Sporadic Scene: True Detective (Season 1×04) – Who Goes There Tracking Shot

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Wow. This is one of those incredibly well shot and intense scenes. True Detective is, hands down, one of the best shows I have ever seen, and there was just so much going on there that was right and perfect. Anyway, Cohle and Hart eventually go off the books when they decide that Cohle must try and infiltrate a biker gang he was once undercover in, and in exchange for the co-operation of one of the main members, Cohle needs to help with a hairy situation. Eventually Cohle decides that, no matter what the hell is going down, there are some things that he just needs, and decides to take them. What follows is six minutes of pure epic.

If you have a scene that you would like featured, drop me a mail at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com with a picture/gif/video of the scene and an explanation as to why (should you want to include it).

February Blind Spot Review: Magic Mike (2012)

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magic mike poster

“You are the husband they never had! You are that dreamboat guy that never came along!”
– Dallas

SYNOPSIS: A male stripper teaches a younger performer how to party, pick up women, and make easy money. – via IMDB

magic mike hmmmmmmmmmmmmmatt-bomer-magic-mike

Not even remotely my cup of tea (though it seems I am very much in the minority with this), but this is specially for my bestie, even though she made me watch this, and even though this drives her to contemplate whether it would be worth burning her house down or not:

joe-magicmike

GRADE 6Alrighty, so this was a selection that made my list because, when I sent my final few Blind Spot possibilities, Natasha absolutely jumped on this one. I was unsure as to whether this was because it was crap, because there was a lot of flesh all over for perviness, because the plot was so non-existent I might murder my TV, if she just wanted to hear my bitch session live, or because again, more flesh. So anyway, back to Magic Mike. The movie was… okay. Actually, it was significantly better than I thought it would be, what with all the negative feedback on it, but it is still a far cry from a masterpiece. It was shot very well and had music, while not my favourite, that was well suited for the film. The cast came with relatively impressive names attached to it, but they were criminally underused. I am looking specifically here at Matt Bomer and Matthew McConaughey. I expected more from them. It would have been nice. On the flesh front, however, there was a lot (and by this I mean extremely little clothing) going on. The movie successfully managed to never cross over into tacky territory, which was good – nice job, Soderbergh – but covered up the lack of story by stripping and dancing its way through everything. Magic Mike is a great watch for a girls night: few cuties, lots of flesh, every girl’s secret fantasy to be dominated and plucked out of chairs and just carried off like that thrown up on screen, you get it all – but again, absolutely no story. Ticks all the boxes. However, I must admit, while I might have enjoyed certain, erm, aspects of the film, I don’t know how much the male appreciation for this will be. Again, I didn’t think the story was particularly amazing or anything like that, but it was enough to string it all together (even if done so weakly). The ladies didn’t really need that much to sell this to them, but I just wonder how the male demographic feels about it? I really enjoy Channing Tatum, for comedy and for drama (though apparently not many agree with me on the latter), and I liked seeing him here. I thought he worked well with Alex Pettyfer here, they shared pretty good chemistry. Cody Horn seemed like such a bitchy and flat character, though, which was a real pity, and as an actress she was also underwhelming. Also, I am going to take a moment here to mention that I thought she had the world’s most annoying laugh. The movie knows it is a fluff piece, which also works for it, it doesn’t try to be some revolutionary drama film or anything, and has fun with what it is doing. I can think of plenty superior movies to watch, but I can also think of many more that are an utter waste of time. This was alright… although I honestly think if the stripping was taken out it would be a very dull affair indeed.

