Awkweird Me

MOVIE/TV NEWS: Scream TV series, Arrested Development

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
I love when I have high expectations for a movie, and it delivers. This is yet another great comic book movie from Marvel. The Avengers (2012) is still the best, but this comes pretty close. I’d never heard of these characters before this film came about, but now I love every one of them and I want more. The entire cast is great, with Dave Bautista being a surprise highlight. The film looks nice, the effects are good, and it succeeds in creating a world that’s both fantastic and believable. What I appreciate most about the movie is that it’s fun, which is what superhero movies should be like, in my opinion. There are plenty of funny moments, good action scenes, and a groovy soundtrack. I loved it, and I wanted to watch it again straight away, which is always a good sign. It sucks that I now have to wait probably three years to see these characters again in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017).

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

I love when I have high expectations for a movie, and it delivers. This is yet another great comic book movie from Marvel. The Avengers (2012) is still the best, but this comes pretty close. I’d never heard of these characters before this film came about, but now I love every one of them and I want more. The entire cast is great, with Dave Bautista being a surprise highlight. The film looks nice, the effects are good, and it succeeds in creating a world that’s both fantastic and believable. What I appreciate most about the movie is that it’s fun, which is what superhero movies should be like, in my opinion. There are plenty of funny moments, good action scenes, and a groovy soundtrack. I loved it, and I wanted to watch it again straight away, which is always a good sign. It sucks that I now have to wait probably three years to see these characters again in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017).

MOVIE REVIEWS: Green Lantern, Nymphomaniac, and more!

Samsara (2011)
Wow, this was really beautiful. This film doesn’t have a story or any verbal communication - it’s just a series of gorgeously shot images from around the world of landscapes, people, and more. It does have themes though, such as commercialism, religion, and ideas of beauty, to name a few. I liked Baraka (1992) a lot, which was from the same director and was the same sort of thing, but this was even better, particularly because of the high definition capabilities of filmmaking nowadays. If you’re prepared to just relax and enjoy some exquisite footage, I totally recommend this.

Samsara (2011)

Wow, this was really beautiful. This film doesn’t have a story or any verbal communication - it’s just a series of gorgeously shot images from around the world of landscapes, people, and more. It does have themes though, such as commercialism, religion, and ideas of beauty, to name a few. I liked Baraka (1992) a lot, which was from the same director and was the same sort of thing, but this was even better, particularly because of the high definition capabilities of filmmaking nowadays. If you’re prepared to just relax and enjoy some exquisite footage, I totally recommend this.

Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
I can see why this is somewhat of a cult classic now. The filmmakers were obviously trying to capture their youths as well as the films of the 70s and 80s, and I think they succeeded. I wouldn’t say it’s a great film by any stretch, but it was fun. The truly bizarre and ridiculous scenes made me laugh the most. The cast is good, with several actors who weren’t famous at the time, but are now, like Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper. A prequel mini-series on Netflix is apparently being worked on now, which sounds like a pretty fun idea to me.

Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

I can see why this is somewhat of a cult classic now. The filmmakers were obviously trying to capture their youths as well as the films of the 70s and 80s, and I think they succeeded. I wouldn’t say it’s a great film by any stretch, but it was fun. The truly bizarre and ridiculous scenes made me laugh the most. The cast is good, with several actors who weren’t famous at the time, but are now, like Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper. A prequel mini-series on Netflix is apparently being worked on now, which sounds like a pretty fun idea to me.

MOVIE NEWS: Interstellar, SpongeBob SquarePants, Into the Woods

Nymphomaniac (2013)
Although this film is currently split into two films, Nymphomaniac: Vol. I (2013) and Nymphomaniac: Vol. II (2013), it is really one film, and as such, I’m reviewing it as one. This film is the final entry in Lars von Trier’s “Depression Trilogy”, the preceding films being Antichrist (2009) and Melancholia (2011), respectively. It made a good companion piece for the former, in particular. In those terms, this film is my least favourite. The previous two affected me quite viscerally, and while there were some disturbing and challenging scenes, my reaction just wasn’t as strong. Von Trier’s original cut was 5.5 hours long, so at 4 hours, this version is comparatively short. However, it did still feel a bit too long. I don’t know if I can point to anything specifically, but I don’t think it was all necessary. Actually, the scenes with Stellan Skarsgård, while he was good and they were enjoyable, did take me out of the story Charlotte Gainsbourg’s character was telling a few too many times. The film has received a lot of publicity for being explicit and shocking regarding its sex scenes, but honestly, it’s not that extreme. I may just be desensitised, but it all felt appropriate for the story. All the performances were good, with Gainsbourg, Skarsgård, Uma Thurman and Jamie Bell being the standouts. Von Trier’s direction was also good, although not necessarily anything I haven’t already seen from him. Ultimately, I’m not sure it was as good as I wanted it to be. Still, it’s a good exploration of sexuality, childhood, parenthood, gender, and more. And von Trier remains one of the best filmmakers working today, if for no other reason than taking risks and telling stories no one else will.

