Great Music #23

Hey guys. It’s that time again where I share a song that I like. Sounds good? Alright, on with the show.

So what song are we taking a look at today? A badass metal track? A moody blues tune? A cool rock song? Well, no. Not really. The song we’re talking about today is “Raise Your Glass” by Pink. Yeah, we’re talking about a pop song that was a pretty big radio hit. Kind of a departure from the music I usually talk about here, isn’t it? But to be honest, I love Pink… she’s  one of my favorite artists. She’s never been one of the typical pop princess artists. She’s always kind of done her own thing, which makes for some fucking awesome songs. Her combination of pop, rock, and a devil may care attitude makes me appreciate her as an artist so much. And this song is jsut something that makes me respect her a bit more. This song is really an ode to the less popular people in the world, the “weirdos” as you could call them. Like the lyrics say “Raise Your Glass if you are wrong, in all the right ways”. Really, it’s a tribute to people who are who they are. And that is something I appreciate. Really, if you wanna be weird, be weird. As long as you’re happy with yourself. I raise my glass to all you awesome motherfuckers out there!
Have a good one and enjoy!

Movie Review: Girl, Interrupted (1999)

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Hello there, guys! The “Mangoldathon” continues! What, you thought I forgot about it? Pfff… no. Anyhow, let’s get into it!

Disclaimer: I know this thing is based on a true story, but I will not base my review on how perfectly accurate to the real situation it may or may not be, but I will instead judge it as a movie… which it is. Disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Girl, Interrupted”.

Susanna Kaysen (Winona Ryder) is a troubled young woman who in the 1960s gets put in a mental hospital. And we follow her as she gets to know her fellow inmates and also maybe learn a bit more about herself. While the plot itself was good, I never found myself fully invested in it. I mean, it wasn’t bad at all, and I was never bored… but I also never felt “Yeah, this is really immersive and investing”. And that’s a bit of a shame, really. Because like I said, the plot in itself isn’t bad, and it is clearly aimed to be dramatically investing… however I was never really invested in it. So it’s overall.. okay.

The characters in this movie are all very interesting. Winona Ryder is great as Susanna Kaysen, perfectly portraying the troubled young woman. Angelina Jolie plays Susanna’s fellow inmate, Lisa, and she is fantastic. Her performance is believable and also a million flavors of fun. Then we also get a whole bunch of great supporting performances from people like Brittany Murphy (R.I.P), Whoopi Goldberg, Jeffrey Tambor, Vanessa Redgrave, Jared Leto, and Elizabeth Moss. It’s a very well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Mychael Danna, and I think it’s really good. It was dramatic, it had some good energy to it, and it overall just fit the movie very well. There was also some really good use of licensed track in the movie, most notably “Downtown” by Petula Clark. The music in this movie is really good… not much else I can say about that.

As you probably picked up on through the intro of the review, this movie was directed by James Mangold. And he did a great job here. His directing is confident and it makes scenes flow very well which helps make the pace much better. It’s also a very good looking movie, with smooth camera movements and such.

This movie has gotten some mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 54% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 51/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best supporting actress (Jolie).

“Girl, Interrupted” is a flawed but still pretty solid drama. It has a pretty good plot, good characters, great acting, really good music, and great directing. However the plot isn’t as engaging as it should be. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Girl, Interrupted” is an 8,88/10. While flawed, it’s still worth buying.
worth-buying

My review of “Girl, Interrupted” is now completed.

I might review one more movie for the “Mangoldathon”. Not entirely sure yet.

 

Movie Review: The Road (2009)

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On the road again
Just can’t wait to get on the road again…

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Road”.

The world has gone to shit. Everything has turned into a fucking wasteland. And in this horrible place we follow a man (Viggo Mortensen) and his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) as they wander around, trying to survive as well as make it to the coast. And that’s it. No bigger conspiracy, no trying to figure out a way to fix the country, no zombies… just a man and his son trying to survive. That said, it’s still a very layered and interesting plot. Sure, the basic premise is very simple, but there’s still a lot of suspense and drama throughout the runtime that makes for an absolutely enthralling plot.

