Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Great Expectations: Marriage

 
 
 
For about 16 months, I've known that on December 13, 2014, I would have the amazing opportunity to marry the love of my life and my best friend...
 
I'll pause a moment for the necessary awwww...
 
Well, considering this opportunity only comes once, I really wanted to come up with a special blog post, dedicated to my lovely lady and our future together. Of course, this moment isn't as special for my readers, but maybe my kids will read this, one day... Who knows?!?
 
With each passing day, I became more concerned with what exactly this special post should entail, and I landed on an idea that is very anti-Tanner. Instead of writing a long, emotional love letter or something of that nature, I decided to make a list of my favorite on-screen relationships, from both television and film. The reason the idea is anti-Tanner boils down to the fact that I really don't enjoy love stories. I don't do chick flicks! I don't understand why every non-chick flick needs a love interest!! I just don't get it!!!
 
As I've tried to work on that list, for the past couple of months, I could not get excited about it, at all. I realized that I wasn't doing it to inform any readers about anything... I just needed something to write!
 
So, here I am, only a few days before my wedding, and I have no post about my wedding, and... I'm ok with that. You know, nothing else really matters at this point. Because...
 
I am getting married!!! And I am PUMPED!!!
 
I've been in love with fiancĂ© for a long time, and we have shared so many special memories (many of which have shown up in my reviews). However, nothing could have prepared me for the sheer joy and excitement that is overwhelming me at this point. We aren't even married yet, and I already know that I love her more next week, and nothing else matters!
 
Also, I think I just figured out why I don't enjoy on-screen love stories...
 
Because nobody can beat OUR story
 
 
 
 
That's right... I'm marrying up... And there's nothing you can do about it!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Birdman


Expectations:
Each and every year, we movie critics (however amateur) watch many a film solely because everybody says that we should watch them. As Oscar season continues, this is more and more likely to be the case, and, for me, Birdman was one of those films. I'm not a huge fan of any of the cast members. I never saw Biutiful. And, I didn't really know much about the film, aside from knowing that Michael Keaton's Riggan would be a washed-up former superhero-actor. In the midst of grad school, wedding preparations, Christmas tree decorating, and Thanksgiving, I managed to somehow find time to watch a movie for which I have no particular fondness! Now, you may say that I'm crazy and should probably stop going to the movies so often, but, if you've ever been blown away unexpectedly by a film, you know exactly why Birdman might have just been worth the watch...

Plot:
Birdman was certainly worth the watch! If I were not a voice for the average film viewer but, instead, a voice for filmmakers, my review would likely be even more fond of the film than this review will actually turn out. Technically, Birdman was the most impressive movie-watching experience that I've had in 2014. Is it my favorite?... No. But, with the impressive camera work and a score that is sure to blow your brain, this film is one of those that a filmmaker-wannabe may cling to and desire to model. Again, I am not one to judge this sort of technicality, but, if you can listen to those drums and cymbals without feeling like Riggan's struggles and pressures are pounding down your own shoulders, please give me a call and let me learn of the perfect life that you live. The plot was simple, and the twists were few and far between. However, the story truly came to life, thanks to the stylistic beauty that Alejandro Inarritu and Antonio Sanchez were able to bring to Birdman.

Characters:
Michael Keaton's Riggan was fascinating, and, as much as I would never want to be in his situation, I felt like his struggles were my own. Kudos to Keaton for the lively performance, which gave us one of the most memorable characters of 2014. While I may not be a huge Keaton fan, I do appreciate what he can do as an actor, and there is no doubt that he was great for this role.

Negatives:
The only character that I did not enjoy was Andrea Riseborough's Laura, who just didn't seem to fit in any situation that she was placed. There were two memorable moments/plotlines for Laura and both of them felt so, so very forced and unnecessary. She was distracting, at times, and the film would have been darn near perfect without her presence. For anyone else who has seen the film, I would love to hear your opinions on this character.

Positives:
While Keaton's Riggan reigns supreme over the rest of the cast, Emma Stone's Sam and Edward Norton's Mike were also standouts in this cast. Stone is such a great actor, but she rarely chooses roles as gritty as that of Sam. I applaud her for going out on that limb! Similarly, I'm rarely impressed with Edward Norton and his characters, but this fit was perfect for him. Norton is one of those actors that I don't believe I will ever figure out, for one reason or another, but he knows how to be consistent.

Conclusion:
No 2014 movie is going to catch me off-guard as much as Nightcrawler did, last month, but Birdman may end up in second place. I have listened to the soundtrack for this film at least three times, since I watched, last week. If you've ever had a movie experience enhanced by a film's score, try stacking that film up against Birdman and see what you think. I was blown away! I mean, Keaton was great, but I couldn't really soak in his performance because I was so engulfed in the music! Birdman is one of those that I can see myself watching many times, in the near and distant future, and I certainly hope that each of you take the time to check it out (at least once!). I give Birdman 4.2 out of 5 stars.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Casting Re-Call: Horrible Bosses 2


Some films just don't need sequels, and, in my opinion, Horrible Bosses is one of those films. With one boss dead, one incarcerated, and one sufficiently black-mailed, what does one expect from a sequel revolving around the exact same characters?
 
Unfortunately, the crew behind Horrible Bosses 2 could care less, because people (including me) will be sure to watch the film, regardless of its necessity. I mean, Horrible Bosses was the funniest film of 2011, but that doesn't automatically result in Horrible Bosses 2 having a similar fate.

So, in the interest of creating more interest in Horrible Bosses 2, I have decided to re-cast the sequel, filling in the character-types with new actors. If the actors/characters were new, I might understand more of a need for a sequel. It would be so much fun to see new characters attempting to kill their bosses. Don't get me wrong... I love the Horrible Bosses characters. They just need to be left alone!


Characters that should remain:

Character: Dean "MF" Jones
Actor Chosen: Jamie Foxx
Why?: Foxx's "MF" Jones was absolutely brilliant in the first film, and he could appear in absolutely anything, remaining hilarious. In fact, he is the glue that holds the entire concept together, which is why he could easily transfer that concept over to new boss-murderers.







Character: Atmanand
Actor Chosen: Brian George
Why?: Brian George's voice role, as the GPS navigation assistant (basically, he was an OnStar employee), was sort of dorky and awkward in Horrible Bosses. However, he would be another easy connection to the new boss-murderers, potentially discovering the similarity in the situations. I know this character is not of the utmost importance, but I think he could be fun!






