Anne with an E (2017)

A Netflix original series: This is more than Laura Ingalls Wilder’s vanilla adaptation by Michael Landon: Little House on the Prairie. It’s a clever, charming, witty, risk-taking adaptation of the beloved young girl novel Anne of Green Gables.

 

Each episode on this Netflix original series has a new director. They have all dome noteworthy things. Niki Caro is known, for example, for the Zookeeper’s Wife. Helen Shaver has directed 2 episodes of 13 Reasons Why and an episode of Orphan Black. There are many other impressive accolades in the directors of the series.

Amybeth McNulty plays Anne, a spindly legged freckle-faced waif with a mind of her own and a mouth that will not remain quiet. She is not as cute as the original series’ actress Megan Follows but she makes up for it in surprisingly good acting ability. She partakes very little in the culture of young women and instead portrays a lot of outrage and anger. Of curse, she’s funny too. In short, she’s a drama queen and I love it!

The original actress was much more tame and subdued. She did the sewing and cooking and spoke out sometimes. This one lets you have it what she thinks in nearly every scene, but that’s a good thing! This will appeal to readers of the beloved books as well as girls in the tween to teenage years. It has humor adults will get, especially parents of teenagers. It’s a retro show and the costumes and props are very authentic. I enjoy watching the show as a laid back, low key yet entertaining tv series.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Young girls have had such a rough shake through history. For many centuries, all they could do was have the children and cook. I think it’s healthy for girls of today to watch the constraints on little girls and women in general and how Anne debunks all that. She’s an excellent role model for outspoken girls. The show may not be for everyone as it is a bit like Masterpiece Theater at times. People talk in a sort of Salem accent and sometimes the points being expressed are subtle and take time to reveal themselves. I personally enjoy and recommend this charming series, now streaming live on Netflix.

8/10

Man Up (2015) – Now Streaming on NETFLIX!

This film is NOW STREAMING on Netflix! It’s part of my current series:

Please read my review to see what I think of the film. Then if you can, RT the post, and leave me a comment before you go. Thanks in advance.

Title: Man Up
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
MPAA Rating: R
Year: 2015
Director: Ben Palmer. Known for: “The In Betweeners.”
Top Billed Cast: Simon Pegg, known well for “Shaun of the Dead” and many more films, Lake Bell, known for “In a World,” and Olivia Williams, known for “An Education” and “The Sixth Sense.”
Brief Synopsis: Jack makes plans with an online dating interest to meet in person. Plans are fuddled and a different girl, Nancy, impersonates the online dating woman in the rendezvous. What results is the comedy and drama of the film.
My Word to the Wise: Simon Pegg has become synonymous with award-worthy British humor. There’s enough of that along with romantic comedy that at times, despite questionable casting chemistry, does actually work. This is a fun date movie to be sure but don’t expect something amazing.

The rest of this review may contain spoilers.

Simon Pegg has become a powerful presence in films. I found myself questioning if a character played by Lake Bell would in real life have interest a character played by the lead actor. We come to find that despite her youthful age and vivacity, Lake Bell’s character is in fact a bit dishonest and as a result unlikeable. The question in my mind was whether this goofy big brother-type could be the love interest of the girl.

There’s a lot of romantic comedy material in this: the all night bar hop, the visiting the parents, etc. For that reason, it had my wife interested. I’d say the ast 1/3 disappointed me. It didn’t wrap up the way it started. Still, no rom com films have perfect plots, we just need them to snuggle and such. This one’s definitely a good snuggle film. Because the writing as a bit unfocused, especially at the end, it lost posts with me as a romantic comedy. As a drama, I’d say it fails substantially more. Dramas have to seem real, rom coms don’t.

Sing Street (2016) encore review

MY teens were in the fat of the 80’s, really check this out: in 1980 I was 10 and 1990 I was of course, well you can add. Sing Street is streaming on Netflix and you should go enjoy that thing for all it’s worth! I completely urge you to. It’s about a boy about my age through the 80’s who wants a chick so he makes a freakin’ band! That was my 80’s as well. Sing street is like this and more ungodly great stuff. Ah, to be 16 again.

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You can check this film out today on Netflix. It’s a story of a young lad in Ireland who finds himself changed schools and at a violent religious school (That’s a funny modifier right? Actually many people I know and have spoken with through the years would tell you it’s fitting). At any rate, the boy meets a girl a little older than him and decides to get her attention through forming a band.

