<![CDATA[Cinema Samurai - Blog]]>Wed, 18 Oct 2017 11:28:39 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Confessions of a Movie Noob: 50 Shades of Grey]]>Thu, 05 Mar 2015 04:51:18 GMThttp://cinemasamurai.net/blog/confessions-of-a-movie-noob-50-shades-of-grey
CONFESSIONS OF A MOVIE NOOB
This week: 50 Shades of Grey


written by Lhynette Alejandro

When Anastasia Steele, a literature student, goes to interview the wealthy Christian Grey, as a favor to her roommate Kate Kavanagh, she encounters a beautiful, brilliant and intimidating man. The innocent and naive Ana started to realize she wants him, despite his enigmatic reserve and advice, she finds herself desperate to get close to him. Not able to resist Ana's beauty and independent spirit, Christian Grey admits he wants her too, but in his own terms. Ana hesitates as she discovers the singular tastes of Christian Grey - despite the embellishments of success, his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family - Grey is consumed by the need to control everything. 

“I exercise control in all things Ms. Steele." -  Christian Grey

Three main thoughts about the movie -

Uno: Elegance...elegance everywhere...
As much as we all know or at least have a slight idea of what this movie is about...sex, whips, the BDSM culture - the movie's style, characters and settings were over the top sophisticated and tasteful. It all revolves around Christian Grey and his success in life. The classy feel of the movie was established right in the beginning as Anastasia Steele went into Christian's office for some interview for a friend. She enters his office (she trips and falls on her face) - and the camera pans to a huge office, with a beautiful view of the Seattle skyline - his office being the CEO/President/Founder of everything sexy...had floor to ceiling glass windows. The super modern and masculine office furniture, very minimalist and a great contrast the the shiny marble floor (i am assuming it's marble). The freaking helicopter that took Ana and Christian back to Christian's penthouse suite...COME ON…is this real life? Can I get a ride? Let's not forget to mention the new car Christian gifted Ana for graduation. But what really stood out for me is the “playroom”. Whips, handcuffs and harnesses hanging in every corner of the room but they were neatly organized and placed in these shelves and holders. It takes out the “kinkyness” and the awkwardness of the movie for me. The BDSM culture (and I am sure this movie is a bit over the top and doesn’t quite capture the culture itself so please pardon me and I don’t want to offend anyone) is more than just the tools..and the sex. It exists in real life, and this movie portrayed it in a way where…it’s not awkward, it’s not taboo, it’s just how people live. It’s not in some dungeon or someone’s basement. It got me past the giggling and the blushing – because Christian Grey is serious about this secret. It’s not some game to him. It’s part of his sophisticated, high-class standards, and that definitely shows through his one passion. his playroom.

Dos. Anastasia's transformation.
From girl to a lady...to level with Grey. Her wardrobe slowly evolved, and the innocent little virgin girl persona was also transformed to a more dominant character - even though Ana's character was the "submissive" in this movie, she was playing Christian Grey...and has him eating out the palm of her hand.

Anastasia Steele throughout the whole movie, keeps Grey hanging by not signing the contract and going back and forth on her feelings for him. Two scenes that are my favorite were the meeting scene, where Anastasia and Christian discuss the contract for Ana to fully agree and commit to be Christian’s submissive. The whole meeting, Anastasia was being a tease to Christian by showing him what he wanted to see – body language “ your legs are pressed together, you’re flushed” making Christian think she wanted him…but at the end of the meeting---even when Christian asks her to stay, Anastasia just leaves. Second scene I liked is when Anastasia left Christian’s penthouse for good, which is the last scene of the movie. She’s had enough of Christian’s unwillingness to give her romance and love – and to top it off, Anastasia let Christian take her in the playroom to be “punished.". Anastasia goes to the playroom, bends over on the leather bench/table and Christian instructs her to count with him as she whips her six times…after the sixth whip, Anastasia is crying – and tells Christian “You will never do that to me again!” She bolts off and leaves. As much as the movie was such a back and forth on what Ana wanted from Christian, and what Christian was willing to give to her – that was the final straw. She should not understand why Christian would want to “punish” her and see her unhappy while getting pleasure out of it. I’m not going to lie, the majority of the movie shows Christian and Anastasia doing this back and forth dance towards each other, but within those scenes, you can see Anastasia’s transformation as she takes control over her own emotions and actions..and chooses herself over what Christian wants from her – despite the fact that she has fallen in love with Christian. NO MORE MS. NICE GIRL!

Three. Beyond the shades...the love story is endearing.
The scene after Grey’s family dinner – where Christian declares “you’re the one changing me," the two characters are falling hard for each other. I was confused – because for Christian to be the “dominant” why is he chasing after this girl? Why is he taking her on these plane rides and lavish dinners and taking her to meet is family? Giving her first edition books of some famous authors…WHY? THEN BAM...this dude is head over heels for her too. As cheesy as it is…I liked the love story between Christian and Anastasia. They both bring something to the table. Anastasia enlightened Christian to a type of relationship he has never had before, and Christian enlightened her…to well….you know, de-flowering her and helping her find out how she likes it in bed. And the possibilities are endless. Christian takes care of her, and she takes care of Christian emotionally…by being by his side – and the whole movie…Anastasia doesn’t sign the contract one bit. So, not to get into more cheesy stuff, because I’m a girl and I am well aware this is JUST a movie, it is endearing and it sucked me in. It’s a really good contrast to the whole sexy theme of the movie. Because what girl doesn’t want to be romanced by a young, tall glass of handsome every now and then. Sign me up! Sign me up for the “love and handsome man” deal, sans the other things.

I am giving Fifty Shades a 2 out of 4, Hell Yeah. But not as enthusiastic...the actors are new, Anastasia's fake naive thirst for Christian Grey got old really quick. The whole back and forth got annoying. But the overall story behind BDSM was quite a learning experience for me, the culture truly does exists. I tried to really hate this movie, because I felt shy for liking it and telling everyone to watch it because it has that enigma of “oh you freak…” but seriously, it’s much more than that. I was drawn by the sophistication and elegance the movie has, the evolution of Anastasia’s character and the love story of Christian and Anastasia. You’ll giggle, you’ll laugh, you’ll be annoyed and frustrated…What the heck…go watch it! 
Five thoughts from watching the trailer:
1. Who is this actress?
2. Show his face already.
3. ....well Hello Mr. Grey. Nice office.
4. This Crazy in Love remix is catchy.
5. What the hell is this room?
Picture


2 out of 4

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<![CDATA[Confessions of a Movie Noob: Into the Woods]]>Tue, 30 Dec 2014 04:40:10 GMThttp://cinemasamurai.net/blog/confessions-of-a-movie-noob-into-the-woods
CONFESSIONS OF A MOVIE NOOB
This week: Into the Woods

written by Lhynette Alejandro

Into the Woods is a modern twist on several of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters' wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy). These stories are tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife (James Corden and Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch (Meryl Streep) who has put a curse on them. (C) Disney

Uno: the aesthetics
Can we please talk about the fancy seamless special effects that populated this movie? From the costume, Cinderella’s  transformation from the girl hanging out by the fireplace to a very pretty princess to head to the ball. Even though Johnny Depp was only in the movie for a hot second, his character as the wolf was impressive as expected. The endless hours the actors spent in the make-up chairs reflects in how amazing everyone looked in the movie. We can’t forget about Meryl Streep with the blue hair, snaggle teeth and looking like a crazy bum off of the streets of Compton in the 80s. The way the actors were dressed and made up were so perfect for each character in the movie and definitely tied everything together, by everything I mean the environment they were in. The setting of the woods, as the precocious little girl in the red cape stupidly frolics through the deep dark woods (side note: I mean seriously, what little girl will be THAT happy to go into the woods?) The castle, the bean stalk, the village of the baker and his wife, Rapunzel... the special effects brought all these whimsical themes into life. I was hooked. Sitting in my movie chair, I was in a daze…living happily ever after.    

Dos: the great musical talent of Kendrick, Blunt and surprisingly Pine.
This totally surprised me, Chris Pine? Singing? Let me back track - I didn’t know Into the Woods is a remake of a musical from the '80s until I started reading more about the movie. It’s based on the play by this guy named Sondheim. Then I also read that the same person who produced/directed Chicago is the same person who directed/produced Into the Woods. So I was definitely intrigued. I had high hopes, but I definitely had my doubts – especially with this movie being a musical and all. I think of musicals similar to waiting for your newly painted nails to dry. You hate it, you have to sit there, and wait patiently and live through it because you paid money to get your nails done and you don’t want it to get smudged or ruined. Similar to a musicals – I paid for it, but hurry up with the singing, where’s the acting? Then bam, we all know Streep is, as always, nothing short of remarkable. Kendrick and Blunt didn’t disappoint either. Chris Pine blew me away though. I know it might sound lame, but he totally “Captain Kirked” his singing in his role as the Prince. He was fit for the part - he had the face, the blonde hair, the blue eyes, and to top it off he was singing like a bad ass. It blew me away and surprised me. Chris Pine’s singing was like finding that fifty dollar bill in your jacket pocket from last winter while you were spring cleaning. Chris Pine, you blew me away!!! Great singing voice!

Three: great mashup of all fairytales I know by heart presented so differently from what I knew as a child!
Even though the movie put some twists and intertwined each fairytale with one another – it was a great mashup of everything I had hoped. The movie kept the original story line for each fairytale which I really liked and added the baker and the baker’s wife story –Rapunzel gets in the mix of things with Cinderella and Jack with the beanstalk. It was nostalgic to start the movie with the words “Once upon a time…” The movie was whimsical and kept me interested the whole time. I liked that the dialogue was very witty and definitely smart. The fairytale characters definitely held their originality, but in this movie, the characters I knew as a child had something dark. With the Prince falling for the Baker’s wife, and Cinderella questioning the Prince’s motives. It was a good balance of surreal and then the dialogue made the characters seem like “real people” dealing with issues of love, grief, longing, sex, and envy. It was pretty much a fairy tale for grown-ups.

