OLIVE KITTERIDGE and THE WIRE

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OLIVE KITTERIDGE AND THE WIRE

Been a while since I’ve written here, but every once in a while I see a film or series so mind-blowingly good I can’t help myself. I’ve got a HUGE crush on the HBO series OLIVE KITTERIDGE, based on a book of short stories by Elizabeth Strout and directed by The Kids are Alright’s Lisa Choledenko.

This 4 part series is acted, written, directed and shot with such craft and tender loving care it’s simply perfection. Such sensitive, emotional, intelligent film making is so refreshing. In the setting of that fictional Maine town you feel all at once as if you’ve dropped into a Norman Rockwell painting except the edges pull away to reveal the dirty, uncomfortable moments lurking behind every pretty picture. This way, we experience a catharsis which is what art is for.

 

 

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THE WIRE

When most of the series I watch are still on hiatus I reach back out to those series I never gave a chance. The Wire was one of those.

People I respect told me, critics raved…and I finally watched HBO’s The Wire. It’s on par with Breaking Bad and The Sopranos. It’s refreshing to see a gritty, crime drama that tackles the same topics with more artistry and emotion than ANY OTHER cop drama…in my opinion.  Also, this wasn’t just a cop drama simply because the majority of the storyline was about crime. I had presumed The Wire as just another SVU or the like but I stand corrected. This series is a biography of a city and the people who live in it.

 

The theme song really tells the tale: WAY DOWN THE HOLE.

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What Movies are made of: Black Rock

 

I just finished watching the Katie Aselton directed film “Black Rock” on demand and I don’t mind saying I am exhilarated. After seeing the trailer a while back “Black Rock” was definitely on my list of movies to see because it had the elements I crave: survival, revenge, thrilling, nail-biting moments and escape.

There’s no need to tell you about the plot, you can see the trailer for that, what I’m telling you is to see it, it’s that good…better than the trailer and the trailer’s great.

Mark Duplass wrote one hell of script, three cheers Mark. I loved every minute. The actresses, Katie Aselton,Lake Bell and Kate Bosworth had a palpable chemistry and they acted the shit outta those roles. The antagonists, Will Bouvier, Jay Paulson and  Anslem Richardson are perfect and the seemingly normal but soon-to-be out of control military guys.

Glad to see a buddy movie with substance, thrill and edge.

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s on Netflix May 2014

 

…So you’re wondering what to watch scrolling through the possible crap on Netflix and shows and flicks you’ve already seen?

If you’ve like my other choices, and you trust me…and you should here’s my recommendations and stay-away-from’s:

 

 


 

FILMS

“Mr. Nobody” – Jared Leto -Futuristic miasma of different ways one’s life could have gone.

– I enjoyed this movie although I was challenged to exactly what was going on.

-I would mostly recommend this one, but be prepared for out of the box storytelling.

 

“Charlie Countryman”- Shia Labeouf – Dramatic finding oneself in a time of emotional disaster.

– HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

I loved this movie and was especially impressed with Rachel Evan Wood who knocked this roll out of the park! Her look was stunning and she had a presence that made her light up the screen. You can’t ever go wrong with Mads Mikkelson and Shia was phenomenal and HECK…who doesn’t wanna check out the life in Bucharest. You’ve got the Bucharest, drug, mafia and opera scene…it’s great stuff. Let’s not forget Melissa Leo…who’s role although small is her magnificent self.

 

“Short Term 12”

-Sort of Recommend

This movie was very intense…when you’re dealing with child molestation and abuse…it’s not the first subject you intentionally want to watch however, the acting was well done and film was done with grace and has that indie charm.

 

“Jobs” – It’s Steve Jobs before and after the creation of Apple.

Highly Recommend

I don’t know why the critics are hating on this movie. I thoroughly enjoyed it. It didn’t make me like Steve Jobs. It did make me dislike him a bit. I enjoyed Ashton Kutcher as the younger Jobs more than the older..of which I had  a hard time believing, but that said…all else was flawless.

 

“How I live Now” –Apocalypse-ish story taking place in England.

Highly Recommend

This is like the the “Walking Dead” without Zombies. So if you films with the feeling of the end of the world and the struggle for survival…check this shit out.

 

“MUD” – Matthew Mcconaughey – Drifter with something to hide in a small town.

Highly Recommend

Well done. Really well done. You’ve got a bunch of great characters and some cool plots making you guess who the most scummy character is. It’s the root for the underdog theme, and when it’s not a disney film…it’s more palatable.

 

 

 

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Bates Motel is a Winner!

 

Was late to the game in catching the first season of The Bates Motel on A&E in its original airing, but decided to give it a swing on Netflix and was pleasantly surprised. The show is extremely well done. It competes with the caliber of programs like FX’s “American Horror Story” (where her sister Taissa rocks the house playing various roles) and  AMC’s “The Killing” in it’s style, acting and story… all first rate. Vera Farmiga is the best I’ve ever seen her. Her big blast into notoriety was from “Up in the Air”, but this is gonna knock her outta the park and blast her as a hot commodity. Vera conquers “Norma Bates” like a true master with her different levels of inner emotion, sincerity and subtle comedic brilliance. She takes you slowly into the world of this multi-layered character and captures you inside the complex inner life which could have so easily been a caricature by any less of an actress. Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Nestor Carbonell (LOST), and Olivia Cooke make a dream cast. The story pacing and plot twists keep this show exciting with an under current of macabre comedy adding a slight kitschy feel that’s just right for this mother/son wacky relationship.

The great news is Season 2 started up again not too long ago on A&E. Looking forward to see where the writers take it.

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Looking for more ideas to watch on Netflix?

Netfilix…so many choices and so little time. What’s a person to do?

Here’s some films I’ve recently watched that I found entertaining:

*Crack Pipes: See definition

THE WAY – Genre: DRAMA: 3 CRACK PIPES

I have been eye-ing “The Way” for quite a while but kept avoiding it because I didn’t want to see a depressing story, however I was pleasantly surprised. It is pretty hard to go wrong with Martin Sheen and Emilio did quite a fantastic directing job. If you like to see big landscapes and exploration-type flicks with a good, emotional underlying story, you’ll like this.

 

AFTERSHOCK- Genre: Foreign DRAMA: 4 CRACK PIPES

Talk about intense. This was definitely a heart breaker but definitely worth it. The acting is amazing as well as the special effects. If you like EPIC stories ala “Joy Luck Club”.  Taking you through generations of a family and bringing you into their world with detailed orchestration.

 

PERLASCA- Genre: Foreign DRAMA: 3 CRACK PIPES

This film was basically very good. Based on a true story, takes place in WWII in Budapest. FORMAT WISE, someone made a boo boo on Netflix and formatted the movie incorrectly (you couldn’t see all the captioning in the beginning and the end) which is crucial is describing what you will see and what the facts about the lead character Perlasca were. Otherwise it was extremely well done in that the plot points, which you will usually find in a WWII film; survival, escape, intrigue are all there along with good acting and a worthy story.