Archive for January, 2014
Empire magazine celebrated its 25th anniversary by releasing 25 X-Men: Days of Future Past character covers yesterday. You can check them out here on slashfilm.com. I still have to read the Days of Future Past comic (I know, I know…) but am really excited for the film. I think most of the costumes look good; future Wolverine with that body armor looks sweet, Fassbender looks awesome, even the sentinels look mean. Like I said, these covers are really solid looking.
The one problem I have. The single cover that I hate! Although it could possibly be considered the most important of them all!
I guess he kinda looks futuristic? Right? With all the shiny silver and the nifty goggles and gadgets? I know it’s tough to do the silver hair thing and make it look good but I just don’t like the costume they’ve set him up in. Obviously, this doesn’t relate to Evan Peters’ acting capabilities, so he could still be great in the role. The costume just feels fake and reminds me of this.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see… X-Men: Days of Future Past looks sweet and pretty much all of the covers have me excited to see both X-Men movie cast combine.
Ahh, another Sunday, another new episode of True Detective to watch. It’s nice to finally have a new show that I really look forward to each week now that Breaking Bad is off the air. Despite next week being a rerun, last night’s episode was, in my opinion, the best yet, and left us viewers with a lot of new information about Marty and Rust, the case, and where the show might head in the future. The thing that I find so interesting about True Detective is how I never feel bored during such dialogue heavy episodes; the show’s main characters are written so well and McConaughey and Harrelson’s acting is top notch.
As I said, I thought last night’s episode of True Detective was the best one so far. Right from the start, Marty and Rust check out a church revival ministry tent that used to occupy the burnt down church when it was in town. They hope to find possible info about Dora Lange’s murder. The people there are all super religious and the types that would seem to believe it if the minister began communicating with their deceased loved ones. Rust immediately delivers one (among many this episode) of his brutally honest opinions by asking Marty, “what do you think the average IQ of this group, huh?” Which I thought was hilarious because what makes me love Rust’s character is how opposite he is from the traditional southern religious beliefs. He gets a lot of crap for it from Marty and the other guys in the department, but I really love how his character doesn’t fall in line with the standard and can bring new perspectives to the table. Anyway, after questioning the minister and some parishioners, they discover that Dora Lange did attend the church, with a tall man who had a burned face.
When the show flipped to the personal lives of our detectives, Marty just seems like he gets continuously angry. He comes home to see his lawn mowed, even the clippings neatly in a trash bin. He finds Rust talking to Maggie and makes it clear that he wants Rust out, eventually giving him a hard time about helping out. I’m not sure if Rust is trying to passively aggressive show Marty that he needs to be home more, or if he’s just being considerate and Marty realizes he should be home more. Either way, this leads us to a night out double date where Maggie has set Rust up with one of her coworkers, to get drinks and dance. Rust seems his usual quiet and un-enthused while the focus again is on Marty, as he sees Lisa at another table on a date with a new guy. When the dancing is done and everyone heads home, Marty’s poor judgement leads him to drunkenly drive over to Lisa’s apartment, force his way in, and threaten the guy she is with.
I’m not really sure what Marty is doing here. I feel like he is going through some mid-life crisis (he mentions how he is nearing 40) and covers it up with “loving two women at once”. Although, I really liked the scene a little earlier where he is in the present time and gets caught day dreaming about Maggie while staring at his empty ring finger.
The next morning, when Marty comes sluggishly into the office, we discover that Rust has made a breakthrough in the case. There was another woman who died in the past, but was said to have drowned in a flood; however, Rust points out that she has similar injuries to Dora Lange, was said to (also) have had LSD and meth in her system, and to add a cherry on top, was had the same spiral drawn on her body.
This is where things took this episode to the next level. We finally see the pair get a real lead in the case that they are about to lose and the thrills are in motion. Marty and Rust follow up with the drowned girl’s grandfather who points them in the direction of her old boyfriend, Reggie Ledoux. Then, we see that Ledoux was cell mates with Charlie Lange….
