With Thanksgiving Break coming up, the one thing on my mind is film. Coming home from a college set in a small town, they do not receive a lot of highly regarded films as the city does. I did manage to see “12 Years a Slave” and “Enough Said” which will lighten the load. So, coming home to New York City is very exciting for me. The goal is to watch these films in five days in about 6 or 7 different theaters. Hopefully I do it.
- Dallas Buyers Club
- All is Lost
- Blue is the Warmest Color
- Homefront (I’m a Jason Statham fan)
- The Armstrong Lie
- Kill Your Darlings
- The Grand Beauty
6:38 pm • 21 November 2013 • 5 notes
Why I Love Wrestling and None of You Can Judge Me For It
My blog has been devoted to movies but my first object of obsession was professional wrestling. For many people, they scoff at such a thing, thinking it is nothing but a hobby for toothless redneck below the mason-dixon line. But, I see something different when i watch Monday Night Raw every week.
My first exposure to professional wrestling was through my, now deceased, grandmother. She was a sweet hearted person who would flip to WCW Nitro in which she actively rooted for the famed Luchador wrestler Rey Misterio Jr. We bonded over the violence between shirtless males doing maneuvers that would never work in a real fight and the melodramatic storylines that looking back on it makes no logical sense.
This passion grew as I forced my mom to by action figures and a little ring so I can create my own shows. This was my first exposure to storytelling. My creative juices started flowing at five years old as I came up with reasons to why Sting would align with the notorious Hollywood Hulk Hogan.
Since then, my passion for wrestling would become cyclical, reaching an all time low from 2007-2011. I longed for the days of WCW and WWF wrestlers. Chris Benoit had just committed the terrible deed and I was too young to appreciate independent wrestling such as ROH and PWG. I kept tabs on the occasional stories and matches. I would always watch the Royal Rumble and the highlights of Wrestlemania.
One thing that I would often tell people about my love for wrestling is that for a true fan, wrestling sucks about 70% of the time. There is degradation of women, predictable results and stuff that insults your intelligence. But, the other 30% of the time could be downright euphoric. When WWE or any other wrestling associated thing gets it right, it is absolutely wonderful. That was the case for CM Punk’s promo that ushered in the Summer of Punk. In one five minute promo, he encapsulated everyone’s feelings towards wrestling. That was a feeling and a rush that I haven’t felt in a long while and it recaptured my love for professional wrestling.
It’s hard to put into words why and how something is good in wrestling. Its the perfect balance of story and action that creates an overwhelming catharsis. Recently when the Rhodes Brothers (half brothers in which Cody Rhodes lost his job and his brother, who wasn’t with WWE anymore, Goldust) defeated the Shield to win the Tag Team Championship, it was a moment of celebration. They looked so happy to win and all the background of the Rhodes’ always being put down by the McMahon family made it even better.
To describe this to all my non-wrestling friends who think the action is fake and sloppy, I like to tell them to think of it like a ballet. They choreograph each move to a tee in order to create a poetry in motion to tell the best story through action. Alberto Del Rio v Dolph Ziggler at WWE Payback is the perfect example of this. Everyone knew going into the event that Ziggler suffered a legitimate concussion from a match earlier in the year. However, he was in the role of the bad guy despite everyone in the crowd wanting him to win. What ensued was Del Rio constantly targeting Ziggler’s head with stiff kicks that felt too true to home. Ziggler was a sitting duck who kept valiantly trying to fight back but to no avail. The brilliance of this match was that it cemented Ziggler, a fan favorite, as a good guy who gives his heart to win and Del Rio as a no nonsense heel who just took advantage.
That’s why I love WWE developmental show, NXT so much. The writers on that show tries hard to let in-ring work tell the story while creating weird and bizarre characters while giving them time to shine. The latest example of that is Tyler Breeze, who is kind of like Zoolander if he was wrestling. Its high concept played to perfection by the former Mike Dalton and its that attention to character that makes the show so good. Their good guys have good intentions without degrading women or always sounding sarcastic (looking at you John Cena and Daniel Bryan) and their bad guys don’t always look like cowardly heels. And I’ve been converting people in my peer group to it with the help of NXT which proves just how good that show is.
I don’t care what you say about my love of wrestling because it is a passion of mine. There is nothing to be ashamed of when watching wrestling. So to those who still watch every Monday Night Raw or is afraid to admit to your friends that you know what a face and heel means, hold your head up high.
4:26 pm • 4 November 2013
Complaints about Moviepass
Almost twelve months ago, I signed up for this ingenious product called Moviepass. The conceit was for a monthly fee, ala Netflix, (the standard being $30/month) you may see a movie per calendar day. In a time in which a tickets to a movie can cost up to $14, this was seen as a godsend for an active film goer as me.
Just this week, that has changed. Now they have set up an exciting new feature called the countdown clock which is just a fancy way to disguise the fact that they have now imposed a new rule in which you can watch a movie every 24 hours. You have to wait a full 24 hours before you can go watch a new film.
