What’s to come in 2016

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How are you all doing on this day? If you’re not doing well then do something to feel/do better. Anyhow, I just wanted to come here and talk about what you might expect from me in the year that is dawning upon us. But before we get into that I just wanted to thank you all for an awesome year and hope 2016 will be just as good if not even better.

So first off I wanna mention that I will bring you a review of the first season of “Fargo” very soon. And while I haven’t seen the original Coen brothers movie I still feel confident in my decision to watch/review the show. It will also be pretty easy for me to review the seasons individually because of the show being an anthology series. You know, when every season focuses on different stories/characters within similar themes.

Relatively soon I will give you my list of my most anticipated movies of 2016 which is kind of difficult to make into a decently sized list. And by decently sized I mean not too long, not too short. I am struggling a lot with the list but I think it’ll all turn out well… hopefully.

In April you can expect me to give you a review of the second season of “Daredevil” which will be dropping then. Back in April of this year (yes, still 2015 for at least a few more hours here) I did in fact review season 1 which I absolutely fucking loved. And I am looking forward to seeing what they bring in season 2 when they introduce Elektra (Elodie Young) and The Punisher (Jon Bernthal).

Over the coming spring I will bring you reviews of all the “Bourne” movies leading up to the release of the fifth (and untitled) one in July. I can say this, I am a big fan of the series already but feel that it’s necessary to rewatch them all and see how they hold up. Yes, even the Jeremy Renner one, that one won’t get away from me. So that is something I am looking forward to.

Sometime in January will be this blog’s 2nd anniversary, so I will try to cook something fun up for that. Maybe you could leave some suggestions in the comments.

At some point during the year of 2016 I will attempt to start a podcast where I will talk about movies, music, games, TV, books and other things with friends and other people. I don’t know when I will be able to get that shit up and running, but at some point it will come. By the way, if you know any good (free/legal) computer programs to record skype calls with, that’d be great if you could mention it.

And that’s it really. Well, at least that I know for sure will happen on this blog in 2016. For everything else I will pretty much wing it. Got any suggestions for fun things I could do? Leave comment or something, I don’t know. Maybe tweet it @TheMarckoguy. You should follow me there in general if you didn’t do it already because there are important updates/teases there all the time. There is also stupid bullshit, but we all enjoy that kind of stuff. And now I will leave you here with Mr. Healey and his gang.

 

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2015 in review

“The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.” – WordPress, 2015 (I think)

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,700 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Looking back at this year I seem to have gained a bigger following than I had during my first year on wordpress. I have gotten a lot of views from various people around the world whether they were following me or not. And just like in 2014 I seem to have made some friends thanks to this damn thing. So yeah… 2015 was a good year for me here and I hope that I will have just as good of a time in 2016 which I think will be a great year for a silly snake like me.

Have a good one!

 

 

 

 

 

Movie Review: The Gift (2015)

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Good thing I decided to see this movie AFTER christmas and not slightly before or right around it. Because then I would probably be paranoid about the presents I got.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Gift”.

Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) are a happily married couple who just moved to California to sort of start their life anew. Then one day they meet Gordo (Joel Edgerton) who is a man Simon went to school with once upon a time. So when they get aquainted with eachother Gordo starts leaving them gifts and he’s being really creepy and we now have a thriller. But it’s not just your typical stalker-thriller because it also throughout the movie presents an interesting backstory and we get some secrets revealed which makes everything so much more unique and interesting. And through the netire movie I was invested in the story and I was constantly on the edge of my seat, especially during the finale which absolutely blew my mind and knocked me flat on the ground. That is when everything just comes together and just gives you one of the most dramatic gut-punches ever. I absolutely enjoyed every second of the plot and it was all very interesting to watch it unfold.

The characters in this movie were all in some way damaged and it clearly showed in their expressions and it’s one of the things that makes them so interesting to watch. Ot also helps that the acting in the movie was good. Jason Bateman in this movie blew me away. Usually when I see him in a movie I go “Hey, I like you, Jason Bateman” because he’s a likable comedic actor. However I never feel like he has ever disappeared into a role… until now. When I watched this movie, Jason Bateman disappeared and we got this very compelling character who had something he wanted to keep hidden. Rebecca Hall was fantastic in the movie as Bateman’s wife who experiences all of this shit happening. Joel Edgerton… Joel Edgerton gave an absolutely fantastic performance as this pretty creepy and awkward guy. This is a role that could so easily be terrible and would ruin the movie, but thanks to Edgerton being so subdued with his performance, he absolutely nails it. Every actor does in fact do great jobs in the movie.

