orangerful: (fotc - favorite box)
La La Land poster Yup, finally watched this. I had hoped for so much more but I knew it was overrated when the Oscar buzz started flying around.

I mean, it was a movie about making movies. It homaged lots of classics. But it never even gets close to the level they were. Heck, John Legend's character even chides Gosling's for being obsessed with OLD jazz and not embracing anything new, asking how they can save the music by holding on to the past? Yes, those movies are classics, they were groundbreaking, but when you just try to recreate them, you can't hold a candle to them - we don't have a Fred and Ginger now. We don't have a Gene Kelly. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are both great but they are not that multitalented.

Don't get me wrong - the only reason this movie was so well liked it because of Stone and Gosling. I adore both of them, it made watching the whole thing a lot more fun. I mean, they really are not singers, they are barely dancers, but I didn't care because THOSE EYES. On both of them - THOSE EYES!

And this scene was, by far, my most favorite scene:



But, yeah. I can't deny it had some beautiful cinematography so I'm okay with that award. I'm also okay that it didn't win best picture because it was no where near as good as 'Moonlight'. It's a pretty forgettable movie. Even the songs didn't do much for me. Or maybe it was just one song?

But, yeah, since I adore Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, I didn't mind spending two hours in a dark room with them.

But, yeah, pretty much this:

orangerful: (bsg - wishful drinking)
13 Reasons Why Promo Image by Netflix

Warning: spoilers for the entire series and also lots of trigger-y topics, though I'm not going to go into detail

Read more... )
orangerful: (fotc - favorite box)
I had been looking forward to this adaptation of Patrick Ness' young adult novel A Monster Calls since it was announced. It just felt like the kind of story that would work well on screen. I was very happy with the results.

Just like the book, this is a visually gorgeous tale (Jim Kay's illustrations reminded me a lot of Stephen Gammel's artwork in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark). It is a coming of age story wrapped in a fairy tale. Conor's mother is very sick and he is dealing with it about as well as you would expect a young boy to deal with it. He buries himself in his artwork and conjures up The Monster, who visits him at night and tells him a story. With each story, Conor begins to peel away the fairy tale world and begins to see that the real world is not so simple. That there are always layers, that acceptance is a part of life and so is great pain.

It is bittersweet and even though I had read the book, I still found myself crying in the end. Everyone did a fabulous job, but Liam Neeson as The Monster was just perfect casting (and according to the extras, he was the one and only choice).

The only flaw in the movie was the casting of Sigourney Weaver since I felt her British accent wasn't so great. But luckily her character doesn't actually talk very much as most of the story rests on Conor's shoulders.

If you have tissues handy, I highly recommend this one.
orangerful: (one girl // orangerful)


This movie was such a surprise because, honestly, I was worried it might just be a boring courtroom drama. But this was well written, well acted, and very well directed. The entire cast was amazing.

Based on a true story, Historian/Writer/Professor Deborah Lipstadt was brought to court by "historian" David Irving for libel back in the late 1990s. She mentioned his Holocaust denial in her book about the issue, saying how he misconstrued the facts to fit this narrative that the Holocaust did not happen. The catch - Irving is British and he charges Lipstadt in the high courts so the burden of proof is left to Lipstadt and her team.

I really wish this movie had not felt so relevant as I watched it this morning, almost twenty years from the start of the lawsuit. These arguments about hate speech vs free speech, about having "alternative facts" and about being in denial about what is right and wrong...it rang just as true today.

The point of the film, the idea of letting justice and truth and facts speak for themselves, is scary because so many debates about things like the Holocaust and racism and prejudice get very emotional. This is what Lipstadt has to deal with for much of the movie, finding a way to get the emotional release she needs while letting her lawyers navigate the legal system.

I definitely recommend this one.
orangerful: (one girl // orangerful)
"This is a rebellion. I rebel" says Jyn Erso in the Rogue One trailer.

