Happy Birthday Rust Cohle! (Matthew McConaughey)

rusty_cohle-7848

“Life’s barely long enough to get good at one thing. So be careful what you get good at.” -Detective Rust Cohle.

Matthew McConaughey is good at acting. The man knows how to deliver a line and a great Oscar speech. He also plays a mean bongo drum. Let us celebrate the birth of the man who gave us 12 months of tremendous performances in gems like Interstellar, True Detective, Dallas Buyers Club and the most parodied Lincoln car commercial in the history of car commercials. May the McConaugh-ssance continue for years to come.

Happy 45th birthday, Mr. McConaughey!

Advertisements

Whiplash

Whiplash-5547.cr2

I look forward to September and October because of the impending indie movie season. And every year, I am always pleased with what indie filmmakers are putting on the table. This year has been no different. Whiplash is the most intense movie I’ve seen this year (even more tense than The Rover, The Drop and Fury). JK Simmons has officially crossed over into the “You were a little too good in that role and now I can’t trust you in real life club.” This club includes Laurence Fishburne for his depiction of Ike Turner, Robert DeNiro in Cape Fear, Christian Bale in, well everything, Edward Norton in Primal Fear/American History X, Juliette Lewis in Natural Born Killers and The Other Sister, Keith David in Requiem for a Dream, Tim Curry as Pennywise the Clown, Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl, and lastly, Giovanni Ribisi. I love him in most everything but he’s just a notch too slick. It’s kind of inexplicable.

I digress, Whiplash not only has the best and most surpassing trailer of the year, it emotionally lives up to its name. It tells the story of Andrew Neyman (Miles Teller), a talented young jazz drummer, who attends a prestigious music conservatory. Andrew is obsessed with making it into the top jazz ensemble in the school, led by Terrence Fletcher (shudder, as played by JK Simmons) Fletcher is notorious for pushing his students to the max for great performances. Nonetheless, Andrew wants in, even though it may cost him more than he could ever imagine.

Now this setup may seem light and mundane, but trust me, it is not. Teller, who usually plays either cuddly, teen protagonists (Spectacular Now) or the mildly dickish antagonist (Divergent) has really stepped up his game as Andrew. Watching him punch a hole through a snare drum and play so hard that his hands become bloody mush as tears trail down his defeated face has made me a believer in what this kid is selling the world. But it is without a doubt, Simmons, who showed up to steal the movie and the Best Supporting Actor Oscar 2015. The nuanced, subtle, over the top, disappointed father/abuser-type performance that he portrayed was nothing short of breathtaking. And just as the movie seemed to be heading toward a predictable ending, director/screenwriter Damien Chazelle, lifted the curtain for one of the most finely shot musical denouements I have ever witnessed.The acting, musical cues, cinematography, instrumentation, and visual execution make this a must-see movie for any lover of film. Bravo, Simmons. Encore, Chazelle.

Nightcrawler

nightcrawler_ver2

I watched Nightcrawler at 11am on Halloween morning and I sit here, three days later on Monday night, still thinking about Jake Gyllenhaal’s vicious characterization of antagonist/protagonist, Louis Bloom. Aside from Jake delivering, what I think, is the performance of his career, the movie is a beautifully shot, sick love-letter to the greater city of Los Angeles. As a native, I was thrilled to see some well-known spots (Dinah’s!) and freeways (105!) showcased under the brilliant cinematography of Jake Gyllenhaal’s real life godfather, Robert Elswit (who is also the DP of the upcoming and highly anticipated, Inherent Vice). As a jaded Los Angeles native, I have never seen my city presented in such a bizarre and sexy manner.

Nightcrawler tells the story of Lou Bloom, a late twenties, sweet-talking yet mildly threatening, gaunt, poster-child for entrepreneurship in the digital age. Lou is well-read and forever waiting for the opportunity to make the proper pitch or sell a compliment. We watch with baited breath as Lou plots, devises, steals, and manipulates his way to get any and everything he wants as Gyllenhaal delivers some of the most memorable lines of evil dialogue with the scariest twinkle in his bulging eyes. I don’t think it’s always called for to pull a Christian Bale but the 30lb weight loss that Gyllenhaal pulls off completely serves the character and the performance.