Nymphomaniac (2013)

Although this film is currently split into two films, Nymphomaniac: Vol. I (2013) and Nymphomaniac: Vol. II (2013), it is really one film, and as such, I’m reviewing it as one. This film is the final entry in Lars von Trier’s “Depression Trilogy”, the preceding films being Antichrist (2009) and Melancholia (2011), respectively. It made a good companion piece for the former, in particular. In those terms, this film is my least favourite. The previous two affected me quite viscerally, and while there were some disturbing and challenging scenes, my reaction just wasn’t as strong. Von Trier’s original cut was 5.5 hours long, so at 4 hours, this version is comparatively short. However, it did still feel a bit too long. I don’t know if I can point to anything specifically, but I don’t think it was all necessary. Actually, the scenes with Stellan Skarsgård, while he was good and they were enjoyable, did take me out of the story Charlotte Gainsbourg’s character was telling a few too many times. The film has received a lot of publicity for being explicit and shocking regarding its sex scenes, but honestly, it’s not that extreme. I may just be desensitised, but it all felt appropriate for the story. All the performances were good, with Gainsbourg, Skarsgård, Uma Thurman and Jamie Bell being the standouts. Von Trier’s direction was also good, although not necessarily anything I haven’t already seen from him. Ultimately, I’m not sure it was as good as I wanted it to be. Still, it’s a good exploration of sexuality, childhood, parenthood, gender, and more. And von Trier remains one of the best filmmakers working today, if for no other reason than taking risks and telling stories no one else will.

Very Good Girls (2013)
This film wasn’t very good, girls. And boys. Or whoever’s reading this. The story’s been done before, but that wasn’t the major problem. The direction was kinda amateurish, and the characters never really made sense. Mostly in the case of the main character - her motivations and feelings about things seemed to change between scenes, so I never really got a clear idea of who she was. Elizabeth Olsen was good, but Dakota Fanning, who I usually like, was mostly expressionless until the climax. The primary reasons I wanted to check this film out was that Jenny Lewis, possibly my favourite singer, did the music. And it was good - the score worked fine, and her songs, both old and new, brought a mood and sensibility the film otherwise lacked. It wasn’t great, so I’d only recommend it if you’re a fan of the talent involved, like I was.

Very Good Girls (2013)

This film wasn’t very good, girls. And boys. Or whoever’s reading this. The story’s been done before, but that wasn’t the major problem. The direction was kinda amateurish, and the characters never really made sense. Mostly in the case of the main character - her motivations and feelings about things seemed to change between scenes, so I never really got a clear idea of who she was. Elizabeth Olsen was good, but Dakota Fanning, who I usually like, was mostly expressionless until the climax. The primary reasons I wanted to check this film out was that Jenny Lewis, possibly my favourite singer, did the music. And it was good - the score worked fine, and her songs, both old and new, brought a mood and sensibility the film otherwise lacked. It wasn’t great, so I’d only recommend it if you’re a fan of the talent involved, like I was.

Green Lantern (2011)
I’ve avoided seeing this film because of its bad reputation, and yeah, I’d say it deserves it. It’s not like it’s completely incompetent or even awful, but it’s just so… Lame! It’s cheesy, dull, and unimaginative. I’m not very familiar with the character, and this didn’t really make me want to be. It has the same old superhero origin story we’ve seen so many times before. The ‘chosen one’/destiny narrative, the dead parent, the love interest and villain he knew when they were children, it’s all tired and familiar by now. Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark can pull off the cocky douchebag hero, but Ryan Reynolds is just obnoxious and irritating. Bland Live- Sorry, I mean Blake Lively is super boring and her character practically isn’t a character at all. The CGI looks like the film was made at least 10 years before it actually was. I literally laughed out loud the first time Reynolds appeared in full costume. Overall, it’s a waste of money and effort. DC superhero films are never going to be anywhere near as successful as Marvel if they keep doing stuff like this and Man of Steel (2013).

Green Lantern (2011)

I’ve avoided seeing this film because of its bad reputation, and yeah, I’d say it deserves it. It’s not like it’s completely incompetent or even awful, but it’s just so… Lame! It’s cheesy, dull, and unimaginative. I’m not very familiar with the character, and this didn’t really make me want to be. It has the same old superhero origin story we’ve seen so many times before. The ‘chosen one’/destiny narrative, the dead parent, the love interest and villain he knew when they were children, it’s all tired and familiar by now. Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark can pull off the cocky douchebag hero, but Ryan Reynolds is just obnoxious and irritating. Bland Live- Sorry, I mean Blake Lively is super boring and her character practically isn’t a character at all. The CGI looks like the film was made at least 10 years before it actually was. I literally laughed out loud the first time Reynolds appeared in full costume. Overall, it’s a waste of money and effort. DC superhero films are never going to be anywhere near as successful as Marvel if they keep doing stuff like this and Man of Steel (2013).

MOVIE REVIEWS: Bad Words, The Normal Heart, and more!