movie: Inherent Vice

Ah yes. A movie post. It seems like such an easy thing. And yet, I’ve been having some trouble writing one. I’ve had a lot of stuff going on, not all of which is taking me in the direction I need to move. Anyway.

The husband and I saw a trailer for this on some other movie we were watching, so we added it to the Netflix queue. It was weird because it has this great cast and we had never heard of it. Now that I’ve watched it, I think I know why.

vice cover
Description from IMDB: “During the psychedelic 60s and 70s Larry “Doc” Sportello is surprised by his former girlfriend and her plot for her billionaire boyfriend, his wife, and her boyfriend. A plan for kidnapping gets shaken up by the oddball characters entangled in this groovy kidnapping romp based upon the novel by Thomas Pynchon.”

Okay, this movie is weird. Not like Lost Highway weird, but weird in its own quirky, what-the-heck-am-I-watching kind of way. It stars Joaquin (yes I had to look that up in order to spell it correctly) Phoenix as Hippie Wolverine a private investigator named Doc in 1970.

The movie is LONG (148 minutes) for what it is. It also veers wildly from slow to hilarious to weird and back again. If someone were to take this movie and condense it down to the best, say, hour to an hour and a half, it could be great. But they didn’t do that.

By far the best scenes were the ones between Doc and a cop he called “Bigfoot”. Bigfoot (Josh Brolin) is this big, old school manly, conservative police officer who hates hippies. The two of them have this frenemy thing going on. They antagonize each other in a hilarious manner, but they also kind of like each other at the same time.

So yeah, the movie definitely has its bright points if you’re willing to sit through the wait. Overall, I would give this one a C+.

Advertisements

Movie Twofer: John Wick and Maleficent

Hey there! Just popping on for a few minutes. The time/energy crunch has been kind of rough lately, so blogging has kind of fallen by the wayside. Writing and editing activities have slowed significantly as well. I may post a writing update later this week.

john wick

Description from IMDB: “An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him.”
John Wick’s wife dies. Some bad guys wrong him. He goes on the rampage.

This movie is colorful and stylish, very exciting to watch, but the plot is predictable. As usual, Keanu’s acting is monotone. At this point, that’s pretty much his modus operandi, right? I know these comments probably make it seem like I didn’t like the movie, but I did.
The fight scenes are graceful. I don’t know if it was Keanu or a stunt guy or a mix of the two. The movie was visually interesting. John Wick gets a B+.

——————————————————————————————————————

maleficent
Description from IMDB: “A vengeful fairy is driven to curse an infant princess, only to discover that the child may be the one person who can restore peace to their troubled land.”

I LOVE this movie. I’m actually thinking about buying it.

First off, any story that blurs the line between good and evil is a-okay with me. Maleficent is a more complex character in this than she was in the original Disney Sleeping Beauty movie. The story itself is also more complex and the world is more developed and colorful. The magical creatures are crazy and alien looking.

Maleficent has some great battles and humor and bonding. It gets an A.

movie: A Million Ways to Die in the West

Movie: A Million Ways to Die in the West

Whattup, internets? This is me blogging 2 weeks in row. #winning

This weekend, we watched A Million Ways to Die in the West.

million ways to die in the west

Description from IMDB: “As a cowardly farmer begins to fall for the mysterious new woman in town, he must put his new-found courage to the test when her husband, a notorious gun-slinger, announces his arrival.”

This is a Seth MacFarlane movie. If you’re looking for sophistication, pass on this one. If you can’t laugh at absurdity or raunchiness, pass on this movie.

That being said, I’m not sure Seth MacFarlane can actually act. I liked his character fine, but he just seemed like he was playing himself. As far as the rest of the primary cast, they are awesome: Charlize Theron, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman, Liam Neeson, the list goes on.

The humor is mostly lowbrow, which is fine and dandy with me. I enjoy that business. The story is decent but pretty predictable.

A Million Ways to Die in the West is entertaining. It gets a B+.

I am participating in NanoWriMo this year, which is a month of crazy productive writing. I probably won’t do any movie reviews or real posts during November. I may, however, pop by and provide updates.

movie: Oculus

I finally got to watch a movie this weekend! I should say that I finally got to watch a whole movie. We actually tried to watch one last weekend. It was the latest Transformers movie. I didn’t do a review on it because I got bored in the middle of it and got up and walked away.

This one was much better.

oculus

Description from IMDB: “A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.”

