Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Quiz Show

When you see enough movies it becomes harder and harder to only chose one answer per question. Below is an account of my attempt to show just how hard it is to be a movie fan!
  1. What’s the most depressing movie you’ve ever watched? Hard to say, but Requiem For A Dream was a downer, but great film. 
  2. What’s the most disturbing movie you’ve ever watched? Pretty much any gory horror film. I don't generally watch these. 
  3. An actor/actress you’ve seen in more than 8 movies? Name the movies. Jake Gyllenhaal: Brokeback Mountain, Nightcrawler, Prisoners, Zodiac, Source Code, Love & Other Drugs, Brothers, End of Watch, Jarhead, Proof, The Good Girl, Prince of Persia, Highway, The Day After Tomorrow, Donnie Darko, October Sky, Enemy, Rendition, Moonlight Mile, Bubble Boy and City Slickers. I think that is way over 8! 
  4. A film you could watch on repeat for the rest of your life? Several: 13 Going On 30, LOTR Trilogy, Avengers, Dark Knight, The Departed, Inception, The Prestige, Inglourious Basterds, Father of the Bride duo, The Crow, What's Eating Gilbert Grape and plenty more. Movie lover! 
  5. What’s the very first film you remember watching? Terminator 2 
  6. A film you wish you hadn’t watched? Epic Movie, it was beyond stupid. 
  7. A film you wish had a sequel? Something Borrowed. It is set up for one, but there has been no news on this recently. 
  8. Which book would you like to see adapted into a film? Suzanne's Diary To Nicholas, it was a tv movie, but I would love to see it on the big screen. 
  9. The most aesthetically pleasing movie you’ve ever watched? The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is beautiful! 
  10. What’s your favorite movie director? Scorsese, Spielberg, Jackson, Abrams and Vaughn are awesome. 
  11. Your favorite movie genre? I love them all, but SciFi/Fantasy are my favorite type. 
  12. A movie that holds a special place in your heart? Titanic, it is the first movie I ever say twice in theaters.  
  13. Your favorite comedy film? Several: Planes, Trains & Automobiles, Christmas Vacation, Tommy Boy, The Hangover, Wedding Crashers, Dodgeball, Animal House… 
  14. A music video you would love to see developed into a film? Lay Me Down by Sam Smith 
  15. A film everyone loves but you hate? Napoleon Dynomite 
  16. A film you love but everyone else hates? This Means War, at least was received poorly, but I love it. 
  17. Which cinematic universe would you like to live in? Marvel or Lord of the Rings 
  18. What’s your favorite biopic? Chaplin 
  19. Mainstream movies or indie movies? Mainstream movies 
  20. Old movies or contemporary movies? This is tricky, but I love the way the romances were told back in the day, but the technology in contemporary movies is very fascinating. 
  21. A film with an amazing soundtrack? The Hunger Games is lovely. 
Share some of your answers to these questions. Do you agree or disagree?

Friday, February 27, 2015

Not Another Teen Movie

Teen movies. The once beloved kings of an adolescent girls life. Where did they go? Breakfast Club was, is and will always be the top of the mountain. John Hughes was the master. He crafted stories for the masses. We will have his masterpieces forever, but is that enough? To never have another Sixteen Candles?

The 90's and early 2000's produced Clueless, 10 Things I Hate About You, She's All That and Mean Girls. These will live on in this late 80's child's mind as classics. They are filled with memorable quotes and stars that were just coming on the scene. Who didn't want to date Paul Rudd, Freddie Prinze Jr.  or Heath Ledger? Who envied Cher's closet? Or hoped that you weren't the Karen of your group?

The Duff was released recently and I had the pleasure of seeing it tonight. I enjoyed it. I sat amongst teens and laughed more than they did. Maybe it's because I could relate to Bianca (Mae Whitman) or maybe because I actually know who Bela Lugosi is. As I watched I began thinking of Ten Things I Hate About You. There were a lot of comparisons. They both include characters named Bianca, a girl who is shunned for being different, a good looking guy as a friend/suitor, a dance and Allison Janney.

