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Monthly Archives: April 2013

House Hunting – Movie 108 of 365

House Hunting 2013When I first read the plot of this direct to video movie, I was a little skeptical of it keeping my attention for the whole time.  Two families who can’t leave a house?  Hopefully it’s a mansion or the scenery is going to get real boring real soon.  Well the home is only a decent sized two story deal, but they can leave the house.  What they can’t leave is the property.  There is no high wall or electrified keeping them in, it’s scarier than that.  No matter how you head out, you end up right back where you started from.

Two families, the Hays headed up by father Charlie (Marc Singer) and Tomson’s headed up by father Don (Art LaFleur) are looking to buy a house.  They both are invited to an open house to a property with lots of acreage.  They arrive to find no one there to show them the house.   Charlie decides to drive back to the road and get a phone number from the sign and call the agent.  Unfortunately something darts out into the road and they crash the car.  But no fear the Tomson’s car still works so they pile in and go to leave.  Of course they can’t because if they could there would be no movie.  The fact that it takes them forever to accept this already makes me care less about their ultimate survival.

However, the movie does stay pretty solid. When there is a supernatural force causing the horror I think it’s a lot creepier.  And this movie is pretty good at the subtle things that creep you out.   For instance, the house is empty, no one has lived there in awhile, sheets are over the furniture, yet there is warm, fresh, shaving cream and a straight razor in the bathroom.  Also, in the cupboard,  there is exactly one can of beef stew for each person who is in this group.   After eating that night, they wake the next morning to find the cupboard restocked.

Now don’t think that this is a movie full of odd happenings, there will be death.  There are malevolent forces at work here and they are not just overtly screwing with you, they are also in your head.  It’s never quite clear of how the malevolent forces came to be or what exactly they want, but that’s just a minor detail.

The only real problems I had with this movie is that I wanted to smack the characters a few times.  Part of this is that some of them are really annoying and just downright jerks.  No fault with the movie on that one and actually kudos because they did get a rise out of me.  But the other reason I wanted to smack the characters was for doing completely illogical things.  It’s like they wrote the movie into a corner and just have them do something stupid to prevent them from escaping the property.  Luckily isn’t done often enough that it ruined the movie.

I like the ending although I figured it out before and overall it was a good rental.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Movies, Reviews

 

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Monkey Love – Movie 107 of 365

Monkey Love 2002Jeremy Lee Renner, the only reason I bothered with this movie.  That being said it’s not horrible, not great, and yes very much a romantic comedy.  Sigh, the things we fangirls will submit ourselves to for our obsessions.  Okay let’s get the first part out of the way.  There is hot, sweaty, shirtless and definite hints of pantless Renner in this movie. However the scene is very short and so freakin ridiculous  that if that’s the only reason you want to see this movie then don’t.  Watch Neo Ned instead; more clothing but definitely better love scenes.  Or Bourne Legacy if all you are concerned with is shirtless Renner.

But back to the movie, such that it is.  The movie centers around three friends Dil Stephanowski (Jeremy Renner), Amy Roe (Amy Stewart), and Aaron Miles (Seamus Dever).  Amy is having a quarter life crisis or third life crisis depending on how long she’ll live.  Either way time is moving too fast and she hasn’t done enough and more importantly she hasn’t met the man of her dreams.  She’s determined that her best friends Aaron and Dil are the problem, they don’t want much out of life and are dragging her down.  But you can’t break up with friends so she decides to have sex with both of them, that way she can break up with them.  Also she plans on neither of them knowing that she slept with both of them. Amy first sleeps with Aaron then tries to break off the relationship but he’s not taking no for an answer.  Then she sleeps with Dil.  There is a problem.  She doesn’t want to break up with him, in fact she’s fallen in love.  Amy then does a bunch of really stupid stuff trying to find the perfect man and rid herself of her interest in Dil.

This movie isn’t the worst I’ve seen although most of it looks like it was shot with someone’s home video camera.  The dialogue could use a lot of help and the actors are a bit green.  I think the part that drove me the most crazy where the love scenes.  Now most times I can ignore them unless they advance the plot in someway but these annoyed me so much, it made me want to stop watching.  I’m not sure why the director thought they needed to be comical and they were so over the top comical that they were just stupid.  They didn’t flow with the rest of the movie and just, ugh, you’ll have to see it to understand what I mean.

The sad part is, there were actually some insightful and serious parts to this movie that if there had been more of them it could’ve been a decent movie.  Dil’s feeling for his friends is actually quite admirable and Aaron’s equating love with the mating habits of monkeys (hence the movie title) has it’s moments.  And Amy’s realizations about her fantasy perfect man and the reality shows growth of character.  So yeah I can’t say don’t see it, but it’s never going to be in my top Renner films.

