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Kingdom Come (2011)
The Journey....not the Destination
Every film maker or anyone who wants to be a film maker needs to watch this documentary. The journey of these Characters is true to not only the people they portray but the industry in which they choose to be characters. Kingdom Come does a perfect job showcasing the struggle in the independent film world when it comes to making (funding) a movie. A large handful of brilliant and blunt interviews creates a wonderful and important story for all film students to study. This is also a good warning for anyone who are looking for Investors for your movie. The world is full of sociopaths and psychotic losers that lie in order to be apart of the "film" world. Viewers beware! The Journey of this film maker has been the same journey that thousands of others have and will make when wanting to film their dream. Watch it and learn.
Saturday Night Live 6 days a week!
Lorne Michaels deservingly owns late night on NBC. Since the 1970's, he has built an audience of millions of fans in multiple generations to tune in. Now with the Carson era ending with the departure of Leno, Late Night is changing and the goal of Lorne Michaels is to kill it! From the very beginning with Steve Allen and Jack Paar, the audience was made up of 40-80 year-olds who would drink coffee at night, eat cheese dip and fall asleep on the "lazy boy" with their curlers in their hair. As goes the demographic of late night, so goes the overall TV audience. The Baby Boomers grew up with Carson and inherited Leno and Letterman. That demographic is now in their 60's and are fading away. Many are starting to watch something else. The new audience that make up the large majority of Late Night TV will be the SNL crowd. Youngsters who are staying up late and anyone younger than Jimmy Fallon. The older generation has been shown the door for the most logical reason, TV is changing. The days of only having 3 channels on the television set have been forgotten. With hundreds of cable stations, pay per view, and the internet, the television audience has shrunk. The majority of fans that watch a certain show are no longer watching it live, but are watching it online the next day. Therefore, the audience of the future and the rating systems is going to change. If something great happened on Late Night on Tuesday, I'll watch it online Wednesday morning while on the way to work. With that said, the Jimmy Fallon Tonight Show can't be compared to any previous host of the Tonight Show. Much like Leno replacing Carson, it was a completely different show. For TV's new audience, you have 6 full nights of Saturday Night Live. And for the audience of old, you still of Letterman for a few more years.
House of Cards (2013)
Is House of Cards worth watching 13 hours to enjoy 10 minutes of good story? The fans of Dexter gave the series the benefit of the doubt that the series will end on a good note and all the unanswered questions and all the characters will get justice in one way or another. With that said, the large majority of Dexter fans felt cheated that years of devotion ended without a proper ending and a list of characters and story lines that went no where for no reason.....the same is starting to happen to House of Cards. Why are we introduced to multiple different characters who are introduced, have some part of the plot and then are quickly removed from the story? Does this have to do with the overall storyline, or are the Writers starting to realize that they have no idea where the story is going? This may sound strange, but, look at what happened to Dexter. The story went in circles until it finally ran out of gas. House of Cards has had a lot of movement and things are progressing in the main characters lives, however, do we need to see Frank Underwood eat ribs multiple times to see the ribs joint go out of business and the storyline with that character goes nowhere for no reason and has no real major issues with the plot? TV writers need to evolve to the needs of the current generation that want all shows to mirror Breaking Bad. No loose ends, no empty conclusions, everything is connected and makes sense why we are watching a certain sense or introduced to a new character. Otherwise, one by one, fans will start to change the channel and watch something else.
Movie - Special Effects = No Movie
As a fan, this was a hard movie to watch. As a critic, it was even a harder movie to watch. Edward Furlong has had a roller coaster of a movie career. Many big budget successes and low budget failures. In his support, Furlong gives a great performance, one of the better in the last 10 years. Sadly, since the movie is a low budget horror film that tries to be a fantasy, science fiction, witch craft, paranormal, and then other things all rapped into one, its hard to take anything about this movie seriously. Shawna Waldron has made a career of always giving 100% to every role she takes as well as brining legitimacy to every movie that she is in. As a fan, I hate to see waste of artistic talent. Shawna brings an audience to this movie but sadly loses members along the way. It is true that a low budget can hurt the quality of a good movie. Stitch is a perfect example of this. The story in itself may have worked but falls short with its over use of low end special effects which reminds the audience that they are watching a love budget horror movie that is aiming to be more than it is. I think the movie would have been better with less computer animated graphics. The movie has its moments of scary images, but with a lack of interest in taking the story serious, we are left with a movie that leaves us awkward. The casting of Tiffany Martin added to this. Both Waldron and Furlong both look like they can play 25-35 years old. Having their daughter in her early to mid teens did not do much for the realistic factor. I think the odd casting overall hurt the movie even though Waldron and Furlong both delivered good performances. Then again, I think they had very little to work with.