You wait tensely in the audience for the invisible leash, that holds Bloom back from destroying everyone, to snap. In the midst of all the chaos, there is a sick dark humor that lends itself to nearly every scene, including one of the most soul piercing scenes, namely the ones with Rene Russo, in a comeback role as the desperate News Director in a fledgling time slot. Hey Hollywood- Russo still has it and needs more roles. Enough with the age obsession, I want to see some more seasoned actresses holding their own.

After spending so many years sitting on the proverbial fence about Gyllenhaal’s career path, I am so happy that I decided to give Nightcrawler a shot. It is a return to glory from the fantastic actor who gave us such memorable characters as Donnie Darko, Jack Twist (Brokeback Mountain), Detective Loki (Prisoners), and Anthony Swofford (Jarhead). I only hope that when award season rears its head, Gyllenhaal makes off with a top prize so that more movies like Nightcrawler can be made.

Mad Max Fury Road: Panty Dropper


It was a typical Sunday morning filled with Coco Puff wishes and dreams of the future. But this would prove to be anything but a typical Sunday because yesterday my world would be blessed with the trailer for Mad Max Fury Road.

In case I haven’t made it abundantly clear, my dear readers: I have an enormous para-social crush on Hollywood’s Tom Hardy. Now this isn’t some bandwagon, flavor of the day “I’ve loved him since he was Bane” type thing. I’ve been rolling hard for Tom since 2009. 5 solid years of Fan-demonium. I stan for him like others stan for Beyoncé.

Have. Mercy. Tommy

All proclamations of undying love aside, I have been waiting to see this trailer since I heard my dearest Tommy had landed the role that would finally display his acting chops for the masses (sans facial mask and wacky voice).

This trailer did not disappoint. If this is what the near future looks like then I better start doing push-ups, invest in some charcoal colored makeup, and a nice Wilson’s leather coat.

2015 can not get here soon enough.

Fault in Our Stars

Stock in Kleenex to Rise 400% after viewing this movie.

Stock in Kleenex to rise 400% after viewing this movie.

Here’s the deal: I fought reading this book for the last 2 years. Every Lit Nerd I knew professed their undying love for the book and raved about how this text would bring light to the darkness that rested from within our tortured earthly souls. The fans were that dramatic. But I was steadfast in my evasiveness. I ran like Usain Bolt from this book every chance I got. I would not join the herd. Then last week, I couldn’t take it anymore. I saw the book propped up all high and mighty on the shelf at the front of the bookstore. Heckling me. “I’ve been a bestseller for like 25 years. I demand to be read!” it taunted me.

I offered a ubiquitous sigh to no one in particular and just like that, I gave in. I brought the book home and thought I’d page through a chapter or two and resign myself back to the Chuck Palahniuk fangirl that I am at heart. Something strange happened; I liked the first chapter too much. John Green, the author, created protagonists that were very Dawson’s Creekish in intellect, in that they were way more intelligent that any 16 year old that ever existed in reality (or even 35 year olds for that matter). Yet unlike Dawson and his crew, the characters remained very earnest and relatable. How could this be?!

Damn you, John Green. You’re the best. I wish i had you a decade ago when I was coming of age. This generation is too lucky. Your writing was delightful and unassuming and heart breaking. Reading your words and references coming from Augustus Water’s mouth made me feel smarter and patient. The way Hazel Grace dealt with her parents. How her dad cried… Peter Van Houten, the brazen alcoholic. I had been had. Three hours later, I finished the book and wept a small river into my pillow. I thought I had it all figured out from the cliched preview of the movie but like so many times in this life, I was wrong. How could you yet thank you for doing it.

