Monday, March 3, 2014

Ladri di biciclette

The Bicycle Thief (1948)

Directed by Vittorio De Sica

Screenplay by Cesare Zavattini & Suso D'Amico & Vittorio De Sica & Oreste Biancoli & Adolfo Franci & Gerardo Guerrieri

Based on the novel by Luigi Bartolini

Currently #87 of the Top 250 Films of All Time on IMDb (as of this posting)

Stars: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola, Lianella Carell, Gino Saltamerenda and Vittorio Antonucci

This movie is probably on everybody's top films list of all time. I have heard about it over the past couple of years. Trying to expand my film knowledge, I'm trying to get into classic foreign language films like The Bicycle Thief. The movies sole Oscar nomination was for Best Screenplay. It honored a special with a special award in 1950. With all the praise it has been getting, I came away with it underwhelmed.

Taking placed in post WWII Italy, Antonio Ricci (Maggiorani), a desperate father that is trying to support his wife, Maria (Carell) and young son, Bruno (Staiola). Antonio has a promising job prospect to put up posters around Rome, but he is required to have bicycle in order to perform his new job. Maria has to hock sheets that were part of her dowry to pay for the bicycle. Antonio feels like he could finally be the provider for his family.

On his first day of the job, he was putting up poster of Rita Hayworth when a thief (Antonucci) steals his bike and disappears in the crowded square. Antonio goes to the police to file a report, which is pointless that they cannot help. Antonio takes Bruno on his mission to locate the bicycle.

I know by the title of the movie that the movie was going to about finding the thief in the title. I didn't know it was going to take that whole movie to do that. It seems like a "duh" moment, but when a movie is one note, it can be boring.

People could completely empathize with Antonio's predicament. A down on his luck father that would be anything to support his family. People get that. To me, the movie was too depressing to enjoy it. Besides, Netflix spoiled in the ending of the movie in its description. Maybe that has a sour taste in my mouth. The movie is fine. I guess, I am not into neorealism movies.

Rating: 4/10

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Netflix Binge Watch: DTLA - Season 1

Created by Larry Kennar

Season 1

No. of episodes: 8

Cast: Darryl Stephens, Matthew Stephen Herrick, Ernest Pierce, Marshelle Fair, Hiro Tanaka, Patrick MacDonald and Scott Pretty

After Logo unceremoniously canceled Noah's Arc, they were on my shit list. Still are. Besides the point, Darryl Stephens the star of that show was shopping around this show, DTLA (Downtown LA) to Logo and here! TV which passed. The show originally premiered on OutTv in late 2012. In a surprising move, Logo decided to pick up the series and aired it last year, heavily edited. I saw one and a half episodes on there. Cut to today, I binged on the uncensored version of DTLA. Here are my thoughts:

The series centers around seven friends through their highest of highs and lowest of lows. Darryl plays Len, a lawyer that is reaching the end of the rope with his six year relationship with Bryan (Herrick), who spends more time getting high than getting a job. The lone straight woman, SJ (Fair) is in a bad place with her husband that cheated on her. Stefan (Pierce) is also a lawyer that acts bougie and thumbs his nose at other black people. Kai (Tanaka) pushes SJ to get back with her husband when his personal life clashes with his professional life as a schoolteacher. Matthew (MacDonald) is a struggling actor that get his big break with a raunchy play that he doesn't share with his military boyfriend, Marky (Pretty).

I wanted to see this show, because I saw clips of it online. I wanted to see it uncut. The overall impression of the show is that it seems choppy and some spots. Plot points were introduced and dropped by the next episode. Characters disappears for a long period of time and pop up out of nowhere. Characters are introduced with no subtext. They are just there. I did love the guest stars that were peppered in like Leslie Jordan, Danny Roberts and Sandra Bernhardt. Other than that, the show is disposable.

Rating: 5.5/10

Friday, February 28, 2014

I Have a Special Annoucement

People who have been following my blog know that I have a non-award award show called The Omies. It is to highlight the performances that were overlooked during the years. This year is quite different.

It pains me to say this, but I have decided to cancel the Omies for this year. It was my fault mainly because I used a sub-par poll system that fucked everything up. Another contributing factor to this decision was that only two people cast votes. Thank you to the twos of you that actually voted. It would not be fair to have multiple ties in every category. This is my way of "awarding" all of the nominees.

