Nacho Libre

When the brothers complain about his food, the cook in the monastery, Nacho Libre, says “Maybe I need a better duty.” He’s got a spirit you just can’t hold down.

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There are so many quotes from Nacho Libre being recited in my house of 5 all the year long. One example is when Nacho philosophizes to the sexy nun Incarnacion, “I know my clothes may hae the appearance of riches but beneath the clothes you find the man and beneath the man, you find his … nucleus.” This is the sort of depth/non-depth contrast you get in this comedy film. Little Chancho is sad to see Nacho storming out of the convent to be a wrestler so he offers him his “mother’s lucky machete” stating “you may need it.”

This may not be instant comedy to anyone who watches it the first time. I’ll admit, when my sister bought it for me a few years ago as a Christmas gift, I wasn’t impressed. But the jokes grow on you! After thinking about them and playng the jokes again, I was a full fledged fan for life. Go Nachoooooooo!

Nacho is an unwitting yet sincere monk trying to break into Mexican Luchador wrestling. It is so innocent yet so well delivered, Jack Black as Nacho should get a high comedy award for his work on this film.

Skeletor becomes his partner in the ring and together they seek fame and fortune at luchadors. Nacho tells the kids in the monastery, “I know the wrestlers get all the fancy creams and lotions.” The jokes just come one after the other.

There’s a wonderful ending and scenes in the final fight that are quite well filmed. In fact, the who film is very well choreographed and filmed. This film does not get the praise it deserves. Watch it at least twice before you judge.

After all the “language” of Nacho Libre must be acquired, even while it’s all in English. I recommend this to people who could use a good laugh.

The Hateful Eight

Spaghetti westerns and blood soaked pulp violence films, yeah! Bring ’em on. Quentin has put these together for us for many a year and many people thank him for it with their admission dollars. But is this particular film one of his best yet? Let’s take a look.

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One new thing is the bonking a woman on her head until blood runs down her toothless face. Are we meant to enjoy this? I think so. It’s pretty funny but not a laugh a minute.

The premise of the film is bounty hunters and thieves traveling across frozen terrain to cross paths in a warm cabin. In there is where all hell breaks loose and the shit starts to hit the fan.

I’ve seen worse gore and violence in a Tarantino film. It doesn’t knock you over the head that way. For me, this one was more dark comedy than anything else. It moves around a bit in time which makes it interesting. You’ll get mostly what you get in his other films. In fact, there isn’t much here we haven’t seen before, in spades.

I think the hallmark of a great film is one that draws influence from previous ideas but integrates them into a new idea. The “new” of it is missing in this film for me.

As a final thought: I’m a die-hard fan of Tarantino’s work but this one only gave me a few moments by the fire only to leave me cold.

House of Cards

I accept the presentation of white male politicians as such as probably true most of the time. A lot of new tv series are trying to present things as they are, as opposed to the sugar-coated version. That pretty much sums up what this tv show is all about.

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I have only seen the first 4 episodes but some spoilers may follow.

Kevin Spacey is the consummate politician and what’s more, he’s the consummate political advisor. He’s raising up a new mayor who obviously will suit his agenda. They way he grooms him is eye-opening. Every part of this show tears down perceptions of how politics work. Morality is virtually non-existent. It’s not necessarily important if things are sinister in politics, rather, it’s important only if they seem sinister or not.

Robin Wright plays Spacey’s wife. She seems ruthless in the episodes I have seen. I a feeling she’s going to really start revealing her evil plans very soon. She seems so resolved in her decisions. She chooses to not have an affair with a man she seems interested in and gives a speech telling why that is some excellent acting.

This show is very engaging and there are some great characters. It shows you what goes on behind the scene in elections and in elected position jobs. It is gong rather slowly here at the get go. It seems though as if it has the raw talent and story to get into some entertaining stuff down the road. I recommend it to drama/comedy fans.

A Christmas Story – Favorite Quotes

…because ‘A Christmas Story’ will never get old to me.  Ever.  Enjoy the holiday season with my 17 favorite gifs and quotes from Ralphie and crew.

best-a-christmas-story-gifs-and-quotes

I triple dog dare you!

It was soap…poisoning!

No, no!  I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model

Stuck!  Stuck!  Stuuuuuuck!

I can’t get up!

Be sure to drink your Ovaltine.  Ovaltine?

Son of a bitch!

Shut up.

P.S., You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out!

Only I didn’t say fudge.  I said THE word.  The big one.  The queen mother of dirty words.  The F*** word.

It’s a major award!

It’s a beautiful duck, it really is.  But you see, it’s smiling at me!

Show me how the piggies eat!

I can’t put my arms down!

Fra-gee-lay.  Must be Italian!

Oh my God I shot my eye out!

Ho, Ho, Ho.

Reblogged

Tusk 2

It’s actually titled Yoga Hosers but this film by Kevin Smith is film 2 in a trilogy of which the largely misunderstood ingenious horror film Tusk is the first. Apart from some offhand references in the beginning stating the girls helped save the walrus guy, you won’t sense much Tusken darkness at all, that’s too bad. I am a huge fan of the oddity film and this one could have used a lot more of its horror. It’s not all bad though.

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The story goes like this: two teens work in a mart. Two guys try to kill them for Satan. The girls kill the boys in self-defense. Little men made out of sausage that are programmed to kill travel through the dead boys.

Next there is a Hitler type fellow that captures them along with a character played by Johnny Depp. Incidentally, the girls are played by Kevin Smith and Johnny Depp’s daughters.

