Posts Tagged ‘Frances McDormand’

Media Update 4/12/18

April 12, 2018

Isle of Dogs

I love Wes Anderson movies but I also hate them. Maybe hate is too strong a term. I will always run and out and watch his movies but Wes Anderson movies hurt a little. There is a stark sadness somewhere near their heart. However, there is a lot of humor even though some of it is dark. The dialogue and the pacing are especially clever. That being said, Wes Anderson should only make animated movies from now on. If he finished out his career making stuff like Fantastic Mr. Fox and Isle of Dogs, I would be very happy. This movie is very silly but also very touching. The movie mostly follows the dog characters who speak perfect English while the human characters mostly speak Japanese. The Japanese is only partially translated to further shift attention to the point of view of the dogs. The star of the movie is played by Bryan Cranston and he once again knocks it out of the park with comedy and drama. He is backed up by Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, and Scarlet Johannson. Humans are played by Greta Gerwig, Francis McDormand, and Yoko Ono (yes, that Yoko Ono). I definitely recommend this one.


Death of Stalin

When it comes to zany political satire, two movies immediately spring to my mind.  Dr. Strangelove and In the Loop are two films of a similar breed.  Both cover a time when horrible and/or lazy people were in charge of our armies and the horror that could/did come from that.  When I saw the trailer for this movie it grabbed me by comparing itself to In the Loop.  The trailer also reminded me of madcap stuff like The Imposters or The Marx Brothers.  Except, all of the main characters are murdering, backstabbing bureaucrats.  The movie follows the tumultuous political maneuvering that happened directly after the death of Joseph Stalin.  The power vacuum was huge and it was unclear who was going to succeed this horrible man in controlling Russia.  The main characters are played by American and British actors in order to jar the viewer a bit and add some comedy to the proceedings.  I ended up laughing at things I knew were absolutely horrible and deplorable.  The Russian government was involved in the summary execution, torture, and rape of people who displeased them.  The movie should be absolutely unpleasant but it ends up being darkly comical.  I would not suggest it for everyone but if you are willing to go on a dark ride, it is a great movie for you.



The moon landing was a pivotal moment in US and World history but it was so amazing that some people just could never accept it as real. It is my favorite conspiracy theory because nobody gets hurt by it and it is patently ridiculous and it has been debunked so many times. In this movie, the CIA attempts to hire Stanley Kubrick to fake the moon landing just in case the USA can’t pull it off. They plan to launch the rocket and attempt the moon landing but if it does not happen, they have a backup. They send a Vietnam War vet played by Ron Perlman to England to dump a truckload of money on Kubrick to play along. Instead, wacky hijinks ensue when he instead hires a character played by Rupert Grint. Things get even more complicated when gangsters get involved. Basically, this movie is like a low energy version of the movies that Guy Pearce makes. There are likable but horrible people who romp around and everything goes wrong but it all works out in the end somehow. It is supposed to be a comedy but I personally did not find it very funny.  However, the plot, although predictable, was pretty fun. Ron Perlman is always awesome. It is really cool to see Rupert Grint continue to grow up and beef up his acting chops a bit. I would recommend it but don’t expect a brilliant movie.

Music of the Week:
Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl

Ruby Ibarra – Game Up

San Cisco – Awkward

The Beau Brummels- Laugh Laugh

Seether – Betray and Degrade

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Horrible People”
– I started watching A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 2
– I watched more The Pinkertons Season 1
– Wrestlemania and NXT Takeover were both awesome
– I watched more Fairy Tail
– I watched more Santa Clarita Diet Season 2
– I am one episode away from finishing Freaks and Geeks
– I watched more Glitter Force Doki Doki Season 2
– I watched more Beauty and the Beast Season 1
– I watched more Barry Kramer, Critical Role, and Game Grumps on YouTube


Media Update 3/1/18

March 1, 2018

Lady Bird

Seeing this movie this past week was fortuitous as I have reconnected with the alumni association of the school I went to from first grade through twelfth. This was a fantastic movie that kind of covered the spectrum of human emotion. The movie is about a young girl who calls herself Lady Bird who is on the verge of becoming a woman in the last years of high school. It is also about Lady Bird’s mother and a good portion of the movie is about their relationship. However, this is a movie without a traditional plot. There are a lot of stories that cover Lady Bird, her mother, and all of the other characters in their life. Much like Moonlight, it is a slice of life movie that covers more character arcs than story arcs. Except that this movie covers two years in a young girl’s life as she rages against the machine while also trying desperately to fit in somewhere. It is a love letter to Sacramento, a city that I knew next to nothing about. It was so easy for me to get caught up in the lives of the characters from the first few minutes. I laughed at the great humor, cheered on the characters, and then I was crying at the end but there was some joy in those tears. The movie belongs to Saoirse Ronan who plays the title role in such a way that I saw a lot of girls and women and people in general that I have known through her. Laurie Metcalf evoked a lot of older women I have known, the authority figure who shoulders that burden beautifully. I wholeheartedly recommend this movie.

Shape of Water

Guillermo Del Toro is a magnificent filmmaker when it comes to creating compelling characters who operate in fantastically crafted worlds. On top of that, his penchant for spectacular visual effects is well known at this point especially when he is creating creatures. He goes back and forth between fantastic dramas and more blockbuster-y action movies but no matter what he is doing, it has a lot of heart and thought behind it. This movie is no different. This movie is a modern-day fairytale that comes at the right time. It is a great story of accepting The Other and also accepting ourselves. The heroes of the movie are a disabled orphan, a black woman, an illegal immigrant/communist, a gay man, and an aquatic creature. It is set in the sixties in Baltimore (!!!) and all these people are definitely marginalized in society. I mean, a lot of them would still be marginalized but we have made a little progress. While the movie is definitely out there, it is a beautiful story as soon as you let go and compare it to fairytale stories like older versions of Beauty and the Beast. To me, the story was about The Other, connection between people, reclaiming one’s power, fighting the system, and doing what is right instead of what is safe. On top of that, the movie has great jazz music. I definitely recommend this but leave your hangups at the door and just enjoy it.

Three Billboards Outside of Ebbings, MO

This movie is another Oscar contender with strong social messages and like Lady Bird, it has a lot to do with following the lives of characters around one location over a period of time. Legendary actress Frances McDormand plays a mother who is hurting and tries to take the police to task, something we as a society are trying to do more and more of. The movie is about grieving, it is about accountability, and it is about how a community deals with criticism and a whole bunch of other interesting themes. Sam Rockwell kind of plays the villain but things are not so black and white as they are not in life. Woody Harrelson is his usual charming self and plays a major character that moves the plot along. While Ebbing, MO is not a real place, they did a great job of making it feel like a real place with a real heart. Even the so-called bad guys were people that I remember from my life. The movie was funny, sad, and it had a lot of great messages. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
Gin Wigmore – Black Sheep

Tonight Alive – Breaking & Entering

Janelle Monáe – Make Me Feel

Metric – Gimme Sympathy

The Ting Tings – Do It Again

Weekly Update:
– This Week’s Theme is “Female Empowerment During Awards Season”
– I finished watching The Librarians Season 3
– I continued watching Criminal Minds Season 11
– I continued watching Mad Men Season 1
– I continued watching Peaky Blinders Season 1
– I continued watching Black Lightning Season 1
– I watched Game Grumps, KittyKat Gaming, and Barry Kramer on YouTube
– This week included a double feature at the Charles Theater

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