Re-Call:
 
Character: Nick Hendricks
Actor in 1st Film: Jason Bateman
New Actor: Aubrey Plaza
Why?: Plaza has the same (but very different) dry humor of Jason Bateman, and, above all else, I could easily see her killing somebody's boss. Bateman's character is the unannounced leader in Horrible Bosses, and I could easily see Plaza filling that role. Plus, it would be fun to see how a woman might deal with this situation, considering that men are no longer kings of the workplace.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Character: Dale Arbus
Actor in 1st Film: Charlie Day
New Actor: Jay Baruchel
Why?: No one could play this role better than Charlie Day. No one! But, if we are looking at a different friend-group, we have to replace him, and I think Baruchel brings a very similar type of humor to the character as Day. In fact, I think his interaction with Aubrey Plaza would be even funnier than the interaction between Bateman and Day. They could even be potential love interests... or not...
 
 
 
 
 
Character: Kurt Buckman
Actor in 1st Film: Jason Sudeikis
New Actor: Ty Burrell
Why?: I had trouble with this character, mostly because Jason Sudeikis is so very bland and lifeless in every single thing that he does. So, how do you replicate (and even improve on) that blandness? Well, I went with Ty Burrell! Although he may be a good bit older than Baruchel and Plaza, I could see him being a goofy, awkward, protective figure who is entirely uncomfortable with the entire process of killing someone. This choice isn't necessarily a good substitution for Sudeikis or a good match with Baruchel and Plaza, but I just think he fits really well in this situation.
 
 
 
 
Character: Dave Harken
Actor in 1st Film: Kevin Spacey
New Actor: John C. McGinley
Why?: Because it would be fun to watch McGinley and Plaza bicker back and forth. He could also come on to her, in one way or another, substituting the sexually deviant Jennifer Aniston in the first film. 
 


 
 
Character: Dr. Julia Harris
Actor in 1st Film: Jennifer Aniston
New Actor: Michael Cera
Why?: Although the hilarity of Michael Cera as a bad guy may have been used in This Is the End, I think he could pull it off one more time. Put Jay Baruchel as a co-founder of some sort of app start-up or something Silicon Valley-ish, but, out of some legal mistakes, Cera owns 51% of the company, while Baruchel only owns 49%. Cera throws that in his face all of the time, which creates the grounds for his desire to kill him. I think it could work!

Character: Bobby Pellitt
Actor in 1st Film: Colin Farrell
New Actor: Woody Harrelson, Robert Downey Jr., Russell Brand, Sharlto Copley
Why?: Although Charlie Day is the funniest part of Horrible Bosses, Colin Farrell's Bobby Pellitt is undoubtedly the most genius character in the entire film. However, as I began to think of actors who could play a similar character, so many great choices came to mind, and I couldn't decide on just one. You can imagine, on your own, just how hilarious Harrelson, Downey, Brand, or Copley would be in this role. Let me know, in the comments, which you think would work best!
 
 
So, there you have it! My very own Horrible Bosses 2.
 
Let me know what you think about my choices, in the comment section, below.
 
Hopefully the actual Horrible Bosses 2 will exceed my expectations, and, maybe, it will not fall into the afterthought category, with its release date so close to that of Mockingjay Part 1.
 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Interstellar

 

Expectations:
Although we only get a film from Christopher and Jonathan Nolan every two years or so, my praise for the films written and directed by the brotherly duo has permeated many months of this blog. That said, most of you already know how much I love the Nolan brothers and their epic films. From Inception to The Dark Knight to The Prestige, these guys know how to get to me in some special way, and, of course, I expected nothing less from Interstellar. In fact, when I first heard about Nolan's new "space film," I was convinced that Interstellar was going to be the greatest Nolan flick of all time. Why?... Well, I don't know!... Then came the trailer, which was quite underwhelming, in my opinion. If Gravity had yet to be released, maybe I would have been impressed with the visuals, and, had we not seen soooo much of Matthew McConaughey over the past year, maybe I would have been intrigued with that casting move. Unfortunately, as the release of Interstellar got closer and closer, my expectations continued to slowly fall. But, about thirty minutes into the film, when all plot twisting hell began to break loose, I remembered what I long for in a Nolan flick... and why I long for it...

Plot:
Very few people have Nolan's ability to construct such a complex storyline in such a short time frame (although many people complained about the 3 hour run time). I mean, the fact that Inception was able to make any sense, at all, to anybody, really fascinates me, to this very day! Interstellar was able to take advantage of that same understandably complex world in which Nolan's ideas grow, and the film did so with much more ease than I had expected. Of course, I can't say too very much on here, without spoiling anything, but I challenge you to find a more complex, science fiction storyline with such a great heart and so many flowing emotions, throughout! Interstellar was a bit of a mold-breaker for Nolan, with a different feel and a much different setting. However, Nolan stuck to his guns and produced one heck of a story, which is exactly why we tend to always love his films.

Characters:
Although the acting was not poor, there were really no standout performances from any actresses or actors. Sure, there were a few intriguing characters, but nobody was able to blow me away (which is quite a common theme among Nolan films... save The Dark Knight).

Negatives:
Ellyn Burstyn's character (who shall not be named, for the sake of spoilers) was extremely awkward, in my opinion. At that point in the film, I was a bit too caught up in trying to figure out what the heck just happened to really be able to soak in her very short role in the film. But, if I had been able to pay attention more, I still don't see myself liking her. It was just a little weird, for some reason. Additionally weird was the presence of the "smart robots," CASE and TARS, voiced by Josh Stewart and Bill Irwin. They just did not feel necessary, at any point in the film!

Positives:
Although his performance lacked the soul of his turns in The Wolf of Wall Street and Dallas Buyers Club, Matthew McConaughey was still quite impressive in the lead, as Cooper (which miraculously turned out to be his last name, at some point in the film). Honestly, I can't think of another Nolan character that ever earned as much empathy as Cooper earned in the first hour of Interstellar. Kudos to both McConaughey and the Nolan brothers for building a film around such a great lead character.

