Great Music #4

Hi guys. Here again to share some great music (Because I can). This time I am sharing the beautiful (and tear-jerking) song “Tears in Heaven” by the masterful songwriter/musician Eric Clapton. He made the song as a tribute to his son who at a very young age died after falling from a very tall building. I love this song and I hope you do too.
Enjoy (the tears).

Series Review: Rectify – Season 1 (2013)

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Time for another series review (Yippee?). But this time we are stepping it down a little bit and instead of reviewing an entire show, we are only having a look at the first season of a show. This is a format I will go by if a show has multiple seasons and I have started it after I created my series reviews. So you won’t see any season-by-season reviews of “Arrow” or “Hell on Wheels” or other shows, those will get full on reviews whenever the show wrap up and I have finished them. Now that this disclaimer has been issued, let’s review this show.

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s all have a look at the first season of… “Rectify”.

Daniel Holden (Aden Young) has been on death row for 19 years after he raped and murdered his girlfriend. Although DNA evidence has now, after all this time, shown that it might not have been Daniel who did it. So now he is released back into the world, to reunite with his family which has changed a lot in the 19 years he’s been locked up. So we get to follow Daniel as he has to try to reintegrate himself into society with the help of his family. We also get to see how his family and other people try to cope with Daniel back out. Not gonna lie… I fucking loved the plot here. It’s incredibly fascinating to see how this man who has been locked away from society for so long try to become part of it again. Also, it’s a very quiet show. It is really about the little things in life, even though his release is a pretty damn big event. But like I said, it is a quiet show… until the explosive season finale which I will not spoil because I’m nice like that. But yeah, I found the drama extremely riveting and I loved it all.

The characters all feel fleshed out, unique and very real. Despite all being fictional characters made up for this show, they all feel like very real people. And I think part of that is because of some really good writing. Then of course also have the very grounded performances. Aden Young as Daniel is fantastic, giving a very subdued and quiet performance. I don’t know about you, but if I would get released after spending 19 years in isolation, I think I’d have a hard time fitting in, just like Daniel. And Young manages to capture that perfectly in his overall fantastic performance. Abigail Spencer plays Daniel’s younger sister, Amantha and she is pretty great in the show too. Her character is a little more talkative and “happy” (in lack of a better word) even though it’s weird for her that her older brother’s out of jail, and she is fantastic in her role. Every actor does in fact give a performance that is on one of two levels; great or fantastic. Also, I forgot to mention that the characters are very deep as well. Which is great because it just improves everything so much.

The score was done by composer Gabriel Mann and I have to say that it is one of the best scores I have ever heard. It is a very contemplative and thought provoking score, which perfectly suits the plot of the show in that sense. It is also overall very beautiful with perfect use of the instruments to create any mood the show wants to portray, even if it already does that perfectly through the writing and the acting. I would put it like this: The style of the score is a mix of the intro to Avenged Sevenfold’s “Afterlife” and the overall score of the show “Justified”. I don’t know if that is a good comparison, but we’ll go with it anyway. Despite my weird comparison, I think the score is pretty fantastic.

This show looks gorgeous. The directing is fantastic and so is the cinematography. It’s pretty stylish and unique in it’s look, but I don’t complain, it looks great and fits the show perfectly. Also, while I won’t compare too much here, there can be a lot of parallels drawn to “Breaking Bad” in the show’s overall style. But I guess that might come from the producers of “Rectify” who apparently also worked on “Breaking Bad”. And while I see a few similarities in style, “Rectify” does enough unique things to stand out as it’s own thing.

This show has been overall really well-received. Of course we are only taking a look at season 1 here, but still. On Rotten Tomatoes the season has a 90% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 82/100. And imdb.com has no average per season, so I’m just linking you to the overall imdb page.

“Rectify” season 1 is a great way to start up a show. It has a thought provoking & terrific plot, fantastic characters & performances, fantastic music, terrific directing & cinematography and some overall great drama. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for the first season of “Rectify” is a 9,89/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Season 1 of “Rectify” is now reviewed.

Sentenced to die, condemned to live.

 

Movie Review: Schindler’s List (1993)

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If everything looks dark it might be impossible to see something good. But remember that even if everything looks dark, there is still a light waiting to pierce through and help you through the darkness. Never give up hope, it might be what saves you one day.

