author: TimmieI think what draws me most to Silicon Valley is the weekly invitation into this very specific society.
author: MichaelIt comes as no surprise that many shows now bypass the traditional intro sequence for a creatively placed title card, keeping resources and time strictly devoted to telling the most efficient story possible. Still, some shows take the opportunity to hype up viewers for the coming action, and the best ones even manage to educate in the process.
author: TimmieTrue Detective costars acclaimed film actors Matthew McConaghey and Woody Harrelson as partnered detectives working on a disturbing murder investigation. Both actors have had much success in the film industry thus far. Harrelson has been nominated for several Featured Actor Academy and Golden Globe Awards as recently as 2013, and McConaghey, who has already received the Golden Globe in 2014 for Best Actor in a Drama (Dallas Buyers Club), is up for Best Actor at the Oscars in March. So what are they doing on HBO each Sunday night?
NJAM is sure that you’re hankering for more after our most recent episode #29 about our top film picks of 2013. As promised, here are our complete lists of 2013 fiction films we screened.
author: TimmieLast weekend, predominantly due to boredom, I found myself going to see the new Dreamworks animated film, Epic (2013). While I went into the theater with no particular opinion formed, I was vastly unmoved by the whole production. With a title like Epic, one assumes something bold and exciting right?
It’s not often that I admit my guilty pleasures, especially on a public forum. I’d like to think I have more refined taste than what some of my television and movie viewing would lead you to believe. Though, the whole point of this website is to not only study good media, but to justify our love for the media that might not be setting the world on fire. Sometimes, I just enjoy sitting back, relaxing, and seeing familiar television characters interact on a weekly basis, even if the stories might not be that compelling.
Glee, for me, is one of those shows.
Prometheus versus Alien: Out with the New and in with the Old
I remember watching Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) as a kid and being absolutely terrified. Granted I was probably only ten. But with the release of the long awaited Prometheus in 2012 I recently revisited the film, and found myself feeling perhaps not terror, but a great deal of anxiousness as the plot unfolded.
(Originally posted on The Media Minx )
It’s taken a while to gather the strength required to write this post. Going into this movie, I really didn’t believe Breaking Dawn Part One could be any worse than Eclipse. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Not only does this movie suffer from the normal Twilight Saga shortcomings, it’s also incredibly boring. Literally almost nothing happens in this (I laughingly say) film. As some of you may recall the last movie left off on a “riveting” cliff hanger: Will Bella marry Edward so that she can become a vampire? Even if you didn’t read the books, which in itself is a colossal waste of time, the answer was obvious. Of course she was going to do it. She’s an 18 year old twit whose happiness and self worth are reliant on whatever douche she happens to be dating at the time.
(Originally posted on The Media Minx )
The theater release of Splice may have slipped by you unnoticed in June of 2010. Frankly I wouldn’t be surprised if you also missed the DVD and On Demand release just a few months later. But the point is that it’s here now for all to see. The question very few people are waiting to have answered remains: Should you see it?
While I definitely would not have gone to see this movie in theaters, I did watch it recently over my Thanksgiving vacation with some family members because it happened to have a longer running time than a documentary on vampires, which, when you’re paying $5 to rent it through your cable provider, is an important thing to take into account.
There I was, snuggling with a steaming hot cup of cocoa, fuzzy socks on my feet, with my spouse, aunts, uncles and cousins all around me, watching the opening credits to Splice.
The first thing I’m reminded of, is Splice stars the NYC native, Adrien Brody, most famous for winning his Academy Award for Best Actor in The Pianist (2002). Adrien Brody is like a rare fruit that ripens with age, now starring in such films as Predators (2010), in which he shared the spotlight with the disturbingly surreal, Topher Grace. Logically his next move in cinema had to be strategically planned. Hence Splice.
Clive (Brody) and Elsa (Sarah Polley) play genetic engineers. They also happen to be romantically involved and living together. N.E.R.D (lol at the level of cleverness) is the evil money hungry corporation they work for.
