Month Long Movie Challenge: The Sequel

Last year in June, I watched a new movie every day of the entire month. This year I’d like to reprise that same challenge for the month of July.

Here is last years post about the challenge and the reviews.

It was pretty good last year, I only managed to miss a few days worth of movies. I am going to amend the rules as I want to throw the net wider but maybe in a different direction and by that I want to try and shoe horn some titles I’ve been meaning to watch but hadn’t gotten around to do it.

One of those rule changes is South American cinema, I don’t watch enough of it and I’d like to try. I am also including shorts since I can bang some of those out during a lunch hour since many are available online. I also noticed that you need movies that aren’t fiction, you start to really miss it so I am slotting in docs in case I need a palette cleanser.

Continue reading “Month Long Movie Challenge: The Sequel”

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M2M: Hey April, I’m Running Everyday

I posted about my Goals for 2017 last month and I thought I would outline a more simpler post per month.

I’m calling it the Month to Month post. Here, I will outline what I am doing for each month as a goal.

This month will be different and difficult. One of the reasons I was doing monthly challenges was to build up to a very tough one. Running is something I like but I have only really been doing it for about a year and a half but I only do it twice a week. Albeit, I am running for nearly 30 minutes but to try and do it everyday… Can I do that?

Especially for me, I’m not a lively person at least not in the super fit way. I have never felt that whole “more energy” affliction so many of my other fit friends seem to have. I have no motivation to work out other than to not have to buy new pants because let me tell you it’s the worst. I like maintaining and so far it was working.

What changed? Why do this at all? I have acid reflux and working out helps subside some of the shitty side effects. Lately, I have been having more acid than usual. More so that I was told by my Doctor to take an antacid every night. It’s not really something I want to be dependent on.

I figured since I like running for the most part that I will try and exploit it as best I can for the next 30ish days. I say 30ish because I do have rest days and I will have bumper days. Let me explain the rules.

RULES

  1. Must run everyday in a week except one rest day, which is roving. Meaning that my rest day can effect how many days in a row I will be running into the next week.
  2. Every run must be a minimum of 15 minutes.
  3. In case of injury, there can be a total of 3-4 bumper days to be attached to any rest day. Though I should try not to use.
  4. The challenge will be recorded over 4 weeks at the minimum.
  5. Any runs missed will be attached to the end of the 30 day marker.

I am creating a running record which I will post at the end of the 30 days. I have a rough start weight and I will take an end weight but it might not apply since I do light weight training after running. I’ll probably take a few pics and see if there are any visual changes too.

I have a few other things that will entail this challenge such as eating healthy, charting my progress, tons of planning my work outs and meal planning. I will link to any resources I used during the challenge.

And that’s it. Not too bad right? A minimum of 15 minutes everyday, one rest day per week, let’s see if I can last.

I really want to last.

M2M: March TV Reviews 26-31

I posted about my Goals for 2017 last month and I thought I would outline a more simpler post per month.

I’m calling it the Month to Month post. Here, I will outline what I am doing for each month as a goal.

The following reviews were compiled during the March month challenge and are reviews of the pilot only. I can’t say for certainty that they will be spoiler free and I will not take responsibility if the rest of the series is shit. That is your risk, not mine.

Heh.

RULES

  1. Half of the picks need to be half hours and the other half one hours which are probably dramas.
  2. No rewatching or try to avoid rewatching series you’ve already seen.
  3. Only 5 can be variety, game, other variety shows. Excluding sketch based shows entirely because I can watch those on my own damn time.

Let’s see if I can keep up…

REVIEWS

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Pilot 26: Family Tree (Sitcom, Slice of Life, Comedy, Mockumentary)

I was in a bind. I wanted to watch something short and good. At this point I wanted to only watch comedies but I only have so many slots I could watch comedies as per the rules I laid out. Stupid Sylvia and this dumb rules. I was browsing through the HBO catalogue and came across something with Chris O’Dowd starring and I just jumped in.