Ladies and gentlemen, for the final day of summer I present to you… “Schindler’s List”.

In this movie we follow industrialist and ladies man Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) who starts getting concerned about his Jewish after seeing what the nazis do to them. And I’m not gonna lie, it was quite riveting. I was engaged and invested in this story throughout the entire three hour runtime. Rarely has a movie that long been able to keep my attention and be this interesting. The story is dark, beautiful and even a little bit scary. The shit that happened back then, the dark side of humanity, that is what scares me. But it also showed the kindness and courage people might show during these harsh times and that is what makes this plot so fantastic.

When the characters start feeling like real people in these terrible times, that is when you know you got some great characters. A lot of it comes from the excellent writing, but most of it comes from the fantastic performances. This is definitely the best I have ever seen Liam Neeson, he really disappeared into this man and he was no longer Liam Neeson to me, he was Oskar Schindler. Ben Kingsley also did a phenomenal job as Schindler’s Jewish bookkeeper. And Ralph Fiennes (Pronounced Ray Fines, by the way) was pretty amazing as well, playing a major douchebag who at a lot of times is conflicted about what he’s doing. Every actor in the movie was pretty great and no single performance in the movie stood out as “bad” or even “mediocre”.

Considering that this is a Steven Spielberg movie, one should not be surprised that the score for the movie was done by John Williams. Not that it’s a bad thing at all, Williams is a fantastic composer. Anyway, Williams did it again. He managed to compose a score that made you feel all of the emotions. Especially sadness, a lot of it thanks to violinist Itzhak Perlman helping out in a lot of tracks. The score is really beautiful and perfectly complemented the movie.

Like I said, this movie was directed by the one and only Steven Spielberg. And as always, the movie was incredibly well-directed. A lot of it can also be attributed to the fantastic cinematography by Janusz Kaminski. The movie looks beautiful. Some might call the whole black and white style a gimmick, but I call it beautiful art. I would say that it really improved upon the movie and did a lot to make it even better than it already was. I do also appreciate the selective coloring throughout the movie. If you’ve seen the movie you know what I am talking about. Here is also a fun fact: Kaminski has also provided the cinematography for some other Spielberg movies such as “Saving Private Ryan”, “Minority Report” and “Catch Me if You Can”.

This movie has gotten pretty much universal acclaim (the hilarious part of that statement is that Universal is the studio behind it). On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 96% positive rating (100% if you go by “Top Critics” only) and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 93/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 4/4 stars and put it on his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,9/10 and is ranked #6 on the “Top 250” list. The movie also won 7 Oscars (Wow) in the categories of Best picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Set Decoration, Best Film Editing and Best Original Score. The movie was also nominated for an additional 5 Oscars in the categories of Best Actor (Neeson), Best Supproting Actor (Fiennes), Best costume design, Best sound and Best makeup. 

“Schindler’s List” is a movie with a beautiful and haunting story, excellent performances, fantastic music and excellent direction & cinematography. Time for my final score. ACHTUNG! My final score for “Schindler’s List” is a 9,89/10. It deserves the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

Finally, “Schindler’s List” is now reviewed.

Wow, 1993 was a great year for Steven Spielberg. Both this and “Jurassic Park”.

 

Movie Review: Ghost (1990)

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Does love transcend all? That is a question many people ask themselves. Can love for someone be the solitary reason for one’s survival/struggle? Intrepret the situation however the hell you want. Me? I don’t know, haven’t felt true love yet.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Ghost”.

Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze, R.I.P) is a young man with a lot of things going for him. He’s doing well at his job as a banker, he lives with his true love Molly (Demi Moore) and they have a pretty big apartment. Unfortunately he gets murdered one evening. But he also comes back as a ghost and takes the help of a psychic (Whoopi Goldberg) to keep in touch with the world and help Molly from a terrible fate. I know my description sounds a bit off, but I am simply trying to explain it without really spoiling it. Anyway, I really liked the plot. I was a bit skeptic since it seemed like it might become a very melodramatic and sappy plot, but I actually enjoyed it a lot. It had a lot more depth than I thought it would. It also made me tear up at a spot. Let me put it like this, on the outside I shed a tear… but on the inside I cried like a little baby. Good job, “Ghost”.