In the beginning of the movie we are introduced to their primary project: two globular beings that look like large digesting stomachs made of cellulite. Elsa and Clive explain that they have created a pair, one male and one female, called Fred and Ginger. They want to merge these pulsating stomachs with human DNA to create a hybrid being in order to revolutionize science as we know it. N.E.R.D. forbids this, not surprisingly, and I’m sure you can guess what happens next.
That’s right my dear Watson! With a little psycho prodding from Elsa (more to come there my friends), Clive agrees to do it anyway in secret. In a huge corporate funded research facility??? With hundreds of other workers all around??? What’s that…oh of course, there’s an abandoned wing that’s not in use. Phew, how convenient for our stars.
Although many of the actual details are left out of this plot line, we are led to the conclusion that Elsa has injected her DNA into the creature for their experiment. We’ll skip forward a bit to the birth of Elsa’s sort of clone sort of hybrid baby which she names Dren (get it…it’s N.E.R.D. spelled backwards!!!).
When Dren first appears (congrats Elsa! It’s a girl) she mostly looks like a fleshy monkey/rabbit. They soon learn that she has a toxic poison stinger on her tail. Gee, I wonder if that’s going to come back at all later in the story?? Oh, also she has retractable wings.
Basically Dren grows super super fast, maturing into a teenager in an undisclosed amount of time, but we’re pretty sure it’s weeks. Eventually they can’t keep her in their not so secret lab and she’s moved to a barn in the country. This is where we learn that Elsa is a psycho bitch because she suffered some kind of abuse from her mother there. Again…it’s not quite clear what happened. This plot is just riddled with holes that, like all over our nations highways, never seem to be filled.
In order to place more emphasis on Elsa’s traumatic past, they show her acting very bipolar with Dren as she matures. She takes away her pet cat, and even cuts off her stinger one minute, and then gives her presents and makeovers the next. Clive sees Elsa unraveling, particularly in an awkward dance montage with Dren when he realizes the truth about where she came from.
How many awkward/uncomfortable scenes can there be in this one movie? A lot, and French Canadian director, Vincenzo Natali, saves the best for the final act.
In a moment of awkward passion, Clive has sex with Dren. Not surprisingly, Elsa walks in on them and storms off in the couple’s Gremlin (sweet car). You can imagine the next scene between Clive and Elsa.
Clive: (Walks into apartment. Elsa is sitting at the table) “Soooo…are we cool? I mean you do share the same DNA. How do you feel about waffles this morning?”
Needless to say, after the inter species sex, Elsa and Clive decide to “terminate” their science experiment. When they get to the abandoned barn they find Dren dead. Much like you’re supposed to do with any type of medical or electrical waste, they just dump her a hole out back.
The pesky supervisor from N.E.R.D. learns about their little project and follows them to the country where he insists on seeing Dren. Who would have predicted that they wouldn’t actually be able to hide Dren in that huge research facility without a bunch of people finding out???
Just as they tell The Man that she’s buried out back, Dren swoops into the scene. Death has changed her a little. Mostly because she’s now a he. Clive an Elsa probably should have taken into account that Ginger, the female blob from the beginning changed sex halfway through the movie. That’s something I would definitely have looked into. But whatever.
Uber male Dren is mad as hell and he’s not going to take it anymore. He wipes out the N.E.R.D guys in like two seconds and then focuses his attention on surrogate parents Clive and Elsa. The couple runs deep into the woods, where Clive is undoubtedly thinking “OMG does this make me gay??!??”
The movie climaxes with a most disturbing scene in which Dren actually speaks, raping Elsa, and telling her he wants to be “inside her.” Gross! In a final heroic moment, Clive kills Dren just before he is fatally poisoned by his HUGE tale stinger (I so called that one).
The epilogue shows an extremely pregnant Elsa, haggling with the N.E.R.D. president over rights to her hybrid Dren baby. My thing with this is how stupid is this woman? That baby probably has a stinger too. She’ll most likely die when the baby is born, if not before then. She’s either an idiot, or seriously pro life. I mean that’s hardcore.