Rapid Review: Interstellar (2014)

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interstellar poster

“We used to look up at the sky and wonder at our place in the stars, now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.”
– Cooper

SYNOPSIS: In the near future Earth has been devastated by drought and famine, causing a scarcity in food and extreme changes in climate. When humanity is facing extinction, a mysterious rip in the space-time continuum is discovered, giving mankind the opportunity to widen their lifespan. A group of explorers must travel beyond our solar system in search of a planet that can sustain life. The crew of the Endurance are required to think bigger and go further than any human in history as they embark on an interstellar voyage, into the unknown. Coop, the pilot of the Endurance, must decide between seeing his children again and the future of the human race.- via IMDB

interstellar

GRADE 8.5This has, undoubtedly, been my most anticipated movie of 2014. I have talked my other half’s ear off about how I cannot wait for it, so naturally I had to go the minute it pitched up here. I was not going to waste a second of my time waiting to get to it seeing how Gone Girl aired for only thirteen days in my useless cinema. If I missed this, someone was going to burn. So, what with all my excitement and anticipation, how did it stack up? I must say that I was extremely impressed. Visually it was absolutely gorgeous, though I didn’t expect anything less on that front. A solid cast carried this story for us, and I thought the performances were great all round. Initially I was not over the moon to see Anne Hathaway in such a large role for it, but she managed to not irritate me to the end. I was thrilled to see Matt Damon, I do so thoroughly enjoy the man, and McConaughey was fantastic as the lead, Cooper. The casting of the actors to play the children (Mackenzie Foy and Timothée Chalamet) was wonderful, and I was especially pleased to see Jessica Chastain and Casey Affleck play their grown counterparts. They fit the bill and were realistic and believable. I know that some people have complained about the dialogue being clunky, and also silly at times with explanations (such as explaining to an astronaut about a black hole in space), but I did not find this to be the case. I enjoyed most of their conversations (though at times it did get a little convoluted), and I was grateful for the explanations sprinkled throughout the movie, and the way it was done. It did not feel like Nolan was treating the cinema-goers like idiots, but rather just ensuring we were all on the same page, and I appreciated that. Naturally Hans Zimmer created a fantastic score to accompany the film, building up tension and emotion in all the right places, and coming in as nothing short of complementary. Interstellar manages to recreate some exceptionally sad emotional scenes, many of them stemming from the tapes that the astronauts are receiving from home in space. There was some humour in this film, which was lovely, but was certainly focused more on the dramatic aspect. I thought the multi-purpose robots were extremely cool, and I felt for Cooper, trying to be the best dad that he could. John Lithgow, as always, plays a wonderful fatherly/grandfatherly figure, and I always like seeing him, no matter how small his part. I do feel that Michael Caine could have been used more, but I understand that there were a lot of characters and time constraints. Interstellar is a long movie, but it is certainly a wonderful journey, even with the flaws that it has – as much as I have sung the praises, there are things that fall a little short of the mark, but were definitely not enough to cripple and ruin this movie for me. Interstellar was well worth the wait, in my opinion, and is a really good movie overall – most importantly, it is an experience. Christopher Nolan has, once again, delivered another stunning film, though this will certainly not be in a high running for taking over and outranking some of his other works.

Review: Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

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“Mr Woodroof, I’m afraid that you’re nothing more than a common drug dealer, so if you’ll excuse us…”
– Richard Barkley

In 1985 Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) is diagnosed with AIDS after getting shocked at his job. As an electrician and rodeo cowboy he refuses to believe the madness that he has thirty days to live. He is not homosexual and thus cannot be carrying such a heinous disease. Marching out he goes to do more research, and eventually connects the dots and recalls a prostitute he had unprotected sex with years ago. He is going to have to find a way to make things work. As though it is not bad enough that he has the news he has, it soon goes around and he is rejected by society, family and friends. It reaches as far as his job, where he is ultimately fired. The injustice burns him, and soon he also has nowhere to stay. More research leads Woodroof to the information on zidovudine (AZT), which is supposed to prolong the life of AIDS patients. He demands that Dr Eve Saks (Jennifer Garner) gives him some, and even offers to pay. She tells him it does not work like that. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only just approved it for human testing, and half the patients are getting the real thing and the other half are getting placebos, nobody knows.

dallas buyers club partying

“Sometimes, I feel I’m fighting for a life that I just ain’t got the time to live. I want it all to mean something.” – Ron Woodroof

