Thursday, December 15, 2016

I should probably catch you up, huh?

So. I've been attending screenings, as you know. They've started to slow to a crawl, now that the SAG Awards (TM) {or is that (R)?} have posted their nominees for this season. I received an invite for Fences yesterday, but I was still on set, so that wasn't happening. That is both a #Blessing and a #NotSoMuch. I received another invite for Lion today, but the "reception" afterward (not a Q&A) was with the kid who played the 5-year-old (and spoke no English during filming; he's probably 7 by now and has a larger English vocabulary than I do!), and with the composer of the film. It's a bit chilly (59ยบ?) and rainy out this evening, and I know our return to LA meant saying "Yes" to more things, but c'mon. I'm in my loungewear. I got Cocoa occasionally snuggling up to me. And, well, I did already see that film. I'd have seriously considered a Q&A with Dev Patel, but I dunno what I'd say to Sunny.

Ennyhoo, here are some reviews for ya:

Hell or High Water A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family's ranch in West Texas.: reminded me, overall, in its tone, of No Country For Old Men (I honestly started to type "Old Country for No Men"; does that say anything about how I felt about it?). Not as violent, of course, but slow, visually epic, with good performances of characters you don't really care about. Only Recommended if you loved the other one. For the rest of us, it'll wait for your tv at home, however it is you choose to consume movies at home.

However, the screening was ah-may-zing. The theater, once I found its parking lot, was severely impressive. It was, unfortunately, called "iPic". {I say "unfortunately" because I am personally very anti-"i", as I think I may have hinted at previously.} There was validated valet parking (I drive a stick shift; I like to park it myself); dark wood interiors; stairs, escalators, and probably elevators; at least one bar (yes, the kind where they serve alcohol), and inside the theater, all of the seats were paired, with a shared table with a silent "call" button for your waiter. Everything but alcohol was 100% comped for the screening, and, oh, yeah... the seats reclined. My guest and I sat there in our recliners eating hors d'oeuvres and LOBSTER ROLLS and apple pie a la mode, drinking strawberry rhubarb lemonade and sparkling Vios water (or whatever the hell that high-end brand was). Totally made it worth seeing a slow Neo-Western about a coupla dudes robbing banks and the federal agents tryin'ta track 'em down!

If you find yourself in LA, hankering to see a film in an awesome space, the iPic theater on Wilshire is Highly Recommended (although probably also incredibly pricey). Otherwise, stay home and do it all on the comfort of your own couch.

Hacksaw Ridge WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.: I was warned aforehand that this flick is very visually violent. It's a war pic; I get it. There was a chick sitting next to me at the screening who'd seen it multiple times and said it was her fave of the season. She then proceeded to fall asleep. lightly snoring, through all of the exposition, only to awaken in time for the gory, bloody violence. I am not a history buff. I think I've said so before. I don't "love" war movies. Mel and Andrew and Vince and Luke were at the Q&A after the screening, and they tried to sell us on the "women love this film because it's not a war picture, it's a love story" idea. Bullshit. It's a fucking war movie. I don't care that the lead character, played quite convincingly by Andrew Garfield, is a Conscientious Objector who enlists as a combat medic with the plan to not even carry a gun but to save lives (and does so), just because he loves his new wife and this Great Country so much. It's still a fucking war movie, not a love story. Honestly, it felt like Forrest Gump in Vietnam, only real. Hell, for all I know, this is the dude Forrest's Vietnam Hero was based on. Only fictional.

Regarding the Q&A afterwards, Mel was really twitchy (he would not stop combing his beard or twirling his moustache with his left hand, while holding his mic with the right, often effectively covering his mouth whilst both petting the mouth hair and speaking). Andrew and Vince and Luke had a beautiful Mutual Admiration Society meeting, and they often sang Mel's praises, too. The performances IN the film were all very believable. There was A LOT of humor throughout. And no one said a word at the Q&A about "Naked Man" or how many scenes he had to shoot, naked, or how many days it took to get all of those scenes "in the can" before he was finally allowed to wear a stitch of clothing again. Dude was CUT, y'all. And very nekkid. For a very long time. And no indication in the Q&A about him or his ... junk. Just "it's a love story". :/

My recommendation? Only if you love a "love story" that's disguised as a bloody, gory, violent war movie, OR if you happen to love any of the actors playing the real people in this story. Yes, it's based on a real guy's experiences. Otherwise, again, this is a wait for it to reach your own television.

BOTH of these movies are being Very Highly Received, so maybe my opinion doesn't count for squat. I don't care. It's my opinion, and this is my blog. You want reviews from critics who get paid to critique? This is not the place. You wanna hear what one background actress/Script Supervisor/occasional PA/frequent non-industry bookkeeper thinks about a thing? Hey hey! You found me! :)

A Very Murray Christmas : Okay, so we saw this in the Netflix or other streaming queue, and said, what the hell? How weird can it get? Let's watch it until it becomes unwatchable.

We watched the whole thing, but I only advise you to do the same IF your initial instinct in turning on anything Bill Murray is "what the hell? How weird can it get? Let's watch it until it becomes unwatchable" Because THIS THING is really weird. NOT that it's not funny. Oh, it is. We found ourselves laughing out loud, primarily over the absurdity of it all. Honestly, Bill is a talented guy who has made himself a representation-free recluse. The producers and directors and casting folks who have roles in mind for him deal with him directly, but not without some seriously super-spy-level shenanigans going on first to get his attention. He only works on projects that somehow speak to him. He's not in it for the fame or riches or glory anymore. He has reached that level of success that he set for himself. "I'm only gonna work if I wanna; I'm only gonna do meaningful shit anymore; I'm not payin' anybody any commissions; I am my Own Man." You GO, Bill. #Respect

So this particular thing feels a bit autobiographical, but definitely in an absurd mode. So if you love Bill Murray like I love Bill Murray, and you're in the mood for some weird shit that you can laugh at (or with, possibly?), then yeah, Watch This Thing.

In other news, I'm really hoping to get vlogging figured out by 2017. I'm not planning to completely abandon the written word, but I think the video format oughta be fun, right? I have just sent Daddy an email, so my personal Tech Support in India is On The Case (or will be, when he wakes up tomorrow and looks at his email. He's not on any timeclock; one cannot assume what boundaries are in place, or set any, when one is utilizing free assistance, DUH).

Happy December, Y'all! I'm feelin' pretty good, of late! How 'bout YOU?


  1. We rented Hell or High Water a couple of weeks ago and I thought it was OK. Nothing special but glad I waited to rent it.

    I've been on the fence about Hacksaw Ridge and have yet to pull the trigger on seeing it at the movies. I think after reading your review I will just wait until it's rentable.


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