 

There are some funny jokes here and there but most of all, this is a dull experience. If you loved Tusk and you love Kevin Smith films, I think you’ll find this entertaining. Other fans of this may be people 15 and younger. All others should probably steer clear. I can only recommend it for the Kevin Smith die-hards. I don’t smoke dope but I imagine a bit of that would help make sense of this film. What was he thinking? I think the answer to that is: nothing. I think Smith has given up pandering to making decent films. He’s just making the fun films he wants to make and I think that’s pretty cool for him!
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Moana

Moana starts out on a tropical island. It could be Hawaii but it isn’t said exactly where. We find out it is of the Polynesian realm so it likely could be. Moana is the Chieftain’s daughter and plays at the seashore a lot. We see her grow through 2 phases and when she is close to adult age, she decides to go out and see what she can see at sea. It’s a good thing too because, as it so happens, the future of her people and islands depends on her.

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This is a great movie. You get a princess who kept reminding me of Rapunzel in Tangled. It’s the eyes that did it. You also get a scoundrel, mean Maui played by Dwayne Johnson. We get to hear him sing which is quite noteworthy. I never thought I’d hear a wrestler sing like this. HE actually hits the notes and does a damn good job as a singer in this. Who knew?

I thought the middle was a little scant but the dynamics of the relationship between Maui and Moana keep things exciting. I must say that Moana is created to be incredibly beautiful. They certainly took a lot of care bringing her character to life. Disney is to be applauded.

When I say scant, I mean they are at sea. It’s pretty cool seeing Maui use his magic abilities to shape shift but I felt if they wanted to portray a setting like Hawaii, they could have gotten a lot more scenery in. This gets a lot better toward the end in the final scenes. All in all this film is great to look at.

There are some great images of the water and coral. I wondered if they were done with real video or made with cgi. I think a combo is the best and it seems like that’s what they used here. When the water rises up in an anthropomorphic way, it’s spectacular. I have to give kudos to the animators once again.

I highly recommend Moana, though it’s doing very well without my recommendation. There is some humor thrown in with a quest, inspiring music, and Polynesian folklore.

Miracle On 34th Street

This film is such a great Christmas classic on many levels. You have the black and white retro props which weren’t retro in the 40’s when this was made. In other words, the props are real! Beyond that you have a timeless story with powerhouse and legendary actors.

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This is one of those family films that has appeal for both kids and adults. Its written in such a way that there is something for everyone to relate with. For example, there is a drunk imitation Santa who gets his just desserts. There’s a young man who plays Santa as part of the union and gets advice from the man himself. Theres a hardened divorcee trying to raise her daughter without make believe and her suitor bachelor who sees a flaw in that. Finally, among many entertaining characters is Kris Kringle, the man who almost gets committed to an asylum for claiming he is Santa Claus.

There is a romance here along with a court drama, intelligent comedy, and a hint of childhood Christmas magic. I recommend to all.

American Crime

Crime shows are great because they’re interesting and fun. This new show is a crime show that definitely lives up to that reputation. It is also gritty. It presents cases in full light rather than just the attractive aspects.

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I binge watched S01 and really enjoyed it. The story is well written and the acting is superb. Felicity Huffman is my favorite character in the season, she plays a somewhat cold mother of a murdered son who is driven to colder extremes based on the way the court and law enforcement system puts her through the ringer.

Timothy Hutton also does a great job as her ex-husband. He’s trying to make it in the world after some troubles with the law. We see a few examples of that as we follow this case to its season conclusion. There isn’t much “feel good” material here. It starts with a murder and rape and through the course of the season we learn probably more than we want to about both. It is a bit like a mystery and in the end there are a few twists.

It is not a feel good show and therefore not for everyone. It can be quite violent but the violence serves to drive the story and make things more believable.

I really enjoyed this crime drama. I recommend it to fans of the genre and for those who enjoy revealing legal details and tacit rules the police and legal system follow, often in secret.

The Exploding Girl

College can be a rough time, even for those who are 100% healthy. In this case, we have a protagonist with epilepsy. She’s trying to find love that eludes her time and time again.

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I like films like this that look almost like hidden camera footage. When a girl and her roommate stay up watching TV, hanging off the couch talking about life, you are among them. It’s really a hard time when you’re out of high school in your early years of adulthood. You want the job, the enjoyment, and the love that culture promises and yet, it doesn’t translate that way.

We see a girl who is stuck in unrequited love, trying to improve a relationship tat is sadly one-sided. When one is new at love, there is so much that has to be learned the hard way. Then, there is the “Ducky” type of friend who shares her apartment. Is their friendship destined to stay platonic or will it grow into a sexual thing.

Thes are the basic elements of this film. My wife thought it dragged on a bit. I, on the other hand, liked the mysterious ether-like feeling of the film. For me, it was a peering into the life of a brave young girl with no answers. I found it inspiring in an odd way. Maybe because I don’t yet have the answers and I felt for her in that stage of life. I recommend it as a thoughtful romantic drama.

4.

The Edge of Seventeen

This film was marketed incorrectly and that’s too bad. I think some will pass on it because it looks like Emma Stone getting an easy a or some derivative of a party and sex themed high school movie. It’s not like that at all.

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This film is about real people going through changes in life. It has dark segments and dark comedy as well. There are elements of the high school comedy but they only serve to drive the depth of the story. It is all interwoven especially well.

This film shows what its film-making generation can do at a pristine level. Instead of relying on recycled paradigms of successful party films.

The acting is great. I’d say her brother is too huge and too buff. I might have opted for a more “Ducky” sort.

Other than his though, which is only just less than perfect, all the performances are fantastic.

One topic delved into is the mental-health topic of depression. With high schoolers, it can be hard to draw a clear line between regular growing pains and depression. This films shows the blurred line and then lets the audience draw its own distinction.

The protagonist is beautiful, I hope to see her in more films. I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I recommend it to all, preteens through adults.