12 Films of Christmas 2019 (Part 4)

Howdy. 12 Films of Christmas, contrivance edition. The fourth part. Y’all ready?

So today’s pick is an interesting one. Today we’re chatting about “Deadwood: The Movie”, a 2019 made-for-tv film based on the hit tv show that ran from 2004 to 2006. Set ten years after the season 3 finale, we return to the South Dakota camp, now a small town. And we follow Bullock (Timothy Olyphant), Swearengen (Ian McShane), and all the other cocksuckers of Deadwood as old wounds get opened up in the midst of Dakota becoming a state. I got to the show far after everyone else, only really starting it in late April/early May of this year, and was done at the end of May, right around the time the movie was released. So I didn’t have the same distance of time/nostalgia that a lot of other people did. But I still watched it. So how is “Deadwood: The Movie” a christmas film? Well tag along with me.

Imagine: The year is 2006. You’ve been watching this show, “Deadwood”. You’ve endured the drama, you’ve fallen in love with the characters, you are so excited about a fourth season… but then the show gets cancelled. You’re distraught. Plot threads dangling loosely, no real resolution, your tenure with these characters gets abruptly cut off. Then, 13 years later, you get to see them again, thanks to this movie. It’s a christmas fucking miracle, a god damn gift! And you know who delivers gifts? Santa Claus.

If you are a fan of “Deadwood” and haven’t checked out the movie yet, I highly recommend doing so. It’s a wonderfully acted and written sendoff for these characters we love. I may have been late to the “Deadwood” party, but that didn’t stop it from having a big impact on me. The show is fantastic, and the movie is one of my favorites of the year.

Have a good one.

Movie Review: Thank You For Smoking (2006)

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I have a very mixed feelings about corporations and the people who work for them. Doing all kinds of dirty and terrible businesses while having some skilled and equally slimy face to the outside world who will distract people from the bad shit. And while I don’t condone that type of work, I have to admit that it’s pretty fucking clever.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Thank You For Smoking”.

The movie follows Nick Naylor (Aaron Eckhart) who is the spokesperson for Big Tobacco. Nick is in a little bit of a dilemma as he is trying to speak for cigarettes and make people actually keep buying them while at the same time trying to be a bit of a role model for his young son, Joey (Cameron Bright). That’s right, this movie is centered on a man saying smoking is cool and good for you, the usual villain thing… and it aboslutely works perfectly. No, I don’t mean that I wanna go out right now and buy a pack o’ smokes, I am saying that it is a damn clever way of delivering the story. I mean, the moral at the end of the movie (no spoilers) is actually the smartest way of handling this type of thing. And since this is meant to be a satirical comedy, is it funny? Yes it is funny, I would even say that it is pretty fucking hilarious, it made me laugh a lot. And since the the movie managed to deliver a smart & interesting story while also making me laugh, I really have to give it some major cred.

The characters in this movie are colorful, well rounded and incredibly entertaining. And you know what makes them even better? The actors. Aaron Eckhart is aboslutely fantastic in the role as Nick Naylor. He is perfectly on that line of slimy public figure while still remaining as likable as one can be. And you actually root for him in his struggle to balance his job and the relationship to his son. And like I said, Eckhart is terrific in the role. William H. Macy plays the senator who Naylor is constantly butting heads with and he is also great in his role. Cmaeron Bright is really good in the role as Naylor’s son. And then we have J.K. Simmons as Naylor’s boss and of course he knocked it out of the park because he’s J.K. Simmons. There are so many moe names I could mention, but I don’t feel like going through the entire list. But I do really think every actor did a great job in the movie.

What I like about the soundtrack is that it’s kind of a mixed back of styles. No, not in the “Cowboy Bebop” sense where you will basically hear any and all genres possible, but rahter to get a decent mix of stuff. The original score for the movie was composed by Rolfe Kent and it is great, kind of Henry Mancini-esque in it’s style. Then we have a lot of licensed tracks relating back to smoking in some way and they all perfectly fit into the movie when they are used.

This movie was directed by Jason Reitman (Sidenote: Son of Ivan Reitman who directed “Ghostbusters”). And you can really notice that it is one of Reitman’s movies since it has his style that would be noticeable in his movies. Okay, to be honest I have only seen “Juno” prior to this, so I don’t have too much to go on, but according to people who have seen more of his movies they have said that he has a very unique style. Very snappy, very stylish but still very conventional. And I guess that is kind of what I really like about his directing style. I can also say that the movie features some fantastic writing (also done by Reitman) that both made me laugh out loud and think “Yes, this shit is true”. What I am trying to say is that it’s both funny and thought provoking. Fun fact: this movie is based on the book of the same name by Christopher Buckley… just wanted to throw that out there.