Except she doesn't say this in the movie. In fact, a lot of things shown and said in the trailers for Rogue One never made it to the big screen. (for an in-depth look at the movie that wasn't, check out this great Slashfilm article)

I will say that this is the BEST of the Star Wars prequel films. I would not rank it anywhere with the classic trilogy and I still found Force Awakens more fun and engaging.

more thoughts, with spoilers )

I didn't hate it, I enjoyed the movie for the most part. I'd rather watch it than AoTC again. I think it is cool that they made a Star Wars movie that didn't rely on a sequel or Jedi. But there was a lot of potential for this film to be much more than it was but I think they were distracted by the same things that got Lucas during the prequels - the ability to use CGI in new ways. If they had focused less on that and more on the real people and their stories, Rogue One could have been a much stronger film.

3.5 out of 5 stars
orangerful: (music beatles wave  // marshmallow)


I'm a pretty hardcore Beatles fan. Or, at least, I used to be. In middle school and high school I pretty much eat/sleep/breathed the Fab Four. I hung out in the library so much looking for their albums and books about them, I credit them with my career choice. I hadn't really done anything Beatles related in awhile, so I wasn't sure how I felt about this film coming out. Luckily, it was streaming on Hulu so it was pretty easy for me to sit and watch it.

Within the first few seconds, I could feel the fangirl in my awakening. The sheer emotion I felt at hearing that music, watching the clips - it surprised me! And as a fan who enjoys talking with other fans, I really liked the clips from the different celebrities sharing their own Beatles memories.

But after the first 45 minutes, the reality set in - I knew all of this already. In fact, I had seen most of these concert clips before and a lot of the Beatles quotes were lifted from the Anthology (though Paul and Ringo did participate but they really didn't say anything new). Now, the audio remastering was impressive, especially the Hollywood Bowl concert clips (the complete concert is available now in audio and it will be a bonus on the blu-ray release). I'm not sure how those sound engineers managed to find the Beatles' voices in that din of screams, but they pulled it off (you can listen to the album right now on Spotify if you want to hear it).

There was one factoid I didn't remember from before - probably because it is more a reflection of U.S. history rather than Beatles history - which was about the Jacksonville concert and The Beatles supporting integration, commenting that such a thing was ridiculous. That never came up in the Anthology (it doesn't really try to connect The Beatles story to the rest of the world) and having it appear in this documentary with everything else going on right now, it feels like history is somehow stuck in a loop and I'm not really convinced we've learned anything. Or maybe we have but we keep forgetting ("And once every five years, everyone chooses to forget what they've learned. Democracy inaction.")

I felt like the film lost steam near the end, trying to find a way to wrap up a story in the middle, because the end of the touring years is the start of the studio years, and those albums are more memorable than the previous because they start experimenting and branching out. So it just kinda ends then jumps ahead to give us a clip from the 'Let It Be' roof concert.

I'm guessing most people don't have The Anthology memorized the way I do (I watched that special at least 3 times and I have the CDs, which I also listened to over and over) so maybe the repetition won't be as noticeable to them. I mean, that documentary is several hours long while this clocks in at about 90 minutes so the non-Beatlemaniac can enjoy it.

All in all, a fun watch for a Beatles fan and probably interesting for the uninitiated too. I can only hope that there is another kid out there, like me, looking for something to watch to kill time and they might turn on Hulu and see this special and decide to learn more about The Beatles. Give it a watch, but don't expect any revelations.

3 1/2 stars
orangerful: (one girl // orangerful)


I saw Ghostbusters again yesterday at the budget theater down the street (you can't beat $4.50 for a movie ticket these days WOW!)

I still enjoyed it and found myself laughing out loud, looking forward to certain jokes and their delivery. I'm very happy with the movie overall. I really like that it has it's own story, that these characters are their own, not just female versions of the original team. I love how excited they get by science, their sheer joy in moments of discovery. I'm also really glad there was no romance, just Gilbert's hilariously bad flirtation with the always oblivious Kevin.

cut because of spoilery thoughts and nit picks that might distract you if you haven't seen the movie yet )

Anyway, the movie was a lot better than I thought it was going to be and it held up well a second time. I felt like I had something in common with all the Ghostbusters but Holtzmann was my favorite over all. Probably because she was the most unique of the set. She is a mix of Ray and Egon - excited about all the science but also really smart and the creator of all of their toys. And awkward around everyone except for her new family.

orangerful: (one girl // orangerful)
So, we just finished watching 10 Cloverfield Lane

I think it's going to take me 24 hours to really get my head around the whole thing but here is my initial reaction:

spoilery thoughts )