The characters are interesting and entertaining, that’s the best way I can put it. Patrick Swayze was pretty great in this movie. As a big fan of him I have still been able to see that he hasn’t been that great of an actor, but here he was genuinely good. Demi Moore was pretty great in the movie as well, showing a lot of emotion and simply giving a great performance. Whoopi Goldberg was also really good, she actually gave a great performance in the movie (holy shit). Tony Goldwyn was also great, but I guess you can safely assume such a thing when Tarzan is in the house (Obscure references, ho!). Every actor was in fact great in the movie.

Leave it to Maurice Jarre to create a truly great score for a movie. If you don’t remember, he is the man who was the main composer for the movie “Fearless” which I love. And here he knocked it out of the park again. This score has a lot of emotion behind it, but it also manages to create tension whenever it needs to. It managed to capture all kind of musical feelings it could. He did a great job. I also like how they included the song “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers, it was really well done.

This movie was directed by Jerry Zucker who, HOLY SHIT HE DIRECTED “AIRPLANE”! That is a funny jump, from a hilarious and strange comedy to a love story featuring ghosts. Anyway, he did a great job directing this movie, nothing else to really say here. What I also enjoyed is the fact that this movie manage to capture pretty much every genre without it all feeling totally mish-mashed and terrible. It captures drama, comedy, fantasy, thriller, action… you name it. And I’m genuinely impressed by how well it actually managed to do it.

This movie has been pretty well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 74% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 52/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 2,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,0/10. The movie also won 2 Oscars in the categories of Best Supporting Actress (Whoopi Goldberg) and Best Original Screenplay. The movie was also nominated for an additional  3 Oscars in the categories of Best Picture, Best Film Editing and Best Original Score. 

“Ghost” is a movie that surprised me on so many levels. Not only did I actually like the story, but I was even touched deeply by it. I also really enjoyed all the performances (which were great), the score was terrific with the inclusion of “Unchained Melody”, and the directing was good. I also enjoy how it actually made me laugh because of real humor. Time for my final score. BOO! My final score for “Ghost” is a 9,88/10. It gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

“Ghost” is now reviewed.

I guess love does transcend all…

My Favorite Scenes: Spider-Man 3 – Birth of Sandman

What’s going on, guys? So today I felt like bringing this fossil back to life. That’s right, I’m not good at updating the “My Favorite Scenes” series, but finally I am doing it. And todya we are talking about a scene from a movie that people really seem to hate. Before we dive into the scene, let me tell you my quick thoughts on the movie; It’s fine. There is a lot wrong with the movie, but I do still enjoy it a pretty good amount. There, I said it, now let’s talk about this scene. Where the movie was not very good at parts, this scene suddenly comes out of nowhere and goes “I am giving you the feels!” (By the way, I personally hate the term “The feels”). In this scene we see Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church), after some kind of accident, becoming Sandman. And when you watch this you will most likely believe that he’s not really a bad guy, but a good guy who did something bad. And that is portrayed perfectly through the directing, the visual effects and the beautiful song by composer Christopher Young. I love this scene so much.
Enjoy!

My Favorite Scenes: Jurassic Park – T-Rex vs. Raptors

My friends, once again it is time for “My Favorite Scenes” which if you still don’t get it is the sort of “series” I got on my blog where I share scenes I really like from movies/TV. And this time we are having a look at the climax of the Steven Spielberg classic “Jurassic Park” (Sidenote: Yes, this is to commemorate the release of “Jurassic World”). And in this scene we see our heroes (Sam Neill, Laura Dern and the two kids) running from some raptors. And if you for whatever reason have not seen “Jurassic Park” yet you should go away. Also, if you have not seen “Jurassic Park” yet I will hurt you. I’ll give you three seconds. Three, two, one, no more seconds! But as they’re getting chased they get to the foyer of the park and it seems like they are surrounded, no where to go. But then their savior comes in the surprsining form of the Tyrannosaurus Rex that tried to yum yum them earlier. This scene is so classic because it is just an awesomely amazing way to end a movie. And there are two shots in this scene that I just aboslutely love. The first one is when the T-Rex throws the last raptor into the giant skeleton, mainly because it looked kinda cool. The second one is when the T-Rex simply stands there and gives us a victory roar and that is because it feels so classic and timeless and because it is just fucking epic! Now with all this bullshit said…
Enjoy!