The characters in this movie are flawed, damaged, and really interesting. Viggo Mortensen is fantastic as the father, playing him as this stubborn and suspecting man that is very protective of his son. Kodi Smit-McPhee was great as the son, perfectly playing this vulnerable, curious, and kind of naïve little boy. We also get Charlize Theron in a bunch of flashbacks throughout the movie, and she is great in those scenes. Also, don’t be fooled by the big name actors whose names appear on the posters, they all appear in the movie very briefly. Sure, they all do a great job in the movie, but none of them are in it particularly long. That said, it was pretty cool seeing people like Robert Duvall, Garret Dillahunt, Guy Pearce, and Michael Kenneth Williams in here.

The score for the movie was composed by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis and fuck me, it is fantastic! There was never any doubt about to be honest, but it’s always fun to be right. It’s dramatic, haunting, emotional, tense, and just overall very well composed. It really fit this movie perfectly.

This movie was directed by John Hillcoat and I think that he did a great job with it. His directing is deliberately slow-paced and perfectly captures the feeling of the source material. That’s right, for those that didn’t already know… this is an adaptation of a book. It’s based on “The Road” (surprising, I know), which was written by American author Cormac McCarthy. And as someone that has read the book, I can safely say that the world I got in my head when reading the book got perfectly translated to the screen. The directing, cinematography, the feeling of unease… all of those things are present in this movie. I also want to mention that there is some slightly disturbing imagery in this movie… just so you know.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 75% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 64/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“The Road” is not only a great adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel, but it’s also an overall terrific movie. It features a great plot, good characters, great performances, fantastic music, great directing, and great cinematography. Time for my final score. *Cough*. My final score for “The Road” is a 9,88/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “The Road” is now completed.

Yep, this movie is as depressing as the book… greeeaaat.

 

Movie Review: Predestination (2014)

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Time. A very abstract concept that we are obsessed with. “How long is the movie?”, “What time is my doctor’s appointment?”, “What took you so fucking long?”. Pretty interesting stuff, especially when we start involving it in fiction and start messing with the ficitonal timelines.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Predestination”.

The story follows a temporal agent (Ethan Hawke) as he travels back in time to try to catch a very dangerous and elusive criminal. And without getting into spoilers, this is one of the most mind-bending and surprisingly compelling sci-fi plots that I have ever experienced. Really, the twists and turns throughout the movie really caught me off guard and truly fucked with my mind. Compelling, investing, clever, and thought-provoking… Yeah, I thought it was pretty great.

I was pretty quickly invested in the characters and I was endlessly interested/fascinated by them. Ethan Hawke is great as the main character, and I’ll just leave it at that. Sarah Snook was terrific as this person that Ethan Hawke meets in the movie, her character is also the most compelling one in the movie. Yeah, not much else to say here. NEXT!

The score for the movie was composed by Peter Spierig and it was really good. It was tense, dramatic, surprisingly emotional, and just overall fit the movie very well. Really can’t say much else here. It was a good score for the movie. Moving on!

This movie was directed by two brothers, Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig (Hey, Mr. Composer-man!). And the directing on display in this movie is really solid. For one, they really take their time with scenes and really let things simmer. There’s also a lot of suspense in their direction, making a lot of scenes really great, especially the parts when certain mindfucky things get revealed. Fun fact: The movie is apparently also based on a short story by Robert A. Heinlein, titled “All You Zombies”.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 69/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,5/10.

“Predestination” is one of the most surprisingly awesome movies that I have ever seen. It has a great plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing. Time for my final score. *Travels in time to fetch envelope*. My final score for “Predestination” is a 9,80/10. Which means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Predestination” is now completed.

Do you guys realize how difficult it is writing about a movie like this without ruining anything?

 

Movie Review: Unbreakable (2000)

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Oh, M. Night Shyamalan. You started out so amazingly with “The Sixth Sense” and in later years everything went to shit. But it seems like he’s making a bit of a return in the last few years. Gotta say, he’s quite the interesting individual.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Unbreakable”.

