Posts Tagged ‘Aubrey Plaza’

Media Update 8/16/18

August 16, 2018


Ingrid Goes West

I had been meaning to watch this movie for some time. I have been a huge Aubrey Plaza fan since first seeing her in Parks and Recreation. I became a bigger fan when I watched her various interviews on all three incarnations of Conan O’Brien’s talk show. She is so wonderfully awkward that I wanted to see her in everything I could. I am still working on that. This movie is listed as a “dark comedy” but I saw it more as a kind of new take on the horror/thriller genre. It was kind of a smart and softer take on those genres. I felt really tense and uncomfortable throughout the whole movie in a good way. The movie is primarily about social media and how people can take ownership of the people they are fans of. What made it so scary is that I have seen it in YouTube comments, on Reddit, and I have heard of scary incidents that streamers/YouTubers have had to endure. Plaza is great as usual as she revels in being weird and crazy but extremely personable. Elizabeth Olsen plays opposite her and does a great job at playing a more nuanced character that explores the manufactured reality that celebrities exude. We also get the second role of O’Shea Jackson who made his debut in Straight Outta Compton. The movie takes a lot of the biggest romantic comedy tropes and plays them straight and makes them super creepy and it makes me realize how many bad rom coms are basically stalker films. The movie is also shot very well and it looks very LA from top to bottom. I definitely recommend this movie.


Better Off Dead

This movie was very much hyped on the Harmontown Podcast while Curtis Armstrong was visiting during an episode (he’s a regular). The making of the movie sounded fascinating and the more I heard about it, the more I wanted to see it. Finally, I got a hold of this week. The movie is directed and written by “Savage” Steve Holland whose background is in animation. The movie is semi-autobiographical apparently as Holland created the movie from a couple of short films he made after his girlfriend dumped him when he was younger. He was in a very dark place but when he showed the films to his friends they found them to be funny. In the movie, John Cusack is dumped by his girlfriend and he goes to a very dark place but then he learns to be a better person. Oh and he also enters a ski competition and has to deal with high school. His character is not very likable when he first shows up but he grew on me. Curtis Armstrong plays one of his few friends and he is delightfully weird in probably my favorite role I have seen him in. Diane Franklin was such a delight in this and I fell in love with her character instantly (although her early scenes are pretty dark). The movie kind of felt like a parody of eighties romance adventure movies in the vein of Wet Hot American Summer. It was the same kind of parody as Airplane where there are plenty of over the top gags that play with the tropes of these movies but they still use most of those tropes. The movie is downright weird and I was constantly trying to figure out how to feel about it. In the end, I decided I loved it based on how it ended. I definitely recommend this one.


Fatal Attraction

I felt like this was the perfect movie to finish this week’s theme and I happened to have not seen this one yet. Everyone pretty much knows what this movie is about but I will drop a synopsis anyway. A married man (Michael Douglas) has an affair with a woman (Glenn Close) who becomes obsessed and then unhinged, making his life a living hell. In today’s climate, I could definitely write this movie and make Glenn Close the hero. Michael Douglas is great at shades of gray here but I definitely spent most of the movie hating him. They went to great lengths to depict him as a really good guy but the ease he has when cheating is troubling. Glenn Close is good most of the time but she gets a little over the top at certain moments. Anne Archer plays Douglas’ wife and she does a great job playing the truly injured party. The movie is obviously a classic for a reason but I think my expectations were too high. I did not really like the pacing as things were drawn out. This kind of lessened the tension of “thriller” aspects through most of it. It could have been helped by another pass in the editing bay to shorten it a little bit more to ratchet up the energy throughout. Still, it is a pretty good movie but you can skip it if you want.

Music of the Week:
E. G. Daily – One Way Love

Groove Armada – Inside My Mind

Blackbriar – Until Eternity

Walk The Moon – Shut Up and Dance

Post Malone – Psycho ft. Ty Dolla $ign

Weekly Updates:
– This week’s themes are “Obsessive Behavior” and “Problematic Behavior”
– I watched more The Following Season 3
– I watched more Glitter Force Doki Doki
– I watched more Barry Kramer on YouTube
– I watched more Luke Cage Season 2
– I watched more Wynonna Earp Season 2
– I watched more Supergirl Season 3
– I finished NCIS Season 15
– I want to see BlackkKlansman and Sorry For Bothering You so bad. Might do a double feature soon.

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Media Update 5/10/18

May 10, 2018


Battle of the Sexes

Steve Carrell is kind of hit or miss for me as I find that he mugs a bit too much sometimes and goes into business for himself. However, this movie is an actual historical piece and everybody treats their roles with respect. The movie follows the real-life event where tennis champion Billie Jean King faced off against former champion Bobby Riggs in an intergender match. King was in the middle of a battle within the sport to gain equal pay and equal respect for women. Emma Stone is so, so good as King as she brings both strength and vulnerability to the role. King was in the midst of struggling with her sexuality at the time as well. Carrell plays Bobby Riggs and we get to see a bit of his private life as well as he struggles with a gambling addiction and basically being an asshole. The acting is so good in this as both did a great job bringing the tension to an unprecedented and important event. The two are joined by great actors like Andrea Riseborough, Alan Cumming, Natalie Morales, Bill Pullman, Elizabeth Shue, Sarah Silverman, and Jessica McNamee. It was an interesting look at a battle that is still ongoing as the pay gap and the respect gap still remains open wide. It had some humor to it but it was more often very dramatic and it was hard not to love these two flawed individuals. I definitely recommend you watch it.


Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

I have been a huge Aubrey Plaza fan since my brothers introduced me to Parks and Recreation and I instantly loved her offbeat comic delivery. I have since seen her in a bunch of things and anytime I see her on a cast list I often want to check out whatever she is in. I heard good things about this movie and the trailer interested me. The movie ended up feeling like a mix of Forgetting Sarah Marshall and 22 Jump Street. Aubrey Plaza and Anna Kendrick (who I’ve never really seen much of) are a great comedy team as totally insane women. Adam Levine and Zac Effron are also really fun together. Then most of the movie is the four characters mixing it up in different combinations, all of which are fun. All four of them are both the protagonists and the antagonists of the movie and it is an interesting dynamic. I would compare it to Step Brothers except that all four characters are actually lovable and get a little bit of redemption. The movie was funny and it had a lot of heart in a movie themed on self-reflection. There are also some great supporting performances by actors like Stephen Root, Sugar Lyn Beard, Sam Richardson, and Kumail Nanjiani. I definitely recommend it.


Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

I had read a little bit of this story in Grant Morrison’s Supergods book which details a lot of the history behind the creation of classic comic book characters. To be clear, this movie covers the story behind the creation of Wonder Woman by three people. William Marston was a Harvard professor of psychology who taught the DISC system, an axis of Domination, Inducement, Submission, and Compliance. His wife was his partner in life and in research and she helped him invent a device for measuring systolic blood pressure which would become a component of the lie detector. The two of them also created Wonder Woman based on an ex-student of Marston’s and the various subjects of psychological study that the Marstons conducted. Of course, this included things like bondage and other “abnormal” parts of human sexuality. The movie is great and there is a great slow burn as we follow these three people on a journey of self-discovery. I definitely recommend it but be prepared for a little sexiness.

Music of the Week:

Childish Gambino – This Is America

Christina Aguilera – Accelerate

Outlaws – Green Grass and High Tides

Kate Higgins – Waiting on My Heart

Broken Social Scene – Hug Of Thunder

Weekly Update:
– This Week’s Theme is “Gender Studies”
– I watched more of The Pinkertons
– I watched more Barry Kramer on YouTube
– I watched more Better Call Saul Season 3
– I watched more Joel McHale Show
– I watched more Stephen Colbert
– I finished A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 2

Media Update 3/23/2017

March 23, 2017


Iron Fist

Everybody seems to say this show sucks but that is the problem with saying something sucks, somebody out there might actually like it. Marvel has created a lot of good television shows, especially through Netflix. My favorite has been Jessica Jones but Luke Cage and Daredevil have both been great as well. The plan was always to make a quintet of shows and this is the fourth. Iron Fist is Danny Rand, a young wealthy man who the world thought was dead but was instead training in another dimension. When he returns, he is naive about the world and unsure of where he fits in anymore. It is an interesting show as it shows an unshakably honest and forthright character trying to deal with a very dishonest world. Like Daredevil, we get a lot of cool martial arts fight scenes. Some of the coolest fight scenes star the awesome Colleen Wing who is a great character from the comics. In the comics, she often teams up with Misty Knight who was on Luke Cage. I am only a few episodes deep into the season but the show is really coming together. I really like it so far. It makes it a little insulting when other people say “it sucks”. I definitely recommend it. Do not let other people decide what you will and will not like. Check things out for yourself.


Justice League Dark

This was originally supposed to be a project helmed by the excellent Guillermo Del Toro. Unfortunately, that project did not work out because I would have loved to see it. Setting that aside, the animated films that DC Comics and Warner Brothers have been putting out have been really good. The only downside is we get the Superman who is a huge dick but he has maybe two scenes so it’s fine. The show centers on some of the more mystical characters in the DC Universe (a lot of whom came from other companies originally). The central character in the movie is John Constantine who has never really been a hero but often cannot stand by and let the world end. He is joined by Batman, Zatanna, Deadman, Etrigan and Swamp Thing. It is always great to see Batman out of his element, trying to gain his footing but never losing his cool. We get so much of Batman as an unstoppable hero that him being a fish out of water is always interesting. Zatanna featured heavily which makes sense as she is potentially one of the most powerful magicians on Earth. I loved the depiction of Constantine and Swamp Thing’s eternal feud and Felix Faust being a total magic bro. This made me miss the Constantine television show. I definitely recommend it.


Legion

I am a few episodes in and I am not sure what to think about this show yet. I am pretty sure I like it although there was some rough going for a while. This show seemed to be a lot of special effects and weirdness without much substance but it has settled down a little. If you got superpowers, would you recognize them as such? Would you just think that you were just going insane?  This is where David Haller (unknown son of Professor Xavier) is at. He has spent a long time self-destructing and also hanging out in a mental hospital, thinking he is absolutely nuts. He hears voices and sees things that are not there. However, a lot of those things he sees and hears are the thoughts of the people around him. Also, he can set fires and move objects with his mind. That and so many other powers. One of my favorite parts of the show so far is his weird friendship with Lenny. Lenny is played by Aubrey Plaza who I admire for her work in Parks and Rec and her awkward interviews on television. She plays a role originally written for a middle-aged man so she is wonderfully weird. I look forward to how this one will play out but I have not been fully hooked yet. I recommend it but be warned that it is really weird.

Music of the Week:
Levarslaysdragons – Game Over

Cirith Ungol – King Of The Dead

Cher Lloyd – Want U Back

DAZZLE VISION – Final Attack

Steely Dan – Any Major Dude Will Tell You

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is Comic Book Heroes Without Costumes
– I finished Season 3 of Blue Bloods
– I started watching Lucha Underground from the first episode
– I am getting close to finishing off Haven
– I continued watching Once Upon a Time Season 6
– I started watching a few MST3K episodes I missed
– I kept watching The Crown


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