I understand this new business principle as I could have single-handedly bankrupt this company but, its aggravating that this change was made to be seen as a good thing when it is a spit in the face of its loyal customers.
I loved this company and would recommend it to anyone I meet. It was touted to me by one of my favorite film podcasts, Filmspotting. But, this is horribly inconvenient for a student like me. I do not go see a movie every day of the week. The time that is permitted for me to see a film is Friday nights at my local indie theater and then Saturday mornings at an AMC in order to catch this week’s nationwide release.
With this new feature, I can no longer do that. The bigger problem I perceive in the future is when I watch a film at 4:00 pm and the next day want to see a film that begins at 3:50. This was a similar complaint pose more eloquently on http://badassdigest.com/2013/10/31/on-moviepass-newest-blunder/.
I’m just glad to see that I am not the only person that has strong feelings about this. I’m hoping that the excellent customer service I have received so far from the company would see all these complaints and posts to change back to the original model.
1:55 pm • 4 November 2013
Guest directer presents a tour of Vienna in new film
Jem Cohenâs wonderful film âMuseum Hoursâ was screened to an audience of students and film aficionados Friday night as a part of Harpur Cinemaâs âPassagesâ film series.
My review of Museum Hours, one of the best films of the year
5:10 pm • 2 November 2013 • 1 note
Films and Me This Year
Last year, I started a film diary of all the new films that I watched. As a a challenge to myself and to be a little different than all those who just list the films that they watched, I decided to also add a little review at the end of each post. That was all my blog was devoted to. Since my last posting I have been inactive for about nine months due to work and school related activities. In that I time I lost followers and gained some, which I find strange.
Today, I found myself back on this website that I have neglected for so long and I got the bug again. While I plan on restarting the diary at the start of the new year, I decided to expand this blog to be about anything that I want. That means, for people who like movies reading this, expect other things that you may find to be philistine in nature but, I don’t really care.
Also you can listen to me talk about movies every Monday at 6:30 pm eastern time on http://www.whrwfm.org/listenlive/
Besides, who really cares about my opinions anyways?
5:06 pm • 2 November 2013 • 3 notes
#35 Jack Reacher
From the trailers “Jack Reacher” looks like nothing more than Jason Bourne rip-off but in reality it is nothing more than a crime procedural. Christopher McQuarrie is a great writer and a competent director but there is something about the overlong nature of “Jack Reacher” and its aspirations to be something different yet derivative that makes it merely average. The car chase scenes filled with practical special effects was as exciting a car chase as any “Fast and the Furious” films but so much was put into it that the fact that there still feels like something is missing is a huge problem.
2:56 pm • 6 February 2013
#34 Devils on the Doorstep
Jiang Wen is a poignant satirist of China. His latest feature “Let the Bullets Fly” was a hilarious take on the Western genre. But, the film that got him international acclaim is the controversial film “The Devil on the Doorstep”. This film is a darkly comic tale about a small village during the Japanese occupation of China during World War 2. It combines its dark sense of humor with slapstick comedy, ridiculous reactions as well as the dread of war and occupation. In its black and white beauty it captures the irony of war in which both sides are human despite the dehumanization by both sides. This is a thoughtful fresh take on the Rape of Nanking and Japanese occupation which is especially refreshing coming from a Chinese film.
2:47 pm • 6 February 2013
#33 Ace in the Hole
Kirk Douglas was an extraordinary presence onscreen and combined with the satirical nature of Billy Wilder we get one of his most underrated works or maybe not underrated but under seen works, “Ace in the Hole”. His satire is ever present in this film about the lengths a reporter will go in order to sensationalize a story in order to gain national attention and fame. This is especially relevant today with the rise of the paparazzi who would go to any means to take pictures of celebrities or television channels that thrive on the exploitation of messed up individuals on reality television series. The poignant satire and cynicism is evident throughout the film and its fascinating.
2:35 pm • 6 February 2013
#32 Sexy Baby
This documentary tries to explain the age of new technology with the early burgeoning sexuality and the effects of that. Unfortunately for the documentary, it goes about the subject in a demeaning way. It goes about following three stories as if it was a cable reality program akin to those horrid shows on TLC. In that mood, it makes the subjects seem less important or at least the social phenomenon it is trying to touch upon. But, individual case studies is also not the proper way of explaining this anthropological issue. It tries to make this teen into the embodiment of all teenage experiences. There is a hint of exploitation here trying to make more of just a normal teenage experience.
2:27 pm • 6 February 2013
#31 To Rome with Love
Woody Allen’s Roman fantasy shows the root problem of anthology films such as these. Inter-cutting between several stories, there are bound to be some that are interesting but more importantly there are bound to be those that are boring or annoying. And watching this as Allen is using some fresh faced actors for the first time such as Ellen Page or Greta Gerwig that they simply do not fit the pace of his dialogue. It does not sound genuine coming from their voices. After the great “Midnight in Paris” this serves as a disappointment but that’s what happens when making a film every year.
12:03 pm • 6 February 2013