David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is the sole survivor of a horrible train accident. And soon he is approached by the mysterious Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) who suggests that David might have special abilities. And from this we get a slowly paced, subtle, suspenseful, and incredibly fascinating plot about self-discovery. I was invested throughout the entirety of the plot, getting sucked into the drama and getting genuinely surprised by some of the twists and turns throughout the movie. And the big twist at the end (without spoiling it) will polarize audiences. Some will love it, some will hate it. Me? I thought it was pretty great, adding a bit more weight to the already very well told story. Yeah, I think this movie has a great plot.

The characters in this movie are all layered and I thought they were interesting. Bruce Willis gave a great performance in this movie. His performance was very subtle and subdued and he was just great in the role. Samuel L. Jackson was great as Elijah Price, I felt a lot of sympathy for his character because of his disability (Osteogenesis imperfecta), and I think Jackson overall gave a great performance. Robin Wright was great as Dunn’s wife. Spencer Treat Clark played Dunn’s son and he was really good in it too. But yeah, the acting here is great.

The score for the movie was composed by James Newton Howard and wow, it was pretty fucking great. The stuff he composed was emotional, suspenseful, and even kind of thought-provoking, and absolutely helped elevate a lot of the movie’s scenes. A standout for me was the main theme, “Visions”. But like I said, the entire score is fucking great.

Like I mentioned at the start of this review, this movie was directed by the very polarizing M. Night Shyamlaman, and his direction here is terrific. What I like about it is that it lingers and let’s things sink in, unlike a lot of modern movies where there are plenty of cuts and such. Conversations often play out in one continuous shot and it really adds to the quality of it all in my opinion. His directing here is also very suspenseful, making for some pretty great scenes. I’ll also mention, Eduardo Serra’s cinematography is absolutely gorgeous.

This movie has been decently received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 68% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 62/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“Unbreakable” is a great movie that gives us an interesting twist on the superhero genre. It has a great plot, really good characters, great acting, great music, great directing, and great cinematography. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Unbreakable” is a 9,86/10. Which means it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “Unbreakable” is now completed.

Not gonna lie… I think I might like this a little bit more than “The Sixth Sense”…

 

My Favorite Scenes: Batman Begins – I’m Batman

Hello and welcome to this corpse of a series. For anyone new, “My Favorite Scenes” is the series where I take a look at scenes I like from movies and TV shows and share my thoughts on why I like them. Kind of self-explanatory. So let’s get into it!

So today, as you read in the title of the post, we are taking a look at a scene from a movie about the greatest superhero of all… Arm-Fall-Off Boy! I’m of course kidding, we’re actually talking about the god damn Batman. Though I will add that Arm-Fall-Off Boy is a very real superhero, feel free to google it if you don’t believe me.
“Batman Begins”, the 2005 reboot movie directed by Christoher Nolan that was a modest hit at the box office, and spawned two sequels, one of which earned an Oscar win for best supporting actor. Who knew a franchise about a grumpy billionaire dressing up like a crazy bat-person could be so beloved? Jokes aside, I love these movies. And to be quite honest, “Begins” is my favorite in the trilogy. Anyway, what scene are we talking about today? Well, it’s the scene in the movie where Batman (Christian Bale) officially comes to life. Carmine Falcone (Tom Wilkinson) is at this place filled with containers, overseeing his henchmen prepare drugs for transportation. Then suddenly, somethign happens. His henchmen start getting picked off, one by one. And finally, this weird entity pulls Falcone out of the car and utters the phrase “I’m Batman”. Yeah, I fucking love this scene. Not only because of the bit where Bale says “I’m Batman”, though that is amazing. This entire scene is actually really tense. The way Batman stalks the goons, taking them all out, it’s all very tense and almost a little scary. Say what you want about Nolan and his philosophical stuff, the dude knows how to build tension. And this scene proves it. From the tense stalking to the badass final “I’m Batman”, this scene is amazing.
Enjoy!

The “Samurai Jack” Season 5 Trailer is Here!

Hello there, guys. I hope you’re all doing well. There’s another trailer out that I want to talk about (rhymes, yo).