My main problem with this movie is that it didn’t know what it wanted to be. It lacks the intentional comedic timing and value of a true B movie, but it isn’t good enough to take seriously either. Nothing is ever really explained, the characters are kind of flat, and Brody and Polley have zero chemistry together. They play like two people that happen to be in the same room together. In all honesty, blobs Ginger and Fred had a better stage presence, and that’s just sad.
The fore mentioned Academy Award says that Brody can act, so who’s to blame for this mishap? I’m going to say this is all on the director, Vincenzo Natali. After researching a few of his other movies (no I didn’t watch them, but I did read reviews), his calling card seems to be providing the audience with a fairly interesting premise, but not really following through on anything else.
If you like to create your own Mystery Science Theater experience, then watch this movie. It has a lot of talking points, and laugh worthy material. It’s not really worth spending the money to buy though, so plan on renting or better yet, streaming it off Netflix. If you don’t believe me, just look at the Box Office numbers. Splice cost an estimated $26,000,000 to make, and only earned about $17,000,000. I would say the studio lost money on this deal.
The Minx gives this movie a C-. Having an interesting premise is not enough to carry a movie, no matter how many sex scenes you throw into it. The general message of Splice is, in the words of Patton Oswalt, “We’re all about coulda not shoulda. You’re welcome. We’re science.”
(Originally posted on The Media Minx )
It’s been over two weeks since the Twilight Experience and I’ve taken the time to reflect before sharing my final thoughts on the subject with you. When dealing with a saga of this magnitude, it is important to look at the woman who started it all, Stephenie Meyer (who spells it with an [e] in the middle by the way). Below is a brief description of how she began the Twilight series.
Stephenie Meyer’s life changed dramatically on June 2, 2003. The stay-at-home mother of three young sons woke up from a dream featuring seemingly real characters that she could not get out of her head.
“Though I had a million things to do, I stayed in bed, thinking about the dream. Unwillingly, I eventually got up and did the immediate necessities, and then put everything that I possibly could on the back burner and sat down at the computer to write—something I hadn’t done in so long that I wondered why I was bothering.”
Meyer invented the plot during the day through swim lessons and potty training, and wrote it out late at night when the house was quiet. Three months later she finished her first novel, Twilight. (found at stepheniemeyer.com
Now that’s definitely the lady I want writing the novels that swept a nation…and all of their brain cells along with it.
While the Twilight movies and books provide me with an unending supply of comedy material, they ultimately disturb me for several reasons.
Listen up ladies: If you are over 13 and insist on taking Twilight seriously then you deserve to have your movie experience ruined.
So basically Stephenie Meyer has the same general interests as a 3yr old: finger painting, macaroni art, and shiny things!
I could go on, but quite frankly I’m bored with the whole topic. At the end of the day, no matter how many jokes I make about it, Twilight sucks. Watching (or reading) them is a waste of time, energy, and brain cells. I can’t actually prove that last part, but I’m 100% positive that it’s true.
The Minx’s final word: Stephenie Meyer you are a complete waste of space on this Earth. You are using up our oxygen and we need it!
Tune in again in November for the grueling review of Part I of Breaking Dawn. (Weak Sauce)
(Originally posted on The Media Minx )
Despite my gut reaction to another viewing of New Moon, I did not vacate the AMC Bridgewater premises immediately after the movie. I remained in my seat to witness the premiere evening of Eclipse along with the rag tag bunch of soccer moms and tweens dressed to the nines in their Twilight apparel.
There was an electricity in the air that I can only attribute the polar reaction of so many Team Edward and Team Jacob shirts coming into close contact with one another in a jam packed theater.
Eclipse was to be a completely new experience for me in the Twilight realm. I managed to muddle my way through the first two books out of sheer will power, but failed miserably at Eclipse…mostly because it was too damn boring, but also because it read like something my family’s jack russell terrier could have written…in one afternoon.
Technically I had no idea where this movie might be headed. I could only hope, as I had during the last two, that it was heading towards ANYONE getting laid. (yeah right)
It never ceases to amaze me how someone like Stephanie Meyer managed to write three books that turned into best sellers…all with the exact same plot. I honestly don’t think it matters what order you read or watch these in.
