Streaming in between – What Men Want

Streaming In Between (Coal and Gems) – What Men Want

This was a Redbox on-demand purchase for just 1.99 during their special. We felt like it was worth the $2 rental and definitely held our attention through the film, and caused us to audibly chuckle a number of times.  I am always a big fan of Taraji P Henson, Tracy Morgan (who feels like a carbon copy of his Tracy Jordan character from 30 Rock in this), and a number of the other supporting actors and actresses of the film.

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This film’s shortcomings lay in its own design. This is a rom-com through and through, and the storyline, lessons learned, and the outcome is predictable from the viewing of the trailer.  Just like its predecessor with Mel Gibson (What Women Want) the cliches, poor (cringeworthy) choices/communication between characters and plot holes are abundant, but this one is still fun.

Don’t go out of your way to seek this flick out, but if you’re home on a rainy day and have nothing else to watch, it’s worth the few bucks for a few chuck(les)!

What Men Want – 5.5/10 

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Streaming Gems United States of Tara

United States of Tara Review –

Wow..

This show was phenomenally done. This viewing was a rewatch for me, and a first for my fiance, but we were both left floored and wanting more. All 3 seasons are available on Hulu and are a testament to the phenomenal acting chops of Toni Collete of Hereditary (Tara Crane/Gregson), and the pheonmenal supporting cast made up of Keir Gilchrist of Atypical (Marshall Gregson), Brie Larson of Captain Marvel (Kate Gregson), and John Corbett (Max Gregson).

While I sing this shows praise, I have to acknowledge that it also does a lot of things wrong at times.  This article at Psychology Today is a good dissection of media and the portrayal of Dissociative Identity Disorder which USoT hits the cliche nail on the head of almost every trope.

The acting in this show is phenomenal as well as the writing (at times) but I also become frustrated with the lazy attempt at having characters appear edgy by them occasionally dropping words like “Retard” and “fag”, while it may be characteristic for the teenage characters at a time like that, there are a number of other times it feels forced and pulls the viewer out of the immersion of the otherwise great dialogue.  There are also a number of other moments where you may want to scoff at the overly zealous attempt at cleverness by both Brie Larson and Keir Gilchrist’s characters; this series is created by Diablo Cody, creator of Juno, and there is a very common thread of nerdy-ironic quips that land most of the time.

Overall, this series is well worth the binge, and at only 3 seasons and 30 minutes per episode, it’s pretty easy to digest!

Here are a number of other films about Dissociative Identity Disorder – Split, Frankie & AlicePsycho, Identity, Me Myself and Irene,

I have a theory about the ending that I will post below, and would love to hear your feedback!

Overall I highly recommend this one and give it a 9/10

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!!!SPOILERS BELOW!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop reading here if you haven’t seen it yet, STOP!

I know many people feel like the ending is pretty cut and dry (and I agree) but I also think that the signs are there that the creators could take a different direction if they wanted.

My theory is that Tara actually dies when she jumps off of the bridge in the second to last episode of season 3 which causes Max to snap and be sent away by his family.

One clue of this is that Max never hallucinates about freaking out on others until the final episode.

When they are driving the truck away, there are the three altars that are supposed to be dead in the truck, whos not to say that Tara is also dead and that Max is heading off to check himself into a facility..

This would also explain why everyone wants a fresh start even though Bryce was supposedly “defeated”, and why Neal and Charmain want to take care of Marshall.

This may be a reach and is certainly more depressing but its an alternative way of looking at the finale.

The other possibility is that Max jumps after Tara and he also dies. The “final supper” is a gathering of the family as they remember those they lost, and then they all “send them off on a trip to Boston” with Taras dead altars.

 

!!!END OF SPOILERS!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Crazy Rich Asians – A Beautiful World, Outside of the Bubble of Normal Society

Crazy Rich Asians

This film was a fun rental from the local Redbox.

I love what this film does for equity in filmmaking for Asian filmmakers, the way Black Panther represented a stellar cast and crew of actors of color.  The impact of that cannot be overstated.  However, the film itself falls short in a number of categories that makes it feel drawn-out and trite.

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I absolutely adore Constance Wu (The beloved matriarch, Jessica, from Fresh off the Boat), and think she did a great job in her role as Rachel Chu, as well as her counterpart Nick Young (played by Henry Golding).  The supporting cast was also strong in conveying the over the top personality of their characters staunched in ritz.   The set design, costumes, and props are utilized perfectly to create a beautiful world, outside of the bubble of normal society.

While this is a modern-day Cinderella (a classic genre) this film feels like it relied on the tropes and cliches a bit too heavily.  The story plays out rather predictably (no spoilers here!) and the actions of certain characters are textbook for the genre.

This is worth a rental or bargain buy, and you should definitely enjoy it, but don’t expect a classic or your new favorite flick here.

Crazy Rich Asians – 6/10

Holy movie marathon, Batman

I was really sick this past week so I loaded up on cough medicine and patronized the hell out of the local Redbox. I also caught a flick in theatres and streamed Queer Eye season 3, which “gave me life” as Jonathan Van Ness would say.

Catch some quick reviews about everything below, no spoilers as always!

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Fighting with My Family – The fiance and I were excited to see this while it was still in theatres this past week. As many people may know, I am a big wrestling fan (and she is not) so we both walked into this flick with different expectations and knowledge around the story.

Overall, this was really enjoyable for both of us.  As a casual viewer, she was entertained throughout, audibly laughed out loud a number of times, and didn’t feel confused or disinterested by the wrestling story-line. Do not expect to see the Rock a lot in this film, he has two scenes that he plays a part in (and in real life, he wasn’t involved in the story at all). I had a few complaints about the validity of the story and its sequence of events, but as a piece of entertainment, it hit all its spots perfectly. Timed well, with a great balance of humor and drama about the human struggle to achieve one’s dream, this is a great flick that has flown under the radar this year.