More coherent thoughts later, maybe. I'll have to dig around and find [livejournal.com profile] rhoda_rants's post about the movie from last month -- anyone else see it and/or post about it?? linky linky please!
orangerful: (one girl // orangerful)
Has anyone been reading up on the saga of Gay Sulu in the new Star Trek movie? There are some compelling arguments on both sides:

Sulu Is Gay in Star Trek Beyond and It's Not a Big Deal

But George Takei isn't sure sure this was a good idea:

George Takei Tried to Convince the Team Behind Star Trek Beyond to Not Make Sulu Gay

Simon Pegg Responds to George Takei: Adding a New Gay Character to Star Trek Would Have Been Worse

Overall, I agree with Pegg and his take on it. First, this is an AU so anyone who is upset that upset that Sulu is gay can just brush it off as AU and move on. Secondly, creating a character to be The Gay Character, would have just been a token thing and the new character could easily be written out in any stories to follow - you are not going to write out Sulu.

But, this is the problem with reboots. I'm hoping that Bryan Fuller's new Star Trek series will have the diversity that everyone wants. And why can't we just have some GOOD new sci-fi/action/fantasy movies with diversity? How hard is this to do?

It is one more tick in the box of how Star Wars TFA did it right - by incorporating the original characters, you bring in the older fans, but the movies are about a new set of characters and we will probably meet even more people as the stories unfold and who is to say what their backgrounds will be.
orangerful: (say cheese // orangerful)
Bridge of Spides posterThis movie was exactly what I wanted. I love Steven Spielberg, I love Tom Hanks and sometimes you just want an uplifting story based on a true events (especially when the world feels so messed up right now).

While this is not an action-packed story, the tension makes it very watchable and Hanks is very likable as James Donovan, the lawyer turned negotiator.

It's a great story about standing your ground and doing what is right. As with the best historical movies, the moral still resonates with issues going on today. Lawyer Donovan is asked to defend a captured Soviet spy. Donovan takes this job very seriously, wanting to give the spy his full rights but soon finds out that the court only asked him to do this so it would look like a fair trial. In fact, the judge is appalled when Donovan attempts to actually do his job and brings up issues with the investigation. But Donovan knows that this is about more than just one man, that this trial and the fate of this man could have an impact beyond that moment.

That is all I will say (and believe me, that is only a small part of this 141 minute movie). Like all good Spielberg films, there are touching family moments, laugh out loud lines, and an ending that will leave you feeling satisfied and maybe a little warm and fuzzy.

I'll give this one 4 USA-USSR-GDR-ASAP-BBQ-WTF stars out of 5.

OH, NEW FRIENDS, if any of you are on Letterboxed, feel free to friend me! It's like GoodReads but for movies! And they finally launched their mobile app YAY!!!
orangerful: (aluminum falcon // snarkel)
We just watched 'The Martian' tonight. I really liked it. I snagged a beat up copy of the paperback from the library donations area awhile ago and I think I might start reading it tonight (yes I have a pile of books checked out from the library and now I'm going to read a book with no due date...this is how I roll). I've heard the book is VERY technical, so I'm thinking that having seen the movie will help me skim over and jargony scenes because it all boils down to this one gif:



ANYWAY, I thought the movie was very well done and I think a huge part of that was the stellar casting. EVERYONE in that movie was good. Obviously, Damon was great and he carried the movie but I spotted so many character actors that you see all the time filling in minor roles and it just made it all fantastic.

not actual spoilers, just little things jokes that amused me so if you want to know nothing, don't click )

I give this movie 5 might-be-another-for-my-movie-is-as-good-as-the-book-list out of 5 stars.

