Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Xtra-Notes on Milk...

In my Race, Gender, Class, and Sexuality in American Film class (Isn't that name a mouthful!), we are wrapping up the semester and completing the dreaded end of semester group projects. My group was assigned Homosexual Representation on film after the AIDS crisis of the 1980's. As part of the project, we had to select a film to analyze and present in relation to the course content. After some deliberation, we selected Gus Van Sant's Milk, based on the true story of the first openly gay elected official in America. I recently re-watched Milk, and this Xtra-Notes section is dedicated to the film.

  • Sean Penn won the Oscar for his portrayal of Harvey Milk. Though his performance was truly captivating, I can't help but feel like Mickey Rourke was the better actor that year with his comeback performance in The Wrestler. That shouldn't take anything away from Mr. Penn, but if there is one complaint about the film, it's his performance. Sean doesn't blow me away, but rather the supporting cast--his ensemble, really illuminates the subject. They give Gays a face and a voice, something I didn't really feel from Sean Penn. I'm sure I'm in the minority here, but I thought I'd at least share.
  • Josh Brolin on the other hand nails his performance as the squeaky-clean-politician. He plays the ultimate villain (seething through his clenched lips and focused brow) to Harvey Milk. In being a worthy adversary he gives a face to the "Christian Coalition" and "Moral Majority" hate that existed in the 1970's and to some degree still exists today. Brolin manages to make squeaky clean utterly ugly--but in a good way of course.
  • The cinematography here is absolutely perfect. The film actually feels like the 1970's with its sepia tinged tones and hazed shots. It's a shame this didn't get awarded by the Academy. This might actually be the greatest asset of Milk.
  • Alison Pill plays Anne Kronenberg, a lesbian who manages Milk’s campaign. I’m not sure that this is a compliment (in fact I’m pretty sure it’s not), but doesn’t she kinda look like a young Rosie O’Donnell?

Okay... Maybe not... But while watching Milk I couldn't help but feel like I was watching Rosie O'Donnell. My apologies to Alison Pill if that offends her in anyway.

  • My teacher (Jans Wager) said, "Movies, I believe, can change the world. They can change our perceptions about things we don't understand and could probably never understand unless we see them." I have to agree with that. Milk is one of those films that can change you (I had preconceived notions, mostly negative about Gay rights). After viewing this (I've seen it a couple times) I'll say those ideas about Gay rights have predominantly changed. I'm sure some of y'all would disagree with my words (Hell I even find myself disagreeing with them), but after watching Harvey Milk give everything, including his life to that cause, well let's just say it's hard not to, at the very least, BEGIN to understand. Would I be willing to give my life for a cause that others absolutely hated--even despised? Probably not, but Harvey Milk did, which is a testament to his fight--one that wasn't won and is still being fought today.



WARNING: There is some language which might offend some so for that reason alone its probably NSFW (not safe for work).... But it is HILARIOUS!

And America's the best damn country in--everywhere... :) You have a mustache! It's the darkening of the skin above the lip. It's natural for women over their twenties...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oops... I took a break... but I'll be back real soon...

Blogging has been slow--my bad! Thanksgiving got me out of my blogging routine, but just like the Backstreet Boys, I'm back and better than ever... (Hopefully you caight the BSB Everybody reference there... if not oh well).

Tonight I'll have a new Xtra-Notes post on Gus Van Sant's Milk starring Sean Penn, James Franco, and Josh Brolin.

I've also got a couple really interesting features coming later this week (seriously it's cooler than Tim Tebow's fourth quarter comebacks). Also, I'll have a couple reviews up as well, probably Hugo and Warrior as well as a possible review on a play here at UVU that a friend of mine is performing in (That's my Jake Porter shout-out). Bottom line: This week, you'll have more content and commentary than a drunk Joan Rivers at the Teen Choice Awards...

Hope y'all (you loyal reader(s) out there) are doing well wherever you may be...

Sorry for the blogging break.. What can I say--I'm a mess!

At least I'm not alone...

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I think I'm like Jennifer Lawrence...?

First and foremost, isn’t Jennifer Lawrence HOT! Yup, sure is…Now to the real news.