Refusing to accept that answer, he brokers a deal with a hospital staff member to trade cash for stolen AZT. Upon taking the AZT, Woodroof’s health worsens. This is not helped due to the fact of his cocaine use, and ultimately he ends up in the hospital again. His doctor, Dr Sevard (Denis O’Hare), demands to know where he is getting the illegal AZT. Woodroof refuses to share the information. While inside the hospital, he meets Rayon (Jared Leto), a transvestite and drug addict. He does not like Rayon, and treats her badly. Ultimately Woodroof goes out to Mexico to get more AZT and is instead treated by Dr Vass (Griffin Dunne), who tells him AZT is poisonous and prescribes ddC and peptide T, not approved in the US. Woodroof decides to use this to make money in the States and help other HIV-positive patients. He takes massive amounts back to the States with him and eventually gets Rayon on board with him to sell the drugs. Dr Saks is starting to notice negative effects from the AZT, and is told to let it go, it will not be discontinued. Woodroof is still alive, much longer than the doctors gave him credit for, so what Dr Vass gave him must be good.

dallas buyers club selling what you got

“None of those drugs have been approved by the FDA.” – Dr Eve Saks

Deciding ultimately that there is a more legit way to sell the drugs, Woodroof establishes the “Dallas Buyers Club”, where members pay $400-00 a month for their medication, as much as they need. The Club becomes so extremely. Rayon and Woodroof have come to an understanding, and Woodroof begins to respect her and understand her, and they develop a rather good friendship. After Woodroof lands up in hospital from a heart attack, Dr Sevard realises that all his AZT patients have moved over to the Dallas Buyers Club, and he is furious. Soon the FDA, too, gets involved with hassling Woodroof about his business and how he goes about it. Dr Saks and Woodroof establish a friendship when she sees that what he is doing is not a bad thing, and agrees that AZT is a problem. The more Woodroof works his Club, the more he learns about his disease as well as what is going on with it. The Club is starting to suffer at the hands of the FDA, and ultimately starts going bankrupt. Woodroof decides he will not let the FDA win.

dallas buyers club starting work with rayon

“The man with the most honey, attracts the most bees.” – Rayon

Will Woodroof and Saks be able to prove that AZT is dangerous? How long does Woodroof have before he finally succumbs to AIDS? How is he going to stand up against the FDA, which is harassing?

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“What? Hook me up to the morphine drip, let me fade on out? Nah. Sorry, lady, but I prefer to die with my boots on.” – Ron Woodroof

A 7.5/10 for Dallas Buyers Club. I know that is not what most were expecting, but there it is. I did enjoy the movie, it was very dramatic and well put together. Matthew McConaughey did a very good job portraying Ron Woodroof. I thoroughly enjoyed Jared Leto as Rayon. I heard so many good things about his role, and I must say that he did exceptionally well, and was the one character that I liked from the off. McConaughey did well in taking Woodroof from a totally unlikable tool to someone we rooted for, he made huge changes in his life. I am not sure how accurate the story that we watched is in comparison to the real deal, and I have also not read into it too much, but I must say that it kept me interested the whole way through. While not an awfully long movie (coming in at just under two hours), it felt really long, but not like I was wasting my time. I honestly feel that the characters carried this story far more than the story or plot development itself, which was extremely secondary in my opinion. I liked the way social issues were addressed in this movie, as well as how people can change and see things differently when something changes in their lives, it is excellent. There were bits that made me laugh and there were other scenes that made me angry. I liked the friendship that developed between Woodroof and Dr Saks, that was pretty cool, though I loved the friendship between Woodroof and Rayon. This was a solid film though and worth checking out.

Review: Killer Joe (2011)

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killer joe cover

“You ever hear of Joe Cooper? He’s a cop. A detective, actually. He’s got a little business on the side.”
– Chris Smith