Conclusion:
While Interstellar will never be thought of as Christopher Nolan's greatest film, it did manage to exceed my lowered expectations and impress me quite a bit. Like never before, Nolan was able to go beyond intriguing me and reach a level that made me truly care what happened to the characters. I have always cared about the outcome of Nolan's films, but the characters are typically nothing more than a piece of the puzzle. This time around, Cooper was the entire picture! There were certainly Nolan-esque moments and impressive visual elements, but, in the end, most of those aspects were washed away, in order to keep the focus on the characters. If you are not a fan of Nolan's other films, check out Interstellar, as it provides many different elements that are sure to impress any moviegoer. I give Interstellar 3.85 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Nightcrawler


Expectations:
Before 2014, I never really thought of Jake Gyllenhaal as a guy whose films I just really needed to watch. Sure, I had seen a few Gyllenhaal flicks, but his performances never really blew me away. He was in no way a bad actor, but he never, ever impressed me! Cut to 2014... And the guy is killing it! While this review may be focused on Nightcrawler, do not allow yourself to go through 2014 without taking a look at Enemy, a film in which Gyllenhaal plays two look-a-like characters who have quite an odd introduction and relationship. Not only was the film intriguing, but his performance was quite impressive. And, without seeing his performance in Enemy, there is no way that I would have been interested in checking out Nightcrawler, mostly because I had absolutely no idea what Nightcrawler was about. The trailer was vague. The title is vague. Yet, somehow, it wasn't a box office bust, this weekend! Considering the favorable reviews were flowing in and I got off of work early on Friday, I figured "what the heck!" and decided I would check it out...

Plot:
The actual storyline was not super-original nor was the writing very impressive. However, the way in which the story was told and the characters that were involved absolutely blew me away! The likelihood of the film becoming as popular as American Psycho is quite small, but the film and Gyllenhaal's Louis Bloom had the same effect on me as American Psycho and Christian Bale's Patrick Bateman. The creepiness of the character loomed throughout the film, and the tension in every scene was almost tangible. It is not uncommon for me to be fascinated by a simple story, and Nightcrawler certainly confirmed that tendency!

Characters:
Let's just talk about Louis Bloom!

No 2014 character has fascinated me quite like Louis Bloom, and few performances have impressed me as much as that of Jake Gyllenhaal. Based on the trailer, I did expect Bloom to be a bit rude and motivated and maybe even a little off, but I had no idea that he would be so freaking creepy! I thought he was great! For the first time (that I've ever witnessed), Jake Gyllenhaal was able to make an amazing character come to life, with such ease, and, for that, he deserves many kudos. Of course, there were other characters in the film, but Nightcrawler was engulfed by the presence of Louis Bloom... as was my brain, for the next few days...

Conclusion:
Thank God that Oscar season is upon us! The 2014 movie year is certainly beginning to trend upwards, and, if these unexpected hits continue to pop up, we are in for quite a surprise. If you enjoy films built around fascinatingly creepy characters, Nightcrawler is just for you. If you enjoy theatrical moments that make you think and laugh "this guy is crazy," Nightcrawler is just for you. If you just need something to watch, pre-Interstellar, I would say that Nightcrawler is your best bet. Needless to say, I was impressed with the film and, even more so, with Jake Gyllenhaal, who has impressed me more than any other actor in 2014. I give Nightcrawler 4.04 out of 5 stars.

Friday, October 31, 2014

St. Vincent


Expectations:
While I certainly do not dislike Bill Murray, I have never been able to understand exactly why he is so universally loved. Sure, he is quite hilarious, but why does his humor bring so many people together?... Who knows!... Regardless, my hopes were very high, going in to St. Vincent, due mostly to the fact that Jaeden Lieberher absolutely cracked me up in the trailers. If there is one thing that I love more than a good dramedy, it is a funny, intelligent child actor! So, while Bill Murray was the draw for most viewers of St. Vincent, my main draw was 81 years (approximately) younger than Murray...

Plot:
While I did expect St. Vincent to provide numerous laughs, I did not expect the film to have such a heart. There is no doubt that this was the most emotional that I have seen since Short Term 12, and, in case you don't know me, emotions aren't my strong suit! However, by the end of the film, I was struggling HARD to keep the tears from flowing! Most of the emotions were brought on by the relationship between Bill Murray's Vincent and Lieberher's Oliver, which was just perfect. The end of the film was a bit rushed, but, for the most part, St. Vincent did a great job of making me laugh and (almost) cry with nothing but a simple story about a little boy and his old, grumpy neighbor!

Characters:
St. Vincent was anchored very well by Bill Murray, who was absolutely perfect for the role. However, I don't quite think he is worthy of the Oscar buzz that a few folks are throwing his way. Again, my lack of awe at Murray is showing, but I just don't quite get it!

Negatives:
One actor who was terribly under-utilized and awkward-looking was Terrence Howard, who played Zucko, a horse gambling friend of Vincent's. While Howard may not be the most respected actor in Hollywood, he isn't typically horrible. From a different angle, I did not really like what the film did with Oliver's school-enemy, Ocinski (played by Dario Barosso). Unfortunately, I can't say too much without giving away the plot, but I just thought the progression of his character was a bit under-utilized.

Positives:
As expected, the child actor rules them all! Jaeden Lieberher was absolutely hilarious as Oliver, and I truly wanted him to be my child. The age and size of both the actor and his character were absolutely perfect for this film, and I can't wait to see what this youngster does in the future. Additionally, great performances were handed in by both Melissa McCarthy and Chris O'Dowd. While McCarthy has (rightfully) taken a lot of heat for some of her recent roles, characters, like Maggie, allow her to show her range across the comedic and dramatic spectrum. O'Dowd, on the other hand, can always make me laugh, no matter what! His character of Brother Geraghty did a great job of poking fun at religion without tearing down its significance in both the film and his life. Great character!

Conclusion:
Although the likelihood of another 2014 film topping The LEGO Movie is quite slim, St. Vincent certainly did a great job of sticking its foot in the door, as one of the best dramedies of 2014. With a great cast and an emotional storyline, St. Vincent had most of what I ask for in a film. The only thing it lacked was Jonah Hill! Anyway, I'm quite hopeful that this film starts a great career for Jaeden Lieberher and begins a new era in the comedy of Bill Murray (and maybe Melissa McCarthy, too!). Kudos to new director, Theodore Melfi and the entire cast for entertaining me and given me enough proof, for the next year or two, that I have emotions! I give St. Vincent 3.56 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Great Expectations: American Horror Story "Freak Show"


For three years of my four-year stint as an undergraduate, I had the fortune of rooming with the most dedicated student to have ever walked the earth--Robert Williamson. Many of my Hattiesburg-based readers might know Robert and his crazy antics, but, for the rest of you, I must explain...

In all of my life, I try to balance education, hard work, play, and faith. Robert, on the other hand is ALL education ALL of the time, and you better not get in his way... ever! Often times I would criticize him for what I viewed as his flawed approach to college, and, trust me, I am far from your stereotypical "college kid." I could tell story after story about our time as roommates, but, for now, let's focus on one.

