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10/14: Coffee, Toast, and Wishful Thinking

When you're in a writing slump, reviewing anything seems like a chore. I've been taking a step back from thinking about relevant words that my brain can muster, and instead enjoying the films I've seen with no blog repercussions. My weekly TV binge is slowly forming itself. From this season's new releases, I have Blackish, Jane the Virgin, How to Get Away with Murder, The Affair and The Mysteries of Laura on my watch list. What's on your watch list this season?

Beauty and the Beast | Better Off Dead | Casino Royale | Frank | Gone Girl | His Girl Friday | Jackie Brown | Law Abiding Citizen | Maps to the Stars | My Neighbor Totoro | Sex Tape | Tammy | The Book of Life | The Fifth Estate | The Lincoln Lawyer | Two Night Stand

Beauty and the Beast (La Belle et la Bete, 2014) - I haven't seen the 1946 version, but this one was good. I liked the dream sequences, and Belle had nice, vibrant dresses. This was neither Seydoux or Cassel's great roles, but they portrayed the characters convincingly.

Better Off Dead - I'm actually not quite sure how this movie is good. It's not bad, but it's one of John Cusack's lesser known works (in my opinion anyway). 

Casino Royale - This is a great back story movie for Craig's rendition of James Bond. I liked his relationship with Vesper, that his character could commit to just one person. It's not as great as Skyfall, but a great start for Craig.

Frank - I still can't believe it was Michael Fassbender underneath the head. The man can certainly do all kinds of acting. While the film focused more on the band producing their music, it touched on a bit about the eccentricity of the members, and Jon's further ambition for fame and success. The memorials for Don were a touching moment. I like how it was shot, the whole film felt natural. Besides Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson and Maggie Gyllenhaal gave fine supporting performances.

Gone Girl - This is one of those films that I recommend you also pick up the novel because this is a character-rich film. The book provides further background as to how the characters really are. The film was fantastic. It was written very well, and Rosamund Pike really was amazing. Amy was such a complex character and Pike's portrayal was spot on. Ben Affleck also gave a fine performance (and will certainly be overlooked in terms of praise), but Carrie Coon also managed to steal the spotlight. While I liked it, I felt that something else was missing. It's not like the other Fincher drama/thrillers I've seen, but it's still a must-watch!

Jackie Brown - I like how this was written. It was able to show off the characters and the essence of the film. Pam Grier was awesome. Robert Forster, Samuel L. Jackson, and Michael Keaton had great performances. 

Law Abiding Citizen - I was cheering for Gerard Butler throughout. 

Maps to the Stars - The film was crazy. The plot mostly revolved around Mia Wasikowska, as she was the force between the two stories intertwining in the film. Julianne Moore's performance was crazy good. I haven't seen Olivia Williams in other films, but she was the weakest character here, and her panic attacks does nothing for the film. Her performance was also weak; it was difficult to figure out if she was nervous, concerned or just plain panicking throughout her appearance onscreen. 

My Neighbor Totoro - This was charming. The Catbus was awesome!

Sex Tape - It was very forgettable. I cannot remember one funny moment. 

Tammy - Susan Sarandon is the only brilliant force behind this work. Other than that, Melissa McCarthy's character was tiring to watch. 

The Book of Life - I recommend children to watch this. It's a simple, yet interesting story painted in a colorful canvass. I wished they got rid of the field trip children though, didn't really see their relevance. 

The Fifth Estate - It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Daniel Bruhl should really be promoted to lead character status. While Benedict Cumberbatch gave a good performance, Daniel Bruhl really held out his end, and both stood out in their work.

The Lincoln Lawyer - This was amazing. Why I haven't seen this sooner, I wouldn't know. Matthew McConaughey gave a thrilling performance, and he's greatly supported by Marisa Tomei and Ryan Phillippe. 

Two Night Stand - I now see how Analeigh Tipton can be annoying in some of the movies she's in. She also has a limited range of emotions and her delivery was unconvincing. Miles Teller has been doing great work in the independent scene, and yet he still chooses to appear in these kinds of movies? He's basically just offsetting his own work!



This auteurs piece on Pedro Almodovar was very well written that it convinced me to see his other works. Read part 2 of the auteurs piece by ninvoid99 over at Cinema Axis.

Sati makes a case about issues taken against Gone Girl.

Mettel Ray talks about The Affair.

Fisti is hosting Twice a Best Actress Roundtable! While his series reminds me to go watch more Oscar-nominated work, I've really enjoyed reading their opinions about the actresses' performances. Here's whom they've tackled this month:  Jodie Foster | Sally Field | Luise RainerJane Fonda

Brittani shares some fine acting done with one look.

Sofia shares her television show watch list for this season

Comments

  1. I know how you feel, I'm just pulling myself out of a writing slump too. It got to the point where I didn't even want to go to the cinema because I couldn't bring myself to try and write a review of whatever I saw! Every TV Show starting up again doesn't help either, but I'm happily caught up with Arrow and Flash now. I've even started to watch Supernatural!
    - Allie

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    1. I saw an episode of Flash, but I'm not sure if it's a show for me.

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    2. It's so weird that you posted this, me and Allie were literally having the same conversation yesterday, so we're working on mixing up the blog a bit and not just solely working on reviews to get the creative juices flowing again.

      I'm back on the Greys Anatomy train (although this season is a bit disappointing so far), still working through Breaking Bad and my ultimate guilty pleasure - The Vampire Diaries :-)

      Great post

      - Jenna

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  2. Thank you for the link, glad you liked the movie!

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  3. Thanks for the link! My Neighbor Totoro is my Blind Spot for this month, I'm glad you liked it!

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    1. I hope you enjoy it! Looking forward to reading your review!

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  4. Looks like you had some great viewings! Casino Royale is a fun beginning to Craig's Bond. I still really need to see Frank and can't believe Michael gets away with wearing that huge head. It looks wonderful. :D

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    1. Michael Fassbender is all kinds of talent. His timing is perfect, and he can convey so much with just movements.

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  5. Sex Tape was pretty boring wasn't it? Shame considering the talent involved.
    Glad you liked Frank, I was a big fan of Fassbender and Gyllenhaal's performances.
    Casino Royale is the best Bond film, in my opinion. Glad you liked it!

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    1. Sex Tape was bad and forgettable. I liked Casino Royale, it was a great origin story. I haven't seen enough Bond movies, but I think this was the only origin story of a James Bond. I don't recall other Bonds having a back story, unlike Craig's version of the character.

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  6. Good god, I have this bookmarked for weeks now and I keep meaning to come here and post a thank you for the link - so THANK YOU!

    Also, what a nice list of movies though indeed, Sex Tape kind of breaks the stride there a bit.. what a bad bad bad movie.. can't even master to say one good thing about it at the moment.

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    1. It was very forgettable work, and not even the co-stars could salvage that mess.

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