The show stars Chris O’Dowd as Tom Chadwick and his quirky family. At a recent family dinner, Tom is told he has inherited a chest of curios from a recently deceased Aunt. Inside the chest are nic-nacs and antique photos to which Tom believes they could be photos of his ancestors and goes on a journey to find more about his heritage. The episode revolves around a photo of a British war general, Tom finds a historian who is willing to help him out.

Tom has a sister with a small stuffed animal monkey named the same. Don’t know where they will go with his sister and her monkey but it could be interesting. His parents are a bit on the nonchalant side, somewhat rocky relations there but the pilot doesn’t really delve to much into that.

The show is a slow burn peppered with fine acting and jokes but it didn’t grasp me like some other other comedies on the list. If you like O’Dowd’s work, it’s worth a look into as watching the show wouldn’t be too difficult. It only got one season.

Moon Rating: One slightly race based joke at the end of the episode that seems to be a tried and used joke for so many shows


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Pilot 27: Party Down (Sitcom, Comedy, Dark Comedy, Catering Business)

I’ve had the first season of this series on DVD for a while and have been waiting to binge it through. It’s got a ton of actors and comedians I really like but since I don’t physically see the DVD, I always forget I have it. While looking for more comedy pilots to pad myself with, I remembered I had it and popped in the first episode.

The show stars Adam Scott as a washed up actor named Henry that never made it bigger than his beer commercial he’d rather not bring up, ever, coming back to his old joke as a caterer with his old boss Ron, played by Ken Marino. Episode is really an introduction to what caterers have to put up with and what clients of caterers have to put up with. The false niceness, the quality of work and food, and of course, clients that like to go crazy at their own party while the help watches. Henry is then introduced through mishaps and side plots to the rest of the catering crew with stand outs being Martin Starr and Jane Lynch. He eventually meets Lizzy Caplan’s character Casey who is also a working actor.

The episode was pretty promising as per the shenanigans the characters could easily get themselves into. It is fairly deadpan and on the dryer side of comedy but still manage to pull in slapstick and physical comedy. If you like work genre shows, its certainly in a different vein than office comedies. Also, Adam Scott.

Moon Rating: Five please do your line from your commercial please omigawd


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Pilot 28: Big Little Lies (Drama, Murder, Intrigue, Suburban Life, Adult Themes)

I wasn’t at all interested in this drama. It was about wealthy families on the coast of California, this is not criteria I look for when I watch a drama but a few friends were going off about the show and the press surrounding the finale (which I still don’t know what happened) was mysterious and intriguing. I decided to give it a go and it was a good idea. A VERY GOOD IDEA. Ho shit… I should really never underestimate shows about wealthy people, they really know what going bananas is because there was some serious shade work through this episode.

The show surrounds a few mothers and their families living in a coastal town of Monterey, particularly these mothers are escorting their children who are in the first grade to the primary school in town. The episode is intercut with moments from the end of the series, possibly, as the scenes dictate the next understanding. You know there is a heinous murder, you know it must be one of the women on screen, you just don’t know who it is until the end of the series. At least, that’s the implication. The episode itself gets geared up when it follows Renee Witherspoon’s character Madeline, an upper crust suburban mother who acts like she’s top queen of the mothers at her primary school. Along with her best friend Celeste, played by Nicole Kidman, and the new mother who comes to her aid Jane, played by Shailene Woodley, the trio gets mixed into this strange world that is the little town of Monterey and all the little lies they hide and live through as the viewer sees them.

It really pulls you in, the directing of the pilot is superb as it builds a mystery on top of all the great acting in the show. The edits to make everyone seem culpable was brilliant piece of work. Even the children don’t seen well.

It looks like it might not be your thing but trust me, it’s really quite interesting. Well acted, well edited, well directed, at least give the first episode a spin and don’t read any spoilers.

Moon Rating: Three mothers who don’t know shit about each other fuuuuuuck


Pilot 29: Marco Polo (Period Drama, Far East, Epic Adventure, Netflix)

Period dramas are my bread and butter, I can get hooked so fast. This one might take a few episodes to convince yet but I do like the tone and story.