My two cents – If you don’t like musicals, just suck it up. This movie will change every bad opinion you have about musicals being boring and pretentious…maybe for at least 90 minutes you’ll be impressed. Did I mention that Chris Pine sings his heart out in the movie? Totally did not expect that. This movie definitely puts a grown up twist to the fairytales you knew as a child. The actors, the costumes and the whole story line are all together making the best movie sundae of all time. I also read that the movie has already snagged a few supporting actors award and best musical blah blah blah award…How can you go wrong with that? Just go, grab your keys, take a friend and enjoy the film as much as I did!
Movie trailer thoughts:
  1. WOW Meryl Streep! Tha snaggle tooth though...
  2. All my fairytales in one movie? I don’t get it.
  3. Hahaha the Prince was being a smart ass.
  4. Anna Kendrick! Pitch Perfect!
  5. Oh God, Johnny Depp looking wack!
Picture


2.5 out of 4

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<![CDATA[Confessions of a Movie Noob: Horrible Bosses 2]]>Wed, 17 Dec 2014 03:44:36 GMThttp://cinemasamurai.net/blog/confessions-of-a-movie-noob-horrible-bosses-2
CONFESSIONS OF A MOVIE NOOB
This week: Horrible Bosses 2

written by Lhynette Alejandro

Three reasons why I enjoyed Horrible Bosses 2:

Uno: The amazing chemistry between the three main characters definitely played a huge part.

Dos: You have the ever so stupidly hilarious Charlie Day, the horndog of a single guy, Jason Sudeikis...and between the two, Jason Bateman as the father figure who looked after the group, convincing everyone "we are not going to see mother fucker jones, because we are not going to kidnap anyone."

Three: The dialogue was fast and witty-usually this banter was between Day and Sudeikis. The kind of sarcastic humor I was hoping for was there...and it was definitely shown in the first scene where the three characters are on a makeshift morning TV show...introducing their "shower buddy" invention. Once I picked up the interaction between the three characters in the first scene, I was convinced that the movie will be peppered with unexpected funnies! 
The fact that the sequel wasn't a repeated sequence of events from the first movie from the over usage of name dropping to clichéd super exhausted older white guys trapped in Hangover movies really impressed me. I wasn't interested to "re-watch" what I had already seen with the first one. Horrible Bosses 2 had the same concept as the first movie but that was it. We hate our boss...and we do horrible things. I get it, pretty simple plot and very simple to just re-use the idea over and over again. But the sequel involved previous characters as resources, and almost a new set of characters who contributed to the story line in a fresh perspective. For example Dave Harken played by Kevin Spacey as their advisor for their new company, who the trio would frequently visit to ask advice from...I must say, with the 5 scenes they had Kevin Spacey in, he was hilarious. To me, the movie wasn't just a boring repeat of the same events from the first movie, it stood by itself.

As funny as this movie was, it tugged on my heart strings a bit: here are three guys, they’re average normal dudes, who are just tired of getting dicked around by their superiors. They have hopes and dreams...and they just want to succeed! I related to it a bit I’ve been there, being a member in the working force. It was relatable to me. There was a scene where Dale's former boss, played by Jennifer Aniston, ended up in a hotel room with the trio and all she ever wanted was to sleep with Dale. And as soon as I thought Dale was finally going to give in to the temptation, he ended up shoving Aniston in the bathroom to go after his wife and save his marriage. I'm not saying I'm out here trying to do the same thing these guys are doing to their bosses, but the characters are relatable because work life has thrown these frustrations at us and it's just entertaining to see some of our thoughts about our bosses acted out in this movie. 

My random thoughts on the movie:
  1.  Why would your buddy be in the shower with you? "WHY WOULD YOUR DAD?!?!"
  2. Bringing back the oldies - Aniston, Pacey and MOTHERFUCKER JONES.
  3. I am going to start using "fight clubbing" in my vocabulary.
  4. Chris Pine looks so skeezy weasel in this movie.
  5.  I think i just saw the whole movie watching this damn trailer.
Picture


2 out of 4

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<![CDATA[Sonic Highways]]>Sat, 13 Dec 2014 05:22:53 GMThttp://cinemasamurai.net/blog/sonic-highways
SONIC HIGHWAYS
The class we all wished we took in college.

written by Jessica Elliott
For the past two months, I’ve helped myself to an extra cup of coffee on Fridays in an effort to keep my sleep-depravity at bay (a direct link to raising a 15-month-old) so I can stay awake to watch the latest episode of Sonic Highways. Even then, I made sure the DVR was set to record (God help me if there are technical issues!) and calmed even further knowing the latest episode would be available on On Demand. Why the sense of urgency? I blame the premiere of the series set in Chicago. At the end of that episode, I knew I was in for a musical education and it was exactly what my Friday nights needed but more importantly, it reinvigorated my love and interest in the musical culture and community which, until now, had exponentially waned - I’m looking at you Taylor Swift.

Sonic Highways follows the Foo Fighters as they visit eight cities across the U.S. with the purpose of showcasing how the community and surroundings influence the creation and recording of an album. At the end of each episode, they perform a song inspired by the interviews, people and history of that city. Each song is written by Dave Grohl and comprises their eighth album, also named Sonic Highways.
I signed on and showed up for Music 101: Sonic Highways on Friday nights, waiting for those first few notes of the opening sequence song and title track, “Something from Nothing.” I had NO idea how deliciously layered the show would be – and inspirational! Holy shit. I’m not even a musician but it makes me want to fucking pull out some blank paper, draw a music staff and start writing some songs. But because I’m a graphic designer, I’d probably end up designing some obnoxious treble and base clef with ornate details that have no place on the sheet music and by the end of it, be so exhausted by my stubborn unrealistic expectation that I’d claim “writing music was beneath me.” But that’s neither here nor there. Each episode would leave you hungry for more. You immediately realize that Grohl has some serious pull with legit and iconic musicians as they agreed to be interviewed and share their experience for the series.  Top that with a rich history of eight U.S. cities and must-know-landmarks for anyone who considers himself or herself a for real musician. And to top it all off, you learn more about the Foo Fighters, their dynamic, and that after 20 years, they still want to make music together. Can this be real life? I assure you – it very much is.

It’s interesting how television shows are created. I say this because as the series was coming to a close, Grohl reveals the purpose of this series thru his interview to Magic Shop (a recording studio in NY) owner, Steve Rosenthal. Although this interview was in the last episode of the series, it was the first interview he did and it completely set the tone for the message of Sonic Highways: “We wound up talking about America and how we used to take care of each other. I looked at my interview with Steve like the message of this entire project. We’re all connected by something. Maybe it’s a river that runs underground… that conversation became my goal. I want to talk about these people. I want to talk about music. But I want to get to this. I want this to be the exclamation point.” Grohl certainly succeeds in highlighting that connection, support and nurture found within the musical communities and how it affects a city, a country, and history. Sonic Highways can also be seen as more of a personal project because much of Grohl’s influences are noted and his personal connection to the music scene of a specific city is explored, as well. It gives the show another layer of depth – Grohl is sharing his love for music along with the viewer and it makes us connect with him and that particular music scene. That nostalgic factor definitely cranks up to an 11 many a times. 
Let me quickly explain how the show works: Foo Fighters, along with their crew, are in each city for a week or less. This is the amount of time they have to interview their guests, write lyrics and the music for the song inspired by the city and then perform said song. A week. 7 days. Tops. IN. FUCKING. SANE.  I’m not claiming Foo Fighters’ songs are prolific or life changing in any way (although Everlong is pretty wonderful), but to have less than a week to produce a polished piece of music is incredibly impressive. It really gives insight into what a well-oiled machine the Foo Fighters are and how each role in the process is defined. The interviewing is handled a little differently, with Grohl focusing on a few key people in the music scene or history, with handfuls of musicians providing additional stories (all of whom are totally overqualified to fill the role of “supporting cast”). The words of these interviews literally serve as the lyrics for the songs on Sonic Highways. It gives the album a unique listening experience. Without knowing the context, it sounds random and meaningless. Once you watch the episode, hear the words spoken and then Grohl singing them, a totally different meaning emerges, making the songs equally as important as the show itself.

I could go thru each episode and give you a rundown of what was so important about this interview, that person, this influence, etc., but, that’s not the takeaway you remember once the episode ends. Grohl reminded me how music used to be made and the struggles it went thru just to be preserved so the likes of you and I could listen to it today. It made me believe that there are genuinely good people out there who want to support and nurture the creative spirit. Grohl, on a number or occasions, showed how loving and appreciative he is of his fan base, showing a family the inside of The Magic Shop, offering to play drums for RDGLDGRN just because he had the time to do it, and greeting all people willing to talk to him with a genuine reverence and happiness for their contributed time. It was just a fucking eye opener of a show. And each member of the Foo Fighters, not just Grohl, was a music fan. They didn’t think they were above it all – they were just, fans, like you and I.

The biggest kicker? I found myself wanting to listen to music I could care less for. Country? Forget it. After the Nashville episode, though, I was convinced otherwise. I’ve all of a sudden become a big supporter of Zac Brown band and want to make a Dolly Parton Spotify playlist. David Grohl, WTF?! I was most excited for the second episode set in Washington, D.C., my backyard, aka the birth place of go-go. I grew up without room in my heart for go-go because that was reserved for punk and ska. But after the D.C. episode, Grohl had me second-guess whether I should’ve paid more attention to the musical roots of the nation’s capitol. And this, my friends, is the magic of the show. It is directed so well and the information is relayed so effortlessly, you don’t even know you’re in fucking school and learning. Grohl is an inception genius in that way. 