 
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Posted by on April 29, 2013 in Movies, Reviews

 

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Dirty Girl – Movie 106 of 365

Dirty GirlI hate when a good movie about teens is rated in a way, in this case rated R, that teens can’t really see it.  Maybe that’s to encourage parents to see these features with there kids.  In the case of Dirty Girl I think that may be a good idea.  If nothing else it could start a dialogue about fitting in, masking pain with reckless behavior, and that the best path for your child may not be the one you want it to be.

Danielle (Juno Temple) is the high school “dirty girl”.  She believes sex is power and that sleeping around makes her powerful and in control.  And she doesn’t care who knows it.  After getting in trouble for being disruptive in sex education class, the principal punishes her by putting her in the “Challenge” class.  Challenge class seems to be a home for all the kids who don’t fit in for one reason or another.   Challenge class is starting a parenthood project where they are partnered and given a sack of flour to take care of.  Danielle is partnered with Clarke (Jeremy Dozier), a shy overweight gay boy.  She, of course, hates him.  She pretty much hates everyone.  Clarke tries to put the moves on her because his parents are threatening military school if the therapy doesn’t work to make him straight.  His attempt to bed her fails, but they eventually become friends and she convinces him to go on a road trip.  One to find her father she has never met.

This is not only one of the better road trip movies I’ve seen but also one of the better teen movies.  One of the reasons I think is because the parents are not just cutouts but actually full characters in the movie.  It’s not just about how Danielle and Clarke change but their parents, particularly their mothers, change as they travel to find them.  This may be labeled a comedy but there is a lot of serious dialogue and some frank sexuality for teen movie.  And almost forgot if you like 80’s music this movie is worth it just for the soundtrack, which is integrated very well into the story.  The ends a bit cliched and cheesy but it’s also darn touching as is many moments in this hidden gem of a film.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2013 in Movies, Reviews

 

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The Mega Multi-Movie Review post – part 2

Here we are at part 2 – I had intended to do this immediately after one, but once again got delayed by more work.  One day I’ll be able to survive completely on my writing income.  That day isn’t today.  Without further ado here are movies 102 – 105:

8 Heads in a Duffel Bag 19978 Heads in a Duffel Bag – I should’ve seen this movie about a decade ago.  Problem is everytime I’d go to the video store I’d see this and The Usual Suspects on the shelf. I would think that I had already seen 8 Heads so would pick up The Usual Suspects go home and realize that I had already seen it and I meant to get the other movie.  Same thing when it would come on TV.  For some reason the universe was keeping me and this movie apart.  I don’t know why, because for the most part, it’s hilarious.  Joe Pesci is basically playing the same character he plays in every movie.  This time he’s a mob bagman who is supposed to deliver proof of the killing of eight guys.  The proof, of course, is the heads.   Tommy (Pesci) is a jerk, so you don’t feel too sorry for him when he loses the duffel due to an airline luggage mix up.  You do feel sorry for the poor guy, Charlie (Andy Comeau) who is on vacation with his girlfriend, Laurie Bennett (Kristy Swanson) who really isn’t into him anymore and her family, her mother Annette Bennett (Dyan Cannon) who is high strung to say the least, and her father Dick Bennett (George Hamilton) who clearly hates him.  Now on top of all that he has to figure out what to do with a duffel bag full of heads.  This is pretty standard 90’s comedy fare.  No one would probably go see it today but it’s still a great little distraction, even over 15 years later.

Fugue State 2008Fugue State – Some many movies that claim to be about zombies, so many go off the rails.  Fugue State is vaguely a zombie film.  The rest, um you tell me.  This movie was so confusing. Partially because there are flashbacks and flashforwards and little to differentiate which is which.  Fugue State is about the zombie apocalypse yet there is a secondary problem.  Some people are turned into zombies, others into amnesiacs   Luis (Brian Lucero) is a security guard who wakes up to see all this has happened while he dozed off at work.  He escapes the city into the desert in search of his wife Cassandra.  He finds her but she doesn’t remember him and is staying with a group of people who consider themselves a family.  Headed by Daddy (Justin Tade) who believes all this is foretold in the book of Revelations. He rules the rest (Mama, Grandpa, and Cassandra who they call Sister) with an iron fist.  Luis agrees to stay but plots to get him and Cassandra away from Daddy and try to help her remember.  Believe me my synopsis is clearer than this movie.  Cassandra who has amnesia also has the ability to see in the future.  Many times you can’t tell if what you are seeing is Cassandra seeing the future, a flashback of a previous scene or current time.  I watched it to the end but didn’t feel it was worth the trip.

