Posts Tagged ‘Chris Pratt’

Media Update 8/10/2017

August 10, 2017


Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later

Anybody who has read this blog in the last year or so knows that I am a fan of Wet Hot American Summer and I will be forever. The original movie was a funny, sweet and nonsensical movie about the last day at a Jewish Sleepover Camp in 1981. A while ago, they released a miniseries detailing the first day of that summer which was even crazier but awesome. At the end of the movie, there is a quick scene where the main characters promise to have a reunion in 10 years. So instead of the eighties, we get to see the characters’ adventures at camp as twenty-somethings in 1991. This series saw the closing of story lines raised in the prior two adventures and what appeared to be a wrapping up of the series. This one had a lot of zany things happening but, as usual, it also spent plenty of time focusing on relationships. The main cast from the last two returns with the exception of Bradley Cooper who is replaced by Adam Scott due to scheduling problems. We also see the addition of Mark Feuerstein and Marlo Thomas as two counselors who were apparently just off screen during the prior two adventures. There are also great performances by Alyssa Milano and Jai Courtney to add a little more conflict into the picture. I definitely recommend watching this and all the Wet Hot American Summer pieces.


Ghost in the Shell

I used to hate anime but at some point, it grew on me. The same actually goes for Science Fiction as I usually gravitated towards Science Fantasy and regular Fantasy. Of course, in the Venn diagram of those two things is the Ghost in the Shell series which I liked. I watched quite a bit of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex as it felt like a cyberpunk/film noir/police mash up. This movie felt very much like a pretty solid adaptation of some episodes I remember. Much has been said about how Scarlet Johannson should not have been cast in the lead in an anime adaptation but she is a good actress. She did a good job of portraying a machine finding her humanity again. The movie was kind of slow but it picked up speed as it went along. It is a mystery and most mysteries start slow. There is plenty of technobabble and plenty of philosophical questions similar to those posed in Blade Runner and I, Robot. If you have seen the anime series then this will feel kind of nostalgic but if not, it is a pretty good movie on its own merits. This movie was pretty middle-of-the-road and inoffensive. I recommend it but frankly, I was working on other stuff while I watched it.


Passengers

This one got bad reviews but I decided to watch it anyway as I am a big fan of Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence. This was kind of a stripped down science fiction adventure without a lot of the adventure part. In it, Chris Pratt plays a man who gets woken up 90 years too early from suspended animation in a spaceship headed to colonize a planet. A lot of the movie is more about the psychological effects of loneliness, forgiveness, and what you would do with your life if you were effectively stranded. There are pretty much only four actors in the movie and it makes the movie feel lonely which I believe was the intended effect. The special effects were really good, I believed they were on a futuristic space ship. I found it interesting that the actors actually had working tablets programmed with a UI designed in UNITY as consoles throughout filming. There were a lot of good yet uncomfortable themes explored in the movie. The love story was definitely problematic and there is not much room to argue that point. It is definitely not a ‘nice’ movie to watch. I would recommend it but it is a little soul-crushing in its bleakness.

Music of the Week:
The Tarantulas – Bullrushes

Kings Of Leon – Reverend

Alyson Stoner – Sweet

Motionless In White – LOUD (F**k It)

Nadia Rose – Skwod

Weekly Update:
– This Week’s Theme is “The Future”
– I finished NCIS Season 13
– I started watching Criminal Minds Season 12
– I continued Supergirl Season 2
– I watched more of Little Witch Academia
– I started watching Rick and Morty Season 3
– It is awesome. Go watch all of it.
– Dan Harmon was on Game Grumps
– I want to go to the movie theater again

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Media Update 12/22/2016

December 22, 2016


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I went to Rogue One this past Saturday because I could not stand leaving it until later for fear of spoilers. Also, a whole bunch of my friends were going and we had assigned seats in a very cushy movie theater in Columbia. I had been hyped about Rogue One since the first inklings of a plot had been released. Most Star Wars movies have been sweeping epic fantasy movies that deal with the most important people in huge political conflicts. This movie pays more attention to the regular people in the Rebellion and the Empire. The heroine is important but she’s long been overlooked by everyone around her. The main villain is a sycophantic bureaucrat with high-minded aspirations of greatness. This is a darker, dirtier story about doing what it takes to spark the flames of hope in people ground down by the evil in the universe. This movie was exactly what I needed it to be. It had humor, it had sadness, it had triumph. It also had a lot of allusions or direct references to the rest of the Star Wars movies but nothing felt too forced or overdone. The ragtag group of heroes felt like they grew together and fought their hearts out. I do not want to spoil it too much because I definitely recommend you go see it. I do like Star Wars VII better but that is only because I feel like the normal Star Wars movies are a little happier.