Each city Foo Fighters visited surprised me with its depth and history. The eight episodes had some surprising factor, whether it was a specific interview, the recording studio they performed in, or the city environment itself. Seattle's episode though, as cool of a place I think it is, just didn’t impress me all that much. The episode wasn't as interesting as I had hoped, with the exception of when Grohl takes a few minutes to talk about Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. I also think I was expecting (maybe unfairly), a bit more contribution from females in the grunge scene but I have to keep reminding myself that the interviews conducted were probably on availability and also who Grohl felt had an influence on him or Foo Fighters a bit more readily.
I didn’t know much about the personalities of the band members but I’m walking away with a deep appreciation for Dave Grohl, his work ethic, and believing in the power of old school rocking. MVP, though, is Taylor Hawkins. I wanted to sum up what a comic relief and genuine music fan he was during the series but Grantland beat me to it, animated gifs and all! He really showed the most personality outside of Grohl, and carried a vibe with him that was just chiiiillll, super stoked about the icons they were working with and just downright silly. Perhaps one of the outright coolest musical collaborations was when Grohl and Hawkins worked together on a cymbal separation so they could get the sound for the drums exactly the way they wanted. It was awesome because 1. how great it was to see Hawkins excited to work on cymbal separations with Grohl and 2. of how fucking astounding it was to see the amount of work that goes into getting your craft just right. These guys care about their music and want to enjoy playing it just as much as we enjoy listening to it. 

Sonic Highways was an experience, in every sense of the word. It captures moments in a history we’ve long forgotten in an age of YouTube discoveries and American Idols. It’s refreshing. It’s eye-opening. It’s remarkable. Dave Grohl has created a must-share series with the musician in your life, especially the young, to remind them that support, love and dedication is not overrated. Grohl makes it cool to not care about that stuff when our culture tells us otherwise. Although a Season 2 has not been confirmed, something tells me that even lack of sleep won’t keep me from staying awake, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed. 

Read, watch and listen to Grohl and company talk more about the creation of Sonic Highways here.
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<![CDATA[No Chill: Dumb & Dumber To]]>Wed, 19 Nov 2014 04:17:14 GMThttp://cinemasamurai.net/blog/no-chill-dumb-dumber-to
NO CHILL: DUMB & DUMBER TO
How Americans slowburned their country to a dimwitted cinder.

written by Audy Elliott

*Jim Carrey’s comedic abomination came in number one the past weekend at 38 million, winning over better contemporary films ‘interstellar’ and ‘Big Hero 6’. 

The prevailing question over the past weekend was “How the hell was this movie number one?”. It doesn’t look like it should be number one, it doesn’t smell like it should be number one, and it has enough premise dust on it to stay into oblivion, and rot in an idiot clichéd punch- lined retirement home. Dumb & Dumber To went up against, better, tactfully more entertaining quality of films for the weekend, mercilessly prat-falling past its competition to an unjustifiable win. So again, how the hell did this movie come in number one this past weekend? Movie analysts strip down all the logistics to one vital element: Nostalgia. And my response to that is - FUCK NOSTALGIA! American moviegoing audiences have been personally killing me with their slack-jawed movie choices for quite some time, but even this is an all new low. It’s as a piss dumb flu of a movie came, leaving me afflicted with a bad case of shitty cinema-itis, and the only robitussin-like cure would be to kill myself by a western movie, high noon styled hanging where I made sure there was no slack in my rope. I’m not that desperate yet, but it’s getting there.
The Farrelly brothers most recent film is the antichrist straw that broke the camel’s back, along with my already declining faith in audiences, who seem incapable of doing the smart thing in supporting movies that are above 40% on the Rotten Tomatoes meter. There is no way this movie should have done what it came to do – which is capitalize on Jim Carrey’s 90’s legend, while at the same time tapping into some enticing “stupid is as stupid does” seduction on cinema, thereby its very existence is being validated by grossing legitimate money on an illegitimate movie. The people have spoken, it’s just I’m tired of listening to what they have to say because it’s glaring apparent can’t read past a third grade level or why else would they choose to watch this belligerently crafted film? I understand that sometimes you don’t want to keep your mind busy laced on the interwoven intricacies on a high minded movie and “think” all the time with films, whereas one would just want to go on a ride like Guardians of the Galaxy proposed (Guardians is a excellent movie to bridge thought and thrills). I further sympathize which is why I forced my wife to buy me Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins on DVD. So, what is the root cause as to why this box office foolishness happened? Was it audiences chaffed at Interstellar’s slow burn, metaphysical, scientific philosophy of logic versus heart versus bloated run time? Was it that Big Hero 6, which was good for a first weekend trip, not good enough for a repeated visitation even though it inspirationally marked itself anxiously in a “Baby Avengers” flying montages kind of way soaring high that would even show Tony Stark blush under Shane Black’s and Jon Favreau’s helmet camera? Or is it, that American audiences just have no threshold on what is good in film anymore or want to be even challenged or they don’t care; they are inexplicably at fault as a whole “we” want to just laugh and be as pathetically DUMB, if not fucking DUMBER, in obediently  giving “our” money TO the Farrelly brothers, thereby grouping “us” in the same stupid-ass moronic caravan of tired-ass shticks and sight gags of the very subjects that “we” paid for which, in reality, didn’t even fucking work 20 years ago?

For those of you that don’t know or haven’t seen the pitiful commercials or movie trailers, Dumber and Dumber To, is a sequel of the  1994 original Dumb & Dumber with a Jim Carrey (at the height) of his powers, and Jeff Daniels, who is one step above “THAT-GUY” movie status, being saved from it by his pure acting talent alone to ever slip into that territory, both zip-line through the movie, bobbing  and weaving dummy pixie dust on an overrated comedy movie, with no real weight. Under the Farrelly brother’s lead, Dumb & Dumber disgracefully ushered in the sophomoric, goofball, earnest potty humor with heart, which Judd Apatow would later refine and repackage.The Farrellys at that point in time where unknowns and for their first venture they hit it big with this movie to where it allowed them to release Something about Mary, Me, myself and Irene and the wildly underrated Kingpin starring a reawakened Bill Murray. It’s not that Dumb & Dumber was offensively stupid. It’s right in the pantheon of 90’s comedy legacy with Ace Ventura, Austin Powers and Clerks. And that is where the idea should have stayed. In the ’94 original (which I couldn’t stand) focuses on two dimwitted grown man babies, one rocking a perfectly shaped bowl cut with a chipped tooth to match (lloyd - Carrey), and the other (Harry - Daniels) looking like the long lost older brother to Randy Quaid’s amish phenom bowler, Ishmael in the Farrellys' other doofus themed Kingpin. Both walking punching bags, meander through the original movie as best friends from Providence, Rhode Island who set out on a cross country trip to Colorado, for “who the hell knows why” coupled with “who the hell even really cares” – but they are tasked with returning a brief case full of money to its owner, only to be pursued manically by the movie’s criminals who ultimately after the same briefcase. The movie from what I can remember has some funny jokes, with Carrey and Daniels going with a demonstration of full screwball, idiot-savantism, manic wrathfulness with its humor, and set ups of one another. But like our boy Robert Downey Jr. said in Tropic Thunder: “You don’t go full retard.” Oh Robert, they did, and they did so expertly to a standing ovation by its own carefully cultivated legion of apologists, while a whoopee cushion of pathetic expectations gets placed onto their seats as they sit back down – And apparently that is how American audiences want it. Not me, save that shit for the next mindless dummy, I won’t entitle this fallacy of nostalgia with my hard earned money.

Either way, even at my younger age, I wasn’t as offended by the lack of cleverness to falsify in playing dumb, as the convincingly portrayal of both its leads to where dumb won over in a woefully overrated proximity to its own misplaced smugness in comparison to other, much better, Farrelly brothers movies. The key fundamental difference is not that audiences are attracted to this sub-subservient, basic bitch level humor to begin with, it’s that audiences turned out twenty years later with ‘Steve Perry’ like open arms!! In 1994 it’s a petty crime, with its timing, in 2014 it’s a horrendous federal felony of epic proportions that has crossed three state lines, and now has The Fugitive’s Tommy Lee Jones’ marshal on the chase. This time the movie smacks you in the face like a broken down, drooping, unhinged cast iron frying pan, except with said pan, you actually can produce something useful and feel plentiful, disposable, in which the same satisfaction cannot be said for this haggard title.

So back to my fundamental, quizzical dilemma with this film: how the hell did this movie come in number one?

Reason 1: Jim Carrey is still a bankable star.
Yes, Carrey is still a bankable star. No, we really can’t remember that last true “stick to your ribs hit” movie he powered on his movie star wattage alone. But he is still Jim ‘frickin’ Carrey. He made a recent appearance on Saturday Night Live, allowing for promotional and marketing synergy of the movie, with Daniels, himself showing up, in a shameless plug built around a boulevard of broken has been dreams kind of way. Makes sense from a business standpoint as it helped the movie win at the box office. Carrey has nothing to prove, and looks a little over the hill, with his overall ‘brand’ but anytime he steps out and presents himself, people still lunged forward based on what he has so brilliantly established in the past. He may not be relevant, but his filmography always is, and his talent/bankability stays youthful as the lines on his face, and the gray in his dyed hair age with unknowing acceleration. Regardless of what his last hit is in, Carrey is one of the few comedians that can shoulder his own movie. Nevermind what films he farted through the past couple of years (Kick-Ass 2, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, Mr. Poppers Penguins) Carrey, when he is on, and in something semi-valid and trustworthy – can and will deliver the goods. If you are aware, we are living in a time where our action heroes are nearing the retirement age. Denzel Washington recently old man movie starred his ass-off to get Equalizer number one its opening weekend and the Taken franchise has added an additional 10 hard edge years onto Liam Neeson’s shelf life, with arguably his most famous role since Oskar Schindler. It all applies to Jim Carrey and this movie. If these two are bankable (Denzel equal on Carrey’s movie star Kraken career) its comes to no surprise that, it was this rationale that was pitched to Carrey in the early stages prior to him accepting the role, which begrudgingly, I hatefully admit they were right about.