So we now have a full trailer for the fifth season of “Samurai Jack”. For anyone unfamiliar, “Samurai Jack” is a cartoon series created by Genndy Tartakovsky (Sidenote: Also created “Dexter’s Laboratory”). It follows a Samurai called Jack (Phil LaMarr) who gets sent forward in time by the evil demon known as Aku (Mako, R.I.P). This was done so Jack couldn’t stop Aku’s evil deeds. And now that Jack’s in the future, he has to find a way to go back to his time and stop Aku. And we follow Jack as he travels across the future world to try to find a way home. I remember watching this show a fair amount as a kid, thinking it was pretty cool. It had some badass action, some neat visuals, and an overall entertaining plot. However, the show was canceled after four seasons, so the show could never wrap up properly. So now we finally get a fifth season, 13 years later. Only this time there are a couple of differences. Number 1: Mako is not voicing Aku in this version. Mako, the legendary Japanese actor, unfortunately passed away in 2006. So now someone else will be voicing Aku, and I wish that person the best of luck. Number 2: The show will not air on Cartoon Network, instead it will air on Adult Swim… which technically is Cartoon Network, but later in the evening when the kids are in bed. This leads me to number 3: Holy fuck, there’s blood in this. The original run of “Samurai Jack” was on during the day on Cartoon Network and could therefore not have blood. They did creatively get around this by having all Jack’s enemies be robots, so they would maybe spill oil and such. #PGLoophole. But looking at this trailer, there is very clearly blood. And that is interesting to see since I grew up on a bloodless version. But yeah, I am kind of excited about this… it looks really badass. “Samurai Jack” season 5 is set to premiere in March of this year on Adult Swim.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited for this new season of “Samurai Jack”? And what do you think about the original seasons? Leave any and all thoughts in the comments!
Have a good one and enjoy the trailer!

Movie Review: State of Grace (1990)

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Don’t get involved with mobsters… EVER! It just brings trouble. Understood? Good.

Ladies and gentlemen… “State of Grace”.

Terry Noonan (Sean Penn) is an undercover cop who has returned to his old home of Hell’s Kitchen, New York, after being away for a certain amount of years. And soon he gets in touch with his old friend Jackie (Gary Oldman) who gets Terry involved with the Irish mob, led by Jackie’s brother, Frankie (Ed Harris). And soon Terry gets involved in some pretyt intense stuff. From this we get a surprisingly investing and very well told mob story. There are a few surprises strewn throughout the plot that really helped keep my interest. I’m not saying that they’re mindblowing twists, but they were most defiiinitely a little surprising. So yeah, the plot here is really solid.

I admit, the characters in thsi movie aren’t the most original when it comes to what type of character they all are. But I was definitely interested in all of them. Sean Penn is great as Terry, he perfectly plays this conflicted undercover cop. Ed Harris is great as the mob boss, but you knew that already… it’s Ed fucking Harris. Gary Oldman in this movie is fantastic, playing this very unhinged man. Really, he’s a blast to watch. Robin Wright plays the sister of Harris/Oldman that gets romantically involved with Terry, and she’s great in the role. Then we also get some really good supporting performances from people like John Turturro and John C. Reilly. A solid cast giving great performances… me likey.

The score for the movie was composed by the legendary Ennio Morricone, and he delivered some pretty great tunes, like he always does. The music is dramatic, tense, and it worked very well for the movie. And it just overall sounds great, because Ennio Morricone can do no wrong.

The movie was directed by Phil Joanou and Michael Lee Baron and they did a really solid job. Scenes flow smoothly and everything is just overall well handled. I of course also have to mention that the cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth looks great. But what else should one expect from the man who did the cinematography for “Blade Runner”. One final thing I also want to mention is that this movie contains one of the coolest shootouts that I have ever seen. It’s very late in the movie, but the wait is so worth it. The mix of visuals and sound is really great. It’s also really violent, so if you are squeamish you might not be the biggest fan.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. Roger Ebert gave it 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“State of Grace” is a really solid gangster movie. It has a really good plot, good characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and great cinematography. Time for my final score. *Bang*. My final score for “State of Grace” is a 9,79/10. So it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
seal-of-approval

My review of “State of Grace” is now completed.