I look forward to inhaling The Abundance of Katherines and Looking for Alaska as soon as humanly possible. I’ve already purchased my ticket to the Thursday night showing. All that’s left is to hit up my local CVS and buy $30 worth of Kleenex because tomorrow night’s forecast calls for a coming of age flick with a 100% chance of me crying like a baby in the back of an AMC Theater.

McBride to save Lohan?

McBride to save Lohan?

TMZ reports:

“Lindsay Lohan was such a pro on the set of “Eastbound & Down” … its star Danny McBride wants to take her talents with him … to a show he’s developing for HBO.

Sources close to LL tell TMZ … while guest starring on “E&D” Danny — a.k.a. Kenny Powers — and LiLo really hit it off. Danny was so impressed with her work he had several serious talks with her on set about a new show. He wants her to star in it.

We’re told the show is being developed by McBride and his producing partner Jody Hill. It will be in the same comedic vein as “Eastbound” … but revolve around a high school.

Our sources say Lindsay loves the idea and is hoping it works out.”

Despite my thinly veiled contempt for TMZ, I believe the story and I hope it’s true. Everyone, including Oprah, are going out on such a limb to get her back on track. It would be great if she could pull out of this and prove herself as a reputable actress. Unlike the gossip rags who thrive from her relapses—I’m rooting for a Robert Downey Jr. success story.

Good luck, Lindsay.

Barry Watson from 7th Heaven is how old?

Matt Camden

I had to triple take IMDB this morning. Matt Camden from 7th Heaven—or Barry Watson as his parents named him— turned 39 today. Seriously, I used to get the (Teaching Mrs.) tingles watching this guy every Monday night as the bible thumping Matt Camden on 7th Heaven.

See kids, Barry Watson was the original Taylor Kitsch.
Taylor Kitsch

He was the first notable incarnation of John Carter——brooding, dark eyes, shoulder-length Vidal Sassoon-ed hair. Barry was a demi-god back in ’96. I’m not sure why his star did not continue to rise after 7th Heaven left the air, but he was the champion reason why I bought BOP! magazine back in the day. Wherever you are Barry, just know that Taylor Kitsch owes you a round of drinks and pair of sneakers because without your heart-throbbing success, he could’ve never battleshipped his way into America’s heart.

Happy Birthday Barry.

Ben Affleck meet your new best friend, Ramen Noodles

Ben-Affleck

On April 29th, things are about to get real for Ben Affleck and a host of other celebrities. Live Below the Line,a campaign dedicated to challenging the way people in the U.S. think about poverty announced that Ben Affleck would be participating in this year’s Live Below the Line challenge, which requires participants to feed themselves on no more than $1.50 per day for five days next week, from April 29 to May 3.

Ben Affleck meet your new best friend, Ramen Noodles. They’re 4 for $1 at a market far from your house. And if you’d like a healthy alternative, the $0.99 Store now sells produce.

Ramen

Click on the pictures for more info about this awesome campaign.

Shia The Spy

Image

 

By now, I’ve come to recognize that due to bratty antics in and around Hollywood, my dearest Shia LaBeouf is an acquired taste—this will not stop me from crushing hard in his direction. What can I say? I like boys with chips on their shoulders. 

In the latest casting news from The Hollywood Reporter, LaBeouf will team up on a project with Robert De Niro and his former Disturbia and Eagle Eye director, DJ Caruso. Titled Spy’s Kid, the film would cast De Niro as a real-life CIA veteran convicted of spying. LaBeouf would play his son, a depressed Army discharge who ends up following in his father’s footsteps, serving as a courier of information between an Oregon federal prison and Russia.

My favorite chip-on-his-shoulder young man will pair up with my favorite grumpy-looking, older man. Swoon!

Image

 

 

 

Only God Forgives

I hit the roof with excitement when I saw this trailer for the first time a few weeks ago. Mr Winding Refn is my generation’s Kubrick—and his pairing with Gosling is just inexplicably awesome. Check out the trailer, but be warned that it gets pretty gruesome rather quickly.