Marty and Rust throw on the siren and ride off to hunt Ledoux down.
Again, I just thought that all the clues they gave out within the span of this episode and then the epic ending where they hunt down the man wearing a gas mask.
I think the biggest clue I took from this episode was how the second victim also went to the school ran by the foundation of Reverend Tuttle. I think we will discover that this Ledoux guy was the first killer, but Tuttle is actually behind it all. Maybe this future killer is another trainee of his who can commit the murders and take the fall. He is also the guy who set up the task force to take over this case from Rust and Marty, so that a group specialized in “occult crimes” can lead the investigation. Tuttle would seem to have a nice set up to cover himself and lead the police away from ever getting close to catching him. Either way, I can’t wait until episode four because I’m sure it will be even better.
-I really liked two of Marty’s lines tonight; the first is when he admits although Rust is arrogant, he was always right. Even though they piss each other off most of the time, the respect is still there. The second was pretty unexpected ( in a good way) when he is honking for Rust to return to the car, “who walks that f**king slow?”
-The man with the facial scars never leads to anything, but Rust’s interrogation skills are pretty menacingly awesome!
– Marty mentions a shootout. I can’t wait to see it happen.
-“And like many dreams… There’s a monster at the end.”
What did you think of The Locked Room? Have any good theories about what might happen? Feel free to share!
I apologize for getting this up late in the week, I’ve been busy with starting my last semester of classes, returning to work, and started writing some official reviews for TVOvermind.com. It’s been a great start to the semester and I’ve stayed pretty organized, am working hard, and feel good.
I really enjoy relaxing after my work with a beer and a bunch of good t.v., especially during True Detective. I’m still waiting to see this show really get going once we know more about the plots, but the mystery surrounding everything is definitely keeping me drawn in and wanting more. This past week’s episode, Seeing Things, stepped more into the personal lives of the detectives while the antler murder takes a back seat for a majority of the episode.
After his little office interaction last episode, I was wondering how long it would take until we saw Marty cheat. We barely see any of Marty’s wife and daughter already, so do we really think he can successfully keep this up?
I really liked when Rust calls him out by smell in the locker room; it makes me think that Rust’s sly but truthful remarks will push too far at some point and cause him and Marty’s falling out.
Eventually their leads take them to a run down abandoned church that seems pretty uneventful. After scanning for anything unusual, Rust discovers a painting on the wall that is covered, and after brushing back nature, sees a picture resembling the antler girl murder.
I thought this was a solid follow up episode that gave us a little more of a personal introduction to who these characters really are. Marty isn’t as moral as he plays himself up to be, while Rust just seems to fall more and more out of it, having strange hallucinations this episode. I like these characters a lot and can’t wait for episode 3 of True Detective.
What did everyone else think of Seeing Things?
I went to check out Spike Jonez’ Her in theaters this past weekend and it easily became my favorite film of the year as I fell in love with its setting, characters, and overall complexity. I decided to check it out again the other night because I was overly excited that my cousin was going to watch it for the first time. During this second viewing I discovered a Reddit post questioning the color use in the movie and how they directly relate to the characters, so of course this held my attention throughout my second view and I came up with some very interesting relations between characters and the color palette in the movie. I posted this already as a comment on that Reddit post, but wanted to add in screenshots and post it here as well!
Spoilers! There are many major spoilers within this post relating to Her, and I wouldn’t want to ruin such a beautiful film by not giving a warning, so if you haven’t seen it yet, turn back!
This is going to get lengthy, I’ve added in screenshots to help, so try and stick with me. I think that:
Red/Pink/Orange = Acceptance and love
- Theodore is wearing this color during the majority of the film. In the beginning I think he is accepting of himself and his lifestyle. While it might not be his ideal or happiest situation, he has come to terms with everything. This only increases as he accepts his relationship with Samantha and everything she teaches him. Amy also wears pretty much all red (after her and Charles split which I’ll get to) because she has come to terms with her situation, and is also the most accepting about people having relationships with their OS, including herself.