Sorry for the inconvenience. Hopefully, Polldaddy wouldn't be a dick charging an arm and a leg to use their service.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Meet Darth Mug

It has been reported that Adam Driver, that guy from "Girls" who may or may not play Nightwing that is "Batman vs. Superman" trainwreck has signed on to play an unnamed villian in the upcoming Star Wars VII. Fly me to outer space where they won't hear me scream.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Hello, dear readers.

I was contacted by Dave N. on behalf of Dark Venegeance, which hits Redbox on February 27th which stars Steven Seagel.

Check out the trailer.


Here is a brief synopsis of the movie: "Seattle's darkest criminals force Elijah Kane (Seagal) and his hard knuckled team to work around the clock to track down a meticulous "Black Magic"-practicing killer in the vagrant strip club underworld. There’s even an appearance from Star Trek’s George Takei!"

STEVEN SEAGAL Fan Art Contest Page:

In exchange for posting their best Steven Seagal fan artwork, fans earn the chance to win an Aikidogi uniform, DVD Boxed Set (both signed by Seagal), or a $25 Red Box gift card.

Find them on Facebook:
Follow them on Twitter:

Trailer Trash: "Godzilla"

I was reading that the new Godzilla movie will be a helluva lot better than one produced in the late nineties with Matthew Broderick and some other assholes no one cares about. Judging by this trailer, I would see it when it comes out in May.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Noordzee, Texas

North Sea Texas (2011)

Directed by Bavo Defurne

Screenplay by Bavo Defurne and Yves Verbraeken

Based on the novel, "Nooit gaat dit over" by André Sollie

Stars: Jelle Florizoone, Mathias Vergels, Nina Marie Kortekaas, Eva van der Gucht, Luk Wyns, Thomas Coumans and Katelijne Damen

Personally, I never heard of this movie before last year's Omie Awards when a follower of mine mentioned this movie as a nominee. The movie was most honored last year. It was on my radar to watch it. I reinstated my Netflix account to take advantage of the movies I missed out on. This movie was suggested to me. It was kismet or so I thought.

It seems like the story takes place in the late sixties Belgium, not Texas as I thought, where we follow Pim (Florizoone), a boy that is coming into his sexuality. He is realizing that he has feelings for his friend, Gino (Vergels). Gino gives into his feelings for Pim. Pim feels lost as his mother, Yvette (van der Gucht) is more concerned about playing her accordion and men then her son. Pim seeks solace in Gino's family home. Gino's mother, Marcella (Damen) assumes loving mother role that he wants as Gino's sister develops a hopeless crush on Pim.

Through the grapevine, this movie was touted as the next "Brokeback Mountain". I would not take it that far. Seeing my share of gay movies, this movie would be in the middle of the pack. Don't get me wrong. There were parts of this movie that mimicked my childhood. I had crushes on boys, played dress up, did things that boys did, girls had crushes on me and all that.

It felt like something was missing with the movie. I think it was with the "love story" between Pim and Gino. The brief times that they were together, they had triple amounts of time apart. I didn't feel longing. It died on-screen. It was an afterthought. The only good thing that I took from this movie was the feeling of lost innocence. That's it.

Rating: 6/10

Friday, February 21, 2014

See You In the Sequel

Mark your calendars. May 26, 2017 is released for the unnnamed sequel to the Lego Movie.

We Have A Kyle Reese

I didn't even know that they were making another Terminator movie. Apparently, they are. It's called "Terminator: Genesis". I guess, it will reboot the damage done from Rise of the Machines and Salvation.

Jai Courtney, better known for his role in Spartacus: Blood and Sand and that godawful "A Good Day to Die Hard" will play Kyle Reese. The role was previously played by Michael Biehn in the original movie and Anton Yelchin in Salvation.

He is joining Jason Clarke as John Conner, Emilia Clarke (no relation) as Sarah Connor and Arnold Schwarzenegger reprises his role as The Terminator. Why? The movie will come out in 2015.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Movie Bullshit: Fantastic Four Reboot Cast Revealed

Remember back in 2005 before Chris Evans was part of the Avengers, Jessica Alba was making mediocre movies, Michael Chiklis was just the guy from the Shield and nobody who the fuck Ioan Gruffudd was, there a movie called " Fantastic Four" came out. Nobody cared. Then they had that unnecessary sequel that dare not speak its name. 

Cut to today, when the news broke that Miles Teller (That Awkward Moment, Project X) has been cast as Reed Richards aka "Mr. Fantastic." Jaime Bell (Billy Elliott, The Eagle) has been cast as Ben Grimm aka "The Thing". Michael B. Jordan (Chronicle, Fruitvale Station) has been cast as Johnny Storm aka "The Human Touch. Rounding out the cast is Kate Mara (We Are Marshall, 127 Hours) playing Sue Storm aka "The Invisible Woman."