Karen Gillan (of Doctor Who and Guardians of the Galaxy) plays Kaylie Russell. She’s the one trying to exonerate her brother. Her character is smart. She comes up with all of these ways to try and outsmart the scary mirror ghost: timers, and plants, even a dog.

The brother, Tim, isn’t so sure about this plan. He has spent years in a mental institution trying to get past the trauma he suffered as a kid. Now, sister dearest is bringing it all up again.

Oculus is pretty good. There’s a lot of oh-you-thought-this-was-happening-but-it-was-really-this! HAHA! It’s pretty light on special effects. I would’ve liked to have seen more of the actual ghost.

Good times, though. Oculus gets a B+.

movie 300: Rise of an Empire

I am present on the blog! I have gotten out of the habit of posting, and that’s bad. I need to try and carve out some time to post more. I have been writing, believe it or not, just not here.

Description from IMDB: “Greek general Themistokles leads the charge against invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.”

This movie was very interesting. There is some confusion at the beginning (or at least I was confused) as to when this part of the story occurs. The action seems to jump around the timeline a bit around the defeat of the 300

SO, the biggest conflict is Themistokles versus Artemisia (played by Penny Dreadful’s Eva Greene). Artemisia is a ruthless commander. She is also advisor/sort of sister to Xerxes (bald dude with crazy piercings). Her character was nuts, as was her wardrobe. There was one outfit that was black with gold spikey vertebrae sticking out the back.

Themistokles was a pretty good character, too, but not quite as interesting. He was very intelligent, however. They both were. They used some battle strategies that were very cool. There were some boat battles. Lots of blood splattering. The splattering got old after a while.

As with the first 300 movie, there was some great imagery. Slow motion sequences. Bodies sinking under the water sequences. There were some weird cat-like creatures and mastodons that appeared briefly.

The story was good. Characters were good. If you liked the first movie, you would probably like this one. I did. 300: Rise of an Empire gets an A-.

movie: The Monuments Men

monuments men

Description from IMDB: “An unlikely World War II platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.”

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I thought it was a comedy. It isn’t. It’s actually more than a comedy.

First, the cast is amazing: George Clooney, John Goodman, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, and other superb actors. You can’t go wrong, really.

The story is really deep as far as subject matter. Which, how could a story set in World War II not be deep? It dwells on sacrifice a lot. Is art worth the sacrifice of human life? There was also the question of what makes a soldier. Is it always a man with a gun?

The movie does have some very funny parts. The trailer didn’t lie about that. But Monuments Men is also profound and tragic and joyful. It veers into tense when it needs to. The movie is a tad long, but it’s a story worth chewing on, so I give it a pass on that. It is definitely worth a watch.

The Monuments Men gets a big, giant A.

movie: Twixt

 

twixt

 

 

What is up? I have a movie this week!

Description from IMDB: “A writer with a declining career arrives in a small town as part of his book tour and gets caught up in a murder mystery involving a young girl. That night in a dream, he is approached by a mysterious young ghost named V. He’s unsure of her connection to the murder in the town, but is grateful for the story being handed to him. Ultimately he is led to the truth of the story, surprised to find that the ending has more to do with his own life than he could ever have anticipated.

– Written by Production”

I watched this movie on Netflix streaming. I had my eye on it and finally got around to watching it this past weekend.

Twixt is very visually interesting. There’s a lot of play on color. Filming shifts to black and white at night (hey, that rhymes!) with only shades of red poking through, a la Sin City, and sometimes lamplight, if I remember correctly. In fact, there were a few spots where the filming reminded me of Sin City in other ways.

Another thing I liked about the movie was the fact that Edgar Allan Poe was a character. He visited in ghost form at night and talked in a Poe sort of way, which gave me very happy feelings. It was kind of odd, though. In fact, there were a few odd things about this movie.

The plot itself was kind of all over the place. They might’ve tried to do a little too much. We have the ghost named “V”, the writer, Hall Baltimore (dorky name, right?) and his various personal issues, Poe and his interactions with Hall, the goth people partying on the side of the lake and the weird religious guy and a bunch of kids on the other side of the lake, a sheriff investigating some local murders.

It’s a lot to take in, which doesn’t necessarily make it a bad movie, but Twixt definitely isn’t for everyone. I enjoyed watching it well enough. It’s not the best movie ever. I am glad that I finally got around to it.