Top 10 Sexiest Actresses

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Ladies, gentlemen and others… it is time. Time for another Top 10, that is. If you had a look around my blog yesterday/the day before I posted a little poll where you could vote for what my next Top 10 would be. To be honest, not many people voted unfortunately which led to there being a tie. The tie was between “Top 10 Batman Movies” and “Top 10 exiest actresses”, the latter of which I suspect my good friend Vinnieh suggested. But seeing as there was a tie at the end of the deadline, I had to figure out how to decide. So I did it the old-fashioned way and flipped a coin and this won. So here we go.

Ladies and gentlemen… My Top 10 Sexiest Actresses.

Rule #1: Same as always; my list, go bitch about someone not sharing your opinion somewhere else.

Rule 2: Which actresses qualify for this? Those who I consider sexy/hot/attractive/beautiful. If you do not agree with what I consider hot/beautiful, read rule #1 and come back when you understand it.

Rule #3: In this list there is no rule #3.

Let’s go!

Number 10: Gwyneth Paltrow.
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Someone who has been considered one of if not the most attractive woman in the world makes it in to number 10 and for good reason. She is a gorgeous woman. Those blue eyes, the great golden hair and overall gorgeous style puts her here at number 10.

Number 9: Halle Berry.
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How could I not include this dark skinned beauty? For fuck’s sake, she turns 49 later this year and she still looks fantastic! Okay, this picture looks like it might be a few years old… but still. She is one beautiful lady who also happen to be a terrific actor. Also, if you have seen the Bond movie “Die Another Day” you know how great she looks in a bikini.

Number 8: Jennifer Connelly.
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This dark-haired beauty has over the past few years become one of my favorite actors, proving herself with movies like “Requiem for a Dream”, “A Beautiful Mind” and “Blood Diamond”. She also happens to be pretty damn attractive with those pretty eyes and the aforementioned dark hair. She is a beautiful woman.

Number 7: Margot Robbie.
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I had never even heard of her before I watched “The Wolf of Wall Street last year” (Where she was terrific by the way) and I haven’t seen her in anything since then. But I can say that I both curious and a little excited to see her play Harley Quinn in next year’s “Suicide Squad”. Until then we can at least appreciate those gorgeous eyes, beautiful hair and overall pretty face.

Number 6: Maggie Gyllenhaal.
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Here we have the sister of one of my favorite actors (Jake Gyllenhaal). And to give credit where credit is due, she is also a really good actor. Not as good as her brother, but still really good. But the little she lacks in acting skills (compared to her brother) she makes up for in beauty. She captured me with those amazing eyes of hers (Sidenote: As you may have noticed, I am a sucker for eyes) and that really pretty smile.

Number 5: Charlize Theron.
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This South African beauty goes in for one of the top spots. It is easy to see why so many people call her one of the most beautiful people in the world. Just look at her! Not only in this picture, but on pretty much every picture out there. Except from the movie “Monster” because in that she looks terrifying. But if you stay away from those pictures you’ll be fine. Also, did you know she’s married to Sean Penn? I sure as hell didn’t until I made this list.

Number 4: Karen Gillan.
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A lot of people will go “Who?”. But the majority of the people who know who she is probably know her from her time on “Doctor Who” as Amy Pond. Not only is that red hair beautiful to look at, but her eyes too are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Also, going back to what I first said, you regular people have probably seen her without realizing it. She played the blue alien Nebula in “Guardians of the Galaxy”.

Number 3: Scarlett Johansson.
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Fucking duh.

Number 2: Jennifer Lawrence.
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One of the few celebrities in recent times that (properly) show off that curves are beautiful. She isn’t one those that has to be ultra skinny or have the biggest ass/boobs, she knows that good curves come naturally. Plus, she is overall a truly gorgeous woman. She is also a fantastic actress.

Honorable mentions: Linda Hamilton (circca 1991), Mila Kunis, Carey Mulligan. Anne Hathaway.

NUMBER 1: Keri Russell!
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Yes, yes, yes! Keri Russell is my choice for number 1. Why? Well… look at her! Beautiful eyes, gorgeous hair (both her old curly hair and her current non-curly hair). There is no actress I think exceeds her in beauty. She is a beautiful woman who I hope to see more of in the future!