Raw and Refreshing
Stories like this only come every so often. Its subject matter is just as strong and as unique as it's cast of characters. I decided to take a chance on watching the pilot after hearing that Jeffrey Tambor plays an interesting role in this story. Beyond original, it is one of his toughest and brilliant performances in his long artistic career. The pace of the show along with it's abundance use of nudity reflects the mundane as well as the rawness Transparent showcases. It's audience is guaranteed to grow as the subject matter starts to become universal to each of the show's characters. Each of them are going through a transformation. This fantastic cast includes Gaby Hoffmann, Judith Light, Jay Duplass, Amy Landecker and Rob Huebel. Each bring a subtle interest to the show's subject matter.
At times there are moments of comedy, sadness and deep thought. Very few shows are able to capture this. Second to only House of Cards, Transparent will and should be the most watched "online" series today.
Captain Phillips (2013)
Where is the NRA when you need them !
Whether or not you want to attack this movie for not being a truthful depiction of what really occurred to the real Captain Philips, I can see this movie being a talking point for anyone who supports the NRA (National Rifle Association) Can't you see a Spokesperson from the NRA use this movie as an example why we need to have more handguns in the hands of "good" people as oppose to "bad" people. I do not in anyway want to support or defend the NRA on any matter, however, I can see the point of having firearms available on the boat to defend oneself against Pirates who want to kill you and take your boat. I am not an expert on the common practice and law in the world of Captain Philips, but it seemed if the crew was "packing heat" that day, this movie would have been a 30 minute short instead of the epic that it was. I'm sure the millions of dollars spent on the rescue mission that took up half this movie would have been saved if someone had a sick shooter next to the first aid kit for Tom Hanks to use to defend his crew. Overall, Tom Hanks gives a good performance like he has in the last 20 years. The movie is an intellectual roller coaster on the high seas. The movie starts slow but finishes strong, and the movie leaves you thinking as well as somewhat entertained. Still, the idea of having the second amendment on the boat with you against Pirates makes you kind of angry that the second part of the movie was allowed to happen. I don't' think I am alone on this....thoughts?
Perfect Life (2010)
Who Cares ?
You ever find yourself in a situation where you are listening to someone talk about a situation that happened to them? And somewhere in the middle of the story, you find yourself not only lost but bored beyond belief? If so, I know the reason why. It's because you don't care. This can be for a few different reasons. 1, the person telling the story doesn't know how to tell a story. 2, the story itself lacks an interest. Or 3, you don't care about the people in the story. When it comes to this movie, all three reasons stick out in my mind. Does the audience care about the people in the movie...no. We are introduced to several different characters, all lack a connection to someone in the general audience. Much of these people don't exist in our day to day lives. The audience has no one to connect to. It's hard to care about what happens to any of these people because we don't honestly feel for any of them. These are made up people in a made up school that are thrown into a situation no one cares about. With that said, the story, which borders on the horror / science fiction / paranormal / strange side of things falls short close to anything interesting because the audience doesn't care about the people in the situation. The weird plot only buries any other chance of the audience supporting the movie as anything interesting or entertaining. The final comparison to the lack of caring falls on the shoulders of the script and the direction. Was it just me or did it feel like the movie had 5 different Directors on it? Several scenes had different styles and themes making the movie not flow easily. You want to take your audience down a path to the final scenes in the movie. If they had different styles to confuse the audience because that was the idea, it fails miserably. Its not like you are trying to guess if this is a dream sequence or really happening, I think the movie had no idea what is was when they are trying to make it. The story itself has scenes that seem wrong for the overall plot. Are we suppose to laugh or find certain scenes smart when the overall theme is a struggle to understand reality? Are certain characters suppose to be there for comic relief but are later to be taken seriously, how does that work. I hate to be a hater but its hard to find any qualities in this movie to justify its existence. In the end, a Perfect Life is a terrible movie.