SYNOPSIS: When a debt puts a young man’s life in danger, he turns to putting a hit out on his evil mother in order to collect the insurance. – via IMDB

killer-joe

GRADE 7What the fuck?! Killer Joe had a great cast going for it that played their roles well with a disturbing as hell execution of the premise. I could get on board with the desire to kill your mother for insurance money, even hiring a hitman. I could get on board with how incredibly trashy some families are, and even smiled a bit at how much the film milked the trailer trash angle (I hear a lot about it in books and movies but we don’t really have that here). But then the secondary aspects of the premise came. The part about a grown man wanting a twelve year old girl, an adult male starting a sexual relationship with said child who initially did not even want him, that was terrified of the concept (and yeah, gonna say this), and suddenly was so experienced and enjoyed it from the off. For a girl that is not promiscuous, that should not have been her first reaction. Anyhow, let me move right on from that. Then there was her family that knew what the animal wanted and freely offered her to him. I mean what the hell, were they that desperate for cash that they were willing to pimp a child for it? However, the story was alright. Emile Hirsch was pretty good as Dottie’s brother, yet so damn trashy. I mean seriously now? McConaughey was definitely the show stealer here though, brilliant performance. The way the insurance money debacle went down was good, too, though I must say that there was a lot in this film that was just not easy to watch, that is just that. Then there was the chicken scene, and that was really pretty messed up, in all honesty. Dammit, why? The movie is unconventional, and I wouldn’t suggest you watch it with your parents/kids, it could get a little awkward. There is some pretty dark humour at times, and then there is a lot that gets uncomfortable, too. The performances are definitely worth checking out though! It is not something that I will be checking out again in a hurry in the near future, and I would definitely not recommend this to those that cannot look past the disturbing aspects of the film to see the content of it.

Review: Mud (2012)

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mud poster

“There are fierce powers at work in the world, boys. Good, evil, poor luck, best luck. As men, we’ve got to take advantage where we can.”
– Mud

SYNOPSIS: Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love. – via IMDB

mud

GRADE 7The movie was pretty good, and I liked how the story came together and was presented, though at times I thought that it was massively underplayed and sometimes far too slow on the presentation of events. There are also a few things that are just left open and unexplained, so there is an air of confusion to it. I do like the drama aspect, as it was executed very well. Ellis’s family problems and the effects thereof could visibly be seen in his actions, and it is easy to see how Mud could have gotten him to do anything (not necessarily knowing what he was up to, that is). That Neckbone eventually relents and joins Ellis on the journey is well done, too. McConaughey delivers a great performance as Mud, and it is easy to see how two young boys would be drawn into his terrible mishap. Michael Shannon’s role was so minor, and it was a pity that he was not utelised more, he is a very good actor that can carry a story. I really feel for Ellis, being at that point in life where you are not yet an adult though you are no longer one hundred percent a child anymore. Ellis hits his pubescent age and has a bad time – his parents are getting a divorce, he is supposed to be moving to town and his life as he knows it is coming to a close. He throws himself into helping Mud in a way to look for answers to himself, to prove that not everything is broken with the world. I enjoyed how a lot of the movie was spoken, so it was more down to characters and their actions as opposed to big action scenes and losing everything to CGI and massive effects.  The film does keep you engaged. Maybe I just like a drama like that, but it was lovely how it was put together, how the boys were adventurers, how Neckbone eventually got on board with the whole Mud thing, as well as Mud’s whole story. The boys were prepared to help him and while they were at it they learned a lot of new things about people as well as some things about themselves. I enjoyed this, though I do not think that it was that fantastic as people made out, though do not mistake that for me saying it was bad or substandard, I really did enjoy it.

Review: Frailty (2001)

7

Frailty Movie Poster

“Sometimes truth defies reason.”
– Fenton Meiks

Agent Wesley Doyle (Powers Boothe) has been on the hunt for the God’s Hand killer for a while. Nothing seems to make a dent in the hunt, until one night he returns to headquarters, and finds a young man named Fenton Meiks (Matthew McConaughey) waiting for him in his office, claiming to know who the God’ Hand killer is. He claims the murderer is his now-deceased brother, Adam. Naturally, Agent Doyle is very skeptical of the claim, but Fenton insists that he be heard out, that he has proof. Agent Doyle is at Fenton’s mercy, so to speak, and a grotesque tale of a family losing itself to religion unfolds.