The show stars Lorenzo Richelmy as Marco Polo, the Italian merchant who is left by his father as payment to the Emperor Kublai Khan, played by Benedict Wong, for safe passage out of China. Here is where the story begins, it is about Marco and the Khan dynasty characters living and scheming in Ancient China. The characters begin their scheming surrounding the taking of a fort city in Southern China, characters who are trying to snake their way into more power. An Asian Game of Thrones, the players are slowly rolled out for the audience to piece together. Marco plays into the story as Kublai takes interest in him as he describes the landscapes and people in a very vivid way. He trains Marco in everything from calligraphy to fight in which he meets one of the most interesting characters One Hundred Eyes the warrior who trains Kublai’s best.

It’s well acted but the pacing is a bit slowed and it’s a bit strange to hear the majority of the show in English although they employ many kinds of languages as per the Khan dynasty legacy. The end of the pilot poises many questions and gets all the first line of characters in a good position to spread out the schemes and risks for the rest of the season.

Moon Rating: One hundred eyes sees all


Pilot 30: Trollhunters (3D Animated, Fantasy, Kids Getting Magical, Netflix)

This show was kind of a quick pick, it’s a Guillermo Del Toro created property and I like his movies well enough.

The show is about Trolls and Trollhunters, created by Del Toro it’s based on a book by himself and Daniel Klaus. The first half of the pilot, or episode one, opens with two troll warriors fighting in a canal. As the sun rises. they move under the shadow of the bridge, as one troll begins to lose he sacrifices himself to the sunlight telling the other troll he will never get the amulet. He falls back and turns to stone, shattering on the ground in the bright light, an amulet in the rubble. Enter Jim, a teenager who has impressive cooking skills, taking care of his mom and on his way to school with his BFF in tow Toby. As they take a short cut to school, it just so happens to cross the very canal that hosted the troll fight earlier in the episode. Jim finds the amulet and continues on to school.

I mean, it’s pretty obvious what happens from here right? The episode goes on to define Jim’s character and to an extent a few other side characters that will shuffle into more importance later. Jim becomes the newest and first human Trollhunter and meets a few “good” trolls in his basement.

The show is pretty cute but there are a few stereotypical pitfalls in just the pilot alone. It definitely has the pacing meant for a kids show. It might be a bit of a snore, perhaps later in the series it picks up momentum. It is unknown to me but if you’re still interested, give it a few episodes to get more of the story going.

Moon Rating: Six troll eyes blinking in the dark


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Pilot 31: Misfits (British, Dark Dramedy, Super Powered, Alternative)

I think I was getting really jaded by this point. I felt like not watching TV anymore after this last pilot. I had been avoiding second episodes and getting kind of sad that some shows people recommended me were not worth my time. I was discouraged and then I turned this show on. It certainly cheered me up.

The show surrounds five ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) young offenders doing community service; Curtis Donovan played by Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Simon Bellamy played by Iwan Rheon, Alisha Daniels played by Antonia Thomas, Kelly Bailey played by Lauren Socha, and Nathan Young played by Robert Sheehan. While painting benches, a freak lightning storm occurs sending massive hailstones sending the five and their probation officer running for cover when they are all struck by lightning giving each of them powers. All the powers are slightly contingent on their circumstance or personality; Curtis can turn back time, Simon turns invisible, Alisha turns anyone who touches her into a horny freak, Kelly can hear anyone’s thoughts, and Nathan appears untouched and not powered. It’s a super hero show with regular people, better than Heroes I swear.

The pilot allows each character to reveal their traits and new super powers in a timely manner. The gang really meshes well, tons of raunchy humour and sexuality throughout the episode with a heavy dose of dark dramedy as the gang needs to figure out themselves and what happened to their probation officer in the storm.