Does anybody really give a fuck about this? I certainly don't. Besides, these characters are still under Fox that fucked up the first time. You think starting over will make everything okay? No. Look at The Amazing Spiderman. There was no need for that movie to be made. Do we need to sit through another fucking origin story that we have just seen decade ago. These studio execs must think we're stupid. That they will force feed us some bullshit and think everything is fine. No. I don't want another reboot. No, thank you. I gonna pass.

Movie Bullshit: Guardians of the Galaxy

Today, I'm gonna introduce a new feature on the blog. It's called Movie Bullshit. It is myself giving opinions of today's latest news.

I'm sure that everyone and the dead granny has seen the Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy trailer. Fanboys are having nerdgasms seeing the trailer. Personally, I don't know dick about them. I maybe read two digital comics on my phone since this movie was announced.

Today, came word of Rocket Raccoon's voice being revealed. He is being voiced by Bradley Cooper.

Granted, it's only a 30 second teaser.

I can't say that I am excited to see this movie, except for that section of the trailer where Chris Pratt, who plays Starlord looking incredibly ripped. For a guy that was quoted on Conan that he hated working out, he sure doesn't have a problem showing off. I give you Exhibit A and B. I rest my case.

Guardians of the Galaxy flies into theaters August 1st.

Friday, February 7, 2014

2014 Omie Nominations

Hello, everyone. I have put together the nominees for the 6th Annual Omie Awards. I decided to do things a little different this year. There will be up to ten nominees in each category. You are allowed one vote in each category. This year, I will not have write-in votes in the major categories. You can only write in a vote for The Suck-It Award only. Happy voting everyone!

The polls are not casting the vote. Take a look at the nominees and e-mail me your choices at Sorry for the inconvenience.

Most Deserving Picture?
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Butler
August: Osage County
Blue Jasmine
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
The Way, Way Back
Before Midnight
free online polls

Most Deserving Director?
Woody Allen, "Blue Jasmine"
Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, "Inside Llewyn Lewis"
Lee Daniels, "The Butler"
Stephen Frears, "Philomena"
Paul Greengrass, " Captain Phillips"
Ron Howard, "Rush"
Spike Jonze, "Her"
Richard Linklater, "Before Midnight"
Jean-Marc Vallée, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Denis Villeneve, "Prisoners"
Poll Maker

Most Deserving Actor?
Idris Elba, "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"
Tom Hanks, "Captain Phillips"
Tom Hanks, "Saving Mr. Banks"
Oscar Isaac, "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Hugh Jackman, "Prisoners"
Michael B. Jordan, "Fruitvale Station"
Joaquin Phoenix, "Her"
Robert Redford, "All is Lost"
Forest Whittaker, "The Butler"
Poll Maker

Most Deserving Actress?
Veerle Baetens, "The Broken Circle Breakdown"
Bérénice Bejo, "The Past"
Julie Delpy, "Before Midnight"
Adèle Exarchopoulos, "Blue Is the Warmest Color"
Greta Gerwig, "Frances Ha"
Brie Larson, "Short Term 12"
Julie Louis-Dreyfus, "Enough Said"
Emma Thompson, "Saving Mr. Banks"
Marine Vacth, "Jeune & Jolie"
Kate Winslet, "Labor Day"
Poll Maker

Most Deserving Supporting Actor?
Daniel Brühl, "Rush"
Dane DeHaan, "Kill Your Darlings"
Will Forte, "Nebraska"
Ben Foster, "Ain't Them Bodies Saints"
James Franco, "Spring Breakers"
James Gandolfini, "Enough Said"
Jake Gyllenhaal, "Prisoners"
Ray McKinnon, "Mud"
Sam Rockwell, "The Way, Way Back"
Keith Stanfield, "Short Term 12"
Poll Maker

Most Deserving Supporting Actress?
Melonie Diaz, "Fruitvale Station"
Jennifer Garner, "Dallas Buyers Club"
Scarlett Johansson, "Her"
Carey Mulligan, "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Léa Seydoux, "Blue Is the Warmest Color"
Octavia Spencer, "Fruitvale Station"
Oprah Winfrey, "The Butler"
Poll Maker

Most Deserving Adapted Screenplay?
"August: Osage County"
"The Butler"
"Labor Day"
"Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom"
"Blue Is the Warmest Color"
Poll Maker