Frailty family table

A happy family

Fenton tells the story of his childhood, and his brother, Adam (Jeremy Sumpter), his father, Dad Meiks (Bill Paxton). Young Fenton (Matt O’Leary) was three years older than Adam, and their mother died during childbirth of Adam. He has been the protector and carer for his younger brother, and kept the family together while his father worked to provide for them. Their father, a mechanic, was a good man who tried his best with his sons, and supported them.

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God’s will commands Dad Meiks

One night, the boys are woken by their father, who claims to have been visited by an angel, an angel who has deemed their family demon hunters, workers of the Lord. Fenton’s mind will not accept this insanity, and he will not buy into it. His world crumbles apart, shattered and broken. His father’s religious fanaticism catches on with his brother, who is convinced that they have been chosen. The Lord points out the weapons required to hunt and kill the demons, and soon their father has a list of demons that need to be killed.

Being sure the madness would end, Fenton flips out when his father brings a woman home and murders her in the shed. Adam seems so accepting, and Fenton voices running away from their father, an idea Adam vehemently objects to, not understanding why Fenton has no faith. Terrified, the boys are on a roller-coaster journey with their father, accomplices in a sick religious delusion of their father that they are on a holy mission to demolish the demons while Judgment Day draws nearer.

Frailty Family

Demon slaying is the family business

Fenton is stuck in a drama from Hell, with no apparent exit, and no way to end the brutality and madness he sees each day, yet unable to leave Adam behind in his escape plan. Desperation drives Fenton to try any and everything to put a stop to his father’s actions. Will their father eventually see the light, or has he lost his brother to this madness, too? Will Fenton ever recover the family that he is sure he has lost? Whose view on the truth is right? Will he ever have the unrelenting and unshaken faith in their mission that his father and brother have?

Frailty garners a 7/10. The movie was definitely a different one. It told a story of how one man’s delusion’s can sink a whole family and tear them apart. The plot twist at the end was not entirely unexpected, but then the other half of it is more intense than what I thought was coming. Overall, not a bad movie, and it was told so well. A distinct chill is left at the conclusion of the movie, due to how crazy the whole notion is, and how a young boy could be so accepting, and how the father expected his young sons to follow his lunacy without question. Murders by the hands of a man doing God’s work is insane, and yet he drags his family in with him. Matthew McConaughey again delivered a great performance, and I thought that young Adam and Fenton were also great. It gives me the creeps to think that a father would  lead his children down such a dark road. I thought it was executed well in the sense that it flowed effortlessly, nothing jagged. Frailty really shows you how much power a parent can have on a child, and how your whole world can have the rug ripped out from beneath your feet before you even know what the heck happened. I was gripped by this movie in a strange an inexplicable way, and I would recommend it for a watch if you have not seen it!

Review: The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

4

“You know what my father always said about an innocent client?”
– Mick Haller

I had a friend who highly  recommended this movie. I watched it because she rarely suggests too far out of her comic book, superhero movies. I was intrigued to find out what had so fully captured her attention. I must say, this is the first movie I have been recommended in a long time that turned out to be good!

Mick Haller (Matthew McConaughey) is the defense attorney you want when things go wrong in your life. Sleazy and a shark, he works out of the back of his Lincoln Town Car, and he is the best bang for your buck. He is extremely good at what he does, and is often sought out by scoundrels.

One day, however, he gets sought out by one man who completely wrecks Micky’s simple little existence, that tears a hole clean through his conscience, and the world is no longer a simple plane of grey. A wealthy man comes in for allegedly raping a prostitute, and Micky is pulled in to get him off. There is overwhelming evidence against Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillipe), and the case suddenly becomes overly familiar with an old, closed case of Mick’s.

I thought that the cast was stellar, and that the story progressed right on time, and it was great to follow. Everything was fast paced, yet completely comprehensive. The camera work was excellent, and the dialogue was nice and solid. I was heavily impressed.

The Lincoln Lawyer gets an 7/10. For a movie that was based on a book, I thought it was done brilliantly. I have not yet read the book, but I will (it is a part of a series). I am sure Michael Connelly will blow my mind even more than the movie did! It was a great courtroom drama/thriller, and was a solid, fast movie.