1.01 - "Pilot"

I don’t think a new show has secured its place on my weekly watch list faster than How to Get Away With Murder. It immediately grabs your attention from the beginning - a murder mystery involving law students - and it doesn't stop there. The characters themselves have their own secrets, secrets that will eventually lead us to answers.

Blind Spot: The Godfather

As I wrote the title of the post, I could still hear the film's opening score playing in my head. That was how intriguing the film is, that the mere mention of its title, one can conjure up Marlon Brando staring at you, his calm demeanor hiding the ruthless truth of what happens in a mafia community. With the mafia, every move is a strategy, every word a hanging threat, and every ally a service. In a glance, The Godfather shows the dealings that occur in the world of organized crime, but also exhibits the inner turmoils of the members involved in such dealings.

Thursday Movie Meme: Nautical Movies

It's time for another Thursday Movie Meme! It's hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and if you haven't joined in, I suggest you hop on over to her site and join in the fun. This week's theme is nautical movies. The theme encompasses a wide variety of movies, so I decided to go with three of my favorites - one or two of them might be considered hidden gems as well.

Double Feature: Die Hard / Die Hard 2

What was originally going to be a four-review feature, I decided to split the reviews into two camps, primarily because of the tone and atmosphere shift that happened in the franchise. The Die Hard franchise follows the life of one John McClane, and all of the horrible things that could happen in a span of one cop's life, considering he stumbles through most of it on coincidence. The movies show a chronological movement in his life: from his troubled marriage to his troubled relationship with his now grown-up children. The first two Die Hard movies happen during Christmas Eve, with a year span from each other. Both movies also carry a one-location format, with Die Hard being set in Holly McClane's workplace, and Die Hard 2 occurs in an airport in Washington, D.C.

Trailer: Mockingjay Part 1

I can feel the long ticket lines already. What seems to be a not-so-packed third novel from the trilogy, The Hunger Games have taken the two-part finale, stretching material that can be done with one movie. As much as I would like to be excited for the movie, I can already feel the strain of trying to get good seats that are optimal for viewing and yet as far away from gasping, giggling fan-people who could not contain their excitement for the movies. This is a bit darker in tone from the previous two movies, as it's now constraint to the battle field instead of the luscious worlds the Games are set in. Hopefully it lives up to Catching Fire, but based on this trailer, I'm not keeping my hopes too high.

A Fisti Recast-athon

Andrew from A Fistful of Films is hosting a blogathon! I actually found this really challenging because most movies that I watch and like usually star white people. In a bit of researching (just in case I missed some actresses I watch), there really isn't much people of color in most movies. Some articles discuss the lack of people of color in film and television, or how they're not making as much as their white person counterpart. Before anything else, here are the rules:
1) Pick an OSCAR NOMINATED performance given by a white actress that didn't require a white actress (no biopics here, even though Todd Haynes taught us that you don't need to be the same race or gender to play a real life person). This performance can come from ANY film year.
2) Pick an actress of color who could have been a great fit for the role instead of the one cast. Keep in mind the time of release and chose actresses who were working at that time. So, in other words, don't select the role of Calla Mackie in 1968's Rachel, Rachel (played by Estelle Parsons) and suggest it be a great fit for Naomie Harris, because, well, she wasn't born for another eight years.
3) Explain WHY that actress would have made a great fit. Plead her case. Let's tell those Hollywood casting directors what they're missing.
4)  Have your post up by Friday, September 26th. I've giving you a little bit of time on this one, and by all means, do a BUNCH OF THEM! Spread the word. Invite any and all to the recast-athon and let's give these actresses a voice!
5) You can post a link to your post here in the comment section, PM me on Twitter (@fististhoughts) or email me (andrew.ellington@hotmail.com). You can use the banner I created above, or by all means use your own!

Below are some of my choices...

Trailer: Maps to the Stars

I've seen other trailers of the movie, but this one clearly provides the premise of the film. David Cronenberg has been collaborating with Robert Pattinson for a few movies now, and this one looks promising. I've been a fan of Mia Wasikowska, and while she's playing another weird, scary character, this one seems different from her Stoker counterpart. Julianne Moore also seems to fit the role, and Pattison seemed to have taken a step back from being the absolute lead. Nevertheless, I will definitely put this on my to-watch list. 