Most Deserving Original Screenplay?
"Inside Llewyn Davis"
"Frances Ha"
"The Way Way Back"
"Fruitvale Station"
"Saving Mr. Banks"
Poll Maker

Most Deserving Foreign Language Film?
Blue Is the Warmest Color (France)
A Touch of Sin (China)
Gloria (Chile)
The Past (France, Italy)
Two Lives (Germany)
Wadjda (Saudi Arabia)
The Grandmaster (Hong Kong)
Bethlehem (Israel)
Poll Maker

Most Deserving Documentary?
Stories We Tell
Blood Brother
We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks"
The Last of the Unjust
The Armstrong Lie
Lion Ark
Gasland: Part II
Poll Maker

Most Deserving Original Song?
Young and Beautiful (The Great Gasby)
Sweet Than Fiction (One Chance)
Atlas (Hunger Games: Catching Fire)
Please, Mr. Kennedy (Inside Llewyn Davis)
So You Know What It's Like (Short Term 12)
In the Middle of the Night (The Butler)
Last Mile Home (August: Osage County)
Shine Your Way (The Croods)
Amen (All is Lost)
My Lord Sunshine [Sunrise] (12 Years a Slave)
Poll Maker

The Suck-It Award
The Lone Ranger for Viz FX/Makeup
Jackass: Bad Grandpa for Makeup
The Croods for Animated Feature
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug for Viz FX/Sound Mixing
Alone Yet Not Alone getting nominated then disqualified for Original Song
Star Trek Into Darkness for Viz FX
Iron Man 3 for Viz FX
The Wolf of Wall Street for... anything!
Please Specify:
Poll Maker
Voting will be open until February 13th. The winners will be announced on March 1st. Happy voting!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

12 Years a Slave

12 Years a Slave (2013)

Directed by Steve McQueen

Screenplay by John Ridley

Based on the memoir, "Twelve Years a Slave" by Solomon Northrup

Currently #87 of the Top 250 Films of All Time on IMDb (as of this posting)

Stars: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong'o, Sarah Paulson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Adepero Oduye, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt, Alfre Woodard, Paul Giamatti and Brad Pitt

This is one of the movies that I really wanted to see at this time of year. My family went out for our family movie outing. I warned my mother that the movie was going to be intense. Intense is an understatement. I had to have a couple of days to wrap my brain around this movie. It was recently nominated for 9 Oscars including Best Picture, Director and Actor.

Solomon Northup (Ejiofor) never knew what it was like to be a slave. He was born a free man living in New York with his wife, Anne (Kelsey Scott) and his children. Being an accomplished violinist, a pair of men presented Solomon with a chance to play at a circus in Washington, DC. While he was there, he was drugged and woke up in shackles. Slave masters told him that his name was "Platt", a runaway from Georgia.

Solomon proclaimed his innocence. That action only made things worse for him as he was whipped mercilessly. Solomon is sold to Master Ford (Cumberbatch), a man that treated the slaves like humans. This is the happiest the movie will ever be. Solomon's clashes with Tibeats (Dano). Solomon is sold again to a nasty cotton plantation owner named Epps (Fassbender) who extremely religious and treats his slaves like property. Master Epps has his prized Negress, Pasty (Nyong'o) much to the chagrin of Epps' wife, Mary (Paulson) that picked the most cotton, but she is unhappy in her life. Solomon tries any way he can to proclaim that he is a free man.

The movie is not the easiest movie to watch. I was angry. I shifted in my seat numerous times. I cannot imagine myself having that kind of life. As I told my mom when we exited the theater, just kill me. My ancestors endured that treatment for four hundred years. Being torn away from your family. Having no clue where you came from, distant relatives, etc.

My feelings aside, I want to talk about the film in general. I enjoyed the movie. Will it win Best Picture? The way that award shows are these days it will. A movie with a primarily African American cast has never won Best Picture. Think about it? The Color Purple, A Soldier's Story, Sounder, Precious, Ray... the list goes on. What does it say about Hollyweird that a story about slavery wins?

Their other criticism that Steve McQueen sold out to make an Oscar bait movie? Perhaps. I have seen both of his previous films. They felt like delving into untapped territory. This movie feels like Roots 2013. The overall feel of the movie felt false. There was scenes that was supposed to be emotional. I felt nothing.

I'm not knocking the entire movie. I thought that Hans Zimmer was completely robbed for a Best Score nomination. I loved the music of the movie. It was haunting. Lupita Nyong'o is a revelation as Pasty. Being her big screen debut is an astonishing feat.

My Rating