It’s pretty bad when the action scenes make you want to kill yourself out of boredom. The side plot about a “newborn” vampire army was pretty brutal, but it did give one of the Cullen Clan, Jasper, his time in the spot light.
Jasper, who has been pretty quiet most of the series so far was apparently in the US Cavalry, and because of his sudden back story and epic flashback….adopted a thick southern accent in the middle of the movie. Clearly ( I guess I should say luckily) the actors were not expected to read the book series when they were cast. This guy obviously had no idea that he was supposed to be from the south until right before shooting the flashbacks.
Despite the sudden change in character and voice, Jasper turns out to be pretty bad ass. Maybe he should have his own spin off movie.
Jacob Black, who is about as good an actor as the mop from the Swiffer commercials (so let’s face it, pretty good), actually has some pretty funny scenes and one liners in Eclipse.
“I don’t have any leeches on my speed dial.”
“Does my being half-naked bother you?”
“Did you seriously just stamp your foot? I thought girls only did that on TV”
In fact…a Jasper/Jacob spin off movie or show would be supa cool. It would be the ultimate bromance. They have the alliteration and everything. During the final minutes of Eclipse I found myself wondering why I couldn’t be watching the J squared spin off movie instead of this piece of trash.
The Minx Says: At least there aren’t any more of these coming out….until November 2011. 4 and 1/2 blessed months of rest before part I of Breaking Dawn, should Bella switch dish detergents because Dawn uses petroleum in their alleged eco-friendly recipe? Tune in November 18, 2011 to find out*.
*I can only hope that this is the real plot of Breaking Dawn.
(Originally posted on The Media Minx )
I think that we left off with Team Charlie being pretty awesome. This theme continues into the second movie, New Moon.
New Moon really gets things cooking plot wise. At this point in the saga, we have not one, not two, but three guys vying for Bella’s affections. Who wins the Battle for Bella 2009?
a) Edward: A vampiric James Dean wanna be with slightly goofy hair, stenciled in abs, and a makeup job that makes Mimi from the Drew Carey Show look subtle. http://www.freealabama.com/images/mimi.jpg
b) Jacob: A Native American werewolf with a heart of gold and abs that are decidedly not drawn on. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_bX9OR1X47Nw/Sw_9OMZdQhI/AAAAAAAAAVw/GkbHev9mlHw/s1600/Jacob-Black-New-Moon-twilight-series-7288928-707-1104.jpg
c) Mike: The all American townie that moderately resembles the Mad TV guy http://sharetv.org/images/madtv-show.jpg
Before we move on, just a side note about the references to Jacob and Edward’s ab muscles. I think the comparison in the following link will clear up any uncertainty surrounding the situation. http://images2.fanpop.com/images/photos/8400000/Kanye-Edward-vs-Jacob-jacob-black-8490883-678-452.jpg
Ok…let’s get back to Battle for Bella 2009. As we all know, Edward had the lead in the last movie. How could anyone catch up after such a tremendous head start? Well…probably because Edward leaves about 10 minutes into the movie and only appears in misty globs due to Bella’s ever worsening psychoses.
Jacob however, is around like 24/7 for a good chunk of time. He and Bella seem to be getting pretty close until about halfway through the movie when he decides to reveal to her his innermost secret…he is a never nude (Don’t mock people. This is a real and serious condition involving jorts, sneakers, and no shirt.). Apparently becoming a never nude is a severe side affect of lycanthropy.
Perks of Jacob include but are not limited to:
Despite his clear advantages in New Moon, Jacob never quite seems to win Bella over.
At least Jacob has a little bit of a shot. Poor Mike over in Forks is pretty much hopeless. Not only does he have the clear disadvantage of looking like a giant baby, but Bella won’t even agree to go out on an actual date with him. She spends plenty of alone time with misty Edward and furry Jacob, but when it comes time to go to a movie with Mike, she needs a buffer. I mean, she even goes on a motorcycle ride alone with a creepy, fat, balding old guy! Her standards are clearly not that high.
