A Single Shot (2013)

One of the entries for m.brown's Mt. Rushmore blogathon was Getter's four of Sam Rockwell characters with great beards. A Single Shot was number one. There were several pictures and that beard was basically porn --if you are into beards-- hence I watched the movie. 

With his wife (Kelly Reilly) and kid gone --she took the kid and left, they ain't dead-- and his father dead, John Moon (Sam Rockwell) is depressed, lives in poverty and feeds himself by hunting deer. One day he accidentally kills a woman (Christie Burke), he decides to tell nobody and takes the huge load of cash he finds in her car since he is desperate to get his wife and kid back. Unfortunately, the money belongs to some criminal (Jason Isaac) and John not only will have to fight for his family but for his life. 

Open Season (2006)

I still remember that one time my brother tried to convince me to watch Open Season. I was about 13 but I was supposed to meet my friends (I still had some of those at the time) so I passed. I sure didn't miss anything as Open Season is as dreadful as its visuals.

Boog (voiced by Martin Lawrence) is a domesticated grizzly bear leading a happy and peaceful life until he meets Elliot (voiced by Ashton Kutcher), a fast-talking one-horned wild deer. Because of the deer, he finds himself stranded in the woods with Elliot just before hunting season begins and must learn how to survive.

Johnny English (2003)

Earlier this month, the trailer for Johnny English Strikes Again dropped. It was funish so I decided I'd rewatch the first film before the new one. I had no idea there was a second movie, Johnny English Reborn, and now that I've rewatched Johnny English, I realised that I hadn't seen this one either.

This one goes like this. When Agent Number One (Greg Wise) is killed and so are all the other MI7 spies while attending Number One's funeral, Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson), the only British spy left, is tasked to protect the British Crown Jewels. But he fails to do that and the crown is stolen. With the help of his assistant, Bough (Ben Miller), Johnny starts investigating the theft and the prime suspect is a mysterious French entrepreneuer, Pascal Sauvage (John Malkovich).

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Though I couldn't wait to see all those characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe to meet in one film directed by the Russo brothers (and to see Chris Evans and his glorious beard on the big screen), I had some reservations about the Avengers: Infinity War. Instead of getting part 1 and part 2 as we were promised years ago, we got only one movie. Actually, we got two movies squeezed together and the result isn't that good.

Intergalactic despot Thanos (Josh Brolin) is determined to collect all of the Infinity Stones in order to bend reality to his will and the now-torn-apart Avengers must team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to stop Thanos before he puts an end to half the universe.

Thursday Movie Picks: Television Edition: Series that Failed to Get a Second Season

I've been so busy writing the review for Infinity War (it will be on the blog tomorrow) that I completely forgot it was Thursday and therefore time for Thursday Movie Picks, the weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. It's the last week of the month so instead of movies we are doing TV series, and this week we are picking those that never got a second season.

Venus in Fur (2013)

Though I saw and liked The Pianist, I never bothered to check out Roman Polanski's filmography. It's the whole sexual abuse story, it is such a turn-off. Then months ago, perhaps even a year ago considering how fast times goes by, someone (either Getter from Mettel Ray, or Sofia from Returning Videotapes) picked Venus in Fur (French: La Vénus à la fourrure) in one of their Thursday Movie Picks. It sounded interesting so I added it on my list. I finally watched and damn, it was good. 

A playwright, Thomas Novachek (Mathieu Amalric), is about to leave the theatre after a long day of auditioning for the female lead of his new play which he adapted from the 1870 novel, Venus in Fur by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, when an actress, Wanda Jourdain (Emmanuelle Seigner), arrives soaking wet from the rainstorm outside. She doesn't look like an actress and her name isn't even on the audition list, but eventually, with much persuasion, Novachek agrees to read the part of the play with her, and he's immediately stunned by her.

Conviction (2010)

"Conviction does give us more beard throughout the movie, and a quite horrible one, that Rockwell yet again pulls off at the end, but overall, it’s a pretty beard-tastic movie!" Getter at MettelRay.com said. Well, if that's not enough to make me want to watch a movie, I don't know what is. 

Anyway, Conviction is about two siblings, Betty Anne (Hilary Swank) and Kenny (Sam Rockwell) who have always been very close to each other. When Kenny is arrested and eventually convicted of the brutal murder of a woman, Betty Anne, who firmly believe in her brother's innocence, puts herself through law school in an effort to represent her brother and prove his innocence. 

Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

Though I love graffitis and I often take pictures when I see some pretty good ones, I know absolutely nothing about street art. Those beanies with "Obey" written on them? I had absolutely no idea a street artist made them --the same guy who made those famous Obama posters, by the way-- I just assumed it was some expensive brand. So that's one of the things I learned watching Exit Through the Gift Shop.

But mostly, I learnt about the story of Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant in Los Angeles whose obsession with filming literally every single moment of his day brought him first to meet some of the most famous street artists, Shepard Fairey (the Obey/Obama guy) and Banksy, and later to become a street artists himself. 

Witness to Murder (1954)

I was feeling like watching an old movie and Witness to Murder caught my attention for two reasons. First, I had never heard of it and yet it was on my IMDb watchlist. Weird, right? Second, and most important, the title. 

It follows Cheryl Draper (Barbara Stanwyck), a woman who wakes up on a stormy night and sees Albert Richter (George Sanders), her neighbour in the apartment across the street, strangling a woman. She calls the police to report the murder but when the police respond to the call, the detectives (Gary Merrill and Jesse White) don't find anything out of the ordinary in Richter's apartment so they don't believe her. Richter then tries to paint her as some crazy woman, but one of the detectives (Gary Merrill) develops an attachment to Cheryl and helps her.

Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2018)

I used to watch Scooby-Doo all the time when I was younger but now I don't care much about it anymore. The thing is that they are not so bright. I did see, however, Lego Scooby-Doo: Haunted Hollywood nearly a year ago and since it wasn't bad I thought I'd give Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold a change. And honestly, I could not miss Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. gang teaming up with Batman. 

And that's exactly what happens in this film. After solving a mystery with the help of Batman (Diedrich Bader), the gang is invited to the Mystery Analysts of Gotham, a crimefighting organization consisting of Batman, Martian Manhunter (Nicholas Guest), Detective Chimp (Kevin Michael Richardson), Black Canary (Grey Griffin), Question (Jeffrey Combs), Plastic Man (Tom Kenny), and Aquaman (John DiMaggio). Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker) and the gang have the opportunity to solve one of the superhero's unsolved cases, but before long Batman's only cold case turns hot again as a mysterious villain who calls himself the 'Crimson Cloak' wreaks havoc on Gotham.

Braven (2018)

When you watch a movie starring Jason Momoa, you expect nothing. Other than Jason Momoa taking his shirt off, of course. So maybe it's because I had very low expectations or maybe it's actually a decent film, the thing is Braven wasn't bad at all. 

When he learns his father (Stephen Lang) has dementia, logger Joe Braven (Jason Momoa) decides to take him to their remote hunting cabin to talk and spend a quiet weekend. After arriving at the cabin, they find a stash of drug: it was hidden there by a group of drug runners led by the dangerous Kassen (Garret Dillahunt) who is now back for the drug. Joe and his father will be forced to take them down.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

Though the title would have never, even in a million years, convince me to watch The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as it sounds to me like some dumb movie, I've seen enough pics of Sam Rockwell rocking that wavy blonde hair and that gorgeous ginger beard to convince me to give it a chance. 

Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) is a British everyman who wakes up one day only to find his house is going to be demolished. But that's not all. His friend Ford (Mos Def) shows up, reveals that he is an alien and announces that the Earth will be destroyed in 12 minutes. And guess what, that's exactly what happens: an alien species, the Vogons, demolish the Earth to build an intergalactic motorway. Ford saves Arthur just in time, catching a ride on a spaceship, and they embark on a galactic adventure. 

Padmaavat (2018)

I've heard about Padmaavat in one of the episodes of the Across the Universe podcast and I decided to check it out. 

In medieval India, Princess Padmavati (Deepika Padukone) falls in love and marries Ratan Singh (Shahid Kapoor), the Rajput ruler of Mewar. Upon their marriage, Padmavati is crowned queen and leads a peaceful life in the King's prosperous fortress. Their perfect life though won't last long as the story of Padmavati's beauty reaches the court of Alauddin Khalji (Ranveer Singh), the Sultan of Delhi, and, being used to having the most beautiful things, he prepares his armies to attack the fortress and conquer Padmavati.

