ever.  That is not a bad thing mind you, so don’t let that opening be misleading.  If you love Wes Anderson films, you will love his latest offering, Moonrise Kingdom.  If you are unfamiliar with Wes Anderson and his idiosyncratic filmmaking, here is a bullet list of the stuff you will see in his movies….all of them:

  • Kids acting like adults
  • Adults acting like kids
  • Strained family dynamics
  • Plaid
  • Esoteric musical choices
  • Scenes that are dead center framed
  • So much whimsy
  • Magical setting that seem created in a different world
  • Bold type font
  • More whimsy
  • Bill Murray being fucking awesome

This bullet list is pretty much the expectations you will have when you go into a Wes Anderson film, but all these elements used in someone else’s movie, doesn’t seem right.  All these things are uniquely refreshing and cohesive when given to Anderson, but it sometimes strays into the familiar territory that leads me to the impasse of Moonrise Kingdom.

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