Rid of Me 2011Rid of Me – If you have ever been excluded from a group while still being around them and people either refused to see it, blamed you, and/or joined in, the first forty-five minutes of this movie will be a bit hard to watch.  Actually this movie has lots of uncomfortable parts.  You feel like you are a fly on the wall on the downward spiral, wallowing, lashing out and rebirth of the main character Meris Canfield (Katie O’Grady).  Meris and Mitch (John Keyser) are in love and eloped.  Now they are moving back to Mitch’s hometown for his work.  He immediately reunites with the old gang of friends and it’s obvious from the start Meris isn’t going to fit in.  The longer it goes on the more obvious and painful it gets, pulling Mitch and Meris apart until Mitch unceremoniously leaves Meris for a old flame.  Meris is devastated but is stays in town where she finds a job at a candy shop and meets Trudy (Orianna Herrman) who takes exposes Meris to a different life.  This movie takes a definite turn for the better in the second half and didn’t end quite how I expected.  Its one of the better breakup films I’ve seen, way more realistic than the usual Hollywood big budget fare.

The Job (2009)The Job – Beware of people who suddenly show up in your life and seem like they want to be helpful.  Bubba (Patrick Flueger) is unemployed and by chance meets Jim (Ron Perlman) in a diner.  Now Jim  is a bit of a drifter, only staying in any town for 72 hours but seems to just plant himself into Bubba’s life.  Even giving him the business card of a guy who had promised him a job, but since he doesn’t stay anywhere more than three days suggests that Bubba check it out.  He’s immediately hired, the problem is he doesn’t quite understand what the job is.  And when he finds out it’s murder.  This movie takes a very simple premise and twists it into a nice dark comedy.  It vaguely reminds me of movies such as The Unusual Suspects and maybe RockNRolla.  Not as good but that not sure who you can really trust.  I’m still unsure of a few allegiances in this film.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2013 in Movies, Reviews

 

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The Mega Multi-Movie Review post – part 1

You probably have noticed the lack of movie reviews lately.  Well you see when I started writing reviews I was unemployed, at that time it was for a bit over four months.  Between filling out applications and hitting the refresh button on my email hoping for news of a freelance gig, I had plenty of time for reviews.  However, recently I have been inundated with freelance work.  Be careful what you ask the universe for with your whole heart.  Not that i’m complaining, quite the contrary, I’m just explaining the absence.

No fears loyal readers, I have been dutifully watching my movie a day, just not writing.  At this point trying to write a full review for each movie will take forever and honestly the longer you wait the finer details start to disappear.  Particularly if the movie is mediocre.  So instead I’ve decided to create the Mega Multi-Movie Review post.  Clever title, no?  I’ll cover the first four movies in this post and the next four in part 2.  Movie 106,  Dirty Girl will get it’s own review post because it was AWESOME. Hopefully I’ll be doing full reviews again after that.  We shall see.

Movies 98 – 101

Lucky 2011Lucky – A quirky dark comedy about a guy who wins the lottery and hopes that the money can “buy” him the girl of his dreams.  Simple enough plot except for the fact that the winning ticket wasn’t purchased by Ben Keller (Colin Hanks), but one of his victims.  You see Ben is a serial killer.  One that still lives with him mother, Pauline Keller (Ann-Margaret), but there are multiple bodies buried in the back yard.  And this girl of his dreams, Lucy (Ari Graynor).  She’s an annoying, overbearing, and a bit of gold digger that Ben definitely has a love-hate relationship with.  This movie was okay, but CHaracter was so over-the-top annoying and CHaracter was so h henpecked that it was uncomfortable and uneven and the twist ending didn’t redeem it all that much.

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter 2012Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter – I was really looking forward to seeing this and for the most part wasn’t disappointed.  The interesting thing is I think the low budget feature Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies is actually a bit better.  Storyline wise anyway.  Now don’t get me wrong Vampire Hunter has great fight scenes. interesting special effects,  beautiful visuals and I’m not just talking Dominic Cooper. Also some changes to vampire canon kept killing them from becoming a boring series of stakes through the heart.  But still I think Zombies had a better alt-history storyline and a better ending to the story.  This may be because there wasn’t as many storylines in Zombies; Vampire’s story got crowded. But maybe you’ll just have to watch both to see if you agree.

Duck Soup 1933Duck Soup – For my 100 movie I chose one from American Film Institute’s 100 greatest movies of all time.  I have to say I’m not really sure if this would be considered the one of the greatest but it was decent enough after a fashion.  I have a love/hate relationship with the Marx Brothers or more specifically Harpo Marx.  My favorite Marx brother is Chico with Groucho being a close second.  In this feature Groucho plays Rufus T. Firefly who is appointed ruler of Freedonia.  Chico and Harpo play spies of a sort.  Harpo is particularly mean in this one and I think it dampened my viewing.  The musically sequences were passable but worse than most musicals I’ve seen.  The political satire was good, reminding me a bit of Dr. Strangelove in some of its absurdness and there were some really funny slapstick sequences.

