Random Thoughts of a Movie Insomniac (Vol 12)

fightclubHello everyone.  I first off want to apologize for not visiting the awesome sites of the people who have visited and commented on my previous posts.  I will try my best this weekend to get caught up and read up.  I’m also behind on listening to some awesome podcasts as well, but I have good reason as to why I won’t be as active on here for the next several weeks.   I was recently asked to host a movie premiere where I live.  It’s called “American Rescue Squad“(you can read my review by clicking here) and it’s a political comedy done in the same style of Team America:World Police meets Airplane.  It comes to us from director Elliot Diviney who I recently interviewed on As You Watch about “Potpourri“.  Him along with cast members Ryan Kiser and Shannon McDonough talked about that movie which you listen to by clicking here.   Mr. Diviney asked me if I would want to help host the premiere of American Rescue Squad and of course I said yes, but now that I agreed to it.  I am very nervous about it.  The most I have ever been up on stage is when I did Karaoke at bars or when I played drums with Victory Riot.  This is a whole new beast, but it’s one that I am very excited and extremely honored to be doing.  You can read more about the event by visiting the link below.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1639608282922158/

Now that I got that out of the way.  I can talk about a few of the things I saw these last few weeks and what has taken up my time.

The Imitation Game.

The-Imitation-Game-Final-PosterOscar nominated flick about Alan Turning(Benedict Cumberbatch) who helped defeat the Nazi’s by cracking their codes .  The machine that helped do this task was the basis of the home computer system.  But since Mr. Turning was a homosexual he was ostracized by the British Government and wasn’t fully appreciated until 2013.  This was a good movie, but I felt like the most important elements were edited down to just montages.  I wanted to see more of how he helped with the major battles, and I wanted there to be more of his whole trial when he was accused of being gay.  Nick of The Cinematic Katzenjammer said it best when he mentioned that this would have been a lot better as a mini series.

 

Open Windows

Open WIndowsMost people when they hear the name Sasha Grey. The first thing that comes to mind will be titles like “House of Ass 7“, and “Slut Puppies 2“(that franchise should have ended  after the third one).  I have never seen any of her videos because they were a bit too rough for my liking.  But I did take notice of her  when I saw her in Steven Soderbergh’s “The Girlfriend Experience“.  It was a pretty good flick and it showed that the girl could act without having to remove her clothes .  Now she is starring in a film directed by Nacho Vigalando(“Time Crimes“) and co starring Elijah Wood(“Maniac“).  In the movie Elijah plays a fan who was won an exclusive interview with an actress(Grey).  He is told by an anonymous person that she has canceled, but he can see everything on her computer and smartphone.   The fan begins spying and soon notices that the guy helping him has more drastic plans for the actress then he intended.  The whole movie is shot on a computer screen with different windows being shown or hidden.  It’s a really cool premise and I enjoyed watching it up until the very end . What happens in the last 10 minutes doesn’t make a lot of sense and I had to suspend a lot of belief just to get through it.  I know Miss Grey wants to distance herself from her former porn profession but she really needs to stop headlining flicks and maybe take supporting roles  instead.  I’m not saying she shouldn’t be the lead in movies, but that she start off with character roles at first and then build up her career. Check out the review Jason of Your Face wrote by clicking on the site’s name

VHS Viral

VHSVIRAL_POSTER_WEB-1-691x1024I really enjoyed the first 2 VHS flicks because they featured a lot of really great shorts that were confined by the premise.  Everyone had to look like it was being shot by a person ala found video style.  You would think that this would be repetitive, but those filmmakers were able to make each section stand out on their own.  Now for the third one I felt that they abandoned that whole format and just told random stories.  None of it had that found footage approach and the way the stories were strung together was hastily done.  Especially the ending.  I hope they get back on track if they ever make a fourth one.  Because this one needs a respool.

