Movie Review: Founders Day

I’m doing this on my phone so this will be relatively short. Had this movie tried to be serious, it would be one of the worst movies of the year that I have seen. This is a B film that’s a comedy slasher. It is over-the-top and absurd. That doesn’t mean there weren’t aspects that were funny. There are those moments when you laugh when somebody is dying because it’s so fake.

Would I see this movie again? Not even if it was free. But if you find yourself with a free ticket or an opportunity for a cheap viewing, and there’s no other movies that you are interested in seeing, I would give it a try. It’s worth just that much free time out of your life.


Small adults

This is barely a movie review of Won’t You Be My Neighbor.

It’s easy to sum up.

Tears flowed at the end. It was great. We need more people like that today.

For the reason I’m writing though is that same end statement. We need more people like that today. I know there was some controversy that he may have been some kind of seed for the millennials but I still believe the parents have their role in that. Might as well blame all the teachers for not raising those kids right.

Working with children myself but in a different way, I have told parents many times that most children I run across are probably 5 years smarter than you ever gave them credit for. Now that is a made up number but the idea is that we don’t give them enough credit.

I think it was earlier this year I had the pleasure of joining a friend and her husband with their three kids for an evening. Great kids. A pleasure to spend time with. They had strong pointed questions and I gave honest answers. For the most part I’ve always believed that if a kid has the wherewithal to actually ask the question, as an adult it is my responsibility to answer it. Not with made up kid words that we adults use to hide our own uncomfortableness or distress. To me that teaches a child that some things are less or more than other things. If you don’t use adult words if they ask about ‘private parts’ or sex and you act ashamed as you talk to them or try and pawn them off to another person or parent, do they learn that these things are ‘dirty’ and they shouldn’t talk to you about them?

Kids are not small adults, but they aren’t idiots.

Mr Rogers understood and accepted that they are individuals and should be treated with respect.

I hope that pendulum can swing back again.


(spoiler alert) short review of wonder woman (spoiler alert)

This was an unexpected and unscheduled stop at the movies tonight.

My mother had fallen asleep before my uncle could call and I was trying to figure out what I was going to do next.

Work on my book? Get a snack since dinner left me a little hungry? Get to sleep early even though I wasn’t yet tired?

None of the above it seems.

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Short and sweet movie review: The Lunch Box

As typical this isn’t a mainstream movie but instead what is classified as independent. I usually define mainstream as sex, guns and violence with less thinking needed. I’ve seen independent movies with sex, guns and violence but they seem to more appropriate though. Moving on.

The Lunch Box is set in India. A country I know some about as I’m Indian but still distant from as I was born and raised in the Middle United States of North America or MUSNA. I’m ignoring Alaska and Hawaii for the moment as writing MUSNAWO is a lot longer. That’s the Middle United States of North America with Outliers. Sorta like when Agent Colsen in Iron Man spells out SHIELD until the end, I have yet to come up with a better world-centric acronym. Anyway.

It’s set in India and has to do with a lunch box, hence the title, The Lunch Box. If you’ve never heard about it or read about it, you can google the lunch box delivery service they have set up and that it really was studied for its incredible efficiency at delivering those meals. For this movie, the lunch box makes a wrong turn which helps set up the storyline. Good pacing and good lead characters. I feel a connection to them and believe them and their emotions. Back and forth we learn about each of their lives. One person not dominating over the other. The ending is what cinches this as a great movie and an independent one. It’s unclear. Just enough to drive me into a good crazy wondering about what’s going to happen. I’ve talked this over with others and we each had different ideas on the endings. I love it. I love being able to finish a movie and talk about it and ponder it and let it the unknown become something good to bring people together to talk. I felt similar with Silver Linings Playbook and Place Beyond the Pines. Both also very good movies.

See it (them). Let it sit in the back of you mind stewing and churning. Embrace the unknown and revel in not being spoon fed.


Short and Sweet Movie Review: Chef

Chef. Directed by John Fauvre.

My quick synopsis:

Just a straight up good movie. See it.

If you want to know more, keep reading.

So I woke up this morning and was working around the house and very last minute I decided that I wanted to see a movie. Open browser and a list appears of so many movies. So many movies I have no desire to see. Chef though stood out. I remember having seen something about it before and so, off to the theater with two minutes to spare before it starts. One of the benefits of going to see movies early, especially on a saturday is that there usually aren’t that many people there. Another is that if it’s an early bird movie, it’s much cheaper. Not as cheap as the second run theater but far more manageable than an evening movie. I try not to think about an evening movie in 3D at the IMAX. I haven’t heard back yet from the loan department at the bank if they would fund that.