In 2011 (our first year as roommates), Robert and I shared a dorm room on the university's campus, which basically meant that we were in each other's business all of the time. If someone was sick, the other endured. If someone had a guest over, the other endured. If someone was watching TV 24/7 (cough, cough... me), the other endured. And, in the fall of 2011, a new show was about to start on FX, called American Horror Story.


The trailers did intrigue me, but, honestly, I didn't think I was going to enjoy the show. I'm not a huge fan of horror flicks. I don't enjoy mindless killing. However, I was a huge fan of Nip/Tuck, which I used to watch well before I was old enough to truly understand the events therein, and I know, as well as the next guy, that it is good to find a director/showrunner/creator and stick with him. So, I decided to check out American Horror Story, solely because of Ryan Murphy, who unfortunately also created Glee (go figure). 

As the show began, on that plain October night, Robert was innocently doing his homework, as he tended to do every. single. night! Then, as the show progressed, Robert continued to inch closer and closer to the television. It was plain to see that he was totally mesmerized by the events unfolding on screen, and, when Jessica Lang uttered the words "Don't make me kill you again," Robert and I both began "oh snapping" joyously. Little did I know that this show would soon become our obsession, and, three years later, I would be telling this story.



In year two of our tenure as roommates, Robert and I gained a third roommate, who we forced to watch American Horror Story... He became obsessed.



In year three, we lost that roommate and gained another... who we forced to watch American Horror Story. He loved it, as well.


In May, both Robert and I graduated and moved out of our apartment. I stayed here in Hattiesburg to obtain my Masters in Economic Development, and Robert left for Florida State, where he is working toward his PhD in Political Science (that studying paid off). 

This fall, we will be forced to watch Freak Show in two separate locations, and there is no doubt that it will be a very different experience. Roommates may be annoying as heck, but they do impact your life! American Horror Story will always fit in my mind as the show that I found with Robert... that one hour when he wasn't studying...

Monday, October 6, 2014

Gone Girl


Expectations:
Oscar season is here, folks! No more mediocrity... No more superheroes... Not quite as much mindless movie-watching... The world is a better place! And, to start it all off, we get an exciting film from the great David Fincher... Gone Girl. Add the excitement for Gone Girl to the amazing MLB Playoff games and the insane College Football weekend, and the last few days have really been quite impressive (from an entertainment perspective). Not that entertainment is the answer to every world problem, but nobody needs to be thinking about ISIS all of the time. Although I knew very little about what would unfold in Gone Girl's thrilling plot, my expectations were relatively high, due to the praise that the film is receiving and the fact that David Fincher is an amazing filmmaker. If you've never seen The Social Network, I forbid you to watch another film until you have done so. Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about Gone Girl...

Plot:
The complexity of the trickery used throughout Gone Girl was absolutely thrilling. While the whodunnit could have been guessed at any point, there is no doubt that uncertainty would have prevailed. But, looking back on how I felt during the film, the biggest problem was that I didn't know if I could actually trust the answer to the whodunnit. Unfortunately, I think that struggle took away a bit from the revelation. However, the events that followed were so complex and thrilling that I could care less. The direction of the unfolding of the story was great, and I think the story was meant to be visualized by David Fincher. If you've never truly appreciated a director and what he or she brings to the plate in the filmmaking world, just watch Gone Girl's thrilling murder scene (also note the amazing score). That's all I can give you without spoiling everything.

Characters:
Well, let's just get down to business...

Negatives:
While Neil Patrick Harris's Desi Collings was a necessary and interesting character, I don't know that Harris was the perfect casting decision. He certainly played the character how it was meant to be played, but there was just something that wasn't quite satisfying about his performance, in my opinion. The only character that I thought was a bit misused was Emily Ratajkowski's Andie Hardy, who I cannot really discuss. Just think about it, once you figure out who she is...

Positives:
Where to start?... How about with the lovely couple! Ben Affleck's Nick and Rosamund Pike's Amazing Amy were absolutely great characters, and each of their performances were spot-on. Unfortunately, I can't talk about them too much, but be sure to let me know what you think! On a much, much smaller scale, I was greatly impressed with Scoot McNairy's performance as Tommy O'Hara. This guy has huge star-potential. He will win an Oscar, one day... Just wait and see!

My absolute favorite character, however, was Kim Dickens' Detective Rhonda Boney, who I truly anticipated that I would HATE. Her attitude annoyed the crap out of me in the trailers, but she ended up being such an amazing example of sound justice. Add to that the fact that there were crazy people running all around her, and she may just look like the most sane character of 2014.

Conclusion:
Well, if you want to quit worrying about the "problems of the world," I would suggest watching Gone Girl. Trust me, your worries will quickly refocus on your neighbors' home or maybe even YOUR VERY OWN BEDROOM! Honestly, I can't remember the last time I was so baffled at the psyche of one character. While the character in question is much different, the unbelievably real and frightening reactions of this character brought me back to the bafflement that overcame me while watching Theodore Twombly in Her. The likelihood that anybody else had that connection is minimal, but I thought it should be shared. Throughout the film, when I thought a silver lining was on its way, the clouds quickly darkened.  Of course, this review has been fairly vague, in order to avoid spoiling the film, but I will say that I was on the edge of my seat throughout. If you enjoy any of David Fincher's mystery thrillers, you are sure to enjoy Gone Girl. If you have somehow managed to avoid watching any of Fincher's mystery thrillers, Gone Girl would be a great place to start (only because The Social Network is not really a mystery). The last few months of 2014 are sure to be filled with exciting films, and I hope that many of them can measure up to this awesome, awesome film. I give Gone Girl 4.02 out of 5 stars. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Great Expectations: The One That Changed Everything


In September of 2011 (about three months into my blogging career), I decided to create a segment called "Great Expectations," which would give me an outlet to advertise films that I was excited about, each and every month. That month, said outlet was filled with trailers for Contagion, Moneyball, and 50/50, each of which ended up being quite good, if I might say so myself. Anywho, for those of you who follow my blog regularly, you've probably read a few of those monthly posts, and you might have even enjoyed them. Even more so, I hope that you didn't enjoy them too much, because I've decided to re-vamp Great Expectations into something a bit different.

At the time of its inception, Great Expectations was really just an easy way for me to increase the number of posts that I was able to get out each month. Eventually, though, I grew to enjoy having the chance to break the typical "review-mold," which can sometimes grow tiresome on the movie blogger soul. However, at this point, I've come to realize that there are ample ways to go about writing, without focusing solely on reviews. Also, the likelihood of me being able to keep my post-count high, over the next year, is quite low, considering how much time and effort is required in graduate school.