Okay, so when I started this blog up I decided I'd try to be the least bit personal. Yes, my personality, thoughts, opinions, etc., would be on the page; however this would not be the blog where I tell you everything going on in my life. Ex: "Woke up today. Caught up with The Kardashians, but feeling sick, shouldn't have eaten that extra roll at Texas Roadhouse! Oh well, I'll be okay, because after all the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so I'll take that step today and be happy." THIS IS NOT THAT KIND OF BLOG. I'm certainly not here to air my dirty laundry. I wouldn't write that and certainly wouldn't read it.

However, in lieu of certain events that transpired over the last 24 hours, I feel it necessary to divulge (ever slightly) into my personal life. So... with that here it goes...

If you'll remember, I reviewed Like Crazy a couple days ago. In that film, I couldn't help but feel for Jennifer Lawrence. She was in love with Anton Yelchin (Jacob) who wasn't as sold on her as he was on Felicity Jones (Anna). In a moment of desperation and sensing that Yelchin is about to abandon her, Lawrence confesses her feelings to him. "But, I love you." Tears fall. Silence rests upon the two. But most of all Lawrence waits for the words she deeply knows will never be uttered by Yelchin. Instead the words, "I'm sorry..." are spoken. Lawrence leaves.

Though you'd think Lawrence had learned her lesson, she hasn't. She is of course in love with Yelchin and even though he rejected her once before she comes back because of course she loves him--like crazy (pun very much intended). Yet again, Lawrence is the one hurt as Yelchin can't get over the one he loves. But, it’s Lawrence that suffers most. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. The only time I really had a hard time in Like Crazy was watching Lawrence's heartbreak—subtle but entirely realistic.

Now to the personal application of this story... I have someone whom I have held special in my heart for quite some time. We dated. Talked a lot. Texted...and did I mention we talked a lot? (like for hours on the phone) Anyway, this person who shall remain nameless pulled an almost identical stunt as Yelchin did. Yet again, I was the one hurt, unable to sleep, and feeling like a fool exactly as Lawrence did. Though I make fun of Twilight (all of course for very good reasons) I finally understood why Bella (Kristen Stewart) does that screaming-moan-thing in bed when she and Edward break up (or is it when her and Jacob break up? Who cares!). It's because when you think someone loves you and then find out they really don't, you feel like a hole has been drilled into your body. Nothing can fill it (that sounded dirty, but just follow me here). Instead, you walk around trying to fill that gaping hole with friendship, or entertainment, or really anything. That is how I feel right now. Empty, hurt, and maybe a little bloated (damn Texas Roadhouse does it every time).

Last night I was (at least metaphorically) Jennifer Lawrence. I was the one trying yet again to walk away, wishing I didn't care, but knowing full well that I'd be missing it (the love) and what we had like crazy...

I know this individual reads this blog and I hope they understand not necessarily how it feels to be hurt, but how I feel. I'll move on now and at some point things will get better--they have too.

My idol and favorite author Stephen King once said, "Hope is a good thing--maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies." I sure hope he’s right.  

I'm glad Brit's got such wise words of wisdom... Thanks boo! Moving on...

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Knight is Coming...

Just get used to the abundance of Batman updates on the blog as The Dark Knight Rises approaches. I'm a HUGE fan of the series so, the blog will be full of the caped crusader. Today, Empire magazine released a couple special edition covers featuring new gad guy Bane and of course the Bat.

Then there's quite possibly the biggest reveal of the Empire magazine interview.

From Director Chris Nolan:
"Our story picks up eight years after The Dark Knight. In terms of finishing our story and increasing its scope, we were trying to craft an epic. It’s really all about finishing Batman and Bruce Wayne’s story. We left him in a very precarious place. Perhaps surprisingly for some people, our story picks up quite a bit later, eight years after The Dark Knight. So he’s an older Bruce Wayne; he’s not in a great state. With our choice of villain and with our choice of story we are testing Batman both physically as well as mentally. Also, in terms of finishing the our story and increasing its scope, we were trying to craft epic so the physicality of the film became very important."


An additional "special edition" cover of Bane was also included...

The only negative thing to take away from the Empire interview is the complete lack of Catwoman/Selina Kyle... It's ok though. Nolan certainly has his reasons... And I'm okay with that. It'll definitely be interesting to see how Nolan brings this all to an end. How will he wrap up the story and can he "top" The Dark Knight? July 20, 2012... GET HERE NOW!

Xtra-Notes on The Help...

Xtra-Notes is a new section here at The Cinemattic... Basically, the premise of the Xtra-Notes is to add a few additional thoughts and commentary to films, new or old, that I've viewed recently. This is not a review. It's also a far less formal space (as if my blog needs more informality) than the Movie Reviews.

