Artist Henry Hart returns to his hometown, Big Eden, Montana, after receiving a call that his grandfather has suffered from a stroke. This is a sad beginning to what is, ultimately, one of the loveliest stories of family, friendship, and love I have ever had the pleasure of watching. At first, Hart is unhappy to set foot back in the same town that a former point of his affections has also returned to. Although Hart's sexuality is made explicit, this is a gay romance film that never suffers from specific and awful typical tropes that one often finds in queer media. I kept waiting to see one of the main gay characters suffer a tragic death, or witness Hart get run out of his former home by what appears to be almost an entirely Christian town. The incredible message of this film is not necessarily one of acceptance - but perhaps that in a world where acceptance exists unconditionally, love is nothing to fear. The film is backed by an incredible cast of characters, each as interesting and lovable as the last, and is set against the quaintness of a small town near the mountains. Big Eden is a place I'd love to visit and never leave.
If you are looking for a happy story about a teenage girl finding herself as she navigates the wacky twists and turns of high school, this show is not for you. However, if you are looking to delve into the life of a girl who has fallen from social grace and now has to fight her way through the battlefield of teen angst, all while trying to solve her best friend's murder (and any other cases she may catch along the way), then Veronica Mars is the show for you. With a quick wit, a fully charged taser, and the skills she has picked up from her sheriff turned private eye father, Veronica will show you that you can always fight for the truth and what is right, no matter what obstacles may stand in your way.
Castle Freak is a real hidden gem of 90's horror. It has the scariest looking villain I've ever seen in a movie, and that he is a sheltered individual that is curious about life and other people makes him even creepier. Starring Jeffrey Combs and directed by Stuart Gordon, this is a must-see for Re-Animator fans. Adapted from H.P. Lovecraft, a remake might be happening in the near future as well, so don't miss the original.
It starts like a normal sixties B movie: there's a crime story about a girl receiving threatening phone calls, and there's a hero who plays surf rock at pool parties. The movie's already a little bit goofy, but it's mostly straightforward drive-in schlock. But about halfway through, it's clear that the entire crew decided to make a completely different movie. At this moment, the rock star and a supporting character jump into a closet and then jump out again as RAT PFINK AND BOO BOO, defenders of justice and fighters of crime! They wear the cheapest thrift-store ski-mask disguises as they jump into a motorcycle and chase down the villains that have kidnapped The Girl. It completely switches into a silly superhero parody as our heroes speak in Quick Draw McGraw voices while fighting crime (and wrestling a gorilla too!) in Benny Hill fast-motion slapstick. It's not So Bad It's Good; it's just straight-up fun.
I read the book by Andre Aciman after watching the movie for the first time, and where the book is an intensely intimate examination of the protagonist's, Elio's, inner dialogue and feelings toward Oliver, the movie is an equally intimate examination of Elio and Oliver's interactions and chemistry together. Shot on location in southern Italy, the cinematography and backdrop for this summer love story is genuinely stunning, and the acting from its leads, Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer is captivating yet subtle and nuanced. More than just a love story, though, this movie is a coming-of-age, as well as a beautiful portrayal of family life with Michael Stuhlbarg carefully but naturally crafting one of the most inspiring father figures I've seen in many years. I can't recommend this film enough. I believe it is important for the world to see.
From the guys who brought us Flight of the Conchords.
What happens when you've been alive for about 400 years and are set in your ways....and you also happen to be a vampire? You end up getting stuck on dish duty for at least 50 years, that's what. From the guys who brought us Flight of the Conchords comes an absolutely loveable trip through all the vampire tropes we all love and love to make fun of. Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav (and Peytr!) are all vampires who have not made much effort to stay "current" in the world, until a new vampire, Nick, joins their ranks. Suddenly, everything gets shaken up and not everyone is happy about it. The film is framed as a reality docu-drama and is hilarious from start to finish. I've yet to get tired of watching it and introducing it to others. If you like lighthearted, semi-dark comedy, definitely give this a watch!
DOCTOR ZHIVAGO was director David Lean's follow-up film to his epic LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. Against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution, Lean places ordinary people, people for whom revolution means hardship, separation, suffering, and confusion. Lean concentrates on the love affair between stars Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. Also featured are Rod Steiger, Geraldine Chaplin, Ralph Richardson, Alec Guinness, and Tom Courtenay. It's a mammoth production full of color, drama, and action. Maurice Jarre's film score is also top notch. Adjusted for inflation this movie made the kind of money a Marvel film makes today.
Victor/Victoria is a funny, warm, and surprisingly current musical comedy starring Julie Andrews, Robert Preston, and James Garner. The plot surrounds an out-of-work soprano who is talked into pretending to be a male female-impersonator by her friend. Whilst playing out this charade, she meets and falls for a gangster who begins to question his own masculinity. The subject matter explores sexuality, gender roles, and drag subculture without ever condescending to it. The actors seem fully aware and accepting of the roles they are playing. The nature of the characters is presented as normal and natural. And the music is outstanding! I highly recommend this movie. It is an absolute joy!
This release of Jaws is really amazing, having seen the movie a number of times, I was amazed at how great the restoration is. Given the age of the movie, the new transfer is beautiful. The bonus features should satisfy any Jaws fan. The documentaries are informative and contain interviews with a number of cast and crew. Highly recommended.
This is a great documentary about how the Star Trek series has inspired an entire fandom. From Star Trek-themed rock bands to cars, clothes, houses, conventions, and even the invention of the Klingon language, the fans have created it all. Star Trek has inspired generations of people to create new and interesting things that show how committed they are as fans. The cast of real-life characters in this documentary is sure to fascinate.
