Sunday, August 31, 2014

Dear David Wain

Writer and director of Wet Hot American Summer.

Yes, this is a trick, I am also going to include a review of your movie, as well as a short - but very to the point - love letter... On this, the last official day of summer (at least in my book) I wanted to write about something that I wanted to get off my chest for over a year now! Please Mr Wain, take a minute to read as I don't often write open letters, but when I do, I hope it reaches it destination! I have also carefully googled and chose this picture as this is how I see you every time I think of you!

That having been said, let me begin my letter by adding that I am a sucker for good comedy and when I keep seeing toilet humor everywhere, I start to wonder: What kind of pudding brain idiots live in the states that they enjoy this? I get that toilet humor is universal and so you can sell the movies, I just don't understand how could anyone enjoy that? And then last summer my sister got her hands on a copy of Wet Hot American Summer and we decided to watch it.

It was the weirdest thing and yet the funniest movie I had ever seen. I quickly started forcing my friends to see it, and they all just laughed their asses off and couldn't withstand the awesomeness of this movie. To those who don't know, the story - set in 1981 - is about the last 24 hours of a camp where the counselors try to conclude all of their unfinished business. The cast includes such greats as Janeane Garofalo, David Hyde Pierce, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, Molly Shannon, Ken Marino, Elizabeth Banks and Christopher Meloni. Basically everyone you now know and love! And also everyone you can encounter on most of Wain's set, but I would gladly cast these people over and over because they are literally the best!
Their troubles include, uhm, getting laid. Like for all of them. But each of them go about it completely differently and the movie makes fun of every 80's cliche and it makes fun of comedies today. It even makes fun of itself at times and the ending is: Perfect. It's dumb and it doesn't forget that it is just a dumb comedy! Which is a problem I have encountered a lot lately: Movies start off funny and then they forget they were supposed to be funny and just fall flat from the second half on.
When I decided to write this letter, it was because my sister showed me a WTF Podcast, where Marc Maron talked to you, Mr Wain and when he said that they movie wasn't a hit when it first came out I grew angry. The fact that it still (at the time of the podcast at least) didn't make a profit simply outraged me. How can someone not appreciate this kind of great humor? I mean, I don't think you need to be sophisticated to understand what cliches they are trying to make fun off!
When I saw the trailer for They Came Together it was like two minutes of ecstasy! Maybe people finally grew up to appreciate this kind of humor and maybe we'll see more of it soon - at least I hope! Either way, you have a fan in me. And if you, reader, haven't been to an American camp lately where you could watch this movie as one of the counselors (my friend did, so I am hoping that is a thing everywhere!), then get your hands on it as soon as you can! I also love that there is a little cult around it and a huge number of fans have grown to love it - this to me proves that perhaps it was ahead of its time in some ways. Either way, I know it was your first movie and I wanted to say that despite the budget, you have a real success on your hands!

I know that you co-wrote this movie with Michael Showalter (my gratitude to you as well sir!); but I will now turn to something else that I merit to you alone, that is why the letter is only addressed to you. I want to talk about Childrens Hospital. I just cannot comprehend how can all of the episodes be equally funny and be such a good satire of all TV shows and not just medical dramas. I know that a lot of people work on this show, I hope nobody will be offended if I don't start naming every single one of them now :D But I kept looking up the writers per episode and you always appear next to my favorites. If that wasn't enough, yours is my favorite recurring character! I just start to giggle nonstop every time Ken Marino's character utters the words "Jewy McJew Jew!", I mean seriously, who can come up with this name? I love it! I am dying to see the new season of this crazy hospital, hoping your character will return in one of the episodes!

Please Mr Wain, keep up the good work! You might not know it, but the real good stuff reaches everyone - even a random girl and her sister in Hungary! And as long as you are behind the script I have something to look forward to, as in other than senseless toilet humor. (If in any case somebody wishes to point out a couple of disgusting jokes in your works - know that I don't care! It is minimal next to the golden stuff!) So to all of those who don't recognize the genius that is in these works, it is their loss and I have only this to say:

       Thank you,
       Best regards,

Saturday, August 30, 2014

FRESH FROM THE THEATRE: Guardians Of The Galaxy

I can hardly say anything you don't already know, but for the sake of having covered almost every Marvel comic based adaptation, I think I have to write this review as well. A bit of spoilers coming up! (That is, if I can say anything new!)

