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18
Mar
17

Amadeus, Sleeping With Other People

Amadeus

Amadeus is a tour de force of film making. It has everything you’d want in a period drama: lush sets, flamboyant costumes, fantastic dialogue, deep drama, scandal, and treachery. While Amadeus is far from portraying the events of Mozart’s life accurately, it is a riveting film nonetheless.

The most brilliant aspect of the film is that it is told not from Mozart’s point of view, but rather his rival’s. Antonio Salieri is the court composer for the Holy Roman Emperor. His also a deeply pious individual. He is gladdened to learn that musical prodigy Mozart will be coming to Vienna, where he lives. He is then abhorred to discover that Mozart is lewd, tactless, and arrogant. He questions why God would imbue such undeniable talent into someone so abrasive. The film moves on to portray the major events in Mozart’s life, and how Salieri tries to thwart him at every turn.

The acting is great all around, but F. Murray Abraham is especially fantastic as Salieri. Every inch of his face exudes his love of music, his hatred of Mozart, as well as confusion, dismay, joy, and every other human emotion. He towers among the other players, but never overshadows them.

It is an expertly directed film. While it might not get the historical details right, that really isn’t the point. It showcases a wonderful rivalry set against a historical backdrop. And Mozart’s thundering music helps to perfect the atmosphere.

Verdict: Good

Sleeping With Other People

This movie is an utterly forgettable romantic comedy from 2015. It managed to snag some decent talent with the likes of Jason Sudeikis, Alison Brie, Adam Scott, and Amanda Peet. How they managed to secure those big names for such an abysmal failure is beyond me.

Sudeikis and Brie lost their virginity to each other in college, and then never saw each other again. Both went on to become sex addicts. They meet at a Sex Addicts Anonymous group, and rekindle their friendship. They decide they’ll not bang, and by doing so, they will become true friends.

Yawn. The movie derives its comedy from juvenile humor. They expect us to believe that the couple will just be friends, but they do shit like Brie modeling sexy underwear to Sudeikis. What kind of friends do that? It’s like whoever wrote this movie came from Mars, and is writing what they think Earth-friends must do together.

Eventually, Brie and Sudeikis have a falling out over Scott, whom she is having an affair with. She breaks it off, and then she and Sudeikis fall in love. This movie has every trope you’ve ever seen in a romantic comedy. This movie is bland, not funny, and sucks.

Verdict: Shitty

11
Mar
17

Logan: The Spoiler Review

Hugh Jackman’s final (until he gets paid all the money to return) outing as Wolverine has finally hit theaters. So far, it is both a critical and commercial success. With a bleak tone, incredible violence, and a definitive ending, we finally have been treated to the first truly great X-Men film.

Taking place 12 years from now, Logan’s future looks like a hellscape. One could be forgiven for thinking they accidentally stepped into a post-apocalyptic movie. With locations set primarily on the U.S.-Mexico border, the film’s vistas are mostly desert wastelands. This mirrors the inner narrative that Logan’s life has been wasted on violence, leaving him with nothing to show for it. That’s not to say the film can’t be beautiful at times. In fact, the forlorn landscapes evoke their own stark beauty thanks to some wonderful cinematography.

Once again, mutants are on the run, hiding from humans who wish to wipe them out. Humans have perfected a gene therapy technique that has caused all mutants to either lose their powers, or find they have become unstable. Professor X can barely control his telepathic powers, and is reduced to taking seizure meds to subdue them. Logan’s healing factor has slowed substantially, causing him to take much longer to recover from injuries, and making him almost mortal.

Continue reading ‘Logan: The Spoiler Review’

28
Feb
17

Safety Nation’s First Review is Out

The very first review of Safety Nation has hit the net. Unlimited Book Reviews provides recommendations for books available under Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program. Feel free to check out their website, they have lots of great recommendations.