Will The Duff go down as a "classic"? Probably not, but that's ok. It gives girls the message of empowerment. You are more than what other people see you as. This can also be found in one of my other favorite teen movies, Easy A. Side note, Emma Stone was, is and will always be awesome. Emma Is Awesome! These movies can speak to young people; and I hope they do.

I hope that movies inspire others as much as they inspire me. Movies have always been in my life. They  are an escape from the real world. They are the windows into a world not unlike our own, but with a bit more polish and fairytale notions. They are perfectly imperfect, just like us.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Always A Bridesmaid

There's something about weddings that warms the heart. No, you don't have to be the one getting married to start having your Grinch sized heart expand. I'm not even saying that I have my perfect day planned out, but I sure know that I would love it to have a magical feeling. Just think about that fairytale you've had playing in your head since you were young and you will understand that wedding warmth.

$250 a head. Hot dog buns. Chipper chicken. If these things bring a smile to your face (Joker time) then you have seen and loved Father of the Bride. This movie and its sequel were watched almost every week for the better part of my childhood. Anytime my parents asked me what I wanted to watch I would pick these two films. They blend humor and warm-fuzzies like no other. To top it off, Steve Martin mixed with Chevy Chase, via Christmas Vacation, is my father. Relating to or recognizing others in characters is something that makes movies and television even more enjoyable. If you can put yourself in their place then you become more engaged. This engagement is what keeps Hollywood alive.

Too soon, but then again forever my childhood in these 4 faces.
Thinking about the other wedding centric movies the following come to mind: Four Weddings and a Funeral, 27 Dresses, Bride Wars, Something Borrowed, The Five Year Engagement, Wedding Crashers, The Hangover and Bridesmaids. I feel like I either quote or think of a moment from all of these films at least once a day. Recently having been in a wedding myself, I heard one of the groomsmen talking about being in 24 weddings. They do exist! I can't imagine knowing that many people close enough, but I guess if in the end I wound up meeting James Marsden and singing "Bennie and the Jets" then sign me up! 

These movies generally look towards the wedding day as the culmination of antics that the protagonists have jumped through. In the end you know what will happen, boy and girl fall in love. The journey however is what keeps audiences coming back. Look at How I Met Your Mother. This show spent nine years trying to get Ted Mosby "The One". Everyone wants to find that person, but this show proved how in the end some things are not meant to be or even just about one person. Yes, yes I know he found his other half. She was delightful. If they would have sent their ninth season showing their relationship over the years I would have loved the ending. Instead, SPOILER ALERT, they gave us an entire season devoted to the wedding of Barney and Robin, only for it to last about 6 minutes on screen or 3 years in show time. The audience was very split on their feelings towards this ending. Some loved it. Others felt like they were cheated out of the past nine years. I felt like if they had not spent a whole year one a wedding that was not Ted's then I would have been satisfied and not like I was slapped in the face by Marshall. 
Right in the feels
I understand there's a life lesson in there. You spend so much time dreaming and planning your wedding day which you think is the most important day of your life but in the end if it is not right or meant to be; there is little you can do to change that. However, the show proceeded to have Ted's own daughter call him out on the fact that this whole story was not told to them for the benefit of learning how their parents met and fell in love before their mother passed, but how they should be okay with him being with Aunt Robin. But um (take a shot)… how is that fair? 
"It's about what's FAIR!" - Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight
"All's fair in love and war." I get it now. In the end Ted had two "ones". Tracy McConnell, mother of his two children and rightful owner of the yellow umbrella, and Robin Scherbatsky, the Canadian pop-star, newscaster and owner of the blue french horn that is Ted Mosby's heart. It may take a long time to find your person and even accept them as the person you need. However in the end the journey is greater than the destination.