But, fear not! Great Expectations is still going to be around!

Instead of focusing on a monthly trailer list, the segment will give me an outlet to discuss pretty much anything that I am excited about, in the near or distant future of the entertainment-world. For instance, I might do an "Oscar Edition" or a "Summer Movie Edition" or a "Star Wars Episode XXXII Edition." The possibilities are just endless!

In my reviews, I always begin with my expectations for a film, because I truly believe that nothing influences a film's success more than its ability to meet expectations. Sure, there are other elements (which is why I don't stop my reviews at expectations), but nothing is more powerful than a film that exceeds expectations. Similarly, nothing is more aggravating than film that can't deliver on your high, high hopes. I say all that to show you how important expectations can be in film, but this lesson can also be applied to life... That was my Dr. Phil line for the day!

Before I move on, I would like to thank each and every reader for taking the time to check in and see what's going on in Tanner's world. If there is ever anything that I can do for any of you, be sure to let me know!

Now, let's create some expectations!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

This Is Where I Leave You


Expectations:
The last time that I went an entire month without going to the movie theater was probably sometime in 2010, before I was even blogging. That said, I could not wait to get to the theater! Honestly, I would have paid to watch Liam Neeson have one of his dramatic phone conversations. But, thankfully, I didn't have to, all because of This Is Where I Leave You. If you know my taste in movies, you know that I love a good dramedy, and this film was sure to become the new definition of dramedy. Featuring an awesome cast and a promising storyline, I had very high hopes for This Is Where I Leave You, regardless of its low score on the Tomatometer.

Plot:
This story has been done before. Dan in Real Life and The Family Stone are both great examples of almost identical stories that have been done in the past ten years or so. Considering how lacking I am in creativity, let's call this type of film "The Big Chill: Family Edition." And, for those of you who harp on the fact that originality is lacking, be sure to check yourself before you go watch Captain America 37 in 2019. As much as the film was lacking in originality, it made up for it by being a dramatic comedy, which is basically an easy sell to Tanner Jones. Do I like all dramedies?... No. But, the odds are ever in their favor! My judgement on this type of film is partial, but I absolutely love them. Add my love for the genre to a great cast, and you can guess the outcome...

Characters:
With such a large cast, I will not have time to pick apart each and every character, but I will say that I was pleased with the cast, for the most part. Typically, when dealing with such a large cast, there are at least one or two blatantly poor characters, but This Is Where I Leave You was able to avoid such fate.

Negatives:
I'm not sure if the performance or the direction is to blame, but Rose Byrne's Penny Moore was one of the most inconsistent characters that I have ever seen. She was peppy at times. She was serious at times. She was ditsy at times. She was logical at times. Unfortunately, she was so inconsistent! It just frustrated the crap out of me, because I wanted to like her character. Connie Britton's Tracy Sullivan was much more consistent, but I didn't like her presence in the film. In my opinion, she was completely unnecessary. And, to complete my destruction of the poor women of this film, Tina Fey's Wendy was the least interesting sibling of the Altman crew, which really disappointed me. Fey's humor usually works for me, but I just didn't connect.

Positives:
After hating on most of the female cast, I shall now take a moment to praise the lovely Jane Fonda, whose role as mother of the house, Hillary Altman, was the first hilarious female performance that I have witnessed all year long. In my opinion, her character was not only one of the funniest of the film but easily the most interesting. The absolute funniest character was Phillip Altman, played brilliantly by the always hilarious Adam Driver. Last year, I was introduced to Driver in both Frances Ha and Inside Llewyn Davis, and I do believe that he has an extremely bright future ahead of him, in either drama or comedy. While Driver and Fonda were able to steal the show, I must show some love for Jason Bateman, who was quite perfect for the role of Judd Altman. As I've said before, Bateman is not the funniest man in the world, but he does a great job of picking roles that fit his one dimensional humor.

Conclusion:
With a great cast and a storyline that I could watch 1,000 times, This Is Where I Leave You was pleasantly enjoyable. After my long movie drought, it was good to come back to my happy place and discover the fun that was waiting for me. Oscar season is fast-approaching, and I can't wait to continually write about (hopefully) great films! The fun part about being so well-versed in the film world is being able to recognize films that I will love and hate. Sometimes my thoughts and predictions hit the nail on the head, which was the case with This Is Where I Leave You. If you like films like The Big Chill, Dan in Real Life, or The Family Stone, this film is just for you! I give This Is Where I Leave You 3.23 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

6 Degrees of Separation Blogathon


Last weekend, I was challenged by Rhys at Feeling Fuzzier to participate in the 6 Degrees of Separation Blogathon, which has been passed around the movie-blogging world, for the past month or two. Amazingly enough, this is my first ever blogathon! I'm quite excited to dip my toes in this brave new world, and I appreciate Rhys for challenging me to do so.

To complete the challenge, I must figure out a way to connect Dane DeHaan, one of my favorite young actors, to Kaya Scodelario, who I hadn't heard of, until this challenge.

I must link the two actors together, using any form of association, in six steps or less, much like the infamous game, 6 Degrees to Kevin Bacon.

So... Here goes nothing:

Dane DeHaan


1. Dane DeHaan was in The Place Beyond the Pines (the best movie of 2013) with Bradley Cooper.



2. Bradley Cooper was in The A-Team (the worst movie of 2010) with Jessica Biel.



3. Jessica Biel was is The Truth About Emmanuel with Kaya Scodelario.



Kaya Scodelario

There you are, folks! Not too hard at all.

I now challenge Daniel at Random Mexican Movie Review Extravaganza to connect Kaya Scodelario with Oscar Isaac... Have fun, Daniel!


 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Great Expectations: September 2014


Bill Hader is one of the funniest men on this planet, and, undoubtedly, his role as Stefon, on SNL, solidified his place in that show's bright history. Now, as he transitions into the world of film (and T-Mobile commercials), my hopes for Hader are quite high, beginning with this month's The Skelton Twins. Hader plays the gay twin of another SNL alum, Kristen Wigg, who has already solidified herself as a movie star. Unfortunately, the likelihood of The Skelton Twins making their way to Hattiesburg is quite slim, but, until I can watch the film, I'll be watching the following trailer... over and over and over...

The Skelton Twins
(September 12)


There are a few other noteworthy films, making their way to the big screen in September. Although September is traditionally the worst movie month of the year, be sure to make a trip to the theater! Or, you can just sit at home and watch college football!

