Monthly Archives: March 2016

manchicken’s Movie Log: 2016-03-31

I saw Hello, My Name is Doris tonight, and boy was it interesting. I don’t know why I’d never thought of it before, but this film is ground-breaking in one key way: it has, as its leadHello, My Name is Doris character, an older single woman who exhibits symptoms of mental illness who isn’t weird, isn’t just sad because she couldn’t get a man. She has depth, she’s relatable, and you find yourself routing for her.

There were two key parts of the film that I found hit close to home. The first is that her feelings cause her to make some key poor choices. The second is that she was very real in how she got overwhelmed when you could see that everything that was important to her at that time came crumbling down and she’s being judged by selfish people who pretend to be supportive… but are not. Both of these things hit pretty close to home for me, and I really found it neat that the film showed how those play into the very strong sense of anxiety that accompanies people under tremendous social stress, and it warmed my heart that the film showed this as the obvious outcome of the stress rather than a person acting weird and out of a norm.

I think that there were some parts of the film which were a little too forced. The love story in the film was very heavy-handed, and that part was weird. It was easily overcome by the frequent comedy breaks, though.

It’s nice to see that Sally Field can still surprise the hell out of me. For the most part, I enjoyed this movie. It was a different way of enjoying a movie than usual – I found it more useful for framing life and its events than entertaining – but I really did find it enjoyable. My girlfriend laughed a bunch, too, and she’s a kinda picky about movie comedy. I think you may enjoy this film as well, and I hope that you also walk away thinking differently about mental health in film.

manchicken’s Movie Log: 2016-03-24

I saw Miles Ahead in an advanced screening. I had a number of impressions. My first impression is that if Don Cheadle doesn’t win all of the awards for his portrayal of Miles DavisMiles Ahead then that will be a sign that the Academy has truly internalized and embraced #OscarsSoRacist hashtag as a term of endearment.

Cheadle does an amazing job of playing a very complex character who has a strange mix of good guy and bad guy in him, a conflicted man who lived in a time where overt racism was acceptable in public and just being a Black man in the wrong place was a guaranteed beating and night in jail. His story comes in after Miles Davis has been chewed up and mined for all of his gold as a young man, and pieces of the movie show us how he got there and how he pushed past it.

This movie gets my highest compliment: I left the theater conflicted, impressed, and thinking about the movie.

I think you’ll like this movie.

manchicken’s Movie Log: 2016-03-20

Introduction

So, I haven’t had time to post regular reviews – live is complicated – but I’m still narcissistic enough to think you care which movies I’ve been watching. So, I’m going to use this Movie Log format to share with you all what I’ve been watching.

We will still be posting regular reviews (darkmovienight will, probably), but this will be a way for me to post stuff which is less involved, and more off-the-cuff. Think opinionated stream-of-consciousness style movie reviews.

A quick moment to point out that darkmovienight is the guy who makes almost all of the content on this site. Sure, I do the server-ey stuff, but there’d be no reason for the server if he wasn’t producing the content. Three cheers for darkmovienight!

Now, on to my movie log for the day…

What did I watch today?

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)

Whiskey Tango FoxtrotI watched WTF (yes, that’s what this spells in the phonetic alphabet, I got the joke too!) today, and it was a hoot. I think Tina Fey did a great job of getting some laughs out of me while making several really good points:

  • War is hell
  • The Middle East is a highly unstable region
  • Highly competitive people are assholes
  • The U.S. Military, despite their best efforts and intentions, do not really have control over the situation that poor diplomacy and decades of proxy wars have created
  • The news media in the United States is more interested in “resources” (they mean money) than they are in keeping people informed

I dug this movie, I think you will as well.

Burn After Reading (2008)

Burn_After_ReadingSo, my girlfriend has been helping me to catch up on movies I’ve missed over the years, and today she recommended Burn After Reading. This is a Coen Brothers’ film, and like most of their work I had the same three thoughts:

  1. Wow, that was an amazing film, so funny and engaging
  2. Wow, that was a messed up film, what was wrong with the writers?!
  3. I’m confused… so, all of that happened for nothing?!

I really liked George Clooney’s character, it’s kinda funny how the CIA’s only common thread across all of the characters was that they were all banging each other.

This was a super fun flick, if you haven’t seen it yet, you should give it a try. Also, if my girlfriend ever gives you a movie recommendation, take it. She’s always right about these things.

See you all next time!

Ghostbusters-2016-2

Ghostbusters (2016) Trailer or Wow, I Wasn’t Expecting That!

“You did it. You crazy son of a b*tch(s), you did it.” -Dr. Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park

Here I am.  Packing all my stuff into a box and getting ready for the big move tomorrow and io9 tosses this trailer at me.  I’ve been half waiting, half dreading this trailer for months.  Now here it is, in all of its shameless naked glory.  And I actually mean…glory.

First appearance Castiel glory...
First appearance Castiel glory…

How did they take one of the most beloved franchises in film history, polish it up, and make it look good for  2016?  Everything is stacked against this film.  I mean EVERYTHING.  There are male chauvinists angry that it’s a team of ladies.  Half the fan base thinks rebooting the franchise is the dumbest idea since restaurant bread.

If I had wanted a blunt instrument, I would have asked for the shaleileigh on the wall...
If I had wanted a blunt instrument, I would have asked for the shillelagh on the wall…

And finally…why mess with perfection?  Ghostbusters came out the year I was born and belongs in the same pantheons such as Star Wars, Star TrekJurassic Park, and insert your favorite film series here.  And before this trailer, there was even signs of brilliance.  Just look at the first official image of the team:

Pretty epic stances there ladies
Pretty epic stances there ladies

I loved the new outfits and each one of them seems just different enough or out of their element, well, except for Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones (relative unknowns to me).   Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy are the ones I’m immediately familiar with and can appreciate their addition.  I’m so happy that Melissa McCarthy is continuing her excellent humor from Spy and not just a walking “fat joke” roles she took early on.

Of course their is the obligatory hatred of Leslie Jones character since she is stereotypical “black” according to the internet.  Just shut up, please.  She’s playing a role as it was it was written.  No matter what they did with her, someone would have been offended and written a dissertation on why this is exactly Hollywood is terrible.  Did we forget they’re evil because the industry is a money grubbing cult?

Oh yeah, those guys
Oh yeah, those guys

Seriously, for the most part, the fact that actual entertainment comes from Hollywood is likely pure coincidence.  And don’t tell me that this film is going to be crap because it’s directed by Paul Feig.  You laughed just like I did when Maya Rudolph pooped in the middle of the street in a wedding dress in Bridesmaids.

It sure is sweetheart
It sure did sweetheart, and on July 15th, we’ll get to see it!

So I will go ahead and say it, on July 15th of this year, my butt will be firmly planted in a theater seat ready to watch a new team kick the crap out of poltergeist, ghosts, and whatever is thrown their way.

Sorry guys, I'll be in my recliner watching you.
Sorry guys, I’ll be in my recliner watching you every week

And even though a wonderful group of ladies will be taking over the proton packs, that doesn’t mean the original Ghostbusters fill will be gone.  My kids are going to watch the originals first and that’s just a fact. There is no reason why the two cannot co-exist.  Is it a money grab? Heck yes.  Does it have potential to suck?  No more or less than any film out there.  But if done well, all I’ll see is more Ghostbusters, and I cannot and will not apologize for optimism here.  After all, in a movie industry that is just in it for the money…who ya gonna call?

It doesn't matter to me that I called these gentlemen first
It doesn’t matter to me that we called these gentlemen first and it shouldn’t to you either