Fighting with My Family – 7/10

 

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A Star is Born –  Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga absolutely floored me with their performances (and his directorial debut). I am not sure if I was more impressed with Gaga’s acting or Bradley’s musical performance.

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My biggest complaint about this film was the pacing.  We paused it about 40 minutes in, and felt like we had already sat through a full film, and were almost discouraged to see we had over an hour left. The ending to this film, while powerful, is predictable, and it can be a tiring process to endure so much of the buildup, guessing what terrible fate may await.  While sometimes this dread can add to a film (like a thriller or horror film) it sometimes felt heavy-handed in A Star is Born.

The soundtrack is absolutely phenomenal, which is important for a movie about music.  Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, with the caveat that they prepare to be bummed out.

A Star is Born – 8.5/10                                                           Available at a Redbox near you! 

 

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Overlord – This started as a tense war film with good special effects and questionable acting/dialogue.  At times the main characters are hard to believe and this feels like it would be at home on the Syfy channel (and not necessarily in a bad way?). Eventually, as one can guess from the trailer, things eventually go south and develop into a supernatural horror flick that would feel at home in the Wolfenstein cannon.

There is nothing revolutionary or exceptional about this film, but it is a good, mindless, adrenaline ride for an hour and fifty minutes.

Overlord – 5/10                                                                        Available at a Redbox near you! 

 

 

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Queer Eye (Season 3) – I have recommended this show to everyone I know. The reboot of Queer Eye (formerly Known as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy in its predecessors years) is the most genuine, wholesome, empowering and wonderful thing available right now. The Fab 5 work with people across various identities to makeover their whole life and find a better, healthier, and happier way of living.   I have cried numerous times every season, and season 3 is no exception.  If you haven’t given this show a shot, please put your bias and preconceived notions aside and give this a shot.  There is a reason this show has been able to produce 3 beloved seasons in just 13 months!

Queer Eye (Season 3) – 9.5/10                                            All 3 Seasons available on Netflix

My top 25 – More on IMDB

Hey movie buffs,

I just wanted to share – While our Archives page has links to every review we’ve published here, our IMDB page has a compendium of ALL of our ratings of movies and TV shows (not just those with reviews). Check out our IMDB ratings here.

This is a great list of over 500+ items that you can look to for inspiration when trying to plan your next movie night!

 

For a sneak peek, here are our top 25 rated items (items with the same rating are not in a particular order)! 

 

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  1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (10/10)
  2. The Wolf on Wall Street (10/10)
  3. Memento (10/10)
  4. Crash (10/10)
  5. Breaking Bad (10/10)
  6. Toy Story 3 (10/10)
  7. Toy Story (10/10)
  8. Amores Perros (9/10)
  9. Kill Bill Vol. 1 (9/10)
  10. City of God (9/10)
  11. The Raid: Redemption (9/10)
  12.  Being John Malkovich (9/10)
  13. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (9/10)
  14. The Office (9/10)
  15. Forrest Gump (9/10)movie1.jpg
  16. Gladiator (9/10)
  17. Adaptation (9/10)
  18. The Departed (9/10)
  19. The Dark Knight (9/10)
  20. Training Day (9/10)
  21. Get Out (9/10)
  22. Arrested Development (9/10)
  23. Pan’s Labyrinth (9/10)
  24. Love Actually (9/10)
  25. The Princess Bride (9/10))

 

 

Think any are rated too highly? Let me have it in the comments section! 

 

 

Everything Sucks! Streaming Gem – 1/22/2019

Everything Sucks!

A sucker-punch of heavy-handed nostalgia, Everything Sucks! also highlights the stuff that was wrong with the ’90s.  A great story of young kids navigating love, “fitting in” and sexuality in the midst of a harsh and unaccepting culture.  The young actors nail the roles and if you told me this was a more focused relaunch of Freaks and Geeks I’d believe you (and I mean this as a compliment).  The soundtrack feeds off this nostalgia and may be one of the better soundtracks to come out last year.

The acting is superb across the board, which is saying a lot for a relatively young and inexperienced cast.  The fact that almost all of the teenagers in this series are played by actual teenagers (at least at the time of filming) is another big step that the series takes to create authenticity within the story.  However, there was one misstep in filming that has some folks critical of the series, as they had one 20-year-old actor kiss a 14-year-old actor. (We won’t spoil with details, but it’s a pretty important part of the love story.)

The directing is paced perfectly, and the writing is succinct and each scene holds weight. Ben York Jones both co-created and co-wrote the series as well as acted in the role of Mr. Stargrove. Other co-writer/creator is Michael Mohan who sat in the director chair for 7 of the 10 episodes.

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I am beyond upset that this show got canceled by Netflix after one season (despite the controversy). I am hoping another production company or service will pick it up or if enough fans complain Netflix will shape up their act.  Regardless, this series shows so much promise from the entire cast and crew that It has made a fan out of me. I’ll be sure to check out Jones and Mohan’s next creation, whatever that may be.

Everything Sucks! – 8/10

#RenewEverythingSucks

Atypical – Streaming Gems (10.19.2018)

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I have to start off and say this is one of the better (and more wholesome) shows available right now. Atypical takes the family sitcom formula and puts it on its head, exposing the real-life struggles, foibles, and triumphs of a contemporary family who just so happens to have a member with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Many other shows on many other networks would play this card heavy-handedly and distastefully, but Sam (Played by Keir Gilchrist) is just one beautifully acted part of a families growth and challenges.

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I highly recommend this show to just about anyone with a heart. Season 1 and 2 are both streaming on Netflix and they only get better as the episodes go along!

 Atypical– 9/10