 
The Maze Runner
(September 19)
 
 
 
This Is Where I Leave You
(September 19)
 


Friday, August 22, 2014

Must See TV: Emmy's 2014

With the Emmy's on the horizon, I've decided to talk about TV for a minute!

For the second straight year, I'll be giving you my list of best TV shows and a snippet telling you why I love each show. If you want, you can check out my list from last year here.

This year, my list has been expanded to a "top ten" list, while last year's list featured only my top five shows. With the quality of today's television series, I figured you would be interested in seeing what all I tuned in to, rather than just seeing five shows. The TV season runs from June to May, which means that this year's list includes TV shows released between June 2013 and May 2014... just so you know!

Here is my top five list from 2013:

1 - New Girl (Season 2 - FOX)
2 - The Newsroom (Season 1 - HBO)
3 - American Horror Story: Asylum (Season 2 - FX)
4 - The Celebrity Apprentice (Season 13 - NBC)
5 - The Office (Season 9 - NBC)

While reading this year's list, keep in mind that I am not listing these shows from a critical perspective, like I do in my movie best-list. Instead, this list simply consists of the shows that I enjoyed watching the most, over the past year. On the same note, there is no way that I could possibly watch every TV show that is made, meaning that this list is far from exhaustive. It's more of just an opportunity for you guys to see what I watch when I'm not at the theater.

Final note: I've put every TV show (of any kind) on the same playing field, which is much more fair than the current division of categories at the Emmy's, in case you wanted to know my opinion.

10. MasterChef Junior
(Season 1 - FOX)
Unfortunately, I'm not a big fan of reality TV, which you should be able to infer from the lack of any other reality show in my top 10. However, when reality TV is done right, it can be spectacular. Last year, The Celebrity Apprentice landed at the #4 spot on my list, and, had it aired this season, it might have found itself in the top 10, yet again. Thankfully, the super-fun show that was MasterChef Junior was there to pick up the slack. If you enjoy cooking shows (I LOVE them) and children (some of them are alright), you will have a blast with this show, which I believe only aired about 10 episodes. Upon completion, MasterChef Junior certainly left me wanting more, and I can't wait for season 2, this fall!


9. The Colbert Report
(Season 10 - Comedy Central)
I have long been a fan of Stephen Colbert and his crazy antics, and, as a moderate, I just love watching him and his writing staff brilliantly pick apart the flaws of both the left and right. Unfortunately, The Colbert Report will soon come to a close, but I am so pumped for Stephen and his crew to have the opportunity to move on up to CBS. There is no doubt that the last few months of The Colbert Report will be an absolute blast.


8. The Americans
(Season 2 - FX)
Season 1 of The Americans was a bit slow and repetitious, and, without the brilliant acting, who knows if I would have taken the time to watch season 2. But, boy, am I glad that I did! Not only did the show start the season with its most exciting episode ever, but the storyline continued to unfold into an awesome season of drama and suspense that I think almost anyone would enjoy. Although it's a hard time to cheer on the Russians, The Americans easily convinces me to do so.



7. The Writer's Room
(Season 2 - Sundance)
As someone who is continuously keeping up with both the television and film industries, I often find myself reading about TV shows and movies that I have never even seen. In the long run, I may be wasting my time, but, to be honest, I don't care, because I just love being in the know! For those of you who don't know, The Writer's Room, hosted by the hilarious Jim Rash, takes television writers and actors and allows them to talk a little about the process of creating the stories and characters that are found in our tube. If you've never had the chance to watch the show, I would greatly encourage you to do so, even if you only check out episodes that feature your favorite show. Of all the shows on this list, I don't know that there is another that left me wanting more quite like The Writer's Room, and that's saying something!


6. American Horror Story: Coven
(Season 3 - FX)
If I had made this list two years ago, American Horror Story (Murder House) would have likely found itself at the top of my list. Last year, Asylum moved AHS down to #3, and, this year, Coven brings AHS down to #6. However, the quality of American Horror Story has not gone down hill, AT ALL. I absolutely love the show! Every single episode! Instead, the shows slipping down the list can be attributed to both the newfound numbness to the insanity of AHS and the success of new TV shows, which you will certainly find as you move down this list. Don't worry... I will be tuning in for Freak Show, come October, and you should, too!


5. The Newsroom
(Season 2 - HBO)
Aaron Sorkin is a genius among geniuses, and, regardless of what many critics may say, The Newsroom is amazing. Unfortunately, season 2 wasn't quite as good as season 1, but I was absolutely hooked, regardless. Particularly, kudos are deserved by Sorkin, Jeff Daniels, and Sam Waterston (who was robbed of an Emmy nom, although no one is talking about it). All hail Aaron Sorkin!!!



4. The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon
(Season 1 - NBC)
Ever since I became hooked on Jimmy Fallon's Late Night, I was hoping that the day would come where the most likable man in late night television would be on before I went to sleep. However, I never expected that day to come this quickly. The build up to the launch of The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon was executed brilliantly by NBC, and, thus far, the first year of Jimmy's reign has been spot on. I can't wait to tell my children of the day I went to New York to see him on Late Night. Oh, the memories...


3. The Big Bang Theory
(Season 7 - CBS)
After a season 6 that I thought was the worst of the series, The Big Bang Theory rebounded brilliantly in 2013-2014 and is actually the only true comedy to make this list. With the return of Bob Newhart and a finale that brought out emotions that I have never felt for these particular characters, season 7 was absolutely perfect! As someone who started watching Big Bang before it was cool, I really love the fact that this genius show has become TV's number one comedy. But, nothing excites me more than seeing a great comedy be a great comedy, regardless of how many people are watching. Kudos to the Big Bang crew for sticking to what got them to their current level of success!



2. True Detective
(Season 1 - HBO)
As someone who doesn't care much for detective dramas, I was hesitant to check out True Detective, but thank God I did! Not only is True Detective the most brilliant cop show ever brought to TV, but it also caught me a bit off guard. While I did enjoy the first couple of episodes, I never anticipated to become as engulfed in the series as I was by the end of it all. With season 2 on the horizon, I can't wait to see what's in store for the new cast.



1. Orange is the New Black
(Season 1 - Netflix)
Where to start?!? Orange is the New Black had me hooked in the first 10 minutes or so, and I remained hooked for the entire 1st season. Not only does OITNB feature the best cast on television, but it is also one of the most uniquely dramatic and hilarious shows ever created. This show was created to destroy Emmy award categories, and I would not be surprised if we see a few big changes after this year's awards are handed out, considering how hard it is define current television in specific categories. Regardless, Orange is the New Black absolutely rocked my television world, this year. If you've yet to watch the show, go now! I'm sure that you will love it, even if you don't think that it's the best television show of the 2013-14 season!