 

Life After Beth

life-after-beth-2Poor poor Zack (Dale DeHaan).  His girlfriend Beth(Aubrey Plaza) has been quite a pain these past few days.  First of all she breaks his heart after they break up, and then she goes ahead and dies on him.  While he is mourning her loss, he finds out that she is not quite dead and that her parents have been lying to him about her.  So now Zack and Beth are back together again and everything seems fine except for one small thing.  Beth is a zombie.   This is very much a dramady with zombies.  If you were expecting a flip side of “Warm Bodies“but with a female zombie instead.  This is not for you.  We don’t get any of the zombie stuff until about 20 minutes in.  Before that it’s a lot of scenes between Dale DeHaan and John C Reily.  Once Aubrey Plaza enters the movie, it starts becoming a lot more fun.  I love that the only thing that calms her down her rage is light jazz.  She acts more like the infected from “28 Days Later” then a zombie, but she is still very good.  Anna Kendrick has a small cameo… Wait a minute.  She is 29.  Damn for all these years I felt kind of a like a creep because I thought she was uber hot, but really young and she’s actually almost in her thirties.   Umm anyway, “Life After Beth” is good but it doesn’t feature enough zombie stuff and I wanted there to be more. Plaza is for sure the highlight and I would rewatch it just for her scenes.

 

Creature from the Black Lagoon

Black LagoonI would have loved to be around during this time and see people getting freaked out by creatures like these.  I know we think of these older films as something shlocky and hokey.  But back in the day these were the flicks that scared a lot of people, and they managed to become classics as time went on.  While watching this I did notice certain shots that would later be used in another movie about an underwater menace, “Jaws“.   The actual story involves a group who want to find some missing artifacts and they come in contact with the creature.  It’s a good story and I liked how they didn’t reveal the creature right away.  Also like they did a certain shark in a certain movie.  I bought this on BlueRay for real cheap and I thought it was a good watch.

 

Cheap Thrills

Cheap ThrillsHow far would you go to earn a little bit of extra money.  Would you allow yourself to get hit in the face for fifty bucks.  Would you take a shit in someone’s home and take a picture of it for five hundred.  Well the two guys in this movie do that and a whole lot more.  Pat Healy and Ethan Embry play two down on their luck dudes who are met by David Kochner and his wife Sara Paxton while at a bar .  The husband explains that they are celebrating her birthday and offer the two gentlemen money for partaking in simple challenges.  It starts off easy enough with tasks including the first one to finish their drink gets a twenty.   Insult a girl so she’ll slap you and get another 50 and so on.  But as the night progresses, the challenges  becomes darker and darker.  I liked this movie’s message about the lengths some people will go to get a little extra cash, but I felt like it ended too soon.  There really was no big climax and suddenly it just ends.  Not to spoil anything but the in the last scene.  One of the guys comes home to his wife and he is just covered in blood and bruises and it just ends there.  Otherwise I enjoyed it.

 

Dogville

dogvilleI revisted this movie from Lars Von Trier after I watched a Trailers from Hell video about it. (you can watch that by clicking this link).  Set in a fictional town called Dogville Grace(Nicole Kidman) is on the run from the law and asks the residents to hide her there.  They agree if she decides to do some chores for them.  Soon everyone takes advantage of her including the men who repeatedly rape her as often as they can and soon she has no choice but to retaliate.  This one gets talked about because of the way it was filmed.  The whole thing was shot on what looks like a stage with no sets.  White chalk outlines of buildings and a few props are used to convey settings.  This is interesting because you are watching the actors themselves tell you the story rather then environment.    There is a sequel called “Manderlay” which I have seen before but I don’t remember if I liked it or not. Might have to revisit that one at a later date.

 

The Disappearance of Elanor Rigby( Him and Her Versions)

Elanor RIgbyThis was quite a unique film experience and I enjoyed the performances from James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain.  I just didn’t care for the whole finished project.   The premise is to have two films tell the same story but from different perspectives.  In the “Him” version, we get the story of a guy whose wife had just left him and he is trying to cope with understanding why as wells as trying to build up his restaurant business.  The “Her” version explains in detail why she left.  I like that in each version, the scenes that feature McAvoy and Chastain together are altered slightly so that we never get the same thing .  How we perceive something is not the way others may have perceived it and vice versa.   There is a version that combines the two half’s into one but I heard that one is horrible so I’m avoiding watching that.  I would start with watching the “Him” version  first, followed by “Her”.  Once you know the reason for the demise it’s understandale but I never found their actions to be all that believable.

