Posts Tagged ‘Natasha Lyonne’

Media Update 2/14/19

February 14, 2019


Russian Doll

Last week I heard really good things about Russian Doll and after I saw the trailer, I knew it was something I wanted to watch. I’ve loved the star Natasha Lyonne since I first saw her in Detroit Rock City and I have glimpsed her in later works like But I’m a Cheerleader, Antibirth, and Orange is the New Black. She really transforms herself in this show. She is a cynical woman on her 36th birthday when things start to get weird. She is so good. She may be sarcastic and cynical but she is also endearing, a grounded woman who is trying to figure her life out while alternately also doing anything else. What made her journey even more interesting to me is that the show takes place on her 36th birthday which I recently had. She is supported by a great cast of actors who I really loved. Everybody who pops up was an interesting character who you get to see different facets of each episode, bit by bit. A special shout out to Rebecca Henderson who is just such an interesting character, an old artsy lesbian with an even older soul. I am only three episodes in and I am so interested to see where it goes next. The time loop in the show is more of a mystery than in most time loops stuff I have seen and I want to learn all about it. I definitely recommend this show.


Happy Death Day

Blumhouse Pictures has recently become a force to reckon with on my horror movie radar by producing such movies as Get Out, Halloween (2018), and Upgrade. I cannot deny there popularity with other horror franchises that I am not a fan of like Paranormal Activity, Insidious, and the last 3 M Night Shyamalan films. So, they are kind of hit and miss but the trailer for this movie looked like a great mix of horror and comedy. The weight of the movie rests on the good writing which is irreverent but actually also both scary and touching. The movie would not have been nearly as good as it was without the lead Jessica Rothe who is so much fun whether she is being the bad guy or the good guy. She is backed up by Israel Broussard who is a grounding presence, a good guy who I could definitely empathize with. They are in turn backed up by an ensemble cast of college students who are fun to either like or hate. I actually expected the movie to be more bloody but they focused more on the characters and the situation for both comedy and humor instead of gore. The movie also felt like a good tribute to horror movies as it had enough twists and turns that made me wonder how it might end. I am intensely interested in what the sequel might bring this week (though I probably won’t see it until later). I definitely recommend this movie.


ARQ

Like Edge of Tomorrow, this movie tries to come up with a science fiction reason for the time loop. Of course, the reason for the time loop does not matter as much as the intricate plot and action. As the plot evolves, the characters act like they are in a chess match, trying to out-think each other but also the time loop itself. I found the mechanics of the time loop way more interesting than anything else in the movie. Sometimes it is just fun to watch a movie where I have no idea what is going to happen next. I am still trying to digest certain parts of the movie, especially the end. The movie stars Robbie Amell, the lesser known Amell brother but he did a great job here. He was very likable and believable as a mechanic trying to be a scientist but always falling a bit behind. Rachael Taylor (who I loved in Jessica Jones) is the other lead and she is great as the smarter, more cunning woman stuck with Ammell. The scenes between the two are really enjoyable to watch. I recommend the movie as it was enjoyable and it made me think.

Music of the Week:

Blue October – Hate Me

Cherry Glazerr – Wasted Nun

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie – My Shit

In This Moment – Call Me

The Sidh – Iridium

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Again!?”
– I finished Glitter Force Doki Doki
– I finished The Assassination of Gianni Versace
– I watched more Lucifer Season 3
– I watched more Fate/Apocrypha Season 2
– I watched more The Dragon Prince Season 1
– I watched more Carmen Sandiego Season 1
– I watched more Wynonna Earp Season 2
– I watched more The Magicians Season 3
– I watched more The Seven Deadly Sins Season 3
– I watched more Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 4

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Antibirth (2016)

October 15, 2018

A lot of people are afraid of drugs. This is not an unfounded fear, at least in my opinion. I have researched a lot about opiate addiction and what I have read has frightened me. Without getting too personal, I know that drugs can take a hold on people and never let go. They can break your brain over time and cause erratic behavior. The Just Say No campaign and various 90s campaigns did a number on me. They convinced me that drugs could poison me and I could easily die from taking a single puff. The very nature of the black market nature of narcotics convinced me that they were right. The idea that any drugs could be cut with something poisonous and deadly kept me from taking any drugs when some of my friends were definitely smoking pot. Of course, my fears proved not to be totally ridiculous as reports of heroin cut with fentanyl killing people (as fentanyl is super deadly) have become widespread. As marijuana has become more accepted and legal, it has become safer to smoke and safer to get a hold of.

I think that some people do not like to admit it but pregnancy is a scary concept. Many hype it as a ‘beautiful event’ but I have seen it several times now and I have a different perspective. Of course, this perspective is as a male so take all of this with a grain of salt. When I left for college, my father told me that having sex with a woman was ‘an emotional, physical, and legal commitment’. There are many people who are scared of getting pregnant or getting somebody pregnant. Part of that is the financial commitment that follows but it is also the mental, physical, and emotional effects of raising a child. Before all of that, actually being pregnant involves so many medical issues. From my observations, people who are pregnant worry about each little thing that happens and how it might affect the baby. This is especially true of people who have planned to have children but have a history of miscarriages. Then there are the more existential fears of what will the child be when it comes out and what will they become? It is part of that general fear of the future.

The first thing I noticed was how good the acting was in this. The movie stars Natasha Lyonne as a druggie slacker who gets into trouble. She really drops into her character and she was likable from the first second. I have known a few of these stoners and most of them are good people even though they lack ambition. She is friends with Chloe Sevigny who is fun in a sarcastic kind of way with a hard edge. Mark Webber exudes a paranoid air of menace as a drug dealer and pimp. Meg Tilly plays a kindly stranger who is a mystery from her first appearance. She has a quiet, subtle performance which is a great contrast to the rest of the cast. Maxwell McCabe-Lokos plays a really skeevy guy who is friends with Webber’s character. Neville Edwards plays an absolutely creepy character sort of in the grand tradition of Bela Lugosi or Boris Karloff. In addition, there are a lot of sufficiently creepy extras who add to the general sense of unease.

This one has a lot of practical effects, a lot of which are subtle at first. When things really get rocking, it was hard to maintain my cool with how crazy it gets. Still, they were some great effects. There are also a lot of really interesting flashbacks in the movie. The movie kind of flashes these images at the viewer (and the main character) and it is a really neat way to depict it. In most movies, the character would slowly remember whole scenes but that is not usually how we remember things after trauma. Of course, I should mention that this is definitely a body horror movie. A lot of stuff happens that evokes that nauseating horror of somebody’s body changing against their will. If that kind of thing bothers you, do not watch this movie. Another great element of the movie is the sound design. They picked some really great ambient music that makes even the most innocuous thing feel creepy and strange. A lot of stuff shown on television in the background is really trippy.

Overall, I really liked this movie even though it made me feel intensely uncomfortable. Trippy and unsettling are definitely the two biggest keywords that I would use to describe the movie. Lyonne’s physical acting is among the best I have seen in a horror movie (or most movies in general). The effects used for the body horror are amazing and disgusting. The movie definitely went a lot of places that I was not expecting. One of the great things about doing these reviews is getting to see stuff that I could not have imagined and this movie had it in spades. I would recommend it but it is not for the squeamish.


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