Reason 2: Strong Cult Brand drew people back.
Even though I didn’t care for the original Dumb & Dumber, the movie did gross $247.3 million total on a budget of $17.0 million. It had mixed reviews when it first came out, but it resonated with people to where it eventually became cult classic. It had a strong entitlement in ’94 with likeable, proven leads, experienced directors, and an actual plot that for better or for worse was easy to follow and competent. The 30 million dollars that were secured this past weekend, weren’t from that many neophytes as it was from their over-agreeable fathers and uncles. The same dipshit, beer-swiling, frat boys and working collar, burn out high school night students that enjoy this movie 20 years ago came back out in full force this past weekend, just now they are peoples fathers and uncles with 401K’s and play fantasy football in seven different leagues and not successful in anyone of them. I get it dumb is funny, dumb goes straight to your bones, dumb makes you feel good, as long as its someone else’s dumbness that you can laugh at – this is why Jackass made a bunch California stoner loser guys, led by a man whose last name is Knoxville into millionaires, and when the next Jackass movie comes out, I will not be as shocked by that because the last one came out less than six years ago, and timing is everything. Or no it’s not, as exampled by Dumb & Dumber To. Nothing is stronger than a good cult – good, bad or ugly, once there are fans; they will always come out in pavlovian call and response to support their beloved. Apparently, Dumb & Dumber To had this compartment of stupidity that was there for its 38 million dollar reawakening.

Reason 3: Absence based fondness.
Again, nostalgia built up the piles of money for this film. This movie takes people back to a better time to when it was okay to laugh. Cinema was different back then, hardly any franchises, or 3D IMAX or prequels. The Matrix and The Phantom Menace was still at 3-4 years away from this movie, and the first iteration of Batman had yet to be an overall shit-stain on the pop culture lexicon’s tidy whiteys of what was passable and what wasn’t. Some films needed to stay away and this was one of them. Audiences disagreed. The smart thing about dumb comedy is it’s apparently accessibility to people. Humor is subjective, and with this movie – that subjectivity was in the minds and hearts of those who wanted to experience it. This movie had no reason beating Interstellar, and Big Hero 6, but audiences didn’t care. They want guarantees, they want escapism, and this movie gave that to them, eventhough  it was delivered in the most flagrant, egregious substandard way possible. I get Dumb & Dumber To – but I’m still waiting for Old School 2 to happen. Where is the justice in that? There isn’t any. I can’t argue as to the intended purpose of a movie on its most fundamental level: it’s to have audiences lose themselves in a story, in the experience, and carries them away from their problems and real world doggedness that plagues as all, but damn, does it have to be this movie? With absence it makes the heart grow fonder – I get why this movie works on a primal structure – people, need familiarity, especially in a time of global economic and financial uncertainty. It’s because of this self prescribed tenet of being a careful, watchful, sensitive movie critic as to why I understand why people would want to see this movie, but not on the idyllically charming level to where it wins the box office out right. If absence made this movie second or third for the weekend, then I would take the hand gun away from my head because that trigger is getting more and more squeezable the more and more I hear of the market’s good movie let downs by the very poor judge of choices of the  customers it caters towards.

Reason 4: Hollywood updating, rebooting, and “sequelizing” the shit out of everything.
This movie falls right into the buckets studio executives run down when deciding if on paper the movie makes fiscal sense or not. Lets see here: proven, albeit simple-minded semi-attractive premise? Check! Brand names? (Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels) Check! Bankability off Carrey’s previous body of work? Check! Sequel that people can grab and hold dear like clutching a one eyed teddy bear busting at the comical seams – CHECK, CHECK AND FUCKING CHECK!! In a world where we have four Transformers movies, three Expendables movies, and 18 Die Hards with a stale vengeance - are we really that surprised this movie did as well as it did? Probably not, but doesn’t mean we still are not aggravatingly disappointed. This movie beat out some good movies. Those movies though didn’t come from a previous franchise, and not from a bankability stand point per se (Nolan is bankable, but if this was the fourth Dark Knight movie this whole article would be moot, and that would have been a good thing) To reiterate, general movie audiences want guaranteed, want assurance, want collateral for their time, money and attention - Dumb & Dumber To gave that to them with the least amount of resistance, but also gave me, and other astute cinephiles a brain aneurism in the process. Now my fear is anchored by the possibility of another sequel hackneyed delivered - ‘Dumb & Dumber 3: Assholes take New York’ (title still pending) where my anger will only manifest and intensify with magnetic hate if the DVD’s sell, if this movie does big overseas, and if the studio feels all they need is the promise of a number one weekend to further submit additional entries to where we have a steaming pile of dog-feces of an anthology for Dumb & Dumber materials. This is why god invented Tequila.

Overall I’m ashamed that this country not only proved me wrong, but in a lot of ways proved me right in its arrogance to validate rancid movies in the box office by going to see them faithfully. I understand that we all have guilty pleasures in all forms of mediums, but not this medium, and not this awful toxic waste dump that is called at its best “detestable.” This movie is nothing short of all other pop culture failures in history like the ‘disco music’ - to Puff Daddy’s baggy shiny trash bag suits – to Fred Durst and his backwards baseball hats to currently anything with Kim Kardashian’s butt crack as its ironically trying to “break the internet” to Lifetime’s own recent abomination of the Aaliyiah biopic. Maybe, I shouldn’t be as naïve as I’m coming across – this is, after all, the culture where we still have reality television shows of not famous athlete’s but their fucking wives, because someone thought they are much MORE interesting than their spouses that actually earn a wage to support their staged and phony materialistic affluence. The fact of the matter is: movies hold a precedent - they are profound, larger than life, and carry a reach that its voice echoes and reverberates throughout pop culture that sets the table for everything else that depends on it. I have grown to expect dumb shit when it comes to movie choices, but this time Dumb & Dumber To wasn’t the movie, it just wasn’t. But now it is and we have to live will the perception that we are dumb ass culture as a whole, pretending in making smart choices, allowing us to get away with those choices, when it comes to truly “glad-handing” a movie that had no business being “glad-handed.” As I stated before – FUCK NOSTALGIA, because nostalgia doesn’t innovate cinema. Yes it influences, but doesn’t affirm the art form overall to new heights and trajectories. Because of this movie, the bigger picture is we take one step forward with the brilliant Edge of Tomorrow (that nobody saw,) but three steps back with this not intentioned laughable excuse of a movie. However, the joke is ultimately on me for giving this country another chance to redeem itself at that theaters, and like Jim Carrey and his tired ass agreement to star in this film, he, the movie, and the ideology of what this represents, doesn’t gnaw at me but you America, you do, and you let me down big time, and you did it for a movie that doesn’t deserve your attention. Congrats, dummies. I hope it wasn’t worth the asinine wait.   
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<![CDATA[DR. WHO: Season 8, Epi 9 - 12 recap]]>Fri, 14 Nov 2014 04:14:20 GMThttp://cinemasamurai.net/blog/dr-who-season-8-epi-9-12-recap
DR. WHO: SEASON 8, EPISODES 9 - 12 RECAP
I've got heaven right here on earth.

written by Jermaine Lowery
Now we’re getting somewhere, the Doctor has arrived! It took him all season, but he’s a Time Lord, give him a break. He probably only spent two days of his own time. Season 8 of Doctor began in a seemingly amorphous state that was held onto until the bitter end. It left viewers wondering, who is this guy, really? What does one story line have to do with the next? Where are we going with this? Who is Missy? Well, now we know... all of it. What began as one raised eyebrow ended in an "a-ha" as the Doctor arose from his dream state and walked into his own glory. Was it a bumpy ride? Yes. Did he leave the brakes on the T.A.R.D.I.S. again? Absolutely. Was it worth the turbulence? You bet.

In the final four episodes of Dr. Who Season 8, we were encountered with beings from another dimension, a not so enchanted forest, and the afterlife, twice! The T.A.R.D.I.S. also know as “Sexy”, has seen more visitors than I can remember. The dynamic between the Doctor, “Clara my Clara”, and Danny Pink shifted throughout; sometimes uncomfortably so.  People died… and the band played on. 

Keywords
Philosophical, exhilarating, somber, cohesive, unsettling, compassionate. 
Episode 9 - Flatline
First we need clarity. In the world of Dr. Who, Flatline is not referring to the stopping of someone’s heart - that would be too simple, or not simple enough depending on your perception. Think more of an actual flat line, then you can begin to understand. Dr. Who and Dr. Oswald, I mean Clara, are confronted with beings from another dimension - the second dimension, as in 2D.  In Flatline, the T.A.R.D.I.S. encountered some funky readings, dimensional energy, so it shrank. It didn’t shrink like the usual bigger on the inside; more like Honey I Shrunk the Kids. The Doctor was trapped on the inside, which was still bigger thank goodness, and Clara had to become the Doctor. Just as Superman plays Clark Kent based on his view of mankind, Clara plays the Doctor based on her perception of him, and what a “mighty fine” Doctor she was. Too good, Clara’s interpretation of the Doctor was cold, calculating, brilliant, and she lied… a lot! Not that Clara is above lying (especially to Danny), but the Doctor had the opportunity to see himself through someone else’s eyes. His inner turmoil to discover the kind of man he is resurfaces as he utters the words to Clara; “You were an exceptional Doctor. Goodness had nothing to do with it.” In the end, we were blessed with another “It is protected” speech, and more of that Capaldi fire spewed at this episode’s two dimensional low lifes, err… Flatliners. Missy makes another brief appearance as she claims to have pulled a few strings in the past… possibly woven some stories together.

Episode 10 - In the Forest of the Night
“Can you not just let me enjoy this moment of not knowing something? It happens so rarely.” Easily the best sentence spoken by the Doctor in this episode. With that out of the way, the beginning of this episode will make you believe you’re back in Sherwood forest.  Don’t worry, we are out of the woods… those woods. A forest has decided to rise in the heart of London. When Clara, Mr. Pink, and the school children awake during an overnight field trip, they find themselves surrounded by new, fully grown trees. “Who you gonna call?” The Doctor is baffled by this development, and thoroughly enjoys not knowing, for a short while. How long did you think it would last? 

