Week In Review 1/31 to 2/6

January went fast, didn’t it? Wow. This past week I watched a variety of films which won’t be for everyone. I think moving forward, I’ll plan my week instead of making it up as I go. That way I can share something family friendly, a comedy, a thriller, or whatever; but there’ll be more variety. If you have suggestions, please let me know. Otherwise, you get what you get, ha ha…ahem.

photo majestic.org

Greg and I saw Rando Extravagando Saturday night. Oh. My. God. The brilliance of these people. I mean, really? I laughed the WHOLE night. Honestly, everyday living with a twist. Okay, a dark twist but still. So hilarious! Michael Winder and Dorrie Board write and star in this sketch comedy of scenes with David Parrish as their third arm of the comedy triple threat triangle. While their comedy may be for adult audiences–lots of cussing and delicate subject matter– there were no shortages of laughs. Fun was had by all and I believe the consensus was “We Want More!!” It takes a lot of trust, skill, and gumption (Yes, I said gumption) to keep a straight face through those scenes. But I love comedy played straight. It’s funny! More please 🙂

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Story by Robert Kutzman, Screenplay by Quentin Tarantino, and directed by Robert Rodriguez. Released in 1996. So Tarantino and Rodriguez are friends, besties I think, and you’ll know why if you dare to watch this film. It was like, hey, you wanna make a movie about vampires? Yeah! **Warning, not suitable for all audiences.** Basically, these two guys, George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino, are brothers on the run from robbing a bank. They hook up with Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, and Ernest Liu to get them across the border into Mexico where they are supposed to meet up with Cheech Marin to hide them. They end up at a bar in the middle of nowhere Mexico. Things go from bad to worse when the workers at the bar turn into vampires. Chaos ensues leaving only two survivors. Salma Hayek, Danny Trejo, Tom Savini, and Fred Williamson are also at the bar. This movie has it all. Great script, great set, great special effects, gruesome kills, sexy girls, awkward cringe-worthy moments, and a lot of violence. If you like vampires, you’ll love this. Don’t let the lure of George Clooney fool you. He’s dark in this film. **Warning: graphic images. Watch the trailer below:

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**NO SPOILERS** Written and Directed by Bong Joon Ho and currently nominated for Best Picture. A beautiful, gorgeous film about a poor family who–one by one–begins working for a wealthy family in South Korea. A tutor for the daughter, an art therapist for the son, a housekeeper, and a driver. All is going well until a fateful night. Circumstances change dramatically and tragically leaving no one unaffected. This film does have violence but it’s done in a way which leaves you wanting to go back in time to calm things down and figure out a way to work together.

Some critics claim it’s a warning about the class system or the responsibility of the wealthy in how they treat the poor. While I agree the film show two separate classes of people, the theme for me breaks down to opportunity and what people choose to do with it. Some people handle it gracefully while others use it to take advantage. This film builds quietly to the inevitable moments and the cinematography is is beyond excellent. There are three sides to this story and it’s beautifully tragic. A must see. Now available on Amazon. With subtitles. Watch the trailer below:

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Directed by Josh Cooley, the fourth in the Toy Story franchise takes us on a journey to a far away land–well, at at least far away for toys– and reminds us about team work, friendship, and belonging. The usual suspects are here: Woody, Buzz, Bo Peep, and the gang. At this far away land–an antique store- – new characters are introduced: Gabby Gabby- a doll with a broken voice box who dreams of being loved by a child (voiced by Christina Hendricks); Forky–a spork craft made at school who thinks he’s trash (voiced by Tony Hale); Duke Kaboom–a daring motorcycle driving stuntman with a bit of a confidence complex (voiced by Keanu Reeves) and many others. Toy Story 4 continues the story with fresh characters mixed with the old and never feels forced or like the franchise is reaching to hang on. It reaches comedy highs for both children and adults with some creepiness and adventure all mixed in. The cool thing about toys is they really don’t have a shelf life. As long as someone loves them, their story can keep going. The adventures can keep coming. It was super fun to watch! Even if animation isn’t your thing or if you think you’re too old or don’t have kids for an excuse to watch it, just watch. Underneath the animation is a great adventure story. Watch the trailer below:

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Written by Charles B Griffith and directed by Roger Corman. The latest installment of the Sci-Fi Extravanza series at Darkside Cinema! A group of crooks try to pin the deaths of their crew members on a legendary sea creature only to find out it’s real! The dialogue is hilariously bad, the story is hilariously far-fetched, and it’s perfect! Tuesday Sci-Fi Extranza nights are fun at Darkside Cinema because you can arrive an hour before the movie starts to watch vintage cartoons, vintage commercials or short films, and vintage concession ads. Heckling is allowed and encouraged, free ice cream is provided, and there’s a raffle after the film. Not only that, your $5 admission can be used toward concessions!! This film had a packed audience so I suggest if you want a good seat–and sit together– get there early! Check the Darkside Cinema website or Facebook page to see what movie is next! **Btw, Roger Corman is still making movies, mostly as a producer, and Charles Griffith wrote the screenplay for Little Shop of Horrors! Watch the trailer below:

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In honor of legendary actor, Kirk Douglas, who died this past week at 103, and also because Greg hadn’t seen Spartacus. Released in 1960 and directed by Stanley Kubrick, this 3 hour and 17 minute classic won Best Picture. The film also stars Laurence Olivier, Jean Simmons, Charles Laughton, Peter Ustinov, John Gavin, John Ireland, and Tony Curtis. The story follows the slave Spartacus from humble beginnings to the leader of an enormous slave army, in search of freedom, which has to battle against the Romans. It’s a powerful story to be sure and chock full of powerhouse actors. Don’t be put off by the long intro music, which lasts almost six minutes with a black screen–I questioned whether there was something amiss with my streaming service but when I fast forwarded it to the opening scene, all was well. It has sweeping landscapes and takes it time building the story and the status of each character. It does provide an intermission as most epic movies of the time period did. It’s definitely worth a watch as some themes from the film never get old and are still played out today. Available on Amazon. Watch the trailer below:

What a week! I hope you had a good one, too! I’ll be watching the Oscars Sunday night to find out who and what the Academy chooses to give awards to. Will you be watching?

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