Take This Waltz (2011)
I’ve wanted to see this movie for a really long time so when I found out it was streaming on Netflix I took the time to watch it today.
Michelle Williams plays Margot, a writer who lives in Toronto with her husband Lou (played by Seth Rogan.) They’ve been married for a long time and she thinks they’re pretty happy until she meets Daniel (Luke Kirby) there’s something mysterious and new about him and the more she learns about Daniel the more she questions everything about her marriage and her life.
This film is all about looks — The tenderest moments are the longing stares between characters. A glace from Margot to Lou evokes feelings of loneliness and longing that she can’t vocalize. She looks to be held by Lou but obstacles are constantly in her way (whether it’s physical barriers or mental barriers) Scenes with Daniel are polar opposite. He looks at Margot with such intensity and wonder. You spend the time getting into Margot’s head as she tries to figure out what it is that she is looking for out of life and out of a partner and it gets really messy. Can you be comfortable with someone? Is it enough? Or will you always be looking for something more? Something new?
This film is really fucking Indie so if you’re not into character studies and dialogue between characters and honest displays of human emotion then maybe steer clear of this? But those are the movies I enjoy the most and this one was really well done. It forces you to look at these people and feel for them. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s shot so beautifully and some of the scenes are just so well done technically. Also if you’re into watching Seth Rogan in a complex role that doesn’t lean on the comedic crutch then give it a try.

Take This Waltz (2011)

I’ve wanted to see this movie for a really long time so when I found out it was streaming on Netflix I took the time to watch it today.

Michelle Williams plays Margot, a writer who lives in Toronto with her husband Lou (played by Seth Rogan.) They’ve been married for a long time and she thinks they’re pretty happy until she meets Daniel (Luke Kirby) there’s something mysterious and new about him and the more she learns about Daniel the more she questions everything about her marriage and her life.

This film is all about looks — The tenderest moments are the longing stares between characters. A glace from Margot to Lou evokes feelings of loneliness and longing that she can’t vocalize. She looks to be held by Lou but obstacles are constantly in her way (whether it’s physical barriers or mental barriers) Scenes with Daniel are polar opposite. He looks at Margot with such intensity and wonder. You spend the time getting into Margot’s head as she tries to figure out what it is that she is looking for out of life and out of a partner and it gets really messy. Can you be comfortable with someone? Is it enough? Or will you always be looking for something more? Something new?

This film is really fucking Indie so if you’re not into character studies and dialogue between characters and honest displays of human emotion then maybe steer clear of this? But those are the movies I enjoy the most and this one was really well done. It forces you to look at these people and feel for them. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s shot so beautifully and some of the scenes are just so well done technically. Also if you’re into watching Seth Rogan in a complex role that doesn’t lean on the comedic crutch then give it a try.