With that, I'm proud to announce that my first Xtra-Notes blog post is none other than The Help.

  • "You is Smart. You is Kind. You is Important." Never has terrible grammar sounded so utterly good and so immaculately poetic (yes I weaved in immaculate and Madonna would be proud). At the intersection of a film seemingly set upon racism lies the underlying theme I believe--that we are in fact good enough. Maybe we aren't the best, the brightest, most brilliant, or in the best physical shape, but Aibileen proves to us all that we can FEEL important. A beautiful film is an inspiring one, which is precisely what The Help is above all else. 
  • As far as acting is concerned, Viola Davis might be the best African American actress working in Hollywood right now--PERIOD. Her work in Doubt alone made me a believer. She also has a supporting role in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close coming out this December. Davis IS Aibileen and she completely surrenders herself to the character. The Academy not giving her Oscar gold would be the equivalent of VH1 not reaching out to Lindsay Lohan to be a cast member on Celebrity Rehab. Stamp it! Viola Davis will be the Best Actress at this year's Academy Awards.

  • The Help feels like a Spielberg "art" film. When Spielberg wants to win Oscar he makes these type of films (Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan, The Color Purple, etc.) As such, The Help has the popular culture behind it with some of the critically acclaimed "street cred" the Academy requires. Spielberg probably wishes he could have sat in the director's chair on this one.

  •  The Help is far funnier than I thought it would be. The first time I saw it I think I took in the emotion versus the humor. Everything from "Shit-pie," to Celia "white-trash" Foote aids in an experience that balances the heavy, headier subjects (racism, abuse, etc.) with a healthy dose of laughter.

  • I can't say enough about Celia Foote, played incredibly well by Jessica Chastain. Sure, Octavia Spencer's Minny Jackson is the more flamboyant role of the two, but Chastain grounds the hegemonic pressures of Jackson society with a performance that is heartbreaking and heart warming. Spencer will be nominated as Best Supporting Actress, while Chastain might go empty handed. Nonetheless, watch the film again Chastain's character is just as deserving.

  • Equally deserving of Oscar praise is Bryce Dalls Howard. She takes MEAN to a whole new level. Though it's previously been hard for the Academy to vote for a villain, they have warmed up to idea recently with Mo'Nique in Precious (2009) and Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008). Nonetheless, Howard (great last name if you ask me) will probably be snubbed as both Spencer and Chastain will get the nod before her. Undoubtedly though, it's her performance that literally gives racism its face (cold sore and all). Without her there is no real risk, but rather an implied one. Bottom line: Davis, Spencer, and Chastain owe Howard at the very least a Slurpee on Oscar night.

Well, that was all for my first edition of Xtra-Notes... Feel free to leave your notes in the comments...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Like Crazy (Review)

BRIEFLY: Like Crazy is the perfect love story without being perfect at all. There is no Nicholas Sparks schmaltz, no John Hughes nostalgia--only real, raw, authentic, love. Though it's characters navigate through all the stereotypical moments of first love (the kiss, the awkward date, the terms of endearment, the heartbreak, etc.), they do so with such authenticity that we feel like Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones are really falling for each other. The camera work has a visceral, voyeuristic quality that further elevates Like Crazy into a realm all its own. It's easy to see how Like Crazy swept Sundance off it's feet, because quite literally it floored me.

DETAILED REVIEW: Like Crazy was Sundance's critical darling. By the festival's end, it had amassed huge crowds and was merited with the Grand Jury Prize for Best Picture. Though it rose to meteoric levels, I didn't have it on my Sundance radar, because Martha Marcy May Marlene (the one where the Olsen twins' sister starred as a cult escapee) looked so good as to render other festival fare futile. It wasn't until Amanda Mitchell (BFF and former University Journal Editor-in-Chief) sent me the Like Crazy trailer on Facebook. Viewing the trailer was the nail in my coffin. I simply HAD to see this movie.

Starring Anton Yelchin of Star Trek and Fright Night fame, as well as newcomer Felicity Jones, Like Crazy is about the roller coaster we call love. Though the premise of two people falling madly for each other seems rehashed and stale--it isn't. Instead, Like Crazy is a breath of fresh air accented by performances that are captivating. Further both the camera work and cinematography flow seamlessly. It's the first love story I've ever described as 'hypnotic,' which in and of itself is an odd, but intriguing label.