The score for the movie was a collaborative effort by Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans. And it was actually good. For the most part it was pretty low-key. Stayed as ambient noise in the background but also showed itself a good amount from time to time to enhance the tension of a scene. And all of the tracks were used to great effect in the scenes they were in.

So this movie was directed by… Joel Edgerton? Yeah, it apparently seems like one of the stars of this movie was the director… and screenwriter as well. And I have to say that he did fantasticly with those duties. There are a lot of slow camera movements in this movie that gets to linger on certain scenes which makes for a gorgeous looking movie and for a little bit of suspense building. There is one shot in the movie that is completely static but it’s really a fantastic shot that features to characters on opposite ends of the screen. And the dialogue in the movie was really good as well, very smart and realistic. And like I said, the final act of this movie is absolutely amazing, one of the best I’ve seen in a while, featuring a twist or two that made me go “holy fucking shit”. Yeah… well done, Edgerton. Oh, I also have to mention that the trailer for this movie was pretty awful, so stay away from that if you wanna watch this movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 77/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,2/10.

“The Gift” is one of the biggest surprises in quite some time for me. It features a smart & suspenseful story with an amazing finale, fantastic performances, a great soundtrack, terrific directing and really good dialogue. Time for my final score. Ooo, present! *Rips paper, opens box*. Oh, the final score… cool. My final score for “The Gift” is a 9,88/10. It most certainly gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “The Gift” is now completed.

WHAT’S IN THE BOOOOX!?

Movie Review: Cop Car (2015)

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I wouldn’t really say that there are a lot of independent movies featured on my blog. There is maybe one or two every now and then, but not a lot. So let’s review one right now!

Ladies and gentlemen, don’t steal a fucking… “Cop Car”.

During what I would call an adventure, two boys (James Freedson-Jackson and Hays Wellford) find an abandoned police car that still has the keys in it for some reason. So the boys take it for a bit of a joyride. What they don’t know is that they stole it from a pretty corrupt cop (Kevin Bacon and his very interesting mustache). And now we get to see the boys fuck around with the car while the officer tries to find out what happened to his car and where it is. And for most of the movie I think the plot worked. From a basic standpoint, the idea of the plot is pretty unique and actually somewhat realistic. I mean, these kids seem around 10 and I do think that if a pair of 10 year olds would find an abandoned car with the keys in it they would take it. However, I did say that the plot worked mostly. And what I mean is that towards the end it starts falling apart and it starts turning into a less realistic B-movie. And based on that I feel like the movie wouldn’t become as great as it could have.

The characters might not have big arc they follow, but at least they’re entertaining. Kevin Bacon is absolutely fantastic as this really corrupt Sheriff who jsut lost his car which happen to be filled with guns and a few other surprises. But it’s great to see Kevin Bacon in a great role like this. Although I do wonder about that mustache of his. Anyway, what else is there? Oh yeah, the two leading kids… they are surprisingly good. Having kids act in a movie is a big gamble since they very often turn out pretty awful. However in this movie the kids actually give very good performances, at least from a child actor standpoint. Shea Whigham is also really good in his role. Every actor seen in the movie does a great job.

The score for “Cop Car” was composed by Phil Mossman and it was pretty good. Nothing mindblowing or great, but still good. It worked for the movie and helped build a little bit of tension at a few points. It’s pretty well composed and never distracts or ruins anything.

This movie was directed by Jon Watts and despite not really knowing anything about him prior to seeing this movie, I thought he did a great job directing this movie. The shots look great and everything is steady. I also love a lot of the environments you get to see in the movie, the southern states have some pretty great sights that work very well in movies. Also, here is a fun fact about the movie for you: The dispatch voice that you hear throughout the movie was provided by Kyra Sedgwick who is married to Kevin Bacon.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 79% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 66/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,2/10.