The Doctor and Clara’s paths intertwine as the Doctor becomes babysitter to Maebh, one of Clara’s students who finds herself lost, without her medication to suppress the voices in her head, and afraid - just go with it. The students take a detour to the T.A.R.D.I.S. and even get a chance for a selfie break (it's 2014). The Doctor’s bedside manner is still missing, but he is on the case to figure out why these fire proof trees have invaded not only London, but the entire planet earth. If the trees weren’t enough to deal with, their untold amounts of destruction allow for the freedom of some nearby zoo animals. Enter Danny Pink to save the day, he can at least do that much. Caught in between her incessant lying, her love for Danny, and the chance for adventure, Clara finds herself in another compromising situation in her attempt to pursue true love and the universe all at once. 

The Doctor, wrapped in another puzzle feels hopeless, a rare sight to see. In an attempt to save Clara’s life, and hers alone, she sadly declined because she “didn’t want to be the last of her kind" (Ouch Clara, I thought we were cool.)  Though he doesn’t save the day, the Doctor does have many strokes of brilliance throughout the episode. The progression of the Clara/Danny love saga takes the front stage as the Doctor uncharacteristically bumbles a bit. It’s a new look for the Doctor, he bumbled. Outside of the bumbling, he made some pretty enlightening remarks about the human race, that Clara cleverly related back to himself (you will see what I mean).

Again, Missy seems to have eyes on the Doctor at all times, while she remains a mystery… Out of sight out of mind?

Episode 11 - Dark Water (Part 1 of 2)
WARNING: SPOILERS!

To say this episode went from one extreme to the next is an understatement, BUT, I would rate this as the best episode of the season. Our Doctor begins to come back to himself, and to us with assuredness, confidence, compassion, and determination. Well done, bravo. This episode begins with Clara’s declaration of everlasting love to Danny Pink in a way that can never be taken back, and boy did she mean business. Unfortunately, Danny died during this declaration (huh?!?.... exactly). Clara, being besties with a Time Lord, decides to take advantage of this relationship. With a ferocious plan filled with betrayal and deceit, Clara goes to her Doctor with grief and malice in her heart, betrays him and everything he stands for. Clearly, it was no surprise when the Doctor told her to "go to hell.  No one expected he would give her a ride there in the T.A.R.D.I.S., but he did. With compassion in his heart, the Doctor took his friend to get her beloved from the dead, “so buck up and give me some attitude.” 

The Doctor and Clara are taken to a place called 3W, an organization that helps you find comfort not only in your funeral, but in the afterlife. Danny and Clara are brought together once again using wi-fi from the Nethersphere. Why wouldn’t they have wi-fi? 

In a classic moment, Capaldi briefly goes back in time as he allows his pent up anger to reveal itself as a host of swear words on the psychic paper (good times). The Doctor feels unsettled as he misses obvious clues for the majority of the episode while he searches 3W. Guided by Missy, the truth about 3W and Missy finally surfaces in a major, and majorly unexpected way!  With a new leader, the Cybermen find their way back on earth in yet another attempt… will they ever learn? “It is protected!”

Episode 12 - Death in Heaven (Part 2 of 2)

UNIT makes a surprise appearance in another half-baked attempt to save the day. The Doctor awakes aboard a plane where he is told he is the President of the world due to the crisis situation. His nemesis Missy, formerly known as the Master, is also aboard this plane (not too bright but it happened). The Doctor works through this episode to figure out how to stop Missy’s plan to exploit the the biggest strategic flaw of humankind using the Cybermen - (the dead outnumber the living). 

While initially hopeful, this episode slowly drains all hope of the Doctor being able to give Danny Pink back to his Clara, so sad. The final moments of this episode are filled with emotion, conflict, and revelation. Missy attempts to make the Doctor more like her, and almost succeeds when The Doctor commits to sacrifice his soul to save Clara’s (metaphorically speaking). The Doctor also finally figures out the type of man he is, an idiot. Though that’s a little harsh, it is sometimes a fair enough assessment. Danny was instrumental in helping the Doctor find himself and in saving the planet, he wasn’t quite able to save himself. 

Missy didn’t just bring destruction, twisted justice, and psychotic behaviors, she also provided the Doctor with valuable information regarding their home planet, Gallifrey. With the coordinates to his long lost home planet, the Doctor may be playing a little Bon Jovi on the way. Who says you can’t go home? 

Conclusion

This season ended with regrettable farewells and left me with an unsettled feeling. Clara and the Doctor leave a lot unsaid as we bid season 8 adieu. The Christmas special gives hope towards tying up the loose ends we are left with.
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<![CDATA[Trailer Breakdown: Ex Machina]]>Mon, 10 Nov 2014 02:48:31 GMThttp://cinemasamurai.net/blog/trailer-breakdown-ex-machina
TRAILER BREAKDOWN: EX MACHINA
These are the DROIDS we’re looking for.

written by Audy Elliott
Ex Machina or the “Great Machine” is a super naturalistic hyper sci-fi movie that preys on your heart as much as it does on Domnhall’s little cubicle trapped program engineer. The movie, written and directed by Alex Garland (writer for 28 Days Later), is predatory like a titanium razor-sharp hug from a beta tested C-3P-OH MY, Audrey Toutou looking robot. The teaser trailer for this sci-fi film is a socratic, scientific art of war like gesture, where one keeps his robot friends close, and the little mobster guy from Drive closer. There is a predominant motive apparent in the trailer where Gleeson is, in his own way, being controlled either by Oscar Isaac’s brilliant but eccentric robot “whose-a-was-it” creator Nathan, and the coy, angelic “Fritz Langian” Ava, played convincingly by Alicia Vikander, whose come-hither programmed look is convincingly enticing to our young pip. If this was Dickens' “Great Expectations” Gleeson’s Caleb character would be off to bigger and better ascendency to life (as he is called up his entry level techno-silicon valley like droning from a contest getting “the golden ticket” to have face to face time with C.E.O. Nathan) and like Pip in Great Expectations, he is chosen to attain a better wealth (of knowledge), a better shine (attention, study with the big secluded boss), but still couldn’t possess the one thing he wanted: Estella (Ava and her natty wig). You can clearly tell Caleb is not only fascinated with Ava, but also entranced by her needing to be seen by him. He can’t, for all intents and purposes carry a relationship with her even though they are both chained to the same endemic trapped circumstance. 

You can see that for a sci-fi thriller this trailer is made out of some good things: Oscar Isaac, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors, to a claustrophobic, scenic environment where things are not as attractive as they seem, in Nathan’s mono-chromatic fortress of solitude/Resident Evil “Umbrella” research lab. But the main draw is Ava. She is the oil tin-can woman wild card to this movie. The more she becomes “real” and enticing, the more we are perplexed and awed. Clearly, it’s established that manipulation is going to be a precursor to Gleeson’s character before, during and possibly after all of the shrapnel of metallic bullshit resides. He cannot determine, if he is being manipulated by Nathan or Ava or both. Maybe, it’s the trailer that is manipulating us. Isaac looks as he is continuing to string together quality roles that show him off to people without shoving him into the lime light. This movie also comes together with the anticipation, of two principal actors for the upcoming Star Wars Episode 7. I feel it’s a nice added bonus in which I can see if they have chemistry or not, and how that might (probably will) translate to Abrams over-agreeable franchise operatic hypebeast. Isaac, who is small in stature, comes across like a whopping Teddy Roosevelt bull-like intensity that may be good natured, but is more than likely insincere, or again, this is what an impressive teaser trailer is showing us. Gleeson in contrast, plays the same character he did in the wildly off-beat Frank as a young, impressionable but likable kid that is the right combination of “gee whiz” and “oh gosh” with a little of his father’s acidic reactionary wit. 
Now, at the end of the teaser trailer there is a perceived slip in the last scene. I won’t ruin it here, as I hope you will take a look for yourself. It’s atrocious, if I think it's the twist of the movie. I’m hoping I’m wrong, and it’s a dream sequence, and I’m not a smart as I think I am – like Caleb. There is a lot of fascinating imagery, that strengthens the notion this movie intends to fuck you up not only on a conceptual scientific, man vs. robots quandary, but also as a mad scientist futuristic horror. Ava, at many parts in the trailer, walks, talks, and evokes a placidity in her characterization that harkens, not as a typical A.I., but lends a tragedy, a yearning to be accepted in an elementary manner like Edith Scob’s portrayal of Christiane in Franju’s Eyes Without a Face. When the movie gives Ava nothing but time and opportunity, her impact of us and on Caleb is heightened to where the movie is not questioning the fundamental exploration of something programmed having free will, in a “do androids dream of electric sleep” sort of way, as if Philip K. Dick himself gave me a glass of warm milk, and sent me to bed where I think everything is what it appears but still question what’s real? There are heavy Blade Runner traces in this movie. Mainly, Caleb attached more to Ava the A.I., whereas Rick Deckart was attached in a seemingly romantically intentioned way with Sean Young’s Rachel. Furthermore, there was always the question, upon the initial release of the movie, was Deckart himself a “replicant” – hunting down his own, like the possiblity that Caleb is also a fully formed A.I., detailed out with his perfectly combed hair, his own bright eye explorative wonderment, to the way he stands perfect, erect with no fallibility in posture as both arms are shooting straight down to a feeling of nothingness. Is it this quality that makes him immediately gravitate towards Ava, or is he really a human being that won the weird-ass robot powerball lottery, serving as the fascinated company man that quite possibly is not even a “man.” This is all conjecture here. I have neither evidence, nor any knowledge that what I’m saying is truth – I’m just saying it could possibly be the truth. 