This movie has been well received. Om Rotten Tomatoes it has an 86% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 71/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3,5/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“Thank You For Smoking” is a very clever satire of not only cigarette companies, but of the American conglomerate in general. It has a smart & well-crafted story, great characters & acting, great music, really good directing, great writing and it is really hilarious. Time for my final score. *Huff puff*. My final score for “Thank You For Smoking” is a 9,90/10. It most definitely gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “Thank You For Smoking” is now completed.

You wanna get better at rhetorics? Listen to Nick Naylor.

Movie Review: Gone Girl (2014)

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When a new crime-drama/thriller comes out I get pretty curious immediately. They attract me like a bloody venison attracts a wolf, especially if the movie looks somewhat good. Sure, there is a lot of shit out there among the crime-drama/thrillers, but I can usually escape that in one way or another. Now then I heard about this little movie one day in late summer 2014. So when I heard about it I looked it up I noticed something pretty cool… it was directed by David Fincher. If you didn’t already know, David Fincher is my favorite director. Hell, he made my favorite movie of all time, “Fight Club”. So of course the excitement started building inside of me. Unfortunately I missed it when it came out in October, but now I finally got a chance to see it. So what did I think of it? Does it hold up to previous works of Fincher? Or is it awful? Let’s take a look!

Boys and girls… “Gone Girl”.

Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) are living a happy little life. They got a nice house, they own a bar together with Nick’s sister Margo (Carrie Coon) and they got a cat. But on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary something weird happens… Amy has disappeared. I guess you can say she is a “Gone Girl”… okay I’ll stop now. So of course Nick get the cops involved in it all since he suspects kidnapping. But as the story goes on you start to wonder if Nick did it. And from there on we have one of the best stories of 2014 and possibly even the 2000’s. Not only do we have the main thing of Amy being gone (girl) but you also have Nick constantly being hounded by the media and being constantly shit upon by everyone. And I think the movie explores perfectly. It is also fun to note that this movie keeps bombarding you with twist after twist without it feeling forced or showy. Most movies that have big twists simply use them like “Hey, look at me! I use twists, I am so smart!” and come off as stupid. What “Gone Girl” does is give us a ton of twists and make them all relevant and interesting. It was also fun how I was kept interested through the entire runtime (two and a half hours) and never got bored. Good job “Gone Girl”!

The characters are all unique, incredibly fleshed out and really well acted. I am going to be completely honest, I think this is Ben Affleck’s best performance. Yes, he was really good in “Argo”, but here he really showed his talents. And Rosamund Pike, holy shit! She was fantastic in the movie! It is rare to see an actress be this good and steal the show this much. Still, I am probably easily impressed considering I have only seen her in “Jack Reacher” prior to this. Not that she was bad, she just wasn’t this amazing in that movie. And I know, I have to add my opinion on Tyler Perry in this movie… he was really good. I am not a fan of his movies, but here he showed that he can act if given the right script and director. That is the case with most actors… except for Sam Worthington, he can’t act. Overall the performances and characters in the movie were great.

This is the third time I have heard a score form Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and once again they impress me. These guys sure do have a great track record and I don’t think they know how to make a bad score. Just like in “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” the score is cold, haunting and chilling. There were scenes that got really disturbing and bone-chilling by this score. I thought the score was great! I’ll admit, it’s not something I’d start up at a party, but it is still a great score that is worth any praise.

I don’t have to mention anything about the camera work since it’s a David Fincher movie. I have praised the camera work in his other movies before, so I don’t have to mention it again. Let’s just put it like this: It is as fantastic as always! One thing that is worth knowing about this movie is how it is based on a book with the same title by author Gillian Flynn. Now that might sound kinda standard and not too worth noting at first glance, but here omces the fun part; She also adapted it into a screenplay. And you know what? The screenplay was awesome!

Now how did this movie do in the reception department? Pretty fucking well if you look anywhere. On Rotten Tomatoes it got an 88% positive rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it got a 79/100. And on imdb.com it has an 8,3/10 and is ranked #127 on the “Top 250 list”. As of this review the movie has gotten one Oscar nomination (only one) in the category of Best Actress in a leading role (Rosamund Pike) which I really hope wins because she was awesome.

“Gone Girl” is a daring, dark, disturbing, unique, well acted, incredibly well shot and got some really great performances. It also got a great original score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Now for my final score. Where is it? Oh crap, it’s gone (girl). No, found it… I sat on it. My final score for David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” is a 9,85/10 and it of course gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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“Gone Girl” is now reviewed.

You don’t know what you got till it’s…