It’s fun, great jokes and character work, you’ll actually like Iwan Rheon for not being Games of Thrones arch-nemesis Ramsay Bolton, the actors are really on and if you like mouthy characters you’re gonna love Nathan Young.

And since this was the last pilot I watched, it could’ve been bad and I just shut the TV off but instead I was able to binge the first season in a sitting since it’s only 6 episodes. It’s exactly the ending I wanted on this long road of 31 pilots.

Moon Rating: Six hours WORTH IT


TOTALS

Comedy: IIIII IIIII IIII
Drama: IIIII IIIII III
Variety: IIII

THAT’S 31!! I AM RELEASED!!!!!! AHHH!!!!!

Here is a link to reviews 1-5reviews 6-10reviews 11-15reviews 16-20, and reviews 21-25.

I die now. Aftermath follow up soon. *dies*

M2M: March TV Reviews 21-25

I posted about my Goals for 2017 last month and I thought I would outline a more simpler post per month.

I’m calling it the Month to Month post. Here, I will outline what I am doing for each month as a goal.

The following reviews were compiled during the March month challenge and are reviews of the pilot only. I can’t say for certainty that they will be spoiler free and I will not take responsibility if the rest of the series is shit. That is your risk, not mine.

Heh.

RULES

  1. Half of the picks need to be half hours and the other half one hours which are probably dramas.
  2. No rewatching or try to avoid rewatching series you’ve already seen.
  3. Only 5 can be variety, game, other variety shows. Excluding sketch based shows entirely because I can watch those on my own damn time.

Let’s see if I can keep up…

REVIEWS

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Pilot 21: Insecure (Sitcom, Black Experience, American, We’ve All Been There Stories, Slice of Life-ish)

I had read positive twitter reactions to the show and decided that would be enough to get me to watch. I also wanted to watch a shorter pilot, dramas were really getting on my nerves. Thankfully, it was definitely worth watching.

The show starts Issa Rae as, well, Issa. She’s a youth social worker in a charity that passively uses her as the token black. Along side that is her barely alive relationship with her boyfriend of 5 years. Issa is in a rut and wants to find what she wants to do with her life. With her best friend Molly, played by Yvonne Orji, who brings along her own dating baggage and life at the firm. It’s smart, the dialogue is fresh, its well acted and gives a glimpse into a unique portrait of women.

The pilot has tons of threads going for it, Issa’s monologues speak of the pros and cons of her tokenism at work, finding direction even in a slightly comfortable life, and the perils of bad relationships and being a good friend. The pilot shows promise.

All that in 30 minutes? Do it.

Moon Rating: Ten bathroom mirror raps that make you laugh


Pilot 22: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (Dramedy, Mystery, Sci-fi ish?, Bubbly, Netflix Production)

I wasn’t entirely sure what I was stepping into other than knowing a few friends had binged the entire series after the first episode. Now I know why, it’s highly engrossing with it’s strange mystery surrounding how they managed to bring plot with no plot.

What I mean is the episode starts off with tension, it’s a panning shot of a hotel suite, dead bodies, blood, and a small black kitten being taken away by a person off screen. There’s a missing girl. Then we have Todd, Elijah Wood’s character, watching his car being pummelled by his landlord because he is behind on rent and now he’s late for work, he works for the hotel from the first panning shot. Subsequently, he was the one who had to check on the suite and was fired for finding it in its state. He pockets a lottery ticket, he sees himself from the elevator in the hotel. Todd meets Dirk Gently with him breaking into his apartment to which he throws Dirk out. Todd and Dirk escape the landlord in the morning where by Dirk meets Todd’s sister Amanda. Dirk explains what a Holistic Detective is and why he is hanging around him. etc etc etc…

All these things are part of the plot but you don’t get to find out how until you’ve watched the rest of the series. In that rambling nonsense I haven’t said everything that was in the pilot either. There was so much more, you will need to pay attention because there is so much unpacking from every scene.