I'm looking forward to the journeys that Hollywood will take me on in the future. As well as where my own will end up. I know that my wedding will never live up to Hollywood, but that's okay because it will be mine, my own.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Coming Home

Boy has it been a long time! There comes a time when you realize that you are missing something in your life and boy it is writing about the entertainment world! Lately I have been reflecting on my life and what makes me happy and this is a true passion. Movies and TV have made me happy, nay complete, my entire life and at this point I feel like it is time to dedicate myself to taking the time to talk about what I want to talk about, even if it is only for me. So here goes the random……

I have been binging on not only television shows but the great AMC Movie Talk on YouTube. If you want to hear a bunch of movie lovers talk about movies go to this page and dive in. You will not be disappointed, especially if you love this superhero revolution that we are in currently. This is what I would love to do! My whole life I have always wanted to do that and boy watching these videos has reignited that passion. 

Speaking of passion, that is the word I would use to describe my feelings on superhero movies. How good have they been this year!? Captain America: The Winter Soldier has to be one of my favorite Marvel Studios releases if not movies all time. Chris Evans made me fall for Cap long ago, but he was in full flight in this movie. There were very few things wrong with this film and that is so exciting. Which is another word to describe Guardians of the Galaxy. I AM GROOT. I mean come on, a tree and a raccoon stole the hearts of every human being that saw this movie. The whole cast was perfect; from Chris Pratt as our fearless and footloose leader to Dave Bautista's perfect delivery. I cannot speak more highly of either of these films. Finally, we have X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Amazing Spiderman 2. I loved the former and really enjoyed the later. Bringing all of my mutants together was the perfect choice and all I must say is bring on Apocalypse. Spiderman had silly moments with weak villains, not in acting because Dane DeHaan was brilliant, but Giamatti just give me a break. The shinning part of this film was the chemistry between Stone and Garfield. They are perfection. 

Perfection thy name is the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. This has been an amazing fundraiser for a tragic disease that deserves attention. I have spent an inordinate amount of time watching my favorite celebrities and my friends take the challenge over the past couple of weeks. Everyone is trying to outdo the last and I'm loving every moment of it! Chris Pratt was in the lead until Chris Evans blew it out of the water by wearing a suit. That very day I was doing my own challenge and was thinking of ways that could make the challenge unique and thought if someone wore a suit that would be aces. I was not wrong. Benedict Cumberbatch followed this up with a suit and probably the best challenge out there. Of course Sherlock would beat everyone. Elementary my dear Watson…has won 3 Emmys! 

Awards shows always seem to make me want to dive into the entertainment world again and this years Emmys is no exception. Seth Meyers did a good job and was very funny. My dear Breaking Bad went out on top. I remember back when Aaron Paul won his first Emmy when not too many people watched the show and it felt like a personal victory. This time it was for the non-Tyrion fans. I myself love them both and would not have been upset either way, but in my heart of Stark hearts, I wanted Jesse to ride off into the sunset again. 

Someone who has a rising star is Sam Smith. His voice is like velvet in my ears. I have not stopped listening to his record since I bought it. Well except when I am blasting the Awesome Mix Volume 1. Ooga-chaka ooga-chaka! 

Well, ladies and gentlemen (as said like the Joker, you should all read and say it like that without me telling you what to do!) I am going to wrap this homecoming up. I promise that this is not the last you have heard from me for the next 2 years. I have thoughts and plans and ideas that must be shared with my interweb amigos. For now peace out home skillets. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

You're Gonna Need A Bigger Trailer

I hope that summer has been treating everyone well! I apologize for my absence from the blog, I have been busy lately. I have enjoyed quite a few of the summer movies that have come out so far and hope that you have done the same! However, the one I am anticipating the most, The Dark Knight Rises, comes out in less than a month! This leads me to the topic of this blog post: anticipation.

What is is about a trailer that can draw in the masses? Is it the fact that it is able to reveal the whole story in 2 minutes without completely giving away everything? Is it because this is the first time fans and moviegoers get a taste for whats to come? For me a trailer can set my anticipation level bar. If it is a great trailer for a movie that I am already interested in, then it will only shoot that excitement through the roof. If it is a so so trailer that feels like it has been done a thousand times, I know this is likely a film that i will have the bar set low enough that the people limboing on roller skates would have trouble passing under.