Fifty Pills (2006)
Okay. This film is the directorial debut of director Theo Avgerinos and if you check his IMDb page, there is a reason why it seems like this is also his LAST film.
The movie is about Darren, who is played by Lou Taylor Pucci (Thumbsucker, The Answer Man) Darren is a kid coming from North Carolina to New York City for college. Move in day, he meets his douchebag roommate Coleman (played by John Hensley, who apparently after being in this film was on Nip/Tuck for forever) Coleman is the coolest kid Darren’s ever met (I don’t understand WHY) they throw big parties and do stupid college things. Keep in mind, Coleman is from money, and Darren is a lower middle class kid who is going to school on a hefty academic scholarship. Long story short, Coleman threw a party while Darren was home for Thanksgiving, it got busted, and since they were on academic probation already Darren got his scholarship taken away. Boo hoo. Now Darren has one day to get around $900 to pay the rest of his tuition bill or he’s out of college for good. Coleman has the bright plan to give him 50 pills of ecstasy (hence the name of the film) and if Darren can sell all of them in that one day he’ll have the money to pay his tuition and all is fabulous.
One of the problems with this film (and boy, this film has some PROBLEMS) is that none of the characters are fleshed out. At all. And they introduce you to a ton of people. Darren is barely a main character as the audience knows nothing about him. There are strange scenes in the film that I think are supposed to flesh his character out but they don’t help at all and they end up being strange. For example, Darren goes home over Thanksgiving break, and there is a scene of him masturbating to some strange S&M comic book in his bathroom after excusing himself from dinner. I don’t….. what? Why? The same goes for the rest of the characters. Coleman has some scenes with a girl who I think’s supposed to be his longtime girlfriend who he can’t commit to, but the scene doesn’t fit with the film and it should have been cut. Even Darren’s love interest Gracie (played by Kristen Bell) is so vague that I just didn’t care.
The entire movie is watching this kid sell drugs to all these weird people in New York.  Pucci’s acting was stiff and boring and the movie was just painful.
Here are some notes I wrote as I watched it:
Everyone looks 35 years old. This is the worst college film. [which was true – no one looked like a college freshman but Pucci]
Jane Lynch is his mother and is talking about vibrators at Thanksgiving dinner. Also apparently Viagra gives his dad wet shits. What is this scene adding to the plot????
Why is Kristen Bell doing this movie in 2006? She is in the height of Veronica Mars she don’t need the money and also it’s not a great role who made that decision?
Petunia is one of the ecstasy buyers and she has a sex dungeon in the basement of her grandmother’s house. This is too much.
Was that Joe Rogan? Oh my god was that JWow as an extra? [Spoiler alert: it wasn’t them.]
THAT’S HOW ITS ENDING YOU ARE JOKING MEMMMEMMREIJFLEJOSJGIOSEJGIOSJIOGJSIO I am dead.
Overall this movie was the biggest dud, don’t watch it. Don’t even think about watching it. I keep on giving Lou Taylor Pucci films a chance but I am getting this feeling like he just makes poor career choices.

Fifty Pills (2006)

Okay. This film is the directorial debut of director Theo Avgerinos and if you check his IMDb page, there is a reason why it seems like this is also his LAST film.

The movie is about Darren, who is played by Lou Taylor Pucci (Thumbsucker, The Answer Man) Darren is a kid coming from North Carolina to New York City for college. Move in day, he meets his douchebag roommate Coleman (played by John Hensley, who apparently after being in this film was on Nip/Tuck for forever) Coleman is the coolest kid Darren’s ever met (I don’t understand WHY) they throw big parties and do stupid college things. Keep in mind, Coleman is from money, and Darren is a lower middle class kid who is going to school on a hefty academic scholarship. Long story short, Coleman threw a party while Darren was home for Thanksgiving, it got busted, and since they were on academic probation already Darren got his scholarship taken away. Boo hoo. Now Darren has one day to get around $900 to pay the rest of his tuition bill or he’s out of college for good. Coleman has the bright plan to give him 50 pills of ecstasy (hence the name of the film) and if Darren can sell all of them in that one day he’ll have the money to pay his tuition and all is fabulous.

One of the problems with this film (and boy, this film has some PROBLEMS) is that none of the characters are fleshed out. At all. And they introduce you to a ton of people. Darren is barely a main character as the audience knows nothing about him. There are strange scenes in the film that I think are supposed to flesh his character out but they don’t help at all and they end up being strange. For example, Darren goes home over Thanksgiving break, and there is a scene of him masturbating to some strange S&M comic book in his bathroom after excusing himself from dinner. I don’t….. what? Why? The same goes for the rest of the characters. Coleman has some scenes with a girl who I think’s supposed to be his longtime girlfriend who he can’t commit to, but the scene doesn’t fit with the film and it should have been cut. Even Darren’s love interest Gracie (played by Kristen Bell) is so vague that I just didn’t care.

The entire movie is watching this kid sell drugs to all these weird people in New York.  Pucci’s acting was stiff and boring and the movie was just painful.

Here are some notes I wrote as I watched it:

  • Everyone looks 35 years old. This is the worst college film. [which was true – no one looked like a college freshman but Pucci]
  • Jane Lynch is his mother and is talking about vibrators at Thanksgiving dinner. Also apparently Viagra gives his dad wet shits. What is this scene adding to the plot????
  • Why is Kristen Bell doing this movie in 2006? She is in the height of Veronica Mars she don’t need the money and also it’s not a great role who made that decision?
  • Petunia is one of the ecstasy buyers and she has a sex dungeon in the basement of her grandmother’s house. This is too much.
  • Was that Joe Rogan? Oh my god was that JWow as an extra? [Spoiler alert: it wasn’t them.]
  • THAT’S HOW ITS ENDING YOU ARE JOKING MEMMMEMMREIJFLEJOSJGIOSEJGIOSJIOGJSIO I am dead.