Anna (Jones), with her crooked toothed smile, beams with the blossoming seed of love. Yet, Anna has to return to Britain because her visa has expired. Instead of doing the logical thing, Anna stays to be with Jacob (Yelchin). Certainly love this genuine is powerful enough to conquer any foreign affair? The answer to that question is, "No!" as Anna is barred from returning to America because of the visa violation. What is a poor couple to do? Think about each other, miss each other, and of course love each other--like crazy. The problem is that because of their distance they find that its too hard to keep the relationship going, even when Jacob comes to Britain to visit. "It's hard to stop and start again," Anna surmises.

Against all previous inclinations, they find other love but can't seem to get over each other no matter how attractive their new partners are. Jennifer Lawrence is Sam, Jacob's American lover while Anna's beau is Simon (Charlie Brewely). There's a lot of heartbreak for most of the second and third acts. Indeed, the film seeks to show that love is as much heartbreak as it is anything else.

Though the primary characters are extremely captivating, I couldn't help but be drawn to Anna and Jacob's forlorn, substitute lovers--Sam and Simon. What gets lost in Like Crazy is that for Sam and Simon, their passionate love is Anna and Jacob. Simon and Sam are the unrequited lovers, that so which they could be loved.

I'm not sure I've ever been in love--not the real love that Anna and Jacob have for each other. I do know however how Sam feels when her heart is broken and the words, "But I love you Jacob," fall on deaf ears while the sinking reality sets in. I KNOW that feeling--a feeling that quite frankly sucks.

Though its unclear whether any of these characters deserves a happy ending, it matters little, because Like Crazy is not about the destination, but rather the journey as love's natural course ebbs and flows. Truly, love is obsession, passion, something you can't quite live without. You grasp to it, which in the end is all Anna and Jacob have for each other--the love. To borrow a famous quote from Meet Joe Black, "If you haven't loved--you haven't lived." In the end Like Crazy is about exactly that; living and loving, as well as all the emotions both bad and good in between.

If you love Nicholas Sparks films, you'll probably hate this movie, which is exactly the reason Like Crazy is a film not to be missed.


And yes... you'll probably cry.

(Though I of course only teared up...) ;)


Briefly, I've changed the site, because I struggle spelling "supplement." I either spell it supplemeent, supplememnt, or suppplememnt. Bottom line this English major hates the word and will be placing it in the axis of evil--sincerely George W. Bush.

Plus, the entire blog name "," is far too long...

(Drum roll please...)In lieu of such needed changes, I am pulling a Justin Timberlake via The Social Network and suggesting a name change to the sleeker, easier to access, "The CineMATTic." The new web address also falls in line and will heretofore be known as "" Much easier and simpler especially with that stupid suppleement word removed (yep, spelled it wrong again. stupid word!).

All of my opinionated advice, warranted or not, will still be here, but hopefully easier to find and follow...

I think this calls for a celebration...

 Go on with yo' bad self... break. it. down.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tree of Life (Review)

Okay, so Tree of Life was released forever ago, but managed to never find a home in Utah theatres. It finally found its way to DVD and in my hands via Redbox. My review of Terrance Mallick's towering film follows...

BRIEFLY: Both Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain execute near perfect performances through very little dialogue but cleverly nuanced performances. Indeed, they say more by not saying anything at all. Though the film aspires to be a cosmic melting pot of everyday life and the towering power of nature, it struggles to find a foothold at least initially. After that, Mallick's film is a stunning work which literally connects us to the cosmos through visuals that scream to be seen. At nearly 3 hours, the film is a little overlong, but Mallick overall does a fine job encapsulating the ultimate human condition--life itself. One warning though, If your favorite TV show is Keeping the Kardashians or you actually read Twilight, you'll without doubt HATE this movie. Bottom line: Tree of Life is not a film for the motion picture illiterate crowd.

DEATILED REVIEW: What is so breathtaking about Tree of Life is its deeply moving cinematography. Quite possibly never before has light and darkness, shadow and substance, said so much by also managing to show so little. If the cinematography doesn't win an Oscar hell will have had to froze over, because its like a poet has shot this film (And of course I mean that in a GOOD way).

The film covers a lot of ground from the primeval beginnings of Earth to the nostalgic 1950's of Texas. All the while Mallick reminds us of both how big and small we are in relation to the grandiose scale of the universe. Its an interesting dichotomy between nature and grace (life) that Mallick weaves together through the images. In fact aside from whispering voice overs, Tree of Life has very little dialogue, instead relying again on the image as well as its subsequent relation to both the image that precedes it and follows it. It's complicated to explain and far more effective to see for yourself.