As you might have noticed, only two of last year's Top 5 made it onto this year's list. However, The Office went off air and The Apprentice did not air this season. That only leaves New Girl, which topped last year's list. While it pains me to leave one of my favorite shows off of my list, season 3 of New Girl just didn't work, at all. Anyway... I'm hopeful that we will see New Girl return with great success this fall! Also, I just finished watching the first season of Silicon Valley, which was absolutely hilarious! I did not include it on my list, because I haven't really had time to digest it, but I could see it landing somewhere in the 6-10 range. Go check it out and see what you think!

Chime in with your comments, below, including suggestions for shows that I should check out (NOT The Walking Dead and NOT Game of Thrones). Also, as the new shows start up this fall, tell me what you'll be watching. I would love to know!

Finally... For entertaining bantering on Emmy night, be sure to follow me on Twitter @TheTan_Man. I promise to entertain!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Let's Be Cops


Expectations:
New Girl is one of the funniest shows on television. In fact, the second season of the Zooey Deschanel comedy topped my list of the best television from the 2012-2013 season (here is that list). Unfortunately, so many potential male viewers are turned off by the poorly constructed title of the show, because it has the world "girl" in it. Fortunately, the show features four hilarious male characters that are guaranteed to make you laugh, regardless of your gender! Two of those characters (Nick and Coach) are played by the stars of Let's Be Cops, Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. Now, I'd like to be able to say that the trailer for Let's Be Cops was hilarious and engaging, but, to be honest, the only reason I went to watch this film was to see Nick and Coach in movie form. So, needless to say, my expectations were quite low...

Plot:
With comedies of the caliber of Let's Be Cops, you don't expect much from a plot-perspective! As expected, Let's Be Cops was quite shallow and lifeless, with pretty much nothing to accent its jokes. Thankfully, the jokes weren't all that bad. In fact, I laughed at the stupid humor, throughout, but I will say that many of those laughs were brought on by my familiarity with the actors. I think most of you would agree that, if you like a comedic actor or actress, you are likely to enjoy the majority of their work, regardless of its depth or success. That said, Let's Be Cops had very little to offer anyone who doesn't enjoy the humor of Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr.

Characters:
However one-dimensional lead characters Ryan and Justin turned out to be, I still liked them. If only the filmmakers hadn't added the emotional, best-friend moments to this goofy, stupid film, it would have been alright. Why do comedic filmmakers feel the need to add dull emotion to films that are engulfed in fart and sex jokes?!? It's so dang frustrating!

Negatives:
It was quite evident that this film was intended to be THE film that turned Nina Dobrev into an ADULT movie star (like grown-up... not pornography), and she totally bombed. Sure, the character (Josie) was absolutely horrible, but the only part of Nina that did any actual acting in this film were her legs. Additionally, Natasha Leggero's Annie was an awkward addition to Let's Be Cops, with her crack-head mentality. Ryan's attraction to her was quite unreal, leaving me baffled.

Positives:
As I've already said, the humor of Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. just connects with me, particularly that of Johnson. As for Wayans, I actually enjoyed his Let's Be Cops character more than his character on New Girl. Johnson played his typical couch-potato, but Wayans played the nerd, contrasting his character on New Girl, who is an actual "Coach." However, the best performance of the entire film was given by Keegan-Michael Key, who played some sort of Hispanic(?) drug-mover named Pupa. The character was entirely over-the-top, but I laughed in spite of those issues.

Conclusion:
Let's Be Cops was about as bad as expected, but it could have been much worse! Hopefully, for the sake of Johnson and Wayans' careers, the film will be a monetary success, but I'm not counting on that, either. Unless you watch New Girl, like me, I would suggest steering clear of Let's Be Cops. Instead, take those couple of hours to watch a few episodes of New Girl. You will love it! Even if you are a dude! Also, check out Jake Johnson in the Aubrey Plaza-led Safety Not Guaranteed. It was definitely one of my favorite films from 2012, and I think you will enjoy it as well! I give Let's Be Cops 1.55 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Get On Up


Expectations:
The Help was one of my favorite movies of 2011. Add to that the fact that the film did so much to "help" the Mississippi film industry, and you better believe that I'm going to be checking out director Tate Taylor's follow-up, Get On Up... also filmed in Mississippi. Add to all of that the fact that Chadwick Boseman really impressed me with his performance in 42, and, at this point, I'm just pumped to see Get On Up! After watching the trailer, I was quite impressed with the brief glimpse at Boseman's portrayal of James Brown, one of the most eccentric men that I have ever witnessed existing. So, Get On Up had the chance to be the perfect storm of success for a guy from Mississippi who enjoys the lead actor and great music. It was certainly enough to "Get Me Up Offa My Thing" and head to the theater!

Plot:
While the film was quite discombobulated, jumping through time, from beginning to end, I was almost always entertained and couldn't wait to find out more. I just can't imagine what a pain it had to be for the filmmakers to put this thing together. Never, in a million years, would I have been able to establish the random order of events that engulfed this storyline. That said, the film never really peaked, emotionally, as there was never a true moment of revelation or understanding, on the part of Boseman's James Brown. For that reason, I truly hope that the film is fairly historically accurate. I'm willing to sacrifice emotion and excitement for the truth, but, if the film was uber-dramatized, I was not impressed. Either way, Get On Up was completely consistent in its portrayal of James Brown as a selfish prick who was never able to overcome his past.

Characters:
The cast of Get On Up was pretty good, and, if you liked the characters in The Help, I think you would similarly enjoy these characters. However, it was easy to see that a few of the actors couldn't quite figure out how to truly embrace the real-life people that they were portraying. Unfortunately, some of the characters felt fictitious, like the ones in The Help.

Negatives:
Octavia Spencer was spot-on in The Help, giving one of the most hilariously dramatic performances that I have ever witnessed. But, her Get On Up character just didn't have a huge impact on me or the film, and that was quite disappointing. Honestly, her character had very little impact on the development of James's character, and the film could have done without her or this entire period of his life. We probably wouldn't have even missed it, considering how much the film jumped around.

Positives:
Chadwick Boseman can act! And, he certainly deserves credit, after being left out of the Oscar-talk, in 2013. Going from cool and calm in 42 to eccentric and crazy in Get On Up could not have been easy, but Boseman made me forget that I was watching a movie. I thought I was watching James Brown himself. Similarly, the character of Bobby Byrd, played by Nelsan Ellis, was an absolute pleasure to watch. From an emotional standpoint, Byrd was much more developmental and fun to watch, in comparison to James Brown, who never really changed, matured, or made me care about him.