Overall this movie was the biggest dud, don’t watch it. Don’t even think about watching it. I keep on giving Lou Taylor Pucci films a chance but I am getting this feeling like he just makes poor career choices.

Beware The Gonzo (2010)
Oh my oh my…. where does one even start?
Beware The Gonzo is a film starring Ezra Miller (the reason I chose to watch it in the first place…. I’m never going to learn my lesson apparently) Zoe Kravitz, and a bunch of other young actors. Miller is Gonzo, a student at some prep school who wants to shake things up when he doesn’t get his way on the school’s newspaper. He then starts his OWN newspaper and they give a voice to the underdogs, blah blah blah. Jesse McCarthy is the preppy bad boy in the film who Gonzo is trying to set straight and he is godawful as a villain. McCarthy barely passes as a high school senior and his crows feet can be seen bright as day streaming from Netflix on my laptop. Alongside the lack of compassion for essentially every and all characters, and a lack of general character development, this film has quite a choppy plot. They jump right into Gonzo, and his friends, and we don’t have enough time to get to know any of them or understand their relationships - we just sort of have to assume they’ve been great friends for a long time and that their anger is justified.
I won’t spoil it, but the ending to this movie is what really nailed the coffin shut. It leaves things quite ambiquous…. almost like it is setting up for some sort of sequel but they never invested us enough to even WANT a sequel.
Overall this sucked and Ezra Miller was attractive but not worth watching in this sad attempt at a underdog uprising film.
EDIT: I forgot to add that Amy Sedaris played Gonzo’s mother Diane, and if you know Sedaris at all, you know she is hilarious. Putting her as the stuck up and uptight mother (who should have been cut out of the film all together) was a huge mistake on the directors part.

Beware The Gonzo (2010)

Oh my oh my…. where does one even start?

Beware The Gonzo is a film starring Ezra Miller (the reason I chose to watch it in the first place…. I’m never going to learn my lesson apparently) Zoe Kravitz, and a bunch of other young actors. Miller is Gonzo, a student at some prep school who wants to shake things up when he doesn’t get his way on the school’s newspaper. He then starts his OWN newspaper and they give a voice to the underdogs, blah blah blah. Jesse McCarthy is the preppy bad boy in the film who Gonzo is trying to set straight and he is godawful as a villain. McCarthy barely passes as a high school senior and his crows feet can be seen bright as day streaming from Netflix on my laptop. Alongside the lack of compassion for essentially every and all characters, and a lack of general character development, this film has quite a choppy plot. They jump right into Gonzo, and his friends, and we don’t have enough time to get to know any of them or understand their relationships - we just sort of have to assume they’ve been great friends for a long time and that their anger is justified.

I won’t spoil it, but the ending to this movie is what really nailed the coffin shut. It leaves things quite ambiquous…. almost like it is setting up for some sort of sequel but they never invested us enough to even WANT a sequel.

Overall this sucked and Ezra Miller was attractive but not worth watching in this sad attempt at a underdog uprising film.

EDIT: I forgot to add that Amy Sedaris played Gonzo’s mother Diane, and if you know Sedaris at all, you know she is hilarious. Putting her as the stuck up and uptight mother (who should have been cut out of the film all together) was a huge mistake on the directors part.

The Answer Man (2009)

I wanted to watch something with Lou Taylor Pucci in it (again, choosing my movies for the cast. bad move) and this popped up on Netflix.

The Answer Man is about this guy named Arlen Faber (Jeff Daniels) who wrote a book about his discussions with God. Needless to say, people ate that shit up and it became this crazy phenomenon. But, this guy is a complete mess. He meets up with Elizabeth (Lauren Graham) who is a chiropractor with a newly opened shop, and they become friends (or a bit more, nudge nudge) and he also meets Kris (Lou Taylor Pucci) a recovering alcoholic who owns a local bookstore. Everyone attempts to solve their problems and their stories start to interlace and unravel at the same time.