An unflinching and stripped take on the post-apocalypse...
The Rover opens with Guy Pearce's character enjoying a drink at a remote bar in the desert. Just outside, three men steal his vehicle, the titular Rover. The rest of the movie follows Pearce and his efforts to try and reclaim his car. Pearce, with the aid of Pattinson, pursues the men with a curious determination. In a bleak, post-apocalyptic world where society has crumbled and humans have turned against each other, of what importance is Pearce's rover? The answer to that question drives the film and makes for a sobering and surprisingly touching final shot. With fine performances by both Pearce and Pattinson and a unique and restrained take on the post-apocalyptic genre, The Rover is an impactful film devoted to realism and filled with thematic richness.
Weekend at Bernie's was a hilarious movie from 1989, rated pg-13 so not for little kids. If you are a fan of quirky fun comedies from the mid-80s put this on your list you won't be disappointed. Also fun fact, the Bernie is now a popular dance move currently in 2018 check out the YouTube videos of the dance after you watch the movie of course. Bernie aka "Terry Kiser" is a unique character all by himself but the other two "Andrew McCarthy" and "Jonathan Silverman" are also a great team in Weekend at Bernie's check it out. I think you will love it!
Peter (Robocop) Weller, Richard (First Blood) Crenna, and Ernie (Ghostbusters) Hudson head the cast of this deep-sea thriller that isn't ashamed to borrow the best bits from "Alien" and "John Carpenter's The Thing" to have a little fun. While exploring the remains of the Leviathan, a scuttled Russian ship, a crew of underwater miners accidentally returns with a hideous virus which transforms its host into gloriously gross 80's-era murder-beings. Trapped five miles below the surface with no means of escape and a retrieval operation compromised by a hurricane top-side, the crew has to survive the alien mutant menace. Gloriously cheesy sci-fi/horror fare with some incredible underwater effects that still hold up today. Far better than any "Alien" rip-off has any right to be, and great for Friday night beer-and-pretzels fare!
Fans of Mad Men will want to see this horror film co-starring Emma Roberts and Kiernan Shipka, who played Sally Draper on that show. Shipka plays Kat, a student at a Catholic boarding school who is stranded there during winter break with a classmate. Something odd is happening with Kat, who appears to be alternately haunted or psychic as the film unfolds. At the same time, a young woman in her 20s, Joan (Roberts), is on her way to the school after breaking out of a mental hospital. How their stories intersect isn't the hardest twist to figure out, but it is a good twist, and Kiernan Shipka's performance is breathtaking.
My favorite movie of 2017. I've become a big fan of Taylor Sheridan's screenwriting, having immensely enjoyed this movie, Sicario and Hell or High Water. I appreciate the gritty adult tone of his films, as opposed to the snarky, lightweight superhero movies that current audiences prefer, especially since this film happens to star Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch from the Marvel movies. Sheridan as a director is lacking slightly, however. His tight framing, constant handheld camera and quick edits give the film a made-for-cable feel as opposed to something truly cinematic. But it's a small price to pay for some seriously suspenseful crime storytelling. I look forward to his writing of Sicario 2: Soldado.
While the plot is fairly paint-by-numbers as spy films go, this is an entertaining popcorn movie with great performances by its cast, with some excellent fight choreography. 'Eggsy' is a fresh take on the Bond-like protagonist, while Colin Firth shines as his mentor. A great film with lots of laughs and plenty of exciting action.
Bradley (Vince Vaughn) is an ex-boxer and ex-convict who works as a driver for drug dealers in order to support his family. When a deal goes wrong, thanks to the partners forced on him, Bradley finds himself headed back to prison. When he learns that the drug lord who was responsible - and who is threatening his wife - is imprisoned in another institution, Bradley works to get himself transferred. One heck of a revenge tale, not for the squeamish or those looking for a good time movie. Vaughn is great as the powerful but almost zen-like Bradley. Look for Miami Vice star Don Johnson as a deeply bad prison warden.
Quirky and heartwarming, this tale of starting over brings together two unlikely trios: a recently separated forty-year-old mother and her two young daughters, and three filmmakers in their twenties desperate to make their mark. Through twists, turns and sometimes brutal truths, these unlikely housemates show that family isn't about blood relation and, no matter how scary or daunting it is, starting over can show just how strong you really are. Witty and sincere, Home Again leaves a smile on your face and your heart open to new possibilities.
An animated tale about a young girl living in war-torn Afghanistan
The Breadwinner is a beautifully animated tale about a courageous young girl named Parvana living in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. The story begins with Parvana and her father selling some of their prized family possessions in the marketplace of Kabul. Parvana's father is arrested when illegal books are found in their home. This leaves their small family in an impossible situation, as women are not allowed to go outside without a man. In order to provide for her family, Parvana cuts her hair short, dons boys clothes and tries to get her father out of prison. The Breadwinner alternates between two different animation styles for the parallel stories it tells. The first is of Parvana's realistic and unforgiving Afghanistan, the other is of a more childlike and blocky style where she tells a story to her little brother. The characters themselves are rich as well, from a passionate and angry Taliban recruit, to the older sister's pout and her mother's sorrow. The Breadwinner is a heartwarming tale that will appeal to children as well as adults.
Westworld is a series set in a Wild West fantasy park filled with android "hosts" running on artificial intelligence. Guests can interact with the hosts and forge their own stories within the park. However, some of the hosts start to deviate from their programmed scripts, causing trouble. Westworld is a show you need to watch twice to catch everything. Non-linear stories and plot twists keep you on your toes while you are trying to piece together the multiple story lines. The show brings into question human nature and what makes us truly human.