June Blind Spot Review: Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)

“When you separate an entwined particle and you move both parts away from the other, even at opposite ends of the universe, if you alter or affect one, the other will be identically altered or affected.”
– Adam

SYNOPSIS: A depressed musician reunites with his lover, though their romance – which has already endured several centuries – is disrupted by the arrival of her uncontrollable younger sister. – via IMDB

You know, this was an odd one. Even after all these years, I was not quite sure what this was all about, only that the characters were vampires. I was pleasantly surprised with the movie, after I had spent some time chewing on it, that is.

Okay, right off the bat I want to say that the film was extremely visually appealing. It was all shot at night, and everything looks dark but never really dreary, just sort of… I don’t know, typically that dark and romantic vampiric vibe. It really was pretty to look at. The score, too, complements the film every step of the way, and the sight and sound combining like they do really set the tone and the atmosphere for the movie, and then the rest is up to the cast, and boy, they really work that. The comedy in this is also very sharp, and delivered effortlessly throughout and never comes across as jarring, yet it is also extremely subtle.

Tom Hiddleston is fantastic. Really. His Adam is quite a complex character who truly entertained me. He is reclusive, haunted and depressed, yet brings massive amounts of humour to the table, which I thoroughly enjoyed. He is classy to boot, and absolutely gorgeous. Tilda Swinton, as always, delivers a solid character, and Eve is one that I quite liked. She gets this almost childlike joy out of things in the world still, despite having been around so long. Adam and Eve perfectly complement each other, and are just this incredibly beautiful, mysterious couple. Hiddleston and Swinton worked wonders together – they just click, everything falls into place when they are together. There is this comfortable, passionate energy between them.

Wasikowska, while breezing in and out, irritated me, and yet provided comedic scenarios in the midst of all the heaviness that was present. Hurt, of course, is excellent here, and his character is a good one, one I could definitely have seen more of. Naturally Yelchin shone here, as expected. While Adam might hate the “zombies”, he has quite the appreciation for Ian, and I liked how that was handled.

Only Lovers Left Alive is dark, haunting, comedic, sophisticated, and most certainly well worth a watch. It’s a movie you chew on after the fact, and that is something that I appreciate. Definitely a different kind of vampire film, and I liked that. This movie is not going to appeal to those who do not enjoy a slow burn film though, or a movie which is not spoon fed to you. There are a lot of little nuances here, things that make the bigger picture that much better.

Rapid Review: Green Room (2016)

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“We’re not keeping you here, you’re just staying.”
– Gabe

SYNOPSIS: A punk rock band is forced to fight for survival after witnessing a murder at a neo-Nazi skinhead bar. – via IMDB

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GRADE 8After Saulnier’s debut Blue Ruin (which I loved), I was interested to see what else the writer and director would give us. Needless to say, I was quite excited to hear about his upcoming film, Green Room, especially seeing how it featured Sir Patrick Stewart and Anton Yelchin (RIP), both actors of whom I am rather fond. I found Green Room to be an intense watch, something that took a little while to get going, but was never boring, and when it finally caught into the main story, went barreling ahead with a ton of violence and an impossible situation. I enjoyed it, I really did, and found a lot to like about it. I thought that everyone did a pretty good job with what they were given, and the pacing certainly ratcheted up the tension. I was pleased to see Macon Blair returning alongside Saulnier, and was quite impressed with how incredibly gruesome things were at times (that hand, that belly!!!), and think that it was done well. My husband used to play in a band, so I know what it is to trip out all over the show, borrow money, get paid like crap, and roll into venues that you would rather not be at. However, I can at least happily say there was never a neo-Nazi gig, and just watching the crowd, the venue, the setting, got under my skin, because I really could take a few minutes and see this becoming someone’s terrible reality. The violence is never really extreme or over the top (or I am truly, horribly desensitised to that), but it was used effectively, where it lands its blows hard and fast. Saulnier, of course, made sure that the movie was really nice to look at, too, which is always appreciated. I found Green Room to be engaging from the outset, and something I would highly recommend. I don’t want to say too much in fear of spoilers, so try not to read too much on this. The less you know, the better. I had a really rudimentary idea of what this was, and I was so pleased to know so little.

Rapid Review: Fright Night (2011)

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“I really hate to be the one to tell you this, but that guy, your neighbor; yeah, he’s a vampire man.”
– “Evil” Ed Thompson

SYNOPSIS: Teenager Charley Brewster guesses that his new neighbor Jerry Dandrige is a vampire responsible for a string of recent deaths. When no one he knows believes him, he enlists Peter Vincent, a self proclaimed vampire killer and Las Vegas magician, to help him take down Jerry. – via IMDB