I wouldn’t say this is the -worst- movie I ever watched… but it wasn’t super stellar. I had a really hard time liking Arlen’s character until right at the end, and maybe that’s how I was supposed to feel… I am not sure. Lauren Graham was awesome in this (but I am really a fan of her in general) so if anything, watch it for her performance.

Oh, and Kat Dennings has a minor role as Kris’ partner at the book store… she is very strange. AND Tony Hale (Which you may know as ‘Buster’ from Arrested Development) is the mailman who pesters Arlen.

Overall it’s a cute little movie of people you may recognized and a plot that I am not sure I appreciated as much as I maybe should have.

St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)
Ok so I feel like I might get some shit for saying this is a bad movie - but it is.
Packed with a star-studded cast, it’s like an 80’s version of “Valentine’s Day” or one of those crappy movies that have been coming out these last couple of years. [AKA You basically only bought the ticket because of said actor(s).]
But this movie has all you could ever want from a movie:
Rob Lowe with a terrible mullet.
Demi Moore on crack (but let’s be honest, everyone was probably stoned when this movie was made)
Ally Sheedy attempting to not look crazy (failed)
Andew McCarthy looking cute as always (nothing bad to say about my bby)
Emilio Estevez being an extremely unlikable stalker.
Judd Nelson being a useless character
Mare Winningham being… who is she? Seriously am I supposed to know? she’s not very pretty.. is that the point?
Also, the movie is scored with this horrendous saxophone music that is played when there is something romantic happening, or something tragic is happening, or basically when anything happens.
It’s a story of fresh college graduates learning that they need to grow the fuck up. At the end of the movie… they somewhat grow the fuck up but it leaves you wondering if you were even supposed to care about any of the characters. For example, Demi’s character has a bit of a mental breakdown and it’s supposed to be -so- dramatic but I was too confused to even care.
But whatever, people say it’s a classic brat pack movie, so watch it if you will… I would love for someone to argue it’s relevance to me.

St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)

Ok so I feel like I might get some shit for saying this is a bad movie - but it is.

Packed with a star-studded cast, it’s like an 80’s version of “Valentine’s Day” or one of those crappy movies that have been coming out these last couple of years. [AKA You basically only bought the ticket because of said actor(s).]

But this movie has all you could ever want from a movie:

  • Rob Lowe with a terrible mullet.
  • Demi Moore on crack (but let’s be honest, everyone was probably stoned when this movie was made)
  • Ally Sheedy attempting to not look crazy (failed)
  • Andew McCarthy looking cute as always (nothing bad to say about my bby)
  • Emilio Estevez being an extremely unlikable stalker.
  • Judd Nelson being a useless character
  • Mare Winningham being… who is she? Seriously am I supposed to know? she’s not very pretty.. is that the point?

Also, the movie is scored with this horrendous saxophone music that is played when there is something romantic happening, or something tragic is happening, or basically when anything happens.

It’s a story of fresh college graduates learning that they need to grow the fuck up. At the end of the movie… they somewhat grow the fuck up but it leaves you wondering if you were even supposed to care about any of the characters. For example, Demi’s character has a bit of a mental breakdown and it’s supposed to be -so- dramatic but I was too confused to even care.

But whatever, people say it’s a classic brat pack movie, so watch it if you will… I would love for someone to argue it’s relevance to me.

Sorry for the absence!

I feel like I neglect this blog. But it’s not my fault!

I’ve recently been hooked on a bunch of really awesome television shows, and that leaves little time to watch crappy Netflix movies.

BUT. If you’re in the mood to pick up a great TV show, here are some I recommend:

  • Breaking Bad - Hella good. AMC knows how to make their programming. Seasons 1-3 are on Netflix instant, so START WATCHING IT ASAP. If you love middle-aged chemistry teacher/hoodlum slacker drug lord bromances, then you’re gonna love BB.
  • Twin Peaks - A bit of an older show, but is critically acclaimed and is iconic for television history (in my humble opinion). Not to mention it was David Lynch’s brainchild, so it’s a mindfuck. Trust me, after a couple episodes it starts to flow together. (also, the complete series is on Netflix instant, so you have no excuse).
  • American Horror Story - This is a new show on FX, and it’s a really interesting break from the standard narrative television show. It’s suspenseful, even if some of the characters are annoying. There are only a couple of episodes out because the series is quite fresh, but you can watch them on Hulu.
  • Criminal Minds - oh boy this show. Just started watching because I love Matthew Grey Gubler. But once I realized Thomas Gibson and Mandy Patinkin were on the show, I was sold. But I am really loving all the characters, and I like that shit goes down, and gets resolved in a clean 40 minutes or so. I’ve been watching too many shows that have long plot lines so it’s a nice change of pace. This one isn’t on Netflix or Hulu, but you can look up episodes on SideReel if you’re desperate (like me).

