I’m not sure I stressed how much I enjoyed last weeks episode in the last recap. I really liked it. The ebb and flow between Michonne and Carl’s story seemed seemless, and while both stories packed in some serious plot, it never felt rushed. I’m reiterating this because in comparison, this week fell short. Really short. Sure, it was great to be reassured that the other group members were alive, and it was nice to see Carol again (Carol’s back!), but with so many seperate stories packed into 40 minutes of television, it left something to be desired.
Last Sunday, months after we watched them lose the prison, we were reunited with our favourite zombie apocalypse survivors. In the first of what I’m sure will be several single character episodes, we spent this episode with a dysfunctional Rick and Carl, and an emotionally distraught Michonne, leaving up wondering about the fate of the rest of the group.
(I feel like it goes without saying that there are spoilers ahead, but in case you accidently found yourself reading a recap of the 4th midseason premier, SPOILERS AHEAD!)
Every year I set out to see all of the possible Oscar nominated flicks, and every year I realize that I don’t like being sad all that much, and hate wallowing in white guilt, so I inevitably give up. This year is no different, but I gave up before I even began. I don’t think I could sit through 12 Years a Slave on the big screen without having a complete emotional breakdown (unless I picture Chiwetel Ejiofor as The Operative from Serenity the whole time, but I feel like that would really ruin the whole point of the movie). One movie I have seen from this season’s crop is American Hustle, and damn, is it fantastic.
The movie stars Christian Bale as Irving Rosenfeld, a swuave, charming, con-man with an epic combover, who meets Sydner Prosser, (played by Amy Adams (and her sideboob*)) at a pool party and instantly falls in love with her. The pair (along with Amy Adam’s sideboob) join forces in an effort to con a bunch of desperate dudes out of thousands of dollars, with a false promise of a return that will never come. Unfortunately, a con this simple (albeit brilliant) can’t last for long, no matter how great Amy Adam’s British accent is, and how much sideboob she shows.
Enter Richie Dimaso (Bradley Cooper), an FBI agent with a fantastic perm, and a plan. Using Rosenfeld’s brains and Prosser’s sideboob, he wants to set up a sting to take down dirty politicians. Knowing it’s their only option to avoid arrest, the pair play along. Over time, Dimaso’s plan grows exponentially, as do their problems. I should take this opportunity to mention that while he’s gallavanting around with Sydney (and her sideboob), Irving is married with a son. His wife Rosalyn (played by the phenomenal Jennifer Lawrence), knows what Irving does for a living, and while she doesn’t know specifics, and always seems to be a dirty martini away from going completely off the rails, she knows enough to be potentially damaging to the con. Add her insanity to the looming threat from the mob, and the fact that they’re criminals working for the feds, well, Irving and Sydney have to figure out a way to come out of this on top.
I loved this flick. And the more I think about it, the more impressed I am. The movie was not at all what I expected. The trailers make the it out to be a fast paced, heist-y affair; like Ocean’s Eleven with a perm. This is not really the case. I really hesitate to use the term “slower than expected” when describing American Hustle, because attributing the term “slow” to a movie seems like a negative connotation. Like saying a beer is bitter, or chocolate is chalky – it makes it sound undesirable. But you know what, some of the best beer is bitter, quality dark chocolate is chalky, and American Hustle is a brilliant, slower, movie.
The slower pace doesn’t come from a dragging plot; the story moves along just fine. But it also takes pause to turn these four, strange people, into fully developed, beautifully tragic characters. And the actors bring them to life with charm and grace. Christian Bale completely disappears into Irving, and not just because of the physical changes from Batman (Bale put on a sexy 40 pounds for the role). His performance is so… all encompassing, that I’ve talked to people that didn’t even realize it was him until it was pointed out.
It’s really the women of the movie that take the cake (and the Golden Globes Sunday night). Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of Rosalyn is gorgeous. The character is a little unhinged, slightly intoxicated, and is susceptible to bouts of hysteria. This could easily make her gratingly annoying, or turn her into a poor man’s Karen Walker (because anyone’s Karen Walker would be poor unless they’re Megan Mullaly. Which J-Law is not). But Lawrence manages to find a layer of vulnerability amidst the funny, that makes the audience want to hug her, while cringing the second she comes on screen because you know something could potentially go wrong at any second.
Amy Adams does a similar thing with Sydney. As a lady con artist, Sydney is a woman who has reinvented herself after being broken by the world one too many times. She is hardened, she is clever, but Adams gives her so much depth, and so many layers, that there are moments you can see that she is one catastrophe away from being broken all over again. Plus her sideboob is bangin’. I’d like to note, that I only mention her boobs excessively because I am jealous that she a) has the confidence and b) has the rack, to wear those plunging neck lines the whole movie. Amy Adams is a rockstar.
