About That Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer

Leave it to Fifty Shades of Grey to pull me out of my self-imposed blogging exile. I’ve watched the trailer a few times now and I… I just… I have some thoughts. For starters:

This is Zoe Kazan.

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This is a white guy.

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He wears suits.

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He has a helicopter.

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She has… well I’m sure she has hobbies and friends and something exciting going on in her life that is equally as exciting as that helicopter. Perhaps she enjoys scarves as evidenced by the one time she is seen wearing a scarf.

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There is also an elevator.

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But this is not Grey’s Anatomy.

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Oh.

So.

Well, Beyonce is on board with this movie so I guess it’s fine.

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The end.

 

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What The Expendables Are Thinking (And Who Invited Kelsey Grammer?)

Everybody Dance Now

A new Expendables movie is like Christmas morning when you open your presents and wonder: “How the hell did you come up with this?” That’s basically what I thought as I watched the trailer for The Expendables 3: This Time With Young People Who Understand TechnologyThe Expendables is a who’s who from every action film and the trailer is, fittingly, a roll call. The familiar faces plus some new additions to the Expendables crew will bring more of the same absurd goodness to the big screen.

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Everything I Thought During 300: Rise of an Empire

It has been well over a year since I did one of these pointless lists. (I’ll never forget you, Hansel and Gretel.) But 300: Rise of An Empire is a movie worthy of this great honor. If you enjoyed it’s kind-of, sort of but not really 300 (and I did), you’ll probably get a kick out of this movie. If only because Artemisia (Eva Green) makes you question why Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton) is even there.

1. These trailers are boring. It must be March.
2. 300: With Less Abs and More Facial Hair
3. Fassbender was not in 300 as much as he is in 300: Rise of an Empire.
4. Themistocles is a buzzkill.
5. So. Much. Blood.
6. Artemisia is a fancy Kristen Stewart.
7. Hell hath no fury like an Ancient Greek woman scorned.

 

Werk it, girl.

Werk it, girl.

8. Xerxes is missing some gold. He should borrow some from Smaug.
9. “You traveled a long way to stroke your cock while watching real men train.” What?!
10. There are absolutely no stereotypes about Persians in this movie whatsoever.
11. Where did the Persians find the space store all Artemisia’s outfits?
12. Now I don’t think any of that happened.
13. Is it really necessary to whip the slaves? They’re already doomed.
14. ROCKS
15. Artemisia: Greece :: Captain Ahab: Moby Dick.
16. That sex scene was already in Dark Shadows.

The angriest sex in the history of angry sex.

The angriest sex in the history of angry sex.

17. How did the Athenians get their spears back in between battles?
18. Spartans. Amirite?
19. Seriously? Where did that horse come from?
20. I don’t remember Cook looking anything like that.
21. Lena Headey, guys. Lena Headey.
22. This entire movie is just one extended sex scene.
23. So… I guess there won’t be an Artemisia-Themistocles TV spin-off.
24. Eight years later and I still don’t know how the Persians transported those elephants to Greece.
25. And there are no words for this. xerxes 300

5 Things About The 2014 Oscars

Jordan Catalano got an Oscar before Angela Chase. None of us saw that coming. Except maybe Rayenne.

Jordan Catalano got an Oscar before Angela Chase. None of us saw that coming. Except maybe Rayanne.

The 86th Annual Academy Awards have come and gone. While I might not have loved 2013 cinema, there is nothing I love more than the Oscars telecast. It’s a gloriously absurd evening and every year gives us something to talk about. Except not this year. It was just a solid, non-controversial show, which is something the Academy needed. Let’s get into five points of interest.

1. Ellen Degeneres Does It Again

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Ellen Degeneres’ hosting style doesn’t satisfy everyone.  There was no musical number. No “Boobs” song. Just jokes. But after three year’s of duds, it was great to see a host skip a musical number, not sing about boobs and just have fun. The audience gag’s kept the show from getting too boring and that pizza gag gave us the greatest picture of Brad Pitt ever. Thank you, Ellen.

2. LUPITA IS EVERYTHING

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From her fashion choices to her articulate acceptance speeches, Lupita Nyong’o owned awards season. She even made that irritating Pharrell song bearable.The Oscars were her night and it was refreshing to see someone so overjoyed and gracious win.

3. Bill Murray’s Impromptu Tribute

Bill Murray is a national treasure. He cemented that with his tribute to Harold Ramis. It was perfect.