So I will promise to get back on this, and watch some bad movies in the next couple of weeks. 

Moving McAllister (2007)

Okay. The only reason I chose to watch this movie was A) Mila Kunis was in it and B) Rick(Ben Gourley) looks like my graduate student teacher who I have the biggest crush on. I think I’ve mentioned in previous posts how it’s never a good idea to solely choose a movie based on their cast because it’s probably a dud.

This is no exception.

I don’t really know what to say other than it’s your typical road trip movie with your typical rom com scenarios. Boy meets girl, and even though boy is specifically told to not get with the girl… what does he do? Yeah, he falls in love with her. Some of the acting is pretty bad and overall it feels like one of those movies that a film graduate made right out of school.

So I’d say you should probably pass this one… even if you’re a fan of Mila Kunis and Jon Heder. Even if Ben Gourley is super gorgeous, he can’t save the film.

(I just looked at IMDb, and the Director Andrew Black not only directed this film, but another film called “Pride and Prejudice: a Latter-day comedy” which is basically a b-movie modern pride and prejudice set in Utah and i’m pretty sure they’re all Mormons. yesssss)

Puccini for Beginners (2006)

I need to stop choosing movies to watch based on the cast.

I really had a hard time believing any of the chemistry between any of the characters. I also chose this because Gretchen Mol was in it, and usually I love her as an actress but she just sucked in this movie.

I also chose it because Justin Kirk was in it, and he was fine..  but because I hated Allegra, I didn’t really care for his character.

Diamonds in the Rough

I took a bit of a break from the shitty movies to watch some quality programming (in my opinion at least)

So here are some neflix instant-queue flicks I actually recommend:

  • Pulp Fiction (Need I say anything? It’s Quentin Tarantino. Hello. And some seriously horrendous wigs.)
  • The Accused (If you love Jodie Foster, you’ll love her performance. Be warned -main topic is rape, and there is a graphic rape scene. All of which was done really well in my opinion.)
  • Kalifornia (Watch it for crazy-ass Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis. Even Michelle Forbes was okay. But just a heads up: There is a baby-faced David Duchovney with an earring, and he’s kind of terrible [this was the time when he was transitioning from x-files to ‘serious’ movie roles].)
  • Louie: Season 1 (I love Louis C.K., he is a bad ass who isn’t afraid to just tell you what you need to hear. This show is hilarious, and really just horrendous. So if you love Louis CK, please watch the whole season. Laugh your ass off.)

The Last Word (2008)

Here are some of my real-time reactions to this movie, The Last Word:

  • Listening to Ray Romano talk about how he masturbates a lot and thinks about meaningless things like peanut butter and then he finds himself at a grocery store in the peanut butter section popping a boner because of the previous masturbation session – is weird.
  • Watching an almost middle-aged Winona Ryder is strange when you watch ‘Reality Bites’ the night before (around the time, I feel, Winona was in her prime)
  • Wes Bentley and Winona Ryder have no sexual chemistry. There is a scene where they are on the roof of a building, which is Evan’s place where he likes to think. Winona strips down her top half and she’s standing there, boobs out. and they embrace. It’s so uncomfortable. and then they go into his apartment, and she suggest they fuck in the shower, where then Evan shrugs and the scene ends. What? and why? and what?
  • Also Ray Romano’s character scares babies for stress relief.
  • What was the plot of this film? Are they trying to focus on Ray Romano’s character? Or Wes Bentley’s? Or is it Wes and Winona’s relationship? There was nothing conclusive about this plot - and I’m not saying that all films need to be so linear but my god this was frustrating!
Experiencing terrible cinema - one Netflix instant movie at a time.

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