Most importantly, they liked Safety Nation. Click here to read the full review. Or you can read on…

Continue reading ‘Safety Nation’s First Review is Out’

18
Feb
17

Classically Shitty: Solaris

This 1972 film from the Soviet Union has been called a masterpiece by film aficionados across the globe. As you well know by now, film-fags and myself have very different opinions on what constitutes a masterpiece. For them, they like crap. I shouldn’t judge them; everyone is entitled to their own opinion. For me, though, I like movies that are actually good. You know, the opposite of Solaris.

The main character of Solaris is a space psychologist named Kris Kelvin. Oh man, space psychologist, what an awesome profession. How many years of training does one need to get that specialized? Anyway, the crew of the space station Solaris have been acting bonkers, so the Soviets recruit Kelvin to check it out. He reluctantly agrees to go. He spends the first thirty minutes of the movie sulking.

Once he arrives, he finds the space station in disarray. One of the crew members (a friend of Kelvin’s) had committed suicide, and the other two act evasive and batty. Kelvin starts hallucinating his dead wife (also a suicide), which he promptly launches into space.

Continue reading ‘Classically Shitty: Solaris’

11
Feb
17

Interstellar: The Girls Keep Getting Older, But the Spaceman Stays the Same Age

Christopher Nolan has a pretty good track record. His Dark Knight trilogy was excellent, and some of his other films like Memento and Inception have gone on to be modern classics. Unfortunately, Nolan finally hit a stumbling block with his ninth film.

Interstellar wants to be a space epic in the vein of 2001: A Space Odyssey. It also wants to feature a labyrinthine mystery like Memento and be mindfucky like Inception. Sadly, though, it’s none of those things. It just gets bogged down under its own weight and Nolan’s ill-advised aspirations.

Continue reading ‘Interstellar: The Girls Keep Getting Older, But the Spaceman Stays the Same Age’

04
Feb
17

Safety Nation Free This Weekend

If you haven’t picked up a copy yet (and you know who you are), then now is the time to do it. This weekend only (February 4-5), the ebook of Safety Nation will be completely free on Amazon. What are you waiting for? It’s time to get it already. Unless you hate things that are good. You don’t hate things that are good, do you?

Click here for your free copy of Safety Nation!

28
Jan
17

The Mist, Trainwreck

The Mist

A 2007 adaptation of a Stephen King novel directed by Frank Darabont seems like a recipe for success. After all, the two of them made fan-favorite The Shawshank Redemption. Sadly, though, this movie was a misfire for everyone involved. It takes places in a sleepy Maine town that gets overrun by a mysterious mist. What’s in the mist? Giant bugs and tentacle monsters (*facepalm*). The characters crowd inside a supermarket while they try to wait out the pending apocalypse, but the group loses cohesion and the fight to stay alive becomes exponentially harder.

There are all kinds of problems with this movie. Foremost is the absurd length. It’s over two hours long, and for what essentially boils down to a monsters-killing-everyone flick, that’s about thirty minutes longer than it needs to be. The pacing of the scenes between the monsters is laborious, and the film drags most of the time. And when the monsters come out, the incredibly dated CGI makes them more hilarious than frightening.

None of the characters are remotely interesting, and there is nothing for the audience to latch onto. The only good thing about this movie was the ballsy, super-dark ending. I hadn’t expecting something so bleak, and it definitely worked. But watching the dreck that came before didn’t make it worthwhile.

Verdict: Shitty

Trainwreck

Trainwreck falls squarely into the “check out the socially-inept, rude, funny, fat chick” genre of comedy films. Written and starring Amy Schumer, Trainwreck fails to bring anything new to the table, and instead recycles the same clichéd relationship jokes that have been done a million times over. None of the characters are relatable, from the unbelievably oversexed Schumer to the as-exciting-as-paint-drying Bill Hader. There is a bizarre subplot with Schumer’s father, played by a young Colin Quinn, suddenly getting dementia, being put in a home, and dying. It is strange because he acts normal, is way too young to have dementia, let alone be her father, and it adds nothing of value to the story. In the end, Schumer and Hader’s characters break up, and they get back together without an apology or any growth on the part of Schumer’s deplorable character. I admit I laughed at some of the jokes, and, most surprising of all, LeBron James was the highlight of the film. Overall, though, it’s not worth it.

Verdict: Bad




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