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GRADE 7.5

I have a soft spot for this movie. I went it for it totally blind the first time I saw it, I didn’t know it was a remake or anything, and I had a total blast. It’s stupidly entertaining and I was interested throughout, and had a good time with the humour. I also really enjoy Yelchin, and his portrayal as Charley was spot on. He really gets that silly, quirky character every time. I always love seeing a grittier vampire film, and this was it. No love story. No softness, nothing. Colin Farrell was a great Jerry, too. He was menacing, he was crazy, and he totally fit the role. Let’s not forget David Tennant, either. What a chop, but oh, so enjoyable. And then McLovin Christopher Mintz-Plasse. I wish, wish, wish he had gotten more screen time, but he did own whenever he was on. Charley is an awesome character – it is hilarious to watch this high school student desperately try to maintain a relationship, be taken seriously, be a hero, and kill a vampire, all rolled into one. I liked the effects, too, nothing over the top, but not so bad you cringe while watching. I enjoyed the movie’s pacing, too, as it gives enough time to set up and then dives right into the action, too. I really need to get to watching the original, seeing as I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Fright Night is a fun watch that doesn’t require too much investment, and gives us nastier, more creepy vampires again, plenty humour and good effects. I could definitely recommend this movie for a watch.

Rapid Review: Charlie Bartlett (2007)

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“My family has a psychiatrist on call. How normal can I be?”
– Charlie Bartlett

SYNOPSIS: A rich kid becomes the self-appointed psychiatrist to the student body of his new high school. – via IMDB

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GRADE 8The movie is a lot of fun and had me in stitches in so many places. It was an amusing look at a rich kid, and I loved the scheme of the prescription pills, popularity, growing up, loneliness as well as the lengths a teenager will go to in order to fit in. What a person does with popularity is important, and that is explored earlier in Charlie Bartlett than other movies of its kind. It was an awesome feel good movie, and I enjoy it every time, even if it not my normal blood, guts and gore or insane drama. It is simply a fun and enjoyable movie, and it is great to watch every now and again. For me there are so many great scenes where you can just laugh at Charlie and his antics, as well as respect how he is an organizer for the students, and will help them at every turn that he can and is able to have everyone rally together. The movie was also pretty well cast, and Robert Downey Jr was again a joy to watch, he is a diverse and great actor, no matter that people think he has been typecast as Tony Stark / Iron Man. He is so much  more talented than that – although he should actually go back to doing other things again. Anton Yelchin is an actor that I enjoy quite a lot, and I think that he was perfectly cast to give us Charlie, he did so with style. I was a huge fan of Tyler Hilton’s Murphy, that guy was hilarious! The way he ran that business with Charlie, the way he wanted to take a girl out on a very specific dinner and a movie date, the way he was actually a softie? You cannot help but love Murph. Watching the wheeling and dealing of Charlie is exceptionally entertaining, that kid is smooth! If you haven’t seen this, Charlie Bartlett is well worth the watch, no matter what your age.

Rapid Review: Odd Thomas (2013)

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“Fate is not a straight road. There are many forks in it. You have the free will to choose which one you take, but sometimes it will bend around and bring you straight back to that same stubborn fate.”
– Odd Thomas

SYNOPSIS: In a California desert town, a short-order cook with clairvoyant abilities encounters a mysterious man with a link to dark, threatening forces. – via IMDB

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GRADE 7I really don’t know why this movie has such bad ratings online… oh yeah, because this is the internet. Anyway. I haven’t read the Odd Thomas books (at the time of writing), so I cannot draw comparisons in this review. I must say, that while the film was quite uneven in places, it was engaging, and while it was predictable, there were still things that shocked, and it contained some really great performances from the cast, especially looking at Anton Yelchin, whom I find immensely under-appreciated, Dafoe who was, of course, excellent as always here, and Addison Timlin. I thought that Timlin and Yelchin had really sweet chemistry together, and their relationship was something I truly enjoyed. I also really liked how Odd and Wyatt Porter had such a cool understanding with one another. Anton Yelchin was great as Odd, I cannot actually picture anybody else playing him because he embodied all the idiosyncrasies that made Odd endearing and charming. The movie is quirky and odd (hehehe), but I liked it for the most part. I was entertained the whole way through, and it even managed to bring a solid emotional side in, something I did not expect. Something that was also refreshing is that, while Odd might be hiding his abilities from the town as a whole, he is not alone in his quest. Stormy knows all about him and loves him, and the chief, Wyatt, is aware of Odd’s abilities and works closely with him, they are really close knit, so there isn’t the whole whiny “the world will never know what I do for it, and can’t” drama that can get boring quickly. It was shot quite well, too, and the soundtrack was pretty fitting. The effects may not have been groundbreaking, but they worked just fine for the film, and won’t put you off. They served their purpose. This may be a budget film, but I am pleased to say that it does not look it, and what with the quick pacing and adventurous storyline, the film is certainly likable and well worth a watch.