I had a similar time of it in High School. Paul Flippowitz, a friend in my English class, came to me saying he knew Brad and Lance were starting a band. Of course I saw this as my chance to throw down on tape all the guitar I had created through the years so I jumpred at the opportunity. I was 16. I don’t have any before photos but here’s our reunion a few years ago.

The character in Sing Street is a singer and somewhat of a writer. He has a pal he collaborates with that I think any songwriter has while going through those 10-20 years.

There is struggle, there is triumph, there is 80’s music. Duran Duran music is in it! Along with many other 80’s musicians. I do wonder why they chose to put Joe Jackson music in it. “Stepping Out” is probably the worst hit of the 80’s in my opinion.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Positive, amazing people I read and know in private life love this film as much as I do. Even some really negative shitty people have told me this film is amazing. Give it a try! I’ll remind you it’s on Netflix.

Now, let’s talk. Comments as a form are alive and well with celebrities and boring famous bloggers everywhere. Since I am fairly close to being boring and famous with my words, help me out and increase the comments PLEASE. I am on the verge of paying people to comment here, I am not joking.

11/10 j/k 10/10

Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)

The 80’s has some simple movies that made for some really good memories. This horror film is like that only it’s more like a Pee Wee Herman film than a Back to the Future.

The effects are just silly. Still, they had a particular charm and allure to them. Through a random series of events, we find out that clowns have laded from outer space and they are looking to recolonize their planet by placing people into cotton candy cocoons. You shuld be in a weird mood before you watch this film. It’s not a traditional horror. Rather, it’s more goofy, silly, twisted humor.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I have to be careful recommending this film because it’s not a traditional horror. The clowns indeed kill people but they are so goofy in the things they do, they’re not scary in the slightest. I understand this film has made money off of action figures and other movie related products. It didn’t do well at the box office. Sine 1988 when it was made it has gathered a following of cult-like movie people, If you have a goofy sense of humor, check this film out and then leave me your thoughts in a comment. I would love to start a dialog about this film.

7/10

The Midnight Meat Train (2008)

Rarely have I seen such art attributed to a violent serial killer. I’m surprised to say the film still drew me in and put me in that indefinable trance one can sometimes feel from horror. This killer has tools and moves he wields like deathly musical instruments as he kills on the midnight train.

I like this director, Ryûhei Kitamura if for no other reason than that he was born the same year as me. He has a long history of Japanese horror and mystery films. I have seen none of them. I wonder if any of his past films have as much blood and violent gore as this one does.

Bradley Cooper is the biggest name in this film. He’ a struggling and idealistic photographer. His wife introduces him to a big name and that’s when the film starts to chug down the tracks. It’s a ride you’ll not soon forget. Another big name in this is Brooke Shields.

Here’s a no spoiler summary: There is a killer that stalks a certain train every night. He kills people on the train in unthinkable ways. It’s all filmed i a sort of Matrix strobe/slow motion way so you can really take in the eyeballs popping out and the entrails spilling onto the floor. This may be one of the bloodiest ones I’ve seen. It’s good though. Bradley Cooper inadvertently photographs the killer and seeks to destroy him. The results are not what he had expected.

This was a bloody film and certainly not one to watch with your kids. It is however streaming on Netflix so that makes it easy to get for many people. It’s a good revenge horror. The only problem I had with it was the way they dealt with the conflict in the last quarter, See what you think and leave me a comment. A dialogue is the best part of blogging for me.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I thought the music and cinematography made this more of a “killer’s opera” than a slice and dice film. It was amazing to look at when the killing was at bay and even the killing had a certain order to the chaos. It drew me in. I was interested why this man did these horrible things. In my opinion, the answer is only partly given. I would recommend this to fans of the serial killer and gore genre. All else, run for the train exit.

6/10

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – Podcast Review

Check out my non -podcast movie review. Only 7mins 30sec long. (I try to keep ’em short). I beg your comments if you have 1-2 minutes please. 2 way communication is my real goal here with all this.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

This film is relatively new and I purposely left spoilers out of my review. A very similar look to the first one in most aspects. The 1970’s songs were a bit more arcane and far off which for me was cool. I liked watching things explode, the raccoon played by Bradley Cooper make jokes, and the Baby Groot emote so much expression with is highly limited words. I couldn’t help but wonder if vol2 was really necessary but it was honestly so much fun, I bought in and there were only a few places where I was bored.

