Posts Tagged ‘Michael Douglas’

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.

Media Update 7/12/18

July 12, 2018


Antman and the Wasp

I was a big fan of the first Antman movie as it was a great example of an adaptation taking parts of the source material and making something that felt new. They made Hank Pym and Scott Lang feel fresh again. Besides that, performances by Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, and Michael Pena gave the movie a lot of heart. The formula for later Marvel movies is to take a superhero movie and mix a different genre into it to create a new subgenre. The first movie mixed in a heist movie to create a fun superhero romp. This movie mixes in a sort of “criminals on the run” thing and also a rescue mission. In addition to the first movie’s stars, we get a bigger performance from Abby Ryder Fortson as Cassie Lang. We also see a great relationship between Laurence Fishburne and Hannah John-Kamen. Randall Park gets to be part of the comedy relief squad and is really great it. Finally, there is a small part for Michelle Pfeiffer but a promise of more to come. The movie felt like a natural extension of the first movie and brought back a lot of what was really good about it. At the same time, the movie allowed its characters to evolve and grow toward new places. In particular, Evangeline Lilly got a bigger part and finally got to be the hero she deserved to be in the first film. She was one of my favorite parts of both movies so it is great to see her flourish and hopefully that continues in the MCU. The other part I really liked was the three sort of Father-Daughter relationships that each have different dynamics but also how they reflect each other. I definitely recommend this one.


Kiki’s Delivery Service

I simply have not seen enough Hayao Miyazaki films. I first saw Princess Mononoke when it was released in theaters in the US and I fell in love with Miyazaki’s style instantly. I have since watched a few of his movies but I still need to watch more. This one came especially highly recommended and I was happy to finally get my hands on the newer dub. This came out the same year as The Little Mermaid so it was part of an animation revolution in both art and storytelling. The movie is about a thirteen-year-old witch who strikes out on her own and clashes with the modern culture of a city. It deals heavily with growing up, finding your place, depression, and how we deal with people among other things. Though it has supernatural elements, the movie focuses mostly on relationships between people and dialogue. It is a fairly simple movie but it involves very complex teenage emotions. It is one of the best representations that I have seen on what it feels like to move away from home and also what it feels like to be a teenager. The artwork is beautiful and especially the faces are so expressive and cute. The American voice work was really fun and special shout-outs to Tress MacNeille, Phil Hartman, Debbie Reynolds, Janeane Garofolo, and Kirsten Dunst. It really is a feel-good movie and it left me feeling a little lighter. I definitely recommend it.


Pacific Rim: Uprising

I was a big fan of the first Pacific Rim, as it was exactly what I expected it to be and exactly what I wanted it to be. It was basically the best live action anime that has ever been created and one of the jewels in Guillermo Del Toro’s crown as a king of digital effects. The movie was very Del Toro and was both thrilling and funny. Del Toro passed on directing the sequel so he could win an Academy Award with The Shape of Water. I expected more of the same but I was pleasantly surprised that they advanced time and did more world-building. The movie takes place at Jaeger pilot school filled with a ragtag band of international students. The stars of this one are John Boyega and Cailee Spaeny. Boyega once again proved that he is a great actor with tons of charisma and gravitas. Cailee Spaeny is really fun and it was really fun to see a fresh new face as a prodigy pilot, sort of a combo of Charlie Hunnam and Charlie Day in the original. Speaking of Charlie Day, he and Burn Gorman return as the goofy scientists, except less goofy and more fleshed-out characters. We also get the return of the stoic yet playful Rinko Kikuchi as Mako Mori. The visuals are just as fun and, if anything, there is even more action than the first film. There were also more unexpected twists and interesting moments than the first one as they built off the world that had already been created. I recommend this one as well.

Music of the Week:
Adam And The Ants – Ants Invasion

Dreamcatcher – Lucky Strike

The Ting Tings – That’s Not My Name

Belly – Man Listen

Code Orange – Forever

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “The Next Generation”
– I watched more Glow Season 2
– I watched more Arrow Season 6
– I watched more Flash Season 4
– I watched more Agents of Shield Season 5
– I watched more Luke Cage Season 2
– I watched more Barry Kramer on YouTube

Media Update 12/24/2015

December 24, 2015


Snatch

I honestly thought I had seen this movie before. For some reason I remember my friend Arthur really pushing this as a great movie. I wasn’t very familiar with Guy Ritchie back then. I hadn’t seen Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and I thought of Ritchie as Madonna’s boyfriend. As discussed before, I didn’t really appreciate foreign film very much and I didn’t cotton to being told what to watch and enjoy. Time and time again I’ve learned that my stubbornness keeps me from enjoying good movies and television (although sometimes I’m right, damn it). The movie is really good. Jason Statham is too often used as a kung fu mook but here he’s a pretty funny and believable actor. The movie is full of great performances by Benicio Del Toro, Vinnie Jones, Dennis Farina, Rade Serbedzija and a lot of others. Brad Pitt is especially funny as Mickey and it’s refreshing to see a minority represented that I’m encouraged to laugh with rather than at. It’s a great low budget movie so check it out.

 


Ant-Man

I put off this movie for far too long. I am in love with the Disney/Marvel Cinematic Universe as I have repeatedly stated in this blog and nothing they have put out has disappointed. The timing fell into a bad place and I couldn’t get anybody interested in going to the theater with me. I felt bad that I had lost my chance to see it in theaters but I resolved to wait and see it on DVD. I owned it on DVD for over a week before I sat down to watch it. Again, I shouldn’t have waited. Ant-Man is not a character I’ve really followed too much in the comics outside of crossovers but interestingly I’ve followed Scott Lang the most who Paul Rudd plays. Speaking of Paul Rudd, I was worried but he was great as a beginner superhero. Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lily backed him up brilliantly along with a great cast. The movie still held some of the flavor of the earlier Edgar Wright version and was a great mix of comedy and action and real drama. The tone was something between Guardians of the Galaxy and Iron Man 2. It was a great movie and I can’t wait to see the sequel or maybe even a crossover in the future.

 


White Christmas

I really felt that I needed to watch something to help pick up my Christmas spirits so that I’m not so Grinchy this week. The holidays are always stressful because you deal with things you look forward to intensely while also dreading other things. If you look at earlier posts from this blog, you’ll notice I love old musicals. I had never seen White Christmas and neither had my mother so we decided to sit down and check it out because it’s a classic and I like Bing Crosby. Even after all of the similar movies I’ve watched, I still didn’t expect the depth of the story. The movie deals with World War II, what happens to veterans after retirement, stubborn love, show business and generosity vs. self-interest. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye have great chemistry together and are very funny. Rosemary Clooney is a great singer but I was surprised by her great chemistry with Bing Crosby and her great performances with Vera Ellen. Dean Jagger practically steals the movie a lot of the time as an old retired army general. The movie is great and is on Netflix so if you have time this week check it out.

Links of the Week

Henry Rollins – The Night Before Christmas
Speed Painting of Santa by Roy Paschal (my Uncle!)
SNL Digital Shorts – Best Friends
Tupperware Remix Party – Christmas Special
Brian Wecht – Voted Most Likely to Cure Aids

Updates of the Week:
– Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!
– Check out Tuesday’s Star Wars review
– The Steve Harvey incident was a good lesson that design matters
– The Slammy Awards are fixed
– There are a lot of bad holiday movies out there
– Gotta see Krampus


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