Thursday Movie Picks: Meltdowns

The meltdowns I've had lately I cannot count and this week it is also the theme for Wandering Through the ShelvesThursday Movie Picks. I'd pick my life but (sadly) nobody made a movie about it so I have to go with something else.

Tour de Pharmacy (2017)

I remember people talking about Tour de Pharmacy last Summer, saying how good it was but I never even bothered checking out what it was about. Then back in March, Steven from thevoid99 left a comment on one of my reviews and mentioned John Cena's hilarious performance in this so I checked it out. 

Tour de Pharmacy is a mockumentary that follows the (fictitious) 1982 Tour de France, the hornet's nest of moral depravity, and through the perspective of five riders --the Italian JuJu Peppi (Orlando Bloom), the "Nigerian" Marty Hass (Andy Samberg), the French Adrian Baton (Freddie Highmore), the African-American Slim Robinson (Daveed Diggs), and the Austrian Gustav Ditters (John Cena)-- it gives an inside look on doping in professional cycling.

Paris Is Burning (1990)

When I added Paris Is Burning to my watchlist I didn't even know it was a documentary. When I found out, I thought I'd never watch it because I didn't like documentaries. Actually, I'd barely watched one before. Then last year I went through a documentary phase and decided to watch it. And it blew my mind.

Just in case you are not into documentaries or you don't know this one, Paris Is Burning is about the gay New York of the 1980s and the ball culture which consisted of balls where contestants walk or perform in different ways. It's a story about people being marginalized for being black or Latino, male and gay. 

Woman on the Run (1950)

I don't know exactly how Woman on the Run ended up on my watchlist, especially considering I've never heard of this film before (it is possible though that someone picked it on Thursday Movie Picks, I found it interesting and added on the list). Anyway, if it's there, there must be a reason, I told myself, so I watched it. 

In San Francisco, Frank Johnson (Ross Elliott) witnesses a murder while walking his dog at night. When the police get there, he learns that the victim was about to testify in a court case against a gangster so Mr. Johnson feels from the police. The inspector (Robert Keith) in charge of the investigation asks Johnson's wife, Eleanor (Ann Sheridan), for help to find the husband and convince him to testify in court. She is convinced that Frank is only running away from their unsuccessful marriage, and, with the help of a reporter, Danny Leggett (Dennis O'Keefe), she sets out to find her husband. But the killer is also looking for him.

Ballerina (2016)

I'm not a good dancer. I don't even like dancing, to be honest, and ballet just doesn't do for me. And yet I remember being interested in seeing Ballerina when it was released so I decided to check it out. 

Set in the 1880s, the film tells the story of Félicie (voiced by Elle Fanning), a young orphan girl with one big dream, becoming a ballerina. One day, she runs away from the orphanage in rural Brittany with her best friend Victor (voiced by Dane DeHaan) who wants to become a famous inventor, and they go to Paris. They eventually get separated and she ends up at the Paris Opera, where she passes for someone else and tries to get the role of Clara in The Nutcracker

Proud Mary (2018)

Though it wasn't one of my most anticipated movies of the year, I was interested in seeing Proud Mary. The ensemble cast is terrific and the lead is a black woman, the amazing Taraji P. Henson. Unfortunately, this film is only a huge waste of talents and potential.

Mary (Taraji P. Henson) is a reliable hit woman working for an organized crime family in Boston. When one of her targets leaves a young boy, Danny (Jahi Di'Allo Winston), orphaned, she decides to keep an eye on him. A year later, filled with guilt, she takes Danny in and tries to protect him. In the process of doing that, she kills Uncle (Xander Berkeley), the Russian drug dealer who "owned" Danny, and starts a gang war between the families.

The Darjeeling Limited (2007)

There's still plenty of time since Isle of Dogs hits theatres here (May 17 unless they decide to postpone it for some dumb reason) so I decided to take advantage of this time to watch the Wes Anderson movies I haven't seen yet. The Darjeeling Limited was one of them and it was also the one that had been on my watchlist for at least 10 years (I added to my list because of Natalie Portman but I'm so glad that at the end I didn't watch the movie for her because it would have been a major disappointment since she's barely in the movie). 

A year after the accidental death of their father, three brothers, Francis (Owen Wilson), Peter (Adrien Brody) and Jack (Jason Schwartzman), meet on a train, the Darjeeling Limited, and embark on a journey across India in an attempt to bond with each other. But Francis has something else in mind, visiting their mother (Anjelica Huston) who didn't even show up at their father's funeral. 