Fan made (can't find source!)

The human Peter Quill is all grown up, and having been abducted at a young age, he only knows the ways of the galaxy. He retrieves an orb that a lot of people are interested in, only to discover that it is and infinity stone.
Meanwhile a man named Ronan - who grew up on strong religious believes that dictate superiority to his people - feels outraged by a peace treaty that was signed among his and the lesser ones. He wishes for the infinity stone to destroy his enemy planet. Quill, in possession of the orb, forms a group with the intent to stop Ronan: Gamora, adopted daughter of Thanos; Rocket and Groot, bounty hunters looking for a score and Drax the destroyer. The latter, really all of them lost someone due to Ronan's foolish war and they rather die to protect others, than let him run free and destroy everything. When he is stopped, Quill finds out that he is only half human and perhaps having been abducted at an early age wasn't a coincidence.

This was an absolute favorite for me. I loved every second of it. Without starting to drool over the awesomeness of it, let me just say that it stands out because it is an action movie, it has enough drama, enough laughs and it makes fun of itself without going overboard. You have what you need to lock this movie to the other Marvel movies, but it completely stand alone - something the others have had a problem with lately. Not to mention that it finally doesn't take place on Earth! I have come to a point where I hate our governments - and politics in general - so much that if an alien race wanted to invade I would gladly give myself over! I no longer enjoy movies where the heroes beat the evil aliens! Let them come! For some stupid reason they think we have something valuable down here! That is some kind of optimism I have missed out on for a long time! What I also enjoyed, getting back to the movie, is that they managed to include the origin story of five different characters, and three villains, without making it boring. You don't need an individual movie for all of them and you don't need more exposition, just a couple of words and that is exactly what we have here!
I do, however, have one regret, something quite meaningless to some, but I was bothered by Ronan's outfit. First of all, the actual comic version resembles a Dr Doom in a Pharaoh uniform - which is fine, I think this version was better in comparison - however, Ronan was always in dark locations and for the exception of the last scene we could barely see his make up which was AWESOME!!! I loved everyone's make up, truly amazing work, I sure hope somebody gets an award in that department! I especially liked Karen Gillan's, who looked like a marble doll - I applaud you make up department! And so I hated that I barely got to see any of it while Lee Pace (who could actually play Tom Hiddleston's brother, but I'll pretend not to have noticed...) was an exceptional Ronan and the whole blue body was surprisingly very cool to watch! I wanted more and I fear to have missed out...

I would also like to point out that I have been following Chris Pratt's work since he appeared on The O.C (almost 10 years ago) so all of you who are only tuning in on his career now - you don't know what you missed!

That having been said, no, I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this movie and it is not just the cinema magic. I read other reviews, read comments and even if some people complained, I couldn't care less. I liked that it was different and I liked how it was still true to the original. As I said, the puzzle piece fits perfectly in the Marvel cinematic universe that they created and it works alone as well. I can't wait for the fan 'easter egg' list of this movie!

If you haven't seen it yet, catch it on the big screen!

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ 

Peter Quill - Chris Pratt
Gamora - Zoe Saldana
Rocket - Bradley Cooper
Groot - Vin Diesel
The Collector - Benicio Del Toro
Nebula - Karen Gillan
Ronan - Lee Pace
Thanos - Josh Brolin

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What's Next On My Marvel List? Iron Man 3

It took me a horribly long time to watch this movie, but I finally did, while on a roll with catching up on comic movies and cartoons, I thought I'd finally write this damn review!

Tony Stark has been tinkering away in his garage ever since New York as he has trouble sleeping. Just the simple idea of having to think back to that day gives him a panic attack. But that doesn't stop him from investigating strange bombings connected to a terrorist known as Mandarin. He finds out that the bombs were actually humans who have a special ability to change their inner body temperature and those who react bad to the treatment tend to overload and pop. Tony circles back to find that the man behind it all is a puppeteer who simply used an actor to manage his evil plan. This man does everything possible to stop him and it is only when he faces his worst demon - losing Pepper - is that he finally gains back his true self.

