XXY

June 16, 2018 § Leave a comment

PRE-REVIEW NOTE: Due to my overly lateness, I’ve been busy with my social life for a while and have personal dealings as well. I’m still keeping the site and LGBT+ Pride Month theme will be scheduled as good as possible but after it is a honest-to-god good question. Suffice to say, 2018 is another of those years to do reviews with complicated timing.

It’s June and again, it’s LGBT+ Pride Month and this time, I gonna do something probably different. Given that I mention the plus of the community, I’m somewhat puzzled on why I didn’t look upon anything that involves the plus portion of the community. And really, I’m queer and very inclusive so for this year around, I’m looking at anything else in the sexual spectrum starting with intersex gender and while it’s true that I have reviewed one which is Predestination, I reviewed that because I’m a fan of time travel and didn’t much gloss into intersexuality aspect so thought I should look into a movie that focuses on intersexuality.

Predestination

And we have XXY, a Spanish movie that’s directed by Lucía Puenzo who has interests in silent movies… and Nazism! Um, it’s not what you think so don’t expect her to be like Lars Von Trier or Milo Yiannopoulos… I hope! But anyway, she started writing screenplays for Historias cotidianas and The Whore And The Whale before getting her directorial start with Los invisibles. Other than directing, she’s also a novelist and some of her films are based on her novel works.

The German Doctor

The main character in the movie is Alex Kraken (Inés Efron), a teenager who is living as a female while taking meds to not transition her looks and likeness into a male as aided by her parents but for the past couple of weeks, she stopped taking the drugs all while she and her parents question if she’ll take a sex reassignment surgery to make her remain female. Her mother Suli (Valeria Bertuccelli) involves her friends to stay with them including their son Álvaro (Martín Piroyansky) whom Alex has fallen for.

First Meeting

However, As Alex and her family recently moved to Uruguay from Argentina in order to not get involved in discrimination. Alex’s intersex gender gets found out by her former friend Vando (Luciano Martín Nóbile) and her life is put in a bit of crisis with her attraction to Álvaro having its confusion to Vando’s friends tries to sexually assault her in the beach but Vando appears stopping it from happening to even question if she wants to take the surgery.

Aftermath

Álvaro’s parents decide to go back while Álvaro tries to beg his love to Alex even after discovering she’s an intersex person. The movie ends with Álvaro and his family driving away and Alex being back with her family with her father accepting her decisions. The movie is indeed something to watch which does show the rawness and realistic feel on what he or she is like to live as a intersex person even during the teenage years.

Beatles

And movies involving intersexuality is almost impossible to come by since there have been movies that took a look at it like 1970’s Tintomaro or 2005’s Both which is directed by Lisset Barcellos who herself is a intersex person. And it’s not just with movies, television has examples on intersexuality including Freaks And Geeks where Ken Miller (Seth Rogen) falls for Amy (Jessica Campbell) who he later finds out she’s intersex and is okay with the outcome.

Freaks And Geeks

Despite that, I do wish there’s more movies and television medium that focuses on intersexuality but then again, I also pretty much say the same thing for subjects to the next three movies I’ll look at this month. Now is this movie worth looking at? Definitely because it shows what life is like for somebody who’s intersex and the outcomes of it whether it’s positive or negative. It’s also a honest subject piece and it may be about Alex but it’s also about her family, her love interest and the setting itself. I do recommend it and am glad to look upon this so until next time, I am back and hopefully without any delays.

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A Deadly Adoption

April 24, 2018 § Leave a comment

Hey, anybody wanna know about Rachel Lee Goldenberg because honestly, her story is an interesting case. Years ago, I reviewed The Asylum’s take on Sherlock Holmes which includes Holmes and Watson fighting against robotic dinosaurs. It’s a weird sense of steampunk but then again, Sherlock Holmes and technology in 19th century is a common mixture if you research it long enough. Outside of this movie, Rachel has made few Asylum fares like Sunday School Musical and Princess and the Pony but she then started to branch out to movies made by different companies. The movie I’m looking at today is one good example.