June 20 saw the release of the first real trailer for Breaking Dawn Part 2. The final installment in the worldwide mega-hit franchise will sadly come to an end in November. Most people know what happens to Bella and the Cullens, but that does not mean there is not some mystery in what the film has to offer Twihards. The trailer does a good job of wetting the appetite, but not showing too much in order to preserve some of the mystery (until the second, third, forth trailers and commercials are released). Take a look for yourself at the trailer filled with pale, red eyed vampires and Taylor Lautner: http://youtu.be/5xOSoONDpY4 (Thanks to FilmsActuTrailers for the video)

This is one of many trailers that have me in a tizzy this week:

A new Dark Knight Rises trailer arrived and it has even more goodies in it then the previous 3. Some people are avoiding them in order to remained unspoiled, but for me this one only raised even more questions and a need to see the movie today! Christopher Nolan & company will certainly make a ton of money off of this final installment, but will it beat The Avengers? I personally think that bar was set very high, but if anyone can it is the caped crusader. I will see all of you diehards at midnight!

The Hobbit trailer has been out for some time, but I saw it for the first time in 3d yesterday when I enjoyed Titanic once again on the big screen. The first of two films from Peter Jackson arrives in December and I cannot wait! I have been waiting 9 years to return to Middle Earth and it is finally about to happen! Another trailer that was shown was The Great Gatsby. Leo certainly has grown up since his days as Jack Dawson, but he sure knows how to rock a white suit coat as Gatsby. This film is sure to have filmgoers flocking to the multiplexes on Christmas. Finally, the first trailer for Anna Karenina has arrived. The film stars Keira Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Johnson. It looks magically depressing, but sure to be wonderful from director Joe Wright (Atonement). These three films, along with Twilight, share a common thread as each are adapted from a beloved book.

Is anyone else excited about these films? How many times do you watch a trailer before, and even after a films release? Have I missed any that you are losing your mind over?

Above all things I hope that the anticipation does not lead to a let down on any of these films or any others for that matter. If I have learned anything over these last 25 years it is that nothing can please everyone.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Summer Lovin'

'Tis the season to be jolly. No it's not Christmas, its summer blockbuster time!! Every year May through August bring out the big guns and budgets with movies filled with superheroes and aliens, comedians and romantics. This year one series opens with The Avengers and one, The Dark Knight Rises, comes to its epic conclusion. Below is a highlight of the movies that are being released and thoughts on the ones I am looking forward to the most.

May: The Avengers (5-4) is the first big movie of the season and one of the most anticipated (especially by me). This movie has had the ground work built in the Marvel Studios movies over the past 5 years. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) brought a comedic beginning to the franchise. Last year, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Captain America (Chris Evans) were given their own origin stories. Both were very well received, rightly so, earned a lot of money and sequels are in the works.While the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) has had two movies (one prior to Iron Man), they were not as well received, but early reviews indicate that Ruffalo brings the touch the green, rage monster needed. This is one part of the film that I am greatly anticipating as I am a big fan of Ruffalo's. Another actor whose star should be rising high after this is Tom Hiddleston, who brought Loki to life in Thor. He stole scenes from Anthony Hopkins and made people take notice. The rest of the Avengers are Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and an honerary spot to S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) who has helped to link together the other films. I can't wait to see what Joss Whedon brings to this franchise!

Dark Shadows (5-11) starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Michelle Pfeiffer and Eva Green; directed by Tim Burton. This is the eighth collaboration between Depp and Burton and is based on the cult-tv hit of the same name. Depp plays a vampire who returns to the '70's after being at rest for some time. Two things are for certain when the two get together: Depp will have a shade of white facial makeup and it is sure to be a wacky good time.