Questions are delivered all through the trailer, curious, analytic, psychological questions fireballed at Caleb, that are being asked to be planted in his head or is a decadent way of trivializing what is his existence in the house is to begin with. Either way, for me this is the first movie of the upcoming year that I’m graciously anticipating. This is the movie William Eubank’s under achieving The Signal should have been and there are sci-fi thriller tropes from that movie in this and vice-versa but in a completely coincidental way. There is a perverted titillation with this movie in terms of seeing two different characters form a uncontrollable bond that goes beyond logic – the very bread and butter law, that needs to be broken to have a compelling sci-fi movie. It’s a code that is held to the highest of standards, like in assassin/hitman thrillers, where the main guy has one last hit, fails to kill the target, either protects that target, and now becomes the new target, with the caveat being it’s his last job and then out of the game. Sci-fi does that too, and within this trailer we need that in order to derive our tension or struggle to effectively become part of the message Ava is saying, with an empty breath.
0:49  |  First look at Ava, a machine with slender and feminine sensibility, down to her sweet, yet ominous sounding "hello."

0:57  |  Insane amount of post-its on walls = cray cray.

1:05  |  A close-up of Ava's face, bringing the viewer into an extremely intimate space, urging us to feel sensitive to Ava and her possible plight... aaaaand then suggestions of a sexual nature begin.

1:27  |  Red lighting portion of the trailer adding to the haunting and uneasy feeling.

1:37  |  And then you add Oscar Isaac dancing kinda kooky crazy-like, you know something more than what we're allowed to see is at play.

1:41  |  Who's that pounding on the door in a fast forward time-lapse edit?!

1:43  |  This was the scene I mentioned could be a slip.
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<![CDATA[Cinematic Top 10: In Nolan we trust]]>Fri, 07 Nov 2014 21:41:25 GMThttp://cinemasamurai.net/blog/cinematic-top-10-in-nolan-we-trust
CINEMATIC TOP 10: IN NOLAN WE TRUST
A countdown to the top 10 movie scene’s in Nolan’s filmography. 

Nolan’s latest film – Interstellar, in case you haven’t heard, is coming out in theaters this week and the twitterverse is set ablaze with giddy, hopeful slavish anticipation. Some people will love it, some will really love it and some will give it a passing grade, while the remaining deconstructionist will be more selective when handing out superfluous commentary, on why he chose to do this, or didn’t choose that. Either way, Interstellar has arrived and it’s ready for consumption whether you are ready or not. Expectations have, for the most part, been befitting to a likely passable experience, even if it’s possibly, not up to the standard of his film’s normal stature. Don’t worry if it’s not the next Inception, that’s fine, no director has ever batted a .1000 when it comes to their collection of work from beginning to end, with the exception I’m told of Andrei Turkovsky. But again, I digress. Case in point of contemporary directors pooping the bed every once and awhile: Scorcese - Gangs of New York, Kubrick - Eyes Wide Shut, Hitchcock - Birds (come on, you know you didn’t like that movie!), Spielberg – War of the Worlds, War Horse and everything that Roland Emmerich has done. I’m not saying that any of these aforementioned films are horrible, or less than the standard of quality, but let’s face it – it’s not their most memorable work or the films you name drop at your next film buff vs. film buff cage match. 

About a month ago I posed a question: why isn’t anyone excited about Interstellar? Excitement has picked up from most Nolan fan boys (me included) but there is still a collective ho-hum from casual moviegoers. Like Nolan himself, the marketing has been refined and subtle, not pressing or desperate in seeking approval from the people say like Abrams, and the new Star Wars. For the promotion Nolan has given interviews, held Q & A panels, and even stopped by the air and space museum here in my home city, Washington D.C., demonstrating a certain self satisfaction of his film that is coupled with his reassurance that he can do, ultimately whatever he wants to. The whole handling of the movie from a marketing standpoint has been done sublimely, in which adds to the movie’s overall mystery, while distancing itself (possibly harming itself) with a lack of mainstream accessibility. The beauty about watching Nolan’s career unfold right now in the moment is that I have seen a masterful, artisan, budding landmark auteur of the highest cerebral levels grow from one movie to the next. We are at the ground zero of greatness. We were told of Bergman, Kurosawa, Allen, Ford, Demille etc., we were preordained with their greatness already gifted to us like an inheritance, taking away the very immediacy of the moment in time of how they were viewed in their heyday as they too were discovering themselves. Rarely, do we see greatness in present time. But we are seeing it with Nolan, and we should be grateful that we get to see his mastery as a first hand experience that we will be telling the next generation of movie fans as they discover their Nolan like we did with ours. 

Regardless, if Interstellar misses the mark on its quest of self-imposed directional pantheon of The Dark Knight, Inception or Memento, it will undoubtedly be a fitting piece in his overall filmography (I have not seen the movie at the time of this article) – so I’m not worried one bit. Having said that, during the trailers, news and alleged Marvel “real movies don’t do that” pimp smack, nothing has gripped me about this movie except that there is a movie to begin with. Inception was a visual masterpiece that played on your mind's comprehension of what it was witnessing. The Dark Knight was everywhere, fronted by Heath Ledger’s promise of an outstanding rendition of Joker, to even where The Dark Knight Rises, had the opening 15 minutes with Bane hijacking a plane. Keep it real – you didn’t see go to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol just for Paula Patton alone, right?! I thought so – the bigger Nolan’s movies became, the louder the bellowing sound of the anticipatory music boom box would drop its heavyweight IMAX beats, but not so this time with rustic leading man, Rust Cohle, and the little Twilight glitter baby in Interstellar (from what I hear she is a little gem in this ). So to pump you up, if you need that sort of thing, I will go over the TOP 10 Movie Moments thus far in Christopher Nolan’s career that span from his very first movie (Following) to his most recent one (The Dark Knight Rises). Hopefully after I see Interstellar I can add another remarkable scene to the catalog of the preexisting visionary movies from the ambitious man himself. Like the maxim that holds all truths to be self evident: In Nolan we trust, and with that trust comes an uncanny ability to hold our collective imaginations while delivering them with expected confidence. 

Onto the countdown you have been waiting to see, and I have been waiting to show. As the Joker would say: “And here, we, go.”

10. The chase scene in Insomnia 
First of all  - R.I.P. to my boy Robin Williams. Secondly, If you think that was actually Pacino and Williams running you need to get kicked in the head and trapped under the logs in this scene like Michael Phelps with two broken legs. This is probably the film that gets forgotten when discussing Nolan’s films. I saw this in the theater, and it was a faithful adaption to the original with Stellan Skarsgård, with Nolan trying to understandably make it his own. Not his best movie, but underrated, and still dealt with the same psychological complexities that we have grown accustomed to seeing in his films. Nolan uses quite a bit of ingenuity to portray heightened action, but really masking Pacino who is running frantically in place. Both characters faced more hazards in this scene then all of the contestants on all of seasons of Ninja Warrior combined. This scene could have easily been a throwaway, routine chase scene, but to Nolan’s credit he made chicken salad out of U.S. adaptation chicken shit. 

 9. The narrative explanation/montage scene in Following.
Great Scene/Sequence/Narration – a lot film idealism at play in which you get a narration from the main character as to why he “shadows” people seeing where they would go and how far he could follow them without getting beat the fuck up. Nolan keeps the main character in the shadows with murky, overcast richness of the baby neo-realistic setting. The scene highlights a charming, but delusional protagonist who is a brilliant and methodical in a poor man’s Jeremy Iron sort of way. He wears a mask of an inquisitive, sociopath that frequents coffee and crullers at Dunkin Donuts. You see early traces of narrative layering and writing, coming from Nolan in genius form as we are studying his character, as he is studying people, while walking in one of the most naturalistic shot environments. Promising start of what’s to come from a great director. 

8. Inception – Mal in the hotel scene.
First of all, you are dealing with the point of view of Cobb’s reality from what he remembers the night Mal jumps to her death on their anniversary. This scene, as with numbers 9 and 10 on this list, still play on a mix of emotions and logic and how both don’t apply to Mal, and her sanity or lack of thereof. Elements come at a virtuoso harmony, starting with Cotillard's tragic, but haunting acting, to Zimmer’s music, to Leo doing what Leo does best and angry cries to cap the scene. Also, it’s supposed to be a night of happiness and celebration for the couple, but Like Papa Nolan does, he uses it and twists it to make the scene not only memorable for the characters, but also us - and for the all the wrong reasons.

7.  The Dark Knight – Joker hanging upside down scene.
The unstoppable force meets the immovable object meets the bomb-ass counter camera rotation. This was a brilliant little camera move that still lasts with me until this day. With Joker just hanging upside down like a piece of rotisserie chicken, Ledger still exudes a confidence that even though he is captured, he is still self assured as he knows he's still in control in the best, extreme way possible. Once the camera slowly rotates and moves counter-clockwise forcing the power back in the hands of the joker, Ledger delivers a persuasive dreamlike monologue. Lending to the madness, Ledger is unfazed that he is dangling upwards to 40 feet in the air, is still talking shit to Bats. This camera maneuver gives Joker one last hurrah to show Batman may have won the battle but the war was far from over. The scene only heightens the psychosis of the character, movie and Nolan’s reputation for the search of intelligence even with a “comic book” movie. 

6. Memento – Where he punches Natalie, but then knows he will forget.
Come on Leonard, concentrate, concentrate – stay focused, where is a pen? Excellent scene! Like the ass-backwards narrative structure of the movie, we are first exposed, in the previous scene, with Natalie and her busted lip (Who did this to Trinity?? She’s nice - she didn’t deserve that!!). She tells Leonard that her boyfriend Dodd did it, needing Leonard’s help to put Dodd in a world of hurt. Well come to find out, it wasn’t Dodd, but good ol’ Leonard that molly whopped Natalie thus giving her the bloody lip. The real intensity is released once Leonard knows he needs to write down what happened or he will forget in T-Minus 30 seconds and counting. While he is scurrying to find something to write with, or a bottle of scotch to drink his pain away, Natalie is sitting in the car, with a cunning smirk knowing that she has power over Leonard and there isn’t a damn thing he can do about it. Man, that is messed up, and that is why its number 6. 

