Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Top Nomination Picks for The 91st Academy Awards

For the past several ceremonies, the films and talent nominated for the Academy Awards have passed by without a hitch. Leading up to this year’s prestigious award show, multiple nominees have received praise and acclaim from critics and fans as well as harsh criticism and become the face of dangerous allegations. This has been one of the closest races for nominees so far. The growing anticipation and excitement has made us wonder who will win or walk away empty-handed this year. I thought it'd be fun to share my top picks of everything from Best Music to Best Picture. Who do you hope will win at the 91st Academy Awards? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Monday (2018) Packs A Big Punch For The Short Film Circuit

Sometimes it's not the budget that makes a short film good, it's the production team rallying behind it that counts. Following in director Robert Rodriguez's footsteps, independent filmmaker Alejandro Montoya Marin participated on El Rey's network show Rebel Without A Crew where creators banded together to create an original film. Armed with $7,000, no crew, two days to prep and fourteen days to film his project, Marin creates a fun action movie reminiscent of today's blockbusters.

Jim (Jamie H. Jung)'s life is about to change in the worst ways when he loses his job and his girlfriend gives up on their relationship. Caught in the crossfire of two hit women aiming to take down a drug cartel, Jim is on the run for his life and standing up for himself once and for all.

As the story counts down Jim's day starting off as bad as it can be and only getting more bleak and chaotic from there, what Martin and the cast were able to put together in such a short amount of time shines. Each actor has a fitting on-screen presence for their characters and working well as an ensemble. It's difficult to single out any singular actor in particular, but Kenneth McGlothin exudes a perfect big personality as Jim's friend Paul and Anna Schatte/Sofia Embid have a commanding, intimidating bad-ass presence as the hit women at odds with each other's plans. But the entire cast has good comedic timing and offers solid reminders of similar action-comedies like Horrible BossesThe Other Guys or 21 Jump Street . It's also worth it to stay through the end credits for bloopers and a post-story catch-up with Jim's old business acquaintance.

Monday showcases a lot of potential for Marin as a filmmaker. The story trails in the footsteps of comedies and action movies that you would see today with leading stars like The Rock or Kevin Hart. His direction is seamless, especially with the sound editing adding clever bytes for specific lines of dialogue and an energetic soundtrack. As the writer of the film too, there's a real sense of love for film-making with Marin's clever dialogue and nods to pop culture. The only slight stumbles are a few one-liners that feel random and out of place. However, it's tough to imagine how much of a rush the production must have been to work together, but the limitations doesn't show in the slightest. For a film that only runs an hour long, there's a lot to unpack and it makes for a fun Friday night short film to check out. Hopefully it's the start of bigger and better films to come for everyone.

Please Note: I was provided with a screener of this movie in exchange for an honest review. Monday premieres on the El Rey network on Feb 18 at 10 EST and will be available video-on-demand. You can currently watch Rebel Without A Crew on El Rey and Alejandro is getting ready for his next project on IndieGogo.

Rating: ★★☆

Monday, January 14, 2019

Let's Go To There: Bubba Gump Shrimp Co

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co
Forrest Gump has always been one of my favorite movies. When I was a kid, I used to sit in front of the television and watch it religiously. While my fangirling for Tom Hanks has only grown stronger as my love for the movie quieted down a little bit, I can readily admit that one of my dreams was go to to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co - a local restaurant that is themed after the movie. Recently, my family  tried out the restaurant for the first time, and let's just say: dreams come true ya'll. My inner eight year old would be so proud right now. It's probably one of my all-time favorite movie-related places in the world.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

The Favourite (2018) Is Capable of Much Pleasantness

The Favourite movie review
With some directors, you never know what you’re going to get. As familiar as you may be with their past projects, they always manage to create something within their own style and also completely off the beaten track. Director Yorgos Lanthimos is easily one of those type of directors today. Every film he produces from The Lobster and The Killing of A Sacred Deer, Lanthimos stand out from even his own work. This is easily the biggest, perhaps the best way, to describe his latest film The Favourite.

Set in early 18th century, Sarah Churchill (Rachel Weisz) has become set in her ways with her loving yet tumultuous relationship to Queen Anne (Olivia Colman). And then her cousin Abigail Masham (Emma Stone) arrives on their castle's doorstep and finds an opportunity to make a name for herself. The two vie for the attention of the Queen and security for themselves as Britain braces itself in a war against France.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

2019 New Years Goals + State of the Blog

Last year, I thought we survived the Upside Down. LOL Oh, how everything and absolutely nothing has changed.  The only way I can describe 2018 is: What. The. ****. Was That?!

The fandom side of my life was awesome: I met Jeff Goldlbum and saw a mini X-Files reunion, attended MegaCon as press again, participated in Chicks with Accents podcast, met HerUniverse creator Ashley Eckstein, went to an advanced screening of First Man, saved Will in the Upside Down a million times, cosplayed as Harry Potter at Disney World, survived Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, covered a local library event for my Harry Potter blog, reunited with the boyfriend of my teenage dreams, saw Die Hard in theaters for its 30th anniversary, and some of my favorite characters didn't die.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Might Just Be The Best Spin-Off in the Galaxy So Far

Some movies just have really bad luck. One wouldn't think that this would be the case for Star Wars, but since its Disneyfied resurgence in 2015 the beloved phenomenon has had its ups and downs. The highs have been relatively good enough to give the movies new life, while the lows of critically-panned sequels and spin-offs are enough to put a kink in the franchise's hype. Overshadowed by high expectations and franchise-overexposure, Solo: A Star Wars Story has the unfortunate disadvantage of landing right in the middle.

Set before the original Star Wars films, young Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) joins forces with a group of smugglers in order to make good on a deal that went sour. Along the way, he reconciles with a partner-in-crime he thought he'd lost for good, gains enemies, and makes new friends as he aims to become the best pilot in the galaxy.


Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Watch on Netflix: Bird Box (2018)


2018 has given us quite a few reasons to believe that women can do more in Hollywood than what they’ve been regulated to do. Similar to the science-fiction film Annihilation (romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians, crime-drama Widows - to name a few) released earlier this year, Bird Box is another example of an unexpected film telling a different kind of story than the ones we’re always to used to: female roles can be complex, actresses don’t have to stick a certain genre, and men can be more than be the only strong character.

Based on the book by Josh Mallerman (which I’m anxiously reading right now), a mysterious virus triggers people into killing themselves and sparks an international apocalypse. Mallory, an artistic hermit who is not prepare to give birth to her child let alone the end of the world, must fight to step outside of her shell in order to survive. Forced to live alongside fellow survivors – an Army vet Tom (Trevant Rhodes), an MAGA conspiratorial Douglas (John Malkovich), a young and naive pregnant woman Olympia (Danielle Macdonald) - she has to remain guarded enough to stay alive but also not lose all hope in humanity.