Blue = Sadness and/or discomfort
- Catherine is I think always wearing blue. She is pretty much always sad/unhappy and uncomfortable. From how she is described, she seems to be uncomfortable with herself and her writing. She never feels good enough. She also is completely uncomfortable and upset with Theodore dating his OS.
- I think another very important scene with blue is when the surrogate enters their relationship. Theodore is immediately uncomfortable but then when it switches to the night of, he is wearing a blue shirt and is just totally upset and uncomfortable with the situation.
- Another important use of blue was on the double date with Paul and Tatina. While they were wearing white beforehand, they are now in blue for this scene and Samantha makes things uncomfortable and dampens the mood with her comment about people dying and her basically being superior.
Yellow = Uncertainty and confusion
- Yellow is used less, but pops up in unique scenes. The first one I noticed it in was when Theodore goes on the date with Olivia Wilde’s character. He never seems sold on the blind date until Samantha pushes him into it, but interestingly enough, he’s wearing yellow when he goes on the date, which ends in a strange way where Theodore is left very confused.
- Next was when he first encounters the little girl’s reaction to him dating his computer. While she doesn’t fully understand, she brings up the point of her being in the computer and not having a physical form. I think this is the first time Theodore has to question his relationship with Samantha. He is confused and uncertain about their relationship for the first time.
- Then when she leaves and he eventually finds out about her other relationships, he is wearing yellow like you said. Throughout that entire scene he is confused, uncertain, and again questioning where she is, what has happened to her, and then eventually their entire relationship because of her other relationships. When he wears yellow he seems to have hesitant “is this real” moments.
White = Neutrality/Neutral acceptance
- I think that white, while being the most general color, represents a type of general neutrality or neutral acceptance during important scenes and when it is used on main characters. In the beginning, when we are first introduced to Amy and Charles, the second scene they appear in, with the documentary footage, Amy is wearing a light mix of white and red. We see that they eventually split, but I think they are in a neutral acceptance for what their relationship has become, and at first they unwillingly accept it, but once they split, Amy only wears vibrant red.
- Next, I noticed it when Theodore first tells Paul and Tatina that Samantha is an OS (pictured above). Paul suggests the double date, yet neither of them hesitate or question him dating his OS, but also don’t openly accept it. Again sort of a neutral or neutral acceptance. I think white comes into play a little more with color blends, but I’ll get there.
Now I think the end of the film really beautifully combines these and shows off the full color spectrum. It covers such a magnificent range of emotions and has made me cry both times I’ve watched.
Starting with the scene where the Alan Watts OS is introduced, Theodore is wearing a red robe with a white shirt and underwear. He begins the scene being fully accepting of his relationship with Samantha yet becomes neutral and semi-accepting after the interaction with Alan and her evolving more.
The next scene he is wearing Yellow which can represent the transition to his confusion and uncertainty about their relationship from the previous talk (with Alan Watts). This becomes more apparent because this is where she disappears and Theodore is panicking with confusion and uncertainty. He eventually recognizes her evolution and the fact that she is not his anymore. He feels like he is being cheated on which makes him all the more confused and uncertain about their relationship. She tries to explain how she is his, but also not his.
The next scene he returns to white. Theodore is struggling to fully accept Samantha’s evolution, so while he is not happy about the situation, he is not sad either because he is able to recognize that she is an OS, not human, and returns to this sort of neutral acceptance when figuring out the status of their relationship going forward.
After this we are hit with the most heartbreaking part of the movie. When Samantha announces she is leaving. Theodore is wearing his white shirt still but the scene is majorly dark and gives a blue tone to his shirt. This is just pure sadness, especially the feels and heartbreak after her “if you ever get here, come find me, nothing would ever pull us apart.”