So the story goes (this is in the trailers so I assume it’s not considered a spoiler): Starlord meets his biological father played by Kurt Russell. Much of this storyline is outlandish and frankly impossible but I kept reminding myself that this IS a Marvel comic book made into a film. You get the obligatory Stan Lee cameo as well but it never quite feels as polished and robust as Spiderman or Thor. The 70’s music is a standard part of the formula. Maybe it always was, I haven’t read the comics.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Look, I’m not going to criticize a movie that gave this many people jobs and brought so many people out to opening night in my hometown. The fact that the story and action is ALL OVER THE PLACE and it’s hard to focus on what is really happen is probably my fault for not being between 15 and 35 years old.

Still, there was way more comic stuff in this one. It is much funnier than the first by far. The understated, sarcastic humor made me belly laugh more than a few times. The Baby Groot is funny and cute as well. I saw a lot of promotion in the weeks before it was released and Baby Groot lived up to the hype, he delivers! So go see this wild and crazy film. It has some great effects and hilarity to boot. It’s a great way to ring in the Summer but not likely to go on anyone’s top ten of comic book or sci fi films. Then again, some young people surprise me.

7/10

Band of Robbers (2015)

This modern day telling of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer starts a little slow but once the wheels start rolling, it has an understated humor I found quite funny. It’s been compared to Wes Anderson films though Id say it’s not that dry. It’s a well developed and clever that works in an entertaining way.

Band of Robbers is a crime comedy movie written and directed by brothers Aaron and Adam Nee. In this modern-day retelling, the two iconic rascals are grown up and small-time crooks still searching for the fabled Murrell’s treasure that has eluded them since childhood. The story draws heavily from Twain’s classic novels, including characters, plot twists and even dialogue.

Though it comes off as low budget, the writing is excellent which helped me get into it. One of the coolest features was seeing modern day adaptations of Mark Twain’s characters like Becky Thatcher (a cop) and Injun Joe.

Final Thoughts
If you enjoy Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, you may really enjoy this silly film. While highly entertaining, I felt the characters were a bit too difficult to relate with. It’s probably because they took the Huck Finn/Tom Sawyer idea very seriously. For that reason, I did enjoy it but it lost some points with me. This film is streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Go watch it them come back and tell me what you think. I’d love to read you take on this film.

6/10

Almost Famous (2000)

Almost Famous is now streaming on Amazon Prime. There’s a scene at the beginning of this film where the macro lens fixes on a turntable as the needle lowers on the Who’s “Tommy.” It’s so f***ing cool I want to eat pralines and cream ice cream every time I watch it. That just happens to be my favorite flavor, please imagine yours and you’ll probably get what I mean. This film is a breed apart. I can’t criticize much about it. It’s one of the great ones in my collection, what else can I say?

Director Cameron Crowe was born in 1957 and went to school in San Diego, California, USA. In the opening sequence you see the young writer William Miller (Patrick Fugit) with his mother (Frances McDormand) in 1969 walking down the streets of San Diego. That little writer is Crowe! At least, that’s what I suspect. Crowe has done so many amazing films, I’ll always see another pinnacle as the indubitable Jerry Macguire. Almost Famous is my favorite work of his to date.

Actor Patrick Fugit does a phenomenal job as an underage kid and writing prodigy basically sneaking on tour in the 70’s with a rock band, Stillwater. It’s a coming of age story about rock and roll and love on tour with a band. How f***ing cool is that? It makes me wonder what it would have been like to go on tour with REM in the 80’s. I’m 12 years younger than Crowe so my musical influences are from a bit later. That reminds me, the late Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a thirty something music critic and his lines are the stuff of pure genius. He contends rock is dead.

The story continues to introduce Kate Hudson as a 16 year old roadie who William takes up with and falls in love. H elearns so much about rock and love from her. She is one of the best actors in the film. There is an older brother type rock hero role played by Billy Crudup. Mostly we find out the decadent stupidity of fame from what he does and says but it’s well played of course. In the end lessons are learned, hearts are broken, stomachs are pumped, and rock marches on.

My favorite scene is when the band and their entourage almost crash in their plane and the things they say thinking they are about to die are side-splitting as well as revealing.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I can’t think of a film like this because it is so thick with music and amazing actors. You really do go on tour with Stillwater. You experience it all. It’s like Pink Floyd’s the wall but with a professional dramatic screenplay of which you can discern the dialogue. I will always worship this film because it’s what I stand for: rock and roll and writing. Oh, one issue I have: too many Elton John songs: they don’t fit. One would be ok but not 4.

10/10