“Cop Car” has a very original idea for it’s plot and it works all the way except for the end. But the movie also has really good acting, good music and excellent directing. Time for my final score. *EEEEOOOOOEEEEEOOOO*. My final score for “Cop Car” is an 8,70/10. I think that it’s worth buying.
Worth buying

¨Cop Car” is now reviewed.

Kids’ll be kids… Hicks’ll be dicks.

Movie Review: Sicario (2015)

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The war on drugs is one that I would dare call a neverending story. Take one distributor down, another will pick up the torch. And that is how it’s gonna go forever until the world gets swallowed by the sun. Although I have to admit, it is fun hearing about law enforcement actually succeeding in taking down big drug lords.

Ladies and gents… “Sicario”.

Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is an FBI agent who have been hired by the government to work with a special task force to try to find ways to take down some big Mexican drug cartels. And at the forfront of this task force we find it’s leader Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and the mysterious Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro). So now we get to see Kate work with these men to find a way to take down these cartels while also experiencing some intense shit. And I absolutely loved the plot of this movie. Sure, it’s quite a simple and not too original idea, but the execution of it is absolutely outstanding. The plot has a lot of suspense which makes for an interesting watch, but it also presents a few pretty great plot twists along the way that I didn’t see coming. I really loved every part of the plot of this movie.

The characters all have several layers to them and they’re all very interesting. Emily Blunt is absolutely fantastic in the movie. The longer her career goes on, the better she seems to get. There are so many little nuances to her performance that just make it all the more impressive. Josh Brolin plays what I would call the team leader of this task force and he’s excellent in the movie. What is so interesting too is that he brings a bit of levity to the movie without it feeling forced and terrible, his humor works in the movie. And then we have Benicio Del Toro…. Del Toro is fucking fantastic in this movie. Throughout the movie you don’t know much about him as a character, and that is what makes him so interesting. And Benicio’s performance just makes it so much better because of how great he is in this movie. We also get some really good supporting performances from actors like Victor Garber, Jeffrey Donovan, Jon Bernthal and Daniel Kaluuya. There is no such thing as a bad performance in this movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Jóhann Jóhannsson and I would say that it’s pretty amazing. It’s heavy, intense and dark. A lot of times throughout the movie it helps to build tension and even make the scenes a bit disturbing because of the style of the score. But that’s jsut a great thing because it then evokes some kind of emotional response from the viewer.

The movie was directed by Denis Villneuve who also made the movies “Prisoners” and “Enemy”, two movies I really loved. So you can see how I had pretty high hopes for this movie in terms of directing. And my expectations were met because this is one of the most well directed movies of the year. And thank you so much, Mr. Vileneuve for bringing back Roger Deakins to do the cinematography because the movie looks absolutely amazing. A good example I can give that doesn’t spoil anything are the nighttime scenes which actually look like it’s nighttime. You know how in movies people’s faces are all lit up in an unnatural manner as if there were studio lights there? Well there is none of that bullshit here, this shit looks real. Remember that extreme tension I mentioned early on in the review? Yeah, that also translates into the action scenes in the movie and that makes the scenes as terrific as they are. And the gunshots all sound pretty real too, kind of like in a Michael Mann movie. I also have to mention that “Sicario” is a lot like “Se7en” in a few scenes. And what I mean by that is that you get to see some fucked up shit that will make you sick to your stomach if you’re a normal person. So yeah… don’t eat anything when watching this movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 81/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,9/10.

“Sicario” is a drug bust movie with a great plot with some unexpected twists, interesting characters & fantastic acting, a fantastic score, excellent directing, gorgeous cinematography and some fantastic “edge of your seat” tension. TIme for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Sicario” is a 9,90/10. It most certainly gets the one and only “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Sicario” is now completed.

Well… I guess Benicio is cool again.

12 Songs of Christmas (Final Part)

Ladies, gentlemen and others… we are finally here. The final part (at least for this year) of my little series “12 Songs of Christmas”. I think we all have kind of enjoyed it to some extent, haven’t we? I believe each and everyone of us could find a song we liked among the ones I have shared over the past 12 days. And now it is time for one final christmas song for us all to enjoy together.