I really liked this one. I talked about it with my brother and there is a lot of expectation when you have a smash hit like the Avengers and you have to go back to the lone hero again and the movie did it well. I know that many complained about the pairing of Downey and Paltrow, but in this movie they got to my heart and I really loved them. Downey does a perfect Tony Stark and it is great that this movie - unlike the second (which I still like though!) - took time to discover the character more deeply. Think about it, even though in the second he thought he had a terminal illness it was still hard to connect with him. Due to the effects and the story, not to mention the actors, I very much liked the second one but the focus should have been on him and here it was. I liked the villain, it excited me and kept me curious. It also got me wondering and I liked it when I was tricked. A lot of things happen that you actually don't see coming and that is what makes it a good movie.
I expected a lot less from this movie and I actually got a lot more - and that makes it a home run in my book. There was great dialogue, fantastic action scenes and it was all a Christmas movie. This implies that I will re-watch it soon in the winter season! What I especially loved is that Tony stayed true to his character. In the movie he hides out in the garage of a little boy and he has absolutely no paternal skills. And this didn't change over the run of the movie to make you feel more invested in the story! Instead it stayed awkward exactly the way it started and it was that which made it so good and genuine!
I'm not sure how they can make the fourth even better - honestly I think they should quit while they are on top, but they managed to surprise me now, maybe they'll do it again in the next one! Fingers crossed!

See it? Hell yeah! What are you waiting for? It is freakin' Iron Man! And as far as his movies go, this one stands out in my opinion. It is not your typical blockbuster and it is not even important to see it on the big screen, but a lot of very important things take place that I trust the writers will take into consideration when continuing the franchise - both this and the Avengers!

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ 

Tony Stark - Robert Downey Jr.
Pepper Potts - Gwyneth Paltrow
James Rhodes - Don Cheadle
Aldrich Killian - Guy Pearce
Mandarin - Ben Kingsley
Jarvis - Paul Bettany

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Dear William Monahan, Writer and Director

Have you ever been punched in the stomach?

Before anyone starts to read this open letter, I am warning you, I won't be kind. I was and still am utterly disappointed by two movies which I then found out where written by the same person and everything started to make sense... I do not mean to be an a**hole to anyone, no, I am just a girl who would like to share her opinion on the internet like so many others do. As I doubt this letter will ever reach the intended destination, I am simply calling attention to anyone who might read it: Yes, I am aware I am a nobody who is trying to debate a director/writer who won and Academy Award. And, for anyone else, this letter will contain a lot of spoilers, so if in case you have not seen the two movies I am going to discuss (scroll down to see the posters), then stay clear! Thank you!