Then there’s Bradley Cooper, who, since Alias, I have a hard time seeing as anyone but Will Tippin. Even if he is rockin’ a late 70s perm. What can I say? I latch on and refuse to let go. Case and point: I saw Elisabeth Moss‘ win at the Globes last night as a win for the Bartlett family. I have problems and should probably seek counselling. Don’t get me wrong, his perfomance is wonderful, I’m just ridiculous.
While this is the only “Award Season” movie I’ve seen so far, I can hardly say “this is the one to see” with any credibility. But I can say that American Hustle is a wonderful movie. The story is great, the characters are fantastic, and the actors blow the whole thing out of the water. If you get a chance, check this flick out. And be sure to throw it some love in your Oscar pool, because these guys will definitely deliver.
*I’ve had a discussion with my male friends over whether or not Amy Adam is showing gratuitous sideboob or cleavage during this film. They all ruled on the side of cleavage, but I prefer the term sideboob so I stuck with it. Suck it.
I have a million excuses regarding my lack of updates. My laptop has crapped out, work has been crazy, I’ve caught some terrible colds, but at the end of the day it all has to do with self motivation. I’ve had plenty of time to write as of late, but sometimes, at the end of the day, all you want to do is play some Call of Duty and shoot strangers in the face with an AN-94 (although in my case, “get shot in the face with an AN-94 by strangers” would be a more accurate depiction of my nights). When this is your primary thought process, it makes it really hard to keep up with writing and the whole being productive thing.
Over the holidays, however, I got spoiled rotten by my amazingly supportive family. In an effort to encourage me to write more (and stop being so goddamn lazy), my parents got me a tablet, so I can bring my writing with me wherever I go, and my uncles got me a sweet ass bluetooth keyboard. Now the only thing standing in the way of me writing, is me. Since writing more was a New Years Resolution and I’m just sitting down now on the 11th, I really have some work to do when it comes to motivation. But work on it I will, and I have a group of wonderful, inspiring, and motivating people behind me.
Although I can’t promise that I’ll ever be able to turn down my boyfriend when he hands me an Xbox controller and asks, “Want to shoot some shit?” No woman is that strong.
When the world is crumbling around you, and the dead have started shuffling around, looking to rip open your intestines for a snack, holding on to anything is not the best idea. Tying yourself down to a person, place, or thing (so really any noun is a bad idea), can make you vulnerable in a post apocalyptic world. Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead focused on just that: letting go. From letting go of a backpack to letting go of your humanity, it’s fair to say that last night presented itself as a bit of a game changer.
WARNING: This post will contain spoilers from this past week’s episode of The Walking Dead, thus considering any episode before that fair game. If you have fallen behind in any capacity, I highly recommend not reading. You have been warned.
The running theme of this season of The Walking Dead seems to be death. A lot of people have died this season. A lot. Like, over twenty dead in only three episodes. But here’s the thing: I don’t care about any of them.
When the bus full of Governor refuges pulled up to the prison at the end of last season, I was full of mixed emotions. One part of me was like, “Oh that’s nice”, a la Community‘s Shirley, while another part of me was all, “that’s the single stupidest thing you could have done”. I understand the need to preserve mankind (or, as my mother says, people kind) during the apocalypse, but what about self-preservation? The crew has a pretty solid set up in the prison, and now they’re bringing in more mouths to feed?
Well, it seems like the producers weren’t really thinking about more mouths to feed so much as more random people to kill off. While the first episode featured many new, nameless people in the prison, last week didn’t really showcase any of them. They all dead. And since they were all nameless, did anybody really care that they died? If I’ve learned anything from years of being a devoted Joss Whedon fan, it’s that the death of one character you care about has a hell of a lot more of an impact than the mass slaughter of anonymous extras. I was really worried that The Walking Dead producers had forgotten this fact and were just going to spend the season killing random people, while our beloved characters all remained safe. This week however, that all changed. Continue reading
2 months ago, if you had asked me whose show would be funnier, Rebel Wilson’s or Andy Samberg’s, I would have put all of my money on the former. Now, I would be flat broke, writing this post on a piece of cardboard while sitting on a street corner hoping to sell my writing for a can of Zoodles, I was that wrong. While Brooklyn Nine-Nine keeps you engaged and laughing along, Super Fun Night fails to bring the funny, and leaves you feeling awkward and a little sad.