Next up we have 'The Experimenter' and then 'Bridge of Spies' (all my library holds came in this week...)
orangerful: (srs blogger // orangerful)
I put The Good Dinosaur on while cleaning up downstairs today. I'm usually a big fan of Disney/Pixar movies but this one was kind of a letdown. While the premise was interesting (What if dinosaurs weren't killed by a meteor), the pay off was not and it had to be one of the most cliche Pixar stories ever. I just kept waiting for it to be over, and it wasn't even that long of a movie.
3 "I'd rather be watching 'Land Before Time'" stars




I really wish that the animated short included on the DVD, Sanjay's Super Team, had been the feature film. It was a story I felt was more worthy of being told. Yes, we've seen stories of children trying to find that balance between their culture and pop culture, but I think it is more relevant than what awkward buddy movie that 'Good Dinosaur' wanted to be. Sanjay's Super Team had me more emotionally invested in the first few seconds than the movie did in 90 minutes.
5 "More of this please" stars




Trainwreck was far too long for a comedy - clocking in at 2 hours. Usually I find that the best comedies are 90 minutes. But when I go back and think about which scenes were superfluous, I can understand why the movie ran long because some of those scenes were HILARIOUS. I did not expect to laugh as much at this movie, but it was really well done and had some moments that surprised me when it came to finding the heart, not just the laughs. If you want me to enjoy your raunchy comedy, your characters have to be people and learn and grow.

Also, this movie made me love Bill Hader even more and I DEMAND that he have more leading roles. I just adore him. But really the whole cast was great, especially the scenes with LeBron James and Hader which had me LOLing so much.
3 1/2 "This scene with John Cena serves no purpose but I'm laughing to hard to care" stars
orangerful: (izzard cake or death // raelala)


The Good: SO MANY CAMEOS! Lots of callbacks. Pokes fun at today's fashion world (which totally deserves it).

The Bad: Probably a bit too much "plot" but really, who watches Zoolander for the plot?

The Ugly: How do I unsee Benedict Cumberbatch as "All"? Also, Hansel's orgy group.

mild spoilers, more thoughts )
orangerful: (snack time! // orangerful)
I really enjoyed "Inside Llewyn Davis"! I checked it out because of Oscar Isaac and I had seen the clips of him singing floating around YouTube after the release of Star Wars. I really like him as an actor and I think he picks some very interesting roles.

"Inside Llewyn Davis" was definitely a Coen Brothers movie, with quirky characters and a story that was more than what it seems. I really liked how the story unfolded, with bits and pieces of Llewyn's past being revealed as the movie went on. We never get the full story about what happened before we met Llewyn, but we know he has had opportunities to go forward yet seems to be stuck in a loop. He is a man that lives in the moment, unable to think about the future. And the movie is about the pros and cons of being that kind of person (and I have a feeling that a lot of artists have that issue, maybe because thinking about the future is equated with thinking about money and Llewyn clearly associates that with selling out). I liked this movie a LOT more than I expected to, and Oscar Isaac did NOT disappoint.

"Jurassic World" on the other hand. Maybe I wanted too much from this movie? I wanted the magic and wonder of the original back and this doesn't really come close. It had some fun moments, but the direction it ended up going in didn't satisfy me. I wish they had ditched the storyline with the kids, which was clearly supposed to parallel that of Tim and Lex in the original, but fell short for me in the emotional department. And I really did not like the Claire, and I never believed for a moment that she really cared about anything. Blah, and then the whole thing with her and Owen, just...I just wanted dinosaurs dammit, not this force romance and whiny kids. DINOSAURS! It took too long to get going and the payoff just wasn't that great. It actually made me respect "Force Awakens" even more - both movies were blatant redos of their originals but TFA left me feeling happy and JW left me feeling ... meh. I just wanted to watch Owen and the raptors - the rest of that movie was just meh.

"Love & Mercy" was a TOTAL surprise for me. I had put myself on the list for it after seeing its high score on Rotten Tomatoes. I just knew it was about the Beach Boys, it had John Cusack, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti and Elizabeth Banks - all actors I LOVE!
But I was not prepared for how fantastic this movie was. I don't know why, but it hit me in a way I didn't expect. The film is about Brian Wilson and how mental illness took over his life. How the abuse he received from his father as a child bled into the rest of his life and ate away at him. How he became a man trapped by someone just as manipulative as his father. BUT it is also about Melinda Ledbetter, the woman he fell in love with and who eventually saves him.

It was just so well done, beautifully filmed, the sounds of the music and the voices in Wilson's head...the performances were all top-notch.

This one surprised me. This is the one I am telling everyone about because it really is worth watching.
orangerful: (star wars vii girl // orangerful)
Well, I've had about 24 hours to gather my thoughts about the movie last night. I know it was a good movie because I can't stop thinking about it. Not in nit-picky ways, but in wondering about things that happened, what they mean in the grand scheme of things, and how it will all play out in the end.

