House of Cards

Being a white educated male, I cringe at the way this film presents white educated males as ruthless and immoral in government.

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

There isn’t much ‘Tusk’ in this but there is some. Since I loved the first film, I sat through this one and found it to be a lot of fun, despite the reviews.

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

In Disney’s latest animated film, you get a polynesian princess and Maui, a herculean strongman. These two unwittingly team together to save their world.

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

Young Natalie Wood is skeptical about the existence of Santa Claus. A few verification tugs on his beard get her on the long path to believing.

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.