Magnificent Seven (2016)

I am a big fan of the original movie but it has honestly been a while since I have seen it. The original was modeled after The Seven Samurai and both of those films are classics. When the trailer for the remake was released, I was definitely interested. A remake is not necessarily a bad thing. The True Grit remake was a lot better than the original. If you attach good writers, good directors and good actors to a project, it can succeed remake or not and this movie is proof. This version is a great story about people who have every reason to hate each other, gathering to fight for a just cause. The whole cast is excellent, as you would expect for a movie designed to be an ensemble affair. Of the cast, Chris Pratt was the one who drew me in first. He is proving that he is not only fun but he is a great actor as well. Of course, once I found out Denzel Washington was involved, I was even more excited. I really liked the friendship between Byung-hun Lee and Ethan Hawke. Vincent D’Onofrio once again plays a weirdo but this time with a heart of gold. To round it out, Martin Sensmeier is a great silent killer and Manuel Garcia-Rulfo is funny. On top of the seven, Haley Bennett is great as a widow with revenge on her mind. Peter Sarsgaard is a great, purely evil villain. I definitely recommend this one as it is a great tribute and companion to the original movie.


Female Agents

This movie is a dark but interesting tale set in 1944 in war-torn France in the Spring before the Normandy landings. A British agent has been captured and it is up to five female agents to rescue him from Nazi-occupied France. Since this was made recently, the women are portrayed realistically. So this is not a Charlie’s Angels type affair. This is more like an all-girl Dirty Dozen with each woman having a bit of a specialty that can help on the mission. They are all brave women but not all of them are badasses but they are all women who have had a hard life. The movie was made in France and the whole thing is in French with English subtitles which add to the movie. I like when I get to see a story about a region that is actually told by the country where it happened. The agents in question are from a few countries, the leader is a British agent but she teams up with French women and an Italian Jewish lady. The real title of this movie is actually The Women of the Shadows and that better describes the feel of this movie. War is Hell and it shows with the decisions these women (and their male allies) have to make in order to serve their countries against a greater evil. The actresses all have strong personalities and great characters who all come to the story from different directions. I was surprised by how interesting this movie was especially after I found out that it is based on a bunch of true stories. In fact, the story it details is very fascinating. I definitely recommend it as it is very dramatic and has a lot of twists and turns that I did not expect.

Music of the Week:
Vince Vance and the Valiants- All I Want For Christmas Is You

Bing Crosby & David Bowie – Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy

Harvey Fierstein and Michael Mckean – Heat Miser and Snow Miser

John Lennon – Happy Christmas (War is Over)

Twisted Sister – Silver Bells

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Hope in the Face of Evil”
– Happy Holidays. Keep safe and be happy.
– I got to Season 5 of The Office and it actually gets better as it goes
– I rewatched Nightmare Before Christmas, as I do every year
– I am on Season 3 of Parks and Recreation
– I am almost done Season 2 of Dark Matter

Media Update 3/17/2016

March 17, 2016


An Honest Liar

I have had my eye on this documentary for a long, long time and my anticipation really paid off in a big way. If you look back through my blog, you will realize that I am a huge advocate for skepticism. There are a lot of flim flammers and woo woo practitioners out there that will just as soon steal your money as look at you. This documentary was about The Amazing Randi, a young magician who decided to devote his life to debunking the supernatural. He especially targets those who would prey on those desperate enough to believe anything. The documentary follows his career in magic up to his retirement. It then follows two of his most notable feuds (Peter Poppoff and Uri Gellar) and how he has debunked them both over the years. It then gets personal as it explores a very personal untruth that permeated his life that shows even more how dedicated he is to helping people. Check it out and see what I’m raving about.


Parks and Recreation

This is a show that I keep saying ‘Oh I’ll get around to watching that’ or ‘Yeah it’s on my list’. I had heard it was really good and it is the project that brought Chris Pratt to the level where he could be cast in a brilliant Marvel movie. The show was always there and I would eventually get to it. Eventually came this week as I finally decided to just sit down and watch this show. I had gotten into Amy Poehler through Tina Fey so I was curious whether I would like this one. The show is made in a documentary style like The Office before it. However, the characters feel like they are a lot more down to Earth. Amy Poehler is great as Leslie, a government employee who tries too hard but often fails at her job. Chris Pratt plays that guy who you know is a total loser but you can’t help but really like him. My favorite is Nick Offerman who plays grumpy Ron Swanson, a government supervisor who hates the government. I have only watched four episodes but I’m itching for more.


Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau

Another documentary this week, a genre I have neglected for a little while but I love watching them. I especially love watching documentaries about the art of film. This one is about a truly disastrous movie and the even more horrible events behind the scenes. The Island of Dr. Moreau was a book by HG Wells that attracted the attention of Richard Stanley, a young but rising writer/director. He had a vision for a movie version and pushed hard for the studio system to fund it. They got funding by adding big Hollywood names who were uninterested in doing a good job on the movie. After four days on location, Richard Stanley was fired from his own movie. I don’t want to spoil anything but that is where the behind the scenes events got even darker. The end result was a mess and the documentary really gets deep into what happened and how it all went wrong. It is definitely worth a watch.

Links of the Week:
Harry Nilsson – Everything’s Got ‘Em
She – Headshot
Miles Davis – So What
Pun Fiction
He Had One Job

Weekly Updates:
– American Crime Story is still an engaging show
– I’ve loved Legends of Tomorrow lately
– I really want to see 10 Cloverfield Lane
– I still have not seen Zootopia
– I am listening to so many podcasts lately
– I may have to talk about Serial on here soon

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!


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