Back to School Blogathon

Wendell of Dell on Movies is hosting a blogathon! This was a bit of a challenge because there were so many characters to choose from! Before anything else, here are the rules:

1. Choose at least 1 character to fit into each of the following roles:

Administrator (either a dean, principal, head master, or some other equivalent)
Star Student/Nerd
Jock/Class Bully
Popular Girl/Diva
Invisible Girl (aka not popular girl)
Class Clown
Troubled Youth

Of course, include a few words on why each character was chosen.

Some of the categories have slashes because there is a lot of overlap within. However, feel free to break those up to make your class even larger. For instance if you use a jock who is a nice guy, you can also include a bully. As long as you have the minimum number of students and others, your class can be as large as you like.

2. There are NO RESTRICTIONS on age. Theoretically, you can have Zach from Kindegarten Cop in the same class as Rodney Dangerfield's character from...um...Back to School

3. You can use multiple characters from a single movie, but a class must be made up of characters from at least three separate movies.

4. Use movies in which school is an important part of the plot or are largely set in a school.

5. Finally, use my banner somewhere in your entry and link back to this post.

Here are my choices per category:

Thursday Movie Meme: Sport Movies

It's Thursday once more, and it's time for the Thursday Movie Meme, hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. This week's theme is sport movies. I don't watch a lot of sport movies, so there's a small pool of films that I can pick from. I chose three movies that I like, although one of them could be considered a hidden gem. 

A Million Ways to Die in the West

A lot of people were impressed with Ted. Sad to say, I was not one of those people. I thought I'd try my luck with the next McFarlane production, considering that I do enjoy Family Guy, and it's one of his strongest animated work. A Million Ways to Die in the West had a good trailer, and I was hopeful that this one I would like or at least enjoy, but I was wrong on both ends. Not only did the movie lack a stable source of humor (the movie employed different kinds), but the leading actor was sincerely unlikable. Too bad the director is the lead actor.

Trailer: Horrible Bosses 2

Horrible Bosses was a funny movie, so it's inevitable that it will have a sequel. You know what movie was also funny and had a sequel? The Hangover. The trailer looks good though, and it seems funny and something that I would enjoy. The plot this time is different - they no longer have bosses, but are entangled in a kidnapping (and meeting said horrible bosses along the way). Hopefully it does keep its promise of being funny and entertaining. By the looks of the trailer, it could work, and I'm fairly excited for it. 

A Beautiful Mind

Apparently, Man of Steel was my first Russell Crowe movie (I know, right? I need to remedy this right away). Of the very few movies of his I've seen, I have not enjoyed a performance as much as I did in A Beautiful Mind. His performance, complimented by the writing, was riveting. As each scene progressed, you wouldn't have an inkling of the twist, and when it does, the earlier scenes raise questions and support the latter sequences of the film.

Six Degrees of Separation Blogathon

Mettel Ray has kindly passed me the baton to the Six Degrees of Separation blogathon, hosted by Nostra of My Filmviews. I had been following some of the entries a while back, and each entry has been fascinating as the next. Mettel has tasked me to connect Ewan McGregor and Dylan O'Brien, two actors whose work I'm only vaguely familiar with. 

So here we go!

08/14: Car Chases & Cinematic Escapades

August has passed in a whirl. A lot of entertainment related events unfolded this month. There was the success of Marvel's wild card, Guardians of the Galaxy. Then there's the demise of beloved actor Robin Williams (whose filmography I need to revisit some time). The Emmy Awards was also this month, and I definitely did not expect those Sherlock awards (especially since they were going up against The Normal Heart, which was a fantastic film). Then Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie finally got hitched (though I don't know what to feel about it except it seems like passing news compared to the others).

I do have a question for you, though. In the world of technology, it's impossible to stay disconnected to the world. I'm not sure about the mobile culture for other countries, but I can vouch that there are a lot of differences. This month I found myself functioning without my phone. Sure, I missed a couple of calls here and there, but in a way, I did not feel as disconnected because there are other means of using the internet. Have you tried going without your phone for a couple of days? You sort of get used without the device nearby, but it does get difficult to communicate when you're nowhere near anyplace with a phone line. And with that, let's get on with this month's recap!