Dear William Monahan,
So, I went to see London Boulevard (2010) with my best friend a couple of years ago, as I loved the trailer and the soundtrack and based on the casting I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. At least I hoped. Then it happened. The single dumbest thing I had ever seen. And yet, it wasn't new somehow... so I went home and looked up the writer and then I saw The Departed (2006) and it all became clear: "Oh, it's you."
I remember seeing The Departed. I loved the music and the crime part with the irish mob, and how the police had their hands tied. The idea behind it was absolutely f*cking genius and then the last five minutes? If you haven't seen this movie, stop reading here. So, what happens is, that the cops want desperately to put someone on the inside of the close circle of big mobster played by Jack Nicholson. They put there Leo Di Caprio, without knowing that in the meanwhile one of their own, Matt Damon is working for Nicholson. The faith and trust in both systems gets crumbled and fortified in a way. At first you get a glance into the fact that organized crime might not be so different than an organized intelligence agency, which is terrifying! And then the actors? I am not a big fan of Di Caprio, as a matter of fact I liked him in a total of three movies, and this was the third. He blew my mind away, that is for sure. The whole cast did and I loved every second of it because I love perfect crimes. What happens? Ohm, nothing. Everyone f*cking kills everyone and nothing happens.
First of all, I'd like to know, what happened Mr. Monahan? I'm not going to ask how you got funding for this movie because 98% of it was truly brilliant and I've seen huge f*ck ups that got millions of dollars spent on so I don't doubt that you found someone to bankroll it. What I don't get is WHY you had to end it like that! You see, I write in my spare time and I have found that unless there is an obviously good reason laid out for the audience, then killing the characters is just the easy way out! I know people use it as a method to say 'Hey, life sucks!', but for crying out loud, policeman and mobsters? Clearly life sucks enough for both sides without you putting a gun into a character's hand (Mark Wahlberg) who hasn't appeared at all in the last act without telling us HOW he knew who was the mole; and WHAT gives him the right to go beyond the law when being a policeman should cause some kind of conflict within himself! WHY??!!!! Did someone pull a chair out from under you when you were a kid or something? Because you know what this reflects? Bad writing! No, no, horrible writing! To me, and I know that I am not the only one, it looks like you wanted to make up a great detective/mystery/conspiracy story but once you got into it you realized you have no idea how to end it as nothing would make sense and so you killed everyone. Yey, here's an Oscar for you for not giving us a valid ending! *Clap-clap.
And then what happened, WHAT HAPPENED? YOU WENT OUT AND DID IT AGAIN!! How, how on god's green Earth did you get away with the same horrible f*cking script twice?! Again, stupid trailer fooled me. And not only does the first movie have stupid holes in it, but this one just straight out doesn't make sense. So, Colin Farrell gets out of prison and is hired as a bodyguard for Keira Knightley's character. Unfortunately his past follows him and soon he has to face off with a mobster he thought he would evade in his new life. The confrontation ends with Farrell victorious and then he is killed by a boy who he pissed of in the beginning of the movie... No, trust me, I am not making this up. He, this man alone, takes down a mobster along with his organisation, as he is a trained assassin, even ex-military perhaps, and he does all this and then dies because he doesn't notice a 20 year old walking up to him and putting a knife to his back. Someone as f*cking paranoid as this character was, are you really trying to tell me he wouldn't notice a dumb angry 20 year old? ... So what exactly was the message here? You can't escape your faith? Or maybe violence yields more violence? I don't-- I mean I can't even say anything, WHAT HAPPENED HERE???!! Let alone the fact that the characters spoke such a disgusting dialect of English that made EastEnders sound like it was read out by the Queen! (If you don't know what EastEnders is, think of the longest running soap opera in your country, and there you have it! To view a scene that showcases their 'beautiful' English, click here - keep in mind, I've chose one of the better scenes!); but truly the dialogue was the smallest of my problems. My problem was that I will accept death, I get it that life sucks and sometimes we cannot control our environment but making a hero out of a character and then killing him like a loser - FOR THE SECOND TIME - only makes me think of the writer as an idiot instead of a great mind ahead of his time! Or what exactly are you supposed to be? Actually, on second thought, you got to make this movie because you won and Oscar already, didn't you? Great.

I am sorry, truly I am, but both these movies ended in the only thing that I was always taught to avoid: Unnecessary, unexplained, out of nowhere death with the intent of making the audience reflect. Because there will be only one thing they will reflect on: How will I get back the money I paid for this shit of a movie that didn't even give me the satisfaction of a dignified ending? Because that's what I was reflecting on. TWICE.

And here it is. When you come out of the theater you want to feel like something happened while you watched that movie! You feel either touched by it or you recognize yourself or problems you faced and you feel great for having been shown a new prospective. Or, in case of these two movies, you just want to take your mind off of it all and be transported into another world - a world unknown to you - and be part of the adventure. In both cases you were part of the adventure, but you, along with everyone else got killed and you came back with a feeling of shit and being reminded that you have work in the morning. That's not a feeling I am looking for after a movie! You truly feel like you were punched in the stomach. Not my idea of fun!

I am avoiding any and if not all the movies written by you as I am scared of a nervous break down. I just wish I would understand why and then perhaps it wouldn't bother me as much as it does. No. It still would. Two perfectly good movies butchered for absolutely no reason. Such a shame.

Tell me, please, help me understand WHY???!!!!

                   Best regards,

Friday, August 1, 2014

What's Next On My List? Captain America: Winter Soldier

Took me some time to get around to this one, as I didn't want to see it in the theater. But I did this afternoon so I thought I would share my views on it!