Jamón Jamón (1992)

I heard of Jamón Jamón many times over the years but, because of its title (translates into Ham Ham), I always dismissed it at some stupid movie. Then earlier this year I saw Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem were in this so I checked it out. I didn't know anything about it other than that and I had not seen any Bigas Luna film so this completely caught me off guard. Not in a positive way.

The daughter of a prostitute (Anna Galiena), Silvia (Penelope Cruz) works at a factory where she sews men's underwear. She's been seeing José Luis (Jordi Mollà) for a while, the owner's son, and when she founds out she is pregnant, José Luis proposes to her. His mother Conchita (Stefania Sandrelli) though does not approve of the relationship and hires Raúl (Javier Bardem), an underwear model and wannabe bullfighter, to seduce Silvia and break her son's engagement. 

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies About Movies

After missing last week because I had nothing underground (it's been a week and I'm still not sure if it was supposed to be about movies set underground or underground movies), I'm back on track with Thursday Movie Picks, the weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. This week we are talking about movies about movies. No, I did not repeat myself, that's the theme.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

Although I never cared much about the whole King Arthur legend, I remember wanting to see Guy Richie's latest film, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, last year when it was in theatres. Then everyone was saying how bad it was and I chose to not waste my money and time. Months later, a few months ago, as I was trying to write my Best & Worst of 2017 post, I realised I still hadn't seen this one and I gave it a chance and guess what, it made it to my worst list. 

Before being murdered at the hands of his aiming-for-the-crown brother Vortigern (Jude Law), King Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana) and his wife Elsa (Katie McGrath) were able to salvage their son Arthur. The kid is raised by prostitutes and grows into a skilled fighter (Charlie Hunnam). Then one day he pulls the sword from the stone and goes on a quest to retake his kingdom.

Icarus (2017)

Though I don't have any interest whatsoever in Olympic sports (I'm happy if the country I "root" for wins gold medals but it's not like I'm watching or anything. I'm a football/soccer kind of person), I checked out Netflix's Icarus anyway because of the Oscar nomination (I watched this a few days before the Oscars. This one's the winner). 

In a few words, this documentary, co-written and directed by Bryan Fogel, follows Fogel himself as he tries to discover the truth about doping in sports. Fogel's first intention is to explore the option of doping to win an amateur cycling race and see how these drugs affect his performance, but eventually, he finds himself caught up in something much bigger than he had anticipated, the scandal that uncovered Russia's state-sponsored Olympic doping program.

A Quiet Place (2018)

I heard about A Quiet Place for the first time last week, when everyone on Twitter was saying how good it was. I never even saw a trailer on TV which is why I thought I would have to wait months before seeing what all the fuss was about. Turns out it's in cinemas since April 5 and my cinema didn't even bother telling me it in the weekly email. Anyway, I got there as soon as I could (yesterday afternoon) and I'm not sure words are enough to describe how glad I am I saw this movie.

Set in the near future, A Quiet Place is about a family who lives in solitude and is forced to live in absolute silence as there is something that lurks in the shadows and waits for noises to attack.

Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Sleeping Beauty is one of the movies I grew up with, one of those I would watch over and over again. And yet, it was never one of my favourites. The reason? The story just didn't do for me. In fact, I could remember very little about this film's plot before rewatching. And I still feel the same, there's just something off about it.

When a new princess, Aurora (Mary Costa/Helene Stanley), is born, the entire kingdom rejoices and attends the ceremony to celebrate her. Everything is perfectly fine until Maleficent (Eleanor Audley) shows up and curses the baby and announces that before the sun sets on Aurora's 16th birthday, she will die by pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. To protect their daughter, King Stefan (Taylor Holmes) and his wife (Verna Felton) place her in the care of three good fairies, Flora (Verna Felton/Frances Bavier), Fauna (Barbara Jo Allen/Madge Blake), and Merryweather (Barbara Luddy/Spring Byington). Everything goes according to plan until Aurora, on her 16th birthday, meets Prince Philip (Bill Shirley/Ed Kemmer).

Sicario (2015)

I remember seeing the trailer to Sicario in cinemas back in 2015 and thinking, "damn, that looks good", then somehow I managed to miss it and for some reason or another I kept putting it off. In the meantime, I watched Hell or High Water and Wind River, both written (and the latter also directed) by Taylor Sheridan and having loved both I figured it'd make sense to check out his first work. Also, this movie is getting a sequel this year and it's basically one of the most anticipated films of the year so, yeah, I had to watch this. 