The next scene he is back in noticeable white. Neutral acceptance being torn between accepting her leaving and at the same time having his heart shattered. In this scene he is devastated about Samantha leaving, but we also see some acceptance with his email to Catherine. He then goes to see Amy who is still in red. She is fully accepting of her OS’ decision to leave because they were not romantically involved, which makes it easier for her. I like that the film ends with the two of them together, and Theodore sort of smiles while crying as if she has help him come, at least a little more, to terms with the situation.
When Theodore and Catherine are at lunch, he is wearing a blue/red shirt, showing his acceptance yet sadness and discomfort for the entire situation. I think it’s also interesting that Catherine is wearing white/blue because while she enters the scene neutral and accepting about what their marriage and relationship has become, she is okay with it. However, as soon as she finds out about Samantha being an OS, she is completely uncomfortable and they begin to fight and be sad.
When Theodore is struggling with the acceptance of his relationship with Samantha after the surrogate scene, he visits Amy. I thought it was awesome to see him laying on the couch (which I think was blue also) in his blue shirt while she is in red and we see her happily interact with her OS. After this Theodore is accepting again, makes up with her and fixes their relationship, and returns to wearing red the next scene.
On the picnic with Paul and Tatina (pictured above), he is wearing a red jacket and a blue shirt. They are having a great time and Theodore feels like their relationship is accepted, but then she makes her comment about death and he becomes sad and uncomfortable while he thinks about what she said.
Then at the end, as I mention above, the combination of Theodore’s white shirt and Amy’s red clothes. Theodore is heartbroken, but understands the situation. He’s neutral, struggling between letting his heartbreak get the best of him because of his deep love for Samantha or accepting the situation and all of the positive things that he gained out of their relationship. Seeing him and Amy lean on one another at the end makes me feel like he is able to accept everything and they both accept and appreciate how their OS’ helped them rediscover life and be happy again.
Wow… Just what an amazing first episode for HBO’s new crime drama True Detective. For those unaware, the show follows around two detectives (Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson) and their quest to hunt down a serial killer in Louisiana. I’m a little late because the episode premiered during the Golden Globes this past Sunday, but boy do I wish I had tuned into this instead.
The show opens up with a taped off crime scene at a lonely tree in the center of crop fields where viewers are immediately hit with a dark and twisted ritualistic murder that features a naked girl in a fixed position with a crown made from branches and deer antlers on her head. I thought that this opening was really well done and immediately sets a very dark tone that the show will hopefully embody throughout its entire first season.
The episode introduced us to partners Rust (McConaughey) and Martin (Harrelson) who, while having many differences, share a respect over their duty to the law and to one another’s brilliant skill set. Rust is clearly the mysterious odd man out in the office, coming from Southern Texas and known as “The Taxman” for carrying around a larger than normal notepad while Martin is the family man who does his job well and is much more approachable. The two seem like an odd but fitting pair who can get the job done by combining their different methods and knowledge.
I thought it was interesting that the show is set both in the past and future and we discover that the case featured in the show actually takes place around 10 years beforehand and Rust and Marting are no longer partners or even speaking with one another. They are both back in the police station being interviewed at separate times to reflect on the case that is covered throughout this episode. Martin makes some comment towards the fact that over seven years people change and things happen, but we are still in the dark about the reasons for their apparent falling out. In the future scenes, Martin seems to still have his act together and possibly have some type of a job with the police seeing as he is in a suit and tie. Rust, on the other hand, has seemed to let himself go; sporting long and messy hair, a mustache, and is still ripping through cigs while starting his drinking at noon. This leaves viewers with so many questions about their relationship and time on the force, those “how did we get here?” type questions, but the big question, which even the two present day detectives ask their interviewers is, why is this important? What does it relate to?
In the shows closing moments, Rust questions why he was called in and we are shown a case file featuring a picture of a woman suspended from a bridge, naked, with the same symbols and deer antler crown as the body found in the past. The two current officers say they are trying to figure out how this happened if Rust and Martin caught and locked this guy up so long ago. And as if this premiere episode weren’t amazing already, McConaughey drives it home with the deliverance of one final line, “start asking the right fucking questions.” and we fade out to the burning drag he takes from his cigarette.
