"I need some fucking friends." -- Peter Klaven (I Love You, Man)
Monday, January 26, 2015
The Wedding Ringer is terrible. I was hoping for a romantic comedy. What I got was a bromantic comedy!

The love achieved was between two men. Not love, in the homosexual way, but in the bro way, bro.

Josh Gad and Kevin Hart found love between themselves. Bromantic love!

I didn't like the third act twist that turned the film into a bromantic comedy. I thought it was really condescending.

2 of 5 stars.

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I went to the theatre twice over the recent Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in hopes to catch Selma. I went the Sunday morning before, I went on Monday evening, but I only saw it once, the Tuesday after the holiday. Both showings I tried that weekend were sold out. I settled for the day after the holiday.

Selma tells the tale of the Civil Rights marches for minority voting rights in Selma, Alabama. It was centered around Martin Luther King's machinations to get the White House to push for the voting rights act. It showed lots of background to get things in motion. It also showed how the Civil Rights movement worked.

It was a good movie about an important time with really important people. I was the wrong person to watch it. I already believe many of the things that was espoused in the movie. That what was history is still relevant today. That our voting rights are still under assault. That minorities are mistreated by the establishment even thought of as second rate citizens. That police assaults are real.

I should've not been the one to have watched this, but I am satisfied that I did.

4 of 5 stars.

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Thursday, January 15, 2015
The Woman in Black 2: The Angel of Death. Meh.

Not at all scary. Could've been, but there is no there there.

The film starts a few decades after the original in the midst of the bombing of Britain in the second World War. A bunch of school children are sent to the English countryside to escape the bombs. One of the kids had just lost his family in a bombing a couple of days before departure. His teachers act as chaperones expected to look after this orphan as they arrive at Eel Marsh House.

Before continuing the review, let me say how awkward it would be to send kids to the very town where nothing but children death occur because of the haunting at Eel Marsh House. Could someone consult the townsfolk before having plenty of ghost cannon fodder arrive? No, because the dang town was abandoned! (Hint, hint.)

Anyhow, because the original one had a real Woman in Black as the ghost, so does this installment. Yet, the filmmakers don't bother to make the atmosphere creepy or even Victorian. They just muster up some scares that you can see a mile away. Woman in black in the window. Check. Woman in black in the mirror. Check. Nothing new. Nothing scary.

I will say that they did bring harm to a few of the children which I was not expecting. I thought there was a taboo against showing children harm themselves?

Anyhow, this one didn't scare me. The first one creeped me out. The second not at all. I need a good scare. The last couple? Disappointing.

2 of 5 stars.

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I like art. I guess. I've studied it in high school (and college!). I've dabbled in it. I've been to some of the most renowned museums in the world. I'm not sure my tastes are worth anything, but I do have two SHAG prints, several fading Ragnar prints, and 3 or 5 more prints/paintings hanging on the walls of my house. I like what I see.

I sort of liked the art in Big Eyes, Tim Burton's latest film about outsider artist, Margaret Keane. She painted big eyed waifs, but had her credit taken by her husband at the time. It is a very low brow style: slightly crude and not professional, but when you see them, you'll be enraptured by their big eyes, too.

The movie as I mentioned is about the artist trying to find herself after clashing with her husband who has passed off her work as his. It is a lambasting of Walter Keane, the husband, who comes off as megalomaniacal. He's played by everyone's favorite dastard, Christoph Waltz, whose portrayal doesn't seem far from his own character in your mind. He makes Keane somewhat sleazy and somewhat sympathetic because he thought he was an artist himself, but stole the art from his actual artist, his wife.

Sadly, this movie will slowly fade to obscurity as a curio only to be revived the next time we all go for outsider art. Watch it as biopic. Then get me one of her prints!

3 of 5 stars.

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Friday, January 09, 2015
Joe Flacco is maddening. Ain't he though?

On occasion he looks lost in the pocket not aware of what is happening around him. Then the playoffs start and he becomes laser focused. He still doesn't play all too well, but he wins.

In the playoffs, he beats other teams with QBs such as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Big Ben Roethlisburger. He beats teams with lesser QBs. He just wins.