The biggest gripe with the film is that the movement is a little slow--but i guess isn't life in and of itself a slow process? the pacing at times is uneven and some of the images are too abstract when they should be more direct. Also the special effects are very well done with the lone exception being that of a scene involving dinosaurs. Why Mallick chose to make them less real than anything else in the film is any one's guess. I mean its 2011, dinosaurs should look real--they did in 1993 with Jurassic Park after all. Sean Penn also has very little to do with the film which seems to be an entirely big waste of his talent. In fact he might be on camera only about 10 or 15 minutes total in the 3 hour epic. (I could be wrong on his actual screen time, but he felt completely absent)

Overall, the film is a stunning example of the creative minds of filmmakers. Its ideas are at times challenging, but the attention to image as it relates to story is so well thought out to almost meticulously molecular levels that its hard both to look away and not be affected by them. Tree of Life might very well be our generations film equivalent to the literary War & Peace. Only time (and the primordial inevitability of nature) will tell...

Grade: B+

Now it's time for something decidedly "low-brow"...

Found it... :)

#GTL #teamsnooki

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Best of Film 2011 so far... (The List)

I know I promised this would be up last night, but I haven't had a whole lot of time between work at Olive Garden and school... Anyway, the list follows below... Ch-Ch-Ch-Check it out!

Best Film (so far)...

This was a very hard category. I really liked a lot of movies this year. Bridesmaids shined a comedic luster not to be matched. Similarly was Crazy Stupid Love which captured love, that is both crazy and stupid at times. Drive was another film that simply haunted me and still does. I'm not even sure why the Ryan Gosling starring film has affected me so deeply, but it certainly has... I even dressed up like Mr. Gosling for Halloween in Vegas...

Aren't the resemblances uncanny? I think so... As good as Drive was/is it just wasn't the absolute best film of 2011. Another film for serious consideration was The Help. It made anyone with a pulse laugh and cry while also exposing a new generation of viewers to the racism that not so long ago prevailed in America. Awesome performances all around with Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jessica Chastain, Sissy Spacek, and least but certainly not least Emma Stone.

Even still, The Help falls just short. At the top of the 2011 Best Film so far list is Super 8. JJ Abrams love note to Spielberg films of the 80's is simply entertaining, while also reminding us exactly why we like movies so much. Its nostalgic when it needs to be, while not overstaying its welcome. The cast again is stellar with each character actually being a character, with real personalities and real emotion. Abrams deftly blends sci-fi with familial drama in a way that simply hasn't been seen, well since Spielberg. Super 8 might be our generations version of E.T. or Goonies, but one thing is for certain it's a film we'll never forget...

Best Actor (so far)...

Right now I got to give DiCaprio the nod, with Brad Pitt in Moneyball sitting a very close second. DiCaprio WAS J. Edgar and eventhough the film was far less than perfect, his performance was spot absolutely spot on. Ryan Gosling was also very adept in both Drive and The Ides of March, but again his performances lack some of DiCaprio's complete surrender to the character. Kudos to Leo and come Oscar time he might be finally getting his golden statue.


Best Actress (so far)...

This has been the year of the woman. Quite literally, films starring stong women have dominated the theatre turnstiles. Emma Stone has been busy as ever, while Kristen Wiig has shown us why she is pure comedic gold. Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, and Jessica Chastain all shined in their own rite in The Help. As it stands right now, it's probably Viola Davis as the best. Though she better watch out because Oscar's leading lady, Meryl Streep, is lurking in the shadows with her film Iron Lady being released in December. I also think Charlize Theron in Young Adult might have a chance to steal Viola's thunder, but as of yet Viola stands above the rest. Her words, "You is kind. You is smart. You is important," forever echo in my head.


Well that's my sort of list for my best of film 2011. Of course, this will change when Oscar season is in full tilt, but this at least gives you an idea of where films are this year, with The Help most certainly leading the way.

And if you don't agree with my list...


Monday, November 14, 2011

Best of Film 2011 so far... (Preview)

Yes, as Oscar season approaches, it's become increasingly aware to me to write some sort of review/synopsis of the films I've seen, enjoyed, hated, etc. Oscar season ushers in loads of awards fare, quite simply too much to keep up with. So, it's a good time to reflect and report.