5. The Dark Knight Rises opening heist scene on the airplane. 
Now here Nolan is just showing off. This is a byproduct of he can do whatever he likes, and believes in his prowess. Zimmer’s thundering score, coupled with the dense thick slabs of sound effects and the unmasking of Bane is a great way to set the tone for the rest of the movie. Here Nolan took what he learned shooting IMAX from The Dark Knight and decided to push himself further, higher (literally) and with more camera vibrato than we have seen. He is the Nolan we now know – he is in his film making prime. What’s most impressive is the choreography and timing that was required to pull such a shot off, as well as controlling the scene and its participants at such a high, grand level. He makes it look easy, but it’s not. That culminates with the old plane being detonated, spiraling downwards like a baby turd flushed down the toilet bowl of Bane’s primordial wake. You feel the physicality of Bane, or the impression of the pain Bane’s character will bring to the rest of the movie and eventually Bruce Wayne’s back. 

4. Prestige ending 
All of those top hats. The Prestige is a gem of a film, which really questions the motivation of the lengths that both Angier and Borden dramatically strive to “out bro” the other for the ultimate magic trick/disappearing act. What’s really at play here, again, is that Angier clearly won the spectacle but at what price? I mean how many top hats did my man go through to perform this trick? 10? 20? 120? Doesn’t matter – he is a living ghost. He kills himself, but is still alive. It’s perverted, and the utmost macabre, but tragic as well. The last image of Angier’s clone, lifeless, floating, eyes aglaze, and hair directionless but with a face that hints of stale consciousness by its own death by the encumbered hands of the person the clone couldn’t trust the most – Angier himself. 

3. Batman Begins – bats in the cave.
A clear motif in all of Nolan’s films is that the mind is a powerful ally or adversary. In Batman Begins, the movie (in 2005) was met with a tepid but interested response. And like Bale accepting his fears and immersing himself with the bats in the cave, we also accepted this new version, a rebirthed Nolan hero. Bale sells the fear immediately, stilted movements, careful and careless at the same time, hands trembling without coming across as completely intimidated. Zimmer’s score builds and builds cueing Bale to rise and accept his destiny as the Dark Knight Detective, and our new modern, quintessential, Connery of a Batman. The scene is highly symbolic: Bale walks in, looks like he is shitting his pants, and then decides to operate his flash light as if Nolan is shining a light to us, the fans, that there is a new franchise, and is titleholder as the Batman of all Batmen. Once Bale turned the light on, our collective imaginary lightbulbs went off in our mind knowing that we were on to something truly landmark here, that transcends the genre, like Bale transcending his fear, like us transcending the given skepticism. 

2. The Dark Knight – truck flip/bike scene.
This whole sequence is paramount to the movie, Nolan, and the Bat Universe as a whole. It plays to a wonderful score where the slicing string notes escalate and release tension, as Batman is racing to destroy the Joker on a collision course of a glorified “Made ya flinch first” game. Batman is determined to put an end to all of the anarchy caused by the Joker, with the Joker daring him to do it. It’s apparent these two really need each other – yin to the fucked up yang. If the sequence played like a song, with Joker and Batman doing the harmonies, the truck flip is the high note! The way Nolan shifts the action gears with Batman speeding up, shooting his bat hooks – intercut with Joker looking puzzled, to Batman flipping the shit out of the truck, like someone’s little brother in backyard wrestling, ending with Bats looking as pleased as he can look without showing it. Nolan is masterclassing his ass off, playing tension, drama, and high action theatrics. And the greatest part at this point is, you haven’t seen shit yet. 

1. The hallway fight/van chase sequence in Inception.
As I have previously stated above, I have been very fortunate to watch Nolan in his prime, challenging, himself and taking what you can do in cinema even further with a beautiful marriage between big budgets and big ideas. So far every moment I have put in the countdown is obviously not in chronological order, but they all served traces of his inventiveness, and directional knowledge from the raw elegance of Following to the physical brutality that inhabits Bane and The Dark Knight Rises. For me personally, this scene is the one that lingers and holds the most reverence with its textured presentation, layered relationship physics to the sheer audacity of Nolan not using a green screen to pull off the rotating hallway effect. He kept the camera mounted, fixed, and with extraordinary choreography, rotated an actual hallway model to keep the entire sequence with the illusion harnessed within M.C Escher like “kick punch-ability.” There are many key sequences that all need to naturally co-habit with one another, along with brilliant editing, to make Nolan’s mind warp thriller attain its impact at its absolute zenith in the film. First of all, the focus here is Joseph Gordon Levitt. This helped him go from a stage kid in meaningless teen roles, and hidden gem poster boy to a bonafide, A-list co-star. This movie along with 500 Days of Summer presented him to audiences in a different light. He was solid, tactical, and unemotional. He exhibited an everyman strength and fortitude that would make Edward Norton proud. He is the person in the movie that holds the scene together. Second, in the same action frame, one of the dream henchmen pulls out a gun and gets ready to pull the trigger, but Nolan quickly cuts to the second level during the motorcycle chase scene, and immediately the cyclist shoots in syncopation at our driver. It’s a brilliant subliminal trick that not only thrills, but also psychologically presents a connective thread to the simultaneous connective dream world levels: danger lurks at every sleep awakened place. The hallway demonstrates that Nolan at times is now playing filmmaking chess, while everyone else, like Fincher (whom I like) is still playing repetitive filmmaking monopoly. Pass go, collect your 200 hundred dollars, and come out with the same style and vision, and that’s fine, perfectly fine. Nolan looked at the board, and decided that it wasn’t big enough and decided to create his own game by his own rules, as he did with this scene, and to a grander extent, the movie, and this countdown itself.  
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<![CDATA[Weekend Box Office Report of Nov. 2, 2014]]>Mon, 03 Nov 2014 03:33:34 GMThttp://cinemasamurai.net/blog/weekend-box-office-report-of-nov-2-2014
WEEKEND BOX OFFICE REPORT
of November 2, 2014


Creepy member’s only jacket Gyllenhaal barely beats Ouija to a slow Nightcrawl, while John Wick got 86’ed out the Top 5.

Halloween was upon the box office this past weekend, marking death upon any opening film that isn’t a shitty horror remake to get stabbed numbly in the bloody heart any credible movie that feels it can overcome the predetermined of box office failure. Nightcrawler confidently knew it could perpetrate Halloween’s tightly gripped pumpkin box office, with a semi-creepy premise, anchored by a semi-creepy character that video tapes provocative L.A. news at night presented theatrically under the guise of a sneaky snuff film idea. Audiences accepted it, but not for the reasons you think. The movie won with an opening tally of 10.91 million, beating powerpuff girl Ouija, the slumber party from hell movie’s total of 10.9. Gyllenhaal won the popular vote, but there is still the electoral of the general pop culture consciences, and you, my sir, were about to get snuffed out of your own pseudo snuff movie promise. Apparently, the young kids (tweens in some tribal circles) had nothing to do this weekend that was short of asking mom or dad for the car. Can’t go to a party - you’re underage, can’t go trick or treating - you’re too old. So where do dumbass middle schoolers and high schoolers go to celebrate? That’s right, to the movies. And what movies do they actually see? Ones where Ouija is on a dish best served idiotic, that’s where.

Last week Ouija and its supernatural market tested studio forces, beat out a very smart, very cool, John Wick. It wasn’t even close. Here again this weekend, another lauded subversive thriller of a movie, with an out of mind performance from a guy who needed it (Gyllenhaal) was about to get syllabized to death by mall girls that play spiritual demonic board games in the 21st century (Is Mall Madness still a thing?). Movies in North America, and in particular in the United States aren’t hamstrung by box office grosses, for certain types of films, and to Nightcrawler’s credit it’s one of them. It’s not accessible in a traditional sense. It showcases a handsome lead that we are accustomed to seeing manufactured, but dapper, while also affable, in a non-threatening way. He convincingly portrays his role overzealously as a recluse dungeon and dragon’s burnout, with an attraction to homicidal street portraits: when it comes to getting off other peoples macabre. General audiences don’t want to see Gyllenhaal do that, but then again, general audiences don’t know what they want to see him as. They just know, this ain’t that movie. But it is! They just won’t let down their guard for a fear of betrayal of wanting to keep Gyllenhaal on their wall to preen over. And he is fine with that, with this particular piece, it’s apparent he goes all in, while never seeming to want to be pulled out. Gyllenhaal is getting rave reviews for his work on the role, with Variety magazine stating that he could be a possible dark horse best actor nomination and probably more than deserves it with this latest effort. Ouija on the other hand is the movie that will be playing on Cinemax at 2:00 in the morning on a Saturday sandwiched between soft core porn that will be its claim to buffer tired, tawdry cable misfit fame where it belongs. Don’t worry, we will get more Ouijas and it will be a franchise, but it cannot in no way shape or campy form, touch the creative leering power behind Nightcrawler. People will try to tell you otherwise out of their own ignorance because we all grew up with a Ouija board, or the idea of it, therefore it lends to familiarity and thus it’s a good movie. Whereas Nightcrawler isn’t even invited to the cocktail party. That is what is making Oujia competitive, it's child barren harmless familiarity that actually harms good film. To me that is not a good enough excuse to place a viability name tag on Ouija.

So then how did John Wick lose out to Ouija where Nightcrawler won? It’s because of atypical paint by action numbers marketing strategy and the fallibility of another seemingly generic action film hand delivered not shortly after the lessor intellectual granddaddy Denzel won. Sorry Wick, action triumphed two weeks early with the dumb as stolen hammers The Equalizer. Wick, like your movie’s plot, came out of retirement too late to make a good action film. You still got it done in the movie, and quite convincingly I must add, but we are talking about the box office here, where you were dead like the eventual puppy found on your doorstep. Nightcrawler had less pressures financially: of course movies are in the business of making money, but some films don’t cling to that monetary notion. The film was made for 8 million dollars, and grossed almost 11 million, while coming in first with little to no marketing or advertising, so Nightcrawler slyly won big this weekend, even if the difference between it and Ouija is small.