Why then does he stink during the regular season?

Who is this guy?


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Wednesday, January 07, 2015
I've been watching lots of Simpsons since FXX started showing them after last summer's Simpsons marathon. I've been watching new episodes for me and have started catching up to the last decade that I have missed. Although, they're not as good as the ones of my youth, they're passable.

I think today's link is correct in describing the many phases of The Simpsons. The show did get terribly absurd at the turn of the century, but has been steadily, if unevenly, producing some fun, funny episodes and seasons.


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Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Hey, is that a 5 string bass that girl is playing? I think she makes this song with that 5 string bass of hers.

BTW, it's a cover the Scandal Japan's Shunkan Sentimental. Done by Joshikousei... I wish I got that dang, Japanese iTunes card for Secret Santa.


Monday, January 05, 2015
I think that I am the only one watching movies in the theatre. I saw plenty this year. I mostly liked them. Not too many stood out. Here's my year end review of the last 365 days of movies I saw in theatres. Going over some of the other ones which didn't make this list, there were a few that could've been higher. John Wick and Hercules could've been 4 and 3.5 if I think about it now, but I don't give out half stars, and I don't know why I couldn't appreciate the stylized violence of using a gun like a knife. They deserved better. Also, Pompeii isn't as bad; it's worth a look at least for the sinking of the ship... er I mean the volcano.

Anywhoo, here's my best of list. It's short, because everything else was three stars. And these are the best for real.

5 of 5 stars:
The Wind Rises

4 of 5 stars:
Big Hero 6
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014
I read interviews of Chris Rock about his film, Top Five, which he wrote and directed, in which he said he loved Woody Allen. You can see it in this film.

Top Five is about a comedian who, in his bid to be taken seriously, has done a movie about the slave uprising in Haiti where lots of white people were killed. The comedian is spending the day doing promotional stops with a New York Times reporter tailing him in order to write a profile/review. The comedian is also engaged to a reality TV star and is about the be married in a televised wedding. In this one day, he tries to find out who he is and what he is about.

Chris Rock is most everyone's favorite comedian. He's not really any one's favorite director. I'm kind of interested in what he'll be doing for the future. I wonder if he'll follow in Woody Allen's footsteps. He may become an interesting director.

My top 5: De La, Tribe, Rakim, Grand Puba, Guru.

3 of 5 stars.

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Let us hope that the Tolkien estate will make Jackson's final installment of The Hobbit the last on he'll do. What he did to the Hobbit book is a complete sham. A sham almost too great that it has taken the sheen off of what he did with the Lord of the Rings. This trilogy will be on par with George Lucas's Star Wars prequels. A mistake that tarnished the entire enterprise.

Now that you know how I feel about the trilogy, this particular installment of the Hobbit wasn't half bad. It was one which Jackson has to craft from whole himself because in the book the battle of five armies was done offscreen. Bilbo was in it for a few paragraphs until he got knocked out before witnessing the arrival of the Eagles. There was no were-worms or trolls with missile launchers on their back. There was no Scottish Dain from the Iron Hills on a boar nor Legolas riding a giant troll. There was no Bard from Laketown fighting it out in the ruins of Dale nor Thranduil and his elk tramping on orcs. In the book, it was just Bilbo looking for help from the skies before a rock crashed into his head knocking him out of the fight. That wouldn't do for Jackson. He had to make the rest of it up. Without any of this, the Hobbit would have been done in one film.

When the movie opens, we find ourselves in the middle of Smaug's rampage on Laketown. We dive right into it giving us the feeling of walking into the middle of a movie. This is what happens when you try to stretch it out. Then it seems the battle of five armies starts immediately afterwards. This installment felt shorter than the others. Finally it ends with Bilbo back at Bag End. Back at whom this story was about. Jackson muffs it because he forgot that this is Bilbo's tale and not a tale of the waning days of the Third Age. If he only left it as the story of Bilbo, Jackson would've made a better movie. No need to know of the White Council or the battle with the Necromancer in Mirkwood. And we wouldn't need those Orcs.

This one, I actually liked though.

3 of 5 stars.

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