Though the actual post for "Best of Film 2011" will not be up till later, let's just say a certain movie is on the list..

Wonder what it could possibly be? Check back tonight for the complete list...

Oh, and big props to EMMA STONE for both being in some really exceptional films this year (The Help and Crazy. Stupid. Love.) as well as hosting quite possibly the best episode of SNL in years. She was spot on and could easily be a full-time cast member (Justin Timberlake too). Someone get on that... 

Theron is a Young Adult...

Diablo Cody of Juno fame is back at it again after her terrible turn with Jennifer's Body, which only proved one thing: Megan Fox still can't act. Regardless, Cody has been lying low, but looks to be back in top form with Young Adult. Theron also has been in need of a little career resurrection as of late.

This might just be what the doctor order. Check the trailer below...

Again, Theron looks awesome, in a darkly comic sort of way. Her character seems to be extremely conflicted, but Cody shines with conflicted characters by exposing their weaknesses through dialogue. Reitmann directs who also did Juno and the heartbreaking Up In The Air. Hopefully, Young Adult is along the vein of Juno by upping the ante on quirkiness. A good Diablo Cody script is almost always an unforgettable one--for better or worse.


Hungry for The Hunger Games...

Well, well, well Miss Jennifer Lawrence (a personal favorite of mine) looks to get hardcore in The Hunger Games, based on the wildly popular adaptation of the Young Adult fiction novel by the same name. Miley's boytoy Liam Hemsworth and The Kids Are Alright star Josh Hutcherson both play opposite of Lawrence. Today, the trailer was released... and it looks? well.... I'll let you be the judge.

The jury is out in my opinion... Lawrence has enough talent to carry the film all on her own, but the cast looks a little weak just from the trailer. Woody Harrelson looks completely out of place and Lenny Kravitz (yes THE Lenny Kravitz) also looks a little odd here. Nonetheless, the trailer looks especially crisp when the gritty, underprivileged District 12 is showcased.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

J. Edgar (Review)

I know I promised a cheesy "Best-War-Movie" list thing, but I really could only think of one truly "great" war movie--Saving Private Ryan. So, I kinda got over the whole make a list thing. Combine that with a bad day at work (Veteran's got FREE food at The OG and yet still didn't tip. That's both embarrassing and disrespectful--Thanks Soldiers) and I just had no real desire to get a list done. My solution? Go buy something. After heading to the new H&M and deciding the 3 hour line just to get in wasn't worth the wait, I decided a movie would be a good idea. Oscar season is just around the corner, and J. Edgar is looking to capitalize...

DISCLAIMER: With all my reviews I will include a brief short synopsis followed by a detailed review exploring the themes, acting, writing, direction, cinematography, etc. So, if you have the attention span of say Paris Hilton, all you'll have to read is the "Briefly" section. I'll try and keep it simple for you guys.

BRIEFLY: J. Edgar is a well acted film in which DiCaprio shines. Still, Eastwood's direction is so uneven, so fragmented, and so very dull both in it's execution and concept, that I'm left asking, "Huh?" Further, the Dustin Lance Black penned script is also a far cry from his deft work in Milk, as he manages to make J. Edgar feel more like a Citizen Kane-wannabe-groupie rather than a fresh revealing look into a very troubling and complex man. Eastwood seemingly has fallen a long way from Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino.

DETAILED REVIEW: What do you get when you take two of the most powerful men in Hollywood, throw in an up-and-coming screenwriter, while snagging a producer whose filmography reads like the selection at Blockbuster? (Are there even Blockbusters anymore? #fail) Apparently, you get J. Edgar. A film that feels like its trying too hard, for too long. It so yearns to be a biopic of supreme substance and entertainment, yet falls far short. We are never quite sure whether we are supposed to sympathize or passionately despise the titular character.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, J. Edgar is likely a product of a man/legend who simply thinks he knows what we want. When Eastwood is great, he is brilliant. (see Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby, etc.) When Eastwood is bad, he is awful on a M. Night Shyamalan level. (see Hereafter, Invictus, and Changeling) Quite possibly his greatest folly is his love for nostalgia in J. Edgar which completely undermines every minute with awkward and uneven placement of political figures and celebrities a like (there's a scene with Shirley Temple that literally made me go "REALLYYYY?"). He wants us to feel something, but seems to force us into the plot rather than the character. Even Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman knows that's simply a "Big mistake. Big. Huge."