Yeah, A Deadly Adoption. A Lifetime thriller that stars Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig which is out of the ordinary for them but hey, it’s now a movie that somehow exists. And this movie got a minor notice enough that Rachel went on to direct an episode of The Mindy Project, couple of episodes of Man Seeking Woman and the almost-upcoming remake of Valley Girl. I say “almost-upcoming” because it nearly aired but got taken off in this time of writing for behind-the-scenes reasons which I’m assuming is that because it stars Logan Paul as the character previously played by Nic Cage. Probably the worst casting call I ever heard to date so whoever thought of this didn’t think it through.

So anyway, on to the movie and it focuses on best-selling author Robert Benson (Will Ferrell) who discovers his pregnant wife Sarah has tripped and fallen to the river so he must hurry and save her. He did but let’s just say their second child didn’t make it and the accident became part of Robert’s post-traumatic memory. Years later and the couple along with their daughter Sully (Alyvia Aly Lind) are almost living a good life but they’re in need of an adoption so they taking in Bridgette (Jessica Lowndes) who is carrying a baby that she’ll give up for adoption.

The idea didn’t work exactly as planned as it’s later revealed that Bridgette is faking her pregnancy and is planning to have Robert fall for her again since she previously met him few years ago when he’s on his period of getting drunk. Their previously meet also results into them having sex which somewhat blocks Robert’s memory until he found a copy of his book in her stuff that contains a signed description. Bridgette and her boyfriend Dwayne (Jake Weary) then kidnaps Sully and shoots Robert and Sarah’s friend Charlie (Bryan Safi) who is tracking them. Bridgette goes a bit nuts by going to the couple’s home with Sarah being unconscious in the garage in fumes and Robert being shot.

As Bridgette got away, Robert survives and saves Sarah again before he goes after Bridgette and Dwayne and save his daughter. As he got his daughter and Dwayne got arrested after being shot by Bridgette, Bridgette herself is still going nuts and Robert facing his fear by him and Sully jumping off the bridge and landed in the water. As Bridgette is close to shooting them, Sarah appears and shoots them. The movie then ends with the three alive and well and dancing while forgetting the past troubles.

This movie is strange. It’s good for a Lifetime thriller but with Will and Kristen acting all serious without a comedic moment is the surreal part of the movie. They’re good but at least it’s a better performance from them than Zoolander No. 2. The other fare okay even with Z Nation‘s Kellita Smith having a bit role as a police officer. The story is in the same likeness as Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? which by the way, I do have to see a quote-unquote remake that involves vampires which I think it’s more weirder than this s who knows. Best check it out for curiosity’s sake and nothing more.

The Neighbors: Original 2007 Pilot

March 19, 2018 § Leave a comment

Okay, back to my usual business and it is about time that Tommy Wiseau’s sitcom The Neighbors is back… sort of! Now it’s obvious that Tommy is now becoming more of a household name thanks to the release of The Disaster Artist and the fact that he was in Golden Globes but this month is weirdly a month devoted to him in many places. He shows his acting chops as The Joker, appeared in two different music videos and even break down the scene from The Disaster Artist on Vanity Fair. For a guy who once made a bad movie, he is now big and probably bigger by the upcoming release of Best F(r)iends.

But upon all those, I’m not talking about it. Instead, I’m looking at the semi-return of the sitcom by a recent leak of the original pilot made in 2007 by Monique La Barr who was in few Asylum movies like Transmorphers and Death Racers. Uh, I can’t believe I mention that ICP movie but in fairness, it’s not the only time I’ll bring up that movie this year so foreshadow to one of my near-future reviews. And yeah, she’s in the pilot as Bebe but IMDB didn’t mention it yet so give it time. Anyway, how is this once unseen pilot held and compared differently to its 2015 series counterpart? Well, to my surprise, it is different.

I won’t bring up the plot since it’s really just a selection of plots and subplots later used in 2015 series that I already reviewed like the arrival of Princess Penelope (Sheryl Chambers) for example and it’s not much really. There are ideas missing here that’s later used in the actual series like Ricky Rick being one of the characters absent but it’s almost like I’m watching a demo version of the show. The film quality is also a surprise since it is filmed better than the 2015 version with audio and visual being perfect. The set however is just the office and literally nothing else except the exterior stock footage of a building.