So for the last song I chose “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” because of reasons I will explain. First off, you can never get enough of the magic of Sinatra. Secondly, it is a beautiful little christmas ballad with very nice lyrics that at least makes me feel good inside. And third… It’s Frank Sinatra… his voice is one of the best voices ever. These are the main factors really, it’s quite simple to explain why I chose this song as the finale for our little christmas journey this year.
Enjoy!

12 Songs of Christmas (Part 11)

We’re almost at the end, my friends. Only one more of these dumb things after today. So I guess we should take our time with this one since it’s the second to last christmas song shared (for this year). Or we just do this and see how long it’ll become. Fuck it, let’s do this.

The song I chose for this day is one I have wanted to use for quite some time but knew would fit better near the end of it all. It is “The Season’s Upon Us” by Dropkick Murphys. As the song starts it sounds a lot like your typical happy christmas song, but as it goes on it gets meaner and meaner while also giving us a bit of insight into the most dysfunctional family of all time. In the song we hear about how the narrator (as I call him) hates his family and don’t want to celebrate the holiday with them. He hates his sisters, he thinks their husbands are losers (and so are their sons) and there is even a bit of child abuse in there as well. And all of it, combined with the video makes for one of the most hilarious christmas things ever. The video is funny, the lyrics are funny and honestly, the overall composition of the music is superb. This is a really great christmas song that I love to listen to and that is why I shared it.
Enjoy!

Movie Review: Jingle All the Way (1996)

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I know there’s been a lack of christmas movies on my blog this december, but I really haven’t prioritized them at all. I also couldn’t think of any I wanted to review… except for one. And the only reason I wanted to do that was because of one man, and that man is Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Jingle All the Way”.

Howard Langston (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a man who rarely gets to spend time with his family which is a huge disappointment for his son (Jake Lloyd). So to make it up to him, Howard has promised his son that he will get him the one thing he wants most out of everything in the world… a “Turbo Man” action figure. As you may suspect, this is the hottest toy on the market and it’s basically sold out everywhere and Howard has to find a way to get one before christmas day strikes. And from that we get slapstick, stupidity and even a little bit of clever satire. Don’t get me wrong, the plot of this movie is all over the place but there were times in the movie where I felt that there was a bit of smart commentary on people as consumers, especially around the holidays. But that was brief and we get more stupid shit. So I am very split when it comes to the plot about the movie. I guess I could appreciate it a bit more if there was a clear and good moral to the story, but since there is none I can’t have that level appreciation for the plot of the movie.

The characters are all selfish bastards and somehow I don’t completely hate them. I guess that it’s because they got a certain level of charm to them. Arnold is just as entertaining as he usually is, giving some funny/terrible one-liners and “classic” quotes. And I’m not gonna lie, his performance even though it was silly, wasn’t half bad. Jake Lloyd as his son, while not giving a “good” performance, wasn’t god-awful and actually kind of worked. I mean, he wasn’t “Phantom Menace” bad. Sinbad as the man is called plays a mailman who Arnold runs into throughout the movie and he was pretty good in his role I guess. Phil Hartman (R.I.P) plays Arnold’s slimy, goody-two-shoes neighbor and he was good in his role. And Rita Wilson as Arnold’s wife was good too. Most actors did a good job in the movie I suppose, it’s hard to say when it’s such a weird movie.

The original score for “Jingle All the Way” was composed by David Newman and it wasn’t bad. It’s your typcial holiday/slapstick style and it works for the movie. I mean, it is pretty well composed. Then we have a good mix of licensed christmas songs as well in the movie and they all worked where they were used. There is a good mix of different artists in the soundtrack which makes for a good soundtrack.

The movie was directed by Brian Levant and looking at his imdb page makes me scared. As far as my eye can see, there is not good movie in his list at all. But I shouldn’t focus on those other atrocities, I should focus on “Jingle All the Way”. This movie is not poorly directed, but I feel like the style is so simple and standard that I don’t feel any originality or personal style to make it all stand out in any way. What I am trying to say is that the movie is visually forgettable.
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Sorry, Arnold… but this is an honest review.
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This movie hasn’t been that well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 17% (ouch) positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t even exist. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 5,4/10.