My non-spoilery thoughts are that it was good. Not amazing or perfect or the best, but really good. Very enjoyable. Nothing too surprising, and, in fact, it did what I wanted it to do. Really, much of the applause should go to the editors of the trailers, who did a fantastic job of teasing us but not giving things away.

So, obviously this review is going to have spoilers, but I will hide them under the cut. DO NOT READ IT UNTIL YOU'VE SEEN THE MOVIE! I don't want to ruin it for anyone.

Okay, here we go:

Me working through my thoughts, obviously TFA Spoilers - don't say I didn't warn you!!!!!!! )
orangerful: (disgust // orangerful)
Inside Out is only the third movie I have seen in theaters this year. And it was worth every penny.

This is Pixar storytelling at its finest, taking an abstract idea about emotions and feelings and turning it into a whole new world.

It was hard not to fall in love with Joy immediately because AMY POEHLER. Joy was very much a Leslie Knope type character, trying to keep the team at its best.



(I just lost like 20 minutes because I went over to tumblr and typed in "Inside Out Gifs" and then proceeded to save WAY too many of them...because this movie).

I'm not going to spoil it for you. This movie was beautiful. The characters were well written, the voice acting was top notch, and the story was classic, perfect, Pixar. It was truly a film for all ages, as a child, teen, young adult and adult could all watch this movie and get it in all the feels. I had tears rolling down my cheeks by the end, that same swirling of emotions that I got when I saw the final moments of Toy Story 3. (and Pixar knows you will be sniffling at the end, so they put some silly moments in as the credits start to roll to help you laugh the tears away).

Just go see it. Now. Go experience it in a dark theater with a group and hear them sniffling with you.

I give this movie all the stars. All the thumbs up. It will be a part of my collection as soon as I can purchase it on blu-ray.
orangerful: (doctor who crack in your wall // oranger)
We watched Wild last night. I enjoyed it but I doubt I would ever watch it again. I was actually really impressed with how they told the story. It can be so hard to translate non-fiction onto the big screen. I hadn't read the book, but I felt like the way the writer and director handled giving audience the information they needed was really artistically done for a big Hollywood movie.

Reese Witherspoon did a good job, it really is her movie. As luck would have it, we watched Legally Blonde the weekend before because I wanted to see it again. That was the movie that introduced me to her so to watch that and then watch Wild was like seeing her entire range haha.

Not a lot of humor or fun moments in the movie, which is why I would probably never go back to it. It was good, everyone involved did a good job (even the random guy who is EVERYWHERE right now, Orphan Black, Game of Thrones - Michiel Huisman. I'm not complaining though. I don't mind looking at him and I'm not even into beardy types).
orangerful: (one girl // orangerful)
I've been a fan of Monty Python since I was a kid. We used to watch the show as a family on Saturday nights on public television. I watched Holy Grail over and over and made my friends watch it too (how my parents didn't get into trouble, I don't know).

Last year, the surviving Pythons did a live show, broadcast to theaters around the world. I didn't go but I noticed a few weeks ago that the library had the DVD so I put a hold on it. I thought it would be fun to watch and laugh at the classic Python bits.

But instead of laughing, I found myself feeling very uncomfortable.

I began to realize that I have an area of Python that I really love - usually bits that are on the more intellectual or weird side. The philosopher's soccer game. The penguin on the television set. Spanish Inquisition. BICYCLE REPAIRMAN! In other words, the earliest years of Monty Python. I think I only watched the first 3 seasons then would trail off.

But the live show was full of jokes from all the Python bits, bits that haven't aged as well. Most of them made fun of gay or transgender people. Or, at least, the crux of the joke was being gay.

Also, as far as musical numbers go, the Lumberjack Song is the only Python song I've ever really liked, with Always Look on the Bright Side of Life on my radar but not a favorite. Of course, Lumberjack is also problematic for the same reason - the joke is that he is a transvestite.

When I was 12, this was comedy gold. I thought it was hilarious. At 34, I found myself unable to laugh at it anymore. There was something unfunny about these old men performing these bits. I think I could probably watch the original sketches on DVD and find them amusing, but seeing it done today, knowing it was 2014 and they were still doing these jokes...I couldn't finish the show. I turned it off, I didn't want my memories of these bits sullied.