As expected the theater was lite on population but still more than I thought because it was early as well as a non-mainstream movie (guns, sex, violence, less thinking generally needed). I was able to get pretty good positioning for my seat. I’m crazy like that. I want to be at the theater early enough to get good seating usually. Being last minute I winged it knowing this wasn’t probably popular. About 2/3rds back and just left of center is my preference.

Oh. Another benefit. Getting there after it starts means less previews to sit through if you don’t want to see them.

As a movie review people usually talk about the plot and all that. But you can see it yourself to learn those details.

My impression: The movie had good characters that interacted well. Lots of cameos but they never detracted from the movie nor overshadowed it. The pacing was good and I never felt like I wanted it to move faster. At times I wanted it just a little slower but only because I was really enjoying the character interactions and wanted to see and know more. I feel for them and wanted to be a part of their world. It doesn’t help that I have secret (not anymore) ambitions to take cooking classes and wanted to be a chef. Yes watching the movie on an empty stomach didn’t help me and as I write this I’m at a brewery having a Milk Stout and Pretzels with queso. Even though I saw the ending of the movie coming I was happy for it. I wanted it to happen and let it add a few more tears to my face. It’s a story of what happened to one person that stopped following a passion and became complacent and his journey back to himself, a journey I feel I work on everyday to not “give in” to some notion of what is standard and “society” and just be myself, regardless of what I’m advised by others.

Here’s to the dreamers. Those who see what is around them and in their lives and continue pushing forward, struggling against external and self imposed obstacles to try and make a better tomorrow for others and themselves.


Movie review: Ender’s Game

I watch a lot of movies and very little television. I rarely, compared to the movies that i watch, feel the need to share my opinion on a movie. This is one of those times. Yes there may be spoilers in this. I haven’t written it yet but i can’t imagine this without some.

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spoiler FF6

I like the fast and furious franchise. I recently watched FF6 and while I understand the timeline I have to admit that I, like many others, was torn up at the death of Giselle which was done in a very badass manner guns blazing. Han and Giselle were super cute together and probably made most people smile whenever they were together. The extra end of FF6 also sheds light on the death of Han in Tokyo Drift. Now I need to have a marathon and run through them all again, especially Drift. I see Han in a new light and wonder how that will now color my perception of the movie.


“I have money, it’s trust and character I need around me. You know, who you choose to be around you lets you know who you are. One car in exchange for knowing what a man’s made of? That’s a price I can live with.” -Han, Tokyo Drift


-Santa’s Fallen Angel


Another summer of ‘blockbuster’ movies is upon us. I’ve seen Iron Man 3 and Superman (yes, another one), Up On Poppy Hill, Much Ado About Nothing, Pacific Rim and many others that people probably didn’t care so much about. I’m glad I saw Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing. I saw the trailer and I was hooked.

Now I’ve heard of bunkerbusters, but not really sure how the term blockbuster came to be. Anybody know before they also do a search or continue reading?

To the internet!…..

So. I guess I wasn’t that far off in my thinking. Wiki says that it started with the bombs that would destroy a city block. From there it was adopted for a play/production that was crazy sensational. Hence, blockbuster. I digress as usual.

So what do suspenders have to do with movies?

I’m not talking about the suspenders that I have but don’t wear because people make fun of me, although I will be making a comeback on the bowtie if I can ever figure out how to tie it again. Videos just ain’t cutting it right now.

I’m talking about the simple devices that movie makers use to suck us in and keep us interested. Some movies do it far better than others.

We each at the moment we step in the theater are susceptible to a particular hook. Maybe today it’s the love story or the fast car chase or a plot twist that was unexpected or someone hot or just a story that is making absolutely no sense but you need to keep watching to see what happens.

Why do we even need something to suck us in? For Much Ado About Nothing I knew I wanted to see it. I’m a Whedon fan and a Shakespeare fan so yeah pre-movie I was already willing to see it through.

For a lot of movies I have preconceived notions that I try and hold in check while I watch the movie. I like anime and the Studio Ghibli films so Poppy Hill was expected to be a winner for me and I wasn’t let down. Man of Steel for example was a preconceived 50/50. In the end I liked it better than tomato critics. But then again, I also like movies that aren’t standard summer blow em up films too. Yes there is destruction but there’s a strong story there for me as well. I felt it. It connected with me. Subtle and not so subtle emotions being tugged. Pain and tragedy are there. There’s also a lot of crap that I could have done without but I kinda glanced over a bunch of that as regular hollywood nonsense.