Captain America is currently working for SHIELD, and he feels like he cannot trust anyone around him. In order to calm him down, Nick Fury shows him Project Insight, in which three helicarriers are built that will orbit the planet and will be able to stop a threat before it happens.
When an attempt is made on the life of Fury, Captain tries to discover the truth on his own, but he is ambushed by Black Widow who tells him she will tag along to find the hired assassin. At an old army base they discover that when SHIELD was born, Hydra infiltrated and with it they grew powerful as well. Their ultimate plan is to use the helicarriers to kill their own enemies. Captain, with the Black Widow, recruit an ex-soldier who goes by the code name of Falcon, and he uses artificial wings. The three team up to change the coordinates in the helicarriers as well as stop another super soldier: Bucky Barnes. He is the old friend that Captain thought he lost, while Hydra actually recovered him and used the same serum that Captain received to create the Winter Soldier. Bucky starts to remember who he was toward the end, but he flees before anyone can stop him.

(Spoilers coming up!)
I didn't have high expectations for this movie. Then my friend told me that it was the best thing he has ever seen, so naturally I started to wonder what it was about and how good will it be. Unfortunately I was a bit disappointed. This is due to several reasons. First, I found it predictable. Ever since I knew Captain America he has always fought Hydra and I mean always! And when they revealed who the enemy was I just rolled my eyes... I know this movie is based on a very popular comic book story, admittedly I have not read it, nonetheless, the movie didn't make me want to pick it up! Second, again, predictable. They tells us Nick Fury died, guess what, he didn't! Huge shocker! Then the evil guy gives pins for his enemies, oh wait, the pins where small bombs and they are now dead! I did NOT see that coming at all! (Sarcasm). I don't know if I simply saw too many movies or that it was this one it particular that was for me very simple...
The plot was really 30% of it and action was the other 70%. Which, I will admit, in an action movie is required, but when we have seen comic based movies that focus on character development rather than cool action scenes then for me the action alone starts to become boring. In the Avengers we didn't have time for each individual character and yet I feel like we found out more about Steve Rogers there than his own movie! Captain America went from a man who cannot cope with the 21st century and his trust issues to a man who cannot cope with the 21st century and now trust 4 people. What a f*cking achievement! I actually paused this movie 3 times and thought about not finishing it! Which for me is a horrible thing to say because never in my life was I so bored of a movie this much! And let alone the plot, that hair... Who thought that this hair looks good on Scarlett Johansson? It looks like a wig and if it is a wig, then it is a horrible one at that! I kept wanting to touch it, to mess it up a little, to make it look less, you know, dead!

But, I don't want to be too harsh on it either. Every single scene that had Maria Hill made me shiver and the Falcon looked really great. Other than that, the dialogues between Captain and Black Widow were written very well and I found myself giggling at a lot of small puns. Not to mention that Frank Grillo was a great cast for Brock Rumlow and seeing that he survived the explosion, I really hope they bring him back! And, in the end, it really was Captain America being Captain America: The fight scenes were very cool and the way he used his shield would've made any comic fan piss their pants!
Other than that the movie was ruined for me as I know that Chris Evans will stop with the CA movies so anything that can be continued might never actually be continued... This pretty much ruined any cliffhanger for me as I kept thinking: Or not. The casting was great, I cannot complain, and overall every character was true to themselves. But is that enough? Not for me.

Watch it? If you insist on seeing every Marvel movie, then don't miss it. But if you have such high hopes as I did than you are bound to fall short. I keep wondering, whether or not I would've liked it more if I saw it in the theater. I guess we'll never know. If you ask me, this is just an action movie and nothing more.*

Until the next item on my list!

*The best action scene was the one where they tried to kill Nick Fury! That one was awesome! If it had more stuff like that I wouldn't complain!
_ _ _ _ _ _

Captain America - Chris Evans
Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier - Sebastian Stan
Black Widow - Scarlett Johansson
Nick Fury - Samuel L. Jackson
Falcon - Anthony Mackie
Maria Hill - Cobie Smulders
Brock Rumlow - Frank Grillo
Alexander Pierce - Robert Redford