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”

Advertisements

Goals 2018

Ugh, just when I thought I was doing well, I fucked the last quarter of this year to utter shit. I really crashed and burned at the end of the year, I had no idea how to keep myself happy or continue the upkeep of energy required to battle back against seasonal depression and anxiety. It’s not like it resets when 2018 rolls around, it’s just more clear I have energy problems.

I think I have a clearer idea of what I should do this year. Let’s hope I can find the mindful space to just finish those things.

Continue reading “Goals 2018”

M2M: June Film Challenge List

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.

June’s goal is watching a movie a day for the next 30 days.

The following one line reviews will be as spoiler free as possible. I can’t say for certainty that they will be 100% spoiler free and I will not take responsibility for it.

RULES

  • 50/50 Comedies and Dramas, no documentaries, no shorts. Animated is fine.
  • At least 5 foreign language films.
  • Minimum of 3 should be watched in theatres.
  • At least 5 films made by Canadian production companies/creators.
  • At least 5 films by a female director.
  • No rewatching movies that you’ve already seen.

Ho boy…

Continue reading “M2M: June Film Challenge List”

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

family-tree-hbo-contest

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


party_down_2009_key01_539x303

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


613_1024x411

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


misfits-bbc-hulu

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 16-20

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

Dicte

Pilot 16: Dicte (Danish, Drama, Crime, Female Lead)

A reporter moves from the city of Copenhagen, back to her hometown of Aarhus with her daughter in tow for reasons that is her own. From the pilot, it is shown that the lead character Dicte is here for her own selfish reasons.

The pilot starts with a young teenager giving birth, she is blindfolded but after a safe delivery she insists on holding the baby. It is given early on that she is giving up the baby for adoption, as she sleeps with the baby in her arms someone comes in and scoops up the baby to be taken away. To which we are brought to present day with Dicte, played by Iben Hjejle, who is trying to reconnect with her Jehovah’s Witness parents to no avail. Dicte is a journalist who likes going for the hard details for her readers, there are parts of this pilot that suggest she feels readers have the right to know what is happening in their community. She clashes with a lead detective Wagner who is often depicted trailing behind her or possibly inert to the case as she leaves a trail of evidence for the police.

The show is fun, it has a ton of home life drama in the picture that really steers Dicte’s emotions such as her daughter starting up a relationship with an “immigrant” student who was charged and acquitted for rape. There are a few scenes with her old friends from her younger days and one with her ex-husband as he tries and fails to seduce Dicte for the night.

I wanted to point out that I am not 100% sure why there is a need to label the immigrant characters in the story. It’s possible that due to the newness of the series that the writers wanted to include immigrant storylines but to label the characters in this context is kind of unimaginative. I don’t really know what the views are on immigrants in Denmark but a grain of salt while watching.

All in all, the pilot/first episode was a fun enough romp in a would be universe if journalists and police loved playing cat and mouse games with each other in a non-arrest way. It reminded me of Castle in ways, much of the crime solving was done via Dicte’s meddling. It’s a departure from other crime shows and we can all use a break sometimes. The best part is if you grow tired of the show, the writers have written each arch into two episode parts. The first season is 10 episodes but really its 5 stories.

Moon Rating: One giant mixed bag of “can journalists get away with that?”


Pilot 17: Don’t Trust the B**** In Apartment 23 (Comedy, American, Network Sitcom, Fun)

All I knew about this show was the writer and creator works on Fresh Off The Boat and one of the leading characters is Krysten Ritter from Breaking Bad and Jessica Jones. I didn’t know just how campy and funny it was. I also mistook this show to be a multi-camera sitcom. Just putting it out there.

The show follows June, played by Dreama Walker, as a small town girl about to move to the big city and into a cushy real estate job when on day one is pulled from right under her as the company is she transferred to has been caught embezzling money and she no longer had a job there. It is shortly followed by her apartment she was going to live in gets pulled from under her since the building is frozen in the companies assets. Broke and homeless, June determined change her fate finds a posting for a roommate. There she meets Chloe, played by Krysten Ritter, a stylish New Yorker who takes June under her wing.

After many outlandish and annoying habits and situations Chloe puts June through, it seems she is willing to put up with Chloe’s crap. The scam is that Chloe takes a room mate in and attempts to annoy her out of the apartment after she pays for three months rent.

In comes the pilot’s main plot line, June’s fiancé Steven visits her at her new place with her new room mate with is lab assistant in tow. As suspected by Chloe, she finds out from June’s Fiancé’s behavioural lab subject that the good doctor has been sleeping with other women behind June’s back. To save June, she seduces Steven to prove to June that he’s a scumbag.

It’s a weird twisted little show but if you like fast paced comedy and dark humor, it’s work a look. Not to mention some great physical comedy bits from all the actors. Best side character is definitely Eric Andre’s Mark Reynolds who works with June at the coffee shop. But in all this I haven’t even started talking about the MVP of the show, James Van Der Beek who plays a version of himself. I don’t even want to tell you about his scenes because they are all great and heavy on the Dawson’s Creek nostalgia.

