Thursday, September 1, 2016

August Flicks

Am Not Your Guru - I like Tony Robbins, from the little I've seen of him in interviews and what not, so I figured I'd check this movie out. Eh. It all kinda came across as sincerely insincere. Not his planning and actual seminar, just the audience and the way they all seemed so at one with each other when you know damn well as soon as they leave that space, get in their car, and get cut off in traffic, all their old angry ways will come flooding back. You can't sustain that hippie mentality unless you are a hippie and that whole peace and love jive is who you are for real. Oh and the cued music at specific intervals was so lame. Like someone has a breakthrough and starts crying and suddenly Tiny Dancer is playing. Not in the film - in the room. Ugh. However, even though I didn't like it (I got as far as when he asked one guy to roar and was like, "Buh-bye. Time to hit stop.") I will say that if someone watches anything like this or goes to Tony's seminars and gets something out of it, as in they are able to leave there and go on to be and live happier lives, well I think that's wonderful and I'm all for it. As for me? No thanks.

High Rise - Oh man, I thought I'd finally found a Tom Hiddleston film that I liked but nope, still on the look out. (I liked Midnight in Paris but haven't seen him in a lead role that really grabbed my attention.) Once I reached the scene where he was roasting the dog's leg on a spit I actually stood up and said, "I'm done." If there's one thing I did not need this month it was darkness and this movie - although it looked gorgeous and I do so love those 1970s stylings - I just had no desire to stick with it.


Weekend (2011) - This movie was excellent. I loved that it showed a realistic romance and the conversations that the fellas had in bed the morning after they'd met and hooked up was so authentic that I kinda forgot it was a film and that I wasn't peering through a keyhole. Tom Cullen and Chris New's acting were superb and I was so glad I picked this up at the library.

Weekend (1967) - Well, how could I watch a new-ish film called Weekend and not also re-watch Godard's masterpiece. I'd forgotten just how shocking this film was. The behaviour of nearly every character left me with my jaw hanging open. Especially the one car wreck that left several people clearly dead and the woman in the background is weeping then screams about her Hermès handbag. I was appalled. Such a strange and engrossing film.

Anomalisa - I have no idea what drew me to this odd little film but it was really original and I thought that Jennifer Jason Leigh was outstanding as Lisa, who I identified with so deeply. She was the very best thing in the entire film. Oh, and I loved the mundane moments in the life of a frequent flyer at the opening. The overheard conversations and airline announcements made me long to board a flight immediately!

Truth - Dang, what a cast. Gee-zoo, was I super impressed with this film. I thought that Cate Blanchett was absolutely extraordinary. She so effortlessly makes you believe she is the character she's playing. You don't even think of her other roles because she is so captivating. A really solid movie that's worth watching.

Before We Go - Wasn't sure about this flick and went into it with wicked low expectations. It was actually pretty good and not as formulaic as most romantic comedies. I thought Chris Evans was decent and was surprised to see him listed as the director. Gotta respect a guy that could just keep coasting through with his career and not bother to branch out, but surprises all and attempts something new and challenging. 

Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party

45 Years - That Charlotte she ever anything but exceptional? I mean really. This film about a marriage (six days in their marriage to be exact) was so real; it was slow and even paced, interesting, but not edge of your seat where you're worried that some bombshell was gonna drop and change the trajectory of the film. It was just one of those lovely, well made films that comes out of the UK.

The Wrecking Crew - The Sunday that I met up with my brother, Wayne, in Bryn Mawr we got to talking about music. He's the Ska fanatic in our family and I've recently been getting into it and wanted a list of his fave musicians. Talk turned to non-Ska peeps and he mentioned Carol Kaye and that she was with a group of session players known as The Wrecking Crew. "OMG - isn't there a show about them on Netflix?" I said to myself. I went right home and added it to my queue. It wasn't the greatest documentary, but listening to the players talk was the best bit. What a fantastic assembly of talent. I had no clue how instrumental they were in most of the music I grew up listening to and loving. Definitely eye-opening. 

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead 2 - Joe Cross - I owe this man so much. Seeing his first documentary inspired me to juice for 30 straight days in January of 2013. Since then I've lost almost 60 lbs and have grown to absolutely love vegetables, along with enjoying exercise and living healthy. Whenever I falter, I go back to his films and am instantly rejuvenated. I even (she sheepishly admits) follow him on IG. His posts always make me smile. I love that man.

Iris - I first learned of Ms. Apfel in Bill Cunningham New York and was so happy to find that the Maysles brothers made a documentary about this fantastic lady. I had seen Iris a while back but had to give it another look. She's so unique and warm and calming. I adore her.

Vegucated - The film that started it all; that put me on the path towards veganism. Whenever I feel myself cheating a bit too much (damn you Dove sea salt and caramel chocolates) I re-watch this documentary and am back on track. The story of three regular New Yorkers that take the challenge to go vegan and see what happens is stupendous. I am so glad I saw this film. Definitely a life-changer for me.

Hungry for Change - I figured since I was off the phones at work that it couldn't hurt to re-watch (really more like re-listen since I couldn't actually watch it) this doc and let the healthy habits they speak of seep into my brain waves and get me motivated for my Labor Day Juice Fest and Plant Based Weekend Extravaganza! I'm actually super excited to get back in the swing of healthy eating. I was pretty bad there for a bit...

Fed Up - This was another recommendation from Netflix after all the other healthy lifestyle docs I watched. Man, I had no clue how craptastic school lunches are. I mean, I remember they were garbage in comparison to my mother's cooking (which is fabulous) but the fact that, what was it, 80% (!!!!!) of all schools have a deal with Coke or Pepsi!? How is that possible? I've already told Ashlee that she has to make Bailey take a lunch to school every day because geez Louise, if not then our perfect lil' cherub would be destined for a horribly unhealthy young life. 

The U.S. vs John Lennon - Saw this film years ago and decided it needed another viewing. My absolute favourite part is when Lennon was asked about the posters that he and Yoko put up in 11 cities around the globe that read "War Is Over (if you want it)." I loved, LOVED his response. "People said 'How much is it?' I don't know, but it's cheaper than somebody's life." What a gorgeous thing to say. 

Dark Horse - The story of a group of working-class folks from Wales that went in together to breed a racehorse just had me smiling the whole time. I love an underdog and I love it when they come out shining.

Clue - Oh my lord Jesus, this is always, always my go-to movie when I'm sick. It is so freakin' funny and zany and every time I see it I just feel better. It instantly puts me in a good mood as soon as the first note of the opening music sounds off. Every character is brilliant and it's impossible to pick a favourite. Stand-out lines are definitely, "Flames...on the side of my face...." and "Our lives are in danger, ya beatnik!" Oh my god, so good.

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