Herein lies the problem with a film such as this, is it a character study or is the plot, the formation of the FBI, the real story here. Estwood nor Dustin Lance Black seem to know what they want it to be, as the plot is organized in a very haphazardly schizophrenic way. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to its collinear organization other than to confuse the audience.

The film follows J. Edgar Hoover, played rathher adeptly by Leonardo DiCaprio. Hoover rises through the ranks to direct and organize the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Naomi Watts plays his loyal assistant while Armie Hammer is DiCaprio's right hand man, both in bed and in the boardroom. Hoover's mother played by "Oscar Queen" Judi Dench is the cold-hearted woman behind the equally cold Edgar. The acting as an ensemble is deserving of serious praise, yet bad make-up and lighting (most notably with Armie Hammer's older version of Tolson) makes the film feel far less authentic and far more like a scant high school theatre production. Still, credit DiCaprio for portraying Edgar. He brought his "A game," and deserves an Oscar nomination without a doubt.

In the end, it's hard to say who J. Edgar Hoover really was, which is quite possibly to biggest disservice the film does for it's audience. There is seemingly too much going on at too many different times. A narrative structure like this would better suit a drug addict diva--Lindsay Lohan perhaps? (Now there's an idea!). Regardless, it is worth at least a Redbox viewing as DiCaprio's performance is haunting and eerily captivating.


And please, please, please Clint.... Start making good movies again!

'Cause I be startin to lose some serious interest...

#entertainme #losingpatience

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I found something...

Awwww shoot! Just when I thought my day couldn't get any worse.......... It didn't :)

Instead... quite possibly my favorite song of all time (Not to discredit or dismiss "Heaven is a Place on Earth by: Belinda Carlisle) blasts from 97.1 ZHT just in time to save my day...

Yep, we found love... I don't know what it is about this sound that gets me happy, but it never ceases to disappoint. If "We Found Love" were a cookie it would be an Oreo dipped in chocolate and Carmel, with Swedish fish sprinkled on top, and a dash of Adderall for good measure. Yep, It is THAT good!

Anyway, come back tomorrow for an actual blog post on movies... I'm honoring Veteran's Day by naming my favorite war movies of all time... It should be good--unless I get distracted and just happen to wander to Krispy Kreme for a fresh hot donut (That sounded sexual..eek).

Blogatcha in a bit...


One of those days...

Seriously, one of those days where you go, "Is this it?" I need a laugh on the fly... something to cheer me up and of course there's NO Jersey Shore in sight nor is there Michael Scott. Why am I having "one of those days" where everything, including my Mickey D's snack wrap is far from satisfying... I dunno. Maybe it's the lack of sleep or the lack of Bridesmaids in my life? (Kristen Wigg, please make a sequel!) Maybe it's because JoePa is no longer a college football coach? Maybe it's the fat that I can't get the song "Can't stop falling in love," from the Like Crazy trailer out of my head (It's now officially on repeat on my iPod).

And maybe most of all it's just one of those days... Meh

Regardless, It is what it is...

Off to African American Lit.
If you see me maybe you could tell me this...

Yep, if someone said this to me, it'd definitely make my day...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

July 2012... get here... MEOW!

So, I'm a huge Batman fan which I realize is like saying Lindsay Lohan likes alcohol or Oprah Winfrey likes Hometown Buffet. Regardless, I'm beyond excited for this next installment of Christopher Nolans-- The Dark Knight Rises. Though I try not to be spoiled... I just can't help myself. EVER. I found this awesome and dare I say "bitchin" (can we say bitchin on the internet?) set video from the NYC where Rises was filming... I promise it aint too spoilery... After all, this film is directed by Mr. Nolan and judging by any of his films we never have any clue what's going on till we actually see it.

Ch-Ch-Check it out!


 ...And just the thing to pull me out of my melancholy (English major vocab.) today... Needed that like The Office needs a Michael Scott comeback.


I Like This Trailer... Like Crazy

Seriously... Amanda Mitchell you're going to hell for making me watch this trailer. I'm now officially obsessed. It has consumed my life... So thanks for that! :)

Maybe I'm in a depressing mood about love.. or maybe not... Maybe Brit can cheer me up?

Maybe not....

 Regardless check out the trailer... It's like Pringles and Adderall.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 1...

The blog has officially been launched... Should've done this earlier, but alas here I am... More to come! (That's what she said).

Off to "smoosh" for now...