Moon Rating: One butt smashing a birthday cake in the pilot kind of funny


Pilot 18: Chef’s Table (Netflix Original, Documentary, Food, Cooking, Food Pr0n)

This has been in my queue for a long time. I love cooking shows but let me be clear, I love shows about cooking and not really the competition kind. A Cook’s Tour, Martha Stewart, Good Eats, etc, those are my kinds of cooking shows.

The episode starts with a story about the earthquake in 2012 and how it rocked the town of Moderna, Italy. Chef Massimo Bottura regales the viewer of the plate he designed to help the town of Moderna where his Michelin Star restaurant resides, Osteria Francescana. The dish was a reinvented rosotto and its main ingredient is one of the biggest exports of Moderna, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. All of this is given to you with lavish pictures and beautiful story telling before the opening credits.

And wow, the opening credits. A double timed film of a dinner table being set and clips of the chefs to come in the season. All masterpieces for the eye and mouth, I’m sure.

The episode runs through the life of the chef along side of how and when they made big decisions in their career to get them to where they are. For Chef Bottura, much of his decisions in the game were made with and about his wife Lara. They also go over many of his dishes and interview many of the staff that surround Massimo in his kitchen. Loads of detail in every shot of how they even form the dishes.

It’s a rich episode to say the least.

Moon Rating: No rating, it’s too fucking beautiful to rate holy shiiiiiiiit


Pilot 19: Galavant (Musical, Sitcom, Break Up Story, Network, American, Period?, Fairy Tale)

I had read a few things about the show and wasn’t entirely sure if would be my cup of tea. I’m not usually up for musical shows but it was a half hour and I have been growing tired of the hours longs. So I just jumped in and it was surprisingly funny.

The show stars Galavant, played by Joshua Sasse, and anything I could possibly tell you about the pilot episode is summed up in the opening of the episode. Y’know in a song.

I’ll break it down into a point form list…

  • Galavant meets a girl, Madelena and they fall in love
  • The king see’s Madelena and forces her to marry him
  • Galavant goes to the castle to save his love only to find out that she chooses money over love

The story picks up a year later while Galavant continues to wallow in heartbreak, enter Isabella who is a princess with a quest for the Knight Galavant. She tells her tale of woe and is shoved out of Galavant’s house. After another chance meeting in the local pub, she tells him if he does the quest it would entail revenge against the King who took Madelena. So here you can tell that Galavant is all in but the story doesn’t end there. On the flip side, the King wanted Isabella to charm Galavant into a life ending quest so that he could be seen as desirable to his own wife Madelena. As for the new Queen Madelena, it turns out she was quite corruptible by her new found power and wealth as she pushes all of the King’s buttons.

All in all, it’s a quest story about break up and revenge with a bunch of fun songs and highly entertaining characters. But it is a musical through and through, the pilot alone had 5 songs sung by various characters in a span of 21 minutes. Viewer beware.

Moon Rating: Twenty sad pounds gained out of twenty, Galavant!


PeteHolmes1024

Pilot 20: Crashing (Real Life, Break Up Comedy, American, Stand Up, Sitcom)

I’ve been a fan of Pete Holmes ever since my friend showed me his Spicy Interview on YouTube one afternoon. It got me laughing and it made him memorable in my mind. I’ve since seen interviews with him on various shows and tried to catch the Pete Holmes Show once in a while. The show is an extension of the kind of humour Holmes brings, it all edges on common sense and epiphanies to yourself.

The show starts with Pete, obviously played by Holmes and Jess, played by Lauren Lapkus cooking when Jess tries to spice up their dying marriage. They unsuccessfully try and have coitus on the carpet in their living room and it spirals off into watching cat videos. Pete leaves to do a gig because Pete is a totally green stand up trying to become a great comedian. When he arrives at his open mic, which is far out of the city, he comes home only to find Jess sleeping with another man, Leif. This pushes Pete to leave the house and try and find a place to crash. Hence the title of the show.

The pilot shows a great deal of promise, there are details that help reveal his character because not only is he a bad comic but he’s also religious and a homebody. He meets comic legend Artie Lange and as they strike up a friendship, he finds himself at the bad end of Lange’s notorious antics. In the end, Lange becomes invested in Pete’s break up story and ends up offering him a bed on his sofa.

I imagine the rest of the series will be similar to this as in Pete is crashing somewhere and learning the hard facts of comic life and real life. The symbolism of Pete trying to go home multiple times to gain his wife and former life back are just the start of his journey couch surfing into other people’s perspectives on the matter.

It’s a fun comedy, it was funny and made good work of its characters. If you’re a fan of Pete Holmes, it’s definitely one to watch.

Moon Rating: Two stitches on a knife wound caused by Artie Lange out of two


TOTALS

Comedy: IIIII IIII
Drama: IIIII II
Variety: IIII

Just gotta crawl… alittle more…

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