Sorry to say Mike…that you are officially out the the Battle for Bella running.
In addition to Team Charlie being awesome, it becomes increasingly clear that Jessica (Bella’s Fork’s friend played by Anna Kendrick) is way cooler and more interesting than Bella. Her scenes are a welcome relief from the utter monotony of the rest of the movie. Unfortunately, just like in Twilight, her scenes are few and far between.
Apparently there’s nothing more thrilling than watching Bella do…..NOTHING. This is over half of the movie people. I especially love the scene where Edward first leaves and there is a montage of what? Bella sitting in a chair, not moving, staring out the window as the seasons pass for like 10 minutes!!!
I’m seriously getting bored just talking about this. Just a few more comments and I promise this movie is almost over!
So what’s up with the Dakota Fanning and the guy from freaking Frost/Nixon being in this movie. I guess I understand Dakota. She’s growing up and wants to somehow remain relevant. But Frost from Frost/Nixon??? Are you kidding me??? You don’t go from making Frost/Nixon to making New Moon!!! You can maybe go from making Uptown Girls to making New Moon…oh what? Oh she already did that…good thinking Dakota.
What’s the New Moon verdict you ask???
The Minx says: She’s going to answer this one with a question, which is…Why the hell am I still watching these movies??????
Tune in next time for the continuation of the Twilight Experience Saga where MM will delve into the destined to be classic, Eclipse.
(Originally posted on The Media Minx )
I’m sure that all of my readers out there are on the edge of their seats…because I have received comments saying you are on the edge of your seats in anticipation of my next Twilight entry.
Let’s focus on the first movie of the Saga, Twilight.
Now I’ve seen this movie before, but never in the theater. Now if you thought that Twilight was boring in the comfort of your own home…then you are absolutely correct, and that goes double for the in theater experience. It’s just like watching the movie in your living room except bigger and much much less comfortable. At least in your house you can squish down on your comfy couch with a beer, or for Twilight, let’s face it…a scotch (double). The extreme awkward sexual tension with a total lack of actual sex is merely close up with a wide angle lens, somehow making it EVEN MORE AWKWARD! It also makes the alleged love interest in the movie even less realistic.
The makeup job on Robert Pattinson (Edward) is nauseating at best. He looks like a combination clown/blind old lady. You would think they could at least blend in the makeup lines on his chin line.
Speaking of nauseating, does Edward actually like Bella? Every time he’s close to her it kind of looks like he’s about to throw up. Either that or he’s taking a massive number 2. I guess that’s his version of being really strongly attracted to someone. Someone find out what acting school he attended.
Kristen Stewart’s (Bella “oh I’m so clumsy and hideous act…why would anyone ever want to be with me” gets more obnoxious as my viewings of the film (I say laughably) increase.
I did notice one particular aspect of Bella’s personality that spoke much louder on the big screen: she’s a complete psycho! Her obsession over Edward in this film is not only gross and unhealthy, it’s a bad example to set for our nations tweens. Also…it’s really pathetic and unrealistic. There is no way a theoretically hot vampire is going to want some girl hanging all over him and saying she wants to be with him forever. No wonder Edward won’t turn her into a vampire in the end of the movie. I don’t think a human guy would want a chick like that hanging around for the rest of her life, let alone a smoldering 100 year old vampire.
Is there any saving grace in this movie? Well…not exactly a saving grace, but there is a beacon of light. It may be quite faint, but if you’re really looking for it…you may catch a glimmer of it. What is this beacon of light? CHARLIE, Bella’s dad. He is literally the only one invested in this movie. I have a theory that he’s actually a stand up comic and he’s using the Twilight movies to finely tune his skills. Any scene with Charlie in it is completely bearable. Unfortunately, Charlie is only in like four scenes so his screen time is rather limited.
I could go on, but if you’ve seen Twilight…I hope that I don’t have to.
Media Minx says: Screw Team Edward and Team Jacob! Go for TEAM CHARLIE!!!!!