Early 90s Gary Oldman would make a great Deadpool… just a thought.

“Stranger Things” season 2 Super Bowl trailer

Hello there, ladies and gentlemen. It’s time to once again talk about a trailer.

The Super Bowl was this weekend, and as someone who doesn’t like sports, I didn’t give two shits. The only thing about it that was exciting to me was the potential trailers that could come out of it. And it’s delivered with our first look the second season of Netflix’s “Stranger Things”. For anyone that’s been living under a rock for the past year, “Stranger Things” is a Netflix original scifi/mystery series heavily influenced by 1980s Steven Spielberg and Stephen King. I thoroughly enjoyed the first season, so I was excited when an ad for season 2 came out during the Super Bowl. So what do we see in this 30 second trailer/ad? Well… a lot of intensity and interesting stuff. Like I said, it’s only 30 second s long, and the shots are very rapidly edited, possibly to avoid too many spoilers. That said, I’m really looking forward to this. “Stranger Things” season 2 is set to come out on Halloween (spooky) of this year.

What are your thoughts? Are you looking forward to the second season of “Stranger Things”? And what do you think of the first season? leave any and all answers in the comments.
Enjoy the trailer.

Movie Review: Hail, Caesar! (2016)

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The movie industry, one of the biggest and most profitable industries in the world. It’s given us sooooo many hours of entertainment for such a long time that it’s kind of ridiculous. And not only is it guilty of giving us entertainment, but it’s also the thing that’s given this blog most of it’s content.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Hail, Caesar!”.

Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is a fixer for a big Hollywood studio in the 1950s. As a fixer, his job is to keep problems with actors, directors, and such to a minimum. And soon he gets a bit of a rough time when problems pour in from every possible direction. So what we have here is an odd crime-comedy-thing with a whole bunch of plot threads going on at the same time. And while that stuff can be interesting, I feel like the way it’s handled here is a bit messy. Not saying that any of the plots going on are bad, but it’s just that it’s kind of a fucking mess. I mean, I was constantly interested and entertained, but I feel like it could have been a bit more focused.

The characters are all interesting and very entertaining. I will mention that there are a shit-ton of big name actors in this movie, and instead of spending 50 hours listing them with one comment each, I will simply say that they all did a great job and I’m just gonna list their names. Cool? Cool. *Deep breath*. Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Alden Ehrenreich (First-timer, did a fantastic job), Ralph Fiennes, Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Jonah Hill, Clancy Brown, Alison Pill, Fisher Stevens, Christopher Lambert, David Krumholtz, and more. *Exhale*. God damn, there’s a lot of people in this movie!

The score for the movie was composed by Carter Burwell and it was fun, kind of quirky, and overall well composed. It fit the movie very well. There are even a few songs (as in musical numbers) in this movie performed by the actors, and they are surprisingly good and really catchy.

This movie was directed by the Coen brothers, and I think they did a great job here. There’s energy, there are clever moments, and there’s an overall sense of fun. And the cinematography by Roger Deakins is of course great, as per usual. The humor in this movie is also pretty solid. I’m not saying that every “funny” moment hit, but when it did hit… it hit very well. There’s one scene involving Alden Ehrenreich and Ralph Fiennes in this movie that is really damn funny, it’s most definitely my favorite scene in the entire movie.

This movie has gotten some slightly mixed reception. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 85% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 72/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,3/10. The movie has also been nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best production design. 

“Hail, Caesar!” is a fun homage to old school cinema. It has some okay plots, good characters, great performances, really good music, great directing, and some really good humor. However it is brought down by the plot being kind of messy. Time for my final score. *ACTION!*. My final score for “Hail, Caesar!” is an 8,87/10. So even if it’s messy, I ‘d still say it’s worth buying.
worth-buying

My review of “Hail, Caesar!” is now completed.

Alden Ehrenreich… I trust that you’ll make a good Han Solo (please!).