4. The Oscar Themes Need To Go

Why, why, why do the Academy Awards need a theme? It just doesn’t work. Look, I love a good montage (I really do) but all these montages do is reduce the greatest movies into snippets only film snobs appreciate. So either figure out how to execute a theme with some originality or don’t bother at all. It drags down an otherwise okay show.

I do like the idea of celebrating one great classic movie, like The Wizard of Oz, during the Oscars telecast. But when Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft become glorified seat fillers, that’s a waste. Here’s an idea: bring back the honorary Oscars, in some way, to primetime telecast. It is the single best way to celebrate classic Hollywood without boring everyone. Because when Stanley Donen tap dances, we all win.

5. Lupita Nyong’o’s brother deserves an Oscar

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Remember when Jimmy Kimmel tried to make everyone tweet during the Emmys? Yeah, that didn’t work at all. Ellen Degeneres, however, made it work with this instant classic bit. And that guy who’s blocking Angie who you don’t recognize…. it’s Lupita Nyongo’s brother Peter. Well-done, sir. Well-done.

This is what I took away from the Oscars. What are your thoughts on the 86th Annual Academy Awards? Sound off below.

Motifs in Cinema 2013: Coming of Age

Motifs in Cinema is a discourse across film blogs, assessing the way in which various thematic elements have been used in the 2013 cinematic landscape. How does a common theme vary in use from a comedy to a drama? Are filmmakers working from a similar canvas when they assess the issue of death or the dynamics of revenge? Like most things, a film begins with an idea – Motifs in Cinema assesses how various themes emanating from a single idea change when utilised by varying artists.

I’m about to share an unpopular opinion. I hated almost every movie released in 2013. I think it was a dreadfully boring year for cinema. If it wasn’t for how amazing Amy Adam’s looks in dresses with plunging necklines, I would completely give up on saying anything nice about 2013 cinema all together.

Which brings me to the 2013 Motifs in Cinema blogathon. This year, more than any other, was difficult for me to select a topic to write about. I settled on “coming of age” films because not only is this my favorite sub-genre of films but also because I actually enjoyed these few movies this year.

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Watching In the Heat of the Night in Abidjan

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This is going to be a short post since I should be focusing on my Motifs of Cinema post for Andrew at Encore Entertainment’s now annual blogathon. (Because why I would I start that earlier than the day it’s supposed to be posted.)

I just got back from visiting my sister in Côte d’Ivoire. During the 9 days I was there, I accompanied her to a few programs she runs for English students throughout the country. Because it is Black History Month, these programs all centered around the Civil Rights Movement and highlighting this period in American history with students. That’s how I ended up at a special screening of In The Heat of The Night and discussing the film with English students afterwards.

Running a screening in Cote d’Ivoire for English students is (unsurprisingly) completely different than the weekly classic film screening I run in New Jersey. Because I am a know-it-all film snob, I often forget that not everyone watches movies the way that I do. This is especially true of people for who English isn’t their first language who are watching a non-dubbed American film and aren’t aware of American history. So most of the Q&A was spent explaining the plot and which white guy did it.

But I took away something else from watching In the Heat of the Night in Abidjan. Sidney Poitier is universally loved. Every instructor talked about how much they loved Poitier and his film. And Poitier gained some new fans in Côte d’Ivoire especially thanks to the scene when Tibbs slaps Endicott across the face. At another program in Yamaoussoukro, a question was asked: “Does anyone know any famous black actors?” The only answers were Wesley Snipes and Sidney Poitier. Take that, Will Smith.

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“42” at the American Corner Yamoussoukro. This movie is also shown to highlight the Civil Rights Movement to Ivorian students.

10 Years Of Movies

Every January, I go through the movie ticket stubs I acquired during the previous year and paste them into a small scrapbook. As I was going through my collection this weekend (while also ignoring the obvious signs of hoarding, of course), I noticed something. The oldest ticket stub is for Shattered Glass. I saw it in November 2003.

For exactly ten years I have been saving my ticket stubs. There are 220 ticket stubs in total. That’s seven Harry Potters, five Woody Allen movies, four Lord of the Rings, two Sex and the Citys, two Hunger Games and plenty more. Here is small a sampling of my stub collection.

1. 2003 to 2004

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Shattered Glass; Lord of the Ring: Return of the King; Mystic River, Big Fish; Miracle; Jersey Girl; Mean Girls; Troy

This is the very first page from the scrapbook. I was 15 when I saw these movies. I can’t believe I saw Troy in theaters and I still can’t believe Mean Girls came out 10 years ago. Continue reading