Tune in tomorrow for the continuation of the Minx’s Twilight Experience Saga
(Originally posted on The Media Minx )
The continuation of the Twilight Saga, Eclipse, arrived in theaters on June 30th, 2010 at 12:01am. If you were lucky you managed to get a ticket to the midnight showing. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be there for the ultra gripping love triangle that entangles Bella, Edward and Jacob?
If you were even luckier, you managed to obtain a ticket to the Twilight Experience (a nine hour recap that included showings of the previous two movies and ended in a grand finale, a showing of Eclipse at the witching hour).
Being a reviewer of movies at the classiest level, of course I attended the event at my local AMC Theater. The ticket cost for this blessed event was $30. To add an extra bonus to the already sweet sweet pot, AMC gave each attendee a commemorative event lanyard and a $10 AMC Theater gift card featuring the images of Bella, Edward and Jacob.
That about sets the stage for the event that will undoubtedly go down in history. As what exactly? Well you’ll have to keep reading the Media Minx Twilight Experience Saga to find out…
Tune in tomorrow for Part I of the media minx’s assessment of the Twilight Experience, beginning with Twilight.
(Originally posted on The Media Minx )
So this one is going to hurt. Get your wolfsbane and silver bullets ready because we’re about to dive into the remake of the 1941 classic film: The Wolfman.
This 2010 version stars Benicio del Toro, Emily Blunt, and Anthony Hopkins. You may also recognize the elf in charge of Rivendale from The Lord of the Rings and that guy with the glasses from The Matrix (Hugo Weaving) as the pesky inspector from Scotland Yard.
The story is similar to the original film albeit a little more boring. I’m not really sure what possessed any of these actors to be in this movie. The only one who seemed to even realize she was in a movie was Emily Blunt. That being said, one actor actually trying in a movie does not equal a whole…or something like that. That’s not to say she was actually good, just that she was aware that movie was being made.
Del Toro seemed to be in constant drug induced state, Weaving just wanted a pint of bitters, and I’m fairly certain that the cameras were just following Hopkins around in “a day in the life” style.
Basically the prodigal son returns home and gets bitten by a werewolf of unknown origin. Del Toro macks on his dead brother’s fiance (Blunt) while he and his father exchange meaningful glances. Weaving is sent in to investigate the town’s disturbances and the villagers turn into a mindless mob. Really riveting and innovating stuff here people.
This movie took out most of the interesting parts of the original about wolfsbane and the gypsies and replaced it with some slightly disturbing scenes in an asylum which I guess were supposed to solidify the mental torture that Hopkins (the actor not his character) has inflicted upon his son over the years. The otherworldly elements were mostly ignored except for a particularly sweet montage in which Blunt furiously searches for a cure in the lycanthropy books she just happens to have lying around her antique shop? I mean who among doesn’t have one or two lycanthropy coffee table books?
Spoiler Alert!!!!!: Hopkins (the person not the character) is a werewolf!! He killed his youngest son and bit Del Toro. I don’t know if you get the symbolism here so I’ll break it down. The son is destined to walk in his father’s footsteps/the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
The movie culminates in a huge fight scene between Del Toro and Hopkins. They do the traditional werewolf in mid-air clash. I’m not sure where that tradition came from. Probably archive footage of werewolves I guess because all filmmakers seem pretty damn sure that’s how a werewolf battle would go down. Both father and son die, but not before Weaving gets bit by one of them. (Seriously all the guy wanted to do was go down to the pub…damn) Do I smell the wafting aroma of a sequel?????
All in all this movie was pretty forgettable. I guess the updated effects were alright. I liked that they kept the original wolf/man style instead of the just wolf thing that Twilight seems to have taken to. When I think of a wolfman I think of a guy…that looks like a wolf, preferably wearing pin stripped pants and a white button down shirt (I would also have accepted a basketball uniform complete with sweat bands)
The minx says: A yawn of a movie. If you want to see werewolves check out the original from 1941 or the teen wolf series…a werewolf on the basketball court…freaking hilarious!