The performance is okay but outside of Tommy Wiseau and Jennifer Lieberman (and Branden Kong who’s almost unrecognisable there), I think I’ll stick with the characters played by ones in 2015 version than this. No offense to stars like Drew Gallagher and Monique La Barr but it’s the way I feel to be honest. While the series hasn’t properly returned, I guess this is what we got so far out of it and it’s worth seeking out since well, the whole thing leaked on YouTube which I provide the link below to watch. So do watch it and wonder how different the pilot is than the rest of the show itself and the results might be surprising.

 

On The Line

January 30, 2018 § Leave a comment

Oh good god, why am I reviewing this movie? I mean, I didn’t expect to look at On The Line which is a movie where Lance Bass finds the love of his life while being aided by Joey Fatone, so really, how did Jeff Fahey end up in this one? Well, that’s easy. I’m actually reviewing a different movie with the same title but hey, we may not have two *NSYNC members but we do have Coolio instead. I’m not saying it as a bad thing and he was still relevant at that time. Shame really, he is an awesome rapper that should be known for anything other than that one song really.

Again, little to talk about on the director with Elodie Keene being more known for television works. The same can be said for Walter Halsey Davis with him being the writer for The Great Escape II: The Untold Story. Yeah, he’s the guy who wrote a sequel that I don’t know if somebody wanted. And Vickie Patik? Not much except she won an Emmy back in 1985. Seriously, it’s the most easy month for me to look into who wrote and direct those movies, I could even joke about Eric Bross who directed the other On The Line movie but even he has little credit to his work.

Hmm Anyway, the movie focuses primary on Jean (Linda Hamilton) whom after years on working on cases involving sexual assault and crimes, she wants to be transferred to the homicide department while caring for her son Jack (Tim Redwine). As she partners up with Dan Collins (Jeff Fahey), a group of teenagers wreak havoc in the streets robbing banks with all but one wearing afro wigs… to hide their identity that we all can see anyway?!? So Jean and Dan finds their way to stop them along with the help of other detectives Gil (Coolio), Manny (Dean Norris) and Ed (Paul Herman).

Despite that, her new work has a bit of missteps as anybody but Dan pulls prank on her for a brief time before accepting her as their colleague and her previous case is still a bit ongoing before a suspect has been captured. She also has parental problems with her son being fearful she’ll be a victim to all this. They planned to capture those teenagers which they manage to succeed and her work is done here and there so movie finish, right? Um, this is when the next part is going to a different path.

As Jean and Dan were having their drinks, Laslo (David Kagen), a drunk customer nearby shows his gun and prepares to aim at Dan. He shot him and has been shot, ending the movie with her and her friends are at a loss and Jean going to the arcade to care for his son. Honestly, if you take the last bit out, the movie would have been okay as a unsold pilot to an interesting television series. The movie is both gritty and somewhat comical with Linda and Jeff giving their all while Coolio and Dean help out as supporting casts, the story is okay with few flaws but the ending just kind of killed it since it came out of nowhere. Has Dan being played by somebody else? I still stick with what I said.

And given that I said “comical”, it’s even that in one unintentional moment of the movie where Jeff and Linda were talking in a bar while the area they are sitting in seems to be spinning around with me laughing out that their discussion was going on while we can see the background turn. It’s possibly the best part of the movie overall and while this movie is worth checking out for the plot and acting, just wait till you get to that sequence and tell me this is hilariously dumb.

Well, what a month to end this not with a bang but with the fact that I have watched a movie that contains that sequence. Well, there is other stuff to check out like more Bibleman, a bit more Lookback reviews and a couple of Zack Snyder movies (yes, I said “a couple”) so until next time.