There’s a movie that got me pondering. I know some people that didn’t like it. It jostled my mind the first two viewings. I think I’ve seen it three times now. Twice in the theater and once at home. I’m still thinking about it and will probably make a fourth go at it.

I was digressing again…

So, you’re having a jolly ole time in the movies. You’ve bought whatever plot may be given to you as weak as it may be (*cough*Pacific Rim*cough*) and you choose to simply let yourself be caught up in it and stop asking questions. Things seem to be taking a turn and you begin to worry the person you think is the hero is not going to be making a sequel.

And BAM! Out of nowhere comes (insert saving moment).

It’s a toss up at this point. Did the deus ex machina moment relieve you or just plain piss you off? Would the movie have been better if the hero really did die? Do we have to have a happy ending? The Place Beyond The Pines is a great example. If you haven’t seen it try and skip this part and rent it. Then come back and reread. The movie overall was great but the ending rocked. Not your classic style happy ending shit. This was hardcore in your face reality of a trying to make the best of a really fucked up situation. No joking. This kid had his life kicked in the balls and he just kept plowing ahead like he had a super absorbing cup. Bravo! I left so unsettled my friend and I spend quite a bit of time after talking about the movie. It’s nice to not have things wrapped up pleasantly sometimes and you have to face a shitty reality because that’s.. well.. life. Surprise!

In the end (and the end of the movie), why do we choose to believe? Why do we sit there and try to accept this alternate reality be it documentary, class summer fun or far out trippy independent film? I guess it’s still where you are in the moment. Maybe you want to escape your own life. Maybe that’s why we have so many reality tv shows. I’ve learned though that I have enough reality in my own life thank you very much. Maybe you want to, in a sense, travel outside of your comfort zone and experience something you wouldn’t before but easier than actually going somewhere and being forced to experience something. In the theater you can just get up and leave. Being somewhere, you’d have to do hide. Maybe you just want to see what others have seen and just want to know what they are talking about.

I try hard not to put too much stock into ratings of movies. I’ve enjoyed many movies that people just consider trash and would never admit they ever saw it. To each his own. I’ve never seen Titanic and really I’m ok with it. Actually, I knew how it ended already. Doh!

Enjoy your flicks at whatever venue you might catch them at. I encourage you to take a moment if it presents itself and step outside of your comfort zone and catch a movie you might not have before. Many towns that are large enough probably have some place that shows independent films or box office ones that just weren’t big enough to headline.

-Santa’s Fallen Angel

A Movie Post: Iron Man 3

I saw Iron Man 3 this morning.

I can honestly say that Iron Man 1 (or just Iron Man) ranks as one of my all time favorites. I loved the dialogue and the character interactions. I think they did a great job. I loved the sarcasm from Jarvis. Anyway. Moving on.

Iron Man 2. Sorry. I had to pause as a shudder passed through me. It wasn’t horrible. It just wasn’t great. I do like the switch in Rhody (did I spell that right?). He might be smaller now but  Don seems more badass. There were definitely parts of the movie I thought were well done mainly the section where he figures out the new element and goes through that process. The flying and fighting were ok. The SHIELD stuff was meh. The characters delved into a new depth which I think may have caused others to not like the movie as much. I appreciate the depth and assumed it would be leading somewhere. Maybe that’s why I like a lot of the independent and foreign films.

Now Iron Man 3. I saw this in 3D. It wasn’t a gimmicky 3D as far as I could tell. It worked for me. I would have to see it in 2D to really tell if there was a difference but I’m fine for now. This wasn’t as good as the first one. But it was MUCH better than the second. Once again Downey Jr brings life to Iron Man. He is Iron Man. I can’t really see anyone else playing him now if he doesn’t sign up for a fourth one. I believe he did say he will do Avengers 2. We have a little more depth into the characters as basic sequel development will lead to. There were nice plot twists I didn’t see coming and I always appreciate not being able to anticipate where an american movie is headed. (Another reason I like independent and foreign films). I liked seeing Pepper become more of a badass herself and while she still had badass moments I’m hoping that a number four does get made and her role continues its expansion. At times there did appear to be more overt product placement and it was glaring and distracting for me at least.

So overall a good film. I’m glad I jumped at the last second to run and see it at 9:15 this morning. That’s really a great time actually. Very few people there and you can show up ‘late’, meaning all the time the trailers take up at the beginning. 15 minutes late and I still had several to sit through. I think there were maybe seven people in the theater. It worked for me. As a note, for non-3D films since those usually carry the discounts, the first showing of the day can be downright cheap and worth that extra early slot to see it. Just sayin’.

-Santa’s Fallen Angel