From what I can tell you the mystery will be a deep dive in on-sight clues and definitely every character will connect. The actors were all highly entertaining and the speed in which you get all this information is well paced, well timed. You might miss something if you’re not paying attention. Tough watch if you’re a “play it in the background” kind of person.

Moon Rating: One black cat of immense importance, I think… don’t quote me on this


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Pilot 23: Easy (Dramedy, Sitcom, Short Stories, Possibly Capsule Episodes)

I think this is a serial show? At least it looks to be a show about short stories. I think… It was strange to me, I didn’t really catch all the side characters names but I don’t think its that important. It was a bit cringe inducing, mainly because when it comes to real life portrayals it’s probably gonna be cringey.

The show starts off with couples at a party talking when a man brings up a study about how when a man is the primary child rearing parent the couple will have less sex. They argue loudly, etc. The couple that tears away from the conversation is in that particular predicament and they are also the main perspectives we see in the first episode.

The couple are Kyle and Andi played by Michael Chernus and Elizabeth Reaser. They are stuck in a passive aggressive relationship where their sexual needs are not met but they are trying to keep it together as a couple. It’s a dive into how married couples figure it out together rather than go sleep with other people, you know the dramatic take in other dramas kind of way. It’s interesting to see just what lengths these parents go to try and make it happen.

It was certainly interesting, worth a look if you are interested in encapsulated episodes.

Moon Rating: Five costume related cringe inducing moments, maybe more


Pilot 24: Treme (Drama, New Orleans, Strong Soundtrack, Multiple Storylines)

This show has been on my radar for a long time. I never found a good time to dig in and watch it but suddenly I had this pilots run so I might as well tuck into the longest of the pilots I picked. I didn’t realize it was the longest one at the time but it was worth it.

The show stars a bevy of characters but where is starts from is more important to the culture surrounding New Orleans. Did I mention this show is about New Orleans and the aftermath of its citizens coming back home to a ruined city? It’s really amazing, the first episode starts off with a second line as it gears up to play through the streets of New Orleans. People come out of their homes and off the street to follow this second line. The significance of this is that its the first second line since hurricane Katrina.

From there, its a slow roll out of character threads from a working second line trombonist and his ex-wife, a lawyer working out of two large bags and diners helping residents, her husband the whistleblower trying to talk about the Government’s involvement in the faulty levees, to a struggling radio DJ and musician. The stories are varied but interesting by way their are structured. The pilot is more of an introduction to the lives they lead and how they are reintegrating back into New Orleans. There new slang and language, tough if you aren’t willing to listen and watch along. It’s a very engrossing show, I could easily rewatch the pilot and learn more.

Give it a chance, especially if you enjoy the music and culture that New Orleans produces.

Moon Rating: Seven CDs on consignment but it means nothing, this shit be mine


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Pilot 25: Serie Noire (Dramedy, French Canadian, Writing, Absurdist)

This one is a bit tricky to explain but I will start with that fact that I put this on my Netflix list because Netflix recommended it to me a while back. The title has been taken off and put back on a few times but I finally sat down and watched it. I’m glad I kept the title on, it was a strange and fun watch. This show is French Canadian which I didn’t know when I started up the episode.

The show is about two writers who write for a universally panned crime show in Quebec, Denis and Patrick played by François Létourneau and Vincent-Guillaume Otis. As they are slowly getting back to their old lives since they are sure they won’t get renewed, they both visit their agent’s office to pickup their last cheque when they find out the show has been very popular despite bad reviews and will be renewed for a second season. Denis finds out his wife having an affair with her best friend who recently left her husband and dives back into writing by experiencing more to write about it better. Patrick wants to get on with his old life before Denis and the show, hoping to pick up the pieces with Lea. In the end, Patrick wants to write with Denis and they restart their process to writing the second season of their show La Loi de la justice.

The humour is very stylized as are the cuts, its a nice change up with a different approach to the camera angles and lighting. It’s definitely a dark comedy if ever there was a way to explain the show. Highly entertaining and much of it a bit screwball and a bit spiralling out in a controlled manner. Highly recommended for artistic types and writers just trying to get ideas out there.