Curiosity Kills

January 21, 2018 § Leave a comment

Last Week, I have a look in a movie where Jeff Fahey plays a blind former police officer and mention The Sketch Artist II since that movie has Courteney Cox as a blind person so it makes sense that I’m reviewing another movie related to that by having Jeff and Courteney star in this as well. And believe me when I say that this movie is surprisingly hard to find but I found it and am looking at it anyway. Curiosity Kills is a 1990 movie starring C. Thomas Howell and this is not the only time he stars with Jeff since they later sort-of collaborate again in 1996’s The Sweeper. I say “sort-of” because yeah, they are both in it but they don’t share scenes together. Will explain that movie eventually because that one is really insane.

It’s directed by Colin Bucksey who is more known for TV works with shows like Breaking Bad and Fargo, that and he won awards for his work. The two writers of this movie also has good credits with both Joe Batteer and John Rice being best known for writing Windtalkers and Blown Away. Okay, maybe I do lie that I have more to talk about this director last week but hey, even next week’s movie has a little checking on the director and writers so this is really an easy month for me to look at who’s involved in each movie.

C. Thomas Howell plays Cat Thomas, a janitor and a photographer living his life while planning to move to Miami with his fashion model girlfriend Gwen (Courteney Cox). He and his neighbor Jane (Rae Dawn Chong) discovers their friend and neighbor Harry (Lawrence Dobkin) died by suicide in bath but when actor Matthew Manus (Jeff Fahey) moves in to Harry’s apartment, Cat is then suspicious since he discovered that Matthew is planned to move to the same apartment before Harry’s “suicide” and he and Jane investigates on whether Matthew is a good guy or not.

And obviously, Matthew is not since he’s not an actor at all but a killer who has connections even to a member of the police force. It took a long while before Cat and Jane had been found out and Matthew has to complete his job by getting Cat on the rooftop but he’s shot and Matthew’s informer (and crooked police captain) McGarrity (Richard Foronjy) appears on the scene and as Cat notices McGarrity’s cough, he is danger but Jane saved his life. The movie ends with Cat and Jane being more than just neighbors as they fell in love (and Gwen might be living in Miami or something, she left him after thinking Cat is cheating).

This movie plays out as a bit of early 90s retelling of Rear Window except that Cat is not in his wheelchair (or being house arrest like Shia’s character in Disturbia). It’s okay and they all did a good job. Jeff did play it menacingly while hiding it with his fake persona and I see C. Thomas Howell and Rae have chemistry which makes sense since they met in Soul Man and got married until after sometime after this movie is finished. There’s no minor parts except that it might be edited-for-television since that’s how I got my copy but worth checking out if possible.

Blindsided

January 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

Hey, remember when I reviewed a movie where Jeff Fahey plays a sketch artist who helps a early fame Courtney Cox on a crime case even though she’s blind? Well, how about I should look at a movie where Jeff is not a sketch artist but he’s a ex-cop involved in a situation… that, and he’s temporarily blind! Believe it or not, this is not the only movie I’m reviewing this month that has a loose connection with The Sketch Artist II so do wait next week for another James Tolkien appearance. I’m kidding but hey, when you get a title like Blindsided, do you expect to be about something else?

Blindsided is directed by Thomas Michael Donnelly who does nothing much really. Yeah, it’s a bit anticlimactic. He did direct movies like Quicksilver starring Kevin Bacon and wrote stuff as well so that’s pretty much it. I think I more to talk about the director of next week’s movie than this one so what else do I say really? Not much but it gives a quick check before we get to the movie so let’s roll.

After stealing cash from an operation, Former police officer Frank McKenna (Jeff Fahey) and his friend Lee (Brad Hunt) attempt to complete their plan but Frank got shot in the back of his neck which although he survived, he became temporarily blinded. Staying at Mexico to get his sight back through operation, he met a mysterious lady known simply as Chandler Strange (Mia Sara) and they fall for each other before she went away leaving Frank to wonder what happen to her.

They eventually get to see each other again but their love is caught in a web of deception, murder and lies as she is revealed to be a lover of Jessy Aruna (Rudy Ramos) who was in charge of money laundering operation that Frank and Lee were involved in. And Frank now has to give almost all the money back to Jessy while hoping to achieve love with Chandler or let go of her after he discovered her secrets.