JB & The Chop Do: Star Trek (2009)

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Well shit… today is bittersweet as it’s my last day of hosting during the Star Trek Project…. 😦 We still have another week to go but… I sure have loved doing this!! Thank YOU so much, dearest JB!!! This has been GREAT!!! I mean that!!! Obviously today we focus on the reboot of the franchise that had fallen pretty far over the last few movies and we got what we desperately wanted – ACTION!! HUMOR!! EXCITEMENT!! This was totally fucking awesome and the best thing that could have possibly happened to this franchise, at least according to me. I thought the cast were all fantastic and there were even little throwbacks to the original series. ONE thing did kind of bother me a little though, and I’ll address it later but – this was all kinds of awesome! Let’s see what The JB has to say about it –

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SYNOPSIS: On the day of James Kirk’s birth, his father dies on his ship in a last stand against a mysterious alien time-traveling vessel looking for Ambassador Spock, who, in this time, is also a child on Vulcan disdained by his neighbors for his half-human heritage. Twenty-five years later, Kirk has grown into a young troublemaker. Challenged by Captain Christopher Pike to realize his potential in Starfleet, he comes to annoy instructors like young Commander Spock. Suddenly, there is an emergency at Vulcan and the newly commissioned USS Enterprise is crewed with promising cadets like Nyota Uhura, Hikaru Sulu, Pavel Chekov and even Kirk himself, thanks to Leonard McCoy’s medical trickery. Together, this crew will have an adventure in the final frontier where the old legend is altered forever as a new version of it begins. – via IMDB

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Dammit, WordPress changing shit all over the show again, now I need to write this and deal with everything looking all weird again and such… meh. :/

I am totally with the Chop on this on: this is one of those rare occasions that the reboot is just fantastic on so many levels, a breath of fresh air, and came together incredibly well. I freaking love these movies, for so many reasons.

I thought the way the movie started was great – fantastic effects, a solid scene introducing us to Kirk’s past, and an amazing Romulan space ship coming out of a black hole, blowing up the Kelvin. Very cool. I also like how Chris Hemsworth played papa Kirk. It was quite a sad and brave thing he did to save the crew, his wife, and his child.

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Chris Pine really nailed the absolute cockiness of Jim Kirk, which was awesome. He was equal parts douche and honourable (in a strange, his morals kind of way). Well done on that front. I really liked that he didn’t necessarily recreate William Shatner, but that he did his own thing. I thoroughly enjoyed him.

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I was not always a fan of Anton Yelchin playing Chekov, though I do enjoy his work. Well, the more I watch it, the more he grows on me. I thought the casting overall was just spot on for these new movies. There is absolutely no way I was going to dispute Quinto as Spock – I love Spock, and I am a massive fan of Quinto. There was no ways that that was going to bomb. I honestly wish that he was in more stuff. He always impresses me, and I can listen to him talk for hours. That voice!

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There were so many funny scenes, too. The humour was absolutely awesome in this, and it is a blast of a  movie! I had plenty laugh out loud moments and giggling galore, which is awesome. This is not necessarily a comedy at all, but they managed to incorporate the elements into it super successfully. Like Karl Urban, being all McCoy and the initial shift from liking Spock to his eternal irritation with him. Simon Pegg is a pretty darn cool Scotty, and I was a fan of the friendship between him and Keenser. Very cool.

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Star Trek takes you through this epic journey of how the crew of the Enterprise come together under Kirk, and it’s worth it. Funny lines, great introductions for all the characters, ultimately it all comes together in the end, and it’s awesome. JJ Abrams just gets the sci-fi thing, and he did an outstanding job rebooting a franchise that was (yep) getting really tired. I am so sad that he won’t be doing the third one 😦 Well, I am terrified of more Star Wars, but let’s hope he can do that as successfully as he did this.

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Anyway, there is so much that I can say about this movie. The most important? That I loved it. The effects astound me every time, the humour, the cast, the performances, the shenanigans they get up to, all of it. Sadly, the journey is damn near over, and I have been having immense amounts of fun with it. Thanks PSC! Last but not least, bestie, this is specially for you!

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the chop

Who hasn’t seen this?? We know about the rebootyness of it and the time travel and Chris Pine and Quinto and Pegg and Urban and this and that and this and that and Hemsworth and Tyler of all fucking people Perry and Saldana and Yeltin and Bana and face tattoos and the Beastie Boys and fuck all and I loved it. But I think the main thing to concentrate on here is the reboot of The Green Lady. I’m sure Brian and Luke used to get their BeatIt on back in the day or yesterday when the rerun played during lunch hour in the break room at work, but I was never a huge, horny fan. She never got me “astir in the hot box” so to speak. I was more into the ladies you can find HERE. I mean:

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Even though she only has a small bit part, I think the modern version is an apt improvement (even though this isn’t the most flattering still):

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I mean:

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Or:

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MMPH:

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Or MMPH!!:

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And:

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OOPS!! How did THAT get in there??? But, I really did like this movie and, being a lifelong Spock guy, I have to be honest and say that the only thing that bothered me with this is how Old Spock is in it. I mean, so Romulus is about to explode and, despite having legions of cadets and veterans in the UFP, they send 150 year old Spock to try and save the planet? That sounds like a dodgy call to me. But hey, this is Science Fiction, I reckon. Oh well – good stuff!

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OOOPS!!!