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)