Battleship (5-18) shares its name with a popular board game, but is likely to resemble Transformers with aliens instead of placing pegs in plastic ships to sink the battleship. The film brings together Taylor Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Liam Neeson, Rihanna and Brooklyn Decker (I like to call her Mrs. Andy Roddick). Decker stars in another movie releasing the same day: What To Expect When Your Expecting. This is an ensemble comedy based off the popular expectant mother book of the same name. The trailer indicates the real draw will be the daddy's or dude's club! The all-star cast includes: Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Elizabeth Banks, Anna Kendrick, Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock, Chace Crawford, Joe Manganiello, Rodrigo Santoro and Matthew Morrison.

Men In Black 3 (5-25) re-teams Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as Agent J and K. This adventure send Agent J into the '60's when a young Agent K, played by Josh Brolin, was only 29 and had some "city miles" on him. Will Smith always delivers a great summer blockbuster and from what I have seen it looks like this one will not disappoint. The only complaint I have is that this movie is not being released on the July 4th weekend, better known as the "Big Willy Weekend", based on several hits he had on that weekend in the past.

June: Snow White and the Huntsman (6-1) is the second film this year based on the beloved character. This version stars Kristen Stewart as Snow White, Charlize Theron as the evil witch/stepmother and Chris Hemsworth as the (hunky and dirty- he's covered in mud in every photo I have seen) huntsman. From the footage available so far it seems to be a much darker take on the fairy tale and that will likely leave me happily ever after.

Prometheus (6-8) sends director Ridley Scott back into territory that made him a legend, aliens. This film is greatly anticipated and shrouded in mystery. Boasting a talented cast including Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron and Noomi Rapace, this is sure to send sci-fi geeks into a tizzy.

Rock of Ages (6-15) based on the hit Broadway musical goes back to the time of 80's rock-n-roll. The cast includes Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta Jones and Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx. It seems important to point out Cruise's character as the trailer only says it a few hundred times! Now lets not get me wrong here, I have seen the stage show and it is phenomenal. It blends songs you know, romance, comedy and social commentary into one hell of a good time. Who doesn't want to see a good musical or a shirtless Cruise singing Bon Jovi?

That's My Boy (6-15) has Adam Sandler playing Andy Samberg's father. Need I say more? I'll see you there and be the one howling in the back.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (6-22) is no joke. Based on a best-selling book and starring relative newcomer Benjamin Walker, this film will likely divide audiences but has me saying "four-score and seven stakes ago."

Brave (6-22) is Pixar's next big hit. This time a red-headed Scottish female leads the action as she is not pleased with her royal parents betrothing her to three available suitors. They had me at Pixar.

Channing Tatum has two movies coming out on the 29th: G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Magic Mike. The two draw different kinds of audiences with one a sequel named for a boy's toy and one reflects the actors former profession as a stripper. The first brings in Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Bruce Willis for a little more muscle. While, the second will likely draw a large female audience with hunky co-stars Matthew McConaughey, Alex Pettyfer, Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello strutting their stuff on stage.

July: The Dark Knight Rises (7-20) will complete Christopher Nolan's love letter to Batman. Christian Bale returns to play Gotham City's resident savior, anti-hero, billionaire Bruce Wayne/Batman. Say what you will about his gravelly voice when he is the caped crusader, but Bale has delivered on hell of a performance in the iconic role. Joining him once again are Michael Caine (Alfred) and Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox) who know how to deliver on serious material, but can be even more powerful when they are witty. "You expecting to run into much gunfire in these caves?" gets me every time. New to the party are Tom Hardy (Bane), Anne Hathaway (Selina Kyle/Catwoman) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (John Blake). The trio are on my list of favorite actors and will be amazing additions to this story. If Tom Hardy can deliver even half of the performance that Heath Ledger gave as the Joker then we are in for a real treat! I have confidence to say that this will likely go down as one of the greatest trilogy's ever made and if the three trailers are not enough to entice you to see this film then may the Joker have mercy on your soul.

The Amazing Spider-Man (7-3) reboots the superhero only five years after the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire franchise ended. This time Andrew Garfield takes on the title role with Emma Stone playing his love interest Gwen Stacy. Only time will tell if this was a good idea and if it will launch Garfield's career even higher.