The Canyons (2013)
Hollywood in a nutshell / a cry for help PSA
The Canyons may not have accomplished what I feel it set out to do. Whether you liked this movie or not, it made a financial profit. So for that simple reason alone, the Canyons was a giant success. There are many box office bombs that are brilliantly filmed with a moral message, but bottom line, they failed to find an audience or make a profit. Lindsay Lohan is the only reason why one would want to watch this movie. Millions have paid to watch and Millions have googled certain images of this movie. The Canyons is an example of a Lifetime Movie with nudity. With that said, it is hard to consider the Canyons a good or even a serious movie. Everything about this movie is hard to watch. The acting, the directing, the storyline, and the movie's overall message to the audience. The "magical movies" which Lohan's character talks about is lost among the audience. I believe the Canyons does represent how Hollywood has been to many people. After all, the Canyons is located in the city of Lost Angels. A canyon after all is a giant hole, an abyss. The Canyons comes across as a "cry for help" of a movie that talks about how people have been victimized by the movie industry and by the people in that industry. The Canyons covers: sex, physical & mental abuse, murder, drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, manipulation, with failed therapy, failed love, failed relationships, failed dreams and the movie industry that is somehow connected to all this. The hundreds of closed cinemas is an attempt to showcase the reality of where dreams were once present. And in the middle of all this is Lindsay Lohan, whom, is a survivor but an overall victim of this industry. In the end, everyone in the cast has been used and has lost their innocence. From Disney to pornography, the journey of these characters who came to Hollywood for the magic of the movies are left on the side of the road. They live surrounded in fear and regret. Like a failed audition, they are over looked and passed by where no one has chosen them and no one wants them to be apart of the movie. Sadly, the taboo issues of sex draws the movie's only audience. There are no powerful acting performances or amazing cinematography that will attract a non bias audience to judge the Canyons for what it truly is. The hidden message the Canyons gives can only be understood by the ones who have been jaded by Hollywood.
Whats Down Doc
A typical one joke scene movie where the audience (whether they be British or American) will find empty laughs. Unlike A fish Called Wanda, a true classic with real characters, Clockwise has empty people who are never developed throughout the story. Like a rolling stone, the story drags more and more characters towards the film's conclusion. However, there is no climax as none of the characters evolve or have any resolution. The plot falls short with no moral or closure. With that said, if this was just a roller coaster ride for just laughs, where were the jokes? Clockwise has moments of a story and comedy, but it is not a comical story. The bulk of the movie falls on the shoulders of John Cleese, who does a good job, but has nothing to work with. If the movie was shot in only a few days with a limited budget, then I would say this was a fine attempt of a British comedy. However, when it is compared to anything decent in the last 20 years, you can in no way consider this a masterpiece, a classic, or even a good comedy.
Seducing Cindy (2010)
A Giant Nail in Cindy Margolis' Coffin
The reality series known as Seducing Cindy was about 85% scripted and only 15% reality. Besides Cindy Margolis poor acting skills, the biggest let down was the series finale where Margolis destroys not only her reputation but the premise of the show. Time and time again the audience is led to believe that the winner of the show will be the one who will marry Cindy Margolis. The pilot episode shows each contestant walking down the isle like they are at a wedding. This also happens in the season finale. Not only is there no engagement, but no commitment to the premise of the show. What exactly does it mean that she is the most downloaded woman on the internet? What about uploaded or viewed? Did I mention that Margolis is also old? Margolis shows her classy ways by making out with most of the guys on the show. At one point she is making out with multiple guys in the same day. The series is entertaining. Then again, fans of Cindy Margolis (who is old) will most likely loose interest in the once attractive superstar. The more close ups of Cindy Margolis, the more the audience realizes that she is no longer in her prime. The aging star not only lies but she manipulates all the men on the show. Like the audience watching this half baked series, we feel cheated and used. Cindy Margolis may be the star of this series, but she is not the winner in the end. The biggest winners are the contestants who either walked off the series (Marc Hertle)or left on their own. Jeffrey James Lippold and Timmy Zickuhr were great! Give them their own shows. As for Cindy, no sequel, no spin-off, and no more dating guys young enough to be your son!