Now this movie is pretty good and has a noir kind of feel but admittedly, it felt like I’m also watching a 1990s Erotic Thriller that’s tone down to PG-13 viewing and really, it shows. The movie has sex but it’s not that graphic and violence that is painfully little violent. It makes sense since this is made for television but if you make this movie in the same timeframe as Basic Instinct and Sliver but not have the risky feel, there’s a bit of problem there.

Obviously Jeff is fine and the same goes for Mia Sara as a femme fatale which I have to wonder why I don’t see much of her beyond Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The only other person good in this movie is the late, great Ben Gazzara as Frank’s former police partner and friend who helps Frank out even in troubled times. The movie is only worth checking out for the story and their acting alone. Nothing much beyond that really.

Silverado

January 7, 2018 § Leave a comment

Sigh, why did I made this pic above? I wish I have more time but anyway. Last year, I mentioned that I may look at this movie eventually and ain’t it obvious that I’m looking at it today. And honestly, this is a different start since I’m looking at a movie that is made by well-known screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan who practically needs no introduction. No really, any movie I might bring up is not even worth mentioning so you know what stuff he wrote or direct. Had I review a movie by Robert Rodriguez instead? I’ll basically copy and paste those words and get on to the movie straight away so what should I say about Lawrence that hasn’t been said? Well okay, he directed Dreamcatcher and it bears my mind that he’s the one who wrote that as well so yeah, time to move on from that Stephen King adaptation.

Even this movie itself would be tough to talk about since it’s one of the well-known movies he made back in that time and has a large cast that you know of like Jeff Goldblum, Kevin Kline, John Cleese, Kevin Costner, Scott Glenn, Danny Glover and even Brian Dennehy whom both he and Jeff later reunite in The Last Of The Finest. And this is probably sad enough because as much as it’s his first theatrical starring role, it’s him in a more supporting role. Basically, he plays a character that’s not a lead or secondary lead.

The movie starts off with Emmett (Scott Glenn) whom after he got ambushed by three man but survived. He decides to go to Silverado but not before he meets Paden (Kevin Kline) who’s left in the desert. They befriended each other and make a stop to a nearby town to discover that Emmett’s brother Jake (Kevin Costner) is in prison and sentenced to hanging by its town’s sheriff John Langston (John Cleese). Both Emmett and Paden encountered Mal (Danny Glover) and team-up to save Jake which they did the four formed a team that shows their friendship and survival.

After helping few settlers along the way, they arrived to the town that’s now “policed” by its sheriff and Paden’s old friend Cobb (Brian Dennehy) who has some shady history with him and his team including his right hand Tyree (Jeff Fahey) and later town arrival Slick (Jeff Goldblum). They pinpoint that he’s the one behind all this from Mal’s father being murdered to how Emmett got ambushed earlier and they bring him and his goons down before it gets worsen.

Despite the fact that Jeff hardly stars in it, it don’t matter really because this movie is indeed a western classic and made in the time when the genre is heading to its tough times with blockbuster films beginning to reign supreme. The genre managed to stood still and survive with movies like Unforgiven and Dead Man even though the genre diverges to different fields. I honestly can’t explain what’s good or bad about this movie except that it’s worth checking out. Scott Glenn sold as a lead rather than a supporting character that I seen him nowadays like Stick in Daredevil, Kevin Kline and Danny are already memorable and Kevin Costner whom I’m not much a fan of at least does well as wise cracking cowboy who has a heart.

The story is stunning, the action is well-directed and the acting is good even with John Cleese in one of his few non-comedic roles (and a much better role of his than The Day The Earth Stood Still remake if I may add). Oh, and Jeff Fahey? He’s role is minimal but good. Oddly enough, Jeff Goldblum also has a minimal role with him coming within the close of the second act and he gets top billing but maybe it’s because he became an it thing at the time with movies like The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai and Transylvania 6-5000. Makes sense since he became more known in The Fly the following year.

At least next few weeks is him at least being the star of the movie but other than that, do seek this movie if you haven’t seen it and anything Lawrence has done except Dreamcatcher… uh, I don’t know he is involved in that and he shouldn’t really but at least he’s still in business and deservingly so.