Savages (7-6) is a gritty thriller from the veteran director Oliver Stone boasting a talented young cast that includes Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson and Blake Lively and bring in veterans John Travolta, Selma Hayek and Benicio Del Toro. This film looks to draw all types of audiences with a story filled with action, romance and intrigue as the two best friends and coworkers (marijuana growers) share their love with Lively and must save her after being kidnapped.

Ted (7-13) makes a childhood  dream come true as Mark Wahlberg's younger self wishes his teddy bear to life. The bear, voiced by Seth MacFarlane, stays with him as he grows up and becomes a foul-mouthed, ladies man....bear. The concept is incredible and looks to be a must see, just not for children. This bear is no Teddy Ruxpin!

Neighborhood Watch (7-27) reunites Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller (Dodgeball!) and throws Jonah Hill into the mix as a group of guys who are a group of volunteer neighborhood watchmen. This may be the comedy of the summer a la The Hangover and Wedding Crashers and I can not wait to see it! Just remember Hill's advice to "look at his words and hear my face."

August: Total Recall (8-3) reboots the Schwarzenegger sci-fi adventure with Colin Farrell in the lead role of a factory worker who has newly acquired memories of being a freedom fighter in a futuristic society. Bring in beauties Jessica Biel and Kate Beckinsale as love interests and you have a late-summer action flick that can bring together different kinds of cinephile's and explore a new world.

The Bourne Legacy (8-3) brings Jeremy Renner in as a CIA agent on the lamb. While Matt Damon was made an action star with the trilogy, this film looks to do the same with Renner. I am usually not a fan of continuing a franchise without the main star, but this looks to be a solid film bringing in costars Edward Norton and Rachel Weisz. This has the possibility to continue on the Bourne legacy and even unite Renner and Damon in a future story a la the Fast and Furious franchise (yeah I said it!).

The Odd Life of Timothy Green (8-15) starring Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton as wannabe parents who discover their dreams come true as a 10 year old boy comes into their life. This has tearjerker written all over it.

The Expendables 2 (8-17) has Stallone, Statham, Li, Hemsworth (of the Liam persuasion), Van Damme, Willis, Schwarzenegger and Chuck Norris. Boom, crash, explosion, punch! That's all.

Sparkle (8-17) is Whitney Houston's final film. The drama/musical, Dreamgirls style, looks to launch the film career of music star Jordin Sparks. The story of  three sisters who are launched into the music industry with a protective mother seems to be the perfect send off to Houston.

Lawless (8-31) brings together Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf in a story of bootleg brothers who are trying to stay out of trouble and the reach of Guy Pearce. Combining the gangster and western genres should send the summer movie season out with a bang. Did I mention TOM HARDY!?!

It looks like we will all have a very busy and broke summer sitting in the air-conditioning watching these moving pictures.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hello Gorgeous

Where does someone turn to when they are trying to figure out what to do next in their life? The internet. This world wide web (how dated does that sound?) has become a great place to turn when looking not only for new jobs but for a place to express yourself. After some consideration and encouragement I've decided to start this blog. 

The Zeek Factor comes from a combination of several elements: 1) Zeek is my nickname. 2) I am a bit of a geek when it comes to scifi and superheroes. (geek factor) 3) There is something that celebrities posses that is known as the x factor (not the Simon Cowel talent show). This is what draws an audience in. This blog is where I will talk movies, tv, music, books, celebrity and other miscellaneous topics. The posts may not come every day, but they will be tied to the entertainment world. 

I have had two loves my entire life: movies and tennis. Both of these things have brought me joy and I hope to share that with others. While some people may start to think: "This chick is only going to write about Wimbledon, that C movie." I assure you they will not be tied together, unless I decide to gush on Paul Bettany. This background is more to let you know that sports may be discussed (Vamos Rafa!) on occasion. 

Spoiler Alert: I do have my favorites (who doesn't?) that will earn the spotlight and generally a pass, but I hope that everyone will enjoy this space and feel free to share your opinions or ideas for future topics!