Coming in third at 8.8 million with a total cume of (60 million) was David Ayer’s World War 2 Space Opera laser tank Film “Tank Wars: A New Hope” starring Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman and a pissed/crying emotive Shia LaBeouf. Regardless of the TIE Fighter lasers throughout the film, and its choppy structure, Fury is holding strong and further cements the “Frat-dude cinematic” genre that Ayer always finds himself inhabiting. 4th is “Not-so” Gone Girl holding strong deserving its notoriety as a good film, not just a woman’s book - becoming Fincher’s highest grossing film. Rounding out the Top 5, The Book of Life,the children's movie with all of the Mexican cardboard box charm starring Zoe Saldana, Ice Cube and Channing Tatum at 8.3 million. 

Lastly, I’m pouring a 40 oz. for my falling homey Jonathan Aloysius Wick III. This movie is where Keanu Reeve’s recent film choices (Man of Tai Chi and the live anime masturbation 47 Ronin) failed him and by a larger extent the film itself. This was the action movie in which it needed people with the right amount of insight to know that the film, on one hand celebrates action films while also parodying itself in a simple understated way. Like Tom Cruise with Edge of Tomorrow, audiences didn’t turn out not just because he is box office pariah, but also Edge looks, feels, sounds like a typical sci-fi action like Starship Troopers, or Cruise’s previous movie Oblivion. That is why John Wick got beat out by the Instagram generation. Wick looks, feels and sounds like any old action film, stereotypically highlighted in a moody off-Pablo picassoian blue matte, intertwined with a lifeless taupe that are all too familiar in its essence. Foolishly presented as a hard, thick as ice, skull basher of an action film that is pretty much expected to look to the untrained, savvy movie going eye, no matter how well it’s really delivered. Wick is supposed to be familiar, but to its credit, no one will know that its intent was to strip what’s familiar while holding down action movie codes in a different, irreverent way. Thank goodness, Nightcrawler beat Ouija because when the Hulk-Buster of a Mecha-Godzillian Nolan Golum monster - Interstellar comes out, all of the aforementioned movies will lie petrified in its trashy pop cultured tasted wake like an Ashton Kutcher trucker hat hangover. But for right now, kudos to Gyllenhaal, and Dan Gilroy for carving out a little box office slice behind the little movie train that barely could. 

Top five films of the weekend:
  1. Nightcrawler — $10.91 million
  2. Ouija — $10.9 million ($35 million domestic total)
  3. Fury – $9.1 million ($60.4 million domestic total)
  4. Gone Girl – $8.8 million ($136.6 domestic total)    
  5. The Book of Life – $8.3 million ($40.5 domestic total)


Source: Entertainment Weekly ew.com 
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<![CDATA[Entertainment Rewind October 31, 2014]]>Mon, 03 Nov 2014 02:58:51 GMThttp://cinemasamurai.net/blog/entertainment-rewind-october-31-2014
ENTERTAINMENT REWIND
The need... the need for your pop culture news feed.
MONDAY 
Nicki Minaj’s 'Pinkprint' (a response to Jay-Z’s 'The Blueprint') is getting pushed back from November 24th to December 15th for who knows what the fuck for. Don’t worry young boys, you can still watch her ‘Anaconda’ video until the album comes out (Like people actually buy Nicki MInaj albums anyways. I know they do, I just wanted to be a little snarky).

Its officially official, John Carter is coming to True Detective 2. Read my thoughts on the casting here. I digress, not the biggest Taylor Kitsch fan, and something tells me that he will be averaging the shit out of this performance. I mean, was Sam Worthington not available? Is he too busy playing himself as a statue in Central Park?

This is a good sign, because the Lego movie was pure unadulterated fun. Had a wonky ending, and too much Will Ferrell than I care to take, but the movie won and won big. Sure this has a certain “we’re obviously coming back” smell to it, which of course is the scent of the mighty green dollar. Both a commercial and creative win – can't wait for it to come out soon.

Look, I don’t know if what the deal is with this whole Dr. Strange casting panty tease. We have gone through Joachin Phoenix rumors, then Ewan McGregor rumors, and now, Cumberpimp may or may not be the dude. Shit! What's really important is that Strange is an important component into Marvel Studios and the next seven phases to take the battle to Thanos’ front door step in space and wreck shit like an intergalactic, Van Damme – bloodsport kumatai.

TUESDAY 
In unfortunate news, HBO lays off over a 150 employees in response to streamlining their business. In addition, HBO is making plans to have just a streaming service online because Netflix is berating them to a crying oblivion like a cable version of J.K. Simmons complete with a black muscle t-shirt.

Per a Variety showcase piece on Eddie Radmayne (yes the guy who sounded like Kermit the frog with a struggling muppet verbrato in Les Miserables) is intimately explaining what took to copy, live and breathe as one the most brilliant astrophysicist in modern history, but to also convincingly pull off the physical limitations that ultimately hampered Hawking. Excellent article. You could be seeing your best actor at this upcoming Academy Awards.

Studio is releasing Divergent’s second installment titled Insurgent on 3D showing, and titling the overall series Divergent: Insurgent. Makes sense – In the United States, its pretty much a given at this point any franchise blockbuster is going to come out in IMAX, 3D, 3D IMAX, etc. Can’t be mad at the decision makers that be for wanting to maximize the earning potential of the movie/franchise.

Warner Brothers has sped up the release date of Entourage the movie, for those 12 people in the world that are clamoring for nothing to happen, while four average guys, one above average guy, and one guy that used to be in PCU do nothing but party, burn cash, and find Vinny’s next project for him to fuck up, while still tying everything back in nice, neat little bow at the end. Mark Wahlberg has Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet like clout in Hollywood.

WEDNESDAY
One of my existing favorite collaborations are the Coens and Clooney, from Oh Brother to Burn After Reading. "Don’t know much, but I know I love you." 90’s soft rock ballads aside, I’m anxiously waiting for more details to come out of this promising collaboration.

Looks like Michael Bay is taking some time away from profiting off my traumatizing childhood with dumb masterbating non-sensical robots, to craft together something that is more polictically aware. As much as I hate his yahooing bro-off on everything, he does have a certain design style eye that makes me appreciate his presentations, even though he is a douchelord.

Whedon puts his comic geekdom marks on Avengers: Age of Ultron stating it’s a “global” film that will wrap shooting in places like Africa (no ebola please) China etc. I like the manner in which Whedon is taking the, already well built up size and scope of the first one, and enlarging it even greater.

Reboot, reboot, reboot – I’m not a big fan of the Terminator franchise, but I understand its importance. So there you go.

1. Its good to see Bichir doing work - one the best more underrated actors in all of Hollywood, stars in this movie where it focuses on the latino south la culture and lowriders. Bichir plays the father of a boy who is, I guess caught between that life, and still trying to understudy his father’s guidance, which leads me to 2. Didn’t he already do a role like this before in 2011’s A Better Life?

THURSDAY
What everyone is waiting for – another Pee Wee movie. Burton’s was fantastic in a weird, trippy adolescent sense, but I wonder what the premise is for this one? Judd Apatow and his golden beard will produce so it will get traction marking a good comeback for Mr. P.W. Herman.

Channing Tatum is coming to the Xavier’s School for the Gifted throwing charged up cards around in his best haphazard Cajun accent. With his recent rise, the star power fits with Fassbender, McAvoy and Old Man Jackman, and to be honest – Tatum is pretty likable. So much better than anything Taylor Kitsch could bring to the role.

Damn, you are Uma Fucking Thurman – you were in Kill Bill Vol 1. and Vol 2. Like Michael Keaton’s Birdman – ::: husky baritone ::: How did we end up here, you were in Kill Bill, they love you, fuck em’ lets do what makes people happy and get back into franchises – Kill Bill Vol. 3: Killer Bill.” Anyways, I digress. Uma, you are better than this, streets got to eat, but get back in film, we need you there, not NBC.

FRIDAY
New trailer from the move Serena starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, in a second collaboration, where they are playing post modern couple that probably hates each other, or Jennifer Lawrence walking through the whole picture as if she came up with the idea of life, and has all the answers in her magic 8 ball of obnoxious, ad nausea, mall girl voice.

Gone Girl is now Fincher’s highest grossing film in the United States – beat out The Social Network and The Curious Case of-what-the hell-is-this-ugly-man-baby, by grossing a total thus far of 136 million thus far. I see Best Pic nom, and Best Actress for Rosamund Pike, who was marvelous in this pic. Kudo’s to Fincher and Gillian Flynn.

Variety has an article that says Jake Gyllenhaal could make a push for a dark horse best acting nom, in the highly creepy, late night sleepy Nightcrawler. Gyllenhall looks good as a guy with opaque fashion sense and slicked back hair as if the late great Al ”crazy-legs” Bundy lent him his wardrobe as a sign of good faith for passing the skeevy flaccid American male loser archtype. 

J Law bought a house. I'm surprised she didn’t build it herself, come up with the concept of architecture, and found her own masonry league to construct the house. Like everything else, she has the answers to the universe but doesn’t care to show them, only show us that she has them. Can’t you tell I don’t like her?

Taylor Swift is taking over the world with her passive aggressive pop-rock by having the biggest week on sales since 2002, with 2.1 million units sold for her album 1989. No one I know likes Taylor, I’m not even sure Taylor likes Taylor. I just know she is doing her thing and owes her whole career to Kanye West performing stage seppuku on her at the MTV Awards in 2009. Anyways enjoy your success Taylor, just please trying to shake something that you have no business shaking because if anyone looked at your behind, they could tell your ass is “out of business.” 
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