This first episode was really phenomenal and just feels like a show that has been missing from my life. It’s dark, edgy, thrilling, and thought provoking which is pretty much everything I could want in a crime show. I love the mystery to Rust’s character and felt like he was this badass southern rogue version of Sherlock that I want to see more of. Both McConaughey and Harrelson killed it and I can’t wait for the second episode! I definitely recommend watching True Detective as soon as possible because it has already caught my attention and will hopefully only get better and become one of 2014’s best shows.
What did you think of the show? How do you think it looks going forward? Leave your thoughts and comments below!
Alright, so I’m surprised that I actually ended up watching the Golden Globes all the way through. I usually am just focused on who is winning the awards and how it might set up for the (much more important) Academy Awards. I definitely thought there were some surprises last night, while mostly positive and deserving surprises, not my initial picks for the winners. I’m going to save my predictions for the Academy Awards because it focuses strictly on film and by then I will have seen nearly all of the films up for nominations, so for now, I’m just going to give some general feedback about last nights Golden Globe winners.
Best Picture, Drama: 12 Years a Slave
- This movie absolutely deserved to win, I would have rioted had it not. 12 Years was easily my second (really 1.5 if that were acceptable) favorite movie of the year and it is deserving of every award it gets nominated for. The story is something very real and sad, but a nice reflection on the time period and how messed up slavery actually was. The film just has everything, great acting from Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael Fassbender, and many more, an awesome score that provides haunting and beautiful background music, as well as great cinematography. This was my expected pick for this category and I won’t be surprised if it receives the Best Picture award from the Academy, but there is stiff competition this year.
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama: Cate Banchett, Blue Jasmine
- Again, I got this one right. I just felt like this category was weak considering the choices aside from Blanchett. She is awesome in Blue Jasmine and puts on a wonderful performance that makes the character feel real and appropriate for the unfortunate situation that flips her life upside down. Bullock was good, however Gravity was a visual spectacle, Emma Thompson was wonderful in Saving Mr. Banks but the character was pretty straightforward, and I have not gotten to see Philomena or Labor Day just yet.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama: Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
- This was definitely a surprising pick to me, mainly that he beat out Chiwetel Ejiofor. I was happily surprised to see McConaughey win this award because he really was phenomenal in Dallas Buyers Club. I think that the Best Actor category is actually the most competitive this year and whoever wins at the Oscars will most likely be deserving. Personally, I thought Ejiofor was going to nab this award for his role in 12 Years, but McConaughey won and this is just going to make me think harder when decided for the Academy Awards.
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: American Hustle
- Again, I was a little shocked by this, but not for bad reasons. I love American Hustle, it is probably in my top five films of the year, but again, there is a lot of great competition surrounding it. I honestly thought Her was a much deeper and better film than Hustle, however, it grabbed the award last night. Inside Llewyn Davis was very good, but I think just a touch under the level that some of its competitors are on, The Wolf of Wall Street was a good movie, but had plenty of flaws that I think will cost it being seriously considered as a Best Picture winner, and I have yet to see Nebraska, but it seems to be getting a lot of love.
Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Amy Adams, American Hustle
- Amy Adams is actually the only actress on this list that I have seen in her movie for this category. I definitely believed that she should have won because I loved her performance in American Hustle and thought she really created and portrayed an awesome character. Enough Said is actually a movie I plan on watching today (finally) and I have heard nothing but good things about Julia Louis-Dreyfus, however, I don’t think anyone can outdo Adams smart and cunning character from Hustle.
Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street
- All of my friends think that I really don’t want Leo to win because of my dissatisfaction with TWoWS, but that’s definitely not the case, he was amazing in the role, per usual. Am I surprised that he was given the award over Christian Bale, Joaquin Phoenix, and the largely buzzed about Bruce Dern? Yes, absolutely. However, Leo is a great actor, and was killer in the role as The Wolf, Jordan Belfort. He wasn’t my selection, but like I said, Best Actor is easily the tightest and deepest category this year, so it seems to be a toss up, but I still don’t think he will receive the Oscar when there is only one category.