Moon Rating: One psycho Marc Arcand breaking one writer’s nose


TOTALS

Comedy: IIIII IIIII I
Drama: IIIII IIIII
Variety: IIII

OH MY FUCKING GAAAWWWWWWWDD…

Here is a link to reviews 1-5reviews 6-10reviews 11-15, and reviews 16-20.

M2M: #SelfieFebruary

I posted about my Goals for 2017 last month and I thought I would outline a more simpler post per month.

I’m calling it the Month to Month post. Here, I will outline what I am doing for each month as a goal.

I did it. I did the thing.

In conjunction with my M2M post, here are the selfies in order of appearance. The 27th selfie is a Boomerang video but I just made a still for layout purposes.

Row by row, left to right are the selfies 1-28.

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1-2: Simple vanity, trying to get the best light.

3: I nearly forgot…

4: Started to employ my Flic trigger.

5: The cat’s name is Leo.

7: First of many mirror selfies.

8: Selfie with just Sylvias.

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11: Layout app employed, I was dead after moving.

12-13: More mirror selfies.

14: Selfie with my roomie, used my trigger here too.

18: Galentines!

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20: Used as many filter settings as possible…

21-22: Duck face employed.

23: Only TBT selfie I used from a few weeks previous of that post.

25: High key ideation. I was trying to make the water clear. I think I succeeded.

26: My roomie was gonna throw this away.

27: It’s a boomerang but I just used a still from the video. FYI, it is really hard to capture flash on the iPhone camera.

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28: Went on a road trip with 8 other friends. It was hectic but we managed it some how.

Dinner in Kamloops from bottom left to bottom right in a counter clockwise motion: Me, Chase, Danny, Dougie, Dougie’s friend, Jeff, Cait, Danderson, Mel, and Sab.

And that’s it. A weird ride when all is said and done but I might try another photo challenge again. Not sure what it will be of but I’ll think of a good idea.

I recommend you give it a try. It’s more difficult than you might think it is.

My Screen Writing Class Experience

I think I managed well, I can’t really tell. Yet… All I know is that I did learn quite a bit in regards to writing a script and what to expect as a writer but as to wondering if I was any good at it or not, nothing has changed there. All I know is I’m not alone in that feeling, I could even say probably all writers must wonder if what they are writing is any good. A weird feeling of is this good or is this bad, always sitting on the edge. Maybe there will be instances of I know this is good and I know this is bad but I haven’t had that yet.

My experience during class was great. I had a really good time and am looking into taking another class if not at FAVA, just looking at classes and workshops is encouraging. Until I can pull together some capital for that I might try and write a bit before doing so. Concentrate on distilling ideas into scripts of any length.

Continue reading “My Screen Writing Class Experience”

Everything is Busy

My post count has drastically gone down, I have not been able to sit around and write a good post in some time. The last few were written months ago but I decided to release them if just to have something on the calendar. It’s not a good way to practice writing but not like I had a better plan before.

My April and this upcoming May has suddenly become a difficult race to the finish line of the “oh shit there is no finish” race. I was responsible for moving myself, my sister out of the old place and now I have a handful of baby showers, FCBD, LGN, and a wedding to top it all off. Did I mention my sister from out of town is visiting? Or that I have yet to sit down and plan my vacation properly?

Don’t even get me started on my I-still-need-to-thin-out-my-collection cleaning.

The only up side is I managed to purchase a few tickets to off-site SDCC events even if one of them took a few days to buy. It has finally gone through.

I will create a few goals in the coming months in regards to my writing and at the very least, practice writing.

The best part of all this is the not needing to pack and go to cons. I’m not boothing and even though I thought I would have more time, it seems there are more things waiting to take up that time again. At least with these things, I am more than happy to participate than sit at a booth alone, mentally and emotionally punching myself in the face.

I’m glad I got tired of punching myself in the face. It’s not good for your self esteem.