“Jingle All the Way” is a bit of a mixed bag. It has a stupid plot that is all over the place, but the characters are pretty fun and the soundtrack is great. However the directing is pretty meh. Time for my final score. PUT DAT COOKIE DOOOWN! My final score for “Jingle All the Way” is a 6,74/10. I think it’s worth a rental.
Rent it

“Jingle All the Way” is now reviewed.

I’m sorry about that, Arnold. But even though the movie was meh, I still love you.
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12 Songs of Christmas (Part 10)

Good evening and welcome to you, reader of blog posts. It is once again time for me to share a christmas song with y’all. And what a wonderful time it is (Teehee).

So for this one I decided it was nothing short of appropriate to share a christmas song that feels more like christmas build-up than straight up “it’s christmas”, you know, now that it is only about two days left until the big day itself. The song I will be sharing tonight is the classic song “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” (what a mouthful) by Andy Williams. Every time I hear this song it makes me happy. It’s just one of those songs filled with so much energy and joy that it kind of rubs off on you. What I gathered from it is that it’s just a simple yet joyful tribute to the aptly titled most wonderful time of the year. I absolutely love this song and how it fits Williams’ voice so damn well.
Enjoy!

Movie Review: The Martian (2015)

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With the amount of sci-fi movies being released every year, there aren’t always that many that stay more grounded and realistic. Sure, sci-fi/action movies are great, but sometimes you need something more realistic to balance everything out. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen, this man is… “The Martian”.

Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is an astronaut/botanist. And as we meet him, he wakes up on Mars after his team left him during a storm. So now he have to try to survive all alone, using only his wits and his smarts and a very limited supply of resources. All this while the people over at NASA try to find a way to get him back. And based on the plot there is only one conclusion that we all can draw; this is “Apollo 13” meets “Cast Away”. And I’m not the only one who have said this, a lot of people have come to the same conclusion. Now here is the important question: Is the plot of “The Martian” any good? Yeah… it is. First off, you care for this guy so much and you really want him to make it back home. Secondly, it is just intriguing to see what he will do next to try to survive on this big-ass desert. And the side-plot on planet earth with NASA trying to get him back is really good as well, surprisingly so. All of it was in fact really good.

The character of Mark Watney is one of the most likable bastards I have ever gotten to know in a movie. Most people in this type of situation would be sad, down and all like “I’m gonna die!”. So instead of Watney being like that, he is one of the most optimistic people ever. And Matt Damon gives a fantastic performance as this man stuck on Mars. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays the man who’s pretty much in charge on earth with the hole “Get him back” plot, and he is pretty damn great in the role. And the people who were part of Watney’s team who we get to know are all great too. Also, Jeff Daniels, how great it is to see you in a great role! Then we have a bunch of other actors as well and they are all great in their respective roles.

The original score of “The Martian” was composed by Harry Gregson-Williams who I personally am a big fan of. And once again he delivered a great original score. A lot of it is typical sci-fi stuff, but it’s at the same time big, emotional and surprisingly thought-provoking. And all those tracks were used very well. There were also a good amount of licensed tracks in the movie and they all fit well into the spots where they were used. I was especially happy when they used “Starman” by David Bowie because not only do I think it’s a great song, but it also worked for the tone of this movie.

This movie was directed by Ridley Scott and that was one of the things I really had high hopes for going into this movie. Because even if the movies he makes aren’t that great, they are all very well directed. And “The Martian” is not exception, it is a terrifically directed movie with some beautiful and steady shots. And the visual effects are all fantastic, all of them looking very real. What I was surprised by however was that this movie was pretty hilarious with a lot of great jokes in there. Now don’t get me wrong, this movie isn’t all shits and giggles, because there this is generally speaking a very serious movie. For example: early on in the movie we get to see Matt Damon pulling some shrapnel out of himself without any anesthesia and also fix the wound… that is pure suspense and drama and it’s one of the reasons why this movie is as good as it is.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 93% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 80/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,2/10 and is ranked #169 on the “Top 250” list.

“The Martian” is a sci-fi movie with a great plot, great hcaracters & acting, a fantastic soundtrack, great directing, great suspense and some surprisingly good comedy. Time for my final score. SPAAAAACE! My final score for “The Martian” is a 9,84/10. It most definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “The Martian” is now completed.

I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this