Posts Tagged ‘Amy Adams

12
Jan
15

American Hustle, Everything or Nothing

American Hustle

American Cleavage.

American Hustle was one of those films everyone raved about. When this happens, the movie is usually extremely overrated with little more than coherent storytelling and passable acting, with Argo being a prime example. I figured American Hustle would be exactly the same. The 2013 movie tells the story of con-artists in the 1970s helping the FBI run a sting operation against corrupt politicians. The movie begins with a very out of shape and balding Batman who has seen better days. He has been a con-man for years, and one day meets the love of his life, Amy Adams, who is a masterful con-woman. Batman and Adams are caught by Bradley Cooper who extorts them into working for the FBI. Their goal is to run a larger operation and take down corrupt politicians and the mob. What follows is a dizzying tale of each character trying to get something for themselves. American Hustle is truly a character-driven film. Each character is almost larger than life, played expertly by fantastic cast members. Every player has a developed backstory and clear motivations for what they want in life. There are, of course, double-crosses and cons along they way to keep the film moving. What else would you expect in movie with con-artists? Fortunately, the movie does not rely on the cons, but rather the characters. The 1970s are alive and well in this movie. I didn’t live in this decade, but I can only imagine this is what it looked like, bright, flashy, and very eclectic. The movie required a lot of juggling on the part of the director to keep each character in the spotlight, to keep the story moving full steam ahead, and to not let the pacing get bogged down. Director David O. Russel delivered on every level. The movie really is as great as the hype claims it to be. It is a rare example of a big-budget, star-studded movie done right.
Verdict: Awesome
Everything or Nothing

Such Bond. So secret agent. Wow.

Anyone who frequents Awesome Shitty knows that I’m a James Bond fan. A documentary titled Everything or Nothing was released to mark Bond’s 50th anniversary. I finally got around to watching it, and I must say it was an interesting look back at the genesis of everyone’s favorite spy. The movie begins with Ian Fleming’s early life, and the events that led up to his creation of the Bond character. Bond is essentially an extension of Fleming himself with the smoking, drinking, and jetsetting. The film follows the failed first attempt to bring Bond to the screen on American TV as “Jimmy Bond,” an American CIA agent, and continues on to failed licensing attempts, and eventual success with the first film, Dr. No. We learn the behind the scenes drama of Connery leaving, returning, and leaving again, Lazenby’s hilarious story as to how he was cast as the second Bond, and more. Like a Bond villain himself, Kevin McClory pops up three different times over the years to attempt to thwart the Bond film producers because he claimed rights to the Thunderball story. While I knew the Bond franchise had its ups and downs over the years, I didn’t know how much backstage battling there really was. I suppose there had to be considering it is a 50-year-long movie franchise. The film features great intreviews with producers, writers, directors, and the James Bonds themselves. Only Connery doesn’t appear, which is disappointing, but otherwise, we get some great insights from everyone else. Brosnan in particular had a rough road to becoming Bond and had an interesting story to tell. For fans of the James Bond series, this documentary is a must watch. Even non-Bond fans will like the movie. Mrs. Brik who has seen some of the movies found the documentary quite interesting. I highly recommended checking this out.
Verdict: Good
16
Dec
11

The Muppets, Alias Season 2, Casshern Sins

The Muppets

Muppet mania

If I was a muppet, I would be Statler and Waldorf, combined.

I am probably going to lose a lot of street cred by writing this, but I enjoyed The Muppets. It works hard to get your nostalgia going, and it largely succeeds. While I didn’t exactly grow up watching the Muppets, I am old enough to remember them, and even I felt nostalgia watching this. It is comical, endearing, and whimsical, all at the same time. It contains all the things Hollywood normally does badly, except in The Muppets they are done right. In fact, they managed to expertly pull off so many of these things, it culminated in a very fun movie, and simultaneously reminded me of how I have no soul. It even gets meta on the audience as the in-movie Muppets try to get their show back together only to face the possibility (and fear) that they aren’t relevant anymore. Of course this holds true for The Muppets as the movie we are watching. The movie’s successes tell me that they are still relevant.

This isn’t a perfect movie, not by a long shot. They adhere to the old tried-and-true formula of telling as many jokes as possible and hoping that some of them stick. Fortunately, most of them do and the movie benefits from it. However, joke after joke after joke makes it apparent that they were trying a little too hard. The plot is somewhat mind-boggling as it doesn’t make sense that Kermit would sell out all of his supposed best friends in order to become “Rich and Famous.” But I suppose I’m thinking about this way too hard. The Muppets is simply meant to be enjoyed, not analyzed.

Verdict: Mahna Mahna (good)

Alias Season 2

Alias season 2 cast

If there’s one thing Alias has going for it, that would be recruiting interesting guest stars. Notice I wrote “interesting” and not “good.” Some of the guests are cool, others are oddities. Nevertheless, they managed to get an eclectic mix of guests to liven up the show. Some of them include Roger Moore, Quentin Tarantino, Vivica Fox, Ethan Hawke, Faye Dunaway, Djimon Honsou, and Ricky Gervais. Season 2 still manages to entertain us in very cool ways. While it isn’t quite as good as the first season, the second season still has strong writing. There are a number of shocking plot twists, and it is easy to stay engaged. Just past the halfway point the SD-6 storyline is wrapped up, and the overarching plot afterwards becomes chaotic, as the writers clearly had no idea where to go next. That problem continues on through the disastrous third season, but fortunately, improves afterwards.

Verdict: Good

Casshern Sins

Casshern moping around as usual.

They should have titled this series Emo Sins instead. Casshern has to be one of the mopiest, blandest, depressing central characters of all time. He walks around feeling sorry for himself throughout the entire series. He can’t even get pumped about the fact that he is an immortal ladies magnet and an unstoppable killing machine (sort of like me). Here’s a breakdown of every single episode

  1. Episode begins with a brief flashback of Casshern killing Luna.
  2. Opening credits.
  3. Casshern wanders around a desolate wasteland and acts emo.
  4. Casshern encounters a small enclave of human-looking robots.
  5. Word gets passed around that if someone kills Casshern they will become immortal.
  6. A group of generic-looking robots attack Casshern/enclave of human-looking robots.
  7. Casshern goes berserk and kills everyone.
  8. Ending credits.

That sums up just about every single episode of this series. So now you have no need to watch it. You can thank me later. On the positive side, the show does boast fantastic animation, and some great fight scenes. Little else is tolerable, however.

Verdict: Average




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