Best Animated Feature Film: Frozen
- You can’t beat Disney and Pixar. Frozen was really nice and held that classic Disney story feel while having amazingly fluid animation and visuals and awesome original songs for the OST. I thought Frozen should get this award and I think it’s expected for Disney/Pixar to always be the frontrunner in this category each year.
Beset Foreign Language Film: the Great Beauty
- I actually haven’t seen any of the foreign films yet. While I would like to, we’ll see if I can find a way to watch them, but I can’t really comment here.
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
- This had to have been the biggest disappointment to me all night. Jennifer Lawrence is a great actress, don’t get me wrong. As my good friend put it, watching her go from Katniss to this role in Hustle shows off the ability of her range and talent, but I just didn’t think she should have gotten this award. My choice would have been for Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years because she really knocked it out of the park along side of Ejiofor. Hell, I even would call Sally Hawkins a close third behind Lawrence in this category. I just thought that out of all the main characters in American Hustle, Jennifer Lawrence’s was the least important and the only role I wasn’t overly excited with after viewing. She was great, like I said, but she really didn’t have to do much besides act crazy in a more comedic way. Sometimes I just feel like everyone’s personal love for Lawrence outside of her roles makes them slightly biased to call her amazing in every role she takes. I’m hoping to see a different result from the Academy.
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture: Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club
- Totally deserving and I think the most expected result of the night. Leto returned to acting with this fantastic role that had him playing a full out woman basically. The story and importance of his character to the Dallas Buyers Club were awesome and while I still think Fassbender should be a very close second for his role in 12 Years, Leto had me constantly forgetting that I was watching him on screen.
Best Director of a Motion Picture: Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
- Again, I think this was pretty expected because of Cuaron’s bravery in giving us visual spectacles that push the limits of visual film making. Gravity, while not my favorite movie of the year or what I consider the “best”, had me (and the entire theater) dead silent during this epic and bold space exploration.
Best Screenplay for a Motion Picture: Spike Jonez, Her
- This was the most surprisingly satisfying win for me last night. I wasn’t sure who would receive this because I think 12 Years and Hustle are both just as deserving. However, Her was easily my favorite movie of the year and I really want to see it win as many awards as possible. I think that Spike Jonez really deserved this for not only the creativity behind Her, but also the most accurate sci-fi future possible. This movie blew me away on all levels so I was really happy to see Jonez get the credit he earned.
Best Original Score for a Motion Picture: Alex Ebert, All is Lost
- As an Edward Sharpe fan, I was shocked to see Ebert up on stage because I honestly did not know he was doing the score for All is Lost. I really liked the score for Her, but it wasn’t even nominated so I actually need to go look more at this category before the Academy Awards. Zimmer did great with 12 Years and providing a haunting yet perfectly beautiful score for the film, but like a lot of people are saying, it felt like he pulled from past works such as Inception and did not provide anything terribly new. I have to go check out the score for All is Lost but I definitly remember it catching my attention several times during my viewing.
Best Original Song for a Motion Picture: Ordinary Love, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
- I haven’t seen Mandela yet, but I’m sure the song is good because it is by U2. I thought Please Mr. Kennedy was catchy from Inside Llewyn Davis, but a little annoying. Atlas was good as well, but again, I will have to go listen to these songs individually to make a decision.
Well, these are all of the motion picture awards that were given out last night. I actually am pretty happy with the results of these awards considering that the Golden Globes seem to become a rather large popularity contest with their results. The true test will be the Academy Awards and what their nominations look like. What did you think of last nights show and the results? I’m very excited to hear the Academy Award nominations in a couple of days, but if you think someone got snubbed last night, let me know who you thought should have won!