Have I lost my sense of humor? Was it ever funny? I guess I can just paraphrase the Pope when he was talking to Michaelangelo - I may not know comedy, but I know what I like.
orangerful: (one girl // orangerful)
quizshow01

A big-money, high-stakes TV game show becomes the subject of scandal when a Washington investigator uncovers corruption behind-the-scenes - implicating both the current and former champs.

I saw Quiz Show when it was first released on VHS back in 1995 and I instantly fell in love with it. I'm not sure why - I was 14, why would a movie about a quiz show scandal in the 1950s resonate with me? There was no murder, no mayhem, no car chases, no lightsabers yet it held my attention and kept me on the edge of my seat, leaving a lasting impression as a film I enjoyed.

A few weeks ago, I wanted to show it to a friend. I hadn't seen it in a long time, maybe since the 90s, but I still remembered it just being good. We sat down to watch it and for a moment I was worried it might be awful, that maybe I was the only person who remembered it because I was a teen when I saw it and glossed over any problems with the movie. Luckily, I was wrong.

The movie is still perfect and still scarily relevant. It deals with issues of racism, ethics, rich vs poor, the American Dream, television, politics, and the definition of entertainment. It's about money, self destruction, our idea of justice and the reality of our justice system. It is about the invasion of technology and how it changes our culture. It's about growing up and trying to earn the respect of your peers and the temptation to do whatever it takes to become famous.

Robert Redford directed this movie and he FILLED the cast with amazing actors, down to the random guy in the background. Every single actor in this movie is amazing. Rob Morrow as Richard Goodwin hits it out of the park as the Jewish lawyer from Washington D.C. who manages to straddle the two worlds that John Turturro's Herb Stempel and Ralph Fiennes' Charles Van Doren inhabit. He understands the prejudices that Stempel faces as a Jewish man from Queens and he longs for a life like Van Doren's where being over-educated is respected rather than suspected.

These three men carry the weight of the movie on their shoulders, but then you have the rest of the supporting cast. Mira Sorvino plays Goodwin's wife who spends most of her time trying to help him see both sides when he gets caught up in one of them. Hank Azaria and David Paymer play the two tv executives behind the fixed show "Twenty One" and they both manage to make these men into real people and not just caricatures of the fast-talking jerks they could have been. Paul Scofield as Mark Van Doren, the father of Charles, elevates the film with what little screen time he has, breaking your heart as he tries to support a son who just wants to get out from under his shadow. And Johann Carlo as Herbert Stempel's wife, who loves her husband and her family, no matter how crazy they make her. And even the tiny role of the owner of Geritol, the sponsor of "Twenty One" is played by Martin Scorsese who gives a fantastic performance.

If you've never seen Quiz Show I highly recommend picking it up ASAP. Heck, if you saw it back when it was initially released, pick it up again. You'll be amazed by how little has changed.
orangerful: (one girl // orangerful)
I only watched three movies this past month, mostly because we've been marathoning too many tv shows to make time for a 2 hour film. But the one movie I actually went to the theater to see was Into the Woods, the big screen adaptation of the award-winning Broadway musical.

into-the-woods-poster1

Let me say up front that I am a HUGE fan of the original musical. My parents taped the live performance off of PBS when I was a kid and I watched it over and over. I had the soundtrack and memorized it. I was very nervous about the film from day one of its announcement. And after getting to think about it for a month, I finally have coherent thoughts formed about the motion picture version.

It is really hard to separate my knowledge of the stage production, the FULL STORY, from what we ended up with on screen. I know which songs were cut, which characters were lost, and what moments were missed.

The movie was alright on its own. Obviously it loses some of the charm, being a movie versus stage. I don't think people truly understand the magic of seeing something on stage, having a performer belt out a tune, hit all the high notes, singing with a LIVE orchestra - no retakes, no edits. You can't appreciate seeing the sets shift and move right before your eyes. That is the magic of theater, not the movies.

But the movie did manage to create its own magic.

I had a lot more to say than I thought :-\ )

TL;DR: 3 Stars and I probably won't rewatch it.

July 2017

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