 

Joe

Joe posterThere are a lot of people who think Nicolas Cage is this hack of an actor who makes really bad movies(“The Bees, not the bees! AHHHH”) but we forget that the man is really good.  If you think that “Leaving Las Vegas” was his only shot at being a good actor.  Well then it’s clear you have not seen “Matchstick Men“, “Adaptation” or this recent movie  Directed by David Gordon Green(“Pineapple Express“). “Joe” tells the story of a man who befriends a boy who has an abusive father.   He tries his best to help the kid and even gives him a job with his deforesting crew.  But his anger about the kid’s predicament sometimes clouds his judgement on how to handle the situation correctly.  I like that the film went a different route then have it be just a revenge flick.  It would have been so easy to just see this character freak out and start butting heads. But the end result is a little more realistic and tragic.  I have never seen director Green’s dramatic features but I heard “George Washington” and “All The Real Girls” ares ones to check out.  I just hope the guy never makes a movie like “Your Highness” ever again.

 

Wetlands

wetlands-coverOk I’m going to be real brief in describing this movie because I really don’t want to spend any more time on this then I want to.   So there is this girl who is obsessed with bodily fluids and loves sex.  While shaving her privates she accidentally cuts open her rectum and is sent to the hospital.  She starts flirting with her nurse who is way older and tells him stories to hopefully entice him .  After she is cured, in order not to be sent home.  She reopens the wound on her ass on purpose.   The nurse she was hitting on for some reason actually starts to fall in love with her which I cant really see why.  She looks like a female clone of Carrot Top and his girlfriend is way  hotter.  Oh and I should also mention that all the time during this flick she is trying to get her parents back together even though they hate each other.  This was based on a book that was somewhat controversial.  I’m guessing the only controversial thing about this flick is that it got made at all.

 

Daredevil.

Daredevil-Netflix-LogoI’m only a few episodes in but I am hooked. This is gritty, dramatic and very well done.  Read this review about the first 6 episodes at The Cinematic Katzenjammer.

 

Alright that’s it for now.  I will be back in a few weeks with another post that highlights other awesome writers and bloggers.  Until then, I love you and have a great day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About The Vern

I love movies and I enjoy writing about them too. They both go pretty much hand in hand with each other and it's fun to discover new classics. I co host the podcasts The Film Pasture, ScreenTrax, and soon Cinema Recall. While also contributing reviews and articles to other great sites when I can.
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8 Responses to Random Thoughts of a Movie Insomniac (Vol 12)

  1. Andrew says:

    Nice breakdown of films here. I’ve only seen a handful of them myself. Love Dogville, such a fascinating and unique experience, and I quite liked The Imitation Game and Joe. George Washington is a pretty great little film, so I recommend checking that one out when you can.

    Hope your hosting goes well for you! Huge undertaking, but what a privilege and how fun, so enjoy it…don’t let the stress of it all overtake you 😛

  2. Open Windows does have a good premise. It was entertaining enough but the ending is a little confusing. If anything, they added a little too much to it to stretch out that camera aspect too much.

  3. Sounds like you’ve been busy watching all of these Vern. I like the idea of The Imitation Game as a mini-series. Overall I wasn’t a huge fan of the film. It felt disjointed to me and the tone seemed off. I really hope I get to see The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby soon. Very intrigued by it.

  4. You’ll do great with the premiere, Vern. Don’t get so nervous about it that you forget to have fun with it when the time comes.

    I’m glad to see others are enjoying Daredevil. I enjoy successive entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as well, but Daredevil definitely offers a grounded tone that I’m enjoying far more than any of the movies. Consequences, man…makes it a lot easier to be emotionally invested in the characters. Now – like most new television I like – I’m pissed there’s only a dozen episodes and that I’ll likely wait a year or more for new ones. Hopefully the other three series Marvel is preparing for Netflix will be equally good.

  5. Chris says:

    “I wanted to see more of how he helped with the major battles, and I wanted there to be more of his whole trial” I felt the same way about Imitation Game.

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