The Master 2012The Master – Starting this movie I wasn’t sure if I was going to finish it.  Lots of confusing artsy imaginary and Joaquin Phoenix acting like a loon.  But soon that settle down to a movie that although still confusing was interesting to watch.  Phoenix plays Freddie Quell,  a recently discharged naval veteran in the late 1940’s.  He’s impulsive to say the least and just downright kooky.  Whether this is from some kind of mental illness or the effects of too much of his homemade liquor, the movie never quite explains.  One night he runs off after someone gets deathly ill on his homemade hooch. In a crazed perhaps drunken stupor he wanders onto a yacht that’s docked at the harbor, and falls asleep.  He is awakened and taken to  Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) who is called Master by the followers in his group The Cause.  It is not a religious cult but a new agey psychoanalysis following where they believe you can solve your issues of today with looking into your past life and other visualization techniques.  Master is immediately taken in by Quell and makes him part of his circle.  The movie follows the not only the Master’s attempts to spread his word but to cure () of the madness and anger that seems to plague him.   Phoenix and Hoffman are excellent in this but I spent most of the movie confused.  It really takes all of your concentration I think and I may just have to watch it again to completely understand what was going on.  It’s too easy to just write this off as a cult movie.  I believe it’s much deeper than that.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2013 in Movies, Reviews

 

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Never changing who I am

Today has a theme song, It’s Time by Imagine Dragons.  Eight months (eight months and four days to be exact) ago I was emotionally near rock bottom.  I was sick with fever, pain, and infection.  I was waiting to figure out if what I had was bacterial in nature or something more serious like staph.  Hopped up on Hydrocodone I walked into my place of employment to get laid off for the second time in a little over a year.  Once again it wasn’t because of anything I did.  Believe me medicated is the way to go if you have to clean out your desk and do the walk of shame out the building.

Luckily the infection turned out to not be staph, unluckily the company I worked for closed down about a month later.  No chance for hire and fire number three.  This meant looking for a job again.  I hate finding a new job for many reasons but mostly because once again I have to pretend to be someone I’m not.  There is so many reports about being careful what you put on facebook, twitter, etc. because apparently it doesn’t matter if you are the most qualified for the job but what you do with your life in the hours they are not paying you.

I was never was really myself at work anyway.  After almost four years I had started to share bits and small pieces, sometimes still I’d completely lie.  It must be nice to just be able to tell someone about your weekend without having to consciously select every word you are going to say before saying  it.  For this and other reasons I once again I decided that this time I was actually make a go of freelancing while simultaneously trying to find more stable employment.  I find clients a little less concerned about my personal life and don’t go researching you on the internet.

I’m more of a tortoise than a hare so of course the freelance gigs didn’t just start rolling in.  Plus I got distracted with writing.  Shortly before getting let go from my job I had rediscovered writing.  Fan Fiction wasn’t going to pay the bills but it’s kept me sane more than once and gave me the bravery to branch out.  In November I wrote a 50,000+ word fiction novel (I’m still editing).  In December I started doing freelance tv show and movie reviews.  It gave me the bravery to challenge myself to watch a movie a day.  Then with adding some other ideas lead to the creation of this blog.

Now while all this was happening the design part has been limping along.  In November I got my first Fiverr gig. This month I’ve become a Level 1 seller.  Also as of this month I have done enough other freelance work since I was let go that I need to use both hands to count.  I watched my 100th new to me movie on April 10th and my blog now has had over 700 views.  No I’m not rolling in dough but I feel that things are finally truly starting for me.  And the best thing, I’m still who I am.  Second best thing, not having to tap dance over the dreaded so what did you do this weekend.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2013 in introspective, Videos

 

Bargain DVD’s are Dangerous for Fangirls

I’ve resisted long enough.  That copy of Neo Ned starring Jeremy Renner and Gabrielle Union has been tempting me on Amazon for way too long. I’ve already seen it, loved it, got really teary a couple of times during it, and was a bit jealous of Gabrielle for that one scene; but I didn’t own the movie.  And getting it for under five bucks was oh so tempting.  But I was strong… until someone posted this picture on Pinterest.

Made by MDL

Made by MDL

I had to figure out what movie it was from.  My first guess was Fish in a Barrel, But after an image search his hair in that movie wasn’t nearly blonde enough, but it definitely looked like it may be from Monkey Love.  Now Monkey Love screams romantic comedy and I don’t do romantic comedies so of course haven’t seen it…but it’s Renner.  So  I was JUST going to look and see if it was available on Amazon.  Of course it’s part of a 3-movie DVD for under $10 bucks.  I resisted, for maybe 5 minutes.

And this is reason number 3,462 why I’m broke.  Look for a review on Monkey Love  sometime next week.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2013 in Fandom

 

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