Conclusion:
While Get On Up came nowhere close to the greatness of The Help, I was still quite satisfied, and, if you are interested in learning about the life of James Brown, I believe that you would be too. My praise and thanks go out to Tate Taylor for bringing both of these films to Mississippi! Maybe there is one perk to the fact that we are behind the current time... Movies set in the past fit right on in! Also, I know a lot of people have yet to watch The Help. So... go watch! I promise you will enjoy, particularly if you are one of my readers from Mississippi. I give Get On Up 2.89 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy


Expectations:
Here, in our "Age of the Superhero Film," many moons have passed since Marvel's last bomb. Disney has taken a film franchise and turned it into THE film franchise, and no one expects anything but greatness from this point forward... including me. Sure, Guardians of the Galaxy was going to be different, but, unlike many, I never saw the film as a risk for the Disney's Marvel franchise. With Kevin Feige behind the curtain and Disney's marketing abilities abounding, Guardians was destined to be a hit! At this point, Marvel studios has the power to do absolutely anything that they want, as long as it's connected (however vaguely) to the Avengers' universe. With all that said, I expected Guardians of the Galaxy to be different from your typical Avengers flick, and, at the same time, I expected more of the same humorous, action-packed, mass marketable, superhero mumbo-jumbo that we are all hooked on!

Plot:
For some reason, the serious opening scene of the film did not quite fit with what was marketed to me as a fun, goofy superhero flick. As a result, I was quickly worried about the things to come. But, thankfully, the film jumped back into what I expected and never stopped entertaining me, from that point on.

I've heard so much about the differences of Guardians, compared to the other Avengers-related, Marvel films, but I must say that I disagree, to a certain extent. While there is no doubt that the jokes and dialogue were a bit more mature and clever, the characters and the storyline were really no different. There was a bad guy, who was threatening the universe. There were some good guys, who couldn't quite get along. There was a forced (and obvious) love interest for the main character. There was action. There was death and revival. There were forced connections to the Avengers-world. I mean, if you take out the dialogue of Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), you have absolutely nothing left to call unique! There's no doubt that Guardians of the Galaxy was one of my favorite Marvel films, to this point, so I'm not hating on what was done here, AT ALL. I just don't know why everyone believes the film is so unique...

Characters:
Kudos to the folks at Marvel for having the guts to make a film that featured a talking raccoon and a tree that could only say three words! Sure there were some predictable traits and quirks among the cast, but, Guardians is not a film that would have been financially successful three years ago. Impeccable timing is the key to Marvel's success, and I think the world had to get ready to see these types of characters, in this light, because we have already seen different versions of most of these characters before. Drax (played by Dave Bautista) was just a better version of Thor (100% better). Groot ("voiced" by Vin Diesel) was just a happier version Hulk. John C. Reilly's Corpsman Dey was a perfect clone of Agent Coulson. And, finally, Peter Quill (played by Chris Pratt) was a dumber version of Tony Stark. Let me know if you disagree!

Negatives:
Guardians' two leading, female characters were quite disappointing to me. First, Zoe Saldana's Gamora just didn't impress, in comparison to the other Guardians. She lacked the comedic element, which is what made the film work, and her storyline just didn't interest me. Add that to the fact that she belongs to Star Trek, and it just doesn't work for me. Additionally, her (un)sister Nebula (played by Karen Gillan) was absolutely useless. Remove her from the film, and nothing changes, at all!

Positives:
I'm going to use this space to praise the greatness that was the relationship between Groot (the tree)and Rocket (the raccoon). Basically, it was a mirror of that dude and his reindeer in Frozen... but it was interesting. Rocket absolutely made the movie and was probably the only super-unique character that came out of the film. I'm already hopeful for a Rocket spin-off (probably won't happen until Phase 45). I would watch the heck out of that!

Conclusion:
Although I ranted a bit about the lack of uniqueness, Guardians of the Galaxy deserves every bit of praise that it is receiving! Marvel continues to impress (minus the Thor stand-alones), and I don't see any end in sight. I mean, bringing in Paul Rudd certainly won't hurt! While I can't wait for The Avengers: Age of Ultron, I'm now even more excited for the second Guardians film to hit in a few years. If you happened to miss out on Guardians' opening weekend, go watch! Today! It's cheap ticket day, here in Hattiesburg! I give Guardians of the Galaxy 3.78 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Closure: July 2014


With a slow month at the theater and Orange is the New Black behind me, I actually had a good bit of time to watch movies, this month. You'll see the exhaustive list below, but two films that I really want to bring to light are The Grand Budapest Hotel and Annie Hall. If you've yet to see either of these films, I want to encourage you to check them out. Of course, Woody Allen's Annie Hall is a classic, and Wes Anderson is well-known, at this point, but, for those of you who aren't film buffs, you might find something nice in each of these uniquely quirky comedies.

For some reason, I'm having a hard time grasping the fact that August is actually upon us, so I apologize for this post being a little late. Fret not! I will be on time, next month!


Movie Watched Year Format Did I Enjoy? Would I Watch Again?
Transformers: Age of Extinction 2014 Theater > Matinee Some Yes
42 2013 Church > Yes, really  Yes Yes
Annie Hall1977TV > NetflixYesYes
The To Do List 2013 DVD > Redbox Yes Yes
Kill Your Darlings 2013 DVD > Redbox Yes No
The Social Network 2010 DVD > Own Yes Yes
Gravity 2013 Church > Yes, really  Yes Yes
Begin Again 2014 Theater > Full Price Yes Yes
(500) Days of Summer 2011 DVD > Own Yes Yes
Adult World 2014 DVD > Redbox Yes No
Frozen 2013 Church > Yes, really  No No
Big 1988 DVD > Own Yes Yes
Big Trouble in Little China 1986 Blu-ray > Borrowed Yes No
The Purge 2012 TV > HBO Yes Yes
The Avengers 2012 Blu-ray > Own Yes Yes
The Purge: Anarchy 2014 Theater > Matinee Yes Yes
Easy A 2010 DVD > Borrowed Yes Yes
Submarine 2010 TV > Netflix No No
The Grand Budapest Hotel2014DVD > RedboxYesYes
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty 2013 Church > Yes, really  Yes Yes
50/50 2011 DVD > Own Yes Yes
Out of the Furnace 2013 DVD > Borrowed Yes No
The Other Guys 2010 DVD > Own Yes  Yes