After surviving an explosion following the discovery of a house with dozens of corpses, idealistic FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) joins a special anti-drugs task force run by Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) that operates on the border area between the U.S. and Mexico. With the help of the mysterious Columbian-born Alejandro (Benicio del Toro), their ultimate goal is the capture or kill of cartel boss Manuel Diaz (Bernardo P. Saracino).

Mayhem (2017)

I didn't even know about the existence of Mayhem until January when Brittani of Rambling Film reviewed it. I haven't seen The Belko Experiment which she mentioned so I didn't know what to expect but I gave it a try anyway, mainly because there's Steven Yeun. Also, it sounded fun.

Derek Cho (Steven Yeun) is a lawyer who wants to sit at the adults' table. But that won't happen as he's framed for something he didn't do and he's fired. Forced to leave the building, he learns that it is under quarantine for a dangerous virus that makes the infected lose their inhibitions. It will take 8 hours to neutralize the virus so Derek teams up with Melanie (Samara Weaving), a former client who was trying to get more time on a loan, and takes advantage of this situation to try to get to the executives on the top floor.

Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962)

One of the Oscar nominees for Best Documentary Feature this year, as well as my favourite, was Faces Places, a beautiful tribute to France, art and friendship directed by Angès Varda and JR. That's when I decided to check out Varda's filmography but if it wasn't for the people who mentioned Cléo from 5 to 7 (French: Cléo de 5 à 7) in their Thursday Movie Picks, I don't know when or if I would have watched it. 

Cléo (Corinne Marchand) is a hypochondriac French signer who is afraid of getting the result of a test from her doctor. She thinks she has cancer and that she will die. While waiting for the result, she visits a fortuneteller (Loye Payen) who too says she is dying. This completely affects the way she approaches the day, from her encounters with friends to what she observes in strangers. 

Miss Sloane (2016)

I knew absolutely nothing about Miss Sloane when I started watching. I only knew the lead was Jessica Chastain and that her performance had been critically acclaimed and that's basically the reason I checked it out.

Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) is a ruthless lobbyist who always does whatever it takes to win. But when she is asked to work for a fun lobby looking to boost sells amongst women, she quits her job and joins a small anti-gun movement headed by Rodolfo Schmidt (Mark Strong) to fight it. 

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father (2008)

Someone (I can't recall who) recommended me Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father a long time ago. The recommendation came with a warming though. This person had also told me that this documentary was not an easy watch which is why I've been putting it off for months. 

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father was conceived and created by Kurt Kuenne, a close friend of Andrew Bagby, the subject of this documentary. The year is 2001 and Andrew, a loved son, friend and colleague, is murdered by his ex-girlfriend not long after breaking up with her. Soon after, she announces she's pregnant, and Kurt decides to make this film as a gift to the child who would never meet his father. 

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

I've been meaning to watch The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford for years but I kept putting it off because of the length. Two hours and forty minutes is a long time and you really have to have your head in the game to watch such a long movie. But people over Twitter kept talking about it --mainly posting beautiful gifs of Sam Rockwell-- and then Margaret posted "Sam Rockwell's performance in "Jesse James" is some kind of a miracle" which I wanted to read. And what's the best way to avoid spoilers? Watch the film. 

Just in case you didn't get it by the title, the film is about the assassination of Jesse James (Brad Pitt) by Robert Ford (Casey Affleck). Actually, it's more about the events that led up to the killing. The film is indeed a dramatization of the last seven months in the life of James. 

Lou (2017)

While Coco got the apparently obnoxious (I haven't seen it yet) Olaf's Frozen Adventure, the apparently obnoxious Cars 3 (yes, you guessed it right, I haven't seen this one either. And I'll probably never watch it) got Lou. Now, I don't usually watch shorts but I made an exception for this one because of the Oscar nomination (I watched this while I was waiting for the ceremony to start). 

Lou is a "monster" made from the unclaimed items in the lost-and-found box in a kindergarten playground. Every day, Lou picks up the toys the kids left behind and sets them out on the playground for their owners to find. Then one day a bully starts taking other kids' toys and puts them in his backpack so Lou peacefully battles him to return the stolen toys.