I know my descriptions were kind of vague, but I did my best with it. So what are some of your favorite sexy/beautiful/hot actresses? Leave a comment.

Have a good one.

Documentary Review: Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

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Disclaimer: Trying my hand at reviewing documentaries as well. And for that I am using a slightly different format. Yeah… disclaimer over.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father”.

What this documentary is about is filmmaker Kurt Kuenne going around interviewing people who have met, known and loved his childhood friend, Dr. Andrew Bagby. That idea seems very random at first, but you also get to know why he does this. He does this because of a tragic incident where Andrew was murdered by his ex-girlfriend Shirley Turner… who in a turn of events also happened to be pregnant with his child. So we get to see Kurt go around and interview all of these people from Andrew’s life but we also get to see how a lot of people, including Andrew’s parents trying to change the legal system for the better. And with that said, this story was not only well put together but is was also really emotional. This is a movie that obviously was very personal to Kurt and everyone else involved and I think that is what really made it all come together so well. If it had been done by any other random filmmaker trying to make something out of this I don’t think it would have been as powerful or genuine. Throughout the entire thing you get to feel all emotions you can think; sadness, joy, anger, you name it. And I am not going to lie, this movie made me cry… a lot. Rarely do I ever feel this emotionally distraught. While it was difficult at times, I still really ‘”enjoyed” (Sidenote: In lack of a better word) seeing this unfold.

One thing that really stood out to me in the documentary was the music. Not only was it fantastic, but it also really helped set the mood in a neat way. There were times when the music helped build a bit of suspense to then build up to some twist/revelation. Then there was also the music that was very emotional with a mix of strings and piano. And while most people would call that a cheap trick to get people emotional, I feel like it just worked for the movie in the right way. To really sum it up… the score for the movie was fantastic in every way.

The editing in this movie is quick, aggressive and never lingers on anything for too long. Kuenne really showed his talents as a filmmaker with this documentary. Getting good shots while filming, using cool little editing tricks to keep it interesting and also being able to switch between several people/situations with ease. I got nothing else really.

Yes, reception of said media will have a return in documentary reviews as well. That is what happens, shut up. Anyway, a lot of people seemed to like this. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a really high rating with a 94% positive rating (Sidenote: 100% if you go by “Top Critics” only). On Metacritic it has a score of 82/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,6/10 (Damn, dude).

I really feel like this documentary is a good way of testing if you are able to feel emotions or not. And I can safely say that it managed to get to me and get me all emotional. With great filmmaking, a great score and genuine emotion behind everything in this movie I am ready to hand it my final score. My final score for “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father” is a 9,89/10. Of course it then gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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Review of “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father” if completed.

If you want to know more about this, go visit http://www.dearzachary.com/ and have a look.

 

My Favorite Scenes: Confessions of a Dangerous Mind – Can’t Help Falling in Love

Hello people! I know, I know. Two posts the same day and also pretty tight on each other, it is annoying. But I felt like I had to share this one thing. As you know, this “series” was created for me to be able to share My Favorite Scenes from movies/TV with you guys. And I just reviewed a movie with an (in my opinion) incredible scene that I just had to share. It is a scene from the 2002 biographical crime-comedy “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” that features our main guy Chuck Barris (Sam Rockwell) looking at his life while someone at his game show/talents show sings “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley (Pretty awfully if you ask me). But having the imagery in combination with the song jsut resonated with me so well that I couldn’t help falling in love with it (See what I did there?). I love this scene and I hope you do to… after you see the movie of course.
Enjoy!

My Favorite Scenes: Hell on Wheels – Timshel Fight

Hello people of wordpress. Today I am making another post and like yesterday it is about the AMC television show “Hell on Wheels”. And yes, it is another “My Favorite Scenes” entry. Today we are taking a look at the fight from the beginnning of episode 9 of the first season. It is the continuation of the end of episode 8 where we saw our hero Cullen Bohannan (Anson Mount) and his crew get attacked Native Americans(Indians for you rednecks out there). And like I said we get the continuation and conclusion of what happened in that situation in the start of episode 9 with this awesome scene. Cullen and his crew fight the Native Americans to the amazing tune of “Timshel” by Mumford & Sons. Not only does it surprisingly work for the scene, but it also makes it so much more powerful. I love this scene so much and really wanted to share it with you guys.
Enjoy!